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Author Topic: Changes in liturgy since the Apostolic times  (Read 5569 times) Average Rating: 0
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jmell
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« on: June 28, 2005, 02:47:15 PM »

In the reading I've done I've noticed in churches (1st Century churches) set up by Paul that:

-Churches were charasmatic, not Clerical (i.e. no Clergy)
-The Eucharist was a communal meal, not what it has evolved to today.
-Baptism was for adult converts to the faith.

What caused the change into what it has become today, was it the fact that the group who became "orthodox" wanted to keep control over it's followers to keep them away from diffrent Christian faiths of the time, or was it just a power trip? It seems that the churches set up by Paul were a simple faith that anyone could belong or practice once they had proclamed a faith in Christ.
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2005, 02:55:00 PM »

-Churches were charasmatic, not Clerical (i.e. no Clergy)

They were quite 'clerical' by the end of the Apostolic times, just read St. Igantios of Antioch...Where the Bishop is, there is the Church.

Quote
-The Eucharist was a communal meal, not what it has evolved to today.

Assuming the Agape Meal was the Eucharistic Celebration in Apostolic Times (the Jury's still out on this one)...one reasonable explination would be that the Churches got bigger, it's one thing to have a common meal for fifty or even a hundred people, it's quite another thing for 10 or 20 thousand.

Quote
-Baptism was for adult converts to the faith.

There are NT Examples of Entire Households being Baptized...not just adults.
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2005, 03:20:12 PM »

They were quite 'clerical' by the end of the Apostolic times, just read St. Igantios of Antioch...Where the Bishop is, there is the Church.

But what about the Churches during Pauls time, This is not the way the original churches were


Quote
Assuming the Agape Meal was the Eucharistic Celebration in Apostolic Times (the Jury's still out on this one)...one reasonable explination would be that the Churches got bigger, it's one thing to have a common meal for fifty or even a hundred people, it's quite another thing for 10 or 20 thousand.

But why did the Agape meal become transformed into the Communion service it is today.
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2005, 03:27:10 PM »

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But why did the Agape meal become transformed into the Communion service it is today.


Small churches, like mine, still have Agape meals every once in a while, after the communion.
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2005, 03:30:11 PM »

But what about the Churches during Pauls time, This is not the way the original churches were

If you read the Bible then you will see that bishops and deacons were being ordained in the time of Paul. May I suggest reading the Book of Acts rather than new modernist historical revisionists that Thomas S. reads?
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2005, 03:36:34 PM »

[quote author=Νικολάος Διάκονος link=topic=6533.msg84971#msg84971 date=1119987011]
If you read the Bible then you will see that bishops and deacons were being ordained in the time of Paul. May I suggest reading the Book of Acts rather than new modernist historical revisionists that Thomas S. reads?
[/quote]

From my of Act and the Epistles, the Bishops seem to be the missonaries starting the churches and the deacon doing much of the same and teaching the faith to adult convert being baptised. I think the only revisionist view here was developed in the years 100-500 A.D., and it was a power grab
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2005, 03:43:00 PM »

I think the only revisionist view here was developed in the years 100-500 A.D., and it was a power grab

AMEN!
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2005, 03:46:57 PM »

I wrote this up ages ago, and I cannot remember the sources of my material, but I think a substantial portion of it is relevant to this discussion:

The Eucharist: More than just a meal

Despite the fact Liberal Protestant scholarship misinterprets the Eucharist as simply a memorial meal to commemorate a loved one, the sacrament was instituted by Christ Himself in a manner which clearly indicates that the Eucharist is in fact a memorial sacrifice, and has been understood as such since the inception of Christianity and throughout the ages. Because of the sacraficial nature of the Eucharist offering, there is hence relevance and significance for the New Testament church, and the divine liturgy, which is essentially the combines the function of the Old Testament temple — upon which the sacrifice is offered upon the altar,  with the function of the Old Testament synagogue — where the people are taught. It follows from this, that those who preside over the church incorporate the functions of both the Old Testament priest and the Old Testament elder.

The priesthood:

In both the Old and New Testament, we find three classes of “priests”: High priests, ministerial priests, and universal priests.

During the time of the Exodus, we have Aaron as the first established high priest (Exodus 31:30), his 4 sons as ministerial priests (Exodus 28:21), and the nation of Israel acting as universal priests (Exodus 19:6). Prior to this time, only ministerial priesthood existed, and these ministerial priests, who were the firstborn sons of each family (Exodus 19:22-24), were distinguished from the people in general.

In the New Testament we see this three-fold model also, with Christ as our high priest (Hebrews 3:1), Christ's ordained ministers of the Gospel as ministerial priests (Romans 15:16) and the Christian believers are the universal priests (1 Peter 2:5,9).

The office of the priest is synonymous to that of the elder - “priest” being a shortened version of the Greek word for elder “Presbyteros.” The New testament testifies to this when it fuses the function of both the Old Testament priest (who serves in the temple) and the Old Testament elder (who serves in the synagogue) into one:

Romans 15:15-16 "I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit."
Revelation 5:8, where we read: "And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." - Here we have the twenty-four elders depicted as offering incense to God in bowls, in like manner as the Old Testament priests (Num. 7:84-86).
The very Biblical emphasis of the fact that the functions of a ministerial priest are unique to him alone, and cannot be enacted by the universal priests, is clearly laid down in the story of Korah's rebellion, as depicted in Numbers 16:1-11. In their attempt to usurp the ministerial role of priesthood,  they offered incense to God, but God did not accept it and ultimately destroyed them. This incident is referenced in the New Testament in Jude 11 — indicating that we cannot restrict the warning against Korah's rebellion to the age of Old Testament. There is a clear distinction between ministerial priests and the laity; and the fact that the elders of Revelations were acceptably performing priestly functions, indicates a fusion of roles in the New Testament..

Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were essentially saying in their rebellion: "In Exodus 19 God said we are all priests, thus we don't need ministerial priests since we can perform that function ourselves." Likewise, Protestants today come along and say, "In 1 Peter 2, God said we are all priests, thus we don't need ministerial priests since we can perform that function ourselves.”

The role of the priest during the liturgy in offering the Eucharist as a memorial sacrifice:

The sacrificial dimension to the Eucharist is clearly established in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, in which it is shown to be the equivalent of the Old Testament passover feast, and hence a sacrificial meal to be consumed. Since elders have the duty of performing the sacraments, they thus have the duty also of performing the sacrifice, which again indicates the priestly nature of their office.

Second of all, we must take careful note of the linguistic, and religious context of Christ's command to “Do this in remembrance of me.”, and the implications this has to how we carry out this command:

“Do”:

The word poiein , translated "do", has sacrificial overtones in the scriptures. By examining its usage in the Septuagint (Greek version of the OT), we find the verb being used frequently in a cult or sacrificial sense, such as in Exodus 29:38 for example, where the same Greek word is actually translated as “offer”: "This is that which you shall offer (poieseis) upon the altar: two lambs . . . "

“Remembrance”:

The word anamnesis, translated “remembrance”, also has sacrificial overtones, where in fact all occurrences of this word are employed in a sacrificial context, such as in Hebrews 10:3: "But those sacrifices are an annual reminder (anamnesis) of sins." An anamnesis is thus a memorial offering which one brings before the Lord, in order to prompt his remembrance. This thought is evidenced also in Numbers 10:10 - we read, "Also at your times of rejoicing . . . you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial (anamnesis) for you before your God."

Therefore in the Orthodox liturgy that we have received and maintained from the first century, the church first celebrates what is synonymous to the synagogue serveice- Liturgy of the Word, proceeded by what is synoymous to the temple service - the Liturgy of the Eucharist — where the ministerial priest who is also the elder, offers the memorial sacrifice upon the altar.
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2005, 03:50:59 PM »

Quote
Despite the fact Liberal Protestant scholarship misinterprets the Eucharist as simply a memorial meal to commemorate a loved one, the sacrament was instituted by Christ Himself

If this was true, why didn't Paul teach this to his churches? Or the Apostles..It wasn't until what date I'm trying to figure out? Was it Ignatius of Antioch that came up with the mystical interpritaion of the Eucharist?

Quote
The role of the priest during the liturgy in offering the Eucharist as a memorial sacrifice

If there was no Priest at every service to perform the Eucharist in the beginnings, but a group of lay believers how was the Eucharist performed?
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2005, 04:02:22 PM »

From my of Act and the Epistles, the Bishops seem to be the missonaries starting the churches and the deacon doing much of the same and teaching the faith to adult convert being baptised. I think the only revisionist view here was developed in the years 100-500 A.D., and it was a power grab

Paul Converted in the late A.D. 40's at the earliest, by the end of the first Century St. Ignatios of Antioch's writings demonstrate the well structured nature of the Church. in Roughly 50 years the Christianity went from a few Apostles and faithful in Jerusalem to a Religion that spanned the Known World. What happened in these 50 years? The establishement of Churches, the developing of Church discipline, the creating of Ministers and a Hierarchical Structure. We see the Office of the Bishop for the First time in the 60's, and by the 90's at the absolute latest the office has developed into what we have to this day (though their jurisdictions tend to be larger now).

You're reading things into the Scriptures that arn't there and implying discrepancy where there is nothing but continuity.

If this was true, why didn't Paul teach this to his churches? Or the Apostles..It wasn't until what date I'm trying to figure out? Was it Ignatius of Antioch that came up with the mystical interpritaion of the Eucharist?

If St. Ignatios of Antioch taught it, then the Apostles, or at least St. Igantios' teacher St. John the Divine, taught it.
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2005, 04:09:24 PM »

Paul Converted in the late A.D. 40's at the earliest, by the end of the first Century St. Ignatios of Antioch's writings demonstrate the well structured nature of the Church. in Roughly 50 years the Christianity went from a few Apostles and faithful in Jerusalem to a Religion that spanned the Known World. What happened in these 50 years? The establishement of Churches, the developing of Church discipline, the creating of Ministers and a Hierarchical Structure. We see the Office of the Bishop for the First time in the 60's, and by the 90's at the absolute latest the office has developed into what we have to this day (though their jurisdictions tend to be larger now).



Those 50 years though, are what matter. It was during this time that Christianity was being practiced in a form directly handed down from the Apostles. I am aware that there were Bishops, who travelled and spread the word of Christ. For those 50 years there was not a heirachy to hand down rules and doctrine that they created. This is the power grab. From then on they called the shots. If they changed the Eucharist to the actual body and blood from a communal meal it was for only one reason. You can control the masses if you control their religion.


It doesn't matter of 1900 years or 5000 years pass, these were the 50 years that mattered.
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2005, 04:14:07 PM »

Quote
If this was true, why didn't Paul teach this to his churches? Or the Apostles..

Did you even READ the entirety of my article? My whole case is based on an exegesis of the Biblical text itself (you know...the Biblical text that was WRITTEN BY THE APOSTLES)…albeit a very rough and basic kindergarten one, just as a little introduction. Please attend kindergarten class, and maybe we can upgrade you to junior High if you’re good…but don’t waste my time if you’re not even prepared to seriously engage with the material, such that you would rather respond with ignorance.ÂÂ  

Quote
If there was no Priest at every service to perform the Eucharist in the beginnings, but a group of lay believers how was the Eucharist performed?

This is a cop-out. The fact of the matter is, a plausible exegesis of the Biblical text clearly shows that the Eucharist was intended to be a sacrificial meal effected by the Priest. Whether certain historical circumstances allowed for this or not is irrelevant to the fact it is taught. I’ll be back online later tonight God-willing, I hope you can manage to step up to the plate and address the substance of the article by then.

Peace.
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2005, 04:20:04 PM »

Did you even READ the entirety of my article?


Yes, I did. There are alot of OT quotes not handed down by the Apostle and two quote from the Epistles. These two quotes do discuss a feast to commemerate the Last Supper, this I know happened at services. It does not mention that in the feast they actually thought it was the Body and Blood. I am aware of the Agape feast though. You did not prove my point. Where did this come from?

BTW, the Revelatation quote is grabbing at straws to explain the Eucharist. Protestants can take one line from the bible to explain the theory of the Rapture.
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2005, 04:41:10 PM »

AMEN!

If you guys are going to pretend like this heretical fiction is fact, then it is up to you to prove it and neither of you have done so thus far. Where is your empirical proof that your historical revision happened?
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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2005, 04:47:08 PM »

[quote author=Νικολάος Διάκονος link=topic=6533.msg84986#msg84986 date=1119991270]
If you guys are going to pretend like this heretical fiction is fact, then it is up to you to prove it and neither of you have done so thus far. Where is your empirical proof that your historical revision happened?
[/quote]


I made this timeline for you Grin

Practice in churches started by Paul ->Changes made by bishops to take control from people -> Church as it is today
40-90A.D.                                          100A.D. - 500A.D.                                                     Today



look at my former post for the proofs. Now, can you prove to me that before 90A.D. the church was the same as it is now?
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« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2005, 04:51:09 PM »

Quote
Yes, I did. There are alot of OT quotes not handed down by the Apostle and two quote from the Epistles.

Given that New Testament theology is very much based on the Old Testament, and given that Christ and the Apostles consistently drew upon and related to concepts and principles grounded in the Old Testament, you would have to be a fool to disregard the Old Testament as a relevant contextual factor.

Quote
These two quotes do discuss a feast to commemerate the Last Supper

Stop begging the question and DEAL with my arguments. I did not just quote you the scriptures; I related one verse to another in order to support a certain proposition and I provided a brief commentary, step up to the plate and explain to me where I have erred.

Quote
It does not mention that in the feast they actually thought it was the Body and Blood.

My article isn’t directly dealing with the issue of divine presence, it is dealing with the issue of sacrificial meal vs. memorial meal. Are you SURE you read my article?

Quote
You did not prove my point.

Deal with the fact that within the context of the Biblical text itself, the Eucharist was instituted as a SACRAFICIAL meal.

Quote
BTW, the Revelatation quote is grabbing at straws to explain the Eucharist. Protestants can take one line from the bible to explain the theory of the Rapture.

The Revelations quote was not quoted in isolation, it was quoted amongst others, and the interrelation explained. I'm still waiting for you to deal with the specifics.

Peace.
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« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2005, 04:51:53 PM »

Basic standards of debate would say that if you come here, an OPrthodox Christian forum and are trying to say what we believe is a huge lie then you have to provide proof, which I have not seen you do based on facts, only on opinion. What historical basis do you make such bold accusations? What writers fromt he time that were not enemies of the Church do you use to make up your arguments? We need a historical witness of people and cold, hard facts, not modernist suppositions by the anti-Orthodox.
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« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2005, 04:53:34 PM »

In the reading I've done I've noticed in churches (1st Century churches) set up by Paul that:

-The Eucharist was a communal meal, not what it has evolved to today.

Gospel According to St. Matthew, 26:26-28:

26: And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."
27: And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink ye all of it;
28: For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."


Gospel According to St. Mark, 14:22-24:

22: And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, "Take, eat: this is my body."
23: And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
24: And he said unto them, "This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many."


Gospel According to St. Luke, 22:19-20:

19: And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me."
20: Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."


First Epistle of St. Paul to Corinthians, 11:23-29:

23: For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, "Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me."
25: After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, "This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me."
26: For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
27: Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28: But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29: For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
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« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2005, 04:55:21 PM »

[quote author=Νικολάος Διάκονος link=topic=6533.msg84991#msg84991 date=1119991913]
Basic standards of debate would say that if you come here, an OPrthodox Christian forum and are trying to say what we believe is a huge lie then you have to provide proof, which I have not seen you do based on facts, only on opinion. What historical basis do you make such bold accusations? What writers fromt he time that were not enemies of the Church do you use to make up your arguments? We need a historical witness of people and cold, hard facts, not modernist suppositions by the anti-Orthodox.
[/quote]

Actually if you read my first post I came to ask a question, not debate. The question was when did the Communal meal change to become a sacrament.
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« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2005, 04:58:56 PM »



Actually if you read my first post I came to ask a question, not debate. The question was when did the Communal meal change to become a sacrament.
Who says that it ever "changed to become a sacrament"? Wasn't it a sacrament from the begining? or do I miss the point here...
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« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2005, 05:00:12 PM »

Quote
The question was when did the Communal meal change to become a sacrament.

And the answer is that a proper exegesis of the Biblical text proves that it was instituted as a sacrament ab initio, and hence you are asking a loaded question.

When will you deal with the answer?

Peace.
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« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2005, 05:06:37 PM »

And the answer is that a proper exegesis of the Biblical text proves that it was instituted as a sacrament ab initio, and hence you are asking a loaded question.

When will you deal with the answer?

Peace.

Deal with what answer? I see no biblical text that proves that it was a sacrament from the beginning. You see it one way, I see it another. We can go around in circles and never end the debate if you want. Religion is open to interpretation, no matter how much the Orthodox Church dislikes that.
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« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2005, 05:07:32 PM »

Okay, so your intention WAS to start a debate!
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« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2005, 05:08:41 PM »

Okay, so your intention WAS to start a debate!

No, but it ended up as one Grin
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« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2005, 05:09:00 PM »


I made this timeline for you Grin

Practice in churches started by Paul ->Changes made by bishops to take control from people -> Church as it is today
40-90A.D.  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  100A.D. - 500A.D.  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚ Today



look at my former post for the proofs. Now, can you prove to me that before 90A.D. the church was the same as it is now?

You have made many unsubstantiated assumptions...but the most significance is an assumption of discontinuity where there is no reason to believe any exists...why should I assume that in the late apostolic era the goals and mindset of the Church had changed substantially from the Early apostolic era? Why are the Goals and Ideals of St. Ignatios (on the way to his martyrdom nonetheless) somehow different than those of his teacher St. John? Scripture is a very small part of the apostolic teachings, don't think that they are the complete extent of the apostles' teaching and thought.
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« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2005, 05:20:23 PM »

Quote
Deal with what answer? I see no biblical text that proves that it was a sacrament from the beginning.

The two most relevant issues of my article that you have yet to address:

a)   The relationship between the Eucharist and the Passover meal, and its implications.
b)   The sacrificial terminology specifically employed in the great institution.

Quote
You see it one way, I see it another.

I exegete and deduct, you eisegete and assume.

Neither a reasonable reading of history supports your case (as others like greekischristian have proven), nor does the Scriptural context. So what do you have exactly?

Peace.

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« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2005, 05:52:01 PM »

Is this going to turn into another thread like "the charismatics are among us" ?
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« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2005, 06:02:09 PM »

People debate here. Expect arguments (in the true sense of the word) and also disagreements. If it's said civilly, it's ok.

jmell wants to debate the validity of the OC. So they'll debate.

Tom, I am still interested in your answer to some of my questions that I asked in that other horrible thread. Would you be willing to PM me about that?

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« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2005, 06:20:32 PM »

Hey, I'm not complaining, I thought the other one was kinda fun.  Undecided   Grin
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« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2005, 06:21:09 PM »

 Wink
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« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2005, 02:21:16 AM »

Hi,

Maybe the Didache will help:ÂÂ  http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-roberts.html

It is the earliest Christian document we have outside the books of the Bible.ÂÂ  Scholars tend to date it within the first century and some even say it is older than some of the New Testament books, such as Revelations.ÂÂ  It is definitely a testimony as to what early Christian practices and beliefs were.

In chapter 9,ÂÂ  it speaks of the Eucharist.ÂÂ  It is clearly something holy, reserved only for baptized Christians.ÂÂ  It was not enough to "proclaim a faith in Christ," as you asserted in your first post.  You had to be baptized in order to participate.  The Lord's saying "Give not that which is holy to dogs" is applied here to protecting the Eucharist from being consumed by those who are unworthy, including the unbaptized.ÂÂ  Not exactly a casual meal. You will also note that at this early date the Christians already have written prayers to be said for Communion.

Chapter 14 speaks of the Lord's Day.ÂÂ  It speaks of the breaking of bread as a "sacrifice."

Chapter 15 speaks of bishops and deacons as "honored ones."

By coincidence, I happen to be reading On the Apostolic Tradition, by Hippolytus.ÂÂ  This was written in the early 200's, but scholars believe some of the material to date much earlier.ÂÂ  It is a fascinating book, giving a glimpse into how early Christian communities functioned.ÂÂ  This book does show that the Eucharist was given in the context of the agape meal.ÂÂ  However, it was not just another dish on the table.ÂÂ  Hippolytus says that the Eucharist was to be eaten first.ÂÂ  It was also received from the hand of the bishop and it was important to keep it from falling to the ground.ÂÂ  It was definitely different from the other food to be eaten afterwards.

If you want Biblical evidence of the Eucharist being a sacrament, sacrifice, etc. the posters above have done a pretty thorough job.ÂÂ  I don't want to reiterate, but Christ's words at the Last Supper are pretty strong, saying that the bread and wine are His body and blood. He stated that His blood was to be poured out for many, for the forgiveness of sins.ÂÂ  If that is not sacrifice, I don't know what it is.ÂÂ  

He also never uses symbolic language concerning the Eucharist and there is nothing in the Bible which says He was speaking symbolically.ÂÂ  In John chapter 6, He clearly states that His body is true food and His blood is true drink.ÂÂ  He says that anyone who eats His body and drinks His blood abides in Him.ÂÂ  This is not exactly something you get at McDonalds or even the church potluck.ÂÂ  The early Christians would not have considered this to be ordinary food.
ÂÂ  
A problem that I have with your assertion about the church changing radically after the first century is that it is nowhere in the Bible.ÂÂ  This is the same problem that I have with Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, etc. who make the same claim ("The early church was just like us and then it became corrupt after the first century.")

Where in the Bible does it say that the Church would be corrupted after the death of the Apostles?ÂÂ  It is nowhere in the Bible.ÂÂ  In fact, Christ said the opposite, that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church.ÂÂ  

I am afraid that I have to agree with the other posters who have said the burden is on you to prove the Church changed after the first century.
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« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2005, 03:08:40 AM »

Great post Salpy, thanks for that.

I just thought I would quickly provide Mr Jmell with an historical fact which will require him to revise his dodgy little timeline:

St Clement of Rome states in his letter to the Corinthians:

Quote
Chapter XLIV.-The Ordinances of the Apostles, that There Might Be No Contention Respecting the Priestly Office.

Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office188 of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions,189 that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them,190 or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blame-lessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate191 those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties.192 Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that ye have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour.

Footnote 192 states: 192 Literally, "presented the offerings."

My own note: Verse 4 may equally be rendered: "Our sin will not be small if we eject from the episcopate those who blamelessly and holily have offered its Sacrifices." (Jurgens W.A.,The Faith of the Early Fathers 1970, Vol 1, pg 10)

http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-05.htm#P491_84011

WOW; so we have an extra-Biblical document within the first century which explicitly draws a connection between the Presbyter - the ministerial priest, with the Eucharist which is described in SACRAFICIAL LANGUAGE, JUST AS IT IS IN THE BIBLICAL TEXT. Amazing.
Liberal scholarship tends to date this epistle at around 96 AD; but we all know the sorts of typical presuppositions that liberals go out of their way to employ in order to negate an earlier date: 80 AD has been suggested as a plausible earliest dating.

In any event, at this stage the onus is on you to:

a) Substantiate why any reasonable person undergoing an objective readings of history, would adopt your absurd and baseless assumption of an alleged sudden and abrupt discontinuity occuring directly within the Apostolic era with regards to an issue that is unanimously  and universally agreed upon by the early Church that was eastablished by the Apostles themselves, and supported by the earliest Church documents (now we are pushing you back to 80 AD).

b) Explain why the very Biblical text itself speaks about the Eucharist in a sacraficial context, with regards to the nature of the Sacrament and the manner in which it is to be effected.

If you cannot fulfill the above, you simply have no case.

Peace.
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« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2005, 03:21:55 AM »

I'm sorry--I hate it when I post something and then decide I want to add more to it.  Here I go again...

jmell,

You asked why Paul and the Apostles didn't teach the Church that the Eucharist is a sacrifice or sacrament.

The short answer is they DID teach it as sacrifice and sacrament.

It was the Apostles who wrote the four Gospels, in which they were careful to include Christ's language about the Eucharist being His body and blood, poured out for many, true food and true drink, etc.

It was St. Paul who wrote 1 Corinthians, chapter 11, in which he scolds the Corinthians for taking the Eucharist too casually.  He reiterates Christ's language about it being His body and blood.  He says anyone approaching it unworthily eats and drinks condemnation upon himself.  He also states that disrespect for the Eucharist was actually what was causing some people to die.  In other words, according to St. Paul, God was actually striking people dead for not partaking with the proper respect. That wouldn't happen if it was just a casual memorial.

So you see, St. Paul and the Apostles did teach the same about the Eucharist as the present day Orthodox Church.  It is the Protestants, Charismatics, Evangelicals, Jehovahs Witnesses, and others, who are teaching something different from the Apostles.

You also stated that for the first 50 years of the Church, there was no hierarchy, no one handing down rules or doctrine.

If that were the case, then what exactly were the New Testament epistles?  What was the council held in Acts chapter 15?  If the rule of the Apostles was for everyone to make up their own faith, then the epistles would never have been written and the council and its decision would never have happened.  If your version of the early church were true, the Apostles would have had no business writing those epistles, or holding a council.

The fact is, the Apostles wrote their letters specifically to correct or warn the various Christian communities regarding their behavior.  These letters would not have happened if there were no hierarchy, rules or doctrine.  After the council of Jerusalem, recorded in Acts 15, messages were sent out to the churches, telling them of the Apostles' decision.  The messages told them what to do and not to do with regard to certain issues.  They did not say, "Everyone can make up their own minds on these issues."

So you see, it wasn't a leaderless free-for-all.  The Church had leaders and those leaders had authority.  Since the Apostles could not live here on earth with us forever, successors were appointed.  We see that at the beginning of Acts, when Judas' office is filled with Matthias.  It is therefore clear from the Bible that the Church was hierarchical from the very beginning.
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« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2005, 08:09:02 AM »

jmell,

Thanks for posting this question; it's one I really had to get over as a former Southern Baptist and one I think the Church answers more than adequately.

Click here to see a post about apostolic succession where I lay out from Scripture what is (I think) a very reasonable interpretation of many sayings of our Lord and His apostles concerning the continuity between the authority of the apostles and that of those they ordained.  It's one and the same authority and rule over the Church, one that was established by Christ and was hardly a "power grab," even though it might seem that way when looking at it from the outside.

I'll write more when I can.  Good discussion, but let's keep it civil, folks!  No need for names!
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« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2005, 08:42:14 AM »

[quote author=Νικολάος Διάκονος link=topic=6533.msg84986#msg84986 date=1119991270]
If you guys are going to pretend like this heretical fiction is fact, then it is up to you to prove it and neither of you have done so thus far. Where is your empirical proof that your historical revision happened?
[/quote]

Have you READ or heard this persons argument/proof?

Those who FEAR truth always use the same argument - "I am not going to read that trash!" Knowledge and intelligence come from exposing yourself to OTHER OPINIONS. You can't argue your position if you do not understand the arguments of the other person.

Where is your proof that this corruption of the Faith has not occurred? My proof comes from "Human Nature". Whenever you get people involved a power struggle always occurs with one group wanting control over all the others. Simply because THEY think they have a patent on THE TRUTH, or they want to control the "mean green".

Just look at the history of the Orthodox Church - have you READ a history of Byzantium? Did you pay attention to what happened in your church over the last 2 years? Do you not understand that Constantine accepted the Church simply because of political reasons?

Of course this type of argument is all for naught if you wish to remain in ignorance.
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« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2005, 09:44:32 AM »

Also, something else I thought of: if we're dealing with a supposed change in Church doctrine after AD 100, then it's interesting to note that, on these two issues we seem to be emphasizing--hierarchy and eucharist--that all the "off-base" folks in the Church erred in the same way.ÂÂ  One would think, given Tom's last post, that human nature would almost necessitate a diverse group of doctrines about these and a million other points.ÂÂ  Instead, however, we have unity after AD 100.ÂÂ  Barring a vast, anti-apostle conspiracy (cue Dan Brown), the fact that a sacrificial eucharist and an apostolic, divinely instituted hierarchy are consistently held to immediately after the first century gives a strong and, I think, reasonable argument that these doctrines are, indeed, truly apostolic.

Have you READ or heard this persons argument/proof?

No, because none has been offerred, really.ÂÂ  Assertions, yes.ÂÂ  And they're familiar assertions, because I grew up making these very same ones.ÂÂ  But jmell has yet to go into detail or cite from any sources as proof of a first-century, en masse "jumping of the rails" within the Church.

Quote
Those who FEAR truth always use the same argument - "I am not going to read that trash!" Knowledge and intelligence come from exposing yourself to OTHER OPINIONS. You can't argue your position if you do not understand the arguments of the other person.

Agreed.ÂÂ  If jmell offers any proof for his assertions--as of yet, I don't think he has, though I could be wrong--then I will indeed read them.ÂÂ  I owe him, and anyone else, that much.

Quote
Where is your proof that this corruption of the Faith has not occurred?

Objectively?ÂÂ  Well, as long as other people exist, nothing will ever be "obvious" or "objective."ÂÂ  There will always be people who see things differently.ÂÂ  This does not mean that there is no reason to believe that Christ would send the Holy Spirit to guard against this precise thing (see my above post).ÂÂ  Not to say that there weren't then or aren't now scoundrels in the clergy, but that even in spite of the debase failures of men, the Church as a whole would ultimately continue in sound doctrine, the gates of hell not prevailing.ÂÂ  In spite of us at times, as I say.

Quote
My proof comes from "Human Nature". Whenever you get people involved a power struggle always occurs with one group wanting control over all the others. Simply because THEY think they have a patent on THE TRUTH, or they want to control the "mean green".


Well, this is a philosophical assertion, a hypothetical.ÂÂ  You don't deal here with what actually happened within history; you've merely set the stage--stacking the deck all the while--for the inevitable downfall of sound teaching within the Church.

Quote
Just look at the history of the Orthodox Church - have you READ a history of Byzantium? Did you pay attention to what happened in your church over the last 2 years? Do you not understand that Constantine accepted the Church simply because of political reasons?


Now you're getting somewhere.ÂÂ  Yes, there's a reason the phrase is "Byzantine Intrigue."ÂÂ  Lots of shady deals going on.ÂÂ  Lots of politics.ÂÂ  Lots of guys getting deposed, reenthroned, deposed again.ÂÂ  Lots of guys trying to sway emperors and secular authorities to get their way in the Church.ÂÂ  Lots of scandal based on money and sex in the Church, even today, obviously.ÂÂ  Constantine, yes, accepted the sign of the Cross because he thought he'd conquer folks through its power instead of being conquered by it.ÂÂ  That's why, I think, Constantine is not--rightly so!--a theologian of the Church.ÂÂ  His influence--regardless of what Dan Brown might say--isn't theological in the slightest.ÂÂ  He used his secular authority to let the Church do what it had always been struggling to do before it was "legal."

And in spite of all of this human failure and sin, the Church proclaimed Her doctrine of Christ in purity.ÂÂ  This, to me, is more the miracle than if God had somehow kept us all as "good little boys and girls."ÂÂ  To bring sound doctrine out of a Church full of sinners is a definite miracle.

So Tom...aside from the obvious political corruption, is there any indication in your studies that there was a widespread doctrinal corruption within the Church around the time that jmell alleges?

If so, I'd be interested in reading it (Yes!ÂÂ  Reading it!ÂÂ  Wink).ÂÂ  My extensive reading of the Ante-Nicean Fathers has led me to see things otherwise, but perhaps I missed something and will await a response from either or both of you (or anyone else) as to exactly when and how the Church as a whole left Her scriptural moorings for corrupt practices and beliefs.
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« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2005, 01:32:31 PM »


I am aware that there were Bishops, who travelled and spread the word of Christ.
(Sorry to join the discussion late)
Jmell, this is factually incorrect.ÂÂ  The Bishops were the shephards of the local churches ordained by the apostles or their associates.ÂÂ  It was the missionary apostles/associates that actually travelled and spread the word.ÂÂ  The bishops ("overseers") taught and shepherded their local congregations.  The only thing that changed in the "50 years" was a more precise distinction in terminology between "bishop" and "presbyter" whereas before they were used more or less interchangeably.
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« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2005, 02:20:04 PM »

Hi,

Maybe the Didache will help:  http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-roberts.html

It is the earliest Christian document we have outside the books of the Bible.  Scholars tend to date it within the first century and some even say it is older than some of the New Testament books, such as Revelations.  It is definitely a testimony as to what early Christian practices and beliefs were.




Quote
Since it was discovered in a monastery in Constantinople and published by P. Bryennios in 1883, the Didache or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles has continued to be one of the most disputed of early Christian texts. It has been depicted by scholars as anything between the original of the Apostolic Decree (c. 50 AD) and a late archaising fiction of the early third century.


Quote
The Didache (from a Greek word related to "doctrine," "didactic," etc.), which was revised over time into varying forms at various places, seems to have been a sort of church manual for primitive Christians, probably in rural areas dependent mostly on itinerant ministers.


I do not see this text as an authority on the early church, it is comprimised by the fact that it a much copied, handwritten text that was not discover until 1883, while Eusebius and Athanasius talk of the writing of the Apostles, there is no way to know if they are refering to this.
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« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2005, 02:23:10 PM »

(Sorry to join the discussion late)
Jmell, this is factually incorrect.  The Bishops were the shephards of the local churches ordained by the apostles or their associates.  It was the missionary apostles/associates that actually travelled and spread the word.  The bishops ("overseers") taught and shepherded their local congregations.  The only thing that changed in the "50 years" was a more precise distinction in terminology between "bishop" and "presbyter" whereas before they were used more or less interchangeably.

Right, what I was trying to get at was that in the beginning churchs were a laity run bishops set up on missonary trips. No heirachy was needed except for Chirstians to be taught as time allowed. Services were ran by the congregation. There was no real power structure.
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« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2005, 02:25:18 PM »

I'll try to get as many responses I can in, we are having some bad weather today so I'll do what I can Grin
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« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2005, 02:27:16 PM »

Right, what I was trying to get at was that in the beginning churchs were a laity run bishops set up on missonary trips. No heirachy was needed except for Chirstians to be taught as time allowed. Services were ran by the congregation. There was no real power structure.

No, what you are referring to are services we would currently call 'Reader Services', which only happen when Clergy are unable to be present.  This isn't and never was a normative or preferred event.
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« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2005, 02:33:20 PM »

Another point to consider: If St. Ignatius was making up his beliefs in the Eucharist and episcopal authority, don't you think that the priests and deacons would have gotten in a huge uproar about it?  Also, the fact that St. John the Evangelist (St. Ignatius' teacher) is supposed to have died sometime around A.D. 104 would seem to cast doubts on this theory of whole-sale apostasy.  Do you really think that any bishop (much less one taught by St. John himself!) would have made up such huge changes within a decade of the Apostle's repose?

One last interesting tidbit: St. Ignatius is supposed to have been ordained in A.D. 59.  All the Apostles, save St. James, were still alive then.  A man's theology takes time to develop, and don't you think that those who led the Church would have seen his theological bent and corrected him if he was going in the wrong direction?

Just some things to think about...

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« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2005, 02:34:14 PM »


Where is your proof that this corruption of the Faith has not occurred? My proof comes from "Human Nature". Whenever you get people involved a power struggle always occurs with one group wanting control over all the others. Simply because THEY think they have a patent on THE TRUTH, or they want to control the "mean green".


I just find it interesting that people are willing to accept that no corruption of scripture (or other documents for that matter), when there are no original text in existance. Out of the 5000 NT papyrus text no two are exactly alike.
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« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2005, 02:35:47 PM »

No, what you are referring to are services we would currently call 'Reader Services', which only happen when Clergy are unable to be present.  This isn't and never was a normative or preferred event.


This is accurate today, but this is the way it was. You cannot say this was never a normal event. There were no priest.
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« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2005, 02:39:40 PM »

Great post Salpy, thanks for that.

I just thought I would quickly provide Mr Jmell with an historical fact which will require him to revise his dodgy little timeline:

St Clement of Rome states in his letter to the Corinthians:

WOW; so we have an extra-Biblical document within the first century which explicitly draws a connection between the Presbyter - the ministerial priest, with the Eucharist which is described in SACRAFICIAL LANGUAGE, JUST AS IT IS IN THE BIBLICAL TEXT. Amazing.
Liberal scholarship tends to date this epistle at around 96 AD; but we all know the sorts of typical presuppositions that liberals go out of their way to employ in order to negate an earlier date: 80 AD has been suggested as a plausible earliest dating.

In any event, at this stage the onus is on you to:

a) Substantiate why any reasonable person undergoing an objective readings of history, would adopt your absurd and baseless assumption of an alleged sudden and abrupt discontinuity occuring directly within the Apostolic era with regards to an issue that is unanimously  and universally agreed upon by the early Church that was eastablished by the Apostles themselves, and supported by the earliest Church documents (now we are pushing you back to 80 AD).

b) Explain why the very Biblical text itself speaks about the Eucharist in a sacraficial context, with regards to the nature of the Sacrament and the manner in which it is to be effected.

If you cannot fulfill the above, you simply have no case.

Peace.

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