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Author Topic: Why do you want me in your church?  (Read 3078 times) Average Rating: 0
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trifecta
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« on: January 23, 2008, 06:29:01 AM »

Ebor in another thread (that was going off topic) asked me the question in the subject line.
So, I thought I would continue it in a new thread.

My answer was that, yes, I want everyone to join my church.  With Orthodoxy the answer goes deeper than that.  The church is, we believe, the one established by Jesus Christ and remains his mystical Body.  What can compare with that? 

The Protestant answer is usually the same.*  Go to the church that feels right to you.  After years as a Protestant, I find that answer less than satisfying.  That answer not only places too much discretion on the individual, it is bound to lead to divisions, since we are all different.  Furthermore, this answer tacitly admits that no church has the truth.  If one is just as good as the next even though there are doctrinal differences, how certain are these denominations about what they believe?


I am not saying I do not have respect for Protestants.  My best friend is an Anglican and have great respect for him as a Christian, but Protestants don't want to deal with this issue of the church.
What irks me is when they deflect it by accusing us of creating disunity by claiming a single undivided church.

 
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*The other possible answer is our dinky denomination established late in history is the only one that is true.  That answer is much worse than what is described above.
 
   
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2008, 04:28:07 PM »

I don't want everyone in my Church.  I'm simply not that charitable.  There are a lot of people I want in my Church, because I do really believe it is the Pearl of Great Price.  It is so real, so right, there is no way for me to adequately describe it.

I only pray that I will learn enough charity to want more people than I do to join the Orthodox Church, even if I never grow enough to want everyone.
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2008, 09:16:53 AM »

I don't want everyone in my Church.  I'm simply not that charitable.  There are a lot of people I want in my Church, because I do really believe it is the Pearl of Great Price.  It is so real, so right, there is no way for me to adequately describe it.

I only pray that I will learn enough charity to want more people than I do to join the Orthodox Church, even if I never grow enough to want everyone.

Post of the month nominee, for the sheer honesty.
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2008, 10:48:06 AM »

I don't want everyone in my Church.  I'm simply not that charitable.  There are a lot of people I want in my Church, because I do really believe it is the Pearl of Great Price.  It is so real, so right, there is no way for me to adequately describe it.

I only pray that I will learn enough charity to want more people than I do to join the Orthodox Church, even if I never grow enough to want everyone.

AF:  You just pegged the practical meaning of repentance and Theosis.  I bet there isn't one person on this board who can say they feel brotherly or sisterly love for absolutely everyone in their church or daily life.  Most of us just hide it; we avoid that person at coffee hour because they are weird, obnoxious, old, arrogant, or they aren't meeting our expectations of what an Orthodox Christian should be - not churchy enough.  It would be the same thing if some drunk or mentally ill street person showed up on Sunday morning.  As long as we're being frank here, that's something I struggle with because I feel uncomfortable and a little scared of encounters like this. 

So good, you admit you don't want everyone in church with you, and even better that you realize this is something to work on.  I agree with Veniamin.  That is honest and noble.
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2014, 05:07:32 PM »

I don't want everyone in my Church.  I'm simply not that charitable.  There are a lot of people I want in my Church, because I do really believe it is the Pearl of Great Price.  It is so real, so right, there is no way for me to adequately describe it.

I only pray that I will learn enough charity to want more people than I do to join the Orthodox Church, even if I never grow enough to want everyone.

Post of the month nominee, for the sheer honesty.

We had posts of the month all the way back in 2008? Huh, learn something every day. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2014, 05:47:05 PM »

resurrecting threads from 2008?
time to get off computer and speak to a 'real human being'...
 Wink

seriously, go pray for 5 minutes, then call someone or walk the neighbour's dog, or go shopping or wash up your plates or something.

(ok, if you are really, really bored, you can send a personal message instead. even though i am only a cyber borg, i am more interesting than resurrecting old threads)
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2014, 12:40:54 AM »

resurrecting threads from 2008?
time to get off computer and speak to a 'real human being'...
 Wink


the previous topic I just read was from 2004
 Embarrassed


someone needs new topics
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2014, 05:24:37 PM »

Protestants don't want to deal with this issue of the church.

I suspect you are right about a lot of churchgoers who love the Lord, seek to know and serve him, but think little about ecclesiology; but I do not believe that we have no ecclesiology, or that none of us thinks through these issues. I have had long debates on this forum on the matter, and I think I now understand your position. But I (and I do not think I am unique in this) have pondered long and hard and have emerged intellectually persuaded of the Baptist position, though I am not from a Baptist family or background, nor was I brought to faith in a Baptist context. You are more than welcome to say I am mistaken, but you would be wrong to say I, and doubtless many others like me, "don't want to deal with this issue of the church."
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2014, 05:30:31 PM »

But I (and I do not think I am unique in this) have pondered long and hard and have emerged intellectually persuaded of the Baptist position, though I am not from a Baptist family or background, nor was I brought to faith in a Baptist context.

What is the "Baptist position"? 
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2014, 01:57:21 AM »

But I (and I do not think I am unique in this) have pondered long and hard and have emerged intellectually persuaded of the Baptist position, though I am not from a Baptist family or background, nor was I brought to faith in a Baptist context.

What is the "Baptist position"? 

That those who accept Christ and have been born again and who accept the essential doctrines (e.g. the Trinity) of Christianity are part of the invisible Church and that it is not necessary to have visible unity or agree on the non-essentials to be part of the invisible Church.
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2014, 02:07:40 AM »

But I (and I do not think I am unique in this) have pondered long and hard and have emerged intellectually persuaded of the Baptist position, though I am not from a Baptist family or background, nor was I brought to faith in a Baptist context.

What is the "Baptist position"? 

That those who accept Christ and have been born again and who accept the essential doctrines (e.g. the Trinity) of Christianity are part of the invisible Church and that it is not necessary to have visible unity or agree on the non-essentials to be part of the invisible Church.

Assuming this is what David had in mind when he spoke of the "Baptist position", I would still like to hear from him (and others?) about how they were "intellectually persuaded" of the truth of this position.  How does one square an invisible Church with a visible Christ? 
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2014, 04:42:28 AM »

But I (and I do not think I am unique in this) have pondered long and hard and have emerged intellectually persuaded of the Baptist position, though I am not from a Baptist family or background, nor was I brought to faith in a Baptist context.

What is the "Baptist position"? 

That those who accept Christ and have been born again and who accept the essential doctrines (e.g. the Trinity) of Christianity are part of the invisible Church and that it is not necessary to have visible unity or agree on the non-essentials to be part of the invisible Church.

Hmmm... I think you are mingling different themes. I assumed the thread is only about ecclesiology, but your reply seems wider, reaching out into soteriology, and what doctrines might be deemed particularly characteristic of Evangelicalism. Forgive me if I have misunderstood you.

In re the church, we hold that each congregation is autonomous, that is, runs its own affairs subject to the Headship of Christ. Thus we have no wider authority, such as bishops. This is not the same as isolationist, as we believe in voluntary association, fellowship and cooperation between local churches. But no external authority wields power over the local church. This, of course, is not uniquely Baptist, as it is held also by Congregational churches, by (I believe) the Assemblies of God, and many unaffiliated independent congregations. Membership of a local church is through baptism, which of course means of believers: but I do not think that is unique to us either. So a church is a body of baptised believers who meet regularly for fellowship, prayer, teaching, and the Lord's Supper.

Yes, we hold "the essential doctrines of Christianity" such as the Nicene Creed, though we give a different interpretation to the Greek pronoun 'eis' regarding baptism 'for' the remission of sins: more like a wedding ring, which does not efect the marriage, but is an important element for it.

What characterises Evangelicals (among which we are) is usually agreed to be four matters: a strong view of the authority of scripture; an active, expansionist commitment to evangelism; the centrality of the Cross; the need for the new birth which takes place when a person believes and is justified before God. I would add the doctrine of assurance: the witness of the Spirit that one is a child of God.

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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2014, 04:51:19 AM »

the "Baptist position", I would still like to hear from him (and others?) about how they were "intellectually persuaded" of the truth of this position.

It probably doesn't become personally important, and therefore command a great deal of attention and thought, until one wishes to go into the ministry. As Christians in ordinary day to day life, people tend to be content to worship where the Evangelical faith is preached and practised (I speak of England: I am not familiar with America), and so one would find oneself worshipping in the Church of England, a Baptist church, an independent, or wherever one found that faith practised. You must remember that this is in a country where may 2% of the population are in church on Sundays, and one cannot perhaps find any Evangelical church within reasonable distance. In fact even here in Wrexham we have people coming from say 16 miles away (further on our winding rounds than on American ones!). If however one wishes to move on into the ministry, then one needs to consider what form of church government seems closest to the biblical pattern, and in the absence of apostles, autonomy with links of fellowship seems to fit the bill. We believe of course that the Greek word translated bishop in the New Testament referrerd to ministers of local chruches, not to the present episcopal pattern.
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2014, 10:45:27 AM »

David, thank you for your posts and openness to civilised discussion.

We believe of course that the Greek word translated bishop in the New Testament referrerd to ministers of local chruches, not to the present episcopal pattern.
In the NT area and in the pre-Constantinian period, a bishop was indeed the leader of the congregation in one city. But the principle was one bishop per city, so once there were several congregations per city, the bishop appointed presbyters to lead the other ones.

Now I do agree it's a misdevelopment that nowadays dioceses span whole countries. On the other hand, unity in Orthodoxy is visible unity, and also unity hypostasised in one person. So whereas it seems possible, if I understand you correctly, that there are several bishops, each presiding their congregation, in one city, this remains impossible for us (at least in theory...). In the NT, we also see there are the Christians of Ephesus, of Corinth or wherever. It's just not a possibility to have two separate structures in one city.
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2014, 08:48:01 PM »

But I (and I do not think I am unique in this) have pondered long and hard and have emerged intellectually persuaded of the Baptist position, though I am not from a Baptist family or background, nor was I brought to faith in a Baptist context.

What is the "Baptist position"? 

That those who accept Christ and have been born again and who accept the essential doctrines (e.g. the Trinity) of Christianity are part of the invisible Church and that it is not necessary to have visible unity or agree on the non-essentials to be part of the invisible Church.

Hmmm... I think you are mingling different themes. I assumed the thread is only about ecclesiology, but your reply seems wider, reaching out into soteriology, and what doctrines might be deemed particularly characteristic of Evangelicalism. Forgive me if I have misunderstood you.


Sorry, you're right. I was going off on a bunny trail....
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« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2014, 10:23:50 PM »

Protestants don't want to deal with this issue of the church.

I suspect you are right about a lot of churchgoers who love the Lord, seek to know and serve him, but think little about ecclesiology; but I do not believe that we have no ecclesiology, or that none of us thinks through these issues. I have had long debates on this forum on the matter, and I think I now understand your position. But I (and I do not think I am unique in this) have pondered long and hard and have emerged intellectually persuaded of the Baptist position, though I am not from a Baptist family or background, nor was I brought to faith in a Baptist context. You are more than welcome to say I am mistaken, but you would be wrong to say I, and doubtless many others like me, "don't want to deal with this issue of the church."

Sorry David, 

I'm sure you have thought about ecclesiology, and I was generalizing in my statement as an American Protestant for more than 15 years.  Ecclesiology is not important for most Protestants because they see a personal relationship with Christ the goal of Christianity, not being part of a an ecclesiatical community.

As you say:
I suspect you are right about a lot of churchgoers who love the Lord, seek to know and serve him, but think little about ecclesiology;

And  what fun to have a thread revived after over 5 years.
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2014, 03:42:09 AM »

Ecclesiology is not important for most Protestants because they see a personal relationship with Christ the goal of Christianity,

This is very true, and I think it is right that it should be. If I moved house to a different town where, say, an Anglican church was preaching the Gospel and honouring scripture, and the Baptist church had gone liberal, and was no longer preaching the Gospel or honouring Christ in his true person and work (which is sadly true in some places), I would worship at the Anglican rather than the Baptist, for the person and work of Christ, and how we draw benefit from it, is more important to me than church order.
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2014, 08:47:20 AM »

Hello again David,

We believe in right doctrine too == that is the essence of the word Orthodoxy.  And, yes, if the OC went in a wrong theological direction I would seek another church (but our history is too deep to do that - I think).

Maybe, it was the times I grew up in and maybe it was the place too.  The idea of a "personal relationship with Christ" was paramount in Protestant circles in my faith-seeking years.  And while that sounded great to me at the time, it leaves out the idea that heaven is a community.   

Orthodoxy - and eastern culture in general - is more group-focused.  We don't just gather in church to make ourselves feel better:  it's part of the sacramental life - even somehow part of the salvation process.

The Reformation somehow got away for the idea of the common good and focuses only on the individual.  I don't think God thinks that way--or else why did he create the idea of community in the first place?
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2014, 11:22:26 AM »

Put it like this (for me): the scripture warns us that Christians can keep "the form of godliness" whilst "denying the power thereof." Whilst I believe that the Baptist form of church order is good, the power of the Gospel to save through faith in Christ's person and work takes priority. Hence, give me an Anglican church where people are coming to know Him, rather than a church which is Baptist in name but is no longer preaching Christ crucified, saying (perhaps) "Peace, peace" where there is no peace (as the prophet has it.
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2014, 05:38:27 PM »


The Reformation somehow got away for the idea of the common good and focuses only on the individual.  I don't think God thinks that way--or else why did he create the idea of community in the first place?



    I really wish that The Anabaptists and Lutherans would of just converted to Orthodoxy instead of doing there own thing.

I read a few interesting quotes from John Wycliffe (1320-1384 A.D.) on another forum that really strike a cord with me about Eastern Greek Orthodoxy. Check it out :

  
           John Wycliffe on the Greek Church.

"[the] tenet "that the Greeks walk more according to the Holy Spirit than the Latins" was adopted by Wyclif. ..." (page 99).

Wycliffe claimed "the the Church should be constituted "after the manner of the Greeks" was carefully explained by Wyclif as due to his belief that "the Greek had kept more perfectly the faith of Christ". (page 268).

Workman, Herbert B., D.Lit., D.D. (1966). John Wyclif: A Study of the English Medieval Church. Two Volumes. Hamden, CT: Archon Books.
see: Volume 2., cf. pp. 99, 268.

            

 
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« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2014, 05:51:58 PM »

Ecclesiology is not important for most Protestants because they see a personal relationship with Christ the goal of Christianity,

This is very true, and I think it is right that it should be. If I moved house to a different town where, say, an Anglican church was preaching the Gospel and honouring scripture, and the Baptist church had gone liberal, and was no longer preaching the Gospel or honouring Christ in his true person and work (which is sadly true in some places), I would worship at the Anglican rather than the Baptist, for the person and work of Christ, and how we draw benefit from it, is more important to me than church order.

I think you raise a good point. Quite frankly, I think that too many Orthodox people fall behind the "we're the Church" excuse to justify their sometimes spiritual laziness and/or disregard for their behavior when in reality the Church means nothing if they are not allowing themselves to be edified by it.

However, I think that the same problem could also apply to your scenario. Who's to say which individual is right and which is correct? An individual in the proper Church who is truly being edified could just as easily be deluded into thinking that the Truth is a lie and that a lie is the Truth, thus harming themselves. The individual becomes their own guide. The problem doesn't go away; it just changes form.
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« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2014, 12:27:50 AM »


The Reformation somehow got away for the idea of the common good and focuses only on the individual.  I don't think God thinks that way--or else why did he create the idea of community in the first place?



    I really wish that The Anabaptists and Lutherans would of just converted to Orthodoxy instead of doing there own thing.

I read a few interesting quotes from John Wycliffe (1320-1384 A.D.) on another forum that really strike a cord with me about Eastern Greek Orthodoxy. Check it out :

  
           John Wycliffe on the Greek Church.

"[the] tenet "that the Greeks walk more according to the Holy Spirit than the Latins" was adopted by Wyclif. ..." (page 99).

Wycliffe claimed "the the Church should be constituted "after the manner of the Greeks" was carefully explained by Wyclif as due to his belief that "the Greek had kept more perfectly the faith of Christ". (page 268).

Workman, Herbert B., D.Lit., D.D. (1966). John Wyclif: A Study of the English Medieval Church. Two Volumes. Hamden, CT: Archon Books.
see: Volume 2., cf. pp. 99, 268.

Wycliffe or the Anabaptists were of a very different stripe from the major Reformers. Wycliffe I could see Orthodox pretty easily; some of the Anabaptists, perhaps (most of these were just peasants who desired not to be hounded out of the old ways); but Luther et al. not at all. The latter's mode of operation was really to free Central Europe from Rome by abstracting religion to the barest of personal confessions (faith in the blood), which thus at the same time unyoked society from the obligations that would have impeded wild progress into what would come to be known as the Modern Era. Yes, the churches kept much ritual and structure of the Church, but without theological necessity, and a direct link can be drawn from Lutheran Evangelicalism to the ideologies by which the swarms of Evangelical denominations excuse every aberration today.
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« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2014, 07:47:21 AM »

Put it like this (for me): the scripture warns us that Christians can keep "the form of godliness" whilst "denying the power thereof." Whilst I believe that the Baptist form of church order is good, the power of the Gospel to save through faith in Christ's person and work takes priority. Hence, give me an Anglican church where people are coming to know Him, rather than a church which is Baptist in name but is no longer preaching Christ crucified, saying (perhaps) "Peace, peace" where there is no peace (as the prophet has it.

  "Coming to know Christ"... what does that even mean?  It seems to me that road leads to subjectivism, since such a thing, in the evangelical Protestant mind, is by nature is an inner experience expressed invariably in emotive language imprecisely.   And it totally undermines the idea that it is not a "work" of some kind, since the whole evangelical subculture, at least in the US, is about generating feelings of being sinful and saved.

  I actually believe the Orthodox understanding of the Gospel is closer to the truth, just because I find it hard to believe an omnipotent, omnibenevolent being really would quibble over whether we "accepted Jesus into our heart", said a "Sinner's Prayer", and got dunked in the local swimming hole.   The Orthodox church focuses on the salvation of the whole world (not just individuals), and I know Orthodox Christians that do not deny that there are means of sanctification in many faiths, not just their own.    The evangelical understanding of salvation, on the other hand, is inherently individualistic and stems from a troubled Augustinian monk's desperation about a fictional God that was the creation of western medieval piety- the angry abusive feudal lord in the sky who needs his wrath assuaged, either by works of grueling piety, pleading to saints for intercession, or Christ's blood:  God is angry, and unless you get on his good side, you are damned.   This idea of God is rejected by the East.
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« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2014, 08:39:40 AM »

 "Coming to know Christ"...  is by nature is an inner experience expressed invariably in emotive language imprecisely.   And it totally undermines the idea that it is not a "work" of some kind, since the whole evangelical subculture, at least in the US, is about generating feelings of being sinful and saved.

You partially answer your own question in these words. It is an inner experience, is often expressed in terms drawn from emotions, cannot be precisely expressed, and concerns awareness of personal sinfulness. However, receiving the gift of eternal life is not a work, anymore than receiving a human gift is a work.

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I find it hard to believe an omnipotent, omnibenevolent being really would quibble over whether we "accepted Jesus into our heart", said a "Sinner's Prayer", and got dunked in the local swimming hole.

The apostolic writers make it plain that salvation consists of Christ living in the believer. This is no quibble, but a biblical, apostolic, and indeed dominical concept. The location of where one is "dunked" is not important: are not Orthodox babies "dunked" in church? If a church has no baptistry, a river or swimming pool is a good choice.

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   The evangelical understanding of salvation, on the other hand, is inherently individualistic

I concede that Evangelicalism under-emphasises the Body of Christ, but I would not wish to achieve the correct balance by reducing emphasis on the need for personal repentance and faith.
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« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2014, 01:45:30 PM »

The apostolic writers make it plain that salvation consists of Christ living in the believer. This is no quibble, but a biblical, apostolic, and indeed dominical concept. The location of where one is "dunked" is not important: are not Orthodox babies "dunked" in church? If a church has no baptistry, a river or swimming pool is a good choice.  

  Your dodging the theological issues I raised in favor of Biblicism so you don't have to give serious consideration to me.

  The nature of God is such that he won't be particularly impressed by our religious acts, no matter how "biblical".    Many evangelical Christians act like doing their religious ordinances (since they are clearly not sacramental in their minds) and worship earns them a place on God's good graces, while others are excluded (those who have not "accepted Jesus").   Orthodox Christianity, on the other hand, correctly understands that God loves everyone and that true religion is about inner renovation, not changing God's attitude towards us through rituals (the exact opposite of what evangelicals accuse Catholics of believing).   But if you believe the sacraments are only ordinances, of course you will tend to see it as something you do to make God happy with you, or to be accepted by your fellow churchmembers... all that goes against Jesus, who tells his followers clearly to learn to love being despised, rejected, and poor in spirit.

  Now there's something to be said for just being part of a community spiritually, it gives us some grounding and security... but this stuff is very much spiritual gruel, perhaps not even the "milk" that the apostle speaks of.  I don't see how it's really the stuff of eternal life in Christ.  You can get feelings of coziness,  membership, and tribalism, in weird, bizarre cults, after all.
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« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2014, 01:49:31 PM »

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Why do you want me in your church?
The Church is a gift to you and not you to the Church. I want you in this Church because it's Christ's church and the others are not. But they are good folks too, if you ask me.
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« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2014, 03:02:02 AM »

I think we want people to be in the Orthodox church because it is the One holy Catholic and apostolic church. The one church is not merely the saints in heaven and those who in the foreknowledge of God will be judged as righteous who currently live in the world, but it is present on earth in a very real and sacramental manner. It seems to me ludicrous that there could be individual bodies which are not in communion and yet be all part of the same church. That is not the case however. The church is one in heaven and on earth and there are four marks of that church as described above. The Lutheran and the Orthodox church cannot be the one church. The Catholic and the Baptist church cannot be the one church. Only one of these can be the one church, though baptists reject the understanding of Catholics and Orthodox and Lutherans in this regard.

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« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2014, 09:13:22 AM »

Ecclesiology is not important for most Protestants because they see a personal relationship with Christ the goal of Christianity,

This is very true, and I think it is right that it should be. If I moved house to a different town where, say, an Anglican church was preaching the Gospel and honouring scripture, and the Baptist church had gone liberal, and was no longer preaching the Gospel or honouring Christ in his true person and work (which is sadly true in some places), I would worship at the Anglican rather than the Baptist, for the person and work of Christ, and how we draw benefit from it, is more important to me than church order.
See that is the difference: we would cut off the offending Church-as the Apostles did-until it put the Church back in order.

One cannot have Christ without His Body, the Church. At least, that is what the Bible says.
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« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2014, 10:50:24 AM »

I think we want people to be in the Orthodox church because it is the One holy Catholic and apostolic church. The one church is not merely the saints in heaven and those who in the foreknowledge of God will be judged as righteous who currently live in the world, but it is present on earth in a very real and sacramental manner. It seems to me ludicrous that there could be individual bodies which are not in communion and yet be all part of the same church. That is not the case however. The church is one in heaven and on earth and there are four marks of that church as described above. The Lutheran and the Orthodox church cannot be the one church. The Catholic and the Baptist church cannot be the one church. Only one of these can be the one church, though baptists reject the understanding of Catholics and Orthodox and Lutherans in this regard.

Yet by saying "merely" you're admitting that the statement is, in some sense, true.
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« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2014, 11:17:33 AM »

But I (and I do not think I am unique in this) have pondered long and hard and have emerged intellectually persuaded of the Baptist position, though I am not from a Baptist family or background, nor was I brought to faith in a Baptist context.

What is the "Baptist position"? 

This is the short summary from the statement of faith used by the church in which I was raised.

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ, committed to His teachings, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. This church is an autonomous body, operating through democratic processes under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In such a congregation members are equally responsible. Its Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages.
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« Reply #30 on: May 28, 2014, 01:27:21 PM »

This is the short summary from the statement of faith used by the church in which I was raised.

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is ...

I couldn't have put it better myself!
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« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2014, 03:21:42 PM »

whereas the the orthodox church is a Bible church, holistically including the old testament and the new testament...


(sorry, could not resist...)
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« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2014, 03:29:05 PM »

This is the short summary from the statement of faith used by the church in which I was raised.

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is ...

I couldn't have put it better myself!

Which cannot be proven, of course. The New Testament Church, which is the Church described in detail in the New Testament, is everywhere geographically, the Orthodox Church.

Not even Rome can make that claim, though it's in there too.
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« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2014, 12:57:42 AM »

I think we want people to be in the Orthodox church because it is the One holy Catholic and apostolic church. The one church is not merely the saints in heaven and those who in the foreknowledge of God will be judged as righteous who currently live in the world, but it is present on earth in a very real and sacramental manner. It seems to me ludicrous that there could be individual bodies which are not in communion and yet be all part of the same church. That is not the case however. The church is one in heaven and on earth and there are four marks of that church as described above. The Lutheran and the Orthodox church cannot be the one church. The Catholic and the Baptist church cannot be the one church. Only one of these can be the one church, though baptists reject the understanding of Catholics and Orthodox and Lutherans in this regard.

Yet by saying "merely" you're admitting that the statement is, in some sense, true.

I suppose there is a sense in which the protestant is correct but also a deeper sense in which the protestant is wrong. The protestant might be right to point out the only "true" church in the ultimate sense is that of the elect, that is in the deep foreknowledge of God who knows who will be saved and who will be damned could be the only real assembly about him. Evangelicals  take this to mean that one can start an individual church, that there is no real need for communion between the churches except in the most basic of confessions, trinity, sola fide, sola scriptura and etc. That such churches with these common professions are one despite not being united. I do not think the apostles or the fathers ever envisioned such a church, if we can trust the testimony of those who came immediately after them and know their witness of close communion between each other.

I'm not pretending for a moment that the protestant view of the church militant is correct, it is wrong by everything we know. Faith is the only standard by which all forms of Protestantism, with the exception of Anglicanism (which holds itself as maintaining the apostolic succession), as the only qualifier in having a church. The sense of oneness of any one church was destroyed with the reformation and this emphasis on faith, above submission to the body of Christ. It is the wrong view, not only historically but biblically. Paul would never endorsed the idea of different and competing churches which are not in communion, which do not value communion between each other at all.

Lutherans, Baptists and etc can only justify their existence by their faith, not by their apostolic succession (of which they have none) and certainty not by their history.
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« Reply #34 on: May 29, 2014, 02:54:42 AM »

Baptists and etc can only justify their existence by their faith, not by their apostolic succession (of which they have none) and certainty not by their history.

I'd agree with that, though I would want to explain it further. For example, there should be baptism and the Lord's Supper, and godly leadership.
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« Reply #35 on: May 29, 2014, 10:10:23 AM »

This is the short summary from the statement of faith used by the church in which I was raised.

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is ...

I couldn't have put it better myself!

Which cannot be proven, of course. The New Testament Church, which is the Church described in detail in the New Testament, is everywhere geographically, the Orthodox Church.

Not even Rome can make that claim, though it's in there too.
How can the Orthodox Church claim to be everywhere geographically while the Roman Catholic Church cannot?
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« Reply #36 on: May 29, 2014, 10:18:32 AM »

I think people need to think a bit differently about The Church. We are the church as we are brothers and sisters in Christ, the very Body of Christ and parts of one another. We need to love and care about one another as if we are one because we are one. That to me is the most important meaning of the church and not the outward organizational or dogmatic aspects. In other words, whether you call yourself orthodox or protestant, etc., you have to realize that you are most importantly a member of humanity and that Christ loves humanity as a whole. Remaining on the level of outward divisions is very painful and sad.
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« Reply #37 on: May 29, 2014, 11:45:54 AM »

This is the short summary from the statement of faith used by the church in which I was raised.

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is ...

I couldn't have put it better myself!

Which cannot be proven, of course. The New Testament Church, which is the Church described in detail in the New Testament, is everywhere geographically, the Orthodox Church.

Not even Rome can make that claim, though it's in there too.
How can the Orthodox Church claim to be everywhere geographically while the Roman Catholic Church cannot?

How can't it? Every geographical location mentioned and described in the New Testament is the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #38 on: May 29, 2014, 01:50:28 PM »

This is the short summary from the statement of faith used by the church in which I was raised.

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is ...

I couldn't have put it better myself!

Which cannot be proven, of course. The New Testament Church, which is the Church described in detail in the New Testament, is everywhere geographically, the Orthodox Church.

Not even Rome can make that claim, though it's in there too.
How can the Orthodox Church claim to be everywhere geographically while the Roman Catholic Church cannot?

How can't it? Every geographical location mentioned and described in the New Testament is the Orthodox Church.
Then maybe you need to learn how to use grammar better to make yourself more clear.
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« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2014, 07:46:49 PM »

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Why do you want me in your church?
The Church is a gift to you and not you to the Church. I want you in this Church because it's Christ's church and the others are not. But they are good folks too, if you ask me.

Thank you for saying that, Fabio. I have many times heard fellow Catholics try to justify proselytizing Orthodox on the basis that Eastern Catholics are an asset to Rome. This bothers me -- well, proselytism in general bothers me, but this bothers me especially because of the way it objectifies people.
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