Author Topic: What I still can't get my head round  (Read 127293 times)

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Offline GreekChef

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #180 on: October 08, 2010, 11:50:45 AM »
But why do you take part?

I can only speak for myself here.

There are two reasons for me.  One is because I am woefully ignorant when it comes to Protestant beliefs (and I'm often totally puzzled and mystified by what I do know). And thus I DO want to learn.

The other reason (probably the bigger reason) is exactly as you said:
Quote
because it does me good to be searchingly challenged about what I believe and made to question closely 'whether I am in the Faith' in the matters raised: as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another, as the Book says.

Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
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Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #181 on: October 08, 2010, 01:23:12 PM »
But I have only a small window on my computer, which makes the text jump up and down if I drone on for too long.

I have this problem with Internet Explorer.  Try downloading Mozilla Firefox (it's free).  I find it MUCH easier to work with for the forum.

I find that enabling the compatability view in IE (the button just to the right of the url box) does the trick for the jumping text box.

Hope dawns! But I am very incomputerate. What is a URL box? What do it and the button to the right of it look like? What part of the screen are they on? Even this far, it is already jumping up and down.  :(
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline GreekChef

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #182 on: October 08, 2010, 02:55:54 PM »
But I have only a small window on my computer, which makes the text jump up and down if I drone on for too long.

I have this problem with Internet Explorer.  Try downloading Mozilla Firefox (it's free).  I find it MUCH easier to work with for the forum.

I find that enabling the compatability view in IE (the button just to the right of the url box) does the trick for the jumping text box.

Hope dawns! But I am very incomputerate. What is a URL box? What do it and the button to the right of it look like? What part of the screen are they on? Even this far, it is already jumping up and down.  :(

Check your private messages!  :)
Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
Matthew 18:5

Offline Rufus

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #183 on: October 08, 2010, 06:33:44 PM »
Now, if I may, a question for you good people. I have often wondered why you (that is, y'all) take part in this Orthodox-Protestant Discussion. Is it to covert Protestants to Orthodoxy? Is it to learn from us? Is it to tell us we're wrong and leave us in our blood? It cannot be to share with us some of your riches, for you say you are not a cafeteria: it must be all or nothing.

I came on because, without my knowledge, something I wrote was posted on the Internet, and you approached me. I have remained on, partly because I believe you have some things right which we haven't, and so I can learn from you both for my own benefit and to incorporate into my preaching and teaching; and because it does me good to be searchingly challenged about what I believe and made to question closely 'whether I am in the Faith' in the matters raised: as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another, as the Book says.

But why do you take part? Not to learn from us, it seems; and the likelihood of converting us is small, as hardly any Protestants (regrettably - I have tried to recruit them) take part. I am not challenging you: I'm just puzzled.


I, for one, love reading your posts because I have two Evangelical roommates, and I get all my volunteers for some local charity work from the Evangelical Bible club. (I’ve tried to invite other people, but no one else ever shows up.) Therefore, I have a real interest in “getting my head around” their religion. In Protestant-dominated America, I believe it is very important thing for us Orthodox to understand the Protestant mind. I hope that likewise people who are not Orthodox will come to understand the Orthodox mind.

As for whether we are a cafeteria, I would be elated if you (or anyone else) became Orthodox. Barring that, I have no problem distributing the treasures of the Orthodox faith for others’ benefit, since the treasures of Orthodoxy, in my experience, are the Church’s most potent evangelical tool.

Rufus

Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #184 on: October 09, 2010, 04:23:09 PM »
Why phoney?

Let me press you a little further on your thoughts regarding such as me. You say the new birth comes through baptismal regeneration. Have I then been born again? Truly I was christened in the Anglican Church as an infant, came to faith when 16, and was baptised by immersion aged 18 at a Brethren assembly. But never did I have the blessing of an Orthodox priest in these events. Have I been born again?

You say the Holy Spirit is given at chrismation. I have never been chrismated. How then can it be thought that I have really received the Holy Spirit?

We feed on Christ (you say) at the Eucharist, following the epiclesis prayed by a proper priest. I have only broken bread in Protestant churches, and regularly (in chronological order) only in Methodist, Charismatic and Baptist ones. This is not because I would refuse to "sit down" with Orthodox, but because they would not feel able to receive me. Have I ever fed on Christ?

And yet I believe I had been born again, and received the Holy Spirit, and that I feed on Christ in all the means of grace (prayer, fellowship, Bible reading, spiritual reading from holy men, communal worship, the Lord's Supper). If what you teach is true, how can my beliefs about my experience be other than mistaken?

I am not asking you to persuade me that I am still unsaved (in Protestant-speak: you know what I mean) - though if I am, someone needs to for sure! But I am trying to penetrate more closely into your thoughts about us. If we are in Christ, then we are brothers and sisters in Him despite our differences; but how can we Evangelicals be in Christ, if your soteriology is the truth?

This is not a challenge, but an attempt to come to understand your thoughts.

And, by the way, the text no longer jumps. Many thanks to those who advised!
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #185 on: October 09, 2010, 04:46:02 PM »
Quote
John ... his own disciple

1) Can you cite the documentary evidence for this? You know far more about Ignatius than I do - I have only read his epistles twice, and probably a lot less about him than you.

2) Let us assume for one wild and abandoned moment that y'all persuaded me that your doctrine of the Real Presence is true - that Christ spoke in John 6, and perhaps Paul in Corinthians, not in a figure, as we believe, but in some mystical sense literally - as my icon says, o deipnos o mystikos (which of course, I believe, though interpret differently). OK, so for one moment of abandonment we say you persuade me. I would then have come as far as, say, the many converts from Roman Catholicism in Latin America who bring their belief about the Lord's Supper with them into their Evangelical or Pentecostal life. That is still a long way from 21st century Orthodoxy. It seems to me that the word 'bishop' in the NT refers to the pastor or pastors (or elder/elders) of one local church. So I would then - still in our imagination - presumably believe that the communion services at Bradley Road Baptist Church, Wrexham, were feeding me on the body and blood of Christ (despite the failure of the rest of them to understand what is happening at the time). I confess myself troubled by Ignatius's 'death-wish', as I put it on one post some time ago. To be willing to be martyred for Christ if it were forced upon us is, I hope, something all of us would be prepared to submit to; but to seek death in order to gain a martyr's crown seems to be an attitude that is not commended in the pages of the NT. "If possible, let this cup pass from me," prayed a Greater than Ignatius. I am not for one moment denying Ignatius his place in Church History, nor questioning his holiness and devotion to Christ - perhaps a great deal greater than mine, though I hope it may never need to be proved. But I have yet to be persuaded that I need to accept his ideas as being the one proper understanding of our Lord's and Paul's words.

Lastly for now, I have read - though I know far too little to confirm or gainsay it - that in the Classical world there was a much closer identity in language and thought between a sign and the thing signified than exists in our modern way of understanding symbols. We believe firmly that the bread and wine signify the Lord's body and blood, and that we feed spiritually on Him when we partake in due reverence and faith. It has been suggested, I think, that our debate about the degree of closeness of identity between the actual body of Christ and the bread and wine, would baffle a Greek of the NT era. He would wonder what we were debating about, for they did not work backwards, as it were, and separate the sign and the thing signified. Maybe you can comment also on that, for I have never studied Classics (I loved Latin, but have never done Greek except a little Demotic), and I know too little to be assured on this either way from my own knowledge on this point.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2010, 04:49:58 PM by David Young »
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Online Asteriktos

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #186 on: October 09, 2010, 04:58:52 PM »
Quote
Now, if I may, a question for you good people. I have often wondered why you (that is, y'all) take part in this Orthodox-Protestant Discussion. Is it to covert Protestants to Orthodoxy? Is it to learn from us? Is it to tell us we're wrong and leave us in our blood? It cannot be to share with us some of your riches, for you say you are not a cafeteria: it must be all or nothing.

I don't have a problem with people picking and choosing. It's not ideal, but it's fine. In fact, I would guess that Orthodoxy would have almost no converts were it to insist that you either accept everything, or you can't be Orthodox. I've yet to hear a convert to Orthodoxy say: "I believed it all from the beginning!" Usually it's more along the lines of: "I believed that Orthodoxy was the Church, though I struggled with issues X and Y for a while even after converting". Some people struggle with the Church's position, with issues like eternal damnation for example, for all their lives. And then there's me, who has two dozen issues to still work through, 9 years after having been chrismated. For my part I would say: if you find something useful for you spiritually, then use it. If that is part of your eventually becoming Orthodox, that's great; if not, then at least you're further ahead on the spiritual path.

As to why I participate in this section... well, I don't participate a lot, but when I do, it's mostly for the same reasons that I participate at OC.net even when I'm not Orthodox: I find it enjoyable, I find it educational, and I like to stay sharp regarding what I already know (or think I know).

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #187 on: October 09, 2010, 05:07:24 PM »
I'll attempt to reply to you both in a further post.
A reply to a number of you
I have thought of five reasons why I do not feel compelled to follow the earliest, and then later, Church Fathers, in the matters you raise, and pursue that line till I become Orthodox.
1) We are really talking about Ignatius onwards, probably with Justyn next, so ca 115 and 150 AD at the earliest. If our Lord was born in about 6 BC, he was crucified in 27 AD, and thus gave his teaching some 90-180 years before these men wrote. Was that long enough for the teachings we have discussed to have developed beyond Christ’s original? We say they did develop or evolve; you say they didn’t. In this paragraph I am asking no more than: was there time for this to happen? I think the answer is yes.
That isn't a question, although you continue to beg it: we know "there was time enough for this to happen": the same "Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch" ordained a protodeacan in Acts 6:5 is the same about whom  60 years later (Rev. 2:6) Christ praises the Church of Ephesus "that you hate the practices of the Nicolaitans which I also hate." Already in II Thessalonians, the next to earliest NT writing, St. Paul is already, e.g. chapter 2, warning against developers of doctrines (e.g. 2:2) barely two decades after the Ascension. To the Orthodox (and yes, I mean Orthodox in the sense of us, something we will get back to) he says "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the Traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us," seconded by St. (II) Peter 3:"15 even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness."

(btw, it is rather odd that you make much of these few decades.  What you are saying is that SS Clement, Ignatius and Justin Martyr accomplished what Christ and His Apostles could not. You seem to concede that SS Clement, Ignatius and Justin expound our dogma and describe our Church, which now has, according to your own estimation, lasted 19 centuries.  But you doubt that the Church Christ and His Apsotles-you make a distiinction between it and ours-didn't last 19 years after the last Apostle breathed his last. Makes us wonder what the evangelicals, Baptists, etc. think Our Lord DID mean in Matthew 5:14-16,10:27, 16:18, 28:20).

The question is how was this handeld? Apostolic Succession, as the Orthodox teach and have taught from before Pentecost (Acts 1:20-26), or 'ecclesia semper reformanda est', which, like Sola Scriptura, is a dogma that the Bible does not contain (unlike Apostolic Succession: Luke 6:12-3, 10:16, John 13:20, Acts 20:I 17-28, Tim. 4:11-14,  II Tim.1:6, 11-14, 2:1-2, Titus 1:5), which did not produce the canon of Scripture the Orthodox produced and the evangelicals are grasping, and which did not appear until 1674.

Take for instance your dating for St. Igantius (a decade late btw). That is only taking as a basis of rejection that he wrote then towards the end of his life, c. 80 years (at MOST) after Christ's earthly mission.  On that basis, you would have to reject the Gospel of St. John, although he claims to be an eyewitness of the events which happened, at LEAST 60 years before-i.e. a difference of less than two decades the time span of St. John's memory of Christ's mission and St. Ignatius' memory of the Apostles' teaching. Less acutally, as St. Ignatius was an auditor of the Apostle John.  Indeed, you will have to reject the Epistles of St. Paul (as, for instance, the Muslims do trying to claim Christ for themselves. Yes, I recall you made a distinction between yourself and the Muslims, but no reason exists why Baptist eisogesis of scripture should be preferred over Muslim), as he had nothing to do with Christ's earthy sojourn and wrote them decades after the Ascencion. In fact, the time span between Christ's Ascension and St. Paul's first epiistle taking longer than that between St. John's death and St. Ignatius' epistles.  As the Pauline Epistles themselves attest, enough time "for development." Then what do you do with St. Matthew and St. Mark, anonymous Gospels-it is the Church's Tradition which identifies the authors-and St. Luke (also identified by the Church), which admits (Chapter 1) that it is a second hand account at least?  And you do not address St. Clement, who writes before the last book of the NT was written.

SS. Ignatius and Clement, however, lived before then: traditions placing Ignatius as the youth Christ held up in Mat. 18:2 and identifying Clement as that of Phil. 4:3.  They were consecrated by SS. Peter and Paul, St. Ignatius succeeding on the throne of Antioch in 67, and St. Clement in Rome in 88. That is on the heels of the Pauline Epistles, and all four Gospels were published in the form we have them (and the form you have taken them) during, i.e. NOT prior to, St. Ignatius' tenure over Antioch "where the disciples were first called Christians." Acts 11:26,
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/antioch-cave-church-of-peter
and during St. Clement's episcopate and perhaps, except for the first, contemporanous with his tenure over Rome.

(btw, since you mention St. Justin Martyr, he was martyred in Rome by 168. St. Irenaeus gives us the earliest testimony on there being only the Fourt Gospels of the Orthodox Church in 180).
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Offline Ionnis

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #188 on: October 09, 2010, 05:48:55 PM »
Wow Ialmisry, that was an awesome post!  Thanks!
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Offline Melodist

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #189 on: October 09, 2010, 11:24:30 PM »
Why phoney?

Let me press you a little further on your thoughts regarding such as me. You say the new birth comes through baptismal regeneration. Have I then been born again? Truly I was christened in the Anglican Church as an infant, came to faith when 16, and was baptised by immersion aged 18 at a Brethren assembly. But never did I have the blessing of an Orthodox priest in these events. Have I been born again?

You say the Holy Spirit is given at chrismation. I have never been chrismated. How then can it be thought that I have really received the Holy Spirit?

We feed on Christ (you say) at the Eucharist, following the epiclesis prayed by a proper priest. I have only broken bread in Protestant churches, and regularly (in chronological order) only in Methodist, Charismatic and Baptist ones. This is not because I would refuse to "sit down" with Orthodox, but because they would not feel able to receive me. Have I ever fed on Christ?

And yet I believe I had been born again, and received the Holy Spirit, and that I feed on Christ in all the means of grace (prayer, fellowship, Bible reading, spiritual reading from holy men, communal worship, the Lord's Supper). If what you teach is true, how can my beliefs about my experience be other than mistaken?

I am not asking you to persuade me that I am still unsaved (in Protestant-speak: you know what I mean) - though if I am, someone needs to for sure! But I am trying to penetrate more closely into your thoughts about us. If we are in Christ, then we are brothers and sisters in Him despite our differences; but how can we Evangelicals be in Christ, if your soteriology is the truth?

This is not a challenge, but an attempt to come to understand your thoughts.

And, by the way, the text no longer jumps. Many thanks to those who advised!

I've been thinking about how to best articulate this and probably still have a way to go before I get it right, so please don't be too offended, and this is just my personal thoughts I'm sharing, and I'm still contemplating how to express them.

Throughout the OT from the time the children of Israel entered into the promised land all the way up until the completion of the temple, it is written that they offered sacrifices in the high places while they had the tabernacle and the ark. These offerings ranged everywhere from being made to idols to being made to God. Some offerings were whatever the people wanted to offer, and I'm sure some were done according to what the Law called for. Solomon made a large offering at the high place in Gibeon, and not only did God accept the offering, but He appeared to Solomon and that is when Solomon asked for wisdom. Throughout all of this, both the ark and the tebernacle represented God's presence among His people. They carried the ark into battle to show the presence of the Lord who dwells between the cherubim. The ark was typically kept in the tabernacle along with the altars for offering incense and animals and everything else that belonged in the tabernacle. This is where God commanded that worship be offered to Him and was where He dwelt among His people.

It would be my opinion that using an analogy to this situation, that the Orthodox Church is the tabernacle with the ark. This is where the Law is kept. This is the most perfect and pleasing place to make offerings and worship God. Everything else is done in the high places. Non Christians make their offerings to idols and other gods using their preferred methods in their respective high places. Non Orthodox Christians make offerings to God that are, to varying degrees and in different points (depending on the denomination or tradition), a combination of offerings - some made according to the Law, and some according to personal or denominational whim that may or may not be in accordance with God's will.

And while Solomon's sacrifice made in the high place with a good heart was more acceptable to the Lord than the prayer of the pharisee made in the temple, God still desires us to come to Him at the tabernacle with the ark and will justify even the publican who came into the temple with the right heart. Even this was still held against Solomon, "And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places."

I hope this wasn't too offensive. I know you love God and put your faith, hope, and trust in Jesus Christ. I know you are seeking to better serve Him and trying to humble yourself to learn how to better do that. I don't doubt any of that. I'm not going to say you don't have any of the things you listed above, but I will say that there is a better way to do things and have them more perfectly.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Offline Rufus

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #190 on: October 09, 2010, 11:27:13 PM »
I confess myself troubled by Ignatius's 'death-wish', as I put it on one post some time ago. To be willing to be martyred for Christ if it were forced upon us is, I hope, something all of us would be prepared to submit to; but to seek death in order to gain a martyr's crown seems to be an attitude that is not commended in the pages of the NT. "If possible, let this cup pass from me," prayed a Greater than Ignatius. I am not for one moment denying Ignatius his place in Church History, nor questioning his holiness and devotion to Christ - perhaps a great deal greater than mine, though I hope it may never need to be proved. But I have yet to be persuaded that I need to accept his ideas as being the one proper understanding of our Lord's and Paul's words.

This used to bother me too until I learned the reason. They are called "witnesses" ("martyrs") because they died not simply for their worship of Jesus, but because by their joyful death they testified to the whole world that death has no more power. Also, their faith (like all true Orthodox faith) was rooted in sharing in Christ's sufferings, followed by sharing in His Life. Hence, when the persecutions ended, monasticism replaced martyrdom as the means of crucifying the flesh.

Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #191 on: October 10, 2010, 05:01:29 AM »
you do not address St. Clement, who writes before the last book of the NT was written.

Should I then believe in the phoenix? But 1 Clement was rejected from the canon. More seriously though: his writings don't contribute anything that I am aware of to this particular debate.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #192 on: October 10, 2010, 07:33:58 PM »
you do not address St. Clement, who writes before the last book of the NT was written.

Should I then believe in the phoenix? But 1 Clement was rejected from the canon. More seriously though: his writings don't contribute anything that I am aware of to this particular debate.

Do you believe in the fire breathing dragons from Job 41? Does that seem any less ridiculous?

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #193 on: October 10, 2010, 08:27:46 PM »
you do not address St. Clement, who writes before the last book of the NT was written.

Should I then believe in the phoenix? But 1 Clement was rejected from the canon. More seriously though: his writings don't contribute anything that I am aware of to this particular debate.

Do you believe in the fire breathing dragons from Job 41? Does that seem any less ridiculous?

I was working on a more substantial answer (Lord willing, I will post when finished), when the computer crashed. Since you posted this, I might as will second with the beginning of my post:

you do not address St. Clement, who writes before the last book of the NT was written.

Should I then believe in the phoenix?

Do you believe in Leviathan? (Job 41:1-34; Ps 73 (74):13-4; 103 (104):26; Isaiah 27:1)
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #194 on: October 11, 2010, 09:34:03 AM »
Do you believe in the fire breathing dragons from Job 41? Does that seem any less ridiculous?

For me, the difference is that Job is written as poetry, whereas 1 Clement is a reasoned, serious letter in normal prose. I have the habit of referring to events in The Lord of the Rings as if they really occurred, as illustrations of what I might be trying to explain. But I hope no-one thinks I really believe they did. More ridiculously perhaps, a birthday card I got some time back wishes me: "May each year be a feather on the glorious chicken of life as it soars untamed and beautiful towards the golden sun." My son doesn't really think life is a chicken (does he?!). But Clement does seem to believe in the real existence of the phoenix.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #195 on: October 11, 2010, 01:54:40 PM »
Do you believe in the fire breathing dragons from Job 41? Does that seem any less ridiculous?

For me, the difference is that Job is written as poetry, whereas 1 Clement is a reasoned, serious letter in normal prose.

I'm sorry, that's a cop out. A distinction without a difference.

Job might be poetry, and the Psalms definitely are, and you might pass Isaiah 27 off as such, but such multiple references underline that the reference is common knowledge of the day (several cognates existed in the Near East, of which Tiamat is perhaps the olderst): the ones who wrote these verses and their audience believed in the existence of Leviathan (subsequent Jewish lore in the Talmud and elsewhere confirms that). In that sense, Leviathan is nor more poetic than the natural phenomena of Job 38 or the animals of Job 39: it would seem rather odd that the Lord's serious, sustained argument would climax on such "non-existent" beings as Leviathan and Behomoth.  Do you think the sun revolves around the earth because Joshuah, a reasoned, serious history in normal prose, says (10:13) it does? If not, do you chuck Joshuah out? What do you make of the humunculus of Levi in the preformationism of Hebrews 7:9-10? Does it invalidate all of Hebrews' argument, the only Book of a single sustained argument-and a reasoned, serious epistle in normal prose-in the entire Bible?

I have the habit of referring to events in The Lord of the Rings as if they really occurred, as illustrations of what I might be trying to explain. But I hope no-one thinks I really believe they did. More ridiculously perhaps, a birthday card I got some time back wishes me: "May each year be a feather on the glorious chicken of life as it soars untamed and beautiful towards the golden sun." My son doesn't really think life is a chicken (does he?!). But Clement does seem to believe in the real existence of the phoenix.
He definitely believed in the real Resurrection of the body, his real point he was arguing in support of his major theme of Apostolic succession.

I'm a little disappointed by such straining of gnats. Out of 65 paragraphs, you pick this one which doesn't have to do (at least how he argues it) with the main point (Apostolic succesion), nor does his use of this common knowledge as an example-mentioned by the authorities of the disciplines of history (e.g. Herodotus ii. 73) and natural science (e.g., Pliny, Natural Hististory x.2)-form the basis of the supporting ancillary argument (on the Resurrection). St. Clement depended on these historians and natural scientists for his authority to explain what Scripture says: LXX Ps 91:13 (92:12) reads δίκαιος ὡς φοῖνιξ ἀνθήσει ὡσεὶ κέδρος ἡ ἐν τῷ λιβάνῳ πληθυνθήσεται "the righteous will florish like a phoneix/palm-tree; and like a cedar in Lebanon he will mutiply" (and before you fault the Church Fathers for such a use of a fortunate double-entendre, think if you would fault, for instance, St. Matthew (2:23)  for the same. Btw, Christian Hebraists of the Reformation did a similar thing for Job 29:18.
http://extra.shu.ac.uk/emls/11-2/budiphoe.htm
which John Milton picked up).

I Clement (22-29):
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Now the faith which is in Christ confirms all these [admonitions against sedition and rebellion]. For He Himself by the Holy Ghost thus addresses us: Come, you children, hearken unto me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desires life, and loves to see good days? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are [open] unto their prayers. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles. Many are the stripes [appointed for] the wicked; but mercy shall compass those about who hope in the Lord. The all-merciful and beneficent Father has bowels [of compassion] towards those that fear Him, and kindly and lovingly bestows His favours upon those who come to Him with a simple mind. Wherefore let us not be double-minded; neither let our soul be lifted up on account of His exceedingly great and glorious gifts. Far from us be that which is written, Wretched are they who are of a double mind, and of a doubting heart; who say, These things we have heard even in the times of our fathers; but, behold, we have grown old, and none of them has happened unto us; You foolish ones! compare yourselves to a tree; take [for instance] the vine. First of all, it sheds its leaves, then it buds, next it puts forth leaves, and then it flowers; after that comes the sour grape, and then follows the ripened fruit. You perceive how in a little time the fruit of a tree comes to maturity. Of a truth, soon and suddenly shall His will be accomplished, as the Scripture also bears witness, saying, Speedily will He come, and will not tarry; and, The Lord shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Holy One, for whom you look. Malachi 3:1 Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection, of which He has rendered the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits by raising Him from the dead. Let us contemplate, beloved, the resurrection which is at all times taking place. Day and night declare to us a resurrection. The night sinks to sleep, and the day arises; the day [again] departs, and the night comes on. Let us behold the fruits [of the earth], how the sowing of grain takes place. The sower Luke 8:5 goes forth, and casts it into the ground, and the seed being thus scattered, though dry and naked when it fell upon the earth, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its dissolution the mighty power of the providence of the Lord raises it up again, and from one seed many arise and bring forth fruit.

Let us consider that wonderful sign [of the resurrection] which takes place in eastern lands, that is, in Arabia and the countries round about. There is a certain bird which is called a phœnix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices, into which, when the time is fulfilled, it enters and dies. But as the flesh decays a certain kind of worm is produced, which, being nourished by the juices of the dead bird, brings forth feathers. Then, when it has acquired strength, it takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parent, and bearing these it passes from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. And, in open day, flying in the sight of all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done this, hastens back to its former abode. The priests then inspect the registers of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly as the five hundredth year was completed.

Do we then deem it any great and wonderful thing for the Maker of all things to raise up again those that have piously served Him in the assurance of a good faith, when even by a bird He shows us the mightiness of His power to fulfil His promise? For [the Scripture] says in a certain place, You shall raise me up, and I shall confess unto You; and again, I laid me down, and slept; I awoke, because You are with me; and again, Job says, You shall raise up this flesh of mine, which has suffered all these things. Job 19:25-26 Having then this hope, let our souls be bound to Him who is faithful in His promises, and just in His judgments. He who has commanded us not to lie, shall much more Himself not lie; for nothing is impossible with God, except to lie. Let His faith therefore be stirred up again within us, and let us consider that all things are near unto Him. By the word of His might He established all things, and by His word He can overthrow them. Who shall say unto Him, What have you done? Or, Who shall resist the power of His strength? When, and as He pleases, He will do all things, and none of the things determined by Him shall pass away. Matthew 24:35 All things are open before Him, and nothing can be hidden from His counsel. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handy-work. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge. And there are no words or speeches of which the voices are not heard. Since then all things are seen and heard [by God], let us fear Him, and forsake those wicked works which proceed from evil desires; so that, through His mercy, we may be protected from the judgments to come. For whither can any of us flee from His mighty hand? Or what world will receive any of those who run away from Him? For the Scripture says in a certain place, Whither shall I go, and where shall I be hid from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I go away even to the uttermost parts of the earth, there is Your right hand; if I make my bed in the abyss, there is Your Spirit. Whither, then, shall anyone go, or where shall he escape from Him who comprehends all things?  Let us then draw near to Him with holiness of spirit, lifting up pure and undefiled hands unto Him, loving our gracious and merciful Father, who has made us partakers in the blessings of His elect. For thus it is written, When the Most High divided the nations, when He scattered the sons of Adam, He fixed the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God. His people Jacob became the portion of the Lord, and Israel the lot of His inheritance. Deuteronomy 32:8-9 And in another place [the Scripture] says, Behold, the Lord takes unto Himself a nation out of the midst of the nations, as a man takes the first-fruits of his threshing-floor; and from that nation shall come forth the Most Holy
.

Of course, St. Clement can be faulted on his knowledge of the phoenix because, despite being "substantiated" by the authorities the pagans respected, he relied on their hear-say and second hand knowledge.  St. Clement was never near either Egypt nor Arabia, was not initiated into the priesthood of the sun at Heliopolis and so never saw their registers of dates, never saw a phoenix (Pliny mentions that one brought to Rome, evidently within St. Clement's lifetime, was judged a fraud by all).  When St. Clement spokes of his main topic, Apostolic succession, however, and the authority of the episcopate, he got his information from the mouths of SS Peter and Paul, those very voices whose proclamation went out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the universe but whose last words settled on Rome, such that, as St. Irenaeus attests, of St. Clement it "might be said to have the preaching of the Apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their Traditions before his eyes," which Apostles laid their hands not figuratively but literally on him, so that the things that he had heard of them among many witnesses he should be able to teach others and commit the same to faithful men who would be able to teach others also, rekindling the gift of God that is within him and his successors through the laying on of the Apostles' hands (II Timothy 1:6, 2:2). So St. Clement's zoology might be faulty, but his ecclesiology is spot on.

Of course, the lack of a sense of history amongst the Baptists (particularly bad even among Protestant denominations) is at work here-St. Clement's pagan contemporaries at Rome and Corinth would have scoffed, and they did at Athens (Acts 17:18, 32), at his argument from Scripture in favor of the Resurrection but would have taken his account of the phoenix as, well, the Gospel Truth:after all, Pliny put it in the Natural History. It is only because of the Church's triumph with the domga St. Clement taught over pagan Rome that Protestants are able to scoff at the phoenix and believe in the Resurrection.  Give credit where credit is do, as I do:the fine Baptists of the American Baptist Education Society led by William Rainey Harper (the Baptist Biblical Scholar) and John D. Rockerfeller (the Baptist Sunday teacher) founded my alma mater (birhplace of the atomic age), whose seal

shows the symbol of the phoenix is not dead.  The U of C now publishes the Encyclopedia Britannica, which is of personal interest to me on this subject: as a freshman there I happened across the article on Orthodoxy (written by Fr. John Meyendorff of blessed memory) whose "tolle, lege" brought me out of evangelical (Lutheran) protestantism to embrace Orthodoxy.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 02:00:53 PM by ialmisry »
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Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #196 on: October 11, 2010, 02:57:05 PM »
Job might be poetry, and the Psalms definitely are...

I don't usually follow dinner (it is now about 8 pm here) with a slice of humble pie, but today I will! I submit to all your arguments; you are quite right.

(I mean of course about mythical beasts, not about apostolic succession.)

Actually, I've forgotten how Clement appeared in the discussion, for it was not I who introduced him. I think we may have been hinting at whether 1 Clement should be in the canon, but without scrolling back I confess it has slipped my mind.
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #197 on: October 12, 2010, 11:51:24 AM »
Quote
John ... his own disciple

1) Can you cite the documentary evidence for this? You know far more about Ignatius than I do - I have only read his epistles twice, and probably a lot less about him than you.


One of the most consulted texts regarding Ignatius is that of William Cureton (who, oddly enough, dedicates his work to William, Archbishop of Canterbury).  His The Antient Syriac Version of the Epistles of St. Ignatius notes specifically that he is a disciple of St. John the Evangelist.  He has several ancient sources for this, one of whom is Eusebius, the others of which differ from the sources normally quoted in the Ignatian debate (such as Origen and Eusebius).  I had a little bit of a hard time following his notes on sources, honestly, because they're half in Syriac, half in English.    

To go back farther, though (I was always taught to look for the earliest source), Origen names him as second bishop of Antioch.  The Apostolic Constitutions reads that Euodius (1st bishop of Antioch) was ordained "by me Peter, and Ignatius by Paul" (though this is more likely a statement constructed by three facts known to the writer and put together).  And Eusebius, in his Chronicon (translation by Jerome) notes that he was a disciple of John. (I'm having trouble finding it online to find the exact quote)

Another main source in the Ignatian discussion is Lightfoot. In his book The Apostolic Fathers: St. Ignatius and St. Polycarp examines all of the these (he does not really discuss Cureton, though, nor does he examine his sources).  He is skeptical (unlike Cureton before him) and says that (in his opinion) the traditions are unreliable.  Then he says:
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Having thus cleared the way, we have only to ask whether there is any chronological inconsistency in the supposition that Ignatius was a disciple of some Apostle, though not converted till he had reached mature age. And the answer must be in the negative. If we place his martyrdom about A.d. no, and suppose (as there is fair reason for supposing) that he was an old or elderly man at the time, he may have been born about A. D. 40. If his apostolic master were S. Peter or S. Paul, his companionship with either may have fallen as late as A.d. 65, so that he would have been twenty-five years of age at the time. If his teacher were S. John (and there is no improbability in this supposition, though the tradition, as a tradition, is valueless), the epoch of his conversion might be advanced to A.d. 90 or later, which would make him some fifty years of age. Nor is his apostolic discipleship contradicted by his own statement in Ephes. n, as Zahn seems disposed to think. Even though a-uvrja-av were the correct reading in this passage, he would not, when he commends the Ephesians as ' always associating with the Apostles,' tacitly contrast himself as never associating with them. If any tacit contrast were implied, which is more than doubtful, it would rather be with his own brief or infrequent companionship with them. But the reading <rvvgvta-av ' consented unto' seems slightly more probable than crvvrjaav ' associated with.'

There's more, but that's a start.  I feel sure Isa (ialmisry) could give a much more comprehensive history of Ignatius' discipleship and apostolic tradition than I.



On another note (since Clement has been mentioned here as well and Irenaeus somewhere in past posts)...
Eusebius, the noted and trusted historian of the day, specifically says in Chapter 23 (entitled "Narrative Concerning John the Apostle") of his Church History:
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They should be trustworthy who have maintained the orthodoxy of the Church; and such indeed were Irenæus and Clement of Alexandria.
So whether you agree with Irenaeus and Clement or not, an independent historian of the day confirms that what they taught was, indeed, true orthodox teaching of the Church.

Quote

2) Let us assume for one wild and abandoned moment that y'all persuaded me that your doctrine of the Real Presence is true - that Christ spoke in John 6, and perhaps Paul in Corinthians, not in a figure, as we believe, but in some mystical sense literally - as my icon says, o deipnos o mystikos (which of course, I believe, though interpret differently). OK, so for one moment of abandonment we say you persuade me. I would then have come as far as, say, the many converts from Roman Catholicism in Latin America who bring their belief about the Lord's Supper with them into their Evangelical or Pentecostal life. That is still a long way from 21st century Orthodoxy.
I'm a little lost as to where you're going with this.

Quote
It seems to me that the word 'bishop' in the NT refers to the pastor or pastors (or elder/elders) of one local church.
I'm having trouble making sense of this.  When we say that Ignatius was the bishop of "the Church in Antioch," that means the community of believers, not one building.  As that community got larger and more church buildings were built, the bishop obviously could not be in more than one place at a time.  Thus, the office of the priesthood came about.  The priest served (and still serves) as the representative of the local bishop (note the word "local").  But the offices were then, and still are now, different offices with different duties and purposes.  The bishop maintained his duties as bishop, and sent the priest in his stead to conduct the liturgy when he was at a different church (building).  

The problem, I think, here is that you view the "local church" as being one parish.  That is very different from how the "local church" was viewed in the early church and still is viewed now.  I would say (though there are many on here with a much better understanding of ecclesiology than me who could probably say it much better) that the "local church" is the community of believers under one bishop, but not necessarily one parish or one building.  For instance, here in Atlanta, we have four parishes just in Metro Atlanta.  They are different buildings, each with their own priest, but we are one community, one "local church."  We all fall under the Metropolitan of Atlanta (Metropolitan Alexios), we do activities together, worship together, and have fellowship together frequently.  For practical and administrative purposes, we are divided into parishes and attend those parishes for whatever personal reasons (like- Atlanta is ten minutes from my house).  But we are all one community.  

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So I would then - still in our imagination - presumably believe that the communion services at Bradley Road Baptist Church, Wrexham, were feeding me on the body and blood of Christ (despite the failure of the rest of them to understand what is happening at the time).
I'm still not sure where you're going here...

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I confess myself troubled by Ignatius's 'death-wish', as I put it on one post some time ago. To be willing to be martyred for Christ if it were forced upon us is, I hope, something all of us would be prepared to submit to; but to seek death in order to gain a martyr's crown seems to be an attitude that is not commended in the pages of the NT. "If possible, let this cup pass from me," prayed a Greater than Ignatius. I am not for one moment denying Ignatius his place in Church History, nor questioning his holiness and devotion to Christ - perhaps a great deal greater than mine, though I hope it may never need to be proved. But I have yet to be persuaded that I need to accept his ideas as being the one proper understanding of our Lord's and Paul's words.
I think this was answered much better and much more eloquently than I could answer it by Rufus.

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Lastly for now, I have read - though I know far too little to confirm or gainsay it - that in the Classical world there was a much closer identity in language and thought between a sign and the thing signified than exists in our modern way of understanding symbols. We believe firmly that the bread and wine signify the Lord's body and blood, and that we feed spiritually on Him when we partake in due reverence and faith. It has been suggested, I think, that our debate about the degree of closeness of identity between the actual body of Christ and the bread and wine, would baffle a Greek of the NT era. He would wonder what we were debating about, for they did not work backwards, as it were, and separate the sign and the thing signified. Maybe you can comment also on that, for I have never studied Classics (I loved Latin, but have never done Greek except a little Demotic), and I know too little to be assured on this either way from my own knowledge on this point.
I remember in seminary having a long discussion in one of my classes about the nature of symbols.  My professor (Dr. Demetri Katos, the most incredible professor I ever had...) defined a symbol within Orthodoxy as "containing in itself that which it represents."  He gave us the example (in opposition to our definition) of a stop sign.  A stop sign is a symbol telling us to stop.  But it does not contain within itself "stop."  This, he said, would be a more Protestant example of a symbol-- one separated from that which it symbolizes.  This is Protestant thinking- separating a symbol from that which it symbolizes.  


By the way, Isa, thank you for two INCREDIBLE posts!  I so enjoyed reading them!!!!
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 11:52:56 AM by GreekChef »
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Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #198 on: October 12, 2010, 12:27:11 PM »
I feel sure Isa (ialmisry) could give a much more comprehensive history of Ignatius' discipleship and apostolic tradition

I'm sure he could.  ;)

Quote
My professor (Dr. Demetri Katos, the most incredible professor I ever had...) defined a symbol within Orthodoxy as "containing in itself that which it represents."  He gave us the example (in opposition to our definition) of a stop sign.  A stop sign is a symbol telling us to stop.  But it does not contain within itself "stop."  This, he said, would be a more Protestant example of a symbol-- one separated from that which it symbolizes.  This is Protestant thinking- separating a symbol from that which it symbolizes.  

That's what I was trying to say. So if they read the correspondence between you and me, or (better) eavesdropped if we spoke about it, they'd wonder what on earth we were troubled about. If that is so, why cannot types like you and us accept each other's interpretion of a 1st century symbol without wrangling over the inner understanding of it? I mean, if the symbol really contains in itself that which it represents, then it does so for us, even if we fail to understand that; if it doesn't, then it doesn't for you, but at least you are still holding the 1st century concept. So where is the problem? The symbol is effective either way; only one of us's understanding is deficient, not God's power and willingness to bless us both.
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Offline Papist

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #199 on: October 12, 2010, 12:37:01 PM »
I feel sure Isa (ialmisry) could give a much more comprehensive history of Ignatius' discipleship and apostolic tradition

I'm sure he could.  ;)

Quote
My professor (Dr. Demetri Katos, the most incredible professor I ever had...) defined a symbol within Orthodoxy as "containing in itself that which it represents."  He gave us the example (in opposition to our definition) of a stop sign.  A stop sign is a symbol telling us to stop.  But it does not contain within itself "stop."  This, he said, would be a more Protestant example of a symbol-- one separated from that which it symbolizes.  This is Protestant thinking- separating a symbol from that which it symbolizes.  

That's what I was trying to say. So if they read the correspondence between you and me, or (better) eavesdropped if we spoke about it, they'd wonder what on earth we were troubled about. If that is so, why cannot types like you and us accept each other's interpretion of a 1st century symbol without wrangling over the inner understanding of it? I mean, if the symbol really contains in itself that which it represents, then it does so for us, even if we fail to understand that; if it doesn't, then it doesn't for you, but at least you are still holding the 1st century concept. So where is the problem? The symbol is effective either way; only one of us's understanding is deficient, not God's power and willingness to bless us both.
Because without apostolic succession, there is no Eucharist.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #200 on: October 12, 2010, 12:51:23 PM »
I feel sure Isa (ialmisry) could give a much more comprehensive history of Ignatius' discipleship and apostolic tradition

I'm sure he could.  ;)

Quote
My professor (Dr. Demetri Katos, the most incredible professor I ever had...) defined a symbol within Orthodoxy as "containing in itself that which it represents."  He gave us the example (in opposition to our definition) of a stop sign.  A stop sign is a symbol telling us to stop.  But it does not contain within itself "stop."  This, he said, would be a more Protestant example of a symbol-- one separated from that which it symbolizes.  This is Protestant thinking- separating a symbol from that which it symbolizes.  

That's what I was trying to say. So if they read the correspondence between you and me, or (better) eavesdropped if we spoke about it, they'd wonder what on earth we were troubled about. If that is so, why cannot types like you and us accept each other's interpretion of a 1st century symbol without wrangling over the inner understanding of it? I mean, if the symbol really contains in itself that which it represents, then it does so for us, even if we fail to understand that; if it doesn't, then it doesn't for you, but at least you are still holding the 1st century concept. So where is the problem? The symbol is effective either way; only one of us's understanding is deficient, not God's power and willingness to bless us both.
Because without apostolic succession, there is no Eucharist.
Indeed, without an antimens of an Orthodox bishop in the diptychs of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and a priest sent by the same, the parish Church is nothing more than a big icon prayer corner and its Holy Mysteries no more than ordinances, its congregation no more than an ecclesiatical community.
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Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #201 on: October 12, 2010, 01:35:54 PM »
That's what I was trying to say. So if they read the correspondence between you and me, or (better) eavesdropped if we spoke about it, they'd wonder what on earth we were troubled about.
I think they would be troubled. Because they understood that it also matters what the individual believer believes.
Quote
If that is so, why cannot types like you and us accept each other's interpretion of a 1st century symbol without wrangling over the inner understanding of it? I mean, if the symbol really contains in itself that which it represents, then it does so for us, even if we fail to understand that; if it doesn't, then it doesn't for you, but at least you are still holding the 1st century concept. So where is the problem? The symbol is effective either way; only one of us's understanding is deficient, not God's power and willingness to bless us both.

The problem is, if I may paraphrase you from memory (always a process fraught with danger and uncertainty) is that it matters to the individual believer because to believe/practice/teach things that are not true (or what God says) to rely on one's own personal opinions/interpretation is daft (I think that's what you called it) and that one should always seek to find where God is maximally.
It's not that Protestants or Evangelicals are doomed and without grace - it's that, as Auntie Mame said in another context, "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death."
Orthodoxy is a banquet, the banquet of Life and Truth.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 01:36:27 PM by katherineofdixie »
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Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #202 on: October 12, 2010, 01:40:38 PM »
Because without apostolic succession, there is no Eucharist.

So does the heart of our differences on the Eucharist lie, not so much in the nature of 1st century symbolic speech, but in the question of apostolic succession? One begins to feel a dizzy sensation of going round in circles, for we have examined apostolic succession before. The matter has (I think) two aspects: one is whether the Succession really is a historical fact; the other is whether it matters either way. There is no point in attempting to prove to us 'heretics' (or whatever we are) that first part of the matter, if you haven't convinced us of the second. For if Papist's words (which assert the second) are true, then that post and ialmisry's carry the day, and we poor Baptists are without the true Lord's Supper. It wouldn't establish that you do have the Succession, but I don't think anyone would question the notion that we do not have it. To us - as you are aware - it neither validates nor invalidates your services if they are conducted by a priest in that succession: it is a matter of no consequence; to you, it does invalidate ours. So - to repeat myself - there is no point in trying to prove that you have the Succession, if in any case it matters not either way.

But we are off on another tangent...
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Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #203 on: October 12, 2010, 01:42:47 PM »
Orthodoxy is a banquet, the banquet of Life and Truth.

But not a buffet! However, my grandson wants the computer: I might get a look-in later!
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #204 on: October 12, 2010, 02:35:39 PM »
Orthodoxy is a banquet, the banquet of Life and Truth.

But not a buffet! However, my grandson wants the computer: I might get a look-in later!

Exactly! It took the words of an agnostic ("You keep saying you agree with the Orthodox, and not the Protestants. Why aren't you Orthodox?") to stop me from treating the banquet as a buffet. Then the snacking stopped and the real feasting began.
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                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #205 on: October 12, 2010, 03:09:06 PM »
So does the heart of our differences on the Eucharist lie, not so much in the nature of 1st century symbolic speech, but in the question of apostolic succession? One begins to feel a dizzy sensation of going round in circles, for we have examined apostolic succession before. The matter has (I think) two aspects: one is whether the Succession really is a historical fact; the other is whether it matters either way. There is no point in attempting to prove to us 'heretics' (or whatever we are) that first part of the matter, if you haven't convinced us of the second. For if Papist's words (which assert the second) are true, then that post and ialmisry's carry the day, and we poor Baptists are without the true Lord's Supper. It wouldn't establish that you do have the Succession, but I don't think anyone would question the notion that we do not have it. To us - as you are aware - it neither validates nor invalidates your services if they are conducted by a priest in that succession: it is a matter of no consequence; to you, it does invalidate ours. So - to repeat myself - there is no point in trying to prove that you have the Succession, if in any case it matters not either way.


Apostolic Succession matters because it is a visible "proof" or "sign." If Christians have always believed/taught/preached/practiced something, and that belief can be traced back all the way to the Apostles, then one would think, taking your own good advice, as I seem to remember, not to make things up and believe/preach/teach/practice things that are contrary.

That is the heart of the matter, it seems to me. Are we not even told in Scripture not to lean upon our own understanding?

If you reject historical Christianity and its teachings, all you have left is your own personal opinion/understanding/interpretation.

The beginning of wisdom, it seems to me, is the willingness to accept at least a theoretical possibility that one is not always right.
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Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #206 on: October 12, 2010, 03:14:13 PM »
the snacking stopped and the real feasting began.

With GreekChef urging you on with an encouraging "Kali orexi"?  ;) You  make it sound almost like going to Narnia.

[Computer available: there's football on telly.]
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #207 on: October 12, 2010, 03:22:16 PM »
If Christians have always believed/taught/preached/practiced something, and that belief can be traced back all the way to the Apostles, then one would think... not to ... believe/preach/teach/practice things that are contrary.

If you reject historical Christianity and its teachings, all you have left is your own personal opinion/understanding/interpretation.

I agree with your every word. But by definition the Apostles could not have practised (note the British spelling!) Apostolic Succession. Nor am I aware that they ever taught it for the churches they left behind, which would in turn send out workers into all the world and plant yet more churches until the Gospel has been preached as a testimony to all nations. So we don't think that saying Apostolic Succession may or may not be a fact, but is without significance anyway, is a rejection of "historical Christianity and its teachings".
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #208 on: October 12, 2010, 03:25:53 PM »
If Christians have always believed/taught/preached/practiced something, and that belief can be traced back all the way to the Apostles, then one would think... not to ... believe/preach/teach/practice things that are contrary.

If you reject historical Christianity and its teachings, all you have left is your own personal opinion/understanding/interpretation.

I agree with your every word. But by definition the Apostles could not have practised (note the British spelling!) Apostolic Succession. Nor am I aware that they ever taught it for the churches they left behind, which would in turn send out workers into all the world and plant yet more churches until the Gospel has been preached as a testimony to all nations. So we don't think that saying Apostolic Succession may or may not be a fact, but is without significance anyway, is a rejection of "historical Christianity and its teachings".
Really? Because they chose a successor for Judas in the Acts of the Apostles.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #209 on: October 12, 2010, 04:07:44 PM »
they chose a successor for Judas in the Acts of the Apostles.

By casting lots. Do you really follow that example? There is in any case a difference between a record that something happened on one occasion, and a teaching that it must always happen in every age and place.
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Offline GreekChef

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #210 on: October 12, 2010, 04:09:02 PM »
If Christians have always believed/taught/preached/practiced something, and that belief can be traced back all the way to the Apostles, then one would think... not to ... believe/preach/teach/practice things that are contrary.

If you reject historical Christianity and its teachings, all you have left is your own personal opinion/understanding/interpretation.

I agree with your every word. But by definition the Apostles could not have practised (note the British spelling!) Apostolic Succession. Nor am I aware that they ever taught it for the churches they left behind, which would in turn send out workers into all the world and plant yet more churches until the Gospel has been preached as a testimony to all nations. So we don't think that saying Apostolic Succession may or may not be a fact, but is without significance anyway, is a rejection of "historical Christianity and its teachings".
Really? Because they chose a successor for Judas in the Acts of the Apostles.

they chose a successor for Judas in the Acts of the Apostles.

By casting lots. Do you really follow that example?

Are you saying that the Apostles were wrong in how they did things?  How should they have done it?

Quote
There is in any case a difference between a record that something happened on one occasion, and a teaching that it must always happen in every age and place.
And yet they also chose successors for themselves by ordaining bishops to the EVERY See that they founded, without fail, every time.  That's not "one occasion."



I feel sure Isa (ialmisry) could give a much more comprehensive history of Ignatius' discipleship and apostolic tradition

I'm sure he could.  ;)

Quote
My professor (Dr. Demetri Katos, the most incredible professor I ever had...) defined a symbol within Orthodoxy as "containing in itself that which it represents."  He gave us the example (in opposition to our definition) of a stop sign.  A stop sign is a symbol telling us to stop.  But it does not contain within itself "stop."  This, he said, would be a more Protestant example of a symbol-- one separated from that which it symbolizes.  This is Protestant thinking- separating a symbol from that which it symbolizes.  

That's what I was trying to say. So if they read the correspondence between you and me, or (better) eavesdropped if we spoke about it, they'd wonder what on earth we were troubled about. If that is so, why cannot types like you and us accept each other's interpretion of a 1st century symbol without wrangling over the inner understanding of it? I mean, if the symbol really contains in itself that which it represents, then it does so for us, even if we fail to understand that; if it doesn't, then it doesn't for you, but at least you are still holding the 1st century concept. So where is the problem? The symbol is effective either way; only one of us's understanding is deficient, not God's power and willingness to bless us both.

In my whole long post, that's all you chose to respond to?  I feel disappointed!  All my toiling over my post for naught!   :P :angel:
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 04:13:17 PM by GreekChef »
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Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #211 on: October 12, 2010, 04:15:12 PM »
I agree with your every word. But by definition the Apostles could not have practised Apostolic Succession. Nor am I aware that they ever taught it for the churches they left behind, which would in turn send out workers into all the world and plant yet more churches until the Gospel has been preached as a testimony to all nations. So we don't think that saying Apostolic Succession may or may not be a fact, but is without significance anyway, is a rejection of "historical Christianity and its teachings".

I’m sorry but you have overlooked some Scriptural, as well as historical, evidence. For example, we know from Scripture that certain men were selected and received the laying on of the hands to be the representatives and successors of the Apostles. Those men selected and ordained others, imparting the Apostolic teachings that they themselves had received, and so on down through the ages. That is why it is significant.

This is Apostolic Succession, and to say that it is not a fact, is at best "a rejection of historical Christianity and its teachings" and at worst, delusional.

As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. Acts 16:4
 “…having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone Eph. 2:20
Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. Acts 14:23
3"Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. 4 "But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word." 5 The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. 6 And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them. Acts 6:3-6
For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Tim. 1:6
Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. 1 Tim. 4:14
15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers(a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus— 17 he was one of our number and shared in this ministry." 18(With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 "For," said Peter, "it is written in the book of Psalms, " 'May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,' and, " 'May another take his place of leadership.' 21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection." 23 So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs." 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles. Acts 1:15-26

As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. John 17:18

Through countryside and city [the apostles] preached, and they appointed their earliest converts, testing them by the Spirit, to be the bishops and deacons of future believers. Nor was this a novelty, for bishops and deacons had been written about a long time earlier. . . . Our apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop. For this reason, therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have already been mentioned and afterwards added the further provision that, if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry" Clement I A.D. 80

"When I had come to Rome, I [visited] Anicetus, whose deacon was Eleutherus. And after Anicetus [died], Soter succeeded, and after him Eleutherus. In each succession and in each city there is a continuance of that which is proclaimed by the law, the prophets, and the Lord" Hegesippus Memoirs, cited in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History A.D. 180
"It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the apostles which has been made known to us throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the apostles and their successors down to our own times, men who neither knew nor taught anything like what these heretics rave about" Irenaeus A.D. 189
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #212 on: October 12, 2010, 04:42:27 PM »
Are you saying that the Apostles were wrong in how they did things? 

No. Far be it from me, who am but dust and ashes. But I don't suppose they were blessed with uninterrupted infallibility. Maybe it was a mistake; maybe they should have waited till Christ appointed Paul; maybe casting lots isn't the right way for apostles to do things. I really don't know.

Quote
And yet they also chose successors for themselves by ordaining bishops to the EVERY See that they founded, without fail, every time.  

Where does it say that?

Quote
In my whole long post, that's all you chose to respond to?  I feel disappointed!  All my toiling over my post for naught!

No - I thought I had responded to the points which need response. Most of the detailed and highly informative post was imparting information rather than asking for comment. The information was impressive: but it didn't seem to call for discussion. I feel prompted, however, to read more about Ignatius. I have two or three editions of his writings, all with informative introductions.

You do not toil for naught. If you write the truth, then you may be assured that your labour is not in vain in the Lord, and even if he for whom it is initially designed fails to respond adequately, remember that there are a number of silent readers, plus others who both read and reply. And even if no-one responds, your example of thoroughness and careful attention to detail is exemplary for us all.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #213 on: October 12, 2010, 04:47:42 PM »
But I don't suppose they were blessed with uninterrupted infallibility. Maybe it was a mistake; maybe they should have waited till Christ appointed Paul; maybe casting lots isn't the right way for apostles to do things. I really don't know.

But what is more likely?
Who is more likely to have gotten things a little turned around?

Moi, a pretty ordinary 21st century person and certainly no saint, scholar or martyr - or someone who was a chosen disciple of the men who walked and talked with our Lord on a daily basis?

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom

Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #214 on: October 12, 2010, 04:48:33 PM »
certain men were selected and received the laying on of the hands to be the representatives and successors of the Apostles. Those men selected and ordained others, imparting the Apostolic teachings that they themselves had received, and so on down through the ages.

This may or may not be universally true: I have insifficient historical knowledge, though I doubt that sufficient records have been universally kept anyway. But...

Quote
That is why it is significant.

This is a non sequitur. But sadly time has again defeated me. Draw me back to this in a day or two if you would like to. For now, it must be Good night.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #215 on: October 12, 2010, 05:43:57 PM »
Who is more likely to have gotten things a little turned around?

Moi, a pretty ... saint... - or someone who was a chosen disciple of the men who walked and talked with our Lord on a daily basis?

I've lost track of this. Weren't we talking about Peter? If so, then he did have a tendency to be somewhat impetuous. Maybe he jumped the gun with his lot-casting for Matthias. I really don't know the answer to your question. Perhaps the answer is toi, but even so Peter's lots hardly prove the doctrine of apostolic succession, do they?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 05:44:40 PM by David Young »
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Offline Rufus

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #216 on: October 12, 2010, 07:45:50 PM »
Who is more likely to have gotten things a little turned around?

Moi, a pretty ... saint... - or someone who was a chosen disciple of the men who walked and talked with our Lord on a daily basis?

I've lost track of this. Weren't we talking about Peter? If so, then he did have a tendency to be somewhat impetuous. Maybe he jumped the gun with his lot-casting for Matthias. I really don't know the answer to your question. Perhaps the answer is toi, but even so Peter's lots hardly prove the doctrine of apostolic succession, do they?

As Katherine has already pointed out, Christ specifically appointed his hand-picked disciples to evangelize and baptize the world. What else Christ told them, we do not know; however, of all the presbyters and bishops in the New Testament, of which there are many, not a single one of them was self-appointed, nor were any of the New Testament baptisms performed by anyone other than the apostles or those appointed by them. The apostles and their successors were icons of Christ in the midst of the Church without which two essential Mysteries of the Church, Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, could not be celebrated.

Offline Thankful

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #217 on: October 12, 2010, 11:20:49 PM »
As Katherine has already pointed out, Christ specifically appointed his hand-picked disciples to evangelize and baptize the world. What else Christ told them, we do not know; however, of all the presbyters and bishops in the New Testament, of which there are many, not a single one of them was self-appointed, nor were any of the New Testament baptisms performed by anyone other than the apostles or those appointed by them. The apostles and their successors were icons of Christ in the midst of the Church without which two essential Mysteries of the Church, Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, could not be celebrated.

One of our deacons is fond of saying something like, "Wow, if Christ's Body (the Church) fell into dissension so quickly after His resurrection, He sure didn't do a very good job picking out the apostles, did He?"  Certainly He must have chosen men who were going to be able to carry out their mission; men whom He could successfully work through in establishing His Church on the earth.  Did Christ come to start an undivided church -- or didn't He?  And if He did, was He really going to fail at His mission? 

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #218 on: October 13, 2010, 02:43:34 AM »
As Katherine has already pointed out, Christ specifically appointed his hand-picked disciples to evangelize and baptize the world. What else Christ told them, we do not know; however, of all the presbyters and bishops in the New Testament, of which there are many, not a single one of them was self-appointed, nor were any of the New Testament baptisms performed by anyone other than the apostles or those appointed by them. The apostles and their successors were icons of Christ in the midst of the Church without which two essential Mysteries of the Church, Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, could not be celebrated.

One of our deacons is fond of saying something like, "Wow, if Christ's Body (the Church) fell into dissension so quickly after His resurrection, He sure didn't do a very good job picking out the apostles, did He?"  Certainly He must have chosen men who were going to be able to carry out their mission; men whom He could successfully work through in establishing His Church on the earth.  Did Christ come to start an undivided church -- or didn't He?  And if He did, was He really going to fail at His mission? 

Looking at it from the other side of the coin, why was the message of Christianity so prone to schism? Why couldn't the true faith of the apostles (in this case I'm assuming Orthodoxy is such a faith) prevail over the 'truth' taught by the RC's or the protestants? Is it church truly 'undivided'?

Offline David Young

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #219 on: October 13, 2010, 02:52:51 AM »
As Katherine has already pointed out, Christ specifically appointed his hand-picked disciples to evangelize ...

You write lucidly, whether on the purpose of small chapels (I hope you've peeped at my picture) or on church history and doctrine: you should post more often.

Our exchanges have thrown up a speculation in my mind. Rev 21.14 depicts the holy city New Jerusalem with its twelve foundations "and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb". Was the twelfth name Matthias or Paul?

(By the way, you say you are "Orthodox Catholic". Is that what some (not pejoratively) call Uniate - eastern-rite Catholic or Byzantine Catholic?)
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 02:55:08 AM by David Young »
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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #220 on: October 13, 2010, 03:46:18 AM »
this got a little out of hand (yeah, I know. surprise). People can dissect it as they wish, as I don't have the time right now to better chop it up.

Job might be poetry, and the Psalms definitely are...
I don't usually follow dinner (it is now about 8 pm here) with a slice of humble pie, but today I will! I submit to all your arguments; you are quite right.
Proverbs 9:9
(I mean of course about mythical beasts, not about apostolic succession.)
God>Christ>Apostles>SS Clement/Ignatius>bishops>me, we're right on that too, but we will get to that.
Actually, I've forgotten how Clement appeared in the discussion, for it was not I who introduced him. I think we may have been hinting at whether 1 Clement should be in the canon, but without scrolling back I confess it has slipped my mind.
It came up with the discussion of the witness of St. Ignatius and St. Justin Martyr, more below:
A reply to a number of you
I have thought of five reasons why I do not feel compelled to follow the earliest, and then later, Church Fathers, in the matters you raise, and pursue that line till I become Orthodox.
1) We are really talking about Ignatius onwards, probably with Justyn next, so ca 115 and 150 AD at the earliest...
So to summarize and simplify, perhaps outrageously so, based on a lack of evidence to the contrary, and because you cannot personally accept infant baptism, prayer to saints, prayers for the dead, vestments (not quite sure why you are so dead set against them, btw) etc., you believe that Christians got it wrong from almost the very beginning, and that within the lifetime of the Apostle John, the Church was mistaken.
you do not address St. Clement, who writes before the last book of the NT was written.
But 1 Clement was rejected from the canon.
Rejected by whom, and on what basis?

More seriously though: his writings don't contribute anything that I am aware of to this particular debate.
Looking over your last few posts and the OP, I'll just highlight a few points:
Despite recent years of reading Orthodox books, including the Study Bible (NT), and discussing all manner of topics with you good people, I have not yet been able to understand your attitude towards our doctrine - and, we believe, experience - of assurance. At present I am reading "The First Day of the New Creation" (Kesich, St Vladimir's Seminary, 1982) and I read: "The resurrection for those who were "baptized into Christ" is a present experience... This baptismal text speaks of the present experience of Christians ... who "have put on Christ" are already risen with him... The Spirit is given and the power of the resurrection has been released and made available... Christ's life is ... the active power that moves and makes one share in his resurrected life. The Spirit is given to bear witness to his victory over death, and to make fully known what is accomplished in his resurrection."

I can't see how this differs from our doctrine (and experience?) of assurance. It might have been written by a fervent Evangelical. Forget the doctrine of "once saved, always saved" ("eternal security"), for the question of whether or not a Christian can lose his salvation is a quite other matter or dogma.

So why is all this important? Because (I think) it lies at the heart of the fact that so many Evangelicals do not accept Orthodox as fellow Christians. It seems to us that Orthodox say they do not and cannot have assurance of present salvation; therefore, many Evangelicals conclude they are not saved people, and therefore that their church does not lead people to salvation.
Quote
John ... his own disciple
Can you cite the documentary evidence for this?

It seems to me that the word 'bishop' in the NT refers to the pastor or pastors (or elder/elders) of one local church.
And yet I believe I had been born again, and received the Holy Spirit, and that I feed on Christ in all the means of grace (prayer, fellowship, Bible reading, spiritual reading from holy men, communal worship, the Lord's Supper). If what you teach is true, how can my beliefs about my experience be other than mistaken?
Your sentence "you cannot personally accept infant baptism" is somewhat misleading: there are actually quite a lot of people who believe in believers' baptism, it's not just my personal quirk. As regards lack of evidence, I know of none on your side of this debate either: there is no unambiguous reference to infant baptism for a very long time into church history. This matter is not susceptible to proof by evidence.
So in order to jettison, infant baptism, ... you must be willing to accept that Christians, the Church, were apostate, or at least had gone seriously off the rails, before the Canon of Scripture had been "solidified."

Yes.

(Not apostate, of course: no one denies that some of the very greatest Christians have been, and probably are, pædobaptist by practice; but mistaken on this important issue, yes.)
I'll attempt to reply to you both in a further post.

A reply to a number of you

I have thought of five reasons why I do not feel compelled to follow the earliest, and then later, Church Fathers, in the matters you raise, and pursue that line till I become Orthodox.

1) We are really talking about Ignatius onwards, probably with Justyn next, so ca 115 and 150 AD at the earliest. If our Lord was born in about 6 BC, he was crucified in 27 AD, and thus gave his teaching some 90-180 years before these men wrote. Was that long enough for the teachings we have discussed to have developed beyond Christ’s original? We say they did develop or evolve; you say they didn’t. In this paragraph I am asking no more than: was there time for this to happen? I think the answer is yes.

2. Did the universal church believe the same things as were recorded in the few writings we have from that early period? What was believed in the very early church as far as Asia, deeper in Africa, as far as India or even China? We don’t know. We do not know therefore that the beliefs of the Fathers in the Greek world were in fact universal so early.
First, I will quote a little from St. Clement:
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The church of God which sojourns at Rome, to the church of God sojourning at Corinth...Owing, dear brethren, to the sudden and successive calamitous events which have happened to ourselves, we feel that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the points respecting which you consulted us; and especially to that shameful and detestable sedition, utterly abhorrent to the elect of God,...
who ever dwelt even for a short time among you, and did not find your faith to be as fruitful of virtue as it was firmly established?...And who did not rejoice over your perfect and well-grounded knowledge? For you did all things without respect of persons, and walked in the commandments of God, being obedient to those who had the rule over you, and giving all fitting honour to the presbyters among you...2 Moreover, you were all distinguished by humility, and were in no respect puffed up with pride, but yielded obedience rather than extorted it, and were more willing to give than to receive. Acts 20:35...Every kind of faction and schism was abominable in your sight...
3 Every kind of honour and happiness was bestowed upon you, and then was fulfilled that which is written, My beloved ate and drank, and was enlarged and became fat, and kicked. Deuteronomy 32:15 Hence flowed emulation and envy, strife and sedition, persecution and disorder, war and captivity. So the worthless rose up against the honoured, those of no reputation against such as were renowned, the foolish against the wise, the young against those advanced in years. For this reason righteousness and peace are now far departed from you, inasmuch as every one abandons the fear of God, and has become blind in His faith, neither walks in the ordinances of His appointment, nor acts a part becoming a Christian, but walks after his own wicked lusts, resuming the practice of an unrighteous and ungodly envy, by which death itself entered into the world. Wisdom 2:24...
4 On account of envy, Aaron and Miriam had to make their abode without the camp. Numbers 12:14-15 Envy brought down Dathan and Abiram alive to Hades, through the sedition which they excited against God's servant Moses. Numbers 16:33...
5 But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy and jealousy the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the church] [I Tim. 3:1-15, Gal. 2:2,9] have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours; and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience...7 These things, beloved, we write unto you, not merely to admonish you of your duty, but also to remind ourselves...
Wherefore let us give up vain and fruitless cares, and approach to the glorious and venerable rule of our holy calling...9 Wherefore, let us yield obedience to His excellent and glorious will; and imploring His mercy and loving-kindness, while we forsake all fruitless labours and strife, and envy, which leads to death, let us turn and have recourse to His compassions. Let us steadfastly contemplate those who have perfectly ministered to his excellent glory...
14 It is right and holy therefore, men and brethren, rather to obey God than to follow those who, through pride and sedition, have become the leaders of a detestable emulation. For we shall incur no slight injury, but rather great danger, if we rashly yield ourselves to the inclinations of men who aim at exciting strife and tumults, so as to draw us away from what is good...15 For Christ is of those who are humble-minded, and not of those who exalt themselves over His flock. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Sceptre of the majesty of God, did not come in the pomp of pride or arrogance, although He might have done so, but in a lowly condition, as the Holy Spirit had declared regarding Him...You see, beloved, what is the example which has been given us; for if the Lord thus humbled Himself, what shall we do who have through Him come under the yoke of His grace? 16 Let us be imitators also of those who in goat-skins and sheep-skins Hebrews 11:37 went about proclaiming the coming of Christ;...Moses was called faithful in all God's house; and through his instrumentality, God punished Egypt with plagues and tortures. Yet he, though thus greatly honoured, did not adopt lofty language, but said, when the divine oracle came to him out of the bush, Who am I, that You send me? I am a man of a feeble voice and a slow tongue. And again he said, I am but as the smoke of a pot...19 Thus the humility and godly submission of so great and illustrious men have rendered not only us, but also all the generations before us, better; even as many as have received His oracles in fear and truth. Wherefore, having so many great and glorious examples set before us, let us turn again to the practice of that peace which from the beginning was the mark set before us; and let us look steadfastly to the Father and Creator of the universe...
20 The heavens, revolving under His government, are subject to Him in peace. Day and night run the course appointed by Him, in no wise hindering each other. The sun and moon, with the companies of the stars, roll on in harmony according to His command, within their prescribed limits, and without any deviation. The fruitful earth, according to His will, brings forth food in abundance, at the proper seasons, for man and beast and all the living beings upon it, never hesitating, nor changing any of the ordinances which He has fixed. The unsearchable places of abysses, and the indescribable arrangements of the lower world, are restrained by the same laws. The vast unmeasurable sea, gathered together by His working into various basins, never passes beyond the bounds placed around it, but does as He has commanded...The ocean, impassable to man and the worlds beyond it, are regulated by the same enactments of the Lord... All these the great Creator and Lord of all has appointed to exist in peace and harmony; while He does good to all, but most abundantly to us who have fled for refuge to His compassions through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory and majesty for ever and ever. Amen.
21 Take heed, beloved, lest His many kindnesses lead to the condemnation of us all. [For thus it must be] unless we walk worthy of Him, and with one mind do those things which are good and well-pleasing in His sight...It is right, therefore, that we should not leave the post which His will has assigned us. Let us rather offend those men who are foolish, and inconsiderate, and lifted up, and who glory in the pride of their speech, than [offend] God. Let us reverence the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was given for us; let us esteem those who have the rule over us; let us honour the aged among us...22 Now the faith which is in Christ confirms all these [admonitions]...30 Seeing, therefore, that we are the portion of the Holy One, let us do all those things which pertain to holiness..Let us clothe ourselves with concord and humility, ever exercising self-control, standing far off from all whispering and evil-speaking, being justified by our works, and not our words...Let our praise be in God, and not of ourselves; for God hates those that commend themselves. Let testimony to our good deeds be borne by others, as it was in the case of our righteous forefathers. Boldness, and arrogance, and audacity belong to those that are accursed of God; but moderation, humility, and meekness to such as are blessed by Him. 31 Let us cleave then to His blessing, and consider what are the means of possessing it...Jacob, through reason of his brother, went forth with humility from his own land, and came to Laban and served him; and there was given to him the sceptre of the twelve tribes of Israel. 32 Whosoever will candidly consider each particular, will recognise the greatness of the gifts which were given by him. For from him have sprung the priests and all the Levites who minister at the altar of God. From him also [was descended] our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh. Romans 9:5...And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.  33 What shall we do, then, brethren? Shall we become slothful in well-doing, and cease from the practice of love? God forbid that any such course should be followed by us! But rather let us hasten with all energy and readiness of mind to perform every good work.
For the Creator and Lord of all Himself rejoices in His works. For by His infinitely great power He established the heavens, and by His incomprehensible wisdom He adorned them. He also divided the earth from the water which surrounds it, and fixed it upon the immovable foundation of His own will...So likewise, when He had formed the sea, and the living creatures which are in it, He enclosed them [within their proper bounds] by His own power. Above all, with His holy and undefiled hands He formed man, the most excellent [of His creatures], and truly great through the understanding given him— the express likeness of His own image. For thus says God: Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness. So God made man; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26-27 Having thus finished all these things, He approved them, and blessed them, and said, Increase and multiply. Genesis 1:28 We see, then, how all righteous men have been adorned with good works, and how the Lord Himself, adorning Himself with His works, rejoiced. Having therefore such an example, let us without delay accede to His will, and let us work the work of righteousness with our whole strength.  34 The good servant receives the bread of his labour with confidence; the lazy and slothful cannot look his employer in the face. It is requisite, therefore, that we be prompt in the practice of well-doing; for of Him are all things...Let us submit ourselves to His will. Let us consider the whole multitude of His angels, how they stand ever ready to minister to His will...35 Let us therefore earnestly strive to be found in the number of those that wait for Him, in order that we may share in His promised gifts. But how, beloved, shall this be done? If our understanding be fixed by faith towards God; if we earnestly seek the things which are pleasing and acceptable to Him; if we do the things which are in harmony with His blameless will; and if we follow the way of truth, casting away from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, along with all covetousness, strife, evil practices, deceit, whispering, and evil-speaking, all hatred of God, pride and haughtiness, vain glory and ambition. For they that do such things are hateful to God; and not only they that do them, but also those that take pleasure in them that do them...
36 This is the way, beloved, in which we find our Saviour, even Jesus Christ, the High Priest of all our offerings, the defender and helper of our infirmity...By Him the Lord has willed that we should taste of immortal knowledge, who, being the brightness of His majesty, is by so much greater than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:3-4 For it is thus written, Who makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire. But concerning His Son the Lord spoke thus: You are my Son, today have I begotten You. Ask of me, and I will give You the heathen for Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession. And again He says to Him, Sit at my right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool. But who are His enemies? All the wicked, and those who set themselves to oppose the will of God. 37 Let us then, men and brethren, with all energy act the part of soldiers, in accordance with His holy commandments. Let us consider those who serve under our generals, with what order, obedience, and submissiveness they perform the things which are commanded them. All are not prefects, nor commanders of a thousand, nor of a hundred, nor of fifty, nor the like, but each one in his own rank performs the things commanded by the king and the generals. The great cannot subsist without the small, nor the small without the great. There is a kind of mixture in all things, and thence arises mutual advantage. Let us take our body for an example. The head is nothing without the feet, and the feet are nothing without the head; yea, the very smallest members of our body are necessary and useful to the whole body. But all work harmoniously together, and are under one common rule for the preservation of the whole body...39 Foolish and inconsiderate men, who have neither wisdom nor instruction, mock and deride us, being eager to exalt themselves in their own conceits. For what can a mortal man do, or what strength is there in one made out of the dust?...

40 These things therefore being manifest to us, and since we look into the depths of the divine knowledge, it behooves us to do all things in [their proper] order, which the Lord has commanded us to perform at stated times. He has enjoined offerings [to be presented] and service to be performed [to Him], and that not thoughtlessly or irregularly, but at the appointed times and hours. Where and by whom He desires these things to be done, He Himself has fixed by His own supreme will, in order that all things, being piously done according to His good pleasure, may be acceptable unto Him. Those, therefore, who present their offerings at the appointed times, are accepted and blessed; for inasmuch as they follow the laws of the Lord, they sin not. For his own peculiar services are assigned to the high priest, and their own proper place is prescribed to the priests, and their own special ministrations devolve on the Levites. The layman is bound by the laws that pertain to laymen. 41 Let every one of you, brethren, give thanks to God in his own order, living in all good conscience, with becoming gravity, and not going beyond the rule of the ministry prescribed to him. Not in every place, brethren, are the daily sacrifices offered, or the peace-offerings, or the sin-offerings and the trespass-offerings, but in Jerusalem only. And even there they are not offered in any place, but only at the altar before the temple, that which is offered being first carefully examined by the high priest and the ministers already mentioned. Those, therefore, who do anything beyond that which is agreeable to His will, are punished with death. You see, brethren, that the greater the knowledge that has been vouchsafed to us, the greater also is the danger to which we are exposed.

42 The Apostles have preached the gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the Apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance [πληροφορία, the same word in Luke 1:1, Rom. 4:21, 14:5, Col. 2:2, 4:12,  I Thes. 1:5, II Tim. 4:5, 17, Heb. 6:11, 10:22] of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. (II Tim. 2:2; Titus 1:5) Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus says the Scripture in a certain place, I will appoint their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.  43 And what wonder is it if those in Christ who were entrusted with such a duty by God, appointed those [ministers] before mentioned, when the blessed Moses also, a faithful servant in all his house, noted down in the sacred books all the injunctions which were given him, and when the other prophets also followed him, bearing witness with one consent to the ordinances which he had appointed? For, when rivalry arose concerning the priesthood, and the tribes were contending among themselves as to which of them should be adorned with that glorious title, he commanded the twelve princes of the tribes to bring him their rods, each one being inscribed with the name of the tribe. And he took them and bound them [together], and sealed them with the rings of the princes of the tribes, and laid them up in the tabernacle of witness on the table of God. And having shut the doors of the tabernacle, he sealed the keys, as he had done the rods, and said to them, Men and brethren, the tribe whose rod shall blossom has God chosen to fulfil the office of the priesthood, and to minister unto Him. And when the morning had come, he assembled all Israel, six hundred thousand men, and showed the seals to the princes of the tribes, and opened the tabernacle of witness, and brought forth the rods. And the rod of Aaron was found not only to have blossomed, but to bear fruit upon it. What think ye, beloved? Did not Moses know beforehand that this would happen? Undoubtedly he knew; but he acted thus, that there might be no sedition in Israel, and that the name of the true and only God might be glorified; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

44 Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ, in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that you have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour. 45 You are fond of contention, brethren, and full of zeal about things which do not pertain to salvation. Look carefully into the Scriptures, which are the true utterances of the Holy Spirit. Observe that nothing of an unjust or counterfeit character is written in them. There you will not find that the righteous were cast off by men who themselves were holy. The righteous were indeed persecuted, but only by the wicked. They were cast into prison, but only by the unholy; they were stoned, but only by transgressors; they were slain, but only by the accursed, and such as had conceived an unrighteous envy against them...The hateful, and those full of all wickedness, were roused to such a pitch of fury, that they inflicted torture on those who served God with a holy and blameless purpose [of heart], not knowing that the Most High is the Defender and Protector of all such as with a pure conscience venerate His all-excellent name; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. But they who with confidence endured [these things] are now heirs of glory and honour, and have been exalted and made illustrious by God in their memorial for ever and ever. Amen.  
46 Such examples, therefore, brethren, it is right that we should follow; since it is written, Cleave to the holy, for those that cleave to them shall [themselves] be made holy. And again, in another place, [the Scripture] says, With a harmless man you shall prove yourself harmless, and with an elect man you shall be elect, and with a perverse man you shall show yourself perverse. Let us cleave, therefore, to the innocent and righteous, since these are the elect of God. Why are there strifes, and tumults, and divisions, and schisms, and wars among you? Have we not [all] one God and one Christ? Is there not one Spirit of grace poured out upon us? And have we not one calling in Christ? Ephesians 4:4-6 Why do we divide and tear in pieces the members of Christ, and raise up strife against our own body, and have reached such a height of madness as to forget that we are members one of another? Romans 12:5 Remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, how He said, Woe to that man [by whom offenses come]! It were better for him that he had never been born, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my elect. Yea, it were better for him that a millstone should be hung about [his neck], and he should be sunk in the depths of the sea, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my little ones. Your schism has subverted [the faith of] many, has discouraged many, has given rise to doubt in many, and has caused grief to us all. And still your sedition continues.
47 Take up the epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul. What did he write to you at the time when the gospel first began to be preached? Truly, under the inspiration of the Spirit, he wrote to you concerning himself, and Cephas, and Apollos, because even then parties had been formed among you. But that inclination for one above another entailed less guilt upon you, inasmuch as your partialities were then shown towards apostles, already of high reputation, and towards a man whom they had approved. But now reflect who those are that have perverted you, and lessened the renown of your far-famed brotherly love. It is disgraceful, beloved, yea, highly disgraceful, and unworthy of your Christian profession, that such a thing should be heard of as that the most steadfast and ancient church of the Corinthians should, on account of one or two persons, engage in sedition against its presbyters. And this rumour has reached not only us, but those also who are unconnected with us; so that, through your infatuation, the name of the Lord is blasphemed, while danger is also brought upon yourselves. 48 Let us therefore, with all haste, put an end to this [state of things]; and let us fall down before the Lord, and beseech Him with tears, that He would mercifully be reconciled to us, and restore us to our former seemly and holy practice of brotherly love...49 Let him who has love in Christ keep the commandments of Christ...Love admits of no schisms: love gives rise to no seditions: love does all things in harmony. By love have all the elect of God been made perfect; without love nothing is well-pleasing to God. In love has the Lord taken us to Himself. On account of the love He bore us, Jesus Christ our Lord gave His blood for us by the will of God...
51 Let us therefore implore forgiveness for all those transgressions which through any [suggestion] of the adversary we have committed. And these who have been the leaders of sedition and disagreement ought to have respect to the common hope...they prefer to bear blame themselves, rather than that the concord which has been well and piously handed down to us should suffer. For it is better that a man should acknowledge his transgressions than that he should harden his heart, as the hearts of those were hardened who stirred up sedition against Moses the servant of God, and whose condemnation was made manifest [unto all]. For they went down alive into Hades, and death swallowed them up...
53 You understand, beloved, you understand well the sacred Scriptures, and you have looked very earnestly into the oracles of God. Call then these things to your remembrance. When Moses went up into the mount, and abode there, with fasting and humiliation, forty days and forty nights, the Lord said unto him, Moses, Moses, get you down quickly from hence; for your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have committed iniquity. They have speedily departed from the way in which I commanded them to walk, and have made to themselves molten images. And the Lord said unto him, I have spoken to you once and again, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people: let me destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make you a great and wonderful nation, and one much more numerous than this. But Moses said, Far be it from You, Lord: pardon the sin of this people; else blot me also out of the book of the living. Exodus 32:32 O marvellous love! O insuperable perfection! The servant speaks freely to his Lord, and asks forgiveness for the people, or begs that he himself might perish along with them. 54 Who then among you is noble-minded? Who compassionate? Who full of love? Let him declare, If on my account sedition and disagreement and schisms have arisen, I will depart, I will go away wherever ye desire, and I will do whatever the majority commands; only let the flock of Christ live on terms of peace with the presbyters set over it. He that acts thus shall procure to himself great glory in the Lord; and every place will welcome him....55 To bring forward some examples from among the heathen: Many kings and princes, in times of pestilence, when they had been instructed by an oracle, have given themselves up to death, in order that by their own blood they might deliver their fellow citizens [from destruction]. Many have gone forth from their own cities, that so sedition might be brought to an end within them. We know many among ourselves who have given themselves up to bonds, in order that they might ransom others. Many, too, have surrendered themselves to slavery, that with the price which they received for themselves, they might provide food for others.

56 Let us then also pray for those who have fallen into any sin, that meekness and humility may be given to them, so that they may submit, not unto us, but to the will of God. For in this way they shall secure a fruitful and perfect remembrance from us, with sympathy for them, both in our prayers to God, and our mention of them to the saints. Let us receive correction, beloved, on account of which no one should feel displeased. Those exhortations by which we admonish one another are both good [in themselves], and highly profitable, for they tend to unite us to the will of God...57 You therefore, who laid the foundation of this sedition, submit yourselves to the presbyters, and receive correction so as to repent, bending the knees of your hearts. Learn to be subject, laying aside the proud and arrogant self-confidence of your tongue. For it is better for you that you should occupy a humble but honourable place in the flock of Christ, than that, being highly exalted, you should be cast out from the hope of His people...

58 Let us, therefore, flee from the warning threats pronounced by Wisdom on the disobedient, and yield submission to His all-holy and glorious name, that we may stay our trust upon the most hallowed name of His majesty. Receive our counsel, and you shall be without repentance. For, as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost live—both the faith and hope of the elect, he who in lowliness of mind, with instant gentleness, and without repentance has observed the ordinances and appointments given by God— the same shall obtain a place and name in the number of those who are being saved through Jesus Christ, through whom is glory to Him for ever and ever. Amen. 59 If, however, any shall disobey the words spoken by Him through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and serious danger; but we shall be innocent of this sin, and, instant in prayer and supplication, shall desire that the Creator of all preserve unbroken the computed number of His elect in the whole world through His beloved Son Jesus Christ, through whom He called us from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge of the glory of His name, our hope resting on Your name which is primal cause of every creature—having opened the eyes of our heart to the knowledge of You,..60 Give concord and peace to us and all who dwell upon the earth, even as You gave to our fathers, when they called upon You in faith and truth, submissive as we are to Your almighty and all-excellent Name. 61 To our rulers and governors on the earth— to them You, Lord, gavest the power of the kingdom by Your glorious and ineffable might, to the end that we may know the glory and honour given to them by You and be subject to them, in nought resisting Your will; to them, Lord, give health, peace, concord, stability, that they may exercise the authority given to them without offense. For You, O heavenly Lord and King eternal, givest to the sons of men glory and honour and power over the things that are on the earth; do Thou, Lord, direct their counsel according to that which is good and well-pleasing in Your sight, that, devoutly in peace and meekness exercising the power given them by You, they may find You propitious. O Thou, who only has power to do these things and more abundant good with us, we praise You through the High Priest and Guardian of our souls Jesus Christ, through whom be glory and majesty to You both now and from generation to generation and for evermore. Amen.

62 Concerning the things pertaining to our religious observance which are most profitable for a life of goodness to those who would pursue a godly and righteous course, we have written to you, men and brethren, at sufficient length...And of these things we put you in mind with the greater pleasure, since we were well assured that we were writing to men who were faithful and of highest repute and had peered into the oracles of the instruction of God. 63
Right is it, therefore, to approach examples so good and so many, and submit the neck and fulfil the part of obedience, in order that, undisturbed by vain sedition, we may attain unto the goal set before us in truth wholly free from blame. Joy and gladness will you afford us, if you become obedient to the words written by us and through the Holy Spirit root out the lawless wrath of your jealousy according to the intercession which we have made for peace and unity in this letter. We have sent men faithful and discreet, whose conversation from youth to old age has been blameless among us—the same shall be witnesses between you and us. This we have done, that you may know that our whole concern has been and is that you may be speedily at peace...65 Send back speedily to us in peace and with joy these our messengers to you: Claudius Ephebus and Valerius Bito, with Fortunatus; that they may the sooner announce to us the peace and harmony we so earnestly desire and long for [among you], and that we may the more quickly rejoice over the good order re-established among you. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, and with all everywhere that are the called of God through Him, by whom be to Him glory, honour, power, majesty, and eternal dominion, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen
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http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1010.htm

And the documentation of St. Irenaeus, who is alone among our earliest sources does not explicitely identify St. Clement with the Clement of Philippians (which Origen, Jerome and Eusebius explicitely do)
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The blessed Apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the Apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed Apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the Apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their Traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the Apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome despatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the Tradition which it had lately received from the Apostles...From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the Apostolical Tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things....To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telesphorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Soter having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the Apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate.  In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical Tradition from the Apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the Apostles until now, and handed down in truth[/b].
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.iv.iv.html
Given the length already, I'll just skim the issues. We can elaborate further.

St. Clement's dogma he received from the Apostles, so much so that his letter was accepted as Scripture, as Eusebius attests (Hist. Eccl., iii. 16): "There is one acknowledged Epistle of this Clement [whom he has just identified with the friend of St. Paul], great and admirable, which he wrote in the name of the Church of Rome to the Church at Corinth, sedition having then arisen in the latter Church. We are aware that this Epistle has been publicly read in very many Churches both in old times, and also in our own day." Earlier, Bp/Abp. Dionysius of Corinth (c. 170), writes to the Church of Rome "....Through the resources which ye have sent from the beginning, ye Romans, keep up the custom of the Romans handed down by the fathers, which your blessed Bishop Soter has not only preserved, but added to, sending a splendid gift to the saints, and exhorting with blessed words those brethren who go up to Rome, as an affectionate father his children...We passed this holy Lord's day, in which we read your letter, from the constant reading of which we shall be able to draw admonition, even as from the reading of the former one you sent us written through Clement...Therefore you also have by such admonition joined in close union the churches that were planted by Peter and Paul, that of the Romans and that of the Corinthians: for both of them went to our Corinth, and taught us in the same way as they taught you when they went to Italy; and having taught you, they suffered martyrdom at the same time...For I wrote letters when the brethren requested me to write. And these letters the apostles of the devil have filled with tares, taking away some things and adding others, for whom a woe is in store. It is not wonderful, then, if some have attempted to adulterate the Lord's writings, when they have formed designs against those which are not such."
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/dionysius.html
In fact, as far back as we can document the NT canon, I Clement is found either in it or alongside it in those few writings we have from that early period on the canon, except for the witness of Papias on the Gospels of Matthew and Mark and on John the Apostle (but not on the Johannine corpus), a lacuna that St. Irenaeus, from the same circles as Papias, makes up. Lightfoot, for instance places I Clement next to the epistle (c. 110) of St. Polycarp (disciple of the Apostle of St. John, associate of St. Ignatius, and teacher of Irenaeus, relationships documented by multiple second century sources) of Smyrna in Asia to the Phillippians (where scripture placed St. Clement), and concludes that "the following passages furnish ample proof that Clement's epistle was in the hands of Polycarp."

Churches considered Clement's letter Scripture, even a far off as Egypt: it is, for instance, included in the canon of the Codex Alexandrinus, coming chronilogically after the Revelation of St. John, one of the three oldest Bibles in existence, within a century of the oldest and perhaps only a few decades later (Note: although Clement wrote his epistle neither to or from Alexandria-which, unlike Corinth, was never in Rome's jurisdiction-nontheless was held in high esteem.  After all, St. Clement was as close to Christ's preaching as St. Luke, whose works the Church included in the canon (from thereafter you accept) and who wrote with the same assurance as St. Clement (Luke 1:1,4; I Clement 42) nearly at the same time; St. Mark, whom Scritpure places at Rome (I Peter 5:13), whose career as an Evangelist is connected with Rome, was commissioned by the Church at Rome, whose material was gathered at Rome, the same see of course from which St. Clement was writing and whose faithful still in great numbers included many instructed by the Apostles, and who accepted St. Clement's authority and his teaching (these facts we know from Papias, Irenaeus etc). We do know that Clement's authority extended so far in that early period that 130-160 someone in Alexandria-the mission center which penetrated as deep and as early as the Church went into Africa-forged II Clement (the earliest extant Christian homily/sermon) under his name. And in the second century into the third, St. Clement of Alexandria and Origen record those who attributed the anonymous canonical Epistle to the Hebrews to Clement, either of his own or acting as St. Paul's interpretor/scribe.

Prior to the Council of Nicea, various texts written under his name appear in Antioch-the mission center to as far as Asia and (much later) China (the earliest evidence is the 6th century)-circulated and were collected under his name in Greek and Syriac now known as the Clementine Literature, parts of which are dated to middle second century Syria and Palestine. As my old history prof a the U of C pointed out "counterfeiting works only if it can pass for real," so evidently St. Clement's authority was well know in the East just decades after St. Clement wrote, again in an are (like Egypt) which had no direct links to St. Clement and his letter to Corinth.  St. Ignatius' epistle to the Romans (3) (c. 107) may refer to St. Clement's epistle. An early complete revision at Edessa (the Semitic Rome) of the Peshitta (Syriac Bible), the Bible of All the East (including India and China), dated from a text of 616 but based on three earlier manuscriptes, not only includes I Clement, but also does so by including it among the Pauline Epistles and assigning lections from it (the lectionary of Edessa has the rudiments of a basic form at least since c. 180).  Eusebius (and others) excerpt the "Memoires" of St. Hegesippus (c. 110), the Jewish convert from Palestine (dying in Jerusalem in 180) who records among othter things the episcopate of St. James the Brother of God at Jerusalem and the relatives of Christ according to the flesh and the Hebrew Church in Palestine: one excerpt relates of his journey (c. 155) from Jerusalem via Corinth to Rome "In [which] he states that on a journey to Rome he met a great many bishops, and that he received the same doctrine from all...he says after making some remarks about the epistle of Clement to the Corinthians   “And the church of Corinth continued in the true faith until Primus was bishop in Corinth. I conversed with them on my way to Rome, and abode with the Corinthians many days, during which we were mutually refreshed in the true doctrine. And when I had come to Rome I remained there until Anicetus (c. 155-166), whose deacon was Eleutherus. And Anicetus was succeeded by Soter (c. 166-174), and he by Eleutherus (c. 175–189). In every succession, and in every city that is held which is preached by the law and the prophets and the Lord.” (Eus. Eccle. Hist. 4:22). The term bishop, as used by the Apostles and their successors, refers to the local pastor, but only if he preaches the universal Cathoilc Faith, the same doctrine delievered once and for all to the saints. St. Epiphanius of Salamis (but raised in Palestine) in the "Panarion" records from Hegiseppius that St. Clement was the assoicate of SS. Peter and Paul, who consecrated him, the Clement of St. Paul's epistles (Phil. 4:3), and that he was so humble that he defered to his elders SS. Linus and (Ana)Cletus "lest he should cause strife and division" saying "I withdraw, I depart, let the People of God be tranquil" (I Clement 54) before taking the Cathedra of St. Peter at Rome. And of course, St. Irenaeus at Lyons, the far Norht and West mission center of the very early Church, bears witness to St. Clement and his dogma and our dogma of Apostolic succession.

Yes, we do know: the Universal Catholic Church believed the same things as were recorded in the few writings we have from that early period and that which followed, accepted and believed in the very early Church in Antioch in Asia, Alexandria in Africa, and of course Rome, in the Greek world, the Latin world, the Coptic world (an early Akhmimic translations survives) and the Syriac world. As far as there is any evidence, so back to be contemporaneous to the earliest extant fragments (c. 117, earliest possible 100) of the NT they canonized and included in our ealiest manuscripts of the Bible in Greek and Syriac, far, far before the canon of Scripture "solidified," anyway we turn, we see St. Clement-and hence his dogma-held up as authority, the standard of conformity to the teaching of the Apostles.  We do know therefore that the beliefs of the Fathers in the Greek world were in fact universal so early. Indeed, Westcott and Hort and Nestle and Aaland rely on St. Clement for the earliest texts of the NT (although not yet cited as Scripture. St. Clement is also the earliest attestation of the Septuagint text, including the Anagignoskomena) to get behind the textus receptus, also based on the Apostolic Tradition transmitted as St. Clement described.

What St. Ignatius (Magnesians 4,7-8; Smyrneans ) witnesses to accords with St. Clement's testimony: "It is fitting, then, not only to be called Christians, but to be so in reality: as some indeed give one the title of bishop, but do all things without him. Now such persons seem to me to be not possessed of a good conscience, seeing they are not stedfastly gathered together according to the commandment...As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do anything without the bishop and presbyters. Neither endeavour that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Therefore run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one. Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable.....See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid..." The Orthodox bishops, in Apostolic succession as described by SS Clement and Ignatius (as well as Scripture), have approved of pædobaptism, so we have the assurance that it is pleasing to God and secure and valid: the pædobaptist practice of the bishops of Apostolic succession cannot be mistaken on this very imporant issue.  And, as defined by SS Clement and Ignatius (and Scripture, e.g. Luke 10:16 "He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me") refusal to recognize that determination constitutes apostacy.  As such, this matter requires no proof. Reject the authority which distinguished I Clement-contemporaneous with the Johannine corpus and as Apostolic as St Luke's writings-from the NT and there goes your evidence-and assurance-that the NT conforms to what Christ and His taught, or the deeds of the Nicolations and Nicolas of Antioch (Acts 6:6, Rev. 2:6).  Reject that authority, and your assurance can never be joyful, as you have no assurance of the epistles of Paul that were jettisoned (the first Epistle to Corinth (1 Cor. 5:9); the third Epistle to Corinth (the "Severe Letter") (II Cor. 2:4, 7:8-9); the Corinthian letter to Paul (I Cor. 7:1); the earlier Epistle to the Ephesians (Eph. 3:3-4); the Epistle to the Laodiceans (Col. 4:16)), nor assurance that  the Four Gospels we picked contain perfect understanding to know that assurance of those things the Aposteles instructed the faithful men (like SS. Clement and Ignatius) to whom they committed them that they may teach others, that you may believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.  (Luke 1:3-4, John 20:, II Tim. 2:2)

How do you know that the Ebionites, the Nicolations, the early Gnostics did not conform to the teachings of Christ? By what authority do you judge their gospel "another gospel?" By what authority to you take the anonymous Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as the testimony of St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John, and not pseudographia? Upon what is your assurance founded?  How do you know the Epistles-especially the nameless Epistle to the Hebrews-are not forged? (Gal. 6:11, II Thess 2:2; 3:17) Upon what is your assurance founded?  You cannot even try to determine such things: the Church, having defeated the Ebioinites, Nicolations, Gnostics and all other heretics, they and their scriptures have disappeared so that you can compare and determine. One fragments remain in the refutations of them by the Fathers.  Only in these days have they been uncovered: why not a Gospel of Thomas, and the five gospel canon of the Jesus seminar? Why not the canon of Marcion, the earliest recorded canon we have?  What of the assurance of the Jesus seminar?  What of the assurance of Marcion?

The same authority to whom the Scriptures were entrusted, the same authority which transmitted them, the same authority which canonized them, the same authority indeed which many-in the case of St. Clement-was looked on as the same as Scripture cannot be accepted by one who then turns around and rejects that same authority's interpretation of the same. Such assurance is misplaced.

One can make a claim of a subsequent revelation, in the manner of Montanus, Mani, Muhammand and Joseph Smith the Mormon, to "correct" that authority, but that always leads, as in the above cases, to writing another Gospel to fit the one preached, to replace the NT even more than the NT replaces the OT. Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, and George Blaurock and their twelve apostles did no such thing on  January 21, 1525 in Zurich, nor did John Smyth and Thomas Helwys do so in the Netherlands in 1609, nor did Menno Simons during the course of 16th century. They instead claimed to follow the Apostles and their writings while rejecting the Apostles' successors who received and transmitted them.  Conrad, Felix and George were not the Apostles Pete, James and John, their twelve were not the Twelve, John and Thomas were not SS. Clement and Ignatius (for one thing, they did not have the concord of Faith the Apostolic Faith had and transmitted), and Menno Simmons was no St. Irenaeus. Having no approval from the Apostolic authority of the bishop nor the Apostolic Traditions received through them, we have no assurance that the Anabaptists accomplished anything but a sedition to preach another Gospel and get themselves wet. For one thing, if infant baptist was invalid, who could baptize these apostles of the new dispensation?  Autobaptist might be a more apt term than Anabaptist.  And it was neither Apostolic authority nor Apostolic Tradition which administered the "Third Baptism" (i.e. execution by drowning) to Manz: that was the authority Zwingli arrogated to himself by the man-made tradition of sola scriptura.

That two, twelve, fifteen or forty-eight million agree on an error does not substantiate its veracity, it just demostrates its popularity. 1525 is far, far too late for the idea of "believers baptism" to catch on. The evidence of Apostolic succession and its authority-including its authority of whatsoever it shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid, including infant baptism-lacks no evidence. It is unambiguous as it is univesal and early in those circles whose canon you depend on.  This assurance has been transmitted throughout Church history, every age, everywhere by everyone. It is not an argument from silence, like that for "credobaptism": the witness from the time of the writing of our canonical NT, the one you use, thunders from the Apostolic age until now, whereas the voices of those who denied it, voices whose murmurings the Fathers record, fell silent.  That those in the early modern age have decided to parrot the early gnostics (but not accept their NT as well) doen't make gnostic ecclesiology resound.

Since the documents of the century after Clement (to which I have limited myself here) show no development beyond what Clement taught, and now during the 18 centuries onwards the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church has failed to develop and evolve into some a Church other than that St. Clement would recognize and know, what would make us think that it developed in the century before St. Clement? Really, talking about St. Clement onwards, next with SS. Ignatius, Polycarp, Hegesippus, Irenaeus to just name a few, the first three taught by the Apostles and thus giving their teaching in unbrocken transmission, written down in an unbroken chain, not long enough for the non-existent break in transmission to develop beyond Christ's original.  Was there time for error to happen? Through Aspotlic succession and its unbroken record, we are assured that the answer is no.

Of course, we must accept what that same unbroken Tradition says of those who go serious off the rails the Apostles laid down, and who jettison obedience to the authority the Apostles put in place for the assurance of the validity of the Holy Mystery of Baptism-the same authority which preceded and solidified the Canon of Scripture.  Grebel, Manx, Blaurock, Menno, Smyth and Helwys rejecting the Faith of the Orthodox episcopate "I beleive in one baptism for the remission of sins," rebelled againts that Creed, approved by the Orthodox bishops and thereby pleasing to God as His institution.  "It is fitting, then, not only to be called Christians, but to be so in reality: as some indeed give one the title of bishop, but do all things without him. Now such persons seem to me to be not possessed of a good conscience, seeing they are not stedfastly gathered together according to the commandment." Such an act of apostacy evinces decetion of strange doctrines the Apostles never taught, unprofitable fables which bring no assurance.

As for the Baptists who followed in their wake, we do not judge, as the Spirit blows where He wishes, but we have no reason to believe that those who fail to follow the earliest Fathers like SS Clement, Igantius and Polycarp, faithful men to whom, according to many witnesses, the Apostles committed the things they heard of Christ, and who were able to teach others also, namely the later Church Fathers and succeeding Orthodox bishops down to the present day; those who do not feel compelled to follow the matters they raise and pursue that unbroken line of Orthodoxy, those we have no assurance that they have been born again, and received the Holy Spirit, and have any means of grace (prayer, fellowship, Bible reading, spiritual reading from holy men, communal worship, the Lord's Supper).  We have the assurance that we are not mistaken that in this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical Tradition from the Apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the Apostles until now, and handed down in truth. What we teach is true, of that we have full and joyful assurance. If your beliefs about your experience contradict this teaching, it cannot be other than mistaken.

"Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop."  So why is all this important? Because it lies at the heart of the fact that so many Ortodox cannot accept the non-Orthodox as fellow Christians. What the non-Orthodox say means they do not and cannot have assurance of present or future salvation; therefore, many (not myself, nor many on this thread I suppose) conclude they are not saved people, and therefore (and in this I concur, as would many here) that their church does not lead people to salvation. That is our, rather the Apostles', Christ's and God's attitude toward the Protestant doctrine of assurance: that assurance is misplaced.  Our experience of Protestantism is teachings which cannot last a century before fissuring, none of the factious churches the One which can prevail over the gates of Hell.  Only by the hands of the Orthodox bishop, an arms length from the Apostles is one baptized into Christ and rise with Christ having put on Christ. The Spirit is given and the power of the Resurrection released and made available and accomplished through those hands.  Only those touched by those Apostolic hands have assurance. That is how our doctine and experience differ.

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #221 on: October 13, 2010, 03:54:23 AM »
As Katherine has already pointed out, Christ specifically appointed his hand-picked disciples to evangelize ...

You write lucidly, whether on the purpose of small chapels (I hope you've peeped at my picture) or on church history and doctrine: you should post more often.

Our exchanges have thrown up a speculation in my mind. Rev 21.14 depicts the holy city New Jerusalem with its twelve foundations "and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb". Was the twelfth name Matthias or Paul?

Doesn't matter: the names in the Gospels don't line up either. St. Paul is often pictured, especially on the Ascension and Pentecost icons (showing that they are not just historical records: we know that St. Paul was not at either event) among the Twelve.

(By the way, you say you are "Orthodox Catholic". Is that what some (not pejoratively) call Uniate - eastern-rite Catholic or Byzantine Catholic?)
No. Some call themselves "Orthodox in communion with Rome," or "Greek Catholic' (this term we also use), but I've never seen anyone in communion with the Vatican call themselves Orthodox Cathoilc (though many call themselves orthodox Catholic).
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #222 on: October 13, 2010, 04:00:52 AM »
As Katherine has already pointed out, Christ specifically appointed his hand-picked disciples to evangelize and baptize the world. What else Christ told them, we do not know; however, of all the presbyters and bishops in the New Testament, of which there are many, not a single one of them was self-appointed, nor were any of the New Testament baptisms performed by anyone other than the apostles or those appointed by them. The apostles and their successors were icons of Christ in the midst of the Church without which two essential Mysteries of the Church, Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, could not be celebrated.

One of our deacons is fond of saying something like, "Wow, if Christ's Body (the Church) fell into dissension so quickly after His resurrection, He sure didn't do a very good job picking out the apostles, did He?"  Certainly He must have chosen men who were going to be able to carry out their mission; men whom He could successfully work through in establishing His Church on the earth.  Did Christ come to start an undivided church -- or didn't He?  And if He did, was He really going to fail at His mission? 

Looking at it from the other side of the coin, why was the message of Christianity so prone to schism?

It wasn't: until the appearnce of Nestorianism, no heresy survived.  And even then, Nestorianism had changed in fundamental ways, such that call into question whether it has been continued in the same form.

Why couldn't the true faith of the apostles (in this case I'm assuming Orthodoxy is such a faith) prevail over the 'truth' taught by the RC's or the protestants?


It did, at Florence and Jassy/Jerusalem (17th century).

Is it church truly 'undivided'?
Yes, but it can be better organized.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Papist

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #223 on: October 13, 2010, 09:34:07 AM »
Isa, that long post on apostolic succesion was great. See when you are not attacking "The Vatican", you really have some great information to share.  ;D
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: What I still can't get my head round
« Reply #224 on: October 13, 2010, 09:46:19 AM »
certain men were selected and received the laying on of the hands to be the representatives and successors of the Apostles. Those men selected and ordained others, imparting the Apostolic teachings that they themselves had received, and so on down through the ages.

This may or may not be universally true: I have insifficient historical knowledge, though I doubt that sufficient records have been universally kept anyway. But....


Records were indeed kept. Here is the list of the Patriarchs of Constantinople, from St. Andrew to the present Patriarch, His All-Holiness Bartholomew:

The Apostolic Succession of the Great Church of Christ

http://www.patriarchate.org/patriarchate/patriarchs
 



"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom