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Author Topic: Does the Orthodox Church "change?"  (Read 8637 times) Average Rating: 0
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Volnutt
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« Reply #90 on: August 17, 2011, 08:58:41 PM »

Oh ok, sort of like how the exact idea of the Trinity was not in the early church but they still knew Father, Son, and Spirit were all the One God.

I can dig that. Thanks!

Yes. The way I tend to think about it is this:

I don't know that St Paul personally had condensed the essence of Christianity into something like the Nicene Creed. The heresies had not yet arisen to make such a clear definition of the faith necessary. But if you were a time traveler and gave St Paul a copy of the Nicene Creed, he would certainly agree with every word. Conversely, he would certainly recognize Arianism or Origenism as heresy, even though it did not yet exist.

Since we're already talking about the iconostasis, I have a related question. How does the idea of the iconostasis relate to the torn Temple veil and the believer being able to "go boldly before the Throne of Grace?"

Someone else might like to take a stab at this, but I view it similarly to the priesthood of all believers.

We believe that all Christians are priests, by virtue of their anointing with Holy Chrism. But we still have a sacramental priesthood, for those who are authorized to perform certain special actions on behalf of the community. In the same way, the entire Church—the entire Universe—is sacred, but we still set aside a portion of the Church specifically for the altar and celebrating the divine services.

We can all go boldly before the Throne of Grace because we have Christ living within us, and we can pray anywhere. And certainly the Iconostasis is not meant to keep us away from God's holiness, because that is one point of the veil—to keep people from getting killed by God's sheer glory. But indeed today God comes into us, and makes us all into the Holy of Holies when we take His Body and Blood.

But in the context of liturgical worship, we still set aside certain spaces as holy. In the earliest times, I imagine this was more of a practical consideration than anything else. The priest had to carry out his duties without tripping over people, so a wall was built to make sure he was free to move about unencumbered. But with time, the Iconostasis has also gained theological meanings, representing Heaven and so forth.

That's not the most satisfactory answer, and I'm sure someone else can explain it better, but that's what makes sense to me.

why this restrictions concerning the alter?why can`t women enter in it?why do we need another "holy of holies" ?
As bogdan said,
Quote
But we still have a sacramental priesthood, for those who are authorized to perform certain special actions on behalf of the community. In the same way, the entire Church—the entire Universe—is sacred, but we still set aside a portion of the Church specifically for the altar and celebrating the divine services.
Not all in the Church teach, not all evangelize, etc. Likewise, not all are set aside to handle the Eucharist-the unique and special way Christ comes among His people during the service. The altar is not set aside because God is separate from us, it's set aside because He's coming us in a mystical union which is a literal foretaste of Heaven and something completely sacred.

Women don't go behind the alter because they are not allowed to be priests and altar servers. That's a different debate not having to do with the altar as such.
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Volnutt
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« Reply #91 on: August 17, 2011, 09:10:15 PM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

I would suggest it began with the creation of the first creatures, the noetic beings. The Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God. The word in Greek, which St. Paul uses a lot is ekklesia from ekkalein, which means something like called out.

Not a new coinage, but an old Greek word, which generally meant practically an assembly or gathering of persons.

So putting the etymology together with its quotidian playing out, we get something like: the assembly of those who were called out.

So I would suggest such a definition would only apply to those called out by God. I think there is a felicitous aspect of language at work. We were called into being. The Father was not. The Son is begotten. The Holy Spirit proceeds.

FWIW, the word qahal, which certainly got glossed as ekklesia, has a similar etymology and pragmatic upshot.

So this is just to say where I think the Church began and when, if such words can be used.

If we are in agreement here or close enough. Then we have to ask what is the ontological nature of the Church. I think my definition above is broad enough to begin: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

If we can agree this broad definition captures something (I am not sure how finely we need to dice for internets' and sanity's sake) of the ontological nature (I hate that turn of phrase) of the Church, then I think we can move rather forward in a reasonable manner to answering your question.

Let me know what you think.
Your definition makes sense to me, though I have difficulties with how it includes the Church as "institution" (Why does a voluntary assembly need it's own money? But perhaps I'm being influenced by some modern House Church Only advocates I've come across...) But at any rate, yes, I can accept your description.
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Volnutt
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« Reply #92 on: August 17, 2011, 09:13:19 PM »

the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.
I would suspect that this definition would not be acceptable to the Orthodox posters here, since they claim that R. Catholics, Protestants and others in Communion with God are outside of the Church. Unless, it is asserted that only Orthodox are in Communion with God.

You are getting too far ahead.

This is why people can't read serious texts anymore much less an internet post. They immediately project whatever criticism which does not lie at hand but might turn up later, rather than accept an idea and see where it leads or address the text where it stands not where they believe it is going to. I am not sure where this going. It is a dialog.

But this ain't surprising to me.

Which is why internetz don't make for good discussions, unless you are going to play internetz, which I do well and am trying to depart from here.

So you can take your omega and keep it. We are barely round alpha.
I must admit, this is also the first conclusion I jumped to  laugh. Invisible church hangover, I guess.

But you're right, best not to get ahead of ourselves. Socrates would be proud  Wink.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #93 on: August 17, 2011, 09:36:05 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.
and if you keep on wearing diapers and you're 21 years old, that's not change.
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« Reply #94 on: August 17, 2011, 09:37:08 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.
So there is development of doctrine after all?
only in decomposing corpses.
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« Reply #95 on: August 17, 2011, 09:39:35 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.
So there is development of doctrine after all?
only in decomposing corpses.
So you are changing your mind about changes in the Orthodox Church?
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ialmisry
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« Reply #96 on: August 17, 2011, 09:42:51 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.
So there is development of doctrine after all?
only in decomposing corpses.
So you are changing your mind about changes in the Orthodox Church?
No. What gave you that idea?
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« Reply #97 on: August 18, 2011, 01:10:46 AM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no. 
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Volnutt
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« Reply #98 on: August 18, 2011, 02:49:31 AM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.
So there is development of doctrine after all?
only in decomposing corpses.
So you are changing your mind about changes in the Orthodox Church?
Honestly, I think Papal Supremacy/Universal Jurisdiction has changed the RCC into something fundamentally different than it was before (in theory if not in day-to-day practice). I've not seen a change quite as drastic in Orthodoxy, though perhaps the rise of auricular confession and Bishop Peter Mogila's introduction of a Latin style formula of absolution in the Russian Church count as such.

It's hard to pin down the dividing line between "normal growth" and "radical change/plastic surgery" (almost a Sorites Paradox) but I think FatherHLL's analogy has a lot of wisdom to it.
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« Reply #99 on: August 18, 2011, 01:11:25 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no. 

change is not the same... your orange tree in the back yard is not the same it was a few mounths , years , before... how blind are you people?
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ialmisry
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« Reply #100 on: August 18, 2011, 01:33:11 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no.  

change is not the same... your orange tree in the back yard is not the same it was a few mounths , years , before... how blind are you people?
LOL.  The lost calling those who can see blind.

You argue for the orange tree five minutes from now not being the same, denying any continuity.  Moment by moment an orange tree vanishes from existence and another magically appears its place, with no connection, only to vanish and be replaced in turn. So you wallow in the absurdity of atomism, and if you embrace absurdity, it explains why you are lost.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 01:34:44 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #101 on: August 18, 2011, 01:42:28 PM »

Orthonorm  Shocked, I think that is the most intelligent post I've seen from you yet.. (# 76)!  And it's not full of comedy!  laugh 

And you see how that has gone.

people would rather go over the same old analogies and apologies without even knowing where they stand on common ground and where they begin to diverge.

Internetz is fun. Discussion ain't.
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« Reply #102 on: August 18, 2011, 01:43:47 PM »

the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.
I would suspect that this definition would not be acceptable to the Orthodox posters here, since they claim that R. Catholics, Protestants and others in Communion with God are outside of the Church. Unless, it is asserted that only Orthodox are in Communion with God.

You are getting too far ahead.

This is why people can't read serious texts anymore much less an internet post. They immediately project whatever criticism which does not lie at hand but might turn up later, rather than accept an idea and see where it leads or address the text where it stands not where they believe it is going to. I am not sure where this going. It is a dialog.

But this ain't surprising to me.

Which is why internetz don't make for good discussions, unless you are going to play internetz, which I do well and am trying to depart from here.

So you can take your omega and keep it. We are barely round alpha.
I must admit, this is also the first conclusion I jumped to  laugh. Invisible church hangover, I guess.

But you're right, best not to get ahead of ourselves. Socrates would be proud  Wink.

Then go back to that post I made and let me know if we can progress or if you have any critiques which seem germane at this point.

Or you can argue over orange trees and if they change.

EDIT: Sorry didn't see your answer among the grove of orange trees!
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orthonorm
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« Reply #103 on: August 18, 2011, 01:57:39 PM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

I would suggest it began with the creation of the first creatures, the noetic beings. The Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God. The word in Greek, which St. Paul uses a lot is ekklesia from ekkalein, which means something like called out.

Not a new coinage, but an old Greek word, which generally meant practically an assembly or gathering of persons.

So putting the etymology together with its quotidian playing out, we get something like: the assembly of those who were called out.

So I would suggest such a definition would only apply to those called out by God. I think there is a felicitous aspect of language at work. We were called into being. The Father was not. The Son is begotten. The Holy Spirit proceeds.

FWIW, the word qahal, which certainly got glossed as ekklesia, has a similar etymology and pragmatic upshot.

So this is just to say where I think the Church began and when, if such words can be used.

If we are in agreement here or close enough. Then we have to ask what is the ontological nature of the Church. I think my definition above is broad enough to begin: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

If we can agree this broad definition captures something (I am not sure how finely we need to dice for internets' and sanity's sake) of the ontological nature (I hate that turn of phrase) of the Church, then I think we can move rather forward in a reasonable manner to answering your question.

Let me know what you think.
Your definition makes sense to me, though I have difficulties with how it includes the Church as "institution" (Why does a voluntary assembly need it's own money? But perhaps I'm being influenced by some modern House Church Only advocates I've come across...) But at any rate, yes, I can accept your description.

We ain't to any "institution" as such yet.

OK, if we can agree that the Church is something like: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

There is a problem in our definition or something that we have not discussed at least.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

What do you think? Let's keep this "simple". We will try to not to get too sophisticated at this point.

In full disclosure, I anticipate some difficulty here, as there is a certain approach most people take here, and I am trying to make that clear.

Since we are trying a couple things at once I believe:

Figure out what your assumptions are.
Show what my assumptions are.
See if they make any sense within Orthodoxy.
See if to what degree we can or cannot accept the Orthodox understanding of what the Church is.

Right now, if I can be so arrogant, for you, the first matter is of most import.

Without getting a handle a little bit on some our implicit assumptions, how can we jump into the fracas built upon our assumptions with any sanity or usefulness?

If we are not willing to simply submit to the Church as Orthodoxy understands it, which I am.
If we have not learn to then trust and faith in the Orthodox Church, as I have.

Then, we can have a productive conversation at least. And I think that can never hurt.

We'll see.

So back to the question:

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

p.s. Of course, I just think going to liturgy a lot is the best answer, but here we are.
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« Reply #104 on: August 18, 2011, 01:59:44 PM »

Orange trees develop over time. Isn't this the development of doctrine idea?
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« Reply #105 on: August 18, 2011, 02:04:22 PM »

Orange trees develop over time. Isn't this the development of doctrine idea?
The issue is innovation vs. development.
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« Reply #106 on: August 18, 2011, 03:02:31 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no.  

change is not the same... your orange tree in the back yard is not the same it was a few mounths , years , before... how blind are you people?
LOL.  The lost calling those who can see blind.

You argue for the orange tree five minutes from now not being the same, denying any continuity.  Moment by moment an orange tree vanishes from existence and another magically appears its place, with no connection, only to vanish and be replaced in turn. So you wallow in the absurdity of atomism, and if you embrace absurdity, it explains why you are lost.

edited posts show insecurity... r u sure? Smiley
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« Reply #107 on: August 18, 2011, 03:03:44 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no.  

change is not the same... your orange tree in the back yard is not the same it was a few mounths , years , before... how blind are you people?
LOL.  The lost calling those who can see blind.

You argue for the orange tree five minutes from now not being the same, denying any continuity.  Moment by moment an orange tree vanishes from existence and another magically appears its place, with no connection, only to vanish and be replaced in turn. So you wallow in the absurdity of atomism, and if you embrace absurdity, it explains why you are lost.


no i didn`t say that... you are the ones who say a change is not a change... be a man and tell the truth... enoughh with this Orthodoxy dullness I said!
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« Reply #108 on: August 18, 2011, 03:14:19 PM »

edited posts show insecurity... r u sure? Smiley

Or problems with quoting tags, Sherlock.
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« Reply #109 on: August 18, 2011, 03:21:01 PM »

Yes. Of course She does.
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« Reply #110 on: August 18, 2011, 03:46:00 PM »

Only God is immutable.
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« Reply #111 on: August 18, 2011, 10:30:28 PM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

I would suggest it began with the creation of the first creatures, the noetic beings. The Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God. The word in Greek, which St. Paul uses a lot is ekklesia from ekkalein, which means something like called out.

Not a new coinage, but an old Greek word, which generally meant practically an assembly or gathering of persons.

So putting the etymology together with its quotidian playing out, we get something like: the assembly of those who were called out.

So I would suggest such a definition would only apply to those called out by God. I think there is a felicitous aspect of language at work. We were called into being. The Father was not. The Son is begotten. The Holy Spirit proceeds.

FWIW, the word qahal, which certainly got glossed as ekklesia, has a similar etymology and pragmatic upshot.

So this is just to say where I think the Church began and when, if such words can be used.

If we are in agreement here or close enough. Then we have to ask what is the ontological nature of the Church. I think my definition above is broad enough to begin: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

If we can agree this broad definition captures something (I am not sure how finely we need to dice for internets' and sanity's sake) of the ontological nature (I hate that turn of phrase) of the Church, then I think we can move rather forward in a reasonable manner to answering your question.

Let me know what you think.
Your definition makes sense to me, though I have difficulties with how it includes the Church as "institution" (Why does a voluntary assembly need it's own money? But perhaps I'm being influenced by some modern House Church Only advocates I've come across...) But at any rate, yes, I can accept your description.

We ain't to any "institution" as such yet.

OK, if we can agree that the Church is something like: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

There is a problem in our definition or something that we have not discussed at least.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

What do you think? Let's keep this "simple". We will try to not to get too sophisticated at this point.

In full disclosure, I anticipate some difficulty here, as there is a certain approach most people take here, and I am trying to make that clear.

Since we are trying a couple things at once I believe:

Figure out what your assumptions are.
Show what my assumptions are.
See if they make any sense within Orthodoxy.
See if to what degree we can or cannot accept the Orthodox understanding of what the Church is.

Right now, if I can be so arrogant, for you, the first matter is of most import.

Without getting a handle a little bit on some our implicit assumptions, how can we jump into the fracas built upon our assumptions with any sanity or usefulness?

If we are not willing to simply submit to the Church as Orthodoxy understands it, which I am.
If we have not learn to then trust and faith in the Orthodox Church, as I have.

Then, we can have a productive conversation at least. And I think that can never hurt.

We'll see.

So back to the question:

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

p.s. Of course, I just think going to liturgy a lot is the best answer, but here we are.
Fair enough. I'll shelve the orange tree thing. I've never been good at sussing out my own assumptions...

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God? In virtue of his submission to God. "I am the Lord's handmaiden. Let it be done to me as you have said." The more we surrender everything in us, the more He comes in and "sups" with us.
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« Reply #112 on: August 18, 2011, 10:43:12 PM »

Orange trees develop over time. Isn't this the development of doctrine idea?

No.  Orange trees do not produce apples. 
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« Reply #113 on: August 18, 2011, 10:53:55 PM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

I would suggest it began with the creation of the first creatures, the noetic beings. The Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God. The word in Greek, which St. Paul uses a lot is ekklesia from ekkalein, which means something like called out.

Not a new coinage, but an old Greek word, which generally meant practically an assembly or gathering of persons.

So putting the etymology together with its quotidian playing out, we get something like: the assembly of those who were called out.

So I would suggest such a definition would only apply to those called out by God. I think there is a felicitous aspect of language at work. We were called into being. The Father was not. The Son is begotten. The Holy Spirit proceeds.

FWIW, the word qahal, which certainly got glossed as ekklesia, has a similar etymology and pragmatic upshot.

So this is just to say where I think the Church began and when, if such words can be used.

If we are in agreement here or close enough. Then we have to ask what is the ontological nature of the Church. I think my definition above is broad enough to begin: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

If we can agree this broad definition captures something (I am not sure how finely we need to dice for internets' and sanity's sake) of the ontological nature (I hate that turn of phrase) of the Church, then I think we can move rather forward in a reasonable manner to answering your question.

Let me know what you think.
Your definition makes sense to me, though I have difficulties with how it includes the Church as "institution" (Why does a voluntary assembly need it's own money? But perhaps I'm being influenced by some modern House Church Only advocates I've come across...) But at any rate, yes, I can accept your description.

We ain't to any "institution" as such yet.

OK, if we can agree that the Church is something like: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

There is a problem in our definition or something that we have not discussed at least.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

What do you think? Let's keep this "simple". We will try to not to get too sophisticated at this point.

In full disclosure, I anticipate some difficulty here, as there is a certain approach most people take here, and I am trying to make that clear.

Since we are trying a couple things at once I believe:

Figure out what your assumptions are.
Show what my assumptions are.
See if they make any sense within Orthodoxy.
See if to what degree we can or cannot accept the Orthodox understanding of what the Church is.

Right now, if I can be so arrogant, for you, the first matter is of most import.

Without getting a handle a little bit on some our implicit assumptions, how can we jump into the fracas built upon our assumptions with any sanity or usefulness?

If we are not willing to simply submit to the Church as Orthodoxy understands it, which I am.
If we have not learn to then trust and faith in the Orthodox Church, as I have.

Then, we can have a productive conversation at least. And I think that can never hurt.

We'll see.

So back to the question:

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

p.s. Of course, I just think going to liturgy a lot is the best answer, but here we are.
Fair enough. I'll shelve the orange tree thing. I've never been good at sussing out my own assumptions...

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God? In virtue of his submission to God. "I am the Lord's handmaiden. Let it be done to me as you have said." The more we surrender everything in us, the more He comes in and "sups" with us.

I think this a great answer to start with and nice line of Scripture, though I dislike the use of the word handmaiden, been a pet peeve since a kid, as I thought handmaiden sounded "lame" and I was correct to come to find out.

Anyway.

You didn't fall into a snare I was concerned might get in the way!

So, let's take a look at our agreed statement about the Church (I hope this doesn't come across patronizing, even through we can scroll, I find keeping our base statements in the forefront of the discussion will help, I apologize if it seems otherwise):

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

I asked about how a creature remains in communion with God.

It was a bit of a test, I admit. And perhaps a pre-emptive caution to avoid going down a road to nowhere.

But the more difficult and salient question lies in:

In virtue of what are a gathering of creatures in communion with God?

If this is too tedious, I understand.

Again there is no "correct" answer here, just seeing what our assumptions are. We can always change our minds, if we miss step or miss speak / write.

I am sure you see my reasoning by asking the one question before the other. If not, think about it.

Also, I bet this last question is harder to answer or not as simply. I admit it is for me.

If you share that difficulty, why do you think it is, and if the former question is easier, and the latter more difficult, can you see where things might lead taking the easier route to the degree we might even avoid the more difficult question?

In any case answer the primary question, the others you can table, or expound upon if you wish.

Or you can tell me I am full of S.
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« Reply #114 on: August 18, 2011, 11:30:56 PM »

It's harder to answer, I guess, because of the innate difficulty in making the jump from talking about individuals as atoms in relation to God and even talking about how individuals relate to one another in a group setting, much less taking this group dynamic and relating it to God-if that makes sense.

So, in what virtue is a gathering of creatures in communion with God? In virtue of how they act as one in relation to God. To the extent that they are in harmony of mind and purpose they then relate to God as one individual.

Conversely, in as much as each member considers himself isolated from the gathering, the ability of it to achieve unity and interact with God as unity is compromised if not eliminated

This one did take me longer to answer, but I now see why you asked about individuals first, at least in terms of my own answer. Unity is prior to multiplicity.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 11:31:24 PM by Volnutt » Logged
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« Reply #115 on: August 19, 2011, 02:37:34 AM »

Orange trees develop over time. Isn't this the development of doctrine idea?
no. Grafting apples on the orange tree is.
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« Reply #116 on: August 19, 2011, 02:54:18 AM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no.  

change is not the same... your orange tree in the back yard is not the same it was a few mounths , years , before... how blind are you people?
LOL.  The lost calling those who can see blind.

You argue for the orange tree five minutes from now not being the same, denying any continuity.  Moment by moment an orange tree vanishes from existence and another magically appears its place, with no connection, only to vanish and be replaced in turn. So you wallow in the absurdity of atomism, and if you embrace absurdity, it explains why you are lost.


no i didn`t say that... you are the ones who say a change is not a change... be a man and tell the truth... enoughh with this Orthodoxy dullness I said!
didn't you just reply (as opposed to answering) this post?
No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no. 

change is not the same... your orange tree in the back yard is not the same it was a few mounths , years , before... how blind are you people?
LOL.  The lost calling those who can see blind.

You argue for the orange tree five minutes from now not being the same, denying any continuity.  Moment by moment an orange tree vanishes from existence and another magically appears its place, with no connection, only to vanish and be replaced in turn. So you wallow in the absurdity of atomism, and if you embrace absurdity, it explains why you are lost.

edited posts show insecurity... r u sure? Smiley
I thought so.  Insecure about your first response, or just not sure?

no i didn`t say that...
You have in fact posted much and said nothing.

you are the ones who say a change is not a change...
because we see reality is not a random blurr of atoms.

be a man and tell the truth...
Obviously more man than you can handle.

enoughh with this Orthodoxy dullness I said!
Change for change's sake.  Sorry, Orthodoxy isn't here to entertain you.
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #117 on: August 19, 2011, 07:40:49 PM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

I would suggest it began with the creation of the first creatures, the noetic beings. The Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God. The word in Greek, which St. Paul uses a lot is ekklesia from ekkalein, which means something like called out.

Not a new coinage, but an old Greek word, which generally meant practically an assembly or gathering of persons.

So putting the etymology together with its quotidian playing out, we get something like: the assembly of those who were called out.

So I would suggest such a definition would only apply to those called out by God. I think there is a felicitous aspect of language at work. We were called into being. The Father was not. The Son is begotten. The Holy Spirit proceeds.

FWIW, the word qahal, which certainly got glossed as ekklesia, has a similar etymology and pragmatic upshot.

So this is just to say where I think the Church began and when, if such words can be used.

If we are in agreement here or close enough. Then we have to ask what is the ontological nature of the Church. I think my definition above is broad enough to begin: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

If we can agree this broad definition captures something (I am not sure how finely we need to dice for internets' and sanity's sake) of the ontological nature (I hate that turn of phrase) of the Church, then I think we can move rather forward in a reasonable manner to answering your question.

Let me know what you think.
Your definition makes sense to me, though I have difficulties with how it includes the Church as "institution" (Why does a voluntary assembly need it's own money? But perhaps I'm being influenced by some modern House Church Only advocates I've come across...) But at any rate, yes, I can accept your description.

We ain't to any "institution" as such yet.

OK, if we can agree that the Church is something like: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

There is a problem in our definition or something that we have not discussed at least.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

What do you think? Let's keep this "simple". We will try to not to get too sophisticated at this point.

In full disclosure, I anticipate some difficulty here, as there is a certain approach most people take here, and I am trying to make that clear.

Since we are trying a couple things at once I believe:

Figure out what your assumptions are.
Show what my assumptions are.
See if they make any sense within Orthodoxy.
See if to what degree we can or cannot accept the Orthodox understanding of what the Church is.

Right now, if I can be so arrogant, for you, the first matter is of most import.

Without getting a handle a little bit on some our implicit assumptions, how can we jump into the fracas built upon our assumptions with any sanity or usefulness?

If we are not willing to simply submit to the Church as Orthodoxy understands it, which I am.
If we have not learn to then trust and faith in the Orthodox Church, as I have.

Then, we can have a productive conversation at least. And I think that can never hurt.

We'll see.

So back to the question:

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

p.s. Of course, I just think going to liturgy a lot is the best answer, but here we are.
Fair enough. I'll shelve the orange tree thing. I've never been good at sussing out my own assumptions...

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God? In virtue of his submission to God. "I am the Lord's handmaiden. Let it be done to me as you have said." The more we surrender everything in us, the more He comes in and "sups" with us.

I think this a great answer to start with and nice line of Scripture, though I dislike the use of the word handmaiden, been a pet peeve since a kid, as I thought handmaiden sounded "lame" and I was correct to come to find out.

Anyway.

You didn't fall into a snare I was concerned might get in the way!

So, let's take a look at our agreed statement about the Church (I hope this doesn't come across patronizing, even through we can scroll, I find keeping our base statements in the forefront of the discussion will help, I apologize if it seems otherwise):

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

I asked about how a creature remains in communion with God.

It was a bit of a test, I admit. And perhaps a pre-emptive caution to avoid going down a road to nowhere.

But the more difficult and salient question lies in:

In virtue of what are a gathering of creatures in communion with God?

If this is too tedious, I understand.

Again there is no "correct" answer here, just seeing what our assumptions are. We can always change our minds, if we miss step or miss speak / write.

I am sure you see my reasoning by asking the one question before the other. If not, think about it.

Also, I bet this last question is harder to answer or not as simply. I admit it is for me.

If you share that difficulty, why do you think it is, and if the former question is easier, and the latter more difficult, can you see where things might lead taking the easier route to the degree we might even avoid the more difficult question?

In any case answer the primary question, the others you can table, or expound upon if you wish.

Or you can tell me I am full of S.

It's harder to answer, I guess, because of the innate difficulty in making the jump from talking about individuals as atoms in relation to God and even talking about how individuals relate to one another in a group setting, much less taking this group dynamic and relating it to God-if that makes sense.

So, in what virtue is a gathering of creatures in communion with God? In virtue of how they act as one in relation to God. To the extent that they are in harmony of mind and purpose they then relate to God as one individual.

Conversely, in as much as each member considers himself isolated from the gathering, the ability of it to achieve unity and interact with God as unity is compromised if not eliminated

This one did take me longer to answer, but I now see why you asked about individuals first, at least in terms of my own answer. Unity is prior to multiplicity.

I am keeping the quote trees going for once, that way I can more easily keep in mind what we have said.

I am surprised by your answers to my speculative questions, they are rather astute and more abstract that I had expected. Which is neither better or worse.

To try to keep this discussion focused as much as I possible, we might have to table some tangents which arise, to return to later.

In any case, we agree it is more difficult to say in virtue of what a gathering of beings remain in Communion with God, than that of an "individual".

Yet, it seem rather easy it seems to suggest some definition for an "individual", whether one may or may not agree.

Given the disparate ease in answering these questions, I was alluding to perhaps some of the inherent difficulties which have played over time, which have led us to a period where the "Church" is some loosely, undefined, group of people who are in virtue of something (usually something they cannot agree completely on) in Communion with God.

Can you see how this difficulty might be somewhat responsible for the notion of the "invisible Church" and our growing up in a world where we didn't really grapple with what the "Church" was, leads us to a quick response about the conditions under which a person remains in Communion with God versus a gathering?

I'll get back to my thoughts on the other aspects your post. But can we agree in some general sense the speaking in terms of a gathering rather than an individual is more difficult. And this might have lead to current "loose" theories about what the "Church" is and placed the focus on the individual?

Let me know.
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« Reply #118 on: August 19, 2011, 08:14:34 PM »

Quote
Given the disparate ease in answering these questions, I was alluding to perhaps some of the inherent difficulties which have played over time, which have led us to a period where the "Church" is some loosely, undefined, group of people who are in virtue of something (usually something they cannot agree completely on) in Communion with God.

Can you see how this difficulty might be somewhat responsible for the notion of the "invisible Church" and our growing up in a world where we didn't really grapple with what the "Church" was, leads us to a quick response about the conditions under which a person remains in Communion with God versus a gathering?

I'll get back to my thoughts on the other aspects your post. But can we agree in some general sense the speaking in terms of a gathering rather than an individual is more difficult. And this might have lead to current "loose" theories about what the "Church" is and placed the focus on the individual?
Oh, definitely. It's part and parcel of the isolating tendencies of modernity. More technology induced free time has caused us to forget just how much we need the other for our very survival.

It causes us to think in terms of "selves" in relation to each one's own world of achievement (everybody wants their own slice of the pie) as opposed to fellow parts of the entire group navigating it's way through life. The theological effects of this find their culmination in fundamentalism (or as someone once described it, "reading the Bible as though it were written yesterday and for you personally").
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« Reply #119 on: August 19, 2011, 08:24:22 PM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

I would suggest it began with the creation of the first creatures, the noetic beings. The Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God. The word in Greek, which St. Paul uses a lot is ekklesia from ekkalein, which means something like called out.

Not a new coinage, but an old Greek word, which generally meant practically an assembly or gathering of persons.

So putting the etymology together with its quotidian playing out, we get something like: the assembly of those who were called out.

So I would suggest such a definition would only apply to those called out by God. I think there is a felicitous aspect of language at work. We were called into being. The Father was not. The Son is begotten. The Holy Spirit proceeds.

FWIW, the word qahal, which certainly got glossed as ekklesia, has a similar etymology and pragmatic upshot.

So this is just to say where I think the Church began and when, if such words can be used.

If we are in agreement here or close enough. Then we have to ask what is the ontological nature of the Church. I think my definition above is broad enough to begin: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

If we can agree this broad definition captures something (I am not sure how finely we need to dice for internets' and sanity's sake) of the ontological nature (I hate that turn of phrase) of the Church, then I think we can move rather forward in a reasonable manner to answering your question.

Let me know what you think.
Your definition makes sense to me, though I have difficulties with how it includes the Church as "institution" (Why does a voluntary assembly need it's own money? But perhaps I'm being influenced by some modern House Church Only advocates I've come across...) But at any rate, yes, I can accept your description.

We ain't to any "institution" as such yet.

OK, if we can agree that the Church is something like: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

There is a problem in our definition or something that we have not discussed at least.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

What do you think? Let's keep this "simple". We will try to not to get too sophisticated at this point.

In full disclosure, I anticipate some difficulty here, as there is a certain approach most people take here, and I am trying to make that clear.

Since we are trying a couple things at once I believe:

Figure out what your assumptions are.
Show what my assumptions are.
See if they make any sense within Orthodoxy.
See if to what degree we can or cannot accept the Orthodox understanding of what the Church is.

Right now, if I can be so arrogant, for you, the first matter is of most import.

Without getting a handle a little bit on some our implicit assumptions, how can we jump into the fracas built upon our assumptions with any sanity or usefulness?

If we are not willing to simply submit to the Church as Orthodoxy understands it, which I am.
If we have not learn to then trust and faith in the Orthodox Church, as I have.

Then, we can have a productive conversation at least. And I think that can never hurt.

We'll see.

So back to the question:

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

p.s. Of course, I just think going to liturgy a lot is the best answer, but here we are.
Fair enough. I'll shelve the orange tree thing. I've never been good at sussing out my own assumptions...

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God? In virtue of his submission to God. "I am the Lord's handmaiden. Let it be done to me as you have said." The more we surrender everything in us, the more He comes in and "sups" with us.

I think this a great answer to start with and nice line of Scripture, though I dislike the use of the word handmaiden, been a pet peeve since a kid, as I thought handmaiden sounded "lame" and I was correct to come to find out.

Anyway.

You didn't fall into a snare I was concerned might get in the way!

So, let's take a look at our agreed statement about the Church (I hope this doesn't come across patronizing, even through we can scroll, I find keeping our base statements in the forefront of the discussion will help, I apologize if it seems otherwise):

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

I asked about how a creature remains in communion with God.

It was a bit of a test, I admit. And perhaps a pre-emptive caution to avoid going down a road to nowhere.

But the more difficult and salient question lies in:

In virtue of what are a gathering of creatures in communion with God?

If this is too tedious, I understand.

Again there is no "correct" answer here, just seeing what our assumptions are. We can always change our minds, if we miss step or miss speak / write.

I am sure you see my reasoning by asking the one question before the other. If not, think about it.

Also, I bet this last question is harder to answer or not as simply. I admit it is for me.

If you share that difficulty, why do you think it is, and if the former question is easier, and the latter more difficult, can you see where things might lead taking the easier route to the degree we might even avoid the more difficult question?

In any case answer the primary question, the others you can table, or expound upon if you wish.

Or you can tell me I am full of S.

It's harder to answer, I guess, because of the innate difficulty in making the jump from talking about individuals as atoms in relation to God and even talking about how individuals relate to one another in a group setting, much less taking this group dynamic and relating it to God-if that makes sense.

So, in what virtue is a gathering of creatures in communion with God? In virtue of how they act as one in relation to God. To the extent that they are in harmony of mind and purpose they then relate to God as one individual.

Conversely, in as much as each member considers himself isolated from the gathering, the ability of it to achieve unity and interact with God as unity is compromised if not eliminated

This one did take me longer to answer, but I now see why you asked about individuals first, at least in terms of my own answer. Unity is prior to multiplicity.

I am keeping the quote trees going for once, that way I can more easily keep in mind what we have said.

I am surprised by your answers to my speculative questions, they are rather astute and more abstract that I had expected. Which is neither better or worse.

To try to keep this discussion focused as much as I possible, we might have to table some tangents which arise, to return to later.

In any case, we agree it is more difficult to say in virtue of what a gathering of beings remain in Communion with God, than that of an "individual".

Yet, it seem rather easy it seems to suggest some definition for an "individual", whether one may or may not agree.

Given the disparate ease in answering these questions, I was alluding to perhaps some of the inherent difficulties which have played over time, which have led us to a period where the "Church" is some loosely, undefined, group of people who are in virtue of something (usually something they cannot agree completely on) in Communion with God.

Can you see how this difficulty might be somewhat responsible for the notion of the "invisible Church" and our growing up in a world where we didn't really grapple with what the "Church" was, leads us to a quick response about the conditions under which a person remains in Communion with God versus a gathering?

I'll get back to my thoughts on the other aspects your post. But can we agree in some general sense the speaking in terms of a gathering rather than an individual is more difficult. And this might have lead to current "loose" theories about what the "Church" is and placed the focus on the individual?

Let me know.

Oh, definitely. It's part and parcel of the isolating tendencies of modernity. More technology induced free time has caused us to forget just how much we need the other for our very survival.

It causes us to think in terms of "selves" in relation to each one's own world of achievement (everybody wants their own slice of the pie) as opposed to fellow parts of the entire group navigating it's way through life. The theological effects of this find their culmination in fundamentalism (or as someone once described it, "reading the Bible as though it were written yesterday and for you personally").

I am going to take that as a yes, but not get too involved in rest of the dialoge. //:-)

We will get taken out of the understanding of the Church into the a lot of tangents which related will distract.

"Unity prior to multiplicity" is the more abstract and ontological comment you made earlier.

We will get back to that, for it deals with a problem with our original definition of the Church.

I omitted something of extreme import, let's see if you agree.

Our original definition:

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

A more accurate defintion:

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God and each other.

Would you agree that is a "fuller" definition?

 

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« Reply #120 on: August 19, 2011, 08:35:18 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.
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« Reply #121 on: August 19, 2011, 08:54:06 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.

There is no definition for "Church" in the Orthodox world and it is futile to search for one, at least on any "official" level.

I was taught that the Devil has fought his way through the phrases of the Creed one by one, and this is indeed so if you look back though our history.  Because of his attacks we have had to clarify many of the important things in which we believe.

But he has not attacked the "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church."

However, many believe that he has now undertaken this attack, via the weapon of ecumenism, and the time is coming when we shall need a Council to clarify what we mean by "Church."
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« Reply #122 on: August 19, 2011, 09:02:49 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.

There is no definition for "Church" in the Orthodox world and it is futile to search for one, at least on any "official" level.

Father,

I beg to differ.

In fact, you are simply wrong.

But thanks for not participating.

Volnutt and I are having a broad conversation. We ain't looking to nail down every bit of what the Church is.

But I can assure you that you are incorrect about there is no "definition" of the Church.

The very fact you use the word, means you have a definition no matter how implicit or explicit.

I ain't looking for unproductive one-upsmanship here, since I would win every time, most people just don't have the chops to do internets and think simultaneously.

So you can go take your "undefined" Church (Creed much?) and we'll end this now.
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« Reply #123 on: August 19, 2011, 09:17:20 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.

There is no definition for "Church" in the Orthodox world and it is futile to search for one, at least on any "official" level.

Father,

I beg to differ.

In fact, you are simply wrong.


You will find I am right.  The absence of an official definition for "Church" is something quite well known.  It causes no great concern.

Admittedly we have a pastiche of opinions from various modern theologians but that is all.

If there were some conciliar or pan-Orthodox definition you would have quoted it by now in your discussion.   laugh
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« Reply #124 on: August 19, 2011, 09:25:45 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.

There is no definition for "Church" in the Orthodox world and it is futile to search for one, at least on any "official" level.

I was taught that the Devil has fought his way through the phrases of the Creed one by one, and this is indeed so if you look back though our history.  Because of his attacks we have had to clarify many of the important things in which we believe.

But he has not attacked the "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church."

However, many believe that he has now undertaken this attack, via the weapon of ecumenism, and the time is coming when we shall need a Council to clarify what we mean by "Church."
But with the Reformation came a definition of Church as "all those who accept a rough version of the Creed whether they are in communion with each other or not, no matter what else they believe." By it's very opposition to Protestantism (and to the Pope as well, I might add) the Orthodox Church is in fact propagating it's own definition. Is it not?
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« Reply #125 on: August 19, 2011, 09:37:08 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.

There is no definition for "Church" in the Orthodox world and it is futile to search for one, at least on any "official" level.

I was taught that the Devil has fought his way through the phrases of the Creed one by one, and this is indeed so if you look back though our history.  Because of his attacks we have had to clarify many of the important things in which we believe.

But he has not attacked the "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church."

However, many believe that he has now undertaken this attack, via the weapon of ecumenism, and the time is coming when we shall need a Council to clarify what we mean by "Church."
But with the Reformation came a definition of Church as "all those who accept a rough version of the Creed whether they are in communion with each other or not, no matter what else they believe." By it's very opposition to Protestantism (and to the Pope as well, I might add) the Orthodox Church is in fact propagating it's own definition. Is it not?

Orthonorm does not want me to discuss this but all the same I would like to ask..... what is that definition?

Of course there is the most famously expressed opinion of Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia, "We can say where the Church is; we cannot say where she is not."  Every kind-hearted but muddleheaded person has seized on that and made it a mantra.  So what on earth is the "definition" being propagated by Metropolitan Kallistos?
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« Reply #126 on: August 19, 2011, 10:09:46 PM »

Body of Christ=the Church. No?
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« Reply #127 on: August 19, 2011, 10:12:43 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.

There is no definition for "Church" in the Orthodox world and it is futile to search for one, at least on any "official" level.

I was taught that the Devil has fought his way through the phrases of the Creed one by one, and this is indeed so if you look back though our history.  Because of his attacks we have had to clarify many of the important things in which we believe.

But he has not attacked the "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church."

However, many believe that he has now undertaken this attack, via the weapon of ecumenism, and the time is coming when we shall need a Council to clarify what we mean by "Church."
But with the Reformation came a definition of Church as "all those who accept a rough version of the Creed whether they are in communion with each other or not, no matter what else they believe." By it's very opposition to Protestantism (and to the Pope as well, I might add) the Orthodox Church is in fact propagating it's own definition. Is it not?

Orthonorm does not want me to discuss this but all the same I would like to ask..... what is that definition?

Of course there is the most famously expressed opinion of Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia, "We can say where the Church is; we cannot say where she is not."  Every kind-hearted but muddleheaded person has seized on that and made it a mantra.  So what on earth is the "definition" being propagated by Metropolitan Kallistos?
I don't know what he means beyond some kind of invisible church thing borrowed from Protestantism.

To be honest, and believe me I say this with a heavy heart, if I ever convert I have a feeling I'm going to be a hardline Cyprianist like Fabio Leite and joasia. I just don't see how this "soft" approach to the non-Orthodox is consistent with anything else I'm learning about Orthodox theology.

As to whatever other definitions of "Church" there are, I'm trying to figure that out.
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« Reply #128 on: August 30, 2011, 02:26:20 PM »

Developments in the oc.net chat are making me wonder why this is ultimately so important to me and I'm not sure how to clarify, honestly.

I guess it started with all the Orthodox polemics I've read, especially against sola scripture which go on about how Protestantism is so mutaible and unstable. As much as I've tried to argue agaisnt that on here at times (I feel like I should at least try even if it turns out to be only for my own learning) I do tend to believe it. Sola scriptura is pretty unstable-though not as I've lived it. No, the Pentecostals I grew up with and of the churches I've been to and even the lion's share of Protestants I've known online really did seem to me to be united around the Creed.

Of course, we held to a conservativism that took for granted the idea that liberals like Spong and the leaders of the ELCA are Protestant in name only. Generally, the circles I ran in irl held Pentecostalism to be the, shall we say, "truest church. The closest to the vaunted first century model, others fell short by varying degrees but were still Christian if they held to the Creed. I must admit though, I've since come to realize we all tended to tack sola fide if not sola scriptura as well into the Creed, something I've fallen prey to on here from time to time.

So I don't know what I am anymore, I guess. I don't know how to go back to what I was, with my alcove of "little o" orthodoxy that admits some Protestants and not others. I don't know how to draw this line, how to battle with someone who has a different interpretation of Scripture-except with Tradition. But if Tradition, then sola scriptura doesn't have meaning for me anymore.

But then I see people like Stanley who point out all the disagreements which fill Orthodoxy, not on speculative crap like toll houses, but on things like birth control and the fate of suicides and of unbaptiszed infants who die- things which deeply impact people every day.  Yet the consensus partum and the Ecumenical Councils tell us nothing concrete. And I can't help but agree with him that the true Church should have more concrete teachings than this on such crucial issues. God should lay it out for us. Otherwise he’s negligently leaving us to wonder in the darkness, Lord have mercy on me for daring to think this.
I don’t think the Papacy is any better because of all its own contradictions, I have no intention of becoming RC- but what I’m saying is I don’t know if abandoning Protestantism for Orthodoxy (and now, perhaps even staying Christian instead of becoming Agnostic or something) is a choice worth making. People like Father Damick convinced me the doctrinal grass was greener on the Eastern side of the fence and now I just don’t know if I can buy that. That is why I begin threads like this, I think.

Sorry for rambling.
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« Reply #129 on: August 30, 2011, 03:39:15 PM »

Developments in the oc.net chat are making me wonder why this is ultimately so important to me and I'm not sure how to clarify, honestly.

I guess it started with all the Orthodox polemics I've read, especially against sola scripture which go on about how Protestantism is so mutaible and unstable. As much as I've tried to argue agaisnt that on here at times (I feel like I should at least try even if it turns out to be only for my own learning) I do tend to believe it. Sola scriptura is pretty unstable-though not as I've lived it. No, the Pentecostals I grew up with and of the churches I've been to and even the lion's share of Protestants I've known online really did seem to me to be united around the Creed.

Of course, we held to a conservativism that took for granted the idea that liberals like Spong and the leaders of the ELCA are Protestant in name only. Generally, the circles I ran in irl held Pentecostalism to be the, shall we say, "truest church. The closest to the vaunted first century model, others fell short by varying degrees but were still Christian if they held to the Creed. I must admit though, I've since come to realize we all tended to tack sola fide if not sola scriptura as well into the Creed, something I've fallen prey to on here from time to time.

So I don't know what I am anymore, I guess. I don't know how to go back to what I was, with my alcove of "little o" orthodoxy that admits some Protestants and not others. I don't know how to draw this line, how to battle with someone who has a different interpretation of Scripture-except with Tradition. But if Tradition, then sola scriptura doesn't have meaning for me anymore.

But then I see people like Stanley who point out all the disagreements which fill Orthodoxy, not on speculative crap like toll houses, but on things like birth control and the fate of suicides and of unbaptiszed infants who die- things which deeply impact people every day.  Yet the consensus partum and the Ecumenical Councils tell us nothing concrete. And I can't help but agree with him that the true Church should have more concrete teachings than this on such crucial issues. God should lay it out for us. Otherwise he’s negligently leaving us to wonder in the darkness, Lord have mercy on me for daring to think this.
I don’t think the Papacy is any better because of all its own contradictions, I have no intention of becoming RC- but what I’m saying is I don’t know if abandoning Protestantism for Orthodoxy (and now, perhaps even staying Christian instead of becoming Agnostic or something) is a choice worth making. People like Father Damick convinced me the doctrinal grass was greener on the Eastern side of the fence and now I just don’t know if I can buy that. That is why I begin threads like this, I think.

Sorry for rambling.
OK, thanks for this detail. I just wanted to make it clear that I think that the Eastern Orthodox Church (and the OO as well) are wonderful apostolic Churches and have a whole lot going for them. Just because i pointed out a few problematic areas, doesn't mean that I don't think that they are great Churches. And for the record, I have mentioned that I see some problematic areas with RC also.
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« Reply #130 on: August 31, 2011, 05:43:04 AM »

Developments in the oc.net chat are making me wonder why this is ultimately so important to me and I'm not sure how to clarify, honestly.

I guess it started with all the Orthodox polemics I've read, especially against sola scripture which go on about how Protestantism is so mutaible and unstable. As much as I've tried to argue agaisnt that on here at times (I feel like I should at least try even if it turns out to be only for my own learning) I do tend to believe it. Sola scriptura is pretty unstable-though not as I've lived it. No, the Pentecostals I grew up with and of the churches I've been to and even the lion's share of Protestants I've known online really did seem to me to be united around the Creed.

Of course, we held to a conservativism that took for granted the idea that liberals like Spong and the leaders of the ELCA are Protestant in name only. Generally, the circles I ran in irl held Pentecostalism to be the, shall we say, "truest church. The closest to the vaunted first century model, others fell short by varying degrees but were still Christian if they held to the Creed. I must admit though, I've since come to realize we all tended to tack sola fide if not sola scriptura as well into the Creed, something I've fallen prey to on here from time to time.

So I don't know what I am anymore, I guess. I don't know how to go back to what I was, with my alcove of "little o" orthodoxy that admits some Protestants and not others. I don't know how to draw this line, how to battle with someone who has a different interpretation of Scripture-except with Tradition. But if Tradition, then sola scriptura doesn't have meaning for me anymore.

But then I see people like Stanley who point out all the disagreements which fill Orthodoxy, not on speculative crap like toll houses, but on things like birth control and the fate of suicides and of unbaptiszed infants who die- things which deeply impact people every day.  Yet the consensus partum and the Ecumenical Councils tell us nothing concrete. And I can't help but agree with him that the true Church should have more concrete teachings than this on such crucial issues. God should lay it out for us. Otherwise he’s negligently leaving us to wonder in the darkness, Lord have mercy on me for daring to think this.
I don’t think the Papacy is any better because of all its own contradictions, I have no intention of becoming RC- but what I’m saying is I don’t know if abandoning Protestantism for Orthodoxy (and now, perhaps even staying Christian instead of becoming Agnostic or something) is a choice worth making. People like Father Damick convinced me the doctrinal grass was greener on the Eastern side of the fence and now I just don’t know if I can buy that. That is why I begin threads like this, I think.

Sorry for rambling.

Volnutt

I feel sorry for you, you have got yourself suck in a rut, and seem to of lost yourself.

The problem with knowledge and learning is that you can never go back to a state of ignorance, the truth shall set you free.

Both the Orthodox and the RCC claim apostolic succession, one of them if not both has to be right.

As far as orthodoxy not having anything laid in stone when it comes things like birth control, suicide and many others, then take a look at this website for your answers:

http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/

and the catechism of the orthodox church here:

http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm

they are in the process of doing an updated catechism that should be published this year.

The journey in to any faith that is not what you was born into is very tough and hard going, that is intentional, it sorts outs the weeds from the wheat Matthew 13:30

Don't give up !

yours in Christ

JR
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« Reply #131 on: August 31, 2011, 07:11:08 AM »

>> But then I see people like Stanley who point out all the disagreements which fill Orthodoxy, not on speculative crap like toll houses, but on

>> things like birth control <<

To my knowledge there is not one bishop in the Orthodox world who forbids birth control.  There must be limitations though....

it must be non-abortive
it must not be prolonged longer than it is needed to use it.  For example during illness, during an unsettled time living in refugee camps, forced prostitution (the Russian Natasha's forced to work in Germany, Cyprus, Malta, Turkey)........

There were two Orthodox bishops who were out on their own on this .   There went even further than the Roman Catholics and forbade even Natural Family Planning.   These were Bishop Augustine of Florina Greece, now dead, and Bishop Artemy of Kosovo Serbia, now retired.  The fact that we know about them is because their position was seen as odd by the Orthodox world.


>> and the fate of suicides <<

How can we really know the fate of suicides?   How do we know how God treats them and judges them at the time of death?   How can we possibly state that He condemns them all to hell?  


>> and of unbaptiszed infants who die<<<

I have not polled all our bishops but are there any who teach that unbaptized infants go to hell?   I would really find it hard to believe.  I cannot imagine any bishop saying such a thing to any mother and father.
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« Reply #132 on: August 31, 2011, 01:31:36 PM »

Volnutt

I feel sorry for you, you have got yourself suck in a rut, and seem to of lost yourself.
Well, that actually happened a long time ago, but this certainly doesn't help  laugh.[/quote]

The problem with knowledge and learning is that you can never go back to a state of ignorance, the truth shall set you free.
Unfortunately.

Both the Orthodox and the RCC claim apostolic succession, one of them if not both has to be right.
Or the OOs are right to the exclusion of either, or the ACOE to exclusion of either, or Christianity is just some massive head game and "Hell" really did overcome the Church.

As far as orthodoxy not having anything laid in stone when it comes things like birth control, suicide and many others, then take a look at this website for your answers:

http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/

and the catechism of the orthodox church here:

http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm

they are in the process of doing an updated catechism that should be published this year.
There are some good answer's yes, but I'm not sure if it's good enough to be divine, if you know what I mean.


The journey in to any faith that is not what you was born into is very tough and hard going, that is intentional, it sorts outs the weeds from the wheat Matthew 13:30

Don't give up !

yours in Christ

JR
Thanks Smiley
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« Reply #133 on: August 31, 2011, 01:40:21 PM »

>> But then I see people like Stanley who point out all the disagreements which fill Orthodoxy, not on speculative crap like toll houses, but on

>> things like birth control <<

To my knowledge there is not one bishop in the Orthodox world who forbids birth control.  There must be limitations though....

it must be non-abortive
it must not be prolonged longer than it is needed to use it.  For example during illness, during an unsettled time living in refugee camps, forced prostitution (the Russian Natasha's forced to work in Germany, Cyprus, Malta, Turkey)........

There were two Orthodox bishops who were out on their own on this .   There went even further than the Roman Catholics and forbade even Natural Family Planning.   These were Bishop Augustine of Florina Greece, now dead, and Bishop Artemy of Kosovo Serbia, now retired.  The fact that we know about them is because their position was seen as odd by the Orthodox world.
Ok. I guess I was confusing the mainstream Orthodox view with that of the Old Calendarist groups.


>> and the fate of suicides <<

How can we really know the fate of suicides?   How do we know how God treats them and judges them at the time of death?   How can we possibly state that He condemns them all to hell?  
You personally seem to desire absolute knowledge on the fate of infants and (I presume) the mentally challenged. I humbly submit that very, very few suicides are of the cold blooded variety. Most are born of extreme mental suffering that only those who have been there can know.




I have not polled all our bishops but are there any who teach that unbaptized infants go to hell?   I would really find it hard to believe.  I cannot imagine any bishop saying such a thing to any mother and father.
Saints Augustine and John Chrysostom obviously found a way to break the news.
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« Reply #134 on: August 31, 2011, 06:45:30 PM »


You personally seem to desire absolute knowledge on the fate of infants and (I presume) the mentally challenged.


I have no doubts.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is waiting to welcome them into His embrace and His overflowing love.

In all the years when my parishioners have lost babies, I have not once said to them - "Well, there is a half way chance your little boy could be in heaven but there's an equal chance he is burning in the agony of hell."
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