Author Topic: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros  (Read 6140 times)

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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #135 on: October 24, 2015, 01:30:26 AM »
Bull. So Protestants can receive the same salvation as us despite not fasting or taking upon themselves nearly as heavy a burden as have to take? That's communism on the cosmic scale. What's the point then of being Orthodox or even doing good for that matter if even the worst of sinners will be saved? No incentive.

Asceticism is not the 'price of admission to heaven.'

Don't forget this: all mankind is resurrected.  All are 'saved' in a sense.  The question is whether you can bear the burden of eternal life.  That's what Orthodoxy prepares you for, lad.


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 ???
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Offline wgw

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #136 on: October 24, 2015, 02:34:34 AM »
Bull. So Protestants can receive the same salvation as us despite not fasting or taking upon themselves nearly as heavy a burden as have to take? That's communism on the cosmic scale. What's the point then of being Orthodox or even doing good for that matter if even the worst of sinners will be saved? No incentive.

Asceticism is not the 'price of admission to heaven.'

Don't forget this: all mankind is resurrected.  All are 'saved' in a sense.  The question is whether you can bear the burden of eternal life.  That's what Orthodoxy prepares you for, lad.


Orthodoxy: Don't Let Doctor Who Become You.

 ???

In the recent Doctor Who series on BBC, the eponymous Doctor and two other characters, one the bisexual time traveller "Captain Jack Harkness" and the other added as recently as last week, are effectively immortal and complain constantly about how miserable they are.   I fully expect being trapped for all eternity with the likes of them is what is metaphorically referred to as "the lake of fire."
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Offline qawe

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #137 on: October 24, 2015, 03:01:19 AM »
I thought I'd do you the service of one final reply.  If you have any further queries, I'm sure my fellow Coptic posters will be able to chime in.

[seriouscomment]My gut reaction to this is to ask what your community thinks a parish priest is if you need them so badly that you are willing to sacrifice an essential element of their ministry.

Social worker, counsellor, sacrament dispenser, organiser of fun activities (e.g. movie nights, dinners, youth excursions), someone for university youth to hangout with on their days off, someone who keeps the congregation entertained with "good" (i.e. engaging) sermons (it wouldn't hurt if they're Orthodox in content).  Most importantly, someone who coordinates and delegates all of the above essential activities of the Church, thereby "involving the youth" in running the Church, letting them run the Church in whatever manner they perceive to be "youth-friendly".  In some parishes, he's also a businessman to manage church building projects.

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If a bishop is able to send someone selected for ordination away for a few weeks to learn rituals, is there really no way to impose other formative requirements on them?

1) Many areas don't have a diocesan bishop.

2) In the areas that do, the people could just complain to the Pope if they don't like it.  (This culture existed for the past 40 years due to Pope Shenouda's monarchy over the church.  If you don't like the bishop or something he is doing, just call Cairo.  Pope Shenouda would occasionally order bishops back to their monasteries without any kind of synodical proceedings.)  The diocesan bishop would then look ridiculous for trying to enforce a novel idea - in the Coptic church at least - on an unwilling congregation.

The reason the congregation might be unwilling is because person X has been groomed for the priesthood for years, and is too busy - looking up inspirational quotes to be used in their next self-advertising campaign to the congregation (sermon/talk) - to study theology.  They will say, "We need a priest now - to grow our church, to make ourselves feel good about having an "active" church, to keep up with a neighbouring Coptic church who just ordained one more priest than we currently have, to have a priest ordained specifically "for the youth"* who seem to be in a perpetual state of apparent "disconnection" from the Church."  The only solution for this is for the diocesan bishop to be powerful enough to manage the long "grooming" process himself, instead of the parish priest who is not directly subject to the Pope and Holy Synod like the bishop is.  Not many of the bishops have this authority.  Also, the largest parishes tend to be headed by the most powerful hegumens in the diocese, with a large band of loyal followers, and are the most frequent to demand more priests.  These are often the most Protestantized parishes for many reasons.  So these parishes are often the final "holdouts" in any given diocese, and the hardest "nuts" for the bishop to "crack", so to speak.  But they also contain a large proportion of the faithful, owing to their large size.

It'll also be seen as plain slack when a congregation's long-standing plan to ordain someone is suddenly disrupted by some know-it-all (or more likely ignorant trying to assert himself) bishop with an odd request that will take some 3 years to fulfil. Like, what does a theology degree have to do with priesthood anyway?  I mean, sure, it's a nice bonus, in the same way it's a bonus that the nominee might have a medical degree (the highest rank among the Coptic laity).  The ordination process in the Coptic church is extremely democratized, another one of the legacies of Pope Shenouda.  The congregation have to vote, objections are collected in writing, "examined", hope and pray there's no meddling from Egypt.  And then finally you're ordained.  So there's a risk someone could have wasted their time studying theology if they never get ordained.

*I'd be willing to bet that a significant proportion of Coptic priests in the West have had this said on the day of their ordination.  It's one of the more irritating aspects of Pope Shenouda's legacy - "a Church without a youth is a Church without a future".  Then the priest gets ordained and in reality he's obviously not just "ordained for the youth".  So it doesn't seem ridiculous that the next priest of the parish, naturally more culturally Western than the previous priest, is also the very first priest to be ordained "for the youth"

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It's not cool to study theology in the Coptic Church, because it is not seen as a viable "career option".
 

It sounds like you guys take a pharmacist who comes to church regularly and is a decent married man, ordain him a priest, send him to a monastery, and then have him serve a parish full time and quit his pharmacy career.  If I've described the basic sequence accurately, the "viable career option" problem no longer exists, the person's new viable career option is priesthood.  At that point, why not educate before ordination, either before or after selection?

I've described the problems with "before ordination" above.  "After ordination" every moment of their time is taken up ensuring that their parish's youth program is more jam-packed than the neighbouring parish's.  And "after ordination" it's already a done deal anyway, the people are happy (as long as his sermon has even the faintest spark of "inspiration" that is assured), so why bother?

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And also because of the strong pietistic tendencies of many Copts who see theology as overcomplicating spirituality which should be "simple". 

Where does that come from?

Our strong monastic tradition, especially after the collapse of the School of Alexandria.  This is compounded by the fact that the only people who have studied theology at the moment are very academically inclined, and when they give talks tend to bewilder their listeners.  This turns off the "ordinary Joe" from studying theology because they don't want to end up "academic" and "non-spiritual" like that.  But in those few cases when the "ordinary Joe" does study theology, he actually ends up relating to the congregation in a very pastoral and relatively Orthodox way.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2015, 03:24:59 AM by qawe »
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Offline JamesR

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #138 on: October 24, 2015, 03:13:14 AM »
Bull. So Protestants can receive the same salvation as us despite not fasting or taking upon themselves nearly as heavy a burden as have to take? That's communism on the cosmic scale. What's the point then of being Orthodox or even doing good for that matter if even the worst of sinners will be saved? No incentive.

Asceticism is not the 'price of admission to heaven.'

Don't forget this: all mankind is resurrected.  All are 'saved' in a sense.  The question is whether you can bear the burden of eternal life.  That's what Orthodoxy prepares you for, lad.


You know I've been begging God to give me some sort of sign--anything--just to show me that maybe, just maybe, this will really all be worth it in the end--perhaps a glimpse into the future age. But he hasn't shown me anything. Then again, my patron St. Augustine never received a sign apart from a lousy voice telling him to read St. Paul. I'm still waiting for that voice or sign to tell me something. Anything. The problem I have is that I don't see eternal life as a gift but a curse. No one ever asked to exist yet God created us anyhow. If we really had free choice, then why won't God allow us to cease existing if we wish? Why can't I annihilate my own soul? What if I don't want Heaven or Hell at all? What if I just don't want to be a part of this game known as existence? God hasn't given me a choice.

Offline mikeforjesus

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #139 on: October 24, 2015, 03:15:41 AM »
God is fair. Protestants still have to struggle to the same ability with the things they can do. But there is certain work that only orthodox can do. God established a church for His purpose. If you worry how will orthodoxy survive through the centuries if people don't need to be orthodox God perhaps anoints people and gives them different gifts of the Spirit like visions we do believe many of our popes and bishops had them and beside the end of the world will happen before that or God would wait for a generation that would keep the faith what if the disciples did not submit to Jesus how would we have the church Gods power was able to even control judas to submit but what if there is no continuation of bishops from the apostles trusted to teach the faith perhaps Jesus will Himself anoint some as apostles as with Paul who said he is not AT All least than all the apostles  but I do not say protestants do not need to become orthodox some do but God is just and individual with all. Those who sought God for the truth and are shown by God that orthodoxy is the only way they must join

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #140 on: October 24, 2015, 10:35:03 AM »
"All the churches of the world that pray with the Creed are members of the Body of Christ"
- HH Pope Tawadros
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=DPBvpikI-ok#t=332
I suppose it's not wholly irrational of HH. to say that. If a group prays the Creed, it means they have the basic faith. And if the group has the basic faith, then one could rationally conclude that it is part of Christ's body through that faith. He is embracing the mainstream Protestant view of Ecumenism.

However, I am not aware of our Tradition actually teaching this. It seems to me that there could be a false teacher that leads people out of the Christian community, and thereupon the false teacher's schismatic group would be in contradiction to the real, invisible Church or "Body of Christ." That is because the New Testament warns us of false teachers that could lead us astray.

One of the main issues is that if HH. wants to promote or teach this mainstream idea of Ecumenism, he needs to lay it out in detail or find Orthodox theologians who can, because it is such a dissident view in the Orthodox tradition.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #141 on: October 24, 2015, 12:40:20 PM »
Bull. So Protestants can receive the same salvation as us despite not fasting or taking upon themselves nearly as heavy a burden as have to take? That's communism on the cosmic scale. What's the point then of being Orthodox or even doing good for that matter if even the worst of sinners will be saved? No incentive.

Asceticism is not the 'price of admission to heaven.'

Don't forget this: all mankind is resurrected.  All are 'saved' in a sense.  The question is whether you can bear the burden of eternal life.  That's what Orthodoxy prepares you for, lad.


You know I've been begging God to give me some sort of sign--anything--just to show me that maybe, just maybe, this will really all be worth it in the end--perhaps a glimpse into the future age. But he hasn't shown me anything. Then again, my patron St. Augustine never received a sign apart from a lousy voice telling him to read St. Paul. I'm still waiting for that voice or sign to tell me something. Anything. The problem I have is that I don't see eternal life as a gift but a curse. No one ever asked to exist yet God created us anyhow. If we really had free choice, then why won't God allow us to cease existing if we wish? Why can't I annihilate my own soul? What if I don't want Heaven or Hell at all? What if I just don't want to be a part of this game known as existence? God hasn't given me a choice.
I'm afraid to hear the answer to this, but didn't your parents do the same thing? They didn't give you a choice on being born or not. Do you hate your parents as well?
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Offline Severian

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #142 on: October 31, 2015, 10:51:34 AM »
On behalf of a friend, I am posting the following:

Quote
https://www.facebook.com/RabttHmatAlayman/videos/1081213721898625/
From 3:20, Anba Bishoy states that only the OO are the Body of Christ.
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #143 on: October 31, 2015, 11:08:31 AM »
On behalf of a friend, I am posting the following:

Quote
https://www.facebook.com/RabttHmatAlayman/videos/1081213721898625/
From 3:20, Anba Bishoy states that only the OO are the Body of Christ.

I'm not surprised.  But he is the "other extreme".  He did say a couple of years ago all other no-Orthodox are destined to hell.
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Offline christiane777

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #144 on: October 31, 2015, 12:18:17 PM »
I can see a good Baptist who knows nothing but Protestantism and feel they are more pleasing to Christ than me, and trust that He accepts them as in some way united to Himself by their desire, though they have been deceived and do not know they need Baptism to be properly united.

Exactly.  A Baptist can be more pleasing to God than me.  And what does this say?   It says that God freely gives grace to his flock as he will.  He elects whom he elects.  It is a mystery.  I don't think the importance of this truth can be overestimated.  Catholics believe that Orthodox and Catholics are close to "full communion" and that Catholics and Protestants are in "imperfect communion;" though we are too divided to share the fullness of truth, we are still in a communion of sorts.  All baptized, believing Christians are considered to be part of the Body of Christ, the universal Church.  This is what I thought Orthodox believed too.  (I think they do as a matter of fact, officially anyway, no?)  I believe it, not because the Catholic Church tells me to; I believe it because it is true.  I don't know who will be saved and who won't.  I can't know the mind of God.  It says in the Bible that anyone is not against Jesus is for him, even if they are in a different flock.  God can save nonChristians and he can't save a Baptist?   :-[

It is so ironic.  Protestants are always attacking Catholics because we believe and follow the Pope and the man-made doctrine and teaching of the Church (Magisterium), traditions, etc. rather than God as he is revealed in Scripture.  Now I go on an Orthodox forum and see Orthodox doing the same thing with the Orthodox Church.  Love it.   :)
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Offline Severian

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #145 on: October 31, 2015, 03:08:57 PM »
On behalf of a friend, I am posting the following:

Quote
https://www.facebook.com/RabttHmatAlayman/videos/1081213721898625/
From 3:20, Anba Bishoy states that only the OO are the Body of Christ.

I'm not surprised.  But he is the "other extreme".  He did say a couple of years ago all other no-Orthodox are destined to hell.
I agree with him that the OOC is the OHCAC, though.
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

No longer active on OC.net. Please pray for me and forgive any harm I might have caused by my ignorance and malice.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #146 on: October 31, 2015, 03:14:32 PM »
On behalf of a friend, I am posting the following:

Quote
https://www.facebook.com/RabttHmatAlayman/videos/1081213721898625/
From 3:20, Anba Bishoy states that only the OO are the Body of Christ.

Glory to God.  If this is the same "friend" that you posted the news in the other thread on behalf of, I am prepared to kiss his holy right hand.  ;D

I can see a good Baptist who knows nothing but Protestantism and feel they are more pleasing to Christ than me, and trust that He accepts them as in some way united to Himself by their desire, though they have been deceived and do not know they need Baptism to be properly united.

Exactly.  A Baptist can be more pleasing to God than me.  And what does this say?   It says that God freely gives grace to his flock as he will.  He elects whom he elects.  It is a mystery.  I don't think the importance of this truth can be overestimated. 

No one in this thread would argue with that, but why are you ignoring the rest of what Jonathan posted?

Mike, no one is discussing whether protestants are Christians, or whether they are in some way members of the Body of Christ. That is a different topic.

This issue here is whether we can say Protestant institutions, their churches are parts of the church. A totally different topic.

I can see a good Baptist who knows nothing but Protestantism and feel they are more pleasing to Christ than me, and trust that He accepts them as in some way united to Himself by their desire, though they have been deceived and do not know they need Baptism to be properly united.

But I cannot look at "harmony Baptist church" or the convention of southern Baptists, and say that this is a part of the Church. It just isn't, it's a human institution formed by people who don't know what the church is.

This is what we're discussing here.  An individual Baptist who has not had the chance to accept or reject Orthodoxy might be part of the Church in some way.  "Harmony Baptist Church" is not, and neither is any other Protestant body.  The importance of this truth cannot be overestimated.

Catholics believe that Orthodox and Catholics are close to "full communion" and that Catholics and Protestants are in "imperfect communion;" though we are too divided to share the fullness of truth, we are still in a communion of sorts.  All baptized, believing Christians are considered to be part of the Body of Christ, the universal Church.  This is what I thought Orthodox believed too.  (I think they do as a matter of fact, officially anyway, no?) 

No. 

On all counts. 

The Orthodox Church does not teach - officially or otherwise - that we are "close to full communion" with the Catholics or that that we are "in imperfect communion" with the Protestants.  It also does not teach that we are "in a communion of sorts" with all baptized, believing Christians or that "all baptized believing Christians are considered to be a part of the Body of Christ, the Universal Church".  I'm not sure where you're getting this from, but it is not what the Orthodox Church teaches or has ever taught.

I believe it, not because the Catholic Church tells me to; I believe it because it is true.

You're wrong.  It is not true.

I don't know who will be saved and who won't.  I can't know the mind of God.  It says in the Bible that anyone is not against Jesus is for him, even if they are in a different flock.  God can save nonChristians and he can't save a Baptist?

Again, no one in this thread would dispute any of this, but this is not what we are discussing here.

It is so ironic.  Protestants are always attacking Catholics because we believe and follow the Pope and the man-made doctrine and teaching of the Church (Magisterium), traditions, etc. rather than God as he is revealed in Scripture.  Now I go on an Orthodox forum and see Orthodox doing the same thing with the Orthodox Church.  Love it.   :)

You couldn't be more off base.  That's not what anyone here is doing at all.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 03:15:08 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Offline christiane777

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #147 on: November 01, 2015, 01:28:47 PM »
On behalf of a friend, I am posting the following:

Quote
https://www.facebook.com/RabttHmatAlayman/videos/1081213721898625/
From 3:20, Anba Bishoy states that only the OO are the Body of Christ.

Glory to God.  If this is the same "friend" that you posted the news in the other thread on behalf of, I am prepared to kiss his holy right hand.  ;D

I can see a good Baptist who knows nothing but Protestantism and feel they are more pleasing to Christ than me, and trust that He accepts them as in some way united to Himself by their desire, though they have been deceived and do not know they need Baptism to be properly united.

Exactly.  A Baptist can be more pleasing to God than me.  And what does this say?   It says that God freely gives grace to his flock as he will.  He elects whom he elects.  It is a mystery.  I don't think the importance of this truth can be overestimated. 

No one in this thread would argue with that, but why are you ignoring the rest of what Jonathan posted?

Mike, no one is discussing whether protestants are Christians, or whether they are in some way members of the Body of Christ. That is a different topic.

This issue here is whether we can say Protestant institutions, their churches are parts of the church. A totally different topic.

I can see a good Baptist who knows nothing but Protestantism and feel they are more pleasing to Christ than me, and trust that He accepts them as in some way united to Himself by their desire, though they have been deceived and do not know they need Baptism to be properly united.

But I cannot look at "harmony Baptist church" or the convention of southern Baptists, and say that this is a part of the Church. It just isn't, it's a human institution formed by people who don't know what the church is.

This is what we're discussing here.  An individual Baptist who has not had the chance to accept or reject Orthodoxy might be part of the Church in some way.  "Harmony Baptist Church" is not, and neither is any other Protestant body.  The importance of this truth cannot be overestimated.

Catholics believe that Orthodox and Catholics are close to "full communion" and that Catholics and Protestants are in "imperfect communion;" though we are too divided to share the fullness of truth, we are still in a communion of sorts.  All baptized, believing Christians are considered to be part of the Body of Christ, the universal Church.  This is what I thought Orthodox believed too.  (I think they do as a matter of fact, officially anyway, no?) 

No. 

On all counts. 

The Orthodox Church does not teach - officially or otherwise - that we are "close to full communion" with the Catholics or that that we are "in imperfect communion" with the Protestants.  It also does not teach that we are "in a communion of sorts" with all baptized, believing Christians or that "all baptized believing Christians are considered to be a part of the Body of Christ, the Universal Church".  I'm not sure where you're getting this from, but it is not what the Orthodox Church teaches or has ever taught.

I believe it, not because the Catholic Church tells me to; I believe it because it is true.

You're wrong.  It is not true.

I don't know who will be saved and who won't.  I can't know the mind of God.  It says in the Bible that anyone is not against Jesus is for him, even if they are in a different flock.  God can save nonChristians and he can't save a Baptist?

Again, no one in this thread would dispute any of this, but this is not what we are discussing here.

It is so ironic.  Protestants are always attacking Catholics because we believe and follow the Pope and the man-made doctrine and teaching of the Church (Magisterium), traditions, etc. rather than God as he is revealed in Scripture.  Now I go on an Orthodox forum and see Orthodox doing the same thing with the Orthodox Church.  Love it.   :)

You couldn't be more off base.  That's not what anyone here is doing at all.

Fair enough - I understand that the Southern Baptists are not part of the Orthodox Church.  I get that.  I am not trying to say that they are.

My question is this:  what is the SIGNIFICANCE of that.  We agree that God can save a Baptist through his grace.  We agree that an Orthodox (or Catholic) can be damned. 

So what is the significance of the Church in this sense when God saves and damns whom he wills? 

Are you saying that a Baptist who has been witnessed the truth of the Orthodox Church and rejects it is damned? 

Again, this puzzles me as a Catholic too; I have no desire to be disagreeable - this is a honest question.  Luther believed in an Invisible Church that consists of all baptized true believers - those who are called by God, accept him in faith and are transformed by his grace - and follow and witness him.  Try as I might I cannot see any other truth.  I think God is at the head of the Church.  Explain to me how you see this differently if you don't mind.  Again, I want to know the significance of being in the fullness of the Church when those not in the fullness are also being saved.  Are you just more privileged?  Is it easier to be saved?
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #148 on: November 01, 2015, 03:31:26 PM »
Fair enough - I understand that the Southern Baptists are not part of the Orthodox Church.  I get that.  I am not trying to say that they are.

Cool.  But please understand that for an Orthodox Christian saying "The Southern Baptists are not part of the Orthodox Church" is synonymous with saying "The Southern Baptists are not part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church".  There is no Universal Church that transcends Orthodoxy and embraces all baptized, believing Christians in the Orthodox conception.  I'm not trying to be mean, but simply to articulate our belief on this point in as kind a way as possible.

My question is this:  what is the SIGNIFICANCE of that.  We agree that God can save a Baptist through his grace.  We agree that an Orthodox (or Catholic) can be damned. 

So what is the significance of the Church in this sense when God saves and damns whom he wills? 

Please allow me to answer that question with a question: Do you think the fact that God can save whoever He wants wherever He wants gives us license to leave His Church and abandon His Holy Mysteries (Sacraments)?

I think this article might be instructive in that regard.  Please pay special attention to the conclusion.

Are you saying that a Baptist who has been witnessed the truth of the Orthodox Church and rejects it is damned? 

I leave all judgment to God, but put it this way: If I had a Baptist friend I loved who really and truly witnessed the Truth of Orthodoxy and turned away from Him, I would do my level best to lovingly bring my friend back to the Truth.  I wouldn't feel right leaving him out there twisting in the wind, pretending that he was okay where he was.

Again, this puzzles me as a Catholic too; I have no desire to be disagreeable - this is a honest question.  Luther believed in an Invisible Church that consists of all baptized true believers - those who are called by God, accept him in faith and are transformed by his grace - and follow and witness him.  Try as I might I cannot see any other truth.  I think God is at the head of the Church.  Explain to me how you see this differently if you don't mind.  Again, I want to know the significance of being in the fullness of the Church when those not in the fullness are also being saved.  Are you just more privileged?  Is it easier to be saved?

If we're in ship on a storm-tossed sea, why jump in the ocean?  Is it possible we can survive by treading water?  Maybe.  But our chances are better in the ship.  What if we see others treading water?  Is it possible that they can survive by doing so?  Sure.  But their chances are better in the ship, and if we love them, we'll try to help them climb aboard.

As Orthodox Christians, we can't accept Luther's ecclesiology.  Rather than reinvent the wheel, I'd ask that you please read this article by Fr. David Tillman.  He says everything I would say, a bit more eloquently, and in a nice, non-confrontational way.

Oh, and by the way, please don't worry about being disagreeable.  We're called to speak the truth in love, not to avoid being politically incorrect with one another at all costs.  :)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2015, 03:35:05 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline christiane777

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #149 on: November 02, 2015, 03:33:25 PM »
Fair enough - I understand that the Southern Baptists are not part of the Orthodox Church.  I get that.  I am not trying to say that they are.

Cool.  But please understand that for an Orthodox Christian saying "The Southern Baptists are not part of the Orthodox Church" is synonymous with saying "The Southern Baptists are not part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church".  There is no Universal Church that transcends Orthodoxy and embraces all baptized, believing Christians in the Orthodox conception.  I'm not trying to be mean, but simply to articulate our belief on this point in as kind a way as possible.

My question is this:  what is the SIGNIFICANCE of that.  We agree that God can save a Baptist through his grace.  We agree that an Orthodox (or Catholic) can be damned. 

So what is the significance of the Church in this sense when God saves and damns whom he wills? 

Please allow me to answer that question with a question: Do you think the fact that God can save whoever He wants wherever He wants gives us license to leave His Church and abandon His Holy Mysteries (Sacraments)?

I think this article might be instructive in that regard.  Please pay special attention to the conclusion.

Are you saying that a Baptist who has been witnessed the truth of the Orthodox Church and rejects it is damned? 

I leave all judgment to God, but put it this way: If I had a Baptist friend I loved who really and truly witnessed the Truth of Orthodoxy and turned away from Him, I would do my level best to lovingly bring my friend back to the Truth.  I wouldn't feel right leaving him out there twisting in the wind, pretending that he was okay where he was.

Again, this puzzles me as a Catholic too; I have no desire to be disagreeable - this is a honest question.  Luther believed in an Invisible Church that consists of all baptized true believers - those who are called by God, accept him in faith and are transformed by his grace - and follow and witness him.  Try as I might I cannot see any other truth.  I think God is at the head of the Church.  Explain to me how you see this differently if you don't mind.  Again, I want to know the significance of being in the fullness of the Church when those not in the fullness are also being saved.  Are you just more privileged?  Is it easier to be saved?

If we're in ship on a storm-tossed sea, why jump in the ocean?  Is it possible we can survive by treading water?  Maybe.  But our chances are better in the ship.  What if we see others treading water?  Is it possible that they can survive by doing so?  Sure.  But their chances are better in the ship, and if we love them, we'll try to help them climb aboard.

As Orthodox Christians, we can't accept Luther's ecclesiology.  Rather than reinvent the wheel, I'd ask that you please read this article by Fr. David Tillman.  He says everything I would say, a bit more eloquently, and in a nice, non-confrontational way.

Oh, and by the way, please don't worry about being disagreeable.  We're called to speak the truth in love, not to avoid being politically incorrect with one another at all costs.  :)

Thanks for your (agreeable) reply.

I believe I understand what you see as the truth and holiness of the Orthodox Church - the one true Church.  To be outside of it is just that - to not be in the Church.   I respect that.

While I respect this view - many denominations hold it - I still personallly cannot entirely accept it.  I have seen too many good Christians outside of my denomination and too many bad ones in it.   ;)  And I believe this holds true for every denomination.  I personally have no desire to join a Protestant Church because I do feel that it would be moving away from truth and holiness - in particular the Real Presence in the Eucharist.  But I don't take my commitment to my denomination to the point where I would say that outside of it someone is not in the Church.  I believe that anyone who accepts Jesus Christ in faith receives grace and is transformed - Christ abides in him or her.  I leave the details of all of this to the mystery of God's will.  This belief comes from my reading of the New Testament and my experience with Christians of all denominations in my life.

When slavery was legal in the US, it was the Quakers more than anyone - other Christians or Catholics - who stepped up and fought it.  Going to jail, building freedom railroads from the South to the North.  They played a key role in bringing the rest of the Protestants on board.  To me this is a sign of grace - the work of God.  Why didn't he work through Baptists or Catholics or Orthodox?  Who knows.  But to me that is a FACT.  I have to respect it as the work of God.  I don't understand how he works.  I am very thankful and blessed - I actually believe this - to be in the Church I am - as are you.  But I believe that the sheep are scattered and that the Body of Christ contains God's elect - I leave it at that.  Remember the Desert Fathers often lived in the desert, right? - they didn't go to Church or take sacraments for years and years.  God worked through them just fine - probably better than he does through me or you.  Our knowledge of God is limited.  I see so many Catholics who seem to worship the Catholic Church more than the infinite power and mystery of God.

I actually found some info on this - (GOC) - linked below.  There is a conversation about ecumenism in the Orthodox Church - I thought so.  The trick is to retain the integrity, holiness and truth of the Church - but do it in humility, bowing before the mystery of God, and live in peace with other Christians.  To the extent that someone is a Christian (in a state of grace and authentically witnessing Christ), I consider them "with me" not "against me."  I fear the wrath of God more if I am dismissive to them - but to be clear I understand your intention is not to be dismissive - you are clarifying and defending the truth of the Orthodox Church.

Quote
The belief of St. Cyprian that outside of the canonical boundaries of the Church there is no salvation must be respected as a strong urge to maintain and respect the unity of God’s Church. However, today’s needs require it to be supplanted with the theology of schism advanced by St. Augustine. For St. Augustine, schismatic and heretical communities, in spite of their formal separation from the una sancta, continue to maintain bonds of unity with it. All the separated Christian churches are related to each other and in communion, however imperfectly, with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The recognition of this relationality is warranted by the fact that there are many still unbroken bonds whereby the schismatic communities are held in certain unity with the One Church. These bonds, in the words of Florovsky, include " right belief, sincere devotion, the Word of God, and above all the grace of God, which ever heals the weak and supplies what is lacking." There is thus in every schismatic and heretical community something of God that connects them with the life of the God’s Church. "What is valid in the sects is that which is in them from the Church, that which remains with them as their portion of the sacred inner core of the Church, that through which they are with the Church. "
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/other-christian-churches

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #150 on: November 02, 2015, 04:05:15 PM »
Can we really verify whether or not the desert fathers spent "years" without the sacraments?  I have heard from sermons of hagiography that if a presbyter or bishop is not present, an angel appears giving communion.  I have also heard of canons of excommunication for anyone not receiving the sacraments for more than 40 days.  Again I can't personally verify where these stories come from, but given that even present day hermits require to appear to liturgy once a week, I have difficulty believing the fathers would choose a "sacrament-less" life in the desert, given how these stories stress the importance of the sacraments even if they were alone alone in the middle of nowhere.  I could be wrong but this is the impression I get learning about the desert fathers.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 04:07:57 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline christiane777

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #151 on: November 02, 2015, 04:20:56 PM »
Can we really verify whether or not the desert fathers spent "years" without the sacraments?  I have heard from sermons of hagiography that if a presbyter or bishop is not present, an angel appears giving communion.  I have also heard of canons of excommunication for anyone not receiving the sacraments for more than 40 days.  Again I can't personally verify where these stories come from, but given that even present day hermits require to appear to liturgy once a week, I have difficulty believing the fathers would choose a "sacrament-less" life in the desert, given how these stories stress the importance of the sacraments even if they were alone alone in the middle of nowhere.  I could be wrong but this is the impression I get learning about the desert fathers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_the_Great
St. Anthony the Great - one of my favorites.
Quote
After he recovered, he made a second effort and went back into the desert to a farther mountain by the Nile called Pispir (now Der-el-Memun), opposite Arsinoe. There he lived strictly enclosed in an old abandoned Roman fort for some 20 years.[3] According to Athanasius, the devil again resumed his war against Anthony, only this time the phantoms were in the form of wild beasts, wolves, lions, snakes, and scorpions. They appeared as if they were about to attack him or cut him into pieces. But the saint would laugh at them scornfully and say, "If any of you have any authority over me, only one would have been sufficient to fight me." At his saying this, they disappeared as though in smoke. While in the fort he only communicated with the outside world by a crevice through which food would be passed and he would say a few words. Anthony would prepare a quantity of bread that would sustain him for six months. He did not allow anyone to enter his cell; whoever came to him stood outside and listened to his advice.

Then one day he emerged from the fort with the help of villagers, who broke down the door. By this time most had expected him to have wasted away or to have gone insane in his solitary confinement. Instead, he emerged healthy, serene, and enlightened. Everyone was amazed that he had been through these trials and emerged spiritually rejuvenated. He was hailed as a hero and from this time forth the legend of Anthony began to spread and grow. Anthony went to Fayyum and confirmed the brethren there in the Christian faith before returning to his fort.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #152 on: November 02, 2015, 05:30:42 PM »
Thanks for your (agreeable) reply.

Sure.  :)

I believe I understand what you see as the truth and holiness of the Orthodox Church - the one true Church.  To be outside of it is just that - to not be in the Church.   I respect that.

Sorry, but you're still not getting it.  I am saying that the Orthodox Church is the One Church, but I'm not saying that any individual who belongs to another group is necessarily and definitively outside of the Church.  An individual might be outside of the visible boundaries of the Church and yet still be inside the Ark of Salvation and known only to God.  That said, from an Orthodox perspective, we cannot say the same thing about entire ecclesial bodies.  The Society of Friends en toto - to use your example - is not a part of the Church.

While I respect this view - many denominations hold it - I still personallly cannot entirely accept it. 

That's fine.  You're not Orthodox.   :)

But please don't labor under the delusion that you can be an Orthodox Christian and believe that the Assemblies of God en toto is part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

I have seen too many good Christians outside of my denomination and too many bad ones in it.

And I believe this holds true for every denomination.

The parameters of the Church are not determined by the unimpeachable sanctity of each of its individual members.  I've met non-Christians who are better people in virtually every respect than virtually any Christian you can name.  This isn't proof that their belief system is legitimate.  And again, no one ever said that we are fit to judge which individuals might be part of the Church while living outside of its visible boundaries and be saints known only to God.  Did you look at the articles I sent you?  They both address this objection in their own way.

But I don't take my commitment to my denomination to the point where I would say that outside of it someone is not in the Church.

Again, no one in this thread has made that argument.  It's really not fair of you to conflate the argument that

The Orthodox Church = The Church

and

The Church of God in Christ =/= the Church

with the argument that

each individual member of COGIC is outside of the Church.

Why do you keep doing this?

I believe that anyone who accepts Jesus Christ in faith receives grace and is transformed - Christ abides in him or her.  I leave the details of all of this to the mystery of God's will.  This belief comes from my reading of the New Testament and my experience with Christians of all denominations in my life.

Again, I'm not sure that anyone here would disagree with this opinion as it pertains to individuals.  That still is not the same thing as validating Luther's flawed ecclesiology or the idea that entire Protestant denominations en toto can be considered a part of the Church.

When slavery was legal in the US, it was the Quakers more than anyone - other Christians or Catholics - who stepped up and fought it.  Going to jail, building freedom railroads from the South to the North.  They played a key role in bringing the rest of the Protestants on board.  To me this is a sign of grace - the work of God.  Why didn't he work through Baptists or Catholics or Orthodox?  Who knows. 

God has used many heterodox nations and peoples to work good on this Earth throughout history.  This doesn't validate their belief system or indicate that said group in its entirety is a part of the Church.

But to me that is a FACT. 

Reggae music is the greatest music on the face of the Earth.  To me that is a FACT.

Actually, neither of us have stated facts here.  We have stated opinions relative to our personal beliefs and experiences.  The fact that God might've worked through heterodox bodies to end the evil of racially based slavery in the USA does not mean that those bodies en toto were part of the Church.

I have to respect it as the work of God.  I don't understand how he works.  I am very thankful and blessed - I actually believe this - to be in the Church I am - as are you.  But I believe that the sheep are scattered and that the Body of Christ contains God's elect - I leave it at that. 

Again, no one would dispute this as it pertains to individuals, but none of this means that entire heterodox bodies are part of the Church or validates the faulty ecclesiology of Luther.

Remember the Desert Fathers often lived in the desert, right? - they didn't go to Church or take sacraments for years and years.  God worked through them just fine - probably better than he does through me or you. 

In addition to Mina's comment, I would also add that the Desert Fathers knew where the Church was and knew that participation in its Holy Mysteries was essential for their salvation.  They didn't form parallel "churches" of their own.

Our knowledge of God is limited.  I see so many Catholics who seem to worship the Catholic Church more than the infinite power and mystery of God.

That's not what the Orthodox posters in this thread are doing.

I actually found some info on this - (GOC) - linked below.  There is a conversation about ecumenism in the Orthodox Church - I thought so. 

No one ever denied that there was.  Engaging in ecumenism doesn't mean validating the flawed ecclesiology you've articulated though.  The Orthodox Church engages in ecumenism in order to witness the Truth of Orthodoxy to those outside.  As Fr. Georges Florovsky said:

Quote
I believe that the church in which I was baptized and brought up ‘is’ in very truth ‘the Church’, i.e. ‘the true’ Church and the ‘only’ true Church . . . I am therefore compelled to regard all other Christian churches as deficient, and in many cases can identify these deficiencies accurately enough. Therefore, for me, Christian reunion is simply universal conversion to Orthodoxy. I have no confessional loyalty; my loyalty belongs solely to the ‘Una Sancta’.

– Fr. Georges Florovsky, “Confessional Loyalty in the Ecumenical Movement”

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/andrew-stephen-damick-orthodox-ecclesiology/

The trick is to retain the integrity, holiness and truth of the Church - but do it in humility, bowing before the mystery of God, and live in peace with other Christians. 

One can do this while simultaneously confessing that the Orthodox Church is the Church.  I'm doing it right now, for example.

To the extent that someone is a Christian (in a state of grace and authentically witnessing Christ), I consider them "with me" not "against me."  I fear the wrath of God more if I am dismissive to them - but to be clear I understand your intention is not to be dismissive - you are clarifying and defending the truth of the Orthodox Church.

True.  Again, I never denied that individuals who are not visibly members of the Orthodox Church might be members of the Church known only to God.

Quote
The belief of St. Cyprian that outside of the canonical boundaries of the Church there is no salvation must be respected as a strong urge to maintain and respect the unity of God’s Church. However, today’s needs require it to be supplanted with the theology of schism advanced by St. Augustine. For St. Augustine, schismatic and heretical communities, in spite of their formal separation from the una sancta, continue to maintain bonds of unity with it. All the separated Christian churches are related to each other and in communion, however imperfectly, with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The recognition of this relationality is warranted by the fact that there are many still unbroken bonds whereby the schismatic communities are held in certain unity with the One Church. These bonds, in the words of Florovsky, include " right belief, sincere devotion, the Word of God, and above all the grace of God, which ever heals the weak and supplies what is lacking." There is thus in every schismatic and heretical community something of God that connects them with the life of the God’s Church. "What is valid in the sects is that which is in them from the Church, that which remains with them as their portion of the sacred inner core of the Church, that through which they are with the Church. "
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/other-christian-churches

I must disagree with the conclusions reached by this author and his misapplication of Fr. Georges words - or at least with the way in which you've interpreted and applied this author's words in the context of this discussion.  Fr. Georges clearly articulated his ecclesiology in the article I linked to above.  Again:

Quote
I believe that the church in which I was baptized and brought up ‘is’ in very truth ‘the Church’, i.e. ‘the true’ Church and the ‘only’ true Church . . . I am therefore compelled to regard all other Christian churches as deficient, and in many cases can identify these deficiencies accurately enough. Therefore, for me, Christian reunion is simply universal conversion to Orthodoxy. I have no confessional loyalty; my loyalty belongs solely to the ‘Una Sancta’.

– Fr. Georges Florovsky, “Confessional Loyalty in the Ecumenical Movement”

The fact that he acknowledges that elements of the truth might still exist in the sects - elements of truth which they inherited from the Church before their departure - cannot be extended to mean that the Protestant sects are in some sort of "imperfect communion" with the Orthodox Church, most especially when the author quotes Fr. Georges as enumerating "right belief" among his criteria.  To say that salvation might exist outside of the visible boundaries of the Church is not the same thing as saying that the boundaries of the Church are so nebulous as to be rendered irrelevant.  Again, both of the articles I linked to in my previous post address this misconception.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 05:35:28 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #153 on: November 02, 2015, 05:59:47 PM »
Can we really verify whether or not the desert fathers spent "years" without the sacraments?  I have heard from sermons of hagiography that if a presbyter or bishop is not present, an angel appears giving communion.  I have also heard of canons of excommunication for anyone not receiving the sacraments for more than 40 days.  Again I can't personally verify where these stories come from, but given that even present day hermits require to appear to liturgy once a week, I have difficulty believing the fathers would choose a "sacrament-less" life in the desert, given how these stories stress the importance of the sacraments even if they were alone alone in the middle of nowhere.  I could be wrong but this is the impression I get learning about the desert fathers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_the_Great
St. Anthony the Great - one of my favorites.
Quote
After he recovered, he made a second effort and went back into the desert to a farther mountain by the Nile called Pispir (now Der-el-Memun), opposite Arsinoe. There he lived strictly enclosed in an old abandoned Roman fort for some 20 years.[3] According to Athanasius, the devil again resumed his war against Anthony, only this time the phantoms were in the form of wild beasts, wolves, lions, snakes, and scorpions. They appeared as if they were about to attack him or cut him into pieces. But the saint would laugh at them scornfully and say, "If any of you have any authority over me, only one would have been sufficient to fight me." At his saying this, they disappeared as though in smoke. While in the fort he only communicated with the outside world by a crevice through which food would be passed and he would say a few words. Anthony would prepare a quantity of bread that would sustain him for six months. He did not allow anyone to enter his cell; whoever came to him stood outside and listened to his advice.

Then one day he emerged from the fort with the help of villagers, who broke down the door. By this time most had expected him to have wasted away or to have gone insane in his solitary confinement. Instead, he emerged healthy, serene, and enlightened. Everyone was amazed that he had been through these trials and emerged spiritually rejuvenated. He was hailed as a hero and from this time forth the legend of Anthony began to spread and grow. Anthony went to Fayyum and confirmed the brethren there in the Christian faith before returning to his fort.

I love that story too, and I used it countless times to prove that a holy desert father is not someone who is emaciated, but healthy.

Nevertheless, that does not address my concern that they didn't regularly partake of the sacraments.  This story only shows he hasn't been seen for months.  Check this story out on a desert father.  It only comes to prove that the holy Eucharist is important.  Perhaps one can even draw the conclusion that if a hermit does not partake of the sacraments, then the hermit is in grave error.

To make the point clear, without the sacraments, it is just as wrong as denying the Trinity or Christ's divinity in my opinion.  The sacramental life is a necessary part of Christian spirituality.  The Lord can influence people outside His the realm of being "people of God" (Numbers 24, Ezra 1).  This might continue today with some, even with non-Christians, just as it did with heathens in the Old Testament, but that does not remove the fact that the "one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" is the Orthodox Church.  As AN laid out for you, I would venture to say even St. Augustine's words were misused.

One has to stand for the exclusivity of the Church, because that is how Christ treats His bride, just as any other husband would treat His bride.  Anyone else in the human race are children of God, and children of the Church yet to be known by them, but they need to know it, and not just keep them in error.
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Offline christiane777

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #154 on: November 02, 2015, 06:32:54 PM »
True.  Again, I never denied that individuals who are not visibly members of the Orthodox Church might be members of the Church known only to God.

 8)  Excellent - yes - we agree 100% here.  This is the heart of the matter as far as I am concerned. 

I understand the criteria by which you are defining the holiness and truth of the Orthodox Church.  I further understand and accept your point about how, in this context, non-Orthodox are not part of the Orthodox Church.  (Also just as a disclaimer, I am not speaking for the RCC who more or less believe the same thing about the RCC that you are saying about the Orthodox Church - though, again, we do allow that we are in close to full communion with Orthodox and "imperfect communion" with Protestants as fellow Christians - and I believe that the Orthodox/Protestants for us are part of what we call the universal Church - not sure about "Body of Christ" - that might just be us).   I am speaking personally here. 

As stated earlier,  I believe there is a Church known only to God that encompasses his elect - those baptized who accept him in faith and receive the grace to be transformed and witness him - simply put those that are "saved."  I am not trying to argue that the elect form any sort of "visible" Church on earth, that the Assembly of God, the Orthodox, the Catholics, etc. are all part of a happy unified family, NO.  But I do believe from the point of view of eternity, if we could step outside of time for a second and into infinity, God's invisible Church trumps any visible Church on earth.  Or should I say it is the true fulfillment of it, beyond what we can know on earth.  And, God forbid, I am willing to allow that even some folks from the Assembly of God are there, along with you and me, of course.   
« Last Edit: November 02, 2015, 06:42:09 PM by christiane777 »
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Offline mikeforjesus

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #155 on: November 03, 2015, 07:19:43 AM »
Just because we are members of the body of Christ this does not mean we shall have a greater reward even if we preach
Jesus said When you have done all these things say we are unworthy slaves we have done only our duty
Only God can determine if a Protestant is excused for converting or not since he may not have had peace that God may save His family or he thinks other people may not be Christian. But he should only care about his family.With God all things are possible.  This is why one should convert because God can change his families heart through his prayer or God can help him more to  live the Christian life to witness to them or help him evangelise if that is ever wise. This is why it is written believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved both you and your household
because the houehold will follow the good Christian if they are not totally evil
Which is why Jesus is called the Savior of the world

Jesus says You  did not choose Me but I chose You and appointed you to bear fruit
This is why we baptise infants

« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 07:20:31 AM by mikeforjesus »

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Re: Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros
« Reply #156 on: November 03, 2015, 10:18:10 AM »
And, God forbid, I am willing to allow that even some folks from the Assembly of God are there, along with you and me, of course.

I'm not sure about me.  Pray for me.  :)
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.