Yes, I know, but do you know the meaning of the imperative, "Physician, heal thyself!"? Or the parable of the black pot and the black kettle? I'm not the one who goes to discussion forums of other non-Orthodox Christian faiths to preach Orthodoxy to them while I totally ignore the arguments they put forward to defend their faith and boast of the rhetorical superiority of my logic.
John 3:5 - "Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit." Jesus himself says, when asked about being born again, said you can't enter the Kingdom of God without water baptism. The Greek word for "water" in this verse means .... water. Yes. St. John's Gospel is, in addition to being the most theologically perceptive of the four Gospels, also the most liturgically oriented. What that means is that one must understand early Christian liturgy to interpret St. John's Gospel correctly. Knowing this, St. John's reference to water and the Spirit can only mean baptism and chrismation.
Frankly, your ego is astounding,
you know which Gospel writers weren't theologically perceptive?I'm not saying that the other Gospels were NOT theologically perceptive, so you've no need to put words into my mouth. All of the Gospels are theologically perceptive; it's just that, by way of comparison, the Gospel of St. John shows itself more theologically perceptive than the others.
If we must talk about perception, Christ isn't about liturgy:Those verses don't prove your point. Besides, if Christ isn't about liturgy, why did He, as the pre-incarnate Son of God, reveal the liturgy of the tabernacle to the Hebrews and command them to build their whole life around it?
25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.
26 "Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
(Mat 23:25-26 NKJ)
The Eucharist is not ritual, it teaches ingestion of Christ (cf John c. 6) entire, who He is, and all He taught, its not a ritual, its another way of saying:Again, those verses don't prove your point. They don't have anything to do with your point. So what IS your point (in trotting them out)? BTW, whose interpretation of those texts are you presenting here? You may certainly believe you're only presenting to us what the Bible says, but I know better. The Bible says whatever we mean it to say.
5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 "Do not marvel that I said to you,`You must be born again.'
(Joh 3:5-7 NKJ)
You repent, believe Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God, confess that publicly, and selling all you own...to follow Him, that is ingesting Christ.That's an interesting definition I've never seen before, not even when I was a Bible-studying Protestant. Where'd you come up with that? Who taught it to you?
God taught it to me, via the scripture, the entire context is about belief in Christ
, true belief, one that ingests His teachings completely, not superficially:
NKJ John 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias.
2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.
3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.
4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.
5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?"
6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
7 Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little."
8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him,
9 "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"
10 Then Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.
12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost."
24 when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?"
26 Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs
, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
27 "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life
, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."
28 Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
30 Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?
31 "Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written,`He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
32 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
33 "For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
34 Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always."
35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 "But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.
37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
38 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
39 "This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven."
42 And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says,`I have come down from heaven '?"
43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 "It is written in the prophets,`And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
46 "Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
48 "I am the bread of life.
49 "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 "This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.
51 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."
52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?"
53 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
54 "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 "For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
56 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
57 "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.
58 "This is the bread which came down from heaven-- not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."
59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"
61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you?
62 "What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
64 "But there are some of you who do not believe.
" For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.
65 And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."
66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 "Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
70 Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?"
71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.
(Joh 6:1 NKJ)