- Nov 2, 2021
- Religious Affiliation
- Marital Status
- Acceptance of the Trinity & Nicene Creed
Body of Christ (physical)Thanks for confirming my point: No mention of your church. Nope. Isn't there.
And your attempt in this thread to get the focus OFF Christ and instead on your church is very telling (and disgusting).
The Bible uses the word "CHURCH" in two very different ways:
"The one, holy, catholic community of saints" as most Christians proclaim each Sunday. This is PEOPLE, the PEOPLE of God. ALL those to whom God has given the divine gifts of faith, spiritual life, justification (narrow) and the Holy Spirit. It is the entire corpus of such (both on earth and now in heaven). It is "invisible" in the sense that it is not a human/geopolical/legal/economic entity but is "visible" in the sense that faith among the faithful is observable. It is ONE (because we are one body, one family, brothers and sisters in Christ), united in our faith in CHRIST as THE (one, only, exclusive) Savior. It is HOLY because all in it are forgiven via that faith in that Savior. It is CATHOLIC because it embraces ALL believers everywhere and in every time, it is a communion because we are united into one spiritual entity.
1 Peter 2:9
Example: Good Shepherd Catholic Church of Beverly Hills, CA. Concordia Lutheran Church of Jamestown, ND.
A congregation is a gathering of Christian people in a given place and time. They gather together by their Lord's direction to worship, study, serve/minister, grow, support, love and hold each other accountable. They MAY put institutional aspects into place (name, constitution/by laws, articles of corporation, budgets, officers, property, etc.) so that that association has institutional aspects or simply may be Christians who gather in some living room. While the word "church" is often used for this too, it is NOT to be confused with THE Church - the one, holy, catholic, communion of saints: these associations are at most a tiny and current subset of THE Church. There are tens of millions of congregations in the world, very few last more than a century so they tend to have a beginning and an end. It is NOT divinely mandated that all Christians associate into some congregation/parish, but many do and many believe this is a good thing but there are hundreds of millions of "non-congregational" Christians.
1 Thessalonians 1:1
1 Corinthians 1:2
The word "CHURCH" has two additional meanings in modern English. These meanings are not found in Scripture:
Examples: "The United Church of Christ" "The Orthodox Presbyterian Church" "The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod" "The Greek Orthodox Church" "The Catholic Church"
At times, a group of congregations MAY choose to associate together - forming an institution of them, an association of congregations.
This USUALLY is a formal institution - but it can at times simply refer to a common creed among congregations (as in "the Lutheran denomination" - there actually are over 300 Lutheran denomination institutions, but theoretically, most share a common creed, the Lutheran Confessions). These congregations associate together into denominations for similar reasons that Christians associate into congregations: for the purposes of mutual edification, ministry, support and accountability. Some of these are extremely "loose" (the "United Church of Christ" in the USA would be an example), the most radical forms are very strong they even may actually legally own and operate the member congregations (the Catholic Church or the Episcopal Church USA are examples of very radical, extreme denominations).
Congregations can be denominational (as most are) or non-denominational. Denominational ones are associated with other congregations - with a common formal statement of faith and often with some governance above and outside itself, whereas non-denominational ones are independent and autonomous. There is no divine mandate that a congregation be denominational (and millions aren't) but most are and most believe this is a benefit.
There are no Scriptures that mention denominations. Many hold that none clearly existed until the Roman Empire formed "The Roman Church" in the early 4th Century, created by itself for itself in the image of itself.
Denomination: an established religious group, typically uniting a group of individual, local congregations into a single administrative body.
Denomination: "A group of religious congregations united under a common faith and name and organized under a single administrative and legal hierarchy."
Denomination: "a group of religious congregations having its own organization and often a distinctive faith."
Denomination: "a group of religious congregations having its own organization and a distinctive faith."
American Heritage Dictionary:
Denomination: "A large group of religious congregations united under a common faith and name and organized under a single administrative and legal hierarchy."
Is the RCC a denomination? It is unless one insists that it has no Catechism or beliefs, that is has no bishops or archbishops or cardinals or pope, that each priest is entirely autonomous, that each parish is absolutely independent and has nothing to do with ANY other parish.
The word is often used for a building used for religious purposes by Christians.
Catholic universal whole world
Jn 1:29 Jn 3:16 Lk 2:10-11