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Featured mainline churches and evangelicals

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by FireDragon76, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have noticed there seems to be a lot of animosity to mainline Protestant churches on this forum. I find this curious because there isn't nearly as much animosity in mainline churches against conservative and fundamentalist Christians, as vice versa. Most of us are too busy getting on with our lives to debate religions that mostly seem interested in only villifing us. Some of us (though not necessarily myself), the ones with front-row seats in the Kingdom of God, are just "too blessed to stress".
     
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  2. amariselle

    amariselle Jesus Never Fails

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    There seems to be a lot of "animosity" on this forum, period.

    But, on the other hand, sometimes people simply accuse others of being hateful or "bashing", even when they have presented Biblical or historical arguments/evidence. Or even when they are asking honest questions based on that specific denomination's actual teachings (and backed up with official sources).

    It's unfortunate, but people are often easily offended. Only having text to go on doesn't make that any less likely.
     
  3. Basil the Great

    Basil the Great Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It is hard to say who has the most animosity on Christian Forums. Let us hope that 2018 will see less animosity and more love and acceptance.
     
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  4. PeaceB

    PeaceB Well-Known Member

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    Too close to the Catholic whore of Babylon I guess!

    But seriously, my impression is that it is more prevalent in the US, and has a lot to do with our culture of individualism. Each of us likes to be in charge and hates being told what to do, so I think there is a natural aversion to structure or hierarchy. The more hierarchy, the more it is despised.

    Just my two cents, of course.
     
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  5. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, it's difficult honestly due to the forum rules. I believe it's actually easier to openly be a Mormon on this forum, in that respect. So in potential debates, if we are pressed about a matter, we often are just backed into a corner and we have to just take our hands off the keyboard, fold them up, and walk away. A great many mainline Protestants would never even bother trying to negotiate those sort of rules in the first place, and wouldn't be able to discuss things that are actually relevant to how their denomination operates without fear of tripping over some sacred cow.

    It could be down to that. Though in my own denominations case, the actual hierarchy is relatively weak, issuing mostly vague, ambiguous, but thoughtful social statements and directives, and this is common in mainline denominations (with some exceptions, like Episcopalians or Methodists). The funding we send to headquarters, the exact way we do the liturgy, even the gender of the minister or whether we conduct a same-sex wedding is completely up to the local congregation. We choose our own hymnal, and on Christmas, our pastor even reads from the King James Bible.

    The portrayal of us by conservative Christians, that we follow a centralized national leadership like lemmings, just isn't true. And this has been my experience not only in the ELCA, but also the Episcopal Church.

    My pastor is a relatively conservative Christian by mainline standards. He just prefers to be in a denomination with a liberal attitude. This is actually not rare in our churches. Recently I learned about Chaplain Mike on Internet Monk and he has a similar attitude, he became an ELCA chaplain in only the past few years, after spending years as a conservative evangelical outside the mainline. He came to the realization that liberal Christians bother him less than what he gains, and the service he can bring, being part of an historic church.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
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  6. ☦Marius☦

    ☦Marius☦ Orthodox Hillbilly Supporter

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    Anyone who believes there own interpretation of scripture to be above that of others, and therefore themselves above others, is falling to pride. There is so much hostility because people cannot see their own opinions "insulted". I feel evangelicals suffer from this particularly because pretty much all of their personal beliefs come from their own interpretation. To disagree is to insult their own interpretation, and therefore their own ability to understand God.

    A Christian who submits to church doctrine, whatever that church may believe will already be more humble, and more secure in their own beliefs. Why would I need to argue, when the statements I present are those of men who lived 2000 years ago infinitely more wise then myself? We must show those that hate and become angry that it is not in the spirit of Christ, and that is by example.
     
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  7. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    @☦Marius☦, I would say it's less about submission for us than just not being controversialists. We don't obsess about what some church with the same name on the sign out front is doing half a continent away. Church for us is always catholic but it is always local. So we have a high but local view of church.

    Submission for us is mutual in nature. I love the fact our church is shaped like Noah's Ark from those old 1950's portrayals. I thought of it as cheesy at first because it has the bland 1950's look so common to the modern architecture of the period (I love gothic and Byzantine architecture, by contrast). But as my pastor pointed out, it's a very catholic metaphor. It's a refuge where we together find salvation and grow together in Christ. Salvation is not as individualistic as in most evangelical churches.

    I really struggled with the fact we do not have the beauty of other churches, for a while. I like that in worship, and our worship does not have the grandeur of Catholic or Byzantine worship, even if our churches are not totally barren and sterile looking. But then I had a moving experience once, an encounter with an elderly German grandma that loves to hug everyone, even though she is so frail. It was so difficult for me (I'm an adult with autism and "aloof" at times, and neurotic about propriety) and I avoided it for some time, but she always offered to hug people, and for some reason I knew she wanted to hug me and was sad that I didn't. But I felt God guiding me to do that once. It was just like kissing an icon in how it felt to hug her.

    God had shown me a church filled with icons in that moment. And I think that says something about what is at the heart of the mainline experience. It's about unpretentious, hidden holiness, the Kingdom of God growing in quietness and patience like the lillies of the field.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  8. ☦Marius☦

    ☦Marius☦ Orthodox Hillbilly Supporter

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    What I mean to say is you and I both submit to a creed. We submit to certain teachings within our churches. Modern evangelicals pride themselves on not having creeds. They submit to no one's word but their own view on the Bible.
     
  9. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oh, that's very true, and I did not think of it that way. Though I would say in our own particular church, the creeds (we have three), while important, do not have the same kind of weight as in your church perhaps- and a few Lutherans prefer modern affirmations of faith in their day-to-day worship.

    But we do have a certain way of doing things that one is expected to be part of, and you'll have an uneasy time at coffee hour if you insist on imposing your way on everybody else. We are not radical individualists out to assert ourselves over others. Most of us do not come to church with Bibles unless it's Bible study wednesdays. Our sermons and worship are not consumerist or informational but formational, as it is in Orthodoxy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  10. Phil 1:21

    Phil 1:21 Well-Known Member

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    Very, very true. Unfortunately, we live in an age where a lot of folks are offended by simple disagreement. Even worse, we live in an age where a lot of people who fly the banner of Christianity would rather worship a god of their own image than the God in whose image we are made. Quite frankly, when a church deviates from the word of God, they should be called out on it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  11. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    I'm not sure that that's entirely correct. Hardly any church of any denomination--including evangelical churches and self-described "non-denominational" congregations--is without a published statement of beliefs.

    The issue with people who oppose "creeds" seems to be the requirement, if there is one, for them to publicly affirm their agreement with one or more of the historic creeds (Apostles,' Nicene, and Athanasian, for example) which are seen by some of the older church bodies as infallible or at least as definitive for Christians in general.
     
  12. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    I've responded to quite a few of your posts which vilify, stereotype and insult non-mainline Christians.

    Then again, forgive me as I might not be getting the entire story as the internet connection in my Fundamentalist, Evangelical wooden-tarpaulin shack (with Trump MAGA sign outside) in the Hillbilly West Virginia mountains is spotty at times.

    Now excuse me while I have to go back into my bakeshop where I will deny two Arian heretics for wanting me to bake them a cake which says "Jesus was a lesser, created being." (sarc tag)

    Forgive me,
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  13. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Very informative. It seems the emergent church has actually taken more hold in some mainline churches than in 'others.'
     
  14. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    How is the above being part of an historic church? None of those teachings came from the historic church.
     
  15. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Newbie

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    If we have equal animosity for the Fundamentalists and the mainline churches the problem would be fixed right?
     
  16. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    The institution, the organization, perpetuates itself. Its faith has become more closely defined by the "emergent church" idea.
     
  17. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    This is true. This is why exegesis is important to draw the truth from the Scriptures themselves and not 'read in' our own bias.

    Well we all have 'personal beliefs." Maybe your point is that there is a problem with folks who will not submit to a church leadership and body of fellow believers. I would agree with that.

    Can't argue that and quoted for truth.

    A most humble approach. I would add as good Bereans we too should search the Scriptures to see how those men 2000 years ago came to their conclusions.

    Now on the historic faith. If you could please answer the following:

    1. Does the historic faith condone same sex marriages (having members who are and also performing such) and offering communion to openly unrepentant sinners?

    2. Does the historic faith support ordaining priests/ministers which are openly and practicing homosexual, women or transgender?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  18. ☦Marius☦

    ☦Marius☦ Orthodox Hillbilly Supporter

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    We do not condone in any way same sex marriages or homosexuality, though because we look at sin in a different light then the west, we are much less judgmental of such things. That being said homosexual marriage will never be permitted. The church doesn't have much to say about trans issues other than transition goes against the original design of our bodies and therefore should not be supported.

    We do not allow women in clergy because of ritual impurity. (with the exception of some women monastics who are allowed to give the liturgy in all women monasteries)

    The Orthodox church manages to preserve its conservative spirit, while not being legalistic and judgmental towards those who cannot necessarily uphold those principles. We are after all, all sinners and come to church to repent.
     
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  19. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    A misunderstanding, unless you meant post-modern evangelicals like the emergent church.

    Evangelicalism is not a denomination. Those who identify with being Evangelical hail from Reformed Presbyterian, Reformed Baptists, Baptists, Methodist, NT Bible Churches, even Anglican and Church of England (John Stott was Church of England and some opined the 'pope' of Evangelicals). I do believe all of the aforementioned are creedal with at least the first 6 or 7 ecumenical councils. For example, the Reformed obviously follow the Westminster Confession of Faith. So it's not as 'loosey goosey' as you present.

    It seems the mass media is 'doing' to "Evangelical" as it did to "Fundamentalist" in the 80s and 90s.

    So when someone throws out a huge net to 'catch' an Evangelical they will yield many fish and types of fish. You just might have a few Evangelicals standing with you each Sunday at Mass who have submitted to Orthodoxy.

    The true heart of Evangelicalism is in proclaiming the Gospel message in both word and deed. To an Evangelical Christian, there is no higher calling than to live out and share this message and the truth of God's love.
     
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  20. PeaceByJesus

    PeaceByJesus Unworthy servant for the Worthy Lord + Savior

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    This charge could be laid at the feet of America's Founders, since, as with the NT church, it began in dissent from the established authority over the body from whence it arose. However, their dissent was not because of an animus against authority in general, in principle, and thus they affirmed the same, and their own respective bodies established their own, and which substantively reproof the corrupt authorities they dissented from, based upon higher authority

    As for Protestantism, it also being in compelled dissent, due to allegiance to a higher and infallible authority, with deviation from it by the established authority over the body from whence it arose had become critical is wired and in deed.

    However, while it also affirmed authority, and thus the Westminster Confession affirms "it belongeth to synods and councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith," yet, like as the 4tyh century church failed the test of freedom by becoming much like the State in ways and means, the Reformation, in a opposite reaction to a Caesariopapacy, division that was compelled due to basic deviation too often became the solution by Reformers for lesser issues, with some becoming much like what they had escaped (it was not the Catholics who imprisoned holy John Bunyan), while the most Christian souls, per usual, often became a persecuted remnant. Calvin and the Puritians saw theocracies in which, as with the Inquisitions, the state and its carnal means were employed in service to the church to punish merely theological offenses (as was commanded by popes before them).

    Rome, with her papal demigod had so corrupted the Scriptural model of a central magisterium of holy and wise apostles that even the Orthodox had rejected it long before the Reformation, yet which is yet the ideal, and a body of Godly but street-level men as much like those described in 2 Corinthians 6:4-10 as can be found by consent of the faithful, who work to deal with basic issues (cf. Deuteronomy 17:8-13; Acts 15) according to the weight by evidential Scriptural warrant, is what evangelicals should look for. And i think they would be the first to welcome a Peter or Paul.

    However, that of Catholicism with her distinctives is so much in contrast to what is manifest in the only wholly inspired record of what the NT church believed (including how they understood the gospels) that she is not even in the running.
    As a charge contrasting mainliners with conservative, fundamentalist Christians this does not hold water, for the hierarchy of mainliners can hardly be said to be strongly authoritative, at least not now.

    It is partly due to the contrast btwn authoritative preaching and leadership and that of mainline denoms, as well as what is preached (and not preached) that results in liberals feeling most at home there.

    Among other stats showing contrast, Catholics broke with their Church's teachings more than most other groups, such as with just six out of 10 Catholics affirming that God is "a person with whom people can have a relationship", and three in 10 describing God as an "impersonal force." _2008 The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Religious Landscape Study)

    80% of Catholics believe it is possible to disagree with the pope on official positions on morality and still be a good Catholic. (Time/CNN nationwide poll of 1,000 adults, conducted by Yankelovich Partners, Sept. 27-28, 1995)

    And as is abundantly evidenced, Catholics often disagree to varying degrees on just what is official church teaching, and what magisterial class it falls under, and their respective meanings.
     
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