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Thread: Syncretism and patriotism

  1. #121
    Senior Member Hans Deventer's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus Kibbe View Post
    You're appealing to "history" without qualification. Who's history? What time period? Surely not the early church or post-reformation church. You assume your understanding is correct or better simply because it is "historical". Why should we consider a particular doctrine as being divinely revealed simply because it was trasmitted from antiquity? That's a logic fallacy. Error as well as truth is past on from generation to generation.

    The irony of your argument is that the rejection of RCC "Sacred Tradition" is actually an appeal to "historic faith". Christ and his apostles constantly appealed to the written Scriptures to prove their teaching. Jesus challenged the traditions of his day by appealing to Scripture (Mark 7). "Sacred Tradition" cannot be checked by the Scriptures because it is considered to be of equal value. Thus, in your view, "tradition" is uncorrectable and unaccountable. It is raised to the level of Holy Scripture, thus opening the door to a flood of errors.
    Marcus, tradition defined the Scriptures. It's as simple as that. We don't have no golden plates from heaven. So tradition is always higher, by definition.
    Love the sinner, hate the sin? Love the sinner and hate your own sin! - Tony Campolo
    Thanks Paul DeBaufer - "thanks" for this post

  2. #122
    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Deventer View Post
    Marcus, tradition defined the Scriptures. It's as simple as that. We don't have no golden plates from heaven. So tradition is always higher, by definition.
    Actually we do have just that. We most assuredly do have golden plates from heaven. All the church did was to agree which ones were genuine.

    Marcus is correct when he asks "what tradition?" There is no unanimity, nor common agreement regarding tradition, everyone highlights different portions and inserts their own slant on it.

    Yes I will surely agree that folks insert their personal prejudices into Scripture as well. However it is our only sure baseline, outside of Scripture we have nothing other than current interpretations of an obscure and variegated past.

    Scripture is the sure foundation for the other three legs of the quad. Tradition is equal to reason and experience, never higher. I believe that our manual affirms this as it speaks to the "authority" given to Scripture, while the creeds are merely accepted.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

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  3. #123
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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Seems like we are deviating from the original subject. Is a new thread merited?

    Eager to read more on this subject. Seems like NazNet is my source for discovering things of which I have never heard, for instance: tradition informing and taking precedence over Scripture. I'd think the Concerned Nazarene folks would read such assertation with great interest!

    New thread, please.

    Friend,

    Wes

  4. #124
    Senior Member Paul DeBaufer's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Deventer View Post
    Marcus, tradition defined the Scriptures. It's as simple as that. We don't have no golden plates from heaven. So tradition is always higher, by definition.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    Actually we do have just that. We most assuredly do have golden plates from heaven. All the church did was to agree which ones were genuine.

    Marcus is correct when he asks "what tradition?" There is no unanimity, nor common agreement regarding tradition, everyone highlights different portions and inserts their own slant on it.

    Yes I will surely agree that folks insert their personal prejudices into Scripture as well. However it is our only sure baseline, outside of Scripture we have nothing other than current interpretations of an obscure and variegated past.

    Scripture is the sure foundation for the other three legs of the quad. Tradition is equal to reason and experience, never higher. I believe that our manual affirms this as it speaks to the "authority" given to Scripture, while the creeds are merely accepted.
    Anecdotal observation suggests to me that there are some within Christianity who hold to a view of inspiration and origin of scripture that is in essence no different from that of Islam. That being God dictated, the prophets wrote verbatim, just as Muhammad (and Joseph Smith) received the Qur'an (Book of Mormon). Now, I do not know any, nor have I heard any Christian say explicitly that this is their position. However, this belief comes through what appears to be their attitudes towards scripture and any suggestion that tradition formed what has come down to us. Let's face it inerrancy and literialism seem to be based on such deep underlying belief.

    Personally, I think that tradition gives rise to scripture, even before the canonical councils reviewed and decided what was in and what wasn't.
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  5. #125
    Senior Member Paul DeBaufer's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Wes Smith View Post
    Seems like we are deviating from the original subject. Is a new thread merited?

    Eager to read more on this subject. Seems like NazNet is my source for discovering things of which I have never heard, for instance: tradition informing and taking precedence over Scripture. I'd think the Concerned Nazarene folks would read such assertation with great interest!

    New thread, please.

    Friend,

    Wes
    C'mon Wes, you've been around NazNet long enough and this idea of scripture being born of tradition has been stated in several different threads on different subjects. So I'm sure you've heard it before. Just didn't catch your attention.


    (hope this is taken in the lighthearted, jovial way it is intended)
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    Laughing Wes Smith - thanks for this funny post

  6. #126
    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul DeBaufer View Post
    Anecdotal observation suggests to me that there are some within Christianity who hold to a view of inspiration and origin of scripture that is in essence no different from that of Islam. That being God dictated, the prophets wrote verbatim, just as Muhammad (and Joseph Smith) received the Qur'an (Book of Mormon). Now, I do not know any, nor have I heard any Christian say explicitly that this is their position. However, this belief comes through what appears to be their attitudes towards scripture and any suggestion that tradition formed what has come down to us. Let's face it inerrancy and literialism seem to be based on such deep underlying belief.

    Personally, I think that tradition gives rise to scripture, even before the canonical councils reviewed and decided what was in and what wasn't.
    Not sure where you are headed with this Paul. I don't hold to the dictation theory.

    I do need to say that should it be proven to me that "tradition gives rise to scripture." Then I'll be moving on because then Christianity becomes nothing more than a manmade religion such as islam. What muslim's believe about their supposed scriptures isn't really relevant to anything, especially since they are wrong. Mohammed simply concocted a story that would get folks to do as he wished them to do. The koran is truly derived from tradition, while our Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

    Garrison Keillor

  7. #127
    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: What should we do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Scott View Post
    I told her that, in my view, it looks a lot like synchretism. There is an image of worship, creeds, even music - patriotism has a liturgy. I also told her not everyone agrees with me, but it's certainly troubling enough to me that I don't say the pledge of allegiance and would not want my children learning it. I also told her she should spend more time thinking about it and decide for herself.
    Ryan; this is helpful. I've been trying to understand just how folks come to the conclusion that patriotic expression in worship could be syncretism, and this has helped me somewhat.

    For me liturgy rises near to the level of anathema. I recognize quite strongly with Jesus statement that believers will worship in Spirit and truth. With this statement, I believe that the institutionalization and formalization of God's people are to be gone. We are now a nation of priests, each one of us with direct contact to God through the Spirit. Gone forever is the institution whereby men must bow to other men, gone forever is a hierarchical system among God's people.

    For me liturgy is a throwback to that which we have been called out of. For me liturgy is syncretism for it mixes in a forced and inappropriate allegiance to those who control this liturgical expression. Quite frankly, this sort of stuff gives me the heeby jeebies and I distance myself far from it, to me it is the vain repetition such as the heathens practice. While I have a few good friends who are my brothers in Christ and Roman Catholic, and I'm glad for them. I limit my exposure to the environment that they call "church", I'm just not comfortable in that environment.

    So I can see where a patriotic "liturgy" would be a problem in the context where one accepts "liturgy" in worship. I do not. My view of liturgy is that it isn't part of worship at all, certainly I'm not worshiping in such a setting. Thus the Pledge of Allegiance is not problematic for me, just as liturgy has no connection to God for me, neither does the pledge. I have no problem saying it because I'm agreeable with the statement made, I can say the pledge honestly.

    Regarding patriotism as part of worship. I think that we need some definition of what "patriotism" means. Should this definition approach in similar fashion to the relationship that we seek with our God, then yes I would have a problem with patriotism. My definition does not do this at all, my form and my vision of patriotism is fully compatible with my worship of God. My view of patriotism is one of thankfulness, I want to remind myself of the blessings that God has given to me and to others, and I want to thank Him for these blessings.

    So come Memorial Day, I want to thank my God for those who sacrificed for me, and I want to thank my God with His Church. I won't worship with those who would seek to deny my expression of praise during that season. The same holds try for Veterans Day, Independence Day and Thanksgiving. I'm incredibly thankful for the incredible blessing that God has seen fit to bestow upon me, by virtue of the time and the place where He has allowed me to live! Praise God, Hallelujah, Yeah, this is worship!!!

    For those who see things differently, I have no beef with you, and your invited to worship with me if you desire. Please understand that the reason I won't worship with you is only that I won't allow man to deny what God has given.

    Oh and Wes; sorry for the diversion, I hope this is more to the point. I've been away for a couple of weeks enjoying the majesty of God's creation and haven't found the time to participate.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

    Garrison Keillor
    Thanks Wes Smith, Scott Moseley - "thanks" for this post

  8. #128
    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus Kibbe View Post
    You're appealing to "history" without qualification. Who's history? What time period? Surely not the early church or post-reformation church.
    Lol. Yes, Marcus. Early Church and Post-Reformation. Simply not Protestant. You do realize that Catholic and Orthodox Christians still make up the majority of Christians world-wide? So, essentially, you're asking me to count the brand new traditions of a minority group as "history" and neglect what the whole Church did for around 1200 years, and what the majority of the Church has continued doing while a bunch of silly people broke away and stopped?

    Marcus, the Protestant Reformation is worthless to me as a source of history and tradition for the Church. I would think you knew this by now.

    You assume your understanding is correct or better simply because it is "historical". Why should we consider a particular doctrine as being divinely revealed simply because it was trasmitted from antiquity? That's a logic fallacy. Error as well as truth is past on from generation to generation.
    Why would you assume doctrine is divinely revealed just because it was transmitted from antiquity in a text? That's a logical fallacy. Error as well as truth is contained in the texts of Scripture, and passed on from generation to generation.

    The irony of your argument is that the rejection of RCC "Sacred Tradition" is actually an appeal to "historic faith". Christ and his apostles constantly appealed to the written Scriptures to prove their teaching. Jesus challenged the traditions of his day by appealing to Scripture (Mark 7).
    He also established tradition - "you have heard it said, but I say"

    He also appealed to tradition if you were to look at the way he interpreted Scripture. We all appeal to tradition when we interpret Scripture. Sorry, Marcus, you don't interpret Scripture without tradition. Tradition always takes priority, even for you.

    "Sacred Tradition" cannot be checked by the Scriptures because it is considered to be of equal value. Thus, in your view, "tradition" is uncorrectable and unaccountable. It is raised to the level of Holy Scripture, thus opening the door to a flood of errors.
    Scripture is sacred tradition. Thus, the relationships all take place as follows:

    Scripture checks Tradition
    Scripture checks Scripture
    Tradition checks Tradition
    Tradition checks Scripture

    It's the only logical position.

    Without tradition we have no Scripture to interpret and without tradition none of us would hold to our interpretations of Scripture.

    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!
    Thanks Hans Deventer - "thanks" for this post

  9. #129
    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    Not sure where you are headed with this Paul. I don't hold to the dictation theory.

    I do need to say that should it be proven to me that "tradition gives rise to scripture." Then I'll be moving on because then Christianity becomes nothing more than a manmade religion such as islam. What muslim's believe about their supposed scriptures isn't really relevant to anything, especially since they are wrong. Mohammed simply concocted a story that would get folks to do as he wished them to do. The koran is truly derived from tradition, while our Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
    Until we realize that the Church is Christ's Body and it is the manifestation of Christ in the world, with Christ as the head, and therefore the Church's passing on of tradition is an act of Christ.
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!

  10. #130
    Senior Member Hans Deventer's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    Actually we do have just that. We most assuredly do have golden plates from heaven..
    I don't think you are serious.
    Love the sinner, hate the sin? Love the sinner and hate your own sin! - Tony Campolo

  11. #131
    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism



    His point about the Christian ability to identify the difference between corporate "we's" illustrates the point well.
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!
    Thanks Mike Schutz - "thanks" for this post

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    Multi-Forum Host Kevin Rector's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    I really enjoy reading Hauerwas, and have been influenced quite a bit by him, but man is he hard to listen to... it's good that he went into the academy and not a pulpit ministry.
    Thanks Jon Twitchell - "thanks" for this post

  13. #133
    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: What should we do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    Ryan; this is helpful. I've been trying to understand just how folks come to the conclusion that patriotic expression in worship could be syncretism, and this has helped me somewhat.

    For me liturgy rises near to the level of anathema. I recognize quite strongly with Jesus statement that believers will worship in Spirit and truth. With this statement, I believe that the institutionalization and formalization of God's people are to be gone. We are now a nation of priests, each one of us with direct contact to God through the Spirit. Gone forever is the institution whereby men must bow to other men, gone forever is a hierarchical system among God's people.

    For me liturgy is a throwback to that which we have been called out of. For me liturgy is syncretism for it mixes in a forced and inappropriate allegiance to those who control this liturgical expression. Quite frankly, this sort of stuff gives me the heeby jeebies and I distance myself far from it, to me it is the vain repetition such as the heathens practice. While I have a few good friends who are my brothers in Christ and Roman Catholic, and I'm glad for them. I limit my exposure to the environment that they call "church", I'm just not comfortable in that environment.

    So I can see where a patriotic "liturgy" would be a problem in the context where one accepts "liturgy" in worship. I do not. My view of liturgy is that it isn't part of worship at all, certainly I'm not worshiping in such a setting. Thus the Pledge of Allegiance is not problematic for me, just as liturgy has no connection to God for me, neither does the pledge. I have no problem saying it because I'm agreeable with the statement made, I can say the pledge honestly.

    Regarding patriotism as part of worship. I think that we need some definition of what "patriotism" means. Should this definition approach in similar fashion to the relationship that we seek with our God, then yes I would have a problem with patriotism. My definition does not do this at all, my form and my vision of patriotism is fully compatible with my worship of God. My view of patriotism is one of thankfulness, I want to remind myself of the blessings that God has given to me and to others, and I want to thank Him for these blessings.

    So come Memorial Day, I want to thank my God for those who sacrificed for me, and I want to thank my God with His Church. I won't worship with those who would seek to deny my expression of praise during that season. The same holds try for Veterans Day, Independence Day and Thanksgiving. I'm incredibly thankful for the incredible blessing that God has seen fit to bestow upon me, by virtue of the time and the place where He has allowed me to live! Praise God, Hallelujah, Yeah, this is worship!!!

    For those who see things differently, I have no beef with you, and your invited to worship with me if you desire. Please understand that the reason I won't worship with you is only that I won't allow man to deny what God has given.

    Oh and Wes; sorry for the diversion, I hope this is more to the point. I've been away for a couple of weeks enjoying the majesty of God's creation and haven't found the time to participate.
    Jim, understand this is not a swipe at you, and so if it comes across that way I apologize in advance and I assure you it is not.

    However, it is views like this, outlined here, why I left the Church of the Nazarene.

    I don't understand them. They frustrate me. I don't have any ability to have a conversation where either side can move any closer to the other. It simply flies straight over my head and makes no sense. I don't have the patience to talk it through.

    For me, as a product of the Church in its attempt to articulate the faith of the Church, the liturgies of both the East and the West are inspired by Christ to help us understand the Scriptures.
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!

  14. #134
    Senior Member George Wallace's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Burch View Post
    Lol. Yes, Marcus. Early Church and Post-Reformation. Simply not Protestant. You do realize that Catholic and Orthodox Christians still make up the majority of Christians world-wide?
    I'm not Marcus, but... if I were to answer the question, I would have to say: So what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Burch View Post
    So, essentially, you're asking me to count the brand new traditions of a minority group as "history" and neglect what the whole Church did for around 1200 years, and what the majority of the Church has continued doing while a bunch of silly people broke away and stopped?

    Marcus, the Protestant Reformation is worthless to me as a source of history and tradition for the Church. I would think you knew this by now.
    Why are so inconsistent in your application? Using the same logic, you should reject musical instruments in worship, just as the entire church did for the first 1100 years. (As the Eastern Church and some Protestant still do) Yet I've not seen you advocate for that. Why not include the traditions of the Donantist and the oh, say the Cathers?

    It is not a matter of unity in tradition, at least as I see it. It is merely Cafeteria Christianity. You seem to just choose a little of this and a little of that ... all from the smorgasbord of Tradition.

    And you are Protestant: Your Church still carries as its official name The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. Contrary to any Anglo-Catholic expression, it still claims to be Protestant.

    Blessings
    George

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  15. #135
    Senior Member Hans Deventer's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by George Wallace View Post
    And you are Protestant: Your Church still carries as its official name The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. Contrary to any Anglo-Catholic expression, it still claims to be Protestant.
    George, among Nazarenes there is a wide variety. Surely you know the same goes for the Episcopal Church. And surely you do not presume that merely because a church has a name, each and every member aligns with that name. The world is not so ideal.

    And, Anglicans have always maintained a via media between Rome and the Reformation. I'm quite happy we Nazarenes have inherited this. It has always been stressed at the pastor's course in my church.
    Love the sinner, hate the sin? Love the sinner and hate your own sin! - Tony Campolo
    Thanks Paul DeBaufer, Mike Schutz - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Mike Schutz's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by George Wallace View Post
    I'm not Marcus, but... if I were to answer the question, I would have to say: So what?



    Why are so inconsistent in your application? Using the same logic, you should reject musical instruments in worship, just as the entire church did for the first 1100 years. (As the Eastern Church and some Protestant still do) Yet I've not seen you advocate for that. Why not include the traditions of the Donantist and the oh, say the Cathers?

    It is not a matter of unity in tradition, at least as I see it. It is merely Cafeteria Christianity. You seem to just choose a little of this and a little of that ... all from the smorgasbord of Tradition.

    And you are Protestant: Your Church still carries as its official name The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. Contrary to any Anglo-Catholic expression, it still claims to be Protestant.

    Blessings
    George
    George,
    I think it is interesting that in this post you both remind Ben of his Protestant heritage, and then chastise as "cafeteria Christianity." That derogatory term is exactly what the Roman Catholic Church uses to describe one of the worst results of the Protestant Reformation.
    "Fully embracing the Gospel, fully engaging the world"
    Thanks Hans Deventer, Valisha Trammell Hall - "thanks" for this post

  17. #137
    Assistant Site Administrator/Forum Host Jon Twitchell's Avatar

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    Re: What should we do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    For me liturgy rises near to the level of anathema.
    Every church has liturgy.

    Some just write it down.


    There's no way to invite a congregation to worship without a liturgy of some sort... even "please stand with me and turn to number 86" is a liturgy. Even a "free worship" style where the musicians play and individuals sing out whatever words/phrases/melodies come to mind is a form of liturgy. If the people do anything in worship at all... put money in an offering plate, bow their heads to pray, stand to sing, or even shake hands with the people around them... then there is a liturgy that instructs and forms that behavior.

    Some liturgies are more helpful than others.

    But every church has liturgy.

  18. #138
    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Deventer View Post
    I don't think you are serious.
    Not completely, yet given the choice between tradition and scripture, I'm going to go for the golden plates.

    George framed the problem with tradition quite well here.

    Quote Originally Posted by George Wallace
    It is not a matter of unity in tradition, at least as I see it. It is merely Cafeteria Christianity. You seem to just choose a little of this and a little of that ... all from the smorgasbord of Tradition.
    Tradition is all about who is doing the retelling. There is no unanimity nor is there adequate provenance. It's like trying to nail jello to the wall.

    At the root of this I have to ask this. Would the Jesus who came to set things straight leave us in the clutches of the very class of people who ran the God show back in the day? My answer is of course, no He would not. Tradition brought Israel to it's destruction and it has brought us to the reformation.

    I find myself very much in agreement with Wiley as he explores the divine nature of scripture. Golden Plates, not exactly, yet a long ways away from a faith based essay contest with the church as judge.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

    Garrison Keillor

  19. #139
    Senior Member George Wallace's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schutz View Post
    George,
    I think it is interesting that in this post you both remind Ben of his Protestant heritage, and then chastise as "cafeteria Christianity." That derogatory term is exactly what the Roman Catholic Church uses to describe one of the worst results of the Protestant Reformation.
    I did not know that it was a derogatory term.. I am trying to be on my best behavior. As far as I am/was aware it simply referred to those who have very little commitment to a certain specific expression of the Christian faith, and choose elements which appeal to them. Although a quick check of Wiki reveals that it is supposedly used derogatorily. Mia Culpa!

    Also, did they have Cafeterias in Bern, Geneva, Marburg and Trent, back in the day??

    George

    "Preach the gospel; if necessary use words" is like saying "feed the poor and; if necessary use food."

  20. #140
    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Deventer View Post
    George, among Nazarenes there is a wide variety. Surely you know the same goes for the Episcopal Church. And surely you do not presume that merely because a church has a name, each and every member aligns with that name. The world is not so ideal.

    And, Anglicans have always maintained a via media between Rome and the Reformation. I'm quite happy we Nazarenes have inherited this. It has always been stressed at the pastor's course in my church.
    Correct, the Episcopal church became protestant not because of the reformation. The King decided to divorce his wife and he wasn't about to submit to the church.

    One of the reasons that I identify with Holiness rather than Wesleyanism. Don't get me wrong, I like Wesley but not when it comes to his romish leanings. I'm not sure how we as Nazarene's have inherited Anglicanism, the Nazarene church that I remember was generally quite protestant. We actually sent missionaries to evangelize the Catholics and convert them to Christ. I believe that Manny Silva's dad was one of those converts, he served our church for 50 or so years. I vividly recall Jorge Barros story of how the Catholic priest beat him quite badly when he was a small boy. The priest beat him to send a message to his dad to leave the island of Fogo where he was a Nazarene Pastor and Missionary.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

    Garrison Keillor

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    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by George Wallace View Post
    I did not know that it was a derogatory term.. I am trying to be on my best behavior. As far as I am/was aware it simply referred to those who have very little commitment to a certain specific expression of the Christian faith, and choose elements which appeal to them. Although a quick check of Wiki reveals that it is supposedly used derogatorily. Mia Culpa!

    Also, did they have Cafeterias in Bern, Geneva, Marburg and Trent, back in the day??

    George
    It's a common expression among the Catholic laity. Someone who only ascribes to the churches teaching when it suits them is a "Cafeteria Catholic."
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

    Garrison Keillor
    Thanks Mike Schutz - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: What should we do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Twitchell View Post
    Every church has liturgy.

    Some just write it down.


    There's no way to invite a congregation to worship without a liturgy of some sort... even "please stand with me and turn to number 86" is a liturgy. Even a "free worship" style where the musicians play and individuals sing out whatever words/phrases/melodies come to mind is a form of liturgy. If the people do anything in worship at all... put money in an offering plate, bow their heads to pray, stand to sing, or even shake hands with the people around them... then there is a liturgy that instructs and forms that behavior.

    Some liturgies are more helpful than others.

    But every church has liturgy.
    Yes, you are correct. Perhaps I should have spent a little time qualifying my use of the term. My offense, rejection, repudiation, distaste, fear and whatever come from high church liturgy. My problem is with a liturgy where the clergy lord it over the congregants, seeking to control them rather than minister to them. It's a forced liturgy, pomp and circumstance, putting on airs, the focus moves away from the Spirit of Christ and toward the over inflated egos of the big shots running the show.

    Scripture tells us that Clergy are God's gift to the church, they serve and minister to the church, rather than set themselves up as lords over the folks that God has entrusted into their care. Ministry is a double honor and a double responsibility. I honestly fear for those who seek to impose their will upon their congregants. high church liturgy is a good example of a bad example.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

    Garrison Keillor

  23. #143
    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by George Wallace View Post
    I'm not Marcus, but... if I were to answer the question, I would have to say: So what?
    When we speak of Church History, I tend to try to speak about that which applies to not only the largest group, but also those who have been the most consistent.

    Why are so inconsistent in your application?
    I do not believe that I am. I believe that I disagree with tradition at points, and that dissenting opinions are normal throughout Christianity. It comes as a discussion with tradition, within tradition, not as a discussion about Scripture over against Tradition.

    Using the same logic, you should reject musical instruments in worship, just as the entire church did for the first 1100 years. (As the Eastern Church and some Protestant still do) Yet I've not seen you advocate for that.
    I actually refused to donate any money to my parish's campaign to restore their organ and I chose to give my tithe to outside entities during the campaign as a symbolic gesture that I prefer we spend our money elsewhere. I also prefer worship with no instruments. This is what we do throughout holy week. I wish it were that way throughout the year.

    Why not include the traditions of the Donantist and the oh, say the Cathers?
    Because the tradition of heretics is completely outside of Church history....

    It is not a matter of unity in tradition, at least as I see it.
    I'm not sure I've ever claimed complete conformity or unity. I do, however, admit when I am outside of tradition, and I give reasons as to why.

    It is merely Cafeteria Christianity. You seem to just choose a little of this and a little of that ... all from the smorgasbord of Tradition.
    It is slowly becoming less and less so. As NT Wright has said, this purgatory was so compelling as a belief because we know purgatory so well. It is this life. Constantly having our old self purged away as we are made more and more into the image of Christ.

    And you are Protestant: Your Church still carries as its official name The Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. Contrary to any Anglo-Catholic expression, it still claims to be Protestant.
    Something that you and I both know full-well is likely only a temporary stop. The health of the ECUSA is in such a state that it is nearly already on life support. I do not see this as a sustainable home, though I wish in many ways it were.

    I don't think you or I believe there is much more than time standing between myself and Constantinople or Rome.
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!

  24. #144
    Senior Member George Wallace's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Deventer View Post
    George, among Nazarenes there is a wide variety. Surely you know the same goes for the Episcopal Church. And surely you do not presume that merely because a church has a name, each and every member aligns with that name. The world is not so ideal.

    And, Anglicans have always maintained a via media between Rome and the Reformation. I'm quite happy we Nazarenes have inherited this. It has always been stressed at the pastor's course in my church.
    Yes, I am fully aware. Yet to say " the Protestant Reformation is worthless to me as a source of history and tradition" as Ben has, is to me a nonsensical statement, it even denies the very History of the church he attends.

    As for the Via Media, well, it was originally, 'Reformed in Doctrine and catholic in Worship' Even after the Elizabethan Settlement it was still considered a Protestant Church body. The more recent advent of Anglo-Catholicism which has been highly influential especially in the West stems more from the Tractarian/Oxford Movement which started in the mid-late 19th Century.

    Certainly, this is not a hard and fast statement as there has always been significant back and forth movements but as a general rule it seems hold true for Anglicanism and encompass the majority of the bell curve, at least through the pre-Tractarian era. But, by then you have the different parties all under the same roof as it were, Ritualists, Latitudinarians, Arminians, Evangelical (Reformed) and Charismatics.

    George

    "Preach the gospel; if necessary use words" is like saying "feed the poor and; if necessary use food."

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    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    Not completely, yet given the choice between tradition and scripture, I'm going to go for the golden plates.

    George framed the problem with tradition quite well here.



    Tradition is all about who is doing the retelling. There is no unanimity nor is there adequate provenance. It's like trying to nail jello to the wall.

    At the root of this I have to ask this. Would the Jesus who came to set things straight leave us in the clutches of the very class of people who ran the God show back in the day? My answer is of course, no He would not. Tradition brought Israel to it's destruction and it has brought us to the reformation.

    I find myself very much in agreement with Wiley as he explores the divine nature of scripture. Golden Plates, not exactly, yet a long ways away from a faith based essay contest with the church as judge.
    I, too, am a far way from believing they are the product of a faith-based essay contest with the Church as judge.

    Quite a few lines have been drawn together in this paper to produce a viable concept of Biblical authority for the Church in the twenty-first century that is thoroughly Christian, orthodox, and biblical. The problem of Scriptural authority created by Protestant concerns, along with an analysis of the Scriptures themselves leads one back to the Orthodox Church. The problem of Scripture as the sure authority lies in the fact that it can no longer be held with any confidence or seriousness that the Scriptures provide us with the perfect measure we would need in order to maintain what has been said about it. Instead, an instrumental view of them, which believes that they reveal the faith and salvation to us, seems to be the beginning of a way forward, since the value of Scripture is not caught up in the measurable value of the exact words contained therein. However, trusting that the Bible does this inerrantly seems problematic, as it does not seem that anything is accomplished inerrantly in life. Secondly, Scripture functions as God’s tool, through which God encounters the Church and through which God does the revelatory action, and it is God’s action of revelation which we ultimately trust – not the content of Scriptures or even the book of Scriptures itself.

    The reason we can trust that Scriptures are God’s tool to do this is two-fold. First of all, it is not because the Scriptures fulfill some special role in and of themselves, but because they are a part of the Apostolic Tradition which the Church has always trusted, and has always conformed its faith to; and secondly it is not because of some level of perfection, but because the God that meets us in this text and recalls the revelation God’s self in Christ to us through these texts, as well as the whole of the apostolic tradition, has always done so through imperfect – even sinful – means. Lastly, it is by our place as the Church, and as those who trust the testimony that has come before us, and been entrusted to those who have come before us, that we say with the Gospel of John that the testimony of those “is true.” We trust that the testimony of the Church found in the Apostolic Tradition, and most concretely in the Scriptures, is true and that the God who has chosen to use this broken vessel is gracious enough to use this tool and reveal all things that are necessary for our salvation.
    I have the full paper here if you'd like to read it:

    We Know This Testimony is True: A Christian Doctrine of Scriptural Authority
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!
    Thanks Paul DeBaufer - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: What should we do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    Yes, you are correct. Perhaps I should have spent a little time qualifying my use of the term. My offense, rejection, repudiation, distaste, fear and whatever come from high church liturgy. My problem is with a liturgy where the clergy lord it over the congregants, seeking to control them rather than minister to them. It's a forced liturgy, pomp and circumstance, putting on airs, the focus moves away from the Spirit of Christ and toward the over inflated egos of the big shots running the show.

    Scripture tells us that Clergy are God's gift to the church, they serve and minister to the church, rather than set themselves up as lords over the folks that God has entrusted into their care. Ministry is a double honor and a double responsibility. I honestly fear for those who seek to impose their will upon their congregants. high church liturgy is a good example of a bad example.
    High Church Liturgy is God's gift of Christ to the Church through the priests whom God has given to serve and minister to the Church.
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!

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    Multi-Forum Host Kevin Rector's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Burch View Post
    I don't think you or I believe there is much more than time standing between myself and Constantinople or Rome.
    I'm sure this is true, but I hope for your sake it's more Constantinople than Rome. There's just something about Rome continuing to promulgate dogmas without the rest of the church that really doesn't sit well with me. Papal infalibility, immaculate conception, etc.... These are just wrong and fully outside the scope of either scripture or tradition. Constantinople has it's problems too, but is generally less "spiritually superior" than Rome.

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Should we stop having Easter egg hunts at our churchs on Easter sunday. When we do we are combining a Christian holiday with ancient Greek and Roman pagan traditions.
    Thanks
    Larry

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    Senior Member Hans Deventer's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by George Wallace View Post
    Yes, I am fully aware. Yet to say " the Protestant Reformation is worthless to me as a source of history and tradition" as Ben has, is to me a nonsensical statement, it even denies the very History of the church he attends.
    Well, I have to admit that the statement is starting to make more sense to me. Not that I don't believe the RC Church didn't need some huge reformation in the 16th century, it definitely did. But although I am a Protestant, through time I've become less proud of that heritage and quite sure that the Reformation, as any reaction often is, when too far. I once read that Philip Melanchton reached an agreement with a bishop or cardinal about a common creed. But at that time, it was too late and we got stuck with the Reformation as we know it, and the counter Reformation in the RC Church. I'm pretty sure God wasn't celebrating that up there in heaven.


    Quote Originally Posted by George Wallace View Post
    As for the Via Media, well, it was originally, 'Reformed in Doctrine and catholic in Worship' Even after the Elizabethan Settlement it was still considered a Protestant Church body. The more recent advent of Anglo-Catholicism which has been highly influential especially in the West stems more from the Tractarian/Oxford Movement which started in the mid-late 19th Century.
    Sure. That is the point where Wesley did change the emphasis somewhat. Though he definitely drank deep from his own tradition. But it is pretty well documented he also included lots of Eastern Church Fathers, and (no offence meant) he certainly was no Calvinist. No Roman Catholic either, for that matter!
    Love the sinner, hate the sin? Love the sinner and hate your own sin! - Tony Campolo
    Thanks Paul DeBaufer - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    [QUOTE=Larry Parsons;127962]Should we stop having Easter egg hunts at our churchs on Easter sunday. When we do we are combining a Christian holiday with ancient Greek and Roman pagan traditions.
    Thanks
    Larry[/QUOTE


    Its Ok Larry. Just don't paint any eggs red white and blue .
    "And as we pass the collection plate, please give as if the person next to you was watching."
    -Rev. Lovejoy

  31. #151
    Senior Member Cam Pence's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    We actually sent missionaries to evangelize the Catholics and convert them to Christ.
    Sorry but if that is true, it may be one of the most UNChristian things this denomination has ever done. Unless of course they sent out missionaries to evangelize Baptists, Methodists, Anabaptists and other people from ALREADY CHRISTIAN denominations to convert them to Christ. Thank God this has changed.
    "Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination end in nit-picking and divisiveness."-Mildred Bangs Wynkoop

  32. #152
    Senior Member Charles W Christian's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilson Deaton View Post
    I don't think being patriotic is syncretistic.

    I certainly think a Christian can be patriotic. (Have I mentioned on Naznet yet that I'll be celebrating the 4th of July in the National Mall in Washington D.C. this year!?!)

    However, I do think it is syncretistic (or a similar malady) when one tries to USE THE CHURCH to promote, bolster, encourage, or practice patriotism. If you go to a Sunday morning worship service and are asked to say the pledge of allegiance to the American flag that is on display in the sanctuary, then sing Amazing Grace AND The Star Spangled Banner, it gives an implicit, but clear, message that being patriotic is part and parcel to being Christian. That my friend, is syncretism.

    Wilson
    Well said, Wilson. This has always been a big dividing line for me. And for those who have not seen this in real life, even (as in Wes's case) after many years of ministry, I just say thank the Lord. However, many of us, especially in Nazarene/Evangelical circles HAVE seen this - a LOT through the years. I can pull up a "patriotic" service right now (I won't do so because I don't want to disparage a particular church) in our own denomination where on a Sunday morning you can hear songs that are ALL about America. I'm not even talking about "God Bless America," which is at least a prayer. I'm talking about songs simply praising America in a SERVICE OF WORSHIP TO GOD! It is under the guise of a Sunday worship hour, but it is in my opinion nothing more than the biblical definition of idolatry. I'm just saying we can do better than this; we are expected to do better. We are expected to know better, and not just give in to the pressures of our prevailing culture, no matter how much we like our culture.

    Idolatry always starts subtly. The forbidden fruit was "pleasing to the eye," as was the golden calf!

    When I spend corporate worship time singing "This is My Country" or making the flag or even the military the central theme of the service,I think I have crossed the biblical line. This is not to say that we cannot pray for our nation, pray for soliders, or even mourn losses in the context of worship services. These things have some biblical precedent. However, a key theme of American Christianity has been that it is far more "American" than Christian in many instances. We've had to look back and repent for too many instances where we let our church services have justified immorality in the name of national pride: slavery, treatment of Native Americans, opposition to the civil rights movement, etc., etc.

    Doesn't that give us enough pause to be cautious when letting our focus drift too far into patriotism? It does for me.

    Charles
    Thanks Paul DeBaufer, Mike Schutz, Scott Moseley - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Cam Pence View Post
    Sorry but if that is true, it may be one of the most UNChristian things this denomination has ever done. Unless of course they sent out missionaries to evangelize Baptists, Methodists, Anabaptists and other people from ALREADY CHRISTIAN denominations to convert them to Christ. Thank God this has changed.
    Well actually it hasn't changed at all. If this were truly changed, then we would not send missionaries to any nation where there is already a Christian presence. We are still planting churches in the United States for heaven sake! What on earth are we thinking when we decide to plant a church in a city or town which already has more than a dozen Christian churches? Please tell me how this is different. Never mind evangelizing Catholics, we are willing to evangelize Wesleyans, Methodists and the like.

    I can tell you from years of listening to testimonies and sermons from the folks whom we have touched on Cape Verde that our efforts there brought much fruit. Over and over again I have heard testimony from folks who were Catholic and yet they did not know Jesus, they practiced a ritual, a religion yet they had no relationship, they knew not of the Spirit of God. They knew not that God is living and real.

    If you had ever sat under the preaching of Rev. Eudo Tavares Almeida, or his son Silas Almeida who pastors our Providence church. Or Rev. Ilidio Silva who pastored in Cape Verde for 24 years after his conversion from Catholicism then to come here and pastor churches in New Bedford and Rumford, 45 years of faithful service to the ministry.

    Then there is the incredible story of spiritual healing and familial reconciliation of Ferreira Pires who found Christ while the administrator of the island of Brava, Later his family would come to know the Lord and be wonderfully changed and reconciled to each other. His daughter married a Nazarene minister by the name of Jose Delgado, they eventually emigrated to the US. Rev. Delgado pastored our church in Rumford for a time and this dear, dear man still ministers in our area.

    One of the most moving and powerful preachers that I have ever heard is my dear friend Rev. Jorge Barros, he recalls many wonderful stories of our work on Cape Verde where he and his father pastored for many years. He will tell you that we made no mistake when we endeavored to bring the reality and compassion of Christ to his island nation. As will Rev. Elton Wood who spent many years there as a missionary. Rev. Wood is dearly loved by his Cape Verdean church family at our church in Pawtucket.

    No, we did a very Christian thing in Cape Verde. So many were kept in the bondage of darkness there by the Catholic church. I know this because so many of them have told me so.

    While I'm not Cape Verdean, I can also testify that while raised as a Catholic, I would be lost eternally if it weren't for the compassion of Christians who realized that Catholicism isn't necessarily Christian. Hanging around in an old stone building reciting things out of a missal, will no more make one a Christian than would a mouse's presence in a cookie jar make that mouse into a cookie. I'm glad for the changes that are coming to the Catholic church, in my day I would hesitate to actually call it a church.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

    Garrison Keillor
    Thanks Cam Pence, Scott Moseley - "thanks" for this post

  34. #154
    Senior Member Cam Pence's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    Well actually it hasn't changed at all. If this were truly changed, then we would not send missionaries to any nation where there is already a Christian presence. We are still planting churches in the United States for heaven sake! What on earth are we thinking when we decide to plant a church in a city or town which already has more than a dozen Christian churches? Please tell me how this is different. Never mind evangelizing Catholics, we are willing to evangelize Wesleyans, Methodists and the like.

    I can tell you from years of listening to testimonies and sermons from the folks whom we have touched on Cape Verde that our efforts there brought much fruit. Over and over again I have heard testimony from folks who were Catholic and yet they did not know Jesus, they practiced a ritual, a religion yet they had no relationship, they knew not of the Spirit of God. They knew not that God is living and real.

    If you had ever sat under the preaching of Rev. Eudo Tavares Almeida, or his son Silas Almeida who pastors our Providence church. Or Rev. Ilidio Silva who pastored in Cape Verde for 24 years after his conversion from Catholicism then to come here and pastor churches in New Bedford and Rumford, 45 years of faithful service to the ministry.

    Then there is the incredible story of spiritual healing and familial reconciliation of Ferreira Pires who found Christ while the administrator of the island of Brava, Later his family would come to know the Lord and be wonderfully changed and reconciled to each other. His daughter married a Nazarene minister by the name of Jose Delgado, they eventually emigrated to the US. Rev. Delgado pastored our church in Rumford for a time and this dear, dear man still ministers in our area.

    One of the most moving and powerful preachers that I have ever heard is my dear friend Rev. Jorge Barros, he recalls many wonderful stories of our work on Cape Verde where he and his father pastored for many years. He will tell you that we made no mistake when we endeavored to bring the reality and compassion of Christ to his island nation. As will Rev. Elton Wood who spent many years there as a missionary. Rev. Wood is dearly loved by his Cape Verdean church family at our church in Pawtucket.

    No, we did a very Christian thing in Cape Verde. So many were kept in the bondage of darkness there by the Catholic church. I know this because so many of them have told me so.

    While I'm not Cape Verdean, I can also testify that while raised as a Catholic, I would be lost eternally if it weren't for the compassion of Christians who realized that Catholicism isn't necessarily Christian. Hanging around in an old stone building reciting things out of a missal, will no more make one a Christian than would a mouse's presence in a cookie jar make that mouse into a cookie. I'm glad for the changes that are coming to the Catholic church, in my day I would hesitate to actually call it a church.
    Jim,
    It is different because you made it sound like (and I certainly apologize if I read too much into your statement) the CotN sent out missionaries with the sole purpose of evangelizing Catholics. Yes I believe there is an exponential difference between sending out missionaries to evangelize those who are unsaved and those are simply Catholic as if to assume that all Catholics are unsaved/ not Christians. If the latter is not what was implied by your previous statement then I retract my evaluation of it. I am sure all the men you reference here were Godly men and I am glad that God blessed their respective ministries, however if they were anti-Catholic (saw Catholics automatically as something less than Christian and in need of good 'ol protestant evangelization) then I believe they were in the wrong. There is this ridiculous notion amongst (some of/perhaps man of) those who are were raised Catholic and didn't like it that that is grounds for seeing the Catholic church as less then Christian. I have to ask if we ever take into account those who had the same experience with a protestant church and never really connected with God until they took part in the Catholic liturgy or the Eurcharist. It does happen. Protestants do not own the market on being "saved" from the Cathoilc church. People have experienced the love to Christ through both traditions and it doesn't make either "bad". I am sorry you did not have a good experience in the Catholic church and am happy that you found your home in the CotN as I find much wisdom and encouragment in what you say here. I just believe your experience can be had from both sides of the fence.
    "Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination end in nit-picking and divisiveness."-Mildred Bangs Wynkoop

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    I believe that Manny Silva's dad was one of those converts, he served our church for 50 or so years.
    You are correct about that, Jim. My dad was a Roman Catholic until he became a Christian and was freed from the bondage of that works-based religion. I recall him telling me how in his wandering in the islands, going around preaching, he stumbled onto a village, where a bunch of people inside a small church, were waiting for hours for the priest to show up. Well, he asked if he could speak to them while waiting, and he preached the real Gospel for Jesus Christ to them. Practically the whole village heard the real gospel for the first time and repented from their sins upon hearing the message of the Cross.

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Cam Pence View Post
    Sorry but if that is true, it may be one of the most UNChristian things this denomination has ever done. Unless of course they sent out missionaries to evangelize Baptists, Methodists, Anabaptists and other people from ALREADY CHRISTIAN denominations to convert them to Christ. Thank God this has changed.
    Do you believe that our denomination was the only ones that sending out missionary to win the RC to Christ. You may not believe it but our church and other church are still winning to RC to Christ this may not be done through our missionary. Now it is been done through the Jesus Film Just few years I was in a Latin America country with a Jesus Film project and we invited people to come watch the film and guess who we were inviting right people that was claim to be RC. Believe me if any RC would have come forward after the film to talk to one of the Nazarene pastor I don't believe any of those pastor would send back to the RC Church. Few months I ask one of our missionary who spend 14 years in South America Do you believe that RC Church in South America is lot difference than it is here in USA. I think anyone will tell you there is a big diffrent between the RC in SC and what we have here.
    Thanks
    Larry
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  37. #157
    Senior Member Paul DeBaufer's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    I have been considering a couple posts, one which raised the issue of icons, i.e., statues of Mary, baby Jesus, et al., and another utilizing hyperbole by mentioning Easter eggs within the framework of a discussion on syncretism. I must wonder how icons that are part of the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, items used in that telling can possibly be representative of syncretism. They are used in the telling of the story of Christ, the communication of the message of faith and belief that IS Christian. It represents the one and the same message. This is NOT a case of mixing a non-Christian message with the Christian message, as it is part of that message.

    As for people praying to the icons I suppose that would be a form of idolatry. Yet we bow down before a cross and pray. Now I don't know anyone who would say that they are actually praying to the cross, but to Jesus, that the image, icon of the cross helps them focus and get in touch with Christ. So, the use of traditional, even if outside CotN tradition, icons within the church which represent the story of Christ cannot be syncretism. I suppose that they can rise to the level of idols for some, may look like it to others, yet in general do not.

    This supposition that there is something of the hypocrite in those who allow for the presence of Christian icons within the church, but not for American icons arises out of a false analogy and as such becomes a straw man argument. Or is it red herring?
    You can be right or you can be in relationship
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  38. #158
    Senior Member Cam Pence's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Parsons View Post
    Do you believe that our denomination was the only ones that sending out missionary to win the RC to Christ. You may not believe it but our church and other church are still winning to RC to Christ this may not be done through our missionary. Now it is been done through the Jesus Film Just few years I was in a Latin America country with a Jesus Film project and we invited people to come watch the film and guess who we were inviting right people that was claim to be RC. Believe me if any RC would have come forward after the film to talk to one of the Nazarene pastor I don't believe any of those pastor would send back to the RC Church. Few months I ask one of our missionary who spend 14 years in South America Do you believe that RC Church in South America is lot difference than it is here in USA. I think anyone will tell you there is a big diffrent between the RC in SC and what we have here.
    Thanks
    Larry
    Larry,
    My point remains. Churches should send out missionaries to evangelize the unsaved. Now if someone is part of the RC and does not feel like they haved been saved and they come to know Jesus through the Jesus film or from speaking and working with Nazarene missionaries then great. If they leave the RC and decide to join the CotN then fine. If someone is Nazarene their whole life and comes to know Jesus through the RC and joins them, then great. I could care less if our missionaries evangelize and there are people who respond to their ministries from other faith traditions. Where pride sinks in is when missionaries go specifically to evangelize Roman Catholics because they feel the Catholics are not Christians and need to be saved and made protestant. The RC is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they were "winning people for Christ" long before the reformation and certainly long before the CotN was around.
    "Love without holiness disintegrates into sentimentality. Personal integrity is lost. But holiness without love is not holiness at all. In spite of its label, it displays harshness, judgmentalism, a critical spirit, and all its capacity for discrimination end in nit-picking and divisiveness."-Mildred Bangs Wynkoop
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  39. #159
    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Cam Pence View Post
    Larry,
    My point remains. Churches should send out missionaries to evangelize the unsaved. Now if someone is part of the RC and does not feel like they haved been saved and they come to know Jesus through the Jesus film or from speaking and working with Nazarene missionaries then great. If they leave the RC and decide to join the CotN then fine. If someone is Nazarene their whole life and comes to know Jesus through the RC and joins them, then great. I could care less if our missionaries evangelize and there are people who respond to their ministries from other faith traditions. Where pride sinks in is when missionaries go specifically to evangelize Roman Catholics because they feel the Catholics are not Christians and need to be saved and made protestant. The RC is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they were "winning people for Christ" long before the reformation and certainly long before the CotN was around.
    Thank you, Cam. I knew we were friends for a reason!
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!

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    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

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    Re: Syncretism and patriotism

    Quote Originally Posted by Manny Silva View Post
    You are correct about that, Jim. My dad was a Roman Catholic until he became a Christian and was freed from the bondage of that works-based religion. I recall him telling me how in his wandering in the islands, going around preaching, he stumbled onto a village, where a bunch of people inside a small church, were waiting for hours for the priest to show up. Well, he asked if he could speak to them while waiting, and he preached the real Gospel for Jesus Christ to them. Practically the whole village heard the real gospel for the first time and repented from their sins upon hearing the message of the Cross.
    Cool story, bro.
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!
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