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Cleopas
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If I'm my own Pope then I claim infalliablity. Ha!

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« on: December 07, 2007, 01:29:06 AM »

Okay. So far I've been questioning you guys on what you believe, and why I think the Scripture does or does not support it, etc. Now, I'm going to do the unthinkable  laugh, I'm gonna give you ammo to use on me.  Shocked

Okay, well, not exactly.  Kiss

I thought I'd share some various distinct views I personally hold and/or believe (which may or may not be the norm in Evangelical circles).

Also, I'm open to any questions you have concerning protestant beliefs, etc. I can't speak with great authority on all the various views. But I can do my best. Personally  I was reared in the Holiness-Pentecostal movement. That's what I know the most about.

Okay, so here is some of the distinctives I hold:



1. Salvation is, on the human side, by faith alone in Christ alone. Not by works.

2. Believers baptism, by immersion. No formula required.

3. Believers are called and enabled to live a life of holiness and godliness. These include complementary works that validate faith. Known sin, not repented for, separates a believer from fellowship with God (which is salvation). If he should die that way, he dies outside of Christ, in his sins, and must face the wrath of God and His punishment. Thus all believers are called and enabled to perfect holiness, to be conformed more fully to the image of Christ, to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord, and to live without sin in this present world.

4. I believe that salvation is received and initiated at the moment of conversion -- which consists of repenting of one's sins, turning from them to follow after God by faith in the life, person, and atoning work of His Son. Thus one who has repented and believed on Christ is a convert, a disciple, born again.

5. Upon the sinner's repentance and trust in Christ He is justified, sanctified, and regenerated through the agency of the Spirit of God. Thus he is forgiven of his sins, has his standing before God made acceptable, is cleansed of his sins and set apart to a life of devotion to God, and is made a partaker of the nature of God receiving new spiritual life.

6. The lord's Supper as a transcendent and fulfilled form of the Passover celebration. Thus a sacred memorial meal in remembrance of the sacrificial offering of Christ once for all. I believe it should be kept at least once per year in accord with the Jewish passover festivities and feasts.That it's elements are unleavened bread and wine(sufficiently diluted)/grape juice.

7. I believe that washing the saint's feet was a practice among the NT believers. I do not hold that it was an ordinance. But it does seem to have been practiced as a special experience among the community of believers. Therefore believers today can and may choose to use such a method as a form of worship or Christian service.

8. I believe in the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit in the church. Besides the more general functions of the Spirit this means I believe in the present and continued operation of the spiritual gifts, the miraculous, etc. I also believe that one may receive the baptism of the Spirit, and that it is post conversion.

9. I do not believe in tithing as a NT teaching or practice. Though I do not see such forbidden under the NT, if a willing gift to God and His church. But I do not see such compelled by the NT. Yet, giving of one's means to the service and glory of God, to the church,m to one' neighbors, and the needy, as we are able is certainly endorsed, taught, and expected of the believer via the NT.

10. I believe each local church should ideally be overseen by a plurality of elders, assisted by deacons when or as needed.

11. I believe all believers are one in Christ, and thus should be one in corporeal/organizational fellowship. I believe we will be prior to the return of the Lord.

12. I believe in the rapture of the church prior to the Second coming proper. I have my opinions concerning just, when and how all that will play out. But the important thing is that Christ will personally, bodily, return in power and glory.

13. I believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ over all the world.

14. I believe in the national restoration and salvation of Israel.

15. I believe in a literal state and place called hell. All those who die in their sins are confined there until the resurrection and last judgment. I believe they will be raised, face God in judgment, be confined to the lake of fire where they will forever be separated from fellowship with God and in torment.

16. I believe the disembodied spirit's of believers go to be in the presence of Christ in heaven upon death, where they also await the resurrection, and their bodily glorification at the coming of Christ. That they will in habit the new earth, in perfect fellowship with Christ throughout eternity future.

17. I believe marriage is a lifelong state that is not severed except by death. I believe that God dislikes, but permits on some occasions (i.e. in the case of fornication, abandonment, etc.) divorce. Albeit remarriage, besides to one's proper living spouse, is never permitted.



That doesn't cover eveything, obviously. BUt it at least gives us some issues to kick around.  Cool

Oh yeah, some you already know...

18. I believe the bible (both the OT and NT), especially the NT, is the ultimate authority and rule in all matters of Christian belief and practice.

19. I believe in original sin, whereby man became subject to death, physical and spiritual. Thereby man is mortal and separated from physical life by death. Also man is sinful and separated from fellowship with God by inbred corruption and death. Man is not sick in sin and trespasses, he is dead in them.


Have fun! and be nice.  Cheesy laugh Tongue
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 02:49:43 AM by Cleopas » Logged

Cleopas
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2007, 01:48:19 AM »

I believe that God dislikes, but permits on some occasions (i.e. in the case of fornication, abandonment, etc.) divorce. Albeit remarriage, besides to one's proper living spouse, is never permitted.

Bravo! I have been surprised to find a growing number of Evangelicals return to this hard but true and ancient teaching.
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2007, 08:51:12 AM »

Wow, Cleopas, there is a lot here.

I have left evangelicalism and and on the road but not quite there to
Orthodoxy, so, this is a good test for me as well to see if I represent
the Church's position.

So, please Orthodox posters, correct my misconceptions about
the Orthodox faith, and maybe I'll learn something too  Smiley


Also, this will be broadbrush. (And please forgive any misconceptions
that I have about the Orthodox faith.)





1. Salvation is, on the human side, by faith alone in Christ alone. Not by works.

Both faith and works are needed for salvation, but ultimately it is God who judges, not us.
Plenty of scripture verses support the role of works, (my fav Rev 20:12).  Faith without
works is dead.  Also "salvation" to Orthodox  is more than the heaven/hell decision.


Quote

2. Believers baptism, by immersion. No formula required.


Infant baptism, by immersion: specifically 3 times (by Father, Son, Holy Spirit.) Other forms of baptism in the name of the Trinity are accepted, even if done outside the O churth.   Infant baptism is early church practice.
Baptism is part of the salvation process


Quote
3. Believers are called and enabled to live a life of holiness and godliness. These include complementary works that validate faith. Known sin, not repented for, separates a believer from fellowship with God (which is salvation). If he should die that way, he dies outside of Christ, in his sins, and must face the wrath of God and His punishment. Thus all believers are called and enabled to perfect holiness, to be conformed more fully to the image of Christ, to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord, and to live without sin in this present world.

We like sanctification too.

Quote
4. I believe that salvation is received and initiated at the moment of conversion -- which consists of repenting of one's sins, turning from them to follow after God by faith in the life, person, and atoning work of His Son. Thus one who has repented and believed on Christ is a convert, a disciple, born again.

The best shorthand here I know is "justification plus sanctification equals salvation (using your definition of salvation)"
Born again, by the way, we believe refers to baptism (John 3:5), an historic church position.

Quote
5. Upon the sinner's repentance and trust in Christ He is justified, sanctified, and regenerated through the agency of the Spirit of God. Thus he is forgiven of his sins, has his standing before God made acceptable, is cleansed of his sins and set apart to a life of devotion to God, and is made a partaker of the nature of God receiving new spiritual life.

We call this the juridical view of salvation, which we don't accept as a complete definition of salvation.  Salvation
"formulas" we feel are limiting on God's judgment.   My favorite scripture is Matthew 19:25-26 When the disciples heard this [rich man and camel through needle], they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Quote
 
6. The lord's Supper as a transcendent and fulfilled form of the Passover celebration. Thus a sacred memorial meal in remembrance of the sacrificial offering of Christ once for all. I believe it should be kept at least once per year in accord with the Jewish passover festivities and feasts.That it's elements are unleavened bread and wine(sufficiently diluted)/grape juice.

Communion is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, which is the historical view of communion since the church began. (See John 6.)   Sorry, but we also believe in closed communion.   This is based on the idea that the proper
communion should come from the church the Jesus Christ established (Matt 16:18) which we believe is the O church.
 

Quote

7. I believe that washing the saint's feet was a practice among the NT believers. I do not hold that it was an ordinance. But it does seem to have been practiced as a special experience among the community of believers. Therefore believers today can and may choose to use such a method as a form of worship or Christian service.


I'm not entirely sure about this one.  But foot washing is not done on Sundays and most holy days.

Quote
8. I believe in the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit in the church. Besides the more general functions of the Spirit this means I believe in the present and continued operation of the spiritual gifts, the miraculous, etc. I also believe that one may receive the baptism of the Spirit, and that it is post conversion.

We believe the Holy Spirit indeed resides in the Orthdox Church.  However, we dare not limit the Spirit's presence outside of the church.  The phrase we use is "We know where the Holy Spirit is, we dare not say where He isn't"
As for baptism of the Spirit, we believe this is conferred at the ceremony of conversion (called Chrismation) or
at baptism in the case of infants.

Quote
9. I do not believe in tithing as a NT teaching or practice. Though I do not see such forbidden under the NT, if a willing gift to God and His church. But I do not see such compelled by the NT. Yet, giving of one's means to the service and glory of God, to the church,m to one' neighbors, and the needy, as we are able is certainly endorsed, taught, and expected of the believer via the NT.

Not sure about this one.  But I think it's fair to say the church likes receiving money  Smiley

Quote
10. I believe each local church should ideally be overseen by a plurality of elders, assisted by deacons when or as needed.

There are three scriptural offices: bishop, presbyter (now called priest in O church), and deacons.  The O church has three offices today. A single bishop (sometimes called an overseer in Scripture), is charge of a geographical area and they should not compete or overlap.  We also believe that synods should meet to decide certain topical issues.  The last synod of the entire undivided church was in 787 A.D. (7th Ecumenical Council).  Finally, decision in the Orthodox decision are made conciliarly, no one person has the power to act alone (on important decisions).

Quote
11. I believe all believers are one in Christ, and thus should be one in corporeal/organizational fellowship. I believe we will be prior to the return of the Lord.

We believe that believers should belong to the Orthodox Church, because when Jesus said "upon this rock, I will build my church" (Matt 16:18), he did not intend for there to be more than one church.  By the way, this does not mean all in the O church will be saved (Parable of wheat and tares) nor that all those that are outside the O church will be damned.

Quote

12. I believe in the rapture of the church prior to the Second coming proper. I have my opinions concerning just, when and how all that will play out. But the important thing is that Christ will personally, bodily, return in power and glory.

13. I believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ over all the world.

14. I believe in the national restoration and salvation of Israel.

We are free to hold divergent views on eschatology.  I would say, however, that amill is the prevailing eschatological theory in the O church.  (Personally, I am amil as well).

Quote
15. I believe in a literal state and place called hell. All those who die in their sins are confined there until the resurrection and last judgment. I believe they will be raised, face God in judgment, be confined to the lake of fire where they will forever be separated from fellowship with God and in torment.

agreed

Quote
16. I believe the disembodied spirit's of believers go to be in the presence of Christ in heaven upon death, where they also await the resurrection, and their bodily glorification at the coming of Christ. That they will in habit the new earth, in perfect fellowship with Christ throughout eternity future.

Oh boy.  This is a hard one.  We too believe that the saved spirits go to Christ in heaven upon death and are indeed alive.  Especially important is the community of saints.   These saved spirits will on the last day be reunited with their perfected body, and will become incarnational like Christ, (both body and spirit).  There may be a second chance for those who didn't make it the first time at the second (final) judgment (Rev 20).

Quote
17. I believe marriage is a lifelong state that is not severed except by death. I believe that God dislikes, but permits on some occasions (i.e. in the case of fornication, abandonment, etc.) divorce. Albeit remarriage, besides to one's proper living spouse, is never permitted.

We like marriage and it is a sacrament in the church.  As for divorce and remarriage, I'll have to leave it to others for that one.

Quote

18. I believe the bible (both the OT and NT), especially the NT, is the ultimate authority and rule in all matters of Christian belief and practice.

We believe the Bible is inspired as well, but the Church is the ultimate authority, because it is indeed Christ's body.

Quote

19. I believe in original sin, whereby man became subject to death, physical and spiritual. Thereby man is mortal and separated from physical life by death. Also man is sinful and separated from fellowship with God by inbred corruption and death. Man is not sick in sin and trespasses, he is dead in them.


We do not believe in original sin (as posited by Augustine) but do believe that Adam's sin brought death to humankind.
We inherit death from Adam, but not sin.  (I think it is called the "ancestral sin.")

Quote
Have fun! and be nice.  Cheesy laugh Tongue
Thanks much. Smiley  Now let's see how well I did.   Wink
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 09:24:42 AM by trifecta » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2007, 10:06:08 AM »

Grace and Peace Cleopas,

I tend to be very much in line with Trifecta... Thanks Buddy!  Grin

But I am just overjoyed with your presences here Cleopas. Your manner is kind, considerate, and very respectful and I still can't help but give you lots of digital hugs!!!  angel= angel

I share a great deal of your views and frankly disagree a bit with my fellow Orthodox Brothers and Sisters on some of their more 'extreme' views which appear to contradict the Scriptures. I hold the Scriptures Authority very high but I'm not so sure I do the some for my ability to interpret it...  Embarrassed

So I turn to the consensus of the Early Church for guidance.

Somethings I feel like a Methodist...  Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2007, 03:47:05 PM »

Don't have a lot of time at the moment. Just wanted to say, if anyone wants to take a more detailed look into any of these I suggest we start individual threads for the topic you wish to discuss.

Thanks for the responses so far, and the kind words. Grin
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2007, 08:54:18 AM »

Cleopas: 

You are one evangelical I could learn to really like!  Please, with all due repsect, remember that the posters here are laypeople, good people, learned people, pious people. All of the posters I am acquainted with and, in my opinion, are qualified. But in the Orthodox faith we defer to our priest or spiritual confessor (most often a priest or monk, not always) with questions or comments about our faith. There are priests that post on this site (FrChris) and the internet should not viewed as a substitute for these men. Having moved in evangelical circles in the past I know that it is common to discuss points of faith and salvation in Bible studies with each man/woman having his/her own interpretation belief. This use to drive me mad (not angry - - just insane) because sometimes people wouldn't agree. We have our squabbles in Orthodoxy - we are not perfect, but we rely on the church and those in authority to lay the plumb line of belief for us. I have not ventured to comment on you beliefs, I am not as learned as many are here

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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2007, 10:35:40 AM »


Communion is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, which is the historical view of communion since the church began. (See John 6.)   Sorry, but we also believe in closed communion.   

Real Presence is a term that is used by Lutherans primarily since they regard what happens during the consecration as consubstantiation, which means that the bread and wine are there together with the Body and Blood of Christ.  St. Basil the Great says that the bread and wine are antitypes, that is, something we can perceive, but the reality is that what the elements actually are IS the Body and Blood of our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  At the epiclesis, the priest beseeches, "Make this Bread the Body of your Christ", "Make this wine the Blood of your Christ...changing them by Your Holy Spirit."  The change is complete and whole.  This is no longer Body and Blood, but, as the communion prayers state, it is fire.

And we should not apologize for practicing closed communion.  The unity of the faith is required before we partake of our Lord's mysteries, otherwise, what effect would it have?
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2007, 06:17:12 PM »

I split off the discussion involving salvation by faith alone into its own thread. There are so many potential good discussions here that I'd hate for them to get lost in one long thread.

--YtterbiumAnalyst
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2007, 07:04:27 PM »

I split off the discussion involving salvation by faith alone into its own thread. There are so many potential good discussions here that I'd hate for them to get lost in one long thread.

--YtterbiumAnalyst


Yeah! Kewl beans Y-man! Cool

That was my goal -- to instigate new threads with the thoughts presented in this one.
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Cleopas
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2007, 01:25:15 PM »

It might be helpful for you guys to know that, though I am protestant, I am not a Calvinist. I am Armenian. Actually, I am what would be considered Wesleyan Arminian. I do not hold to predestination of an elect few. I do not hold to limited atonement. I do not hold to eternal security (that is that a person once in faith cannot fail of faith, that a person once justified cannot again become unrighteous -- they can).

Just thought that this might be helpful in discussions with me and my views and "protestant" perspectives. I disagree with my Calvinistic brothers on most of their fundamental concepts expressed by the acronym T.U.L.I.P.
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2007, 01:42:02 PM »

It might be helpful for you guys to know that, though I am protestant, I am not a Calvinist. I am Armenian. Actually, I am what would be considered Wesleyan Arminian. I do not hold to predestination of an elect few. I do not hold to limited atonement. I do not hold to eternal security (that is that a person once in faith cannot fail of faith, that a person once justified cannot again become unrighteous -- they can).

Just thought that this might be helpful in discussions with me and my views and "protestant" perspectives. I disagree with my Calvinistic brothers on most of their fundamental concepts expressed by the acronym T.U.L.I.P.

Ah, this is probably why I like you so much! I was raised Free-will Baptist (on my Father's side). We share Prevening Grace Doctrines etc.

But note that John Wesley didn't believe in Sola Scriptura but the Quadrilateral influence of "Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience"...

Why do you argue Sola Scriptura in some of the other threads?
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« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2007, 02:44:49 PM »

Known sin, not repented for, separates a believer from fellowship with God (which is salvation). If he should die that way, he dies outside of Christ, in his sins, and must face the wrath of God and His punishment.
I realize this thread has been left alone for a few weeks, but I was wondering about this particular point.  Do you believe that we lose our salvation with every known sin?  I remember thinking something along these lines when I was younger.
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« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2007, 06:14:15 PM »

I realize this thread has been left alone for a few weeks, but I was wondering about this particular point.  Do you believe that we lose our salvation with every known sin?  I remember thinking something along these lines when I was younger.

I think this really underscores the West's approach to God using mostly juridical metaphors and a legal understanding.  If God is only a Judge, then what of His being Saviour?  The East does not dismiss the juridical approach, though it makes it complete with Christ taking on humanity and raising it up from what it was from the corruptions of sin. 

It also helps to clarify what the East means by the "wrath" of God.  St. Maximos the Confessor explicates this quite well.  I'm away from my library right now so I can't find the exact references, but I do know that St. Maximos clearly articulates that the wrath of God is not the fire and brimstone that many associate with hardcore Baptist preachers (no offense intended to Baptists out there), but the love of God poured out freely but absolutely hated by those who are hard of heart that it feels like wrath.  Hopefully someone else here can dig out the specific references.
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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2007, 03:10:42 AM »

I realize this thread has been left alone for a few weeks, but I was wondering about this particular point.  Do you believe that we lose our salvation with every known sin?  I remember thinking something along these lines when I was younger.

What do Orthodox believe about this? Do we lose our salvation with every sin?
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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2008, 07:27:23 AM »

I realize this thread has been left alone for a few weeks, but I was wondering about this particular point.  Do you believe that we lose our salvation with every known sin?  I remember thinking something along these lines when I was younger.

Sorry to be so long in responding. Somehow I let this question slip my mind.

The answer is, yes. I believe that anytime a believer knowingly or willfully commits sin he is no longer in a righteous state before God, either imputed or imparted. I believe such a one, if they should die without repenting of that sin, would be lost and unsaved.

Mind you, I am not speaking of the sins of immaturity. We are granted some covering by grace, to grow, both in grace and knowledge. We perfect holiness. We walk in the light, and as we do the blood of Jesus is appropriated for any sins remaining of which we may not have sufficient light yet.

But if we turn from the light, and walk into darkness, how great is that darkness? If we do not come to the light and let God cleanse us and help us to overcome then we prove ourselves to be of those who "love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil." Jesus says of those that they are not believers and are under condemnation.
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