Originally Posted by Purple Sage
"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.
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.
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?