15 July, 2009

Discussion with Edge Sanders on the early Church

(Edge Sanders)"The Christians in the Bible were only catholic in the sense they all believed the same thing. Thus it was universal. However they were not Roman Catholics. Not in any sense of the word."

(Cristoiglesia)The term Roman Catholic is a pejorative name given to Christ's Church
by those like yourself who wish to transform the Church into a strawman which can be hated and despised in order to give credit to the man-made ecclesiastical groups in protest of Christ's Church. It is impossible to hate the true Church but much easier to create a caricature of the Church from ones hateful imagination. The name Roman Catholic was created less than two hundred years ago by anti-Catholic bigots. The Catholic Church is the same Church written about in the New Testament and remains the Church, led by the Holy Spirit, enduring for all times free from apostasy. If you truly believe there was another Church what was it and where is it today? Did it live up to Christ's promises? The One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church still exists today as the Catholic Church.

(Edge Sanders)"I would suggest it was not the protestants who went against the will of God. But rather the RCC that did that. The RCC became a political entity."

(Cristoiglesia) So, am I to assume that you believe that it is God's will that we be
divided into over 30,000 ecclesiastical groups and that all but one of these groups rejects the promises of our Lord and the veracity that is accompanied by His founding. Such a premise does not follow the teaching of the Bible or the Church to which Christ gave all His divine authority. Here is what Christ had to say about your

I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We [are]. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for
their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, [are] in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I
in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You;
and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare [it], that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:9-26 NKJV)

As for being a political entity the Church has always kept itself separate from the things of the world, His Church is other worldly. However the beginning of the so called reform movement joined with the princes and kings to form political alliances to usurp the authority of Christ's Church which effectively created the syncretism
of secular Humanism and Christianity and transformed the new ecclesiastical groups into believers who created a God that served them instead of the God taught by Jesus and the apostles whom we are called to serve.

(Edge Sanders)"A group more concerned with their power and money than in truly
teaching the gospel."

(Cristoiglesia)I do not know what specifically you refer to by this statement but
the evidence reveals the opposite. The second ecumenical Council defied an Emperor and all of the disciples but one was martyred as well as thousands in the Church at the hands of the Roman authorities. Many were simply entertainment for the Emperors and the Roman citizens in the arenas. Either killed by gladiators or eaten by
beasts as the crowd cheered. They gave their life for the Gospel rather than deny Him.

(Edge Sanders)"You say you are a historian. You know it is true. The papacy was
sold to the highest bidder. Forgiveness was sold. Men were promised forgiveness if they went on crusades. You know I am not lying. The RCC had gone away from God. The hierarchy had sold out God for temporal power and wealth."

(Cristoiglesia)I am a historian of the early Church of the first five centuries. I
find no evidence of this in the early Church. I do know that there were individual people within the Church throughout history who were filled with greed and took advantage of their positions and ability. The problem I have with your claims is that the fact that some have been greedy and sinners that this reflects on the veracity of Christ's bride, the Church. The Church gets its veracity from Christ
and not from those who have succumbed to the temptation of sin. Protestants are sometimes such hypocrites in these attacks against the Church. They have no problem associating Christ's Church with those who have failed through sin but would be appalled and defensive if others judged them by the same standards. Protestants have had their share of evil men such as Zwingli and Calvin in the early Protestant Church to Jim Jones and David Koresh in the contemporary Protestant Church. We admit that the Church contains Saints and sinners and that the tares sometimes grow along with the wheat. But, does not the Bible teach that this will be the condition of His true Church?

(Edge Sanders)"Protestants merely returned to God and what he taught."

(Cristoiglesia)You are supposing that the Church left the teaching of the first
century Church and that supposition can not be supported in fact. The Protestant Church was influenced strongly by the world coming out of the Scholastic period and embraced secular Humanism and founded their God which served them instead of serving God like the first century Church. They were responding to the popular humanist ideals rather than Christian teaching of Christ and the Church.

(Edge Sanders)"I do not call myself a protestant because I see no point in it."

(Cristoiglesia)"Really? Or, is it because you realize that you know that yours is a
man-made group following doctrines and teaching of men instead of the teaching of His Church? Could it be your conscience responding to the draw of the Holy Spirit to His Church?

(Edge Sanders)"The reformation forced the RCC to return to God. It forced the RCC
to stop its sin and reform. I am not like you. I know I am in God's will. I know I am serving Him. "

(Cristoiglesia)There you are again making assumptions that the Church had somehow
fell into apostasy and needed to be restored. Do you realize such an assumption destroys the veracity of Christ's teaching and calls Him a liar in making His promises to the Church? I know that is not your intent but it is the result of such assumptions when applied to reason. If we do not believe in the truthfulness of Jesus' teaching then it is just a short step until faith is destroyed. It is not wise
to put oneself on such a precipice of incredulity.

(Edge Sanders)"While I believe Catholics are Christians I do not believe the early church was Catholic."

(Cristoiglesia) That is fine as long as you realize that to do so is ignoring
reliable scholarship to the contrary and putting faith in prejudiced imagination instead of facts. I ask again, where is that enduring Church today. It can only be the Catholic Church and no other.

(Edge Sanders)"Nor do I believe the RCC was formed by Jesus as His church."

(Cristoiglesia)That is fine but you must ignore large passages of Scriptures and the
whole book of ACTS.

(Edge Sanders)"The RCC was formed by men as are all denominations."

(Cristoiglesia)Yes, but those men were named Jesus, St. Peter, St. John, St. Paul and
all the other disciples and apostles. No other Church or ecclesiastical group can make such a claim. All of history supports the founding of the Catholic Church by Christ himself and no others.

(Edge Sanders)"Unfortunately there will never be unity in the body because of
Catholics. Your pride prevents you from joining with other Christians. You cannot admit the RCC may not be perfect. You accuse us of worshiping the Bible. I say you worship your church."

(Cristoiglesia)I am sorry for having to point out the obvious to you but it was the
Protestants who exhibited pride in separating themselves from Christ's Church. They believed they could form a church with more veracity than Christ and that their man-made doctrines have more veracity than the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. Our doors are always open for anyone individually or as a group to return home to
Christ's Church. I did after a lifetime as a Protestant. Christ's Church is perfect just as Jesus said, the Church is the "pillar and ground of the truth" although there are those who are sinners within the Church who are not perfect. The Bible without the teaching of the Church and the fullness of truth serves t deceive rather than enlighten. It is a tool of Satan for division appealing to the pride of men. However, as a tool of the Church it is God's Word and a part of Sacred Tradition that the "gates of hell will not prevail against". God bless dear friend.

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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