Visible church

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(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

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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. and delegated the ministry.
So, when church (leaders) say the church (the leadership, I suspect) will review donations given to church (church leaders?) by the church (visible church), what exactly does it mean?
I weep with her, as I weep with all Christians who have had to watch their visible church go up in smoke, the plume perhaps taking a part of their invisible church with it.
(49) The question of sin and the church is in tension with the concept of the visible church. If we acknowledge that the church is visible, we regard sinful people and structures as part of the church.
"In Newfoundland, religion, church membership is still culturally very evident beyond the visible church," he explained.
Lausanne has all but ignored the sacraments, thus making mission something that is not deeply related to the visible church (Matt.
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.
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." In other words, the ministry is Christ's idea and Christ's gift to the church.