One true church  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Some Christian groups or denominations have claimed that they alone represent "the one and only church" to which Jesus gave his authority in the Great Commission. Other denominations believe that "the church" includes members of many denominations, believing in "an invisible church". A similar theory arose in the 4th and 5th centuries, present in Novatianism and Donatism— both of which were condemned by the mainstream church of their time.

Others believe that in the New Testament period, there were no denominations, and the phrase Christian Church or "the church" refers either to all who follow Jesus, or all who follow Jesus in a particular location.

However, Apostolic succession is seen as one of the essential elements in constituting the one true church, ensuring it has inherited the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramental authority and responsibility that Jesus Christ gave to the Apostles. A few denominations believe they have restored the original church, in belief or practice. The claim to be the one true church is related to the first of the Four Marks of the Church mentioned in the Nicene Creed: "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church".

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "One true church" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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