What are we really supposed to do?

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This is a sermon from the second century when the Church was one. There were no formal schisms or quote unquote reformations. There was just the Church. Listening today is like watching one of those divorce court shows. Everyone has a reason for why one side is right and the other is wrong and their divorce is justified. We forget that God hates divorce and does not justify it. Let us look at what our forefathers had to say on the subject:





A sermon of the second century


The living church is the body of Christ


My name is constantly blasphemed by unbelievers, says the Lord. Woe to the man who causes my name to be blasphemed. Why is the Lord’s name blasphemed? Because we say one thing and do another. When they hear the words of God on our lips, unbelievers are amazed at their beauty and power, but when they see that those words have no effect in our lives, their admiration turns to scorn, and they dismiss such words as myths and fairy tales.


They listen, for example, when we tell them that God has said: It is no credit to you if you love those who love you, but only if you love your enemies, and those who hate you. They are full of admiration at such extraordinary virtue, but when they observe that we not only fail to love people who hate us, but even those who love us, they laugh us to scorn, and the Name is blasphemed.


Therefore, brothers, if we do the will of God the Father, we shall be members of the first spiritual Church that was created before the sun and the moon; but if we fail to do the will of the Lord, we shall be among those to whom it is said in Scripture: My house has been made into a robbers’ den. We must choose then, if we want to be saved, to be members of the Church of life.


You surely cannot be ignorant of the fact that the living Church is the body of Christ; for Scripture says: God made man male and female. Now the male signifies Christ, and the female signifies the Church, which, according to both the Old and New Testament, is no recent creation, but has existed from the beginning. At first the Church was purely spiritual, even as our Jesus was spiritual, but it appeared in the last days to save us.


For the spiritual Church was made manifest in the body of Christ, in order to show us that if we uphold its honour in the outward, visible form, and do not defile it, we shall, through the Holy Spirit, be made its members in the true, spiritual sense. For the body of the Church is a copy of the Spirit, and no one who defaces the copy can have any part in what the copy represents. In other words, brothers, you must preserve the honour of the body in order to share in the Spirit. For if we say that the body is the Church and the Spirit is Christ, it follows that anyone who dishonours his body, dishonours the Church. Such a man will have no part in the Spirit, which is Christ. But if the Holy Spirit is joined to it, this body can receive an immortal life that is wonderful beyond words, for the blessings that God has made ready for his chosen ones surpass all human powers of description.
 
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d taylor

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The physical visible church, was never the church Jesus is building. Jesus' church is made up of born again believers, children of God, which is not define by people who identify with a church, but people who have believed in Jesus for Eternal Life.
 
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The Liturgist

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The physical visible church, was never the church Jesus is building. Jesus' church is made up of born again believers, children of God, which is not define by people who identify with a church, but people who have believed in Jesus for Eternal Life.

Alas that perspective is not consistent with Matthew 16, 1 Corinthians in its entirety, the Acts of the Apostles, the ending of the Gospel of John, and the Apocalypse (Revelation), or the other Pauline epistles, for example, Galatians, 2 Thessalonians and 1 and 2 Timothy.
 
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The physical visible church, was never the church Jesus is building. Jesus' church is made up of born again believers, children of God, which is not define by people who identify with a church, but people who have believed in Jesus for Eternal Life.
God never said that His Church was invisible. To claim that is to ignore all of the glaring inconsistencies in word and in deed of those that claim to be “born again”. These claim to believe in Him, yet refuse correction.
All we like sheep have gone astray. This is not right. As Paul says, Is Christ divided? God forbid! We need to repent and ask God for the humility we so desperately lack
 
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d taylor

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God never said that His Church was invisible. To claim that is to ignore all of the glaring inconsistencies in word and in deed of those that claim to be “born again”. These claim to believe in Him, yet refuse correction.
All we like sheep have gone astray. This is not right. As Paul says, Is Christ divided? God forbid! We need to repent and ask God for the humility we so desperately lack
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God does not have to say that His church is invisible, that is an obvious observation, especially in this contemporary time period.

Being a member of a church is no sign or guarantee, that a person has believed in Jesus for God's free gift of Eternal Life and is a born again child of God.
 
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Is there more precise citation?

I wish I had that also. I would have to study it more to find the exact source. I found it in the Liturgy of the Hours, second reading for the Office of Readings for the 32nd week in ordinary time, Thursday Nov 16, 2023.
 
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God does not have to say that His church is invisible, that is an obvious observation, especially in this contemporary time period.

Being a member of a church is no sign or guarantee, that a person has believed in Jesus for God's free gift of Eternal Life and is a born again child of God.

It is true that being a member of a Church does not save us merely by being a member, neither does it bring honor to God to say that there is no visible Church and claim that it does not exist.
If there is no visible Church, then why attend Church at all? Because it is there to teach you.
Not everyone in a class listens to the teacher, it that does not disparage the message being taught. What are you being taught?
God’s Church teaches His commandments and does not water down the Gospel to make it “seeker friendly”
The point of the sermon is that if you are gong to claim the name of Jesus, then you better do what He says, humble yourself, deny yourself and follow Him. We don’t just take His name, say we are saved and keep doing whatever we want.
Jesus said if you love me, keep my commandments. Most denominations say that you can’t be saved by works, so why bother?
That attitude has caused God’s name to be blasphemed as the atheists, aka gentiles hear your words, but see your actions as you treating Jesus like He is a joke. Ten Commandments? Oh those are just ten suggestions. Wrong!
If you make Jesus words of no effect by saying that you are not saved by obedience, but by faith only. What do you expect the world to do but laugh you to scorn?
Jesus was mocked enough and spit on in Pilates court, when the put the crown of thorns and purple robe on Him. Do you think God is pleased if we continue to do the same thing?

Jesus calls all men everywhere to repent. He does not say to just take my name and don’t worry about it. He gives you ample warning to not follow that path
 
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I wish I had that also. I would have to study it more to find the exact source. I found it in the Liturgy of the Hours, second reading for the Office of Readings for the 32nd week in ordinary time, Thursday Nov 16, 2023.

If it didn’t cite the source, that’s kind of annoying, but I suggest you contact Fr. Zuhlsdorf of the wtdprs blog, because he could track it down. The Breviary and Orthodox service books for our Divine Office usually provide the name of the prayer. It’s amazing the number of prayers by St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom in the Eastern Orthodox Divine Office. In the Oriental Orthodox divine office major contributors are St. Ephrem and St. Jacub of Sarugh, the Harp and the Flute of the East (from an Orthodox perspective; the Assyrians give the latter title to Mar Nisibis, but I dislike his poetry; he wrote one hymn which is the most nauseating exposition of Nestorianism, which as you may recall is the heresy that gives me nightmares, that i have ever seen, in which he took various acts by our Lord, and in total ignorance or willful defiance of the concepts of Hypostatic Union, Communicatio Idiomatum, or any kind of Union of Communication at all, attributed them to the divinity or humanity of our Lord - it was Nestorianism ad Nauseum).
 
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tz620q

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This was the best attribution I could find from here:

"This excerpt from a homily written in the second century by an anonymous Early Church Father (Cap. 13, 2-14, 5: Funk 1, 159-161) speaks of what it means to honor and blaspheme the name of Jesus Christ and his body, the Church. This excerpt is read in the Roman Office of Readings on Thursday in the 32nd week in Ordinary Time. The accompanying biblical reading is taken from Daniel 9:1-4, 18-27."
 
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This was the best attribution I could find from here:

"This excerpt from a homily written in the second century by an anonymous Early Church Father (Cap. 13, 2-14, 5: Funk 1, 159-161) speaks of what it means to honor and blaspheme the name of Jesus Christ and his body, the Church. This excerpt is read in the Roman Office of Readings on Thursday in the 32nd week in Ordinary Time. The accompanying biblical reading is taken from Daniel 9:1-4, 18-27."
Thank you for looking that up. Much appreciated
 
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If it didn’t cite the source, that’s kind of annoying, but I suggest you contact Fr. Zuhlsdorf of the wtdprs blog, because he could track it down. The Breviary and Orthodox service books for our Divine Office usually provide the name of the prayer. It’s amazing the number of prayers by St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom in the Eastern Orthodox Divine Office. In the Oriental Orthodox divine office major contributors are St. Ephrem and St. Jacub of Sarugh, the Harp and the Flute of the East (from an Orthodox perspective; the Assyrians give the latter title to Mar Nisibis, but I dislike his poetry; he wrote one hymn which is the most nauseating exposition of Nestorianism, which as you may recall is the heresy that gives me nightmares, that i have ever seen, in which he took various acts by our Lord, and in total ignorance or willful defiance of the concepts of Hypostatic Union, Communicatio Idiomatum, or any kind of Union of Communication at all, attributed them to the divinity or humanity of our Lord - it was Nestorianism ad Nauseum).
Nestorianism does not give me nightmares. It rather causes me to wonder how some can believe something so inconsistent with truth

As I used to believe it myself, I cannot say that I changed, rather prayed to God to show me the truth and He answered me.
I am nauseated at how foolish I was
 
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Nestorianism does not give me nightmares. It rather causes me to wonder how some can believe something so inconsistent with truth

As I used to believe it myself, I cannot say that I changed, rather prayed to God to show me the truth and He answered me.
I am nauseated at how foolish I was

I just find it so ugly and perverse, I sometimes have nightmares about counterfeit Christianity.

Ironically despite using the hymns of Mar Narsai and venerating Nestorius, the Assyrians have not been true Nestorians since at least the sixth century, due to Mar Babai the Great implementing a Christological model based on Chalcedon also used by the Chaldeans, with the exception of a lunatic fringe like whoever runs the nestorian.org website.

However, the Coptic Orthodox, who are the anti-Nestorian church par excellence, are extremely suspicious of them and insisted they be excluded from some groupings of churches in the region, despite the reforms of Mar Dinkha IV, but in contrast the Syriac Orthodox, who are also Oriental Orthodox, have usually had very good relations with the Assyrians. But I cannot fault the Copts for their suspicions, since I see the Coptic Church as the foremost defender of Orthodoxy against Nestorianism, as my friend @dzheremi might concur. And the real Nestorians these days are found in those churches where a desire to avoid venerating the Theotokos has resulted in theologies that are toxic to a proper appreciation the Incarnation.

By the way, I had an idea on how to track down that homily. Firstly, are you using the one volume or the four volume Liturgy of the Hours? I have the large single volume. However, my thought is, we look up the day that homily is included in the Liturgy of the Hours using one of the old Breviaries on Divinum Officium

They have the OP (Dominican) Breviary, the Monastic Breviary, and the various iterations of the Roman Breviary such as its Tridentine version and the version revived by Pope St. Pius X. The Roman Breviary has historically been criticized as having been somewhat of a mess, which is why the Dominicans, Benedictines and other religious orders, even those which used the Missale Romanum rather than their own missal based on it (in addition to the Dominicans, the Carmelites, Norbertines and Carthusians, as well as several dioceses such as Braga in Portugal, Sarum, York, Hereford and Durham in England before the schism, and Lyons and Cologne on the continent, had their own variants of the Roman Rite some of which are quite exquisite, whereas the Mozarabic Rite is the last surviving pure variant of the Gallican Rite (other variants the content of which is preserved but not the use include the Beneventan, and the Ambrosian, the latter of which is thriving, used throughout the area of Milan, the industrial center of Italy, but which features Romanizations including the Roman Canon, but which retains the distinct chant and other features of the Gallican Rite, and was probably less destructively modified than the Roman and Maronite Rites in the period in which Vatican II’s Sacrosanctum Concilium was gravely misapplied).

At any rate, usually the contents of the Liturgy of the Hours are derived from the Breviary as it existed according to 1960s Roman rubrics, as reformed by Divino Afflatu under Pius X. And usually the homilies say who wrote them, if the information survives.

Failing that Fr. Zuhlsdorf or Fr. Hunwicke or someone like Gregory DiPippo of the New Liturgical Movement would know. And I am insanely curious, I want to answer @Ordinary Christian ’s question as it has become my own, not because I doubt the authenticity of this homily but because of my love for the Divine Office / Liturgy of the Hours and the treasures it contains, in each of the historical liturgical traditions, whether Roman, Ambrosian, Dominican, Syriac Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox (where it is particularly rich owing to it consisting of a monastic office, the relics of a cathedral office, and another monastic office, the Psalmody, and so forth, as @dzheremi can attest).

So to probe this, I will look into the antecedents for the Liturgy of the Hours, second reading for the Office of Readings for the 32nd week in ordinary time, Thursday Nov 16, 2023. Usually these are found in Matins, part of which became the Office of Readings and part of which was merged into Lauds, making something more like the Byzantine Orthros. But they can come from other offices.
 
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Thank you for looking that up. Much appreciated

Whoops, it looks like our friend already looked it up! Good for you @tz620q But in that case what I will do is instead take a look at what Matins looked like in the older Breviaries and post a comparison.

Out of curiosity @tz620q are you at all interested in liturgics?
 
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dzheremi

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However, the Coptic Orthodox, who are the anti-Nestorian church par excellence, are extremely suspicious of them and insisted they be excluded from some groupings of churches in the region, despite the reforms of Mar Dinkha IV, but in contrast the Syriac Orthodox, who are also Oriental Orthodox, have usually had very good relations with the Assyrians. But I cannot fault the Copts for their suspicions, since I see the Coptic Church as the foremost defender of Orthodoxy against Nestorianism, as my friend @dzheremi might concur.

From what little I've been able to find about them in English (I suspect there is more in Arabic published in Egypt and around the region, as that is usually the case with things that happen 'locally'), the meetings with them at the monastery (I think it was Deir Anba Bishoy, but don't quote me on that; it's been a while since I've read about this) back in the 1990s were not fruitful because of their approach to them. We, of course, are serious, as we are with anyone, but their attitude was something like "We do not demand that you cease venerating Cyril even though we do not care for him, so why do you demand that we cease venerating Nestorius?" As though it is a game of 'Go Fish' or something, and we each pick out something that the other has and make compromises based on what they'll accept of the truth about that (like Nestorius being a vile heretic, while St. Cyril is entirely orthodox). No.

I welcome correction as needed, but I am under the impression that the better relations they enjoy with the Syriac Orthodox is owed more to a common ethnolinguistic and cultural heritage, same as (say) the case between the various Syriac Catholics and the Orthodox in India, where I have been told that mixed Orthodox/Catholic families are not unheard of, as either way they're Syriac Christians.
 
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I appreciate everyone having interest in Liturgy. There is great wisdom there. The point of the sermon, however is that God started a visible Church and promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against her, yet we have caused the name of the Lord to be blasphemed because we do not do what He says or even question the value of His teaching.
There are two great commandments. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.
Too many of us stress the second commandment yet neglect the first. We just think that we have to be nice to our neighbor and not offend anyone and we are filling Gods command, but are we?
God says the world will hate you, but you are commanded to love your enemies. Why do we want to be popular? Did not God say, beware when they all speak well of you? We cannot have 30,000 denominations and say as long as I love my neighbor it doesn’t t matter what I believe about God. That is completely absurd.
If you love God, you seek Him with all your heart, no matter the cost to yourself. God is not a smorgasbord where we get to choose what we believe and put the name of Jesus on it. Hear oh Israel the Lord your God is one, not 30,000.
If you really had faith in God, you would seek Him out no matter where it takes you, and be like Jacob when he wrestled with God. I will not let you go save thou bless me. Everyone one see
to care about themselves and not what they are doing. Jesus commands us to deny ourselves and become as a little child.
How do we do that? Do what Revelation says to the Church in Laodicea. Do not say I am rich and have need of nothing, but realize that we are all dust and miserable blind poor and naked. We don’t know what we are doing
Jesus commanded us to be baptized but we argue whether it is necessary to be baptized to be saved rather than just doing it. Jesse breathed in the Apostles and gave them the authority to forgive sins, yet we argue that we are too good to go and confess to a priest. Jesus told us to do eat His flesh and drink His blood but we argue that it is symbolic and has no real meaning. Why do we think that? Really why?
Do we listen to our Lord and follow Him or do we have Jesus follow us?
I can say that until I humbled myself and submitted to the authority of His church, I could not escape my sin, but when I did, the sin that so easily beset me was gone. I pray that all of you may have that same grace. You want faith alone? Then just believe in God’s Church and follow her commands, and God will give you the grace to follow His commands, as He gave you His Church. Why would He bless you if you reject it?
 
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From what little I've been able to find about them in English (I suspect there is more in Arabic published in Egypt and around the region, as that is usually the case with things that happen 'locally'), the meetings with them at the monastery (I think it was Deir Anba Bishoy, but don't quote me on that; it's been a while since I've read about this) back in the 1990s were not fruitful because of their approach to them. We, of course, are serious, as we are with anyone, but their attitude was something like "We do not demand that you cease venerating Cyril even though we do not care for him, so why do you demand that we cease venerating Nestorius?" As though it is a game of 'Go Fish' or something, and we each pick out something that the other has and make compromises based on what they'll accept of the truth about that (like Nestorius being a vile heretic, while St. Cyril is entirely orthodox). No.

I welcome correction as needed, but I am under the impression that the better relations they enjoy with the Syriac Orthodox is owed more to a common ethnolinguistic and cultural heritage, same as (say) the case between the various Syriac Catholics and the Orthodox in India, where I have been told that mixed Orthodox/Catholic families are not unheard of, as either way they're Syriac Christians.

More specifically in India they are Mar Thoma (St. Thomas) Christians, referred to in the Hindu caste system as Nasranis, or they are members of an endogamous subgroup within the Nasranis descended from the Jewish survivors of a shipwreck who converted to Christianity in the Mar Thoma churches in Kerala in the fourth century, that has its own parishes for purposes of maintaining vital records, but at which any member of the respective church (i.e. Jacobite Orthodox at Jacobite Orthodox churches, Malankara Orthodox at Malankara Orthodox, and presumably Mar Thoma Catholic at Mar Thoma Catholic churches, etc) can receive the Eucharist and whose priests are ordained by bishops in the hierarchy as usual.

In my experience with Assyrians they are unable to grasp why other Christians would be annoyed by their veneration of Nestorius.
 
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Nestorianism envisages the divine Word as having associated with itself at the Incarnation a complete, independently existing man. From the orthodox point of view, Nestorianism therefore denies the reality of the Incarnation and represents Christ as a God-inspired man rather than as God-made-man.



My take is that God either came to earth and became man to save us from our sins or He did not. If Jesus is not God, then we are in the nightmare of the catchy tune but theologically crappy play, Jesus Christ Superstar: “Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, who are you what have you sacrificed? Jesus Christ superstar, do you think you’re who they say you are?”
That is how the world sees Him, as one voice of many, but we know Him as the Word of God incarnate, yet we put Him forth as that joke of a concept, if we do not obey Him.
 
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The physical visible church, was never the church Jesus is building. Jesus' church is made up of born again believers, children of God, which is not define by people who identify with a church, but people who have believed in Jesus for Eternal Life.
This line of thinking doesn't make sense since Scripture says The Church is The Authority.
 
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Whoops, it looks like our friend already looked it up! Good for you @tz620q But in that case what I will do is instead take a look at what Matins looked like in the older Breviaries and post a comparison.

Out of curiosity @tz620q are you at all interested in liturgics?
I am; but you are the king.
 
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