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Author Topic: Invisible/Visible Church  (Read 703 times) Average Rating: 0
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Big Chris
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« on: June 08, 2012, 08:18:04 PM »

Can someone please explain to me how invisible church ecclesiology is flawed?

Along this same line, please explain where in the NT the visible church is - well - visible?

Where in the NT is chrismation demonstrated as leading to incorporation into the church?
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 08:42:21 PM »

Can someone please explain to me how invisible church ecclesiology is flawed?
Because the Church has always been visible.

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Along this same line, please explain where in the NT the visible church is - well - visible?
The Book of Acts? St. Paul's epistles?

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Where in the NT is chrismation demonstrated as leading to incorporation into the church?
Acts 19.1-12 - "...When they had heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus"
Acts 8.14-18 - "Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit"
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 08:57:03 PM »

Can someone please explain to me how invisible church ecclesiology is flawed?

Along this same line, please explain where in the NT the visible church is - well - visible?

Where in the NT is chrismation demonstrated as leading to incorporation into the church?
According to the NT, the Church is the Body of Christ, and He is not the invisible man.
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2012, 09:00:40 PM »

Fwiw...
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2012, 10:33:33 PM »

The 'invisible' or 'spiritual' Church is flawed ecclesiology because humans are both physical and spiritual creatures. If a Church is purely 'invisible' or 'spiritual' without any physical element to it at all, then it is irrelevent and inaccessible to humanity because humans are physical creatures as well as spiritual. We demonstrate our spirituality through our physical nature and become spiritual through our physical actions; for humans, the two elements--physical and spiritual--come together and are co-dependent on one another for our salvation. Even C.S. Lewis realized this truth when he referred to humans as 'amphibians'. So logically, if there is an 'invisible/spiritual' Church without a physical element to it, then it is entirely irrelevent to us since we are also physical. Therefore, in order for the Church to be accessible to humans, it must be both physical and spiritual just as we are.
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2012, 10:44:08 PM »

The visible church is displayed when we see Paul speaking to timothy on one how ought conduct themselves in the ekklesia (Ie Assembly, Ie Church). It's demonstrated when we see the apostles gather at Jeruselum to discuss how gentiles ought enter into the church. Clearly the church is visible.
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2012, 10:56:09 PM »

As a lifelong Catholic, I've often heard talk of both "the visible church" and "the invisible church", but I never had a very clear sense of an official Catholic stance on this issue. (Granted, you're probably not directing those questions toward Catholics.)
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2012, 11:07:25 PM »

Can someone please explain to me how invisible church ecclesiology is flawed?

Along this same line, please explain where in the NT the visible church is - well - visible?

Where in the NT is chrismation demonstrated as leading to incorporation into the church?


1.  When even the book of Revelation demonstrates the visible Church, how can you even ask the question?

2.  Everywhere.  It is the "invisible" Church that you will have a hard time demonstrating, where even the invisible is spoken of in visible terms. 

3.  Several places.  But try this:  1 John 2.20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.  21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.  27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 03:03:17 PM »

Can someone please explain to me how invisible church ecclesiology is flawed?

Along this same line, please explain where in the NT the visible church is - well - visible?

Where in the NT is chrismation demonstrated as leading to incorporation into the church?


1.  When even the book of Revelation demonstrates the visible Church, how can you even ask the question?

2.  Everywhere.  It is the "invisible" Church that you will have a hard time demonstrating, where even the invisible is spoken of in visible terms. 

FWIW, growing up Catholic the impression I got was that the visible Church meant Catholics, whereas the invisible Church included non-Catholic Christians as well.
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 03:44:38 PM »

It seems as though many Catholics today hold an invisible church idea that is a modification of "The Church Triumphant" to include non-Catholics on earth.
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2012, 04:16:36 PM »

Can someone please explain to me how invisible church ecclesiology is flawed?

Along this same line, please explain where in the NT the visible church is - well - visible?

Where in the NT is chrismation demonstrated as leading to incorporation into the church?


1.  When even the book of Revelation demonstrates the visible Church, how can you even ask the question?

2.  Everywhere.  It is the "invisible" Church that you will have a hard time demonstrating, where even the invisible is spoken of in visible terms.  

FWIW, growing up Catholic the impression I got was that the visible Church meant Catholics, whereas the invisible Church included non-Catholic Christians as well.
If you wish to discuss the difference between Orthodox and Roman Catholic conceptions of the Church, I'm sure we can accommodate you on either the Orthodox-Catholic or Orthodox-Other Christian boards. As long as we're on the Orthodox-Protestant board, however, the subject you would like to discuss is off topic, so I would like you to hold on to your comments until such time that we have a thread for them. Thank you.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 04:17:47 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 04:42:45 PM »

NicholasMyra and PtA,

Sorry, my post was poorly stated.

I guess, to cut right to the chase, I'm not clear on how FatherHLL defines "visible Church" and "invisible Church".
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 04:58:33 PM »

NicholasMyra and PtA,

Sorry, my post was poorly stated.

I guess, to cut right to the chase, I'm not clear on how FatherHLL defines "visible Church" and "invisible Church".

The invisible church idea is this: There are many ecclesial bodies, Orthodox, Catholic, and various Protestant bodies. Each of these bodies contains some people who are members of Christ's body, the real church, which is called the invisible church. Membership in a given ecclesial body does not indicate membership in the invisible church.

Here is a wiki article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_church
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 04:59:44 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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