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Author Topic: My encounter with two radical Protestants  (Read 17796 times) Average Rating: 0
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Liz
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« Reply #135 on: September 21, 2009, 06:48:34 AM »

Use of capitalization
You, Liz are a Protestant. But my commentary on protestantism no more requires caps than a comment on democracy.

I the post above, in a descriptive, comparative note such as I was making, for that discussion, presbyterianm, baptist, charasmatic, evangelical, fundamentalist, were all descriptive terms rather than titles, for the sake of THAT paragraph.


in other instances I have capitalized those denominational names. I see that I did capitalize Calvinism, however. We can all be  inconsistent at times!

Thanks, Brother Aidan, much clearer now. I suspect a lot of my problem was replying to both you and Bogdan at the same time (which I'll try not to do now). I don't agree at all that Catholicism and Orthodoxy are closer than Orthodoxy and Anglicanism, but that debate's been hashed out elsewhere on the forum. I see what you were saying now - the reason I get bothered about it is that many people do say, 'ah, you Anglicans are not really Protestants', and, well ... we are.

As to how Protestantism was 'institutional' - I'm not at all sure I agree. For a start, English 'Protestantism' under Henry VIII (which was extremely Catholic, I grant, but nonetheless, it has the roots of my faith) wasn't in close contact with any of the other Protestant movements from the start. Moreover, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches started out together and split: but you don't think that proves that you are not the One True Catholic Church?

As to capitals - the reason I ask for them is simple. If you were speaking of the Democratic Party in America, you would use capitals. Not so if you referred (er ... excuse the absurdity of my example, my country is going to the dogs) to a democratic party in Britain. 'protestants' without the capital simply refers to those who protested, not necessarily those who Protested and left the Catholic Church. Or that is what I was taught.
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« Reply #136 on: September 21, 2009, 07:00:16 AM »

Liz, if I have over-generalized and offended, I apologize. Looking back at my post I was probably not as charitable as I should have been.

Don't worry! I think it's easy, when you feel you've turned your back on something that was wrong and found something much better, to feel the way you do.


Quote
I've been in several PRotestant denominations (and non-denominations) in my life, and perhaps I think too much of my own personal experience. I do have a tendencey to universalize particulars. But what I have described has generally been the attitude of the churches I have been part of, and that of most of the Protestant Christians I know when I talk to them about Orthodoxy.

Your main question of me seems to be, "Why should Protestants be united on doctrine?"

When I was a Protestant, I would have agreed with you. Now I see things with a new set of eyes and realizing, first, the desire of Christ for His Church to be united in a very clear way, and second, that the Church was united in that way for almost a millennium before it started to break down, and another half before it started to completely fall apart in the West.

The Church must be united because there can only be one truth. The way I see it, every denomination (not to mention the unconstrained non-denoms) can't be right if they aren't in agreement on the core issues - which Protestants are not.

For instance, Apostolic Succession cannot be simultaneously important and unimportant. The Eucharist cannot be Jesus' body and blood and not Jesus' body and blood. You can't die and go to Heaven, and go to Purgatory, and go to Hades.  You can't be able to lose your salvation and not be able to lose your salvation.

Sure, we all agree on the need for a Savior, which is a great starting point. THat isn't enough though, in my opinion.

To take another analogy, if doctrine was a multiple choice test with questions on each issue, I see myself as suggesting that each question has only one correct answer.  Protestantism as a whole, with no need for doctrinal unity, essentially says that answers A-F are all acceptable, because once upon a time someone decided they didn't like answer B.  I can't wrap my head around that.

(I hope I'm not coming across as angry or argumentative. I do genuinely want to understand how you are seeing things.)

I see what you're saying. The way I understand your original posts, was that you were suggesting that Protestants should agree on doctrine for some reason internal to Protestantism. The thing is, it would be better to look at individual Protestant Churches and think of them (however small they may be) as you would think of your own Orthodox Church. If a Protestant Church says (as some, particularly the Evangelical ones near me, do) that its doctrines are the only correct doctrines, that it is the only correct Church, and that all others are wrong and should come to agree with it, it is using precisely the same logic as the Orthodox Church. I think it's only fair to observe this, because when we speak of how Protestants have many different doctrines, we need to remember that it is not always a case of 'any one of these A-F is correct in this Church, take your pick'. It's just simple courtesy to acknowledge that not all Protestant denominations feel this way.

My Church, granted, enjoys being a meeting-point for differences in understanding. We want to feel that there is no hierarchy, no sense that someone is less than someone else, because they cannot bring themselves to agree on - or even understand - one theological argument or another. There is a core of beliefs, and of course, we believe we are all united in one faith and one Church, in Jesus Christ. But I am very proud of my Church. I have emphasized this side of my Protestantism before, but perhaps it's the moment to observe that we do have a pretty clear set of beliefs which no-one should question. There is more 'structure' to an Anglican Church than you'd perhaps think.

I'm sorry if I'm making life difficult for you - the reason I get bothered is that I identify myself strongly as a Protestant, even though I know that my Church is quite unlike some Protestant Churches.

Best,

Liz
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Liz
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« Reply #137 on: September 21, 2009, 07:05:09 AM »

Liz


The invisible church idea is a protestant idea. The seeds of it was started by Saint Augustine, and it was developed by the protestant Reformers, and over here in America, it is a very well known protestant concept.

Thus it is a protestant idea, now does this mean that "all" protestants believe in this doctrine? No! The Stone & Cambellites (churches of christ / disciples of christ) are an exception....and there maybe others as well.

Not that I trust Wiki, but whoever wrote this there did a decent job on the subject:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_church







ICXC NIKA

Thanks Jnorm, that helped a lot! Um ... it might just be me, but that article does suggest that this concept was jumped on during the Reformation, in order to distinguish the true 'invisible' Church from the visible Catholic Church - it's quite a leap to go from that, to saying that the true Church is invisible! I mean ... I can see why an emergent or persecuted body of people would describe themselves as invisible, but known to God (it's not exactly an unusual concept!), but it seems to me a failure in logic if people still think the true Church is invisible. The members of the True Church are indeed known only to God - but that doesn't mean we can't see them.

sigh.

I clearly need to know more about different kinds of Protestantism.
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« Reply #138 on: September 21, 2009, 07:15:24 AM »


The problem I'm having here is one I've come across before on this forum. While lots of people here are ex-Protestant, they are (obviously) people for whom the original beliefs didn't fit, or didn't convince them. It's not always the case that this leads to misunderstandings, but sometimes I do get the impression that people who have failed to be convinced by a Protestant argument are not the best people to give a clear account of that argument. It's the same with me: I can't talk a great deal about intercessory prayer to the saints, because it is something I am aware I don't really manage to understand.




I know "high church" Anglicans that understand and can talk about "intercessory prayer to the saints". Some even have patron saints. But as theologically educated ex-protestants, I think we can speak about protestant beliefs we use to believe in.

You have to keep in mind that you are from England, and so what you experience isn't always what we experience......and vice versa.


ICXC NIKA

Last post in a row, I promise!

Yes, Jnorm, you're right. I do think the geographical differences are probably causing some problems. I didn't mean to suggest you or anyone else couldn't talk about Protestant beliefs.

However, I think it's like this: If you ask me to talk about, let us say, the Communion Service in my Church, or the belief in the Trinity, I will do so with great joy and, although these are hard concepts, I hope I'd do a reasonable job of putting my point across, because I have not only theological understanding but also faith.

If you asked me to talk about, say, the doctrine of Real Presence, I'd be in a different situation. Now I know the theology behind the doctrine. I spend most of my working time reading and writing and thinking about - in effect living with - people whose belief in this doctrine was absolute. I do, in fact, literally live with someone who believes in this doctrine and he has tried to convince me of it many times. I attended Mass at Notre Dame just a couple of weeks ago, and saw high moment of the Mass. I'm not saying I couldn't know more about the doctrine - obviously I could - but I'm pretty familiar with theology, practice, and the emotions and feelings of those who believe in it.

Yet still, if you asked me to explain the doctrine of Real Presence, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you felt that, somehow, my emphases were wrong and I just didn't quite get the sense across. I can't, really, because I don't have that certainty and personal experience of faith in the doctrine.

It's this sort of difficulty that I meant. It's not that I think your theological knowledge or practical experience of Protestantism is at fault - on this forum there will be many Orthodox who know immensely more than I do about certain forms of Protestantism - but I do think sometimes concepts are easiest to explain when there is faith behind them.
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« Reply #139 on: September 21, 2009, 07:44:35 AM »





Moreover, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches started out together and split: but you don't think that proves that you are not the One True Catholic Church?



It certainly creates a black eye on the "one" claim. But historically, one of the two is THE remaining one true catholic and apostolic Church. Obviously, most of the post-ers on OC.net believe Orthodoxy to be that remaining one true Church.
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« Reply #140 on: September 21, 2009, 02:27:35 PM »


The problem I'm having here is one I've come across before on this forum. While lots of people here are ex-Protestant, they are (obviously) people for whom the original beliefs didn't fit, or didn't convince them. It's not always the case that this leads to misunderstandings, but sometimes I do get the impression that people who have failed to be convinced by a Protestant argument are not the best people to give a clear account of that argument. It's the same with me: I can't talk a great deal about intercessory prayer to the saints, because it is something I am aware I don't really manage to understand.




I know "high church" Anglicans that understand and can talk about "intercessory prayer to the saints". Some even have patron saints. But as theologically educated ex-protestants, I think we can speak about protestant beliefs we use to believe in.

You have to keep in mind that you are from England, and so what you experience isn't always what we experience......and vice versa.


ICXC NIKA

Last post in a row, I promise!

Yes, Jnorm, you're right. I do think the geographical differences are probably causing some problems. I didn't mean to suggest you or anyone else couldn't talk about Protestant beliefs.

However, I think it's like this: If you ask me to talk about, let us say, the Communion Service in my Church, or the belief in the Trinity, I will do so with great joy and, although these are hard concepts, I hope I'd do a reasonable job of putting my point across, because I have not only theological understanding but also faith.

If you asked me to talk about, say, the doctrine of Real Presence, I'd be in a different situation. Now I know the theology behind the doctrine. I spend most of my working time reading and writing and thinking about - in effect living with - people whose belief in this doctrine was absolute. I do, in fact, literally live with someone who believes in this doctrine and he has tried to convince me of it many times. I attended Mass at Notre Dame just a couple of weeks ago, and saw high moment of the Mass. I'm not saying I couldn't know more about the doctrine - obviously I could - but I'm pretty familiar with theology, practice, and the emotions and feelings of those who believe in it.

Yet still, if you asked me to explain the doctrine of Real Presence, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you felt that, somehow, my emphases were wrong and I just didn't quite get the sense across. I can't, really, because I don't have that certainty and personal experience of faith in the doctrine.

It's this sort of difficulty that I meant. It's not that I think your theological knowledge or practical experience of Protestantism is at fault - on this forum there will be many Orthodox who know immensely more than I do about certain forms of Protestantism - but I do think sometimes concepts are easiest to explain when there is faith behind them.

You could always look at Anglican church history, Protestant church history, as well as church history in general when it comes to the doctrine of "The Real Presence"

Anglicanism allowed multiple views in this regard, and this is why you will find Anglicans that are Zwinglyian(memoral and symbolic only), Calvinist(spiritual only), Lutherian and other.

So history has alot to do with it. So why not look at and embrace the most common belief about the view in the first 1,000 years?



Liz,


I know a New Testament Anglican scholar/professor who's husband converted to Orthodoxy, as well as one of her daughters. She herself is still Anglican/Episcopal but she speaks about Eastern Orthodoxy alot.

She knows alot about our beliefs, but she still isn't Orthodox so I'm guessing that she doesn't have faith in these ideas, but she knows how to explain them well.









ICXC NIKA
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« Reply #141 on: September 21, 2009, 03:18:17 PM »


The problem I'm having here is one I've come across before on this forum. While lots of people here are ex-Protestant, they are (obviously) people for whom the original beliefs didn't fit, or didn't convince them. It's not always the case that this leads to misunderstandings, but sometimes I do get the impression that people who have failed to be convinced by a Protestant argument are not the best people to give a clear account of that argument. It's the same with me: I can't talk a great deal about intercessory prayer to the saints, because it is something I am aware I don't really manage to understand.




I know "high church" Anglicans that understand and can talk about "intercessory prayer to the saints". Some even have patron saints. But as theologically educated ex-protestants, I think we can speak about protestant beliefs we use to believe in.

You have to keep in mind that you are from England, and so what you experience isn't always what we experience......and vice versa.


ICXC NIKA

Last post in a row, I promise!

Yes, Jnorm, you're right. I do think the geographical differences are probably causing some problems. I didn't mean to suggest you or anyone else couldn't talk about Protestant beliefs.

However, I think it's like this: If you ask me to talk about, let us say, the Communion Service in my Church, or the belief in the Trinity, I will do so with great joy and, although these are hard concepts, I hope I'd do a reasonable job of putting my point across, because I have not only theological understanding but also faith.

If you asked me to talk about, say, the doctrine of Real Presence, I'd be in a different situation. Now I know the theology behind the doctrine. I spend most of my working time reading and writing and thinking about - in effect living with - people whose belief in this doctrine was absolute. I do, in fact, literally live with someone who believes in this doctrine and he has tried to convince me of it many times. I attended Mass at Notre Dame just a couple of weeks ago, and saw high moment of the Mass. I'm not saying I couldn't know more about the doctrine - obviously I could - but I'm pretty familiar with theology, practice, and the emotions and feelings of those who believe in it.

Yet still, if you asked me to explain the doctrine of Real Presence, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you felt that, somehow, my emphases were wrong and I just didn't quite get the sense across. I can't, really, because I don't have that certainty and personal experience of faith in the doctrine.

It's this sort of difficulty that I meant. It's not that I think your theological knowledge or practical experience of Protestantism is at fault - on this forum there will be many Orthodox who know immensely more than I do about certain forms of Protestantism - but I do think sometimes concepts are easiest to explain when there is faith behind them.

You could always look at Anglican church history, Protestant church history, as well as church history in general when it comes to the doctrine of "The Real Presence"

What makes you think I haven't?


Quote
Anglicanism allowed multiple views in this regard, and this is why you will find Anglicans that are Zwinglyian(memoral and symbolic only), Calvinist(spiritual only), Lutherian and other.

So history has alot to do with it. So why not look at and embrace the most common belief about the view in the first 1,000 years?



Liz,


I know a New Testament Anglican scholar/professor who's husband converted to Orthodoxy, as well as one of her daughters. She herself is still Anglican/Episcopal but she speaks about Eastern Orthodoxy alot.

She knows alot about our beliefs, but she still isn't Orthodox so I'm guessing that she doesn't have faith in these ideas, but she knows how to explain them well.









ICXC NIKA

Fair enough. Everyone is different - both in what they can explain, and it what they will accept as a good explanation.
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« Reply #142 on: September 21, 2009, 03:24:05 PM »

Liz,
I suppose that we could start another thread on this matter, but why don't you believe in the real presence?
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« Reply #143 on: September 21, 2009, 03:41:22 PM »

Liz,
I suppose that we could start another thread on this matter, but why don't you believe in the real presence?

If you would like to start a thread by all means do so - I'll try and explain briefly here but you may want to continue the discussion elsewhere if this doesn't answer all your questions.

I have to start by saying I just know that I don't believe in it - and I can think back and analyze why that is, but when I do so, I'm rationalizing something I'm already aware of.

So ... firstly, I've been attending Anglican services since before I can remember, and I don't remember a time when I didn't know that the Communion was a service in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice. It seems natural to me to place the emphasis like this: 'This is my blood that was shed for you; do this in remembrance of me . I grew up in the belief that the act was symbolic, through and a mixture of the emphases placed by the officiating vicar and explanations that I doubtless heard, but have now forgotten. So it seems natural to me to view the service as a memorial.

When I came to examine this belief, I didn't feel - I couldn't feel - that bread and wine were turned into the Body and Blood of Christ. I believe that Christ is present, of course: firstly, because Christ is always present, and secondly, because this is the moment of His memorial, and we know He is close to us then. I believe that we are always in receipt of Christ's Body and Blood, given for us - but I feel that this is a more continual and - the best word I can find is 'subtle', but that's not quite it - affair that consumption of literal flesh and blood.

In my church, when we say, 'We are all of one Body, for we all share in one bread', this to me is a reminder that the Body is the Body of Christ, and it is therefore the Church: what we do is to affirm our communion with each other and with Christ. However, I am comfortable with the idea that what we share is a body in the sense the term is often used (as it is used in 'body politic', for example), rather than in the sense that we share in receiving Christ's literal flesh.

I can't help but feel that I am proving what I said recently to someone else on this forum, that I struggle greatly to discuss the Real Presence because I do not have the faith to do so! But this is where I stand. My dear partner always tries to make me understand ...
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« Reply #144 on: September 21, 2009, 10:20:37 PM »

I see what you're saying. The way I understand your original posts, was that you were suggesting that Protestants should agree on doctrine for some reason internal to Protestantism. The thing is, it would be better to look at individual Protestant Churches and think of them (however small they may be) as you would think of your own Orthodox Church. If a Protestant Church says (as some, particularly the Evangelical ones near me, do) that its doctrines are the only correct doctrines, that it is the only correct Church, and that all others are wrong and should come to agree with it, it is using precisely the same logic as the Orthodox Church. I think it's only fair to observe this, because when we speak of how Protestants have many different doctrines, we need to remember that it is not always a case of 'any one of these A-F is correct in this Church, take your pick'. It's just simple courtesy to acknowledge that not all Protestant denominations feel this way.

I understand what you're saying. From that perspective I can understand. If Wesleyans believe Wesleyanism is the only true church,  it makes perfect sense. I simply don't quite get the logic of "we disagree on almost everything and that's okay".  As you said though, not everyone believes that.

Quote
I'm sorry if I'm making life difficult for you - the reason I get bothered is that I identify myself strongly as a Protestant, even though I know that my Church is quite unlike some Protestant Churches.

Never you mind about that, it's no trouble. Smiley
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« Reply #145 on: September 30, 2009, 04:47:03 PM »

There is no grace at all in Calvinism.
Bite your tongue, Nacho!  The Calvinists I know (and have read) would tell you it's all about "grace".  Cool

(Though, granted, it's a 'grace' that is monergistically and irresistibly imposed on the elect to the exclusion of everyone else, but I digress....)
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« Reply #146 on: December 05, 2009, 09:28:05 AM »

Against my better judgment I will relay an incident that happened to me this morning. Some time ago I watched a youtube video about Christians being persecuted in India. I wrote and thanked the person for making this and mentioned that I am an Orthodox Christian and that we understand what anti-Christian persecution is. One person's response:

"what are you talking about? the catholic cult did the same thing to Christians. 50 MILLION Christians murdered at the hands of catholicism. please come out of that wicked system"

One of these days I will grow a brain and leave youtube (yougoob) and never return
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« Reply #147 on: December 05, 2009, 06:34:13 PM »

Against my better judgment I will relay an incident that happened to me this morning. Some time ago I watched a youtube video about Christians being persecuted in India. I wrote and thanked the person for making this and mentioned that I am an Orthodox Christian and that we understand what anti-Christian persecution is. One person's response:

"what are you talking about? the catholic cult did the same thing to Christians. 50 MILLION Christians murdered at the hands of catholicism. please come out of that wicked system"

One of these days I will grow a brain and leave youtube (yougoob) and never return


I'm guessing you responded with a "HUH" and lots of HuhHuhHuhHuhHuh
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« Reply #148 on: December 05, 2009, 07:19:57 PM »

Against my better judgment I will relay an incident that happened to me this morning. Some time ago I watched a youtube video about Christians being persecuted in India. I wrote and thanked the person for making this and mentioned that I am an Orthodox Christian and that we understand what anti-Christian persecution is. One person's response:

"what are you talking about? the catholic cult did the same thing to Christians. 50 MILLION Christians murdered at the hands of catholicism. please come out of that wicked system"

One of these days I will grow a brain and leave youtube (yougoob) and never return


I'm guessing you responded with a "HUH" and lots of HuhHuhHuhHuhHuh

Yeah more or less. He lambasted Orthodoxy for believing in the Real Presence. I basically responded by accusing him of calling Jesus a liar. These types of pissing contests go nowhere and I offered him the final word before blocking him. I'll let you know what he says
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« Reply #149 on: December 05, 2009, 07:58:06 PM »

Liz,
I suppose that we could start another thread on this matter, but why don't you believe in the real presence?

So ... firstly, I've been attending Anglican services since before I can remember, and I don't remember a time when I didn't know that the Communion was a service in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice. It seems natural to me to place the emphasis like this: 'This is my blood that was shed for you; do this in remembrance of me . I grew up in the belief that the act was symbolic, through and a mixture of the emphases placed by the officiating vicar and explanations that I doubtless heard, but have now forgotten. So it seems natural to me to view the service as a memorial.


Liz, you are focusing on "in remembrance of Me" instead of "This is My blood."  Christ couldn't have been more specific.
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« Reply #150 on: December 06, 2009, 08:33:48 PM »

Liz,
I suppose that we could start another thread on this matter, but why don't you believe in the real presence?

So ... firstly, I've been attending Anglican services since before I can remember, and I don't remember a time when I didn't know that the Communion was a service in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice. It seems natural to me to place the emphasis like this: 'This is my blood that was shed for you; do this in remembrance of me . I grew up in the belief that the act was symbolic, through and a mixture of the emphases placed by the officiating vicar and explanations that I doubtless heard, but have now forgotten. So it seems natural to me to view the service as a memorial.


Liz, you are focusing on "in remembrance of Me" instead of "This is My blood."  Christ couldn't have been more specific.


Don't quite get your point. What is 'specific' here? You are merely wishing to place emphasis in a different place from where I would wish to place emphasis. I would be the first to say that the way I think of this passage is extremely personal and the result of all sorts of experiences that have run together in my mind. However, I don't understand how your decision to emphasis a different part of the quotation can constitute justification for that emphasis.
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« Reply #151 on: December 06, 2009, 08:38:37 PM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?
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« Reply #152 on: December 06, 2009, 09:07:51 PM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.
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Marc1152
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« Reply #153 on: December 06, 2009, 10:20:46 PM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.

Christ is actully present in the form of bread and wine.
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« Reply #154 on: December 06, 2009, 10:37:37 PM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.

Christ is actully present in the form of bread and wine.

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?
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Marc1152
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« Reply #155 on: December 07, 2009, 09:17:48 AM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.

Christ is actually present in the form of bread and wine.

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

He is present in the Eucharist just like you are present when you receive it. He is there body, soul and divinity. The person is there. God is able to humble himself to come to us in the simplest form of matter, bread and wine, for our sake.
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« Reply #156 on: December 07, 2009, 11:51:19 AM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.

Christ is actually present in the form of bread and wine.

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

He is present in the Eucharist just like you are present when you receive it. He is there body, soul and divinity. The person is there. God is able to humble himself to come to us in the simplest form of matter, bread and wine, for our sake.

Well, not just like me. My body is quite visible when I receive Eucharist, and if you cut me, I would bleed. In this debate, I think we have to accept that there are some loaded words like 'actual' and 'literal' and 'symbolic', none of which quite cover what we'd like them to cover.
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Marc1152
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« Reply #157 on: December 07, 2009, 03:02:32 PM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.

Christ is actually present in the form of bread and wine.

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

He is present in the Eucharist just like you are present when you receive it. He is there body, soul and divinity. The person is there. God is able to humble himself to come to us in the simplest form of matter, bread and wine, for our sake.

Well, not just like me. My body is quite visible when I receive Eucharist, and if you cut me, I would bleed. In this debate, I think we have to accept that there are some loaded words like 'actual' and 'literal' and 'symbolic', none of which quite cover what we'd like them to cover.

He appears as he is, God. You appear as you are, a mortal human . You are both Persons and are both present.
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« Reply #158 on: December 07, 2009, 03:06:51 PM »

Liz,

You seem to be stuck on "the bread and wine don't become actual flesh and blood."  This is correct.  The Orthodox do not believe that they are putting the physical forms of flesh and blood into their mouths.  That would be repulsive.  But at the same time, it is actually His Body and Blood.  Christ is really present in the elements in a special way; a way which He is not present anywhere else.

If it is a 'merely' a symbol to you, can I ask what you think a symbol is exactly?  How are you using and understanding the term?

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

I find this topic complicated and hard to talk about - as I believe it should be. I couldn't say what I think a symbol is, 'exactly'. I don't mean to deflect your question; it's just that it wouldn't be honest to pretend I had the magic answer here. I spend most of my working time thinking about how people in the past have translated theology into terms that others can understand. I constantly find myself up against this question, 'what is a symbol?' And then the question, 'how does language relate to reality?'

I do not think that Christ is more present in the bread and the wine, than he is in any other element that within the church during the Eucharist. In fact, although I think we feel Christ is specially present in church during the Eucharist, this is because the sacrament helps us to feel His Communion with us. Christ does not need us to perform the Eucharist in order to be specially present to us - we need the Eucharist in order to perceive him.

Christ is actually present in the form of bread and wine.

Well, what do you think 'actual' means, exactly?

He is present in the Eucharist just like you are present when you receive it. He is there body, soul and divinity. The person is there. God is able to humble himself to come to us in the simplest form of matter, bread and wine, for our sake.

Well, not just like me. My body is quite visible when I receive Eucharist, and if you cut me, I would bleed. In this debate, I think we have to accept that there are some loaded words like 'actual' and 'literal' and 'symbolic', none of which quite cover what we'd like them to cover.

He appears as he is, God. You appear as you are, a mortal human . You are both Persons and are both present.

Thanks, that's the best answer I've heard.
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« Reply #159 on: December 25, 2009, 08:20:05 PM »

Jnorm and Truthstalker,'
Arguing will not convert the other one
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« Reply #160 on: December 26, 2009, 12:52:23 PM »

Dear Liz,
I don't think anybody here is emphasizing a specific part of Christ's preposition. on the contrary, they are emphasizing the entire sentence. Saying that the essence of Christ's words is limited ONLY to the "in remembrance of me" part, then you are limiting Christ's intentions. The contrary party, saying that the essential part of Christ's words is the "This is my body" isn't excluding the "in remembrance of me" section. The Catholic and Orthodox position is that we remember of Christ's sacrifice partaking in His true body and true blood. Christ clearly stated that we can't be saved if we don't eat His body and drink His blood. If the Eucharist were just a mere rite or symbol with no effect at all "but" helping us perceiving Christ, then Jesus is going mad in those words. A Christian perceives Christ in everything without any need to eat a piece of bread. But Christ is present in the same manner as He was present - as the Angel of the Lord - in the Ark of the Covenant. The Jews said that the Temple was the "House of YHWH" because He actually abode there in a specific presence, and the same we can say of God's manifestation on Mount Horeb. Curiously, belief in the real presence is possibly the earliest dogma which can be derived straight from the first Christians. Now, if you believe they thought this by superstition, we could say the same of Jesus when He said "Who doesn't eat my body or drink my blood shall not enter the Kingdom of God"?
The fact is that Christ is fully present. The how's of this presence can vary from a church unto another: transmutation for the Orthodox, transubstantiation for the Catholics, consubstantiation for the Lutherans, or mere pneumatic presence for some Protestants... anyway the essence is the same, that Christ is given in that little piece of bread. How's that possible that thousands of martyrs preferred death to renouncing the Eucharist, if the Eucharist is just a commemoration? Just as we can remember, for example, the end of World War II without any cerimony, likewise we could remember Christ's sacrifice in our minds and hearts withour any cerimony, don't you think? But the testimony of the first Christians is that the Eucharist is Christ's literal presence, whatever that might mean.
If you don't feel Christ's presence in the Eucharist, maybe your just too rationalist and can't perceive it. Pray for your mind to stay as open as possible to the greatest mystery of the Church!

In Christ,   Alex

PS: It might also be that your church isn't celebrating a true Eucharist, as you belong to the Protestant wing of the Anglican Church. In that case, we can't perceive what actually doesn't exist!
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« Reply #161 on: January 01, 2010, 11:43:02 AM »

Jnorm and Truthstalker,'
Arguing will not convert the other one

Thanks for the reminder, but I was just holding my ground.




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« Reply #162 on: January 01, 2010, 02:31:04 PM »

This week a some friends and I were at a restaurant in Albuquerque. My friends noticed that next to us there were two young men (some where int their twenties) reading bibles next to us. My friends being devout Catholics decided to strike up a conversation with these two men. Well, it turns out that they espoused some rather radical beliefs based on their own personal interpretation of the Scriptures. I am curious as to how my EO bretheren would evaluate the belief system of these men. So please do share and if you have some good scripture passages that would aide me in refuting the errors of these young men, I would certainly appreciate the help.
1. They believe that God created some people specifically to be saved and others specifically to condemn to hell. (Radical Calvinism)
2. They believe that God created evil because it exists and he is sovreign (spelling? lol).
3. They believe that humans are completely evil and corrupt and incapable of choosing any good.
4. They believe that people who have never heard of Christ will certainly go to hell.
5. Of course they are the "sola fide" type but such is easy to refute.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
The conversation got some what heated because I think that Calvinism is a very dangerous mischaracterization of God and I provide the scripture and arguement that I had available at the moment, but any other help would be much appreciated.

hww... sounds like a Jehovah's witness.  I have been talking to one at school.  he gives me papers and little books about how God hates anyone who is not one of Jehovah's witnesses.  he bellieves similarly, and his little books say the same.  I think it's fun to talk to him because I so often proove him wrong  Cheesy
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