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Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by billwald, Apr 7, 2012.
an organization for sanctified people? What might might a middle position be?
The church is a school for saved people. Those saved people should then be winning people to Christ in the world.
I also believe that the church proper is for believers but the Gospel should be ever present for those who are not. But a church should be for meat. For the gathering together of God's people for the purpose of worship, edification, teaching and learning - all things for believers. That unsaved come into our church is wonderful and we should be ready with resources for them too but to keep a church geared towards the unsaved then does a disservice for those who come to Christ and cannot grow because we are still providing "baby food".
I like the Plymouth Brethern way of using the main (11AM) meeting for evangelism and having a 2nd meeting at an inconvenient time for communion every Sunday - for True Believers. It is not exactly a secret meeting but is not well advertised at best.
Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Tell me, who is completely whole?
It is a combination of recovery room and school room (at the very least).
Old and new Christians need a safe place to recover from various wounds; first aid stuff.
And we are to be equipped to do the work of the ministry.Eph.4:12
The title of this thread caught my attention...specifically the Church as a "Hospital"...I’m currently reading Orthodox Psychotherapy and the Orthodox view sinfulness as illness, we also view the cure for the human condition to be found in the Church, though some are more open to secular healers for various types of infirmity than others.
In St. John Chrysostom’s interpretation of this parable [of The Good Samaritan] it is clearly evident that the Church is a Hospital which heals those sick with sin...
These truths also appear in many other places in the New Testament. …(Matt. 9:12, Mat 4:23, 1Cor. 8:12). The Book of Revelation says that John the Evangelist saw a river of the water of life proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. “On either side of the river was the tree of life…and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:1)
So the work of the Church is therapeutic. It seeks to heal men’s sicknesses, mainly those of the soul, which torment them. This is the basic teaching of the New Testament and of the Fathers of the Church. In what follows is found through out the book as the book references many passages from the Fathers...
(John Romanides) says:
Having faith in Christ without undergoing healing in Christ is not faith at all. Here is the same contradiction that we find when a sick person who has great confidence in his doctor never carries out the treatment which he recommends. If Judaism and its successor, Christianity, had appeared in the twentieth century for the first time, they would most likely have been characterised not as religions but as medical sciences related to psychiatry. They would have a wide influence on society owing to their considerable successes in healing the ills of the partially functioning personality. In no way can prophetic Judaism and Christianity be construed as religions that use various magical methods and beliefs to promise escape from a supposed world of matter and evil or hypocrisy into a supposed spiritual world of security and success.
In another work the same professor says:
The patrisitic tradition is neither a social philosphy nor an ethical system, nor is it religious dogmatism: it is a therapeutic treatment… The spiritual energy of the soul that prays unceasingly in the heart is a physiological instrument which everyone has and which requires healing. Neither philosophy nor any of the known positive or social sciences is capable of healing this instrument. That can only be done through the Fathers’ neptic and ascetic teaching. Therefore those who are not healed usually do not even know of the existence of this instrument.
So in the Church we are divided into the sick, those undergoing therapeutic treatment, and those – saints – who have already been healed. “The Fathers do not categorize people as moral and immoral or good and bad on the basis of moral laws. This division is superficial. At depth humanity is differentiated into the sick in soul, those being healed and those healed. All who are not in a state of illumination are sick in soul… It is not only good will, good resolve, moral practice and devotion to Orthodox Tradition which make an Orthodox, but also purification, illumination and deification. These stages of healing are the purpose of the mystical life of the Church, as the liturgical texts bear witness.”