Is the Church that Jesus founded visible or invisible? The following is my review comments of “Jesus Christ Established a Visible Church on Earth,” by Frits Tuttle: https://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/churb1.htm
I have strong disagreement concerning the statement that the Church that Jesus founded was visible. But I would like to express my supportive approval of Roman Catholic, being the original Christian organization. My special take on the same article is:
“Jesus said to Peter, “You are Rock and on this rock I will build my Church.” (Matthew 16: 18) Jesus said “build,” as in to create a structure. Jesus built His structure on specifically chosen human beings Peter and the apostles.
Second, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles the power and authority to carry out His work. “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.”(Matthew 16:19; 18:18) “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, whose sins you retain, they are retained.”(John 20:23)
Third, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles commands as to what that work should be. At the last supper, He commanded, “Do this in memory of Me.” (Luke 22:19) He commanded them to “Make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), and to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)”
I suppose, it is well established on historical record that after the physical demise of the original apostles, Catholicism became the lone voice of Christianity. I hold some gripe against those who later instigated Protestant movement.
Protestantism has got no Biblical authority. If the reason of protesting had been caused by Roman Catholic’s departure from the truth, this is where I find those Protestants deserving my abrasion, as I agree with Frits Tuttle.
While two forces, comprising light and darkness, cannot correlate, it is always darkness that disappears, where light is present. Regardless of reasons given by the Protestants, their departure represented darkness, rather than light.
A typical example that can be appropriate in qualifying this statement is what was clarified by Jesus, concerning the significance of marital vows:
“He saith unto them, Moses because of the ‘hardness of your hearths suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, whosoever, shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Matthew 19:8-9) (KJV).
The fornication, being sighted here, is not necessarily justifying divorce. But it confirms the inseparability of marital unions. As far as Jesus is concerned, marrying someone having been involved in fornication is committing bigamy.
On discovering that the person that one intends to marry, actually, committed fornication before marriage, the marriage has got to be terminated at that point. The person having committed fornication ought to marry the one who broke his/her virginity, in the first place.
Fornication is different from other sexual engagements that could have broken the virginity of that individual. Those can be assessed and handled by couples concerned, in the marriage process.
Jesus says putting away one’s wife, for whatever reason, other than fornication, has got nothing to do with God. Other justifiable reasons for divorcing, may be cited, but Jesus makes it very clear here, that doing so, has got nothing to do with him.
The second marital engagement could be excellent, in fulfilling the principle of exemplary marriages, compared with the previous one. But such marital engagement would be an adulterous affair, according to Jesus (Matthew 19:8-9).
The datum of light and darkness simply qualifies Jesus’ viewpoint. The light makes a difference where there is darkness, not the other way round. A person representing the light is the one needed most, where there would be darkness.
It is therefore illogical for the person with light to succumb to protest, living darkness reigning supreme. This is where the Protestant friends missed the mark, as they left the Roman Catholic Church, in order to form their respective surrogate Church organizations.
The Protestant organizations were not sanctioned by Jesus, whose authority cannot be shared with anyone. See [The Authority of Jesus]. Those Protestants only served to establish the current confusion, unfairly associated with Christianity. The violation of Matthew 7:1-5 is principally the cause of departure from truth.
Today, all problems of Christianity, leading to denominationalism, are caused by defending respective doctrinal positions. This is where Christians sink deeper into wickedness, to even surpass ordinary sinners! You do not need to defend what is good, as what is good defends itself.
Jesus indicates that one cannot be judged, when not judging others. The same judgment, as measured against one being judged would be measured against the one judging (verses 1-2). All this does not imply that the one being judged would no longer be guilty. But whatever his/her flaws, would also be measured against the one judging.
This is logical. Jesus is the only lamb that takes away the sin of humanity (John 1:29). Notice that this is not removing the “sins”, but the sin (singular) of the world. But, what is the sin of the world? Please keep this in mind. We will come back to it.
Having been raised in carpentry, Jesus used the ‘speck’ and ‘log’, implying that the log is the significance, from where the speck originates (verse 3). The person judging has got the log in his/her eye. While the person being judged carries just, but a speck. This is deep stuff, but fulfilling the significance of Jesus’ sacrificial mission, dealing with the log that burdens humanity.
For instance, if I adjudge someone as being a hypocrite; I am observing a speck in that person’s eye, as compared with the log in my own eye. The person judged would be a hypocrite, for sure. But the hypocrisy in him would not be the actual cause of speck—but the log, resident in my eye. Why me, and not him?
In my position of enlightenment, I assume the position of Christ, which confers superiority over the wrongful person. The package of enlightenment bestows the responsibility to carry the sinful burden of the sinful person (1 John 3:16). Christ became a curse, on our behalf, because He was enlightened.
Logically, dealing with a log is the only way making it impossible for specks to manifest. But, no-one is capable of dealing with the log that causes specks, as observed in brothers’ eyes.
Jesus, then, metaphorically advises the one judging to first deal with the log, resident in own eye, to then effectively deal with the speck in a brother’s eye; though aware of how impossible that is for humans. But, what is this notorious log that Jesus was talking about?
“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.’ Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’ But the law is not of faith, rather ‘The one who does them shall live by them.’ Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:10-14) (ESV).
If I judge my fellow brother, I am in the position of Christ, who became a curse for us, by going through the cross (verse 13). This is what attracts the measurement of judgment against my fellow brother to be equally measured against me. The only unfortunate reality is that I would not be the Christ, myself. Apparently, this reveals the danger of the log that Jesus inferred in Matthew 7:1-5.
What is symbolized in a log, is what caused Satan to be thrown out of Heaven, accused of scheming to take over the position of his creator. In simple terms, the log that Jesus was talking about symbolizes pride—the seed of all evil.
Avoiding judging other people does not, necessarily, imply pretending not to see specks in people’s eyes. It means that an enlightened person is bestowed with the responsibility to help others; without being ostentatious (Matthew 6:1).
Jesus likened that kind of behavior to a small amount of leaven that eventually leavens the whole lump of dough (Matthew 13:33). Jesus was revealing the power of exerting influence on others, without superintending over them. See [Influence is the method not witnessing]
This could, possible, not be by forming another denomination, but by being used by Christ, to help others to eventually see the light. The organization, under which I serve, could be the starting point in influencing others. Without invalidating those failing to observe what has been revealed to me by God.
For instance, if I were a member, but holding issues of disagreement with the Catholics, it would not be necessary for me to dissociate. Instead, I would faithfully serve, seeking to project the truth, as revealed to me. Abandoning them would imply judging them.
Those in leadership might, either, eventually appreciate my position and change, or kill me for causing discord in their fellowship. Either way, I would have fulfilled my role of Christianity. Abandoning those people would imply that I would be holier than them, which is therefore anti-Christian. See [Believing in Jesus is different from having faith in Jesus]
This constitutes value, as can benefit any organization. Breaking away, to form own organization, seems logical, as also providing an opportunity to lead. The only problem, in Christianity, is exposing one to assuming being superior to those from which group the person separates.
In that condition one gets overtaken by the effects of Matthew 7:1-5. Blessings come, only when ill-treated by own brothers, towards helping them to also see the light. In other words, the only way of escaping the danger of bearing the log is ill-treatment by brothers (2 Corinthians 12:10). See [The only way through is going through].
This is why being ill-treated is a blessing, as opposed to viewing it loathsomely (Matthew 5:10-12). The story of Joseph reveals that loathing one’s persecutors cannot be workable (Genesis 50:15-21). In reality, no-one deserves being viewed as better, when understanding the things of God; or viewed as worse, when failing to understand the things of God.
A privilege to understand ahead of others, bestows responsibility to love them, even with possibility of them becoming ruthless enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). The sin of the world is the log that causes observation of specks, in other people’s eyes.
The notorious log, which easily projects pride, was handled by Jesus, once and for all. Having understood this revelation, it is impossible to even treat anyone as an enemy. One finds it natural to love, even, enemies; avoiding retaliation, as fully understanding their predicament.
However, as indicated earlier on; while in agreement with Frits Tuttle, this does not in any way absolve Catholicism of any wrong-doing. There is a lot that needs to be addressed in Catholicism.
The first problem lies in assuming that the Church that Jesus founded was visible. Jesus stated that flesh and blood had not revealed this to Peter, after Peter’s landmark identity of Jesus (Matthew 16:18). It is commonly understood that visibility is associated with flesh and blood.
If that Church had been visible, obviously, Jesus would not have been crucified. The Jews would have recognized Jesus as being the Christ, in the same way that Peter did. In Matthew 16:20, Jesus charged the disciples to tell no-one about the reality of Him being the Christ. See [Where is the Church that Jesus founded?].
The Church founded by Jesus can be assumed as having been visible—as comprising clearly visible people, like Peter. But that Church is a spiritual organism, not identifiable through physical eyes.
Without understanding the significance of Jesus, many remain ignorant—even today—though carrying the label of being “Christians.” This is why Jesus indicated that some will be surprised when Jesus declares never having known them (Matthew 7:21-23). If the Church would be visible, such surprises would not be called for.
Secondly, the structure of the Roman Catholic Church does not resemble the structure of the Church that Jesus founded. Jesus does not require improvements in His Church—masterfully, built by Him who is not visible?
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22) (ESV).
There is no human being involved in the structure of this Church. Everything is under the authority of Jesus. While commendably mentioned, Peter was not necessarily identified as the leader of those, comprising the disciples.
On Several occasions, Jesus advised His disciples against assuming any authority over others, (Mark 9:33-37). This was further accurately elucidated in Matthew 23:8-12. Members of God’s church have different gifts. None is regarded as either more or less superior than others. See the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12:3-11
But the two most interesting points of diversion in Catholicism are that, 1) while Peter is recognized as having been the leader of that group, he was not regarded as Pope Peter, for instance. See [How Invisible the Church that Jesus founded is]
2) Paul could not have had the liberty to rebuke Peter, in the way that he did, if Peter sat in the leadership position, as adorable as currently observed with Pope Francis (Galatians 2:11-14).
Bear in mind that Jesus had to be identified by a kiss, showing that Jesus kept himself as ordinary as everyone else. Yet, Christ is the Chief cornerstone of the Church that He founded. Catholicism appears as in diversity with the authority of Jesus who declared:
“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19) (ESV). This is collaborated in Deuteronomy 4:2.
Christians are also advised not to exercise their righteousness in public, in order to be seen by Man (Matthew 6:1-4). Indeed there are so many commendable things attributed to the Catholics, but publicly observed by everyone.
But Jesus says, as long as one receives accolades from others, one has received his/her reward. Having received one’s reward, one cannot expect participating at the marriage supper, as promised for those of His own.
Such publicly commendable activities by the Catholics, or any other Church organization, cannot qualify anyone to be associated with Jesus Christ’s Church? Good works can be commendable to humanity, but that does not qualify anyone, except when meticulously obeying instructions from the Master.
The Church of Jesus Christ is as invisible as Jesus sought to keep it invisible—even charging His followers not to disclose what Peter had highlighted. See [Influence is the method, not witnessing].
Those looking for a visible Church, fall victim to the deceptive schemes of the devil. It may be impossible to act outside Christian organizations, just as it could have been impossible for Jesus to operate outside the religious organization of that time.
Though easy to observe, through scriptures, the Church of Jesus Christ comprised identifiable human beings. Yet ordinary people, surrounding the disciples could not even assume that the Church of Jesus Christ could have been present.
Members of the Church that Jesus founded cannot be visibly identified by ordinary people, today. This is uncharacteristic of the Roman Catholic Church, that is globally recognized as representing Christianity. See [How invisible the Church that Jesus founded is]
This raises questions, as to how the Roman Catholic Church could represent Christ, when not projecting the characteristics of Jesus’ Church.
While Catholicism can be humanly recognized—adorably—as representing Christ’ Church, it is different from the Church identified by Peter. Which ordinary people could not easily recognize, in Jesus’ time.
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