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Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein
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gogh
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Post: #31
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Hi Yannis

Re: "My friend gogh and others here would have us believe these men to be agents of the Devil..."

Might you be jumping to conclusions that may not be accurate?

For example, Johannes Gutenberg for example, might well have been an agent of God, as others surely were, imo.

From my perspective, issue here, is the inappropriateness of looking to any other than our Lord Jesus as the one deserving of complete trust, faith and authority.

(Regarding the posted picture; was not intended to focus on the individual....the position of authority assumed, is what is inappropriate... imo.)

Further:

Why pose for a picture, unless one wants to be seen/acknowledged?




:coffeeread: :drinking: :coffeeread:


"......."This is my Son, whom I have chosen. Keep listening to him!" Luke 9:35
05-30-2011 07:51 PM
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Interpretum
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Post: #32
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Yannis Wrote:
How can you trust the New Testament that the Church gave you and NOT trust the Church? :whistle:


For the same reason I can trust the Old Testament and yet not necessarily the Jewish system that produced it.


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05-30-2011 08:11 PM
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Yannis
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Post: #33
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

COMankind Wrote:

Quote:
But you claim that the early church apostaszied, so you have a problem, for by that logic then you believe that Christ's Body is corrupted.


Yannis, actually, I don't think this at all. I frankly believe that the city of Constantinople was the "beloved city" of Revelation 20:9.


That's an interesting take. I have never heard that before.

COMankind Wrote:
But I just want to let this go in respect for your beliefs, because it's really not worth the anger. In love brother.


That's fine but who is angry?


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
05-30-2011 08:13 PM
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Yannis
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Post: #34
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

gogh Wrote:
Hi Yannis

Re: "My friend gogh and others here would have us believe these men to be agents of the Devil..."

Might you be jumping to conclusions that may not be accurate?

For example, Johannes Gutenberg for example, might well have been an agent of God, as others surely were, imo.


Gutenberg lived during the Middle Ages, he was NOT part of the Early Church. Early Church period is from roughly 100 CE through 4th century.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
05-30-2011 08:15 PM
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gogh
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Post: #35
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

...my point is simply.....when handing out credits, my thoughts go to the inventor of the printing press, that's all... (as this invention has contributed very much, literally/physically, to promoting and recommending our Lord Jesus)....

:coffeeread:


"......."This is my Son, whom I have chosen. Keep listening to him!" Luke 9:35
05-30-2011 08:46 PM
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Post: #36
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Hi Yannis

I do find it a bit ironic that this post is turning into the very thing that was pointed out in the article, i.e. bickering over doctrines :D

On a more serious note, a couple of things spring to mind...

(1) I don't think any of us were "poking fun" at the picture as such. Speaking for myself, I was simply pointing out that I cannot imagine any of the apostles ever wearing such garb.

(2) What does the Old Testament priesthood have to do with anything? I thought you believed that was done away with? (On the other hand, I personally believe that a Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, along with a priesthood and re-allocation of Israel, as per Ezekiel 40-48... so I can sympathize with your viewpoint somewhat.)

(3) The New Testament teaches that the "church" is simply the collective body of believers... certainly not the "Orthodox Church" ™ or even the "Catholic Church" ™, both of whom apparently claim to be the inheritors of 1st century Christianity.

On the contrary, Jesus can create a "church" anywhere, because...

"Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them." (Matt 18:20)

In other words, if three people gather in a private home (like the "churches" in Acts) to worship God and gather in Christ's name, they are essentially a "church". If they are able to grow larger, the New Testament even gives instructions on how to appoint elders etc., and their qualifications.

I take your point about the origin of the New Testament. Nevertheless, we have the Old Testament as well, the product of the Jewish system... and yet few here regularly go to the synagogue to offer up a turtledove nowadays.


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05-30-2011 08:51 PM
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Isaiah 43:10
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Post: #37
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Hi Yannis,

Wow, this thread has gone haywire since I last checked it, and I feel mostly to blame. It's been a long time since I've posted here, and I had no idea you were vested in this particular church. I thought you were just sharing an interesting testimony you had read. I sincerely apologize if my remarks came across as callous or insensitive.

Believe me, I am in awe of the priestly garments of the Old Covenant, because each and every piece was symbolic, just as each and every furnishing of the Tabernacle symbolized something greater -- and all of these symbolisms/shadows/types were fulfilled in our precious Lord, Jesus Christ. Today, the only priestly garment I stand in awe of is the "robe dipped in blood" belonging to my Savior. But I do realize that there are people who need an earthly authority to look up to, and I'm sorry for poking fun.

I tend to distrust any organization or denomination that claims to be the exclusive way to salvation, because Jesus said he is the way. And I feel that the Bible speaks of "the church" in terms of people, not buildings or denominations. I see "the church" as the body of Christ:

[Jesus] is also head of the body, the church; (Col. 1:18)

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church (Col. 1:24)

I think one of the best descriptions of the "church" is found at Eph. 4:15-16:

"But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."

IMHO, I am the church! You are the church, if you have committed your life to the Lord Jesus Christ. The "church" is also anywhere that two or three of us (or two or three thousand of us; or any number of us) are gathered together in his name.

Edit: I had only read the first page when I wrote this reply. I just took the time to read the second and third, and noticed it has calmed down, and also that I seem to have repeated sentiments that were already expressed by others.

WCL,

peacelily[/b]

05-31-2011 12:27 AM
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Beau Wetini
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Post: #38
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Isaiah 43:10 Wrote:
Hi Yannis,

Wow, this thread has gone haywire since I last checked it, and I feel mostly to blame.


Yes, its all your fault!!


*just kidding sis! :D


LIVE THE KINGDOM NOW!!


05-31-2011 02:04 AM
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Isaiah 43:10
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Post: #39
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Beau Wetini Wrote:
Yes, its all your fault!!


*just kidding sis! :D


Hahaha...Hi Beau! :friends:

It's okay; I don't mind being the scapegoat. I made some unfair comparisons. :blush: I didn't even know the pic gogh posted was an Eastern Orthodox priest until I googled some images! They all seem to resemble Santa Claus to me, but hey, Santa Claus held a fond place in my heart when I was growing up.

WCL,
Cindy

05-31-2011 01:17 PM
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Willa
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Post: #40
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

The Greek (Eastern) Orthodox Church in America —
http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/

I'm looking at this link - is this a fair representation of the church you attend, Yannis?
What are the services like - is there a 'sermon'? is it in English or Greek, or Latin like Catholics? is there singing? I really miss the singing.

:)


:heartbeat: You are my friends! I don't think it just by chance, but by God's Grand Design, that He has guided both our steps... to let your paths cross mine. :heartbeat:
05-31-2011 05:04 PM
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Willa
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Post: #41
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

http://www.religionfacts.com/christianit...hodoxy.htm

There's this too.
It seems there are 2 main factions - East and West - which are you, Yannis?

:)


:heartbeat: You are my friends! I don't think it just by chance, but by God's Grand Design, that He has guided both our steps... to let your paths cross mine. :heartbeat:
05-31-2011 05:18 PM
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llee
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Post: #42
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

gogh Wrote:
One can determine much by observing how another chooses to dress/present themselves before an audience/be seen etc...



:coffeeread:


Hi bro gogh:hibye:

Thanx for reminding me of this Scripture regarding the "queen": "...Too bad, too bad--the great city, clothed with fine linen and purple and scarlet, and richly adorned with gold ornament and precious stone and pearl,..." Rev 18:16

sis


Psalms 68:11 "Jehovah himself gives the saying;
The women telling the good news are a large army."

"Every civilization learns what it needs to know, and the next one forgets it." Gil Grissom CSI


05-31-2011 06:43 PM
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Yannis
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Post: #43
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Willa Wrote:
The Greek (Eastern) Orthodox Church in America —
http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/

I'm looking at this link - is this a fair representation of the church you attend, Yannis?


Yes it is Willa.

Willa Wrote:
What are the services like - is there a 'sermon'? is it in English or Greek, or Latin like Catholics? is there singing? I really miss the singing.

:)


The services, lasting about two hours, are in both Greek and English, it is almost entirety done through singing and chanting. There are intercessory prayers, the reading of the days Gospels and Epistles, a homily and communion.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
05-31-2011 10:02 PM
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Yannis
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Post: #44
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Willa Wrote:
http://www.religionfacts.com/christianit...hodoxy.htm

There's this too.
It seems there are 2 main factions - East and West - which are you, Yannis?

:)


I belong to the East. The West is considered Catholic and Protestant.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
05-31-2011 10:03 PM
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AlienResident
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Post: #45
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Dear Yannis,

I was baptised into the orthodox church at the age of only 80 days. I was raised as an orthodox, because my family, everyone in the town and elsewhere in the country was Orthodox.

It was not a childhood I would wish my children to grow up. The orthodox church's version of an empending Armageddon, the judgement that is to follow and the hellfire awiting those unorthodox people was terrifying to put it mildly. Every second night, I had nightmares that were crushing me the whole day. My ability to concentrate at school was heavily blocked. I was traumatised to the extreme.

The shameless luxury those at the position of leadership were living was (and still is) unbelievable. And that, in one of the poorest countries in the world, Ethiopia. Their lives were not exemplary, to say the least.

The bible in the orthodox church is just one if its numerous books. It is only cited whenever it fits to warn people of the consequences fo leaving the orthodox church and to defame other denominations as satanic.

The most annoying thing about the orthodox church is the position Jesus our Saviour hold in the heavenly hierarchy. Jesus is just one of the saints and angels in heaven. And there are many, many, literally hundreds of angels and saints who are said to be able entercede to soften God's face on our behalf when we pray to them and donate our money. I was very much surprised when one day a pentecostal person read me John 14:6 I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. I haven't heard of this text in my life.

Already in my early teens, I didn't want to do anything with my church and had almost become atheist. In my late 20's I joined the witnesses and was eventually baptised. Shortly afterwads, I heard from my family that I was excommunicated by the orthodox priests. I will never even be burried in the region if I died.

15 years later, the witnesses for whose sake I was ex-communicated by the orthodox ex-communicated me for disagreeing on their doctrine. I had to be baptised for the third time in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit. I hope the fourth one never comes, Lol.

We people tend to hang in around others who usurp power claiming they speak for God and God speaks only through them. There is already a tendency among ex-Witnesses to mystify and venerate folks like Ray Franz and I don't really know where it is going to lead. I wouldn't wonder if this man evolves into a position of ex-Witness-saint some time in the future. Afterall, this is how it all started.

I believe no denomination can claim an excusive right to lead worshippers to God. No membership to a certain church earns us God's approval. But on the otherhand, I don't believe God dissaproves us on the basis of our belongingness to a certain denomination either.

My being raised as an orthodox was beneficial in some ways. My years as a witness had been equally useful, given my level of undertanding at the time. The freedom I enjoy now is something I'm not going to hand over to any group or church again. All my three baptisms were appropriate at their own time.

My past dissapointments didn't stop me to look for a group of christians and associate with them. Since some months, I attend a local splitter group known an the free church and I'm enjoying it very much. I don't agree with some of what they believe, but that is by no means a hinderance to my relationship to them. They call the name of Jesus and that is for me the strongest binding factor. The love among them has very much surprised me.

God is very much interessted in how we treat others, and associations provide a marvelous opprotunity. Regardless of where we feel at home, our belongingness and attendance to a given church should always be motivated by what we can do to others and love them, even while they don't love us. That is the lesson God wants us to learn and that is the reason he tolerate the very existense of all these denominations, even those that defile his name.

WCL

AR


Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.- MLK

06-01-2011 08:17 AM
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