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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Your church- it's really a CULT

someone writes: Your church--it's really a CULT--was founded by the last pagan Pontiff and the first "Christian" (yeah, right!) Pontiff, Constantine in 312 AD.

My response: My Church, the Holy Catholic Church is not a "cult" and it was not founded by a pagan Pontiff Constantine in 312 AD. The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ and the record of this can be found in scripture when Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter (meaning "rock") and told him he was going to build a church on him the 'rock'. This is the significance of Jesus changing Simon's name to "Peter" [rock]. To mark his position.
Matt.16:17-19 "Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter [rock], and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
There are a few significant words used here, first as noted is Simon's name changed to Peter [Rock]. The second is Christ telling Simon Peter that he is going to create a church on Peter the rock. And third, Jesus handing the "keys" to Peter. Keys show an authoritative position held and Jesus giving the keys to Simon Peter clearly show him as set apart from the other disciples. Finally, Jesus gives Simon Peter the power and authority to "bind and loose" on earth and in heaven. In the last chapter of John, Jesus singles Peter out again from all the other disciples and reinforces the place of authority he has placed him in (John 21:15-19).
Early Christian writings clearly document that the Catholic Church existed long before Constantine was a twinkle in his mother's eye. Here are a few for you to consider and please note the dates and words used like "Catholic" and "Eucharist" which identify that the Early Church was the Catholic Church as it is even today, because Christ said 'the gates of Hades will not overcome it'. And so the Catholic Church has existed and grown since Jesus founded her on the 'rock' in the scriptures.

Ignatius of Antioch
"Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop or by one whom he ordains [i.e., a presbyter]. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church" (Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110]).

The Martyrdom of Polycarp"And of the elect, he was one indeed, the wonderful martyr Polycarp, who in our days was an apostolic and prophetic teacher, bishop of the Catholic Church in Smyrna. For every word which came forth from his mouth was fulfilled and will be fulfilled" (Martyrdom of Polycarp 16:2 [A.D. 155]).

The Muratorian Canon"Besides these [letters of Paul] there is one to Philemon, and one to Titus, and two to Timothy, in affection and love, but nevertheless regarded as holy in the Catholic Church, in the ordering of churchly discipline. There is also one [letter] to the Laodiceans and another to the Alexandrians, forged under the name of Paul, in regard to the heresy of Marcion, and there are several others which cannot be received by the Church, for it is not suitable that gall be mixed with honey. The epistle of Jude, indeed, and the two ascribed to John are received by the Catholic Church (Muratorian fragment [A.D. 177]).

Tertullian"Where was [the heretic] Marcion, that shipmaster of Pontus, the zealous student of Stoicism? Where was Valentinus, the disciple of Platonism? For it is evident that those men lived not so long ago—in the reign of Antonius for the most part—and that they at first were believers in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in the church of Rome under the episcopate of the blessed Eleutherius, until on account of their ever restless curiosity, with which they even infected the brethren, they were more than once expelled" (Demurrer Against the Heretics 30 [A.D. 200]).

And Constantine was never "pontiff" of the Catholic Church. He converted to the Catholic faith on his death bed and soon died afterwards. I hope this has dispelled your previously held misconceptions of the origin of the Catholic Church and Constantine's relationship to the Catholic Church.

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