Sunday, January 4, 2009

How The Catholic Church Started

Candy thinks the Catholic Church started centuries after the time of Christ. Catholics however believe that Christ started the first Christian church and it was Catholic.

This site explains it very well.

How The Catholic Church Started: "The word 'catholic' means universal. Jesus created one universal church for all of mankind. The Catholic Church was established by Jesus with his words spoken in Matthew 16."

It also provides this timeline:

33 A.D.

Roman Catholic Church (moved to Rome by Peter after he fled Jerusalem) was founded by God-made-man, Jesus Christ. He said: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it... Feed my lambs; feed My sheep" (Matt. 16:18,19; John 21:15,17). He also said: "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who gathers not with me scatters" (Matt.12:30).









9th Century Marked The First Official Schisms Within The Church

827: Eastern Schism began by Photius of Constantinople. The primary difference in Faith at the heart of the schism was the argument over the addition of the filioque statement (Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, not just the Father) to the creed. This schism eventually healed.



1053: Eastern Schism began by Michael Caerularius of Constantinople. The primary argument was the Latin practice of fasting on Saturday and the use of unleavened bread for the Holy Eucharist. Theses two points were more for challenging the authority of the Roman Pontif. This schism eventually healed.




1378: Death of Pope Gregory XI on 27 March, 1378 began the Western Schism. The schism came to an end in 1417.


1472: Present Schism of the Eastern Church begins with the repudiation of the Council of Florence.


1517: Lutheran Church was founded by Martin Luther, a former priest of the Roman Catholic Church. This marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation

1521: Anabaptist first appeared in Zwickau, in the present kingdom of Saxony. Initially, they were primarily against infant baptism.

1525: Schwenkfeldians were founded by Kaspar of Schwenkfeld, aulic councillor of Duke Frederick of Liegnitz and canon. At first he associated himself with Luther, but later opposed the latter in his Christology, as well as in his conception of the Eucharist, and his doctrine of justification.

1531: The Socinians and other Anti-Trinitarians attacked the fundamental doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. Chief founder of Anti-Trinitarians was Laelius Socinus, teacher of jurisprudence at Siena, and his nephew, Faustus Socinus.

1536: Mennonites founded by Menno Simons, a former Catholic priest and later an Anabaptist elder. They deny infant baptism and the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

1534: Church of England (Anglicanism) was founded by King Henry VIII when he threw off the authority of the Pope and proclaimed himself the head of the Church in England, because the Pope refused to declare invalid his marriage with Queen Catherine.

1560: The Presbyterian denomination was begun by John Knox who was dissatisfied with Anglicanism.


1608: The Baptist church was launched by John Smyth in Amsterdam, Holland.

1620: The Swiss Mennonites split into Amish or Upland Mennonites and Lowland Mennonites.

1671: Quakers were founded by John George Fox of Drayton in Leicestershire. He favored a visionary spiritualism, and found in the soul of each man a portion of the Divine intelligence. All are allowed to preach, according as the spirit incites them.


1744: The Methodist church was launched by John and Charles Wesley in England.

1774: The Unitarians were founded by Theophilus Lindley in London.

1784: Episcopalian denomination was begun by Samuel Seabury who was dissatisfied with Presbyterianism.

1787: The founder of The Salvation Army is William Booth, who quit the Anglicans, and then the Methodists, and set up his own version of Christianity.


1822: Mormons founded by Joseph Smith, who made his appearance with supposed revelations in 1822.

1872: The Jehovah's Witness Church was developed by Charles Russell.

1879: Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy began the Christian Scientist religion basing it upon an outright denial of Original Sin and its effects.

1896: Ballinger Booth, the son of William Booth, quit The Salvation Army and started his own church.

The Seventh-Day Adventists, the Church of Christ, The Church of the Nazarene, or any of the various Pentecostal Churches, etc. are also among the hundreds of new churches founded by men within the past 150 years or so.



Over 33,000 Sects "Scattered" Outside The One Church Founded By Christ

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Jennie said...

Here is a history of the church including the many dissenting groups that existed to oppose false doctrines as soon as they began to appear. These scriptural churches separated from the local bodies in the cities where they lived and formed bodies that supported scripture alone. This began in the very early centuries when great error began to come into the Church:

The timeline listed in your post leaves out all these histories of those that opposed error in the Catholic Church:
300's Novation
400's Vigilantius
500's Several sets of rival bishops of Rome and Constantinople
vying for the title of 'Universal Bishop'
600's Paulicians
700's- Leo the Greek emperor began to oppose the worship of images;
Paulinius and other Italian bishops stand against the pope and the 2nd council of Nice, which established the worship of images, and also stood against transubstantiation.
800's Claude, Bishop of Turin-a pastor to the Waldensians
Persecutions by Rome causes them to scatter
1050-Berengarius of Tours
Germany had the Cathari; Flanders had the Piphles; France had the Tisserands and Albigensians; Italy the Waldensians or Vaudois;
1110-Peter Bruys, South of France;
Henry of the Henricians
Arnold of Brescia
Peter Waldo late 1100's

Jesus founded the church beginning with the Apostles (12, not one) and they and other elders spread the gospel all over the known world.
Believers spread the gospel as persecution caused them to flee to other areas; as more came to Christ, bodies grew in cities everywhere the gospel went.
Rome was not the center of the Christian world, and all bishops were equal. The apostles did not lord it over the other elders. The bishop of Rome(or bishops, for there were several in Rome at any one time because it had many church groups) did not have any precedence over the others for centuries. It has not been established that Peter was a bishop in Rome, only that he most likely died there by crucifixion.
Everything else taught by the Roman Catholic church about Peter is only fallacy built on legends that grew over time because of power-hungry popes claiming ever more authority.
See also:

Here also is a quote from Jones' History which clarifies the good effect of the many 'sects':
"All the ecclesiastical historians complain loudly of the schism that was made in the Christian church by the Novatians, whose difference from the Catholics respected matters of discipline only. But we should not be too hasty in joining issue with them in these lamentations. On the contrary, it may fairly admit of a doubt, whether this breach in the unity of the Christian church in that age, and other similar breaches that have taken place at different times, have not been productive, upon the whole, of the happiest effects. For besides promoting free inquiry and discussion, without which no subject can be well understood, this multiplication of sects has had a powerful tendency to counteract that overbearing authority which the whole Christian church united, could not have failed to possess, and which, if there had been no place of retreat from power, would have been insupportable. What would have been the terror of an excommunication from a church, and how would it have been possible to correct any abuse in such circumstances? That families and friends should be divided, and that those divisions should be the cause of so much animosity as they have often occasioned, is, no doubt to be lamented. But this is an evil that does not necessarily arise from sects in religion, but solely from the unreasonable spirit of bigotry in men, which cannot bear with patience that others should think or act differently from them -- that bigotry, which a number of sects, and their necessary consequences, can alone cure. Private animosity was an evil inseparable from the promulgation of Christianity itself, and was distinctly foretold by its divine author. The excellent character of many of the Novatian Bishops, was of great use in exciting emulation among those of the Catholic Church, and in checking that abuse of power, which has often disgraced Christianity infinitely more than the divisions that are the subject of complaint." (THE HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, from the birth of Christ to the 18th Century: including the very interesting account of the Waldenses and AlbigensesBy William Jones, FROM THE DEATH OF CONSTANTINE THE GREAT, TO THE CLOSE OF THE FOURTH CENTURY
A.D. 337 - 400)

Here are some articles I recently read about the '33,000 protestant sects':

Kelly said...

The source of the "33,000 protestant sects" number:

Elena said...

Oh what fun! We can knock these heresies down one by one!

Let's start at the top with the Donatists.

This Rock had a great article on them.

You sure couldn't join them without being re-baptized!

Oh!! Candy complained about this a lot when her old church wouldn't accept her baptism and wanted her to be rebaptized!! Of course Catholics will accept Christian Baptism from any other Christian Church as long as it was in the proper form. So I guess that makes Candy's new church more like the Catholic church and her old one more like the Donatists!

Here's an excerpt from the above mentioned article:
Jesus said, "Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword" (Matt. 26:52). This grim edict is a fitting epitaph for the short-lived but intense heresy of Donatism. Its hundred-year life-span--a rather brief one, as heresies go--was marked from beginning to end with violence and death.

North Africa was roiling in political, social, ethnic, and religious controversies when, in 311, Donatus, schismatic bishop of Carthage, replaced Majorinus, rival of the validly elected bishop Caecilianus. Donatus was a shrewd leader with impressive intellectual and rhetorical abilities. He had a skill for exploiting to his own advantage the ethnic unrest that simmered among the Berbers and Punics. These rustic people chafed under the rule of the Latin-speaking Roman Empire, and Donatus skillfully harnessed their discontent as the engine of growth for his heresy.

The schism had gotten under way before Donatus came to power, but it became identified with him thereafter. His predecessor, Majorinus, was elected as a rival bishop in Carthage because the bishops who had elected Caecilianus had dealt leniently with the traditores, men and women whose faith was compromised during Diocletian's brief but bloody persecution, initiated in February, 303. The Catholic Church was outlawed, and professing the Catholic faith was a crime punishable by death. Those who refused to offer incense to Roman idols were executed. Churches were razed, relics and sacred vessels were seized, and any copy of Scripture that could be found was burned.

The traditores were those who renounced Christ to avoid martyrdom or who, when their churches and houses were searched by the Roman authorities, handed over sacred artifacts rather than face death. In light of the many who endured martyrdom rather than renounce Christ, those who survived the persecution (which ended in 305) were outraged that priests and deacons who were traditores were allowed to resume their ministry after being reconciled to the Church through confession. This perceived injustice provoked a popular backlash with grave theological implications.

Principal errors

Majorinus and other leaders of this faction asserted that the sacraments were invalid, even wicked in the eyes of God, if dispensed by a traditor bishop, priest, or deacon. This view expanded to include clergy who were in a state of mortal sin of whatever sort.

By denying the intrinsic efficacy of the sacraments the Donatists claimed the sacraments could be celebrated validly only by those in the state of grace. They required the re-baptism of any Catholic who came over to their sect.

Donatists had the outward forms of Catholicism, including bishops, priests, and deacons, Mass, and the veneration of the relics of martyrs. The heresy of Donatism lay not primarily in the denial of particular Catholic doctrines but in the assertion that only "sinless" men could administer the sacraments validly. The schism was effected by the rejection of the lawful authority of validly-elected Catholic bishops and culminated in illicit but valid ordinations of schismatic bishops, priests, and deacons.

Growth of the heresy

Donatus advanced his theology with vigor, drawing over many of the common folk who were fed up with Roman imperial rule and who began to equate Catholicism with foreign domination. His organizational skills and charismatic personality attracted huge numbers to his cause. He ordained hundreds, who fanned out across Numidia to establish schismatic churches.

Church historian Frederick van der Meer describes Donatism's proliferation:

"It was the strangest mixture of African and Numidian particularism, early Christian idealism, and personal resentment, but the Church which it created rose up in every town and locality as a rival to the Church Catholic, altar set against altar in every neighborhood where a Catholic church was to be found. Everywhere at the edges of the ancient towns two great basilicas towered over the houses, one Catholic, one non-Catholic. . . . Donatism was from its inception a popular movement, poor in original ideas, but nevertheless full of people who were easily inflamed and drawing from these its principal strength. Indeed, once the leaders had got the Punic-speaking masses on to their side, no power on earth could heal the schism" (Augustine the Bishop [London: Sheed and Ward, 1961], 80-81).

Donatists adopted "Deo laudes" ("God be praised") as a their slogan to counter the ancient Catholic "Deo gratias" ("Thanks be to God"). This was the rallying cry with which they harangued Catholics. One distinctive characteristic of the Donatists was their desire for martyrdom. Donatus taught that death for the "cause," even death by suicide, was holy and merited a martyr's crown and eternal life. They did their best to incite Catholics and pagans to kill them. When their provocations failed, they sometimes took their own lives, a favored method being to leap from high cliffs with the cry "Deo laudes!"

A humorous if bizarre incident is recounted by Augustine. He tells of a Catholic man who was accosted by a group of zealous Donatists. They threatened to kill him if he refused to "martyr" them. Thinking quickly, he agreed to kill them, but only if they first allowed him to bind them with rope to make his work easier. They consented, and when he had them secured he took a large stick, beat them soundly, and walked away.

In keeping with their penchant for violence there arose among the Donatists a vile faction known as the Circumcellions. These ruffians' main goal was to harass, despoil, and even kill Catholics. They preyed on the cellae (farms, rural chapels, and country estates). Although Donatus himself was not a Circumcellion, he gave tacit approval to the depredations of these gangs and wielded influence through them to force Catholics to convert to his religion. Those who refused were relieved of their property or their lives.

In a letter to Victorinius, a Spanish priest, Augustine lamented, "We too have nothing but misery here, for instead of the barbarians we have the Circumcellions, and it is an open question which is the worse of the two. They murder and burn everywhere, throw lime and vinegar into the eyes of our priests; only yesterday I heard of forty-eight helpless persons who were compelled to submit to [Donatist] rebaptism in this place" (Letter 111:1-2).

While killing Catholics was a favored pastime, the principal aim of the Circumcellions was the destruction of Catholic churches, Bible manuscripts, and sacred objects. This aroused the ire of the government, which enacted anti-Donatist laws which confiscated their property and forced their re-entry into the Catholic Church. The North African Catholic bishops welcomed the first intervention, but not the second.

Elena said...

Arius and Arianism - you sure you want to support that one Jennie? It means to deny the divinity of Jesus Christ.

A good article on that one is here.

Jennie said...

I did not mention Arius, but Aerius. He's not the same person.

Dr MikeyMike said...

On Aerius:

You sure you want to throw your support behind a figure who thought that Easter celebrations were no more than a Jewish superstition?

Jennie said...

I'm not sure what he meant by that without further research. I know that easter was actually a pagan celebration originally, that was adopted by the Church at some point. It was celebrated, I believe, at the time of Christ, but I don't know if all Jews celebrated it. I know the Bible mentions Herod celebrating it; I'll have to look it up, but I've got too many things to look up already. Now we're going to shop for bikes; I've got to keep my priorities straight, after all:)

Dr MikeyMike said...

Easter being a pagan celebration is news to me. I'll read up on it in the meantime.

Good luck getting bikes! If you're wanting to spend a little money, but not gobs of it -- look at a Bianchi Cortina.