OrthodoxChristianity.net
November 26, 2014, 12:27:01 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 »  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Christian Unity  (Read 11405 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,847


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« on: December 07, 2009, 06:04:49 AM »

I'd be interested in your thoughts on how God the Father is going to answer our Lord's prayer in John 17 "that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee... so that the world may believe."

The reference to the world believing locates the answer in this age, before the Second Coming. It does not refer to our state in glory.

Ideally of course, all Christians, will become Baptists  Wink - but I see little likelihood of that. Probably they won't all become Orthodox either - unless you take the view that there are no Christians outside Orthodoxy.

It is unthinkable that a prayer of our Lord should go unanswered. What are your thoughts?
Logged

"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2009, 06:11:21 AM »

I'd be interested in your thoughts on how God the Father is going to answer our Lord's prayer in John 17 "that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee... so that the world may believe."

The reference to the world believing locates the answer in this age, before the Second Coming. It does not refer to our state in glory.

Ideally of course, all Christians, will become Baptists  Wink - but I see little likelihood of that. Probably they won't all become Orthodox either - unless you take the view that there are no Christians outside Orthodoxy.

It is unthinkable that a prayer of our Lord should go unanswered. What are your thoughts?

it is answered: by every reading of the diptychs.
Logged

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
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2009, 07:00:20 AM »

Are the Diptychs still updated today?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 07:03:29 AM by Ortho_cat » Logged
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2009, 07:05:06 AM »



It is unthinkable that a prayer of our Lord should go unanswered. What are your thoughts?


The Christian world was in communion with each other at one time, so technically the prayer was answered; it just wasn't sustained.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 07:05:54 AM by Ortho_cat » Logged
mike
Stratopedarches
**************
Offline Offline

Posts: 21,476


« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2009, 10:22:52 AM »

Are the Diptychs still updated today?

Yes. When OCA was granted autocephaly some local Churches (including mine) updated theirs.
Logged
witega
Is it enough now, to tell you you matter?
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,614


« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2009, 11:08:07 AM »

I'd be interested in your thoughts on how God the Father is going to answer our Lord's prayer in John 17 "that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee... so that the world may believe."

The reference to the world believing locates the answer in this age, before the Second Coming. It does not refer to our state in glory.

Earlier in the chapter, Christ is praying explicitly for the Apostles. Then at this point He has shifted, "My prayer is not for them [the Apostles] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one ...". So the prayer is for all those who believe in me through their message, i.e., accept the Apostolic doctrine. The prayer applies to the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church not to those who have established their own conventicles.

On another note, your phrasing seems to imply that the Father will fulfill the Son's prayer. But we already know that God desires that all 'will come to a knowledge of the truth' and be saved. But God will not remove our free will even to effect what he desires. So to the extent that fulfilling the prayer would require forcing human beings to do something they refuse to do, it's not going to happen--that's on us not on God.
Logged

Ariel Starling - New album

For it were better to suffer everything, rather than divide the Church of God. Even martyrdom for the sake of preventing division would not be less glorious than for refusing to worship idols. - St. Dionysius the Great
David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,847


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2009, 02:16:01 PM »

it is answered: by every reading of the diptychs.

Er... what's a diptych?
Logged

"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 20,110


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2009, 03:01:12 PM »

it is answered: by every reading of the diptychs.

Er... what's a diptych?

A diptych, generally, is an object with two sides that are connected, as the covers of a book.  Sometimes "Diptych" is used to describe two icons connected with a hinge (most frequently, Christ and His Mother).  Sometimes "Diptych" is the term for names to be commemorated: one page for the living, one for the dead.

In this case, the "Diptych" of the Orthodox Church is the list of the Churches in communion with one another.  It is manifest as the list of the Bishops who are the Presidents of the  Major Synod of each jurisdiction: the Patriarchs, Archbishops, and Metropolitans whom we colloquially call the "heads" of Autocephalous churches.  This Diptych is only read Liturgically when one of these Presidents is serving.  When a priest serves, he commemorates his Bishop (unifying parish to bishop/diocese); when a Bishop serves, he commemorates the President of his regional synod (unifying the diocese in a region); (if there is multiple layers of synods) when that President serves he commemorates the President of the major synod he sits on (i.e. Patriarch/Archbishop - and this unifies the regions into an Autocephalous Church).  And then the Presidents of these major synods read the Diptych, which then finishes the manifestation of unity (between the Autocephalous Churches).
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,951



« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2009, 04:15:41 PM »

It is unthinkable that a prayer of our Lord should go unanswered.

Indeed, it is unthinkable.  I believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 04:15:49 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2009, 01:23:37 PM »

Indeed. Is Christ divided?
Logged
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,448



« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2009, 01:32:39 PM »

The prayer of our Lord has been answered. There is, and always has been, only one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Thankful
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 263



« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2009, 02:43:29 PM »


It is unthinkable that a prayer of our Lord should go unanswered. What are your thoughts?


It seems as if you are asking this question with the belief that the prayer has not been answered yet.  But with the others who have said so, it was never NOT answered -- the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church has always been there.  I think in looking at history it's fairly easy to see that it's certainly the "line" of the Orthodox church that can be traced back to the New Testament, where this can't be said about the Baptist church. 
Logged

David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,847


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2009, 04:16:17 PM »

It seems as if you are asking this question with the belief that the prayer has not been answered yet.  

I guess you are right. I ask the question in all sincerity: it is a passage which has long puzzled me. One can find a number of answers that say our Lord's disciples are "one". You can speak of the Orthodox Church, or of another 'visible' church such as the Roman Catholic; or you can go down the line of spiritual oneness through our union with Christ, and talk of 'the invisible church'. Finding answers to that part of the prayer is not hard, though I do not say the answers are correct. But what puzzles me is the fact that the unity for which our Lord prayed is such that the world outside the church will see this unity, and it will be so convincing and winsome that the world (which I take to mean a good number of unbelievers in this age, before the Second Coming) will be brought to faith in Christ. Whether we talk of 'the invisible church' or of Holy Orthodoxy, or whatever, this is not currently happening, and hasn't happened for a very long time. That (to me) is the mystery about this passage.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 04:17:16 PM by David Young » Logged

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

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,448



« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2009, 04:38:06 PM »

It seems as if you are asking this question with the belief that the prayer has not been answered yet.  

I guess you are right. I ask the question in all sincerity: it is a passage which has long puzzled me. One can find a number of answers that say our Lord's disciples are "one". You can speak of the Orthodox Church, or of another 'visible' church such as the Roman Catholic; or you can go down the line of spiritual oneness through our union with Christ, and talk of 'the invisible church'. Finding answers to that part of the prayer is not hard, though I do not say the answers are correct. But what puzzles me is the fact that the unity for which our Lord prayed is such that the world outside the church will see this unity, and it will be so convincing and winsome that the world (which I take to mean a good number of unbelievers in this age, before the Second Coming) will be brought to faith in Christ. Whether we talk of 'the invisible church' or of Holy Orthodoxy, or whatever, this is not currently happening, and hasn't happened for a very long time. That (to me) is the mystery about this passage.

Why is it a mystery? God graciously allows us free will, even when we misuse it, right?
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
NorthernPines
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 934



« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2009, 04:49:33 PM »

But what puzzles me is the fact that the unity for which our Lord prayed is such that the world outside the church will see this unity, and it will be so convincing and winsome that the world (which I take to mean a good number of unbelievers in this age, before the Second Coming) will be brought to faith in Christ. Whether we talk of 'the invisible church' or of Holy Orthodoxy, or whatever, this is not currently happening, and hasn't happened for a very long time. That (to me) is the mystery about this passage.

Very well said and articulated, at least IMO. Smiley Though I am Orthodox, and truly cannot see myself in any other Christian confession (though I 'almost' could be Catholic, but not quite), in the end to me it doesn't matter which tradition one interprates this passage in light of, I, like you, do not see this being fulfilled, nor am I sure it every truly was fulfilled in Church history. There were always schisms and break away groups. Even today, the Church (ie: EOy) is not really "one" Church, because Old Calendar Churches are separated from New Calendar Churches etc....Even members of the same jurisdictions are many times not "one" for various reasons.

Rome probably has more of a claim to "oneness" than we do, however when one is in Communion with no one but one's self (ie: the See of St. Peter is in Communion with the See of St. Peter but no other ancient Sees) then it's not true oneness IMO. (unless I suppose one accepts Rome's understanding of Peter's role) Plus I don't think Rome fulfills the second part of that, so that the world may KNOW Jesus and the Father are one. Does the world look at the Roman Catholic Church, or EOy for that matter, and say, "wow, amazing that proves Jesus is God"? I really don't think so. Nor are Jesus words that when the world looks at His followers they will say "see how they love one another" because we often times DON'T love one another.

However I don't think this prayer is talking about some warm and fuzzy invisible oneness which in reality are just good feelings either. I don't think Jesus meant, "it doesn't matter what one believes at all, as long as you all just get along"...because that's not really unity either.  Like you I'm not sure what it means. But I don't think it's "only" talking about the visible Church, because I don't think everything fits into that box. I'm not sure what it means, I guess it's one of those mysteries we won't fully understand in this world.
Logged
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,448



« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2009, 04:55:22 PM »

However I don't think this prayer is talking about some warm and fuzzy invisible oneness which in reality are just good feelings either. I don't think Jesus meant, "it doesn't matter what one believes at all, as long as you all just get along"...because that's not really unity either.  

Excellent point.

Also I was just thinking how perhaps "invisible unity" isn't very impressive - because it's invisible, they would have to take someone's word that it existed, wouldn't they?
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 04:55:38 PM by katherineofdixie » Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,847


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2009, 05:25:40 PM »

"invisible unity" isn't very impressive - because it's invisible, they would have to take someone's word that it existed, wouldn't they?

Exactly. So that whether or not a doctrine of the spiritual union of all those who are united with Christ regardless of denominational separation is true or false, it cannot be what Jesus was thinking of here. He prayed for something the world would see.
Logged

"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
Kaste
Site Supporter
Sr. Member
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: member of the Invisible Church
Posts: 158


« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2009, 01:44:06 AM »

Do we know His prayer "that all may be one" was specifically referring to visible unity?  Why do you think it is only for the purpose of having others "see"?  My translation (NAB Invisible ed)  Wink doesn't say anything about Jesus praying that others will "see" the unity.

The prayer may have a more mystical meaning.  Afterall Christ continually says, "that they may be one, as we are one. or as You, Father, are in me and I in You...

That said, ideally yes, visible unity and I'll throw in apostolic succession is a good thing, but not the whole ball of wax.  I think Christians who are right with God, no matter what Church they go to, are still one, in a very real way, with eachother and with Christ-

K
Logged
bogdan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,615



« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2009, 02:39:47 AM »

Are there levels of One-ness? Something is either One or it isn't One.

To me it seems hazardous to see Christ say, "that they may be one, as we are one" and take that to mean "that they may be generally on the same page, but may disagree wildly on important things, as we are generally on the same page but disagree wildly on important things. Anyway, Oneness in the Godhead isn't everything, so it's not for them either, Father."

Which is what you seem to be advocating, Kaste.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 02:40:40 AM by bogdan » Logged
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,951



« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2009, 02:47:24 AM »

Are there levels of One-ness? Something is either One or it isn't One.

To me it seems hazardous to see Christ say, "that they may be one, as we are one" and take that to mean "that they may be generally on the same page, but may disagree wildly on important things, as we are generally on the same page but disagree wildly on important things. Anyway, Oneness in the Godhead isn't everything, so it's not for them either, Father."

Which is what you seem to be advocating, Kaste.

How is his position different than saying that God is One in Three?  Or that a square is four lines which form one object?  The Church can be discussed as one tree with many branches.  It's not the way that Orthodox see it, but it doesn't mean it doesn't make any sense.  It's not the faith of the Creed, but it isn't totally insane.  It's logical heresy.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 02:49:16 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,666


WWW
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2009, 03:36:32 AM »

"invisible unity" isn't very impressive - because it's invisible, they would have to take someone's word that it existed, wouldn't they?

Exactly. So that whether or not a doctrine of the spiritual union of all those who are united with Christ regardless of denominational separation is true or false, it cannot be what Jesus was thinking of here. He prayed for something the world would see.

Eh, the world has seen the spiritual union of all those who are united with Christ, present in the One, Holy, Apostolic and Catholic Church, in the Saints and Martyrs.  The world continues to witness the spiritual union to this day even as the world, via free will, lives in denial.   Wink

On the first Sunday of Lent, the Sunday of Orthodoxy is commemorated, and the unity that Christ prophecized is reiterated in the following prayer:

Quote
As the Prophets beheld,
As the Apostles taught,
As the Church received,
As the Teachers dogmatized,
As the Universe agreed,
As Grace illumined,
As the Truth revealed,
As falsehood passed away,
As Wisdom presented,
As Christ awarded,

Thus we declare,
Thus we assert,
Thus we proclaim Christ our true God
and honor His saints,

In words,
In writings,
In thoughts,
In sacrifices,
In churches,
In holy icons.

On the one hand, worshipping and reverencing Christ as God and Lord.
And on the other hand, honoring and venerating His Saints as true servants of the same Lord.

This is the Faith of the Apostles.
This is the Faith of the Fathers.
This is the Faith of the Orthodox.
This is the Faith which has established the Universe.
Logged
bogdan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,615



« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2009, 10:06:24 AM »

Are there levels of One-ness? Something is either One or it isn't One.

To me it seems hazardous to see Christ say, "that they may be one, as we are one" and take that to mean "that they may be generally on the same page, but may disagree wildly on important things, as we are generally on the same page but disagree wildly on important things. Anyway, Oneness in the Godhead isn't everything, so it's not for them either, Father."

Which is what you seem to be advocating, Kaste.

How is his position different than saying that God is One in Three?  Or that a square is four lines which form one object?  The Church can be discussed as one tree with many branches.  It's not the way that Orthodox see it, but it doesn't mean it doesn't make any sense.  It's not the faith of the Creed, but it isn't totally insane.  It's logical heresy.

Yes, I agree it makes total sense in many contexts. But in the context of Christ praying that the Apostles would be one, it is nonsensical to say the "invisible church" is One when it just plain isn't. And if it isn't One, it isn't the Church.

I think it's good to note also that Oneness includes the Church throughout time as well. That is why retaining everything from the first century CHurch is important - we have to maintain communion with them as well. Some Baptists of today would anathematize the Baptists of yesteryear.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 10:10:51 AM by bogdan » Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2009, 10:20:32 AM »

Do we know His prayer "that all may be one" was specifically referring to visible unity?  Why do you think it is only for the purpose of having others "see"?  My translation (NAB Invisible ed)  Wink doesn't say anything about Jesus praying that others will "see" the unity.

The prayer may have a more mystical meaning.  Afterall Christ continually says, "that they may be one, as we are one. or as You, Father, are in me and I in You...

That said, ideally yes, visible unity and I'll throw in apostolic succession is a good thing, but not the whole ball of wax.  I think Christians who are right with God, no matter what Church they go to, are still one, in a very real way, with eachother and with Christ-

K

You can't be a heretic and "right with God."
Logged

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
HandmaidenofGod
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,397


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2009, 11:51:35 AM »

I guess you are right. I ask the question in all sincerity: it is a passage which has long puzzled me. One can find a number of answers that say our Lord's disciples are "one". You can speak of the Orthodox Church, or of another 'visible' church such as the Roman Catholic; or you can go down the line of spiritual oneness through our union with Christ, and talk of 'the invisible church'. Finding answers to that part of the prayer is not hard, though I do not say the answers are correct. But what puzzles me is the fact that the unity for which our Lord prayed is such that the world outside the church will see this unity, and it will be so convincing and winsome that the world (which I take to mean a good number of unbelievers in this age, before the Second Coming) will be brought to faith in Christ. Whether we talk of 'the invisible church' or of Holy Orthodoxy, or whatever, this is not currently happening, and hasn't happened for a very long time. That (to me) is the mystery about this passage.

First, I would like to say "thank you" for starting this thread, as I had missed your engaging discussions. Smiley

However I disagree with your post on several levels. (Sorry!)

As others have stated, the prayer has been answered in the form of the Orthodox Church. Second, there is no "invisible" Church. That would imply that there were some visible members and some invisible members, and what the heck, maybe some partially transparent members too. Wink

The only "Invisible" Church that the Orthodox Church does believe in, is the one described in Hebrews 12:1-2:

Quote
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(emphasis added)

During the celebration of every Divine Liturgy, the Church Militant (those still here on earth, present and visible!) join the Church Triumphant (the aforementioned "cloud of witnesses", also known as the "communion of the saints") in worshipping the undivided Trinity.

We believe in "One, Holy, Catholic*, and Apostolic Church." How God judges those outside the Church is not for us to decide.
Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,448



« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2009, 12:08:23 PM »

"That would imply that there were some visible members and some invisible members, and what the heck, maybe some partially transparent members too. "

LOL! laugh
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,847


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2009, 12:13:33 PM »

You can't be a heretic and "right with God."

Whilst expressing neither agreement nor disagreement, I should like to make two comments:

1) First, I should like to give an illustration (preachers do this!). I am told that one test of insanity is not to know who the Prime Minister is. Thus, the day Margaret Thatcher fell from power and was replaced by a relative non-entity (politically speaking), technically a considerable number of people went mad.

2) It depends what is meant by "a heretic". It comes over as if you are placing huge emphasis on formal assent to a set of doctrines. The Athanasian Creed in my Prayer Book runs from pages 27-30. It ends with, "This is the Catholick Faith: which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved." The trouble is, it is virtually incomprehensible.

Like the people who technically went mad after the fall of Margaret Thatcher, so it seems that a good number of people have become heretical only after certain councils or other decrees. Before that, they were deemed part of the Church; afterwards, they were deemed heretics. Did they suddenly become unsaved? (That question is asked 'tongue in cheek', but it illuminates my point.)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 12:16:40 PM by David Young » Logged

"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,847


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2009, 12:14:41 PM »

"That would imply that there were some visible members and some invisible members, and what the heck, maybe some partially transparent members too. "

LOL! laugh

Very droll.
 Smiley
Logged

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

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,397


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2009, 12:18:45 PM »

Like the people who technically went mad after the fall of Margaret Thatcher, so it seems that a good number of people have become heretical only after certain councils or other decrees. Before that, they were deemed part of the Church; afterwards, they were deemed heretics. Did they suddenly become unsaved? (That question is asked 'tongue in cheek', but it illuminates my point.)

But those who intentionally seperated themselves from the faith (a la Papal Bull on a warm summer's day in Constantinople in 1054 and those who tried to "reform" or "protest" the faith thereafter) are a bit different from say, the schism between the OO and EO.

Also, it was the same councils that denounced people as heretics that shaped how you define who a heretic is. After all, if the Gnostics were not denounced in the early days of the Church, would you frown upon the Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses' now?
Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,666


WWW
« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2009, 03:35:15 PM »

Referring to Reply #20:

Forgive me for interchanging Catholic and Apostolic due to composing the post way past my bedtime.   angel
Logged
Kaste
Site Supporter
Sr. Member
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: member of the Invisible Church
Posts: 158


« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2009, 01:00:44 AM »

bogdan,

It depends on if Christians do, in fact, disagree on "wildly important things".

I do not think Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox who are friends with God differ on wildly important things.  And so, yes, they are one, in a very real and mystical sense.  I do not think Christ meant to restrict His prayer to mean only the visible shared communion-

K
Logged
bogdan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,615



« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2009, 01:12:03 AM »

bogdan,

It depends on if Christians do, in fact, disagree on "wildly important things".

I do not think Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox who are friends with God differ on wildly important things.  And so, yes, they are one, in a very real and mystical sense.  I do not think Christ meant to restrict His prayer to mean only the visible shared communion-

K

Well, take the Bishops for example. We believe, as St Ignatius of Antioch said: where there is no bishop, there is no Church (Trallians 3:1). The office of bishop is not only important, it is essential. And we disagree wildly on it.

Another is communion (which also hinges on the bishops). We believe that communion between bishops is important. If a given bishop is not in communion with the Church, he is not part of the Church. If a parish is not under a bishop in communion with the Church, that parish is not part of the Church. If an individual is not in a parish under a bishop in communion with the Church, that individual is not in the Church.

Those are pretty important - nay, essential - things, and we disagree wildly.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2009, 01:15:54 AM by bogdan » Logged
David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,847


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« Reply #31 on: December 10, 2009, 10:07:48 AM »

where there is no bishop, there is no Church ... The office of bishop is essential. ... If an individual is not in a parish under a bishop in communion with the Church, that individual is not in the Church.

But that was not included in any of the early Creeds, as far as I know. So when did we, who belong to churches without bishops (in that later sense - not in the NT sense), become heretics?

Had you and we met in the first, say, 200 years of church history, on what grounds could you possibly have dubbed us heretics? Would we not rather have accepted each other as brethren in Christ? But now, on the basis of later doctrines, mentioned neither in scripture nor in the early Creeds, you call us heretics.

(Probably not even qualifying to be among Handmaiden's translucent brethren!)
Logged

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

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,448



« Reply #32 on: December 10, 2009, 10:47:47 AM »

where there is no bishop, there is no Church ... The office of bishop is essential. ... If an individual is not in a parish under a bishop in communion with the Church, that individual is not in the Church.

But that was not included in any of the early Creeds, as far as I know. So when did we, who belong to churches without bishops (in that later sense - not in the NT sense), become heretics?

When you decided bishops were unnecessary, and abandoned them.

Quote
Had you and we met in the first, say, 200 years of church history, on what grounds could you possibly have dubbed us heretics? Would we not rather have accepted each other as brethren in Christ?
No, the organizational structure was in place early on, even loosely, check Acts. You would have been a member of a group in a town, city or geographic area presided over by a bishop. I would have asked you where you were from and then said, "Oh, you have Bishop So-and-so. I've heard that he is a very learned and godly man!" You would have answered, "Er, no, the group I belong to is not affiliated with any bishop." Then I would have known that you were not "one of us."
« Last Edit: December 10, 2009, 11:00:29 AM by katherineofdixie » Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,363


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #33 on: December 10, 2009, 10:49:11 AM »

where there is no bishop, there is no Church ... The office of bishop is essential. ... If an individual is not in a parish under a bishop in communion with the Church, that individual is not in the Church.

But that was not included in any of the early Creeds, as far as I know. So when did we, who belong to churches without bishops (in that later sense - not in the NT sense), become heretics?

When you decided bishops were unnecessary, and abandoned them.

Quote
Had you and we met in the first, say, 200 years of church history, on what grounds could you possibly have dubbed us heretics? Would we not rather have accepted each other as brethren in Christ?
No, the organizational structure was in place early on, even loosely, check Acts. You would have been a member of a group in a town, city or geographic area presided over by a bishop. I would have asked you where you were from and then said, "Oh, you have Bishop So-and-so. I've heard that he is a very learned and godly man!" You would have answered, "Er, no, the group I belong to is not affiliated with any bishop." Then I would have known that you were not "one of us."
[/quote]
Were there even any groups during the time of the early Church without bishops? I don't think so.
Logged

You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.
HandmaidenofGod
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,397


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #34 on: December 10, 2009, 12:09:10 PM »

But that was not included in any of the early Creeds, as far as I know. So when did we, who belong to churches without bishops (in that later sense - not in the NT sense), become heretics?

Had you and we met in the first, say, 200 years of church history, on what grounds could you possibly have dubbed us heretics? Would we not rather have accepted each other as brethren in Christ? But now, on the basis of later doctrines, mentioned neither in scripture nor in the early Creeds, you call us heretics.

(Probably not even qualifying to be among Handmaiden's translucent brethren!)

As the twelve Apostles were the first Bishops (Matthias replacing Judas), and Paul wrote about Bishops in Philippians 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:1-2, and Titus 1:7, obviously Bishops were around during the early Church. Furthermore, Luke writes about how Paul, a Bishop, would appoint elders wherever he went to lead the people in Acts 14. (In Acts Chapter 6 we read about the first ordination of Deacons.) Note how these were *not* self-appointed leaders, but rather leaders that were selected BY THE BISHOPS.

In Acts 15, a self-appointed man went around preaching that a man had to be circumcised to be saved.

"And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question." (Acts 15:1-2)

As a result of this, the Apostles, the BISHOPS, had the first Council in Jerusalem to decide whether or not this was heresy. Once the council had decided that one did not have to be circumcised to be saved, the council then sent "men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren." (Acts 15:22)

So you see heresy was proclaimed by a self-appointed man, the Apostles (BISHOPS) had a council to refute the heresy, and then sent out Bishops with an encyclical after the council preaching word of truth.

Quote
"Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.
They wrote this, letter by them:

The apostles, the elders, and the brethren,

To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:

Greetings.

Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”—to whom we gave no such commandment— it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,  men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth.  For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell." (Acts 15:22-29)

As it is clearly shown in Acts, one would not be a Christian and NOT be attached to a Bishop in some way, shape, or form. Any heresy that was preached was refuted by the Bishops.

So yes, in accordance with the Book of Acts, you would be heretics then as you are now. Sorry to be so blunt, but this is the truth.



Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,847


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« Reply #35 on: December 10, 2009, 02:30:55 PM »

That men called bishops were in place in the church from more or less the very start is not in dispute. What is debatable is your idea of apostolic succession. What is certain is that each individual church had its own bishop or bishops/elders/presbyters in early days. The concept of a bishop as you use the word, presiding over a diocese, a group of churches in a wide geographical area, developed a good deal later. I think that Ignatius is the first to write of this kind of bishop, some 80 years after the founding of the church.

Now don't misunderstand me: I am not saying that, because your Church has developed and maintained that form of organisation, it is in any way invalid as a Christian church. But I am saying that the system is not biblical, is not even universal in the writings of the apostolic fathers, and should not be a criterion by which a man or church is deemed heretical.

In our view, which we believe is biblical, our own properly appointed pastors are every bit as much genuine Christian ministers as are your bishops, and a good deal more biblical, as your kind is bishop is a later creation. But the form of church government which one believes in and/or practises is not a matter which determines heresy - unless it is a form specifically forbidden in scripture, such as women preachers and elders (pastors/bishops/presbyters - select whichever word you prefer).
Logged

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

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,448



« Reply #36 on: December 10, 2009, 03:54:04 PM »

David, dear heart, you are certainly entitled to hold whatever creative or interesting opinions on this subject that you wish.

However, the above is simply not true, historically or Scripturally, as handmaiden showed from the Book of Acts. Bishops (episkopos) were the head of the local Christian group, appointed by the Apostles (themselves the first bishops). As the Christian community grew, there would of course be multiple groups in a geographic area, so that the Bishop would eventually preside over a larger area with a larger number of groups. This is how you are using the word "Bishop." Apostolic succession means that current Bishops go back in an unbroken line to the Apostles and the men that they appointed.

"Bishops and Presbyters
In the New Testament, the terms bishop and presbyter are used interchangeably. (Most English translations render presbyter as elder. The KJV and RSV usually render bishop as bishop, although the KJV does render it as overseer once (Acts 20:28).
The NIV, however, renders it as overseer exclusively, thereby avoiding using a
word that is objectionable to most Evangelicals).This is evident from the
following passage from Titus:

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders [lit. presbyters] in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre (Titus 1:5-7).

...Our Apostles also knew through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife over the title of bishop. For this reason, therefore, since they had perfect foreknowledge, they appointed the aforementioned persons and later made further provision that if they should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed to their ministry.... For it will be no trivial sin on our part if we depose from the bishop's office those who have in a blameless and holy manner offered the gifts. Happy the presbyters who have gone on their way before
this, for they obtained a ripe and fruitful departure; since they need not fear
that anyone should remove them from their appointed place. (I Clement 44.
For St. Clement, the office of bishop derives from the Apostles. Elsewhere he writes, "The Apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ: Jesus the Christ was sent from God. Thus Christ is from God, the Apostles from Christ. In both cases, the process was orderly and derived from the will of God... They preached in country and town, and appointed their first-fruits, after testing them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who were going to believe. Thus, the concept of "Apostolic Succession," dates from the first century).

But when on our side we challenge them [that is, the Gnostics] by an appeal to that tradition which derives from the Apostles, and which is preserved in the churches by the successions of the presbyters, then they oppose tradition claiming to be wiser not only than the presbyters but even than the Apostles, and to have discovered the truth undefiled.... This tradition the church has from the Apostles, and this faith has been proclaimed to all men, and has come down to our own day through the successions of bishops(Against Heresies III:2:2; III:3:2).

There is one writer from the second century, however, who did not employ bishop and presbyter as interchangeable terms: St. Ignatios of Antioch. In his Letters, St. Ignatios makes it clear that in a given local Church, there is one bishop, a council of presbyters, and the deacons:
All of you follow the bishop, as Jesus Christ followed the Father, and the presbytery as the Apostles; respect the deacons as the ordinance of God (Smyrnaeans Cool.

It is commonly asserted by Protestant scholars that St. Ignatios' view of Church government was unusual in the early Church — even revolutionary. Indeed, the authenticity of the Ignatian Letters was hotly contested by many Protestants, based upon their a priori conviction that the episcopal form of Church government was impossible in the first decade of the second century. Today, however, there is little doubt among scholars as to the genuineness of the seven Letters in the current collection.

It cannot be denied that St. Ignatios' clearly defined use of bishop and
presbyter is highly unusual for this point in Church history. Nor can it be
denied that he places a much greater emphasis on the role of bishop than do the other authors we are considering. However, this does not mean that the actual Church structure he describes was unique to Antioch. On the contrary, an examination of the other documents under consideration will demonstrate that they evince a similar understanding of Church government. (The only exception to this is the Didache, which gives very little information about Church government. The Didache is concerned primarily with the authority of traveling apostles and teachers and takes an almost apologetic attitude toward local clergy. This is a point in favor of dating the Didache in the first century, perhaps as early as A.D. 70. It is highly unlikely that a second century
document would give such emphasis to traveling teachers).

...In Against Heresies, St. Irenaios uses the succession of bishops
in the various local Churches as an argument against the Gnostics' claims to
have special knowledge handed down secretly from the Apostles...St. Irenaios speaks of the succession of both presbyters and bishops. However,
when he gets around to actually listing the succession of bishops for a
particular Church — he uses Rome as his example — he gives a single line of
succession. That is, he describes one bishop succeeding another. There is no
suggestion of multiple successions.

… it is evident that while the terminology regarding the offices of bishop and
presbyter remained somewhat fluid in the first and second centuries, the offices
themselves were not interchangeable. Ss. Clement and Irenaios, like St. Ignatios, know of only one bishop in a church at a time."

Clark Carlton, http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/2009/09/structure-and-worship-of-early-church.html
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
HandmaidenofGod
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,397


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2009, 01:41:31 PM »

That men called bishops were in place in the church from more or less the very start is not in dispute. What is debatable is your idea of apostolic succession. What is certain is that each individual church had its own bishop or bishops/elders/presbyters in early days. The concept of a bishop as you use the word, presiding over a diocese, a group of churches in a wide geographical area, developed a good deal later.

My dear David, I beg to differ. The scripture I cited clearly shows the Bishops sending out to the faithful with an Encyclical. If the faithful were not under the direction of Bishop, why would they send the Bishops out? Furthermore, the existance of a diocese is prevelant when Peter concedes to James during the first Council, because JAMES WAS THE BISHOP OF JERUSELUM. Although Peter had been appointed head of the Apostles, he conceded to James authority in Jeruselum.

Now don't misunderstand me: I am not saying that, because your Church has developed and maintained that form of organisation, it is in any way invalid as a Christian church. But I am saying that the system is not biblical,


This is incorrect, as the Book of Acts clearly demonstrates.

In our view,

This is your problem right here. Your pastors are submitting to their own view, rather than that of Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition.

But the form of church government which one believes in and/or practises is not a matter which determines heresy - unless it is a form specifically forbidden in scripture, such as women preachers and elders (pastors/bishops/presbyters - select whichever word you prefer).

If one cannot rely on the Church Government to define heresy, then why have a Church Government at all? Furthermore, your church cannot deny the authority of Church Government, since it is the first seven councils that helped define the canon of scripture the Baptists use (which was later modified by Luther), the doctrine of the Trinity, and other fundamental Christian beliefs.

Furthermore, our form of Church Government is completely scriptural, whereas your form of government is not.

Paul writes in the letters to his flock (also known as the Epistles) his directions to them as their Bishop:

"To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter." 2 Thessalonian 2:14-15

"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you." 1Cor.11:1-2

The verse from 1 Corinthians is the directive of every Bishop to their flock. This is what being a Bishop is all about. I'm not sure what your idea or perception of a Bishop is, but that is their job: to preach the Gospel and pass down the faith of the Apostles just as Paul did to his flock.

I'm not sure how you can argue that the role of a Pastor is scriptural, who in some churches is self appointed and without formal education (i.e. Joel Osteen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Osteen) when it clearly shows in the Book of Acts how every leader of the Church was chosen by the Apostles, who then in turn chose other leaders in the Church. (Acts 6, 1 Tim 3, Titus 1:5, James 5:15) A scriptural example of this would be Paul appointing Timothy and Titus.

THIS is what Apostolic succession is all about. The Ecumenical Patriarch has unbroken succession from the throne of Saint Andrew.

How can your church follow in the traditions and beliefs of the Apostles, when they have not had leaders appointed by the Apostles? How can one glean from the traditions and beliefs of a faith that has not been passed down through the centuries?

We have provided scriptural proof that our faith is Biblical. You have not proved otherwise.

The ball rests in your court my friend.
Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,847


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2009, 06:10:24 AM »

every Bishop ... that is their job: to preach the Gospel and pass down the faith of the Apostles

I'm not sure how you can argue that the role of a Pastor is scriptural, who in some churches is self appointed and without formal education ... We have provided scriptural proof

We entirely agree with the first point quoted above, that a bishop's rôle is to preach the Gospel and pass down the Faith of the Apostles. No need to wrangle over that one.

The points at issue are two: (1) what a bishop is; and (2) whether there is any need for, or reality in, apostolic succession. In our view a bishop is the same as a pastor, elder or overseer: he pastors and teaches only within one local church, not more widely. Although it has developed historically that each church often has only one pastor (elder/bishop/overseer), we do not argue that this is scriptural, and there is a widespread and proper move through the churches to get back to each church having a plurality of elders. But they will still function as such only in one church. We also agree with you entirely that pastors ought not to be self-appointed. That such things happen is well known, but it is deplorable. It usually happens in a small, weak or leaderless church, where a man of strong personality and ambition wishes to be a 'big fish in a small pond', and he tends to operate as an autocrat.

Regarding formal education, although it is desirable and often beneficial, it is not a biblical requirement to oversight of a church, so we wouldn't agree with you there. In re apostolic succession, we have (I think) explored this elsewhere, and I think we shall just have to 'agree to disagree'. We believe that the local church is the body of Christ in each place, and that the church appoints the pastor, seeking of course the guidance and confirmation of the Holy Spirit. I believe you find this system in the Didache, and yours in Ignatius. It is regrettable that apostolic succession (whether fact or fiction) is so central to your ecclesiology that it causes you to view other churches as invalid, for its presence among you and others does not do the same to us regarding you.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 06:11:15 AM by David Young » Logged

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

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,397


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2009, 05:33:09 PM »

every Bishop ... that is their job: to preach the Gospel and pass down the faith of the Apostles

I'm not sure how you can argue that the role of a Pastor is scriptural, who in some churches is self appointed and without formal education ... We have provided scriptural proof

We entirely agree with the first point quoted above, that a bishop's rôle is to preach the Gospel and pass down the Faith of the Apostles. No need to wrangle over that one.

The points at issue are two: (1) what a bishop is; and (2) whether there is any need for, or reality in, apostolic succession. In our view a bishop is the same as a pastor, elder or overseer: he pastors and teaches only within one local church, not more widely. Although it has developed historically that each church often has only one pastor (elder/bishop/overseer), we do not argue that this is scriptural, and there is a widespread and proper move through the churches to get back to each church having a plurality of elders. But they will still function as such only in one church. We also agree with you entirely that pastors ought not to be self-appointed. That such things happen is well known, but it is deplorable. It usually happens in a small, weak or leaderless church, where a man of strong personality and ambition wishes to be a 'big fish in a small pond', and he tends to operate as an autocrat.

Regarding formal education, although it is desirable and often beneficial, it is not a biblical requirement to oversight of a church, so we wouldn't agree with you there. In re apostolic succession, we have (I think) explored this elsewhere, and I think we shall just have to 'agree to disagree'. We believe that the local church is the body of Christ in each place, and that the church appoints the pastor, seeking of course the guidance and confirmation of the Holy Spirit. I believe you find this system in the Didache, and yours in Ignatius. It is regrettable that apostolic succession (whether fact or fiction) is so central to your ecclesiology that it causes you to view other churches as invalid, for its presence among you and others does not do the same to us regarding you.


You'll have to forgive me David, but I am exasperated by your post. You seem to have focused on two lines of my prior post and ignored the rest.

I have provided scriptural evidence backing our beliefs. I have asked you to provide scriptural evidence to prove the contrary.

You have not done so.

All you have done is restated your church's beliefs, which I am already familiar with. You haven't even shown how these beliefs are scripturally based!

So forgive me, but until you prove that either a) our beliefs of the role of the Bishop are unscriptural or b) your beliefs are scriptural, I don't see how you can say our beliefs go against scripture.

You did this to me once before after I provided scriptural evidence regarding the Eucharist. I threw a ton of evidence your way, and you responded with "Well I don't have time to read 500 years of writings!" or something to that affect. (Exact quote can be found here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19850.msg295379.html#msg295379 )

I don't need to read 500 years worth of writings to back up our beliefs because they are all plain and evident in scripture.

If I did not know any better, I would think that you were coming on here to just tell us that we were wrong with no proof as to why. Since I know this is not true, I ask you to provide proof (whether it is in scripture or the writings of the Early Church Fathers) that the Orthodox Church's understanding of the Bishop and Apostolic Succession is incorrect.
Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
David Young
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Baptist
Jurisdiction: local church, Wrexham, Wales
Posts: 1,847


2012, Presbyterian chapel, Nantyr


« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2009, 06:16:10 AM »

Quote
prove that either
a) our beliefs of the role of the Bishop are unscriptural or
b) your beliefs are scriptural,
c) If I did not know any better, I would think that you were coming on here to just tell us that we were wrong
d) provide proof ... in ... the writings of the Early Church Fathers that the Orthodox Church's understanding of the Bishop and
e) Apostolic Succession is incorrect.

a) All I can say is, that it seems to us that every time the Gk words for "bishop, elder, overseer" are used in Acts and in the Epistles, the reference is to a single local church. One can easily get a concordance and check that up, but I am persuaded that such is the case. A bishop did not have a wider diocese.

b) The answer to b) is really the same as my reply to a).

c) I am glad that you can concede that you know better - but it may be that others do not know better. If inadvertently and clumsily I am giving that impression, it is better if I withdraw from the Forum. I am tempted to quote my favourite monk and write "Opto ut valeas in domino omnipotenti jugiter". It would be sincere.

d) You are almost asking for the impossible, for my point is that your teachings are not mentioned, either affirmed or gainsaid, in most early writings, though I know you can quote Ignatius.

e) I could point to Didache 15: "You must elect for yourselves bishops and deacons." Bishops were elected by the local church, not appointed by an unbroken chain of apostolic laying-on of hands.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2009, 06:17:59 AM by David Young » Logged

"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2009, 08:02:01 AM »

e) I could point to Didache 15: "You must elect for yourselves bishops and deacons." Bishops were elected by the local church, not appointed by an unbroken chain of apostolic laying-on of hands.

You need to study your Bible.

χειροτονησαντες δε αυτοις κατ εκκλησιαν πρεσβυτερους προσευξαμενοι μετα νηστειων παρεθεντο αυτους τω κυριω εις ον πεπιστευκεισαν

"And when they had ordained (literally "laid hands on") them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed." (Acts 14:23)
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2009, 08:24:22 AM »


a) All I can say is, that it seems to us that every time the Gk words for "bishop, elder, overseer" are used in Acts and in the Epistles, the reference is to a single local church. One can easily get a concordance and check that up, but I am persuaded that such is the case. A bishop did not have a wider diocese.


Of course, because Christianity hadn't grown to the size where it would be necessary for a bishop to preside over a diocese.  It was a natural extention as Christianity began to grow that the bishops had to spread themselves around more.
Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2009, 08:37:55 AM »


a) All I can say is, that it seems to us that every time the Gk words for "bishop, elder, overseer" are used in Acts and in the Epistles, the reference is to a single local church. One can easily get a concordance and check that up, but I am persuaded that such is the case. A bishop did not have a wider diocese.


Of course, because Christianity hadn't grown to the size where it would be necessary for a bishop to preside over a diocese.  It was a natural extention as Christianity began to grow that the bishops had to spread themselves around more.
You're both incorrect. A Diocese in Koine is "episcopi", i.e. "bishopric", that is, the thing that the "episkopos" ("Bishop"- literally "overseer") oversees.
Even this word (diocese/bishopric) occurs in Acts. When the Apostles decide to elect someone to take the place of Judas Iscariot, we read:
γεγραπται γαρ εν βιβλω ψαλμων γενηθητω η επαυλις αυτου ερημος και μη εστω ο κατοικων εν αυτη και την επισκοπην αυτου λαβετω ετερος
And translated in the King James, we read:
"For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take."



Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2009, 09:14:09 AM »

Quote
prove that either
a) our beliefs of the role of the Bishop are unscriptural or
b) your beliefs are scriptural,
c) If I did not know any better, I would think that you were coming on here to just tell us that we were wrong
d) provide proof ... in ... the writings of the Early Church Fathers that the Orthodox Church's understanding of the Bishop and
e) Apostolic Succession is incorrect.

a) All I can say is, that it seems to us that every time the Gk words for "bishop, elder, overseer" are used in Acts and in the Epistles, the reference is to a single local church. One can easily get a concordance and check that up, but I am persuaded that such is the case. A bishop did not have a wider diocese.

Even if it were true, so what?  Within each city you would have multiple parishes (for one thing, a large congregation would attract the attention of the authorities, and would run counter to the early model of the synagogue), but only one bishop, leading to the diocese structure we know today.  Not the congregationalist model you advocate.

Quote
b) The answer to b) is really the same as my reply to a).

c) I am glad that you can concede that you know better - but it may be that others do not know better. If inadvertently and clumsily I am giving that impression, it is better if I withdraw from the Forum. I am tempted to quote my favourite monk and write "Opto ut valeas in domino omnipotenti jugiter". It would be sincere.

d) You are almost asking for the impossible, for my point is that your teachings are not mentioned, either affirmed or gainsaid, in most early writings, though I know you can quote Ignatius.

and Clement, and Iranaeus, and...

since you mention St. Ignatius, think of him.  He seemed to think it of vital importance.  He was going to his death, so he had nothing to personally gain from an episcopate.


Quote
e) I could point to Didache 15: "You must elect for yourselves bishops and deacons." Bishops were elected by the local church, not appointed by an unbroken chain of apostolic laying-on of hands.
Bishops and deacons are still elected.  And they are consecrated by laying on of hands, not appointed.  What you accomplish by trying to set Didache 15 against the clear warrant of scripture about laying on of hands (e.g. Acts 13, Timothy, etc) is not clear.
Logged

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
Tags:
Pages: 1 2 3 »  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.181 seconds with 72 queries.