OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 02, 2014, 03:06:12 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The Spirit and the Scriptures  (Read 1818 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« on: June 30, 2011, 04:25:48 PM »

Fabio Leite writes: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37521.msg593604.html#msg593604
Quote
In my opinion the problem with the doctrine of exclusivity of the manifestation of the infallibility of the Holy Spirit through the Pope in ex cathedra situations is that it affirms and foster mistrust in the power of the Spirit of Truth in prevailing.

It is a rather simple thing, that even atheists and secularists can know. Many of them trust science precisely because despite its many recorded mistakes they know and trust that truth is strong enough to prevail of its own accord, despite the many failings of men. In fact, it can be said that truth always prevails in the end, because it only ends when truth prevails.

This is what guided the Renaiscence, the Enlightment, the Scientific Optism of the 19th century and that is what guides many people in the secular area today: a profound, deep trust that truth will prevail despite humans superstitions, ill-intentions and outright mediocrity and evil.

*That* is true trust in the Spirit of Truth, and that is something that Christians in general have lost. They believe in Truth, they know much more about Truth than secularists (that it is a Person, the Word of God, that Truth was born of a Virgin and was crucified and resurrected for us, that Truth ascended to Heaven and sent its Spirit to dwell in us), but Christians simply do *not* trust that this Spirit of Truth can prevail through the tribulations and gates of Hell. The larger part of Christians think that Truth can prevail in most confusing issues only through ex cathedra proclamations of a bishop dependent on the supreme control of the Church to make this truth prevail. The other part thinks that the Spirit of Truth is locked in a book and therefore in need of human interpretation to become intelligeable ("each person a pope") and of militant preaching to make it prevail, and the third part, we Orthodox, although we know the Spirit of Truth requires neither of these, simply have got stuck in such petty disputes that we have been very limited in our witnessing of the power of the Spirit of Truth in the world.

We should stop with all these nonsense from the three parts and simply understand and live the trust in the Spirit of Truth to prevail and blow wherever it wants: popes, scriptures, synods, a single priest, bishop, deacon, monk or lay person, a theologian, a singer, a fool or even outside the Church when necessary (see the centurion with more faith than the anyone in the People of God. The Spirit of Truth even used Balam's blessings benefiting the people of God, Balam's donkey seeing an angel and speaking the truth, and even heretics and demons, although with ill-intentions, confessed Jesus to be the Messiah).

When that Infallible Spirit, the Spirit of Truth wants to prevail, it will use whatever mean necessary. Secularists know that and this trust is their strength.
Romans and Protestants restrict and twist this trust and Orthodox don't live up to it. That is why we all have been in the defensive all these years.
Emphasis mine.

I just wanted to respond to your points about sola scriptura because I don't think they're quite fair. ISTM that Protestants at their best do believe what you write in your second to last paragraph. The Spirit can speak through any conduit for the purpose of illuminating the meaning of the Scriptures.

The insights of linguistics and history are obvious examples but through simple conversations a clue to the meaning or application of a passage can also "pop up" tangentially as a suggestion to the mind. "All truth is God's truth," I've seen many Protestants profess this as well as Orthodox. I don't see why in theory the Spirit should be restricted in how He speaks just because His primary task happens to be interpreting Scripture. How is this any different in principle from Saint Vincent of Lerins' appeal to Tradition as the interpreter of Scripture?

I doubt I'll convince you of this working in practice given the "sooooo many denominations" angle, but the truth as I see it is that the conservative Protestant churches are pretty united in what they consider important (basically the Nicene Creed). Although some practice closed communion, the only Protestants I've ever seen condemn the other conservative denominations have been super High Church Lutherans and Anglo-Catholics. Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, etc. all have their criticisms of one another to be sure but at the end of the day, they call one another heretics. The Spirit of Truth prevails.

So the idea they that they are in grave offense of the Spirit's leading because they are not all the same visible church strikes me as biased and, ironically, exclusivistic of were the Spirit can work.

I can understand calling us heretics because of your own doctrines, but this doesn't mean every Protestant is automatically the island you think he is.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 04:50:22 PM by Volnutt » Logged
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 08:07:24 PM »

I doubt I'll convince you of this working in practice given the "sooooo many denominations" angle, but the truth as I see it is that the conservative Protestant churches are pretty united in what they consider important (basically the Nicene Creed). Although some practice closed communion, the only Protestants I've ever seen condemn the other conservative denominations have been super High Church Lutherans and Anglo-Catholics. Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, etc. all have their criticisms of one another to be sure but at the end of the day, they call one another heretics. The Spirit of Truth prevails.

I assume you mean they don't call each other heretics? If they did, they'd look pretty stupid, wouldn't they? Considering their splintered state and total lack of continuity with Christ's Church.

There are serious and deadly Nestorian, Sabellian and monophysite tendencies creeping into the theology of some of the denominations you've mentioned. You will have to excuse me for doubting just how much they cling to the Nicene creed (let's not even get started on why they accept the authority of that creed but not the Church that compiled it).

Whatever spirit moves a person in private interpretation to say that the Ever-virgin One gave birth not to God but to Christ's human nature or that God is one in both essence and person is not the Spirit of Truth but some other spirit!

By the way, even though you have identified yourself as such in your last paragraph, I question how "protestant" you really are -- I mean that as a compliment.
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2011, 08:38:43 PM »


I assume you mean they don't call each other heretics? If they did, they'd look pretty stupid, wouldn't they? Considering their splintered state and total lack of continuity with Christ's Church.
Right, I meant "don't."

There are serious and deadly Nestorian, Sabellian and monophysite tendencies creeping into the theology of some of the denominations you've mentioned. You will have to excuse me for doubting just how much they cling to the Nicene creed (let's not even get started on why they accept the authority of that creed but not the Church that compiled it).

Whatever spirit moves a person in private interpretation to say that the Ever-virgin One gave birth not to God but to Christ's human nature or that God is one in both essence and person is not the Spirit of Truth but some other spirit!
I've never seen anyone confess Sabellianism other than the Oneness Pentescostals and they're pretty well anathematized, I wasn't including then.

Denying Mary is truly Theotokos is problematic, but I'm not convinced rejection of the title makes one Nestorian in and of itself. Most Protestants I've seen reject it out of misunderstanding or the (too me nonsensical) concern that people will think she's responsible for God's existence.

By the way, even though you have identified yourself as such in your last paragraph, I question how "protestant" you really are -- I mean that as a compliment.
Yes, I've abandoned so much of it... But finding myself unable to make the last step, I'm floating in a void suspended between two worlds. I remain a Protestant by default and feel obligated to play devil's advocate on some issues and to defend my former belief from unfair characterization on others. Is what was written unfair? I don't know anymore. The invisible church is one of my last roadblocks for now, I guess. This thread was a mistake.
Logged
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2011, 08:42:39 PM »

By the way, even though you have identified yourself as such in your last paragraph, I question how "protestant" you really are -- I mean that as a compliment.
Yes, I've abandoned so much of it... But finding myself unable to make the last step, I'm floating in a void suspended between two worlds. I remain a Protestant by default and feel obligated to play devil's advocate on some issues and to defend my former belief from unfair characterization on others. Is what was written unfair? I don't know anymore. The invisible church is one of my last roadblocks for now, I guess. This thread was a mistake.

I wouldn't call it a mistake! There are far more insightful and just people on this board than I who I'm sure will say something more useful/fruitful than I have.

I must say, also, I understand where you're coming from. You have my respect and prayers.
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2011, 08:45:14 PM »

By the way, even though you have identified yourself as such in your last paragraph, I question how "protestant" you really are -- I mean that as a compliment.
Yes, I've abandoned so much of it... But finding myself unable to make the last step, I'm floating in a void suspended between two worlds. I remain a Protestant by default and feel obligated to play devil's advocate on some issues and to defend my former belief from unfair characterization on others. Is what was written unfair? I don't know anymore. The invisible church is one of my last roadblocks for now, I guess. This thread was a mistake.

I wouldn't call it a mistake! There are far more insightful and just people on this board than I who I'm sure will say something more useful/fruitful than I have.

I must say, also, I understand where you're coming from. You have my respect and prayers.
Well, maybe "poorly thought out?"  laugh

And thank you. That means a lot.
Logged
Fabio Leite
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 3,162



WWW
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2011, 09:57:44 PM »

Fabio Leite writes: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37521.msg593604.html#msg593604
Quote
In my opinion the problem with the doctrine of exclusivity of the manifestation of the infallibility of the Holy Spirit through the Pope in ex cathedra situations is that it affirms and foster mistrust in the power of the Spirit of Truth in prevailing.

It is a rather simple thing, that even atheists and secularists can know. Many of them trust science precisely because despite its many recorded mistakes they know and trust that truth is strong enough to prevail of its own accord, despite the many failings of men. In fact, it can be said that truth always prevails in the end, because it only ends when truth prevails.

This is what guided the Renaiscence, the Enlightment, the Scientific Optism of the 19th century and that is what guides many people in the secular area today: a profound, deep trust that truth will prevail despite humans superstitions, ill-intentions and outright mediocrity and evil.

*That* is true trust in the Spirit of Truth, and that is something that Christians in general have lost. They believe in Truth, they know much more about Truth than secularists (that it is a Person, the Word of God, that Truth was born of a Virgin and was crucified and resurrected for us, that Truth ascended to Heaven and sent its Spirit to dwell in us), but Christians simply do *not* trust that this Spirit of Truth can prevail through the tribulations and gates of Hell. The larger part of Christians think that Truth can prevail in most confusing issues only through ex cathedra proclamations of a bishop dependent on the supreme control of the Church to make this truth prevail. The other part thinks that the Spirit of Truth is locked in a book and therefore in need of human interpretation to become intelligeable ("each person a pope") and of militant preaching to make it prevail, and the third part, we Orthodox, although we know the Spirit of Truth requires neither of these, simply have got stuck in such petty disputes that we have been very limited in our witnessing of the power of the Spirit of Truth in the world.

We should stop with all these nonsense from the three parts and simply understand and live the trust in the Spirit of Truth to prevail and blow wherever it wants: popes, scriptures, synods, a single priest, bishop, deacon, monk or lay person, a theologian, a singer, a fool or even outside the Church when necessary (see the centurion with more faith than the anyone in the People of God. The Spirit of Truth even used Balam's blessings benefiting the people of God, Balam's donkey seeing an angel and speaking the truth, and even heretics and demons, although with ill-intentions, confessed Jesus to be the Messiah).

When that Infallible Spirit, the Spirit of Truth wants to prevail, it will use whatever mean necessary. Secularists know that and this trust is their strength.
Romans and Protestants restrict and twist this trust and Orthodox don't live up to it. That is why we all have been in the defensive all these years.
Emphasis mine.

I just wanted to respond to your points about sola scriptura because I don't think they're quite fair. ISTM that Protestants at their best do believe what you write in your second to last paragraph. The Spirit can speak through any conduit for the purpose of illuminating the meaning of the Scriptures.

The insights of linguistics and history are obvious examples but through simple conversations a clue to the meaning or application of a passage can also "pop up" tangentially as a suggestion to the mind. "All truth is God's truth," I've seen many Protestants profess this as well as Orthodox. I don't see why in theory the Spirit should be restricted in how He speaks just because His primary task happens to be interpreting Scripture. How is this any different in principle from Saint Vincent of Lerins' appeal to Tradition as the interpreter of Scripture?

I doubt I'll convince you of this working in practice given the "sooooo many denominations" angle, but the truth as I see it is that the conservative Protestant churches are pretty united in what they consider important (basically the Nicene Creed). Although some practice closed communion, the only Protestants I've ever seen condemn the other conservative denominations have been super High Church Lutherans and Anglo-Catholics. Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, etc. all have their criticisms of one another to be sure but at the end of the day, they call one another heretics. The Spirit of Truth prevails.

So the idea they that they are in grave offense of the Spirit's leading because they are not all the same visible church strikes me as biased and, ironically, exclusivistic of were the Spirit can work.

I can understand calling us heretics because of your own doctrines, but this doesn't mean every Protestant is automatically the island you think he is.

Volnutt,

when you write that the Spirit can move wherever He wants with the purpose of enlightening the Scriptures, not only that statement implies (even if it is not the case in your heart) that the Lifegiver, the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter, has no greater mission than to interpret text, but it actually puts He who inspired the text as lower than the inspired text.

For 300 years, there was no canon to be interpreted. Up until Moses there wasn't even an Old Testament. And still the Spirit spoke through the Prophets. The Spirit reveals Christ, praises His glory, teaches us everything that Christ did not during His first coming, it justifies and glorifies human nature. Sometimes He will do it by bringing to the heart an enlightened understanding of the Scripture. But He may do it by the fiery speech of a monk against a robber synod, of a synod against a heretical pope, of a pope against a heretical local church, through an enemy of the Church speaking the truth to the face of despondent spiritually dead faithful.

So many people have received so many graces that *never* included a discerning reading of Scriptures. In fact, understanding the true sense of the Scriptures was always understood as one of the possible graces and one that exists in Church only, that is, in group, the same Spirit saying the same thing everywhere in every time and age. And that is how we know a certain interpretation is the true apostolic and grace-filled and given by the Spirit.

What both Romans and Protestants have difficulty in trusting (notice I didn't write "understanding") is that Pope or Scripture are just *elements* of the Church and that infallibility belongs to the Holy Spirit exclusively, Who will speak infallibly through whichever means He wants.

Jesus promised that the *Spirit* would teach everything. Not the Pope. Not the Bible. Trust the Spirit of Truth, not only intellectually, not only with your heart, but with your attitude as well. Many Popes had their hearts open enough to shine forth the uncreated glory of God. Many good theologians explained the awesome truths of the Bible thanks to the discernment given by the Spirit of Truth. But you guys have been taking the radio for the host.
Logged

Many Energies, Three Persons, Two Natures, One God.
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2011, 08:49:03 AM »

Volnutt,

when you write that the Spirit can move wherever He wants with the purpose of enlightening the Scriptures, not only that statement implies (even if it is not the case in your heart) that the Lifegiver, the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter, has no greater mission than to interpret text, but it actually puts He who inspired the text as lower than the inspired text.
You sound like a Protestant claiming the Orthodox follow a church and not Christ. The Holy Spirit inspires the Scriptures, how can they be greater than Him? I posit the Spirit just chooses to work ultimately and primarily in this medium, just like the Orthodox see Jesus saving mainly through the Sacraments.

For 300 years, there was no canon to be interpreted. Up until Moses there wasn't even an Old Testament. And still the Spirit spoke through the Prophets.
Before there was Scripture, there was the authority of God-given oral tradition. This tradition (or what of it that was important for later generations) would eventually become the written Scriptures.

The Spirit reveals Christ, praises His glory, teaches us everything that Christ did not during His first coming, it justifies and glorifies human nature. Sometimes He will do it by bringing to the heart an enlightened understanding of the Scripture. But He may do it by the fiery speech of a monk against a robber synod, of a synod against a heretical pope, of a pope against a heretical local church, through an enemy of the Church speaking the truth to the face of despondent spiritually dead faithful.

So many people have received so many graces that *never* included a discerning reading of Scriptures.
I don't dispute any of this, of course God can work outside the Scriptures just like you believe He can save outside the Sacraments. This doesn't go against the absolute normativeness of Scripture, the mandate for everyone who can to cleave to it and learn from it primarily.

In fact, understanding the true sense of the Scriptures was always understood as one of the possible graces and one that exists in Church only, that is, in group, the same Spirit saying the same thing everywhere in every time and age. And that is how we know a certain interpretation is the true apostolic and grace-filled and given by the Spirit.
Replace "Church" with "the invisible Church at all times and places" and realize that in the true Apostolic interpretation given by the Spirit there are core doctrines and then there are nonessentials such as church government and eschatological timing, and you have the Protestant view.

What both Romans and Protestants have difficulty in trusting (notice I didn't write "understanding") is that Pope or Scripture are just *elements* of the Church and that infallibility belongs to the Holy Spirit exclusively, Who will speak infallibly through whichever means He wants.
Inerrancy of Scripture is a child of the nineteenth century and one I have great difficulty with, I would agree that the only infallibility which matters is that of the Spirit Himself.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 08:51:17 AM by Volnutt » Logged
Fabio Leite
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 3,162



WWW
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 01:35:50 PM »

Volnutt,

when you write that the Spirit can move wherever He wants with the purpose of enlightening the Scriptures, not only that statement implies (even if it is not the case in your heart) that the Lifegiver, the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter, has no greater mission than to interpret text, but it actually puts He who inspired the text as lower than the inspired text.
You sound like a Protestant claiming the Orthodox follow a church and not Christ. The Holy Spirit inspires the Scriptures, how can they be greater than Him? I posit the Spirit just chooses to work ultimately and primarily in this medium, just like the Orthodox see Jesus saving mainly through the Sacraments.

The Orthodox don't see Jesus saving mainly through sacraments. We believe that the Spirit has invaded this world from inside, changing, yes, hearts and minds, but also matter itself. To enter Baptism is to enter the Apocalypse (revelation). Salvation surrounds us like the light of the sun on a bright day and *all* its elements are necessary. And this Spirit, as written, blows wherever He wants. Protestants may say He chooses to blow only in Scripture (and Romans that His infallibility is expressed exclusevily in ex cathedra statements of the Pope). Jesus says He chooses different means and is not restricted by any.

Quote
For 300 years, there was no canon to be interpreted. Up until Moses there wasn't even an Old Testament. And still the Spirit spoke through the Prophets.
Before there was Scripture, there was the authority of God-given oral tradition. This tradition (or what of it that was important for later generations) would eventually become the written Scriptures.

The things not written in Scripture would fill so many books the world couldn't contain it.

St. John 21:25
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Do you really think that we have been kept as orphans regarding these things? We have not. They have been guarded through the communication from person to person. This Communication and Scriptures are meant to be checks and balances toward each other. Communication, transmission, tradition are just the same thing and one of the essentials:

1 Tess. 2:13
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received {it} not {as} the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

2 Tess. 3:6
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

Quote

The Spirit reveals Christ, praises His glory, teaches us everything that Christ did not during His first coming, it justifies and glorifies human nature. Sometimes He will do it by bringing to the heart an enlightened understanding of the Scripture. But He may do it by the fiery speech of a monk against a robber synod, of a synod against a heretical pope, of a pope against a heretical local church, through an enemy of the Church speaking the truth to the face of despondent spiritually dead faithful.

So many people have received so many graces that *never* included a discerning reading of Scriptures.
I don't dispute any of this, of course God can work outside the Scriptures just like you believe He can save outside the Sacraments. This doesn't go against the absolute normativeness of Scripture, the mandate for everyone who can to cleave to it and learn from it primarily.

God does not save outside the Sacraments. But He does not save by means of the Sacrament alone. We are the Catholic Church (the community according to the whole), not a "sola sacramentum" church. The Sacraments, the Scriptures, the Faith, the Love, the practical life, *all* are necessary for Life in Christ, just like all organs are necessary for physical life. One can say that faith is the heart and correct doctrine is the brain, and rites are just part of the other organs, but try to live without a pancreas or kidneys. Not being central does not mean not being vital.

Quote

In fact, understanding the true sense of the Scriptures was always understood as one of the possible graces and one that exists in Church only, that is, in group, the same Spirit saying the same thing everywhere in every time and age. And that is how we know a certain interpretation is the true apostolic and grace-filled and given by the Spirit.
Replace "Church" with "the invisible Church at all times and places" and realize that in the true Apostolic interpretation given by the Spirit there are core doctrines and then there are nonessentials such as church government and eschatological timing, and you have the Protestant view.

Only that Christ incarnation is all about making the invisible God visible in all senses, in terms of our capacity of understanding Him at least partially and physically. An invisible church is a negation of the very purpose of the incarnation. The True Apostolic interpretation sees the Church as body, while protestantism calls it a body, but only in the sense one can talk about the body of doctrines defended by Kant or Hegel, not a true body. As I mentioned before, in a body sure there are things more central and not so central. But the non-central organs are as important to keep the body alive as the central ones. A shot in the heart will kill immediately. A shot in the lungs *may* give you sometime to recover, but if left untreated will kill you the same way. Likewise with the Church. Drop the faith and it's sudden death. But hurt the other things and it will, more slowly, take to the tomb as surely.

Governance of the church *is* one of the essentials, yes. A "government" is what provides form to a group of people. It has the same function that DNA has in giving form to a body. A changing DNA would create a plethora of mutants. That's exactly what happens in protestantism. And unlike X-Men, real-life mutants are not Homo Superior but, at best, sustainable and deficient, or outright marked to have a short life. Mutations are the result of enthropy, not development.

Protestants belief in a non-corporeal church manifest in a plethora of mutants is in absolute contradiction with the incarnation. How each one will solve this paradox is left for them.

Quote

What both Romans and Protestants have difficulty in trusting (notice I didn't write "understanding") is that Pope or Scripture are just *elements* of the Church and that infallibility belongs to the Holy Spirit exclusively, Who will speak infallibly through whichever means He wants.
Inerrancy of Scripture is a child of the nineteenth century and one I have great difficulty with, I would agree that the only infallibility which matters is that of the Spirit Himself.

You are one step back home then, friend. Smiley
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 01:39:17 PM by Fabio Leite » Logged

Many Energies, Three Persons, Two Natures, One God.
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2011, 07:30:28 PM »

The Orthodox don't see Jesus saving mainly through sacraments. We believe that the Spirit has invaded this world from inside, changing, yes, hearts and minds, but also matter itself. To enter Baptism is to enter the Apocalypse (revelation). Salvation surrounds us like the light of the sun on a bright day and *all* its elements are necessary. And this Spirit, as written, blows wherever He wants. Protestants may say He chooses to blow only in Scripture (and Romans that His infallibility is expressed exclusevily in ex cathedra statements of the Pope). Jesus says He chooses different means and is not restricted by any.
In that case, why not embrace religious pluralism?

We both perceive a "direction" in which the Holy Spirit wants to point. For you it's the saving Ark that is the Church and for me it's the way of salvation spoken of in the Scriptures.
The things not written in Scripture would fill so many books the world couldn't contain it.

St. John 21:25
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Do you really think that we have been kept as orphans regarding these things? We have not. They have been guarded through the communication from person to person. This Communication and Scriptures are meant to be checks and balances toward each other. Communication, transmission, tradition are just the same thing and one of the essentials:

1 Tess. 2:13
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received {it} not {as} the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

2 Tess. 3:6
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
Like I said, these things aren't preserved because we don't need them. God conceals things all the time. Or do you believe Tradition contains more statements than can possibly be written down?

God does not save outside the Sacraments.
Then how was the Thief on the Cross saved?

But He does not save by means of the Sacrament alone. We are the Catholic Church (the community according to the whole), not a "sola sacramentum" church. The Sacraments, the Scriptures, the Faith, the Love, the practical life, *all* are necessary for Life in Christ, just like all organs are necessary for physical life. One can say that faith is the heart and correct doctrine is the brain, and rites are just part of the other organs, but try to live without a pancreas or kidneys. Not being central does not mean not being vital.
I agree that obedience is key to salvation and this will include church attendance, baptism, etc. when possible. I don't believe that someone who has no access to these things, yet has faith, is thereby left out in the cold, however.

Only that Christ incarnation is all about making the invisible God visible in all senses, in terms of our capacity of understanding Him at least partially and physically. An invisible church is a negation of the very purpose of the incarnation. The True Apostolic interpretation sees the Church as body, while protestantism calls it a body, but only in the sense one can talk about the body of doctrines defended by Kant or Hegel, not a true body. As I mentioned before, in a body sure there are things more central and not so central. But the non-central organs are as important to keep the body alive as the central ones. A shot in the heart will kill immediately. A shot in the lungs *may* give you sometime to recover, but if left untreated will kill you the same way. Likewise with the Church. Drop the faith and it's sudden death. But hurt the other things and it will, more slowly, take to the tomb as surely.

Governance of the church *is* one of the essentials, yes. A "government" is what provides form to a group of people. It has the same function that DNA has in giving form to a body. A changing DNA would create a plethora of mutants. That's exactly what happens in protestantism. And unlike X-Men, real-life mutants are not Homo Superior but, at best, sustainable and deficient, or outright marked to have a short life. Mutations are the result of enthropy, not development.

Protestants belief in a non-corporeal church manifest in a plethora of mutants is in absolute contradiction with the incarnation. How each one will solve this paradox is left for them.
And yet these "mutants" are often capable of recognizing one another as fellow believers in spite of their differences and doing amazing corporate works together. Sounds like a united body to me. If the Orthodox can tear themselves apart via jurisdictional squabbles and schisms over the calendar, I think Protestants can have some leeway in the "visible organization" department.

You are one step back home then, friend. Smiley
Thanks.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 07:31:52 PM by Volnutt » Logged
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2011, 09:24:38 PM »

My answers to your questions are not those of a theologian but here goes ...

In that case, why not embrace religious pluralism?

Because we know what saves but not what doesn't. We know where the Church is but not where it is not. We know who the Spirit guides but now who He does not. We know these things because they have been revealed -- but we know no more.

We both perceive a "direction" in which the Holy Spirit wants to point. For you it's the saving Ark that is the Church and for me it's the way of salvation spoken of in the Scriptures.

Those very scriptures which are self-interpreting, right? Or those scriptures which the Spirit of God will interpret for the Christians who genuinely engages with them in humlity and prayer?

Bottom line: the scriptures are authoritative because they were penned, collated and canonised by the Church which the Spirit guides.

Then how was the Thief on the Cross saved?

Are you suggesting that the manner of the salvation of the good thief is normative for us or just questioning the statement that only the holy mysteries save?

I agree that obedience is key to salvation and this will include church attendance, baptism, etc. when possible. I don't believe that someone who has no access to these things, yet has faith, is thereby left out in the cold, however.

I think this is why the account of the salvation of the good thief was given to us -- to teach that we should not despair of the salvation of those who have no opportunity to receive the holy mysteries and live a God-pleasing life of repentance and prayer. Nevertheless, of those to whom much has been given, much more is expected.

And yet these "mutants" are often capable of recognizing one another as fellow believers in spite of their differences and doing amazing corporate works together. Sounds like a united body to me. If the Orthodox can tear themselves apart via jurisdictional squabbles and schisms over the calendar, I think Protestants can have some leeway in the "visible organization" department.

I am sure you see the deadly spiritual danger lurking in this attitude. What is the litmus test of Christianity? What are the defining features that guarantee participation in the mystical body of Christ? How fuzzy and all-encompassing can our definition of the Church be before it ceases to really mean anything? Rather than play these dangerous games, we should cling fast to the pillar and ground of the truth.

You have heard all these answers before, I am sure -- what about them does not convince?
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 09:25:36 PM by akimori makoto » Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2011, 12:25:28 AM »

My answers to your questions are not those of a theologian but here goes ...
S'alright, I'm not much of one either!

Because we know what saves but not what doesn't. We know where the Church is but not where it is not. We know who the Spirit guides but now who He does not. We know these things because they have been revealed -- but we know no more.
Seems like the logical conclusion of the idea that the Spirit moves where He wants and uses all things, but I suppose it's similar to the hope that all will be saved without being dogmatic about it...

Those very scriptures which are self-interpreting, right? Or those scriptures which the Spirit of God will interpret for the Christians who genuinely engages with them in humlity and prayer?
Generally, clearer passages must interpret the more vague, since we have faith the Spirit won't leave us without a guide.
Bottom line: the scriptures are authoritative because they were penned, collated and canonised by the Church which the Spirit guides.
I think it's more recursive. The church which desires to cling to the Scriptures will have authority and will thus all recognize divine authorship because of their faith.

Are you suggesting that the manner of the salvation of the good thief is normative for us or just questioning the statement that only the holy mysteries save?
The latter.

I think this is why the account of the salvation of the good thief was given to us -- to teach that we should not despair of the salvation of those who have no opportunity to receive the holy mysteries and live a God-pleasing life of repentance and prayer. Nevertheless, of those to whom much has been given, much more is expected.
Agreed.

I am sure you see the deadly spiritual danger lurking in this attitude. What is the litmus test of Christianity? What are the defining features that guarantee participation in the mystical body of Christ? How fuzzy and all-encompassing can our definition of the Church be before it ceases to really mean anything? Rather than play these dangerous games, we should cling fast to the pillar and ground of the truth.
Nothing fuzzy about it. Those who confess the essentials embodied in the Nicene Creed are orthodox (little o) Christians and will be saved to the extent that their faith is genuine. Those who deny these doctrines have "another Jesus."

You have heard all these answers before, I am sure -- what about them does not convince?
I've seen too much good in Protestantism, too many people in my life who just seem to ooze the love of God. Orthodoxy seems to require me to see them as the exception, the "incomplete" who will saved by the skin of their teeth. What's more, a practicing atheist or hindu would be saved in the same way, implying there is no essential difference, and to that makes a mockery of the Scriptures. I just can't accept that. I've seen and heard of too many small, faithful congregations, simple people who care for their own and put my own faith to shame a thousand times over.

As a Protestant I can accept the grace of God in these places and just as happily when it is found in Orthodoxy. If I were Orthodox, it would all be an anomaly. My default position toward a heterodox Christian would have to be, "lost until proven otherwise."

I know a reductio ad absurdum can be made here regarding the Mormons and other Christian-like cults, but I hope I've given my reasons for not accepting that comparison.
Logged
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2011, 01:00:54 AM »

Nothing fuzzy about it. Those who confess the essentials embodied in the Nicene Creed are orthodox (little o) Christians and will be saved to the extent that their faith is genuine. Those who deny these doctrines have "another Jesus."

I, too, am sympathetic to the idea that "if you can recite the Nicene Creed and mean it, you're probably okay". Is the Creed really a sufficient sine qua non of Christianity, though?

"I believe in one God" -- Mormonism, which clearly confesses more than one deity, is excluded, as is Christadelphianism.

"maker of all things" -- anyone denying creation ex nihilo is excluded.

"And in one Lord, Jesus Christ" -- Nestorianising-type protestantism, which has a tendency to hold the divine and human natures apart, is excluded.

"of one essence with the Father" -- Arianising-type protestantism, which has a tendency to talk lots and lots about "Jesus" but never "Christ our true God" is excluded.

"and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and of the virgin Mary" -- Nestorianising-type protestantism, which refuses to confess that the ever-virgin on is Theotokos, is excluded.

"and became human", "and suffered and was buried" -- protestantism of docetist or adoptionist tendencies, which denies the hypostatic union, is excluded.

"will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead" -- those confessing an "already happened" eschatology are excluded.

"whose kingdom shall have no end" -- chiliast protestantism and other forms confessing a heretical eschatology are excluded.

"who proceeds from the Father" -- the Roman Church is arguably excluded, as is every other Western confession.

"who together with the Father and Son is worshipped" -- Christadelphianism, at least, is excluded, as would be protestantism of Macedonianising-type pneumatology.

"one, holy, catholic and apostolic church" -- not even going to comment on this one, lest we all be bored to death by the essay which would follow.

"one baptism" -- anabaptist confessions are excluded.

"for the remission of sins" -- anyone confessing that baptism is just a symbol of an already-accomplished reality is excluded, ditto the Eucharist.

"I expect the resurrection of the dead" -- anyone expecting a fuzzy, wishy washy spiritual resurrection is excluded.

The whole creed taken together -- oneness pentacostalism and like heresies which do not confess the Most Holy Trinity in the orthodox manner are excluded.

This list has certainly not caught every inchoate and nebulous heresy which abounds in the Christian world, but I trust it is illustrative.

Please do not go to the effort of proving to me that some of these confessions do not really believe as I have described. The point I am making does not hang on whether I have correctly defined the theology of particular groups (you will note I have largely refrained from attempting to).

I've seen too much good in Protestantism, too many people in my life who just seem to ooze the love of God. Orthodoxy seems to require me to see them as the exception, the "incomplete" who will saved by the skin of their teeth. What's more, a practicing atheist or hindu would be saved in the same way, implying there is no essential difference, and to that makes a mockery of the Scriptures. I just can't accept that. I've seen and heard of too many small, faithful congregations, simple people who care for their own and put my own faith to shame a thousand times over.

As a Protestant I can accept the grace of God in these places and just as happily when it is found in Orthodoxy. If I were Orthodox, it would all be an anomaly. My default position toward a heterodox Christian would have to be, "lost until proven otherwise."

Again, I sympathise very much with this. I would simply reiterate that of those more has been given, more is expected. The converse is probably also true.

I know a reductio ad absurdum can be made here regarding the Mormons and other Christian-like cults, but I hope I've given my reasons for not accepting that comparison.

Thank you for sparing me the effort, haha. Seriously, though, please do meditate further on that reductio, as it is instructive.
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2011, 01:22:20 AM »

Please do not go to the effort of proving to me that some of these confessions do not really believe as I have described. The point I am making does not hang on whether I have correctly defined the theology of particular groups (you will note I have largely refrained from attempting to).
Ok. I'll just point out that I don't see the "Nestorian/Arian/Macedonianzing" tendencies you do, maybe this is a US vs. Oz thing? I see lack of proper emphasis perhaps, but not denials. There are also misunderstandings such as surrounds the title, "Theotokos."

I would also disagree that chilasm is heretical as I don't see how it truly violates that clause. "One, holy, catholic, and apostolic church" may likewise be interpreted in an invisible church framework. The filioque and baptism for remission of sins is quite problematic, I admit.

Again, I sympathise very much with this. I would simply reiterate that of those more has been given, more is expected. The converse is probably also true.
I hope so.

I know a reductio ad absurdum can be made here regarding the Mormons and other Christian-like cults, but I hope I've given my reasons for not accepting that comparison.

Thank you for sparing me the effort, haha. Seriously, though, please do meditate further on that reductio, as it is instructive.
Well, an Orthodox may respond to my point by drawing attention to the fact that Mormons, Christadelphians, Oneness Pentecostals, etc. can have good works and appear to be quite godly as individuals while at the same time being obviously outside the Body of Christ. I will then be asked why this can't be true for the little o orthodox as well.

My response is, I don't rule out salvation of individuals among them despite their heresy. But I would point out that the very reductio attempt is self-defeating since it assumes the  little o orthodox can be cogently defined as a group (at least broadly).
Logged
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2011, 01:29:54 AM »

Please do not go to the effort of proving to me that some of these confessions do not really believe as I have described. The point I am making does not hang on whether I have correctly defined the theology of particular groups (you will note I have largely refrained from attempting to).
Ok. I'll just point out that I don't see the "Nestorian/Arian/Macedonianzing" tendencies you do, maybe this is a US vs. Oz thing? I see lack of proper emphasis perhaps, but not denials. There are also misunderstandings such as surrounds the title, "Theotokos."

At this point, I am going to hope for some back-up from Americans who have some experience with whacky Christology/Triadology/Pneumatology in the "mainstream" denominations, haha.

I agree completely that the problem is invariably one of emphasis (except in the most extreme cases of entrenched theological stupidity) but there comes a point where the scale tips too far into the realm of heresy.

Well, an Orthodox may respond to my point by drawing attention to the fact that Mormons, Christadelphians, Oneness Pentecostals, etc. can have good works and appear to be quite godly as individuals while at the same time being obviously outside the Body of Christ. I will then be asked why this can't be true for the little o orthodox as well.

My response is, I don't rule out salvation of individuals among them despite their heresy. But I would point out that the very reductio attempt is self-defeating since it assumes the  little o orthodox can be cogently defined as a group (at least broadly).

You correctly predicted my argument in your first paragraph!

As to your second, aren't you, in fact, arguing the "orthodox" protestants can be broadly categorised as a group -- ie, the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 01:48:34 AM by akimori makoto » Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2011, 02:04:13 AM »

At this point, I am going to hope for some back-up from Americans who have some experience with whacky Christology/Triadology/Pneumatology in the "mainstream" denominations, haha.

I agree completely that the problem is invariably one of emphasis (except in the most extreme cases of entrenched theological stupidity) but there comes a point where the scale tips too far into the realm of heresy.
Ok. I must point out that I'm also against "mainliners" such as ECUSA, though I don't know that ordaining women and being pro-homosexuality are technically heretical.

You correctly predicted my argument in your first paragraph!

As to your second, aren't you, in fact, arguing the "orthodox" protestants can be broadly categorised as a group -- ie, the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church?
Yes, and I would include all truly believing Orthodox and Roman Catholics in this Church as well.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 02:05:18 AM by Volnutt » Logged
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2011, 11:26:36 PM »

Maybe I'm just grasping at straws...

I don't know what kind of even searching for anymore. I just don't think I can believe everyone outside Orthodoxy is graceless/without the Spirit/etc. Maybe this is the end. The line I truly can't cross...
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,349


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2011, 11:30:26 PM »

Maybe I'm just grasping at straws...

I don't know what kind of even searching for anymore. I just don't think I can believe everyone outside Orthodoxy is graceless/without the Spirit/etc.
Who's asking you to believe that?
Logged
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2011, 11:56:58 PM »

Well, one either believes in an invisible church or one does not (I really don't think that, "we know where the true Church is, not where she is not" maxim makes any sense in the light of the rest of Orthodox theology). If there is no invisible church, then protestants and RCs obviously do not have the Spirit indwelling them.

Sure, they might be saved at death but in the here and now, they're no different than Buddhists, are they?
Logged
xariskai
юродивый/yurodivy
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,373


יהוה עזי ומגני


« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2011, 12:12:36 AM »

Maybe I'm just grasping at straws...

I don't know what kind of even searching for anymore. I just don't think I can believe everyone outside Orthodoxy is graceless/without the Spirit/etc. Maybe this is the end. The line I truly can't cross...
Metropolitan Philaret Voznesensky of New York (Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) on the Faith of Non-Orthodox Christians:"It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth… They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord, “Who will have all men to be saved” (I Tim. 2:4) and “Who enlightens every man born into the world” (Jn 1:43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation in His own way."

'Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord has appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation, she acts and knows only within her own limits; and ... does not judge the rest of mankind, and only looks upon those as excluded, that is to say, not belonging to her, who exclude themselves. The rest of mankind, whether alien from the Church, or united to her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to her, she leaves to the judgment of the great day' ("The Church is One") -Saint Philaret, Khomiakov

"When the apostles brought the good news of Jesus Christ to all of the known world, they were not afraid to point to the True God. But neither did they condemn the people of the world, because it is not the purpose of Christ to condemn us but to cleanse us of all sin and ignorance, to draw us into the divine Love and purity which is God." -Fr. Brendan Pelphrey

"In excommunicating them as heretics and schismatics the early church was not making a statement as to their eternal destiny. This is for God alone to decide. The Church was simply following the biblical injunction of Christ Himself, to be sure the worship of the Father was conducted "in Spirit and in truth" (John 4:23). In the historic Church, orthodox doctrine was a prerequisite for eucharistic unity...

This policy of closed communion does not imply that those outside the Orthodox Church are considered not to be Christians, or not to be saved. The Church explicitly refuses to pass judgment..." -Father James Bernstein, "Communion: A Family Affair"
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 12:13:14 AM by xariskai » Logged

Silly Stars
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2011, 02:11:34 AM »

Maybe I'm just grasping at straws...

I don't know what kind of even searching for anymore. I just don't think I can believe everyone outside Orthodoxy is graceless/without the Spirit/etc. Maybe this is the end. The line I truly can't cross...
Metropolitan Philaret Voznesensky of New York (Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) on the Faith of Non-Orthodox Christians:"It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth… They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord, “Who will have all men to be saved” (I Tim. 2:4) and “Who enlightens every man born into the world” (Jn 1:43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation in His own way."

'Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord has appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation, she acts and knows only within her own limits; and ... does not judge the rest of mankind, and only looks upon those as excluded, that is to say, not belonging to her, who exclude themselves. The rest of mankind, whether alien from the Church, or united to her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to her, she leaves to the judgment of the great day' ("The Church is One") -Saint Philaret, Khomiakov

"When the apostles brought the good news of Jesus Christ to all of the known world, they were not afraid to point to the True God. But neither did they condemn the people of the world, because it is not the purpose of Christ to condemn us but to cleanse us of all sin and ignorance, to draw us into the divine Love and purity which is God." -Fr. Brendan Pelphrey

"In excommunicating them as heretics and schismatics the early church was not making a statement as to their eternal destiny. This is for God alone to decide. The Church was simply following the biblical injunction of Christ Himself, to be sure the worship of the Father was conducted "in Spirit and in truth" (John 4:23). In the historic Church, orthodox doctrine was a prerequisite for eucharistic unity...

This policy of closed communion does not imply that those outside the Orthodox Church are considered not to be Christians, or not to be saved. The Church explicitly refuses to pass judgment..." -Father James Bernstein, "Communion: A Family Affair"
Well, that's certainly the fluffy bunny side of things  laugh. I pray they're right and not the more conservative folk.

I'll continue to pray about it. Thanks for the quotes.
Logged
Melodist
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: The Faith That Established The Universe
Jurisdiction: AOANA
Posts: 2,523



« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2011, 09:06:58 AM »

I just don't think I can believe everyone outside Orthodoxy is graceless/without the Spirit/etc.

Noone is graceless or without the Holy Spirit. Every single human ever alive (even the ones that have never been taught the truth about the God who created all that exists out of nothing) is somehow acted upon by the Holy Spirit (acted on from the outside and not necessarily the inside, but still acted on by the Hoy Spirit) and given the capacity to respond to God. Scripure bears witness to the fact that all of creation, even in the state of corruption that we have forced on it, bears witness to the glory of God and that God can use something as small as someone's conscience to reach out to someone. An athiest woman can show her children the kind of pure selfless love that can only originate in the God who is love, but that doesn't make her a Christian.
Logged

And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2011, 09:21:36 AM »

I just don't think I can believe everyone outside Orthodoxy is graceless/without the Spirit/etc.

Noone is graceless or without the Holy Spirit. Every single human ever alive (even the ones that have never been taught the truth about the God who created all that exists out of nothing) is somehow acted upon by the Holy Spirit (acted on from the outside and not necessarily the inside, but still acted on by the Hoy Spirit) and given the capacity to respond to God. Scripure bears witness to the fact that all of creation, even in the state of corruption that we have forced on it, bears witness to the glory of God and that God can use something as small as someone's conscience to reach out to someone. An athiest woman can show her children the kind of pure selfless love that can only originate in the God who is love, but that doesn't make her a Christian.

+1
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2011, 06:04:22 PM »

Akimori Makoto, could you repost that link, it's not working?

I guess in these times of desolation, I cannot afford to broad brush allegedly conservative Protestants into the Kingdom as I used to.
Logged
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2011, 12:57:17 AM »

Akimori Makoto, could you repost that link, it's not working?

I guess in these times of desolation, I cannot afford to broad brush allegedly conservative Protestants into the Kingdom as I used to.

You mean a link to the thread from whence I stole Salpy's experiences? Try here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,34433.msg597670.html#msg597670

Do you think perhaps your attitude towards Orthodox ecclesiology is tied up with your views on assurance? I think I perceive a nexus there, if I may be so bold as to say.
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2011, 01:33:21 AM »


You mean a link to the thread from whence I stole Salpy's experiences? Try here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,34433.msg597670.html#msg597670
Must be on the private board. Oh well.

Do you think perhaps your attitude towards Orthodox ecclesiology is tied up with your views on assurance? I think I perceive a nexus there, if I may be so bold as to say.

Actually I think I'm over assurance. I posted this in the other thread but I guess no one read it.

Quote
Something occurred to me today. Assurance as Protestants demand it, absolute certainty or "120% Proof Grace" as a contributor to iMonk once called it, is logically impossible.

The reason is the same as one of the reasons why today's followers of Rene Descartes' proofs of the existence of God often get in trouble. Essentially, one of Descartes' arguments was that we have in us a concept of God and that this concept is objectively perfect. Since an objectively perfect idea could not have come from the mind of an imperfect being, then God Himself must be the source of our concept of Him. Although one might find this intuitively persuasive, it just does not work as a proof. We know from modern psychology that human beings simply do not have infallible access to our their own thoughts. Descartes might think he has a perfect conception of God, but he has no way of proving this. He mightthink he knows what perfection means, but how can he be sure?

In the same way, when we say "I believe Jesus is the Son of the God," etc. we don't know we are mentally assenting to this proposition. There is always the possibility of subconscious motivations, internal contradictions, etc. that we might hold-any number of which could offset our actual assent to the truth of the Gospel and actual trust in Christ.

A Protestant might respond, "I know I have saving faith because I have the works which are its fruit." This just pushes the problem back though. How does one know these are true works, done with a pure heart and out of a sincere hunger for God's glory? How do you know you aren't just "washing the outside of the cup," doing them to appear righteous or out of some other hidden and selfish motive? Again, we have no infallible access.

A Protestant might also respond that the inner witness of the Spirit assures them that they have true faith. But Mormons say they know their religion is true because they got a "Burning in the Bosom" when they prayed about the Book of Mormon. How do you know this sure feeling of yours is not as false as theirs is (self-generated, physiological, demonic, or from some other source other than God)?

Finally, a Protestant could respond to any or all of the points above by saying that baring the unforeseen, the think they truly believe in Christ and they have confidence that He is greater than the vagaries of the human mind and can save despite them. This is quite correct. It can serve as a fine nonfoundationalist sort of assurance, but it isn't what the Reformers taught.

Protestantism is a child of Aristotelean logic and a contemporary of Renaissance Humanism. If something is not 100% correct and proven almost syllogistically, it is of no theological value to the Scholastically trained Luther and Calvin, let alone their Radical Reformation cousins. One might be able to hold a sort of "epistemologically fuzzy" soteriology as outlined above, but the Reformers simply would not have recognized it. In fact, they might even accuse you of "Papist" sentiments!

So, 100% assurance of salvation is untenable, not because God is unfaithful or incapable of saving but because we in our feeble minds are not capable of knowing our beliefs and intentions well enough to be absolutely confident that we believe unto salvation.

Whatever hope Protestants have, if they are consistent they must hold to it with less than complete certainty. Nothing wrong with that, except for one thing-Protestants now have no advantage in this department over the Orthodox. If they are not absolutely sure that they will endure to the end but must trust in God's good mercies, so must the Protestants if they think they're already saved. Too bad Martin Luther wasn't born 600 years later to recognize this.
Logged
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2011, 01:41:42 AM »

Oh yeah, I remember that now. A useful post for posterity!

I think if I keep speaking, I will just be saying things you have heard before. You are clever and learned enough to pre-empt my arguments. I hope they are ringing progressively more true to you in your heart/mind.
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2011, 01:44:16 AM »


Yes, indeed.

What disturbs me even more than the whacky Christology/Triadology/Pneumatology of some of these people is that they are not as concerned about what I confess about Christ's natures and person as they are about whether my Sunday worship consists of vain repetition, dead ritual, pagan sacraments, yada yada yada.
Yeah.

It's one thing to make theological mistakes, it's another thing to be in a completely different theological ball-park, if you know what I mean?
True.

Though I don't think everyone who can't call Mary Theotokos and Mother of God is automatically a Nestorian. I see more what you mean.
Logged
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2011, 01:46:28 AM »

Oh yeah, I remember that now. A useful post for posterity!

I think if I keep speaking, I will just be saying things you have heard before. You are clever and learned enough to pre-empt my arguments. I hope they are ringing progressively more true to you in your heart/mind.
You never know, like I said, I'm a slow thinker at times!

I think you guys arguments are slowly sinking in, though.
Logged
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2011, 12:46:14 PM »

As far as John MacArthur, I have one of his older study Bibles (1997). On John 2:4, Jesus calling Mary "Woman" is an abrupt (though not impolite) term of distancing. Jesus is saying that He has officially "left the nest" (not MaCarthur's words) and is now wholly devoted to His mission with everything else coming second.
Quote
Mary had to recognize Him not so much as a son she had raised but as the promised Messiah and Son of God.

When talking about Mark 3:21, he implies she was among those who thought Christ was mad and tried to seize Him.

MacArthur does not attribute anything special to Jesus committing His mother to Saint John's care.

I'm not seeing a denial of Mary as truly Theotokos in this case. Saint John Chrysostom also had some harsh words about Mary's conduct at times. At most, MacArthur might be showing the paranoia I sense in some Protestants of any hint Jesus listened to Mary "too much."

Just thought I'd put that out there.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 12:47:50 PM by Volnutt » Logged
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2011, 11:39:23 PM »

Sorry for resurrecting this thread, but I just learnt yesterday that the Salvation Army does not baptise or offer the eucharist.

The list of who qualifies as a Nicea-professing Christian seems to get shorter and shorter upon further examination (I take no pleasure in this).
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2011, 11:53:55 PM »

Yeah. Undecided

If you look at their reasoning too, it's like the logical conclusion of all Low Church theology.  http://www.salvationarmy.org/ind%5Cwww_ind.nsf/vw-sublinks/80256E520050A2E280256C140045D031?openDocument

You could add to your list many but not all of those identifying as Hyper- or "Acts 9, 28 out" Dispensationalists as well as the Christian Individualism movement founded by Otis Sellers, and I believe the Bullingerites or "Ultradispensationalists."

Maybe the Closed Bretheren as well, though they seem to tend toward Adoptionism anyway.
Logged
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2011, 11:56:53 PM »

If you look at their reasoning too, it's like the logical conclusion of all Low Church theology.  http://www.salvationarmy.org/ind%5Cwww_ind.nsf/vw-sublinks/80256E520050A2E280256C140045D031?openDocument

Well said.
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
Volnutt
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic/Universalist
Posts: 3,107


« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2011, 12:01:23 AM »

My sense of spiritual homelessness grows and grows.
Logged
Tags: Holy Spirit Scripture sola scriptura 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.161 seconds with 61 queries.