23 September, 2013

Discussion with one calling himself "CrownedOne" defending the teaching of "The Way"

(My writings appear in bold print)

“You seem to think I don't know how to consult the ancient texts and use the bible to interpret itself.”

From our previous discussion where you spoke with great disdain about biblical scholarship it would seem that this statement is opposed to your previous statements in opposition to studying to use sound biblical hermeneutical practices. The Bible is incapable of interpreting itself and in the end it needs an infallible teacher which is the Church endowed with this authority from Christ. That is why the Church is called in Scriptures the “pillar and foundation of the truth”. It is the Church that produced the New Testament and through Christ’s authority canonized the entire Christian Bible in the late 4th and early 5th centuries. As Christians we do not “use“ the Bible but embrace its teaching rather than the eisegetical practices of the heretics..

“I know how to search the word and accurately divide truth from the scriptures. I know how to contextually find information in the scriptures.”

Really? Judging by your previous statements expressing disdain for biblical scholarship I am quite skeptical of this statement. Most people who make such statements in my experience are those who use the improper and error prone methodology of eisegesis instead of exegesis. Have you had any training in exegesis? If not then you need an infallible teacher all the more. Do you know how to find the apparent contradictions to Scripture and reconcile them in harmony with the entire body of work? Are you familiar enough with the biblical languages to understand the approximations used in translations? Are you familiar with the culture of the first century enough to understand the impact of the biblical texts on those who were the hearers of these teachings? You said previously that it is the Holy Spirit that teaches you and while I agree that the holy Spirit is our teacher I question your following His teaching when you remain outside of the only Church founded by God personally.  (I understand that as a follower of “The Way” that you reject the Church founded by Christ for this man made counterfeit)

“How do I know to make decisions against church doctrines and and to decide where's I go to accurately learn the word? Who is my infallible teacher?”

Why would anyone who follows Christ reject the only Church that Christ  founded and prayed that we be one within in unity for those that are His? Jesus has already decided where the truth is to be and that is His Church. The Holy Spirit was given to the Church at Pentecost as Jesus promised. Individually the Holy Spirit convicts us of faith and draws us to Christ’s Church where the Holy Spirit guides against all error.  Only in His Church are we assured of the truth according to Scriptures and the traditions of the Church that produced the Bible. To remain outside His Church is to remain in various degrees of darkness and separation from the fullness of truth. It seems as if you really believe that the infallible teacher is your imagination which can be equally influenced by error as it can be by truth.

“I am a son of God! I am filled with pneuma hagion, Holy Spirit, good sir. I have the most infallible teacher.”

The Holy Spirit guides the Church and if your opinions disagree with the Church it is you that is in error. Jesus taught that the Bible is only to be understood in the community of His Church and not in the tens of thousands of communities outside His Church each with some truth and great error. Jesus is not the author of division but instead of unity. He has made it clear that it is His will that we have unity in the Church He founded where the sound doctrines are taught without error. Those that depart from His will are those who cannot endure the sound doctrine of the Church as Jesus prophesied and follow false teachers and organizations in opposition to His will. The Holy Spirit does not guide anyone to reject the only Church that Christ founded for man-made counterfeits.

“ Did the twelve apostles to to Christian seminary?”

Yes, they attended the ultimate seminary at the foot of God Himself incarnate as Jesus for three years. They not only were exposed to Christ’s words but were witnesses to His actions and to His miracles.

“God revealed to them the word, and taught them by the Holy Spirit. God said "I will put my spirit in you, and move you to follow my decrees"

Yes, God taught them His Word but the Holy Spirit would not come to the Church until Pentecost. This was His promise to them. He promised that the Holy Spirit would guide His Church to all truth that He founded on them as the 12 foundation stones of the Church with Himself as the cornerstone and St. Peter and His successors as the prime ministers. Apostolic succession is the true mark of the Church founded by Christ. Outside of this ark of the Church all others claiming to be Christian are on the wide path to salvation.

“This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. (2 Timothy 1:15 KJV)”

“Ver. 15. All they who are in Asia, are turned away from me.That is, all who are of Asia, or all the Asiatics now at Rome, where I am prisoner, have withdrawn themselves from me, now when I am in danger; but he excepts Onesiphorus, who sought him out, assisted and relieved him in his wants. (Witham) ---Phigellus, &c. These two, whom St. Paul says were the chief of those in Asia Minor, who had departed from the faith, had become his followers by deceit, in order to become acquainted with the mysteries of religion, taught by him, intending to make use of them, as affording them matter for calumniating him. (Denis the Carthusian)”

“Asia encompasses the Middle East during this times.’

Correct, but why is this significant to you?

“For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. (2 Timothy 4:10, 16 KJV)”

Ver. 10. Crescens into Galatia, Titus, &c. These two did not abandon the faith, but only left St. Paul to preach the gospel, with his consent. Crescens went from Rome into Galatia, or into Gaul, as it is found written in the Greek. Theodoret, Eusebius, St. Epiphanius, &c. say that Galatia, in the Greek, is often put for Gaul, in profane authors. On this account it is said by some, that Crescens preached in Gaul. Adon makes him founder of the Church of Vienne, in Dauphinè; an opinion still prevalent in that city. The feast of St. Crescens is kept by the Latin Church, on the 27th of June. (Calmet) --- As to Titus, it cannot be doubted but he went into Dalmatia for the purpose of the ministry, and by the order of St. Paul. Thence it seems most probable that he went into Crete, where he governed the Church as bishop, and there died. (Theodoret; St. Chrysostom; Theophylactus; Estius, &c.)

Ver. 16. At my first defence, or trial, when I appeared before Nero and my judges, no man stood with me; all, or almost all, abandoned me in that danger: may it not be laid to their charge.(Witham)

“It seems like in second Timothy every one is strayin away from Paul, the verses around 2 Timothy 4:10, are Paul's requests for help because he has no one else with him, and speaks of how he had to flee.
Please explain how these quotes from the apostles inspired by god are nonsense? All of Asia, is pretty straight

Are you really trying to suggest that all of the disciples have departed from the faith and only St. Paul is the inspired and infallible teacher? That would indeed be nonsense.

“ I also find it interesting that you consider your seminary school/teachers to be infallible.”

I do not understand how you gleaned this from my statements. I simply told you that the Bible is not against scholarship as you were alleging but in favor of it in saying that a teacher should:

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

“ Because the word of God teaches that only the word of God is truth, a decry man is a liar.”

No, the Bible teaches that only the Church is the infallible teacher.

1 Timothy 3:15 (KJV)15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

If a man pridefully and prejudicially declares that His his own beliefs in opposition of the infallible teaching authority of the Church taught in the Bible are correct then he departs from God’s will into heresy and becomes prey for the doctrines of men. Such a departure is taught in Scriptures as a path to destruction. the Bible states that those who cannot endure the sound doctrines of the Church will hear at judgment from Christ, “depart from my, I never knew you.”  

“There cannot be a trinity if there are not three gods.”

Really? What do you use to support this ridiculous statement. What else do you believe is impossible with God? there is only one God in the Trinity of three persons. This is the teaching of our Lord. Carnal reason may oppose such a belief but by faith and devotion to God one can believe in all things that Jesus taught as revealing in the Church and the Bible. If one thing is a lie then all of  teaching is suspect and the “gates of Hell” will have prevailed against the Church. This has not happened and never will.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Timothy 2:5 KJV)”

Correct, but I suspect that you read more into this statement than it says since you deny that Jesus is God like the Arian heretics and others who have been condemned to an eternity in hell at the Council of Nicaea under the authority to the Church by Christ.

Matthew 18:18 (KJV)

18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 16:19 (KJV)
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

“Christ Jesus is just a man. He is referred to in the word as the son of man countless times.”

Jesus being just a man is a diametrical departure from biblical teaching and does not support one’s denial that Jesus is God which denigrates the Gospel. If Jesus is just a man and not the perfection prophesied as the Lamb of God or as some heretics proclaim an Angel  then the world still awaits the Messiah prophesied and Jesus was an impostor as the perfect Lamb of God

.“He is also refered to the son of God. But what defines a son of God?”

Only Jesus is the personification of such a claim.

“Jesus Christ was man, inborn with Holy Spirit.”

No, He is God incarnate and the perfect sacrifice prophesied.

“We as Christians are men, given the spirit of adoption; according to the apostle Paul. We are also sons of God. So to as Jesus is a God, would mean that we must be gods also, because we were new creations, of which Christ was the firstborn. We are all akin to Christ.”

This nonsense reminds me of the teaching of the Mormons that says that we all become gods and populate our own planets so that they may worship us. It is akin to the Pagan religions of Rome and Greece with their Pagan families of God but this is far from the teaching of Jesus, His Church and the Bible.  It is also reminiscent of the great lie of Satan told to the first woman Eve that to eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree will make one as God. We are not God’s and never will be but we will share in His presence if we believe in Him and  endure to final salvation. We can share  in His promise but not in His divinity. We are created to serve Him by worship and not to be like Him lest we fall into the snare of Satan. The Holy Spirit and God are not separate beings, they cannot be.

“As the Old Testament scriptures say, I will put MY SPIRIT in you, and move you to follow MY decrees, and you will be MY people and I will be Your GOD.
I believe that's an exact quote, minus some punctuation I am sure; but punctuation wasn't included in the original texts, so it's all kind of iffy anyways.”

Yes, the Holy Spirit which is the third person in the Trinity of God appeals to the law written on everyones heart.

There is nothing in the Word of God that is “iffy” if understood in the community of the Church which is according to the Bible the “pillar and foundation of the truth”.

“There are plenty of supporting verses, ones that claim that God is holy and made of spirit, which would explain his title being the Holy Spirit.”

It is not a title but instead it is clearly the teaching of our Lord that the Holy Spirit or Paraclete and is the 3rd person of the Trinity of the one God.

“Cult- a group having religious beliefs or practices which are regarded by others as strange, or imposing excessive control on members.”

Yes, but central to this is that it controls the very thought of their members by threatening that any departure from their teaching results in them being eschewed from the group so that their lies will not be revealed by the enlightened individual that threatens the groupthink  that is so important to their deceptive teachings. their teachings are so weak that they cannot survive with critical thinking.

“You realize that according to most churches Catholicism is a cult also.’

That is very strange in that the Bible teaches there is only one Church founded by Jesus and that Church is the Catholic Church. All others are of  those men who cannot endure the sound doctrine of the true Church according to the Bible.

“My fellowship is labeled a cult because people regard the practices strange through poor knowledge of the bible.”

You think? And by what authority do you make such a statement? Who made you or the leadership of your group the authority for teaching? The Bible teaches that only the Church founded by Jesus is the authority for teaching and and for faith. By what authority to you and your group usurp the teaching of Jesus, His Church and the Bible? The Fact is that you have absolutely no teaching authority from any source. with your lack of authority your group is just one of the tens of thousands of heretical groups who represent the division in the Body of Christ and not the unity in the one Church that Jesus prayed for in the garden of Gethsemane before His arrest and subsequent crucifixion.   

“None of the leadership tried to control members or attendee's lives, that's actually the quickest way to lose your leadership role from any source.”

Really, so then if anyone really believes that Jesus is God then they are welcomed in your group or are they ostracised and removed from fellowship? The fact is that they are shunned and labeled as heretics within the group. It is the policy of your group to “mark and avoid” those who have come to believe that Jesus is God and to adopt this clear teaching from Jesus, His Church and the Bible.

“I've written essays and done plenty of cult research.”

Really, and yet you say that your group is not a cult?

“So, really we are on equal ground as far as the cult arguement.”

Not at all as your group was not founded by Christ nor is it called in the Bible the “pillar and foundation of the truth’. In fact, your sect has absolutely no apostolic connection at all.

God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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