Ecclesiology, Part 5. The Church of Christ Is Hierarchical

widpicRestorationists,

The Protestant Church of Christ also calls itself the Churches (or “churches”; lowercase “c”) of Christ. The utilization of both names grants the group flexibility: the word “Church” (singular) communicates unity, and the word “Churches” (plural) communicates the autonomous nature of each local congregation. It makes sense; the Catholic Church has used the same names for centuries, but the Catholic Church’s use of the words do not indicate autonomy, but rather, unity even amongst its individual assemblies. Continue reading

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Ecclesiology, Part 4. Structure and Intent

widpicCofC Christians,

If the Protestant Church of Christ would mind what it advertises as a principle—to “speak where the Bible speaks, and to be silent where the Bible is silent”—then your community would be built on St. Peter. The Catholic Church’s paradigm is precisely what the text communicates, as it only can, because the text is a product of the Church (the Church pre-dates the Bible). Structure, proximity, grammar, and intent, connect its three parts; and St. Matthew’s passage communicates an intent that is clearly supported by St. John’s Gospel. Jesus said, You [Peter] shall be called Cephas (John 1:42). Jesus did not say, “Your confession shall be called cephas (rock).” Nor did He say, “Any person’s confession of faith shall be called cephas (rock).” And therefore, St. Matthew’s passage ceases to be cryptic in any respect, but beautifully clear, and best understood when read in its fullness. St. Peter’s “confession of faith” provides a three-part context. It begins with Jesus’ response to St. Peter’s words, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Continue reading

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Ecclesiology, Part 3. Responses to CofC Protests

widpicCofC’ers,

Your members ordinarily first object to the Catholic Church of Christ’s self-understanding of what Jesus’ spoken words mean by arguing from the written words of a different language as written by that same Catholic Church—by divorcing the text from its creator and insisting the Incarnate Logos is the written Greek text, or that Jesus would build His Church on a subject He never once called rock; but apparently attempted to confuse future Greek interpreters by calling St. Peter rock, and then proclaiming to build His church upon that very subject. The language offers no wriggle room for Protestants to argue against the historical interpretation (and therefore, practice) of what could possibly be the simplest passage in all of the New Testament to understand: I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church. And therefore, your communities, like much of the remainder of Protestantism, jettisons the clear pro-Catholic implication of the single verse and focuses attention on other verses that, presumably, present obstacles for the Catholic Church of Christ’s position. Continue reading

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Ecclesiology, Part 2. The Church of Christ Is Built on Rock

widpicMembers of the Protestant Church of Christ, was Jesus attempting to confuse people when He used a word rich with paternal authority when He named Simon Bar-Jona “Rock”? For Abraham too was called a “rock”:

Hearken to me, you who pursue deliverance, you who seek the LORD; look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were digged. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you (Isaiah 51:1-2).

St. Matthew’s Gospel account, most likely written first in Aramaic and undoubtedly initially written for a Jewish audience, quotes Jesus as saying, I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church (v. 16:18). The English New Testament book of Matthew is not a translation of Jesus’ Greek words into English, but a translation of what began as Aramaic, translated into Greek, and then into English; and the walk through three languages often confuses the Protestant Church of Christ. And even if, by a long shot, the autograph was written in Greek and not Aramaic, the walk through three languages is still a necessity because Jesus spoke Aramaic. But when the words of God are read without linguistic gymnastics and modern lenses designed to delete Jesus’ calling of the first pope, it becomes clear that Jesus said, You are Cephas (Rock), and on this cephas (rock), I will build my church. Continue reading

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Ecclesiology, Part 1. The Real Church of Christ Pre-Dates the Bible

widpicMinisters and laypeople of the Protestant Church of Christ, can you not acknowledge that any “Bible-only” community cannot be the true Church of Christ? Can you not understand that the ontological priority of a sacred library of books must be a sacred body with the authority to have recognized it as such and to label it as such, that an inerrant text requires an inerrant author, that the Spirit that aided the writing is the same Spirit that interprets—that you would have no reason to believe the books that comprise the New Testament are inspired if it were not for the authority of a Sacred Tradition? Continue reading

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Marian Comparative Religion Observation (CofC Original Sin Blunder)

Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 11.07.18 AMEver notice how Protestant sects (like the CofC) that argue against the Immaculate Conception (Mary conceived free from original sin) believe all [other?] people are immaculately conceived?

Ever notice how “Bible-only” sects that believe Mary was a sinner can’t demonstrate from the “Bible only” one single sin she committed?

Ever notice how “Bible-only” sects believe Romans 3:23 (“all have sinned”) refers to Mary, but not aborted babies or Jesus?

The hunt to accuse Mary of sin is more satanic than Christian (cf. Revelation 12:10). All [Catholic] generations call Mary blessed, and full of grace, and the sinless mother of God. After all, Catholicism is the fullness of biblical Christianity.

 

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Baptism, Part 7. Responses to Anticipated CofC Objections to Baptism for Infants

widpicCofC people,

There are obstacles members of the Protestant Church of Christ must hurdle for what I have shown you to take root—obstacles that are not anchored to the ancient Church, but rather, are merely theories that are relatively modern—some as young as plastic, yet presented by your group as “true” Christianity. Continue reading

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