40 Reasons Why It’s Cool to Be Catholic #23 2,000 Years of Church History

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,*and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.l I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.* Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Matthew 16:18-19

And so began the Roman Catholic Church.  We’ll get into the subject of the Pope in a later post.  (Hint:  He’s in the top 10.)  What I want to talk to you about today is our amazing history.  Think about it.  Jesus began with twelve Apostles, just barely enough for a soccer team.  Today His Church numbers more than 1 Billion members.  We’ve had our highs and we’ve had our lows, but as Jesus predicted, even the gates of hell (the netherworld) haven’t prevailed against.  Oh, they’ve tried, and I’m not just talking about today’s news.

Over the centuries, political powers have tried to snuff out the Church.  More than once Catholics have found themselves to be criminals because the government has made the practice of the faith illegal.  Masses have been said in people’s homes, behind hedge rows, even in prison.  But the Church always prevails.

The first serious challenge to the Church didn’t happen until 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Cathedral wall.  Even though Luther didn’t intend to start a new church, that’s how things worked out and the Lutheran Church was born.  It was a perfect storm.  Gutenberg invented the printing press, more people were learning to read, and Luther’s abbreviated Bible was all the rage.  Suddenly anyone who had a beef with the Roman Church has someplace else to go.

Don’t misunderstand.  I’m not criticizing anyone’s belief system.  All Christians worship the same God.  All the rest is just details.  Someday, hopefully, we’ll all be reunited in a single Church.

But I digress.  The history of the world would be so different if it weren’t for the Catholic Church.  In spite of what some of the politically correct would have you believe, we even count the years based on the year Christ was born.  Since the time of Christ, every great civilization has had an official position on Catholicism.  Some were for us.  Some were against us.  But you can’t deny the effect.

For 2,000 years, Church history is world history.  There are some who would deny this, but you can’t fight the facts.  For comparison, here’s a little timeline I made up of the founding of some of the protestant faiths:

      year       faith tradition
30       Catholic
1517       Lutheranism
1517       Calvanism (Presbyterianism)
1609        Baptists
1700       Freemasonry
1830       Mormonism
1830       Cambellites
1845       7th Day Adventists
1870       Jehovah’s Witnesses
1879       Christian Scientists
1906       Pentecost Assemblies
1914       Assemblies of God
1934       World Wide Church of God
1955       Scientology

This list is hardly comprehensive (There are more than 20,000 protestant denominations) and some of the dates may be in dispute, but I hope you get my drift.  Two thousand years of western history have been driven by the rise and fall and rise again of the Catholic Church.

And, that’s cool.

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2 Responses

  1. In the beginning was the word and the Word was God. That beginning was a long
    time ago. Thank you for the blogs they are very informative ..

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