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HolyGround >> When did the Church disappear?


11/1/09 7:12 PM
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Ridgeback
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 If you believe that Christianity was compromised very early in its history, and only re-emerged in the form of your particular tradition in the 20th century, what year specifically would you say Christ's Church became fully compromised such that it lacked any authority to have a say in how Christians should live, worship, and be organized?  
11/1/09 8:06 PM
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reverend john
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Do you believe everyone who claims membership in your tradition is a Christian?

rev
11/1/09 8:07 PM
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Ridgeback
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 If you want to start your own thread go ahead.  I would prefer this one stay on topic.  
11/1/09 10:30 PM
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the rooster
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I believe that it went underground and was persecuted and prosecuted throughout history until more modern times.
11/1/09 10:32 PM
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the rooster
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Sorry, I would say after constantine, when he merged church/state by making his particular brand of Christian thought 'universal' and making all his subjects 'Christian' without the historical supernatural conversions we find in Acts. So, around what 300 to 450 is when I would say the state drove the true church underground.
11/1/09 11:07 PM
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TheHawker
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except Constantine never made all his subjects Christian, nor did he outlaw the pagan religions, he simply granted Christians the same religious freedom others had
11/1/09 11:34 PM
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the rooster
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I_(emperor)#Religious_policy

I know wikipedia is not considered to be a bastion of non biased biographies but anything I pull from websites will be considered biased as well. This is pretty innocuous and pretty much in line of what I have seen and read over the years:

"Constantine is perhaps best known for being the first Christian Roman emperor; his reign was certainly a turning point for the Christian Church. In 313 Constantine announced toleration of Christianity in the Edict of Milan, which removed penalties for professing Christianity (under which many had been martyred in previous persecutions of Christians) and returned confiscated Church property. Though a similar edict had been issued in 311 by Galerius, then senior emperor of the Tetrarchy, Galerius' edict granted Christians the right to practice their religion but did not restore any property to them. [195]

Scholars debate whether Constantine adopted his mother St. Helena's Christianity in his youth, or whether he adopted it gradually over the course of his life.[196]. Constantine would retain the title of PONTIFEX MAXIMUS until his death, a title emperors bore as heads of the PAGAN PRIESTHOOD, as would his Christian successors on to Gratian (r. 375–83). According to Christian writers, Constantine was over 40 when he finally declared himself a Christian, writing to Christians to make clear that he believed he owed his successes to the protection of the Christian High God alone.

[197] Throughout his rule, Constantine supported the Church financially, built basilicas, granted privileges to clergy (e.g. exemption from certain taxes), promoted Christians to high office, and returned property confiscated during the Diocletianic persecution.[198] His most famous building projects include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Old Saint Peter's Basilica.

Constantine did not patronize Christianity alone, however. After gaining victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, a triumphal arch—the Arch of Constantine—was built to celebrate; the arch is decorated with images of Victoria and sacrifices to gods like Apollo, Diana, or Hercules, but contains no Christian symbolism.

In 321, Constantine INSTRUCTED that Christians and non-Christians should be united in observing the "venerable day of the sun", referencing the esoteric eastern sun-worship which Aurelian had helped introduce, and his coinage still carried the symbols of the sun-cult until 324. Even after the pagan gods had disappeared from the coinage, Christian symbols appear only as Constantine's personal attributes: the chi rho between his hands or on his labarum, but never on the coin itself.[199] Even when Constantine dedicated the new capital of Constantinople, which became the seat of Byzantine Christianity for a millennium, he did so wearing the Apollonian sun-rayed Diadem.


Constantine BURNING Arian books

The reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the emperor in the Christian Church. Constantine himself disliked the risks to societal stability, that religious disputes and controversies brought with them, preferring where possible TO ESTABLISH AN ORTHODOXY.[200] The emperor saw it AS HIS DUTY TO ENSURE that God was PROPERLY worshipped in his empire, and what proper worship consisted of was for THE CHURCH to determine.

[201] In 316, Constantine acted AS A JUDGE in a North African dispute concerning the validity of Donatism. After deciding AGAINST the Donatists, Constantine LED AN ARMY of Christians against the Donatist Christians. After 300 years of pacifism, this was the first intra-Christian PERSECUTION.

More significantly, in 325 he SUMMONED the Council of Nicaea, effectively the first Ecumenical Council (unless the Council of Jerusalem is so classified), Nicaea was to deal mostly with the HERESY of Arianism. Constantine also ENFORCED the PROHIBITION of the First Council of Nicaea against celebrating Easter on the day before the Jewish Passover (14 Nisan) (see Quartodecimanism and Easter controversy).[202]

Constantine MADE NEW LAWS regarding the Jews. They were forbidden to own Christian slaves or to circumcise their slaves."

We could spend the time to delve more deeply into these but Constantine was a pagan, he was a murderer, and he was more worried about maintaining political stablity. He enforced the version of Christianity that he determined best suited the entire empire and began to enforce his will combined and merged with the religious school he viewed favorably.

He did march on other sects of Christians, enforce declarations against other sects of Christians, etc. He set the wheels in motion of a conversion by state (not by God) and of persecuting and killing those who disagreed.

So to clarify my above stmt, I would view Constantine as the father of the church/state that emerged after his declaration of a "universal" church and his enforcement by the sword.
11/1/09 11:44 PM
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Ridgeback
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So the Church was completely compromised during Constantine's reign and went underground?  Do you have any historical basis for this underground church hypothesis?  
11/2/09 12:30 AM
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Lahi
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I'll be honest, I don't claim to have an answer to this anymore. Trying to find one has been keeping me busy lately:)
11/2/09 12:31 AM
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reverend john
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I was on topic, I asked a question, it is related to the topic, please answer the question.

rev
11/2/09 2:23 AM
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Ridgeback
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reverend john - I was on topic, I asked a question, it is related to the topic, please answer the question.

rev

 How about you answer the question I posed and then I will consider answering your question.  On a side note, this thread wasn't about touting a particular tradition.  It was about trying to understand exactly how each person pictures Christian history.  Its not a setup and I have no intention to plug my tradition when it is all said and done.  
11/2/09 2:27 AM
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reverend john
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the answer to my question is the answer to yours

rev
11/2/09 3:04 AM
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Ridgeback
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 So your answer to the question "what year did the church disappear" is "no"?
11/2/09 9:41 AM
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toelocku
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The Church was COMPLETELY APOSTATE in the times of the apostles. Ridge have you read the NT?
11/2/09 9:41 AM
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reverend john
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not exactly, my answer is, that the church is always visible, and invisible, at the same time.

rev
11/2/09 12:51 PM
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the rooster
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toelocku makes a good point. Paul was already talking about the wolves, the false teachers, etc. i wouldn't state that the church was completely apostate as the church (the called out ones) are those who are born again living for God.

But the visible church John refers to was already being infiltrated.

ridge: So the Church was completely compromised during Constantine's reign and went underground? Do you have any historical basis for this underground church hypothesis?

me: the visible church was compromised. My historical basis for the underground movement can even be found in the compromised visible church...edicts against "fringe" Christians, going to "war" against them, outlawing them and continuing to bump into them years, decades, centuries later.

I've mentioned the string of believers still baptizing invoking the name of the Jesus.

"The views of mainstream Christianity to Jesus' Name baptism is varied. The Roman Catholic Church states that only baptisms performed using the Trinitarian formula are valid. However it does accept that theologians of the past considered baptism in the name of Jesus only to be an acceptable form.

St. Thomas, St. Bonaventure, and Albertus Magnus held the view that the Apostles baptized in this way by special dispensation.

Pope Nicholas I wrote to the Bulgarians that a person is not to be rebaptized who has already been baptized "in the name of the Holy Trinity or in the name of Christ only".[4]

Martin Luther in his Prelude on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church describes disagreements over the wording of the baptism as "pedantry" and argues for acceptance of baptisms in the name of Jesus if carried out with proper intent.[5]

In circa 254, Pope Stephen I[6] in the midst of the baptismal controversies with Cyprian declared that all baptisms in the name of Jesus are valid.

St. Gennadius in his work Lives of Illustrious Men states that in the 3rd century, one Ursinus the monk, during the Cyprian controversies, argued that "those who were baptized in the name of Christ [alone], even if by heretics, did not need to be re-baptized."

St. John Chrysostom argues for a literal interpretation of the Luke's records of baptisms in the name of Jesus, as accounted in Acts.[7]

St. Basil states[8] that, "the naming of Christ is the confession of the whole."

St. Ambrose, mentor to Augustine, argued for the validity of baptisms "in the name of Jesus."[9]

St. Augustine states that "those baptized into other names need to be rebaptized into Christ."[10] Elsewhere, he states knowledge of those who had been baptized into the name of Christ alone [outside the apostolic era].[11] and likewise argues for a literal interpretation of Acts 2:38 "in the name of Jesus".[12]

St. Thomas Aquinas[13] (while arguing for Trinitarian baptism), states that the apostles (Peter, James, John, etc.) baptized in the name of Christ alone by "special dispensation." (Whereas many modern scholars, by contrast, interpret the saying "in the name of Jesus" figuratively instead of literally in an attempt to reconcile the two conflicting passages [Acts 2:38 & Matt 28:19]).

The Baptist Standard Confession of 1660[14] declares baptisms in the name of Jesus to be valid. "

I can print out the actual bibliography. These are but some of the historical proofs of an underlying movement baptizing from the time of the apostels to post 1600's in the name of Jesus. But they were minority and underground for the most part.
11/2/09 4:32 PM
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Ridgeback
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the rooster - toelocku makes a good point. Paul was already talking about the wolves, the false teachers, etc. i wouldn't state that the church was completely apostate as the church (the called out ones) are those who are born again living for God.

But the visible church John refers to was already being infiltrated.

ridge: So the Church was completely compromised during Constantine's reign and went underground? Do you have any historical basis for this underground church hypothesis?

me: the visible church was compromised. My historical basis for the underground movement can even be found in the compromised visible church...edicts against "fringe" Christians, going to "war" against them, outlawing them and continuing to bump into them years, decades, centuries later.

I've mentioned the string of believers still baptizing invoking the name of the Jesus.

"The views of mainstream Christianity to Jesus' Name baptism is varied. The Roman Catholic Church states that only baptisms performed using the Trinitarian formula are valid. However it does accept that theologians of the past considered baptism in the name of Jesus only to be an acceptable form.

St. Thomas, St. Bonaventure, and Albertus Magnus held the view that the Apostles baptized in this way by special dispensation.

Pope Nicholas I wrote to the Bulgarians that a person is not to be rebaptized who has already been baptized "in the name of the Holy Trinity or in the name of Christ only".[4]

Martin Luther in his Prelude on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church describes disagreements over the wording of the baptism as "pedantry" and argues for acceptance of baptisms in the name of Jesus if carried out with proper intent.[5]

In circa 254, Pope Stephen I[6] in the midst of the baptismal controversies with Cyprian declared that all baptisms in the name of Jesus are valid.

St. Gennadius in his work Lives of Illustrious Men states that in the 3rd century, one Ursinus the monk, during the Cyprian controversies, argued that "those who were baptized in the name of Christ [alone], even if by heretics, did not need to be re-baptized."

St. John Chrysostom argues for a literal interpretation of the Luke's records of baptisms in the name of Jesus, as accounted in Acts.[7]

St. Basil states[8] that, "the naming of Christ is the confession of the whole."

St. Ambrose, mentor to Augustine, argued for the validity of baptisms "in the name of Jesus."[9]

St. Augustine states that "those baptized into other names need to be rebaptized into Christ."[10] Elsewhere, he states knowledge of those who had been baptized into the name of Christ alone [outside the apostolic era].[11] and likewise argues for a literal interpretation of Acts 2:38 "in the name of Jesus".[12]

St. Thomas Aquinas[13] (while arguing for Trinitarian baptism), states that the apostles (Peter, James, John, etc.) baptized in the name of Christ alone by "special dispensation." (Whereas many modern scholars, by contrast, interpret the saying "in the name of Jesus" figuratively instead of literally in an attempt to reconcile the two conflicting passages [Acts 2:38 & Matt 28:19]).

The Baptist Standard Confession of 1660[14] declares baptisms in the name of Jesus to be valid. "

I can print out the actual bibliography. These are but some of the historical proofs of an underlying movement baptizing from the time of the apostels to post 1600's in the name of Jesus. But they were minority and underground for the most part.

 This post is full of contradictions and I doubt you went and checked up on all the primary sources (reading each early Christian to find the context).  The visible Apostate church persecutes all these fringe groups but then you show evidence that they actually don't and accept "Jesus only" baptism as valid.  The problem with claiming a kinship with every fringe group that appears to be the "victim" (and the orthodox church was often the minority) is that you are signing on to all kinds of beliefs that your modern UPC would never accept.   Let's say that there were some "Jesus only" groups but they baptized infants.  Are they still the church?  What about a Jesus only group that never spoke in tongues?  

I've read similar things from Trinitarian landmark Baptists.  They find every little "not-Catholic" group in history and claim those were the real Baptists and therefore the real body of Christ in history.  Of course if you dig deeper you find that each of these groups believed things no modern Baptist would accept and that they all contradicted each other, making themselves completely separate splinter groups who mainly followed zealous leaders.
11/2/09 4:34 PM
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Ridgeback
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 As far as Toelocku's point there is a difference between having wheat and tares in the same visible church and claiming that the church has disappeared and has no authority to clarify doctrine or put a canon of scripture together.  After all, the whole issue is why you would trust an Apostate church to do those things for you?  The argument that the Church has remained historically visible is not an argument that every member was perfect or that there weren't internal struggles where people held to false doctrines.   
11/2/09 4:41 PM
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Ridgeback
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reverend john - not exactly, my answer is, that the church is always visible, and invisible, at the same time.

rev

 Well I already knew you believed that, but the real issue is why we would, for instance, agree with the 7th ecumenical council that icons (holy images of the Savior) are permitted because when God became incarnate he became visible in a material sense.  Obviously a lot of modern Protestants don't agree with this because they won't allow images in their churches.  Others, like you, appreciate the role of Christian art. So what is the basis for giving that visible part of the church the authority to decide these things? 
11/2/09 8:03 PM
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reverend john
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same as the authority that the church that meets in my house makes decisions about our lives and praxis. God incarnate gave the authority to bind and loose to the church. The church is the community of faith.

rev
11/2/09 8:20 PM
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Ridgeback
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reverend john - same as the authority that the church that meets in my house makes decisions about our lives and praxis. God incarnate gave the authority to bind and loose to the church. The church is the community of faith.

rev

 So Rooster's church has the authority to deny the Trinity and completely rework Christian ontology?  
11/2/09 9:13 PM
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reverend john
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I believe that the church should take those that came before them, the scriptures, and prayer, in mind. But in my opinion, I am more concerned with orthopraxy than orthodoxy. I believe God is more concerned with it as well. As if we can grasp the creator of the universe, and make Him fit into our theologies

rev
11/2/09 9:27 PM
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Ridgeback
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reverend john - I believe that the church should take those that came before them, the scriptures, and prayer, in mind. But in my opinion, I am more concerned with orthopraxy than orthodoxy. I believe God is more concerned with it as well. As if we can grasp the creator of the universe, and make Him fit into our theologies

rev

 As the early Christians would have pointed out, doxy changes praxy.  Maybe not overnight, but things like focusing on the rapture instead of the poor, the belief that salvation is eternally secure after a one time decision, and spending literally hours on how to adorn one's hair without braids all stem from doxy deviations.  

It is also a false accusation to say dogma is about making God fit into some framework.  Real dogma doesn't read like that.  It is more apophatic than positive.  It does more to point out what God is not than to attempt to define God, who is unknowable.  Teaching precedes action, which is why you bother talking about the issues that are important to you.  

Anyway, your praxy is formed by reading the gospels, which were included in the canon because the whole Church had the authority to do so.
11/2/09 9:51 PM
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reverend john
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clanging symbols, thats all I hear

rev
11/2/09 11:02 PM
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Ridgeback
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reverend john - clanging symbols, thats all I hear

rev

 Its cymbals actually.  Oh well, that wasn't the point of the thread anyway.  I am just trying to figure out what year the church disappeared.   Your take on it is still historically inconsistent, but not as bad as the fundies.

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