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Author Topic: One True Church?  (Read 49241 times) Average Rating: 0
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David Young
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« Reply #450 on: August 02, 2010, 11:22:02 AM »

The people at those councils didn't have a Baptist understanding when they said "One Baptism for the forgiveness of sins"

This very point has been exhaustively explored on one or more other threads, though I do not recall whether it was on the Private Discussion threads or the open ones. Lengthy posts were written by GreekChef and perhaps by me and Cleopas, among others. It all hinges on the meaning of the word "for" (eis in Greek) and (though less lengthily discussed) the relative authority of scripture and of the Creeds. I shan't rehearse the arguments here, as those threads are easily accessible: a search for the word eis would probably locate them quite quickly. I do however agree that what you mean by "for" is not how we understand baptism.
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« Reply #451 on: August 02, 2010, 11:27:58 AM »

He might know it by the term Paedo-Communion

No, it's not a word I knew. What set me off course was that I thought all the photos were of a baptism. I have seen children taking communion at the Orthodox church in Gjirokastër when attending. I have no problem with the practice - in this sense, that all baptised people should regularly take communion, so once it is conceded that these children are truly baptised, they indeed should come to the Table. The question concerns infant baptism; accept that, and pædocommunion follows logically and properly.
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« Reply #452 on: August 09, 2010, 08:45:12 PM »

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.


This is interesting to me. As I understand it, we Orthodox see ourselves as an extension of the Lord's resurrected body in a very direct sense. Saint John Chrysostom uses the analogy that just as the brain energizes the body through the nerves, so also the Head, Christ, energizes every member of the Church (Homilies on Ephesians, 4:16). We also believe that Christ mystically indwells the flesh and bones of the saints, and that by assuming our nature, He deified the the whole person, soul and body. So, the Church is the Body of Christ in a very real sense. Might a protestant agree with this theology?
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« Reply #453 on: August 10, 2010, 08:35:46 PM »

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.


This is interesting to me. As I understand it, we Orthodox see ourselves as an extension of the Lord's resurrected body in a very direct sense. Saint John Chrysostom uses the analogy that just as the brain energizes the body through the nerves, so also the Head, Christ, energizes every member of the Church (Homilies on Ephesians, 4:16). We also believe that Christ mystically indwells the flesh and bones of the saints, and that by assuming our nature, He deified the the whole person, soul and body. So, the Church is the Body of Christ in a very real sense. Might a protestant agree with this theology?
Absolutely, I agree. Christ said that for those who believe, the Father and the Son will abide within the believer. As Christians,we are living stones,being built into a spiritual house. We are temples of the Holy Spirit. We are clay pots that contain a precious treasure. We are the hands and feet of Christ. We are "little Christs."
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« Reply #454 on: August 10, 2010, 10:21:11 PM »

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.


This is interesting to me. As I understand it, we Orthodox see ourselves as an extension of the Lord's resurrected body in a very direct sense. Saint John Chrysostom uses the analogy that just as the brain energizes the body through the nerves, so also the Head, Christ, energizes every member of the Church (Homilies on Ephesians, 4:16). We also believe that Christ mystically indwells the flesh and bones of the saints, and that by assuming our nature, He deified the the whole person, soul and body. So, the Church is the Body of Christ in a very real sense. Might a protestant agree with this theology?
Absolutely, I agree. Christ said that for those who believe, the Father and the Son will abide within the believer. As Christians,we are living stones,being built into a spiritual house. We are temples of the Holy Spirit. We are clay pots that contain a precious treasure. We are the hands and feet of Christ. We are "little Christs."

Would a Protestant have a problem with "little gods"?  Wink
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« Reply #455 on: August 11, 2010, 09:34:08 AM »

Not the heirs of John Wesley. I hope to be made perfect in love in this life. Wesley called it entire sanctification. The Orthodox call it theosis. Peter called it partaking of the divine nature. I love the line I've heard somewhere, "the divine became human, so that humans may become divine." And do I have a long way to go!
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« Reply #456 on: August 13, 2010, 09:27:04 AM »

As I understand it, we Orthodox see ourselves as an extension of the Lord's resurrected body in a very direct sense.

Yes, I think that is a real difference between us - though I hasten to add that it is not a concept which should be allowed to cause a rift or breach of fellowship between those who truly belong to Christ. I confess that the Orthodox concept to which you refer is one aspect of Orthodoxy which I have not yet been able to penetrate with my understanding.
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« Reply #457 on: August 13, 2010, 10:07:35 AM »

As I understand it, we Orthodox see ourselves as an extension of the Lord's resurrected body in a very direct sense.

Yes, I think that is a real difference between us - though I hasten to add that it is not a concept which should be allowed to cause a rift or breach of fellowship between those who truly belong to Christ. I confess that the Orthodox concept to which you refer is one aspect of Orthodoxy which I have not yet been able to penetrate with my understanding.

If I may make a comment; This is a good spot to understand our differences on several levels.

So if I understand correctly, for you those in your Church are in agreement with Christ, believe in him and follow him as your example and Lord. It is a concept you follow, a Principle of faith. Christianity is agreement in Principle and if you follow a certain bundle of Principles, you are Saved.

For Orthodox, we are actually, in a real sense, both physically and spiritually joined to Jesus Christ. Just because we believe this is so does not make it just a "concept" or idea or a Principle. It bespeaks a totally different paradigm, Faith by Principle vs. Faith  via Concrete Manifestation
 ( we are ACTUALLY joined to Christ). Manifestation by Principle vs Actual Manifestation.

We see this played out several places. You see the Eucharist as Symbolic, reaffirming your idea's ( The Principles you adhere to)  and giving inspiration. We see the Eucharist as ACTUALLY Christ, Body Soul and Divinity which we consume taking him into our bodies via a physical act.

We practice two different types of Religion.

So to you, our concept of The Church is an idea we have and your concept is an idea you have that we can agree to disagree on. No big deal.
But I would like you to see that this goes far deeper and reflects two very different World Views that your approach can easily reconcile ( "Your Okay, I'm Okay", it's just a different concept) but we cannot.

Much of what we do does not compute with you because your basis of understanding uses a filter that does not account for a different Type of Religion.
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« Reply #458 on: August 13, 2010, 10:39:08 AM »

Not the heirs of John Wesley. I hope to be made perfect in love in this life. Wesley called it entire sanctification. The Orthodox call it theosis. Peter called it partaking of the divine nature. I love the line I've heard somewhere, "the divine became human, so that humans may become divine." And do I have a long way to go!
Pope St. Athanasius of Alexandria.
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« Reply #459 on: August 13, 2010, 10:42:00 AM »

As I understand it, we Orthodox see ourselves as an extension of the Lord's resurrected body in a very direct sense.

Yes, I think that is a real difference between us - though I hasten to add that it is not a concept which should be allowed to cause a rift or breach of fellowship between those who truly belong to Christ. I confess that the Orthodox concept to which you refer is one aspect of Orthodoxy which I have not yet been able to penetrate with my understanding.

those who truly belong to Christ<those extended from the Lord's resurrected body in a very direct sense.  The dicnony you set up thus makes no sense.
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« Reply #460 on: August 13, 2010, 10:48:25 AM »

As I understand it, we Orthodox see ourselves as an extension of the Lord's resurrected body in a very direct sense.

Yes, I think that is a real difference between us - though I hasten to add that it is not a concept which should be allowed to cause a rift or breach of fellowship between those who truly belong to Christ. I confess that the Orthodox concept to which you refer is one aspect of Orthodoxy which I have not yet been able to penetrate with my understanding.

If I may make a comment; This is a good spot to understand our differences on several levels.

So if I understand correctly, for you those in your Church are in agreement with Christ, believe in him and follow him as your example and Lord. It is a concept you follow, a Principle of faith. Christianity is agreement in Principle and if you follow a certain bundle of Principles, you are Saved.

For Orthodox, we are actually, in a real sense, both physically and spiritually joined to Jesus Christ. Just because we believe this is so does not make it just a "concept" or idea or a Principle. It bespeaks a totally different paradigm, Faith by Principle vs. Faith  via Concrete Manifestation
 ( we are ACTUALLY joined to Christ). Manifestation by Principle vs Actual Manifestation.

We see this played out several places. You see the Eucharist as Symbolic, reaffirming your idea's ( The Principles you adhere to)  and giving inspiration. We see the Eucharist as ACTUALLY Christ, Body Soul and Divinity which we consume taking him into our bodies via a physical act.

We practice two different types of Religion.

So to you, our concept of The Church is an idea we have and your concept is an idea you have that we can agree to disagree on. No big deal.
But I would like you to see that this goes far deeper and reflects two very different World Views that your approach can easily reconcile ( "Your Okay, I'm Okay", it's just a different concept) but we cannot.

Much of what we do does not compute with you because your basis of understanding uses a filter that does not account for a different Type of Religion.

Mr Persson says that we would never kiss a photograph of a person who was in front of us, as if Orthodox worship a disincarnate Christ. But it is Protestants whose Christ is disincarnate, because they interact with him through their minds only. Mr Persson, by virtue of everything he has said, does not worship a Person who can be known and interacted with physically; rather he worships a Philosophy that can be pondered about. This is not Christianity as the Apostles and Fathers have passed down to us.


This is why I can make the shocking statement that Protestants in general know a philosophical construct, not a person. It is a relationship. The Church is Christ's bride, therefore the Church knows Christ intimately as a bride would know her groom. We know what he wants from us. We know he wants us to venerate icons. We don't ponder about "what would Jesus do", we as a Church do it automatically, because we are wrapped up in a love relationship with Him.
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« Reply #461 on: August 13, 2010, 11:21:23 AM »

A Roman Catholic touched on these points when talking about:

http://principiumunitatis.blogspot.com/2008/05/corpus-christi-and-ecclesial-docetism.html (Ecclesial Docetism)

and

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/07/ecclesial-deism/ (Ecclesial Deism)

These two posts of his were mainly in regards to his former Presbyterian form of protestantism, but I think it can apply to protestantism across the board.


 Marc1152,

I loved your post! You pretty much said everything what this Roman Catholic guy said but in less words and in Laymens terms. This is one of the reasons why I asked Preacher David the question. For the Church is much more than just a mere earthly / human institution. It is also a Divine society. The Church and Jesus are Mysteriously connected, and so there seems to be some type of relationship between Christology and Ecclesiology. 









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« Reply #462 on: August 13, 2010, 12:47:35 PM »

Here is one more:

Paradigm One (Western Thinking) Baptism is only efficacious when the person can Reason through the Principles, agree to them and promise to abide by them.

Paradigm Two ( Eastern ) Baptism transfigures the soul of the Baptized ACTUALLY bringing him or her into harmony with the World Redeemed by Christ. It's not just a way to inspire us to believe harder

I think this could apply to most all sacraments and practices.
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« Reply #463 on: August 13, 2010, 03:48:26 PM »

The dicnony you set up thus makes no sense.

I think my words do make sense: I guess you mean they don't fit into your worldview. But semantically, they are not non-sense, surely?
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« Reply #464 on: August 13, 2010, 04:05:25 PM »

This is a good spot to understand our differences on several levels.

... for you those in your Church are in agreement with Christ, believe in him and follow him as your example and Lord. It is a concept you follow,... Christianity is agreement in Principle and if you follow a certain bundle of Principles, you are Saved.

For Orthodox, we are actually, in a real sense, both physically and spiritually joined to Jesus Christ. ... a totally different paradigm... ( we are ACTUALLY joined to Christ).

You see the Eucharist as Symbolic... We see the Eucharist as ACTUALLY Christ,

We practice two different types of Religion.

I agree with much of what you say, but we are still not meeting in the middle, as it were. Yes, it is a "good spot to understand our differences." No, our religion is much more than agreement or consent to a principle; as our Lord said, "You must be born again." It is an inward, spiritual rebirth, a new creation, a union in the Spirit with Christ. Yes, we have different understandings of how that union with Christ is effected, and of what it consists. Yes and no, some Protestants hold the view of the Eucharist which you cite, but others have a more sacramental view. There is a spectrum of belief regarding the Lord's Supper and "how it works".

Are these two different religions? I incline to think not. From my angle, the very real faith you (I mean, some who post on the Forum) have in Christ and the reality and passion with which you speak of prayer, of union with Christ as a central reality in your lives, of love for the inspired scriptures, I incline to believe that you have it indeed - not through your sacraments - though not denying their sacramental value -, but by the Spirit, through grace and faith. You may or may not think that we, through our sacraments - despite our (from your angle) meagre and inadequate understanding of how baptism and the Lord's Supper "work" - nonetheless also have entered that union with Christ. Whether God himself accepts both your expression of faith in Christ, his Son, and ours, and extends his blessing within both contexts, is of course not something I am qualified to decide. But it is somewhere written that "love hopes all things."
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« Reply #465 on: August 13, 2010, 05:31:02 PM »

This is a good spot to understand our differences on several levels.

... for you those in your Church are in agreement with Christ, believe in him and follow him as your example and Lord. It is a concept you follow,... Christianity is agreement in Principle and if you follow a certain bundle of Principles, you are Saved.

For Orthodox, we are actually, in a real sense, both physically and spiritually joined to Jesus Christ. ... a totally different paradigm... ( we are ACTUALLY joined to Christ).

You see the Eucharist as Symbolic... We see the Eucharist as ACTUALLY Christ,

We practice two different types of Religion.

I agree with much of what you say, but we are still not meeting in the middle, as it were. Yes, it is a "good spot to understand our differences." No, our religion is much more than agreement or consent to a principle; as our Lord said, "You must be born again." It is an inward, spiritual rebirth, a new creation, a union in the Spirit with Christ. Yes, we have different understandings of how that union with Christ is effected, and of what it consists. Yes and no, some Protestants hold the view of the Eucharist which you cite, but others have a more sacramental view. There is a spectrum of belief regarding the Lord's Supper and "how it works".

Are these two different religions? I incline to think not. From my angle, the very real faith you (I mean, some who post on the Forum) have in Christ and the reality and passion with which you speak of prayer, of union with Christ as a central reality in your lives, of love for the inspired scriptures, I incline to believe that you have it indeed - not through your sacraments - though not denying their sacramental value -, but by the Spirit, through grace and faith. You may or may not think that we, through our sacraments - despite our (from your angle) meagre and inadequate understanding of how baptism and the Lord's Supper "work" - nonetheless also have entered that union with Christ. Whether God himself accepts both your expression of faith in Christ, his Son, and ours, and extends his blessing within both contexts, is of course not something I am qualified to decide. But it is somewhere written that "love hopes all things."

Maybe a better way to say it is two different approaches to the practice of Religion. This is why we have a very hard time understanding each other. Of course we are at some advantage since many folks here are converts from Protestantism ( not me btw) and have practiced both ways.

And once again the "How it Works" question is totally alien to us.

And...Define Union. We believe that we are a part of Christs resurrected body as he exists in this World. You feel yourself joined to Christ by agreement to certain Principles so you fall into line behind him as your leader. We are a Member of his body like an arm is a member of one's body. You are a Member of an organization.
 
That is much different than actually being joined to him. We contend that you cannot be joined to him outside of The Actual Church. As someone said earlier, we see your situation as being joined to a Philosophy, not a Person.
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« Reply #466 on: August 13, 2010, 08:54:54 PM »

This is a good spot to understand our differences on several levels.

... for you those in your Church are in agreement with Christ, believe in him and follow him as your example and Lord. It is a concept you follow,... Christianity is agreement in Principle and if you follow a certain bundle of Principles, you are Saved.

For Orthodox, we are actually, in a real sense, both physically and spiritually joined to Jesus Christ. ... a totally different paradigm... ( we are ACTUALLY joined to Christ).

You see the Eucharist as Symbolic... We see the Eucharist as ACTUALLY Christ,

We practice two different types of Religion.

I agree with much of what you say, but we are still not meeting in the middle, as it were. Yes, it is a "good spot to understand our differences." No, our religion is much more than agreement or consent to a principle; as our Lord said, "You must be born again." It is an inward, spiritual rebirth, a new creation, a union in the Spirit with Christ. Yes, we have different understandings of how that union with Christ is effected, and of what it consists. Yes and no, some Protestants hold the view of the Eucharist which you cite, but others have a more sacramental view. There is a spectrum of belief regarding the Lord's Supper and "how it works".

Are these two different religions? I incline to think not. From my angle, the very real faith you (I mean, some who post on the Forum) have in Christ and the reality and passion with which you speak of prayer, of union with Christ as a central reality in your lives, of love for the inspired scriptures, I incline to believe that you have it indeed - not through your sacraments - though not denying their sacramental value -, but by the Spirit, through grace and faith. You may or may not think that we, through our sacraments - despite our (from your angle) meagre and inadequate understanding of how baptism and the Lord's Supper "work" - nonetheless also have entered that union with Christ. Whether God himself accepts both your expression of faith in Christ, his Son, and ours, and extends his blessing within both contexts, is of course not something I am qualified to decide. But it is somewhere written that "love hopes all things."

Maybe a better way to say it is two different approaches to the practice of Religion. This is why we have a very hard time understanding each other. Of course we are at some advantage since many folks here are converts from Protestantism ( not me btw) and have practiced both ways.

And once again the "How it Works" question is totally alien to us.

And...Define Union. We believe that we are a part of Christs resurrected body as he exists in this World. You feel yourself joined to Christ by agreement to certain Principles so you fall into line behind him as your leader. We are a Member of his body like an arm is a member of one's body. You are a Member of an organization.
 
That is much different than actually being joined to him. We contend that you cannot be joined to him outside of The Actual Church. As someone said earlier, we see your situation as being joined to a Philosophy, not a Person.

Great points,I've heard it said that the true Body of Christ is  NOT an organization,but an ORGANISM!!!
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« Reply #467 on: August 13, 2010, 09:13:36 PM »

This is a good spot to understand our differences on several levels.

... for you those in your Church are in agreement with Christ, believe in him and follow him as your example and Lord. It is a concept you follow,... Christianity is agreement in Principle and if you follow a certain bundle of Principles, you are Saved.

For Orthodox, we are actually, in a real sense, both physically and spiritually joined to Jesus Christ. ... a totally different paradigm... ( we are ACTUALLY joined to Christ).

You see the Eucharist as Symbolic... We see the Eucharist as ACTUALLY Christ,

We practice two different types of Religion.

I agree with much of what you say, but we are still not meeting in the middle, as it were. Yes, it is a "good spot to understand our differences." No, our religion is much more than agreement or consent to a principle; as our Lord said, "You must be born again." It is an inward, spiritual rebirth, a new creation, a union in the Spirit with Christ. Yes, we have different understandings of how that union with Christ is effected, and of what it consists. Yes and no, some Protestants hold the view of the Eucharist which you cite, but others have a more sacramental view. There is a spectrum of belief regarding the Lord's Supper and "how it works".

Are these two different religions? I incline to think not. From my angle, the very real faith you (I mean, some who post on the Forum) have in Christ and the reality and passion with which you speak of prayer, of union with Christ as a central reality in your lives, of love for the inspired scriptures, I incline to believe that you have it indeed - not through your sacraments - though not denying their sacramental value -, but by the Spirit, through grace and faith. You may or may not think that we, through our sacraments - despite our (from your angle) meagre and inadequate understanding of how baptism and the Lord's Supper "work" - nonetheless also have entered that union with Christ. Whether God himself accepts both your expression of faith in Christ, his Son, and ours, and extends his blessing within both contexts, is of course not something I am qualified to decide. But it is somewhere written that "love hopes all things."

Preacher David,

Why did you stress "not through your sacraments"? Can God make use of the Physical world when it comes to our Salvation? To our union with Christ?

Also you said "our religion is much more than agreement or consent to a principle; as our Lord said, "You must be born again." It is an inward, spiritual rebirth, a new creation, a union in the Spirit with Christ."

Our Salvation ...being Born again is much more than a rebirth of our spirit/soul. God wants to save more than just our souls. He wants to save our entire bodies.

Why do you believe our union with Christ is only a union of Spirit? Is Jesus only a Spirit? Did not God become Incarnate? Isn't He the same now as when He rose from the dead? Did not doubting Thomas touch Him?

So wouldn't our union be much more than just our souls/spirits?









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« Reply #468 on: August 13, 2010, 09:41:53 PM »

This is a good spot to understand our differences on several levels.

... for you those in your Church are in agreement with Christ, believe in him and follow him as your example and Lord. It is a concept you follow,... Christianity is agreement in Principle and if you follow a certain bundle of Principles, you are Saved.

For Orthodox, we are actually, in a real sense, both physically and spiritually joined to Jesus Christ. ... a totally different paradigm... ( we are ACTUALLY joined to Christ).

You see the Eucharist as Symbolic... We see the Eucharist as ACTUALLY Christ,

We practice two different types of Religion.

I agree with much of what you say, but we are still not meeting in the middle, as it were. Yes, it is a "good spot to understand our differences." No, our religion is much more than agreement or consent to a principle; as our Lord said, "You must be born again." It is an inward, spiritual rebirth, a new creation, a union in the Spirit with Christ. Yes, we have different understandings of how that union with Christ is effected, and of what it consists. Yes and no, some Protestants hold the view of the Eucharist which you cite, but others have a more sacramental view. There is a spectrum of belief regarding the Lord's Supper and "how it works".

Are these two different religions? I incline to think not. From my angle, the very real faith you (I mean, some who post on the Forum) have in Christ and the reality and passion with which you speak of prayer, of union with Christ as a central reality in your lives, of love for the inspired scriptures, I incline to believe that you have it indeed - not through your sacraments - though not denying their sacramental value -, but by the Spirit, through grace and faith. You may or may not think that we, through our sacraments - despite our (from your angle) meagre and inadequate understanding of how baptism and the Lord's Supper "work" - nonetheless also have entered that union with Christ. Whether God himself accepts both your expression of faith in Christ, his Son, and ours, and extends his blessing within both contexts, is of course not something I am qualified to decide. But it is somewhere written that "love hopes all things."

Maybe a better way to say it is two different approaches to the practice of Religion. This is why we have a very hard time understanding each other. Of course we are at some advantage since many folks here are converts from Protestantism ( not me btw) and have practiced both ways.

And once again the "How it Works" question is totally alien to us.

And...Define Union. We believe that we are a part of Christs resurrected body as he exists in this World. You feel yourself joined to Christ by agreement to certain Principles so you fall into line behind him as your leader. We are a Member of his body like an arm is a member of one's body. You are a Member of an organization.
 
That is much different than actually being joined to him. We contend that you cannot be joined to him outside of The Actual Church. As someone said earlier, we see your situation as being joined to a Philosophy, not a Person.

Great points,I've heard it said that the true Body of Christ is  NOT an organization,but an ORGANISM!!!
I also heard someone say once, "I don't believe in organized religion, I'm Orthodox!"
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« Reply #469 on: August 14, 2010, 03:07:55 AM »

There are several searching comments in the last few posts, and I shall attempt to address them later, time permitting. However, let me try to put simply how I see things. It seems plain to me, from many posts, that a good number of you love Jesus Christ. I do not say, admire him, or have taken him as your example, though doubtless these things are also true: but I say, it seems clear that you love him. I do not believe one can love the Son of God except by the Spirit of God. So I cannot deny (nor do I wish to deny) that the Spirit of God is active within you.

I am perhaps also writing the mirror image of what so many of you have so often posted: you say you know that God's grace is within Orthodoxy, you don't know where it isn't. Similarly (mutatis mutandis) I know the grace of God operates within Evangelical religion; I do not know where it does not operate - though (as I wrote in the previous paragraph) it seems plain to me that his grace is indeed within those of you who write with true love towards our Lord Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #470 on: August 14, 2010, 05:35:42 AM »

Yes ,we believe the Orthodox Church is historically and dogmatically the One True Church.We believe that it is the closest to the truth.. We believe the Orthodox Church is the extension of Christ`s Body here on earth.. We believe that the Church is theandrical and theantropic.. We believe the Church to be also a physical reality.. But the Church is majorly the people, those who are of correct faith and follow Christ.. Therefore the Church in my perspective are the Orthodox people, those who are of correct faith from my point of view.. We are the Church of God.. There is only One expoused to God.. Only one beloved.. Only one Elect and her children.. This are the Orthodox people..

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« Reply #471 on: August 14, 2010, 12:56:43 PM »

Maybe a better way to say it is two different approaches to the practice of Religion. This is why we have a very hard time understanding each other.

I'll go along with that.

Quote
"How it Works" question is totally alien to us.

Quite so. That is why I put it in inverted commas. It is not a way we would usually refer to the sacraments (or ordinances) either, but I couldn't find a suitable but simple, brief phrase that would embrace your and our ideas.

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Define Union [with Christ]

I cannot. It is a spiritual mystery, beyond my power to define or analyse; it is wrought by the Spirit of God, uniting the believer to Christ. Some might even use the word 'mystical', though I'm not sure what that means.

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« Reply #472 on: August 14, 2010, 01:06:36 PM »

You feel yourself joined to Christ by agreement to certain Principles so you fall into line behind him as your leader.... You are a Member of an organization.
 
That is much different than actually being joined to him. ... we see your situation as being joined to a Philosophy, not a Person.

I have separated this part of your post out, because it is the strangest or most ironic part of it, and deserves separate treatment. For what you see us as believing and practising is one of the very emphases we often hear from our pulpits, in full agreement with the words I have quoted from your post, namely that we must never think  we are or ever can be joined to Christ by agreement to certain Principles so you fall into line behind him as your leader.... a Member of an organization. It is drummed into us from before we ever believe that this cannot ever be the way, or even a way, of salvation. But rather "you must be born again": it must be an inward, spiritual work wrought by the Holy Spirit of God. If you are an Arminian, you think God does it in response to a person's faith; if you are a Calvinist, you think a person's faith is the result of the work wrought on God's sole initiative. But either way, "you must be born again". Agreement with principles and membership of an organisation (such as a Baptist church) can never make a man a child of God. You must be joined to him, not to a philosophy, not to a system of theological belief.

The tragedy is that we have somehow managed to convey to you exactly the opposite impression of what we actually preach, practise and cordially believe.
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« Reply #473 on: August 14, 2010, 01:16:53 PM »

Preacher David,

Why did you stress "not through your sacraments"? Can God make use of the Physical world when it comes to our Salvation?

God wants to save more than just our souls. He wants to save our entire bodies.

Why do you believe our union with Christ is only a union of Spirit? Is Jesus only a Spirit?

I meant that your union with Christ comes through your repentance from sin and your faith in him. I did not mean that the two sacraments which we both have (baptism and the Supper) are without effect and merely symbolic, though of course we believe they are symbols. I was not meaning that the sacraments do not convey grace to the believer. But we do not believe in baptismal regeneration or in the bread and wine in the same way as you do. It is not they which effect our union with Christ; I did not mean they do not seal, strengthen and nourish our union with him. So yes, I am happy with the notion that God makes sacramental use of the physical (water, bread, wine (or, unscripturally, grape juice)).

Yes, God will save the body also. "I believe in the resurrection  of the dead": the rising to glory of these bodies which will have lain in the ground awaiting the sound of the last trumpet when the dead will rise imperishable and we shall be changed. Glory!

And Christ? Yes, of course he is now in heaven at the right hand of God in his glorified body which left his tomb empty. But we shall not be like him till we see him as he is, at the Last Day.
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« Reply #474 on: August 14, 2010, 01:45:53 PM »

This is a good spot to understand our differences on several levels.

... for you those in your Church are in agreement with Christ, believe in him and follow him as your example and Lord. It is a concept you follow,... Christianity is agreement in Principle and if you follow a certain bundle of Principles, you are Saved.

For Orthodox, we are actually, in a real sense, both physically and spiritually joined to Jesus Christ. ... a totally different paradigm... ( we are ACTUALLY joined to Christ).

You see the Eucharist as Symbolic... We see the Eucharist as ACTUALLY Christ,

We practice two different types of Religion.

I agree with much of what you say, but we are still not meeting in the middle, as it were. Yes, it is a "good spot to understand our differences." No, our religion is much more than agreement or consent to a principle; as our Lord said, "You must be born again." It is an inward, spiritual rebirth, a new creation, a union in the Spirit with Christ. Yes, we have different understandings of how that union with Christ is effected, and of what it consists. Yes and no, some Protestants hold the view of the Eucharist which you cite, but others have a more sacramental view. There is a spectrum of belief regarding the Lord's Supper and "how it works".

Are these two different religions? I incline to think not. From my angle, the very real faith you (I mean, some who post on the Forum) have in Christ and the reality and passion with which you speak of prayer, of union with Christ as a central reality in your lives, of love for the inspired scriptures, I incline to believe that you have it indeed - not through your sacraments - though not denying their sacramental value -, but by the Spirit, through grace and faith. You may or may not think that we, through our sacraments - despite our (from your angle) meagre and inadequate understanding of how baptism and the Lord's Supper "work" - nonetheless also have entered that union with Christ. Whether God himself accepts both your expression of faith in Christ, his Son, and ours, and extends his blessing within both contexts, is of course not something I am qualified to decide. But it is somewhere written that "love hopes all things."

Preacher David,

Why did you stress "not through your sacraments"? Can God make use of the Physical world when it comes to our Salvation? To our union with Christ?

Also you said "our religion is much more than agreement or consent to a principle; as our Lord said, "You must be born again." It is an inward, spiritual rebirth, a new creation, a union in the Spirit with Christ."

Our Salvation ...being Born again is much more than a rebirth of our spirit/soul. God wants to save more than just our souls. He wants to save our entire bodies.

Why do you believe our union with Christ is only a union of Spirit? Is Jesus only a Spirit? Did not God become Incarnate? Isn't He the same now as when He rose from the dead? Did not doubting Thomas touch Him?

So wouldn't our union be much more than just our souls/spirits?









ICXC NIKA

I am parsing words here I know, but "Joined to Christ's Spirit" seems to me to be exactly what I wrote about earlier. You are joined In Spirit with Christ's resurrection and teachings. Your understanding of Christs intentions and meaning of his Lordship ( etc.) is what you mean when you say "Joined"... This is Religion based on agreement with various  Principles ..  No?

This does not mean Orthodoxy is "Unreasonable" or that we don't understand anything but rather those things are part of a far more comprehensive practice
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« Reply #475 on: August 14, 2010, 03:19:18 PM »

The dicnony you set up thus makes no sense.

I think my words do make sense: I guess you mean they don't fit into your worldview.

No, they don't fit the Gospel:
Quote
John 3:1There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God
5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
4:1When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)
13:12So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. 18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. 19Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
15:1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17These things I command you, that ye love one another.  26But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
16:12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
17:6I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. 7Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. 8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 11And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
19Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
21Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.


The Vatican has reduced the Faith to the hierarchy, and crushed it into the singularity of the papacy. In reaction, the Protestants reduced the Faith to the Bible, and scattered it to anarchy.  We Orthodox see you all as two sides of the same coin, which cannot be rendered unto God.

Now I don't consider your strain of Protestantantism a synagogue of Satan, but many Orthodox do, and I have nothing to "correct" them on that. Economia is a mercy, not a right.

So while I address you as a brother in Christ, that is a relationship that depends on you and I.  Addressing a fellow Orthodox, that is a relationship that the Spirit of Christ enacts, joining us at the hip.

One canot have God as his Father and Christ as his brother unless he has the Church as his Mother. One truly belongs to Christ by beloning to His One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Visible Orthodox Church, His Body. Between His members, no one suffers a rift or breach unless he is ambutated, in which case he ceases to "truly belong to Christ," and hence truly does not belong to Christ.

Quote
But semantically, they are not non-sense, surely?


One cannot truly belong and truly not belong at the same time.
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« Reply #476 on: August 14, 2010, 03:32:39 PM »

This is a good spot to understand our differences on several levels.

... for you those in your Church are in agreement with Christ, believe in him and follow him as your example and Lord. It is a concept you follow,... Christianity is agreement in Principle and if you follow a certain bundle of Principles, you are Saved.

For Orthodox, we are actually, in a real sense, both physically and spiritually joined to Jesus Christ. ... a totally different paradigm... ( we are ACTUALLY joined to Christ).

You see the Eucharist as Symbolic... We see the Eucharist as ACTUALLY Christ,

We practice two different types of Religion.

I agree with much of what you say, but we are still not meeting in the middle, as it were. Yes, it is a "good spot to understand our differences." No, our religion is much more than agreement or consent to a principle; as our Lord said, "You must be born again." It is an inward, spiritual rebirth, a new creation, a union in the Spirit with Christ. Yes, we have different understandings of how that union with Christ is effected, and of what it consists. Yes and no, some Protestants hold the view of the Eucharist which you cite, but others have a more sacramental view. There is a spectrum of belief regarding the Lord's Supper and "how it works".

Are these two different religions? I incline to think not.

Then you have to admit your fellowship with the Jehovah's Witness, the Mormon and the Muslim.

Quote
From my angle, the very real faith you (I mean, some who post on the Forum) have in Christ and the reality and passion with which you speak of prayer, of union with Christ as a central reality in your lives, of love for the inspired scriptures, I incline to believe that you have it indeed - not through your sacraments - though not denying their sacramental value -, but by the Spirit, through grace and faith. You may or may not think that we, through our sacraments - despite our (from your angle) meagre and inadequate understanding of how baptism and the Lord's Supper "work" - nonetheless also have entered that union with Christ. Whether God himself accepts both your expression of faith in Christ, his Son, and ours, and extends his blessing within both contexts, is of course not something I am qualified to decide. But it is somewhere written that "love hopes all things."
but nowhere is it written that "love accepts all things."

I'm not much interested in cars, but know those who are: they are not turned on by the auto manuel. They're turned by actually driving the car. If the Spirit does not reside in a "sacrament," it is no sacrament. Hence "graceless." Since He does the work, we are not concerned on how someone understands how He works. Just the question-Is He working in their Holy Mysteries. For the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church in which He resides, we know that answer to that.
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« Reply #477 on: August 14, 2010, 03:36:08 PM »

There are several searching comments in the last few posts, and I shall attempt to address them later, time permitting. However, let me try to put simply how I see things. It seems plain to me, from many posts, that a good number of you love Jesus Christ. I do not say, admire him, or have taken him as your example, though doubtless these things are also true: but I say, it seems clear that you love him. I do not believe one can love the Son of God except by the Spirit of God. So I cannot deny (nor do I wish to deny) that the Spirit of God is active within you.

I am perhaps also writing the mirror image of what so many of you have so often posted: you say you know that God's grace is within Orthodoxy, you don't know where it isn't. Similarly (mutatis mutandis) I know the grace of God operates within Evangelical religion;

How do you "know" that?

Quote
I do not know where it does not operate - though (as I wrote in the previous paragraph) it seems plain to me that his grace is indeed within those of you who write with true love towards our Lord Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #478 on: August 14, 2010, 05:48:01 PM »

when you say "Joined"... This is Religion based on agreement with various  Principles ..  No?

No. It is founded on being born of God, born of the Spirit through faith in Christ, an inner, spiritual work wrought by God. No man comes to the Father but by him - never by mere mental assent to principles or outward conformity to norms.
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« Reply #479 on: August 14, 2010, 05:50:46 PM »

Then you have to admit your fellowship with the Jehovah's Witness, the Mormon and the Muslim.

Not at all. They do not confess him as the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity, as Lord of lords - and all his other glorious divine and human titles. They are not Christian.
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« Reply #480 on: August 14, 2010, 05:54:24 PM »

nowhere is it written that "love accepts all things."

If the Spirit does not reside in a "sacrament," it is no sacrament. Hence "graceless." Since He does the work, we are not concerned on how someone understands how He works.

All of this is entirely true. When I referred to the verses which say that love hopes, bears, believes and endures all things, I was not intending to extend it beyond the scope of our present discussion, namely whether God's grace operates in salvation among both you and us.
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« Reply #481 on: August 14, 2010, 06:01:02 PM »

I know the grace of God operates within Evangelical religion;

How do you "know" that?


I have preached sermons and written a book on this theme. How does a person know that the grace of God has reached him in forgiveness and acceptance? If I uploaded my whole book, and all my sermon notes, the answer would still be incomplete. How God conveys to the soul of a man that that man is loved and accepted, forgiven and in Christ, might well be termed a 'holy mystery'. I'm sorry - and it's not a cop-out - but I cannot give here (or indeed anywhere) an answer which is worthy of the question, assuming (and I have no reason to assume otherwise) that the question is sincere.

You may not hear from me for several days now, for I shall be away. One of my appointments is with an Orthodox bishop. It will be interesting to see how we get on.
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« Reply #482 on: August 14, 2010, 06:42:29 PM »

Then you have to admit your fellowship with the Jehovah's Witness, the Mormon and the Muslim.

Not at all. They do not confess him as the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity, as Lord of lords - and all his other glorious divine and human titles. They are not Christian.


They all, including the Muslims, claim to be the "true Christians."  The Mormon's and Jehovah's Witness call Him the Son of God all the time, and the Muslims call Him the Word of God (but not God the Word) and the Spirit of God.  Now, they do not confess Christ like the Orthodox do, but then neither do the Protestants, the subject of a rather long recent thread on worshipping Him:


How do you think we should see you differently from the Muslim, Mormon and Jehovah's Witness?
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« Reply #483 on: August 14, 2010, 07:12:47 PM »

when you say "Joined"... This is Religion based on agreement with various  Principles ..  No?

No. It is founded on being born of God, born of the Spirit through faith in Christ, an inner, spiritual work wrought by God. No man comes to the Father but by him - never by mere mental assent to principles or outward conformity to norms.

But you do this by mere consent ( consent being the necessary first step) but go no further.

You accept Christ but reject Christianity. You have reduced it to the minimum program discarding or truncating all of it's mysteries, you even deny The Church itself as it has always existed. You then say, by your own power to proclaim it, that Christ dwells within you.

He may or may not, that is above my pay grade to know. But all you have done is made an assesment and have reduced everything to a mental construct it seems to me, despite your protests.
==
The Church, doesn't physically exist anymore except as an idea or invisible union of those who agree to a list of basic propositions.

The Eucharist, merely symbolic. Used for inspiration

Baptism truncated to an affirmation of a persons ability to reason through the faith correctly by your reckoning.
==

It's like a person who says they strongly believe in Zen Buddhism but refuses to actually sit down and meditate.
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« Reply #484 on: August 15, 2010, 10:34:31 PM »

There are several searching comments in the last few posts, and I shall attempt to address them later, time permitting. However, let me try to put simply how I see things. It seems plain to me, from many posts, that a good number of you love Jesus Christ. I do not say, admire him, or have taken him as your example, though doubtless these things are also true: but I say, it seems clear that you love him. I do not believe one can love the Son of God except by the Spirit of God. So I cannot deny (nor do I wish to deny) that the Spirit of God is active within you.

I am perhaps also writing the mirror image of what so many of you have so often posted: you say you know that God's grace is within Orthodoxy, you don't know where it isn't. Similarly (mutatis mutandis) I know the grace of God operates within Evangelical religion; I do not know where it does not operate - though (as I wrote in the previous paragraph) it seems plain to me that his grace is indeed within those of you who write with true love towards our Lord Jesus Christ.
No one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of God that enables us to love God and be transformed by the renewal of our minds. Surely the Spirit must be at work among us, even though we have not been chrismated in the Orthodox church.
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« Reply #485 on: August 15, 2010, 10:37:22 PM »

There are several searching comments in the last few posts, and I shall attempt to address them later, time permitting. However, let me try to put simply how I see things. It seems plain to me, from many posts, that a good number of you love Jesus Christ. I do not say, admire him, or have taken him as your example, though doubtless these things are also true: but I say, it seems clear that you love him. I do not believe one can love the Son of God except by the Spirit of God. So I cannot deny (nor do I wish to deny) that the Spirit of God is active within you.

I am perhaps also writing the mirror image of what so many of you have so often posted: you say you know that God's grace is within Orthodoxy, you don't know where it isn't. Similarly (mutatis mutandis) I know the grace of God operates within Evangelical religion; I do not know where it does not operate - though (as I wrote in the previous paragraph) it seems plain to me that his grace is indeed within those of you who write with true love towards our Lord Jesus Christ.
No one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of God that enables us to love God and be transformed by the renewal of our minds. Surely the Spirit must be at work among us, even though we have not been chrismated in the Orthodox church.
Lots of Hindus say "Jesus is Lord".
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« Reply #486 on: August 15, 2010, 10:44:53 PM »

The dicnony you set up thus makes no sense.

I think my words do make sense: I guess you mean they don't fit into your worldview.

No, they don't fit the Gospel:
Quote
John 3:1There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God
5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
4:1When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)
13:12So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. 18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. 19Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
15:1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17These things I command you, that ye love one another.  26But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
16:12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
17:6I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. 7Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. 8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 11And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
19Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
21Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.


The Vatican has reduced the Faith to the hierarchy, and crushed it into the singularity of the papacy. In reaction, the Protestants reduced the Faith to the Bible, and scattered it to anarchy.  We Orthodox see you all as two sides of the same coin, which cannot be rendered unto God.

Now I don't consider your strain of Protestantantism a synagogue of Satan, but many Orthodox do, and I have nothing to "correct" them on that. Economia is a mercy, not a right.

So while I address you as a brother in Christ, that is a relationship that depends on you and I.  Addressing a fellow Orthodox, that is a relationship that the Spirit of Christ enacts, joining us at the hip.

One canot have God as his Father and Christ as his brother unless he has the Church as his Mother. One truly belongs to Christ by beloning to His One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Visible Orthodox Church, His Body. Between His members, no one suffers a rift or breach unless he is ambutated, in which case he ceases to "truly belong to Christ," and hence truly does not belong to Christ.

Quote
But semantically, they are not non-sense, surely?


One cannot truly belong and truly not belong at the same time.

Not all Protestants have reduced the Faith to the Bible. We also hold to the creeds. As United Methodists, we are also sacramental. Refering Protestants to anarchy doesn't seem right either, in spite of the fact that there has arisen a ridiculously large number of denominations. And why do you find yourself adding the word "visible" to One, Holy, and Apostolic?
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« Reply #487 on: August 15, 2010, 10:52:10 PM »

There are several searching comments in the last few posts, and I shall attempt to address them later, time permitting. However, let me try to put simply how I see things. It seems plain to me, from many posts, that a good number of you love Jesus Christ. I do not say, admire him, or have taken him as your example, though doubtless these things are also true: but I say, it seems clear that you love him. I do not believe one can love the Son of God except by the Spirit of God. So I cannot deny (nor do I wish to deny) that the Spirit of God is active within you.

I am perhaps also writing the mirror image of what so many of you have so often posted: you say you know that God's grace is within Orthodoxy, you don't know where it isn't. Similarly (mutatis mutandis) I know the grace of God operates within Evangelical religion; I do not know where it does not operate - though (as I wrote in the previous paragraph) it seems plain to me that his grace is indeed within those of you who write with true love towards our Lord Jesus Christ.
No one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of God that enables us to love God and be transformed by the renewal of our minds. Surely the Spirit must be at work among us, even though we have not been chrismated in the Orthodox church.
Lots of Hindus say "Jesus is Lord".
I have never heard  Hindu say "Jesus is Lord." What does this mean, then, if a Hindu says "Jesus is Lord?" What does the scripture mean when we read, "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit?"
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« Reply #488 on: August 16, 2010, 12:24:18 AM »

There are several searching comments in the last few posts, and I shall attempt to address them later, time permitting. However, let me try to put simply how I see things. It seems plain to me, from many posts, that a good number of you love Jesus Christ. I do not say, admire him, or have taken him as your example, though doubtless these things are also true: but I say, it seems clear that you love him. I do not believe one can love the Son of God except by the Spirit of God. So I cannot deny (nor do I wish to deny) that the Spirit of God is active within you.

I am perhaps also writing the mirror image of what so many of you have so often posted: you say you know that God's grace is within Orthodoxy, you don't know where it isn't. Similarly (mutatis mutandis) I know the grace of God operates within Evangelical religion; I do not know where it does not operate - though (as I wrote in the previous paragraph) it seems plain to me that his grace is indeed within those of you who write with true love towards our Lord Jesus Christ.
No one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of God that enables us to love God and be transformed by the renewal of our minds. Surely the Spirit must be at work among us, even though we have not been chrismated in the Orthodox church.
Lots of Hindus say "Jesus is Lord".
I have never heard  Hindu say "Jesus is Lord." What does this mean, then, if a Hindu says "Jesus is Lord?" What does the scripture mean when we read, "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit?"

It's hard to say since we all surely realize that we can teach a Parrot to say this.

A Mormon will definitely say this, but you must first define "Jesus" and then define "Lord". They think Jesus is a created being who worked his way up the ladder of spiritual growth until he was able to rule over  this particular little universe where we live. And they say you too can work your way up and be a "God" as well ruling over your own planetary system. To them saying "Jesus is Lord" comes easily..

 Clearly there is much more to this teaching then something literally cut and dry as you seem to suggest.

I think both you and Mr. Young have confused the cause with the effect. You say that the Lord dwells within you and transforms you ( to paraphrase). So therefore you are not practicing in Principle only... But that is the desired effect, the indwelling of the Lord. The cause you are hoping does this is adherence to a list of Principles, all else ( the Holy Sacraments) are either superstitions or half true or merely symbolic used to further your adherence to your Principles.
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« Reply #489 on: August 16, 2010, 12:05:11 PM »

There are several searching comments in the last few posts, and I shall attempt to address them later, time permitting. However, let me try to put simply how I see things. It seems plain to me, from many posts, that a good number of you love Jesus Christ. I do not say, admire him, or have taken him as your example, though doubtless these things are also true: but I say, it seems clear that you love him. I do not believe one can love the Son of God except by the Spirit of God. So I cannot deny (nor do I wish to deny) that the Spirit of God is active within you.

I am perhaps also writing the mirror image of what so many of you have so often posted: you say you know that God's grace is within Orthodoxy, you don't know where it isn't. Similarly (mutatis mutandis) I know the grace of God operates within Evangelical religion; I do not know where it does not operate - though (as I wrote in the previous paragraph) it seems plain to me that his grace is indeed within those of you who write with true love towards our Lord Jesus Christ.
No one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of God that enables us to love God and be transformed by the renewal of our minds. Surely the Spirit must be at work among us, even though we have not been chrismated in the Orthodox church.
Lots of Hindus say "Jesus is Lord".
I have never heard  Hindu say "Jesus is Lord." What does this mean, then, if a Hindu says "Jesus is Lord?" What does the scripture mean when we read, "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit?"

I have. When I was in college the food was soooo bad that once per week I went to the Hare Krishna cooking class ( and sermon) and got some tasty Indian Food. They would often refer to Jesus as "Lord Jesus".

My guess is that the saying doesn't mean that a nonbeliever cant pronounce the syllables. I think it means that no one can produce faith the the extent that he declares Jesus as The Lord without the help of the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #490 on: August 16, 2010, 12:12:16 PM »

I haven't been following this thread closely, so forgive me if this is a tangent, but it struck me like a load of bricks during my recent visit to Ukraine that it is absolutely acceptable over there to say "ChurcES" in plural. Even Orthodox clergy says, and writes, "ChurchES." My feeble attempt to object caused only laughter and gazes full of condolence, like, "this guy is coockoo."
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« Reply #491 on: August 16, 2010, 12:19:50 PM »

I haven't been following this thread closely, so forgive me if this is a tangent, but it struck me like a load of bricks during my recent visit to Ukraine that it is absolutely acceptable over there to say "ChurcES" in plural. Even Orthodox clergy says, and writes, "ChurchES." My feeble attempt to object caused only laughter and gazes full of condolence, like, "this guy is coockoo."
Well, there are many "churches", but only one "Church".
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In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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« Reply #492 on: August 16, 2010, 01:20:03 PM »

I haven't been following this thread closely, so forgive me if this is a tangent, but it struck me like a load of bricks during my recent visit to Ukraine that it is absolutely acceptable over there to say "ChurcES" in plural. Even Orthodox clergy says, and writes, "ChurchES." My feeble attempt to object caused only laughter and gazes full of condolence, like, "this guy is coockoo."
Well, there are many "churches", but only one "Church".

Not according to the official language of Ukrainian religious people, not anymore. They all, universally, speak of several Churches. Another term is "Confessions." If you say that there is but one Church, you automatically become a non-person in Ukraine.Smiley Political correctness rules. Eastern Rite Catholics and Protestants must be respected.Smiley
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« Reply #493 on: August 16, 2010, 01:49:05 PM »

There are several searching comments in the last few posts, and I shall attempt to address them later, time permitting. However, let me try to put simply how I see things. It seems plain to me, from many posts, that a good number of you love Jesus Christ. I do not say, admire him, or have taken him as your example, though doubtless these things are also true: but I say, it seems clear that you love him. I do not believe one can love the Son of God except by the Spirit of God. So I cannot deny (nor do I wish to deny) that the Spirit of God is active within you.

I am perhaps also writing the mirror image of what so many of you have so often posted: you say you know that God's grace is within Orthodoxy, you don't know where it isn't. Similarly (mutatis mutandis) I know the grace of God operates within Evangelical religion; I do not know where it does not operate - though (as I wrote in the previous paragraph) it seems plain to me that his grace is indeed within those of you who write with true love towards our Lord Jesus Christ.
No one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of God that enables us to love God and be transformed by the renewal of our minds. Surely the Spirit must be at work among us, even though we have not been chrismated in the Orthodox church.

If I bought that, I would have to buy it when the Jehovah's Witness, the Mormon and Muslim (and, as has been pointed out, the Hindu) say it. And I don't.

Mat. 7:21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I John 4:1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world
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« Reply #494 on: August 16, 2010, 02:06:09 PM »

The dicnony you set up thus makes no sense.

I think my words do make sense: I guess you mean they don't fit into your worldview.

No, they don't fit the Gospel:

The Vatican has reduced the Faith to the hierarchy, and crushed it into the singularity of the papacy. In reaction, the Protestants reduced the Faith to the Bible, and scattered it to anarchy.  We Orthodox see you all as two sides of the same coin, which cannot be rendered unto God.

Now I don't consider your strain of Protestantantism a synagogue of Satan, but many Orthodox do, and I have nothing to "correct" them on that. Economia is a mercy, not a right.

So while I address you as a brother in Christ, that is a relationship that depends on you and I.  Addressing a fellow Orthodox, that is a relationship that the Spirit of Christ enacts, joining us at the hip.

One canot have God as his Father and Christ as his brother unless he has the Church as his Mother. One truly belongs to Christ by beloning to His One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Visible Orthodox Church, His Body. Between His members, no one suffers a rift or breach unless he is ambutated, in which case he ceases to "truly belong to Christ," and hence truly does not belong to Christ.

Quote
But semantically, they are not non-sense, surely?


One cannot truly belong and truly not belong at the same time.

Not all Protestants have reduced the Faith to the Bible. We also hold to the creeds.

Only in the same sense that the Vatican has other bishops besides their supreme pontiff, superfluous.

Quote
As United Methodists, we are also sacramental.

I'm not even sure if your self definitions would fit that, let alone the Church's.
Quote
Ariticle of Religion of the Methodist Church
Article XVIII—Of the Lord's Supper
Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of our Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after a heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith.

Quote
Refering Protestants to anarchy doesn't seem right either, in spite of the fact that there has arisen a ridiculously large number of denominations.
Getting two or three of you to agree on something is rather difficult to achieve, even more difficult to sustain.

Quote
And why do you find yourself adding the word "visible" to One, Holy, and Apostolic?
Because the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church can be seen, something the Fathers of Nicea and Constantinople and their opponents took as a given.  It took the Protestant Reformation to try to transform Christ into the invisible man.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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