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Thread: Thoughts on Suffering

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    Thoughts on Suffering

    A Thought on Suffering

    Although my Christian heritage was in the pentecostal/charismatic movement, and our spirituality was often one of joining the Bless Me Club- the ideology of the Prosperity Doctrine and Name-it-and-claim-it group, I soon discovered this kind of spirituality was not for me. Perhaps, I am just a melancholy personality; but the scriptures and the Church Fathers often speak of suffering. And not merely about suffering; but our Call, as it were, to Suffer.

    Fr. Eugene C. Kennedy wrote an interesting book on the problem of suffering, "The Pain of Being Human." His introduction begins with a brief description of the sufferings of humanity, even mans inhumanity against man- of concentration camp victims and gas chambers. But then he goes on to say,

    "There is, however, another kind of pain in life that has nothing to do with sickness or our sometime savagery. This is the suffering of the healthy person, as undramatic as it is inevitable, as commonplace as it is uncomforted. It is the pain with a thousand different faces, the pain that comes from just being human. No man is inoculated against the ache of his struggle to become himself as a human and a child of God...Man cannot run away from this pain without running away from himself....He is sometimes ashamed of it...He can narcotisize himself in a hundred different ways against it but at the high price of numbing himself to the very deepest meaning of life. Man can only face and deal with it honestly. Indeed, his manner of responding to its challenge becomes the best measure of his maturity."

    As Christ has taught us, each one of us has been given a cross to carry. Too often, instead of picking up our own cross and "responding to its challenge," we look at the green grass on the other side of the fence and covet someone else's cross. But we have no idea, really, how heavy their cross really is. Perhaps it looks smaller, lighter. Perhaps, their cross looks more beautiful, one of stained and polished oak! But a cross is a cross, and that by its very nature, implies suffering. If Mel Gibsons' movie has taught us nothing else, it has reminded us of the torture and passion of Jesus Christ. And His Passion began in a Garden, probably a very lovely place at any other time than this one. It was here that He said, "Let this Cup pass from me...Nevertheless let Thy will be done." And he embraced his cross, his passion, his suffering. Can we do less than The Master.
    By Aslan's Mane,

    http://www.nwdcec.org/image/tinyshield.jpg the Reverend Father Aidan Jerry Hix+, Vicar
    St. Aidan's Charismatic Episcopal Church
    POB 341 Antioch, CA 94509
    925-778-4226
    www.iccec.org
    http://fatheraidansblog.blogspot.com/

    "Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around." -Gilbert K. Chesterton

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    Re: Thoughts on Suffering

    The truth that Christians are called to suffer in Christ's image is absolute! In addition, we need to recognize that this suffering is not the PRIMARY focus of the gospel. The heart of the gospel is a risen and glorified Christ! In the communion supper, we celebrate a finished redemption! The broken body and shed blood of our Lord in his atonement was certainly the means of that redemption. The resurrection, however, gives us the victory! So the crucifix is wrong. The Christ we serve is not still dead today, he is risen and alive forevermore!

    Paul was called to suffer in Christ's image more than any other man, according to his own testimony. Yet his joy in the gospel of a risen Christ infinitely transcended any misery that he had to endure in this life! Let us focus on 'the balance.'
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Thoughts on Suffering

    Quote Originally Posted by fraidanhix
    A Thought on Suffering

    Although my Christian heritage was in the pentecostal/charismatic movement, and our spirituality was often one of joining the Bless Me Club- the ideology of the Prosperity Doctrine and Name-it-and-claim-it group, I soon discovered this kind of spirituality was not for me. Perhaps, I am just a melancholy personality; but the scriptures and the Church Fathers often speak of suffering. And not merely about suffering; but our Call, as it were, to Suffer.
    Hello Reverend
    I am reminded of what God says in His Word in His servant Paul. As Christ mentioned after Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus how great things he should suffer for the name of Christ. Acts 9:16
    It was this vessel of honor that was used to write to us what we read in Romans 8:17,18.
    2 Corinth. 1:5-7 5For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.


    6And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

    Phillipians 4
    11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.


    12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

    2nd Timothy 1
    11Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.


    12For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 13Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.


    As Christ has taught us, each one of us has been given a cross to carry. Too often, instead of picking up our own cross and "responding to its challenge," we look at the green grass on the other side of the fence and covet someone else's cross. But we have no idea, really, how heavy their cross really is. Perhaps it looks smaller, lighter. Perhaps, their cross looks more beautiful, one of stained and polished oak! But a cross is a cross, and that by its very nature, implies suffering. If Mel Gibsons' movie has taught us nothing else, it has reminded us of the torture and passion of Jesus Christ. And His Passion began in a Garden, probably a very lovely place at any other time than this one. It was here that He said, "Let this Cup pass from me...Nevertheless let Thy will be done." And he embraced his cross, his passion, his suffering. Can we do less than The Master.
    Hebrews 13
    3Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

    1 Peter 3
    13And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?


    14But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

    1 Peter 4
    15But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.


    16Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 17For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

    Revelations 2
    9I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.


    10Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 11He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

    Where Hollywood and Gibson excel in the carnal/earthy and leave man with nothing less than "feeling" sorry for Jesus, the Word of God alone will only be of benefit with regards to suffering and the sovereign grace and knowledge that He was predestined to suffer and to satisfy for the elect, from before the foundations of the world, that the Lord alone may be glorified and all the mouths of men may be stopped and the knee of the creature to drop.
    Greetings and salutations, el rana

    21There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

    Proverbs chapter 19

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    Re: Thoughts on Suffering

    I would like to thank both gentlemen who responded to my thoughts on suffering. However, I would take exception or would make a clarification on two points, one each respectively. In one, there is mention of focusing on the balance. Actually, what I was refering to in embracing suffering was mentioned in the context of the charismatic name-it-clamin-it type spirituality which seeks a blessing from God, too often in exclusion to the worship of God. Too many charismatics, in my experience (and remember that I claim to be a charismatic, though with certain qualifications in my usage of that term) go to church to get a blessing instead of to worship. I have heard more comments after church about not feeling like we had church or vice versa depending on their subjective experience of getting a blessing or, as I often refer to it, of going to church to spiritually masturbate to get a feeling. Certainly I believe the Lord does bless us. But sometimes there is suffering and we must do as Paul did- suffer and embrace the cross and focus on Christ not our temporal blessings and prosperity and so forth.

    Second, would be the comment that the crucifix is wrong. Actually, the corpus has been used by the church from the earliest times; and serves as a reminder at times of what Christ did for us. The barren cross is a reminder of the finished work. Both are beautiful symbols of our faith. I refuse to allow the Roman Catholics to monopolize my Christian heritage which is the entire history of the church, with all its good and bad. There are treasures there in the entirety of church history. The protestant reformation for all its necessity, often threw the baby out with the bath water. Although I grew up as an evangelical, it was the crucifix that spoke more powerfully to my heart the message of the Gospel: "Christ has Died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!" This is the mystery of the faith. Both symbols are valid.
    By Aslan's Mane,

    http://www.nwdcec.org/image/tinyshield.jpg the Reverend Father Aidan Jerry Hix+, Vicar
    St. Aidan's Charismatic Episcopal Church
    POB 341 Antioch, CA 94509
    925-778-4226
    www.iccec.org
    http://fatheraidansblog.blogspot.com/

    "Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around." -Gilbert K. Chesterton

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    Re: Thoughts on Suffering

    Dear fraidanhix:

    I certainly agree with your first point re: the 'name it and claim it' gospel and its refusal to accept the implications of the cross.

    In response to the second point, I will back down in one respect from my statement that the crucifix is wrong. I don't mean 'wrong' in the sense of a moral sin or something that Christians should go on a witch-hunt against. I am not offended by either a cross or a crucifix merely as symbols; I do not preach at people who have them to get rid of them. Neither do I harp that it is a sin to own or display either.

    I am convicted, however, that the message of either the crucifix or the bare cross tends to imbalance and distort the true message of the gospel. Certainly, even the bare cross does not mean "Christ is alive and no longer on the cross" to many who behold it. So how can I explain my faith, which lacks the use of of all these material symbols:

    1. The crucifix
    2. The cross
    3. Good Friday
    4. Lent
    5. fasting at all for spiritual reasons
    6. Sackcloth and ashes ?

    The gospel of the NT is never the death and sufferings of Christ standing alone. The apostles never preached the cross without also preaching the resurrection. Yes, Paul speaks of the mystery of the cross which we preach--the wisdom and foolishness of God. It is this very truth that the symbol of a crucifix cannot portray. Although thousands of men in history departed this life by dying on a cross, man cannot portray Deity with a symbol. The mystery of the cross is that GOD himself took on human flesh and determined to suffer atonement in the place of sinners--which to the natural man is the ultimate in foolishness. Neither can man portray the event of resurrection or eternal life with a symbol. All things that we behold in this world with the physical senses are temporal; even the sun as it presently exists will one day burn out.

    Christ did give us the covenant of the loaf and cup to remember his death UNTIL HE COMES. The fact that he comes means that he is alive, so even the communion does not remember exclusively the death of Christ. But the communion is the only material sign of this sort instituted by Christ (we might also talk about water baptism); all the other 6 things mentioned above are devised and instituted by men. It IS A MOST TERRIBLE SIN for anyone to legislate these 6 symbols to the consciences of Christians and demand conformity in God's name, when they were never instituted by Christ or the apostles.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Thoughts on Suffering

    Hello Fr. Jerry Hix!

    Welcome to our Forum.

    For all of you, I have known Rev. Hix (now Fr. Aidan) from other "past venues". He is a very erudit man and a very courteous debater. I am thrilled that he found me through a search and the search pointed to 5solas as we lost contact since "The Elect List", some years ago, in which Bob (Bill Twisse) also participated as Noconform.

    Please, on my behalf, welcome Fr. Aidan to our Forum. He is a member of a conservative denomination, as you see above, called C.E.C. or Charismatic Episcopalian Church. I am sure we can be benefitted by Fr. Aidan's knowledge and kind spirit. He has demonstrated a knowledge of history and traditions of religion such as it is hard to find.

    I did not recognize his screen name at first, but this morining decided to read this thread and was glad to see him here!

    Thank you all!

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Thoughts on Suffering

    The earliest church did not use a cross or a crucifix. I don't believe that having a bare cross is necessarily wrong. I do believe as did many in the early church that to physically represent Jesus in any way is breaking the 2nd commandment.
    Here's a statement from the Synod of Constantinople (753):

    When, however, they are blamed for undertaking to depict the divine nature of Christ, which should not be depicted, they take refuge in the excuse: We represent only the flesh of Christ which we have seen and handled. But that is a Nestorian error. For it should be considered that that flesh was also the flesh of God the Word, without any separation, perfectly assumed by the divine nature and made wholly divine. How could it now be separated and represented apart? So is it with the human soul of Christ which mediates between the Godhead of the Son and the dullness of the flesh. As the human flesh is at the same time flesh of God the Word, so is the human soul also soul of God the Word, and both at the same time, the soul being deified as well as the body, and the Godhead remained undivided even in the separation of the soul from the body in his voluntary passion. For where the soul of Christ is, there is also his Godhead; and where the body of Christ is, there too is his Godhead. If then in his passion the divinity remained inseparable from these, how do the fools venture to separate the flesh from the Godhead, and represent it by itself as the image of a mere man? They fall into the abyss of impiety, since they separate the flesh from the Godhead, ascribe to it a subsistence of its own, a personality of its own, which they depict, and thus introduce a fourth person into the Trinity. Moreover, they represent as not being made divine, that which has been made divine by being assumed by the Godhead. Whoever, then, makes an image of Christ, either depicts the Godhead which cannot be depicted, and mingles it with the manhood (like the Monophysites), or he represents the body of Christ as not made divine and separate and as a person apart, like the Nestorians.

    The only admissible figure of the humanity of Christ, however, is bread and wine in the holy Supper. This and no other form, this and no other type, has he chosen to represent his incarnation . . .
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Thoughts on Suffering

    Breathing the very meaning of Christ's Spirit by the scriptures He has given us to reveal us true religion, the quote you wrote is apt, Charles, especially:

    "The only admissible figure of the humanity of Christ, however, is bread and wine in the holy Supper. This and no other form, this and no other type, has he chosen to represent his incarnation..."






    -CPRWC

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    Re: The Crucifix, etc

    A few further clarifications: I am in the process of moving and my access to a computer is now limited as mine is currently boxed up, so I will not spend undue time responding to further issues that may be raised. However, a few responses to an earlier post came up regarding the use of the crucifix, etc.

    First, there is the quote by Bill T Wisse, "Christ did give us the covenant of the loaf and cup to remember his death UNTIL HE COMES. The fact that he comes means that he is alive, so even the communion does not remember exclusively the death of Christ. But the communion is the only material sign of this sort instituted by Christ (we might also talk about water baptism); all the other 6 things mentioned above are devised and instituted by men. It IS A MOST TERRIBLE SIN for anyone to legislate these 6 symbols to the consciences of Christians and demand conformity in God's name, when they were never instituted by Christ or the apostles."

    It seems unreasonable to me to make the claim "that it is a Terrible Sin to use such Christian Symbols when they were not instituted by Christ," when this very claim was also not instituted by Christ, but was a claim made by a man, Bill T Wisse. His own logic that something not instituted by Christ is invalid and a Terrible Sin, invalidate and negates his own claim by the very same presupposition that his claim was also not instituted by Christ.

    It is clear from Scripture, that Christ did in fact give men, the Church, power to make binding decisions, that were not recorded institutions of Christ in the scriptures. Christ gave the Church the power to bind and loose, the power to forgive sins, etc. In Acts 1, the Apostles made a choice of Matthias to replace Judas. In 1&2 Corinthians, we see Paul, in the first case, exercise the Power of the Keys in binding someone in his sins, when he turned the unrepentent soul over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh; and in the second, Paul, looses another (some would say the same) man and restores him back to the fellowship. The First Council of the Church held in Jerusalem, and recorde in Acts, made certain decisions that were binding upon the whole church. The list goes on.

    Second, the quote regarding the crucifix, made by wildboar, "The earliest church did not use a cross or a crucifix." Actually, the early church did use symbolism and crosses, including signing oneself with the cross, by being traced over the forehead. This was an early understanding of Ezekiel 9.4, "Mark Thau (the hebrew letter, "Thau" closely resembled a cross) upon the foreheads of the men that sigh..." There were many forms of crosses used, most until the fifth century were crosses disguised to avoid persecution, such as, the Trident and Anchor, etc. In the fifth century, for the first time was the undisguised cross first used openly. It was about a century later that the figure or corpus on the cross was first used in a realistic way. In fact, the earliest MS bears a representation of Christ crucified in a miniature form in a Syriac codex of the Gospels dating from A.D. 586 (Codex Syriacus, 56).

    As to the further quotes of the Council or Synod of Constantinople (753), is taken out of the context of the whole Iconoclastic Controversy. The Undivided Consensual Witness of the Historic Church went on the defeat this controversy and claimed the validity of the Christian use of images, Jesus Christ himself being the Icon of the Godhead. Its ironic that you didn't mention the whole context of your quote. It points to a larger Protestant problem of proof texting pet doctrines that are not in conformity with the Consenual Witness of the Undivided Church of the first millenia.

    I believe in the Consensual Witness of the Undivided Church, and its creeds, Councils, Liturgies, etc. I do so without apology. It is the not the "catholic" (small "c," not Roman) faith, (which also, by the way, gathered the various scriptures and canonized the ones that are authoritive-the Bible was not dropped out of the sky by an angelic stork; and also worked out for us the Christian Doctrines of the Trinity, etc) that bears the burden of proof. Its existence is 2,000 years old.

    The scriptures were not given for private interpretation and we do not as individuals have the right to pick and choose which of the essential doctrines we will accept. Its not an Ala Carte menu. But then again, I have heard it said, that a Protestant, with Bible in hand, is His own Pope!


    Please forgive me if I am seem disrespectful. That is not my intent. But please, if there are any rebuttals, don't expect a response. I'm too busy with moving and have more important things than to debate among Christians. Also, as I said, I adhere to the Consenual Witness of the Undivided Church, and I do so without apology or rebuttal. The Witness of the Undivided Church in Consensus throughout the ages does not bear the responsibility or burden of proof. Its the deconstructionists that do.

    Many Blessing on your Christian journey.
    By Aslan's Mane,

    http://www.nwdcec.org/image/tinyshield.jpg the Reverend Father Aidan Jerry Hix+, Vicar
    St. Aidan's Charismatic Episcopal Church
    POB 341 Antioch, CA 94509
    925-778-4226
    www.iccec.org
    http://fatheraidansblog.blogspot.com/

    "Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around." -Gilbert K. Chesterton

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    Re: Thoughts on Suffering

    fraid:

    I am very well aware that this decision was overturned, however I fail to see how the fact that it was overturned means I am taking it out of context. It's certainly common knowledge that images are in use.

    Christ certainly did give the church the power to bind and loose but this is in the context of church discipline. This ocurrs primarily through the preaching of the Word and secondarily through excommunication. The verse very literally reads "Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be, having been bound in heaven". The binding on earth does not cause the binding in heaven but when the keys are exercised properly they are reflections of the binding and loosing which already took place in heaven. Binding and loosing does not give the person the ability to create new laws and rules or contradict the teachings of the Scriptures.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Thoughts on Suffering- crucifix, iconoclasm, etc

    Wildboar,

    First, my apologies again if I came across too harsh. When debating amongst the brethren we should be careful not to attack one another but seek to edify and build up.

    Now to my response. You said, "I am very well aware that this decision was overturned, however I fail to see how the fact that it was overturned means I am taking it out of context. It's certainly common knowledge that images are in use."

    I reply that your statement from the Synod of Constantinople (753), was used to substantiate your claim that symbolism, except for bread and wine, are not valid. This statement is taken out of the context of the whole Iconoclasm issue which the Church later went on the defeat and claimed the validity of the Christian use of images, Jesus Christ himself being the Icon of the Godhead. The whole context is the Church's decision that symbolism and iconography are valid, which you failed to mention.

    Second, I realize that binding and loosing and the power to forgive sins are in the context of church discipline but they were only two of the examples I gave. I also referred to the First Conciliar Church Council In Jerusalem mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. The Church obviously on the basis on scripture does have the power to make changes and binding decisions. I also mentioned the development of essential Christian Doctrine, such as the Trinity, and the Canonization of the Scriptures. These are teachings decided upon by the Consensus of the Church in Council, etc., that are binding and where not declared by the scriptures. They were developed and became binding later.
    By Aslan's Mane,

    http://www.nwdcec.org/image/tinyshield.jpg the Reverend Father Aidan Jerry Hix+, Vicar
    St. Aidan's Charismatic Episcopal Church
    POB 341 Antioch, CA 94509
    925-778-4226
    www.iccec.org
    http://fatheraidansblog.blogspot.com/

    "Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around." -Gilbert K. Chesterton

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    Re: Thoughts on Suffering

    Quote Originally Posted by FrAidanHix
    The Church obviously on the basis on scripture does have the power to make changes and binding decisions.
    Dear FrAidanHix:

    Allow me one question for clarification: Do you think that the use of images, (crucifix for example) one crossing himself (I will keep these two for now) is a change and a decision made, according to your words above "on the basis on scripture"? If yes, can you quote me the scriptures?

    Well, actually, more than one question: Do you know of any of the traditions of the church that was a decision that was NOT made "on the basis on scripture"? If yes, which are they in your opinion?

    If you remember, I had asked this question to you before when we lost contact and I never fully discussed this issue with you. I am looking for an answer and not for an "argument" as you know. I have my position in the issue and it sides with the Protestant. I need, however, to check your knowledge on the issue.

    Thanks.

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Thoughts on Suffering- Church Tradition

    Hello Grace Ambassador! There you are. I wrote you back by private email but haven't heard back from you. Did you get them? Please let me know.

    As to your question, I must ask your indulgence for a few days before answering your question. As you know I work nites bivocationally and I'm just doing a quick peek on 5solas before going to bed. Tonite I have our church service, and tomorrow, plus finishing my move.

    Please forgive the delay but I would be delighted to discuss this matter with you further. But for now, I would say, that my quote, "The Church obviously on the basis on scripture does have the power to make changes and binding decisions," simply refers to the fact that the church has a scriptural basis for making decisions and changes. Many of the decisions, creeds, and standards the church has made have been important and are binding on all Christians, such as the Doctrine of the Trinity and the Canon of Scripture, etc; while other decisions or innovations, such as the Roman system of indulgences have not always been wise, good, or morally binding. Where my stance is, is not on everything the historic church-its teachers, etc., have said or done but to those issues which have been held in Consensus by the Undivided Historic church until at least 1054 A.D. (To those things that were held in common "everywhere, by all, and in all places") After this we have the great schism and many other innovations, some catholic and some protestant that I would not adhere to. A good introduction to doctrinal Consensus in the history of the church would be Thomas Oden's systematic theology (not that I agree with all his personal views but its a good intro and has wonderful references to early church, catholic and protestant writers (including Calvin) where these various teachers represented the Consenual Mind of the Church; not where individuals may have deviated from the consensus.

    I'll get back to you as soon as I can. However, could you clarify more clearly or be more specific about the nature of your questions.

    For Now,

    Fr AIdan Hix+
    By Aslan's Mane,

    http://www.nwdcec.org/image/tinyshield.jpg the Reverend Father Aidan Jerry Hix+, Vicar
    St. Aidan's Charismatic Episcopal Church
    POB 341 Antioch, CA 94509
    925-778-4226
    www.iccec.org
    http://fatheraidansblog.blogspot.com/

    "Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around." -Gilbert K. Chesterton

  14. #14
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    Re: Thoughts on Suffering

    Hello FraidanHix!

    It is always lovely to hear from you!

    I did see your emails and I am searching the answers for your quest. I will soon respond.

    My question is actually to give an opportunity for you to make sure to all of us (not to me because I know you) that you don't support some so called "binding" decisions of the so called church, specifically some related to the Mediatrix, Advocatrix and Redemptrix (perhaps "dominatrix" ) and a few other papal decisions that became "binding" for that "other" organization, such as the NEED for the "eurcharist" and placing the ONLY hope of Salvation on the sacrament of the Eucharist.

    I agree with you on the Holy Spirit and the Canon of the Scriptures.

    Also, just in passing, the argument that "no scripture is of private interpretation" if taken from the text of Peter, is indeed open for discussion since the context and the Greek indicate that Peter is talking about "no scriptrue (prophecy) is to be interpreted singularly. It has nothing to do with the prevention or prohibition from and of individuals pursuing the illumination of the Holy Spirit individually to receive scriptural revelation. The RCC uses this argument but they know the Greek better than all of us put together. They attack Protestants for it without basis since Protestants do not interpret the Bible individually, apart from a commonly accepted method, and if they do, they do based exclusively on some guidelines expressed in the Bible about the Holy Spirit illumination. And, since they know that they are purposefully misusing this scripture, I believe there is a judgement awaiting on the wings for them.

    I am sure we can agree on many points even if I as a non-catholic (Roman or Anglo) use the scripture individually or corporatively as long as I do not depart from the writing of the Apostles solely without the aid of traditions.

    As usually I will be a head ache for you... but bear with me in love!

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

  15. #15
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    Re: Thoughts on Suffering

    Quote Originally Posted by fraid
    I reply that your statement from the Synod of Constantinople (753), was used to substantiate your claim that symbolism, except for bread and wine, are not valid. This statement is taken out of the context of the whole Iconoclasm issue which the Church later went on the defeat and claimed the validity of the Christian use of images, Jesus Christ himself being the Icon of the Godhead. The whole context is the Church's decision that symbolism and iconography are valid, which you failed to mention.
    The context is not that iconography is valid. If the government passed a law today and it was overturned 30 years from now it would not be out of context 40 years from now to say that 40 years ago a law was passed which said such and such a thing. I had no intention to mislead, I think it is obvious to anyone who knows anything about the Roman Catholic church or the eastern orthodox church that they use icons. I just assumed that everyone knew this who was involved in this conversation. However, since the decision was made are you saying that it was sinful during the period in which the church forbade icons to possess an icon but that it is okay now?

    Quote Originally Posted by fraid
    I also referred to the First Conciliar Church Council In Jerusalem mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. The Church obviously on the basis on scripture does have the power to make changes and binding decisions.
    The Jerusalem Council was under the supervision of the Apostles who were being directly led by the Holy Spirit. Delegates were not sent from every church.

    I also mentioned the development of essential Christian Doctrine, such as the Trinity, and the Canonization of the Scriptures. These are teachings decided upon by the Consensus of the Church in Council, etc., that are binding and where not declared by the scriptures. They were developed and became binding later.
    The doctrine of the Trinity is found throughout Scripture. Scripture was the basis for the doctrine of the Trinity as taught by these councils. The Trinity didn't magically appear when the Council of Nicea met. They recognized something which was already there and there is certainly a necessity when the the church is disrupted by doctrinal controversy to search the Scriptures and keep the heretics from spreading their deceptions but these are not just arbitrary decisions where the mob rules. Nowhere does the Bible forbid us to think of God as Triune but it does forbid us to make images of God in the 2nd Commandment and if a church council contradicts Scripture then you can follow the church council if you wish but I will stand before God on judgment day and will have to answer to Him. God's Word is self-authenticating. The Councils recognized the truth that these books were in fact God's Word. Anyone who has read some of the material found in the book "Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden" can easily tell that they are not God's Word. Athanasius was able to list all of the canonical books of Scripture before a Council told him what they were.

    Also use of the passage 1 Peter 1:20 to substantiate the idea that church councils are to be the only interpreters of Scripture is completely out of context with what Peter is teaching.

    2 Peter 1:19-21 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

    Peter is ranting against individualism (which certainly is a huge problem in the modern church and I'm not suggesting everyone should lock themselves in a closet with a Bible). Peter is talking about the authority of Scripture. The prophets weren't just writing what they felt like that day. They were writing the Word of God.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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