Are Protestant Church of Christ Elders Valid?

The CofC offen brings up one verse (or two) that is meant to prove how the Catholic Church’s priests are illegitimate. The third Chapter of First Timothy says elders must be “the husband of one wife.” I explained the meaning of that verse here and how it in no way damages the historical Catholic understanding of the qualifications of priesthood. There are more — and more important — characteristics of a valid elder that the CofC overlooks. And when those details are considered, it becomes clear as to which “Church of Christ” is the real Church of Christ.
• If the Protestant Church of Christ (CofC) believes it’s the New Testament Church, and
• If the CofC believes it has valid priests (elders), and
• Every elder in the New Testament was ordered through the hierarchy of the Church,
• And the CofC elders are all self-appointed or communally appointed,
• Then the CofC is not the New Testament Church with valid elders.
…and…
• If the CofC believes it’s the New Testament Church, and
• If the CofC believes it has valid elders, and
• The New Testament commands Christians to obey their elders,
• Yet the CofC, at some point in the past, was “restored” by rebelling against established elders, and appointed new elders.
• Then the CofC is not the New Testament Church with valid elders.
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How the CofC Could Better Defend Baptismal Regeneration

I recently mentioned how some traditional members of the Protestant Church of Christ (CofC) are rightly struggling to maintain sect-wide orthodoxy regarding baptismal regeneration. However, it seems to me that the CofC’s inability to understand pouring as a proper mode for Baptism is one reason why the heresy is growing in popularity.
I’ve covered every biblical passage that aids the CofC’s understanding of proper modes and eligibility for Baptism throughout this website (available in book form here). I’ve also shown how the CofC’s own arguments, when studied, actually supports the Catholic understanding: that both immersion and pouring are proper modes for Baptism. It seems to me the CofC could better defend its traditional acceptance of baptismal regeneration if it would consider how Scriptural language and imagery work together. Continue reading
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The Protestant “War on Hanukkah” Proves Catholicism More Plausible

Church of Christ readers,
This post’s title is a nod to America’s “culture wars” (which seem to become more of an outrageous outrage this time of year), not to any sort of malice.
Protestantism’s inattention to the Bible’s input about Hanukkah is an indication of which position is in fact more “biblical”. As a reminder, the Catholic Canon (the Bible’s “Table of Contents”) is different than the Protestant Canon; and the Catholic Rule is that both Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are equally intended by God as divine revelation while the Protestant Rule is that of “sola Scriptura” – that the Protestant “Bible alone” is intended to provide all that is necessary for salvation and holy living. (I’ve included links to most of my posts about “Rule of Faith” at the end if you’d like to learn more.)
So what does Hanukkah have to do with anything? Continue reading
Posted in apologetics, canon, churches of christ | Tagged ,

Creed: Part #2, Application of the Creed and Current CofC Disunity Regarding Baptism

CofC Christians,
The Creed provides unity and identity. People who visit the Catholic Church of Christ do not need to read the minds of any Church leader to learn what the Church believes; the Creed is available to everyone. Members of the Church all confess – some more sincerely than others – to the same one Creed. The Creed is not Scripture; it is a confession of faith. (Remember, “creed” means “belief”.) Like the Creed, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is not Scripture; it is an explanation of the Creed, it is the Church’s exegesis (its interpretation) of the Scriptures. All Christians have a creed, whether it is written down or not. The Church has the responsibility to declare the gospel, to explain it, to make it accessible. Continue reading
Posted in apologetics, catholicism, churches of christ | Tagged , ,

Creed: Part #1, “No Creed But the Bible” Proves Catholicism More Christian

CofC Christians,
Protestant Church of Christ Christians often profess pride in their lack of a creed, but they utilize a creed-like mantra as both a statement of belief and a disparaging commentary on Christians who do confess a creed. “No creed but the Bible”, however, does not communicate the self-affirming Restorationist wish for “biblical Christianity”; what it does is offer a proof of how, in itself, the Catholic Church is more plausible, more reasonable, more Christian. Continue reading
Posted in apologetics, catholic | Tagged , , ,

Applying Reason to The Protestant Church of Christ’s Claim as “the Original Church”

Protestant Church of Christ readers,
Your foundational principle of sola Scriptura — your entire approach to religion — correlates to your group’s initial presence in history. A group (the Catholic Church of Christ) that existed before the Bible’s formation does not begin with a premise that denies the first eighteen centuries of its own existence, but your group (the Protestant Church of Christ) was born at a time when the labor of creating the Bible had already been performed, and it approaches religion by approaching an already-produced product (if your community were old, it must deny the first eighteen centuries of its existence!). As such, the Catholic Church is the Church of history, and any “Bible-only” Restoration group is not. Surely if your community existed before sola Scriptura was invented (the New Testament Scriptures did not exist at Pentecost when you believe your community was born) you would appeal to the original pattern, and approach Christianity by approaching the Church (as those at Pentecost had). But of course, your community is new, and your approach to Christianity is new as well.
If the Catholic Church is not the original Church (as you would argue), and if the Protestant Church of Christ is in fact the original Church, then why does each group’s approach to the Faith communicate the opposite? Would the ancient Church not approach the Faith in the same manner as it had at its beginning? And would a modern community not approach the Faith in the same manner as it had at its beginning?
If your group were in fact the nascent Church, then it would not approach a library of books as its only source of theological truth; it would have been intrinsically joined with the books’ writing, compilation, and decisions — the Church — that presuppose the New Testament Scriptures. Put differently, your group’s reluctance to examine history leads you to an unexamined and faulty principle that invalidates itself, and your group’s approach to Christianity, by itself, proves that your group is not the nascent Church.
The Catholic churches of Christ greet you!
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In Their Own Words: [Protestant] Church of Christ Christians’ Journeys Toward (and from) the Fullness of Christianity

A selection of posts from this apostolate:

Posted in apologetics, Catholic art, catholicism, churches of christ | Tagged , ,