A question for protestants...

Christianus

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Whatever happened to the Greek speaking churches in Antioch, Greece, Jerusalem, and in Alexandria?
most protestants can't answer me on this, the best answer I can get is orthodoxy.
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Christianus said:
Whatever happened to the Greek speaking churches in Antioch, Greece, Jerusalem, and in Alexandria?
most protestants can't answer me on this, the best answer I can get is orthodoxy.
I'd be surprised if many of them have really considered the question.  It never even dawned on me until I encountered Orthodoxy in person.
 

Christianus

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Christianus said:
Whatever happened to the Greek speaking churches in Antioch, Greece, Jerusalem, and in Alexandria?
most protestants can't answer me on this, the best answer I can get is orthodoxy.
I'd be surprised if many of them have really considered the question.  It never even dawned on me until I encountered Orthodoxy in person.
Yeah, they never seem to ask themselves, what happened to the New Testament Greek speaking church in the Mediterranean.

could we please have a protestant answer?
I could only imagine their answer to be, that the romans and greeks perverted christianity xD, so the world was devoid of Christian truth for 1500 years, then all these protestant saints arose to restore the faith. xD
 

Rafa999

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The Church....well erm... it DIED.  :eek:

Yes it died, the gates of Hell engulfed the Church. We are all imposters and the Church has ceased to exist. We are doomed to oblivion, all we can hope for is the secret rapture to save us, nobody can read the scriptures with security or turn to the church fathers for exposition, instead we must turn to the black veiled rabbis for counsel, surely they will teach us about the messiah no??? They will respectfully teach us about the true Messiah. We must then "restore" the faith to its "original tenets" with the "holy spirit" guiding us in this great endeavor. With some luck the Church can be restored as it looked like in Antioch and Alexandria in the first century: with Elizabethan English speaking starch shirted Pastors citing the King James version. Thank Jeebus!
 

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I can predict what my Evangelical friends would say. They'd tell you that all those churches in Greece didn't mean a thing, even if Paul did start them, because Constantine came along and ruined and corrupted everything. The fact that Paul founded them is totally meaningless and the only churches with "true" lineage are the ones who remained underground and persecuted; the ones which secretly and with much persecution kept the true faith as portrayed in the New Testament.
 

ialmisry

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Rosehip said:
I can predict what my Evangelical friends would say. They'd tell you that all those churches in Greece didn't mean a thing, even if Paul did start them, because Constantine came along and ruined and corrupted everything. The fact that Paul founded them is totally meaningless and the only churches with "true" lineage are the ones who remained underground and persecuted; the ones which secretly and with much persecution kept the true faith as portrayed in the New Testament.
....and completely becomes invisible after the death of St. John until 1517 ::)
 

Heorhij

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Christianus said:
Whatever happened to the Greek speaking churches in Antioch, Greece, Jerusalem, and in Alexandria?
most protestants can't answer me on this, the best answer I can get is orthodoxy.
I am afraid some young Evangelicals (like some of my students here in Mississipp) wil say, "Wait, wait, the BIBLE says they were speaking English... where's my Bible... here, look!"  ;D
 

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I am afraid some young Evangelicals (like some of my students here in Mississipp) wil say, "Wait, wait, the BIBLE says they were speaking English... where's my Bible... here, look!"
 

You must surely be facetious!! :eek:
 

Al Lipscomb

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If the King James bible was good enough for Peter and Paul it is good enough for me.

Although they can find nothing to support the claims, the idea is that there was always a small group who maintained the same faith as <insert group making claim here> does today.

When I went looking for the First Century Church I was surprised to find out that it was not only still around, but others were making the same discovery.
 

Rosehip

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When I went looking for the First Century Church I was surprised to find out that it was not only still around, but others were making the same discovery.
Not to be contentious, but my evangelical friends would never accept this. They most emphatically contend that the Orthodox (or RC, for that matter) Church is NOT the same as the first century church, but something that was the result of a corrupt union with Constantine and the state and which had also persecuted and done violence to other "heretics". In short, it was sort of a monstrosity which came about in a sort of theological and state "survival of the fittest" and was not a necessarily godly entity.
 
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Rosehip said:
When I went looking for the First Century Church I was surprised to find out that it was not only still around, but others were making the same discovery.
Not to be contentious, but my evangelical friends would never accept this. They most emphatically contend that the Orthodox (or RC, for that matter) Church is NOT the same as the first century church, but something that was the result of a corrupt union with Constantine and the state and which had also persecuted and done violence to other "heretics". In short, it was sort of a monstrosity which came about in a sort of theological and state "survival of the fittest" and was not a necessarily godly entity.
Of course they would never accept it; that's why they are Evangelical and not Orthodox.

They also happen to be wrong.
 

ialmisry

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Rosehip said:
When I went looking for the First Century Church I was surprised to find out that it was not only still around, but others were making the same discovery.
Not to be contentious, but my evangelical friends would never accept this. They most emphatically contend that the Orthodox (or RC, for that matter) Church is NOT the same as the first century church, but something that was the result of a corrupt union with Constantine and the state and which had also persecuted and done violence to other "heretics". In short, it was sort of a monstrosity which came about in a sort of theological and state "survival of the fittest" and was not a necessarily godly entity.
Their only problem: no proof.

So, when, I ask them, did the Church fall?  If they say with Constantine's conversion, I can document what the Church believed and taught 50 years after Constantine, she was believing and teaching 50 years and more before him.

If they say, after St. John died c. 95, I ask then how is it that Martin Luther, Cramner and even Joseph Smith and Charles Taze Russell and Albert Benjamin Simpson (early Pentacostalism) succeeded where Christ and Apostles failed, to found a Church that would last at least a century without disappearing without a trace and dropping out of view.

If they claim that theh Church was invisible, why was it visible during the Apostles' time (St. Paul and St. John write to Churches with addresses) and is visible now?

How is it that we can point to an unbroken succession of our teaching from the time of the Apostles until today, whereas it is lucky that Protestants can last a generation without splintering?  Why do we find no church that believes like them until modern times?
 

Rosehip

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How is it that we can point to an unbroken succession of our teaching from the time of the Apostles until today, whereas it is lucky that Protestants can last a generation without splintering?  Why do we find no church that believes like them until modern times?
Ah, they will say that "apostolic succession" is complete nonsense and that they can't and don't believe in that. I have heard some say that there is such a thing as "spiritual" Apostolic Succession, i.e. those underground, small, sincere, persecuted churches who clung tenaciously to the "truth" unlike the nominal masses of any corrupt State church.  They will, furthermore, state that our teaching is NOT unbroken from the time of the Apostles, but that we have changed and added things which were never a part of the original. In a way, I can see their point-their opinions are not entirely without merit if we are totally honest.

And another question (this time more of a personal one)-what about the Ebionites and the Gnostics and the library at Alexandria which, if I remember correctly, was burnt to the ground by zealous "Orthodox Christians"? If the Orthodox were so secure in the rightness of their belief, why the need for such actions of violence? Because of this, precious documents have been lost forever; documents which could have aided historians in piecing together an even more accurate picture of life and spirituality of those times. N.B. It's been awhile since I've read of the Ebionites, the Gnostics, the Arians, the book burnings etc. so I could well have my facts confused.


 

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Rosehip said:
When I went looking for the First Century Church I was surprised to find out that it was not only still around, but others were making the same discovery.
Not to be contentious, but my evangelical friends would never accept this. They most emphatically contend that the Orthodox (or RC, for that matter) Church is NOT the same as the first century church, but something that was the result of a corrupt union with Constantine and the state and which had also persecuted and done violence to other "heretics". In short, it was sort of a monstrosity which came about in a sort of theological and state "survival of the fittest" and was not a necessarily godly entity.
That is for many of us more or less our view or position, yes, except I would add that such aberrations (as we see them) from the faith, preserved and revealed in Scripture, started well before the adulterous union with Constantine, and no doubt helped lead to it. The church was already in decline in the days of the Apostles themselves, and by degree lost any true similitude to the ideals of the NT church, a problem exasperated by the union with the state, and leading to the eventual metamorphosis from true apostolic Christianity (as we see it) to both the Roman Catholic and various Orthodox versions of Christianity instead. Sadly, despite the noble intentions of the reformers, many of the very sects and movements spawned by them have fallen to the same or similar errors as both on one hand ancient heretical groups, and on the other, their Catholic and Orthodox predecessors -- serving only to further divide and mar the nature and witness of the true church hidden amongst their ranks, impeding true gospel preaching and experience.
 

Rosehip

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Indeed, you are correct, Cleopas, that even the Primative Church of the NT was not pristine (despite differing claims). Perhaps we would do well to recognize that the Church is made up of people and that where there are people there are bound to be disagreements, problems, and corruption. We all know that even the most seemingly gentle, peaceful, benign denomination will struggle with issues of corruption and sin. So maybe we shouldn't be so hard on the Church on one hand; how do we know how we'd have behaved had we lived under the rule of Constantine? There is no guarantee we'd have done anything differently.

However, I am still curious about the book-burnings and the persecution of heretics...This remains in my mind, a great missing link to the puzzle, and sadly, we may never know the full truth about it all.
 

ialmisry

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Rosehip said:
How is it that we can point to an unbroken succession of our teaching from the time of the Apostles until today, whereas it is lucky that Protestants can last a generation without splintering?  Why do we find no church that believes like them until modern times?
Ah, they will say that "apostolic succession" is complete nonsense and that they can't and don't believe in that. I have heard some say that there is such a thing as "spiritual" Apostolic Succession, i.e. those underground, small, sincere, persecuted churches who clung tenaciously to the "truth" unlike the nominal masses of any corrupt State church.  They will, furthermore, state that our teaching is NOT unbroken from the time of the Apostles, but that we have changed and added things which were never a part of the original. In a way, I can see their point-their opinions are not entirely without merit if we are totally honest
No, they are without merit.  Why do we see and hear them now, whereas the underground, small, sincere, persecutd churches that allegedly believed as they do during the persecusion are nowhere to be found in the historical record?  We have the writings of the Gnostics and other heretics, persecuted by the Romans and then by the "corrupt State church," why not a peep from the "true church"?  And then there's that Bible, put together and canonized, and then transmitted by that "corrupt State Church."  If they say the Church is corrupt, how do they know that we didn't corrupt the Scriptures (and yes, the manuscripts indicate that they are our handiwork).  Just as we can (and they depend on) our unbroken transmission of the Scriptures, so too we can point to our unbroken succession of Tradition.


And another question (this time more of a personal one)-what about the Ebionites and the Gnostics and the library at Alexandria which, if I remember correctly, was burnt to the ground by zealous "Orthodox Christians"? If the Orthodox were so secure in the rightness of their belief, why the need for such actions of violence? Because of this, precious documents have been lost forever; documents which could have aided historians in piecing together an even more accurate picture of life and spirituality of those times. N.B. It's been awhile since I've read of the Ebionites, the Gnostics, the Arians, the book burnings etc. so I could well have my facts confused.
I don't have time to address the excess of zeal.  But many of the documents survive, which makes me ask again where is the Protestants documentation. And the Orthodox, remember, were persecuted for 300 years, and yet the Tradition survives intact. In fact, the record contains those who fell from us, e.g. Tertullian.
 

ialmisry

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Cleopas said:
Rosehip said:
When I went looking for the First Century Church I was surprised to find out that it was not only still around, but others were making the same discovery.
Not to be contentious, but my evangelical friends would never accept this. They most emphatically contend that the Orthodox (or RC, for that matter) Church is NOT the same as the first century church, but something that was the result of a corrupt union with Constantine and the state and which had also persecuted and done violence to other "heretics". In short, it was sort of a monstrosity which came about in a sort of theological and state "survival of the fittest" and was not a necessarily godly entity.
That is for many of us more or less our view or position, yes, except I would add that such aberrations (as we see them) from the faith, preserved and revealed in Scripture, started well before the adulterous union with Constantine,
Care to defend you accusation against what God hath joined together?

and no doubt helped lead to it.
So when do you have the "Great Apostacy."

The church was already in decline in the days of the Apostles themselves, and by degree lost any true similitude to the ideals of the NT church,
So, Martin Luther is mightier than Christ, because the church he founded  has continued identifiable until this day, nearly 5 centuries later.  At most Christ's Church only lasted just under three centuries, by your reckoning not even.

a problem exasperated by the union with the state, and leading to the eventual metamorphosis from true apostolic Christianity (as we see it) to both the Roman Catholic and various Orthodox versions of Christianity instead. Sadly, despite the noble intentions of the reformers, many of the very sects and movements spawned by them have fallen to the same or similar errors as both on one hand ancient heretical groups, and on the other, their Catholic and Orthodox predecessors -- serving only to further divide and mar the nature and witness of the true church hidden amongst their ranks, impeding true gospel preaching and experience.
So Christ is a liar, He did not remain with us all the days until the end of the age, and the gates of Hell prevailed against His Church. He commanded His Apostles to let their light shine, to shine like a lamp, like a city on a hill.  But they went into hiding, put their lamp under a bushel and abandoned Him like they did on the night of His passion.  Since Christ has so shown that He didn't know what He was talking about, we need not pay any heed to His words.
 

ialmisry

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Rosehip said:
Indeed, you are correct, Cleopas, that even the Primative Church of the NT was not pristine (despite differing claims). Perhaps we would do well to recognize that the Church is made up of people and that where there are people there are bound to be disagreements, problems, and corruption.
That is why we have both canonization and excommunication.  To clarify matters.

We all know that even the most seemingly gentle, peaceful, benign denomination will struggle with issues of corruption and sin. So maybe we shouldn't be so hard on the Church on one hand; how do we know how we'd have behaved had we lived under the rule of Constantine? There is no guarantee we'd have done anything differently.
First, what did the Church or its members do under Constantine that merits blame and censure?

However, I am still curious about the book-burnings and the persecution of heretics...This remains in my mind, a great missing link to the puzzle, and sadly, we may never know the full truth about it all.
Btw, that's after Constantine's time: the Church did not become the state Church until nearly half a century after his death, and over 60 years after he legalized Christianity.
 

augustin717

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Protestantism cannot make a claim to anything. It's sad and funny.
 

ignatius

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Grace and Peace,

I think the claim that Protestants make is that the 'real' Church is a Spiritual 'people' and not a 'holy' Institutional/National entity like Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

I think the claim they make is that this substitution of that Spiritual People for an 'holy' entity is the great apostasy. St. Anthony seems to echo some of what they claim.
 
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