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Author Topic: Church Invisible  (Read 12524 times) Average Rating: 0
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PeterTheAleut
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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

PP
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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?


« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 09:15:22 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

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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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