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Author Topic: God-Who ? What do we mean by "God" ?  (Read 7562 times) Average Rating: 0
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Steve Dennehy
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« on: October 29, 2006, 09:42:19 PM »

Man is the one being in this material world who feels himself part of this universe and separate from the universe.  We are a natural-unnatural species. We are self-conscious, we have free will; we see good and evil in ourselves.  We know we didn't create ourselves or this vast mysterious universe.  We ask "Why ?"--Why is all of this here, why are we here ?  Why is there evil ? Why is there love ?  Why is there death and what is death ?  Humans have asked  these questions since the emergence of humans.  These questions  led to the conclusion that there is a Creator and that we should worship the Creator but what is the Creator like and how should we worship the Creator ?  Is God good ? Is God good and evil ? Is God evil ?   God creates which seems good but this world is a very mixed bag--good and evil, joy and suffering. All native religions taught a Golden Age in the past that was lost.  Where does this universal story come from ?  A universal memory.  All native reliigons taught an absolute eternal God Who creates the demi-gods (angels in Christian vocabulary); often there is a vague story of a rebellion by some of  these angels (demons). Often  this High God is very distant and doesn't directly deal with humans.  So there is a sense that an eternal supreme God created the universe good and  humanity long ago corrupted it. Creator-Creation-Rebellion-Fall of Humanity from good into good and evil.

From the religion of Abraham we have the unique religious teaching among humanity that God seeks us out, that He establishes covenants with us--with Adam and Eve, with Abel, with Noah, with Abraham-Isaac-Jacob Israel-judah- down to King David. He purifies a people for Himself until we come to Joachim and Anna through whom Mary is concieved. Mary is the peak of humanity because she is the all-Holy one, the sinless one.

Next post: Incarnation 

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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2006, 10:00:41 PM »

Quote
Next post: Incarnation

We're in suspense waiting. 
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2006, 07:44:33 PM »

Man is the one being in this material world who feels himself part of this universe and separate from the universe.  We are a natural-unnatural species. We are self-conscious, we have free will; we see good and evil in ourselves.  We know we didn't create ourselves or this vast mysterious universe.  We ask "Why ?"--Why is all of this here, why are we here ?  Why is there evil ? Why is there love ?  Why is there death and what is death ?  Humans have asked  these questions since the emergence of humans.  These questions  led to the conclusion that there is a Creator and that we should worship the Creator but what is the Creator like and how should we worship the Creator ?  Is God good ? Is God good and evil ? Is God evil ?   God creates which seems good but this world is a very mixed bag--good and evil, joy and suffering. All native religions taught a Golden Age in the past that was lost.  Where does this universal story come from ?  A universal memory.  All native reliigons taught an absolute eternal God Who creates the demi-gods (angels in Christian vocabulary); often there is a vague story of a rebellion by some of  these angels (demons). Often  this High God is very distant and doesn't directly deal with humans.  So there is a sense that an eternal supreme God created the universe good and  humanity long ago corrupted it. Creator-Creation-Rebellion-Fall of Humanity from good into good and evil.

From the religion of Abraham we have the unique religious teaching among humanity that God seeks us out, that He establishes covenants with us--with Adam and Eve, with Abel, with Noah, with Abraham-Isaac-Jacob Israel-judah- down to King David. He purifies a people for Himself until we come to Joachim and Anna through whom Mary is concieved. Mary is the peak of humanity because she is the all-Holy one, the sinless one.

Next post: Incarnation 



What I am about to say may be leading into your next post dealing with the incarnation, I think we obviously have to preface all these questions you raised with the simple fact that the Trinune God has ALWAYS existed,and that it was his intentions from the very beginning to become a man, even if the man he had originally created had never fallen!! correct?

Yes,in the Old Testament we see a God who created all this,and seemed somewhat distant to the sufferings of his creation,but I will let you continue into your next post,please continue.
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2006, 09:46:14 AM »

You should really read "The Mystery in Christ" by John Behr. 

It will really revolutionize everything you've just said, and probobly the way you ever think about God in the future.   Wink
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2006, 10:00:08 PM »

Man is the one being in this material world who feels himself part of this universe and separate from the universe.  We are a natural-unnatural species. We are self-conscious, we have free will; we see good and evil in ourselves.  We know we didn't create ourselves or this vast mysterious universe.  We ask "Why ?"--Why is all of this here, why are we here ?  Why is there evil ? Why is there love ?  Why is there death and what is death ?  Humans have asked  these questions since the emergence of humans.  These questions  led to the conclusion that there is a Creator and that we should worship the Creator but what is the Creator like and how should we worship the Creator ?  Is God good ? Is God good and evil ? Is God evil ?   God creates which seems good but this world is a very mixed bag--good and evil, joy and suffering. All native religions taught a Golden Age in the past that was lost.  Where does this universal story come from ?  A universal memory.  All native reliigons taught an absolute eternal God Who creates the demi-gods (angels in Christian vocabulary); often there is a vague story of a rebellion by some of  these angels (demons). Often  this High God is very distant and doesn't directly deal with humans.  So there is a sense that an eternal supreme God created the universe good and  humanity long ago corrupted it. Creator-Creation-Rebellion-Fall of Humanity from good into good and evil.

From the religion of Abraham we have the unique religious teaching among humanity that God seeks us out, that He establishes covenants with us--with Adam and Eve, with Abel, with Noah, with Abraham-Isaac-Jacob Israel-judah- down to King David. He purifies a people for Himself until we come to Joachim and Anna through whom Mary is concieved. Mary is the peak of humanity because she is the all-Holy one, the sinless one.

Next post: Incarnation 





INCARNATION:

God becomes man.  Why ?  God created us to become God.  God would have become man even if there had been no Fall. The purpose  of Creation and Incarnation is the marriage of Creator and the creature Man, the peak of material creation.  God the Father ("The Most High") overshadows Miriam (Mary), God the Holy Spirit descends upon her to elevate her nature because, though she is sinless and the peak of humanity ,she still was not capable  of achieving on her own the profound union with God that results in God the Son , through God the Holy Spirit, entering an egg in her womb ,creating His own human soul-body in the conception of His human nature in Nazareth, Galilee, Israel, developing in her for 9 months and being born from her in Bethlehem, Judea, Israel.  This profound theosis/ deification of this young Jewish virgin girl  Mary, who was probably about 13 at the time, is the deepest that will ever be achieved by any human person.  This is why she is the highest member of the Body/Church of Lord Jesus.  God becomes one of us in all ways except Person (Jesus is God the Son), conception and sin.  He "grows in wisdom and grace and truth before God and man (Gospel of St. Luke 2: 52), developing as any human person does from baby to toddler, to young child, to adolescent, to young adulthood, to mature adulthood, working as a carpenter's apprentice with His step-father Joseph, then as a master carpenter until He begins His public ministry at the age of 30.

Next Post:  The Public Ministry of Lord Jesus
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2006, 10:36:00 PM »

The Incarnation by St. Athanasius

The Divine Dilemma and its Solution in the Incarnation

(6) We saw in the last chapter that, because death and corruption were gaining ever firmer hold on them, the human race was in process of destruction. Man, who was created in God's image and in his possession of reason reflected the very Word Himself, was disappearing, and the work of God was being undone. The law of death, which followed from the Transgression, prevailed upon us, and from it there was no escape. The thing that was happening was in truth both monstrous and unfitting. It would, of course, have been unthinkable that God should go back upon His word and that man, having transgressed, should not die; but it was equally monstrous that beings which once had shared the nature of the Word should perish and turn back again into non-existence through corruption. It was unworthy of the goodness of God that creatures made by Him should be brought to nothing through the deceit wrought upon man by the devil; and it was supremely unfitting that the work of God in mankind should is appear, either through their own negligence or through the deceit of evil spirits. As, then, the creatures whom He had created reasonable, like the Word, were in fact perishing, and such noble works were on the road to ruin, what then was God, being Good, to do? Was He to let corruption and death have their way with them? In that case, what was the use of having made them in the beginning? Surely it would have been better never to have been created at all than, having been created, to be neglected and perish; and, besides that, such indifference to the ruin of His own work before His very eyes would argue not goodness in God but limitation, and that far more than if He had never created men at all. It was impossible, therefore, that God should leave man to be carried off by corruption, because it would be unfitting and unworthy of Himself.

(7) Yet, true though this is, it is not the whole matter. As we have already noted, it was unthinkable that God, the Father of Truth, should go back upon His word regarding death in order to ensure our continued existence. He could not falsify Himself; what, then, was God to do? Was He to demand repentance from men for their transgression? You might say that that was worthy of God, and argue further that, as through the Transgression they became subject to corruption, so through repentance they might return to incorruption again. But repentance would not guard the Divine consistency, for, if death did not hold dominion over men, God would still remain untrue. Nor does repentance recall men from what is according to their nature; all that it does is to make them cease from sinning. Had it been a case of a trespass only, and not of a subsequent corruption, repentance would have been well enough; but when once transgression had begun men came under the power of the corruption proper to their nature and were bereft of the grace which belonged to them as creatures in the Image of God. No, repentance could not meet the case. What—or rather Who was it that was needed for such grace and such recall as we required? Who, save the Word of God Himself, Who also in the beginning had made all things out of nothing? His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible to incorruption and to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. For He alone, being Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence both able to recreate all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.

(Cool For this purpose, then, the incorporeal and incorruptible and immaterial Word of God entered our world. In one sense, indeed, He was not far from it before, for no part of creation had ever been without Him Who, while ever abiding in union with the Father, yet fills all things that are. But now He entered the world in a new way, stooping to our level in His love and Self-revealing to us. He saw the reasonable race, the race of men that, like Himself, expressed the Father's Mind, wasting out of existence, and death reigning over all in corruption. He saw that corruption held us all the closer, because it was the penalty for the Transgression; He saw, too, how unthinkable it would be for the law to be repealed before it was fulfilled. He saw how unseemly it was that the very things of which He Himself was the Artificer should be disappearing. He saw how the surpassing wickedness of men was mounting up against them; He saw also their universal liability to death. All this He saw and, pitying our race, moved with compassion for our limitation, unable to endure that death should have the mastery, rather than that His creatures should perish and the work of His Father for us men come to nought, He took to Himself a body, a human body even as our own. Nor did He will merely to become embodied or merely to appear; had that been so, He could have revealed His divine majesty in some other and better way. No, He took our body, and not only so, but He took it directly from a spotless, stainless virgin, without the agency of human father—a pure body, untainted by intercourse with man. He, the Mighty One, the Artificer of all, Himself prepared this body in the virgin as a temple for Himself, and took it for His very own, as the instrument through which He was known and in which He dwelt. Thus, taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to the corruption of death, He surrendered His body to death instead of all, and offered it to the Father. This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished because, having fulfilled in His body that for which it was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men. This He did that He might turn again to incorruption men who had turned back to corruption, and make them alive through death by the appropriation of His body and by the grace of His resurrection. Thus He would make death to disappear from them as utterly as straw from fire.
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2006, 10:36:39 PM »

The last part's section eight, not chapter sunglasses face
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2006, 02:44:21 AM »

[whiney]Aww, but I love chapter sunglasses face![/whiney]

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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2006, 09:05:12 PM »

The last part's section eight, not chapter sunglasses face

Dan,

Thank you for this; St. Athanasius is my favorite Father, the Father of the Incarnation.
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2006, 08:39:21 PM »



INCARNATION:

God becomes man.  Why ?  God created us to become God.  God would have become man even if there had been no Fall. The purpose  of Creation and Incarnation is the marriage of Creator and the creature Man, the peak of material creation.  God the Father ("The Most High") overshadows Miriam (Mary), God the Holy Spirit descends upon her to elevate her nature because, though she is sinless and the peak of humanity ,she still was not capable  of achieving on her own the profound union with God that results in God the Son , through God the Holy Spirit, entering an egg in her womb ,creating His own human soul-body in the conception of His human nature in Nazareth, Galilee, Israel, developing in her for 9 months and being born from her in Bethlehem, Judea, Israel.  This profound theosis/ deification of this young Jewish virgin girl  Mary, who was probably about 13 at the time, is the deepest that will ever be achieved by any human person.  This is why she is the highest member of the Body/Church of Lord Jesus.  God becomes one of us in all ways except Person (Jesus is God the Son), conception and sin.  He "grows in wisdom and grace and truth before God and man (Gospel of St. Luke 2: 52), developing as any human person does from baby to toddler, to young child, to adolescent, to young adulthood, to mature adulthood, working as a carpenter's apprentice with His step-father Joseph, then as a master carpenter until He begins His public ministry at the age of 30.

Next Post:  The Public Ministry of Lord Jesus

Lord Jesus' public ministry begins with His baptism in the River Jordan by His cousin John the Baptist. When He comes up out of the water the skies open and the Spirit of God descends "like a dove" upon Him and the Father declares:
"You are My Beloved Son; on You My favor rests" ( Mark and Luke) /"This is My Beloved Son; on Him My favor rests." (Mathew).  St John the Baptist testifies:
"I saw the Spirit descend like a dove from the sky and It came to rest on Him." (John 1: 32).
The Spirit then leads Jesus into the desert where He fasts and prays for 40 days.  At the end of this 40 days the Evil One comes to Him and offers 3 temptations:
1) turn stones into bread (the temptation to focus on our material needs rather than on the core spiritual needs; the material are important but should never take first place as Jesus responds:"Not by bread alone is man to live but by every word  that comes from the mouth of God." (Mathew 4:4).

2) To throw Himself off the parapet of the Temple so that God would rescue Him by a miracle (the temptation to seek signs and wonders--"An evil and faithless generation is eager for a sign but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah."-Lord Jesus in Mathew 12:39). 
Jesus responds: "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test." (mathew 4:7)

3) To worship Satan and receive all the kingdoms of the world (the temptation to the lust for power which is a turning to  the world and to the prince of this world-Satan.
Jesus responds: "  Begone Satan.  Scripture says: 'You shall worship the Lord your God, Him alone shall you adore.'" (Mathew 4:10).

Lord Jesus comes back from the desert, returns to Galilee and chooses His 12 apostles:
(The first to meet Jesus were  John and Andrew to whom John the Baptist pointed out the Lord saying "Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.".)
Simon , son of Jonah, named Rock (Kepha/Petros/Peter) by Lord Jesus
Andrew, Simon's brother
John (the Beloved Apostle), son of Zebedee
James, brother of John ("Bonarges-Sons of Thunder")
Philip of Cana
Nathaniel Bartholomew, friend of Philip, probably from Cana
Simon of Cana, the Zealot
Mathew Levi, the tax collector
James, son of Alphaeus
Jude Thaddeus, son of James
Thomas ("Didymus"-Twin), the Doubter
Judas Iscariot, the betrayer


Lord Jesus works His first public miracle at the wedding reception in Cana at the request of His mother Mary, changing water into wine.  That's such a beautiful insight into Our Lord that His first miracle  is not some astonishing cure or restoring the dead to life but  providing wine for a party. (John 2: 1-11).

He begins His public preaching, proclaiming the Kingdom of God:"Seek first the Kingdom of God and all else will be added."  Lord Jesus in Mathew 6: 33.
"The Kingdom of God is WITHIN you."--Lord Jesus in Luke 17:21.

Lord Jesus works many miracles, healing people in spirit ("Your sins are forgiven you."), soul (expelling demons, restoring sanity) and body.

He preaches many sermons, the best known (though not the most important) being the Sermon on the Mount (longer version in St. Mathew 5-7; shorter version in St. Luke 6: 17-49).  More important is the Sermon on the Bread of Life (St. John 6: 25-end).  The Most important is the Sermon at the Passover-Last Supper, the longest, deepest and final sermon of Our Lord's  which He gave on the evening before Sacrificing Himself for us (St. John 13-17).

Next Post: Holy Week
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Steve Dennehy
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2006, 09:44:17 PM »

Lord Jesus' public ministry begins with His baptism in the River Jordan by His cousin John the Baptist. When He comes up out of the water the skies open and the Spirit of God descends "like a dove" upon Him and the Father declares:
"You are My Beloved Son; on You My favor rests" ( Mark and Luke) /"This is My Beloved Son; on Him My favor rests." (Mathew).  St John the Baptist testifies:
"I saw the Spirit descend like a dove from the sky and It came to rest on Him." (John 1: 32).
The Spirit then leads Jesus into the desert where He fasts and prays for 40 days.  At the end of this 40 days the Evil One comes to Him and offers 3 temptations:
1) turn stones into bread (the temptation to focus on our material needs rather than on the core spiritual needs; the material are important but should never take first place as Jesus responds:"Not by bread alone is man to live but by every word  that comes from the mouth of God." (Mathew 4:4).

2) To throw Himself off the parapet of the Temple so that God would rescue Him by a miracle (the temptation to seek signs and wonders--"An evil and faithless generation is eager for a sign but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah."-Lord Jesus in Mathew 12:39). 
Jesus responds: "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test." (mathew 4:7)

3) To worship Satan and receive all the kingdoms of the world (the temptation to the lust for power which is a turning to  the world and to the prince of this world-Satan.
Jesus responds: "  Begone Satan.  Scripture says: 'You shall worship the Lord your God, Him alone shall you adore.'" (Mathew 4:10).

Lord Jesus comes back from the desert, returns to Galilee and chooses His 12 apostles:
(The first to meet Jesus were  John and Andrew to whom John the Baptist pointed out the Lord saying "Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.".)
Simon , son of Jonah, named Rock (Kepha/Petros/Peter) by Lord Jesus
Andrew, Simon's brother
John (the Beloved Apostle), son of Zebedee
James, brother of John ("Bonarges-Sons of Thunder")
Philip of Cana
Nathaniel Bartholomew, friend of Philip, probably from Cana
Simon of Cana, the Zealot
Mathew Levi, the tax collector
James, son of Alphaeus
Jude Thaddeus, son of James
Thomas ("Didymus"-Twin), the Doubter
Judas Iscariot, the betrayer


Lord Jesus works His first public miracle at the wedding reception in Cana at the request of His mother Mary, changing water into wine.  That's such a beautiful insight into Our Lord that His first miracle  is not some astonishing cure or restoring the dead to life but  providing wine for a party. (John 2: 1-11).

He begins His public preaching, proclaiming the Kingdom of God:"Seek first the Kingdom of God and all else will be added."  Lord Jesus in Mathew 6: 33.
"The Kingdom of God is WITHIN you."--Lord Jesus in Luke 17:21.

Lord Jesus works many miracles, healing people in spirit ("Your sins are forgiven you."), soul (expelling demons, restoring sanity) and body.

He preaches many sermons, the best known (though not the most important) being the Sermon on the Mount (longer version in St. Mathew 5-7; shorter version in St. Luke 6: 17-49).  More important is the Sermon on the Bread of Life (St. John 6: 25-end).  The Most important is the Sermon at the Passover-Last Supper, the longest, deepest and final sermon of Our Lord's  which He gave on the evening before Sacrificing Himself for us (St. John 13-17).

Next Post: Holy Week


HOLY WEEK:

To backtrack a little, The Tranfiguration:

Our Lord Jesus takes Simon Peter, John and John's brother James up to the mountain (traditionally believed to be Mount Tabor near Jerusalem).  He leaves them and goes to the summit where they see Moses and Elijah speaking with Lord Jesus , the uncreated light manifesting through Jesus' Person and the Voice of the Father declaring : "This is My Beloved Son on Whom My favor rests.  Listen to Him." (Mathew 17: 1-8; Mark 9: 2-9; Luke 9:28-36).  Simon, John and James are elevated to see the uncreated light/glory of the humanity of Lord Jesus which His humanity had from it's beginning at the conception of His human nature at the Incarnation. This event declares Jesus to be the fulfillment of the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) and is a theophany (showing forth of God) that refers back to Lord Jesus' baptism in the River Jordan.
 

Holy Week:

Our Lord celebrates the Passover with His  12 Apostles in the Upper Room in Jerusalem on the evening of Thurs. the 13th. of Nissan in the Jewish calendar, actually the day before Passover because He knew He wouldn't be with them on Passover. It is traditional for the head of the family at meals on Holy Days and the Sabbath to take bread at the beginning of the meal say a blessing over it, break it and pass it out to all present.  Jesus does this but he alters it by
saying : "Take this , all of you, and eat it, THIS IS MY BODY given up for you.  Do this in remembrance of Me."  In the Jewish-Semitic sense of that time, "THIS IS MY BODY" would mean "THIS IS ME".  When Lord Jesus said "THIS IS MY BODY", the bread became Him and He surrendered His Body to the Powers of evil.  It is significant that He does this at the beginning of the Passover Supper.  It is also significant that within an hour or so of this, Judas Iscariot leaves to arrange His arrest with the Chief Priests.  At the end of Passover Supper, Jesus takes the chalice of wine, blesses it and passes it to His Apostles saying: "THIS IS MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT, SHED FOR YOU AND FOR ALL FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.  DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME."   In the Jewish-Semitic sense of His time "THIS IS MY BLOOD" would mean "THIS IS MY LIFE, THIS IS ME" When He said "THIS IS MY BLOOD...", the wine became Him. and He surrendered His blood, His life to the powers of evil. It is significant that Judas Iscariot receives His Body but not His Blood.  Within an hour or so of this, Lord Jesus is shedding blood in His Agony in the Garden of
Gethsemane.
In this, Our Lord is giving us the Thanksgiving, the Divine Liturgy; He is giving us the Mystery of His Eucharistic Self and Offering.  By His words "Do this in remembrance of Me" , He is ordaining His Apostles as  priests.

Lord Jesus  is arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane and brought to trial by the Sanhedrin, the High Priests and Council of the Israeli people ,at Caiaphas' house
where He says: " You will see the Son of Man coming at the right hand of the Power and coming in the glory of heaven." ( cf Mathew 26:64)  "Power" means "God", 'right hand" means equality with God.  At this the Chief Priest tore his robe and they condemned Him for blasphemy for claiming to be God.  This was the ultimate sin an Israeli could commit; it was the ultimate blasphemy and the law demanded death.  Jesus knew this but He had to state the truth.  There was no way an Israeli could hear that and not be scandalized .  They didn't have any sense that the Messiah would be God; they didn't know of God as Trinity , as 3 in 1.

The Sanhedrin takes Him to Pilate to demand that he crucify Jesus, since they had no authority to execute a man.  ("We have  our  law, the Jews responded, and He must die because He made Himself God's Son."-St. John 19:7).  Pilate
was disturbed by Jesus, wanted to release Him, offered to release Him as was the custom at Passover but the crowd chose Barabbas, a murderer and thief,
over Jesus.  Pilate had Him scourged, thinking the crowd would have pity on Him, but they screamed "Crucify Him !" So Pilate, being the pragmatic cynic he was, went along, washed his hands and condemned Lord Jesus to death.

To be continued.
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2006, 09:49:19 PM »


HOLY WEEK:

To backtrack a little, The Tranfiguration:

Our Lord Jesus takes Simon Peter, John and John's brother James up to the mountain (traditionally believed to be Mount Tabor near Jerusalem).  He leaves them and goes to the summit where they see Moses and Elijah speaking with Lord Jesus , the uncreated light manifesting through Jesus' Person and the Voice of the Father declaring : "This is My Beloved Son on Whom My favor rests.  "Listen to Him." (Mathew 17: 1-8; Mark 9: 2-9; Luke 9:28-36).  Simon, John and James are elevated to see the uncreated light/glory of the humanity of Lord Jesus which His humanity had from it's beginning at the conception of His human nature at the Incarnation. This event declares Jesus to be the fulfillment of the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) and is a theophany (showing forth of God) that refers back to Lord Jesus' baptism in the River Jordan.
 

Holy Week:

Our Lord celebrates the Passover with His  12 Apostles in the Upper Room in Jerusalem on the evening of Thurs. the 13th. of Nissan in the Jewish calendar, actually the day before Passover because He knew He wouldn't be with them on Passover. It is traditional for the head of the family at meals on Holy Days and the Sabbath to take bread at the beginning of the meal say a blessing over it, break it and pass it out to all present.  Jesus does this but he alters it by
saying : "Take this , all of you, and eat it, THIS IS MY BODY given up for you.  Do this in remembrance of Me."  In the Jewish-Semitic sense of that time, "THIS IS MY BODY" would mean "THIS IS ME".  When Lord Jesus said "THIS IS MY BODY", the bread became Him and He surrendered His Body to the Powers of evil.  It is significant that He does this at the beginning of the Passover Supper.  It is also significant that within an hour or so of this, Judas Iscariot leaves to arrange His arrest with the Chief Priests.  At the end of Passover Supper, Jesus takes the chalice of wine, blesses it and passes it to His Apostles saying: "THIS IS MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT, SHED FOR YOU AND FOR ALL FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.  DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME."   In the Jewish-Semitic sense of His time "THIS IS MY BLOOD" would mean "THIS IS MY LIFE, THIS IS ME" When He said "THIS IS MY BLOOD...", the wine became Him. and He surrendered His blood, His life to the powers of evil. It is significant that Judas Iscariot receives His Body but not His Blood.  Within an hour or so of this, Lord Jesus is shedding blood in His Agony in the Garden of
Gethsemane.
In this, Our Lord is giving us the Thanksgiving, the Divine Liturgy; He is giving us the Mystery of His Eucharistic Self and Offering.  By His words "Do this in remembrance of Me" , He is ordaining His Apostles as  priests.

Lord Jesus  is arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane and brought to trial by the Sanhedrin, the High Priests and Council of the Israeli people ,at Caiaphas' house
where He says: " You will see the Son of Man coming at the right hand of the Power and coming in the glory of heaven." ( cf Mathew 26:64)  "Power" means "God", 'right hand" means equality with God.  At this the Chief Priest tore his robe and they condemned Him for blasphemy for claiming to be God.  This was the ultimate sin an Israeli could commit; it was the ultimate blasphemy and the law demanded death.  Jesus knew this but He had to state the truth.  There was no way an Israeli could hear that and not be scandalized .  They didn't have any sense that the Messiah would be God; they didn't know of God as Trinity , as 3 in 1.

The Sanhedrin takes Him to Pilate to demand that he crucify Jesus, since they had no authority to execute a man.  ("We have  our  law, the Jews responded, and He must die because He made Himself God's Son."-St. John 19:7).  Pilate
was disturbed by Jesus, wanted to release Him, offered to release Him as was the custom at Passover but the crowd chose Barabbas, a murderer and thief,
over Jesus.  Pilate had Him scourged, thinking the crowd would have pity on Him, but they screamed "Crucify Him !" So Pilate, being the pragmatic cynic he was, went along, washed his hands and condemned Lord Jesus to death.

To be continued.

Lord Jesus , bleeding from the severe flogging (30 stripes with a cat-o-nine tails, about 7 feet long,  with rocks and bone embedded at intervals, which wrapped around the body), the cap of thorns embedded into His skull  attempts to carry the heavy cross through the streets of Jerusalem  but collapses 3 times and a man Simon of Cyrene is forced by the Roman soldiers to help Him carry the cross outside the city to the garbage dump where executions were held called Golgatha ("Place of the Skull"). Lord Jesus' hands are  nailed to the cross, His feet  placed one over the other on a footrest, a nail driven through them.  A sign saying "This is Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" in Hebrew (probably Aramaic Syrian), Greek and Latin is placed above His head. He is placed between the 2 thieves.

"The thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.
I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."
                                        -Lord Jesus (St. John 10:10-11)

This is My commandment: love one another as I love you.
There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."
                                         -Lord Jesus (St. John 15:12-13)

Our Lord makes 7 statements from the Cross:

"Woman, behold your son." [to his Mother Mary]; 'Son, behold your mother ."[ to St. John] (St. John 19-26-27).
 Here Our Lord is not only making a practical provision for His mother; He is giving His mother to each member of His body as their mother.


" I thirst." ( St. John 19: 28)
Here Our Lord is not just expressing His physical thirst but His thirst for our love, for our valuing of His love for us.

"My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me ?" (Mathew 27:46)
 Here Lord Jesus is quoting Psalm 22 which is an expression of feeling abandoned by God but ultimately an expression of faith in God's deliverance.

"I promise you, this day you will be with Me in paradise." [responding  to the Good Thief''s: " Jesus, remember me when You come into your Kingdom."]-(St. Mathew 24:42-43)  No matter when we turn to Lord Jesus, even at the last moment, He accepts us.

" Father, forgive them, they don't know what they're doing." (St. Luke 23:24)
He Who is love, sacrifices Himself for us by becoming one of us, and loving us in all ways only to be rejected, condemned, mocked, tortured and murdered, to be hated by most of those He loved.  Yet, Lord Jesus still returns love for their hate, conquering the Evil One and sin.

"It is finished." (St. John 19:30)  His work is completed; by taking the sins of all people of all time upon Himself and Offering Himself in atonement for our sins, He has cleansed us of our sins (if we receive His Sacrifice.), has conquered the Evil One, sin and death in His death.  His death, His Sacrifice is His victory.

"Father into Your hands I offer My Spirit."  (St. Luke 24:46)

"Yet it was our infirmities that He bore, our sufferings He endured,
while we thought of Him as stricken, as One smitten by God and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins;
upon Him was the chastisement that makes us whole; by His stripes we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way;
but the Lord laid upon Him the guilt of us all.  (St. Isaiah 53: 4-6)

To be continued.

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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2006, 11:48:41 PM »

So if you don't mind me asking...

What issues of faith are you bringing up, or trying to bring up? 

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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2006, 09:10:31 PM »

So if you don't mind me asking...

What issues of faith are you bringing up, or trying to bring up? 



 Read the continueing posts; they should be self-explanatory. I'm just presenting the faith as we need to focus on basics.
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2006, 10:26:13 PM »

Lord Jesus , bleeding from the severe flogging (30 stripes with a cat-o-nine tails, about 7 feet long,  with rocks and bone embedded at intervals, which wrapped around the body), the cap of thorns embedded into His skull  attempts to carry the heavy cross through the streets of Jerusalem  but collapses 3 times and a man Simon of Cyrene is forced by the Roman soldiers to help Him carry the cross outside the city to the garbage dump where executions were held called Golgatha ("Place of the Skull"). Lord Jesus' hands are  nailed to the cross, His feet  placed one over the other on a footrest, a nail driven through them.  A sign saying "This is Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" in Hebrew (probably Aramaic Syrian), Greek and Latin is placed above His head. He is placed between the 2 thieves.

"The thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.
I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."
                                        -Lord Jesus (St. John 10:10-11)

This is My commandment: love one another as I love you.
There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."
                                         -Lord Jesus (St. John 15:12-13)

Our Lord makes 7 statements from the Cross:

"Woman, behold your son." [to his Mother Mary]; 'Son, behold your mother ."[ to St. John] (St. John 19-26-27).
 Here Our Lord is not only making a practical provision for His mother; He is giving His mother to each member of His body as their mother.


" I thirst." ( St. John 19: 28)
Here Our Lord is not just expressing His physical thirst but His thirst for our love, for our valuing of His love for us.

"My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me ?" (Mathew 27:46)
 Here Lord Jesus is quoting Psalm 22 which is an expression of feeling abandoned by God but ultimately an expression of faith in God's deliverance.

"I promise you, this day you will be with Me in paradise." [responding  to the Good Thief''s: " Jesus, remember me when You come into your Kingdom."]-(St. Mathew 24:42-43)  No matter when we turn to Lord Jesus, even at the last moment, He accepts us.

" Father, forgive them, they don't know what they're doing." (St. Luke 23:24)
He Who is love, sacrifices Himself for us by becoming one of us, and loving us in all ways only to be rejected, condemned, mocked, tortured and murdered, to be hated by most of those He loved.  Yet, Lord Jesus still returns love for their hate, conquering the Evil One and sin.

"It is finished." (St. John 19:30)  His work is completed; by taking the sins of all people of all time upon Himself and Offering Himself in atonement for our sins, He has cleansed us of our sins (if we receive His Sacrifice.), has conquered the Evil One, sin and death in His death.  His death, His Sacrifice is His victory.

"Father into Your hands I offer My Spirit."  (St. Luke 24:46)

"Yet it was our infirmities that He bore, our sufferings He endured,
while we thought of Him as stricken, as One smitten by God and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins;
upon Him was the chastisement that makes us whole; by His stripes we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way;
but the Lord laid upon Him the guilt of us all.  (St. Isaiah 53: 4-6)

To be continued.



As Lord Jesus hung there, dying on the cross, the sun was darkened till mid afternoon (see Mathew 27:45).  Nature itself was affected by this ultimate act of evil, this murder of God-Man by us all.  The curtain of the sanctuary before the Holy of Holies in the Temple split from top to bottom (signifying the end of the Old Testament/Covenant/Law), there was an earthquake, some of the followers of Lord Jesus were resurrected (see  Mathew  27:51-53). When He died, His suffering ended and He descended in victory among the dead to release the just into heaven and to show forth Hell's defeat to it.  As St Simon Peter states:  "It was in the spirit, that He went to preach to the spirits in prison." (1 Peter  3:19).
What is the prayer ?  Something like" Hell went to the gates of death expecting to meet a man and encountered God."

The Resurrection:

Lord Jesus re-united His human Soul and Body (His Divine Person/Spirit was never separated from either) in His glorious Resurrection, restoring His human nature to the original pre-fallen state, restoring our human nature in His.  He died about 2 P.M. on the 13th. of Nissan in the Jewish calendar, the day before Passover, and resurrected  on Sun. 15th. Nissan at about 6 AM. ( or we assume since this was when Mary  of Magdala and the other woman encountered the Risen Lord near His tomb.).  If we take that, then Lord Jesus was dead for 40 hours.  This points to the 40 days He spent in the desert fasting and praying at the beginning of His public ministry, which points to the 40 years the Israeli people spent as nomads in Palestine before they were strong enough to conquer the Caananites and other peoples living there.  All of the universe is affected by Lord Jesus' Resurrection.   The joy His human nature experienced in His Resurrection is inexpressible.  There is the tradition which makes perfect sense, that the first person Lord Jesus appeared to after His Resurrection was to His Mother Mary.  It would be only natural that He would give her this joy after her sufferings from His sufferings.

He appears to some of His apostles in the Upper Room where the Passover had been held on the evening of Resurrection Sun.:
" 'Peace be with you ' He said. When He had said this, He showed them  His hands and His side.  At the sight of the Lord, the disciples rejoiced.  'Peace be with you.' He said again.

'As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.'  Then He breathed on them and said:
'Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive men's sins, they are forgiven; if you hold them bound, they are held bound."

Thomas, not being present, refused to believe The Lord had risen.  A week after the Resurrection Lord Jesus appeared to the apostles in the Upper Room again; this time Thomas was present:

"Jesus came and stood before them.  'Peace be with you.' He said, then to Thomas:  'Take your finger and examine My hands. Put your finger in My side.  Do not persist in your unbelief but believe.'  Thomas said in response 'My Lord and My God'.  Jesus then said to him:
'You have believed because you have seen; blessed are they  who have not seen  and have believed."  --(St. John 20: 19-23, 26-29)

Over the next 40 days He appears to many people, 500 of His disciples at one time. When He is about to Ascend into Father, He addresses  His disciples:

" Thus it is written that the Messiah  must suffer, die and rise from the dead on the third day.  In His Name  penance for the forgiveness of sin is to be preached to all the nations, beginning  at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of this. See I send upon you the the Promise of the Father.  remain here in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." (Luke 24: 46-49)

"Full authority has been given to Me, both in heaven and on earth; go therefore and make disciples of all nations.
Baptize them in the NAME of the FATHER and of the SON and of the HOLY SPIRIT.'
Teaching them to observe  everything I have commanded you.
And know that I am with you always, even to the consummation of the universe."  (Mathew 28: 18-20).

Lord Jesus then ascended into Father, deifyng His human nature, deifying our human nature in His.

Next Post: Pentecost

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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2006, 09:29:57 PM »

As Lord Jesus hung there, dying on the cross, the sun was darkened till mid afternoon (see Mathew 27:45).  Nature itself was affected by this ultimate act of evil, this murder of God-Man by us all.  The curtain of the sanctuary before the Holy of Holies in the Temple split from top to bottom (signifying the end of the Old Testament/Covenant/Law), there was an earthquake, some of the followers of Lord Jesus were resurrected (see  Mathew  27:51-53). When He died, His suffering ended and He descended in victory among the dead to release the just into heaven and to show forth Hell's defeat to it.  As St Simon Peter states:  "It was in the spirit, that He went to preach to the spirits in prison." (1 Peter  3:19).
What is the prayer ?  Something like" Hell went to the gates of death expecting to meet a man and encountered God."

The Resurrection:

Lord Jesus re-united His human Soul and Body (His Divine Person/Spirit was never separated from either) in His glorious Resurrection, restoring His human nature to the original pre-fallen state, restoring our human nature in His.  He died about 2 P.M. on the 13th. of Nissan in the Jewish calendar, the day before Passover, and resurrected  on Sun. 15th. Nissan at about 6 AM. ( or we assume since this was when Mary  of Magdala and the other woman encountered the Risen Lord near His tomb.).  If we take that, then Lord Jesus was dead for 40 hours.  This points to the 40 days He spent in the desert fasting and praying at the beginning of His public ministry, which points to the 40 years the Israeli people spent as nomads in Palestine before they were strong enough to conquer the Caananites and other peoples living there.  All of the universe is affected by Lord Jesus' Resurrection.   The joy His human nature experienced in His Resurrection is inexpressible.  There is the tradition which makes perfect sense, that the first person Lord Jesus appeared to after His Resurrection was to His Mother Mary.  It would be only natural that He would give her this joy after her sufferings from His sufferings.

He appears to some of His apostles in the Upper Room where the Passover had been held on the evening of Resurrection Sun.:
" 'Peace be with you ' He said. When He had said this, He showed them  His hands and His side.  At the sight of the Lord, the disciples rejoiced.  'Peace be with you.' He said again.

'As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.'  Then He breathed on them and said:
'Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive men's sins, they are forgiven; if you hold them bound, they are held bound."

Thomas, not being present, refused to believe The Lord had risen.  A week after the Resurrection Lord Jesus appeared to the apostles in the Upper Room again; this time Thomas was present:

"Jesus came and stood before them.  'Peace be with you.' He said, then to Thomas:  'Take your finger and examine My hands. Put your finger in My side.  Do not persist in your unbelief but believe.'  Thomas said in response 'My Lord and My God'.  Jesus then said to him:
'You have believed because you have seen; blessed are they  who have not seen  and have believed."  --(St. John 20: 19-23, 26-29)

Over the next 40 days He appears to many people, 500 of His disciples at one time. When He is about to Ascend into Father, He addresses  His disciples:

" Thus it is written that the Messiah  must suffer, die and rise from the dead on the third day.  In His Name  penance for the forgiveness of sin is to be preached to all the nations, beginning  at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of this. See I send upon you the the Promise of the Father.  remain here in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." (Luke 24: 46-49)

"Full authority has been given to Me, both in heaven and on earth; go therefore and make disciples of all nations.
Baptize them in the NAME of the FATHER and of the SON and of the HOLY SPIRIT.'
Teaching them to observe  everything I have commanded you.
And know that I am with you always, even to the consummation of the universe."  (Mathew 28: 18-20).

Lord Jesus then ascended into Father, deifyng His human nature, deifying our human nature in His.

Next Post: Pentecost



Pentecost: The Sending of God the Holy Spirit

"I will ask the Father and He will  give you another Advocate to be with you always: the Spirit of Truth, Whom the world can not accept since it neither sees Him nor recognizes Him; but you can recognize Him because He remains with you and will be within you."
                                     -Lord Jesus (St. John 14:16-17)

"Anyone who loves Me will be true to My word, and My Father will love him and We will come to him and make  Our dwelling place with him.
He who does not love Me does not keep My word.
Yet the word you hear is not just Mine, , it comes from the Father Who sent Me.
This much I tell you while I am still with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, will instruct you in everything and remind you of all that I have told you."
                                      -Lord Jesus (St. John 14: 23-26)

"Yet I tell you the sober truth: it is better for you if I go.  If I fail to go  the Advocate will never come to you; but if I do go , I will send Him to you.
When He comes He will prove the world wrong about sin, about justice , about condemnation.
About sin-in that they refuse to believe in Me.
About justice in that I go to the Father and you can see Me no more.
About condemnation for the Prince of this world has been condemned.
I have much more to tell you but you can not bear it now.  When He comes, however, being the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on His own but will speak only what He hears and will announce to you the things to come.
In doing this He will give glory to Me, because He will have received from Me
what He will announce to you.
All that the Father has belongs to Me; that is why  I said that what  He will announce to you He will have from Me."
                                     -Lord Jesus (St. John 16: 7-15)

10 days After the Ascension of Lord Jesus into the Father, the 11 Apostles, with Mary, the Mother of Lord Jesus, and 108 other disciples were gathered in the Upper Room in Jerusalem where the Passover-Last Supper had been held:

"When the Day of Pentecost came it found them gathered in the Upper Room.  Suddenly from up in the sky came a noise like a strong driving wind which was heard all throughout the house where they were.  Tongues as of fire appeared , which parted and came to rest  upon each of them.  All were filled with the Holy Spirit."   (Acts 2: 1-4)

Father and Lord Jesus, ascended into Father, send Holy Spirit through Lord Jesus' ascended/deified human nature into the members of His Body/Church gathered in the Upper Room.  Holy Spirit  begins our adoption  into Lord Jesus'
Person, making us adopted sons and daughters of the Father:

"The proof that you are sons is the fact that God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son Who cries out 'Abba' (Daddy/Papa).  You are no longer a slave but a son, and the fact that you are a son makes you an heir by God's design."  -St. Paul ( Galatians 4: 6-7)


It is Holy Spirit Who is the Co-Redeemer, Mediator of Grace, Who shows us Who Jesus is: "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit."--St. Paul  (1 Cor. 12:3).  It is Holy Spirit Who conforms us to the Image of Lord Jesus:
"All of us, gazing  on the Lord's glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed from glory to glory into His very image by the Lord Who is the Spirit."--St. Paul (2 Cor. 3:18).

The Christian life is essentially appropriating God the Holy Spirit, being conformed to Lord Jesus, being sons of the Father.

To be continued.






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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2006, 10:26:35 PM »

I'm just presenting the faith as we need to focus on basics.

Yay!  Steve is now everyone's spiritual father!  Hooray!  Yippee!!  Tongue
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« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2006, 08:08:00 PM »

Yay!  Steve is now everyone's spiritual father!  Hooray!  Yippee!!  Tongue

Veniamin, my son,

I can't tell you how deeply touched I am by your enthusiasm; excuse me, I'm tearing up  a little here because it is so gratifying  to have such mature and appreciative responses.  Read the posts carefully ,this material will be on your finals and will be 75% of your grade.
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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2006, 08:11:38 PM »

Veniamin, my son,

I can't tell you how deeply touched I am by your enthusiasm; excuse me, I'm tearing up  a little here because it is so gratifying  to have such mature and appreciative responses.  Read the posts carefully ,this material will be on your finals and will be 75% of your grade.

I can't really speak for Veniamin...

But I don't think the issue is whether or not we appreciate what you are doing.  If we don't know WHY you are doing what you are doing, how are we suppost to appreciate it? 

Also, I think a lot of people already know what you are writing, so why reinvent the wheel? 

You just seem to be posting random information...not bringing up faith issues. 

Forgive me if I am mistaken, but this is what it seems like to me.   Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2006, 08:16:31 PM »

It's called pontificating...but unless you have a captive audience, it doesn't work too well. Oh well, I'm enjoying the random attacks against it Grin
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« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2006, 08:22:46 PM »

I can't really speak for Veniamin...

But I don't think the issue is whether or not we appreciate what you are doing.  If we don't know WHY you are doing what you are doing, how are we suppost to appreciate it? 

Also, I think a lot of people already know what you are writing, so why reinvent the wheel? 

You just seem to be posting random information...not bringing up faith issues. 

Forgive me if I am mistaken, but this is what it seems like to me.   Smiley

Random ?!?   Not bringing up faith issues ?!?  Have you read all of the posts ? What I am doing is presenting the Christian faith because I haven't seen much focus on basics on this forum.  You're free to add  any insights from your own spiritual journey and readings but I want responses focused on BASICS.  You build a house from the foundation up.  You don't start on the 2nd. floor or the trim.
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« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2006, 08:26:11 PM »

In my Real Analysis classes we didn't have too much arithmetic...doesn't mean that the people in the class didn't know it. (they might not have been able to do it, but they knew it Wink )
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« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2006, 08:33:12 PM »

Random ?!?   Not bringing up faith issues ?!?  Have you read all of the posts ? What I am doing is presenting the Christian faith because I haven't seen much focus on basics on this forum.  You're free to add  any insights from your own spiritual journey and readings but I want responses focused on BASICS.  You build a house from the foundation up.  You don't start on the 2nd. floor or the trim.

Catechesis is usually done by priests or monks, not by random individuals on Internet forums.
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« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2006, 08:51:18 PM »

Catechesis is usually done by priests or monks, not by random individuals on Internet forums.

And that is my point.  If we, collectively, need to focus more on "basics" as Steve has repeatedly claimed, that is between us, individually, and our respective priests and spiritual fathers.  Oh, and one other thing, Steve...I'm not your son, so don't address me as that.
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« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2006, 10:07:47 PM »

And that is my point.  If we, collectively, need to focus more on "basics" as Steve has repeatedly claimed, that is between us, individually, and our respective priests and spiritual fathers.  Oh, and one other thing, Steve...I'm not your son, so don't address me as that.

No, actually we  all need to focus on basics; we get off track when we don't. 
 Re.: "son"--Does humor, irony etc. mean anything to you  ?
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« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2006, 10:10:43 PM »

Re.: "son"--Does humor, irony etc. mean anything to you  ?

Not when it's received as insult, it doesn't.
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« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2006, 10:15:55 PM »

Catechesis is usually done by priests or monks, not by random individuals on Internet forums.
[/quot Catechesis is done by each one at all times.  Catechesis is how we live.
Each of us is a "random individual" ( I would say person).  Priests and monks are no more members of the Body than a layperson; clericalism (worship of clergy)  is not Christian faith.  Clergy have their place but  simply being a cleric doesn't  make you holy, doesn''t mean you're necessarily  faithful.   I have learned from clergy , religious and laypeople.  I have also encountered clergy, religious and laypeople who were not faithful to Lord Jesus at all.  Let's not be naive.
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« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2006, 10:18:43 PM »

Not when it's received as insult, it doesn't.

Veniamin,

Weren't you being insulting to me ?  Of course you were.  I was just trying to respond with humor.
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« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2006, 10:22:11 PM »

In my Real Analysis classes we didn't have too much arithmetic...doesn't mean that the people in the class didn't know it. (they might not have been able to do it, but they knew it Wink )

"They may not have been able to do it, but they knew it."  Huh?!!!???

Does that make any sense ??  If they weren't able to do it, they DIDN'T KNOW IT.
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« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2006, 10:32:07 PM »

I agree, we need to focus on the basics. I think the Nicene Creed is a good faith summary. Since I don't have time to exposit the whole Creed, I'll give my contribution.

"I believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church."

Lord Jesus came to unite all people into One Body and grow in the Holy Spirit. Those who break this unity lose the Holy Spirit--a condition we call "heretics without sacramental grace."

Oh I have time for one more--

"And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father."

The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father. Since Western Christians believe in a mediatory spirator, they do not agree with the Holy Spirit. For their status, see the above paragraph.

Thanks Steve for opening the table up to other basic contributions. Let's all contribute our own basics!

Anastasios Wink

(note this is tongue in cheek since Steve also opened the floor up to humor!)
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« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2006, 10:37:09 PM »

lol, I like.
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« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2006, 01:43:33 AM »

Random ?!?   Not bringing up faith issues ?!?  Have you read all of the posts ? What I am doing is presenting the Christian faith because I haven't seen much focus on basics on this forum.  You're free to add  any insights from your own spiritual journey and readings but I want responses focused on BASICS.  You build a house from the foundation up.  You don't start on the 2nd. floor or the trim.

Please forgive me, I was sincerley not trying to be insulting. 

I have read your posts, I will re-read them and take another look, but like I said these are not faith ISSUES.  If it is a basic tennant of the faith, then how is it an issue? 

Maybe this is getting into semantics on the word "issue" but to me I automatically think of problems, dillemas, etc.  But maybe your deffinition is different. 

Anyway, like Anastasios said, if you want to bring up basics feel free to.  I was just trying to better understand what you are doing with this thread.  I think that I know now. 

I really appologize for interupting you, I was just curious.   Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2006, 09:51:18 PM »

I agree, we need to focus on the basics. I think the Nicene Creed is a good faith summary. Since I don't have time to exposit the whole Creed, I'll give my contribution.

"I believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church."

Lord Jesus came to unite all people into One Body and grow in the Holy Spirit. Those who break this unity lose the Holy Spirit--a condition we call "heretics without sacramental grace."

Oh I have time for one more--

"And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father."

The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father. Since Western Christians believe in a mediatory spirator, they do not agree with the Holy Spirit. For their status, see the above paragraph.

Thanks Steve for opening the table up to other basic contributions. Let's all contribute our own basics!

Anastasios Wink

(note this is tongue in cheek since Steve also opened the floor up to humor!)

Anastasios,
Holy Spirit is sent into the Church at Pentecost by Father and Jesus. Our Lord Himself said:
...the Advocate, the Holy Spirit Whom the Father will send in My Name..." (St. John 14:26)
" If I fail to go, the Advocate will never come to you.  Whereas if I go I WILL SEND HIM TO YOU." (St. John 16:7)

The sending of Holy Spirit into the Church and the eternal origin of Holy Spirit within God are 2 separate issues.

The Roman Catholic view of the eternal origin of the Holy Spirit is that He is eternally born from the mutual love of Father and Son, that He is this perfect mutual love, this perfect Self-giving of Father and Son.  He has one point of origin since the Son is eternally born from the Father.

Thanks for your contribution.
Steve

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« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2006, 09:59:18 PM »

Please forgive me, I was sincerley not trying to be insulting. 

I have read your posts, I will re-read them and take another look, but like I said these are not faith ISSUES.  If it is a basic tennant of the faith, then how is it an issue? 

Maybe this is getting into semantics on the word "issue" but to me I automatically think of problems, dillemas, etc.  But maybe your deffinition is different. 

Anyway, like Anastasios said, if you want to bring up basics feel free to.  I was just trying to better understand what you are doing with this thread.  I think that I know now. 

I really appologize for interupting you, I was just curious.   Smiley

No need to apologize; I didn't think you were being insulting.
Steve
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« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2006, 09:51:09 PM »

Pentecost: The Sending of God the Holy Spirit

"I will ask the Father and He will  give you another Advocate to be with you always: the Spirit of Truth, Whom the world can not accept since it neither sees Him nor recognizes Him; but you can recognize Him because He remains with you and will be within you."
                                     -Lord Jesus (St. John 14:16-17)

"Anyone who loves Me will be true to My word, and My Father will love him and We will come to him and make  Our dwelling place with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My word.
Yet the word you hear is not just Mine, , it comes from the Father Who sent Me.
This much I tell you while I am still with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, will instruct you in everything and remind you of all that I have told you."
                                      -Lord Jesus (St. John 14: 23-26)

"Yet I tell you the sober truth: it is better for you if I go.  If I fail to go  the Advocate will never come to you; but if I do go , I will send Him to you.
When He comes He will prove the world wrong about sin, about justice , about condemnation.
About sin-in that they refuse to believe in Me.
About justice in that I go to the Father and you can see Me no more.
About condemnation for the Prince of this world has been condemned.
I have much more to tell you but you can not bear it now.  When He comes, however, being the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on His own but will speak only what He hears and will announce to you the things to come.
In doing this He will give glory to Me, because He will have received from Me
what He will announce to you.
All that the Father has belongs to Me; that is why  I said that what  He will announce to you He will have from Me."
                                     -Lord Jesus (St. John 16: 7-15)

10 days After the Ascension of Lord Jesus into the Father, the 11 Apostles, with Mary, the Mother of Lord Jesus, and 108 other disciples were gathered in the Upper Room in Jerusalem where the Passover-Last Supper had been held:

"When the Day of Pentecost came it found them gathered in the Upper Room.  Suddenly from up in the sky came a noise like a strong driving wind which was heard all throughout the house where they were.  Tongues as of fire appeared , which parted and came to rest  upon each of them.  All were filled with the Holy Spirit."   (Acts 2: 1-4)

Father and Lord Jesus, ascended into Father, send Holy Spirit through Lord Jesus' ascended/deified human nature into the members of His Body/Church gathered in the Upper Room.  Holy Spirit  begins our adoption  into Lord Jesus'
Person, making us adopted sons and daughters of the Father:

"The proof that you are sons is the fact that God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son Who cries out 'Abba' (Daddy/Papa).  You are no longer a slave but a son, and the fact that you are a son makes you an heir by God's design."  -St. Paul ( Galatians 4: 6-7)


It is Holy Spirit Who is the Co-Redeemer, Mediator of Grace, Who shows us Who Jesus is: "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit."--St. Paul  (1 Cor. 12:3).  It is Holy Spirit Who conforms us to the Image of Lord Jesus:
"All of us, gazing  on the Lord's glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed from glory to glory into His very image by the Lord Who is the Spirit."--St. Paul (2 Cor. 3:18).

The Christian life is essentially appropriating God the Holy Spirit, being conformed to Lord Jesus, being sons of the Father.

To be continued.


Prior to the descent of God the Holy Spirit, the apostles chose Mathias to replace Judas Iscariot (Acts 1: 15-26)


Filled with God the Holy Spirit the disciples go out into Jerusalem and preach the Good News of Lord Jesus Christ, converting 3,000 the first day because God the Holy Spirit acted upon the crowds so that the preaching was understood in their  many languages ( a reversal of the Tower of Babel effect; instead of one language becoming confused into many so that the people could not communicate, one language -the Aramaic Syrian spoken by the broad mass of the common Israeli people- was understood by each as his own so that all could receive the truth..) (Acts 2).

From Jerusalem the disciples carried the Good News to all of Judea,  Samaria,  Galilee-the provinces of ancient Israel (then called by the ancient name of Palestine),  Lebanon, Syria,  Arabia, Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Greece, modern Croatia, modern Albania,, modern Bulgaria, modern Romania, Italy,  the coast of Gaul (modern France), the coast of Spain, modern Portugal, Egypt, Nubia (modern Sudan), Ethiopia, Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), Persia (modern Iran). Armenia, modern Georgia,  East coast of India.

When the question of observance of the Mosaic Law by Gentile converts came up, the first Council of the Church, the Council of Jerusalem ( c. the year 50)  convinced by Simon Peter's arguments  based on his visions,  pronounced by James, the Bishop of Jerusalem, the  son of Joseph and step-brother of Lord Jesus mentioned in Mathew 13:55.

Simon Rock (Peter)  had given primacy of authority among the apostles  by Lord Jesus when He said to him:  "I for My part declare to you: 'You are Rock'
and upon this Rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys to the Kingdom.  Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Mathew 16:18-19).   Lord Jesus gives Simon the name "Rock" because he is to pattern himself on "This Rock"-Lord Jesus Himself.
The problem with the Roman Catholic interpretation  of this is that they are not reading what Our Lord said; they are mentally interjecting this into what  He said : "You are Rock and upon you Rock I will build My Church..."  The binding and loosening statement is later addressed to all the disciples in Mathew 18: 18; this is an episcopal authority which all bishops have. Circa 40 A.D. St, Simon Peter goes from Jerusalem to Antioch  where he is Bishop for many years before going to Rome where he is martyred probably in 64 A.D. , as was St. Paul.

It was in Antioch that we were first called Christians (Acts 11:26).  It was St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch who first uses the phrase "The Catholic Church" in his epistle to Smyrna (Chap. Cool as he was journeying to Rome for his martyrdom circa 107 A.D.  The term "Orthodox (Correct belief) Church " comes into usage in the struggle with Arianism , which emerged circa 305 and was confronted by the Council of Nicea in 325. 

The Church was centered in Jerusalem until the Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A. D., the Jewish Christians there , having been warned beforehand by God the Holy Spirit,fled to Pella in modern Jordan.

After the death of St. John the Beloved Apostle , the last surviving  Apostle in Ephesus, Asia Minor (modern Turkey) circa 100 A.D., Antioch, Syria emerges as the center of the Church.

The Church writes the New Testament from 45 (the Gospel of St. Mathew, originally written in Aramaic Syrian, the language of the mass of Israeli people in Israel as well as of the Syrian peoples of Syria and  Lebanon,; other dialects of Syrian were spoken in western Asia Minor  (modern Turkey) Assyria/Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) to 95 (the generally accepted dating of the Book of Revelations (Apocalypse).  It is my personal opinion that, with the exception of Revelations, all of the New Testament was written by 70 A.D. ,as nowhere is the Destruction of  Jerusalem mentioned.  This would have been seen as a spiritually an  extremely significant event, especially to Jewish Christians.

To be continued
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« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2006, 09:03:02 PM »

Prior to the descent of God the Holy Spirit, the apostles chose Mathias to replace Judas Iscariot (Acts 1: 15-26)


Filled with God the Holy Spirit the disciples go out into Jerusalem and preach the Good News of Lord Jesus Christ, converting 3,000 the first day because God the Holy Spirit acted upon the crowds so that the preaching was understood in their  many languages ( a reversal of the Tower of Babel effect; instead of one language becoming confused into many so that the people could not communicate, one language -the Aramaic Syrian spoken by the broad mass of the common Israeli people- was understood by each as his own so that all could receive the truth..) (Acts 2).

From Jerusalem the disciples carried the Good News to all of Judea,  Samaria,  Galilee-the provinces of ancient Israel (then called by the ancient name of Palestine),  Lebanon, Syria,  Arabia, Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Greece, modern Croatia, modern Albania,, modern Bulgaria, modern Romania, Italy,  the coast of Gaul (modern France), the coast of Spain, modern Portugal, Egypt, Nubia (modern Sudan), Ethiopia, Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), Persia (modern Iran). Armenia, modern Georgia,  East coast of India.

When the question of observance of the Mosaic Law by Gentile converts came up, the first Council of the Church, the Council of Jerusalem ( c. the year 50)  convinced by Simon Peter's arguments  based on his visions,  pronounced by James, the Bishop of Jerusalem, the  son of Joseph and step-brother of Lord Jesus mentioned in Mathew 13:55.

Simon Rock (Peter)  had given primacy of authority among the apostles  by Lord Jesus when He said to him:  "I for My part declare to you: 'You are Rock'
and upon this Rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys to the Kingdom.  Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Mathew 16:18-19).   Lord Jesus gives Simon the name "Rock" because he is to pattern himself on "This Rock"-Lord Jesus Himself.
The problem with the Roman Catholic interpretation  of this is that they are not reading what Our Lord said; they are mentally interjecting this into what  He said : "You are Rock and upon you Rock I will build My Church..."  The binding and loosening statement is later addressed to all the disciples in Mathew 18: 18; this is an episcopal authority which all bishops have. Circa 40 A.D. St, Simon Peter goes from Jerusalem to Antioch  where he is Bishop for many years before going to Rome where he is martyred probably in 64 A.D. , as was St. Paul.

It was in Antioch that we were first called Christians (Acts 11:26).  It was St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch who first uses the phrase "The Catholic Church" in his epistle to Smyrna (Chap. Cool as he was journeying to Rome for his martyrdom circa 107 A.D.  The term "Orthodox (Correct belief) Church " comes into usage in the struggle with Arianism , which emerged circa 305 and was confronted by the Council of Nicea in 325. 

The Church was centered in Jerusalem until the Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A. D., the Jewish Christians there , having been warned beforehand by God the Holy Spirit,fled to Pella in modern Jordan.

After the death of St. John the Beloved Apostle , the last surviving  Apostle in Ephesus, Asia Minor (modern Turkey) circa 100 A.D., Antioch, Syria emerges as the center of the Church.

The Church writes the New Testament from 45 (the Gospel of St. Mathew, originally written in Aramaic Syrian, the language of the mass of Israeli people in Israel as well as of the Syrian peoples of Syria and  Lebanon,; other dialects of Syrian were spoken in western Asia Minor  (modern Turkey) Assyria/Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) to 95 (the generally accepted dating of the Book of Revelations (Apocalypse).  It is my personal opinion that, with the exception of Revelations, all of the New Testament was written by 70 A.D. ,as nowhere is the Destruction of  Jerusalem mentioned.  This would have been seen as extremely significant  spiritual event, especially to Jewish Christians.

To be continued

The conversion of Saul of Tarses, an intense Pharisee who hated the Jewish Christians and was a great persecutor of them,  is a unique event in the early Church.  Lord Jesus confronts Saul in a radical way, literally knocking him on his hind-end on the road to Damascus, manifesting Himself to Saul.  Saul was intensely devoted to God but in a blinded way ( a lesson to us all) and apparently required this experience to be converted.  Lord Jesus changes Saul's name to Paul ("Little")  probably to teach him humility which he had lacked as a Pharisee.   This event probably occurred circa 40 A. D. Paul becomes the great Apostle to the Gentiles, the great missionary and is a major theological influence in the Church through his Epistles.  He was martyred in Rome probably in 64.


The Assumption of Mary, the Mother of God:

There are 2 traditions as to when and where this took place.  The stronger is that it occurred in  the home of St. John the Beloved in  Ephesus, Asia Minor (Turkey)  12 years after the Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Lord Jesus (circa 45 when she would have been about 59).  The other tradition is that it occurred in Jerusalem circa 68, when she would have been about 84 . The tradition states that  as Mary  was dying the Apostles were summoned, all but St. Thomas arriving in time to say their goodbyes.  Mary then  died and her body was entombed.  When St. Thomas arrived, the tomb was opened so that he could look upon her face, and the tomb was found to be empty.  These people did not embalm bodies so decay set in fairly fast, so this is possible if Thomas arrived  within a day after her death and burial.  The explanation for the empty tomb being that Lord Jesus resurrected His mother Mary and assumed her into heaven in her whole person.

The theological reason for the Assumption of Mary is that she is the Sinless One, the Pure One through whom God became man, who remained with her Son as He was murdered on the Cross, uniting her suffering in His suffering with His Sacrifice.  Being the Perfect Christian, Lord Jesus brings her into the state all members of His Body are destined to after His Manifestation in glory at the consummation of creation  and history, His re-uniting  of the dead with their bodies, the General Judgement and the creation of a new universe where "God is all in all".

All  ancient branches of the Church believe in the Assumption of Mary though only the Roman Catholic Church has defined it as a dogma (in 1950 by Pope Pius XII).

The early Church is conveyed clearly to us by the  writings of the Apostolic Fathers :

St. Clement of Rome (c. 90; martyred 101)
St. Ignatius of Antioch (martyred 107)
The Didache ("Teaching") of the Apostles (120 to 150)
St. Polycarp of Smyrna (martyred 159)
St Justin the Martyr of Rome (martyred 165)
St. Iraneus of Lyons (martyred 202)
St. Clement of Alexandria (d. 215)
Tertullian (d.c. 230)
St.  Hippolytus of Rome (martyred 235)
Origen of Alexandria (Martyred 254)
St. Cyprian of Carthage (martyred 258)

Not everything each wrote was correct; many doctrines were vague and undeveloped in this period and these men did make mistakes but all were noted for their holiness of life and most were willing to suffer martyrdom for their faith in Lord Jesus and should be honored for that alone.

The organization of the early church was around the bishop ("overseer") in each community with his deacons.  All Christians in a community would attend the Thanksgiving (Eucharist) offered by the Bishop on the Lord's Day (the first day of the week- Sun.).  When the number of Christians in a community became too large for all to attend the bishop's Thanksgiving, the bishop would ordain a deacon as a priest and he would offer Thanksgiving in another location.

To be continued.




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« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2007, 09:06:45 PM »

The conversion of Saul of Tarses, an intense Pharisee who hated the Jewish Christians and was a great persecutor of them,  is a unique event in the early Church.  Lord Jesus confronts Saul in a radical way, literally knocking him on his hind-end on the road to Damascus, manifesting Himself to Saul.  Saul was intensely devoted to God but in a blinded way ( a lesson to us all) and apparently required this experience to be converted.  Lord Jesus changes Saul's name to Paul ("Little")  probably to teach him humility which he had lacked as a Pharisee.   This event probably occurred circa 40 A. D. Paul becomes the great Apostle to the Gentiles, the great missionary and is a major theological influence in the Church through his Epistles.  He was martyred in Rome probably in 64.
The Assumption of Mary, the Mother of God:

There are 2 traditions as to when and where this took place.  The stronger is that it occurred in  the home of St. John the Beloved in  Ephesus, Asia Minor (Turkey)  12 years after the Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Lord Jesus (circa 45 when she would have been about 59).  The other tradition is that it occurred in Jerusalem circa 68, when she would have been about 84 . The tradition states that  as Mary  was dying the Apostles were summoned, all but St. Thomas arriving in time to say their goodbyes.  Mary then  died and her body was entombed.  When St. Thomas arrived, the tomb was opened so that he could look upon her face, and the tomb was found to be empty.  These people did not embalm bodies so decay set in fairly fast, so this is possible if Thomas arrived  within a day after her death and burial.  The explanation for the empty tomb being that Lord Jesus resurrected His mother Mary and assumed her into heaven in her whole person.

The theological reason for the Assumption of Mary is that she is the Sinless One, the Pure One through whom God became man, who remained with her Son as He was murdered on the Cross, uniting her suffering in His suffering with His Sacrifice.  Being the Perfect Christian, Lord Jesus brings her into the state all members of His Body are destined to after His Manifestation in glory at the consummation of creation  and history, His re-uniting  of the dead with their bodies, the General Judgement and the creation of a new universe where "God is all in all".

All  ancient branches of the Church believe in the Assumption of Mary though only the Roman Catholic Church has defined it as a dogma (in 1950 by Pope Pius XII).

The early Church is conveyed clearly to us by the  writings of the Apostolic Fathers :

St. Clement of Rome (c. 90; martyred 101)
St. Ignatius of Antioch (martyred 107)
The Didache ("Teaching") of the Apostles (120 to 150)
St. Polycarp of Smyrna (martyred 159)
St Justin the Martyr of Rome (martyred 165)
St. Iraneus of Lyons (martyred 202)
St. Clement of Alexandria (d. 215)
Tertullian (d.c. 230)
St.  Hippolytus of Rome (martyred 235)
Origen of Alexandria (Martyred 254)
St. Cyprian of Carthage (martyred 258)

Not everything each wrote was correct; many doctrines were vague and undeveloped in this period and these men did make mistakes but all were noted for their holiness of life and most were willing to suffer martyrdom for their faith in Lord Jesus and should be honored for that alone.

The organization of the early church was around the bishop ("overseer") in each community with his deacons.  All Christians in a community would attend the Thanksgiving (Eucharist) offered by the Bishop on the Lord's Day (the first day of the week- Sun.).  When the number of Christians in a community became too large for all to attend the bishop's Thanksgiving, the bishop would ordain a deacon as a priest and he would offer Thanksgiving in another location.

To be continued.


The Sign of the Cross emerges very early, originally tracing a cross upon the forehead and repeating the baptismal prayer "In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

THE THANKSGING (EUCHARIST):
The original forms of the Thanksgiving (Eucharist) consisted in a confession of sin, readings from the Old Testament and the Gospels and Writings (Epistles and Acts). In some areas other writings were regarded as canonical such as the letters of St. Clement of Rome, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, Iraneus of Lyons, etc..  Then there would be intercessory prayers and  the Apostles Creed (which probably does date from the Apostles).  This would be followed by the Holy offering--Offertory, Consecration, Remembrance of the Sacrifice, descent, Resurrection and Ascension of Lord Jesus, and the Descent of Holy Spirit.  There was no set form of this; the bishop or priest would just pray in his own words, use the words of Lord Jesus for the Consecration, then complete the prayer in his own words.  Then all would receive Holy Communion
by recieving the Body of the Lord ,under the form of leavened bread, in the hand, and then drink from the chalice.  This would be followed by  a period of quiet worship and communion with the Lord, then the a prayer of thanksgiving and a final blessing.


Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire in 313 with the Edict of Milan by the Emperor Constantine.  Outside the Roman Empire  we had Christians in the Persian Empire (Persians in what is now Iran, Assyrians in what is now Irag-then part of the Persian Empire- and in N. India), Armenia, Georgia, The St. Thomas Christians in Kerala on the south-eastern coast of India, and Ethiopia.

The COUNCIL OF NICEA-325:
With legalization of the Christian faith, the Church had to deal with the Arian heresy.  The Arian heresy was started by a priest named Arius in Alexandria Egypt probably c. 315.  Arius taught that the Son is not God but is God's first and highest creature, who becomes man, dies to atone for our sins, resurrects and ascends to heaven.  Emperor Constantine called the Council of Nicea in 325,
which he was present at but did not preside over as he wasn't a Christian ; he wasn't baptized until he was on his deathbed in 337 and , as Emperor, was still  the high priest of the Roman pagan religion in 325.  St. Athanasius, the Patriarch of  Alexandria was the great defender of Orthodox,  of the Divinity of the Son and His Incarnation.  Nicea incorporated  into the Creed the words (in reference to the Son) "eternally begotten of the Father; God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten not created, One in Essence/Being with the Father; through Him all things were created""
 At Nicea the three primatial sees were declared to be , in order, Rome, Italy; Alexandria, Egypt; and Antioch, Syria.

THE COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE-381
A council of the Greek Church, called in response to the Macedonian heresy, which arose in northern Greece and apparently was fairly wide-spread throughout the Greek-speaking world.  The Macedonian heresy denied the Holy Spirit is God.  This Council added to the Creed the words: "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father; with the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified; He has spoken through the prophets".  This definition became accepted by Rome, Alexandria and Antioch.

At this council there was also an attempt to give the Bishop of Constantinople
precedence over all other bishops except the Bishop of Rome.  This canon was not then accepted by Rome, Alexandria or Antioch; the rejection by the 3 primatial sees made this canon void.

Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire in 313; it was favored by all of the Emperors, except Julian the Apostate in 360, but was not made the state religion of the Empire until 386, at which time probably half the Empire was Christian, concentrated in the Eastern Empire.  It is estimated by historians that, at the time of the Council of Nicea in 325, 65% of the worlds Christians were in west Asia, 25% in north Africa and 10% in Europe.

To be continued...
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« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2007, 09:18:34 PM »

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At this council there was also an attempt to give the Bishop of Constantinople precedence over all other bishops except the Bishop of Rome.  This canon was not then accepted by Rome, Alexandria or Antioch; the rejection by the 3 primatial sees made this canon void.

Can you give any references, 1) for the claim that Alexandria and Antioch rejected this canon, and 2) for the claim that the canon was considered void afterwards?
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« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2007, 10:18:07 PM »

Can you give any references, 1) for the claim that Alexandria and Antioch rejected this canon, and 2) for the claim that the canon was considered void afterwards?

Pretty obviously Alexandria and Antioch would not react kindly to Constantinople being elevated to 2nd. place after Rome, displacing them.  This was a good part of what caused the split of the Egyptian (Coptic)  and it's daughter Ethiopian Church, the Syrian Church and it's daughter  the Indian Church -St. Thomas Christians , and the  Armenian Church in 451 when that canon was passed again. There was a growing resentment  in those Churches of the domination by Constantinople.  This was as strong if not a stronger factor than their objection to the formula of Chalcedon that Lord Jesus is One Person (God the Son) in 2 natures (Divine and human), "not mingled nor separated.", prefering the teaching of St. Clement of Alexandria that Jesus is One Person (God the Son) in 2 natures (Divine and human) "in one nature."

The rule was that  Rome, Alexandria and Antioch had to accept pretty much anything for it to be accepted.  Their primacy established at Nicea implies that.
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« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2007, 11:55:52 AM »

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Pretty obviously Alexandria and Antioch would not react kindly to Constantinople being elevated to 2nd.

What you say may be true, especially the long term consequences, e.g., the division happening around the time of Chalcedon. And certainly Alexandria was especially hostile towards Constantinople; it would make no sense that they would accept it right away, they were the ones that had just (shortly before this council) tried to get Gregory the Theologian kicked out of Constantinople, and they had uncanonically tried to set up a rival bishop. And they were interfering with bishops of Constantinople for the next few generations. This to me has nothing to do with religious matters, it is about politics and worldly power. I'm curious as to what the actual Christans who were motivated by their faith thought? Antioch, on the other hand, was less obviously angry about this. First, it was those who assembled at Constantinople who had championed Meletius, who they even let preside over the council (until his death), and they refused to support the claimed bishops of Antioch that Alexandria and Rome backed. Then, only twenty years later, it was an Antiochian, John Chrysostom, who became Patriarch of Constantinople.

Quote
The rule was that  Rome, Alexandria and Antioch had to accept pretty much anything for it to be accepted.  Their primacy established at Nicea implies that.

Not all the early Christians believed that. Maximos, for example, is famous for saying that even if all five sees fell into heresy, he would still follow what he thought was the truth. But this is starting to get into a discussion on authority, which is a boondoggle I'm going to avoid.
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« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2007, 08:40:47 PM »

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prefering the teaching of St. Clement of Alexandria that Jesus is One Person (God the Son) in 2 natures (Divine and human) "in one nature."

While I do like to believe that St. Clement may have believed in the "mia physis" tradition, I believe the main recorded instance and authority would be St. Cyril of Alexandria.

God bless.

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« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2007, 09:42:42 PM »

What you say may be true, especially the long term consequences, e.g., the division happening around the time of Chalcedon. And certainly Alexandria was especially hostile towards Constantinople; it would make no sense that they would accept it right away, they were the ones that had just (shortly before this council) tried to get Gregory the Theologian kicked out of Constantinople, and they had uncanonically tried to set up a rival bishop. And they were interfering with bishops of Constantinople for the next few generations. This to me has nothing to do with religious matters, it is about politics and worldly power. I'm curious as to what the actual Christans who were motivated by their faith thought? Antioch, on the other hand, was less obviously angry about this. First, it was those who assembled at Constantinople who had championed Meletius, who they even let preside over the council (until his death), and they refused to support the claimed bishops of Antioch that Alexandria and Rome backed. Then, only twenty years later, it was an Antiochian, John Chrysostom, who became Patriarch of Constantinople.
Quote
Not all the early Christians believed that. Maximos, for example, is famous for saying that even if all five sees fell into heresy, he would still follow what he thought was the truth. But this is starting to get into a discussion on authority, which is a boondoggle I'm going to avoid.

Maximos lived in the 600's, quite  a while after the period I'm talking about.  However I agree with him; if I'm  sincerely seeking the Lord's will ,being totally honest with myself and disagreed with the 5 Sees  I would follow what I thought was the truth.
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« Reply #42 on: January 15, 2007, 11:47:14 PM »

The Sign of the Cross emerges very early, originally tracing a cross upon the forehead and repeating the baptismal prayer "In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

THE THANKSGING (EUCHARIST):
The original forms of the Thanksgiving (Eucharist) consisted in a confession of sin, readings from the Old Testament and the Gospels and Writings (Epistles and Acts). In some areas other writings were regarded as canonical such as the letters of St. Clement of Rome, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, Iraneus of Lyons, etc..  Then there would be intercessory prayers and  the Apostles Creed (which probably does date from the Apostles).  This would be followed by the Holy offering--Offertory, Consecration, Remembrance of the Sacrifice, descent, Resurrection and Ascension of Lord Jesus, and the Descent of Holy Spirit.  There was no set form of this; the bishop or priest would just pray in his own words, use the words of Lord Jesus for the Consecration, then complete the prayer in his own words.  Then all would receive Holy Communion
by recieving the Body of the Lord ,under the form of leavened bread, in the hand, and then drink from the chalice.  This would be followed by  a period of quiet worship and communion with the Lord, then the a prayer of thanksgiving and a final blessing.


Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire in 313 with the Edict of Milan by the Emperor Constantine.  Outside the Roman Empire  we had Christians in the Persian Empire (Persians in what is now Iran, Assyrians in what is now Irag-then part of the Persian Empire- and in N. India), Armenia, Georgia, The St. Thomas Christians in Kerala on the south-eastern coast of India, and Ethiopia.

The COUNCIL OF NICEA-325:
With legalization of the Christian faith, the Church had to deal with the Arian heresy.  The Arian heresy was started by a priest named Arius in Alexandria Egypt probably c. 315.  Arius taught that the Son is not God but is God's first and highest creature, who becomes man, dies to atone for our sins, resurrects and ascends to heaven.  Emperor Constantine called the Council of Nicea in 325,
which he was present at but did not preside over as he wasn't a Christian ; he wasn't baptized until he was on his deathbed in 337 and , as Emperor, was still  the high priest of the Roman pagan religion in 325.  St. Athanasius, the Patriarch of  Alexandria was the great defender of Orthodox,  of the Divinity of the Son and His Incarnation.  Nicea incorporated  into the Creed the words (in reference to the Son) "eternally begotten of the Father; God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten not created, One in Essence/Being with the Father; through Him all things were created""
 At Nicea the three primatial sees were declared to be , in order, Rome, Italy; Alexandria, Egypt; and Antioch, Syria.

THE COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE-381
A council of the Greek Church, called in response to the Macedonian heresy, which arose in northern Greece and apparently was fairly wide-spread throughout the Greek-speaking world.  The Macedonian heresy denied the Holy Spirit is God.  This Council added to the Creed the words: "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father; with the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified; He has spoken through the prophets".  This definition became accepted by Rome, Alexandria and Antioch.

At this council there was also an attempt to give the Bishop of Constantinople
precedence over all other bishops except the Bishop of Rome.  This canon was not then accepted by Rome, Alexandria or Antioch; the rejection by the 3 primatial sees made this canon void.

Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire in 313; it was favored by all of the Emperors, except Julian the Apostate in 360, but was not made the state religion of the Empire until 386, at which time probably half the Empire was Christian, concentrated in the Eastern Empire.  It is estimated by historians that, at the time of the Council of Nicea in 325, 65% of the worlds Christians were in west Asia, 25% in north Africa and 10% in Europe.

To be continued...

The See of Rome was the center of the Church in Europe and the West coast of Africa due to the Italian colinies there.  In Europe there was a Greek-Rite Church centered in Rome where the language of worship was Greek until 383 when Pope Damasus changed it to the Latin that had  begun displacing Greek as the lingua franca in western Europe from c.  250 on.  The Latin  Rite of Rome  began it's independent development at this point.

Constantinople was established on the site of the city of Byzantium by Constantine who transferred his capital there in 336.  The Greek Byzantine Rite
of Constantinople began it's independent development from this point.

From c. 250 on there was a steady immigration of West Syrian Christians to Malabar in south-western India where the St. Thomas Christians were.  They were fleeing persecution in the Roman Empire and this immigration continued at least until the legalization of Christianity in 313.  The Syrians eventually out-numbered the Indian Christians, intermarried with them and brought the St. Thomas Christians under the West Syrian Church.

By the late 100's 2 theological centers had emerged in the Church--Alexandria and Antioch.  These remained the main centers of theology until the split in 451 when the the vast bulk of the Egyptian (Coptic) and  West Syrian (Aramaic-Syriac) Churches split from the Greco-Roman Church.  The first major Greek Fathers were Sts. Basil (+379) his brother Gregory of Nyssa (+c.395) and Gregory of Nazianzen (+388)--known as the Cappodocian Fathers after their province in Asia Minor.



Council of Ephesus-431
Called to address the spread of Nestoriansim, named for Nestorius, Archbishop of Constantinople who made such a distinction between the Divine and human natures in Lord Jesus, he conveyed 2 separate persons and therefore Mary could only be called Mother of Christ, not Mother of God.  This Council condemned Nestorius' teaching and solemnly defined that Mary is truly Mother of God/God-bearer (Theotokos).  The Church  of the East in the Persian Empire and northern India embraced this teaching though it took centuries for it to percolate through that Church.  The major motivation seems to have been that they were a Christian minority in the Zoroastrian Persian Empire, the great enemy of the Roman Empire.  It wasn't to their benefit or survival to be associated with the official Church of the Roman Empire so they were very motivated to split and appear to have used the Nestorian controversy as a good excuse to split off.

The Council of Chalcedon-451

Called to deal with the teaching of Eutyches, that there were 2 natures before the incarnation, one after.  Eutyches didn't make sense as before the Incarnation (the conception of God the Son's human nature) there was only God the Son, there was no human nature at all, which began to exist when God the Son , through God the Holy Spirit, entered an egg in the womb of the Holy Virgin Mary, creating His own human soul-body (nature) in Nazareth, Galilee, developed in her for 9 months and was born from her in Bethlehem, Judea.  In esence Eutyches was teaching adoptionism and made 2 Persons of Lord Jesus--a Divine and a human.

The Council stated  that Jesus is One Person in 2 natures-Divine and human, "not mingled, nor separated."

The Egyptian (it's daughter Church the Ethiopian), Syrian (it's daughter Church, the Indian) and Armenian Churches objected to the statement that after the Incarnation  the 2 natures were separated.  Their focus seems to have been the theandric union in Lord Jesus.  Jesus being One Person, His Divine and human natures are united in His Person.  The teaching "not mingled, nor separated" is an antinomy.  If 2 natures are not mixed AND not separated, what are they ?  This antinomy is meant to take our consiousness of Lord Jesus to a higher level; to take us to Him and away from thinking about Him, away from  theologizing to relationship with Him.
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« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2007, 04:02:33 AM »

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In esence Eutyches was teaching adoptionism and made 2 Persons of Lord Jesus--a Divine and a human.

I don't get it  Huh

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say docetism?
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