Author Topic: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch  (Read 2938 times)

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Offline Irenaeus07

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Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« on: January 14, 2008, 04:12:30 PM »
So I was wondering what are the scripture proofs of belonging to the Chruch?  Isn't belief and works enough?


Offline Fr. George

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2008, 04:24:43 PM »
So I was wondering what are the scripture proofs of belonging to the Chruch?  Isn't belief and works enough?

Well, on the most simple of levels, the scripture itself is proof for belonging to the Church.  The NT was written to Churches and Church leaders - so all the directions to have faith and do good works are to members of the Church.  People who weren't in the Church weren't reading the scriptures and letters.  It's a presupposition of the authors that the people are part of the Church, the communion of the faithful.
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Offline Irenaeus07

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2008, 04:52:06 PM »
You know I am actually quite scrared to visit an Orthodox Chruch.  I am scared that all tbe wonderful things I've read about Orthodox Christianity will all be washed down the tube and when I actually met Orthodox Christians in person.

I am scared of the hypocrite Bishop and other Chruch leaders that may exist.  I am scared of being part of corruption.

Offline Veniamin

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2008, 04:55:44 PM »
You know I am actually quite scrared to visit an Orthodox Chruch.  I am scared that all tbe wonderful things I've read about Orthodox Christianity will all be washed down the tube and when I actually met Orthodox Christians in person.

I am scared of the hypocrite Bishop and other Chruch leaders that may exist.  I am scared of being part of corruption.

You'll run into hypocrites and bad people wherever you go; they're not unique to the Church.  In fact, my priest describes that as being one of the reasons for the year-long catechumenate, even for people who already know a lot about the Orthodox faith when they walk in the door.  That period of time is there to let newcomers not only learn more, but to see that Orthodoxy is full of sinners, as the Church is a hospital for sinners.
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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2008, 05:35:45 PM »
You know I am actually quite scrared to visit an Orthodox Chruch.  I am scared that all tbe wonderful things I've read about Orthodox Christianity will all be washed down the tube and when I actually met Orthodox Christians in person.

I am scared of the hypocrite Bishop and other Chruch leaders that may exist.  I am scared of being part of corruption.
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Offline Irenaeus07

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2008, 05:53:47 PM »
Your fear is misplaced.
Fear God, not the frailty of men.
We should always enter the Temple with fear of God.


I do fear God which is why I asked for proof that one has to belong to the Chruch.  If I don't find proof than there won't be a need to belong to a Chruch.

As of now, I am not convinced with the proof that has been presented.


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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2008, 06:22:10 PM »
If, after reading the New Testament and noting the teachings presented, particularly the warnings of St Paul regaridng how important it is to remain in the Church and not follow the teachings of others that diverge from Truth---

--what more proof are you looking for to realize the need to be in the Church?
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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2008, 07:23:17 PM »
I do fear God which is why I asked for proof that one has to belong to the Church.  If I don't find proof than there won't be a need to belong to a Church.

As of now, I am not convinced with the proof that has been presented.


Did I read that you've never been to an Orthodox Church? If so you'll never be convinced one way or the other if you don't "come and see". And yes indeed the Church is full of sinners, including bishops. That's one reason why we don't have an infallible Pope. But you can rest assured that the hierarchs of the Church, even though they are sinners just like the rest of us, nevertheless they are holy men with hundreds of years of tradition to call upon and they are committed to transmitting the Faith to the next generation whole and unchanged.


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Offline serb1389

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2008, 07:48:33 PM »
Christ didn't come for the righteous, but to heal sinners, of whom I am the first. 

If you go with that mentality then you will not have too many problems  ;)

Really though, that's what the church is for.  Not for us to just attend every sunday and do our cross and just live our lives.  But rather to push forward with our whole body mind and heart toward Christ. 

No church is "perfect" and if you find one i'd love to visit... 8)
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2008, 12:15:15 PM »
Well put Serb!

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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2008, 01:18:29 PM »
You know I am actually quite scrared to visit an Orthodox Chruch.  I am scared that all tbe wonderful things I've read about Orthodox Christianity will all be washed down the tube and when I actually met Orthodox Christians in person.

I am scared of the hypocrite Bishop and other Chruch leaders that may exist.  I am scared of being part of corruption.

Thinking like this is actually quite normal when we stop and look around us.  It seems as if our heroes, after promising us things and giving us hope, often turn out to be frauds.  As far back as history goes, this has always been the case esp in these days; our sports heroes are brought up on charges of doping.  Our political heroes are caught with their pants down.  The list goes on and on.  But why?  What's going on here?  Well, we must first start with the Fall.  Once we understand the consequences and nature of the Fall, we will be much better off and not as dissappointed when those we look up to are disgraced.  The consequences of the Fall (known not as Original sin but as Ancestral sin) we call 'illnesses of the heart'.  Much more can be said about these illnesses, but suffice it to say that when we are sick or ill we need to take medicine.  Now, for practical purposes, Christianity is called a 'religion' but in reality it is nothing of the sort.  Orthodox Christianity is, in fact, a Hospital where the therapies of Christ are being applied on a daily basis.  With this new understanding of the purpose of the Church, there's no need to wonder at the hypocrisy you are sure to see.  After all, you wouldn't wonder or marvel at seeing sick people in medical hospital would you?  As Serb1389 posted, Christ didn't come for the righteous, but to heal sinners. 

Why don't you visit an Orthodox priest and let him help you with these questions?  And as Fr. Peter Guillquist says, "Give us a month of Sunday's" (meaning attend the Divine Liturgy every Sunday for one month) so that you can get the 'feel' for what's going on.  In the meantime, a book that many people have found insightful is The Mountain of Silence by Dr. Kyriacos Markides.

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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2008, 02:17:53 PM »
So I was wondering what are the scripture proofs of belonging to the Chruch?  Isn't belief and works enough?


Is your question "How does one know, from a Biblical standpoint, that s/he is a Christian?"
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Offline drewmeister2

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2008, 03:17:38 PM »
So I was wondering what are the scripture proofs of belonging to the Chruch?  Isn't belief and works enough?

Irenaeus, I was like you at one point, when I first started my search for the Truth over three years ago.  I wanted someone to show me some type of scientific proof or something that this or that Church was the True Church, as if it could be proved so easily.  I learned though that everyone has very convincing arguments for their Church, so I finally had to give up this way of searching for the Truth.  For me it was basically between Orthodoxy and Catholicism.  I grew up as a Catholic so I knew what that was like, but I had to go experience Orthodoxy before I could know what it was all about.  Only then did I see the Truth of  Orthodoxy, and only then was I able to know where the Truth is.
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Offline Sophie

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2008, 03:21:00 PM »
You know I am actually quite scrared to visit an Orthodox Chruch.  I am scared that all tbe wonderful things I've read about Orthodox Christianity will all be washed down the tube and when I actually met Orthodox Christians in person.

I am scared of the hypocrite Bishop and other Chruch leaders that may exist.  I am scared of being part of corruption.

My professor in religion class who was and is actually a priest, used to tell us that in Church, as a theanthropic (both divine and human) institution or body, the human factor introduces the possibility of error.Errors are human.But Church is also divine.

So I was wondering what are the scripture proofs of belonging to the Chruch?  Isn't belief and works enough?



If I have understood well what you are asking, I would say that, scripturally, baptism and communion are proofs (or conditions) of belonging to the Church.Someone correct me if I am mistaken.This is how I understood the question.
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Offline Fr. David

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2008, 05:22:44 PM »
A brief passage from the second chapter of the Acts of the Saintly and Pure Apostles:

Quote
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.  And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in [the] prayers.

The boldfaced would seem to be the original meaning of "Church."  This is what I see in Orthodoxy to this day.
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Offline Irenaeus07

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2008, 01:40:20 PM »

Why don't you visit an Orthodox priest and let him help you with these questions?  And as Fr. Peter Guillquist says, "Give us a month of Sunday's" (meaning attend the Divine Liturgy every Sunday for one month) so that you can get the 'feel' for what's going on.  In the meantime, a book that many people have found insightful is The Mountain of Silence by Dr. Kyriacos Markides.

That is quote impossible for me to do, because i work every other sunday and sometimes I work every sunday, because I am in school, during the week.

I've made a meeting with a priest, he cancelled the first meeting and didn't show up on the second meeting.

Quote
Is your question "How does one know, from a Biblical standpoint, that s/he is a Christian?"

I guess that is the question I am answering/  What does it mean to be part of the Chruch?  Is being part of the chruch a necessary aspect of being Christian?  Why or why not?  Perhaps with scripture proof?


David Bryan's reply is kind of a proof. But i am looking more for proof from Jesus himself.
Quote
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.  And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in [the] prayers.

Getting baptized, ok, you have to go to chruch for that, I guess you would have to have a priest do it. 

Fellowship, to what extend does one have to fellowship?  I can understand the general need to be among those who are striving for righteousness.

Breaking bread. I don't know what that means.

Congregational prayer - (is this a necessary condition to be part of the church, or christian?)

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2008, 02:39:10 PM »
Irenaeus,

If I may posit a few observations.

To me, it seems that you are likening the Church to merely a physical institution of like-minded people as if it were no differen than a club or some social organization.  The Church is a hospital which gives out the mysteries to Christ's children who have become infirm in body and soul due to sin.

Second, you are putting the cart before the horse as you are asking for Scriptural proof for being part of the Church when it was the Church who authored the God-inspired Scriptures.  The Church is the foundation of those Scriptures.  It quite clearly says in the Epistle to Timothy that the Church is guardian and bulwark of the Truth.  Surely you don't believe that the individual churches in the ancient world were not composed of Christians because they didn't have a codified Bible? 

Third, your hesitation to actually visit a Church becasue of the fear of hypocrisy is unfounded.  Are there going to be hypocrites?  Probably.  Such is our sinful world and the people who live on it.  Are there no hypocrites in the path you are currently on?  If you join an organization (any organization) because you feel that all the people will be like-minded and do exactly as you, you will be disappointed all the time. 

I would suggest you go.  If you do, I would make sure to pay special attention to how much Scripture is used in our prayers and hymns in a Divine LIturgy (far more than when I was a Lutheran sola scriptura kind of guy).  The Church gives the Scripture its power, not vice versa. 
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Offline Irenaeus07

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2008, 03:13:27 PM »
Irenaeus,


Second, you are putting the cart before the horse as you are asking for Scriptural proof for being part of the Church when it was the Church who authored the God-inspired Scriptures.  The Church is the foundation of those Scriptures.  It quite clearly says in the Epistle to Timothy that the Church is guardian and bulwark of the Truth.  Surely you don't believe that the individual churches in the ancient world were not composed of Christians because they didn't have a codified Bible? 

So this posses another question.  What is the Christian criteria for Truth?  How do you determine what is and isn't the Truth?  What is your measuring stick?

The Chruch is the criteria for Truth, the Bible or what?  There has to be something by which you base the truth?


Offline John of the North

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2008, 03:25:37 PM »
That is quote impossible for me to do, because i work every other sunday and sometimes I work every sunday, because I am in school, during the week.

I've made a meeting with a priest, he cancelled the first meeting and didn't show up on the second meeting.

I did it. It's really hard, and I certainly make alot less, but some things are important.

Quote
I guess that is the question I am answering/  What does it mean to be part of the Chruch?  Is being part of the chruch a necessary aspect of being Christian?  Why or why not?  Perhaps with scripture proof?

Yes it is neccessary to be part of the Church. We need each other in order to walk this journey of life towards salvation. Besides that, the food is good, spiritual and otherwise.


Quote
David Bryan's reply is kind of a proof. But i am looking more for proof from Jesus himself.

"And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." - Matthew 16:18

And naturally the Church wrote the Bible, so how can you read the Bible and not acknowledge the Church??


Quote
Fellowship, to what extend does one have to fellowship?  I can understand the general need to be among those who are striving for righteousness.

Fellowship is extrememly important! We aren't strong enough alone without God and His People.

Quote
Congregational prayer - (is this a necessary condition to be part of the church, or christian?)

Yes.
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Offline John of the North

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2008, 03:32:22 PM »
So this posses another question.  What is the Christian criteria for Truth?  How do you determine what is and isn't the Truth?  What is your measuring stick?

The Chruch is the criteria for Truth, the Bible or what?  There has to be something by which you base the truth?

Holy Tradition is the yardstick for Truth. And Holy Tradition is the "constant abiding of the Holy Spirit" in the Church of Christ.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2008, 04:14:38 PM »
So this posses another question.  What is the Christian criteria for Truth?  How do you determine what is and isn't the Truth?  What is your measuring stick?

The Chruch is the criteria for Truth, the Bible or what?  There has to be something by which you base the truth?

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." (John 14:6-7)

For us Truth is not a principle or idea, but a person - the person of Christ.  Our measuring stick is Christ.  Our Church has had its debates and councils and the like in order to compare our (principles, ideas, theology, laws, etc.) to the Way of Christ, His Truth, and His Love.
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Offline Fr. David

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2008, 04:19:50 PM »
Breaking bread. I don't know what that means.

The Eucharist, or communion.

Congregational prayer - (is this a necessary condition to be part of the church, or christian?)

A common phrase you'll hear is lex orandi, lex credendi, or the law of prayer is the law of belief.  What we pray (or how we pray) determines in large part what we profess to believe.  Not only is it a mark of unity to pray in common with other believers, but it aids a great deal in preserving said unity.
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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2008, 12:38:51 AM »
David Bryan's reply is kind of a proof. But i am looking more for proof from Jesus himself.
So, the witness of the Holy Spirit, who shares the mind of Christ and spoke through the Holy Apostles following His descent at Pentecost, is not enough for you?  I'm sorry to be blunt, but if you won't listen to the Apostles, whom the Holy Spirit anointed to speak the words of Christ, then what makes you think the words of Jesus Himself will have any impact on your thinking?
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Offline Irenaeus07

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Re: Proof for Belonging to the Chruch
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2008, 05:16:48 PM »
So, the witness of the Holy Spirit, who shares the mind of Christ and spoke through the Holy Apostles following His descent at Pentecost, is not enough for you?  I'm sorry to be blunt, but if you won't listen to the Apostles, whom the Holy Spirit anointed to speak the words of Christ, then what makes you think the words of Jesus Himself will have any impact on your thinking?

Thanks for your input.  May God give you the best in this life and the next. Amen.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2008, 05:17:56 PM by Irenaeus07 »