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Author Topic: Traditions of Men vs Traditions of God  (Read 3099 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 12, 2012, 08:54:43 AM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)


Orthodox make a distinction between tradition of men and traditions of God.

Could one of you explain a little more about this please? Thank you.
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012, 09:05:16 AM »

Here something I wrote elsewhere recently... rather than trying to reinvent the post I'll just repost it here...
_____________
Do the Orthodox follow the traditions of men?

Jesus rebukes Pharisees a number of times for placing the traditions of men over the will of God (Matt. 15:3; cf Mk. 7:8 ). Sts. Paul and Peter do as well (Col. 2:8; Tit. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:18) Yet to take these verses in isolation, without considering them in the context of the rest of Scripture, would be a mistake. I would argue that these verses don't condemn all traditions of men, but only those that lead someone away from God.

However, before we can speak of traditions we need to speak of authority--that is, who can come up with these traditions? I think anyone can be part of a new tradition (or new take on an old tradition) starting, but only certain people have the authority to validate it. All in the Church are cells in the theanthropic body of Christ (Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 4:12), "church of the living God, the pillar and ground of fruth" (I Tim. 3:15). Yet it is the apostles and prophets who are the foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20). It is true that, ideally, we would all have one mind in Christ (1 Cor. 2:16; cf Phil. 2:5; 1 Pet. 4:1), but things are rarely ideal.

That's why there are specifically appointed leaders in the Church, who act in times when decisions must be made (Acts 15, 21). Even Paul, for all his boldness, went at first only to the leaders of the early Church when wishing to converse on things of faith (Gal. 1:18-19; 2:1-10). St. Paul even went so far to say that: "I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain." (Gal. 2:2)  Thus even someone given the Gospel and revelations by God thought it necessary to check with the Church to make sure he was on the right course.

Jesus Christ spoke of this authority when he said, in the Gospel of John: "And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." (Jn. 22:23)  So to do we find mentions of this authority in the rest of the New Testament, such as when the author of Hebrews said: "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." (Heb. 13:17)

It is with this authority that the Church can validate that a tradition is godly, though this is not always done explicitly. Often a tacit acceptance is enough. And if the tradition leads the flock astray, the Church deals with it, modifying or abolishing the tradition. Since the early days the Church kept to customs and ordinances (1 Cor. 11:2; 1 Cor. 11:16), and Paul even seems to link faithfulness to traditions with salvation: "Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,  Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work." (2 Thes. 2:14-17)

St. John Chrysostom, commenting on this passages, says that: "it is clear that they did not deliver all things by epistle, but many things also unwritten, and in like manner both the one and the other are worthy of credit. Therefore let us think the tradition of the Church also worthy of credit." (Homily 4 on Second Thessalonians)

As St. Vincent of Lerins and others have observed, tradition also serves the role of helping people avoid inaccurate interpretations of Scripture. However, tradition does not provide an infallible protection in this role, but rather is part of a system of checks and balances that works, over the course of time and through many different people and mechanisms, to sift the sands of thought and practice so that only the real and helpful and truthful remain.

In this way, tradition is a living out of Scripture, and Scripture is a manifestation of tradition. Tradition is the passing on of, and a manifestation of, that which is Godly. And we do not merely follow tradition, but rather we are a part of tradition ourselves, being the most recent link in a chain that stretches back nearly twenty centuries. Tradition is not dead, but living--it lives in us each moment, moving through time. Nor is tradition rigid or confining--unless the will of God requires rigidity or boundaries to be set.

With that in mind, even the most recent practice or modification in Orthodoxy, if it is not against the will of God, may be a new piece of fruit on the living tree called Tradition. Tradition is not simply the past or ancient fruit, then, but the fruit from all ages which has been beneficial for salvation, produced from the tree that God planted on earth, his Church. Now if any tradition separates you from God, you shouldn't follow it... yet if God is guiding the body of Christ, then you can trust that it will guide the Church into customs and practices which help people attain salvation.
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2012, 09:30:44 AM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)


Orthodox make a distinction between tradition of men and traditions of God.

Could one of you explain a little more about this please? Thank you.

IMHO the whole "traditions of men" thing is just an exercise in name calling to put down whatever doctrine/custom any particular person or group may find themselves in disagrement with. From what I can tell, this is rooted in a rejection of both the authority of the Church and historical consistency/context in favor of using only a person or group's interpretation of scripture. While I do believe the Holy Spirit can and does give inspiration and guidance in leading the believer and the Church, I also believe that historical consistency and context needs to be taken into account, and also asking what is being said/done in any given doctrine/practice and why it matters.

Anyway, my personal opinion on determining if something is of "men" vs "God" would be to at least start with where this distinction is most clearly made and what is being said, a prime example being Peter's confession of faith. Forgive me for being lazy, but I'm just going to quote some thoughts I shared on my blog a while back.

Quote
Just as Christ asked His disciples "who do you say that I am?", this confession of faith is essential being one of Christ's disciples. What do we confess? That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. He is the Messiah that came in fulfillment of the entire Old Testament prophecied to the Jews who were chosen as God's people to bring His Son into the world. Christ's Father is God, and with God as His Father, he is of the same divinity of his Father and Lord over all of creation. As Christians, we acknowledge Christ's Lordship and worship and glorify Him accordingly. We are to dedicate our lives and very existence to living in accordance under His authority.

The contrast between this confession and any other is made clear. Jesus asked "who do men say that I am?", implying that any other confession is of men and not of God. These answers have their origin in human imagination. When Jesus asked "who do you say that I am?", He was identifying the answer to what one must believe in order to be His disciple. The question was asked to all of His disciples, and when Peter spoke, he gave the one answer that was on everyone's mind. Giving this answer to this question is part of what identifies one as being a disciple of Christ. One can not give any other answer or deny this statement of faith in proclaiming who Jesus is and still remotely claim to be a Christian.

Christ also told Peter that this was not revealed by flesh and blood, that is that it does not originate in the mind of man, but is revealed by His Father and has it's origin in the revelation of God. This contrast between the doctrines of men and of God is found in the apostolic preaching in the New Testament. Paul expressed the divine nature of the message of the Gospel and proclamation of faith in his first letter to the Thessalonians when he said "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." in reference to the message as recorded in Acts "that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ."
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 02:37:40 PM »

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

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)


Orthodox make a distinction between tradition of men and traditions of God.

Could one of you explain a little more about this please? Thank you.

Please do us a favor so we can all avoid a mutual foot in mouth moment.

Explain to us your perspective of how Orthodox is the traditions of men, and we will do our best to politely explain our own perspectives.  We already have a standard dichotomy, we in the Orthodox believe our Tradition is not of men, but of God through the Holy Spirit, and you have inferred that you disagree, is there anything more specific you disagree with and could you explain?

How bout we make it easy.

1) How is liturgical worship and prayer a tradition of men separated from God?

2) How are icons traditions of men?

3) How is the Holy Communion being literally God's Flesh and Blood a tradition of men?

4) How is Sola Scriptura NOT a tradition of men?



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 02:47:45 PM »

Asteriktos already did a great job explaining this, so I'll be short.

To me, a "tradition of God" is something that draws us closer to Christ, or has scriptural basis. For example, iconography has its roots in the Old Testament.

A tradition of man can be a simple cultural exchange that doesn't really have a lot of dogmatic meaning to it.

For example, it is tradition amongst Ukrainians that when someone important comes to your home you greet them with bread and salt. Ukraine is known for her wheat (the yellow in the flag represents the wheat, the azure the sky) and bread and salt are sort of "here, you need this to live, so we give it to you while wearing ridiculous costumes!" (say it with Slavic accent and it becomes funny)



("Why must we wear such funny hats?!")



("Here is your last meal before you will be arrested for standing up for democracy!")



(Don't they know carbs are out?! Protein is in!)

Because of this tradition, whenever a Bishop visits a parish, the first thing that happens is they are greeted by the young girls in the parish in said ridiculous costumes with bread and salt.

Now, if we did not do this, would we go to hell? My Ukrainian Baba says yes, but her opinion is not relevant to this discussion.  Wink

The true answer, is no. It's a custom of man.
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2012, 02:47:48 AM »


Explain to us your perspective of how Orthodox is the traditions of men, and we will do our best to politely explain our own perspectives. 

How bout we make it easy.


2) How are icons traditions of men?


Let's take this one for instance then.

Though some of us might accept that because iconic imagery has been used in religious worship historically that it is sanctioned for continued use, how the Orthodox community have developed its usage, many would see as a tradition of man. Man has added to or in some way stretched its usage outside of its original context to such an extent that it has now become a completely different animal with a life of its own.

I don't really want to get into a discussion about icons per se but possibly you could explain to me what you see as being a tradition of man. What would you consider that phrase to mean given that we are warned against it?

(Mark, chapter 7)

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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2012, 03:21:42 AM »

Quote
Though some of us might accept that because iconic imagery has been used in religious worship historically that it is sanctioned for continued use, how the Orthodox community have developed its usage, many would see as a tradition of man. Man has added to or in some way stretched its usage outside of its original context to such an extent that it has now become a completely different animal with a life of its own.

Care to provide evidence that this is so, FountainPen? This is quite an allegation you're making, particularly by someone who seems to have had no direct practical experience of Orthodoxy, and more so regarding its use and regard for icons.
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2012, 03:47:56 PM »

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

Explain to us your perspective of how Orthodox is the traditions of men, and we will do our best to politely explain our own perspectives. 

How bout we make it easy.


2) How are icons traditions of men?


Let's take this one for instance then.

Though some of us might accept that because iconic imagery has been used in religious worship historically that it is sanctioned for continued use, how the Orthodox community have developed its usage, many would see as a tradition of man. Man has added to or in some way stretched its usage outside of its original context to such an extent that it has now become a completely different animal with a life of its own.

I don't really want to get into a discussion about icons per se but possibly you could explain to me what you see as being a tradition of man. What would you consider that phrase to mean given that we are warned against it?

(Mark, chapter 7)



Personally, I feel that Christ wasn't talking about any particular tradition over another, rather He was discussing the approach.  Even Orthodox Traditions of the Holy Spirit can become traditions of men when folks follow them out of themselves and not a connection with God.  What Christ was admonishing then was that Christians continually delve into the Holy Spirit and not themselves for spiritual guidance and correction.  ALL the traditions are of men if we do not take them in prayer to God.  Christ wants us to be centered on Him, and then all our lives will conform.

With Icons, of course they are human traditions in the sense that we have not photographs of the Saints, and yet, even if we did, these photographs are captured with human created technology and as we all know, can easily be manipulated even long before the advent of computers, and whats worse, even if two human beings look at the same exact image they may see differences in their own minds and disagree as if they were not physically one image.  So Icons are inherently human creations, but INSPIRED by the Holy Spirit, by a communication with God, and hence become in action a Tradition of God.  An icon by itself is nothing but some abstract blobs of pigment and color, but when a Christian venerates and prays to God through an Icon it becomes in action a Tradition of God in the verb sense.  Essentially, and icon is a Divine Rorsharch test, we see what we will see, and hopefully that is God Smiley

So if Orthodox Christians are not spiritually aiming at God, then any of our traditions become the vain traditions of men.  But I do not believe there are arbitrary "this is God" and "this is man" because ALL traditions of God are interpreted by human beings, because they are human actions.

In the Church, we call Traditions of God those which are synergetic, that is, those which are human beings cooperating in synergy with God.  So ALL Traditions of God must inherently come into the world through human hands and hearts.  It is when humans are removed from their connection with God, even just temporarily, then their traditions become of men.  Could you explain to me how exactly you define a Tradition of God and what is the demarcating line of difference?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 10:38:19 PM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

Can you back-up the idea that "we should not follow traditions of men"?

I know Mark 7 warns us against rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your own tradition (verse 9), but that's not exactly the same as saying "we should not follow traditions of men".
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2012, 03:08:05 AM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

Can you back-up the idea that "we should not follow traditions of men"?

I know Mark 7 warns us against rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your own tradition (verse 9), but that's not exactly the same as saying "we should not follow traditions of men".

Peter J, i don't understand what you're asking as you've chopped my statement in half and left off the "...but instead be led by the Spirit of God" which provides the contrast to "traditions of men". This is exactly what scripture teaches in Mark 7, 1 Corinthians 2, Colossians 2, 2 Thesselonians 3, Matthew 15, Acts 5 and many other places tell us to follow God instead of man, be it wisdom, traditions, philosophy etc.

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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2012, 03:15:31 AM »

The Orthodox follow the faith and teachings of the Apostles. Last time I checked, they were men.

And, FountainPen, any reply to post #6?
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2012, 12:03:38 PM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

Can you back-up the idea that "we should not follow traditions of men"?

I know Mark 7 warns us against rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your own tradition (verse 9), but that's not exactly the same as saying "we should not follow traditions of men".

Peter J, i don't understand what you're asking as you've chopped my statement in half and left off the "...but instead be led by the Spirit of God" which provides the contrast to "traditions of men".

What don't you understand? I'll try my best to clarify.

If you look at my post again, I think you'll see that I quoted your entire sentence (and the next one)

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

even though I asked about one specific part of it.
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2012, 12:42:23 PM »

Arent a lot of these "traditions of men" also traditions of God??

God revealed to Moses what Temple worship should look like in Exodus 25-27.  This was based on what the worship in Heaven looked like.  We also see glimpses of what Heavenly worship looked like in Revelation (chapter 4 and 5).  God makes it pretty clear to Moses how he desired to be worshipped.  The "traditions" werent just made up by men, but they were revealed in the OT by God.  Worship was based on this pattern.  Now we know that Christ didnt come to abolish the law and the prophets, but rather to fulfill it (Mat. 5).   The apostles knew this, and that is why early Christian worship was based on the pattern we see revealed to Moses in the OT. 

So, these "traditions of men" are based on the Traditions of God that were found in Jewish liturgical worship.

if I am wrong, which I could be, feel free to correct me.
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2012, 11:12:47 PM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)


Orthodox make a distinction between tradition of men and traditions of God.

Could one of you explain a little more about this please? Thank you.

I would say that a tradition of man is one that is of God,  but ends up being used as a tool of abuse,to promote individuals vices and worldliness.    I would also say a tradition of man is to be lead by the latest  leader  pastor, author, etc. who goes back and forth tossing his newest (all based on scripture of course) idea's out, which are tried  until the next great idea or sermon comes along and tickles the ears of an individual.
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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2012, 05:15:08 AM »


And, FountainPen, any reply to post #6?

LBK, i'm working on it  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2012, 12:29:53 PM »

This is not a direct attack on anyone, but a progressive question of logic.

1. A group of folks leave the historical Church (im leaving RC or OC details out of it, we'll all agree ot was either Orthodoxy or the RC so lets leave that alone Wink )

2. They all group around and come to their own conclusions about what scripture says, and how it legitimizes their ideas.

3. They "remove" books from scripture that have been accepted from BC times and TRY to remove new Testament books that dont agree with their ideas.

4. They then say (and still do) that theirs is a tradition of God and the former is tradition of man.

How is this even remotely possible?

PP
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« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2012, 12:44:43 PM »

This is not a direct attack on anyone, but a progressive question of logic.

1. A group of folks leave the historical Church (im leaving RC or OC details out of it, we'll all agree ot was either Orthodoxy or the RC so lets leave that alone Wink )

2. They all group around and come to their own conclusions about what scripture says, and how it legitimizes their ideas.

3. They "remove" books from scripture that have been accepted from BC times and TRY to remove new Testament books that dont agree with their ideas.

4. They then say (and still do) that theirs is a tradition of God and the former is tradition of man.

How is this even remotely possible?

PP
Its not, particularly when they get their Bible manuscripts for those Churches they say is the tradition of man.
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« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2012, 01:00:59 PM »

Quote
You can't make it up as you go along. It has to be inherited.
Where we chiefly inherit things is in our worship, but I don't
need to address that point at length, you've heard that a lot
from last night to today, that's where it's chiefly handed on is in
the worship. And precisely in respect to the worship is where St.
Paul said it. I hand it on to you that which I also receive. When
we hand on the tradition, how do we hand it on? Every time
somebody comes up and opens his mouth and the priest takes
from the chalice and puts in his mouth and says the servant of
God receives, he is handing on the tradition. You see, it's not
ideal, it's res(?), . . . the Greek word, it's pragma. It's something
concrete. You hand on the tradition when you dunk somebody
under the water. The teaching is handed on in a context of
worship that's very concrete. And we don't want to mess with
that. There should be a certain creativity in a culture, but it
should not destroy the culture itself. I've been struck by the fact
that in the Antiochian Archdiocese I think one of the bishops
told me we have 4000 pieces of music that have been approved
in our archdiocese. So it's not unproductive. One of the melodies
you heard last night at vespers I believe was written by Bishop
Basil, the one toward the end. Umm . . . I can't hum it for you. I'm
not good, I'd croak it out. And the fact that in our own hymnal is
a loose leaf binder tells you a lot. It tells you a great deal. There's creativity going on. We don't print them out; we put
them in loose leaf binders. It's something alive and so forth. But
we don't destroy what we receive by what we create within that,
because part of the tradition, part of the culture, is the renewal
of the cell life. You have to have a certain protein within the
culture for renewal. Those who transmit the tradition, therefore,
must be constantly receiving of the past even as they hand it on
to the future. Otherwise, they will not be handing on a living
reality. For this reason, there is no culture without a moral and
intellectual commitment.
http://lifegivingspring.info/LGS/audio/TraditionAndCulture.pdf
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« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2012, 01:09:26 PM »

This is not a direct attack on anyone, but a progressive question of logic.

1. A group of folks leave the historical Church (im leaving RC or OC details out of it, we'll all agree ot was either Orthodoxy or the RC so lets leave that alone Wink )

2. They all group around and come to their own conclusions about what scripture says, and how it legitimizes their ideas.

3. They "remove" books from scripture that have been accepted from BC times and TRY to remove new Testament books that dont agree with their ideas.

4. They then say (and still do) that theirs is a tradition of God and the former is tradition of man.

How is this even remotely possible?

PP

I basically agree with you regarding #4 (that is to say, I think it's silly for Protestants to say that "theirs is a tradition of God and the former is tradition of man") but I take issue with your post otherwise.

For one thing you say

Quote
They "remove" books from scripture that have been accepted from BC times and

but Protestants (and some Anglicans) can just as easily say that you (Catholics and Orthodox) "added" books to scripture. And concerning the second part of that sentence I have to say (if you'll excuse me for being colloquial) Oh please!
(insert yellow circle with mouth and rolling eyes)

Then there's your point # 1. Let me put it to you this way: I can understand criticism of Anglicans, Protestants, and Catholics for not being Orthodox, and I can also understand criticism of Anglicans, Protestants, and Orthodox for not being Catholics. But I can't understand criticism of Anglicans and Protestants for not being Orthodox or Catholics.
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« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2012, 01:15:07 PM »

This is not a direct attack on anyone, but a progressive question of logic.

1. A group of folks leave the historical Church (im leaving RC or OC details out of it, we'll all agree ot was either Orthodoxy or the RC so lets leave that alone Wink )

2. They all group around and come to their own conclusions about what scripture says, and how it legitimizes their ideas.

3. They "remove" books from scripture that have been accepted from BC times and TRY to remove new Testament books that dont agree with their ideas.

4. They then say (and still do) that theirs is a tradition of God and the former is tradition of man.

How is this even remotely possible?

PP

I basically agree with you regarding #4 (that is to say, I think it's silly for Protestants to say that "theirs is a tradition of God and the former is tradition of man") but I take issue with your post otherwise.

For one thing you say

Quote
They "remove" books from scripture that have been accepted from BC times and

but Protestants (and some Anglicans) can just as easily say that you (Catholics and Orthodox) "added" books to scripture.
No, they can't.  Not a single manuscript of the Old Testament lacks them.

And concerning the second part of that sentence I have to say (if you'll excuse me for being colloquial) Oh please!
(insert yellow circle with mouth and rolling eyes)
You can roll your eyes, but that doesn't change that primuspilis refers to a fact:Luther tried to drop books from the NT canon that didn't fit his dogma.

Then there's your point # 1. Let me put it to you this way: I can understand criticism of Anglicans, Protestants, and Catholics for not being Orthodox, and I can also understand criticism of Anglicans, Protestants, and Orthodox for not being Catholics. But I can't understand criticism of Anglicans and Protestants for not being Orthodox or Catholics.
Because, unlike Joseph Smith Jr., Martin Luther didn't claim to get scripture from Christ Himself.  He got it from the Orthodox or the Vatican.
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« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2012, 01:18:56 PM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

Can you back-up the idea that "we should not follow traditions of men"?

I know Mark 7 warns us against rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your own tradition (verse 9), but that's not exactly the same as saying "we should not follow traditions of men".

Peter J, i don't understand what you're asking as you've chopped my statement in half and left off the "...but instead be led by the Spirit of God" which provides the contrast to "traditions of men".

What don't you understand? I'll try my best to clarify.

If you look at my post again, I think you'll see that I quoted your entire sentence (and the next one)

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

even though I asked about one specific part of it.
I'm not particularly positing a view on this, all i'm asking really is if i get a definition of what a 'tradition of man' would be to an Orthodox Christian, given that the scripture warns against such.

Unless i'm reading incorrectly, the word "tradition" (paradosis) is found thirteen times in the New Testament and only three times is it mentioned in a favorable way. Every other time it's used, it incurs the disfavor of Christ and of the Apostles.


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« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2012, 01:27:21 PM »

Quote
Though some of us might accept that because iconic imagery has been used in religious worship historically that it is sanctioned for continued use, how the Orthodox community have developed its usage. Many would see this as a tradition of man in that, man has added to or in some way stretched its usage outside of its original context to such an extent that it has now become a completely different animal with a life of its own.

Care to provide evidence that this is so, FountainPen? This is quite an allegation you're making, particularly by someone who seems to have had no direct practical experience of Orthodoxy, and more so regarding its use and regard for icons.

I've tried a lengthy reply a couple of times but i find i don't agree with what i end up writing so, for now i'll just simply say that i didn't mean to make it an allegation. I meant to briefly express what i've been taught and to ask what Orthodoxy believes to be a 'tradition of man'.

(alterations in italics above)

Subsequent posts have already answered this to some extent.

Sorry for the confusion.
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« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2012, 01:28:05 PM »

Quote
Unless i'm reading incorrectly, the word "tradition" (paradosis) is found thirteen times in the New Testament and only three times is it mentioned in a favorable way. Every other time it's used, it incurs the disfavor of Christ and of the Apostles
That is because of the translators, not because of scripture. The negative ways it is mentioned is "tradition", yet the positive way is "teachings". It is the same exact greek word.

Quote
but Protestants (and some Anglicans) can just as easily say that you (Catholics and Orthodox) "added" books to scripture. And concerning the second part of that sentence I have to say (if you'll excuse me for being colloquial) Oh please!
(insert yellow circle with mouth and rolling eyes)
history says otherwise. The OT was exactly the same OT that the jews used. Luther openly stated he wanted to remove books from scripture because he thought that it was not true scripture (The book of James, for instance, also Hebrews, some of the epistles, I Peter as well, at least early on). He openly stated this, and did not ever recant this. He also continued to defend this position for the entireity of his life.

Quote
en there's your point # 1. Let me put it to you this way: I can understand criticism of Anglicans, Protestants, and Catholics for not being Orthodox, and I can also understand criticism of Anglicans, Protestants, and Orthodox for not being Catholics. But I can't understand criticism of Anglicans and Protestants for not being Orthodox or Catholics
I understand you comment, I was simply stating that it is virtually unassailable, that the original Church was either the OC or the RC (depending on your affiliation of course Wink )

Quote
I've tried a lengthy reply a couple of time but i find i don't agree with what i end up writing so, for now i'll just simply say that i didn't mean to make it an allegation. I mean to briefly express what i've been taught and to ask what Orthodoxy believes to be a 'tradition of man'.

Subsequent posts have already answered this to some extent.

Sorry for the confusion.
no worries mate Smiley I do appreciate your input Smiley

PP
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« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2012, 01:34:48 PM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

Can you back-up the idea that "we should not follow traditions of men"?

I know Mark 7 warns us against rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your own tradition (verse 9), but that's not exactly the same as saying "we should not follow traditions of men".

Peter J, i don't understand what you're asking as you've chopped my statement in half and left off the "...but instead be led by the Spirit of God" which provides the contrast to "traditions of men".

What don't you understand? I'll try my best to clarify.

If you look at my post again, I think you'll see that I quoted your entire sentence (and the next one)

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

even though I asked about one specific part of it.
I'm not particularly positing a view on this, all i'm asking really is if i get a definition of what a 'tradition of man' would be to an Orthodox Christian, given that the scripture warns against such.

Unless i'm reading incorrectly, the word "tradition" (paradosis) is found thirteen times in the New Testament and only three times is it mentioned in a favorable way. Every other time it's used, it incurs the disfavor of Christ and of the Apostles.
"Hold fast the Traditions you received from us [the Apostles]"

The traditions of men no more invalidate the Tradition passed on by the Apostles as commanded by God any more than the drinking of the cup of demons invalidates drinking from the Cup of the Lord, nor eating of the table of demons invalidating eating from the Lord's Table.

Christ and His Apostles attended synagogue service, something entirely based on Tradition (it has no scriptural warrant).
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« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2012, 01:38:12 PM »

Quote
Though some of us might accept that because iconic imagery has been used in religious worship historically that it is sanctioned for continued use, how the Orthodox community have developed its usage. Many would see this as a tradition of man in that, man has added to or in some way stretched its usage outside of its original context to such an extent that it has now become a completely different animal with a life of its own.

Care to provide evidence that this is so, FountainPen? This is quite an allegation you're making, particularly by someone who seems to have had no direct practical experience of Orthodoxy, and more so regarding its use and regard for icons.

I've tried a lengthy reply a couple of times but i find i don't agree with what i end up writing so, for now i'll just simply say that i didn't mean to make it an allegation. I meant to briefly express what i've been taught and to ask what Orthodoxy believes to be a 'tradition of man'
a tradition not rooted on the tree Christ planted and the Apostles nurtured, either because it withered off, or cannot be grafted on.  By their fruits ye shall know them.
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« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2012, 01:41:37 PM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

Can you back-up the idea that "we should not follow traditions of men"?

I know Mark 7 warns us against rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your own tradition (verse 9), but that's not exactly the same as saying "we should not follow traditions of men".

Peter J, i don't understand what you're asking as you've chopped my statement in half and left off the "...but instead be led by the Spirit of God" which provides the contrast to "traditions of men".

What don't you understand? I'll try my best to clarify.

If you look at my post again, I think you'll see that I quoted your entire sentence (and the next one)

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

even though I asked about one specific part of it.
I'm not particularly positing a view on this, all i'm asking really is if i get a definition of what a 'tradition of man' would be to an Orthodox Christian, given that the scripture warns against such.

Unless i'm reading incorrectly, the word "tradition" (paradosis) is found thirteen times in the New Testament and only three times is it mentioned in a favorable way. Every other time it's used, it incurs the disfavor of Christ and of the Apostles.
"Hold fast the Traditions you received from us [the Apostles]"

The traditions of men no more invalidate the Tradition passed on by the Apostles as commanded by God any more than the drinking of the cup of demons invalidates drinking from the Cup of the Lord, nor eating of the table of demons invalidating eating from the Lord's Table.

Christ and His Apostles attended synagogue service, something entirely based on Tradition (it has no scriptural warrant).

I'm not meaning to suggest one invalidates the other.

(this is like trying to get blood out of a stone) #head desk
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« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2012, 01:47:24 PM »

Start with the traditions held in common by all the apostolic churches throughout the first millenium of Christianity and work your way out from there.
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« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2012, 01:50:04 PM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

Can you back-up the idea that "we should not follow traditions of men"?

I know Mark 7 warns us against rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your own tradition (verse 9), but that's not exactly the same as saying "we should not follow traditions of men".

Peter J, i don't understand what you're asking as you've chopped my statement in half and left off the "...but instead be led by the Spirit of God" which provides the contrast to "traditions of men".

What don't you understand? I'll try my best to clarify.

If you look at my post again, I think you'll see that I quoted your entire sentence (and the next one)

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

even though I asked about one specific part of it.
I'm not particularly positing a view on this, all i'm asking really is if i get a definition of what a 'tradition of man' would be to an Orthodox Christian, given that the scripture warns against such.

Unless i'm reading incorrectly, the word "tradition" (paradosis) is found thirteen times in the New Testament and only three times is it mentioned in a favorable way. Every other time it's used, it incurs the disfavor of Christ and of the Apostles.
"Hold fast the Traditions you received from us [the Apostles]"

The traditions of men no more invalidate the Tradition passed on by the Apostles as commanded by God any more than the drinking of the cup of demons invalidates drinking from the Cup of the Lord, nor eating of the table of demons invalidating eating from the Lord's Table.

Christ and His Apostles attended synagogue service, something entirely based on Tradition (it has no scriptural warrant).

I'm not meaning to suggest one invalidates the other.
But they do invalidate each other.
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« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2012, 02:49:39 PM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

Can you back-up the idea that "we should not follow traditions of men"?

I know Mark 7 warns us against rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your own tradition (verse 9), but that's not exactly the same as saying "we should not follow traditions of men".

Peter J, i don't understand what you're asking as you've chopped my statement in half and left off the "...but instead be led by the Spirit of God" which provides the contrast to "traditions of men".

What don't you understand? I'll try my best to clarify.

If you look at my post again, I think you'll see that I quoted your entire sentence (and the next one)

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

even though I asked about one specific part of it.
I'm not particularly positing a view on this, all i'm asking really is if i get a definition of what a 'tradition of man' would be to an Orthodox Christian, given that the scripture warns against such.

Unless i'm reading incorrectly, the word "tradition" (paradosis) is found thirteen times in the New Testament and only three times is it mentioned in a favorable way. Every other time it's used, it incurs the disfavor of Christ and of the Apostles.
"Hold fast the Traditions you received from us [the Apostles]"

The traditions of men no more invalidate the Tradition passed on by the Apostles as commanded by God any more than the drinking of the cup of demons invalidates drinking from the Cup of the Lord, nor eating of the table of demons invalidating eating from the Lord's Table.

Christ and His Apostles attended synagogue service, something entirely based on Tradition (it has no scriptural warrant).

I'm not meaning to suggest one invalidates the other.
But they do invalidate each other.

Huh? Aren't you the same ialmisry who said

Quote
The traditions of men no more invalidate the Tradition passed on by the Apostles as commanded by God any more than the drinking of the cup of demons invalidates drinking from the Cup of the Lord, nor eating of the table of demons invalidating eating from the Lord's Table.
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« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2012, 02:50:21 PM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

Can you back-up the idea that "we should not follow traditions of men"?

I know Mark 7 warns us against rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your own tradition (verse 9), but that's not exactly the same as saying "we should not follow traditions of men".

Peter J, i don't understand what you're asking as you've chopped my statement in half and left off the "...but instead be led by the Spirit of God" which provides the contrast to "traditions of men".

What don't you understand? I'll try my best to clarify.

If you look at my post again, I think you'll see that I quoted your entire sentence (and the next one)

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)

even though I asked about one specific part of it.
I'm not particularly positing a view on this, all i'm asking really is if i get a definition of what a 'tradition of man' would be to an Orthodox Christian, given that the scripture warns against such.

Unless i'm reading incorrectly, the word "tradition" (paradosis) is found thirteen times in the New Testament and only three times is it mentioned in a favorable way. Every other time it's used, it incurs the disfavor of Christ and of the Apostles.
"Hold fast the Traditions you received from us [the Apostles]"

The traditions of men no more invalidate the Tradition passed on by the Apostles as commanded by God any more than the drinking of the cup of demons invalidates drinking from the Cup of the Lord, nor eating of the table of demons invalidating eating from the Lord's Table.

Christ and His Apostles attended synagogue service, something entirely based on Tradition (it has no scriptural warrant).

I'm not meaning to suggest one invalidates the other.
But they do invalidate each other.

Huh? Aren't you the same ialmisry who said

Quote
The traditions of men no more invalidate the Tradition passed on by the Apostles as commanded by God any more than the drinking of the cup of demons invalidates drinking from the Cup of the Lord, nor eating of the table of demons invalidating eating from the Lord's Table.

i think he was being facetious
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« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2012, 03:07:16 PM »

Luther openly stated he wanted to remove books from scripture because he thought that it was not true scripture (The book of James, for instance, also Hebrews, some of the epistles, I Peter as well, at least early on). He openly stated this, and did not ever recant this. He also continued to defend this position for the entireity of his life.

I feel I ought to give you a chance to provide a quotation before I respond to that. Regarding the following:

I was simply stating that it is virtually unassailable, that the original Church was either the OC or the RC (depending on your affiliation of course Wink )

I think I can give a better response if I take some time to prepare first.

In the meantime, here's something you might find "interesting": one of the most prolific posters on the Catholic Answers Forum elaborated a bit on the "either Catholic or Orthodox" idea:
Anyone who leaves the Catholic Church should become Eastern Orthodox instead of Protestant

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« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2012, 03:10:53 PM »

I'm not meaning to suggest one invalidates the other.
But they do invalidate each other.

Huh? Aren't you the same ialmisry who said

Quote
The traditions of men no more invalidate the Tradition passed on by the Apostles as commanded by God any more than the drinking of the cup of demons invalidates drinking from the Cup of the Lord, nor eating of the table of demons invalidating eating from the Lord's Table.
Why, yes I am, and the traditions of men will never invalidate the Tradition of the Church, which will stand forever and never pass away, while the traditions of  men are destined for oblivion, if not perdition.

You cannot serve two masters, but you are free to decide which one you will serve.  You can walk in the way of the tradition of fallen man, or in the Tradition of the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Living God.  One cannot walk down one path and try to go down the other.  They lead in different directions.
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« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2012, 03:15:24 PM »

Luther openly stated he wanted to remove books from scripture because he thought that it was not true scripture (The book of James, for instance, also Hebrews, some of the epistles, I Peter as well, at least early on). He openly stated this, and did not ever recant this. He also continued to defend this position for the entireity of his life.

I feel I ought to give you a chance to provide a quotation before I respond to that. Regarding the following:

I was simply stating that it is virtually unassailable, that the original Church was either the OC or the RC (depending on your affiliation of course Wink )

I think I can give a better response if I take some time to prepare first.

In the meantime, here's something you might find "interesting": one of the most prolific posters on the Catholic Answers Forum elaborated a bit on the "either Catholic or Orthodox" idea:
Anyone who leaves the Catholic Church should become Eastern Orthodox instead of Protestant
LOL. I notice the number of those banned on the thread.

Not the same thing primuspilus is talking about.
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« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2012, 03:16:13 PM »


Jesus rebukes Pharisees a number of times for placing the traditions of men over the will of God (Matt. 15:3; cf Mk. 7:8 ). Sts. Paul and Peter do as well (Col. 2:8; Tit. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:18) Yet to take these verses in isolation, without considering them in the context of the rest of Scripture, would be a mistake. I would argue that these verses don't condemn all traditions of men, but only those that lead someone away from God.
Can you explain how the Pharisees led someone away from God?
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« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2012, 03:23:23 PM »


Jesus rebukes Pharisees a number of times for placing the traditions of men over the will of God (Matt. 15:3; cf Mk. 7:8 ). Sts. Paul and Peter do as well (Col. 2:8; Tit. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:18) Yet to take these verses in isolation, without considering them in the context of the rest of Scripture, would be a mistake. I would argue that these verses don't condemn all traditions of men, but only those that lead someone away from God.
Can you explain how the Pharisees led someone away from God?

Endorsing divorce on demand.
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« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2012, 03:28:31 PM »

I'm not meaning to suggest one invalidates the other.
But they do invalidate each other.

Huh? Aren't you the same ialmisry who said

Quote
The traditions of men no more invalidate the Tradition passed on by the Apostles as commanded by God any more than the drinking of the cup of demons invalidates drinking from the Cup of the Lord, nor eating of the table of demons invalidating eating from the Lord's Table.
Why, yes I am,

Wow, small world!

and the traditions of men will never invalidate the Tradition of the Church, which will stand forever and never pass away, while the traditions of  men are destined for oblivion, if not perdition.

You cannot serve two masters, but you are free to decide which one you will serve.  You can walk in the way of the tradition of fallen man, or in the Tradition of the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Living God.  One cannot walk down one path and try to go down the other.  They lead in different directions.

Oh, I see (at least I think I do).

BTW, after posting "one of the most prolific posters on the Catholic Answers Forum" etc I happened to notice that your post count here (22,773) is more than double mannyfit's count over there.
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« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2012, 03:30:13 PM »


Jesus rebukes Pharisees a number of times for placing the traditions of men over the will of God (Matt. 15:3; cf Mk. 7:8 ). Sts. Paul and Peter do as well (Col. 2:8; Tit. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:18) Yet to take these verses in isolation, without considering them in the context of the rest of Scripture, would be a mistake. I would argue that these verses don't condemn all traditions of men, but only those that lead someone away from God.
Can you explain how the Pharisees led someone away from God?

Endorsing divorce on demand.

Why exactly did this endorsement lead someone away from God?
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« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2012, 03:37:56 PM »

Well, the divorce rate is very high in many socities. I don't want to judge people but I do wish the divorce rate were a lot lower. It used to be, and there are many reasons why... but if some churches said 'okay' too quickly, soon the numbers would pile up. And pile up they did. Now it's hard for some of these more free-form churches to find a basis on which to tell people 'no.'
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« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2012, 04:00:00 PM »


Jesus rebukes Pharisees a number of times for placing the traditions of men over the will of God (Matt. 15:3; cf Mk. 7:8 ). Sts. Paul and Peter do as well (Col. 2:8; Tit. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:18) Yet to take these verses in isolation, without considering them in the context of the rest of Scripture, would be a mistake. I would argue that these verses don't condemn all traditions of men, but only those that lead someone away from God.
Can you explain how the Pharisees led someone away from God?

Endorsing divorce on demand.

Why exactly did this endorsement lead someone away from God?

"What God has joined together, let no man pull asunder"
The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Mal'achi...
And this again you do. You cover the LORD's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor at your hand. You ask, "Why does he not?"
Because the LORD was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does he desire? Godly offspring. So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth.
"For I hate divorce, says the LORD the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless."
You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, "How have we wearied him?" By saying, "Every one who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them." Or by asking, "Where is the God of justice?"
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« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2012, 04:05:46 PM »

Quote
I feel I ought to give you a chance to provide a quotation before I respond to that

Sure:

Quote
"Therefore, St. James' Epistle is a perfect straw-epistle compared with them, for it has in it nothing of an evangelic kind."
Martin Luther

Quote
"Concerning the Apocalypse of John, I in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it"
Martin Luther

Quote
"This supposed epistle from James is simply an epistle of straw"
Martin Luther

I was schooled in the Lutheran Church and was taught this from the time I could walk. I have quotes like this for Esther, James, jude, Revelation, Hebrews, and the books he sucessfully removed from the canon (well, his faulty canon atleast Wink )

PP
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« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2012, 04:07:06 PM »


Jesus rebukes Pharisees a number of times for placing the traditions of men over the will of God (Matt. 15:3; cf Mk. 7:8 ). Sts. Paul and Peter do as well (Col. 2:8; Tit. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:18) Yet to take these verses in isolation, without considering them in the context of the rest of Scripture, would be a mistake. I would argue that these verses don't condemn all traditions of men, but only those that lead someone away from God.
Can you explain how the Pharisees led someone away from God?

Endorsing divorce on demand.

Why exactly did this endorsement lead someone away from God?

"What God has joined together, let no man pull asunder"
The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Mal'achi...
And this again you do. You cover the LORD's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor at your hand. You ask, "Why does he not?"
Because the LORD was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does he desire? Godly offspring. So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth.
"For I hate divorce, says the LORD the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless."
You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, "How have we wearied him?" By saying, "Every one who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them." Or by asking, "Where is the God of justice?"

So the Pharisees led people away from God with their endorsement of 'divorce on demand' because it contradicted scripture?
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« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2012, 04:24:15 PM »

This is not a direct attack on anyone, but a progressive question of logic.

1. A group of folks leave the historical Church (im leaving RC or OC details out of it, we'll all agree ot was either Orthodoxy or the RC so lets leave that alone Wink )

2. They all group around and come to their own conclusions about what scripture says, and how it legitimizes their ideas.

3. They "remove" books from scripture that have been accepted from BC times and TRY to remove new Testament books that dont agree with their ideas.

4. They then say (and still do) that theirs is a tradition of God and the former is tradition of man.

How is this even remotely possible?

PP
Its not, particularly when they get their Bible manuscripts for those Churches they say is the tradition of man.

Kind of makes you wonder,  how they know the scriptures they hold themselves are not a tradition of man.
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« Reply #42 on: January 25, 2012, 04:28:44 PM »

Quote from: Mivac
Kind of makes you wonder, how they know the scriptures they hold themselves are not a tradition of man.

Zing!  Smiley
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« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2012, 04:29:09 PM »

Quote
I feel I ought to give you a chance to provide a quotation before I respond to that

Sure:

Quote
"Therefore, St. James' Epistle is a perfect straw-epistle compared with them, for it has in it nothing of an evangelic kind."
Martin Luther

Quote
"Concerning the Apocalypse of John, I in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it"
Martin Luther

Quote
"This supposed epistle from James is simply an epistle of straw"
Martin Luther

I was schooled in the Lutheran Church and was taught this from the time I could walk. I have quotes like this for Esther, James, jude, Revelation, Hebrews, and the books he sucessfully removed from the canon (well, his faulty canon atleast Wink )

PP

I appreciate those quotes, but I don't think your case is very strong. For one thing, I don't believe (although I could be wrong) that "He also continued to defend this position for the entireity of his life." I've heard other arguments in defense of Luther's thinking on the canon as well (you've probably heard them all before, given your background), but even apart from all that, I would still think that "They ... TRY to remove new Testament books that dont agree with their ideas" is an awfully weak attack on Protestants (or even on Lutherans).
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« Reply #44 on: January 25, 2012, 04:39:50 PM »

To be fair, the reason Luther got the books from the OT removed was because he wanted to have a source document for the scriptures. He had a problem with the Spetuagint, and wanted the OT in hebrew. Because there was no copies of the certian books in the OT, he got them removed.

For the NT however, he had a different argument. He stated that the books he wanted removed did not agree with other parts of scripture that he held to (the various solas that he ascribed to). However, there were a very many that were around him (his wife, I believe, although I have NO proof to back that up, I just remeber hearing it somewhere) had differing views on what should be removed or not, so they were left in his canon, however they were put in the very back as least authoratative (Luther's Antilegomena).

PP
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« Reply #45 on: January 25, 2012, 05:30:20 PM »

This is not a direct attack on anyone, but a progressive question of logic.

1. A group of folks leave the historical Church (im leaving RC or OC details out of it, we'll all agree ot was either Orthodoxy or the RC so lets leave that alone Wink )

2. They all group around and come to their own conclusions about what scripture says, and how it legitimizes their ideas.

3. They "remove" books from scripture that have been accepted from BC times and TRY to remove new Testament books that dont agree with their ideas.

4. They then say (and still do) that theirs is a tradition of God and the former is tradition of man.

How is this even remotely possible?

PP
Its not, particularly when they get their Bible manuscripts for those Churches they say is the tradition of man.

Kind of makes you wonder,  how they know the scriptures they hold themselves are not a tradition of man.

Don't mind me, just talk among yourselves.
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« Reply #46 on: January 25, 2012, 05:46:13 PM »

Quote
Then there's your point # 1. Let me put it to you this way: I can understand criticism of Anglicans, Protestants, and Catholics for not being Orthodox, and I can also understand criticism of Anglicans, Protestants, and Orthodox for not being Catholics. But I can't understand criticism of Anglicans and Protestants for not being Orthodox or Catholics
I understand you comment, I was simply stating that it is virtually unassailable, that the original Church was either the OC or the RC (depending on your affiliation of course Wink )


I find this is one of those topics that so big but also so subtle and nuanced, that it's a little hard to know what to say about it. So far I've only written up one little commentary on it (but hopefully I'll come up with others later).

I've many times (and I assume you have too) read posts on this forum, talking about how great it was back when the Catholic Answers Forum had the “Eastern Christianity Forum”. Anglicanism and Protestantism, meanwhile, were relegated to the Non-Catholic Religions Forum, alongside Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.
http://web.archive.org/web/20071104010625/http://forums.catholic.com/
On the surface, this supports the whole “Orthodox or Catholic, just not Protestant” idea (with a vengence); except that in about November of 2007, CAF changed the “Eastern Christianity Forum” to the “Eastern Catholicism Forum”.
http://web.archive.org/web/20071109072323/http://forums.catholic.com/

All things considered, I'd have to say that rather than supporting the whole “Orthodox or Catholic, just not Protestant” idea in my mind, this affair actually makes me more suspicious of it.
S. M. Hutchens once addressed Orthodox and Roman Catholics with these words: “If you two grand ladies can figure out which of you is the real Mrs. Jesus, then perhaps the rest of us can come on home.” (quoted by the Orthodox priest Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon in “Never the Twain?”) I think I can agree with Hutches' statement; but the thing is, that's a big “if”.
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« Reply #47 on: January 25, 2012, 05:51:06 PM »

Quote
I find this is one of those topics that so big but also so subtle and nuanced, that it's a little hard to know what to say about it. So far I've only written up one little commentary on it (but hopefully I'll come up with others later).

I've many times (and I assume you have too) read posts on this forum, talking about how great it was back when the Catholic Answers Forum had the “Eastern Christianity Forum”. Anglicanism and Protestantism, meanwhile, were relegated to the Non-Catholic Religions Forum, alongside Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.
http://web.archive.org/web/20071104010625/http://forums.catholic.com/
On the surface, this supports the whole “Orthodox or Catholic, just not Protestant” idea (with a vengence); except that in about November of 2007, CAF changed the “Eastern Christianity Forum” to the “Eastern Catholicism Forum”.
http://web.archive.org/web/20071109072323/http://forums.catholic.com/
I've not gone to that forum...I've heard too much negative thingsa about it. besides (Im not slinging mud but) I've no reason to join a Roman Catholic forum, Im orthodox (or soon to be).


Quote
All things considered, I'd have to say that rather than supporting the whole “Orthodox or Catholic, just not Protestant” idea in my mind, this affair actually makes me more suspicious of it.
S. M. Hutchens once addressed Orthodox and Roman Catholics with these words: “If you two grand ladies can figure out which of you is the real Mrs. Jesus, then perhaps the rest of us can come on home.” (quoted by the Orthodox priest Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon in “Never the Twain?”) I think I can agree with Hutches' statement; but the thing is, that's a big “if”.
Excellent refernce. That'll give me something to think about. Thanks Smiley


PP
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« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2012, 05:55:10 PM »

Quote
I feel I ought to give you a chance to provide a quotation before I respond to that

Sure:

Quote
"Therefore, St. James' Epistle is a perfect straw-epistle compared with them, for it has in it nothing of an evangelic kind."
Martin Luther

Quote
"Concerning the Apocalypse of John, I in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it"
Martin Luther

Quote
"This supposed epistle from James is simply an epistle of straw"
Martin Luther

I was schooled in the Lutheran Church and was taught this from the time I could walk. I have quotes like this for Esther, James, jude, Revelation, Hebrews, and the books he sucessfully removed from the canon (well, his faulty canon atleast Wink )

PP
You were Lutheran?  ELCA, LCMS, LCWS, or something else?
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« Reply #49 on: January 25, 2012, 05:59:35 PM »

Quote
I feel I ought to give you a chance to provide a quotation before I respond to that

Sure:

Quote
"Therefore, St. James' Epistle is a perfect straw-epistle compared with them, for it has in it nothing of an evangelic kind."
Martin Luther

Quote
"Concerning the Apocalypse of John, I in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it"
Martin Luther

Quote
"This supposed epistle from James is simply an epistle of straw"
Martin Luther

I was schooled in the Lutheran Church and was taught this from the time I could walk. I have quotes like this for Esther, James, jude, Revelation, Hebrews, and the books he sucessfully removed from the canon (well, his faulty canon atleast Wink )

PP
You were Lutheran?  ELCA, LCMS, LCWS, or something else?
Missouri Synod, but I dont know what they are now. I moved away at age 9 (it was in the DC area). I loved the school....I wish I could have stayed there for the schooling.

PP
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« Reply #50 on: January 25, 2012, 06:04:47 PM »

Quote
I feel I ought to give you a chance to provide a quotation before I respond to that

Sure:

Quote
"Therefore, St. James' Epistle is a perfect straw-epistle compared with them, for it has in it nothing of an evangelic kind."
Martin Luther

Quote
"Concerning the Apocalypse of John, I in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it"
Martin Luther

Quote
"This supposed epistle from James is simply an epistle of straw"
Martin Luther

I was schooled in the Lutheran Church and was taught this from the time I could walk. I have quotes like this for Esther, James, jude, Revelation, Hebrews, and the books he sucessfully removed from the canon (well, his faulty canon atleast Wink )

PP
You were Lutheran?  ELCA, LCMS, LCWS, or something else?
Missouri Synod, but I dont know what they are now. I moved away at age 9 (it was in the DC area). I loved the school....I wish I could have stayed there for the schooling.

PP
My old parish was ELCA:when it was formed, they sent a woman pastor, to tell the conservative congregation "to get with the program."  Many went on to the Missouri Synod. It is going to celebrate its 81th anniversary this February, and will close in June.
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« Reply #51 on: January 26, 2012, 02:52:57 AM »

Quote
You were Lutheran?  ELCA, LCMS, LCWS, or something else?

What are all these for letter words? What do they stand for?   Huh
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« Reply #52 on: January 26, 2012, 03:00:16 AM »

Quote
You were Lutheran?  ELCA, LCMS, LCWS, or something else?

What are all these for letter words? What do they stand for?   Huh
ELCA = Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
LCMS = Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
LCWS = Lutheran Church Wisconsin Synod
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« Reply #53 on: January 26, 2012, 08:22:31 AM »

Quote
You were Lutheran?  ELCA, LCMS, LCWS, or something else?

What are all these for letter words? What do they stand for?   Huh
ELCA = Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
LCMS = Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
LCWS = Lutheran Church Wisconsin Synod

Technically, I think that last one should be WELS.
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« Reply #54 on: January 26, 2012, 11:31:49 AM »

Yeah, I was raised Lutheran, but when I moved away at age 9 we moved to Virginia and became baptist. It was hard not to do so as the Dark Side of the Force is strong here  laugh
PP
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« Reply #55 on: January 26, 2012, 03:52:41 PM »

Yeah, I was raised Lutheran, but when I moved away at age 9 we moved to Virginia and became baptist. It was hard not to do so as the Dark Side of the Force is strong here  laugh
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« Reply #56 on: January 30, 2012, 06:07:35 AM »

I haven't been following this thread, so you must forgive me if my irruption is irrelevant to what has gone before. It seems to me, as an outsider to Orthodoxy, that you have that body of belief and practice called Holy Tradition, but that you have filled it with the things you wish to believe - a bit like someone said on a different thread that we Prots have done from another source with the things we want a priori to believe. You know well enough the usual gripes we Prots have about your religious practices - prayer to the saints, prayer for the dead, infant baptism (in the case of Baptists anyway) etc etc - we have discussed them at length elsewhere and they need not be listed here, neither do I wish to restart a discussion of them. You say they are in Holy Tradition because they were within the oral teaching the apostles gave to the early churches, which was not included in the books of the NT. A fair enough theory, but there is (as far as I know) no evidence for these beliefs and practices within the first churches. The earliest writings being Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp and so on, there is a fairly large gap in time before the material of Holy Tradition makes its appearance. Therefore, the question of whether its contents are traditions of men or of God is, surely, a matter of faith not sight? If we pin our faith on scripture alone as sufficient and alone authoritative, and if you pin yours on Holy Tradition (which includes scripture), are we not in fact both making an act of faith? This does not mean that we are right and you wrong, nor vice versa, but the matter surely cannot be determined by rational argument.
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« Reply #57 on: January 30, 2012, 10:28:38 AM »

But what came first, David? Scripture or Tradition? The fact that St. Paul was writing to churchs in Scripture implies there being something holding them together before a cannon of writings could be called Scripture. Gutenberg didn't come out with his press until 1439. That written tradition or (sola scriptura) is the only thing early Christians used does not fit into a historical framework. They relied on the Church in faith to the Apostles to teach what had been passed down.

And on another note, following Scripture alone does not safe guard against Traditions of Men. The Protestant churches my great-grandparents, grandparents, and to some extent my parents all went or have gone to have changed just in the last century to where it would be unrecognizable to my great-grandparents to worship in a 21st century Protestant church. These live bands you have in some charismatic churches or youth churches are a relatively new wave of "fitting the gospel message to a modern audience". In my opinion, in another generation or so the Baptist church that I grew up in is not going to be the Church I was raised in.
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« Reply #58 on: January 30, 2012, 10:56:00 AM »

How can one solely pin their beliefs that scripture alone is correct, when you have 3 glaring problems:

1. The apostoles did not teach this, in fact any time the apostoles speak of scripture, they are speaking the Old Testament

2. There was no "Bible" for almost 300 years of the Christian faith

3. Scripture was put together in light of tradition

PP
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« Reply #59 on: January 30, 2012, 11:31:03 AM »

How can one solely pin their beliefs that scripture alone is correct, when you have 3 glaring problems:

1. The apostoles did not teach this, in fact any time the apostoles speak of scripture, they are speaking the Old Testament

2. There was no "Bible" for almost 300 years of the Christian faith

3. Scripture was put together in light of tradition

PP

We could also add that sola scriptura doesnt meet its own criteria.  Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Scripture is the only authority for Christians. 
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« Reply #60 on: January 30, 2012, 11:35:43 AM »

How can one solely pin their beliefs that scripture alone is correct, when you have 3 glaring problems:

1. The apostoles did not teach this, in fact any time the apostoles speak of scripture, they are speaking the Old Testament

2. There was no "Bible" for almost 300 years of the Christian faith

3. Scripture was put together in light of tradition

PP

We could also add that sola scriptura doesnt meet its own criteria.  Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Scripture is the only authority for Christians. 
But, we've been down that road so much that the tires have dug divots in the road.....

PP
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« Reply #61 on: January 30, 2012, 11:42:57 AM »

following Scripture alone does not safe guard against Traditions of Men. The Protestant churches my great-grandparents, grandparents, and to some extent my parents all went or have gone to have changed just in the last century to where it would be unrecognizable to my great-grandparents to worship in a 21st century Protestant church.

Though there are exceptions (rightly or wrongly, some worship in a time warp), this is largely true and I would not wish to gainsay it.

I was not wishing to re-start the long discussions on sola scriptura - the threads have not been deleted - but only to say that either position boils down in the end to being a leap of faith.
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« Reply #62 on: January 30, 2012, 12:17:49 PM »

How can one solely pin their beliefs that scripture alone is correct, when you have 3 glaring problems:

1. The apostoles did not teach this, in fact any time the apostoles speak of scripture, they are speaking the Old Testament

2. There was no "Bible" for almost 300 years of the Christian faith

3. Scripture was put together in light of tradition

PP

We could also add that sola scriptura doesnt meet its own criteria.  Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Scripture is the only authority for Christians. 
But, we've been down that road so much that the tires have dug divots in the road.....

PP

I guess youre right.  Im still fairly new around here and havent been too involved with the other sola scriptura discussions.  When I first realized that point, thats when I knew I had to abandon sola scriptura.  And of course the fact that the Church is older than the Bible.  Although that point is obvious, a lot of people dont seem to realize it for whatever reason.
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« Reply #63 on: January 30, 2012, 12:33:03 PM »

Everyone who's posted here since David Young, I think you're all missing his point. I don't see him making an argument for/against Tradition of for/against sola scriptura. Rather, I see him putting forth against those who would try to submit rational proof for Holy Tradition the argument that our position is just as much a leap of faith as his position of sola scriptura. Personally, I think he may be right, that we can't offer rational proof for our position and we would do well to be honest enough to admit it.
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« Reply #64 on: January 30, 2012, 12:58:38 PM »

Everyone who's posted here since David Young, I think you're all missing his point. I don't see him making an argument for/against Tradition of for/against sola scriptura. Rather, I see him putting forth against those who would try to submit rational proof for Holy Tradition the argument that our position is just as much a leap of faith as his position of sola scriptura. Personally, I think he may be right, that we can't offer rational proof for our position and we would do well to be honest enough to admit it.
You're correct Peter. I cant offer proof per se, but we can look to the ones the Apostles handed the leadership of the Church to, and their heirs, etc. See what they said, and taught but also, it is a leap of faith that they were faithful to the apostles.

PP
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« Reply #65 on: January 30, 2012, 01:03:07 PM »

Everyone who's posted here since David Young, I think you're all missing his point. I don't see him making an argument for/against Tradition of for/against sola scriptura. Rather, I see him putting forth against those who would try to submit rational proof for Holy Tradition the argument that our position is just as much a leap of faith as his position of sola scriptura. Personally, I think he may be right, that we can't offer rational proof for our position and we would do well to be honest enough to admit it.

The positions themselves-- Holy Tradition vs Sola Scriptura can be made rationally. The contents of those positions-- faith in Christ-- would indeed be something we held in common, and-- to some, could not be made in a rational way.

If Christ came after Gutenberg made his printing press then we might have a different argument on our hands. The fact that most people were illiterate in regards to actual reading comprehension before modern times makes studying of scriptures in terms of sola scriptura not very practical. We belong to the Church. Any arguments against the faith that was proclaimed is a non sequitur. The positions of Holy Tradition vs. Sola Scriptura are not on equal footings. Sola Scriptura is a relatively modern heresy that does not deserve to be held to the same standard as Holy Tradition.

If we are to say we don't have any rational proof of our argument, just the same as Sola Scripturist do, then we are getting into a relativistic mindset. (I.E: "Our faith we hold is just as right as yours because we can't prove it rationally.") Just my opinion.  Smiley
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« Reply #66 on: January 30, 2012, 05:24:44 PM »

"Our faith we hold is just as right as yours because we can't prove it rationally."

No, not just as right: one of us (if not both!) must be wrong. Perhaps we need an infallible pope! (That is not a serious suggestion on my part).
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« Reply #67 on: January 30, 2012, 05:28:38 PM »

Quote
"Our faith we hold is just as right as yours because we can't prove it rationally."
Just as right is a dangerous phrase. Using that logic, Mormonism is most correct of all....

PP
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« Reply #68 on: January 30, 2012, 05:38:01 PM »

If we are to say we don't have any rational proof of our argument, just the same as Sola Scripturist do, then we are getting into a relativistic mindset. (I.E: "Our faith we hold is just as right as yours because we can't prove it rationally.") Just my opinion.  Smiley
You really think so? What of David's claim that we have precious little documented evidence from early church history to support our beliefs and practices? How do you answer that charge?
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« Reply #69 on: January 30, 2012, 05:41:04 PM »

we have precious little documented evidence from early church history to support our beliefs and practices? How do you answer that charge?
Well, archaeology has answered the icon question for us, pushing John Calvin's "No icons for the first 500 years of Christianity" back a century with every new discovery.
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« Reply #70 on: January 30, 2012, 06:55:25 PM »

Oy! Well, given that the Church was under persecution in the first century, open public was not practiced. We do know that it was Liturgical though because they would meet in the Jewish Temple.. That St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians when some of the members there doubted the Holy Mysteries being actually the Body and Blood of Christ is a good indication of our beliefs too. And in St. John's Revelation we have talk about incense and worship: And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. Also, the Liturgy of St. James is from the first century, no?

I'm not a scholar nor have I researched much into the earliest forms of Christian worship. There are indeed things we do know about it though. But I can't say we have documented evidence from the first century on the rubrics of Worship because I simply don't know. I'm going to go look.  Smiley
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« Reply #71 on: January 30, 2012, 11:34:53 PM »

Everyone who's posted here since David Young, I think you're all missing his point. I don't see him making an argument for/against Tradition of for/against sola scriptura. Rather, I see him putting forth against those who would try to submit rational proof for Holy Tradition the argument that our position is just as much a leap of faith as his position of sola scriptura. Personally, I think he may be right, that we can't offer rational proof for our position and we would do well to be honest enough to admit it.

It guess it hinges on how one understands the term "proof".
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« Reply #72 on: February 03, 2012, 10:09:42 PM »

The standard response from a non-orthodox Christian when traditions are mentioned is that we should not follow traditions of men but instead be led by the Spirit of God. (I would place myself firmly here)


Orthodox make a distinction between tradition of men and traditions of God.

Could one of you explain a little more about this please? Thank you.

The real question is the traditions of MEN vs. the Tradition of THE MAN Jesus Christ? That which He passed on to His Apostles!!
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« Reply #73 on: February 04, 2012, 09:37:20 AM »

The real question is the traditions of MEN vs. the Tradition of THE MAN Jesus Christ? That which He passed on to His Apostles!!

Yes - absolutely!
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« Reply #74 on: February 04, 2012, 10:42:48 AM »


I was not wishing to re-start the long discussions on sola scriptura - the threads have not been deleted - but only to say that either position boils down in the end to being a leap of faith.

However, a true leap of faith presupposes no rational, factual support, no? For example, the belief in perfect man by Marx is such a leap of faith because there is no evidence that perfect man existed in history that is acceptable to Marx.

The leap of faith in sola scriptura is that the Holy Spirit will guide man in understanding what he is reading. In other words, the Scriptures themselves do not magically impart themselves into man's understanding. Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, sola scriptura simply devolves to each man's own personal interpretation.

OTH, the leap faith for the Orthodox may not be a comparable leap of faith. It is true that those who accept the Church's Holy Tradition uncritically are making a leap of faith. However, evidence does exist to bolster Holy Tradition that includes the Holy Scriptures. First of all, we do not totally rely on ourselves to understand the Word (in practice, sola scriptura adherents do not either but they mostly seem to chose those spiritual leaders with whom they agree). Second, there is historical witness for the architecture of our churches, the icons, our mode of worship, our Creed--all of which fit with the Holy Scriptures. Orthodox do not need to research the scriptures to figure out how to worship and what to believe; I would recommend reading the story of how some U.S. Youth for Christ leaders investigated the Scriptures and historical documents and ended up accepting the truth that the Orthodox Church is the New Testament Church. The account of their journey has been told in Becoming Orthodox - A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith, by Father Peter Gillquist, Conciliar Press. A similar, albeit more singular, story is related in A Faith Fulfilled: Why are Christians Across Great Britain Embracing Orthodoxy? by the late Rev. Michael Harper, also published by Conciliar Press.

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« Reply #75 on: February 04, 2012, 12:59:40 PM »

a true leap of faith presupposes no rational, factual support, no?

Not entirely. When you spend an evening in Roscoff, waiting for the morning's ferry to Plymouth, you are quite likely to stroll to the end of a rather strange 'bridge': it takes you out a good way into the sea, but then stops and goes no further. Reason is somewhat like that 'bridge': it starts you off in the right direction and takes you a goodish way. Faith is not like a leap all the way direct from the shore. Every man with command of his natural faculties has the witness of creation and the promptings of conscience, and many have the testimony of Christians to their experience of God - an astonishingly unanimous testimony when you consider the wide range of places, ages, and types of person and culture in which people have found the same Saviour and the same Father: the same triune God. There is that "true light that enlightens every man" (John 1.9). And very many, if they really want to find God, have access to the scriptures.

In addition, after one comes to faith and walks with God for some years and decades, one's own experience of his presence and his providence becomes available to hindsight. All these, and doubtless much else, encourage faith. It is not true to say there is no rational, factual support.

Quote
I would recommend Becoming Orthodox - A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith, by Father Peter Gillquist, Conciliar Press. A similar, albeit more singular, story is related in A Faith Fulfilled: Why are Christians Across Great Britain Embracing Orthodoxy? by the late Rev. Michael Harper,

I have read Gilquist's book; I have also read The true Light by Michael Harper, his personal testimony of becoming Orthodox, but I did not know of the book by him that you mention here.
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« Reply #76 on: February 04, 2012, 01:12:44 PM »

Everyone who's posted here since David Young, I think you're all missing his point. I don't see him making an argument for/against Tradition of for/against sola scriptura. Rather, I see him putting forth against those who would try to submit rational proof for Holy Tradition the argument that our position is just as much a leap of faith as his position of sola scriptura. Personally, I think he may be right, that we can't offer rational proof for our position and we would do well to be honest enough to admit it.
History.  Sola scriptura doesn't have it until 1517, and Holy Tradition has it 33 AD.
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« Reply #77 on: February 04, 2012, 01:12:44 PM »

If we are to say we don't have any rational proof of our argument, just the same as Sola Scripturist do, then we are getting into a relativistic mindset. (I.E: "Our faith we hold is just as right as yours because we can't prove it rationally.") Just my opinion.  Smiley
You really think so? What of David's claim that we have precious little documented evidence from early church history to support our beliefs and practices? How do you answer that charge?
No matter how little (and I'd dispute that characterization, based on the normal criteria of the discipline of history), that is still more than sola scriptura, which has NO documentation.

Case in point:what precious little documentation we have that the sola scripturists (and historians) MUST accept show Christ and the Apostles going to synagogue. The synagogue does not appear in scripture, and is without warrant in the OT.  Yet Christ not only approved the synagogue service, but it became the basis of the Liturgy of the Word in the DL (also historically proven).

"Now I praise you that ye remember me in all things, and hold fast the traditions, even as I delivered them to you...For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received."  "Deliver" and "tradition" are the same root word in Greek.  Words written by an Apostle within the first generation of the Church.  That is an historical fact, and any group that claims "doctrinal continuity" with the Apostles must live up to such expressions of the Apostles' doctrines of historical continuity. Even the gnostics realized that, and invented their own history.  The institution of the semicha, the laying on of hands to transmit authority and the charism of teaching and leading the Faithful was well entrenched (and well documented) amongst the Hebrews of Christ's day, we have the earliest records of the Church referring to and requiring it, as the Orthodox do till this day.  The Protestants can appeal to the lack of such apostolic succession among the gnostics of the first century, but not from the Gospel the Apostles transmitted through the Church.  They will have to go to the "another gospel" of the gnostics to document that.  Then their problems of historic continuity would be solved.  Of course, they would have to show doctrinal continuity with the gnostics as well, with all that that entails.

So yes, if we accept Preacher (correct title?) David's assertions, we have no reason to accept him over Joseph Smith Jr. or Taze Russell.  They too claim "doctrinal continuity."  The traditions of man claim doctrinal continuity in spite of the lack of historical continuity, whereas the doctrinal continuity of the Tradition of God is safeguarded by historic continuity.  If we accept that the Church went off the rails in less than a lifetime (by the time of Pat. St. Ignatius, we pretty much have evidence of practically everything in Orthodoxy) how are we to reconcile the doctrine that "the gates of Hell will not prevail" against the Apostles' Church and that Christ will be with that Church "every day until the end of the Age" (literal translation of the end of St. Matthew), with the fact of the historic and doctrinal continuity over 5 centuries of the Protestant Churches?  Did Luther, Calvin, Cramner, Grebel and Smyth succeeded where Christ and His Apostles failed?  By that token, we should marvel more at the continuity, historical and doctrinal, of the nearly two centuries of Mormonism-according to Pastor David, Jesus Christ and His True Church couldn't keep it together so long. Even if you dated present day Mormonism to the disavowal of polygamy (which is more like the switch from auricular confession from general confession than any dogmatic change), that's still 120+ years, and Preacher David says that Christs Church didn't make it to the year 150.  So the man Joseph Smith Jr. succeeded where the God Christ failed.  How does that show "doctrinal continuity"?
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