10. THE QUESTION WAS:
According to 1 Cor 1:10: “I urge there be no ___________ among you.”
This is one reason Catholics believe it was a serious wrong for Luther and Calvin to separate from the Catholic Church, thus creating churches that have been dividing again and again every since. Actually, Luther knew it was necessary to reunite with the Church, but it just never materialized because the new Protestants could not even agree with one another. For example, Reformer Luther blasted Reformer Zwingli for saying the Eucharist was only symbolic. Each heaped insults on the other.
Yes, there were abuses in the Catholic Church.
Yes ,the Reformation is the fault of sinful people on both sides of the fence.
But yes, the Catholic Church was able to reform itself from within (I am referring to a reformation of practices, not a reformation of the official doctrines and moral truths which by definition are from Christ, and cannot change.)
The sins of the Church’s members did not make it okay for any Christians to separate from the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Church is the bride of Christ. Therefore, separating from this Church is to divorce from Christ, who is the Bridegroom. Christians need to be united in the One Body of Christ. We need to pray for this every day.
I have heard it said that a proof of the miraculous nature of the Catholic Church is precisely those few bad popes in history. Despite sinful popes, not one ever tossed out or reversed any Catholic Church doctrines. That’s because the Church that Jesus called the “pillar and foundation of truth” and to whom he sent the Holy Spirit to lead it into “all truth (Jn 16:13) was divinely protected from doing this.
Unfortunately, Protestant Reformers reversed many of the early Christian doctrines. For example, all Christians believed the Eucharist was truly the Body and Blood of Christ, now evangelicals say it’s not. All Christians believed Baptism was necessary for salvation; now they say it’s not. All Christians believed they should confess their sins to God through a priest (Jn 20:23), now they don’t…. etc., etc., etc.
Christ begs that His Church be ONE.
Jn 10:16 - there will be one fold and one Shepherd
Eph 4:3-6 - one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father
1 Cor 1:10 - I urge that there be no divisions among you
Phil 2:2 - be of same mind, united in heart, thinking one thing
Rom 15:5 - God grant you to think in harmony with one another
Jn 17:17-23 - I pray that they may be one, as we are one
Jn 17:23 - that they may be brought to perfection as one
1 Cor 12:13 - in one spirit we were baptized into one body
Rom 12:5 - we, though many, are one body in Christ
Eph 4:4 - one body, one Spirit, called to one hope
Col. 3:15 - the peace into which you were called in one body
Rom 16:17 - avoid those who create dissensions
St. Augustine said that schismatics who separate from the Catholic Church are heretics. Here is what he said:
“We believe also in the holy Church, that is,
the Catholic Church. For heretics violate the faith itself by a false opinion
about God; schismatics,
however, withdraw from fraternal love by hostile separations, although they
believe the same things we do. Consequently, neither heretics nor schismatics
belong to the Catholic Church; not heretics, because the Church loves God; and
not schismatics, because the Church loves neighbor" (Faith and the Creed 10:21 [A.D. 393]).
"[J]ust as baptism is of no profit to the man who renounces the world in words and not in deeds, so it is of no profit to him who is baptized in heresy or schism; but each of them, when he amends his ways, begins to receive profit from that which before was not profitable, but was yet already in him" (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 4:4 [A.D. 400]).
"I do not hesitate to put the Catholic catechumen, burning with divine love, before a baptized heretic. Even within the Catholic Church herself we put the good catechumen ahead of the wicked baptized person . . . For Cornelius, even before his baptism, was filled up with the Holy Spirit [Acts 10:44–48], while Simon [Magus], even after his baptism, was puffed up with an unclean spirit [Acts 8:13–19]" (ibid., 4:21).
"The apostle Paul said, ‘As for a man that is a heretic, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him’ [Titus 3:10]. But those who maintain their own opinion, however false and perverted, without obstinate ill will, especially those who have not originated the error of bold presumption, but have received it from parents who had been led astray and had lapsed . . . those who seek the truth with careful industry and are ready to be corrected when they have found it, are not to be rated among heretics" (Letters 43:1 [A.D. 412]).
"Whoever is separated from this Catholic Church, by this single sin of being separated from the unity of Christ, no matter how estimable a life he may imagine he is living, shall not have life, but the wrath of God rests upon him" (ibid., 141:5).
(Augustine quotes compiled by Catholic Answers…See http://www.catholic.com/library/Salvation_Outside_the_Church.asp)
http://www.star.ucl.ac.uk/~vgg/rc/aplgtc/hahn/m3/4mrko.html (Four Marks of the Church: The Church is One)
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