Christ established the "Church", which is all who believe, profess faith and baptised in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The bible teaches the Trinitarian nature of God -Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Read http://www.ccel.org/creeds/athanasian.creed.html for definition. Bible also teaches Hypostatic Union of Christ being fully God and fully man in perfect unity. Any believe about the nature of God and Jesus Christ differing from the Trinitarian and Hypostatic are not Christian. Many, Islam, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Creflo Dollar types, Unitarians and others deny both and are cut off from the body of believers who are in Christ -which is what THE CHURCH is, not the Lutheran, RCC, Eastern Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, Anglican, or any other denomination.
Since the rise of Protestantism, the name "Christian" has been used in so many different senses as to have almost become meaningless. No quabbles with your definition as to who is a Christian...e.g. a person who is properly Baptised, believes in the Holy Trinity and the Divinity of Christ and I would add who practices the religion of Christ.
I know in popular usage today Christianity is used in reference to all those forms of religion who profess belief in Christ. In reality, Christianity rightly signifies only the religion of Christ correctly and completely presented. Christianity cannot therefore signify a multitude of sects (what is now commonly called denominations), blending isolated truths of the CHristian religion with various errors which form the basis of division amongst themselves.
Christ established the "Church", which is allwho believe, profess faith and baptised in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The bible teaches the Trinitarian nature of God -Father, Son and Holy Spirit. ..............the body of believers who are in Christ -which is what THE CHURCH is, not the Lutheran, RCC, Eastern Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, Anglican, or any other denomination.
But your definition of "the Church" Christ established....
Scripture teaches that Christ established a Church, a specific Church and based upon Scripture, and particularly St.Matt. 16:18-19 your definition the Church is all who believe, profess faith and are baptized can not be correct.
Christ did not confer His own power of binding and loosing or the authority to teach the truth in His name to all nations until the end of the world to the Lutherans, the Eastern or Ethiopian Orthodox, the Anglicans, and for that matter, not to any of the other sects which all came into existence well after 33AD when Christ's Church was built on St.Peter.
I'm thinking of St.Paul's exhortation to unity to the Ephesians 4:2-6, "Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One body and one Spirit, ...one hope, ....One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, One God and Father of all,.."
All who profess to be Christians, of course, ought to be united in Christ's one Church, one body, one faith, one baptism, but they are not.
Remember that Our Lord said, "I am the Truth". Truth excludes error. Jesus founded His Church and said, "And if he will not hear them, tell the Church. And if a man will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican." St.Matt. 18:17. Or ST. Paul, "Obey your prelates, and be subject to them." Hebrews 13:17. Or St.Paul calling the Church "the pillar and ground of truth."
One can easily see that your definition of the "Church" is a real problem with these passages. It just doesn't make sense because the Church, whose human authorities spoke for her had Christ's authority, and they instruct and direct the faithful.
In short, what I'm saying is no Church founded by a man or woman can possibly can possibly be equal to the one Church founded by the Son of God.
If one believes in Christ they must consider as necessary what Christ believed necessary. Scripture teaches He certainly thought the Church He established was necessary. For centuries, Christians have said, not only I believe in Jesus Christ, Our Lord....but also I believe in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. They made an act of faith in both Christ and in His Church.
If you no longer believe in Christ's Church, then something has gone wrong somewhere.
But history documents when and by whom that something gone wrong somewhere....
Luther taught Protestants "Sola Fides" to believe they become members of Christ by their individual faith alone. He rebelled against the Church, rejected her authority, doctrines, the Sacraments and so they do too. Protestants have become congenital individualists and unwilling in religion to recognize our dependence upon others in the doctrine of the Church, but rather insist on dictating their own terms and definitions.
What I'm saying here is not to impugn in any way Protestant's sincerely held belief in Our Lord Jesus Christ. No, not at all. Love and believe in Christ by all means.
The Church has the whole truth along with everything we need for our salvation, and those outside her do not. Do not let your belief in Christ serve you as an excuse to repudiate His Church and to assert that it is of no importance whatever to find that one true Church He thought fit to establish.