The Catholic Apostolic Church -- By: W. W. Andrews

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 023:90 (Apr 1866)
Article: The Catholic Apostolic Church
Author: W. W. Andrews

The Catholic Apostolic Church

Rev. W. W. Andrews

Its Relations to the Existing Churches

After what has been already said, a few words will suffice to show the relations of this movement to the whole Christian church. It is not for the adding of another sect to the multitude which now rend the body of Christ, for apostles cannot be the founders of a sect, nor the originators of a schism. Their spiritual jurisdiction embraces all the baptized; and if they are restored, it is with authority to bring back all the churches into the true order of God’s house. A sectarian movement is one set forward and directed by self-chosen leaders, or one proceeding on principles subversive of catholic unity. If any part of the church claims to be the whole, by denying to the rest all sacraments and ministry; or if it sets itself in antagonism to all others, seeking to build itself up by their overthrow; or if it separates itself, and withholds the offices of Christian love from the brethren; or if it circumscribes its organization by political or local boundaries, so as to be ecclesiastically independent of the rest, it thereby makes itself a sect, which is a portion of the body set in wrong relations to the other portions. The law of every healthful organism is the intercommunion and mutual helpfulness of all the parts; but this requires central organs, which shall sustain and control all the rest. If these are destroyed, or hindered in their workings, the harmony of the organism is impaired; and their restoration is indispensable if the ends for which it was created are to be answered. The church, which from its relations to Christ, the one head, is one body, and can be but one (although it may exist in a disorganized condition), had

in apostles a central ordinance, which embraced all the members, held them in their places, and ministered grace and strength to them from their Head in the heavens. The restoration of this office by the Lord would be no act of schism, nor would those whom he set in it, nor those who followed them, and received his commandments and ordinances from them, be schismatics. Apostles would be restored for the deliverance of the church from schism; not to increase and exaggerate its evils. The congregations gathered under them would not stand in hostility to the existing churches, but would, as it were, form the very heart and centre of the body, from which blessings should flow forth by every unobstructed channel to all the living parts.

This is the relation in which the restored apostles, and the churches that have been organized by them, believe themselves to stand to all other Christian communities. They do not disown and cast off any portion of the visible church which has not cut...

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