Pokies Meaning Perseverance Of The Saints

That is the Gospel in a nutshell.

Perseverance of the Saints

Every Scripture you have cited, every Book in the Bible has one intent and one intent only…to lead mankind to Jesua, The Messiah. The Gospel and the Kingdom of God is about one thing and one thing only, namely to proclaim the Will and Purpose of God The Kingdomwhich is that mankind might be saved.

He is the volume of the Book written on every page of the Bible Jn 1: God had one purpose in mind when He sent Christ…that we might be saved. There is no other Gospel. There is no other purpose when preaching the Gospel, for there is no other Gospel than Jesus Saves.

I am not offended by what you believed and I highly respect that to be honest with you.

Its just our convictions are really Pokies Meaning Perseverance Of The Saints aligned. Moreover, we have the Holy Spirit in us and yet some are still doubtful and believe not the power that was given unto us and the victory that has already been proclaimed ages ago John What a remarkable assurance of salvation for those who believe and I thank the Lord Jesus for that.

Again, I am not a Calvinist neither doctrines that I speak came from any man but derived itself from the Bible. As it is written…. That doctrine can never be found in any pages of the scripture I tell you. Goats will always be goats and so as sheeps. The book of life was already written even from the foundation of the world. And again, whether someone reject it or not it is clearly written in the word of God and no one can deny the truth.

Anyone can interpret the scripture based on his own knowledge but only scripture can interpret accurately whatever has been revealed in the word of truth.

I look forward to partaking in the Glory of the Holy City some day with you. Please look me up…I will be the one, just inside the gate, grateful for the tender mercies of the King…. Amen to that brother! Praise the Pokies Big Red Rooster Premium for opening your understanding to the word of truth James 1: Praise the Lord Almighty! Nonetheless, I will try again. You are of the persuasion that God started things out with a big Christmas bag full of souls.

Have you ever stretched your mind Aubrey to think that maybe God is not linear. Maybe He, like Einstein suggested, can bend time and space. That is why Jesus says again in Jn 3: If I believed like you, I would feel pretty comfortable about not supporting missions. And those goats well… forget them. So much for missionaries! Are you beginning to see how foolish your position is Aubrey?

Why waste our breath? How is that Aubrey? Strange, I thought we were all born nasty…. So Aubrey, what has our conversation accomplished? As I said in the beginning it is counter productive. Because those leaning toward your warped un-Scriptural view might be convinced that they should not try to reach the lost with the Gospel.

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This is an important distinction to understand because our works merit nothing when it comes to our salvation Isaiah I think, from what you have written, that you believe as many in the high Calvinist camp, that the sheep are saved even before they believe.

They is what they is…no getting around it. I am asking you Aubrey to stretch your mind now and think. What if the Pokies Big Red Today Breakfast in Scripture are those who indeed rejected Christ in this life.

He also knew that decision at their birth because He had already been there at their death to record it. Where did He record it?

It was recorded in the Book of life from the foundation of the world Rev He is no Christmas Grinch…. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Your email address will not be published. Subscribe me to your newsletter. Sitemap Privacy Policy Disclaimer Advertise.

Perseverance of the saints is a phrase that Pokies Meaning Perseverance Of The Saints used to describe one of five cardinal doctrines of a theological teaching known as Calvinism as follows 1: What does the phrase perseverance of the saints mean? Williams, While historically interesting, I think much study over election is counter-productive. Here is addict Paul: Hi Bro Docreits, Just to add up of what I have written above, the sheep cannot be goat neither goats can be sheep.

Hi Aubrey, Thank you for the Scripture verses you shared. Hi Docreit, I forgot to mention also that the purpose of preaching the gospel into all the world is not mainly to save those who belong to God but we also have to consider the following verses down below.

Hi Aubry, Thank you for the discussion, This discussion is validation of my main point…that it is counter-productive, because, it does not change or influence anything that the believer is called to do…which is to preach the Gospel.

Paul says it better: Salvation was the only purpose for his preaching: Here it is pls read… John Of sin because they believe not on me. Of righteousness, because I go to my Father and ye see me no more. The mysterys of the Kingdom of Heaven was already given unto the children of God. I apologize if I upset you Aubry. That was not my intent.

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Let Scripture explain Scripture as you advise: Hi Docreit, No Sir. As it is written… 1 Corinthians Please look me up…I will be the one, just inside the gate, grateful for the tender mercies of the King…;- DocReits Reply.

See you in the eternal Kingdom of God! See you in eternal Kingdom of God. Strange, I thought we were all born nasty…;- So Aubrey, what has our conversation accomplished? However, the Free Grace advocates and the Arminians do not define repudiation in the same way: Respecting these parameters, Catholics can have a variety of views as regards final perseverance.

On questions of predestination, Catholic scholars may be broadly characterized as either Molinists or Thomists. The views of the latter are similar to those of Calvinists, in that they understand final perseverance to be a gift applied by God to the regenerated that will assuredly lead them to ultimate salvation.

  • Perseverance of the saints is a teaching that asserts that once persons are truly "born of God" or "regenerated" by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, nothing in heaven or earth "shall be able to separate (them) from the love of God" (Romans ) resulting in a reversal of the converted condition. Sometimes this position is held  Missing: pokies.
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They differ from Calvinists in but one respect: Thomists affirm that God can permit men to come to regeneration without giving them the special gift of divine perseverance, so that they do fall away.

Calvinists, by contrast, deny that an individual can fall away if they are truly regenerate. Like both Calvinist camps, confessional Lutherans view the work of salvation as monergistic in that "the natural [that is, corrupted and divinely unrenewed] powers of man cannot do anything or help towards salvation", [14] and Lutherans go further along the same lines as the Free Grace advocates to say that the recipient of saving grace need not cooperate with it.

Hence, Lutherans believe that a true Christian that is, a genuine recipient of saving grace can lose his or her salvation, "[b]ut the cause is not as though God were unwilling to grant grace for perseverance to those in whom He has begun the good work… [but that these persons] wilfully turn away…" [15]. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Part of a series on Calvinism John Calvin. Afrikaners Huguenots Pilgrims Puritans. History of Calvinist-Arminian debate. This section contains too many quotations for an encyclopedic entry. Please help improve the article by presenting facts as Fruit Machines Pokie No Jokie Putt neutrally-worded summary with appropriate citations.

Consider transferring direct quotations to Wikiquote. This section uncritically uses texts from within a religion or faith system without referring to secondary sources that critically analyze them.

Please help improve this article by adding references to reliable secondary sourceswith multiple points of view. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. Conditional preservation of the saints. Teologins historia [ History of Theology ] in German. Translated by Gene J. Systematic Theology3. Can You Be Sure? More recently, however, a third view has emerged [i. They will be saved even if they immediately renounce their faith and lead a life of debauched atheism.

Many people today find this view attractive, but it is blatantly unbiblical. There is much in the New Testament that makes it clear that discipleship is not an optional extra and that remaining faithful is a condition of salvation. The whole letter to the Hebrews focuses on warning Jewish believers not to forsake Christ and so lose their salvation.

Also, much of the teaching of Jesus warns against thinking that a profession of faith is of use if it is not backed up by our lives. Apart from being unbiblical, this approach is dangerous, for a number of reasons.

It encourages a false complacency, the idea that there can be salvation without discipleship. Also it encourages a 'tip and run' approach to evangelism which is concerned only to lead people to make a 'decision', with scant concern about how these 'converts' will subsequently live. This is in marked contrast to the attitude of the apostle Paul, who was deeply concerned about his converts' lifestyle and discipleship.

One only needs to read Galatians or 1 Corinthians to see that he did not hold to this recent view. The author of Hebrews was desperately concerned that his readers might lose their salvation by abandoning Christ. These three letters make no sense if salvation is guaranteed by one single 'decision for Christ'. This view is pastorally disastrous" Exploring Christian Doctrine: A Guide to What Christians BelievePokies Meaning Perseverance Of The Saints Rodman Williams says of this view: Systematic Theology from a Charismatic Perspective2: Commentary on Hebrews 6: The Doctrine of Salvation Crossway, Bruce Demarest, The Cross and Salvation: Hoekema Saved by Grace.

The Final Perseverance of the Saints. The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance. Staying in and Falling Away. A Study on the Teachings of Jesus. What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ.

May possibly take Meaning Perseverance Pokies Saints Of The there

A Biblical Evaluation and Response. The Reign of the Servant Kings: A New Theology of Assurance. A Balanced View of Divine Election2nd ed. Grasping the Promises of God. In Defense of the Gospel. Purkiser2nd ed. Without this reality, we would have to ask how many times did the Apostle Paul lose and regain his salvation every day Romans 7: Thankfully, God has provided to us the ministry of reconciliation 1 John 1: We can be assured that Christ died on the cross for our sins and His provision for forgiveness gives us the confidence to be restored and persevere no matter when we have made bad choices.

Thanks be to God for saving us and keeping us so that we are enabled to persevere John When defining the word perseverance using the Bible we must be careful not to confuse it with the concept of preservation.

Therefore believers cannot lose their salvation and this is only by the power of the Holy Spirit Pokies Meaning Perseverance Of The Saints 1: God gave us the ministry of reconciliation 1 John 1: Related reading for you: Bible Verses About Perseverance.

Retrieved from Google, https: Bible definitionPerseverancepreservation. Williams is a pastor, author, Christian educator and Biblical counselor who has served in ministry since March of Mike holds under-graduate through post graduate degrees in Christian Education and formerly worked as a nurse. In addition to counseling, he teaches how to overcome life issues Biblically on topics such as anger management, marriage, addictions, and other subjects typically referred to as mental illnesses.

Mike and his wife Pamela Rose have several adult children and grandchildren. Learn more about Dr. Mike at his ministry web site Wisdom4Today. Read them in the archive below.

If you like what you're reading, you can get free daily updates through the RSS feed here.

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  1. Perseverance of the saints. Perseverance of the saints is the Calvinist doctrine that those who are truly saved will persevere to the end and cannot lose their salvation. It doesn't mean that a person who is truly saved will never lose faith or backslide at any time. But that they will ultimately persevere in faith (inspite of failures)  Missing: pokies.:
    s: from poker machine, a type of fruit machine on which playing-card symbols appear. Pronunciation. pokie. /ˈpəʊki/. Word of the Day. colcannon · Find out what it means · Woty blank x Word of the Year is Arrow line graph x The year in review: 's most-viewed dictionary entry pages. That was really neat to be released in the market. online pokies Winning is dependant on pokies queensland the site. If you have the A camera is for shooting pictures, which would have different meanings for different people, depending on the purpose for which they would be using it. If you are just. Eutychianism, which is also called Monophysitism (meaning “one nature”), was condemned at the Fourth General Council, the Council of Chalcedon in AD According .. Then indeed, the church includes not only the saints presently living on earth, but all the elect from the beginning of the world. Often.
  2. It is used in a metaphor (“spiritual food” and “spiritual drink”) that means something along the lines of “divine sustenance” or “divine preserving power” in 1 Cor. .. Also, I totally respect the doctrine of perseverance of the saints, and although I differ with it, I never speak against it; I speak out against once saved always saved.:
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Denying the essential unity of the visible hierarchy treats the Mystical Body of Christ as though it is not actually and essentially a Body, because visible hierarchical unity is essential and intrinsic to a body. If a body ceases to be visibly hierarchically one, it ceases to be.

This is why a human being cannot survive disintegration of his body. So if visible unity is only accidental to something, that thing is not a living body; it is, at most, only the appearance of a body. Hence those who claim that the Mystical Body of Christ is invisibly one and visibly divided are treating the Body of Christ as though it were merely an apparent Body, not an actual Body.

That is why this position is rightly described as ecclesial docetism, because docetism is the heresy which claimed that Christ only appeared to be a man. That does not mean that we must fall into some kind of ecclesial Eutychianism.

Docetism and Eutychianism both deny that Christ has a human nature. For that reason, both docetic and Eutychian notions of the Mystical Body of Christ treat the Church as in itself invisible, spiritual, and immaterial, only visible in the sense that it makes use of embodied human believers in much the same way that the Logos i. Chalcedonian Christology, with its affirmation of two distinct natures united without mixture in one hypostatic union, entails that the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ is in itself visible and hierarchically organized as one corporate entity.

The charge that Catholic ecclesiology is Eutychian asserts that the Catholic claim [that the visible Body of Christ is essentially one] mistakenly attributes to the visible aspect of the Church what is only true of the invisible aspect of the Church, and in that way falsely attributes what is only true of the divine nature of Christ to His human nature, as Eutychianism does. But this charge is based on the mistaken notion that visible hierarchical unity is not intrinsically essential to a living human body.

Rather, because Christ truly possesses human nature, His Mystical Body is necessarily visibly one in its hierarchy, just as his physical body is necessarily visibly one its hierarchy.

A living human body is essentially visibly one. If it ceases to be visibly one, it ceases to be. Hence, its visible hierarchical unity is essential to its being. That is why the Catholic doctrine that the Mystical Body of Christ is essentially visibly one in its hierarchy is not Eutychian.

The spirituality and visibility of the Church are no more opposed to each other than the soul and body of a man, or, better, than the divinity and humanity in Christ.

It is because it ignores this inseparable twofold character of the Church that Protestantism, Lutheran and Reformed, has never succeeded in resisting the temptation to distinguish, by opposing them, an invisible and sole evangelical Church, on the one hand, and, on the other, visible, human, and sinful Churches. In practice, ecclesial docetism entails ecclesial consumerism , because it eliminates the notion of finding and submitting to the Church that Christ founded.

In ecclesial docetism the identity of the Church is not determined by form and matter , but by form alone. This reveals why there are so many different Protestant denominations, worship centers, and ecclesial communities, none of them sharing the three bonds of unity with any of the others.

Just as the practical effect of docetism is a Christ of our own making, disconnected from the historical flesh-and-blood Christ, so the practical effect of ecclesial docetism is a Church made in the image of our own interpretation, disconnected from the historical Church.

This is expressed doctrinally as a denial of the materiality or sacramentality of apostolic succession. But without the material component of apostolic succession, the individual becomes the final interpretive arbiter of what the apostolic doctrine is. And where there is a great variation of demand, a great variation of supply arises. Another necessary effect of ecclesial docetism is apathy regarding visible divisions between Christians, communities, and denominations.

If the unity of the Church is spiritual, insofar as each believer is invisibly united to Christ by faith alone, then pursuing visible unity is superfluous, even presumptuous in its attempt to outdo Christ.

Herein lies a noteworthy point. Ecclesial docetism conceptually eliminates the very possibility of schism. It does so not by reconciling separated parties, but by defining unity down, as something merely spiritual, and so de-materializing schism as something invisible, and spiritual, i. Ecclesial docetism treats visible divisions of separated hierarchies as branches. Ecclesial docetism denies the sinfulness of schism, not openly or explicitly, but definitionally and thus surreptitiously.

It calls what is actually evil i. From the first century, the Catholic Church has always taught that schism is sinful, and that it is not merely a deficiency of charity, but a separation from the visible hierarchy of the Church. This is evident in the letter of St.

Clement of Rome to the Corinthians at the end of the first century, just a few years after the death of the last surviving apostle. We can see it also from St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch d. AD , who wrote:. Where the bishop is, there is the community, even as where Christ is there is the Catholic Church. As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do anything without the bishop and presbyters.

Neither endeavour that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Therefore run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one.

It must be understood that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop and he is not in the Church who is not with the bishop. Between heresy and schism there is this difference, that heresy perverts dogma, while schism, by rebellion against the bishop, separates from the Church.

Nevertheless there is no schism which does not trump up a heresy to justify its departure from the Church. It is assuredly as impossible that the Church of Jesus Christ can be the one or the other, as that man should be a body alone or a soul alone.

The connection and union of both elements is as absolutely necessary to the true Church as the intimate union of the soul and body is to human nature. From what We have thus far written, and explained, Venerable Brethren, it is clear, We think, how grievously they err who arbitrarily claim that the Church is something hidden and invisible, as they also do who look upon her as a mere human institution possession a certain disciplinary code and external ritual, but lacking power to communicate supernatural life.

For this reason We deplore and condemn the pernicious error of those who dream of an imaginary Church, a kind of society that finds its origin and growth in charity, to which, somewhat contemptuously, they oppose another, which they call juridical. But this distinction which they introduce is false: The constant teaching of the Catholic Church is that Christ founded a visible Church with an essentially unified visible hierarchy.

Some people incorrectly think that Vatican II denied the essential unity of the visible hierarchy of the Church. Vatican II did not deny the essential unity of the visible hierarchy of the Church.

The issue here is not whether grace and the work of the Holy Spirit can extend beyond the visible boundaries of the Mystical Body of Christ. Of course it can, otherwise no one would ever enter the Church. The issue has nothing to do with invincible ignorance and salvation.

They mistakenly think of the Kingdom as either entirely invisible, entirely spiritual, or entirely future. The Church, or, in other words, the kingdom of Christ now present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world. We do not now see the fullness of the Kingdom.

But the Catholic Church is the present rule of Christ on the earth. That is why the Catechism says,. The Church is the seed and beginning of this kingdom. Her keys are entrusted to Peter. The Church is the Reign of Christ already present in mystery. The Church is ultimately one, holy, catholic, and apostolic in her deepest and ultimate identity, because it is in her that the Kingdom of heaven, the Reign of God, already exists and will be fulfilled at the end of time. He compares the Kingdom to a mustard seed that grows into a tree, and to leaven that comes to leaven a whole lump.

That account clearly refers to the Apostles, as fishers of men, bringing all the nations into the Church, and in this way we again see that the Church is the Kingdom in its present stage. But the notion that the Kingdom must be either internal or external is a false dilemma.

Christ now governs His people through His Church, through the Apostles and the bishops they appointed. The New Testament authors understand the Church as the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant. That is why St. And at the Jerusalem Council, St. That city is the Church, the house of God, a kingdom that cannot be shaken. His kingdom will continue to increase, will never be overturned, because it is divinely established.

Speaking to Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel says:. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever. When would God set up this Kingdom that will never be destroyed? At the time of the fourth kingdom of men, namely the kingdom of Rome. This was fulfilled at the time of Christ. But Jesus said the following:. Simon, Simon, behold Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.

Christ shows His Apostles that they will eat and drink in His Kingdom and sit on twelve thrones. Eating at His table refers in the present age to the Eucharistic table. Sitting on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel refers to their governance of the Church, because the Church is the New Israel, the universal i. This is the Kingdom that will never be defeated, but will prevail to the end of time.

I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. This is the Petrine office, the chair of St. Jesus refers to this role in a parable, when He says,. Christ rules the Church through the men He has entrusted with the keys of His Kingdom, and given the authority to speak in His name. The Church has always understood herself to be the present stage of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

Christ does not have two Brides: His Church and His Kingdom. Ignatius of Antioch exhorts Christians to follow their bishops, as a general might urge his troops to follow their commanders.

Only God knows which members of the earthly congregations are elect and inwardly born again, 67 and thus belong to the eternal and spiritual fellowship of the Church. Jesus taught that in this organized church there would always be members, not excluding its leaders, who seemed to be Christians but were nevertheless not renewed in their heart and would be rejected at the Last Judgment.

These terms do not mean that there are two churches, one visible and another hidden in heaven. Rather, in Reformed ecclesiology there is only one church, and it is known perfectly to God and known imperfectly on earth.

Finally, it is apostolic because it is founded upon apostolic teaching. Ecclesia … should mean the holy Christian people, not only of the days of the apostles, who are long since dead, but to the end of the world…. How we are to judge the church visible, which falls within our knowledge, is, I believe, already evident from the above discussion. For we have said that Holy Scripture speaks of the church in two ways.

Then indeed, the church includes not only the saints presently living on earth, but all the elect from the beginning of the world. The church universal is a multitude gathered from all nations; it is divided and dispersed in separate places, but agrees on the one truth of divine doctrine, and is bound by the bond of the same religion.

Under it are thus included individual churches, disposed in towns and villages according to human need, so that each rightly has the name and authority of the church. The catholic or universal church, which is invisible , consists of the whole number of the elect , that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof… The visible Church , which is also catholic or universal…consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion ; and of their children: Rather, it is His own Body — the Church.

In sum, this visible church is the non-hierarchical collection or plurality of all professing Christians, some of whom are elect and others of whom are not; there are no elect outside of this visible church.

These two Reformed ecclesial positions are essentially equivalent because there is no principled difference between them. In the first description, the members are individual congregations not hierarchically united under a single visible hierarchy. In the second description the members are individual believers not hierarchically united under a single visible hierarchy.

Therefore under both descriptions what is absent is a unified visible hierarchy, and that is why the result can be nothing more than a mere plurality of visible things, united at most by their invisible union to the invisible Christ. A mere plurality is not an actual entity, but only a conceptual entity, i.

Imagine the set of all the objects on my desk. The members of that set include books, a printer, some photos, some coins, pens, prayer cards, a toy space shuttle, a piece of hard candy, a lamp, etc. I can refer to these things with a singular term: But on my desk there is no single thing consisting of the books, the printer, the photos, the coins, pens, etc.

There is no set-of-things on my desk, only individual things that can be referred to collectively as belonging to a set. Though the members of the set are actual, the set itself is only a mental construct, not an actual entity.

Contrast that with the parts of my body. The parts of my body are not a mere plurality, or a mere set. They compose an actual whole, namely, me. In that respect, the parts of my body are not like the objects on my desk. The parts of my body are a plurality, but they are not a mere plurality like the objects on my desk.

The parts of my body compose an actual whole. So when a person claims that the visible Church is the set of all embodied believers, he is reducing the visible Church to a mental construct. He seems to be affirming the existence of the visible Church, but he has adopted an ecclesiological position in which there is no such thing as the visible Church — there are only embodied believers, just as in actuality there are only objects on my desk, and not, in addition to the objects on my desk, one more item, namely, the set of objects on my desk.

That is why those who claim that the visible Church is the set of all embodied believers hold a position in which there is no visible Church per se ; there are only visible believers, invisibly connected to the invisible Christ. And that is why those who claim that the visible Church is the set of all embodied believers hold a position that is equivalent in principle to that of those who deny that the Church is visible, and who affirm that the Church per se is invisible.

But neither the pin-cushion ecclesial model nor the mere plurality ecclesial model are compatible with St. Catholic ecclesiology is not subject to this problem precisely because the Catholic Church is hierarchically unified. Reductionism treats actual composite wholes as though they were mere pluralities of smaller simples, and in this way fails to account fully for the being, unity and activity of actual composite wholes.

The visible hierarchical unity of the Catholic Church unites all its dioceses, parishes and members not in a mere plurality or in a pin-cushion model, but in an actual composite whole, i. Given that the Church Christ founded is visible, and has an essentially united visible hierarchy, it follows that the identity and extent of the Church can be known, by tracing its visible hierarchy through history.

When the early Church fathers write about the Catholic Church, they are referring to a definite Body. They are not referring to a mere plurality of persons or congregations, without an essentially unified visible hierarchy. They are referring to the visible Body picked out precisely by the essential unity of its visible hierarchy, and especially the visible head of that visible hierarchy.

This involves two of the four marks of the Church as specified by the Nicene Creed: AD likewise speaks of this Church:.

The Catholic Church, having received the apostolic teaching and faith, though spread over the whole world, guards it sedulously, as though dwelling in one house; and these truths she uniformly teaches, as having but one soul and one heart; these truths she proclaims, teaches, and hands down as though she had but one mouth.

But the brightness of the Catholic Church proceeded to increase in greatness, for it ever held to the same points in the same way, and radiated forth to all the race of Greeks and barbarians the reverent, sincere, and free nature, and the sobriety and purity of the divine teaching as to conduct and thought.

This has been brought to pass [ Hoc factum est ] by the Divine Providence, achieved through the prophecies of the prophets, through the Incarnation and the teaching of Christ, through the journeys of the Apostles, through the suffering, the crosses, the blood and death of the martyrs, through the admirable lives of the saints, and in all these, at opportune times, through miracles worthy of such great deeds and virtues.

For starting from the apostolic chair down through succession of bishops, even unto the open confession of all mankind, it has possessed the crown of teaching authority. Ambrose , bishop of Milan, sums it up best, when he writes:.

And where the Church, no death is there, but life eternal. In short, given this analysis of the essential unity of a visible ecclesial hierarchy, the only plausible candidate for the Church Christ founded, identified by an essentially unified visible hierarchy tracing its succession back to the Apostles, is the Catholic Church.

Given that the Church Christ founded is visible, and so has an essentially unified visible hierarchy, it thus follows that the Church Christ founded is the Catholic Church, i. If the Catholic Church is the Church Christ founded, then the promises Christ makes to the Church are not promises to a merely invisible entity having visible members, but are promises to the Catholic Church.

The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Catholic Church. Only if they refer to a Body with a visible hierarchy do they even make sense. Once we see what it means for the Church to be visible, then we see precisely why we can trust Christ by trusting the Catholic Church. Grasping the visibility of the Church, and thus the identity of the Church, and thus the divine guarantees concerning the Church, we can then understand how it follows that the Catholic Church is indefectible.

Otherwise there is no definitive determination of the canon, or of orthodoxy and heresy. No mere association of denominations or congregations has the authority to bind the conscience of followers of Christ.

Development requires the definitive resolution of disputes, so that the Church as a whole can recognize a question as definitively settled, and then build upon the Magisterial answer. Without an essentially unified visible hierarchy, we are left with biblicism.

And that is why Protestantism, lacking an essentially unified visible hierarchy, must trace a path of decay through one of two paths: The essentially unified visible hierarchy of the Church allows her to be not only Magistra i. For there is no other way to enter into life unless this mother conceive us in her womb, give us birth, nourish us at her breast, and lastly, unless she keep us under her care and guidance until, putting off mortal flesh, we become like the angels [Matthew Our weakness does not allow us to be dismissed from her school until we have been pupils all our lives.

Furthermore, away from her bosom one cannot hope for any forgiveness fo sins or any salvation, as Isaiah [Isaiah Calvin was not intending to speak of the Catholic Church in union with the successor of St. However, without an essentially unified visible hierarchy, what Calvin says here about the Church as our mother, makes no sense. That is because without an essentially unified visible hierarchy, there is no visible catholic i. None of these is our mother. Nor are they, without being under the essentially unified visible hierarchy, part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

They may be invisibly joined to Christ, but they do not form a unified visible entity; they remain only a visible plurality indistinguishable from a plenitude of schisms. Without an essentially visible hierarchy, there is no visible Church, and thus there is no Church as Mater. If Christ founded a visible Church, and His promises refer to this visible Church, then the goal of ecumenicism is not only agreement on doctrine and agreement on sacraments, but full communion under the same visible hierarchy, the one authorized by the Apostles and their successors.

Yet these three bonds of unity are so related that each depends upon the other two. Just as we cannot maintain unity of faith and sacraments without visible hierarchical unity, so we cannot determine or discover precisely what faith it is that we are to hold, apart from this unified visible hierarchy.

It makes the Catholic Church stick out among all the Protestant demoninations, because none of them claim to be the Church that Christ founded. Each church is the Church catholic, but not the whole of it. We have provided evidence and argumentation here that Christ founded a visible Church, and that this Church is visible not merely because some of its members are embodied, and not because local congregations and denominations exist.

The Church Christ founded is visible because, as His Mystical Body, it necessarily has an essentially united visible hierarchy; this is the hierarchy of bishops and priests united under the episcopal successor of St. Peter, the visible head appointed by Christ. Without an essentially united visible hierarchy, Church discipline would not be possible.

That is because only Catholic ecclesiology is sacramental, i. Yet every ecclesiology denying that Christ founded an essentially united visible hierarchy must posit an invisible connection between the members and Christ. Likewise, denying that Christ founded an essentially unified visible hierarchy reduces schisms to branches, and treats them as innocuous or even desirable, falsely construing them as much-needed diversity.

If that seems inconceivable, ask yourself this question: If these were not branches, but schisms, what would be different about them? Every ecclesiology short of Catholic ecclesiology falls into some form of ecclesial docetism, since it treats the universal Church per se as though it were not visible, not having an essentially unified hierarchy, and thus not as a Body.

The bodily nature of the Church allows the Church to be both Mater et Magistra. This Kingdom is not invisible, but visible, present in the mystery of the Catholic Church. Though the Kingdom i. A mere plurality of congregations is no more of a unified Body than is a mere plurality of persons. That is why Reformed ecclesiolgy in essence is indistinguishable from the ecclesiology of those who deny the visibility of the Church per se.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is manifestly clear that the faithful need the help of the Divine Redeemer, for He has said: Yet this, also, must be held, marvelous though it may seem: Christ has need of His members. First, because the person of Jesus Christ is represented by the Supreme Pontiff, who in turn must call on others to share much of his solicitude lest he be overwhelmed by the burden of his pastoral office, and must be helped daily by the prayers of the Church.

Moreover as our Savior does not rule the Church directly in a visible manner, He wills to be helped by the members of His Body in carrying out the work of redemption. That is not because He is indigent and weak, but rather because He has so willed it for the greater glory of His spotless Spouse.

Dying on the Cross He left to His Church the immense treasury of the Redemption, towards which she contributed nothing. But when those graces come to be distributed, not only does He share this work of sanctification with His Church, but He wills that in some way it be due to her action. Again, as in nature a body is not formed by any haphazard grouping of members but must be constituted of organs, that is of members, that have not the same function and are arranged in due order; so for this reason above all the Church is called a body, that it is constituted by the coalescence of structurally untied parts, and that it has a variety of members reciprocally dependent.

An intrinsic union, by contrast, is one in which individuals, in their very being, become parts of something else.

We are members of His Mystical Body, and this union of members and Head is so intimate that we form one Mystic Person, just as the cells in a body form one organism. We cannot be oriented fundamentally toward two or more distinct ends, unless one end is ordered to the other. But how could all this be realized in the Apostles alone, placed as they were under the universal law of dissolution by death?

It was consequently provided by God that the Magisterium instituted by Jesus Christ should not end with the life of the Apostles, but that it should be perpetuated.

We see it in truth propagated, and, as it were, delivered from hand to hand. Wherefore, as Christ was sent by God and the Apostles by Christ, so the Bishops and those who succeeded them were sent by the Apostles. Jesus Christ was sent by God. Christ is therefore from God, and the Apostles from Christ, and both according to the will of God. Preaching therefore the word through the countries and cities, when they had proved in the Spirit the first-fruits of their teaching they appointed bishops and deacons for the faithful.

On the one hand, therefore, it is necessary that the mission of teaching whatever Christ had taught should remain perpetual and immutable, and on the other that the duty of accepting and professing all their doctrine should likewise be perpetual and immutable. Satis Cognitum , 8. Paul, speaking of Christ, writes in Romans 6: The last sentence is a quotation from St.

The separate hierarchies would each be reduced to accidental unities when not either themselves essential or part of another hierarchy that is essentially unified. Moore, A Foundation of Truth: Studies in the Westminster Confession of Faith , 50 Notice that the invisible church transcends time, which can be considered as vertically universal, and the visible church transcends place or nation, so can be thought of as horizontally universal.

Closely related to the Biblical understanding of the relationship of the Church Universal to the Church individually considered is the question of connectionalism in the New Covenant.

In fact this is less a New Covenant picture than an amalgam of the historic Anabaptist view of the Church with traditional American self reliance. Connectionalism is sometimes portrayed by its opponents as a Roman Catholic corruption of the true Church. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This thesis would require its adherents to treat the visible Church as either their own denomination or the group of denominations having some minimal level of formal relations with one another.

Deacon Daniel June 8th, The only way to transcend the differences is to diminish the importance of certain doctrines, making the Church a loosely knit spiritual union with a bias towards minimalism to keep the peace between denominations. Once there is no head of a local church with an historical line of succession going back to Christ and the apostles, Acts 2: The sheer range of differences around styles and structures of worship among denominations is a manifestation and fruit of a fractured ecclesiology.

Without a unified Tent of Meeting, there is always the risk of descending into tribalism. This one was especially timely, guys, in view of Pentecost and Trinity Sunday.

As I read this my mind was drawn particularly to St. That is, his vision of the Church — as the one visible, material organism uniquely invested with the Holy Spirit — had crystallized not only around the doctrine of the Incarnation, but also around the developing doctrine of the Trinity. What that meant for the Fathers was that the Church — in her capacity as sacrament — was marked by a visible, objective unity which flowed from the invisible unity of the Godhead as its source.

That was a reality, a given. But to whom much is given much is expected: And that was also what made her a specifically Christian Church. She was the Church of Incarnation, of Sacrament, of Trinity. Far from mere theological abstractions, these things were as practical as potatoes and as real as eighteen-wheelers. Seen from this perspective it becomes easier to grasp why folks like St.

Cyprian in AD ish could speak as though the indivisibility of God and the indivisibility of the Church almost amounted to the same thing:. He who breaks the peace and the concord of Christ, does so in opposition to Christ; he who gathereth elsewhere than in the Church, scatters the Church of Christ. For those guys, the notion that the Church could be visibly chopped up into a gazillion disunited bits was quite as inconceivable as the Father splitting up with the Son, or either one of them filing for a divorce with the Holy Ghost.

And I think in this case the Fathers can be seen as faithfully carrying forward the spirit of the Scriptures to which you advert in this article. Sorry for hijacking the article and getting preachy. Thanks for writing this. The discussion of ecclesiological docetism and the relation between kingdom and Church, together with the Trinitiarian reflections, have also reminded me of this nice passage in the late Fr.

The Church participates in nothing less than the very community, or communio , of God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is an unabashedly theological, even mystical, way of understanding the Church. It in no way excludes the very human, historical, and even sociological ways of thinking about the Church. After all, we are not ecclesiological docetists. Docetism was an early and ever recurring heresy that Christ did not really have a human body, that he did not really suffer and die on the cross.

Ecclesiological docetism is to view the Church as a theological abstraction that remains aloof from the very human messiness of history. She is the prolepsis — the present anticipation — of the fulfillment of the story of the world. If that is not, above all, how we understand the Church, it is not evident that the Church has a major claim on our attention, never mind our allegiance, at all.

Excellent article, Bryan and Thomas. I look forward to digesting it more thoroughly as time allows. The quotation that you twice note from St. And although excommunication is the most serious medicinal penalty that the Church can dispense to its members, I think that an excommunicated person remains a Catholic albeit one with severely diminished rights. This is the definition used in Canon Law see Can. Doing so unknowingly or without an awareness or understanding that the Church taught otherwise, would be material heresy.

In other words, it is referring to formal heresy, not material heresy. Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. And therefore, if a man refuse to hear the Church, let him be considered — so the Lord commands — as a heathen and a publican.

It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit. A member in this sense of the Catholic Church is a person who has been baptized and professes the true faith i. But does the formal heretic remain under the jurisdiction of the Church?

Excommunication does not take the excommunicated person out of the jurisdiction of the Church. So in that sense, the formal heretic remains a Catholic, but not a Catholic in full communion with the Catholic Church, and thus not a member according to the necessary conditions listed in Mystici Corporis Christi My reply is that although a dissident may be guilty of many sins heresy, perhaps, being among them , so long as he does not depart the Catholic Church for some other communion, schism is the one sin of which he is not guilty.

I like to point out that despite the errors that Luther and Calvin espoused, the Church did not force them into schism as is often claimed. Schism was a step that they took in addition to their prior errors.

Thanks again for your explanation. For this reason, as the unity of the faith is of necessity required for the unity of the church, inasmuch as it is the body of the faithful, so also for this same unity, inasmuch as the Church is a divinely constituted society, unity of government, which effects and involves unity of communion, is necessary jure divino.

For the Fathers, the Head of the Church was ultimately Christ with the Bishop of the local Church as the visible sign of unity for all Christians within his fold, the icon of the Father cf. That said, as Patriarch of the Latin Church the Pope is the proper head of the sui juris Latin Church, responsible for all matters pertaining to the disciplines, practices and governance of that particular Church, the largest of all the 21 or 22 autonomous Churches that form the communion of the Catholic Church.

As Successor of St. Peter the Vicar of Peter, as he was called for centuries he stands as head of the college of Catholic bishops throughout the world, exercising the power of the Keys when and where necessary, but always it is hoped to uphold the ministry and unity of his brother bishops and, ultimately, the one flock of Christ. To the extent that a Pope fulfills this mission of feeding the flock and strengthening his apostolic brethren, he is fulfilling his proper role within the communion of the Catholic Church.

Historically, however, this has not always been the case. The imposition of all sorts of Latin disciplines upon Eastern clergy and faithful is just such an example. I say this because the pendulum appears to be swinging back regarding the need for unity within the Latin Church. The much smaller Eastern Catholic churches can only stand to benefit from this shift, since it means the strengthening of our brethren in the West, SO LONG AS the traditions of the East that differ from the West are protected, vigorously defended and upheld.

The push towards unity in principle can often be corrupted in practice and turned into a push towards uniformity. Ultimately the Church cannot descend, as I said before, into rank tribalism, which, I am sad to say, has often become the fate of the Protestant communities and Orthodox churches.

The unity of the Church can only be strengthened by a corresponding commitment to its organic and orthodox diversity. I have read this article again and again over many months, ever since Brian referred me to it from the Ecclesial Deism article , and I really am trying to understand your argument. But the fact is I am still not getting it.

No, because Christ knows the members of His Body. But are we in perfect unity with one another? No, far from it.

But why would we be urged by Jesus and Paul to work for unity if we were already perfectly united? I think it is only in heaven that our unity will be perfected.

Can we be ordered to a common purpose without a visible hierarchy? All members of the Church can be ordered to a common purpose because of their living faith in the living Christ. We cannot see Christ, but we can still follow Him. It seems these three beliefs are inconsistent when taken together: Baptism is the sacrament by which one enters the Church 2.

The Church is the RC Church. How can someone enter the Church and be in schism from the Church at the same time? Is the visible Church made up of all the Saints, or just some of them? As for these last two points, I am sure you have an explanation that is consistent — I would just like to understand it. The question is not what Christ could do, but what Christ did.

Tom and I have provided much evidence and argumentation in the article that Christ founded a visible Church. Is Christ the Head of the Church? But a visible Church cannot lack a visible head, just as every society on earth has a visible leader, from the family, to the local community, to the state. Grace does not destroy nature, but builds upon it.

Hence the supernatural society founded by Christ does not nullify the natural principles of a human society. It belongs to human nature to be ordered in societies, and thus to be unified under visible unified leadership.

This belongs to human nature in the way that marriage belongs to human nature. So the Church, being visible, needs a visible head. And Christ was not unaware of this. This is why He gave the keys of the Kingdom to St. Peter, to be the steward i. But the basis for its unity is not that Christ knows the members of His Body.

He knows all human beings, but not all human beings are members of His Body. So the basis for membership in His Body cannot be that Christ knows them. Nor can the basis be that He knows they are members, because that just pushes the question back: On what basis does He know that those who are His members are His members, and know that those who are not His members, are not His members?

Something about the members must make them members, and on that basis He knows them to be members, and knows that others not having it are not members. Catholics who hold the same faith, participate in all the same sacraments, and submit to the same government, are in perfect unity, because this is the peace and unity of the Spirit of God, our participation in the unity of the Trinity.

The bond of charity is expressed through each of these three bonds of unity i. But insofar as we [Catholics] do not love one another, our union with each other is less than perfect.

Regarding this, we are urged to love another, and to abound further still in our love for one another. And insofar as others e. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one body, and one Spirit. Paul tells us this in Ephesians 4. The Church has always maintained the three bonds of unity i.

It is one thing to say that there are many who believe in Christ who are in schism from the Church. That is true, and in that sense, Christians are divided. But it is not true to say that the Church is divided or fragmented. If that were so, there would be no visible unity into which, by incorporation into it, those now divided could be united. The unification of men would be into a unity that is not now present on earth, and which therefore remains to be established by men.

But, any unity established by mere men is a natural unity, not a supernatural unity. And no natural unity is capable of uniting all men. Only the God-man, Jesus Christ, could establish a supernatural unity. And this is exactly what He did, when He founded the one , holy, catholic and apostolic Church and gave to St. Peter the keys of the Kingdom. This unity is supernatural, and cannot be lost or destroyed by men or devils, because it is a divine unity, and God cannot be divided.

This supernatural unity is located in the Church, which is His Mystical Body. And men are truly and divinely united to each other through being incorporated into this supernatural unity, by being incorporated into His Church. This is a common notion among twenty-something anarchists and anarchist-leaning libertarians, and hippies.

In reality, throughout the entire history of civilization all societies have understood that without a visible hierarchy, the immediate result is that each man does what it is right in his own eyes, and the short-term result is chaos, which inevitably and shortly leads to tyranny. An army has a hierarchy, precisely so that they will work together as one body.

And that is why Christ established Apostles in His Church, and gave them authority. And it is why they ordained bishops to succeed them, in a perpetual succession until He returns, so that His Church is never left as sheep without a shepherd. This is why there had to be ecumenical councils in the fourth and fifth centuries, regarding who Christ is. Think about all the contradictory claims the world is hearing about Christ and His Church, from all the thousands of sects each divided from all the others in matters of doctrine, sacraments, morals, and practice.

Imagine if all Christians were truly united under the Pope, all holding and teaching the same faith, sharing all the same sacraments, and submitting to the same visible leadership. For example, instead of millions of people hearing Benny Hinn teach that there are nine members of the Trinity , they would hear the teaching of the Nicene Creed on the Trinity. Or instead of this:. So the pope is the head of the Church in a different sense than Christ is the Head of the Church.

The pope is subordinate to Christ. Baptism is that sacrament by which one enters into sacramental communion with the Church and by which, if one publicly affirms the faith of the Church one is incorporated into full communion with the Church.

But those who do not publicly affirm the faith of the Church are not, by their baptism, brought into full communion with the Church. As the Catechism teaches:. Baptism constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians, including those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church: Justified by faith in Baptism, [they] are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.

Does that mean that all these members are in a state of grace? Nor does it mean that all members die in a state of grace. There are wheat and tares together as members in the visible Church. The Apostolic structure of the Church is of its essence for it was willed and instituted not by men but by Christ. Thus, the structure of the Church, the hierarchy, the magisterium is something given by Christ and without this structure it would be impossible to know where the Church is and what the Church believes and teaches.

Doctrine would be reduced to mere opinion and could have no binding authority. Thanks for the explanation about the pope and baptism. Is it correct then that Catholics believe that someone enters the Church through baptism only if the baptism includes a statement of faith?

I should have clarified. Here are the arguments I see in your article: He was making an analogy to say in what ways the Church is like a Body. I think the latter. Surely you would consider Orthodox at least as participating in the same sacraments? Bodies are unified in hierarchy. There is one head. Regarding your new argument, I see how it is possible that Christ worked with human nature to structure a Church that was structured like a human society, but I do not see how that is necessarily so.

The gospels go on and on talking about the Kingdom of Heaven and how things are different in the Kingdom. So it would be more obvious to me if the Church were quite different from a human society. I do not disagree that the Church is hierarchical. But the straw man I am proposing which is only what I have believed for a long time is that the hierarchy of the Church is pretty flat. There is Christ, on top, and then there are the members, united in an invisible way directly below Him.

What is the origin of these principles and who determines them? What unity does it signify then? As to your 4th point, I am inclined to agree with you in certain respects. Christ is the head of His Body and the Pope is the Petrine head and spokesperson of the College of Bishops just as Peter was for the apostles.

I think a more balanced ecclesiology would recognize the need to properly weigh the concerns of the local Church with the regional and the universal.

Each Bishop is the apostolic head of the Catholic Church within the jurisdiction he has been called to serve. To the extent he undermines or overpowers it in the interest of his own sui juris self-governing Church — and there are examples of this historically, especially with the Eastern Catholic Churches he weakens his brethren and fails to fulfill his vocation.

Local, Regional and Universal dimensions of the Church must always work to maintain the balance of its dual hierarchical and conciliar nature. When a man is validly baptized in a heretical sect, for example, he does obtain an imperfect communion with the Catholic Church, but he does not thereby enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.

The article argues that Christ founded a visible Church, and that He did so for good reasons. When He ascended His physical body did not turn invisible; it departed, with the result that His physical body is not visible to us, though it remains visible in itself.

The ascension is thus not a defeater for the claim that bodies are visible. If the Church were not visible, then it would not be like a physical body; it would be like a pile of amoebas. What makes the Church visible is its hierarchy. But in order to adopt such a view i. Just read the seven epistles of St. Ignatius , bishop of Antioch, who died around AD And that is because they believed that Christ authorized and commissioned Apostles, who then authorized and commissioned bishops as their successors.

So the idea that the only hierarchy in the Church is Christ, is contrary to all the Fathers, and contrary to much of the New Testament, insofar as it denies the special authority of the Apostles, and thus denies that they are part of the hierarchy of the Church.

It denies that the Apostles authorized bishops and presbyters and deacons. But this is what all Christians have believed from the beginning, so the burden of proof is on the person who denies that the Apostles had any unique authority in the Body of Christ, and denies likewise that the bishops, presbyters, and deacons had any unique authority.

The heretics would have loved that. Nobody in the history of the Church has ever believed this. The Church has always taught that believing in Christ included believing certain truths revealed by Christ and about Christ. Before anyone was baptized, he had to affirm publicly the articles of the faith. And this is still the practice in the Church to this day, which you will see if you witness a Catholic baptism. Hippolytus, describing the baptismal rite, in the early third century in Rome:.

When the person being baptized goes down into the water, he who baptizes him, putting his hand on him, shall say: And then he shall say: And again he shall say: Lots of Christians partake of bread. Lots of non-Christians partake of bread too, whenever they eat a sandwich or toast. Only where men are validly ordained is the bread by consecration transformed into the Eucharistic Body of Christ, such that by eating His Eucharistic Body we are incorporated into Him and thus unified.

Regarding your question, yes, the Orthodox participate in the same sacraments. But as I explained above, Protestants who are validly baptized also have the same sacrament of baptism, and yet that it is not sufficient for full communion with the Catholic Church.

Schism and heresy prevent full communion. Sharing in the same sacraments is only one of the bonds of union. The other two bonds of union are sharing in the same faith, and sharing in the same ecclesial government.

Without all three bonds of union, there is not full communion. It is just you and Jesus. I agree that God was not bound to do it this way. God, being omnipotent, could have done it other ways. God could have set up His Church such that it had no visible hierarchy, and each man was guided entirely by the Holy Spirit through his own reading of Scripture. But, that would be entirely unfitting to human nature.

We are social beings, and our nature is expressed in societies, as Aristotle explains in his Politics. In addition, God delights in allowing us to participate in His work, and by setting up a hierarchy, Christ has given men the gift of participating in many unique ways in the extension of His work, with His authorization.

The Body is an extension of the Head. The difference is that it is from above, not from below. That is, the authority is supernatural, not natural. But the general principle in theology is that grace perfects nature; grace does not destroy nature. So the Kingdom does not destroy or obliterate human nature; it perfects human nature.

The same God who made us, is the same God who glorifies us. To deny that grace perfects nature is to adopt a kind of Manicheanism, wherein the God of Jesus acts in a way contrary to the God of Genesis chapter 1.

Start noting the Apostles in the New Testament, then the bishops, presbyters, and deacons. Then read the epistles of St. Ignatius read them slowly, out loud , the letter of St. Clement, the writings of St. Such a notion is entirely foreign to Scripture, the Fathers and Church history.

Not just simply close in matters of faith, but in matters of ecclesiastical governance many of their Churches are as ancient as — and some more ancient than — Rome and have maintained apostolic succession and governance since the time of the apostles , and the full sacramental life of the local Churches which is perfectly Catholic.

Their union with the Catholic Church is much more profound then I think you acknowledge here. I am in inclined to agree. I agree that many of the Orthodox Churches are ancient, but the age of particular Churches does not in itself demonstrate anything about the degree of closeness between them and Catholics with respect to faith or governance. The Anglican Church, for example, is also quite old, but there are now significant differences between the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church, with respect to faith and governance.

Since the Orthodox Churches satisfy this definition, it follows that according to this definition they are in schism. That was probably prudential and conducive for furthering reconciliation.

Orthodox Churches are in fact true Churches, albeit suffering from what the clarification of Dominus Jesus describes as certain defects. Sectarianism and schismatic attitudes and behaviors can even be ascribed to the activities of certain Popes in history, and more recently by certain liberal even heterodox theological and liturgical elements in contemporary Western Catholicism.

Schism is at its heart an attack upon the communion of the Church, and there is plenty of historical guilt to be spread around with hierarchs in East and West in this regard. I certainly would include in that those Orthodox many monastics who radically and sometimes violently oppose any effort to dialog with the Catholic Church.

Thank you for the comments. Bryan, I agree with the implications of an invisible Church, which are explained and discussed pretty well in your Ecclesial Deism article. Sometimes this position is held in conjunction with Reformed Christian confessions of faith in traditional Calvinist doctrine which argues that all men are "dead in trespasses and sins" and so apart from being resurrected from spiritual death to spiritual life, no one chooses salvation alone.

Calvinists maintain that God selected certain individuals before the world began and then draws them to faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Calvinists have long taught that when the apostle Paul wrote, "God hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world" Ephesians 1: According to Calvinism, God begins a good work in some and then continues it. They attempt to prove that with the text from the book of Philippians where the apostle Paul writes, "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" Philippians 1: There are also many non-Calvinists who also maintain that a person who is saved can never be lost.

This Free Grace or non-traditional Calvinist doctrine is found predominantly in "free will" Baptist theology, but also other Protestant churches of the evangelical tradition. The doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints is distinct from the doctrine of Assurance , which describes how a person may first be sure that they have obtained salvation and an inheritance in the promises of the Bible including eternal life.

Church Father Augustine of Hippo taught that those whom God chooses to save are given, in addition to the gift of faith, a gift of perseverance donum perseverantiae which enables them to continue to believe, and precludes the possibility of falling away. The traditional Calvinist doctrine is one of the five points of Calvinism that were defined at the Synod of Dort during the Quinquarticular Controversy with the Arminian Remonstrants , who objected to the general predestinarian scheme of Calvinism.

Wesleyanism agrees with Arminianism that true Christians can fall away, but they disagree over whether or not such fallen Christians can return again to salvation Wesleyans believe they can, and Arminians deny that they can. Nonetheless, the doctrine is most often mentioned in connection with other salvific schemes and is not a major locus of Reformed systematic theology for instance, it does not even get a subheading in the three volume Systematic Theology by Hodge.

It is, however, seen by many as the necessary consequence of Calvinism and of trusting in the promises of God. Traditional Calvinism voiced its opposition to carnal Christianity and the non-traditional Calvinist doctrine in the recent controversy over Lordship salvation. The Reformed tradition has consistently seen the doctrine of perseverance as a natural consequence to predestination.

According to Calvinists, since God has drawn the elect to faith in Christ by regenerating their hearts and convincing them of their sins, and thus saving their souls by His own work and power, it naturally follows that they will be kept by the same power to the end.

Since God has made satisfaction for the sins of the elect, they can no longer be condemned for them, and through the help of the Holy Spirit , they must necessarily persevere as Christians and in the end be saved. Calvinists believe this is what Peter is teaching in 1st Peter 1, verse 5 when he says, that true believers are "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation". Outside Calvinist denominations this doctrine is widely considered to be flawed.

Calvinists also believe that all who are born again and justified before God necessarily and inexorably proceed to sanctification. Failure to proceed to sanctification in their view is considered by some as evidence that the person in question was never truly saved to begin with.

They whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. This definition does not deny the possibility of failings in one's Christian experience, because the Confession also says:.

Nevertheless [believers] may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and for a time continue therein; whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve his Holy Spirit: Theologian Charles Hodge summarizes the thrust of the Calvinist doctrine:.

Perseverance…is due to the purpose of God [in saving men and thereby bringing glory to his name], to the work of Christ [in canceling men's debt and earning their righteousness ], to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit [in sealing men in salvation and leading them in God's ways], and to the primal source of all, the infinite, mysterious, and immutable love of God.

On a practical level, Calvinists do not claim to know who is elect and who is not, and the only guide they have is the verbal testimony and good works or "fruit" of each individual.

Any who "fall away" that is, do not persevere in the Christian faith until death is assumed not to have been truly converted to begin with, though Calvinists do not claim to know with certainty who did and who did not persevere. Essentially, Reformed doctrine believes that the same God whose power justified the Christian believer is also at work in the continued sanctification of that believer.

Thus, all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ, and can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but will persevere in their faith to the end, and be eternally saved. While Reformed theologians acknowledge that true believers at times will fall into sin, they maintain that a real believer in Jesus Christ cannot abandon one's own personal faith to the dominion of sin.

They base their understanding on key scriptural passages such as Christ's words, "By their fruit you will know them" [Mt 7: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God.

Hodges , Bill Bright , and others. This view, like the traditional Calvinist view, emphasizes that people are saved purely by an act of divine grace that does not depend at all on the deeds of the individual, and for that reason, advocates insist that nothing the person can do can affect his or her salvation.

The Free Grace doctrine views the person's character and life after receiving the gift of salvation as independent from the gift itself, which is the main point of differentiation from the traditional Calvinist view, or, in other words, it asserts that justification that is, being declared righteous before God on account of Christ does not necessarily result in sanctification that is, a progressively more righteous life.

Charles Stanley, pastor of Atlanta's megachurch First Baptist and a television evangelist, has written that the doctrine of eternal security of the believer persuaded him years ago to leave his familial Pentecostalism and become a Southern Baptist.

He sums up his deep conviction that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone when he claims, "Even if a believer for all practical purposes becomes an unbeliever, his salvation is not in jeopardy… believers who lose or abandon their faith will retain their salvation. Look at that verse [ John 3: According to Jesus, what must a person do to keep from being judged for sin?

Must he stop doing something? Must he promise to stop doing something? Must he have never done something? The answer is so simple that many stumble all over it without ever seeing it. All Jesus requires is that the individual "believe in" Him. In a chapter entitled "For Those Who Stop Believing", he says, "The Bible clearly teaches that God's love for His people is of such magnitude that even those who walk away from the faith have not the slightest chance of slipping from His hand p.

We are saved because at a moment in time we expressed faith in our enduring Lord" p. The doctrine sees the work of salvation as wholly monergistic, which is to say that God alone performs it and man has no part in the process beyond receiving it, and therefore, proponents argue that man cannot undo what they believe God has done.

By comparison, in traditional Calvinism, people, who are otherwise unable to follow God, are enabled by regeneration to cooperate with him, and so the Reformed tradition sees itself as mediating between the total monergism of the non-traditional Calvinist view and the synergism of the Wesleyan , Arminian , and Roman Catholic views in which even unregenerate man can choose to cooperate with God in salvation.

The traditional Calvinist doctrine teaches that a person is secure in salvation because he or she was predestined by God, whereas in the Free Grace or non-traditional Calvinist views, a person is secure because at some point in time he or she has believed the Gospel message Dave Hunt, What Love is This , p.

Both traditional Calvinism and traditional Arminianism have rejected Free Grace theology. Reformed theology has uniformly asserted that "no man is a Christian who does not feel some special love for righteousness" Institutes , [8] and therefore sees Free Grace theology, which allows for the concept of a "carnal Christian" or even an "unbelieving Christian", as a form of radical antinomianism. Arminianism, which has always believed true believers can give themselves completely over to sin, has also rejected the Free Grace view for the opposite reason of Calvinism: Free Grace theology struggles to maintain a middle ground, hoping to grasp the permancy of salvation Calvinism with one hand, while maintaining a true believer can still give up faith and choose to live a life of sin and unbelief Arminianism.

Both Calvinists and Arminians appeal to Biblical passages such as 1 Cor. Otherwise, you have believed in vain" , Hebrews 3: If we disown him, he will also disown us". In addition to fitting neatly in the overarching Calvinist soteriology , Reformed and Free Grace advocates alike find specific support for the doctrine in various passages from the Bible:.

Some Calvinists admit that their interpretation is not without difficulties. One apparent consequence is that not all who "have shared in the Holy Spirit" [Acts This is a consequence Calvinists are willing to accept since the Bible also says that King Saul had the "Spirit of God" in some sense and even prophesied by it, [1Sam Some challenge the Calvinist doctrine based on their interpretation of the admonishments in the book of Hebrews, including several passages in the Book of Hebrews , [10] but especially Hebrews 6: The former passage says of those "who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come " that, when they "fall away", they cannot be "restored to repentance.

The debate over these passages centers around the identity of the persons in question. While opponents of perseverance identify the persons as Christian believers, Calvinists suggest several other options:. In general, proponents of the doctrine of perseverance interpret such passages, which urge the church community to persevere in the faith but seem to indicate that some members of the community might fall away, as hortatory rather than objective in character.

That is, they view the prophets and apostles as writing "from the human perspective", in which the members of the elect are unknowable and all should "work out [their] own salvation" [Phil 2: The primary objection to this approach is that it might equally be said that these difficult passages bear the objective meaning while the passages urged to support this doctrine of perseverance are hortatory in a positive sense, revealing God's perpetual grace towards believers.

The passage is understood by some to mean that "falling away" from an active commitment to Christ may cause one to lose their salvation, after they have attained salvation either according to the Reformed or Free Grace theology. However, numerous conservative Bible scholars do not believe the passage refers to a Christian losing genuinely attained salvation.

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. The primary objection lodged against the doctrine is that such teaching will lead to license.

That is, objectors contend that if people know they can never lose their salvation they will feel free to sin without fear of eternal consequences. Traditional Calvinists see this charge as being justly leveled against the Free Grace doctrine, which doesn't see sanctification as a necessary component of salvation, and in the controversy over Lordship salvation , traditional Calvinists argued against the proponents of the Free Grace doctrine.

Traditional Calvinists, and many other non-Calvinist evangelicals, posit that a truly converted heart will necessarily follow after God and live in accordance with his precepts, though perfection is not achievable, struggles with sin will continue, and some temporary "backsliding" may occur. The central tenet of the Arminian view is that believers are preserved from all external forces that might attempt to separate them from God, and further that God will not change His mind about their salvation, but that these same believers can themselves willingly repudiate their faith either by a statement to that effect, or by continued sinful activity combined with an unwillingness to repent.

Thus, their salvation is conditional on remaining faithful. Traditional Calvinists do not dispute that salvation requires faithfulness, and the point of difference between these Calvinists and Arminians is over whether God allows true Christians to fall away.

Free Grace advocates agree with traditional Calvinists that salvation cannot be lost but with the Arminians that true Christians can backslide or fall away. However, the Free Grace advocates and the Arminians do not define repudiation in the same way: Respecting these parameters, Catholics can have a variety of views as regards final perseverance.

On questions of predestination, Catholic scholars may be broadly characterized as either Molinists or Thomists. The views of the latter are similar to those of Calvinists, in that they understand final perseverance to be a gift applied by God to the regenerated that will assuredly lead them to ultimate salvation.

They differ from Calvinists in but one respect: Thomists affirm that God can permit men to come to regeneration without giving them the special gift of divine perseverance, so that they do fall away.

just did

I am a cook. Since very few cooks get workplace health insurance I was lucky to have negotiated at least the low rent one they were willing to give us. Primary care is great in Germany not so great in Secondary care. Are we so uneducated or so indoctrinated in a system that we actually believe that its free? So you telling me the German Government somehow produces health insurance through will and determination and not taxes?

Healthcare and retirement funds were privatized here a long time ago and they made a mess with the system. No wonder the world is in economic melt down. You do understand that in the United States they can not refuse service to you, even if you have no way to pay. The United States also does not have debtor prison and getting rid of medical bills is not difficult. You are so wrong.. I have great medical insurance PPO plan with deductible..

You are not the knowledgeable. And you get to live in the most hated, the most fear-filled, barbaric nation in the world….. Beyond money is the idea of quality of life….. If you are hated your doing something right, human nature is one of jealousy and hatred.

Barbaric, I think the very nature of Socialism is Barbaric and cruel. See different opions, and the world still turns. That is the only way you could have possibly reached your stated conclusion.

I am german, lifed and worked for about 4 years in the US and i would never do it again. As a expat living in Germany, I can attest the Germans weakness is conformity and never looking to become anything better than average.

Security outweighs personal gain, I can admire this quality but can not for the life of me live this way. And you think the quality of life is so grand in Germany vs the US? Quality of pay does not equal quality of life. The key words here are Assistant professor. A euro in europe has less purchasing power than a dollar in the states. That is your problem? You are free to gain as much money as you want in addition.

Open an own business for example. In addition, you get have a months salary for christmas and sometimes even for holidays in july. You did not get the point but exactly emphasized it. A average worker lives as good as a top of the top engineers. Great when all you want to do is work from and live your life after that. Not so good if you are a 10 times engineer. Most other countries reward knowledge and outstanding achievements. In Germany you get punished for over achieving things.

But Germany takes it from the people that really carry the load of the German wealth. As a matter of fact the problems come from the 0. It is not true that there is no insensitive or bonus etc. An engineer with a university degree and a not-so-badly-paid job in a big company. He has a life many people would dream about. Normally, he gets bonuses depending on the projects and the risks that have been taken and so on and a business car.

The salary is enough to live a nice life with 2 holidays a year wherever he could want to go to. When he works over hours he can convert most of them into even more holidays.

That is something every average worker can have? That worker wants a family, a car, maybe a house on their own. If so, that house needs to be a bit off the city or maybe inherited. Inheriting a house is possible because we build houses that actually last over years That worker wants to have a holiday a year with the kids. That works, he can do that. And now, where do you want to get more money from? He deserves free time and a struggle-free life just as much as anybody else.

How come that some people are never satisfied? Is it just not fair, that that person gets more percentage of their money as someone better paid? I work as an engineer. I am the one who takes the risk, I am the one who makes the plan. And I get paid for it. And I am happy that they are there. My salary is higher because of the risk and whatever.

But that does not mean that they are second class people. They are great and I would hate to cut their salaries just to afford a third car. Maybe the question should be: Where does all that money go to?

Oh, we could cut that. The one who just never want to get their asses out of bed to go and look for a job Wait. Still no way to go. Thats just what I thought while reading all these comments by Germans. Compared to other nations we do live in paradise when it comes to social matters. Sure, our system is not perfect. But how can you possibly complain about not being able to buy the most expensive Mercedes because taxes are too high? While anywhere else in the world people are envying us for having everything we want without too much struggle.

If all the Germans could finally value our achievements we would recognize the almost perfect conditions we enjoy in Germany. There are those of us for whom this is a very real argument when you compare the two systems.

Dear Phil, I agree with you that D is not being nice to the better off. Maybe you should get your head around Steuerhinterziehung….

Because the alternative would have been watching my kids grow up on skype. It has its drawbacks for sure. AnnoyedKitty, converting exchange rate is a inefficient model. Value of a currency is only valuable when doing international business or traveling from one perspective country to another. This is currency speculation at its finest. Your claim is very far away from reality. According to OECD data for , the purchasing power of 1 euro in Germany is equivalent to the purchasing power of 1.

Of course, taxes are higher in Germany, but public services are much better, and I think most Germans consider this a good exchange. Not only is the euro worth more than the dollar, but because average inflation is lower in Germany than in the US, the value of the euro relative to the dollar increases over time as the value of the mark did before the euro. Since then, however, the euro has had greater purchasing power than the dollar, and the gap steadily increases year after year. For your strange claim that a dollar buys as much as 1.

What exchange rates do is the exchange of one currency to another, based upon the worlds reserve currency the US dollar. Let me make it simple for you to understand, in Germany you use the Euro the United States the Dollar. In todays market in both the US and Germany, one dollar in the United States will purchase you more goods than one Euro will in Germany.

Also what public services are better exactly? Im confused at this one, as both a American and German, who has lived in both countries.

Just wondering exactly what you are talking about. Average tuiton fees per year in Germany must be near to 0 by now at least in the public universities whic are the common ones. The last State abolished tuiton fees the next semesters. The question is will you have TIME to enjoy what you earned? And the US degree is a much better value overall, in international business a US degree will get you much more salary compesation.

I can tell you that the level of education is much higher here and that a German university degree has much more value than one from most US universities. A German university degree is highly respected throughout the world. Yeah so does my family, the system is not a good system, fluff on your part. German education is confusing and follows a outdated model not recognized by most of the world. Germany has many problems, but your blind allegiance and fanaticism for ignoring problems in Germany reminds me of National Socialism.

I think this is from my personal view -sorry! But more important- the average! And this is exactly the reason where the power of the German industry comes from. Not free in terms of money, but in terms of qualification. For a professor in the German education system, you know very little about higher education and the standing that these schools hold. There are is not one German University in the top while 72 of the top schools are from the United States.

The rest are from around the world and non are German. The Ivy League is certainly better than the german universities. That is what my brother, my cousin and my brother-in-law with their engineering degrees got -without having debts to pay, as their education was at FH Regensburg, TU Kaiserslautern, TU Braunschweig.

And Gudrun you are correct, you can get a job with these degrees, no doubt. Do German Univeristys teach there students excellent skills no doubt, to say they tesch above there American counterparts is absurd, no college ranking system supports this. Why Germany has a poor showing in Higher education rankings done by third parties with no national affiliation? I would expect somebody from academia to come up with such absurd statements. You have probably very limited experience in the Private sector, I have both lived and worked in Germany and the US.

And a college degree from the States is much more preferred internationally. Most of Germanys most powerful people in Buisness was educated outside of Germany. Your arguments are shallow. There is this thing called google you can research anything you need.

Just cause the answers are not convent for you does not make them true or relevant. I hold both American and German citizenships, married to a German national and live and work in Germany. Opions are irrelevant, numbers produce fact. Does Germany do well for itself, YES it does! Is Germany a first rate nation, Yes it is! Is Germany a nice place to live, Yes it is! I get it you like Germany, you think its better, great for you. You sound like an arrogant person. You may want to check your grammar and spelling, as well.

Opportunities and positions are better for academics in USA definitely. They tried to introduce higher tuition fees in Germany, but there was so much resistance from the general population that the government rescinded the law.

The customary fee at most universities is euros per semester plus maybe a euro student organization fee. If you take in account what benefits you get as an individual and society in common — this definitely pays off. Three thoughts I would like you to think about: The more money you make, the less social costs you pay. Money makes more money. Socially well off countries are stable societies.

What you relate to is something else. Being rewarded for hard work, being recognized for doing great things, going the extra mile. Money is not the greatest motivator. Neither does it buy happiness. So there might be another way. The scientist compares average scientific positions 80k with academic positions at top universities in the US k. I am comparing an end senior position at a top German University to an entry level position.

And it is not about averages but about what you can achieve. Germany is great if you are average or below average but there is no point in being exceptional good and that is the whole point. As you should compare the number of available positions.

Guess Harvard is hiring not as many scientist as persons interested. The median would be a more accurate measure. So from an academic point of view neither top salaries nor average salaries say everything. What is the message behind this numbers?

It seems that in Germany the availability to good but not as top as Ivy league universities is broader. The smaller the gap the more equal the chances for both: Well in this case Germany looses even more for multiple reasons.

Then there is no backup in Germany. In the US you can become an associate Prof at a liberal arts collage and still make a living. And it is not only the Ivy league. All top state schools pay in that range Plus all named private research Universities. In academia the chances in the US are way better than in Germany. And yes once you are a Professor your live is quiet and safe and decent.

Salaries in the United States are actually higher, so whats your point again? Here is the Oecd rankings http: You keep your job and you are valued person in the company. Those who only pretend are gone faster than they ever imagine. Your statement is harsh. Although, 70 years later his siblings are still alive and well! Perhaps this will make you realise how silly it is.

After what the USA did to… hmm, nearly everyone in the world, during the last years… starting with slavery and native american… who would like to have any contact to Americans? Now to be serious again: There is a reason why the percentage of german technology or cars in the USA is higher than the percentage of US vehicles in Germany. And be assured, US vehicles are quite reasonable in Germany. Succes beats all discussions. Germany as well as the USA consider themselves as free countries.

So, go wherever you feel good and stop making things mad. They have done their deeds, fixed it, they are paying taxes to make it up. They have Jewish museums all over the country. They pee in their pants and become insecure if Israel is criticized. They do not dare research the topic more as they are scared of their past.

Give them some credit. The victims however, went to another country, got help from the US, invaded it systematically, did a few mass killings here and there, and stole it. Now the Palestinians usually referred to as Arab animals by extreme Zionists live in apartheid. In this case, the victims are treating other people in the same manner they were treated.

Oppressing because they were oppressed and still, Europeans would rather pee in their pants instead of having an opinion and disagreeing with this modern age oppression. Only the Brits have showed courage. Yes, there IS a benefit. Of course, if you want to be a selfish git, America with its legions of idiotic Ayn Rand worshippers is perfect for you.

You asshole socialists can never deal with people having a different outlook on government than you. You should really think hard on what America would look like with no socialism embedded in its policies. It would be a hellish poverty stricken landscape without police, fire, roads, and rational insurance and utility costs of any kind.

The poor, sick, and elderly would be starving and dying on the side of the street. And that would eventually lead to revolution conditions.

Which is bad for all of us. Socialism is much more than entitlement. I love the part about Fox News, my goodness, these people should read more. There are clones of such individuals in certain areas in the US. Where should he start, definitely not Wikipedia, I do not know what to recommend.

Okay, another Fox News brainwashed individual. Please, read read read, for your own sanity read and travel more. What is so non functional about the US? I have a high paying job and work about hours a week, my husband the same same age as me within 2 months, but he has no degree.

I get 3 weeks of vacation, my husband gets 5 no fair right?! We enjoy traveling the world, going on exotic vacations, and coming home to our perfectly remodeled home that has been customized for us. We can choose to retire around age 40 or we can choose to have kids and try out that lifestyle.

Are you telling me it can be better than that in Germany? Yes of course, because a single case where USA system functioned means there is nothing worse about it compared to Germany. If the whole world consumed like Americans did, we were already facing billions people dying to climate change and other environmental disasters.

Here is another thing wrong with USA. I know many people who failed to succeed from much better situations that my own. America is place where we all have the opportunity to succeed, but only the most competitive and business savvy people achieve a good life. I was just lucky enough to figure it out within that time frame so some of my schooling was paid for. In my travels I see most families in countries like Japan, Brazil, Canada, and Australia live basically the same as I do.

However we all know how irresponsible American companies are toward people and the environment. For consumption the picture is the same when you look at the waste produced per household or any such indicator.

You are right that the energy consumption is also about both private and public companies. Both households and companies contribute to it. It is known that US households consume more energy overall than EU households. On the other hand, companies are also made of people. If a German company is sensitive about the planet, it is because of the education and culture their top people have received plus the strict environmental rules implemented by state.

I read an article once from some wealthy. If the corporation taxes were raised then all the corporations would relocate to other countries and leave America jobless.

I have to agree by the intense violations of human rights and destruction of the environment we see here I doubt these companies have any loyalty to the USA aside from the tax benefits we offer. Some of the taxes issues come down to distrust with US Govt. Why would we want to pay more into a system that wastes incredible amounts of money and is far LESS efficient than the private side?

This article is about efficiency, the US Govt is the model of inefficiency. Robin, come to India. Those who feel like working work. That is so true. I could probably retire by 40 with my pathetic by western denomination salary. The average guy here gets almost everything for free via govt. We used to have a hard working culture in TN but our pseudo-socialist govt.

Most people dont pay taxes, where did you get that from? Tax laws are strict in India for those who have proper official bank accounts. The only loop hole is when you have a business in which you deal in cash. But then thats true for all countries I believe. However in India, if you are an educated person with a degree, then I assume you will be working in a proper company an MNC or even an SME , where the owner or the partners themselves operate legally.

If thats the case then there is no chance that you will be getting your salary in cash. Your salary goes directly into your bank account and if thats the case then there is no way you can get away with taxes. You HAVE to pay them. Also, in most of the developed cities like Mumbai, Delhi, etc even local businesses are now transforming into dealing only through proper accounts since their clients are doing the same and tax inquiries are getting strict.

Coming to your second point, I wouldnt disagree completely. Yes, those who feel like working, work and the rest relax. I think thats true but then that doesnt depict the entire picture. In India, the competition for everything is very very extreme, like that in China.

But then China I think has better institutions than India. So if you are smart and are willing to work hard, then India can give you the same lifestyle that you can get anywhere on earth. I completely agree, but the point is what is Indian govt is doing with the tax payers money? Even ambani has to pay for his medicals, govt wont provide a free MRI scan for him though he paid crores to indian economy. I lived in there for 6 months. That is put right. And everyone is happy.

They tell people its communism. Or try Hong Kong. Yet every citizen can get free health care. On the other hand 2 years jail for the employer of illegal immigrants. It took me 4 years to get a green card and the great USA consider I am not worth to be loan money compared to a great american that has been taking credit cards all over his life. I have 15 days vacations. Now if I had been buying 2 years ago with a visa and no credit record , banks would have make me won 5 times what I can save in a year working hard — just using their virtual lending money power.

America is quite like Las Vegas. Some are lucky, some not, depending on their choices and when they did their choices. It does not seem to me to have anything to do with being smarter or competitive. I did my PhD in France, earning 40k, with similar downpaiement than what I have in USA, I bought a 1 bedroom in downtown of the 7th city of France in a historic building. I was just I had 40 days vacations. I am son of a plumber.

I did not have to take a loan for my master and PhD. Vote with your feet. Also, American companies have no problems to impose their own dogmas to others example: I did t mean it that starkly. I am with you as far as looking at new ideas. The focus on individuality, self independence, extreme hard work, big bets are what made the USA what it is.

You will be hard pressed to find problems with Germany. But you continue to tell the world a different story. Americans are not even concerned about their problems. Sure, you can pick that stats as that plays up.

I do see some real problems because of diversity of our population and the systemic challenges some have over others. Germany is fairly homogeneous comoared to us and not the immigrant history…p. I think, we do plenty about our and rest of the worlds problems…we just have a different system and the left wants us to copy a system that has failed before. The demographics in Germany is pretty bad and this system will collapse.

See France as an example. Any projections into next decade and beyond shows only how much better it will be compared to Europe. Of course, we also have to carry the additional burden of protecting Europe for itself and assuming, we have not changed to become a ersatz Europe….

Actualy, Germany is way more heterogeneous than you would think. In comparison, in the U. So there is no big difference in that regard. Take races and cultural diversity and US is much more diverse unimaginably. When I walk in Berlin or Munich, I am typically the non white and stand out. Less so in France I would say or UK. Nordic countries are similarly much more homogenous….

Ok, but this is only in regard to races. There is actualy a huge turkish, arabic and east european population in Germany. Only because it isnt as obvious as in the U. Statists are engaged in Class warfare.

Not everything melts in the Melting Pot…. I am sure you can find a statistic to prove anything you want. But if you have ever been to those two countries and walked through the streets of any major city with your eyes open, you will KNOW there is a clear difference. You take a Black culture, Hispanic culture, white culture, Asian culture, Arab culture etc throw itall in the same pot and try to make them all get along—then you have America. Hey guys, there are things you cannot scale up just like that.

If you look at diversity do not compare a country of M people to a country of 80M people, that is absurd. Take USA vs Europe. Which one is the most diverse now? Hum, Internet Bubble crash , Huge war to find non-exesting mass destruction weapons which nobody else supported , and the Gigantic subprime crash In terms of collapsing, USA does pretty well too. However they have homes. Every one in Germany has a home. For every tax money I pay in Germany is worth it. Again its not only Germany.

There are plenty of countries where everyone is entitled to a home. The America I grew up in has disappeared. I was shocked to see the how dilapidated my hometown looks. The place looks run-down, the people are overweight, unhealthy and poorly educated. And this is the capital of a major state. Yes, there are pockets of lower-income areas like that here in Germany but nothing on the scale of what you see in America.

Watching the US sink socially, economically and politically used to be heart-renching for those of us who remember a better time. But now we just thank our lucky stars that we chose the right place to emigrate to. No, I am not. I still think Americas best years are ahead..

I agree we have poverty but in any number if statistics, America has Improved.. Efficiency leaves them with quality social life remember? Not everyone should be a high profile business entrepreneur or an American big dreamer. Typical jungle where a few have abundance financial freedom and millions are always on the edge.

Society needs bakers , teachers and nurses. I have noticed that in Germany you are who you are. No one cares if you sale vegetables in the local market. My point is America can still give equal opportunity to every child. In the end it pays back to have citizens who are in charge of their lives.

They make better decisions with their lives and families. They just need people where they are in order for the few to benefit. As for you may go and live meaningful life with family and friends. The problem is that you must be mentally agile and business savvy to do so, most people are not.

However, I do agree that those who are not are treated like criminals, scum of the earth, and beneath human. We basically treat the poor, ugly, and disabled this way. America is survival of the fittest. I can say that without a doubt. I was successful, lived in CA, worked my way up from receptionist to Escrow Manager. I got a job as an escrow manager at a place where I had to work almost 66 hours one way, pick up heavy boxes of files, etc.

I was injured at work. I was sent to a physical therapist who began intentional maiming my back. Then I got an attorney. I was then sent to a ortho surgeon who, long story short, gave me a series of 3 lumbar steroid epidural injections but also, gave me shots throughout my body that were not a part of the procedure.

I was forced under anesthesia against my advance directives twice, the 3rd epidural, I was BRUTALLY forced under anesthesia and awakened with injuries from my skull down to my tailbone. Go to my FB page for more information on what is happening in America to injured workers to save insurance carriers and employers money. America is run by corporations that have bought our elected officials whether they are democrats or republicans.

Smarter is correct to say that we treat the poor, ugly and disable with disdain. America has turned into a barbaric nation. The difference between those in the middle east and those in the corporations in our country is money and suits. I was very young when I left home to go out on my own. I have always been an independent woman, I love the work that I was doing, I was involved in escrow associations, speaking engagements, etc. Now, I am treated with disdain, my credibility is being called into question due to the maliciousness of the crimes that I have made public.

I was a successful independent woman, living in CA, worked my way up from receptionist to Escrow Manager with a few college courses along the way.

I got a job as an escrow manager at a place where I had to work almost 66 hours one week, picked up heavy boxes of files, etc. I was forced under anesthesia against my advance directives twice, the 3rd epidural, I was BRUTALLY forced under anesthesia and awakened with injuries from my skull down to my tailbone and the shots throughout my back, neck, shoulders etc, burned and corroded the ligaments in my spinal column, tendons, muscles, nerves, and much more.

I was very young 17 when I left home to go out on my own. Silicon Valley is one of the most expensive places to live in the entire USA. Why do you still endure such hardship? Haha, it is not a hardship. The Germany economy functions because, speaking for at least the homogenous population in Germany, they have a work ethic like no other.

They are proud to work! They do not want a handout! Not saying that there is a not a lot of that going on Germany, in Berlin and with all of the Russian and Turkish and other immigrants and now the Syrian refugees that they take in from every-f-ing-where to soak up the Hartz welfare reforms Social Security because they are afraid of being called intolerant Nazis for saying NO, but not in the majority of their lands where traditional Germans and German values are imbued.

Now, superimpose the German Democratic Socialist system onto our U. The system would collapse in the U. S would be a huge failure — because, bottom line, we have some lazy muthas in the U. It is not about paying more or less Taxes. It is about what you do with the Taxes. Start to transfer taxes money to the education system from the very early stage and your muthas will transform in great hard working people.

But likely some groups of people in USA have a problem with seeing that happening, as they would lose their power. Unfortunately, intelligence, impulsiveness, criminality are largely genetic.

Jews have about to Of course, political correctness will lie to you, or deny that IQ is the most researched and scientific concept in all of psychology. So, unfortunately US Blacks will never have the mental capacity nor the work ethos of Germans.

Education, training, cultural influence can help a little, but they never will become like Germans. It is not physically possible. You see, if you are not being sarcastic, I will need a beer or two in order to forget that racists like you exist. And I thought the world was done with your type by the last ice age.

The US blacks political incorrect are just treated like shit by american and they are just socially at disadvantage from the beginning. It all about their parents and the environment they live in…. Unfortunately, you are citing the politically correct myth that stems from wishful thinking and is vehemently defended by the PC press. Scientific research proved it wrong. Bullshit, genetics may steer you slightly in certain directions mentally if you are somebody that lives on autopilot and not bat a mindful thought ever.

Also you speak as if IQ cannot be changed.. If you understood brain plasticity i think you would agree. My goodness, people like you exist in the world and I am reminded every so often that some do think this way.

But who are you? You see the biggest problem in USA is unskilled population. The government with Germany companies make this possible.

So for USA with lots of people living pay cheque to pay cheque. People breaking their back for 8 dollars an hour can not afford European benefits. However they can start slowly improving their middle class and providing equal opportunity in education and skills empowerment.

If people had something gainful to do they will never run to social help. Subsidize education and create strong partnership between universities and companies. A few years ago Germany women were fighting to reduced maternity leave period. That shows you that when people have something to do they will not depend on the government.

And yes you are right the foreigners without skills will not work as long as they have food and shelter. The question is who is gonna pay for them? The only good side is they will give the nation more kids and those kids will be highly skilled professionals because kids have equal shot at life. Soldiers and the whole military industrial complex are tax-financed. They actually provide the terrorist with weapon… ur goverment is telling u nonsense to play world police for benefit.

There are even cities prohibiting feeding the poor. They are impoverished do to the greed that many corporations are responsible for. Those who committed crimes on wall street, banking, etc. What is wrong is right and what is right is wrong. San Francisco where I am a 5 bedroom with sq feet will go for a couple of million. Minneapolis, but house prices are very reasonable in most of the country, there are some outliers.

They are all very reasonable in comparison to California or NY. She is capable of working but took the hypochondriac approach to life and considers herself too sick to work, but plenty healthy to get drunk singing kareoke and dancing every weekend. My father never wanted children and only married her because she was pregnant. By the 17th year he was done with the whole experience and just wanted me gone.

In the scope of their lives they should have just gotten an abortion considering how disinterested either of them were with childcare.

Smarter, I left my parents home to go out on my own at That is why you are doing so well. I read your other post. I agree, I am just a survivor in this case, likely due to youth and some luck. Were I to get into a car accident or in your case have a work accident all tables would be turned against me and it would be me vs. I was in a car accident a few years ago where I was pretty seriously injured and spent about 6 months recuperating.

He said I suffered nothing but a few scratches and should have healed fully within 7 days…. I can only imagine what would have happened if I was permanently or more seriously injured.

If one works, anything g is possible. Just have to see the leading icons in culture, economy and business…as an immigrant I am deeply appreciative I and my kids can do that. A safety net though has to be made more effecient in the USA, that I agree but it can be done without additional taxation.. And anyone can afford education, no companies taking advantage of workers and no crime.

Because everyone is happy. You have Fox News, a state with 1 abortion clinic, Wal-Mart slave wages, elected representatives talking about gays causing hurricanes, Ferguson, and 30, gun deaths a year.

Yeah, if one jerks off to Ayn Rand, America is brilliant. If one reads actual political philosophers, less so. There is no we in America only me me me. My husband works at best buy which is somewhat known for bad benefits. He just started when he was 15 and is now I also work at a fortune company but only 4 years seniority I am a business analyst and I an paid a bit on the low end for my job.

Such intolerance for people with different beliefs is unproductive. I preferred the USA better 20 years ago but the Germans do many things very well and much can be learned from them.

It has gotten increasingly worse, less equal and more violent, not to mention less intelligent. Actually violent crime has gone down significantly by all measurable stats since the s. There have also been significant measurable gains in feminine, racial, and economic equality across the board.

I blame a lot of attitudes on both sides to the rise of 24hr news and the internet where each and every bad thing dirty laundry that happens everywhere can be in your home in an instant to be judged. And the USA is not or? As an immigrant,I have seen people for generations and even now voting with their feet to enter the USA.

We left precisely for that, where our work is rewarded and not taxed for the redistribution that atleast in the USA has worked horribly.. That is my point: America is great for the selfish. Germany is better for those who care about society at large. And yet, Americans donate and volunteer more per capita than Germany and others despite working more hours…tell me what do Germans and rest of Europeans typically do? Heck, what about the Marshall plan?

We digress…My point being saying selfish is not is not a true statement…. Take out religious volunteering which is useless and see how badly the numbers look for the USA. Are you really pushing for trickle-down charity, really?!? Also, look at the Waltons and how they give basically nothing, and then look at the life of one of their average workers.

You made such great points. I am all convinced!!! Have you ever been to America or are you basing this off the American media or RT? And I am not a Muslim or Christian but why is religious volunteering bad if it is good for the people receiving it? Why are the Bill Gates and scores of individual volunteering in the US or globally shams? I Am sure you would say there is oil there!!.

This is not propaganda my friends…Just facts. Why did he bag on religious giving? That comes from the heart vs. Government giving which comes from motive I. E to get reelected, to make nice, to gain favor.

Very emotional Asa Kaye, but it is perhaps best for a nation to not be ruled this way. The more people are involved with community work through systems the better. Individuals who are not reprimanded usually become mini dictators and create their own models of corruption. Why should anyone be better than another? If a system takes care of such spending this lowers favoritism and it becomes much more fair.

The Waltons was a perfect point. They need to share the wealth with their employees but giving them a better wage! So while in Germany the state is giving out welfare, it is the private sector in the U. Also, there are way more superrich in the U. The question now is, what do you think is the better way to give out welfare. Having a few superrich donate money to causes they think are important, or have an elected government to give out benefits?

I personally think its more democratic to have an elected government do that instead of a few superrich who can decied on their own for what causes they wanna donate their money. Of course this is just my opinion and its up for debate.

About the marshal plan: Without the marshal plan Germany would be nowhere near where it is now. Its quite remarkable how the U. The fact that the reason for it was to have a strong partner against the Soviet Union doesnt belittle it.

Excluding military expenditures, governmental expenditures in Germany account for For example, if the government doesnt spend enough money for schools or shelter for homepless people or whatever, the private sector or civil society has to fill the gap. Privacy and oppressive government were other reasons. The right to bear arms, etc. Selfishness, in her philosophy, means:. Explore it for yourself. I guess people think they pay the retirement funds for the elders.

If they worked in their youth they should have to get a solid fund , they saved those funds and its just the these funds plus years of interest they get as retirement pension. Of course it can be subsidized by government, but this is not a huge burden on it.

Plus healthcare and other social benefits. A fucking credit society. They never share, and they get increasingly richer. If you live in a North European welfare state, stop whining about the taxes you pay. You live in the most fucking livable part of the world, and life is not solely about your the size of bank account. That takes care of us from birth to death. That is exactly what I said in the paragraph you replied.

At least this is what it should be in a functioning economy, but if there is such one Germany must be it. The reason is that after WW2 all money was worthless and most houses had been destroyed. In order to pay for some pensions the current working class has to pay for the old people. Most Germans are wealthy but not rich and the whole political class tries to make being pour ok but forgets how to make wealty people rich.

However rich people are super well off because once you really have a plus you have tons of ways to avoid more taxes …. Everybody seems vexed that Germany the Fatherland have refused to declare war on its old people fathers and mothers.

Apparently some nations like Germany enshrines the Fifth Commandment….. Honor they father and thy mother…. The pensioner also has to pay ALL their own rent out of that. The unemployed do not. You are a liar… living costs in Germany are heavily regulated by the state…… yours is owned and pimped out by Wall Street…. When it crashes, Wall Street gets ALL the bailout money tax payers money … while families the taxpayers are put out on the street…. Ask the good people of the Ostend in Frankfurt what placing the EZB in their neighborhood has done to rent and property taxes.

Paul, speaking of Christ, writes in Romans 6: The last sentence is a quotation from St. The separate hierarchies would each be reduced to accidental unities when not either themselves essential or part of another hierarchy that is essentially unified.

Moore, A Foundation of Truth: Studies in the Westminster Confession of Faith , 50 Notice that the invisible church transcends time, which can be considered as vertically universal, and the visible church transcends place or nation, so can be thought of as horizontally universal. Closely related to the Biblical understanding of the relationship of the Church Universal to the Church individually considered is the question of connectionalism in the New Covenant.

In fact this is less a New Covenant picture than an amalgam of the historic Anabaptist view of the Church with traditional American self reliance. Connectionalism is sometimes portrayed by its opponents as a Roman Catholic corruption of the true Church. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This thesis would require its adherents to treat the visible Church as either their own denomination or the group of denominations having some minimal level of formal relations with one another.

Deacon Daniel June 8th, The only way to transcend the differences is to diminish the importance of certain doctrines, making the Church a loosely knit spiritual union with a bias towards minimalism to keep the peace between denominations. Once there is no head of a local church with an historical line of succession going back to Christ and the apostles, Acts 2: The sheer range of differences around styles and structures of worship among denominations is a manifestation and fruit of a fractured ecclesiology.

Without a unified Tent of Meeting, there is always the risk of descending into tribalism. This one was especially timely, guys, in view of Pentecost and Trinity Sunday.

As I read this my mind was drawn particularly to St. That is, his vision of the Church — as the one visible, material organism uniquely invested with the Holy Spirit — had crystallized not only around the doctrine of the Incarnation, but also around the developing doctrine of the Trinity. What that meant for the Fathers was that the Church — in her capacity as sacrament — was marked by a visible, objective unity which flowed from the invisible unity of the Godhead as its source.

That was a reality, a given. But to whom much is given much is expected: And that was also what made her a specifically Christian Church. She was the Church of Incarnation, of Sacrament, of Trinity. Far from mere theological abstractions, these things were as practical as potatoes and as real as eighteen-wheelers. Seen from this perspective it becomes easier to grasp why folks like St.

Cyprian in AD ish could speak as though the indivisibility of God and the indivisibility of the Church almost amounted to the same thing:. He who breaks the peace and the concord of Christ, does so in opposition to Christ; he who gathereth elsewhere than in the Church, scatters the Church of Christ.

For those guys, the notion that the Church could be visibly chopped up into a gazillion disunited bits was quite as inconceivable as the Father splitting up with the Son, or either one of them filing for a divorce with the Holy Ghost. And I think in this case the Fathers can be seen as faithfully carrying forward the spirit of the Scriptures to which you advert in this article.

Sorry for hijacking the article and getting preachy. Thanks for writing this. The discussion of ecclesiological docetism and the relation between kingdom and Church, together with the Trinitiarian reflections, have also reminded me of this nice passage in the late Fr. The Church participates in nothing less than the very community, or communio , of God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is an unabashedly theological, even mystical, way of understanding the Church.

It in no way excludes the very human, historical, and even sociological ways of thinking about the Church. After all, we are not ecclesiological docetists. Docetism was an early and ever recurring heresy that Christ did not really have a human body, that he did not really suffer and die on the cross. Ecclesiological docetism is to view the Church as a theological abstraction that remains aloof from the very human messiness of history.

She is the prolepsis — the present anticipation — of the fulfillment of the story of the world. If that is not, above all, how we understand the Church, it is not evident that the Church has a major claim on our attention, never mind our allegiance, at all.

Excellent article, Bryan and Thomas. I look forward to digesting it more thoroughly as time allows. The quotation that you twice note from St. And although excommunication is the most serious medicinal penalty that the Church can dispense to its members, I think that an excommunicated person remains a Catholic albeit one with severely diminished rights. This is the definition used in Canon Law see Can. Doing so unknowingly or without an awareness or understanding that the Church taught otherwise, would be material heresy.

In other words, it is referring to formal heresy, not material heresy. Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed.

And therefore, if a man refuse to hear the Church, let him be considered — so the Lord commands — as a heathen and a publican. It follows that those who are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit. A member in this sense of the Catholic Church is a person who has been baptized and professes the true faith i. But does the formal heretic remain under the jurisdiction of the Church? Excommunication does not take the excommunicated person out of the jurisdiction of the Church.

So in that sense, the formal heretic remains a Catholic, but not a Catholic in full communion with the Catholic Church, and thus not a member according to the necessary conditions listed in Mystici Corporis Christi My reply is that although a dissident may be guilty of many sins heresy, perhaps, being among them , so long as he does not depart the Catholic Church for some other communion, schism is the one sin of which he is not guilty.

I like to point out that despite the errors that Luther and Calvin espoused, the Church did not force them into schism as is often claimed. Schism was a step that they took in addition to their prior errors. Thanks again for your explanation. For this reason, as the unity of the faith is of necessity required for the unity of the church, inasmuch as it is the body of the faithful, so also for this same unity, inasmuch as the Church is a divinely constituted society, unity of government, which effects and involves unity of communion, is necessary jure divino.

For the Fathers, the Head of the Church was ultimately Christ with the Bishop of the local Church as the visible sign of unity for all Christians within his fold, the icon of the Father cf.

That said, as Patriarch of the Latin Church the Pope is the proper head of the sui juris Latin Church, responsible for all matters pertaining to the disciplines, practices and governance of that particular Church, the largest of all the 21 or 22 autonomous Churches that form the communion of the Catholic Church.

As Successor of St. Peter the Vicar of Peter, as he was called for centuries he stands as head of the college of Catholic bishops throughout the world, exercising the power of the Keys when and where necessary, but always it is hoped to uphold the ministry and unity of his brother bishops and, ultimately, the one flock of Christ.

To the extent that a Pope fulfills this mission of feeding the flock and strengthening his apostolic brethren, he is fulfilling his proper role within the communion of the Catholic Church. Historically, however, this has not always been the case. The imposition of all sorts of Latin disciplines upon Eastern clergy and faithful is just such an example. I say this because the pendulum appears to be swinging back regarding the need for unity within the Latin Church.

The much smaller Eastern Catholic churches can only stand to benefit from this shift, since it means the strengthening of our brethren in the West, SO LONG AS the traditions of the East that differ from the West are protected, vigorously defended and upheld. The push towards unity in principle can often be corrupted in practice and turned into a push towards uniformity. Ultimately the Church cannot descend, as I said before, into rank tribalism, which, I am sad to say, has often become the fate of the Protestant communities and Orthodox churches.

The unity of the Church can only be strengthened by a corresponding commitment to its organic and orthodox diversity. I have read this article again and again over many months, ever since Brian referred me to it from the Ecclesial Deism article , and I really am trying to understand your argument.

But the fact is I am still not getting it. No, because Christ knows the members of His Body. But are we in perfect unity with one another? No, far from it. But why would we be urged by Jesus and Paul to work for unity if we were already perfectly united?

I think it is only in heaven that our unity will be perfected. Can we be ordered to a common purpose without a visible hierarchy? All members of the Church can be ordered to a common purpose because of their living faith in the living Christ.

We cannot see Christ, but we can still follow Him. It seems these three beliefs are inconsistent when taken together: Baptism is the sacrament by which one enters the Church 2. The Church is the RC Church. How can someone enter the Church and be in schism from the Church at the same time?

Is the visible Church made up of all the Saints, or just some of them? As for these last two points, I am sure you have an explanation that is consistent — I would just like to understand it. The question is not what Christ could do, but what Christ did. Tom and I have provided much evidence and argumentation in the article that Christ founded a visible Church. Is Christ the Head of the Church? But a visible Church cannot lack a visible head, just as every society on earth has a visible leader, from the family, to the local community, to the state.

Grace does not destroy nature, but builds upon it. Hence the supernatural society founded by Christ does not nullify the natural principles of a human society.

It belongs to human nature to be ordered in societies, and thus to be unified under visible unified leadership. This belongs to human nature in the way that marriage belongs to human nature. So the Church, being visible, needs a visible head. And Christ was not unaware of this. This is why He gave the keys of the Kingdom to St.

Peter, to be the steward i. But the basis for its unity is not that Christ knows the members of His Body. He knows all human beings, but not all human beings are members of His Body. So the basis for membership in His Body cannot be that Christ knows them. Nor can the basis be that He knows they are members, because that just pushes the question back: On what basis does He know that those who are His members are His members, and know that those who are not His members, are not His members?

Something about the members must make them members, and on that basis He knows them to be members, and knows that others not having it are not members.

Catholics who hold the same faith, participate in all the same sacraments, and submit to the same government, are in perfect unity, because this is the peace and unity of the Spirit of God, our participation in the unity of the Trinity.

The bond of charity is expressed through each of these three bonds of unity i. But insofar as we [Catholics] do not love one another, our union with each other is less than perfect. Regarding this, we are urged to love another, and to abound further still in our love for one another. And insofar as others e. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one body, and one Spirit. Paul tells us this in Ephesians 4. The Church has always maintained the three bonds of unity i.

It is one thing to say that there are many who believe in Christ who are in schism from the Church. That is true, and in that sense, Christians are divided. But it is not true to say that the Church is divided or fragmented. If that were so, there would be no visible unity into which, by incorporation into it, those now divided could be united. The unification of men would be into a unity that is not now present on earth, and which therefore remains to be established by men.

But, any unity established by mere men is a natural unity, not a supernatural unity. And no natural unity is capable of uniting all men. Only the God-man, Jesus Christ, could establish a supernatural unity.

And this is exactly what He did, when He founded the one , holy, catholic and apostolic Church and gave to St. Peter the keys of the Kingdom. This unity is supernatural, and cannot be lost or destroyed by men or devils, because it is a divine unity, and God cannot be divided.

This supernatural unity is located in the Church, which is His Mystical Body. And men are truly and divinely united to each other through being incorporated into this supernatural unity, by being incorporated into His Church. This is a common notion among twenty-something anarchists and anarchist-leaning libertarians, and hippies.

In reality, throughout the entire history of civilization all societies have understood that without a visible hierarchy, the immediate result is that each man does what it is right in his own eyes, and the short-term result is chaos, which inevitably and shortly leads to tyranny. An army has a hierarchy, precisely so that they will work together as one body. And that is why Christ established Apostles in His Church, and gave them authority.

And it is why they ordained bishops to succeed them, in a perpetual succession until He returns, so that His Church is never left as sheep without a shepherd. This is why there had to be ecumenical councils in the fourth and fifth centuries, regarding who Christ is. Think about all the contradictory claims the world is hearing about Christ and His Church, from all the thousands of sects each divided from all the others in matters of doctrine, sacraments, morals, and practice. Imagine if all Christians were truly united under the Pope, all holding and teaching the same faith, sharing all the same sacraments, and submitting to the same visible leadership.

For example, instead of millions of people hearing Benny Hinn teach that there are nine members of the Trinity , they would hear the teaching of the Nicene Creed on the Trinity. Or instead of this:. So the pope is the head of the Church in a different sense than Christ is the Head of the Church.

The pope is subordinate to Christ. Baptism is that sacrament by which one enters into sacramental communion with the Church and by which, if one publicly affirms the faith of the Church one is incorporated into full communion with the Church. But those who do not publicly affirm the faith of the Church are not, by their baptism, brought into full communion with the Church. As the Catechism teaches:. Baptism constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians, including those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church: Justified by faith in Baptism, [they] are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.

Does that mean that all these members are in a state of grace? Nor does it mean that all members die in a state of grace. There are wheat and tares together as members in the visible Church. The Apostolic structure of the Church is of its essence for it was willed and instituted not by men but by Christ. Thus, the structure of the Church, the hierarchy, the magisterium is something given by Christ and without this structure it would be impossible to know where the Church is and what the Church believes and teaches.

Doctrine would be reduced to mere opinion and could have no binding authority. Thanks for the explanation about the pope and baptism. Is it correct then that Catholics believe that someone enters the Church through baptism only if the baptism includes a statement of faith? I should have clarified. Here are the arguments I see in your article: He was making an analogy to say in what ways the Church is like a Body. I think the latter.

Surely you would consider Orthodox at least as participating in the same sacraments? Bodies are unified in hierarchy. There is one head. Regarding your new argument, I see how it is possible that Christ worked with human nature to structure a Church that was structured like a human society, but I do not see how that is necessarily so. The gospels go on and on talking about the Kingdom of Heaven and how things are different in the Kingdom. So it would be more obvious to me if the Church were quite different from a human society.

I do not disagree that the Church is hierarchical. But the straw man I am proposing which is only what I have believed for a long time is that the hierarchy of the Church is pretty flat. There is Christ, on top, and then there are the members, united in an invisible way directly below Him. What is the origin of these principles and who determines them?

What unity does it signify then? As to your 4th point, I am inclined to agree with you in certain respects. Christ is the head of His Body and the Pope is the Petrine head and spokesperson of the College of Bishops just as Peter was for the apostles.

I think a more balanced ecclesiology would recognize the need to properly weigh the concerns of the local Church with the regional and the universal.

Each Bishop is the apostolic head of the Catholic Church within the jurisdiction he has been called to serve. To the extent he undermines or overpowers it in the interest of his own sui juris self-governing Church — and there are examples of this historically, especially with the Eastern Catholic Churches he weakens his brethren and fails to fulfill his vocation.

Local, Regional and Universal dimensions of the Church must always work to maintain the balance of its dual hierarchical and conciliar nature. When a man is validly baptized in a heretical sect, for example, he does obtain an imperfect communion with the Catholic Church, but he does not thereby enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.

The article argues that Christ founded a visible Church, and that He did so for good reasons. When He ascended His physical body did not turn invisible; it departed, with the result that His physical body is not visible to us, though it remains visible in itself.

The ascension is thus not a defeater for the claim that bodies are visible. If the Church were not visible, then it would not be like a physical body; it would be like a pile of amoebas. What makes the Church visible is its hierarchy. But in order to adopt such a view i. Just read the seven epistles of St. Ignatius , bishop of Antioch, who died around AD And that is because they believed that Christ authorized and commissioned Apostles, who then authorized and commissioned bishops as their successors.

So the idea that the only hierarchy in the Church is Christ, is contrary to all the Fathers, and contrary to much of the New Testament, insofar as it denies the special authority of the Apostles, and thus denies that they are part of the hierarchy of the Church. It denies that the Apostles authorized bishops and presbyters and deacons.

But this is what all Christians have believed from the beginning, so the burden of proof is on the person who denies that the Apostles had any unique authority in the Body of Christ, and denies likewise that the bishops, presbyters, and deacons had any unique authority. The heretics would have loved that.

Nobody in the history of the Church has ever believed this. The Church has always taught that believing in Christ included believing certain truths revealed by Christ and about Christ. Before anyone was baptized, he had to affirm publicly the articles of the faith. And this is still the practice in the Church to this day, which you will see if you witness a Catholic baptism. Hippolytus, describing the baptismal rite, in the early third century in Rome:.

When the person being baptized goes down into the water, he who baptizes him, putting his hand on him, shall say: And then he shall say: And again he shall say: Lots of Christians partake of bread.

Lots of non-Christians partake of bread too, whenever they eat a sandwich or toast. Only where men are validly ordained is the bread by consecration transformed into the Eucharistic Body of Christ, such that by eating His Eucharistic Body we are incorporated into Him and thus unified.

Regarding your question, yes, the Orthodox participate in the same sacraments. But as I explained above, Protestants who are validly baptized also have the same sacrament of baptism, and yet that it is not sufficient for full communion with the Catholic Church.

Schism and heresy prevent full communion. Sharing in the same sacraments is only one of the bonds of union. The other two bonds of union are sharing in the same faith, and sharing in the same ecclesial government. Without all three bonds of union, there is not full communion. It is just you and Jesus. I agree that God was not bound to do it this way.

God, being omnipotent, could have done it other ways. God could have set up His Church such that it had no visible hierarchy, and each man was guided entirely by the Holy Spirit through his own reading of Scripture. But, that would be entirely unfitting to human nature.

We are social beings, and our nature is expressed in societies, as Aristotle explains in his Politics. In addition, God delights in allowing us to participate in His work, and by setting up a hierarchy, Christ has given men the gift of participating in many unique ways in the extension of His work, with His authorization. The Body is an extension of the Head. The difference is that it is from above, not from below.

That is, the authority is supernatural, not natural. But the general principle in theology is that grace perfects nature; grace does not destroy nature.

So the Kingdom does not destroy or obliterate human nature; it perfects human nature. The same God who made us, is the same God who glorifies us. To deny that grace perfects nature is to adopt a kind of Manicheanism, wherein the God of Jesus acts in a way contrary to the God of Genesis chapter 1. Start noting the Apostles in the New Testament, then the bishops, presbyters, and deacons.

Then read the epistles of St. Ignatius read them slowly, out loud , the letter of St. Clement, the writings of St. Such a notion is entirely foreign to Scripture, the Fathers and Church history. Not just simply close in matters of faith, but in matters of ecclesiastical governance many of their Churches are as ancient as — and some more ancient than — Rome and have maintained apostolic succession and governance since the time of the apostles , and the full sacramental life of the local Churches which is perfectly Catholic.

Their union with the Catholic Church is much more profound then I think you acknowledge here. I am in inclined to agree. I agree that many of the Orthodox Churches are ancient, but the age of particular Churches does not in itself demonstrate anything about the degree of closeness between them and Catholics with respect to faith or governance. The Anglican Church, for example, is also quite old, but there are now significant differences between the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church, with respect to faith and governance.

Since the Orthodox Churches satisfy this definition, it follows that according to this definition they are in schism. That was probably prudential and conducive for furthering reconciliation. Orthodox Churches are in fact true Churches, albeit suffering from what the clarification of Dominus Jesus describes as certain defects. Sectarianism and schismatic attitudes and behaviors can even be ascribed to the activities of certain Popes in history, and more recently by certain liberal even heterodox theological and liturgical elements in contemporary Western Catholicism.

Schism is at its heart an attack upon the communion of the Church, and there is plenty of historical guilt to be spread around with hierarchs in East and West in this regard. I certainly would include in that those Orthodox many monastics who radically and sometimes violently oppose any effort to dialog with the Catholic Church.

Thank you for the comments. Bryan, I agree with the implications of an invisible Church, which are explained and discussed pretty well in your Ecclesial Deism article. What I am unsure of is whether those implications are better or worse than the concept of a Church structured as a human hierarchy.

It is really unclear to me whether the hierarchical RC Church of today is what Christ intended to establish. My wife and I read that book together some months ago. I think we are talking past each other. Just as true Christians can be in schism from the Catholic Church in that latter sense of the term, so also true particular Churches can be in schism from the Catholic Church in that sense of the term. My point is not at all about the attitudes or behaviors that led to and perpetuated this schism, but about the present standing of the Orthodox Churches in relation to the visible Church that Christ founded, i.

We will be publishing a major article arguing for this very thing shortly — probably within the week. BTW, you and Jonathan and other readers might find this article extremely insightful regarding the incident where a Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan received communion at a Greek-Catholic Divine Liturgy.

The blog where this is posted is a wondrous source of insightful dialog on matters pertaining to East-West unity, and the author of the article is known only as an English Latin Catholic priest, Fr. Paul, currently studying the thought of Patriarch John Bekkos. I have my own speculation on this point…it could possibly be Fr. The blog is owned by Orthodox theologian, Dr. Thanks for the post. I concur with your view of Peter Gilbert and his blog.

I stop in there regularly, though I rarely comment unless the Orthodox start piling on. The Church lives in this Divine Tent of Meeting — a communion of all the saints in heaven and on earth.

Nevertheless, bear in mind that the Catholic position is that the Church has both invisible and visible, divine and human, heavenly and earthly dimensions to it. You might consider reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church which identifies the relationship between all of these dimensions. When I was reading through this, including the comments, I was reminded that the Church was the fulfillment of both Israel and the Temple, as well as being the successor to both.

This is important because, like both Israel and the Temple, the Church is a visible as contrasted with invisible manifestation that God has involved Himself in the world He created for our use, in order to reveal His salvation to mankind.

We are invited into His Kingdom, and we are invited to participate in His Sacrifice. The Temple was the site for the sacrifice to be performed. The High Priest and His associates would handle that function, which was reserved for them. The old covenant sacrifice was limited to the Temple in Jerusalem. The new covenant is universal and there are altars all over the world on which the perfect Sacrifice is offered.

The new Sacrifice is a visible Manifestation of God, even as the animals offered on the altar at the Temple in Jerusalem were visible. No invisible animals were sacrificed at the Hebrew Temple in Jerusalem. No symbolic animals were sacrificed at the Hebrew Temple in Jerusalem. No symbolic blood was sprinkled on the people or the altar.

Peter and his successors have a dual role as both the chamberlain, who is responsible for access to the King hence the keys ; and as the senior member of the priestly caste who is responsible for the maintenance of the Sacrifice the altar.

I pray for Peter each and every day. I pray to Jesus each and every day. It is a major difference in focus relating to the ability of each.

Should Peter be moved to pray for me, it is most welcome. Should Jesus decide that something needs to be done to my internal or external circumstances, may it be according to His word. No doubt such persons are busy putting out Catholic brushfires on other blogs, or gasps! But, alternately, if one decides the church is in visible, that would seem to have massive implications as to whether or not one accepts sola scriptura.

If Christ founded a visible church, it seems to me that one should then ask which one among the many visible churches is the one that Christ founded. Would something like that indeed be an implication of your thesis, or have I misunderstood something? And its inherent methodology explains why. It goes roughly like this. What that entails, among other things, is that no visible church has the authority to propound doctrines that bind the consciences of believers as de fide.

That collectivity can intersect with, but can never be identified with, any visible, hierarchical body. The more liberal the church, the less likely its members are to believe that strict adherence to the sources, or to any particular interpretation thereof, is necessary for salvation. When Protestants argue for that position, they do it in two ways: From the Catholic standpoint, of course, both arguments are profoundly question-begging. But the notion that any visible body can just be The Bride of Christ, one body with him in a mystical marriage, and bearer of his full teaching authority, seems absurd to committed Protestants as such.

For somebody operating within the PHP, the evidence of logic and history amply suffices. Mike, I tried to find your email to contact you, but I will ask here. Can I have permission to quote some of your remarks on the PHP? Not as my own, of course, but for both written and verbal interaction with my Protestant brethren.

The two questions visibility of the Church, and sola scriptura are not entirely separable. If sola scriptura is true, then the Church is not visibly one in which case the Church is not visible. Likewise, if the Church is essentially visible, then the Church is essentially visibly one, and this requires not only a necessarily unified hierarchy, but also a charism of truth, in which case sola scriptura is not true.

So the two questions cannot be separated. One finds the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church Christ founded by starting in the first century from the time of the Apostles, and then tracing it forward, decade by decade, to the present day. As one traces it forward through the centuries, one encounters schisms from the Church e. Novatians, Donatists ; in each case, one notes the criterion by which the party in schism is the one in schism from the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church Christ founded, and not the other way around.

How many, believing that it mattered not to which party a Christian might belong, remained in the schism of Donatus only because they had been born in it, and no one was compelling them to forsake it and pass over into the Catholic Church!

We thought, indeed, that it mattered not in what communion we held the faith of Christ; but thanks to the Lord, who has gathered us in from a state of schism, and has taught us that it is fitting that the one God be worshiped in unity.

Such a statement makes sense only if there are genuine criteria by which to distinguish schism within the Church from schism from the Church. One of the primary purposes for Christ founding a Church is to undo the division of men against men, the divisions of the human family effected by sin. These divisions began when Adam sinned, but were manifest in a universal way at the Tower of Babel.

Pentecost is the supernatural reversal of Babel, and this is why the Church is the anti-Babel. All the nations of the world are to stream into her doors Isaiah 2: And so any candidate for being the visible Church Christ founded must be universal catholic , not ethnically or politically defined, and must be intrinsically one, having a principium unitatis that does not allow the Church to lose her visible unity, even as it allows schisms from her.

Sinful man cannot form such a unity, though he thinks he can. By contrast, the Church that Christ founded is a supernatural unity, coming down from Heaven, in Christ, and by His Spirit, at Pentecost.

And this is why this [supernatural] unity is the first of the four marks of the Church, specified in the Creed: The Life of the Church is the supernatural Life of the Trinity, not from man, but from the God-man, and not ordered to natural earthly bliss, but to the supernatural end which is the very perfect and eternal communion of the Three Divine Persons. If the Church were founded by mere men, it would have earthly, natural happiness as its end.

Heaven would merely be a return to an earthly paradise, without disease, suffering or death, on and on forever without end, grace without glory. But Heaven is infinitely beyond the natural happiness of paradise, as the Life of the Creator infinitely transcends the life of mere creatures. Heaven is the eternal inner Life and Happiness of the Triune God, into which we are graciously called to participate. To have Heaven as its end i. This is why no society founded by mere men can be the Church.

Because the Church has a supernatural origin, it therefore has a supernatural end. And this is why apostolic succession is essential to the Church, because only by apostolic succession is the activity of the Church the continuation and extension of the supernatural Life and mission of the incarnate Christ, oriented toward a supernatural end.

Hence the necessity of the third mark of the Church: In the process of tracing the Church from the first century forward, when we get to the end of the eighth century and the beginning of the ninth, I think we will still be agreed concerning what and where is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church that Christ founded.

I went into that in more depth in comment 12 of the Tu Quoque post. When tracing apostolic succession in an effort to find the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church Christ founded, it is not that difficult to make a good deal of progress in short order, and narrow the question down to Orthodoxy or Catholicism.

Those are the only two real candidates. The King James translation of 1 Corinthians According to the Catholic view of schism, is this an incorrect translation? Schism is of two sorts: This can be seen even in the definition of schism given in the Catechism:.

Refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff is schism from the Church, because it is a separation from the visible head of the Church. Christ gave the keys of the Kingdom to St. Peter in Matthew 16, and thus being in communion with the one holding those keys determines the visible extension of the Church.

In such a case, there are two parties who are each in communion with the Pope, but one or both of the parties refuse communion to the other party. Such a situation is necessarily short-lived, precisely because the Pope will issue an order of some sort either to one or both parties, requiring that they repent and restore communion to each other.

If they comply, the schism is healed. But if one or both parties refuses to comply, then what was schism in the Church turns into schism from the Church, and the unity of the Church remains intact.

So, translating 1 Cor Each of the schism references above John Protestants read the scripture through their prior commitment to their particular Protestant theology.

Each hermeneutical approach is a wash unless one is committed to have their presuppositions challenged by exegetical work. If that is the case, and I am convinced it is the only way to proceed in determining what is true, then sola scriptura stands.

That is, the corporate nature of the covenant provides for corporate submission to one another without sacrificing authority or visible ecclesial connection.

In the Presbyterian form of government, for example, the mutual submission of the courts of the church to one another provides for visible accountability, visible authority, and visible connection while preserving sola scriptura. Thus your argument begs the question. There are two difficulties with that argument. The first is elementary: The second is subtler. The Catholic Church claims such authority; you deny that claim; yet you have said nothing to show that Presbyterian churches have the requisite authority.

There is a long well documented history of that. To say Rome has authority and Protestants do not is analogous to the authority a girlfriend claims when explaining to her longtime boyfriend why she is breaking up with him.

Sola Scriptura is the requisite authority. When pastors, elders, any Christians, or even Apostles for that matter, are unfaithful to Scripture they are in league with Satan Matthew My point is that the text has authority over those presuppositions regardless of time and place and thus is, at least in theory and I would affirm in practice when it comes to Scripture able to confront and correct those presuppositions. The Elders of the church exercise the authority of Christ as they are faithful to the Scripture.

Otherwise, they have no authority. Christ is the Head of His church. Coming to a text with a presupposition that that text alone is able to determine whether or not our presuppositions are in need of correction is a pretty difficult presupposition to disprove. If you think deeply about that statement, I think you will begin to see the unavoidable problem in your approach.

Texts simply do no such thing. People interpreting texts might attempt to do so. Yet the act of interpretation itself, entails fundamental cognitive presuppositions brought by the reader to the text through which he attempts to understand i. There is no such thing as the text — simplicter -standing outside of the human interpretive process declaring a universal meaning capable of guiding the interpretive process. That overlooks a crucial distinction. The authority Protestants claim is apostolic teaching as God has preserved it in the Scripture.

The problem with all that can be exposed with a pair of questions which are by no means rhetorical: Answers to such questions can only be supplied by Tradition. They are only human opinions. What we really need is a way to distinguish between divine revelation and human opinion about how to interpret the sources. You have offered no such way. That faces the difficulty which Ray Stamper has just described, and therefore contributes nothing to the debate about authority.

One person the Pope in this case filling the role is not required to fulfill the condition. Every bishop does, and the college of bishops as a whole can teach infallibly even when the papacy has not formally ruled on a question cf.

The reason Protestants want people to read Scripture is because it is not just another text. It is the text of all texts! Scripture is sufficient for confronting and saving the reader… despite the spiritual, cognitive, emotional psychological condition of the reader! The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Of course all Catholics affirm the Scriptural passages you cite above.

On the contrary, you explicitly affirm otherwise:. I must point out that you are no longer proposing that the text simply taken as a text which was your initial claim is capable of somehow speaking to human interpretations and presuppositions. How does this in any way support your position concerning the manner by which interpretive presuppositions might be adjudicated?

You are attempting to alleviate the intrinsic problem of fallible private judgment by adding the notion that the problem is resolved by an appeal to the assistance of the Holy Spirit during the interpretive act. Yet, given the vast array of conflicting interpretations of holy writ among persons all claiming to be guided by the Holy Spirit, what criteria do you propose for adjudicate mutually exclusive interpretive claims? Who has the Spirit and how do you know?

If that is not the case I can take the time to be more precise. The Inspiration of Scripture — in addition to 2 Timothy 3: For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

The Inerrancy of Scripture — truthful in all that it affirms in its original manuscripts. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and the unstable twist to their own destruction as they do the other Scriptures. Thus, when there is a disagreement over what the Bible teaches we are to assume the problem does not lie in the text but in the interpreter.

This is why as Protestants and Catholics discuss these issues, particularly issues on which we disagree, the only source to turn to in light of its inspiration, inerrancy, and perspicuity is Scripture. So Scripture is inspired, inerrant, clear, and thus sufficient for its God-given purpose 2 Timothy 3: Scripture contains everything that we need to know in order to know God, for salvation, for trusting God, for obeying God.

Since Scripture has these characteristics it also contains a warning not to add anything to it that it does not teach. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you, and you be found a liar. Thus, no other writings nor any other teachings are of equal value to Scripture. We are not to believe anything about God or His church that is not taught in Scripture. And that is the crux of this debate… What does Scripture teach and what is the place of Scripture?

Can you think of any type or argument or line of reasoning that would disprove it? The proof lies in understanding the Fall of man and the nature of Scripture. Because of sin man is in rebellion against God. All of us need the confronting and correcting ministry of Scripture.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words.

Because the Scripture itself defines the qualifications to be an apostle. As Peter says in Acts 1: To be an apostle one had to be appointed by Jesus Mark 3: That is, Paul understood that he fell outside the normal process and qualifications of being an apostle except for one very important qualification — Paul was a witness to the resurrected Jesus. So, the answer is that to qualify as an apostle is to meet certain very specific conditions that would be impossible for anyone after the first century to meet.

Scripture is clear who and who is not an apostle. Any other teaching contrary i. When Benny Hinn claims the Trinity is 9 persons, only a fool who does not know the Scripture would believe that lie. The reason being, Scripture is in general clear and consistent in what it teaches, and God preserves orthodox belief in the church — intramural debates within the church not withstanding.

The book addresses the four gospels but it is also helpful in considering the canon of the New Testament. The Apocrypha should not be regarded as Scripture: Thus we must conclude that the Apocrypha were just human words, not God-breathed words like the words of Scripture, and thus have no binding authority.

I want to close by saying that the Bible itself then teaches us how to interpret the Bible. Hermeneutics is not a philosophical science. It is part of doing theology.

We know how to handle the Bible because the Bible teaches us what it is and how it speaks. Thus, I gratefully conclude with the five solas:. Thanks for the grace and the benefit of the doubt in our correspondence. Not a verbal conversation. The solution is simple. How would do you or the RCC understand what is taking place in Acts And of course to say that what a New Testament writer considers Scripture must be Scripture already assumes that the NT writer in question had the authority to say.

I confess that this issue of the Canon — of what books are and what are not Scripture — was one of many that finally brought me out of the Reformed Church that I had helped to found, here in our part of New Zealand and into the Catholic Church.

However, my question was not concerning the canon of Scripture. It is not my intention at all to derail your conversation with Mr. Your question might be to broad for me to answer in detail. This authority was conveyed to His apostles because they are the ones who testified and witnessed to the revelation that is in Jesus.

They did so in a special way that no one else could do. A couple of passages show this theologically in the New Testament. But if you look at the context in John 14, He is speaking to His apostles. Therefore it is an argument that the Holy Spirit will teach the apostles all things, and they will remember the things that Jesus said to them. It is not that they will remember because it has been passed down through time. They will remember because they were there, and the Holy Spirit is inspiring them to remember what they account to be of Jesus.

Jesus Himself says that the Holy Spirit is the One Who will bring them into the special apostolic authority of remembrance and teaching. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

See my point above on how Scripture defined the boundaries of who qualified as an apostle. Just a sort of additional comment on your comment. The written Word of God is, of course, the Scripture. Newman, whilst still an Anglican, concluded that the Bible is not to be used to deduce doctrine, but to prove and test it.

Many Catholics — the convert from Reformed religion Louis Bouyer is one — would say that Sola Scriptura is right, if by it you mean that all the teaching of Christ is contained in it at least implicitly — but that is not the same as saying it is explicit.

I think Tobey would agree.

you now not

Just a quick note and my apologies in advance for not being able to interact further. Please forgive me if my response to you sounded condescending. I actually responded when requested to on my FB page and it was because of the respectful nature of your post that I took time to respond — but in the midst of lots of other writings.

So, again, if I offended you by the tone or sounded condescending, please forgive me, as I did not intend to talk down to you. Also, I totally respect the doctrine of perseverance of the saints, and although I differ with it, I never speak against it; I speak out against once saved always saved, which Pastor MacArthur also rejects while holding to the P of Tulip.

Remember that I was a 5-point Calvinist from , preaching it with zeal. He most certainly does not have time for blog fighting.

Feel free to interact with his response to me. I want to beat my head with a meat mallet. The term pneumatikos appears 26 times in the Bible: The charismatic movement is full of, and a wonderful haven for, false teachers.

The Bible speaks really clearly regarding false teachers: Are the people in the list I gave false teachers? Brown aligns himself with. So who is Cindy Jacobs? AskDrBrown Thanks for posting this, and thanks for your kind words. And his former assistant, who has now taken over his ministry, is Daniel Kolenda, one of my ministry school grads and a spiritual son whom I hold in the highest regard. I have ministered in many of these countries and seen the fruit firsthand, and many of our grads minister in these countries and are eyewitnesses to the long-term, genuine fruit that is being born.

That is sociopsychological manipulation and mesmerism and it is a prostitution of the glorious revelation of God taught clearly and powerfully to an eager, attentive and controlled mind. What feeds sensual desires pragmatically or ecstatically cannot honor God.

It is not true that there is no insensitive or bonus etc. An engineer with a university degree and a not-so-badly-paid job in a big company. He has a life many people would dream about. Normally, he gets bonuses depending on the projects and the risks that have been taken and so on and a business car.

The salary is enough to live a nice life with 2 holidays a year wherever he could want to go to. When he works over hours he can convert most of them into even more holidays. That is something every average worker can have? That worker wants a family, a car, maybe a house on their own.

If so, that house needs to be a bit off the city or maybe inherited. Inheriting a house is possible because we build houses that actually last over years That worker wants to have a holiday a year with the kids.

That works, he can do that. And now, where do you want to get more money from? He deserves free time and a struggle-free life just as much as anybody else. How come that some people are never satisfied? Is it just not fair, that that person gets more percentage of their money as someone better paid? I work as an engineer. I am the one who takes the risk, I am the one who makes the plan. And I get paid for it. And I am happy that they are there.

My salary is higher because of the risk and whatever. But that does not mean that they are second class people. They are great and I would hate to cut their salaries just to afford a third car. Maybe the question should be: Where does all that money go to? Oh, we could cut that. The one who just never want to get their asses out of bed to go and look for a job Wait. Still no way to go.

Thats just what I thought while reading all these comments by Germans. Compared to other nations we do live in paradise when it comes to social matters. Sure, our system is not perfect. But how can you possibly complain about not being able to buy the most expensive Mercedes because taxes are too high? While anywhere else in the world people are envying us for having everything we want without too much struggle.

If all the Germans could finally value our achievements we would recognize the almost perfect conditions we enjoy in Germany. There are those of us for whom this is a very real argument when you compare the two systems. Dear Phil, I agree with you that D is not being nice to the better off. Maybe you should get your head around Steuerhinterziehung…. Because the alternative would have been watching my kids grow up on skype.

It has its drawbacks for sure. AnnoyedKitty, converting exchange rate is a inefficient model. Value of a currency is only valuable when doing international business or traveling from one perspective country to another. This is currency speculation at its finest. Your claim is very far away from reality.

According to OECD data for , the purchasing power of 1 euro in Germany is equivalent to the purchasing power of 1. Of course, taxes are higher in Germany, but public services are much better, and I think most Germans consider this a good exchange.

Not only is the euro worth more than the dollar, but because average inflation is lower in Germany than in the US, the value of the euro relative to the dollar increases over time as the value of the mark did before the euro.

Since then, however, the euro has had greater purchasing power than the dollar, and the gap steadily increases year after year. For your strange claim that a dollar buys as much as 1. What exchange rates do is the exchange of one currency to another, based upon the worlds reserve currency the US dollar. Let me make it simple for you to understand, in Germany you use the Euro the United States the Dollar. In todays market in both the US and Germany, one dollar in the United States will purchase you more goods than one Euro will in Germany.

Also what public services are better exactly? Im confused at this one, as both a American and German, who has lived in both countries.

Just wondering exactly what you are talking about. Average tuiton fees per year in Germany must be near to 0 by now at least in the public universities whic are the common ones. The last State abolished tuiton fees the next semesters. The question is will you have TIME to enjoy what you earned?

And the US degree is a much better value overall, in international business a US degree will get you much more salary compesation. I can tell you that the level of education is much higher here and that a German university degree has much more value than one from most US universities. A German university degree is highly respected throughout the world. Yeah so does my family, the system is not a good system, fluff on your part.

German education is confusing and follows a outdated model not recognized by most of the world. Germany has many problems, but your blind allegiance and fanaticism for ignoring problems in Germany reminds me of National Socialism.

I think this is from my personal view -sorry! But more important- the average! And this is exactly the reason where the power of the German industry comes from. Not free in terms of money, but in terms of qualification. For a professor in the German education system, you know very little about higher education and the standing that these schools hold. There are is not one German University in the top while 72 of the top schools are from the United States. The rest are from around the world and non are German.

The Ivy League is certainly better than the german universities. That is what my brother, my cousin and my brother-in-law with their engineering degrees got -without having debts to pay, as their education was at FH Regensburg, TU Kaiserslautern, TU Braunschweig. And Gudrun you are correct, you can get a job with these degrees, no doubt.

Do German Univeristys teach there students excellent skills no doubt, to say they tesch above there American counterparts is absurd, no college ranking system supports this. Why Germany has a poor showing in Higher education rankings done by third parties with no national affiliation? I would expect somebody from academia to come up with such absurd statements.

You have probably very limited experience in the Private sector, I have both lived and worked in Germany and the US. And a college degree from the States is much more preferred internationally. Most of Germanys most powerful people in Buisness was educated outside of Germany. Your arguments are shallow. There is this thing called google you can research anything you need. Just cause the answers are not convent for you does not make them true or relevant.

I hold both American and German citizenships, married to a German national and live and work in Germany. Opions are irrelevant, numbers produce fact. Does Germany do well for itself, YES it does! Is Germany a first rate nation, Yes it is! Is Germany a nice place to live, Yes it is! I get it you like Germany, you think its better, great for you. You sound like an arrogant person. You may want to check your grammar and spelling, as well. Opportunities and positions are better for academics in USA definitely.

They tried to introduce higher tuition fees in Germany, but there was so much resistance from the general population that the government rescinded the law. The customary fee at most universities is euros per semester plus maybe a euro student organization fee. If you take in account what benefits you get as an individual and society in common — this definitely pays off.

Three thoughts I would like you to think about: The more money you make, the less social costs you pay. Money makes more money. Socially well off countries are stable societies. What you relate to is something else. Being rewarded for hard work, being recognized for doing great things, going the extra mile. Money is not the greatest motivator. Neither does it buy happiness. So there might be another way. The scientist compares average scientific positions 80k with academic positions at top universities in the US k.

I am comparing an end senior position at a top German University to an entry level position. And it is not about averages but about what you can achieve. Germany is great if you are average or below average but there is no point in being exceptional good and that is the whole point.

As you should compare the number of available positions. Guess Harvard is hiring not as many scientist as persons interested. The median would be a more accurate measure. So from an academic point of view neither top salaries nor average salaries say everything.

What is the message behind this numbers? It seems that in Germany the availability to good but not as top as Ivy league universities is broader. The smaller the gap the more equal the chances for both: Well in this case Germany looses even more for multiple reasons. Then there is no backup in Germany. In the US you can become an associate Prof at a liberal arts collage and still make a living. And it is not only the Ivy league.

All top state schools pay in that range Plus all named private research Universities. In academia the chances in the US are way better than in Germany.

And yes once you are a Professor your live is quiet and safe and decent. Salaries in the United States are actually higher, so whats your point again? Here is the Oecd rankings http: You keep your job and you are valued person in the company. Those who only pretend are gone faster than they ever imagine. Your statement is harsh. Although, 70 years later his siblings are still alive and well! Perhaps this will make you realise how silly it is. After what the USA did to… hmm, nearly everyone in the world, during the last years… starting with slavery and native american… who would like to have any contact to Americans?

Now to be serious again: There is a reason why the percentage of german technology or cars in the USA is higher than the percentage of US vehicles in Germany. And be assured, US vehicles are quite reasonable in Germany.

Succes beats all discussions. Germany as well as the USA consider themselves as free countries. So, go wherever you feel good and stop making things mad. They have done their deeds, fixed it, they are paying taxes to make it up.

They have Jewish museums all over the country. They pee in their pants and become insecure if Israel is criticized. They do not dare research the topic more as they are scared of their past. Give them some credit. The victims however, went to another country, got help from the US, invaded it systematically, did a few mass killings here and there, and stole it.

Now the Palestinians usually referred to as Arab animals by extreme Zionists live in apartheid. In this case, the victims are treating other people in the same manner they were treated. Oppressing because they were oppressed and still, Europeans would rather pee in their pants instead of having an opinion and disagreeing with this modern age oppression.

Only the Brits have showed courage. Yes, there IS a benefit. Of course, if you want to be a selfish git, America with its legions of idiotic Ayn Rand worshippers is perfect for you.

You asshole socialists can never deal with people having a different outlook on government than you. You should really think hard on what America would look like with no socialism embedded in its policies. It would be a hellish poverty stricken landscape without police, fire, roads, and rational insurance and utility costs of any kind. The poor, sick, and elderly would be starving and dying on the side of the street.

And that would eventually lead to revolution conditions. Which is bad for all of us. Socialism is much more than entitlement. I love the part about Fox News, my goodness, these people should read more. There are clones of such individuals in certain areas in the US. Where should he start, definitely not Wikipedia, I do not know what to recommend.

Okay, another Fox News brainwashed individual. Please, read read read, for your own sanity read and travel more. What is so non functional about the US? I have a high paying job and work about hours a week, my husband the same same age as me within 2 months, but he has no degree. I get 3 weeks of vacation, my husband gets 5 no fair right?! We enjoy traveling the world, going on exotic vacations, and coming home to our perfectly remodeled home that has been customized for us.

We can choose to retire around age 40 or we can choose to have kids and try out that lifestyle. Are you telling me it can be better than that in Germany? Yes of course, because a single case where USA system functioned means there is nothing worse about it compared to Germany.

If the whole world consumed like Americans did, we were already facing billions people dying to climate change and other environmental disasters.

Here is another thing wrong with USA. I know many people who failed to succeed from much better situations that my own. America is place where we all have the opportunity to succeed, but only the most competitive and business savvy people achieve a good life. I was just lucky enough to figure it out within that time frame so some of my schooling was paid for. In my travels I see most families in countries like Japan, Brazil, Canada, and Australia live basically the same as I do.

However we all know how irresponsible American companies are toward people and the environment. For consumption the picture is the same when you look at the waste produced per household or any such indicator. You are right that the energy consumption is also about both private and public companies. Both households and companies contribute to it.

It is known that US households consume more energy overall than EU households. On the other hand, companies are also made of people. If a German company is sensitive about the planet, it is because of the education and culture their top people have received plus the strict environmental rules implemented by state.

I read an article once from some wealthy. If the corporation taxes were raised then all the corporations would relocate to other countries and leave America jobless. I have to agree by the intense violations of human rights and destruction of the environment we see here I doubt these companies have any loyalty to the USA aside from the tax benefits we offer.

Some of the taxes issues come down to distrust with US Govt. Why would we want to pay more into a system that wastes incredible amounts of money and is far LESS efficient than the private side? This article is about efficiency, the US Govt is the model of inefficiency.

Robin, come to India. Those who feel like working work. That is so true. I could probably retire by 40 with my pathetic by western denomination salary.

The average guy here gets almost everything for free via govt. We used to have a hard working culture in TN but our pseudo-socialist govt. Most people dont pay taxes, where did you get that from?

Tax laws are strict in India for those who have proper official bank accounts. The only loop hole is when you have a business in which you deal in cash.

But then thats true for all countries I believe. However in India, if you are an educated person with a degree, then I assume you will be working in a proper company an MNC or even an SME , where the owner or the partners themselves operate legally.

If thats the case then there is no chance that you will be getting your salary in cash. Your salary goes directly into your bank account and if thats the case then there is no way you can get away with taxes. You HAVE to pay them. Also, in most of the developed cities like Mumbai, Delhi, etc even local businesses are now transforming into dealing only through proper accounts since their clients are doing the same and tax inquiries are getting strict.

Coming to your second point, I wouldnt disagree completely. Yes, those who feel like working, work and the rest relax. I think thats true but then that doesnt depict the entire picture. In India, the competition for everything is very very extreme, like that in China.

But then China I think has better institutions than India. So if you are smart and are willing to work hard, then India can give you the same lifestyle that you can get anywhere on earth. I completely agree, but the point is what is Indian govt is doing with the tax payers money? Even ambani has to pay for his medicals, govt wont provide a free MRI scan for him though he paid crores to indian economy.

I lived in there for 6 months. That is put right. And everyone is happy. They tell people its communism. Or try Hong Kong. Yet every citizen can get free health care. On the other hand 2 years jail for the employer of illegal immigrants.

It took me 4 years to get a green card and the great USA consider I am not worth to be loan money compared to a great american that has been taking credit cards all over his life.

I have 15 days vacations. Now if I had been buying 2 years ago with a visa and no credit record , banks would have make me won 5 times what I can save in a year working hard — just using their virtual lending money power. America is quite like Las Vegas.

Some are lucky, some not, depending on their choices and when they did their choices. It does not seem to me to have anything to do with being smarter or competitive. I did my PhD in France, earning 40k, with similar downpaiement than what I have in USA, I bought a 1 bedroom in downtown of the 7th city of France in a historic building.

I was just I had 40 days vacations. I am son of a plumber. I did not have to take a loan for my master and PhD. Vote with your feet. Also, American companies have no problems to impose their own dogmas to others example: I did t mean it that starkly. I am with you as far as looking at new ideas. The focus on individuality, self independence, extreme hard work, big bets are what made the USA what it is. You will be hard pressed to find problems with Germany.

But you continue to tell the world a different story. Americans are not even concerned about their problems. Sure, you can pick that stats as that plays up. I do see some real problems because of diversity of our population and the systemic challenges some have over others. Germany is fairly homogeneous comoared to us and not the immigrant history…p.

I think, we do plenty about our and rest of the worlds problems…we just have a different system and the left wants us to copy a system that has failed before. The demographics in Germany is pretty bad and this system will collapse. See France as an example. Any projections into next decade and beyond shows only how much better it will be compared to Europe.

Of course, we also have to carry the additional burden of protecting Europe for itself and assuming, we have not changed to become a ersatz Europe…. Actualy, Germany is way more heterogeneous than you would think. In comparison, in the U. So there is no big difference in that regard. Take races and cultural diversity and US is much more diverse unimaginably. When I walk in Berlin or Munich, I am typically the non white and stand out. Less so in France I would say or UK. Nordic countries are similarly much more homogenous….

Ok, but this is only in regard to races. There is actualy a huge turkish, arabic and east european population in Germany. Only because it isnt as obvious as in the U. Statists are engaged in Class warfare. Not everything melts in the Melting Pot…. I am sure you can find a statistic to prove anything you want. But if you have ever been to those two countries and walked through the streets of any major city with your eyes open, you will KNOW there is a clear difference.

You take a Black culture, Hispanic culture, white culture, Asian culture, Arab culture etc throw itall in the same pot and try to make them all get along—then you have America. Hey guys, there are things you cannot scale up just like that. If you look at diversity do not compare a country of M people to a country of 80M people, that is absurd. Take USA vs Europe. Which one is the most diverse now? Hum, Internet Bubble crash , Huge war to find non-exesting mass destruction weapons which nobody else supported , and the Gigantic subprime crash In terms of collapsing, USA does pretty well too.

However they have homes. Every one in Germany has a home. For every tax money I pay in Germany is worth it. Again its not only Germany. There are plenty of countries where everyone is entitled to a home. The America I grew up in has disappeared. I was shocked to see the how dilapidated my hometown looks. The place looks run-down, the people are overweight, unhealthy and poorly educated.

And this is the capital of a major state. Yes, there are pockets of lower-income areas like that here in Germany but nothing on the scale of what you see in America. Watching the US sink socially, economically and politically used to be heart-renching for those of us who remember a better time. But now we just thank our lucky stars that we chose the right place to emigrate to. No, I am not.

I still think Americas best years are ahead.. I agree we have poverty but in any number if statistics, America has Improved.. Efficiency leaves them with quality social life remember? Not everyone should be a high profile business entrepreneur or an American big dreamer. Typical jungle where a few have abundance financial freedom and millions are always on the edge.

Society needs bakers , teachers and nurses. I have noticed that in Germany you are who you are. No one cares if you sale vegetables in the local market. My point is America can still give equal opportunity to every child.

In the end it pays back to have citizens who are in charge of their lives. They make better decisions with their lives and families. They just need people where they are in order for the few to benefit. As for you may go and live meaningful life with family and friends. The problem is that you must be mentally agile and business savvy to do so, most people are not. However, I do agree that those who are not are treated like criminals, scum of the earth, and beneath human.

We basically treat the poor, ugly, and disabled this way. America is survival of the fittest. I can say that without a doubt. I was successful, lived in CA, worked my way up from receptionist to Escrow Manager. I got a job as an escrow manager at a place where I had to work almost 66 hours one way, pick up heavy boxes of files, etc. I was injured at work. I was sent to a physical therapist who began intentional maiming my back.

Then I got an attorney. I was then sent to a ortho surgeon who, long story short, gave me a series of 3 lumbar steroid epidural injections but also, gave me shots throughout my body that were not a part of the procedure. I was forced under anesthesia against my advance directives twice, the 3rd epidural, I was BRUTALLY forced under anesthesia and awakened with injuries from my skull down to my tailbone.

Go to my FB page for more information on what is happening in America to injured workers to save insurance carriers and employers money. America is run by corporations that have bought our elected officials whether they are democrats or republicans. Smarter is correct to say that we treat the poor, ugly and disable with disdain.

America has turned into a barbaric nation. The difference between those in the middle east and those in the corporations in our country is money and suits. I was very young when I left home to go out on my own. I have always been an independent woman, I love the work that I was doing, I was involved in escrow associations, speaking engagements, etc. Now, I am treated with disdain, my credibility is being called into question due to the maliciousness of the crimes that I have made public.

I was a successful independent woman, living in CA, worked my way up from receptionist to Escrow Manager with a few college courses along the way. I got a job as an escrow manager at a place where I had to work almost 66 hours one week, picked up heavy boxes of files, etc. I was forced under anesthesia against my advance directives twice, the 3rd epidural, I was BRUTALLY forced under anesthesia and awakened with injuries from my skull down to my tailbone and the shots throughout my back, neck, shoulders etc, burned and corroded the ligaments in my spinal column, tendons, muscles, nerves, and much more.

I was very young 17 when I left home to go out on my own. Silicon Valley is one of the most expensive places to live in the entire USA. Why do you still endure such hardship? Haha, it is not a hardship. The Germany economy functions because, speaking for at least the homogenous population in Germany, they have a work ethic like no other. They are proud to work! They do not want a handout! Not saying that there is a not a lot of that going on Germany, in Berlin and with all of the Russian and Turkish and other immigrants and now the Syrian refugees that they take in from every-f-ing-where to soak up the Hartz welfare reforms Social Security because they are afraid of being called intolerant Nazis for saying NO, but not in the majority of their lands where traditional Germans and German values are imbued.

Now, superimpose the German Democratic Socialist system onto our U. The system would collapse in the U. S would be a huge failure — because, bottom line, we have some lazy muthas in the U. It is not about paying more or less Taxes. It is about what you do with the Taxes. Start to transfer taxes money to the education system from the very early stage and your muthas will transform in great hard working people. But likely some groups of people in USA have a problem with seeing that happening, as they would lose their power.

Unfortunately, intelligence, impulsiveness, criminality are largely genetic. Jews have about to Of course, political correctness will lie to you, or deny that IQ is the most researched and scientific concept in all of psychology. So, unfortunately US Blacks will never have the mental capacity nor the work ethos of Germans. Education, training, cultural influence can help a little, but they never will become like Germans.

It is not physically possible. You see, if you are not being sarcastic, I will need a beer or two in order to forget that racists like you exist.

When Christ founded His Church, did He establish the Church with essential unity not only in doctrine, and in sacraments, but also in its visible hierarchical government? Protestants and Catholics, though disagreeing somewhat regarding the content of the one deposit of faith, at least agree that Christ established the Church with unity of doctrine, that is, with one deposit of faith.

Likewise, though Protestants and Catholics do not agree about the number and nature of the sacraments, they do agree that Christ instituted one sacramental order and gave it to the Apostles as part of the deposit of faith entrusted to the Church. Essential unity of faith and sacraments can be seen in Ephesians 4: But when we come to the question of unity of hierarchy, Protestants and Catholics do not agree.

Protestants either claim that the visible hierarchical unity Christ initially provided to His Mystical Body was accidental i. But since the Mystical Body cannot cease to exist, because it shares in the very life of the Son of God over whom death is powerless, therefore the visible hierarchical unity cannot be lost.

For there to be a visible hierarchy, it is not enough for each member to be ordered to an invisible Head. Merely being ordered to an invisible Head is fully compatible with having no visible hierarchy. Yet for there to be a visible hierarchy, some visible human persons need to have an ecclesial authority that others do not. According to Catholic doctrine, the authority Christ gave to His Apostles and their successors is three-fold: Furthermore, for a visible hierarchy to be one , it must have a visible head.

Only if each member of a visible hierarchy is ordered to one visible head can the visible hierarchy itself be one. And only if the visible head is essentially one can the visible hierarchy be essentially one.

If the visible head of the hierarchy were plural, then the visible hierarchy would not be essentially unified, but at most only accidentally unified. But we must not think that He rules only in a hidden or extraordinary manner.

He was all wise; and how could He leave without a visible head the body of the Church He had founded as a human society. Nor against this may one argue that the primacy of jurisdiction established in the Church gives such a Mystical Body two heads. After His glorious Ascension into Heaven this Church rested not on Him alone, but on Peter, too, its visible foundation stone.

Mystici Corporis Christi , When Christ ascended, there would not have been visible hierarchical unity among the twelve Apostles had Christ not given unique authority to one of them to be the visible head.

But you say, the Church was founded upon Peter: Indeed no true and perfect human society can be conceived which is not governed by some supreme authority. Christ therefore must have given to His Church a supreme authority to which all Christians must render obedience. For this reason, as the unity of the faith is of necessity required for the unity of the church, inasmuch as it is the body of the faithful , so also for this same unity, inasmuch as the Church is a divinely constituted society, unity of government, which effects and involves unity of communion , is necessary jure divino.

We see here that grace does not destroy nature, but builds on it and perfects it. This is why villages and cities have mayors, and even why our country has a president. Just as in a natural society there needs to be a unified hierarchy and a visible head, so in the society of the faithful there must be a unified hierarchy and a visible head.

For the same reason that virtually every Protestant congregation has a head pastor, the entire visible Church also requires a visible head. The Church as a visible organism preserves the visible head established by Christ, and thus retains all three marks of unity. Without a visible head, the Mystical Body would be reduced to the ontological equivalent of visible pins invisibly connected to an invisible pin-cushion. That is because without a visible head, a visible hierarchy is only accidentally one, because intrinsically it is potentially many separate hierarchies.

Many separate hierarchies are not a visible unity; they are ontologically equivalent to many separate individuals. They are a mere plurality, not an actual unity. It makes no difference whether the pins are individual Christians or individual congregations.

Without an essentially unified visible hierarchy, a composite whole cannot be a body, let alone a visible body. And when hierarchical unity is abandoned, nothing preserves unity of faith or unity of sacraments. The Church must be one, because Christ is one, and God is one. Here we can point to passages of Scripture that show the importance of church discipline, and obedience to ecclesial authority: And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the Church; and if he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer.

This verse shows that the Church can excommunicate those in sin. But since communication is a visible thing, only a visible hierarchy can excommunicate those in sin. There is nothing more grievous than the sacrilege of schism. Augustine, Contra Epistolam Parmeniani , lib. If Christ had founded the Church without a unified visible hierarchy, then schism could be at most only a deficiency in charity towards other believers. Schism would be the equivalent of one of the pins in the pin-cushion failing to be charitable to another pin.

And that would be the case whether those pins represented individual Christians or local congregations or denominations. Schism per se would always be visibly symmetrical with respect to the boundaries of the Church, even if culpability were not. That is, neither party in the schism would ipso facto be visibly departing from the Church, unless it were also abandoning the faith or the sacraments. But abandoning the faith or the sacraments is heresy or apostasy.

So the separation of parties per se would not be schism from the Church; the separation from the Church, if there were any separation from the Church, would be due only to heresy or apostasy. Perfect ecclesial unity would be fully compatible with remaining divided in many different visible hierarchies, denominations, etc. So long as Christians shared the same faith and the same sacraments, and had charity toward one another, separation into distinct autonomous organizations would not detract from perfect ecclesial unity.

When a congregation would split into autonomous bodies, this would not necessarily be a schism; it could be a mere branching, so long as the new congregations retained the same faith, sacraments, and charity toward each other. One obvious problem here, however, is that visible separation is almost always predicated on or rationalized by disagreement in faith or sacrament.

The unity of faith and sacraments cannot be preserved apart from the unity of ecclesial government, i. Apart from visible hierarchical unity, fragmentation of faith is inevitable. But another problem is that this ecclesiology in effect eliminates the very possibility of schism understood as separation from shared visible ecclesial authority.

And when an ecclesiology has no conceptual room for the possibility of schism, the many warnings about schism in Scripture raise a red flag that ecclesial unity has been defined down.

I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions. Now I exhort you brothers through the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that all of you confess the same thing, and there be no schisms among you, but you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: Forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.

These are the ones who cause divisions. Given an essentially unified visible hierarchy, schism can never be visibly symmetrical. It will always consist of the Church and the party in schism from the Church. We know that separation from shared visible ecclesial authority never results in two Mystical Bodies. Obviously there cannot be two Mystical Bodies, since the clear answer to St. God is one and Christ is one, and one is His Church, and the faith is one, and one His people welded together by the glue of concord into a solid unity of body.

Unity cannot be rent asunder, nor can the one body of the Church, through the division of its structure, be divided into pieces. But what makes that to be so? There are only two possible answers: We have shown above why the pin-cushion conception of the Church is incompatible with the Church being a Body. They went forth from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, surely they would have continued with us.

Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, d. AD , On the Unity of the Church , We think that this difference exists between heresy and schism: See what you must beware of — see what you must avoid — see what you must dread. It happens that, as in the human body, some member may be cut off — a hand, a finger, a foot. Does the soul follow the amputated member? As long as it was in the body, it lived; separated, it forfeits its life. So the Christian is a Catholic as long as he lives in the body: Thus we see that both discipline and schism do not fit into a conception of the Church in which there is lacking an essential visible hierarchical unity.

We are united to Christ by being united to His Mystical Body through the sacrament of baptism. We are more deeply united to Christ and the Church through the sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist.

If we want to know our status in heaven, we inquire concerning our status in His Mystical Body on earth. That is precisely why excommunication has teeth; it truly cuts a person off from Christ.

Consider one common Protestant position, according to which all Christians are equally united to Christ by faith alone, and therefore equally united to the Church. I have described this position above as the pin-cushion model. According to this notion of the Church, schism does not do anything to the unity of all Christians, only to the outward manifestation of our otherwise intact spiritual unity.

This is a de-materialized i. Sexual union truly should be a bodily expression of a spiritual union. But sexual union is not merely an outward expression of spiritual unity; it is itself a real union of husband and wife. Likewise, the visible unity of the Church including hierarchical unity is a real unity of the Mystical Body, not merely an outward expression of the real unity which is spiritual and invisible.

The root problem here is a kind of dualism that treats the spiritual as the really real, and the material as a mere context for the expression of the spiritual. This reduces the Mystical Body to a spirit having some visible members, an invisible pin-cushion with some visible pins. Wherever schism is treated as not separating a person to some degree from Christ, there the Church is being treated as fundamentally and intrinsically invisible, with some visible members.

Denying the essential unity of the visible hierarchy treats the Mystical Body of Christ as though it is not actually and essentially a Body, because visible hierarchical unity is essential and intrinsic to a body. If a body ceases to be visibly hierarchically one, it ceases to be. This is why a human being cannot survive disintegration of his body. So if visible unity is only accidental to something, that thing is not a living body; it is, at most, only the appearance of a body.

Hence those who claim that the Mystical Body of Christ is invisibly one and visibly divided are treating the Body of Christ as though it were merely an apparent Body, not an actual Body. That is why this position is rightly described as ecclesial docetism, because docetism is the heresy which claimed that Christ only appeared to be a man.

That does not mean that we must fall into some kind of ecclesial Eutychianism. Docetism and Eutychianism both deny that Christ has a human nature. For that reason, both docetic and Eutychian notions of the Mystical Body of Christ treat the Church as in itself invisible, spiritual, and immaterial, only visible in the sense that it makes use of embodied human believers in much the same way that the Logos i.

Chalcedonian Christology, with its affirmation of two distinct natures united without mixture in one hypostatic union, entails that the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ is in itself visible and hierarchically organized as one corporate entity.

The charge that Catholic ecclesiology is Eutychian asserts that the Catholic claim [that the visible Body of Christ is essentially one] mistakenly attributes to the visible aspect of the Church what is only true of the invisible aspect of the Church, and in that way falsely attributes what is only true of the divine nature of Christ to His human nature, as Eutychianism does.

But this charge is based on the mistaken notion that visible hierarchical unity is not intrinsically essential to a living human body. Rather, because Christ truly possesses human nature, His Mystical Body is necessarily visibly one in its hierarchy, just as his physical body is necessarily visibly one its hierarchy.

A living human body is essentially visibly one. If it ceases to be visibly one, it ceases to be. Hence, its visible hierarchical unity is essential to its being. That is why the Catholic doctrine that the Mystical Body of Christ is essentially visibly one in its hierarchy is not Eutychian. The spirituality and visibility of the Church are no more opposed to each other than the soul and body of a man, or, better, than the divinity and humanity in Christ. It is because it ignores this inseparable twofold character of the Church that Protestantism, Lutheran and Reformed, has never succeeded in resisting the temptation to distinguish, by opposing them, an invisible and sole evangelical Church, on the one hand, and, on the other, visible, human, and sinful Churches.

In practice, ecclesial docetism entails ecclesial consumerism , because it eliminates the notion of finding and submitting to the Church that Christ founded. In ecclesial docetism the identity of the Church is not determined by form and matter , but by form alone.

This reveals why there are so many different Protestant denominations, worship centers, and ecclesial communities, none of them sharing the three bonds of unity with any of the others. Just as the practical effect of docetism is a Christ of our own making, disconnected from the historical flesh-and-blood Christ, so the practical effect of ecclesial docetism is a Church made in the image of our own interpretation, disconnected from the historical Church.

This is expressed doctrinally as a denial of the materiality or sacramentality of apostolic succession. But without the material component of apostolic succession, the individual becomes the final interpretive arbiter of what the apostolic doctrine is. And where there is a great variation of demand, a great variation of supply arises. Another necessary effect of ecclesial docetism is apathy regarding visible divisions between Christians, communities, and denominations.

If the unity of the Church is spiritual, insofar as each believer is invisibly united to Christ by faith alone, then pursuing visible unity is superfluous, even presumptuous in its attempt to outdo Christ. Herein lies a noteworthy point. Ecclesial docetism conceptually eliminates the very possibility of schism. It does so not by reconciling separated parties, but by defining unity down, as something merely spiritual, and so de-materializing schism as something invisible, and spiritual, i.

Ecclesial docetism treats visible divisions of separated hierarchies as branches. Ecclesial docetism denies the sinfulness of schism, not openly or explicitly, but definitionally and thus surreptitiously. It calls what is actually evil i. From the first century, the Catholic Church has always taught that schism is sinful, and that it is not merely a deficiency of charity, but a separation from the visible hierarchy of the Church.

This is evident in the letter of St. Clement of Rome to the Corinthians at the end of the first century, just a few years after the death of the last surviving apostle. We can see it also from St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch d. AD , who wrote:.

Where the bishop is, there is the community, even as where Christ is there is the Catholic Church. As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do anything without the bishop and presbyters.

Neither endeavour that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled.

There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Therefore run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one. It must be understood that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop and he is not in the Church who is not with the bishop. Between heresy and schism there is this difference, that heresy perverts dogma, while schism, by rebellion against the bishop, separates from the Church.

Nevertheless there is no schism which does not trump up a heresy to justify its departure from the Church. It is assuredly as impossible that the Church of Jesus Christ can be the one or the other, as that man should be a body alone or a soul alone.

The connection and union of both elements is as absolutely necessary to the true Church as the intimate union of the soul and body is to human nature. From what We have thus far written, and explained, Venerable Brethren, it is clear, We think, how grievously they err who arbitrarily claim that the Church is something hidden and invisible, as they also do who look upon her as a mere human institution possession a certain disciplinary code and external ritual, but lacking power to communicate supernatural life.

For this reason We deplore and condemn the pernicious error of those who dream of an imaginary Church, a kind of society that finds its origin and growth in charity, to which, somewhat contemptuously, they oppose another, which they call juridical. But this distinction which they introduce is false: The constant teaching of the Catholic Church is that Christ founded a visible Church with an essentially unified visible hierarchy.

Some people incorrectly think that Vatican II denied the essential unity of the visible hierarchy of the Church. Vatican II did not deny the essential unity of the visible hierarchy of the Church. The issue here is not whether grace and the work of the Holy Spirit can extend beyond the visible boundaries of the Mystical Body of Christ. Of course it can, otherwise no one would ever enter the Church. The issue has nothing to do with invincible ignorance and salvation.

They mistakenly think of the Kingdom as either entirely invisible, entirely spiritual, or entirely future. The Church, or, in other words, the kingdom of Christ now present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world. We do not now see the fullness of the Kingdom. But the Catholic Church is the present rule of Christ on the earth. That is why the Catechism says,.

The Church is the seed and beginning of this kingdom. Her keys are entrusted to Peter. The Church is the Reign of Christ already present in mystery.

The Church is ultimately one, holy, catholic, and apostolic in her deepest and ultimate identity, because it is in her that the Kingdom of heaven, the Reign of God, already exists and will be fulfilled at the end of time. He compares the Kingdom to a mustard seed that grows into a tree, and to leaven that comes to leaven a whole lump.

That account clearly refers to the Apostles, as fishers of men, bringing all the nations into the Church, and in this way we again see that the Church is the Kingdom in its present stage. But the notion that the Kingdom must be either internal or external is a false dilemma. Christ now governs His people through His Church, through the Apostles and the bishops they appointed.

The New Testament authors understand the Church as the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant. That is why St. And at the Jerusalem Council, St. That city is the Church, the house of God, a kingdom that cannot be shaken. His kingdom will continue to increase, will never be overturned, because it is divinely established. Speaking to Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel says:. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever.

When would God set up this Kingdom that will never be destroyed? At the time of the fourth kingdom of men, namely the kingdom of Rome. This was fulfilled at the time of Christ. But Jesus said the following:. Simon, Simon, behold Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.

Christ shows His Apostles that they will eat and drink in His Kingdom and sit on twelve thrones. Eating at His table refers in the present age to the Eucharistic table.

Sitting on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel refers to their governance of the Church, because the Church is the New Israel, the universal i. This is the Kingdom that will never be defeated, but will prevail to the end of time. I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

This is the Petrine office, the chair of St. Jesus refers to this role in a parable, when He says,. Christ rules the Church through the men He has entrusted with the keys of His Kingdom, and given the authority to speak in His name. The Church has always understood herself to be the present stage of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Christ does not have two Brides: His Church and His Kingdom.

Ignatius of Antioch exhorts Christians to follow their bishops, as a general might urge his troops to follow their commanders.

Only God knows which members of the earthly congregations are elect and inwardly born again, 67 and thus belong to the eternal and spiritual fellowship of the Church. Jesus taught that in this organized church there would always be members, not excluding its leaders, who seemed to be Christians but were nevertheless not renewed in their heart and would be rejected at the Last Judgment.

These terms do not mean that there are two churches, one visible and another hidden in heaven. Rather, in Reformed ecclesiology there is only one church, and it is known perfectly to God and known imperfectly on earth. Finally, it is apostolic because it is founded upon apostolic teaching. Ecclesia … should mean the holy Christian people, not only of the days of the apostles, who are long since dead, but to the end of the world….

How we are to judge the church visible, which falls within our knowledge, is, I believe, already evident from the above discussion. For we have said that Holy Scripture speaks of the church in two ways. Then indeed, the church includes not only the saints presently living on earth, but all the elect from the beginning of the world. The church universal is a multitude gathered from all nations; it is divided and dispersed in separate places, but agrees on the one truth of divine doctrine, and is bound by the bond of the same religion.

Under it are thus included individual churches, disposed in towns and villages according to human need, so that each rightly has the name and authority of the church. The catholic or universal church, which is invisible , consists of the whole number of the elect , that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof… The visible Church , which is also catholic or universal…consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion ; and of their children: Rather, it is His own Body — the Church.

In sum, this visible church is the non-hierarchical collection or plurality of all professing Christians, some of whom are elect and others of whom are not; there are no elect outside of this visible church. These two Reformed ecclesial positions are essentially equivalent because there is no principled difference between them.

In the first description, the members are individual congregations not hierarchically united under a single visible hierarchy. In the second description the members are individual believers not hierarchically united under a single visible hierarchy.

Therefore under both descriptions what is absent is a unified visible hierarchy, and that is why the result can be nothing more than a mere plurality of visible things, united at most by their invisible union to the invisible Christ. A mere plurality is not an actual entity, but only a conceptual entity, i. Imagine the set of all the objects on my desk. The members of that set include books, a printer, some photos, some coins, pens, prayer cards, a toy space shuttle, a piece of hard candy, a lamp, etc.

I can refer to these things with a singular term: But on my desk there is no single thing consisting of the books, the printer, the photos, the coins, pens, etc. There is no set-of-things on my desk, only individual things that can be referred to collectively as belonging to a set. Though the members of the set are actual, the set itself is only a mental construct, not an actual entity.

Contrast that with the parts of my body. The parts of my body are not a mere plurality, or a mere set. They compose an actual whole, namely, me. In that respect, the parts of my body are not like the objects on my desk. The parts of my body are a plurality, but they are not a mere plurality like the objects on my desk. The parts of my body compose an actual whole. So when a person claims that the visible Church is the set of all embodied believers, he is reducing the visible Church to a mental construct.

He seems to be affirming the existence of the visible Church, but he has adopted an ecclesiological position in which there is no such thing as the visible Church — there are only embodied believers, just as in actuality there are only objects on my desk, and not, in addition to the objects on my desk, one more item, namely, the set of objects on my desk. That is why those who claim that the visible Church is the set of all embodied believers hold a position in which there is no visible Church per se ; there are only visible believers, invisibly connected to the invisible Christ.

And that is why those who claim that the visible Church is the set of all embodied believers hold a position that is equivalent in principle to that of those who deny that the Church is visible, and who affirm that the Church per se is invisible. But neither the pin-cushion ecclesial model nor the mere plurality ecclesial model are compatible with St. Catholic ecclesiology is not subject to this problem precisely because the Catholic Church is hierarchically unified.

Reductionism treats actual composite wholes as though they were mere pluralities of smaller simples, and in this way fails to account fully for the being, unity and activity of actual composite wholes. The visible hierarchical unity of the Catholic Church unites all its dioceses, parishes and members not in a mere plurality or in a pin-cushion model, but in an actual composite whole, i.

Given that the Church Christ founded is visible, and has an essentially united visible hierarchy, it follows that the identity and extent of the Church can be known, by tracing its visible hierarchy through history. When the early Church fathers write about the Catholic Church, they are referring to a definite Body.

They are not referring to a mere plurality of persons or congregations, without an essentially unified visible hierarchy. They are referring to the visible Body picked out precisely by the essential unity of its visible hierarchy, and especially the visible head of that visible hierarchy. This involves two of the four marks of the Church as specified by the Nicene Creed: AD likewise speaks of this Church:.

The Catholic Church, having received the apostolic teaching and faith, though spread over the whole world, guards it sedulously, as though dwelling in one house; and these truths she uniformly teaches, as having but one soul and one heart; these truths she proclaims, teaches, and hands down as though she had but one mouth. But the brightness of the Catholic Church proceeded to increase in greatness, for it ever held to the same points in the same way, and radiated forth to all the race of Greeks and barbarians the reverent, sincere, and free nature, and the sobriety and purity of the divine teaching as to conduct and thought.

This has been brought to pass [ Hoc factum est ] by the Divine Providence, achieved through the prophecies of the prophets, through the Incarnation and the teaching of Christ, through the journeys of the Apostles, through the suffering, the crosses, the blood and death of the martyrs, through the admirable lives of the saints, and in all these, at opportune times, through miracles worthy of such great deeds and virtues.

For starting from the apostolic chair down through succession of bishops, even unto the open confession of all mankind, it has possessed the crown of teaching authority. Ambrose , bishop of Milan, sums it up best, when he writes:. And where the Church, no death is there, but life eternal. In short, given this analysis of the essential unity of a visible ecclesial hierarchy, the only plausible candidate for the Church Christ founded, identified by an essentially unified visible hierarchy tracing its succession back to the Apostles, is the Catholic Church.

Given that the Church Christ founded is visible, and so has an essentially unified visible hierarchy, it thus follows that the Church Christ founded is the Catholic Church, i. If the Catholic Church is the Church Christ founded, then the promises Christ makes to the Church are not promises to a merely invisible entity having visible members, but are promises to the Catholic Church.

The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Catholic Church. Only if they refer to a Body with a visible hierarchy do they even make sense. Once we see what it means for the Church to be visible, then we see precisely why we can trust Christ by trusting the Catholic Church. Grasping the visibility of the Church, and thus the identity of the Church, and thus the divine guarantees concerning the Church, we can then understand how it follows that the Catholic Church is indefectible.

Otherwise there is no definitive determination of the canon, or of orthodoxy and heresy. No mere association of denominations or congregations has the authority to bind the conscience of followers of Christ. Development requires the definitive resolution of disputes, so that the Church as a whole can recognize a question as definitively settled, and then build upon the Magisterial answer. Without an essentially unified visible hierarchy, we are left with biblicism.

And that is why Protestantism, lacking an essentially unified visible hierarchy, must trace a path of decay through one of two paths: The essentially unified visible hierarchy of the Church allows her to be not only Magistra i. For there is no other way to enter into life unless this mother conceive us in her womb, give us birth, nourish us at her breast, and lastly, unless she keep us under her care and guidance until, putting off mortal flesh, we become like the angels [Matthew Our weakness does not allow us to be dismissed from her school until we have been pupils all our lives.

Furthermore, away from her bosom one cannot hope for any forgiveness fo sins or any salvation, as Isaiah [Isaiah Calvin was not intending to speak of the Catholic Church in union with the successor of St. However, without an essentially unified visible hierarchy, what Calvin says here about the Church as our mother, makes no sense. That is because without an essentially unified visible hierarchy, there is no visible catholic i.

None of these is our mother. Nor are they, without being under the essentially unified visible hierarchy, part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. They may be invisibly joined to Christ, but they do not form a unified visible entity; they remain only a visible plurality indistinguishable from a plenitude of schisms.

Without an essentially visible hierarchy, there is no visible Church, and thus there is no Church as Mater. If Christ founded a visible Church, and His promises refer to this visible Church, then the goal of ecumenicism is not only agreement on doctrine and agreement on sacraments, but full communion under the same visible hierarchy, the one authorized by the Apostles and their successors.

Yet these three bonds of unity are so related that each depends upon the other two. Just as we cannot maintain unity of faith and sacraments without visible hierarchical unity, so we cannot determine or discover precisely what faith it is that we are to hold, apart from this unified visible hierarchy.

It makes the Catholic Church stick out among all the Protestant demoninations, because none of them claim to be the Church that Christ founded. Each church is the Church catholic, but not the whole of it. We have provided evidence and argumentation here that Christ founded a visible Church, and that this Church is visible not merely because some of its members are embodied, and not because local congregations and denominations exist. The Church Christ founded is visible because, as His Mystical Body, it necessarily has an essentially united visible hierarchy; this is the hierarchy of bishops and priests united under the episcopal successor of St.

Peter, the visible head appointed by Christ. Without an essentially united visible hierarchy, Church discipline would not be possible.

That is because only Catholic ecclesiology is sacramental, i. Yet every ecclesiology denying that Christ founded an essentially united visible hierarchy must posit an invisible connection between the members and Christ.

Likewise, denying that Christ founded an essentially unified visible hierarchy reduces schisms to branches, and treats them as innocuous or even desirable, falsely construing them as much-needed diversity. If that seems inconceivable, ask yourself this question: If these were not branches, but schisms, what would be different about them?

Every ecclesiology short of Catholic ecclesiology falls into some form of ecclesial docetism, since it treats the universal Church per se as though it were not visible, not having an essentially unified hierarchy, and thus not as a Body. The bodily nature of the Church allows the Church to be both Mater et Magistra. This Kingdom is not invisible, but visible, present in the mystery of the Catholic Church. Though the Kingdom i.

A mere plurality of congregations is no more of a unified Body than is a mere plurality of persons. That is why Reformed ecclesiolgy in essence is indistinguishable from the ecclesiology of those who deny the visibility of the Church per se.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is manifestly clear that the faithful need the help of the Divine Redeemer, for He has said: Yet this, also, must be held, marvelous though it may seem: Christ has need of His members.

First, because the person of Jesus Christ is represented by the Supreme Pontiff, who in turn must call on others to share much of his solicitude lest he be overwhelmed by the burden of his pastoral office, and must be helped daily by the prayers of the Church. Moreover as our Savior does not rule the Church directly in a visible manner, He wills to be helped by the members of His Body in carrying out the work of redemption.

That is not because He is indigent and weak, but rather because He has so willed it for the greater glory of His spotless Spouse. Dying on the Cross He left to His Church the immense treasury of the Redemption, towards which she contributed nothing.

But when those graces come to be distributed, not only does He share this work of sanctification with His Church, but He wills that in some way it be due to her action. Again, as in nature a body is not formed by any haphazard grouping of members but must be constituted of organs, that is of members, that have not the same function and are arranged in due order; so for this reason above all the Church is called a body, that it is constituted by the coalescence of structurally untied parts, and that it has a variety of members reciprocally dependent.

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Peter says that they speak mockingly against spiritual beings 2: Peter refers to them as skin blemishes that need to be removed from the church 2: Peter says that they have no substance and have the darkest part of Hell set aside for them 2: Peter says that these false teachers are anything but innocent, seeing that they are aware of the gospel and utterly reject it 2: Again, it seems you failed to read what I actually wrote. Brown defending Cindy Jacobs as some sort of upstanding Christian woman.

The woman who prophetically declared that the repeal of DADT is connected to bird deaths? The woman who claims to be the reason behind the lack of global economic collapse in ? Feel free to watch this video where she attempts to show via openly allegorical hermeneutics that she refers to as the law of double reference how Job 41 teaches that the leviathan is actually a territorial spirit that stalks our planet.

Basically, if you breathe or live on planet earth, this spirit will attack you and try to wreck your life. She has absolutely no concern for the scriptures and all her attempts to find her beliefs from the text of the Bible fall flat the minute they leave her mouth. For the record, I would definitely suggest that Dr.

I pray this is not the case. In Israel, the true miracle working person who preached unbiblical doctrine was to be ignored. Michael Brown is a busy person and has far more to worry about than some little blog from another country.

I definitely get that, and yet yesterday he responded to me not once, but twice. I want to recognize that he went far out of his way to address my concerns, which speaks a good positive volume about him as a gentleman. Just a quick note and my apologies in advance for not being able to interact further. Please forgive me if my response to you sounded condescending. I actually responded when requested to on my FB page and it was because of the respectful nature of your post that I took time to respond — but in the midst of lots of other writings.

You might have a look to UK where both are busting the local players. Even Walmart did fail in Germany a couple of years ago. And these players are driving prices down.

For a long time at the expenses of food quality which was much better in other countries but this did change. Nothing like Project Fi exists. Not a liar I lived in Germany for years just about everything is more expensive there. All those taxes find a way to working them selves back in to the price of goods. She had been divorced twice and widowed once. You can only collect benefits from one party. But it happens that when my parents divorced my mom was given the pension benefits from a job my dad had while they were married; his second wife got the benefits from the job he had when he married her.

But she tried like hell to get all the benefits that were his, including those my mom was entitled to. Leave the old lady alone. Every young person these days wants their father or mother to die alone… so that they alone get their will. Not all parents are stable, normal. Some are crazy and do not know or want to know how to have a family…this applies especially for certain types within the professional class.

Your hatred of children and the young generations does not make you wise…quite the opposite. Stop whining and livecwithin your means. Cut and drop your 10 credit cards.

So, in short, your tax dollars is well spent! Stop worrying, you are too selfish! The pensions in Germany work in a very different way. The basic system is redistributing, which means the money that the younger generation pay into the system goes to the older people pretty much directly. People think they pay old folks pensions because they in fact do pay those pensions; this is by design. The German state for long was not allowed to save money in order to provide the pensions for the elderly.

The assessment works in fact in a way that the current workforce pays for the current retired people. Though, the system has recently been changed a lot such that one has the right to give an amount of the wage to a workplace linked pension funds.

With a lot of benefits the state tries in this way to create a more sustainable system. In Germany pension is paid in and goes out. If you have a traditional population growth with many children, then lots of wars and work place accidents and only a few seniors everything works fine. The sytem is o.

Not entirely true about the US education system. Additionally, a lot of States have complex home school based systems with online courses, and a very flexible learning experience. Worth remembering though that the education systems vary from State to State, and some are worse than others. We assume my kids stay in Germany and take 4. If we move to North Carolina the same education will cost me c. A lot more, right? Phil, you got some facts wrong. First, you pay taxes according to your income.

It has been used to fund infrastructure and create jobs in east Germany; in the end it benefits all Germans.

The regular purchase price for a nice house in an average town is approximately A 3-bedroom apartment will cost you approximately But lets just go point by point.

You point out that Germany has progressive tax rates. Every country on Earth has that. What was your point? Yes just like in the US Germany has reduced sales tax on food.

As for tax write-offs, again, what is your point? We have those in the US too. The Soli steuer is a farking abomination. Your numbers for buying a house are also ridiculous. A three bedroom wohnung has at least qm. I mean seriously… you can maybe find something in the Harz for , but the only job around there would be farmer.

I will reiterate my comments for anyone with a brain. Germany is a great place for low-flyers because they redistribute wealth aggressively so that everyone has a similar lifestyle. But for those who plan to have high-flying careers, pay heed to my numbers. Read my numbers again. Let me quote you: I rather eat Aldi food than genetically manipulated corn or chlorine chicken. The stakes for public health are high. If you add Cologne and Hamburg you speak of 9 million people. And the housing here is exactly as I said: The average 3-bedroom apartment in an average German city has 90 square meters.

And it would roughly cost As laid down in the contract in it should go until Suffice it to say that Aldi and Co are king for a reason. In the US we do have chlorinated chicken. We also have Whole Foods and Fresh Market i. I could name scores more. Sorry sweetheart, but I know the numbers all too well. Your comments on the Solisteuer are bollocks. And the reality that remains is that Germany will ttax your balls to death to provide a very comfy existence for people you will never personally meet.

Or to all the Organic Food supermarkets? Actually, I have just bought a new 3-bedroom apartment for K…. Because your labour cost are lower, which brings us back to the one thing with which our discussion started and which is important for me and our society: I like the US too, but I prefer to live in a society which tries to put the social aspect in the balance.

I cannot believe that Phil actually mentioned food being crap, lol. We always ate cheaper and healthier in Europe period. The veggies do not have to be bought at high end stores, for the farms are around every town and city. And since they do not buy Monsanto and GM food it is more natural anyhow, lol. The clean food is what I miss most. Here everything is highly refined and paying much more for organic foods is just nuts. I certainly agree with you.

I have lived in Germany for many years grew up there as well and have been in the Us off and on since the late sixties my husband was in the US military. We finally settled in America in What an eye opener that was.

The only thing better here is the sizer, the room and space. Other than that the quality of everything is lower and most of the food sucks excuse my language. I buy mostly at Aldi, where I can still get chocolate w. The same with nut butters, lol. Do I regret my move here? My children might have been happier there.

I abhor the obnoxious gun culture where death of others is unimportant compared to the freedom to use killing machines. At the very least guns should be insured to cover any damages they may cause. That means responsibility for the owners actions, period. I do not see that as of now. Not much of that in America. Only money is of value. Phil ranks too high in his mind so he cannot cope with normal ranked people. At the end successful farmer is a very strong entrepreneur with strong common sense, that might get missing in some parts of the world.

You assumption and calculation of investing is wrong. When in reality, all of those things you cited trickle in over time. The reality is that most would not invest the small amounts each month and would instead either live larger or use it for some catastrophic medical emergency.

You also ignore that investments come with risks and in no way are guaranteed as you assume in your math. I calculated that using a stream of payments model, not a lump sum. I do understand how investments work having spent nearly three decades in the industry.

Nazim, you are speaking generally enough for expert economists to have difficulty verifying your claims — let alone you yourself. The planet we live on has developed and industrialized countries e. For as long as this is the case, Americans will live in misery over contemplating how good the Germans have it, and vice versa. I respect your opinion, and that of others below; however, they seem to be mostly based on our own quite-limited world perspective, and consequently are of no use unless they are FACTUAL.

Besides your mom or in my case — my mom , very few people care about your view if they are hard-pressed in time. I have lived 5 years in Finland, have seen some other Scandinavian countries, briefly seen Germany and then 2 years in the UK. Finland had a mixture of German culture with a little bit of informality in the sense of a coffee morning folks around the coffee table and then at lunch. Otherwise it was focus at work and a great time outside of it. If you live in India, like I do, then you will regret leaving mainland Europe.

Only God knows where my tax money lands up, certainly not for anything that will benefit me in my old age or anyone else. Mortgages eat up a major portion of your pay.

Jobs are not secure. And of course, most employers expect you to work your bottoms off, and life is equal to work. Instead of our social security program funds going strictly to retirement and to people that are too sick or injured to work, much goes to supporting generations of families that have never worked, and supporting young adults with phony illnesses such as ADHD, who are perfectly healthy.

The problem is, that there are more and more old people while the amount of young people is extremly decreasing. So that at least the system doesnt work that way. The workers have to pay more and more from their wages. That idea of the retire system WAS a nice one but it wont work in future anymore. Totally agree with you. Robin seems to think very small. I have half of that and I live very, very well and travel etc.

None of my American friends have the chance to travel even half as much as I do. I think what you are saying is true for Japan as well. When I had been in Japan for 2 months on an internship, my Japanese colleagues told me that during elections the younger generation politicians try to run an awareness program so that more and more younger people would vote, because the older population is large and was voting for parties whose proposed biased policies favored the old age people to gain votes.

Think about when u will becum weak and old then u will prefer to die or use money of young hardworking people. Well, Robin, as a German, your command of the English language is outstanding.

Not one mistake, not even a comma mistake. That is truly phenomenal for a non-native speaker of English. You paint a harsh picture of Germany. I raised one son as a single-mother alone for five years on my salary.

I was even able to send him to the US for one year of high school. I cancelled a private pension plan, which I had paid into for several years, to finance it. That still leaves me with Social Security and my other private pension plan through my employer. I broke my arm a year ago and was out of work for five months. My employer was obligated to give me the recuperation time off, and accepted it without issues.

My boss insisted I stay home long enough to fully heal my injury. I do believe that the economic situation is changing for the worse here. It seems that businesses and big industry are adopting the America way of doing business, which means to consider employees as enemies.

Germany has always had a high standard of living, but soon we may be suffering as the Americans are. You might have noticed that many of the items above contain references to laws.

What makes Germany strong, here, laws designed to protect, also makes it weak. Laws govern who gets to work as what. Laws govern if you can get promoted. Laws establish an upper glass ceiling for your career at any juncture. The same laws exist almost everywhere. Try opening a restaurant without having a Master certificate in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

Try opening a garage. And then pass a law that supports our sub par sleepy mediocrity by protecting it from competition. Today the US earns many more billions on a low investment from those guys. In manual labor, yeah, America could learn a thing or two from Germany. Likewise, Germany treats everything, from coal mining to the space program, from selling bread to creating a social platform online, as if its employees are stupid, need micro management, fixed lunch hours, and no social contact.

But in some points you I t make I totally agree….. There is lots we could improve in Germany……lots of ideas and concepts which work great in other countries could be simply copied!!! Being in a country that gives you a luxury of not living a life being afraid what may happen to you tomorrow is satisfying. So clearly it not for majority of Americans. For me a child should grow up to be what they want and the german govt provides that.

I went in for surgery and shared a room with a millionaire. In USA it would be possible only if the rich man needs my kidney. Your rich class make the laws , they make you believe you are a strong nation that works hard.

They just need you to keep working hard and get nothing back. It means people who we elected into positions where their job is to achieve the best possible balance between the needs and desires of all the different parts of the population.

How old are you Robin???? Have you ever lived in the USA? Have you ever talked with american people what living in the US means? Do you like capitalism???? TRY IT to live here….. I will be back maybe for vacation, but living here????? This is very true. In Germany you are blamed for having a better car than average or having more money in general.

The average person has a good live but the benefits of being above average has little benefits. And as well it is true that there is little luxury left from a normal job. Two kids one house one car and one vacation a year is possible but just so. If I use my health insurance there is co-payment. Most people have not seen a raise in years, even though productivity gone up the roof.

When life happens in U. S, it happens very hard, for some people. But I do agree, people who have traditional values, such as marry to a rich father in law, U. S is a great economy to be participated in. Or if you have money making money for you. But most of us admire U. A not just because of the financial benefits. This is a stupid statement. If you are not satisfied with German habits move from East Germany to Switzerland…guess you are somewhere from the east right?

House prices in Germany are regulated unlike the ridiculous Australia which has turned property into a gambling market. You can afford it because you dont have absurd taxes after your salary like US states and cities nor their outrageous medical expenses. Having lived in Germany for 5 years and known many German families, I have to say that life in the USA is much worse for families.

I was lucky enough to send my daughter to a German kindergarten for 3 years and found it to be the best, most caring, nurturing environment for children that I have ever come across.

Emphasis was always placed on children learning organically, mixed age-levels meant that kids learned to help each other, etc.

I also saw how amazing it was in terms of maternity leave and job security. The newer teacher left to go to a different kindergarten the following year and was replaced by a young woman who had been a student teacher in another classroom the year prior and was now fully certified. The following year the newer teacher stayed but the older teacher moved to a different classroom to take the place of a teacher who had left to have a baby; she was replaced by the regular teacher who was done with maternity leave but who was also pregnant again.

The original teacher went on maternity leave again halfway through the year and was replaced by someone who had been a student teacher in a different classroom the previous year and who had stayed on with the knowledge that she would go into the class to replace the regular teacher on her maternity leave. The cost for German kindergarten was subsidized by the government, so it was practically free in comparison with what I would have paid in the US.

Less than euros exchange rate was roughly 1 to 1 at that time for 1 month of kindergarten, from 8 am until 4: If you left your child for lunch it cost an extra couple of euros per day and they had to bring a lunch or you could have them on a program that included a hot lunch at noontime that was brought in. Huge difference in cost and value. Huge difference in benefit for parents who work. I personally found that if I were to work in the US the majority of my salary would go to pay for child care.

For an American parent to be a single parent and work full-time one MUST have a job that pays very well or have childcare that is provided by family members who do not require compensation in order to afford to work.

In Germany this is not the case. If you think that older people are better off in the US because we pay fewer taxes, you are not aware of the whole picture. We have more people in the US living on government food programs such as SNAP than any modern western country should have. Social security income is directly linked to what you put into the system. My father was from Amsterdam and both of his parents lived in their home until they died.

Healthcare should be a guarantee for all older persons and it is in Europe. Only in the US do we neglect our elderly population, only in the US do senior citizens have to choose between paying for a medication that is necessary to keep them alive and paying for food.

But in the USA, our government for many years, has failed to hear the voices of the injured worker as well. It is commonly referred to as corporate fraud and corruption within the government and court systems as they tend to lien toward the corporation rather than the injured worker who just wanted medical treatment.

Now I feel so lucky to be living in Moldova! Right, salaries are 1k times smaller, but also the indispensable goods are cheaper food and alcohol. Things are way better in Moldova! There is no perfect country anywhere in the world, so of course not everything is great. Also the reason that Germans bitch too much about the taxes they pay and then continue on moaning that not enough is provided for free or only a small amount of money.

Best example is the health care system. There is no other system in the world I know of that has the same level of cover for no extra payments!

The only time I ever had to pay extra for anything is for crowns and even then it was a joke. In regards to […] And now tell me how to finance a house, a car and two children in such an environment anymore? SO to make finish this off — most people leave the country not for the money or the gains from the state, but because they are sick of the bickering and jealousy from their fellow countrymen.

And its not true… that you get out with half money after tax! Of course, the scandinavians have got a very got social and health system…but we can be glad to have a good one and can be satisfied about that. In sweden it is normal, that everybody can see the payment of all others…it is open in the internet for everybody…cause they know that tax paying is needed for everybody…for the nation, for all peaople.

I am german and happy about that…cause we can be proud on lot of our products and culture that we have. Please lovely Americans…stop thinking, that Adolf Hitler was german! I pay sales tax for everthing and even have to pay for a limited college fund for my kids. I got no retirement fund how can I afford one? Been working for the for 10 years now.

I do finance my house, my car and my children with just over 30k. In addition, dont forget that the average living expenses overall are much less epensive in germany. It is only a facade. Despite the so called liberal labor policies there is a huge element of both mental and material stress.

You are a number not a human! Despite all this they are very materialistic and WOw? You can write everything off on your taxes: Only an idiot pays that much. Most rich people here in Germany pay very little, because of the many tax loopholes. And because the fertility rate dropped to a frightening 1,3 children per woman there will be a huge burden on the following generations. Practically they will not be able to do both: Providing for their own family and caring for the old.

They will need to work harder, have less time for their families and paying all the other debts: So if the current fertility rate dropped already to 1,3 because you just can not do both: And this is not only a problem for Germany, or other developed countries. This is a problem worldwide! There seems to be a growing problem with human trafficking, or should you call it girl abductions and sales?

I guess Eryn Paul is hoping to push a political agenda here. And not only do i understand from where she comes, but wholeheartedly support it. Women which are basically the pillars of the human species, are still regarded of lesser value, globally. And as long as the average wages of women and men at the same qualification and work and workload are diverging significantly, there is no denying of this simple truth.

Society needs to step up and support women as women and not as man with boobs. Man will never, … at least not naturally bear children. Nature and evolution needed , years to get homo sapiens sapiens to where it is now and we are kind of victims of this process.

Women and men are not equal. We should stop pretending that a circle is a square. We should start to respect both genders equally. And this means, that we should savour the service women contribute to our species a LOT more. I do not know if i should laugh or cry! But Mrs Eryn Paul, the problem with half-truths is, you diminish the value of the truth part by mixing it up with wishful thinking or outright misleading statements.

Like every other developed country there are good and there are bad parts. There are lazy people in Germany too. It depends on the management style. There is a saying in Germany: And there is a lot rotting going on in this country. Fear of the future and the growing insecurity leads to a growing portion of well-educated couples, which hold off family planning till it is too late.

And it is no coincidence, that the educated fear the future more then the uneducated, which maybe are more blissful unaware. So one of the newer german policies is to counter this trend with ever increasing incentives for those educated groups, which still did not convince most and can be rather be called unsuccessful. So the Plan B is to attract more sophisticated immigrants.

Which is barely successful. So it is not all peachy, but till now Germany is a great country to live in. But if i would have the choice i would still pick Swiss over Germany. Because i consider Switzerland the last true democracy in the world. Our model of democracy was not meant for the current state of affairs.

It was mostly the counter-project against aristocracy. And like in antic times,when the attic democracy failed and the tyrants ruled, or at the high of the industrial revolution, when the true rulers where the industry leaders, or at the end of the twenties, when the world economy crashed and fanatics like little Adolf came to power, we come again to such times, and our constitutions are just not meant to handle economic crisis. We believe democracies are flexible enough to repair themselves.

And i believe so too. But are we still true democracies? Which democracy defends itself with little strike forces, which can be send to every corner of the world? Why did Germany defend itself in Afghanistan? Eryn Paul is asking the wrong questions, coming to the wrong conclusions and propagating a utopian Germany which sadly does just not exist. There are great companies in Germany, there are great benefits and there is a great potential in the hearts and mindof the German population. But it is eroding.

I can guarantee you, the Emperor is naked. We just do not see it yet! I think Germany is great for the above-average employee.

The sad reality is that if you are very talented, the rewards for the extra initiative dont correlate with your output.

The average worker therefore has a great time which is majority of the population but the really talented ones will want to leave and to go say the US.

This is the reason why the US attracts so many talented Germans every year while the average employee stays behind in Germany enjoying the 35 hour work weeks.

The hour work week is history here in Germany — except for maybe civil servants. Germany I will be back maybe for vacation, but living here????? Yet another article that proves he has no f-ing idea what he is babbling about. And there are no tuition fees at German universities, either for Germans or foreign students. There is only a minor semester fee, which is approx. German taxpayers are increasingly frustrated about financing a university education for non-Germans, though, which I agree with.

Germany has a tough labour law. You can get fired for taking a pen home. A cleaner was fired for eating a burger she was supposed to discard. She went to court and lost. Our German company threatened disciplinary action should you mention on social networks that you work for this company. Using company equipment for fb was verboten. Not answering email on your blackberry at night made the boss angry. The blackberry was blicked for everything else.

It takes discipline and perseverance to be successful and a willingness to accept certain individual limitations for the better good of the whole society. Uptight or not, the federal government pays parents a child allowance for each child. And this money is paid until the child finishes one apprenticeship or graduates from college. This allows many mothers or fathers to stay at home if they choose. We get so many benefits from the state for the amount of taxes we pay.

But the citizens of Germany receive a much higher standard of living for the amount of taxes they pay. Sure those are great benefits. Just feel I have more freedom with what I can do with my life in the states. Secondly, no one speaks English there and this presents 2 choices to me 1 Either to learn English better by staying in US or 2 Learn a new language right from the basic. It seems white race or probably german race is insular to external people.

US is less insular than Germany. US is still very much open towards variants of culture. Except the Article is incorrect in so many ways. The German worker is not as productive per hour as the American worker, every major economic index supports this. The Worker protections are not only a noose around the Buisness, they are stuck with horrible non productive workers, productive workers are stuck in there chosen profession with little or no chance to expand there horizons,capable or not due these strict worker protections that kill risk taking from corporations.

Oh I forgot, Living in Germany for the past 12 years I can attest that the average German worker takes more breaks and talks gossip more than there average American counterpart.

Sometimes I wonder if these articles are written by German propaganda. German companies are stuck with horrible non-productive workers? According to German statistics, German workers are more productive than American workers. He travels back and forth to the plant in Spartenburg, South Carolina. This situation is still profitable for BMW. Let me repeat that the newly manufactured cars are shipped to the German plant for repairs before being sold on the American market.

You have made several statements on this website castigating Germany and Germans, but you have provided no supporting details to back up your arguments. Furthermore, your written English is very faulty. If you want to be taken seriously, write in good English and provide examples, statistics or details to support your arguments.

So by German stats there more productive? Well, concentrating on work is a good think, but sometimes u need to take a break from time to time. Yeaah all Germans are Nazis. But when we come to the question of unity of hierarchy, Protestants and Catholics do not agree.

Protestants either claim that the visible hierarchical unity Christ initially provided to His Mystical Body was accidental i. But since the Mystical Body cannot cease to exist, because it shares in the very life of the Son of God over whom death is powerless, therefore the visible hierarchical unity cannot be lost. For there to be a visible hierarchy, it is not enough for each member to be ordered to an invisible Head.

Merely being ordered to an invisible Head is fully compatible with having no visible hierarchy. Yet for there to be a visible hierarchy, some visible human persons need to have an ecclesial authority that others do not. According to Catholic doctrine, the authority Christ gave to His Apostles and their successors is three-fold: Furthermore, for a visible hierarchy to be one , it must have a visible head.

Only if each member of a visible hierarchy is ordered to one visible head can the visible hierarchy itself be one.

And only if the visible head is essentially one can the visible hierarchy be essentially one. If the visible head of the hierarchy were plural, then the visible hierarchy would not be essentially unified, but at most only accidentally unified. But we must not think that He rules only in a hidden or extraordinary manner. He was all wise; and how could He leave without a visible head the body of the Church He had founded as a human society. Nor against this may one argue that the primacy of jurisdiction established in the Church gives such a Mystical Body two heads.

After His glorious Ascension into Heaven this Church rested not on Him alone, but on Peter, too, its visible foundation stone. Mystici Corporis Christi , When Christ ascended, there would not have been visible hierarchical unity among the twelve Apostles had Christ not given unique authority to one of them to be the visible head. But you say, the Church was founded upon Peter: Indeed no true and perfect human society can be conceived which is not governed by some supreme authority.

Christ therefore must have given to His Church a supreme authority to which all Christians must render obedience. For this reason, as the unity of the faith is of necessity required for the unity of the church, inasmuch as it is the body of the faithful , so also for this same unity, inasmuch as the Church is a divinely constituted society, unity of government, which effects and involves unity of communion , is necessary jure divino. We see here that grace does not destroy nature, but builds on it and perfects it.

This is why villages and cities have mayors, and even why our country has a president. Just as in a natural society there needs to be a unified hierarchy and a visible head, so in the society of the faithful there must be a unified hierarchy and a visible head.

For the same reason that virtually every Protestant congregation has a head pastor, the entire visible Church also requires a visible head. The Church as a visible organism preserves the visible head established by Christ, and thus retains all three marks of unity. Without a visible head, the Mystical Body would be reduced to the ontological equivalent of visible pins invisibly connected to an invisible pin-cushion.

That is because without a visible head, a visible hierarchy is only accidentally one, because intrinsically it is potentially many separate hierarchies. Many separate hierarchies are not a visible unity; they are ontologically equivalent to many separate individuals. They are a mere plurality, not an actual unity. It makes no difference whether the pins are individual Christians or individual congregations.

Without an essentially unified visible hierarchy, a composite whole cannot be a body, let alone a visible body. And when hierarchical unity is abandoned, nothing preserves unity of faith or unity of sacraments. The Church must be one, because Christ is one, and God is one.

Here we can point to passages of Scripture that show the importance of church discipline, and obedience to ecclesial authority: And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the Church; and if he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer.

This verse shows that the Church can excommunicate those in sin. But since communication is a visible thing, only a visible hierarchy can excommunicate those in sin. There is nothing more grievous than the sacrilege of schism.

Augustine, Contra Epistolam Parmeniani , lib. If Christ had founded the Church without a unified visible hierarchy, then schism could be at most only a deficiency in charity towards other believers. Schism would be the equivalent of one of the pins in the pin-cushion failing to be charitable to another pin.

And that would be the case whether those pins represented individual Christians or local congregations or denominations. Schism per se would always be visibly symmetrical with respect to the boundaries of the Church, even if culpability were not. That is, neither party in the schism would ipso facto be visibly departing from the Church, unless it were also abandoning the faith or the sacraments.

But abandoning the faith or the sacraments is heresy or apostasy. So the separation of parties per se would not be schism from the Church; the separation from the Church, if there were any separation from the Church, would be due only to heresy or apostasy.

Perfect ecclesial unity would be fully compatible with remaining divided in many different visible hierarchies, denominations, etc. So long as Christians shared the same faith and the same sacraments, and had charity toward one another, separation into distinct autonomous organizations would not detract from perfect ecclesial unity.

When a congregation would split into autonomous bodies, this would not necessarily be a schism; it could be a mere branching, so long as the new congregations retained the same faith, sacraments, and charity toward each other.

One obvious problem here, however, is that visible separation is almost always predicated on or rationalized by disagreement in faith or sacrament. The unity of faith and sacraments cannot be preserved apart from the unity of ecclesial government, i. Apart from visible hierarchical unity, fragmentation of faith is inevitable.

But another problem is that this ecclesiology in effect eliminates the very possibility of schism understood as separation from shared visible ecclesial authority. And when an ecclesiology has no conceptual room for the possibility of schism, the many warnings about schism in Scripture raise a red flag that ecclesial unity has been defined down. I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions.

Now I exhort you brothers through the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that all of you confess the same thing, and there be no schisms among you, but you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: Forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.

These are the ones who cause divisions. Given an essentially unified visible hierarchy, schism can never be visibly symmetrical. It will always consist of the Church and the party in schism from the Church. We know that separation from shared visible ecclesial authority never results in two Mystical Bodies. Obviously there cannot be two Mystical Bodies, since the clear answer to St.

God is one and Christ is one, and one is His Church, and the faith is one, and one His people welded together by the glue of concord into a solid unity of body. Unity cannot be rent asunder, nor can the one body of the Church, through the division of its structure, be divided into pieces. But what makes that to be so? There are only two possible answers: We have shown above why the pin-cushion conception of the Church is incompatible with the Church being a Body.

They went forth from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, surely they would have continued with us. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, d. AD , On the Unity of the Church , We think that this difference exists between heresy and schism: See what you must beware of — see what you must avoid — see what you must dread.

It happens that, as in the human body, some member may be cut off — a hand, a finger, a foot. Does the soul follow the amputated member? As long as it was in the body, it lived; separated, it forfeits its life. So the Christian is a Catholic as long as he lives in the body: Thus we see that both discipline and schism do not fit into a conception of the Church in which there is lacking an essential visible hierarchical unity.

We are united to Christ by being united to His Mystical Body through the sacrament of baptism. We are more deeply united to Christ and the Church through the sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist.

If we want to know our status in heaven, we inquire concerning our status in His Mystical Body on earth. That is precisely why excommunication has teeth; it truly cuts a person off from Christ. Consider one common Protestant position, according to which all Christians are equally united to Christ by faith alone, and therefore equally united to the Church.

I have described this position above as the pin-cushion model. According to this notion of the Church, schism does not do anything to the unity of all Christians, only to the outward manifestation of our otherwise intact spiritual unity. This is a de-materialized i. Sexual union truly should be a bodily expression of a spiritual union. But sexual union is not merely an outward expression of spiritual unity; it is itself a real union of husband and wife. Likewise, the visible unity of the Church including hierarchical unity is a real unity of the Mystical Body, not merely an outward expression of the real unity which is spiritual and invisible.

The root problem here is a kind of dualism that treats the spiritual as the really real, and the material as a mere context for the expression of the spiritual. This reduces the Mystical Body to a spirit having some visible members, an invisible pin-cushion with some visible pins.

Wherever schism is treated as not separating a person to some degree from Christ, there the Church is being treated as fundamentally and intrinsically invisible, with some visible members. Denying the essential unity of the visible hierarchy treats the Mystical Body of Christ as though it is not actually and essentially a Body, because visible hierarchical unity is essential and intrinsic to a body.

If a body ceases to be visibly hierarchically one, it ceases to be. This is why a human being cannot survive disintegration of his body. So if visible unity is only accidental to something, that thing is not a living body; it is, at most, only the appearance of a body. Hence those who claim that the Mystical Body of Christ is invisibly one and visibly divided are treating the Body of Christ as though it were merely an apparent Body, not an actual Body.

That is why this position is rightly described as ecclesial docetism, because docetism is the heresy which claimed that Christ only appeared to be a man. That does not mean that we must fall into some kind of ecclesial Eutychianism. Docetism and Eutychianism both deny that Christ has a human nature.

For that reason, both docetic and Eutychian notions of the Mystical Body of Christ treat the Church as in itself invisible, spiritual, and immaterial, only visible in the sense that it makes use of embodied human believers in much the same way that the Logos i. Chalcedonian Christology, with its affirmation of two distinct natures united without mixture in one hypostatic union, entails that the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ is in itself visible and hierarchically organized as one corporate entity.

The charge that Catholic ecclesiology is Eutychian asserts that the Catholic claim [that the visible Body of Christ is essentially one] mistakenly attributes to the visible aspect of the Church what is only true of the invisible aspect of the Church, and in that way falsely attributes what is only true of the divine nature of Christ to His human nature, as Eutychianism does.

But this charge is based on the mistaken notion that visible hierarchical unity is not intrinsically essential to a living human body. Rather, because Christ truly possesses human nature, His Mystical Body is necessarily visibly one in its hierarchy, just as his physical body is necessarily visibly one its hierarchy.

A living human body is essentially visibly one. If it ceases to be visibly one, it ceases to be. Hence, its visible hierarchical unity is essential to its being. That is why the Catholic doctrine that the Mystical Body of Christ is essentially visibly one in its hierarchy is not Eutychian.

The spirituality and visibility of the Church are no more opposed to each other than the soul and body of a man, or, better, than the divinity and humanity in Christ. It is because it ignores this inseparable twofold character of the Church that Protestantism, Lutheran and Reformed, has never succeeded in resisting the temptation to distinguish, by opposing them, an invisible and sole evangelical Church, on the one hand, and, on the other, visible, human, and sinful Churches.

In practice, ecclesial docetism entails ecclesial consumerism , because it eliminates the notion of finding and submitting to the Church that Christ founded. In ecclesial docetism the identity of the Church is not determined by form and matter , but by form alone.

This reveals why there are so many different Protestant denominations, worship centers, and ecclesial communities, none of them sharing the three bonds of unity with any of the others. Just as the practical effect of docetism is a Christ of our own making, disconnected from the historical flesh-and-blood Christ, so the practical effect of ecclesial docetism is a Church made in the image of our own interpretation, disconnected from the historical Church.

This is expressed doctrinally as a denial of the materiality or sacramentality of apostolic succession. But without the material component of apostolic succession, the individual becomes the final interpretive arbiter of what the apostolic doctrine is. And where there is a great variation of demand, a great variation of supply arises. Another necessary effect of ecclesial docetism is apathy regarding visible divisions between Christians, communities, and denominations.

If the unity of the Church is spiritual, insofar as each believer is invisibly united to Christ by faith alone, then pursuing visible unity is superfluous, even presumptuous in its attempt to outdo Christ. Herein lies a noteworthy point. Ecclesial docetism conceptually eliminates the very possibility of schism.

It does so not by reconciling separated parties, but by defining unity down, as something merely spiritual, and so de-materializing schism as something invisible, and spiritual, i. Ecclesial docetism treats visible divisions of separated hierarchies as branches. Ecclesial docetism denies the sinfulness of schism, not openly or explicitly, but definitionally and thus surreptitiously. It calls what is actually evil i.

From the first century, the Catholic Church has always taught that schism is sinful, and that it is not merely a deficiency of charity, but a separation from the visible hierarchy of the Church. This is evident in the letter of St. Clement of Rome to the Corinthians at the end of the first century, just a few years after the death of the last surviving apostle.

We can see it also from St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch d. AD , who wrote:. Where the bishop is, there is the community, even as where Christ is there is the Catholic Church. As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do anything without the bishop and presbyters.

Neither endeavour that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Therefore run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one.

It must be understood that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop and he is not in the Church who is not with the bishop. Between heresy and schism there is this difference, that heresy perverts dogma, while schism, by rebellion against the bishop, separates from the Church. Nevertheless there is no schism which does not trump up a heresy to justify its departure from the Church.

It is assuredly as impossible that the Church of Jesus Christ can be the one or the other, as that man should be a body alone or a soul alone. The connection and union of both elements is as absolutely necessary to the true Church as the intimate union of the soul and body is to human nature. From what We have thus far written, and explained, Venerable Brethren, it is clear, We think, how grievously they err who arbitrarily claim that the Church is something hidden and invisible, as they also do who look upon her as a mere human institution possession a certain disciplinary code and external ritual, but lacking power to communicate supernatural life.

For this reason We deplore and condemn the pernicious error of those who dream of an imaginary Church, a kind of society that finds its origin and growth in charity, to which, somewhat contemptuously, they oppose another, which they call juridical.

But this distinction which they introduce is false: The constant teaching of the Catholic Church is that Christ founded a visible Church with an essentially unified visible hierarchy.

Some people incorrectly think that Vatican II denied the essential unity of the visible hierarchy of the Church. Vatican II did not deny the essential unity of the visible hierarchy of the Church. The issue here is not whether grace and the work of the Holy Spirit can extend beyond the visible boundaries of the Mystical Body of Christ.

Of course it can, otherwise no one would ever enter the Church. The issue has nothing to do with invincible ignorance and salvation. They mistakenly think of the Kingdom as either entirely invisible, entirely spiritual, or entirely future. The Church, or, in other words, the kingdom of Christ now present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world.

We do not now see the fullness of the Kingdom. But the Catholic Church is the present rule of Christ on the earth. That is why the Catechism says,. The Church is the seed and beginning of this kingdom. Her keys are entrusted to Peter. The Church is the Reign of Christ already present in mystery. The Church is ultimately one, holy, catholic, and apostolic in her deepest and ultimate identity, because it is in her that the Kingdom of heaven, the Reign of God, already exists and will be fulfilled at the end of time.

He compares the Kingdom to a mustard seed that grows into a tree, and to leaven that comes to leaven a whole lump. That account clearly refers to the Apostles, as fishers of men, bringing all the nations into the Church, and in this way we again see that the Church is the Kingdom in its present stage. But the notion that the Kingdom must be either internal or external is a false dilemma.

Christ now governs His people through His Church, through the Apostles and the bishops they appointed. The New Testament authors understand the Church as the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant.

That is why St. And at the Jerusalem Council, St. That city is the Church, the house of God, a kingdom that cannot be shaken. His kingdom will continue to increase, will never be overturned, because it is divinely established. Speaking to Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel says:. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever. When would God set up this Kingdom that will never be destroyed?

At the time of the fourth kingdom of men, namely the kingdom of Rome. This was fulfilled at the time of Christ. But Jesus said the following:. Simon, Simon, behold Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren. Christ shows His Apostles that they will eat and drink in His Kingdom and sit on twelve thrones.

Eating at His table refers in the present age to the Eucharistic table. Sitting on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel refers to their governance of the Church, because the Church is the New Israel, the universal i. This is the Kingdom that will never be defeated, but will prevail to the end of time. I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

This is the Petrine office, the chair of St. Jesus refers to this role in a parable, when He says,. Christ rules the Church through the men He has entrusted with the keys of His Kingdom, and given the authority to speak in His name.

The Church has always understood herself to be the present stage of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Christ does not have two Brides: His Church and His Kingdom. Ignatius of Antioch exhorts Christians to follow their bishops, as a general might urge his troops to follow their commanders.

Only God knows which members of the earthly congregations are elect and inwardly born again, 67 and thus belong to the eternal and spiritual fellowship of the Church. Jesus taught that in this organized church there would always be members, not excluding its leaders, who seemed to be Christians but were nevertheless not renewed in their heart and would be rejected at the Last Judgment.

These terms do not mean that there are two churches, one visible and another hidden in heaven. Rather, in Reformed ecclesiology there is only one church, and it is known perfectly to God and known imperfectly on earth.

Finally, it is apostolic because it is founded upon apostolic teaching. Ecclesia … should mean the holy Christian people, not only of the days of the apostles, who are long since dead, but to the end of the world…. How we are to judge the church visible, which falls within our knowledge, is, I believe, already evident from the above discussion. For we have said that Holy Scripture speaks of the church in two ways. Then indeed, the church includes not only the saints presently living on earth, but all the elect from the beginning of the world.

The church universal is a multitude gathered from all nations; it is divided and dispersed in separate places, but agrees on the one truth of divine doctrine, and is bound by the bond of the same religion. Under it are thus included individual churches, disposed in towns and villages according to human need, so that each rightly has the name and authority of the church. The catholic or universal church, which is invisible , consists of the whole number of the elect , that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof… The visible Church , which is also catholic or universal…consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion ; and of their children: Rather, it is His own Body — the Church.

In sum, this visible church is the non-hierarchical collection or plurality of all professing Christians, some of whom are elect and others of whom are not; there are no elect outside of this visible church. These two Reformed ecclesial positions are essentially equivalent because there is no principled difference between them. In the first description, the members are individual congregations not hierarchically united under a single visible hierarchy.

In the second description the members are individual believers not hierarchically united under a single visible hierarchy. Therefore under both descriptions what is absent is a unified visible hierarchy, and that is why the result can be nothing more than a mere plurality of visible things, united at most by their invisible union to the invisible Christ. A mere plurality is not an actual entity, but only a conceptual entity, i. Imagine the set of all the objects on my desk. The members of that set include books, a printer, some photos, some coins, pens, prayer cards, a toy space shuttle, a piece of hard candy, a lamp, etc.

I can refer to these things with a singular term: But on my desk there is no single thing consisting of the books, the printer, the photos, the coins, pens, etc. There is no set-of-things on my desk, only individual things that can be referred to collectively as belonging to a set. Though the members of the set are actual, the set itself is only a mental construct, not an actual entity. Contrast that with the parts of my body. The parts of my body are not a mere plurality, or a mere set.

They compose an actual whole, namely, me. In that respect, the parts of my body are not like the objects on my desk. The parts of my body are a plurality, but they are not a mere plurality like the objects on my desk. The parts of my body compose an actual whole. So when a person claims that the visible Church is the set of all embodied believers, he is reducing the visible Church to a mental construct. He seems to be affirming the existence of the visible Church, but he has adopted an ecclesiological position in which there is no such thing as the visible Church — there are only embodied believers, just as in actuality there are only objects on my desk, and not, in addition to the objects on my desk, one more item, namely, the set of objects on my desk.

That is why those who claim that the visible Church is the set of all embodied believers hold a position in which there is no visible Church per se ; there are only visible believers, invisibly connected to the invisible Christ. And that is why those who claim that the visible Church is the set of all embodied believers hold a position that is equivalent in principle to that of those who deny that the Church is visible, and who affirm that the Church per se is invisible.

But neither the pin-cushion ecclesial model nor the mere plurality ecclesial model are compatible with St. Catholic ecclesiology is not subject to this problem precisely because the Catholic Church is hierarchically unified.

Reductionism treats actual composite wholes as though they were mere pluralities of smaller simples, and in this way fails to account fully for the being, unity and activity of actual composite wholes. The visible hierarchical unity of the Catholic Church unites all its dioceses, parishes and members not in a mere plurality or in a pin-cushion model, but in an actual composite whole, i.

Given that the Church Christ founded is visible, and has an essentially united visible hierarchy, it follows that the identity and extent of the Church can be known, by tracing its visible hierarchy through history. When the early Church fathers write about the Catholic Church, they are referring to a definite Body. They are not referring to a mere plurality of persons or congregations, without an essentially unified visible hierarchy.

They are referring to the visible Body picked out precisely by the essential unity of its visible hierarchy, and especially the visible head of that visible hierarchy.

This involves two of the four marks of the Church as specified by the Nicene Creed: AD likewise speaks of this Church:. The Catholic Church, having received the apostolic teaching and faith, though spread over the whole world, guards it sedulously, as though dwelling in one house; and these truths she uniformly teaches, as having but one soul and one heart; these truths she proclaims, teaches, and hands down as though she had but one mouth.

But the brightness of the Catholic Church proceeded to increase in greatness, for it ever held to the same points in the same way, and radiated forth to all the race of Greeks and barbarians the reverent, sincere, and free nature, and the sobriety and purity of the divine teaching as to conduct and thought. This has been brought to pass [ Hoc factum est ] by the Divine Providence, achieved through the prophecies of the prophets, through the Incarnation and the teaching of Christ, through the journeys of the Apostles, through the suffering, the crosses, the blood and death of the martyrs, through the admirable lives of the saints, and in all these, at opportune times, through miracles worthy of such great deeds and virtues.

For starting from the apostolic chair down through succession of bishops, even unto the open confession of all mankind, it has possessed the crown of teaching authority.

Ambrose , bishop of Milan, sums it up best, when he writes:. And where the Church, no death is there, but life eternal. In short, given this analysis of the essential unity of a visible ecclesial hierarchy, the only plausible candidate for the Church Christ founded, identified by an essentially unified visible hierarchy tracing its succession back to the Apostles, is the Catholic Church. Given that the Church Christ founded is visible, and so has an essentially unified visible hierarchy, it thus follows that the Church Christ founded is the Catholic Church, i.

If the Catholic Church is the Church Christ founded, then the promises Christ makes to the Church are not promises to a merely invisible entity having visible members, but are promises to the Catholic Church.

The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Catholic Church. Only if they refer to a Body with a visible hierarchy do they even make sense. Once we see what it means for the Church to be visible, then we see precisely why we can trust Christ by trusting the Catholic Church.

Grasping the visibility of the Church, and thus the identity of the Church, and thus the divine guarantees concerning the Church, we can then understand how it follows that the Catholic Church is indefectible. Otherwise there is no definitive determination of the canon, or of orthodoxy and heresy. No mere association of denominations or congregations has the authority to bind the conscience of followers of Christ.

Development requires the definitive resolution of disputes, so that the Church as a whole can recognize a question as definitively settled, and then build upon the Magisterial answer.

Without an essentially unified visible hierarchy, we are left with biblicism. And that is why Protestantism, lacking an essentially unified visible hierarchy, must trace a path of decay through one of two paths: The essentially unified visible hierarchy of the Church allows her to be not only Magistra i.

For there is no other way to enter into life unless this mother conceive us in her womb, give us birth, nourish us at her breast, and lastly, unless she keep us under her care and guidance until, putting off mortal flesh, we become like the angels [Matthew Our weakness does not allow us to be dismissed from her school until we have been pupils all our lives.

Furthermore, away from her bosom one cannot hope for any forgiveness fo sins or any salvation, as Isaiah [Isaiah Calvin was not intending to speak of the Catholic Church in union with the successor of St. However, without an essentially unified visible hierarchy, what Calvin says here about the Church as our mother, makes no sense. That is because without an essentially unified visible hierarchy, there is no visible catholic i.

None of these is our mother. Nor are they, without being under the essentially unified visible hierarchy, part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. They may be invisibly joined to Christ, but they do not form a unified visible entity; they remain only a visible plurality indistinguishable from a plenitude of schisms. Without an essentially visible hierarchy, there is no visible Church, and thus there is no Church as Mater.

If Christ founded a visible Church, and His promises refer to this visible Church, then the goal of ecumenicism is not only agreement on doctrine and agreement on sacraments, but full communion under the same visible hierarchy, the one authorized by the Apostles and their successors.

Yet these three bonds of unity are so related that each depends upon the other two. Just as we cannot maintain unity of faith and sacraments without visible hierarchical unity, so we cannot determine or discover precisely what faith it is that we are to hold, apart from this unified visible hierarchy. It makes the Catholic Church stick out among all the Protestant demoninations, because none of them claim to be the Church that Christ founded. Each church is the Church catholic, but not the whole of it.

We have provided evidence and argumentation here that Christ founded a visible Church, and that this Church is visible not merely because some of its members are embodied, and not because local congregations and denominations exist. The Church Christ founded is visible because, as His Mystical Body, it necessarily has an essentially united visible hierarchy; this is the hierarchy of bishops and priests united under the episcopal successor of St.

Peter, the visible head appointed by Christ. Without an essentially united visible hierarchy, Church discipline would not be possible. That is because only Catholic ecclesiology is sacramental, i. Yet every ecclesiology denying that Christ founded an essentially united visible hierarchy must posit an invisible connection between the members and Christ.

Likewise, denying that Christ founded an essentially unified visible hierarchy reduces schisms to branches, and treats them as innocuous or even desirable, falsely construing them as much-needed diversity. If that seems inconceivable, ask yourself this question: If these were not branches, but schisms, what would be different about them? Every ecclesiology short of Catholic ecclesiology falls into some form of ecclesial docetism, since it treats the universal Church per se as though it were not visible, not having an essentially unified hierarchy, and thus not as a Body.

The bodily nature of the Church allows the Church to be both Mater et Magistra. This Kingdom is not invisible, but visible, present in the mystery of the Catholic Church. Though the Kingdom i. A mere plurality of congregations is no more of a unified Body than is a mere plurality of persons.

That is why Reformed ecclesiolgy in essence is indistinguishable from the ecclesiology of those who deny the visibility of the Church per se. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is manifestly clear that the faithful need the help of the Divine Redeemer, for He has said: Yet this, also, must be held, marvelous though it may seem: Christ has need of His members.

First, because the person of Jesus Christ is represented by the Supreme Pontiff, who in turn must call on others to share much of his solicitude lest he be overwhelmed by the burden of his pastoral office, and must be helped daily by the prayers of the Church. Moreover as our Savior does not rule the Church directly in a visible manner, He wills to be helped by the members of His Body in carrying out the work of redemption.

That is not because He is indigent and weak, but rather because He has so willed it for the greater glory of His spotless Spouse. Dying on the Cross He left to His Church the immense treasury of the Redemption, towards which she contributed nothing.

But when those graces come to be distributed, not only does He share this work of sanctification with His Church, but He wills that in some way it be due to her action. Again, as in nature a body is not formed by any haphazard grouping of members but must be constituted of organs, that is of members, that have not the same function and are arranged in due order; so for this reason above all the Church is called a body, that it is constituted by the coalescence of structurally untied parts, and that it has a variety of members reciprocally dependent.

An intrinsic union, by contrast, is one in which individuals, in their very being, become parts of something else. We are members of His Mystical Body, and this union of members and Head is so intimate that we form one Mystic Person, just as the cells in a body form one organism. We cannot be oriented fundamentally toward two or more distinct ends, unless one end is ordered to the other.

But how could all this be realized in the Apostles alone, placed as they were under the universal law of dissolution by death?