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Author Topic: is there any church father or early Christian saying that 'I believe in bible'?  (Read 3031 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2013, 02:30:27 PM »

The OP asked for:

Yes. Believe in bible but do not believe in the Church

The long list of quotes doesn't address this.

From the Orthodox point of view, as I understand it, you can't separate the Bible from the Church. If you said you believed in the Bible but not the Church, you would by definition be rejecting the Church. Thus, any Church Father who said this would have separated himself from the Church.
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« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2013, 02:37:46 PM »

It's interesting that everyone of the Church fathers also believe in Tradition, the Councils, the ordained Priesthood, etc.

Like Papal Infallibility or the Immaculate Conception? What council's? Rome has had many the Eastern churches reject. Who's tradition?  RC, OO, EO, Assyrian, other churches that broke away from these over corruption like selling salvation and Inquisitions?

I think Saint John Chrysostom put it best when he stated:

There comes a heathen and says, "I wish to become a Christian, but I know not whom to join: there is much fighting and faction among you, much confusion: which doctrine am I to choose?" How shall we answer him? "Each of you" (says he) "asserts, 'I speak the truth.'" No doubt: this is in our favor. For if we told you to be persuaded by arguments, you might well be perplexed: but if we bid you believe the Scriptures, and these are simple and true, the decision is easy for you. If any agree with the Scriptures, he is the Christian; if any fight against them, he is far from this rule.
What good does it do, however, to merely "believe the Scriptures" when by merely "believing the Scriptures", you Protestants have splintered into numerous different sects?

Salvation? There are now 2.2 Billion Christians in the world, that is good. Over 600,000,000 of them Protestants, 1.1 Billion Catholics and 300,000,000 Orthodox.

One Faith - In Christ Jesus
One Baptism - with the Holy Spirit
One God - the Creator

If all those good people who attend their local church, believe in God the creator, believe in Christ their savior, believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and do good works (whether as a fruit of faith or requirement).  I sincerely hope God does not punish us/them to eternal hell for not understanding perfect theology.

Protestants didn't start the separations of the church, that was you guys with all your excommunications of each other making it impossible to know the truth of who's right, if anyone is.
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« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2013, 02:40:12 PM »

Quote from: Happy Lutheran
Protestants didn't start the separations of the church, that was you guys with all your excommunications of each other making it impossible to know the truth of who's right, if anyone it.

 police
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« Reply #48 on: April 01, 2013, 02:40:55 PM »

It's interesting that everyone of the Church fathers also believe in Tradition, the Councils, the ordained Priesthood, etc.

Like Papal Infallibility or the Immaculate Conception?

These are not Scriptural and never have been.

Quote
What council's? Rome has had many the Eastern churches reject.

The councils of the Church that do not contradict the previous ones. Since Roman robber 8th council actually contradicts the actual 8th council in which Rome herself participated, there you have it.

Quote
Who's tradition? 

The tradition of the Apostles. Which include Sacraments, real presence, hierarchical liturgical church, asceticism, etc etc.
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« Reply #49 on: April 01, 2013, 02:44:53 PM »

I sincerely hope God does not punish us/them to eternal hell for not understanding perfect theology.

He probably won't, but He might for prideful lack of obedience to those who did understand perfect theology, aka Apostles, Fathers and Saints. It's really common sense. When you go to the doctor, you submit to his "superior" knowledge. If you go to a surgery, you simply trust the surgeon. You don't demand that they make you understand medicine as well as they do. But for some reason, at some point, people started thinking they could do this about salvation. Go figure.
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« Reply #50 on: April 01, 2013, 03:03:32 PM »

I sincerely hope God does not punish us/them to eternal hell for not understanding perfect theology.

He probably won't, but He might for prideful lack of obedience to those who did understand perfect theology, aka Apostles, Fathers and Saints. It's really common sense. When you go to the doctor, you submit to his "superior" knowledge. If you go to a surgery, you simply trust the surgeon. You don't demand that they make you understand medicine as well as they do. But for some reason, at some point, people started thinking they could do this about salvation. Go figure.

Then why do so many church fathers contradict each other? Why all the excommunications of each other? Which "one true ekklesia" is right? EO, OO, Rome, Assyrians?
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« Reply #51 on: April 01, 2013, 03:10:54 PM »

One Faith - In Christ Jesus
One Baptism - with the Holy Spirit
One God - the Creator

The Fathers did not "believe in the Bible" in the Protestant sense of the phrase, and so neither do Orthodox Christians.  When Protestants say that they "believe in the Bible", they are usually confessing their belief in a particular Protestant tradition of Scriptural interpretation.  Or, they are confessing belief in a particular Protestant interpretive tradition that is jumbled together with their own private opinions that may not have much basis in any one interpretive tradition.  Orthodox Christians do believe in the Holy Scriptures, but as understood, interpreted, and applied by the Apostolic Church.  The Scriptures themselves state that the Church is the "pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15), so only in the Church does one find the authority to properly understand, interpret, and apply the Scriptures.

Above you refer to Ephesians 4:5 that there is "One Lord, one faith, one baptism", yet you give an entirely Protestant interpretation that is entirely contrary to how the Church has historically understood this verse.  You can believe as you like, but to Orthodox these beliefs are a "different gospel", regarding which St. Paul speaks quite clearly in Galatians 1:8.


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« Reply #52 on: April 01, 2013, 03:19:27 PM »

For the same reason that if you have two people at opposite sides of the Eiffel Tower and you ask them "where is the Eiffel Tower?" one will say "to the right" and the other "to the left". And a third "smart" one will say that it can be anywhere because the two authorities are in contradiction.

The Fathers do not have contradictions in the ordinary way that "smart" analysts try to project on them. They speak from different angles pointing to the same reality. When linguistic limitations prevented them from understanding each other, the problem would eventually be solved in a council local or otherwise.

As for how to identify Christ's church today among the many denomination, it's really easy. Which one has kept practices and theology that are consonant with the practices and theology the Apostolic synods and Ecumenical Councils acknowledged by all? Non-Chalcedonians are in direct opposition to previous councils and the Apostles. Rome contradicted an Ecumenical council it had previously taken part in order to affirm changes that even Roman popes had previously condemned (filioque and exacerbated primate authority). Which one has not deviated and preserved the faith? Which had the *cultural* means of doing so, for it still speaks the language that was first used to universalize the faith and did not have to rely on secondary translations and interpretations? Which one went through cultural changes, but no civilizational rupture?

I sincerely hope God does not punish us/them to eternal hell for not understanding perfect theology.

He probably won't, but He might for prideful lack of obedience to those who did understand perfect theology, aka Apostles, Fathers and Saints. It's really common sense. When you go to the doctor, you submit to his "superior" knowledge. If you go to a surgery, you simply trust the surgeon. You don't demand that they make you understand medicine as well as they do. But for some reason, at some point, people started thinking they could do this about salvation. Go figure.

Then why do so many church fathers contradict each other? Why all the excommunications of each other? Which "one true ekklesia" is right? EO, OO, Rome, Assyrians?
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« Reply #53 on: April 01, 2013, 03:20:25 PM »

I sincerely hope God does not punish us/them to eternal hell for not understanding perfect theology.

He probably won't, but He might for prideful lack of obedience to those who did understand perfect theology, aka Apostles, Fathers and Saints. It's really common sense. When you go to the doctor, you submit to his "superior" knowledge. If you go to a surgery, you simply trust the surgeon. You don't demand that they make you understand medicine as well as they do. But for some reason, at some point, people started thinking they could do this about salvation. Go figure.

Then why do so many church fathers contradict each other? Why all the excommunications of each other? Which "one true ekklesia" is right? EO, OO, Rome, Assyrians?

Contradictions between the Fathers are typically exaggerated by those who search for excuses for not accepting the faith which the Fathers had in common, and the communion which they shared in the one Body of Christ. 

Regarding which ancient church body is the one body of Christ, that is something that you will need to determine on your own.  Of course, I will tell you that the Orthodox Church is the true Church, and about that I have no doubt.  There are others here who make other claims, and this forum is open to all.  Just because something appears difficult to resolve does not mean it is beyond resolution if one is sincerely interested in the truth.  Somehow you believe in the Gospels despite the apparent contradictions between the four. 
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« Reply #54 on: April 01, 2013, 03:39:13 PM »


As for how to identify Christ's church today among the many denomination, it's really easy.

If it's so easy to indentify, why does Rome have 4 times your numbers? Maybe it's easier to see they are right, according to the numbers.

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« Reply #55 on: April 01, 2013, 03:48:26 PM »


As for how to identify Christ's church today among the many denomination, it's really easy.

If it's so easy to indentify, why does Rome have 4 times your numbers? Maybe it's easier to see they are right, according to the numbers.


What do numbers have to do with it?
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« Reply #56 on: April 01, 2013, 03:55:42 PM »


As for how to identify Christ's church today among the many denomination, it's really easy.

If it's so easy to indentify, why does Rome have 4 times your numbers? Maybe it's easier to see they are right, according to the numbers.


What do numbers have to do with it?

Nothing, my point is that it is NOT "really easy" to identify, as Fabio claimed. If it were the church would be more unified than it is. Everyone thinks they are right and the other guy is wrong.
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« Reply #57 on: April 01, 2013, 04:23:21 PM »

Which "one true ekklesia" is right? EO, OO, Rome, Assyrians?

The EO and the OO.

Then why do so many church fathers contradict each other?

Because they're not infallible.

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« Reply #58 on: April 01, 2013, 04:25:12 PM »

Everyone thinks they are right and the other guy is wrong.


I've known more than a few people who thought they were wrong and the other guy right.

But the other person disagreed, so I guess you are correct.
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« Reply #59 on: April 01, 2013, 04:26:31 PM »

Which "one true ekklesia" is right? EO, OO, Rome, Assyrians?

The EO and the OO.

Can't if they haven't been in communion for like ever.

Gotta choose.
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« Reply #60 on: April 01, 2013, 05:18:27 PM »


As for how to identify Christ's church today among the many denomination, it's really easy.

If it's so easy to indentify, why does Rome have 4 times your numbers? Maybe it's easier to see they are right, according to the numbers.



You're absolutely right.  It's not so easy...but it's possible.  If you can pull out sayings from the Fathers about the respect of Scriptures, you can also pull out from these same fathers the practices and beliefs of the early Church.  So...find for yourself, and be humble about it.

We as Apostolic churches have our weaknesses yes, but I think it's quite telling there's a lot we can agree on that separates us a great distance from the Protestant world.

God bless.
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« Reply #61 on: April 01, 2013, 05:31:28 PM »

People really seem to have a problem with the idea more than anything, despite that their own church teaches there was another great apostasy (when the majority of Christians were Arians). It happened at least once according to everyone.
Yes, but that was a (technically) minor variation in belief, compared to the notion that within a few decades, thousands of people who had hitherto been willing to die for a minority religion would permit it to be abominated on nearly every level into something totally opposing its previous structure, belief and practice. The historical record bears out no such transformation in the 4th Century, as the standard Great Apostasy theory claims.

It is worth mentioning that those who created the Great Apostasy hypothesis had serious ethos problems.

So did plenty of your Saints (which emperor was it that had an entire stadium of people murdered? I know, I know, somehow according to eastern European standards it can be justified Roll Eyes)
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« Reply #62 on: April 01, 2013, 05:59:39 PM »

Not justified. People sin and they can repent.
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« Reply #63 on: April 01, 2013, 08:17:18 PM »

So did plenty of your Saints
I was referring to an ethos of academic credibility. Something that Alexander and Thomas Campbell, Adolf Von Harnack (by contemporary standards), Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White, and friends, do not possess.

which emperor was it that had an entire stadium of people murdered?
King Jehu of Israel was the first, I believe.
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« Reply #64 on: April 03, 2013, 10:14:24 AM »

As Papist have said, numbers have nothing to do with it. If we have any Gospel reference to it, a certain majority in democratic voting once chose Barabbas over Jesus.... (I am *for* democracy though, if joined with localism and federalism, but I digress).

It is easy if:

1) you don't think that what people think is a reference for truth
2) you know that it's not important how many believe something or are not concerned with fitting in, nor scared of not fitting in;
3) you use sound criteria, and by that I mean that, to identify which church, if any, is the true Church, you cannot use internal theological arguments for that, but external evidence. Most theological claims are believed on faith, so to choose one or the other as the criteria is to beg the question, it's a circular argument, taking the conclusion as the premise. So what criteria should one use? Historical, sociological and cultural. That's how I chose to be Orthodox after I converted to "generic" Christianity. The amount of evidence for the cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological continuity in the Orthodox Church since its beginning with the Apostles is overwhelming. The amount of evidence for cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological ruptures in the non-Chalcedonian, Roman and Protestant churches is equally overwhelming. With that in mind, I felt more comfortable to give credence to the Church's theological claims and then the application of such claims being confirmed in practice and showing more coherence than the competing claims confirms the first external conclusions.

The reason people are not massively Orthodox is that they are not concerned with that. Researches show that more than half (I think around 85%, but I'm not sure) of the peope simply follow their parents beliefs, not questioning if they are true or not - that includes atheism by the way.

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« Reply #65 on: April 03, 2013, 10:22:55 AM »

And just to finalize, as I have learned in these 10 years as a Christian, rational scientific evidence is not important for the vast majority of people, either to believe or disbelieve anything, religious or not. Most are simply emotional about issues and proceed to rationalize what feels right for them and that's it. I still can't relate or empathize with that, but I have learned to accept and not judge. Incredibly for my then imature understanding of God, He doesn't seem to care *why* you love Him as long as you do. Just like the devil too doesn't care too much why you disbelieve. Motivations for what you are are less important than what you are. And God is so merciful that sometimes not even what you are matters that much, but just what you are struggling to be. Lucky us for that.
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« Reply #66 on: April 03, 2013, 11:07:01 AM »

Again, regarding the OP, the reason why the Fathers never said "I believe in the Bible", and why those in the Orthodox Church do not say "I believe in the Bible", in sense of the phrase that you refer to, can be easily understood by looking at the results of such a belief following the Protestant Reformation.  Our Fathers from the first centuries observed how the heretics would create entire systems of belief based on the Scriptures, without regard to how the Apostolic Church understood and interpreted these Scriptures.  The Scriptures themselves include the letters of St. Peter, wherein he states that the writings of St. Paul contain "some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16)", showing that many people are led astray to the destruction of their souls by relying on their own understanding of the Scriptures.  Since the Reformation, the endless sectarianism, constant confusion, and continuous repetition of the same age-old heresies is the natural result of this single-minded "belief in the Bible" without regard for the Apostolic tradition.  Isn't the result of Sola Scriptura evidence enough of the futility of this erroneous belief?

To further understand the Orthodox position regarding this, I would recommend reading the following short excerpts from the Commonitory of St. Vincent of Lerins:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf211.iii.xxvii.html
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf211.iii.xxviii.html

Here, St. Vincent discusses how the use of the Scriptures by the heretics imitates the Devil when he quoted form the Scriptures while tempting Christ in the wilderness.  St. Vincent then explains how one is to distinguish between true and false interpretations of the Scriptures.  If you follow St. Vincent's advice, you will be on solid ground and much less overwhelmed in your search for Christ's One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. 
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« Reply #67 on: April 03, 2013, 01:29:26 PM »

Which "one true ekklesia" is right? EO, OO, Rome, Assyrians?

The EO and the OO.

Can't if they haven't been in communion for like ever.

Gotta choose.

Oh, stop being so difficult. We're just saying the same thing different ways, kinda like filioque.
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« Reply #68 on: April 03, 2013, 03:22:29 PM »

Which "one true ekklesia" is right? EO, OO, Rome, Assyrians?

The EO and the OO.

Can't if they haven't been in communion for like ever.

Gotta choose.

Oh, stop being so difficult. We're just saying the same thing different ways, kinda like filioque.

Really every religious statement is like that. Like I was taught in Catholic high school religion class, the Hindus mean the same thing by Brahman that we mean by God.
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« Reply #69 on: April 03, 2013, 04:35:07 PM »

Which "one true ekklesia" is right? EO, OO, Rome, Assyrians?

The EO and the OO.

Can't if they haven't been in communion for like ever.

Gotta choose.

Oh, stop being so difficult. We're just saying the same thing different ways, kinda like filioque.

Really every religious statement is like that. Like I was taught in Catholic high school religion class, the Hindus mean the same thing by Brahman that we mean by God.

Um, I'm certainly no expert on Hinduism but my cursory study of it indicates a totally different idea of or understanding of God. Not the same at all.
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« Reply #70 on: April 03, 2013, 04:42:33 PM »

Plus there is a know linguistic phenomenum that context defines the text. Texts do not exist in a void of meaning. Humour is very good in demonstrating that. A story that is funny in a country may not be in another. A story that is funny in a certain age may not be in another. The comic content of the text is defined by a complex web of contextual meanings that culturally defined.

The Scriptures can mean anything in any given context. The report on ancient alien activities, the code to an hermetic cosmic shattering secret, the ideological veil of oppresion over a revolutionary content, an eastern esoteric text corrupted by evil rationalist westerns... anything.

Any text needs a context to reveal its meaning. Orthodox Apostolic Catholic tradition is the cultural environment that selected the text. The Bible is meant to mean what it means *in* this context and in this context only. The rest is just fan-fiction.
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« Reply #71 on: April 03, 2013, 06:05:24 PM »

Orthodox Apostolic Catholic tradition is the cultural environment that selected the text. The Bible is meant to mean what it means *in* this context and in this context only.

That is impossible:


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« Reply #72 on: April 03, 2013, 06:08:03 PM »

As Papist have said, numbers have nothing to do with it. If we have any Gospel reference to it, a certain majority in democratic voting once chose Barabbas over Jesus.... (I am *for* democracy though, if joined with localism and federalism, but I digress).

It is easy if:

1) you don't think that what people think is a reference for truth
2) you know that it's not important how many believe something or are not concerned with fitting in, nor scared of not fitting in;
3) you use sound criteria, and by that I mean that, to identify which church, if any, is the true Church, you cannot use internal theological arguments for that, but external evidence. Most theological claims are believed on faith, so to choose one or the other as the criteria is to beg the question, it's a circular argument, taking the conclusion as the premise. So what criteria should one use? Historical, sociological and cultural. That's how I chose to be Orthodox after I converted to "generic" Christianity. The amount of evidence for the cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological continuity in the Orthodox Church since its beginning with the Apostles is overwhelming. The amount of evidence for cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological ruptures in the non-Chalcedonian, Roman and Protestant churches is equally overwhelming. With that in mind, I felt more comfortable to give credence to the Church's theological claims and then the application of such claims being confirmed in practice and showing more coherence than the competing claims confirms the first external conclusions.

The reason people are not massively Orthodox is that they are not concerned with that. Researches show that more than half (I think around 85%, but I'm not sure) of the peope simply follow their parents beliefs, not questioning if they are true or not - that includes atheism by the way.



Fabio, if you used more white space I know it would be easier for me to make my way through your posts, especially as they grow in length.

The one you recently posted on marriage for example, if you had just separated each enumerated point with a single line of white space, it would have been a huge help.

Just a thought, others have made similar comments about the use of white space before.

Thanks for your thoughtful posts.
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« Reply #73 on: April 03, 2013, 06:25:43 PM »

As Papist have said, numbers have nothing to do with it. If we have any Gospel reference to it, a certain majority in democratic voting once chose Barabbas over Jesus.... (I am *for* democracy though, if joined with localism and federalism, but I digress).

It is easy if:

1) you don't think that what people think is a reference for truth
2) you know that it's not important how many believe something or are not concerned with fitting in, nor scared of not fitting in;
3) you use sound criteria, and by that I mean that, to identify which church, if any, is the true Church, you cannot use internal theological arguments for that, but external evidence. Most theological claims are believed on faith, so to choose one or the other as the criteria is to beg the question, it's a circular argument, taking the conclusion as the premise. So what criteria should one use? Historical, sociological and cultural. That's how I chose to be Orthodox after I converted to "generic" Christianity. The amount of evidence for the cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological continuity in the Orthodox Church since its beginning with the Apostles is overwhelming. The amount of evidence for cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological ruptures in the non-Chalcedonian, Roman and Protestant churches is equally overwhelming. With that in mind, I felt more comfortable to give credence to the Church's theological claims and then the application of such claims being confirmed in practice and showing more coherence than the competing claims confirms the first external conclusions.

The reason people are not massively Orthodox is that they are not concerned with that. Researches show that more than half (I think around 85%, but I'm not sure) of the peope simply follow their parents beliefs, not questioning if they are true or not - that includes atheism by the way.



Fabio, if you used more white space I know it would be easier for me to make my way through your posts, especially as they grow in length.

The one you recently posted on marriage for example, if you had just separated each enumerated point with a single line of white space, it would have been a huge help.

Just a thought, others have made similar comments about the use of white space before.

Thanks for your thoughtful posts.

I find it edifying

That you have made known to me

That the use of white space

Between each point I make

Helps others
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« Reply #74 on: April 03, 2013, 07:09:38 PM »

As Papist have said, numbers have nothing to do with it. If we have any Gospel reference to it, a certain majority in democratic voting once chose Barabbas over Jesus.... (I am *for* democracy though, if joined with localism and federalism, but I digress).

It is easy if:

1) you don't think that what people think is a reference for truth
2) you know that it's not important how many believe something or are not concerned with fitting in, nor scared of not fitting in;
3) you use sound criteria, and by that I mean that, to identify which church, if any, is the true Church, you cannot use internal theological arguments for that, but external evidence. Most theological claims are believed on faith, so to choose one or the other as the criteria is to beg the question, it's a circular argument, taking the conclusion as the premise. So what criteria should one use? Historical, sociological and cultural. That's how I chose to be Orthodox after I converted to "generic" Christianity. The amount of evidence for the cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological continuity in the Orthodox Church since its beginning with the Apostles is overwhelming. The amount of evidence for cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological ruptures in the non-Chalcedonian, Roman and Protestant churches is equally overwhelming. With that in mind, I felt more comfortable to give credence to the Church's theological claims and then the application of such claims being confirmed in practice and showing more coherence than the competing claims confirms the first external conclusions.

The reason people are not massively Orthodox is that they are not concerned with that. Researches show that more than half (I think around 85%, but I'm not sure) of the peope simply follow their parents beliefs, not questioning if they are true or not - that includes atheism by the way.



Fabio, if you used more white space I know it would be easier for me to make my way through your posts, especially as they grow in length.

The one you recently posted on marriage for example, if you had just separated each enumerated point with a single line of white space, it would have been a huge help.

Just a thought, others have made similar comments about the use of white space before.

Thanks for your thoughtful posts.

I find it edifying

That you have made known to me

That the use of white space

Between each point I make

Helps others

Eyes like it.
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« Reply #75 on: April 04, 2013, 12:38:08 AM »

Plus there is a know linguistic phenomenum that context defines the text. Texts do not exist in a void of meaning. Humour is very good in demonstrating that. A story that is funny in a country may not be in another. A story that is funny in a certain age may not be in another. The comic content of the text is defined by a complex web of contextual meanings that culturally defined.

The Scriptures can mean anything in any given context. The report on ancient alien activities, the code to an hermetic cosmic shattering secret, the ideological veil of oppresion over a revolutionary content, an eastern esoteric text corrupted by evil rationalist westerns... anything.

Any text needs a context to reveal its meaning. Orthodox Apostolic Catholic tradition is the cultural environment that selected the text. The Bible is meant to mean what it means *in* this context and in this context only. The rest is just fan-fiction.

Apart from Middle Eastern Aramaic or Syriac speaking communities the OACT doesn't exist though. You can't translate a culture from one to another, to another, to another and end up with something-Americanski and pretend it is the same. All kinds of things Slavs insist on being Christianity would probably seem ridiculous to them and vice versa (heck, it would be near heresy to any Slav to imagine not eating pork).
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« Reply #76 on: April 04, 2013, 12:52:01 AM »

It's interesting that everyone of the Church fathers also believe in Tradition, the Councils, the ordained Priesthood, etc.

Like Papal Infallibility or the Immaculate Conception? What council's? Rome has had many the Eastern churches reject. Who's tradition?  RC, OO, EO, Assyrian, other churches that broke away from these over corruption like selling salvation and Inquisitions?

I think Saint John Chrysostom put it best when he stated:

There comes a heathen and says, "I wish to become a Christian, but I know not whom to join: there is much fighting and faction among you, much confusion: which doctrine am I to choose?" How shall we answer him? "Each of you" (says he) "asserts, 'I speak the truth.'" No doubt: this is in our favor. For if we told you to be persuaded by arguments, you might well be perplexed: but if we bid you believe the Scriptures, and these are simple and true, the decision is easy for you. If any agree with the Scriptures, he is the Christian; if any fight against them, he is far from this rule.
What good does it do, however, to merely "believe the Scriptures" when by merely "believing the Scriptures", you Protestants have splintered into numerous different sects?

Salvation? There are now 2.2 Billion Christians in the world, that is good. Over 600,000,000 of them Protestants, 1.1 Billion Catholics and 300,000,000 Orthodox.

One Faith - In Christ Jesus
One Baptism - with the Holy Spirit
One God - the Creator

If all those good people who attend their local church, believe in God the creator, believe in Christ their savior, believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and do good works (whether as a fruit of faith or requirement).  I sincerely hope God does not punish us/them to eternal hell for not understanding perfect theology.
Red herring. I'm not talking about the faith of individual Protestant Christians, which I will admit far outshines my own. I'm talking about the many schisms that have developed in Protestant Christianity as a result of your doctrine of sola scriptura. How can such a "godly" doctrine as sola scriptura be so godly if it leads to such disorder?

Protestants didn't start the separations of the church, that was you guys with all your excommunications of each other making it impossible to know the truth of who's right, if anyone is.
You're still dodging the issue that sola scriptura is directly responsible for the many schisms that appear in your "church".
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« Reply #77 on: April 04, 2013, 12:56:29 AM »

As Papist have said, numbers have nothing to do with it. If we have any Gospel reference to it, a certain majority in democratic voting once chose Barabbas over Jesus.... (I am *for* democracy though, if joined with localism and federalism, but I digress).

It is easy if:

1) you don't think that what people think is a reference for truth
2) you know that it's not important how many believe something or are not concerned with fitting in, nor scared of not fitting in;
3) you use sound criteria, and by that I mean that, to identify which church, if any, is the true Church, you cannot use internal theological arguments for that, but external evidence. Most theological claims are believed on faith, so to choose one or the other as the criteria is to beg the question, it's a circular argument, taking the conclusion as the premise. So what criteria should one use? Historical, sociological and cultural. That's how I chose to be Orthodox after I converted to "generic" Christianity. The amount of evidence for the cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological continuity in the Orthodox Church since its beginning with the Apostles is overwhelming. The amount of evidence for cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological ruptures in the non-Chalcedonian, Roman and Protestant churches is equally overwhelming. With that in mind, I felt more comfortable to give credence to the Church's theological claims and then the application of such claims being confirmed in practice and showing more coherence than the competing claims confirms the first external conclusions.

The reason people are not massively Orthodox is that they are not concerned with that. Researches show that more than half (I think around 85%, but I'm not sure) of the peope simply follow their parents beliefs, not questioning if they are true or not - that includes atheism by the way.



Fabio, if you used more white space I know it would be easier for me to make my way through your posts, especially as they grow in length.

The one you recently posted on marriage for example, if you had just separated each enumerated point with a single line of white space, it would have been a huge help.

Just a thought, others have made similar comments about the use of white space before.

Thanks for your thoughtful posts.

I find it edifying

That you have made known to me

That the use of white space

Between each point I make

Helps others

Eyes like it.
What does it matter what ewes like?
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« Reply #78 on: April 04, 2013, 10:42:30 AM »

Thanks for the advice. I'll try to remember that.

Many times I write a bit in a hurry between tasks at work, so that's why editing is lacking so many times. I'll try to improve that.

Fabio, if you used more white space I know it would be easier for me to make my way through your posts, especially as they grow in length.

The one you recently posted on marriage for example, if you had just separated each enumerated point with a single line of white space, it would have been a huge help.

Just a thought, others have made similar comments about the use of white space before.

Thanks for your thoughtful posts.
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« Reply #79 on: April 04, 2013, 10:55:47 AM »

Gadamer's theory can be questioned under the same objection to so many criticisms of our ability to see the "origial meaning" in any text.

If our understanding is so culturally conditioned that an author's intention can't be recovered in its totallity, but we just build a new meaning from what we have and the text... how can anyone say that this is Gadamer's theory, or that they understand the meaning that he intended to convey? How many of his readers lived in the same exact cultural environment that he lived, and even if they did, none lived his life. If Gadamer were right, we wouldn't really know what he is talking about, just projecting our pre-existing understandings onto him.

It's true, as he says, that this mingling of what we understand and the text happens. Specially with beginners. But education and development is precisely to go beyond that, it is to learn to see more what is out there instead of just reflections of ourselves. And when what is out there is true and beautiful and just we let *it* shape *us* instead of trying to shape it into our image. Gadamer and all the others who are at different spots in the range of subjectivist and relativistic ideas that defend an inherent uncognoscibility of texts due to our participation in the process of knowing, have to show how is it that we actually know what they are talking about.


Orthodox Apostolic Catholic tradition is the cultural environment that selected the text. The Bible is meant to mean what it means *in* this context and in this context only.

That is impossible:



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« Reply #80 on: April 04, 2013, 11:23:27 AM »


It is easy if:

3) you use sound criteria, and by that I mean that, to identify which church, if any, is the true Church, you cannot use internal theological arguments for that, but external evidence. Most theological claims are believed on faith, so to choose one or the other as the criteria is to beg the question, it's a circular argument, taking the conclusion as the premise. So what criteria should one use? Historical, sociological and cultural. That's how I chose to be Orthodox after I converted to "generic" Christianity. The amount of evidence for the cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological continuity in the Orthodox Church since its beginning with the Apostles is overwhelming. The amount of evidence for cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological ruptures in the non-Chalcedonian, Roman and Protestant churches is equally overwhelming. With that in mind, I felt more comfortable to give credence to the Church's theological claims and then the application of such claims being confirmed in practice and showing more coherence than the competing claims confirms the first external conclusions.


Can you explain this part more? Because I don't see what ruptures the OO have had that the EO didn't.

Thanks.
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« Reply #81 on: April 04, 2013, 12:09:42 PM »

Sheenj,

Several. First, they simply didn't accept Chalcedon, just like later Rome would accept and then reject Constantinople IV. The part that says "I'm leaving" is the one doing the rupture.

Second, I really don't buy all the current talk I see about "oh, we all meant the same thing, we just used different words. Those ancient guys were some intolerant stubborn fellows, but today we know better". I really don't and I think it's a very thin argument. In any serious study of history, primary sources prevail over commentaries, earlier witnesses prevail over later witnesses. Since the status is such that I have to choose between the opinion of philosophers, theologians, bishops, martyrs and saints who took part in the events, who spoke that language either as a mother tongue or a second living language, over the witness of modern specialists who have to rely on interpretation of languages they know only intellectually, I think it's more rational to conclude that the modern specialists are the ones who are been biased toward their modern cultural prejudices and ecclesiological ecumenist agendas.

Thus, considering the witness of the events of that time and of subsequent events, Non-Chalcedoneans spoused a divergent doctrine. Notice that this analysis of historic events only, the content of the doctrine is irrelevant here.  We had occasions where just few Christians spoused Orthodox doctrine and heterodox had all the major "jobs". But comparing to what existed before, and what came after we can see that Orthodox doctrine always prevailed in all the Ecumene. Non-Chalcedonean doctrines, much like Rome's, never went beyond their own cultural area. In fact, the only difference between them and Rome is that European countries went on imperialistic spree in the second millenia, expanding its own social borders, but never it's doctrines gained really culturally ecumenical acceptance like the Orthodox which you can find in European, Middle Eastern and Asian cultures.

Finally, the whole dispute was done in Greek. Greeks tend to know what they mean in Greek better than non-Greeks. Non-Chalcedoneans and Rome simply break with Greek linguistic tradition to argue what Greek words mean or not. *If* as modernists say, it was just a matter of words, Chalcedon simply arbitrarily created a dictionary entry for the word: this is what the technical meaning of this word in theology will be from now on. Let's go past that. To break communion because of disagreement on which word to use would be a more frivolous motive than actual doctrinal difference.
So: Non-Chalcedoneans broke from of the Roman-Hellenic traditions and linguistic culture of the epoch. Non-Chalcedoneans either had different doctrines as the witnesses of the event and soon later on claim, or broke away out of frivolous attachment to word definitions like modernists claim. Non-Chalcedoneans started as and remained an Oriental thing... in scientific parlance, their "theory" never went past peer-review remaining a fringe theory of a closed group who refuses to accept tested theories.
Said that, I do not judge character or piety based on that. Virtues and vices, fortunately, are more or less equally distributed among all groups.


It is easy if:

3) you use sound criteria, and by that I mean that, to identify which church, if any, is the true Church, you cannot use internal theological arguments for that, but external evidence. Most theological claims are believed on faith, so to choose one or the other as the criteria is to beg the question, it's a circular argument, taking the conclusion as the premise. So what criteria should one use? Historical, sociological and cultural. That's how I chose to be Orthodox after I converted to "generic" Christianity. The amount of evidence for the cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological continuity in the Orthodox Church since its beginning with the Apostles is overwhelming. The amount of evidence for cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological ruptures in the non-Chalcedonian, Roman and Protestant churches is equally overwhelming. With that in mind, I felt more comfortable to give credence to the Church's theological claims and then the application of such claims being confirmed in practice and showing more coherence than the competing claims confirms the first external conclusions.


Can you explain this part more? Because I don't see what ruptures the OO have had that the EO didn't.

Thanks.
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« Reply #82 on: April 04, 2013, 12:30:45 PM »

Quote
That's how I chose to be Orthodox after I converted to "generic" Christianity. The amount of evidence for the cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological continuity in the Orthodox Church since its beginning with the Apostles is overwhelming. The amount of evidence for cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological ruptures in the non-Chalcedonian, Roman and Protestant churches is equally overwhelming.

The Victor always writes history

All you just said here is all hogwash and it's actually proving the Prrotestants' point.  Good luck convincing today's Western Christians concerning so-called "differences" between EOs and OOs.

Ignorance is bliss when ignoring the "sociological ruptures" in EO history.
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« Reply #83 on: April 04, 2013, 12:36:59 PM »

Minas,

everybody's a victor in their own ground.

I did study the history of the Orthodox Church from Orthodox and Non-Orthodox sources. I found no rupture that would impact the Church itself. If you know of any please, do share.


Quote
That's how I chose to be Orthodox after I converted to "generic" Christianity. The amount of evidence for the cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological continuity in the Orthodox Church since its beginning with the Apostles is overwhelming. The amount of evidence for cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological ruptures in the non-Chalcedonian, Roman and Protestant churches is equally overwhelming.

The Victor always writes history

All you just said here is all hogwash and it's actually proving the Prrotestants' point.  Good luck convincing today's Western Christians concerning so-called "differences" between EOs and OOs.

Ignorance is bliss when ignoring the "sociological ruptures" in EO history.
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« Reply #84 on: April 04, 2013, 12:37:16 PM »

Quote
That's how I chose to be Orthodox after I converted to "generic" Christianity. The amount of evidence for the cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological continuity in the Orthodox Church since its beginning with the Apostles is overwhelming. The amount of evidence for cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological ruptures in the non-Chalcedonian, Roman and Protestant churches is equally overwhelming.

The Victor always writes history

And you'd think there'd better a prize for winning than homework.
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« Reply #85 on: April 04, 2013, 12:38:17 PM »

Minas,

everybody's a victor in their own ground.

So our victory is death?
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« Reply #86 on: April 04, 2013, 12:53:03 PM »

You've got a point. I don't remember who said it, but the idea was exactly that "victors enjoy their victory, only loosers spend their time rewritting history to convince themselves they were right all along". And so many times they use this fake history as the basis for revolutions. We've all been loosers and victors in history, we all do that.

Quote
That's how I chose to be Orthodox after I converted to "generic" Christianity. The amount of evidence for the cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological continuity in the Orthodox Church since its beginning with the Apostles is overwhelming. The amount of evidence for cultural, historical, linguistic and sociological ruptures in the non-Chalcedonian, Roman and Protestant churches is equally overwhelming.

The Victor always writes history

And you'd think there'd better a prize for winning than homework.
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« Reply #87 on: April 04, 2013, 01:16:09 PM »

Ok, let's break this up a little

Sheenj,

Several. First, they simply didn't accept Chalcedon, just like later Rome would accept and then reject Constantinople IV. The part that says "I'm leaving" is the one doing the rupture.

No, it was still Rome and its followers who didn't accept Ephesus II, a council called by the Emperor of the Ecumene, and presided by the Patriarch of Alexandria. The only reason Chalcedon even took place was because Theodosius II died and Marcian wanted to make nice with the Pope of Rome.

Second, I really don't buy all the current talk I see about "oh, we all meant the same thing, we just used different words. Those ancient guys were some intolerant stubborn fellows, but today we know better". I really don't and I think it's a very thin argument. In any serious study of history, primary sources prevail over commentaries, earlier witnesses prevail over later witnesses. Since the status is such that I have to choose between the opinion of philosophers, theologians, bishops, martyrs and saints who took part in the events, who spoke that language either as a mother tongue or a second living language, over the witness of modern specialists who have to rely on interpretation of languages they know only intellectually, I think it's more rational to conclude that the modern specialists are the ones who are been biased toward their modern cultural prejudices and ecclesiological ecumenist agendas.

Thus, considering the witness of the events of that time and of subsequent events, Non-Chalcedoneans spoused a divergent doctrine. Notice that this analysis of historic events only, the content of the doctrine is irrelevant here.  We had occasions where just few Christians spoused Orthodox doctrine and heterodox had all the major "jobs". But comparing to what existed before, and what came after we can see that Orthodox doctrine always prevailed in all the Ecumene. Non-Chalcedonean doctrines, much like Rome's, never went beyond their own cultural area. In fact, the only difference between them and Rome is that European countries went on imperialistic spree in the second millenia, expanding its own social borders, but never it's doctrines gained really culturally ecumenical acceptance like the Orthodox which you can find in European, Middle Eastern and Asian cultures.

First, they did not espouse a "new doctrine", they espoused the same old doctrine which was made synonymous with St. Cyril, who if you remember, was the one who presided over the 3rd Ecumenical council. It is in fact the Chalcedonian party who introduced new doctrine to the fore.

Secondly, saying we profess the same faith now is not the same as saying we have always professed the same faith. I personally do not think all Chalcedonians were Orthodox until Second Council of Constantinople, when all elements of Nestorianism were finally purged.

Thirdly, the reason we could not "escape our boundaries" was because Rome decided to take up its old sport of persecuting the Orthodox again. We barely stayed alive during that time, and yet you could not kill us.

Finally, the whole dispute was done in Greek. Greeks tend to know what they mean in Greek better than non-Greeks. Non-Chalcedoneans and Rome simply break with Greek linguistic tradition to argue what Greek words mean or not. *If* as modernists say, it was just a matter of words, Chalcedon simply arbitrarily created a dictionary entry for the word: this is what the technical meaning of this word in theology will be from now on. Let's go past that. To break communion because of disagreement on which word to use would be a more frivolous motive than actual doctrinal difference.

Ok this really grinds my gears. The Hellenes living in Alexandria and Antioch at the time were in fact just that, Hellenes or "Greeks". To claim that they were not is plain historical revisionism. Secondly, it was Leo who broke communion with the Orthodox because we didn't like his letter enough. That is basically the very definition of hubris and that's the person you guys decided to follow. We continued in our Orthodoxy, you left it.

So: Non-Chalcedoneans broke from of the Roman-Hellenic traditions and linguistic culture of the epoch. Non-Chalcedoneans either had different doctrines as the witnesses of the event and soon later on claim, or broke away out of frivolous attachment to word definitions like modernists claim. Non-Chalcedoneans started as and remained an Oriental thing... in scientific parlance, their "theory" never went past peer-review remaining a fringe theory of a closed group who refuses to accept tested theories.
Said that, I do not judge character or piety based on that. Virtues and vices, fortunately, are more or less equally distributed among all groups.

So:
1. Not true, there were just as many "non-chalcedonians" belonging to the Empire as were outside it, at least for the first century after the schism. It was only after the persecutions that this changed.
2. Not true, we stayed true to the doctrine as prescribed by the Fathers of Orthodoxy, repeating this canard over and over again will not make it true.
3. As I said above, Rome persecuted the Orthodox in the centuries before the Councils, it resumed in the centuries afterward. The fact that we survived at all is a miracle from God.
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« Reply #88 on: April 04, 2013, 01:28:38 PM »

Guys, this is the Orthodox-Protestant board. There are plenty of opportunities for you to debate Chalcedon on either the OO public board or the EO-OO Private board. Please take your debate there so we can keep this thread on topic. Thank you.
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« Reply #89 on: April 04, 2013, 01:49:41 PM »

I really don't have any intention of discussing Non-Chalcedoneans, Peter, so no problem by me. They just asked me to detail the historical ruptures. I'm really not into trying to convince anyone in an internet forum of something that was never accepted in more than a thousand years. It still is obviously an issue of "us vs them" for most of the involved in all sides, the rest is rationalization and wishful thinking.
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