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Author Topic: How can Eastern Orthodoxy be "the one true church"?  (Read 2885 times) Average Rating: 0
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yeshuaisiam
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« on: August 02, 2011, 10:27:37 AM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?

So why is Eastern Orthodoxy with so many changes of the original worship of the original Christians the correct way to worship?
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2011, 10:34:45 AM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?

So why is Eastern Orthodoxy with so many changes of the original worship of the original Christians the correct way to worship?

1) If you want to know what *Apostolic* worship looked like, check the book of Revelation. If you want to know what their "parishes" looked like, check the paintings in the catacombs and on the walls of Roman citizens converted to Christianity. If want to know what they thought of Mary, the saints and other issues, than looked at what they painted on these images.

2) If you think schisms disavow the Church better avoid Pauline epistles where he not only recomends avoiding schismatics but actually excomunicates some.

3) The Holy Spirit through all the Church, in all places, in all time and not through ex cathedra statements of the Roman bishop - and certainly not in any book, no matter how holy.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 10:37:41 AM by Fabio Leite » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2011, 10:37:59 AM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
Haven't your unsubstantiated allegations on this been answered?

You don't live in the 1st century.  You live two millenia later. Do keep up.  If you want a fossil, become a Paleontologist.

2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
You think you are the first to think he knew better?

The schisms, break offs, heretics (no quotation marks) and heresies (no quotation marks) die off and the Church remains.

3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?
The Church which confesses the Creed as the Fathers left it.

So why is Eastern Orthodoxy with so many changes of the original worship of the original Christians the correct way to worship?
The same reason why I don't wear diapers anymore.
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2011, 12:14:01 PM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
Haven't your unsubstantiated allegations on this been answered?

You don't live in the 1st century.  You live two millenia later. Do keep up.  If you want a fossil, become a Paleontologist.

2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
You think you are the first to think he knew better?

The schisms, break offs, heretics (no quotation marks) and heresies (no quotation marks) die off and the Church remains.

3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?
The Church which confesses the Creed as the Fathers left it.

So why is Eastern Orthodoxy with so many changes of the original worship of the original Christians the correct way to worship?
The same reason why I don't wear diapers anymore.

1) Then if my claims are unsubstantiated, show me where the 1st century used and iconostasis, table of oblation, or antimension.
2) Wrong, the "heresies" and "heretics" remain.  They did not all die off.  What are you talking about man?
3) The "Fathers" lived 225 years after the 1st century Christians.

So you are claiming that the church is full of poo in the beginning and not now?
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2011, 12:26:30 PM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
Haven't your unsubstantiated allegations on this been answered?

You don't live in the 1st century.  You live two millenia later. Do keep up.  If you want a fossil, become a Paleontologist.

2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
You think you are the first to think he knew better?

The schisms, break offs, heretics (no quotation marks) and heresies (no quotation marks) die off and the Church remains.

3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?
The Church which confesses the Creed as the Fathers left it.

So why is Eastern Orthodoxy with so many changes of the original worship of the original Christians the correct way to worship?
The same reason why I don't wear diapers anymore.

1) Then if my claims are unsubstantiated, show me where the 1st century used and iconostasis, table of oblation, or antimension.
2) Wrong, the "heresies" and "heretics" remain.  They did not all die off.  What are you talking about man?
3) The "Fathers" lived 225 years after the 1st century Christians.

So you are claiming that the church is full of poo in the beginning and not now?

Ok then, you provide us with a reconstructed liturgy with full rubrics as to how it should be performed, since you are so familiar with how things were done in the 1st century.
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2011, 12:29:11 PM »

^ Clearly, the Amish and Mennonites were hanging around in the 1st century of Christianity. Get with it!
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2011, 12:35:49 PM »

Quote
1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
You are right, because the earliest of christians were members of the jewish temple because they were still considered jewish....so, how's your Orthodox Rabbi doing these days?

Quote
2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
There were these even in the Bible. Paul wrote a few letters about this stuff somewhere........

Quote
3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?
I think you need to get alot of more basic things down before asking this question.

PP
*edited for oopsies on quote code*
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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2011, 12:49:16 PM »

1) Then if my claims are unsubstantiated, show me where the 1st century used and iconostasis, table of oblation, or antimension.

You have been shown that.

People, stop feeding the troll.

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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2011, 12:55:52 PM »

1) Then if my claims are unsubstantiated, show me where the 1st century used and iconostasis, table of oblation, or antimension.

Cannon of the bumbletoe coagulates the sleep mouth.

Quote
2) Wrong, the "heresies" and "heretics" remain.  They did not all die off.  What are you talking about man?

Falconized peters maligned the horizontal flame soup.

Quote
3) The "Fathers" lived 225 years after the 1st century Christians.

Commence the peppered surge of zookeep. Crater maps your velvet hay.

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So you are claiming that the church is full of poo in the beginning and not now?

Poo is claimed in the beginning of talk.
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2011, 01:05:04 PM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
Haven't your unsubstantiated allegations on this been answered?

You don't live in the 1st century.  You live two millenia later. Do keep up.  If you want a fossil, become a Paleontologist.

2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
You think you are the first to think he knew better?

The schisms, break offs, heretics (no quotation marks) and heresies (no quotation marks) die off and the Church remains.

3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?
The Church which confesses the Creed as the Fathers left it.

So why is Eastern Orthodoxy with so many changes of the original worship of the original Christians the correct way to worship?
The same reason why I don't wear diapers anymore.

1) Then if my claims are unsubstantiated, show me where the 1st century used and iconostasis, table of oblation, or antimension.
Like here?
But the church has made an iconostasis, which is a separation considered "heaven" behind it.  Where did THAT come from?
Heaven.

The Tabernacle's design was shown by God. The Temple design, borrowed from the Canaanites (who, unlike the nomadic Hebrews, had experience in raising public edifaces), was modeled on the Taberenacle.  The synagogue was modeled on the Temple, having a santuary for the Torah scroll which grew in prominence with the destruction of the Temple.  The Early Church worshipped in the Temple and Synagogue (the Liturgy of the Word) and then gathered for the breaking of bread in secret in houses (the Liturgy of the Eucharist). As they were throughn out of Temple and Synagogue, and the Liturgy of the Word was joined to the Liturgy of the Eucharist into the Divine Liturgy, the houses modifed for worship maintained a sanctuary, marked of by the -stasis of the iconostasis.  All the earliest Churches we have have sanctuaries and iconography.

Btw, someone ideas on the development of sanctuary, from a non-Orthodox view:
"From synagogue to church: the traditional design : its beginning, its definition, its end" by John Wilkinson
http://books.google.com/books?id=ucHk4CiFoGsC&pg=PA94&dq=synagogue+sanctuary&hl=en#v=onepage&q=synagogue%20sanctuary&f=false
or here?
Quote
I'd love to see any evidence of any pre-nicea 325 A.D. Church that didn't.

As the link was given below, the earliest depiction of Jesus was in 235.
Read again. That's the earliest depiction which we have an uncontroverted date.  Not the earliest claimed icon we have, nor the earliest evidence.  Just the earliest undisputed evidence.

So that's nearly 200 years after Jesus Christ's time.
 
Correction: that is 200 years of persecusion where public edifaces of Christianity were banned (Dura Europas survives only because it was buried in a hurry in preparation for seige, when the authorities didn't have the luxury to deal with the Christians), Bibles and icons were burned when confiscated, etc.  Do you have any idea how many (or rather I should say how few) portraits of antiquity survive?

So unless you deny that there were other churches in those days or have any evidence that shows more icons before that time or after... I'd say this is conflated.
I don't deny that there were other Churches. We have references to their destruction in those two hundred years (IIRC one in Edessa was destroyed not by the authorities but a flood in the second half of the second century).  But we can't show destroyed Churches as evidence, as they ceased to exist.  I would think that obvious.

Anyhow, I wasn't asking about icons.
Quote
Yes, you were, whether you are aware or not, or deny it.

Uh, no I wasn't so please stop putting words in my mouth.  I asked clearly about an iconostasis and when the formal screen came into use.
Your question is like asking when do we get the Bible bound together in one volume.  The answer is post 325, but that doesn't mean the Bible is post 325.

It has been told you: a formal screen or demarcation of somesort had been part of Christian worship since Sinai.

My 8 year old asked a good question.  "If God is invisible and wants to keep being invisible, why do we make him visible through icons".

Quote
Your 8 year old evidently hasn't been exposed to the Gospel of John:"He who has seen Me has seen the Father."

He's had plenty of exposure to the Gospel of John and still has not seen Christ walking here on Earth or the Father.  They are invisible.  He's seen transmuted bread & wine, but never a man walking the Earth.  Do you know what he looks like?
I never saw my grandfather, but I am the living proof he was visible, and I have seen photos.  

What Christ looks like:


If you think that Christ is invisible, you have more serious problems than you realize.
or here?
Did Yeshua/Jesus have an altar or practice anything similar to a divine liturgy (St. John Chrysostom (sp?)  regularly?  Did the apostles do this?
Yes. They, and therefore we, have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. Heb. 13:10.

Nothing has changed since the 7th Council, nor for that matter before the 1st: anything we do now is well attested before Nicea I.
or here?
Quote
So, why bother yourself with what is a matter of not ultimate consequence? There always was an altar, an area that was set aside, our Christian Holy of Holies, that was restricted to those who had a need to be there. If you feel the need to be there, perhaps you should pray to the Lord for a calling.

The real problem here may be your unwillingness to accept  an authority higher than yourself, or an authority between you and God. Again, if you are to be a member of this family, perhaps a starting rule ought to be to defer to the family, or at least to consider her stance before you decide to form your own path. I pray that the Lord is with you on your spiritual journey and that His Will be done.

I agree, there always was an altar.

But you may be right, I dunno... It's complicated.  I don't have an issue of an authority higher than myself at all, but you may be right, I may have a problem with "authority" between me and God.
Like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?

Quote
Unfortunately this is protestant in many ways.  But what happens when you can't get your head around something?  What happens at the point when you see certain things as "show" or "flashy" and not needed, but the love or Orthodoxy still exists?
Then you trust your Faith in the Orthodox Church.
Is an altar necessary?
Quote
Are you sure about the altar? St. Paul says of the early Christians:
"We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle."
(Hebrews 13:9-10)

Could the altar St. Paul talks about in Hebrews be the "heavenly altar" - where Christ makes his sacrifice, rather than a physical one? Now that the eternal sacrifice has been made the sacrifice at the second temple has been made null and void. They (who serve at the tabernacle) have no right to eat this new sacrifice because they are not Christians.
After all, we have no need of a temple or a physical altar or tabernacle anymore, apart from in as much as they participate in the heavenly altar and tabernacle. Or am I misunderstanding?
I don't think so. I think St. Paul is talking about the Eucharist. We eat this sacrifice and those who are unbaptised can't eat it. It would be strange for St. Paul to be speaking about a metaphorical "eating" since the same Apostle elsewhere clearly refers to the eating and drinking of the Lord's Supper, and also warns that those who do so without proper respect for the Sanctity of the Eucharist are not only guilty of sacrilege, but also risk physical illness as a result of coming into contact with the Divine Gifts unprepared (1 Corinthians 11:27-32). There can be no doubt that the sanctity of objects has been recognised in Christianity right from the beginning. In Acts we read that even handkerchiefs and aprons which had been in contact with the Apostles carried the sanctifying grace of healing (Acts 19:12).
And does not the antimens, which has the relics of the saints in it, resemble a handkerchief or aprons?

Note also the saints under the altar in Rev. 6:9.  Earthly worship reflects heavenly things.

ozgeorge
Quote
I don't think so. I think St. Paul is talking about the Eucharist. We eat this sacrifice and those who are unbaptised can't eat it. It would be strange for St. Paul to be speaking about a metaphorical "eating" since the same Apostle elsewhere clearly refers to the eating and drinking of the Lord's Supper, and also warns that those who do so without proper respect for the Sanctity of the Eucharist are not only guilty of sacrilege, but also risk physical illness as a result of coming into contact with the Divine Gifts unprepared (1 Corinthians 11:27-32). There can be no doubt that the sanctity of objects has been recognised in Christianity right from the beginning. In Acts we read that even handkerchiefs and aprons which had been in contact with the Apostles carried the sanctifying grace of healing (Acts 19:12).

ialmisry
Quote
And does not the antimens, which has the relics of the saints in it, resemble a handkerchief or aprons?

Note also the saints under the altar in Rev. 6:9.  Earthly worship reflects heavenly things.

I don't have a problem with the sanctity of objects, or that worship should be beautiful and otherworldly, and should reflect the heavenly reality of the Divine Liturgy, just that the Antimension, Altar ect. seem to have come later in Church history, and yet they seem to be necessary. But, if the Holy Spirit is guiding the Church then it would seem to make sense. I don't think we can ever know for sure if the Apostles actually used such things.This:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01362a.htm

seems to think that the early Christian altars were tables, which would make sense, considering there would probably be no fixed place of worship.
As Ozgeorge already pointed out, a Orthodox Christian altar is a table, and refering to as such. In fact altar-table as a term is common enough.

Odd that you post that link: did you read it?
Quote
The Christian altar consists of an elevated surface, tabular in form, on which the Sacrifice of the Mass is offered. The earliest Scripture reference to the altar is in St. Paul (1 Corinthians 10:21); the Apostle contrasts the "table of the Lord" (trapeza Kyriou) on which the Eucharist is offered, with the "table of devils", or pagan altars. Trapeza continued to be the favourite term for altar among the Greek Fathers and in Greek liturgies, either used alone or with the addition of such reverential qualifying terms as iera, mystike, The Epistle to the Hebrews (13:10) refers to the Christian altar as thysiasterion, the word by which the Septuagint alludes to Noah's altar. This term occurs in several of the Epistles of St. Ignatius (Ad Eph. v; Magnes. iv, 7; Philad. 4)
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For if I in this brief space of time, have enjoyed such fellowship with your bishop — I mean not of a mere human, but of a spiritual nature— how much more do I reckon you happy who are so joined to him as the Church is to Jesus Christ, and as Jesus Christ is to the Father, that so all things may agree in unity! Let no man deceive himself: if any one be not within the altar, he is deprived of the bread of God. For if the prayer of one or two possesses Matthew 18:19 such power, how much more that of the bishop and the whole Church! He, therefore, that does not assemble with the Church, has even by this manifested his pride, and condemned himself. For it is written, God resists the proud. Let us be careful, then, not to set ourselves in opposition to the bishop, in order that we may be subject to God.
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Now it becomes you also not to treat your bishop too familiarly on account of his youth, but to yield him all reverence, having respect to the power of God the Father, as I have known even holy presbyters do, not judging rashly, from the manifest youthful appearance [of their bishop], but as being themselves prudent in God, submitting to him, or rather not to him, but to the Father of Jesus Christ, the bishop of us all. It is therefore fitting that you should, after no hypocritical fashion, obey [your bishop], in honour of Him who has willed us [so to do], since he that does not so deceives not [by such conduct] the bishop that is visible, but seeks to mock Him that is invisible. And all such conduct has reference not to man, but to God, who knows all secrets.
It is fitting, then, not only to be called Christians, but to be so in reality: as some indeed give one the title of bishop, but do all things without him. Now such persons seem to me to be not possessed of a good conscience, seeing they are not stedfastly gathered together according to the commandment.
Seeing, then, all things have an end, these two things are simultaneously set before us— death and life; and every one shall go unto his own place. For as there are two kinds of coins, the one of God, the other of the world, and each of these has its special character stamped upon it, [so is it also here.] The unbelieving are of this world; but the believing have, in love, the character of God the Father by Jesus Christ, by whom, if we are not in readiness to die into His passion, His life is not in us.
Since therefore I have, in the persons before mentioned, beheld the whole multitude of you in faith and love, I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed. Do all then, imitating the same divine conduct, pay respect to one another, and let no one look upon his neighbour after the flesh, but continually love each other in Jesus Christ. Let nothing exist among you that may divide you; but be united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.
As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do anything without the bishop and presbyters. Neither endeavour that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Therefore run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one.
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Take heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to [show forth ] the unity of His blood; one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants: that so, whatsoever you do, you may do it according to [the will of] God.
Since Patriarch St. Ignatius was consecrated by the Apostles themselves, and he is writing (well within a century of the Church's founding at Pentecost) to those evangelized by the Apostles, and refering to what they already known, we know for a fact that they had altars, at which the bishops presided over offering the Eucharist.

Antimens really only became necessary once bishops, with the growth of the Church, ceased to be the ordinary minister of the Divine Liturgy.  But even here, we know that was already started by the time of St. Ignatius:
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See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.
smyrneans 8.
you seemed to have gotten it:
The reason that relics are used in the altar consecration and in the antimension is because of the Early Christians in the catacombs.  Decomposing boides held the worst stench until around a year after burial (I can't explain why here), and some of the early Christians had to go into the catacombs (where often their church was set up) to avoid being persecuted.  

Relics are sealed inside the altar table as well as the antimension.    I once heard a priest explain that an antimension is like a "portable altar of sorts".  A priest carries  the antimension with him when holding a liturgy (having Eucharist) on the road, when visiting the sick, and where the altar is not available.

The question is a bit confusing, do you mean the transmutation of the Eucharist or the "celebrating" of the Eucharist?
more backsliding?

2) Wrong, the "heresies" and "heretics" remain.  They did not all die off.  What are you talking about man?
People repeating the mistakes of others do not count.  The modern Gnostics and Arians etc. of today have no connection to those of the first century.

3) The "Fathers" lived 225 years after the 1st century Christians.
St. Clement, St. Ignatius and St. Polycarp are Fathers who were consecrated by the Apostles themselves.  Your "225 years after" is a Protestant error, which just shows you do not know what you are talking about: between St. Clement, St. Ignatius and St. Polycarp, over those "225 years" we have St. Justin Martyr, St. Hegesippus, Papias, St. Irenaeus, St. Clement of Alexandria, St. Cyprian, St. Hippolytes, etc. etc. etc. who, as St. Clement wrote while the last Apostle St. John still walked among us, took the charge that the Apostles had entrusted them with.

So you are claiming that the church is full of poo in the beginning and not now?
My experience in life was I had a diaper when an infant, and although I still have bowel movements, I do them in a toilet and not in my pants.  Don't know whether you don't defecate since infancy-which would explain why you are full of "poo"-or are explaining that funny smell in your presence.

I don't fit in my booties, which my mother had bronzed, nor in my suit when I graduated from grammar school (or high school or college for that matter  Embarrassed).  Why you think the Church should wear a toga like a straight jacket you haven't explained as far as I've seen.

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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2011, 01:08:40 PM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
Haven't your unsubstantiated allegations on this been answered?

You don't live in the 1st century.  You live two millenia later. Do keep up.  If you want a fossil, become a Paleontologist.

2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
You think you are the first to think he knew better?

The schisms, break offs, heretics (no quotation marks) and heresies (no quotation marks) die off and the Church remains.

3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?
The Church which confesses the Creed as the Fathers left it.

So why is Eastern Orthodoxy with so many changes of the original worship of the original Christians the correct way to worship?
The same reason why I don't wear diapers anymore.

1) Then if my claims are unsubstantiated, show me where the 1st century used and iconostasis, table of oblation, or antimension.
2) Wrong, the "heresies" and "heretics" remain.  They did not all die off.  What are you talking about man?
3) The "Fathers" lived 225 years after the 1st century Christians.

So you are claiming that the church is full of poo in the beginning and not now?

1) The absence of evidence isn't evidence. You're essentially asking us to come up with a perfectly preserved worship scene from over 2,000 years ago from a group that was persecuted and generally on the move. Such a request is beyond absurd.

2) They continue to shift and change. That is what is meant by "die off." Even Mormonism has changed. The one truth about heresies is their doctrines will always change.

3) The Church Fathers actually date from the foundation of the Church all the way up to about the 8th to 9th century. Sts. Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Ignatius, and others all wrote, learned, and served in the first century (or early to second century). All three of them personally knew some of the Apostles. So it's highly disingenuous, or at least ill-informed, to say that the Fathers existed "225 years after first century Christians." That's simply not true.
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2011, 01:22:10 PM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?

So why is Eastern Orthodoxy with so many changes of the original worship of the original Christians the correct way to worship?

If you have not read "The Heresy of Orthodoxy" please do so and read it before you continue any further. It is a book written by two Evangelical theologians that conclude that the Orthodox Church is essentially the same in matters of belief and worship as the earliest Church. The full citation is:

The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity, by Andreas J. Kostenberger and Michael Kruger.

Here are couple of on point reviews.

"In the beginning was Diversity. And the Diversity was with God, and the Diversity was God. Without Diversity was nothing made that was made. And it came to pass that nasty old 'orthodox' people narrowed down diversity and finally squeezed it out, dismissing it as heresy. But in the fullness of time (which is of course our time), Diversity rose up and smote orthodoxy hip and thigh. Now, praise be, the only heresy is orthodoxy. As widely and as unthinkingly accepted as this reconstruction is, it is historical nonsense: the emperor has no clothes. I am grateful to Andreas Köstenberger and Michael Kruger for patiently, carefully, and politely exposing this shameful nakedness for what it is."
—D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"This is an admirably lucid and highly convincing rebuttal of the thesis that the earliest form of Christianity in many places was what would later be judged as 'heresy' and that earliest Christianity was so diverse that it should not be considered as a single movement—a thesis first presented by Walter Bauer but most recently advocated by Bart Ehrman. As Köstenberger and Kruger show with such clarity and compelling force, this still highly influential thesis simply does not stand up to scrutiny. By looking at a whole range of evidence—early Christian communities in different regions in the Roman Empire, the New Testament documents themselves, the emergence and boundaries of the canon and its connection to covenant, and the evidence for Christian scribes and the reliable transmission of the text of the New Testament—they show step by step that another view of early Christianity is much more in keeping with the evidence. That is, that there is a unified doctrinal core in the New Testament, as well as a degree of legitimate diversity, and that the sense of orthodoxy among New Testament writers is widespread and pervasive. They also unmask the way contemporary culture has been mesmerized by diversity and the impact this has had on some readers of the New Testament. In this astute and highly readable book—a tour de force—Köstenberger and Kruger have done us all a great service. It is essential reading for all who want to understand the New Testament and recent controversies that have arisen in New Testament Studies."
—Paul Trebilco, Professor of New Testament Studies, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2011, 01:28:26 PM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?

So why is Eastern Orthodoxy with so many changes of the original worship of the original Christians the correct way to worship?

If you have not read "The Heresy of Orthodoxy" please do so and read it before you continue any further. It is a book written by two Evangelical theologians that conclude that the Orthodox Church is essentially the same in matters of belief and worship as the earliest Church. The full citation is:

The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity, by Andreas J. Kostenberger and Michael Kruger.

Here are couple of on point reviews.

"In the beginning was Diversity. And the Diversity was with God, and the Diversity was God. Without Diversity was nothing made that was made. And it came to pass that nasty old 'orthodox' people narrowed down diversity and finally squeezed it out, dismissing it as heresy. But in the fullness of time (which is of course our time), Diversity rose up and smote orthodoxy hip and thigh. Now, praise be, the only heresy is orthodoxy. As widely and as unthinkingly accepted as this reconstruction is, it is historical nonsense: the emperor has no clothes. I am grateful to Andreas Köstenberger and Michael Kruger for patiently, carefully, and politely exposing this shameful nakedness for what it is."
—D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"This is an admirably lucid and highly convincing rebuttal of the thesis that the earliest form of Christianity in many places was what would later be judged as 'heresy' and that earliest Christianity was so diverse that it should not be considered as a single movement—a thesis first presented by Walter Bauer but most recently advocated by Bart Ehrman. As Köstenberger and Kruger show with such clarity and compelling force, this still highly influential thesis simply does not stand up to scrutiny. By looking at a whole range of evidence—early Christian communities in different regions in the Roman Empire, the New Testament documents themselves, the emergence and boundaries of the canon and its connection to covenant, and the evidence for Christian scribes and the reliable transmission of the text of the New Testament—they show step by step that another view of early Christianity is much more in keeping with the evidence. That is, that there is a unified doctrinal core in the New Testament, as well as a degree of legitimate diversity, and that the sense of orthodoxy among New Testament writers is widespread and pervasive. They also unmask the way contemporary culture has been mesmerized by diversity and the impact this has had on some readers of the New Testament. In this astute and highly readable book—a tour de force—Köstenberger and Kruger have done us all a great service. It is essential reading for all who want to understand the New Testament and recent controversies that have arisen in New Testament Studies."
—Paul Trebilco, Professor of New Testament Studies, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand


http://books.google.com/books?id=YJl3CyexnuQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Heresy+of+Orthodoxy:+How+Contemporary+Culture's+Fascination+with+Diversity+Has+Reshaped+Our&hl=en&ei=eDM4TtXwN6qGsgLYpWw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2011, 02:58:43 PM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians

It is written that we are to worship God "in grace and truth". Nothing in there about freezing worship practices for two millenia. Having said that, I think it's absolutely remarkable how much things haven't changed when it comes to the essential elements. If particulars change... *shrugs*

Quote
2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)

I also struggle with this, specifically why things seemed to start getting bad right away. We don't even get out of the Biblical writings and already there are divisions and problems. Such is what happens when humans are involved... in anything...

Quote
3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?

You really aren't at this fork in the road yet, are you? You're still 10 miles back. Deal with this problem when you get to it.  Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2011, 03:09:52 PM »

Manuscript tradition

The Liturgy of Saint James is considered to be the oldest surviving liturgy developed for general use in the Church. Its date of composition is still disputed with some authorities proposing an early date, perhaps ca. AD 60, close to the time of composition of Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans, while most authorities propose a fourth century date for the known form, because the anaphora seems to have been developed from an ancient Egyptian form of the Basilean anaphoric family united with the anaphora described in The Catechisms of St. Cyril of Jerusalem[1].
The earliest manuscript is the ninth-century codex, Vaticanus graecus 2282, which had been in liturgical use at Damascus, in the diocese of Antioch.
The only critical edition is the one published by Dom B.-Charles Mercier in the Patrologia Orientalis, vol. 26 (1950).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liturgy_of_St._James

Before someone shouts "4th century!", notice that it is the latest date for the last additions and alterations concerning dogmatic phrasing decided in councils.
Even during the life of the Apostles, even before there were all the books of the Gospels, we already had the liturgy. In fact, I personally think that the Gospels were written specifically to be liturgical books.
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2011, 03:39:12 PM »

yeshuaisiam, no offense, but in several threads here you have demonstrated an absolute lack of understanding about the evidence we have regarding the 1st century Church. You choose to believe dozens of protestant re-constructionist myths, being particularly partial to the blasphemous novationist/donatist ecclesiology of the Anabaptists.
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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2011, 09:18:48 AM »

The vision of the Heavenly Liturgy

(Chs. 4-5)

St. John received the Revelation on "The Lord's Day," that is, on Sunday. One must surmise that on that day, as was the Apostles' custom, he performed "the breaking of bread," i.e., the Divine Liturgy, received Communion and therefore "was in a state of Grace," meaning he was in a special state of inspiration (Rev. 1:10).

And so, the first thing that is revealed to him is the continuation of the Liturgy just performed by him, the Heavenly Divine Liturgy. It is this Heavenly Divine Liturgy that St. John describes in the fourth and fifth chapters of the Apocalypse.

An Orthodox Christian recognizes here the familiar traits of the Sunday Liturgy and the most important attributes of the altar: the Holy of Holies, the seven-branched candelabrum, the censer with smoking incense, the golden chalice, etc. (These items were shown to Moses on Mount Sinai and were also used in the temple of the Old Testament.)

The Sacrificial Lamb of God, as seen by the Apostle, reminds the faithful of Communion in the form of bread laid on the altar. The souls of those martyred for the Word of God, under the heavenly altar evoke the antimins, the special cloth placed in the middle of the altar and into which are sewn relics of the holy martyrs. The elders clad in white garments with golden crowns upon their heads are like an assembly of the clergy con-celebrating the Divine Liturgy.

It should be noted that the very proclamations and prayers heard by the Apostle in Heaven express the quintessence of the exclamations and prayers which the clergy and the choir recite during the main part of the Liturgy - the Eucharistic Canon. The whitening of the garments of the pious by the "blood of the Lamb" (Ch. 7) alludes to the consecration of the souls of the faithful through the Sacrament of Communion.

In this manner the Apostle begins the revelation of the fate of mankind with the description of the Heavenly Divine Liturgy by which he stresses the spiritual meaning of this Liturgy and the necessity of the saints' prayers for us.

Note: The words "Judah is a lion's whelp" refer to the Lord Jesus Christ and remind us of the prophecy of the Patriarch Jacob regarding the Messiah (Gen. 49:9-10). The "Seven Spirits of God" refer to the plenitude of God's blessed gifts of the Holy Spirit (Is. 11:2 and Zech. ch. 4). A multitude of eyes symbolizes omniscience. The twenty-four elders correspond to the twenty-four priestly successions established by King David for service in the temples, having two intercessors for each generation of the New Israel (1 Chron. 24:1-18). The four mysterious creatures surrounding the throne are similar to the creatures seen in a vision of the prophet Ezekiel (Ez. 1:5-19). They evidently are the creatures closest to God. These images are of a man, a lion, a calf, and an eagle, taken by the Church as symbols for the four Evangelists.

In the later description of the heavenly world, we encounter many things that are incomprehensible to us. In the Apocalypse we learn that the angelic world is extremely vast. The bodiless spirits, the angels, are created as man is by the wise Creator, possessing an intellect and a free will, although their spiritual capabilities far exceed ours. The angels are completely devoted to God and serve Him by prayer and fulfillment of His will.

Thus, for example, they carry to the altar of God the prayers of the saints (Rev. 8:3), they assist the righteous in attaining salvation (Rev. 7:3, 14:6-10, 19:9), they sympathize with those who are suffering and with the persecuted (Rev. 8:13, 12:12), and following God's commands, they punish sinners (Rev. 8:7, 9:15, 15:6, 16:1). They are endowed with power and have sovereignty over nature and its elements (Rev. 10:1, 18:1). They wage war with satan and his demons (Rev. 12:7-10, 19:19, 20-2-3), and they take part in the judgment of God's enemies (Rev. 19:4).

The teaching of the Apocalypse regarding the angelic world basically pulls out by its roots the teaching of the ancient Gnostics, who accepted the presence of intermediaries (channelers) between the Absolute and the material world who were completely self-reliant and independent of Him who ruled the world.

Among the saints whom St. John sees in Heaven, two groups, or two "images," stand out. These are the martyrs and the virgins. Historically, martyrdom is the first order of holiness, and that is why the Apostle begins with the martyrs (Rev. 6:9-11). He sees their souls beneath the Heavenly Sacrificial Altar, which symbolizes the redemptive meaning of their suffering and death, by which they participate in Christ's sufferings and somehow complement them. The blood of the martyrs can be compared to the blood of the victims in the Old Testament that flowed under the sacrificial altar in the temple of Jerusalem. The history of Christianity testifies to the fact that the sufferings of the ancient martyrs served as a moral rejuvenation of the apathetic pagan world. The ancient writer Tertullian wrote that the blood of the martyrs serves as seed for new Christians. The persecution of the faithful will sometimes wane and sometimes flourish during the subsequent existence of the Church, which was the reason that it was revealed to the Seer that new martyrs will supplement the number of the early ones.

Later St. John sees an innumerable throng of people in Heaven, a number that no one is able to count, from all the tribes, generations, nations, and tongues. They stood in white garments holding palm branches (Rev. 7:9-17) in their hands. The common factor of this innumerable assembly of the righteous was that "they all came from great afflictions." For all these people the path to Paradise is the same - through sorrows. Christ is the first Sufferer, who took upon Himself the sins of the world as the Lamb of God. The palm branches are symbols of victory over the devil.

In a special vision the Seer describes the virgins, i.e., those people who denied themselves the solace of conjugal life for the sake of complete service to Christ. They are the voluntary "eunuchs" for the sake of the Heavenly Kingdom (Matt. 19:12, Rev. 14:1-5). In the Church this feat was usually achieved by following the monastic way of life. The Seer sees written upon the foreheads of the virgins the "name of the Father," which points to their moral beauty, reflecting the perfection of the Creator. The "new hymn" that they sing and that no one could repeat expresses the spiritual elevation that they attained through the feats of fasting, prayer, and chastity. This purity is unattainable to those living a worldly way of life.

The song of Moses that is sung by the pious in the next vision (Rev. 15:2-8) calls to mind the hymn of gratitude sung by the Israelites when, after crossing the Red Sea, they were saved from Egyptian bondage (Exodus, ch. 15). Likewise, the Israel of the New Testament is delivered from the rule and influence of the devil, having passed over into a state of grace by means of the Sacrament of Baptism.

In the following visions, the Seer again describes the saints several times. The precious white flaxen garment that they wore is a symbol of their righteousness. In the nineteenth chapter of the Apocalypse the wedding song of the saved tells of the nearing of the "marriage" between the Lamb and the saints - of the coming of the closest communion between God and the righteous (Rev. 19:1-9, 21:3-4). The book of Revelation ends with the description of the blessed life of the saved peoples (Rev. 21:24-27, 22:12-14 and 17). These are the most glorious and joyful pages of the Bible, showing the Church triumphant in the Kingdom of Glory.

Thus, by gradual disclosure of the fate of the world, St. John's Apocalypse slowly directs the spiritual attention of the faithful towards the Heavenly Kingdom - to the ultimate goal of our earthly wanderings. He speaks of the gloomy events in the sinful world as if he is obliged to do so, and with unwillingness.

http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/revelation/vision.shtml
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« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2011, 09:26:50 AM »

Worship in the Book of Revelation and the Eastern Orthodox Liturgy
by Robert Gray
http://jgospel.net/faith/worship/worship-in-the-book-of-revelation-and-the-eastern-orthodox-liturgy.c9002.aspx

The Revelation to John makes dramatic use of the rich symbolism of the sacrificial ritual of the Jewish temple. A comparison of the language and imagery of the book of Revelation with the Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox churches suggests that in the Revelation we see an early stage in the development of Christian liturgy, especially that of the Eastern churches.

Recent studies on the worship described in the book of Revelation indicate its vision of worship made a significant impact on that of the early church, particularly Eastern Christian worship. This article points to images within this ancient vision of worship that correspond to images in the worship of the Orthodox churches.

Introduction
The Revelation of John the Theologian is a verbal icon of liturgy. The Revelation present at once an almost kaleidoscopic image of the past, the present and the future, the earthly and the heavenly. The text states that the revelation itself was received on the Lord's Day (i.e., Sunday--Revelation 1:10). In fact, the whole of the Revelation was recorded in the context of the celestial liturgy. Tradition holds that it records the ecstasy that John experienced during the Sunday celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy among the colony of persecuted Christians on the island of Patmos. In Order to better understand worship in the Revelation, it is helpful to review certain elements in the worship of the Old Covenant.

The temple in Jerusalem had (by the time of the Savior) become the focal point of Israel's whole life: everything was oriented and organized around it. By the first century, this temple liturgy had developed into an exacting and precise ritual. It basically consisted of the Tamid: the elaborate daily sacrificial offering of lambs (one in the morning and one in the evening) to pay the penalty of sin, and thus cleanse and purify the people of Israel. The Hebrew word for "sacrifice" is qorban, the root meaning of which is "coming near."

After the temple was destroyed in A.D.70, it was the synagogue (which had its own services) through which early Christians continued to participate in formal worship. Nonetheless, early Christians preserved a continuity of worship from the Old Covenant to the New. They employed elements from the Jewish temple liturgy, the synagogue liturgy, and the rituals of the Jewish home.

The NT bears witness to the fact that the liturgy of early church included:

psalms,
doctrinal hymns,
spiritual songs,
doxologies,
confessions and creeds,
readings,
proclamations and acclamations,
homilies,
thanksgivings,
prayers,
the Sactus ("holy, holy, holy"),
supplications,
the holy kiss,
memorial meals,
blessings,
daily prayer.

These Old and New Testament liturgies are reflected in the liturgy developed by Eastern Christian churches.

Worship Symbolism in Revelation and in Eastern Liturgy

1 The Throne: One of the most important liturgical images in the throne of the Holy One (4:2). This image appears frequently through out the Old and New Testament and indicates the presence of God. This image is used over 40 times in the Apocalypse itself.

2 Pantocrator: Rev.1:8 Pantocrator meaning " The Almighty."

3 Lamb of God: Rev. 1:13; 5:6 the Savior is "the offerer and the offered; the receiver and the received." He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, and he is the heavenly High Priest.

4 Twenty Four Elders: 4:4 This "synthronos" of the twenty-four elders is the basis of the "synthronos" of the apse in an Orthodox church--the semicircle of presbyters that sorrounds the holy Table during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

5 The White Robe: It is an image of the baptismal garment given to all who have been clothed in Christ, the garment of salvation, the robe of light. It symbolizes blessedness, good deeds, purity and innocence, triumphal joy, eternal life, the resurrected and glorified body. Matt.22:1-4; Rev. 19:1-8

6 The Celestial Court Liturgy: The synthronos of elders provides a concrete image of the celestial court liturgy. Vested in prestly attire, they fall down in worship. They sing hymns, they offer incense, they present the prayers of the saints, they play their instruments. they proclaim the mighty acts of salvation--as did the priests of the Old Covenant.

7 The Martyrs: 6:9 The sacrifice of the martyrs was associated with the sacrifice of Christ. The early church continued to use this imagery. From the second century, memorials and eucharistic liturgies were celebrated on or near the tombs of the martyrs and other saints.

Worship Components in Revelation and Eastern Liturgy

Hymns, doxologies, acclamations, the Wedding Supper of the Lamb of God, and Communion are five major components of the celestial liturgy as recorded in the Apocalypse.

1 Hymns and Doxologies: are addressed to the Father, to the Lamb, or to both.

2 Amen: 7:12 The doxology begins and ends with an Amen! Amen is a liturgical acclamation that was common in the liturgy of the Old Covenant. It signifies "so be it!" or "I ratify!"

3 Alleluia: The only place in the NT where the "alleluia" is found is in Rev.19:1, 3-4,6. This Hebrew liturgical word, which means "praise the LORD," is found throughout the Psalms. The primitive Christians did not desire to make a translation of it, so they kept the Hebrew in Greek transliteration. The Alleluia remains in the Orthodox liturgy today as a conclusion to the singing of Psalms.

Worship in the Presence of the Holy One

Rev.8:1-6 The reality expressed here is this: In the final analysis, the new order of the universe will be that God's people wall partake of his divinity (2pet.1:4). There will no longer be the presence, for his presence will be complete(Rev. 21:22). God will be all in all, filling all things with himself (1 Cor.15:28; Eph.1:23; Col.3:11). The new order will simply be God.

The Wedding Supper of the Lamb

Holy Communion in Jesus Christ Rev.19:6-8 The concept of a marriage between God and his people is deeply rotted in the OT where the covenant relationship is described as a marriage. This theme was proclaimed scripturally at the Feast of the Passover. In the New Covenant, it is applied to Jesus, who is the Bridegroom. It is with this theme that we enter into the services of Holy Week.

The image of a messianic banquet is taken from both the Old and New Testaments. Eating and drinking in the kingdom of God form one of the most significant images we can find to express the concept of Communion. Since the communion in Paradise was broken by a disobedient act of eating (Gen.3), restoration of that communion (and return to paradise) comes about in part through the obedient act of eating (1Cor. 11:24-25).
Eating of the tree of life (Rev. 2:7) and partaking of the hidden manna (Rev.2:17), or tasting of the bread from heaven (John6:31; Heb.9:4) is linked with the spiritual food (1Cor.10:3) of the Eucharist. Ignatius describes the Eucharist as "the medicine of immortality." Through these images it can be seen that those within the church "standing in the temple, stand in heaven."
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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2011, 09:29:28 AM »

Liturgy and Book of Revelation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J44SfUckpOs


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« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2011, 10:16:03 AM »

The concept of a marriage between God and his people is deeply rotted in the OT where the covenant relationship is described as a marriage.
I hope you mean "rooted," as I've had to fight many who the concept deeply "rotted" to the point of denying it.
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« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2011, 12:31:16 PM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
Haven't your unsubstantiated allegations on this been answered?

You don't live in the 1st century.  You live two millenia later. Do keep up.  If you want a fossil, become a Paleontologist.

2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
You think you are the first to think he knew better?

The schisms, break offs, heretics (no quotation marks) and heresies (no quotation marks) die off and the Church remains.

3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?
The Church which confesses the Creed as the Fathers left it.

So why is Eastern Orthodoxy with so many changes of the original worship of the original Christians the correct way to worship?
The same reason why I don't wear diapers anymore.

1) Then if my claims are unsubstantiated, show me where the 1st century used and iconostasis, table of oblation, or antimension.
2) Wrong, the "heresies" and "heretics" remain.  They did not all die off.  What are you talking about man?
3) The "Fathers" lived 225 years after the 1st century Christians.

So you are claiming that the church is full of poo in the beginning and not now?

Ok then, you provide us with a reconstructed liturgy with full rubrics as to how it should be performed, since you are so familiar with how things were done in the 1st century.

I'm not the one making the claim of the one true church.   One thing I can tell you is it did not involve icons, antimentions, veneration of relics, consistent blessing of objects, table of oblation, or an iconostasis.
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« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2011, 12:32:38 PM »

^ Clearly, the Amish and Mennonites were hanging around in the 1st century of Christianity. Get with it!

They don't claim to be the one true church either.

They just try to adapt the practices of early Christians into their lives, unlike most Orthodox, whom are very modern and worldly.
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« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2011, 12:34:23 PM »

1) Then if my claims are unsubstantiated, show me where the 1st century used and iconostasis, table of oblation, or antimension.

Cannon of the bumbletoe coagulates the sleep mouth.

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2) Wrong, the "heresies" and "heretics" remain.  They did not all die off.  What are you talking about man?

Falconized peters maligned the horizontal flame soup.

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3) The "Fathers" lived 225 years after the 1st century Christians.

Commence the peppered surge of zookeep. Crater maps your velvet hay.

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So you are claiming that the church is full of poo in the beginning and not now?

Poo is claimed in the beginning of talk.

So this is the defense of Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2011, 12:41:30 PM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
Haven't your unsubstantiated allegations on this been answered?

You don't live in the 1st century.  You live two millenia later. Do keep up.  If you want a fossil, become a Paleontologist.

2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
You think you are the first to think he knew better?

The schisms, break offs, heretics (no quotation marks) and heresies (no quotation marks) die off and the Church remains.

3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?
The Church which confesses the Creed as the Fathers left it.

So why is Eastern Orthodoxy with so many changes of the original worship of the original Christians the correct way to worship?
The same reason why I don't wear diapers anymore.

1) Then if my claims are unsubstantiated, show me where the 1st century used and iconostasis, table of oblation, or antimension.
Like here?
But the church has made an iconostasis, which is a separation considered "heaven" behind it.  Where did THAT come from?
Heaven.

The Tabernacle's design was shown by God. The Temple design, borrowed from the Canaanites (who, unlike the nomadic Hebrews, had experience in raising public edifaces), was modeled on the Taberenacle.  The synagogue was modeled on the Temple, having a santuary for the Torah scroll which grew in prominence with the destruction of the Temple.  The Early Church worshipped in the Temple and Synagogue (the Liturgy of the Word) and then gathered for the breaking of bread in secret in houses (the Liturgy of the Eucharist). As they were throughn out of Temple and Synagogue, and the Liturgy of the Word was joined to the Liturgy of the Eucharist into the Divine Liturgy, the houses modifed for worship maintained a sanctuary, marked of by the -stasis of the iconostasis.  All the earliest Churches we have have sanctuaries and iconography.

Btw, someone ideas on the development of sanctuary, from a non-Orthodox view:
"From synagogue to church: the traditional design : its beginning, its definition, its end" by John Wilkinson
http://books.google.com/books?id=ucHk4CiFoGsC&pg=PA94&dq=synagogue+sanctuary&hl=en#v=onepage&q=synagogue%20sanctuary&f=false
or here?
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I'd love to see any evidence of any pre-nicea 325 A.D. Church that didn't.

As the link was given below, the earliest depiction of Jesus was in 235.
Read again. That's the earliest depiction which we have an uncontroverted date.  Not the earliest claimed icon we have, nor the earliest evidence.  Just the earliest undisputed evidence.

So that's nearly 200 years after Jesus Christ's time.
 
Correction: that is 200 years of persecusion where public edifaces of Christianity were banned (Dura Europas survives only because it was buried in a hurry in preparation for seige, when the authorities didn't have the luxury to deal with the Christians), Bibles and icons were burned when confiscated, etc.  Do you have any idea how many (or rather I should say how few) portraits of antiquity survive?

So unless you deny that there were other churches in those days or have any evidence that shows more icons before that time or after... I'd say this is conflated.
I don't deny that there were other Churches. We have references to their destruction in those two hundred years (IIRC one in Edessa was destroyed not by the authorities but a flood in the second half of the second century).  But we can't show destroyed Churches as evidence, as they ceased to exist.  I would think that obvious.

Anyhow, I wasn't asking about icons.
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Yes, you were, whether you are aware or not, or deny it.

Uh, no I wasn't so please stop putting words in my mouth.  I asked clearly about an iconostasis and when the formal screen came into use.
Your question is like asking when do we get the Bible bound together in one volume.  The answer is post 325, but that doesn't mean the Bible is post 325.

It has been told you: a formal screen or demarcation of somesort had been part of Christian worship since Sinai.

My 8 year old asked a good question.  "If God is invisible and wants to keep being invisible, why do we make him visible through icons".

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Your 8 year old evidently hasn't been exposed to the Gospel of John:"He who has seen Me has seen the Father."

He's had plenty of exposure to the Gospel of John and still has not seen Christ walking here on Earth or the Father.  They are invisible.  He's seen transmuted bread & wine, but never a man walking the Earth.  Do you know what he looks like?
I never saw my grandfather, but I am the living proof he was visible, and I have seen photos.  

What Christ looks like:


If you think that Christ is invisible, you have more serious problems than you realize.
or here?
Did Yeshua/Jesus have an altar or practice anything similar to a divine liturgy (St. John Chrysostom (sp?)  regularly?  Did the apostles do this?
Yes. They, and therefore we, have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. Heb. 13:10.

Nothing has changed since the 7th Council, nor for that matter before the 1st: anything we do now is well attested before Nicea I.
or here?
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So, why bother yourself with what is a matter of not ultimate consequence? There always was an altar, an area that was set aside, our Christian Holy of Holies, that was restricted to those who had a need to be there. If you feel the need to be there, perhaps you should pray to the Lord for a calling.

The real problem here may be your unwillingness to accept  an authority higher than yourself, or an authority between you and God. Again, if you are to be a member of this family, perhaps a starting rule ought to be to defer to the family, or at least to consider her stance before you decide to form your own path. I pray that the Lord is with you on your spiritual journey and that His Will be done.

I agree, there always was an altar.

But you may be right, I dunno... It's complicated.  I don't have an issue of an authority higher than myself at all, but you may be right, I may have a problem with "authority" between me and God.
Like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?

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Unfortunately this is protestant in many ways.  But what happens when you can't get your head around something?  What happens at the point when you see certain things as "show" or "flashy" and not needed, but the love or Orthodoxy still exists?
Then you trust your Faith in the Orthodox Church.
Is an altar necessary?
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Are you sure about the altar? St. Paul says of the early Christians:
"We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle."
(Hebrews 13:9-10)

Could the altar St. Paul talks about in Hebrews be the "heavenly altar" - where Christ makes his sacrifice, rather than a physical one? Now that the eternal sacrifice has been made the sacrifice at the second temple has been made null and void. They (who serve at the tabernacle) have no right to eat this new sacrifice because they are not Christians.
After all, we have no need of a temple or a physical altar or tabernacle anymore, apart from in as much as they participate in the heavenly altar and tabernacle. Or am I misunderstanding?
I don't think so. I think St. Paul is talking about the Eucharist. We eat this sacrifice and those who are unbaptised can't eat it. It would be strange for St. Paul to be speaking about a metaphorical "eating" since the same Apostle elsewhere clearly refers to the eating and drinking of the Lord's Supper, and also warns that those who do so without proper respect for the Sanctity of the Eucharist are not only guilty of sacrilege, but also risk physical illness as a result of coming into contact with the Divine Gifts unprepared (1 Corinthians 11:27-32). There can be no doubt that the sanctity of objects has been recognised in Christianity right from the beginning. In Acts we read that even handkerchiefs and aprons which had been in contact with the Apostles carried the sanctifying grace of healing (Acts 19:12).
And does not the antimens, which has the relics of the saints in it, resemble a handkerchief or aprons?

Note also the saints under the altar in Rev. 6:9.  Earthly worship reflects heavenly things.

ozgeorge
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I don't think so. I think St. Paul is talking about the Eucharist. We eat this sacrifice and those who are unbaptised can't eat it. It would be strange for St. Paul to be speaking about a metaphorical "eating" since the same Apostle elsewhere clearly refers to the eating and drinking of the Lord's Supper, and also warns that those who do so without proper respect for the Sanctity of the Eucharist are not only guilty of sacrilege, but also risk physical illness as a result of coming into contact with the Divine Gifts unprepared (1 Corinthians 11:27-32). There can be no doubt that the sanctity of objects has been recognised in Christianity right from the beginning. In Acts we read that even handkerchiefs and aprons which had been in contact with the Apostles carried the sanctifying grace of healing (Acts 19:12).

ialmisry
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And does not the antimens, which has the relics of the saints in it, resemble a handkerchief or aprons?

Note also the saints under the altar in Rev. 6:9.  Earthly worship reflects heavenly things.

I don't have a problem with the sanctity of objects, or that worship should be beautiful and otherworldly, and should reflect the heavenly reality of the Divine Liturgy, just that the Antimension, Altar ect. seem to have come later in Church history, and yet they seem to be necessary. But, if the Holy Spirit is guiding the Church then it would seem to make sense. I don't think we can ever know for sure if the Apostles actually used such things.This:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01362a.htm

seems to think that the early Christian altars were tables, which would make sense, considering there would probably be no fixed place of worship.
As Ozgeorge already pointed out, a Orthodox Christian altar is a table, and refering to as such. In fact altar-table as a term is common enough.

Odd that you post that link: did you read it?
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The Christian altar consists of an elevated surface, tabular in form, on which the Sacrifice of the Mass is offered. The earliest Scripture reference to the altar is in St. Paul (1 Corinthians 10:21); the Apostle contrasts the "table of the Lord" (trapeza Kyriou) on which the Eucharist is offered, with the "table of devils", or pagan altars. Trapeza continued to be the favourite term for altar among the Greek Fathers and in Greek liturgies, either used alone or with the addition of such reverential qualifying terms as iera, mystike, The Epistle to the Hebrews (13:10) refers to the Christian altar as thysiasterion, the word by which the Septuagint alludes to Noah's altar. This term occurs in several of the Epistles of St. Ignatius (Ad Eph. v; Magnes. iv, 7; Philad. 4)
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For if I in this brief space of time, have enjoyed such fellowship with your bishop — I mean not of a mere human, but of a spiritual nature— how much more do I reckon you happy who are so joined to him as the Church is to Jesus Christ, and as Jesus Christ is to the Father, that so all things may agree in unity! Let no man deceive himself: if any one be not within the altar, he is deprived of the bread of God. For if the prayer of one or two possesses Matthew 18:19 such power, how much more that of the bishop and the whole Church! He, therefore, that does not assemble with the Church, has even by this manifested his pride, and condemned himself. For it is written, God resists the proud. Let us be careful, then, not to set ourselves in opposition to the bishop, in order that we may be subject to God.
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Now it becomes you also not to treat your bishop too familiarly on account of his youth, but to yield him all reverence, having respect to the power of God the Father, as I have known even holy presbyters do, not judging rashly, from the manifest youthful appearance [of their bishop], but as being themselves prudent in God, submitting to him, or rather not to him, but to the Father of Jesus Christ, the bishop of us all. It is therefore fitting that you should, after no hypocritical fashion, obey [your bishop], in honour of Him who has willed us [so to do], since he that does not so deceives not [by such conduct] the bishop that is visible, but seeks to mock Him that is invisible. And all such conduct has reference not to man, but to God, who knows all secrets.
It is fitting, then, not only to be called Christians, but to be so in reality: as some indeed give one the title of bishop, but do all things without him. Now such persons seem to me to be not possessed of a good conscience, seeing they are not stedfastly gathered together according to the commandment.
Seeing, then, all things have an end, these two things are simultaneously set before us— death and life; and every one shall go unto his own place. For as there are two kinds of coins, the one of God, the other of the world, and each of these has its special character stamped upon it, [so is it also here.] The unbelieving are of this world; but the believing have, in love, the character of God the Father by Jesus Christ, by whom, if we are not in readiness to die into His passion, His life is not in us.
Since therefore I have, in the persons before mentioned, beheld the whole multitude of you in faith and love, I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed. Do all then, imitating the same divine conduct, pay respect to one another, and let no one look upon his neighbour after the flesh, but continually love each other in Jesus Christ. Let nothing exist among you that may divide you; but be united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.
As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do anything without the bishop and presbyters. Neither endeavour that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Therefore run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one.
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Take heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to [show forth ] the unity of His blood; one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants: that so, whatsoever you do, you may do it according to [the will of] God.
Since Patriarch St. Ignatius was consecrated by the Apostles themselves, and he is writing (well within a century of the Church's founding at Pentecost) to those evangelized by the Apostles, and refering to what they already known, we know for a fact that they had altars, at which the bishops presided over offering the Eucharist.

Antimens really only became necessary once bishops, with the growth of the Church, ceased to be the ordinary minister of the Divine Liturgy.  But even here, we know that was already started by the time of St. Ignatius:
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See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.
smyrneans 8.
you seemed to have gotten it:
The reason that relics are used in the altar consecration and in the antimension is because of the Early Christians in the catacombs.  Decomposing boides held the worst stench until around a year after burial (I can't explain why here), and some of the early Christians had to go into the catacombs (where often their church was set up) to avoid being persecuted.  

Relics are sealed inside the altar table as well as the antimension.    I once heard a priest explain that an antimension is like a "portable altar of sorts".  A priest carries  the antimension with him when holding a liturgy (having Eucharist) on the road, when visiting the sick, and where the altar is not available.

The question is a bit confusing, do you mean the transmutation of the Eucharist or the "celebrating" of the Eucharist?
more backsliding?

2) Wrong, the "heresies" and "heretics" remain.  They did not all die off.  What are you talking about man?
People repeating the mistakes of others do not count.  The modern Gnostics and Arians etc. of today have no connection to those of the first century.

3) The "Fathers" lived 225 years after the 1st century Christians.
St. Clement, St. Ignatius and St. Polycarp are Fathers who were consecrated by the Apostles themselves.  Your "225 years after" is a Protestant error, which just shows you do not know what you are talking about: between St. Clement, St. Ignatius and St. Polycarp, over those "225 years" we have St. Justin Martyr, St. Hegesippus, Papias, St. Irenaeus, St. Clement of Alexandria, St. Cyprian, St. Hippolytes, etc. etc. etc. who, as St. Clement wrote while the last Apostle St. John still walked among us, took the charge that the Apostles had entrusted them with.

So you are claiming that the church is full of poo in the beginning and not now?
My experience in life was I had a diaper when an infant, and although I still have bowel movements, I do them in a toilet and not in my pants.  Don't know whether you don't defecate since infancy-which would explain why you are full of "poo"-or are explaining that funny smell in your presence.

I don't fit in my booties, which my mother had bronzed, nor in my suit when I graduated from grammar school (or high school or college for that matter  Embarrassed).  Why you think the Church should wear a toga like a straight jacket you haven't explained as far as I've seen.

So basically from this post you are claiming that Yeshua was gotch eyed because that icon represents him as being gotch eyed, he also had a glowing halo around his head.  Also, you are not even referencing the many "heresies" and splits, that exist today, but merely call on Arians and Gnostics.

Then you reference you diaper talk (I don't know why you brought that up to defend Orthodoxy with), and lead to personal insults.

Look, I may "smell" in your presence (though you have never met me?) But I don't fall into delusion that veneration is a "beam me up scotty" kiss to a "saint", God, or to Mary.    So you go on kissing your paint and wood under a delusion that this really leads to salvation.

One more correction, I've done a lot of research on Polycarp, Justin Martyr, and many other early Christians.  They didn't use Iconostasis's in their worship either.
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« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2011, 12:43:15 PM »

One more correction, I've done a lot of research on Polycarp, Justin Martyr, and many other early Christians.  They didn't use Iconostasis's in their worship either.

Did they use soap, canalisation, electricity, the Internet?
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« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2011, 12:46:30 PM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
Haven't your unsubstantiated allegations on this been answered?

You don't live in the 1st century.  You live two millenia later. Do keep up.  If you want a fossil, become a Paleontologist.

2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
You think you are the first to think he knew better?

The schisms, break offs, heretics (no quotation marks) and heresies (no quotation marks) die off and the Church remains.

3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?
The Church which confesses the Creed as the Fathers left it.

So why is Eastern Orthodoxy with so many changes of the original worship of the original Christians the correct way to worship?
The same reason why I don't wear diapers anymore.

1) Then if my claims are unsubstantiated, show me where the 1st century used and iconostasis, table of oblation, or antimension.
2) Wrong, the "heresies" and "heretics" remain.  They did not all die off.  What are you talking about man?
3) The "Fathers" lived 225 years after the 1st century Christians.

So you are claiming that the church is full of poo in the beginning and not now?

1) The absence of evidence isn't evidence. You're essentially asking us to come up with a perfectly preserved worship scene from over 2,000 years ago from a group that was persecuted and generally on the move. Such a request is beyond absurd.

2) They continue to shift and change. That is what is meant by "die off." Even Mormonism has changed. The one truth about heresies is their doctrines will always change.

3) The Church Fathers actually date from the foundation of the Church all the way up to about the 8th to 9th century. Sts. Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Ignatius, and others all wrote, learned, and served in the first century (or early to second century). All three of them personally knew some of the Apostles. So it's highly disingenuous, or at least ill-informed, to say that the Fathers existed "225 years after first century Christians." That's simply not true.

1) I disagree.  There should be some evidence. The fact is the worship scene was nothing in comparison with anything in the Eastern Orthodox Church today.  To call this absurd is wrong.

2) As the Eastern Orthodox church has changed.  Even members here on this board say it has "evolved", and by mere nature, evolution involves mutations.

3) I was referencing the Council of Nicea, when so much changed.   The early Christians such as Polycarp, Ignatius, Tertullian, and Justin Martyr did not worship as the Eastern Orthodox at all.

My question still remains.
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« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2011, 12:50:39 PM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians

It is written that we are to worship God "in grace and truth". Nothing in there about freezing worship practices for two millenia. Having said that, I think it's absolutely remarkable how much things haven't changed when it comes to the essential elements. If particulars change... *shrugs*

Quote
2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)

I also struggle with this, specifically why things seemed to start getting bad right away. We don't even get out of the Biblical writings and already there are divisions and problems. Such is what happens when humans are involved... in anything...

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3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?

You really aren't at this fork in the road yet, are you? You're still 10 miles back. Deal with this problem when you get to it.  Smiley

Thanks for your considerate non rude or loaded response.   Smiley

1. Agreed that many fundamentals are the same, particulars vary greatly.
2. It is a struggle.  I do believe many fail to recognize this. For instance Origen is considered a "heretic".
3. You are right, the G. Schism is so far off.   But still part of the point 1 billion RC's, 350 million EO...  Who is right?
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« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2011, 12:51:36 PM »

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My question still remains.
No it does not.

I presented *biblical* evidence supported by specialists analysis, plus reference to the acknowledgement of the Liturgy of St. James being from the 1st century, possibly created by St. James himself.

You're just trolling.
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« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2011, 12:58:55 PM »

As for the Iconostasis, they did not have them, but they did have templons, which turned into iconostases after the Iconoclasm. (And if that "change" troubles you, consult ialmisry's good post about togas as straightjackets.)
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« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2011, 01:03:58 PM »

Quote
1) I disagree.  There should be some evidence. The fact is the worship scene was nothing in comparison with anything in the Eastern Orthodox Church today.  To call this absurd is wrong.

Why should there be some evidence? Because you say so? Because you don't believe that things are mutable?

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2) As the Eastern Orthodox church has changed.  Even members here on this board say it has "evolved", and by mere nature, evolution involves mutations.

That's taking it a bit too far. Eastern Orthodoxy has "evolved" in some liturgical and worship mannerisms (which I don't see why that's a problem, you've yet to substantiate why this is a problem). The core doctrines, however, have not evolved or changed whereas in heresies they always do.

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3) I was referencing the Council of Nicea, when so much changed.   The early Christians such as Polycarp, Ignatius, Tertullian, and Justin Martyr did not worship as the Eastern Orthodox at all.

Ah, one of those, "Nicaea is of the Devil!" people. Chances are you've never even read the canons of Nicaea. Regardless, some liturgy has changed since those times. What of it? The core doctrines have not changed (with exception to Justin Martyr's view of the Word, which was at odds with some of his contemporaries).

It seems you've bought into the whole Messianic craze among evangelical Protestants. Let me forewarn you; it's a sham.
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« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2011, 01:18:15 PM »

Friends,

Evidence 01: the book of Revelation. It depicts liturgy in Heaven as the perfect form of worship. It means that either they were already practicing liturgical worship, or God was telling them to.

Evidence 02: the Liturgy of St. James. Scholars attribute it to the 1st century, the last changes happening in the 4th to add conciliar vocabulary;

Evidence 03: The Didadache actually contains instructions for the Eucharist;

Evidence 04: Catacombs and houses where Christians gathered were arranged and decorated as to have an altar where the Eucharist was celebrated, they had priests and bishops, hymns, etc. In fact, many of the *Apostolic* hymns made it into the Gospels themselves, the Magnificat being one of them;

Evidence 05: The images depicted in early iconography displaying ritualistic performance of the sacraments;

Evidence 06: Liturgical practice was instituted in the Old Testament by God. Christ came to fulfill and renew all things;

Evidence 07: When the Church was legalized, the new public churches reproduced and formalized in public buildings what previously occurred in secrecy.
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« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2011, 01:58:15 PM »

Quote
The New Testament records numerous instances of liturgical worship, which range from pure Jewish practices (such as Peter and John going to the Temple because it was the hour of prayer) to Christian liturgical worship (which confirms that the early Christians met and worshipped following Jewish liturgical practices, and added to them the rite of the Eucharist).
(...)

The earliest church had two Sabbath services: a "Synagogue-type" service and a separate communion service. Over time these were combined. Another page in this section describes Worship in the Early Church, documenting the processes and influences by which Christian worship became formalized, and how the various rites in use locally became standardized throughout the Roman and Byzantine Empire.

If one realizes that Jewish worship was liturgical and provided the worship structure for the early Church, and then one reads the New Testament seriously, a whole new side to the question becomes clear. The earliest and clearest reference to liturgy comes in Acts, the book which chronicles the inception and growth of the early Church. The church at Antioch was the first Gentile church outside of Jerusalem, established approximately A.D. 38 when Barnabas was sent to teach there (Acts 11:25 ff.). Acts 13 describes the selection of Barnabas and St. Paul for the first missionary journey. This would have taken place approximately A.D. 46, in what by then was a well-established and structured community of believers.
Luke records that the calling of Paul and Barnabas was the work of the Holy Spirit, and that it took place during the "liturgy". The text reads, "as they were 'liturgizing' (leitourgounton) before the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said 'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul to the work to which I have called them'"(Acts 13:2). Luke was a physician and well educated. He must have understood what he meant to say about worship: namely, that the community was together in formal and ritual worship, accompanied by fasting, when the Holy Spirit spoke. So in A.D. 46, this early church was worshiping in a liturgical manner using a Christian form carried over from the synagogue. And this was within sixteen years of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The continuity of worship between the Old and New Covenants is very evident.

But it's true that "free-form" soon insinuated itself:

Quote
In the early Church , the Lord's Supper was celebrated at the end of the Agape (love) or fellowship meal. This was an extension of the Passover supper tradition, and was a means for believers to show each other the love and unity they shared together in Christ. All gathered, each bringing what they were able. At the conclusion of the meal was the Eucharist, the "thanks-giving" for the grace of Jesus Christ. The sacrament conveyed the understanding and symbolism of the Passover Supper, now consummated in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. It is highly probable that it was the absence of this Jewish understanding that accounted for the disintegration and abuse of the Agape meal in the Gentile churches. Paul berates the Corinthians for being selfish, causing some to go hungry, and for drunkenness at the meal which became so pervasive that it even prevented the Eucharist from being celebrated (I Cor. 11:20-21).

But let's return to more Orthodox practices:

Quote
The Core of Christian Worship

What was this resulting Christian order? The Synagogue worship structure, consisting of a litany of prayers, a confession, eulogies, readings from the Scriptures, an address or homily, and a benediction. This form constituted the core of what was to become specifically Christian worship.
Evidence for this can be found in archaeological evidence from the earliest Syrian churches, as well as in the Apostolic Constitutions and the Didache, and in the continuous practices of the Nestorian Churches. "The old Syrian church appears as a Christianized version of a Jewish Synagogue."

The freedom of the first years of the church's life in which she could be liturgically Jewish in Synagogue and Temple and also celebrate the Eucharist were over. What is evident is a liturgical contraction under the duress of persecution. By now the "unnecessary" material of the Synagogue service had been compressed or even eliminated. What was left was a simpler service focused on the Eucharist, but one that still reflects the Synagogue form and contains its major elements. But this liturgical contraction does not imply that the Early Church was primitive, had no ceremony, and subscribed to simple beliefs. In his introduction to The History of The Church. G .A. Williamson says of Eusebius that in his own statements and those of the earliest authorities on which he draws, we see a church which we would recognize as our own.

Gregory Dix, in his classic treatise on the development of liturgical worship, states that in the earliest accounts of the Eucharist, the Church places the words of institution central in the Eucharistic Prayer. He goes on to point out that it used formulas which were in keeping with those of John's Gospel, "that Bread which cometh down from Heaven and giveth life unto the world, he that eateth of this Bread shall live for ever." [12] He then quotes St. Ignatius who had described the Eucharistic Bread as "a remedy bestowing immortality, an antidote preventing death and giving life in Jesus Christ."

This belief of the early Church can also be seen in how they worshiped. The early Christian Church was a "Christological Synagogue ". For the majority of the service the Bishop would be seated on the bema or stand thereon. The Ark had become in the Syrian Church the place where the Gospel Book was "enthroned"; and this was probably so throughout the early Church. The Word was taken from the Ark and proclaimed from the bema. By it the believer was led to the altar and beyond it to the Kingdom. This happened literally as well as spiritually! There were no pews in the early Church. This was true almost universally up until the seventeenth century in the West, and is still true in most Orthodox Churches today. Upon the completion of the prayers and Scripture readings, the clergy would take the bread and wine and proceed to the East — to the altar for the Eucharistic meal. The vital nature of the early Christian worship is expressed in this procession toward the East (that is, the Kingdom). "Therefore the whole assembly, far from being a static mass of spectators, remains an organic gathering of worshipers, first centered on the Ark, for hearing and meditating upon the Scriptures, and finally going toward the East all together for the Eucharistic prayer and the final communion." [ Louis Bouyer, Eucharist, Notre Dame University Press, Notre Dame, 1968, p 35]

This movement toward the altar with the gifts is the origin of what is now called the Great Entrance in the Orthodox Liturgy when the clergy bring the bread and wine from the Preparation Table to the Altar before the Eucharist. The only major change over time in the structure of this portion of the Liturgy was the movement of the Gospel into the sanctuary before the Altar, in advance of its reading to the assembled congregation. In part, once again, this was due to the circumstances the Church experienced. For the early Church, the Gospel Book was of inexpressible value, for it was the Word of Life. One of the common goals of the persecuting Romans was to confiscate and destroy the Gospel Book. Thus, along with the sacred vessels, it was kept in a safe place during the week, and only brought out for the service of the Divine Liturgy. This circumstance would have existed through the early part of the fourth century changing only with the end of the persecution of Diocletian.
What transpired then, was the assembling of believers before the Liturgy began, typically singing Psalms of praise in anticipation of the impending communion with God. The clergy would arrive bearing the Gospel Book and the sacred vessels and enter the Church, carrying the Gospel Book to the center of the building (onto the bema in the very earliest churches). Then, after the reading of the Gospel lesson to the assembly, the Gospel Book would be carried to the Altar. From this real experience has come two portions of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy; the Antiphons and the Little Entrance.

The Antiphons (two or three are commonly sung) are composed of Psalms that are antiphonally sung by cantor and choir or congregation. These go back to the Psalms sung by the assembled congregation while awaiting the arrival of the clergy. The Little Entrance is the bearing of the Gospel into the sanctuary, and it likewise can be traced to the carrying of the Gospel Book into the church. With the end of persecution it could be kept in the church. Until recent times, the practice was for the Gospel to be in the middle of the church at the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, and from there to be carried into the sanctuary during the Little Entrance to be read before the altar. Having been brought into the midst of the assembly, the Book of Life is then carried into the sanctuary, where, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, all of the assembly enter into the Kingdom to partake of the Eucharist.
St. Ignatius of Antioch referred to the Church as a "Eucharistic community" who realizes her true nature when she celebrates the Eucharist. His view of the Church was the local community gathered around its Bishop, celebrating the Eucharist. It is important to note that St. Ignatius became Bishop of Antioch in A.D. 67 — in the midst of the New Testament era while most of the Apostles were still alive and active. St. Ignatius was the second Bishop of Antioch succeeding St. Peter. Thus we can safely trust that this understanding of the nature of the Church and the Eucharist was representative of that held by the Apostles and the Church at large.

By the end of the first century the basic form or order of the Liturgy was established and universally celebrated throughout the Christian Church, though with regional and cultural differences in expression. The Liturgy had as its center the worship of Jesus Christ and the partaking of His Holy Gifts. In the process she remained true to her origin in Jewish worship which the Lord Himself had practiced and which had been revealed by God. The shed blood of bulls or goats was no longer at the core. This sacrifice was fulfilled for all time in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, which is central still to the life of the Church in the Holy Eucharist. Thus, as the lives of the Apostles ended, as the responsibility for the Church was being handed on to the next generation, her worship of God was established. The basic form of the Liturgy was settled, to be refined and enhanced over the coming years, but never altered in its basic form and meaning.

The major structural change in the development of the Christian rite took place by the latter part of the third century. Until this time it was not uncommon for Christian worship to still have two separate components, the Synaxis (directly derived from the Synagogue ) and the Eucharist. The Eucharist was for believers only, and while all were expected to attend, this portion of the service was closed to non-believers. With the removal of persecution and the development of public worship, the need for separate services disappeared. By the end of the sixth century, holding one rite without the other had become very uncommon. The two rites had some similar and overlapping components, which were easily incorporated into each other. Prior to this synthesis, the Synaxis and the Eucharist services had the following components:" [14]

Synaxis or "Meeting"   Eucharist
Greeting and Response   Greeting and Response
Lections interspersed with Psalmody   Kiss of Peace
Psalmody   Offertory
Sermon   Eucharistic Prayer
Dismissal of Catechumens   Fraction
Intercessory Prayers   Communion
Benediction   Benediction

It is very easy to see how these two services could be fused together to form two parts of one celebration. In the Eastern and Western Church this synthesis occurred and included liturgical enrichments, including the addition of hymns, expanded use of litanies, and the inclusion of the Nicene Creed. As shown, this synthesis was true to the original worship of the Early Church. The Synaxis is very similar to the Synagogue service. And the Eucharist is almost identical to the Eucharist which Justin Martyr describes in his First Apology as taking place at Rome in 150 A.D.

Credits

Parts of this page are excerpted from: Williams, B. and Anstall, H.; Orthodox Worship: A Living Continuity with the Synagogue, the Temple and the Early Church; Light and Life Publishing, Minneapolis, 1990.

http://www.liturgica.com/html/lit.jsp
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« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2011, 02:19:34 PM »

Acts 13:2
λειτουργουντων δε αυτων τω κυριω και νηστευοντων ειπεν το πνευμα το αγιον αφορισατε δη μοι τον τε βαρναβαν και τον σαυλον εις το εργον ο προσκεκλημαι αυτους;

As they "ministered" to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

Actually "ministered" as in the sense of "Liturgized", as they "served liturgy".
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« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2011, 02:40:51 PM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians

It is written that we are to worship God "in grace and truth". Nothing in there about freezing worship practices for two millenia. Having said that, I think it's absolutely remarkable how much things haven't changed when it comes to the essential elements. If particulars change... *shrugs*

Quote
2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)

I also struggle with this, specifically why things seemed to start getting bad right away. We don't even get out of the Biblical writings and already there are divisions and problems. Such is what happens when humans are involved... in anything...

Quote
3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?

You really aren't at this fork in the road yet, are you? You're still 10 miles back. Deal with this problem when you get to it.  Smiley

Thanks for your considerate non rude or loaded response.   Smiley

1. Agreed that many fundamentals are the same, particulars vary greatly.
2. It is a struggle.  I do believe many fail to recognize this. For instance Origen is considered a "heretic".
3. You are right, the G. Schism is so far off.   But still part of the point 1 billion RC's, 350 million EO...  Who is right?
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Luke 12:32
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« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2011, 02:48:09 PM »

How can it really be the one true church when so many other faiths say they are the one true church?

1) So many of the practices of worship are different than the early Christians
Haven't your unsubstantiated allegations on this been answered?

You don't live in the 1st century.  You live two millenia later. Do keep up.  If you want a fossil, become a Paleontologist.

2) So many schisms, break offs, and "heretics", "heresies", (of course they are "heresies" right?)
You think you are the first to think he knew better?

The schisms, break offs, heretics (no quotation marks) and heresies (no quotation marks) die off and the Church remains.

3) Great Schism - Who is right again, the patriarch or patriarch?
The Church which confesses the Creed as the Fathers left it.

So why is Eastern Orthodoxy with so many changes of the original worship of the original Christians the correct way to worship?
The same reason why I don't wear diapers anymore.

1) Then if my claims are unsubstantiated, show me where the 1st century used and iconostasis, table of oblation, or antimension.
2) Wrong, the "heresies" and "heretics" remain.  They did not all die off.  What are you talking about man?
3) The "Fathers" lived 225 years after the 1st century Christians.

So you are claiming that the church is full of poo in the beginning and not now?

Ok then, you provide us with a reconstructed liturgy with full rubrics as to how it should be performed, since you are so familiar with how things were done in the 1st century.

I'm not the one making the claim of the one true church.   One thing I can tell you is it did not involve icons, antimentions, veneration of relics, consistent blessing of objects, table of oblation, or an iconostasis.
No, since you do not even claim to speak for the one true Church, let alone speak for it, you have nothing to tell us.

The same Church which collected and copied the scritpures which the Protestants later stole for their own purposes (the KJV is received its "Textus Receptus" from the Church of Constantinople) has and had icons, antimentions, veneration of relics, consistent blessing of objects, table of oblation, and an iconostasis.

Since Christ and His Apostles didn't evangelize 21st century Texas, you have nothing to tell us.
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« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2011, 02:52:31 PM »

^ Clearly, the Amish and Mennonites were hanging around in the 1st century of Christianity. Get with it!

They don't claim to be the one true church either.

They just try to adapt the practices of early Christians into their lives, unlike most Orthodox, whom are very modern and worldly.
Since they originate in 16th century Switzerland and not 1st century Palestine, and have no clue as to what the Early Christians in 1st cent. Palestine practiced except from what they conjecture from the record the Orthodox preserved on those practices, they can neither claim to be the One True Church (though they do), nor can they speak as an authority of Early Christianity any more than you can.  And you have proved you can't.
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« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2011, 02:53:34 PM »

1) Then if my claims are unsubstantiated, show me where the 1st century used and iconostasis, table of oblation, or antimension.

Cannon of the bumbletoe coagulates the sleep mouth.

Quote
2) Wrong, the "heresies" and "heretics" remain.  They did not all die off.  What are you talking about man?

Falconized peters maligned the horizontal flame soup.

Quote
3) The "Fathers" lived 225 years after the 1st century Christians.

Commence the peppered surge of zookeep. Crater maps your velvet hay.

Quote
So you are claiming that the church is full of poo in the beginning and not now?

Poo is claimed in the beginning of talk.

So this is the defense of Orthodoxy?
No, it is the answer to your criticism of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2011, 03:09:40 PM »

So basically from this post you are claiming that Yeshua was gotch eyed because that icon represents him as being gotch eyed, he also had a glowing halo around his head.
Don't know what gotch eyed is.  Is that a pandemic in Texas?

The icon is as faithful a representation of His physical appearance as you English KJV faithfully records His speech. You do know that He didn't speak English, no?

As for the halo,

some things don't show up on the human physical spectrum of light.

Also, you are not even referencing the many "heresies" and splits, that exist today, but merely call on Arians and Gnostics.
If I had to go over every fool thing said by a fool before you started posting, my posting record would be twice what it is.

The Arians and Gnostics are representative and make, and prove, the point.

Then you reference you diaper talk (I don't know why you brought that up to defend Orthodoxy with),

Because it is as foolish to think that the Orthodox Church should appear today as as she did in 1st century Palestine as it is to think that a man should wear diapers because he wore them as an infant.  Most of us grow with experience.

and lead to personal insults.

Look, I may "smell" in your presence (though you have never met me?) But I don't fall into delusion that veneration is a "beam me up scotty" kiss to a "saint", God, or to Mary.    So you go on kissing your paint and wood under a delusion that this really leads to salvation.
Since you yourself admit that you do not speak for the One True Church, the One Christ founded, why should we care what you think?

So while the Early Christians laid their sick so the shadows of the Apostles would fall on them, and took handkerchiefs and aprons from the Apostles to heal the sick and drive out demons (Acts 19:12), you go on following the heresies of the Protestants under the delusion that they really lead to salvation.

One more correction, I've done a lot of research on Polycarp, Justin Martyr, and many other early Christians.  They didn't use Iconostasis's in their worship either.
They weren't Protestants. Sorry to break that to you.  And you would have to demonstrate some ability to follow an argument before I'll get into it again with you over the iconstasis. That they demarcated the sanctuaries in which they worshipped has already been demonstrated.
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« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2011, 03:12:26 PM »

yeshuaisiam, no offense, but in several threads here you have demonstrated an absolute lack of understanding about the evidence we have regarding the 1st century Church. You choose to believe dozens of protestant re-constructionist myths, being particularly partial to the blasphemous novationist/donatist ecclesiology of the Anabaptists.

Well in this post you are merely trying to chunk insults at the Anabaptists as well as me.  I've done extensive research on early Christians.   You don't have any evidence on the 1st Century church on the things I've mentioned.  

1. Iconostasis - where is your evidence?
2. Antimension - where is your evidence?
3. Veneration of icons - where is your evidence?
4. Blessing of many objects - where is your evidence?

By the way, you don't want to go there with the Anabaptists.  
Yeshua said "you will know them by their fruits".

Let's start comparing the divorce rate of Anabaptists vs. Eastern Orthodox and the EO church will be in trouble very quickly.
Also remember, it's not the Anabaptists that abundantly disobey Christ.  They don't call any men "Father or Master" as stated in my other thread.

So as much as you'd like to believe they are heretical, they aren't bending over venerating wood.
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« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2011, 03:14:13 PM »

^ Clearly, the Amish and Mennonites were hanging around in the 1st century of Christianity. Get with it!

They don't claim to be the one true church either.

They just try to adapt the practices of early Christians into their lives, unlike most Orthodox, whom are very modern and worldly.
Since they originate in 16th century Switzerland and not 1st century Palestine, and have no clue as to what the Early Christians in 1st cent. Palestine practiced except from what they conjecture from the record the Orthodox preserved on those practices, they can neither claim to be the One True Church (though they do), nor can they speak as an authority of Early Christianity any more than you can.  And you have proved you can't.

Only the Orthodox preserved this?  Wow!  Now that's a claim.
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« Reply #40 on: August 03, 2011, 03:22:43 PM »

So basically from this post you are claiming that Yeshua was gotch eyed because that icon represents him as being gotch eyed, he also had a glowing halo around his head.
Don't know what gotch eyed is.  Is that a pandemic in Texas?

The icon is as faithful a representation of His physical appearance as you English KJV faithfully records His speech. You do know that He didn't speak English, no?

As for the halo,

some things don't show up on the human physical spectrum of light.

Also, you are not even referencing the many "heresies" and splits, that exist today, but merely call on Arians and Gnostics.
If I had to go over every fool thing said by a fool before you started posting, my posting record would be twice what it is.

The Arians and Gnostics are representative and make, and prove, the point.

Then you reference you diaper talk (I don't know why you brought that up to defend Orthodoxy with),

Because it is as foolish to think that the Orthodox Church should appear today as as she did in 1st century Palestine as it is to think that a man should wear diapers because he wore them as an infant.  Most of us grow with experience.

and lead to personal insults.

Look, I may "smell" in your presence (though you have never met me?) But I don't fall into delusion that veneration is a "beam me up scotty" kiss to a "saint", God, or to Mary.    So you go on kissing your paint and wood under a delusion that this really leads to salvation.
Since you yourself admit that you do not speak for the One True Church, the One Christ founded, why should we care what you think?

So while the Early Christians laid their sick so the shadows of the Apostles would fall on them, and took handkerchiefs and aprons from the Apostles to heal the sick and drive out demons (Acts 19:12), you go on following the heresies of the Protestants under the delusion that they really lead to salvation.

One more correction, I've done a lot of research on Polycarp, Justin Martyr, and many other early Christians.  They didn't use Iconostasis's in their worship either.
They weren't Protestants. Sorry to break that to you.  And you would have to demonstrate some ability to follow an argument before I'll get into it again with you over the iconstasis. That they demarcated the sanctuaries in which they worshipped has already been demonstrated.

Spectrum of light eh?

I guess Buddha had those too, because the "aura" is all over it.


Their spectrum of light appears to doesn't it?

Justin Martyr, Polycarp were not protestants.  But their worship was nothing like Eastern Orthodox worship.  So as the question remains, how can it call itself the "one true church" if it is nothing like early Christianity.

Either that or take 1 mitre, 1 antimension, and call me lame.
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« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2011, 03:31:12 PM »

One more correction, I've done a lot of research on Polycarp, Justin Martyr, and many other early Christians.  They didn't use Iconostasis's in their worship either.

Did they use soap, canalisation, electricity, the Internet?

I don't know if they used soap.
I don't know if they used canalisation, but the Romans did.
Electricity yes, through lightning, but not harnessed.
Internet is obvious.

There is no proof of use an iconostasis.
No proof of an antimension.
No proof of icon veneration.
No proof of blessing objects such as clothing
No proof of the use of a discos
No proof in the use of censors
No proof in crossing themselves

So, would you like to stay on the subject?  I'm sure they didn't drive cars either.  I'm speaking of direct practices of worship.  Not if Justin Martyr used a hairdryer.
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« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2011, 03:44:41 PM »

Electricity is used in Churches for light, sonorisation, heating water and many other things. The Internet is used to  communicate between clergy and clergy, clergy and laity and laity and laity. For me it can be classified as "worship".
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« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2011, 03:50:02 PM »

One more correction, I've done a lot of research on Polycarp, Justin Martyr, and many other early Christians.  They didn't use Iconostasis's in their worship either.

Did they use soap, canalisation, electricity, the Internet?

I don't know if they used soap.
I don't know if they used canalisation, but the Romans did.
Electricity yes, through lightning, but not harnessed.
Internet is obvious.

There is no proof of use an iconostasis.
No proof of an antimension.
No proof of icon veneration.
No proof of blessing objects such as clothing
No proof of the use of a discos
No proof in the use of censors
No proof in crossing themselves

So, would you like to stay on the subject?  I'm sure they didn't drive cars either.  I'm speaking of direct practices of worship.  Not if Justin Martyr used a hairdryer.

They also didn't use English, nor did they have the set cycle of New Testament readings. Are either of these changes bad?
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« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2011, 03:51:32 PM »

One more correction, I've done a lot of research on Polycarp, Justin Martyr, and many other early Christians.  They didn't use Iconostasis's in their worship either.

Did they use soap, canalisation, electricity, the Internet?

I don't know if they used soap.
I don't know if they used canalisation, but the Romans did.
Electricity yes, through lightning, but not harnessed.
Internet is obvious.

There is no proof of use an iconostasis.
No proof of an antimension.
No proof of icon veneration.
No proof of blessing objects such as clothing
No proof of the use of a discos
No proof in the use of censors
No proof in crossing themselves

So, would you like to stay on the subject?  I'm sure they didn't drive cars either.  I'm speaking of direct practices of worship.  Not if Justin Martyr used a hairdryer.
The subject seems to be that you are proving that all things must stay in their infancy.  Or at least some people don't get past it.
"Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment." Heb. 5:11-6:2
« Last Edit: August 03, 2011, 04:16:52 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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