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Monday, September 28, 2009

"The Structure and Worship of the Early Church" by Clark Carlton

This is from the Father Alexander website.

"Introduction



The cup of blessing which we
bless, is it not the communion of the Blood of Christ? The bread which we break,
is it not the communion of the Body of Christ? For we being many are one bread,
and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread (1 Cor. 10:16-17).


The reason why different denominations, with very different forms of
church government, can all claim to be based on the "New Testament model" is
that the New Testament is not very specific about how the Church is to be
organized or how services are to be conducted. It would be a grave mistake,
however, to infer from this that the early Church had no definite structure or
patterns of worship. The New Testament does not give a detailed plan of Church
government, because the Church already existed when the books of the New
Testament were written. As we pointed out above, the epistles were not written
to be an "owner's manual."

Because of this, if we want to know more
about the early Church, we must look beyond the pages of the Scriptures to the
earliest documents of the post-apostolic Church. This is not to suggest that
these other documents are more important-or even as important-as the Divine
Scriptures; they certainly are not. Their importance lies in the fact that they
tell us how the earliest Christians interpreted the Bible and applied those
interpretations to their lives. In doing so, they answer many of the questions
that modern Protestants have about Church life.

Earlier (in ch. 5) we
examined how the description of Baptism in the Didache shed light on the
biblical passages relating to the practice of Baptism. Let us now turn our
attention to a more systematic study of life in the early Church, focusing in
particular on Church government and worship.

In addition to the Didache,
four other documents from the first two centuries help us understand how the
early Church was organized and how She worshipped: I Clement, the Letters of St.
Ignatios of Antioch, the Apologies of St. Justin the Philosopher, and Against
Heresies by St. Irenaios of Lyons. To be sure, we have many other documents from
the second century, but these contain the most specific information about Church
life.

I Clement is a letter that was sent from the Church in Rome to the
Church in Corinth around A.D. 95-96. Although St. Clement is not mentioned by
name in the letter, early tradition is unanimous in assigning it to Clement.
There is now no serious scholarly challenge to this attribution. St. Irenaios of
Lyons, writing in the latter half of the second century, tells us that Clement
was the third bishop of Rome and that he personally knew Ss. Peter and Paul. He
has also been connected with the Clement mentioned in Phil. 4:3. This letter,
therefore, stands as a bridge between the apostolic and post-apostolic ages.
(For a general introduction and bibliography, see Quasten, pp. 42-53.
Translations may be found in collections of the Apostolic Fathers. There is also
a translation by J.A. Kleist, The Epistles of Clement of Rome and Ignatius of
Antioch, Ancient Christian Writers, Vol. 1, NY: Newman Press, 1946. It is
generally accepted that II Clement is an early sermon by someone other than St.
Clement of Rome).

Around A.D. 107, St. Ignatios, the bishop of Antioch,
was sent, under arrest, to Rome for execution. During his sojourn, he wrote
letters to several Churches. Seven of those letters are extant. They provide an
invaluable insight into Church life at the beginning of the second century.
(Quasten, pp. 63-76).

The Apologies of St. Justin the Philosopher are
somewhat unique in that they are addressed not to fellow Christians, but to the
pagan emperor. Dating from the middle of the second century, their value for our
purpose lies in the fact that Justin describes Church life to the emperor in
order to dispel various myths that were circulating through the Roman world. I
Clement and the Letters of Ignatios are similar to the epistles of the New
Testament in that they are occasional letters. Justin, however, describes in
some detail things that these letters only hint at. (Quasten, pp. 196-221).

One could say that St. Irenaios is the theologian par excellence of the
second century. His Against Heresies is a gold mine of information. This work
dates from the second half of the second century. Though he is known as the
bishop of Lyons in Gaul (France), he was originally from Asia Minor and knew St.
Polycarp of Smyrna, who was himself a disciple of St. John the Apostle. Thus,
Irenaios was a spiritual grand-child of the Apostles. (Irenaios is also spelled
Irenaeus. For background and bibliography see Quasten, pp. 287-313. We do not
possess complete texts of Against Heresies. There is a translation in Vol. 1 of
the Ante Nicene Fathers, pp. 315-578. For excerpts, see Bettenson, pp. 65-102.).

From these documents we learn that the Church of the first two centuries
had a definite governing structure, consisting of four principle offices: the
bishop, the presbyters, the deacons, and the laity. The Church worshipped
according to a pattern based upon types set forth in the Old Testament.
Furthermore, both Church government and worship were firmly rooted in the
doctrine of the Incarnation; that is, in the belief that God had truly become
man so that man might be able to truly share in the life of God.

What is
most important about this, however, is the way in which all of these elements of
Church life were integrated with one another, forming a seamless whole. As we
shall see below, episcopal government is tied directly to the nature of the
Church as a Eucharistic community. At the same time, the Eucharist is the
ultimate manifestation of the Church's belief that Her life is nothing less than
life in Christ: He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, dwelleth in Me,
and I in him (John 6:56).



Bishops and Presbyters

In the
New Testament, the terms bishop and presbyter are used interchangeably. (Most
English translations render presbyter as elder. The KJV and RSV usually render
bishop as bishop, although the KJV does render it as overseer once (Acts 20:28).
The NIV, however, renders it as overseer exclusively, thereby avoiding using a
word that is objectionable to most Evangelicals).This is evident from the
following passage from Titus:



For this cause left I thee in
Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain
elders [lit. presbyters] in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be
blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot
or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not
self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy
lucre (Titus 1:5-7).



We can quote many similar passages from the
literature of the early Church where these terms are also used interchangeably:



Our Apostles also knew through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there
would be strife over the title of bishop. For this reason, therefore, since they
had perfect foreknowledge, they appointed the aforementioned persons and later
made further provision that if they should fall asleep, other approved men
should succeed to their ministry.... For it will be no trivial sin on our part
if we depose from the bishop's office those who have in a blameless and holy
manner offered the gifts. Happy the presbyters who have gone on their way before
this, for they obtained a ripe and fruitful departure; since they need not fear
that anyone should remove them from their appointed place. (I Clement 44. For
St. Clement, the office of bishop derives from the Apostles. Elsewhere he
writes, "The Apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ:
Jesus the Christ was sent from God. Thus Christ is from God, the Apostles from
Christ. In both cases, the process was orderly and derived from the will of
God... They preached in country and town, and appointed their first-fruits,
after testing them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who were
going to believe. Thus, the concept of "Apostolic Succession," dates from the
first century).



But when on our side we challenge them [that is,
the Gnostics] by an appeal to that tradition which derives from the Apostles,
and which is preserved in the churches by the successions of the presbyters,
then they oppose tradition claiming to be wiser not only than the presbyters but
even than the Apostles, and to have discovered the truth undefiled.... This
tradition the church has from the Apostles, and this faith has been proclaimed
to all men, and has come down to our own day through the successions of bishops
(Against Heresies III:2:2; III:3:2).

There is one writer from the second
century, however, who did not employ bishop and presbyter as interchangeable
terms: St. Ignatios of Antioch. In his Letters, St. Ignatios makes it clear that
in a given local Church, there is one bishop, a council of presbyters, and the
deacons:



All of you follow the bishop, as Jesus Christ followed
the Father, and the presbytery as the Apostles; respect the deacons as the
ordinance of God (Smyrnaeans 8).



It is commonly asserted by
Protestant scholars that St. Ignatios' view of Church government was unusual in
the early Church — even revolutionary. Indeed, the authenticity of the Ignatian
Letters was hotly contested by many Protestants, based upon their a priori
conviction that the episcopal form of Church government was impossible in the
first decade of the second century. Today, however, there is little doubt among
scholars as to the genuineness of the seven Letters in the current collection.

It cannot be denied that St. Ignatios' clearly defined use of bishop and
presbyter is highly unusual for this point in Church history. Nor can it be
denied that he places a much greater emphasis on the role of bishop than do the
other authors we are considering. However, this does not mean that the actual
Church structure he describes was unique to Antioch. On the contrary, an
examination of the other documents under consideration will demonstrate that
they evince a similar understanding of Church government. (The only exception to
this is the Didache, which gives very little information about Church
government. The Didache is concerned primarily with the authority of traveling
apostles and teachers and takes an almost apologetic attitude toward local
clergy. This is a point in favor of dating the Didache in the first century,
perhaps as early as A.D. 70. It is highly unlikely that a second century
document would give such emphasis to traveling teachers).

Although St.
Clement uses bishop and presbyter interchangeably, there is considerable
evidence that he has in mind the same kind of Church structure as described by
St. Ignatios. This letter was occasioned by dissent within the Corinthian
Church. In particular, there was a revolt against the current presbytery. In
arguing that the Corinthians should submit to their appointed leaders, St.
Clement speaks of the proper order in the Church in terms of the Old Testament
ministers of the altar:



Since then these things are manifest to
us, and we have looked into the depths of the divine knowledge, we ought to do
in order all things which the Master commanded us to perform at appointed times.
He commanded us to celebrate sacrifices and services, and that it should not be
thoughtless or disorderly, but at fixed times and hours. He has himself fixed by
His supreme will the places and persons whom He desires for these celebrations,
in order that all things may be done piously according to His good pleasure, and
be acceptable to His will.

So then those who offer their oblations at
the appointed seasons are acceptable and blessed, for they follow the laws of
the Master and do no sin. For to the high priest his proper ministrations are
allotted, and to the priests the proper place has been appointed, and on the
Levites their proper services have been imposed. The layman is bound by the
ordinances for the laity.



Here, St. Clement is describing the
proper order of the Church, but he does so using the imagery of the Old
Testament. The high priest represents the bishop. (This terminology is still
used in the Orthodox Church). The priests represent the presbytery, and the
Levites represent the deacons. Notice also that St. Clement specifically
mentions the role of the laity. Thus, for St. Clement, the Church has a
four-fold structure: bishop, presbyters, deacons, and laity.

Notice also
that St. Clement uses specifically cultic imagery. That is, the structure of the
Church is presented within the framework of Israel as a worshipping community.
In other words, the structure of the Church is directly related to the way She
worships God. This point is of the utmost importance, and we shall return to it
below.

In Against Heresies, St. Irenaios uses the succession of bishops
in the various local Churches as an argument against the Gnostics' claims to
have special knowledge handed down secretly from the Apostles. As we saw above,
St. Irenaios speaks of the succession of both presbyters and bishops. However,
when he gets around to actually listing the succession of bishops for a
particular Church — he uses Rome as his example — he gives a single line of
succession. That is, he describes one bishop succeeding another. There is no
suggestion of multiple successions. Indeed, it is Irenaios who formally
identifies St. Clement as the author of the letter from the Church of Rome to
the Corinthians:



The blessed Apostles, then, having founded and
built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the
episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him
succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the Apostles,
Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed
Apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching
of the Apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his
eyes. Nor was he alone, for there were many still remaining who had received
instructions form the Apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension
having occurred among the brethren in Corinth, the Church in Rome dispatched a
most powerful letter to the Corinthians . . . To this Clement there succeeded
Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the Apostles, Sixtus
was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus,
after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Sotor having succeeded Anicetus,
Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the Apostles, hold the
inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the
ecclesiastical tradition from the Apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have
come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same
vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the Apostles until
now, and handed down in truth (III.3.3).



From the foregoing it
is evident that while the terminology regarding the offices of bishop and
presbyter remained somewhat fluid in the first and second centuries, the offices
themselves were not interchangeable. Ss. Clement and Irenaios, like St.
Ignatios, know of only one bishop in a church at a time.




To read the rest, please visite the website.








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Icons And Words

This is taken from the podcast Glory to God by Fr. Stephen

As seen from the website:
"Fr. Stephen looks at language and how it can be seen as an icon - serving as a "Window to Heaven."



Play Audio








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Was Jesus a Myth? (A debate between Dan Barker & James White)

I don't always agree with James White, infact, I disagree with him alot on certain issues, but I thought this was a decent debate.


Part 1:




Part 2:





The Abuse and Misuse of Justin Martyr:












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Alister McGrath author of the book "The Dawkins Delusion"

Dr. Mcgrath is a Theistic Evolutionist, and so he will be looking at this whole thing from that bias.


Alister McGrath - Dawkins' God part 1




Alister McGrath - Dawkins God part 2




Alister McGrath - Dawkins' God part 3



Alister McGrath - Dawkins' God part 4



Alister McGrath - Dawkins' God part 5




Alister McGrath - Dawkins' God part 6









ICXC NIKA
Saturday, September 26, 2009

A short History of Science (the shooting from the hip version)

This was originally an answer to this question:

Quote:

""Why are there people so
sure that evolution is the truth
and that there is no way God is
real?""



Alot of christians found a harmony between Evolution & Christianity. And these christians would be labeled......even if they reject the label.......they would be labeled "Theistic Evolutionists". And most of them work in the mainstream scientific world. They existed shortly after the time Charles Darwin wrote his book "origin of species". Before that time, most people in the English speaking scientific world were Old Earth Creationists. Now the word" Creationism" is tricky for the term will differ depending on the one using the term. In the western English speaking world, most people will use the word "Creationist" when talking about Young Earth Creationism. This school of thought was brought back to life in the 1960's. I could be wrong about the exact date.........because I am shooting from the hip and not looking at anythinig. But the modern movement has it's beginning in the 20nth century.

But everyone who believes in God must believe in what is called in Latin "creatio ex-nihilo". This is probably spelled wrong, but I'm sure everyone knows what I am trying to get at.

Now as far as I know, and I could be wrong about this, but as far as I know, science first began in Egypt, and we know they were far from being Atheistic.....they were polytheists.

The greek philosopher Aristotle went to Egypt to study or gather info...and so in the western World, most of what we know about early science is normally pointed at him.

Eastern Christianity read and copied his works, and with the rise of Islam Eastern Christians not only translated his works from greek to Arabic, but they also were employed for their skills, so the glory educational days of Islam, really had alot to do with the help of Eastern Christians, and when the numbers of Eastern Christians dwindled and when radical Islam started to become more and more popular, that is when you see science in Islamic culture either stagnate or dwindle.

The Crusades brought the Arabic translations of Aristotle to the Western World, and they were later translated into latin. And this is where you get the rise of Scholasticism from as well as the later Renaissance movement.

And this is the context of where "MODERN SCIENCE" comes from. It has it's beginnings in Roman Catholic Scholasticism, only to be later developped by the Protestant Reformation, and to be honest.......it kepted on developing or changing. The Origins of species book by Charles Darwin is what took the Natural Sciences out of the exclusive hands of western christians......and it became "secular". During that time, the rise of Agnosticism and Atheism happened. Now Atheism didn't start at that time, but in the English speaking world......that is when it started to rise. The many Christians who were once Old Earth Creationists......either continued to stay Old Earthers or they became Theistic Evolutionists, Agnostic Evolutionists, or Atheistic Evolutionists.

And now the Atheists and Agnostics are the ones controling the "Natural Sciences". So they are the "PRESENT" gate keepers. For when the Old Christian Gate Keepers died......the new Atheistic and Agnostic ones took their places, and they pressure christians to either become Atheists or Agnostics......that's if you want to get far in Science......well that's what some of them may say.








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Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith (Young Earth Creationist)

To me it doesn't matter if you are a young Earther, Old Earther, or Theistic Evolutionist, but check out this young Earther by the name of Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith

He had 3 """REAL""" doctorates.....not the fake stuff.....but real ones. His critics get on him for an error that he made back in 1965, but most of what he had to say is very interesting.........even if you don't agree with it all.......you still gotta give dude his props. I don't agree with everything, but I can't deny his awsome wisdom.


(The Great Debate: Evolution or Creation Wilder-Smith)



(Time and Creation - A. E. Wilder-Smith)



(Is Man a Machine? A. E. Wilder-Smith)



(Design and Logos in Biology: A. E. Wilder Smith)



(Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith - Logos in Language)



(The Origin of Life by Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith)



(Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith - Enviroment or Genetics)



(Dr. Wilder-Smith - How did the Cell Acquire the Keys?)















ICXC NIKA

When Bishops Disappoint

This is from the podcast Speaking the Truth in Love by Fr. Thomas Hopko


As seen from the website:
"Throughout the history of the Church, there have been moments of scandal and disappointment with various hierarchs of the Church. How are we to respond as faithful Orthodox Christians? Fr. Tom shares his reflections."


Play Audio







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The Nature And Mission Of The Bishop

This is from the podcast The Illumined Heart by Kevin Allen

As seen from the website:
"In the opening program of a new series of interviews, Dr. Bradley Nassif, theologian, author and life-long member of the Antiochian Archdiocese in North America, speaks about the "The Nature and Mission of the Bishop in the Orthodox Church". You can also read Dr Nassif's one-page piece referred to in the interview from the Antiochian website."




Play Audio











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Intelligent Design





Intelligent Design - Unlocking The Mysteries Of Life:




RC Sproul interviews Ben Stein about the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed:










ICXC NIKA

Christian Nubia

Christian Nubia:



Lost glory of Christian Nubia:






Pre-christian Nubia, part 1:



Pre-christian Nubia part 2:









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Cappadocia, the Heart of Byzantium





Cappadocia









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The Christian Arab Kingdom of the Ghassanids











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A Historical Glance of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher

The link:
http://www.frmichel.najim.net/brotherenglish.pdf













ICXC NIKA
Thursday, September 24, 2009

an article about Fr.Alexander Winogradsky

This is from the AV_A blog:






"This article was published in Fall 2007 in the OCMC
Magazine. As we come to the end of 5768, a year of shmittah\שמיטה release and
rest for the earth, the 150th anniversary year of the birth of Eliezer Ben
Yehudah. He revived Hebrew, a dream that came true.

The Orthodox
Christian Mission Center (OCMC) recently began supporting the
work of
Archpriest Alexander Winogradsky in Jerusalem. Fr. Alexander leads a small
community where he performs the Liturgy in Hebrew. Offering Church services in
the native language of the Israeli people has allowed Fr.Alexander to build
bridges and reach out to those who are seeking Christ in this ancient
and
Holy Land. Fr. James Bernstein of St.Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Brier,
Washington, interviewed Fr. Alexander about his remarkable ministry.

Fr.
James/ Fr. Alexander, you are authorized to serve the Divine Liturgy and other
services in Hebrew in the Holy Land. Is the servicing of Orthodox
services
in Hebrew a recent development?

Av A./ Hebrew is the language of the Old
Testament or First Covenant, and is held in very high esteem because God Himself
chose to deliverHis first message in this language. This is why I call Hebrew my
“Father tongue,” and indeed the Lord’s Prayer begins as Jewish prayers often do:
“Our Father Who art in Heaven – Avinu shebashamayim\אבינו שבשמים.” It is a
paternal tongue, only written with consonants. Hebrew is also the major language
of the Mishnah or Talmud, the oral tradition that explains the First Covenant.

The Church was born from first century Jewish Semitic Christendom, and
thus the Greek Scriptures used by Orthodox Christians contain a lot of Semitic
phrases or expressions. Hebrew has always been a living tongue,though at times
limited to scholars and pious disputes. The revival of modern Hebrew as a spoken
language is due to the insightful courage of Eliezer Ben Yehudah, who, in the
nineteenth century, envisioned the ingathering of the exiled Jews, in the Eretz
Israel (Earth of Israel – cf. Matthew 2:21). He thought that they would need a
common language. Ben Yehudah was from Poland and met, in Paris, an Algerian Jew,
and they simply began to speak the Hebrew they had learned from use in the
prayers! He could have chosen Esperanto or any other language, but he chose
Hebrew, feeling it was a special time to revive and make Hebrew a living spoken
language.

The use of traditional and Biblical Jewish phrases common to
both Judaism and Christianity enables the Christian faith to be connected with
its roots. Hebrew is ancient, yet new, in its use within the Church. The Moscow
Russian Mission in Jerusalem proposed a translation of the Liturgy in about 1845
that was blessed by the Holy Synod at that time. The version is excellent, and
this is the text I use (with slight corrections or updates) when I celebrate the
Divine Liturgy. It is used within the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Hebrew is also my “liturgical mother tongue.” As a child I learned to
write in Yiddish, which is written with Hebrew letters, and I often read the
prayers and the Psalms in Hebrew. Some find it astounding that an Eastern
Orthodox priest knows so many of the prayers and Psalms in Hebrew by heart. In
Jerusalem, both Jews and Christians read the Psalms regularly, and
this
constitutes a significant link between us. As a priest whose ministry is to
develop and organize Hebrew-speaking Orthodox Christian communities in Israel, I
meet with a lot of Israeli people, Jewish or Christian faithful, for whom Hebrew
is their primary language.

Over three decades, Hebrew grew into a mature
colloquial language. This has a real impact on the children who go to church. At
home, the children usually continue to speak Russian or Ukrainian with those of
the previous generation, but speak mostly Hebrew among themselves. And indeed,
this does have a real impact on the way they think, speak and pray. Our words
contain a mixture of Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic and Greek which connect us with
thousands of years of history and diverse cultures. The use of Hebrew has
appeared as a great prophetic sign as we now speak the language of the
Prophets."



To read the rest please visit AV_A











ICXC NIKA
Friday, September 18, 2009

The life of Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine

This is from the podcast American Orthodox History by Matthew Namee.


Part 1:
Play Audio

Part 2:
Play Audio












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Fr. Hopko's reflection of the past 50 years

This is from the podcast Speaking the Truth in Love by Fr. Tom Hopko




The Link:
Play Audio












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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies

This is from the Ancient Faith Presents podcast by John Maddex


Play Audio


The website link:
http://www.iocs.cam.ac.uk/





ICXC NIKA
Monday, September 14, 2009

The Protestant Revolution

This was done by the BBC so it's gonna have that Bias: The main point seems to be that the roots of modern secularism is protestantism.




Part 1: (The Politics of Belief) (I know a number of Roman Catholic apologists that would dispute some of the things said in this one. So some of the details may not be accurate)







Part 2: (The Godly Family) (viewer beware, a half a second may not be good for kids. This one is mostly about domestic issues)






Part 3: (A Reformation of the Mind) (They mostly focus on the Zwingly / Calvin branch of Protestantism and what happened in England and maybe America. The Lutherian branch is a little different when it comes to the issue of religious art)







Part 4: (No Rest for the Wicked) (This one is about money, the rise of capitalism, the puritan/reformed protestant work ethic, and how some calvinists saw ones wealth as a sign that confirmed they were one of the elect)













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My thoughts on the Tonex situation



and part 3




For those of you that don't know, Tonex is or was a Gospel music artist. And this is what his X-wife had to say:Mrs. Tonex interview


I think the problem is our secular culture and christians in general embracing whatever the culture says as always being true.

The extreme secular culture has a way of putting us in our place and breaking us down by always looking at the past in how some christians believed that the earth was flat (eventhough western pagans were the ones that believed this first and this was seen as the science of that day. No one wants to admit you had christians on both sides of the issue. You had christians that believed the earth was flat and you had christians that didn't. Nobody wants to talk about the fact that those who eventually proved the earth to be a sphere were christian) and the whole Galileo situation (capernicus was a christian but noone wants to look at that fact when talking about this issue. Nor do people want to talk about the fact that the Bible at that time was mostly interpreted through the philosophical lense of Aristotle, and people only want to look at western christianity when it comes to this issue......not knowing there was an Eastern Christianity that didn't have anything to do with this.....and we don't have infallible Patrairchs, so only half the story is being told) and so modern christians have a tendency to talk big about God, but once the secular pressure says something that goes against our faith and uses the word "science" to back their claims we break down and conform to whatever secular culture says........as if we are some sort of domesticated slave to secular culture or something.

And this is why christianity won't last in an extreme secular environment. You see, Christianity is an ascetical Faith / Religion. It is a Faith that teaches self denial. It is a faith that teaches the carrying of our crosses!
The ancient nomadic hebrews as well as alot of other nomadic tribes and cultures practiced the delay of self gratification. When you live in the wilderness, where there is not alot of water and food to go around, then you must fast and practice self control, but in our society self control is almost non-existent and our materialistic world hates it for 2/3rds of our economy is based on us not fasting.....not practicing self control......not saving our money.

We have the power to collapse the world economy.....A.K.A. Babylon the great if we decided not to buy or sell anything during the Christmas and Easter season for one year. The extreme secularists would collapse along with the economy.

But this is why little by little we are seeing more and more christians talk funny. It is because we are slowly giving in to secularism and what it says is right or wrong.........instead of what The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit say is right or wrong. We listen to the forever changing secularism, instead of what Jesus and the Apostles said was right or wrong.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they brought sin and death into the World. Thus we decay and die because of them. Our cells don't always replicate the way they should and so flaws happen......defects happen, different tendencies of anger(born with a tendency to kill and be abusive), sex(born with a tendency to cheat, be attracted to the same sex or be extremely sexually active and hooked/addicted to porn), hunger(born with a tendency to over eat), substance abuse(born with a tendency to be easily addicted or hooked on drugs and alcohol), born with a tendency/urge/craving/desire to be greedy, jealous, covetous, prejudice......ect. And we all have different tendencies that can lead to sin if we don't watch and carry our crosses.

Our Faith is a moderate ascetical faith, our faith teaches us to have self control, thus our faith teaches us self denial till our last breath.

So may we not give in to extreme secularism. May we continue to fight whatever our vices are.

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us












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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Differences Between Calvinists and Lutherans

This one is from a Lutherian perspective, although most of it is serious and not really a satire:

(History of Christology for Calvinists and most Protestants)



(History of Christology for Calvinists and most Protestants Part 2)



(History of Christology for Calvinists and most Protestants Part 3)



(Conversation with a Calvinist on the Supper)



(Matthew 23:37, 1 Timothy 2:4, and Jame's White)





(Christology - Differences Between Calvinists and Lutherans)










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Calvinist Satire

Calvinist Witnessing




Calvinism, Arminianism, and the Atonement




Calvinism, Arminianism, and Dort




Calvinism, Arminianism, and Semi-Pelagianism





Calvinism, Arminianism, and the Will of God


Truth vs. Heresy (Christianity vs. Calvinism)


and

Calvinist Mumbo Jumbo












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Fr. Stephen Callos on the "I Believe" program











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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Metropolitan Jonah on Unity, Chambesy, and the Gospel

Lecturing at the 2009 Orthodox Missions and Evangelism conference in Ligonier, Pa

The Necessity of Unity:
Play Audio

Questions and Answers:
Play Audio







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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Matt's defense of "the DEUTEROCANONICAL BOOKS"

The link to his page:
http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/deuterocanonicalpage.html










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