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The Bible, The Church, Tradition, Authority, and the Canon - Page 15

post #281 of 300


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post

 

Quote:
do you believe in the Truth being sort of unfolded little by little through members of the body, or does it have to be church fathers?  Have EO authorities ever declared that all the Truths have been unveiled and now the church can just enjoy them, experience them?

 

Can you be more specific?  What wasn't revealed to us by Christ that needed to unfold later?

I said this earlier.  I think it got lost in the shuffle.

"I think I was the one who mentioned new revelation.  I should have been more clear because I think I believe that all the pertinent revelations have been revealed although I don't want to put God in that box and say He can unveil a new revelation.  Anyway, what I meant was that we have two divine facts.  For example, we know that Christ said I will build my church.  We know the church is the Body of Christ.  So you put it together and realized God's goal is to build up His body, which is the church.  Then you wonder how does that occur?  Some other believer sees that God is dispensing Himself into us day by day and through our experience of transformation we are becoming the same image as Him.  So another believer puts that together to see the whole picture, or what be believe to be the whole picture for now.  God's goal is the build up the church, the body of Christ, through our daily experiences of transformation into the same image of Him, for His expression on the earth and to produce the Bride and it all eventually consummates in the ultimate union of God and man, the New Jerusalem, which will be for eternity."

 

Once I think I read something about the functions of the church.  I realize the church is not just a bunch of individual believers, but I'm too tired to think right now.

 

Lilyka,

I know there's a lot of horrible stuff in protestantism.  it outrages me at times.  But in general, we do have a united front on salvation, the Trinity, Christ being God and Man, the Bible being the inerrant word of God.  At least the core items of the Faith are there.
 

post #282 of 300

 

Quote:
"I think I was the one who mentioned new revelation.  I should have been more clear because I think I believe that all the pertinent revelations have been revealed although I don't want to put God in that box and say He can unveil a new revelation.  Anyway, what I meant was that we have two divine facts.  For example, we know that Christ said I will build my church.  We know the church is the Body of Christ.  So you put it together and realized God's goal is to build up His body, which is the church.  Then you wonder how does that occur?  Some other believer sees that God is dispensing Himself into us day by day and through our experience of transformation we are becoming the same image as Him.  So another believer puts that together to see the whole picture, or what be believe to be the whole picture for now.  God's goal is the build up the church, the body of Christ, through our daily experiences of transformation into the same image of Him, for His expression on the earth and to produce the Bride and it all eventually consummates in the ultimate union of God and man, the New Jerusalem, which will be for eternity."

 

I'm still not exactly sure what you're saying.  This all seems to be based on the idea that the Church doesn't exist as a visible organized entity, which is something that the Church from the time of the apostles until now has never believed. 

 

 

Quote:
For example, we know that Christ said I will build my church.  We know the church is the Body of Christ.  So you put it together and realized God's goal is to build up His body, which is the church.  Then you wonder how does that occur?

 

I don't think they were wondering how this would occur.  Jesus told the apostles what to do, and after the ascension the HS led them to do it, and they passed on this Holy Tradition to their successors..who passed it on to their successors, who passed it on to theirs, and on down the line.  The Church through the centuries kept doing it exactly as they were taught by Christ and continue to do so today.

 

 

Quote:
Some other believer sees that God is dispensing Himself into us day by day and through our experience of transformation we are becoming the same image as Him.  So another believer puts that together to see the whole picture, or what be believe to be the whole picture for now.

 

I think what you're describing is 'reinventing the wheel' as Lilyka put it.  Your starting point is that the church was degraded and most of the information the apostles had needs to be recovered.  But from the EO point of view, this is completely false. 

 

I still think it's really important to think about why it is you trust that the ECF canonized the correct Scriptures and wrote the correct creeds but that you don't think they based these things on the correct beliefs.  They did not believe that the Church had been or was being degraded.  They did not interpret Revelation the way you do.  How can you believe that the HS led them to canonize the book of Revelation with a wrong understanding of what it meant?


Edited by Purple Sage - 1/13/11 at 4:48am
post #283 of 300
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shami View Post

John 3

15 That every one who believes into Him may have 1eternal life.

 

If I believe into Him (Jesus Christ) I have eternal life.  If I have eternal life that makes me part of the Body of Christ even if I am not in the EO group.  That's not protestant.  That's Scripture.

 

The quote you provided, I agree with and it makes my point.  I am surprised at how much EO writings i agree with.

 

The Body of Christ is made up of sinners who are in transformation to become the spotless bride.  We are growing up into Him, the Head of the body.  We are not mature or ripe if you use the analogy of being a field of wheat.  God in His way is purifying the Body of Christ to become the transformed, conformed glorified Body of Christ.  We are not glorified yet.  I can't understand how you are expecting the Body of Christ which is composed of sinners to be  perfect and completely holy.  We aren't there yet. We are partly holy because we have the eternal life which is holy.   We can't be glorified until Christ returns.  Until then, we have to maintain our union with the Lord and stay under His grace to be purified from the world, self, and sin.

 

We are all worldly.  If you watch TV you are taking in worldliness.  Sorry Purple, I just don't get it. 

 

23 1And the 2God of apeace Himself 3bsanctify you 4wholly, and may your 5cspirit and dsoul and ebody be fpreserved 6complete, gwithout blame, 7at the 8hcoming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Aahh, I think I found the missing link between us...Sanctification.  I have no clue what the EO believes, but here is what I believe.

 

We are vessels for the House of God, the Church.  We are vessels to contain Him, for His expression on earth.   The Lord Sanctifies us, separates us from the world so that we can be in His House...His body, His church.  So when we believe into the the Lord the Spirit sanctifies us, washes us with His precious blood and we are able to have fellowship and be a member of His body.  That more on the Lord's side.

 

On our side, we are being sanctified.  We are still sinners, full of the world, full of our self, full of impurities which God cannot have a part of.  We have to be reconstituted with Christ.  He adds more of His life to us day by day, sanctifying us little by little, separating us more from the world.  Transformation until we are conformed to His image and glorified.   Really He is drawing us more to Himself and purging out all of the trash, the world that is in us because of the Fall.  He is recovering us from the Fall.

 

ETA: The church is sanctified as you say she is, AND she is being sanctified to be the spotless bride.


Sanctification is a term usually found in Catholic or Protestant circles, althought they use it in slightly different ways.  The East tends to talk about theosis, which has overlap with the idea of sanctification as used both by Catholics and Protestants.

 

Orthodox Wiki defines it this way:

Theosis ("deification," "divinization") is the process of a worshiper becoming free of hamartía ("missing the mark"), being united with God, beginning in this life and later consummated in bodily resurrection. For Orthodox Christians, Théōsis (see 2 Pet. 1:4) is salvation. Théōsis assumes that humans from the beginning are made to share in the Life or Nature of the all-Holy Trinity. Therefore, an infant or an adult worshiper is saved from the state of unholiness (hamartía — which is not to be confused with hamártēma “sin”) for participation in the Life (zōé, not simply bíos) of the Trinity — which is everlasting.

 

There are a ton of articles online about it if you are interested.

 

post #284 of 300


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post

 

Quote:
"I think I was the one who mentioned new revelation.  I should have been more clear because I think I believe that all the pertinent revelations have been revealed although I don't want to put God in that box and say He can unveil a new revelation.  Anyway, what I meant was that we have two divine facts.  For example, we know that Christ said I will build my church.  We know the church is the Body of Christ.  So you put it together and realized God's goal is to build up His body, which is the church.  Then you wonder how does that occur?  Some other believer sees that God is dispensing Himself into us day by day and through our experience of transformation we are becoming the same image as Him.  So another believer puts that together to see the whole picture, or what be believe to be the whole picture for now.  God's goal is the build up the church, the body of Christ, through our daily experiences of transformation into the same image of Him, for His expression on the earth and to produce the Bride and it all eventually consummates in the ultimate union of God and man, the New Jerusalem, which will be for eternity."

 

I'm still not exactly sure what you're saying.  This all seems to be based on the idea that the Church doesn't exist as a visible organized entity, which is something that the Church from the time of the apostles until now has never believed. 

 

 

Quote:
For example, we know that Christ said I will build my church.  We know the church is the Body of Christ.  So you put it together and realized God's goal is to build up His body, which is the church.  Then you wonder how does that occur?

 

I don't think they were wondering how this would occur.  Jesus told the apostles what to do, and after the ascension the HS led them to do it, and they passed on this Holy Tradition to their successors..who passed it on to their successors, who passed it on to theirs, and on down the line.  The Church through the centuries kept doing it exactly as they were taught by Christ and continue to do so today.

 

 

Quote:
Some other believer sees that God is dispensing Himself into us day by day and through our experience of transformation we are becoming the same image as Him.  So another believer puts that together to see the whole picture, or what be believe to be the whole picture for now.

 

I think what you're describing is 'reinventing the wheel' as Lilyka put it.  Your starting point is that the church was degraded and most of the information the apostles had needs to be recovered.  But from the EO point of view, this is completely false. 

 

I still think it's really important to think about why it is you trust that the ECF canonized the correct Scriptures and wrote the correct creeds but that you don't think they based these things on the correct beliefs.  They did not believe that the Church had been or was being degraded.  They did not interpret Revelation the way you do.  How can you believe that the HS led them to canonize the book of Revelation with a wrong understanding of what it meant?


The churches did exist in cities.  The local churches in each city are the expression of the One Universal Church.  Each local church is the expression of the body of Christ in that city.  They are not a bunch of separate bodies in each city as some believe.  Christ's body is not divided.  One Universal Church, Body of Christ, expressed in each city locally.

 

I think our issue is that some things are not one or the other.  Is Christ God or Man?  The answer is Yes, He is God and Man.  Is God 3 or 1? Yes, He is 3 and 1 at the same time. Are we saved or being saved?  Yes we are both saved and being saved.   Is the church, pure and impure at the same time.  I believe yes, She is pure because in eternity she is pure, and also she has some degree of purity on the earth.  She is impure because she is in a process of being made pure.  She is growing from one degree of pureness to the next degree of pureness.  God is using impure sinners to build a pure church.  He is replacing the impurities with His pure divine nature, making us the same as He is in life and nature, but not in the Godhead. 

 

God became man to make man God in life and nature, but NOT in the Godhead...we will never be worshipped,  because that is only for God in the Godhead.  We are being transformed with the life and nature of God. 

 

Well, maybe the church fathers were not wondering how the church would be built, but some believers do.  The Lord said I will build my church and later Paul said to prophesy (to speak Christ, to speak for Christ, and to speak forth Christ) builds the church.  It seems like in that passage, Paul was trying to get it through to the believers that speaking is tongues is fine if you have an interpreter, but the real building occurs through speaking Christ to one another and to unbelievers.  Ya know, this is what I mean about putting two divine facts together and you have an amazing revelation of the building up of the church, but if folks in the EO aren't willing to read about another believers' revelation, they are missing out on this wonderful realization.  I  understand wanting to be protected from heresy, but to the degree of cutting off other believers' genuine experiences...? 

 

I don't see it as reinventing any wheel.  Is anybody out there talking about building up the church?  That's a real question for anybody who is listening.  I hear believers talking about gifts God gave them, blessings God gave them, how wonderful God is to them, healing them, how God saved them from the world, how to be a better person, how to have a better marriage, how to be better parents, how great their Pastor is, etc.  All those things may be good to hear and talk about, but it is all centered on what God is doing for them in their life. 

 

Who is talking about God's need to build His church?  Who is talking about God's need to gain a some people who will cooperate daily for His move on earth?   Who is talking about God's will for us to be filled in Spirit?  to deny the soul life and take up the cross for the sake of the building up of the church? 

 

Our salvation is for God's building.  We benefit by being saved, but the purpose of our redemption is so that God can have His good pleasure met.  A Bride for Christ.

 

I better say this:  I am not saying that we believers can build anything.  I am talking about us cooperating with God for Him to build His church.  He is the Master Builder and we are the cooperating vessels.

 

Re me trusting the canonization, but not necessarily every thing that the church father's did.

 

It's the same as I trust my elders because they do have God in them and they are led by the Holy Spirit.  As long as they don't contradict scripture I trust them.  If they started saying that Christ is not God but just a great teacher, I'm outta here.  There are some core doctrines that we cannot compromise on and the church fathers did a great job at hammering those out for us.  But the church fathers did not see everything (I can list it later if ya want me to) and they had the political issues at the time effecting them.   I hate to bring up such a yucky topic, but all these stories coming out about abuses toward boys by priests is terrible and sad.  I'm sure those priests were trustworthy, but what happened?  We can trust to a degree, but still need to be discerning in our spirit.  Godly people are still capable of doing horrible things.

 

For me personally, before I received the Lord ( I was 31 years old), I had read parts of the Bible, listened to people tell me about the Lord, and it was pretty meaningless to me.  I suspected it was man made and full of error.  After I received the Lord, the Bible was amazingly full of light and an my understanding of it was there.  It wasn't there, and then it was there.  God's life was imparted into me and then I had Him to shine on the word, and teach me by the Holy Spirit guiding me into all the reality.  Over the last 12 years, after reading the Bible over and over, hearing messages, Bible studies, word studies, cross referencing, 2 years of Bible training school, reading other Christian writings, and the objective Truth in the Bible becoming my subjective Truth in my daily life, I can say the Bible is the inerrant word of God and I trust what the Fathers put together.  I can't say how I know.  It's a seeing, just like when we believe in Christ.  I just know because God revealed it to me.  It's part of the faith that I believe.

 

Frankly, I don't understand why trusting the canonization means I have to trust every single thing the fathers have done.  I have tried to show that Godly people don't always follow the Holy Spirit.  And regarding the unity issue, just because they held councils and a decision was made doesn't mean there was unity. There were large splits even back then.   I was reading in a history book from my Dad's shelf about Constantine and how he considered himself a 'bishop' for the external things of the church.  He was the one who called the council to Nicea and then there was another gathering.  But the way the author wrote it was that one group won over the other and then Constantine declared who the winner was.  I don't know if I can trust this history book, but it is written pretty objectively.  I can't tell if it is a protestant leaning book or a catholic leaning book.

 

Although the brother that I spoke to recently about this ( he is the type who researches everything and doesn't just take what any body says) said that in His research he believes there were some political motives, which effected the canonization, but he wouldn't elaborate.  I think he was afraid of stumbling me.  Anybody else have this view?

post #285 of 300

That was a long post, but I only have time to hit on a few points that stuck out to me. 

 

Quote:
The churches did exist in cities.  The local churches in each city are the expression of the One Universal Church.  Each local church is the expression of the body of Christ in that city.  They are not a bunch of separate bodies in each city as some believe.  Christ's body is not divided.  One Universal Church, Body of Christ, expressed in each city locally.

 

I'm not following you.  How is this different that the way the EO Church has been since the time of the apostles?

 

 

 

Quote:
God became man to make man God in life and nature, but NOT in the Godhead...we will never be worshipped,  because that is only for God in the Godhead.  We are being transformed with the life and nature of God.

 

This is my understanding of theosis, as Bluegoat posted about earlier.

 

Quote:

Re me trusting the canonization, but not necessarily every thing that the church father's did.

 

It's the same as I trust my elders because they do have God in them and they are led by the Holy Spirit.  As long as they don't contradict scripture I trust them.

 

What I'm asking you is how you can trust the canonization when you don't trust the father's interpretation of the Scripture they canonized.

 

When you say you trust your elders as long as they don't contradict Scripture, do you mean as long as they don't contradict a certain interpretation of the Scriptures? 

 

Did the HS guide the fathers to canonize Scriptures based on faulty understanding of what the Scriptures say?  If they did, then what does that say about the guidance of the HS at that time - or at any time?

 

 

Quote:
but if folks in the EO aren't willing to read about another believers' revelation, they are missing out on this wonderful realization.  I  understand wanting to be protected from heresy, but to the degree of cutting off other believers' genuine experiences...?

 

What did Christ not reveal?  What did He not pass on to the apostles?  Why do you think there's something missing from the deposit of faith that Christ passed on to His Church?

 

 

Quote:
But the church fathers did not see everything (I can list it later if ya want me to)

Please do.

 

 

ETA:  Now that I read over my post here, I think my "tone" sounds harsh...I apologize if I'm coming across in an offensive way.  I really don't intend my questions to be hurtful.  I just don't understand your point of view on these particular issues.  redface.gif

post #286 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shami View Post


 

 

Lilyka,

I know there's a lot of horrible stuff in protestantism.  it outrages me at times.  But in general, we do have a united front on salvation, the Trinity, Christ being God and Man, the Bible being the inerrant word of God.  At least the core items of the Faith are there.
 


I do not believe this for a minute.  I was protestant for 34 years before becoming Orthodox.  I have been a part of Baptist, Methodist, and Covenant churches.  Independent evangelical Charismatic, seeker friendly wishy washy. New Apostolic Reformation.  I have seen quite a bit but I am sure there is much that would still shock me.  I was a Biblical studies major with a plan to go on to seminary.  I worked as a youth pastor (which cured me of any desire I had to make a career of that LOL ).  I am no stranger to the inner workings of protestant churches, culture or beliefs.  People can't even decide which parts of doctrine are important much less agree on a position on those doctrines.  Not everyone even believes all of the things you said.  There is no agreement on what salvation is, how you get it, if you can lose it or if you can be assured of it.  or if you even need it.  Just because two groups happen to agree doesn't mean there is unity among the body.  and if they believe scripture is inerrant they cannot agree on which English translation you can trust.   Several churches use translations with a definite bias to fit their preconceived doctrinal ideas.  If they believed, honestly, it was inerrant they would not feel the need to spin it.  many Christians come right out with it and say they don't believe it is inerrant.  Several denominations do not believe in the trinity.  And some have pretty far out ideas about the duel nature of Christ.   

 

I don;t really care what other churches claim or believe.  But as an insider and an outsider I could not find any sort of real unity.  People tossed the word around a lot but I never saw and don't see any real unity.


Edited by lilyka - 1/13/11 at 4:00pm
post #287 of 300

Shami, I'll tell you why I'm so confused over what you believe, and I hope you don't take this the wrong way.  It's just that this is what it sounds to me like you're saying, and it really does not make sense to me.

 

First, the canonization of the Bible is good.  The Scriptures are perfect - complete, without error, and inspired by God. 

 

And yet these are the problems with where the Scriptures came from:

 

1.  The Church itself was being degraded and corrupted by heresies, paganism, politics, and money from the time of the apostles, the time when the Scriptures were still being written. 

2.  The leaders of the Church in the earliest days, like St. Ignatius of Antioch who was taught directly by the apostle John, were not trustworthy and mistakenly gave more power to bishops than Christ had intended for His Church.

3.  The men who canonized the Scriptures were not only bishops (who weren't supposed to be bishops in the first place) but they believed the Church was one, holy, catholic, and apostolic - in other words, very very GOOD, and definitely not degraded or corrupted by paganism or other worldly influences. 

4.  They misinterpreted the Scriptures they had canonized. 

 

Okay, so we got the Bible from this source which is degraded and corrupted from practically the word go and not a very trustworthy source of pretty much anything else.  That's the first thing I don't understand.  The second thing I don't get is this:

 

Jesus came to earth and chose men to be His apostles and set up His Church and told the apostles "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."  And then he purposely let His Church degrade (except preserving enough holiness to give us the Bible and the core essentials of the faith, but that's it) so that we can later read the Bible and discover everything else we should know for our salvation amongst each other (but this only works after the printing press is invented, the Bible is translated into all the different languages, and the masses become literate) because God wants to show that He can build His Church up again.

 

Am I misunderstanding what you've been saying?

post #288 of 300


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post

Shami, I'll tell you why I'm so confused over what you believe, and I hope you don't take this the wrong way.  It's just that this is what it sounds to me like you're saying, and it really does not make sense to me.

 

First, the canonization of the Bible is good.  The Scriptures are perfect - complete, without error, and inspired by God. 

 

And yet these are the problems with where the Scriptures came from:

 

1.  The Church itself was being degraded and corrupted by heresies, paganism, politics, and money from the time of the apostles, the time when the Scriptures were still being written. 

2.  The leaders of the Church in the earliest days, like St. Ignatius of Antioch who was taught directly by the apostle John, were not trustworthy and mistakenly gave more power to bishops than Christ had intended for His Church.

3.  The men who canonized the Scriptures were not only bishops (who weren't supposed to be bishops in the first place) but they believed the Church was one, holy, catholic, and apostolic - in other words, very very GOOD, and definitely not degraded or corrupted by paganism or other worldly influences. 

4.  They misinterpreted the Scriptures they had canonized. 

 

Okay, so we got the Bible from this source which is degraded and corrupted from practically the word go and not a very trustworthy source of pretty much anything else.  That's the first thing I don't understand.  The second thing I don't get is this:

 

Jesus came to earth and chose men to be His apostles and set up His Church and told the apostles "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."  And then he purposely let His Church degrade (except preserving enough holiness to give us the Bible and the core essentials of the faith, but that's it) so that we can later read the Bible and discover everything else we should know for our salvation amongst each other (but this only works after the printing press is invented, the Bible is translated into all the different languages, and the masses become literate) because God wants to show that He can build His Church up again.

 

Am I misunderstanding what you've been saying?


 

Yes this is all what I have been saying.  Sounds pretty crazy, huh?  God does work in mysterious ways, and He has an enemy who is battling day and night to destroy God's church.  I haven't mentioned Satan much because it makes people kind of queezy.  Once God's church is built, Satan is through.  As soon as the overcomers are produced and Jesus returns, Satan's end is very close.  Satan is doing everything in his power to destroy vessels individually and the church as a whole.  Here is a list of what comes from Satan: confusion, doubt, anxiety, unrest, pride, self glory, greed, ambition, sin nature, sins, worldliness, division, lust, covetousness, malice, slandering, etc.   We all have a flesh and sin dwells in our flesh.  Even though we have a spirit and God is mingled with our spirit, our soul is not fully transformed. Our soul is in the process of becoming God in life and nature by the washing of the water in the Word (sanctification).   Even worse our sinful flesh never gets transformed.  Our flesh won't be gone until the Lord returns and glorifies our body. 

 

Job was a good righteous man.  God allowed Satan to strip him of everything (wealth, family, health, etc.) in order to cause Job to see who God is and to rebuild Job with Himself.   Satan is an instrument used by God to show His great mercy on us. 

God made Job, God allowed Job to be stripped, God recovered Job back to Himself, for His glory.

 

One thing that i have been taught is to see patterns or principles in the Bible, such as the one I mentioned before.

 

God creates, there's a fall, God recovers/restores for His glory.

 

This is seen in Genesis with creation as I presented in a previous post.  This is seen with mankind.  He created Adam. God was with Adam in the garden.  Adam fell.  Now we are being saved or recovered back to God through Christ for His glory.

 

This pattern is seen all over the OT. 

 

As far as truths being revealed.  Again, God gave the Apostles Teaching and the Scripture.  I think it was John and Paul who said something like, I wrote this down so you would know.  Now we have it in writing, but look at the history of the Bible.  In the Dark Ages (they were dark because the Bible was not available to the laypeople), the Priest spoke in Latin, not the language of the people.  You may say well that is what the icons were for.  No way can icons replace  what Scripture can provide.  Scripture is our food.  Icons cannot nourish like God's word.  All these wonderful truths were being enjoyed by the priests and maybe a few learned 'men', not women or children.  Then add in statues and confessing to the priest, rather than confessing to the one Mediator, Jesus Christ.   Do you think that the people in that time period were able to understand much of the truths and have a full, rich relationship with God?  I don't think so.  These are all Satan's strategies to keep God's people from the light in the Word.  Then the printing press and the one's who gave their lives to translate the Bible for the laypeople were instrumental in recovering the truths for the laypeople.  It takes the entire body of Christ to get His full expression.  A few men in authority cannot display the full expression of Christ.  The whole body has to arrive in oneness.

 

Ephesians 4:13

13 Until we all 1arrive at the 2aoneness of the bfaith and of the full cknowledge of the 3dSon of God, at a 4efull-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the 5ffullness of 3Christ,

 

Here is the pattern/principle:

Truth was given, Truth was lost, Truth is now being recovered.

 

It's not that Christ didn't reveal the truth, rather it was not fully given to all of the believers in their language for a long time due to the hierarchy and literacy rates and language barriers.  Now I think, and I didn't hear this from any one, that the the Truth (all of the divine facts) are being recovered bit by bit.  Now I think the believers are connecting the dots.  You've seen those children's worksheets with numbered dots.  There is a complete image there, but you can't see the complete image until you connect the dots.  That's why I was using my previous examples  about connecting truths together to see God's complete plan and our part in the God's plan.  God's people are connecting the dots to recover the full truth.

 

I do apologize for the long posts.  I find that when I cut corners, or my three year old is needing me, I am not clear enough and misunderstandings occur.  Oh and I am not offended at all.  I totally understand why it gets frustrating, I mean we are both speaking English, but the meaning of our words doesn't always penetrate.  I really appreciate you giving me the chance to explain so much, even if we part ways,  not agreeing.

 

And the EO and the RCC probably have the best Biblical way to meet...one church, one city.  I was clarifying that earlier and you thought i was saying the EO didn't do that.  This is the way we meet as well, one church, one city all over the globe, our elders are in fellowship with one another all over the globe and regionally, as well.  This is the way we endeavor to maintain the oneness.

post #289 of 300


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Shami View Post


 

 

Lilyka,

I know there's a lot of horrible stuff in protestantism.  it outrages me at times.  But in general, we do have a united front on salvation, the Trinity, Christ being God and Man, the Bible being the inerrant word of God.  At least the core items of the Faith are there.
 


I do not believe this for a minute.  I was protestant for 34 years before becoming protestant.  I have been a part of Baptist, Methodist, and Covenant churches.  Independent evangelical Charismatic, seeker friendly wishy washy. New Apostolic Reformation.  I have seen quite a bit but I am sure there is much that would still shock me.  I was a Biblical studies major with a plan to go on to seminary.  I worked as a youth pastor (which cured me of any desire I had to make a career of that LOL ).  I am no stranger to the inner workings of protestant churches, culture or beliefs.  People can't even decide which parts of doctrine are important much less agree on a position on those doctrines.  Not everyone even believes all of the things you said.  There is no agreement on what salvation is, how you get it, if you can lose it or if you can be assured of it.  or if you even need it.  Just because two groups happen to agree doesn't mean there is unity among the body.  and if they believe scripture is inerrant they cannot agree on which English translation you can trust.   Several churches use translations with a definite bias to fit their preconceived doctrinal ideas.  If they believed, honestly, it was inerrant they would not feel the need to spin it.  many Christians come right out with it and say they don't believe it is inerrant.  Several denominations do not believe in the trinity.  And some have pretty far out ideas about the duel nature of Christ.   

 

I don;t really care what other churches claim or believe.  But as an insider and an outsider I could not find any sort of real unity.  People tossed the word around a lot but I never saw and don't see any real unity.

I hear ya, I hear ya,  it's a pathetic situation.  The enemy has divided the body so much.  I can't wait to kick him in the lake of fire!

 

I cut corners cuz I was tired, and my thoughts weren't all there.  The mainstream Protestant Christian groups, Baptist, Methodist, Lutherans, Calvinists, Brethren, others i can't think of, etc.---not the new age stuff---have a consensus on the core items. 

This is what I am defining as core items:

 

  • The Bible, OT and NT is the Word of God, inerrant.
  • The Trinity, 3-1,  coexisting from eternity past to eternity future.
  • Christ is God and Man.
  • Salvation is through Jesus Christ. One needs to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior
  • Christ died and resurrected.
  • Jesus Christ will return again.

 

I hope I am not forgetting any.  These are the core items that we are charged to defend.  These doctrines cannot be compromised, and I would not be able to fellowship with folks who believe otherwise.  This is what I believe the church fathers did well on.  They hammered out some core beliefs that really matter for the fellowship.

 

Doctrinal differences on certain practices, fasting, whether you can lose your salvation, head covering, tongue speaking, liturgy, which Bible you read, baptism (by immersion or sprinkling), and so on are not items that we consider worthy of dividing over. Sadly, that is the situation today.  Christians are divided over all these more minor (not that they aren't very valuable, but they are not the major, core items) things, not the core items of the faith.  Even if someone thinks they can lose their salvation, which to me is so clear in the Bible that you cannot, I can still have fellowship with them.

 

The situation today in Christianity is that it's all about your preference rather than God's way.  If you want 'Christianity Lite', you can go on Sunday and hear a good joke, a nice story,  get some self help to be a better person, be told that God wants to bless you with material things, hear one or two verses, and that's it.  Nothing about God's building, God's heart's desire to have a bride so that He can come back.  And nothing about the cross...that's too heavy.  This is Satan's strategy to keep the believers from hearing what is really on God's heart.  Right now, Satan is stalling.  He knows he is on his way out, and he is stalling, big time.  The Bride has to make herself ready, but if satan can keep us from hearing the truth, and instead we hear all of this other nonsense, well, he just bought himself a little time. 

 


 

post #290 of 300

 

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Yes this is all what I have been saying.  Sounds pretty crazy, huh?

 

Shami, I'll be honest.  It sounds like a tradition, small t tradition of man.

 

Where in the Scriptures does it say Christ would cause or allow His Church to degrade?  What you're telling me is there is a pattern in the Bible, and then you're applying this pattern to the Church.  But where in plain language is it even implied that God wants the Church to degrade in order to be built back up?

 

 

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God does work in mysterious ways, and He has an enemy who is battling day and night to destroy God's church.  I haven't mentioned Satan much because it makes people kind of queezy.  Once God's church is built, Satan is through.  As soon as the overcomers are produced and Jesus returns, Satan's end is very close.  Satan is doing everything in his power to destroy vessels individually and the church as a whole.  Here is a list of what comes from Satan: confusion, doubt, anxiety, unrest, pride, self glory, greed, ambition, sin nature, sins, worldliness, division, lust, covetousness, malice, slandering, etc.   We all have a flesh and sin dwells in our flesh.  Even though we have a spirit and God is mingled with our spirit, our soul is not fully transformed. Our soul is in the process of becoming God in life and nature by the washing of the water in the Word (sanctification).   Even worse our sinful flesh never gets transformed.  Our flesh won't be gone until the Lord returns and glorifies our body.

None of this means that Christ's Church would be degraded.  The examples you give from the Bible do not prove that the Church has been degraded. 

 

I have another huge problem with what you're saying.  Remember in Matthew 12 when Jesus cast out demons...

 

25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?"

 

You're saying that the Church which you insist is degraded and corrupted by the influences of Satan is what produced the Bible.  But Jesus said this is impossible.  Furthermore, He said to say this is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

 

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As far as truths being revealed.  Again, God gave the Apostles Teaching and the Scripture.  I think it was John and Paul who said something like, I wrote this down so you would know.

 

The apostles wrote when they could not be there to speak in person - and they preferred to speak in person.

 

John 21:25  And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

 

2 John 1:12  Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.

 

2 Thess. 2:15  Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.

 

1 Cor. 11:2  Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.

 

Gal. 1:8  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

 

 

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Now we have it in writing, but look at the history of the Bible.  In the Dark Ages (they were dark because the Bible was not available to the laypeople), the Priest spoke in Latin, not the language of the people.

 

This is not true for the Orthodox.  They did not have a liturgical language like the RCC.  They spoke in the common languages of the people during liturgy.

 

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You may say well that is what the icons were for.  No way can icons replace  what Scripture can provide.  Scripture is our food.  Icons cannot nourish like God's word.

 

You're right - icons did not replace the word of God, which was preached to the people in the language they could understand in the Eastern churches.  Icons are representations of divine truths and speak to the incarnation of our Lord, but they do not replace the spoken Gospel.

 

 

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All these wonderful truths were being enjoyed by the priests and maybe a few learned 'men', not women or children.

This is plainly false in the Eastern Church.

 

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Then add in statues and confessing to the priest, rather than confessing to the one Mediator, Jesus Christ.

I think statues were more of a RCC thing.  The East has always used icons, as far as I know.  But confessing to a priest has always been practiced since the very beginning of the Church.  I can find some info on this if you want me to.

 

 

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It's not that Christ didn't reveal the truth, rather it was not fully given to all of the believers in their language for a long time due to the hierarchy and literacy rates and language barriers.

 

Again, this is false for the Eastern churches - when the Church spread to various countries, the liturgy was translated into the language the people could understand.

 

 

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Now I think, and I didn't hear this from any one, that the the Truth (all of the divine facts) are being recovered bit by bit.  Now I think the believers are connecting the dots.  You've seen those children's worksheets with numbered dots.  There is a complete image there, but you can't see the complete image until you connect the dots.  That's why I was using my previous examples  about connecting truths together to see God's complete plan and our part in the God's plan.  God's people are connecting the dots to recover the full truth.

 

No one is saying this because the divine facts were never lost.  The EO Church has preserved all of them unchanged since the very beginning.

post #291 of 300

I keep forgetting that the EO position is that the believers' meeting in the Protestant denominations are not a part of the one true church.   So,  the view that I am trying to show you will not make sense in the realm of the EO paradigm.   I guess all we can do is to agree to disagree. 

I wholeheartedly believe that I, like all of the genuine believers (not the tares), are part of the one true church.  I just believe we are in a horrible state of division.  I also don't believe that the EO and RCC Schism is any less of a division than the Protestants.  I believe the entire Body of Christ, the genuine believers in EO RCC and Protestants, is in a state of division, which is why the world cannot see a good testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ's body.  Therefore, the Lord will recover some out of every place in Christianity.  They are referred to as the overcomers in Rev 2-3.

 

Rev. 2-3 is the prophecy that there will be various stages of division throughout history.  The view that Andrew Miller gave in his book, Miller's Church History is what I am referring to, but since he would fall into the Protestant realm, I am sure you wouldn't agree with his take on things. 

 

On a more positive note:

What makes all the believers one is that the Holy Spirit dwells within us.  Christ lives in me!  All of the believers share the divine life of God in their spirit and that makes us brothers and sisters in Christ.  True Oneness can only be found in spirit.  All of our differences divide us, but when we turn to our spirit, we tap into the Holy Spirit and we can enjoy oneness together.

 

The verse below infers that there will be attacks from God's enemy on the church because it says that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.  This indicates that there will be a fight, but the church will prevail.  Hallelujah.

 

Matthew 16:18

18 And I 1also say to you that you are 2aPeter, and upon 3this brock I will 4cbuild My 5dchurch, and the 6egates of fHades shall not prevail gagainst it.


186 Gates of Hades refers to Satan's authority or power of darkness (Col. 1:13; Acts 26:18), which cannot prevail against the genuine church built by Christ upon this revelation concerning Him as the rock, with stones such as Peter, a transformed human being. This word of the Lord's indicates also that Satan's power of darkness will attack the church. Hence, there is spiritual warfare between Satan's power, which is his kingdom, and the church, which is God's kingdom.

 

Satan has been given some liberty to roam the earth and seek to destroy, carry off, distract, individual vessels that are meant for the Lord's house, and also the Church as a whole.  We still have our fallen, sinful flesh even though we are genuine believers.  Anytime a believer allows his flesh to rise up, that believer is then cooperating with Satan's desire to destroy the Church.  Is that what you mean by the verse below?

 

25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?"

 

Every day we believers have a choice to make.  Will we exercise our spirit to contact the Lord and to be one with Him, or will we allow our untransformed soul with our emotion, our mind, or our will, to take precedence.  Or will we allow our sinful fallen flesh to be the leading part of our being.  Every time we lose our temper out of ange,  we are in our flesh and not being one with the Lord in our spirit.  The spiritual warfare is going on within us and from without.

 

Ephesians 6 talks about the spiritual warfare that the believers experience.

 

12 For our wrestling is not against 1ablood and flesh but against 2the brulers, against the authorities, against the cworld-rulers of 3this ddarkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the 4eheavenlies.

13 Therefore 1take up the whole aarmor of God that you may be able to 2bwithstand in the 3cevil day, and having done all, to 4dstand.

 

This has been going on since the Apostles and will continue until the Lord returns and finally sets up His Kingdom.

 

And with that, I would like you to have the last word on this.  I am very sorry that I cannot continue` along this vein.  I will still follow and comment on other topics.  I think that our view of who the church is keeps us from coming to any sort of common ground.  I've learned a great deal.  Thank you.

post #292 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shami View Post

 

  • The Bible, OT and NT is the Word of God, inerrant.
  • The Trinity, 3-1,  coexisting from eternity past to eternity future.
  • Christ is God and Man.
  • Salvation is through Jesus Christ. One needs to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior
  • Christ died and resurrected.
  • Jesus Christ will return again.

 

I hope I am not forgetting any.  These are the core items that we are charged to defend.  These doctrines cannot be compromised, and I would not be able to fellowship with folks who believe otherwise.  This is what I believe the church fathers did well on.  They hammered out some core beliefs that really matter for the fellowship.

 

Doctrinal differences on certain practices, fasting, whether you can lose your salvation, head covering, tongue speaking, liturgy, which Bible you read, baptism (by immersion or sprinkling), and so on are not items that we consider worthy of dividing over. Sadly, that is the situation today.  Christians are divided over all these more minor (not that they aren't very valuable, but they are not the major, core items) things, not the core items of the faith.  Even if someone thinks they can lose their salvation, which to me is so clear in the Bible that you cannot, I can still have fellowship with them.

 

 


 


 

This is not true.  It simply is not true.  They do not agree on these things.  And some of those little things are considered to be big things by some.  

post #293 of 300


 

 



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Now we have it in writing, but look at the history of the Bible.  In the Dark Ages (they were dark because the Bible was not available to the laypeople), the Priest spoke in Latin, not the language of the people.

 

This is not true for the Orthodox.  They did not have a liturgical language like the RCC.  They spoke in the common languages of the people during liturgy.

 

True.  It is the rule for liturgy to me in the language of the people serving the liturgy.  In the US, churches use more than one language but it is still the language of the people.  Most of the parishes were started by first generation immigrants and as fewer people in the church speak their native languages (or their parents or grandparents language) and more of the crowd speak English those churches are gradually changing to more English.   Our church is predominately in English, a little Greek and a little Slavic.  It can look, to an outsider that Orthodox churches speak liturgical languages because they fail to grasp how truly global our faith is.    Our tiny parish has first generation immigrants from about 15 different countries.  I won't pretend that sometimes we hang on to the founders languages longer than we need to.  They are beautiful and ad a sense of beauty to the service.   since it is liturgy  one does not need to understand the language to follow along or understand what is being said.  I think half our regular atenders do not understand any of the four languages we use regularly (English, Greek, Slavonic, the Bosnian/Serbian language).

 

Also there were no Dark ages in the East.  While the West was falling apart the East was hitting their stride.  However, Western History is all Westerners teach, very few people know what was going on in the East at all during any part of history.

 

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You may say well that is what the icons were for.  No way can icons replace  what Scripture can provide.  Scripture is our food.  Icons cannot nourish like God's word.

 

You're right - icons did not replace the word of God, which was preached to the people in the language they could understand in the Eastern churches.  Icons are representations of divine truths and speak to the incarnation of our Lord, but they do not replace the spoken Gospel.

 

Icons did not replace the scriptures,.  They can nourish, and are just as important in my opinion as the scriptures.  They are however as precisely cannonized and can be read as easily as any alphabet.  They are as specifically controlled as the writing, reading and interpretation of Holy Scripture.  There is a reason the look like they do.  Every color, hand gesture, object, position has a very specific meaning and you cannot deviate from the original.  Icons cannot replace scripture but they certainly do proclaim the truth as loudly and are part of the whole of Holy Tradition. (I want to point out that not everything that looks like an icon is and that not every one who is painting/selling icons has permission to do so.  Only real icons, done under the directions of the Church are Holy Icons and part of Holy Tradition.  Just as a bad interpretation or paraphase of scripture cannot be relied up as Holy Scripture.

 

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All these wonderful truths were being enjoyed by the priests and maybe a few learned 'men', not women or children.

This is plainly false in the Eastern Church.  

 

I think to an extent it is false about the Roman Catholic church as well.  People lack education for all kinds of reasons.  There are plenty of protestants, Catholics and Orthodox who refuse to be educated, don't have access to education, choose to hang on to superstitions etc.  The teachers cannot be blamed for all of it.  Even once the Scriptures were translated and printed I doubt any of the poor uneducated masses could afford them.  or read them.  Being in their language really did not help people until many many years later.  And the illiterate and uneducated still can't really have access to them.  

 

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Then add in statues and confessing to the priest, rather than confessing to the one Mediator, Jesus Christ.

I think statues were more of a RCC thing.  The East has always used icons, as far as I know.  But confessing to a priest has always been practiced since the very beginning of the Church.  I can find some info on this if you want me to.

 

Yes, the scripture is clear "confess your sins to one another".  Also in the EO church (and I can imagine in the Catholic church as well) we are not confessing TO the priest but to Christ alone.  the priest acts as a witness to fulfill the scriptures.  During confession and through hearing my confessions, my Spiritual father helps me dig deeper, address areas of lingering sin, encourages me in my growth, and reassures me of my forgiveness.  and prays for me.  confession is great!  Besides in my 35 years as a protestant I never remember actually taking stock and actually confessing specific sins, i mean really, God already knew so why bother?  and we were taught to confess that we are sinners, not to confess specific sins and on the rare occaision we talked about confessing something to god we were certainly not told how often or how to do it.   Public confession has always been a part of the church.  I believe it even held on a long time for some protestant groups.

 

and yeah, statues are decidedly not allowed.  Most Orthodox do not even have little Nativity sets at Christmas just to be on the safe side.

 

 

Quote:
Now I think, and I didn't hear this from any one, that the the Truth (all of the divine facts) are being recovered bit by bit.  Now I think the believers are connecting the dots.  You've seen those children's worksheets with numbered dots.  There is a complete image there, but you can't see the complete image until you connect the dots.  That's why I was using my previous examples  about connecting truths together to see God's complete plan and our part in the God's plan.  God's people are connecting the dots to recover the full truth.

 

No one is saying this because the divine facts were never lost.  The EO Church has preserved all of them unchanged since the very beginning.

 

Amen

post #294 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Shami View Post

 

  • The Bible, OT and NT is the Word of God, inerrant.
  • The Trinity, 3-1,  coexisting from eternity past to eternity future.
  • Christ is God and Man.
  • Salvation is through Jesus Christ. One needs to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior
  • Christ died and resurrected.
  • Jesus Christ will return again.

 

I hope I am not forgetting any.  These are the core items that we are charged to defend.  These doctrines cannot be compromised, and I would not be able to fellowship with folks who believe otherwise.  This is what I believe the church fathers did well on.  They hammered out some core beliefs that really matter for the fellowship.

 

Doctrinal differences on certain practices, fasting, whether you can lose your salvation, head covering, tongue speaking, liturgy, which Bible you read, baptism (by immersion or sprinkling), and so on are not items that we consider worthy of dividing over. Sadly, that is the situation today.  Christians are divided over all these more minor (not that they aren't very valuable, but they are not the major, core items) things, not the core items of the faith.  Even if someone thinks they can lose their salvation, which to me is so clear in the Bible that you cannot, I can still have fellowship with them.

 

 


 


 

This is not true.  It simply is not true.  They do not agree on these things.  And some of those little things are considered to be big things by some.  


Okay then.  It's worse than I thought it was.  I don't have time to go to every mainstream protestant website and pull up their beliefs. I guess folks who want to know will do that.  True that the little things in some places are way out of proportion, like the tongue speaking focus in the pentecostal movement.
 

post #295 of 300

to you it is a little thing.  but to them your lack of focus on it is what is out of proportion. They can pull together scriptural references and revelations and connect the dots to make it all work.

post #296 of 300

Yes, I know they can and I am saying that that is an error on their part.

 

I see the core items of the faith as the tree trunk, they have to be maintained and kept.  Doctrines that say Christ isn't God or isn't man, modalism, or the new age stuff that says there are many paths to salvation, not just Jesus.  These doctrines we will consider worth marking out the heretics.

 

All the other things are like the leaves and the little branches, they are minor and we should not denominate over them.  Anyway, it's too late, this is already the situation.   Differences in practices, like focusing on tongue speaking, are focusing on the leaves and denominating over a minor point.  This is the problem that I am observing in the mainstream denominations.

 

Sticking with the tongue speaking, I don't think that a Pentecostal believer will say that a Baptist believer is unsaved or  wrong about the Trinity.  I think they believe that this is a gift of the Holy Spirit and if you don't try to speak in tongues you are missing out on a great experience and a gift of the Holy Spirit.  So they have their own meeting place, and have taken another name so that they can focus on achieving this gift of tongue speaking.  Christ is no longer the focus, rather tongue speaking is the focus. 

post #297 of 300
Nevermind. I'm being too harsh. I apologize.
Edited by Purple Sage - 1/14/11 at 4:00pm
post #298 of 300

I believe some of the people who speak in tongues believe you are not saved unless you speak in tongues, as that is the sign that you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and if you have not received the Holy Spirit you are not saved.  That makes it a salvation issue for them and therefore a huge thing.  a tree trunk sort of thing.  It completely redefines what it means it be saved for that denomination as opposed to a Baptist.  And likewise many evangelicals or baptist believe that if you speak in tongues you are a possessed or at least a heretic and therefore not saved.  Which makes it a salvation issue from that perspective too.   As a Methodist in the late 80s, i can say with certainty, they were way more open to different paths to salvation than you may think.  Nor did they take the Bible all that seriously.   They were certainly not preaching the same path to salvation as the baptists or non-denominational evangelicals or catholics.  

 

I think the unity thing is wishful thinking and more a case of people denying differences or choosing to be uneducated about them and pretend there is unity when there is not.  Because, if there is not some sort of unity you have a huge problem on your hands.  One that must be dealt with.  But how exactly do you deal with that?

post #299 of 300

I agree with you.  There is no unity.  What do you think we should do about it?  Or I was wondering what is God going to do about it?  Sorry, no energy for this tonight, and I have a busy 3 weeks ahead of me.  I may not have much time to respond.

 

I guess my point was that we could have unity if we would stick to the core beliefs that the ECF defined for us, and stop getting distracted by minor points.  I know, I know...that can never happen at this point in history.

post #300 of 300

 

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I guess my point was that we could have unity if we would stick to the core beliefs that the ECF defined for us, and stop getting distracted by minor points.  I know, I know...that can never happen at this point in history.

 

Shami, the book you mentioned before, Miller's Church History, is available in its entirety online.  I didn't read the whole thing, but I did read several chapters to get a better understanding of where you are coming from.  I think that by adhering to what this man has deemed to be the correct take on the history of the Church (a history which he admits to confining mostly to what occurred in the West when he writes, "But as the sound of controversy is seldom heard among the Eastern sectaries after this period, and as a detailed account of their disputes would possess no interest to our readers, we leave them on the pages of ecclesiastical history.") and what he deems to be the correct interpretation of the Scriptures, you are left with the inevitable fact that unity is pretty much impossible....because the Protestant belief in sola scriptura leads precisely to this lack of unity as we can plainly see by its fruits.

 

Protestantism is at its root a protest against the errors of the RCC, but the reaction was so strong that it implicated parts of Roman Catholicism which were not incorrect, as well.  The reaction against the RCC went too far and what we get are books like Miller's Church History which rewrite history through this reactionary lens.

 

I would humbly suggest to you, Shami, that you take a look at history from another less reactionary source and learn what Andrew Miller left out of his account, perhaps by reading what the ECF themselves wrote.  We know they got the essentials correct...maybe they got more correct than Andrew Miller gives them credit for.  IMO, this unity that you are searching for exists outside of Protestantism; the core beliefs that the ECF defined for us have been preserved and maintained whole and unchanged for centuries.  I wish you much peace and apologize for my combativeness in this thread.  Thanks for the discussion!

 

 

ETA:  This is a serious question.  How do you trust what Andrew Miller wrote when you can't even trust the writings of the apostles' own disciples like St. Ignatius? 

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