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Author Topic: The Body of Christ is not divided.  (Read 4021 times) Average Rating: 0
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2013, 02:49:51 AM »

Yet so many modern Orthodox deny Christ suffered for us? I know this is not the teaching of the Church but it seems like people on this board at least throw it out.
Not most people on the board that I've read.
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« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2013, 02:52:22 AM »

So there is no Salvation outside the Orthodox Church (which alone is the Body of Christ)?

Are there unbelievers inside the Body of Christ?

What if there are?

I request a YES or NO answer.

What do you think?

I think I'll just sit and wait for an answer from an EO.
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« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2013, 02:58:37 AM »

So there is no Salvation outside the Orthodox Church (which alone is the Body of Christ)?

Are there unbelievers inside the Body of Christ?

What if there are?

I request a YES or NO answer.

What do you think?

I think I'll just sit and wait for an answer from an EO.

You would rather sit than give your own opinion?
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kx9
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« Reply #48 on: January 01, 2013, 03:11:39 AM »

So there is no Salvation outside the Orthodox Church (which alone is the Body of Christ)?

Are there unbelievers inside the Body of Christ?

What if there are?

I request a YES or NO answer.

What do you think?

I think I'll just sit and wait for an answer from an EO.

You would rather sit than give your own opinion?

Because no Orthodox has answered this question yet. I've asked this question a few times, and a few days ago. No response so far.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 03:13:09 AM by kx9 » Logged
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #49 on: January 01, 2013, 04:58:03 AM »


"Now I make known to you brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures..."

The Bible makes it clear that those who are saved, become part of the body of Christ.

Quote
I have tried to challenge you to see that there's much more to the Gospel than just the little bit you quoted from St. Paul.

In fact I believe many more biblical doctrines that are also required for salvation. You just didn't ask more questions about what I believe. Hence...
But I did ask you to present what you believe to be the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and all you did was quote St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15) on the death and resurrection of Christ twice, as if this were the whole of the Gospel.

Quote
St. Paul also spoke of the deity of Christ, which Christ tried to get His disciples to understand when He asked them who they say He is. Without this understanding of Christ's deity, the crucifixion and resurrection of which you speak mean absolutely nothing.

Yes, I am fully aware that the deity of Christ is essential to salvation and I have already stated that I affirm the deity of Christ in the previous posts.
But in your two presentations of the Gospel of Christ as you understand it, you said nothing of the deity of Christ. Is it possible, then, that you don't see the deity of Christ as part of the Gospel?

Quote
St. Paul also speaks of the centrality of the Church to salvation, which you conveniently ignored when I pointed out the foundation of that teaching in the Gospel of St. Matthew. ("Upon this rock I will build My Church.")

The Roman Catholic Church interprets this verse differently from the Orthodox Church. I am on the Orthodox Church's side in their interpretation of this particular verse. It just seems that I understood differently. I admit that I am not very familiar with the EOC due to its extreme layers of theology and doctrines derived from Church Tradition.
Not germane to this discussion. Maybe you missed the point I intended to communicate by highlighting "My Church" as opposed to "Upon this rock". I'm not talking about whether Christ intended to build His Church upon the person or the faith of the Apostle Peter. I wanted solely to point out that Christ intends to build a Church, His Church, and that this truth makes the Church central to the Gospel.

You did not answer my previous question "Are there unbelievers in the Body of Christ?"
That question is not germane to this discussion.

Quote
St. Paul also speaks of the centrality of the Eucharist, the foundation of which teaching I pointed out from the Gospel of St. John.

I have already affirmed that I believe in the Real Presence. What's the problem then?
That you don't identify the Eucharist as part of the Gospel.

Now please answer my question.
Quote
Before I answer your question, I want you to read my message above and stew on it for a while.

I have done it. How about answering my question now?
No, you have not stewed on my message. You just fired back a bunch of responses, but you have not yet shown that you truly comprehend my message. Until then...


Let me make it clear that I verify what a person believes before presenting the Gospel. If you were an atheist, a Muslim, or Jew, I would present the Gospel in its fullness.
According to you, what is the Gospel in its fullness?

But since you are an Orthodox Christian and I know what you believe, and I have already made myself clear regarding my faith and what I believe Jesus is, it is appropriate that you take my beliefs into account before judging the Gospel that I present to you.
That's why I ask so many questions about what you believe. I want to make sure your Gospel is the same as ours, which it is not.

I presented a statement by Paul, without stating who Jesus is, because I have already made it clear in previous posts about who I believe Jesus is (as well as other doctrines). So for some reason I didn't feel the need to repeat it (Since you are an Orthodox Christian anyway).
I'm not aware that you made your Christology clear before your first statement from St. Paul.

Let us take a case of a Christian website. If the website is preaching about Jesus in a particular article without stating who Jesus is, then we need to look at the website's Statement of Faith, and whether their Statement of Faith contains what they believe Jesus to be, as well as other biblical doctrines. Then we apply these to the Jesus mentioned in the article and judge whether they are preaching the true Christ or a false one.
Yes, that's why I ask you so many questions.

Lastly I request that you provide me a "helping hand" instead of "hammering me down".
If what you're preaching is a gospel other than what the Apostles preached, wouldn't you want to be corrected?
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 05:09:59 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #50 on: January 01, 2013, 04:59:51 AM »

So there is no Salvation outside the Orthodox Church (which alone is the Body of Christ)?

Are there unbelievers inside the Body of Christ?

What if there are?

I request a YES or NO answer.

What do you think?

I think I'll just sit and wait for an answer from an EO.
SolEX01 is an EO.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #51 on: January 01, 2013, 05:07:17 AM »

What point would have the Orthodox Church have had in reforming Roman Church?

Some Orthodox posters on this thread think the Reformation was needed, but you think it wasn't needed at all.

Remember, the EOC and the RCC were One Church before 1054 A.D.
A reunification is required because the Word of God speaks out against divisions in the Body of Christ.
The Body of Christ is not divided; rather, some have separated themselves from the Body of Christ.

Why do you think that the Orthodox Church alone is the Body of Christ?
Because the Orthodox Church alone has maintained faithful adherence to the Gospel of Christ. All others have fallen into heresy of some sort or another.

Please may I hear the Gospel of Christ according to the EOC ?

I'd like to verify if the Gospel the EOC teaches, is exactly the same Gospel that I believe.
If you are not EOC, no, because that would mean you are preaching another Gospel.

So there is no Salvation outside the Orthodox Church (which alone is the Body of Christ)?
How do you define salvation? This is a very important question, since it appears quite likely that you and we define salvation differently. If I were to answer your question with a plain yes or no answer, you might understand my answer within the context of your definition of salvation, not ours, thus taking my answer to mean the exact opposite of what I mean to communicate.

Are there unbelievers inside the Body of Christ?
Considering that you originally posted that question in response to my statement that the Body of Christ is not divided (now the OP), I'm not sure I understand how your question is germane to my statement. How is that question relevant to my statement that the Body of Christ is not divided?
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 05:07:44 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Pharaoh714
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« Reply #52 on: January 01, 2013, 08:12:59 AM »

So there is no Salvation outside the Orthodox Church (which alone is the Body of Christ)?

Are there unbelievers inside the Body of Christ?

What if there are?

I request a YES or NO answer.

I wouldn't say unbelievers but I would Say Yes to Goats inside the Church. Meaning Christians who follow part of the herd yet do not follow the shepherd (Christ).



 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats....



....Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;  I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?   Matthew 25


Notice that the Goats also call Jesus LORD.... so they are believers who are part of the herd (Call them selves "christian") yet they are not truly following Christ.



Christ also talks about them further in Matt. 7

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’"

Just because you believe in Christ is God "Calling Him Lord Lord" does not make you inherit the kingdom of Heaven.  The problem with the goats is they practice "lawlessness"

What is Lawlessness - It is pretty much when there is a Law and one chooses not to follow it.  For example: The Law says only Police can use the force of the law, when there is a robber and he shoots people a Cop can take out his gun and shoots the robber... But lets say there is a robber but a civilian runs to the cop and takes the cops gun out and shoots the robber.  Now is what the Civilian did right? Perhaps but is it Lawful?? NO.


Likewise, God also established the Priesthood in the Old testament and those who disobeyed Gods laws in the O.T and transgressed the order of the Priesthood were punished.

Likewise Christ also established the Church, and its Apostolic Teaching (Traditions)...

When one is not Baptized and Christmated  he is not following the Church teaching and is Lawless
When one is not Baptized by a Priest he/she are practicing lawlessness.

Same goes for all the Other sacraments and Church Dogma.


I hope this helped, Happy New Year, Christ save us!
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« Reply #53 on: January 01, 2013, 12:49:35 PM »

So please confirm that there is there no salvation outside the Orthodox Church. Even though I have accepted Jesus as my Savior, fully trusted in His Sacrifice on the Cross as payment for my sins, am I still unsaved?... Am I still lost for eternity in the Lake of Fire?

You may be saved at some point (no one is "saved" right now, as we're all in process), but I have to wonder how one can be united to Christ without partaking of His Body and Blood? "For unless ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, ye have no life in you." And where can you find His Body and Blood except within the Apostolic Church? And what Church has existed in time and space as that singular Body which has remained in continuity with the Apostles themselves? There may be salvation outside of the Orthodox Church, somehow, but how it's possible I have no clue.
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« Reply #54 on: January 01, 2013, 03:33:27 PM »

So there is no Salvation outside the Orthodox Church (which alone is the Body of Christ)?

Are there unbelievers inside the Body of Christ?

What if there are?

I request a YES or NO answer.

What do you think?

I think I'll just sit and wait for an answer from an EO.

You would rather sit than give your own opinion?

Because no Orthodox has answered this question yet. I've asked this question a few times, and a few days ago. No response so far.

Answer:

Quote
The devil sows dissent and controversy in the Church to snare as many souls as possible. In such times clear minds and stout hearts are needed to ensure the unity of the Church. The simple measure of what is right and what is wrong can be found in whether one is drawn into leaving the jurisdiction of the bishop and looking for new, often exotic, spurious alternatives.

If one’s actions take a person outside the Church then that person is outside the Church. There is no alternative. There is not shopping list of churches. There is only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Source: http://www.saintjonah.org/articles/RTOC.htm
Thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,43292.0.html

« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 03:35:54 PM by SolEX01 » Logged
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #55 on: January 02, 2013, 10:43:53 AM »

The tangent on Christ's suffering has been split off and moved here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,48999.0.html
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« Reply #56 on: January 03, 2013, 01:34:01 AM »

So there is no Salvation outside the Orthodox Church (which alone is the Body of Christ)?

Are there unbelievers inside the Body of Christ?

What if there are?

I request a YES or NO answer.

What do you think?

I think I'll just sit and wait for an answer from an EO.
SolEX01 is an EO.

I know, but as he/she did not answer the question, I thought I'd wait for "another" EO to answer.
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kx9
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« Reply #57 on: January 03, 2013, 02:51:31 AM »

Quote
But in your two presentations of the Gospel of Christ as you understand it, you said nothing of the deity of Christ. Is it possible, then, that you don't see the deity of Christ as part of the Gospel?

The Deity of Christ is a very critical part of the Gospel.
As I am talking to an Orthodox Christian, I took it from a different approach. However you should have considered my previous posts also to know which Christ I was talking about.


Quote
Not germane to this discussion. Maybe you missed the point I intended to communicate by highlighting "My Church" as opposed to "Upon this rock". I'm not talking about whether Christ intended to build His Church upon the person or the faith of the Apostle Peter. I wanted solely to point out that Christ intends to build a Church, His Church, and that this truth makes the Church central to the Gospel.

Fully agree. I'm curious to know why you refuse to address the question whether there are unbelievers in the Church, the Body of Christ?


You did not answer my previous question "Are there unbelievers in the Body of Christ?"
Quote
That question is not germane to this discussion.


Yes it will hopefully show why it is germane to the discussion once you answer the question.


Quote
St. Paul also speaks of the centrality of the Eucharist, the foundation of which teaching I pointed out from the Gospel of St. John.

Agreed. Address the question "Are there unbelievers in the Body of Christ?"

That will then proceed with the answer to this question.


Quote
According to you, what is the Gospel in its fullness?

http://carm.org/what-gospel


Quote
That's why I ask so many questions about what you believe. I want to make sure your Gospel is the same as ours, which it is not.


Make the corrections/additions to the Gospel in the link and we'll see.

Quote
I'm not aware that you made your Christology clear before your first statement from St. Paul.

I made my Christology clear in many of my past posts. Okay that settles it then.


Quote
Yes, that's why I ask you so many questions.

Alright.

Quote
If what you're preaching is a gospel other than what the Apostles preached, wouldn't you want to be corrected?

I am preaching the real Christ, our Lord, the Second Person of the Trinity who was crucified, died for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead on the third day.

Yes, corrections are welcome.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 03:01:27 AM by kx9 » Logged
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #58 on: January 03, 2013, 03:52:24 AM »

^ I may speak to the other parts of the above post later when I'm more awake, but I will venture to say that I generally don't take anything CARM publishes as representing anything I wish to proclaim.
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« Reply #59 on: January 03, 2013, 06:14:38 AM »

CARM is that site where all they do is hate on Catholics, isn't it?
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« Reply #60 on: January 03, 2013, 06:33:55 AM »

CARM is that site where all they do is hate on Catholics, isn't it?
Indeed it is.
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« Reply #61 on: January 03, 2013, 06:43:48 PM »

kx9, at least read the links mentioned in Reply #54.
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« Reply #62 on: January 04, 2013, 02:39:00 AM »

kx9, at least read the links mentioned in Reply #54.

Alright.
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« Reply #63 on: January 04, 2013, 02:45:07 AM »

CARM is that site where all they do is hate on Catholics, isn't it?


Note that CARM also has written several articles against Mormonism and Jehovah's witnesses and other non-Christian cults. Can we conclude that CARM does that because they hate Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses and others?

Rather CARM's point is to try and bring the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses and others to the real Christ, rather than let them go on the "Wide Road to Eternal Destruction", and to warn others and prospective converts from joining them on their false path to the Lake of Fire.

CARM is doing this out of love for people, not hate.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 02:48:50 AM by kx9 » Logged
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« Reply #64 on: January 04, 2013, 03:31:23 AM »

Quote
But in your two presentations of the Gospel of Christ as you understand it, you said nothing of the deity of Christ. Is it possible, then, that you don't see the deity of Christ as part of the Gospel?

The Deity of Christ is a very critical part of the Gospel.
As I am talking to an Orthodox Christian, I took it from a different approach. However you should have considered my previous posts also to know which Christ I was talking about.
Which previous posts? I don't have much time to spend reviewing all of your previous posts on this forum to find where you revealed your Christology previously.

Quote
Not germane to this discussion. Maybe you missed the point I intended to communicate by highlighting "My Church" as opposed to "Upon this rock". I'm not talking about whether Christ intended to build His Church upon the person or the faith of the Apostle Peter. I wanted solely to point out that Christ intends to build a Church, His Church, and that this truth makes the Church central to the Gospel.

Fully agree. I'm curious to know why you refuse to address the question whether there are unbelievers in the Church, the Body of Christ?
Because I don't see how the question is germane to the OP that I posted.

You did not answer my previous question "Are there unbelievers in the Body of Christ?"
Quote
That question is not germane to this discussion.


Yes it will hopefully show why it is germane to the discussion once you answer the question.
I've pretty much made the point I wished to make, so I'll go ahead and venture an answer. It's not for me to know if there are unbelievers in the Body of Christ--only God knows. My task is to make sure I'm not cast out of the Kingdom at the last judgment. That said, I will say that if an unbeliever participates in the Eucharist by receiving Holy Communion, he brings damnation upon himself.

Quote
St. Paul also speaks of the centrality of the Eucharist, the foundation of which teaching I pointed out from the Gospel of St. John.

Agreed. Address the question "Are there unbelievers in the Body of Christ?"

That will then proceed with the answer to this question.


Quote
According to you, what is the Gospel in its fullness?

http://carm.org/what-gospel
What CARM preaches is an individualist, "just pray the Sinner's Prayer and accept Jesus into your heart" gospel not found in the Gospel, Acts, and apostolic epistles. Nowhere on the CARM page did I see anything about baptism for the remission of sins or of the necessity of communion with a Eucharistic community of believers (a local church), both of which we see throughout the Acts of the Apostles.

Quote
That's why I ask so many questions about what you believe. I want to make sure your Gospel is the same as ours, which it is not.


Make the corrections/additions to the Gospel in the link and we'll see.
I think I already have.

Quote
I'm not aware that you made your Christology clear before your first statement from St. Paul.

I made my Christology clear in many of my past posts. Okay that settles it then.
Settles what? Again, I'm not going to waste an evening of my time poring through all of your previous posts on this forum. I have too many things to do both as a moderator of this forum and in my activities outside of this forum.

Quote
Yes, that's why I ask you so many questions.

Alright.

Quote
If what you're preaching is a gospel other than what the Apostles preached, wouldn't you want to be corrected?

I am preaching the real Christ, our Lord, the Second Person of the Trinity who was crucified, died for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead on the third day.
In 1 Corinthians 15, St. Paul reiterated those teachings as being of first importance, but he didn't identify those teachings as being the whole of the Gospel.

Yes, corrections are welcome.
And you have received them. What will you do now?
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 03:32:40 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #65 on: January 25, 2013, 10:05:51 AM »

Quote
Which previous posts? I don't have much time to spend reviewing all of your previous posts on this forum to find where you revealed your Christology previously.

Search function makes it simpler. Just dash through the last thirty posts. Perhaps.

Quote
Not germane to this discussion. Maybe you missed the point I intended to communicate by highlighting "My Church" as opposed to "Upon this rock". I'm not talking about whether Christ intended to build His Church upon the person or the faith of the Apostle Peter. I wanted solely to point out that Christ intends to build a Church, His Church, and that this truth makes the Church central to the Gospel.

I agree.

Quote
I've pretty much made the point I wished to make, so I'll go ahead and venture an answer. It's not for me to know if there are unbelievers in the Body of Christ--only God knows. My task is to make sure I'm not cast out of the Kingdom at the last judgment. That said, I will say that if an unbeliever participates in the Eucharist by receiving Holy Communion, he brings damnation upon himself.

Please define : Unbeliever (from the Orthodox Church's viewpoint).

Quote
What CARM preaches is an individualist, "just pray the Sinner's Prayer and accept Jesus into your heart" gospel not found in the Gospel, Acts, and apostolic epistles.

It is very clear that you ignored the major part of the article http://carm.org/what-gospel, and just attacked the Sinner's prayer. I would suggest that you re-read the entire article properly.

Moreover CARM says that the Sinner's prayer is unbiblical.
Read here :

http://carm.org/sinners-prayer

Quote
Nowhere on the CARM page did I see anything about baptism for the remission of sins or of the necessity of communion with a Eucharistic community of believers (a local church), both of which we see throughout the Acts of the Apostles.

Because Baptism is not necessary for salvation. It is the believing the Gospel which saves, and only after sincerely believing the Gospel, one can be baptized and receive Holy Communion. CARM already advocates both.

Jesus saved the thief on the Cross, because the thief believed in Him. The thief was not baptized using the Trinitarian formula, nor did he receive the Eucharist.

If baptism is necessary for salvation, Jesus could not have been able to save the thief because he was not baptized.

Necessary... means NO EXCEPTIONS

I strongly advocate baptism and communion. If someone comes and tells me that he has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his saviour, believing that He died on the cross for sins, was buried and rose from the dead on the third day, I would definitely ask him to go to a church and get baptized with the Trinitarian formula.


Quote
That's why I ask so many questions about what you believe. I want to make sure your Gospel is the same as ours, which it is not.

It is the same.
Quote

Settles what? Again, I'm not going to waste an evening of my time poring through all of your previous posts on this forum. I have too many things to do both as a moderator of this forum and in my activities outside of this forum.

Then why is the search function and other forum tools available on this forum?

Quote
And you have received them. What will you do now?

Need to examine things more deeply. I believe it is the other way round, real faith produces good works. But that type of real faith alone saves.

http://carm.org/questions/about-doctrine/what-relationship-between-faith-works

http://carm.org/are-we-saved-faith-alone-or-do-we-need-works-too

Does Eastern Orthodoxy fully agree with these two articles?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 10:22:57 AM by kx9 » Logged
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« Reply #66 on: January 26, 2013, 03:35:18 PM »

Quote
Which previous posts? I don't have much time to spend reviewing all of your previous posts on this forum to find where you revealed your Christology previously.

Search function makes it simpler. Just dash through the last thirty posts. Perhaps.
Even using the search function, I still have to decide how much time I'm willing to devote to a search of your previous posts and balance that time commitment against all my other commitments.

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Not germane to this discussion. Maybe you missed the point I intended to communicate by highlighting "My Church" as opposed to "Upon this rock". I'm not talking about whether Christ intended to build His Church upon the person or the faith of the Apostle Peter. I wanted solely to point out that Christ intends to build a Church, His Church, and that this truth makes the Church central to the Gospel.

I agree.

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I've pretty much made the point I wished to make, so I'll go ahead and venture an answer. It's not for me to know if there are unbelievers in the Body of Christ--only God knows. My task is to make sure I'm not cast out of the Kingdom at the last judgment. That said, I will say that if an unbeliever participates in the Eucharist by receiving Holy Communion, he brings damnation upon himself.

Please define : Unbeliever (from the Orthodox Church's viewpoint).

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What CARM preaches is an individualist, "just pray the Sinner's Prayer and accept Jesus into your heart" gospel not found in the Gospel, Acts, and apostolic epistles.

It is very clear that you ignored the major part of the article http://carm.org/what-gospel, and just attacked the Sinner's prayer. I would suggest that you re-read the entire article properly.
What's very clear to me is that you ignored the major part of what I just said, for I didn't attack the Sinner's Prayer. I attacked the false gospel taught at the CARM web site and happened to choose a way of describing that gospel that isn't exactly consistent with some other things taught there. I would suggest, then, that you re-read my posts properly before you reply to them. Don't get so hung up on the details that you miss the big picture.

Moreover CARM says that the Sinner's prayer is unbiblical.
Read here :

http://carm.org/sinners-prayer
So what? I'm not focused on the Sinner's Prayer; you are.

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Nowhere on the CARM page did I see anything about baptism for the remission of sins or of the necessity of communion with a Eucharistic community of believers (a local church), both of which we see throughout the Acts of the Apostles.

Because Baptism is not necessary for salvation. It is the believing the Gospel which saves, and only after sincerely believing the Gospel, one can be baptized and receive Holy Communion. CARM already advocates both.
This statement only goes to show how steeped in heresy you are, for the Gospels make it very clear that Baptism and Communion are just as necessary for salvation as belief, which is why we give both even to infants. If one "believes" in the Gospel but does not do what the Gospel requires, does one really believe?

Jesus saved the thief on the Cross, because the thief believed in Him. The thief was not baptized using the Trinitarian formula, nor did he receive the Eucharist.
Why do you make the exception the norm? This passage you cite shows only that Jesus has the authority to dispense with His own commandments in response to extraordinary situations. Do remember that this same Jesus who saved the thief on the cross also commanded that we be baptized and receive the Eucharist, thus making baptism and communion our norm. If we who are able to pursue baptism and receive the Eucharist fail to do so when we have the chance, do you think Jesus will still be merciful to us after wasting such a precious opportunity?

If baptism is necessary for salvation, Jesus could not have been able to save the thief because he was not baptized.
Our God is in heaven and on earth; He does whatever He pleases. If our Lord wants to save the wise thief even though he was not baptized, that's His divine prerogative. Our job is to follow His commandments.

Necessary... means NO EXCEPTIONS
To you it does. Jesus Christ is God, which means He can do as He pleases. He can establish baptism and communion as necessary for our salvation yet assert Divine prerogative to not follow His own rules if necessary for the salvation of one individual in an extraordinary circumstance. Jesus is not bound to His sacraments as we are.

I strongly advocate baptism and communion. If someone comes and tells me that he has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his saviour, believing that He died on the cross for sins, was buried and rose from the dead on the third day, I would definitely ask him to go to a church and get baptized with the Trinitarian formula.


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That's why I ask so many questions about what you believe. I want to make sure your Gospel is the same as ours, which it is not.

It is the same.
Saying so don't make it so.

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Settles what? Again, I'm not going to waste an evening of my time poring through all of your previous posts on this forum. I have too many things to do both as a moderator of this forum and in my activities outside of this forum.

Then why is the search function and other forum tools available on this forum?
They're available for me if I want to invest my time in using them. If I think the task of using them too much of a time investment, then I won't use them.

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And you have received them. What will you do now?

Need to examine things more deeply. I believe it is the other way round, real faith produces good works. But that type of real faith alone saves.

http://carm.org/questions/about-doctrine/what-relationship-between-faith-works

http://carm.org/are-we-saved-faith-alone-or-do-we-need-works-too

Does Eastern Orthodoxy fully agree with these two articles?
No. We don't follow CARM's Gospel. We follow the Gospel as it was preached by Jesus Christ, the Apostles, and the Church.

FWIW, are you not familiar with Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew? Here, Jesus states very clearly that we will be saved or condemned on account of our works.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 04:32:44 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #67 on: January 27, 2013, 08:33:40 AM »

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Even using the search function, I still have to decide how much time I'm willing to devote to a search of your previous posts and balance that time commitment against all my other commitments.

Well, I have nothing more to say on the matter.


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What's very clear to me is that you ignored the major part of what I just said, for I didn't attack the Sinner's Prayer. I attacked the false gospel taught at the CARM web site and happened to choose a way of describing that gospel that isn't exactly consistent with some other things taught there. I would suggest, then, that you re-read my posts properly before you reply to them. Don't get so hung up on the details that you miss the big picture.

CARM doesn't teach a false Gospel. It seems to you like that since you don't understand how things are understood outside.

It goes like this. I say a non-Christian : "Mary is the Mother of God"

Non-Christian : "Hey, wait!! So God came into existence when He was born. That's heretical. Isn't He supposed to be uncreated and eternal"

Actually, by saying that Mary is the Mother of God, I actually mean that Jesus is God in Flesh


In the same way, you are understanding things differently than what non-Orthodox actually mean, and attacking our position as heretical.




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So what? I'm not focused on the Sinner's Prayer; you are.

Neither am I focused on it, I just posted a link to the Gospel as presented by CARM (The top part was very important) but remember that you only brought up the sinner's prayer from the bottom of the entire article, and attacked it.


No wonder, we perceive things differently from different viewpoints.

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This statement only goes to show how steeped in heresy you are, for the Gospels make it very clear that Baptism and Communion are just as necessary for salvation as belief, which is why we give both even to infants. If one "believes" in the Gospel but does not do what the Gospel requires, does one really believe?


Note what I have underlined from your quote.

It is my point that one who is a real christian will have a wish to be baptized and receive communion. One who rejects both, should re-examine his faith.


Acts 8:34-38

34 The official said to Philip, “Tell me, please. Who is the prophet talking about? Himself, or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that same part of Scripture. He told him the good news about Jesus.

36/37 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water. The official said, “Look! Here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 38 He gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the official went down into the water. Philip baptized him.


It is my point that one who is a real Christian will have a wish to be baptized and receive communion. Now do you get my point?



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Why do you make the exception the norm? This passage you cite shows only that Jesus has the authority to dispense with His own commandments in response to extraordinary situations. Do remember that this same Jesus who saved the thief on the cross also commanded that we be baptized and receive the Eucharist, thus making baptism and communion our norm. If we who are able to pursue baptism and receive the Eucharist fail to do so when we have the chance, do you think Jesus will still be merciful to us after wasting such a precious opportunity?

Re-read Acts 8:34-38

Baptism and communion are our norm. I agree, but people were declared saved in the scriptures even before receiving both sacraments.

One who as real faith, will definitely have a desire to receive both sacraments.


Baptism and communion can be received only after a real saving faith.

There are many many more verses that say salvation is by faith.


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Our God is in heaven and on earth; He does whatever He pleases. If our Lord wants to save the wise thief even though he was not baptized, that's His divine prerogative. Our job is to follow His commandments.

The good thief was saved because he believed in Jesus, else Jesus could have chosen to save the other thief as well.

Also... Luke 7:50  ►
Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."


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To you it does. Jesus Christ is God, which means He can do as He pleases. He can establish baptism and communion as necessary for our salvation yet assert Divine prerogative to not follow His own rules if necessary for the salvation of one individual in an extraordinary circumstance. Jesus is not bound to His sacraments as we are.

Christians practice baptism and communion because Jesus commanded it. But scriptures say that one can be baptized only after they have believed. And communion is only for believers. And again Scripture makes it clear that we are saved when we believe.


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They're available for me if I want to invest my time in using them. If I think the task of using them too much of a time investment, then I won't use them.

As you wish. I have nothing more to say on the matter.


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No. We don't follow CARM's Gospel. We follow the Gospel as it was preached by Jesus Christ, the Apostles, and the Church.


http://carm.org/questions/about-doctrine/what-relationship-between-faith-works

http://carm.org/are-we-saved-faith-alone-or-do-we-need-works-too


Please just show me why these verses in these two links do not contradict the Eastern Orthodox teaching of Faith plus Works as a requirement for salvation? How does the Orthodox Church prove that these verses do not contradict its teaching of faith plus works for salvation?

Please do not use counter-verses, else it will be a case of using Scripture against Scripture which is wrong since it makes the scriptures contradict itself. Rather you should harmonize these verses so that they agree with the verses that "teach" faith plus works without any contradiction.

Now please begin with your EO explanations of each verse in both links.



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FWIW, are you not familiar with Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew? Here, Jesus states very clearly that we will be saved or condemned on account of our works.

A casual reading seems to suggest that salvation is the result of good works. The “sheep” acted charitably, giving food, drink, and clothing to the needy. The “goats” showed no charity. This seems to result in salvation for the sheep and damnation for the goats.

Note that Jesus says that they received eternal life by their works (Faith is not mentioned at all in the entire passage). But Scripture consistently says that faith is a critical requirement, so the salvation by works interpretation is incorrect.


However, Scripture does not contradict itself, and the Bible clearly and repeatedly teaches that salvation is by faith through the grace of God and not by our good works (see John 1:12; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:22-24; Romans 4:4-8; Romans 7:24-25; Romans 8:12; Galatians 3:6-9; and Ephesians 2:8-10). In fact, Jesus Himself makes it clear in the parable that the salvation of the “sheep” is not based on their works—their inheritance was theirs “since the creation of the world” (Matthew 25:34), long before they could ever do any good works.

The good works mentioned in the parable are not the cause of salvation but the effect of salvation. As Christians we become like Christ (see Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; and Colossians 2:6-7). Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Good works in a Christian’s life are the direct overflow of these traits, and are only acceptable to God because of the relationship that exists between servant and Master, the saved and their Savior, the sheep and their Shepherd (see Ephesians 2:10).

The core message of the Parable of the Sheep and Goats is that God’s people will love others. Good works will result from our relationship to the Shepherd. Followers of Christ will treat others with kindness, serving them as if they were serving Christ Himself. The unregenerate live in the opposite manner. While “goats” can indeed perform acts of kindness and charity, their hearts are not right with God, and their actions are not for the right purpose – to honor and worship God.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 08:51:01 AM by kx9 » Logged
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« Reply #68 on: January 27, 2013, 09:35:56 AM »

Actually, I prefer the parable of the Talents as a better guide for Faith and Works, but one rarely sees that one properly understood.
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« Reply #69 on: January 27, 2013, 12:35:23 PM »

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Even using the search function, I still have to decide how much time I'm willing to devote to a search of your previous posts and balance that time commitment against all my other commitments.

Well, I have nothing more to say on the matter.


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What's very clear to me is that you ignored the major part of what I just said, for I didn't attack the Sinner's Prayer. I attacked the false gospel taught at the CARM web site and happened to choose a way of describing that gospel that isn't exactly consistent with some other things taught there. I would suggest, then, that you re-read my posts properly before you reply to them. Don't get so hung up on the details that you miss the big picture.

CARM doesn't teach a false Gospel. It seems to you like that since you don't understand how things are understood outside.
Actually, I DO understand how things are understood outside the Orthodox Church. I spent the first 25 years of my life practicing a Protestant form of Christianity.

It goes like this. I say a non-Christian : "Mary is the Mother of God"

Non-Christian : "Hey, wait!! So God came into existence when He was born. That's heretical. Isn't He supposed to be uncreated and eternal"
What does a non-Christian know about God that he's capable of recognizing heresy?

Actually, by saying that Mary is the Mother of God, I actually mean that Jesus is God in Flesh


In the same way, you are understanding things differently than what non-Orthodox actually mean, and attacking our position as heretical.
To the contrary, kx9, I understand what non-Orthodox really mean, and I know that they define basic concepts differently from how we Orthodox define them. Even knowing what you mean, I still attack your position as heretical.

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So what? I'm not focused on the Sinner's Prayer; you are.

Neither am I focused on it, I just posted a link to the Gospel as presented by CARM (The top part was very important) but remember that you only brought up the sinner's prayer from the bottom of the entire article, and attacked it.
Once again, it was not the Sinner's Prayer I attacked. Once again, what I attacked was the whole of the CARM gospel. (Now it's apparent that you would rather believe your own interpretation of my words than what I say in my defense.)

No wonder, we perceive things differently from different viewpoints.
Yes, we do. That doesn't mean your viewpoint is not wrong just the same.

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This statement only goes to show how steeped in heresy you are, for the Gospels make it very clear that Baptism and Communion are just as necessary for salvation as belief, which is why we give both even to infants. If one "believes" in the Gospel but does not do what the Gospel requires, does one really believe?


Note what I have underlined from your quote.

It is my point that one who is a real christian will have a wish to be baptized and receive communion. One who rejects both, should re-examine his faith.


Acts 8:34-38

34 The official said to Philip, “Tell me, please. Who is the prophet talking about? Himself, or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that same part of Scripture. He told him the good news about Jesus.

36/37 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water. The official said, “Look! Here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 38 He gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the official went down into the water. Philip baptized him.


It is my point that one who is a real Christian will have a wish to be baptized and receive communion. Now do you get my point?
Yes, I understand your point. I once agreed with it for over a decade of my life. I've since come to recognize that I was wrong. In ordinary circumstances, such as those portrayed in the above cited Scriptures, it's baptism that makes one a Christian.



I will respond to the rest of your message as I have time. Right now, I have not the time to read the rest of your post.
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« Reply #70 on: January 27, 2013, 04:12:05 PM »

CARM is that site where all they do is hate on Catholics, isn't it?
Indeed it is.

And probably not in an Orthodox way. Smiley
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« Reply #71 on: January 27, 2013, 06:51:22 PM »

Baptism and communion can be received only after a real saving faith.
So you oppose the practice of baptizing and communing infants?

There are many many more verses that say salvation is by faith.
Of course salvation is by faith. I never argued otherwise. I just see that the Bible is very clear that salvation is NOT by faith alone.

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Our God is in heaven and on earth; He does whatever He pleases. If our Lord wants to save the wise thief even though he was not baptized, that's His divine prerogative. Our job is to follow His commandments.

The good thief was saved because he believed in Jesus, else Jesus could have chosen to save the other thief as well.
The good thief was saved because Jesus chose to save him. Would you presume, then, that you are "saved" merely because you "believe" in Jesus? What does it mean to believe? Does not the good thief's rebuke of the wicked thief count for nothing in Jesus' eyes? Did the good thief merely believe but otherwise do nothing? NO! He actually did a work of mercy that showed Jesus his faith.

Also... Luke 7:50  ►
Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

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To you it does. Jesus Christ is God, which means He can do as He pleases. He can establish baptism and communion as necessary for our salvation yet assert Divine prerogative to not follow His own rules if necessary for the salvation of one individual in an extraordinary circumstance. Jesus is not bound to His sacraments as we are.

Christians practice baptism and communion because Jesus commanded it. But scriptures say that one can be baptized only after they have believed. And communion is only for believers. And again Scripture makes it clear that we are saved when we believe.
How, then, do you define salvation?

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They're available for me if I want to invest my time in using them. If I think the task of using them too much of a time investment, then I won't use them.

As you wish. I have nothing more to say on the matter.


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No. We don't follow CARM's Gospel. We follow the Gospel as it was preached by Jesus Christ, the Apostles, and the Church.


http://carm.org/questions/about-doctrine/what-relationship-between-faith-works

http://carm.org/are-we-saved-faith-alone-or-do-we-need-works-too


Please just show me why these verses in these two links do not contradict the Eastern Orthodox teaching of Faith plus Works as a requirement for salvation? How does the Orthodox Church prove that these verses do not contradict its teaching of faith plus works for salvation?
Why such a strict (and false) dichotomy between faith and works? We don't believe in faith plus works as a requirement for salvation; rather, we believe that faith and works are merely two different aspects of the complete trust in the work of Jesus Christ that He requires of us if we wish to be saved.

Do you not see that your dichotomy between faith and works betrays the fact that you have built your apologetics within the context of a world view established for you by the Roman Catholic Church? Your divide between faith and works misses entirely the point of how we Orthodox understand salvation by faith in Christ Jesus.

Please do not use counter-verses, else it will be a case of using Scripture against Scripture which is wrong since it makes the scriptures contradict itself. Rather you should harmonize these verses so that they agree with the verses that "teach" faith plus works without any contradiction.

Now please begin with your EO explanations of each verse in both links.
Per your suggestion, I'm not going to counter your proof texts with proof texts of my own. (I think this is a rather poor way to address proof texts from Scripture, anyway.)

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FWIW, are you not familiar with Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew? Here, Jesus states very clearly that we will be saved or condemned on account of our works.

A casual reading seems to suggest that salvation is the result of good works. The “sheep” acted charitably, giving food, drink, and clothing to the needy. The “goats” showed no charity. This seems to result in salvation for the sheep and damnation for the goats.

Note that Jesus says that they received eternal life by their works (Faith is not mentioned at all in the entire passage). But Scripture consistently says that faith is a critical requirement, so the salvation by works interpretation is incorrect.
Not that I ever argued that we are saved solely by our works. The truth is I never did.

However, Scripture does not contradict itself, and the Bible clearly and repeatedly teaches that salvation is by faith through the grace of God and not by our good works (see John 1:12; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:22-24; Romans 4:4-8; Romans 7:24-25; Romans 8:12; Galatians 3:6-9; and Ephesians 2:8-10). In fact, Jesus Himself makes it clear in the parable that the salvation of the “sheep” is not based on their works—their inheritance was theirs “since the creation of the world” (Matthew 25:34), long before they could ever do any good works.
But neither are we saved by faith without works, since saving faith cannot even exist without works. Even the wise thief understood this and performed a good work by defending Jesus against the blasphemy of the wicked thief.

The good works mentioned in the parable are not the cause of salvation but the effect of salvation. As Christians we become like Christ (see Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; and Colossians 2:6-7). Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Good works in a Christian’s life are the direct overflow of these traits, and are only acceptable to God because of the relationship that exists between servant and Master, the saved and their Savior, the sheep and their Shepherd (see Ephesians 2:10).
Nor do we even believe that we can earn our salvation, if that's what you mean by the implication that we believe in a works-based salvation or add works to faith in our teaching on salvation.

The core message of the Parable of the Sheep and Goats is that God’s people will love others. Good works will result from our relationship to the Shepherd. Followers of Christ will treat others with kindness, serving them as if they were serving Christ Himself. The unregenerate live in the opposite manner. While “goats” can indeed perform acts of kindness and charity, their hearts are not right with God, and their actions are not for the right purpose – to honor and worship God.
The core message of Matthew 25--and no, it's not a parable, it's a description of the Last Judgment--is that we will be judged as worthy or unworthy of the Kingdom on account of the works we have done to manifest our faith in Jesus Christ. We don't believe that it's the works apart from faith that will save us, as if we can earn our salvation merely by our own good works (the heresy of Pelagianism). It is truly by the grace of God that we are saved, and this through faith. The absence of works is evidence of the absence of faith, and the doing of works is evidence of the presence of faith. However, we don't make the distinction between faith and works that the Roman Catholic Church appears to have made, such that we would ever open the door for others like yourself to set faith and works in opposition to each other, which has led many to throw out works as unnecessary.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 07:03:24 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #72 on: January 27, 2013, 10:57:14 PM »

What point would have the Orthodox Church have had in reforming Roman Church?

Some Orthodox posters on this thread think the Reformation was needed, but you think it wasn't needed at all.

Remember, the EOC and the RCC were One Church before 1054 A.D.
A reunification is required because the Word of God speaks out against divisions in the Body of Christ.
The Body of Christ is not divided; rather, some have separated themselves from the Body of Christ.

Why do you think that the Orthodox Church alone is the Body of Christ?
Because the Orthodox Church alone has maintained faithful adherence to the Gospel of Christ. All others have fallen into heresy of some sort or another.

Please may I hear the Gospel of Christ according to the EOC ?

I'd like to verify if the Gospel the EOC teaches, is exactly the same Gospel that I believe.
If you are not EOC, no, because that would mean you are preaching another Gospel.

+1

How do you always come up with these amazing one-liners?

Being wrong is simple.
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« Reply #73 on: January 28, 2013, 12:25:00 PM »

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So you oppose the practice of baptizing and communing infants?

No, I don't oppose infant baptism as Scriptures don't forbid it. The decision whether to baptize infants or only adults is left to a Church to decide.

Some Churches baptize by immersion, others by pouring water and some others by simply sprinkling water.


One thing I know for sure : Baptismal Regeneration is not correct.

I was baptized as an infant, but I grew up with very weak faith, and finally became an atheist for many years until I was born again when I truly accepted Christ as my savior, a Spiritual transformation took place and I was regenerated, having my heart of stone removed and a heart of flesh put in place.

Many people born into Christian families are baptized as infants, but remained atheists/unbelievers... even to the grave.

Therefore I can only conclude that baptismal regeneration is not correct.

Overall, it seems to me that people can be baptized only when they are old enough to make a choice to accept Christ or not. But I don't oppose infant baptism either since the Scriptures do not forbid it.





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Of course salvation is by faith. I never argued otherwise. I just see that the Bible is very clear that salvation is NOT by faith alone.

The "faith alone" which is required for salvation is that type of faith that produces good works.


There are only two options. Faith alone or Faith plus works.

    Rom. 3:28-30, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one."
    Rom. 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"
    Rom. 5:1, "therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"
    Rom. 9:30, "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith."
    Rom. 10:4, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
    Rom. 11:6, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."
    Gal. 2:16, "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."
    Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.
    Gal. 3:5-6, "Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
    Gal. 3:24, "Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith."
    Eph. 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 9Not by works, lest any man should boast."
    Phil. 3:9, "and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith."


All these verses say that we are saved by faith without the law.

Faith without the law is FAITH ALONE. If faith is not alone, then it is faith plus works. There is no third option.


Despite you being an ex-protestant, I don't understand why you are unable to grasp what I mean?



Quote
The good thief was saved because Jesus chose to save him. Would you presume, then, that you are "saved" merely because you "believe" in Jesus? What does it mean to believe?

If that were the case, Jesus could have chosen to save the entire human race. Remember that Jesus prayed for all those who mocked him and crucified him. Why? Because He loved them also. If Jesus chose to save the good thief as you said, then it means that He loves only some people and hates the rest.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

But according to the Scriptures, God saves only those who believe.


Quote
Does not the good thief's rebuke of the wicked thief count for nothing in Jesus' eyes? Did the good thief merely believe but otherwise do nothing? NO! He actually did a work of mercy that showed Jesus his faith.

The thief believed, and that type of faith (which caused him to rebuke the other thief) caused him to be saved.

Therefore we can conclude that the thief was saved by faith alone. (see the verses I posted above). We must keep that in mind.


Quote
How, then, do you define salvation?

Salvation is being saved from the righteous judgment of God upon the sinner.

Quote
Why such a strict (and false) dichotomy between faith and works? We don't believe in faith plus works as a requirement for salvation; rather, we believe that faith and works are merely two different aspects of the complete trust in the work of Jesus Christ that He requires of us if we wish to be saved.

It is my position that Jesus requires of us the type of faith in Him (which produces good works). But it is that particular type of faith [alone] which saves.

If this is what you meant in that statement, then we are at full agreement. Faith alone is a biblical position (if looked at from the correct perspective which I have presented in this post).


However there is one thing which I have observed :

At the bottom of post 66 on this thread. You made this statement :

Quote
FWIW, are you not familiar with Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew? Here, Jesus states very clearly that we will be saved or condemned on account of our works.


You could have posted some verses which also show that we are justified by faith apart from works of the law.... along with Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew.

But you did not. So I could only conclude that you are trying to teach me that Salvation is by faith plus works. Which then, appeared to be the official position of the EOC on salvation.

Quote
Do you not see that your dichotomy between faith and works betrays the fact that you have built your apologetics within the context of a world view established for you by the Roman Catholic Church? Your divide between faith and works misses entirely the point of how we Orthodox understand salvation by faith in Christ Jesus.

I am not spiritually a Catholic.

From what you have said in your previous post, all I can say is that we are at an agreement, it is just that we look at "Faith alone" from different perspectives.

The perspective from which I look at [Faith alone] is biblical, because I believe that that type of faith will produce good works.

However, you think that faith alone is simply "faith alone" and that is heretical.

If I was looking at "faith alone" from your Orthodox perspective, then I agree that it is also heretical. But I'm not looking at it from the Orthodox Perspective. When you look at it from my perspective, then you'll definitely be at agreement with me.


Quote
Per your suggestion, I'm not going to counter your proof texts with proof texts of my own. (I think this is a rather poor way to address proof texts from Scripture, anyway.)

This simply shows that you are unable to address the verses which show that we are justified by faith and not by works of the law.


Quote
Not that I ever argued that we are saved solely by our works. The truth is I never did.

You actually did. Re-read the last line in post 66 :
Quote
FWIW, are you not familiar with Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew? Here, Jesus states very clearly that we will be saved or condemned on account of our works.


I suggest you could have added some more scripture, at least to make your point more clear.




Quote
But neither are we saved by faith without works, since saving faith cannot even exist without works. Even the wise thief understood this and performed a good work by defending Jesus against the blasphemy of the wicked thief.

The thief believed in Jesus, and that type of faith (which produced his good work) saved him. Therefore the thief was saved by that type of faith [alone]. in accordance with Rom. 4:5 and other verses.

Rom. 4:5 "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"


    Rom. 3:28-30, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
    Rom. 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"
    Rom. 9:30, "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith."
    Gal. 2:16, "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."
    Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.



Quote
Nor do we even believe that we can earn our salvation, if that's what you mean by the implication that we believe in a works-based salvation or add works to faith in our teaching on salvation.


Why did you try to use the good work of the thief as an example?


Quote
The core message of Matthew 25--and no, it's not a parable, it's a description of the Last Judgment--is that we will be judged as worthy or unworthy of the Kingdom on account of the works we have done to manifest our faith in Jesus Christ.

We are saved by that type of faith that produced these good works... The good works did not save us. Else it would be in contradiction to these verses.

    Rom. 3:28-30, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
    Rom. 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"
    Rom. 9:30, "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith."
    Gal. 2:16, "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."
    Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.


Quote
We don't believe that it's the works apart from faith that will save us, as if we can earn our salvation merely by our own good works (the heresy of Pelagianism).

Agreed.

Quote
It is truly by the grace of God that we are saved, and this through faith. The absence of works is evidence of the absence of faith, and the doing of works is evidence of the presence of faith.

Correct, and I fully agree with that statement.
But keeping verses in mind that teach that we are justified by faith apart from works of the law, teaches faith alone (the type of faith that produces good works). There is no other  option.

I fully trust Jesus's sacrifice on the Cross [alone] for my salvation, and good works are flowing out from my faith. But I do not add these works for salvation. They are filthy rags.

Do you get my point?



Quote
However, we don't make the distinction between faith and works that the Roman Catholic Church appears to have made, such that we would ever open the door for others like yourself to set faith and works in opposition to each other, which has led many to throw out works as unnecessary.

I see...

« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 12:41:52 PM by kx9 » Logged
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« Reply #74 on: January 28, 2013, 07:38:57 PM »

Quote
So you oppose the practice of baptizing and communing infants?

No, I don't oppose infant baptism as Scriptures don't forbid it. The decision whether to baptize infants or only adults is left to a Church to decide.

Some Churches baptize by immersion, others by pouring water and some others by simply sprinkling water.


One thing I know for sure : Baptismal Regeneration is not correct.

I was baptized as an infant, but I grew up with very weak faith, and finally became an atheist for many years until I was born again when I truly accepted Christ as my savior, a Spiritual transformation took place and I was regenerated, having my heart of stone removed and a heart of flesh put in place.

Many people born into Christian families are baptized as infants, but remained atheists/unbelievers... even to the grave.

Therefore I can only conclude that baptismal regeneration is not correct.

Overall, it seems to me that people can be baptized only when they are old enough to make a choice to accept Christ or not. But I don't oppose infant baptism either since the Scriptures do not forbid it.





Quote
Of course salvation is by faith. I never argued otherwise. I just see that the Bible is very clear that salvation is NOT by faith alone.

The "faith alone" which is required for salvation is that type of faith that produces good works.


There are only two options. Faith alone or Faith plus works.

    Rom. 3:28-30, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one."
    Rom. 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"
    Rom. 5:1, "therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"
    Rom. 9:30, "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith."
    Rom. 10:4, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
    Rom. 11:6, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."
    Gal. 2:16, "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."
    Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.
    Gal. 3:5-6, "Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
    Gal. 3:24, "Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith."
    Eph. 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 9Not by works, lest any man should boast."
    Phil. 3:9, "and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith."


All these verses say that we are saved by faith without the law.

Faith without the law is FAITH ALONE. If faith is not alone, then it is faith plus works. There is no third option.


Despite you being an ex-protestant, I don't understand why you are unable to grasp what I mean?



Quote
The good thief was saved because Jesus chose to save him. Would you presume, then, that you are "saved" merely because you "believe" in Jesus? What does it mean to believe?

If that were the case, Jesus could have chosen to save the entire human race. Remember that Jesus prayed for all those who mocked him and crucified him. Why? Because He loved them also. If Jesus chose to save the good thief as you said, then it means that He loves only some people and hates the rest.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

But according to the Scriptures, God saves only those who believe.


Quote
Does not the good thief's rebuke of the wicked thief count for nothing in Jesus' eyes? Did the good thief merely believe but otherwise do nothing? NO! He actually did a work of mercy that showed Jesus his faith.

The thief believed, and that type of faith (which caused him to rebuke the other thief) caused him to be saved.

Therefore we can conclude that the thief was saved by faith alone. (see the verses I posted above). We must keep that in mind.


Quote
How, then, do you define salvation?

Salvation is being saved from the righteous judgment of God upon the sinner.

Quote
Why such a strict (and false) dichotomy between faith and works? We don't believe in faith plus works as a requirement for salvation; rather, we believe that faith and works are merely two different aspects of the complete trust in the work of Jesus Christ that He requires of us if we wish to be saved.

It is my position that Jesus requires of us the type of faith in Him (which produces good works). But it is that particular type of faith [alone] which saves.

If this is what you meant in that statement, then we are at full agreement. Faith alone is a biblical position (if looked at from the correct perspective which I have presented in this post).


However there is one thing which I have observed :

At the bottom of post 66 on this thread. You made this statement :

Quote
FWIW, are you not familiar with Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew? Here, Jesus states very clearly that we will be saved or condemned on account of our works.


You could have posted some verses which also show that we are justified by faith apart from works of the law.... along with Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew.

But you did not. So I could only conclude that you are trying to teach me that Salvation is by faith plus works. Which then, appeared to be the official position of the EOC on salvation.

Quote
Do you not see that your dichotomy between faith and works betrays the fact that you have built your apologetics within the context of a world view established for you by the Roman Catholic Church? Your divide between faith and works misses entirely the point of how we Orthodox understand salvation by faith in Christ Jesus.

I am not spiritually a Catholic.

From what you have said in your previous post, all I can say is that we are at an agreement, it is just that we look at "Faith alone" from different perspectives.

The perspective from which I look at [Faith alone] is biblical, because I believe that that type of faith will produce good works.

However, you think that faith alone is simply "faith alone" and that is heretical.

If I was looking at "faith alone" from your Orthodox perspective, then I agree that it is also heretical. But I'm not looking at it from the Orthodox Perspective. When you look at it from my perspective, then you'll definitely be at agreement with me.


Quote
Per your suggestion, I'm not going to counter your proof texts with proof texts of my own. (I think this is a rather poor way to address proof texts from Scripture, anyway.)

This simply shows that you are unable to address the verses which show that we are justified by faith and not by works of the law.


Quote
Not that I ever argued that we are saved solely by our works. The truth is I never did.

You actually did. Re-read the last line in post 66 :
Quote
FWIW, are you not familiar with Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew? Here, Jesus states very clearly that we will be saved or condemned on account of our works.


I suggest you could have added some more scripture, at least to make your point more clear.




Quote
But neither are we saved by faith without works, since saving faith cannot even exist without works. Even the wise thief understood this and performed a good work by defending Jesus against the blasphemy of the wicked thief.

The thief believed in Jesus, and that type of faith (which produced his good work) saved him. Therefore the thief was saved by that type of faith [alone]. in accordance with Rom. 4:5 and other verses.

Rom. 4:5 "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"


    Rom. 3:28-30, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
    Rom. 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"
    Rom. 9:30, "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith."
    Gal. 2:16, "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."
    Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.



Quote
Nor do we even believe that we can earn our salvation, if that's what you mean by the implication that we believe in a works-based salvation or add works to faith in our teaching on salvation.


Why did you try to use the good work of the thief as an example?


Quote
The core message of Matthew 25--and no, it's not a parable, it's a description of the Last Judgment--is that we will be judged as worthy or unworthy of the Kingdom on account of the works we have done to manifest our faith in Jesus Christ.

We are saved by that type of faith that produced these good works... The good works did not save us. Else it would be in contradiction to these verses.

    Rom. 3:28-30, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
    Rom. 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"
    Rom. 9:30, "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith."
    Gal. 2:16, "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."
    Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.


Quote
We don't believe that it's the works apart from faith that will save us, as if we can earn our salvation merely by our own good works (the heresy of Pelagianism).

Agreed.

Quote
It is truly by the grace of God that we are saved, and this through faith. The absence of works is evidence of the absence of faith, and the doing of works is evidence of the presence of faith.

Correct, and I fully agree with that statement.
But keeping verses in mind that teach that we are justified by faith apart from works of the law, teaches faith alone (the type of faith that produces good works). There is no other  option.

I fully trust Jesus's sacrifice on the Cross [alone] for my salvation, and good works are flowing out from my faith. But I do not add these works for salvation. They are filthy rags.

Do you get my point?
I do get the point that you have closed your mind off to seeing Christian doctrine in any way other than how you've always seen it.



Quote
However, we don't make the distinction between faith and works that the Roman Catholic Church appears to have made, such that we would ever open the door for others like yourself to set faith and works in opposition to each other, which has led many to throw out works as unnecessary.

I see...
Do you really? You seem rather blind to me.
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« Reply #75 on: February 04, 2013, 08:50:36 AM »

I am more convinced that Church(e.g the body of Christ) should not be less essential than the 66 canonical Scriptures.

In 1st century, Jesus and the Apostles did not put any effort on deciding which Scriptures are canonical or not,either Old or New Testament. Instead, they put a lot of effort on building the Church of God.Before A.D397, there were even thousands of epistles and more than 60 books in the Church. Even after the New Testament is formed, the Church is to use them to prevent the heresy, not to make them as the only standard for the life of Christianity.

If these 66 canonical Scriptures are really more important than the Church of God, Jesus and His Apostles should canonize them and form a book called bible in 1 st century. So, the Church would not be absence of  New testament for more than three hundred years and use  the wrong Old Testament for  thousands of years. However, the Apostle did not  put any effort on deciding which Scriptures are canonical . Instead, they spend their effort on building the Church of God.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 08:52:46 AM by walter1234 » Logged
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« Reply #76 on: March 04, 2013, 10:57:42 PM »

One thing I know for sure : Baptismal Regeneration is not correct.

  Baptismal regeneration as a doctrine does not entail that a person baptized can never become apostate.   It is the sign of the New Covenant, in the same way that Jewish children would be circumcised and/or presented at the temple and taken into their covenant.

 Martin Luther definitely believed in baptismal regeneration, in fact it was a major source of his faith.  For Luther, a person could be justified by faith precisely because of the validity of the sacraments and the promises of Christ in the Gospels to the Church, apart from the subjective inward feelings or experiences of the individual- what modern evangelicals call "faith", which in reality is a kind of pietism.  It's profoundly radical to deny baptismal regeneration, especially because St. Paul himself in plain words puts it best "as many have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ".  On this point many Orthodox and Protestants are in agreement.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 11:04:03 PM by Daedelus1138 » Logged
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« Reply #77 on: May 08, 2013, 06:55:20 AM »

One thing I know for sure : Baptismal Regeneration is not correct.

  Baptismal regeneration as a doctrine does not entail that a person baptized can never become apostate.   It is the sign of the New Covenant, in the same way that Jewish children would be circumcised and/or presented at the temple and taken into their covenant.

 Martin Luther definitely believed in baptismal regeneration, in fact it was a major source of his faith.  For Luther, a person could be justified by faith precisely because of the validity of the sacraments and the promises of Christ in the Gospels to the Church, apart from the subjective inward feelings or experiences of the individual- what modern evangelicals call "faith", which in reality is a kind of pietism.  It's profoundly radical to deny baptismal regeneration, especially because St. Paul himself in plain words puts it best "as many have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ".  On this point many Orthodox and Protestants are in agreement.
Correct. The only ones who do not are like kx9: ones who have embraced the heresy of "once saved, always saved," a dogma taught nowhere in Scripture, and contradicted by many places in Scripture (Hebrews for one).
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« Reply #78 on: May 29, 2013, 05:23:27 PM »

If you are not EOC, no, because that would mean you are preaching another Gospel.

+1

How do you always come up with these amazing one-liners?

It's easy when you have a very small brain.
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« Reply #79 on: April 05, 2014, 02:43:09 AM »

I lost track of time reading all this just to find the last post was nearly a year ago. Whilst I agree here and disagree there, I am disappointed at what such a slinging match this has been. What I am more disappointed at is most of the petty insults have been coming from the Orthodox here. There is no way to stop human nature I guess but I assumed, wrongly, that if they have the true and full extent of the Spirit, those who profess to be Orthodox would be more restrained. I spent a lot of time in a protestant chatroom defending Orthodoxy, just to see some more foaming and snobbery rather than careful and loving correction here. Being an area for discussion, even polemics, doesn't necessitate namecalling, from both sides. I hope I'm not the only one who sees this scourge of slander here and wishes to do more than pretend ignoring it will make it go away.

I would add that from an Orthodox point of pers, OSAS is true, just being saved does not mean the same thing (he who endures WILL BE saved) - once we are saved, is God going to kick us out the New Jerusalem? Will there be sin in the New Jerusalem? Isn't judgment day the point at which we receive complete and irreversible salvation. Correct me if I'm wrong, I apologise for my ignorance whilst I learn.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 02:51:53 AM by JGHunter » Logged
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« Reply #80 on: April 05, 2014, 03:01:24 AM »

Quote
Even using the search function, I still have to decide how much time I'm willing to devote to a search of your previous posts and balance that time commitment against all my other commitments.

Well, I have nothing more to say on the matter.


Quote
What's very clear to me is that you ignored the major part of what I just said, for I didn't attack the Sinner's Prayer. I attacked the false gospel taught at the CARM web site and happened to choose a way of describing that gospel that isn't exactly consistent with some other things taught there. I would suggest, then, that you re-read my posts properly before you reply to them. Don't get so hung up on the details that you miss the big picture.

CARM doesn't teach a false Gospel. It seems to you like that since you don't understand how things are understood outside.

It goes like this. I say a non-Christian : "Mary is the Mother of God"

Non-Christian : "Hey, wait!! So God came into existence when He was born. That's heretical. Isn't He supposed to be uncreated and eternal"

Actually, by saying that Mary is the Mother of God, I actually mean that Jesus is God in Flesh


In the same way, you are understanding things differently than what non-Orthodox actually mean, and attacking our position as heretical.




Quote
So what? I'm not focused on the Sinner's Prayer; you are.

Neither am I focused on it, I just posted a link to the Gospel as presented by CARM (The top part was very important) but remember that you only brought up the sinner's prayer from the bottom of the entire article, and attacked it.


No wonder, we perceive things differently from different viewpoints.

Quote
This statement only goes to show how steeped in heresy you are, for the Gospels make it very clear that Baptism and Communion are just as necessary for salvation as belief, which is why we give both even to infants. If one "believes" in the Gospel but does not do what the Gospel requires, does one really believe?


Note what I have underlined from your quote.

It is my point that one who is a real christian will have a wish to be baptized and receive communion. One who rejects both, should re-examine his faith.


Acts 8:34-38

34 The official said to Philip, “Tell me, please. Who is the prophet talking about? Himself, or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that same part of Scripture. He told him the good news about Jesus.

36/37 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water. The official said, “Look! Here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 38 He gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the official went down into the water. Philip baptized him.


It is my point that one who is a real Christian will have a wish to be baptized and receive communion. Now do you get my point?



Quote
Why do you make the exception the norm? This passage you cite shows only that Jesus has the authority to dispense with His own commandments in response to extraordinary situations. Do remember that this same Jesus who saved the thief on the cross also commanded that we be baptized and receive the Eucharist, thus making baptism and communion our norm. If we who are able to pursue baptism and receive the Eucharist fail to do so when we have the chance, do you think Jesus will still be merciful to us after wasting such a precious opportunity?

Re-read Acts 8:34-38

Baptism and communion are our norm. I agree, but people were declared saved in the scriptures even before receiving both sacraments.

One who as real faith, will definitely have a desire to receive both sacraments.


Baptism and communion can be received only after a real saving faith.

There are many many more verses that say salvation is by faith.


Quote
Our God is in heaven and on earth; He does whatever He pleases. If our Lord wants to save the wise thief even though he was not baptized, that's His divine prerogative. Our job is to follow His commandments.

The good thief was saved because he believed in Jesus, else Jesus could have chosen to save the other thief as well.

Also... Luke 7:50  ►
Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."


Quote
To you it does. Jesus Christ is God, which means He can do as He pleases. He can establish baptism and communion as necessary for our salvation yet assert Divine prerogative to not follow His own rules if necessary for the salvation of one individual in an extraordinary circumstance. Jesus is not bound to His sacraments as we are.

Christians practice baptism and communion because Jesus commanded it. But scriptures say that one can be baptized only after they have believed. And communion is only for believers. And again Scripture makes it clear that we are saved when we believe.


Quote
They're available for me if I want to invest my time in using them. If I think the task of using them too much of a time investment, then I won't use them.

As you wish. I have nothing more to say on the matter.


Quote
No. We don't follow CARM's Gospel. We follow the Gospel as it was preached by Jesus Christ, the Apostles, and the Church.


http://carm.org/questions/about-doctrine/what-relationship-between-faith-works

http://carm.org/are-we-saved-faith-alone-or-do-we-need-works-too


Please just show me why these verses in these two links do not contradict the Eastern Orthodox teaching of Faith plus Works as a requirement for salvation? How does the Orthodox Church prove that these verses do not contradict its teaching of faith plus works for salvation?

Please do not use counter-verses, else it will be a case of using Scripture against Scripture which is wrong since it makes the scriptures contradict itself. Rather you should harmonize these verses so that they agree with the verses that "teach" faith plus works without any contradiction.

Now please begin with your EO explanations of each verse in both links.



Quote
FWIW, are you not familiar with Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew? Here, Jesus states very clearly that we will be saved or condemned on account of our works.

A casual reading seems to suggest that salvation is the result of good works. The “sheep” acted charitably, giving food, drink, and clothing to the needy. The “goats” showed no charity. This seems to result in salvation for the sheep and damnation for the goats.

Note that Jesus says that they received eternal life by their works (Faith is not mentioned at all in the entire passage). But Scripture consistently says that faith is a critical requirement, so the salvation by works interpretation is incorrect.


However, Scripture does not contradict itself, and the Bible clearly and repeatedly teaches that salvation is by faith through the grace of God and not by our good works (see John 1:12; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:22-24; Romans 4:4-8; Romans 7:24-25; Romans 8:12; Galatians 3:6-9; and Ephesians 2:8-10). In fact, Jesus Himself makes it clear in the parable that the salvation of the “sheep” is not based on their works—their inheritance was theirs “since the creation of the world” (Matthew 25:34), long before they could ever do any good works.

The good works mentioned in the parable are not the cause of salvation but the effect of salvation. As Christians we become like Christ (see Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; and Colossians 2:6-7). Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Good works in a Christian’s life are the direct overflow of these traits, and are only acceptable to God because of the relationship that exists between servant and Master, the saved and their Savior, the sheep and their Shepherd (see Ephesians 2:10).

The core message of the Parable of the Sheep and Goats is that God’s people will love others. Good works will result from our relationship to the Shepherd. Followers of Christ will treat others with kindness, serving them as if they were serving Christ Himself. The unregenerate live in the opposite manner. While “goats” can indeed perform acts of kindness and charity, their hearts are not right with God, and their actions are not for the right purpose – to honor and worship God.
I agree with much of what you are saying, but I think that it is pretty clear from Matthew that generally, you need to do good works to be saved. Of course other things are necessary also, especially charity, and faith and hope. As these are general ideas, there will be some exceptions.
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stanley123
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« Reply #81 on: April 05, 2014, 03:03:29 AM »

CARM is that site where all they do is hate on Catholics, isn't it?
Indeed it is.

And probably not in an Orthodox way. Smiley
That's what I was thinking about this site.
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #82 on: April 05, 2014, 03:38:41 AM »


Are there unbelievers inside the Body of Christ?


I request a YES or NO answer.


You first need to define "unbeliever." Unless they have attained theosis, then all Christians within the Body of Christ struggle with their faith. We are imperfect, sinful, struggling by grace to maintain our faith and to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. The prayer of the father of the demoniac boy comes to mind: "I believe; Lord help my unbelief." [St. Mark 9:24]


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“Lord, I say too many uncharitable things about people every day. I say them because they make me look clever. Help me to realize how cheap this is. I am stupid, quite as stupid as the people I ridicule. Help me to stop this selfishness, because I love You dear God." ~ FLANNERY O'CONNOR ~
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« Reply #83 on: April 05, 2014, 04:12:24 AM »

Truly, I don't think there is an established difference between unbelief and nonbelief. I would like to posit, though, for the sake of clarity, that unbelief is the lack of acceptance and nonbelief is the outright rejection, nonbelief therefore being a form of unbelief. The pagans who Paul talked to about the unknown God would have been unbelievers. Those who deny that the Eucharist is Christ's flesh and blood are not only unbelievers, but are in a state of nonbelief: they have rejected the notion consciously.

In view of this, I would say there are unbelievers in the church, because whilst faith is an on off switch, knowledge of doctrine is not, and we must learn continuously to be more like Christ, otherwise the Orthodox church would baptise anyone into it who said "I believe" (after all, without the idea of belief being, to some extent, gradually learnt, we could assume people knew everything they were getting themselves into upon belief). It's not that they have not rejected some doctrine that they were not aware of, rather there may be an issue with an official stance by the church that had never occurred to the believer. So I think we could say there are unbelievers in the Body of Christ, but no nonbelievers if we accept the definitions I've given. Of course, we may not, but the words we use are arbitrary, it's what they stand for that matters.
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