Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Bible and Self-Defense

Seems to me that Jesus was in favor of self defense using deadly weapons under certain conditions
Luke 22:36 Then said he [Jesus] unto them [His disciples], But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Healthcare debate

What I find missing in this whole health care debate is that nobody is stopping anyone else from paying for the health care of anyone that they choose to pay for. What I object to is the idea that someone should be forced to pay for the heathcare of ...anyone else. If someone can't afford to pay for healthcare why should someone else be forced to pay for their healthcare?

Friday, September 18, 2009

ACORN Prostitution/Fraud

Your tax dollars fund ACORN "members" thugs to allegedly develop an underage international prostitution ring.

ACORN Voter Fraud in Chicago

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Talk about Mary - Part 2

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Calvinist witnessing

Children not named after father

One of the arguments in favor of the children being cousins is the claim that the Jews did not name their children after the father (see note 62 referring point). However, the following shows that is not true:
Luk 1:59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.

Perpetual Virginity of Mary

Here's a link to a goarch article on the Ever-Virginity of Mary. Here's their comments on the historical question:
Indeed, to suggest (a) that the tradition about her perpetual virginity could have been introduced after apostolic times, (b) that this tradition would have gone little noticed by a Church in the throes of questioning everything about what it believed in the first millennium, (c) that such a novel tradition should be considered inconsequential enough to pass without discussion before it became universally proclaimed, and (d) that such a tradition should have no discernible literary or geographical origin and yet be universally accepted from very early in the Church's history, is to form a very unlikely hypothesis.

Word for cousin/kin

In this passage, the mother and brothers of Jesus come to see Him:
Mar 3:31-35 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
The Greek word used here is αδελφοι, or brother. There are other uses of the word brother which imply a broader use than brother however, there is a Greek word for cousin/kin, συγγενεις and that word is not used here.

Talk about Mary - Part 1

Piece of an Orthodox and Evangelical conversation about Mary.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cal the Robot

More Calvinism

Calvinist mumbo jumbo

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Elder = Bishop (Titus 1:5-7)

This passage equates the two Greek words, presbuterous (elders) and episkopon (bishop).
Tit 1:5-7 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders (πρεσβυτέρους) in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. For the overseer (ἐπίσκοπον) must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain... (NASB)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Ignatius and the bishop

Ignatius shows quite a different view but claims to be contemporaneous to the other texts. He presents a single bishop and multiple presbuteros (pastors/priests). In The Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians Chapter 2, v 12, he writes:
...attend to the bishop, and to the presbytery, and to the deacons....
There is some discussion of the genuineness of these writings.

Here's an even more detailed discussion of the contents and dating of Ignatius.

The seven letters of Ignatius figure prominently in the testimony of most converts to Orthodoxy from Protestantism as well as the Orthodox apologetic for key doctrines of the church. It is used to bolster claims to the authority of Bishops as found in Orthodox Church structure as well as the doctrine of the Eucharist. Therefore its claims should be examined closely.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Polycarp and the Presbuteros

Polycarp (in the Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians) describes the duties of the presbuteros (bishops) in Chapter 6. Once again, the focus is not on a monarchical bishop, but on a local pastor:
And let the presbyters be compassionate and merciful to all, bringing back those that wander, visiting all the sick, and not neglecting the widow, the orphan, or the poor, but always “providing for that which is becoming in the sight of God and man;” Rom. xii. 17; 2 Cor. viii. 31. abstaining from all wrath, respect of persons, and unjust judgment; keeping far off from all covetousness, not quickly crediting [an evil report] against any one, not severe in judgment, as knowing that we are all under a debt of sin.

Pastor, Priest, Bishop, Elder

Hard to believe but the four terms Pastor, Priest, Bishop, and Elder are all used interchangeably in the NT to describe the same function/office.

The English word Pastor is only used once in the KJV:
Eph 4:11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
The Greek word used is ποιμενας poimenas, or shepherd. Matt 9:36 uses this same Greek word:
Matt 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
The English word Priest is mostly used in the Old Testament. The KJV does not use the word Priest in the NT to specifically refer to Christian ministers although all believers are described as being part of the holy priesthood.
1Pet 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
The Greek word is επισκοποις or episkopois. It is a different office than that of deacon. Paul addresses both bishops and deacons as distinct:
Phil 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
The Greek word is πρεσβυτερους or presbuteros. The English word priest is cognate for this Greek word. This seems to be the same office as bishop. It has the same list of requirements. At the direction of the Lord, Paul went into each church that he had previously preached and ordained elders.
Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Clement of Rome

Clement of Rome, Chapter 42, is one of the earliest references to bishops outside of the New Testament.
The apostles have preached the Gospel to us from Or, “by the command of.” the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from Or, “by the command of.” God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, Literally, “both things were done.” then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established Or, “confirmed by.” in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, Or, “having tested them in spirit.” to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe.
This is early evidence that the ministry of bishops continued beyond the establishment in Acts. However, the role of bishops here seems once again to be that of local church pastor.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What is a Bishop?

Key to Apostolic Succession (AS) is the bishop. The bishop has Biblical origins. The role is bishop in the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and Eastern Orthodox Church (EOC) seems to be different than the bishop as described in the New Testament (NT) in several ways.

In the EOC and RCC, bishops cannot be married. In the NT, bishops are allowed to be married:
1 Tim 3:2 The bishop therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, orderly, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
In the EOC canons there can't be more then one bishop in a given city. In the NT, there were multiple bishops in Philipi.
Phil 1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
The NT bishop is more like the role of priest in the RCC and EOC. His sphere of influence seems to be a city rather than a large area or country.

The differences noted here are studied as the "rise of the monarchical bishop" in church history.

Apostolic Succession in general

As someone examining the claims of the Eastern Orthodox church (EOC), the claim to apostolic succession (AS) by the EOC is an interesting subject.

Wikipedia defines AS as:
Apostolic succession is the doctrine in some of the more ancient Christian communions that the succession of bishops, in uninterrupted lines, is historically traceable back to the original Twelve Apostles.
The Orthodox Wiki defines AS as:
Apostolic succession is the tracing of a direct line of apostolic ordination, Orthodox doctrine, and full communion from the Apostles to the current episcopacy of the Orthodox Church. All three elements are constitutive of apostolic succession.
Note the three elements of AS are:
  • tracing of ordination
  • teaching
  • communion through time

The site defines AS as:
Apostolic succession is the line of bishops stretching back to the apostles. All over the world, all Catholic bishops are part of a lineage that goes back to the time of the apostles, something that is impossible in Protestant denominations (most of which do not even claim to have bishops).
Further, the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) claim has historically been that:
The Greek Church, embracing all the Eastern Churches involved in the schism of Photius and Michael Caerularius, and the Russian Church can lay no claim to Apostolic succession either direct or indirect, i.e. through Rome, because they are, by their own fact and will, separated from the Roman Communion. - Catholic Encyclopedia
Among the specific reasons for the RCC rejection of EOC claims to AS is:
During the four hundred and sixty-four [sic: years] between the accession of Constantine (323) and the Seventh General Council (787), the whole or part of the Eastern episcopate lived in schism for no less than two hundred and three years: namely from the Council of Sardica (343) to St. John Chrysostom (389), 55 years; owing to Chrysostom's condemnation (404-415), 11 years; owing to Acadius and the Henoticon edict (484-519), 35 years; total, 203 years (Duchesne). - Catholic Encyclopedia
I intend to dig into these claims in subsequent posts.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Apostolic Succession in Sweden

It seems to me that the case of Sweden in this regard is interesting. In 1524, Pope Clement VII, in Rome, consecrated Petrus Magni bishop. Petrus Magni returned to Sweden as bishop of Västerås. In his turn, Petrus Magni, who was one of the last Catholic bishops in Sweden, consecrated Laurentius Petri bishop in 1531 and Laurentius Petri became the first Swedish Lutheran archbishop. As I understand it this succession continues on through the present day.

The division in the 1880s that happened with Waldenstrom and led to the formation of the Free Church in Sweden was over the understanding of the atonement. Waldenstrom took a view, similar to the Eastern Church view, and his followers were booted out of the Lutheran State Church.

A poster on the Energetic Procession BLOG added the following:

Laurentius Petri himself consecrated only two bishops in his whole archiepiscopal career (which extended from 1531 to his death in 1573), both of them in the 1530s; one of them died in 1555 and the other in 1563. Starting in 1540 the king decided to abolish the episcopate, and as bishops died or were removed they were replaced by unconsecrated “Ordinarii” or “Superintendents” who received authority *from the king* to conduct ordinations and oversee the clergy as bishops had done in the past. In 1554 the Bishop of Abo in Finland died, one of the bishops whom Peder Mansson had consecrated in 1528. The king decided to divide Finalnd into two “superintendencies,” and the two men who the king appointed received “a blessing after the Lutheran fashion” (as a contemporary chronicler recorded) by one of the two surviving bishops whom Petri had consecrated in the 1530s. One of these men died in 1563, the other in 1579. After Johan III became king in 1568, those superintendents who held old bishoprice resumed the title of “bishops,” withiout undergoing any form of episcopal consecration. When Archbishop Petri of Uppsala died in 1573, his son-in-law Laurentius Petri Gothus, was appointed his successor. The king insisted on an elaborate consecration of the new archbishop, which happened on July 14, 1575. Four bishops participated in the act of consecration: three Swedish bishops who themselves had received no “consecration” when appointed to their positions, and the one surviving Finn who had in 1554 received the ambiguous “blessing after the Lutheran fashion” when he had been appointed a “superintendent” in 1554 (his title had later been ungraded to “bishop”).