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Author Topic: How to Interpret the Scriptures  (Read 5683 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ansgar
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« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2013, 03:19:27 AM »


And w as well.

Ansgar, some of us learned the complete mnemonic for this in grade school:

A, E, I, O, and U.
Sometimes Y and W.

Really? How can W be a vowel?

When it is part of a vowel combination like ew, aw, and ow.

Interesting.

Thanks.
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« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2013, 07:50:16 AM »


And w as well.

Ansgar, some of us learned the complete mnemonic for this in grade school:

A, E, I, O, and U.
Sometimes Y and W.

Really? How can W be a vowel?

When it is part of a vowel combination like ew, aw, and ow.

Interesting.

Thanks.

The more technical discussion is bit more sophisticated and I am sure more than a few around here could go on and on about the difference between a vowel and grapheme and whether the w in American is ever a part of diphthongs or if it is always a consonant.

But the above mnemonic is what I learned in grade school. A lot of other kids learning American will just learn the above without the W part.
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« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2013, 01:28:40 PM »

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the Bible is clear on all these issues. Unanimity of belief is not a guarantee that a church is part of the Universal Church, it just  indicates unanimity of belief and whether this is nominal or actual is a moot point . It may be simply a sign that members believe what they're told unquestioningly or even that they don't really care!

It may be clear, but that doesn't help people from misinterpreting the scriptures. We believe our faith is historical, that it is identical to the apostolic faith.

the Christian faith is indeed historical. Misinterpretation of scripture can always be tested by coherence.  Scripture will never contradict itself.

Quote
Quote
of course you can't, he indwells the redeemed and they make up the Church.

Then why do you seperate them by saying that one should not trust churches?

Scripture itself shows us that churches are prone to wander from the truth. We are seeing this in the evangelical churches at this very moment. Sanctification is not complete. People stop listening to the Spirit.
Quote
There is a reason why the Church hold councils. It is to establish unity in faith. To show that we are united in faith and in scructure. To show that we aren't just a bunch of people who happens to have reached the same theological conclusions.
Christians have unity automatically, because they are all indwelt by the same spirit. That does not require mindless unanimity of belief. I will set out my eschatological view as regards the rapture. I have evangelical friends who would disagree with me. I hold their view to be incoherent and irrational but they are my brothers in Christ and I shall share eternity with them.
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« Reply #48 on: April 17, 2013, 01:41:47 PM »

Quote
the Christian faith is indeed historical. Misinterpretation of scripture can always be tested by coherence.  Scripture will never contradict itself.

But this isn't primarily about the scriptures, it is about people. Go over to a catholic and see if you can convince him about Sola Scriptura. It doesn't matter how many verses from the Bible you can give, he will, in many cases, not be convinced because he understands the meaning of those verses differently than you.

Quote
Scripture itself shows us that churches are prone to wander from the truth. We are seeing this in the evangelical churches at this very moment. Sanctification is not complete. People stop listening to the Spirit.
Quote

Care to elaborate on this? because I certainly don't remember any part of the scriptures, which says that the early Church was prone to wander from the truth. Quite the opposite, actually. She upheld the truth and still does.

Quote
Christians have unity automatically, because they are all indwelt by the same spirit. That does not require mindless unanimity of belief. I will set out my eschatological view as regards the rapture. I have evangelical friends who would disagree with me. I hold their view to be incoherent and irrational but they are my brothers in Christ and I shall share eternity with them.

Who says it is mindless? The council of Jerusalem and all the later councils were held, so that the Church could have unity in faith and Dogma. It does require that you uphold the original faith, or else, people could might as well stop reading the scriptures and believe anything they want.
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« Reply #49 on: April 17, 2013, 01:48:40 PM »

To save quote space, I lifted this quote from rachel. "Scripture itself shows us that churches are prone to wander from the truth."  As a rule, I would say that false teachings begin with a single person and that person develops a following.  The Church has not stepped away.  Individuals have.
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« Reply #50 on: April 17, 2013, 01:59:49 PM »

To save quote space, I lifted this quote from rachel. "Scripture itself shows us that churches are prone to wander from the truth."  As a rule, I would say that false teachings begin with a single person and that person develops a following.  The Church has not stepped away.  Individuals have.

Indeed, when an individual interprets Scripture for themselves and not within the context of the Church they are oft times led astray and fall into heresy. Most of the ancient heresies seem to stem from one individual who then gained a following as people departed from the teachings of the Church and clung to an individual interpretation. I'm sure that in at least some of these cases these people thought that they were being led by the Holy Spirit or some such thing.

But time and again the Church has always stood fast against heresies because they could look back and see what the Apostles taught. They had the Tradition handed down to them. They gathered together in councils, not individually, and fought off heresy. As the saying goes, united we stand.

The Church has stood against many enemies; heretics, muslims, and communism just to name a few. But the Church has always stood united together as one body. One body, not splinters nor different parts. One body since the time of Jesus, and one teaching, not +25,000 teachings.
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« Reply #51 on: April 17, 2013, 02:07:59 PM »

the Bible is clear on all these issues. Unanimity of belief is not a guarantee that a church is part of the Universal Church, it just  indicates unanimity of belief and whether this is nominal or actual is a moot point . It may be simply a sign that members believe what they're told unquestioningly or even that they don't really care!

Where is your bible quote?

You keep on referencing the Bible without a quote or link and hence do not prove your point at all.

What Bible college did you attend?
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« Reply #52 on: April 17, 2013, 02:08:13 PM »

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One body since the time of Jesus, and one teaching, not +25,000 teachings.

If only it was so, but recent studies has shown that there now exist over 43,000 christian denominations.

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« Reply #53 on: April 17, 2013, 02:10:38 PM »

Scripture itself shows us that churches are prone to wander from the truth. We are seeing this in the evangelical churches at this very moment. Sanctification is not complete. People stop listening to the Spirit.

Again, where is the quote from Holy Scripture to prove your point?

If you are attempting to make a point, you should prove it. This is taught in basic high school composition classes.
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« Reply #54 on: April 17, 2013, 02:20:58 PM »

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One body since the time of Jesus, and one teaching, not +25,000 teachings.

If only it was so, but recent studies has shown that there now exist over 43,000 christian denominations.



hence the "+" in front of the number that I gave. Last time I looked into it my sources said over 25,000 Protestant denominations and growing. I have no doubt that this number is closer to what you gave or even past that.
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« Reply #55 on: April 17, 2013, 02:32:11 PM »

The Church has not stepped away.  Individuals have.

How can that be possible when whole churches were excommunicated, The West excommunicated the East and vice versa?

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One body since the time of Jesus, and one teaching

How can that be true when many early churches that were in communion with each other believed in totally different Scriptures? Some used the Apocalypse of Peter and Shepard of Hermas and used them as fundamental teachings while they rejected, for example Revelation and the book of James. There were 18 uncontested books according to Eusebius, of which were the 4 Gospels, Acts and Paul's letters. A simple reading of the church fathers, which are available to everyone to read show a large range of different theology used by different fathers and they often contradict each other.

There were always other believers in Christ outside the church even during the time of Jesus IE: "And John answered and said, 'Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.' And Jesus said to him, 'Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us'." (Luke 9:49,50, NKJ)
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« Reply #56 on: April 17, 2013, 02:42:03 PM »

the Bible is clear on all these issues. Unanimity of belief is not a guarantee that a church is part of the Universal Church, it just  indicates unanimity of belief and whether this is nominal or actual is a moot point . It may be simply a sign that members believe what they're told unquestioningly or even that they don't really care!

Where is your bible quote?

You keep on referencing the Bible without a quote or link and hence do not prove your point at all.

What Bible college did you attend?

Are you unaware of the Lord's Letters to the Churches? Start  at Revelation 1
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« Reply #57 on: April 17, 2013, 02:44:35 PM »

The Church has not stepped away.  Individuals have.

How can that be possible when whole churches were excommunicated, The West excommunicated the East and vice versa?

Quote
One body since the time of Jesus, and one teaching

How can that be true when many early churches that were in communion with each other believed in totally different Scriptures? Some used the Apocalypse of Peter and Shepard of Hermas and used them as fundamental teachings while they rejected, for example Revelation and the book of James. There were 18 uncontested books according to Eusebius, of which were the 4 Gospels, Acts and Paul's letters. A simple reading of the church fathers, which are available to everyone to read show a large range of different theology used by different fathers and they often contradict each other.

There were always other believers in Christ outside the church even during the time of Jesus IE: "And John answered and said, 'Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.' And Jesus said to him, 'Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us'." (Luke 9:49,50, NKJ)


yes, the notion of unanimity is a myth - how many versions of 'Orthodoxy' do you have?
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« Reply #58 on: April 17, 2013, 02:47:22 PM »

The Church has not stepped away.  Individuals have.

How can that be possible when whole churches were excommunicated, The West excommunicated the East and vice versa?

Quote
One body since the time of Jesus, and one teaching

How can that be true when many early churches that were in communion with each other believed in totally different Scriptures? Some used the Apocalypse of Peter and Shepard of Hermas and used them as fundamental teachings while they rejected, for example Revelation and the book of James. There were 18 uncontested books according to Eusebius, of which were the 4 Gospels, Acts and Paul's letters. A simple reading of the church fathers, which are available to everyone to read show a large range of different theology used by different fathers and they often contradict each other.

There were always other believers in Christ outside the church even during the time of Jesus IE: "And John answered and said, 'Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.' And Jesus said to him, 'Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us'." (Luke 9:49,50, NKJ)


yes, the notion of unanimity is a myth - how many versions of 'Orthodoxy' do you have?

Umm....one
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« Reply #59 on: April 17, 2013, 03:12:57 PM »

Quote
How can that be true when many early churches that were in communion with each other believed in totally different Scriptures? Some used the Apocalypse of Peter and Shepard of Hermas and used them as fundamental teachings while they rejected, for example Revelation and the book of James. There were 18 uncontested books according to Eusebius, of which were the 4 Gospels, Acts and Paul's letters. A simple reading of the church fathers, which are available to everyone to read show a large range of different theology used by different fathers and they often contradict each other.

Because the Biblical canon wans't established in the start. People have believed that a certain text was canonical. Later, the Church gathered, evaluated the different texts and agreed on which texts should be considered canonical.

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« Reply #60 on: April 17, 2013, 03:35:27 PM »

Also, just throwing this out there to play Devil's advocate: the Orthodox Church is not nearly as united and uniform as most of us would like to believe. Once you get past the Antiochian convert stage, you'll soon discover this fact. This is especially true in regards to jurisdictions harboring strong dislikes for each other and opposing views--such as that of Moscow and the EP. Or the toll-houses, ecumenism, birth control etc. Important to note these inconsistencies so that we could work on them.
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« Reply #61 on: April 17, 2013, 03:38:51 PM »

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Once you get past the Antiochian convert stage

What do you mean by that?
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« Reply #62 on: April 17, 2013, 03:42:05 PM »

The Church has not stepped away.  Individuals have.

How can that be possible when whole churches were excommunicated, The West excommunicated the East and vice versa?

Quote
One body since the time of Jesus, and one teaching

How can that be true when many early churches that were in communion with each other believed in totally different Scriptures? Some used the Apocalypse of Peter and Shepard of Hermas and used them as fundamental teachings while they rejected, for example Revelation and the book of James. There were 18 uncontested books according to Eusebius, of which were the 4 Gospels, Acts and Paul's letters. A simple reading of the church fathers, which are available to everyone to read show a large range of different theology used by different fathers and they often contradict each other.

There were always other believers in Christ outside the church even during the time of Jesus IE: "And John answered and said, 'Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.' And Jesus said to him, 'Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us'." (Luke 9:49,50, NKJ)


It is true because those churches held councils. Yes, some used other books as Scripture, and some of those books were not included in the canon of the NT. But many of those books are still widely read and regarded as highly profitable and used for instruction (such as the Shepherd of Hermas). Even the Didache, which is the writing of the 12 was used for instruction but not included into Scripture. This did not mean that different churches believed or taught different things. They have always taught the same thing. That is what councils are for. That is why there have been so many councils, to make sure that the Church is universal.

I also find it humorous when you mention that many of the Church Fathers disagreed with each other theologically. It was their uniformity and their unanimity that led me to Orthodoxy.


yes, the notion of unanimity is a myth - how many versions of 'Orthodoxy' do you have?

If the notion of unanimity is a myth then explain how the Church was able to survive all these centuries.

If the Church was not always one body then the Church would have fallen because there would have been no unified teachings for support. If the Church had fallen then Jesus would have been a liar, because He said that the Church would stand. If Jesus is a liar then He is not God. If Jesus is not God then the basis of Christianity is a lie.

However, the Church is unified, and has always been unified. That is the reason that it has stood fast for all of these centuries. To believe anything else is to believe a lie.
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« Reply #63 on: April 17, 2013, 04:23:12 PM »

But many of those books are still widely read and regarded as highly profitable and used for instruction (such as the Shepherd of Hermas).


And some, like the Apocalypse of Peter stated this was hell (this book almost made the canon and was taught by many in the early church):

Blasphemers are hanged by the tongue.

Women who "adorn" themselves for the purpose of adultery, are hung by the hair over a bubbling mire. The men that had adulterous relationships with them are hung by their feet, with their heads in the mire, next to them).

Murderers and those that give consent to murder are set in a pit of creeping things that torment them.

Men who take on the role of women in a sexual way, and lesbians, are "driven" up a great cliff by punishing angels, and are "cast off" to the bottom. Then they are forced up it, over and over again, ceaselessly, to their doom.

Women who have abortions are set in a lake formed from the blood and gore from all the other punishments, up to their necks. They are also tormented by the spirits of their unborn children, who shoot a "flash of fire" into their eyes. Incidentally, those unborn children are "delivered to a care-taking" angel by whom they are educated, and "made to grow up."

Those who lend money and demand "usury upon usury" stand up to their knees in a lake of foul matter and blood
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« Reply #64 on: April 17, 2013, 04:34:56 PM »

But many of those books are still widely read and regarded as highly profitable and used for instruction (such as the Shepherd of Hermas).


And some, like the Apocalypse of Peter stated this was hell (this book almost made the canon and was taught by many in the early church):

Blasphemers are hanged by the tongue.

Women who "adorn" themselves for the purpose of adultery, are hung by the hair over a bubbling mire. The men that had adulterous relationships with them are hung by their feet, with their heads in the mire, next to them).

Murderers and those that give consent to murder are set in a pit of creeping things that torment them.

Men who take on the role of women in a sexual way, and lesbians, are "driven" up a great cliff by punishing angels, and are "cast off" to the bottom. Then they are forced up it, over and over again, ceaselessly, to their doom.

Women who have abortions are set in a lake formed from the blood and gore from all the other punishments, up to their necks. They are also tormented by the spirits of their unborn children, who shoot a "flash of fire" into their eyes. Incidentally, those unborn children are "delivered to a care-taking" angel by whom they are educated, and "made to grow up."

Those who lend money and demand "usury upon usury" stand up to their knees in a lake of foul matter and blood

  Shocked kinda makes me not want to be a blasphemer, and adulterer, commit a same sex act or have an abortion.
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« Reply #65 on: April 17, 2013, 04:48:56 PM »


  Shocked kinda makes me not want to be a blasphemer, and adulterer, commit a same sex act or have an abortion.

lol, probably don't want to work at a bank either... Grin

Just saying that is quite a bit different than the modern Orthodox teaching of hell, yet for 300 years or so many in the church taught this without being excommunicated or being declared heretics.
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« Reply #66 on: April 17, 2013, 04:58:21 PM »

rachel, during my training and time spent defending Christianity I had to learn why I believed what I believed and also why others rejected it.  In order to *really* learn why and not simply regurgitate what I had been told by those who believed as I did, I had to read firsthand accounts from those of other belief systems.  Similarly, you have a decent grasp on what you've been taught.  But, they left out a whooooooooooole lot.  And, as shocking as it may be, an internet chat forum is not the place to learn.  While I am obviously Orthodox, the best book I have found regarding the rejection of "the rapture/dispensationalism" is this one: Rapture: The End-Times Error That Leaves the Bible Behind.  Authored by a Roman Catholic but, if you'll accept my word for it, this is the most complete response I have read...and I read a lot.  When my kids were growing up, I used to tell them, "You have a brain of your own.  Quit trying to use mine."  In the same maternal tone I used with them, I say to you, "You want to know the history of your church's view?  You want to know why we reject it?  You want to know why we call it heresy?  You want to know about how we understand the 70 weeks of Daniel? Quit borrowing our brain and use your own.  The books are there.  Get off of the internet and go find them."  You'll either be completely and absolutely convicted that you are right or completely and absolutely convicted that you are wrong.  Truth matters.  Go find it.

http://www.amazon.com/Rapture-End-Times-Error-Leaves-Behind/dp/1928832725/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366227019&sr=1-1&keywords=Rapture+David+Currie

And, if your skin is as thick as mine is: The Way: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church http://www.amazon.com/Way-Protestant-Should-Orthodox-Catechism/dp/0964914123/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366226848&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Way+Clark+Carlton

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« Reply #67 on: April 17, 2013, 05:05:32 PM »

But many of those books are still widely read and regarded as highly profitable and used for instruction (such as the Shepherd of Hermas).


And some, like the Apocalypse of Peter stated this was hell (this book almost made the canon and was taught by many in the early church):

Blasphemers are hanged by the tongue.

Women who "adorn" themselves for the purpose of adultery, are hung by the hair over a bubbling mire. The men that had adulterous relationships with them are hung by their feet, with their heads in the mire, next to them).

Murderers and those that give consent to murder are set in a pit of creeping things that torment them.

Men who take on the role of women in a sexual way, and lesbians, are "driven" up a great cliff by punishing angels, and are "cast off" to the bottom. Then they are forced up it, over and over again, ceaselessly, to their doom.

Women who have abortions are set in a lake formed from the blood and gore from all the other punishments, up to their necks. They are also tormented by the spirits of their unborn children, who shoot a "flash of fire" into their eyes. Incidentally, those unborn children are "delivered to a care-taking" angel by whom they are educated, and "made to grow up."

Those who lend money and demand "usury upon usury" stand up to their knees in a lake of foul matter and blood

I see no problem with the vision of Hades portrayed in what you cited from Wikipedia above (since you didn't cite or link to it I did for you  Smiley ).


I also fail to see how this furthers or even agrees with your argument.

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« Reply #68 on: April 17, 2013, 05:58:41 PM »

rachel, during my training and time spent defending Christianity I had to learn why I believed what I believed and also why others rejected it.  In order to *really* learn why and not simply regurgitate what I had been told by those who believed as I did, I had to read firsthand accounts from those of other belief systems.  Similarly, you have a decent grasp on what you've been taught.  But, they left out a whooooooooooole lot.  And, as shocking as it may be, an internet chat forum is not the place to learn.  While I am obviously Orthodox, the best book I have found regarding the rejection of "the rapture/dispensationalism" is this one: Rapture: The End-Times Error That Leaves the Bible Behind.  Authored by a Roman Catholic but, if you'll accept my word for it, this is the most complete response I have read...and I read a lot.  When my kids were growing up, I used to tell them, "You have a brain of your own.  Quit trying to use mine."  In the same maternal tone I used with them, I say to you, "You want to know the history of your church's view?  You want to know why we reject it?  You want to know why we call it heresy?  You want to know about how we understand the 70 weeks of Daniel? Quit borrowing our brain and use your own.  The books are there.  Get off of the internet and go find them."  You'll either be completely and absolutely convicted that you are right or completely and absolutely convicted that you are wrong.  Truth matters.  Go find it.

http://www.amazon.com/Rapture-End-Times-Error-Leaves-Behind/dp/1928832725/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366227019&sr=1-1&keywords=Rapture+David+Currie

And, if your skin is as thick as mine is: The Way: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church http://www.amazon.com/Way-Protestant-Should-Orthodox-Catechism/dp/0964914123/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366226848&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Way+Clark+Carlton



I'm sure, since you are so well versed in the issues, you will have no problem in undermining my position from scripture. So far, far from "borrowing your brain", I am not seeing much espousal of a coherent Orthodox position - or ANY Orthodox eschatology come to that. Your above post does not create much hope in me that one will be forthcoming. Your suggestion that I have been 'taught' is a subtle implication of 'indoctrinated'. That argument doesn't stand,  being distinctly double-edged. If you believe the Rapture occurs at the Second Advent,  fine. Make it stand up from scripture.
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« Reply #69 on: April 17, 2013, 06:36:36 PM »

Scripture...Scripture....Scripture....
If God, the Father Almighty would have wanted us to be all about Scripture, Scripture, Scripture, He would have thrown the Bible from the Heavens down to Earth and tell us to follow everything that says there word by word, letter by letter, number by number. It would have been writen there that if we believe in Him we will receive the Holy Spirit and we will be instantly saved and that's all that matters. Done and over with.
Why send Jesus to SHOW us what to do, why have Apostles to follow through...and only a couple hundreds years after Jesus, come up with the Bible, as we know it today? I just don't get it. I just don't understand What gives anybody any kind of right or power to read it and interpret it to fit their own personal agenda and life preferences? Who comes up with all this stuff?

Everything was explained to us 2000 years ago. It's done. It's been done. We don't need to come up with new explanations on what the Bible says. There is NO need to reinvent the wheel.

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #70 on: April 18, 2013, 12:02:57 AM »

Scripture...Scripture....Scripture....
If God, the Father Almighty would have wanted us to be all about Scripture, Scripture, Scripture, He would have thrown the Bible from the Heavens down to Earth and tell us to follow everything that says there word by word, letter by letter, number by number. It would have been writen there that if we believe in Him we will receive the Holy Spirit and we will be instantly saved and that's all that matters. Done and over with.
Why send Jesus to SHOW us what to do, why have Apostles to follow through...and only a couple hundreds years after Jesus, come up with the Bible, as we know it today? I just don't get it. I just don't understand What gives anybody any kind of right or power to read it and interpret it to fit their own personal agenda and life preferences? Who comes up with all this stuff?

Everything was explained to us 2000 years ago. It's done. It's been done. We don't need to come up with new explanations on what the Bible says. There is NO need to reinvent the wheel.

Lord have mercy!

[devil's advocate]
But don't you understand? Even though the Bible wasn't put together in a form that resembles what we have now until 300 years after Christ it is the defining document of everything we believe! Even though some churches used this book or that book as "scripture"  they didn't have one set teaching, how could they there was no Bible?! Besides, the Early Church obviously fell into error, hence the need for the Reformation, and all of these new interpretations that haven't stopped since the 1500's constantly redefining one's faith (after all the Holy Spirit is behind every interpretation, never mind those that deny the virgin birth or even the divinity of Jesus). Don't you understand that as long as we all believe the same core things then we are all going to Heaven?
[/devil's advocate]

Edited to remove a typo that made an accidental expletive.
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« Reply #71 on: April 18, 2013, 12:07:50 AM »

The Fathers argued from the Scriptures.

We can too.
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« Reply #72 on: April 18, 2013, 01:39:14 AM »

...how many versions of 'Orthodoxy' do you have?

Not as many as your "Solas."   Wink



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« Reply #73 on: April 18, 2013, 01:50:51 AM »

Quote
ah, you don't sin,  so you don't need salvation ie. Satan has come along and whispered into your ear, "hath God said.....?" Have you never read of God's anger with Israel's sin?

He didn't say that. You're putting words into his mouth. Nowhere did he say that he didn't sin, he just gave another definiton of Salvation than you.
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« Reply #74 on: April 18, 2013, 07:37:35 AM »

Well this has turned into an interesting discussion. If I may make a few points:

The church fathers certainly used scripture to defend their arguments and pleaded their audience to search them to bear this out. I posted numerous quotes from some of the most respected fathers that attest to this in another thread so I won't re post them here.

The scriptures are clear that baptism saves you, that it is a work of God not a work of man. That we are required to repent and be baptized and the many other verses. Saying that, I don't think we need to make excuses for the thief on the cross such as "ultimate baptism" or "baptized by blood" or some of the other excuses I've heard people come up with to try to rationalize the thief. God can and will save anyone he wants as he has an immutable will. I do think the greatest tragedy of protestantism is the rejection of Baptism Saves and the real presence in the Lord's Supper. As Augustine states: "Let the Word come to the element, and it becomes a Sacrament"

I'll also agree that James did not say he does not sin but I would like a better explanation from the Orthodox. If sin is just a disease, and we are not guilty, why do we need to repent? I do not repent if I get cancer as I am not at fault. Maybe it just needs a better explanation. I can see original sin as a disease but not sin in general.

As for the scriptures, I fully reject the idea they are just for the Orthodox Church, or Rome, or any other group. They are, and always have been for everybody. Reading Gods word comforts the soul, comforts the conscience, heals wounds. It sheds light in a dark world. It is Gods word to all his people. I know personally reading the word of God has helped me in difficult times and it simply works. I don't know how many times I have had a problem that I went to the scriptures to be healed.

Proverbs 30: 5-6
“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
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« Reply #75 on: April 18, 2013, 07:42:58 AM »

Quote
As for the scriptures, I fully reject the idea they are just for the Orthodox Church, or Rome, or any other group. They are, and always have been for everybody. Reading Gods word comforts the soul, comforts the conscience, heals wounds. It sheds light in a dark world. It is Gods word to all his people. I know personally reading the word of God has helped me in difficult times and it simply works. I don't know how many times I have had a problem that I went to the scriptures to be healed.

Proverbs 30: 5-6
“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

Of course, the scriptures are for everybody. I too have benefited greatly from reading them. But there are also many times where I have had a hard time understanding what the scriptures said, and found it relieving that I had the Church to help me.
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« Reply #76 on: April 18, 2013, 08:04:45 AM »

Well this has turned into an interesting discussion. If I may make a few points:

The church fathers certainly used scripture to defend their arguments and pleaded their audience to search them to bear this out. I posted numerous quotes from some of the most respected fathers that attest to this in another thread so I won't re post them here.

The scriptures are clear that baptism saves you, that it is a work of God not a work of man. That we are required to repent and be baptized and the many other verses. Saying that, I don't think we need to make excuses for the thief on the cross such as "ultimate baptism" or "baptized by blood" or some of the other excuses I've heard people come up with to try to rationalize the thief. God can and will save anyone he wants as he has an immutable will. I do think the greatest tragedy of protestantism is the rejection of Baptism Saves and the real presence in the Lord's Supper. As Augustine states: "Let the Word come to the element, and it becomes a Sacrament"

I'll also agree that James did not say he does not sin but I would like a better explanation from the Orthodox. If sin is just a disease, and we are not guilty, why do we need to repent? I do not repent if I get cancer as I am not at fault. Maybe it just needs a better explanation. I can see original sin as a disease but not sin in general.

As for the scriptures, I fully reject the idea they are just for the Orthodox Church, or Rome, or any other group. They are, and always have been for everybody. Reading Gods word comforts the soul, comforts the conscience, heals wounds. It sheds light in a dark world. It is Gods word to all his people. I know personally reading the word of God has helped me in difficult times and it simply works. I don't know how many times I have had a problem that I went to the scriptures to be healed.

Proverbs 30: 5-6
“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

Repentance is the medicine to cure the disease of sin.  Orthodoxy uses the metaphor of medical treatment like the western churches use the metaphor of the legal system.

Rachael,
How do you know if what you believe is from the Holy Spirit or from a deceiving spirit? Obviously, you have Jehovah Witnesses, Methodists,  Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, non-denominational, Baptists, etc who all teach VERY different things, yet they all read the same Bible and come to VERY different conclusions.  How do you know that your belief is the correct one and that you haven't been deceived?  The Orthodox answer is that we look to what has continually been taught for 2000 years, and if our own beliefs don't align w/ that, we assume that we personally have been deceived because the Holy Spirit is not going to allow the Church to be deceived as a whole because of Jesus' statement that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.  I do not see where you have a similar measuring stick whereby you can determine if your beliefs are correct or not.
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« Reply #77 on: April 18, 2013, 08:09:42 AM »

I'll also agree that James did not say he does not sin but I would like a better explanation from the Orthodox. If sin is just a disease, and we are not guilty, why do we need to repent? I do not repent if I get cancer as I am not at fault. Maybe it just needs a better explanation. I can see original sin as a disease but not sin in general.

In my opinion James goes too far. Sin is not 'just a disease', it's falling short, missing the mark. It's something we do, not simply something we suffer from, but it is not simply a crime against God. Both the juridical language dominant in the west and the medical so beloved of western converts are metaphors that help us understand sin. In certain circumstances one is better than the other. A lot of western converts (and I was one once) go too far and completely eschew the juridical metaphor because they associate it with things like PSA. It's wrong to do this. You run the risk, as you have noted I think, of turning sin into a condition from which we suffer rather than actions for which we should repent. However, eschewing the medical metaphor is equally dangerous and can lead to a legalism which becomes particularly apparent in pastoral settings. As with so much in life, it's neither one nor the other but somewhere between the two and both extremes, whether in a western Christian or Orthodox convert of a western Christian background (I've yet to meet a cradle Orthodox who would deny juridical language and metaphor) are equally wrong.

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« Reply #78 on: April 18, 2013, 08:32:19 AM »

Well this has turned into an interesting discussion. If I may make a few points:

The church fathers certainly used scripture to defend their arguments and pleaded their audience to search them to bear this out. I posted numerous quotes from some of the most respected fathers that attest to this in another thread so I won't re post them here.

The scriptures are clear that baptism saves you, that it is a work of God not a work of man. That we are required to repent and be baptized and the many other verses. Saying that, I don't think we need to make excuses for the thief on the cross such as "ultimate baptism" or "baptized by blood" or some of the other excuses I've heard people come up with to try to rationalize the thief. God can and will save anyone he wants as he has an immutable will. I do think the greatest tragedy of protestantism is the rejection of Baptism Saves and the real presence in the Lord's Supper. As Augustine states: "Let the Word come to the element, and it becomes a Sacrament"

I'll also agree that James did not say he does not sin but I would like a better explanation from the Orthodox. If sin is just a disease, and we are not guilty, why do we need to repent? I do not repent if I get cancer as I am not at fault. Maybe it just needs a better explanation. I can see original sin as a disease but not sin in general.

As for the scriptures, I fully reject the idea they are just for the Orthodox Church, or Rome, or any other group. They are, and always have been for everybody. Reading Gods word comforts the soul, comforts the conscience, heals wounds. It sheds light in a dark world. It is Gods word to all his people. I know personally reading the word of God has helped me in difficult times and it simply works. I don't know how many times I have had a problem that I went to the scriptures to be healed.

Proverbs 30: 5-6
“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

Thanks for those thoughts. I wasn't trying to make an excuse for the example of the thief on the cross. I was merely pointing out that Rachel seems to misunderstand the spiritual and literal meaning and power of the Sacrament of Baptism. Also, I would never argue that God cannot save anyone apart from baptism. Orthodoxy certainly does not limit God in such a manner, which is one of the things that drew me to Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy affirms holy mystery and divine paradox. Therefore we can say that salvation is to be found in the Orthodox Church, but we don't say that it is impossible for the non-Orthodox to be saved. Of course, we do believe that all who will be saved will be saved in and through the Church, and by the Cross - even though some may live this life with no knowledge of the Church or the Cross.

Also, I am not arguing in any way that the Scriptures are not essential and indispensable to the Faith. In fact, my point is that Orthodoxy values the Bible so much that we dare not presume to wrest it away from its mother. We place the Bible in such high regard that we dare not remove it from the context of the Church. In fact, there is far more actual scripture read, prayed, and chanted in the Orthodox services than in the typical Protestant service where actual scripture merely provides a springboard for the preacher's personal sermon.


Selam
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« Reply #79 on: April 18, 2013, 08:46:02 AM »

Quote
In fact, there is far more actual scripture read, prayed, and chanted in the Orthodox services than in the typical Protestant service where actual scripture merely provides a springboard for the preacher's personal sermon.

A point which is, all too often, overlooked by the vast majority of non-liturgical protestants.
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« Reply #80 on: April 18, 2013, 10:48:50 AM »



As for the scriptures, I fully reject the idea they are just for the Orthodox Church, or Rome, or any other group. They are, and always have been for everybody. Reading Gods word comforts the soul, comforts the conscience, heals wounds. It sheds light in a dark world. It is Gods word to all his people. I know personally reading the word of God has helped me in difficult times and it simply works. I don't know how many times I have had a problem that I went to the scriptures to be healed.


Also, I am not arguing in any way that the Scriptures are not essential and indispensable to the Faith. In fact, my point is that Orthodoxy values the Bible so much that we dare not presume to wrest it away from its mother. We place the Bible in such high regard that we dare not remove it from the context of the Church. In fact, there is far more actual scripture read, prayed, and chanted in the Orthodox services than in the typical Protestant service where actual scripture merely provides a springboard for the preacher's personal sermon.

Selam

EXACTLY!!!!!
And I may add....The Scripture is so important that we cherish it with everything we have, we cover it in gold, we bow our heads in its presence, we are encouraged to read it daily and we do it in a very respectful way. It is not a joke. And I don't understand why this idea, that we somehow don't give enough attention to the Bible, came about. It's absolutely absurd and it does not make any sense to me!

The only thing we DO NOT do is to come up with explanations about what the Bible tells us. We trust the Church to do that for us. And the Church already has an explanation for all of it, since the Church is the one that put it together. Don't you think that before they put it together, the Church would've had an explanation about what it all means? ? ? ? ? ? ?
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« Reply #81 on: April 18, 2013, 11:10:50 AM »

It is certainly disappointing that no Christians knew how to properly interpret this until 200 years ago.  One would thing that the Holy Spirit would do a better job of making sure that Christians throughout history understood what He was trying to say.

My personal feeling is that any doctrine that shows up centuries or millenia after Christ has a distinctly cultic/Mormon feel to it.

Well the Angel in Daniel says to roll up the scroll until the time of the end...Daniel 12:4
So there ARE some things that come much later...don't be so arrogant.

How exactly am I being arrogant by saying that I don't trust my own private interpretation on Scripture and instead rely on thousands and millions of believers who have gone before me to help?  I don't see how taking one verse in Daniel out of context is a very solid basis for throwing out 2000 years of Church history and teaching.

How is it taken out of context? Are you saying NONE of the believers before you could be wrong? So they are all infallible? I never said that one verse was a basis of throwing out ALL 2000 years of church teaching. I am saying YOU are arrogant if YOU think that everything has alrady been done and understood when it CLEARLY states that SOME things will be closed until the endtimes...

Absolutely they can be wrong.  None of them are infallible, but taken as a body of work, there are certain reoccurring themes and the wacky doctrines coming out of 21st century evangelicals, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, etc have NO basis in historical teaching of the Church.  Is it possible that God might reveal some new doctrine 2k years after He established the Church? I suppose so, but I certainly don't intend to bet my salvation on it, particularly since there is no evidence that He is going to other than your interpretation of Daniel 12:4a.
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« Reply #82 on: April 18, 2013, 12:00:36 PM »



As for the scriptures, I fully reject the idea they are just for the Orthodox Church, or Rome, or any other group. They are, and always have been for everybody. Reading Gods word comforts the soul, comforts the conscience, heals wounds. It sheds light in a dark world. It is Gods word to all his people. I know personally reading the word of God has helped me in difficult times and it simply works. I don't know how many times I have had a problem that I went to the scriptures to be healed.


Also, I am not arguing in any way that the Scriptures are not essential and indispensable to the Faith. In fact, my point is that Orthodoxy values the Bible so much that we dare not presume to wrest it away from its mother. We place the Bible in such high regard that we dare not remove it from the context of the Church. In fact, there is far more actual scripture read, prayed, and chanted in the Orthodox services than in the typical Protestant service where actual scripture merely provides a springboard for the preacher's personal sermon.

Selam

EXACTLY!!!!!
And I may add....The Scripture is so important that we cherish it with everything we have, we cover it in gold, we bow our heads in its presence, we are encouraged to read it daily and we do it in a very respectful way. It is not a joke. And I don't understand why this idea, that we somehow don't give enough attention to the Bible, came about. It's absolutely absurd and it does not make any sense to me!

The only thing we DO NOT do is to come up with explanations about what the Bible tells us. We trust the Church to do that for us. And the Church already has an explanation for all of it, since the Church is the one that put it together. Don't you think that before they put it together, the Church would've had an explanation about what it all means? ? ? ? ? ? ?

+1 to the truth of both of the above quotes.  As a once-very-out-spoken EvProt I confess that the attitude I had came from pride (in my beliefs) and it came from ignorance (of the beliefs of others as well as the history and results of false teachings to which I ascribed).  I ate a lot of crow and chased it down with many shots of pride once I shut my mouth and took the time to learn.  Historically, I had no choice but to consider the Orthodox Church, even if the initial purpose of my investigation was to discredit her claims. Like so many other converts, I didn't seek Orthodoxy because I had a desire to completely turn my life inside-out and upside-down!  Once I experienced the depth of scripture in her worship, prayers, psalmody, canons and akathists...there was no other choice.  This was not the sole reason for my conversion, but it sure was a primary reason.  I remain very ashamed of all of the idle words I spoke and wrote (particularly those I engaged in while on internet chat forums) prior to embracing the Orthodox Church.  I was wrong.  So very, very wrong.  It is why I avoid internet debates such as these......although the folks on here, IMO and FWIW, are doing a fantastic job with it!  I tip my hat to so many of you.  Far too many "I's" in this post.  Forgive me.
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« Reply #83 on: April 18, 2013, 03:10:55 PM »

Christians have unity automatically, because they are all indwelt by the same spirit. That does not require mindless unanimity of belief.

No they aren't. The Holy Spirit doesn't come till after Baptism and Chrismation--as demonstrated in Acts.

Please cite a verse which shows this
I've already pointed out that this was not true of Cornelius since he was actually BAPTISED in the Spirit before water baptism. Since a person is not a Christian UNLESS he is indwelt by the Spirit

Romans 8:9
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
Romans 8:8-10 (in Context)


so the crucified thief was never saved!
Furthermore you fellow Orthodox tells me that he cannot tell if a man who has repented but is never baptised will be saved. This is not the answer you're giving me. You are telling me that despite taking Jesus as Lord, he will go to Hell. Which is it?



Quote
And, the Holy Spirit leads people into unity and unanimity of belief. Hence why St. Paul orders us to adhere to the Apostolic teaching (2 Thess. 2:15)
15     Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.


This is why we adhere to scripture and are wary of post-Biblical teaching.

 
Quote
and ORDERS us to share unity in doctrine, mind and judgement (1 Cor. 1:10).

he requests unity. Here it is in context.

10     ¶ Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11     For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12     Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13     Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?


So we see that the Corinthian church could not be trusted. It was following men instead of Jesus and giving the glory to men. Paul calls them to follow the Lord.

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If the Spirit does NOT lead you into that, then it is NOT the Holy Spirit but the Spirit of the Devil. There is no getting around it. And I don't get the disregard for proper doctrine and unity that Protestants have; doctrine is just as important as disposition. Without proper doctrine, you can't worship God because you are only worshipping an idol of who you think God is.
oh I have great regard for scriptural doctrine. That's why I've taken the trouble to point out that your doctrine of salvation cannot be Biblical. Perhaps this is why you have no assurance of salvation.
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« Reply #84 on: April 18, 2013, 03:17:26 PM »

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In fact, there is far more actual scripture read, prayed, and chanted in the Orthodox services than in the typical Protestant service where actual scripture merely provides a springboard for the preacher's personal sermon.

A point which is, all too often, overlooked by the vast majority of non-liturgical protestants.

and how much attention do you pay to it? Your avatar has "Holy Father Patrick". The Bible tells you to "call no man father".
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« Reply #85 on: April 18, 2013, 03:25:24 PM »

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In fact, there is far more actual scripture read, prayed, and chanted in the Orthodox services than in the typical Protestant service where actual scripture merely provides a springboard for the preacher's personal sermon.

A point which is, all too often, overlooked by the vast majority of non-liturgical protestants.

and how much attention do you pay to it? Your avatar has "Holy Father Patrick". The Bible tells you to "call no man father".

I would say we pay attention to it a great deal, but I do appreciate your judging us in that regards.  In regards to "call no man father", I don't think that means what you think it means.  Otherwise, how do you explain 1 Corinthians 4:15 where Paul states he is the spiritual father of the believers in Corinth?

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15     Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.


This is why we adhere to scripture and are wary of post-Biblical teaching.


Tee hee, this makes me laugh  laugh
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« Reply #86 on: April 18, 2013, 03:29:34 PM »

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In fact, there is far more actual scripture read, prayed, and chanted in the Orthodox services than in the typical Protestant service where actual scripture merely provides a springboard for the preacher's personal sermon.

A point which is, all too often, overlooked by the vast majority of non-liturgical protestants.

and how much attention do you pay to it? Your avatar has "Holy Father Patrick". The Bible tells you to "call no man father".

What do you call the man who is married to your mother?
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« Reply #87 on: April 18, 2013, 03:49:15 PM »

Perhaps this is why you have no assurance of salvation.

Actually,
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21“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. 22Many 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?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV)
this is why we have no assurance of salvation. It's right there in the Bible.

Also,
15     Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.


This is why we adhere to scripture and are wary of post-Biblical teaching.
this is why we adhere to Scripture and extra/post-biblical teaching. Paul told us to, and it is even in the Bible! The Bible itself speaks against Sola Sriptura!

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« Reply #88 on: April 18, 2013, 03:55:33 PM »

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In fact, there is far more actual scripture read, prayed, and chanted in the Orthodox services than in the typical Protestant service where actual scripture merely provides a springboard for the preacher's personal sermon.

A point which is, all too often, overlooked by the vast majority of non-liturgical protestants.

and how much attention do you pay to it? Your avatar has "Holy Father Patrick". The Bible tells you to "call no man father".

http://www.antiochian.org/node/19193
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« Reply #89 on: April 18, 2013, 04:03:24 PM »

scripture speaks of judgement,  how do you conclude there is an "overemphasis"?

I would understand the references to judgement and legality in the Scriptures to be--as all imagery in the Scriptures--metaphor serving a pedagogical purpose to emphasize a certain point or spiritual lesson. In Christ's parables and in various parts of the Bible, we see SEVERAL different similes and metaphors of what God is like and what it will be like. when we stand before Him. None of them should fully be understand as the 100% literal truth. This is what the Fathers of the Church bear witness to in their writings. St. Isaac the Syrian especially said that references and imagery of judgement in the Bible shouldn't be understand as literally, and that "mercy triumphs judgement." I have no doubt that guilt and forgiveness plays at least some part in salvation, but my thoughts are that the west overemphasizes it through virtually ignoring deification/theosis and only focusing on attaining a legal acquittal from God, reducing salvation to a single, one-time event.

 
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the Bible teaches that Christ will return as judge.

This is what I mean by Americans not paying enough attention to literary techniques and context--such as hyperbole, imagery, metaphor or poetry. This especially shines through their biblical exgesis. Just because the Bible says Christ will return as a judge does not mean you have to take it 100% literally--especially the consensus of the Church Fathers was that you didn't, and strict literalism didn't arise until the 19th century.

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You may have justice under law or mercy under grace.

Having justice and mercy is a contradiction. You either accept one or the other. I accept mercy because if I were to accept justice, I'd probably not deserve to live.

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true. Paul himself makes the point.

I sure haven't seen it. I've seen several allusions to Christ destroying death and paying the "ransom", but nothing suggesting that it was to God the Father. I find it disturbing how western Christianity has no problem accepting scapegoating.

 
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Once saved,  you have "passed from death unto life" there is, "therefore now no condemnation".

A legalistic acquittal; just as I said. In Orthodoxy, we have deification.

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So you don't acknowledge your true moral guilt before a righteous God.

LOL. I always find it funny when Protestants accuse us of this. Open up any Orthodox Prayer book and you will see more prayers of repentance that go one for pages than in probably any other religion. We certainly acknowledge our badness, but instead of focusing so much on merely being "forgiven" and "acquitted" of it through scapegoating, we focus on allowing God to heal us of it.

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If you're not guilty, you have nothing to repent of. The Pharisees thought they were righteous too!

Only I never said I wasn't guilty  Wink

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which scripture do you get this from?


I listed several in my excerpt. Did you even read the whole thing?

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Define sin.

"Missing the mark"

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Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
John 3:17-19 (in Context) John 3 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations

I don't get your point.

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ah, you don't sin,

Strawman of my position. Plus, if you've ever seen my countless threads on self-abuse, you'd see that I'm one of the most open sinners here  Wink 

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so you don't need salvation ie

Yes I do; I still need to be healed and restored as "partakers of the Divine nature." I don't think you read anything at all I wrote about salvation but just paraphrased a few sentences.

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Have you never read of God's anger with Israel's sin?

That was all an act on God's part to instill a concept of right and wrong in the Israeli people and to prepare them for His true character--which is that of a doctor who wants to heal you. Hence the pedagogical purpose. In order to accept healing and mercy, one has to accept that they have something wrong with them. God's harshness toward Israel did just that.

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the Bible teaches that your spirit is immortal but you will lose your soul.

I don't understand what you mean here nor what point you are making. Then again, being a big rationalist, I have trouble understanding any mystical terms such as "spirit" or "soul."

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It teaches that the ultimate consequence of sin is eternal separation from God.

No it doesn't; prove it. Especially when 2 Thessalonians 1 tells us that people are tormented FROM the presence of God's glory; not because of "separation" from Him. Just as St. Isaac the Syrian said that hellfire is the love of God.

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Do you actually read your Bible?

I've been quoting several Scriptures in my correspondance with you along with my quoted works I've linked; I'd say I do  Cheesy Only difference is that I don't rush through it in a speed contest like Protestants who gloss over the true meaning in order to be able to brag about how fast they read it. It took me a over a year to complete the New Testament, and I don't regret one bit of the time I took  angel

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the  Bible says, th "wages of sin is death". How is that NOT a "consequence"?

It is a consequence; just not from God and not in the sense of punishment. It is a consequence in the same sense that if you eat McDonalds every day, you will become obese.
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You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
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James, you have problemz.
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