You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid.
Below is a transcription of a conversation from a chat with an anti-Catholic; the conversation is addressing the claim that the Catholic Church is not the "true Church", and that the "real Church" has existed all along, and is in "fact", not a splinter off of the Catholic, but has always been there throughout the past two thousand years teaching right doctrine, in opposition to the Catholic Church.
Catholic Side: mawst
anti-Catholic Side: RandRob
(12:35:26) (+mawst) Greets RandRob.
(12:35:32) (+mawst) RandRob, can you give me an example of your Church fighting heresies between the first and twelfth century?
(12:53:17) (+mawst) RandRob, can you give me a name?
(12:53:25) (+RandRob) ok
(12:53:31) (+RandRob) your name is Billy Bob
He tries to distract from the topic by cracking a "joke".
(12:58:49) (+RandRob) mawst?
(12:59:00) (+mawst) I'm still waiting for names.
(12:59:29) (+RandRob) names of what man
(13:01:12) (+mawst) RandRob, names from people in your church between the 1st and twelfth centuries that fought heresies.
(13:01:42) (+mawst) I'd like to read about them. :)
(13:01:49) (+mawst) Surely they exist.
(13:02:06) (+RandRob) mawst i already told you that the new testament bible believing churches have always preached against the lies of men and preached the bible
(13:02:30) (+mawst) Surely you can tell me the name of one such man?
(13:02:53) (+RandRob) sure Christ Peter Paul John James
(13:03:11) (+mawst) So nobody between the 1st and 12th centuries?
(13:03:16) (+mawst) heh
(13:03:51) (+RandRob) ummm tell me what year is it you think started the first century?
(13:04:49) (+mawst) If you like, after the death of John the Apostle, before the end of the 12th century
(13:05:07) (+RandRob) mawst if you have some point feel free to make it
(13:05:19) (+mawst) I think I just did.
(13:05:30) (+RandRob) i dont see anypoint you have made
For the heart of this people is grown gross, and with their ears they have been dull of hearing, and their eyes they have shut: lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
(13:05:44) (+RandRob) so either say whats on your mind or move on
(13:06:15) (+RandRob) my guess is you some how are trying to equate fame with proper doctrine
(13:08:02) (+RandRob) and if that is the case
(13:08:24) (+RandRob) well then you need to get on the bus and go hear joel talk
(13:08:38) (+Corleonis) rand, mawst is right
(13:08:44) (+Corleonis) no matter how much you protest
(13:09:13) (+RandRob) mawst hasnt made any point
(13:09:23) (+RandRob) so how can he be right about anything
(13:09:50) (+mawst) heh
(13:09:53) (+mawst) *shakes head*
(13:10:08) (+Corleonis) wether or not you recognize it
(13:10:10) (+RandRob) shake all you like mawst make a point or move along
(13:10:11) (+Corleonis) a point has been made
(13:10:21) (+RandRob) ok moving on i guess
(13:10:24) (+Corleonis) you fancy yourself in a position to give orders
(13:10:29) (+Corleonis) how cute
The point here is simple. It is not a confusion of fame and proper doctrine. It's the unmistakable fact that while non Catholics like to claim that the Church in the Bible is not The Catholic Church, nor is the Church in the writings of the Early Church fathers, there's a peculiar eleven centuries of human history from which they can lay no claim to the Church. The writers from their Church they claim, are in the Bible. Only. Until of course the 16th century when men decided to disobey scriptures and cause schisms.
Since Christ founded the Church, it has been fighting heresies (see Acts of the Apostles (book of Acts); Council of Jerusalem). The opponent is correct, in that the Apostles fought heresies.
The last Apostle to Die, John The Apostle, died Circa 90-95AD. What I was clearly asking for, and being dodged on, was documentation (a quote, a name, a writing) of a Christian, from "their Church" --- Meaning not the Catholic, which fought heresies.
There's a problem though. As you can see in my Denomination timeline, there was no Church to speak of, other that the Catholic, and then in 1056 the Orthodox.
No "born again christian" or "non denominational" will claim the writings of Catholic or Orthodox, because it would mean that they were once the true church, and somehow fell into apostasy.
If these so called "Christians" claim origins in the Orthodox or Catholic Churches, many of their arguments fail, because the ancient writings of these two schism branches confirm virtually all commonly held doctrines, with the exception of Rome's Primacy, which resulted in the split. Church leaders since the time of the Apostles have been prolific writers, and the reason people run and hide and say "It's in the Bible, I believe the Bible only" is because their false interpretations, specifically counter the writings of the Church Fathers (or leaders of the early Church).
Even today, between Catholic and orthodox, there is near identical doctrine, that set the two apart vastly from later 16th century and later inventions of Christianity.
The opponent will not admit this, because Christ said the Church would never fall (Matthew 16:18).
1 Corinthians 12:25
That there might be no schism in the body: but the members might be mutually careful one for another.
And Jesus knowing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate: and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.
And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
I appeal to you, brethren, to take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them.
For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded.