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Author Topic: John of Damascus' exegesis of De 4:15 is impossible  (Read 40952 times) Average Rating: 5
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ialmisry
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« Reply #720 on: August 12, 2010, 01:01:16 PM »

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

Just some random thoughts from a Johnny-come-lately.
Johnny-come-just-in-time (fullness of time?) it seems.
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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
Alfred Persson
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« Reply #721 on: August 12, 2010, 01:13:42 PM »

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

Just some random thoughts from a Johnny-come-lately.
Johnny-come-just-in-time (fullness of time?) it seems.

Incredible.

Christ is always present to me, He indwells, my inner man rejoices in His embrace, He never leaves or forsakes me. I mentally speak to Him, like I would to someone present with me I couldn't see, whose appearance I didn't know, but who I did know,  I love.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 01:15:30 PM by Alfred Persson » Logged

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)
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« Reply #722 on: August 12, 2010, 01:23:23 PM »

As it been pointed out in this thread the irony of calling icon venerators Nestorian when in fact, among those who have any claim to apostolic succession, it's only the Nestorians who forbid icons in their churches?

P.S. The Nestorians used to have icons but did away with them, though apparently they still have them in their homes.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #723 on: August 12, 2010, 01:30:13 PM »

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

Just some random thoughts from a Johnny-come-lately.
Johnny-come-just-in-time (fullness of time?) it seems.

Incredible.

Christ is always present to me,He indwells, my inner man rejoices in His embrace, He never leaves or forsakes me. I mentally speak to Him, like I would to someone present with me I couldn't see, whose appearance I didn't know, but who I did know,  I love.

Denying that Christ is come in the flesh, that's not the spirit of Christ. I John 4:3.

Learn from the example of Apollos Acts 18:26, and take off the veil of Moses Romans 10:2.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 01:30:37 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #724 on: August 12, 2010, 02:00:57 PM »

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

Just some random thoughts from a Johnny-come-lately.
Johnny-come-just-in-time (fullness of time?) it seems.

Incredible.

Christ is always present to me, He indwells, my inner man rejoices in His embrace, He never leaves or forsakes me. I speak to Him as I would someone present with me that I couldn't see, whose appearance I didn't know, but whom I did know I love.



I have no doubt that these experiences are real to you, but the fact is, they are emotional responses to your philosophical and theological beliefs about God and the Christian religion. This is a fundamental difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism.

In Protestantism, praxis is fundamentally subject to doctrine. People feel certain things and worship in certain ways because of their pre-existing philosophy. You reject icons because they conflict with your philosophy. Protestantism is similar to Judaism in this respect. It's all about following the rules.

In Orthodoxy, doctrine is fundamentally subject to praxis. We worship liturgically and pray to icons because Christians have universally been moved by the Holy Spirit to do so. We do not require an explicit repeal of Deuteronomy 4:16 (or whatever it was) because the Holy Spirit repealed it through His action in the life of the Church. Christians—universally—were moved to create and venerate images, thus God revealed his wishes.

It is akin to the famous quote, "Andrei Rublev's icon of the Holy Trinity exists, therefore God exists." Orthodox Christians venerate icons, therefore it is God's will that icons be venerated.

Notice: God's will is not subject to our conclusions, rather we come to these conclusions because it is God's will.

This is why I can make the shocking statement that Protestants in general know a philosophical construct, not a person. It is a relationship. The Church is Christ's bride, therefore the Church knows Christ intimately as a bride would know her groom. We know what he wants from us. We know he wants us to venerate icons. We don't ponder about "what would Jesus do", we as a Church do it automatically, because we are wrapped up in a love relationship with him.

This is not something Protestantism is fundamentally founded upon. Rather it constructs relational structures that are always subject to doctrine. It's completely backwards.

Orthodoxy is the summation of the life of the Church in all times and places. It is a unified whole. Since that unified whole came to venerate icons, it came to be doctrine. St John of Damascus was only witnessing realtiy in his treatises on icons; he was not inventing systematic theology in the sense that Calvin, Luther, or Wesley did.

This is a fundamental East-West difference that is at the root of why these debates over one passage of scripture are utterly silly in Orthodox eyes. It throws out the Person and replaces him with a Philosophy.
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« Reply #725 on: August 12, 2010, 02:12:49 PM »

And lest someone complain, "This is the fallacy of appealing to the masses," let me say: yes it is.

That is only a fallacy if you presuppose that the Holy Spirit will inexplicably lead different people to do conflicting or contradictory things, which of course, we do not. The unity of the Church on a given subject is all the proof that is necessary.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #726 on: August 12, 2010, 02:47:01 PM »

Well we can go one step further than icon veneration and find that relic veneration was practiced by the early Christians. In the martyrdom of Polycarp (2nd c.) it is stated that the devil, "...proceeded to do his best to arrainge that at least we should not get possession of his (St. Polycarp's) mortal remains, although numbers of us were anxious to do this and to claim our share in the hallowed relics." Tertullian asserts that St. Polycarp was appointed by the apostle St. John, he was known by St. Ignatius (who was known by St.Paul), and highly revered by St. Irenaeus whose words our inquisitor has used in attemp to undermine holy tradtion. So what does he know from the Bible of what is holy tradition vs. the tradition of man?

Only proves we cannot go far from the apostles, if we are to learn what they  believed.

Because what they received, what they taught, what they passed on, what we stand firm in, what raditions we hold which were taught by the Apostles, whether by word, or by letter (II Thessalonians 2:15), what we-remembering them in all things, receiving their praise-hold firm, what traditions, even as the Apostles delivered to us (I Corinthians 11:2), because THAT differs from what those who walketh disorderly millennia after, and not after the Tradition which he received of the Apostles-Or rather, such novelties differ from the 'Faith of the Apostles-because of that differnce we are to hide our eyes from the unbroken cloud of witness which surround the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church, so we can don the veil of Moses and walk in the way of the Pharisees? So we can follow someone who not only has not seen the light of Christ, but refuses to behold the radience of God's glory and look in the face of Christ, the icon of the invisible God and the express image of His person, and see the Father? (John 14:9; 2Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3)?

No thank you.

Mat. 15:14  "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Or into hellfire, whose gates shall never, by the divine word of God the Word, prevail against the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church.

2Cor. 4:4But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the icon of God, should shine on them. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

So, for us who have received the Apostles, we withdraw, as the Apostles commanded, from those that walk disorderly, and from those who do not walk after the Tradition which were received of the Apostles. II Thessalonians 3:6.

The Apostolic See of Smyrna doesn't have to prove its links to the Apostles, and you cannot prove yours.  The Lord  knows her works, and tribulation, and poverty, and knows she is rich, knowing the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. She has feared none of those things which she has suffered: behold, the devil has cast some of her chldren into prison, that she may be tried; and she had tribulation ten days. From the tme of St. Polycarp to the Holocaust of 1922, she has been faithful unto death, and He has given her a crown of life.

"Claim our share," neither can the ghoulish practice of dismembering the dead be found in the New Testament.  When Jesus died, they no one "claimed their share" of body  parts.

LOL.

I Corinthians 10:14Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. 15I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. 18Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 20But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 21Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. 22Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?

11:1Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. 27Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

Heb. 13:10"We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle."

Have you even READ the NT?

Btw, to get back to St. John:
Quote
Behold, then, matter is honoured, and you dishonour it. What is more insignificant than goat's hair, or colours, and are not violet and purple and scarlet colours ? And the likeness of the cherubim are the work of man's hand, and the tabernacle itself from first to last was an image. ' Look,' said God to Moses, ' and make it according to the pattern that was shown thee in the Mount,' and it was adored by the people of Israel in a circle. And, as to the cherubim, were they not in sight of the people ? And did not the people look at the ark, and the lamps, and the table, the golden urn and the staff, and adore ? It is not matter which I adore; it is the Lord of matter, becoming matter for my sake, taking up His abode in matter and working out my salvation through matter. For the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt amongst us. It is evident to all that flesh is matter, and that it is created. I reverence and honour matter, and worship that which has brought about my salvation. I honour it, not as God, but as a channel of divine strength and grace. Was not the thrice blessed wood of the Cross matter ? and the sacred and holy mountain of Calvary ? Was not the holy sepulchre matter, the life-giving stone the source of our resurrection ? Was not the book of the Gospels matter, and the holy table which gives us the bread of life ? Are not gold and silver matter, of which crosses, and holy pictures, and chalices are made ? And above all, is not the Lord's Body and Blood composed of matter ? Either reject the honour and worship of all these things, or conform to ecclesiastical tradition, sanctifying the worship of images in the name of God and of God's friends, and so obeying the grace of the Divine Spirit. If you give up images on account of the law, you should also keep the Sabbath and be circumcised, for these are severely inculcated by it. You should observe all the law, and not celebrate the Lord's Passover out of Jerusalem. But you must know that if you observe the law, Christ will profit you nothing. You are ordered to marry your brother's wife, and so carry on his name, and not to sing the song of the Lord in a strange land. Enough of this!

The Iconoclasts did not deny Christ in the Eucharist, unlike you (and the Muslim iconoclasts), which is another reason why Eucharistic adoration never caught on: no one in the East denied the Eucharist since the time the Gnostics died out, so the emphasis needed in the West to combat heresies which denied the Eucharist.  It also heighted veneration of icons, as those who would not venerate icons, would adore the Euchaist.

When James was stoned, same thing. Not once in the NT do we see the ghoulish superstition.

No, we don't see your ghoulish supersition. We behold Apostolic practice and teaching. Indeed, Angelic practice:

John 19:38And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

Jude8Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. 9Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Mat. 9:20And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.  14:35And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; 36 And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.

Mark 6:56And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.

43And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, 44Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. 45And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 46And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. 47And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. 48And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.


Acts 5:12And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. 13And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 14And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 15Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. 19:11And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. 13Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Who are ye, who wear the veil of Moses, that you dare to take the handkerchiefs and aprons of the Apostles from us?

That Polycarp is relevant to what the apostles taught is not disputed, someone writing about him in the 2nd century, is.

Someone not sent by the Apostles nearly two thousand years later disputes what St. Polycarp, disciple of the Aposltes and their successor, taught his flocks (plural, as the letter indicates that the Martyrdom was distributed), and his successor in the succusion from the Apostles and the continuation of their line: the colophon (I forget, you don't, coming so lately, know about manuscripts: a colophon is where the copyist writes the history of the copying of the manuscript) states: "These things Caius transcribed from the copy of Irenæus (who was a disciple of Polycarp), having himself been intimate with Irenæus." That Irenaeus is the same St. Irenaeus you quoted above as an authority.  And indeed he is.

Paul we know and John we know and Polycarp we know, and Irenaeus we know, but who are ye?  

We know St. John, as he knew the Apostles:
Quote
Of old they who did not know God, worshipped false gods. But now, knowing God, or rather being known by Him, how can we return to bare and naked rudiments ? I have looked upon the human form of God, and my soul has been saved. I gaze upon the image of God, as Jacob did, though in a different way.  Jacob sounded the note of the future, seeing with immaterial sight, whilst the image of Him who is visible to flesh is burnt into my soul. The shadow and winding sheet and relics of the apostles cured sickness, and put demons to flight. How, then, shall not the shadow and the likeness of the saints be glorified ? Either do away with the worship of all matter, or be not an innovator. Do not disturb the boundaries of centuries, put up by your fathers. It is not in writing only that they have bequeathed to us the tradition of the Church, but also in certain unwritten examples. In the twenty-seventh book of his work, in thirty chapters addressed to Amphilochios concerning the Holy Spirit, St. Basil says, 'In the cherished teaching and dogmas of the Church, we hold some things by written documents ; others we have received in mystery from the apostolical tradition.' Both are of equal value for the soul's growth. No one will dispute this who has considered even a little the discipline of tlic Church. For if we neglect unwritten customs, as not having much weight, we bury in oblivion the most pertinent facts connected with the Gospel. These are the great Basil's words. How do we know the Holy place of Calvary, or the Holy Sepulchre ? Does it not rest on a tradition handed down from father to son? It is written that our Lord was crucified on Calvary, and buried in a tomb, which Joseph hewed out of the rock ; but it is unwritten tradition which identifies these spots, and does more things of the same kind. Whence come the three immersions at baptism, praying with face turned towards the east, and the tradition of the mysteries ? * Hence St Paul says, Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have learned either by word, or by our epistle. As, then, so much has been handed down in the Church, and is observed down to the present day, why disparage images ?

St Basil says, ' Honouring the image leads to the prototype.' If you raise churches to the saints of God, raise also their trophies. The temple of old was not built in the name of any man. The death of the just was a cause of tears, not of feasting. A man who touched a corpse was considered unclean, even if the corpse was Moses himself. But now the memories of the saints are kept with rejoicings. The dead body of Jacob was wept over, whilst there is joy over the death of Stephen. Therefore, either give up the solemn commemorations of the saints, which are not according to the old law, or accept images which are also against it, as you say. But it is impossible not to keep with rejoicing the memories of the saints. The Holy Apostles and Fathers are at one in enjoining them. From the time that God the Word became flesh He is as we are in everything except sin, and of our nature, without confusion. He has deified our flesh for ever, and we are in very deed sanctified through His Godhead and the union of His flesh with it. And from the time that God, the Son of God, impassible by reason of His Godhead, chose to suffer voluntarily He wiped out our debt, also paying for us a most full and noble ransom. We are truly free through the sacred blood of the Son pleading for us with the Father. And we are indeed delivered from corruption since He descended into hell to the souls detained there through centuries and gave the captives their freedom, sight to the blind, and chaining the strong one.* He rose in the plenitude of His power, keeping the flesh of immortality which He had taken for us. And since we have been born again of water and the Spirit, we are truly sons and heirs of God. Hence St Paul calls the faithful holy ; hence wo. do not grieve but rejoice over the death of the saints. Ye are then no longer under grace, being justified through faith, and knowing the one true God. The just man is not bound by the law. We are not held by the letter of the law, nor do we serve as children, but grown into the perfect estate of man we are fed on solid food, not on that which conduces to idolatry. The law is good as a light shining in a dark place until the day breaks. Your hearts have already been illuminated, the living water of God's knowledge has run over the tempestuous seas of heathendom, and we may all know God. The old creation has passed away, and all things are renovated. The holy Apostle Paul said to St Peter, the chief of the Apostles: * ' If you, being a Jew, live as a heathen and not a Jew, how will you persuade heathens to do as Jews do ?' And to the Galatians : ' I will bear witness to every circumcised man that it is salutary to fulfil the whole law.'

How can you reproach me because I honour those who honour God and show Him service ? Tell me, is it not fitting to worship the saints, rather than to throw stones at them as you do? Is it not right to worship them, rather than to attack them, and to fling your benefactors into the mire ? If you loved God, you. would be ready to honour His servants also. And if the bones of the just are unclean, why were the bones of Jacob and Joseph brought with all honour from Egypt? How was it that a dead man arose again on touching the bones of Eliseus ? If God works wonders through bones, it is evident that He can work them through images, and stones, and many other things...
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 03:08:25 PM by ialmisry » 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
ialmisry
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« Reply #727 on: August 12, 2010, 03:04:26 PM »

This is why I can make the shocking statement that Protestants in general know a philosophical construct, not a person. It is a relationship. The Church is Christ's bride, therefore the Church knows Christ intimately as a bride would know her groom. We know what he wants from us. We know he wants us to venerate icons. We don't ponder about "what would Jesus do", we as a Church do it automatically, because we are wrapped up in a love relationship with Him.
Another home run.

And lest someone complain, "This is the fallacy of appealing to the masses," let me say: yes it is.

That is only a fallacy if you presuppose that the Holy Spirit will inexplicably lead different people to do conflicting or contradictory things, which of course, we do not. The unity of the Church on a given subject is all the proof that is necessary.

In particular as Mr. Persson hasn't explained (or attempted to) how a practice found from India to Europe, from Africa to Constantinople, is found as far back as there is evidence.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 03:07:41 PM by ialmisry » 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
ialmisry
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« Reply #728 on: August 12, 2010, 03:45:39 PM »

I just skimmed an interview with Patriarch St. Tikhon.  The following story of St Alexander made me think of this thread on imaging, space, and God

"The anecdote I heard in Moscow about Father Hotovitsky, of the Church of the Savior is indicative of the sort of priests here mentioned. There is probably no more remarkable preacher in Russia than Father Hotovitsky. His sermons are very modern both in their theology and in their practical application. He was drawn into a discussion with Lunacharsky, Commissar of Education, on the omnipresence of God. “You say that God is everywhere”, Lunacharsky told him. “Now you will surely admit that one could imagine a small box somewhere without God’s being in the box”. “But why suppose an imaginary box”, Hotovitsky retorted, "when we have you, Mr. Commissar?”"

Then it had this bit:

"With a rising culture in Russia, another age-old custom of Orthodoxy may come up for consideration. What will be the future of the holy pictures (ikons) of Russia? There are those who think ikons will gradually disappear from the service. If they do, it will be in the distant future. But even in these post-revolutionary years, events have often shaped themselves in a way to bring forcibly to mind the actual inconsequentiality of “holy” things and “holy” pictures. Popular feeling has revolted at cinematograph photos of the desceration of a shrine like that of Saint Sergius, but at the same time the half-unconscious impression has been made that the place or the relics are in themselves of small real worth to a Christian. The priceless treasures adorning some specially-revered ikon have been stolen and the century-old sanctity of the holy picture violated. And folk, half unknowingly, begin to take less interest in the ancient painting. It is somehow discovered to be not so efficacious as an aid to Christian living. Are these indications of the future? Perhaps, but with a custom as ancient as the usage of ikons in the Orthodox Church, alterations will be made but slowly. If the question may be called a problem at all, it is surely a secondary one. It is so unimportant in comparison with the new developments in religious thinking and comprehension that while the topic will interest future students of Russian life, it need not further occupy us here."

Nor did it occupy Russia, who remained Faithful to the Holy Icons.
http://orthodoxhistory.org/2010/08/an-interview-with-patriarch-tikhon-in-1923/
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« Reply #729 on: August 12, 2010, 04:10:53 PM »

Alfred, if you believe Christ is always with us, then you deny the Second Coming.  Because if He's always here, how can He "return"?
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« Reply #730 on: August 12, 2010, 04:46:39 PM »

In particular as Mr. Persson hasn't explained (or attempted to) how a practice found from India to Europe, from Africa to Constantinople, is found as far back as there is evidence.

Yes, and not to mention before there were even Ecumenical Councils in place which could have coordinated things! No one said, "Hey, now that half the known world is Christian, let's hold a council so we can all adopt pagan iconography into Christianity." It just kinda happened. Everywhere. At the same time. With the same theology behind it. Before there was mass communication.

Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox even share most things in common, and we've been separated for 1600 years. Meanwhile, Protestants continue to shimmy apart from each other, and there are new heresies appearing on a daily basis among them.

It simply doesn't pass the snuff test. There is Someone guiding the East en masse who is either A) inexplicably guiding the West to do a cornucopia of different and conflicting things, or B) not a member of the Steering Committee of the West at all.
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« Reply #731 on: August 12, 2010, 04:49:58 PM »

Alfred, if you believe Christ is always with us, then you deny the Second Coming.  Because if He's always here, how can He "return"?

Sorry but is this a trick question of some sort?  The reason I ask is because I'm pretty sure Orthodox also believe that Christ is with us.  In fact in the Liturgy do Orthodox not say, "Christ is in our midst"?  I think "parousia" can be translated coming or appearing from what I understand so it could be that Christ while even now present with us has not fully "appeared" to us in His resurrected body and His glory.
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« Reply #732 on: August 12, 2010, 05:51:07 PM »

No, it's not a trick question.  I'm puzzled - do you then agree that there is to be no Second Coming?  If that's what Orthodoxy teaches then I have been horribly misinformed.
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« Reply #733 on: August 12, 2010, 07:44:48 PM »

Of course we believe in the Second Coming.  Christ being "in our midst" in the sense of St Paul's statement in Galatians 2:20 and the sense that the Church is the Body of Christ doesn't negate our hope and expectation that someday we will indeed look upon our Glorified and Resurrected Savior's face.
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« Reply #734 on: August 12, 2010, 08:28:31 PM »

Right, and till then we venerate Him via (among other ways) icons.  I thought that was the whole point of why we venerate them.  Did I miss something?
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« Reply #735 on: August 12, 2010, 09:39:59 PM »

Alfred, if you believe Christ is always with us, then you deny the Second Coming.  Because if He's always here, how can He "return"?

   
    It is too clear and so it is hard to see.
    A dunce once searched for fire with a lighted lantern.
    Had he known what fire was,
    He could have cooked his rice much sooner.

From: "The Gateless Gate" collection of Zen Koans
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« Reply #736 on: August 12, 2010, 10:41:42 PM »

Now I'm really confused - are we Buddhists now? Cheesy
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« Reply #737 on: August 12, 2010, 11:45:27 PM »

Now I'm really confused - are we Buddhists now? Cheesy

"Because he is always here, how can he return?"

Sorry.... That's pretty Zen - Like

Couldn't resist

Always here...Always returning

How's that?
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« Reply #738 on: August 12, 2010, 11:49:32 PM »

What does "always returning" mean in regards to the Creed's "He will come again in glory"?
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« Reply #739 on: August 13, 2010, 12:18:03 AM »

Alfred, if you believe Christ is always with us, then you deny the Second Coming.  Because if He's always here, how can He "return"?

God the Eternal Son is God and man simultaneously, as God He is omnipresent, and in Him we live and move and have our being:

 27 "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
 28 "for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said,`For we are also His offspring.'
 (Act 17:27-28 NKJ)

 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Col 1:17 NKJ)

As resurrected LORD Jesus Christ, He is now seated in Heaven reigning, gathering His army, strategizing His return, I've been waiting to volunteer for some time now:

BBE  Psalm 110:3 Your people give themselves gladly in the day of your power; like the dew of the morning on the holy mountains is the army of your young men. (Psa 110:3 BBE)
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« Reply #740 on: August 13, 2010, 12:26:41 AM »

Right!  So till He returns we remember Him in the breaking of the bread, etc. (cough *icons* cough).  Glad to see we finally agree! Cheesy
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« Reply #741 on: August 14, 2010, 10:08:33 AM »

Right!  So till He returns we remember Him in the breaking of the bread, etc. (cough *icons* cough).  Glad to see we finally agree! Cheesy



I see what you did there
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« Reply #742 on: August 14, 2010, 02:50:51 PM »

It seems the picture I had linked to has been removed from the site... could somebody remove that post?
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« Reply #743 on: August 14, 2010, 09:34:30 PM »

What does "always returning" mean in regards to the Creed's "He will come again in glory"?

You stated a paradox, like a Zen Koan... There is no right or wrong answer. Such things are designed to ponder. Sometimes they are answered with another paradoxical statement. Sometime the answer is just to slap the ground or hoot like an owl. Sometimes the teacher hits you... "Ouch ! Oh ! I got it ! "


However if you must, Alfred answered well IMHO:

"God the Eternal Son is God and man simultaneously, as God He is omnipresent, and in Him we live and move and have our being:"

I would add, in God we see cause and effect simultaneously.

Not walking, not standing still. Not up nor down. Not red nor green or blue. No coming. No going. No death.  What is it?
 
and

"Thus shall ye think of all this fleeting world:
a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
a flash of lightning in a summer sky,
a flickering light, a phantasm, a dream."
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« Reply #744 on: August 15, 2010, 12:33:19 AM »

Umm, ok, I take it then that you agree with Alfred re: icons?
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« Reply #745 on: August 15, 2010, 03:50:57 AM »

Umm, ok, I take it then that you agree with Alfred re: icons?
Not if Marc identifies himself as Orthodox.
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« Reply #746 on: August 15, 2010, 08:02:24 AM »

What does "always returning" mean in regards to the Creed's "He will come again in glory"?

You stated a paradox, like a Zen Koan... There is no right or wrong answer. Such things are designed to ponder. Sometimes they are answered with another paradoxical statement. Sometime the answer is just to slap the ground or hoot like an owl. Sometimes the teacher hits you... "Ouch ! Oh ! I got it ! "


However if you must, Alfred answered well IMHO:
I thought theistgal painted him rather nicely into a corner. An icon corner.
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« Reply #747 on: August 15, 2010, 04:06:01 PM »

Umm, ok, I take it then that you agree with Alfred re: icons?

Wow... How did you conclude that?

Sorry to have disturbed you.
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« Reply #748 on: August 15, 2010, 04:29:31 PM »

Sorry, Marc, but I just don't understand the point of your posts in relation to the topic.  It's undoubtedly me.
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« Reply #749 on: August 15, 2010, 05:21:14 PM »

Sorry, Marc, but I just don't understand the point of your posts in relation to the topic.  It's undoubtedly me.

Clearly. Don't worry about it.

However, I think I will jump in.

I think saying that the reason we pray with Icons is because the Lord has not yet returned is inadequate.

God, as Alfred rightly pointed out, is Omni-present. So we shouldn't say that we need Icons because the Lord hasn't returned yet. That is not to say that your statement is not true, we may not need to venerate Icons when he returns in the flesh, but it is not the reason we pray with Icons before his return.

When we pray with Icons, whether to a Saint or the Lord we are using a window. The Lord or the Saint  is actually present. The Icon straddles the line between here and there. The paint and wood are no longer just paint and wood. They Re-Present that which is being shown on it.

When we normally  use the term "representation", it denotes something being imaged or reenacted but it is not actually there.
But in a spiritual usage the object of veneration is being Re....Presented, presented Again, so to speak. So when we Pray with an Icon to a Saint for example, the Saint is actually present, like we are looking through a window at each other.
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« Reply #750 on: August 15, 2010, 06:32:07 PM »

Then I will back off and let Alfred give his response to that, Marc.  Thanks for clarifying. Smiley
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« Reply #751 on: August 18, 2010, 09:08:09 AM »

Sorry, Marc, but I just don't understand the point of your posts in relation to the topic.  It's undoubtedly me.

Clearly. Don't worry about it.

However, I think I will jump in.

I think saying that the reason we pray with Icons is because the Lord has not yet returned is inadequate.

God, as Alfred rightly pointed out, is Omni-present. So we shouldn't say that we need Icons because the Lord hasn't returned yet. That is not to say that your statement is not true, we may not need to venerate Icons when he returns in the flesh, but it is not the reason we pray with Icons before his return.

When we pray with Icons, whether to a Saint or the Lord we are using a window. The Lord or the Saint  is actually present. The Icon straddles the line between here and there. The paint and wood are no longer just paint and wood. They Re-Present that which is being shown on it.

When we normally  use the term "representation", it denotes something being imaged or reenacted but it is not actually there.
But in a spiritual usage the object of veneration is being Re....Presented, presented Again, so to speak. So when we Pray with an Icon to a Saint for example, the Saint is actually present, like we are looking through a window at each other.
Video conferencing on the web cam.
My point is elegant,

Proverbs 16:2, Revelation 3:17

Quote
Orthodox apologetic proves much more than they want when they liken icons to pictures.

People talk to pictures only if the person pictured is absent.

Like a video phone? A web cam? When I worked security, I talked to the picture on the screen all the time, and they talked back. I also talk to the T.V. during the news.  As long as it doesn't talk back I figure I'm OK.

Quote
Therefore, talking to icon implies the prototype is not present, otherwise the icon would be unnecessary.

I'll remember that the next time the authorities ask me to present a photo I.D.

Quote
So icons of Christ testify He is not present.

Does Perssonism believe like the Jehovah's witness, that Christ doesn't have a body anymore, but is a spirit?

Or do yuu see Christ bodily present, in which case we're back to Joseph Smith Jr. again. I guess He never ascended, always being present in the Christians down here.

Quote
As Christ is always present indwelling a Christian, icons testify the venerator doesn't have Christ indwelling.

I have a very bad habit of not talking straight to someone.  I'll talk while walking around, looking into a cabinet , etc. instead of looking someone right in the face while walking around. But I guess you don't find that important.

I also guess that if someone urinated on an image of Christ, that's OK in Perssonism, no?

Quote
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Rom 8:9 KJV)

Therefore, the veneration of Jesus Christ via an icon proves the venerater doesn't have Him indwelling and therefore is not a Christian.

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God and this is that spirit of antichrist whereof ye have heard that it should come and even now already is it in the world.  (I John 4:3 KJV).

Therefore, the refusal to venerate Christ's icon proves the refuser doesn't confess He is come in the flesh and therefore is that spirit of the antichrist.

I remember a priest of the Vatican talking about the disbelief of modern man when he has a much easier job of belief.  The ancients, he said, didn't have the cassette tape, which replays a moment in time without repeating the moment in time, as an example of the sacrifice of the mass.  We have the web cam, and yet modern man still can't understand the presence in the windows on heaven, the icons.

We of course have the icons of the Son, as commanded by the NT.  We do not have icons of the Father besides Him, as he who sees Christ, sees Him Who sent Him. And we do not have (besides the image of the dove, as given by God Himself in scripture) an icon of the Holy Spirit, as the members of Christ's Body, the Living Temple of God, in whom the Spirit dwells. That's why, along with the painted icons, incense is offered to the living icons of the Spirt-the congregation.

Just in case Mr. Persson dares to respond.
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« Reply #752 on: August 18, 2010, 11:32:36 AM »



"Doctrine which ye have learned", the action is completed in Paul's time.

Therefore doctrines which arose centuries later are not apostolic and all who practice things not taught by  the apostles, are not apostolic.



Interesting: you remind me of the Jehovah's Witness fellow who came over to my front porch a month ago. Just as dogmatic, close-minded and wrong, but with triple the attitude.

I should remind you of James, he says there was only ONE delivery of the truth, not multiple deliveries over the centuries to come:

NKJ  Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jud 1:3 NKJ)

Contend for the faith that already existed in his day...the ONE delivery was past...not in the novelties that would spring up centuries later by oddly dressed men.



In light of your time frame for the start of "novelties," I see that you are not exactly the same as the Jehovah's Witness fellow: his time line started right after the death of the apostles and not centuries later. I do invite you to read/talk to former Baptists, Methodists, Evangelicals and Pentecostals who have converted to Orthodoxy precisely because the Orthodox Church did in fact keep "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints." I still wonder if you are experiencing the sort of push-pull that seems to be experienced by the heterodox when they are attracted to the True Faith. I am praying for you.
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« Reply #753 on: August 18, 2010, 01:23:52 PM »

Alfred, if you believe Christ is always with us, then you deny the Second Coming.  Because if He's always here, how can He "return"?

God the Eternal Son is God and man simultaneously, as God He is omnipresent, and in Him we live and move and have our being:

Phillipians 2:5 Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

John 20:26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger [into] here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand into here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

St. Thomas' finger lived and moved and had its being in Him before that moment, but not in the same way.  We lived and moved and had our being in the fullness of the Godhead before He emptied Himself and took the likeness of man, but we did not live in the icon of the invisible God until the fulness of Godhead was pleased to dwell therein, becoming flesh and dwelling among us so we beheld His glory, the glory of the icon of God and we put on Christ and we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord in the face of Jesus Christ, being transformed into the same icon from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (Col. 1:15, 19; Gal. 3:27; II Cor. 4:4,6; 3:18). "19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh" (Heb. 10)
And no, His flesh is not omnipresent, but He does always return, at every epiclesis.


How He came (Mat. 2:11), how He comes (Luke 24:30-1, 35), and how He will come again (Rev 20:11). There is a reason why the Royal Doors, the middle doors in the iconstasis to the altar support the icons of

the Annuciation and the Four Evangelists.

As we address the Spirit:"O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who is everywhere and fill all things....come, and abide in us!"  "The Holy things for the Holy!"

Quote
27 "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
 28 "for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said,`For we are also His offspring.'
 (Act 17:27-28 NKJ)

 15 He is the icon of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Col 1:15)
Quote
17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Col 1:17 NKJ)
18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness of Godhead should dwell. (Col. 1:18-9)

Quote
As resurrected LORD Jesus Christ, He is now seated in Heaven reigning,

and has been seen: Acts 55 But [St. Stephen], being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

"we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely,Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor" Heb 2:9.

Quote
gathering His army, strategizing His return, I've been waiting to volunteer for some time now:

Well, while you are waiting for the results of the examination, we are busy fighting, He having sent our marching orders by his courier, St. John of Damascus:
Quote
We depict Christ as our King and Lord, and do not deprive Him of His army. The saints constitute the Lord's army. Let the earthly king dismiss his army before he gives up his King and Lord. Let him put off the purple before he takes honour away from his most valiant men who have conquered their passions. For if the saints are heirs of God, and co-heirs of Christ, they will be also partakers of the divine glory of sovereignty. If the friends of God have had a part in the sufferings of Christ, how shall they not receive a share of His glory even on earth? 'I call you not servants,' our Lord says, ' you are my friends.' Should we then deprive them of the honour given to them by the Church ? What audacity ! What boldness of mind, to fight God and His commands! You, who refuse to worship images, would not worship the Son of God, the Living Image of the invisible God, and His unchanging form. I worship the image of Christ as the Incarnate God ; that of Our Lady, the Mother of us all, as the Mother of God's Son; that of the saints as the friends of God. They have withstood sin unto blood, and followed Christ in shedding their blood for Him, who shed His blood for them. I put on record the excellencies and the sufferings of those who have walked in His footsteps, that I may sanctify myself, and be fired with the zeal of imitation. St Basil says, ' Honouring the image leads to the prototype.' If you raise churches to the saints of God, raise also their trophies. The temple of old was not built in the name of any man. The death of the just was a cause of tears, not of feasting. A man who touched a corpse was considered unclean, even if the corpse was Moses himself. But now the memories of the saints are kept with rejoicings. The dead body of Jacob was wept over, whilst there is joy over the death of Stephen. Therefore, either give up the solemn commemorations of the saints, which are not according to the old law, or accept images which are also against it, as you say. But it is impossible not to keep with rejoicing the memories of the saints. The Holy Apostles and Fathers are at one in enjoining them. From the time that God the Word became flesh He is as we are in everything except sin, and of our nature, without confusion. He has deified our flesh for ever, and we are in very deed sanctified through His Godhead and the union of His flesh with it. And from the time that God, the Son of God, impassible by reason of His Godhead, chose to suffer voluntarily He wiped out our debt, also paying for us a most full and noble ransom. We are truly free through the sacred blood of the Son pleading for us with the Father. And we are indeed delivered from corruption since He descended into hell to the souls detained there through centuries and gave the captives their freedom, sight to the blind, and chaining the strong one.* He rose in the plenitude of His power, keeping the flesh of immortality which He had taken for us. And since we have been born again of water and the Spirit, we are truly sons and heirs of God. Hence St Paul calls the faithful holy ; hence wo. do not grieve but rejoice over the death of the saints. \Ye are then no longer under grace, being justified through faith, and knowing the one true God. The just man is not bound by the law. We are not held by the letter of the law, nor do we serve as children, but grown into the perfect estate of man we are fed on solid food, not on that which conduces to idolatry. The law is good as a light shining in a dark place until the day breaks. Your hearts have already been illuminated, the living water of God's knowledge has run over the tempestuous seas of heathendom, and we may all know God. The old creation has passed away, and all things are renovated. The holy Apostle Paul said to St Peter, the chief of the Apostles:' If you, being a Jew, live as a heathen and not a Jew, how will you persuade heathens to do as Jews do ?' And to the Galatians : ' I will bear witness to every circumcised man that it is salutary to fulfil the whole law.'

Testimony of the same, from his Sermon on the Forty Martyrs.
Can the lover of the martyrs have too much of their memory ? For the honour shown to the just, our fellow-men, is a testimony to the goodness of our common Lord.  And again :—Recognise the blessedness of the martyr heartily, that you may be a martyr in will; thus, without persecutor, or fire, or blows, found worthy of the same reward.  Commcntary.—How, then, would you dissuade me from honouring the saints, and be envious of my salvation ? Listen to what he says a little further on to show that he upited the painter's art to oratory.
St Basil.
See, then, that setting them before us in representation, we are making them helpful to the living, exhibiting their holiness to us all as if in a picture.  Commentary.—Do you understand that both image and sermon teach one lesson ? He says : ' Let us show them forth in a sermon as if in a picture.' And again : Writers and painters point out the struggles of war; the first by the art of style, the second with their brush, and each induce many to be brave. That which a spoken account presents to the hearing, a silent picture portrays for imitation.  Commentary.—What better proof have we that images are the books of the illiterate, the ever-speaking heralds of honouring the saints, teaching those who gaze upon them without words, and sanctifying the spectacle. I have not many books nor time for study, and I go into a church, the common refuge of souls, my mind wearied with conflicting thoughts. I see before me a beautiful picture and the sight refreshes me, and induces me to glorify God. I marvel at the martyr's endurance, at his reward, and fired with burning zeal, I fall down to adore God through His martyr, and receive a grace of salvation. Have you not heard the same holy father in his homily on the beginning of the Psalms, say that the Holy Spirit, knowing the human race were obstinate and hard to lead, mixed honey with the psalmsinging ? What do you say to this ? Shall I not perpetuate the martyr's testimony both by word and paint brush ? Shall I not embrace with my eyes that which is a wonder to the angels and to the whole world, formidable to the devil, a terror to demons, as the same great Father says ? Again, towards the end of his homily on the forty martyrs, he exclaims, 'O sainted band ! O sacred fraternity ! O invincible army! protectors of the human race, solace of the troubled, hope of your petitioners, most powerful intercessors, light of the world, bloom both intellectual and material of the Churches! The earth has not hidden you from sight, heaven has received you. May its gates be opened to you. The spectacle is worthy of angels and patriarchs, prophets, and just.'  Commentary.—How shall I not desire to see what the angels desire ?

Let us set forth Christ, our King and Lord, not depriving Him of His army. The saints are His army. Let the earthly king strip himself of his army, and then of his own dignity. Let him put off the purple and the diadem before he take honour away from his most valiant men who have conquered their passions. For if the friends of Christ are heirs of God and co-heirs of Christ, and are to be partakers of the divine glory and kingdom, is not even earthly glory due to them ? I call you not servants, our Lord says ; you are my friends. Shall we, then, withhold from them the honour which the Church gives them ? You are a bold and venturesome man to fight against God and His ordinances. If you do not worship images, you do not worship the Son of God, who is the living image of the invisible God, and the immutable figure of His substance. The temple which Solomon built was consecrated by the blood of animals, and decorated by images of lions, oxen, and the palms and pomegranates. Now, the Church is consecrated by the blood of Christ and of His saints, and it is adorned with the image of Christ and of His saints. Either take away the worship of images altogether, or be not an innovator, and pass not beyond the ancient boundaries which thy fathers have set. I am not speaking of boundaries prior to the incarnation of Christ our Lord, but since His coming. God spoke to them, depreciating the traditions of the old law, saying, ' I also gave them statutes that were not good,' on account of their hardness of heart. Consequently on the change of priesthood the law of necessity was also changed.
http://books.google.com/books?id=ibnUAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA78&ots=K2nh79yycg&vq=army&dq=John+Damascus+images+army&output=text#c_top

Quote
BBE  Psalm 110:3 Your people give themselves gladly in the day of your power; like the dew of the morning on the holy mountains is the army of your young men. (Psa 110:3 BBE)

I Timothy 1:3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine...18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. 3:14These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth...16And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;...6If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. 13Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.  II Timothy 1:6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.  13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Heb. 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable army of angels.


One doesn't get a gun and declare war. One must answer the summons and report for duty to the officiers He has commissioned for His army to fight His battles. Otherwise, one is a freebooter,filibuster, pirate and mercenary.
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« Reply #754 on: August 18, 2010, 03:13:49 PM »

Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?

This is off subject...and we both will discuss this and the Septuagint eventually. While it does appear to be quoted often in the NT, there are times when the Massoretic reading is chosen over the Septuagint. AND sometimes the NT doesn't agree with either. I look forward to discussing this, later. Now I will retire, good night.

I must hasten to add:

KJV  Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
 (Mat 5:18 KJV)

I believe Christ is 100% right, not one jot or tittle having meaning was lost.

Then why do you multilate the Bible by removing the Anagignoskomena?

Answered on the more appropriate thread, linked at the top quote.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #755 on: August 18, 2010, 03:47:25 PM »

But alas, this prophecy came true:

Another parable He spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened." (Mat 13:33 NKJ)

For those who are wondering what Mr. Persson is talking about,...
continued on the more appropriate thread, linked at the top quote.

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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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« Reply #756 on: August 18, 2010, 08:19:12 PM »

No, most were like a Bible study in a house.

Have you looked at the archeological evidence which shows the layout of early house-churches? They were set up for liturgical worship. If they were sitting around having Bible studies which might resemble what many Protestants do today, how were they understanding the texts they were looking at? Who was guiding them in their exegesis?

They certainly were not letting the Scripture interpret itself, as the communities only had some, not all of the later-canonized New Testament writings. They were reading some gospels, some epistles, and what you would likely consider a bunch of superstitious fantasy, like the Acts of Paul and Thecla. I would actually be suspicious of Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism if they lacked any references in their tradition to such works, as they themselves were a part of the life of the Church. Through its liturgical life, the Church has commemorated and preserved many of these stories within the tradition, at least those which were true and beneficial for the flock.

So anyway, the point is that they certainly would have been studying the Septuagint, which we still use in perfect continuity with not only the early Church but also with the LORD Christ, St. Paul and all of the New Testament quotations of the Old Testament. But beyond that they were confined to regional and communal texts, and there was a lot of ambiguity surrounding what were to be considered authoritative writings. Even if every house church had been full of literate Christians (which they were not), who all carried around pocket-sized Septuagints (which they didn't), they still would have looked to their bishop to teach them what they learned from the apostles. They would certainly not have looked to themselves for an authoritative interpretation. Those who did where infamous. They were the heretics.

The earliest house churches were not set up for liturgy.

The earliest house Churches had Divine Liturgy. That is what made them a house Church. On the earliest evidence we have:
Continued on more appropriate thread, linked to top quote link.
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« Reply #757 on: August 18, 2010, 10:01:24 PM »

Old Testament scripture was able to make Timothy wise unto salvation, now that God added the New Testament, how much more can it accomplish that feat?:

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2Ti 3:16-1 KJV)

Lots:
Linked to more appropriate thread, where answer given.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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« Reply #758 on: August 19, 2010, 04:41:42 PM »

No, most were like a Bible study in a house.

Have you looked at the archeological evidence which shows the layout of early house-churches? They were set up for liturgical worship. If they were sitting around having Bible studies which might resemble what many Protestants do today, how were they understanding the texts they were looking at? Who was guiding them in their exegesis?

They certainly were not letting the Scripture interpret itself, as the communities only had some, not all of the later-canonized New Testament writings. They were reading some gospels, some epistles, and what you would likely consider a bunch of superstitious fantasy, like the Acts of Paul and Thecla. I would actually be suspicious of Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism if they lacked any references in their tradition to such works, as they themselves were a part of the life of the Church. Through its liturgical life, the Church has commemorated and preserved many of these stories within the tradition, at least those which were true and beneficial for the flock.

So anyway, the point is that they certainly would have been studying the Septuagint, which we still use in perfect continuity with not only the early Church but also with the LORD Christ, St. Paul and all of the New Testament quotations of the Old Testament. But beyond that they were confined to regional and communal texts, and there was a lot of ambiguity surrounding what were to be considered authoritative writings. Even if every house church had been full of literate Christians (which they were not), who all carried around pocket-sized Septuagints (which they didn't), they still would have looked to their bishop to teach them what they learned from the apostles. They would certainly not have looked to themselves for an authoritative interpretation. Those who did where infamous. They were the heretics.

The earliest house churches were not set up for liturgy. Peter's house was perhaps the first house church:

For all intents and purposes, this house as originally built is indistinguishable from all other houses of ancient Capernaum. Its indoor living area is somewhat larger than usual, but overall it is about the same size as other houses. Its building materials are the usual ones. It was built with no more sophistication than the others in the region. In short, there is nothing to distinguish this house from its neighbors, except perhaps the events that transpired there and what happened to it later.- Editor, H. S. (2004; 2004). BAR 08:06 (Nov/Dec 1982). Biblical Archaeology Society[/b]


As for their exegesis, they relied upon God the Holy Spirit and the teachers He provided, and of course the word of the founding apostles and prophets:

26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.
 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.
 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.
 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.
 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.
 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
 (1Co 14:26-33 NKJ)

This shows they could judge doctrine by the scripture:

NKJ  Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
 (Act 17:11 NKJ)

Old Testament scripture was able to make Timothy wise unto salvation, now that God added the New Testament, how much more can it accomplish that feat?:

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2Ti 3:16-1 KJV)

However you are right there was confusion about which books were inspired, much of the NT was written to combat errors.


No doubt the bigger churches had Bishops who were instructed by the apostles, and house churches eventually merged with these "mega churches." But they were a feature throughout apostolic ministry:

19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 1 Co 16:19


15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. Col 4:15

2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: Phm 2


While this was somewhat chaotic, and no doubt gave rise to heretical opinions, the founding apostles and prophets shepherded them through it.  It is likely the insistence of the early church upon apostolic teaching was born from the chaos of these early home churches.


Frankly I prefer one of these house churches where doctrinal disputes occur, than the super religious churches of today that are completely scripted. Chaos can be good. It does appear God like to personally tend to each one individually, and not have a King rule over them:

 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the LORD.
 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.
 8 "According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day-- with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods-- so they are doing to you also.
 (1Sa 8:6-8 NKJ)


The only problem is they didn't remain faithful to the gospel, they added to it rather than accepting it was delivered to them full and complete:

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jud 1:3 NKJ)

There aren't multiple deliveries down through the ages, it was already "once delivered" when Jude wrote this.

That is why sola scriptura is preferable, then you learn the faith once delivered, without novelty that sprang up later. As Paul said scripture can make us complete, fully equipped, which includes knowing true doctrine, we have faith in God it is so.

Primitive Christianity is what it could be called, and like the church houses existing in apostolic times, we often disagree with each other...but I accept that chaos, just as the apostles did. Fact remains, sola scripturists agree theologically with each other in far greater percentage (90%+)than those who follow the Bible + their traditions.

The late Dr Walter Martin during a Melody-land lecture claimed some students quantified the internal agreement of Christendom, Orthodox Catholic, Protestant, on the major doctrines...and calculated it at about 80% agreement.

Given the body of data we have, its ancient nature, that level of agreement could be considered divinely inspired. Contrast the arguments of scientists and philosophers...much greater disagreement among them exists.

When you think about it, 80% may well be accurate. So even if an atheist tried to use our disunity against Christ, fact is, we agree with each other much more than scientists, philosophers, and atheists.

But alas, this prophecy came true:

Another parable He spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened." (Mat 13:33 NKJ)

Dealt with on your other loose thread V :

You are evading the question: how do you fault the Church of Christ and His Apostles for doing so, when you confess that the changes made AFTER Christ came, AFTER He found His One, Holy, Catholic and Apstolic Orthodox Church on His Apostles, AFTER said Church met in Ecumenical Council for the last time (for now), said changes among the Jews walking in the way of the Pharisees, Scribres and Saduccees are to be accepted as God's continuing revelation?

You equivocate,

No, I'm giving you the Gospel Truth straight: either accept the Church which produced the NT, or find another gospel upon which to build your church.

you did say you prefer house churches, no?

if the Orthodox church today were the primitive version, Nicea and earlier, I'd be Orthodox

The Orthodox Church is fully documented before Nicea, and thereafter until our day. Your repetion of the mistakes of others through history does not pseudo-apostolic succession of heresy make.

Your iconoclasm isn't documented at all until four centuries after Nicea. It even postdates Leo III (who venerated relics) and his son Constantine (who believed in the real presence in the Eucharist).


NKJ  Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
 (Jud 1:3 NKJ)

Yes, so you have claimed:
more there.^
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 04:46:15 PM by ialmisry » 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
ialmisry
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« Reply #759 on: August 19, 2010, 07:46:39 PM »

No, most were like a Bible study in a house.

Have you looked at the archeological evidence which shows the layout of early house-churches? They were set up for liturgical worship. If they were sitting around having Bible studies which might resemble what many Protestants do today, how were they understanding the texts they were looking at? Who was guiding them in their exegesis?

They certainly were not letting the Scripture interpret itself, as the communities only had some, not all of the later-canonized New Testament writings. They were reading some gospels, some epistles, and what you would likely consider a bunch of superstitious fantasy, like the Acts of Paul and Thecla. I would actually be suspicious of Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism if they lacked any references in their tradition to such works, as they themselves were a part of the life of the Church. Through its liturgical life, the Church has commemorated and preserved many of these stories within the tradition, at least those which were true and beneficial for the flock.

So anyway, the point is that they certainly would have been studying the Septuagint, which we still use in perfect continuity with not only the early Church but also with the LORD Christ, St. Paul and all of the New Testament quotations of the Old Testament. But beyond that they were confined to regional and communal texts, and there was a lot of ambiguity surrounding what were to be considered authoritative writings. Even if every house church had been full of literate Christians (which they were not), who all carried around pocket-sized Septuagints (which they didn't), they still would have looked to their bishop to teach them what they learned from the apostles. They would certainly not have looked to themselves for an authoritative interpretation. Those who did where infamous. They were the heretics.

The earliest house churches were not set up for liturgy. Peter's house was perhaps the first house church:

For all intents and purposes, this house as originally built is indistinguishable from all other houses of ancient Capernaum. Its indoor living area is somewhat larger than usual, but overall it is about the same size as other houses. Its building materials are the usual ones. It was built with no more sophistication than the others in the region. In short, there is nothing to distinguish this house from its neighbors, except perhaps the events that transpired there and what happened to it later.- Editor, H. S. (2004; 2004). BAR 08:06 (Nov/Dec 1982). Biblical Archaeology Society[/b]


As for their exegesis, they relied upon God the Holy Spirit and the teachers He provided, and of course the word of the founding apostles and prophets:

26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.
 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.
 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.
 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.
 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.
 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
 (1Co 14:26-33 NKJ)

This shows they could judge doctrine by the scripture:

NKJ  Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
 (Act 17:11 NKJ)

Old Testament scripture was able to make Timothy wise unto salvation, now that God added the New Testament, how much more can it accomplish that feat?:

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2Ti 3:16-1 KJV)

However you are right there was confusion about which books were inspired, much of the NT was written to combat errors.


No doubt the bigger churches had Bishops who were instructed by the apostles, and house churches eventually merged with these "mega churches." But they were a feature throughout apostolic ministry:

19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 1 Co 16:19


15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. Col 4:15

2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: Phm 2


While this was somewhat chaotic, and no doubt gave rise to heretical opinions, the founding apostles and prophets shepherded them through it.  It is likely the insistence of the early church upon apostolic teaching was born from the chaos of these early home churches.


Frankly I prefer one of these house churches where doctrinal disputes occur, than the super religious churches of today that are completely scripted. Chaos can be good. It does appear God like to personally tend to each one individually, and not have a King rule over them:

 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the LORD.
 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.
 8 "According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day-- with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods-- so they are doing to you also.
 (1Sa 8:6-8 NKJ)


The only problem is they didn't remain faithful to the gospel, they added to it rather than accepting it was delivered to them full and complete:

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jud 1:3 NKJ)

There aren't multiple deliveries down through the ages, it was already "once delivered" when Jude wrote this.

That is why sola scriptura is preferable, then you learn the faith once delivered, without novelty that sprang up later. As Paul said scripture can make us complete, fully equipped, which includes knowing true doctrine, we have faith in God it is so.


Primitive Christianity is what it could be called, and like the church houses existing in apostolic times, we often disagree with each other...but I accept that chaos, just as the apostles did. Fact remains, sola scripturists agree theologically with each other in far greater percentage (90%+)than those who follow the Bible + their traditions.

The late Dr Walter Martin during a Melody-land lecture claimed some students quantified the internal agreement of Christendom, Orthodox Catholic, Protestant, on the major doctrines...and calculated it at about 80% agreement.

Given the body of data we have, its ancient nature, that level of agreement could be considered divinely inspired. Contrast the arguments of scientists and philosophers...much greater disagreement among them exists.

When you think about it, 80% may well be accurate. So even if an atheist tried to use our disunity against Christ, fact is, we agree with each other much more than scientists, philosophers, and atheists
.

But alas, this prophecy came true:

Another parable He spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened." (Mat 13:33 NKJ)
Answered here V at quote link:
Fact remains, sola scripturists agree theologically with each other in far greater percentage (90%+)than those who follow the Bible + their traditions.

LOL. An assertion made does not remain as a fact. Between 3 sola scripturiest there are at least 4 opinions, and that only multiples as you go from country to country (e.g. compare the number of Protestant sects in England with the number in America), and across time (I'd say centuries, but most of your groups do not last that long before splintering).

We have gathered in Ecumenical Council at least 7x, and agree 100% in dogma, and have since the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem.

Answered on a more appropriate thread "Sola Scriptura-A Diversion From the True Word of God"^linked at the quote link.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 07:49:30 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #760 on: August 19, 2010, 07:55:14 PM »

No, most were like a Bible study in a house.

Have you looked at the archeological evidence which shows the layout of early house-churches? They were set up for liturgical worship. If they were sitting around having Bible studies which might resemble what many Protestants do today, how were they understanding the texts they were looking at? Who was guiding them in their exegesis?

They certainly were not letting the Scripture interpret itself, as the communities only had some, not all of the later-canonized New Testament writings. They were reading some gospels, some epistles, and what you would likely consider a bunch of superstitious fantasy, like the Acts of Paul and Thecla. I would actually be suspicious of Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism if they lacked any references in their tradition to such works, as they themselves were a part of the life of the Church. Through its liturgical life, the Church has commemorated and preserved many of these stories within the tradition, at least those which were true and beneficial for the flock.

So anyway, the point is that they certainly would have been studying the Septuagint, which we still use in perfect continuity with not only the early Church but also with the LORD Christ, St. Paul and all of the New Testament quotations of the Old Testament. But beyond that they were confined to regional and communal texts, and there was a lot of ambiguity surrounding what were to be considered authoritative writings. Even if every house church had been full of literate Christians (which they were not), who all carried around pocket-sized Septuagints (which they didn't), they still would have looked to their bishop to teach them what they learned from the apostles. They would certainly not have looked to themselves for an authoritative interpretation. Those who did where infamous. They were the heretics.

The earliest house churches were not set up for liturgy. Peter's house was perhaps the first house church:

For all intents and purposes, this house as originally built is indistinguishable from all other houses of ancient Capernaum. Its indoor living area is somewhat larger than usual, but overall it is about the same size as other houses. Its building materials are the usual ones. It was built with no more sophistication than the others in the region. In short, there is nothing to distinguish this house from its neighbors, except perhaps the events that transpired there and what happened to it later.- Editor, H. S. (2004; 2004). BAR 08:06 (Nov/Dec 1982). Biblical Archaeology Society[/b]


As for their exegesis, they relied upon God the Holy Spirit and the teachers He provided, and of course the word of the founding apostles and prophets:

26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.
 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.
 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.
 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.
 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.
 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
 (1Co 14:26-33 NKJ)

This shows they could judge doctrine by the scripture:

NKJ  Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
 (Act 17:11 NKJ)

Old Testament scripture was able to make Timothy wise unto salvation, now that God added the New Testament, how much more can it accomplish that feat?:

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2Ti 3:16-1 KJV)

However you are right there was confusion about which books were inspired, much of the NT was written to combat errors.


No doubt the bigger churches had Bishops who were instructed by the apostles, and house churches eventually merged with these "mega churches." But they were a feature throughout apostolic ministry:

19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 1 Co 16:19


15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. Col 4:15

2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: Phm 2


While this was somewhat chaotic, and no doubt gave rise to heretical opinions, the founding apostles and prophets shepherded them through it.  It is likely the insistence of the early church upon apostolic teaching was born from the chaos of these early home churches.


Frankly I prefer one of these house churches where doctrinal disputes occur, than the super religious churches of today that are completely scripted. Chaos can be good. It does appear God like to personally tend to each one individually, and not have a King rule over them:

 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the LORD.
 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.
 8 "According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day-- with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods-- so they are doing to you also.
 (1Sa 8:6-8 NKJ)


The only problem is they didn't remain faithful to the gospel, they added to it rather than accepting it was delivered to them full and complete:

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jud 1:3 NKJ)

There aren't multiple deliveries down through the ages, it was already "once delivered" when Jude wrote this.

That is why sola scriptura is preferable, then you learn the faith once delivered, without novelty that sprang up later. As Paul said scripture can make us complete, fully equipped, which includes knowing true doctrine, we have faith in God it is so.


Primitive Christianity is what it could be called, and like the church houses existing in apostolic times, we often disagree with each other...but I accept that chaos, just as the apostles did. Fact remains, sola scripturists agree theologically with each other in far greater percentage (90%+)than those who follow the Bible + their traditions.

The late Dr Walter Martin during a Melody-land lecture claimed some students quantified the internal agreement of Christendom, Orthodox Catholic, Protestant, on the major doctrines...and calculated it at about 80% agreement.

Given the body of data we have, its ancient nature, that level of agreement could be considered divinely inspired. Contrast the arguments of scientists and philosophers...much greater disagreement among them exists.

When you think about it, 80% may well be accurate. So even if an atheist tried to use our disunity against Christ, fact is, we agree with each other much more than scientists, philosophers, and atheists.

But alas, this prophecy came true:

Another parable He spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened." (Mat 13:33 NKJ)
Answered at the linked thread at quote link  V below.
Primitive Christianity is what it could be called,


You can cal it Primitive Christianity. What it is in the NT is the first century One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church.
Rest of unsubstantiated claims refuted on thread "Apostolic Succession" ^ linked by quote link.
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
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
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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 #761 on: August 19, 2010, 08:01:23 PM »

No, most were like a Bible study in a house.

Have you looked at the archeological evidence which shows the layout of early house-churches? They were set up for liturgical worship. If they were sitting around having Bible studies which might resemble what many Protestants do today, how were they understanding the texts they were looking at? Who was guiding them in their exegesis?

They certainly were not letting the Scripture interpret itself, as the communities only had some, not all of the later-canonized New Testament writings. They were reading some gospels, some epistles, and what you would likely consider a bunch of superstitious fantasy, like the Acts of Paul and Thecla. I would actually be suspicious of Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism if they lacked any references in their tradition to such works, as they themselves were a part of the life of the Church. Through its liturgical life, the Church has commemorated and preserved many of these stories within the tradition, at least those which were true and beneficial for the flock.

So anyway, the point is that they certainly would have been studying the Septuagint, which we still use in perfect continuity with not only the early Church but also with the LORD Christ, St. Paul and all of the New Testament quotations of the Old Testament. But beyond that they were confined to regional and communal texts, and there was a lot of ambiguity surrounding what were to be considered authoritative writings. Even if every house church had been full of literate Christians (which they were not), who all carried around pocket-sized Septuagints (which they didn't), they still would have looked to their bishop to teach them what they learned from the apostles. They would certainly not have looked to themselves for an authoritative interpretation. Those who did where infamous. They were the heretics.

The earliest house churches were not set up for liturgy. Peter's house was perhaps the first house church:

For all intents and purposes, this house as originally built is indistinguishable from all other houses of ancient Capernaum. Its indoor living area is somewhat larger than usual, but overall it is about the same size as other houses. Its building materials are the usual ones. It was built with no more sophistication than the others in the region. In short, there is nothing to distinguish this house from its neighbors, except perhaps the events that transpired there and what happened to it later.- Editor, H. S. (2004; 2004). BAR 08:06 (Nov/Dec 1982). Biblical Archaeology Society[/b]


As for their exegesis, they relied upon God the Holy Spirit and the teachers He provided, and of course the word of the founding apostles and prophets:

26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.
 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.
 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.
 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent.
 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.
 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
 (1Co 14:26-33 NKJ)

This shows they could judge doctrine by the scripture:

NKJ  Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
 (Act 17:11 NKJ)

Old Testament scripture was able to make Timothy wise unto salvation, now that God added the New Testament, how much more can it accomplish that feat?:

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2Ti 3:16-1 KJV)

However you are right there was confusion about which books were inspired, much of the NT was written to combat errors.


No doubt the bigger churches had Bishops who were instructed by the apostles, and house churches eventually merged with these "mega churches." But they were a feature throughout apostolic ministry:

19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 1 Co 16:19


15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. Col 4:15

2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: Phm 2


While this was somewhat chaotic, and no doubt gave rise to heretical opinions, the founding apostles and prophets shepherded them through it.  It is likely the insistence of the early church upon apostolic teaching was born from the chaos of these early home churches.


Frankly I prefer one of these house churches where doctrinal disputes occur, than the super religious churches of today that are completely scripted. Chaos can be good. It does appear God like to personally tend to each one individually, and not have a King rule over them:

 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the LORD.
 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.
 8 "According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day-- with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods-- so they are doing to you also.
 (1Sa 8:6-8 NKJ)



The only problem is they didn't remain faithful to the gospel, they added to it rather than accepting it was delivered to them full and complete:

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jud 1:3 NKJ)

There aren't multiple deliveries down through the ages, it was already "once delivered" when Jude wrote this.

That is why sola scriptura is preferable, then you learn the faith once delivered, without novelty that sprang up later. As Paul said scripture can make us complete, fully equipped, which includes knowing true doctrine, we have faith in God it is so.


Primitive Christianity is what it could be called, and like the church houses existing in apostolic times, we often disagree with each other...but I accept that chaos, just as the apostles did. Fact remains, sola scripturists agree theologically with each other in far greater percentage (90%+)than those who follow the Bible + their traditions.

The late Dr Walter Martin during a Melody-land lecture claimed some students quantified the internal agreement of Christendom, Orthodox Catholic, Protestant, on the major doctrines...and calculated it at about 80% agreement.

Given the body of data we have, its ancient nature, that level of agreement could be considered divinely inspired. Contrast the arguments of scientists and philosophers...much greater disagreement among them exists.

When you think about it, 80% may well be accurate. So even if an atheist tried to use our disunity against Christ, fact is, we agree with each other much more than scientists, philosophers, and atheists.

But alas, this prophecy came true:

Another parable He spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened." (Mat 13:33 NKJ)
Refuted on this thread V linked by quote link:
No doubt the bigger churches had Bishops who were instructed by the apostles, and house churches eventually merged with these "mega churches."

Merged? No Church was ever founded except with a bishop. No True Church, that is.

Church history on the thread "Apostolic Succession" linked by quote link^
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
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Warned
Hypatos
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« Reply #762 on: August 20, 2010, 03:13:18 PM »

Too bad we are fasting, dear brother, I would love to have a beer...

Old Calendar, Old Calendar. (Of course, today is a Wednesday anyway. Are we allowed alcohol on Wednesdays and Fridays?)

Ever hear of Christ, or what He said on the subject?

"so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Mat 6:18 NKJ)
Ever hear of Christ or what He said on the subject, and His Apostles followed?

"The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast." Mat. 9:15
And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epilepticand suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Mat. 17:14-21.
Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.  Now in the Church that was at Antioch...they celebrated Liturgy to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away...23 So when they had appointed presbyters in every Church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Acts 11:25-6; 13:1-3;14:22

Not receiving the Tradition of the Apostles, you may not be aware that since the time of the Apostles (e.g. the Didache "Let not your fasts be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week; but ye shall fast on the fourth day (Wednesday0, and the preparation day (Friday)") we have fasted on Wednesday for when the Bridegroom was betrayed and taken away from us.

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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
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« Reply #763 on: August 20, 2010, 04:01:12 PM »

lol ... so what, the NT church resembled a Rick Warren style megachurch?

No, most were like a Bible study in a house:

NKJ  Romans 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. (Rom 16:5 NKJ)


I'm trying to picture it.  You are saying that people would sit together in a room, with each person having a Bible as we know it today, (in the form of a codex) on their lap, taking turns reading passages and discussing and interpreting the passages?

That's a bit different from the early accounts of Christian house church worship.  I'm thinking of  Hyppolytus.  

This is before him. They would have some scripture, not a Bible because only the rich could afford it. Fragments of a book most likely, that they exchanged with other churches, at first. Of course as time went on, they got bigger and more scripture.

BUT we should never forget, Paul often fellowshiped in homes where the church of 10 or so people, met.
What is your evidence for the last statement? And the term is communion.

Btw, before St. Hippolytus was St. Justin Martyr, who hailed from Palestine within a century of the Church's founding.  His description resembles the DL. It doesn't resemble your Bible study model at all.
Btw, just so one can compare what Mr. Persson is cliaming with the early witness (mid second century) of St. Justin Martyr on what was going on in those catacombs that Mr. Persson elsewhere
Christianity did just fine while the Roman Christians were hiding in catacombs,
makes so much of.

From the First Apology 65-67:
Quote
But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to γένοιτο [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.

And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, This do in remembrance of Me, Luke 22:19 this is My body; and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, This is My blood; and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.

And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm

The "Catholic Encyclopedia" gives a good summary of what the NT tells us about Divine Liturgy. Not much about Bible studies.
Quote
Already in the New Testament — apart from the account of the Last Supper — there are some indexes that point to liturgical forms. There were already readings from the Sacred Books (1 Timothy 4:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:27; Colossians 4:16), there were sermons (Acts 20:7), psalms and hymns (1 Corinthians 14:26; Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19). 1 Timothy 2:1-3, implies public liturgical prayers for all classes of people. People lifted up their hands at prayers (1 Timothy 2:Cool, men with uncovered heads (1 Corinthians 11:4), women covered (1 Corinthians 11:5). There was a kiss of peace (1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26). There was an offertory of goods for the poor (Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 9:13) called by the special name "communion" (koinonia). The people answered "Amen" after prayers (1 Corinthians 14:16). The word Eucharist has already a technical meaning (1 Corinthians 14:16). The famous passage, 1 Corinthians 11:20-29, gives us the outline of the breaking of bread and thanksgiving (Eucharist) that followed the earlier part of the service. Hebrews 13:10 (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:16-21), shows that to the first Christians the table of the Eucharist was an altar. After the consecration prayers followed (Acts 2:42). St. Paul "breaks bread" (= the consecration), then communicates, then preaches (Acts 20:11).

Acts 2:42, gives us an idea of the liturgical Synaxis in order: They "persevere in the teaching of the Apostles" (this implies the readings and homilies), "communicate in the breaking of bread" (consecration and communion) and "in prayers". So we have already in the New Testament all the essential elements that we find later in the organized liturgies: lessons, psalms, hymns, sermons, prayers, consecration, communion. (For all this see F. Probst: "Liturgie der drei ersten christl. Jahrhunderte", Tübingen, 1870, c. i; and the texts collected in Cabrol and Leclercq; "Monumenta ecclesiæ liturgica", I, Paris, 1900, pp. 1-51.) It has been thought that there are in the New Testament even actual formulæ used in the liturgy. The Amen is certainly one. St. Paul's insistence on the form "For ever and ever, Amen" (eis tous aionas ton aionon amen. — Romans 16:27; Galatians 1:5; 1 Timothy 1:17; cf. Hebrews 13:21; 1 Peter 1:11; 5:11; Revelation 1:6, etc.) seems to argue that it is a liturgical form well known to the Christians whom he addresses, as it was to the Jews. There are other short hymns (Romans 13:11-2; Ephesians 5:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; 2 Timothy 2:11-3), which may well be liturgical formulæ
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09306a.htm
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 04:02:08 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
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« Reply #764 on: August 20, 2010, 05:10:00 PM »

 "At the time when our Lord preached the Good News and healed every illness and infirmity of men, there lived in the city of Edessa on the shore of the Euphrates Prince Abgar who was completely infected with leprosy. He heard of Christ, the Healer of every pain and disease and sent an artist, Ananias, to Palestine with a letter to Christ in which he begged the Lord to come to Edessa and to cure him of leprosy. In the event that the Lord was unable to come, the prince ordered Ananias to portray His likeness and to bring it to him, believing that this likeness would be able to restore his health. The Lord answered that He was unable to come, for the time of His passion was approaching took a towel, wiped His face and, on the towel, His All-pure face was perfectly pictured. The Lord gave this towel to Ananias with the message that the prince will be healed by it, but not entirely, and later on, He would send him a messenger who would erase the remainder of his disease. Receiving the towel, Prince Abgar kissed it and the leprosy completely fell from his body but a little of it remained on his face. Later, the Apostle Thaddaeus, preaching the Gospel, came to Abgar and secretly healed and baptized him. The prince then destroyed the idols which stood before the gates of the city and above the gates he placed the towel with the likeness of Christ attached to wood, framed in a gold frame and adorned with pearls. Also, the prince wrote beneath the icon on the gates: "O Christ God, no one will be ashamed who hopes in You." For many years after King Abgar's reign, Edessa remained a faithful Christian city. However, when one of Abgar's great grandsons restored idolatry, the bishop of Edessa came by night and secretly walled up the miraculous icon over the gates. Many believed the icon to have been destroyed by the new idolatrous king and the icon was soon forgotten; even though it was to remain safely hidden within the walls for nearly 400 years. In 545 AD, during the reign of Emperor Justinian, the Persian King Chozroes attacked Edessa and the city was in great hardship. It happened that Eulabius, the Bishop of Edessa, had a vision in which was revealed to him the mystery of the sealed wall and the forgotten icon. The icon was discovered and, by its power, the Persian army was defeated. After that it stayed in Edessa for a long time, and many famous people from history came to see it. In the year 944 AD, it was taken to the city of Constantinople and placed in a church, where it remained until 1204 AD, when the Crusaders carried it off. The miraculous icon was never seen again."

taken from web page of Christ the Savior Orthodox Church Delmarva.

Why do miracles impress you?


Surely you know this text:

NKJ  Matthew 24:24 "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
 (Mat 24:24 NKJ)

Obvious you do not know these texts:
Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
       17 ‘ And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
       That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
      Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
      Your young men shall see visions,
      Your old men shall dream dreams.
       18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
      I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
       And they shall prophesy.
       19 I will show wonders in heaven above
      And signs in the earth beneath:
      Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know— 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken[ by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly[ received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
4:23 [The Apostles] went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:
      ‘ Why did the nations rage,
      And the people plot vain things?
       26 The kings of the earth took their stand,
      And the rulers were gathered together
      Against the LORD and against His Christ.’
27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.  32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
5:12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
Acts 6:7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.  8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.
Acts 8:12 when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the wonders and signs which were done.
Acts 14:3 they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 15:12 Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many signs and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.
Romans 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— 19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
II Cor. 12:11 I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing. 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. 13 For what is it in which you were inferior to other churches, except that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong!
Heb.2: 1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

You also know that Christian like miracles occur through antichrists:

 22 "Many will say to Me in that day,`Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
 23 "And then I will declare to them,`I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
 (Mat 7:22-23 NKJ)

You also know spirits can works miracles:

NKJ  Revelation 16:14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, w (Rev 16:14 NKJ)

 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
 (2Th 2:9-10 NKJ)
Yes, that is why the Fathers warn against seeking a sign, and why we depend on the Church for discernment on signs.

Here in Chicago, we have two weeping icons.  When the bishop came to investigate the one in Cicero, the first thing he did was perform an exorcism, so we would know what spirit was behind the tears, which continued to flow with myrrh.


When I embraced Orthodoxy (after burning icons) I prayed for three years that I would not see a miracle until I was ready and did not need it. Then I witnessed the weeping icon of St. Nicholas Albanian Church in Chicago

along with the dumb struck Muslims and Jehovah's Witnesses.  It was interesting, as people lined up for miles to see it, parking their cars in the mall and coming to Church instead of throwing the lamb at the altar of consumerism for Greed fest. (the weeping began on St. Nicholas Day, Dec. 6)

Quote
It is written:

NKJ  Deuteronomy 13:1 "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder,

 2 "and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying,`Let us go after other gods'-- which you have not known--`and let us serve them,'

 3 "you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

 4 "You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.

 (Deu 13:1-4 NKJ)

Since, as St. John writes, we see the icon of the invisble God in Whom the fulness of Godhead was pleased to dwell, see His mother who held within her Him Who the Heavens could not hold, and those members of His Body the Church upon whom "4:4 the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the icon of God,...shine[d] on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh...3:But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."(II Cor. 3-4)-in other words going after the God we know and love with our whole heart and all our soul as His saints, and so venerate icons to walk in the Tradition received of the Apostles and hold fast to their Traditions and so obey His voice-what is your point in bringing up the warnings for false gods and idols?
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 05:12:47 PM by ialmisry » 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
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