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Author Topic: The Bible and Veneration  (Read 54276 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: October 30, 2011, 04:53:00 AM »


You think i have time to go looking up evidence to back up assertions you've made? You judge my time to be of less value than yours that you'd expect me to do that? The onus is on you to provide the citations to your own statements as i do my own.
Do let me help you.

Take a look at these credal statements:
http://www.abaptist.org/general.html This one puts God in third place!
http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/Statement_of_Fundamental_Truths/sft_short.cfm God in second place.
http://www.chog.org/our-beliefs Calls itself "Church of God" - but Who is He?
http://www.bible.ca/cr-AGC.htm
http://www.opc.org/beliefs.html Bible first, God second; they even have the nerve to include the word "orthodox" in their name!
http://www.billygraham.org/statementoffaith.asp Well-known and respected para-church organization
http://www.openarmsmissionwelland.com/site/about mission to the needy in my home town

These, of course, contrast with many churches - usually those with a clear historical connection to traditional sacramental churches, even though they may not regard themselves as "sacramental" now. (Many Methodist denominations as an example).

To save your asking me what "many" means, here's a link:
http://www.wordnik.com/words/many

Thanks. I wonder if you've emailed any of the above organisations to ask whether the beliefs listed are in order of importance, as that would be my first question before making any assumptions. I could make a list of specifics that i believe and have God last on my list as a way of placing Him over all i'd just covered. Someone could easily read my list, make an assumption and be horrified.

I'm emailing a couple of them, i'll let you know when i get a reply.

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« Reply #46 on: October 30, 2011, 10:32:30 PM »

Would you mind also asking them in the email why they believe that the Bible is the Word of God as opposed to the word of God?
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« Reply #47 on: October 31, 2011, 05:20:56 AM »

Certainly. Anything else you all want me to include? Smileys? Anecdotes? Vitriol? Malware etc.?
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« Reply #48 on: October 31, 2011, 07:08:48 AM »


Thanks. I wonder if you've emailed any of the above organisations to ask whether the beliefs listed are in order of importance, as that would be my first question before making any assumptions. I could make a list of specifics that i believe and have God last on my list as a way of placing Him over all i'd just covered. Someone could easily read my list, make an assumption and be horrified.

I'm emailing a couple of them, i'll let you know when i get a reply.


No, it really hasn't been a priority for me to challenge institutions on their beliefs.

Do remember that your question will influence the answer. Also, the person who answers the question may or may not be representative of the ordinary often non-thinking member/supporter of the denomination or organization.

If you have named your present affiliation, I have forgotten, but have you taken a look there? How is their statement of beliefs framed? If you're looking for full disclosure from me, here's my former denomination's position: http://www.fmc-canada.org/en/who-we-are/articles-of-religion.

Looking forward to hearing those replies.

But as for you, what is your reaction to the fact that so many Protestants start their statements of belief with Scripture? Did it surprise you that the practice is so common?
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« Reply #49 on: October 31, 2011, 08:06:19 AM »


Thanks. I wonder if you've emailed any of the above organisations to ask whether the beliefs listed are in order of importance, as that would be my first question before making any assumptions. I could make a list of specifics that i believe and have God last on my list as a way of placing Him over all i'd just covered. Someone could easily read my list, make an assumption and be horrified.

I'm emailing a couple of them, i'll let you know when i get a reply.


No, it really hasn't been a priority for me to challenge institutions on their beliefs.

Do remember that your question will influence the answer. Also, the person who answers the question may or may not be representative of the ordinary often non-thinking member/supporter of the denomination or organization.

If you have named your present affiliation, I have forgotten, but have you taken a look there? How is their statement of beliefs framed? If you're looking for full disclosure from me, here's my former denomination's position: http://www.fmc-canada.org/en/who-we-are/articles-of-religion.

Looking forward to hearing those replies.

But as for you, what is your reaction to the fact that so many Protestants start their statements of belief with Scripture? Did it surprise you that the practice is so common?

No it didn't surprise me as i hadn't assumed that the list was in order of importance. I expect you can understand why scripture is so important to Christians who escaped the corruption that Rome was teaching and why unifying around the bible is why so many Protestants won't accept any other text.

My present affiliation is to Christ -- that's it.

As for the emails, it's merely a question of clarity, not challenge. It doesn't matter whether the person who answers is "...representative of the ordinary often non-thinking member/supporter" as this exercise is simply for me to clarify your assumptions about the organisation's 'credal statements' you listed.



I noticed you had the anabaptists at the top
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« Reply #50 on: October 31, 2011, 08:52:25 AM »


No it didn't surprise me as i hadn't assumed that the list was in order of importance.
Which is why I did say earlier "(possibly inadvertently) placing the Scriptures ahead of God". I don't doubt that when you (generic) ask, "Which is more important: God or the Scriptures?" the likely answer will be "God, of course". If I were requesting clarification, I would more likely ask that they explain why their belief statement concerning the Scriptures precedes their statement about who God is.

Quote
I expect you can understand why scripture is so important to Christians who escaped the corruption that Rome was teaching and why unifying around the bible is why so many Protestants won't accept any other text.
You are entirely right on that one. The Orthodox will generally agree that Roman Catholicism added beliefs to the Apostolic Faith and in so doing were led away from it. Where the Orthodox differ from Protestants is that we believe Protestants in their well-motivated zeal to undo that situation got a bit carried away  Smiley.

Quote
My present affiliation is to Christ -- that's it.
So do you attend church anywhere? What books do you read? You are influenced by those around you whether you realize it or not. We all are.

Quote
As for the emails, it's merely a question of clarity, not challenge. It doesn't matter whether the person who answers is "...representative of the ordinary often non-thinking member/supporter" as this exercise is simply for me to clarify your assumptions about the organisation's 'credal statements' you listed.
And your assumption, as well, that the points in the credal statements are at least to some degree somewhat random.



Quote
I noticed you had the anabaptists at the top
Fair enough. Next time I'll be sure everyone gets a chance to be first and list them like this:
     Associated Gospel       Anabaptist       Baptist       Presbyterian       Methodist       Pentecostal       Lutheran       Mennonite       Wesleyan       Missionary Church       United Church of Canada
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« Reply #51 on: October 31, 2011, 09:34:15 AM »


Quote
I expect you can understand why scripture is so important to Christians who escaped the corruption that Rome was teaching and why unifying around the bible is why so many Protestants won't accept any other text.
You are entirely right on that one. The Orthodox will generally agree that Roman Catholicism added beliefs to the Apostolic Faith and in so doing were led away from it. Where the Orthodox differ from Protestants is that we believe Protestants in their well-motivated zeal to undo that situation got a bit carried away  Smiley.

Possibily.



I meet with other believers that i love and trust. We meet regularly sometimes for study etc., sometimes socially. All of us pulled out of the same church and have looked hard for another church to join that had some answers. We haven't been able to find one so we simply meet on our own. The bible is the only book we've needed to read.
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« Reply #52 on: October 31, 2011, 09:44:30 AM »

Certainly. Anything else you all want me to include? Smileys? Anecdotes? Vitriol? Malware etc.?

I didn't think my question was vitriolic or offensive.  Undecided  It's just something I'm curious about.  Why do they capitalize the W?  I've always thought that was a source of confusion for the masses.
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« Reply #53 on: October 31, 2011, 10:38:57 AM »


Quote
I expect you can understand why scripture is so important to Christians who escaped the corruption that Rome was teaching and why unifying around the bible is why so many Protestants won't accept any other text.
You are entirely right on that one. The Orthodox will generally agree that Roman Catholicism added beliefs to the Apostolic Faith and in so doing were led away from it. Where the Orthodox differ from Protestants is that we believe Protestants in their well-motivated zeal to undo that situation got a bit carried away  Smiley.

Possibily.



I meet with other believers that i love and trust. We meet regularly sometimes for study etc., sometimes socially. All of us pulled out of the same church and have looked hard for another church to join that had some answers. We haven't been able to find one so we simply meet on our own. The bible is the only book we've needed to read.

This is the future of Protestantism. It is spiritual anarchy.
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« Reply #54 on: October 31, 2011, 11:03:11 AM »

It's not even really the "future" of Protestantism. It's the pietistic impulse of the past reinvigorated by modern man's desire for intellectual assent to everything first and foremost. We couldn't find answers, etc. I must've overlooked the parts of the Bible and the ECFs that treat the faith as a matter of head knowledge above all...and the part where you can just keep forming new groups until you're comfortable.
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« Reply #55 on: October 31, 2011, 01:06:39 PM »

Certainly. Anything else you all want me to include? Smileys? Anecdotes? Vitriol? Malware etc.?

I didn't think my question was vitriolic or offensive.  Undecided  It's just something I'm curious about.  Why do they capitalize the W?  I've always thought that was a source of confusion for the masses.

I'm sorry, i didn't mean to imply you did. My answer was addressed to anyone not you directly.

Given the criticisms of Protestants by Orthodox, i thought it was funny.

I've had a couple of emails back already and as i expected, none of the beliefs are in any particular order.  On the captialisation of the W, one said that both are capitalised out of respect for the words in the bible being God-breathed.
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« Reply #56 on: October 31, 2011, 01:08:32 PM »

It's not even really the "future" of Protestantism. It's the pietistic impulse of the past reinvigorated by modern man's desire for intellectual assent to everything first and foremost. We couldn't find answers, etc. I must've overlooked the parts of the Bible and the ECFs that treat the faith as a matter of head knowledge above all...and the part where you can just keep forming new groups until you're comfortable.

Oh for goodness' sake!
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« Reply #57 on: October 31, 2011, 02:05:15 PM »

I've had a couple of emails back already and as i expected, none of the beliefs are in any particular order.  On the captialisation of the W, one said that both are capitalised out of respect for the words in the bible being God-breathed.
What was your question? That can make a difference.

I find it somewhat hard to believe that groups of people went to the work independently of each other to settle on an outline of their beliefs and it all came out random - yet the "random" order ended up with them all having the same first point. If I were a mathematician, I suppose I could work out the odds.

If you were to email those whose statements begin with who God is, do you think you'll get the response, "Random"?

As for the capitalisation (I'm fine with either spelling  Smiley), do they also capitalize (see  Wink?) "man"? Genesis 2:7 (SAAS): "Then God formed man out of dust from the ground, and breathed in his face the breath of life; and man became a living soul". If not, then they are either just plain inconsistent or really do give higher respect to written revelation than they do to man who is actually created in the image of God.
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« Reply #58 on: October 31, 2011, 02:30:01 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Certainly. Anything else you all want me to include? Smileys? Anecdotes? Vitriol? Malware etc.?

Funny, you've been spiteful, sarcastic, dismissive, and vitriolic across this forum and you're suddenly wondering why folks returning you the favor? If you come to an Orthodox forum to defend heresies, perhaps you should have a bit more sense of humor or diplomatic humility, because you can't brow beat us or box our ears into agreeing or making apologies for Protestant, Pentecostal, Evangelical, or Baptist heresies.  Are these folks good people? Of course.  Are they really Christians? From our perspective, we would say perhaps not, and we don't say this to condemn them.  From our Church psychology and culture, we live in the realm of accountability and repentance.  We are ALL sinners, and we are all guilty, and only taking responsibility for our guilt can we repent and cooperate in God's Grace to find true, life-changing, soul-moving salvation in the Holy Spirit.  So when we speak about heresies, misunderstandings, or sin, we speak from that concrete assumption that acknowledgement is the first step to the problem-solving of Sin.  So we, like we expect of ourselves both individually and collectively, expect sincere repentance. We are quite deeply sorry that Protestants have been duped into believing heresies, much like we have always been sorry for the heretics of all ages, but the Church stands for the Truth consistently, and all must adjust and conform to the Truth.  Whether or not Protestants then think of the Bible as the Word or word of God is then irrelevant, because their very ontological existence is a heresy.  Why try to dust the mud off your shoulders, when your standing waste deep in muck?

In regards to these matters, I am praying for you, me, and us all.

stay blessed,
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« Reply #59 on: October 31, 2011, 02:44:21 PM »

It's not even really the "future" of Protestantism. It's the pietistic impulse of the past reinvigorated by modern man's desire for intellectual assent to everything first and foremost. We couldn't find answers, etc. I must've overlooked the parts of the Bible and the ECFs that treat the faith as a matter of head knowledge above all...and the part where you can just keep forming new groups until you're comfortable.

Oh for goodness' sake!

Too close to home, eh? I was a Protestant, too. My family was also one that "couldn't find answers" in the church we were in (i.e., couldn't get along with the pastor), and because of that left with several other families who had reached the same conclusion. I know well this impulse.  I've been there. It's not a foundation on which to build a Christian community.
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« Reply #60 on: October 31, 2011, 08:00:01 PM »

I've had a couple of emails back already and as i expected, none of the beliefs are in any particular order.  On the captialisation of the W, one said that both are capitalised out of respect for the words in the bible being God-breathed.
What was your question? That can make a difference.


I find it somewhat hard to believe that groups of people went to the work independently of each other to settle on an outline of their beliefs and it all came out random - yet the "random" order ended up with them all having the same first point. If I were a mathematician, I suppose I could work out the odds.

If you were to email those whose statements begin with who God is, do you think you'll get the response, "Random"?
Well now, given that it was a controlled group, chosen by you, who went looking for evidence to support your assertation -- I think we both know where i'm going with this.

As for the capitalisation (I'm fine with either spelling  Smiley), do they also capitalize (see  Wink?) "man"? Genesis 2:7 (SAAS): "Then God formed man out of dust from the ground, and breathed in his face the breath of life; and man became a living soul". If not, then they are either just plain inconsistent or really do give higher respect to written revelation than they do to man who is actually created in the image of God.
I'll give you this one as the reason does sound a bit lame.
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« Reply #61 on: October 31, 2011, 08:08:16 PM »

It's not even really the "future" of Protestantism. It's the pietistic impulse of the past reinvigorated by modern man's desire for intellectual assent to everything first and foremost. We couldn't find answers, etc. I must've overlooked the parts of the Bible and the ECFs that treat the faith as a matter of head knowledge above all...and the part where you can just keep forming new groups until you're comfortable.

Oh for goodness' sake!

Too close to home, eh? I was a Protestant, too. My family was also one that "couldn't find answers" in the church we were in (i.e., couldn't get along with the pastor), and because of that left with several other families who had reached the same conclusion. I know well this impulse.  I've been there. It's not a foundation on which to build a Christian community.

We didn't leave for that reason. I said that we haven't been able to join somewhere new because of it.

The leader and his wife who left had been there 14 years and left because of a serious accusation against them which they would not validate by defending themselves and were deemed guilty by silence. Those that left with them with were those who knew the accusation to be untrue.

Having said that, i have known people who have done exactly what you describe.
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« Reply #62 on: October 31, 2011, 08:29:41 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Certainly. Anything else you all want me to include? Smileys? Anecdotes? Vitriol? Malware etc.?

Funny, you've been spiteful, sarcastic, dismissive, and vitriolic across this forum and you're suddenly wondering why folks returning you the favor?
I think you missed my reply to minasoliman.

I don't agree that i have been spiteful. I'd like a quote please, where you feel i've been spiteful. It's not okay to throw out a serious accusation like that and not provide the quote. If i have been spiteful of course i'll apologise.

I think my humour has been misunderstood on occasions or i've failed to use smileys to make it clear when i wasn't being serious.

If you come to an Orthodox forum to defend heresies, perhaps you should have a bit more sense of humor or diplomatic humility, because you can't brow beat us or box our ears into agreeing or making apologies for Protestant,
I've definitely not brow beaten anyone. I've conceded several issues and said i'd have to think about others. I'm working my way through every post that someone makes in reply to something i've asked, many of which are quite long and complicated. I've also apologised many times for misunderstandings.

We are quite deeply sorry that Protestants have been duped into believing heresies, much like we have always been sorry for the heretics of all ages, but the Church stands for the Truth consistently, and all must adjust and conform to the Truth.  Whether or not Protestants then think of the Bible as the Word or word of God is then irrelevant, because their very ontological existence is a heresy.
It's not irrelevant to me. To me i have to consider one small step at a time. I'm sorry if that's not within your personal time scale of 'repentance' but it's all quite a lot to take on in a few weeks.

Why try to dust the mud off your shoulders, when your standing waste deep in muck?
None of us see the "muck" we're standing in unless the Lord opens our eyes to it. Until that time, we all continue on our way doing the best we can to learn what we each need to learn.
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« Reply #63 on: October 31, 2011, 08:32:16 PM »

Quote
We didn't leave for that reason. I said that we haven't been able to join somewhere new because of it.

The leader and his wife who left had been there 14 years and left because of a serious accusation against them which they would not validate by defending themselves and were deemed guilty by silence. Those that left with them with were those who knew the accusation to be untrue.

I see. Strangely, there was a similar climate of accusations and assumed malfeasance behind the schism that occurred in the church that I was raised in. Sadly, I think such things would also be found in Orthodoxy given the frailty of people and the ease of accusation. So I would hope my point stands: It is not a foundation on which to found a Christian community. I sympathize with you and what I'm reading as a search on your part, but I also seem to recall that the idea that the personal moral worthiness of a priest affects the efficacy of his sacraments (which is the closest analogue I can come up with to the Protestant mindset that precipitates such splits, though I know it's not terribly accurate given the non-sacramental nature of the majority of Protestant denominations) is a Christian heresy which was rejected long, long ago. I can't recall the name of it right now, but I don't doubt that it should ring some bells with some people...
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« Reply #64 on: October 31, 2011, 08:37:46 PM »

Quote
We didn't leave for that reason. I said that we haven't been able to join somewhere new because of it.

The leader and his wife who left had been there 14 years and left because of a serious accusation against them which they would not validate by defending themselves and were deemed guilty by silence. Those that left with them with were those who knew the accusation to be untrue.

I see. Strangely, there was a similar climate of accusations and assumed malfeasance behind the schism that occurred in the church that I was raised in. Sadly, I think such things would also be found in Orthodoxy given the frailty of people and the ease of accusation. So I would hope my point stands: It is not a foundation on which to found a Christian community.

I agree it's not. no one left thinking to set up a new community or church. We left and since then we have been looking for churches to join either collectively or individually in different churches. Sadly that hasn't happened yet, so until it does, we meet together to encourage each other and to study.
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« Reply #65 on: October 31, 2011, 08:53:37 PM »

Ah, I see. Please forgive me for misunderstanding the original situation and hence jumping to conclusions. May God bless you in your journey.
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« Reply #66 on: October 31, 2011, 09:02:36 PM »

Ah, I see. Please forgive me for misunderstanding the original situation and hence jumping to conclusions. May God bless you in your journey.

It's not you, i think it's me not being clear enough.

Thanks for the blessing!
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« Reply #67 on: November 01, 2011, 01:00:18 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Certainly. Anything else you all want me to include? Smileys? Anecdotes? Vitriol? Malware etc.?

Funny, you've been spiteful, sarcastic, dismissive, and vitriolic across this forum and you're suddenly wondering why folks returning you the favor?
I think you missed my reply to minasoliman.

I don't agree that i have been spiteful. I'd like a quote please, where you feel i've been spiteful. It's not okay to throw out a serious accusation like that and not provide the quote. If i have been spiteful of course i'll apologise.

I think my humour has been misunderstood on occasions or i've failed to use smileys to make it clear when i wasn't being serious.

If you come to an Orthodox forum to defend heresies, perhaps you should have a bit more sense of humor or diplomatic humility, because you can't brow beat us or box our ears into agreeing or making apologies for Protestant,
I've definitely not brow beaten anyone. I've conceded several issues and said i'd have to think about others. I'm working my way through every post that someone makes in reply to something i've asked, many of which are quite long and complicated. I've also apologised many times for misunderstandings.

We are quite deeply sorry that Protestants have been duped into believing heresies, much like we have always been sorry for the heretics of all ages, but the Church stands for the Truth consistently, and all must adjust and conform to the Truth.  Whether or not Protestants then think of the Bible as the Word or word of God is then irrelevant, because their very ontological existence is a heresy.
It's not irrelevant to me. To me i have to consider one small step at a time. I'm sorry if that's not within your personal time scale of 'repentance' but it's all quite a lot to take on in a few weeks.

Why try to dust the mud off your shoulders, when your standing waste deep in muck?
None of us see the "muck" we're standing in unless the Lord opens our eyes to it. Until that time, we all continue on our way doing the best we can to learn what we each need to learn.

A lot of misunderstandings can happen through text in forums.  But the clarification I thought was kind and non-offensive, and I do appreciate FountainPen's contributions here.
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« Reply #68 on: November 01, 2011, 01:11:48 AM »

Quote
We didn't leave for that reason. I said that we haven't been able to join somewhere new because of it.

The leader and his wife who left had been there 14 years and left because of a serious accusation against them which they would not validate by defending themselves and were deemed guilty by silence. Those that left with them with were those who knew the accusation to be untrue.

I see. Strangely, there was a similar climate of accusations and assumed malfeasance behind the schism that occurred in the church that I was raised in. Sadly, I think such things would also be found in Orthodoxy given the frailty of people and the ease of accusation. So I would hope my point stands: It is not a foundation on which to found a Christian community. I sympathize with you and what I'm reading as a search on your part, but I also seem to recall that the idea that the personal moral worthiness of a priest affects the efficacy of his sacraments (which is the closest analogue I can come up with to the Protestant mindset that precipitates such splits, though I know it's not terribly accurate given the non-sacramental nature of the majority of Protestant denominations) is a Christian heresy which was rejected long, long ago. I can't recall the name of it right now, but I don't doubt that it should ring some bells with some people...
Donatism
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« Reply #69 on: November 01, 2011, 01:16:08 AM »

Ah, thank you! That's it.
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« Reply #70 on: November 01, 2011, 07:28:38 AM »


I find it somewhat hard to believe that groups of people went to the work independently of each other to settle on an outline of their beliefs and it all came out random - yet the "random" order ended up with them all having the same first point. If I were a mathematician, I suppose I could work out the odds.

If you were to email those whose statements begin with who God is, do you think you'll get the response, "Random"?
Well now, given that it was a controlled group, chosen by you, who went looking for evidence to support your assertation -- I think we both know where i'm going with this.
No, I don't know where you're going. I can speculate, and I hope I'm not right.

First of all, don't blame me for "controlled group chosen by [me]". You wanted me to prove that there were groups who listed Scripture as the first point in their statement of beliefs. I did that. I simply gave you a few examples that I was able to find in less than ten minutes. You claimed to not have ten minutes to check for yourself. Nor did I ask you to email them for explanations. That was your choice.  What you did with the list was your own doing.

Since you are under the assumption that there is no particular order to the points in a statement of belief, can you provide examples of statements that begin with something other than "Who God is" or "the Scriptures"? In my experience it has been one or the other. That's not random. It indicates a mindset.

Please read my next question knowing that I have read your story of why you are not settled in a church home.* What about the church you left? What is their statement of beliefs? If you choose not to reveal the identity to avoid anyone's embarrassment, I do understand - but what about the churches that you and your friends have considered joining? Undoubtedly you have looked at their statements. Is there a pattern?

*Thank you for sharing further details of your story. It is easy to be hurt by those whom we have loved and trusted. Your openness and questions really are appreciated. They help me, too, to examine and define my own faith. I have often said, "The best way to get an answer is to ask a question."
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« Reply #71 on: November 01, 2011, 08:29:58 AM »

I wouldn't say that the Bible is worshiped in the Orthodox church either.  In fact the proper word is veneration (proskinisis), so...(I thought terminology might be important for this particular discussion...clarity is good I think)

I never meant to say that we worship the Bible.  I did use the word "venerate".

At the same time, when a lot of Protestants keep saying "The Word of God" all the time referring to the Bible, and then jump back and talk about the "Word of God Incarnate" in Jesus simultaneously, I worry about what some Protestants think, not all, as if there's a connection that should be considered, which is probably why they think nothing else should be "venerated."

God bless.

I have spoken to protestants in some circle who equate the Scriptures to Christ Himself, the Logos.
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« Reply #72 on: November 01, 2011, 12:13:03 PM »


I find it somewhat hard to believe that groups of people went to the work independently of each other to settle on an outline of their beliefs and it all came out random - yet the "random" order ended up with them all having the same first point. If I were a mathematician, I suppose I could work out the odds.

If you were to email those whose statements begin with who God is, do you think you'll get the response, "Random"?
Well now, given that it was a controlled group, chosen by you, who went looking for evidence to support your assertation -- I think we both know where i'm going with this.
No, I don't know where you're going. I can speculate, and I hope I'm not right.
You're making the point that many, (yes 'many') of the para-church organisation had scripture listed first in their 'credal statements' or Statements of Faith and you're gasping at the oddness if indeed the lists are as 'random' as they say.

Where was i going? If you chose the groups specifically with the intention of finding scripture listed before God, then it's hardly a fair list to judge the 'randomness' of it.

First of all, don't blame me for "controlled group chosen by [me]".
No blame. I'm just saying it's not a fair representation of a random list.

You claimed to not have ten minutes to check for yourself.
It wasn't my responsibility; your words needed citations.

Nor did I ask you to email them for explanations. That was your choice.  What you did with the list was your own doing.
I agree.

Since you are under the assumption that there is no particular order to the points in a statement of belief, can you provide examples of statements that begin with something other than "Who God is" or "the Scriptures"? In my experience it has been one or the other. That's not random. It indicates a mindset.
No. My only objective was to prove the assumptions (yours) unfounded. Since most have emailed me back and said that they are in "no particular order" i'm satisfied that this particular list of credal like statements, are not as they first appear.

Please read my next question knowing that I have read your story of why you are not settled in a church home.* What about the church you left? What is their statement of beliefs? If you choose not to reveal the identity to avoid anyone's embarrassment, I do understand - but what about the churches that you and your friends have considered joining? Undoubtedly you have looked at their statements. Is there a pattern?
Those are fair questions and i'll post them in a while.

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« Reply #73 on: November 01, 2011, 01:13:17 PM »

For genesisone:

First church some of us went to -- top three -- no numbers beside them

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. (Deut 6:4 , Gen1:1)

We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is both true God and true man. We believe in his all sufficient sacrifice for sin by his death on the cross, his bodily resurrection, his ascension into heaven and his coming again in glory. (John 1:1-5 , Heb 4:14-15 , 1Cor 15:3-4, Acts 1:9-11 )

We believe in the Holy Spirit who is one with the Father and the Son in the Godhead. We believe that he indwells every Christian believer and is the source of our spiritual life, obedience to God and Christ like behaviour. (1Cor 2:10-13, John 14:16-17 , Rom 8:9-11 , 5-8)


The church we came from cite the Nicene Creed

Another church two of our members tried for a year. They don't have a statement but they do have this below:

"(church name) is a worshipping, witnessing community, faithful to the good news of Jesus Christ.
By God’s grace we are seeking to follow Jesus, eager to be joyfully sharing the gospel
and committed to serving others.
"

Top three of another we attended:

We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and that they only constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice.

We believe that there is only one God, who is infinitely perfect, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things, and who is the only proper object of religious worship.

We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory.



Top three listed under Beliefs of another church we attended briefly

The Trinity

    There is one God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons usually called the Trinity. God the Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ, through Whom all things were created; the character of God is revealed; the salvation of humanity is accomplished; and the world is judged. God the Holy Spirit draws men and women to Himself and gives spiritual gifts to the Church.

Christ our Hope

    In Christ's life of perfect obedience to God's will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept this atonement have eternal life.

Christ's Return

    The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the Church, the grand climax of the Gospel. His coming will be literal, personal, visible, and world-wide. When He returns the righteous dead will be resurrected and together with the righteous living will be glorified and taken to heaven. The unrighteous - those who have rejected divine grace - will die.



I'm not sure how many you want, we have tried quite a few churches. I'll give another two.



Under Vision and Values (no statements listed)

"World transformation begins with individual salvation. Transformed people transform society and we understand from the gospels that the best way this is achieved is through the breaking in of God’s kingdom into our lives; the signs of God's kingdom are healing, release from spiritual bondage, miracles, spiritual gifts and, most significantly, salvation. Salvation provides access to God, a place in his family, life after death and a role in his continuing mission on earth - that all peoples will know him and praise him eternally."

Last one. This is all they had in terms of a statement
We do not share a fixed set of beliefs and you do not need to be a (member) to worship with us at one of our meetings. (Our) faith is expressed through action and we are most widely known for our work for peace.

(My words replaced the church name)

3 of the churches we attended didn't have anything even closely related to statements or beliefs.



A Fairly mixed bunch.

Only posted because genesisone asked for a wider range of church beliefs and statements to see how many listed scripture above God and also to see if any could give us insight into the accusation that Protestants conflate The Word (Jesus), and the word of God (The Bible).

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« Reply #74 on: November 01, 2011, 03:14:09 PM »


A Fairly mixed bunch.

Only posted because genesisone asked for a wider range of church beliefs and statements to see how many listed scripture above God and also to see if any could give us insight into the accusation that Protestants conflate The Word (Jesus), and the word of God (The Bible).


Thank you for your work.* It does illustrate my point. I was looking only at statements of belief - yes, quite aware that many denominations and organizations don't publish that sort of list. Here's the beginning of an interesting article that addresses the importance of a creed:
Quote
We live in non-creedal age. By and large, conservative Christendom diminishes the importance of creedal symbols. As a matter of fact, many non-creedalists do not dismiss creeds simply as unimportant to the maintenance of biblical Christianity, they deem them to be positively antithetical to it. Such a position would better be termed "anti-creedal."
While I do agree with the writer's basic points in this article, there are a few points where we would differ (and further discussion on that is definitely outside the direction of this thread  Wink).

But did you notice that the churches you quoted that did provide a statement were one or the other of the two types that I mentioned earlier?

BTW, most denominations and organizations whose websites I have looked at over the years, like the ones you cited, did include something along the lines of "vision", "mission", or "core values".

Getting back to article cited above: the author doesn't discuss anything like an order of statements. However he does say this:
Quote
There are also broader socio-cultural implications that flow forth from creedalism. But these are beyond the purview of the present study.
This is where differences would play out between those who are of an academic bent and those who aren't. What the "professional theologians" think and say is not necessarily the mindset of the ordinary pew-warmer. For some people, an order to the statements is important, for others, not so much.

*I appreciate seeing how seriously you are looking into these things and am honoured that you are trusting me to answer your questions as carefully and honestly as I can. I wish you well in your journey.
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« Reply #75 on: November 01, 2011, 07:06:48 PM »

I've just finished reading the article, it's written well and certainly makes a case for creeds. I would have to focus more on unity being Christ rather than centering around statements about Christ.

Quote
But did you notice that the churches you quoted that did provide a statement were one or the other of the two types that I mentioned earlier?
yes

Thanks for the generous comments as well as the discussion.
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« Reply #76 on: November 01, 2011, 08:54:22 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

FountainPen, I am posting this publicly to respond to your PM asking such, and because you have taken my comments to heart.  I am sorry if I am being myself misunderstood or if you were being misunderstood, but the general tone of a lot of your posts on various threads has been as I said before, either sarcastic, dismissive, or vitriolic. (this means you've either joked to far with a persons' serious response to your questions, outright dismissed their response, or worse we purposefully antagonistic to their response when people here are just trying to share Orthodox with you)  I am not going to dig up a bunch of examples, my point was not to defame or slander you, rather to point out that your attitude seems to need readjusting, and perhaps ours also.  So I stand by my statement, some of your posts have come across, at least to me and clearly to others, as needlessly and personally hostile, and that is what I was trying to address in my response above.

We are all Christians here, but you have to understand that this is an Orthodox forum, and whether we or you like it or not, your position will always be on the defense, just please, don't get so defensive Wink

stay blessed,
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« Reply #77 on: November 02, 2011, 05:50:28 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

FountainPen, I am posting this publicly to respond to your PM asking such, and because you have taken my comments to heart.  I am sorry if I am being myself misunderstood or if you were being misunderstood, but the general tone of a lot of your posts on various threads has been as I said before, either sarcastic, dismissive, or vitriolic. (this means you've either joked to far with a persons' serious response to your questions, outright dismissed their response, or worse we purposefully antagonistic to their response when people here are just trying to share Orthodox with you)  I am not going to dig up a bunch of examples, my point was not to defame or slander you, rather to point out that your attitude seems to need readjusting, and perhaps ours also.  So I stand by my statement, some of your posts have come across, at least to me and clearly to others, as needlessly and personally hostile, and that is what I was trying to address in my response above.

We are all Christians here, but you have to understand that this is an Orthodox forum, and whether we or you like it or not, your position will always be on the defense, just please, don't get so defensive Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I accept most of what your explaining and i won't quibble about the rest.

I can get defensive it's true, especiallly when someone's told they're wrong in a belief and it's something you've based the weight of your faith on. It's like someone saying that you're not a Christian when you know you love God with as much as you have inside you. You're right though, this is an Orthodox forum and that puts me automatically on the defense so i'll remember that when i formulate a reply in future. This is the Orthodox/Protestant part of the forum though so, hopefully there's a bit more allowance in here for views from both sides.

Okay, i've quibbled a bit [/humour]

I apologise for my sarcasm going a bit too far. [/serious]

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« Reply #78 on: November 21, 2011, 11:01:18 PM »

Forgive me for resurrecting an old thread, but it came to mind tonight.  Originally, when I saw this thread, I was a bit irritated by it.  I thought that it was ridiculous that anyone would suggest that someone would ever think to speak of the Scriptures and Our Lord as if they were one and the same.  Then lo and behold, I turned on my TV tonight and a televangelist named Jesse Duplantis was on and he was speaking about how when men, theologians like himself, write things down their words immediately become "fossilized", but the word of God (the Scriptures) is different, it is a "living, breathing text...it is alive!"  He then said, "Remember folks, 'In the Beginning was the Word!" and he raised up the Bible.  Then pointing at it he said, "This is Jesus Christ [pause] in written form!" Wow.  Who knew?  Well besides some of you on here... Smiley
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« Reply #79 on: November 21, 2011, 11:07:55 PM »

It's not that old yet lol  an yeah your right thats very odd to even say what that preacher said that the bible is Jesus. That guy is also a bit of a wind bag I heard him a few times an if you listen he changes his wind bag stories 5 or 6 times before he's done preaching so you can tell he makes them all up 
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« Reply #80 on: November 22, 2011, 11:31:09 PM »

Forgive me for resurrecting an old thread, but it came to mind tonight.  Originally, when I saw this thread, I was a bit irritated by it.  I thought that it was ridiculous that anyone would suggest that someone would ever think to speak of the Scriptures and Our Lord as if they were one and the same.  Then lo and behold, I turned on my TV tonight and a televangelist named Jesse Duplantis was on and he was speaking about how when men, theologians like himself, write things down their words immediately become "fossilized", but the word of God (the Scriptures) is different, it is a "living, breathing text...it is alive!"  He then said, "Remember folks, 'In the Beginning was the Word!" and he raised up the Bible.  Then pointing at it he said, "This is Jesus Christ [pause] in written form!" Wow.  Who knew?  Well besides some of you on here... Smiley

Wow, it's worse than I thought ...
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« Reply #81 on: November 26, 2011, 03:49:42 AM »

I actually have heard some Protestants refer to the Bible as the "Word of God" as in the Logos in the Gospel of John sense before (saying John 1 referred to the Bible) and have heard of others doing so.
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« Reply #82 on: November 26, 2011, 04:09:03 AM »

I just looked at the Augsburg Confession, the Confession of Faith for the Lutherans, and its first article is about God and who God is.  So you could said that the Lutherans, the very first Protestants historically, do put God first in their confession.  Interestingly, I looked through the entire Augsburg Confession and noticed that it doesn't have a single section devoted exclusively to the Bible.  The Lutherans were more concerned with the interpretation of the Bible
over against Rome than in debating the actual text of the Bible. Even after Martin Luther made his own translation of the Bible, he still kept all of the books of the Catholic Bible in it, but he put the Deuterocanonicals in a separate section between the Old and New Testament. Luther, unlike the Calvinists or the later English Puritans, never demonized those books and referred to them as "good and useful to read."

Just goes to show you that all Protestants aren't the same.
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« Reply #83 on: November 26, 2011, 04:14:39 AM »

I actually have heard some Protestants refer to the Bible as the "Word of God" as in the Logos in the Gospel of John sense before (saying John 1 referred to the Bible) and have heard of others doing so.

It's difficult to differentiate between the word of God and The Word of God when you hear it in conversation unless you asked them, in each case, to clarify.
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« Reply #84 on: November 26, 2011, 01:44:45 PM »

I actually have heard some Protestants refer to the Bible as the "Word of God" as in the Logos in the Gospel of John sense before (saying John 1 referred to the Bible) and have heard of others doing so.

It's difficult to differentiate between the word of God and The Word of God when you hear it in conversation unless you asked them, in each case, to clarify.

And like I said, in the case I was talking about they said "Logos" in John refers to the Bible - which it doesn't, and does mean they think John literally reads "In the beginning was the Bible, and the Bible was with God, and the Bible was God."
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« Reply #85 on: November 26, 2011, 08:33:42 PM »

I actually have heard some Protestants refer to the Bible as the "Word of God" as in the Logos in the Gospel of John sense before (saying John 1 referred to the Bible) and have heard of others doing so.

It's difficult to differentiate between the word of God and The Word of God when you hear it in conversation unless you asked them, in each case, to clarify.

And like I said, in the case I was talking about they said "Logos" in John refers to the Bible - which it doesn't, and does mean they think John literally reads "In the beginning was the Bible, and the Bible was with God, and the Bible was God."

There's always one person somewhere who is going to have misunderstood the teaching.
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« Reply #86 on: November 27, 2011, 12:13:47 AM »

I actually have heard some Protestants refer to the Bible as the "Word of God" as in the Logos in the Gospel of John sense before (saying John 1 referred to the Bible) and have heard of others doing so.

It's difficult to differentiate between the word of God and The Word of God when you hear it in conversation unless you asked them, in each case, to clarify.

And like I said, in the case I was talking about they said "Logos" in John refers to the Bible - which it doesn't, and does mean they think John literally reads "In the beginning was the Bible, and the Bible was with God, and the Bible was God."

There's always one person somewhere who is going to have misunderstood the teaching.

Make it at least 3 for me (+I've heard of 3 others who have also heard it and there's another example in this thread I just saw, that someone saw on tv).
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