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Author Topic: One True Church?  (Read 49086 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« Reply #225 on: February 01, 2009, 04:04:27 PM »

Where (and/or when) would you say that we went wrong?

This question is addressed to Cleopas, and I'll happily leave it to him to answer.  Smiley Briefly, the main watershed is usually seen as the 'conversion' of Constantine and the subsequent union of state and church.

Ah, but the problem is that every dogma of Orthodoxy is well documented before Constantine.
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« Reply #226 on: February 01, 2009, 04:10:57 PM »

Quote
That is to say they look more like their "momma" than any other (at least to me).


Ummm, Cleopas, you've admitted that you don't know that much about the Orthodox Church. So how on earth could you know what "momma" looks like? Hoist by your own petard, my friend.

I did not say I was ignorant of Orthodoxy. Just not well versed in it.

That said, I see "Momma's" picture all the time. Right there in the NT itself. And, sorry, but you don't look like that to me. I don't see those features as prominent in you as I do among Evangelicals. You may disagree, and that's understandable. Often my wife's people (not knowing my folks) only recognize her family traits and features in our kids (when they see pics and such). But if they coudl see me and/or my family they would see just how prominenet my families features are in my kids, way more so than the former.

My point? You may notice things in Orthodoxy that relate to the NT church which I do not. You may not see the relation among Evangelicals thereto. We each argue for which most closely resembles them, and why. But I am convinced that Evangelicals more closlely resemblt NT Christianity than Orthodoxy does (even if you are chronologically older).

Since we are the Church of the NT, your final point goes without saying.

So you see yourself in the NT, do you?


Now, you may know more of those "high" church groups you speak of. But I know Holiness, Holiness-Pentecostal, and Charismatic beliefs. By defintion, though I consider myself "unaffiliaited" now, I am one.


Unaffiliated?  I don't see "unaffiliated" in the book of Acts.
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« Reply #227 on: February 01, 2009, 04:18:54 PM »

If you are a Protestant that believes one can loose their salvation then you automatically put Sanctification in the "Salvation area".

Thus, I stand by what I said!!!!! You can disagree, but it won't change what many Pentecostals, Charismatics, Cambellites and Ahmish believe about "Sanctification" and loosing ones salvation.......and how that effects their doctrine of Justification.

It's not the same as the classic Protestant Reformed view. Nor is it the same as the Baptist doctrine of "Easy Believism" ...A.K.A. Once saved always saved.


JNORM888

P.S. "You don't have to state what the Lutherian and Reformed Protestant view of Justification is. I already know what it is. I am after all a former Protestant myself. And what I said about many Pentecostals, Charismatics, Cambellites, Ahmish, and many other Arminians.... is indeed true. So feel free to disagree, but I'm not changing my mind. I already know that not all protestants agree in this area.

I must be misunderstanding what you have said then. Because, from what I can see, you are misinformed (at least as it reads).

Now, you may know more of those "high" church groups you speak of. But I know Holiness, Holiness-Pentecostal, and Charismatic beliefs. By defintion, though I consider myself "unaffiliaited" now, I am one.

You honestly seem to have flipped the groups around, and I was just trying to clarify. Most all Holiness and Holiness-Pentecostal groups hold sanctification to be a totally seperate work of grace from justification, even to the point of stating it is a defintie work that, though it can be received to human perception simultaneous with the newbirth, yet often follows the new birth by days, weeks, months, or even years. They often do not see it as even beginning in conversion (as Wesley did), but as a totally seperate and distinct work in and of itself.

Except for the Assemblies of God (for the most part) and Charasmatics, this is the typical standard belief regarding personal sanctification among them.


However, whatever the differences in understanding on the nature and relation of sanctification to the Christian life or other experiences, generally speaking all of us Evangelicals typically concure on the nature and function of justification itself.


BTW, "easy belivism" or "cheap grace" is not an an entirely nor exclusively Baptist distinctive. Though, at least in the states, they have been one of the most fertile fields for the seeds of that pernicious and damnable doctrine to grow. That's is primarly a 20th century phenomamon. Before that most Baptists (as I underatnd it) agreed and taught holiness as more or less indicative of true conversion, as did most Protestant/Evangelical groups.

I am happy to say that this truth is being more and more reemphasized and rediscovered in the apathatic circles of the American Evangelical Christian sphere.
Don't believe me, just google and watch a you tube of Paul Washer ( a Calvinistic Baptist from Alabama) teaching on conversion. Better yet, here ya go:

http://www.tubecodes.com/watch=uuabITeO4l8




I'm not talking about the 2nd or 3rd act of grace doctrine. I'm not talking about the Methodhist/Holiness/Pentecostal doctrine of a 2nd work of grace and perfectionism. I am talking about Sanctification in general. Many Methodhist, Holiness, and Pentecostals believe that one must MAINTAIN their SALVATION.

This is what I am talking about. Thus, some Calvinists call this Arminian idea "Justification through Sanctification".



Also Paul Washer believes what is called "Lordship salvation". Those who believe in Lordship Salvation go by P.O.T.S. (Perseverence of the Saints).  It is a stricter form of O.S.A.S.

Most of the people in North America who believe in O.S.A.S. are Baptists or quote on quote nondenominational Bible churches that look like Baptist churches. And alot of these groups are pumped out of Dallas Theological Seminary.

I already told you that I am a former Protestant. I know more than you think I know.

All Unconditional Eternal security doctrines (O.S.A.S. or P.O.T.S.) all came from the Reformed branch of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther believed that one could loose their salvation, only if they lost "faith" or stopped believing.
 
The idea of unconditional eternal security is hard to find before the birth of John Calvin. Infact, that is one of the major difference between Calvinism and Augustinianism. The Jansenists followed Saint Augustine's later teachings more closely than the Calvinists did. And that's why they didn't believe in O.S.A.S or P.O.T.S.

In modern times and in North America. Those who hold to O.S.A.S. tend to be Baptist or a so called nondenominational church with a Baptist ethos.

Those who tend to hold to P.O.T.S. would be your Prespyterians, Dutch Reformed, and maybe your so called Reformed Baptists. As well as a few independant free evangelical church groups.


O.S.A.S. & P.O.T.S. alters ones view of Justification. And this is why many Arminians....like your Methodhists, Holiness, Pentecostals and Charismatics can by pass some of the Anathemas of the Roman Catholic council of trent. Now many of them don't know this, but it's true. Their understanding of Justification is different from most Calvinist's understanding of that doctrine because every doctrine influences another. One belief will naturally slighty alter another belief.





P.S. "Must we go down this road?"





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« Reply #228 on: February 01, 2009, 04:50:52 PM »

But I am convinced that Evangelicals more closlely resemblt NT Christianity than Orthodoxy does (even if you are chronologically older).

Let me get this straight: So the religious denomination you are trying to establish now, in 2009

I am not trying to establish a denomination. Though if God wills it to be, and it can be so to His glory, then I am willing.
I don't know where I gave you gusy the idea I was trying to birth another denomination. I am sorry for not being more clear on this before evidently.

How can schizm be to God's glory? How can division be to God's glory?

I'm going to tell you what I told my buddies that follow David Bercot over on Yahoo. I use to follow David Bercot in college, and I stopped following him in 2003. Infact, it was his ministry/movement that kept me away from E.O. for 10 years.

But I will tell you what I'm always telling them:

1.) How do you know that your brand new church won't turn liberal some years after you die?

2.) How do you know that your brand new church won't fall away after you die?

3.) Where will your kids go if they move to a different city or part of town? If you teach O.S.A.S., they won't be able to go to a church that teaches conditional eternal security. If you teach adult Baptism, they won't be able to go to a church that believes in infant Baptism. If you don't believe in the sacraments/mysteries, then your kids won't be able to go to a church that teaches that. If you don't teach the name it claim it, prosperity gospel, then your kids won't be able to go to a church that teach that. Thus they will be all alone.......with no church to go to that teaches what your brand new church will teach. And thus your children may fall away and become secular.


I can go on and on and on about this, but you aren't as strict as the ones I know over at yahoo. Many of them are former Church of Christ, former Boston Church of Christ, Former Episcopal, former Roman Catholic, or Mennonite.

But they all have one thing in common. They are followers of David Bercot and most of them don't have a place to fellowship........because their standards and convictions are very very very high.




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« Reply #229 on: February 01, 2009, 04:57:12 PM »

the Baptist doctrine of "Easy Believism"

I don't know where you got that phrase from, but if it is part of Orthodox parlance, be assured it is also part of our parlance. We always use it pejoratively, to denote a "gospel" we regard as inauthentic, shallow and ineffective, devoid of the call to "take up one's cross and follow Christ".


I was raised Baptist, and I remember the conflict among some Baptists. Between those who believed in O.S.A.S. vs those who believed in P.O.T.S. It was John Macauther vs a few other people.

And it was termed "Easy Believism" by those who believed in P.O.T.S.
The people who believed in O.S.A.S. called those who believed in P.O.T.S. as believing in what they termed as "Lordship Salvation".


You are from England so I don't expect you to know about this. But you must remember that I am a former Protestant so I should be allowed to use those terms I use to use some years ago.


So if you hear something from me that you don't like. Just know that I am a convert to Orthodoxy. A convert from Protestantism. I was raised Baptist. I was influenced in highschool and college by Pentecostals and Charismatics, and after I graduated from college I joined an Anglo-Catholic Parish in the ECUSA....Pittsburgh Diocese.....which recently split.


So this is my context. Protestants didn't care when I used these words when I was protestant, but now that I'm Orthodox......these words seem to hurt.

It will take time for me to change my vocab.






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« Reply #230 on: February 01, 2009, 06:18:03 PM »

If one can loose their salvation then it is Justification through Sanctification.

Not necessarily so. Without committing myself to either side of the debate - eternal security or the possibility of falling away finally - I think that one could belive that salvation is lost, not by backsliding into sin, so that at the judgement one's works are burnt up but one is saved only as by fire; but that it is possible to lose salvation by public, deliberate and conscious repudiation of the Christ in whom one formerly believed - by spurning the Son of God, profaning the blood of the covenant by which one was sanctified, by thus outraging the Spirit of grace (Hebrews 10.29), by holding up the Son of God to contempt (Hebrews 6.6).

I am not contending for this interpretation of those and other passages; I am only saying that justification (that initial declaration by God, "Not guilty") is received by faith alone, and on this interpretation would be lost by the denial of the faith once held.

Volume X of John Wesley's Works contains three closely argued chapters on the theme of eternal security, arguing for the possibility of the final falling away of a real Christian.
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« Reply #231 on: February 01, 2009, 06:30:52 PM »

You believe in O.S.A.S.(once saved always saved) for individuals,

You are putting words into my mouth - or rather, on to my keyboard. I have not written that I believe in eternal security; rather, I said I am agnostic on that question (actually I wrote 'apophatic'). But I have attempted to give a clearer description of the doctrine - without committing myself to it - out of fairness to those who do hold it, because the way it is described on the forum is a caricture of the classic Calvinist teaching.

Quote
We don't see Jesus telling Saint Paul to go start a body separate from the one He started some years earlier. No! We see Jesus telling Saint Paul to go and see a christian from the original body that he started.

Ah! I think I see what you mean. Before I attempt a reply, you'd better tell me whether I am understanding you better now. You mean a sort of institutional or organisational continuity in time and space, whereby the true church spread and continues to spread from the beginning to all its branches, twigs and outermost leaves, and that it is in this body that Christ dwells in his Spirit - that this body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. Of course, I don't share that view - but is it what you are arguing for?
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« Reply #232 on: February 01, 2009, 06:36:53 PM »

Unaffiliated?  I don't see "unaffiliated" in the book of Acts.

Of course not, 'cos there weren't denominational, historical and geographical associations of churches then. No more did they use printed hymnbooks or liturgies in NT days.

A lot of churches are not affiliated to a particular formal, legal, registered organisation: until fairly recently, ours wasn't. But that does not mean they are isolationist, let alone isolated. They run their affairs by means of fellowship between them and other churches, usually within a fairly easy radius so as to maintain contact. This informal association or fellowship or cooperation is usually trans-denominational, and will embrace Congregational, Pentecostal, Baptist and other churches, some of which are in a denomination, others of which are not affiliated in that way.
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« Reply #233 on: February 01, 2009, 06:42:01 PM »

Those who tend to hold to P.O.T.S. would be your Prespyterians, Dutch Reformed, and maybe your so called Reformed Baptists. As well as a few independant free evangelical church groups.

P.S. "Must we go down this road?"

Ah! Now you are describing the British situation - not that we have Dutch Reformed here, I think. I was unaware of the difference to which your post refers across the Pond.

In answer to your postscript: preferably not. It is seldom edifying, and usually devisive.
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« Reply #234 on: February 01, 2009, 06:48:08 PM »

Protestants didn't care when I used these words when I was protestant, but now that I'm Orthodox......these words seem to hurt.

No: I was pleasantly surprised to read your use of a phrase which we heartily agree with and frequently use. Keep it up! The Calvinists I was among, and still often am, all fall into your POTS category - but in re vocabulary, don't start calling them Potty!  Wink

As a matter of interest, I think the title "Reformed Baptist", which so many use, is an oxymoron, seeing the Reformers believed in infant baptism, a state church, and the use of force to maintain one's religious authority. The traditional term was "Particular Baptist", which some still retain over here.

As another aside, John MacArthur is well thought of over here, but it is regarded as a pity he is premillennialist in his eschatology. He is also a big name in Albania. Personally I have never read his writings or heard any recordings of him.
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« Reply #235 on: February 01, 2009, 09:57:58 PM »


You have to forgive us Cleopas. Since you don't belong to an existing denomination, and you don't declare yourself non-denominational (which is a denomination in and of itself) that makes your church a new denomination. At least, that's how it appears to us.

I understand. However, for the record, my church is a non-denominational church. Bapticostal is a descriptive we use to relate something about our style of worship, service, structure, and basic beliefs.
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« Reply #236 on: February 01, 2009, 10:14:56 PM »

I'm not talking about the 2nd or 3rd act of grace doctrine. I'm not talking about the Methodhist/Holiness/Pentecostal doctrine of a 2nd work of grace and perfectionism. I am talking about Sanctification in general. Many Methodhist, Holiness, and Pentecostals believe that one must MAINTAIN their SALVATION.

This is what I am talking about. Thus, some Calvinists call this Arminian idea "Justification through Sanctification".

Ahhh! I got ya now. Well, for the record, I agree one must maintain their faith and obedience ot Christ in order to remain "saved." That is one must constinue to abide in the vine to continue to share in it's life. I am an Arminian, and more so a Wesleyian Arminian. So, I believe one can backslide and lose out if they should die in that condition. I also believe one can apostasize from the faith and outright renunciate belief in Christ and die to go to hell. I do not believe in the Calvinistic notion of Perseverance nor it's variant OSAS. Though I believe and embrace the many faithful and "abiding" Christians among them, whose lives bear fruit unto holiness, that do believe in such.


Quote
Also Paul Washer believes what is called "Lordship salvation". Those who believe in Lordship Salvation go by P.O.T.S. (Perseverence of the Saints).  It is a stricter form of O.S.A.S.

Most of the people in North America who believe in O.S.A.S. are Baptists or quote on quote nondenominational Bible churches that look like Baptist churches. And alot of these groups are pumped out of Dallas Theological Seminary.

I already told you that I am a former Protestant. I know more than you think I know.

All Unconditional Eternal security doctrines (O.S.A.S. or P.O.T.S.) all came from the Reformed branch of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther believed that one could loose their salvation, only if they lost "faith" or stopped believing.
 
The idea of unconditional eternal security is hard to find before the birth of John Calvin. Infact, that is one of the major difference between Calvinism and Augustinianism. The Jansenists followed Saint Augustine's later teachings more closely than the Calvinists did. And that's why they didn't believe in O.S.A.S or P.O.T.S.

In modern times and in North America. Those who hold to O.S.A.S. tend to be Baptist or a so called nondenominational church with a Baptist ethos.

Those who tend to hold to P.O.T.S. would be your Prespyterians, Dutch Reformed, and maybe your so called Reformed Baptists. As well as a few independant free evangelical church groups.


O.S.A.S. & P.O.T.S. alters ones view of Justification. And this is why many Arminians....like your Methodhists, Holiness, Pentecostals and Charismatics can by pass some of the Anathemas of the Roman Catholic council of trent. Now many of them don't know this, but it's true. Their understanding of Justification is different from most Calvinist's understanding of that doctrine because every doctrine influences another. One belief will naturally slighty alter another belief.

I also believe in Lorship salvation -- though I do not believe in Calvinism itself. That is to say I believe Jesus is either both Lord and Savior or He is neither. After all, the Lord said "why do you call me Lord and do not the things that I say?"

This "easy believism you refer to has "a form of godliness" but "denies the power thereof." From such we are instructed to "turn away."

My intention in linking to Brother Washer is to say that, whatever the discrepencies between Arminians and Calvinists, the earnest seekers of truth and followers of Christ in both camps DENY any doctrine that says it matters not how a Christian lives after coming to faith. In other words both sides, rightly taught andunderstood, insist on holiness in one's living as validation of relationship or right standing with God.

As to any alterations in the outworking of our belief in justification related to sanctification, etc. ... well, whatever those may be, it does not change the fact that INTIALLY we agree on the nature of justification itself. We may differ on the application thereafter, but we agree on the initial occurence itself.


Quote
P.S. "Must we go down this road?"
I know not what you mean. Honestly, what is it we are beginning or getting close to that you wish to avoid?
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« Reply #237 on: February 01, 2009, 10:34:35 PM »


Of course not, 'cos there weren't denominational, historical and geographical associations of churches then. No more did they use printed hymnbooks or liturgies in NT days.

A lot of churches are not affiliated to a particular formal, legal, registered organisation: until fairly recently, ours wasn't. But that does not mean they are isolationist, let alone isolated. They run their affairs by means of fellowship between them and other churches, usually within a fairly easy radius so as to maintain contact. This informal association or fellowship or cooperation is usually trans-denominational, and will embrace Congregational, Pentecostal, Baptist and other churches, some of which are in a denomination, others of which are not affiliated in that way.

That was precisley my intetion in using that descriptive.


To the others,

That said, I do believe in Christian unity. I believe visible unity is not only ideal but possible. Not only possible, but indeed necessarry. However, I do not see the church as exclusively belonging to any one group of true Christians, but to all. I no longer see an exclusive church but an inclusive one. And thus orginizational cooperation and unity must be predicated on acceptance of the faith we share and not on converting to one particular branch.

I liken the various traditions, camps amd sects of true Christianity to the tribes of Israel. Though we be many tribes, yet are we one holy nation. Though we now be divided and scattered, yet the Lord's temple shall be raised and His people regathered. I fully exect that in this present age, prior to the Lord's return. Yet, if I am wrong, and it should wait till then, it will be no less a reality. There is, and there will be, only One Shepherd and His flock one.

It's that belief that causes me to interact and build bridges with other Christian churches and believers. I no longer am unwilling to deny the oneness we do have. Yet, I long for the fullness of unity Our Lord intends. I don't think that is Orthodoxy, but it certainly will be orthodoxy.
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« Reply #238 on: February 01, 2009, 10:47:01 PM »


Where (and/or when) would you say that we went wrong?

As horrible as it sounds it might be easier to just tell you where I think you didn't go wrong. Shocked Tongue angel
What remains among you of believer's baptism,
The triune nature of God
The true Deity and true Humanity of Christ, His life, ministry, and atoning work, His ressurection, ascension, and His coming return.
What is memorial in your observance of the eucharist
Recognition of Scripture as the inspired word of God...

There is surely more, but I assume you get the idea.

The errors I perceive are those of ecclesiatistical excess, overly ritualistic emphasis, real prescence, infant baptism, over importance of the church and tradition, prayers to saints, prayers for the dead, the confessional and priesthood, etc.

YET, this is probably not the ideal thread to discuss such things in. They are desrving of their own thread, if not a thread for each topic. I answer only to inform and hopefully keep this thread moving along -- not to digress into tangents on such matters.
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« Reply #239 on: February 02, 2009, 12:20:15 AM »

Quote
I don't think that is Orthodoxy, but it certainly will be orthodoxy.

So you say. Yet, in the same breath, you write:

Quote
The errors I perceive are those of ecclesiatistical excess, overly ritualistic emphasis, real prescence, infant baptism, over importance of the church and tradition, prayers to saints, prayers for the dead, the confessional and priesthood, etc.

To this you may well add veneration of icons, for I suspect you disagree with this aspect of Orthodoxy too. My dear Cleopas, how on earth can you expect a genuine "unity of the faith", an "orthodoxy", if you will, when you have rejected as false and erroneous so much of what Orthodoxy regards as essential to the fullness of the faith and salvation? To quote ialmisry: Kumbaya.

I reiterate, as have others on this thread, and its sister threads, that the Orthodox Church has survived with its theological, liturgical and doctrinal treasures intact, despite ferocious assaults to its integrity by Arians, iconoclasts, Ottomans and communists (to name but a few) for 2000 years. Is this an accident? Look at the renaissance that is happening now in Russia, Romania, and other former Eastern Bloc countries. As brutal, ruthless and powerful as Bolshevism was, it still could not destroy Orthodoxy.

Even in the darkest days of Stalin's Russia, credit should not only go to the clergy and monastics who had the integrity and courage to clandestinely keep on with their work, in the towns, in the villages, and in the gulags, but the mami and the babushki that literally kept the faith alive. This is not some romantic idealisation on my part. I know many of these women who survived these horrors, gutsy women who made sure the babies were baptised, who hid the books and icons from the authorities (and often, through sheer force of character, sent officials packing), who made miraculous escapes to freedom with only the clothes on their backs, and an icon tucked down their clothing over their hearts. Orthodoxy is not a mere philosophy, nor an intellectual exercise, an "-ism", nor a mere modus operandi, a set of rules or formulas for getting things right with God. It is a way of life, it is the very fabric of a believer's being.

Have you heard of the "Living Church" movement of the 1920s and '30s, Cleopas? This was an attempt by the Soviet regime to "renovate and reform" Orthodoxy. The aim was to emasculate and distort the Church in all sorts of ways, to turn it into a travesty of faith, and puppet of the government. It was a great failure, in the sense that the resistance to these "reforms" were resisted stoutly by clergy and laity alike. Cut to 1942, and the Nazi invasion of Russia. What did Stalin do? He knew (though it would have mightily stuck in his craw) that the only thing capable of uniting the people and boost morale at perhaps the nation's darkest hour since Napoleon's invasion was to allow an official relaxation of freedom of worship. There is even extant film footage from this period of Stalin atop Lenin's mausoleum at a rally of armed forces. He gives the expected stirring speech of encouragement, and ends it with the words: "Yako s'nami Bog (For God is with us)". Seventy years of Communism was hardly likely to destroy a thousand years of Russian Orthodoxy. And Stalin, as much as he would have fought to deny this, knew it.

By contrast, your Wesleyans, Pentecostals, Baptists (whatever flavour of these you align yourself to) either keep fragmenting into ever-increasing doctrinal groups ( "I am an Arminian, and more so a Wesleyian Arminian." "I also believe in Lorship salvation -- though I do not believe in Calvinism itself" - these are just a few of your words, my friend, if I had the time and inclination, I could dig up plenty more from your posts. Someone mentioned cafeteria or cherry-picking?), or disappearing into irrelevance or doctrinal corruption after a few generations, if that. Common ground? Hooo, there's SO much you need to catch up on.
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« Reply #240 on: February 02, 2009, 12:44:09 AM »

The errors I perceive are those of ecclesiatistical excess, overly ritualistic emphasis, real prescence, infant baptism, over importance of the church and tradition, prayers to saints, prayers for the dead, the confessional and priesthood, etc.

The problem with your statement is in the "I perceive" part.
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« Reply #241 on: February 02, 2009, 01:09:37 AM »


Where (and/or when) would you say that we went wrong?

As horrible as it sounds it might be easier to just tell you where I think you didn't go wrong. Shocked Tongue angel
What remains among you of believer's baptism,
The triune nature of God
The true Deity and true Humanity of Christ, His life, ministry, and atoning work, His ressurection, ascension, and His coming return.
What is memorial in your observance of the eucharist
Recognition of Scripture as the inspired word of God...

There is surely more, but I assume you get the idea.

The errors I perceive are those of ecclesiatistical excess, overly ritualistic emphasis, real prescence, infant baptism, over importance of the church and tradition, prayers to saints, prayers for the dead, the confessional and priesthood, etc.

YET, this is probably not the ideal thread to discuss such things in. They are desrving of their own thread, if not a thread for each topic. I answer only to inform and hopefully keep this thread moving along -- not to digress into tangents on such matters.


I think you are stepping into uncharted territories my Christian brother..... Cheesy

The errors I perceive are those of ecclesiatistical excess, overly ritualistic emphasis, real prescence, infant baptism, over importance of the church and tradition, prayers to saints, prayers for the dead, the confessional and priesthood, etc.

The problem with your statement is in the "I perceive" part.

I smell pride.......... Smiley

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« Reply #242 on: February 02, 2009, 01:10:29 AM »

I wish not to offend. I am sorry if I have.

All in all, dosagreements aside, I take great comfort in knowing that all who have saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter that additional descriptive (whether Baptist, Pentecostal, or Orthodox) will live togther with Our Lord in the age to come known simply as "His people." I pray that each of us will by His grace persevere in faith and be together over yonder.  Grin
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« Reply #243 on: February 02, 2009, 01:39:34 AM »

I wish not to offend. I am sorry if I have.

All in all, dosagreements aside, I take great comfort in knowing that all who have saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter that additional descriptive (whether Baptist, Pentecostal, or Orthodox) will live togther with Our Lord in the age to come known simply as "His people." I pray that each of us will by His grace persevere in faith and be together over yonder.  Grin

So we are wrong on virtually everything but still going to heaven in your eyes? No point in trying to have truth then...
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« Reply #244 on: February 02, 2009, 01:41:00 AM »

I wish not to offend. I am sorry if I have.

All in all, dosagreements aside, I take great comfort in knowing that all who have saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter that additional descriptive (whether Baptist, Pentecostal, or Orthodox) will live togther with Our Lord in the age to come known simply as "His people." I pray that each of us will by His grace persevere in faith and be together over yonder.  Grin

Kumbaya.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #245 on: February 02, 2009, 08:04:18 AM »

I wish not to offend. I am sorry if I have.

All in all, dosagreements aside, I take great comfort in knowing that all who have saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter that additional descriptive (whether Baptist, Pentecostal, or Orthodox) will live togther with Our Lord in the age to come known simply as "His people." I pray that each of us will by His grace persevere in faith and be together over yonder.  Grin

Based on your conclusion,we're simply left to be thrown too and fro by every wind of doctrine??
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« Reply #246 on: February 02, 2009, 08:43:13 AM »

I wish not to offend. I am sorry if I have.

All in all, dosagreements aside, I take great comfort in knowing that all who have saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter that additional descriptive (whether Baptist, Pentecostal, or Orthodox) will live togther with Our Lord in the age to come known simply as "His people." I pray that each of us will by His grace persevere in faith and be together over yonder.  Grin

Based on your conclusion,we're simply left to be thrown too and fro by every wind of doctrine??

Like the waves of the sea.

The voice of Orthodoxy calls over the waves saying "Be still!"
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« Reply #247 on: February 02, 2009, 09:28:56 AM »

the Orthodox Church has survived ... As brutal, ruthless and powerful as Bolshevism was, it still could not destroy Orthodoxy.

Handmaiden (or someone) suggested a thread be started on this, which I would also like to see. What you say above is true, but it is only one very large and important facet of the truth. A better statement would have been, "It still could not destroy the church," for what you write of Orthodox is true also of Baptists and Pentecostals in those countries. It is the church of Jesus Christ that is indestructible: he preserved us all.
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« Reply #248 on: February 02, 2009, 09:41:06 AM »

Where (and/or when) would you say that we went wrong?

In Acts 20 Paul addresses the elders or presbyters of the church in Ephesus and says, "I know that after my departure... from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them." These were elders among whom Paul had worked for two years (Acts 19.10), so we may safely say that things began to go wrong even among those duly appointed church leaders whom the apostles knew, taught and worked with. That takes us to the time of the writings of Ignatius and Justin Martyr among other early writings.

(This is not a comment on the teachings of those post-apostolic writers, but it does point in the direction of sola scriptura as the only safe base for faith and life.)

If you want to go back even before that, a good look at the views which the early Jerusalem church held about the Law of Moses might be a place to start.

Or if you prefer the writings of John, turn to 3 John 9-10 and consider Diotrephes, who was playing an important leading rôle in the church to which Gaius belonged; or the errors into which some of the churches in Revelation 2-3 were already falling.

That said, it is still true (I believe) that the time of Constantine the Great is considered to be when the landslide really accelerated.
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« Reply #249 on: February 02, 2009, 01:54:40 PM »

Where (and/or when) would you say that we went wrong?

In Acts 20 Paul addresses the elders or presbyters of the church in Ephesus and says, "I know that after my departure... from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them." These were elders among whom Paul had worked for two years (Acts 19.10), so we may safely say that things began to go wrong even among those duly appointed church leaders whom the apostles knew, taught and worked with. That takes us to the time of the writings of Ignatius and Justin Martyr among other early writings.

(This is not a comment on the teachings of those post-apostolic writers, but it does point in the direction of sola scriptura as the only safe base for faith and life.)

If you want to go back even before that, a good look at the views which the early Jerusalem church held about the Law of Moses might be a place to start.

Or if you prefer the writings of John, turn to 3 John 9-10 and consider Diotrephes, who was playing an important leading rôle in the church to which Gaius belonged; or the errors into which some of the churches in Revelation 2-3 were already falling.

That said, it is still true (I believe) that the time of Constantine the Great is considered to be when the landslide really accelerated.


Accutely argued.

As for Constantine, I agree it was a siginifcant shift in the post NT church era. Whatever errors had already seeped in, whatever divisions had already begun, at and following Nicea the church literally and subsrantially changed it's polity. What had been generally speaking a theocratic form of government gave way to the headship of the State over that of Christ. When Constatine called, moderated, and ruled over the church (or at least that portion within his domain, as their were churches ouside the boundsof the empire) at Nicea he effectively took the place of God ordained and qualified leadership, and actually usurped the authority that belongs only to Christ. At that moment, if not before, the true church (as a God ordained, self-governing entity) ceased to function as such.

Perhaps those churches outside the empire stayed true, but they eventually faded into oblivion. Either way the now State led portion gained prominence and reserved unto itself the title of the "one, holy, and apostolic church" to the exclusion of all others. Whatever good was accomplished doctrinally at Nicea, this was it's error. This gave way to the eventual rise of the prominence of Rome and it's bishop in the church, and essentially set the stage for the shift of the empire's power existing as a secualr government to now infect, reside, and corrupt it's new found host, the church, with the fall of the empire.

Hence we emphasize the rightness of seperation of church and state.
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« Reply #250 on: February 02, 2009, 04:05:42 PM »

Quote from: Cleopas
As for Constantine, I agree it was a siginifcant shift in the post NT church era. Whatever errors had already seeped in, whatever divisions had already begun, at and following Nicea the church literally and subsrantially changed it's polity. What had been generally speaking a theocratic form of government gave way to the headship of the State over that of Christ.

The Roman Empire oppressed Christians one second and tolerated them "in the blink of an eye."

Quote from: Cleopas
When Constatine called, moderated, and ruled over the church (or at least that portion within his domain, as their were churches ouside the boundsof the empire) at Nicea he effectively took the place of God ordained and qualified leadership, and actually usurped the authority that belongs only to Christ.

The Orthodox refer to St. Constantine and St. Helen as Equal among the Apostles.  Even though Constantine hadn't fully converted to Christianity (e.g. He wasn't Baptized) when He presided over Nicaea, He wasn't killing the 318 Bishops who showed up. 

So, How can an one, equal to an Apostle, put Himself ahead of Christ?

Quote from: Cleopas
At that moment, if not before, the true church (as a God ordained, self-governing entity) ceased to function as such.

I've heard that from other Greek Orthodox; I don't buy it and I never will.

Quote from: Cleopas
Perhaps those churches outside the empire stayed true, but they eventually faded into oblivion. Either way the now State led portion gained prominence and reserved unto itself the title of the "one, holy, and apostolic church" to the exclusion of all others.

Why omit the word Catholic, which means Universal?   Huh Are you saying that the Church after Nicaea wasn't Catholic?  Then what was the One True Church in the middle of the 4th Century AD?

Quote from: Cleopas
Whatever good was accomplished doctrinally at Nicea, this was it's error. This gave way to the eventual rise of the prominence of Rome and it's bishop in the church, and essentially set the stage for the shift of the empire's power existing as a secualr government to now infect, reside, and corrupt it's new found host, the church, with the fall of the empire.

I suppose that's why no one in your ranks talks about the Holy Fathers of Nicaea because they allegedly planted the seeds for everything Martin Luther and his followers are against.  How about if we blame Holy Father St. Nicholas for simony for purchasing a slave's freedom....

Quote from: Cleopas
Hence we emphasize the rightness of seperation of church and state.

I feel Pat Robertson is both Church and State thanks to his University; I suppose you have no objection to the 700 Club being the One True Church rather than Orthodox Christianity?
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« Reply #251 on: February 02, 2009, 04:15:50 PM »

the Orthodox Church has survived ... As brutal, ruthless and powerful as Bolshevism was, it still could not destroy Orthodoxy.

Handmaiden (or someone) suggested a thread be started on this, which I would also like to see. What you say above is true, but it is only one very large and important facet of the truth. A better statement would have been, "It still could not destroy the church," for what you write of Orthodox is true also of Baptists and Pentecostals in those countries. It is the church of Jesus Christ that is indestructible: he preserved us all.

We would have to see the criteria of being the same church among the Baptists and Pentacostals, who are forever splintering and changing, to compare your claim.

To make this easy, what is the denomination that you would claim is the oldest among the Protestants?
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« Reply #252 on: February 02, 2009, 04:27:55 PM »

Where (and/or when) would you say that we went wrong?

In Acts 20 Paul addresses the elders or presbyters of the church in Ephesus and says, "I know that after my departure... from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them." These were elders among whom Paul had worked for two years (Acts 19.10), so we may safely say that things began to go wrong even among those duly appointed church leaders whom the apostles knew, taught and worked with.

Judas predated them quite a bit.

Quote
That takes us to the time of the writings of Ignatius and Justin Martyr among other early writings.

So the Church against which Christ said the gates of hell would not prevail fell in less than a generation from when He said "Lo I am with you always (lit. all the days) even until the end of the age."

So He lied.

Quote
(This is not a comment on the teachings of those post-apostolic writers, but it does point in the direction of sola scriptura as the only safe base for faith and life.)

Then why didn't the Apostles do that?

It's also odd that you make this claim for a time when there was little to no scriptura to go solo.  And the little that was extant, ie. Thessalonians, tell us to explicitly hold fast to the Tradition delileverd to us.

Quote
If you want to go back even before that, a good look at the views which the early Jerusalem church held about the Law of Moses might be a place to start.
Huh
Quote
Or if you prefer the writings of John, turn to 3 John 9-10 and consider Diotrephes, who was playing an important leading rôle in the church to which Gaius belonged; or the errors into which some of the churches in Revelation 2-3 were already falling.

The error of Diotrephes was to refuse to acknowledge Apostolic authority, an error still among us it seems.

Quote
That said, it is still true (I believe) that the time of Constantine the Great is considered to be when the landslide really accelerated.

Because of the Nicene Creed?

Sorry Dan Brown, Christ was always God.
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« Reply #253 on: February 02, 2009, 04:38:30 PM »

Where (and/or when) would you say that we went wrong?

In Acts 20 Paul addresses the elders or presbyters of the church in Ephesus and says, "I know that after my departure... from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them." These were elders among whom Paul had worked for two years (Acts 19.10), so we may safely say that things began to go wrong even among those duly appointed church leaders whom the apostles knew, taught and worked with. That takes us to the time of the writings of Ignatius and Justin Martyr among other early writings.

(This is not a comment on the teachings of those post-apostolic writers, but it does point in the direction of sola scriptura as the only safe base for faith and life.)

If you want to go back even before that, a good look at the views which the early Jerusalem church held about the Law of Moses might be a place to start.

Or if you prefer the writings of John, turn to 3 John 9-10 and consider Diotrephes, who was playing an important leading rôle in the church to which Gaius belonged; or the errors into which some of the churches in Revelation 2-3 were already falling.

That said, it is still true (I believe) that the time of Constantine the Great is considered to be when the landslide really accelerated.


Accutely argued.

As for Constantine, I agree it was a siginifcant shift in the post NT church era. Whatever errors had already seeped in, whatever divisions had already begun, at and following Nicea the church literally and subsrantially changed it's polity. What had been generally speaking a theocratic form of government gave way to the headship of the State over that of Christ. When Constatine called, moderated, and ruled over the church (or at least that portion within his domain, as their were churches ouside the boundsof the empire) at Nicea he effectively took the place of God ordained and qualified leadership, and actually usurped the authority that belongs only to Christ. At that moment, if not before, the true church (as a God ordained, self-governing entity) ceased to function as such.

Perhaps those churches outside the empire stayed true, but they eventually faded into oblivion. Either way the now State led portion gained prominence and reserved unto itself the title of the "one, holy, and apostolic church" to the exclusion of all others. Whatever good was accomplished doctrinally at Nicea, this was it's error. This gave way to the eventual rise of the prominence of Rome and it's bishop in the church, and essentially set the stage for the shift of the empire's power existing as a secualr government to now infect, reside, and corrupt it's new found host, the church, with the fall of the empire.

Hence we emphasize the rightness of seperation of church and state.

Don't mean to be rude, but, where in heaven's name did you get this?  Can you please site a source.  I would be quite interested to see where this, no offense, disgusting rendition of Church History came from. 

This is NOT the Church History I was taught (which was, by the way, by two professors, both of whom teach at Harvard).  Where, and by whom were you taught this, my friend?
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« Reply #254 on: February 02, 2009, 04:43:11 PM »


Quote from: Cleopas
Perhaps those churches outside the empire stayed true, but they eventually faded into oblivion. Either way the now State led portion gained prominence and reserved unto itself the title of the "one, holy, and apostolic church" to the exclusion of all others.

Why omit the word Catholic, which means Universal?   Huh Are you saying that the Church after Nicaea wasn't Catholic?  Then what was the One True Church in the middle of the 4th Century AD?

In the sense you mean it, as a singular visible universal institutional body, no, it was not. Whatever may have remained of that before Nicaea, it was officially severed with and following Nicaea. The "church in the empire" had effectively seperated from the church "outside the empire" by submission to Constantine, and that apart from their outside brethren. It could not have been then, in any physical or organizational sense, any longer universal.

I admit and agree that a spiritual universality existed between believers within and believers without the empire, as had always been, and always will be the case. Our union as individual believers with Christ creates spiritual unon with all others in Christ, so the universal nature of the church persists in as much as believers persist. But the organizational unity of the church perished, and was (if not before) dealt the fatal wound that made it so at Nicaea.
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« Reply #255 on: February 02, 2009, 04:43:19 PM »

Where (and/or when) would you say that we went wrong?

In Acts 20 Paul addresses the elders or presbyters of the church in Ephesus and says, "I know that after my departure... from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them." These were elders among whom Paul had worked for two years (Acts 19.10), so we may safely say that things began to go wrong even among those duly appointed church leaders whom the apostles knew, taught and worked with. That takes us to the time of the writings of Ignatius and Justin Martyr among other early writings.

(This is not a comment on the teachings of those post-apostolic writers, but it does point in the direction of sola scriptura as the only safe base for faith and life.)

If you want to go back even before that, a good look at the views which the early Jerusalem church held about the Law of Moses might be a place to start.

Or if you prefer the writings of John, turn to 3 John 9-10 and consider Diotrephes, who was playing an important leading rôle in the church to which Gaius belonged; or the errors into which some of the churches in Revelation 2-3 were already falling.

That said, it is still true (I believe) that the time of Constantine the Great is considered to be when the landslide really accelerated.


Accutely argued.

As for Constantine, I agree it was a siginifcant shift in the post NT church era.
What shift was that?
Quote
Whatever errors had already seeped in,

What errors would those be?

Quote
whatever divisions had already begun,

Yes, there were Arians before Arius, or something like them.

 
Quote
at and following Nicea the church literally and subsrantially changed it's polity. What had been generally speaking a theocratic form of government gave way to the headship of the State over that of Christ. When Constatine called, moderated, and ruled over the church (or at least that portion within his domain, as their were churches ouside the boundsof the empire) at Nicea he effectively took the place of God ordained and qualified leadership, and actually usurped the authority that belongs only to Christ. At that moment, if not before, the true church (as a God ordained, self-governing entity) ceased to function as such.

St. Constantine did not dictate dogma: he bowed to the decision of the Church.  Btw, in the center of the Council the Gospel (meaning the liturgical book) was placed on Constantine's throne.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dd/THE_FIRST_COUNCIL_OF_NICEA.jpg

Quote
Perhaps those churches outside the empire stayed true,
Actually, a number of their bishops attended.  And in the Orthodox Churches of Ethiopia, Mesopotamia, Iran, India, etc. they continued.

Quote
but they eventually faded into oblivion.
The Nubian Orthodox has become extinct.  Can you name others?

Quote
Either way the now State led portion gained prominence and reserved unto itself the title of the "one, holy, and apostolic church" to the exclusion of all others.
Odd thing to argue, as Constantine's success abandoned Nicea and persecuted its supporters (hence the phrase "Athanasius agaisnt the World," being exiled 5 times).

Quote
Whatever good was accomplished doctrinally at Nicea, this was it's error.

What was?

Quote
This gave way to the eventual rise of the prominence of Rome and it's bishop in the church,

Rome wasn't even a capital at the time.  Her bishop had already rose to prominence before Constantine.

Quote
and essentially set the stage for the shift of the empire's power existing as a secualr government to now infect, reside, and corrupt it's new found host, the church, with the fall of the empire.

The empire only fell in the West.  It endured in the East.  And when it fell in the East, why didn't the government take the Church with it?

Quote
Hence we emphasize the rightness of seperation of church and state.

I prefer the symphony.
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« Reply #256 on: February 02, 2009, 04:50:15 PM »


Quote from: Cleopas
Perhaps those churches outside the empire stayed true, but they eventually faded into oblivion. Either way the now State led portion gained prominence and reserved unto itself the title of the "one, holy, and apostolic church" to the exclusion of all others.

Why omit the word Catholic, which means Universal?   Huh Are you saying that the Church after Nicaea wasn't Catholic?  Then what was the One True Church in the middle of the 4th Century AD?

In the sense they meant it, as a singular visible universal institutional body, no. Whatever may have remained of that before Nicaea, it was officially severed with and following Nicaea. The "church in the empire" had effectively seperated from the church "outside the empire" by submission to Constantine, and that apart from their outside brethren. It could not have been then, in any physical or organizational sense, any longer universal.

What evidence do you have to make this statement that contradicts all history?  We have plenty on the interactions of the "Church in the Empire" with their "outside brethren."

Quote
I admit and agree that a spiritual universality existed between believers within and believers without the empire, as had always been, and always will be the case. Our union as individual believers with Christ creates spiritual unon with all others in Christ, so the universal nature of the church persists in as much as believers persist. But the organizational unity of the church perished, and was (if not before) dealt the fatal wound that made it so at Nicaea.

Nonsense.  For one, Armenia, OUTSIDE the Empire was represented by her hierarch St. Gregory at the Council of Nicea, and he and his successors remained in full communion with those within the empire until 450 (and if you count the OO WITHIN the Empire, thereafter).  Similarly Ethiopia, India, etc.
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« Reply #257 on: February 02, 2009, 05:12:41 PM »


Quote from: Cleopas
Perhaps those churches outside the empire stayed true, but they eventually faded into oblivion. Either way the now State led portion gained prominence and reserved unto itself the title of the "one, holy, and apostolic church" to the exclusion of all others.

Why omit the word Catholic, which means Universal?   Huh Are you saying that the Church after Nicaea wasn't Catholic?  Then what was the One True Church in the middle of the 4th Century AD?

In the sense they meant it, as a singular visible universal institutional body, no. Whatever may have remained of that before Nicaea, it was officially severed with and following Nicaea. The "church in the empire" had effectively seperated from the church "outside the empire" by submission to Constantine, and that apart from their outside brethren. It could not have been then, in any physical or organizational sense, any longer universal.

What evidence do you have to make this statement that contradicts all history?  We have plenty on the interactions of the "Church in the Empire" with their "outside brethren."

Quote
I admit and agree that a spiritual universality existed between believers within and believers without the empire, as had always been, and always will be the case. Our union as individual believers with Christ creates spiritual unon with all others in Christ, so the universal nature of the church persists in as much as believers persist. But the organizational unity of the church perished, and was (if not before) dealt the fatal wound that made it so at Nicaea.

Nonsense.  For one, Armenia, OUTSIDE the Empire was represented by her hierarch St. Gregory at the Council of Nicea, and he and his successors remained in full communion with those within the empire until 450 (and if you count the OO WITHIN the Empire, thereafter).  Similarly Ethiopia, India, etc.


My argument deals with the authority of Constantine. He called for the coucnil and required the bishops of the empire to attend. Whether any outside the empire attended also is of no consequence. The error persists. Constantine usurped authority over the church. And the church, at least those who did attend (and those who later submitted to the actions of this council) thus submitted to the rule of state. They, like Israel of old, chose (as it were) a man to rule over them instead of God. The church there essentially abandoned the Lordship of Christ and yielded instead to the Lordship of Ceaser. This was an unholy alliance, good intentions aside.

My reference to outsiders fading was to say that the effects of Nicaea became essentially universal in scope, more or less bringing all the church that did survive outside the empire into partcipation with the church of the empire and the Nicaean council. The point? The church at Nicaea, generally speaking, bowed and gave to the emporer what rightly belonged to Christ -- headship over the church. This is so because Constantine used his authority to convene and preside over the council. He had no valid ecclesiastical authority to do so. He had no station in the church, no authority from Christ, no ministeral gifting or office. Like Israel and her Sanhedrian was in subjugation to Rome, so to now was this spiritual Israel, the church, and it's bishops.

And it seems as though none recognized the danger or error therein.
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« Reply #258 on: February 02, 2009, 05:20:29 PM »


Don't mean to be rude, but, where in heaven's name did you get this?  Can you please site a source.  I would be quite interested to see where this, no offense, disgusting rendition of Church History came from. 

This is NOT the Church History I was taught (which was, by the way, by two professors, both of whom teach at Harvard).  Where, and by whom were you taught this, my friend?

From various sources, none of which I can at the moment properly cite, but which include...

Schaff's history of the Christian church
the 100 most important events in the history of Christianity
And various Restorationist/Evangelical intepretations or presentations of church history and/or the importance of the separation of church and state (i.e. Stone/Campbell movement, Anderson Indiana Church of God movement, the Christian Union and the Cleveland, TN Church of God movement, various Baptist defense of baptist beliefs and distinctives incvluding the priesthood of believers, soul freedom, bible freedom, seperation of church and state, etc.).
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« Reply #259 on: February 02, 2009, 05:20:47 PM »


Quote from: Cleopas
Perhaps those churches outside the empire stayed true, but they eventually faded into oblivion. Either way the now State led portion gained prominence and reserved unto itself the title of the "one, holy, and apostolic church" to the exclusion of all others.

Why omit the word Catholic, which means Universal?   Huh Are you saying that the Church after Nicaea wasn't Catholic?  Then what was the One True Church in the middle of the 4th Century AD?

In the sense they meant it, as a singular visible universal institutional body, no. Whatever may have remained of that before Nicaea, it was officially severed with and following Nicaea. The "church in the empire" had effectively seperated from the church "outside the empire" by submission to Constantine, and that apart from their outside brethren. It could not have been then, in any physical or organizational sense, any longer universal.

What evidence do you have to make this statement that contradicts all history?  We have plenty on the interactions of the "Church in the Empire" with their "outside brethren."

Quote
I admit and agree that a spiritual universality existed between believers within and believers without the empire, as had always been, and always will be the case. Our union as individual believers with Christ creates spiritual unon with all others in Christ, so the universal nature of the church persists in as much as believers persist. But the organizational unity of the church perished, and was (if not before) dealt the fatal wound that made it so at Nicaea.

Nonsense.  For one, Armenia, OUTSIDE the Empire was represented by her hierarch St. Gregory at the Council of Nicea, and he and his successors remained in full communion with those within the empire until 450 (and if you count the OO WITHIN the Empire, thereafter).  Similarly Ethiopia, India, etc.


My argument deals with the authority of Constantine. He called for the coucnil and required the bishops of the empire to attend. Whether any outside the empire attended also is of no consequence. The error persists. Constantine usurped authority over the church. And the church, at least those who did attend (and those who later submitted to the actions of this council) thus submitted to the rule of state. They, like Israel of old, chose (as it were) a man to rule over them instead of God. The church there essentially abandoned the Lordship of Christ and yielded instead to the Lordship of Ceaser. This was an unholy alliance, good intentions aside.

My reference to outsiders fading was to say that the effects of Nicaea became essentially universal in scope, more or less bringing all the church that did survive outside the empire into partcipation with the church of the empire and the Nicaean council. The point? The church at Nicaea, generally speaking, bowed and gave to the emporer what rightly belonged to Christ -- headship over the church. This is so because Constantine used his authority to convene and preside over the council. He had no valid ecclesiastical authority to do so. He had no station in the church, no authority from Christ, no ministeral gifting or office. Like Israel and her Sanhedrian was in subjugation to Rome, so to now was this spiritual Israel, the church, and it's bishops.

And it seems as though none recognized the danger or error therein.


WRONG.  Constantine did not "require" anyone to attend.  Christianity wasn't even the official religion.  It was one legal one of many.

Furthermore, CONSTANTINE HAD NO VOTE AT THE COUNCIL.  He opened the council with a speech, sat back and let the bishops debate the questions.  THE BISHOPS, GUIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, made the declarations.  It had nothing whatsoever to do with Constantine.  He simply agreed to abide by what THEY decided.

AGAIN I WILL ASK YOU KINDLY, WHERE ARE YOU GETTING THIS?  CAN YOU PLEASE CITE A SOURCE.  You must realize that, without a source, this appears to us to be nothing more than disgusting propaganda, my friend, which I know is not how you intend it.  But you are leveling some extremely serious charges against not only one of the most beloved saints in Orthodoxy, but against the Church Herself!  And you are doing it without providing even one stitch of proof.  If this is simply your spin on history, then you need to say so.  Otherwise, I am personally asking you (I am not a mod, so I cannot officially ask, but as a friend, I am asking) to provide your sources for this, ummmm, interesting take on Byzantine and Church history.

In Christ's Love,
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« Reply #260 on: February 02, 2009, 05:24:13 PM »


Don't mean to be rude, but, where in heaven's name did you get this?  Can you please site a source.  I would be quite interested to see where this, no offense, disgusting rendition of Church History came from. 

This is NOT the Church History I was taught (which was, by the way, by two professors, both of whom teach at Harvard).  Where, and by whom were you taught this, my friend?

From various sources, none of which I can at the moment properly cite, but which include...

Schaff's history of the Christian church
the 100 most important events in the history of Christianity
And various Restorationist/Evangelical intepretations or presentations of church history and/or the importance of the separation of church and state (i.e. Stone/Campbell movement, Anderson Indiana Church of God movement, the Christian Union and the Cleveland, TN Church of God movement, various Baptist defense of baptist beliefs and distinctives incvluding the priesthood of believers, soul freedom, bible freedom, seperation of church and state, etc.).


Thank you.  I know that you said you cannot properly cite at the moment, but could you please be a little more specific as far as what came from Schaff as opposed to the rest?

Surely you realize that the last ones you cite will hardly be considered valid, as the very color of them as "Restorationist/Evangelical interpretations" makes them non-academic, biased, and, frankly, useless. 

I would suggest a little more trustworthy reading, friend, before you go around leveling such charges.  The only one I would be even remotely interested in hearing more about is Schaff.  The rest, as I said, is nothing more than propeganda.

Again, with love in Christ, not meaning offense,
Presbytera Mari
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« Reply #261 on: February 02, 2009, 05:33:54 PM »


Thank you.  I know that you said you cannot properly cite at the moment, but could you please be a little more specific as far as what came from Schaff as opposed to the rest?

Surely you realize that the last ones you cite will hardly be considered valid, as the very color of them as "Restorationist/Evangelical interpretations" makes them non-academic, biased, and, frankly, useless. 

I would suggest a little more trustworthy reading, friend, before you go around leveling such charges.  The only one I would be even remotely interested in hearing more about is Schaff.  The rest, as I said, is nothing more than propeganda.

Again, with love in Christ, not meaning offense,
Presbytera Mari

Yes, I am aware that you guys will not considered as valid a non-orthodox application or understanding of such events. But, for us, these events MUST be understood through the filter of what is to us orthodox belief, namely here the seperation of church and state. I understahnd you will dismiss it as "propaganda." But that does not make it any less right or (for the sake of civility and hopsitality) wrong.

I will try to find the quote where Constantine required the attendance of bishops within the empire. I cannot promise when I will be ab le to do so. I am actually suprised at the position being countered. He was after all Emporer. It seems this was discussed here on my intial coming, and that the matter was attested to at that time, but memory can be faulty.

Other than that, I think it is a fundamental difference of understanding reagrding the nature of the church and it's polity between us who hold to seperation of church and state versus those who do not.
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« Reply #262 on: February 02, 2009, 05:39:28 PM »


Thank you.  I know that you said you cannot properly cite at the moment, but could you please be a little more specific as far as what came from Schaff as opposed to the rest?

Surely you realize that the last ones you cite will hardly be considered valid, as the very color of them as "Restorationist/Evangelical interpretations" makes them non-academic, biased, and, frankly, useless. 

I would suggest a little more trustworthy reading, friend, before you go around leveling such charges.  The only one I would be even remotely interested in hearing more about is Schaff.  The rest, as I said, is nothing more than propeganda.

Again, with love in Christ, not meaning offense,
Presbytera Mari

Yes, I am aware that you guys will not considered as valid a non-orthodox application or understanding of such events. But, for us, these events MUST be understood through the filter of what is to us orthodox belief, namely here the seperation of church and state. I understahnd you will dismiss it as "propaganda." But that does not make it any less right or (for the sake of civility and hopsitality) wrong.

I will try to find the quote where Constantine required the attendance of bishops within the empire. I cannot promise when I will be ab le to do so. I am actually suprised at the position being countered. He was after all Emporer. It seems this was discussed here on my intial coming, and that the matter was attested to at that time, but memory can be faulty.

Other than that, I think it is a fundamental difference of understanding reagrding the nature of the church and it's polity between us who hold to seperation of church and state versus those who do not.

Actually, it's not a matter of using non-Orthodox sources.  We're not that narrow-minded.  It's a matter of using trustworthy sources with no agenda or bias.  You and David Young have had much to say on this matter as far as us referring to the fathers, whose beliefs we tend to hold.  But the same expectation cannot be applied to you?  Isn't that a bit of a double standard?

If you want to discuss on the basis of such authors as Raymond Brown, I would be perfectly happy to engage that.  His is biblical, rather than historical, but you get the picture.  It's not about it being Orthodox.  It's about it being credible and trustworthy, which an obviously biased "interpretive" publication will not be to us, and, frankly, should not be to you either, my friend.  Be careful where you put your trust.
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« Reply #263 on: February 02, 2009, 05:58:35 PM »


Thank you.  I know that you said you cannot properly cite at the moment, but could you please be a little more specific as far as what came from Schaff as opposed to the rest?

Surely you realize that the last ones you cite will hardly be considered valid, as the very color of them as "Restorationist/Evangelical interpretations" makes them non-academic, biased, and, frankly, useless. 

I would suggest a little more trustworthy reading, friend, before you go around leveling such charges.  The only one I would be even remotely interested in hearing more about is Schaff.  The rest, as I said, is nothing more than propeganda.

Again, with love in Christ, not meaning offense,
Presbytera Mari

Yes, I am aware that you guys will not considered as valid a non-orthodox application or understanding of such events. But, for us, these events MUST be understood through the filter of what is to us orthodox belief, namely here the seperation of church and state. I understahnd you will dismiss it as "propaganda." But that does not make it any less right or (for the sake of civility and hopsitality) wrong.

So much for an attempt at objective historical analysis....

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« Reply #264 on: February 02, 2009, 06:28:35 PM »

what is the denomination that you would claim is the oldest among the Protestants?

I've never really thought about it. I assume you mean the oldest still in continuous existence, so I'd guess that it would turn out to be the Waldenses. On the other hand, the Moravians go back to John Hus. I don't really know. You lay more stress upon age than we do.
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« Reply #265 on: February 02, 2009, 06:35:53 PM »

So the Church against which Christ said the gates of hell would not prevail fell in less than a generation from when He said "Lo I am with you always (lit. all the days) even until the end of the age."

As I put on another post, gates do two things: they keep people in, and they keep people out. The gates of hell cannot prevail to keep the church out when it rescues Satan's captives, nor can it keep those captives in when they respond to the Gospel.

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So He lied.

God is not a man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent.

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it does point in the direction of sola scriptura ...

Then why didn't the Apostles do that?

I take the recognition and formalising of the canon of scripture to be part of the Holy Spirit leading the church into all truth.

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the time of Constantine the Great is considered to be when the landslide really accelerated...

Because of the Nicene Creed?

No: we all accept that.

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« Reply #266 on: February 02, 2009, 06:44:01 PM »

AGAIN I WILL ASK YOU KINDLY, WHERE ARE YOU GETTING THIS?  CAN YOU PLEASE CITE A SOURCE.  

I realise this is really Cleopas' question, but I would just say that two works perhaps regarded as standard for what one might call an Evangelical church history are:

- "The Pilgrim Church" E. H. Broadbent (London & Glasgow, 1931)
- "Early Church History" and "Witnesses for Christ" (i.e. two volumes) E. Backhouse & C. Tyler (London 1894, 1906)

I have given the dates of my copies, but I wouldn't be surprised if there have been more recent editions or re-printings.

In addition, I think two factors are relevant:

1) The idea of creeping corruption in the church, especially from the time of Constantine, is so pervasive in the way church history is viewed that it is quite hard to single out just one or two sources as seminal. It's what everyone thinks - well, on our side of the fence, anyway.

2) One tends to read about individual doctrines and practices and to trace them over the centuries, not only about a general overview of church history: so one will read about the cult of Mary; the development of prayers to the saints; of prayers for the dead; of the wearing of vestments; of the idea of a priesthood; or monarchical bishops; of Purgatory; or seven sacraments; of penance; and so on and so on. In this way, an overall picture is formed of post-apostolic and mediæval developments in the church, many of which were what we see as spoiling the simplicity of the primitive church.

I begin to wonder whether our discussion is not really about whether these things happened, but whether they are good, bad or indifferent.

I get an idea that your (GreekChef's) comment is rather un-Orthodox, and not surprisingly I rather agree with her! Like you, I prefer church history written from a non-partisan standpoint, by academic scholars. They should have no axe to grind, and they leave me to form my own opinion regarding the things they set before me. That is not to say that I don't also read partisan accounts, for I have just listed two, and you know I have Stylianopoulos on Tradition; I also have, and have read, Kallistos Ware's "The Orthodox Church". Such books set two opinions before me; but the academic books written by university scholars should give me an unbiassed narration. I say your comment seems a little un-Orthodox, because (if I understand it aright - do correct me if not) Orthodox theology has traditionally not been done in secular university settings, whereas in Protestant nations this is quite normal.
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« Reply #267 on: February 02, 2009, 06:56:03 PM »

the time of Constantine the Great is considered to be when the landslide really accelerated...

Because of the Nicene Creed?

No: we all accept that.

May you accept the words, you certainly don't accept the same definition of the words.
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« Reply #268 on: February 02, 2009, 07:12:31 PM »

May you accept the words, you certainly don't accept the same definition of the words.

You may be right: please say wherein our definitions differ from yours. This is not some insincere rhetorical challenge, but a genuine inquiry.

But mañana: it is four hours later here than the forum clock, and I must sleep.
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« Reply #269 on: February 02, 2009, 11:47:02 PM »

AGAIN I WILL ASK YOU KINDLY, WHERE ARE YOU GETTING THIS?  CAN YOU PLEASE CITE A SOURCE.  

I realise this is really Cleopas' question, but I would just say that two works perhaps regarded as standard for what one might call an Evangelical church history are:

- "The Pilgrim Church" E. H. Broadbent (London & Glasgow, 1931)
- "Early Church History" and "Witnesses for Christ" (i.e. two volumes) E. Backhouse & C. Tyler (London 1894, 1906)

I have given the dates of my copies, but I wouldn't be surprised if there have been more recent editions or re-printings.

In addition, I think two factors are relevant:

1) The idea of creeping corruption in the church, especially from the time of Constantine, is so pervasive in the way church history is viewed that it is quite hard to single out just one or two sources as seminal. It's what everyone thinks - well, on our side of the fence, anyway.

2) One tends to read about individual doctrines and practices and to trace them over the centuries, not only about a general overview of church history: so one will read about the cult of Mary; the development of prayers to the saints; of prayers for the dead; of the wearing of vestments; of the idea of a priesthood; or monarchical bishops; of Purgatory; or seven sacraments; of penance; and so on and so on. In this way, an overall picture is formed of post-apostolic and mediæval developments in the church, many of which were what we see as spoiling the simplicity of the primitive church.

I begin to wonder whether our discussion is not really about whether these things happened, but whether they are good, bad or indifferent.

I get an idea that your (GreekChef's) comment is rather un-Orthodox, and not surprisingly I rather agree with her! Like you, I prefer church history written from a non-partisan standpoint, by academic scholars. They should have no axe to grind, and they leave me to form my own opinion regarding the things they set before me. That is not to say that I don't also read partisan accounts, for I have just listed two, and you know I have Stylianopoulos on Tradition; I also have, and have read, Kallistos Ware's "The Orthodox Church". Such books set two opinions before me; but the academic books written by university scholars should give me an unbiassed narration. I say your comment seems a little un-Orthodox, because (if I understand it aright - do correct me if not) Orthodox theology has traditionally not been done in secular university settings, whereas in Protestant nations this is quite normal.


I don't know that I would say it's un-Orthodox... the professors that I was schooled under were schooled in some of the best schools in the world-- Harvard, Catholic University, The University of Athens, Fordham, Berkley, etc.  Theology is most definitely studied in an academic manner, though.

I also wouldn't agree that academics are the best places to look.  There is no such thing as unbiased, in my opinion.  We'd like to think there is, we'd like to think that academics always do their research properly (Robert Morey is a perfect example of this... an "academic" with a totally moronic understanding (or lack thereof, really) of Orthodoxy), but the fact is that they don't always.  And often, because they, too, look for "unbiased" sources, you end up with the kind of stuff that the History Channel and the Discovery Channel run with the "Lost Tomb of Christ," and "Jesus, the real story," and "UFO's in the Bible."  [sarcasm] Oh, yeah, those academics are credible, alright! [/sarcasm] Smiley

I was trying to stress "credible," not "academic," because, indeed, many, many academics DO, in fact, have axes to grind.  And when it comes to Orthodoxy, frankly, many academics are, in fact, ignorant of our beliefs and where to look to be educated in them.  At the very least, so many still confuse us with Catholics...

Anyway, I would not say that Kallistos Ware's book is NOT academic.  He WAS a professor at Oxford, after all.  His reputation is sterling as far as reliability and academic work, so I would say he certainly falls into both "academic" and "credible."
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