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Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein
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Yannis
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Post: #46
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

AlienResident Wrote:
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.


AR, i certainly am not going to deny what you experienced BUT the beliefs that you mention here is foreign to Eastern Orthodoxy and here is why.

Since you are Ethiopian it sounds like that you belonged to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church which i have to tell you is NOT part of the Eastern Orthodox Churches but Oriental Orthodox Church and has not been in communion with the Eastern Church for over a thousand years.

Eastern Orthodox believes that Jesus Christ is not just one of many Saints but God Himself.

The Bible, since it is the only inspired book, is central to the life of the Church. It is not one of numerous books for us.

Saints intercede for us so we appropriately ask for their prayers just like we would from fellow believers here in earth.

Armageddon is never mentioned in any of the spiritual books i have read or talked about EVER. We dont even read from Revelations during the Divine Liturgy.

Hope this helps clear up any misunderstandings!


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
06-01-2011 09:15 AM
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COMankind
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Post: #47
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Yannis, I most certainly respect each man's ability to choose his path, as I have chosen mine. But when a person prescribes to a religion, they take it part and parcel....and find themselves defending their beliefs, instead of defending God.

There are so many aspects to each religion, like the following, that tell me the wilderness is where God wants me personally to be. You've already said the wilderness is wrong. I guess i hope we can agree that nothing is 100% right, and each man is afforded the opportunity to seek truth.

-----

"Pre-eminent among the saints is the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos ("God-bearer"). In Orthodox theology, the Theotokos is the fulfillment of the Old Testament archetype revealed in the Ark of the Covenant, because she carried the New Covenant in the person of Christ;"


"Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” mark 3:31-35

----

Tis is not meant to create a debate or attack, just simply point out that nothing is definitive from the seats we're in. In kindness.


philia, COMankind

"The tent of God is with mankind" - Rev 21:3

06-01-2011 09:55 AM
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Yannis
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Post: #48
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

COMankind Wrote:
You've already said the wilderness is wrong.


Actually, i dont remember ever saying such a thing. If i may bring out, the early christians did not believe in such a doctrine of a wilderness, they went to actual churches led by a bishop.

COMankind Wrote:
"Pre-eminent among the saints is the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos ("God-bearer"). In Orthodox theology, the Theotokos is the fulfillment of the Old Testament archetype revealed in the Ark of the Covenant, because she carried the New Covenant in the person of Christ;"


"Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” mark 3:31-35


Tis is not meant to create a debate or attack, just simply point out that nothing is definitive from the seats we're in. In kindness.


Dont you believe the Scriptures? Do NOT the Scriptures say that Jesus was born of a virgin, and her name was Mary?

Matt 1:20-23

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

And do NOT the Scriptures call Jesus God? Isa 9:6, John 1:1

What is dubious about the belief that Mary is called the Theotokos ("God-bearer")?


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
06-01-2011 11:56 AM
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veritas re
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Post: #49
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

I try to avoid getting into “primacy” debates because I honestly don’t think it’s possible that after almost 2,000 years of “church” history that a reliable and factual account exists that can help us delineate how it all went down after the apostles passed from the scene.

I’ve followed these sorts of threads with interest for years and have read a lot of early “church father” material - that while enlightening as to details of apparent “early” church history - honestly leaves gaps that appears to me to be assumptions based on present practice of the times and do not appear to make what I see as the huge jump from the early home based ecclesias that we do find in Scripture - to the full on “church” traditions and buildings and garb of later centuries which we do not find in Scripture.

An Orthodox workmate of mine engaged me in a dialog that has jogged a few ideas I want to put forth that hopefully will be value add in terms of probing some new horizons of the primacy debate. I’m seeking first century historical backup for what I see are mainly assumptions from latter centuries that are based on reading this “church father” or that “church father” - from different points in post first century church history - that while I don’t question their faith and viewpoint I do question the validation for their “church tradition” as being apostolic in nature, since it can be shown that the monkey see monkey do syndrome was very powerful much like the present doctoral educational system of our day where a degree candidate needs to comply with the doctoral status quo if they hope to themselves get a doctorate degree - and a job in established academia.

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


The New Testament evolution and “the Church” are not automatically required to be chained together, and it is an assumption to connect the New Testament to the “Church” as if one is forced by some rule to directly cause or lead to the other. Everyone will agree that the period of New Testament writing was apostolic – but “the Church” as it looks today did not have to evolve at the same time. While the Church is indeed ancient – is it ancient enough? While New Testament Greek manuscript fragments go back to the late first century there are no accounts that verify what “the Church” looked like as far as liturgical traditions of robes or buildings.

The written apostolic accounts that were done when the apostles were alive mention Christians meeting in homes and gymnasiums, but there is no mention of the present “church” structure as having all the trappings of religious garb and icons and buildings with crosses on top of the steeple. What is evident in history is that Christianity was a much persecuted group for hundreds of years until Constantine decided to make it the official religion of Empire and his reasons for so doing are controversial. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he converted to Christianity, but the fact that he was able to get a few hundred ecclesiastically dressed “clerics” gathered for the Nicene Counsel does seem odd for a group that was getting thrown to the lions every month.

No doubt the pagan religious leaders of the Roman Empire were not too happy about getting the boot as the official Roman religion – while the Christians were real happy about not getting thrown to the lions anymore. I think they made a deal – you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. We’ll need buildings that can house large gatherings for the Sunday discourses, and pagendom just happened to have plenty of vacant buildings around. And we’ll need way more priests than we have now to service the entire empire, so the pagan priests could easily keep their paychecks coming in by copping to some Christian views which hey – its all esoterical enough to keep the flocks happy and the pagans can keep their robes and buildings – put a Bible and a cross on the altar – and adjust a little.

And since the flocks were used to seeing some pomp and circumstance under the pagan worship system, to preserve the peace which is what the emperor is looking to do, lets be realistic and not throw out the baby with the bathwater and have the Christian officients dress for the occasion using what may well have been from their Jewish backgrounds at the ancient temple as far as hats and robes. It’s all good and we can all go on vacation this year instead of risking being hounded by the local Roman brigades.

Live and let live – wrong? I’m not so sure it was apostolic in design, but I’m also not sure it was wrong either since Christian religious procedures are not laid out specifically in Scripture so a freeform arrangement to me does not seem completely out of line. Many will take issue with wedding rings or anniversaries – does anyone care - including God? What bugs me with Orthodox and Catholic claim to fame is the buildings and the icons and religious garb that I can’t find in any New Testament account as apostolic instructions to do, and kissing idols of Mary and Jesus on the way in seems to not have anything instructional from the apostles to be doing.

I will say that it’s interesting that the western India Christian tradition - apparently started early on by the apostle Thomas in person - has all the trappings of garb and buildings. Also the churches of Asia Minor and Russia and Rome all share similar traditions. And Ethiopia which may have been started by the Ethiopian eunuch has “regular” church looking setups would seem as possible validation for an early beginning from whatever apostolic tradition that may have been in place then stuck. As someone mentioned on another thread it may be more about what is in our hearts - and not so much about the buildings or what the honchos are wearing.

I plan on doing a study on this topic someday - interviewing resurrected people that were there...


v r


"...and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free."
06-12-2011 10:05 PM
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veritas re
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Post: #50
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

I’ve always been mystified by - how did the home church ecclesia arrangements of the first century mentioned in the New Testament develop into the huge big box church system with traditions and icons and hierarchical priests? Jesus and the apostles said to beware of ones that would not treat the flock with tenderness, that would with “covetousness” exploit the rank and file, so we know that had to have happened – but how and when – and – was the big box church system in place from apostolic times or did that happen later but early on - so that it appears it was there all along?

The standard idea of mass “apostasy” overtaking the early Christians never seemed to explain this, because it seems to have happened too fast and too consistently across the entire Roman world, and it seems extremely odd to me that the church of Jesus and the apostles could have went from being a ragtag band of persecuted individuals under the Roman Empire into becoming the Cadillac religion of the ancient world in just fifty years into the second century, and if that did happen there must have been a sudden cause and not a slow evolution otherwise the home church tradition would have had a higher likelihood of still being here. And yet as far back as history can capture the big box church “tradition” seems to be present - as if it was there from the beginning – which I don’t think it could have been. Why would the apostles have imitated the old temple arrangement under the Law when they knew – clearly – that Jesus had setup a spiritual “temple” of individual Christians and a “church” that fulfilled and replaced the physical system the Jews lived under?

Conquest of Jerusalem by Hadrian in 134
I recently ran across an interesting piece that commented briefly as to a possible reason how the “church” may have morphed – very early on – from the ragtag band of faithful into the formal pomp and circumstance setup of bishops and archbishops and church councils - that appears to have been in place from very early on.

Jesus told the disciples to flee Jerusalem when they saw it encircled by the armies of Rome, and history verifies this happened prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. So it appears that the Christians all left and were preserved alive along with whatever their meeting tradition was at the time. In the larger cities no doubt by then they had more people than would fit into the original home based congregation meeting places, so its reasonable they acquired bigger places such as “upper rooms” as a natural evolution to accommodate their gatherings. But again, did they come in from the beginning with all the trappings of “church” stuff with robes and religious icons and such? I just can’t see where they could have since the apostles were still around and Jesus left no instructions around how they should worship as far as formalities.

I agree that the original Christians would have been heavily “Jewish” in their thinking, but did they bring the temple worship traditions with them into Christianity when they understood that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law? It seems hard to believe they would have, and given they were soon given the boot from the Jewish synagogues where they evidently continued to associate after 33 CE, went so far as to setup their own churchy looking buildings with crosses and paid clergy when they were a poor and persecuted group just worried about staying alive everyday – even worried about their own Jewish countrymen coming after them.

The theory is that there had been an east-west conflict brewing over how the Christian system should run - because certain ones were looking to cash in just like Jesus and the apostles warned and needed to get themselves setup as “leaders”. The Jewish Christian church leadership in Jerusalem that were closest to the apostolic influences were wise to this and worked to resist it. But when Hadrian conquered Jerusalem, the Jewish Christian leadership were all scattered or killed – and then the Roman Christian influence took over that by then had been somewhat compromised by pagan Roman influences – which is where the big church and clergy and pomp and circumstance tradition took dominance – early on – and then from there took ascendancy and overwrote the original home based traditions the apostles had setup.

And when the east west Empire began to split over Latin and Greek factions and political lines, the whole church setup we now see today followed along what were pagan influences as far as formal worship and buildings went, since the pagan clergy suddenly found a new source of flocks they could stay in business even as pagandom ceased to be the popular religion of Empire, as the ragtag Christians continued as they were able but fell off the historical map even becoming outcasts living in small persecuted groups such as the Waldenses and Lollards – and groups that history did not record - since who is it that writes what is seen as official “history”? - the ones in charge.




v r


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06-14-2011 03:09 AM
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smoldering wick
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Post: #51
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

veritas re Wrote:
I agree that the original Christians would have been heavily “Jewish” in their thinking,

And so do I v r. Once you understand what the Romans finally did to Hebraic thinking then it becomes clear what it was that took its place. The following website discusses this very subject and what it is that we Greco-Romans cannot know because the culture was destroyed along with its language.

Lost in Translation

Another related point is what I posted earlier on another thread: Servants of the Spirit or Prisoners of the Organization

I think you'll find them enlightening to say the least. They were for me.

Stay with the spirit,

sw


"What cannot be understood is no object of belief.” Isaac Newton.
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06-14-2011 12:09 PM
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smoldering wick
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RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Yannis Wrote:

COMankind Wrote:
"Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” mark 3:31-35


Dont you believe the Scriptures? Do NOT the Scriptures say that Jesus was born of a virgin, and her name was Mary?

Yannis, you didn't even attempt to answer COMankind's query of Mark 3:31-35. All you did was open up a whole mess of other arguments. And try to be civil. You are not the only bearer of truth.

Love,

sw


"What cannot be understood is no object of belief.” Isaac Newton.
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"The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it.” H. L. Mencken
06-14-2011 03:38 PM
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Yannis
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Post: #53
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

smoldering wick Wrote:

Yannis Wrote:

COMankind Wrote:
"Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” mark 3:31-35


Dont you believe the Scriptures? Do NOT the Scriptures say that Jesus was born of a virgin, and her name was Mary?


Yannis, you didn't even attempt to answer COMankind's query of Mark 3:31-35. All you did was open up a whole mess of other arguments. And try to be civil. You are not the only bearer of truth.

Love,

sw


To be quite honest, i thought COMankind's query was on Mary being called Mother of God and so that's what i focused on.

I didnt think i was being uncivil sw, a little passionate perhaps, yes.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
06-14-2011 06:40 PM
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COMankind
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Post: #54
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Yannis Wrote:

smoldering wick Wrote:
Yannis, you didn't even attempt to answer COMankind's query of Mark 3:31-35. All you did was open up a whole mess of other arguments. And try to be civil. You are not the only bearer of truth.


To be quite honest, i thought COMankind's query was on Mary being called Mother of God and so that's what i focused on.


Thanks SW, I forgot about this thread actually....

Yannis - I was hoping you would see this: If Jesus didn't see the need to bring honor to his mother in the presence of his disciples (even going to the point of recognizing the crowd as having equal/more significance to him than Mary) then how is it even logical that his followers should treat her as "pre-eminent among saints"? Isn't a teaching being abandoned for ritual?

This principle is embroiled in religion, and each of us has a choice to either cherish the physical or the spiritual.


philia, COMankind

"The tent of God is with mankind" - Rev 21:3

06-14-2011 09:23 PM
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Yannis
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Post: #55
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

COMankind Wrote:

Yannis Wrote:

smoldering wick Wrote:
Yannis, you didn't even attempt to answer COMankind's query of Mark 3:31-35. All you did was open up a whole mess of other arguments. And try to be civil. You are not the only bearer of truth.


To be quite honest, i thought COMankind's query was on Mary being called Mother of God and so that's what i focused on.


Thanks SW, I forgot about this thread actually....

Yannis - I was hoping you would see this: If Jesus didn't see the need to bring honor to his mother in the presence of his disciples (even going to the point of recognizing the crowd as having equal/more significance to him than Mary) then how is it even logical that his followers should treat her as "pre-eminent among saints"? Isn't a teaching being abandoned for ritual?

This principle is embroiled in religion, and each of us has a choice to either cherish the physical or the spiritual.


The meaning behind Mark 3:31-35 is the expansion of the boundaries of “family” beyond blood relatives, spouses, and even disciples to include those who hunger for a relationship with God and are willing to do God’s will.

It does not touch on the pre-eminence of the Theotokos so we should not infer anything else from Mark.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
06-14-2011 11:55 PM
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veritas re
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Post: #56
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Beau Wetini Wrote:
The way I see it, is that we are part of a spiritual evolution - a continuum of spiritual growth that spans eternity. We see this go through from the first humans, right through to our day and beyond.

Just as God no longer requires us to become Jews, He no longer requires us to follow in the traditions of men (however meaningful and sincere they may be). That is not to say that either of these two are obsolete, but I think that God doesn’t sit in Heaven with a list of requirements that force people into doing one or the other, or perhaps something that is completely different. I’m quite sure God isn’t that pedantic.

Just as we are no longer required to sacrifice animals and engage in ceremonies of a time long gone by, I see this as the same with ceremonies and rituals from the Early Church. It’s just not a requirement.

Holding onto tradition, imo, is more of a sentimental longing for what was - an effort to live as close to "the right way" as possible - and yet, what was, was the physical representation of how reality was understood for that time. And yet, "the right way" hasn’t left, and it hasn’t changed - it is where we are, it’s not something that has a fixed location.

How we evolve is up to each of us. I’m enjoying the journey so far. And I look forward to the future as it arrives.



Nicely worded expression - that says much.

El Shaddai can see the end from the beginning – since he is able to not only see the possibilities – but to make the possibilities happen. The phrase “continuum of spiritual growth that spans eternity” encapsules in few words the long term outlook of the heavenly Father and the Son Jesus who have been amazing in their proactive and insightful visions for the future of the intelligent creation.

It’s important that we work to think beyond the obvious as mere man does not have the long range view that God has - which is why we will not succeed without higher level insights – the long range vision that while taking longer to get there once there is solid.

I see the collective insights of real people seeking to find real truth and the cosmic answers to the cosmic questions as not happening by accident - but have been empowered by the great God who is able to straighten out the mess of Eden – forever.

I too am very much "enjoying the journey” and someday I’ll be dialing up many of you as collaborators on writing a history of the world from Day 1 of the rebellion into the end of it. I think it’s critical to never forget the lessons of mankind rebelled from God - as a way to never forget the lessons of the past. Some may say why do that – what's done is done and who wants to think about all that? One reason I think its important is because after the thousand years of peace on earth which I see as literal – Satan manages to again mislead persons into rebelling in some way against the God they know provides for them.

As I see it ones like us - that were here throughout history and have learned the lessons of the past – will need to be on the ball to help others reason logically in order to fight against the next round of Satanic false reasoning and delusion.



v r


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06-15-2011 04:15 AM
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veritas re
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Post: #57
RE: Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? by Fr. James Bernstein

Yannis Wrote:
Because when you realize that the Early Church, who complied the New Testament, could not, did not, apostatize, that my friend has real implications.


What convinced me that there is no such thing as a pure church here on the earth is the parable of the wheat and the weeds. I initially was led to believe that a certain modern day religious group were the “wheat class” that had been “harvested” from the field of the earth, and that these ones had a special commission to preach the "real" good news in all the earth during a period of “last days” and then the end would come.

But to get that teaching to work one has to disregard a key component, that the harvest of real Christians from the false would not happen until the conclusion of the system of things – and – that the reapers would be superhuman angels not other people that somehow would be able to tell the difference between wheat and weeds based on whether or not they accepted a certain “kingdom” message from some certain group. I’m really so glad that superhuman angels – under direct instructions from the Son himself - are going to do this work, because there is no way for anyone to tell based on outside appearances and actions. Verification of this notion is the seven congregations in Asia Minor in the apostle John’s day – a mixed bag of wheat and weeds all attending the ecclesias and all considered part of the church by Jesus - since he tells them if they don’t repent they would be in a position to receive negative judgment.

The apostle Paul points out that Satan is able to replicate an angel of light, and it was no big deal for his human agents to make themselves appear as ministers of righteousness. It is the height of head in the sand thinking to trust that any group anywhere on the earth could be immune from this syndrome – thus the parable dials into the reality that Jesus was pointing out. I used to think that the apostle Paul’s words that Satan has mislead the entire inhabited earth meant everyone but a certain group that had achieved spiritual immunity – but no, Paul really meant the entire inhabited earth including all religious systems. Look what happened to the nation of Israel that for sure were God’s people because of the physically seeable miraculous events that took place. Yet even many of them wound up deceived, so by what line of reasoning would the Christian system be different? If it were, then the parable of the wheat and the weeds as stated by the Son of God himself becomes void.

So where are the true Christians at? Where they have been all along - mixed in with the weeds and indiscernible to anyone until the harvest - which is yet future. In the meantime I wouldn’t have a problem associating with the Orthodox groups, I really like a lot of their views especially that they don’t proselytize and they truly are focused on letting their lights shine in real ways and not by some pompous self righteous “preaching work”. I watch a lot of a cable channel EWTN (The Eternal Word Television Network), a Catholic channel, and I’m always impressed with how engaged they are with real world problems like abortion, and the very loving manner they employ in working to show the error of that by attending peaceful demonstrations and engaging in trying to end such an awful practice.

One of the shows I watch is named Woman Of Grace and deals with the exalted and key role of Godly woman in the family and how young woman can model themselves after Godly values and older female mentors to themselves become beautiful within as well as without. And the men are mentored to be loving family heads fathers and husbands that protect and love their families and not be pompous jerks that lord it over others. There is one show modeled on a sports newscast called The End Zone where men come on and discuss ways this can be done. There are shows where young people get to express their faith in real world ways and it’s inspiring that they are mentored to be happy spiritually and successful materially – well balanced people in a crazy sick world. I know a guy at work that takes his whole family down to the local homeless shelters a few times a year to help in the soup kitchen. When we chat of topics of faith I see love for his fellow man in his eyes – not some sort of “apostate” because he goes to the Catholic Church.

Do I agree with popes and priests and big box churches and rosary beads and Hail Marys and Our Fathers? No, but I agree with the inner faith that motivates these people and that sure puts me to shame. And if their concept of worship is tweaked – so what – mine likely is tweaked too because I’m never serving soup at the homeless shelter. I believe that actions have to be the key component of how Jesus sees people and he will one day fix whatever religious misconceptions people have. Jesus said his real wheat like followers would be marked by their having love amongst themselves, not by how they dressed or if they had a cross around their necks – all merely outward garb that does not – cannot – reveal the inner heart and motivation.



v r


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06-15-2011 10:56 PM
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