Christian unity: Poll

In your opinion what is a good enough reason for Christians to unite into one church?

  • Everyone else needs to agree 100% with my church's theology.

    Votes: 39 50.0%
  • Jesus is the only thing that matters, theology is stupid.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • RC's EO's and OO's should lift the anathemas and let each other co-exist in communion.

    Votes: 14 17.9%
  • A compromised or an agreed upon statement of faith is all that's necessary for all Christians regard

    Votes: 4 5.1%
  • Unity?! I hope those heretics burn in Hell!

    Votes: 3 3.8%
  • Other. EXPLAIN!!!!

    Votes: 18 23.1%

  • Total voters
    78

ialmisry

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stanley123 said:
ialmisry said:
No, it's wrong because God (who alone knows) revealed no such thing, and the Apostles (upon whom we must depend for our information) taught no such thing.
Is your claim then that there is nothing which the Orthodox Church teaches, except that which is directly revealed in Scripture? This seems to me like it is a serious error.
Who claimed that?
 

deusveritasest

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Wyatt said:
deusveritasest said:
Those experiencing the foretaste of Heaven after their death may still be in need of purification before they are able to actually enter into the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven.
You just described Purgatory.
I don't think so. I think there some highly substantial differences.

For one, as far as I know, what I am talking about is primarily a blissful state, the foretaste of Heaven, that also involves purification as a secondary quality.

Purgatory, on the other hand, does not appear to be a blissful state (and thus not really a foretaste of Heaven at all), but rather a place of suffering and punishment that is necessary to prepare and individual for their actual entrance into the blissful state.

Their being a state that is neither bliss nor torment essentially establishes a third thing that we clearly do not believe in.

Another thing is that Purgatory is about suffering the necessary punishments for sins. We do not believe that there is a necessary punishment for sins. Rather we believe that God is only concerned with converting and turning sinners from sin to conformity to His image; the purgation we are talking about is, as was previously said, a "refining" rather than a punishment.

Wyatt said:
deusveritasest said:
And yes, we believe that prayers may affect the fate of those experiencing the foretaste of eternal torment.
Here I would disagree as this makes it sound like you can essentially "pray someone out of Hell" which the Catholic Church rejects. Everyone undergoing purification that can be helped by the prayers of the Church Militant are already saved. One who is damned cannot be saved by any amount of prayers.
Perhaps I was overstepping the extent of this teaching a little bit. Unless one strains the logical implication out of Peter Mogila's statement that even "the most grievous of sins may be forgiven" (those unrepentant with the most grievous of sins are most likely in torment), there really is no official statement that says that those judged for torment at the particular judgment may be purified. The explicit official teaching is found only with regards to the faithful who have been judged to bliss. On the other hand, in terms of individual understandings and opinions, I have found it to be quite a common teaching for Eastern Christians to say that even those judged to be damned at the particular judgment may still be saved.
 

deusveritasest

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rakovsky said:
I don't think this part is an official doctrine of the Orthodox church, if by purification you mean physical burning up of the believer, as opposed to just the sins.
No, I don't. I essentially just mean sanctification in some sense; being removed from sin.
 

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rakovsky said:
I think it's easy for Orthodox to say to Orientals with the current political situation, look, is all this Monophysite and non-Constantinople-II Miaphysite stuff what you believe? They could say of course not, we reject it, and accept the Miaphysitism that Constantinople II allowed. then reunion and acceptance of the 7 Councils. It could happen fast with the facts on the ground.
Even if we possibly believe in the Miaphysitism that Constantinople II allowed for, we still wouldn't believe in Chalcedon.
 

deusveritasest

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Wyatt said:
If you believe that prayers for the dead are efficacious then you must believe that there is some sort of intermediate state that the soul is in after death but before entering heaven.
Of course there is. Actually, Eastern Christianity is really the most affirming of an intermediate state. The West has traditionally taught that it is possible to enter into the state of eternal punishment or eternal bliss even before the Final Judgment, and that they are able to spiritually experience the full and eventual state of bliss or torment. Eastern Christians, on the other hand, typically hold that people in general do not enter into the place/state of eternal damnation or salvation until after the Final Judgment, and that there experience of bliss or torment is incomplete: a mere "foretaste". If anything we believe and teach a stronger view of an intermediate state. That is not the issue here, which it seems like you two are failing to understanding. It is rather only the nature of the intermediate state that is being debated.

Wyatt said:
Just because we have a name for that state (Purgatory) doesn't mean it's wrong.
No, it doesn't. But that's not the issue. The issue is that we believe different things about the intermediate state. To go over it again:

1. You believe that the damned enter into their (spiritually) full and eternal state of torment at death. We do not.

2. You believe that those judged to enter into bliss at their particular judgment likewise do so in their (spiritually) full and eternal state. We do not.

3. For those still in need of purification to enter into the state of bliss, you believe that they enter into a third state of punishment and suffering (not torment) to prepare them for bliss. We do not. We believe that the state of purification would either occur in the midst of the one foretaste of bliss or the one foretaste of torment.

4. You believe that all must eventually suffer all the punishment due all their sins. We do not.

Wyatt said:
You must believe that there is an intermediate state because both heaven and hell are eternal states that the soul is in that cannot be changed by any number of prayers.
That's not entirely what we believe. We believe that most people, with very few exceptions, will not enter into the fullness of torment or bliss at their death, but will none the less be judged as one the path to damnation or salvation and will be granted a foretaste of bliss or torment. We generally believe that within these states that it is possible for peoples' fates to be changed.
 

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I think there is a big misunderstanding amongst many Orthodox on here as to what Catholics actually believe about Purgatory. As far as I know, the Council of Trent only requires that we believe in an intermediate state that the soul is in as it's being purified and prepared for heaven. As far as whether Purgatory is a painful experience or not is up for debate as the Catholic Church, to my knowledge, has not defined the nature of Purgatory. The Catholic Church only requires that we, as Catholics, believed in Purgatory, yet is silent on its nature. I've heard people say it's a hellish, torturous state to be in, and I've heard others say it is peaceful. We'll know once get there I suppose. The idea of Purgatory being hellish I think developed in the Middle Ages, but the Catholic Church has never defined that point of view as an official doctrine or dogma. As such, it is merely theological opinion, much like limbo of the infants.
 

ialmisry

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Wyatt said:
I think there is a big misunderstanding amongst many Orthodox on here as to what Catholics actually believe about Purgatory.
Many of the Orthodox are former communicants of the Vatican. We know what you are talking about. We just reject it.

As far as I know, the Council of Trent only requires that we believe in an intermediate state that the soul is in as it's being purified and prepared for heaven. As far as whether Purgatory is a painful experience or not is up for debate as the Catholic Church, to my knowledge, has not defined the nature of Purgatory. The Catholic Church only requires that we, as Catholics, believed in Purgatory, yet is silent on its nature. I've heard people say it's a hellish, torturous state to be in, and I've heard others say it is peaceful. We'll know once get there I suppose. The idea of Purgatory being hellish I think developed in the Middle Ages, but the Catholic Church has never defined that point of view as an official doctrine or dogma. As such, it is merely theological opinion, much like limbo of the infants.
Hopefully purgatory will go the way of limbo.
 

Wyatt

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ialmisry said:
Hopefully purgatory will go the way of limbo.
Not possible. Limbo was never an official doctrine of the Catholic Church, but Purgatory was and is. Doctrines cannot change.
 

ialmisry

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Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Hopefully purgatory will go the way of limbo.
Not possible. Limbo was never an official doctrine of the Catholic Church, but Purgatory was and is. Doctrines cannot change.
LOL. Doctrinal developement. You guys do it all the time. We call it doctrinal drift. We don't suffer from it.
 

stanley123

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ialmisry said:
stanley123 said:
ialmisry said:
No, it's wrong because God (who alone knows) revealed no such thing, and the Apostles (upon whom we must depend for our information) taught no such thing.
Is your claim then that there is nothing which the Orthodox Church teaches, except that which is directly revealed in Scripture? This seems to me like it is a serious error.
Who claimed that?
I thought it was asserted that the belief in Purgatory was wrong because God  revealed no such thing, and the Apostles  taught no such thing.
Wouldn't this then imply that according to your belief, one should not believe anything which was not either revealed by God or was not taught by the Apostles?
G
 

ialmisry

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stanley123 said:
ialmisry said:
stanley123 said:
ialmisry said:
No, it's wrong because God (who alone knows) revealed no such thing, and the Apostles (upon whom we must depend for our information) taught no such thing.
Is your claim then that there is nothing which the Orthodox Church teaches, except that which is directly revealed in Scripture? This seems to me like it is a serious error.
Who claimed that?
I thought it was asserted that the belief in Purgatory was wrong because God  revealed no such thing, and the Apostles  taught no such thing.
Wouldn't this then imply that according to your belief, one should not believe anything which was not either revealed by God or was not taught by the Apostles?
Of course.  Your church even calls St. John of Damascus a doctor who stated
All things, therefore, that have been delivered to us by Law and Prophets and Apostles and Evangelists we receive, and know, and honour, seeking for nothing beyond these. For God, being good, is the cause of all good, subject neither to envy nor to any passion.  For envy is far removed from the Divine nature, which is both passionless and only good. As knowing all things, therefore, and providing for what is profitable for each, He revealed that which it was to our profit to know; but what we were unable. to bear He kept secret. With these things let us be satisfied, and let us abide by them, not removing everlasting boundaries, nor overpassing the divine tradition.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.i.i.html
 

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ialmisry said:
stanley123 said:
ialmisry said:
stanley123 said:
ialmisry said:
No, it's wrong because God (who alone knows) revealed no such thing, and the Apostles (upon whom we must depend for our information) taught no such thing.
Is your claim then that there is nothing which the Orthodox Church teaches, except that which is directly revealed in Scripture? This seems to me like it is a serious error.
Who claimed that?
I thought it was asserted that the belief in Purgatory was wrong because God  revealed no such thing, and the Apostles  taught no such thing.
Wouldn't this then imply that according to your belief, one should not believe anything which was not either revealed by God or was not taught by the Apostles?
Of course.  Your church even calls St. John of Damascus a doctor who stated
All things, therefore, that have been delivered to us by Law and Prophets and Apostles and Evangelists we receive, and know, and honour, seeking for nothing beyond these. For God, being good, is the cause of all good, subject neither to envy nor to any passion.  For envy is far removed from the Divine nature, which is both passionless and only good. As knowing all things, therefore, and providing for what is profitable for each, He revealed that which it was to our profit to know; but what we were unable. to bear He kept secret. With these things let us be satisfied, and let us abide by them, not removing everlasting boundaries, nor overpassing the divine tradition.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.i.i.html
St. John of Damascus is one of my favorites and I whole-heartedly agree with him here.
 

Wyatt

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ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Hopefully purgatory will go the way of limbo.
Not possible. Limbo was never an official doctrine of the Catholic Church, but Purgatory was and is. Doctrines cannot change.
LOL. Doctrinal developement. You guys do it all the time. We call it doctrinal drift. We don't suffer from it.
If all doctrine was clarified to the utmost extent then why did Christ send the Holy Spirit to the Church to guide it into all truth? Also, don't act so smug about not having doctrinal development. I'm sure some of the Christians who were alive when the First Council of Nicea was held thought that there was some "doctrinal drift" going on when the Holy Trinity was defined. Yet, as an Orthodox Christian you accept this doctrinal development even though the word Trinity was probably not used much before the Council and is certainly not explicitly mentioned in Scripture. Doctrinal development is not a bad thing. Completely changing doctrine outright would be bad, but we do no such thing. We do, however, believe that through time the Holy Spirit draws us to a deeper understanding of Godly things.
 

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Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Hopefully purgatory will go the way of limbo.
Not possible. Limbo was never an official doctrine of the Catholic Church, but Purgatory was and is. Doctrines cannot change.
LOL. Doctrinal developement. You guys do it all the time. We call it doctrinal drift. We don't suffer from it.
If all doctrine was clarified to the utmost extent then why did Christ send the Holy Spirit to the Church to guide it into all truth? Also, don't act so smug about not having doctrinal development. I'm sure some of the Christians who were alive when the First Council of Nicea was held thought that there was some "doctrinal drift" going on when the Holy Trinity was defined. Yet, as an Orthodox Christian you accept this doctrinal development even though the word Trinity was probably not used much before the Council and is certainly not explicitly mentioned in Scripture. Doctrinal development is not a bad thing. Completely changing doctrine outright would be bad, but we do no such thing. We do, however, believe that through time the Holy Spirit draws us to a deeper understanding of Godly things.
Get ready for some Apologetic Acrobatics from the Anti-Catholics buddy.
 

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Papist said:
Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Hopefully purgatory will go the way of limbo.
Not possible. Limbo was never an official doctrine of the Catholic Church, but Purgatory was and is. Doctrines cannot change.
LOL. Doctrinal developement. You guys do it all the time. We call it doctrinal drift. We don't suffer from it.
If all doctrine was clarified to the utmost extent then why did Christ send the Holy Spirit to the Church to guide it into all truth? Also, don't act so smug about not having doctrinal development. I'm sure some of the Christians who were alive when the First Council of Nicea was held thought that there was some "doctrinal drift" going on when the Holy Trinity was defined. Yet, as an Orthodox Christian you accept this doctrinal development even though the word Trinity was probably not used much before the Council and is certainly not explicitly mentioned in Scripture. Doctrinal development is not a bad thing. Completely changing doctrine outright would be bad, but we do no such thing. We do, however, believe that through time the Holy Spirit draws us to a deeper understanding of Godly things.
Get ready for some Apologetic Acrobatics from the Anti-Catholics buddy.
I take it you've been down this road before, eh?  :laugh:
 

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Wyatt said:
Papist said:
Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Hopefully purgatory will go the way of limbo.
Not possible. Limbo was never an official doctrine of the Catholic Church, but Purgatory was and is. Doctrines cannot change.
LOL. Doctrinal developement. You guys do it all the time. We call it doctrinal drift. We don't suffer from it.
If all doctrine was clarified to the utmost extent then why did Christ send the Holy Spirit to the Church to guide it into all truth? Also, don't act so smug about not having doctrinal development. I'm sure some of the Christians who were alive when the First Council of Nicea was held thought that there was some "doctrinal drift" going on when the Holy Trinity was defined. Yet, as an Orthodox Christian you accept this doctrinal development even though the word Trinity was probably not used much before the Council and is certainly not explicitly mentioned in Scripture. Doctrinal development is not a bad thing. Completely changing doctrine outright would be bad, but we do no such thing. We do, however, believe that through time the Holy Spirit draws us to a deeper understanding of Godly things.
Get ready for some Apologetic Acrobatics from the Anti-Catholics buddy.
I take it you've been down this road before, eh?  :laugh:
Oh boy yes. The anti-Catholics will try and pretend that there was no doctrinal development between the time of the Apostles and the seventh ecumenical council, but read Justin Martyr, Iraneaus of Lyons, etc. Their understanding of the Three person of the Trinity is no where near as developed as the Trinitarian doctrine of the Ecumenical Councils. BTW, do the second century Fathers ever mention that icons are windows into heaven? Oh, and was there even a practice of private confession in the early Church, or was this done publicly before the whole body of believers in a given town? Did St. Clement expound on the Palamite version of the essence/energies distinction?  I'm just saying.
 

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ialmisry said:
stanley123 said:
ialmisry said:
stanley123 said:
ialmisry said:
No, it's wrong because God (who alone knows) revealed no such thing, and the Apostles (upon whom we must depend for our information) taught no such thing.
Is your claim then that there is nothing which the Orthodox Church teaches, except that which is directly revealed in Scripture? This seems to me like it is a serious error.
Who claimed that?
I thought it was asserted that the belief in Purgatory was wrong because God  revealed no such thing, and the Apostles  taught no such thing.
Wouldn't this then imply that according to your belief, one should not believe anything which was not either revealed by God or was not taught by the Apostles?
Of course. 
Where was it revealed that a bishop should not marry, but priests may marry?
Where was it revealed that you should use either the Julian calendar or the revised Julian calendar, but not the Gregorian calendar?
Where was it revealed that you are allowed to divorce twice, but not three times?
Where was it revealed that you should not have organ music in Church services?
Where was it revealed that artificial birth control was wrong before 1960, but that after 1960 the teaching was loosened somewhat?
Also, did the Apostles specifically write down and teach that Mary had one and only one child, or was this something that was clarified a little later?
Where was it revealed that baptism by pouring on the forehead is wrong?
Also it was revealed that women should cover their heads in Church, and yet I see in the Orthodox churches in the USA, that this teaching has developed to the extent that very few women do so.
 

ialmisry

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Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Hopefully purgatory will go the way of limbo.
Not possible. Limbo was never an official doctrine of the Catholic Church, but Purgatory was and is. Doctrines cannot change.
LOL. Doctrinal developement. You guys do it all the time. We call it doctrinal drift. We don't suffer from it.
If all doctrine was clarified to the utmost extent then why did Christ send the Holy Spirit to the Church to guide it into all truth? Also, don't act so smug about not having doctrinal development. I'm sure some of the Christians who were alive when the First Council of Nicea was held thought that there was some "doctrinal drift" going on when the Holy Trinity was defined.
Yes, the Arians.
Yet, as an Orthodox Christian you accept this doctrinal development
You have been reading the DaVinci code. Christ didn't become divine at Nicea I.
even though the word Trinity was probably not used much before the Council and is certainly not explicitly mentioned in Scripture.
The word "Bible" isn't in the scripture either, but the canon wasn't made up when the term was coined.
Doctrinal development is not a bad thing.
Depends how you feel about heresy.
Completely changing doctrine outright would be bad, but we do no such thing.
LOL. Your Vatican does it all the time. Pope Leo III puts the original Creed on the doors of saint Peter in Rome, banning the filioque.  Pope Leo IX of Rome sends his delegate to excommunicate the East for refusing to add the filioque. Sorry, those two positions are not compatable.
We do, however, believe that through time the Holy Spirit draws us to a deeper understanding of Godly things.
Like gnosis?
 

ialmisry

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Papist said:
Wyatt said:
Papist said:
Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Wyatt said:
ialmisry said:
Hopefully purgatory will go the way of limbo.
Not possible. Limbo was never an official doctrine of the Catholic Church, but Purgatory was and is. Doctrines cannot change.
LOL. Doctrinal developement. You guys do it all the time. We call it doctrinal drift. We don't suffer from it.
If all doctrine was clarified to the utmost extent then why did Christ send the Holy Spirit to the Church to guide it into all truth? Also, don't act so smug about not having doctrinal development. I'm sure some of the Christians who were alive when the First Council of Nicea was held thought that there was some "doctrinal drift" going on when the Holy Trinity was defined. Yet, as an Orthodox Christian you accept this doctrinal development even though the word Trinity was probably not used much before the Council and is certainly not explicitly mentioned in Scripture. Doctrinal development is not a bad thing. Completely changing doctrine outright would be bad, but we do no such thing. We do, however, believe that through time the Holy Spirit draws us to a deeper understanding of Godly things.
Get ready for some Apologetic Acrobatics from the Anti-Catholics buddy.
I take it you've been down this road before, eh?  :laugh:
Oh boy yes. The anti-Catholics will try and pretend that there was no doctrinal development between the time of the Apostles and the seventh ecumenical council, but read Justin Martyr, Iraneaus of Lyons, etc. Their understanding of the Three person of the Trinity is no where near as developed as the Trinitarian doctrine of the Ecumenical Councils. BTW, do the second century Fathers ever mention that icons are windows into heaven? Oh, and was there even a practice of private confession in the early Church, or was this done publicly before the whole body of believers in a given town? Did St. Clement expound on the Palamite version of the essence/energies distinction?  I'm just saying.
ialmisry said:
I'm going to repost something long (yeah, I know, suprise) but may not have the time to comment more.  I originally argued this against Sola Scriptura for the only source of the Faith.  I'll adapt it to the OP.

An example of what happens when Sola Scriptura runs against Apostolic Tradition:
Joshua Joshua 22:10 And when they came to the region about the Jordan, that lies in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manas'seh built there an altar by the Jordan, an altar of great size. 11 And the people of Israel heard say, "Behold, the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manas'seh have built an altar at the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that belongs to the people of Israel." 12 And when the people of Israel heard of it, the whole assembly of the people of Israel gathered at Shiloh, to make war against them. 13 Then the people of Israel sent to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manas'seh, in the land of Gilead, Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar the priest, 14 and with him ten chiefs, one from each of the tribal families of Israel, every one of them the head of a family among the clans of Israel. 15 And they came to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manas'seh, in the land of Gilead, and they said to them, 16 "Thus says the whole congregation of the LORD, 'What is this treachery which you have committed against the God of Israel in turning away this day from following the LORD, by building yourselves an altar this day in rebellion against the LORD? 17 Have we not had enough of the sin at Pe'or from which even yet we have not cleansed ourselves, and for which there came a plague upon the congregation of the LORD, 18 that you must turn away this day from following the LORD? And if you rebel against the LORD today he will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel tomorrow. 19 But now, if your land is unclean, pass over into the LORD's land where the LORD's tabernacle stands, and take for yourselves a possession among us; only do not rebel against the LORD, or make us as rebels by building yourselves an altar other than the altar of the LORD our God. 20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah break faith in the matter of the devoted things, and wrath fell upon all the congregation of Israel? And he did not perish alone for his iniquity.'"

21 Then the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manas'seh said in answer to the heads of the families of Israel, 22 "The Mighty One, God, the LORD! The Mighty One, God, the LORD! He knows; and let Israel itself know! If it was in rebellion or in breach of faith toward the LORD, spare us not today 23 for building an altar to turn away from following the LORD; or if we did so to offer burnt offerings or cereal offerings or peace offerings on it, may the LORD himself take vengeance. 24 Nay, but we did it from fear that in time to come your children might say to our children, 'What have you to do with the LORD, the God of Israel ? 25 For the LORD has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you, you Reubenites and Gadites; you have no portion in the LORD.' So your children might make our children cease to worship the LORD. 26 Therefore we said, 'Let us now build an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice, 27 but to be a witness between us and you, and between the generations after us, that we do perform the service of the LORD in his presence with our burnt offerings and sacrifices and peace offerings; lest your children say to our children in time to come, "You have no portion in the LORD."' 28 And we thought, If this should be said to us or to our descendants in time to come, we should say, 'Behold the copy of the altar of the LORD, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifice, but to be a witness between us and you.' 29 Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn away this day from following the LORD by building an altar for burnt offering, cereal offering, or sacrifice, other than the altar of the LORD our God that stands before his tabernacle!"

30 When Phin'ehas the priest and the chiefs of the congregation, the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words that the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manas'sites spoke, it pleased them well. 31 And Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar the priest said to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manas'sites, "Today we know that the LORD is in the midst of us, because you have not committed this treachery against the LORD; now you have saved the people of Israel from the hand of the LORD." 32 Then Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar the priest, and the chiefs, returned from the Reubenites and the Gadites in the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the people of Israel, and brought back word to them. 33 And the report pleased the people of Israel; and the people of Israel blessed God and spoke no more of making war against them, to destroy the land where the Reubenites and the Gadites were settled. 34 The Reubenites and the Gadites called the altar Witness; "For," said they, "it is a witness between us that the LORD is God."

Now, note the following:

The Sola Scriptura folks were quite correct: the Law given to Moses had restricted sacrifices to one altar before the one Tabernacle. Btw, the tribes living on the East of the Jordan was a deviation from what God had commanded, revealed in His Word, and to which the Prophet Moses objected (Numbers 32, especially verses 6-15). Sort of like the innovation of the monarchy (I Kingdoms/Samuel 8, esp. verses 6-7), but we go a Messiah out of that (I Chronicles 17). Yet it is those who add Tradition to the mix who save Israel that day, as the chiefs of the Assembly/Congregation (we would say "Church") of Israel admit.

However, the Sola Scriptura first accuse the Eastern tribes of rebelling against God's Word, setting something that they see in addition to, and hence in opposition to (in their mind) in order to supplant God's Word, and replacing the Word of God with the traditions of men. And their solution? Just stick to the text and cross over to us.

The Eastern tribes had the foresight to see that, people being people, and sin being sin, that the Books of Moses were not going to suffice to stop Israel from sin. Those on the West Bank would focus on the literal promises to Abraham (which said nothing of the East Bank) and would interpret it in a manner which suited their sense of sensibilities: the Promised Land should fit our idea of the Land of Canaan (sort of like the idea of eating Body and Blood). Acting on this, they would exclude the Easterners, leading them to sin.

So the solution? Set up an interpretation of the letter of the law that preserved an indisputable indication of its spirit. And this they did.

A Melkite priest gave the best one word definition of Chrsitianity: witness.

Now, the problem most Protestants have with Tradition is the idea that the Church which set it up has tried to suppliment, and hence oppose, in order to supplant, Scripture.

We do not believe in, say, the Real Presense because St. Ignatius of Antioch, whom the Aposles ordained themselves as successor of St. Peter in the place where the disciples were first called Christians, writes in c. 105:
Let no man deceive himself. Both the things which are in heaven, and the glorious angels, and rulers, both visible and invisible, if they believe not in the blood of Christ, shall, in consequence, incur condemnation. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. Let not [high] place puff any one up: for that which is worth all is faith and love, to which nothing is to be preferred. But consider those who are of a different opinion with respect to the grace of Christ which has come unto us, how opposed they are to the will of God. They have no regard for love; no care for the widow, or the orphan, or the oppressed; of the bond, or of the free; of the hungry, or of the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from the prayer, because they will not confess that the Eucharist is the self same flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that you should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved. But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils. See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.

we believe in the Real Presence because He said, "This is My Body," "This is My Blood." Rising, He appeared and was known to the Apostles in the breakding of the bread that first Pascha (Luke 24:13-36 NOT btw, in His opening of the scriptures, though that did make their heart burn). Those who continued steadfast in the Apostles' doctrines communed in the breaking of bread in the prayers of the DL every Sunday from the Resurrection until June 7, 2009 (Acts 2:42, 20:7), which we received, delievered to us by the Apostles from the Lord (I Cor. 11:23. btw. when these words were written, the Church had been gathering on the first day of the week to break bread (Acts 20:7) for over two decades).

Now, the Aposles weren't doing this because of the verses quoted. Rather the verses were written to record what the Apostles did, what they were doing, believing, teaching, whether by word or letter (I Thess. 2:15) so those who followed could stand fast and hold these traditions, and withdraw (I Thes. 3:6) from those who refused to walk according to the traditions which they delievered and which we received.

St. Ignatius stood fast and held that tradition, and did not neglect that gift that was given him by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the Apostles, guarding what was committed to him. (I Tim. 4:14, 6:20) St. Ignatius set in order bishops in every city as the Aposltes commanded, to hold fast the faithful word as it had been taught, by word or letter, to both exhort and convict by sound doctrine those of a different opinion (heresia) who contradicted, and refused to walk according to that tradition. (cf. Titus 1:5-9). As the letters show, strong in the grace of Christ Jesus, he was committing these traditions he heard by word from the Apostles to the Faithful to teach others. (2 Tim. 2:1-2), that the Catholic Church continue in breaking the bread, the communion of the self same Body of Christ (I Cor. 10:16).

We do not believe in the Real Presence because St. Ignatius says so: he received the same Faith we received, and he stands as a Witness that God has erected between the Apostles and us, as a sign post as to whether we walk according to the Tradition of the Apostles or not. "Lo! I am with you always (Greek: "all the days") even unto the end of the age." Those were His parting words. And so He has: rather than standing gazing, the Church has raised up witnessses to that same Faith, who stand as witnesses between us and the Apostles. We have not abandoned the Bible for the Fathers (and Mothers!). Rather surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we are able to point to the Witness, like the Eastern Tribes to the altar on the Jordan, to show that we are right in our interpretation of Scripture, including the Words of Institution (themselves written in the Gospels to reflect Church practice). Every generation, we can document, from the Apostles to this day, those who, if they lived in our day, would come to OUR Church and commune with us (of course, closed communion is part of that Apostolic Tradition). Their Faith is our Faith, and that is the value of their words, not that they replace the Bible. Rather they preserve the full import of the Bible.

Tradition is giving our ancestors, our Fathers, the ones who passed down the Faith and copied and preserved the Bible, a vote.

Catechesis means "echo," and Christ's Word has roared throughout the generations through Apostolic Tradition.

As our priest says, if you come up with an interpretation of Scripture that no one else has, be cautious and ask yourself if you are wrong. If it contradicts what has gone before, YOU ARE DEFINITELY WRONG.

How to interpret Acts 8:31? The believers of sola scriptura cannot tell us. They have no one to guide them.
ialmisry said:
ialmisry said:
I'm going to repost something long (yeah, I know, suprise) but may not have the time to comment more.  I originally argued this against Sola Scriptura for the only source of the Faith.  I'll adapt it to the OP.....
Title of the thread confused the Consensus Patrum as a Source of Faith: the Consensus does not provide the Source of Faith, it reflects it.

There is only one soure of the Faith, Christ.  How that one source is transmitted, and how its transmition is verified, is what is at issue.

The Faith is transitted in the Holy Mysteries: as the Fathers say, Christ has passed into the Holy Mysteries, the signs of Christ's life within His Body, the Church.  When the Church acts as the Body of Christ, as a Body, in unity with her Head, then she speaks infallibly.  That is why the assent of the Faithful is needed, for instance, for the Ecumenicity of a Council.

There is, for no instance, no objective criteria on which to base the canon of the Bible.  Authorship by an Apostle does not determine the canon of the NT: St. Luke, strictly speaking, is not an Apostle-he does not include himself in the company of eyewitness and ministers of the Word from the beginning (Luke 1:2, cf. Acts 1:21-2). Yet there is no question of it being in the Orthodox canon.  St. Clement's first epistle (I'll leave aside the question of the second) which was reckoned as Scripture: after Clement received his doctrine directly from the Apostles, and not as an eyewitness of Christ, the same way  St. Luke received his doctrine.  Clement's epistles are approved by the Apostolic Canons (85), but yet St. Luke is canonized and St. Clement is not.  If an archaeologist dug up St. Paul's missing Epistles or when they dug up the Gospels that record Acts 20:35, or the Jesus seminar could prove that St. Thomas wrote the Gospel named after him, none were or would be accepted into the canon.  The Church has spoken.  Many Fathers and Churches deemed Reveltion spurious, but the Church accepted it into the canon, and even if textual criticism would able to prove that St. John did not write it, it would remain in the canon as the Church has received it as an expression of her Faith in the return of her Bridegroom.

And that is why the Bible is canonized: it is not that the Church collected documents that the Apostles wrote.  Rather, they looked at what the Faithful had produced in the bosom of the Church, recognized herself in it, and adopted it as her self revelation.  Sort of like when parents see themselves in their children, and leave them as their legacy.  The Bible is not like the America Constitution, which brought a new government into order which is derived from that constition: it is like the Canadian Constitution, which merely codifies the system of government in place.  When St. Paul refers to Christ's life, he is not teaching history. He is appealing to an audience who already knows His life. Case in point: St. Paul's account of the Mystical Supper predates all the Gospels' accounts of it.  But he is not telling the Corinthians nothing that they do not already know (I Corin. 11:23)  In fact the ongoing Great Canon of the DL helped shape the Gospels' account.

That is why Sola Scriptura doesn't work: it is like owning the manuel, but not owning the car.

St. Theophan deals with the issue of why we say prayers written by the saints.  It is not because they are a replacement for Scripture nor for our own words.  But as we do not know how to pray as we ought, we look to those who did.  The saints we know (because they have been glorified, and their words consecrated by the usage of the Church) had reached the stage where the Holy Spirit spoke within them at prayer.  In that state, they composed in human language their thoughts in that state.  Using these words as guideposts, we are trying to follow them into the state where the Holy Spirit gives utterance to our prayers.  As the lesson of the Samaritan woman shows: the Samaritans came because of what she told them, but they reached a point at which they believed from knowing Him for themselves (John 4:43).

So too the Liturgy: the Church gathered as the Body of Christ so that He made be in their midst have put that experience into words.  The Church as a whole has adopted the Liturgy as the public expression of that experience, hence the appeal of liturgical texts for dogma: lex credendi, lex orandi.  But in that order: we do not believe that Christ is in the Eucharist because the DL says so, rather because we believe so, and experience Him in the Eucharist, that the DL so says.

So too the Dogmatic Definitions of the Ecumenical Councils.  The Faith cannot be added too.  No development of doctrine, if it was not in the Apostles' preaching it cannot be in the Dogma of the Church.  When heresy infected the Body of Christ, the Body of Christ, as a Body, mustered its antibodies, the Fathers and developed an immunity, the Dogmatic Definitions, to the heresy.  They did not add to the Faith: as the body already has the antibody proteins but only puts them to work to form a defense against the foreign pathogen, so too the Fathers only erect from pre-existing materials a boundary marker which the Orthodox may not move.  The Fathers confessed the same Faith, but in different words to ensure it remained the same Faith.  The expression of Faith changes only so that the Faith can remain the same, something litrugists should keep in mind.

The iconography writes an icon only when he follows the canon the Church has laid down for the visual expression of her Faith. Otherwise he is a forger and a counterfeiter (like our deluded friend Lentz).  The icon is the expression of the Church, not personal agendas, and just like a counterfeiter tries to make his money look real but it has no value, so too the icongrapher who oversteps the Church's bounds.  That is why we appeal to the icons when we are asked about what we believe, because they are backed by the full Faith and Credit of the Church.

No Church Father is infallible: only Christ is infallible, and the Church's infallibility flows from her being His Body.  But that flows only when she acts as a Body, like in Ecumenical Council.  Any individual member cannot act infallibility, so why the claim of the alleged "visible head" to speak infallibly cannot be accepted.  So too, no one should expect every word of an individual Father to be infallible.  It is only in as much as they reflect the common Faith, between us and them and lived in the Church now, that they constitute the Consensus Patrum.  What they served, as I pointed out in my OP, as a witness between us and heretics, so when they claim that the Real Presence is an innovation, that we point to St. Ignatius etc.: they witenss to the Faith as we witness to the Faith.

Which is the point of my OP to the OP: merely extended Sola Scriptura to included Ecumenical Councils and certain Fathers misses the point.  These are not the source of Faith: they are witnesses, like the altar on the Jordan, to make sure we have kept the Faith.
I'm just saying.
 
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