Church Invisible

Seafra

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Volnutt said:
Seafra said:
Matthew 16:18...
quite simply the church is this church that Christ said will not be beaten, i see Christendom in three churches... Protestant church most DEFINITELY does not fall into this category, the Catholic church has not prevailed... they have changed shifted and swayed in their traditions and doctrines. In my research this only leaves Orthodoxy to remain as a church who is steadfast against changing traditions and upholding that which was past down!
That argument isn't going to wash unless you define "beaten." Protestants, other than Anglicans and Scandinavian Lutherans, define the Church prevailing as there being gatherings of true believers left on earth (for example, Calvin simply defined the Church as anywhere the Word of God is preached and communion and baptism served).
right but Protestants have as i mentioned an unsaid assumption that the church dies in the early stages and Catholicism became corrupt (there is almost no knowledge of Orthodoxy in most circles) So they see themselves almost as a Josiah restoring the temple. This is not inline with the words of Christ.
 

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Seafra said:
right but Protestants have as i mentioned an unsaid assumption that the church dies in the early stages and Catholicism became corrupt (there is almost no knowledge of Orthodoxy in most circles) So they see themselves almost as a Josiah restoring the temple. This is not inline with the words of Christ.
+1 for using the example of King Josiah :)
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
FountainPen said:
Seafra said:
quite simply...
If it were that simple then this thread wouldn't be "WAYYY" too long for you to bother reading it.
You're the one driving this thread by complaining about how "complicated" the subject is.
Another one of your inaccurate observations?
 

PeterTheAleut

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FountainPen said:
PeterTheAleut said:
FountainPen said:
Seafra said:
quite simply...
If it were that simple then this thread wouldn't be "WAYYY" too long for you to bother reading it.
You're the one driving this thread by complaining about how "complicated" the subject is.
Another one of your inaccurate observations?
No, it's actually quite accurate, as most anyone could surmise simply by reading this thread and seeing how many of the posts are yours. ;)
 

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Ortho_cat said:
I have never heard a satisfactory explanation to this verse from those who believe in an invisible church:

"If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth."

How could Paul be referring to an invisible church here? He is obviously referring to a physical real, visible insititution. "you will know how to conduct yourself in...the church of the living God..."

Is he talking about just the one, local church in Ephesus? Does he think that one church is the pillar and foundation of the truth? Of course not. He's talking about all the churches, the visible churches, all individually being the pillar and foundation of truth.

Further, is he talking about just the physical church building itself? Of course not. He is referring to the church as a gathering of an appointed bishop/overseer who has preserved the true doctrine handed down to him from the apostles and his faithful gathered around him in thanksgiving and worship. There is nothing invisible about this.
I doubt that my additions will cause any change to your experience; it's what i've been taught and believe to be true but i doubt it's anything you haven't heard before.

You're right, he couldn't be referring to the "physical church building" because the church is the body of people, God is our Father and we are his children so it's no surprise that we should be referred to as the house of God. All those sealed with the Spirit are the church of the living God and carry the responsibility of "going" and "telling" the gospel, thereby becoming vessels used of God to birth faith in others when they hear the word of God (faith comes by hearing the word of God - rhēma) it produces faith. Flesh and blood did not reveal what was needed to Peter and flesh and blood cannot cause someone's eyes to be opened only the Spirit of God can do that.

 

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PeterTheAleut said:
FountainPen said:
PeterTheAleut said:
FountainPen said:
Seafra said:
quite simply...
If it were that simple then this thread wouldn't be "WAYYY" too long for you to bother reading it.
You're the one driving this thread by complaining about how "complicated" the subject is.
Another one of your inaccurate observations?
No, it's actually quite accurate, as most anyone could surmise simply by reading this thread and seeing how many of the posts are yours. ;)
A lot of the posts are mine, as i try my best not to skip over anyones response. Moreso recently as i've seen how other members have been pulled up for not answering points made in a thread.  ;)

Who knew that diligence could be frowned upon.
 

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Asteriktos said:
Seafra said:
right but Protestants have as i mentioned an unsaid assumption that the church dies in the early stages and Catholicism became corrupt (there is almost no knowledge of Orthodoxy in most circles) So they see themselves almost as a Josiah restoring the temple. This is not inline with the words of Christ.
+1 for using the example of King Josiah :)
haha i did find it quite fitting
 

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FormerReformer said:
The non convoluted answer- The Orthodox Church. 2000 years of visibility, 2000 years of sound doctrine, 2000 years heresy free.
I willget to your convoluted response -- thanks for that  :laugh:

Can i just confirm that you would say there are true Christians that are not inside The Church?

 

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FountainPen said:
PeterTheAleut said:
FountainPen said:
PeterTheAleut said:
FountainPen said:
Seafra said:
quite simply...
If it were that simple then this thread wouldn't be "WAYYY" too long for you to bother reading it.
You're the one driving this thread by complaining about how "complicated" the subject is.
Another one of your inaccurate observations?
No, it's actually quite accurate, as most anyone could surmise simply by reading this thread and seeing how many of the posts are yours. ;)
A lot of the posts are mine, as i try my best not to skip over anyones response. Moreso recently as i've seen how other members have been pulled up for not answering points made in a thread.  ;)

Who knew that diligence could be frowned upon.
Who's frowning? ??? I don't see anyone frowning.
 

Seafra

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FountainPen said:
FormerReformer said:
The non convoluted answer- The Orthodox Church. 2000 years of visibility, 2000 years of sound doctrine, 2000 years heresy free.
I willget to your convoluted response -- thanks for that  :laugh:

Can i just confirm that you would say there are true Christians that are not inside The Church?
ma'am you are confusing ecclisiology(?) in that statement. Orthodoxy is not as cut and dry as protestanism. to be within the church is to be a chrstian how good or bad of one is dependent upon the individual... a better question for you to get an answer would be will every member of orthodox church go to heave... answer no, well we dont know ;)
 

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FountainPen said:
Ortho_cat said:
I have never heard a satisfactory explanation to this verse from those who believe in an invisible church:

"If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth."

How could Paul be referring to an invisible church here? He is obviously referring to a physical real, visible insititution. "you will know how to conduct yourself in...the church of the living God..."

Is he talking about just the one, local church in Ephesus? Does he think that one church is the pillar and foundation of the truth? Of course not. He's talking about all the churches, the visible churches, all individually being the pillar and foundation of truth.

Further, is he talking about just the physical church building itself? Of course not. He is referring to the church as a gathering of an appointed bishop/overseer who has preserved the true doctrine handed down to him from the apostles and his faithful gathered around him in thanksgiving and worship. There is nothing invisible about this.
I doubt that my additions will cause any change to your experience; it's what i've been taught and believe to be true but i doubt it's anything you haven't heard before.

You're right, he couldn't be referring to the "physical church building" because the church is the body of people, God is our Father and we are his children so it's no surprise that we should be referred to as the house of God. All those sealed with the Spirit are the church of the living God and carry the responsibility of "going" and "telling" the gospel, thereby becoming vessels used of God to birth faith in others when they hear the word of God (faith comes by hearing the word of God - rhēma) it produces faith. Flesh and blood did not reveal what was needed to Peter and flesh and blood cannot cause someone's eyes to be opened only the Spirit of God can do that.
Well I did say he is not referring to "just the physical church building", but he is referring to a real gathering in a real physical place, is he not?

Otherwise this part wouldn't make a whole lot of sense..."you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household". If we are those being referred to as "God's household" here, would Paul telling us how to conduct ourselves within ourselves? ?? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Prior to this he is talking directly of the responsibility of the overseer and deacons and their duties and functions within the church. He's talking about a real church, a gathering of people in a real place, with bishops and deacons.

I think it is a mistake to completely remove the physical aspect from this text, and i believe to do so renders this portion nearly incomprehensible.
 

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FountainPen said:
FormerReformer said:
The non convoluted answer- The Orthodox Church. 2000 years of visibility, 2000 years of sound doctrine, 2000 years heresy free.
I willget to your convoluted response -- thanks for that  :laugh:

Can i just confirm that you would say there are true Christians that are not inside The Church?
I would say that all true Christians are inside the Church- just not necessarily in this present moment. This is not to be confused with an invisible church, however, just a Church that is not visible now in the same way that Florida is not visible from New York. Both are part of America, to one viewing from high enough up both can be seen together, and as one progresses down the I-95 corridor eventually one will see Florida in the distance. In the end, all Christians are Orthodox Christians, just some of the snowbirds happen to have been born in England or Norway.
 

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FountainPen said:
FormerReformer said:
The non convoluted answer- The Orthodox Church. 2000 years of visibility, 2000 years of sound doctrine, 2000 years heresy free.
I willget to your convoluted response -- thanks for that  :laugh:

Can i just confirm that you would say there are true Christians that are not inside The Church?
Ah just realized i mis read your post, Im sorry. all the same there is a misunderstanding in the terms for protestant and Orthodox. an orthodox will admit that they are not the only ones who will be in heaven. However they claim that they are the explicit ones who practice the traditions of Christ. so It depends on what understanding you use, Is a christian one who follows all of the traditions? i think most orthodox would say yes, then no you must be orthodox to be a "true" christian, however is a christian one who will inherit the kingdom of God? if this is your understanding then no one on this side of eternity will ever know.
 

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I think it is very difficult to dismiss from scripture that the Church of God is indeed a very visible thing, a local gathering of fellow believers with their bishops, deacons, etc. coming together to break bread and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the church that is the pillar and foundation of truth; not any of these members individually, but them coming together as one body in Christ.
 

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Ortho_cat said:
I think it is very difficult to dismiss from scripture that the Church of God is indeed a very visible thing, a local gathering of fellow believers with their bishops, deacons, etc. coming together to break bread and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the church that is the pillar and foundation of truth; not any of these members individually, but them coming together as one body in Christ.
See the thing about the invisible church theory isnt that there arent physical churchES but there isnt once single body that is the church universal. in scripture they will place those verses as being regulated to local churches not a overall body.
 

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Seafra said:
Ortho_cat said:
I think it is very difficult to dismiss from scripture that the Church of God is indeed a very visible thing, a local gathering of fellow believers with their bishops, deacons, etc. coming together to break bread and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the church that is the pillar and foundation of truth; not any of these members individually, but them coming together as one body in Christ.
See the thing about the invisible church theory isnt that there arent physical churchES but there isnt once single body that is the church universal. in scripture they will place those verses as being regulated to local churches not a overall body.
I think that Orthodox do not place as much importance of the notion of "church universal" as Roman Catholics do. We are a complete and whole "church" in our local congregation with our bishop.
 

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i understand this what i mean was universal faith. as the idea of invisible church is to cover the groups that have differing faiths...

i.e. Baptists and pentecostals, under the invisible church idea, though clashing on almost every theological concept, they are able to claim to be part of this church invisible
 

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Seafra said:
Volnutt said:
Seafra said:
Matthew 16:18...
quite simply the church is this church that Christ said will not be beaten, i see Christendom in three churches... Protestant church most DEFINITELY does not fall into this category, the Catholic church has not prevailed... they have changed shifted and swayed in their traditions and doctrines. In my research this only leaves Orthodoxy to remain as a church who is steadfast against changing traditions and upholding that which was past down!
That argument isn't going to wash unless you define "beaten." Protestants, other than Anglicans and Scandinavian Lutherans, define the Church prevailing as there being gatherings of true believers left on earth (for example, Calvin simply defined the Church as anywhere the Word of God is preached and communion and baptism served).
right but Protestants have as i mentioned an unsaid assumption that the church dies in the early stages and Catholicism became corrupt (there is almost no knowledge of Orthodoxy in most circles) So they see themselves almost as a Josiah restoring the temple. This is not inline with the words of Christ.
Not really. Most Protestants I've known imagine that history is full of pockets of sometimes persecuted proto-Protestant groups on the margins of society (for example, they'll claim that St. Patrick was essentially a Protestant and that the Church in the British Isles was doing pretty well until Rome clamped down).

Btw, Luther and Calvin taught that St. Gregory the Dialogist was the last good Pope, so that's sixth century right there. It was the Anabaptists who began the idea that the true Church could some how vanish from the planet.
 

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the reformists yes they were closer to the traditions of the church, not the protestants for the majority, you have to keep in mind the protestant church holds very little sacred apart from scripture, they scorn many beliefs help but the founders of their church such as the ever virginity of Mary and the literal body of Christ in Eucharist. i believe there is a line to be drawn between protestant and reformer.

also we would always find pockets as you say to validate our positions. Again as protestants we have a need to validate ourselves to prove our legitimacy.
 

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Volnutt said:
Seafra said:
Volnutt said:
Seafra said:
Matthew 16:18...
quite simply the church is this church that Christ said will not be beaten, i see Christendom in three churches... Protestant church most DEFINITELY does not fall into this category, the Catholic church has not prevailed... they have changed shifted and swayed in their traditions and doctrines. In my research this only leaves Orthodoxy to remain as a church who is steadfast against changing traditions and upholding that which was past down!
That argument isn't going to wash unless you define "beaten." Protestants, other than Anglicans and Scandinavian Lutherans, define the Church prevailing as there being gatherings of true believers left on earth (for example, Calvin simply defined the Church as anywhere the Word of God is preached and communion and baptism served).
right but Protestants have as i mentioned an unsaid assumption that the church dies in the early stages and Catholicism became corrupt (there is almost no knowledge of Orthodoxy in most circles) So they see themselves almost as a Josiah restoring the temple. This is not inline with the words of Christ.
Not really. Most Protestants I've known imagine that history is full of pockets of sometimes persecuted proto-Protestant groups on the margins of society (for example, they'll claim that St. Patrick was essentially a Protestant and that the Church in the British Isles was doing pretty well until Rome clamped down).

Btw, Luther and Calvin taught that St. Gregory the Dialogist was the last good Pope, so that's sixth century right there. It was the Anabaptists who began the idea that the true Church could some how vanish from the planet.
As someone who grew up hearing a number of Baptist Landmarkist teachings, it was always funny for me to study the history of those put forward as "proto-Baptists" throughout history. Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari- not exactly the company I'd like to keep. The whole web depends on either a complete non-studying of history outside of Landmarkist texts or a stubborn insistence to read "facts" into the most casual blurb while insisting that since the history of these groups was recorded by Catholics its obviously distorted and untrustworthy.
 

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FormerReformer said:
And as promised- the convoluted answer- Christianity these days is like a plot of land. We know where the boundaries of the land are and we've set a fence up as near those boundaries as possible. In the middle of the land is a house, the house is spacious and well stocked, has heat and light, and all other necessities in abundance and more. 8 year old Petey Jr decided he didn't like the house because he was kept from bossing his little sister Constance around, so he decided to run away- to a tent in the back yard. He took a lot of good food with him and set up next to the garden hose, but he also took a lot of candy and still thinks that mud pies might be edible. A few of his younger brothers went with him, and after a while got tired of his overbearing attitude and mud pies, so they ran away- to different areas of the yard. Some also set up in tents, others decided that dwelling places were the problem to begin with and that the oak tree with the tire swing provided all the shelter they needed. One or two decided to really run away and left the shelter of the fence entirely.

Now, Dad still calls all the kids home for supper, they can come if they wish, but if they insist on being rebellious they can go to bed without eating- except Dad is kinder than that- He sneaks around at night and leaves all his children with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, juice boxes, etc; the nourishment the growing kids will need for the next day. They can come into the house whenever they wish and get tastier food (we're having lasagna tonight) or they can continue playing house in the yard.

The house is the Church, those in the yard are those who left the Church but still adhere to the main tenets of Christianity (schismatics and the heterodox, note, however, that they still receive their nourishment from the house pantry), those who leave the yard entirely are heretics (Arians, Apollinarians, JWs, Mormons) who reject Trinitarian Christianity.
I enjoyed reading it but i don't think your analogy works for me.  :)

This brings us to the issue of what worshipping in spirit and truth means and what value has the organisational structure of the church. If you believe baptism and communion hold salvific value then i can see why there would be a need to emphasise a visible church for their safeguard. Jesus corrects the Samaritan woman about where to worship when she indicates a physical place to worship. He tells her since I am here in your midst, the Kingdom of God is with you. Surely Jesus is telling her to focus on Him, not her forefathers* and not to a local, geographical place for truth but to Him? For this reason, i am finding it hard to see why becoming a member of a visible church can make someone a Christian. Jesus is drawing the attention away from where and onto who (Him).

"What Jesus was teaching was that in the new age which he was inaugurating by his death and resurrection the place of worship would not matter, for a man or a woman would not worship merely by being in the right place and doing certain right things. The person would worship in his or her spirit, which could be anywhere."
Dr J M Boice Worship and Scripture: What is Worship?





*not that those who have gone before us have no value but that we can't look to man for revelatory truth, we have to look to God alone for our own personal revelation.
 

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Ma'am The context of that situation is off... Jesus was addressing a SINGLE place. Orthodox do not only worship in the church but also in the home, just as Christ taught. This does not take away the belief of the visible church.
 

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Seafra said:
Ma'am The context of that situation is off... Jesus was addressing a SINGLE place. Orthodox do not only worship in the church but also in the home, just as Christ taught. This does not take away the belief of the visible church.
Please, enough with the Ma'am.
 

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either a ma'am or a sir ;) proper mannerisms is nothing to be frowned on:D

What was being addressed by Christ is that there would be no need for a temple. As Christians we are free to worship God anywhere, Walmart, Church, in the car, at home etc. No orthodox will dispute this. This however does not mean that the visible church body is null. The visible church is what safeguards our traditions and manner in how we worship not where.

an example in the 500 yearsish that Protestant church has existed there has been no regulation over doctrine and no accountability. These facts have led to factions such as Mormonism and Jehovah witness becoming existent. The Church holds within it the proper interpretations of scripture insights and wisdom of men and women who have struggled and finished the race we are still running. Its not a matter of local withing the visible church but a matter of practice.
 

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FountainPen said:
FormerReformer said:
And as promised- the convoluted answer- Christianity these days is like a plot of land. We know where the boundaries of the land are and we've set a fence up as near those boundaries as possible. In the middle of the land is a house, the house is spacious and well stocked, has heat and light, and all other necessities in abundance and more. 8 year old Petey Jr decided he didn't like the house because he was kept from bossing his little sister Constance around, so he decided to run away- to a tent in the back yard. He took a lot of good food with him and set up next to the garden hose, but he also took a lot of candy and still thinks that mud pies might be edible. A few of his younger brothers went with him, and after a while got tired of his overbearing attitude and mud pies, so they ran away- to different areas of the yard. Some also set up in tents, others decided that dwelling places were the problem to begin with and that the oak tree with the tire swing provided all the shelter they needed. One or two decided to really run away and left the shelter of the fence entirely.

Now, Dad still calls all the kids home for supper, they can come if they wish, but if they insist on being rebellious they can go to bed without eating- except Dad is kinder than that- He sneaks around at night and leaves all his children with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, juice boxes, etc; the nourishment the growing kids will need for the next day. They can come into the house whenever they wish and get tastier food (we're having lasagna tonight) or they can continue playing house in the yard.

The house is the Church, those in the yard are those who left the Church but still adhere to the main tenets of Christianity (schismatics and the heterodox, note, however, that they still receive their nourishment from the house pantry), those who leave the yard entirely are heretics (Arians, Apollinarians, JWs, Mormons) who reject Trinitarian Christianity.
I enjoyed reading it but i don't think your analogy works for me.  :)

This brings us to the issue of what worshipping in spirit and truth means and what value has the organisational structure of the church. If you believe baptism and communion hold salvific value then i can see why there would be a need to emphasise a visible church for their safeguard. Jesus corrects the Samaritan woman about where to worship when she indicates a physical place to worship. He tells her since I am here in your midst, the Kingdom of God is with you. Surely Jesus is telling her to focus on Him, not her forefathers* and not to a local, geographical place for truth but to Him? For this reason, i am finding it hard to see why becoming a member of a visible church can make someone a Christian. Jesus is drawing the attention away from where and onto who (Him).

"What Jesus was teaching was that in the new age which he was inaugurating by his death and resurrection the place of worship would not matter, for a man or a woman would not worship merely by being in the right place and doing certain right things. The person would worship in his or her spirit, which could be anywhere."
Dr J M Boice Worship and Scripture: What is Worship?





*not that those who have gone before us have no value but that we can't look to man for revelatory truth, we have to look to God alone for our own personal revelation.
First- How can I possibly read the New Testament and NOT believe that Baptism and the Eucharist have salvific properties? My bone of contention with my Baptist upbringing was always that you were the worst sort of heretic if you didn't believe in a literal, six-day, 24-hrs-a-day creation, but the moment Our Lord says something about baptism saving or eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood all of a sudden we are supposed to interpret things metaphorically. Further, as regards Eucharist- if eating and drinking can be done unto my condemnation if done improperly (as St Paul tells us in I Corinthians) doesn't it stand to reason that if done properly it works in the opposite manner? If those who approach Communion in an improper spirit are sick and dying shouldn't those who approach in a proper spirit experience healing and life? Too, we safeguard the Holy Gifts not for our own benefit, but for yours, because by not apprehending that which you eat would be to eat and drink your damnation.

Second- the location of the local parish doesn't matter- as per Our Lord's instruction to the Samaritan woman. The Orthodox don't need opulent temples (though we like them), in cases of necessity we can start a mission in someone's garage (though we'd try to set aside that garage specifically for worship, you can't put your Ford in our Iconostasis, thank you). You will find no greater adherence to the idea of worshiping in Spirit and Truth than in Orthodoxy- the very term means "Proper glory (worship)". We don't depend on a local, geographic place for our worship- we do depend on the bishop "Wherever the bishop appear, there let the multitude also be" ( St Ignatius' Epistle to the Smyrneans, chapter 8 ), or the priest, for administration of the Eucharist. We don't hold our prayers in the parish alone, but we pray at home or work or anywhere.

Third- Looking to God alone for our "own personal revelation" is tilting dangerously toward Montanism. Not that we don't have a personal relationship with God- but most of that relationship is formed through the work of those who have gone on before- in the Gospels, the Epistles, the Psalms and Prophets. God speaks to us through others far more often than He speaks to us directly, and salvation is not an individual experience, but a corporate one. The very word "Church" (ekklessia) means "assembly" or "gathering". It is where two or three are gathered in Our Lord's name that He promises He will be, we are all given different gifts for the edification of each other. We are one Body, Christ is our head. My toe's personal revelation from my brain is worth squat if the rest of the leg doesn't get the message. Indeed, if my toe decides to curl under my foot while the rest of my leg has decided to step down, so that the toe is jammed or broken, I am seriously going to start doubting the decisions of my toe and be tempted to cut the darn thing off if it keeps it up. It is only by working in unison and concert that anything can be done, the minute every body part decides to start doing its own thing we no longer have a healthy body but an epileptic.



Post modified to remove unintentional smiley--without white space, "8 )" turns into "8)".  -PtA
 

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FountainPen said:
This brings us to the issue of what worshipping in spirit and truth means and what value has the organisational structure of the church. If you believe baptism and communion hold salvific value then i can see why there would be a need to emphasise a visible church for their safeguard.
Don't forget the value we place on submitting to God's authority by submitting to our local bishops who were ordained by other bishops whose line of ordination goes back to those who were appointed by the apostles to govern over local churches, who were appointed by Christ Himself.

Jesus corrects the Samaritan woman about where to worship when she indicates a physical place to worship.
He tells her "Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.".

He tells her since I am here in your midst, the Kingdom of God is with you. Surely Jesus is telling her to focus on Him, not her forefathers* and not to a local, geographical place for truth but to Him?
Worship was based on the temple as God's dwelling place and the sacrifices made there in Jerusalem. Christ's death and resurrection is the fulfillment of all of those sacrifices, and Christ Himself is "Emmanuel", God with us. So our worship is based on the reality of Christ's death and resurrection. Orthodox worship isn't based on a physical location, but on the people of God, all the members (the bishop or an appointed presbyter presiding along with the people) joined together to proclaim and participate in this reality. This can happen anywhere. Someone once asked me what direction my church building faced, I confused him by answering that it faced northwest (Orthodox churches typically face east).
 

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[/quote]

The 'invisible' church i'm talking about is  "....within you" (Luke 17:21) and one where Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone, where the building grows. (Ephesians 2: 19-21)
[/quote]

So then how do these separate persons become the church?

Also, "....you", the human person, is not just the invisible human soul and spirit but also the physical, visible, living human body.  The whole person, spirit, soul, and physical body is deified by Christ (which is why Orthodox venerate relics). 
 

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Just a slight quip from me, Fountain pen, Your a smart person. But you often dont answer statments or entire posts. It makes some of these subjects very hard to follow. Otherwise, this is a blast to read.
 

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tangentdi said:
Just a slight quip from me, Fountain pen, Your a smart person. But you often dont answer statments or entire posts. It makes some of these subjects very hard to follow. Otherwise, this is a blast to read.
I don't mean to miss any but the holidays have been a busy time and i'm getting back to it as much as i can. Also, i'm not familiar with Orthodox dogma and some of it isn't that clear either so i've been reading a lot of new material recently and of course that's going to have an impact on how i respond. I'm not at all sure of my position in some areas.

If there's a specific post or point you want answered, tell me what it is and i'll do my best to respond to it.
 

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

FormerReformer said:
Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari- not exactly the company I'd like to keep.
I agree a lot of folks living the victor's history have come to see Protestantism as this innocent victim of Catholic and European corruption where as the early "Protestants" as you quoted were in fact quite violent and dangerous.  The violence of the Inquisition was a direct reaction to violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy.  Interesting how "proto-Protestantism" evolved as the logical replacement for Apostolic Succession to explain validity and legitimacy, even though Protestantism is a broken chain of history and further, who would want to be associated with all the historical heresiarchs ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

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Volnutt said:
To expand upon what jnorm said, Penny, you've basically got a false dichotomy going and you're also desacralizing matter. God doesn't act spiritually, He came in the flesh, eating, sleeping, dying on a wooden beam, rising in a body. He ministers to us with a book, pen and ink, and people's vocal chords and water and wine and bread (metaphorical or not, makes no difference in this context). Why are the elders commanded to anoint with oil? Why make a big deal about leadership passing through the laying on of hands? There's physical space and action right there, visible things being used as part of our salvation whether we meet in a building with icons and altars and incense or not.

The big problem I have with your view is it leaves no substantial meaning for the meeting together. If Jesus was preaching your view, I don't think He would have said, "Wherever two or three are gathered, there am I in the midst of them," He should have said, "Wherever at least one is gathered in my name..." One might as well just post on a website all there life and call that "Church." Your view doesn't just reject Orthodoxy, it rejects 90% of Protestantism and winds up with Harold Camping and Otis Q. Sellers. The corporate worship and Eucharist basically becomes a nonessential coffee klatsch because you're swapping the Catholicity (wholeness and completeness) of the local Church for the Catholicity of the individual. We're physical beings as well as spiritual and we're saved that way, in our bodies and in a community.

On the other side of the token, to say that the Church is visible is not of course to say she is only visible. Your point about being able to tell who is and is not in thus misses the point. He who is in the visible Church, might not be in it invisibly as well- he needs both. Just because the question of whether this works the other way around is a contested one does not invalidate the importance of the visible.

And in Orthodoxy, Jesus is still the visible head of the Church, He's there in the Flesh every Sunday  ;)
I do accept that the visible side to the church is important because the church is a body of people who all need to fellowship with each other for support, edification, for accountability, to glorify God and to collectively "shine". Of course i recognise the physical elements of church such as anointing with oil and laying on of hands. I've felt like laying a hand on, or two, on the odd occasion during service.

I believe that everything we do and are is sacred in a way because of who we are in Christ and our new redeemed nature. I don't believe the Spirit shows up when certain acts are performed in a service because i believe He is always with us and will never leave us. When believers assemble together and glorify God collectively it's not an act of worship that's performed but an overflow of a worshipping heart being expressed. That corporate expression of worship and adoration from a repentant heart (and i don't mean someone who has simply confessed recently but someone who is constantly lives in an attitude of repentance) is like a sweet smelling incense that is pleasing to God.

I would call that the church because there are church members there but i would equally point to other point to other places and say the church is there also. It seems as though orthodoxy doesn't do that even though it recognises that some of the church body are not known to the church, it still sees them as being outside of the church. Have i got that right? And if Orthodoxy recognises one who is in the visible church might not be in the invisible church then how can it anoint and baptise those when it believes baptism and the Eucharist to be sacred and salvific?
 

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Please forgive me for not having read all of the posts.

Orthodox doctrine does acknowledge an invisible church in a sense, though we usually refer to it as others 'being mystically connected to the Church'.
 

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I must admit to not having read all the comments, so I hope not to be stepping on anyone's toes. But I was wondering about this.

Hasn't the Ekklesia/Church always been a visible entity; Old and New Testament? Could Israel ever have been some kind of invisible, formless and diverse group of people all claiming to be members of the Ekklesia, but believing any doctrine that took their fancy?
 

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FountainPen said:
FormerReformer said:
FountainPen said:
FormerReformer said:
FountainPen said:
A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd
Also, your exegesis of the wheat and tares is faulty: the wheat and tares grow together, not because no one can tell the difference, but because the process of uprooting the tares would uproot some of the wheat as well (as plants grow near each other their roots often become entangled- and you can't get rid of the tares by any other process than uprooting, otherwise they grow back- pulling one plant up pulls up the plant next to it as well).
The quote above was just a way of opting out. Sometimes it's easier to play to the stereotype especially if you feel you're not getting anywhere.

God is the only one who can know a person's heart and if they are sealed with His Spirit, i don't see how any of us can know whether someone is saved or not. I should have provided a separate reference for that particular statement. I apologise for being misleading.

FormerReformer said:
The field doesn't represent the Church, but the entire world. The passage doesn't refer to an invisible church at all, if anything the Church is quite visible, standing out as good food amongst the weeds.
The field does represent the world and in the world is the church which has all manner of people mixed in and growing together. (Matthew 3 12, Matthew 13:47, 2 Tim 2:20)
The two passages from Matthew don't say any more than the parable of wheat and tares, and stands more as a warning of coming judgement for the entire world. The Church is not mentioned here at all.

2 Timothy 2 is an interesting example (though verse 19 might have been more appropriate to your stance), but not in the way you seem to think. The entirety of the chapter is not about an "invisible" church but about those who depart from the apostolic teaching delivered by St Paul, starting with a reminder followed by simple creed then going into specific examples of what to watch for. The instruction to St Timothy is to expel heretics (2:16-17) from the Church; not to let them go on teaching whatever they wish, St Timothy being secure in the knowledge of an "invisible" church that continues on in the hearts of the "true" believer. The Church is visible, and as her local bishop in Ephesus St Timothy has the task of making the rounds and standing watch, separating out the goats from the lambs.
Ok let's try this another way.

If i ask you where the church is, will you give me a convoluted answer or can you point me to this visible church?
10760 Baltimore Avenue  Beltsville, MD 20705

Geeez that was easy

Here is the web address with driving directions:

http://holyapostlesorthodoxchurch.org/
 

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Marc1152 said:
FountainPen said:
FormerReformer said:
FountainPen said:
FormerReformer said:
FountainPen said:
A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd
Also, your exegesis of the wheat and tares is faulty: the wheat and tares grow together, not because no one can tell the difference, but because the process of uprooting the tares would uproot some of the wheat as well (as plants grow near each other their roots often become entangled- and you can't get rid of the tares by any other process than uprooting, otherwise they grow back- pulling one plant up pulls up the plant next to it as well).
The quote above was just a way of opting out. Sometimes it's easier to play to the stereotype especially if you feel you're not getting anywhere.

God is the only one who can know a person's heart and if they are sealed with His Spirit, i don't see how any of us can know whether someone is saved or not. I should have provided a separate reference for that particular statement. I apologise for being misleading.

FormerReformer said:
The field doesn't represent the Church, but the entire world. The passage doesn't refer to an invisible church at all, if anything the Church is quite visible, standing out as good food amongst the weeds.
The field does represent the world and in the world is the church which has all manner of people mixed in and growing together. (Matthew 3 12, Matthew 13:47, 2 Tim 2:20)
The two passages from Matthew don't say any more than the parable of wheat and tares, and stands more as a warning of coming judgement for the entire world. The Church is not mentioned here at all.

2 Timothy 2 is an interesting example (though verse 19 might have been more appropriate to your stance), but not in the way you seem to think. The entirety of the chapter is not about an "invisible" church but about those who depart from the apostolic teaching delivered by St Paul, starting with a reminder followed by simple creed then going into specific examples of what to watch for. The instruction to St Timothy is to expel heretics (2:16-17) from the Church; not to let them go on teaching whatever they wish, St Timothy being secure in the knowledge of an "invisible" church that continues on in the hearts of the "true" believer. The Church is visible, and as her local bishop in Ephesus St Timothy has the task of making the rounds and standing watch, separating out the goats from the lambs.
Ok let's try this another way.

If i ask you where the church is, will you give me a convoluted answer or can you point me to this visible church?
10760 Baltimore Avenue  Beltsville, MD 20705

Geeez that was easy

Here is the web address with driving directions:

http://holyapostlesorthodoxchurch.org/
Ha! I came "" this close to doing the same thing with my parish in my response- I even had the web-page loaded up to copy-paste the directions.
 

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FountainPen said:
Volnutt said:
To expand upon what jnorm said, Penny, you've basically got a false dichotomy going and you're also desacralizing matter. God doesn't act spiritually, He came in the flesh, eating, sleeping, dying on a wooden beam, rising in a body. He ministers to us with a book, pen and ink, and people's vocal chords and water and wine and bread (metaphorical or not, makes no difference in this context). Why are the elders commanded to anoint with oil? Why make a big deal about leadership passing through the laying on of hands? There's physical space and action right there, visible things being used as part of our salvation whether we meet in a building with icons and altars and incense or not.

The big problem I have with your view is it leaves no substantial meaning for the meeting together. If Jesus was preaching your view, I don't think He would have said, "Wherever two or three are gathered, there am I in the midst of them," He should have said, "Wherever at least one is gathered in my name..." One might as well just post on a website all there life and call that "Church." Your view doesn't just reject Orthodoxy, it rejects 90% of Protestantism and winds up with Harold Camping and Otis Q. Sellers. The corporate worship and Eucharist basically becomes a nonessential coffee klatsch because you're swapping the Catholicity (wholeness and completeness) of the local Church for the Catholicity of the individual. We're physical beings as well as spiritual and we're saved that way, in our bodies and in a community.

On the other side of the token, to say that the Church is visible is not of course to say she is only visible. Your point about being able to tell who is and is not in thus misses the point. He who is in the visible Church, might not be in it invisibly as well- he needs both. Just because the question of whether this works the other way around is a contested one does not invalidate the importance of the visible.

And in Orthodoxy, Jesus is still the visible head of the Church, He's there in the Flesh every Sunday  ;)
I do accept that the visible side to the church is important because the church is a body of people who all need to fellowship with each other for support, edification, for accountability, to glorify God and to collectively "shine". Of course i recognise the physical elements of church such as anointing with oil and laying on of hands. I've felt like laying a hand on, or two, on the odd occasion during service.

I believe that everything we do and are is sacred in a way because of who we are in Christ and our new redeemed nature. I don't believe the Spirit shows up when certain acts are performed in a service because i believe He is always with us and will never leave us. When believers assemble together and glorify God collectively it's not an act of worship that's performed but an overflow of a worshipping heart being expressed. That corporate expression of worship and adoration from a repentant heart (and i don't mean someone who has simply confessed recently but someone who is constantly lives in an attitude of repentance) is like a sweet smelling incense that is pleasing to God.

I would call that the church because there are church members there but i would equally point to other point to other places and say the church is there also. It seems as though orthodoxy doesn't do that even though it recognises that some of the church body are not known to the church, it still sees them as being outside of the church. Have i got that right? And if Orthodoxy recognises one who is in the visible church might not be in the invisible church then how can it anoint and baptise those when it believes baptism and the Eucharist to be sacred and salvific?
Not exactly. You may have heard this before, we say "We know where the Church is but we can't say with certainty where it is not".
We account for God's mercy outside the path to salvation that he set for all of us. The path he set has only one vehicle, The Church. You should not count too much on being an exception.

We are the exact same Church founded on the day of Pentecost. Not an idea thought of on Pentecost. We are the exact same organization chronicled in the Book of Acts. We did not disband, we did not go away, we did not fall from the faith. We still exist. You can take a bus or drive a car and get to where we are and join us in Worship. We are not just a set of Principles. We have always existed physically since the day the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles who founded us ..

We are  Catholic meaning when we come together in a particular place the whole of the Church is there.

The Heterodox have a high view of Scripture and a low view of the Church.The Orthodox have a high view of scripture and a high view of The Church..

Questions?
 

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FormerReformer said:
Marc1152 said:
FountainPen said:
FormerReformer said:
FountainPen said:
FormerReformer said:
FountainPen said:
A spiritual head of a physical body? Odd
Also, your exegesis of the wheat and tares is faulty: the wheat and tares grow together, not because no one can tell the difference, but because the process of uprooting the tares would uproot some of the wheat as well (as plants grow near each other their roots often become entangled- and you can't get rid of the tares by any other process than uprooting, otherwise they grow back- pulling one plant up pulls up the plant next to it as well).
The quote above was just a way of opting out. Sometimes it's easier to play to the stereotype especially if you feel you're not getting anywhere.

God is the only one who can know a person's heart and if they are sealed with His Spirit, i don't see how any of us can know whether someone is saved or not. I should have provided a separate reference for that particular statement. I apologise for being misleading.

FormerReformer said:
The field doesn't represent the Church, but the entire world. The passage doesn't refer to an invisible church at all, if anything the Church is quite visible, standing out as good food amongst the weeds.
The field does represent the world and in the world is the church which has all manner of people mixed in and growing together. (Matthew 3 12, Matthew 13:47, 2 Tim 2:20)
The two passages from Matthew don't say any more than the parable of wheat and tares, and stands more as a warning of coming judgement for the entire world. The Church is not mentioned here at all.

2 Timothy 2 is an interesting example (though verse 19 might have been more appropriate to your stance), but not in the way you seem to think. The entirety of the chapter is not about an "invisible" church but about those who depart from the apostolic teaching delivered by St Paul, starting with a reminder followed by simple creed then going into specific examples of what to watch for. The instruction to St Timothy is to expel heretics (2:16-17) from the Church; not to let them go on teaching whatever they wish, St Timothy being secure in the knowledge of an "invisible" church that continues on in the hearts of the "true" believer. The Church is visible, and as her local bishop in Ephesus St Timothy has the task of making the rounds and standing watch, separating out the goats from the lambs.
Ok let's try this another way.

If i ask you where the church is, will you give me a convoluted answer or can you point me to this visible church?
10760 Baltimore Avenue  Beltsville, MD 20705

Geeez that was easy

Here is the web address with driving directions:

http://holyapostlesorthodoxchurch.org/
Ha! I came "" this close to doing the same thing with my parish in my response- I even had the web-page loaded up to copy-paste the directions.
Go ahead and post it. It makes the point even stronger..
 

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HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

FormerReformer said:
Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari- not exactly the company I'd like to keep.
I agree a lot of folks living the victor's history have come to see Protestantism as this innocent victim of Catholic and European corruption where as the early "Protestants" as you quoted were in fact quite violent and dangerous.  The violence of the Inquisition was a direct reaction to violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy.  Interesting how "proto-Protestantism" evolved as the logical replacement for Apostolic Succession to explain validity and legitimacy, even though Protestantism is a broken chain of history and further, who would want to be associated with all the historical heresiarchs ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Could you direct me to some references to this "violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy" please, I have not heard this before and would like to read further on this. Thanks.
 

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wasamwillbe said:
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

FormerReformer said:
Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari- not exactly the company I'd like to keep.
I agree a lot of folks living the victor's history have come to see Protestantism as this innocent victim of Catholic and European corruption where as the early "Protestants" as you quoted were in fact quite violent and dangerous.  The violence of the Inquisition was a direct reaction to violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy.  Interesting how "proto-Protestantism" evolved as the logical replacement for Apostolic Succession to explain validity and legitimacy, even though Protestantism is a broken chain of history and further, who would want to be associated with all the historical heresiarchs ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Could you direct me to some references to this "violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy" please, I have not heard this before and would like to read further on this. Thanks.
ummm read Irish history much? how about early American History? there has almost always been great animosity between protestants and Catholics. The Brits used to call the Irish polytheistic heretics.. Not to mention KKK targeting Catholics and Orthodox which were led by many protestant leaders...
 

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Seafra said:
wasamwillbe said:
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

FormerReformer said:
Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari- not exactly the company I'd like to keep.
I agree a lot of folks living the victor's history have come to see Protestantism as this innocent victim of Catholic and European corruption where as the early "Protestants" as you quoted were in fact quite violent and dangerous.  The violence of the Inquisition was a direct reaction to violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy.  Interesting how "proto-Protestantism" evolved as the logical replacement for Apostolic Succession to explain validity and legitimacy, even though Protestantism is a broken chain of history and further, who would want to be associated with all the historical heresiarchs ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Could you direct me to some references to this "violence sparked by Protestant radicals who burned parishes and even assassinated clergy" please, I have not heard this before and would like to read further on this. Thanks.
ummm read Irish history much? how about early American History? there has almost always been great animosity between protestants and Catholics. The Brits used to call the Irish polytheistic heretics.. Not to mention KKK targeting Catholics and Orthodox which were led by many protestant leaders...
my misunderstanding, I thought he was referring to Montanists, Novatianists, Donatists, Cathari.
 
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