I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent me… John 17:20f
You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, said Peter. And I also say to you that you are Peter (petros-name) and on this Rock (petra-confession) I will build My Church (singular), and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (singular)… Matthew 16:16f
…I believe in one, holy, catholic (fullness/lacking nothing) and apostolic church… Nicene Creed 325 AD
It is clear from both the testimony of Holy Scripture, the history of the Church, the teachings of the Holy Fathers, and the decrees of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, that Christ our God established One Church, a singular visible and physical church here and now and for over 1,000 years, there was (and is today) one Church – the orginal if you will, the Coke “classic” in lieu of “New Coke”. In 1054 through the false teaching of the ‘filioque‘ added unilaterally by the West to the Nicene Creed 325AD, and through the self-serving, non-apostolic, non-historical assertion of the Bishop of Rome that he alone is “pope” or papa in supremacy over all the bishops in the world…we witness the terrible fracture, the first of many ‘protestant’ separations by the Western Church and only 500 years after that (1500), a band of other ‘reformers’ (Luther, Calvin, Knox etc.) would they themselves break away from those (Roman Catholics) who broke away from the Orthodox Church, and sadly the splintering continues to this very day. Now, every house is called a “church”, (house church movement) which completely separates them from the historic church, the sacraments and the authority of the apostles as carried on throughout all times in the succession of Apostolic Bishops who trace their lineage all the way back to the 12.
This issue is huge. Immense. “Where can the True Church, the One Church be found?” Either one is in it… or one is not in it. It is the linchpin upon which everything turns and depends. Indeed every person must ultimately wrestle with it, but it will take effort. You will have to read and study. “Can the undivided Trinity be divided 42,000 ways?” “Can the one Christ, and His One Body, be splintered into 42,000 difference expressions of self, with 42000, variations on the Truth?” Or is the One Church of Christ still present in this very day, carrying on the apostolic teachings and witness, the tradition of the Holy Fathers, and practicing the Fullness of the Faith? You must decide. But it will be required of us on the last day whether we did in fact wrestle with this essential issue.
My mother in law and father in law often lament saying “…we are so tired of the fightings, divisions, and separations of the Church…” I could not agree more! So how do you solve that? Splinter some more into more self-serving factions, pretending we have ‘unity’ when in fact we don’t – or come HOME to THE church, embracing the Apostolic faith that embraces and can be found in all nations. Come Home to the oneness that Christ commands of us and we will indeed be ONE, united in faith and practice. This ONE church today, can still trace its inheritance all the way to the Upper Room of Acts 2, she exists still today, and you must find her, for in her is the FULLNESS of the faith. Without her you will always be ‘thirsting’ looking for a new church, a new hip pastor, a new praise band who will woo your emotions, a church who somehow will meet all “my needs”. Trust me. We were on this path of starvation for many years; you will keep looking and never find fullness.
“So, I wonder what the ‘denomination’ tally will be next year?‘ 52,000? 72,000? In short, these divisions and fractions will never stop dividing or fracturing until there is nothing left at all, which is Satan’s plan. Don’t believe that? Then take an original piece of art. Then copy that image on a copy machine… then copy the copy, and copy that copy… Soon you will see that nothing of the original is left, nothing is even visible – everything is fuzzy and blurry.
Jesus’ Body is One and cannot be divided, for He and the Trinity are One and Undivided. He did built His singular church, now find it. You can begin here…
Christian Denominations Worldwide*
1900 = 1,600
1970 = 18,800
2011 – 42,000 and counting…
*Source: Christianity Today April 2011: Status of Global Missions, International Bulletin of Missionary Research