Characteristics of the Church

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by Rexlion, Jun 4, 2021.

  1. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    No, they are not "demonstrably false", just not irrefutably convincing evidence for the dispensationalist claim that the nation of Israel had none of the attribures in Christ that could make it The Church of Christ, into which would be grafted the Gentiles under a re-New-ed and "better" covenant with equivalent but different sacraments signs and seals, of salvation.

    Could the notion that a Jewish church must essentially be thought to be a non church, be more a product of anti-semitic feelings, than of theological understandings based firmly upon Apostolic teaching, (particularly Paul's, a notable Jew)?
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  2. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    But you said previously that Isrealites could not have had the indwelling Holy Spirit, did you not. How then is it that exactly that was one of the promises of The Abrahamic covenant? Deut.6:5-9, Deut.30:6, and Matt.22:36-37. Circumcision of the heart was promised by God to Israelites, way back in Deuteronomy.
    I'm not using 'dispensationalist' as an insult, it is just a school of theology with a particular view of how scripture should be understood, and this notion that there can be no connection or continuity between the OT ecclesia and the NT ecclesia is almost fundamental to 'dispensationalist' reasoning. Classic Anglican theology is not dispensationalist. How could it be, dispensationalism is a relatively new fangled American innovation finding its way back across the Atlantic and infiltrating the Church of England.
    It is when you say Christ had nothing to do with the ecclesia in the wilderness. He did! Scripture says so.
    It does when you say Christ had nothing to do with the ecclesia in the wilderness. He did! Scripture says so.
    A bike is not the same as a train but they are both still a means of transport. Circumcision is not the same as Baptism but likewise they are both still a means of transport.
    I don't think so. :p :laugh:
     
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  3. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Sorry I was writing them from memory. I had in mind the verse from 1 Corinthians 10, 1-4

    Moreover, brethren, I would a not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

    And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

    And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

    And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.




    There’s your Christ present to the Hebrews by the way.
     
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  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    @Rexlion : And if St Paul says it was spiritual meat, then spiritual it was. I seem to remember someone saying it wasn't. :yes:
    They might not have understood it to be so but clearly St Paul did, looking back on them.
    It is also possible that St Paul was meaning that the manna and quails were not merely physical, material food, but also sacramental in effect, because they also by supernatural means educated the Children of Isreal in the ways of God. The manna was used by God to teach lessons for spiritual instruction as well as physical sustenance. Israel was told that the failure of other food ('suffered thee to hunger') Deut.8:3 His provision of manna was to 'make you know that man does not live by bread alone', but that 'man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD'. Deut.8:3-18. And especially v.16-18 being pertinent to how the Old testament 'church' becomes the New Testament 'church'.

    "Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day."

    Instead of starting from the assumption that Moses is prophesying here to merely a bunch of disobedient and rebellious Jews who will be thown away by God eventually, for God to have to start over again with a brand new, New Testament Church, try to read it, [if that is at all possible for a strictly dispensationally oriented believer], with the understanding that Moses is speaking here to God's Church, with which God will eventually, at its latter end, establish [i.e. Complete - e.g. "It is Finished"] - his covenant which he sware unto its fathers'.

    Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, Rom.4:16.

    Mindful that Moses is prophesying to the church, go back and read Deut.8:3-18 again and see if it makes more sense to you.

    If you are able to do that, then everything you understand about God's people under The Covenant will look different to you than it did when you thought God just abandoned the Jews and started up a brand new Gentile Church to shame Jews into becoming Christians.

    Actually the Israelite church was graceously being trained in righteousness, (under a promise of salvation), just as we all are in the church of today, to equip the whole church for the future God has provided for it. They were disciplined when they stepped out of line, but so will we be if we neglect this great salvation and break covenant with the LORD. That's why we all need to remain rooted in the vine and not get cast off.

    One of the things that stops people seeing and understanding this is the way in which salvation and church membership has become highly individualised in modern generations. We have lost the concepts of corporate salvation which pertained in Apostolic times. As if all that matters or is important is how each individual gets saved, without ever thinking about what Christ says in scripture to the Church.
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  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Do you ever stop to wonder why the Bible is divided into two sections, called "Old Testament" (or Old Covenant) and "New Testament" (or New Covenant)? Claiming there is only one covenant sounds incredible (i.e., not believable). We live in the New Covenant age today, and those folks B.C. did not. Redemption in Jesus Christ did not exist until He died and rose.

    People can claim that the OT Israelites "knew about" the coming Christ, but those people really didn't. The average Israelite had little to no understanding about the Messiah to come, and the ones who did know something tended to think He would come as a conquering king to drive away and subdue all the surrounding peoples (i.e., a naturalistic solution rather than a spiritual one). Acts 17:30 calls the OT days "times of ignorance;" they were relatively uninformed concerning spiritual truths. And it got worse when the priests and levites shirked their duties and stopped communicating the words of the Law to them. After a while God sent prophets, which theoretically increased the amount of info and enlightenment they could access, but in practice the average man on the street probably never heard what the prophets said (or if they heard by word of mouth it was garbled).

    Today we have the luxury of reading all those things in one handy bound volume. We forget that those people probably didn't have anything to read, and the only way they'd hear the words accurately was if it were read to them by the religious leaders (and how long can you listen before your mind wanders?). Their understanding of Christ ranged between zero and extremely limited. Therefore, when OT Israelites (or whomever) had faith accounted to them for righteousness, it was faith in Almighty God, and at death they went to that pleasant abode called Abraham's Bosom; but their spirits still awaited Christ's justification, which occurred only when Christ died and was raised. People could not be a part of the Church of Christ until the time when Christ worked redemption for all.

    Besides, we see in Colossians that people in OT times were subjected to a mystery:
    Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
    Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

    The mystery of Christ's Church is Christ in us... Christ, the hope of glory, living in us. That mystery was hidden in OT times, Paul wrote. Those people couldn't perceive, couldn't understand, couldn't receive the mystery until Christ worked redemption, ascended, and sent the Holy Spirit to live in each member of His Church. God indwelling is the distinctive mark of all members of Christ's Church. He sets us apart (calls us out of the world, makes us holy) by His indwelling Presence. He sets us apart, not just apart from unbelievers, but also sets us apart from those who lived beforehand. Those people couldn't have what God has given us, be what God has made us, or see what God has revealed to His children (we have the mind of Christ, 1 Cor. 2:16).

    The Church Age did not begin with Adam, or with Abraham, or with Moses. The Church Age began with Christ's redemptive work and ascension into glory, and with the coming of the promised Holy Spirit.

    1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

    1Co 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. (Not during the B.C. era, but now.)
    1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
    Here we see more distinctive marks of Christ's Church, many of which are exclusive to the Church Age (i.e. A.D.)
     
  6. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    But did they understand? If they did, they certainly didn't show it or act like it.

    What did they drink? Water that sprang supernaturally from a rock. What did they eat? Physical manna that fell to the ground. We can (and Paul could) look back with 20:20 hindsight and recognize the spiritual types and shadows. We can now say, "that Rock was (by way of representation or symbolism) Christ. But, at the time, they couldn't comprehend that spiritual truth. All they saw was food and drink. This reminds me of Jesus feeding the thousands with a few loaves and fishes, and the next day they find Him again and look for another free meal (John 6); those Israelites had far better than a rock or manna, they could physically see and touch the real deal, but even they still did not recognize the Messiah. So how can anyone say that Israel truly saw (perceived) Christ by looking at water gushing from a hunk of granite (or whatever)?

    As for them being "baptized unto Moses," the Israelites didn't even get their feet wet! They crossed on dry ground. Paul was saying that the 'cloud' and the 'sea' were types and foreshadows of something which came later. They weren't literally baptized.

    All of this is 'grasping at straws' to find some sign of Christ's Church before Christ came to establish His Church.
     
  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    It's not merely a "dispensationalist claim," it's a Biblical claim. One need not be a dispensationalist to read the Bible, see what it says, and reach obvious conclusions. Little to none of the marks of Christ's Church existed B.C.
    That is a laughable suggestion, considering how I've been heckled on a RC site for being a dirty-Jew-lover. :laugh: Folks like me, who see God's love for Israel and His plan to still bless Israel in the future, take a lot of flak from trads who think that God rejected the Jews, that they're just a bunch of sodomites, etc, etc. Whereas I see God's hand upon Israel in the reestablishment of the Jewish state in 1948, many others see unjust Jewish theft of Palestinian property. God said He would bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel, and I don't think God has changed His mind or forgotten about them.
     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    All I can say is, you’re violating sacred Scripture and the church fathers, to try to save a theology that was first created in the 1800s.

    Saint Paul does not qualify his own statements. He says they did eat, point blank, the spiritual food in the manna, which seems to be not just a type but literally THE Eucharist, the Sacrament of the blessed Body and Blood, where the physical host was tied to the spiritual real presence. The Hebrews had the sacrament, in manna and later in the Sacrificial Lamb

    He also says they were Baptized and not just was a type of baptism.

    Christ also says how present he was to the Patriarchs, and blames the people for coming up short; if he was never present to them, why is he blaming them?

    Abraham was justified by Christ, true or false? Or is that also just a type and shadow?

    The New Testament (and the Old) teach clearly of Christ and of the whole Trinity. They also teach of the One Church, limited and contained in the OT, and unchained in the NT.
     
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  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Don't you get it? To get it, you need to read Deut. 30:6 in proper context; meaning, you have to read more than just one isolated verse in order to find out when God will circumcise their hearts.

    Deu 30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
    Deu 30:2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
    Deu 30:3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
    Deu 30:4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
    Deu 30:5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
    Deu 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
    Deu 30:7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
    Deu 30:8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.
    Deu 30:9 And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:
    Deu 30:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.

    This is a temporal promise, a time-sensitive and event-sensitive promise. Their circumcision of the heart will be after Jesus returns, gathers the remnant and the outcasts of Israel, and restores them to possession of the land He promised so long ago.

    If I'm not mistaken, amillennialists teach that God is through with Israel, they've been cut off and cast away. Is that correct? If so, it seems a bit anti-Semitic, don't you think?
     
  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Stalwart, I have no dog in the fight for any particular "theology". What I am fighting for is the Bible, for what it says. Now, I've sat in many different churches in my lifetime (RC until mid-20s, then some Protestant churches, now Anglican) so I have heard things taught several ways. I don't take their word for it. I open my Bible and see for myself what it says. But I feel like there are some people who've been so thoroughly indoctrinated in one particular line of thought, they automatically reject whatever contradicts that line of thinking. Psychologists call it "confirmation bias," IIRC.

    Here's what puzzles me: the folks at my ACNA Anglican parish whom I talked to about this issue thought the same as I do: the Church of Christ began in the NT era. The notion of Christ's Church existing B.C. surprised them. So it's not like I am all alone, out in far left field. I have Anglican company. But some people on this forum act totally scandalized over this, as if the sky will fall because my "theology" is different from theirs. Well, I have shown plenty of evidence from Scripture and from reason for my position, and my position apparently is not 'patently un-Anglican' (despite what some here seem to think), so why all the excitement? No one need feel any angst over this issue. We'll all get to be with our Lord whether we have perfect theology or not.
     
  11. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    People criticize the literalist hermeneutic, and then turn around and take these (obviously figurative) words literally. It's just amazing.
    We could look at it in either of two ways. Either that Abraham was justified by Christ at the time Christ died and was raised, or that Abraham was justified by our Almighty God at the time Abraham trusted in Him. If Abraham perceived his Savior when God appeared to him in a physical form, no matter which Person of the Trinity, this was a special case that cannot be applied to all of Israel because they didn't see this appearance, only Abraham saw it. Abraham is one. You can't have a 'church of one,' correct?
    No. The OT teaches a bit about Christ and the Trinity, but it is decidedly murky compared to the revelation we of the Church have today.
     
  12. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The OT itself is more murky earlier on and clearer later on. In the Pentateuch the circumcision of the flesh is assigned, but later on, the Prophets teach that the true circumcision is “the circumcision of the heart”. There was definitely much greater clarity by the end of the OT, than when Abraham was climbing the mount to sacrifice his son Isaac. He barely knew what he was doing, from a natural perspective (supernaturally he knew as much as any NT apostle).

    But there was no dispensational change between the early OT and the later OT. It was the same “Old Covenant” (your language), and yet vastly different levels of natural understanding. So the NT does not alter things by continuing to clarify.

    AND YET, we cannot say that the OT was truly unclear, because Christ blames the people for misunderstanding. How could he blame them, if the NT was needed for the real understanding?


    Okay what’s a good reason to reject transgenderism?

    What’s a good argument against women’s ordination?

    Can you provide simple explanations to defend complementarity and the Biblical view of the sexes?

    Or more abstract, if God is without passions, then how is he said to get angry in the Bible?

    If God is all-sovereign then how can people have choices?

    If God is love then how is there pain in the world?

    There’s a galaxy of lost theology that Christians once knew, clear answers to these and other questions, which we have no longer have any idea of. We don’t even know where to go looking for answers! We are truly the dregs of the apostles, with our iphones but knowing nothing. I’m not much better, and I’m trying to recover what my ancestors in Christ knew.

    Also you can’t discount the mighty power of the Roman church. They have a media powerhouse, and will impose their slant and all their errors, to the utmost degree they can. I am seeing that the RCCs have forced Christendom to accept their definitions on almost every question. And yes that includes questions like, “When did the Church begin?”, because it is utterly important for them to establish that the Church is founded on the Papacy.

    So there are many good-will Anglicans who drink from the common pool of “Christian media”, and imbibe the subtle Roman flavors with every gulp.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  13. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I don't think, judging from your responses Rexlion, that you have been carefully studying what I have been writing. Particularly the Bible references I have cited to back up my assertions. I feel I'm getting knee-jerk responses back that are driven by a desperate need to defend one's cherished theological security and laboriously erected systematic constructs.

    You say:
    Do you really imagine that I have not been aware of that particular insight? I'm glad at least that you have spotted that fact, we might be making some progress after all.

    This whole passage of scripture is spoken to Israelites by Moses. But Moses was speaking prophetically concerning Christ and what God was going to do for His Church "to do thee good at thy latter end". i.e. in the fullness of time. Gal.4:4. (Please click on these references and read them. It will save us a lot of unnecessary typing if you do). It is in fact not Moses who is really saying this to the Israelites, it is God saying all this to His Church. None of those who heard Moses say this to them attained the promises in their lifetimes. Heb.11:39-40 God is however promising them that, because of His Covenant with Abraham, the church shall see the fulfilment of everything that God has promised to His Church (ecclesia, - people), including all spiritual, salvational and territorial blessings. (And I agree there are many teritorial blessings yet tobe fulfilled). God is continuing to prepare all this for His Church, much of it has already been fulfilled, some remains to be accomplished temporally. EVERTHING will be accomplished eventually, because God has eternally decreed it so.

    God, through Moses could not tell the church, at that time, exactly how these things would come to pass. "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." 1 Cor.2:7-8. It had to be kept secret, (a mystery) otherwise the enemy would not have 'crucified the Lord of glory' and none would have been redeemed. WE, though can now see that God was addressing the church through Moses and promising that Christ would "do thee good at thy latter end". This is the proof that the Hebrews were at that very time, the Church (ecclesia), God's chosen people. Sure they died in the wilderness, but so will each of us in the church of today. No one escapes the death of the flesh. It is the life of the spirit that is pledged to the church by God under the terms of the Covenant. It can be clearly seen promised to the church in Deut.8:3-18, and is repeated in the teaching of the Apostles, after the accomplishment of the promises, by Christ on the cross. That promise of God to Abraham is all we can rely upon for our salvation, in The New Testament as well as the Old. This is what makes us and the church in the wilderness the 'children of Abraham'; our faith in God's promises. Rom.4:11-12.
    .
     
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  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Are you aware that the tone of this comes across as condescending? Just letting you know.
     
  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I can see how you would feel that way and I apologise for discomforting you. It's just that it seems that whenever valid reasons for regarding the wilderness assembly as the church are put forward and backed up by Apostolic pronouncements from the New Testament, they are ignored and new objections and arguments declaring the wilderness ecclesia to be positively unconnected with the Christ, just put forward without addressing the points raised.I appreciate it may also have something to do with the fact that time and space mean not all points can be addressed and that sometimes the thread gets quite lively and things move on.

    I feel the issue of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, being present in the Old Testament, albeit often identified using different terminology, such as "The Angel of the LORD" (1215 mentions) or "Breath of the Almighty" (Job 33:4), "Spirit of Council" (Isa.11:2), Eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14) which is not New Testament terminology for the Holy Spirit but terminology that the writer to the Hebrews knew that his Hebrew readers would be familiar with, suitably deals with any objections that the wilderness church had no dealings with Christ or the Holy Spirit, thus rendering it inadmissable as a candidate for being the "church". One might as well say the Father was not involved with them at Sinai when the Law was presented to them because the word Father is not mentioned for the Almighty in the Old Testament.

    Nevertheless the Israelites are called God's children. "Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. (KJV)" Deut.14:1-2 They are declared to be Holy. (compare 1 Cor.7:14). They are set apart by God. All the attributes of church in the making.

    Read Psalm 22:22-31. These are the words of Jesus Christ as he died to redeem mankind and fulfil the promise to Abraham and the Old Testament church.

    "I will tell of your name to my brothers;
    in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
    You who fear the LORD, praise him!
    All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
    and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

    Does it not make you think Jesus was completing something for both them and us?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Accepted. :thumbsup:

    About not responding to every argument made: If this were a scored debate, the goal would be to score points by addressing (not 'dropping') any arguments, not always regarding whether they were addressed thoroughly. I never liked debate.

    But here our goal is probably more along the lines of communicating ideas, of persuasion, and of choosing what we want to address and what doesn't seem necessary or prudent to address. Add to that my tendency toward conclusory thought patterns; i.e., I often look at an argument and mentally dismiss it, usually because it seems (to me) clearly incorrect, a dead end rabbit trail, or something similar. Let's face it, no two brains are the same. :)

    I think some of your statements in this thread have failed to resonate with me for a specific reason, though, so maybe I can lump them together by making an 'overview' of my thoughts on this. I fully accept that there have been people of God in all ages, throughout all of man's history. I fully accept that there have been children of God before Christ (B.C.). God's family includes members spanning the years from Adam & Eve to the present day.

    I also believe that the Church of Christ did not begin until Christ incarnate began it. I believe that this Church of Christ is a subset of the broader group consisting of God's children. Along with this, I believe that ethnic Israel (the natural seed of Jacob) is a subset of this group.

    Due to this, if you claim that this or that proves the existence of the Church of Christ B.C., and I only see proof that God's family existed B.C., my brain moves on to the next point. Besides, as you say, limited time and so on... :yes:
     
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  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I agree God dispensed His revelations of Himself to mankind in a stepped fashion.
    Let me define how I'm using the words 'dispense' and 'dispensation'. To dispense is to divide, to distribute, or to share out according to a plan (got this from the online dictionaries). So a dispensation, generically speaking, is intended to mean a distribution or sharing. That, I think, is how Irenaeus and some of the other early fathers used it.

    For several thousand years, mankind's understanding of Christ was rather sketchy. Slowly and gradually, man received bits and pieces here and there through the prophets and such. If anyone thought much about, let alone believed in a coming Christ (Messiah, Anointed One) they were a rare exception and they simply didn't have enough info to imagine anything close to His Reality. During these millenia God made many adjustments to His dispensation of revelations, the economies, and governances, but it might be likened to the (very!) slow and steady increase of an ocean wave.

    Then, abruptly, the Father gave the incarnate Son to mankind, and in a few short years man's available body of understanding (and availability to that body of knowledge) expanded explosively; suddenly people could see Christ in the flesh, hear His words in their own ears, ask Him questions and receive responses, etc. Disciples started traveling all over the place to tell everyone the Good News, to tell what they had seen and heard. People by the thousands believed in Christ and were filled with the Holy Spirit, and He went to work inside them (gently leading, helping, confirming truth, and more). This was a watershed event, a monumental development, a paradigm shifter. The 'ocean wave' didn't just whitecap; it became a tsunami that quickly inundated the 'known' world.

    Instead of praying to the Almighty, believers began praying to the Father, in the name of the Son, by the Holy Spirit. The Christian liturgy came about, and it bore only minor superficial resemblance to Jewish worship. Christians met on Sunday, the Jews on Saturday. The Sacraments, previously foreshadowed, became holy institutions in full reality. The contrast between the old and the new is stark, like standing in the early glimmers of coming dawn and (one second later) being blasted by the full light of mid-day Son... er, sun! :)

    That is why I think there was a definite "hard stop" to the old way of things and an undeniably new beginning of God's dealing with mankind. Some prefer the word Covenant. Some, Dispensation. Whatever one might call it, it's definitely new and different.

    I might have to re-read the instances, but my offhand impression is that Jesus was blaming the 'religious experts,' the Sanhedrin and scribes and so on, because they didn't care enough about God and His people to study, learn, and teach the people what was needful. This, as opposed to blaming the 'common man'. It's not like they had internet, public libraries, or even bound books; the animal-skin scrolls containing the Law & Prophets were valuable and rare.



    Okay what’s a good reason to reject transgenderism?

    What’s a good argument against women’s ordination?

    Can you provide simple explanations to defend complementarity and the Biblical view of the sexes?

    Or more abstract, if God is without passions, then how is he said to get angry in the Bible?

    If God is all-sovereign then how can people have choices?

    If God is love then how is there pain in the world?

    True. Although, one of them was a newly minted deacon, with all that studying fresh in his mind.
     
  18. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I intend to develop the following point but I have a busy day ahead so can't do it right now. I like your Clean Break followed by a tsunami metaphor but it affects what I and many others think actually happened (as God, and His church might see it). I see the Church of Christ in the New Testament with a capital 'C' for Church and the church of Christ in the Old testament with a lower case 'c', so to speak, but it is still Christ's 'church' because Christ died for it,'before the foundation of the world', let alone before the foundation of the church.

    I see the situation rather more like the development of Jesus of Nazareth himself. His birth is a momentous event, a huge undertaking a stupendous beginning, but it is not the beginning of Jesus of Nazareth. It is not the point in history that Jesus of Nazareth began to exist and before that there was no Jesus of Nazareth. (Here we could have a debate about at what point in a pregnancy does it become murder to terminate it prematurely). Does a person not exist before actual birth takes place? Does 'it' only become a person after 'it' comes forth into the world? At what point in it's existence does a foetus become a person? At what point in it's existence does the 'church' become THE CHURCH of Christ?

    Maybe we are both looking at this issue from different perspectives and it is our perspectives which seem to be putting us at odds over it and making us interpret the scriptural data differently.
    .
     
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  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I can appreciate what you're saying and how you got there.
     
  20. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Okay, so I finally grasp how the Reformed concept, that all who will be saved are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, governs the Reformed definition of the Church of Christ. And it is the same reason why Reformed Theology is "exclusive" (of those who never hear the Gospel). Sorry it took me so long to connect the dots.

    I also see now that Reformed Theology is (or is supposed to be) the mainstream way of thought in Anglicanism. I was unaware of that, too. (Am I slow, or what?) O_o I never connected the word "Reformed" to Anglicans; I thought I'd seen it referred to as "classic" or "historical" theology or some such, but since I never got into a study of it I wasn't aware of the specific teachings and issues that define and separate them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
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