Which Church is Right?


#21

[quote=DominvsVobiscvm]Really, he had the 27 books of the New Testament, including the Four Gospels, which are the meat of the Christian Bible?! Woah!

Christ’s work was, in a sense, uncompleted when he Ascended into Heaven. This is why he sent the Holy Spirit to guide the Church into all truth. The Spirit preserves the Church from teaching error, and all the while leads her to a deeper understanding of the teaching of Christ. Christ planted the seed of the Kingdom (i.e. the Church), and tends his Church by the Spirit.

And this growth, as I noted, manifests itself visibly, not just abstractly in theology.

Otherwise, as I noted, we would not today have a New Testament.
[/quote]

I know what you are getting at now by the new testament comment. I qualified my statement by saying anything that hindered the discipleship process. Now I am not against anything new but I see no justification for removing or changing what is necessary and profitable for spiritual growth. I see plenty of reason for removing or changing anything that hinders it. Even then that has to be qualified. I mean things that definitly are confined to their culture and time may not apply to our culture and time directly but it still applies in principle. As in slave submit to your masters. Slaves for one were commanded to submit to their masters so that the name of Christ would not be blasphemed. So even though we don’t have slaves the principle of submitting in order that Christ will not be blasphemed can still apply. So I can say that there are some definite things the apostles did or taught that are not supposed to change.

Now back to my reference with Christ sitting in a field fellowshipping with others. My point was that the simplicty of relational fellowship like what Christ models is powerful, profitable and even necessary for spiritual growth and still applies to today.


#22

The what, I pray, gets in the way of “personal relationship” and “spiritual growth”? I know quite a few Modernist Christians who claim that prohibiting sodomy gets in the way of personal relationships, as once can still love Christ and God but have a relationship with someone of the same sex.

I think it’s be easier for us to understand what you’re getting at if you cut to the case and were more specific. As it now stands, it appears that you advocate some kind of fuzzy-wuzzy, feel-good, individualistic Christianity of your own invention, something that relates very little to the real Jesus.


#23

[quote=prodromos]You do err if you think that iconography is not apostolic. You need only visit the catacombs of Rome to see that iconography has been with the church since the beginning. There are three icons still in existance that were painted by the hand of St Luke the Evangelist. Also, if iconography is not apostolic, why does the seventh ecumenical council defend the veneration of icons?
It is Rome who has departed from Tradition by abandoning the rules of iconography and leaving the painting of religious images up to the imagination of the artists themselves. This is akin to allowing bible copyists to rewrite the Gospels in their own words, filling in details which they consider lacking according to their own thoughts and ideas.John.
[/quote]

I had no idea that painting pictures of saints was part of Sacred Tradition. How does the painting of a picture have ANTYHING to do whatsoever with salvation? They may have departed or altered a tradition (little “t”), but not Sacred Tradition (Big “T”). There is a world of difference between the two. The different artifacts of veneration and worship ebb and change with the times, but the salvic message of the Gospel never does. Iconography is not part of the message of salvation.


#24

I had no idea that painting pictures of saints was part of Sacred Tradition.

The sacred art of the Church is itself not a part of Sacred Tradition (with a big “T”), and neither are the various artistic conventions adopted by Catholic artists. However, Sacred Tradition is often reflected in sacred art, just as it is reflected in the writings of the Fathers (which also are not, in themselves, part of Tradition).

That having been said, there is an actual dogmatic basis for the veneration of images, and this does relate to our salvation.

According to the Second Ecumenical Council, it is not only permissible, but profitable, to venerate Sacred Images. This relates to our salvation.

For it means, first, that venerating an image is not a sin and therefore does not jeopardize salvation.

And conversely, it means that the veneration of an image is, indrectly, a means of receiving grace, insofar as this veneration lifts the mind and the heart to divine things. And so venerating images is a great help to salvation, like the use of any sarcamental.

Also, don’t forget that Christ is the Icon, or Image, of God par excellence, and religious images are a reflection of this.

So yes, there is a relation between Christian iconography and Sacred Tradition, and the salvation of souls.


#25

[quote=jphilapy]That all depends on how much weight you give to the whole idea of succession. I for one tend to think that what matters is that the person follows the apostolic tradition. If that is the case then it wouldn’t matter who succeeds who. And the apostolic tradition can be found in scripture.

Jeff
[/quote]

Succession in office. There was only one Apostle set into the position of caring for the whole flock of Christ. That was Peter! So which Church claims the successor of Peter as the one person who leads the one Church of Christ on earth. No one but the Catholic Church claims the successor of Peter. Peter was not one Apostle among others. He was singled out to be the head and mouthpiece of the Apostles, the Church.


#26

I agree with you completely. The point that I was making is that refusal to venerate images does not denigrate our salvation. As long as one observes the sacramental life institude by our Lord through His Holy Catholic Church, veneration of images is indeed helpful, but not absolutely necessary.

[quote=DominvsVobiscvm]The sacred art of the Church is itself not a part of Sacred Tradition (with a big “T”), and neither are the various artistic conventions adopted by Catholic artists. However, Sacred Tradition is often reflected in sacred art, just as it is reflected in the writings of the Fathers (which also are not, in themselves, part of Tradition).

That having been said, there is an actual dogmatic basis for the veneration of images, and this does relate to our salvation.

According to the Second Ecumenical Council, it is not only permissible, but profitable, to venerate Sacred Images. This relates to our salvation.

For it means, first, that venerating an image is not a sin and therefore does not jeopardize salvation.

And conversely, it means that the veneration of an image is, indrectly, a means of receiving grace, insofar as this veneration lifts the mind and the heart to divine things. And so venerating images is a great help to salvation, like the use of any sarcamental.

Also, don’t forget that Christ is the Icon, or Image, of God par excellence, and religious images are a reflection of this.

So yes, there is a relation between Christian iconography and Sacred Tradition, and the salvation of souls.
[/quote]


#27

The point that I was making is that refusal to venerate images does not denigrate our salvation.

I suppose that’s technically true, though I must say that such a person isn’t really living the Spirit of Catholicism, even if he is living the letter of the law . . .

But just my opinion. (I mean, what would that Catholic do during the Good Friday liturgy, when we venerate the Lord’s cross?)


#28

[quote=Madaglan]I
Anyhow, to answer your major question: how does one tell which one is the real Church? I’m honestly still looking into that question myself. But you know what…neither the apostles nor Christ asked that Christians create actual church buildings, fill our churches with flowers, meet every Sunday, nor annually celebrate Easter. And yet most Christian churches do that…
[/quote]

Hi Madaglan,
Galatians 4:9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements , to which you desire again to be in bondage?
4:10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 4:11 I am afraid for you , lest I have labored for you in vain.

Christ be with you,
walk in love
edwinGhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif


#29

Are these passages supposed to mean something relavant? Would you care explaining them to those of us who just don’t get it?

Thanks.

[quote=edwinG]Hi Madaglan,
Galatians 4:9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements , to which you desire again to be in bondage?
4:10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 4:11 I am afraid for you , lest I have labored for you in vain.

Christ be with you,
walk in love
edwinGhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
[/quote]


#30

[quote=DominvsVobiscvm]The what, I pray, gets in the way of “personal relationship” and “spiritual growth”? I know quite a few Modernist Christians who claim that prohibiting sodomy gets in the way of personal relationships, as once can still love Christ and God but have a relationship with someone of the same sex.

I think it’s be easier for us to understand what you’re getting at if you cut to the case and were more specific. As it now stands, it appears that you advocate some kind of fuzzy-wuzzy, feel-good, individualistic Christianity of your own invention, something that relates very little to the real Jesus.
[/quote]

What I am getting at is that scripture teaches us what it means to be a mature child of God and teaches us what things promote our growth to maturity. For example when Christ commanded the Apostles to make disciples, he was telling them to bring believers to maturity. So you have to ask the question, how did they bring folks to maturity? Well look at how they did it. Look at how Jesus did it, he lived with the 12. We have even more information on how Paul did it and it is no doubt the same thing Jesus was doing.

Paul lived among the thess. **
1Th 1:5
[size=2] For our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also: and in the Holy Ghost and in much fulness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes.

[/size]Timothy knew personally what Paul’s life looked like: **
2Ti 3:10
But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life
[size=2], purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patience,

[/size]The pattern of discipleship illustrated in Timothy’s visit to corinth.

1Co 4:17* For this cause have I sent to you Timothy*[size=2], who is my dearest son and faithful in the Lord. Who will put you in mind of my ways, which are in Christ Jesus: as I teach every where in every church.
[/size]
**A demonstration of early churches relational fellowship.
**
*Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another, to provoke unto charity and to good works: *

Heb 10:25 Not forsaking our assembly, as some are accustomed: but comforting one anther, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.

1Co 14:26 How is it then, brethren? When you come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation: let all things be done to edification.

Continued …


#31

Continued from previous post

Paul believed that disciples are to be made by example:

1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Phi 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

All these scriptures illustrate Paul’s method of discipleship as well as the way the early church gathered together. Today’s modern institutions are all about monologue. There is nothing relational or mutual about the assemblies of believers. But the early church assembled together for the purpose of edifying one another and new that had to be interactive and relational. Now this isn’t to say that monologue is bad but it should’t replace the picture as it is above.

I want to comment further on these verses:
*
Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another, to provoke unto charity and to good works: *
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking our assembly, as some are accustomed: but comforting one anther, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.

A lot of believers will quote this verse as reason why someone must attend church. However the author here was telling believers to gather together so they can edify one another. That is not what takes place in modern day institutions so that verse cannot be used to support going to church.

Anyway I hope you can see where I am getting at here.


#32

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]The point that I was making is that refusal to venerate images does not denigrate our salvation.
[/quote]

Well that depends on what your reasons are for refusing. The fathers of the seventh ecumenical council understood clearly that the iconoclasts refusal to venerate icons struck at the very heart of the incarnation, that the uncreated second person of the Holy Trinity became united with created matter. Christ’s flesh (created matter) was a true icon of God. We saw in Christ’s flesh, God the Son in person. If we deny that the person of God the Son can be represented by matter (icons) then to a certain degree we deny the truth of the incarnation which over time will lead into all kinds of heresies.

John.


#33

[quote=jphilapy]I don’t know… nicely put :slight_smile: So if you remove all that, then what do you have left? A touchable Christ sitting amongst normal people in fellowship and love?

Jeff
[/quote]


#34

As a former protestant that scenario just didn’t happen.My experience in a Church that had no Icons,statues,or even musical intruments, was cold. The Mass is centered on Christ, period, we have scripture readings,praise in singing,but the Eucharist is central. The beauty of Icons and the things that irritate protestants so very much,is the wonderful help they have on keeping focus in prayer, and contemplating Holiness.Well, anyway that is my 2 cents.God Bless:gopray:


#35

I hope noone here is getting the idea that I am dead against veneration. Indeed, I myself have a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immacualte Heart of Mary hanging over the computer in my cubicle. I also keep a miraculous medal in my cube as well. The simple point I am making, and I agree that I haven’t articulated this very well, is that if one is caught in a circumstance where there were no images to venerate, your salvation would not be threatened. That is why I say that iconography, while it adds a layer of beauty to our faith, takes nothing away if it is missing.


#36

Jphil:

Cut to the chase, please. I’m still not getting it.


#37

[quote=DominvsVobiscvm]Jphil:

Cut to the chase, please. I’m still not getting it.
[/quote]

If you look at the RC, EO and Prot. churches you see that their primary focus is different than the primary focus of the early church. As I illustrated by my verses the primary focus of the early church was on making disciples and I illustrated how disciples were made. The RC, EO and Prot. churches all focus on everything but making disciples. And even if they say that is their focus, their structure does not permit them to make disciples as there is only one way to do it and it is the way Jesus and the Apostles did it. To put it another way the RC, EO and Prot. All make disciples for their own doctrinal positions but they don’t make disciples for Jesus. A disciple for Jesus is know for his love for his brothers. What are the RC, EO and Prot. all known for? No doubt there are special individuals in each one of these who are known for good deeds or great works, but this is far from what it should be. As Paul states in Ephes. that God gave some to the church for the equipping of the rest. What are the rest doing? Sitting in pews.

Jeff


#38

[quote=jphilapy]Christians didn’t start hiding in catacombs till around the second century.
[/quote]

The fact REMAINS that the 7th Ecumenical Council in 787 declared that iconoclasts were heretics, and that veneration of icons, properly, was an integral part and parcel of the apostolic catholic faith. Argue with them, not us. That Ecumenical Council knew what it was doing, and speaks of a higher authority than my opinion - or yours.

It doesn’t mater WHEN Christians started hiding in catacombs. The issue does not hinge on that. Christians - and before them Israel - had numberous PROPER ways of using images that were NOT idolatry, some of which were commanded by God himself. I proper understanding of the nature of icons and images, versus idols, will go a long way to alleviating the same fears that the iconoclasts promulgated as heresy prior to the canons of 787.


#39

[quote=Servant1]The fact REMAINS that the 7th Ecumenical Council in 787 declared that iconoclasts were heretics, and that veneration of icons, properly, was an integral part and parcel of the apostolic catholic faith. Argue with them, not us. That Ecumenical Council knew what it was doing, and speaks of a higher authority than my opinion - or yours.

It doesn’t mater WHEN Christians started hiding in catacombs. The issue does not hinge on that. Christians - and before them Israel - had numberous PROPER ways of using images that were NOT idolatry, some of which were commanded by God himself. I proper understanding of the nature of icons and images, versus idols, will go a long way to alleviating the same fears that the iconoclasts promulgated as heresy prior to the canons of 787.
[/quote]

God didn’t tell Israel to venerate the images nor did the Apostles tell christians to.


#40

[quote=jphilapy]If you look at the RC, EO and Prot. churches you see that their primary focus is different than the primary focus of the early church. As I illustrated by my verses the primary focus of the early church was on making disciples and I illustrated how disciples were made. The RC, EO and Prot. churches all focus on everything but making disciples. And even if they say that is their focus, their structure does not permit them to make disciples as there is only one way to do it and it is the way Jesus and the Apostles did it. To put it another way the RC, EO and Prot. All make disciples for their own doctrinal positions but they don’t make disciples for Jesus. A disciple for Jesus is know for his love for his brothers. What are the RC, EO and Prot. all known for? No doubt there are special individuals in each one of these who are known for good deeds or great works, but this is far from what it should be. As Paul states in Ephes. that God gave some to the church for the equipping of the rest. What are the rest doing? Sitting in pews.

Jeff
[/quote]

dominvsvobiscvm is right, you’re behaving in philosophically minimalistic way.

i really don’t know why you insist, in many of your posts on the difference in the way things are being done now as compared to when jesus did them.
the stress should be on doctrine- that hasn’t changed

things are bound to be different- the situation is totally different
besides why do you imagine that things have to be exactly as they were in the NT?
jesus had a geographically limited ministry, and so did the apostles
the early church was limited to south europe and the middle-east.
as such, with the limited geography, it was bound to be easier for them to concentrate on “making disciples” rather than settling doctrinal disputes
even then, whenever there were disputes on doctrine, they did get together and settle them as fast as possible (acts 15 is just one example)
as the church spread far and wide, the disputes also kept increasing and the church had to spend that much more time on arguing about doctrine; because it is important. the church wouldn’t be true to her lord if she did not guard his doctrine most jealously
today, with so many disputes, it is necessary to settle doctrine first.


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