Is There Only One True Church?


People mistakenly think that there is an earthly organization that is the one true church. The true church is not an organization, not a series of buildings, but the body of true believers. The true church consists of those who are regenerate; that is, it consists of those who are the true Christians.

I have listed below the churches that claim to be the "One True Church" and that if you are not a member of that organization you are most likely not "SAVED" according to their doctrine on salvation. I have provided this information in love and respect for all who have given their lives over to God by accepting His Son Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

When you click on one of the church sites listed below you will go to the documentation that verifies the claim of being the "One True Church".  You must keep in mind, when communicating with any member of the below listed churches, that their goal is to bring you (unsaved) into their fold. Remember that most of these folks have a strong love for our Lord Jesus Christ and are really good people.  The problem lies in the doctrines and teachings of their church.  Even though most are "True Believers" they still carry unnecessary burdens because they honestly believe what their church is teaching them about Salvation and the Word of God.

I have listed the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here because they use the same "Christian" names for Jesus, but their Jesus is not the same Jesus of the Holy Bible.  These two churches are classified as "Christian Cults".

Whenever I get any other names of "One True Church" organizations I will add them to this list:

church of Christ

Roman Catholic Church

Jehovah's Witnesses

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Church of God in Christ, Mennonite

Seventh-Day Adventist Church (Only True Remnant Church)

Iglesia Ni Cristo

True Jesus Church

The Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research (IDMR)

The Philadelphia CHURCH OF GOD

The local Church

House of Yahweh

32 comments:

woman:confused said...

very important post!! I've had this discussion with others in the past. I also grew up in a REALLY catholic region of my home state so was constantly having to explain that they don't have the "rights" to christianity :)

Lloyd said...

I want to thank you "woman: confused" for your visit and comments. I think we have all had discussions with friends and family members about why they join the church they are attending.

Unfortunately when people join churches today they join them either because of “family tradition” or because of the “fellowship”. I am not saying that this is bad or wrong but when you join a church it is always good to find out what they “believe”. Most folks are on fire for the Lord and are “born again” Christians, but fail to check out the “beliefs and doctrines” of the church they join.

In today’s society the majority of folks think that all churches are the same in their belief in God and Jesus. They fail to realize that some churches are “works” orientated when it comes to salvation and some don’t even believe that the Holy Bible is “God breathed” and that they write their own books to justify their teachings.

There are lots of people who will jump from church to church (church-hop) until they find one that fits into their lifestyle and way of thinking. There are people that never find a church that fits into their own personal way of thinking or understanding of who God and Jesus are, so they go out and start their own church. That is why there are so many churches in the world today.

I think the bottom line is this—If you are joining a church, make sure you check out and understand their beliefs and doctrines—Do they agree with the Word of God? If the answer is “No” then move on until you do find one that agrees with God’s Word. God bless, Lloyd

A Gracious Home said...

I believe that there are saved people in all Christian churches. Jesus was walking in the seven churches. All of them even the ones he wasn't very pleased with. God bless your service to the Lord, Doylene

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Thanks for stopping by. This is the first I've visited your blog and it seems we share the same faith.

The Catholic Sojourner said...

Interesting post - having been Southern Baptist formerly, and now a Roman Catholic, I have a somewhat different view of the One True Church - would love to discuss

I'm telling my conversion story at my blog

take care and God bless
---todd

Lloyd said...

I want to personally thank you Todd for your visit and leaving a comment regarding your faith in the RCC. I read your conversion story on your blog and felt that it was very touching and from the heart. God works in each of us to bring us to our knees and humble us to the realization that we can not exist in the world without Him. I can tell by reading several of the posts on your blog that you have a strong belief in the RCC. It has always been my personal opinion that whether you are a Roman Catholic or just a believer in our Lord Jesus Christ attending a denominational church, it really does no good to debate and argue over religious doctrines that have been a topic of debate of hundreds of years by the most brilliant and intellectual minds of the Christian faith. As you can see….there still is no end in sight as to who is RIGHT or who is WRONG in their interpretation of God’s Word.

As you can see by all of the sidebar entries and posts on this blog that I am not connected with nor will ever be connected with the RCC. I have several friends and relatives that attend the RCC, but for me I have made my peace with God to be where I believe He wants me to be in my life. That is why you will probably not see lots of drawn out debates on religious doctrines in an attempt to convert anyone that visits this blog to any mainstream Christian religious group or denomination.

I am curious however, to know why you would convert to the RCC after being connected with a Southern Baptist Church. I am always interested to know why a person would leave their church family and seek out another one. Again, I want to think you for your visit and comments. May our Lord continue to bless you in your new found faith in the RCC. God bless, Lloyd

The Catholic Sojourner said...

Lloyd,
I appreciate your positive attitude - as far as why I converted from Southern Baptist to Catholic, stayed tuned to my blog because that is where my account is heading and is the whole reason I started the blog is to answer that question -

The reasons are many, but basically the Catholic Church is True, so I must follow God's Truth - it is indeed the One Church Jesus founded when on Earth, and He only founded One Church, not many little competing churches and factions - it has endured to this day with the same apostolic leadership, doctrines and practices - the Protestant groups are not united in one church, but compete against each other - they are founded on sinking sand, and one can see their demise in the older Protestant denominations which have sunk or are sinking into moral relativism and falling away from basic Christianity - such is the fate of the Protestant movement in general, which is founded on the sand of 'sola scriptura', which is ironlically not taught in scripture -

Only the Church Jesus founded on St. Peter is solid ground in this world - and I discovered to my surprise that it is indeed the Catholic Church

Another major reason, and really it could be the only reason and still be worth converting, is the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus, which He promised to give to His followers, to give us Life - as a true Christian I was starving for the natural food of a Christian: the Eucharist - after being famished for too long, He led me home to the Church where He fed me with Himself - the intimacy and bond with Jesus found in the Eucharist is a foretaste of Heaven brother -

I commend you on your faith - I will pray for you on your journey

---todd

Mid Stutsman said...

Hi Lloyd,
found you through another writer friend of mine. I appreciate your stand on the Truth, and commend your sweet spirit in answering posts. I agree with you in this article. I know many are being deceived throughout the world and according to the Word it will just get worse. Thank you for being a Light in the darkness.
Blessings,
Mid

Thandi said...

Here's something one of our Seventh-day Adventist pioneers wrote. I quote it because I agree with it-=and your post-and because there are some within my church who want to believe that you HAVE to be SDA to be saved. I disagree. "God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." Where Christ is, even among the humble few, this is Christ's church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church. Where two or three are present who love and obey the commandments of God, Jesus there presides, let it be in the desolate place of the earth, in the wilderness, in the city, [or] enclosed in prison walls. The glory of God has penetrated the prison walls, flooding with glorious beams of heavenly light the darkest dungeon. His saints may suffer, but their sufferings will, like the apostles' of old, spread their faith and win souls to Christ and glorify His holy name. The bitterest opposition expressed by those who hate God's great moral standard of righteousness should not and will not shake the steadfast soul who trusts fully in God. {17MR 81.4}..and now you've given me an idea for a blog post!

Lloyd said...

Thandi - I want to thank you for the visit and wonderful comment and quote from the SDA pioneer. I have several SDA friends who feel the same way as you. God's church is His people, not the RCC, great cathedrals, national establishments or various denominations. Blessings too you my friend in Christ. Lloyd

accumike said...

Hello Lloyd,

Thank you for your post regarding religious groups that claim to be the "only true church". My name is Mike. I am Shay's husband. I was a Mormon for ten years and have belonged to other churches who "had it right." It saddens me to think of how much we isolate others unnecessarily because we are so sure that ours is the best or only way. Christ is the only way. Faith alone in Christ alone, not Christ plus baptism or Christ plus a temple marriage or Christ plus the Eucharist.

I used to have interesting conversations with Catholics when I stood in front of abortion clinics from 2002-2009. I was grateful for their love of mercy upon the unborn. It was there that I learned that, according to the Catholic church, grace is ministered to its members through the sacraments. Since the Catholic church is the only organization that can properly administer these sacraments, grace and salvation can only come through the Catholic church.

Therefore, to be saved it is Christ + sacraments = salvation (I can't remember how many sacraments there are--I think seven--Eucharist, marriage, baptism, etc...)

No matter how you try to justify it, this would mean that Christ's death on the cross was insufficient. It would also deny the immediacy of salvation, making it a process with a questionable outcome. I can never be sure that I am saved in this schema because only continual obedience will keep the grace coming.

But scripture throughout the entire new testament indicates that salvation is a NOW event--being born again is similar to birth. You were not a child of God and then you were born from above. What a wonderful thing it is to know that I AM God's child, already sitting with Him in heavenly places! The Spirit of God testifies to my spirit that I AM His child, not might be or will be in the future after a little purgatory. Salvation is in the past tense. Sanctification is of course a whole other topic.

I realize I am preaching to the choir, but I just wanted to express myself on this topic as a former member of the "my church is better than your church" brigade.

Mike

Lloyd said...

Mike - Thank you for such a heartfelt and powerful testimony of Christian faith. My prayer is that our RCC brothers and sisters come to know the TRUTH of the gospel of our Lord and Savior and feel this complete freedom, peace and comfort that only can come from Christ and Christ alone.

Your witness regarding the Mormon church is such a blessing because of the power this cult has on the lives of people that are looking for the truth. I know of several folks, including a few family members that have been "sucked into" this false religion. It just make my heart ache that members of the LDS church truly believe that they are God's only "true church" and that they are all heaven bound. Blessings my friend. Lloyd

The Catholic Sojourner said...

Lloyd, as a member of the "RCC" myself, I appreciate your prayers - however, I can assure you, as a "devout" Catholic, and a former Southern Baptist, that the Catholic Church has the "TRUTH" of the gospel of Jesus Christ, indeed the Fullness of the Truth - it sounds incredible, and maybe to you arrogant, but it is simply a fact. A glorious fact that Our Blessed Lord led me into in my walk of faith - I do know though that only grace can make this evident, so I will in turn prayer you for my brother, and all those born again in Christ, that we all return to the unity of the One Faith, in Our Lord's One Bride, the One Church He Himself founded on the Rock of St. Peter, which has lasted to our own day in the One Holy Catholic and Apolostic Church.
God bless
---todd

http:\\catholicsojourner.blogspot.com

Lloyd said...

Todd, I have no doubt in my mind that you are a true believer in our Lord and Savior. My only doubt is that you carry a burden of legalistic views regarding salvation and the true meaning of the biblical “church” that Christ is head. What makes me infatuated with your witness is this – you were once a Southern Baptist, like me, but something made you leave your church family and convert to the RCC.

Now, I must tell you that I fully respect your right to join any Christian church that the Lord leads you to, however, I am still a little puzzled as to why you choose the RCC fully knowing that they believe in some really questionable doctrines.

But, like I mentioned in past comments regarding this subject… the battle between trying to persuade each other as to “who is right” has been going on for centuries and it will probably not end until the Day of our Lord. Then, I suppose it will not matter one way or the other because we will all be in heaven giving praise to God and there will be no distinction between denominations or religious organizations. There will only be the “true believers” in Christ Jesus.

Thank you for your prayers and may our Lord continue to bless you and your blog ministry. Lloyd

Anonymous said...

Dear lloyd, you have once again gone to my blog and told me you liked my posts, when I went to your blog, I saw you espousing false information about Catholicism. So I really struggle with understanding how you can so easily try to mislead people.
1)You mislead by saying I really like your blog"
2)You bear false witness by saying things about Catholicism that are absolutley not true. If you are an honest person you will admit your true motivation for coming to my blog and retract your comments that Catholics believe that they are the only ones who are saved.
Check out this video ;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2ZNew3t7AM

Lloyd said...

Anonymous (Russ) - I usually do not invite folks twice to my blog, but I mistakenly invited you twice, so if it caused you stress, I am sorry. I still maintain that I like your blog, but that does not mean that I agree with what you have to say on it. Let me know what is not true about what is written here on Catholicism. The information is from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. God bless, Lloyd

Lloyd said...

From: russ rentler
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2011 3:59 PM
To: Lloyd Cannaday
Subject: Bearing False Witness


Lloyd:

Regarding your comments on your blog that Catholics don't think other people outside the Church can't be saved. That is false and I would like to know where in the Catechism you read that. The most recent version of the Catechism states:

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276


So you see Lloyd, I have shown you that the Catholic Church doesn't believe other Christians are not saved. I have never met a Catholic in the 7 years that I have been Catholic who has ever said that. So in the spirit of charity, I will ask you one more time to apologize for spreading false information about the Catholic faith on your website. You claim to be a Christian so I cannot think of a reason why you would want to propagate false information about the Church Jesus started. I don't condemn you for not believing Catholicism is true but I do think you are a dishonest person who for whatever reason can't fess up to his wrongdoings,.... but that is between you and God. If you are going to spam other people's blogs you better have the correct information to back up your claims, otherwise, God can't honor your efforts if you continue to promote falsehood. The father of lies is he master of that behavior.

I await your correction and apology on your blog.





I pray you read the Catechism with an open mind and stop posting false information about Catholicism.

Thank you,

Russ Rentler, M.D

Lloyd said...

On Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 7:26 PM, Lloyd Cannaday wrote:

Thanks Russ for the information. I was not aware of a newer version of the Catechism then the second one. I will immediately remove the post regarding this topic until I have had a chance to check it out on the official RCC website. If it is true in what you are telling me then I have no problem with an open apology regarding my error. God bless, Lloyd

Lloyd said...

From: russ rentler
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2011 6:45 PM
To: Lloyd Cannaday
Subject: Re: Bearing False Witness


Thanks Lloyd for being willing to listen. There is a vast difference between what people say about the Catholic Church and what the Church actually says for itself. None of us should be posting incorrect information about anyone's religion when the answers are literally a few clicks away.
Take care
Russ Rentler, M.D.

Lloyd said...

On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 10:08 AM, Lloyd Cannaday wrote:

Russ: I have been studying up on the RCC doctrines but still come to the following conclusions:

1) The RCC claims to be the only true church.

2) The RCC claims that only through them you can be saved.

Please have patience with me on this subject because I am really trying hard to understand your point of view when you claim that the RCC does not teach or believe that other Christians (non-Catholics) are not saved.

I base these conclusions on a through reading of the Dominus Jesus document and also the following quotes from different popes and catechisms:

"The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: 'For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained.'" Pg. 215, #816

Here, the 1994 catechism reaffirms the existing teaching of Vatican II, that salvation can be obtained only through the Roman Catholic Church. The catechism leaves no doubt that the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation:

"...all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation..." Pg. 224, #846

On May 7, 2001, Pope John Paul II told 2,000 youth gathered at the Greek-Melkite Cathedral of Damascus that "you cannot be a Christian if you reject the Church founded on Jesus Christ." (From article "Pope Meets with Youth of Various Christian Confessions," Vatican City, 5/7/01 (VIS) reported by the Catholic Information Network, 5/9/01, N. 86)

CATECHISM OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

95 "It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls."62

181 "Believing" is an ecclesial act. The Church's faith precedes, engenders, supports and nourishes our faith. The Church is the mother of all believers. "No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother" (St. Cyprian, De unit. 6: PL 4, 519). (Continued)

Lloyd said...

Lloyd (Continued)

The Church - mystery of men's union with God

772 It is in the Church that Christ fulfills and reveals his own mystery as the purpose of God's plan: "to unite all things in him."189 St. Paul calls the nuptial union of Christ and the Church "a great mystery." Because she is united to Christ as to her bridegroom, she becomes a mystery in her turn.190 Contemplating this mystery in her, Paul exclaims: "Christ in you, the hope of glory."191

773 In the Church this communion of men with God, in the "love [that] never ends," is the purpose which governs everything in her that is a sacramental means, tied to this passing world.192 "[The Church's] structure is totally ordered to the holiness of Christ's members. And holiness is measured according to the 'great mystery' in which the Bride responds with the gift of love to the gift of the Bridegroom."193 Mary goes before us all in the holiness that is the Church's mystery as "the bride without spot or wrinkle."194 This is why the "Marian" dimension of the Church precedes the "Petrine."195

The universal Sacrament of Salvation

774 The Greek word mysterion was translated into Latin by two terms: mysterium and sacramentum. In later usage the term sacramentum emphasizes the visible sign of the hidden reality of salvation which was indicated by the term mysterium. In this sense, Christ himself is the mystery of salvation: "For there is no other mystery of God, except Christ."196 The saving work of his holy and sanctifying humanity is the sacrament of salvation, which is revealed and active in the Church's sacraments (which the Eastern Churches also call "the holy mysteries"). The seven sacraments are the signs and instruments by which the Holy Spirit spreads the grace of Christ the head throughout the Church which is his Body. The Church, then, both contains and communicates the invisible grace she signifies. It is in this analogical sense, that the Church is called a "sacrament."

775 "The Church, in Christ, is like a sacrament - a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men."197 The Church's first purpose is to be the sacrament of the inner union of men with God. Because men's communion with one another is rooted in that union with God, the Church is also the sacrament of the unity of the human race. In her, this unity is already begun, since she gathers men "from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues";198 at the same time, the Church is the "sign and instrument" of the full realization of the unity yet to come.

776 As sacrament, the Church is Christ's instrument. "She is taken up by him also as the instrument for the salvation of all," "the universal sacrament of salvation," by which Christ is "at once manifesting and actualizing the mystery of God's love for men."199 The Church "is the visible plan of God's love for humanity," because God desires "that the whole human race may become one People of God, form one Body of Christ, and be built up into one temple of the Holy Spirit."200 (Continued)

Lloyd said...

Lloyd (Continued)

"I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH"

Paragraph 3. The Church Is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic

811 "This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic."256 These four characteristics, inseparably linked with each other,257 indicate essential features of the Church and her mission. The Church does not possess them of herself; it is Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, makes his Church one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, and it is he who calls her to realize each of these qualities.

812 Only faith can recognize that the Church possesses these properties from her divine source. But their historical manifestations are signs that also speak clearly to human reason. As the First Vatican Council noted, the "Church herself, with her marvelous propagation, eminent holiness, and inexhaustible fruitfulness in everything good, her catholic unity and invincible stability, is a great and perpetual motive of credibility and an irrefutable witness of her divine mission."258

I. THE CHURCH IS ONE

"The sacred mystery of the Church's unity" (UR 2)

813 The Church is one because of her source: "the highest exemplar and source of this mystery is the unity, in the Trinity of Persons, of one God, the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit."259 The Church is one because of her founder: for "the Word made flesh, the prince of peace, reconciled all men to God by the cross, . . . restoring the unity of all in one people and one body."260 The Church is one because of her "soul": "It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in those who believe and pervading and ruling over the entire Church, who brings about that wonderful communion of the faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ that he is the principle of the Church's unity."261 Unity is of the essence of the Church:

What an astonishing mystery! There is one Father of the universe, one Logos of the universe, and also one Holy Spirit, everywhere one and the same; there is also one virgin become mother, and I should like to call her "Church."262

814 From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God's gifts and the diversity of those who receive them. Within the unity of the People of God, a multiplicity of peoples and cultures is gathered together. Among the Church's members, there are different gifts, offices, conditions, and ways of life. "Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions."263 The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church's unity. Yet sin and the burden of its consequences constantly threaten the gift of unity. And so the Apostle has to exhort Christians to "maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."264

815 What are these bonds of unity? Above all, charity "binds everything together in perfect harmony."265 But the unity of the pilgrim Church is also assured by visible bonds of communion:

- profession of one faith received from the Apostles;

-common celebration of divine worship, especially of the sacraments;

- apostolic succession through the sacrament of Holy Orders, maintaining the fraternal concord of God's family.266

816 "The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. . . . This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him."267 (Continued)

Lloyd said...

Lloyd (Continued)

The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: "For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God."268

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth" 273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338

Please let me know if I am way off base on this subject or maybe there is something else I am missing. God bless, Lloyd

Lloyd said...

From: russ rentler
Sent: Sunday, March 27, 2011 9:07 AM
To: Lloyd Cannaday
Subject: Re: Bearing False Witness


Dear Lloyd:
Thanks for taking the time to read the catechism and pursue this. I do think you are missing a few issues which I hope you will also be patient to hear me out on.

Regarding your first point, you are correct, the Catholic Church claims to be the only true Church.
I have no issue with you disagreeing with that, but I think it would be helpful to understand why the Church says it.
We believe Jesus started one Church, which I can historically prove is the Catholic Church, being called that as early as 107 AD, which means, it was probably referred as that even earlier but first found written in 107.
Since we believe Jesus started only one Church which He intended to always remain as one, these other groups of baptized believers are referred to as ecclesial communities, and not officially as churches. Now I realize that this sounds triumphalistic and even snarky to non-Catholics,( remember I was an evangelical for 31 years, and I would be put off by it also), but hear me out. If we believe that Jesus intended one Church and indeed historically started one church that has its roots in the apostles and Peter, than, other groups of Christians who are not in unity with the Catholic Church can't be called Church. If we call them "Church" we are implying that they are in full union with the Catholic Church, and therefore hold to all the teachings of the Catholic faith. To distinguish these Christians from Catholic Christians, they are officially referred to as "ecclesial communities," meaning faith communities. So the Church cannot call other communities "Church", because in the very definition of the word Church, to a Catholic, we are talking about this visible body of believers, in union with the original Church Jesus started . The concept is not meant to lessen the dignity of our fellow Christians who claim Christ as their savior, but it is actually with the intent to restore full unity. It's calling a spade a spade, saying we recognize that you have Christ, but are not yet in full unity with the Catholic Church. If you, Lloyd, hear of Catholics telling protestants they are not saved, that is a grave sin and those Catholics are sadly deluded and in danger of their own soul, because Jesus tells us "if you call your brother Raffa (fool) you are in danger of hell fire. How much more it you tell your brother he is not a Christian. It's not up to any of us to look at our brother to judge the state of his soul, regardless of whether he is in full union with the Catholic Church or not.

(Continued)

Lloyd said...

Russ (Continued)

Point 2- "Only through the Catholic Church can you be saved." This needs to be understood in the context of the many quotes you gave me from the catechism. Since the Catholic Church believes that it is the Church that Jesus started(you are free to disagree) she is the source of the sacraments which as Catholics we believe are an integral part of salvation, for instance, we believe, as do several protestant denominations, that baptism is essential for salvation. The mysteries of salvation, meaning the truths of the Catholic faith, spill out and are indeed shared with other Christians and though they are not in full unity with us, they benefit from the graces, teachings, doctrines that came from the Catholic Church. A simple example: a group of Catholic bishops in 325 AD, definitively stated what christians should believe in terms of the nature of Jesus. There were many heresies at the time saying Jesus was not God. So the Church held the Nicene council that established the creed as the correct doctrine, and to dispel the heresy. So in a sense, we today- you and I, have a firm understanding of the tri-une nature of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, based on the Holy Spirit working through the group of Christian believers at that time who were known as the Catholic Church. The bible alone was not enough to dispel the heresy that Jesus is God, though the bible was not formally canonized and put together until 70 years later at another Church council. The bible you hold in your hands today is the result of a group of bishops praying, debating and acting under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to discern which books should be included and which books should be thrown out. Without this work of the Catholic Church at the councils of Rome and Carthage and Hippo in the late 4th century, we would have no New Testament and no "index" as to which books should be there. Keep in mind that Dr. Luther, 1100 years later chose to remove 7 books of the Old Testament and wished to remove the book of James and Revelation and Hebrews too. He called James "an epistle of straw."
So all Christians benefit from the truths and historical efforts of the Catholic Church, without that original protection of doctrine, we wouldn't be saved.
Think of it this way, the sun is the center of the universe and though the surrounding planets are outside the Sun, they indeed receive her radiation and warmth and indeed "benefit" as it were from the sun.

(Continued)

Lloyd said...

Russ (Continued)

Another analogy of protestantism, think of a family dynamic. There was one Catholic family, but there has been several divorces, but we are still in relationship with those outside the family, but the relationship has been broken.

These analogies fall short but I am trying to explain that the Church accepts these children of divorce as believers and in no way says they are not saved.

Let me conclude by recopying statements from the Catechism that I would ask you to pray about.

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

Most protestant believers don't know that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God and Christ and therefore this does not apply to them. The Church does not hold people accountable for that which they don't know or understand. This is very important to understand here.

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

Based on the above quotes Lloyd, do you still maintain that the Church says you cannot be saved if you are not Catholic? I believe that the fullness of truth resides in the Catholic faith but other faith communities have a share of this truth as well. In keeping with the teachings of the Church as stated in the catechism above, non-Catholic baptized Christians are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the Catholic Church.

I hope after reading this link here, you will have further understanding as well. Given the above statement from the catechism, do you still think it is fair to state on your blog that Catholics think that people outside the Catholic Church are not and cannot be saved? I believe I have given you fair enough evidence to prove the Church says otherwise about itself.

Thanks for reading, God bless your Lord's Day as we continue our Lenten Journey to celebrate the Resurrection!

russ

Lloyd said...

On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 8:15 PM, Lloyd Cannaday wrote:

Dear Russ: I want to thank you for your efforts in attempting to explain to me the Catholic Church's teachings on salvation. I must say that after going to the web link www.catholic.com and reading the following topic pages I am probably more convinced that I am not saved because I am not a member of the Roman Catholic Church. I truly believe that you feel that all Christians outside the RCC and are baptized are saved. Please examine these two topic pages for yourself and tell me that my thinking is correct relating to a person who has all the knowledge of the RCC but still denies the doctrines and teachings. God bless, Lloyd

No Salvation Outside the Church:

On the other hand, the Church has long made it clear that if a person rejects the Church with full knowledge and consent, he puts his soul in danger:

They cannot be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or remain in it (cf. LG 14).The Catholic Church is "the single and exclusive channel by which the truth and grace of Christ enter our world of space and time" (Karl Adam, The Spirit of Catholicism, 179). Those who do not know the Church, even those who fight against it, can receive these gifts if they honestly seek God and his truth. But, Adam says, "though it be not the Catholic Church itself that hands them the bread of truth and grace, yet it is Catholic bread that they eat." And when they eat of it, "without knowing it or willing it" they are "incorporated in the supernatural substance of the Church."

Salvation outside the Church:

"However, for those who knowingly and deliberately (that is, not out of innocent ignorance) commit the sins of heresy (rejecting divinely revealed doctrine) or schism (separating from the Catholic Church and/or joining a schismatic church), no salvation would be possible until they repented and returned to live in Catholic unity."

Lloyd said...

From: russ rentler
Sent: Sunday, March 27, 2011 7:03 PM
To: Lloyd Cannaday
Subject: Re: Bearing False Witness

Lloyd:
Did you ever believe and fully understand that the Catholic Church was the true Church?
Did you have full knowledge of all that the Church teaches?
Do you or did you ever believe that the "Church was founded by God through Christ"

If you can honestly say yes to all of the above questions, but still refuse to enter the Church, rejecting it with full knowledge and consent, then I leave it up to God to be your judge.
However, I have never met a protestant who truly believes all of the above and still insists on leaving it, or refuses to enter. As a matter of fact, most protestants who do agree to the tenets listed above actually became Catholic, such as Dr. Scott Hahn. Marcus Grodi, Dr. Kenneth Howell, Dr. Francis Beckwith and untold numbers of others over the centuries. At the time of the reformation,I am sure there were many who did indeed meet the above criteria, but that is very rare nowadays. Read what Karl Adams, Catholic priest and theologian wrote in the early 20th century:
Those who do not know the Church, even those who fight against it, can receive these gifts if they honestly seek God and his truth. But, Adam says, "though it be not the Catholic Church itself that hands them the bread of truth and grace, yet it is Catholic bread that they eat." And when they eat of it, "without knowing it or willing it" they are "incorporated in the supernatural substance of the Church."

When I was a 14 year old, I left the Catholic Church, and thumbed my nose at her, and witnessed to friends in high school and pulled them out of the Church. Am I not going to be saved? No, because I didn't leave her, thinking and believing it was the Church Christ started and fully understanding. I was a lousy Catholic who did not know anything about the Church. God is merciful and extends His mercy to those who without full knowledge reject the Church, but yet cry out to Jesus, as many outside the Church do.
My protestant brothers in the faith for the most part, are good God- fearing people, who through no fault of their own were raised in environments that did not allow them to access or gain a full knowledge of the Catholic faith. I have shown you repeatedly that the Church in her own words, welcomes these folks and considers them heirs of the kingdom as well. Pope Benedict recently reiterated the words in Domini Jesu saying that "our separated brethren indeed share in the mysteries of salvation." I thought I had stated that in the video I made.
But for the select few that adamantly refuse to obey the Church, despite knowing and believing all that she teaches, their soul is in peril.

Hope this helps clarify,

Russ

Lloyd said...

Russ: I want to thank you again for expressing your strong belief in the Roman Catholic Church. I can honestly answer "yes" to all three of your questions so I guess it is really up to our Holy and Awesome God to Judge me now. However, being I am not "saved" in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church, just like hundreds like me... my question: "The RCC claims that only through them you can be saved." is answered.

I am fully convinced that the teachings regarding the RCC are true that I have posted on my blog. However, just to be fair about what you and I have discussed between us through these emails, I am going to publish them for other followers and readers to pray about. Even though you and I do not agree, there may be Christians that would cherish your thoughts regarding the church that you put your trust and love in. Thank you again for your time and like always, I continue to pray for my Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ to come to the truth of the gospel of Christ Jesus. God bless, Lloyd

todrawneargod said...

Hmmm... I had a friend since elementary who is a Catholic Defender. Her parents are catholic defender. We had a heated argument (I was still new in the faith and so I was very bold and excited to tell her about Salvation.) She said that RC is the only true and genuine church because it is founded on Peter, the rock. Peter is the first apostle, etc. She even told me that other churches like evangelical, Bible-based, Christ-centered churches or the so-called born again churches and the pentecostal churches will not last and could not stand on its own apart from the Bible... We talked about Idolatry (worshiping wooden/carved images of saints, Mary, etc). She sent me text messages from their doctrine and I replied by sending her verses from the Bible. But she would not listen. In the end, she said that she will no longer text or communicate with me. Her parents even forbid her in talking to me. She started calling me names, "You are like a bamboo, you bend/sway wherever the wind blew you." I tried contacting her but she cut our friendship. Sad... After years of not responding to my text (cellphone messaging), after I tried reaching out to her and praying for her, she finally gave in and replied when I greeted her on her birthday. We started communicating but it's no longer the same. But still I am thankful to God for answering my prayer and for touching her heart.


What I learned from that experience?

People are so willing to die for the sake of their religion. They are willing to lose their friends for the sake of their doctrines. I've heard many RC said, "I was born an RC and I will die an RC."

The question is: will they have that same fervor for JESUS? Will they be willing to die for Jesus? Willing to lose their friends and family for the gospel?

In the end, in heaven, there will be no denomination. God will not ask you, "From which church are your from." What matters to Him is if you are really His child. In heaven we are all children of God. There is no label stamped on our forehead or body that says, "CATHOLIC" or "Baptist" or ""Pentecostal", so on and so forth. There is no other name we will we associated to but the NAME OF JESUS!

God bless us!

Lloyd said...

todrawneargod - Thank you for your testimony regarding the RCC. I think that we all have had friends and family members who are members of the RCC who have stood behind their doctrine to the point of not fellowshipping with "other Christians" who do not belong to the RCC.

But like you have so truly said, "In the end, in heaven, there will be no denomination. God will not ask you, "From which church are you from." What matters to Him is if you are really His child. In heaven we are all children of God. There is no label stamped on our forehead or body that says, "CATHOLIC" or "Baptist" or ""Pentecostal", so on and so forth. There is no other name we will we associated to but the NAME OF JESUS!"

God bless you my sister in Christ.

Ed said...

Having been raised in a Lutheran sect that considers unsaved everybody other than its 100,000 or so members worldwide, I find it fascinating to see how other Christian groups have the same viewpoints about themselves vs. everybody else. It's also interesting how you've found exclusivity statements in the Catholic church's own credal materials that individual Catholics are loath to profess. As one friend of mine says about the condemnation of our own childhood faith, we are better individually than our doctrine makes us collectively.

If you're curious to see an example of how one group condemns everybody posting here, from the gracious and kind-hearted Christian host of this site to the RCC commenter concerned about his soul, check out Section 4.2.1 of a book I wrote recently.