Monday, April 28, 2008

Little “c” Catholicism: The true flaw of Protestantism

Many protestants call themselves Catholics with a little “c”. I would like to refute this entire idea because it was this very idea which has foiled the spread of the reformation. CCM band Casting Crowns wrote a song, which asked “if we are the body” then basically why are we acting the way that we do. I believe this answers that question.
The myth of either the invisible or universal church.

A. In the entire Bible the use of the word “universal” is no where to be found in the scriptures. Even though most, if not all translators would have believed in the concept of the universal church.

B. In the entire Bible the word “catholic” is also missing with no references.

C. In the entire Bible the word “invisible” is only used 5 times the NT in and there is no occasion where it is placed in terms of the church. (it is used to describe God and occasionally spirits)

Pro 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Pro 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

D. Jesus was going to build his church
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Notice that Jesus doesn’t “I will have my church built by …” he simply says “I will build my church” Most Christians believe that Christ did not directly build the church they say it was built by Peter, the Apostles, or simply the Holy Spirit. Yet the scriptures clearly teach that Christ was going to build his church personally. Jesus had actually assembled the disciples to begin with.
Mar 1:16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
Mar 1:17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
Mar 1:18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
Mar 1:19 And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.
Mar 1:20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
The Bible also says that Jesus will draw men personally.
Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
1Co 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1Co 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
The Church of Christ is the invention of Christ, who is god. So what was it’s foundation built on?
Mat 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
Mat 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Let’s do something strange and look at the context! The subject was the beliefs about Jesus Christ. Peter answered with what we call the good confession. Jesus claims that Peter’s confession was divine. Then we move onto the main point. Catholics say Peter is the Rock, But Peter’s name only mean a stone.
Joh 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
Mainline Protestants argue that Jesus was referring to Himself. But this would lead to deification because we are then Jesus since we are the Church. But Jesus is the only “begotten” Son while we are adopted.
Joh 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
But back to the context, Jesus was going to build the Chruch on the confession of Himself.

E. The definition of the word “church”
In William Tyndale’s translation (the first English translation out of the Greek of the New Testament) the word “Ecclesia” was translated congregation. The root word meaning of Ecclesia means a gathered congregation or assembly.
Out just over 100 references to Ecclesia over 90 refers to local congregations.

F. The use of the word “church” in scripture
In the Old Testament assembly can mean several types of gathered groups. It could be:
Israel
Exo 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
Tribes of Israel
Jud 21:8 And they said, What one is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Mizpeh to the LORD? And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabeshgilead to the assembly.

The Philistines
1Sa 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
1Sa 17:46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
1Sa 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hands.

Baal Worshippers
2Ki 10:20 And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it.
Those gathered at the crucifixion of Christ
Psalms 22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
In the New Testament there is still diverse types of gathered groups

A pagan town meeting
Act 19:32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused: and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.
Israel
Act 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
The saints in heaven
Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

So when we use the word church or assembly we are simply referring to those who are currently gathered in a group. Therefore, a congregation or church of Christ is those gathered in the name of Christ.

G. The idea of a spiritual body is platonic or Gnostic in origin
The ideas of an invisible church seem to start with Luther and Calvin. But they received most of their ideas from Augustine, who was once a platonic philosopher and was influence by the Alexandrine teachers Clement and Origin who tried to fuse together Christianity with Plato like the Gnostics.
“The bodies of some, though, housed with a soul, however imperfect. They understand some truth but not whole truth, however imperfect. They understand some truth but not the whole truth. They tend toward what is good but can do no more than following the teachings of the great Church. Only a few, the Gnostics in fact, harbor a spark of the divine spirit inside their souls, which makes them different from everyone else. They also lived in ignorance, but a savior, a messenger came down from impenetrable heights of the world beyond the heavens, has given them the knowledge of the truth.” Pg. 35 The Mandaeans: The last Gnostics
Honestly I would bet if you took this statement and removed the name Gnostic and edited two or three words that any mainline protestant theologian would accept this statement as a valid view of the “Church”.

H. The problems of invisible/catholic church theory
There are essentially three major problems, which have plagued Protestantism as a result of this theory.
a.The external gathering of the church does not matter since it is not the “true” church.
The invisible church competes with the local church. I have heard many argue that neither their poor record at their local church, nor the record of others matters little, so long as they are members of the invisible church.
“We can give the following definition: The invisible church is the church as God sees it.” pg855
“We may use the following definition The visible church is the church as Christians on earth see it” pg856 Wayne Grudem Systematic Theology chapter 34 article 2
Here we see how the doctrine of the visible church has become so subjective and the invisible church dominates the real church. You actually church activity is not divine. Yet your inactivity is divine!
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
The true church is the body of Christ and Christ is not a busybody, neither is he idle. Christ is active in our world through his church. This reminds me of the song “If we are the body” by Casting crown ‘why aren’t his arms reaching, why aren’t his feet moving, why aren’t his hands healing”. The reason that none of this is happening is because most Christians are thinking of some invisible body that doesn’t require them to do anything!

b.The style or structure of the Christian church is then left up to man to decide.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Is He really the head of your church or denomination?
“However, at the outset it must be said that the form of church government is not a major doctrine like the trinity, the deity of Christ, substitutionary atonement or the authority of scripture. Although I believe, after examining the evidence, that one particular form of church government is preferable to others, nevertheless, each form has some weakness as well as strengths.” Pg904 Wayne Grudem Systematic Theology Chapter 47
First of all, the doctrine of church government may not be central to the salvation of a believer like the other doctrines, but without biblical church government every cardinal doctrine is up for grabs. Just look at Catholicism they were incapable of preserving the essential doctrine of salvation. The mainline Protestants have lost almost the entire faith to liberalism. Meanwhile our country is covered with “born-again” Christians who do not go to church and are quickly becoming New Age.
Secondly, while church government is not very clearly spelled out to the casual reader; a more experienced reader like a pastor will find that church government is thoroughly laid out in the New Testament if interpreted properly. Of course, church administration is the duty and concern of the elders, deacons and other mature Christians. So they are without excuse. But if the church is some spiritual mystery that can not be explained then, man has to step in and take over the religion. But if Jesus designed the true church, then while the followers may have flaws and pastors may distort the system, the Biblical design will be without “weaknesses”.

c. If we are allowed to set up “denominations” of Christianity either God’s word or its doctrines and interpretations matters very little.
This results in ecumenicism, which then leads to inclusivism. There is no way around it. If interpreting God’s Word does not matter the Bible doesn’t matter. If the Bible doesn’t matter, then the gospel doesn’t matter. The whole idea of tolerance can both quickly and easily destroy our faith.

d. There is no accountability in the invisible church.
The second use of the “church” brought up by Jesus is accountability to sin.
Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Mat 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
There are only two times that Jesus references the word church. The second times he does (as shown here) he refers to it’s authority to discipline members. How does this work with an invisible church?
I. Universal terms explained
There are however several universal style terms, which confuse people, in the New Testament.
Usually there are three references misunderstood to support an invisible or catholic church.
A)terms referring to the generic “church”
Eph 4:3-6 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
First of all, we have to know what the body of Christ is! Paul says it is one body, yet protestants argue for several bodies becoming one; unless the word “church” is only referring to the invisible church. In which case, there is no point to coming to church at all.
Then Paul says there is “one spirit and one lord”. So are their several Spirits and Lords becoming one? Paul says there is one faith. The mainline Protestants argue several. Paul says One God. Are there several gods who become one? The only conclusion is there is one generic type of all these.
One type of body, one type of spirit, one type of Christ, one type of faith and one type of baptism this all makes better sense. In which case the multi-denomination ecumenical view falls apart.

b)terms referring to the “heavenly” church or kingdom of Heaven
Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
I have no problem with the idea of the elect as spiritually united across boundaries. However, this spiritual body is purely heavenly and has no effect on the earthly plane.
Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Therefore, we have the local visible gathered body of the saints to prepare us for heaven. When I was a Bible College student, I had a discussion with a reformed theologian and asked him if the invisible church doctrine was equivalent to the Kingdom of Heaven, He said “no”. In the Westminster Confession we see that not only was the universal catholic/invisible church one worldwide body. But the visible church “consist of all those throughout the world... ” And is “the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ”. (Chapter 25 article 2) So when we think of the Kingdom of Heaven there is an implication of accountability but we do not find this in the doctrine of the Invisible church.

c) Terms referring to the eschatological/future church. For instance the “Bride”.
2Co 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
This passage is important in reminding us that we are currently espoused to Christ, yet the book of Revelation clearly teaches our wedding will be in the future. Therefore, when we see references to the Bride we know we are not currently gathered into the bride.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Now in this passage Paul seems to be using both the generic and the eschatological church. He uses the word “might” in reference to cleansing. Yet if this were a spiritual body then salvation would be settled and all would be well.
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
So then, the generic church is being prepared for the future glorification. Then we see the future gathering a church mysteriously unified with Christ.

The error of protestant identity
A. Are we simply protestors of Rome?
There are many Roman Catholics and reformers who see themselves as “Catholics… but”
Many who initially believe that the Catholic Church was indeed the historic Christian church that had simply erred in a few respects. However, even Martin Luther recognized that Catholicism was indeed a false gospel and that it was the “Babylonian Whore” prophesied in Revelation. Many may argue that Luther simply angry at the church. However this was also the conclusions of most all the reformed leaders including John Calvin, John Knox, Menno Simms, Cotton Mather, John Wesley and others.
One may be fooled by it’s overwhelming size and claims. Yet simply holding its practices in light of Holy Scripture illuminates its alienation to the true gospel. When we try to submit our identity to the catholic church we are not submitting ourselves to the full authority of the Bible but have opened ourselves up to the teachings of the Catholic Church
Mar 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.


B. Is Biblical Christianity a rebellion against the traditional Christian faith?
The Catholic Church likes to force itself upon church history to be the only tradition of the faith. Yet Catholicism cheated and still cheats to this day.
Act 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Act 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
First of all, they cheated through persecution. Christians like the Montanists, Donatists, Novatians, Paulicans and Waldenses were killed off over the years in order that there was no other testimony than the catholic version.
Rev 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Rev 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.


C. Should Bible believing Christians accept the Catholic version of Church history prior to the reformation?
1Ti 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
Tit 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
Tit 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
Before anything else as a reformed bible believer, Scripture is the lone authority. Not the public opinion of how we prefer to remember it.
Here we see the flaws in Catholicism, because they do give heed to Jewish fables. (The apocrypha) they also have their own genealogies to fight over. (Apostolic succession records). True Christianity is not measured by succession but by obediance.
Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Mat 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
Mat 12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
Mat 12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
Mat 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Creedlism
A. The real difference between a confession and a creed.
Ideally a confession is simply confessing one’s faith in the gospel by professing its essential truths. In others a confession is profession and summary of the gospel.
Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Yet the teaching has no authority unless it can be 100% based on the scripture. Unfortunately, many Protestants fall into the catholic trap in two ways. First they fall in by accepting early creeds and teaching it alongside the scriptures. This can be seen especially in the Lutheran and Anglican Church
Mat 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

B. What is the final authority?
Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
We need to stop looking anywhere else but the scriptures. If there is wisdom anywhere else it can only be determined once we have studied the scriptures other wise it is worldly knowledge.
C. Is liturgical worship in spirit and in truth?
There is a catholic style of worship, which utilizes many elements of Catholicism called liturgical worship. The mainline Protestants use it. Anglicans are especially well known for their use of it. The Anglican vision was that we have a reformed theology and a catholic liturgy. Yet if one visit an Anglican Communion in this day and age. Not only will one be shocked by the lack of Christianity at all there, but if ask which they know more clearly if they were infant baptized or the doctrine of justification by faith. I believe it will be obvious, they will know of baptism because it is practiced unlike the doctrine of justification.
Mat 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Now I don’t want to speak out against liturgical worship that happens to be scriptural (the Lord’s prayer for instance) yet we must way everything by scripture and not someone’s tradition if we desire to please God.

Denominationalism
A. The difference between Biblical separation and denominationalism
If we have real theological differences that effect our understanding of God, scripture or salvation then we need to separate. Yet if divisions are caused because of man made hierarchies then they do not belong in the NT church. However, there are many organized religions that have the Christian faith but are connected to unbiblical authority.

B. Does our religion come from man or God?
2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Are we dividing the body?
Mar 13:12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.
Mar 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved

If we do not divide, Jesus willl do it for us.
Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

How is the gospel distorted?
The love gospel) With the removal of doctrine from highest priority of the protestant mind, love and social relationships become the highest priority. This gospel then has sin removed from it’s story so as to better socialize.
Jesus did not die to pay for sin, instead he died to express love.
1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Fundamental to the story of the gospels is that Christ died for sins, if not there really is no gospel. Otherwise the death of Jesus seems to be a psychotic suicide, which does not draw anyone to Christ.
Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Here again, we see as central to the gospel the alternative of condemnation. If it is not mentioned then we really can not appreciate what we are being saved from?
The emphases on love is the Love of the Father
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
How can the Father love us so much, if he is making Jesus express love that He could have given personally with out blood? The sinless bloodless gospel is indeed confusing.

The social/ragamuffin gospel)
The point is no longer evangelism but charity instead.

The gospel is conditional upon the Word not works
Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
Rom 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
Rom 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
Social gospel advocates, measure their salvation by their output of love or charity. Yet love is essentially fulfilling God’s Holy law. And the law shows us that we are not as loving as we think we are. In fact the law only shows us that we do not love either God or man with all our hearts. So the social gospel and ragamuffin gospel are nothing more than shallow makeovers of works based salvation. What matters, is that we receive perfect love from God, which we find through His Word.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Rom 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

The New Testament has a great author (God) with a great Testimony (the gospel of Christ) If you let it him in your heart, you could inherit a fortune(adoption in the Kingdom). But if you do then you have a responsibility to let others in on the deal. The only way to do that is. Get Bibles and go to a New Testament church. Otherwise, you end up with extra contracts and bad advertising.

4 comments:

Timothy said...

Greetings! Saw this while searching for your "7 reasons" post.

>"A. In the entire Bible the use of the word “universal” is no where to be found in the scriptures. Even though most, if not all translators would have believed in the concept of the universal church.

B. In the entire Bible the word “catholic” is also missing with no references."

Both A and B are likely false as in Acts 9:31 we find clearly written ekklesia kath olos. ekklesia means "church" and kath olos means "universal" or small "c" catholic.

You may have limited your research to English only translations or to just the King James version, which omits translating those two words for some unknown reason.

You'll also find ekklesia kath olos mentioned in early Christian letters like Ignatius of Antioch's letter to the Smyrnaeans (used 8 times).

God bless... +Timothy

Pastor Matt Singleton said...

Dear Timothy,
Specifically I limit my doctrine these days to the confines of the Textus Receptus and the Masoretic text. The Greek and Hebrew behind the KJV.
I have just now took a quick look at the NRSV(catholic edition) which renders church for churches throughout Judea and Sumeria.
The King James renders it churches.
I will have to research later whether the TR uses a plural or singular.(I assume plural)
However, the use of the word catholic is most likely a paraphrase based off the singular "church"
However I will investigate the TR as well as the vulgate and catholic translations further.
Don't think that I haven't notticed your polite attitude. I do appreciate it and will be sure to answer all questions.

Pastor Matt Singleton said...

Also the apostolic fathers may speculate all they want, since they are not under the inspiration of the spirit.
Another issue is when reading the church fathers you have to ask yourself if possible there individual writngs were pick out of crowds of preachers for a specific agenda. This may or may not be the case however we have to be careful about picking authority from tradition. Because traditions can in and of themselves be very biased usually in favor of the story teller.

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