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wattie

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2009
1,324
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#1
I know the majority in this chat site believe.. that at salvation.. someone becomes a member of the body of Christ.

Now.. do you know what membership to the body of Christ means? It is conditional! Membership to the body of Christ involves church membership.. seeing as the body of Christ is the church..

church membership requires faithfulness.. service.. worshipping God.. it is really not an option

This is where I think the whole faith and works thing gets mixed up..


The reality is.. a saved person does not become a member of the body of Christ as salvation.. but a member of the Family of God.. and the Kingdom of God

neither of these things are teh body of Christ.. the body of Christ is part of the Family.. and the Family part of the Kingdom.. they are not the same thing!

the body of Christ.. in the Greek -

* has no definite article 'the' in front of it
* it an ecclessia-- an assembly or congregation
* it is local and visible
* it is a meeting, group, flock, gathering-- the key thing being coming together

what the body of Christ is not-

* an unassembled scattering of believers everywhere... this is part of the Family of God
* a mystical, invisible body -- it is not this because everytime body of Christ is mentioned in the NT in relation to church.. it is of flesh and blood believers in a local assembly
* a visible, universal body-- it is not this because an 'unassembled assembly' is a contradiction in terms


when you are saved you become a member of the Family of God and the Kingdom of God.. which has no requirements or strings.. salvation by grace through faith in Jesus- -- full stop

No wonder people mix faith and works when the majority believe people become a member of the body of Christ as part of salvation.
 
Jan 8, 2009
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#2
Your idea of distinguishing family/kingdom from the body of Christ is quite strange.

It doesn't fit well with the oneness of the body and Spirit etc as it says in eph 4:4, if some who have the Spirit are not in the body of Christ and others who have the Spirit are. Makes no sense at all.

Eph 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope to which God has called you.


This "one body" is referring to the universal church, all believers throughout the world.

This being part of one body, has nothing to do with church membership, but everything to do with being joined to the Spirit. See below:

1Co 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of a harlot? Let it not be!
1Co 6:16 Or do you not know that he being joined to a harlot is one body? For He says, The two shall be one flesh.
1Co 6:17 But he being joined to the Lord is one spirit.

If a person is joined to the Spirit, they are a member of Christ's body. Nothing to do with church membership.
 
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Jan 8, 2009
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#3
Further verses to show that being part of the one body, Christ's body, is by the Spirit, not church membership:

1Co 12:13 For also by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free, even all were made to drink into one Spirit.
1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.


But it is ironic Wattie that you would be so concerned about the body of Christ, when you or your church cannot fully comprehend what Paul is saying in 1 Cor 12 about the body of Christ and the various members, (each of whom God has gifted with different gifts, just as there are different parts in the human body) - if you and your church are cessationist :).

You cannot possibly understand about the body of Christ and the various members, if you believe the following as given in verse 28, has ceased:

1Co 12:27 And you are the body of Christ, and members in part.
1Co 12:28 And God set some in the church, firstly, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers, then works of power, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, kinds of languages.

Each member of the body, is given a different function and purpose, and this is by the spiritual gifts. Just as the lung filters air, the prophet speaks God's message, just as the heart pumps blood, the apostle or gift of healings/power works miracles, just as the mouth speaks, the person who speaks in tongues and interprets, does that etc. Do you understand?
 
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BLC

Banned
Feb 28, 2009
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#4
Your idea of distinguishing family/kingdom from the body of Christ is quite strange.

It doesn't fit well with the oneness of the body and Spirit etc as it says in eph 4:4, if some who have the Spirit are not in the body of Christ and others who have the Spirit are. Makes no sense at all.

Eph 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope to which God has called you.


This "one body" is referring to the universal church, all believers throughout the world.

This being part of one body, has nothing to do with church membership, but everything to do with being joined to the Spirit. See below:

1Co 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of a harlot? Let it not be!
1Co 6:16 Or do you not know that he being joined to a harlot is one body? For He says, The two shall be one flesh.
1Co 6:17 But he being joined to the Lord is one spirit.

If a person is joined to the Spirit, they are a member of Christ's body. Nothing to do with church membership.

If we are joined unto the Lord in one Spirit then by that one Spirit we should also have the same mind one toward another (Rom 12:16). The scriptures teach us that we should be of one mind, thinking the same things and have the same judgments (1Cor 1:10, Phil 2:2). We have been given the words of faith (1Tim 4:6) so that we can have one faith (Eph 4:5, Phil 1:27) through one Spirit revealing one Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1Cor 8:6, Eph 4:5). But that is not happening on this site. Those that endeavor, through the same Holy Spirit (Eph 4:3), to make this happen are criticized and accused of having knowledge without love, of being argumentative and causing strife and of not being edifying because they believe in grace and don't submit to the standard of holiness and righteousness that others demand through repentance.

There is also this admonition that has come from some (especially in the BStudy chat room) about doing what the Bereans did in (Acts 17). They use this passage of scripture to give them the authority to question everything that is preached or taught. They don't understand what happened in Berea with these Jews. This town was about 6,000 strong and had enough Jews to have a synagogue. Paul and Silas went to the synagogue and those Jews received the word of God with a ready mind. After they had searched the scriptures concerning what Paul and Silas had brought to them, many (not a few) believed, including Greek men and honorable women.

They were unsaved and in unbelief before Paul and Silas came, but God had prepared them to receive the word of God. They were not believers making sure that Paul and Silas were preaching the right things and they never questioned their authority. They received what they had to say and confirmed it with the scriptures daily. The more they studied the scripture about what they had to say, the more people believed. God kept adding to the church in Berea through the word. They did not have divisions among them because they had the same Spirit and the same mind one toward the other. When certain Jews from Thessalonica heard of what was happening through the word, they immediately went to Berea to stir them up and cause division. There will always be those that come to stir up those that are of one heart and mind toward the Lord and His word, especially those that are new to the faith. However Silas, who was also accompanied by Timothy stayed behind to deal with these divisive Jews while Paul went on ahead.
 
C

CarrierOfChrist

Guest
#5
I know the majority in this chat site believe.. that at salvation.. someone becomes a member of the body of Christ.

Now.. do you know what membership to the body of Christ means? It is conditional! Membership to the body of Christ involves church membership.. seeing as the body of Christ is the church..

church membership requires faithfulness.. service.. worshipping God.. it is really not an option

This is where I think the whole faith and works thing gets mixed up..


The reality is.. a saved person does not become a member of the body of Christ as salvation.. but a member of the Family of God.. and the Kingdom of God

neither of these things are teh body of Christ.. the body of Christ is part of the Family.. and the Family part of the Kingdom.. they are not the same thing!

the body of Christ.. in the Greek -

* has no definite article 'the' in front of it
* it an ecclessia-- an assembly or congregation
* it is local and visible
* it is a meeting, group, flock, gathering-- the key thing being coming together

what the body of Christ is not-

* an unassembled scattering of believers everywhere... this is part of the Family of God
* a mystical, invisible body -- it is not this because everytime body of Christ is mentioned in the NT in relation to church.. it is of flesh and blood believers in a local assembly
* a visible, universal body-- it is not this because an 'unassembled assembly' is a contradiction in terms


when you are saved you become a member of the Family of God and the Kingdom of God.. which has no requirements or strings.. salvation by grace through faith in Jesus- -- full stop

No wonder people mix faith and works when the majority believe people become a member of the body of Christ as part of salvation.
Sort of off-topic, but your "in the Greek" explanation is something that Jehovah's Witnesses use to justify their erroneous bible. They realize that most people they run in to won't have a knowledge of Greek words used in the bible, and use this to their advantage.

Not saying that's what you're doing, but you may want to do a bit more research before stating things such as this as facts.
 
Jan 8, 2009
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#7
BLC said:

If we are joined unto the Lord in one Spirit then by that one Spirit we should also have the same mind one toward another (Rom 12:16).
But that is not happening on this site.
I agree it isn't happening on this site. But it is probably something to do with posts that start with views opposing the majority, as Wattie first stated:

I know the majority in this chat site believe..
Further disunity is promoted by ideas that do not agree with the bible. Such as cessationism.

In fact, it is a bit hypocritical to emphasise the oneness of the body as per 1 Cor , if we also do not accept the spiritual gifts which serve to identify and distinguish between the different roles and functions of the individual members. :). You will note that Paul's description of the body and its members is closely associated with his description of the different spiritual gifts God has given within the church. Without the spiritual gifts we do not know who is an eye and who is a foot and who is not.
The standard for church membership these days is not to exercise God-given gifts in a dynamic body of Christ, but to become complacent pew-warmers and listen to one or two gifted preachers out the front. Or at best, to be distracted by unspiritual and menial activities such as laying out chairs or making cups of tea, rather than true spiritual ministry to one another.

But discussing different theologies and scripture is not necessarily disunity.

I am sure that on the fundamentals of the faith we all believe similar.

But disunity is encouraged when certain members choose to describe themselves by denominational titles and church membership and promote those denominational views, rather than membership to the body of Christ by virtue of the one Spirit.
 
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wattie

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2009
1,324
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#8
The church at Ephesus-- local and visible.. did not include all believers of the area
The church at Corinth- local and visible.. did not inlcude all believers of the area
The church at Jerusalem- local and visible.. did not include all believers of the area
etc etc..

book of Galatia-- addressed to churches PLURAL - local and visible assemblies..

book of Revelation- is addressed to churches plural--

Jesus-- I will be build my church... His first church was the local visible assembly He had with His disciples..before Pentecost-- His disciples then planted more churches plural out of the authority they had from Jesus' first church.

Ephesians-- 'there is one body, one faith, one baptism..'

1) the book of Ephesians is to a local visible assembly at Ephesus.. so this statement from Paul applies to that local body
2) the front first two words of this verse are inserted--- bibles that are honest have it in italics.. meaning it is not there in the original Greek.. so it can read 'one body, one faith, one baptism ' - as in unity in one body at Ephesus
3) body of Christ is figurative language.. not the literal body of Christ-- body meaning.. group, assembly, congregation, meeting, flock etc etc
4) membership to the body of Christ is through baptism.. from a number of verses.. but salvation does not include baptism.. well hey maybe salvation then does not give you membership to the body of Christ--

Anyway.. this is very rare doctrine.. but consider that a 'universal church' may not be scriptural..

A universal Family of God and Kingdom-- YES! A universal body of Christ.. is kind of a contradiction in terms given how the church -- the body of Christ.. in each location.. Ephesus.. Corinth.. etc is local and visible.

Membership to the Kingdom and Family.. unconditional- no strings

Membership to a visible, local assembly of saved, baptised believers? Can be lossed! Even an entire church family can lose their authority to be one of Jesus' churches.. what do you think the lampstands are.. that can be removed from the churches in Revelation?

I know I am ranting.. but I am just sick and tired of people mixing faith with works.. I think I'll have another long break from this website soon..
 

wattie

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2009
1,324
59
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#9
the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the church..

whoever thought of a universal wife? No way

Singular standing for plural.. body of Christ.. like 'the school' , the 'post office', the 'bar'.. local and visible.. same stands for 'the church' it is an institution.. of multiple assemblies of saved baptised believers.. just as the 'post office' is an institution of multiple mailing firms.

over
 
Jan 8, 2009
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#10
Not sure I understand the connection between faith and works and the issue of church and the body of Christ.

But on this topic of churches and the body of Christ...

Christ is the head of one Church yes. There are various expressions of the one worldwide church in the local churches yes.

But it's hard to reconcile your views about the local assembly and the body of Christ and Paul's teachings about apostles, pastors, prophets, evangelists , teachers within the body of Christ.

To fit both Paul's and your descriptions, each individual local assembly would have to have each of the apostle, pastor, prophet, evangelist, in the local church to qualify for being the "body of Christ". Now some branches of christianity ,such as the apostolic and five-fold movements believe in this. But the average local church in Paul's time, and in our time, did and does not all have apostles, and the apostles oversaw a number of different churches, which collectively as a whole may be considered as the "body of Christ".

The church at Corinth etc , really means, "the assembly of believers at Corinth", "the assembly of believers at Ephesians" etc They didn't have a denomination called the "Corinthian denomination", neither did they have a building with a sign out the front which said "the church of Corinth". Each of these churches were not distinct and independent autonomous units within Christianity. No, what impacted one impacted the other, and the apostles, oversaw a number of different churches of these, and they themselves were not individual members of any particular local congregation. Yet, as apostles, they were still parts of the one body (of Christ), which included the collective whole of all the churches which they oversaw.

The early church was a fluid and dynamic congregation, and it had to be considering the times of persecution, and the secret meeting places etc. They could not (for reasons of persecution) have a nice building with a sign out the front "the church at Ephesia", or wherever the location of the church was. And yes, sometimes one from the Ephesians church, might travel to spend time at another church. This idea of church membership and devotion to one particular church above all else did not exist, and especially, there was no such lines drawn in the sand between "denominations", as there is today.

So the idea of a universal church, is simply the idea of the collective universality of the different churches that Paul and the other apostles oversaw in the region at the time, extended to whole countries, continents, and the whole world. This universal language which Paul uses is clear in his general terminology of God giving apostles, prophets, evangelists etc, which are offices not confined to any particular one local congregation.
 
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Apr 13, 2007
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#11
I'm not reading all the post as I just woke up ^_^....however, I'll say this much, as far as saying that you're not a part of the body of Christ unless/until you attend church is wrong. That's promoting salvation by a means of works. If that were true, everyone could just go to church. Also, who says church is actually required, at least in an actual church? If you look up church, you'll find that it's defined as the assembeling of believers as well as the redeemed that follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

The first church(es) and even many to this day are done in the home....also, think about something, the Bible says there shall be a day when we can't freely express and share our faith, or worship, and so on....to do so, we'll have to do it in our homes in private. So I guess when that day comes, if we don't go to a church...a building ordained as a church, a public place or worship, then we're not considered as part of the body of Christ huh? No, sorry I think not. The day I accepted Christ personally, confessed,and repented, I was saved, and became a part of the body of Christ, and a member of the family of God. Jesus' blood was applied to me, and that's what it takes. Nothing more, nothing less.

Also, look around at all the false things being taught in churches today, the wilful sin going on, etc. no wonder many don't attend church and so many reject Christ. The only thing that matters is one is saved, and they assemble themself with other believers, they have faith, and all the important things in life. Jesus said to assemble ourselves among fellow believers.As long as there's two or more gathered in His name, that's considered church. Jesus said where two or more are gathered together in His name, that He WILL be there. Even in private we can feel the presence of the Lord, and the Holy Spirit. Anyhow, that's my take on it. God bless.
 
Jul 17, 2009
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#12
The Church as the Body of Christ (click on it if ya want :))

Partaking of the Eucharist is vital. You are what you eat, in more ways than one. And before anyone gets all, "it's jus' a symbol, dood", consider St. Ignatius who studied under and knew St. John, the beloved Apostle. He was also overseer (Bishop) of Antioch.

I'm sure Ignatius wasn't ignorant on what The Church/The Eucharist/The Body of Christ was and is. He was one person removed from Christ in the flesh. And that person was an apostle. If we can't agree with St. Ignatius then I don't think we can agree with St. John. And if not with St. John, what then? What then? (how melodramatic! :p)

I wonder if anyone will be like, "I agree with the bible." Ok. Fair enough. Well, I wonder whose interpretation of the bible we will go with - the one that seems right to our own mind, the one that a certain denomination supports, perhaps a few modern scholars or will it be the likes of the Apostles and their successors.

"Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead."
"Letter to the Smyrnaeans", paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A.D.


"Come together in common, one and all without exception in charity, in one faith and in one Jesus Christ, who is of the race of David according to the flesh, the son of man, and the Son of God, so that with undivided mind you may obey the bishop and the priests, and break one Bread which is the medicine of immortality and the antidote against death, enabling us to live forever in Jesus Christ."
-"Letter to the Ephesians", paragraph 20, c. 80-110 A.D.


"I have no taste for the food that perishes nor for the pleasures of this life. I want the Bread of God which is the Flesh of Christ, who was the seed of David; and for drink I desire His Blood which is love that cannot be destroyed."
-"Letter to the Romans", paragraph 7, circa 80-110 A.D.


"Take care, then who belong to God and to Jesus Christ - they are with the bishop. And those who repent and come to the unity of the Church - they too shall be of God, and will be living according to Jesus Christ. Do not err, my brethren: if anyone follow a schismatic, he will not inherit the Kingdom of God. If any man walk about with strange doctrine, he cannot lie down with the passion. Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: for there is one Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup in the union of His Blood; one altar, as there is one bishop with the presbytery and my fellow servants, the deacons."
-Epistle to the Philadelphians, 3:2-4:1, 110 A.D.​
 

wattie

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2009
1,324
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#13
I'm not reading all the post as I just woke up ^_^....however, I'll say this much, as far as saying that you're not a part of the body of Christ unless/until you attend church is wrong. That's promoting salvation by a means of works. If that were true, everyone could just go to church. Also, who says church is actually required, at least in an actual church? If you look up church, you'll find that it's defined as the assembeling of believers as well as the redeemed that follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

The first church(es) and even many to this day are done in the home....also, think about something, the Bible says there shall be a day when we can't freely express and share our faith, or worship, and so on....to do so, we'll have to do it in our homes in private. So I guess when that day comes, if we don't go to a church...a building ordained as a church, a public place or worship, then we're not considered as part of the body of Christ huh? No, sorry I think not. The day I accepted Christ personally, confessed,and repented, I was saved, and became a part of the body of Christ, and a member of the family of God. Jesus' blood was applied to me, and that's what it takes. Nothing more, nothing less.

Also, look around at all the false things being taught in churches today, the wilful sin going on, etc. no wonder many don't attend church and so many reject Christ. The only thing that matters is one is saved, and they assemble themself with other believers, they have faith, and all the important things in life. Jesus said to assemble ourselves among fellow believers.As long as there's two or more gathered in His name, that's considered church. Jesus said where two or more are gathered together in His name, that He WILL be there. Even in private we can feel the presence of the Lord, and the Holy Spirit. Anyhow, that's my take on it. God bless.
Things to note:

the churches in Revelation had lampstands.. that could be removed from them.. this is teh authority they have from the Holy Spirit to be one of His churches.

they do not lose their salvation.. but can lose their status as one of his churches..

a church is not a building.. you are right.. it can be in a home .. in can even have no roof.. and just be a meeting in open spaces.. a church is an assembly of saved baptised believers.

now.. the body of Christ IS the church - it is defined one way..

'church'


Paul.. writing to the church AT Colosse

-- Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Col 1:18 AndG2532 heG846 isG2076 theG3588 headG2776 of theG3588 body,G4983 theG3588 church:G1577 whoG3739 isG2076 the beginning,G746 the firstbornG4416 fromG1537 theG3588 dead;G3498 thatG2443 inG1722 allG3956 things heG846 might haveG1096 the preeminence.G4409


church-

G1577
ἐκκλησία
ekklēsia
ek-klay-see'-ah
From a compound of G1537 and a derivative of G2564; a calling out, that is, (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): - assembly, church.


Also-- 'where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them'-- the primary application of this verse is about resolving issues between sinning members of a church family--

(Mat 18:15-20) Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

(Mat 18:16) But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

(Mat 18:17) And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: (how can a universal church be TOLD to?) but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.

(Mat 18:18) Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

(Mat 18:19) Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

(Mat 18:20) For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.


where two or three are gathered in the context of resolving conflict in a church family..



Last thing--

Apostles.. teachers.. Pastors.. set in teh church- meaning every church HAS to have these all? No.. the context of this - is having offices that are set in a church for people to take if they want.. and in the early church times.. these offices were supernaturally empowered.. with ministry gifts.

When I say there are requirements for membership to a church.. I mean that if you are unfaithful the elders of the church have a right to remove your membership status so you become a visitor..

that person would not lose salvation.. they would still be a member of the Family and Kingdom.. just not a member of a body of Christ.. a body of believers.

over
 
B

broken

Guest
#14
wattie, what exactly is the point to your first post? What are you looking to accomplish with it? What possible positive outcome can you hope to have by positing it?
 
Jan 8, 2009
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#15
Ryan, although an unrelated topic, just as with the bible, we have to be careful not to take early church writings out of context to prove something which they do not say. The "Letter to the Smyrnaeans" for example I believe was referring to the gnostic heresies.

It is in reference to the gnostics who did not partake in the eucharist because they did not believe Jesus came in the flesh. Now whether the bread and wine was believed to be actually the flesh of Christ, or merely symbolic, these passages mean exactly the same when read in context. It offers no proof that the early church believed the Eucharist was actually the flesh of Christ. Whether it was symbolic or literally believed to be so, cannot be drawn from these passages.

I'm not sure if you refer to the non-symbolic nature of the Eucharist as meaning transubstantiation or not, but I will just say this:

Regarding the symbolic nature of the sacrements, symbolic or figurative language is employed throughout early church writings including Ignatius. The Roman doctrine of transubstantiation is not well supported by early church writings. "The difficulties of Romanism" by Faber is one old and quite lengthy thesis on the topic. Refer to post #5 at http://christianchat.com/showthread.php?t=3256
for a selection of quotations.

That is not to deny that there is a non-symbolic meaning and intent in the Eucharist. But this is far from the doctrine of "substance change" as the Roman Catholics adhere to.
 

wattie

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2009
1,324
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#16
wattie, what exactly is the point to your first post? What are you looking to accomplish with it? What possible positive outcome can you hope to have by positing it?

Trying to challenge the idea of a universal church.. is all

not trying to say people that believe in a universal church are not saved.. not condemning anyone.. just wanting people to see that maybe the reason why faith gets combined with works is ..

because if someone becomes a member of the body of Christ at salvation.. that it is part of salvation.. well.. the body of Christ is the church.. and the church - as in a local assembly of saved baptised believers .. has requirements for service to God.. the membership is conditional. A church family can lose it's authority to be one of Jesus' churches.. and inviduals in that church family can be cast out from it because of unfaithfulness.

So-- when the body of Christ is intwined with salvation.. then you do have a works based salvation.. but if it is not intwined with teh body of Christ.. then you don't.. because membership to the Family of God and Kingdom has no requirements.. no strings.. no conditions.

so that is it really.. I just think people mix saving faith with works.. becuase they tie body of Christ membership to salvation..

man-- I don think I will ever finish posting in here :)

regards :)
 
Jan 8, 2009
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#17
This reminds me of the doctrine which draws distinction between believers and disciples. Being a believer is mandatory for salvation but being a disciple is an optional extra.

But these are all vain attempts to avoid the obvious conclusion which has been held for centuaries except until the modern-times - a Christian who has faith, but no works, is no Christian at all. - A christian who has bad works (like pedophile priests/pastors) , is in danger of hell fire.
 

pickles

Senior Member
Apr 20, 2009
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#18
My question is that if one truelly loves and accepts Jesus how can they not have good works or fruit? I and those that I know that love Jesus , desire to do, and are called in faith because of their love , live producing works and fruits. What Im trying to say is once the seed of faith and love is planted it should produce. I have difficulty understanding why there is alot of debate on this. Loving Our Lord Jesus gives birth to all these things simply because by his spirit you become all that God created you to be and desire to do all that he guides you to do. Faith is works, simply because you are now a child of God, the clay he molds and brings to be. If you trully have given your heart to Jesus how can you be anything less than that , that glorifies God. Is there something that I am missing in this debate? God bless, pickles
 
Jul 17, 2009
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#19
Ryan, although an unrelated topic, just as with the bible, we have to be careful not to take early church writings out of context to prove something which they do not say. The "Letter to the Smyrnaeans" for example I believe was referring to the gnostic heresies.

It is in reference to the gnostics who did not partake in the eucharist because they did not believe Jesus came in the flesh. Now whether the bread and wine was believed to be actually the flesh of Christ, or merely symbolic, these passages mean exactly the same when read in context. It offers no proof that the early church believed the Eucharist was actually the flesh of Christ. Whether it was symbolic or literally believed to be so, cannot be drawn from these passages.

I'm not sure if you refer to the non-symbolic nature of the Eucharist as meaning transubstantiation or not, but I will just say this:

Regarding the symbolic nature of the sacrements, symbolic or figurative language is employed throughout early church writings including Ignatius. The Roman doctrine of transubstantiation is not well supported by early church writings. "The difficulties of Romanism" by Faber is one old and quite lengthy thesis on the topic. Refer to post #5 at http://christianchat.com/showthread.php?t=3256
for a selection of quotations.

That is not to deny that there is a non-symbolic meaning and intent in the Eucharist. But this is far from the doctrine of "substance change" as the Roman Catholics adhere to.

Orthodox don't have transubstantiation (say that 7 times fast).

Yeah, taking things out of context is bad. We can still see that St. Ignatius didn't consider the Eucharist as merely symbolic. There is a strong movement today to spiritualize everything (see fasting) and to disregard the material. It's not unlike self-help disguised as Christianity. Just visit a "christian" book store and peruse. Like the Gnostics, many Christians seem to view the material as evil. Many modern theologies, like the heretical theologies that Paul and the other Apostles were refuting in the bible (and there are quite a few allusions to them), attempt to disembody existence. Many modern theologies seem to be centered around, not participating in Him, but a cognitive ascent (like the Gnostics). If we can't wrap our noggins around it, it seems like we place no value in it. So everything seems only as good as we can reduce it - to make it cognitively manageable. It must be explained!

Luke 10:21-24 (New International Version)


21At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.



22"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."


23Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."





If we look at Adam and Eve pre-disobedience we see that God gave to them, not meat but plant-life that when eaten would be made "Flesh". The pre-disobedience age was incredibly Eucharistic.

Post-disobedience we see an interesting change that involved rituals and sacraments that stood in as mere shadows of things that were only placeholders for the Kingdom which would come. Then, He came and is now Risen. Everything changed. The early Christians continued to be be liturgical (sorely misunderstand as simply a form of worship) and sacramental (now much more like Adam and Eve's pre-fall era). Jesus took us back to the garden but instead of Eden, its boundaries were expanded to include the entire cosmos. However, outside of Christ, the entire cosmos has already passed away - is dead and dying. Inside of Christ, the author of life, there is only eternal and true *life.

If interested in some good sacramental *theology, read Alexander Schmemann's works, particularly, "For the Life of the World", and take note of the chapters on the Eucharist (you can get a cheapo used copy online sent to you via Barnes N Nobles or something).

The way it's been going in some circles, communion sounds like cognitive nugget-wafers of brain enhancing, post-modernist "progressive" food which should be mass-distributed to anyone that says the "sinners" prayer. People take it like they do ginko biloboa. It's good fer yer memory! 100 years from now perhaps we'll have a communion pill.

There's nothing wrong with appreciating a good mystery. Jesus is present in the Eucharist. Just is.

Orthodox don't use wafers but a loaf. Some Orthodox families cook their own loaf at home, put themselves into the making of it, all of themselves. Each family offers this loaf and then partake of it once they've constituted* the Church. Pretty neato if you ask me.

We are to offer right sacrifices to the Lord. And if we have a healthy understanding of baptism we'll understand that what we offer and sacrifice to Him is our entire life and all that we cling to. All of this ties into the Eucharist. All of this has to do with what Church is, what being the body of Christ "means", why it is "universal" and "local" and even found within the self (provided the self has been buried in Christ).

People recoil at the idea of The Church being infallible because all they can see is some corporation or a hierarchical structure with special emphasis on the "higher ups". Or can't or refuse to see past their own or others denominational shortcomings.

However, no one would recoil if we said that the body of Christ is infallible. But that's because if we're honest with ourselves, many of us can't actually reconcile that some of us have actually embraced a divided body of Christ, disembodied His body from the body of believers. As if they were separate.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (New International Version)

16Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.


I was just offering a view on what The Church is, in regards to being the "body" of Christ. If you can see "communion"/Eucharist is strongly tied to becoming the body, then not much if anything falls outside of it other than death. Can't get much more universal than that.




*extra

This is why you hear Catholics say that outside of The Church, there is no Salvation. Apostolic Succession is also tied to the Eucharist but that sounds like a can of worms that would best be served unopened (for now)

Romans 8:10
But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

(insert baptism)

1 Corinthians 10:16
Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?

(insert Eucharist)

Ephesians 3:6
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

(insert "universal")

Colossians 1:24
[ Paul's Labor for the Church ] Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

Colossians 1:21-23 (New International Version)


21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.



He is risen.

God bless
 
May 21, 2009
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#20
The people are the church whether there is a buliding or not.
 
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