Originally Posted by Shami
The early church quoted the OT scripture and spoke to one another about Christ and the church, right? That's a real question, not rhetorical. Even though the NT didn't exist until the 4th century the epistles and the gospels did exist and were passed around to the local churches. This is significant because the early church was having all kinds of trouble, sin, division, heresy, reverting back to the law, etc. Saying that the church produced the NT isn't really how I understand it. God breathed out and the apostles wrote it down. Maybe you mean the canonization was produced by the church.
Your example of the Ethiopian...we all need someone to explain it to us. We have the church fathers and so many Christians who have gone before us that can do that, but we needed it to be written down so that we all can read it for ourselves. Reading the Bible is like receiving nourishment from food. When I sit down with the Bible I view it as, I am sitting down at the Lord's feet to listen to Him, to be nourished and to get to know Him in an intimate way. So, yeah, I guess I view the Bible as God's direct speaking and as His very breath. Sitting down with the Bible is like sitting down with a Person. Hope that is making sense.
Do the Orthodox believe that no one else can interpret the Bible? And the RCC and Anglican? If that is the case then Protestants interpreting the Bible are considered as what? sinning or rebels or heretics? I won't be offended if you tell me the truth. I didn't know it was so wrong for anyone outside the Orthodox to interpret. Does this mean we cannot have fellowship? or that you can't receive things that I have experienced with the Lord?
I'm going to be honest here. I have been on this forum for a while. I've gotten to know some of you and your backgrounds. I am not a theologian or a philosopher. I just went to a two year Bible training school. I have always felt like I don't fit in here or that what I say is looked upon with a suspicion. I know that a conservative Protestant is very different than the RCC, Orthodox and Anglican, but I thought that we had enough in common to have some fellowship. After a while I realized that this is a debate forum and not a fellowship forum. But I thought that Christians (all believers) could enjoy each others points of view and learn from each other. I spend more time defending the things that I say than real fellowship. I tried staying over on the spirituality board, but the deeper things aren't really expressed there much. So, I keep coming back here, but always feeling like a suspect.
After this post, i think i get it now. I am a suspect. Am I viewed as an untrustworthy self interpreting protestant? A lot of what I believe came from the church Fathers, especially the Trinity truths, the one Body.
I don't know how to end. I guess I needed a little venting time with you. I really hope no body is bothered with me.
Probably someone will say, oh, but all world views are welcome. That's a nice thought, but I don't think so.
I am not sure what you mean by a suspect. We belong to different religions, that is all. You "suspect" my beliefs as much as I "suspect" yours, but it is not a personal judgment. The Protestant view of the church and church membership as a kind of family, which maintains loving bonds in spite of differing opinions, makes it seem like a deliberate insult if another faith says these bonds do not really exist, that you are not my blood relative but only my friend. It is not intended as an insult or a slight. We have a very specific definition of what the Church is, and who is or is not a member of the Church, and it does not depend on individual piety, morality, or knowledge of Scripture. If it did, I could not be a member. I hope you can try to see it in that light.
Even the term "heretic," which has taken on the flavour of a severe insult in modern times, is used in my church only as a literal description of inaccurate doctrine. A parish member might ask his priest, "Such-and-such is an Orthodox teaching, isn't it?" and be told, "Nope, that's a heresy." He would not be offended; he would only say, "Oops!" and move on.
The early Church did circulate books of what is now the NT, along with other writings which were not included in NT canon. It is unlikely that any one local church had access to all of them at once. They were taught about Christ first by the apostles, then by followers and students of the apostles. Most of what the early Christians knew, was taught to them orally. As St. Paul wrote, "So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter."
Originally Posted by Shami
I think what got me was that we don't even view the Bible the same. I think I was naive and believed that Christians could agree to disagree on docrinal issues and practices, but I can't even use the Bible to show my points because the Bible isn't the authority. I had no clue that the Bible was not an authority that could stand alone. So, I don't have a leg to stand on and now I guess the view of other Christians interpreting or translating the Bible isn't accepted even if I can show it in the Bible. At least, I came away learning what other Christians believe and that will be very useful and broadening for me personally. However, I feel like some one just came and popped my balloon unexpectedly. Still processing.
These really are huge differences. Maybe we can cover them more thoroughly in the follow up thread, rather than continue to hijack this one.