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Author Topic: One True Church?  (Read 50853 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #405 on: July 29, 2010, 02:42:21 AM »

I'll use this with my Protestant friends

I don't think it will convince them. You can hardly compare John Smith, a now-dead mortal man only, with the eternal risen Son of God, who indwells his church by his Spirit. I am as persuaded as you are that Mormonism is a non-Christian religion, but I don't think your analogy of the putative John Smith Industries with the Body of Christ will persuade anyone that it is a convincing parallel with Jesus Christ and the late John Smith. I think you need to try again.

What did you mean by this?








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« Reply #406 on: July 29, 2010, 04:11:37 AM »

Could you point to where the most significant argument for this was?

I'll try to remember where we put it, but I'm not here today from a few minutes till bed-time, so it may be in a day or two.

Sorry about the slip of the pen in re John/Joseph Smith. Too much of a hurry, I fear.
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« Reply #407 on: July 29, 2010, 04:15:29 AM »

What did you mean by this?

The Nicene and later creeds would be a good place to start. I should be hard put to it to define the manner in which the Spirit indwells the individual Christian and the corporate Body (sorry for the tautology), but I am sure we can believe and experience that scriptural truth without fully understanding it mentally. But I must away...
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« Reply #408 on: July 29, 2010, 11:30:53 AM »

despite its historical record, [the Orthodox Church] does not thereby make up the entire Body of Christ. Both Cleopas and I have argued for this from scripture.

Could you point to where the most significant argument for this was?

Sorry - I wish I could. I looked up my "statistics" and it seems I have been posting on the Forum for nearly two years, at a rate of more than 1½ posts a day. Some of the discussions were on the private discussion section, as it was feared they might be contentious. One would have to trawl through them all.
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« Reply #409 on: July 29, 2010, 06:05:42 PM »

Do you care to discuss it here, then?
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« Reply #410 on: July 29, 2010, 10:31:47 PM »

I believe I am part of the one, holy, apostolic church. I have been baptized in the Trinity. I confess the creeds. I practice the way of Christian discipleship through prayer, fasting, giving to those in need. I strive to love God and love my neighbor as myself. I repent continually. I'm systematically reading through the early Fathers. I place myself under the authority of my bishop. I am trying to co-operate with God so that my mind is transformed into the mind of Christ. I am striving to be made perfect in love in this life, as the only response I can make to the saving grace of God that has been extended to all creation through Christ.
I was raised in the United Methodist Church. I am an ordained elder. For what it's worth, the bishop that ordained me can easily trace an apostolic line back to Francis Asbury, who was sent by John Wesley to provide oversight of the Methodist movement in America. United Methodism is the tradition I find myself in.
I understand that I have not been chrismated in the Orthodox church and cannot be unless I forsake my ordination and enter as a lay person. I sense an inner yearning to do this, yet at the same time sense that my charism is to be as orthodox a United Methodist pastor I can be.
All of this is to say that, in spite of the fact that I cannot participate in the Eucharist in the Orthodox church, I am a member of the body of Christ. I am being saved. I am part of the visible Church. This whole debate about visible unity/invisible unity makes no sense to me.
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« Reply #411 on: July 29, 2010, 11:52:02 PM »

This whole debate about visible unity/invisible unity makes no sense to me.

Perhaps if you realized that we do not recognize many of the previous assertions you made in your post then you might have a chance of making more sense of it.
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« Reply #412 on: July 30, 2010, 02:01:32 AM »

All of this is to say that, in spite of the fact that I cannot participate in the Eucharist in the Orthodox church, I am a member of the body of Christ.

The Eucharist is the Body (and Blood) of Christ, and if you're not approaching an Orthodox chalice, then you're just not getting Him in His fullness.
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« Reply #413 on: July 30, 2010, 11:58:00 AM »

Do you care to discuss it here, then?

I was afraid someone would say that!  Wink

Actually it's a matter of why we Evangelicals believe that we are Christians, and that our churches belong to the Body of Christ. It encompasses all (or most of) the matters we have discussed: whether apostolic succession is necessary; the Orthodox view of the sacraments, especially baptism, chrismation and the Eucharist; the part played by faith in our union with Christ; what a local church is, and what the universal church is; how the sinner is forgiven and reconciled to God, thus becoming a child of God; whether there are indispensable core doctrines without which no-one is truly Christian, and others in which variety of opinion does not disqualify one from that title. And doubtless other themes that don't immediately spring to mind. They have all been dealt with, some at immense length, on the open and private threads, and to deal with them all under one title such as "What constitutes Christ's Church?" would require a book rather an a post.
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« Reply #414 on: July 30, 2010, 12:12:58 PM »

Actually it's a matter of why we Evangelicals believe that we are Christians, and that our churches belong to the Body of Christ. It encompasses all (or most of) the matters we have discussed: whether apostolic succession is necessary; the Orthodox view of the sacraments, especially baptism, chrismation and the Eucharist; the part played by faith in our union with Christ; what a local church is, and what the universal church is; how the sinner is forgiven and reconciled to God, thus becoming a child of God; whether there are indispensable core doctrines without which no-one is truly Christian, and others in which variety of opinion does not disqualify one from that title. And doubtless other themes that don't immediately spring to mind. They have all been dealt with, some at immense length, on the open and private threads, and to deal with them all under one title such as "What constitutes Christ's Church?" would require a book rather an a post. [emphasis by Thankful]

Or perhaps it's truly as simple as this:

The Eucharist is the Body (and Blood) of Christ, and if you're not approaching an Orthodox chalice, then you're just not getting Him in His fullness.

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« Reply #415 on: July 30, 2010, 12:27:55 PM »

Or perhaps it's truly as simple as this:

The Eucharist is the Body (and Blood) of Christ, and if you're not approaching an Orthodox chalice, then you're just not getting Him in His fullness.

Yes, it struck me that this was rather central. However, whilst it explains why you think our Methodist friend and I, who am Baptist, are not members of the Body of Christ, it doesn't say why we think we are, which. Actually, I liked his post, and would be happy to apply most of it to myself (obviously not the bits about his bishop and his ordination as elder, which are personal to his situation).
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« Reply #416 on: July 30, 2010, 02:06:03 PM »

Or perhaps it's truly as simple as this:

The Eucharist is the Body (and Blood) of Christ, and if you're not approaching an Orthodox chalice, then you're just not getting Him in His fullness.

Yes, it struck me that this was rather central. However, whilst it explains why you think our Methodist friend and I, who am Baptist, are not members of the Body of Christ, it doesn't say why we think we are, which.

Which leads inevitably to the question, why do you think you are?
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« Reply #417 on: July 30, 2010, 04:46:48 PM »

why do you think you are [a Christian]?

Q1 Is there a god at all?
Q2 If there is, is he the God of the Bible?
Q3 If he is, do I belong to him?

I find little difficulty in arriving at a 'yes' answer to Q1 and Q2. Q3 is a good deal harder, when I look into my performance as a would-be follower of Christ and become aware of my shortcomings, failures and sins. However, there have been and still are people whose life and faith is such that I have no doubt that they are his. Such people have known me for 45 years or more and believe me to be their brother in Christ. I trust their judgement better than my own, as my own eyes are clouded with sin. Kyrie eleison!

Also, I seem to perceive the hand of God in many ways which I could not have contrived myself, acting in guidance and providence over those same decades. It seems harder to deny that his hand has been upon my way and my life than to acknowledge it.

I also believe that "if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." I do believe it in my heart, and I have confessed it with my lips, both before baptism and on unnumbered other occasions in private and public. I trust him to keep his promise. If God is true, how could I not be saved?

You cannot be a Christian, that is belonging to Christ, without being a member of his church. What is a church? Baptist belief is that a local church is a body of baptised believers who meet regularly for worship, prayer, fellowship, the Word of God and the Lord's Supper. All such churches throughout the world comprise the worldwide Body of Christ on earth. I am a practising member of such a local church.
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« Reply #418 on: July 30, 2010, 06:15:27 PM »

Or perhaps it's truly as simple as this:

The Eucharist is the Body (and Blood) of Christ, and if you're not approaching an Orthodox chalice, then you're just not getting Him in His fullness.

Yes, it struck me that this was rather central. However, whilst it explains why you think our Methodist friend and I, who am Baptist, are not members of the Body of Christ, it doesn't say why we think we are, which. Actually, I liked his post, and would be happy to apply most of it to myself (obviously not the bits about his bishop and his ordination as elder, which are personal to his situation).

It's as simple as that, for the Orthodox, because if we truly believe that there is ONE church (which we do) and truly believe that the Eucharist is the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ (which we do), then the question is answered. We have to be in that church. All the rest gets figured out -- but if this is where Christ IS, via the Eucharist, then we have to be there. And we have to be able to receive according to the Holy Tradition of that living Church. Not in a Baptist or Pentecostal or Episcopalian house of worship. Perhaps people are Christian in those places, I do not know -- that's up for God to decide, not me/us. But if the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church still exists, and the Eucharist in this original church is the real presence of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, then why would we want to be anywhere else? This is the question that it came down to for my husband and I when we were converting this last year and a half.

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« Reply #419 on: July 30, 2010, 06:38:33 PM »


I also believe that "if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." I do believe it in my heart, and I have confessed it with my lips, both before baptism and on unnumbered other occasions in private and public. I trust him to keep his promise. If God is true, how could I not be saved?

But what else does the Bible say about being saved? Mainly I think of the verse that our Priest repeats oft -- "he who endures to the end will be saved." And there's also the place in Titus where it speaks of being saved by being baptized and sealed with the Holy Spirit. So if you take all three of these verses together, one must not only confess and believe -- but also be baptized and chrismated, and then endure to the end. It's not just confessing and believing, you see?

Can one "confess with their lips" and "believe in their heart" one time (or even numerous times), but not be baptized? Not be christmated? Not endure to the end? Most certainly. So, are they saved or not? They confessed and believed, but were not baptized into God's Ark (His church) and were not sealed by the Holy Spirit. Neither did they endure to the end. Are they saved?

I'd want to get on the ONE ark that God has provided!!

 
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« Reply #420 on: July 30, 2010, 10:52:04 PM »

Or perhaps it's truly as simple as this:

The Eucharist is the Body (and Blood) of Christ, and if you're not approaching an Orthodox chalice, then you're just not getting Him in His fullness.

Yes, it struck me that this was rather central. However, whilst it explains why you think our Methodist friend and I, who am Baptist, are not members of the Body of Christ, it doesn't say why we think we are, which.

Which leads inevitably to the question, why do you think you are?
I know I am a member of the body of Christ because I confess Him as Lord and Savior. I put all my trust in His grace. I have been baptized. The Spirit dwells in me. Basically, my previous post expresses why I, or any other person, would be considered a Christian. We are saved by faith. It is not our own doing, but the gift of God.
If I am not receiving Christ in His fullness from an orthodox chalice, then perhaps I might have a crumb from the table. To touch the hem of His garment in faith will be enough.
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« Reply #421 on: July 30, 2010, 11:43:03 PM »

Or perhaps it's truly as simple as this:

The Eucharist is the Body (and Blood) of Christ, and if you're not approaching an Orthodox chalice, then you're just not getting Him in His fullness.

Yes, it struck me that this was rather central. However, whilst it explains why you think our Methodist friend and I, who am Baptist, are not members of the Body of Christ, it doesn't say why we think we are, which.

Which leads inevitably to the question, why do you think you are?
I know I am a member of the body of Christ because I confess Him as Lord and Savior. I put all my trust in His grace. I have been baptized. The Spirit dwells in me. Basically, my previous post expresses why I, or any other person, would be considered a Christian. We are saved by faith. It is not our own doing, but the gift of God.
But do you not see that you're basing your conclusion that you are a member of the Body of Christ on presuppositions you have made of what it means to be a member of the Body?  How do you know your underlying assumptions are correct?

If I am not receiving Christ in His fullness from an orthodox chalice, then perhaps I might have a crumb from the table. To touch the hem of His garment in faith will be enough.
But why stop at this if you know you can have so much more?
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« Reply #422 on: July 31, 2010, 06:10:17 AM »

Quote
if we truly believe that there is ONE church ... and truly believe that the Eucharist is the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ... We have to be in that church... if this is where Christ IS, via the Eucharist, then we have to be there. ... if the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church still exists, and the Eucharist in this original church is the real presence of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, then why would we want to be anywhere else?

Quite so. "If..."!
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« Reply #423 on: July 31, 2010, 06:37:42 AM »

Can one "confess with their lips" and "believe in their heart" ...but not be baptized? Not be christmated? Not endure to the end? Most certainly. So, are they saved or not?

Your first question reduces to, Is baptism necessary for salvation? I believe the answer is No, though I believe baptism is necessary for full obedience.
Your second question boils down to, Is the Holy Spirit received through Orthodox chrismation? Again, we obviously believe the answer is No, else we would all be rushing to undergo the rite. (That is not to say that Orthodox believers are not indwelt or sealed by the Holy Spirit, only that it happened to you, as to us, through your faith, not through a sacerdotal ceremony.)
The third question is harder, as it requires a definition of "endure to the end". The simple answer is No, for our Lord clearly required such endurance. Yet the apostle tells us that some will be saved only as through fire, and their works all burnt up; elsewhere a man is committed to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the Last Day. What do these mean? What is the difference between a backslider and an apostate? But these questions take us beyond the OP.
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« Reply #424 on: July 31, 2010, 07:16:07 AM »

Your first question reduces to, Is baptism necessary for salvation? I believe the answer is No, though I believe baptism is necessary for full obedience.
Your second question boils down to, Is the Holy Spirit received through Orthodox chrismation? Again, we obviously believe the answer is No, else we would all be rushing to undergo the rite. (That is not to say that Orthodox believers are not indwelt or sealed by the Holy Spirit, only that it happened to you, as to us, through your faith, not through a sacerdotal ceremony.)

Interesting. You have expressed a wish to use the very prayers of the Orthodox sacrament of baptism and chrismation in  your own denomination's worship, yet you blithely deny the Orthodox teachings contained within them, and ignore their sacramental nature. Not good enough, my dear David. The hymnography of the Orthodox Church is not some pretty exotica to be plucked at and appropriated for esthetic reasons by those whose doctrines and practices are at odds with Orthodoxy.

BTW, have you reached page 177 of The New Day of Creation yet?
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« Reply #425 on: July 31, 2010, 11:45:48 AM »

Can one "confess with their lips" and "believe in their heart" ...but not be baptized? Not be christmated? Not endure to the end? Most certainly. So, are they saved or not?

Your first question reduces to, Is baptism necessary for salvation? I believe the answer is No, though I believe baptism is necessary for full obedience.
Your second question boils down to, Is the Holy Spirit received through Orthodox chrismation? Again, we obviously believe the answer is No, else we would all be rushing to undergo the rite. (That is not to say that Orthodox believers are not indwelt or sealed by the Holy Spirit, only that it happened to you, as to us, through your faith, not through a sacerdotal ceremony.)
The third question is harder, as it requires a definition of "endure to the end". The simple answer is No, for our Lord clearly required such endurance. Yet the apostle tells us that some will be saved only as through fire, and their works all burnt up; elsewhere a man is committed to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the Last Day. What do these mean? What is the difference between a backslider and an apostate? But these questions take us beyond the OP.

My point wasn't to go through issue by issue saying yes or no, but to see the holistic picture of salvation.  Confessing with the lips and believing in the heart is PART of salvation, but according to the scriptures, so is baptism, chrismation and enduring to the end.  Not as things to check off a list, but as a LIFE. Good day to you, David!  Smiley
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« Reply #426 on: July 31, 2010, 01:17:56 PM »

You have expressed a wish to use the very prayers of the Orthodox sacrament of baptism and chrismation

BTW, have you reached page 177 of The New Day of Creation yet?

Not chrismation - and not every word of your baptismal liturgy; but there is a huge overlap in what we believe about baptism, and as so many of the words in your service are well-chosen, not to say beautiful, and accord entirely with our my beliefs, such would be suitable also for our baptism.

I have noted and commented on the 'all-or-nothing' view you hold of Orthodoxy, and also your reasons for not offering it to us like a 'cafeteria'. I do understand your reasoning.

Yes, I have finished the entire book. It is a good one.

- DMY
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« Reply #427 on: July 31, 2010, 01:22:18 PM »

Confessing with the lips and believing in the heart is PART of salvation, but according to the scriptures, so is baptism, chrismation and enduring to the end.  Not as things to check off a list, but as a LIFE.

Apart from the reference to chrismation - for we believe one receives the Spirit by faith - I entirely agree. But you asked why I believe I am a Christian; in replying I could not include a comment on whether I shall endure to the end other than to say I hope to, with God's gracious upholding. I was not intending to excise that from the process of salvation, but I could not write, "I believe I am a Christian because I foreknow that I am one of those who will endure to the end". I am sure you understand this.
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« Reply #428 on: July 31, 2010, 03:01:31 PM »

Can one "confess with their lips" and "believe in their heart" ...but not be baptized? Not be christmated? Not endure to the end? Most certainly. So, are they saved or not?

Your first question reduces to, Is baptism necessary for salvation? I believe the answer is No, though I believe baptism is necessary for full obedience.
Your second question boils down to, Is the Holy Spirit received through Orthodox chrismation? Again, we obviously believe the answer is No, else we would all be rushing to undergo the rite. (That is not to say that Orthodox believers are not indwelt or sealed by the Holy Spirit, only that it happened to you, as to us, through your faith, not through a sacerdotal ceremony.)
The third question is harder, as it requires a definition of "endure to the end". The simple answer is No, for our Lord clearly required such endurance. Yet the apostle tells us that some will be saved only as through fire, and their works all burnt up; elsewhere a man is committed to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the Last Day. What do these mean? What is the difference between a backslider and an apostate? But these questions take us beyond the OP.

This is what I could never get as a Baptist,on the one hand they say that Baptism is not nessessary for Salvation,and on the other hand nessessary for obedience,what is the punishment for NON-OBEDIENCE,no one could ever tell me that. What if one decides they want to be sprinkled instead of immersed? Or what if one decides Baptism is completely unnessessary,but is sincere in their faith?
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« Reply #429 on: July 31, 2010, 04:10:45 PM »

Quote
...what is the punishment for NON-OBEDIENCE,... What if ... what if ...?

Good questions. If you ever find the answers, let me know!

We must, of course, take heed each to his way. God doesn't always tell us how he will deal with his other children.
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« Reply #430 on: July 31, 2010, 06:12:45 PM »

Quote
...what is the punishment for NON-OBEDIENCE,... What if ... what if ...?

Good questions. If you ever find the answers, let me know!

We must, of course, take heed each to his way. God doesn't always tell us how he will deal with his other children.

I guess I would have to say that obedience has EVERYTHING to do with our Salvation,in my humble opinion. If I remember correctly Christ said "to whom much is given,much will be required". This to me says alot for those who know the truth, I believe those who are ignorant of Orthodoxy,much will not be required of them,this does not say they shouldn't continue to search,I believe that is the position I find myself in,and the deeper I dig the more responsable I need to be,and I find a greater awareness of my sin,and the need for it to be delt with.
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« Reply #431 on: July 31, 2010, 10:01:20 PM »

Or perhaps it's truly as simple as this:

The Eucharist is the Body (and Blood) of Christ, and if you're not approaching an Orthodox chalice, then you're just not getting Him in His fullness.

Yes, it struck me that this was rather central. However, whilst it explains why you think our Methodist friend and I, who am Baptist, are not members of the Body of Christ, it doesn't say why we think we are, which.

Which leads inevitably to the question, why do you think you are?
I know I am a member of the body of Christ because I confess Him as Lord and Savior. I put all my trust in His grace. I have been baptized. The Spirit dwells in me. Basically, my previous post expresses why I, or any other person, would be considered a Christian. We are saved by faith. It is not our own doing, but the gift of God.
If I am not receiving Christ in His fullness from an orthodox chalice, then perhaps I might have a crumb from the table. To touch the hem of His garment in faith will be enough.

Orthodox don't say your claim is untrue, we say that we don't know if it is True or not.

For example, a Mormon can make the exact same claim, word for word that you do. But Mormonism is tricky business in terms of really being "Christian". Once again, we really cant say for sure. What we can say for sure is whether or not someone has joined himself with the Church. We don't have an understanding of many Churches or one big invisible Church. To us, the Church can only be one the same way God can only be one..
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« Reply #432 on: July 31, 2010, 10:09:58 PM »

Confessing with the lips and believing in the heart is PART of salvation, but according to the scriptures, so is baptism, chrismation and enduring to the end.  Not as things to check off a list, but as a LIFE.

Apart from the reference to chrismation - for we believe one receives the Spirit by faith - I entirely agree. But you asked why I believe I am a Christian; in replying I could not include a comment on whether I shall endure to the end other than to say I hope to, with God's gracious upholding. I was not intending to excise that from the process of salvation, but I could not write, "I believe I am a Christian because I foreknow that I am one of those who will endure to the end". I am sure you understand this.

Yes but, your Church (Community) may not endure to the end. We see ourselves as grafted onto Christ by means of his Church, which is a physical reality, not a notion or formula or someones idea. So you can only speak as an individual because you stand outside the actual Church. It is a risky position for you to be in from where we sit.
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« Reply #433 on: July 31, 2010, 10:53:23 PM »

Confessing with the lips and believing in the heart is PART of salvation, but according to the scriptures, so is baptism, chrismation and enduring to the end.  Not as things to check off a list, but as a LIFE.

Apart from the reference to chrismation - for we believe one receives the Spirit by faith - I entirely agree. But you asked why I believe I am a Christian; in replying I could not include a comment on whether I shall endure to the end other than to say I hope to, with God's gracious upholding. I was not intending to excise that from the process of salvation, but I could not write, "I believe I am a Christian because I foreknow that I am one of those who will endure to the end". I am sure you understand this.
I agree. This is an aspect of becoming sanctified. It is as Paul expressed, running the race, leaving what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, pressing toward the prize. Don't we all hope to endure to the end?
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« Reply #434 on: July 31, 2010, 10:58:27 PM »

Can one "confess with their lips" and "believe in their heart" ...but not be baptized? Not be christmated? Not endure to the end? Most certainly. So, are they saved or not?

Your first question reduces to, Is baptism necessary for salvation? I believe the answer is No, though I believe baptism is necessary for full obedience.
Your second question boils down to, Is the Holy Spirit received through Orthodox chrismation? Again, we obviously believe the answer is No, else we would all be rushing to undergo the rite. (That is not to say that Orthodox believers are not indwelt or sealed by the Holy Spirit, only that it happened to you, as to us, through your faith, not through a sacerdotal ceremony.)
The third question is harder, as it requires a definition of "endure to the end". The simple answer is No, for our Lord clearly required such endurance. Yet the apostle tells us that some will be saved only as through fire, and their works all burnt up; elsewhere a man is committed to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the Last Day. What do these mean? What is the difference between a backslider and an apostate? But these questions take us beyond the OP.

This is what I could never get as a Baptist,on the one hand they say that Baptism is not nessessary for Salvation,and on the other hand nessessary for obedience,what is the punishment for NON-OBEDIENCE,no one could ever tell me that. What if one decides they want to be sprinkled instead of immersed? Or what if one decides Baptism is completely unnessessary,but is sincere in their faith?
I don't understand that either. Although God must always be free to act, it is the norm that baptism is salvific. Something happens when baptism is received. It is not an act of mere obedience.
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« Reply #435 on: July 31, 2010, 11:03:10 PM »

Quote
...what is the punishment for NON-OBEDIENCE,... What if ... what if ...?

Good questions. If you ever find the answers, let me know!

We must, of course, take heed each to his way. God doesn't always tell us how he will deal with his other children.

I guess I would have to say that obedience has EVERYTHING to do with our Salvation,in my humble opinion. If I remember correctly Christ said "to whom much is given,much will be required". This to me says alot for those who know the truth, I believe those who are ignorant of Orthodoxy,much will not be required of them,this does not say they shouldn't continue to search,I believe that is the position I find myself in,and the deeper I dig the more responsable I need to be,and I find a greater awareness of my sin,and the need for it to be delt with.
I agree with you. This has been my experience as I have emersed myself in my use of orthodox prayers, attending liturgies, keeping fasts, daily remebrances of the saints, how the church truly is a mighty cloud of witnesses, of which I am both made in the image of God,and yet the worst of sinners.
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« Reply #436 on: July 31, 2010, 11:11:08 PM »

Or perhaps it's truly as simple as this:

The Eucharist is the Body (and Blood) of Christ, and if you're not approaching an Orthodox chalice, then you're just not getting Him in His fullness.


Yes, it struck me that this was rather central. However, whilst it explains why you think our Methodist friend and I, who am Baptist, are not members of the Body of Christ, it doesn't say why we think we are, which.

Which leads inevitably to the question, why do you think you are?
I know I am a member of the body of Christ because I confess Him as Lord and Savior. I put all my trust in His grace. I have been baptized. The Spirit dwells in me. Basically, my previous post expresses why I, or any other person, would be considered a Christian. We are saved by faith. It is not our own doing, but the gift of God.
If I am not receiving Christ in His fullness from an orthodox chalice, then perhaps I might have a crumb from the table. To touch the hem of His garment in faith will be enough.

Orthodox don't say your claim is untrue, we say that we don't know if it is True or not.

For example, a Mormon can make the exact same claim, word for word that you do. But Mormonism is tricky business in terms of really being "Christian". Once again, we really cant say for sure. What we can say for sure is whether or not someone has joined himself with the Church. We don't have an understanding of many Churches or one big invisible Church. To us, the Church can only be one the same way God can only be one..
No, I think picking a Mormon as an example is not a good one. Mormonism is clearly not Christian, regardless of what a Mormon might say. I am not a Mormon. I am a Christian.
I do not argue your point about the Orthodox being agnostic regarding the salvation of the heterodox, which I guess I must be considered to be. I occasionally think of the passage where Jesus tells the people who worked miracles in his name to go away because Jesus did not know them. It is a reminder of me to hold the tension between the assurance of salvation on one hand, but to avoid the sin of pretense on the other.
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« Reply #437 on: August 01, 2010, 04:45:08 AM »

What if one decides they want to be sprinkled instead of immersed? Or what if one decides Baptism is completely unnessessary,but is sincere in their faith?

You are perhaps asking about four practices and beliefs:

- believers' baptism by total immersion (i.e. what I hold)
- believers' baptism by some other method (sprinkling, or pouring, which you do not mention)
- infant baptism (by whatever means - immersion, affusion, sprinkling)
- no baptism at all.

The last is marginal, though some who hold or held a vital Christian faith have gone down this line (no baptism): I think the early Quakers, and the Salvation Army, would fall into this category. It is not my place to know what will be said to them on the Day of Judgement, but reading their writings makes it hard for me to deny the genuineness of their Christianity.

In re the mode of baptism, if Romans 6 means anything at all when it talks of being buried with Christ, I cannot see how any mode other than total immersion fits with the picture of burial.

People 'baptised' only as infants are, by us, deemed unbaptised, but (a) I am aware of God's presence and blessing among them, as I have written before, not least from my own Methodist background - and it is probably true that I still look to Methodism more than to any other 'branch' of Christianity for the nourishment of my faith; and (b) they certainly sincerely consider themselves baptised. Again, I must (a) do what I believe is right, namely be baptised as a believer by total immersion, but (b) leave it to God to deal with my brothers and sisters in Christ who sincerely deem themselves baptised.

Beyond this I can speculate, but I do not know. It must be left with God.
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« Reply #438 on: August 01, 2010, 05:15:58 PM »

Somtimes a picture is worth a thousand words:


http://orthodoxdelmarva.org/images/events/2010/08-01/IMG_3871.JPG

http://orthodoxdelmarva.org/images/events/2010/08-01/IMG_3923.JPG

http://orthodoxdelmarva.org/images/events/2010/08-01/IMG_3926.JPG

http://orthodoxdelmarva.org/images/events/2010/08-01/IMG_3939.JPG

http://orthodoxdelmarva.org/images/events/2010/08-01/IMG_3945.JPG

http://orthodoxdelmarva.org/images/events/2010/08-01/IMG_3953.JPG

http://orthodoxdelmarva.org/images/events/2010/08-01/IMG_3966.JPG

http://orthodoxdelmarva.org/images/events/2010/08-01/IMG_3967.JPG

http://orthodoxdelmarva.org/images/events/2010/08-01/IMG_3971.JPG
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« Reply #439 on: August 01, 2010, 05:45:28 PM »

Somtimes a picture is worth a thousand words

What is happening at 66 and 67?
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« Reply #440 on: August 01, 2010, 05:50:18 PM »

Somtimes a picture is worth a thousand words

What is happening at 66 and 67?

Two kids are given the Lord's body and blood (communion).
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« Reply #441 on: August 01, 2010, 06:18:42 PM »

What if one decides they want to be sprinkled instead of immersed? Or what if one decides Baptism is completely unnessessary,but is sincere in their faith?

You are perhaps asking about four practices and beliefs:

- believers' baptism by total immersion (i.e. what I hold)
- believers' baptism by some other method (sprinkling, or pouring, which you do not mention)
- infant baptism (by whatever means - immersion, affusion, sprinkling)
- no baptism at all.

The last is marginal, though some who hold or held a vital Christian faith have gone down this line (no baptism): I think the early Quakers, and the Salvation Army, would fall into this category. It is not my place to know what will be said to them on the Day of Judgement, but reading their writings makes it hard for me to deny the genuineness of their Christianity.

In re the mode of baptism, if Romans 6 means anything at all when it talks of being buried with Christ, I cannot see how any mode other than total immersion fits with the picture of burial.

By the same argument, you would have to be drowned by the baptism, as it is "buried with Him through baptism into death."  In the 2,000 years of the Church history, the first time a drowning allegedly happening is on a thread here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29080.0.html

Full immersion is the norm, and should be the norm, but the Didache shows that from the time of the Apostles sprinkling was done when required.


It is odd that the Baptists make so much of the mode (sprinking of adults not counting) and make nothing of the content.  Smacks of "works righteousness."


Quote
People 'baptised' only as infants are, by us, deemed unbaptised, but (a) I am aware of God's presence and blessing among them, as I have written before, not least from my own Methodist background - and it is probably true that I still look to Methodism more than to any other 'branch' of Christianity for the nourishment of my faith; and (b) they certainly sincerely consider themselves baptised. Again, I must (a) do what I believe is right, namely be baptised as a believer by total immersion, but (b) leave it to God to deal with my brothers and sisters in Christ who sincerely deem themselves baptised.

Beyond this I can speculate, but I do not know. It must be left with God.
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« Reply #442 on: August 01, 2010, 06:25:58 PM »

What did you mean by this?

The Nicene and later creeds would be a good place to start. I should be hard put to it to define the manner in which the Spirit indwells the individual Christian and the corporate Body (sorry for the tautology), but I am sure we can believe and experience that scriptural truth without fully understanding it mentally. But I must away...

Thanks for answering pastor David,

I hope you don't mind me calling you pastor David? You are a preacher right? Please forgive me if you are not.

What about Jesus? Does He indwell the Church too? Do you believe the Church to be the Body of Christ?







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« Reply #443 on: August 01, 2010, 07:09:38 PM »

Your first question reduces to, Is baptism necessary for salvation? I believe the answer is No, though I believe baptism is necessary for full obedience.
Your second question boils down to, Is the Holy Spirit received through Orthodox chrismation? Again, we obviously believe the answer is No, else we would all be rushing to undergo the rite. (That is not to say that Orthodox believers are not indwelt or sealed by the Holy Spirit, only that it happened to you, as to us, through your faith, not through a sacerdotal ceremony.)

Interesting. You have expressed a wish to use the very prayers of the Orthodox sacrament of baptism and chrismation in  your own denomination's worship, yet you blithely deny the Orthodox teachings contained within them, and ignore their sacramental nature. Not good enough, my dear David. The hymnography of the Orthodox Church is not some pretty exotica to be plucked at and appropriated for esthetic reasons by those whose doctrines and practices are at odds with Orthodoxy.

BTW, have you reached page 177 of The New Day of Creation yet?


The same is true for the Ancient Creeds as well. How can they be recited if they are not believed? The people at those councils didn't have a Baptist understanding when they said "One Baptism for the forgiveness of sins" as well as with "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church".

Growing up as a Baptist I never ever recall reciting the Nicene creed. And only recently within the past eight years has the Baptist church that I grew up in started to embrace more and more ancient practices like lent, ash wednesday.......etc. And this was only because of the new pastor they had.....who is only a few years older than myself. He wanted to adopt these practices and the church/deacon board let him.

He is an awesome preacher(and I mean awesome inspirational preacher for he can make you stand, clap and shout without ever telling you to do so. You will just do it on your own because you wanted to.......this is rare now days in alot of black Baptist and Pentecostal churches. Alot of preachers in these churches make you do all these things by simply telling you, and so yes, the current pastor my old Baptist church has is awesome), and the Church can sing there butt off too! But there was no way I could stay there knowing what I knew about the Divine Mysteries/sacraments, patristics, church councils, church history...........etc. And so I eventually became Anglo-Catholic where they had icons on the walls, and they sang the whole liturgy. They had incense......etc. That helped me get over alot of things Baptist....like my fear of Icons.......etc, and it really really helped alot in eventually becoming Orthodox too!

It took 10 years to figure out that simply trying to imitate the Early Church isn't good enough. No, you actually have to be in communion with it as well. And I believe this is the lesson that the former EOC (Evangelical Orthodox Church) found out as well. And it's what many within the falling apart Charismatic Episcopal Church International is finding out too, for many of them are either becoming Old Catholics, Roman Catholic, and western rite Eastern Orthodox.

But this often takes time. I had to literally be broken down in order to accept EO at it's own terms. And it took 10 years for that to happen, and so I'm not worried if it takes pastor David and Father Kevin Orr many years as well.

They are clergymen and so they have other problems to worry about then what I had, for they also have to make a living in supporting their families.....especially if they have children! How will they be able to do that as an Orthodox Christian? Especially if they are accepted as laymen and if there is no guarantee that they would ever be ordained as EO clergy?

And then they might have some theological and cultural issues to work out as well. And this all takes time. .......having the right answers are only part of the solution. There are other factors more practical and emotional that tend to keep people back as well.







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« Reply #444 on: August 01, 2010, 07:35:10 PM »

Somtimes a picture is worth a thousand words

What is happening at 66 and 67?

Two kids are given the Lord's body and blood (communion).

He might know it by the term Paedo-Communion






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« Reply #445 on: August 01, 2010, 09:02:54 PM »

Your first question reduces to, Is baptism necessary for salvation? I believe the answer is No, though I believe baptism is necessary for full obedience.
Your second question boils down to, Is the Holy Spirit received through Orthodox chrismation? Again, we obviously believe the answer is No, else we would all be rushing to undergo the rite. (That is not to say that Orthodox believers are not indwelt or sealed by the Holy Spirit, only that it happened to you, as to us, through your faith, not through a sacerdotal ceremony.)

Interesting. You have expressed a wish to use the very prayers of the Orthodox sacrament of baptism and chrismation in  your own denomination's worship, yet you blithely deny the Orthodox teachings contained within them, and ignore their sacramental nature. Not good enough, my dear David. The hymnography of the Orthodox Church is not some pretty exotica to be plucked at and appropriated for esthetic reasons by those whose doctrines and practices are at odds with Orthodoxy.

BTW, have you reached page 177 of The New Day of Creation yet?


The same is true for the Ancient Creeds as well. How can they be recited if they are not believed? The people at those councils didn't have a Baptist understanding when they said "One Baptism for the forgiveness of sins" as well as with "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church".

Growing up as a Baptist I never ever recall reciting the Nicene creed. And only recently within the past eight years has the Baptist church that I grew up in started to embrace more and more ancient practices like lent, ash wednesday.......etc. And this was only because of the new pastor they had.....who is only a few years older than myself. He wanted to adopt these practices and the church/deacon board let him.

He is an awesome preacher(and I mean awesome inspirational preacher for he can make you stand, clap and shout without ever telling you to do so. You will just do it on your own because you wanted to.......this is rare now days in alot of black Baptist and Pentecostal churches. Alot of preachers in these churches make you do all these things by simply telling you, and so yes, the current pastor my old Baptist church has is awesome), and the Church can sing there butt off too! But there was no way I could stay there knowing what I knew about the Divine Mysteries/sacraments, patristics, church councils, church history...........etc. And so I eventually became Anglo-Catholic where they had icons on the walls, and they sang the whole liturgy. They had incense......etc. That helped me get over alot of things Baptist....like my fear of Icons.......etc, and it really really helped alot in eventually becoming Orthodox too!

It took 10 years to figure out that simply trying to imitate the Early Church isn't good enough. No, you actually have to be in communion with it as well. And I believe this is the lesson that the former EOC (Evangelical Orthodox Church) found out as well. And it's what many within the falling apart Charismatic Episcopal Church International is finding out too, for many of them are either becoming Old Catholics, Roman Catholic, and western rite Eastern Orthodox.

But this often takes time. I had to literally be broken down in order to accept EO at it's own terms. And it took 10 years for that to happen, and so I'm not worried if it takes pastor David and Father Kevin Orr many years as well.

They are clergymen and so they have other problems to worry about then what I had, for they also have to make a living in supporting their families.....especially if they have children! How will they be able to do that as an Orthodox Christian? Especially if they are accepted as laymen and if there is no guarantee that they would ever be ordained as EO clergy?

And then they might have some theological and cultural issues to work out as well. And this all takes time. .......having the right answers are only part of the solution. There are other factors more practical and emotional that tend to keep people back as well.







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You write with great perception. I have often thought that if I was not an ordained pastor, I would have become Orthodox a long time ago. But I am. And not only am I ordained, with all the commitment and accountability that goes with it, but I also have a wife and three children. So, I am living in the tension between fulfilling my responsibilities, and I believe my calling from God, while at the same time yearning to be able to be in communion with the Orthodox church.
I follow the advice of the priest at the Greek church I used to go to (moved away): keep reading, keep praying, be patient, and God will direct me.
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« Reply #446 on: August 01, 2010, 10:31:17 PM »

Your first question reduces to, Is baptism necessary for salvation? I believe the answer is No, though I believe baptism is necessary for full obedience.
Your second question boils down to, Is the Holy Spirit received through Orthodox chrismation? Again, we obviously believe the answer is No, else we would all be rushing to undergo the rite. (That is not to say that Orthodox believers are not indwelt or sealed by the Holy Spirit, only that it happened to you, as to us, through your faith, not through a sacerdotal ceremony.)

Interesting. You have expressed a wish to use the very prayers of the Orthodox sacrament of baptism and chrismation in  your own denomination's worship, yet you blithely deny the Orthodox teachings contained within them, and ignore their sacramental nature. Not good enough, my dear David. The hymnography of the Orthodox Church is not some pretty exotica to be plucked at and appropriated for esthetic reasons by those whose doctrines and practices are at odds with Orthodoxy.

BTW, have you reached page 177 of The New Day of Creation yet?


The same is true for the Ancient Creeds as well. How can they be recited if they are not believed? The people at those councils didn't have a Baptist understanding when they said "One Baptism for the forgiveness of sins" as well as with "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church".

Growing up as a Baptist I never ever recall reciting the Nicene creed. And only recently within the past eight years has the Baptist church that I grew up in started to embrace more and more ancient practices like lent, ash wednesday.......etc. And this was only because of the new pastor they had.....who is only a few years older than myself. He wanted to adopt these practices and the church/deacon board let him.

He is an awesome preacher(and I mean awesome inspirational preacher for he can make you stand, clap and shout without ever telling you to do so. You will just do it on your own because you wanted to.......this is rare now days in alot of black Baptist and Pentecostal churches. Alot of preachers in these churches make you do all these things by simply telling you, and so yes, the current pastor my old Baptist church has is awesome), and the Church can sing there butt off too! But there was no way I could stay there knowing what I knew about the Divine Mysteries/sacraments, patristics, church councils, church history...........etc. And so I eventually became Anglo-Catholic where they had icons on the walls, and they sang the whole liturgy. They had incense......etc. That helped me get over alot of things Baptist....like my fear of Icons.......etc, and it really really helped alot in eventually becoming Orthodox too!

It took 10 years to figure out that simply trying to imitate the Early Church isn't good enough. No, you actually have to be in communion with it as well. And I believe this is the lesson that the former EOC (Evangelical Orthodox Church) found out as well. And it's what many within the falling apart Charismatic Episcopal Church International is finding out too, for many of them are either becoming Old Catholics, Roman Catholic, and western rite Eastern Orthodox.

But this often takes time. I had to literally be broken down in order to accept EO at it's own terms. And it took 10 years for that to happen, and so I'm not worried if it takes pastor David and Father Kevin Orr many years as well.

They are clergymen and so they have other problems to worry about then what I had, for they also have to make a living in supporting their families.....especially if they have children! How will they be able to do that as an Orthodox Christian? Especially if they are accepted as laymen and if there is no guarantee that they would ever be ordained as EO clergy?

And then they might have some theological and cultural issues to work out as well. And this all takes time. .......having the right answers are only part of the solution. There are other factors more practical and emotional that tend to keep people back as well.


ICXC NIKA
You write with great perception. I have often thought that if I was not an ordained pastor, I would have become Orthodox a long time ago. But I am. And not only am I ordained, with all the commitment and accountability that goes with it, but I also have a wife and three children. So, I am living in the tension between fulfilling my responsibilities, and I believe my calling from God, while at the same time yearning to be able to be in communion with the Orthodox church.
I follow the advice of the priest at the Greek church I used to go to (moved away): keep reading, keep praying, be patient, and God will direct me.

Thank you Father for those kind words. And thanks to the mother Churches, Orthodoxy in North America is headed in a direction of having one policy in regards to these matters. I could be wrong, but we seem to be headed in the direction of having a great and Holy Synod/council. This will pan out all the different policies of the different jurisdictions here.

But as of right now, we still have different policies. I can't speak for the GOA, but the Antiochians are good at receiving protestant clergy. The same might be true for the OCA.

The Orthodox priest I contacted four years ago in 2006 was a former Methodist clergy. I found him on a Charismatic Roman Catholic forum, and he told me exactly who to speak to in Pittsburgh. He might be able to help you in your situation since he had a similar experience.

http://www.antiochian.org/node/16316 (Poquoson, Virginia - St. Basil the Great Church)

http://www.stbasilonline.org/ (Saint Basil the Great Antiochian Orthodox Church)


Contact them! 4 years ago I called him Fr. Mac! (my awful hiphop slang) He wanted me to call him back after I visited the parish he told me to go to in Pittsburgh, but I never did call back.(I was too scared for I didn't know what to say afterwords, but one day turned into two, and before you know it 4 years went by) He may not remember me since we only spoke once or twice on the phone and a few times through e-mail some 4 years ago.

But give him a call! Or E-mail!

He helped me and I'm sure he will be able to help you too!









ICXC NIKA
« Last Edit: August 01, 2010, 10:39:40 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #447 on: August 02, 2010, 09:58:37 AM »

Jnorm888,
   Thanks for the contact info. I will follow up to hear his story.
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David Young
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« Reply #448 on: August 02, 2010, 11:03:59 AM »

It is odd that the Baptists make so much of the mode (sprinking of adults not counting) and make nothing of the content.

I have made the same point myself elsewhere on the Forum, except that I think we make "too little", not "nothing", of the content.
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"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
David Young
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« Reply #449 on: August 02, 2010, 11:11:59 AM »

I hope you don't mind me calling you pastor David? You are a preacher right?

I used to be a Baptist pastor, but since 1988 have worked only for the Albanian Evangelcial Mission, so no longer in a pastoral role. I do preach most Sundays, sometimes simply as David Young, sometimes in churches which invite me because of the Mission and include in their invitation a request that I preach. It has been an immense privilege that the latter category includes churches in Kosova, Albania, Macedonia and Greece, though in the last two it has had to be by interpretation as I speak no Macedonian and very little Greek

Quote
What about Jesus? Does He indwell the Church too?

I would say, Only by his Spirit - which does not imply acceptance of the filioque. Jesus himself, having taken on humanity, is still God and man joined, and his risen, glorified body is not ubiquitous; rather, reversing the way it is expressed in scripture, he is now like we shall be, "for we shall see him as he is". I cannot of course explain the 'mechanism' (horrible and inappropriate word) of the mysterious spiritual indwelling of Christ by His Spirit in the believer and the church.

Quote
Do you believe the Church to be the Body of Christ?

Yes - but not in the same way as his risen body, as Jesus of Nazareth, is his.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2010, 11:13:53 AM by David Young » Logged

"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
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