Author Topic: Christianity: United or divided?  (Read 475 times)

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Offline Wandile

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Christianity: United or divided?
« on: July 13, 2013, 11:23:43 AM »
I've seen it asserted by some that ONLY Orthodox are Christians and thus Christianity is united. These people obviously hold the view that  Orthodox is the true church  and all other heretics are not Christian.
a minority hold this view.

Now I as a catholic believe the the Catholic Church to be the true church but still admit that others are Christian and thus Christianity is divided against the will of Christ. This is the view of the majority of Catholics.

Yet there are a few Catholics who believe that only Catholicism is the true Christian faith and all others are not christian.

What do you believe and why? Are only orthodox Christians and thus Christianity is united? Are only Catholics Christian and thus Christianity is united? Are  Orthodoxy and Catholicism as well as Protestantism(Trinitarians) Christians and thus Christianity is divided ?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2013, 11:26:46 AM by Wandile »
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Re: Christianity: United or divided?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2013, 11:45:08 AM »
There's a difference between "Christianity" and "the Church", and that nuance is important.  "Christianity" (in some languages, "Christianism") is more of an umbrella term for the religion--it functions more as a descriptive for a "school of thought".  People can be Christians, but they are not said to have "joined Christianity", they join a Church.  The Church is called one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, but it is not called "Christianity".   

I believe that Roman Catholics and Protestants are Christians, they are a part of "Christianity".  Are they members of the Church?  In a basic sense, since they are not Orthodox, no they are not.  Almost certainly Protestants reject enough of the faith to be solidly outside the Church, IMO.  What about Roman Catholics?  What we differ on is, in one sense, very little, but in another sense so important that it might as well be a lot, so again, IMO I don't know.  But "I don't know" is still a really bad place to be.       
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Offline Wandile

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Re: Christianity: United or divided?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2013, 12:15:10 PM »
There's a difference between "Christianity" and "the Church", and that nuance is important.  "Christianity" (in some languages, "Christianism") is more of an umbrella term for the religion--it functions more as a descriptive for a "school of thought".  People can be Christians, but they are not said to have "joined Christianity", they join a Church.  The Church is called one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, but it is not called "Christianity".    

I believe that Roman Catholics and Protestants are Christians, they are a part of "Christianity".  Are they members of the Church?  In a basic sense, since they are not Orthodox, no they are not.  Almost certainly Protestants reject enough of the faith to be solidly outside the Church, IMO.  What about Roman Catholics?  What we differ on is, in one sense, very little, but in another sense so important that it might as well be a lot, so again, IMO I don't know.  But "I don't know" is still a really bad place to be.        

I believe this but in favor of Catholicism. Do you lean more to the view that Christianity is divided?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2013, 12:16:38 PM by Wandile »
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Offline JoeS2

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Re: Christianity: United or divided?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2013, 01:40:00 PM »
There's a difference between "Christianity" and "the Church", and that nuance is important.  "Christianity" (in some languages, "Christianism") is more of an umbrella term for the religion--it functions more as a descriptive for a "school of thought".  People can be Christians, but they are not said to have "joined Christianity", they join a Church.  The Church is called one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, but it is not called "Christianity".    

I believe that Roman Catholics and Protestants are Christians, they are a part of "Christianity".  Are they members of the Church?  In a basic sense, since they are not Orthodox, no they are not.  Almost certainly Protestants reject enough of the faith to be solidly outside the Church, IMO.  What about Roman Catholics?  What we differ on is, in one sense, very little, but in another sense so important that it might as well be a lot, so again, IMO I don't know.  But "I don't know" is still a really bad place to be.      

I believe this but in favor of Catholicism. Do you lean more to the view that Christianity is divided?

The Church can not be divided against itself.. The Church is what it is, the Church..   Those who choose to live outside the Church can not be considered part of the Church.  Christianity, be it Protestant or Roman Catholic have elements of the truth but not it's fullness......   I sure you feel just the opposite.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2013, 01:46:26 PM by JoeS2 »

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Re: Christianity: United or divided?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2013, 03:05:40 PM »
I believe this but in favor of Catholicism. Do you lean more to the view that Christianity is divided?

Sure, Christianity is divided.  But it doesn't follow that the Church is divided.  To me, they're two separate entities.  Everyone in the Church is a Christian, but not every Christian is in the Church. 
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Offline Wandile

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Re: Christianity: United or divided?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2013, 03:08:04 PM »
JoeS2

I can't help but disagree with you on this. The church can be divided or else why would Jesus have prayed for unity in the church. Why pray for unity if division isn't a possibility?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2013, 03:13:37 PM by Wandile »
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Re: Christianity: United or divided?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2013, 03:17:42 PM »
JoeS2

I can't help but disagree with you on this. The church can be divided or else why would Jesus have prayed for unity in the church. Why pray for unity of division isn't a possibility?

I'm not JoeS2, but since we made similar points, I'll respond too.  The Church can't be divided, or else it is not "one".  The unity of the Church is predicated on the unity of Christ, who is one, since the Church is the Body of Christ, as St Paul consistently teaches. 

When Christ prayed for unity, this is what he prayed:

Quote
John 17

6 “I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me, and they have kept thy word. 7 Now they know that everything that thou hast given me is from thee; 8 for I have given them the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from thee; and they have believed that thou didst send me. 9 I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom thou hast given me, for they are thine; 10 all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one.[c] 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth. 18 As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.

20 “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.

The unity he prayed for in the Church is the same unity which the Son has with the Father.  There's no division in God, or else there'd be more than one God.  There's no division in Christ, or else there'd be two Christs.  There's no division in the Church, or else there'd be two Churches. 
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Christianity: United or divided?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2013, 03:36:24 PM »
JoeS2

I can't help but disagree with you on this. The church can be divided or else why would Jesus have prayed for unity in the church. Why pray for unity if division isn't a possibility?

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Offline IoanC

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Re: Christianity: United or divided?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2013, 03:45:45 PM »
Sadly, The Church is divided, yet we as people are all the same, all brothers and sisters, so this is a task for all of us to try to fix. This can only happen with respect to the truth and desire to be in communion with one another out of love; all else has failed, fails and will fail (or that's how I see it).

Offline Luka

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Re: Christianity: United or divided?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2013, 04:26:30 PM »
The unity or union Christ prayed for to the Father is not negative, oriented towards undoing of human divisions or merely horizontal; it's positive and vertical, it's a union of the ever growing Church with the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. If there's no unity in the Church, there's no Church's union with God. If we say that the Church is divided, it's not the Church, because the true Church is the realization of the unity of the Holy Trinity. If the Church is divided, she does not abide in God and is not indwelled by God.