Church Invisible

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ignatius said:
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?
That is for God and God alone to judge.

As we like to say in Orthodoxy, we won't say where God's grace is not, but we do know where it is.

The Eastern Orthodox Church is the One, True, Holy, Apostolic Church that was founded on Pentecost. Those groups who choose not to be in communion with her (whether they call themselves "Greek Old Calenderists" or the "Roman Catholic Church") are not part of the One, True, Church.

Do their sacraments contain the grace of God? That is for God alone to judge.

It is not for me to speak beyond that.
 

FountainPen

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PeterTheAleut said:
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?
It just does and you know it does.
 

LBK

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It just does and you know it does.
That's not an answer, that's a copout. A fudge, as your countrymen would say.
 

jnorm888

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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.
Is The Church One or Two? You seem to be saying that only the spiritual church is the church for she alone is the bride. Is this what you are saying?

Also, why don't you believe the physical church to be the bride too! If there is only one Body then you can't really have two churches.........one spiritual and the other physical for that would be two bodies.
 

Melodist

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FountainPen said:
But Orthodoxy has the emphasis firmly placed on the physical visible church.
That's because the apostles established a physically visible Church. We have to put emphasis on it because there are people teaching otherwise.
 

PeterTheAleut

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FountainPen said:
PeterTheAleut said:
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?
It just does and you know it does.
1.  It's rude to put words in my mouth by saying I know it does. You don't know what I know.
2.  You still haven't answered my question.
 

Achronos

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FountainPen said:
PeterTheAleut said:
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?
It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
 

PeterTheAleut

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Achronos said:
FountainPen said:
PeterTheAleut said:
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?
It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
Yeah, right. ::) ;)
 

primuspilus

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As I stated before. You can make the scriptures say anything by proof text. Looking at the totality of scripture, you really can not come to any other conclusion that the Church is mainly physical. If it wasn't then half of what was commanded would make absolutely no sense.

Are there members that we do not know about? Of course. But to say that the Church is completely invisible is patently ridiculous. Even when I was a protestant I always had a problem with the invisible church idea because it is simply not true.

I would hand my paycheck to someone if they read all the epistles and can legitimize that St. Paul is speaking of the invisible church.

PP
 

FountainPen

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PeterTheAleut said:
Achronos said:
FountainPen said:
PeterTheAleut said:
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?
It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
Yeah, right. ::) ;)
I didn't want to answer because i'm not really interested in debating or winning an argument or continually be accused of firing out bible verses, which is such a predictable and slack defense of any position especially since patristic quotes can also be used in this way -- and often are here.


For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.
 

primuspilus

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The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe
I can totally sympathize with this statement. When I started looking into Orthodoxy I felt the same way. Although I do understand WHY the Church does not commune with other Christians, I still see how this can be a major sticking point.

PP
 

PeterTheAleut

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FountainPen said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Achronos said:
FountainPen said:
PeterTheAleut said:
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?
It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
Yeah, right. ::) ;)
I didn't want to answer because i'm not really interested in debating or winning an argument or continually be accused of firing out bible verses, which is such a predictable and slack defense of any position especially since patristic quotes can also be used in this way -- and often are here.
So why do you lump me in with everyone else? I asked a question because I sincerely wanted to know why you think the Orthodox Church places her emphasis firmly on the physical visible Church, not because I want to debate you or throw patristic verses at you. You accuse us of holding a particular point of view and of using debate tactics we call you out for. The least you could do is back up your accusations when asked, not just reply to my questions with more accusations.


FountainPen said:
For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.
You think you could give a more rational, less emotional response than this? Angry isn't very convincing.
 

FormerReformer

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primuspilus said:
The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe
I can totally sympathize with this statement. When I started looking into Orthodoxy I felt the same way. Although I do understand WHY the Church does not commune with other Christians, I still see how this can be a major sticking point.

PP
Yes, this was a problem I had for a few years myself.

The problem comes in here:
separates herself from others of the same faith,
The answer, of course, is that if we had the same faith we would not be separated. Most Evangelicals, for example, deny the ability of God's Grace to act in the world through physical vehicles such as bread and wine, marriages, ordination, holy unction, relics, icons, etc. By denying the Mysteries they separate themselves from Orthodoxy.

Calvinism, as a heresy, has no place in Orthodoxy. Most Christians would agree with our rejection of Arianism, yet would cry at our rejection of Presbyterianism, though both are heretical.

Traditional Lutherans and High Church Anglicans are closer to Orthodoxy than any other group, but the former still deny the intercession of the saints and the latter are yoked with Low and Broad Church Anglicans who flat out reject the Mysteries as well as the last three ecumenical councils (IIRC Lutherans have this problem, as well). Add to this the problems of the last century where certain factions of God and Christ denying teachers have gained a substantial foothold in the leadership of both denominations in the Western world( though as Lutherans make up several different denominations in the US this is mitigated somewhat), to the point where a large swath of US and Canadian parishes are no longer even recognizable as Christian, and Orthodoxy is wise to stand apart.

As for Rome- well, I would hope a Protestant could understand the reason for not rushing into reunion. Let's just say it starts with a "P", rhymes with "hope", and believes that all Patriarchs must submit to him for ordination to their position.

Saying "We all believe in Jesus" is all well and good, but at the end of the day do we all believe the same thing about Jesus? If the Orthodox are right about the Eucharist being the Body and Blood, and that one who does not recognize this eats and drinks his own damnation, isn't it the height of charity to refrain from allowing others to the chalice? In the other direction, as an Orthodox Christian who can receive the Body and Blood in its fullness, why would I want to sit down to a symbolic piece of Saltine and a shot-glass of Welch's?

Now that I am Orthodox, btw, I don't look back on my Evangelical upbringing or my adult years as an Anglican as being profitless, or as not having been Christian. I merely see it as a 20 year Catechumenate. My Baptist family taught me the basics of faith, the milk and water a child requires. My Anglican years prepared me for more sound teaching and acclimated me to Sacramental theology, it was like pb&j. Orthodoxy gives me meat and wine- I am no longer a child with grape juice in my glass playing at drinking wine, I no longer sit at the kid's table at the Marriage Feast.
 
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FountainPen said:
For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.
Okay, so we're familiar with the Orthodox Church's definition of "Church," but what about yours?

You've mentioned the terms spiritual church and physical church. For Orthodox Christians, the Church is both spiritual and physical. It is physical, in that we have the church buildings, the clergy, the Liturgy, etc. It is spiritual, in that whenever we pray, we are joining in communion and worship with all of the saints, and our prayers are being lifted up along with all of the other Orthodox Christians praying with us.

When we are participating in the Liturgy, we are going beyond space and time. We are not just remembering Christ's crucifixion and resurrection as an event of the past, but as the here and now.

So my question to you is what are your definitions of these terms?
 

Shanghaiski

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primuspilus said:
The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe
I can totally sympathize with this statement. When I started looking into Orthodoxy I felt the same way. Although I do understand WHY the Church does not commune with other Christians, I still see how this can be a major sticking point.

PP
How does the Orthodox Church separate herself from others of the same faith?
 

primuspilus

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Shanghaiski said:
primuspilus said:
The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe
I can totally sympathize with this statement. When I started looking into Orthodoxy I felt the same way. Although I do understand WHY the Church does not commune with other Christians, I still see how this can be a major sticking point.

PP
How does the Orthodox Church separate herself from others of the same faith?
I bolded the part I am referencing. Now that I am almost in the Church, and I understand the teachings on at least a basic level, I no longer hold these feelings. I understand why the Church does what it does (on about 90% of things).

PP
 

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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. I doubt they consider themselves part of the same church as you.
These are some of the Churches in the world of “alternative Orthodoxy.”  Most deny one another’s sacraments and most declare that what they call “world Orthodoxy” also has no Sacraments.  In their eyes I am not even baptized,

So here is the contemporary composition of the *One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church*.

This is a uniquely modern expression of the Church where none of its branches are in communion with the other branches.

Autonomous True Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe and America
Holy Orthodox Church in North America
ROCiE Metropolitanate of Moscow under Metropolitan Damascene of Moscow
Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church under Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia under Archbishop Anthony of San Fransisco
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia under Archbishop Vladimir of San Fransisco
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia- under Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa
Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece under Abp Kallinikos of Athens
Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece under Archbishop Makarios of Athens
Genuine Orthodox Church Of Greece under Archbishop Nicholas of Athens
Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece under Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Thebes
Genuine Orthodox Church of the Patristic Calendar of Metropolitan Anghelos of Avlonos
Genuine Orthodox Synod under Metropolitan Kirykos of Mesogaia
Russian True Orthodox Church under Archbishop Tikhon of Omsk
True Orthodox Church of Serbia
True Orthodox Churches of Bulgaria
True Orthodox Churches of Romania
Synod in Resistance under Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili

---There are more Churches of course. Others may like to add to this list.
 
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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. I doubt they consider themselves part of the same church as you.
These are some of the Churches in the world of “alternative Orthodoxy.”   Most deny one another’s sacraments and most declare that what they call “world Orthodoxy” also has no Sacraments.  In their eyes I am not even baptized,

So here is the contemporary composition of the *One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church*.

This is a uniquely modern expression of the Church where none of its branches are in communion with the other branches.

Autonomous True Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe and America
Holy Orthodox Church in North America
ROCiE Metropolitanate of Moscow under Metropolitan Damascene of Moscow
Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church under Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia under Archbishop Anthony of San Fransisco
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia under Archbishop Vladimir of San Fransisco
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia- under Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa
Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece under Abp Kallinikos of Athens
Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece under Archbishop Makarios of Athens
Genuine Orthodox Church Of Greece under Archbishop Nicholas of Athens
Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece under Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Thebes
Genuine Orthodox Church of the Patristic Calendar of Metropolitan Anghelos of Avlonos
Genuine Orthodox Synod under Metropolitan Kirykos of Mesogaia
Russian True Orthodox Church under Archbishop Tikhon of Omsk
True Orthodox Church of Serbia
True Orthodox Churches of Bulgaria
True Orthodox Churches of Romania
Synod in Resistance under Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili

---There are more Churches of course. Others may like to add to this list.
*sigh*

Lists like these always remind me of this scene from "The Life of Brian." (Note: Offensive language, NSFW)
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
FountainPen said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Achronos said:
FountainPen said:
PeterTheAleut said:
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?
It just does and you know it does.
Best argument EVAR
Yeah, right. ::) ;)
I didn't want to answer because i'm not really interested in debating or winning an argument or continually be accused of firing out bible verses, which is such a predictable and slack defense of any position especially since patristic quotes can also be used in this way -- and often are here.
So why do you lump me in with everyone else? I asked a question because I sincerely wanted to know why you think the Orthodox Church places her emphasis firmly on the physical visible Church, not because I want to debate you or throw patristic verses at you. You accuse us of holding a particular point of view and of using debate tactics we call you out for. The least you could do is back up your accusations when asked, not just reply to my questions with more accusations.
Because it seemed to me as though you were asking a question you knew the answer to because the answer was obvious. I couldn't think of a good reason for you doing that. I apologise.

PeterTheAleut said:
FountainPen said:
For what it's worth then...

The Orthodox church makes such a song and dance of where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, no less, who she is not in communion with while making grand statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her and indeed the very definition of church to some -- or so i'm led to believe.

And yes, i've noted the nod that's occasionally given to the existence of Christians outside The Church.
You think you could give a more rational, less emotional response than this? Angry isn't very convincing.
Yes. Here is the less emotional response.


The Orthodox church firmly states where it is and the fact that She Is The One True Only Apostolic and Holy Catholic Church and separates herself from others of the same faith, who she is not in communion with while making statements that ekklesia and the companionship of others is of paramount importance to her.

The church does occasionally mention the existence of Christians outside The Church.
 

Iconodule

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Irish Hermit said:
It must be a misery being in an invisible Church.  Lonely and isolated.  Just you and nobody else.

And I suppose that if you discover another member of the invisible church, then there are two of you and it is not invisible anymore.
I was in the invisible church before it was cool
 
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