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Author Topic: The Importance of Peter's Successor  (Read 14386 times) Average Rating: 0
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Nigula Qian Zishi
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« Reply #45 on: April 10, 2003, 04:55:26 PM »

Let me quote St. Chrysostom again.

"The apostles had permitted circumcision at Jerusalem, for a complete severance from the law was not practicable. But when they entered Antioch, they left off this observance, and lived indiscriminately with the believers among the Gentiles, which Peter also was doing at that time. But since some came from Jerusalem, who had heard the preaching he gave there, he no longer did so, fearing lest he should strike them with a blow. But he changed his course using economy, so as to both avoid scandalizing the Jews and to give Paul a reasonable pretext for rebuking him... Whereupon Paul criticizes, and Peter bears with patience, that when the teacher is blamed, yet keeps silence, the disciples may more easily make a transition." [Ch. II P.G. 61:687 (cols. 640, 641).]

"On account of their excessive adherence to the law, he calls that which took place a dissimulation, and severely criticizes, in order to effectively remove their prejudices. And Peter too, hearing this, joins in their feint, as if he sinned, in order that they might be corrected by means of the rebuke give to him. If Paul indeed made a criticism to these Jews, they would have been indignant and spit upon it, for he was not held in high esteem by them. But now, when they behold the teacher being criticized and keeping silent, they were unable to despise or stand against what Paul had said." [Ch. II P.G. 61:688 (cols. 641, 642).]

The saint appears to take a middle ground between our postitions Linus. Peter evidentally joined up with the Judaizers, but may not have been completely in agreement with them.
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« Reply #46 on: April 10, 2003, 07:09:08 PM »

Let me quote St. Chrysostom again.

"The apostles had permitted circumcision at Jerusalem, for a complete severance from the law was not practicable. But when they entered Antioch, they left off this observance, and lived indiscriminately with the believers among the Gentiles, which Peter also was doing at that time. But since some came from Jerusalem, who had heard the preaching he gave there, he no longer did so, fearing lest he should strike them with a blow. But he changed his course using economy, so as to both avoid scandalizing the Jews and to give Paul a reasonable pretext for rebuking him... Whereupon Paul criticizes, and Peter bears with patience, that when the teacher is blamed, yet keeps silence, the disciples may more easily make a transition." [Ch. II P.G. 61:687 (cols. 640, 641).]

"On account of their excessive adherence to the law, he calls that which took place a dissimulation, and severely criticizes, in order to effectively remove their prejudices. And Peter too, hearing this, joins in their feint, as if he sinned, in order that they might be corrected by means of the rebuke give to him. If Paul indeed made a criticism to these Jews, they would have been indignant and spit upon it, for he was not held in high esteem by them. But now, when they behold the teacher being criticized and keeping silent, they were unable to despise or stand against what Paul had said." [Ch. II P.G. 61:688 (cols. 641, 642).]

The saint appears to take a middle ground between our postitions Linus. Peter evidentally joined up with the Judaizers, but may not have been completely in agreement with them.

Ah! That quote from St. John Chrysostom explains a lot: both Peter's rebuke from St. Paul and his opposition to the Judaizers at the Council of Jerusalem.  Cool
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« Reply #47 on: April 10, 2003, 07:15:21 PM »

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From Joe Zollars: It can be justifiebly believed that Peter kept to the Judaizer position from the vision he had on the hostop of all the unclean animals.  If he did not follow this positon what would be the point of the vision and why did he respond as he did.

When St. Peter had his vision on the rooftop in Joppa, ALL Jewish Christians would have held to a "Judaizer position" because the Gospel had not yet been taken to the Gentiles.

Such a vision would have probably been necessary to convince any of them to associate with Gentiles.

St. Peter, as leader of the Church, was chosen by God to be the first to take the Gospel to the Gentiles.

See the account of this in Acts 10.
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« Reply #48 on: April 10, 2003, 07:33:02 PM »

What about Samaritans? Certainly Jews of the time didn't view them as "Jews," yet they were missionized.

And did the Apostles just not understand things like what Jesus said at the end of Matthew? "All nations" (Matt. 28) would have meant Gentiles to any Jewish listener; this is the thing that makes the statement so profound: it is no longer us (Jews) vs. them (the nations, the gentiles), but it is now us AND them. What is being said on this thread reminds me of a mid-acts dispensationalist teaching that the original Apostles just kept going to the Jews, and then somewhere in the middle of Acts the Apostles--who just couldn't figure it out--got hit upside the head with another dose of divine revelation and finally saw the truth. Just some questions, what is being said on this thread I've honestly never heard before (from Orthodox Christians).
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« Reply #49 on: April 10, 2003, 08:07:05 PM »

What about Samaritans? Certainly Jews of the time didn't view them as "Jews," yet they were missionized.

And did the Apostles just not understand things like what Jesus said at the end of Matthew? "All nations" (Matt. 28) would have meant Gentiles to any Jewish listener; this is the thing that makes the statement so profound: it is no longer us (Jews) vs. them (the nations, the gentiles), but it is now us AND them. What is being said on this thread reminds me of a mid-acts dispensationalist teaching that the original Apostles just kept going to the Jews, and then somewhere in the middle of Acts the Apostles--who just couldn't figure it out--got hit upside the head with another dose of divine revelation and finally saw the truth. Just some questions, what is being said on this thread I've honestly never heard before (from Orthodox Christians).

Well, the fact remains that Peter's trip to Caesarea and the home of Cornelius is regarded in Acts as the opening up of the Church's mission to the Gentiles (Acts 10). If St. Peter did not need "another dose of divine revelation" to know to go to the Gentiles, then please explain his rooftop vision in Joppa and the surprise of the Jewish Christians with him when the Holy Spirit descended on the household of Cornelius.

This is the second post that has remarked with amazement on the things posted by some Orthodox Christians (by which evidently I am meant).

I do not see that anything I have posted contradicts Orthodox teaching in the least, unless, of course, I am being misunderstood, or the best those who disagree with me can do is to cast doubt upon my orthodoxy.

I also dislike the comparison to "mid-Acts Dispensationalism," which I think is unwarranted. No one has presented anything even remotely resembling Dispensationalism.

I believe the Church is the True Israel and that all those who have faith in Christ are children of Abraham, whether Jew or Gentile. That is a far cry from the "two kingdoms" theory of Dispensationalism.

To assert that Peter was the leader of the early Church and that the bishops of Rome were his successors is Orthodox.

I would think one would be amazed that any Orthodox Christian would have a problem with that statement.

I also think that only a thoroughly partisan spirit could fail to recognize that the Great Schism was a terrible tragedy and that it left a leadership vacuum in the Church.

Note: I am not saying you are such a partisan spirit; I am simply making a generalized statement.
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« Reply #50 on: April 10, 2003, 08:57:11 PM »

I also think that only a thoroughly partisan spirit could fail to recognize that the Great Schism was a terrible tragedy and that it left a leadership vacuum in the Church.

I agree with the first part. The Great Schism was a great tragedy. But to asert that it left a leadership vaccuum is inaccurate IMO. And one does not have to be thoroughly partisan in spirit to agree with that. The Pope did not lead the Church Universal. Saint Gregory Pope of Rome said that if anyone claimed to do so he was a heretic. This is why he opposed the Patriarch of Constantinople taking on the title of Ecumenical Patriarch.
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« Reply #51 on: April 10, 2003, 09:08:00 PM »

Nicholas -

I think you misunderstood me.

I did not say the Pope had universal jurisdictional or was the absolute autocrat of the Church.

But the loss of any Patriarch creates a leadership vacuum.

Matthias was not chosen to be the leader of the early Church, but the Apostles considered it important that he fill the position Judas left vacant by his fall.

Besides that, I think it is incorrect to assert that the Pope was just another bishop and that he exercised no position of leadership. He was not an infallible autocrat, but he was a kind of president to whom appeals were addressed in cases of controversy.
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« Reply #52 on: April 10, 2003, 09:24:19 PM »

Quote
Well, the fact remains that Peter's trip to Caesarea and the home of Cornelius is regarded in Acts as the opening up of the Church's mission to the Gentiles (Acts 10).

Ok, but if Judaizer implied Judaism, or Jewishness, doesn't the Samaritan mission sort of muddy the waters? What do you think about it? Did the apostles think that "all nations" meant the samaritans on not the rest of the world?

Quote
This is the second post that has remarked with amazement on the things posted by some Orthodox Christians (by which evidently I am meant).

Well, comments on this forum in general amaze me.

Quote
I do not see that anything I have posted contradicts Orthodox teaching in the least, unless, of course, I am being misunderstood, or the best those who disagree with me can do is to cast doubt upon my orthodoxy.

I just said I'd never heard any Orthodox Christian assert what is being asserted before. But I learn about new (Orthodox) teachings each day, so who knows...

Quote
I also dislike the comparison to "mid-Acts Dispensationalism," which I think is unwarranted. No one has presented anything even remotely resembling Dispensationalism.

Well, there are about 101 different types of dispensationalism, perhaps you aren't familiar with the group I had in mind (ever hear of Bob Hill or Bob Enyart?). I certainly didn't mean to call you a dispensationalist, any more than I would call St. John Chrysostom a dispensationalist because of how he draws a sharp distinction between the old covenant and new covenant morality (especially in the morality expected, as can be seen in his wonderful homilies on the Sermon on the Mount). What I thought was similar was the idea that the Apostles kept going to the Jews through the middle of Acts, all the while apparently unaware that they were suppose to missionize the gentiles. Now certainly the apostles, before the Holy Spirit came, were pious but didn't always "get it" right away (Jesus even calls them dense a few times). Yet, you'd think that once the Holy Spirit came, and once Jesus equipped them and sent them, they'd have known that they were suppose to go to the Gentiles.  

Quote
To assert that Peter was the leader of the early Church and that the bishops of Rome were his successors is Orthodox.

I agree totally.

And the Fathers, at face value, say much more about him. Consider the words of St. Ambrose:

Quote
"It is that same Peter to whom He said, 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.' Therefore, where Peter is, there the Church is, there death is not, but life eternal. And therefore did He add, 'and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,' (or him). Blessed Peter, against whom 'the gates of hell prevailed not,' the gate of heaven closed not; but who, on the contrary, destroyed the porches of hell, and opened the heavenly vestibules; wherefore, though placed on earth, he opened heaven and closed hell." Ambrose, Commentary on Psalm 40:30

Yet, what did St. Ambrose mean? The meaning is clear (or so they think) to a Roman Catholic: Peter really did do all those things and really is all those things. We Orthodox though, who are not trapped in unfortunate humanism, can see that Peter did not really destroy the gates of hell, but as Ambrose says elsewhere, his faith did:

Quote
"Faith, then, is the foundation of the Church, for it was not said of Peter's flesh, but of his faith, that 'the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' But his confession of faith conquered hell." - Ambrose; The Sacrament of the Incarnation

So even while a Father could bestow such great words on a person, it was always always always only insofar as they held and taught the true faith of Christ. Peter wasn't a guarantee of orthodoxy or salvation, as Roman Catholics would interpret the first passage, but Peter as seen in his faith was a manifestation of the truth, which could save. That is why we say such amazingly bold things about the Theotokos, not because she, as though a demi-god, could save us, but because we know the root and source of her abilities. If she were to ever falter (an absurdity, but grant it for the sake of argument), then we would no longer magnify her as we so rightly now do. So to, with the rock and chair of Peter, while his successors were Orthodox, they certainly were deserving of the great words showered on them. But once they were wrong, their "position" and "place of leadership" afforded them no leadership.

Where was this "leader" during the 2nd Ecumenical council? You see, I find your assertion on this impossible to accept because Church history itself does not allow it. Where was this necessity for Roman leadership, e.g., when the 2nd Ecumenical Council elevated the see of Constantinople to the 2nd place in power, against the explicit and vocal wishes of the Pope? Rome, in fact, refused to accept the canons of this council until centuries after, and in fact didn't accept the Constantinopilitan canon until nearly a millenium after. And what was the eastern response? Follow the leader? Did things collapse if the "leader" wasn't followed? Absolutely not, from the very acts at the council forward, the canons were submitted by those in the east, whether the Pope would accept them or not. Even when it was obvious (as they tried to reconcile the next year) that the Pope wasn't going to budge, they simply continued on as they had before, recognizing in practice what the Orthodox would later teach formally: that while Rome is the first among equals, it is first only so long as it is correct and orthodox. Should it's Orthodoxy falter (as Alexandria's did), another would take it's place and step up in leadership. We Orthodox are not dependent on Rome, as though we are lost sheep without our shepherd; staying with the same father, Ambrose boldly proclaims:

Quote
"Your rock is your deed, your rock is your mind. Upon this rock your house is built. Your rock is your faith, and faith is the foundation of the Church. If you are a rock, you will be in the Church, because the Church is on a rock. If you are in the Church the gates of hell will not prevail against you" - Ambrose,Commentary in Luke 6, 98

This brings to my mind the wonderful words of Saint Athanasius:

Quote
"In Thy saints, who in every age have been well pleasing to Thee, is truly Thy faith; for Thou hast founded the world on Thy faith, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." - Athanasius, Commentary on Psalm 11

When a see falls into heresy, the see falls entirely. Heresy is, as the Fathers teach universally, a gate of hell. When Rome fell into humanism, which like a dominoe caused all of her other woes, she fell from her high place down to the earth. But woe to them, who would defend this fallen see unduly, leading sincere but not-yet-knowledgable members of the theanthropic body of Christ astray. Fear, great fear is what such a person should have!

Quote
I would think one would be amazed that any Orthodox Christian would have a problem with that statement

there is no problem with the statement. The problem is the conclusions drawn from the statement (seen in the next quote), which are wholly unorthodox.

Quote
I also think that only a thoroughly partisan spirit could fail to recognize that the Great Schism was a terrible tragedy and that it left a leadership vacuum in the Church.

Certainly it was a terrible tragedy Sad Just as certainly, Orthodox did not falter when it happened. According to Orthodox ecclesiology, Christ is our head, and Christ is our leader. The unorthodox neo-papal doctrine (which is a guised form of the original humanistic papism, the first protestantism) that says that Rome was somehow the glue that held us together, and that we are "left in a leadership vacuum" because she fell, is so horrifying that I couldn't possibly conceive of words to describe it. Daily I realise how far we have all fallen as an Orthodox body, and how close we are to the end, when almost all will fall away because they don't even realise that they are falling.

Justin

PS. I'm sorry nicholas, I can't continue posting here on this thread.
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« Reply #53 on: April 10, 2003, 09:27:34 PM »

One last post before I leave the thread...

Quote
He was not an infallible autocrat, but he was a kind of president to whom appeals were addressed in cases of controversy.

Were you aware that all the bishops brought their problems to Constantine at the time of the First Ecumenical Council? Were you aware that an Ecumenical Council gave Constantinople the right to hear all disputes in the east?

Sad
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« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2003, 09:44:06 PM »

Paradosis -

I do not understand why you cannot continue posting on this thread.

Have I asserted Roman Catholicism or even come close?

I think words have been placed in my mouth that I have not uttered.

To say that the Great Schism created a leadership vacuum is not the same thing as saying that Orthodoxy was or is entirely dependent upon Rome and its bishop, far from it.

If I have posted anything heretical, please enlighten and correct me.

You misunderstand me if you think I am asserting papal autocracy or universal jurisdiction (how many times must I repeat that?).

I am aware that Popes did not give commands to the other bishops that were always obeyed, and that the leadership of the Bishop of Rome was an honorary chairmanship. Early Popes led more by example than in any other way.

I am sorry I started this topic if it is going to produce reactions like, "Daily I realise how far we have all fallen as an Orthodox body, and how close we are to the end, when almost all will fall away because they don't even realise that they are falling."

And "But woe to them, who would defend this fallen see unduly, leading sincere but not-yet-knowledgable members of the theanthropic body of Christ astray. Fear, great fear is what such a person should have!"

Who is defending the "fallen See?"

Have I spoken anything in defense of the post-Schism Papacy?

I have spoken of Peter's leadership, of the fact that the early popes were Peter's successors.

I have repeated time and time again that I do not accept Roman Catholic innovations and am NOT arguing for them.

Paradosis, you should rather fear to offer offense without cause and to see heresy where there is none.

I think I too will quit posting to this thread, since those who find fault with it cannot do so without lapsing into apocalyptic paroxysms of ultimate doom or questioning my orthodoxy.

When I disputed with Protestants at CBBS and one of them wished to call me a name, he just came out and did it.

Some of you are more subtle, but the name-calling is there nonetheless.


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« Reply #55 on: April 10, 2003, 10:38:53 PM »

Justin,

Quote
Well, comments on this forum in general amaze me.

I know, isn't our forum amazing!  Cool

Quote
I'm sorry nicholas, I can't continue posting here on this thread.

How can you make accusations and then not stick around to answer them?

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« Reply #56 on: April 11, 2003, 12:22:48 PM »

I would like once again to assert that I have not nor am I defending the current Pope or any of the post-schism popes, neither am I defending any western doctrinal innovations which divide the present Roman Catholic Church from the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church.

I am not calling for doctrinal compromise in order to achieve a false "unity."

All that said, I would like to continue this thread because I think it is an interesting topic that needs to be discussed and one from which, I believe, we can all learn something.

I have learned much from it already, some of it rather unpleasant.

However, I have also learned (from Nicholas) that some of the Fathers evidently believed that Peter may have once (however briefly) held at least some of the opinions of the Judaizers. In fact, since starting this thread and reading Nicholas' posts, I have found a nifty passage from St. Cyprian of Carthage that supports Nicholas' position regarding Peter's early view that Gentile converts should be circumcised.

I have amassed a number of patristic passages that I would be interested to share in connection with this topic, but I am not sure I should continue with this thread.

It has aroused far too much venom, almost all of it directed my way and, to my thinking, absolutely unjustified.

I may return to this thread and post what I have learned if I see the discussion continuing and if it seems that it can continue in a more civil manner.

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« Reply #57 on: April 11, 2003, 02:30:30 PM »

I think that some reasons (as to why Linus would say 'leadership vacuum' per se) that many on this thread are just plain forgetting about are geo-political and socio-economic.  I'm talking about just plain number (size) and economic/political power. Remember everyone, the west had the economic and military power to expand, colonize, industrialize, etc. first and conquered "the known world".  Of course the Orthodox are "weird" and different to everyone else - their called Eastern Orthodox!  Different culture, theology, etc.  And...we've always (well, for at least the from the 2nd millenium to arbitrarily choose a not so accurate data  Smiley)been in the minority.  If we have this great history with the Roman Bishop and his See is so huge, then one could say there's a huge "leadership vacuum" in some sense (but maybe not the sense that Linus or anyone else here is thinking).  Weren't the Crusades partly about the Eastern Patriarchates needing help from the more powerful West since they (the East) were militarily and economically inferior while being opressed by the Muslims?  Just some thoughts that no one seems to be considering.
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« Reply #58 on: April 13, 2003, 12:19:32 AM »

Summary - St.Peter is so named (Peter = "rock"), because of his confession.  His confession is the foundation of the Church - for without belief in Christ, there is not Christianity, and if no Christianity, obviously no Church.

There is something unseemly, and even obscene about the modern Papal claim (that Peter is of himself "the rock", and his legit successors are also of themselves the "rock" and foundation of the Church) - it places institutional authoritarianism, over that very thing which is the lifeblood and real authenticity of Christianity (Christ, belief in Him, His doctrine...basically, orthodoxy.)

This is why in modern Catholicism, nothing matters quite as much as exoteric, organizational unity - outwardly submit to the Pope, and all manner of religious pluralism will be allowed (thus you have FSSP types on one hand, charismatics on the other, so called "Orthodox in communion with Rome" who think little of down playing or denying papal dogmas, etc...but apparently all are "Catholics in good standing").

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« Reply #59 on: April 13, 2003, 08:20:00 PM »

While I think it is vitally important to remember that Peter's confession is of primary importance and is one aspect of Jesus' use of the word rock in Matthew 16:18, it is also important to recall that it was Peter himself who made that confession, a man whose name was Simon up until that time.

I find it astounding that anyone could regard as a threat to the Holy Orthodox Church the assertion that Peter was the rock upon which Christ founded the Church.  

The truth of this teaching must be separated from the idea that it is an endorsement of post-schism Roman Catholicism. It is not.

Jesus Himself changed Simon's name to Kepha, the Aramaic word meaning rock, and said to him:

"And I tell you, you are Peter [Kepha], and on this rock[kepha] I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18, RSV).

Why did Jesus not say to him, "You are Simon, and on this rock I will build my church," if He wished to differentiate between Peter himself and his confession?

The fact is that the confession cannot be separated from the man who made it. They are both of them the rock upon which Jesus founded His Church, which is, from what I can tell, also the opinion held by the Fathers of the Church.

"There speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built . . ." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, Letter to Florentius Pupianus, [66 (69), 8]; A.D. 254).

"For Peter, whom the Lord chose first and upon whom He built His Church . . ." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, Letter to Quintus, A Bishop of Mauretania, [71, 1]; A.D. 254/255).

"And again He says to him [Peter] after His resurrection: 'Feed My sheep.' On him He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles, yet He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair" (St. Cyprian of Carthage, The Unity of the Catholic Church, [4]; A.D. 251).

"Simon, My follower, I have made you the foundation of the holy Church. I betimes called you Peter, because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on earth a Church for Me. If they should wish to build what is false, you, the foundation, will condemn them. You are the head of the fountain from which My teaching flows, you are the chief of My disciples. Through you I will give drink to all peoples. Yours is that life-giving sweetness which I dispense. I have chosen you to be, as it were, the first-born in My institution, and so that, as the heir, you may be executor of My treasures. I have given you the keys of My kingdom. Behold, I have given you authority over all My treasures!" (St. Ephraim the Syrian, Homilies, [4,1]; 4th century).

"He made answer: 'Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock will I build My Church, and I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.' Could He not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on His own authority, He gave the kingdom, whom He called the Rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church?" (St. Ambrose of Milan, Expositions of the Catholic Faith, Book IV, Chap. V; 4th century).

"For he was ordained before the rest in such a way that from his being called the Rock, from his being pronounced the Foundation, from his being constituted the Doorkeeper of the kingdom of heaven, from his being set as the Umpire to bind and to loose, whose judgments shall retain their validity in heaven, from all these mystical titles we might know the nature of his association with Christ" (St. Leo the Great, The Great Sermons, Sermon III; 5th century).

I think it is pretty plain that the Fathers recognized the depth of what Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16:18. Yes, they believed Peter's confession was the Rock upon which the Church is built; but it is also apparent that they realized that Peter and his confession are inseparable, and that Peter himself was uniquely the Rock upon which Jesus built His Church.

Please, read what I have actually written above. Do not read into it anything but what is actually there.

I am not advocating post-schism Roman Catholicism, universal papal jurisdiction, papal infallibility, papal autocracy, etc.

What I am advocating is the Orthodox position. To deny that Peter was the Rock upon which Jesus founded His Church, to deny that Peter was the leader of the Apostles, to assert that Peter's confession alone was the Rock, is to advocate what are, in fact, Protestant doctrines.

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« Reply #60 on: April 14, 2003, 12:02:36 AM »

Personally I find this thread very interesting, especially with Bro Linus's hard facts.

Keep it going, in fact I think the Roman Rite needs to look to its Orthodox brethern to stabilize and fix its liberal wobbling, at least in US and Canada.

James
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« Reply #61 on: April 14, 2003, 11:04:49 AM »

What I am advocating is the Orthodox position. To deny that Peter was the Rock upon which Jesus founded His Church, to deny that Peter was the leader of the Apostles, to assert that Peter's confession alone was the Rock, is to advocate what are, in fact, Protestant doctrines.
From the GOA:

The Pseudo-Clementine Writings - The Attempt To Elevate Peter And The Seat Of Rome To Supremacy.

The Pseudo-Clementine writings are false "Homilies" (discourses) falsely attributed to the Bishop of Rome Clement (93-101), which attempted to restate the life of Apostle Peter. The purpose was one: the elevation of Peter over the other Apostles, especially Apostle Paul, and the elevation of the Seat of Rome over any other Bishop's Seat "Peter", it was claimed, "who was the most able of all (the others)' was called to illuminate the West, the darkest place of the Universe."                      

The "Homilies" were written to fit the misleading interpretation of Matthew 16:18,19, that "You art Peter, and on this rock I will build my church... and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven ". It is misleading because the word "rock" does not refer to Peter, but to the faith that "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (v. 16). There is not one sign of the primacy of Peter over the other Apostles mentioned in the Bible, and if a primacy was intended, a decision of such importance and magnitude certainly would have been mentioned in the Bible in unambiguous language. In many cases the opposite is true; Paul wrote to Galatians, "I withstood him, (Peter) to the face, because he was to be blamed" (2:11); besides, it is well known that Peter thrice denied Christ. Peter did not found the Church of Rome; he actually remained in Antioch for many years before reaching Rome. To say that as Christ reigns in Heaven, Peter and his successors, the popes, govern the Earth, is a statement alien to the spirit of the Gospel and the understanding of the early Church. Christ was and is the cornerstone and the Head of the Church, consisting of all members of His Body. (cf. Col.1:24).
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« Reply #62 on: April 14, 2003, 11:16:00 AM »

And a few patristics of my own:

"This one (Peter) is called a rock in order that on his FAITH (Rock) he may receive the foundations of the Church." - St. Gregory Nazianzen, 26th Discourse

"The Rock on which Christ will build His Church means the faith of confession."- St. John Chrysostom, 53rd Homily on St. Matthew

"The Rock (petra) is the blessed and only rock of the faith confessed by the mouth of Peter. It is on this Rock of the confession of faith that the Church is built." - St. Hilary of Poitiers, 2nd book on the Trinity

Hilary wrote the first lengthy study of the doctrine of the Church in Latin. Proclaimed a "Doctor of the Church" by the Roman See in 1851, he is called the Athanasius of the Western Church.
     
'"The word "Rock" has only a denominative value-it signifies nothing but the steadfast and firm faith of the apostles."
- Cyril of Alexandria, Upon St.John, Book JJ, Chap. XII

In his Letter to Nestorius, St. Cyril says: "Peter and John were equal in dignity and honor. Christ is the foundation of all -the unshakeable Rock upon which we are all built as a spiritual edifice."

"Faith is the foundation of the Church, for it was not of the person but the faith of St. Peter of which it was said, 'the gates of hell shall not prevail'; certainly it is the confession of faith which has vanquished the powers of hell."

"Jesus Christ is the Rock. He did not deny the grace of His name... to Peter because he borrowed from the Rock the constancy and solidity of his faith- thy Rock is thy faith, and faith is the foundation of the Church. If thou art a Rock, thou shalt be in the Church, for the Church is built upon the Rock... (the profession of faith in Christ Jesus)." - St. Ambrose: The Incarnation
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« Reply #63 on: April 14, 2003, 01:01:24 PM »

Brother Nicholas,

I do agree with the Orthodox belief regarding the Bishop of Rome,as I see it, only being the Patriarch of the Western Church.When it comes to Church politics I fear the only people who suffer are the laity,the immense numbers of the Body of the Church. Instead of discussing and exploring the positives we have in common, the negatives pop up and dominate communication. A divided house will never be whole.

James
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« Reply #64 on: April 14, 2003, 01:34:14 PM »

Jacobus, I am glad that you see that power-wise the Pope is only the Patriarch of the Church of Rome. The reason we have to focus on what divides us, unfortunately, is those things have to be fixed and recanted of in order for reunion to take place.
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« Reply #65 on: April 14, 2003, 03:02:02 PM »

Goodness!

This reminds me of the "Ask the Bible Man" radio program that I heard the other night as I was driving to Great Compline. Hank was trying to "prove" the resurrection via archeological evidence for the existence of Jesus and arguments about how Christianity evolved.

What a waste of time -- the resurrection is a matter of faith and has nothing to do with "evidence" or anything of this world. I did find interesting his justification that Jesus' "brother" James believed. He said something like "If you were crucified, dead and buried, do you think your brother would stick around and die for you?"

The point is that you either believe on faith or you do not.
And that is the same with Papal supremecy and infallability. You either CHOOSE to believe that it is based in scripture or you do not.

But here is the real question: At a personal level, does it really matter? Will the Lord reject you at judgement day because you did not believe in Papal supremecy? Will God reject me because I really don't care if Mary was "virgin" or "EVER-virgin"?

Our salvation comes through believeing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God -- and that is all.





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« Reply #66 on: April 14, 2003, 03:37:59 PM »

Quote
This reminds me of the "Ask the Bible Man" radio program that I heard the other night as I was driving to Great Compline. Hank was trying to "prove" the resurrection via archeological evidence for the existence of Jesus and arguments about how Christianity evolved.

Just to continue with a short side-jack; The same sort of stuff was on the History Channel last night.  Parts of it about made me hurl  Lips Sealed  Of course, what does one expect when the 'scholars' and 'experts' were Dominic & Co. from the Jesus Seminar among others ...
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« Reply #67 on: April 14, 2003, 04:05:15 PM »

Brother Tom,

You are somewhat correct,however, my belief is based on that Jesus is the only Son of the Almighty Father,who has come in the Flesh, He is the only way & mediator between us and the Father,and we will be judged by the Son on our works/deeds resulting from our faith.

James

I modified my post after locating my bifocals and putting my grandaughter down for a nap.
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« Reply #68 on: April 14, 2003, 05:59:59 PM »

Our salvation comes through believeing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God -- and that is all.

The following is from a Coptic source, but 'H.H.' Pope Shenouda has compiled the facts together pretty well, so I copy-n-paste from them instead of being original with a response to the claim of Sola Fidei.

Salvation In the Orthodox Concept
By 'His Holiness' Pope Shenouda III
St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, Tampa, FL
College Meeting, November  9, 2001

-+ A great theological dispute rose in the 1960’s regarding the subject of salvation and 2 conferences were held in lower Egypt to discuss these issues and the book was published in 1967 as a result of the 2 conferences.

-+ St. Paul sates, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12

Introduction: The Danger of Using “One Single Verse!”

-+ The Holy Bible is not just as mere verses but rather as a certain Spirit is involved in ALL of its parts.

-+ St. Paul tells the Philippian jailer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31

-+ St. Paul states in his epistle to the Ephesians, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2: 8,9).

-+ We need to not read this verse in isolation from the verse that follows, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in Him.” (Ephesians 2: 10)

-+ His Holiness emphasizes how we as Orthodox Christians need to be aquatinted with the right faith and the truth and that we always need to remind ourselves of St. Paul ‘s words.

“GǪnot of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” II Corinthians 3:6

v BEWARE of using a SINGLE VERSE ONLY!!!

Chapter 1- No salvation except through the blood of Christ alone

-+ No faith nor works without the blood of Christ can b e of any benefitGǪFaith means to believe in the blood of Christ, and works are those based in the deserts of the blood of Christ as St. Paul said, “...without shedding of blood, there is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)

-+ “Not by works of righteousness which we have done.” Titus 3:5

-+ “Not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:9

-+ Therefore, the righteous people of the Old Testament who pleased God with their good works remained in Hades until the Lord Jesus Christ brought them out of Hades after His crucifixion.

v Why is there no salvation except through the blood of Christ?

Romans 3:23, Romans 3:12

Requirements for the Redeemer of our sins- Romans 3: 24-25

1) Unlimited
2) Perfect (sinless)
3) Man
4) Death

-+ “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God sent forth to be a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God has passed over the sins that were previously committed.” Romans 3:24-225

Conditions of Salvation through the blood of Christ:

The requirements can be explained in four categories:

1) Faith
2) Baptism
3) Church Sacraments
4) Good Works

1) Faith

-+ “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

-+ Our Lord Jesus Christ declared to the Jews that without faith there would be no salvation.”...if you do not believe I am He, you will die in your sins.” John 8:24

-+ “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

-+ As mentioned in the Introduction, Saints Paul and Silas required faith from the Philippian jailer saying to him, ”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31

-+ “For as the body without the spirit is dead, faith without works is dead.” James 2:20

-+ “Even the demons believe and tremble.” James 2:19

-+ “...and through I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” I Corinthians 13:2

-+ Love is the greatest of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as St. Paul states, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

2) Baptism

-+ Baptism is the gate through which one attains salvation, while faith paves the way to it.

-+ Our Lord Jesus Christ told Nicodemus, “Most assuredly I say to you unless one is born of water and Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5 (It is not merely just being “born again.”)

-+ The Sacrament of Baptism originated from the early Church and is still practiced in our Coptic Orthodox Churches. This is clearly supported by the following verses: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20

-+ On the day of Pentecost, after hearing the words of St. Peter about baptism they, “gladly received his word, were baptized, and that day about 3,000 souls were added to them.” Acts 2:41 (If faith alone were sufficient, what was the need to baptize 3000 souls!!)

-+ Similarly, the Philippian jailer who accepted faith through St. Paul and St. Silas, ”immediately he and all his family were baptized.”

-+ “For as many of you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Galatians 3:27

Theological view of Baptism

-+ The way to Salvation must begin with death...continue through death and the last stage in the process of salvation is to be attained through death. This is clearly explained in the following verse:

“For the wages of sins is death.” Romans 6:23

-+ One must die with Christ and rise with Him in order to be glorified with Him. We must always remember that if we want to resurrect with Him, we must die with Him. We must always remember that all suffering is coupled with glory and that it is the way of glory.

-+ The icons of Saints that we venerate in the Coptic Orthodox Church depict the many sufferings they endured but now these Saints who suffered and who were martyred are glorified and venerated in Churches all over the world. He went onto to mention that true and faithful Christians seek sufferings and that suffering produces purity and that it is the only way to attain glory in this earth and everlasting life.

-+ St. Paul also mentions that,”Or do you not know that as many of us were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death.” Romans 6:3-4

-+ We need to live and think as St. Paul did when he submitted everything to Christ and how Christ only resided in his life when he said the following famous words:

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20

-+ Salvation begins with the death in baptism, continues through death against the worldly lust to the end as St. John states “Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10

3) Church Sacraments

A) Holy Communion

-+ This is a beautiful sacrament because we are joined with Our Lord Jesus Christ.

-+ Holy Communion also called the “Mysteries of Mysteries” or “Crown of Sacraments” as all the Sacraments are crowned by it.

v The person baptized must receive Communion directly after Baptism.

v The person who confesses and repents must receive Communion directly after Confession.

v The person who marries must receive Communion directly after the wedding, according to the original Rites of Matrimony which must be done in between the Matins and the Holy Liturgy.

-+ Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted this Blessed Sacrament on Holy Thursday, a few hours before His arrest and trial, in the Upper Room of Zion when He said,” And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his disciples and said, ‘Take, eat this is My body. ‘ Then He took the cup, and gave thanks and gave it to them saying, Drink from, it all if you. For this is My blood of the new covenant which is shed for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26: 26-28

The Benefits of Holy Communion

1) Salvation and remission of sins

-+ We continually commit new sins daily and we need to wash out our sins with the blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ continuously. This is also recited during the Divine Liturgy, we mention that the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ “given for us: salvation and the remission of sins and eternal life for whoever partakes of it.” “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” I John 1:18

2) Abiding in Christ according to His precious promise

-+ “Most assuredly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in Me and I in Him.” John 6:53-58

3) Eternal Life

“ Whoever eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day. He who eats this Bread will live forever.” John 6: 54, 58.

4) Growth in Spirit and spiritual perfection and life in Jesus Christ

“For my flesh is food indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. As the living Father sent me, and I live in because of the Father, so he feeds in Me will live because of Me.” John 6: 55,57

5) Gives healing to the soul, body and spirit as it is recited during the Divine Liturgy

“That they (Holy Body and Precious Blood) may become to us all for participation and healing and salvation for our souls, bodies, and spirits.”

v We need to take every opportunity in our lives to partake of the Holy Communion and we should never allow more than 40 days to pass without receiving it, Participating in this sacrament is vital for our salvation and we should never attend the Divine Liturgy and take the Blessed Body and Blood for granted or take it unworthily.

We need to be prepared and worthy before we partake of this Blessed Sacrament:

1) The person needs to posses Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and be an Orthodox Christian baptized in the Church and believing in the transubstantiation of the Bread to the Body and the Wine to the Blood of Christ.

2) The person needs to live a life of Repentance and have a spiritual Father that he/she confesses to on a regular basis. “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that Bread and drink of that Cup.”

 I Corinthians 11:24

3) The person needs to be reconciled with others

“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5: 23,24

4) Attendance for the reading of the Holy Gospel. The reading of the Holy Gospel and the Prayer of the Mass are performed before Holy Communion to sanctify the soul and body of a person, and give him a spiritual and mental preparation for Communion.

B) Repentance

v We must understand that Faith and Baptism does not prevent us from sinning and does cleanse us from our sins. Confession is a very important Sacrament as Orthodox Christians and we need to have a Spiritual Father and that we cannot just confess our sins to God only. This sacrament gives us a new hope in life and a new chance because our sins are wiped away. This is supported by the following verses.

-+ “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

-+ “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13

-+ Our Lord Jesus Christ also told us that,”...unless you repent you all likewise will perish.” Luke 13:3

-+ The Holy  Church since the beginning practiced the sacrament of Confession and is still practiced in our Coptic Orthodox Church. This Sacrament is also supported by the Holy Bible. “Many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds.” Acts 19:18

-+ Our Lord Jesus Christ after His Resurrection told his disciples that they were given the authority to forgive and to remit one’s sins. Our Lord Jesus Christ said to His disciples, ”Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them, if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” John 20:22-23

C) Good Works

-+ Good works are necessary for salvation, and the absence of good works shows that faith is dead and fruitless. We as Orthodox Christians need to understand that a person needs the help and grace to be able to do good works as Our Lord Jesus Christ said,” GǪwithout Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

-+ “For as the body without the spirit is dead, faith without works is dead.” James 2:20

-+ God’s judgement on us will be according to our works.

-+ David the prophet said, "Also to you, O Lord, belongs mercy; for you render to each according to his work.” Psalm 62:12

-+ “For God brings every work into judgement, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14

-+ “For the son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his work.” Matthew 16:27

-+ His Holiness Pope Shenouda III emphasizes that God does not forget any small act or good deed that we do to anyone not even “a cup of cold water” that was given to one who thirsted. “Therefore be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 15:58

Works are fruits required for faith

-+ “This is a faithful saying and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.” Titus 3:8,14

-+ “By works, faith is made perfect.” James 2:22

-+ Works are vital for an Orthodox Christian. The works that we show and display in our lives should be evidence that we are sons and daughters of God. St. James states, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good, and does not do it, to him, it is a sin.” James 4:17

When shall we attain salvation?

-+ Salvation is a life-long process and needs to be coupled with fasting, prayers, singing, and confession. His Holiness discusses that we are in a constant war and the results are unknown. A person may win the first battle but lose the 12th but one cannot be certain of the result until the end.

v St. Paul sates, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12

-+ St. Antony, the Father of All Monks, said, “This is a new day and let us start anew.”

-+ Even the Bishop needed to take heed of Himself when St. Paul stated to Timothy,

“Take heed of yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save yourself and those who hear you.” I Timothy 4:16

-+ St. Peter sates, ”If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” I Peter 4:18

-+ St. Paul advises us on how we should strive for salvation “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

-+ “For he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13
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« Reply #69 on: April 14, 2003, 06:08:04 PM »

Quote
Our salvation comes through believeing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God -- and that is all.

Do you not see how minimalistic this is? Sad Just to mention two passages which goes against what you said, we could look to 1 Tim. 4:16 and James 5:19-20. There are many more; the Scriptures speak of our salvation in myriad ways.
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« Reply #70 on: April 14, 2003, 07:24:40 PM »

Nicholas -

Since I did not quote from the Clementine Homilies, I do not see their relevance.

What of the quotes I did produce, from Fathers who very obviously asserted that Peter was the rock to which Jesus referred in Matthew 16:18?

I do not deny that Peter's confession was an aspect of the rock to which Jesus was also referring.

But it seems to me strange to try to separate the confession from the man and to make nothing of the fact that Jesus called Simon, who already had a perfectly good name, Kepha (rock), and then said, "and on this kepha [rock] I will build My Church."

Why change Simon's name to rock if Jesus wished to distinguish between Peter and his confession of faith?

This particular quote:

"This one (Peter) is called a rock in order that on his FAITH (Rock) he may receive the foundations of the Church."  - St. Gregory Nazianzen, 26th Discourse

asserts that Peter himself was the rock. It certainly does not contradict it. It indicates that Peter received "the foundations of the Church."

Of course Peter would not have been "the Rock" were it not for his confession of faith. So naturally he received his new name, rock, and his position of leadership based upon his faith.
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« Reply #71 on: April 14, 2003, 07:28:58 PM »

Linus,

You said that Peter being the Rock is THE Orthodox Position, I was just showing you that GOA is saying the opposite. That's why I quoted them.

My other quotes show Fathers of the Church clearly saying that it was not the man, but his confession fo faith that was the Rock and as the confessor of this Faith was named Peter.
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« Reply #72 on: April 14, 2003, 07:41:49 PM »

Linus,

You said that Peter being the Rock is THE Orthodox Position, I was just showing you that GOA is saying the opposite. That's why I quoted them.

My other quotes show Fathers of the Church clearly saying that it was not the man, but his confession fo faith that was the Rock and as the confessor of this Faith was named Peter.

Pardon my obvious ignorance, but what is the GOA?

Besides that, what of the Fathers who indicate that Peter was the rock Jesus referred to in Matthew 16:18, including St. Ambrose, whom you quoted above?

And the quote from St. Gregory Nazianzen indicates that Peter was the rock.

The plain sense of what Jesus said would indicate that Peter was, at least in some respect, the Rock.

None of this is the same thing as arguing for the post-schism RC concept of the authority of the papacy and need not be interpreted in that way.
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« Reply #73 on: April 14, 2003, 07:45:07 PM »

But Linus, *points to TomS's post* look at that Sola Fide, I know you like to take on Sola Fide! Don't you want to do that whole comicbook cliche of 2 guys fighting that stop to team up & take on the other guy thing? Wouldn't that be fun?  Grin
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« Reply #74 on: April 14, 2003, 07:50:38 PM »

But Linus, *points to TomS's post* look at that Sola Fide, I know you like to take on Sola Fide! Don't you want to do that whole comicbook cliche of 2 guys fighting that stop to team up & take on the other guy thing? Wouldn't that be fun?  Grin

LOL  Grin

It is tempting, but I don't think that is what Tom meant, despite the words he used.

I've seen some of his other posts.

I don't think he really believes in Sola Fide.
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« Reply #75 on: April 14, 2003, 08:17:20 PM »

Pardon my obvious ignorance, but what is the GOA?

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America (http://www.goarch.org) The SCOBA Greek Church.

Besides that, what of the Fathers who indicate that Peter was the rock Jesus referred to in Matthew 16:18, including St. Ambrose, whom you quoted above?

And the quote from St. Gregory Nazianzen indicates that Peter was the rock.

I honestly do not see it that way at all, he seemed to be explaining why Jesus named him rock yet the Faith was The Rock that the foundation was built on.

None of this is the same thing as arguing for the post-schism RC concept of the authority of the papacy and need not be interpreted in that way.

I know! I know! I know! You've repeated yourself on this point over and over again. I am completely clear on the matter Linus.
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« Reply #76 on: April 14, 2003, 08:38:25 PM »

 Grin Grin Grin

Nicholas -

Well, I keep repeating that because it seems necessary given the history of this topic.

I am glad you understand, however.

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« Reply #77 on: April 14, 2003, 10:27:52 PM »

Gee whiz, the server out here goes down for a hour or so and look what I missed.Nothing like them flash floods.

Of course there was more to reply to Tom, but I'm not Bro Nicholas who can lay it all out on 1 post. In fact I would be still chicken pecking it.

But it was nice.
Pokoj,

James

P.S. Tom's post sounded like a standard Protestant response to me.
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« Reply #78 on: April 14, 2003, 10:49:47 PM »

Quote
This reminds me of the "Ask the Bible Man" radio program that I heard the other night as I was driving to Great Compline. Hank was trying to "prove" the resurrection via archeological evidence for the existence of Jesus and arguments about how Christianity evolved.

Just to continue with a short side-jack; The same sort of stuff was on the History Channel last night.  Parts of it about made me hurl  Lips Sealed  Of course, what does one expect when the 'scholars' and 'experts' were Dominic & Co. from the Jesus Seminar among others ...

Ditto.  Bobby, can you get one of those puking emoticons for us?
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« Reply #79 on: April 14, 2003, 10:54:40 PM »

[tasteless]

You mean this one?

Bad emoticon removed by anastasios, sorry Nik, it had to go!

[/tasteless]
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« Reply #80 on: April 14, 2003, 11:18:51 PM »

"but I don't think that is what Tom meant, despite the words he used"

Thank you Linus7 -- You are correct; that is not what I meant. I did not think that anyone would read my final statement seperate from the prior ones.

What I meant to infer was that even if I were not to believe in the previous statements (re: Peter, Mary) that that would NOT exclude me from salvation. Because the most IMPORTANT would be that I believe that Jesus is the Son Of God.

Of course good works, etc are positives (Faith without works....), but as the Church teaches, if you HAVE heard the message of Christ and you reject it -- you ain't getting ANY points.

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« Reply #81 on: April 14, 2003, 11:28:30 PM »

Jacobus: "P.S. Tom's post sounded like a standard Protestant response to me. "

And I should know! I was a Southern Baptist, Holy Roller Assembly of God Protestant in my younger days!

I totally reject "Sola Scriptura".

One of the main reasons I was attracted to the Orthodox church was because of the Tradition element and the acceptance of the teachings of the Holy Fathers.
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« Reply #82 on: April 15, 2003, 12:54:18 AM »

I can get u a farting one too if u'd like.

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« Reply #83 on: April 15, 2003, 12:58:21 AM »

What is it with everyone and body functions today?

Let's try to get this conversation back on (serious) track!

anastasios
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« Reply #84 on: April 15, 2003, 01:00:05 AM »

Tom,

Did'nt mean to offend you, I went to various Christian groups back in the late 60'S and then finally returned to my roots, and found it had changed.

James
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« Reply #85 on: April 15, 2003, 02:34:03 AM »

Linus, I honestly have some difficulty understanding where you are coming from on this. I think it is pretty clear from scripture and from the Fathers that Christ is the only rock and the rock in this passage is Peter's confession of Christ. Some Fathers identify Peter with his confession but I think only as a type of all who confess Christ. There are many people in scripture who are "types" and I don't see why Peter should be treated any differently to them.

It also seems as if you are focussing only on those Fathers who "seem" to agree with you and are ignoring the broad concensus.

John.
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« Reply #86 on: April 15, 2003, 11:24:18 AM »

[tasteless]

You mean this one?

Bad emoticon removed by anastasios, sorry Nik, it had to go!

[/tasteless]

I don't think it (I know which one it was from other boards even if I didn't see it here) was tasteless - conveyed a point.
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« Reply #87 on: April 15, 2003, 04:03:46 PM »

Linus, I honestly have some difficulty understanding where you are coming from on this. I think it is pretty clear from scripture and from the Fathers that Christ is the only rock and the rock in this passage is Peter's confession of Christ. Some Fathers identify Peter with his confession but I think only as a type of all who confess Christ. There are many people in scripture who are "types" and I don't see why Peter should be treated any differently to them.

It also seems as if you are focussing only on those Fathers who "seem" to agree with you and are ignoring the broad concensus.

John.

I respectfully disagree, John. I do not think the Fathers looked on Peter's confession as the only rock, although it was certainly of vital importance, and certainly Peter could not have been the rock without it.

The plain sense of the language used by Jesus would indicate that Peter himself was the rock (kepha).

Again, why would Jesus change Simon's name to Rock (Kepha) if He wished to differentiate between the man and his confession?

I think it is pretty apparent that Peter was the leader of the Apostles, though not a dictator and certainly not infallible.

I also think Peter was more than a mere type. He was given real authority and exercised it as the leader of the early Church. Look how often he acted as the spokesman for the Church in the Book of Acts. See how he was chosen to open the mission to the Gentiles, even though the chief responsibility for continuing it was later transferred to Paul. Note how often in the Gospels Jesus' disciples are referred to as "Peter and the others with him."

Peter ended his earthly life in Rome. The bishops of that city were regarded as his successors and first in honor among bishops of the Church. To them appeals were addressed from various parts of the early Church.

I have some patristic evidence to that effect but not with me right now. I can produce it later if anyone is interested.

It seems obvious to me that, although modern RC ideas concerning the primacy of popes are wrong, the Bishop of Rome was more than "just one of the boys."

Our problems with the papacy have nothing to do with Peter and the early popes. They arise from the innovations in doctrine and practice that were introduced later, and from the attempt to force those innovations on the rest of the Church through the exercise of an autocratic authority that Peter and his successors never possessed.

The government of the Church has always been conciliar. But the early Church had a president or chairman, and that person was Peter. His successors the bishops of Rome were supposed to fill that role, as well.

Here is an analogy:

If a U.S. president attempted to act as a dictator and was impeached and deposed by Congress, that would be proper. But it would not be proper for the Congress to then deny that there ever was a president or that there never should be.

I realize that it is not a perfect analogy, but then no analogy is perfect.
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« Reply #88 on: April 16, 2003, 09:46:19 AM »

Linus, I've snipped a bit of text regarding Irenaeus from here which you may or may not have read already. I think it is important to see how some prominent Fathers have been misused regarding the position of Rome's bishop.

Quote

The partisans of the Papal system attach much importance to the influence exercised by the Bishop of Rome in the question of Easter and some other matters: they transform that influence into authority. This is an untenable paralogism. It is not to be wondered at that the Bishop of Rome should have enjoyed from the first a high influence in religious questions; for he filled the first See of the West, and as Bishop of the Capital of the Empire, he was the natural link between East and West. It was then understood that the Catholic Church was not exclusively in any country; that the East possessed no more universal authority than the West. This is why certain heretics, born and condemned in the East, sought protection in the West, and above all at Rome, its representative. Thus it is, that even some saints—as Polycarp of Smyrna—went themselves to Rome to confer with the Bishop of that city upon religious questions.

But it is not possible conscientiously to study these facts from reliable documents without eliciting this truth: that the influence of the Bishop of Rome did not arise in an universal authority—that it did not even have its source in an authority recognized by all the Western Churches, but was simply derived from the importance of his See.

Rome was the centre of all communications between different parts of the Empire. The faithful crowded thither from all quarters—for political business or private interests—and thus her testimony as an Apostolic Church was strengthened by the faithful who came thither from all parts of the world, bringing the witness of all the Churches to which they severally belonged.

Such is the sense of a passage of St. Iren+ªus, of which the Roman theologians have made the strangest misuse.  This great theologian, attacking the heretics who sought to corrupt the faithful at Rome, establishes against them the Catholic rule of faith, preserved everywhere and always." But," he adds, "as it would be very tedious to enumerate in such a work the succession of all the Churches, we will trace that of the very great and very ancient Church and known of all, which was founded and established at Rome by the two very glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul; which possesses a tradition that comes from the Apostles as much as the Faith declared to men, and which has transmitted it to us through the succession of her Bishops; by that, we confound all those who in any manner whatsoever, either through blindness or bad intention, do not gather where they should; FOR every Church, that is to say, the faithful who are from all places, are obliged to go toward that Church, because of the most powerful principality. In this Church, the tradition of the Apostles has been preserved by those who are of all countries.

The Romish theologians choose a bad translation of this passage, in order to find in it an argument in favor of the papal sovereignty. Instead of saying that the faithful of the whole world were obliged to go to Rome, because it was the Capital of the Empire, the seat of government, and the centre of all business, civil and political, they translate convenire ad by the words, to agree with—which is a misinterpretation; they make potentiorem principalitatem refer to the Church of Rome, and they see in this its primacy, whereas these words are only used in a general manner, and nothing indicates that they do not solely designate the capital and principal city of the Empire. Again, they translate, maxim+ª, antiquissim+ª, by greatest and most ancient, without reflecting that they thus attribute to St. Iren+ªus an assertion manifestly false; for, granting that the Church of Rome was the greatest of her day, she could not certainly be called the most ancient—every one knew that a great number of churches had been founded in the East before that of Rome. Moreover, their translation does not make the author say in conclusion, that the Apostolic tradition has been preserved at Rome, by those who were of all countries—(ab his qui sunt undique,) as the text requires, but like Pius IX, in his Encyclical Letter to the Christians of the East, "In all that the faithful believe," not reflecting that this is a misconstruction, and that they are thus attributing nonsense to the good Father.

In the text as we render it all things hang together. St. Iren+ªus after having established that only the universal Faith should be received, points out to the heretics of that city the Church of Rome, as offering to them an evidence the more convincing that Apostolic tradition had been there preserved by the faithful of the whole world.

How then could St. Iren+ªus, whose purpose it is to give the universal Faith as the rule for private belief, and who enlarges precisely upon this point in the chapter from which the text is taken, logically say what is attributed to him by the Popes and their theologians? He would then have argued thus: It is necessaryto adopt as the rule the belief of all the churches; but it suffices to appeal to that of the Church of Rome, to which there must be uniformity and submission, because of her primacy. St. Iren+ªus never expressed so unreasonable an opinion. He lays down as a principle the universal Faith as a rule, and he points out the Faith of the Church of Rome as true—thanks to the concourse of the faithful who assembled there from all parts, and who thus preserved there the Apostolic tradition. How did they preserve it? Because they would have protested against any change in the traditions of their own churches, to which they were witnesses at Rome. St. Iren+ªus does not give the pretended Divine authority of the Bishop of Rome, as the principle of the preservation of tradition in the Church of that city—but logically, he attributes that preservation to the faithful of other Churches who controlled her traditions by those of their own Churches, and who thus formed an invincible obstacle to innovation.

It was natural that the Bishop of the Capital of the Empire, precisely because of the faithful who there gathered from all parts, should acquire a great influence in religious matters, and even occasionally take the lead. But all the monuments, as also the circumstances attending, those transactions in which he took part, show that he enjoyed no authority superior to that of the other Bishops.

It is clear that all discussion relative to this text of St. Iren+ªus turns upon the sense to be given to the word convenire. If this word signifies to agree with, we must conclude that the venerable writer thought it all must necessarily agree with the Church of Rome, and without that it is impossible to be in the unity. If the word means to go, all the Ultramontane scaffolding will fall of itself, for it can not reasonably be affirmed that all the faithful must of necessity go to Rome, even though the Church established in that city should be the first and principal Church, the centre of Unity. It follows that the sense of this word should be determined in so evident a manner that there remain no doubt in respect to it.

We have already remarked that the preposition ad determined the sense of it—we can add many others to this already conclusive proof.

If we possessed the Greek text of the passage in question, there is no doubt there would not be the uncertainty resulting from the Latin word. But Eusebius and Nicephorus have preserved for us other fragments of the primitive text. Now it happens that in these fragments the good Father uses expressions which the Latin translator has rendered by the word convenire, and which have no meaning, except just this one of going—whether together or separately.

He has a lot more examples if you have a couple of hours spare to read the rest of the book.


John.
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« Reply #89 on: April 16, 2003, 04:04:55 PM »

John -

I tried that link but got "page not found."

I am familiar with the passage from Irenaeus the author is speaking about. I have not quoted from it because it really has nothing to do with my argument but uses Rome as an illustration of the Apostolic Succession.

I am not arguing for papal monarchy/autocracy, universal jurisdiction, infallibility, etc.

There are plenty of good arguments against those things.

What I believe is that Peter was chosen by Jesus to be the Rock and the leader of the Apostles. The bishops of Rome were regarded as his successors and exercised a sort of loose (very loose) chairmanship among the bishops.

Church government was and is conciliar. But appeals were addressed to the bishops of Rome from throughout Christendom, and those bishops sometimes addressed problems in other churches, not with autocratic authority, but with fatherly counsel and advice.

I think many here are reacting adversely to what I have posted because they fear it is some sort of "slippery slope" into Romanism.

I don't think it is that at all. I think it is just an accurate picture of the pre-schism Church.
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