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Author Topic: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?  (Read 39996 times) Average Rating: 0
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BrotherAidan
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« Reply #270 on: October 26, 2008, 02:46:17 AM »

Quote
Quote from: Carico on Today at 10:34:01 AM
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We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2.

That is not even what that verse says! lol

Yeah even Protestants don't actually take this verse to mean that anyway.

For sure. I never once encountered anyone as a protestant who read those verses as being about the scriptures. Even if all one had is the English translation and had not ever heard or read of the Greek word logos, it would be hard to take John 1:1-2 as referring to anything/one else other than a Person - Jesus the Christ. Especially when one gets to verse 14!
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« Reply #271 on: October 26, 2008, 02:51:08 AM »



That means, as John 1:1-2 says, that since the Word comes from the Holy Spirit, it also comes from God the Father and God the Son.




This is a rather interesting take on the filioque debate. It seems here you have the Father and Son proceeding from the Spirit!?
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« Reply #272 on: October 26, 2008, 06:43:41 PM »

Ah! Suddenly occurred to me (days later!) that you are probably referring...

You were correct in both instances.  I meant that the Baptists of my acquaintance would never think of drinking anything alcoholic and would never describe the Lord's Supper as a sacrament.

That's hardly central to "Why do Protestants reject Orthodoxy?"

In my experience, it is why some Protestants reject Orthodoxy.  Sacraments are sometimes viewed as works-righteiousness, which is why the preferred term among these Protestants is, as you suggested, "ordinance."

quite a lot of what you good American Orthodox post about Evangelicals is actually not about Evangelicalism

You may be right about that.  The Baptists I refer to would more properly be called Fundamentalists, according to the Religion Style Book (http://www.religionstylebook.org/styleE.php):

evangelical: By definition, all Christians are evangelicals. The word evangelical is derived from the Greek evangelion, which means “good news” or “gospel.” But the term evangelical has generally come to mean Protestants who emphasize personal conversion; evangelism; the authority, primacy — and, usually — inerrancy of the Bible; and the belief that Jesus’ death reconciled God and humans. Evangelicals tend to be conservative theologically, but the terms evangelical and conservative Christian are not synonymous, though they both may apply to the same people. Fundamentalists, who generally separate themselves from what they see as a sinful culture, are distinct from evangelicals, who tend to embrace culture and use it to build up the church....  In Europe, evangelical is a generic word for Protestants.

Where do your Baptists fit into such a scenario?
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« Reply #273 on: October 27, 2008, 07:30:26 AM »

the term evangelical has generally come to mean Protestants who emphasize personal conversion; evangelism; the authority, primacy — and, usually — inerrancy of the Bible; and the belief that Jesus’ death reconciled God and humans. ... In Europe, evangelical is a generic word for Protestants.[/color]


Yes: in fact, I was considering putting these very four features of Evangelicalism on to the thread msyelf, to aid clarity of understanding and discussion, though I would not have included inerrancy as 'usually', though of course many Evangelicals are inerrantists.

As regards Europe, I wonder whether you mean Germany and other German-speaking countries, where (I believe) evangelisch = Lutheran. But I think in France évangélique does mean Evangelical as you and I understand it, and certainly in Albania and Kosova ungjillor = Evangelical, and in Wales efengylaidd = Evangelical.
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« Reply #274 on: October 27, 2008, 07:56:50 AM »

Fundamentalists, who generally separate themselves from what they see as a sinful culture, are distinct from evangelicals,

Where do your Baptists fit into such a scenario?

I think that inerrantists may deem that some passages (e.g. Genesis 1-11) are not intended by The Holy Spirit to be taken literally in the same way that a history book or newspaper report is expected to in the 21st century, but they do believe it contained no errors when originally penned. They believe therefore that there were no real discrepancies between numbers, dates, generations, names and so on when the passages (like Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, or New Testament references to Old Testament passages) were originally penned: any discrepancies are either misunderstandings, or the result of later errors by scribes. But Fundamentalists tend to take a literal (as well as inerrant) view: e.g. God created the world in 144 hours not long ago; Noah's flood covered the entire globe to the depth stated in Genesis; and so on. Many (like Ken Ham) go so far as to say that anyone who does not share their view of Genesis has also lost his hold on Christ's Gospel. And yes, Fundamentalists are probably heavier on their emphasis on separation from 'the world'.

As to where we in Wrexham fit in: like all Baptist churches, we are an autonomous local church (I was tempted to write autocephalous!), in voluntary association and fellowship with other churches of similar outlook. For membership, we require a credible profession of Christian faith, and baptism by immersion having taken place after coming to faith. We do not require baptism for admittance to the Lord's Table, though many churches do. (I can see arguments either way and am happy to leave that to the judgement of each local church.)

We certainly have teetotalers, inerrantists, Fundamentalists in membership, and such matters are not raised in meetings of the church, though they will form part of conversation privately between members in contexts unlikely to give offence. For all I know, we may even have one or two who believe in the theory of evolution, though they would keep it to themselves. Formally, the church is committed to inerrancy, but one is not required to assent to every clause in the fairly detailed statement of faith; it would however be discourteous to question the inerrancy clause in public, and I think we treat each other with courtesy. We tend to attract people from other backgrounds, for example we have had Evangelical Anglicans and Methodists because they felt their chuches in this town were not Evangelical; Brethren, who felt theirs is too narrow here; and so on. We aim for breadth of tolerance, whilst abiding firmly in the four essential characteristics you list in your posting.

It seems to me that this thread has in fact diversified into four threads:
  • Why Protestants reject Orthodoxy
    Why Orthodox reject Protestantism
    What features of Orthodoxy should Protestants benefit from
    what features of Protestantism might Orthodox benefit from
      It might be both interesting and edifying, as well as clearer, if the thread were to keep its title and keep to that theme, and if three new threads were begun to discuss the other questions; though I should like to change the word 'reject' for a less harsh one.

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« Reply #275 on: October 27, 2008, 10:31:18 AM »

Quote
Quote from: Carico on Today at 10:34:01 AM
Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2.

That is not even what that verse says! lol

Yeah even Protestants don't actually take this verse to mean that anyway.

For sure. I never once encountered anyone as a protestant who read those verses as being about the scriptures. Even if all one had is the English translation and had not ever heard or read of the Greek word logos, it would be hard to take John 1:1-2 as referring to anything/one else other than a Person - Jesus the Christ. Especially when one gets to verse 14!

Hmmm...in my former (fundamentalist, I suppose it would have been) denomination, the belief that the "Word of God" equals the Bible was quite standard and rampant. When once I tried to explain that these verses are referring not to the Bible, but to Christ , many people became very upset and basically accused me of spreading heresy.

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« Reply #276 on: October 27, 2008, 12:18:59 PM »

"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the word was God."
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« Reply #277 on: October 30, 2008, 06:20:59 AM »

I am assuming that the question, “Why do Protestants reject Orthodoxy?” is being asked sincerely, with a genuine desire to understand our mindset, and not as some sort of rhetorical phrasing.
In an earlier posting, I dealt with the probable doctrinal explanation, writing about justification by faith and assurance of salvation. I need add no more here.
I think there are two further fields of explanation which  might help sincere inquirers.
1) You need to understand that we Protestants grow up with an awareness and acceptance of genuine Christian brothers and sisters in a variety of genuinely Christian denominations. Some Protestants, of course, do reject Orthodoxy entirely as not being a true Christian church, probably mainly for the doctrinal reasons mentioned in my earlier posting. Others accept the Orthodox as a true Christian church, but only as one denomination among many. We do not have a problem with that; we have no concept of a “one true true”. With such Protestants, what is rejected is not the Orthodox Church, but its claim to be the only church. Your doctrines of the Trinity and the Person of Christ make you entirely acceptable to such Protestants as one true Christian denomination among many. This is partly why I keep repeating in my postings that the word ‘reject’ is too harsh, or too total, to define the attitude of such Protestants towards your church.
2) Secondly, there are, from my experience, four kinds of Orthodox, and they are all duplicated among Protestants:
- There are warm, Christ-centred believers who are true, humble disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ whom we all seek to serve.
- There are intolerant zealots who dismiss all others in harsh, ungracious language.
- There are those who take the name Orthodox but never go to church and have no place for religion in their lives beyond a few cultural ‘rites of passage’.
- There are those who go through the motions of the ceremonies without understanding or even caring what it is really and inwardly all about: the ritual is enough (they think) to save them.
Now I hasten to repeat that I have met Protestants also in all these categories. Writing now entirely from a personal perspective, I believe that the first category of Orthodox have a lot to teach me. To take just one example, you seem to have a deeper reverence for the Incarnation. Of course we believe exactly what you do about it, but we make so little of it, whilst you seem to meditate on it and to seek to appreciate it. Teach me that! And doubtless much more. [This of course is why I am on the forum: not to convert you to becoming Evangelicals, nor for you to draw me into your church - despite my 'warned' status.] I also believe that, if we accepted one another as being ‘in Christ’, then the exchange of teaching and learning more of him could be mutual.
The second category I find unattractive, unconvincing and often bigoted in any church.
The third and fourth I do reject as not being true believers, not children of God by adoption, and would say, to take a phrase beloved of us Evangelicals, that they urgently need to be ‘born again’.
I hope this helps in some way towards understanding.

« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 07:43:56 AM by David Young » Logged

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« Reply #278 on: October 30, 2008, 10:14:43 AM »

From jnorm888:  I think for a good number of Baptists, it is a lack of education in "church history"...

Another idea I found among some Baptists, is that everything will be sorted out once we all get to heaven.


You are right on both counts. Baptists who are into church history will often trace their spiritual ancestry via the Anabaptists who were around before the Reformation, back through the Waldenses, and so to the early church. I think the lack of interest in church history is a feature of modern society in general, not merely of Evangelical Christians: anything not bang up to date is passé, outmoded, and irrelevant. They import this mindset, regrettably, into their religion. Personally, I love giving talks on church history at my local church and have ranged from the time of Aidan, through the Anglo-Saxon period, into the Middle Ages (Bernard of Clairvaux, Anselm, English mystics), on to early Baptists from ca 1611, Zinzendorf (1720s ff), the early Primitive Methodists (19th century), and up to the present. People seem to love it. But I feel sadly that many congregations do not get such teaching, and wouldn't want it if it were offered. Anything prior to 2008 is suspect: only the future is really important.

Regarding the second idea - I guess I think the same. I expect to sit down at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb with people from all the movements mentioned above (oh, and the present Orthodox Church!) and to rejoice in our Saviour and our salvation, revelling in our unity as his Bride. Whether I'll remember having been a Baptist I have no idea. Will it matter?

If you don't mind me asking, what is the time of Aidan? I like Church history as well. I have a personal nitch for Protestant history as well as the first 4 hundred years of Christianity, but I never heard that term before. What is the "time of Aidan"?

In regards to your second answer, I will say, that I understand how you feel. I use to feel the sameway. My own mother still feels this way. And my personal oppinion now is that it may be due to the problem of Baptist congregations constantly splitting.

The Baptist Church I was raised in split a number of times. I recall beef between the deacon board and the pastor or the deacon board pretty much controling the congregation, and the pastor trying to fight for control or for more breathing room to preach certain things. And you have people in the church taking sides. Some side with the deacon board while others with the pastor........and before you know it........half the people of the church moves out, and set up shop down the block.


So I think that after seeing a number of splits, our minds become numb, and we don't see it as a bad thing. And to ease our conscience, we create false hope. False hope that Jesus will be happy with division. False hope that Jesus will overlook division.


Saint Paul talks about partaking of the Lord's body unworthily.

In 1st Corinthians chapter 11 verse 17 to 18, he talks about "divisions among people".

KJV
1 Corinthians 11:17-18
"Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it."



And in verse 27 he talks about partaking of the cup unworthily.


KJV
1 Corinthians 11:27
"Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."



And when we look at what Paul says in the book of Galations about "dissensions/seditions, and factions/heresies" ....well...what you said above is a cool dream, but it ignores the fruit of the flesh of "Division". And how the Lord looks at that.

Galatians 5:19-21
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."





I hope I wasn't mean by saying this, but if we are going to partake of the same cup together then we can't fool ourselves. For we really have to be one. For one aspect of partaking of the Lord's supper means that we really are in "full communion", and that we believe alike. We shouldn't pretend that we are united when we are not. For that would be partaking of the Lord's cup unworthily, and I don't think you and I would want to do that.




If I was mean to you, please let me know.


Take care





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« Reply #279 on: October 30, 2008, 10:25:57 AM »

^ That may be your belief, but this thread is about why Protestants reject Orthodoxy, not Catholicism.

Orthodoxy is another word for tradition which Jesus condemns, especially when one breaks the commandments for the sake of their tradition like the Catholics do when they omit Exodus 20:4 from the Ten Commandments...as if they can ever erase God's Word.  Roll Eyes It's blasphemy to think they can.

What about your tradition? I would rather have the tradition that Jesus and the Apostles passed down than the one you maybe holding on to.








JNORM888
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« Reply #280 on: October 30, 2008, 10:34:01 AM »

Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2. And since John, Matthew, Peter, etc. witnessed Christ's life and words and you didn't, then I'll go with them instead of you.  Wink So since you don't know where to find God's word, then how can you worship a God you don't know?  Shocked Or do you make up a God of your imagination?  If so, then you are worshiping an imaginary God which makes him unreal. Sorry.  Wink

Both God and man wrote the Bible. It's called synergy!!! If you read the last chapter of the Gospel of John, you will see that the Church wrote it!!!

John 21:24
"This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true."


Saints John, Peter, Mark, and Mathew are of the Church. They are people of the Church, therefore, the Church wrote it!!! Infact, you wouldn't know who wrote the Gospel of Mathew if the Church didn't tell you that Mathew wrote it! If it wasn't for the Church, then you would have to call it "Generic Gospel # 1". Because if it wasn't for the Church then you wouldn't know it's author!!! You can read the book of Mathew from beginning to end and you won't find the author telling you who he is.

You hold on to things that the Church told you, and you didn't even know it.


Maybe you are the one worshipping an imaginary god. Have you ever thought about that? Next time, try respecting the Church, instead of bashing it. For in bashing it, you are shooting yourself in the foot.





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« Reply #281 on: October 30, 2008, 10:42:51 AM »



Do you know that the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets, disciples, and the apostles? Or not? Huh If not, then I'm afraid you won't know where to find God's word and thus can't know who God is. You also then are saying that Jesus didn't speak the Word of God if you claim that his words in the bible are not from God.  So I'm afraid you're fresh out of luck when you die unless you find God. Smiley

1) Is the Holy Spirit God? If so or if not, why do you believe this?

2) Why do you believe the Bible is God's word?

3) Why would Jesus speak the Word of God when Jesus IS the Word of God?

Since Jesus is Lord and he doesn't lie, Jesus said; "God is Spirit." He also said that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all one, which I assume you believe as well if you adopt the trinity. That means, as John 1:1-2 says, that since the Word comes from the Holy Spirit, it also comes from God the Father and God the Son. So the Word is God and the Word is God the Son as well. Therefore the author of the bible wasn't people, but God Himself.


 Do you read the words of Christ? Or don't you believe that Jesus is Lord?  Huh


The author of the words of the Bible is both 100% God and 100% Man........Just as Jesus is both 100% God and 100% man.

The words of the Bible is "incarnate".....if it wasn't then we wouldn't be able to read it! So it's Both God and man.






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« Reply #282 on: October 30, 2008, 11:04:36 AM »

If you don't mind me asking, what is the time of Aidan?

if we are going to partake of the same cup together then ... we really have to be one.

If I was mean to you, please let me know.

JNORM888

Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, the Apostle of Northumbria (died 651), was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in England. St Aidan’s Orthodox Church in Manchester is named after him. You can read a lot about him via google, or in published material. A real Christian hero, an inspiring example for us.

"We really have to be one": you are quite right. But we believe we really are one with Christians of other denominations - one that is in a shared sonship in Christ and love for one another, despite varying opinions on (for Evangelicals) non-central issues. But if there is broken fellowship, bad feeling, resentment, then it would indeed be partaking unworthily.

"If I was mean": not at all. We shall never understand each other if we are not frank with each other.

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« Reply #283 on: October 30, 2008, 11:27:52 AM »

Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, the Apostle of Northumbria (died 651), was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in England. St Aidan’s Orthodox Church in Manchester is named after him. You can read a lot about him via google, or in published material. A real Christian hero, an inspiring example for us.
Indeed. If we have a boy, we are strongly considering naming him for St. Aidan.
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« Reply #284 on: October 30, 2008, 11:42:34 AM »

in all the years of hearing or reading the claim that one Church or another has "the Fullness" I have not found out clearly what is meant. 

Ebor


I have some idea, though certainly not comprehensive and probably quite inaccurate at least in some cases because I write as an outsider. It seems to me that:
  Pentecostals believe they have the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit, whilst others do not;
  Calvinists believe the Augustinian view of sin and grace (including predestination) is at the heart of Christianity
  Brethren believe they have returned to the correct biblical way to organise a church
  Nazarenes (and similar 'Holiness' groups) believe in 'entire sanctification' sometimes called Christian perfection
  Charismatics believe groups outside their own movement are locked into the past and missing out on God's present work
  Orthodox (you know better than I!) believe they are the only true church and (am I right?) cherish their Tradition and sacraments which other denomiations lack
  Roman Catholics - well, I don't know, but I would guess the mass and the infallible pope are a significant part of it.

Actually I don't think we Baptists use this kind of terminology, though some of the remoter reaches of the Baptist churches do seem to feel that they - or almost they - are the only ones who have got it right. But happily I think they are comparatively few and far between.

I do think (reading the contributions to this forum) that you Orthodox have an exaggerated or distorted perception of division among Evangelicals - unless (I am not being sarcastic) it is a perception truer in America than in England and Wales. But more, perhaps, on the underlying unity and mutual acceptance among different 'brands' of Evangelical in a later posting.

Thank you for a thoughtful reply.  Just to be clear, I am not EO nor RC nor OO.  I am Anglican, but they let me hang about and post here anyway.  Wink Smiley

Considering what you have written above and what I have heard or read in the past, it seems that the "fullness" is what the person believes to be what is needful and that their group has some that all others lack.  I mean no disrespect to anyone, I assure you, in this thought.  I haven't heard this from any Anglicans, but then we have places for high and low church, evangelical and others.

Ebor
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« Reply #285 on: October 30, 2008, 11:48:31 AM »

I have some idea, though certainly not comprehensive and probably quite inaccurate at least in some cases because I write as an outsider. It seems to me that:
  Orthodox (you know better than I!) believe they are the only true church and (am I right?) cherish their Tradition and sacraments which other denomiations lack.
Almost. We believe we are the true Church; yet it does not logically follow that we are the only true Church. Imagine you have a diamond in your hand, and you discover that this is a perfect diamond, flawless in every way, and when you weigh it, you discover that it is also the largest. Would you then say to yourself, "This is the best diamond I have ever seen. It therefore must be the only diamond in existence"? Of course not! In the same way, we are the true Church founded by Jesus Christ, but it is possible that there are other Christians who are devoted followers of the same Christ.

We have a saying in Orthodoxy: "We know where God is; we do not know where He is not."

Well, I'm not trying to be difficult in looking at your example, but going along with it, how would one *know* it is the largest as opposed to the largest known so far?  Could it is a part of a larger diamond that one does not see/know of?  And there still seems to be a subjective element "best diamond *I* have ever seen..."   as opposed to a claim that something *is* objectively.   

Ebor
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« Reply #286 on: October 30, 2008, 12:00:07 PM »

Well, I'm not trying to be difficult in looking at your example, but going along with it, how would one *know* it is the largest as opposed to the largest known so far?  Could it is a part of a larger diamond that one does not see/know of?
The point was that while Orthodoxy is in itself perfect, that does not preclude the possibility that there could be other Christians who may not call themselves Orthodox, but whom Christ will recognize at the Last Judgment.

Quote
And there still seems to be a subjective element "best diamond *I* have ever seen..."   as opposed to a claim that something *is* objectively.
There surely is. Whatever we experience, we experience subjectively. What can we know besides what enters our senses?
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« Reply #287 on: October 30, 2008, 06:38:26 PM »


it seems that the "fullness" is what the person believes to be what is needful and that their group has some that all others lack. 

Ebor

Precisely.
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« Reply #288 on: October 30, 2008, 08:34:56 PM »

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We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2. And since John, Matthew, Peter, etc. witnessed Christ's life and words and you didn't, then I'll go with them instead of you.  Wink So since you don't know where to find God's word, then how can you worship a God you don't know?  Shocked Or do you make up a God of your imagination?  If so, then you are worshiping an imaginary God which makes him unreal. Sorry.  Wink

Both God and man wrote the Bible. It's called synergy!!! If you read the last chapter of the Gospel of John, you will see that the Church wrote it!!!

John 21:24
"This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true."


Saints John, Peter, Mark, and Mathew are of the Church. They are people of the Church, therefore, the Church wrote it!!! Infact, you wouldn't know who wrote the Gospel of Mathew if the Church didn't tell you that Mathew wrote it! If it wasn't for the Church, then you would have to call it "Generic Gospel # 1". Because if it wasn't for the Church then you wouldn't know it's author!!! You can read the book of Mathew from beginning to end and you won't find the author telling you who he is.

You hold on to things that the Church told you, and you didn't even know it.


Maybe you are the one worshipping an imaginary god. Have you ever thought about that? Next time, try respecting the Church, instead of bashing it. For in bashing it, you are shooting yourself in the foot.





JNORM888

Sometimes saying that the Church wrote the Bible is too challenging (even though it's true). An easier claim for Protestants swallow is the historical fact that The Church compiled the Bible.

Why are there four Gospels and not just one or seven or ten? There certainly were enough such writings around. It was The Church, that decided...   
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« Reply #289 on: October 30, 2008, 09:20:42 PM »

Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2. And since John, Matthew, Peter, etc. witnessed Christ's life and words and you didn't, then I'll go with them instead of you.  Wink So since you don't know where to find God's word, then how can you worship a God you don't know?  Shocked Or do you make up a God of your imagination?  If so, then you are worshiping an imaginary God which makes him unreal. Sorry.  Wink

Both God and man wrote the Bible. It's called synergy!!! If you read the last chapter of the Gospel of John, you will see that the Church wrote it!!!

John 21:24
"This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true."


Saints John, Peter, Mark, and Mathew are of the Church. They are people of the Church, therefore, the Church wrote it!!! Infact, you wouldn't know who wrote the Gospel of Mathew if the Church didn't tell you that Mathew wrote it! If it wasn't for the Church, then you would have to call it "Generic Gospel # 1". Because if it wasn't for the Church then you wouldn't know it's author!!! You can read the book of Mathew from beginning to end and you won't find the author telling you who he is.

You hold on to things that the Church told you, and you didn't even know it.


Maybe you are the one worshipping an imaginary god. Have you ever thought about that? Next time, try respecting the Church, instead of bashing it. For in bashing it, you are shooting yourself in the foot.





JNORM888

Sometimes saying that the Church wrote the Bible is too challenging (even though it's true). An easier claim for Protestants swallow is the historical fact that The Church compiled the Bible.

Why are there four Gospels and not just one or seven or ten? There certainly were enough such writings around. It was The Church, that decided...   



understood




JNORM888
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« Reply #290 on: October 30, 2008, 11:53:32 PM »

Sometimes saying that the Church wrote the Bible is too challenging (even though it's true). An easier claim for Protestants swallow is the historical fact that The Church compiled the Bible.

It also has the advantage of being true....

Quote
Why are there four Gospels and not just one or seven or ten? There certainly were enough such writings around. It was The Church, that decided...

Um, now you are headed back off into some inaccuracy. Unless there is a lot of material out there that we don't know about, there are only four gospels that even had a chance of being included. The gnostic "gospels" are wildly incompatible with anything orthodox, after all. Ignoring the alogi (who left out the Johannine books, including John's gospel) the only real variation was among the epistles (and such related works as the Shepherd of Hermas), and their inclusion/exclusion doesn't, from what I can see, have any serious doctrinal implications. As far as theology the inclusion or exclusion of the apocrypha is far more significant, and the church cannot be said to have compiled the Septuagint. They used it because it was what they had, not because they thought it was better than anything else.
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« Reply #291 on: October 31, 2008, 04:48:23 PM »

They used it [the Septuagint] because it was what they had, not because they thought it was better than anything else.

Au contraire!  St. Augustine says specifically in his De Doctrina Christiana that the Septuagint is divinely inspired of God and should be regarded and used as authoritative.  In fact, he commends St. Jerome for using the Seputuagint to make his translation of the Divine Scriptures into Latin and only using the Hebrew (not all of which he had) as a slight check.  I know I'm only speaking of one church father here, but it seems that the statement of this particular father, who knew very little or no Greek, lends creedence that the Septuagint was regarded as "better than anything else."
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« Reply #292 on: October 31, 2008, 07:20:13 PM »

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In fact, he commends St. Jerome for using the Seputuagint to make his translation of the Divine Scriptures into Latin and only using the Hebrew (not all of which he had) as a slight check.

It had been my understanding the St. Jerome much preferred the Hebrew, and used it to translate. This is one reason that he didn't accept the canonicity of the readable books (and only translated two of them).
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« Reply #293 on: November 02, 2008, 11:06:29 PM »

Sometimes saying that the Church wrote the Bible is too challenging (even though it's true). An easier claim for Protestants swallow is the historical fact that The Church compiled the Bible.

It also has the advantage of being true....

Quote
Why are there four Gospels and not just one or seven or ten? There certainly were enough such writings around. It was The Church, that decided...

Um, now you are headed back off into some inaccuracy. Unless there is a lot of material out there that we don't know about, there are only four gospels that even had a chance of being included. The gnostic "gospels" are wildly incompatible with anything orthodox, after all. Ignoring the alogi (who left out the Johannine books, including John's gospel) the only real variation was among the epistles (and such related works as the Shepherd of Hermas), and their inclusion/exclusion doesn't, from what I can see, have any serious doctrinal implications. As far as theology the inclusion or exclusion of the apocrypha is far more significant, and the church cannot be said to have compiled the Septuagint. They used it because it was what they had, not because they thought it was better than anything else.


So I guess what you are saying is that it's true that The Church decided what was to be in the Bible, but it was an easy task.

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« Reply #294 on: November 03, 2008, 03:09:57 PM »

They used it [the Septuagint] because it was what they had, not because they thought it was better than anything else.

Au contraire!  St. Augustine says specifically in his De Doctrina Christiana that the Septuagint is divinely inspired of God and should be regarded and used as authoritative.  In fact, he commends St. Jerome for using the Seputuagint to make his translation of the Divine Scriptures into Latin and only using the Hebrew (not all of which he had) as a slight check.  I know I'm only speaking of one church father here, but it seems that the statement of this particular father, who knew very little or no Greek, lends creedence that the Septuagint was regarded as "better than anything else."

Well, you can read (at least some of) the correspondence right here, and anyone reading Jerome's reply will feel right at home, because it's exactly the kind of complaint one sees made (with great justification) in any religious forum. We find Jerome complaining that Augustine doesn't say exactly where the mistranslation supposedly in Jonah is, and if Augustine means that old argument, well, here is what it is and why I didn't follow the LXX. Meanwhile, acto the Catholic Encyclopedia article, Augustine's Greek was poor, and the closest evidence that he understood Hebrew at all is that he spoke Punic, another Semitic language. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Augustine's protests sound like those of any undereducated know-it-all polemicist on the Internet. At any rate, he is certainly completely outside any decision to use the LXX instead of the Hebrew; no matter how he tries to rationalize it, the influx of Gentiles led to the use of the only translation readily available (the LXX) in the only language widely understood (Greek). Their only other options were to teach everyone Hebrew or Aramaic or retranslate it. Augustine's controversialism about the issue is consonant with his life in a time where church establishment allowed the luxury of considering such questions-- may I remind readers that his mother Monica was herself born eight years after the Council of Nicaea? One doesn't have to go very far back into the ante-Nicene era before alternatives to using the LXX were simply impossible. His arguments are very much like those of the KJV-only crowd, except that in the latter case we have plenty of documentation from the translators which shows that the translation process was very much more ad hoc-- and modern-- than the KJV-only crowd would ever care to admit.

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« Reply #295 on: November 03, 2008, 03:15:32 PM »


So I guess what you are saying is that it's true that The Church decided what was to be in the Bible, but it was an easy task.

It was true that the Church selected the texts, and that there was fairly limited controversy about what exactly the canon would include. Even then it would be inaccurate to portray the process of scripture writing as something that was actively directed by the Church as an organization.
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« Reply #296 on: November 03, 2008, 08:44:57 PM »


So I guess what you are saying is that it's true that The Church decided what was to be in the Bible, but it was an easy task.

It was true that the Church selected the texts, and that there was fairly limited controversy about what exactly the canon would include. Even then it would be inaccurate to portray the process of scripture writing as something that was actively directed by the Church as an organization.


Nonsense... The Church decided which scriptures were canonical after formally deliberating at  regional councils and then formally ratified the decisions made there at the 6th Ecumenical Council.

You're welcome...

Here is a good article:   http://kevinburt.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/there-never-was-a-bible-in-the-orthodox-church/
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« Reply #297 on: November 03, 2008, 08:51:41 PM »

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The Church compiled the Bible after formally deliberating at a regional council and then ratified the decisions made there at the next Ecumenical Council.

That's not what I've read. What councils in particular are you speaking of? The 6th Ecumenical Council (2nd Canon) actually endorsed multiple biblical canons, because of how they accepted contradictory disciplinary canons from earlier times. Here's an example:

Council of Laodicea: Includes Baruch, excludes the rest of the deuterocanonical books
Council of Carthage: Includes Tobit., Judith., 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, and Sirach, excludes the rest of the deuterocanonical books (3 Maccabees, etc.)
Canon of Gregory the Theologian: excludes all the deuterocanonical books

Here's a link to the canon so that you can see for yourself.
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« Reply #298 on: November 03, 2008, 09:23:30 PM »

This is getting a bit confused, as I was talking of NT canon formation. In any case what I said applies even more strongly to OT canon (+/- Apocrypha) seeing as how all those books were written well before Jesus was born.

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« Reply #299 on: November 03, 2008, 09:28:54 PM »

For my own part, I'm merely trying to guard against the tendency of dogmatizing the canon issue. If you're Orthodox, you can't point to any one Council or Father and say "Aha! That seals it!" I do apologize for intruding into things, though, I didn't realise that when you were talking about the Church writing and organizing the canon, you were limiting things to the NT alone. I'll avoid posting off-topic again! Smiley
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« Reply #300 on: July 31, 2011, 11:40:01 AM »

The one reason which I do not actually ever hear, but which is always implied is the following:

I KNOW BETTER.  Emphasis on "I".  How else can you have all these divergent church bodies?  Because they are groups of "I"s with their own take on Christianity.  When one "I" becomes disenfranchised with the rest, another Protestant congregation is formed.  How else can you explain how more than 30,000 Protestant organizations have cropped up in the world, most of which started less than 30 years ago?

Ah, the Barrett number. We've been here many times before. It all comes down to the same set of points:
  • 30,000 is an estimate he gave of the total number of all Christian churches. His last count (in 2001) produced 22,000.
Still tens of thousands more than Christ founded.
  • Barrett's methodology creates a lot of phantom churches, because he counts each body in every country in which it appears.
And?

Take for example the only Protestant group that has anything resembling a "catholic communion," the Anglicans/Episcopalians.  They had the problem of Canterbury refusing to ordain for the American "Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America," which got its orders from a previous schism, the non-jurors in Scotland.  The high church "Hawaiian Reformed Catholic Church"-for which the King himself translating the Book of Common Prayer into Hawaiian-was reduced to a low church diocese of PECUSA.  And now the former British colonies (the Anglican cross following the union jack) have bishops who are exercising jurisdiction to those fleeing the liberal dogmas of PECUSA and elsewhere.  In many ways, borders determined doctrinal boundaries.

  • "Protestant" is actually a subcategory in his taxonomy (he has six, as I recall: Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant, Independent, and Marginal). You are essentially counting everything that isn't in the first two categories as "Protestant". In fact, the vast majority of bodies counted are in the last two, and especially the last.
So the fissuring tendencies of Protestantism is accelerating exponentially. 

The biggest issue with his taxonomy is that the Nestorians get lumped with the Orthodox:we haven't had anything to do with them for 3x the time the Protestants (the classic ones at least) have existed.

  • Far and away the majority of Christian groups are found in Africa.
So they don't count?  The Orthodox and the Vatican have managed to keep it together in Africa.  That Protestantism can't is a problem of Protestantism, not Africa.
[/list]

Part of the reason you have them, I would remind you, is the same reason we have oriental and eastern and "true" and "genuine" and "catholic" and "old Catholic" and so forth churches.
Whether the "true" and "genuine" last past a century, or the Altkatolisch a second century is up in the air.  Both show the Protestant trait of splitting, rather than the Orthodox or Vatican tendency to have a communion.  Throw in the Old Ritualists, who are almost as old as the Protestants, and the various Sedevacantists, both of which show the Protestant tendency to split (but many who have been reconciled to the Mother Church) and you have the spectrum of dissident of the Orthodox and Vatican since 1517, a couple dozen.  In the same time Protestants have managed to produce thousands.

I remember when I was a kid, and Protestant, there were Protestants who would deny that they were Protestant, just "Christian."  I was aware that the Vatican had definitive ideas of who was in its communion, and the Orthodox (who I saw as just the Vatican with more incense in Greek) defined who was in their (now our) communion, so if you weren't one or the other, then you were Protestant by default.

Of course, the problem is what consistitutes a seperate Protestant "church," a question that the Anglicans, for instance, have dogmatically ruled out asking.
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« Reply #301 on: July 31, 2011, 04:18:26 PM »

Of course, the problem is what consistitutes a seperate Protestant "church," a question that the Anglicans, for instance, have dogmatically ruled out asking.
Just to add to the confusion on this point. Notice what is included in the Coronation Oath taken by HM Queen Elizabeth:

Quote
Archbishop. Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?
source (emphasis added)

Sounds to me that the Archbishop makes a pretty strong connection between "Protestant" and "Church of England".
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« Reply #302 on: August 01, 2011, 12:23:54 PM »

Quote
Reply #277 on: October 30, 2008, 06:20:59 AM »

I must say Mr. Young that although I respect your opinion, here in the South you'd be labeled as a pluralist liberal deceiving many and all following you to hell.

I dont think that, but SO many churches here teach the exact opposite of what you so eloquently posted. Where I am located, the teaching about the Orthodox is basically the same exact teaching concerning the RC's as they see them very much the same. Basically it is watered down paganismm "worshipping" saints and works-based salvation. Without the sinner's prayer, they're all doomed.


PP
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« Reply #303 on: August 01, 2011, 10:53:49 PM »

Quote
Reply #277 on: October 30, 2008, 06:20:59 AM »

I must say Mr. Young that although I respect your opinion, here in the South you'd be labeled as a pluralist liberal deceiving many and all following you to hell....Basically it is watered down paganismm "worshipping" saints and works-based salvation.
Some Catholics down South see these accusations as a badge of honor. Grin
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« Reply #304 on: August 02, 2011, 10:40:13 AM »

Quote
Some Catholics down South see these accusations as a badge of honor

Indeed they do from what I hear. I believe the main issue, from a Protestant standpoint (more in the US than Europe) is the issue I had at one time.

I was in a Lutheran School until 3rd grade then I moved to the South and was a Baptist. During this entire time the issue of believed Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism came up frequently. Because the South isn't exactly a bastion of Catholicism I took their teachings at face value (along with their heavily baised instruction materials) because there really wasnt a cultural presence of these belief systems as there is in other places (Europe, New York, etc) so I could not really compare or contrast (this is also before the advent of the Internet in its current form).

Later on, I became passionately interested in Mediterranean history. Of which, you cant go very far without running smack-dab into Christ and the early church. I began reading the Early Fathers and the councils as a student of history. This began to conflict what I learned and after digging deeper I realized that what I was taught (although I still believe that my teachers were not being inherently deceptive) was incorrect.


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