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The Church since before the Council of Nicea has always detested schism and punished those who practiced it. However, I am pretty tired of Protestant bashing as a form of revenge because they have done the same and continue to do it in many circles.

Sola Scriptura messed things up. Hermeneutically their is no such thing, granted. However it should be noted that the Catholic Church prior to the establishment of Rome being its center had always faced schism within the Church, and for the most part it was handled quite gracefully.

[quote:37osqgsb]Christ promised that the Gates of Hell would never prevail against His Church and prayed for Christians that we may all be one. Are the protestant churches the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that the Apostles and many early christian generations gave their lives for?

Naturally, nothing will overcome the Church of Christ. Did Christ establish the Roman Catholic Church? Perhaps indirectly, I believe so. Who is the Church? Is it only those who belong to the outward institution of the Roman Catholic Church? Roman Catholics should stick to believing what is given to them by those they place their trust in. The Roman Catholic Church believes salvation is possible outside the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church became an external vehicle of an internal faith. The internal faith community of the Church had withstood persecution for a long time prior to the Roman Catholic Church. When the Church decided to become an external institution (churchstate) many good things resulted but many bad things as well.

[quote:37osqgsb]Protestantism and all its sects are a obvious schism of the Catholic Church that unfortunately took place in the 16th Century. The Church of Christ is 2000 years old, tracing her origins to Peter and the Apostles in an unbreaking apostolic succession. It is the Catholic Church[/quote:37osqgsb]

What is the Church of Christ? To the Roman Catholic it is commonly the Roman Catholic Church. To a Protestant, it is all who profess faith in Jesus Christ as the means of salvation. Can any Roman Catholic deny that a simple profession such as this is all that one needs to be a member of the Church that Jesus empowered?

Are Protestants lost from the link that brings them back to the Early Church in which supposedly the Roman Catholic Church has maintained? As I see it, both are guilty of losing sight of the original Church. The Reformation was an atrocity but an inevitable one! Similarly, the Church established through Constantine and Theodosius became a stately Church rather than a spiritual Church and soon became a secularized Church institution.

Both have missed so much, both have hurt so much, and I think most of us here can recognize that the Church has always made mistakes. However, Christ is not absent in any form of the Church; Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Baptist, etc.

Yes, schism is horrible. I wish as a Protestant that the Church never became a state institution and that the Reformation would then have never occured. I wish their was no need for a supreme representative of Christ on earth, and that the bishops and presbyters had remained faithful throughout history in which no bishop of bishops was needed to prevent further schism. Disunity is maintained institutionally, but spiritually Christ has joined every Christian.

[quote:37osqgsb]It’s saddening, to say the least.[/quote:37osqgsb]