The Histories of the Church, Church Doctrine, and stuff
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05-01-2013, 03:32 AM
The Histories of the Church, Church Doctrine, and stuff
This'll be mostly an introduction and discussion-topic thread.

Now, I'll assume none of you know what the Ecumenical Councils are. The term Ecumenical comes from the Greek word for "universal". And those of who whom have been Christians have heard of the "Nicene" Creed. (Or those who are Catholic or Orthodox. Protestants don't use it as much)

So, these were meetings of Bishops and the Emperor(s) of the Roman Empire of what exactly was the Church doctrine to be. What are we suppose to teach, talk about, and use to our advantage?

..But this also led to debates, which were sometimes settled in these councils. (Usually the Bishops would just discuss private or just excommunicate each other if they didn't particularly like the others way of thinking) And the first, The Council of Nicaea, settled the basis of what the relationship between Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost and the Lord was. Aka the Trinity...But that is what was /accepted/. The opposing argument was Arianism, supported by Arius and Eusebius of Nicomedia. The main topic was, what is the exact relationship between the Father and the Son?

Now Arius was a studier of Origen, one of the first and foremost Christian theologists of the hay-day before Roman acceptance. However, they disagreed on the topic of 'beginning'. Origen stated that the Logos (Divine Nature) of God had no beginning, and technically Jesus was "eternally generated". To be a lit-nerd, imagine back to Paradise Lost by John Milton and the 'Messiah-King'. Who is, in this case, Jesus but before he came down and did all his stuff. This is the basis of the Trinitarian-argument. That there is no beginning to the Divine nature of God, and so the relationship between God and Jesus always existed. Arius thought otherwise, since there was an obvious beginning. It /had/ to begin. And so, Jesus's Divinity must be of a lesser quality or one that is not the same as God's.

But for the longest time, bishop Alexander of Alexandria did nothing about Arius. And he allowed it to continue until he saw it as a threat to the church, deposed Arius from his office and excommunicated him from the Church in Alexandria..and the real debate began. (ironically Alex. was criticized anyway for being too slow and not doing it quick enough)

And now Arianism was far beyond Alexander's see, it was having it's own church and was beyond his control..but along came something and someone. the Edict of Milan and Constantine the First of his Name. Christianity was legalized, and he took a 'great' interest in the controversies and so forth of the religion he just legalized. And soon he called a Council to decide on this matter, though some speculate it was due to Hosius's recommendation and urging. Many from both sides (Athanasius being the man to be the head of the Trinitarian position, and a life-long veteran against Arianism)And apparently 22 bishops were for Arius, but when reading his writing aloud they changed sides. And so for two months, both sides went about their positions. Both referencing the Bible to support themselves.

If to cheat and somewhat copy from our favorite wiki;

"Arius maintained that the Son of God was a Creature, made from nothing;
and that he was God's First Production, before all ages. And he argued
that everything else was created through the Son. Thus, said Arius, only
the Son was directly created and begotten of God; furthermore, there
was a time that He had no existence. He was capable of His own free
will, said Arius, and thus "were He in the truest sense a son, He must
have come after the Father, therefore the time obviously was when He was
not, and hence He was a finite being." (M'Clintock, John; James Strong. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. 7. p. 45.)

Specific bible passages Arius used to support his reasoning were; Colossians 1:15 and John 14:28. He used what was Bible passages (around this time, likey manuscripts of gospels were apart of the bishops reading list, so it was likely before the Vulgate was created but still during the time of reviewing the texts for cannon nominees)

(John being "the Father is greater than I" and Colossians being "the firstborn of all creation.)

However, Arius was overturnedand denounced as a heretic. As well as all who followed Arianism, the first major heresy of the Church. The Nicene Creed was adopted, and the word homoousios was used in it. This means consubstational, or of the same essence. Basically what couldn't go into Arius's beliefs and forced him to either say he was wrong, or be excommunicated from the whole church and deemed as a heretic.

And this was the finding of the first Ecumenical Council, of Nicaea...But there was to be more. So now we know what exactly is the relationship of jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit..but what is his 'nature', exactly?

And this is when it gets weird gais. Why? ...Because an Ecumenical Council was overturned, and instead used subtle language changes to fix it.

This being the Nature debate.

You could say Nestorianism vs Monophysitism vs Dyophysitism.

I say Nestorianism and Dyopshyitism are different because; the language change. Nestorius clarified that Jesus /was/ of two natures. However loosely bonded into union..which was deemed as a heresy by the Council of Ephesus (the first and second). The first said Nestorianism was wrong, and one Monophysite (Eutyches) said that Jesus was not consubstational with us humans.

If to use our favorite wiki again to put it all in a nice paragraph;

"According to Nestorius, all the human experiences and attributes of
Christ are to be assigned to 'the man', as a distinct personal subject
from God the Word, though united to God the Word from the moment of his
conception. In opposition to this, Eutyches inverted the assertion to
the opposite extreme, asserting that human nature and divine nature were
combined into the single nature of Christ: that of the incarnate Word.
Although this accorded with the later teaching of Cyril of Alexandria,
Eutyches went beyond Cyril in denying that Christ was 'consubstantial
with us men', by which he did not intend to deny Christ's full manhood,
but to stress his uniqueness."

Now Cyril was dead by the time of the Council of Chalcedon, but ultimately the two Councils of Ephesus said this;

Nestorianism is a heretical belief, and Jesus is of one nature; a divine nature, if not a divinized nature. (a mix of divinity and man as a synthesis, however the presence of divinity is greater). However, the Catholics and orthodox do not adhere to this..as they follow the Council of Chalcedon, which was attacked as a Nestorian Council. Because they basically said the same thing as Nestorius, all they added was that Jesus was of A PERFECT UNION of Man and Divine. Not a loosely knit-union, but PERFECT. And so lead to the Monophysite - Dyophysite Schism, what we now call the Coptic Church/Oriental Orthodox Churches and everyone else. As Dyophysite is what Protestantism, Catholicism, and Orthodoxy adhere to. (That Jesus has no hypostatic union, but a fully equal, and perfect divine and mortal nature that are independent of each other but connected)

Ironically, the Second council of ephesus was called the Latrocinium (the Robber Council) by the Catholics after the whole mess...but it shows one thing. There was no one, clear defintion provided by the Bible on these topics. They had to interpret them, and debate whether it was this or that. So stuff like the Trinity? Divinity and Mortality? Really all just Roman-thought processes and debates, as no where in the Bible can it give clear support for one side or the other.

If it did...why did they need seven Councils to determine and elaborate and edit what Christianity was several times over?
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05-01-2013, 05:06 AM
 
RE: The Histories of the Church, Church Doctrine, and stuff
This was so interesting, I actually read up to the second sentence. Shocking

Thanks for the massive cut and paste.
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05-01-2013, 05:13 AM
RE: The Histories of the Church, Church Doctrine, and stuff
Actually, it was both interesting and informative. Thanks Smile

Do you have any info on the later schisms of the church, as I understand it the Church of England was created by Henry the Eighth for political reasons, but otherwise the Catholic church has been fairly cohesive (apart from the thing with the Popes of Avignon).

I.t.o. later schisms over doctrine I guess the next would be Martin Luther and the rise of protestantism ? What is the wiki you refer to ?
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05-01-2013, 05:45 AM
RE: The Histories of the Church, Church Doctrine, and stuff
(05-01-2013 05:06 AM)Egor Wrote:  This was so interesting, I actually read up to the second sentence. Shocking

Thanks for the massive cut and paste.

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05-01-2013, 05:52 AM
The Histories of the Church, Church Doctrine, and stuff
(05-01-2013 05:06 AM)Egor Wrote:  This was so interesting, I actually read up to the second sentence. Shocking

Thanks for the massive cut and paste.

Me too. I read up to the line that said: I assume none of you know what the Ecumenical Councils are. Drinking Beverage

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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05-01-2013, 06:05 AM
RE: The Histories of the Church, Church Doctrine, and stuff
Ironically, it is Egor who would most benefit from understanding the OP.

But then, I guess he already knows much of this (Karen Armstrong's History of God etc.).


Personally, I find it kinda weird that so much effort went into clarifying such petty details.
Petty because it was all based on a erroneous belief which came from the very human needs for seeking 'truth', being in or out of the group and for the comfort blanket of authority.

Humanity took a wrong turn but it's easy to why.

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05-01-2013, 06:16 AM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2013 03:45 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The Histories of the Church, Church Doctrine, and stuff
Of course, most of us know what the councils were, and some of us even know exactly what happened at most of them, and what they cooked up at each one. The proceedings of each one, are still available. I assume no one really wants to read that crap. One of the most funny/interesting/pathetic was the "filioque procedit" fight, (at Nicea), when they KNEW they had a problem with the "trinity", but tried to talk their way out of it. Many Protestants DO use the Nicean Creed, every week. So you're wrong about that, as well as a few other things.
And it took far more than seven councils to cook up Christianity, and that really began at the Council of Jerusalem, (in terms of "councils", when they fought about the need for them to also be Jews. Why did it take so long ? Because every human business/institution evolves. Jebus never "founded" the Christian religion. Paul of Tarsus was largely responsible for that, and it happened because the end times did not happen which they had all expected, (including Jebus), in their lifetimes. They needed to keep the cult going. and a reason to compete for adherents, especially with the Greek and Roman mystry cults, in the Hellenic world.

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05-01-2013, 06:56 AM
RE: The Histories of the Church, Church Doctrine, and stuff
Rasky,

You may have guessed by now that there are one or two here who do know quite a bit about your introductory subject.

Don't get put off though, it's always good to have more academics around.

Welcome, again.

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05-01-2013, 02:12 PM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2013 02:25 PM by Raskolnikov.)
RE: The Histories of the Church, Church Doctrine, and stuff
Quote:Do you have any info on the later schisms of the church,

Not particularly, though there are Catholic heresies in the Post-Reformation..and then in the Medieval Era, and prior to it, you have literally dozens of heresies. From where Jesus was stabbed (triclavianism) to Jesus's human body and crucifixtion was an illusion, for how can a god/divine being just die?! (Doceitism) and to even that Jesus was not at first divine. But a mere mortal, but he was so virtious that he was literally adopted into the position of Son of God (Adoptism). Then Spiritual Franciscans (Fraticelli) and Catharism was one of those Medieval Catholic heresies.

So, really, the Church was rarely unified into one consensus. It was very divided, which shows the decentralized and varied nature of Christianity both before and after adoption into the Roman Empire.

..But apparently there were some heresies way into the modern world.


Anglo-Israelism (English, and lesser extent all white peoples, are Israelites)

Americanism (Likes Individualism, Freedom of Press, Liberalism, and other stuff the Catholic Church can't do)

Community of the Lady of All Nations, who holds it's founder is the reincarnation of Mary.. (it is the most recently excommunicated Catholic heresy...2007)

And Positive Christianity, which is Nazism is consistent with Christianity. Mostly fell out after Nazism was crushed, and it very obscure now. Technically was never deemed a heresy by the Pope, rather the only three were. It jut became a heresy as the Nazis lost.

Quote:And it took far more than seven councils to cook up Christianity,

I'm biased in that I view the 'first Seven' as the real crucial stuff to making Roman-Christianity what it is today, and the rest being on little stuff here and there (like Iconoclastism) that were either not universally accepted or were more so battling the localities and their own views. Such as Eutyches's thoughts on the Single Nature of Jesus was very common through out Alexandrian influence/See, so we could suspect (and this may be due to Cyril being Patriarch) it could be an Alexandrian Christianity for some time. Up until it was deemed heresy of course and died off somewhere..Arianism went all the way to Persia but fell out of there.

Quote:Many Protestants DO use the Nicean Creed, every week. So you're wrong about that, as well as a few other things.

I'll admit my knowledge on the Protestants usage comes from a Southern Baptist Church I visit every-so-often, and their preaching against dogmatism. So I assume that they realize if they use the Nicene Creed, they are being hypocritical. So they only use it in special times, and use it as a reference than reverence..then again that is Protestantism. Hypocrisy on traditions and not even honest enough to admit they fully do the same stuff the Orthodox and Catholic do, just add a little twist to it. And trying to be hip :V
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05-01-2013, 03:51 PM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2013 04:20 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The Histories of the Church, Church Doctrine, and stuff
(05-01-2013 02:12 PM)Raskolnikov Wrote:  
Quote:Do you have any info on the later schisms of the church,

Not particularly, though there are Catholic heresies in the Post-Reformation..and then in the Medieval Era, and prior to it, you have literally dozens of heresies. From where Jesus was stabbed (triclavianism) to Jesus's human body and crucifixtion was an illusion, for how can a god/divine being just die?! (Doceitism) and to even that Jesus was not at first divine. But a mere mortal, but he was so virtious that he was literally adopted into the position of Son of God (Adoptism). Then Spiritual Franciscans (Fraticelli) and Catharism was one of those Medieval Catholic heresies.

So, really, the Church was rarely unified into one consensus. It was very divided, which shows the decentralized and varied nature of Christianity both before and after adoption into the Roman Empire.

..But apparently there were some heresies way into the modern world.


Anglo-Israelism (English, and lesser extent all white peoples, are Israelites)

Americanism (Likes Individualism, Freedom of Press, Liberalism, and other stuff the Catholic Church can't do)

Community of the Lady of All Nations, who holds it's founder is the reincarnation of Mary.. (it is the most recently excommunicated Catholic heresy...2007)

And Positive Christianity, which is Nazism is consistent with Christianity. Mostly fell out after Nazism was crushed, and it very obscure now. Technically was never deemed a heresy by the Pope, rather the only three were. It jut became a heresy as the Nazis lost.

Quote:And it took far more than seven councils to cook up Christianity,

I'm biased in that I view the 'first Seven' as the real crucial stuff to making Roman-Christianity what it is today, and the rest being on little stuff here and there (like Iconoclastism) that were either not universally accepted or were more so battling the localities and their own views. Such as Eutyches's thoughts on the Single Nature of Jesus was very common through out Alexandrian influence/See, so we could suspect (and this may be due to Cyril being Patriarch) it could be an Alexandrian Christianity for some time. Up until it was deemed heresy of course and died off somewhere..Arianism went all the way to Persia but fell out of there.

Quote:Many Protestants DO use the Nicean Creed, every week. So you're wrong about that, as well as a few other things.

I'll admit my knowledge on the Protestants usage comes from a Southern Baptist Church I visit every-so-often, and their preaching against dogmatism. So I assume that they realize if they use the Nicene Creed, they are being hypocritical. So they only use it in special times, and use it as a reference than reverence..then again that is Protestantism. Hypocrisy on traditions and not even honest enough to admit they fully do the same stuff the Orthodox and Catholic do, just add a little twist to it. And trying to be hip :V
The Episcopalians "do" the Nicean Creed every week at least. I suspect the Methodists and the Lutherans do too, although I'm not sure.
There was a lot done at Trent. For example, there was no Sacrament of Matrimony until then, late in the Middle Ages, when they decided there was another one. Things evolve all the time, and continue to. There are some pretty shocking documents from Vatican II about womens's equality, (which would NEVER be passed today with Pope Ratty in charge).

I'm not sure I agree with the premise that the councils actually did the formulation of Christianity. They dealt with the heresies, but they did not initiate the heresies. There were a lot of new ideas, which were not voted as "heresy", (depending on where they came from). They came from many places, and people, and the councils tried to keep things on, (what *some* thought) was "on-track", but the votes were never unanimous, and they didn't really introduce new ideas, generally.

Welcome, BTW.

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