Catholics CAN'T Answer This Question!!!

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Major1

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The Church started with 12 sinners who didn't stop sinning or stopped teaching because of it . Historical context can be read in light of what the Early Church Fathers have said . These documents, letters can be read today. they have a lot to say about how the content in the gospel should be understood .

The only content of the gospel is what is found in the Scriptures my dear friend. Please read and understand the words in the Scriptures themselves.

Galatians 1:9.........
As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
 
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Major1

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Paul is rebuking Peter is not related to doctrine but to the conduct of Peter ( Peter did not change the views he himself set forth at the Council of Jerusalem Acts 15:10)In Antioch he with drew from the table of the Gentiles because he fared giving offense to the Jewish converts . Paul had a perfect right to call him on it appealing to Peters own teaching . In History some Catholic saints called out Popes on their behavior . Peter was being a hypocrite

In regards to Apostolic Succession the early Church Bishops ( "overseers" ) believed it and was evidenced in their letters . They ( some ) were around at the beginning and afew were ordained ( laying on of hands ) by the very Apostles themselves. They passed this teaching to other early Bishops . I trust their witness because they were there .

Onto the papacy

I screwed up my second last last post to you . Pay no attention

There is NO Apostolic Succession in the Scriptures.

A lot of things can be assumed, but that doe snot make it truth or a doctrine.

Laying on of hands in no way translates one into the office of an Apostle. Laying on of hands is simply a way visually "AGREEING".

There can be and was not in any way a succession of the Apostolic office because of the requirements needed to qualify as an Apostle. Now, put your Catholic learning aside for just one minute and consider what the Bible says and NOT what the RCC says.

Shortly before his death, Jesus told his twelve apostles in Jn. 15:27.........
“And you also shall bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning” .

The apostles were a special group of messengers sent by Christ to spread the gospel message throughout the world. These men must have been with Christ during his ministry in order to qualify as his witnesses.

All the apostles were personally called and chosen by Christ himself. Luke writes in 6:13.........
“Jesus called unto him his disciples; and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles”.

Acts 1:21–22 .............
" So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”

Jesus appointed the apostles to do the founding work of the Church, and foundations only need to be laid once. After the apostles’ deaths, other offices besides apostleship, not requiring an eyewitness relationship with Jesus, would carry on the work.

Now, you are free to accept the RCC teachings on the Pope being in the office of an Apostle but as I just proved Biblically to you.....you cannot do so with the understanding that it is a Bible doctrine when clearly it is not.
 
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Major1

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I believe you and I believed that from your other posts .I am not here to convert anyone just posing a counter argument for the Catholic Church . Make people think . If someone doesn't have a true relationship with Christ , they have nothing . Christ is the way , the truth and the light . My counter argument is always open to others counter argument . I find this fun . I mean no ill will , so let us debate .

Darrel, there actually can not be a debate. You must understand that what you are believing in is the doctrine of men and it is not Bible Christianity.

I am A person who believes in the Bible.....not a religion made from men.

There is the truth of God's Word and then there is NOTHING.
 
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PeaceByJesus

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The literate people of those times were the educated elite, and a few self taught merchants... You are in effect saying that the 19th century novel [Dostoyevski and Hugo, for instance] were written for Kindle Fire reading comupters... For you seem to be arguing that Scripture was given for everyone to have their own personal Bible, when the times themselves did not and could not have allowed for it...
No, that is plainly not what i said. Why must you resort to a straw man? I contradicted your unequivocal "God intended His words to be...read aloud to the faithful for their hearing. NOT for their reading... Faith comes by HEARING - Not by reading" by saying, "the inspired writings were intended for both, as has been shown despite your assertions to the contrary." While the point is that whether by hearing or reading, the Scriptures were the supreme standard for obedience and testing Truth claims, versus assent by the laity to whatever is taught, based upon the premise of ensured veracity of ledership.
You seem to think that I regard private revelation as the ultimate authority for interpreting and validating an interpretation of Scripture... I do not...

No, not private revelation being the ultimate authority but that of "direct revelation" and teachings that are not written being exalted, with the veracity of which being based upon the ensured veracity of leadership, versus the weight of Scriptural substantiation.

My whole thrust here has been that the written is for the sake of Union with God in Holy Power..
Which your passages below affirm,
Because to know Him who is eternal and is life is to know eternal life. Likewise to whom Him who is the Truth is to know His word which is Truth, (Jn. 17:17) and to know the latter is to know the former.
This knowing above means being united to as in marriage, only infinitely more so...

Joh 5:24
ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν
Amen Amen I am saying to you all

ὅτι ὁ τὸν λόγον μου ἀκούων καὶ πιστεύων τῷ πέμψαντί με
that he hearing My teaching and believing in Him having sent Me

ἔχει ζωὴν αἰώνιον,
is having Life Eternal

καὶ εἰς κρίσιν οὐκ ἔρχεται,
and unto judgement is not coming

ἀλλὰ μεταβέβηκεν ἐκ τοῦ θανάτου εἰς τὴν ζωήν.
but has passed from Death unto Life...

This is speaking of the mature in the Faith of Christ....

It is your ambiguity that is a problem, as if theology was "words which are not lawful to be uttered," for what you have described hardly shows how this is contrary to private revelation being the ultimate authority for interpreting and validating an interpretation of Scripture, statements like "what is needed is not written verifiction, but direct revelation," conveys, even if under the premise of leadership necessarily being correct,

Certainly i concur that faith comes by the reception of the wholly inspired word of God, with God convicting souls and opening their hearts and giving repentant faith, resulting in the new birth, and thus "Union with God in Holy Power," but the word of God itself is alive and powerful, and the validity of a subjective experience of God is subject to testing by the established word of God, which Scripture most assuredly is.

This is the Lord the Word referring to His word which means His teaching, which is conveyed by words in part, and by His deeds far more...
No, not far more, for you are not going to obtain more of a clear a theology of conversion or of ecclessiology, etc. from what the Lord did, versus what He said both Himself on earth and by His Spirit. Your minimization of of words applies to most of the NT, while you would not reliably know what the Lord did except by His inspired written word.
τὸν λόγον, the word, is a huge term, and here means His teachings, and not His written words, as you seem to assume...
Oh how you enable in false dichotomies. It is not either Christ's teachings or His written words, but that of the latter being the sure source for the former, versus whatever a church says its the true tradition of His teachings. We reliably know of the teachings of Moses by the written word, versus Jewish fables, and likewise we reliably know of the teachings of the Lord by the written word as being the word of God in Scripture.

But I understand your need to separate the "Lord's teachings" from the written word for then you claim many things as being the teachings of the Lord that are not written.

The early Church went for decades without the Gospels, which were then written down... The Faith came before the Gospels, and the Epistles, and The Apocalypse...
What does that prove? Faith did not come apart from revelation, and which the OT scriptures the Lord taught provided, and by which standard He reproved the devil and religious leaders, and substantiated His ministry to His disciples by, rather than just relying on direct revelation. Nor was it tradition that He opened their understanding to, nor just to the 11.

Indeed, and by receiving His word one comes to know the God of revelation.

Agreed, meaning enfleshing His teachings in one's purified heart and living them... It is progressive and a matter of degrees...
Beginning at conversion, and with Scripture being the standard what one thinks God is like is subject to.

Which means that by the Light of His word and receiving it, one will not simply know ABOUT God but will KNOW God. And feeding upon, and being nourished and built up by it, and by walking in that light one will receive more light.
The written is a start, yes, and as you say, one must then WALK the TALK... It is the walking that matters, because the demons believe and tremble, but do not so walk, yes?
Why it is that you think I am merely speaking of intellectual enlightenment? Did I not follow my statement with, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free". (John 8:31-32)?
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1 Peter 2:2)

Here you make my point: The written is the milk of the Word, and not the meat... It is the starting point for the immature, the babes in the Faith, but the meat unto perfecting a person in the faith comes by DEEDS... ["Go... Sell ALL... Give to the poor... Then come... Follow Me (to Golgotha)]

Here you make my point: you somehow think my words such as "the Scriptures were the supreme standard for obedience" and "obtaining great rewards for the obedient" means all that i am arguing for its mere intellectual faith.

And as for your words, rather than receiving the written word being the mere beginning and the milk of revelation and "meat" being works, instead Scripture is both milk and meat, being Truth that is "fed" to believers, with the latter being as they are able, (1 Corinthians 3:2) with milk being "the first principles of the oracles of God" and "strong meat" being that which those who are "skilful in the word of righteousness" teach and the mature can receive, (Hebrews 5:12--6:2) Thus the admonition, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

The attainment is by deeds, not study... Reading and hearing are but the beginnings, the milk...
Wrong as another of your typical false either/or dichotomies. Instead, one begins with the milk of the word which is followed as one is able, as shown, and revelation is to be followed by corresponding consecration and obedience, with grown in holiness and works of faith, which is thus followed by more revelation. (John 14:23) Thus the attainment is by study, with greater illumination being by obeying what is revealed.

You cannot divorce the attainment of maturity from study and the obedience that flows from it, and the further revelation this brings, opening the Scriptures even more and the wisdom of the Spirit. Thus the statements,

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (Psalms 119:130)

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psalms 119:9)

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law [which word is broader than just the Torah]. (Psalms 119:18)

I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. (Psalms 119:99)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)

And Scripture, as the assured word of God, is the standard for what constitutes maturity

And if hearing the word is needful and commanded, and which preaching is tested by, thus personal reading is to be encouraged.
It is to be encouraged no question... But it was written within and for a predominantly illiterate culture... The educated classes simply had the responsibility to see to the copying, distribution and reading of the texts for the faithful...
Which is not the same as your prior unequivocal "not for reading" statement, while if it is to be encouraged, and the means are there to enable it, then we have my position, which includes magisterial authority and judgment nonetheless.
So I tried to have a little mercy on you and kept this shorter...
Well, who all it going to read it it anyway besides us.
Remember, in this post-modern nihilistic culture, YOU may be the ONLY Bible that many will EVER read...
Reading and believing are a start, but we are to LIVE the Gospel of Jesus Christ...
Arsenios

Where have i ever said otherwise?

The Gospel According to You
You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do, by the words that you say;
Men read what you write, whether faithless or true.
Say – what is the gospel, according to you? - Paul Gilbert [not me]-
 
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PeaceByJesus

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Just a mere moment of weakness, my man!

Reminds me of the cartoon of the young man posting furiously with bloodshot eyes at 3AM explaining himself to his mother: "Sorry Mom, but someone said something wrong on the internet!" :)
It would take me about the same time to write about computers, since the issue is arthritic fingers which means using one finger on each hand and lifting up my hands for each key and trying to press it which means (about 1 time out of 5) hitting a different one than i intended and then correcting them. Thank God for auto typo marking, and for choosing weak things of this world to confound things that are mighty, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are. (1 Corinthians 1:27,28)
The Reformation is soon to celebrate its 500th year...
By their fruits shall ye know them...
Europe is functionally atheist, with virtually all her Churches empty on Sundays...
The US is going "Spiritual" but not "Religious" , and her churches are being turned into art galleries and restaurants, or just closing up as the octogenerians fade into eternity...
That is another fallacious argument, unless you can show that such conditions are a result of obeying Reformation distinctives rather than declension from them, which is the reality. Or if obedience to them has never been shown to effect overall core faithfulness in essentials and morality which it has.

Looking at an era in the past, Alexis de Tocqueville (1805—1859, French political thinker and historian; best known for his two volume, “Democracy in America”, attested after visiting America,

The sects that exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in respect to the worship which is due to the Creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man. Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all sects preach the same moral law in the name of God...

Moreover, all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same...

There are certain populations in Europe whose unbelief is only equaled by their ignorance and their debasement, while in America one of the freest and most enlightened nations in the world fulfills all the outward duties of religion with fervor...

In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country. (Democracy in America, [New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1851), pp. 331, 332, 335, 336-7, 337; Tocqueville: Book I Chapter 17)

In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.


Also, Benjamin Franklin (1706—1790) in his booklet, "Information to those who would Remove to America" wrote ...serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practiced. Atheism is unknown there; Infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifested His approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness by which the different sects treat each other, and by the remarkable prosperity with which He has been please to favor the whole country. - Benjamin Franklin, "Information to those who would Remove to America" In Franklin, Benjamin. The Bagatelles from Passy. Ed. Lopez, Claude A. New York: Eakins Press. 1967; http://mith.umd.edu//eada/html/display.php?docs=franklin_bagatelle4.xml. Also, John Gould Curtis, American history told by contemporaries .... Volume 3, p. 26

And as for the present, while now in declension, it is those who hold most strongly to Scripture being the wholly inspired and accurate word of God who have consistently testified to having the greatest unity in core conservative beliefs, in much contrast to Catholics overall.

Meanwhile, what has the Russian Orthodox church has to show now?

Despite the opening of more churches and official and media support for Christianity in Russia in recent years, the share of Russians attending Christmas services was less than two percent of the Russian population – a decline by more than half over the last eight years. Russian officials and hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church routinely claim that 80 percent of more of the Russian people identify as Orthodox Christians, and polls show that almost that many acknowledge that they do, although they indicate that they only attend church and follow its rituals from time to time. - Window on Eurasia -- New Series: Share of Russians Taking Part in Christmas Services has Fallen by Over Half Since 2010

Pew reports:

Orthodox Christians make up an estimated 57% of Central and Eastern Europe’s total population, including large majorities in 10 of the 18 countries surveyed, from Russia to Serbia to Greece...But their orthodoxy does not necessarily translate into high levels of practice, or “orthopraxy” (derived from the Greek for “action”). For instance, a median of fewer than one-third of Orthodox Christians in the region report praying daily and fasting during holy times such as Lent. - Orthodox Christians in Europe more likely to believe than practice their religion
FT_17.05.30_orthodoxy-1.png


And under "pope" Putin, evangelical freedom has been basically outlawed, and Bible Christians persecuted, with the state being much an organ for the church and vice versa. So much for separation from Rome in this.
Much as we disagree, I thank you for spending 5+ hours with me!
God bless you, Bro'...
I love your zeal...
Arsenios
Its been far more than 5, but thanks be to God for what is good. And believe me (if not due to ensured veracity) that my opposition is not out of bigotry, but because i am to go where the Truth leads, with Scripture being the supreme standard for that, thanks be to God.
 
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Arsenios

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I also have wondered about the impact of Islam on European religion. Unfortunately, from what I can see from my limited perspective, the vast majority of Europeans' religious beliefs remain quite secular. I would appreciate hearing from someone with more insight than I have.
Me too...

er...

With more insight that I have...

Arsenios
 
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FireDragon76

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The presence of the influx of Islam there now might have had an impact... I would hope so...

20-25 years ago, attending Mass at Notre Dame Cthedral in Paris would find 5-6 attendees plus the Clergy... That is all I meant... I remember Bishop Hilarion, Head of External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, speaking of the virtual abandonment of Church Services in Europe...

Arsenios

That's common all over Europe, even in eastern Europe.

What you get isn't so much complete rejection of religion, as religious formalism. People baptize their kids in the state church, they may have them confirmed, and get buried in the state church, but they may not actually believe much of anything recognizably Christian. Many treat the rites as a cultural ritual without any connection to notions of personal faith.

Of course, some of this, as a Finnish regular here pointed out, is just viewing religion through an American lens.
 
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Arsenios

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Whether by hearing or reading, the Scriptures were the supreme standard
for obedience and testing Truth claims,
versus assent by the laity to whatever is taught,
based upon the premise of ensured veracity of leadership.

Here, I will let Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews answer you:

Heb 13:7
Remember them which have the rule over you,
who have spoken unto you the word of God:
whose faith you are following,
considering the end of their conversation.

Heb_13:17
Obey them that have the rule over you,
and submit yourselves:
for they watch for your souls,
as they that must give account,
that they may do it with joy, and not with grief:
for that is unprofitable for you.

Heb_13:24
Salute all them that have the rule over you,
and all the saints.
Those of Italy salute you.


So who, exactly, in your tradition, have the RULE OVER YOU?
Who are ALL OF THESE that keep vigil for your soul?
How many are they to whom Scripture prescribes:
SUBMIT YOURSELF...???
Which persons do you OBEY as Holy Scripture commands you to do?

Nothing here, you see, about obedience to a Book...

IF you believe that YOU will give account for YOUR OWN soul, having NO ONE to whom you have submitted yourself in obedience, then you are not living according to Scripture...

And even if all that is true of you, I say you will still be far, far ahead of me in the line to Salvation at the dread and last Judgement Day...

Arsenios
 
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FireDragon76

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Personally, I think the close connection between church and state in many European countries weakens the churches there. People associate the church as a function of the state that serves them... if they feel like it. There's lots of clericalism, too. It robbed the vitality of the churches and in some cases, even compromised them (such as in Germany in the 20's and 30's).

Catholicism may be doing better in comparison, perhaps because it is not as tied so closely to the state, and it has deeper cultural roots. But even so, anti-Catholic socialist influences have attacked the basis of faith in many southern European countries.
 
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Arsenios

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No, not private revelation being the ultimate authority but that of "direct revelation" and teachings that are not written being exalted, with the veracity of which being based upon the ensured veracity of leadership, versus the weight of Scriptural substantiation.

Then how, my dear brother, did Scripture ever get written? Was it not written by direct (eg private) Revelation from God to the Holy Ones who wrote it? The veracity of what is written is established by God as He affirms it in His Body, the Church... You "veracity of (carnal) leadership" is a strawman...


It is your ambiguity that is a problem, as if theology was "words which are not lawful to be uttered," for what you have described hardly shows how this is contrary to private revelation being the ultimate authority for interpreting and validating an interpretation of Scripture, statements like "what is needed is not written verifiction, but direct revelation," conveys, even if under the premise of leadership necessarily being correct,

This is the source of Theology:

And this is life eternal, that they might be knowing Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Joh 17:3

IF you are but reading the words of Scripture and drawing your logical inferences from them, then you do not have Theology, which proceeds from the Vision of God, but instead you have human speculation on the meanings of the Holy Book... "Blessed are the pure in heart [Repent and be Baptized, every one of you...] for they shall SEE GOD..." Knowing God is not merely knowing ABOUT God from other people's WORDS about God... Those words are seminal and holy, and one can in reading them have encounters with God, but it is the encounter, and not the words in the Book, that gives Life Eternal... Holy Union with God is WAY beyond fallen man's words... Words are milk... Needed...


Certainly i concur that faith comes by the reception of the wholly inspired word of God,

Faith comes by the CALL of God, however that may happen to work out to occur... "Whom He hath foreknown, these also He CALLS..."


No, not far more, for you are not going to obtain more of a clear a theology of conversion or of ecclessiology, etc. from what the Lord did, versus what He said both Himself on earth and by His Spirit. Your minimization of of words applies to most of the NT, while you would not reliably know what the Lord did except by His inspired written word.

Words only can teach so far - They are milk... Listen to Christ here:

"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now."


What does Christ mean, "Unable to bear words"?

Enough!

If words are the milk, than what is the meat?

Arsenios
 
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Arsenios

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No, not far more [by the Lord's deeds than His words], for you are not going to obtain more of a clear theology of conversion or of ecclessiology, etc. from what the Lord did, versus what He said both Himself on earth and by His Spirit. Your minimization of of words applies to most of the NT, while you would not reliably know what the Lord did except by His inspired written word.


It is His Life that Saves us, and his Baptism, teachings, miracles, healings, His Coming in Power on Mount Tabor, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension doing the Great Work of our Salvation... But He also did all these with some words also being spoken, no question... But the deeds indeed FAR more than what He said, which His Disciples were not getting all that much until AFTER His Ascension and the descent of the Tongues of Fire at Pentecost...



Scripture is both milk and meat, being Truth that is "fed" to believers

OK - I'll bite...

Show me where Scripture states BOTH...

I have already shown you where it is called milk...

The Gospel According to You
You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do, by the words that you say;
Men read what you write, whether faithless or true.
Say – what is the gospel, according to you? - Paul Gilbert [not me]-

This last finally turned on a light for me -
Repentance does not write another chapter of the Gospel...
No wonder you are so outraged!
I would be too...
I mean, the Acts of the Apostles and those who follow them are ongoing to this present day and hour, no question... But the Gospel is the same:
"Repent and be Baptized, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"
Through repentance, God grants His Mercy to those who are overcoming their sins...
For we are saved through the Faith of Christ which He discipled to His Disciples, repenting as the Gospel commands us to repent, andthrough this repentance, we are saved by the Grace of God...
We are saved by Grace through the Faith...

We are to become the Gospel, enfleshed in our purified hearts, the Living Gospel of Christ on earth...
"Be ye perfected, as God in Heaven is Perfect..."
"But narrow and straited the Way leading to Salvation...
And few are they who find it..."

You can't raise babies without milk...
But later, ya gotta fire up the Barbie!

Arsenios
 
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Arsenios

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It would take me about the same time to write about computers, since the issue is arthritic fingers which means using one finger on each hand and lifting up my hands for each key and trying to press it which means (about 1 time out of 5) hitting a different one than i intended and then correcting them. Thank God for auto typo marking, and for choosing weak things of this world to confound things that are mighty, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are. (1 Corinthians 1:27,28)

What a blessed life!
Are you older than me???
I am older that 70...

Suffering for the sake of the Truth, wherever it leads, is Orthodox! :)

That is another fallacious argument, unless you can show that such conditions are a result of obeying Reformation distinctives rather than declension from them, which is the reality. Or if obedience to them has never been shown to effect overall core faithfulness in essentials and morality which it has.

Their children are departing from their faith...

Looking at an era in the past, Alexis de Tocqueville (1805—1859, French political thinker and historian; best known for his two volume, “Democracy in America”, attested after visiting America,

The sects that exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in respect to the worship which is due to the Creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man. Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all sects preach the same moral law in the name of God...

Moreover, all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same...

There are certain populations in Europe whose unbelief is only equaled by their ignorance and their debasement, while in America one of the freest and most enlightened nations in the world fulfills all the outward duties of religion with fervor...

In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country. (Democracy in America, [New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1851), pp. 331, 332, 335, 336-7, 337; Tocqueville: Book I Chapter 17)

In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.


Also, Benjamin Franklin (1706—1790) in his booklet, "Information to those who would Remove to America" wrote ...serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practiced. Atheism is unknown there; Infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifested His approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness by which the different sects treat each other, and by the remarkable prosperity with which He has been please to favor the whole country. - Benjamin Franklin, "Information to those who would Remove to America" In Franklin, Benjamin. The Bagatelles from Passy. Ed. Lopez, Claude A. New York: Eakins Press. 1967; http://mith.umd.edu//eada/html/display.php?docs=franklin_bagatelle4.xml. Also, John Gould Curtis, American history told by contemporaries .... Volume 3, p. 26


I love Alexis de T...


And as for the present, while now in declension, it is those who hold most strongly to Scripture being the wholly inspired and accurate word of God who have consistently testified to having the greatest unity in core conservative beliefs, in much contrast to Catholics overall.

The Apostolic Churches can stray just as far, and holding our children is hard in this era of Christian decline... Yet we hold more because our children are baptized at 40 days of age, and grow up as infants in the chanting of the Services of the Faith...

Meanwhile, what has the Russian Orthodox church has to show now?

Well, for one, surviving 80+ years of atheist persecutions that killed well over 80% of their clergy... And virtually ALL of their Bishops... The remaining ones co-opted by the atheists...

Despite the opening of more churches and official and media support for Christianity in Russia in recent years, the share of Russians attending Christmas services was less than two percent of the Russian population – a decline by more than half over the last eight years. Russian officials and hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church routinely claim that 80 percent of more of the Russian people identify as Orthodox Christians, and polls show that almost that many acknowledge that they do, although they indicate that they only attend church and follow its rituals from time to time. - Window on Eurasia -- New Series: Share of Russians Taking Part in Christmas Services has Fallen by Over Half Since 2010
http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/01/share-of-russians-taking-part-in.html

I would be interested to see how extensively they attended Pascha...

And how many monastics now there are in Russia...

Pew reports:

Orthodox Christians make up an estimated 57% of Central and Eastern Europe’s total population, including large majorities in 10 of the 18 countries surveyed, from Russia to Serbia to Greece...But their orthodoxy does not necessarily translate into high levels of practice, or “orthopraxy” (derived from the Greek for “action”). For instance, a median of fewer than one-third of Orthodox Christians in the region report praying daily and fasting during holy times such as Lent. - Orthodox Christians in Europe more likely to believe than practice their religion
FT_17.05.30_orthodoxy-1.png

That sounds about right...

And under "pope" Putin, evangelical freedom has been basically outlawed, and Bible Christians persecuted, with the state being much an organ for the church and vice versa. So much for separation from Rome in this.

They are a Christian Nation, like we used to be and lost it... Putin is not the Patriarch of the Church, and vice versa... But they are not a culture like ours - They have a constitutional but statist authoritarian government, and each form of Government has its issues...

Its been far more than 5, but thanks be to God for what is good. And believe me (if not due to ensured veracity) that my opposition is not out of bigotry, but because i am to go where the Truth leads, with Scripture being the supreme standard for that, thanks be to God.

I love your dedication - And your witness to what you understand to be true...

My fingers ain't what they used to be neither!

Arsenios
 
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Arsenios

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Its been far more than 5 (hours replying to Arsenios), but thanks be to God for what is good.

Glory to God in ALL things!

And believe me...

My brother, you are not one who will willingly deceive, OK?

(if not due to ensured veracity)

Does that mean "UNLESS due to ensured veracity?" How could that make you bigoted?

that my opposition is not out of bigotry,

Your opposition is from a profound grounding in an integrity both chosen and Revealed...

but because i am to go where the Truth leads,

Which proves "Revealed" ...

with Scripture being the supreme standard for that,

To which I would only amend: "With Scripture PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD being a SURE standard..."

thanks be to God.

Who IS HIMSELF the Supreme Standard...

Thanks be to God in ALL things...

And my Brother, I thank God for YOU...

Arsenios
 
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Acts 1:21–22 .............
" So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”

Jesus appointed the apostles to do the founding work of the Church, and foundations only need to be laid once. After the apostles’ deaths, other offices besides apostleship, not requiring an eyewitness relationship with Jesus, would carry on the work.

The Christian faith is built upon the foundation of the apostles. The word “foundation” proves that it does not die with apostles, but carries on through succession.---Eph.2:20.

Now, you are free to accept the RCC teachings on the Pope being in the office of an Apostle but as I just proved Biblically to you.....you cannot do so with the understanding that it is a Bible doctrine when clearly it is not.


But then look at the preceding verses, Acts 1:15-26. The first thing Peter does after Jesus ascends into heaven is implement apostolic succession. Matthias is ordained with full apostolic authority. Only the Catholic Church can demonstrate an unbroken apostolic lineage to the apostles in union with Peter through the sacrament of ordination and thereby claim to teach with Christ’s own authority.

A closer look at Acts 1:20 shows a successor of Judas is chosen. The authority of his office (his “bishopric”) is respected notwithstanding his egregious sin. The necessity to have apostolic succession in order for the Church to survive was understood by all. God never said, “I’ll give you leaders with authority for about 400 years, but after the Bible is compiled, you are all on your own.”

A lot of things can be assumed, but that doe snot make it truth or a doctrine.

Like "implied truth?"

There is NO Apostolic Succession in the Scriptures.


Matt. 10:1,40 – Jesus declares to His apostles, “he who receives you, receives Me, and he who rejects you, rejects Me and the One who sent Me.” Jesus freely gives His authority to the apostles in order for them to effectively convert the world.

Matt. 16:19; 18:18 – the apostles are given Christ’s authority to make visible decisions on earth that will be ratified in heaven. God raises up humanity in Christ by exalting his chosen leaders and endowing them with the authority and grace they need to bring about the conversion of all. Without a central authority in the Church, there would be chaos (as there is in Protestantism).

Luke 9:1; 10:19 – Jesus gives the apostles authority over the natural and the supernatural (diseases, demons, serpents, and scorpions).

Luke 10:16 – Jesus tells His apostles, “he who hears you, hears Me.” When we hear the bishops’ teaching on the faith, we hear Christ Himself.

Luke 22:29 – the Father gives the kingdom to the Son, and the Son gives the kingdom to the apostles. The gift is transferred from the Father to the Son to the apostles.

Num 16:28 – the Father’s authority is transferred to Moses. Moses does not speak on his own. This is a real transfer of authority.

John 5:30 – similarly, Jesus as man does nothing of His own authority, but He acts under the authority of the Father.

John 7:16-17 – Jesus as man states that His authority is not His own, but from God. He will transfer this authority to other men.

John 8:28 – Jesus says He does nothing on His own authority. Similarly, the apostles will do nothing on their own authority. Their authority comes from God.

John 12:49 – The father’s authority is transferred to the Son. The Son does not speak on his own. This is a transfer of divine authority.

John 13:20 – Jesus says, “he who receives anyone who I send, receives Me.” He who receives the apostles, receives Christ Himself. He who rejects the apostles and their successors, rejects Christ.

John 14:10 – Jesus says the Word He speaks is not His own authority, but from the Father. The gift is from the Father to Jesus to the apostles.

John 16:14-15 – what the Father has, the Son has, and the Son gives it to the apostles. The authority is not lessened or mitigated.

John 17:18; 20:21 – as the Father sends the Son, the Son sends the apostles. The apostles have divinely appointed authority.

Acts 20:28 – the apostles are shepherds and guardians appointed by the Holy Spirit / 1 Peter 2:25 – Jesus is the Shepherd and Guardian. The apostles, by the power of the Spirit, share Christ’s ministry and authority.

Jer. 23:1-8; Ezek. 34:1-10 – the shepherds must shepherd the sheep, or they will be held accountable by God.
 
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PeaceByJesus

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PeaceByJesus said:

Whether by hearing or reading, the Scriptures were the supreme standard
for obedience and testing Truth claims,
versus assent by the laity to whatever is taught,
based upon the premise of ensured veracity of leadership.

Here, I will let Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews answer you:

Heb 13:7
Remember them which have the rule over you,
who have spoken unto you the word of God:
whose faith you are following,
considering the end of their conversation.

Heb_13:17
Obey them that have the rule over you,
and submit yourselves:
for they watch for your souls,
as they that must give account,
that they may do it with joy, and not with grief:
for that is unprofitable for you.

Heb_13:24
Salute all them that have the rule over you,
and all the saints.
Those of Italy salute you.


So who, exactly, in your tradition, have the RULE OVER YOU?
Who are ALL OF THESE that keep vigil for your soul?
How many are they to whom Scripture prescribes:
SUBMIT YOURSELF...???
Which persons do you OBEY as Holy Scripture commands you to do?

Nothing here, you see, about obedience to a Book...

IF you believe that YOU will give account for YOUR OWN soul, having NO ONE to whom you have submitted yourself in obedience, then you are not living according to Scripture...

And even if all that is true of you, I say you will still be far, far ahead of me in the line to Salvation at the dread and last Judgement Day...

Arsenios

I nowhere argued according to this either/or proposition, but affirmed that obedience to Scripture as supreme includes magisterial oversight (and i can provide a record of long term overall submission to leadership in evangelical fellowship, from strict to lax). Thus once again it seems you present a false dilemma, that (in the context of the debate over the supreme standard) one either holds Scripture to be the supreme authority, which thus eliminates church leadership as being so, and as them giving an account for one's soul, or one holds church leadership to be the supreme authority, and which eliminates Scripture as being so ("Nothing here, you see, about obedience to a Book"), and you giving an account for your soul.

However, there is no mutual exclusion, for in fact obedience to Scripture as supreme is what requires (conditional) obedience to leadership, and who will give an account for how they shepherded souls, while Scripture teaches that believers will give an account for their own souls.

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10) Which has to do with the loss or receiving of rewards and the Lord's approval, not salvation.


Thus the "either/or" argument is invalid, while you ignore (or vainly try to counter) the actual issue, which is not that obedience to leadership is not Scriptural, but the conditional nature of it, that as in the statement you are responding to, Whether by hearing or reading, the Scriptures were the supreme standard for obedience and testing Truth claims, versus assent by the laity to whatever is taught, based upon the premise of ensured veracity of leadership.

Therefore if you are going to attack wholly inspired Scripture as the supreme standard for obedience and testing Truth claims, then what you need to argue for is not simply general obedience to leadership, but assent by the laity to whatever is taught, based upon the premise of ensured veracity of leadership. Or whatever you hold as being the basis for implicit assent to leadership, and which necessarily excludes any validity of principled dissent.

Perhaps you believe the historical instruments and stewards of Divine revelation (oral and written) warrants this.
 
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PeaceByJesus

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Then how, my dear brother, did Scripture ever get written? Was it not written by direct (eg private) Revelation from God to the Holy Ones who wrote it? The veracity of what is written is established by God as He affirms it in His Body, the Church... You "veracity of (carnal) leadership" is a strawman...
No, it is no strawman, for the writers of Holy Writ while writing such did possess ensured veracity, not only in providing direct revelation - which technically speaking, only makes up part of Scripture - but in recording what had been taught, including interpretation of what was written.

And as the wholly inspired established word of God, implicit obedience to Scripture can be required.

Your problem is that in order to require implicit obedience to leadership then you must ascribe to them the same ensured veracity the writers realized while writing Scripture, and thus the question remains, what is the basis for this premise of ensured magisterial veracity?

This is the source of Theology: And this is life eternal, that they might be knowing Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Joh 17:3
Which is simply subjective when taken in isolation from the wholly inspired words of the Christ, by which you even know of the above saying, and which tells of the prophesied Christ (Luke 24:44) we are to believe in, (John 20:31) and how to know Him and eternal life, (1 John 5:13) and ascertain if any understanding we are given of Christ is true, (Acts 17:11) who is revealed by His word, in the person of Christ as recorded in Scripture, and the words of His which He inspired. You cannot separate the two.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3).
IF you are but reading the words of Scripture and drawing your logical inferences from them, then you do not have Theology, which proceeds from the Vision of God, but instead you have human speculation on the meanings of the Holy Book.
Rather, while there can be a limited scope of interpretive difference, at least there is something of Divine authority to interpret, and it is your subjective "Vision of God" - of which there are variant and even blasphemous multitudes - must be subject to the Objective, the wholly inspired words of God/Christ, which one will be judged by.


He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:48)

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ [whose words in the gospel Paul rarely mentions, but who is writing His words] and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, (1 Timothy 6:3,4)
.. "Blessed are the pure in heart [Repent and be Baptized, every one of you...] for they shall SEE GOD..." Knowing God is not merely knowing ABOUT God from other people's WORDS about God... Those words are seminal and holy, and one can in reading them have encounters with God, but it is the encounter, and not the words in the Book, that gives Life Eternal... Holy Union with God is WAY beyond fallen man's words... Words are milk... Needed...
Wholly inspired Scripture is not simply "other people's WORDS about God," which is nigh unto blasphemous, for they are the very word of God Himself, revealing both Himself and His character and attributes as well as the nature and need of man, and the means of salvation, by which all Truth claims are tested by.

While it is God who convicts souls of their need for salvation and opens hearts and grants repentant faith, yet the word of God is not just not merely knowing ABOUT God from other people's WORDS about God, for

"the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63)


"It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)

"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward." (Psalms 19:7-11)


If being the expression of God and means to know God are to be demeaned then you might as well demean Christ, who is the express revelation of the Father, by whom one knows God. To receive His express Divine revelation is to receive Him.
Faith comes by the CALL of God, however that may happen to work out to occur... "Whom He hath foreknown, these also He CALLS..."
And faith comes by revelation, by the reception of the word of God, which Scripture most assuredly is, versus your own private revelations.
Words only can teach so far - They are milk...
And as shown but ignored, Scripture is both milk and meat, being Truth that is "fed" to believers, with the latter being as they are able, (1 Corinthians 3:2) with milk being "the first principles of the oracles of God" and "strong meat" being that which those who are "skilful in the word of righteousness" teach and the mature can receive, (Hebrews 5:12--6:2)

"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now."
What does Christ mean, "Unable to bear words"?
You strategically left out "now." The question is why is the Lord even emphasis His words and promises more, since in your low view Scripture is merely the words of others designed to get you a started. Instead, are shown, they are spirit, they are life, being salvific and what man is to live by, and grow thereby.

Therefore Christ, as the incarnated word of God, speaks God's words, and promises more revelation, which are indeed the words of Christ, and thus we have more than just 4 books in the NT.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (John 16:13-14)

Enough! If words are the milk, than what is the meat? Arsenios
Why not read what I wrote and referenced? Is there not a distinction made btwn milk and meat in the context of the same manner of revelation being "fed" to believers? Is not milk referred to as the first "the first principles of the oracles of God," these being "Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment" (Hebrews 6:2) which is followed by such "meaty" teachings as that of reprobation, (Hebrews 6:3-12) and details of the superiority of the promised new covenant and its meaning, thus going on to perfection? Yes, such is the "meat" of the nourishing word, by which all revelation is tested.
 
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PeaceByJesus

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It is His Life that Saves us, and his Baptism, teachings, miracles, healings, His Coming in Power on Mount Tabor, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension doing the Great Work of our Salvation... But He also did all these with some words also being spoken, no question... But the deeds indeed FAR more than what He said, which His Disciples were not getting all that much until AFTER His Ascension and the descent of the Tongues of Fire at Pentecost...

We know of His Baptism, teachings, miracles, healings, His Coming in Power on Mount Tabor, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension doing the Great Work of our Salvation because they are written, as with what His Disciples realized AFTER His Ascension and the descent of the Tongues of Fire at Pentecost.

And which manifestations are to continue, but miracles (which the devil can also do) themselves are no replacement for the comprehensive nature of the word of God, but instead they are attestations to the word,

And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (Mark 16:20)

Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. (Acts 14:3)

OK - I'll bite...Show me where Scripture states BOTH... I have already shown you where it is called milk...
And i have already shown you where in the same context of the means of revelation is it called meat. It is sad that you cannot see it.

The Gospel According to You
You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do, by the words that you say;
Men read what you write, whether faithless or true.
Say – what is the gospel, according to you? - Paul Gilbert [not me]

This last finally turned on a light for me -
Repentance does not write another chapter of the Gospel...
No wonder you are so outraged!
I would be too...I mean, the Acts of the Apostles and those who follow them are ongoing to this present day and hour, no question... But the Gospel is the same:
What? You think i am advocating writing another chapter of the Gospel by the poem "the gospel according to you? How could you not see that i was contextually responding to your statement that "Remember, in this post-modern nihilistic culture, YOU may be the ONLY Bible that many will EVER read..." You were not more advocating writing another chapter of the Gospel than i was, but which i readily recognized.

Supposing i was advocating writing another chapter of the Gospel mean that rather a "light" that being turned on then it was darkness.
"Repent and be Baptized, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"

Through repentance, God grants His Mercy to those who are overcoming their sins...

For we are saved through the Faith of Christ which He discipled to His Disciples, repenting as the Gospel commands us to repent, andthrough this repentance, we are saved by the Grace of God...
We are saved by Grace through the Faith...
We are to become the Gospel, enfleshed in our purified hearts, the Living Gospel of Christ on earth...
"Be ye perfected, as God in Heaven is Perfect..."
"But narrow and straited the Way leading to Salvation...
And few are they who find it..."
You can't raise babies without milk...
But later, ya gotta fire up the Barbie!
There is nothing here that conflict with what i said, though you may perceive it as doing so, except that going on to perfection as regards "meat" refers to instruction in doctrine, as referenced. (Hebrews 5:12--6:2ff)
 
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PeaceByJesus

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What a blessed life!
Are you older than me???
I am older that 70...
No, 65, and blessed indeed.
Suffering for the sake of the Truth, wherever it leads, is Orthodox! :)
Small "o."
Their children are departing from their faith...
Indeed, if they even have any in God vs. materialism and science.
And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. (Deuteronomy 32:20)
I love Alexis de T...
Who testifies to a past in clear contrast to liberal ethos.
The Apostolic Churches can stray just as far, and holding our children is hard in this era of Christian decline... Yet we hold more because our children are baptized at 40 days of age, and grow up as infants in the chanting of the Services of the Faith...
As a remnant, and declension was your argument against validity, but which works against the Orthodox as well as Catholics.
Well, for one, surviving 80+ years of atheist persecutions that killed well over 80% of their clergy... And virtually ALL of their Bishops... The remaining ones co-opted by the atheists...
The devil can work to beat any degree of faith both by persecution as well as by infiltration and compromise. With 78.3 % of the Russian population declared they to belong to Orthodox faith yet Russia had the highest number of abortions per woman of child-bearing age in the world according to UN data as of 2010 (NY Times).
I would be interested to see how extensively they attended Pascha...
And how many monastics now there are in Russia...
Well, no more than 1% of Russians said [2008] they attended religious services at least once a month and attenders monthly or more often attenders was 9% in 1998 and 7% in 2008, and 39% of Russians said they never attended church (and 35% around once a year or so).
Of course, while Orthodox may tout about 80% of Russians are Orthodox, only 15% of Russians profess belief in life after deayh, Russians Return to Religion, But Not to Church
That sounds about right...
Then you have your own recent history of sectarianism.

They are a Christian Nation, like we used to be and lost it... Putin is not the Patriarch of the Church, and vice versa... But they are not a culture like ours - They have a constitutional but statist authoritarian government, and each form of Government has its issues..
.
No, Russia is no Christian Nation than America is, while the degree of union of church and state in Russia is one that only exists in the imagination of the more rabid separationists in America as regards a Christian faith.
I love your dedication - And your witness to what you understand to be true...
My fingers ain't what they used to be neither!
Arsenios
Well, dedication is not good unless it is for what is true. Which is what i want be dedicated to.
 
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Arsenios

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So here is a story about our Metropolitan - Head of the Church of Antioch in the United States -

He is an older guy, maybe your age, bald mostly, no beard nor mustache, a little under 6', and pretty strong... And he travels through airport terminals a lot... He is a monastic Bishop, speaking Arabic, Greek and American... He loves to tell this story - About the TSA guard in a major airport.

He is walking through the terminal in his black cassock, alone, carrying his case for the crown he is in obedience to wear during Services... And he has his Clerical Hat on... And the TSA guard stops him:

"What do you have in the case, Sir?" he asks...
"My Crown", answers our Metropolitan...
"Would you please open the case and let me see what is in it?" asks the TSA guard...
And our Metropolitan opens the case and pulls out this lovely bejewelled and gold Crown... The guard's eyes open wide and he says: "Are those real jewells and is that real gold?"
And our Metropolitan replies: "Gosh, I wish..."
And the guard asks: "So are you royalty?"
And our Metropolitan placed his hand out palm up and gestured upwards saying: "Higher..."
Then the guard asked "Are you some kind of Middle Eastern Prince?" [Our Metropolitan is a Syrian Arab]
And he replied with the same gesture and smiling eyes with upraised eyebrows: "Higher..."
And the guard said: "You're NOT the King of a country, are you???"
And the Metropolitan repeated with the same gesture "Higher..."

The guard was genuinely perplexed: "What is higher than the ruler of a country?"

And our blessed Metropolitan replied: "I am an unworthy servant of the Most High God, and His Son, Jesus Christ..."

He loves to tell this story... And can add: "We are never higher than when our forehead is pressed against the dirt..."

You take care...

Arsenios
 
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Arsenios

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[QUOTE="PeaceByJesus, post: 72210066, member: 325380"
Your problem is that in order to require implicit obedience to leadership then you must ascribe to them the same ensured veracity the writers realized while writing Scripture, and thus the question remains, what is the basis for this premise of ensured magisterial veracity?[/QUOTE]

Actually, it is simply obedience within the Body of Christ to those who have "The Rule Over You"... Paul wrote about it in Hebrews:

Heb_13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Heb_13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Heb_13:24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.

Who has the Rule OVER you, my Brother?

Arsenios
 
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