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 on: Today at 03:06:02 AM 
Started by Osterloh - Last post by Nicene
In response to Part 1

I have not bothered to read the entire thread but I do want to respond to what Osterloh says in his opening directive against the Christianity of what I suppose for him would be the late second century.

Who were the prophets and apostles the clerics did not want in the church? Are you of the opinion that Montanis with his prophetic and ecstatic vision for Christianity against the authority of the ecclesiastical members of the church was correct? You seem to be arguing that we need miracles, prophets and etc in order to be a legitimate church. Take in mind there are actually many accounts within the church of miracles being performed by the saints. Whether you accept these accounts or not, I do not know but they do exist. The question however must be asked,  how are miracles and these signs manifested in your own church? Are you witness to them every day, can you perform them? If not why would you attack the early church, which testified for itself by its own martyrdom more than by any miracle it performed (thus it was said the church was built on the blood of the martyrs), instead relying on the One miracle of Christ which brought salvation, the resurrection of the dead.

But I would question some of the details you offer, you say the prophets were rejected and it was they who had run or should have been in charge of the new testament churches. But we know it was in fact mostly Episkopos, Presbyters and deacons who run the churches or were set in charge. Paul tells us what they needed and it wasn't prophecy or the ability to perform miracles.

Timothy 3 - Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgement as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

1 Timothy 5:17 - The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain, 19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20 But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. 21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favouritism.

I would ask, based on the second century sources we actually have recourse to, Ignatius, Clement, Justin Martyr, Polycarp, Iraneaus, Tertullian (Before he became a montanist) and etc. It is they, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Orientals even some protestant traditions, mainly Lutheran and Anglican conservatives would claim to succeed the Christian faith in. What did they get so wrong, those directly after the apostles? Is it possible you are expecting to find evangelicalism in the past but when not finding it you instead reject the Christianity we do see?

If we can't trust the church to have maintained the faith of Christ and the apostles I would question the entire enterprise of Christianity.

In response to Part 2

I have not read Kennedy but I have listened and read many others. If you want to get into a discussion concerning history and liturgy and etc, you must be prepared to argue for yourself and not merely rely on the quotes of one individual. Scholarly opinion is anything but universal and a book from 1965 may be outdated and open to challenge.
That change would inevitably come into the church as a result of different circumstances seems impossible to deny but I question it's significance. If at one time Christians gathered in houses but when they were able to, set aside certain buildings for the specific task of gathering weekly in order to make things more convenient, set aside a building totally dedicated to God and etc, what fault can be attribute to them? Why does a change within the liturgical life of the church (as if Judaism has never gone through any changes within it's liturgical life) mean that the faith is abandoned? We see the roots of abandoning Jewish Ritualism within the book of hebrews which can be summarized as this "The old temple worship means nothing, what counts is worshipping in the spirit Christ who has offered the true sacrifice for salvation."

The move towards a more structured or institutionalized church I will not contest. We see this in Ignatius in the early second century who extols the authority of the Bishop and sees the Bishop as the point of unity in the local Christian community "Follow the Bishop all of you, as Christ Jesus the Father, and the presbytery the apostles."

The source you quote argues it was conceit to establish the Bishops such as Ignatius had done and that clericalism is and the sacramental character of the church is an abuse which was entertained in at this time. This is an assumption which has to be proved which demands its own entire thread to dealing with. We are quite capable of making the argument from scripture that sacraments are really sacraments. What concerns me for the moment, and so that we might have some focus, is the pretence that somehow having a class of Bishops and layman somehow lead to an elite.

Who was more likely at this time to be killed? Was it not the Bishops who were essentially the ring leaders of what was regarded by certain people as a political movement? We see this in Polycarp's martyrdom account, that apparently most of the church Smyrna was saved from experiencing his execution, so much so that they were able to find his bones and keep them as relics. But if the second century church is to be faulted for introducing two classes of Christians we must fault the apostles and especially Paul. Paul said some are not given all gifts and he extols the virtues of the Overseer, Episkopos, Bishop as if they more strictly have to follow those things. It seems to me there was a class then as there was now, the apostles and the rest. Who could deny the great authority of teh apostles? Not even the most hardened evangelical would dare presume to question the apostles as to their general authority and supremecy wtihin the church.

Does having that system, where there are these supermen of the church, far above any bishop in prestige or honour introduce a class system that denounces the faith? Or everyones basic equality in sin before God? Or does it recognise that God wants there to be leadership in the church? Every evangelical church has a pastor, someone who speaks and is authoritative, who is different from the average church goer. Why critique the church at this point for the same sin being committed by everyone else?

I have little more to offer because I do not feel I can adequately address the sacraments. Lets keep it focused to church authority so that this discussion is not totally chaotic.

 on: Today at 03:04:39 AM 
Started by Porter ODoran - Last post by mabsoota
please send personal message with details of your / your friend's plans and i can tell you my experience.
as a general rule, it is only sensible to consider relocating to countries you have already visited.

speaking the language is also very important.
may God guide you / your friend.

 on: Today at 02:36:58 AM 
Started by Ebor - Last post by Alpo
You've confused "nicely and comfortably" (as you put it) with "fashionably and garishly."

Nope. I find fashionable clothing generally impractical and uncomfortable.

[/elitist rant]

 on: Today at 02:34:18 AM 
Started by mikeforjesus - Last post by Porter ODoran
Sell all that you have, and give to the poor (and you shall have treasure in heaven), and, come, follow me.

 on: Today at 02:31:34 AM 
Started by Porter ODoran - Last post by Porter ODoran
Is anybody able to discuss Romania in terms of relocating there, finding work there, integrating into village life there, learning the language, what the church is like, and so on? I'd be most interested.

 on: Today at 02:29:10 AM 
Started by CopticDeacon - Last post by Father H
I think you dont "reach theosis"..

The entirety of the patristic tradition disagrees with you.  When you travel across land and reach a boundless ocean, the fact that you cannot cross it to reach the other side doesn't mean you haven't reached the boundless ocean. 

 on: Today at 02:13:12 AM 
Started by Gorazd - Last post by Anna.T
It is a struggle to go from nonbeliever to believer rather than vice versa. Me and my priest have been working well though, and it is a very lovely thing.

Glad to hear things are going well with you and your priest. Smiley

 on: Today at 02:11:23 AM 
Started by Porter ODoran - Last post by littlepilgrim64
Abbot Agathangelos Lagouvardos armed

Part of the Preveli International Memorial for Resistance and Peace  (Preveli, Crete)

http://www.preveli.org/files/memorial/en60.htm# (see Image #23)

BTW Porter, it's 2AM, couldn't sleep so I did a little research.  Smiley 

 on: Today at 02:11:04 AM 
Started by saint samuel - Last post by Anna.T
It took me about a year to be received into the Church, but you're never done growing.

That seems very true. It's not as though I'm going to feel I've "arrived" when I am received. More like I am just starting out ...

 on: Today at 02:08:22 AM 
Started by mikeforjesus - Last post by mikeforjesus
Does that saying mean God is against the prosperity gospel?
does one need to settle for a level of success to have time for God and use his money to spread the gospel or give to the poor? but most people want to be rich to prove they are smart and to buy things? is it wrong to want things? but many things seem to help the gospel like if I buy a boat I can read the bible in seclusion now evil people may follow me on the sea

Job 31
“If I have made gold my hope,
Or said to fine gold, ‘You are my confidence’;
25 If I have rejoiced because my wealth was great,
And because my hand had gained much;
26 If I have observed the sun[c] when it shines,
Or the moon moving in brightness,
27 So that my heart has been secretly enticed,
And my mouth has kissed my hand;
28 This also would be an iniquity deserving of judgment,
For I would have denied God who is above.

Many people consider their hard work to make money as a virtue worthy of salvation because they will give some to the poor

James said not to dishonor the poor in the church probably people honored the rich because he would give to the poor and was hard working. But poor people need to look for work but often they are discriminated and only find low wage work

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