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Author Topic: Orthodoxy and Non-denominationalism  (Read 12450 times) Average Rating: 0
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ozgeorge
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« on: October 06, 2007, 09:22:25 AM »

Good for you. Roll Eyes
We're Christians here though, so
1) We hold what the Apostles taught us
2) We do not accept Aramaic Primacy
3) We strive for theosis (we don;t say we are theosed)
4) We celebrate the Feasts of the Christian Church
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2007, 09:48:20 AM »

Complete contradiction in terms. You cannot "live by the Bible" and not be "within the Church", since the Epistles are addressed to the Church. Therefore, you cannot even be Christian. There is no such thing as a Christian outside of the Church.

I never said that I wasn't a member of the Church (as in the Body Of Christ). If I am born-again through Jesus Christ and I am committed to Him, than I am a member of the Church. What I'm saying is that I'm not a member of the Orthodox Church. The Church is the Body Of Christ which consists of everyone that is a born-again Christian who puts their faith in Jesus. I'm not talking about the Church as in the Orthodox Church, which is a denomination of Christianity. 
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2007, 09:56:18 AM »

If I am born-again through Jesus Christ and I am committed to Him, than I am a member of the Church.
Hogwash. The second birth is Baptism, through which we die with Christ and rise with Him to enter the Church.
I'm not talking about the Church as in the Orthodox Church, which is a denomination of Christianity. 
Hogwash. How can the Orthodox Church be a denomination if it existed since AD 33 and is therefore pre-denominational?

The Church of the Bible shares One Cup and One Bread.  There is One Lord, One Faith One Baptism. There is only One Church, and it's visible boundaries are the Baptised who share Holy Communion with one another.
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2007, 10:47:35 AM »

Just to be sure . . . you aren't saying Christians outside your church are not Christians, are you?

I guess what OzGeorge is saying is that there is no such thig as "your" Church and "my" Church - there is only one Church, visible, tangible, hierarchical, with one Bread and one Cup. Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2007, 12:45:53 PM »

Hogwash. The second birth is Baptism, through which we die with Christ and rise with Him to enter the Church. Hogwash. How can the Orthodox Church be a denomination if it existed since AD 33 and is therefore pre-denominational?
I have been baptized, by the Holy Spirit and through immersion in water.
You believe that the Orthodox Church originated from the Apostles in A.D. 33, but I don't necessarily think so. I don't know if you have any real proof to that, and if you don't, then it's simply a matter of opinion. I have done a little research of it and I don't have any proof that the Orthodox Church really did originate from the Apostles. But, if it did, that doesn't necessarily mean that the Orthodox Church is the "true church." It seems obvious to me that there are some false doctrines within the Orthodox church. I believe that you can be a member of the Orthodox Church and be a Christian, though I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. But, there are definitely some doctrines within the Orthodox Church that are not Biblical. That's why I believe that there is no particular Christian sect or denomination that is perfect, as far as I know. 

Acts 20:29-30: "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves." (NKJV)

Quote
The Church of the Bible shares One Cup and One Bread.  There is One Lord, One Faith One Baptism. There is only One Church, and it's visible boundaries are the Baptised who share Holy Communion with one another.
That's exactly what I'm saying. There is only one Church and I am a member of the Church.

Just to be sure . . . you aren't saying Christians outside your church are not Christians, are you?
No, I'm not saying that one has to attend the particular church building that I attend in order to be Christian. A true Christian is one that is reborn through Christ and puts their faith in Him. That is what gets you saved and that is what I believe. There are many different Christian sects and denominations. I don't think any of them are perfect. The only thing that is perfect is Jesus and His Word.

You my friend, are a Protestant who believes that faith which you have been taught.
Though you might think so because I do not belong to the Orthodox Church or Roman Catholic Church, I am not Protestant. I am also not a Seventh Day Adventist. I do not adhere to a particular Christian sect or denomination's beliefs. I strive to follow the Bible. I am non-denominational Christian. I simply call myself Christian, a Child Of God and member of the Body Of Christ.

Now (and I realise this may cause some debate even on these forums), I affirm that history strongly suggest that Jesus Christ our Lord and King was indeed born on Christmas Day (ie the 25th of December- according to the Julian calendar). I know this may astonish you and had somebody told me the same not too many years ago I would have marvelled at him; yet I would have been bound for the Truth's sake to seek out why he would say such a thing.
The Bible does not say the date that Jesus was born, so I don't know 100% whether it was on december 25th or any other day. But, since I've been saved, I have come across much information on the topic and have come to the belief that it's not on december 25th. I've have seen much information from different sources that has convinced me that he was not born on december 25th. However, the date is not important because it's not in the Bible, so it's really more a matter of opinion. The important thing is that He was born.

yes halloween is evil, we don't believe that MS Encarta Encyclopedia is infallible so quoting from it won't win you any particular support around here. Just look up the history of man and read about evolution and you may not think its version of history is so reliable either.
Of course, you don't have to believe MS Encarta Encyclopedia if you don't want to. I don't go and believe everything I read or hear about (except the Bible). One of the reasons why I mentioned that there are many different sources to finding out the history of halloween is so that you will be encouraged to find out for yourself about it. The MS Encarta Encyclopedia is simply one source. I could have easily quoted from another.

Aint this thread supposed to be about Spooks and sweets and whether we should suffer suckers who solicit our sweet stuffs on Samhain sourly?
I can understand the diversion from our prostestant friend, but still.  Lets get back to candy and costumes, m' cay?  Smiley
I understand. This thread is supposed to be about halloween. That's what I originally wrote about and it ended up turning into a different topic. Btw, I'm not Protestant.

 
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2007, 12:53:59 PM »

+ Irini nem ehmot,

I love the irony found in the words, 'non-denominational Christian'.  Wouldn't classifying yourself as non-denominational be a denomination in and of itself?
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2007, 01:08:18 PM »

+ Irini nem ehmot,

I love the irony found in the words, 'non-denominational Christian'.  Wouldn't classifying yourself as non-denominational be a denomination in and of itself?

Only in the same way that, for example, atheists don't believe in God, but they have chosen to believe a god that they have created in their own minds to suit themselves. Their "god" is that there is no God and they live their life according to that belief. Many of them believe in the "big bang theory" and the "theory of evolution." And in that way you could look at them as following their own "religion" or "denomination."
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2007, 01:51:08 PM »

I have been baptized, by the Holy Spirit and through immersion in water.
You believe that the Orthodox Church originated from the Apostles in A.D. 33, but I don't necessarily think so. I don't know if you have any real proof to that, and if you don't, then it's simply a matter of opinion. I have done a little research of it and I don't have any proof that the Orthodox Church really did originate from the Apostles. But, if it did, that doesn't necessarily mean that the Orthodox Church is the "true church." It seems obvious to me that there are some false doctrines within the Orthodox church. I believe that you can be a member of the Orthodox Church and be a Christian, though I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. But, there are definitely some doctrines within the Orthodox Church that are not Biblical. That's why I believe that there is no particular Christian sect or denomination that is perfect, as far as I know.

You do realize, of course, that that the Orthodox Church wrote that Bible, right?  When the Church compiled the canon of scripture, she ensured that the books selected were in accord with the teachings of the Apostles.  The question for the Church isn't "is it Biblical?" but rather "is it Apostolic?" because the question she asked when compiling scripture was "is it Apostolic?"  The Bible didn't produce the Church; the Church produced the Bible. 
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2007, 01:53:50 PM »

You do realize, of course, that that the Orthodox Church wrote that Bible, right?  When the Church compiled the canon of scripture, she ensured that the books selected were in accord with the teachings of the Apostles.  The question for the Church isn't "is it Biblical?" but rather "is it Apostolic?" because the question she asked when compiling scripture was "is it Apostolic?"  The Bible didn't produce the Church; the Church produced the Bible. 

No. Zondervan Publishing House did!  Cheesy
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2007, 01:57:34 PM »

yes halloween is evil, grace and peace be with you dear searcher. Whether you call yourself a Protestant or not does not change what you are but if it will make you happy then I will not call you one. Coming from a Seventh Day Baptist background I am well aware who the SDAs received their teachings regarding the Sabbath from also Wink
It is good that you call yourself a Christian but unless you are able to connect your baptism with the Apostles then I am afraid that you actually have no right to call yourself a Christian any more than a Mormon or a JW does. Do you consider these to be Christians also?

Regarding the Lord's birthday, practically every iota of information which floats about Protestant circles regarding this issues stems from Hislop's work. If you haven't read Hislops work then you have probably just read different people quoting him anyway. For a start, do you know that there are shepherd in that part of the world who keep their sheep in the field all year round? Are you aware of how many ancient records state that Christ was born on the 25th of one month or another? Some mistakenly transfered the date to their own local calendars and thus came up with what would appear to us to be random dates but even before the census records were made available to Christians (at which time Christ's birth date was confirmed) it was known by some here and there who had received The Faith when our Lord Jesus was born - the 25th of December. The Biblical record also (when examined correctly and not with misunderstanding as those who date the Lord's birth to about the Feast of Tabernacles or other such dates do so) attests that the Lord ought to have been born about this time. Agreed though that the Holy Bible does not state the exact date nor is it a matter neccessary for salvation. Hence my noting that even many here may disagree if they haven't thoroughly read history on this topic. {On a side note, I'm hoping to create a page about this hopefully around November once I have some free time. I'll let you know once it's launched God-willing.}

You are right that you can quote others and please don't think I was objecting to what the MS Encarta was saying about this topic. I was simply letting you know that many may not regard it for this reason. Make sense?

Regarding baptism again, where you baptised by triple immersion? I believe the word "βαπτιζοντες" (baptizing in St. Matthew 28:19) is plural. (Somebody with greater Greek knowledge confirm this please?) Did you also receive the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands (which is the mystery of chrismation in the Orthodox Church)?

From the perspective of The Church which Jesus builds (that is the one holy, catholic and Apostolic Church), The Church is the Ark of Salvation. Just as none survived the great flood without the ark so too can none be saved without The Church. While being shipwreaked St. Paul noted a similar thing to those with him, "Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved."

You said, "I am a member of the Church." In that case, St. Ignatius (the disciple of St. John the Beloved of the Lord) has these words for you, "Wherefore it is fitting that ye should run together in accordance with the will of your bishop" (Epistle of St. Ignatius to the Ephesians, ch. IV). Again, "It is fitting, then, not only to be called Christians, but to be so in reality: as some indeed give one the title of bishop, but do all things without him. Now such persons seem to me to be not possessed of a good conscience... be ye united with your bishop" (Epistle of St. Ignatius to the Magnesians, ch. IV-VI). And again, "Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop" (Epistle of St. Ignatius to the Smyrnæans, ch. VIII).
So then my friend, if you are a true member of the Christian Church, who is your bishop? Mine is His Grace Anba Daniel, Coptic Orthodox Diocesan Bishop of Sydney, New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Teritory, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Kingdom of Thailand, Japan, China and affiliated regions, who is in full cannonical communion with His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, Patriarch and Lord Archbishop of the Great City of Alexandria and the See of St. Mark being the 117th Successor of St. Mark the Apostle. (If you would like the list I can send it to you upon request.) The Faith we received from St. Mark is the Faith we keep today and forever unchanged.

My friend, though you may not now believe me, I was once like you are now and I know that it's not easy to find the original Church against which the gates of hell/hades will never prevail in such an unexpected place, but by the grace of God and for the love of His Son please, consider what it is you are now doing. For if we are all mad fools you lose nothing, but if the words I speak be truth then you stand at what may well just be the greatest fork in the road of your spiritual journey until now.
Have you read much of the writings of the disciples of the Apostles? Those of St. Clement or of St. Polycarp's martyrdom or have you read any of St. Justin Martyr's writings?

Look forward to hearing from you again but perhaps starting another thread under "Faith Issues" or "Convert Issues" would be more appropriate than continuing in here. Otherwise, my offer stands for discussions outside of this site if you would prefer. Also, have you seen my personal message to you yet? If not, please click on "My Messages" near the top of the screen to find it. Thank you.

Whatever you decide, by the mercy of Christ may you see the Light of the World in that Day.

Please keep sinners like me in your prayers. Thank you.

(Note: I wrote the above before the threads were split. Does anyone else seen the name of the thread as something rather strange with lots of "\\\\"? Is this an error sorry?)
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2007, 01:59:52 PM »

No, God wrote the Bible, and then once he was finished with it by the fourth century, he presented it to the Christians to use as the sole foundation of apostolic truth. Then he gave the Holy Spirit a much-deserved thousand-year vacation until, impatient that those pesky Catholics and Orthodox didn't get the hint, gave Sola Scriptura to Martin Luther.
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2007, 02:06:29 PM »

The Bible didn't produce the Church; the Church produced the Bible. 

Exactly Cool People without The Church who believe the Holy Bible often don't realise that they are already accepting the Holy Tradition of The Church by doing so.

lubeltri, with all due respect, your mockery is unlikely to assist the salvation of this seeking soul so may I please kindly ask you to keep your chuckles to yourself at least for the moment. We all see these points but we must put the salvation of a soul above our own amusement.
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To clarify, God inspired men within The Church to write the Holy Bible.
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2007, 02:07:49 PM »

who is your bishop? Mine is His Grace Anba Daniel, Coptic Orthodox Diocesan Bishop of Sydney, New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Teritory, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Kingdom of Thailand, Japan, China and affiliated regions,

Wow, that's one big diocese!
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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2007, 02:11:36 PM »

Wow, that's one big diocese!

Think I missed a few places but it's standard to say "and affiliated regions" due to small missions here and there anyway.

His Grace Anba Daniel is Bishop of the largest Coptic Diocese in the world in terms of area I believe.
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2007, 02:15:06 PM »

lubeltri, with all due respect, your mockery is unlikely to assist the salvation of this seeking soul so may I please kindly ask you to keep your chuckles to yourself at least for the moment. We all see these points but we must put the salvation of a soul above our own amusement.

I certainly was not mocking or getting my own amusement. I was making a point. It seems I am one of the few particpatingin this thread to consider our friend a Christian, so I'm certainly not dismissive towards him. But what I wrote is precisely the rope that pulled me to Catholicism. The implications of it do not make sense, as my little narrative (a boiled-down version of a the common Protestant/Evangelical perspective) illustrates. I suppose God could do things that way, but it does not seem like a reasonable God would do that. I could not get around it.  
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« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2007, 02:28:17 PM »

lubeltri, please forgive my misinterpretation of your words. I often fail to notice points like the one you were making unless somebody spells it out for me sorry. Now that you have explained your reasoning I understand and thank you for doing so Smiley Reasoning for the Orthodox would be the same. Do you believe our new friend who believes in Jesus Christ would understand what you meant though without explanation?

If I may request it please, would you mind PMing me your religious background and how you became a Catholic along with your views on the Orthodox Church?

Thank you and pray for me my friend.
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« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2007, 02:36:06 PM »

No, I'm not saying that one has to attend the particular church building that I attend in order to be Christian. A true Christian is one that is reborn through Christ and puts their faith in Him. That is what gets you saved and that is what I believe. There are many different Christian sects and denominations. I don't think any of them are perfect. The only thing that is perfect is Jesus and His Word.

Don't worry, my question wasn't directed at you.

Quote
Btw, I'm not Protestant.

I get you. The only communions properly called "Protestant" are those 16th-century denominations formed when groups broke with the Catholic Church in the 16th century. Most of the mainline versions of these denominations today have beefs more with the Catholics' traditional moral teachings than with Sacred Tradition, sacerdotalism or other Catholic distinctives (which many could care less about). Though there are conservative remnants and nonconformist descendants (mostly Reformed) who are still fighting the Reformation fight---they can be called Protestants. You are among the growing non-denom Christians, mostly Evangelical in character, am I right? Do you worship in a church building (like my father and brother and some friends of miine) or are you part of a house church (like my roommate and other friends?

Welcome to the board, BTW.
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2007, 02:43:49 PM »

lubeltri, please forgive my misinterpretation of your words. I often fail to notice points like the one you were making unless somebody spells it out for me sorry. Now that you have explained your reasoning I understand and thank you for doing so Smiley Reasoning for the Orthodox would be the same. Do you believe our new friend who believes in Jesus Christ would understand what you meant though without explanation?

If I may request it please, would you mind PMing me your religious background and how you became a Catholic along with your views on the Orthodox Church?

Thank you and pray for me my friend.

No problem, brother. Will do.
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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2007, 03:45:31 PM »

Look forward to hearing from you again but perhaps starting another thread under "Faith Issues" or "Convert Issues" would be more appropriate than continuing in here.
Actually, after the go-round we had recently in the Faith Issues section, encouraging yes halloween is evil to start a thread there is very probably NOT a good idea.  Since we don't have a board for discussions between Orthodox and Protestants/Evangelicals/whatever-they-call-themselves-nowadays, I would probably have to kick his posts back out to Free-For-All to allow for less distracted discussions of subjects pertaining to the Orthodox Christian faith in the Faith board.
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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2007, 03:47:22 PM »

Which is why I left this split here in FFA.
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« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2007, 03:48:44 PM »

Actually, after the go-round we had recently in the Faith Issues section, encouraging yes, halloween is evil to start a thread there is very probably NOT a good idea.  Since we don't have an Orthodox-Protestant board, I would probably have to kick his posts back out to Free-For-All to allow for less distracted discussions of subjects pertaining to the Orthodox Christian faith in the Faith board.

I suppose that raises the question of whether we should have an Orthodox-Protestant board.  Given that we have an EO-OO board and an Orthodox-Catholic board, it would seem to make sense to have one for Protestants as well, which would deal with the issue of where to keep those threads.
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« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2007, 03:51:17 PM »

I suppose that raises the question of whether we should have an Orthodox-Protestant board.  Given that we have an EO-OO board and an Orthodox-Catholic board, it would seem to make sense to have one for Protestants as well, which would deal with the issue of where to keep those threads.
Well, I s'pose we can petition Anastasios and FrChris to give us such a board.
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« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2007, 04:19:06 PM »

It would be nice to have more Protestants/Evangelicals here. I agree about a board for that. You DO have some converts from these groups.
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« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2007, 05:13:58 PM »

It seems I am one of the few particpatingin this thread to consider our friend a Christian,   

I do consider him a Christian, too; I believe that everyone who has been baptized in the name of the Trinity is a Christian. I just think that Protestants are "catechumens" still.
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« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2007, 05:14:14 PM »

Well, I s'pose we can petition Anastasios and FrChris to give us such a board.

The more I think about this, the better I like this idea.

Welcome some input here.
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« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2007, 05:15:22 PM »

I do consider him a Christian, too; I believe that everyone who has been baptized in the name of the Trinity is a Christian. I just think that Protestants are "catechumens" still.

Now THAT could be a post-of-the-month nomination...
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« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2007, 05:16:16 PM »

I do consider him a Christian, too; I believe that everyone who has been baptized in the name of the Trinity is a Christian. I just think that Protestants are "catechumens" still. 

Interesting position.... Better than many.
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« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2007, 06:43:31 PM »

yes halloween is evil, grace and peace be with you dear searcher. Whether you call yourself a Protestant or not does not change what you are but if it will make you happy then I will not call you one. Coming from a Seventh Day Baptist background I am well aware who the SDAs received their teachings regarding the Sabbath from also Wink
It is good that you call yourself a Christian but unless you are able to connect your baptism with the Apostles then I am afraid that you actually have no right to call yourself a Christian any more than a Mormon or a JW does. Do you consider these to be Christians also?
I have been baptized by the Holy Spirit when I became born-again. Then, I went to a church and received a baptism there in front of the congregation, including the church elders, in which hands were laid on me by the pastor and I was fully immersed in water. That is Apostolic.
I do believe that anyone that is born-again through Jesus and puts their faith in Him is saved and is therefore Christian. I don't think any Christian sect or denomination is perfect. Therefore, if someone that is a Mormon or JW is saved, then they are saved through and through even though many Mormon and JW teachings are messed up. Actually, I look upon Orthodox Christians in a similar light. Only God knows each and every heart, and if they are truly saved. Do you honestly think that Peter, Paul, John or any of the other Apostles would tell someone on the other side of the world that they are not Christian because the Apostles don't have a church set up where that person lives even though that person has truly repented of their sins, believed that God raised Jesus from the dead and puts their faith in Him? Of course not.

1 Peter 3:21-22: "There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him." (NKJV)

Romans 10:9: "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (NKJV)

Regarding the Lord's birthday, practically every iota of information which floats about Protestant circles regarding this issues stems from Hislop's work. If you haven't read Hislops work then you have probably just read different people quoting him anyway. For a start, do you know that there are shepherd in that part of the world who keep their sheep in the field all year round? Are you aware of how many ancient records state that Christ was born on the 25th of one month or another? Some mistakenly transfered the date to their own local calendars and thus came up with what would appear to us to be random dates but even before the census records were made available to Christians (at which time Christ's birth date was confirmed) it was known by some here and there who had received The Faith when our Lord Jesus was born - the 25th of December. The Biblical record also (when examined correctly and not with misunderstanding as those who date the Lord's birth to about the Feast of Tabernacles or other such dates do so) attests that the Lord ought to have been born about this time. Agreed though that the Holy Bible does not state the exact date nor is it a matter neccessary for salvation. Hence my noting that even many here may disagree if they haven't thoroughly read history on this topic. {On a side note, I'm hoping to create a page about this hopefully around November once I have some free time. I'll let you know once it's launched God-willing.}
That's nice information to know. However, I still disagree that it is december 25th. But, my sources do not only come from writing. I once saw a programme on television in which a man went out to discover the story of the magi coming to worship the Lord. He looked into the Bible. He looked into the calendar system. He and someone else performed some pretty advanced scientific type of stuff on computers in which he studied the magi's astrology and traced those astrological periods. All of this is a very brief explanation and I don't remember all of it. But, they came to the conclusion that Jesus was probably actually born in the spring in march. I very much don't believe that he was born on december 25th and I thought that it was common knowledge to many Christians. Also, the Roman Catholic Church instituted Christmas on december 25th probably because that was a major pagan "holiday" of the winter solstice and the Roman Catholic Church wanted people to join with them instead. So they decided to create their own man-made tradition and instituted the observance of christmas on that day. They did the same thing with substituting halloween with all saint's day/all soul's day and they've done that with other days as well.

You said, "I am a member of the Church." In that case, St. Ignatius (the disciple of St. John the Beloved of the Lord) has these words for you, "Wherefore it is fitting that ye should run together in accordance with the will of your bishop" (Epistle of St. Ignatius to the Ephesians, ch. IV). Again, "It is fitting, then, not only to be called Christians, but to be so in reality: as some indeed give one the title of bishop, but do all things without him. Now such persons seem to me to be not possessed of a good conscience... be ye united with your bishop" (Epistle of St. Ignatius to the Magnesians, ch. IV-VI). And again, "Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop" (Epistle of St. Ignatius to the Smyrnæans, ch. VIII). So then my friend, if you are a true member of the Christian Church, who is your bishop?
My local church and fellowship of believers doesn't have a bishop, although I think it would be good to because the Bible speaks of the churches as having such. However, most churches don't seem to have bishops as far as I can tell. So, there isn't much I can do about it. My local church fellowship has a Pastor and deacons. I don't know the writings of Ignatius as it's not in the Bible. But, I found a quote from Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 6:1, "Plainly therefore we ought to regard the bishop as the Lord Himself." So, if I were to go on that then I would say that the Lord Himself is my Bishop. But either way, I don't agree that one needs a church bishop to be saved/to be a member of the Church aka the Body Of Christ nor to have a good conscience. Jesus is my Light, Jesus is my Guide, Jesus is my Redeemer, Jesus is my Teacher, Jesus is my Beloved and Jesus is my God. It's all about Jesus. The LORD is the head of the Church, not the bishop. He's simply a leader within a church fellowship and a shepherd of the flock whilst Jesus is the Chief Shepherd of the flock. The most important thing is to be saved and if one is then they truly are a full-fledged member of the Church aka Body of Christ.
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« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2007, 06:57:43 PM »

That is Apostolic.
How do you know what Apostolic is?  Reading the Bible in total separation from the 1st-4th Century Church that compiled it and inserting your own 20th-21st Century ideas into your exegesis won't show you this.
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« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2007, 07:09:47 PM »

I have been baptized by the Holy Spirit when I became born-again. Then, I went to a church and received a baptism there in front of the congregation, including the church elders, in which hands were laid on me by the pastor and I was fully immersed in water. That is Apostolic.
I do believe that anyone that is born-again through Jesus and puts their faith in Him is saved and is therefore Christian. I don't think any Christian sect or denomination is perfect. Therefore, if someone that is a Mormon or JW is saved, then they are saved through and through even though many Mormon and JW teachings are messed up. Actually, I look upon Orthodox Christians in a similar light. Only God knows each and every heart, and if they are truly saved.

1 Peter 3:21-22: "There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him."

I don't know if you've been able to read between the lines of the responses you've been receiving yet or not, so I'll try to clarify a fundamental problem with this debate. You seem to think the point of the Christian life is salvation, but while even amongst the Orthodox there's a broad spectrum of belief about salvation (anywhere from Nyssa's Apokatastasis to a Cyprian's 'no salvation outside the Church' approach) most everyone would agree that salvation is not the ultimate goal of the Christian life, but rather growth in Christ and becomming more god-like is the goal, it is assumed that the Christian life leads one beyond mere salvation. As long as you hold some single act of salvation, that is to say getting into heaven, as the ultimate soteriological goal, you will be addressing this discussion from a perspective foreign to Orthodox and will be perceived as being overly simplistic about something as complex as the mind of God. And before you get into the I'm a persecuted martyr mindset, remember, this is just a message board, if you're not communicating and are failing on a rhetorical level, you're not giving your position justice.

Quote
That's nice information to know. However, I still disagree that it is december 25th. But, my sources do not only come from writing. I once saw a programme on television in which a man went out to discover the story of the magi coming to worship the Lord. He looked into the Bible. He looked into the calendar system. He and someone else performed some pretty advanced scientific type of stuff on computers in which he studied the magi's astrology and traced those astrological periods. All of this is a very brief explanation and I don't remember all of it. But, they came to the conclusion that Jesus was probably actually born in the spring in march. I very much don't believe that he was born on december 25th and I thought that it was common knowledge to many Christians. Also, the Roman Catholic Church instituted Christmas on december 25th probably because that was a major pagan "holiday" of the winter solstice and the Roman Catholic Church wanted people to join with them instead. So they decided to create their own man-made tradition and instituted the observance of christmas on that day. They did the same thing with substituting halloween with all saint's day/all soul's day and they've done that with other days as well.

This kind of an argument may fly on other boards you're familiar with, but aruging a point because 'a programme on televisions in which a man...[did]...some pretty advanced scientific type of stuff on computers' isn't going to cut it. Granted, people try to make these poor arguments from time to time but they should expect to be called out on it. Not even saying that I disagree with you on the dating, I think there's enough data available to rule one way or the other, and quite frankly believe the question to be irrelevant to the celebration of feasts. But poor arguments and bad rhetoric cannot be allowed to slide by unnoticed.

Quote
My local church and fellowship of believers doesn't have a bishop, although I think it would be good to because the Bible speaks of the churches as having such. However, most churches don't seem to have bishops as far as I can tell. So, there isn't much I can do about it. My local church fellowship has a Pastor and deacons. I don't know the writings of Ignatius as it's not in the Bible. But, I found a quote from Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 6:1, "Plainly therefore we ought to regard the bishop as the Lord Himself." So, if I were to go on that then I would say that the Lord Himself is my Bishop. But either way, I don't agree that one needs a church bishop to be saved/to be a member of the Church aka the Body Of Christ nor to have a good conscience. Jesus is my Light, Jesus is my Guide, Jesus is my Redeemer, Jesus is my Teacher, Jesus is my Beloved and Jesus is my God. It's all about Jesus. The LORD is the head of the Church, not the bishop. He's simply a leader within a church fellowship and a shepherd of the flock whilst Jesus is the Chief Shepherd of the flock. The most important thing is to be saved and if one is then they truly are a full-fledged member of the Church aka Body of Christ.

'Regard the bishop as the Lord Himself,' NOT 'Regard the Lord Himself as the bishop.' Word order matters in English, in the original Greek it's less important but the inflection makes the meaning clear. Wink
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« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2007, 07:11:55 PM »

How do you know what Apostolic is?  Reading the Bible in total separation from the 1st-4th Century Church that compiled it and inserting your own 20th-21st Century ideas into your exegesis won't show you this.

What 20th-21st century ideas are you talking about? The writings included in the NT were written in the 1st Century AD. That is what I read and that is what I know. Therefore, I know what Apostlic is. The Apostles that spoke and recorded the words included in the Bible were from the 1 Century A.D. not the 2, 3 or 4th century A.D. I could easily say that you're reading the Bible and perhaps some other questionable documents with a 20th-21th Century mindset and therefore how could you ever understand it. I understand the Bible because of the Holy Spirit inside of me. Is not the Holy Spirit the one that guides us and helps us in our Christian walk? Is not Jesus our Great Teacher? "But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ." (Matthew 23:8-10 NKJV)

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« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2007, 07:24:52 PM »

What 20th-21st century ideas are you talking about? The writings included in the NT were written in the 1st Century AD. That is what I read and that is what I know. Therefore, I know what Apostlic is. The Apostles that spoke and recorded the words included in the Bible were from the 1 Century A.D. not the 2, 3 or 4th century A.D. I could easily say that you're reading the Bible and perhaps some other questionable documents with a 20th-21th Century mindset and therefore how could you ever understand it. I understand the Bible because of the Holy Spirit inside of me. Is not the Holy Spirit the one that guides us and helps us in our Christian walk? Is not Jesus our Great Teacher? "But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ." (Matthew 23:8-10 NKJV)

I believe the point was that nothing can be understood in a vacuum, many in the Orthodox Church make the same mistake when reading our Church Fathers, they read them like protestants read the Bible, as though it stands on its own. Of course, they don't, just as the Bible doesn't. When someone writes a document of any sort there are several complex contexts: cultural, political, social, ethical, religious, linguistic, economic, etc. If one does not understand these contexts (which were very different during the 1-4th centuries than they are today), they can't truly understand the essence of the writing, they end up interpreting it through their own experiences rather than through the experiences of the author. I believe that is what he means by inserting your own 20th-21st century ideas...to a degree we all do it, but understanding and admitting to this tendency (whether one embraces or attempt to avoid such influences) is a prerequisite to any legitimate exegesis and textual criticism.
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« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2007, 07:42:24 PM »

I don't know if you've been able to read between the lines of the responses you've been receiving yet or not, so I'll try to clarify a fundamental problem with this debate. You seem to think the point of the Christian life is salvation, but while even amongst the Orthodox there's a broad spectrum of belief about salvation (anywhere from Nyssa's Apokatastasis to a Cyprian's 'no salvation outside the Church' approach) most everyone would agree that salvation is not the ultimate goal of the Christian life, but rather growth in Christ and becomming more god-like is the goal, it is assumed that the Christian life leads one beyond mere salvation. As long as you hold some single act of salvation, that is to say getting into heaven, as the ultimate soteriological goal, you will be addressing this discussion from a perspective foreign to Orthodox and will be perceived as being overly simplistic about something as complex as the mind of God. And before you get into the I'm a persecuted martyr mindset, remember, this is just a message board, if you're not communicating and are failing on a rhetorical level, you're not giving your position justice.
I do believe that the most important thing is being put right with God and saving our souls from eternal damnation by being saved. I think that salvation is the most important thing. However, I definitely do not believe that being saved is the only part to a Christian life. Once saved, a Christian progresses to become more and more like Christ. God conforms us in the image of His Son. We work for God and produce fruit for Him. We shine the Light on others. We should be helping them to be saved as well.

This kind of an argument may fly on other boards you're familiar with, but aruging a point because 'a programme on televisions in which a man...[did]...some pretty advanced scientific type of stuff on computers' isn't going to cut it. Granted, people try to make these poor arguments from time to time but they should expect to be called out on it. Not even saying that I disagree with you on the dating, I think there's enough data available to rule one way or the other, and quite frankly believe the question to be irrelevant to the celebration of feasts. But poor arguments and bad rhetoric cannot be allowed to slide by unnoticed.
I know that example might sound unconvincing and pretty unprofessional to a certain degree, but I was simply trying to explain that I have many different sources on the whole december 25th issue. That particular reply wasn't my main focus in comparison to other replies I was doing.

'Regard the bishop as the Lord Himself,' NOT 'Regard the Lord Himself as the bishop.' Word order matters in English, in the original Greek it's less important but the inflection makes the meaning clear. Wink
Well, that points it out totally different to me.
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« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2007, 07:53:13 PM »

I believe the point was that nothing can be understood in a vacuum, many in the Orthodox Church make the same mistake when reading our Church Fathers, they read them like protestants read the Bible, as though it stands on its own. Of course, they don't, just as the Bible doesn't. When someone writes a document of any sort there are several complex contexts: cultural, political, social, ethical, religious, linguistic, economic, etc. If one does not understand these contexts (which were very different during the 1-4th centuries than they are today), they can't truly understand the essence of the writing, they end up interpreting it through their own experiences rather than through the experiences of the author. I believe that is what he means by inserting your own 20th-21st century ideas...to a degree we all do it, but understanding and admitting to this tendency (whether one embraces or attempt to avoid such influences) is a prerequisite to any legitimate exegesis and textual criticism.
The Bible interprets itself. The Bible contains the Word of God and the Word of God is Jesus who never changes. The Bible gives us everything that we need to know. It's our Guide in Life. The only time that a particular writing that is not included in the Bible can be considered correct is if it matches with what the Bible says and doesn't contradict it. Anything that contradicts the Word Of God cannot be truth whether it's a writing, a sermon or a prophesy or whatever it might be.

Malachi 3:6: "For I am the LORD, I do not change;" (NKJV)
Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (NKJV)

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« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2007, 07:56:08 PM »

The Bible interprets itself.
That's not what the Bible says.
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« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2007, 08:08:18 PM »

That's not what the Bible says.
Please prove that to me because I believe it does. 
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« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2007, 08:09:24 PM »

Please prove that to me because I believe it does. 

Acts 8:30-31
"So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him."
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« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2007, 08:14:52 PM »

2 Peter 1:20
"knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation"
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« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2007, 08:15:24 PM »

Acts 8:30-31
"So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him."

I don't think that is proof that the Bible doesn't interpret itself because that person was brand new to the faith. He just converted.

2 Peter 1:20
"knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation"

That's funny because I was going to use that very same quote to support that the Bible does interpret itself and that we shouldn't come up with our own interpretations, but let the Bible speak for itself.
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« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2007, 08:19:21 PM »

2 Thessalonians 2:15
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle."

So, what is your source for the words of the Apostles not written in the Epistles so that you may hold fast to the traditions they taught as they instructed us to?
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« Reply #40 on: October 06, 2007, 08:26:48 PM »

I don't think that is proof that the Bible doesn't interpret itself because that person was brand new to the faith. He just converted.
I'm afraid that this is nothing more than your interpretation of the Scripture. "I don't think" means "I'm not certain", in other words, even this Scripture passage does not "interpret itself" for you.... Wink
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« Reply #41 on: October 06, 2007, 08:29:31 PM »

2 Thessalonians 2:15
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle."

That still doesn't prove anything because the Apostles taught from Scripture, the Gospel of Jesus and His teachings. This is what is included in the Bible. And nothing that they taught contradicted the Bible which is the Word Of God.

So, what is your source for the words of the Apostles not written in the Epistles so that you may hold fast to the traditions they taught as they instructed us to?

I don't know of any other correct epistles besides the ones already included in the Bible. Besides, why would another Apostle write anything that contradicts the teaching of a different Apostle if all of their teaching comes from the same source, Jesus, and they were all lead by the Holy Spirit to teach those things? Unless that Apostle turned against God.
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« Reply #42 on: October 06, 2007, 08:31:18 PM »

I'm afraid that this is nothing more than your interpretation of the Scripture. "I don't think" means "I'm not certain", in other words, even this Scripture passage does not "interpret itself" for you.... Wink

I don't think that is proof that the Bible doesn't interpret itself because that person was brand new to the faith. He just converted.

I KNOW that is not proof that the Bible doesn't interpret itself because that person was brand new to the faith. He just converted.
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« Reply #43 on: October 06, 2007, 08:31:42 PM »

I don't think that is proof that the Bible doesn't interpret itself because that person was brand new to the faith. He just converted.

I KNOW that is not proof that the Bible doesn't interpret itself because that person was brand new to the faith. He just converted.

Actually, now that I think about it, even though the Bible (which is part of the Logos Word Of God) does interpret itself in many instances in the writing, one does need the Holy Spirit and Rhema Word of God much of the time in order to fully understand and be given the correct interpretation when reading the Bible. There are many people in the world that read the Bible, but don't get it at all because they aren't guided by the Holy Spirit or Rhema Word of God or they have their hearts and minds closed to it. I totally forgot about that for a moment. But, this is still speaking of the Word Of God. I don't need a person to interpret it for me, all I really need is the Word Of God in its forms to interpret it for me. I do think that a person can help another to a certain extent, as I have been, if that person is anointed by the Holy Spirit, is more mature in faith and knows the Word because that person has progressed more in the Holy Spirit than a new comer for example. But, I don't think that's vital to understanding and interpreting the Bible if one is anointed by the Holy Spirit themselves, knows the Word and is willing to pray in order to understand the text.
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« Reply #44 on: October 06, 2007, 08:35:34 PM »

the Apostles taught from Scripture, the Gospel of Jesus and His teachings.
Errr....the Gospels didn't exist yet. Paul wrote his Epistles before the first Gospel was written.
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« Reply #45 on: October 06, 2007, 08:38:51 PM »

I think the very fact there has always been such a problem within Christianity of doctrinal unity speaks most clearly that scripture is not self interpreting.  From the very beginning various sects were competing with proto-orthodoxy (I don't think any noted historians really disagree with this).  Even after making proto-orthodoxy the religion of the Empire, other sects proliferated (the Arians made deep roots in the West) and some like the non-Chalcedonians and the Assyrian Church of the East exist to this day.  Even among the early reformers there was a great deal of disunity in doctrine.  So if the interpretation of scripture is so self evident, why are there so many groups with minor to major doctrinal differences all with the Scriptures as their foundation? 
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« Reply #46 on: October 06, 2007, 08:41:20 PM »

I think the very fact there has always been such a problem within Christianity of doctrinal unity speaks most clearly that scripture is not self interpreting.  From the very beginning various sects were competing with proto-orthodoxy (I don't think any noted historians really disagree with this).  Even after making proto-orthodoxy the religion of the Empire, other sects proliferated (the Arians made deep roots in the West) and some like the non-Chalcedonians and the Assyrian Church of the East exist to this day.  Even among the early reformers there was a great deal of disunity in doctrine.  So if the interpretation of scripture is so self evident, why are there so many groups with minor to major doctrinal differences all with the Scriptures as their foundation? 

BINGO!
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« Reply #47 on: October 06, 2007, 09:04:35 PM »

Errr....the Gospels didn't exist yet. Paul wrote his Epistles before the first Gospel was written.

I mean the Gospel of Jesus, not the written Gospel of Jesus recorded in the NT.
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« Reply #48 on: October 06, 2007, 09:05:58 PM »

I think the very fact there has always been such a problem within Christianity of doctrinal unity speaks most clearly that scripture is not self interpreting.  From the very beginning various sects were competing with proto-orthodoxy (I don't think any noted historians really disagree with this).  Even after making proto-orthodoxy the religion of the Empire, other sects proliferated (the Arians made deep roots in the West) and some like the non-Chalcedonians and the Assyrian Church of the East exist to this day.  Even among the early reformers there was a great deal of disunity in doctrine.  So if the interpretation of scripture is so self evident, why are there so many groups with minor to major doctrinal differences all with the Scriptures as their foundation?
Human weakness; not relying on God for the correct interpretation.
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« Reply #49 on: October 06, 2007, 09:09:01 PM »

I mean the Gospel of Jesus, not the written Gospel of Jesus recorded in the NT.
I see, so therefore, Scripture alone cannot be the basis of the Christian Faith? Well done! you are on your way to Orthodox Christianity!
I know you are sure you are correct in your views, but the only thing which is really self-evident is the fact that your view is incorrect. Scripture is not "self-interpreting". And I know that this fact will be resisted by you for some time, since it challenges and overturns the basic premises on which your beliefs rest. I'm reminded of the quote by the German Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer: "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
It is quite possible that God led you to find this forum for a reason.
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« Reply #50 on: October 06, 2007, 10:10:03 PM »

I see, so therefore, Scripture alone cannot be the basis of the Christian Faith? Well done! you are on your way to Orthodox Christianity!
I know you are sure you are correct in your views, but the only thing which is really self-evident is the fact that your view is incorrect. Scripture is not "self-interpreting". And I know that this fact will be resisted by you for some time, since it challenges and overturns the basic premises on which your beliefs rest. I'm reminded of the quote by the German Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer: "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
It is quite possible that God led you to find this forum for a reason.

I didn't say that Scripture alone can't be the basis for the Christian faith. The Scripture is the Old Testament. What I'm saying is that the Apostles taught from the Word Of God (which is found throughout the entire Bible in the Scriptures, Gospel, Epistles and Revelation) and the Word Of God is Jesus. They had the written Scriptures, but the written NT didn't come until later, of course, so they taught from the written word of God in the Scriptures and from what they were taught by Jesus. If, therefore, the Word of God is Jesus then the whole basis for what the Apostles are teaching is never contradictory to the Bible. I never said that if a piece of writing isn't included in the standard Bible that I have, for example, than it's absolutely not real or correct. I'm simply saying that if a writing, whoever recorded it, contradicts the teachings that are include the Bible which contains the infallible Word Of God, then it can't be true. When I say that we should live by the Bible, I mean that we should live by the Word Of God in all its forms. But, it's very dangerous to accept a writing that is not included in the Bible already because there is a reason is wasn't included in the first place (whatever reason that might be). It's dangerous to assume that what someone says is a prophecy is actually a prophecy unless it proves itself. That's why one always needs to refer back to the Word Of God. If a teaching contradicts Scripture and the teachings of Jesus (who fulfills the Law though did not destroy it), then it's not the Truth. It's a false teaching originated from satan. I purposely choose to not believe a writing that claims to be the Word Of God that is not found in the Bible unless I know for sure that it is the Word Of God, and I can only know that if it does not contradict the Word Of God. None of the writings in the Bible contradict one another, so if there is a writing that does contradict the Bible, then it can't be true and it is not of God, but of satan and therefore evil.

The main problem that I have with what I have come to find out about the Orthodox Church (and I don't know everything about it) are its false teachings, and the fact that the Orthodox Church seems to believe that they are the true church and that whatever they say goes simply because the Orthodox churches might have originated with the Apostles. At least, that's the impression that I've received since posting on this forum throughout the day. I call to mind that even satan originated with God when he was an angel of God. And, like I said before, even the Apostles warned of false teachers and false prophets from amongst their own group (2 Peter 2:1-3; Acts 20:29-30).

I do believe that there is a reason for everything. I questioned why I was brought to this forum and I'm not sure exactly why I was led here. I think that it was God's will for me to see the perspective of the Orthodox Christian and see what they believe in as I didn't know very much about it before I came to this forum. This kind of experience has happened to me with other sects of Christianity as well, such as Roman Catholicism (which Orthodox Christianity seems very similar to, imo). And it has also happened to me with Judaism. I don't know for sure, but I'm thinking that God brought me on this forum also to reach out to the people on this board with the Truth of the Word Of God and I also have had the opportunity to pray for the people of this board.

Despite at least some people's efforts on this board, I will not ever want to become an Orthodox Christian and join the Orthodox Church. I will always want to be a Christian and live by the Word Of God. And, I pray against deception of the Body Of Christ in Jesus Name. Amen.   

Colossians 2:8-15: "Let no one take you captive by means of empty, deceptive philosophy, which is based on human traditions and worldly principles, rather than on Christ."
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« Reply #51 on: October 06, 2007, 10:16:32 PM »

+ Irini nem ehmot,

Quote
The main problem that I have with what I have come to find out about the Orthodox Church (and I don't know everything about it) are its false teachings

You have said this a couple of times now, and have yet to back it up with any sort of evidence.  Could you please illustrate what you mean by 'false teachings'.
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« Reply #52 on: October 06, 2007, 10:19:29 PM »

I think we are entering the second stage:
I'm reminded of the quote by the German Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer: "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
Cheesy
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« Reply #53 on: October 06, 2007, 10:41:34 PM »

The verse in Collosians talked about a certain Gnostic sect that believed in some sort of "secret knowledge" and "wisdom" that gives people salvation.  It has nothing to do with Orthodox Christians.

Likewise, the idea of false teachers have a lot to do with those the Apostles themselves knew.  Again, has nothing to do with Orthodox Christians.

In fact, these verses can be used against "non-denominational Christians."  You may very well be the false prophet trying to deceive us all with your man-interpreted wisdom and your deceptions and "false teachings" that you think come from God.

So far, you haven't proven that Scripture is self-interpreting.  All you have said is, "I know I'm right, and I know you're wrong.  You're all a bunch of false-believing people."

Sure, that really convinces me.  Wink

I hope you realize how ridiculous you sound.

God bless you.
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« Reply #54 on: October 06, 2007, 10:54:56 PM »

yes halloween is evil, how thorough is your knowledge of the history of Christianity?  Does your understanding go all the way back to the Apostles, or does history start for you with the date your sect was founded?  You see, I left the Protestant traditions when I discovered that their knowledge of Church history goes only as far back as the 1500s.
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« Reply #55 on: October 06, 2007, 11:00:42 PM »

such as Roman Catholicism (which Orthodox Christianity seems very similar to, imo).

 Shocked Careful now! You could get your butt kicked saying something like that here.  Cheesy

Well, my friend, we agree with you. Our teachings can't contradict the Bible, and we believe that they don't. But remember, the Bible is the truth, but not all truth is contained in the Bible. Jesus said and did a lot more than what is contained in the 100 pages or so of the Gospels. The Apostles said and did a lot more than what is contained in the other books. One way to help us 21st-century folk interpret the Bible is to look to the guidance of the Fathers all together, who lived much closer to the Apostolic age and had a much better understanding of the context than we do. A good number of the Fathers lived in a time when the canon that we know of as the New Testament was not settled yet. In other words, they were there during its formation. They looked to the tradition passed down from the Apostles through the Church and used this understanding (with the guidance of the Holy Spirit) to figure out what of the many books floating around the Mediterranean world at the time were true inspired Scripture.

God bless you
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« Reply #56 on: October 06, 2007, 11:10:22 PM »

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Human weakness; not relying on God for the correct interpretation.

So your interpretation is the only God inspired one.  Interesting. 

Of all the major sects of Christianity with mutually exclusive understandings of scripture, which one doesn't claim to be God inspired?  That still makes my point entirely valid, the Scriptures aren't self interpreting. 
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« Reply #57 on: October 06, 2007, 11:20:32 PM »

So your interpretation is the only God inspired one.  Interesting. 

Of all the major sects of Christianity with mutually exclusive understandings of scripture, which one doesn't claim to be God inspired?  That still makes my point entirely valid, the Scriptures aren't self interpreting. 
Yes, when two people claim to have the Holy Spirit's interpretation of the Scriptures, yet the interpretations differ from and even contradict each other, who wins?  Certainly, the Holy Spirit cannot contradict Himself.
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« Reply #58 on: October 07, 2007, 07:37:48 AM »

I think everyone here needs to take a step back and truly think about what they say to our brother in Christ yes Halloween is evil because it could forever damage his ideas about Orthodoxy and cause a disgust which would make him never want to peruse anymore information about it. Now I believe I understand your position yes halloween is evil but I want to ask you a couple of straight foward questions:

1.What exactly brought you to this forum? (random searching on Google, friend of Orthodox, read discrediting things on an apologetic website etc)
2. These supposed false teachings you speak of could you please explicitly state them for us to possibly explain for you? (e.g Saints, the Virgin Mary, the Eucharist etc)
3. What is your understanding of the history of the Christian church and Holy scripture (e.g The Ecumenical councils, how the bible was put together in to the form we see it now)

Please do not get offended by my questions or the other posters for that is truly not their purpose only to help and maybe understand my own positions further. One thing I've learned was that no matter how self-evident a belief is of your you always have to question it because sometimes we get to comfortable with them and forget how we got to them.
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« Reply #59 on: October 07, 2007, 01:24:39 PM »

PeterTheAleut, thanks for that note however I typed it before this new thread was created. Please forgive any confusion.

Given that we have an EO-OO board and an Orthodox-Catholic board, it would seem to make sense to have one for Protestants as well
Fine idea!

I believe that everyone who has been baptized in the name of the Trinity is a Christian. I just think that Protestants are "catechumens" still.
That's an interesting view about Protestants. May I please point out though that not all Protestants dunk in the name of the Holy Trinity.
Considering that this person appears to have links with Armstrong's movement there is a chance that the dunking was only in the name of Jesus (or perhaps even Yeshua or some other variant as the so-called Sacred Name movements have many alternatives).
~~~
Following this point in my post I'm not going to reply to everything just yet as some issues have already been spoken through and other people are providing helpful discussion (thank you very much Smiley) aside from the fact that it's almost 2 am here (as I begin this post)!
A few things ought to be raised though so I'll mention them.

None of the writings in the Bible contradict one another,
Just the other day in another Forum I asked a person to shorten his list of 23 "contradictions" in the Holy Bible to seven as it would waste my time to reply to some which had such obvious explanations. (This person is yet to post a list despite replying to other parts of my post.) I had said to him that if he understood the Holy Bible as the Orthodox Church which wrote the Holy Bible does then he would not have trouble understanding these apparent contradictions which he thought he had found. Here are a few which we Orthodox can resolve and I'm just wondering how you might do so please:
God is all powerful Jer 32:27/ Matt 19:26
God is not all powerful Judg 1:19
God gives freely to those who ask James 1:5/ Luke 11:10
God withholds his blessings and prevents men from receiving them John 12:40/ Josh 11:20/ Is 63:17
God is to be found by those who seek him Matt 7:8/ Prov 8:17
God is not to be found by those who seek him Prov 1:28
God is warlike Ex 15:3/ Is 51:15
God is peaceful Rom 15:33/ 1 Cor 14:33
God accepts human sacrifices 2 Sam 21:8,9,14/ Gen 22:2/ Judg 11:30-32,34,38,39
God forbids human sacrifice Deut 12:30,31
God cannot lie Heb 6:18
God lies by proxy; he sends forth lying spirits to deceive 2 Thes 2:11/ 1 Kings 22:23/ Ezek 14:9

Please be aware that I do not believe the Holy Bible contradicts itself but am merely wondering whether you could answer a person who presented you with such verses.
The Church does so quite easily and quickly frequently.

the Orthodox churches might have originated with the Apostles.

If you doubt that here are some lists for you to examine:

The Throne of St. Peter in the Syrian Orthodox Church;
1 St. Peter the Apostle 2 St. Evodius 3 St. Ignatios I Nurono (the Illuminator) 4 St. Heron 5 St. Korneilos 6 St. Heros 7 St. Theophilos 8 St. Maximos I 9 St. Seraphion 10 St. Ascelpiadis the Confessor 11 Philitus 12 Zbina 13 St. Babulas the Martyr 14 Fabius  15 S. Demetrianos 16 Paul I of Samosate 17 Domnus I 18 Timos 19 Cyrille I   20 Tyrannos 21 Vitalis 22 St. Philogone 23 Paulinos of Tyre 24 Ostatheous 25 Malatius  26 St. Flavin I 27 Porphyros   28 Alexander   29 Theodotos 30 John I 31 Domnus II 32 Maximos II 33 Martoros 34 Peter II the Fuller (Qassar) 35 Bladius 36 Flavin II 37 St. Severius the Great 38 Sargius of Tella    39 Paul II the Black of Alexandria 40 Peter III of Raqqa 41 Julian I 42 Athanasius I Gammolo 43 John II of the Sedre 44 Theodore  45 Severius II bar Masqeh 46 Athanasius II 47 Julian II   48 Elias I  49 Athanasius III 50 Iwanis I 51 George I   52 Joseph   53 Quryaqos of Takrit 54 Dionysius I of Tellmahreh 55 John III 56 Ignatius II 57 Theodosius Romanos of Takrit 58 Dionysius II 59 Jon IV Qurzahli 60 Baselius I 61 John V 62 Iwanis II 63 Dionysius III 64 Abraham I 65 John VI Sarigta 66 Athanasius IV of Salah 67 John VII bar `Abdun 68 Dionysius IV Yahya 69 John VIII 70 Athanasius V 71 John IX bar Shushan 72 Baselius II   73 Dionysius V Lazaros 74 Iwanis III  75 Dionysius VI 76 Athanasius VI bar Khamoro 77 John X bar Mawdyono 78 Athanasius VII bar Qutreh 79 Michael I the Great 80 Athanasius VIII 81 John XI 82 Ignatius III David 83 John XII bar Ma`dani 84 Ignatius IV Yeshu 85 Philoxenos I Nemrud 86 Michael II  87 Michael III Yeshu 88 Baselius III Gabriel 89 Philoxenos II the Writer 90 Baselius IV Shem`un   91 Ignatius Behnam al-Hadli  92 Ignatius Khalaf   93 Ignatius John XIII 94 Ignatius Nuh of Lebanon 95 Ignatius Yeshu I  96 Ignatius Jacob I    97 Ignatius David I  98 Ignatius Abd-Allah I 99 Ignatius Ne`met Allah I 100 Ignatius David II Shah 101 Ignatius Pilate I 102 Ignatius Hadayat Allah  103 Ignatius Simon I  104 Ignatius Yeshu II Qamsheh   105 Ignatius Abdul Masih I 106 Ignatius Gorge II 107 Ignatius Isaac Azar 108 Ignatius Shukr Allah II 109 Ignatius George III 110 Ignatius George IV 111 Ignatius Matthew  112 Ignatius Yunan   113 Ignatius George V  114 Ignatius Elias II 115 Ignatius Jacob II 116 Ignatius Peter IV 117 Ignatius Abdul Masih II  118 Ignatius Abd Allah II  119 Ignatius Elias III 120 Ignatius Afram I Barsoum 121 Ignatius Jacob III 122 Ignatius Zakka I Iwas who is the current Patriarch of Antioch in the Syrian Orthodox Church.

The Throne of St. Mark in the Coptic Orthodox Church;
1 St. Mark the Evangelist 2 St. Anianus 3 St. Melyos (Milius) 4 St. Cedron (Kardonos) 5 Abremius (Primus) 6 St. Yustus  7 St. Eumenius (Omanius)  8 St. Marcianus  9 St. Cladianus (Celadion)  10 St. Agrippinus  11 St. Julian  12 St. Demetrius I the Vinedresser 13 St. Heraclas (Theoclas) 14 Dionysius  15 Maximus  16 St. Theonas 17 St. Peter the Seal of the Martyrs 18 Archelaus 19 St. Alexander I 20 St. Athanasius the Apostolic 21 St. Peter II 22 St. Timothy 23 St. Theophilus  24 St. Kyrillos I (Cyril) the Pillar of The Faith and Lamp of Orthodoxy 25 St. Dioscorus I 26 St. Timothy 27 St. Peter III 28 St. Athanasius II 29 John (Youhanna) I 30 Youannis II 31 St. Dioscorus II 32 St. Timothy III 33 St. Theodosius 34 St. Peter IV 35 St. Damianos 36 St. Anastasius 37 St. Andronicus 38 St. Benjamin 39 St. Agathon 40 John III 41 Isaac 42 St. Simeon I 43 St. Alenandros II 44 Cosmas 45 St. Theodorus (Theodore) 46 St. Khail (Mikhail) 47 Mina 48 St. John IV 49 St. Mark II 50 St. James (Yacobus) 51 St. Simon II 52 St. Yousab (Joseph) 53 St. Michael II 54 St. Cosma II 55 Sinuthius I (Shenouda) 56 St. Khail (Mikhail) 57 St. Gabriel 58 St. Cosmas (Cosma) 59 St. Macarius 60 Theophilus II 61 Mina II 62 St. Abraam (Abraham) 63 Philotheos I 64 St. Zacharias 65 Shenouda II 66 St. Christodolus 67 St. Kyrillos II 68 Mikhail I 69 St. Macarius II 70 Gabriel II (Ibn Turaik) 71 Michael 72 Yoannis V 73 Mark III 74 John VI 75 Kyrellos III (Kyrillos) (Cyril) 76 Athanasius III 77 Gabriel III 78 Youannis VII 79 Theodosius 80 Yoannis VIII  81 Yoannis IX  82 Benjamin II 83 St. Peter V 84 Mark IV 85 Youanis X  86 Gabriel IV 87 Mattheos 88 Gabriel 89 Yoannis XI 90 Mattheos II (Matthias) 91 Gabriel VI 92 Michael VI 93 John XII 94 John XIII 95 St. Gabriel VII 96 St. Yoannis XIV 97 St. Gabriel VIII 98 Mark V 99 Yoannis XV 100 Mattheos  101 Mark VI (Marcus)  102 St. Mattias IV (Mattheos) 103 Yoannis XVI (Yoannis El-Tokhi) 104 Peter VI (Petros) 105 Yoannis XVII 106 Mark VII  107 Yoannis XVIII  108 Marcus VIII  109 Peter VII (Petros) 110 Cyril IV (Kyrillos) 111 Demitrius II 112 St. Kyrillos V (Cyril) 113 Yoannis XIX 114 St. Macarius III 115 Joseph II 116 Kyrillos VI 117 Shenouda III who is the current Pope and Lord Archbishop of the Great City of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.

I have the list for the Throne of St. Thomas in India as well if you're interested?
{Note for the Orthodox: Please forgive any mistakes in my lists and send me a PM so I can correct them if you are able to provide me with correct information. The purpose of these lists for now is simply to show that the Orthodox Church is connected with the Apostles and hopefully that has been done. EOs feel free to post some lists or send them to me also thanks:)}


I do believe that there is a reason for everything. I questioned why I was brought to this forum and I'm not sure exactly why I was led here. I think that it was God's will for me to see the perspective of the Orthodox Christian and see what they believe in as I didn't know very much about it before I came to this forum. This kind of experience has happened to me with other sects of Christianity as well, such as Roman Catholicism (which Orthodox Christianity seems very similar to, imo). And it has also happened to me with Judaism. I don't know for sure, but I'm thinking that God brought me on this forum also to reach out to the people on this board with the Truth of the Word Of God and I also have had the opportunity to pray for the people of this board.
Thank you very much for praying for sinners like me and please continue to do so. I need all your prayers and those of the saints. How many "sects of Christianity" are you familiar with? I still have The Directory of Sabbath-Observing Groups wherein there are 436, several of which I am familiar with the history and divers teachings of. The RCs are also an Apostolic Church (and thank you to our Catholic friend who has also been providing input into this conversation) so it makes sense that we have some things in common. While on Judaism, how familiar are you with the Feast of Leviticus 23?

Despite at least some people's efforts on this board, I will not ever want to become an Orthodox Christian and join the Orthodox Church. I will always want to be a Christian and live by the Word Of God. And, I pray against deception of the Body Of Christ in Jesus Name. Amen.
How many of us have said that? (I might start a poll on that if I may please.) Tell me please, why do you pray "in Jesus name"? Who taught you to do this? The Church prays "In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit". If you haven't already answered this, in what name were you baptised?

Colossians 2:8-15: "Let no one take you captive by means of empty, deceptive philosophy, which is based on human traditions and worldly principles, rather than on Christ."
Top advise! We only observe the Holy Tradition of God and not the vain traditions of men such as bowing to a box in Arabia.

For now my friend, I hope to reply to you more later as we are clearly closer than many others here in certain ways. Please forgive me but I have university tomorrow (which starts late on Mondays thankfully) though it's now almost 3 am here so I ought to be going to sleep.

If God wills I'll reply more to you later but for now here are a few points regarding Christmas to consider:
~~~Begin Christmas section~~~
You mentioned that scientists were against the 25th of December date. Do these scientists also support evolution? Were any of them Christians? How often does science change its mind? (The Church remains unchanged.) Do scientists have anything against Christian history? How often do 'the oppositions of vain science' attack Christianity?

From The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles;
"Brethren, observe... the birthday which you are to celebrate on the twenty-fifth of the ninth month..."
(Book V, ch. XIII [in section III])
Note that April was the first month and, as is well known, this led to April Fools' Day being established. As the year actually started in the last week of March at different times the months were refered to in different ways. Hence Dec-ember (meaning ten) is actually the ninth month (from April).

From St. Clement of Alexandria (Late 2nd Century);
"And there are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord's birth, but also the day; and they say that it took place in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus, and in the twenty-fifth day of Pachon...."
(The Stromata, Book 1, Chapter XXI)

Note that both dates agree upon the twenty-fifth or the eve thereof. (This concurs with the historical view that Christ was born at midnight.)
The former date would be the twentieth of May; however Pachon was the ninth month of the calendar in use in Egypt at that time. (Ideler. Chron., II, 397, n)
{The Ideler quote I received from a RC source so could a RC please find out who exactly this is for me please and where I may obtain this work? Thank you.}

From St. Justin Martyr (110-165);
"Now there is a village in the land of the Jews, thirty-five stadia from Jerusalem, in which Jesus Christ was born, as you can ascertain also from the registers of the taxing made under Cyrenius, your first procurator in Judæa."
(The First Apology of St. Justin Martyr, ch. XXXIV)

Note that St. Justin appeals to the tax records as proof of Christ's birth.

Tertullian, who forsook The Orthodox Faith, (145-220) makes reference to;
"His enrolment in the census of Augustus—that most faithful witness of the Lord's nativity, kept in the archives of Rome"
(Tertullian Against Marcion, Book IV, ch. VII)

As with most official records in the Roman world, the tax/census records were kept in Rome. What do we find after the Christians were able to access these records? Let's see...

From St. John Chrysostom (c. 386);
I have been looking forward to this day for a long time. It is only ten years ago that we became aware of the precise day of this solemnity; but thanks to your zeal, here we are celebrating it with as much excitement as if we had known about it for many a long year. The peoples of the East, from Thrace to Gadesh, have known about it for much longer.
All we have done is to refer in this matter to the testimony of people who possess an exact knowledge of it, and who lived in Rome; it is through the faithful in Rome that this information has been passed down to us.
(I need to find a reference in English though I'm unsure if this work is published in English. Hislop distorts the quote by using part of it but anyone who reads the context can see the saint's joy for becoming aware of "the precise day" of Christ's birth.)

St. Ephraim the Syrian (Syrus), The Lyre {Harp} of the East (c.306-373) wrote in his hymns;
"In March when the lambs bleat in the wilderness, into the Womb the Paschal Lamb entered!" (Hymns on the Nativity, Hymn III)
"...being in the womb nine months for us..." (Hymns on the Nativity, Hymn IV)
"His conception was in Nisan, and His Birth in Conun." (Hymns on the Nativity, Hymn XV, v.6)

Assumably Conun is Syrian as I've never seen it on a Hebrew calendar but we who have observed the Passover know about when Nisan falls, do we not my friend?
~~~End Christmas section~~~

Also, I'll send you a little document via email to consider regarding a doctrine clearly taught in the Holy Bible and yet observed by very few outside of The Orthodox Church. (Sorry if it sent twice by accident.)

Anyway, it's now almost half past three so I ought to go to bed as the cat sure thinks I'm strange being up at this hour too Wink

Νεκτάριος, you make a fine point. Hope our new friend heeds it.

All, there is much more for me to say here but the Lord giveth His beloved sleep (does that mean that my sleeping troubles mean the Lord does not love me?) so for this evening, may peace be with you and pray for me please.

Thank you.
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« Reply #60 on: October 07, 2007, 08:07:02 PM »

Boy  I always get a big hoot from these evangelicals who log on to this site and stir up a fuss and argue they make it interesting. Yes Halloween Is Evil I will not be so charitable as I beleive you are only here to argue with us, many of whom have been where you are now and after seeing the contradictions of non-Orthodox or non-Catholic groups or over simplistic rhetoric or down right trickery said " . . .that's enough, I/m outta here . . ." My friend no one was ever argued into the Kingdom of Heaven. You can hang out here for a while and get their kicks* lambasting us and our beliefs, but don't expect any converts.

Been there, done that.

* Excessively crude expression redacted

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« Reply #61 on: October 07, 2007, 08:27:29 PM »

C'mon, aserb, tell us how you really feel. Wink

What happened to your avatar of St. Budimir, btw?  I always rather liked that one...
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« Reply #62 on: October 07, 2007, 08:46:09 PM »

over simplistic rhetoric or down right trickery
And that, I think, is the whole problem, and the cause of the tremendous damage Evangelicals do to Christianity. Like I always say, simplistic answers cultivate stupidity, and people see through stupidity eventually. "Because of you, my Name is blasphemed among the Nations."
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« Reply #63 on: October 08, 2007, 12:35:03 PM »

Hey:

Where did yes halloween is evil go?  Typical lone ranger Christian. Blew into town, Shot everyone up with his misguided theology. And split leaving a bunch of wounded people.
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« Reply #64 on: November 04, 2007, 12:23:01 PM »

This is a pity.
Having returned from completing my university assignments for this year I had hoped to see our friend still here and hopefully becoming more Christian.

+ May the Lord guide this poor soul. Amen.
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« Reply #65 on: December 02, 2012, 09:00:40 PM »

If I am born-again through Jesus Christ and I am committed to Him, than I am a member of the Church.

If by "Born-Again" you mean Baptism, then yes, if you are referring to the Jesus Christ that the Apostolic Tradition bears witness to, then yes, you are. But clearly you are not. You are not committed to the real Jesus but to your own idol of what you THINK Jesus is like. The true Jesus is the Jesus we know through the Holy Tradition--which is only found in the Orthodox Church.

Quote
What I'm saying is that I'm not a member of the Orthodox Church.

I can tell.
 
Quote
The Church is the Body Of Christ which consists of everyone that is a born-again Christian who puts their faith in Jesus.

Only if they "put their faith" into the real Jesus, not their own idol of Jesus. The real Jesus is found in the Apostolic Tradition which is only found within the Orthodox Church.

Quote
I'm not talking about the Church as in the Orthodox Church

The Orthodox Church IS the only Church. We only worship one God, therefore there is only one true Church about Him. Likewise, Jesus said that the Church would be his Bride; not His harem.

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...which is a denomination of Christianity.

Hogwash, it's predenominational
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« Reply #66 on: December 02, 2012, 09:19:28 PM »

Oh wow, this is an old thread lol
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« Reply #67 on: December 03, 2012, 12:53:33 AM »


That guy made 19 posts in one day 5 years ago and then never came back! But you show him what's what!  Grin
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« Reply #68 on: December 03, 2012, 10:14:55 AM »

Same month, different year.  Strike that. Not even the same month.
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