Cathy asked:

I have friends that start debates on social media with me about the Catholic church when I post about the Church. The big debate I’m having a problem with is the one where Jesus establishes the Catholic church. We just go back and forth, can you help?

Patrick Madrid replied:

"If we look at certain clues in the bible for example Matthew chapter 5, Jesus says, ‘You are the light of the world,’ talking both to Christians individually but also to the Church that he establishes as a whole. He talks about it as a city on a hill that can’t be hidden. And we can derive from that statement and those in that same passage that whatever else the Church that Christ established is it must be visible. He said, ‘what good does it do to light a lamp, no one lights a lamp and then hides it under a basket? But rather it is put out on a stand so that it can give out light to everyone in the house.’ Well in just the same way Jesus would not go to all the trouble to establish the Church but then make it so obscure that no one could ever find it. What good would that be?

... Some of the ways that the Church is visible include not just the fact that we have the pope ... it has bishops. It teaches certain doctrines and these doctrines are distinctively Catholic ... confession of sins to a priest, the mass as a sacrifice, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, prayers for the faithful departed also known as purgatory, honoring the blessed virgin Mary and on and on ... Nobody would confuse that with the Baptist church or the Lutheran church or any other group out there. It’s distinctively Catholic. That’s part of its visibility.

Then you do a thought experiment and start going backward in time, and just saying do we see the Catholic church today? Yes but with so many other groups out there that claim to be the truest expression of Christianity. So let’s start going back in time. Well if you go back say 200 years you are now in the year 1812, you’ll find the Catholic church. You’ll find those doctrines, you’ll find the pope ... in the year 1812 however ... you won’t find the Mormon church. The man that started that religion, Joseph Smith was still a boy. You won’t find Jehovah’s Witnesses in the year 1812. Charles Russell, the man that established that religion was not even born yet. You won’t find Seventh Day Adventists. You won’t find Christian Scientists. You certainly won’t find Calvary Chapel or the Vineyard or any of the other mega churches, the non-denominational denominations we can call them. You won’t find them in the year 1812, they didn’t exist ...

Now let’s go back another 300 years ... Now we’re in the year 1513 ... You’ll find the Catholic church, the pope, and the bishops, the doctrines. You’ll find turmoil, you’ll find saints and sinners and everyone in between. But in the year 1513 guess what? You're four years before the beginning of what we have come to know as the phenomenon of Protestantism. There were no Lutherans. There were no Baptists. There were no Episcopalians. There were no Anglicans ...

Let's go back 500 years. Let's go back another 500 years. Let’s go back to the year 313. You’re gonna find the Catholic church ... You’re going to find the Catholic church at every step that you take all the way back to the time of Christ and the apostles. All the other groups vanish ... History alone is sufficient to disprove the notion that Christ did not establish the Catholic church. No other group out there can demonstrate historically a continuous existence all the way back to the time of Christ and the apostles, other than the Catholic church ..."


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Show air date: August 30, 2013

Question appeared in show: 27:#5

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"...and upon this rock I will build My Church..." Matthew 16:18