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11

Short Answer: Schisms in the church are the result of sin. However, God can use even the schisms to serve His purposes, by making a distinction between those who are walking according to His ways and those who are not. First, it is important to distinguish between "the church" and "all the churches". (Compare 1 Timothy 3:15 and Romans 16:16 - same Greek ...


8

Most of the cardinals don't live (most of the time) in the neighborhood of the Vatican. So, probably, once the Church as a whole got over the shock, they'd convene the college of cardinals in some appropriate place and elect a new Pope. Now if (as Caleb hypothesizes in his comment) the college of cardinals were largely or entirely wiped out as well, then ...


8

Calvin dedicates an entire Book of his Institutes (Book IV) to the Church, and Chapters 1-2 are about the "true church" in which he mentions the marks of a true church. From 4.1.9: Wherever we see the word of God sincerely preached and heard, wherever we see the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there we cannot have any ...


6

I basically agree with last two of Jon's answers (here and here), but I'd like to add some Catholic perspective to it. As Jon interpreted Chesterton, there have always been different groups in the Church, approaching on extreme or the other. Rivalities between monastic orders within Catholic Church show this quite well: opposition between Franciscans and ...


5

I'm not sure if this is precisely what you are looking for, but your question immediately reminded me of Augustine's City of God: Chapter 35.—Of the Sons of the Church Who are Hidden Among the Wicked, and of False Christians Within the Church. Let these and similar answers (if any fuller and fitter answers can be found) be given to their enemies by ...


5

In Catholicism, the marks of the Church are that she is one holy catholic apostolic these words are taken from the second part of the Nicene creed, which is commonly prayed at every Mass and the tenents of which are generally accepted by mainline Protestant denominations. I think, but have very little basis for this thought, that Protestant reformers ...


4

The ecclesiology of Augustine and the ecclesiology of the Reformers were both very much products of the times they lived in: In Augustine's case as well as sourcing a basic understanding on ecclesiology from scripture and tradition, any development of his thinking in this area was greatly influenced by the problems the Church had been facing - especially in ...


3

If it were God's will we (Catholics) probably wouldn't pray for reunification every Good Friday! For Unity of Christians: Let us pray For all our brothers and sisters Who share our faith in Jesus Christ, That God may gather and keep together in one church All those who seek the truth with sincerity. Almighty and eternal God, You keep ...


2

In Orthodoxy, G. K Chesterton argues that Christianity consistently strives to balance two sorts of opposite extremes. He mentions, for instance, that our religion has been criticized for being far too weak and submissive while being equally faulted for promoting wars and anger. The paradox extends all the way back to Jesus himself: he was a lion when he ...


2

C.S. Lewis actually made an argument in favor of the division of the church - namely, that an institution with a single earthly head could be far more easily swayed by the Devil. By fragmenting the church, Christ has protected it from the deceit of the Evil One. Additionally, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12: 12 Just as a body, though one, has many ...


2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magisterium In Catholicism, the magisterium is the authority that lays down what is the authentic teaching of the Church. For the Catholic Church, that authority is vested uniquely in the pope and the bishops who are in communion with him. Quick answer: Catholicism: Pope and bishops. JW: Faithful Slave ...


2

Comparing the Teaching Authorities Searching JW.org, since JW and WTS say nothing (let alone authoritative) about their Teaching Authority, there is nothing to compare. The comparison dies right here: The Catholic states 1) that they have Teaching Authority, and 2) what that means; From JW and WTS, to an outsider, there is no Teaching Authority, as they ...


2

The Church can exist without a pope. It exists during interregnums after a pope dies and before a new pope is elected; these interregnums can and have lasted years. Catholicism would cease if the institution of the papacy were destroyed; assassinating a pope does not destroy the papacy. The papacy can in no way be destroyed because that would mean the ...


1

Historically, the fact that the birth of the church is associated with the "arrival" of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 at Pentecost, is enough for most people to more closely associate the Church with the Spirit. Likewise, the rest of Acts ascribes the growth of the church moreso to the Spirit than to Jesus. Finally, Jesus mentions the work of the Paraclete and ...


1

Mainly for historical interest, I point out Optatus, a bishop of Milevis in modern-day Algeria. In a work published some time around A.D.370, he wrote at length in opposition to Parmenianus, the bishop of Carthage and leader of the Donatist movement. Parmenianus claimed that there were six distinctive gifts of the true Church, and that Donatism possessed ...


1

The traditions of the church and all the different denominations in the world have nothing to do with true Christianity except where they help individuals to follow Christ. The Church in it's many forms are but organizations made by men, not Holy, but flawed institutions with flawed rules and regulations. Yet God uses these institutions to spread the ...


1

There is only talk of 'Church Militant' and 'Church Triumphant'. The Triumphant Church is those who are glorified and live with God, known and unknown, and is usually invisible (but not always, as the lives of the Saints attest.) The Church Militant is those struggling or 'working out their salvation with fear and trembling' in the world. To my knowledge, ...



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