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Author Topic: Problems with the faith  (Read 9369 times) Average Rating: 0
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Wyatt
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« Reply #135 on: November 29, 2010, 04:41:46 PM »

Have you ever tried praying to God to reveal Himself to you? I am asking this because I am honestly curious. I have heard people make that claim before that if you ask God to do so that He will. Whether He actually does or not I don't know...mainly because I have never doubted that He exists.
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HabteSelassie
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« Reply #136 on: November 29, 2010, 04:49:25 PM »

greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
While I don't fully agree with this, HabteSelassie, I think you bring up a very good point.  I have found in my conversations with atheists that they become very frustrated when they find out Christianity is not like other things that can be dissected and studied.  They keep arguing with it as if it were.

It's like being angry at a painting because it isn't a math equation.

I cannot prove to anyone that my wife loves me.  It is something that can only be experienced in close, personal union.

amen amen.
I like the way you put that Smiley


I had a discussion with an atheist about Creation who was discussing with me the concept that the Universe is self-existing, and that science disproves God because it somehow proves that there are mechanisms for creation which do not inherently need a divine mover.  I told him that just because you may in science understand the mechanism, does not negate the Creator.  That is like saying, "Ah ha! There is no music to speak of, the sound is just coming from vibrating strings! There is neither art nor artist to speak of"  Anyone with a lick a sense can see that just because the artists has a mechanism, does not take away from the art.

Love has no explanation, and God is love, and God loves us, and how could we ever explain this?  What is the evidence for this? There is none, for all evidence could be dissected into infinity and fault will always be found, because God is not about evidence.  It is a matter of faith, and for those who believe, there is no lack of evidence either, for all of life is evident of God to us.  

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 04:52:12 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
TryingtoConvert
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« Reply #137 on: November 29, 2010, 05:19:36 PM »

Hmm very interesting, in Orthodoxy what kind of proof can you attest to the existence of Christ and his Resurrection?


There's ample historical evidence.  In fact, this is what converted me from atheism to Christianity.


Can you point to historical evidence outside of your Church and Bible?
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« Reply #138 on: November 29, 2010, 05:24:11 PM »

Can you point to historical evidence outside of your Church and Bible?

Yes, of course.  I can make a case that only allows historical data that the vast majority of scholars would grant me as historically reliable, with no special appeals to the inspiration or divine source of the Bible.  And when I do use the Bible, I'll only use those portions which, again, the vast majority of scholars would regard as historically reliable information.  I wouldn't use "the Bible says so, so it's true" as a line of reasoning.  But surely we can agree that there are at least some things the Bible, as an historical document, accurately portrays?  Or would you discount the entire thing simply due to it's association with the Church?

I firmly believe that an historical case can be made, based on solid data, which only the Resurrection provides the best answer to.

Granted, this won't "prove" anything.  But then again, how much of anything can really be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt?
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« Reply #139 on: November 29, 2010, 05:25:15 PM »

Hmm very interesting, in Orthodoxy what kind of proof can you attest to the existence of Christ and his Resurrection?


There's ample historical evidence.  In fact, this is what converted me from atheism to Christianity.


Can you point to historical evidence outside of your Church and Bible?


Previous post:

Well, I think it also depends on how far a person pursues a given line of evidence and what aspects they wish to emphasize as well (which may involve bias). For example, many christians like to point out how many copies of the new testament writings exist, the accuracy of the copyist transmissions, the dates of the writings surrounding the events, etc. to bolster the evidence and to give it unique credibility.

I would agree. It gives it direction and point. Its not really going to convince anyone but it does give an area of debate.

Also, going back to the days of my atheism I read that a lot of people say Jesus never existed due to little evidence of him. I brought it up to a Catholic who said "there is a religion based in his name, and in full swing, less than 100 years after his death, is that not evidence?" Which cleared it up for me. It doesn't prove a thing, but it does raise a good point.

That is another lie that is circulated. There is plenty of historical mention from the same time referencing Jesus. When I'm at my other computer tomorrow, I'll try to get you some sources.

Here:
Quote
"Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works--a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles.

"He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those who loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day"
(Antiquities, XVIII, III). [Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, born in A.D. 37]

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"derived their name and origin from Christ, who, in the reign of Tiberius, had suffered death by the sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate"
(Annals 15.44) Cornelius Tacitus (55-120 CE)

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On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun. For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Savior falls on the day before the passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun? Let opinion pass however; let it carry the majority with it; and let this portent of the world be deemed an eclipse of the sun, like others a portent only to the eye. Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth--manifestly that one of which we speak. But what has an eclipse in common with an earthquake, the rending rocks, and the resurrection of the dead, and so great a perturbation throughout the universe? Surely no such event as this is recorded for a long period. (XVIII.1)
Julius Africanus, History of the World, c. 220 - concerning Thallus (c. 50-75 AD)


Others:
-Letter from Pliny the Younger to Trajan (c. 110)
-Suetonius (Lives of the Caesars, c. 125)
-Lucian (mid-2nd century)
-Galen (c.150; De pulsuum differentiis 2.4; 3.3)
-Celsus (True Discourse, c.170).
-Mara Bar Serapion (pre-200?)
-Talmudic References (written after 300 CE, but some refs probably go back to eyewitnesses)




That is another lie that is circulated. There is plenty of historical mention from the same time referencing Jesus. When I'm at my other computer tomorrow, I'll try to get you some sources.

You haven't yet provided a single reference for this claim. All you've done is provide quotes from people living 50-300 years later, who are basically just reporting that other people claim that Jesus existed.

Secondary sources are better than Third! ... or modern claims ...

The only primary sources that are available is the Apostles and the Bible... but we don't trust those.

EDIT: The references are included...
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PoorFoolNicholas
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« Reply #140 on: November 29, 2010, 05:27:02 PM »

Hello TryingtoConvert! Someone already requested for you to tell us a little about yourself. I for one would love to know your history especially spiritually. God Bless, and good to have you here.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #141 on: November 29, 2010, 05:44:58 PM »

Wait wait wait, did you actually say that his religion is the ONLY "correct" one? Such beautiful, stunning arrogance

When the US President signs a bill into law, it is not arrogance for him to enforce it with the full power of the US government (btw, I think the present holder of the office is one of the most arrogant persons on the face of the earth. But that's a different issue). He has that authority.  It is arrogance for others to claim that authority.

It is not arrogance to confess the existence of the Truth. If that fact bothers you, that is your problem.

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. I'm reminded again of the late great Sagan.
Quote
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Look again at that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
Now who's being arrogant.

Fact is, that little dot as far as we know is the only spot in all the universe that matters. There is no evidence of different worlds, and is is an act of faith, rather than a statement of fact, to postulate otherwise.

Well, I won't argue with you that Obama is quite possibly an arrogant man. But the fact that Sagan was "great" based on his scientific achievements alone is hardly arguable.

Well, just association with the University of Chicago should count for "great," but as for scientific achievements (the central one being his work on the climate of Venus, which contributed to the global warming hysteria), their significance can be argued.  That he had the gift of promoting complex subjects for a mass audience, that cannot be denied, nor his intelligence. But he was too clever by half when he wandered out of his expertise, as was shown when he entered cold war politics and came firmly down on the wrong side of history. He did show some true humility, as opposed to false humility (we will get to you below), denying he was an atheist as he didn't have enough information to reach that conclusion. though he did dally in metaphysical matters which were beyond his training.

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And I shouldn't think I need remind you that "arrogance" is a term applied to one's own self-importance, something I have never bestowed upon my own character.
Sure you did. You arroganted to yourself the position of judging God and His Church, from the vantage point of  that tiny closed universe of "[your] life...found everyday in [your] friends, [your] family, my girlfriend, and [your] future with them."  We have several posters who pontificate for the Vatican, the enlightenment, etc.  We have seen you pontificate from nothing but your very limited, if even existent, knowledge and experiance, and dependence on a dead man proved wrong in his lifetime on his misguided politics, let alone his metaphysical thoughts about which he even admitted he did not know enough.

Quote
There is a reason I called yours "beautiful." To dismiss the legitimacy of another's religion (which may have guided and enriched one's own life on a personal basis, to an extent no less than yours did) merely because it disagrees with your own,

you assUme that I or others dismiss the "legitimacy of another's religion" merely because it disagrees with my own. Hint: TRUTH.

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and completely oblivious to or ignorant of the follies of such thinking,

what follies do you imagine come with recognizing the Truth?

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reaches such astounding heights of textbook arrogance

you seem qualified to write that textbook, that I'll admit.

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that I dare say you are among the best trolls the internet has yet produced.

Trolls? I'm sorry: Did the oc.net 'Bot open a thread with silly postings and track you down and dragged you over here to post?

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So in that context

your oblivion of knoweledge?

Quote
(and together with your statement that "there is no evidence of different worlds", when in fact there is ample evidence),

Of planets? Yes. Of worlds? No. There is no evidence of civilizations of intellligent life, nor even of life at the microscopic level, outside the world we inhabit, and upon which Christ walked.

Quote
disregard everything I've said and pat yourself on the back.Wink
I think I'll blow my nose and get rid of a disagreeable little snot.Wink

Let's just cut to the chase: do you believe in Truth? Do you hold that Truth is knowable? Upon what basis do you "stand" to answer these questions. After all, I see no reason to go over forestry if you can't first see the forest.

"Seeker," what are you seeking?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 05:46:28 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #142 on: November 29, 2010, 06:06:03 PM »

"Seeker," what are you seeking?



I'm kidding!  Cheesy Grin
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ialmisry
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« Reply #143 on: November 29, 2010, 06:20:43 PM »

You say Holy Tradition, what does that even mean?

I'm going to repost something long (yeah, I know, suprise) but may not have the time to comment more.  I originally argued this against Sola Scriptura for the only source of the Faith.  I'll adapt it to the OP.

An example of what happens when Sola Scriptura runs against Apostolic Tradition:
Joshua Joshua 22:10 And when they came to the region about the Jordan, that lies in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manas'seh built there an altar by the Jordan, an altar of great size. 11 And the people of Israel heard say, "Behold, the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manas'seh have built an altar at the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that belongs to the people of Israel." 12 And when the people of Israel heard of it, the whole assembly of the people of Israel gathered at Shiloh, to make war against them. 13 Then the people of Israel sent to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manas'seh, in the land of Gilead, Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar the priest, 14 and with him ten chiefs, one from each of the tribal families of Israel, every one of them the head of a family among the clans of Israel. 15 And they came to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manas'seh, in the land of Gilead, and they said to them, 16 "Thus says the whole congregation of the LORD, 'What is this treachery which you have committed against the God of Israel in turning away this day from following the LORD, by building yourselves an altar this day in rebellion against the LORD? 17 Have we not had enough of the sin at Pe'or from which even yet we have not cleansed ourselves, and for which there came a plague upon the congregation of the LORD, 18 that you must turn away this day from following the LORD? And if you rebel against the LORD today he will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel tomorrow. 19 But now, if your land is unclean, pass over into the LORD's land where the LORD's tabernacle stands, and take for yourselves a possession among us; only do not rebel against the LORD, or make us as rebels by building yourselves an altar other than the altar of the LORD our God. 20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah break faith in the matter of the devoted things, and wrath fell upon all the congregation of Israel? And he did not perish alone for his iniquity.'"

21 Then the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manas'seh said in answer to the heads of the families of Israel, 22 "The Mighty One, God, the LORD! The Mighty One, God, the LORD! He knows; and let Israel itself know! If it was in rebellion or in breach of faith toward the LORD, spare us not today 23 for building an altar to turn away from following the LORD; or if we did so to offer burnt offerings or cereal offerings or peace offerings on it, may the LORD himself take vengeance. 24 Nay, but we did it from fear that in time to come your children might say to our children, 'What have you to do with the LORD, the God of Israel ? 25 For the LORD has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you, you Reubenites and Gadites; you have no portion in the LORD.' So your children might make our children cease to worship the LORD. 26 Therefore we said, 'Let us now build an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice, 27 but to be a witness between us and you, and between the generations after us, that we do perform the service of the LORD in his presence with our burnt offerings and sacrifices and peace offerings; lest your children say to our children in time to come, "You have no portion in the LORD."' 28 And we thought, If this should be said to us or to our descendants in time to come, we should say, 'Behold the copy of the altar of the LORD, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifice, but to be a witness between us and you.' 29 Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn away this day from following the LORD by building an altar for burnt offering, cereal offering, or sacrifice, other than the altar of the LORD our God that stands before his tabernacle!"

30 When Phin'ehas the priest and the chiefs of the congregation, the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words that the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manas'sites spoke, it pleased them well. 31 And Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar the priest said to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manas'sites, "Today we know that the LORD is in the midst of us, because you have not committed this treachery against the LORD; now you have saved the people of Israel from the hand of the LORD." 32 Then Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar the priest, and the chiefs, returned from the Reubenites and the Gadites in the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the people of Israel, and brought back word to them. 33 And the report pleased the people of Israel; and the people of Israel blessed God and spoke no more of making war against them, to destroy the land where the Reubenites and the Gadites were settled. 34 The Reubenites and the Gadites called the altar Witness; "For," said they, "it is a witness between us that the LORD is God."

Now, note the following:

The Sola Scriptura folks were quite correct: the Law given to Moses had restricted sacrifices to one altar before the one Tabernacle. Btw, the tribes living on the East of the Jordan was a deviation from what God had commanded, revealed in His Word, and to which the Prophet Moses objected (Numbers 32, especially verses 6-15). Sort of like the innovation of the monarchy (I Kingdoms/Samuel 8, esp. verses 6-7), but we go a Messiah out of that (I Chronicles 17). Yet it is those who add Tradition to the mix who save Israel that day, as the chiefs of the Assembly/Congregation (we would say "Church") of Israel admit.

However, the Sola Scriptura first accuse the Eastern tribes of rebelling against God's Word, setting something that they see in addition to, and hence in opposition to (in their mind) in order to supplant God's Word, and replacing the Word of God with the traditions of men. And their solution? Just stick to the text and cross over to us.

The Eastern tribes had the foresight to see that, people being people, and sin being sin, that the Books of Moses were not going to suffice to stop Israel from sin. Those on the West Bank would focus on the literal promises to Abraham (which said nothing of the East Bank) and would interpret it in a manner which suited their sense of sensibilities: the Promised Land should fit our idea of the Land of Canaan (sort of like the idea of eating Body and Blood). Acting on this, they would exclude the Easterners, leading them to sin.

So the solution? Set up an interpretation of the letter of the law that preserved an indisputable indication of its spirit. And this they did.

A Melkite priest gave the best one word definition of Chrsitianity: witness.

Now, the problem most Protestants have with Tradition is the idea that the Church which set it up has tried to suppliment, and hence oppose, in order to supplant, Scripture.

We do not believe in, say, the Real Presense because St. Ignatius of Antioch, whom the Aposles ordained themselves as successor of St. Peter in the place where the disciples were first called Christians, writes in c. 105:
Let no man deceive himself. Both the things which are in heaven, and the glorious angels, and rulers, both visible and invisible, if they believe not in the blood of Christ, shall, in consequence, incur condemnation. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. Let not [high] place puff any one up: for that which is worth all is faith and love, to which nothing is to be preferred. But consider those who are of a different opinion with respect to the grace of Christ which has come unto us, how opposed they are to the will of God. They have no regard for love; no care for the widow, or the orphan, or the oppressed; of the bond, or of the free; of the hungry, or of the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from the prayer, because they will not confess that the Eucharist is the self same flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that you should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved. But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils. See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. 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.

we believe in the Real Presence because He said, "This is My Body," "This is My Blood." Rising, He appeared and was known to the Apostles in the breakding of the bread that first Pascha (Luke 24:13-36 NOT btw, in His opening of the scriptures, though that did make their heart burn). Those who continued steadfast in the Apostles' doctrines communed in the breaking of bread in the prayers of the DL every Sunday from the Resurrection until June 7, 2009 (Acts 2:42, 20:7), which we received, delievered to us by the Apostles from the Lord (I Cor. 11:23. btw. when these words were written, the Church had been gathering on the first day of the week to break bread (Acts 20:7) for over two decades).

Now, the Aposles weren't doing this because of the verses quoted. Rather the verses were written to record what the Apostles did, what they were doing, believing, teaching, whether by word or letter (I Thess. 2:15) so those who followed could stand fast and hold these traditions, and withdraw (I Thes. 3:6) from those who refused to walk according to the traditions which they delievered and which we received.

St. Ignatius stood fast and held that tradition, and did not neglect that gift that was given him by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the Apostles, guarding what was committed to him. (I Tim. 4:14, 6:20) St. Ignatius set in order bishops in every city as the Aposltes commanded, to hold fast the faithful word as it had been taught, by word or letter, to both exhort and convict by sound doctrine those of a different opinion (heresia) who contradicted, and refused to walk according to that tradition. (cf. Titus 1:5-9). As the letters show, strong in the grace of Christ Jesus, he was committing these traditions he heard by word from the Apostles to the Faithful to teach others. (2 Tim. 2:1-2), that the Catholic Church continue in breaking the bread, the communion of the self same Body of Christ (I Cor. 10:16).

We do not believe in the Real Presence because St. Ignatius says so: he received the same Faith we received, and he stands as a Witness that God has erected between the Apostles and us, as a sign post as to whether we walk according to the Tradition of the Apostles or not. "Lo! I am with you always (Greek: "all the days") even unto the end of the age." Those were His parting words. And so He has: rather than standing gazing, the Church has raised up witnessses to that same Faith, who stand as witnesses between us and the Apostles. We have not abandoned the Bible for the Fathers (and Mothers!). Rather surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we are able to point to the Witness, like the Eastern Tribes to the altar on the Jordan, to show that we are right in our interpretation of Scripture, including the Words of Institution (themselves written in the Gospels to reflect Church practice). Every generation, we can document, from the Apostles to this day, those who, if they lived in our day, would come to OUR Church and commune with us (of course, closed communion is part of that Apostolic Tradition). Their Faith is our Faith, and that is the value of their words, not that they replace the Bible. Rather they preserve the full import of the Bible.

Tradition is giving our ancestors, our Fathers, the ones who passed down the Faith and copied and preserved the Bible, a vote.

Catechesis means "echo," and Christ's Word has roared throughout the generations through Apostolic Tradition.

As our priest says, if you come up with an interpretation of Scripture that no one else has, be cautious and ask yourself if you are wrong. If it contradicts what has gone before, YOU ARE DEFINITELY WRONG.

How to interpret Acts 8:31? The believers of sola scriptura cannot tell us. They have no one to guide them.

I'm going to repost something long (yeah, I know, suprise) but may not have the time to comment more.  I originally argued this against Sola Scriptura for the only source of the Faith.  I'll adapt it to the OP.....
Title of the thread confused the Consensus Patrum as a Source of Faith: the Consensus does not provide the Source of Faith, it reflects it.

There is only one soure of the Faith, Christ.  How that one source is transmitted, and how its transmition is verified, is what is at issue.

The Faith is transitted in the Holy Mysteries: as the Fathers say, Christ has passed into the Holy Mysteries, the signs of Christ's life within His Body, the Church.  When the Church acts as the Body of Christ, as a Body, in unity with her Head, then she speaks infallibly.  That is why the assent of the Faithful is needed, for instance, for the Ecumenicity of a Council.

There is, for no instance, no objective criteria on which to base the canon of the Bible.  Authorship by an Apostle does not determine the canon of the NT: St. Luke, strictly speaking, is not an Apostle-he does not include himself in the company of eyewitness and ministers of the Word from the beginning (Luke 1:2, cf. Acts 1:21-2). Yet there is no question of it being in the Orthodox canon.  St. Clement's first epistle (I'll leave aside the question of the second) which was reckoned as Scripture: after Clement received his doctrine directly from the Apostles, and not as an eyewitness of Christ, the same way  St. Luke received his doctrine.  Clement's epistles are approved by the Apostolic Canons (85), but yet St. Luke is canonized and St. Clement is not.  If an archaeologist dug up St. Paul's missing Epistles or when they dug up the Gospels that record Acts 20:35, or the Jesus seminar could prove that St. Thomas wrote the Gospel named after him, none were or would be accepted into the canon.  The Church has spoken.  Many Fathers and Churches deemed Reveltion spurious, but the Church accepted it into the canon, and even if textual criticism would able to prove that St. John did not write it, it would remain in the canon as the Church has received it as an expression of her Faith in the return of her Bridegroom.

And that is why the Bible is canonized: it is not that the Church collected documents that the Apostles wrote.  Rather, they looked at what the Faithful had produced in the bosom of the Church, recognized herself in it, and adopted it as her self revelation.  Sort of like when parents see themselves in their children, and leave them as their legacy.  The Bible is not like the America Constitution, which brought a new government into order which is derived from that constition: it is like the Canadian Constitution, which merely codifies the system of government in place.  When St. Paul refers to Christ's life, he is not teaching history. He is appealing to an audience who already knows His life. Case in point: St. Paul's account of the Mystical Supper predates all the Gospels' accounts of it.  But he is not telling the Corinthians nothing that they do not already know (I Corin. 11:23)  In fact the ongoing Great Canon of the DL helped shape the Gospels' account.

That is why Sola Scriptura doesn't work: it is like owning the manuel, but not owning the car.

St. Theophan deals with the issue of why we say prayers written by the saints.  It is not because they are a replacement for Scripture nor for our own words.  But as we do not know how to pray as we ought, we look to those who did.  The saints we know (because they have been glorified, and their words consecrated by the usage of the Church) had reached the stage where the Holy Spirit spoke within them at prayer.  In that state, they composed in human language their thoughts in that state.  Using these words as guideposts, we are trying to follow them into the state where the Holy Spirit gives utterance to our prayers.  As the lesson of the Samaritan woman shows: the Samaritans came because of what she told them, but they reached a point at which they believed from knowing Him for themselves (John 4:43).

So too the Liturgy: the Church gathered as the Body of Christ so that He made be in their midst have put that experience into words.  The Church as a whole has adopted the Liturgy as the public expression of that experience, hence the appeal of liturgical texts for dogma: lex credendi, lex orandi.  But in that order: we do not believe that Christ is in the Eucharist because the DL says so, rather because we believe so, and experience Him in the Eucharist, that the DL so says.

So too the Dogmatic Definitions of the Ecumenical Councils.  The Faith cannot be added too.  No development of doctrine, if it was not in the Apostles' preaching it cannot be in the Dogma of the Church.  When heresy infected the Body of Christ, the Body of Christ, as a Body, mustered its antibodies, the Fathers and developed an immunity, the Dogmatic Definitions, to the heresy.  They did not add to the Faith: as the body already has the antibody proteins but only puts them to work to form a defense against the foreign pathogen, so too the Fathers only erect from pre-existing materials a boundary marker which the Orthodox may not move.  The Fathers confessed the same Faith, but in different words to ensure it remained the same Faith.  The expression of Faith changes only so that the Faith can remain the same, something litrugists should keep in mind.

The iconography writes an icon only when he follows the canon the Church has laid down for the visual expression of her Faith. Otherwise he is a forger and a counterfeiter (like our deluded friend Lentz).  The icon is the expression of the Church, not personal agendas, and just like a counterfeiter tries to make his money look real but it has no value, so too the icongrapher who oversteps the Church's bounds.  That is why we appeal to the icons when we are asked about what we believe, because they are backed by the full Faith and Credit of the Church.

No Church Father is infallible: only Christ is infallible, and the Church's infallibility flows from her being His Body.  But that flows only when she acts as a Body, like in Ecumenical Council.  Any individual member cannot act infallibility, so why the claim of the alleged "visible head" to speak infallibly cannot be accepted.  So too, no one should expect every word of an individual Father to be infallible.  It is only in as much as they reflect the common Faith, between us and them and lived in the Church now, that they constitute the Consensus Patrum.  What they served, as I pointed out in my OP, as a witness between us and heretics, so when they claim that the Real Presence is an innovation, that we point to St. Ignatius etc.: they witenss to the Faith as we witness to the Faith.

Which is the point of my OP to the OP: merely extended Sola Scriptura to included Ecumenical Councils and certain Fathers misses the point.  These are not the source of Faith: they are witnesses, like the altar on the Jordan, to make sure we have kept the Faith.
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« Reply #144 on: November 29, 2010, 08:40:33 PM »

Hmm very interesting, in Orthodoxy what kind of proof can you attest to the existence of Christ and his Resurrection?


There's ample historical evidence.  In fact, this is what converted me from atheism to Christianity.


Can you point to historical evidence outside of your Church and Bible?

The Jewish historian Josephus who was contemporary to the Life of Christ, references him.

Would you like that repeated a third time?

http://www.bede.org.uk/Josephus.htm
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« Reply #145 on: November 29, 2010, 09:43:16 PM »

Hmm very interesting, in Orthodoxy what kind of proof can you attest to the existence of Christ and his Resurrection?


There's ample historical evidence.  In fact, this is what converted me from atheism to Christianity.


Can you point to historical evidence outside of your Church and Bible?

While I would not trust Wikipedia as a primary research tool, it is helpful for aggregating disparate information. This page contains citations from many of Christ's contemporaries:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus#Greco-Roman_Pagan_sources

Furthermore, the three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are historical documents and don't really contain a lot of theologizing. They report events in a straightforward manner. Therefore they are valid proofs for the existence of Christ, because it is standard procedure to take ancient texts at face value. To say otherwise is special pleading.

We can squabble about miracles, but Christ's very existence is rather beyond dispute.
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« Reply #146 on: November 30, 2010, 02:40:40 AM »


Greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!

All of this discussion and debate is precisely why Jesus Christ is not really a matter of history.  From an academic or scientific perspective there is basically no objective evidence of Jesus Christ.  True, from inference, the very ancientness and continuity of the Scriptures themselves is a sure bet that there was indeed a man named Jesus Christ, or at the least a very convincing story of one.  But that is not what faith is about.  The Scriptures are not necessarily there for evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ as God, or of God either.  God is self-existing, these things are a matter of faith, which is what the Disciples asked for when they pleaded, "Lord add unto us faith!"

If we try to get caught up in historicity then we miss the point entirely.  I posted this before, but I will bring it up because it is relevant again here..




Quote
But to read a (religious) poem as a chronicle of fact is to say the least, to miss the point.  To say a little more, it is to prove oneself a dolt, and to add to this, the men who put these (Holy) books together were not dolts but knew precisely what they were doing.."
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« Reply #147 on: November 30, 2010, 02:49:00 AM »


Greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!

All of this discussion and debate is precisely why Jesus Christ is not really a matter of history.  From an academic or scientific perspective there is basically no objective evidence of Jesus Christ.  True, from inference, the very ancientness and continuity of the Scriptures themselves is a sure bet that there was indeed a man named Jesus Christ, or at the least a very convincing story of one.  But that is not what faith is about.  The Scriptures are not necessarily there for evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ as God, or of God either.  God is self-existing, these things are a matter of faith, which is what the Disciples asked for when they pleaded, "Lord add unto us faith!"

Of course not, but there are lies and cults in the world. It's nice to know there is some basis in reality for your faith.
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« Reply #148 on: November 30, 2010, 05:22:27 AM »

I'll get back to you iasmlry, but what I must know is why is there a rejection of Orthodoxy has the first faith of Christianity?

"But since Eastern Orthodoxy was born only in the 4th century" http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v16/i3/orthodoxy.asp

"The ability to trace one's church back to the “first church” through apostolic succession is an argument used by a number of different churches to assert that their church is the “one true church.” The Roman Catholic Church makes this claim. The Greek Orthodox Church makes this claim. Some Protestant denominations make this claim. Some of the “Christian” cults make this claim. How do we know which church is correct? The biblical answer is – it does not matter!"  http://www.gotquestions.org/original-church.html
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« Reply #149 on: November 30, 2010, 05:47:06 AM »

I'll get back to you iasmlry, but what I must know is why is there a rejection of Orthodoxy has the first faith of Christianity?

"But since Eastern Orthodoxy was born only in the 4th century" http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v16/i3/orthodoxy.asp

"The ability to trace one's church back to the “first church” through apostolic succession is an argument used by a number of different churches to assert that their church is the “one true church.” The Roman Catholic Church makes this claim. The Greek Orthodox Church makes this claim. Some Protestant denominations make this claim. Some of the “Christian” cults make this claim. How do we know which church is correct? The biblical answer is – it does not matter!"  http://www.gotquestions.org/original-church.html
The problem is that these historical claims do not stand up to scrutiny. People make such claims because they feel it necessary to preserve the branch theory, among other things.
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« Reply #150 on: November 30, 2010, 10:41:46 AM »

I'll get back to you iasmlry, but what I must know is why is there a rejection of Orthodoxy has the first faith of Christianity?

"But since Eastern Orthodoxy was born only in the 4th century" http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v16/i3/orthodoxy.asp

"The ability to trace one's church back to the “first church” through apostolic succession is an argument used by a number of different churches to assert that their church is the “one true church.” The Roman Catholic Church makes this claim. The Greek Orthodox Church makes this claim. Some Protestant denominations make this claim. Some of the “Christian” cults make this claim. How do we know which church is correct? The biblical answer is – it does not matter!"  http://www.gotquestions.org/original-church.html

Protestants tend to confuse two different questions. The first is what is the "True Church"? Which one  best reflects the authentic and original teachings of the Early Church. The second is; which Church is the Historic Church?

They confuse these questions because in their mythology they tell people that the Historic Church died out. That is not actually the case. The Church as an organized functioning entity never disbanded or died out or changed their mode of operations in any substantial way. It existed from the first moments Christ brought it into being and still continues to this day. This is a shock for Protestants and those who have been influenced by their unfounded claims.

The Church, from the beginning, organized itself into area's of Jurisdiction with a Bishop in charge. They were Rome, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem. Later as the World changed and Christianity expanded, others were added most notably Constantinople and even later places like Moscow, etc. The Roman Church as we know, departed that organization and claimed sole authority which the other Jurisdictions don't recognize.  

That Church existed then and exists now.  It is an indisputable historic fact. IBM was founded on such and such a date, has had various CEO's and many ups and downs, but it still exists and has not ever been disbanded. The Orthodox Church is like that.

The other question is whether or not the Theology and Practices of the Church reflect the will of God and is of the same Faith as the Apostles. That is a different question. We are certain we have changed nothing about the Faith but that is a question to be explored at length and in a different way than the historical question, which is beyond dispute.
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« Reply #151 on: November 30, 2010, 10:46:39 AM »

I'll get back to you iasmlry, but what I must know is why is there a rejection of Orthodoxy has the first faith of Christianity?

"But since Eastern Orthodoxy was born only in the 4th century" http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v16/i3/orthodoxy.asp

There are numerous resources on internet as well as this forum that show a presence prior to the 4th century. What substantiates the claim that it was born in the 4th century? Or did you take it at face value?

"The ability to trace one's church back to the “first church” through apostolic succession is an argument used by a number of different churches to assert that their church is the “one true church.” The Roman Catholic Church makes this claim. The Greek Orthodox Church makes this claim. Some Protestant denominations make this claim. Some of the “Christian” cults make this claim. How do we know which church is correct? The biblical answer is – it does not matter!"  http://www.gotquestions.org/original-church.html

Protestant denominations that make the claim broke from the Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholics (West) and the Eastern Orthodox Catholics (East) used to be part of the same Church until the 11th century. The Oriental Orthodox (Egypt, Ethiopia, etc) were part of that whole until the 5th century.

A stiff arm and denial doesn't substantiate any claims.
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« Reply #152 on: November 30, 2010, 12:45:50 PM »

I copied a paragraph from that web page and would like to answer it:


http://www.gotquestions.org/original-church.html
The first church, its growth, doctrine, and practices, were recorded for us in the New Testament. Jesus, as well as His apostles, foretold that false teachers would arise, and indeed it is apparent from some of the New Testament epistles that these apostles had to fight against false teachers early on. Having a pedigree of apostolic succession or being able to trace a church's roots back to the "first church" is nowhere in Scripture given as a test for being the true church. What is given is repeated comparisons between what false teachers teach and what the first church taught, as recorded in Scripture. Whether a church is the "true church" or not is determined by comparing its teachings and practices to that of the New Testament church, as recorded in Scripture.



See that? The are muddling together the historic question with the theological question.

Their first error is that they apparently don't believe the Bible in it's entirety. The scriptures promise:

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 16:18

And they apparently dont beleive that this Church (which cant be defeated) is guided by the Holy Spirit:

 
Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Holy Spirit;
Ephesians 3:5

They say the question of original historic  Church doesn't matter  because they have no valid historical claim to make about their own community. They need to blow smoke at the question and say that the historical question does not really matter, only the Theological question does.

We say both matter. The Bible says both matter. The Church through the ages has understood that both matter.

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« Reply #153 on: November 30, 2010, 01:11:14 PM »

Hmm very interesting, in Orthodoxy what kind of proof can you attest to the existence of Christ and his Resurrection?


There's ample historical evidence.  In fact, this is what converted me from atheism to Christianity.


Can you point to historical evidence outside of your Church and Bible?

The Jewish historian Josephus who was contemporary to the Life of Christ, references him.

Would you like that repeated a third time?

Josephus was born a decade after Jesus died.
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« Reply #154 on: November 30, 2010, 02:34:50 PM »

I'll get back to you iasmlry, but what I must know is why is there a rejection of Orthodoxy has the first faith of Christianity?

"But since Eastern Orthodoxy was born only in the 4th century" http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v16/i3/orthodoxy.asp

Because Ken Ham is a nutjob and not a good source for accurate historical information?
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« Reply #155 on: November 30, 2010, 03:34:05 PM »

So this is how you answer
Let's just cut to the chase: do you believe in Truth? Do you hold that Truth is knowable? Upon what basis do you "stand" to answer these questions.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v16/i3/orthodoxy.asp  http://www.gotquestions.org/original-church.html? They claim to believe the Bible. Do you?  I'll wait to respond to their nonsense until you answer that.

In the meantime:
I'll get back to you iasmlry, but what I must know is why is there a rejection of Orthodoxy has the first faith of Christianity?

Do mean why do some reject Orthodoxy?  If you read the NT and early Christian litterature of the first century, you will see that there were those who rejected Orthodoxy in the first century.  Of course, the problems is that those who rejected it died out, and so are not around to continue their arguement.

A third of the colonists in America in 1776 remained loyal to King George and a third believed the argument made in the Declaration of Independence. The latter called themselves patriots, and the former ended up in Canada-a visit to the Loyalist monuments there are somewhat surreal for someone raised in the States. So who obeyed lawful authority, the "Patriots" or the "Loyalists"? That someone rejected lawful authority doesn't prove its non exsitence-in fact, both sides claiming it corroborates its existence.

Quote
"But since Eastern Orthodoxy was born only in the 4th century" http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v16/i3/orthodoxy.asp
The full quote is "The book does not go back quite far enough in history. But since Eastern Orthodoxy was born only in the 4th century (p. 567) and is based on the writings of the eastern ‘Holy Fathers’ since that time, this is not surprising."  This is simply and factually inaccurate:the writings of the Didache, St. Barnabs, St. Clement etc. of the first century, St. Igantius, Papias, St. Polycarp, St. Hegesippus, St. Irenaeus St. Justin Martyr, St. Clement of Alexandria, etc. of the second century, St. Cyprian, the approved writings of Origin, St. Hippolytus, St. Dionysios, etc. have been cited by the Eastern Orthodox Church since those times until this day, as they were members of our Orthodox Church.


Quote
"The ability to trace one's church back to the “first church” through apostolic succession is an argument used by a number of different churches to assert that their church is the “one true church.” The Roman Catholic Church makes this claim. The Greek Orthodox Church makes this claim. Some Protestant denominations make this claim. Some of the “Christian” cults make this claim. How do we know which church is correct? The biblical answer is – it does not matter!"  http://www.gotquestions.org/original-church.html

no, that's the Protestant answer.  The Bible says something different, something we have dealt with here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28972.msg481480/topicseen.html#msg481480

I started a message dealing more deeply from the Bible on this issue, but a computer clitch and real life got in the way. Lord willing I will return to it. In the meantime, St. Paul knew it important enough for his last words in scripture to go over the qualifications for bishop (I Timothy 3) and remind his disciples of setting it in place (e.g. Titus 1:5), and the Church, reflecting on these facts, felt it important record that in the Acts of the Apostles (e.g. Acts 13:3-14:23).

How do we know which Church is correct? First, we examin their claims.
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« Reply #156 on: November 30, 2010, 03:42:52 PM »

Hmm very interesting, in Orthodoxy what kind of proof can you attest to the existence of Christ and his Resurrection?


There's ample historical evidence.  In fact, this is what converted me from atheism to Christianity.


Can you point to historical evidence outside of your Church and Bible?

The Jewish historian Josephus who was contemporary to the Life of Christ, references him.

Would you like that repeated a third time?

Josephus was born a decade after Jesus died.
What historical figures will you have left, if you only take as evidence only that evidence that person left behind? Could you prove Cicero's existence? You have no autograph of his works, no body left.  Any sculpture from his lifetime? Any inscription he left? Any thing before Plutarch wrote his life a century after Cicero died?
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« Reply #157 on: November 30, 2010, 06:45:03 PM »

Hmm very interesting, in Orthodoxy what kind of proof can you attest to the existence of Christ and his Resurrection?


There's ample historical evidence.  In fact, this is what converted me from atheism to Christianity.




Can you point to historical evidence outside of your Church and Bible?

The Jewish historian Josephus who was contemporary to the Life of Christ, references him.

Would you like that repeated a third time?

Josephus was born a decade after Jesus died.

Actually, they missed each other by only four years if your really care. Josephus is considered a valuable historian of that time because he wrote for a Roman audience, so certain information had to be explained in detail so non-Jews could understand.

The fact that a Jewish Historian of that time notes Jesus should be considered good evidence for anyone except the most jaundiced skeptic. I don't think anyone thinks they had to meet in person for an historical reference to be reliable. Shelby Foote never met Lincoln.
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« Reply #158 on: November 30, 2010, 07:18:57 PM »

The other question is whether or not the Theology and Practices of the Church reflect the will of God and is of the same Faith as the Apostles. That is a different question. We are certain we have changed nothing about the Faith but that is a question to be explored at length and in a different way than the historical question, which is beyond dispute.

Marc I appreciate the response, would you mind going into more detail with this? Thank you.
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« Reply #159 on: November 30, 2010, 07:21:39 PM »

A third of the colonists in America in 1776 remained loyal to King George and a third believed the argument made in the Declaration of Independence. The latter called themselves patriots, and the former ended up in Canada-a visit to the Loyalist monuments there are somewhat surreal for someone raised in the States. So who obeyed lawful authority, the "Patriots" or the "Loyalists"? That someone rejected lawful authority doesn't prove its non exsitence-in fact, both sides claiming it corroborates its existence.

You could almost apply that to atheism right?
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« Reply #160 on: November 30, 2010, 10:02:28 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I had a meditation today at Liturgy for the Virgin Mary monthly holiday.  I was talking before about how God is like gravity, it is universal, fundamental and yet subtle.  God gives us the free-will, but like gravity, or like the programmer of a video game, we have absolute free will to make any decision we'd like, but yet are absolutely limited by the parameters of gravity or the programming.  God gives us the free-will to make decisions, and He just might not necessarily know what decisions we will make, but since He is the parameters themselves, He knows every single possible outcome, because He designed them all.  Thus God and free-will are perfectly harmonious, God gives us the freedom to make our own decisions, but entirely limits the possibilities of these decisions by the parameters of reality and then knows every possible outcome.  Just as you can freely move your hand anywhere you'd like in time and space, but then again gravity and the other 25 fundamental cosmological forces will actually determine every possible choice of movement. 

Also like gravity and these forces, God operates so smoothly in our lives that we rarely even notice until we learn what to look for.  You do not necessarily feel or consciously think about gravity, and yet it is always there operating in our midst.  Only when you exercise, or practice a sport with running or jumping or lifting heavy things, do you feel the presence of gravity very consciously and learn from experience how to operate with an through it.  Orthodox worship are the spiritual sports and exercises which make you take notice of the perception of God directly, just as learning to play a sport teaches you to work with gravity.  The Liturgy is the most powerful force in the Universe, and yet a common person might see the Blood and Body and might think nothing of it but a glass of wine and some bread.  But we who practice the spiritual exercise of prayer, and move the spiritual weightlifting of worship, feel the very presence of the Eternal Godhead when we stand in the presence of Jesus Christ Flesh and Blood on the altar.  Today standing before the Real Presence, my heart felt the highest perfections of God like Saint Theresa, and yet there was nothing necessarily out of the ordinary occurring.  Only from the revelation of God did I feel this, and only because through His Grace, I have found the spiritual exercise which enhances the perception.

When we evangelize to outsiders who are not of the Orthodox persuasion, we must always remember that its not necessarily obvious to them, they do not feel the strength or the pull of the Divine Mysteries yet, just as a person inexperienced will not necessarily start running 4:30 minute miles, or hit 400 yard home-runs, or lift 200 lbs on the weight bar.  Only after spiritual practice of prayer, and strength training of worship in the Liturgy, does God begin to reveal the spiritual strength and adeptness to begin to understand and experience the fullness of His presence.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #161 on: November 30, 2010, 11:10:23 PM »

So if Christ didn't say "write this down" did why did they? Maybe the writing has nothing to do with his message.
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« Reply #162 on: November 30, 2010, 11:18:27 PM »

Matthew 28

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.


That might have something to do with it.
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« Reply #163 on: December 01, 2010, 03:35:23 AM »

While I don't fully agree with this, HabteSelassie, I think you bring up a very good point.  I have found in my conversations with atheists that they become very frustrated when they find out Christianity is not like other things that can be dissected and studied.  They keep arguing with it as if it were.

It's like being angry at a painting because it isn't a math equation.

I cannot prove to anyone that my wife loves me.  It is something that can only be experienced in close, personal union.

So why are there so many people trying to debate christianity? The original poster is not going to convert because you convince him with logic. Why not encourage him to find what he is looking for? Would not prayer or "come and see" be a better response to someone looking for a personal experience with God in their heart.

(I agree with your post Sleeper and quote it not as a challenge but to entice others to rethink their game plan. So many are trying to win an argument and not help a convert.)
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« Reply #164 on: December 01, 2010, 10:20:50 AM »

I agree Dart!  My post wasn't addressed to the OP but to HabteSelassie.  If you read most of the thread you'd see that I am, in fact, encouraging the OP to keep asking questions and find the Truth.
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« Reply #165 on: December 01, 2010, 11:26:22 AM »

So if Christ didn't say "write this down" did why did they?
The Apostles were being martyred off.

Quote
Maybe the writing has nothing to do with his message.

John 1:14; 14:26; 15:26; 19:35; 20:31. So don't beg the question, make your "case."
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« Reply #166 on: December 01, 2010, 11:43:01 AM »

The other question is whether or not the Theology and Practices of the Church reflect the will of God and is of the same Faith as the Apostles. That is a different question. We are certain we have changed nothing about the Faith but that is a question to be explored at length and in a different way than the historical question, which is beyond dispute.

Marc I appreciate the response, would you mind going into more detail with this? Thank you.

Which part?

In terms of History, I would recommend the book "The Orthodox Church" by Bishop Kallistos Ware. It is widely used throughout the Church as a standard History of the Church ( though some folks consider him a bit too liberal).

I would also say that no serious scholar could get away with claiming the Orthodox Church really began in the 4th century or that it is not the same organization that has existed from the beginning.

For example, if you were a Graduate Student at a reputable University with a good school of Religion, lets say Princeton for example and in your  thesis you tried to make one these goofy Protestant  claims, you could not get away with it. You would be laughed out of the Program.

 As far as the Faith goes, you will need to ask individual questions. There are plenty of well learned people here who can help you. The Early Church looked and acted far more like the Orthodox Church than some sort of fanciful gathering of Protestants. It was based on the Eucharist, the real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, it was hierarchical with Priests and Bishops, they had Confession,etc. And as questions arouse about the spiritual identity of Jesus and other matters, The Church held Councils to come to a conclusion.

I would recommend the book: "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition"

by Michael Pomazansky ,

  
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« Reply #167 on: December 01, 2010, 03:57:19 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

While I don't fully agree with this, HabteSelassie, I think you bring up a very good point.  I have found in my conversations with atheists that they become very frustrated when they find out Christianity is not like other things that can be dissected and studied.  They keep arguing with it as if it were.

It's like being angry at a painting because it isn't a math equation.

I cannot prove to anyone that my wife loves me.  It is something that can only be experienced in close, personal union.

So why are there so many people trying to debate christianity? The original poster is not going to convert because you convince him with logic. Why not encourage him to find what he is looking for? Would not prayer or "come and see" be a better response to someone looking for a personal experience with God in their heart.

(I agree with your post Sleeper and quote it not as a challenge but to entice others to rethink their game plan. So many are trying to win an argument and not help a convert.)

Truthfully we must all pray constantly for God to unveil Himself to His own in His own Time.  But in regards to these discussions, it would be almost rude and disrespectful to the debaters and inquirers to discredit their skepticism and disregard it altogether.  It is a matter of mutual respect, if we expect them to hear our testimony, to try the Spirit, to fellowship with us, than surely we must oblige the same in return to them.  We must hear them in sincerity, we must empathize with them in sincerity, we must minister to them in the literal sense, and come down to where they are at, and comfortably share a moment with them, that they might see that the love of God in our lives is so concrete, so sustaining, that we can even dip into their element, into their level, and survive unscathed, cheerful, polite, attentive.

Atheists are happier when Christians actually discuss the issue with them, rather than patronize or dismiss them off, and this is what God calls us to do with all people, to share their lives with them whatever their lives may be, without judgment or partiality.
stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #168 on: December 08, 2010, 07:31:13 PM »

Here is an interesting article for TtC:

"In the beginning was Nothing, and Nothing created Everything. When Nothing decided to create Everything, she filled a tiny dot with Time, Chance, and Everything and had it expand. The expansion spread Everything into Everywhere carrying Time and Chance with it to keep it company. The three stretched out together leaving bits of themselves wherever they went. One of those places was the planet Earth."

Full Article: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/12/when-nothing-created-everything

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« Reply #169 on: December 09, 2010, 01:14:18 AM »

Here is an interesting article for TtC:

"In the beginning was Nothing, and Nothing created Everything. When Nothing decided to create Everything, she filled a tiny dot with Time, Chance, and Everything and had it expand. The expansion spread Everything into Everywhere carrying Time and Chance with it to keep it company. The three stretched out together leaving bits of themselves wherever they went. One of those places was the planet Earth."

Full Article: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/12/when-nothing-created-everything


Cute story.

So, where did God come from?
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« Reply #170 on: December 09, 2010, 01:34:10 AM »

Here is an interesting article for TtC:

"In the beginning was Nothing, and Nothing created Everything. When Nothing decided to create Everything, she filled a tiny dot with Time, Chance, and Everything and had it expand. The expansion spread Everything into Everywhere carrying Time and Chance with it to keep it company. The three stretched out together leaving bits of themselves wherever they went. One of those places was the planet Earth."

Full Article: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/12/when-nothing-created-everything


Cute story.

So, where did God come from?
How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
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« Reply #171 on: December 09, 2010, 01:58:48 AM »

LOL @ tag, undercover Protestant troll
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« Reply #172 on: December 09, 2010, 04:36:32 AM »

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

As many as want to do so.
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« Reply #173 on: December 09, 2010, 02:45:21 PM »

Here is an interesting article for TtC:

"In the beginning was Nothing, and Nothing created Everything. When Nothing decided to create Everything, she filled a tiny dot with Time, Chance, and Everything and had it expand. The expansion spread Everything into Everywhere carrying Time and Chance with it to keep it company. The three stretched out together leaving bits of themselves wherever they went. One of those places was the planet Earth."

Full Article: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/12/when-nothing-created-everything


Cute story.

So, where did God come from?
Only beings that are finite and changing need a cause. If a being is pure actuality, there is no need for a cause. The law of sufficient reason states that a being must have a sufficient reason for its existence in itself or in another. Finite, changing beings all must find a sufficient reason for the their existence in another. Thus they are caused beings. Since God is not finite and changing, we need not seek the sufficient reason for his existence in another, but rather in himself. As a self-existent being, he is the only uncaused being.

And, yes, I know some of the Anti-Westerners here will get all bent out of shape over the fact that I used Thomistic terminology.
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« Reply #174 on: December 09, 2010, 02:46:50 PM »

Here is an interesting article for TtC:

"In the beginning was Nothing, and Nothing created Everything. When Nothing decided to create Everything, she filled a tiny dot with Time, Chance, and Everything and had it expand. The expansion spread Everything into Everywhere carrying Time and Chance with it to keep it company. The three stretched out together leaving bits of themselves wherever they went. One of those places was the planet Earth."

Full Article: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/12/when-nothing-created-everything


Cute story.

So, where did God come from?
How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Since angels are not physical beings, they would not be able to dance, in the sense that we know it. lol
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« Reply #175 on: December 09, 2010, 03:21:53 PM »

Here is an interesting article for TtC:

"In the beginning was Nothing, and Nothing created Everything. When Nothing decided to create Everything, she filled a tiny dot with Time, Chance, and Everything and had it expand. The expansion spread Everything into Everywhere carrying Time and Chance with it to keep it company. The three stretched out together leaving bits of themselves wherever they went. One of those places was the planet Earth."

Full Article: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/12/when-nothing-created-everything


Cute story.

So, where did God come from?
Only beings that are finite and changing need a cause. If a being is pure actuality, there is no need for a cause. The law of sufficient reason states that a being must have a sufficient reason for its existence in itself or in another. Finite, changing beings all must find a sufficient reason for the their existence in another. Thus they are caused beings. Since God is not finite and changing, we need not seek the sufficient reason for his existence in another, but rather in himself. As a self-existent being, he is the only uncaused being.

And, yes, I know some of the Anti-Westerners here will get all bent out of shape over the fact that I used Thomistic terminology.

And you wonder where secularism came from?
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« Reply #176 on: December 09, 2010, 03:22:46 PM »

Here is an interesting article for TtC:

"In the beginning was Nothing, and Nothing created Everything. When Nothing decided to create Everything, she filled a tiny dot with Time, Chance, and Everything and had it expand. The expansion spread Everything into Everywhere carrying Time and Chance with it to keep it company. The three stretched out together leaving bits of themselves wherever they went. One of those places was the planet Earth."

Full Article: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/12/when-nothing-created-everything


Cute story.

So, where did God come from?
Only beings that are finite and changing need a cause. If a being is pure actuality, there is no need for a cause. The law of sufficient reason states that a being must have a sufficient reason for its existence in itself or in another. Finite, changing beings all must find a sufficient reason for the their existence in another. Thus they are caused beings. Since God is not finite and changing, we need not seek the sufficient reason for his existence in another, but rather in himself. As a self-existent being, he is the only uncaused being.

And, yes, I know some of the Anti-Westerners here will get all bent out of shape over the fact that I used Thomistic terminology.

And you wonder where secularism came from?
To say that secularism came from proving the existence of God, may almost be as silly as isa's post.  Cheesy
Scholasticism (in it's Thomistic form) was actually against the Averroists who were, in fact, the precursors to secularists. Thomas defended the faith from secularism.
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« Reply #177 on: December 09, 2010, 03:23:23 PM »

Here is an interesting article for TtC:

"In the beginning was Nothing, and Nothing created Everything. When Nothing decided to create Everything, she filled a tiny dot with Time, Chance, and Everything and had it expand. The expansion spread Everything into Everywhere carrying Time and Chance with it to keep it company. The three stretched out together leaving bits of themselves wherever they went. One of those places was the planet Earth."

Full Article: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/12/when-nothing-created-everything


Cute story.

So, where did God come from?
How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Since angels are not physical beings, they would not be able to dance, in the sense that we know it. lol

This is the kinda Scholasticism I can get into!
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« Reply #178 on: December 09, 2010, 03:26:08 PM »

Here is an interesting article for TtC:

"In the beginning was Nothing, and Nothing created Everything. When Nothing decided to create Everything, she filled a tiny dot with Time, Chance, and Everything and had it expand. The expansion spread Everything into Everywhere carrying Time and Chance with it to keep it company. The three stretched out together leaving bits of themselves wherever they went. One of those places was the planet Earth."

Full Article: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/12/when-nothing-created-everything


Cute story.

So, where did God come from?
Only beings that are finite and changing need a cause. If a being is pure actuality, there is no need for a cause. The law of sufficient reason states that a being must have a sufficient reason for its existence in itself or in another. Finite, changing beings all must find a sufficient reason for the their existence in another. Thus they are caused beings. Since God is not finite and changing, we need not seek the sufficient reason for his existence in another, but rather in himself. As a self-existent being, he is the only uncaused being.

And, yes, I know some of the Anti-Westerners here will get all bent out of shape over the fact that I used Thomistic terminology.

And you wonder where secularism came from?
To say that secularism came from proving the existence of God, may almost be as silly as isa's post.  Cheesy

To render God to a syllogism, no matter how complex, is laughable. Certainly not Christian nor Biblical. Where is the Gospel in that argument of yours? The Cross?
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« Reply #179 on: December 09, 2010, 03:27:47 PM »

Here is an interesting article for TtC:

"In the beginning was Nothing, and Nothing created Everything. When Nothing decided to create Everything, she filled a tiny dot with Time, Chance, and Everything and had it expand. The expansion spread Everything into Everywhere carrying Time and Chance with it to keep it company. The three stretched out together leaving bits of themselves wherever they went. One of those places was the planet Earth."

Full Article: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/12/when-nothing-created-everything


Cute story.

So, where did God come from?
Only beings that are finite and changing need a cause. If a being is pure actuality, there is no need for a cause. The law of sufficient reason states that a being must have a sufficient reason for its existence in itself or in another. Finite, changing beings all must find a sufficient reason for the their existence in another. Thus they are caused beings. Since God is not finite and changing, we need not seek the sufficient reason for his existence in another, but rather in himself. As a self-existent being, he is the only uncaused being.

And, yes, I know some of the Anti-Westerners here will get all bent out of shape over the fact that I used Thomistic terminology.

And you wonder where secularism came from?
To say that secularism came from proving the existence of God, may almost be as silly as isa's post.  Cheesy

To render God to a syllogism, no matter how complex, is laughable. Certainly not Christian nor Biblical. Where is the Gospel in that argument of yours? The Cross?
Wow, you are completely undeducated about scholasticism. In fact, Thomas explicitly argues that we cannot know what God is. In fact, he says that the begining of wisdom is to know that we do not know with regard to God. That is different from arguing that God exists.
St. Paul is with me on this, not you.
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