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« on: December 27, 2011, 10:41:29 AM »

The reason i can't accept the orthodox position on many issues is simply because i don't accept the visible church. It colours everything i read and makes it impossible to view certain topics any other way.

The church that's being built is a spiritual one. It's all about having the law written on our heart not following the law as the Hebrews used to. It's about what makes a person clean or unclean which is determined by what's in a heart and what flows from a mouth.

Matthew 15:11
"Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man."

Luke 6:45
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh".

If the church were a visible church then it would be easy to tell the wheat from the tares but it isn't easy because we can't see and judge another's heart.

Matthew 13
"‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest..."

So no wonder it's easy for a church who believes themselves to be visible, for them to be able to discern who God has revealed to be made "Saints"...by the guidance of the Spirit of course.

It seems to me that only the overview of Orthodoxy is different to Protestantism -- the external dogmatic shell. The internal mess seems remarkably similar to how the rest of Christendom claim to be guided by the Spirit and believe a multitude of different things backed up with the odd patristic quote or two from various denominations jurisdictions.
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 11:28:34 AM »

I don't want to start shooting out scirpture bullets but:
1 Timothy 3:15
"But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."


Dogma and ethics are one in the Orthodox Church. If one claims to really be an Orthodox Christian you won't find differences in theology or morals among another Orthodox Christian you talk to. The Tradition which has been past down to us from the Apostles is the same faith that it has always been. Of course there are differences among individuals in regard to something like the calendar change, ecumenicalism, etc. But in regards to differences among the Orthodox churches with something like, say, fasting traditions or the liturgical language is of a different translation -- it's a small difference in that particular church. It's not something that divides the churches and causes a schism. In theology, questions regarding the Trinity, the nature of Christ, the virginity of the Theotokos, what the church is, the Orthodox are in agreement. Greek, Slavic, Arabic, whatever, we are all in communion with one another.

I am from the Slavic tradition, when I'm in a Greek church, be it Antiochian or Greek, it is still an Orthodox church.. only the small traditions are different.
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2011, 12:37:59 PM »

If there was no structured Church being formed, then why did Paul and company go out and annoint ministers? Why did the disciples of the Apostoles themselves teach and speak of an established, physical Church? Why did these churches answer to the apostoles? If there was no physical church with no structure, then half of the New Tesatament would not exist as there would be no need for the epistles. There is no way anyone can not read the epistles and clearly see that St. Paul is speaking from an authoratative role. There would be no need for authority if there were not a physical church.

Jesus Himself spoke about the church in a physical aspect.

Are there members of the Body we dont know about? Sure. However, this is the exception, not the rule.

Just a cursory review of christianity right after Jesus shows, pretty strongly, of a unified hierarchial body of believers.
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2011, 12:54:25 PM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2011, 01:11:53 PM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 01:22:00 PM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.
Sorry, but IMO the scriptures you gave give no argument whatsoever for the invisible church.

You can proof text whatever you want and legitimize any point anyone wishes with snippets of text. However, the scripture must be read in its entireity. The entireity clearly points to a structured, authoratative Church. This can clearly be seen reading all of the Pauline epistles, 2 Peter, and Acts. The evidence of the authoratative church is pretty overwhelming actually.

I would like to note that yes, Pentecost happened not in a temple. Perhaps that is because of the temple's hand in the execution of Christ? Its not like there was an established place yet. Thats like saying there were no icons at Pentecost, therefore we should not have icons either......

I'd also point out as to why there are rules for excommunication that would be not only unecessary, but silly if there were only an invisible church.

PP
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2011, 01:31:27 PM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.
Sorry, but IMO the scriptures you gave give no argument whatsoever for the invisible church.

You can proof text whatever you want and legitimize any point anyone wishes with snippets of text. However, the scripture must be read in its entireity. The entireity clearly points to a structured, authoratative Church. This can clearly be seen reading all of the Pauline epistles, 2 Peter, and Acts. The evidence of the authoratative church is pretty overwhelming actually.

I would like to note that yes, Pentecost happened not in a temple. Perhaps that is because of the temple's hand in the execution of Christ? Its not like there was an established place yet. Thats like saying there were no icons at Pentecost, therefore we should not have icons either......

I'd also point out as to why there are rules for excommunication that would be not only unecessary, but silly if there were only an invisible church.

PP

Most of us also grow up in family units pp but our eternal family (the one that matters) is the family of God. So we have an earthly family and a spiritual family, both are important but not equally so.
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2011, 01:35:30 PM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.
Sorry, but IMO the scriptures you gave give no argument whatsoever for the invisible church.

You can proof text whatever you want and legitimize any point anyone wishes with snippets of text. However, the scripture must be read in its entireity. The entireity clearly points to a structured, authoratative Church. This can clearly be seen reading all of the Pauline epistles, 2 Peter, and Acts. The evidence of the authoratative church is pretty overwhelming actually.

I would like to note that yes, Pentecost happened not in a temple. Perhaps that is because of the temple's hand in the execution of Christ? Its not like there was an established place yet. Thats like saying there were no icons at Pentecost, therefore we should not have icons either......

I'd also point out as to why there are rules for excommunication that would be not only unecessary, but silly if there were only an invisible church.

PP

Most of us also grow up in family units pp but our eternal family (the one that matters) is the family of God. So we have an earthly family and a spiritual family, both are important but not equally so.
As I said before, Im not saying that there are not members of the body that we do not know about.
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2011, 01:39:08 PM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.
Sorry, but IMO the scriptures you gave give no argument whatsoever for the invisible church.

You can proof text whatever you want and legitimize any point anyone wishes with snippets of text. However, the scripture must be read in its entireity. The entireity clearly points to a structured, authoratative Church. This can clearly be seen reading all of the Pauline epistles, 2 Peter, and Acts. The evidence of the authoratative church is pretty overwhelming actually.

I would like to note that yes, Pentecost happened not in a temple. Perhaps that is because of the temple's hand in the execution of Christ? Its not like there was an established place yet. Thats like saying there were no icons at Pentecost, therefore we should not have icons either......

I'd also point out as to why there are rules for excommunication that would be not only unecessary, but silly if there were only an invisible church.

PP

Most of us also grow up in family units pp but our eternal family (the one that matters) is the family of God. So we have an earthly family and a spiritual family, both are important but not equally so.
As I said before, Im not saying that there are not members of the body that we do not know about.

Just a few million more than you'd want to acknowledge?
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2011, 01:43:31 PM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.
Sorry, but IMO the scriptures you gave give no argument whatsoever for the invisible church.

You can proof text whatever you want and legitimize any point anyone wishes with snippets of text. However, the scripture must be read in its entireity. The entireity clearly points to a structured, authoratative Church. This can clearly be seen reading all of the Pauline epistles, 2 Peter, and Acts. The evidence of the authoratative church is pretty overwhelming actually.

I would like to note that yes, Pentecost happened not in a temple. Perhaps that is because of the temple's hand in the execution of Christ? Its not like there was an established place yet. Thats like saying there were no icons at Pentecost, therefore we should not have icons either......

I'd also point out as to why there are rules for excommunication that would be not only unecessary, but silly if there were only an invisible church.

PP

Most of us also grow up in family units pp but our eternal family (the one that matters) is the family of God. So we have an earthly family and a spiritual family, both are important but not equally so.
As I said before, Im not saying that there are not members of the body that we do not know about.

Just a few million more than you'd want to acknowledge?
I'll acknowledge as many as I can, doesn't bother me. It does not take away from the fact that Christ did not create a religion (or faith) called Christianity, but created a eucharistic community called the Church. A living, breathing, physical body with Him as our head.

PP
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« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2011, 01:52:52 PM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.
Sorry, but IMO the scriptures you gave give no argument whatsoever for the invisible church.

You can proof text whatever you want and legitimize any point anyone wishes with snippets of text. However, the scripture must be read in its entireity. The entireity clearly points to a structured, authoratative Church. This can clearly be seen reading all of the Pauline epistles, 2 Peter, and Acts. The evidence of the authoratative church is pretty overwhelming actually.

I would like to note that yes, Pentecost happened not in a temple. Perhaps that is because of the temple's hand in the execution of Christ? Its not like there was an established place yet. Thats like saying there were no icons at Pentecost, therefore we should not have icons either......

I'd also point out as to why there are rules for excommunication that would be not only unecessary, but silly if there were only an invisible church.

PP

Most of us also grow up in family units pp but our eternal family (the one that matters) is the family of God. So we have an earthly family and a spiritual family, both are important but not equally so.
As I said before, Im not saying that there are not members of the body that we do not know about.

Just a few million more than you'd want to acknowledge?
I'll acknowledge as many as I can, doesn't bother me. It does not take away from the fact that Christ did not create a religion (or faith) called Christianity, but created a eucharistic community called the Church. A living, breathing, physical body with Him as our head.

PP

A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2011, 04:11:25 PM »

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


The church that's being built is a spiritual one. It's all about having the law written on our heart not following the law as the Hebrews used to. It's about what makes a person clean or unclean which is determined by what's in a heart and what flows from a mouth.

If the church were a visible church then it would be easy to tell the wheat from the tares but it isn't easy because we can't see and judge another's heart.

It seems to me that only the overview of Orthodoxy is different to Protestantism -- the external dogmatic shell. The internal mess seems remarkably similar to how the rest of Christendom claim to be guided by the Spirit and believe a multitude of different things backed up with the odd patristic quote or two from various denominations jurisdictions.

But sister, the Visible Church remains Spiritual as does not the visible human race also mutually have a spiritual existence?  The Body of Christ is Spiritual, we are spiritually united both to Christ and to our Brothers and Sisters in the human family.  When we say Visible Church we are not speaking in strictly physical or tangible terms. It is not our physicality that makes us Christians, it is our spiritual participation and synergetic cooperation with the Spirit of God through Sacramental Worship in the Divine Mysteries.  The Invisible Church is equally alive, active and interconnected with the Visible Church, however these are no longer tangible physical beings, but this does not negate their existence and mutual fellowship.  The Angels are not physical beings and yet we accept their almost tangible presence interacting within our physical world, why should the Invisible Church (called the Church Triumphant) be any different? 

You mistake our Sacramental worship as being an attempt to follow some kind of Law, but that is not our approach.  We are not Baptized or Confess of our Sins, or receive the Holy Communion, or revere our Ordained Clergy out of some kind of legalistic obligation.  Rather, we are brought to celebrate these out of the Grace of God, in precisely a spiritual manner which you are referring too.  However, we remain physical in the Church Militant (the Visible Church) and so our spiritual existence is merged with our physical, through the Mysteries. When we are Baptized the physical senses perceive water, but the spiritual faculties of man experience the depth of the Grace of God inherent in the Mysteries.  If all you see is the water, you are not looking deep enough in the heart.  Further, when we receive Holy Communion to the perception of the senses Our Lord is merely  Bread and Wine, but in the depths of the Spirit we understand we are Communing in the Spirit with the very real presence of the Son of God Incarnate!  See, it is as they see, more than skin deep.

In the Orthodox then, we also believe in the Communion of the Saints, and this is in a spiritual way.  The Saints are real in our lives, they are not simply dead and buried, for as Paul says, if such were the case where would our hope be?  Even within the Church, our fathers do not attempt to Judge as Christ has the tares from the wheat.  Further, do you fully understand what Christ was saying in that parable? God has spared the tares and the wheat to grow alongside each other, not necessarily because He plans to universally destroy the tares, rather that because of His mercy and love for Mankind He allows the tares to continue to grow that they might become Repentant.  In Orthodox we are not predeterminists or Calvinists in our theology, there is not a set margin or number of Saints vs Sinners.  The roster for Heaven was not filled at Creation, the Book of Life is written with the eraser of Jesus Christ's Precious and Holy Blood!!  So God allows the tares to live and grow in His Mercy that these might also come to repentance as we in Orthodox have.  Before our Repentance, before our acceptance of the Seven Divine  Mysteries, we are also the tares!! So we do not vaunt over the tares rather we pray they grow in God's Grace into wheat.

Quote
The Lord is not tardy as to the promise, as some are deeming tardiness, but is patient because of you, not intending any to perish, but ALL to make room for repentance."
2 Peter 3:9

The Mission of the Church is to proclaim Salvation and dispense the Divine Mysteries which are the means of Salvation.  The Church is not out there trying to find those pre-determined to be saved, rather the Church is honestly and sincerely out in the world praying for sinners that ALL might come to Repentance, that ALL might come to His Church, that ALL might find God's Love.  We operate under the basic assumption that all people have an equal opportunity towards Salvation because all people were equal-opportunity Sinners before God's Grace came into their lives.  Just as we all sin, we can all find God, there is no pre-destined Salvation for some and pre-determined damnation for others, God loves us all.

stay blessed,
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2011, 04:24:20 PM »

Like the human person, the Church is made up of a mixture of the spiritual and material; and for both Christ is the head.
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« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2011, 06:48:08 PM »

It must be a misery being in an invisible Church.  Lonely and isolated.  Just you and nobody else.

And I suppose that if you discover another member of the invisible church, then there are two of you and it is not invisible anymore.
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« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2011, 08:59:53 PM »

It must be a misery being in an invisible Church.  Lonely and isolated.  Just you and nobody else.

And I suppose that if you discover another member of the invisible church, then there are two of you and it is not invisible anymore.
Don't worry we have cloaks like Harry Potter.
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2011, 09:55:30 PM »

It must be a misery being in an invisible Church.  Lonely and isolated.  Just you and nobody else.

And I suppose that if you discover another member of the invisible church, then there are two of you and it is not invisible anymore.
Don't worry we have cloaks like Harry Potter.

But really, is it not lonely being an invisible church of one?  I cannot imagine that Christ wishes that for you.
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2011, 11:15:54 PM »

The reason i can't accept the orthodox position on many issues is simply because i don't accept the visible church. It colours everything i read and makes it impossible to view certain topics any other way.

The church that's being built is a spiritual one. It's all about having the law written on our heart not following the law as the Hebrews used to. It's about what makes a person clean or unclean which is determined by what's in a heart and what flows from a mouth.

Matthew 15:11
"Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man."

Luke 6:45
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh".

If the church were a visible church then it would be easy to tell the wheat from the tares but it isn't easy because we can't see and judge another's heart.

Matthew 13
"‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest..."

So no wonder it's easy for a church who believes themselves to be visible, for them to be able to discern who God has revealed to be made "Saints"...by the guidance of the Spirit of course.

It seems to me that only the overview of Orthodoxy is different to Protestantism -- the external dogmatic shell. The internal mess seems remarkably similar to how the rest of Christendom claim to be guided by the Spirit and believe a multitude of different things backed up with the odd patristic quote or two from various denominations jurisdictions.

Thanks for being honest about your reasons. It's appreciated!

However, there is a reason to believe in a Visible Church. You see, the Church is the Body of Christ. And Christ is not just invisible only. He is not just spiritual only for that would be some sort of Christological Docetism.


 The Church is united to Christ and so to make the Church Spiritual only would be some sort of Ecclesial Docetism.

The Church being the Body of Christ is real and so it's more than just symbolism or soft spiritualism only. Yes, we believe that both good and bad fish co-exist within the Church. Unlike the Anabaptists, we don't believe that the Church must only be filled with good fish.


And yes we believe in the internal warfare. We believe in the struggle or battle for interior strength! But the Church is a collective, a community that is united to Christ. And the One Person of Christ is not just spiritual/invisible only. He is also simultaneously physical/visible as well. And so the One Church is also simultaneously invisible and visible.

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« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2011, 12:08:19 AM »

I can't think that the Church would be invisible, when Christ said, "On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." That sounds too emphatic to be a metaphor.
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« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2011, 01:28:39 AM »

To expand upon what jnorm said, Penny, you've basically got a false dichotomy going and you're also desacralizing matter. God doesn't act spiritually, He came in the flesh, eating, sleeping, dying on a wooden beam, rising in a body. He ministers to us with a book, pen and ink, and people's vocal chords and water and wine and bread (metaphorical or not, makes no difference in this context). Why are the elders commanded to anoint with oil? Why make a big deal about leadership passing through the laying on of hands? There's physical space and action right there, visible things being used as part of our salvation whether we meet in a building with icons and altars and incense or not.

The big problem I have with your view is it leaves no substantial meaning for the meeting together. If Jesus was preaching your view, I don't think He would have said, "Wherever two or three are gathered, there am I in the midst of them," He should have said, "Wherever at least one is gathered in my name..." One might as well just post on a website all there life and call that "Church." Your view doesn't just reject Orthodoxy, it rejects 90% of Protestantism and winds up with Harold Camping and Otis Q. Sellers. The corporate worship and Eucharist basically becomes a nonessential coffee klatsch because you're swapping the Catholicity (wholeness and completeness) of the local Church for the Catholicity of the individual. We're physical beings as well as spiritual and we're saved that way, in our bodies and in a community.

On the other side of the token, to say that the Church is visible is not of course to say she is only visible. Your point about being able to tell who is and is not in thus misses the point. He who is in the visible Church, might not be in it invisibly as well- he needs both. Just because the question of whether this works the other way around is a contested one does not invalidate the importance of the visible.

And in Orthodoxy, Jesus is still the visible head of the Church, He's there in the Flesh every Sunday  Wink
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« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2011, 05:18:12 AM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.
Sorry, but IMO the scriptures you gave give no argument whatsoever for the invisible church.

You can proof text whatever you want and legitimize any point anyone wishes with snippets of text. However, the scripture must be read in its entireity. The entireity clearly points to a structured, authoratative Church. This can clearly be seen reading all of the Pauline epistles, 2 Peter, and Acts. The evidence of the authoratative church is pretty overwhelming actually.

I would like to note that yes, Pentecost happened not in a temple. Perhaps that is because of the temple's hand in the execution of Christ? Its not like there was an established place yet. Thats like saying there were no icons at Pentecost, therefore we should not have icons either......

I'd also point out as to why there are rules for excommunication that would be not only unecessary, but silly if there were only an invisible church.

PP

Most of us also grow up in family units pp but our eternal family (the one that matters) is the family of God. So we have an earthly family and a spiritual family, both are important but not equally so.
As I said before, Im not saying that there are not members of the body that we do not know about.

Just a few million more than you'd want to acknowledge?
I'll acknowledge as many as I can, doesn't bother me. It does not take away from the fact that Christ did not create a religion (or faith) called Christianity, but created a eucharistic community called the Church. A living, breathing, physical body with Him as our head.

PP

A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd




What on earth possessed you to think that Christ isn't physical?  Do you not know that He ascended to Heaven in His resurrected BODY?
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« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2011, 05:33:10 AM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.
Sorry, but IMO the scriptures you gave give no argument whatsoever for the invisible church.

You can proof text whatever you want and legitimize any point anyone wishes with snippets of text. However, the scripture must be read in its entireity. The entireity clearly points to a structured, authoratative Church. This can clearly be seen reading all of the Pauline epistles, 2 Peter, and Acts. The evidence of the authoratative church is pretty overwhelming actually.

I would like to note that yes, Pentecost happened not in a temple. Perhaps that is because of the temple's hand in the execution of Christ? Its not like there was an established place yet. Thats like saying there were no icons at Pentecost, therefore we should not have icons either......

I'd also point out as to why there are rules for excommunication that would be not only unecessary, but silly if there were only an invisible church.

PP

Most of us also grow up in family units pp but our eternal family (the one that matters) is the family of God. So we have an earthly family and a spiritual family, both are important but not equally so.
As I said before, Im not saying that there are not members of the body that we do not know about.

Just a few million more than you'd want to acknowledge?
I'll acknowledge as many as I can, doesn't bother me. It does not take away from the fact that Christ did not create a religion (or faith) called Christianity, but created a eucharistic community called the Church. A living, breathing, physical body with Him as our head.

PP

A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd




What on earth possessed you to think that Christ isn't physical?  Do you not know that He ascended to Heaven in His resurrected BODY?
I'm quite sure that's not what she meant. Most people think in these sort of pseudo-Platonic terms without meaning to. I know I do.
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« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2011, 10:27:35 AM »

The Church, Like HIm whose body we are, makes visible what was previous to the incarnation, invisible.  The form given to us by God was filled with living visible content.  To say there is visible and invisible is a false division because the fullness of what was hidden has been made visible (manifest) to us in the birth of the Lord.  The degree to which any one individual adheres to what is plainly manifest in the worship of the church is part of this great mystery because it is only the freedom to do so which enables us to do so.  This is not an "invisible" church but only many sinners working out there salvation with fear and trembling through fidelity to the fullness of what has been revealed plainly for all to see.
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« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2011, 11:40:45 AM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.
Sorry, but IMO the scriptures you gave give no argument whatsoever for the invisible church.

You can proof text whatever you want and legitimize any point anyone wishes with snippets of text. However, the scripture must be read in its entireity. The entireity clearly points to a structured, authoratative Church. This can clearly be seen reading all of the Pauline epistles, 2 Peter, and Acts. The evidence of the authoratative church is pretty overwhelming actually.

I would like to note that yes, Pentecost happened not in a temple. Perhaps that is because of the temple's hand in the execution of Christ? Its not like there was an established place yet. Thats like saying there were no icons at Pentecost, therefore we should not have icons either......

I'd also point out as to why there are rules for excommunication that would be not only unecessary, but silly if there were only an invisible church.

PP

Most of us also grow up in family units pp but our eternal family (the one that matters) is the family of God. So we have an earthly family and a spiritual family, both are important but not equally so.
As I said before, Im not saying that there are not members of the body that we do not know about.

Just a few million more than you'd want to acknowledge?
I'll acknowledge as many as I can, doesn't bother me. It does not take away from the fact that Christ did not create a religion (or faith) called Christianity, but created a eucharistic community called the Church. A living, breathing, physical body with Him as our head.

PP

A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd
Come on FP, you're smarter than that.

PP
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« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2011, 06:31:14 PM »

Grace and Peace to all,

Is there any evidence of such a teaching as an 'invisible church' prior to Martin Luther and John Calvin to Orthodox Knowledge?

1 Timothy 3:15: "...the household of God, which is the church of the Living God, the pillar and bulwark of truth."

Catholics and Orthodox accept this passage at face value: the Church is the ground or foundation of truth; it is infallible; it is specially protected by the Holy Spirit so that it can be the Guardian and Preserver of apostolic tradition and truth and doctrine.

Protestants (in the final analysis) do not believe this, which is the reason they refer far move often to "scriptural authority" than to "Church authority" (as if the two were opposed to each other). Catholics and Orthodox, on the other hand, believe in faith that they will not and cannot be in conflict.

Sola Scriptura as defined by Martin Luther didn't seem to exist before Martin Luther... which is why I don't prescribe to such a novelty.

How did the Church resolve issue that arise? I have come to learn that the Church Council is the normative means that the Church uses to resolve issues as it did in Acts 15. I don't see St. Paul offering it's decisions as something optional but went aboard and taught them to the churches. This is all scriptural and the Orthodox Church continues to operate in this fashion to this day, to their credit.

How does this invisible church resolve issues? How would a Council be received in modern Protestant Churches today? Would it be like they did in Acts 15? I think not.
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« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2011, 08:19:12 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.
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« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2011, 08:25:38 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.
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« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2011, 08:28:09 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
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« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2011, 08:31:58 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.

Perhaps this is true compared to certain Protestant groups. But from a Catholic perspective Orthodoxy probably often looks like a disorganized mess--something in need of more structure, more visible authority, etc.  In that way Orthodoxy could be seen as somewhere in the middle of the continuum, trying to maintain a balance between the two.
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« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2011, 08:41:44 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.
But Christ redeems and raises our bodies as well, a physical body is part of a physical church. One is not more important than the other in an eternal sense.
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« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2011, 08:47:51 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.
But Christ redeems and raises our bodies as well, a physical body is part of a physical church. One is not more important than the other in an eternal sense.

The Kingdom of God is primarily about Spirit which you wiull find echoed all over the New Testament.
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« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2011, 09:27:14 PM »

If there were visible unity in protestantism, the idea of a visible church would be embraced. However, since this does not exist, one is forced to embrace the invisible church notion to rationalize and attempt to make sense of all the division.
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« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2011, 09:32:20 PM »


The Kingdom of God is primarily about Spirit which you wiull find echoed all over the New Testament.

The Spirit does not mean "of the immaterial spiritual world". It means of the Holy Spirit who gives life to all flesh and makes his abode, his kingdom, in human temples.

The Holy Spirit is not an immaterial bodiless power. He is beyond material and immaterial, to Him the angels are as solid as rocks.

Here is a good video by NT Wright that touches on the subject:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jNaVgyqUD8
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« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2011, 10:06:08 PM »

If there were visible unity in protestantism, the idea of a visible church would be embraced. However, since this does not exist, one is forced to embrace the invisible church notion to rationalize and attempt to make sense of all the division.
The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't. I doubt they consider themselves part of the same church as you.
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« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2011, 10:30:49 PM »

If there were visible unity in protestantism, the idea of a visible church would be embraced. However, since this does not exist, one is forced to embrace the invisible church notion to rationalize and attempt to make sense of all the division.
The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't. I doubt they consider themselves part of the same church as you.

Those who have chosen to break communion with the Church, and break themselves from the Church, are no longer part of the Church. Should they repent and decide to come back to the Church some day, they are welcome.

Until then, they are their own group.
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« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2011, 10:35:24 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

Then what is the point of the general resurrection and St. Pauls strong defense of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus if our salvation involves only that what we cannot see with our eyes?
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« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2011, 10:37:24 PM »

If there were visible unity in protestantism, the idea of a visible church would be embraced. However, since this does not exist, one is forced to embrace the invisible church notion to rationalize and attempt to make sense of all the division.
The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't. I doubt they consider themselves part of the same church as you.

Those who have chosen to break communion with the Church, and break themselves from the Church, are no longer part of the Church. Should they repent and decide to come back to the Church some day, they are welcome.

Until then, they are their own group.

Grace and Peace HandmaidenofGod,

Would it be fair to say that what they've kept still sanctifies, sister? What is common between us and the One True Church, Holy Tradition continues to sanctify because it has not been torn from that salvific root of Grace?
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« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2011, 11:17:34 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
What makes you think this?
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« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2011, 12:17:15 AM »

If there were visible unity in protestantism, the idea of a visible church would be embraced. However, since this does not exist, one is forced to embrace the invisible church notion to rationalize and attempt to make sense of all the division.
The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't. I doubt they consider themselves part of the same church as you.

I won't say where the visible church isn't, but I will say where I believe the visible church to be.
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« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2011, 12:47:21 AM »

The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't.

See Message 7 at

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,41825.msg684001.html#msg684001

There can be only one Church of Christ.   As Archpriest Michael Protopopov notes in his small monograph on "Bishop" Tikhon Pasechnik and the "Russian True Orthodox Church" group:

"If one’s actions take a person outside the Church then that person is outside the Church. There is no alternative. There is no shopping list of churches. There is only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/RTOC.htm
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« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2011, 01:40:05 AM »

The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't.

See Message 7 at

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,41825.msg684001.html#msg684001

There can be only one Church of Christ.   As Archpriest Michael Protopopov notes in his small monograph on "Bishop" Tikhon Pasechnik and the "Russian True Orthodox Church" group:

"If one’s actions take a person outside the Church then that person is outside the Church. There is no alternative. There is no shopping list of churches. There is only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/RTOC.htm
Very well. I stand corrected. Thanks, folks.
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« Reply #40 on: December 29, 2011, 01:50:36 AM »

Grace and Peace HandmaidenofGod,

Would it be fair to say that what they've kept still sanctifies, sister? What is common between us and the One True Church, Holy Tradition continues to sanctify because it has not been torn from that salvific root of Grace?

That is for God and God alone to judge.

As we like to say in Orthodoxy, we won't say where God's grace is not, but we do know where it is.

The Eastern Orthodox Church is the One, True, Holy, Apostolic Church that was founded on Pentecost. Those groups who choose not to be in communion with her (whether they call themselves "Greek Old Calenderists" or the "Roman Catholic Church") are not part of the One, True, Church.

Do their sacraments contain the grace of God? That is for God alone to judge.

It is not for me to speak beyond that.
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« Reply #41 on: December 29, 2011, 04:52:43 AM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
What makes you think this?

It just does and you know it does.
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« Reply #42 on: December 29, 2011, 05:14:23 AM »

Quote
It just does and you know it does.

That's not an answer, that's a copout. A fudge, as your countrymen would say.
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« Reply #43 on: December 29, 2011, 07:28:06 AM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

Is The Church One or Two? You seem to be saying that only the spiritual church is the church for she alone is the bride. Is this what you are saying?

Also, why don't you believe the physical church to be the bride too! If there is only one Body then you can't really have two churches.........one spiritual and the other physical for that would be two bodies.
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« Reply #44 on: December 29, 2011, 09:09:53 AM »

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.

That's because the apostles established a physically visible Church. We have to put emphasis on it because there are people teaching otherwise.
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« Reply #45 on: December 29, 2011, 10:13:54 AM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
What makes you think this?

It just does and you know it does.
1.  It's rude to put words in my mouth by saying I know it does. You don't know what I know.
2.  You still haven't answered my question.
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« Reply #46 on: December 29, 2011, 10:17:34 AM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
What makes you think this?

It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
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« Reply #47 on: December 29, 2011, 10:21:34 AM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
What makes you think this?

It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
Yeah, right. Roll Eyes Wink
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« Reply #48 on: December 29, 2011, 10:40:00 AM »

As I stated before. You can make the scriptures say anything by proof text. Looking at the totality of scripture, you really can not come to any other conclusion that the Church is mainly physical. If it wasn't then half of what was commanded would make absolutely no sense.

Are there members that we do not know about? Of course. But to say that the Church is completely invisible is patently ridiculous. Even when I was a protestant I always had a problem with the invisible church idea because it is simply not true.

I would hand my paycheck to someone if they read all the epistles and can legitimize that St. Paul is speaking of the invisible church.

PP
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« Reply #49 on: December 29, 2011, 11:38:53 AM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
What makes you think this?

It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
Yeah, right. Roll Eyes Wink

I didn't want to answer because i'm not really interested in debating or winning an argument or continually be accused of firing out bible verses, which is such a predictable and slack defense of any position especially since patristic quotes can also be used in this way -- and often are here.


For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.
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« Reply #50 on: December 29, 2011, 11:50:39 AM »

Quote
The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe
I can totally sympathize with this statement. When I started looking into Orthodoxy I felt the same way. Although I do understand WHY the Church does not commune with other Christians, I still see how this can be a major sticking point.

PP
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« Reply #51 on: December 29, 2011, 12:50:27 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
What makes you think this?

It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
Yeah, right. Roll Eyes Wink

I didn't want to answer because i'm not really interested in debating or winning an argument or continually be accused of firing out bible verses, which is such a predictable and slack defense of any position especially since patristic quotes can also be used in this way -- and often are here.
So why do you lump me in with everyone else? I asked a question because I sincerely wanted to know why you think the Orthodox Church places her emphasis firmly on the physical visible Church, not because I want to debate you or throw patristic verses at you. You accuse us of holding a particular point of view and of using debate tactics we call you out for. The least you could do is back up your accusations when asked, not just reply to my questions with more accusations.


For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.
You think you could give a more rational, less emotional response than this? Angry isn't very convincing.
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« Reply #52 on: December 29, 2011, 02:12:59 PM »

Quote
The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe
I can totally sympathize with this statement. When I started looking into Orthodoxy I felt the same way. Although I do understand WHY the Church does not commune with other Christians, I still see how this can be a major sticking point.

PP

Yes, this was a problem I had for a few years myself.

The problem comes in here:
Quote
separates herself from others of the same faith,

The answer, of course, is that if we had the same faith we would not be separated. Most Evangelicals, for example, deny the ability of God's Grace to act in the world through physical vehicles such as bread and wine, marriages, ordination, holy unction, relics, icons, etc. By denying the Mysteries they separate themselves from Orthodoxy.

Calvinism, as a heresy, has no place in Orthodoxy. Most Christians would agree with our rejection of Arianism, yet would cry at our rejection of Presbyterianism, though both are heretical.

Traditional Lutherans and High Church Anglicans are closer to Orthodoxy than any other group, but the former still deny the intercession of the saints and the latter are yoked with Low and Broad Church Anglicans who flat out reject the Mysteries as well as the last three ecumenical councils (IIRC Lutherans have this problem, as well). Add to this the problems of the last century where certain factions of God and Christ denying teachers have gained a substantial foothold in the leadership of both denominations in the Western world( though as Lutherans make up several different denominations in the US this is mitigated somewhat), to the point where a large swath of US and Canadian parishes are no longer even recognizable as Christian, and Orthodoxy is wise to stand apart.

As for Rome- well, I would hope a Protestant could understand the reason for not rushing into reunion. Let's just say it starts with a "P", rhymes with "hope", and believes that all Patriarchs must submit to him for ordination to their position.

Saying "We all believe in Jesus" is all well and good, but at the end of the day do we all believe the same thing about Jesus? If the Orthodox are right about the Eucharist being the Body and Blood, and that one who does not recognize this eats and drinks his own damnation, isn't it the height of charity to refrain from allowing others to the chalice? In the other direction, as an Orthodox Christian who can receive the Body and Blood in its fullness, why would I want to sit down to a symbolic piece of Saltine and a shot-glass of Welch's?

Now that I am Orthodox, btw, I don't look back on my Evangelical upbringing or my adult years as an Anglican as being profitless, or as not having been Christian. I merely see it as a 20 year Catechumenate. My Baptist family taught me the basics of faith, the milk and water a child requires. My Anglican years prepared me for more sound teaching and acclimated me to Sacramental theology, it was like pb&j. Orthodoxy gives me meat and wine- I am no longer a child with grape juice in my glass playing at drinking wine, I no longer sit at the kid's table at the Marriage Feast.
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« Reply #53 on: December 29, 2011, 02:26:45 PM »

For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.


Okay, so we're familiar with the Orthodox Church's definition of "Church," but what about yours?

You've mentioned the terms spiritual church and physical church. For Orthodox Christians, the Church is both spiritual and physical. It is physical, in that we have the church buildings, the clergy, the Liturgy, etc. It is spiritual, in that whenever we pray, we are joining in communion and worship with all of the saints, and our prayers are being lifted up along with all of the other Orthodox Christians praying with us.

When we are participating in the Liturgy, we are going beyond space and time. We are not just remembering Christ's crucifixion and resurrection as an event of the past, but as the here and now.

So my question to you is what are your definitions of these terms?
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« Reply #54 on: December 29, 2011, 04:41:34 PM »

Quote
The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe
I can totally sympathize with this statement. When I started looking into Orthodoxy I felt the same way. Although I do understand WHY the Church does not commune with other Christians, I still see how this can be a major sticking point.

PP

How does the Orthodox Church separate herself from others of the same faith?
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« Reply #55 on: December 29, 2011, 04:47:13 PM »

Quote
The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe
I can totally sympathize with this statement. When I started looking into Orthodoxy I felt the same way. Although I do understand WHY the Church does not commune with other Christians, I still see how this can be a major sticking point.

PP

How does the Orthodox Church separate herself from others of the same faith?
I bolded the part I am referencing. Now that I am almost in the Church, and I understand the teachings on at least a basic level, I no longer hold these feelings. I understand why the Church does what it does (on about 90% of things).

PP
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« Reply #56 on: December 29, 2011, 05:21:40 PM »

The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't. I doubt they consider themselves part of the same church as you.

These are some of the Churches in the world of “alternative Orthodoxy.”   Most deny one another’s sacraments and most declare that what they call “world Orthodoxy” also has no Sacraments.  In their eyes I am not even baptized,

So here is the contemporary composition of the *One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church*.

This is a uniquely modern expression of the Church where none of its branches are in communion with the other branches.

Autonomous True Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe and America
Holy Orthodox Church in North America
ROCiE Metropolitanate of Moscow under Metropolitan Damascene of Moscow
Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church under Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia under Archbishop Anthony of San Fransisco
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia under Archbishop Vladimir of San Fransisco
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia- under Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa
Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece under Abp Kallinikos of Athens
Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece under Archbishop Makarios of Athens
Genuine Orthodox Church Of Greece under Archbishop Nicholas of Athens
Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece under Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Thebes
Genuine Orthodox Church of the Patristic Calendar of Metropolitan Anghelos of Avlonos
Genuine Orthodox Synod under Metropolitan Kirykos of Mesogaia
Russian True Orthodox Church under Archbishop Tikhon of Omsk
True Orthodox Church of Serbia
True Orthodox Churches of Bulgaria
True Orthodox Churches of Romania
Synod in Resistance under Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili

---There are more Churches of course. Others may like to add to this list.
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« Reply #57 on: December 29, 2011, 06:04:24 PM »

The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't. I doubt they consider themselves part of the same church as you.

These are some of the Churches in the world of “alternative Orthodoxy.”   Most deny one another’s sacraments and most declare that what they call “world Orthodoxy” also has no Sacraments.  In their eyes I am not even baptized,

So here is the contemporary composition of the *One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church*.

This is a uniquely modern expression of the Church where none of its branches are in communion with the other branches.

Autonomous True Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe and America
Holy Orthodox Church in North America
ROCiE Metropolitanate of Moscow under Metropolitan Damascene of Moscow
Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church under Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia under Archbishop Anthony of San Fransisco
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia under Archbishop Vladimir of San Fransisco
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia- under Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa
Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece under Abp Kallinikos of Athens
Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece under Archbishop Makarios of Athens
Genuine Orthodox Church Of Greece under Archbishop Nicholas of Athens
Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece under Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Thebes
Genuine Orthodox Church of the Patristic Calendar of Metropolitan Anghelos of Avlonos
Genuine Orthodox Synod under Metropolitan Kirykos of Mesogaia
Russian True Orthodox Church under Archbishop Tikhon of Omsk
True Orthodox Church of Serbia
True Orthodox Churches of Bulgaria
True Orthodox Churches of Romania
Synod in Resistance under Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili

---There are more Churches of course. Others may like to add to this list.

*sigh*

Lists like these always remind me of this scene from "The Life of Brian." (Note: Offensive language, NSFW)
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« Reply #58 on: December 29, 2011, 06:14:13 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
What makes you think this?

It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
Yeah, right. Roll Eyes Wink

I didn't want to answer because i'm not really interested in debating or winning an argument or continually be accused of firing out bible verses, which is such a predictable and slack defense of any position especially since patristic quotes can also be used in this way -- and often are here.
So why do you lump me in with everyone else? I asked a question because I sincerely wanted to know why you think the Orthodox Church places her emphasis firmly on the physical visible Church, not because I want to debate you or throw patristic verses at you. You accuse us of holding a particular point of view and of using debate tactics we call you out for. The least you could do is back up your accusations when asked, not just reply to my questions with more accusations.
Because it seemed to me as though you were asking a question you knew the answer to because the answer was obvious. I couldn't think of a good reason for you doing that. I apologise.

For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.
You think you could give a more rational, less emotional response than this? Angry isn't very convincing.

Yes. Here is the less emotional response.


The Orthodox church firmly states where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, who she is not in communion with while making statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her.

The church does occasionally mention the existence of Christians outside The Church.
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« Reply #59 on: December 29, 2011, 06:37:04 PM »

It must be a misery being in an invisible Church.  Lonely and isolated.  Just you and nobody else.

And I suppose that if you discover another member of the invisible church, then there are two of you and it is not invisible anymore.

I was in the invisible church before it was cool
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« Reply #60 on: December 29, 2011, 06:45:59 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
What makes you think this?

It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
Yeah, right. Roll Eyes Wink

I didn't want to answer because i'm not really interested in debating or winning an argument or continually be accused of firing out bible verses, which is such a predictable and slack defense of any position especially since patristic quotes can also be used in this way -- and often are here.
So why do you lump me in with everyone else? I asked a question because I sincerely wanted to know why you think the Orthodox Church places her emphasis firmly on the physical visible Church, not because I want to debate you or throw patristic verses at you. You accuse us of holding a particular point of view and of using debate tactics we call you out for. The least you could do is back up your accusations when asked, not just reply to my questions with more accusations.
Because it seemed to me as though you were asking a question you knew the answer to because the answer was obvious. I couldn't think of a good reason for you doing that. I apologise.

For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.
You think you could give a more rational, less emotional response than this? Angry isn't very convincing.

Yes. Here is the less emotional response.


The Orthodox church firmly states where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, who she is not in communion with while making statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her.

The church does occasionally mention the existence of Christians outside The Church.
Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?
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« Reply #61 on: December 29, 2011, 06:59:13 PM »

What few are willing to tell you, is that in order to be a member of the invisible Church, one must be a Ninja.

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« Reply #62 on: December 29, 2011, 08:15:25 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
What makes you think this?

It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
Yeah, right. Roll Eyes Wink

I didn't want to answer because i'm not really interested in debating or winning an argument or continually be accused of firing out bible verses, which is such a predictable and slack defense of any position especially since patristic quotes can also be used in this way -- and often are here.
So why do you lump me in with everyone else? I asked a question because I sincerely wanted to know why you think the Orthodox Church places her emphasis firmly on the physical visible Church, not because I want to debate you or throw patristic verses at you. You accuse us of holding a particular point of view and of using debate tactics we call you out for. The least you could do is back up your accusations when asked, not just reply to my questions with more accusations.
Because it seemed to me as though you were asking a question you knew the answer to because the answer was obvious. I couldn't think of a good reason for you doing that. I apologise.

For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.
You think you could give a more rational, less emotional response than this? Angry isn't very convincing.

Yes. Here is the less emotional response.


The Orthodox church firmly states where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, who she is not in communion with while making statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her.

The church does occasionally mention the existence of Christians outside The Church.
Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.

The 'invisible' church i'm talking about is  "....within you" (Luke 17:21) and one where Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone, where the building grows. (Ephesians 2: 19-21)
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« Reply #63 on: December 29, 2011, 08:17:54 PM »

Most Evangelicals, for example, deny the ability of God's Grace to act in the world through physical vehicles such as bread and wine, marriages, ordination, holy unction, relics, icons, etc.
While at the same time insisting that God works primarily through a physical book.
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« Reply #64 on: December 29, 2011, 08:26:29 PM »

Most Evangelicals, for example, deny the ability of God's Grace to act in the world through physical vehicles such as bread and wine, marriages, ordination, holy unction, relics, icons, etc.
While at the same time insisting that God works primarily through a physical book.

God works through a physical book?! Oh really? I thought, in fact, i've heard, read and seen evidence on many occasions that God actually works through His Holy Spirit. If there was a book, an actual physical book that God works through it would surely have to be under lock and key for the stampede of miracle seekers would be catastrophic if it were say, somewhere in an ordinary house?
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« Reply #65 on: December 29, 2011, 09:06:37 PM »

Most Evangelicals, for example, deny the ability of God's Grace to act in the world through physical vehicles such as bread and wine, marriages, ordination, holy unction, relics, icons, etc.
While at the same time insisting that God works primarily through a physical book.

God works through a physical book?! Oh really? I thought, in fact, i've heard, read and seen evidence on many occasions that God actually works through His Holy Spirit. If there was a book, an actual physical book that God works through it would surely have to be under lock and key for the stampede of miracle seekers would be catastrophic if it were say, somewhere in an ordinary house?
God works through both. If he only worked through the Spirit, we wouldn't even need the book. You're making false dichotomies again.
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« Reply #66 on: December 29, 2011, 09:07:09 PM »

Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.
Why is it a ridiculous question? Because you just don't want to answer questions? I have a purpose for asking the question that you think you're discerning though you're very clearly not. So why don't you just answer the question without prejudging it as though you know my agenda?

Are the saints who have died members of the Church, or are they not?
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« Reply #67 on: December 30, 2011, 01:44:33 AM »

Grace and Peace HandmaidenofGod,

Would it be fair to say that what they've kept still sanctifies, sister? What is common between us and the One True Church, Holy Tradition continues to sanctify because it has not been torn from that salvific root of Grace?

That is for God and God alone to judge.

As we like to say in Orthodoxy, we won't say where God's grace is not, but we do know where it is.

The Eastern Orthodox Church is the One, True, Holy, Apostolic Church that was founded on Pentecost. Those groups who choose not to be in communion with her (whether they call themselves "Greek Old Calenderists" or the "Roman Catholic Church") are not part of the One, True, Church.

Do their sacraments contain the grace of God? That is for God alone to judge.

It is not for me to speak beyond that.

Grace and Peace HandmaidenofGod,

I have heard it said that Schism is born from a lack of charity, Heresy from a lack of humility... I can only hope that our division is one which lacks love.
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« Reply #68 on: December 30, 2011, 01:56:12 AM »

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.

The 'invisible' church i'm talking about is  "....within you" (Luke 17:21) and one where Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone, where the building grows. (Ephesians 2: 19-21)

FountainPen, I am interested in hearing your definitions, as per my post above:

For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.


Okay, so we're familiar with the Orthodox Church's definition of "Church," but what about yours?

You've mentioned the terms spiritual church and physical church. For Orthodox Christians, the Church is both spiritual and physical. It is physical, in that we have the church buildings, the clergy, the Liturgy, etc. It is spiritual, in that whenever we pray, we are joining in communion and worship with all of the saints, and our prayers are being lifted up along with all of the other Orthodox Christians praying with us.

When we are participating in the Liturgy, we are going beyond space and time. We are not just remembering Christ's crucifixion and resurrection as an event of the past, but as the here and now.

So my question to you is what are your definitions of these terms?
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« Reply #69 on: December 30, 2011, 06:02:26 AM »

Most Evangelicals, for example, deny the ability of God's Grace to act in the world through physical vehicles such as bread and wine, marriages, ordination, holy unction, relics, icons, etc.
While at the same time insisting that God works primarily through a physical book.

God works through a physical book?! Oh really? I thought, in fact, i've heard, read and seen evidence on many occasions that God actually works through His Holy Spirit. If there was a book, an actual physical book that God works through it would surely have to be under lock and key for the stampede of miracle seekers would be catastrophic if it were say, somewhere in an ordinary house?
God works through both. If he only worked through the Spirit, we wouldn't even need the book. You're making false dichotomies again.

Vol, you can't say that. The book itself isn't anything more than printing, pages and binding -- it's just a book. God works through His word, it's His word that's inspired. I know i'm being picky but it's only the word that matters and that's an important point to make.

We don't actually need the book either. We have the word of God and that's an amazing blessing but we don't need it. All we need is the Spirit of God -- the power unto salvation.
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« Reply #70 on: December 30, 2011, 07:01:18 AM »

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.

The 'invisible' church i'm talking about is  "....within you" (Luke 17:21) and one where Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone, where the building grows. (Ephesians 2: 19-21)

FountainPen, I am interested in hearing your definitions, as per my post above:

For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.


Okay, so we're familiar with the Orthodox Church's definition of "Church," but what about yours?

You've mentioned the terms spiritual church and physical church. For Orthodox Christians, the Church is both spiritual and physical. It is physical, in that we have the church buildings, the clergy, the Liturgy, etc. It is spiritual, in that whenever we pray, we are joining in communion and worship with all of the saints, and our prayers are being lifted up along with all of the other Orthodox Christians praying with us.

When we are participating in the Liturgy, we are going beyond space and time. We are not just remembering Christ's crucifixion and resurrection as an event of the past, but as the here and now.

So my question to you is what are your definitions of these terms?

Sorry HandmaidenofGod, i thought that answer would do you and Peter, both.

The invisible church is one that can't be known by us by empirical means but thankfully is known to God.

The visible church is one where people gather who profess Christ but who none of us can tell who is and who isn't really His, and neither should we try. Therefore, there will be a mix of people who gather such as the examples given to us in the word.

The church is compared to a floor where there is wheat and chaff (Matt. iii. 12)
The church is compared to a field where there are tares as well as good seed (Matt 13:24, 25)
The church is compared to a net, which gathers bad and good fish (Matthew 13:47)
The church is compared to a house where there are vessels of every kind some to honour and some to dishonor (2 Tim 2:20)

This is why the spiritual, invisible church is the bride He is coming back for.
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« Reply #71 on: December 30, 2011, 07:07:20 AM »

Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.
Why is it a ridiculous question? Because you just don't want to answer questions? I have a purpose for asking the question that you think you're discerning though you're very clearly not. So why don't you just answer the question without prejudging it as though you know my agenda?

Are the saints who have died members of the Church, or are they not?

None of us can know that except God. None of can know what's in the heart of a person while they are on earth; the visible church is full of both true Christians and those in church for other reasons. Howcan we presume to know such a thing?
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« Reply #72 on: December 30, 2011, 09:25:43 AM »

The Early Church certainly viewed the Church in visible terms. Look at I Clement 42

"1 Clem. 42:1 The Apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ was sent forth from God.

1 Clem. 42:2 So then Christ is from God, and the Apostles are from Christ. Both therefore came of the will of God in the appointed order.

1 Clem. 42:3 Having therefore received a charge, and having been fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and confirmed in the word of God with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth with the glad tidings that the kingdom of God should come.

1 Clem. 42:4 So preaching everywhere in country and town, they appointed their firstfruits, when they had proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons unto them that should believe.

1 Clem. 42:5 And this they did in no new fashion; for indeed it had been written concerning bishops and deacons from very ancient times; for thus saith the scripture in a certain place, I will appoint their bishops in righteousness and their deacons in faith."

The visible Church was seen as a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy as quoted in Isaiah 60:17.

There is no notion of an "invisible Church" that I am aware of in the Fathers. There was in fact a recognition that many quasi-Christian groups were outside of the Church and there was no attempt to include them in that definition. See Augustine for example:

“Inasmuch, I repeat, as this is the case, we believe also in the Holy Church, [intending thereby] assuredly the Catholic. For both heretics and schismatics style their congregations churches. But heretics, in holding false opinions regarding God, do injury to the faith itself; while schismatics, on the other hand, in wicked separations break off from brotherly charity, although they may believe just what we believe. Wherefore neither do the heretics belong to the Church catholic, which loves God; nor do the schismatics form a part of the same.” Augustine, On Faith and Creed, 10:21 (A.D. 393).
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« Reply #73 on: December 30, 2011, 11:23:13 AM »

As I said before, there are members of the Church that nobody knows about, and I had some time to think about it as to how to present my belief on this.

The only way that I can present it is that there are "invisible" members of the visible Church. I hope that makes sense.

BTW a question. If Christ is coming to get the invisible Church, does that mean the visible Church in the way Orthodoxy sees it is incorrect? If so, how are the rules and commands to the Church explained? What about the authority that is clearly exercised in the scriptures?

PP
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« Reply #74 on: December 30, 2011, 11:31:28 AM »

Most Evangelicals, for example, deny the ability of God's Grace to act in the world through physical vehicles such as bread and wine, marriages, ordination, holy unction, relics, icons, etc.
While at the same time insisting that God works primarily through a physical book.

God works through a physical book?! Oh really? I thought, in fact, i've heard, read and seen evidence on many occasions that God actually works through His Holy Spirit. If there was a book, an actual physical book that God works through it would surely have to be under lock and key for the stampede of miracle seekers would be catastrophic if it were say, somewhere in an ordinary house?
God works through both. If he only worked through the Spirit, we wouldn't even need the book. You're making false dichotomies again.

Vol, you can't say that. The book itself isn't anything more than printing, pages and binding -- it's just a book. God works through His word, it's His word that's inspired. I know i'm being picky but it's only the word that matters and that's an important point to make.

We don't actually need the book either. We have the word of God and that's an amazing blessing but we don't need it. All we need is the Spirit of God -- the power unto salvation.

if you didn't have the bible how would you know what to believe though?
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« Reply #75 on: December 30, 2011, 11:35:47 AM »

Quote
Vol, you can't say that. The book itself isn't anything more than printing, pages and binding -- it's just a book. God works through His word, it's His word that's inspired. I know i'm being picky but it's only the word that matters and that's an important point to make.

We don't actually need the book either. We have the word of God and that's an amazing blessing but we don't need it. All we need is the Spirit of God -- the power unto salvation
If we didn't need it, God would not have wasted the time with it. its not like God moves "just for kicks" or to give "frills" on the faith. This is simply silly talk.

If we didn't need the Word, why inspire it?

PP
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« Reply #76 on: December 30, 2011, 01:32:57 PM »

Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.
Why is it a ridiculous question? Because you just don't want to answer questions? I have a purpose for asking the question that you think you're discerning though you're very clearly not. So why don't you just answer the question without prejudging it as though you know my agenda?

Are the saints who have died members of the Church, or are they not?

None of us can know that except God. None of can know what's in the heart of a person while they are on earth; the visible church is full of both true Christians and those in church for other reasons. Howcan we presume to know such a thing?
That's not what I asked, FountainPen.

The saints who have died in Christ--I'm talking about those whom God knows as saints and who are no longer with us in the flesh--are they members of the Church as Orthodox know it--visible, invisible, I don't care--or not?
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« Reply #77 on: December 30, 2011, 01:42:49 PM »

Quote
Vol, you can't say that. The book itself isn't anything more than printing, pages and binding -- it's just a book. God works through His word, it's His word that's inspired. I know i'm being picky but it's only the word that matters and that's an important point to make.

We don't actually need the book either. We have the word of God and that's an amazing blessing but we don't need it. All we need is the Spirit of God -- the power unto salvation
If we didn't need it, God would not have wasted the time with it. its not like God moves "just for kicks" or to give "frills" on the faith. This is simply silly talk.

If we didn't need the Word, why inspire it?

PP

Primuspilus

There is only one way a person can come to a saving knowledge of Christ and that is via the Holy Spirit with the grace of God which i think you'd agree with too. He uses many mediums to bring about this enlightenment and the word of God is one way people can come into this knowledge and kingdom.

I'm not saying it's not inspired, authoritative, informative and helpful, it's all those things and more. You have icons and relics that you consider sacred so I just wanted to be careful not to inadvertently agree that the actual book was something more than it is.

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« Reply #78 on: December 30, 2011, 01:45:34 PM »

Quote
There is only one way a person can come to a saving knowledge of Christ and that is via the Holy Spirit with the grace of God which i think you'd agree with too. He uses many mediums to bring about this enlightenment and the word of God is one way people can come into this knowledge and kingdom
*nods*

Quote
I'm not saying it's not inspired, authoritative, informative and helpful, it's all those things and more. You have icons and relics that you consider sacred so I just wanted to be careful not to inadvertently agree that the actual book was something more than it is
I understand your view now. I appreciate you clearing it up.

PP
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« Reply #79 on: December 30, 2011, 01:47:20 PM »

Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.
Why is it a ridiculous question? Because you just don't want to answer questions? I have a purpose for asking the question that you think you're discerning though you're very clearly not. So why don't you just answer the question without prejudging it as though you know my agenda?

Are the saints who have died members of the Church, or are they not?

None of us can know that except God. None of can know what's in the heart of a person while they are on earth; the visible church is full of both true Christians and those in church for other reasons. Howcan we presume to know such a thing?
That's not what I asked, FountainPen.

The saints who have died in Christ--I'm talking about those whom God knows as saints and who are no longer with us in the flesh--are they members of the Church as Orthodox know it--visible, invisible, I don't care--or not?

I don't know if they are members of the church, as Orthodox know it -- i'm not Orthodox.
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« Reply #80 on: December 30, 2011, 01:53:14 PM »

Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.
Why is it a ridiculous question? Because you just don't want to answer questions? I have a purpose for asking the question that you think you're discerning though you're very clearly not. So why don't you just answer the question without prejudging it as though you know my agenda?

Are the saints who have died members of the Church, or are they not?

None of us can know that except God. None of can know what's in the heart of a person while they are on earth; the visible church is full of both true Christians and those in church for other reasons. Howcan we presume to know such a thing?
That's not what I asked, FountainPen.

The saints who have died in Christ--I'm talking about those whom God knows as saints and who are no longer with us in the flesh--are they members of the Church as Orthodox know it--visible, invisible, I don't care--or not?

I don't know if they are members of the church, as Orthodox know it -- i'm not Orthodox.
Yes, they are members of the Church. The saints arent dead. Smiley

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« Reply #81 on: December 30, 2011, 01:54:53 PM »

Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.
Why is it a ridiculous question? Because you just don't want to answer questions? I have a purpose for asking the question that you think you're discerning though you're very clearly not. So why don't you just answer the question without prejudging it as though you know my agenda?

Are the saints who have died members of the Church, or are they not?

None of us can know that except God. None of can know what's in the heart of a person while they are on earth; the visible church is full of both true Christians and those in church for other reasons. Howcan we presume to know such a thing?
That's not what I asked, FountainPen.

The saints who have died in Christ--I'm talking about those whom God knows as saints and who are no longer with us in the flesh--are they members of the Church as Orthodox know it--visible, invisible, I don't care--or not?

I don't know if they are members of the church, as Orthodox know it -- i'm not Orthodox.
Then why did you call my question a "ridiculous question" as though everyone knows that the Orthodox consider them equal members of the Church as evidenced by our "common practise to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with [us], to God."? The simple fact is that we deem those who have died in Christ to still be members of the Church, even though they are invisible, which kinda burns up your straw man idea that we believe only in the visible Church.
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« Reply #82 on: December 30, 2011, 02:00:16 PM »

Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.
Why is it a ridiculous question? Because you just don't want to answer questions? I have a purpose for asking the question that you think you're discerning though you're very clearly not. So why don't you just answer the question without prejudging it as though you know my agenda?

Are the saints who have died members of the Church, or are they not?

None of us can know that except God. None of can know what's in the heart of a person while they are on earth; the visible church is full of both true Christians and those in church for other reasons. Howcan we presume to know such a thing?
That's not what I asked, FountainPen.

The saints who have died in Christ--I'm talking about those whom God knows as saints and who are no longer with us in the flesh--are they members of the Church as Orthodox know it--visible, invisible, I don't care--or not?

I don't know if they are members of the church, as Orthodox know it -- i'm not Orthodox.
Then why did you call my question a "ridiculous question" as though everyone knows that the Orthodox consider them equal members of the Church as evidenced by our "common practise to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with [us], to God."? The simple fact is that we deem those who have died in Christ to still be members of the Church, even though they are invisible, which kinda burns up your straw man idea that we believe only in the visible Church.

Can you tell me where i said that Orthodoxy "only" believes in the visible church? I think i said it gives more of an emphasis to the visible church.
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« Reply #83 on: December 30, 2011, 02:12:19 PM »

Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.
Why is it a ridiculous question? Because you just don't want to answer questions? I have a purpose for asking the question that you think you're discerning though you're very clearly not. So why don't you just answer the question without prejudging it as though you know my agenda?

Are the saints who have died members of the Church, or are they not?

None of us can know that except God. None of can know what's in the heart of a person while they are on earth; the visible church is full of both true Christians and those in church for other reasons. Howcan we presume to know such a thing?
That's not what I asked, FountainPen.

The saints who have died in Christ--I'm talking about those whom God knows as saints and who are no longer with us in the flesh--are they members of the Church as Orthodox know it--visible, invisible, I don't care--or not?

I don't know if they are members of the church, as Orthodox know it -- i'm not Orthodox.
Then why did you call my question a "ridiculous question" as though everyone knows that the Orthodox consider them equal members of the Church as evidenced by our "common practise to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with [us], to God."? The simple fact is that we deem those who have died in Christ to still be members of the Church, even though they are invisible, which kinda burns up your straw man idea that we believe only in the visible Church.

Can you tell me where i said that Orthodoxy "only" believes in the visible church? I think i said it gives more of an emphasis to the visible church.
I think that the whole hub-aloo is becuase so many folks totally discount the Visible Church, so we immidately come to the defense of it, sometimes to the detriment of the Invisible part. Such as it was  with my defense anyways....

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« Reply #84 on: December 30, 2011, 03:11:06 PM »

Most Evangelicals, for example, deny the ability of God's Grace to act in the world through physical vehicles such as bread and wine, marriages, ordination, holy unction, relics, icons, etc.
While at the same time insisting that God works primarily through a physical book.

God works through a physical book?! Oh really? I thought, in fact, i've heard, read and seen evidence on many occasions that God actually works through His Holy Spirit. If there was a book, an actual physical book that God works through it would surely have to be under lock and key for the stampede of miracle seekers would be catastrophic if it were say, somewhere in an ordinary house?
God works through both. If he only worked through the Spirit, we wouldn't even need the book. You're making false dichotomies again.

Vol, you can't say that. The book itself isn't anything more than printing, pages and binding -- it's just a book. God works through His word, it's His word that's inspired. I know i'm being picky but it's only the word that matters and that's an important point to make.

We don't actually need the book either. We have the word of God and that's an amazing blessing but we don't need it. All we need is the Spirit of God -- the power unto salvation.
I didn't say the book is more than a book, the Gospel itself isn't more than words if you don't believe it. I also didn't say God cannot save apart from the Bible, of course He can. But under normal circumstances, it's one of the mediums He works through. Some one in a prison camp or something where there are no Bibles may not need one, but those of us who have access to them and don't use them will have quite the time trying growing toward Christ. I see the valid distinction you want to make, but to me in this context it leads to missing the forest for the trees (now I'm one cliche over, darn...)

We can apply this same reasoning to the Visible Church. The Thief on the Cross was not baptized and had nothing to do with the Visible Church and yet he was saved.
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« Reply #85 on: December 30, 2011, 03:18:53 PM »

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.

The 'invisible' church i'm talking about is  "....within you" (Luke 17:21) and one where Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone, where the building grows. (Ephesians 2: 19-21)

FountainPen, I am interested in hearing your definitions, as per my post above:

For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.


Okay, so we're familiar with the Orthodox Church's definition of "Church," but what about yours?

You've mentioned the terms spiritual church and physical church. For Orthodox Christians, the Church is both spiritual and physical. It is physical, in that we have the church buildings, the clergy, the Liturgy, etc. It is spiritual, in that whenever we pray, we are joining in communion and worship with all of the saints, and our prayers are being lifted up along with all of the other Orthodox Christians praying with us.

When we are participating in the Liturgy, we are going beyond space and time. We are not just remembering Christ's crucifixion and resurrection as an event of the past, but as the here and now.

So my question to you is what are your definitions of these terms?

Sorry HandmaidenofGod, i thought that answer would do you and Peter, both.

The invisible church is one that can't be known by us by empirical means but thankfully is known to God.

The visible church is one where people gather who profess Christ but who none of us can tell who is and who isn't really His, and neither should we try. Therefore, there will be a mix of people who gather such as the examples given to us in the word.

The church is compared to a floor where there is wheat and chaff (Matt. iii. 12)
The church is compared to a field where there are tares as well as good seed (Matt 13:24, 25)
The church is compared to a net, which gathers bad and good fish (Matthew 13:47)
The church is compared to a house where there are vessels of every kind some to honour and some to dishonor (2 Tim 2:20)

This is why the spiritual, invisible church is the bride He is coming back for.
You assume that those Christians who will ultimately not be saved are not still part of the Bride, an assumption which Orthodoxy rejects and I'm not sure is in evidence from those passages.
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« Reply #86 on: December 30, 2011, 07:01:12 PM »

Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.
Why is it a ridiculous question? Because you just don't want to answer questions? I have a purpose for asking the question that you think you're discerning though you're very clearly not. So why don't you just answer the question without prejudging it as though you know my agenda?

Are the saints who have died members of the Church, or are they not?

None of us can know that except God. None of can know what's in the heart of a person while they are on earth; the visible church is full of both true Christians and those in church for other reasons. Howcan we presume to know such a thing?
That's not what I asked, FountainPen.

The saints who have died in Christ--I'm talking about those whom God knows as saints and who are no longer with us in the flesh--are they members of the Church as Orthodox know it--visible, invisible, I don't care--or not?

I don't know if they are members of the church, as Orthodox know it -- i'm not Orthodox.
Then why did you call my question a "ridiculous question" as though everyone knows that the Orthodox consider them equal members of the Church as evidenced by our "common practise to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with [us], to God."? The simple fact is that we deem those who have died in Christ to still be members of the Church, even though they are invisible, which kinda burns up your straw man idea that we believe only in the visible Church.

Can you tell me where i said that Orthodoxy "only" believes in the visible church? I think i said it gives more of an emphasis to the visible church.
Well, the way you've been ranting on this thread implies to me that you see us as guilty of more than just emphasizing the visible Church at the expense of the invisible (as if such a dichotomy exists).

What you need to see is the much larger context. To those, like you, who disparage the idea that the Church could be visible and emphasize the concept of an invisible Church, we defend the very visible nature of the Church in a way that looks as if we place our emphasis on the visible Church at the expense of the invisible. With others, however, who focus their attention too much on the visible institutions of the Church, such as we often see in the Roman Catholic Church (and sometimes even among the Orthodox), we emphasize in our defense that the Church is first a manifestation of an invisible mystery: the mystery of Christ in us through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father. Quite naturally, we speak differently to different people so that all may come to a deeper appreciation of all that the Holy Orthodox Church is. Just don't take our words to others and make them out as if they're addressing you.
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« Reply #87 on: December 30, 2011, 09:02:27 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
What makes you think this?

It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
Yeah, right. Roll Eyes Wink

I didn't want to answer because i'm not really interested in debating or winning an argument or continually be accused of firing out bible verses, which is such a predictable and slack defense of any position especially since patristic quotes can also be used in this way -- and often are here.
So why do you lump me in with everyone else? I asked a question because I sincerely wanted to know why you think the Orthodox Church places her emphasis firmly on the physical visible Church, not because I want to debate you or throw patristic verses at you. You accuse us of holding a particular point of view and of using debate tactics we call you out for. The least you could do is back up your accusations when asked, not just reply to my questions with more accusations.
Because it seemed to me as though you were asking a question you knew the answer to because the answer was obvious. I couldn't think of a good reason for you doing that. I apologise.

For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.
You think you could give a more rational, less emotional response than this? Angry isn't very convincing.

Yes. Here is the less emotional response.


The Orthodox church firmly states where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, who she is not in communion with while making statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her.

The church does occasionally mention the existence of Christians outside The Church.
Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.

The 'invisible' church i'm talking about is  "....within you" (Luke 17:21) and one where Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone, where the building grows. (Ephesians 2: 19-21)

Does "within you" mean separate and independent from Christ? Does it mean not being in communion with Jesus and the Apostles and their church plants?


When the Angel visited the Roman centurion in the book of Acts, did he tell him to go and start an independent christian group not in communion with what Jesus already started with the Apostles? Or did he tell him to go see Peter?


When Jesus spoke to Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus, did he tell him to go and start an independent group not in communion with what He already started? Or did he tell him to go see Ananias? I'm not looking at the text and so I probably got some of the details wrong, but the gist is the same.


Yes, Jesus is the chief corner stone, but don't forget that this Chief cornerstone is God Incarnate! Which means that He is not just Invisible only!

You see, the Docetists believed that Jesus's physical body was an illusion. You are making a similar mistake. For when the building grows is the physical aspect of the building only an illusion? This is what you seem to be saying. And if you aren't saying this then it would seem as if you are seeing two separate buildings altogether. One building as being spiritual while the other building being physical. If this is what you're saying then you are making a mistake similar to Nestorianism. In their case they did it with Christology, in your case it's being done with Ecclesiology.

So what are you saying? Are you saying Jesus is only spiritual as the chief corner stone and the building that grows from His foundation is also only spiritual?

In how you understand things, where does the physical fit in all of this? Especially since you said only the spiritual church is the Bride!

Also, what does "one body" and "one faith" mean to you in this passage? Does it mean only the spiritual church to you? If so then what is the physical? Is it a totally separate and independent body from the spiritual body? If so then you are making it seem as if two bodies exist instead of only One?

What importance is the physical if only the spiritual is the bride? How would your interpretation fit Ephesians chapter four verses  four and five?


Ephesians 4:4-5
"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism;"


What does this passage mean to you?


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« Reply #88 on: December 30, 2011, 10:43:16 PM »

Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.
Why is it a ridiculous question? Because you just don't want to answer questions? I have a purpose for asking the question that you think you're discerning though you're very clearly not. So why don't you just answer the question without prejudging it as though you know my agenda?

Are the saints who have died members of the Church, or are they not?

None of us can know that except God. None of can know what's in the heart of a person while they are on earth; the visible church is full of both true Christians and those in church for other reasons. Howcan we presume to know such a thing?
That's not what I asked, FountainPen.

The saints who have died in Christ--I'm talking about those whom God knows as saints and who are no longer with us in the flesh--are they members of the Church as Orthodox know it--visible, invisible, I don't care--or not?

I don't know if they are members of the church, as Orthodox know it -- i'm not Orthodox.
Then why did you call my question a "ridiculous question" as though everyone knows that the Orthodox consider them equal members of the Church as evidenced by our "common practise to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with [us], to God."? The simple fact is that we deem those who have died in Christ to still be members of the Church, even though they are invisible, which kinda burns up your straw man idea that we believe only in the visible Church.

Can you tell me where i said that Orthodoxy "only" believes in the visible church? I think i said it gives more of an emphasis to the visible church.
Well, the way you've been ranting on this thread implies to me that you see us as guilty of more than just emphasizing the visible Church at the expense of the invisible (as if such a dichotomy exists).
"Ranting", "guilty" ? lol+ Could you give me the less emotional version of - "No, i couldn't find where you said that FountainPen, my mistake" - please?

What you need to see is the much larger context.
Don't make assumptions that i don't see the larger context.

To those, like you, who disparage the idea that the Church could be visible...
I think i said the visible church was important. It's more than "could be", it is visible, that's an aspect of how people gather and organise themselves.

...and emphasize the concept of an invisible Church,
As does scripture.

...we defend the very visible nature of the Church in a way that looks as if we place our emphasis on the visible Church at the expense of the invisible.
I'll accept that it looks that way and may not be that way.

With others, however, who focus their attention too much on the visible institutions of the Church, such as we often see in the Roman Catholic Church (and sometimes even among the Orthodox), we emphasize in our defense that the Church is first a manifestation of an invisible mystery: the mystery of Christ in us through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father. Quite naturally, we speak differently to different people so that all may come to a deeper appreciation of all that the Holy Orthodox Church is. Just don't take our words to others and make them out as if they're addressing you.
That's a fair point in some respects.
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« Reply #89 on: December 30, 2011, 10:46:58 PM »

I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.

It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.

But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
What makes you think this?

It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
Yeah, right. Roll Eyes Wink

I didn't want to answer because i'm not really interested in debating or winning an argument or continually be accused of firing out bible verses, which is such a predictable and slack defense of any position especially since patristic quotes can also be used in this way -- and often are here.
So why do you lump me in with everyone else? I asked a question because I sincerely wanted to know why you think the Orthodox Church places her emphasis firmly on the physical visible Church, not because I want to debate you or throw patristic verses at you. You accuse us of holding a particular point of view and of using debate tactics we call you out for. The least you could do is back up your accusations when asked, not just reply to my questions with more accusations.
Because it seemed to me as though you were asking a question you knew the answer to because the answer was obvious. I couldn't think of a good reason for you doing that. I apologise.

For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.
You think you could give a more rational, less emotional response than this? Angry isn't very convincing.

Yes. Here is the less emotional response.


The Orthodox church firmly states where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, who she is not in communion with while making statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her.

The church does occasionally mention the existence of Christians outside The Church.
Those who have died in Christ and await the resurrection of their bodies at the last day... Based on what you know about us, do you think we would count them as members of the Church right now, even though they're invisible to us?

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.

The 'invisible' church i'm talking about is  "....within you" (Luke 17:21) and one where Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone, where the building grows. (Ephesians 2: 19-21)

Does "within you" mean separate and independent from Christ? Does it mean not being in communion with Jesus and the Apostles and their church plants?


When the Angel visited the Roman centurion in the book of Acts, did he tell him to go and start an independent christian group not in communion with what Jesus already started with the Apostles? Or did he tell him to go see Peter?


When Jesus spoke to Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus, did he tell him to go and start an independent group not in communion with what He already started? Or did he tell him to go see Ananias? I'm not looking at the text and so I probably got some of the details wrong, but the gist is the same.


Yes, Jesus is the chief corner stone, but don't forget that this Chief cornerstone is God Incarnate! Which means that He is not just Invisible only!

You see, the Docetists believed that Jesus's physical body was an illusion. You are making a similar mistake. For when the building grows is the physical aspect of the building only an illusion? This is what you seem to be saying. And if you aren't saying this then it would seem as if you are seeing two separate buildings altogether. One building as being spiritual while the other building being physical. If this is what you're saying then you are making a mistake similar to Nestorianism. In their case they did it with Christology, in your case it's being done with Ecclesiology.

So what are you saying? Are you saying Jesus is only spiritual as the chief corner stone and the building that grows from His foundation is also only spiritual?

In how you understand things, where does the physical fit in all of this? Especially since you said only the spiritual church is the Bride!

Also, what does "one body" and "one faith" mean to you in this passage? Does it mean only the spiritual church to you? If so then what is the physical? Is it a totally separate and independent body from the spiritual body? If so then you are making it seem as if two bodies exist instead of only One?

What importance is the physical if only the spiritual is the bride? How would your interpretation fit Ephesians chapter four verses  four and five?


Ephesians 4:4-5
"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism;"


What does this passage mean to you?




I've answered all of the relevant parts of this in my responses to other posts in this thread.
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« Reply #90 on: December 30, 2011, 10:52:19 PM »

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.

The 'invisible' church i'm talking about is  "....within you" (Luke 17:21) and one where Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone, where the building grows. (Ephesians 2: 19-21)

FountainPen, I am interested in hearing your definitions, as per my post above:

For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.


Okay, so we're familiar with the Orthodox Church's definition of "Church," but what about yours?

You've mentioned the terms spiritual church and physical church. For Orthodox Christians, the Church is both spiritual and physical. It is physical, in that we have the church buildings, the clergy, the Liturgy, etc. It is spiritual, in that whenever we pray, we are joining in communion and worship with all of the saints, and our prayers are being lifted up along with all of the other Orthodox Christians praying with us.

When we are participating in the Liturgy, we are going beyond space and time. We are not just remembering Christ's crucifixion and resurrection as an event of the past, but as the here and now.

So my question to you is what are your definitions of these terms?

Sorry HandmaidenofGod, i thought that answer would do you and Peter, both.

The invisible church is one that can't be known by us by empirical means but thankfully is known to God.

The visible church is one where people gather who profess Christ but who none of us can tell who is and who isn't really His, and neither should we try. Therefore, there will be a mix of people who gather such as the examples given to us in the word.

The church is compared to a floor where there is wheat and chaff (Matt. iii. 12)
The church is compared to a field where there are tares as well as good seed (Matt 13:24, 25)
The church is compared to a net, which gathers bad and good fish (Matthew 13:47)
The church is compared to a house where there are vessels of every kind some to honour and some to dishonor (2 Tim 2:20)

This is why the spiritual, invisible church is the bride He is coming back for.
You assume that those Christians who will ultimately not be saved are not still part of the Bride, an assumption which Orthodoxy rejects and I'm not sure is in evidence from those passages.
I'm not sure i understand Vol; all who are His will be saved.
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« Reply #91 on: December 30, 2011, 11:03:52 PM »

Well, the way you've been ranting on this thread implies to me that you see us as guilty of more than just emphasizing the visible Church at the expense of the invisible (as if such a dichotomy exists).
"Ranting", "guilty" ? lol+ Could you give me the less emotional version of - "No, i couldn't find where you said that FountainPen, my mistake" - please?
No. I gave you the less emotional version of what I could have said. Wink What you've been doing matches the standard definition of "rant".

What you need to see is the much larger context.
Don't make assumptions that i don't see the larger context.
I don't need to make assumptions when your posts make abundantly clear that you're missing the forest for the trees.

To those, like you, who disparage the idea that the Church could be visible...
I think i said the visible church was important. It's more than "could be", it is visible, that's an aspect of how people gather and organise themselves.

...and emphasize the concept of an invisible Church,
As does scripture.
You haven't established that Scripture makes a dichotomy between visible and invisible as you do. Others have shown you how the same Scriptures emphasize the concept of a Church that is much more visible than you like to admit. Is it convenient for you to overlook these?

...we defend the very visible nature of the Church in a way that looks as if we place our emphasis on the visible Church at the expense of the invisible.
I'll accept that it looks that way and may not be that way.
Thank you. Smiley

With others, however, who focus their attention too much on the visible institutions of the Church, such as we often see in the Roman Catholic Church (and sometimes even among the Orthodox), we emphasize in our defense that the Church is first a manifestation of an invisible mystery: the mystery of Christ in us through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father. Quite naturally, we speak differently to different people so that all may come to a deeper appreciation of all that the Holy Orthodox Church is. Just don't take our words to others and make them out as if they're addressing you.
That's a fair point in some respects.
In what respects?
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« Reply #92 on: December 30, 2011, 11:20:05 PM »

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.

The 'invisible' church i'm talking about is  "....within you" (Luke 17:21) and one where Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone, where the building grows. (Ephesians 2: 19-21)

FountainPen, I am interested in hearing your definitions, as per my post above:

For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.


Okay, so we're familiar with the Orthodox Church's definition of "Church," but what about yours?

You've mentioned the terms spiritual church and physical church. For Orthodox Christians, the Church is both spiritual and physical. It is physical, in that we have the church buildings, the clergy, the Liturgy, etc. It is spiritual, in that whenever we pray, we are joining in communion and worship with all of the saints, and our prayers are being lifted up along with all of the other Orthodox Christians praying with us.

When we are participating in the Liturgy, we are going beyond space and time. We are not just remembering Christ's crucifixion and resurrection as an event of the past, but as the here and now.

So my question to you is what are your definitions of these terms?

Sorry HandmaidenofGod, i thought that answer would do you and Peter, both.

The invisible church is one that can't be known by us by empirical means but thankfully is known to God.

The visible church is one where people gather who profess Christ but who none of us can tell who is and who isn't really His, and neither should we try. Therefore, there will be a mix of people who gather such as the examples given to us in the word.

The church is compared to a floor where there is wheat and chaff (Matt. iii. 12)
The church is compared to a field where there are tares as well as good seed (Matt 13:24, 25)
The church is compared to a net, which gathers bad and good fish (Matthew 13:47)
The church is compared to a house where there are vessels of every kind some to honour and some to dishonor (2 Tim 2:20)

This is why the spiritual, invisible church is the bride He is coming back for.
You assume that those Christians who will ultimately not be saved are not still part of the Bride, an assumption which Orthodoxy rejects and I'm not sure is in evidence from those passages.
I'm not sure i understand Vol; all who are His will be saved.
I mean those who are His and then fall away a'la Hebrews 6
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« Reply #93 on: December 30, 2011, 11:27:24 PM »

Well, the way you've been ranting on this thread implies to me that you see us as guilty of more than just emphasizing the visible Church at the expense of the invisible (as if such a dichotomy exists).
"Ranting", "guilty" ? lol+ Could you give me the less emotional version of - "No, i couldn't find where you said that FountainPen, my mistake" - please?
No. I gave you the less emotional version of what I could have said. Wink What you've been doing matches the standard definition of "rant".
I'd gladly agree if by "standard definition" you mean male standard definition for when a woman is trying to communicate something important.

What you need to see is the much larger context.
Don't make assumptions that i don't see the larger context.
I don't need to make assumptions when your posts make abundantly clear that you're missing the forest for the trees.
That would be the lack of engine in the airbus, no doubt.

To those, like you, who disparage the idea that the Church could be visible...
I think i said the visible church was important. It's more than "could be", it is visible, that's an aspect of how people gather and organise themselves.

...and emphasize the concept of an invisible Church,
As does scripture.
You haven't established that Scripture makes a dichotomy between visible and invisible as you do. Others have shown you how the same Scriptures emphasize the concept of a Church that is much more visible than you like to admit. Is it convenient for you to overlook these?
I haven't overlooked them any more than the examples i have provided have been overlooked. Peter, there isn't a dichotomy. The visible aspects of the church have a mix of believers and unbelievers in them that the invisible aspects (living saints, if you will) of the church do not. All the same church.

...we defend the very visible nature of the Church in a way that looks as if we place our emphasis on the visible Church at the expense of the invisible.
I'll accept that it looks that way and may not be that way.
Thank you. Smiley
You're welcome Smiley

With others, however, who focus their attention too much on the visible institutions of the Church, such as we often see in the Roman Catholic Church (and sometimes even among the Orthodox), we emphasize in our defense that the Church is first a manifestation of an invisible mystery: the mystery of Christ in us through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father. Quite naturally, we speak differently to different people so that all may come to a deeper appreciation of all that the Holy Orthodox Church is. Just don't take our words to others and make them out as if they're addressing you.
That's a fair point in some respects.
In what respects?

In that it doesn't make the statements any less true even if the answers were meant for someone else's question.
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« Reply #94 on: December 30, 2011, 11:32:09 PM »

Peter, that's a ridiculous question given that they are quite literally, invisible -- and given also that it's common practise (for you) to petition those reposed in Christ, to pray with you, to God.

The 'invisible' church i'm talking about is  "....within you" (Luke 17:21) and one where Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone, where the building grows. (Ephesians 2: 19-21)

FountainPen, I am interested in hearing your definitions, as per my post above:

For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.


Okay, so we're familiar with the Orthodox Church's definition of "Church," but what about yours?

You've mentioned the terms spiritual church and physical church. For Orthodox Christians, the Church is both spiritual and physical. It is physical, in that we have the church buildings, the clergy, the Liturgy, etc. It is spiritual, in that whenever we pray, we are joining in communion and worship with all of the saints, and our prayers are being lifted up along with all of the other Orthodox Christians praying with us.

When we are participating in the Liturgy, we are going beyond space and time. We are not just remembering Christ's crucifixion and resurrection as an event of the past, but as the here and now.

So my question to you is what are your definitions of these terms?

Sorry HandmaidenofGod, i thought that answer would do you and Peter, both.

The invisible church is one that can't be known by us by empirical means but thankfully is known to God.

The visible church is one where people gather who profess Christ but who none of us can tell who is and who isn't really His, and neither should we try. Therefore, there will be a mix of people who gather such as the examples given to us in the word.

The church is compared to a floor where there is wheat and chaff (Matt. iii. 12)
The church is compared to a field where there are tares as well as good seed (Matt 13:24, 25)
The church is compared to a net, which gathers bad and good fish (Matthew 13:47)
The church is compared to a house where there are vessels of every kind some to honour and some to dishonor (2 Tim 2:20)

This is why the spiritual, invisible church is the bride He is coming back for.
You assume that those Christians who will ultimately not be saved are not still part of the Bride, an assumption which Orthodoxy rejects and I'm not sure is in evidence from those passages.
I'm not sure i understand Vol; all who are His will be saved.
I mean those who are His and then fall away a'la Hebrews 6
Ah, okay.
 Undecided

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« Reply #95 on: December 30, 2011, 11:46:17 PM »


BTW a question. If Christ is coming to get the invisible Church, does that mean the visible Church in the way Orthodoxy sees it is incorrect? If so, how are the rules and commands to the Church explained? What about the authority that is clearly exercised in the scriptures?

PP

Sorry Primus, I read back and realised i missed this.

I can't say if it's incorrect as i don't know enough about the way Orthodoxy sees the visible church to fully comment. I can only really comment when i come across aspects of doctrine or belief that i might view as a distortion of how the church was intended to be.

I have no problem with the authority and accountability of overseers within the visible church. I do however see us all as being accountable to each other and before God but then i think we'd be in agreement there also most probably.
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« Reply #96 on: December 31, 2011, 12:10:14 PM »

Quote
I've answered all of the relevant parts of this in my responses to other posts in this thread.

The word relevant is subjective and ambiguous, if I thought you answered my critiques then I would of never of asked you. I presented my examples in a way that connected Christology with Ecclesiology for a reason. I think you are being evasive, and I think you really don't want to use Christology as a grid to follow when talking about this issue.

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« Reply #97 on: December 31, 2011, 12:23:31 PM »

Does "within you" mean separate and independent from Christ? Does it mean not being in communion with Jesus and the Apostles and their church plants?


When the Angel visited the Roman centurion in the book of Acts, did he tell him to go and start an independent christian group not in communion with what Jesus already started with the Apostles? Or did he tell him to go see Peter?


When Jesus spoke to Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus, did he tell him to go and start an independent group not in communion with what He already started? Or did he tell him to go see Ananias? I'm not looking at the text and so I probably got some of the details wrong, but the gist is the same.


Yes, Jesus is the chief corner stone, but don't forget that this Chief cornerstone is God Incarnate! Which means that He is not just Invisible only!

You see, the Docetists believed that Jesus's physical body was an illusion. You are making a similar mistake. For when the building grows is the physical aspect of the building only an illusion? This is what you seem to be saying. And if you aren't saying this then it would seem as if you are seeing two separate buildings altogether. One building as being spiritual while the other building being physical. If this is what you're saying then you are making a mistake similar to Nestorianism. In their case they did it with Christology, in your case it's being done with Ecclesiology.

So what are you saying? Are you saying Jesus is only spiritual as the chief corner stone and the building that grows from His foundation is also only spiritual?

In how you understand things, where does the physical fit in all of this? Especially since you said only the spiritual church is the Bride!

Also, what does "one body" and "one faith" mean to you in this passage? Does it mean only the spiritual church to you? If so then what is the physical? Is it a totally separate and independent body from the spiritual body? If so then you are making it seem as if two bodies exist instead of only One?

What importance is the physical if only the spiritual is the bride? How would your interpretation fit Ephesians chapter four verses  four and five?


Ephesians 4:4-5
"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism;"


What does this passage mean to you? Did the Roman Centurion and Saul/Paul start separate independent bodies not in communion with the church plants that the Apostles started? If not then you can't say what you are saying.
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« Reply #98 on: December 31, 2011, 12:41:58 PM »

If this doesn't catch your attention and change your ways, nothing ever will!

Is it any wonder why the Jesus Seminar has created their own Jesus because the original Church is invisible!

Come on guys, the Church is invisible you know it is.
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« Reply #99 on: January 01, 2012, 12:58:43 PM »

Quote
I've answered all of the relevant parts of this in my responses to other posts in this thread.

The word relevant is subjective and ambiguous, if I thought you answered my critiques then I would of never of asked you. I presented my examples in a way that connected Christology with Ecclesiology for a reason. I think you are being evasive, and I think you really don't want to use Christology as a grid to follow when talking about this issue.



...would have never have asked you

Thanks. Opinions always welcome as well.
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« Reply #100 on: January 01, 2012, 01:44:40 PM »

Does "within you" mean separate and independent from Christ? Does it mean not being in communion with Jesus and the Apostles and their church plants?
Luke 17:20-21 “Now when He was demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them saying, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation;  neither shall they say, 'Lo here!' or 'Lo there!' For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Jesus made it clear in response to their unbelief “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” (Matt 12:28)

In other words it accompanied His person to answer your question.


When the Angel visited the Roman centurion in the book of Acts, did he tell him to go and start an independent christian group not in communion with what Jesus already started with the Apostles? Or did he tell him to go see Peter?
I agree. I think we differ in the church model at the time of the Apostles.

When Jesus spoke to Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus, did he tell him to go and start an independent group not in communion with what He already started? Or did he tell him to go see Ananias? I'm not looking at the text and so I probably got some of the details wrong, but the gist is the same.

Yes, Jesus is the chief corner stone, but don't forget that this Chief cornerstone is God Incarnate! Which means that He is not just Invisible only!
The size of your text won't suddenly make what you're saying true. I don't think i stated anywhere that He was invisible "only". Like i said, i have answered this already.

You see, the Docetists...
Could you repeat that please?

...believed that Jesus's physical body was an illusion.
Jesus' physical body was not an illusion.

You are making a similar mistake.
I am?

For when the building grows is the physical aspect of the building only an illusion?
No.

This is what you seem to be saying.
I'm not, no.

And if you aren't saying this...
I'm not, no.

...then it would seem as if you are seeing two separate buildings altogether.
No. I covered this already earlier on when i said i didn't see them as separate but aspects of one whole.

One building as being spiritual while the other building being physical. If this is what you're saying
I'm not, no.

...then you are making a mistake similar to Nestorianism. In their case they did it with Christology, in your case it's being done with Ecclesiology.

So what are you saying? Are you saying Jesus is only spiritual as the chief corner stone and the building that grows from His foundation is also only spiritual?
No.

In how you understand things, where does the physical fit in all of this? Especially since you said only the spiritual church is the Bride!
Well done! You actually read something i did say.
The physical, visible church is a very important part of a whole which includes The Bride. There are many people within the visible church who are not His and never will be His. For that reason only those sealed with the Spirit, given by the Father (which can only be known and identified by the Father), are the ones being made ready.

Also, what does "one body" and "one faith" mean to you in this passage? Does it mean only the spiritual church to you? If so then what is the physical? Is it a totally separate and independent body from the spiritual body?
The wheat and tares cannot be separated by man. They grow as one unit until the one who can separate them, does.

If so then you are making it seem as if two bodies exist instead of only One?
I don't think i am making it seem like anything.

What importance is the physical if only the spiritual is the bride? How would your interpretation
It's not my interpretation, it's part Holy Scripture and part teachings from your very own church fathers that also agree the wheat and the tares abide and grow together until they are separated by the only one who can possibly tell the difference between them.

fit Ephesians chapter four verses  four and five?

Ephesians 4:4-5
"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism;"
There is only one body.

What does this passage mean to you? Did the Roman Centurion and Saul/Paul start separate independent bodies not in communion with the church plants that the Apostles started? If not then you can't say what you are saying.
I've answered this already.
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« Reply #101 on: January 01, 2012, 02:33:47 PM »


So what are you saying? Are you saying Jesus is only spiritual as the chief corner stone and the building that grows from His foundation is also only spiritual?
No.
[/quote]

Forgive me, but you did seem to say this in reply 10
Quote
A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd

Also, your exegesis of the wheat and tares is faulty: the wheat and tares grow together, not because no one can tell the difference, but because the process of uprooting the tares would uproot some of the wheat as well (as plants grow near each other their roots often become entangled- and you can't get rid of the tares by any other process than uprooting, otherwise they grow back- pulling one plant up pulls up the plant next to it as well). The field doesn't represent the Church, but the entire world. The passage doesn't refer to an invisible church at all, if anything the Church is quite visible, standing out as good food amongst the weeds.
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« Reply #102 on: January 01, 2012, 02:43:28 PM »

I have never heard a satisfactory explanation to this verse from those who believe in an invisible church:

"If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth."

How could Paul be referring to an invisible church here? He is obviously referring to a physical real, visible insititution. "you will know how to conduct yourself in...the church of the living God..."

Is he talking about just the one, local church in Ephesus? Does he think that one church is the pillar and foundation of the truth? Of course not. He's talking about all the churches, the visible churches, all individually being the pillar and foundation of truth.

Further, is he talking about just the physical church building itself? Of course not. He is referring to the church as a gathering of an appointed bishop/overseer who has preserved the true doctrine handed down to him from the apostles and his faithful gathered around him in thanksgiving and worship. There is nothing invisible about this.
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« Reply #103 on: January 01, 2012, 07:28:28 PM »

A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd

Also, your exegesis of the wheat and tares is faulty: the wheat and tares grow together, not because no one can tell the difference, but because the process of uprooting the tares would uproot some of the wheat as well (as plants grow near each other their roots often become entangled- and you can't get rid of the tares by any other process than uprooting, otherwise they grow back- pulling one plant up pulls up the plant next to it as well).

The quote above was just a way of opting out. Sometimes it's easier to play to the stereotype especially if you feel you're not getting anywhere.

God is the only one who can know a person's heart and if they are sealed with His Spirit, i don't see how any of us can know whether someone is saved or not. I should have provided a separate reference for that particular statement. I apologise for being misleading.

The field doesn't represent the Church, but the entire world. The passage doesn't refer to an invisible church at all, if anything the Church is quite visible, standing out as good food amongst the weeds.
The field does represent the world and in the world is the church which has all manner of people mixed in and growing together. (Matthew 3 12, Matthew 13:47, 2 Tim 2:20)
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« Reply #104 on: January 01, 2012, 08:21:18 PM »

A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd

Also, your exegesis of the wheat and tares is faulty: the wheat and tares grow together, not because no one can tell the difference, but because the process of uprooting the tares would uproot some of the wheat as well (as plants grow near each other their roots often become entangled- and you can't get rid of the tares by any other process than uprooting, otherwise they grow back- pulling one plant up pulls up the plant next to it as well).

The quote above was just a way of opting out. Sometimes it's easier to play to the stereotype especially if you feel you're not getting anywhere.

God is the only one who can know a person's heart and if they are sealed with His Spirit, i don't see how any of us can know whether someone is saved or not. I should have provided a separate reference for that particular statement. I apologise for being misleading.

The field doesn't represent the Church, but the entire world. The passage doesn't refer to an invisible church at all, if anything the Church is quite visible, standing out as good food amongst the weeds.
The field does represent the world and in the world is the church which has all manner of people mixed in and growing together. (Matthew 3 12, Matthew 13:47, 2 Tim 2:20)
The two passages from Matthew don't say any more than the parable of wheat and tares, and stands more as a warning of coming judgement for the entire world. The Church is not mentioned here at all.

2 Timothy 2 is an interesting example (though verse 19 might have been more appropriate to your stance), but not in the way you seem to think. The entirety of the chapter is not about an "invisible" church but about those who depart from the apostolic teaching delivered by St Paul, starting with a reminder followed by simple creed then going into specific examples of what to watch for. The instruction to St Timothy is to expel heretics (2:16-17) from the Church; not to let them go on teaching whatever they wish, St Timothy being secure in the knowledge of an "invisible" church that continues on in the hearts of the "true" believer. The Church is visible, and as her local bishop in Ephesus St Timothy has the task of making the rounds and standing watch, separating out the goats from the lambs.
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« Reply #105 on: January 01, 2012, 09:09:23 PM »

WAYYY too many posts to read but the fact is invisible church theory is a invention of the protestant reformation who broke from the catholic church for valid reasons but wanted to be acknowledged as being part of the church mentioned in scriptures. being protestant you need a verse right?
1 Timothy 3:15 b The CHURCH is the pillar and foundation of truth. this verse can ONLY be fulfilled in a physical united church. the closest legitimate claim similar to an invisible church idea to me would be Christendom being the people of God, in this we may be united but this is still outside of the church.
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« Reply #106 on: January 01, 2012, 09:11:44 PM »

Quote
I've answered all of the relevant parts of this in my responses to other posts in this thread.

The word relevant is subjective and ambiguous, if I thought you answered my critiques then I would of never of asked you. I presented my examples in a way that connected Christology with Ecclesiology for a reason. I think you are being evasive, and I think you really don't want to use Christology as a grid to follow when talking about this issue.



...would have never have asked you
Usually the decision to correct someone else's grammar is taken as a sign that you've run out of substantive things to contribute to the discussion. Wink
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« Reply #107 on: January 01, 2012, 09:52:30 PM »

Quote
I've answered all of the relevant parts of this in my responses to other posts in this thread.

The word relevant is subjective and ambiguous, if I thought you answered my critiques then I would of never of asked you. I presented my examples in a way that connected Christology with Ecclesiology for a reason. I think you are being evasive, and I think you really don't want to use Christology as a grid to follow when talking about this issue.



...would have never have asked you
Usually the decision to correct someone else's grammar is taken as a sign that you've run out of substantive things to contribute to the discussion. Wink
If that was the only response of hers to him, then yes. Wink
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« Reply #108 on: January 02, 2012, 03:05:42 AM »

Quote
I've answered all of the relevant parts of this in my responses to other posts in this thread.

The word relevant is subjective and ambiguous, if I thought you answered my critiques then I would of never of asked you. I presented my examples in a way that connected Christology with Ecclesiology for a reason. I think you are being evasive, and I think you really don't want to use Christology as a grid to follow when talking about this issue.



...would have never have asked you
Usually the decision to correct someone else's grammar is taken as a sign that you've run out of substantive things to contribute to the discussion. Wink

I don't mind, for I am always looking for improvement. I'll take it anywhere I can get it!
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« Reply #109 on: January 02, 2012, 03:44:07 AM »

A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd

Also, your exegesis of the wheat and tares is faulty: the wheat and tares grow together, not because no one can tell the difference, but because the process of uprooting the tares would uproot some of the wheat as well (as plants grow near each other their roots often become entangled- and you can't get rid of the tares by any other process than uprooting, otherwise they grow back- pulling one plant up pulls up the plant next to it as well).

The quote above was just a way of opting out. Sometimes it's easier to play to the stereotype especially if you feel you're not getting anywhere.

God is the only one who can know a person's heart and if they are sealed with His Spirit, i don't see how any of us can know whether someone is saved or not. I should have provided a separate reference for that particular statement. I apologise for being misleading.

The field doesn't represent the Church, but the entire world. The passage doesn't refer to an invisible church at all, if anything the Church is quite visible, standing out as good food amongst the weeds.
The field does represent the world and in the world is the church which has all manner of people mixed in and growing together. (Matthew 3 12, Matthew 13:47, 2 Tim 2:20)
The two passages from Matthew don't say any more than the parable of wheat and tares, and stands more as a warning of coming judgement for the entire world. The Church is not mentioned here at all.

2 Timothy 2 is an interesting example (though verse 19 might have been more appropriate to your stance), but not in the way you seem to think. The entirety of the chapter is not about an "invisible" church but about those who depart from the apostolic teaching delivered by St Paul, starting with a reminder followed by simple creed then going into specific examples of what to watch for. The instruction to St Timothy is to expel heretics (2:16-17) from the Church; not to let them go on teaching whatever they wish, St Timothy being secure in the knowledge of an "invisible" church that continues on in the hearts of the "true" believer. The Church is visible, and as her local bishop in Ephesus St Timothy has the task of making the rounds and standing watch, separating out the goats from the lambs.

Ok let's try this another way.

If i ask you where the church is, will you give me a convoluted answer or can you point me to this visible church?
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« Reply #110 on: January 02, 2012, 03:50:58 AM »

Matthew 16:18...
quite simply the church is this church that Christ said will not be beaten, i see Christendom in three churches... Protestant church most DEFINITELY does not fall into this category, the Catholic church has not prevailed... they have changed shifted and swayed in their traditions and doctrines. In my research this only leaves Orthodoxy to remain as a church who is steadfast against changing traditions and upholding that which was past down!
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« Reply #111 on: January 02, 2012, 03:59:44 AM »

quite simply...

If it were that simple then this thread wouldn't be "WAYYY" too long for you to bother reading it.
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« Reply #112 on: January 02, 2012, 04:00:51 AM »

A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd

Also, your exegesis of the wheat and tares is faulty: the wheat and tares grow together, not because no one can tell the difference, but because the process of uprooting the tares would uproot some of the wheat as well (as plants grow near each other their roots often become entangled- and you can't get rid of the tares by any other process than uprooting, otherwise they grow back- pulling one plant up pulls up the plant next to it as well).

The quote above was just a way of opting out. Sometimes it's easier to play to the stereotype especially if you feel you're not getting anywhere.

God is the only one who can know a person's heart and if they are sealed with His Spirit, i don't see how any of us can know whether someone is saved or not. I should have provided a separate reference for that particular statement. I apologise for being misleading.

The field doesn't represent the Church, but the entire world. The passage doesn't refer to an invisible church at all, if anything the Church is quite visible, standing out as good food amongst the weeds.
The field does represent the world and in the world is the church which has all manner of people mixed in and growing together. (Matthew 3 12, Matthew 13:47, 2 Tim 2:20)
The two passages from Matthew don't say any more than the parable of wheat and tares, and stands more as a warning of coming judgement for the entire world. The Church is not mentioned here at all.

2 Timothy 2 is an interesting example (though verse 19 might have been more appropriate to your stance), but not in the way you seem to think. The entirety of the chapter is not about an "invisible" church but about those who depart from the apostolic teaching delivered by St Paul, starting with a reminder followed by simple creed then going into specific examples of what to watch for. The instruction to St Timothy is to expel heretics (2:16-17) from the Church; not to let them go on teaching whatever they wish, St Timothy being secure in the knowledge of an "invisible" church that continues on in the hearts of the "true" believer. The Church is visible, and as her local bishop in Ephesus St Timothy has the task of making the rounds and standing watch, separating out the goats from the lambs.

Ok let's try this another way.

If i ask you where the church is, will you give me a convoluted answer or can you point me to this visible church?

I can do both!  Cheesy

And will tomorrow, its entirely too late on the East Coast.
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« Reply #113 on: January 02, 2012, 04:06:29 AM »

if becomes difficult when ideas to incorporate everyone get thrown in the mix... this is the simple underlying idea behind Protestantism... It was when i realized this was the truth that i lost faith in the protestant church. that unspoken thought that the church was dead before the reformation. Sure not all denominations believe that, but most do. Protestant church has constantly scratched to find a hold on the early church and the concept that there is a universal church conflicts with all things protestant (maybe not the reformers but protestants are reformers always reforming)
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« Reply #114 on: January 02, 2012, 05:00:36 AM »

Quote
In other words it accompanied His person to answer your question.

As Person what is He? Isn't He a Divine Person(the second Person of the Trinity) with two Natures? A 100% Divine Nature(that He shares with both the Father and Holy Spirit) and a 100% Human Nature(that He shares with humanity)? If so then the Kingdom is not Invisible only for He is not Invisible only! We become citizens of this Kingdom when we are united with Him (being INCHRIST), when we are in union with Him, and this happens when we believe, repent, are Baptized, and Chrismated/Confirmed.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2908.htm (The Great Catechism)
Saint Gregory of Nyssa
Quote:
"Chapters XXXIII., XXXIV., XXXV., XXXVI.— The saving nature of Baptism depends on three things; Prayer, Water, and Faith. 1. It is shown how Prayer secures the Divine Presence. God is a God of truth; and He has promised to come (as Miracles prove that He has come already) if invoked in a particular way. 2. It is shown how the Deity gives life from water. In human generation, even without prayer, He gives life from a small beginning. In a higher generation He transforms matter, not into soul, but into spirit. 3. Human freedom, as evinced in faith and repentance, is also necessary to Regeneration. Being thrice dipped in the water is our earliest mortification; coming out of it is a forecast of the ease with which the pure shall rise in a blessed resurrection: the whole process is an imitation of Christ."



There is also a unity between Baptism and Chrismation

quote:
"As with St. Irenaeus, there is an ecclesiological and sacramental dimension to the doctrine of Recapitulation. Baptism is an essential component of the mystery and for the spiritual life, since the believer must recapitulate that which Christ Himself fulfilled and repeated in His own Recapitulation. As was the case with Sts. Irenaeus and Athanasius, one cannot separate the divine and invisible nature from the works which He does in His human and visible nature, and therefore one cannot separate water and the Spirit into two separate baptisms or events, as this would be a kind of sacramental Nestorianism. [1]


And so we can know who is of God when it comes to initial Salvation, the problem is Salvation is a process. One must persevere till the end. And this happens within the Church which can't be separated from it's visibleness.


Quote
I agree. I think we differ in the church model at the time of the Apostles.

If you agree then what was the Church in the first century? Was it not visible? If the invisible theory was true then there would of been no need to send the Roman military commander to Peter and Saul to Ananias.


Quote
The size of your text won't suddenly make what you're saying true. I don't think i stated anywhere that He was invisible "only". Like i said, i have answered this already.

If He is God Incarnate and if We are His Body then there is no way you can say that only the invisible church is the Bride.


Quote
Could you repeat that please?

Docetists

Quote
Jesus' physical body was not an illusion

Then it must also be the bride that Jesus is coming back for. The Bride is the Church and the Church is simultaneously both invisible and visible. Thus the Bride is simultaneously both invisible and visible.


Quote
Jesus' physical body was not an illusion.

Nor is the visibleness of the Bride/Church which is also Christ's Body! Is Christ's Body only spiritual? The answer is no.


Quote
I am?

Aren't you stressing the invisible church theory?


Quote
No.

Ok, so what is it? I know you say it's important, but if it's not the Bride then is it really important?


Quote
I'm not, no.

What meaning does the word "important" really have if it's not the bride?


Quote
No. I covered this already earlier on when i said i didn't see them as separate but aspects of one whole.

If they are aspects of one whole then the visible is also the bride.


Quote
I'm not, no.

Then the visible is also the bride


Quote
No.

Then the visible is also the bride


Quote
Well done! You actually read something i did say.

Thank you, I'm just trying to understand you.


Quote
The physical, visible church is a very important part of a whole which includes The Bride.

This is confusing, for how can it include the Bride when you said only the spiritual is the bride? If you made a mistake earlier on then that's ok for we all make mistakes. I know I do.


 
Quote
There are many people within the visible church who are not His and never will be His.

Hmm, I know you are speaking of the present and future tenses, but you are Reformed and so I am going to speculate that you may also have in mind some other Calvinistic or Reformed beliefs in this area. I quoted Saint Gregory of Nyssa earlier in where Baptismal Regeneration was advocated and so a person can start out as being His when Baptized and Chrismated into the New Testament Covenant Community...A.K.A. the Church. Later in time a person can fall away and so in this sense there are many people within the Visible Church who are not His (present tense), but if they repent before death then they will be His again, but only God knows who will repent before death and so in that sense we can talk about the future tense.


 
Quote
For that reason only those sealed with the Spirit, given by the Father (which can only be known and identified by the Father), are the ones being made ready.


The second quote I posted above is also relevant here. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit at Chrismation and so we can know and do know. What happens later in time is a different story, for a person can fall away.


Quote
The wheat and tares cannot be separated by man. They grow as one unit until the one who can separate them, does.

They grow as one unit in the Visible Church! Christ founded a Visible Church for not only do we have the example of being united with Him by way of Baptism, but we also have the example of Holy Communion, for we are united with Him also by way of partaking of His Body and Blood!

1st Corinthians 10:16-17
"Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf."


Quote
I don't think i am making it seem like anything.

I could be wrong, but I think I am starting to understand you better.


Quote
It's not my interpretation, it's part Holy Scripture and part teachings from your very own church fathers that also agree the wheat and the tares abide and grow together until they are separated by the only one who can possibly tell the difference between them.

If there is only one body then this would mean that both the wheat and tares would grow together side by side within the Visible Church. The Church is filled with both good and bad fish. With both wheat and tares! But guess what? Each individual in the Church can change back and forth from one to the other.


Saint Irenaeus (180 A.D.)
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.vi.v.html(Saint Irenaeus)
quote:
"For He who makes the chaff and He who makes the wheat are not different persons, but one and the same, who judges them, that is, separates them. But the wheat and the chaff, being inanimate and irrational, have been made such by nature. But man, being endowed with reason, and in this respect like to God, having been made free in his will, and with power over himself, is himself the cause to himself, that sometimes he becomes wheat, and sometimes chaff."


I wanted to make some words very big, but I thought you wouldn't like that this time around and so I didn't do it.

I am starting to see why we might differ.


Quote
There is only one body.


There is only one body in where everyone who starts out in it, starts out the same. The difference is in the perseverance of each individual within the Visible Church.


Quote
I've answered this already.

I am starting to understand why we differ. Thanks for the interaction.




[1] pages xii - xvi from the preface of the book The disputation with Pyrrhus of Our Father Among the Saints Maximus the Confessor
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« Reply #115 on: January 02, 2012, 05:54:40 AM »

Matthew 16:18...
quite simply the church is this church that Christ said will not be beaten, i see Christendom in three churches... Protestant church most DEFINITELY does not fall into this category, the Catholic church has not prevailed... they have changed shifted and swayed in their traditions and doctrines. In my research this only leaves Orthodoxy to remain as a church who is steadfast against changing traditions and upholding that which was past down!
That argument isn't going to wash unless you define "beaten." Protestants, other than Anglicans and Scandinavian Lutherans, define the Church prevailing as there being gatherings of true believers left on earth (for example, Calvin simply defined the Church as anywhere the Word of God is preached and communion and baptism served).
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« Reply #116 on: January 02, 2012, 06:05:25 AM »


They grow as one unit in the Visible Church! Christ founded a Visible Church for not only do we have the example of being united with Him by way of Baptism, but we also have the example of Holy Communion, for we are united with Him also by way of partaking of His Body and Blood!

1st Corinthians 10:16-17
"Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf."
So you disagree with FormerReformer that the "field" in the parable is the world?
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« Reply #117 on: January 02, 2012, 10:50:27 AM »

quite simply...

If it were that simple then this thread wouldn't be "WAYYY" too long for you to bother reading it.
You're the one driving this thread by complaining about how "complicated" the subject is.
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« Reply #118 on: January 02, 2012, 11:54:15 AM »


They grow as one unit in the Visible Church! Christ founded a Visible Church for not only do we have the example of being united with Him by way of Baptism, but we also have the example of Holy Communion, for we are united with Him also by way of partaking of His Body and Blood!

1st Corinthians 10:16-17
"Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf."
So you disagree with FormerReformer that the "field" in the parable is the world?

He can disagree with me all he wants, who am I? The tares passage is another one of those biblical passages with a built-in translation- Matthew 13:38, "The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one."

However, I think this is more a case of jnorm conceding ground in order to make a point: even if the wheat and tares grow together, they grow together in a very visible field.
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« Reply #119 on: January 02, 2012, 12:28:43 PM »

A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd

Also, your exegesis of the wheat and tares is faulty: the wheat and tares grow together, not because no one can tell the difference, but because the process of uprooting the tares would uproot some of the wheat as well (as plants grow near each other their roots often become entangled- and you can't get rid of the tares by any other process than uprooting, otherwise they grow back- pulling one plant up pulls up the plant next to it as well).

The quote above was just a way of opting out. Sometimes it's easier to play to the stereotype especially if you feel you're not getting anywhere.

God is the only one who can know a person's heart and if they are sealed with His Spirit, i don't see how any of us can know whether someone is saved or not. I should have provided a separate reference for that particular statement. I apologise for being misleading.

The field doesn't represent the Church, but the entire world. The passage doesn't refer to an invisible church at all, if anything the Church is quite visible, standing out as good food amongst the weeds.
The field does represent the world and in the world is the church which has all manner of people mixed in and growing together. (Matthew 3 12, Matthew 13:47, 2 Tim 2:20)
The two passages from Matthew don't say any more than the parable of wheat and tares, and stands more as a warning of coming judgement for the entire world. The Church is not mentioned here at all.

2 Timothy 2 is an interesting example (though verse 19 might have been more appropriate to your stance), but not in the way you seem to think. The entirety of the chapter is not about an "invisible" church but about those who depart from the apostolic teaching delivered by St Paul, starting with a reminder followed by simple creed then going into specific examples of what to watch for. The instruction to St Timothy is to expel heretics (2:16-17) from the Church; not to let them go on teaching whatever they wish, St Timothy being secure in the knowledge of an "invisible" church that continues on in the hearts of the "true" believer. The Church is visible, and as her local bishop in Ephesus St Timothy has the task of making the rounds and standing watch, separating out the goats from the lambs.

Ok let's try this another way.

If i ask you where the church is, will you give me a convoluted answer or can you point me to this visible church?

I can do both!  Cheesy

And will tomorrow, its entirely too late on the East Coast.

And as promised- the convoluted answer- Christianity these days is like a plot of land. We know where the boundaries of the land are and we've set a fence up as near those boundaries as possible. In the middle of the land is a house, the house is spacious and well stocked, has heat and light, and all other necessities in abundance and more. 8 year old Petey Jr decided he didn't like the house because he was kept from bossing his little sister Constance around, so he decided to run away- to a tent in the back yard. He took a lot of good food with him and set up next to the garden hose, but he also took a lot of candy and still thinks that mud pies might be edible. A few of his younger brothers went with him, and after a while got tired of his overbearing attitude and mud pies, so they ran away- to different areas of the yard. Some also set up in tents, others decided that dwelling places were the problem to begin with and that the oak tree with the tire swing provided all the shelter they needed. One or two decided to really run away and left the shelter of the fence entirely.

Now, Dad still calls all the kids home for supper, they can come if they wish, but if they insist on being rebellious they can go to bed without eating- except Dad is kinder than that- He sneaks around at night and leaves all his children with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, juice boxes, etc; the nourishment the growing kids will need for the next day. They can come into the house whenever they wish and get tastier food (we're having lasagna tonight) or they can continue playing house in the yard.

The house is the Church, those in the yard are those who left the Church but still adhere to the main tenets of Christianity (schismatics and the heterodox, note, however, that they still receive their nourishment from the house pantry), those who leave the yard entirely are heretics (Arians, Apollinarians, JWs, Mormons) who reject Trinitarian Christianity.

The non convoluted answer- The Orthodox Church. 2000 years of visibility, 2000 years of sound doctrine, 2000 years heresy free.
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« Reply #120 on: January 02, 2012, 01:06:03 PM »

Matthew 16:18...
quite simply the church is this church that Christ said will not be beaten, i see Christendom in three churches... Protestant church most DEFINITELY does not fall into this category, the Catholic church has not prevailed... they have changed shifted and swayed in their traditions and doctrines. In my research this only leaves Orthodoxy to remain as a church who is steadfast against changing traditions and upholding that which was past down!
That argument isn't going to wash unless you define "beaten." Protestants, other than Anglicans and Scandinavian Lutherans, define the Church prevailing as there being gatherings of true believers left on earth (for example, Calvin simply defined the Church as anywhere the Word of God is preached and communion and baptism served).
right but Protestants have as i mentioned an unsaid assumption that the church dies in the early stages and Catholicism became corrupt (there is almost no knowledge of Orthodoxy in most circles) So they see themselves almost as a Josiah restoring the temple. This is not inline with the words of Christ.
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« Reply #121 on: January 02, 2012, 01:11:26 PM »

right but Protestants have as i mentioned an unsaid assumption that the church dies in the early stages and Catholicism became corrupt (there is almost no knowledge of Orthodoxy in most circles) So they see themselves almost as a Josiah restoring the temple. This is not inline with the words of Christ.

+1 for using the example of King Josiah Smiley
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« Reply #122 on: January 02, 2012, 01:49:26 PM »

quite simply...

If it were that simple then this thread wouldn't be "WAYYY" too long for you to bother reading it.
You're the one driving this thread by complaining about how "complicated" the subject is.

Another one of your inaccurate observations?
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« Reply #123 on: January 02, 2012, 02:01:11 PM »

quite simply...

If it were that simple then this thread wouldn't be "WAYYY" too long for you to bother reading it.
You're the one driving this thread by complaining about how "complicated" the subject is.

Another one of your inaccurate observations?
No, it's actually quite accurate, as most anyone could surmise simply by reading this thread and seeing how many of the posts are yours. Wink
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« Reply #124 on: January 02, 2012, 02:38:22 PM »

I have never heard a satisfactory explanation to this verse from those who believe in an invisible church:

"If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth."

How could Paul be referring to an invisible church here? He is obviously referring to a physical real, visible insititution. "you will know how to conduct yourself in...the church of the living God..."

Is he talking about just the one, local church in Ephesus? Does he think that one church is the pillar and foundation of the truth? Of course not. He's talking about all the churches, the visible churches, all individually being the pillar and foundation of truth.

Further, is he talking about just the physical church building itself? Of course not. He is referring to the church as a gathering of an appointed bishop/overseer who has preserved the true doctrine handed down to him from the apostles and his faithful gathered around him in thanksgiving and worship. There is nothing invisible about this.


I doubt that my additions will cause any change to your experience; it's what i've been taught and believe to be true but i doubt it's anything you haven't heard before.

You're right, he couldn't be referring to the "physical church building" because the church is the body of people, God is our Father and we are his children so it's no surprise that we should be referred to as the house of God. All those sealed with the Spirit are the church of the living God and carry the responsibility of "going" and "telling" the gospel, thereby becoming vessels used of God to birth faith in others when they hear the word of God (faith comes by hearing the word of God - rhēma) it produces faith. Flesh and blood did not reveal what was needed to Peter and flesh and blood cannot cause someone's eyes to be opened only the Spirit of God can do that.

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« Reply #125 on: January 02, 2012, 02:42:25 PM »

quite simply...

If it were that simple then this thread wouldn't be "WAYYY" too long for you to bother reading it.
You're the one driving this thread by complaining about how "complicated" the subject is.

Another one of your inaccurate observations?
No, it's actually quite accurate, as most anyone could surmise simply by reading this thread and seeing how many of the posts are yours. Wink

A lot of the posts are mine, as i try my best not to skip over anyones response. Moreso recently as i've seen how other members have been pulled up for not answering points made in a thread.  Wink

Who knew that diligence could be frowned upon.
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« Reply #126 on: January 02, 2012, 02:43:23 PM »

right but Protestants have as i mentioned an unsaid assumption that the church dies in the early stages and Catholicism became corrupt (there is almost no knowledge of Orthodoxy in most circles) So they see themselves almost as a Josiah restoring the temple. This is not inline with the words of Christ.

+1 for using the example of King Josiah Smiley
haha i did find it quite fitting
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« Reply #127 on: January 02, 2012, 02:47:53 PM »


The non convoluted answer- The Orthodox Church. 2000 years of visibility, 2000 years of sound doctrine, 2000 years heresy free.

I willget to your convoluted response -- thanks for that  laugh

Can i just confirm that you would say there are true Christians that are not inside The Church?

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« Reply #128 on: January 02, 2012, 02:49:09 PM »

quite simply...

If it were that simple then this thread wouldn't be "WAYYY" too long for you to bother reading it.
You're the one driving this thread by complaining about how "complicated" the subject is.

Another one of your inaccurate observations?
No, it's actually quite accurate, as most anyone could surmise simply by reading this thread and seeing how many of the posts are yours. Wink

A lot of the posts are mine, as i try my best not to skip over anyones response. Moreso recently as i've seen how other members have been pulled up for not answering points made in a thread.  Wink

Who knew that diligence could be frowned upon.
Who's frowning? Huh I don't see anyone frowning.
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« Reply #129 on: January 02, 2012, 02:51:06 PM »


The non convoluted answer- The Orthodox Church. 2000 years of visibility, 2000 years of sound doctrine, 2000 years heresy free.

I willget to your convoluted response -- thanks for that  laugh

Can i just confirm that you would say there are true Christians that are not inside The Church?


ma'am you are confusing ecclisiology(?) in that statement. Orthodoxy is not as cut and dry as protestanism. to be within the church is to be a chrstian how good or bad of one is dependent upon the individual... a better question for you to get an answer would be will every member of orthodox church go to heave... answer no, well we dont know Wink
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« Reply #130 on: January 02, 2012, 02:53:33 PM »

I have never heard a satisfactory explanation to this verse from those who believe in an invisible church:

"If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth."

How could Paul be referring to an invisible church here? He is obviously referring to a physical real, visible insititution. "you will know how to conduct yourself in...the church of the living God..."

Is he talking about just the one, local church in Ephesus? Does he think that one church is the pillar and foundation of the truth? Of course not. He's talking about all the churches, the visible churches, all individually being the pillar and foundation of truth.

Further, is he talking about just the physical church building itself? Of course not. He is referring to the church as a gathering of an appointed bishop/overseer who has preserved the true doctrine handed down to him from the apostles and his faithful gathered around him in thanksgiving and worship. There is nothing invisible about this.


I doubt that my additions will cause any change to your experience; it's what i've been taught and believe to be true but i doubt it's anything you haven't heard before.

You're right, he couldn't be referring to the "physical church building" because the church is the body of people, God is our Father and we are his children so it's no surprise that we should be referred to as the house of God. All those sealed with the Spirit are the church of the living God and carry the responsibility of "going" and "telling" the gospel, thereby becoming vessels used of God to birth faith in others when they hear the word of God (faith comes by hearing the word of God - rhēma) it produces faith. Flesh and blood did not reveal what was needed to Peter and flesh and blood cannot cause someone's eyes to be opened only the Spirit of God can do that.



Well I did say he is not referring to "just the physical church building", but he is referring to a real gathering in a real physical place, is he not?

Otherwise this part wouldn't make a whole lot of sense..."you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household". If we are those being referred to as "God's household" here, would Paul telling us how to conduct ourselves within ourselves? ?? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Prior to this he is talking directly of the responsibility of the overseer and deacons and their duties and functions within the church. He's talking about a real church, a gathering of people in a real place, with bishops and deacons.

I think it is a mistake to completely remove the physical aspect from this text, and i believe to do so renders this portion nearly incomprehensible.
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« Reply #131 on: January 02, 2012, 03:13:54 PM »


The non convoluted answer- The Orthodox Church. 2000 years of visibility, 2000 years of sound doctrine, 2000 years heresy free.

I willget to your convoluted response -- thanks for that  laugh

Can i just confirm that you would say there are true Christians that are not inside The Church?



I would say that all true Christians are inside the Church- just not necessarily in this present moment. This is not to be confused with an invisible church, however, just a Church that is not visible now in the same way that Florida is not visible from New York. Both are part of America, to one viewing from high enough up both can be seen together, and as one progresses down the I-95 corridor eventually one will see Florida in the distance. In the end, all Christians are Orthodox Christians, just some of the snowbirds happen to have been born in England or Norway.
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« Reply #132 on: January 02, 2012, 03:19:27 PM »


The non convoluted answer- The Orthodox Church. 2000 years of visibility, 2000 years of sound doctrine, 2000 years heresy free.

I willget to your convoluted response -- thanks for that  laugh

Can i just confirm that you would say there are true Christians that are not inside The Church?


Ah just realized i mis read your post, Im sorry. all the same there is a misunderstanding in the terms for protestant and Orthodox. an orthodox will admit that they are not the only ones who will be in heaven. However they claim that they are the explicit ones who practice the traditions of Christ. so It depends on what understanding you use, Is a christian one who follows all of the traditions? i think most orthodox would say yes, then no you must be orthodox to be a "true" christian, however is a christian one who will inherit the kingdom of God? if this is your understanding then no one on this side of eternity will ever know.
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« Reply #133 on: January 02, 2012, 03:32:01 PM »

I think it is very difficult to dismiss from scripture that the Church of God is indeed a very visible thing, a local gathering of fellow believers with their bishops, deacons, etc. coming together to break bread and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the church that is the pillar and foundation of truth; not any of these members individually, but them coming together as one body in Christ.
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« Reply #134 on: January 02, 2012, 03:45:35 PM »

I think it is very difficult to dismiss from scripture that the Church of God is indeed a very visible thing, a local gathering of fellow believers with their bishops, deacons, etc. coming together to break bread and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the church that is the pillar and foundation of truth; not any of these members individually, but them coming together as one body in Christ.
See the thing about the invisible church theory isnt that there arent physical churchES but there isnt once single body that is the church universal. in scripture they will place those verses as being regulated to local churches not a overall body.
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« Reply #135 on: January 02, 2012, 04:03:38 PM »

I think it is very difficult to dismiss from scripture that the Church of God is indeed a very visible thing, a local gathering of fellow believers with their bishops, deacons, etc. coming together to break bread and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the church that is the pillar and foundation of truth; not any of these members individually, but them coming together as one body in Christ.
See the thing about the invisible church theory isnt that there arent physical churchES but there isnt once single body that is the church universal. in scripture they will place those verses as being regulated to local churches not a overall body.

I think that Orthodox do not place as much importance of the notion of "church universal" as Roman Catholics do. We are a complete and whole "church" in our local congregation with our bishop.
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« Reply #136 on: January 02, 2012, 04:10:18 PM »

i understand this what i mean was universal faith. as the idea of invisible church is to cover the groups that have differing faiths...

i.e. Baptists and pentecostals, under the invisible church idea, though clashing on almost every theological concept, they are able to claim to be part of this church invisible
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« Reply #137 on: January 02, 2012, 06:19:38 PM »

Matthew 16:18...
quite simply the church is this church that Christ said will not be beaten, i see Christendom in three churches... Protestant church most DEFINITELY does not fall into this category, the Catholic church has not prevailed... they have changed shifted and swayed in their traditions and doctrines. In my research this only leaves Orthodoxy to remain as a church who is steadfast against changing traditions and upholding that which was past down!
That argument isn't going to wash unless you define "beaten." Protestants, other than Anglicans and Scandinavian Lutherans, define the Church prevailing as there being gatherings of true believers left on earth (for example, Calvin simply defined the Church as anywhere the Word of God is preached and communion and baptism served).
right but Protestants have as i mentioned an unsaid assumption that the church dies in the early stages and Catholicism became corrupt (there is almost no knowledge of Orthodoxy in most circles) So they see themselves almost as a Josiah restoring the temple. This is not inline with the words of Christ.
Not really. Most Protestants I've known imagine that history is full of pockets of sometimes persecuted proto-Protestant groups on the margins of society (for example, they'll claim that St. Patrick was essentially a Protestant and that the Church in the British Isles was doing pretty well until Rome clamped down).

Btw, Luther and Calvin taught that St. Gregory the Dialogist was the last good Pope, so that's sixth century right there. It was the Anabaptists who began the idea that the true Church could some how vanish from the planet.
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« Reply #138 on: January 02, 2012, 06:29:44 PM »

the reformists yes they were closer to the traditions of the church, not the protestants for the majority, you have to keep in mind the protestant church holds very little sacred apart from scripture, they scorn many beliefs help but the founders of their church such as the ever virginity of Mary and the literal body of Christ in Eucharist. i believe there is a line to be drawn between protestant and reformer.

also we would always find pockets as you say to validate our positions. Again as protestants we have a need to validate ourselves to prove our legitimacy.
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« Reply #139 on: January 02, 2012, 06:38:04 PM »

Matthew 16:18...
quite simply the church is this church that Christ said will not be beaten, i see Christendom in three churches... Protestant church most DEFINITELY does not fall into this category, the Catholic church has not prevailed... they have changed shifted and swayed in their traditions and doctrines. In my research this only leaves Orthodoxy to remain as a church who is steadfast against changing traditions and upholding that which was past down!
That argument isn't going to wash unless you define "beaten." Protestants, other than Anglicans and Scandinavian Lutherans, define the Church prevailing as there being gatherings of true believers left on earth (for example, Calvin simply defined the Church as anywhere the Word of God is preached and communion and baptism served).
right but Protestants have as i mentioned an unsaid assumption that the church dies in the early stages and Catholicism became corrupt (there is almost no knowledge of Orthodoxy in most circles) So they see themselves almost as a Josiah restoring the temple. This is not inline with the words of Christ.
Not really. Most Protestants I've known imagine that history is full of pockets of sometimes persecuted proto-Protestant groups on the margins of society (for example, they'll claim that St. Patrick was essentially a Protestant and that the Church in the British Isles was doing pretty well until Rome clamped down).

Btw, Luther and Calvin taught that St. Gregory the Dialogist was the last good Pope, so that's sixth century right there. It was the Anabaptists who began the idea that the true Church could some how vanish from the planet.

As someone who grew up hearing a number of Baptist Landmarkist teachings, it was always funny for me to study the history of those put forward as "proto-Baptists" throughout history. Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari- not exactly the company I'd like to keep. The whole web depends on either a complete non-studying of history outside of Landmarkist texts or a stubborn insistence to read "facts" into the most casual blurb while insisting that since the history of these groups was recorded by Catholics its obviously distorted and untrustworthy.
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« Reply #140 on: January 02, 2012, 06:54:19 PM »

And as promised- the convoluted answer- Christianity these days is like a plot of land. We know where the boundaries of the land are and we've set a fence up as near those boundaries as possible. In the middle of the land is a house, the house is spacious and well stocked, has heat and light, and all other necessities in abundance and more. 8 year old Petey Jr decided he didn't like the house because he was kept from bossing his little sister Constance around, so he decided to run away- to a tent in the back yard. He took a lot of good food with him and set up next to the garden hose, but he also took a lot of candy and still thinks that mud pies might be edible. A few of his younger brothers went with him, and after a while got tired of his overbearing attitude and mud pies, so they ran away- to different areas of the yard. Some also set up in tents, others decided that dwelling places were the problem to begin with and that the oak tree with the tire swing provided all the shelter they needed. One or two decided to really run away and left the shelter of the fence entirely.

Now, Dad still calls all the kids home for supper, they can come if they wish, but if they insist on being rebellious they can go to bed without eating- except Dad is kinder than that- He sneaks around at night and leaves all his children with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, juice boxes, etc; the nourishment the growing kids will need for the next day. They can come into the house whenever they wish and get tastier food (we're having lasagna tonight) or they can continue playing house in the yard.

The house is the Church, those in the yard are those who left the Church but still adhere to the main tenets of Christianity (schismatics and the heterodox, note, however, that they still receive their nourishment from the house pantry), those who leave the yard entirely are heretics (Arians, Apollinarians, JWs, Mormons) who reject Trinitarian Christianity.

I enjoyed reading it but i don't think your analogy works for me.  Smiley

This brings us to the issue of what worshipping in spirit and truth means and what value has the organisational structure of the church. If you believe baptism and communion hold salvific value then i can see why there would be a need to emphasise a visible church for their safeguard. Jesus corrects the Samaritan woman about where to worship when she indicates a physical place to worship. He tells her since I am here in your midst, the Kingdom of God is with you. Surely Jesus is telling her to focus on Him, not her forefathers* and not to a local, geographical place for truth but to Him? For this reason, i am finding it hard to see why becoming a member of a visible church can make someone a Christian. Jesus is drawing the attention away from where and onto who (Him).

"What Jesus was teaching was that in the new age which he was inaugurating by his death and resurrection the place of worship would not matter, for a man or a woman would not worship merely by being in the right place and doing certain right things. The person would worship in his or her spirit, which could be anywhere."
Dr J M Boice Worship and Scripture: What is Worship?





*not that those who have gone before us have no value but that we can't look to man for revelatory truth, we have to look to God alone for our own personal revelation.
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« Reply #141 on: January 02, 2012, 06:57:55 PM »

Ma'am The context of that situation is off... Jesus was addressing a SINGLE place. Orthodox do not only worship in the church but also in the home, just as Christ taught. This does not take away the belief of the visible church.
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« Reply #142 on: January 02, 2012, 07:02:05 PM »

Ma'am The context of that situation is off... Jesus was addressing a SINGLE place. Orthodox do not only worship in the church but also in the home, just as Christ taught. This does not take away the belief of the visible church.

Please, enough with the Ma'am.
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« Reply #143 on: January 02, 2012, 07:19:04 PM »

either a ma'am or a sir Wink proper mannerisms is nothing to be frowned on:D

What was being addressed by Christ is that there would be no need for a temple. As Christians we are free to worship God anywhere, Walmart, Church, in the car, at home etc. No orthodox will dispute this. This however does not mean that the visible church body is null. The visible church is what safeguards our traditions and manner in how we worship not where.

an example in the 500 yearsish that Protestant church has existed there has been no regulation over doctrine and no accountability. These facts have led to factions such as Mormonism and Jehovah witness becoming existent. The Church holds within it the proper interpretations of scripture insights and wisdom of men and women who have struggled and finished the race we are still running. Its not a matter of local withing the visible church but a matter of practice.
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« Reply #144 on: January 02, 2012, 07:38:58 PM »

And as promised- the convoluted answer- Christianity these days is like a plot of land. We know where the boundaries of the land are and we've set a fence up as near those boundaries as possible. In the middle of the land is a house, the house is spacious and well stocked, has heat and light, and all other necessities in abundance and more. 8 year old Petey Jr decided he didn't like the house because he was kept from bossing his little sister Constance around, so he decided to run away- to a tent in the back yard. He took a lot of good food with him and set up next to the garden hose, but he also took a lot of candy and still thinks that mud pies might be edible. A few of his younger brothers went with him, and after a while got tired of his overbearing attitude and mud pies, so they ran away- to different areas of the yard. Some also set up in tents, others decided that dwelling places were the problem to begin with and that the oak tree with the tire swing provided all the shelter they needed. One or two decided to really run away and left the shelter of the fence entirely.

Now, Dad still calls all the kids home for supper, they can come if they wish, but if they insist on being rebellious they can go to bed without eating- except Dad is kinder than that- He sneaks around at night and leaves all his children with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, juice boxes, etc; the nourishment the growing kids will need for the next day. They can come into the house whenever they wish and get tastier food (we're having lasagna tonight) or they can continue playing house in the yard.

The house is the Church, those in the yard are those who left the Church but still adhere to the main tenets of Christianity (schismatics and the heterodox, note, however, that they still receive their nourishment from the house pantry), those who leave the yard entirely are heretics (Arians, Apollinarians, JWs, Mormons) who reject Trinitarian Christianity.

I enjoyed reading it but i don't think your analogy works for me.  Smiley

This brings us to the issue of what worshipping in spirit and truth means and what value has the organisational structure of the church. If you believe baptism and communion hold salvific value then i can see why there would be a need to emphasise a visible church for their safeguard. Jesus corrects the Samaritan woman about where to worship when she indicates a physical place to worship. He tells her since I am here in your midst, the Kingdom of God is with you. Surely Jesus is telling her to focus on Him, not her forefathers* and not to a local, geographical place for truth but to Him? For this reason, i am finding it hard to see why becoming a member of a visible church can make someone a Christian. Jesus is drawing the attention away from where and onto who (Him).

"What Jesus was teaching was that in the new age which he was inaugurating by his death and resurrection the place of worship would not matter, for a man or a woman would not worship merely by being in the right place and doing certain right things. The person would worship in his or her spirit, which could be anywhere."
Dr J M Boice Worship and Scripture: What is Worship?





*not that those who have gone before us have no value but that we can't look to man for revelatory truth, we have to look to God alone for our own personal revelation.

First- How can I possibly read the New Testament and NOT believe that Baptism and the Eucharist have salvific properties? My bone of contention with my Baptist upbringing was always that you were the worst sort of heretic if you didn't believe in a literal, six-day, 24-hrs-a-day creation, but the moment Our Lord says something about baptism saving or eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood all of a sudden we are supposed to interpret things metaphorically. Further, as regards Eucharist- if eating and drinking can be done unto my condemnation if done improperly (as St Paul tells us in I Corinthians) doesn't it stand to reason that if done properly it works in the opposite manner? If those who approach Communion in an improper spirit are sick and dying shouldn't those who approach in a proper spirit experience healing and life? Too, we safeguard the Holy Gifts not for our own benefit, but for yours, because by not apprehending that which you eat would be to eat and drink your damnation.

Second- the location of the local parish doesn't matter- as per Our Lord's instruction to the Samaritan woman. The Orthodox don't need opulent temples (though we like them), in cases of necessity we can start a mission in someone's garage (though we'd try to set aside that garage specifically for worship, you can't put your Ford in our Iconostasis, thank you). You will find no greater adherence to the idea of worshiping in Spirit and Truth than in Orthodoxy- the very term means "Proper glory (worship)". We don't depend on a local, geographic place for our worship- we do depend on the bishop "Wherever the bishop appear, there let the multitude also be" ( St Ignatius' Epistle to the Smyrneans, chapter 8 ), or the priest, for administration of the Eucharist. We don't hold our prayers in the parish alone, but we pray at home or work or anywhere.

Third- Looking to God alone for our "own personal revelation" is tilting dangerously toward Montanism. Not that we don't have a personal relationship with God- but most of that relationship is formed through the work of those who have gone on before- in the Gospels, the Epistles, the Psalms and Prophets. God speaks to us through others far more often than He speaks to us directly, and salvation is not an individual experience, but a corporate one. The very word "Church" (ekklessia) means "assembly" or "gathering". It is where two or three are gathered in Our Lord's name that He promises He will be, we are all given different gifts for the edification of each other. We are one Body, Christ is our head. My toe's personal revelation from my brain is worth squat if the rest of the leg doesn't get the message. Indeed, if my toe decides to curl under my foot while the rest of my leg has decided to step down, so that the toe is jammed or broken, I am seriously going to start doubting the decisions of my toe and be tempted to cut the darn thing off if it keeps it up. It is only by working in unison and concert that anything can be done, the minute every body part decides to start doing its own thing we no longer have a healthy body but an epileptic.



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« Reply #145 on: January 02, 2012, 07:42:06 PM »

This brings us to the issue of what worshipping in spirit and truth means and what value has the organisational structure of the church. If you believe baptism and communion hold salvific value then i can see why there would be a need to emphasise a visible church for their safeguard.

Don't forget the value we place on submitting to God's authority by submitting to our local bishops who were ordained by other bishops whose line of ordination goes back to those who were appointed by the apostles to govern over local churches, who were appointed by Christ Himself.

Quote
Jesus corrects the Samaritan woman about where to worship when she indicates a physical place to worship.

He tells her "Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.".

Quote
He tells her since I am here in your midst, the Kingdom of God is with you. Surely Jesus is telling her to focus on Him, not her forefathers* and not to a local, geographical place for truth but to Him?

Worship was based on the temple as God's dwelling place and the sacrifices made there in Jerusalem. Christ's death and resurrection is the fulfillment of all of those sacrifices, and Christ Himself is "Emmanuel", God with us. So our worship is based on the reality of Christ's death and resurrection. Orthodox worship isn't based on a physical location, but on the people of God, all the members (the bishop or an appointed presbyter presiding along with the people) joined together to proclaim and participate in this reality. This can happen anywhere. Someone once asked me what direction my church building faced, I confused him by answering that it faced northwest (Orthodox churches typically face east).
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« Reply #146 on: January 02, 2012, 09:35:02 PM »


[/quote]

The 'invisible' church i'm talking about is  "....within you" (Luke 17:21) and one where Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone, where the building grows. (Ephesians 2: 19-21)
[/quote]

So then how do these separate persons become the church?

Also, "....you", the human person, is not just the invisible human soul and spirit but also the physical, visible, living human body.  The whole person, spirit, soul, and physical body is deified by Christ (which is why Orthodox venerate relics). 
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« Reply #147 on: January 03, 2012, 02:34:13 AM »

Just a slight quip from me, Fountain pen, Your a smart person. But you often dont answer statments or entire posts. It makes some of these subjects very hard to follow. Otherwise, this is a blast to read.
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« Reply #148 on: January 03, 2012, 03:34:56 AM »

Just a slight quip from me, Fountain pen, Your a smart person. But you often dont answer statments or entire posts. It makes some of these subjects very hard to follow. Otherwise, this is a blast to read.

I don't mean to miss any but the holidays have been a busy time and i'm getting back to it as much as i can. Also, i'm not familiar with Orthodox dogma and some of it isn't that clear either so i've been reading a lot of new material recently and of course that's going to have an impact on how i respond. I'm not at all sure of my position in some areas.

If there's a specific post or point you want answered, tell me what it is and i'll do my best to respond to it.
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« Reply #149 on: January 03, 2012, 03:22:50 PM »

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



Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari- not exactly the company I'd like to keep.

I agree a lot of folks living the victor's history have come to see Protestantism as this innocent victim of Catholic and European corruption where as the early "Protestants" as you quoted were in fact quite violent and dangerous.  The violence of the Inquisition was a direct reaction to violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy.  Interesting how "proto-Protestantism" evolved as the logical replacement for Apostolic Succession to explain validity and legitimacy, even though Protestantism is a broken chain of history and further, who would want to be associated with all the historical heresiarchs Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #150 on: January 03, 2012, 07:16:28 PM »

To expand upon what jnorm said, Penny, you've basically got a false dichotomy going and you're also desacralizing matter. God doesn't act spiritually, He came in the flesh, eating, sleeping, dying on a wooden beam, rising in a body. He ministers to us with a book, pen and ink, and people's vocal chords and water and wine and bread (metaphorical or not, makes no difference in this context). Why are the elders commanded to anoint with oil? Why make a big deal about leadership passing through the laying on of hands? There's physical space and action right there, visible things being used as part of our salvation whether we meet in a building with icons and altars and incense or not.

The big problem I have with your view is it leaves no substantial meaning for the meeting together. If Jesus was preaching your view, I don't think He would have said, "Wherever two or three are gathered, there am I in the midst of them," He should have said, "Wherever at least one is gathered in my name..." One might as well just post on a website all there life and call that "Church." Your view doesn't just reject Orthodoxy, it rejects 90% of Protestantism and winds up with Harold Camping and Otis Q. Sellers. The corporate worship and Eucharist basically becomes a nonessential coffee klatsch because you're swapping the Catholicity (wholeness and completeness) of the local Church for the Catholicity of the individual. We're physical beings as well as spiritual and we're saved that way, in our bodies and in a community.

On the other side of the token, to say that the Church is visible is not of course to say she is only visible. Your point about being able to tell who is and is not in thus misses the point. He who is in the visible Church, might not be in it invisibly as well- he needs both. Just because the question of whether this works the other way around is a contested one does not invalidate the importance of the visible.

And in Orthodoxy, Jesus is still the visible head of the Church, He's there in the Flesh every Sunday  Wink
I do accept that the visible side to the church is important because the church is a body of people who all need to fellowship with each other for support, edification, for accountability, to glorify God and to collectively "shine". Of course i recognise the physical elements of church such as anointing with oil and laying on of hands. I've felt like laying a hand on, or two, on the odd occasion during service.

I believe that everything we do and are is sacred in a way because of who we are in Christ and our new redeemed nature. I don't believe the Spirit shows up when certain acts are performed in a service because i believe He is always with us and will never leave us. When believers assemble together and glorify God collectively it's not an act of worship that's performed but an overflow of a worshipping heart being expressed. That corporate expression of worship and adoration from a repentant heart (and i don't mean someone who has simply confessed recently but someone who is constantly lives in an attitude of repentance) is like a sweet smelling incense that is pleasing to God.

I would call that the church because there are church members there but i would equally point to other point to other places and say the church is there also. It seems as though orthodoxy doesn't do that even though it recognises that some of the church body are not known to the church, it still sees them as being outside of the church. Have i got that right? And if Orthodoxy recognises one who is in the visible church might not be in the invisible church then how can it anoint and baptise those when it believes baptism and the Eucharist to be sacred and salvific?
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« Reply #151 on: January 03, 2012, 09:02:54 PM »

Please forgive me for not having read all of the posts.

Orthodox doctrine does acknowledge an invisible church in a sense, though we usually refer to it as others 'being mystically connected to the Church'.
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« Reply #152 on: January 03, 2012, 09:03:52 PM »

I must admit to not having read all the comments, so I hope not to be stepping on anyone's toes. But I was wondering about this.

Hasn't the Ekklesia/Church always been a visible entity; Old and New Testament? Could Israel ever have been some kind of invisible, formless and diverse group of people all claiming to be members of the Ekklesia, but believing any doctrine that took their fancy?
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« Reply #153 on: January 03, 2012, 09:49:51 PM »

A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd

Also, your exegesis of the wheat and tares is faulty: the wheat and tares grow together, not because no one can tell the difference, but because the process of uprooting the tares would uproot some of the wheat as well (as plants grow near each other their roots often become entangled- and you can't get rid of the tares by any other process than uprooting, otherwise they grow back- pulling one plant up pulls up the plant next to it as well).

The quote above was just a way of opting out. Sometimes it's easier to play to the stereotype especially if you feel you're not getting anywhere.

God is the only one who can know a person's heart and if they are sealed with His Spirit, i don't see how any of us can know whether someone is saved or not. I should have provided a separate reference for that particular statement. I apologise for being misleading.

The field doesn't represent the Church, but the entire world. The passage doesn't refer to an invisible church at all, if anything the Church is quite visible, standing out as good food amongst the weeds.
The field does represent the world and in the world is the church which has all manner of people mixed in and growing together. (Matthew 3 12, Matthew 13:47, 2 Tim 2:20)
The two passages from Matthew don't say any more than the parable of wheat and tares, and stands more as a warning of coming judgement for the entire world. The Church is not mentioned here at all.

2 Timothy 2 is an interesting example (though verse 19 might have been more appropriate to your stance), but not in the way you seem to think. The entirety of the chapter is not about an "invisible" church but about those who depart from the apostolic teaching delivered by St Paul, starting with a reminder followed by simple creed then going into specific examples of what to watch for. The instruction to St Timothy is to expel heretics (2:16-17) from the Church; not to let them go on teaching whatever they wish, St Timothy being secure in the knowledge of an "invisible" church that continues on in the hearts of the "true" believer. The Church is visible, and as her local bishop in Ephesus St Timothy has the task of making the rounds and standing watch, separating out the goats from the lambs.

Ok let's try this another way.

If i ask you where the church is, will you give me a convoluted answer or can you point me to this visible church?

10760 Baltimore Avenue  Beltsville, MD 20705

Geeez that was easy

Here is the web address with driving directions:

http://holyapostlesorthodoxchurch.org/
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« Reply #154 on: January 03, 2012, 09:52:01 PM »

A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd

Also, your exegesis of the wheat and tares is faulty: the wheat and tares grow together, not because no one can tell the difference, but because the process of uprooting the tares would uproot some of the wheat as well (as plants grow near each other their roots often become entangled- and you can't get rid of the tares by any other process than uprooting, otherwise they grow back- pulling one plant up pulls up the plant next to it as well).

The quote above was just a way of opting out. Sometimes it's easier to play to the stereotype especially if you feel you're not getting anywhere.

God is the only one who can know a person's heart and if they are sealed with His Spirit, i don't see how any of us can know whether someone is saved or not. I should have provided a separate reference for that particular statement. I apologise for being misleading.

The field doesn't represent the Church, but the entire world. The passage doesn't refer to an invisible church at all, if anything the Church is quite visible, standing out as good food amongst the weeds.
The field does represent the world and in the world is the church which has all manner of people mixed in and growing together. (Matthew 3 12, Matthew 13:47, 2 Tim 2:20)
The two passages from Matthew don't say any more than the parable of wheat and tares, and stands more as a warning of coming judgement for the entire world. The Church is not mentioned here at all.

2 Timothy 2 is an interesting example (though verse 19 might have been more appropriate to your stance), but not in the way you seem to think. The entirety of the chapter is not about an "invisible" church but about those who depart from the apostolic teaching delivered by St Paul, starting with a reminder followed by simple creed then going into specific examples of what to watch for. The instruction to St Timothy is to expel heretics (2:16-17) from the Church; not to let them go on teaching whatever they wish, St Timothy being secure in the knowledge of an "invisible" church that continues on in the hearts of the "true" believer. The Church is visible, and as her local bishop in Ephesus St Timothy has the task of making the rounds and standing watch, separating out the goats from the lambs.

Ok let's try this another way.

If i ask you where the church is, will you give me a convoluted answer or can you point me to this visible church?

10760 Baltimore Avenue  Beltsville, MD 20705

Geeez that was easy

Here is the web address with driving directions:

http://holyapostlesorthodoxchurch.org/

Ha! I came "" this close to doing the same thing with my parish in my response- I even had the web-page loaded up to copy-paste the directions.
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« Reply #155 on: January 03, 2012, 10:08:49 PM »

To expand upon what jnorm said, Penny, you've basically got a false dichotomy going and you're also desacralizing matter. God doesn't act spiritually, He came in the flesh, eating, sleeping, dying on a wooden beam, rising in a body. He ministers to us with a book, pen and ink, and people's vocal chords and water and wine and bread (metaphorical or not, makes no difference in this context). Why are the elders commanded to anoint with oil? Why make a big deal about leadership passing through the laying on of hands? There's physical space and action right there, visible things being used as part of our salvation whether we meet in a building with icons and altars and incense or not.

The big problem I have with your view is it leaves no substantial meaning for the meeting together. If Jesus was preaching your view, I don't think He would have said, "Wherever two or three are gathered, there am I in the midst of them," He should have said, "Wherever at least one is gathered in my name..." One might as well just post on a website all there life and call that "Church." Your view doesn't just reject Orthodoxy, it rejects 90% of Protestantism and winds up with Harold Camping and Otis Q. Sellers. The corporate worship and Eucharist basically becomes a nonessential coffee klatsch because you're swapping the Catholicity (wholeness and completeness) of the local Church for the Catholicity of the individual. We're physical beings as well as spiritual and we're saved that way, in our bodies and in a community.

On the other side of the token, to say that the Church is visible is not of course to say she is only visible. Your point about being able to tell who is and is not in thus misses the point. He who is in the visible Church, might not be in it invisibly as well- he needs both. Just because the question of whether this works the other way around is a contested one does not invalidate the importance of the visible.

And in Orthodoxy, Jesus is still the visible head of the Church, He's there in the Flesh every Sunday  Wink
I do accept that the visible side to the church is important because the church is a body of people who all need to fellowship with each other for support, edification, for accountability, to glorify God and to collectively "shine". Of course i recognise the physical elements of church such as anointing with oil and laying on of hands. I've felt like laying a hand on, or two, on the odd occasion during service.

I believe that everything we do and are is sacred in a way because of who we are in Christ and our new redeemed nature. I don't believe the Spirit shows up when certain acts are performed in a service because i believe He is always with us and will never leave us. When believers assemble together and glorify God collectively it's not an act of worship that's performed but an overflow of a worshipping heart being expressed. That corporate expression of worship and adoration from a repentant heart (and i don't mean someone who has simply confessed recently but someone who is constantly lives in an attitude of repentance) is like a sweet smelling incense that is pleasing to God.

I would call that the church because there are church members there but i would equally point to other point to other places and say the church is there also. It seems as though orthodoxy doesn't do that even though it recognises that some of the church body are not known to the church, it still sees them as being outside of the church. Have i got that right? And if Orthodoxy recognises one who is in the visible church might not be in the invisible church then how can it anoint and baptise those when it believes baptism and the Eucharist to be sacred and salvific?

Not exactly. You may have heard this before, we say "We know where the Church is but we can't say with certainty where it is not".
We account for God's mercy outside the path to salvation that he set for all of us. The path he set has only one vehicle, The Church. You should not count too much on being an exception.

 We are the exact same Church founded on the day of Pentecost. Not an idea thought of on Pentecost. We are the exact same organization chronicled in the Book of Acts. We did not disband, we did not go away, we did not fall from the faith. We still exist. You can take a bus or drive a car and get to where we are and join us in Worship. We are not just a set of Principles. We have always existed physically since the day the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles who founded us ..

We are  Catholic meaning when we come together in a particular place the whole of the Church is there.

The Heterodox have a high view of Scripture and a low view of the Church.The Orthodox have a high view of scripture and a high view of The Church..

Questions?
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« Reply #156 on: January 03, 2012, 10:10:14 PM »

A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd

Also, your exegesis of the wheat and tares is faulty: the wheat and tares grow together, not because no one can tell the difference, but because the process of uprooting the tares would uproot some of the wheat as well (as plants grow near each other their roots often become entangled- and you can't get rid of the tares by any other process than uprooting, otherwise they grow back- pulling one plant up pulls up the plant next to it as well).

The quote above was just a way of opting out. Sometimes it's easier to play to the stereotype especially if you feel you're not getting anywhere.

God is the only one who can know a person's heart and if they are sealed with His Spirit, i don't see how any of us can know whether someone is saved or not. I should have provided a separate reference for that particular statement. I apologise for being misleading.

The field doesn't represent the Church, but the entire world. The passage doesn't refer to an invisible church at all, if anything the Church is quite visible, standing out as good food amongst the weeds.
The field does represent the world and in the world is the church which has all manner of people mixed in and growing together. (Matthew 3 12, Matthew 13:47, 2 Tim 2:20)
The two passages from Matthew don't say any more than the parable of wheat and tares, and stands more as a warning of coming judgement for the entire world. The Church is not mentioned here at all.

2 Timothy 2 is an interesting example (though verse 19 might have been more appropriate to your stance), but not in the way you seem to think. The entirety of the chapter is not about an "invisible" church but about those who depart from the apostolic teaching delivered by St Paul, starting with a reminder followed by simple creed then going into specific examples of what to watch for. The instruction to St Timothy is to expel heretics (2:16-17) from the Church; not to let them go on teaching whatever they wish, St Timothy being secure in the knowledge of an "invisible" church that continues on in the hearts of the "true" believer. The Church is visible, and as her local bishop in Ephesus St Timothy has the task of making the rounds and standing watch, separating out the goats from the lambs.

Ok let's try this another way.

If i ask you where the church is, will you give me a convoluted answer or can you point me to this visible church?

10760 Baltimore Avenue  Beltsville, MD 20705

Geeez that was easy

Here is the web address with driving directions:

http://holyapostlesorthodoxchurch.org/

Ha! I came "" this close to doing the same thing with my parish in my response- I even had the web-page loaded up to copy-paste the directions.

Go ahead and post it. It makes the point even stronger..
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 10:11:28 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

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« Reply #157 on: January 04, 2012, 01:15:21 AM »

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



Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari- not exactly the company I'd like to keep.

I agree a lot of folks living the victor's history have come to see Protestantism as this innocent victim of Catholic and European corruption where as the early "Protestants" as you quoted were in fact quite violent and dangerous.  The violence of the Inquisition was a direct reaction to violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy.  Interesting how "proto-Protestantism" evolved as the logical replacement for Apostolic Succession to explain validity and legitimacy, even though Protestantism is a broken chain of history and further, who would want to be associated with all the historical heresiarchs Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Could you direct me to some references to this "violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy" please, I have not heard this before and would like to read further on this. Thanks.
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« Reply #158 on: January 04, 2012, 01:17:51 AM »

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



Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari- not exactly the company I'd like to keep.

I agree a lot of folks living the victor's history have come to see Protestantism as this innocent victim of Catholic and European corruption where as the early "Protestants" as you quoted were in fact quite violent and dangerous.  The violence of the Inquisition was a direct reaction to violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy.  Interesting how "proto-Protestantism" evolved as the logical replacement for Apostolic Succession to explain validity and legitimacy, even though Protestantism is a broken chain of history and further, who would want to be associated with all the historical heresiarchs Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Could you direct me to some references to this "violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy" please, I have not heard this before and would like to read further on this. Thanks.
ummm read Irish history much? how about early American History? there has almost always been great animosity between protestants and Catholics. The Brits used to call the Irish polytheistic heretics.. Not to mention KKK targeting Catholics and Orthodox which were led by many protestant leaders...
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 01:20:23 AM by Seafra » Logged
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« Reply #159 on: January 04, 2012, 01:28:24 AM »

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



Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari- not exactly the company I'd like to keep.

I agree a lot of folks living the victor's history have come to see Protestantism as this innocent victim of Catholic and European corruption where as the early "Protestants" as you quoted were in fact quite violent and dangerous.  The violence of the Inquisition was a direct reaction to violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy.  Interesting how "proto-Protestantism" evolved as the logical replacement for Apostolic Succession to explain validity and legitimacy, even though Protestantism is a broken chain of history and further, who would want to be associated with all the historical heresiarchs Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Could you direct me to some references to this "violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy" please, I have not heard this before and would like to read further on this. Thanks.
ummm read Irish history much? how about early American History? there has almost always been great animosity between protestants and Catholics. The Brits used to call the Irish polytheistic heretics.. Not to mention KKK targeting Catholics and Orthodox which were led by many protestant leaders...
my misunderstanding, I thought he was referring to Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari.
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« Reply #160 on: January 04, 2012, 01:46:31 AM »

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



Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari- not exactly the company I'd like to keep.

I agree a lot of folks living the victor's history have come to see Protestantism as this innocent victim of Catholic and European corruption where as the early "Protestants" as you quoted were in fact quite violent and dangerous.  The violence of the Inquisition was a direct reaction to violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy.  Interesting how "proto-Protestantism" evolved as the logical replacement for Apostolic Succession to explain validity and legitimacy, even though Protestantism is a broken chain of history and further, who would want to be associated with all the historical heresiarchs Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Could you direct me to some references to this "violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy" please, I have not heard this before and would like to read further on this. Thanks.
ummm read Irish history much? how about early American History? there has almost always been great animosity between protestants and Catholics. The Brits used to call the Irish polytheistic heretics.. Not to mention KKK targeting Catholics and Orthodox which were led by many protestant leaders...
my misunderstanding, I thought he was referring to Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari.
Im unsure but i know that the Protestant church has a very dark history to it, especially toward its sister churches
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« Reply #161 on: January 04, 2012, 05:27:23 AM »

To expand upon what jnorm said, Penny, you've basically got a false dichotomy going and you're also desacralizing matter. God doesn't act spiritually, He came in the flesh, eating, sleeping, dying on a wooden beam, rising in a body. He ministers to us with a book, pen and ink, and people's vocal chords and water and wine and bread (metaphorical or not, makes no difference in this context). Why are the elders commanded to anoint with oil? Why make a big deal about leadership passing through the laying on of hands? There's physical space and action right there, visible things being used as part of our salvation whether we meet in a building with icons and altars and incense or not.

The big problem I have with your view is it leaves no substantial meaning for the meeting together. If Jesus was preaching your view, I don't think He would have said, "Wherever two or three are gathered, there am I in the midst of them," He should have said, "Wherever at least one is gathered in my name..." One might as well just post on a website all there life and call that "Church." Your view doesn't just reject Orthodoxy, it rejects 90% of Protestantism and winds up with Harold Camping and Otis Q. Sellers. The corporate worship and Eucharist basically becomes a nonessential coffee klatsch because you're swapping the Catholicity (wholeness and completeness) of the local Church for the Catholicity of the individual. We're physical beings as well as spiritual and we're saved that way, in our bodies and in a community.

On the other side of the token, to say that the Church is visible is not of course to say she is only visible. Your point about being able to tell who is and is not in thus misses the point. He who is in the visible Church, might not be in it invisibly as well- he needs both. Just because the question of whether this works the other way around is a contested one does not invalidate the importance of the visible.

And in Orthodoxy, Jesus is still the visible head of the Church, He's there in the Flesh every Sunday  Wink
I do accept that the visible side to the church is important because the church is a body of people who all need to fellowship with each other for support, edification, for accountability, to glorify God and to collectively "shine". Of course i recognise the physical elements of church such as anointing with oil and laying on of hands. I've felt like laying a hand on, or two, on the odd occasion during service.

I believe that everything we do and are is sacred in a way because of who we are in Christ and our new redeemed nature. I don't believe the Spirit shows up when certain acts are performed in a service because i believe He is always with us and will never leave us. When believers assemble together and glorify God collectively it's not an act of worship that's performed but an overflow of a worshipping heart being expressed. That corporate expression of worship and adoration from a repentant heart (and i don't mean someone who has simply confessed recently but someone who is constantly lives in an attitude of repentance) is like a sweet smelling incense that is pleasing to God.

I would call that the church because there are church members there but i would equally point to other point to other places and say the church is there also. It seems as though orthodoxy doesn't do that even though it recognises that some of the church body are not known to the church, it still sees them as being outside of the church. Have i got that right? And if Orthodoxy recognises one who is in the visible church might not be in the invisible church then how can it anoint and baptise those when it believes baptism and the Eucharist to be sacred and salvific?

Not exactly. You may have heard this before, we say "We know where the Church is but we can't say with certainty where it is not".
We account for God's mercy outside the path to salvation that he set for all of us. The path he set has only one vehicle, The Church. You should not count too much on being an exception.

We are the exact same Church founded on the day of Pentecost. Not an idea thought of on Pentecost. We are the exact same organization chronicled in the Book of Acts. We did not disband, we did not go away, we did not fall from the faith. We still exist. You can take a bus or drive a car and get to where we are and join us in Worship. We are not just a set of Principles. We have always existed physically since the day the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles who founded us ..

We are  Catholic meaning when we come together in a particular place the whole of the Church is there.

The Heterodox have a high view of Scripture and a low view of the Church.The Orthodox have a high view of scripture and a high view of The Church..

Questions?


None for you. I think i'll wait for Vol's response, thanks.
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« Reply #162 on: January 04, 2012, 06:03:06 AM »

Habte is talking about the Cathari (otherwise known as Albigensians), thirteenth century Gnostics who, with the backing of some local princes burned down Churches and assassinated clergy in the south of France leading to a Papal Crusade against them. The third century Donatists of North Africa also had a radical faction called the Circumcelians who roamed the countryside in gangs, attacking people with clubs hoping to be "martyred" when their victims defended themselves.

Calling the Albigensians and Circumcelians "proto-Protestants" is misleading because they would be considered heretical by today's Protestant churches anyway. I was referring to what are essentially arguments from silence I've seen that posit some kind of "Bible believing" church in the caves of medieval Europe that we no evidence for.
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« Reply #163 on: January 04, 2012, 06:24:29 AM »

I do accept that the visible side to the church is important because the church is a body of people who all need to fellowship with each other for support, edification, for accountability, to glorify God and to collectively "shine". Of course i recognise the physical elements of church such as anointing with oil and laying on of hands. I've felt like laying a hand on, or two, on the odd occasion during service.
How important to you can it possibly be if it isn't "part of" the Bride?
I believe that everything we do and are is sacred in a way because of who we are in Christ and our new redeemed nature.
Agreed.
I don't believe the Spirit shows up when certain acts are performed in a service because i believe He is always with us and will never leave us.
You quoted Jesus as saying, "Wherever two or three are gathered in My name..." does this mean when a believer is alone in a room, Jesus isn't there? God was present always with the Hebrews and yet He asked for a Tabernacle and later a Temple (Solomon even said at the dedication that the heavens themselves cannot contain God). And when the priests entered, God manifested in power, in a way He wasn't doing all the all the other moments of the day. God is with us always, yes. But there are times and places where He makes Himself known to us in a particular way and intensity.

The Orthodox epiklesis does not ask the Spirit to come down as if He were not already present, it simply asks Him to act upon the bread and wine and make Jesus present in a particular and physical way.
When believers assemble together and glorify God collectively it's not an act of worship that's performed but an overflow of a worshipping heart being expressed. That corporate expression of worship and adoration from a repentant heart (and i don't mean someone who has simply confessed recently but someone who is constantly lives in an attitude of repentance) is like a sweet smelling incense that is pleasing to God.
Eh, that's kind of six of one and a half dozen of the other. An overflow is still an act.
I would call that the church because there are church members there but i would equally point to other point to other places and say the church is there also. It seems as though orthodoxy doesn't do that even though it recognises that some of the church body are not known to the church, it still sees them as being outside of the church. Have i got that right?
I think it is more accurate to say they are part of the one Church though unawares. That's the rationale behind bishops who receive ex-RCs and Protestants with only Chrismation instead of a full-on baptism. It's recognize that the baptism, though incorrect was still performed with a sincere heart and so God is kind "filling it out" in response to the person's seeking after Him. They were already saved eternally (or not depending on whether they apostatized) and God is bringing into the visible church temporally. That's the way I understand it anyway, taking into account God's foreknowledge and such.
And if Orthodoxy recognises one who is in the visible church might not be in the invisible church then how can it anoint and baptise those when it believes baptism and the Eucharist to be sacred and salvific?

The same way a Protestant minister might baptize someone even they could be insincere in their confession of faith, they do it in hope that the person is really saved.
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« Reply #164 on: January 04, 2012, 10:05:44 PM »

Okay, then I have a question. In what year did the Church disappear and become invisible?

We know it existed. It got itself organized and then spread out, had a structure and ways to solve internal disagreements.

When did it change from actually existing physically to simply a shared idea? When was that exactly?

Thanks 
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« Reply #165 on: January 05, 2012, 04:17:27 AM »

lol when the protestants felt left out
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« Reply #166 on: January 05, 2012, 09:33:20 AM »

In what year did the Church disappear and become invisible?

Perhaps the Rapture happened and we all got left behind.
 Wink
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« Reply #167 on: January 05, 2012, 10:43:47 AM »

In what year did the Church disappear and become invisible?

Perhaps the Rapture happened and we all got left behind.
 Wink
Why are we wondering? Go to the source:



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« Reply #168 on: January 05, 2012, 11:13:03 AM »

There are two types of Religion. The first is "Religion in Principle". It is based on merits and virtues bundled up together that you shoot for. Everything is symbolic. The Eucharist, if needed at all, is a mere symbol. "The Church" is a shared idea. The human body is a husk covering the real you, your soul ( or if you're Gnostic, God inside of you). Worship  is centered around Preaching so we can be filled up with information and more and more idea's.

The other type of Religion is based on "Actual Manifestation", that is to say, concrete existence. The Eucharist is Actually the Body  blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. The Church is factually and in reality joined to Christ.   Both body and soul need to be saved.

It's not that we don't need good information or correct understanding, but we focus on emptying ourselves of passions and sin and gain humility rather than filling ourselves up with factoids. We try to actually practice the full art of salvation.

It's like the person who says they have read all the books about Zen Meditation. They agree Zen Meditation is good and they know all about it........... but they don't actually meditate.

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« Reply #169 on: January 05, 2012, 11:29:58 AM »

Okay, then I have a question. In what year did the Church disappear and become invisible?

We know it existed. It got itself organized and then spread out, had a structure and ways to solve internal disagreements.

When did it change from actually existing physically to simply a shared idea? When was that exactly?

Thanks 

Love it! You're my hero! Grin
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« Reply #170 on: January 05, 2012, 04:23:13 PM »

I do accept that the visible side to the church is important because the church is a body of people who all need to fellowship with each other for support, edification, for accountability, to glorify God and to collectively "shine". Of course i recognise the physical elements of church such as anointing with oil and laying on of hands. I've felt like laying a hand on, or two, on the odd occasion during service.
How important to you can it possibly be if it isn't "part of" the Bride?
It's as important as works is to faith. We are saved by faith through grace and the evidence of that faith will be works, or the faith is dead. So we are saved through