The Church’s One Foundation


The Church has been a survivor of many hardship and persecutions, both outside and inside the Church. Most notable of its hardships are the constant persecution it receives from unbelievers but what shakes the Church is not physical persecution but spiritual persecutions. Heresies and schismatic cults have so tested the stability of the Church to its core. The very environment of which the hymn “The Church’s One Foundation” was written was a period of distress in the Anglican Church not just in England and South Africa but the rest of the world. The first Bishop of Natal’s actions led to several skirmishes among the episcopate that it was only solved when he died. Such distresses can be more evident now that many more heresies have risen up.

The first three stanzas of the old hymn minister to me much. The lines are as follows…

The church’s one foundation

is Jesus Christ her Lord;

she is his new creation

by water and the Word.

From heaven he came and sought her

to be his holy bride;

with his own blood he bought her,

and for her life he died.

Elect from every nation,

yet one o’er all the earth;

her charter of salvation,

one Lord, one faith, one birth;

one holy name she blesses,

partakes one holy food,

and to one hope she presses,

with every grace endued.

Though with a scornful wonder

we see her sore oppressed,

by schisms rent asunder,

by heresies distressed,

yet saints their watch are keeping;

their cry goes up, “How long?”

And soon the night of weeping

shall be the morn of song.

The hymn is an allusion to the 9th article of the Apostle’s Creed, which talks about the unity and universality of the Church. This unity and universality the heresies and cults try to undermine. In our everyday dealings, we encounter heretical movements and cults. Some are as obvious as claiming to be “the Messenger”, “the Second Coming of Jesus” or “the Appointed Son of God” but many others are less obvious with many clothing in the guise of Scriptures themselves that we understand and know. The difference though is the snake of doctrine that hides under the pages of orthodoxy. When I say orthodoxy I do not mean the church based in Constantinople or Alexandria but rather our beliefs as stated in Scriptures by which we breathe and live in our faith.

As Jesus said in Mark 13:21-13: “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.” Many will come, not much in the very obvious magical arts sense but rather in flowery explanations of the gospel and the nature of Christ. They hide in the pretense of proclaiming God’s word in its “purest” sense. Sometimes, you would not know the difference so how can we know which is which?

Determining the genuine orthodoxy from sham heresy is similar to the convention in determining counterfeit money. I have shared this before but let me share again. There are countless counterfeits running around the market. It is impossible to memorize each and every counterfeit since counterfeiters improve on their art. However, its a known fact that there is only one genuine. Determining counterfeit money is by taking into consideration the features of genuine money from the inside out. When you know the genuine one by heart, you will easily spot the fake. The same way, the truth is sifted away from heresy by knowing the truth of God’s word inside out. Many cults and heresies are springing up from everywhere. The only way to be safeguarded is by deep study of His word. As for you, are you ready to spot the difference?

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About Mark Mayo - Magallanes

MARK MAYO - MAGALLANES – blogger by passion, cook by hobby, student by life, theater actor by fate, writer by work, and Christian by grace. Part Filipino, Chinese and Spanish by blood, he is proudly 100% Negrénse. His love for his home Island of Negros, heritage and lifestyle has led him to write much about it and full-time, all-time. View all posts by Mark Mayo - Magallanes

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