Christian Church - Related Concepts

Related Concepts

Orthodox Church and orthodox faith. These terms, with lower-case O, and thus distinguished from the term Orthodox Church, have been used to distinguish the true Church from heretical groups. The term became especially prominent in referring to the doctrine of the Nicene Creed and, in historical contexts, is often still used to distinguish this first "official" doctrine from others.

Body of Christ (cf. 1Cor 12:27) and Bride of Christ (cf. Rev 21:9; Eph 5:22-33). These terms are used to refer to the total community of Christians seen as interdependent in a single entity headed by Jesus Christ.

Visible and invisible Church. On this, see below.

Church Militant and Church Triumphant (Ecclesia Militans, Ecclesia Triumphans) These terms, taken together, are used to express the concept of a united Church that extends beyond the earthly realm into Heaven. The term Church Militant comprises all living Christians while Church Triumphant comprises those in Heaven.

Church Suffering, or Church Expectant. A Roman Catholic concept encompassing those Christians in Purgatory, no longer part of the Church Militant and not yet part of the Church Triumphant.

Communion of Saints. This term expresses the idea of a union in faith and prayer that binds all Christians regardless of geographical distance or separation by death. In Roman Catholic theology it involves the Church Militant, the Church Triumphant, and also the Church Suffering.

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