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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

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 ...


3

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 ...


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 ...


3

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 ...


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 ...


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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