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Author Topic: Infant vs. Believer Baptism  (Read 9669 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #180 on: March 18, 2012, 10:23:59 AM »

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".

That all you got?

 

Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?
[/quote]

OOoooooh. Let's play the question game!


Do you really think that all that matters to me is what you've got?

Seriously, though. You didn't help above when I was trying to figure out what you're disputing.
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« Reply #181 on: March 19, 2012, 07:14:52 AM »

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".
That all you got?
Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?
OOoooooh. Let's play the question game!

Do you really think that all that matters to me is what you've got?

Seriously, though. You didn't help above when I was trying to figure out what you're disputing.

I wasn't trying to be helpful.

I have decided to be indifferent.
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« Reply #182 on: March 19, 2012, 07:20:34 AM »

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".
That all you got?
Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?
OOoooooh. Let's play the question game!

Do you really think that all that matters to me is what you've got?

Seriously, though. You didn't help above when I was trying to figure out what you're disputing.

I wasn't trying to be helpful.

I have decided to be indifferent.

Ah, the mark of someone who realizes she's lost the argument.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #183 on: March 19, 2012, 09:06:45 AM »

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".
That all you got?
Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?
OOoooooh. Let's play the question game!

Do you really think that all that matters to me is what you've got?

Seriously, though. You didn't help above when I was trying to figure out what you're disputing.

I wasn't trying to be helpful.

I have decided to be indifferent.
Just a hint: If you really want to engage us in a discussion/debate, respectfully put forth your argument and let us voice our opinion of it. You do your arguments no good at all to get overly involved in the petty tit for tat as you do.
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« Reply #184 on: March 19, 2012, 12:54:27 PM »

Peter, what's the point!? I mean, my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church. So when i give you sources and evidence for a thing and you disagree, there isn't anywhere to go other than "...because the Church says so." thus there is nothing more i could ever produce that would effect a change of view because the Church says it's the True Church and has the correct belief and of course that must be true because the Church said it!

I've decided it's pointless.
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« Reply #185 on: March 19, 2012, 12:57:01 PM »

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".
That all you got?
Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?
OOoooooh. Let's play the question game!

Do you really think that all that matters to me is what you've got?

Seriously, though. You didn't help above when I was trying to figure out what you're disputing.

I wasn't trying to be helpful.

I have decided to be indifferent.

Ah, the mark of someone who realizes she's lost the argument.  Roll Eyes
That's quite sad because this isn't about arguing and winning, it's about life and truth!
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« Reply #186 on: March 19, 2012, 12:59:34 PM »

Peter, what's the point!? I mean, my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church. So when i give you sources and evidence for a thing and you disagree, there isn't anywhere to go other than "...because the Church says so." thus there is nothing more i could ever produce that would effect a change of view because the Church says it's the True Church and has the correct belief and of course that must be true because the Church said it!

I've decided it's pointless.

Why is scripture what we say it is? Because the Church said so... Wink
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« Reply #187 on: March 19, 2012, 01:05:38 PM »

Peter, what's the point!? I mean, my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church. So when i give you sources and evidence for a thing and you disagree, there isn't anywhere to go other than "...because the Church says so." thus there is nothing more i could ever produce that would effect a change of view because the Church says it's the True Church and has the correct belief and of course that must be true because the Church said it!

I've decided it's pointless.

Why is scripture what we say it is? Because the Church said so... Wink

Orthodoxy in a nutshell.
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« Reply #188 on: March 19, 2012, 01:14:57 PM »

Peter, what's the point!? I mean, my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church. So when i give you sources and evidence for a thing and you disagree, there isn't anywhere to go other than "...because the Church says so." thus there is nothing more i could ever produce that would effect a change of view because the Church says it's the True Church and has the correct belief and of course that must be true because the Church said it!

I've decided it's pointless.

Why is scripture what we say it is? Because the Church said so... Wink

Orthodoxy in a nutshell.

Ah, my intentions were to point out that to rely on the bible as final authority is to rely on the church, because the church compiled what we know to be the bible.
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« Reply #189 on: March 19, 2012, 01:15:16 PM »

...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.
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« Reply #190 on: March 19, 2012, 01:18:35 PM »

Peter, what's the point!? I mean, my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church. So when i give you sources and evidence for a thing and you disagree, there isn't anywhere to go other than "...because the Church says so." thus there is nothing more i could ever produce that would effect a change of view because the Church says it's the True Church and has the correct belief and of course that must be true because the Church said it!

I've decided it's pointless.

Why is scripture what we say it is? Because the Church said so... Wink

Orthodoxy in a nutshell.

Ah, my intentions were to point out that to rely on the bible as final authority is to rely on the church, because the church compiled what we know to be the bible.

Ah,*whoosh*, sorry.

#smiles
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« Reply #191 on: March 19, 2012, 01:22:46 PM »

...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.


Not quite.

That's what annoys me that Orthodox would think non-Orthodox so arrogant. (in general Katherine)

I personally rely on biblical scholars with big letters after their name.
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« Reply #192 on: March 19, 2012, 01:31:44 PM »

Peter, what's the point!? I mean, my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church. So when i give you sources and evidence for a thing and you disagree, there isn't anywhere to go other than "...because the Church says so." thus there is nothing more i could ever produce that would effect a change of view because the Church says it's the True Church and has the correct belief and of course that must be true because the Church said it!

I've decided it's pointless.

Why is scripture what we say it is? Because the Church said so... Wink

Orthodoxy in a nutshell.

Ah, my intentions were to point out that to rely on the bible as final authority is to rely on the church, because the church compiled what we know to be the bible.

Ah,*whoosh*, sorry.

#smiles

np Wink
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« Reply #193 on: March 19, 2012, 01:33:26 PM »

...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.


Not quite.

That's what annoys me that Orthodox would think non-Orthodox so arrogant. (in general Katherine)

I personally rely on biblical scholars with big letters after their name.

So you rely on biblical scholars who have lived centuries after the events rather than the original disciples and their disciples, etc...?
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 01:33:43 PM by Second Chance » Logged

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« Reply #194 on: March 19, 2012, 01:39:33 PM »

...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.


Not quite.

That's what annoys me that Orthodox would think non-Orthodox so arrogant. (in general Katherine)

I personally rely on biblical scholars with big letters after their name.

So you rely on biblical scholars who have lived centuries after the events rather than the original disciples and their disciples, etc...?

Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!
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« Reply #195 on: March 19, 2012, 02:07:48 PM »

Forgive me if some of this has been said -long thread!

This topic is, of course, hotly debated within Protestantism as well, with scholars on both sides claiming biblical and historical warrant while sometimes also candidly admitting a lack of absolute slam dunk exegetical "proof." If such absolute exegetical proof were possible one wonders why all the fuss for the last few centuries including our own within Protestantism.

A hidden) premise of the thread title is "infants cannot have faith"; however Luther (and I believe also Calvin) regarded infants as having a kind of "faith." If infants *can* have a sort of faith, believer's "versus" infant baptism would be a false dichotomy, and support for the former would not count as ipso facto evidence contra the latter.

Some passages cited in favor of this thesis include Psalm 8:2 ("Out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants you have perfected praise"; quoted by Jesus in Matt 21:16) and Luke 1:15b, 41: "He [John the Baptist] will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb..."; "...and it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." It is argued that even before birth in this instance some kind of faith/cognizance would have to be present for the unborn John to have reacted -not just as a biological organism might to a sound, but *joyously* to the presence of Mary, then pregnant with the Maker of the starfields.

I am not sure how one would argue that the unborn John could display a reaction of both recognition and *joy* while at the same time being utterly devoid of faith of any sort. I am also not sure how one would argue that *praise of God* is possible without some sort of faith in God, although I would be interested to hear such a theory if anyone cares to offer one.

That even a babe in the womb can receive grace is also often claimed evident from Lk 1:15. Other commonly cited examples are found here.

Some (not all) Lutherans will object to the baptism of John example as playing a part in *their* defense of infant baptism in that they hold prior faith, even mentioned as an alternative possibility, is not the best way to represent the Lutheran perspective, although it is nevertheless commonly cited by other Lutheran and many Roman Catholic writers.

I think the common hidden assumption which would balk at the above passages is tied to the presumption that faith *must* be correlated with a specific capacity for discursive reasoning in every case (which seems challenged e.g. by suckling infants seeming to *need* "some" sort of faith in God to actually *praise* God), or even to what extent biblical data requires us to posit propositional awareness is a sine qua non of faith, a broad debate in and of itself with examples such as the faith of the OT prostitute Rahab typically being called into court. I will leave the details aside and simply mention it in passing here as it will doubtless come to the reader's mind. But the scripture assigning faith to infants seems to clearly break the self-evidence of the argument for absolute necessity of such a connection between faith and propositional capacity as many see it. Life is larger than logic, and so is faith, and God is able to relate in and through all things to our "hearts "as well as to our heads. This is not to say propositional knowledge is irrelevant to faith (a notion perhaps more akin to Buddhism), for once it begins to factor in we realize it becomes inescapable as it constitutes our being in the world one way or another; ideas do have consequences, and they are at least in scripture dialectically relatable to faith, not strictly prior or consequential. But they are arguably never the primary thing; encountering God in the manner he has laid down for us -not merely as a manner, but as Energy- arguably is, e.g. in the askesis of prayer, in the Eucharist, and so on. This is clearly evident in the biblical doctrine that holiness is transmissible MERELY BY TOUCH, another notion which has been largely lost in the Protestant West.

Of course paedofaith does not necessarily entail paedobaptism, which is another can of worms I will not bother to open in depth at this time. The biblical evidence considered alone (in a sort of artificial vaccuum) has been deemed ambiguous either way by some very good scholars. However if the evidence can be deemed ambiguous and interpreted in different ways, what determines which choice is individually affirmed? Tradition, tacitly or explicitly/perceived or not, plays a role in *every* theological trajectory within Christendom bar none. Scholarship is not hermetically sealed from the sociology of tradition -an almost universally discounted notion in contemporary philosophy (even science cannot be wertfrein or "value free"); in fact traditions grounded in scholarship are among the most conservative of all forms of tradition (liturgical tradition being, I think, the most conservative).

It often goes unrecognized by Protestants on a sort of outmoded hermeneutic characteristic of outmoded Enlightenment foundationalism, and indeed supposing doctrines can be "proved by the scripture" like this one, when even within Protestantism there are strong proponents of every position at the highest level of academic theological and exegetical competence, seems rather dubious IMHO, else why has the debate continued for so many centuries after the Reformation? Neither does sola scriptura avoid extra biblical information in terms of the vast studies about the philological historiography of the biblical languages which look beyond the scriptures themselves to, yes, culture and tradition, the endless attention to backgrounds in ancient Judaism, historical, liturgical, rhetorical, and other sitz im leben, and on and on, and yet a giant wall is put up by some Protestants when it comes to the early fathers (though admittedly all do not do this -I never did before becoming Orthodox and essentially considered myself paleo-orthodox for quite some time before personally making the move to Orthodoxy- but many certainly do) even when certain theological points, like the belief in the possibility of apostasy and so on, were universally held with no exceptions whatsoever in every major geographic region where early Christianity spread from the earliest attested dates, and among those for whom Koine Greek was a mother tongue to boot, and among those who had direct lines of descent among their revered teachers to the apostles themselves.

Another poster provided the following helpful information, which I'll append in closing as my post is already getting too long for most to bother with...

From Vespers for the feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist:
"You were shown to be a prophet and Forerunner from your mother's womb, O John, Baptist of Christ, leaping up and rejoicing within her when you beheld the Queen, bearing the Timeless One who was begotten of the Father without mother, coming to her handmaid and to you, who shone forth from a barren woman and an elderly man according to God's promise. Elizabeth conceived the Forerunner of grace, and the Virgin conceived the Lord of glory. Both mothers kissed each other, and the babe leapt up, for within her womb the servant praised the Master. And the mother of the Forerunner marvelled and cried out: "How is it that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? May He who has great mercy save a despairing people!"

From the Litia:
"Today Elizabeth gives birth to the ultimate prophet, the first of the apostles, the earthly angel and heavenly man, the voice of the Word, the soldier and Forerunner of Christ, who leapt up beforehand in token of the promise, and before his birth proclaimed the Sun of righteousness; and she rejoices. Zechariah is astonished in his old age, putting aside his silence like a bond imposed upon him; and as the father of the voice he prophesies: "For you, O child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High and shall go forth to prepare the way for Him.: Therefore, O angel, prophet, apostle, warrior, Forerunner, baptizer, preacher and instructor of repentance: As the voice of the Light and Word, pray unceasingly for us who keep your memory with faith."
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« Reply #196 on: March 19, 2012, 03:10:18 PM »

@xariskai I must confess I never understood the Orthodox position on this.Do we say that infaints have faith?Are infants baptized on account to their faith?All infants have faith?
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« Reply #197 on: March 19, 2012, 03:57:01 PM »

...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.


Not quite.

That's what annoys me that Orthodox would think non-Orthodox so arrogant. (in general Katherine)

I personally rely on biblical scholars with big letters after their name.

So you rely on biblical scholars who have lived centuries after the events rather than the original disciples and their disciples, etc...?

Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!

Oh, dear, so your authority is not Holy Scripture, but rather unnamed Biblical scholars?  It's still interpretation - you've just made the decision to trust them instead of the Church. Same song, you know, just second verse.
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« Reply #198 on: March 19, 2012, 05:23:17 PM »

...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.


Not quite.

That's what annoys me that Orthodox would think non-Orthodox so arrogant. (in general Katherine)

I personally rely on biblical scholars with big letters after their name.

So you rely on biblical scholars who have lived centuries after the events rather than the original disciples and their disciples, etc...?

Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!

Oh, dear, so your authority is not Holy Scripture, but rather unnamed Biblical scholars?  It's still interpretation - you've just made the decision to trust them instead of the Church. Same song, you know, just second verse.

Bravo, Katherine!
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« Reply #199 on: March 19, 2012, 05:36:58 PM »

Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!
I noticed the "maybe"; our line of historical continuity is not a "maybe". Can you name the man, his daddy, his daddy, his daddy...? If not, why do you trust them? For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.
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« Reply #200 on: March 20, 2012, 01:57:03 AM »

...my final authority is Holy Scripture, yours is the Church.

Not quite. Your final authority is your personal individual understanding/interpretation of Holy Scripture, which is something entirely different.
Holy Scripture may indeed mean what you say it means - or it may not. How can you be so sure that you are right and everyone else, for centuries, has been wrong?
For the Orthodox, the Apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, guides us in our interpretation/understanding.


Not quite.

That's what annoys me that Orthodox would think non-Orthodox so arrogant. (in general Katherine)

I personally rely on biblical scholars with big letters after their name.

So you rely on biblical scholars who have lived centuries after the events rather than the original disciples and their disciples, etc...?

Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!
Everyone can trace his ancestry back to someone who was alive in Jesus's days. That doesn't prove anything.
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« Reply #201 on: March 20, 2012, 07:23:03 AM »

Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!
I noticed the "maybe"; our line of historical continuity is not a "maybe". Can you name the man, his daddy, his daddy, his daddy...? If not, why do you trust them? For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

G1, I only said "Maybe" in case anyone in green asked me to provide evidence to back up what i was saying. I can only provide evidence for the aforementioned and his dad.

The argument that information handed down is correct simply because there is an unbroken line of succession is ridiculous! If Peter had buttoned up his shirt incorrectly, then everyone after him would have done so as well.

I'm aware of the scriptural banner that gets waved next, that "...the gates of hell shall not prevail..." etc. Again i find that unconvincing for the simple fact that one or two beliefs or practices being incorrect, does not make the opposite true, that the gates have indeed prevailed. The Church can survive intact i have no doubts and still have incorrect beliefs and practices attached to her, distracting her from being fully functional.

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« Reply #202 on: March 20, 2012, 07:47:10 AM »

For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

I do know what you're talking about and you do have a valid point. My answer is, i trust God's Holy Spirit to guide me which makes me teachable. If God wanted to show me that the Orthodox church was his only true church, or that (in this instance) infant baptism is sound, he would. I think other people might say that the Spirit guides them but what they really mean is, only if what they learn agrees with their own world view. To some extent, as has been said before, that applies to all of us but i can only speak for myself here and speak honestly about my own will. I know the heart of 'man' is deceitful above all things, i've had first hand experience of it within myself and from others. I trust that The Spirit can get through to me despite my biases, because it's the most important thing to me at this time -- i have a very healthy fear of God and i don't idolise my own ability to determine truth at all.

So we're all fallible and sinful beings which means i would not trust that the church you describe, in all its history, would not have been subject to various diversions from the truth once taught. I don't doubt that many church fathers might agree on an issue or that the church has produced hymns, traditions, scripture and icons that all seems to suggest the same belief but that doesn't necessarily mean that the belief in question, is truth. It makes sense that you could produce a concensus, sure, as it is all a product of the very same church so of course.

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« Reply #203 on: March 20, 2012, 08:49:06 AM »

For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

I do know what you're talking about and you do have a valid point. My answer is, i trust God's Holy Spirit to guide me which makes me teachable. If God wanted to show me that the Orthodox church was his only true church, or that (in this instance) infant baptism is sound, he would. I think other people might say that the Spirit guides them but what they really mean is, only if what they learn agrees with their own world view. To some extent, as has been said before, that applies to all of us but i can only speak for myself here and speak honestly about my own will. I know the heart of 'man' is deceitful above all things, i've had first hand experience of it within myself and from others. I trust that The Spirit can get through to me despite my biases, because it's the most important thing to me at this time -- i have a very healthy fear of God and i don't idolise my own ability to determine truth at all.

So we're all fallible and sinful beings which means i would not trust that the church you describe, in all its history, would not have been subject to various diversions from the truth once taught. I don't doubt that many church fathers might agree on an issue or that the church has produced hymns, traditions, scripture and icons that all seems to suggest the same belief but that doesn't necessarily mean that the belief in question, is truth. It makes sense that you could produce a concensus, sure, as it is all a product of the very same church so of course.



Christianity is not a just a "Jesus and Me" proposition!!! The truth you may claim is being revealed apart from a consensus,but this is still subjective at best,you need to ask what is objective reality when comfronted with the truth. Christ established human authority within the Church in order to affirm objective truth,and not some mere subjective opinion,of one or more individuals.
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« Reply #204 on: March 20, 2012, 09:10:50 AM »

For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

I do know what you're talking about and you do have a valid point.
I really do like your answer and the spirit in which you gave it. I trust that my thoughts written here will be equal to that.

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My answer is, i trust God's Holy Spirit to guide me which makes me teachable. If God wanted to show me that the Orthodox church was his only true church, or that (in this instance) infant baptism is sound, he would. I think other people might say that the Spirit guides them but what they really mean is, only if what they learn agrees with their own world view. To some extent, as has been said before, that applies to all of us but i can only speak for myself here and speak honestly about my own will.
I do believe that God will not in every case lead a heterodox Christian to the Orthodox faith. He may have His reasons for leaving them there. Sometimes, for the believer, there are difficulties that are simply not overcome. Sometimes the Orthodox faith is not presently clearly enough to draw the heterodox believer into it.

You speak from your experience. In my case, I had been an Evangelical Protestant all my life. I went through a series of crises that left me with questions that my faith couldn't answer - I don't mean that I was losing faith, my faith in Christ as my Saviour was always intact, but that Evangelicalism as I knew it couldn't take me where God was leading me spiritually. On a bit of a whim, I visited an Orthodox service and have missed scarcely a Sunday since. I knew immediately that that was where God could show me what He wanted for my life. Rather than finding reasons to join the Orthodox Church, I was looking for reasons to not join, as I really did not want to leave the denomination I had known all my life, and all the people who were (and mostly still are) my friends.
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I know the heart of 'man' is deceitful above all things, i've had first hand experience of it within myself and from others. I trust that The Spirit can get through to me despite my biases, because it's the most important thing to me at this time -- i have a very healthy fear of God and i don't idolise my own ability to determine truth at all.
And that's why once I learned that I could trust the Church on some important issues, I could trust her on other matters as well.
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So we're all fallible and sinful beings which means i would not trust that the church you describe, in all its history, would not have been subject to various diversions from the truth once taught. I don't doubt that many church fathers might agree on an issue or that the church has produced hymns, traditions, scripture and icons that all seems to suggest the same belief but that doesn't necessarily mean that the belief in question, is truth. It makes sense that you could produce a concensus, sure, as it is all a product of the very same church so of course.
Yes, the Church has gone through periods of real struggle with belief and practice. That's why the Ecumenical Councils were called - to deal with many of these matters that were throwing the Church into turmoil.
The argument that information handed down is correct simply because there is an unbroken line of succession is ridiculous! If Peter had buttoned up his shirt incorrectly, then everyone after him would have done so as well.
I know you're deliberately making a bit of a stretch here  Cheesy, so no quibbles with that. However, succession is more than just historical continuity of keeping the episcopal throne warm. There must also be continuity of belief. Yes, practices may change over time - but belief must not.

As part of my Lenten reading, I'm enjoying "Hymns on Paradise" by St Ephrem the Syrian, who lived during the 300s. In Hymn VI, Stanza I, he writes: "The keys of doctrine which unlock all of Scripture's books, have opened up before my eyes the book of creation...." As early as that - probably before the canon the New Testament was even firmly fixed - the saints of the Church relied on what they were being taught in order to interpret Scripture correctly. It's quotes like that which convince me of a continuity of belief over the centuries.
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« Reply #205 on: March 20, 2012, 09:38:04 AM »

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The argument that information handed down is correct simply because there is an unbroken line of succession is ridiculous!
Luckily, we have writings too Smiley

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My answer is, i trust God's Holy Spirit to guide me which makes me teachable
The same answer all the other 36,000 denominations say too coincidentally.

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If God wanted to show me that the Orthodox church was his only true church, or that (in this instance) infant baptism is sound, he would
He did, folks can ignore him though....and do to this day.

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So we're all fallible and sinful beings which means i would not trust that the church you describe, in all its history, would not have been subject to various diversions from the truth once taught
Hence the councils.

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The Church can survive intact i have no doubts and still have incorrect beliefs and practices attached to her, distracting her from being fully
So if the holy Spirit is guiding the Church, that means there are more fundamental questions that have to be asked.

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Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!
I would seriously doubt anyone who can so readily trace their ancestry back that far.....outside of some hereiditary title or something.


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« Reply #206 on: March 20, 2012, 09:38:41 AM »

Yes, i know of a man who is a great biblical scholar and whose daddy was one too. Maybe his daddy was and his before and so on and so forth right back to Jesus!
I noticed the "maybe"; our line of historical continuity is not a "maybe". Can you name the man, his daddy, his daddy, his daddy...? If not, why do you trust them? For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

G1, I only said "Maybe" in case anyone in green asked me to provide evidence to back up what i was saying. I can only provide evidence for the aforementioned and his dad.

The argument that information handed down is correct simply because there is an unbroken line of succession is ridiculous!
And we don't even speak of apostolic succession in such crude terms, so thanks for the straw man.

If Peter had buttoned up his shirt incorrectly, then everyone after him would have done so as well.
Argument from absurdity doesn't make a good point, either.

I'm aware of the scriptural banner that gets waved next, that "...the gates of hell shall not prevail..." etc. Again i find that unconvincing for the simple fact that one or two beliefs or practices being incorrect, does not make the opposite true, that the gates have indeed prevailed. The Church can survive intact i have no doubts and still have incorrect beliefs and practices attached to her, distracting her from being fully functional.
But first, you need to prove that our practice of infant baptism (the subject of this thread) is incorrect, especially considering that even some of the mainline Protestant denominations still follow this practice. So far it seems that you're hellbent on avoiding that task and would rather fight the straw man caricatures of your own making.
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« Reply #207 on: March 20, 2012, 09:47:17 AM »

For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

I do know what you're talking about and you do have a valid point. My answer is, i trust God's Holy Spirit to guide me which makes me teachable. If God wanted to show me that the Orthodox church was his only true church, or that (in this instance) infant baptism is sound, he would.
I think He's trying to show you. You just won't listen.

I think other people might say that the Spirit guides them but what they really mean is, only if what they learn agrees with their own world view.
The same could be said of you, and probably even more truthfully.

To some extent, as has been said before, that applies to all of us but i can only speak for myself here and speak honestly about my own will. I know the heart of 'man' is deceitful above all things, i've had first hand experience of it within myself and from others. I trust that The Spirit can get through to me despite my biases, because it's the most important thing to me at this time -- i have a very healthy fear of God and i don't idolise my own ability to determine truth at all.
Actually, it seems to me that you do idolize your ability to determine truth.

So we're all fallible and sinful beings which means i would not trust that the church you describe, in all its history, would not have been subject to various diversions from the truth once taught.
Yes, it is indeed true that many within the Church fell prey to various diversions from the truth once taught. They and their followers are no longer part of the Church.

I don't doubt that many church fathers might agree on an issue or that the church has produced hymns, traditions, scripture and icons that all seems to suggest the same belief but that doesn't necessarily mean that the belief in question, is truth.
But they make a very good witness to the truth of the belief in question.

It makes sense that you could produce a concensus, sure, as it is all a product of the very same church so of course.
And it makes a lot more sense that you can produce a consensus of one, since that's certainly a lot easier.
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« Reply #208 on: March 20, 2012, 09:50:34 AM »

Two P's in a pod.

And you both wonder why i disengage.
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« Reply #209 on: March 20, 2012, 10:01:43 AM »

For that matter, even if you can name them, why do you trust them to have interpreted the Scriptures correctly?

There are some very competent scholars out there (both now and in past years) but a lot of biblical scholarship is highly questionable (both now and in past years), e.g. some contemporary studies of the "historical Jesus". You know what I'm talking about.

I do know what you're talking about and you do have a valid point.
I really do like your answer and the spirit in which you gave it. I trust that my thoughts written here will be equal to that.

Quote
My answer is, i trust God's Holy Spirit to guide me which makes me teachable. If God wanted to show me that the Orthodox church was his only true church, or that (in this instance) infant baptism is sound, he would. I think other people might say that the Spirit guides them but what they really mean is, only if what they learn agrees with their own world view. To some extent, as has been said before, that applies to all of us but i can only speak for myself here and speak honestly about my own will.
I do believe that God will not in every case lead a heterodox Christian to the Orthodox faith. He may have His reasons for leaving them there. Sometimes, for the believer, there are difficulties that are simply not overcome. Sometimes the Orthodox faith is not presently clearly enough to draw the heterodox believer into it.

You speak from your experience. In my case, I had been an Evangelical Protestant all my life. I went through a series of crises that left me with questions that my faith couldn't answer - I don't mean that I was losing faith, my faith in Christ as my Saviour was always intact, but that Evangelicalism as I knew it couldn't take me where God was leading me spiritually. On a bit of a whim, I visited an Orthodox service and have missed scarcely a Sunday since. I knew immediately that that was where God could show me what He wanted for my life. Rather than finding reasons to join the Orthodox Church, I was looking for reasons to not join, as I really did not want to leave the denomination I had known all my life, and all the people who were (and mostly still are) my friends.

While it seems like you eventually entered Orthodoxy from a point of strength, i worry about people entering into any new church from a dissatisfaction of their current one. I am guarded against that myself as i think how you start out sets the tone for your identity within that church and the entire way you receive from that point onwards.


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And that's why once I learned that I could trust the Church on some important issues, I could trust her on other matters as well.
I don't agree with that logic.


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There must also be continuity of belief. Yes, practices may change over time - but belief must not.

Surely it's the practice of infant baptism that we're examining here?
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« Reply #210 on: March 20, 2012, 10:35:11 AM »

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Surely it's the practice of infant baptism that we're examining here?
Based on belief of its legitimacy and spiritual gain.

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I don't agree with that logic.
lets put this a different way. If you trust your pastor on spiritual matters, you would not trust him in other aspects? Really?

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While it seems like you eventually entered Orthodoxy from a point of strength, i worry about people entering into any new church from a dissatisfaction of their current one.
It depends on what you are dissatisfied with, but I can generally agree with this statement. I know for me, I came to the realization that my protestant background did not flush with biblical and historical Christianity, once you got past proof texting.

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« Reply #211 on: March 20, 2012, 10:36:11 AM »


While it seems like you eventually entered Orthodoxy from a point of strength, i worry about people entering into any new church from a dissatisfaction of their current one. I am guarded against that myself as i think how you start out sets the tone for your identity within that church and the entire way you receive from that point onwards.
Yes, that is really true - you (generic) will likely take your dissatisfaction - and the attitude behind it - along with you.

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And that's why once I learned that I could trust the Church on some important issues, I could trust her on other matters as well.
I don't agree with that logic.
And yet you (i.e. FountainPen) trust certain scholars to lead you into a better understanding  Huh. Or are you so determined that what you believe is right that you will reject anything and everything that conflicts with your belief? I really don't think that is true. The mere fact that you are discussing these points for so long suggests that you are looking for answers beyond your previous experience. (Whether or not you accept the answers you find here is another matter, of course.)
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There must also be continuity of belief. Yes, practices may change over time - but belief must not.

Surely it's the practice of infant baptism that we're examining here?
Perhaps I used the wrong word here. I was thinking about things like architecture, music styles, etc. One's whole understanding of baptism will include an understanding of who should be and may be baptized.

Fuller disclosure here: my Evangelical background was in the Methodist/Wesleyan heritage where infant baptism is practised - this was not a problem with my becoming Orthodox.

Have you had discussion with Protestants who baptize their infants?
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« Reply #212 on: March 20, 2012, 10:54:33 AM »

Quote
And that's why once I learned that I could trust the Church on some important issues, I could trust her on other matters as well.
I don't agree with that logic.
And yet you (i.e. FountainPen) trust certain scholars to lead you into a better understanding  Huh. [/quote]No, i trust the Spirit ultimately however, the biblical scholars widen my understanding of the text, surrounding history and Christian culture at the time.

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Or are you so determined that what you believe is right that you will reject anything and everything that conflicts with your belief? I really don't think that is true. The mere fact that you are discussing these points for so long suggests that you are looking for answers beyond your previous experience.
Of course. Not so much answers but certainly new information.

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(Whether or not you accept the answers you find here is another matter, of course.)
I would if they were convincing.

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Quote
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There must also be continuity of belief. Yes, practices may change over time - but belief must not.

Surely it's the practice of infant baptism that we're examining here?
Perhaps I used the wrong word here. I was thinking about things like architecture, music styles, etc. One's whole understanding of baptism will include an understanding of who should be and may be baptized.

Fuller disclosure here: my Evangelical background was in the Methodist/Wesleyan heritage where infant baptism is practised - this was not a problem with my becoming Orthodox.

Have you had discussion with Protestants who baptize their infants?

Yes. Most of which come from a Covenant Theology stance, which is why i asked about this earlier.
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« Reply #213 on: March 20, 2012, 11:01:31 AM »

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No, i trust the Spirit ultimately however, the biblical scholars widen my understanding of the text, surrounding history and Christian culture at the time
Which oddly enough, was the Church. However, these scholars tend to downplay that.

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« Reply #214 on: March 20, 2012, 11:54:06 AM »

No, i trust the Spirit ultimately however, the biblical scholars widen my understanding of the text, surrounding history and Christian culture at the time.
1. How does the Spirit talk to you?
2. How do you know you're not merely substituting your own personal opinions and whims for the guidance of the Spirit?
3. The Church follows the Spirit, so when we say we trust the Church, we are ultimately following the Spirit. How is your following of the Spirit any different from ours?

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Or are you so determined that what you believe is right that you will reject anything and everything that conflicts with your belief? I really don't think that is true. The mere fact that you are discussing these points for so long suggests that you are looking for answers beyond your previous experience.
Of course. Not so much answers but certainly new information.

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(Whether or not you accept the answers you find here is another matter, of course.)
I would if they were convincing.
Can you give us a well-defined reason why you don't find our answers convincing?
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« Reply #215 on: March 20, 2012, 12:20:24 PM »

No, i trust the Spirit ultimately however, the biblical scholars widen my understanding of the text, surrounding history and Christian culture at the time.
1. How does the Spirit talk to you?

Like i said before. You wonder why i disengage and respond in a way that you don't like. This is why, this presuppositional, stereotypical, bovine schatology.
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« Reply #216 on: March 20, 2012, 12:30:54 PM »

No, i trust the Spirit ultimately however, the biblical scholars widen my understanding of the text, surrounding history and Christian culture at the time.
1. How does the Spirit talk to you?

Like i said before. You wonder why i disengage and respond in a way that you don't like. This is why, this presuppositional, stereotypical, bovine schatology.
It was just a question. Just because someone says the Spirit spoke to them, does not mean He did. Especially since everyone says that they follow the Spirit. They all cant be correct FP.


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« Reply #217 on: March 20, 2012, 02:09:55 PM »


Apparently the Apostles performed Infant Baptisms as did all those taught by them. Who are you again?

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".

That all you got?

 

Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?

I guess I was looking for a substantive answer.. I realize it is unlikely you can provide one.

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« Reply #218 on: March 20, 2012, 02:13:18 PM »

I think those are reasonable questions. Why would they be offensive?
I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a little explanation of the process, especially when you're asking us to take your word that the Church has been baptizing the wrong people for centuries, for example.

YMMV, of course, but even if I was absolutely convinced that the Spirit spoke to me, I would still test it against (to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerins) what the Church has always taught at all times and in all places. I would also run it by my priest and a couple of trusted friends.

After all, doesn't Scripture tell us to test the spirits?
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« Reply #219 on: March 20, 2012, 02:39:54 PM »

I think those are reasonable questions. Why would they be offensive?
I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a little explanation of the process, especially when you're asking us to take your word that the Church has been baptizing the wrong people for centuries, for example.

YMMV, of course, but even if I was absolutely convinced that the Spirit spoke to me, I would still test it against (to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerins) what the Church has always taught at all times and in all places. I would also run it by my priest and a couple of trusted friends.

After all, doesn't Scripture tell us to test the spirits?

Katherine, it would be a reasonable question had i been going on about the Spirit "talking" to me, yes.

I hadn't even mentioned anything about that.

It is clear the only reason Peter posted his question in that way is because that is what 'most Protestants' say.

I am not 'most Protestants'; i am not here representing the Protestant church.

/ragequit?

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« Reply #220 on: March 20, 2012, 02:42:03 PM »


Apparently the Apostles performed Infant Baptisms as did all those taught by them. Who are you again?

Not surprised you prefixed with "Apparently...".

That all you got?

  

Is that all that matters to you is what i've "got"?

I guess I was looking for a substantive answer.. I realize it is unlikely you can provide one.



No you weren't Marc so don't try and elevate yourself post pettiness.

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« Reply #221 on: March 20, 2012, 03:30:51 PM »

I think those are reasonable questions. Why would they be offensive?
I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a little explanation of the process, especially when you're asking us to take your word that the Church has been baptizing the wrong people for centuries, for example.

YMMV, of course, but even if I was absolutely convinced that the Spirit spoke to me, I would still test it against (to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerins) what the Church has always taught at all times and in all places. I would also run it by my priest and a couple of trusted friends.

After all, doesn't Scripture tell us to test the spirits?

Katherine, it would be a reasonable question had i been going on about the Spirit "talking" to me, yes.

I hadn't even mentioned anything about that.
You say that you trust the Spirit. That implies that He communicates to you in some way. I didn't ask the question because "that's what 'most Protestants' say". I asked the question in direct response to something YOU said.

I believe the Holy Spirit speaks to me (through the Church), so I see nothing wrong with anyone admitting that. I just want to know how you believe the Holy Spirit speaks to you, since you say you trust Him.

It is clear the only reason Peter posted his question in that way is because that is what 'most Protestants' say.
Maybe you should ask me why I say something rather than presume to know my mind?

I am not 'most Protestants'; i am not here representing the Protestant church.
And I'm not addressing you as though you were merely another Protestant.
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« Reply #222 on: March 20, 2012, 03:41:10 PM »

It is clear the only reason Peter posted his question in that way is because that is what 'most Protestants' say.

I am not 'most Protestants'; i am not here representing the Protestant church.

/ragequit?



Forgive me, you may not be "most Protestants" but I (and I'd be willing to bet most people here) do hear that a lot from Protestants, who use it to refute our beliefs or praxis - that the Spirit leads them to truth or at least correct understanding. (Heck, a lot of us used to be just that kind of Protestant!)
Doesn't it seem somewhat unlikely that the Spirit has told someone somethingthat goes against Christian belief/teaching/praxis for the first 1500 or so years?
That kind of assurance, quite frankly, scares me. Because I know how many times I've convinced myself that something was ok or that God surely wanted me to do it, when in reality, it was my own ego or desires that was speaking, and not the Holy Spirit at all.
Of course, this is probably not true for you.
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« Reply #223 on: March 20, 2012, 09:31:09 PM »

I don't believe the Spirit "talks" to people, so no, it's not true of me personally.

I think we all have a good conscience on a personal level and collectively the Spirit guides the church.
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« Reply #224 on: March 20, 2012, 09:32:53 PM »

I don't believe the Spirit "talks" to people, so no, it's not true of me personally.

I think we all have a good conscience on a personal level and collectively the Spirit guides the church.

Which church?  Wink
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