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Returning to the Christian Faith of Our Fathers

We know that all of the leaders of the Reformation, including Martin Luther, were all Roman Catholics before they broke from the church. Many more complaints about the Roman Catholic Church developed as years went by and the initial Protestant divided multiple times.

Should one wishes to consider returning to this Christian Faith of our Fathers we need to answer the six questions: What, Where, Why, When, Who, and How.

  1. The "What" question is "What is a Church?"
  2. The "Where" question is "Where is Jesus?"
  3. The "Why" question is "Why baptize?"
  4. The "When" question is "When is one dead?"
  5. The "Who" question is "Who is Mary?"
  6. The "How" question is "How and I return to a place I have never been?"

Rather than answer each question fully I will simply state what the question represents. A full discussion is available in a separate document.

What is a Church?

Jesus used the term "My Church". He also said that the ultimate authority to settle issues rests in "the Church".

Clearly the Church that Jesus founded was one Church and while Jesus is the ultimate authority of this church, he did leave the Apostles in charge of that Church when He ascended into Heaven.

When you look at the book of Acts, you see that there was not an association of independent churches but there was one church that existed in numerous local churches. Thus came about the term of Catholic Church meaning one universal church existing as an hierarchal organization with the apostles at the top then bishops or elders followed lastly by individual Christians. In Acts 15 we see "apostles and elders" making decisions concerning doctrinal issues.

While some churches are congregational in regards to the selection of pastors for local churches, most if not all have the pastor in charge of the local church but responsible to the "home office" of the denomination that ordained him. Thus the same denominations that repudiate the hierarchal organization of the Roman Catholic Church actually follow the same form of authority in their own denomination.

While lip service is paid to the concept of an "invisible" church made up of all believers, you cannot speak in one of their denominational pulpits unless you "hold papers" from that denomination. The practical definition of church is "a member in good standing with that denomination".

Where is Jesus?

God is everywhere so Jesus, being God, is everywhere. To some degree that is true.

Jesus is in the heart of all believers. That is also true and obviously to a greater degree than with Him being everywhere.

When two or three are gathered together in Jesus' name, he is there. This is true, again to a higher level.

When the words of Jesus are said at communion, "this is my body", the church has always taught that Jesus is present in those communion elements. This is true and held to be true at not just a higher level but at the highest level.

Why baptize?

Jesus said the whoever "believes and is baptized will be saved". That seems like a good reason.

Somehow since the Protestant Reformation some Christian denominations have relegated it to be "optional" not considering it a "sacrament".

All Christians consider the command to believe and be baptized as valid for today. Some use this to promote the notion that infants should not be baptized. The early church always held infant baptism was equivalent to circumcision of infants.

When is one dead?

The Apostle Paul said "absent from the body is to be present with the Lord". Jesus said to the thief on the cross: "Today you shall be with me in paradise." The world may consider a Christian dead but that is not what actually happens to Christians.

The Apostle John said at the end of Revelation that "death and hell were cast into the lake of fire which is the second death". This seems to be when one is really dead. This of course never happens to Christians.

Thus it is not possible to "pray to a dead saint" because there are no "dead saints", they have just moved to a different place and are still very much alive.

Who is Mary?

We are obviously talking about the mother of Jesus.

In the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant was considered very holy. It was a wooden box covered with gold. Moses put into it the actual stone tablets on which were written the ten commandments. It also had some manna. It also had the staff of Aaron.

But the box was an inanimate object clearly made with human hands. If there was anything special of itself it would be what was put in it by Moses.

But God honored the holiness of the box itself to such a degree that when a priest touched it, he was instantly struck dead.

Mary had God inside her. Jesus is acknowledged as God. He was God from before the worlds were made so He was God from the instant of conception inside the womb of Mary.

Mary is no less holy than that wooden box holding objects that were clearly not as holy as what was inside Mary.

How and I return to a place I have never been?

You, as an individual, have never been a Roman Catholic. So how can you return to the Roman Catholic Church?

As a baptized Bible Believing Christian you are just like any baptized Roman Catholic except for the separation that was not your fault. That separation is an imposed break in fellowship.

You have fellowship with other Christians so from a fellowship point of view, there is no reason not to have fellowship with the Roman Catholic Church.

Why not explore this further?

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