Visible church

Also found in: Wikipedia.
(Theol.) the apparent church of Christ on earth; the whole body of professed believers in Christ, as contradistinguished from the invisible, or real, church, consisting of sanctified persons.

See also: Visible

References in classic literature ?
In order to arrest these dangers, and to insure the union of his followers, it would seem that Christ had established his visible church.
In Newfoundland, religion, church membership is still culturally very evident beyond the visible church," he explained.
The debate about speaking of the church as sacrament is connected with long-term differences between the Catholic Church and other Christian churches and communities, especially those spelled out in terms of the relationship between the visible church and the invisible church.
In a complex assessment of Yoder's engagement for church unity (chapter 3) Goertz concludes that Yoder's biggest stumbling block is his insistence on the identity of the visible church with Christ's rule over church and world (69).
The church regards this task to be so crucial that it has created a highly visible church auxiliary with a three-woman general presidency and general board to oversee and facilitate local leadership and training at the ward and stake levels.
Hegstead reconciles the invisible church of systematic theology with the visible church of empiricists and social scientists, showing that a sound theological interpretation of the church does not require the dichotomy.
We affirm the uniqueness of our fellowship and our conviction to pursue the unity of the visible Church together, thankful for our diversity and conscious of our need to grow in communion.
I tell them the reign of God is coming about--that the Holy Spirit works in a special way through the church, but is not limited to working through visible church structures.
The hot tip about ministers is given by the Westminster Confession of Faith in 25:3: "Unto this catholic visible church Christ hath given the ministry.
For congregationalists, unlike presbyterians and episcopalians, there was no visible church beyond independent congregations; for presbyterians the liberty of the congregation was compatible with synodal supervision.
There's the answer: The only place the life of the ordinary Catholic touches the life of the visible church is at weekly worship.
As well as attending their court hearings, The Salvation Army offers guidance by providing a visible church presence by their side.