Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Chained to a Wall

"Orthodox"'s latest question asks what alternative someone can offer to someone like himself. The answer is freedom to believe the truth.

O: "Aren't I better off in the Orthodox Church?"


O: "Isn't reading and understanding scripture with assistance of the consensus of Christians in the historic church better than just confusion?"

False dilemma. Being a member of the Orthodox Church (as you have described it) does not permit you to read and understand Scripture in any meaningful way. The "consensus of Christians" of your sect is not merely "assistance" it is dogma.

Likewise, reading Scripture without being bound to accept one's sect's "consensus" conclusion is not "just confusion." It is the historic Christian approach, as evidenced by the Bereans in Scripture.

O: "Isn't the supposed certainty most Protestants seem to have about their own interpretation, more to do with their own pride and self-assurance, than any real understanding?"

That's a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. It is not "real understanding" simply to say "amen" to the consensus of one's sect. Furthermore, most Protestants are certain but yet qualify their certainty with fallibility, whereas "Orthodoxy" (as you have presented it) pridefully asserts the infallibility of the consensus of its sect.

O: "Since you are reformed and most protestants aren't, you would have to agree, wouldn't you?"


One who has left the primary authority of Scripture itself for the primary authority of the consensus of one's sect has chained oneself to the wall. It may be a wall that moves (like the Roman Catholic wall) or a wall that stands still (as "Orthodox" assersts of his sect). It may be a wall with much detail (as is the Roman Catholic wall - and as "Orthodox" seems to think is the case of "Orthodoxy") or a wall with very little detail (as other Eastern Orthodox folks have said). But one is chained to the wall.

But by chaining oneself to the wall, one has exchanged truth for certainty. It's a bad bargain. Certainty is only valuable if it is attached to Truth, but the doctrines of Eastern Orthodoxy are not the Truth.

Chaining oneself to the wall is a defense mechanism: it prevents one from being blown about. But it is better to chain oneself to a more sure foundation than the traditions of men: chain oneself to the Word, to the Scripture. Make the Scripture your rule of faith, not the traditions of the men if your sect.


P.S. This assertion is both inaccurate and absurd: "As far as I can see, your advice is that I should go off and wait for the Holy Spirit to tell me the 66 book list, something he never did for Chrysostom." Actually, my advice is to accept the Bible as the Word of God on faith, as Chrysostom did. If the edges are fuzzy - the core is not.

So also, this assertion is inaccurate and absurd: "And then I should enter into the land of confusion between all these protestant exegetes. " No, then you should search the Scriptures and do what they say.

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