Assembling outside the church

edited October 2017 in Faith Issues
Book 3
Chapter 3
Point or paragraph 2

"Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre- eminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolical tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere"

Here we see the church of Rome as long as it preserves the teaching of Peter and Paul was held in high regard because it not only carried apostolic succession which was necessary but because it preserved the tradition and it was to be respected most because it was set up by Peter and Paul so had their authority and happend to be the most firmly established in the beginning.

But my question is about meeting up with other christians for friendly fellowship in churches. The reasons rejected are: evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion. This condemnation seems to be against orthodox who go to protestant meetings not all protestants assembling if they are blind. Only blind orthodox

I could not be self pleasing. I am genuinely concerned. Vainglory I do not think I can stand without the church. Blindness I do not have I know you need to be in the church. Perverse opinion I do not have of the church but of non trust to many religious people. I wish to show we love them outside the church. But maybe I am guilty of this. I should maybe avoid in case. I do not tell protestants they don't need to be in the church hopefully. I hope them part of the church because they would want to follow it if they be sure. So orthodox need to witness to them and they must be open to listening

Book 3
Chapter 26
Point or paragraphs 2 to 5

Today is the first time I read this chapter 26. Obviously it is going to be hard to understand because it is not from the bible but it is important. Notice it is the leaders that have to respect the prophets and patriarchs in last point and sentences and they have to make others respect them but you still have to obey them. David did not rise up even against evil King Saul because he is the Lord's annointed and he had true evidence against him.
Anything not confirmed also in the bible is not to be interpreted by men in anyway unless examples are also given from the bible. Also we have had longer time to meditate on the bible because not everyone is aware of the church fathers.
And there may not be many examples in the bible so it is difficult to interpret.
I don’t believe many saints have interpreted the church fathers for us. All the saints who interpreted the bible are trusted because they are truly like apostles everyone seeing them favoured like moses. Until God works in the church and I see it I do not consider any holy synod agreements if they seem to be against the bible that I am misinterpreting them until I see evidence of their sainthood which all the prophets had atleast seeing their fruits. I never even had a dream of the saints neither them perform any miracles for me privately. They should give me the peace I am on the right way

2. Wherefore it is incumbent to obey the presbyters who are in the Church, — those who, as I have shown, possess the succession from the apostles; those who, together with the succession of the episcopate, have received the certain gift of truth, according to the good pleasure of the Father. But [it is also incumbent] to hold in suspicion others who depart from the primitive succession, and assemble themselves together in any place whatsoever [looking upon them] either as heretics of perverse minds, or as schismaries puffed up and self-pleasing, or again as hypocrites, acting thus for the sake of lucre and vainglory. For all these have fallen from the truth. And the heretics, indeed, who bring strange fire to the altar of God — namely, strange doctrines — shall be burned up by the fire from heaven, as were Nadab and Abiud. But such as rise up in opposition to the truth, and exhort others against the Church of God, [shall] remain among those in hell (apud inferos), being swallowed up by an earthquake, even as those who were with Chore, Dathan, and Abiron. But those who cleave asunder, and separate the unity of the Church, [shall] receive from God the same punishment as Jeroboam did.

3. Those, however, who are believed to be presbyters by many, but serve their own lusts, and, do not place the fear of God supreme in their hearts, but conduct themselves with contempt towards others, and are puffed up with the pride of holding the chief seat, and work evil deeds in secret, saying, “No man sees us,” shall be convicted by the Word, who does not judge after outward appearance (secundum gloriam), nor looks upon the countenance, but the heart; and they shall hear those words, to be found in Daniel the prophet: “O thou seed of Canaan, and not of Judah, beauty hath deceived thee, and lust perverted thy heart. Thou that art waxen old in wicked days, now thy sins which thou hast committed aforetime are come to light; for thou hast pronounced false judgments, and hast been accustomed to condemn the innocent, and to let the guilty go free, albeit the Lord saith, The innocent and the righteous shalt thou not slay.” Of whom also did the Lord say: “But if the evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming, and shall begin to smite the man-servants and maidens, and to eat and drink and be drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day that he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.”

4. From all such persons, therefore, it behooves us to keep aloof, but to adhere to those who, as I have already observed, do hold the doctrine of the apostles, and who, together with the order of priesthood (presbyterii ordine), display sound speech and blameless conduct for the confirmation and correction of others. In this way, Moses, to whom such a leadership was entrusted, relying on a good conscience, cleared himself before God, saying, “I have not in covetousness taken anything belonging to one of these men, nor have I done evil to one of them.” In this way, too, Samuel, who judged the people so many years, and bore rule over Israel without any pride, in the end cleared himself, saying, “I have walked before you from my childhood even unto this day: answer me in the sight of God, and before His anointed (Christi ejus); whose ox or whose ass of yours have I taken, or over whom have I tyrannized, or whom have I oppressed? or if I have received from the hand of any a bribe or [so much as] a shoe, speak out against me, and I will restore it to you.” And when the people had said to him, “Thou hast not tyrannized, neither hast thou oppressed us neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand,” he called the Lord to witness, saying, “The Lord is witness, and His Anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they said to him, He is witness.” In this strain also the Apostle Paul, inasmuch as he had a good conscience, said to the Corinthians: “For we are not as many, who corrupt the Word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ;” “We have injured no man, corrupted no man, circumvented no man.”

5. Such presbyters does the Church nourish, of whom also the prophet says: “I will give thy rulers in peace, and thy bishops in righteousness.” Of whom also did the Lord declare, “Who then shall be a faithful steward (actor), good and wise, whom the Lord sets over His household, to give them their meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when He cometh, shall find so doing.” Paul then, teaching us where one may find such, says, “God hath placed in the Church, first, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers.” Where, therefore, the gifts of the Lord have been placed, there it behooves us to learn the truth, [namely,] from those who possess that succession of the Church which is from the apostles, and among whom exists that which is sound and blameless in conduct, as well as that which is unadulterated and incorrupt in speech. For these also preserve this faith of ours in one God who created all things; and they increase that love [which we have] for the Son of God, who accomplished such marvelous dispensations for our sake: and they expound the Scriptures to us without danger, neither blaspheming God,nor dishonoring the patriarchs, nor despising the prophets.


  • It's 1 AM and I briefly skimmed this, and I have a couple responses:
    1- Just as the Orthodox teaching is to avoid "unnecessary words (2 Tim 2:16)", we should avoid "unnecessary actions"- actions not to the glory of God
    But if we gather to glorify God and how we are one body in Christ, it is not unnecessary- we are glorifying God. If we gather to talk about sports or something trivial like that, it should not be in church. Many churches/communities most likely had massive watch parties for the Egypt-Congo soccer game (go Egypt! :D) and this saying says that unless it's for the glory of God, don't do it. Does having massive watch parties of everyone screaming Mohammad Salah's name glorify God? I'm not one to judge. But the saying is in no way saying to only interact with church people in church- are we only a body when we are in church? Rather, it says to do all things for the glory of God.

    2- The Synod does not take 1 verse and use it- it does exactly the opposite. Before they make a ruling, they pore over the Bible, making sure no verse directs them to say otherwise. They also find many verses to establish what they say. And they have many bishops who discuss and meditate on it. By no means is a Synod decision rushed or against the Bible.
    Have trust in the Synod, and in God's work through it. These men are wise and blessed, and we are none to think ourselves higher. If the Synod says something, that means that all the bishops and metropolitans comprising it have agreed on it- ALL of them. It has to be unanimous. If there is even 1 dissension, they take the time and explain it. Who are we to say differently than what the Synod says? I know what I'm saying seems very weird and disconnected but please try and get my message- it's late at night and my writing may not be the clearest.

    I probably said something wrong or missed something, please feel free to correct and/or criticize me.

    Please pray for me.
  • edited October 2017
    Thankyou brother I do regret saying that but it is very unlikely I will find their decisions against the bible
    In any case since in all orthodoxy all priests have to agree and if all have been convinced to agree so should I. We should be able to have councils like the Eastern Orthodox but I am glad we don’t. Unlike the earlier councils they were not subject to time but some councils now could perhaps be regarded as void by the next council
    But I hope all councils are not too restrictive in what should not be restricted. Otherwise I could maybe or probably consider the value of some councils

    In any case I trust in the church and that God won’t allow gates of hades to prevail but He preserves it even if by judgement for judgement shall begin at the house of God.
  • edited November 2017
    I’m sounding like Martin Luther questioning the synod and fear going down his path. True things are not perfect but you shouldn’t split the church. How then were things to be corrected ? He should have joined the Orthodox Church and a church where the commandments of God are practiced because jesus promises the generation of true believers in church will exist till the end of the world. Therefore you will always be able to practice among few and the few God will use to prevail on the world who are obedient

    Martin Luther
    “Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."

    Some parts some think he never said

    I made the orthodox look bad for not being good at showing love to the homosexuals and not doing much to the world because I did not trust God is looking after those outside the church. Also I felt not comfortable we have to take blind obedience for things like we must not give candy to people who go out on Halloween to do trick or treat but maybe Church is only against going out but I don’t know how bad it is and if we have to stop doing that and speak bad about it to be in good standing with God in eyes of church

    But I said I may be wrong I didn’t say you can definitely have life outside the church because I can not know if those many church teachers are blameless. But there is probably some good teachers I suppose so that is not a perfect excuse. But it can make their family object but I don’t know if it is good excuse but I still hold if no one witnessed to them with power they are excused I hope becsuse it is my opinion that seems the truth and they must be open to hearing

    I feel I am destroying orthodoxy but I don’t know

    Pope Kyrillos said
    “Be sure that He who has chosen the beginning of the road for you, will not leave you on the middle of it.”

    But I don’t know if I was ever orthodox. I may have never submitted. I pray God to help me submit for without Him we can do nothing. God never wants blind obedience but we trust Him that He will take care of our worries and we shall see it

    Supposing I was ever orthodox some things appear like a mountain to repent or impossible but this saying by Pope Kyrillos is telling me hoping it is correct as Christ alone is infallible that it doesn’t matter how far I went Christ can bring me back easily
    I hope I can come back with this post
    I don’t know which way to take for I think it is good that the world has hope in Christ.

    I did something bad to a Protestant I didn’t mean to him I feel I shouldn’t have communion. He forgave me. I know I need to do something to reach out to the world I thought bad about their ministry maybe because I thought they minister to sinners who need more strong approach and I worry Orthodox don’t know how to reach these people

Sign In or Register to comment.