Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

How Old Is Your Church?

If you are a member of an Oriental Orthodox church, the foundation of your church was the year 451, when Dioscurus, Patriarch of Alexandria, rejected an Apostolic Christological teaching which was defined against the heresy of Eutyches and the Monophysites at the Council of Chalcedon by the infallible teaching authority that Christ gave to His Church. See:

If you are an Eastern Orthodox your split from the Church founded by Christ developed from the year 1054, when the Pope was forced to excommunicate Michael Caerularius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, because his political jealousy of the Pope’s divinely instituted supreme authority drove him to schism, which the other Eastern patriarchs and, later, other new national and independent Churches followed.

If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex-Augustinian monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517.

If you belong to the Church of England or another Anglican church, your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to re-marry.

If you are a member of the Episcopal Church, your religion was an offshoot of the Church of England founded by Samuel Seabury in Britain’s American colonies in the 17th century.

If you are a Mennonite, your movement was named after its inventor, Menno Simons, who founded it after becoming an Anabaptist elder in 1536. The Amish, started by Jacob Amman around 1693, are just one of many different church bodies within the Mennonite community in the U.S.

If you are a member of one of the approximately 750 Reformed Churches created from the 16th century onwards, your Protestant body originated from the tenets of the Swiss Reformation led by Ulrich Zwingli and, later, the doctrinal principles of John Calvin.

If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded by John Knox in Scotland in the year 1560.

If you are a Congregationalist, your religion was originated by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582.

If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1605.

If you are a Methodist, your religion was launched by John and Charles Wesley in
England in 1744. If you are a member of one of the Holiness Churches, your movement stemmed from an attempt to return to Wesleyan teaching in 19th century North America, from which the Church of the Nazarene (Est. 1908) and the Salvation Army (Est. 1865) later evolved, amongst other groups.

If you are an Evangelical, your religion is rooted in the 18th century Anglo-American religious movements of figures such as George Whitefield, John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards. More recent religious groups that have developed from Evangelicalism include the Calvary Chapel (Est. 1965) and the Vineyard Movement (Est. 1982).

If you are a Mormon (Latter Day Saints), Joseph Smith started your religion in Palmyra, N.Y., in 1829.

If you are a member of the Disciples of Christ, Churches of Christ or Independent Christian Churches, your church originated from the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement formed in 1832 in Kentucky, USA, or various congregations formed in 18th century Britain.

If you are a Seventh Day Adventist, Mrs. Ellen Gould White inaugurated your group in the United States in 1860.

If you are a Jehovah's Witness, your religion was invented by "Pastor" Charles Taze Russell in 1874, incorporated 1881.

If you are a Pentecostal, your religion was begun by William J. Seymour in 1906 during the “Azusa Street Revival,” Los Angeles, and was influenced by members of the Wesleyan Holiness Movement. Other Pentecostal denominations later formed, such as the Assemblies of God at Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1914.

If you belong to the Charismatic Movement, your religion evolved from Pentecostalism from the 1960’s onwards; for example, after American Episcopalian, Dennis Bennett, claimed in 1960 that he had experienced certain spiritual gifts.

If you are a member of one of the approximately 19,000 Neo-Charismatic, Neo-Pentecostal or “Third Wave” churches, your church developed in recent decades from Pentecostalism and the Charismatic Movement. Examples include many African Independent Churches and Latin American churches.

If you belong to another so-called Christian organisation, your religion is one of the hundreds of new sects founded by men within the past century or so.

If you are a Roman Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and that His Church is still the same, into which He calls all people.

Do forward this to any Christians that you know.


Anonymous said...

As a former born Congregationalist, then an Anglican, and now an Orthodox Christian, I ask you what is your point?
Is Rome the place where all roads meet? I'm sure you would say that it is, but was Peter the Rock, or was Christ?

Rdr. James
Olympia, WA

Ecumenical Diablogger said...

Sorry about that I just lost the comments from here and cannot get them back!

Ecumenical Diablogger said...

Dear Rdr. James
The New Testament contains five different metaphors for the foundation of the Church (Matt. 16:18, 1 Cor. 3:11, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:5–6, Rev. 21:14). One metaphor that has been disputed is Jesus Christ’s calling the apostle Peter "rock": "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18).

Some have tried to argue that Jesus did not mean that his Church would be built on Peter but on something else.

Some argue that in this passage there is a minor difference between the Greek term for Peter (Petros) and the term for rock (petra), yet they ignore the obvious explanation: petra, a feminine noun, has simply been modifed to have a masculine ending, since one would not refer to a man (Peter) as feminine. The change in the gender is purely for stylistic reasons.

These critics also neglect the fact that Jesus spoke Aramaic, and, as John 1:42 tells us, in everyday life he actually referred to Peter as Kepha or Cephas (depending on how it is transliterated). It is that term which is then translated into Greek as petros. Thus, what Jesus actually said to Peter in Aramaic was: "You are Kepha and on this very kepha I will build my Church."
I got this from;
which goes on to quote a number of the Fathers of the Church. Hope it helps.

Ecumenical Diablogger said...

Fr Avraamy left this comment on this post, I published it then deleted it by mistake then found a copy of it on my phone, so here it is again;
"Your argument is flawed by its ambiguous use of the idea of date of foundation to establish pedigree.As an Orthodox Christian, I am in communion with the Church which was founded by Christ on His Apostles. The Church He founded was filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in the year of Our Lord's death, Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven. Those key events of Our Lord's redemptive work, and the birth of His Church, took place in Jerusalem, and the life of that same Church, led by the Bishop of Jerusalem, continues in unbroken line to this day. I am in communion with that Church. The Church of Rome, which subsequently received the Faith from Jerusalem, and is therefore junior in terms of the year of its founding, is not in communion with it. On your reasoning, it appears that Jerusalem, being older than Rome in terms of Christian Faith, has the prior claim to loyalty of Christians."

Ecumenical Diablogger said...

Sorry Fr Avraamy, The Church was founded on St Peter and not the Apostles! Come on in!

B flat said...

Is your assertion that the Church was founded on Peter and not on the Apostles, why the Credo said at all Sunday mMasses includes the profession of Faith :

"in One, Holy, Catholic. and Apostolic Church?"

Not Petrine, not Roman, but Apostolic.
Your type of argument is not the way for you or me to come to an understanding of the Church, or our Salvation in it. That has failed for over seven hundred years. Try reading the Ravenna document for a new insight, which I think is promising. Find it on the Vatican website here:

Ecumenical Diablogger said...

Thanks, just printed it off. I note however the warning at the start;
"The following is the original English text of the ‘Ravenna Document’ which was discussed and unanimously approved by the members of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church during the tenth plenary session of the Commission held in Ravenna from 8-14 October 2007. Thus, the document represents the outcome of the work of a Commission and should not be understood as an official declaration of the Church’s teaching."
I will still read it with care.

The Church is Apostolic as it has continued in unbroken succession since Apostolic times, but it was founded on St Peter one of the Apostles. The Creed does not deal with every detail of Church history.

Ecumenical Diablogger said...

Do also see my other post;

Bill said...

You didn't mention the Lefebvrists!