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Were the Bereans "Sola Scripturists"?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Doubting Thomas, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    quote:
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    Something is true when it conforms with Scripture; something is false when it contradicts Scripture.
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    Good point but your "swallow tradition" model is devastated "again" by the fact that those DOING the interpreting in this case are NON-CHRISTIANS. Check it out - Acts 17:11 it is a NON-CHRISTIAN group validating a CHRISTIAN Apostle!!

    This is the ABSOLUTE WORST case - because it is right "here" if EVER there was an argument for saying "you are NOT qualified to judge an apostle" it is to a bunch of NON CHRISTIANS!!

    And yet - in this most EXTREME example it is STILL the valid - approved - honored - reliable method!!

    Case closed!

    And this is EXACTLY who is VALIDATING Paul!!

    Read the text!

    This is the case that blows away every argument you have raised on this point.

    Indeed - so you would "think" that a CHRISTIAN would be EVEN MORE qualified to VALIDATE the teaching/word of one claiming to be an Apostle- MORE Than a bunch of non-Christian non-believing Jews! Yet it is the METHOD of the NON-Believers that APPROVES and VALIDATES the Apostle. AND it is the Apostle in 2Cor 11 that FEARS for the Christians that they may indeed simply fall back to the method you recommend and "swallow the teaching" of anyone coming along and claiming to be an Apostle or someone with Bible authority!!

    The fact that you would want to start a thread and highlight your greatest point of weakness -- (and with each post demonstrate it) is amazing to me.

    I applaud you for going right after the most devastating case against your POV.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  2. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    quote:
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    Originally posted by BobRyan:
    But that is NOT the definition of "scripture" or "the WORD" or "The COMMANDMENT of God". In Mark 7 Christ condemns their "Tradition" their "paradosis".
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    The disciples were following a local carpenter and the Pharisees were a key part of the Magesterium of the ONE true CHURCH started by God (by Christ) at Sinai!!

    This means that Christ was condemning THE magesterium!!

    There was no other church to go to - and there was no other Bible, no other God, no other Gospel, no other Creator!

    They had the RIGHT church but they were In ERROR! Their traditions were WRONG!

    Read Mark 7 it is clear that the CHURCH had fallen off the track via its leaders and specifically in regard to its TRADITIONS!

    The idea that "tradition could not possibly be in error" is totally foreign to scripture!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    The problem is not that false apostles are readily accepted even though they say they are false apostles. THEY ALL claim to be REAL!
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    In fact it has everything to do with it because it SHOWS the requirement to REJECT the teaching of false apostles.

    HOW are you to KNOW??? Do false apostles come to your day and say "Hey I am FALSE APOSTLE and I would like you to listen to a story of mine"???

    Your approach seems to be that we should BELIEVE the good ones but not the bad ones - but HOW could we KNOW one from the other unless we had a way to VALIDATE them.

    So IF Paul is already VALIDATED via the Acts 17:11 fact of history that we SEE actually happening "TO SEE IF those things spoken to them by Paul were SO" -- then we SEE how Paul was validated. If that SAME validation were NOT applied to the others who CLAIM Apostleship THEN they just might "swallow whatever they are told".

    AND Paul says "HE FEARS" that such might be the case.

    You seem to argue that "they know the REAL ones because those are the only ones they listen too".

    It is a circular argument constructed for the sole purpose of avoiding the solution!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. bmerr

    bmerr New Member

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    DT,

    bmerr here. I was reading back over this thread, and I was hoping you could help me understand your position better. There are a couple of comments you made that caught my eye.

    Let me start (I know I'm jumping in a little late) by saying that I do hold the position that Scripture (specifically the NT) is our sole authority today. It is the standard by which we must prove the many doctrines of men that clamor for our allegiance. It is the standard by which we will be judged at the final day (John 12:48).

    Your comment about "help from the church" is interesting. Which church are you referring to?

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  5. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    He isn't referring to the Church of Christ denomination and the creed of Cambellism, Bmerr.
    DHK
     
  6. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    The fact the the Gentiles did not have to be circumcized or keep the rest of the Law could be proven from the very fact that circumcision and other ceremonies were apart of that first covenant with Israel ONLY. The fact that this was a new covenant that did not center around the physical nation of Israel meant that circumcision was no longer binding.
    Every thing the apostles taught could be verified from the OT, even if it was not as clear reading it not in in light of their teaching. Nothing contradicted or added anything completely foreign to the scriptures.
    OH, to the contrary, they use "ORAL TRADITION" tactics identical to yours, only it is supposedly "handed down" from Moses! So now, we have two sets of "oral tradition", with Moses pitted against these apostles. It is understandable for the Jews to choose Moses over these new people coming up "1500 years later" (SOUND FAMILIAR? Wow! even the time span is roughly the same! :eek: ). With scripture removed as the sole authority, we now have no ground to stand on at all! People may still interpret the written word any which way they choose, but a bunch of conflicting traditions is far worse!
     
  7. Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas Active Member

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    But where are the specific OT references that says these specific things will no longer be in force when the Gentiles come in? The Jews assumed that circumcision was part of an everlasting covenant (Gen 17)--and if the Gentiles joined in, they too would have to be circumcised. There's nothing that says this would be abrogated.

    Of course, this is a hindsight deduction (having the benefit of reading the specific comments about this in the NT), but even this wasn't immediately clear to the apostles who debated this in council as recorded in Acts 15. The specific detail about whether circumcision would or wouldn't be abrogated was not mentioned in the OT. In fact the apostles based their decision not on an OT proof-text, but on the basis that "it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us."

    That's funny, because Paul specifically says in Ephesians that:
    "By revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which when you read you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of of His promise in Christ through the gospel". (Eph 3:3-6)
    How could the various details of the New Covenant be verified in the OT if it wasn't yet revealed by the Spirit to the apostles?

    I'd say that the abrogation of circumcision, food laws, etc. were seen by many Jews to contradict Scriptures, since there was nothing in the OT that would indicated to them that these specific details would change. The believing Jews (such as the Bereans) would have to take the apostles word for it regarding these specifics. (As they would for the specifics regarding baptism, the Eucharist, salvation, and the rule of faith--specifics "sola scripturists" can't agree upon today.)

    Except that the Holy Spirit descended on the Church at Pentecost AD 33--not in the 16th century AD (or the 15th century BC). And that Christ died, rose again, and fulfilled the Old Covenant in AD 33--not in the 16th century AD (or the 15th BC)

    The irony is that "sola Scripturists" are already interpreting Scripture by "a bunch of conflicting traditions"--the Lutheran tradition, the Baptist tradition, the Calvinist tradition, the Weslyan tradition, the Pentecostal tradition, etc., etc., etc--they just don't own up to it. :cool:
     
  8. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    The fact that a NEW covenant "Not like the one I made with their fathers" would be brought in, wouls assume the possible abrogation of many of those practices.
    Once again, specifics were taught by the Holy Spirit, but it was still nothing completely foreign to the earlier principles. But accoring to you, the apostles taught all of these other "details", such as candles, vestments, icons, spiritual presence in the bread instead of in the members of the body, etc. and consistently withheld them from their writings. Do you have an explanation of why they did this? Was it som secret society type of thing?
    And while the apostles had the Holy Spirit, the Jews wouldn;t know that, unless they judged the spostles by the scriptures, and found them true. It was theiridea of "oral tradition from Moses" that biased them against this in the first place. Likewise, the Holy Spirit still operates in the Church; not inspiringnew scriptures, but convicting people when they go astray. The problems of interpretation you see are from people not letting Him guide them back into all truth. Once again; in favor of "tradition". But it is possible for some to let Him, and truth to be restored after centuries.
     
  9. Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas Active Member

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    Maybe...but maybe not. Without the specific practices spelled out that would be abrogated, the early church had to discuss what actually was no longer necessarily without recourse to a specific OT prooftext. By the Holy Spirit's guidance the apostles came to a consensus that the Jew's boundary markers such as circumcision, Jewish sabbaths/festivals, and certain food laws (ie, the "works of the Torah") were no longer necessary to be part of the Covenant since the Old Covenant was fulfilled in Christ. (Of course, the Judaizers continued to make some mischief which is evident in the subject matter of some of Paul's letters)
    Right, they were taught by the Holy Spirit through the apostles to the Christians--Jewish and Gentile. But to the Jews, abrogation of specifics such as circumcision and the like was still a foreign concept.

    First of all because the epistles were never meant to be exhaustive church manuals. They were occasional letters the content of which varied based on the perceived need of the particular communities Paul was addressing, in which the churches were already established. He mainly encouraged, corrected, and gave some theological points and practical doctrinal reminders to congregations that had already been worshipping according to the principals of the New Covenant that the apostles already delivered to them. The writing in the early church that comes closest to being a church manual is the Didache, but even it wasn't an exhaustive source of liturgical rubrics. So it wasn't necessary to write again of every single specific liturgical practice or to rehash the form of the liturgy now centered around Christ, particularly in the Eucharist. (Therefore, writing about iconography and candles and such wasn't germane to issues the apostles were addressing in their particular epistles.) As far as the fact of the real presence of Christ in the eucharist goes, however, the gospel writers and Paul did indeed teach this in their writings, and this fact was universally recognized for the first 1500 years of the Church. (You seem to think it must be "either/or"--that if there is a spiritual presence in the body of believers then there cannot be a Real Presence of Christ's divinity/humanity in the Eucharist. However, scripture and the Church has consistently taught both.)


    True, although not all Jews held to these Pharisaical traditions. First century Judaism wasn't monolithic.
    I agree.
    Correct, because they generally are more comfortable with their individual or denominational interpretations, going by the version of things that they were taught in their particulary denomination.
    And here's where we disagree--I submit that the Holy Spirit didn't allow any of the fullness of truth to be lost from the Church only to be rediscovered centuries later.
     
  10. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    2Cor 11 SHOWS the need to test "APOSTLES" and PREDICTS false Apostles coming in and trying to get THEIR teachings swallowed.

    Acts 17:11 shows the VALIDATION process EVEN for a TRUE Apostle.

    Mark 7:8-12 shows HUMAN tradition EVEN at the HIGHEST LEVELS of the magesterium of the ONE TRUE church started by God at Sinai - IN CONFLICT with God's Word and being CONDEMNED for that conflict.

    Gal 1:6-12 shows that NO RANK - (not APOSTLE and NOT ANGEL FROM HEAVEN) is exempt from the TEST!

    Case closed!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas Active Member

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    But Paul is not a "false apostle". The oral traditions (ie the gospel and details of New Covenant worship/praxis) delivered from the true apostles are commanded by Paul to be followed. Next...

    All this shows is that the Bereans found out that what Paul was specifically claiming--that the (OT) Scriptures said the Messiah must suffer and rise again--was in fact in the (OT) Scriptures. It's a leap of logic to get "sola Scriptura" from this passage (that Scripture is the only authority and that everything could be verified from it) especially when neither the Bereans or any others could verify the details of the New Covenant from the OT since these were not spelled out in the OT. They had to take the apostles word for these specifics. Next...

    It shows that the Pharisaical tradition was in fact "traditions of men" and conflicted with the commands of God. It did not condemn all tradition handed down through men, since the source of apostolic tradition was Christ Himself. Next...

    Not even close. "No soup for you!" Next...
     
  12. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    By "foreign concept" I meant more in terms of new practices and ideas that had no grounding in scripture at all. Gentiles not being circumcised or keeping other laws was not new. They already were not keeping them, as it wasn't expected of them (unless they joined the nation under THAT covenant). The new covenant was not really gentiles joining Israel in its covenant, but a whole new covenant altogether (though it is sometimes expressed as something that sounds like that, as, for instance salvation being "opened up to the Gentiles").
    But these issues would have drawn the same level of attention, controversy, and the need for correction, theological points and practical doctrinal reminders as anything else. Even moreso, because of their sheer novelty. Like in 1 Cor. we see Paul correcting the Church on Communion, because it was being done wrong. If it was attached to some whole mystic theology of some "real presence", beyond Paul's reiteration of Christ's own description of it as done in remembrance in order to show (not reenact) Christ's death, then it definitely would have continued to raise more dissension and apostate view (just as the Jews who misunderstood and were offended at it in John 6), and would have received more detailed attantion from Paul. All of the other "liturgical" practices as well. To say that these issues were consistently skipped over, yet carried the same weight as the written teachigns is to create a secret code of "deep things" (as in Rev.2:24), which is generally condemned in the NT. (Eph.5:12)
    Now, in this same chapter of 1 Cor.11; we see Paul mention "the ordinances I have delivered unto you". Rather than assuming this is candles, vestments and icons, we look at the following verses where he reiterates what he was referring to, and we see they were quite familiar teachings!
    I know it could hypothetically be both, but the church in practice didn't really seem to hold both. The Church's teaching was clearly more focused on the physical elements than on the people. (I don't know about the EOC, but Rome even stopped giving the people the wine). What happned is that it was one or the other, and the church simply transferred it from one to the other!
    Unless you consider that both the EOC and RCC were still changing in those first few centuries, and neither is identical today to the early CChurch. --unless you propose that they were in fact identical, and the teachings were continued to be kept secret and withheld from history.
     
  13. Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas Active Member

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    And it was because of these ambiguity, the lack of specificity, that the Apostles had to make a decision to be followed by the church. The Christians would just have to take the Apostles word for it here--that it seemed good to them and the Holy Spirit--since there were no proof texts they could verify their decision from in the OT. If they weren't convinced that the Apostles were ministers of the New Covenant then, based on what assumptions the different Christians may brought to the Scriptures, they could have believed that they were in line with or contradicting the Scriptures. In fact, many believed the latter and this particular movement in its extreme form became the Ebionites.

    Only if there was--at that time, or in the particular community being addressed--abuses of or misunderstandings of these things.
    Ahh...but you're assuming these were sheerly novel. That's the question at hand. For instance, even some Jewish synagogues at that time have been discovered to have icons (depicting Biblical scenes or individuals) on their walls/posts. And we also have the evidence of early Christian paintings on the catacomb walls.

    But he did reiterate the fact of the real presence reminding the Corinthians that the bread was in fact the communion (participation in) of the body of Christ and the cup was the communion (participation in, not a mere symbol of) of the blood of Christ (1 Cor 10:16) and that therefore whoever ate the bread or drank the cup in an unworthy manner were guilty of the body and the blood of Christ (1 Cor 11:27) and would actually drink judgement on himself not discerning the Lord's body (1 Cor 11:29). This belief remained consistent and was mentioned by Ignatius for the reason the Docetist heretics abstained from the Eucharist--because the Docetists , like other "good" gnostics, didn't believe the Real Presence.

    Not at all. Again, if there were currently no abuses with a given practice in those communities, there was no need for Paul to address it. Plus you're confusing the "deep things" of the gnostics, which were allegedly reserved for a so-called spiritual elite, with the inner tradition of the Church which was available to all in the church once they were baptized. The fathers made this distinction clear, IMO.
    They were quite familiar teachings, I agree. However, my point is that the oral traditions Paul delivered to the Christians and commanded to be kept had some things that were familiar to them, but not necessarily familiar to those today who have been separated from that tradition.

    I disagree, at least based on the writings I've read.
    I disagree...the impression I have was the the Church was considered to be most itself when it was gathered as the people of Christ around the table of Christ. This is just echoing what Paul said in 1 Cor 10:16-17. The Eucharist celebrated in its liturgical setting was the chief expression of the unity of the believer with Christ and the believers with each other. However, I would agree that, when divorced from this setting, the physical elements became the source of all sorts of scholastic speculation. (For a good treatment of this see Fr. Alexander Schmemanns's For the Life of the World.) But, no, the Orthodox church has always to my knowledge celebrated the Eucharist with the bread and the wine.
     
  14. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    A - This is a circular argument on your part!! Paul does not say "do not listen to FALSE apostles that CLAIM to be FALSE apostles"!!

    Obviously.

    Paul is "vetted" by NON-Believers in the example seen in Acts 17:11. That SAME process would REVEAL a false Apostle.

    The STRENGTH of a false Apostle is that they DON'T TELL you that is what they are!!

    (unbelievably obvious)

    next.

    Again you seem to fear the text rather than embracing it.

    It does not say "it just so happened that what Paul said is actually in scripture" as you seem to hope!

    Rather they were checking him out to "SEE IF" those things spoken to them by Paul "WERE SO".

    That is VERY different from "Well as it turned out - in this case - what they were hearing happened to be supportable from scripture"!!

    The facts of the text seem to obliterate the spin you need to place on them.

    Next.


    Here again is nother argument that is grossly in error.

    Hebrews 8 SHOWS how the New Covenant is argued FROM the OT text that they all viewed as "scripture".

    What in the world are you saying about the New Covenant?

    Is it your position that the VERY texts used to SHOW the Jesus IS the Messiah - are PROOF that the Bible could not be trusted to tell the truth about the Messiah such that IT would confirm that JESUS was the MEssiah???!!

    What kind of self-conflicted argument are you using now??

    Next.


    Yes - they were in fact humans no question about it.

    And the tradition of humans can not taken IN PLACE OF the Word of God!!

    Christ does not argue "IF you had found a HUMAN with MORE authority than the HIGHEST authority within the ONE TRUE CHURCH -- THEN these erroneous doctrines derived from tradition would be OK".

    Next.


    Again this is misdirection.

    I have never argued that by finding one tradition to be in error - ALL tradition is in error.

    I am arguing that ALL tradition must be TESTED as Christ SHOWED in Mark 7 with the TEST that their tradition flunked.

    Notice Christ did NOT say "you got your tradition from a man of too low of rank within the ONE TRUE CHURCH God started at sinai".

    That is NOT the error he charges them with!

    RAther He claims that the act of taking HUMAN ideas in place of GOD's WORD (no matter WHERE those human ideas came from) is "error".

    It is WRONG to take the traditions of humans and "Teach them as doctrine" when in fact they contradict God's Word!

    next.
    Paul makes the OPPOSITE point in 2Cor 11 regarding tradition coming from Apostles!!

    He argues that IT MUST BE TESTED since one can not merely ASSUME the Apostle is rightly motivated or inspired!!

    Case closed!!

    In Christ,

    bob
     
  15. Matt Black

    Matt Black Well-Known Member
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    If the Bereans were SS-adherents, how come they reached different conclusions about Jesus than the Jews who also had the same Scriptures?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  16. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    The Jews were unsaved rebellious individuals who rejected Christ as their Messiah, and with wicked hands took Him and crucified Him.

    The Bereans compared what Paul had said with an open mind to the Scripture. Unlike the Jews they had not determined in their minds to reject Christ. They were willing and glad to hear what Paul had said. Only they did the right thing. They checked what he had to say by the Scriptures. When they found out that it was true, they believed, and trusted Him as Saviour. John 1:11,12 explains it well:

    John 1:11-12 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (The unbelieving Jews)

    12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (Both the Gentiles and the believing Jews)
    DHK
     
  17. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    Because THEY were Jews and Gentiles (NON Christians) that actually USED Scripture (SOLA SCRIPTURA TESTING) to "SEE IF the things spoken to them by Paul WERE SO".

    The Acts 17 text does NOT Say that this was the method used by the "traditionalist Jews" that rejected Paul. THEY were much more inclined to value corrupt traditions of the religious leaders and "False apostles" above the pure Gospel teaching that IS validated "sola scriptura".

    But if BOTH of those methods lead to the SAME conclusion THEN (and only then) you might have a point!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    Let's not forget; the Jews added "oral tradition handed down from Moses", so rather than they being "sola scripturists", they held a view more like the catholists here, and the question really is; why did they come to different conclusions from the catholists?
    But the people "just having to take the apostles' word about it" was not the point. When they searched the scriptures to test what they taught, it obviously went together in a reasonable way. There were no practices that were completely foreign to the scripture; else, they would have questioned the spostles from the scriptures, or concluded "well, it's not in the scriptures, but these apostles say it's so, so we just have to take their word for it regardless of what the written word says". Gentiles not apart of the OLD covenant not having to be circumcized and keep the other laws is something they could see existed in the scriptures, for instance. For gentiles not joining the nation were never expected by God to be circumcized. That was only for the people of THAT covenent. (Once again, they all knew they were not coming into that Old covenant).

    So none of this is granting license for teachings to not need any scriptural support.
    So there were controversies on every other doctrinal, practical and moral issue; buit they were THAT unanimous on the high liturgy, and there were NO misunderstandings at all ANYWHERE on them, until the docetists and gnostics. (John warned of the gnostics' doctrines creeping in then, and they were issues we can see addressed)
    All images were STRICTLY forbidden by the Jews (even if not religious) so any "synagogue" having them was obviously some aberrant sect, and definitely a novelty for the people of faith! Yes, it's THESE influences that eventually gained influence in the Church, and then were projected back to the Apostles!
    And notice, the "unworthy manner" was not "not having all your sins confessed", and all the other assumptions both Catholist and Protestant alike make. It was certainly not something like DROPPING it accidentally, with liturical churches trating the elements like it actually was the body of baby Jeesus or something. It was gluttony, which means, among other things, that this was not some special little crackers or wafers and tiny vials of wine, but a MEAL, and gathering to eat was a very important part of spiritual fellowship, hence "participation in" the body (even in the world, dinners and banquets are the centers or even mark special occasion!) So such gluttony would be seen as such a serious offense to the BODY of the Lord.
    But your church is making itself a sort of "spiritual elite". We claim that all one has to do is receive Christ to be in the Church universal, but you say "no, because you are all in these numerous conflicting 'schisms' (organizations founded on lesser doctrines), and not baptized into the "true church", which has the apostles's [secret] tradition not written down by them, but which only we have preserved handed down from them". I'm sorry, but that is a type of elitism.
    But then that becomes pure speculation. So we are just to take the word of the oldest organization on what they were, as if that organization couldn't have gotten them wrong or even deliberately twist things themselves.
     
  19. Matt Black

    Matt Black Well-Known Member
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    The Jews were unsaved rebellious individuals who rejected Christ as their Messiah, and with wicked hands took Him and crucified Him.

    The Bereans compared what Paul had said with an open mind to the Scripture. Unlike the Jews they had not determined in their minds to reject Christ. They were willing and glad to hear what Paul had said. Only they did the right thing. They checked what he had to say by the Scriptures. When they found out that it was true, they believed, and trusted Him as Saviour. John 1:11,12 explains it well:

    John 1:11-12 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (The unbelieving Jews)

    12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (Both the Gentiles and the believing Jews)
    DHK
    </font>[/QUOTE]So...er...SS is not enough, then. QED

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  20. Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas Active Member

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