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July 13, 2007 / vivator

I am with you always, to the close of age

“teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:20, RSV).  These are the last words of Christ in the Gospel according to Matthew.  In the fourth Gospel Christ promised His disciples that He will send another Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, who will teach them all things and remind them all what He said (John 14:26) as well as to guide them  into all the truth (John 16:13).  Certainly Christ did not make empty promises to cheer up His disciples.  He meant it and He could do it.   His disciples, being mortals, passed away long time ago but certainly His promise did not expire with the death of His last disciple but has been with the Church until today.  Christ did not say that He will be with them for limited period, say only three hundred years or until the emperor Constantine legalized Christianity, the time when many anti Catholic believe the errors started penetrating the Church (others believe it happened much earlier when they read the writings of Church Fathers and discovered that most of them agree with what Catholic Church teaches).  Then He and the Holy Spirit would like to take twelve century-long vacation.  Upon coming back from vacation, to Their horror They discovered that the Church, without their guidance, went astray, incorporated tradition of men and preached false gospel.  They took drastic steps by calling the sixteenth century Reformers to restore the Church back on biblical track through Reformation.   This “conspiracy” hypothesis might be as convincing as the one described in the novel “Da Vinci Code”.  Indeed through-out the last two thousand years there were many attempts, long before Reformation, made by numerous groups to establish their own teachings.  We read and heard about Gnostic Christians, Ebionites, Adoptionists, Montanists, Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism – to name just a few of them, but certainly Christ, to whom all authority in heaven and on earth has been given (Matthew 28:18), should be able to keep His promise despite of the so many attempts.

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  1. Newchasm / Jul 23 2007 12:18 pm

    There is a debate with catholics at how the holy spirit is with the church. What constitutes the church. Protestants believe it is with individuals of the universal invisible church. The catholic church believes it acts universally in their church but magisterium comes from the pope.

    As for early heresies in the church, Protestantism found a minority amoung catholics. It co-existed. It is evidenced by how most protestants hold to all 5 of the first councils. Most of the 6th and some of 7.

    Even salvation by faith can be found by this when applied to baptism by desire of Ambroise and Augustine. That condition is applied in Regeneration and belief. A condition that is normally thought by catholics to come from baptism. The greatest “Heresy” from which most differences arise naturally from sacrimentarianism and its effect on minority catholic positions.

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