My Spritual Pilgrimage - an Update

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Agnus_Dei, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. Agnus_Dei

    Agnus_Dei
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    It maybe known to some that I’ve been waiting patiently for the Lord to lead me back home to the New Testament Church. In doing so I’ve been studying and reading as much Early Church History, Apostolic and Early Church Fathers as I can, meeting and discussing my pilgrimage with a number of people just to get my bearings straight, and to mention also those of you here on the BB.

    I was planning on starting a Catholic RCIA this September, but, yes there’s always a but; I’ve decided to hold off.

    Since my family and I moved from Indianapolis, IN to Wichita, KS, we’ve been attending various Roman Catholic Churches and I won’t go into why I never felt comfortable there, but something interesting happened to me and my wife a few weeks ago…we attended a Divine Liturgy at St. George’s Orthodox Christian Cathedral…one word…Whoaa!

    When my wife and I entered the Cathedral we didn’t say a word to each other, we were both stunned at the welcoming we received, the reverence, the worship, and the closeness we felt to God. My legs and back were killing me, after standing for some 2 hours! How my 3 kids (2, 3 and 6) sat through 2 hours of pure worship is an act of God in itself!

    As my wife and I were walking to our car, we just looked at each other and said…what was that? My wife who was so repulsed by Catholicism seems to be now embracing Orthodoxy. We went back the next night for Vespers and the next…we attended the Divine Liturgy for the feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos last Friday. The chanting along with the choir…I can’t explain it…it’s something that has to be witnessed.

    More to come…

    Blessings to all
    -
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

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    Would you expect protestants and baptists to rejoice with you? Have I seen you before...around Matt Slick's ministry perhaps?

    May God grant me the strength to stand in love toward you my friend, as a sign and a warning that says, "Turn back, that is not the way of the Lord." :praying:

    RB
     
  3. Agnus_Dei

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    Just the response I was expecting from a "reformed" baptist...
     
  4. Bro. Williams

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    Admonitions:

    1) Stop basing your acceptance of church on your feelings.

    2) Remove yourself from that mother of harlots at once
     
  5. ReformedBaptist

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    Was there something unloving about my post? Granted, you don't believe your headed into further and further error. But if a man sees another heading into what he believes is a pit of destruction, woe to that man if he warn him not.

    Your words in your signature would be enough to begin a discussion. It is the exact opposite to the truth and opposed to all godliness and righteouness. It subordinates the authority of Scripture to man, and exalts man to place God never placed him.

    By your own words and testimony the wrongful error has is clearly seen. You have devoted yourself to uninspired writings, although sometimes helpful, are not profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, lacking nothing.

    Tell me friend, in your studies, have you compared God's Word to you with the words of men? Are you sacrificing your own conscience to the authority of a church father, or whom you believe to be a successor of an apostle? You know history well, how that in times past the papacy held back the Word of God from the people by forbidding them to have the Scriptures in their own tongue. And how God raised up holy men, not fearing death, to translate the Bible and bring the Word of God to the people, who also paid with their lives for this.

    I have no doubt that you read the Scriptures. But is your concience more bound to the interpretations of fallible men or to the infallible Word of God?

    RB
     
  6. Eliyahu

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    Agnus,

    YOur so-called Pilgrimage reminds me of my life in pursuit of the Truth before my Salvation. I visited about 100 churches before Salvation. Actually it was worthwhile.

    My recommendation is this.
    You may not be able to judge whose history is correct between RCC history and Baptist/Brethren History, because nobody from the past can witness for you and the history is quite controversial.
    You'd better find another starting point, then move to the history.

    The best starting point is the Bible. You told me you read the Bible with the assistance of the Catholics ( or anyone else). I recommend you to read the Bible for yourself or for yourself along with your wife, without any commentary or any other Brain-washing materials.
    You can read your own Bible compared to King James Version.
    I can guarantee you that King James Version is the best tool to convict anyone of the sins and help them to hear the Words of God. You can compare the differences among the Bible, and mark the difference, and meditate about the teachings, and read and discern about them as Bereans did ( Acts 17:11)

    Especially I recommend you to read Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Amos, Zechariah, then New Testament. Thereafter you can move to Genesis Exodus thru the Old Testament.
    I am very sure that the Bible reading will convict you of your sins very much and make you feel thirsty for the Truth more and more, then you will find the beams removed from your eyes ( Mt 7:3-5)

    If you have ever read the Bible, it won't take very long time.

    Thereafter you can have the right eyes to see thru the history.
    If you don't have much time, please read Isaiah and Romans 3,4,5,6.
    You will be challenged by the Truth.
     
  7. Eliyahu

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    Double Post
     
    #7 Eliyahu, Sep 12, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
  8. Agnus_Dei

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    And the same can be said of you, what makes you believe that you have the Truth and the other thousand competing fractions in Protestantism doesn’t?

    Even if you believe that your particular sect isn’t “Protestant”, then please produce first, second or third century documents that proves what you believe as Truth is in fact Orthodox.

    The Christian Church is a Scriptural Church, therefore Orthodoxy believes this just as firmly as any Protestant. The Bible is the supreme expression of God’s revelation to the human race and Christians must always be People of the Book. BUT if Christians are People of the Book, the Bible is the Book of the People; it must not be regarded as something set up over the Church, but as something that lives and is understood within the Church, which is why one should never separate Scripture from Tradition.

    It is from the Church that the Bible ultimately derives its authority, for it was the Church which originally decided which books form a part of Holy Scripture; and it is the Church alone which can interpret Holy Scripture with authority.

    There are many, many sayings in the Bible which by themselves are far from clear, hence the many sects within Protestantism. And individual readers, however sincere, are in danger of error if they trust their own personal interpretation. This is why Philip had to explain Scripture to the eunuch in Acts who didn’t understand.

    In Orthodoxy there’s not just one Church Father, there are many. In the west it did seem to me in my studies that Catholicism does put a lot of their eggs into the Augustine basket.

    Please, don’t confuse Roman Catholicism with the Eastern Orthodox Church. I’m not attending a Roman Catholic Church my friend. My family and I are attending a self-ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church……the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. Acts 11:26
    -
     
  9. Chemnitz

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    I guess, I would just have to say, you're getting warmer.
     
  10. Agnus_Dei

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    Thank you Eliyahu for your post and yes, my wife and I have read the Bible (not the whole entirety) together and have had and still have devotions together.

    The problem with the “me, the Bible and the Lord” is that the Bible left to the common man outside the Church will lead to heresy. Even the reformer Martin Luther knew this which is why he included footnotes in his first German translation of the Bible.

    Again, please don’t confuse Roman Catholicism with Eastern Orthodoxy. Yes, I was contemplating Catholicism and even signed up for RCIA, but decided to give the Eastern Church an objective look. From what I’ve gathered thus far, a few of the issues I had with Rome, the Eastern Church had those same issues as well…so God’s not through leading me yet…hence why I’m waiting patiently for the Lord and not making any hasty decisions…

    Even if I wanted to be Orthodox today, the priest wouldn’t let me until I’ve gotten a good understanding of Orthodoxy and through Prayer made that decision. Orthodoxy is somewhat demanding…worship is long, fasting and praying is prominent.
    -
     
  11. ReformedBaptist

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    This presupposes that the differences between evangelical protestants is that great. I have found this to be a great misconception among papists and orthodox churches alike.

    I stand in my faith and conscience on Scripture alone.


    This semantic trickery doesn't work on me. The Scriptures are the Word of God, without mixture of human thought or interpretation. They were meant to be read and understood from God's mouth to common people's ears. Both the papacy with their lies of infallible interpretors (magisterium) and orthodoxy have run headlong into this error. Sir, the Scriptures of truth are OVER you, your priests, your synod, and all peoples of the earth. It is the Word of God.

    This is some of the most disgusting, arrogant and henious heresy ever to be thrust into the face of God's people. God's Word DOES NOT derive its authority from His Church, but from God alone. The Church is UNDER the authority of God and His Word.

    And see how far error the papists and orthodox churches have run into with their infallible interpretors!


    Call no man thy father.

    I know they are different, but so look and smell like one another its often hard to tell the difference.
     
  12. Eliyahu

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    If you read the Bible with the conviction that you need the assistance of the church, then you have to decide which church you should choose. At this moment you are about to decide which church is correct. Then how can you make the right choice among many churches and many denominations?
    Therefore you need a neutral guide, namely Bible alone.
    People do not know that the Bible itself has the power because God works thru the Holy Spirit into the minds of the readers.

    A problem is that people have the fear that they may find themselves and their churches wrong! You need it!
    If you read the Bible for yourself, you will be convicted by the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit works everywhere and whenever you read the Bible.

    Don't be scared to confront changes given by the Holy Spirit. You can find God exists and works for you.

    Read the Bible without any Brainwash, a complete neutral approach to the Truth, because at the end you will have to confront only God, all the others will be set aside. Between you and God, don't have anything. Confront with God, the Supreme Judge.

    I personally trust the people of so-called Plymouth Brethren, however, when I meet the Only God, I will have to confront Him, without any PB's.
    You cannot excuse to God, for your salvation, on account of Roman Catholic. Everyone will stand alone for his or her own behaviors and own faith.
    Therefore, set aside all the others first, then try to have the answer and guidance from the Lord, thereafter you can make the choice of the churches and denominations, then you can read the Bible along with them.
    Read the Bible along with your wife, one in you favor and King James Version because there are big difference between them.
    Let the Bible, the Words of God convict you of your sins. You will have very clear view about the world, about the church and about the Salvation and about the Truth.
     
  13. Agnus_Dei

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    Based on whose interpretation…yours, the Baptist, the Reformed Baptist, the Free Will Baptists or the Independent Fundamental Baptists or how about the American Baptist or why not the Pentecostals, Assemblies of God, or the Reformed First Evangelical mom and pop Church of yesteryear on the corner?

    Show me from the bible where Christ sent His Apostles out and instructed them to write a book. Show me from Scripture where in each Epistle the author stated that such should be collected to form a book.

    Christ sent His Apostles out to establish His Church and He gave them the Authority to do such. Therefore it was through this Authority with the aid of the Holy Spirit which Christ promised would remind them of all things and lead them into truth that the Church (singular) was established and it was through this Church that we get the Bible and it is the Authority placed within the Church to properly interpret the Scriptures.

    Orthodoxy has no one man that is considered infallible. A number of elements make up the proper interpretation of Scripture, namely Christian Tradition, which is the faith and practice which Jesus Christ imparted to the Apostles and which since the Apostles’ time has been handed down from generation to generation in the Church.

    To an Orthodox Tradition is much more specific and concrete…it means the Creed, the decrees of the Ecumenical Councils and the writings of the Fathers, it means the Canons, its service book.

    Most importantly Orthodoxy stands fast in regard to Scripture being a part of that Tradition and in reality there’s only one source, since Scripture exists within Tradition. To try and separate and contrast the two is to impoverish the idea of both alike.

    I’m praying for you…
    -
     
  14. Darron Steele

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    2 Timothy 3:16a "All Scripture is breathed out by God" (ESV).

    Scripture, being the written Word of God and having come from God, derives its authority direct from God.

    I would not use this argument again. Catholic polemicists use it. In doing so, they assert authority over something that God has written. Among people like me, only shows how brazen and presumptuous their leaders are.

    It would only reduce the respect any Bible-centered Christian has for either group who ever use it. That is why I do not like to see it.
    __________________

    That aside, I am glad to see that you have considered Orthodoxy instead of Catholicism. Most people assume that once they have reconsidered Evangelicalism/Protestantism, that the only route to go is Catholicism. I am glad you investigated the idea that Orthodoxy has a claim to the important decisions of the third and fourth centuries.

    As you know, in the period of the church after the Lord Jesus Christ's apostles, there was only one dominant church body. It was overseen by five major metropolitan bishops. The metropolitan bishop of Rome claimed increasing levels of preeminence and authority. Finally, in 1054, he decided that he would no longer accept being disagreed with, and excommunicated a whole lot of people. As he initiated the actual split, he caused the division. Because of that, I see the Orthodox having a superior claim to the third, fourth, and fifth century "church fathers" and council decisions.

    Also, as I compare Orthodoxy and Catholicism in Scripture, I believe the Scripture evidence is in favor of Orthodoxy. If it is really important to you to be in an ancient group who will tell you what to believe to avoid confusion over religious details, I think Orthodoxy is the place for you.
     
  15. Matt Black

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    And on what basis do you make this claim?

    A_D, every blessing in Christ Jesus to you as you embark on your quest. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide you and your wife and give you the illumination you so richly deserve in seeking the Lord.
     
  16. webdog

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    I thought the catholics on this board who were 'grandfathered' in were allowed to stay on the BB as long as they didn't proselytyze their false religion?

    Moderators?......
     
  17. webdog

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    Scripture...but of course you won't take that as authoratative...:BangHead:
     
  18. Matt Black

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    Oh, I'm quite prepared to accept the authority of Scripture, as I hope you are, with particular reference to I Tim 3:15 which refers to the Church as "the pillar and foundation of the Truth". I'm just concerned that Reformed Baptist doesn't seem to share in the view that this Scripture is authoritative but rather refers to it as "a disgusting and arrogant heresy". I was just asking on what he based that claim; clearly it can't be Scripture, and I can therefore only deduce that it must be his own personal opinion.
     
    #18 Matt Black, Sep 12, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2007
  19. Amy.G

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    Under the new covenant, the system of priests was done away with. All NT believers are priests, with Christ as the Chief Priest. We have the God given authority as individual believers to approach the throne of God without having to go through anyone else because of our faith in our chief priest, Christ. Therefore, as a priesthood of believers, God has given each believer the authority to read and interpret scripture for ourselves, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
     
  20. Matt Black

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    Yeah...because that really works, doesn't it?:rolleyes:

    [An interesting and informative article is here. Whilst I'm not about to swim the Bosphorus myself, it does encapsulate neatly the problems I have with evangelicalism and why I left the Baptist polity.]
     
    #20 Matt Black, Sep 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2007

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