Signs for Our Times – Part IV: Apostolicity of the Church

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2013/04/24 at 7:00 AM

The fourth mark of the Church is Apostolicity.

The doctrine and the moral code of the Catholic Church is the same as that of the Twelve Apostles.

There is a large faction in the United States that has great respect for what is referred to as the Founding Fathers.  These were the men who had the vision and made the plans and set the principles for the United States. These are the men whom we consider to be the architects of the great political entity called the United States of America.  When problems arise, we look to their writings to seek solutions.

There is another faction that considers the Founding Fathers irrelevant to modern times because they had no concept of what the United States would be like today, and therefore, their eighteenth century ideas should not affect modern day problems.  They think that those living today should use their own skills to solve their own problems.  It is interesting to note that anything this group advocates almost always involves radical changes to American life as it once was.  In fact, the Founding Fathers would probably be dismayed at what has become of their concept of a weak federal government.

The Twelve Apostles are like the Founding Fathers of the United States.  The Apostles did not establish the Church but they were taught the basic creed and moral code directly by the Founder, Christ Himself.  Thus, if anyone really wants to know what Christ taught, there are no ones better able to tell than the Twelve Apostles.

The Bishops of the Catholic Church are the successors to the Apostles.  This is possible because every Bishop knows who consecrated him.  The line of bishops can be traced back to the first  bishops consecrated by the Twelve Apostles.

Christ, because He is divine, could have remained on earth and led the Church in person, but He chose not to. He set up the Apostles as the first bishops, teachers, and missionaries.  In a sense, the Church is still being taught by the Apostles through their successors in union with the Pope.

Since the Apostles received instructions directly from Christ, no other religious organization except the Catholic Church can claim to be apostolic.  Christ did not establish any other religion or church.  The message He wanted to convey comes in its completeness only through the Catholic Church.

The Twelve Apostles lived in a certain period of history.  Islam came much later.  Protestantism arose fifteen centuries too late.  Buddhism and Hinduism are much older than Christianity, but the truth of a religion is not determined by its antiquity, but by the circumstance of its founding.

Without Apostolic teaching as a fixed foundation, deviations in doctrine and morals will begin to creep in.  The source of authentic teaching eludes modern leaders of religious groups.  It is true that they may profess some apostolic teachings but certainly not all, and what they do teach, they are merely copying from the Catholic Church, whether they realize it or not.

Without Apostolic teaching as a guide, problems that arise are simply dealt with in terms of contemporary standards.  Protestantism now is dealing with women clergy and same-sex “marriage” and other contemporary problems, incorrectly, because they do not base themselves on Apostolic principles, and therefore, tend to “go with the flow” of contemporary culture.

Historically speaking, Christ the Lord set up a Church and it is incumbent on everyone to find Truth.  The human mind is attuned to truth.  We cannot function in a society that does not respect objective truth; it is not natural (although we are trying to do just that today with dire consequences).  To guide us, the Church offers four marks or signs, which when taken together point to the true Church of Christ.

The main advantage of membership in the true Church is not really membership, but it is the ability to have a relationship with the Living Christ who comes to us through that Church.  Many are members, but for one reason or another, do not know Christ and their membership is thereby diminished.  Christ is alive and comes to us readily and completely through the Catholic Church.  If you have read this four part series, you can determine for yourself that Christ did give you four clear signs: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.


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