The Bible, The Church, Tradition, Authority, and the Canon - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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#241 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 04:44 AM
 
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I don't know about St. Irenaeus.  He was adamantly opposed to using Scripture outside of the context of Church Tradition, so if any interpretation of Scripture is used in such a way that it is in conflict with Tradition, he would have been against that.  He did write quite a bit and quoted from Scripture in his writings a lot - if it's possible to take Scripture out of the context of Church Tradition, it is also quite possible to take writings by the ECF out of their proper context, as well.  But, like I said, I don't know much about this....and you know how Wiki is..anyone can add anything to it, so it's not the most reliable source.

 

 

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So does Tradition say that there are no more divine facts to be revealed?  Is the door closed for anyone, even within the EO or the CC( I know purple sage isn't defending cc anymore, so anyone else know?) to receive a new revelation or even further explanation of an existing doctrine, which would produce a new doctrine?  Or is there any history of a Pope disproving a doctrine that was once in good standing?

 

Tradition says that the Holy Spirit guides the Church into all truth.  If you can agree that the Church is where we got the Bible (or else you're saying that the ECF were mistaken and were not who they thought they were), then isn't it logical to believe that the HS, which guided the Church to produce the Bible, also leads the Church into all truth, like Jesus promised?

 

Here's a quote that I read last night that expresses what I've been trying to say better than I ever could:

 

"All statements about contradictions between the Church and Holy
Scripture are absolutely false and godless at their very root. Through the
Holy Apostles, the Holy Spirit wrote Holy Scripture for the Church; and
according to the unfailing promise of the Savior, the same Holy Spirit
instructs the Church in all truth. The Holy Spirit is one and indivisible,
eternal and unchangeable. He is the Spirit of Truth. How could it be
that in Holy Scripture He says one thing while in the teaching and
life of the Church He says another? Can it be to no purpose that the
council of the Apostles, described in the fifteenth chapter of the Acts
of the Apostles, as well as all successive councils, began their decisions
with the words It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us (Acts 15:28)?
To allow the possibility of contradiction between the Church and the
Holy Scripture means to speak of self-contradiction by the Holy Spirit,
which truly represents blasphemy against the Holy Spirit."

Source

 

Perhaps now is the best time to agree to disagree, if that's what you want.  My brain hurts, too. 

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#242 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 06:54 AM
 
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 I do believe in dispensations.  I looked at the wiki link bluegoat gave and it said the concept began with Iraneus, an early church father.  Maybe the Protestants developed the concept further.

 

So does Tradition say that there are no more divine facts to be revealed?  Is the door closed for anyone, even within the EO or the CC( I know purple sage isn't defending cc anymore, so anyone else know?) to receive a new revelation or even further explanation of an existing doctrine, which would produce a new doctrine?

 

 The typical Protestant doesn't care about church Traditon, just the core items of the faith are what makes you a Christian.  So, those core items come from the Nicene Creed.

 

 What if, in the experience of those divine facts, a new divine fact is revealed to a believer, or a further explanation of a divine fact already established?  What do they do with it?

So many wonderful experiences of believers  are dismissed as not part of Tradition.

 



I the EO do not believe in dispensations as far as I know.  Heck, most people can't get it together with what has already been revealed.  They cannot walk in holiness for five minutes.What do we need new information for? 

 

The creeds and Fathers are part of Tradition.  At least the ones we recognize as not being heratics.  How do protestant decide which parts of Tradition to embrace and which to reject?  is it a personal thing?  There is nothing in Holy Tradition (at least in the  EO church) that goes against scripture (when scripture is properly translated through the Tradition it was written in).  So, protestants accept some of the Father (but translate their teachings outside of the fathers own tradition as well) as it suits them, some of the Scriptures (but not all of them. the  deuterocanonical books have always been a part of Christian scriptures in some form until the reformation and even then some.) and some of the councils.  Protestants even accept some parts of the liturgical year even though they shun liturgy (Christmas and in the West the celebration of Easter.  The East celebrates Pascha but on a different time table.)  So is it just a pot luck sort of thing or is there a system?  Is Holy Tradition valid or not?

 

We also believe many new revelations are sometimes heratical.  I can make a whole lot of crap line up with scripture. I am quite good at it.  When I was protestant we used to make a game out of it (the things virgin honor students do on a friday night....sad. LOL )  Scripture is incomplete especially when interpreted outside of a solid foundation of Tradition. Just because it is not specifically against scripture means absolutely nothing.   Just because you can pull a few scriptures to justify it doesn't mean it is right either.  So for various "revelations", there are plenty of people who think it is God when it is not.  I do not trust emotions, or personal revelations.  We conjure up all kinds of stuff in our minds.  Things that make us feel better and feel closer to God as we define him. I suppose some very holy people may get a greater glimpse of God. but as for the rest of there is enough to work on right now (living holy lives, praying, repenting, worshiping).  We can't handle what we have why would we need more?

 

meh, i need some breakfast.

 


The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#243 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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At this point, I am really struggling with what to say and how to say it, and need some time to think about it.  I will try and come back tonight, late or tomorrow.  Peace.


DH, and Me plus baby girl (10/07)
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#244 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The CC would also not accept dispensationalism, or the possibility of new revelation.  Nor would the Protestant reformers for that matter - they would be generally horrified.  And all that Rapture stuff was pretty much invented in the 1800s.  Good fodder for bad pulp literature, but no basis in Christian theology.


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#245 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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So according the the RCC and EO, we need to know their traditions as well as scripture in order to properly understand God and His revelation to man? We cant go to God Himself and ask Him what such and such means? Is that what it boils down to?

 

Im curious what these traditions are now.

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#246 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by genifer View Post

So according the the RCC and EO, we need to know their traditions as well as scripture in order to properly understand God and His revelation to man? We cant go to God Himself and ask Him what such and such means? Is that what it boils down to?

 

Im curious what these traditions are now.


Well, you could, and who knows, he might tell you.  But it would not contradict or add to what had been said before - the deposit of faith is complete.  So if you received an "answer" that was additional, or contradictory, you would know it was incorrect.


 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
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#247 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 12:04 PM
 
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Contradictory to what EOC says? Or Scripture? Or both? Bc I already knew...

 

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 it would not contradict or add to what had been said before - the deposit of faith is complete.  So if you received an "answer" that was additional, or contradictory, you would know it was incorrect.
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#248 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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Well you could.  However why re-invent the wheel.  God has revealed Himself.  He is not going to reveal something different to someone.    And it is clear that trusting our own instincts to interpret  scripture leads to a bunch of people with completely contradictory interpretations and yet all claim to have had things revealed to them by the same spirit.  Tradition keeps us all on the same page.  The same page that Christ was on, the apostles were on, the early church through today.  All in unison and one belief.  Nothing needs to be revealed.  Its all been revealed already.  

 

Learning to understand Tradition and Scriptures come from participating in the life of the church.  There is no handbook that we can take to our own little corner and form or own opinions about (at least not in EO.  There is not set catechism. )   I don't think any one person can possess the whole of Holy Tradition.  Thats why the unity of the church is so important.  One must work as a team member in the Body of Christ. Encouraging and correcting one another. Its not a solo journey.  The Church is on the path to salvations together.  We don't worship God on our own; we join in Heavenly worship.  Everything is about being part of the whole.  Pray, go to church, confess your sins, love everyone, grow in holiness....and on and on.


The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#249 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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He is not going to reveal something different to someone.    And it is clear that trusting our own instincts to interpret  scripture leads to a bunch of people with completely contradictory interpretations and yet all claim to have had things revealed to them by the same spirit.

 

 

Ya know, thats not what happens. Ive seen it happen, and often, but its not what always happens. And it so isnt our own instincts. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the EO doctrine?

 

So, does EO believe that anyone outside of EO tradition is heretical? Are they not accepted as genuine believers in Christ?

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#250 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 01:35 PM
 
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Schismatics would probably be a better word.  People who have broken away and/or believe heresies.  

 

And that is exactly what happens a lot of the time.  What I saw happen.  What happened in my own life. Times I was sure the holy spirit was leading me this way or that only to realize those were just my own thoughts.  The real Holy Spirit will not lead people in confusion and contradiction.  He will not give everyone a different truth.   I think a lot of what gets blamed on the Holy Spirit is really just people pride, vanity and arrogance parading around as a holiness of their own design.  And I believe a lot of what people are hearing is their own voice and not that of the Holy Spirit.  I come from an evangelical charismatic background.  I know all about new prophesies, revelations and the  "holy spirit' enlightening people to this and that which sounds good to them.  I know how people get a thought and oh my gosh, it must be the holy spirit.   I came to the Eastern Orthodox Church because of what I experienced in the the churches I grew up in.  I couldn't worship a god that was so flaky.

 

 The Holy Spirits role in the EO church is to guide us in unity.  

 

I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit led me to the the Orthodox Church.  It wasn't easy.  It wasn't what I wanted.  I cost me everything.  But God has sustained me.  


The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#251 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 02:01 PM
 
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So, does EO believe that anyone outside of EO tradition is heretical? Are they not accepted as genuine believers in Christ?

 

 

What about this question then?

 

Oh, and well, I totally get what you're saying...

 

 

 

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 The real Holy Spirit will not lead people in confusion and contradiction.  He will not give everyone a different truth.   I think a lot of what gets blamed on the Holy Spirit is really just people pride, vanity and arrogance parading around as a holiness of their own design.

I see it too, but I dont feel led to join EO.

 

 

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#252 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 03:23 PM
 
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I see it too, but I dont feel led to join EO.

 

I know what you mean.   The first 16 years of my adult life I didn't feel led to even be a Christian, much less join the Orthodox Church. 

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#253 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

Schismatics would probably be a better word.  People who have broken away and/or believe heresies.  

 

And that is exactly what happens a lot of the time.  What I saw happen.  What happened in my own life. Times I was sure the holy spirit was leading me this way or that only to realize those were just my own thoughts.  The real Holy Spirit will not lead people in confusion and contradiction.  He will not give everyone a different truth.   I think a lot of what gets blamed on the Holy Spirit is really just people pride, vanity and arrogance parading around as a holiness of their own design.  And I believe a lot of what people are hearing is their own voice and not that of the Holy Spirit.  I come from an evangelical charismatic background.  I know all about new prophesies, revelations and the  "holy spirit' enlightening people to this and that which sounds good to them.  I know how people get a thought and oh my gosh, it must be the holy spirit.   I came to the Eastern Orthodox Church because of what I experienced in the the churches I grew up in.  I couldn't worship a god that was so flaky.

 

 The Holy Spirits role in the EO church is to guide us in unity.  

 

I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit led me to the the Orthodox Church.  It wasn't easy.  It wasn't what I wanted.  I cost me everything.  But God has sustained me.  


Something I would like to add to this.  It isn't just the people who seem obviously full of pride, or arrogance, or whatever, that can fall prey to this.  It often seems to happen most spectacularly to those who seem the most holy, the exact kind of people that we might expect to have some kind of new revelation or way of thinking about things given by God.  It is the people who have gone very far on the path to God who can face the most subtle and fiercest attacks, and the Devil I think can be very very subtle.  He can easily convinve people that they are being led by the Holy Spirit, and even appear as an angel.  I for one am not confident that I could spot the difference between an angel and Satan in all his splendour, and likewise that I had been given direction about God's revelations by God or by someone masquerading as him.  I think when we look at this and see how it has happened to the most holy and intelligent, and even humble people, we should be very afraid to depend too much on our own perceptions of having been given understanding.  It is because they are holy that they are in a position to fall prey to this kind of thing - an unholy person is unlikely to think he is being given special attention.  And Satan is especially interested in those people too I think.


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#254 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by genifer View Post

 

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He is not going to reveal something different to someone.    And it is clear that trusting our own instincts to interpret  scripture leads to a bunch of people with completely contradictory interpretations and yet all claim to have had things revealed to them by the same spirit.

 

 

Ya know, thats not what happens. Ive seen it happen, and often, but its not what always happens. And it so isnt our own instincts. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the EO doctrine?

 

So, does EO believe that anyone outside of EO tradition is heretical? Are they not accepted as genuine believers in Christ?

A genuine believer in Christ could also be a heretic, so I think you are making an equivalence that would not occur to an Orthodox, Catholic, or even a Lutheran or an Anglican.  Unitarians may genuinely believe in Christ (and what that means is pretty broad - believe that he was the Son of God, or God, or a good guy, or what?) but they are from a Christian POV heretics.
 


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#255 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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Who can say who a genuine believer is?   I mean some heresies are just obvious and of course we must avoid them.  But weather or not a persons heart is true is between them and God.  We believe that other traditions sometimes contains portions of the truth and portions of the faith.  But on The Church contains the fullness of the faith.

 

I did answer the first part of your questions.  Schismatics and/or heretics.  yes.  That is what we believe.  It is not a judgment or condemnation just a fact.  Either you are in line with the teachings of the church or you are not.  That doesn't mean we hate them or believe they are going to hell.  

 

And that is fine if you don't feel led  to convert.  I am not asking anyone to.  Just answering questions.
 

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Originally Posted by genifer View Post

 

Quote:
So, does EO believe that anyone outside of EO tradition is heretical? Are they not accepted as genuine believers in Christ?

 

 

What about this question then?

 

Oh, and well, I totally get what you're saying...

 

 

 

Quote:
 The real Holy Spirit will not lead people in confusion and contradiction.  He will not give everyone a different truth.   I think a lot of what gets blamed on the Holy Spirit is really just people pride, vanity and arrogance parading around as a holiness of their own design.

I see it too, but I dont feel led to join EO.

 

 




The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#256 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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So, does EO believe that anyone outside of EO tradition is heretical? Are they not accepted as genuine believers in Christ?

 

See, we are looking at this from a different perspective. To the EO, it is not merely a question of which tradition a person follows or which set of ideas he agrees with. To us, the Church is not a philosophical organization or anything of that kind. It is the living Body of Christ, of which we are all parts. It is more like an organism than any kind of association. If a limb is removed from a live body, it ceases to be alive and is no longer a part of that body in any real way. 

It is not a question of other traditions or doctrines being at odds with those of the EO Church - or at least, not only a question of that. The Church is not the true Body of Christ because it teaches all the correct doctrines - it teaches correct doctrine because it is the true Church. 

 

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#257 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 07:26 PM
 
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 The Church is not the true Body of Christ because it teaches all the correct doctrines - it teaches correct doctrine because it is the true Church. 

 


Thank you for putting that so much better than me.  You said that so beautifully.


The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#258 of 300 Old 01-11-2011, 09:38 PM
 
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I want to first say that I respect and understand to a certain degree the protection that believers have in following Tradition.  In principle, you are under the covering of the ones you have decided to follow.  I have placed myself under the elders, whom I believe to be following the Lord and their teaching matches what I see in the scripture.  There is a security in knowing that you will not become heretical because you are under what you believe to be the correct teaching of the Church and the Tradition.

 

The way that a believer sees a revelation is that he/she recognizes it as being true.  He/she does not decide to believe it, rather he/she recognizes that it is the truth. The Holy Spirit reveals it to us by shining as a great light on the Scripture.  The Scripture could just be black and white letters on the page, until the Spirit shines on it and shines in the believer.  Then, the believer says aha! I recognize or see that as Truth.  It's a spiritual seeing, rather than a deciding, given by the mercy of the Holy Spirit.  I hope we all agree that this can and absolutely should happen to every believer.

 

Who tells the believer to follow the CC, EO, or Protestants denominations?  Ultimately it's the person who decides for themselves, which line they are going to follow.  There are many lines going in many directions.  The EO authority doesn't come and make a person follow their Tradition.  It is the individual who sees, this is true, and this is what I will follow.  In principle, this is the protestant model of choosing.  The protestant sees, this is a true teaching, and this is what I am following.  Likewise, once you (general you) have seen something to be true, you decide to follow that line.  My point is that just because you chose to follow a Tradition, it doesn't necessarily fully protect you...you were still the one who chose it just as protestants choose the line they follow.  It's still in the protestant model of the believer choosing.

 

The protestants do have a messy way of determining which teachings are sound, and which are  heretical.  For instance, a believer writes a book or gives messages and others may see it as true and a little following develops.  Eventually it goes around, and people who are interested in seeing something new may investigate and read about it.  Debates or arguments, for or against it, occur.  Church leaders begin to seek to make decisions regarding that teaching.  The scholars and apologists (is that a word?) write about it, confirm, or reject it.  It's messy and can take decades or centuries to get a general consensus  on whether or not it is sound teaching according to Scripture.  Hopefully all are praying for a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that it can be determined in the Light.  Still, it's up to the individual believer to see, and say, okay, this is the truth.

 

Speaking of 'general consensus'...

We know for a fact that the Apostles had the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Praise the Lord we can all agree on that!  However, as soon as the heresies came in, which was in Paul's time, degradation began to effect the church.  How could it not effect the church?  Centuries pass by the time they are canonizing the Scripture.  It's not just heresies effecting the church, but politics, the kings/rulers/emporers make laws determining matters which effect the church. Constantine greatly effected the church.  Also, I gave the example of the empress making a law to allow icons in the EO ( I don't remember the date, but that was obviously after the canonization). Anyway, they canonize the Scripture based on the historical general consensus at that time.  They decided  to confirm what was generally believed by most believers at that time.  Same goes for the creeds.  God used certain bishops to defend the faith and creeds were developed.  The bishops say this is for your protection to keep heretics out.  But still, it was individual believers (bishops) who had to see, and say, okay, this is the truth.  Also, every individual EO has to see, and say, this is the truth I am following.  It still comes down to the individual's choosing.  So, protestants are frowned upon for going to the Scripture and seeing for themselves what is the truth, which is what every believer has had to do from the beginning. 

 

For me, the Church is not confined to only believers in the EO.  It's all believers regardless of where they meet.  There are definitely unbelievers in our midst, and the enemy is subtle as Bluegoat said.  This is why the Scriptures for the protestant is the determining factor when discerning differing teachings.  Bishops and elders are not the determining factor for what is Truth. The Holy Spirit is the One who guides and leads every believer.    But spiritual discernment comes with growth in life, and growth in life comes by feeding on the Scriptures and getting enlightened by the HS.  Some bishops and elders did see the Truth and we are thankful for that. 

 

I hear the argument coming...so why One Truth and many interpretations?   The reasons are so many...immaturity, culture, philosophy, vanity, language, preferences, pride, innocent misunderstanding, intentional misinterpretation, to increase numbers (Prosperity Gospel), the person is a scholar and not a believer, no vision of God's plan, focus on minor points, not using your spirit, letting emotion be your guide, letting your mind be your guide without your spirit, politics, on and on and on.  You may say, this is why we need the Tradition, to keep all of this out.

 

I was wondering why did God allow this kind of degradation to happen to His Church?  The Church, the pillar and base of the Truth, the Bride, the House of God, the Dwelling Place of God...how could this happen to her?  We believe God is sovereign, right?   He has allowed it and i believe it was prophesied in Rev 2-3.  He allowed the church to be effected for some reason. 

 

He allowed it to show that He is a saving God.  He will save us out of this.  He will recover and is recovering His Church. 

 

If you see the pattern that God uses:  God creates, there is a fall, and God recovers/restores.  This is for His glory and to show that He is a saving God.

 

I can show you in Genesis1:1 and 1:2.  It's called the Gap Theory (Pember).  Verse 1 says, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  But in verse 2 it says that what God created became void or waste, emptiness, darkness depending on your translation.  What happened to God's creation for it to become waste, emptiness, darkness?  Some theorize that this was when the Fall occurred.  God created the earth in a good order (Job 38:4-7, Isa. 45:18).  Whenever the words waste and emptiness are used in the OT they denote God's judgement (cf. Jer. 4:23, Isa. 24:1; 34:11.  The darkness on the surface of the deep also is a sign of God's judgement (cf. Exo. 10:21-22; Rev. 16:10).  After the Spirit's brooding in v. 2, then, immediately in verse 3 God says let there be light.  God continues to recover or restore His creation throughout Gen. 1. 

 

So, you can see the principle or pattern of our God being a God of recovery.

 

God created the heavens and earth, there was a Fall, and God restored it (Gen 1).

 

We are a new creation,  but the church has become degraded and divided. However, God will recover the Church and she will be a spotless Bride.

 

God created Adam, Adam fell, but God recovered us back to Himself by sending Christ.

 

In the OT, God was continually recovering the children of Israel, recovering the proper worship.  And today the Jews are trying to recover the Temple.

 

ETA:  May God have mercy and save us all. Amen.


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#259 of 300 Old 01-12-2011, 02:21 AM
 
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I also wanted to say that I wasnt asking about new revelations about God but whether EOC believes God can reveal Himself to an individual without the EOC or CC (as I look back I see Shami addressed this in her last post). Thats what I was trying to ask whether the EOC recognises. I find it interersting when I learn something from God about God, not from sitting under the instruction of a church, or whatever, then go and discover that someone else has learned the same thing. Its absolutely amazing. Its very different from what Lilyka described her experiences in the churches she was part of before she was led to leave that and join EO.

 

I think the EOC and CC resemble what the OT priesthood looked like. Its almost as if they tried to recreate that sort of structure when, really, what I believe Jesus was talking about, and Paul set up in individual cities when Jesus ascended, was a loosely structured hierarchy that was fluid, that was dependent on the Holy Spirit and not the Traditions of men. In fact Jesus rebuked those who were part of that sort of Tradition often saying that they were following after traditions of men and not God. This is why Id personally have little to do with Organised religion as a whole. And tbh, it has taken me a long time too to get to the point where I am 'comfortable' with that decision.

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Shami, icons and depictions have been around since long before Scripture was canonized.  It was only specifically addressed later in councils because some people began to argue that they shouldn't be allowed.

 

Your right of course that each individual is going to have to make a decision.  No one can get away from that reality - even not making a decision is making a decision.  You mention that we all consider that the Apostles actually knew what they were talking about.  What is essentially the claim of the EO, and the CC, and even the first Protestants, is that the teachings they have are the teaching of the Apostles.  Sometimes they might be applied slightly differently in light of somewhat different circumstances - a simple example would be using the local language - but they are the same vital truths.  Local customs come in, and are ok as long as they are recognized as such - so for example a style of singing might be different in different areas where the Church is found.  That is essentially a tradition of men, but is fine - inevitable really - as long as we understand that is what it is.  (Heck, ordering the calender as we do is a tradition of men, but we couldn't even meet together without it.)

 

Jennifer, I don't think you can call the OT priesthood a tradition of men, since it was very much instituted by God.  I don't see that that could be what Christ was referring to.


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#261 of 300 Old 01-12-2011, 06:51 AM
 
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My point was that two different Empresses decided whether to allow icons to continue.  It doesn't say that the church fathers decided it.  That is a person outside the EO directing the church.  Just making the point that outside influences for political reason took place also in the EO after the canonization.

 

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.

 

The use of particular believers throughout time for the Truth to be unveiled to His body.  So, yes, the church is the vehicle God uses, but it is individual believers who had to see/recognize the Truth and speak it to the church, the body.  This is why I don't understand the problem with individual believers seeing something in the Scriptures.  This is how it's been done from the beginning.

 

And I  use the word  'church' differently.  Sometimes I can tell  that you use church as the whole body.  But sometimes you (believers following Tradion) use church as just the authority of the church at the time and that is confusing to me.  To my understanding, the way church is used in the Bible is that it is the whole body, not a few men.  Not trying to nit pick, just making an observation for clarity sake.  Conversations can be so long and drawn out when we have to define terminology first,  but I guess that is a necessary part. 


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#262 of 300 Old 01-12-2011, 06:53 AM
 
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The way that a believer sees a revelation is that he/she recognizes it as being true.  He/she does not decide to believe it, rather he/she recognizes that it is the truth. The Holy Spirit reveals it to us by shining as a great light on the Scripture. 

 

Is Scripture the pillar and foundation of the truth?  Scripture itself does not say that - it says the Church is.  If what you're saying is true, and we as believers are meant to look at Scripture and then the Holy Spirit is to guide us to recognize the truth from the Scripture alone, then we would find it to be a unifying force.  We'd have believers all over the world reading the Bible with the HS's light and coming together in agreement over all truth.  But in reality, when you separate the Scriptures from the context of the Church, you get disunity.  There is no denying that.  You get believers who all believe they are recognizing the truth coming directly from the Holy Spirit through the Bible, and yet what one believers 'knows' is truth is not the same as what another believer 'knows' is truth.  This system simply does not work.

 

We know for a fact that the Apostles had the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Praise the Lord we can all agree on that!  However, as soon as the heresies came in, which was in Paul's time, degradation began to effect the church.  How could it not effect the church?

 

Because Christ Himself promised otherwise.  He built His Church and told the people He chose to be leaders of His Church that He would send the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.  If heresies could cause degradation in the Church, then what Christ said was simply not true.  Can the Body of Christ degrade?

 

      Quote:

Centuries pass by the time they are canonizing the Scripture.

Yes, centuries pass in which the Holy Spirit is still guiding the Church into ALL truth.  Not just some of the truth (the Scriptures) but all of the truth, just as Jesus promised. 

 

 

Quote:

It's not just heresies effecting the church, but politics, the kings/rulers/emporers make laws determining matters which effect the church. Constantine greatly effected the church.  Also, I gave the example of the empress making a law to allow icons in the EO ( I don't remember the date, but that was obviously after the canonization).

You know that God's purpose is fulfilled no matter what happens in the secular world and no matter what secular influence the world tries to impose on His people.  The empress did not tell the Church to use icons - the Church had always used icons.  They were not something that was imposed on the church by a secular ruler.  Other rulers had banned icons - how do you feel about them?  The Church itself did not say that there was degradation in the Church because rulers had banned icons for a time.  The Church carries on the work of God despite all else.

 

Quote:
Anyway, they canonize the Scripture based on the historical general consensus at that time.  They decided  to confirm what was generally believed by most believers at that time.  Same goes for the creeds.  God used certain bishops to defend the faith and creeds were developed.

You are saying that the Fathers of the Church did not really know who they were or what they were doing, and that the Holy Spirit was not guiding them into all truth but only some of the truth.  They did not just 'decide to confirm what was generally believed at the time', and to suggest such a thing is to completely misunderstand what happened.

 

Think about it - how did the people come to generally believe anything in the first place?  They learned it from being in the Church, of course.  The Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth.  The bishops were not just men God used to write creeds and canonize Scripture, all the while allowing His Body to degrade.

 

 

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The bishops say this is for your protection to keep heretics out.  But still, it was individual believers (bishops) who had to see, and say, okay, this is the truth.  Also, every individual EO has to see, and say, this is the truth I am following.  It still comes down to the individual's choosing.  So, protestants are frowned upon for going to the Scripture and seeing for themselves what is the truth, which is what every believer has had to do from the beginning.

The Church does not see itself as merely a group of individuals - it is a unified Body.  This focus on the individual is a relatively recent development, coinciding historically with the Reformation, if I'm not mistaken.  Earlier than this, people did not really think this way - especially the Church who has always maintained that it is the Body of Christ - so to say that is how the Church functioned in the first centuries is completely inaccurate.

 

 

Quote:

I was wondering why did God allow this kind of degradation to happen to His Church?  The Church, the pillar and base of the Truth, the Bride, the House of God, the Dwelling Place of God...how could this happen to her?  We believe God is sovereign, right?   He has allowed it and i believe it was prophesied in Rev 2-3.  He allowed the church to be effected for some reason. 

 

He allowed it to show that He is a saving God.  He will save us out of this.  He will recover and is recovering His Church.

 

And this is an interpretation which the Fathers of the Church did not believe, and which the Church as a whole has never believed.  So if what you believe is true, then the ECF when they agreed that this book is Holy Scripture were mistaken as to what it means.  The Holy Spirit guided them to declare this book to be inspired by God based on an error.  The Holy Spirit which guides into all truth caused this to happen.  And you don't have a problem with that?

 

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#263 of 300 Old 01-12-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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Shami said this: We know for a fact that the Apostles had the leading of the Holy Spirit. Praise the Lord we can all agree on that! However, as soon as the heresies came in, which was in Paul's time, degradation began to effect the church. How could it not effect the church?

 

Purple Sage said this: Because Christ Himself promised otherwise. He built His Church and told the people He chose to be leaders of His Church that He would send the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. If heresies could cause degradation in the Church, then what Christ said was simply not true. Can the Body of Christ degrade?

 

Purple Sage, The promise you are referring to, I see as something that will be worked out over time and will be in eternity. In time, the Church is not perfect. We are still on the earth with the Fall effecting us. That is why the church can become degraded. Even during Paul's time they were fighting against heresy, which is a type of degradation. Heresies do effect the believers, some believers get drawn off by heretics. Does that make them not a believer any more? I think earlier Bluegoat said that heretics can also be believers (hope I am not misquoting Bluegoat, not much time to go back and search).

 

God says the church is without spot or wrinkle. Do you think the believers as a whole are without spot or wrinkle, right now, in time? No way, we are still under the effect of the Fall. You have to see the real situation of the believers. And from the beginning the believers were not always in unity, which is why Paul wrote the epistles as you know. So Tradition did not necessarily keep the unity. This is the real situation among believers. And just to clarify, I did not say the Scriptures are the pillar and base of the Truth. I know it is the church.


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#264 of 300 Old 01-12-2011, 08:13 AM
 
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I thought of something else to ask you, Purple Sage.

Do you believe that a genuine believer can be possessed by an evil spirit or demon?  If you do, then maybe you can see how the church can be effected by the Fall.  The church as a whole or even the church fathers can be effected by the Fall.  Some where in Paul's writing he said something like, I 'think' I have the spirit.  I think he also said something about  a matter being 'his' opinion.

 

Each believer has to have a discerning spirit.  Now in this discussion we are all doing our best with the growth in life that we have to discern one anothers' comments.  It has been done this way from the beginning.  I assume we are all hoping that we are being led by the Holy Spirit.

 

I must admit, sometimes I get frustrated and angry at what I am hearing, maybe I let my emotions come out, which probably isn't what the HS wants, but I am a fallen sinner and that happens.


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#265 of 300 Old 01-12-2011, 08:24 AM
 
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Jennifer, I don't think you can call the OT priesthood a tradition of men, since it was very much instituted by God.  I don't see that that could be what Christ was referring to.

 

Hey, its Genifer with a G and one N (had to explain that my whole life, lol)....

 

Maybe you misunderstood me bc thats not what I meant...

 

I was saying that the EOC and RCC resembles what the OT priesthood looked like, like they were trying to recreate the same thing when Jesus was doing something completely different...

 

here's what I said ...

 

 

Quote:
I think the EOC and CC resemble what the OT priesthood looked like. Its almost as if they tried to recreate that sort of structure when, really, what I believe Jesus was talking about, and Paul set up in individual cities when Jesus ascended, was a loosely structured hierarchy that was fluid, that was dependent on the Holy Spirit and not the Traditions of men. In fact Jesus rebuked those who were part of that sort of Tradition often saying that they were following after traditions of men and not God.

 

I wasnt saying that OT priesthood was a tradition of men at all. Its a bit like what Shami said in a pp about putting new wine into old wineskins. Jesus said you couldnt use the same structure that God used when creating the ot priesthood...  He was doing something different. ;)  Yet we see the EO and RCC using a similar 'structure', it looks churchy. It looks 'official', with the priesthood and the hierarchy and all that, but imho, it isnt necessary and I dont believe it is the One True Church Jesus was talking about when He was talking to Peter and the gang when he said He would build His church. Not at all. I believe its members are part of the One True Church, but it isnt as if they are It and the rest of us (christians/believers in Christ) are on the outside looking in. Not at all. But then again maybe Im misunderstanding what you guys are saying here.

 

It would be interesting to do a bible study together. Ive been wondering how believers within EO exercise their faith, how they hear from God... Do they hear from God directly? What does bible study look like? Lilyka might be know why I ask coming from a former Protestant perspective, but then again I wonder if what you experienced within the churches you went to was what I consider to be the apostate... 'qualities' (for lack of a better word) of the modern church which we were warned about in scripture. People have always sought their own gain, to please themselves, been lovers of themselves, lovers of money, etc, but in the church these days it seems so rampant. It seems within church these days the waters are muddied, its mingled way too much with the world to the point of ... no return imho. I have a feeling we've witnessed (lilyka and I) the same sort of things and, well, we both seem to be rejecting that, which is good, and for whatever reasons it would seem the Lord is leading us in different directions. But, I would find it interesting to do a bible study together with you guys. I dont know if thats your (the EO) style tho...

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#266 of 300 Old 01-12-2011, 08:33 AM
 
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Sorry to keep posting so much.  i keep thinking of things to help make myself more clear.

 

In our my own experience of the Lord, sometimes I feel led by the Holy Spirit and sometimes I don't.  Sometimes the HS says to do something and I don't obey or i rationalize it away until i have convinced myself that it's not that big of a deal and I end up  not  following what the HS asked of me.  (This happens when i am shopping, all.the.time.  lol)  Our 'self' is the biggest frustration in our pursuit to follow the Lord.

 

The church fathers had the  'self' to deal with.  Sometimes they were following the HS and sometimes they weren't.  Remember the Holy Spirit is a guide, which requires followers.  The followers have to deny the self and follow the Lord.  It is something we all endeavor to do daily and moment by moment.  One moment I am following the HS, later that day I do/say something bone headed and I am not following the HS.


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#267 of 300 Old 01-12-2011, 09:13 AM
 
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The use of particular believers throughout time for the Truth to be unveiled to His body.  So, yes, the church is the vehicle God uses, but it is individual believers who had to see/recognize the Truth and speak it to the church, the body.  This is why I don't understand the problem with individual believers seeing something in the Scriptures.  This is how it's been done from the beginning.

 

Not exactly.  What was understood from the beginning is that Scripture can be used improperly when individuals make their own interpretations.  Heresies are frequently (always?) based on Scripture - this is something the Church has always known. 

 

The Church has to be more than just the sum of the individuals involved - it has to be the unified Body of Christ - this is what the Church believes themselves to be and has always believed themselves to be.  This includes the early church when the Scriptures were being written and canonized.  This is why the creed says "We believe in One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church."  These words have a specific meaning that the Fathers intended.  Did the Holy Spirit lead them to write these words under false pretenses?

 

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God says the church is without spot or wrinkle. Do you think the believers as a whole are without spot or wrinkle, right now, in time? No way, we are still under the effect of the Fall. You have to see the real situation of the believers. And from the beginning the believers were not always in unity, which is why Paul wrote the epistles as you know. So Tradition did not necessarily keep the unity. This is the real situation among believers. And just to clarify, I did not say the Scriptures are the pillar and base of the Truth. I know it is the church.

 

No, I don't believe that the Church is without spot or wrinkle right now in time.  But that does not mean that the Church is being or has been degraded.  I do not believe that Christ's Body can degrade.  Heresies do not equal degradation...after all, the Church still maintains everything she has always maintained, despite all of the heresies.  The truths which the ECF proclaimed are the same truths that the Church proclaims today.

 

Quote:

I thought of something else to ask you, Purple Sage.

Do you believe that a genuine believer can be possessed by an evil spirit or demon?  If you do, then maybe you can see how the church can be effected by the Fall.

Are you saying that the Body of Christ can be possessed by a demon?  Because I most definitely do not believe that.  Like I said previously, the Church is not merely a group of individuals and it has never believed itself to be that.  I think this is where we have a major disconnect in our communication because I don't think I'm expressing myself correctly...I'm having a hard time finding the words.

 

I also apologize if what I'm saying upsets you.  I do not want offend you or upset you.  And of course I cannot determine who is or is not a believer.  That is not my place.

 

 

Quote:
The church fathers had the  'self' to deal with.  Sometimes they were following the HS and sometimes they weren't.

They believed when they acted as a unified body that they were following the HS.  That is why they say "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us" when they are speaking for the Church.  Can you tell me when they, as a unified whole, were following the HS and when they were only mistakenly believing they were?

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It might be possible to do some sort of online Bible study together - I'm not sure the best way to set it up...  We'd have to decide what text to look at  - maybe something not too controversial for a first try at doing an online Bible study>? I wonder if there is a site that is set up for that kind of thing?

 

I don't see the priesthood as being added later - there seem in my reading to have been a priesthood in the Christian Church from very early on.  I also don't see any indication that Christ wanted to totally change the nature of worship - the earliest Christians still worshipped in the Temple until they were not allowed to.

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Originally Posted by genifer View Post

 

Quote:
Jennifer, I don't think you can call the OT priesthood a tradition of men, since it was very much instituted by God.  I don't see that that could be what Christ was referring to.

 

Hey, its Genifer with a G and one N (had to explain that my whole life, lol)....

 

Maybe you misunderstood me bc thats not what I meant...

 

I was saying that the EOC and RCC resembles what the OT priesthood looked like, like they were trying to recreate the same thing when Jesus was doing something completely different...

 

here's what I said ...

 

 

Quote:
I think the EOC and CC resemble what the OT priesthood looked like. Its almost as if they tried to recreate that sort of structure when, really, what I believe Jesus was talking about, and Paul set up in individual cities when Jesus ascended, was a loosely structured hierarchy that was fluid, that was dependent on the Holy Spirit and not the Traditions of men. In fact Jesus rebuked those who were part of that sort of Tradition often saying that they were following after traditions of men and not God.

 

I wasnt saying that OT priesthood was a tradition of men at all. Its a bit like what Shami said in a pp about putting new wine into old wineskins. Jesus said you couldnt use the same structure that God used when creating the ot priesthood...  He was doing something different. ;)  Yet we see the EO and RCC using a similar 'structure', it looks churchy. It looks 'official', with the priesthood and the hierarchy and all that, but imho, it isnt necessary and I dont believe it is the One True Church Jesus was talking about when He was talking to Peter and the gang when he said He would build His church. Not at all. I believe its members are part of the One True Church, but it isnt as if they are It and the rest of us (christians/believers in Christ) are on the outside looking in. Not at all. But then again maybe Im misunderstanding what you guys are saying here.

 

It would be interesting to do a bible study together. Ive been wondering how believers within EO exercise their faith, how they hear from God... Do they hear from God directly? What does bible study look like? Lilyka might be know why I ask coming from a former Protestant perspective, but then again I wonder if what you experienced within the churches you went to was what I consider to be the apostate... 'qualities' (for lack of a better word) of the modern church which we were warned about in scripture. People have always sought their own gain, to please themselves, been lovers of themselves, lovers of money, etc, but in the church these days it seems so rampant. It seems within church these days the waters are muddied, its mingled way too much with the world to the point of ... no return imho. I have a feeling we've witnessed (lilyka and I) the same sort of things and, well, we both seem to be rejecting that, which is good, and for whatever reasons it would seem the Lord is leading us in different directions. But, I would find it interesting to do a bible study together with you guys. I dont know if thats your (the EO) style tho...




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#269 of 300 Old 01-12-2011, 09:37 AM
 
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JUST POPING IN AGAIN.....As far as the priesthood. I believe that we are all ministers unto the Lord. We are all called to the Tent of Meeting. Worship was always a relationship between God and Man. It is because of Jesus death that we are able to enter to the inner court and into the Tent of meeting and have fellowship with the Lord.

 

I would love to see you gals do a bible study. Maybe you should do the book of John.

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#270 of 300 Old 01-12-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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Purple Sage,

I think that you are expressing yourself well.  We aren't using the term church in the same way and I don't know how to remedy that.

 

I don't believe the entire body of Christ can be possessed by a demon...I was asking if you believe an individual believer meeting in the EO can be possessed by a demon or an evil spirit?  I am only asking to show one aspect of how a member of the body of Christ can be effected by the Fall, thus effecting the other members. 

 

Heresies are not a degradation?

 

How can we all be one?  It is only by the Spirit that we can all be one.  If we are in spirit we can be one.

 

I have trouble being one with my husband, who is a very dear brother, and very exercised in his spirit.  But when both dh and I are in spirit we are one.  There is a place where oneness is, it is where the Triune God is in our spirit.


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