KNOW YOUR CHURCH

Based on current Wikipedia statistic, the Catholic faith has about 1,253,926,000 (1 billion) members world-wide and 330,000 members in the United States. Combining all the Protestant’s religions (Protestants have a plethora of different congregations), they have 920,000,000 world-wide members and 330,000 U.S. members. A small but incredibly significant Christian religion is the Eastern Orthodox with around 18 million members world-wide. If we compare these three branches of Christianity to other world-wide religions, such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and African Indigenous sects, the makeup is as follow:

  • Catholics 25%,
  • Islam is 22%,
  • Protestants 19%,
  • Hinduism 19%,
  • Eastern Orthodox Christian 6%,
  •  Buddhism 4%,
  •  AIC  3%.

 If the three Christian religions would unit into one church, the membership will increases  to 2,191,926,000 (2 billion) members. That is a lot of people believing in Jesus Christ! It is a shame that the three Christian groups cannot be united. In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren writes that “unity in the church is so important that the New Testament gives more attention to it than to either heaven or hell. God deeply desires that we experience oneness and harmony with each other. Unity is the soul of fellowship. Destroy it and you rip the heart out of Christ’s body. If unity is so important as Pastor Warren just stated, then why are there so many different denominations? “According to the Center for the study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2009, there are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations and organizations in the world today”.[1]  These are shocking statistics!  How did we go from Jesus starting His church in 33 A.D to where we are today, in 2021, with maybe more than 41,000 Christian’s denominations?  To find the answer, one must know history-Biblical Church history

First of all, I will ask a few questions. Do you know your Church? What does your church believe in? Is it Catholic, Christian, Eastern Orthodox, or a non-denominational? Is your church an offshoot from another denomination? Do you know where the doctrine of your church came from? Do you believe in Sola Scriptura (the bible alone is all that is needed) or Sola Fide (faith alone is all that is needed)? Does your church combine bible plus tradition? In your church, is the Eucharist really the body of Jesus Christ or is it only a symbolic remembering? Can you attend services in your church every day or just twice a week? Does your church offer the Eucharist every day, weekly, monthly, or just at Christmas and Easter if at all? Is divorce, abortion, birth controls accepted in your church? Can you remarry in the church you attend without an annulment? Must you ask forgiveness from the clergy in your church or is there no need for a confessor?  Was your church started by a king because he could not get an annulment? Do you know where the leader of your church received his/her teachings? Do you bash or verbally attack members of other faiths for not partaking in your beliefs? Do you defend the teachings of your church peacefully and knowledgably or do you rant and rave with incomprehensible remarks showing you are ignorant of your understanding? Did your church begin in the year 33 A.D? If not, when did your church begin? Is the Catholic Church the only true Church that Jesus gave to man?

The reason I posted these questions is because I have asked these same questions to many different church members over the past 50 plus years. I have engaged with them in religious conversations. The answers to most of the questions is no.  However, everyone usually answer their church came from God and it is the true church.

To understand how I came about my faith I will share a little of my history. I was born and raised in a strong Catholic family with seven older brothers. My mother was the “original” church lady. She made sure we all went to church, attended catholic elementary and high school. My mother made sure we attended Sunday Mass and when there were holy days of obligations she made sure we were at church. During lent, we were all up early attending daily Mass at 6:30. When I was young and wanted to go to the movies with my older brother Robert, my mother would consult the local Catholic newspaper movie review to determine if it met her catholic standers. If the paper gave a favorable review we were allowed to go see the movie.  I never understood why she consulted that paper, after all John Wayne and the Planet of the Ape movies were surely favorable in our view!  I cannot say that I learned a lot about my catholic faith while attending catholic elementary and high school but I did learn the basics.  Attending LSU I continue my Sunday routine of going to Mass but that was about the extent exploring my faith.  I did meet a lot of people with many different faith and I would inquire about their church but usually they were like me; only had the basic understanding. When I first married my former wife, while she was also Catholic, she had less understanding of the Catholic faith than I had. We did bring up our children in our Catholic faith and they too attended Catholic  schools. Unlike my mother, I was not the “church lady” that she was. However, I did make sure we were at Sunday Mass and tried to hit some holy days of obligations.  

My Catholic faith did not come into play until I had a failed marriage and financial problems. To get through those tough times, I had to lean on my basic educational faith. During the beginning of my divorce, I volunteer to teach CCD to ninth and tenth graders. It was in this role as a teacher that I realized I truly did not know much about my faith. I understood that if I did not know my faith, how was I going to teach young kids looking to me for answers. So, with trouble in my life and trying to teach kids, it was then I dove into the bible and started doing research. For the next fourteen years I read every Catholic, Protestant and nondenominational  books I could find. I attended church more than usual, prayed at the adoration chapel often, to a daily walk with the Holy Spirit in faith. During this time I was writing a journal that turned out to be my first book titled God and Free-Will. With this said, now you may understand why I passionately believe in the Catholic Church and now I will begin to explain my reasons why I believe the Catholic Church is the only Church Jesus gave to man.

 First of all, the word Catholic, comes from the Greek word katholikos– meaning universal. Therefore the Catholic Church is the only Church that literally has the meaning that everyone is invited! Secondly, there is overwhelming biblical history proving Jesus started only one church-the Catholic Church. All the other churches were started by man beginning in the fifteenth century. While you may not believe this to be true, this topic will explore my deductions to my beliefs backed up with biblical proof and testimony from the New Testament.  I will break down the truth in several sections: The Primacy, The Church,  Christ is the Body of Christ, The Church must be One, Church Authoritative, Infallible Church, Apostolic Church, and the Apostolic Succession.

The Primacy of Peter, The Church, Christ is the Body & the Church Must be One.

Recalling the first paragraph, Rick Warren writing how “unity” was especially important to Jesus, I agree! Although, when Jesus begins his ministry, there were no unity. The Romans had their pagan gods and the Jews had God dwelling in the temple. However, God was only for the Jews. The Gentiles had nothing. Jesus changes things. He begins a radical new teaching where all are invited to reside in Him and worship His Father. “Jesus’ vision was a Kingdom of God open to all, regardless of class, race, or gender. It promised eternal salvation to the poor and wealthy, to slaves and senators, in equal measure”[2]. Unity with Jesus beings with the Primacy of Peter; “upon this rock I will build my church”[3]. Notice here Jesus said “my church”! If he did not want unity of one church, Jesus would have said otherwise. So, He did not say, your church or our church, but my church! The Primacy of Peter, The Church, Christ is the Body, and the Church must be One, are all interrelated. They cannot have one without the other. John 10:16 validates this when he writes, “There must be one flock, one shepherd”. In his letter to the Ephesians, Saint Paul reiterate the interlocking of this unity when he declares “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all”.[4]  For three years the Apostles were receiving instructions from Jesus to develop the blueprints for the one church He had in mind. Declaring Peter to be the rock, the foundation of His church, He then gives Peter authority to set in place doctrines as he sees fit: “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”.[5]  To help guide Peter and his fellow Apostles in building Jesus’ church, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit upon them all so they will be guided by the Holy Spirit into all truth: “The Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth”[6] and “the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name, he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you”[7]. The Holy Spirit descends upon Peter and the Apostles when Pentecost was fulfilled: “Then there appeared to them tongues of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit”.[8]

From then on, guided with the Holy Spirit, Peter creates the first Christian community in Jerusalem, oversee the replacement of Judas, cures a crippled beggar, was flogged before the Sanhedrin for speaking the truth and sends out the apostles to preach in foreign lands. In addition, it was Peter who received the first Gentile converts and pronounces his first dogmatic decision in Acts 15:19. After Saul is converted and changed his name to Paul, he then went to meet the head of the New Church-Peter: “After three years I went to Jerusalem to confer with Kephas and stayed with him for fifteen days”[9]. For Peter to deny Jesus three times, he surely stepped up to the plate and became the rock of the Church that Jesus wanted him to become.

Yes Peter is the leader of Jesus’s church, but Jesus is the head of His Church. Without Jesus, there is no church. In his letter to the congregation at Colossae, Saint Paul writes: “He (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church”[10]. And to the Corinthians, Saint Paul writes: “I urge you brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose”.[11] To the Romans, he says; “we, though are many, are one body in Christ”.[12]  Proclaiming Jesus as head of one Church, Saint Cyprain writes in 250 AD, “God is one, and Christ is  one, and one in “His” Church, and the faith is one, and his people welded together by the glue of concord into a solid unity of the body. Unity cannot be rent asunder, nor can the one body of the Church, though the division of its structure, be divided into separate pieces”[13]. Concurring with Saint Cyprain, Saint Hillary, in the 4th century, exclaims: “In the Scripture our people are shown to be made of one; so that just as many grains collected into one and ground and mingled together, make one loaf, so in Christ, who is the heavenly Bread, we know there is only one body, in which our whole company in joined and united. Writing to his disciple Timothy, Saint Paul exclaims, “you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth”[14].  An early Christian apologist and the father of Latin Christianity and founder of Western theology, Tertullian writes in A.D.197: “We are a society with a single religious feeling, a single unity of discipline, a single bond of hope”.    

 What is the Church? Is the church a building? Is the church an institution? Is the Church your beliefs? Is the church made up of people? “The Greek word for church is “ekklesia” meaning those who are called forth. All of us who are baptized and believe in God are called forth by the Lord. Together we are the Church. Christ is as Paul says, the Head of the Church and we are His body. When we receive the sacraments and hear God’s Word, Christ is in us and we are in Him-that is the –‘Church”. The intimate communion of life with Jesus that is shared personally by all the baptized is described in Sacred Scripture by a wealth of images. Here it speaks about the People of God and in another passage about the Bride of Christ; now the Church is called Mother, and again she is God’s family, or she is compared with a wedding feast. Never is the Church a mere institution, never just the “official Church” that we could do without. We will be upset by the mistakes and defects in the Church, but we can never distance ourselves from her because God has made an irrevocable decision to Love her and does not forsake her despite all the sins of the members. The Church is God’s presence among us men. That is why we must love her. And so, the task of the Church is to make the kingdom of God, which has already begun with Jesus, germinate and grow in all nations. In fact, if you read Matthew 28:19-20, the last instruction Jesus gives to His Apostles before His ascension to Heaven, is to go out and build His Church.

Saint Irenaeus writes in A.D.200, “the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although she is disseminated throughout the whole world, yet guarded it, as if she occupied but one house. She likewise believes these things just as if she had but one soul and one and the same heart; and harmoniously she proclaims them and teaches them and hands them down as if she possessed but one mouth”[15].

“Whenever Jesus went, Heaven touched earth: the kingdom of God was inaugurated, a kingdom of peace and justice. The Church serves this kingdom of God. She is not an end to herself. She must carry on what Jesus started. She should act as Jesus would act. She should continue the sacred signs of Jesus. She hangs on Jesus’ words. That is why the Church, for all her weakness, is a formidable bit of her on earth.  The Church is more than an institution because she is a mystery that is simultaneously human and divine. True love does not blind a person but rather makes him see. With regard to the Church, this is precisely the case: Viewed from the outside, the Church is only a historical institution with historical achievements, but also mistakes and even crimes-a Church of sinners. But that is not looking deep enough. After all, the Christ became so involved with us sinners that he never abandons His Church, even if we were to betray Him daily. This intertwining of sin and grace is part of the mystery of the Church. Seen with the eyes of the faith, the Church is therefore indestructibly holy”. Just as there is only one Christ, there can only be one Body of Christ, only one bride of Christ and therefore only one Church of Jesus Christ. He is the Head-the Church is the Body. Together, they form the whole Christ”[16].

Church Authoritative & Infallible Church

“The Catholic Church is the work of 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 . . ‘ When then, we see so much help on God’s part, so much progress and so much fruit, shall we hesitate to bury ourselves in the bosom of the Church? From starting from the apostolic chair down through the successions of bishops, even unto the open confession of all mankind it has processed the crown of teaching authority”[17]. Confirmation of Church authority is found throughout the New Testaments. Beginning with Matthew’s gospel, “If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as a gentile”[18]. Just before Jesus ascend into heaven, He gives all power to the Apostles: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”.[19]   This also includes the power to forgive sins; “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. And when He had said this, he breathed  on them and said to them, receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them and whose sins you are retained are retained”[20]. However, most importantly, in all of the gospels it is recorded, Jesus giving the Apostles the power to change ordinary bread and wine into his Body and Blood. 

 If we take a look at the Gospel of Mark regarding the feeding of the five thousands, this is more than just a story regarding a miracle transforming five loaves of bread and two fish to feed a multitude of people. It is about Jesus showing the Apostles how he wanted His church structured. “So he gave order to have them (the people) sit down in groups. The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties”[21]. By grouping people in circles of fifty and hundreds, Jesus is setting the foundations for future generations to construct dioceses and parishes.  He is also creating hierarchy over dioceses. For example, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is this: Pope, Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Deacons and lay ecclesial ministers.  “In the ecclesiological sense of the term, “hierarchy” strictly means the “holy ordering” of the Church, the Body of Christ, so to respect the diversity of gifts and ministries necessary for genuine unity. In the Catholic Church, authority rests chiefly with the bishops, while priests and deacons serve as their assistants, co-workers, or helpers.  As of 30 December 2014, the Catholic Church consisted of 2,998 dioceses or equivalent jurisdictions, each overseen by a bishop. Dioceses are divided into individual communities called parishes, each staffed by one or more priests, deacons, or lay ecclesial minsters. Ordinarily, care of a parish is entrusted to a priest, though there are exceptions”[22]. I wonder if the Apostles hand any inclinations to how big Jesus’ Church would become. These small band of Apostles then set off to build the oldest and most stable establishment in the world. It is known today as the Papacy of the Catholic Church.

The Papacy “has lasted for almost two millennia, seeing off duchies, kingdoms, and empires that sought to eclipse it and bring the popes to heel. As a religious office that has exercised temporal rule, the Papacy is unique in European history. Although its holders have been a varied groups of humans, the papacy has never deviated from its appointed task to lead Christianity and follow in the sacred footsteps of its founder  Saint Peter”.[23] Jesus handed the keys of the Church to Peter in A. D. 33. Upon his death, Peter’s leadership was transferred to Linus in A.D.64, who preceded Anencletus. As the third Pope, Anencletus handed the Church’s keys to Clement in A.D.92, and this change of leadership continue all the way down until March 13, 2015, when Jorge Mario Bergoglio, became known to the world as Pope Francis. Present day, Pope Francis continues to lead his flock with the succession of the Apostolic Church. Over the millennia, the Papacy had its share of bad and insidious Popes. But most off all, the Papacy had leaders who became canonized as saints.

The Catholic Church is infallible, man is not. From A.D 33 until the 15th century, the world was governed by one church-the Catholic Church. In 1507 Martin Luther was ordained a priest and an Augustinian monk. The Church at that time was corrupt and not acting, according to Luther, following in the ways of Jesus. Luther objected, and rightly so, to several issues the Church was practicing. One of his main disagreement was the selling of indulgences to raise money to build Saint Peter Cathedral.  Luther formulated his thoughts in a letter to the church title “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences, later known as the Ninety-five Theses, and according to history, nailed it to the door of  the “All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg on 31 October 1517. Luther firmly disagreed with the saying from John Tetzel, a Dominican friar, “ As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory (also attested as ‘into heaven’) springs. He insisted that, since forgiveness was God’s alone to grant, those who claimed that indulgences absolved from all punishments and granted them salvation were in error. Christians, he said, must not slacken in following Christ on account of such false assurances. He became convinced that the church was corrupt in its ways and had lost sight of what he saw as several of the central truths of Christianity. Most important for Luther was the doctrine of justification—God’s act of declaring a sinner righteous—by faith alone through God’s grace”[24]. Long story short, Luther was excommunicated from the Catholic Church on January 3, 1521 by Pope Leo X for refusing to recant 41 sentences from his Ninety-five. Thus began the Protestant Reformation and the first break away from the Catholic Church resulting in a continuation of a domino effect forming many new and different churches.

I do believe that Luther was correct in his belief; the Catholic Church was corrupt and lost sight of its Christian formation. Reading Luther Biography, it was never his intention to go up against the Catholic Church. Luther wanted the church to change and reform back to its original Catholic mission. However, the Church, rather Pope Leo X, refused to back down, forcing Luther to start His new Church.  In spite of the negative history of the Church, protected by the Holy Spirit, the doctrine of Jesus, His teachings and message have never changed since He gave the keys and responsibilities to His first Bishop-“Peter”- to build “His Church”. “For where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God, there the Church and every grace. The Spirit, however, is truth”,[25] and the “Holy spirit teach and remind them of everything”. [26]

It was never God’s intention to have a gazillion churches just as it was not God’s intention to have Adam and Eve kicked out from paradise. Because of free will, Adam and Eve altered God’s plan just as man altered God’s goal for one church with a bazillion different Christian denominations. With that proven assertion, then I do believe that the Pope is the “Vicar” of Christ-the head of the Catholic Church and that he has been granted the authority by Jesus to speak “excathedra”- matters on faith and morals. Bear in mind: “The ancient church claims that its tradition is reliable because the church was “there” from the beginning and never was lacking in rational sense, nor was it forgetful”.[27] “The office of apostle was considered a conduit of the will and word of God from the heavenly realm to the congregations on earth. The office of apostle was so important that the apostolic church developed the doctrine of apostolic succession as a standard for ordaining bishops.  The idea of apostolic succession is simple: Catholic and Orthodox teaching claims that all of the bishops were appointed first by an apostle. Most metropolitan sees of the ancient church trace their bishops from the beginning of the church, as in Antioch where Simon Peter is traditionally recorded as the first and Ignatius as the second, having succeeded in Antioch while Peter was still overseeing the congregation in Rome. After the first generation, all subsequent bishops, to be considered legitimate in the whole church, were appointed by bishops that had been selected by apostles. Writing just before his martyrdom in A.D. 107, Ignatius says, “Your bishop presides in the place of God”. But although the bishops of the ancient churches, including the Anglicans, claim to be successors of the apostles, they do not claim to have been given the direct communication channels from God that the original apostles had.”[28]

In the year 2021, with over 41,000 registered Christian churches world-wide, it will be virtually impossible to unit all denominations into the one Church that Jesus wanted and started. We cannot undue what was started by Luther in 1521.  One only have to look at history since the 1500 and realize the many conflicts and different opinions the many different church organizations have with one another. I want to assure whoever is reading this paper that I do not criticize any individuals attending any church besides the Catholic church.  I hope and pray that whatever church that you choose, you stay faithful to the teaching and doctrines of that establishment.  I do agree with Pastor Rick Warren with his chapter “Protecting Your Church” in his book A purpose Driven Life:  “Divorcing your church at the first sign of disappointment or disillusionment is a mark of immaturity. God has things He wants to teach you. Besides, there is no perfect church to escape to. He sooner we give up the illusion that a church must be perfect in order to love it, the sooner we quit pretending and start admitting we are all imperfect and need grace. Every church could put a sign out no perfect people need apply. People become disillusioned with the church for many understandable reasons. The list could be quite long: conflict, hurt, hypocrisy, neglect, pettiness, and other sins. Rather than be shocked, we must remember that the church is made up of real sinners, including ourselves. Because we‘re sinners, we hurt each other, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. But instead of leaving the church, we need to stay and work it out if at all possible. Reconciliation, not running away is the road to stronger character and deeper fellowship”[29]

The purpose of this paper is not to condemn nor make fun of all religion denominations but to show the actual proof that Jesus only gave his teaching to his Apostles to start His Church; mankind started the other 41000 different churches.  Author Wayne Weible implies in his book “Medjugorje” that even Mary, the Blessed Mother of God, agrees that there are too many churches as he records a conversation Father Svetozar had with Mirjana and Ivanka, two of the visionaries:

“Father Svetozar: It is important that people of good faith regardless of denomination, not be turned against each other. But tell me more about this. What did the Madonna say about this?

Ivanka: We have too many religions in the United States; too many cults and worship of false gods, this sort of thing. The Madonna said that religions are separated in the earth; but the people of all religions are accepted by her Son. The Madonna said, basically, religions are similar; but many people have separated themselves, because of religion and become enemies of each other.

Mirjana: She also emphasized the failings of religious people, especially in small villages- for example, here in Medjugorje, where there is separation from Serbians (i.e., Serbian Orthodox) and Moslems. This separation is not good. The Madonna always stresses that there is but one God and that people have enforced unnatural separation. She merely explained and deplored the lack of religious unity”.

In his book “Get Us out Of Here” by Nicky Lets, Aria Simma, a mystic, speaks about the many break away religions from the Catholic Church: “When they or you speak of conversion, what precisely is meant by this? Do you mean that everyone should join the Catholic Church? No, conversion does not mean that. Conversion is changing the heart, the mind, and our entire lives towards the existence of God. Although it is true that all divisions among Christians were man-made divisions and that the Catholic Church does hold the most truth as taught by Jesus, we cannot expect that man can erase these many differences. God will bring about the unity of the Churches. In finding a church, I suggest that you can quickly come closer to the entire truth of the Gospel. A church that does not speak clearly against abortion must be avoided. Also churches that are led by one overly trained and thus powerful individual, Churches that attack the Vatican and those that bring social entertainment into them. Also any church that teaches that Satan does not exist must, at all costs, be avoided. And avoid all “churches” that ask you to participate in any mental exercises claiming that they bring you closer to God. This is extremely dangerous. Do not forget Jesus is always with us and we do ‘Not” need to do any mental exercises to reach Him! And seek a church that believes in the Nicene or Apostle’s Creed or, at least, in an awfully close variation on them”.

When did your Christian church begin?

“If you are a Lutheran, your church was founded by Martin Luther, an ex-monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517 in Germany.

If you are Anabaptist, your church was founded by Nicholas  Storch and Thomas Munzer in 1520

If you are a Mennonite, your church was founded by Grebel Mantz in 1525 in Switzerland

If you belong to the Church of England, King Henry VIII founded your religion in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry.

If you are a Presbyterian, your church was founded by John Knox in Scotland in 1560.

If you are a Congregationalist, your church was founded by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582.

If you are a Unitarian, your church was founded in 1645 by John Biddle.

IF you are Baptist, your church was founded by John Smyth in 1606 in Amsterdam

If you are of the Dutch Reformed church, you recognize Michaelis Jones as founder, because he originated your religion in New York in 1628.

If you are a Quaker, your church was founded by George Fox in 1647

If you are Amish, your church was founded by Jacob Amman in 1693

If you are a Methodist, your church was founded by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1739 or 1744.

If you are a Unitarian, your church was founded by Theophilus Lindley in London in 1774.

If you are an  Episcopalian, your church was an offshoot of the Church of England founded by Samuel Seabury in the American colonies in the 1784.

If you are Evangelical, your church was founded by Jacob Albright in 1803

If you are a Mormon (Latter Day Saints), your church was founded by Joseph Smith in Palmyra, N.Y., in 1829.

If you are a Seventh Day Adventists, your church was founded by William Miller in 1831

If you Salvation Army, your church was founded by William Booth in London in 1865.

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, your church was founded by Charles Taze Russell in 1872

If you are a Christian Scientist, you church was founded  by Mary Baker Eddy in 1879

IF you are Assemblies of God, your church was founded by Charles Parham in 1901.

If you belong to one of the religious organizations known as “Church of the Nazarene,” “Pentecostal Gospel,” “Holiness Church,” “Pilgrim Holiness Church,” your church is one of the thousands of new sects founded by men within the past century.

If you are Catholic, meaning universal, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ the Son of God, and it is still the same Church today.

I know what you are thinking. How can the few churches that I just mentioned equal 41,000 Christian’s church as documented by the Center for the study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary? Because they all have offshoots and/or breakaways. Each denomination church is not unified as one. For example: Under the Baptist, they have many different denominations such as the Holiness Baptist, the Spiritual Baptists, the Southern Baptists, the Babticostals, the Seventh Day Baptists, the Baptist Bible Fellowship Internationals, etc. and so on and so on.

Since man is fallible, it is difficult to stop bickering and taking pot shots at one another beliefs, religions, and Churches. It has been going on since A.D. 33 right after the resurrection when the Jewish authorities started persecuting the new Christians. In the year 2021,  the world  should have a yearlong prayer service for Christian Unity rather than just a week?  Take a look at the 2011 “You Tube” video of the fight that broke out between the Greek Orthodox priests and the Armenian Apostolic priests at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.  This is an incredibly sad sight. If the religious at the Church where Jesus was born cannot get along, then what does that say about the rest of the world?  The fight broke out because members of each group were arguing over their respective “jurisdictions” inside the Church. The shrine to worship at the site where Jesus was born is “Administratively controlled”, or shared by three religious groups: Armenian, Orthodox and Catholic. In simple words, each religious group has required boundaries. Using shields and batons, the police had to break up the fight because over 100 so called ‘holy men”, men of God, were fist fighting because a portion of church boundaries were crossed. Is this not ridiculous and pathetic?  Like I said, man is fallible! In the immortal words of the late Rodney King: ‘can’t we all just get along”?


[1] Fairchild, Mary. “How Many Christians Are In the World Today?” Learn Religions, Feb. 8, 2021, learnreligions.com/christianity-statistics-700533.

[2] Jean-Pierre Isbouts. Jesus and the Origins of Christianity. National Geographic Magazine, Washington D.C.2021. p 6

[3] Matthew 16:18

[4] Ephesians 4:5

[5] Matthew 16:19

[6] John 16:13

[7] Ibid14:26

[8] Acts 2: 3.

[9] Galatians 1:18

[10] Colossians 1:18

[11] 1Corinthians1:10

[12] Romans 12:5

[13] Catholic Faith Finder. San Juan Catholic Seminars. Farmington, NM. 1999. ISBA:1930084072

[14] 1Timothy3:15

[15] Catholic Faith Finder. San Juan Catholic Seminars. Farmington, NM. 1999. ISBA:1930084072

[16] Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. (Ignatius Press; San Francisco. 2010). pp 77-81

[17] Catholic Faith Finder. San Juan Catholic Seminars. Farmington, NM. 1999. ISBA:1930084072

[18] Matthew:18:17-19

[19] Ibid:18:17-20

[20] John:20:22-23

[21] Mark 6:39

[22] Hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Wikipedia 2021

[23] Rupert Matthews. The Popes: Every Question Answered. ThunderBay Press. San Diego, CA 2019. Pp.8

[24] Luther and the Protestant Reformation. Wikipedia Encyclopedia 2021

[25] Catholic Faith Finder. San Juan Catholic Seminars. Farmington, NM. 1999. ISBA:1930084072

[26] John 14:26

[27] Jon Kennedy, Jesus His external Legacy (Fall River Press. 2008) pp. 8

[28] Ibid.pp8

[29] Rick Warren: Purpose Driven Life. pp 163

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