Church Invisible

Volnutt

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JamesRottnek said:
FountainPen said:
primuspilus said:
FountainPen said:
primuspilus said:
FountainPen said:
primuspilus said:
FountainPen said:
HandmaidenofGod said:
If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.
A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.
Sorry, but IMO the scriptures you gave give no argument whatsoever for the invisible church.

You can proof text whatever you want and legitimize any point anyone wishes with snippets of text. However, the scripture must be read in its entireity. The entireity clearly points to a structured, authoratative Church. This can clearly be seen reading all of the Pauline epistles, 2 Peter, and Acts. The evidence of the authoratative church is pretty overwhelming actually.

I would like to note that yes, Pentecost happened not in a temple. Perhaps that is because of the temple's hand in the execution of Christ? Its not like there was an established place yet. Thats like saying there were no icons at Pentecost, therefore we should not have icons either......

I'd also point out as to why there are rules for excommunication that would be not only unecessary, but silly if there were only an invisible church.

PP
Most of us also grow up in family units pp but our eternal family (the one that matters) is the family of God. So we have an earthly family and a spiritual family, both are important but not equally so.
As I said before, Im not saying that there are not members of the body that we do not know about.
Just a few million more than you'd want to acknowledge?
I'll acknowledge as many as I can, doesn't bother me. It does not take away from the fact that Christ did not create a religion (or faith) called Christianity, but created a eucharistic community called the Church. A living, breathing, physical body with Him as our head.

PP
A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd



What on earth possessed you to think that Christ isn't physical?  Do you not know that He ascended to Heaven in His resurrected BODY?
I'm quite sure that's not what she meant. Most people think in these sort of pseudo-Platonic terms without meaning to. I know I do.
 

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The Church, Like HIm whose body we are, makes visible what was previous to the incarnation, invisible.  The form given to us by God was filled with living visible content.  To say there is visible and invisible is a false division because the fullness of what was hidden has been made visible (manifest) to us in the birth of the Lord.  The degree to which any one individual adheres to what is plainly manifest in the worship of the church is part of this great mystery because it is only the freedom to do so which enables us to do so.  This is not an "invisible" church but only many sinners working out there salvation with fear and trembling through fidelity to the fullness of what has been revealed plainly for all to see.
 

primuspilus

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FountainPen said:
primuspilus said:
FountainPen said:
primuspilus said:
FountainPen said:
primuspilus said:
FountainPen said:
HandmaidenofGod said:
If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.
A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.
Sorry, but IMO the scriptures you gave give no argument whatsoever for the invisible church.

You can proof text whatever you want and legitimize any point anyone wishes with snippets of text. However, the scripture must be read in its entireity. The entireity clearly points to a structured, authoratative Church. This can clearly be seen reading all of the Pauline epistles, 2 Peter, and Acts. The evidence of the authoratative church is pretty overwhelming actually.

I would like to note that yes, Pentecost happened not in a temple. Perhaps that is because of the temple's hand in the execution of Christ? Its not like there was an established place yet. Thats like saying there were no icons at Pentecost, therefore we should not have icons either......

I'd also point out as to why there are rules for excommunication that would be not only unecessary, but silly if there were only an invisible church.

PP
Most of us also grow up in family units pp but our eternal family (the one that matters) is the family of God. So we have an earthly family and a spiritual family, both are important but not equally so.
As I said before, Im not saying that there are not members of the body that we do not know about.
Just a few million more than you'd want to acknowledge?
I'll acknowledge as many as I can, doesn't bother me. It does not take away from the fact that Christ did not create a religion (or faith) called Christianity, but created a eucharistic community called the Church. A living, breathing, physical body with Him as our head.

PP
A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd
Come on FP, you're smarter than that.

PP
 

ignatius

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Grace and Peace to all,

Is there any evidence of such a teaching as an 'invisible church' prior to Martin Luther and John Calvin to Orthodox Knowledge?

1 Timothy 3:15: "...the household of God, which is the church of the Living God, the pillar and bulwark of truth."

Catholics and Orthodox accept this passage at face value: the Church is the ground or foundation of truth; it is infallible; it is specially protected by the Holy Spirit so that it can be the Guardian and Preserver of apostolic tradition and truth and doctrine.

Protestants (in the final analysis) do not believe this, which is the reason they refer far move often to "scriptural authority" than to "Church authority" (as if the two were opposed to each other). Catholics and Orthodox, on the other hand, believe in faith that they will not and cannot be in conflict.

Sola Scriptura as defined by Martin Luther didn't seem to exist before Martin Luther... which is why I don't prescribe to such a novelty.

How did the Church resolve issue that arise? I have come to learn that the Church Council is the normative means that the Church uses to resolve issues as it did in Acts 15. I don't see St. Paul offering it's decisions as something optional but went aboard and taught them to the churches. This is all scriptural and the Orthodox Church continues to operate in this fashion to this day, to their credit.

How does this invisible church resolve issues? How would a Council be received in modern Protestant Churches today? Would it be like they did in Acts 15? I think not.
 

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I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.
 

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FountainPen said:
I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.
It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.
 

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Asteriktos said:
FountainPen said:
I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.
It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.
But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
 

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FountainPen said:
Asteriktos said:
FountainPen said:
I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.
It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.
But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
Perhaps this is true compared to certain Protestant groups. But from a Catholic perspective Orthodoxy probably often looks like a disorganized mess--something in need of more structure, more visible authority, etc.  In that way Orthodoxy could be seen as somewhere in the middle of the continuum, trying to maintain a balance between the two.
 

Volnutt

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FountainPen said:
I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.
But Christ redeems and raises our bodies as well, a physical body is part of a physical church. One is not more important than the other in an eternal sense.
 

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Volnutt said:
FountainPen said:
I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.
But Christ redeems and raises our bodies as well, a physical body is part of a physical church. One is not more important than the other in an eternal sense.
The Kingdom of God is primarily about Spirit which you wiull find echoed all over the New Testament.
 

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If there were visible unity in protestantism, the idea of a visible church would be embraced. However, since this does not exist, one is forced to embrace the invisible church notion to rationalize and attempt to make sense of all the division.
 

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FountainPen said:
The Kingdom of God is primarily about Spirit which you wiull find echoed all over the New Testament.
The Spirit does not mean "of the immaterial spiritual world". It means of the Holy Spirit who gives life to all flesh and makes his abode, his kingdom, in human temples.

The Holy Spirit is not an immaterial bodiless power. He is beyond material and immaterial, to Him the angels are as solid as rocks.

Here is a good video by NT Wright that touches on the subject:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jNaVgyqUD8
 

Volnutt

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Ortho_cat said:
If there were visible unity in protestantism, the idea of a visible church would be embraced. However, since this does not exist, one is forced to embrace the invisible church notion to rationalize and attempt to make sense of all the division.
The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't. I doubt they consider themselves part of the same church as you.
 
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Volnutt said:
Ortho_cat said:
If there were visible unity in protestantism, the idea of a visible church would be embraced. However, since this does not exist, one is forced to embrace the invisible church notion to rationalize and attempt to make sense of all the division.
The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't. I doubt they consider themselves part of the same church as you.
Those who have chosen to break communion with the Church, and break themselves from the Church, are no longer part of the Church. Should they repent and decide to come back to the Church some day, they are welcome.

Until then, they are their own group.
 

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FountainPen said:
I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.
Then what is the point of the general resurrection and St. Pauls strong defense of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus if our salvation involves only that what we cannot see with our eyes?
 

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HandmaidenofGod said:
Volnutt said:
Ortho_cat said:
If there were visible unity in protestantism, the idea of a visible church would be embraced. However, since this does not exist, one is forced to embrace the invisible church notion to rationalize and attempt to make sense of all the division.
The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't. I doubt they consider themselves part of the same church as you.
Those who have chosen to break communion with the Church, and break themselves from the Church, are no longer part of the Church. Should they repent and decide to come back to the Church some day, they are welcome.

Until then, they are their own group.
Grace and Peace HandmaidenofGod,

Would it be fair to say that what they've kept still sanctifies, sister? What is common between us and the One True Church, Holy Tradition continues to sanctify because it has not been torn from that salvific root of Grace?
 

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FountainPen said:
Asteriktos said:
FountainPen said:
I'm not for one moment suggesting that there is no need for a physical church or that the physical church is not important. I'm just suggesting that the physical church is not The Bride, but the spiritual church is.
It seems to me that it'd be both spiritual and physical. When St. Paul addressed a letter to "the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:2), he seemed to be both addressing specific people in a specific geographical location, and yet also addressing all Christians in all places who are united mystically/mysteriously/spiritually/etc.
But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
What makes you think this?
 

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Volnutt said:
Ortho_cat said:
If there were visible unity in protestantism, the idea of a visible church would be embraced. However, since this does not exist, one is forced to embrace the invisible church notion to rationalize and attempt to make sense of all the division.
The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't. I doubt they consider themselves part of the same church as you.
I won't say where the visible church isn't, but I will say where I believe the visible church to be.
 

Irish Hermit

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Volnutt said:
The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't.
See Message 7 at

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,41825.msg684001.html#msg684001

There can be only one Church of Christ.  As Archpriest Michael Protopopov notes in his small monograph on "Bishop" Tikhon Pasechnik and the "Russian True Orthodox Church" group:

"If one’s actions take a person outside the Church then that person is outside the Church. There is no alternative. There is no shopping list of churches. There is only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/RTOC.htm
 

Volnutt

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Irish Hermit said:
Volnutt said:
The problem there is that Orthodoxy is full of groups of very ambiguous standing. Is HOCNA in the visible church? The GTOC? The monks of Esphigmenou? I've not seen an Orthodox source that is willing to say they aren't.
See Message 7 at

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,41825.msg684001.html#msg684001

There can be only one Church of Christ.   As Archpriest Michael Protopopov notes in his small monograph on "Bishop" Tikhon Pasechnik and the "Russian True Orthodox Church" group:

"If one’s actions take a person outside the Church then that person is outside the Church. There is no alternative. There is no shopping list of churches. There is only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/RTOC.htm
Very well. I stand corrected. Thanks, folks.
 
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