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Pelagic

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.

Postby gailr » Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:25 pm

The various synods were of, by, and for those who had the most to gain from formalizing the nascent state religion, the better to control those who were attracted to it. The more people who become involved in a movement, the greater the need to define the parameters of that movement in order to maintain cohesiveness.

Still, orthodoxy was established by vote, flanked by very active letter-writing and speech-making campaigns for the various factions. Officially, the vote revealed--and complied with--the preferences of a particular group of Christian's understanding of God. If, in the course of politicking, any of those votes had gone another way, the definitions of Christianity and heresy would look very different, and world history would be very different as well.

-gailr the etheric*
*that's an anagram, kids...
Last edited by gailr on Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Apoclima » Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:11 am

gailr:
The various synods were of, by, and for those who had the most to gain from formalizing the nascent state religion, the better to control those who were attracted to it.


I find this unreasonably cynical. One would have to beileve that there was no Truth to defend; that there were no (true) believers, but only fools, hypocrites and apostates; that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is whimsical at best; and that somehow it should not be the work of the Church (through the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures) to determine which doctrines are, or are not, compatible with the received Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I do agree that after this time, circa 325, the Church has been subjected, by numerous individuals, to many an excess in the unnamed quest for political power under a false banner of spiritual guidance.

gailr:
If, in the course of politicking, any of those votes had gone another way, the fdefinitions of Christianity and heresy would look very different, and world history would be very different as well.


Sure, "if"! I think that this post-modern view of Christianity,
"to each their own gospel, and a gospel to each of their own" is nonsense. The early Church Fathers did not trust every book or any doctrine that came down the pike as inspired. A lack of leadership and authority would most likely have lead to a fractured and dying gospel, but, by the Holy Spirit, the leaders of the Church rose up against error and false teachings.

A religion that can be anything that one wants it to be is not really a religion, but vanity, just as a relationship with no boundaries is a fantasy.

Image

What really was Constantine’s role? Often it is alleged (especially by Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example) that, for whatever reasons, Constantine forced the "same substance" view upon the council,10 or, at the very least, insured that it would be adopted. This is not the case. There is no question that Constantine wanted a unified church after the Council of Nicea. But he was no theologian, nor did he really care to any degree what basis would be used to forge the unity he desired. Later events show that he didn’t have any particular stake in the term homoousios and was willing to abandon it, if he saw that doing so would be of benefit to him. As Schaff rightly points out with reference to the term itself, "The word...was not an invention of the council of Nicea, still less of Constantine, but had previously arisen in theological language, and occurs even in Origen [185-254] and among the Gnostics...."11 Constantine is not the source or origin of the term, and the council did not adopt the term at his command.


WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AT NICEA?

by James R. White


Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
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Postby portokalos » Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:24 am

:)
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Postby Apoclima » Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:46 pm

portokalos:
the casual darkness of my mind


Got to love that phrase!

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Postby gailr » Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:05 pm

I wasn't aiming for cynicism, Apo. I was considering, for example, the differences--slight indeed to the casual observer--between RC and Episcopal in the US. Based on doctrine, there were roles I could fill at one with little or no "official training" and fuss; performing the same functions across town required classes and special garb. Other functions were considered ordinary for the E's and verboten at the RC. That doesn't even touch the differences between RC and Eastern Orthodox, let alone the other mainstream Protestant denominations, and their affiliates in other countries. Yet all these people worship the same God and subscribe to similar core beliefs, expressed through different doctrines and dogmas.

"Synods" are still held in some; although they don't have the global and historical impact of those in the first centuries A.D., they are taken seriously by those seeking to discern and impose cohesion within their respective ranks. Votes are cast by the elders and the result determines orthodoxy for a select group of people.

Why the differences? An easy answer is that Group X is correct and all else are heretics--an answer popular for centuries, yet which seems to spawn as many heresies as it squelches. Short of ready violence, it doesn't really succeed at keeping the global flock in one fold, and it renders obsolete the individual conscience. Consider this from the ordination of a priest or deacon: "Will you be loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them?" [my emphasis] Ultimately it comes down to what people are willing to "receive", which I recall being noted by the Founder.

-gailr, etch either
another anagram
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Postby portokalos » Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:53 am

:)
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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:43 am

What?

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Postby tcward » Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:46 am

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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:07 pm

Or: gato escaldado tem medo de água fria.

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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:11 pm

If anything, your link taught me a word:

reify

Main Entry: re·ify
Pronunciation: 'rA-&-"fI, 'rE-
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): re·ified; re·ify·ing
Etymology: Latin res thing -- more at REAL
: to regard (something abstract) as a material or concrete thing


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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:28 pm

For example, the proverb "from eggs to apples," meaning "from beginning to end," originated in ancient Rome, where it was customary to begin a meal with eggs and end it with apples.

Oh, I know this one: ab ovo ad mala, which reminds me of Malo malo malo
Totum percurrere pontum
Quam mandere
Mala mala malis malis

"I'd rather sail across the entire sea on a bad ship than eat bad apples with bad teeth."

"Better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one."

Reminds me of the Italian più lungo di un giorno senza pane "longer than a day without bread".

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Postby Flaminius » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:37 pm

In Azerbaijan, many proverbs refer to yogurt and halva, including "He who burns his mouth on milk will blow on yogurt when eating it"...


Or 羹に懲りて膾を吹く。

Just substitute milk with hot soup and yogurt with cold row fish (well, there is more to it, though).
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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:52 pm

But nothing matches in excellence Chapulín Colorado's sayings(advanced Spanish required).

Una persona que tiene cuatro ojos ve más que dos que tengan uno sólo.
A four-eyed person sees more than two one-eyed people.


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Postby Apoclima » Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:12 pm

gailr:
Yet all these people worship the same God and subscribe to similar core beliefs, expressed through different doctrines and dogmas.


Yes, out of the Reformation came the idea of the "invisible" Church that includes all believers, and with it were set out the "core beliefs" that suffice to admit one into the "invisible" fold, considered essential for salvation.

The Essentials of Christianity

Of course, the RC and EO persist in their position that there is no salvation outside the (visible) Church, as if one's salvation could be secured (as Luther noted) by some third party intervention on one's behalf.

There are some Protestant Denominations that have the Only True Church Syndrome, but they are rather small in number.

Being raised PE with the knowledge of the broader Anglican Communion, it has never been a problem for me to accept these differences, exclusivity and all, because they are not an essential part of Christianity.

The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion

I think that the real problem with many of the "traditional" churches is that the clergy has, for the most part, abandoned the reality of the Gospel, and replaced it with some sort of psychological interpretation, and perceive their job to be "instillers of beautiful myths" in the minds of their various congregations, and not instructors in Truth and administers of Holy Sacraments, but, rather, play-actors, deceivers for the good of the congregation.

A new survey reveals that a third of clergy in the Church of England express doubts about the Resurrection and only about half believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus. The poll of 2,000 of the church's 10,000 clergy also found that about half believe that faith in Christ is the only route to salvation.


Survey finds many Church of England clergy doubt Resurrection and Virgin Birth

I truly do not understand what interest this disbelieving clergy has in the Church. And it should have no part!

gailr:
Ultimately it comes down to what people are willing to "receive", which I recall being noted by the Founder.


Yes, exactly, either you accept the (received) Gospel or there is no reason to be in the Church.

(Please don't allude to a verse without giving reference; there are some 59 uses of the word "receive" used by Jesus in the New Testament (KJV), and this does not count other forms of "receive.")

[Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. -Jhn 14:17


gailr:
Why the differences? An easy answer is that Group X is correct and all else are heretics--


The answer is only easy when someone starts to play around with the essential doctrines that define Christianity, doctrines that have been held an accepted (though perhaps clarified over time) position within the Church. These are not always the most "popular" doctrines. The Nicene Creed is an example of the retention and affirmation of a received doctrine, over an alien doctrine (Arianism).

Athanasius was the hero after the Council of Nicaea because he promoted the Creed of Nicaea, often under resistance from the anti-Nicene party. The life of St. Athanasius is so tied up with the events of the times that there is hardly need to study the history of the Church independently of Athanasius. His life practically is the history of the Church from the Council of Nicaea for 50 years afterwards. The 300's (4th Century) were momentous years for the Church, and St. Athanasius was bishop of the important see of Alexandria for 46 years right in the middle of that century. He bore the brunt of much torment from civil rulers, because he was the leader in promoting orthodox doctrine. Of his many years as bishop, 17 of them were spent in successive exiles!


Heresies do give the chance to clarify and reiterate doctrines, but excluding them as non-orthodox is hardly being "non-inclusive." Either something is something or it is not something.

Just as there is a verisilimitude of truth in science, so with Christianity that which does not carry the essential and necessary of the Gospel is thrown out.

Anyway, although I do not endorse the PE any longer, but, rather, look to a more Orthodox Anglican congregation, may I suggest that a person who wants all and everything in a religion might want to find themselves a Gnostic or Epignostic congregation, and, then, there is always the Unitarian-Universalist Church. Or, perhaps, that is what the PE is becoming, a church that stands for everything and nothing.

(By the way, I am a disestablishmentarian.)

Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
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Postby Apoclima » Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:06 pm

I found this thought-provoking, although I do not identify with the (few) pro-John Paul II inferences:

A Hope for Collapsing Churches
By David Mills


.....those threatening division are attacked with such labels as "Donatist" and such slogans as "schism is worse than heresy." (Which ignores the fact that heresy is a worse schism than schism. Heresy is schism in the Truth, not just in the institution, and the Truth is more foundational than the current institutional arrangements. Truth is eternal and institutions temporal.)


Agnostic priests still celebrate the Eucharist and unitarian bishops still dress up in medieval vestments. Even the ordination of women is defended as a belated recognition of Pauline egalitarianism, and an "extension" or "expansion" of tradition.


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