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Author Topic: The Early Church...  (Read 645 times) Average Rating: 0
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ironsiderodger
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St Eudocia- still in progress.


« on: August 04, 2010, 03:02:50 PM »

We host a Bible Study at our home, and though the attendees- my family and close friends- are protestant, it has been a good opportunity for me to share- as best I can, the Orthodox viewpoint often in the form of the Early Church Fathers. As we studied the Eucharist and its importance- while not nearly all there buy the Orthodox view (as my wife and I do)- all came away realizing this was much more than mere symbolism. This of course invariably leads to the desire to have it- and then questions flew at me: where, when, and who can serve Communion. It seemed like we were able to see that the proper place is the Church, and every week if possible although that took some hashing out; some wanted to know why not at our home (the whole 2 or 3 gathered thing). So after it seemed clear the Church was the place- the next question "What is the Church?" so this is what they want to study in the coming weeks. So, with that I'd love to here of any good study materials for the heck of a ride their about to go on- as well as prayers. I have my Orthodox Study Bible and AFR, so I'm not completely blind... hopefully.

My thanks for your time.
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samkim
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2010, 03:50:47 PM »

St. Ignatios said the Church is the Bishop, surrounded by his presbyters and deacons, celebrating the eucharist with the faithful.

Becoming a minister is a charism of the Holy Spirit. You can't just celebrate sacraments because you want to. It is a gift that needs to be given to you. The Lord gave it the Apostles when he breathed on them. And the Apostles gave it to their successors, the bishops. This "apostolic succession" comes down to us today in the Orthodox Church, in her unbroken line of ordinations and correct doctrines.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 03:54:02 PM by samkim » Logged

주 예수 그리스도 하느님의 아들이시여 저 이 죄인을 불쌍히 여기소서.
Thomas
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2010, 03:51:46 PM »

I would suggest that you read  Father Peter Gilquist's book Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith . It has been reviewed as follows "Peter Gillquist is a first-person account of the spiritual journey of a group of evangelical Christians over a period of fifteen years to their reception into the Antiochian Orthodox Church. Many of them had been involved in Campus Crusade for Christ during the sixties and had remained in contact with each other during the seventies as they founded churches around the US. They agreed to study Church history to find out what the original New Testament Churches practiced. They noted from early Christian documents such as the writings of the Church Fathers that the Church had Bishops (ordained by the Apostles themselves), a hierarchial structure, Tradition, liturgical worship, communion as the literal Body and Blood of Christ, inscense, icons, the use of "Father" in addressing Priests, the veneration of the Virgin Mary as Theotokos ("God-bearer") and the Sign of the Cross. In examining the Schism of the Church in 1054 between Rome and the East, Gillquist and his fellow pastors acknowledged that Rome had erred in its Papal claims of universal authority over the Church, and the Western alteration of the Creed which originally stated that the Holy Spirit only proceeded from the Father, when now the Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (known as the "Filioque"). Gillquist and his affiliated group of churches, which they had labeled the Evangelical Orthodox Church, sought to join one of the Orthodox Churches in America. They were unsuccessful in meeting with the Patriarch of Constantinople, but they were reviewed and accepted by the Patriarch of Antioch and the Antiochian Archdiocese in North America." (excerpt from Amazon.com review)

The book has spoken to many protsetants who have just discovered the Orthodox Church, like yourself they seem to have these same discussions in their meetings that eventually led the majority of them to enter the Holy Orthodox Church.

Thomas
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Thomas
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2010, 08:47:02 PM »

While I often do not like the articles on this website, this one appears that it would be a good start on your new topic:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/stcyprian_eccles.aspx

If you want to get more in depth, I believe that this is the full text of Saint Cyprian's On the Unity of the Church:

http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0279/_P2.HTM
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ialmisry
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2010, 09:52:14 PM »

We host a Bible Study at our home, and though the attendees- my family and close friends- are protestant, it has been a good opportunity for me to share- as best I can, the Orthodox viewpoint often in the form of the Early Church Fathers. As we studied the Eucharist and its importance- while not nearly all there buy the Orthodox view (as my wife and I do)- all came away realizing this was much more than mere symbolism. This of course invariably leads to the desire to have it- and then questions flew at me: where, when, and who can serve Communion. It seemed like we were able to see that the proper place is the Church, and every week if possible although that took some hashing out; some wanted to know why not at our home (the whole 2 or 3 gathered thing). So after it seemed clear the Church was the place- the next question "What is the Church?" so this is what they want to study in the coming weeks. So, with that I'd love to here of any good study materials for the heck of a ride their about to go on- as well as prayers. I have my Orthodox Study Bible and AFR, so I'm not completely blind... hopefully.

My thanks for your time.

If you can get peguin classics "Early Christian Writings." They are very readable.  The first couple, the letters of St. Clement and the letters of St. Ignatius, pretty much sum up what is the Church, by two men whom the Apostles themselves put in charge of the next generation.
http://www.amazon.com/Early-Christian-Writings-Apostolic-Classics/dp/0140444750/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1280972997&sr=1-1
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ironsiderodger
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2010, 11:07:39 PM »

Thank you all so much! I just got a copy of Early Christian Writings, and though I don't have Becoming Orthodox, Fr Gilquist has been one of my biggest inspirations. I fortunately was equipped enough when asked if we could do "communion" in our home to flat out (though politely) refuse- my heart quickly decried anyone but a priest as able to do that. So, thanks for these links and suggestions, and pray for us!
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ialmisry
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2010, 12:39:48 AM »

Thank you all so much! I just got a copy of Early Christian Writings, and though I don't have Becoming Orthodox, Fr Gilquist has been one of my biggest inspirations. I fortunately was equipped enough when asked if we could do "communion" in our home to flat out (though politely) refuse- my heart quickly decried anyone but a priest as able to do that. So, thanks for these links and suggestions, and pray for us!

Actually, it should be the bishop: the priest is only his stand in, and celebrates only at his pleasure.

As St. Ignatius tells us, "Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid." Smyrneans 8.

for as St. Clement (42) tells us "The apostles have preached the gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus says the Scripture in a certain place, I will appoint their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith."
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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