Friday, December 28, 2012
I will try to pick up my work on this blog but it will be slow going.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Arius lived from 256 – 336 A.D. He was born in north Africa and it would seem that he studied at the school of Antioch, which during this time was one of the two great schools of learning, the other one being in Alexandria. His teacher while in Antioch was named Lucian (Moyer, 17).
Lucian's date of death is all we know and this was in 312 he was born in Samosata Syria and he was taught in Edessa and maybe in Caesarea. After this be went to Antioch and started a school and was ordained a presbyter. Two of his students were Arius and Eusebius of Nicomedia and it is believed that Lucian is the real founder of the Arian Heresy. Lucian was excommunicated because he was thought to be a heretic, from 268 to 303 A.D. He was readmitted to the church under St. Cyril's episcopacy. The end of his life was that of martyr in the area of Diocletian: he was arrested for being a christian and was then brought to Nicomedia where he made a defense for himself before the judge but was still sentenced to death and ended up dying while being tortured in prison in 312 A.D. It is said that a year earlier he came back to the orthodox faith and left his old view behind.(Moyer 257)
Now that we see where Arius came from we will move back to his life. He became a parish priest at Baukails: this was the one of oldest and important church at this time. This is the area that was thought to be the area where the tomb of St. Mark was along with many other martyrs. (hunter, and harvey 239) He began to gain a following from his teachings on Jesus being the Son of God but not god himself. This caused the Archbishop Alexander to call a council (Moyer, 17).
Alexander of Antioch was a defender of orthodox faith and the Trinity: he died in 328 A.D. He was archbishop of Alexandria from 313-328 A.D. and he had to deal with the Arian teachings in his area because of the problems it was causing with the bishops and Arius. A council was called in the Alexandria church and Arius and his followers were condemned and excommunicated. They found safety with one of the other students of Lucian one who was a bishop named Eusebius of Nicomedia (Moyer, 9).
Eusebius of Nicomedia died in 342 A.D. He bacame the bishop of Phoenicia and then later Nicomedia, and this was where the imperial court was. He was favored by the Emperor for most of the time and he defended Arius greatly during the Council of Nicea but he to signed the creed with hesitations. But soon after started again fighting for Arianism and this resulted in the Emperor becoming very angry with him and banishing him for three years. When he was allowed back he tried to regain favor with the emperor which he did and then stated to fight for Arianism all the more and He was the one who baptized Constantine in 337 A.D. Then he became the Patriarch o Constantinople in 339 A.D. Which he held until his death in 342 A.D. He held favor with the Arian emperor Constantius (Moyer 137).
From here Arius keeps writing on his view and meanwhile Alexander, with the help of a young archdeacon and personal secretary Named Athanasius, started to write promoting the Trinitarian view (Moyer, 9).
Arius under the ban of the archbishop and council grew in power and influence among many clergy some of whom were Eusebius of Caesarea and Eusebius of Nicomedia where he was staying at. Arius keep teaching and the Emperor found this to be getting out of a hand so he sent out Hosius Bishop of Cordova.
Hosius lived from 257-358 A.D He became the Bishop of Cordova in 295 A.D. And then the ecclesiastical advisor for the Emperor in 323 A.D. was sent to Egypt to deal with the Arian problem, and it is believed that during the council of Nicea he was the one the wrote the Creed (Moyer, 202).
The Arian controversy kept going even after Hosius was sent to stop it and this caused a council to meet in Nicea and Arius was present at this council because when the council sided that the Trinitarian view should be accepted Arius and two other bishops refused to sign the document and were deposed and banished. Some of the other bishops who signed did so with reluctance but submitted to the wisdom of the council. Those who sided with Arius were allowed to return to their churches and Arius was allowed to come back from exile. Then the battle started up again but this time the Arians started to win and oppressed the teachers of the trinitarian view. They had Athanasius exiled for some time. The battle kept going till the death of Arius in 336 A.D. Just before his death he signed the Nicea statement , which we are not sure if this was from an honest convection or not but just before being readmitted to communion he died. The battle between the two sides died down for some time until Constantine's sons accepted Arianism and this allowed a renewal of the battle again until 381 A.D. When the problem was put to rest by the council of Constantinople when they adopted the Nicea creed.
This section of the paper is covering the beliefs of Arius that he held during his time. This is one of his quote from a letter he wrote to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria:
“For when giving to him [the Son] the inheritance of all things, the Father did not deprive himself of what he has without beginning in himself; for he is the source of all things. Thus there are three subsisting realities . And God, being the cause of all that happens, is absolutely without beginning; but the Son, begotten apart from time by the Father, and created and founded before the ages, was not in existence before his generation, but was begotten apart from time before all things, and he alone came into existence from the Father. For he is neither eternal nor co-eternal nor co-unbegotten with the Father, nor does he have his being together with the Father, as some speak of relations, introducing two unbegotten beginnings. But God is before all things as monad and beginning of all”(Arius).
We see here that Arius is telling the bishop that he does not believe that the Son was eternal ; he says that the Father is without beginning but the Son is not. The really important phrase is when he says that the Son is not co- eternal or co-unbegotten. This is not to say that Arius and his followers told him that the Son is the only begotten Son of God and God created Him before time and He is not uncreated like the Father.(hunter, and harvey 240)
This comes from Arius to Eusebius of Nicomedia:
“Before he was begotten, or created, or defined, or established, he did not exist. For he was not unbegotten. But we are persecuted because we have said the Son has a beginning but God has no beginning. We are persecuted because of that and for saying he came from non-being. But we said this since he is not a portion of God nor of anything in existence. That is why we are persecuted; you know the rest”(Arius).
In Arius's second letter he again points to the Son as being appointed and born. This is the next thing though, that the Son contains nothing of God's essence. The Son is not equal to the Father in his view. He goes on to say, that the Son cannot see God ,but only see through the power given to Him. The Son only exists because the Father wills it as a Father to Him and the Son is the wisdom of God because God wants Him do be but all that wisdom originates from the Father. The Son who was created by the Father, can not comprehend the one who created Him because He is not God. He is spirit, power, wisdom, glory, truth, and light these are the energies of the Son but these all come from the Father and are not part of Him innately(hunter, and harvey 240).
In a letter back to Arius from Alexander, he speaks about his disagreement on how God is the only uncreated being and the Son was created. The Son does not share in God's nature and He is not the Word or wisdom of God in essence, and if this is the case then the Son is mutable by nature and He doesn't fully know or see the Father and Alexander also says in theory the Son could change because He was created. This is showing how far Arius's teachings went with others (hunter, and harvey 243).
This view has come in part to Origens failure to explain the Father and Son relationship. Origen was defended by Athanasius and the Cappadocian Fathers because he made sure to place all three as God but he left the door open enough for the future teachers of Alexandria to create heresy (Schaff 255).
In the titles given to the Son are given to Him by God, With the title for wisdom this is given because the Son was given wisdom but the Father is called wise because it comes from Him. So then this is showing how Christ is a created being and has nothing that the Father has not given to Him (hall 123).
Now in our own day there still are people who follow Arius's doctrine. One of whom is the Arian church that goes by the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. As a group they hold that Arius was right in his teachings and they affirm strongly. They believe that the council of Nicaea was the most heretical event in Christendom. The three main groups they blame for leading masses out of the orthodox faith is: Rome, Constantinople and England. This is proof of their beliefs “Christ was not divine but his title was honorific of a man who was worthy of being called “Son of God” and whose Spirit was chosen and sent by God” (Hanson).
They openly state the teachings of the Trinity is completely wrong, and all of Christendom for holding it. They blame Constantine the Great for ruining the Church, but for different reasons then most Christians say he did. For the Arian Church, he called the council and he was trying to push paganism into the Church by allowing the Trinity to be accepted and forcing the Arians out. They say those who believe in the Trinity are polytheistic thier view. They point to Tertullian of Carthage because he first brings up the Trinity and they point to that this idea comes from Greek and Hindu views of God (Hanson).
They point out that Constantine the Great was wrong in what he did for calling the council and siding with the Trinitarians: they move to say that they worshipped saints and changing the Gospels we do have and then destroying other. They also do what most protestants do in attacking Constantine the great for him being baptized on his deathbed. He was baptized by an Arian Bishop one of his close friends Eusebius of Nicomedia with this some question whether he was baptized as a Christian or an Arian(Hanson).
A group we should be familiar with are the Jehovah witnesses, This group started debatably in 1879 with the creation of the Herald of the Morning which became the “watch tower”. They will openly admit “Christ is God's Son and is inferior to Him”("Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site"). The Jehovah witnesses also say this about Jesus, “Jesus lived in heaven as a spirit person before he came to earth. He is called the firstborn or Son of God because God created Jesus by Himself. God used Jesus as the master worker in creating all other things in Heaven and Earth”(Zacharias 70).
They say that Jesus was a mighty god but not the Almighty God who is Jehovah. The bible to them clearly says there is one God so Jesus can not be God as God is God and they greatly lean on the fact He is called the Son of God to show that He is not God but lesser to Him. So their defense for this comes from the saying that God sent Jesus so then He has to be lower then Jehovah. The affirm that the early Christians taught this about Jesus also and the Trinity was a Heresy (Zacharias 73).
We clearly see the echoes of the teachings of Arius in this group openly taught today. It brings millions of people into and gains more daily. So can we say that Arius's teachings died? It would seem we can not. I will move to the opponent of Arius who is named Athanasius.
Athanasius lived from 296 -372 A.D. In his early years he was around a lot of the bishops and other higher officials in his city. There is a story of him looking out a window just after a religious function waiting on some of the clergy to meet him, and he saw a few boy imitating baptisms. He called for the boys to come to him and discovered that one of the boys was playing the part of the bishop and baptizing his friends and Athanasius told the boys that all of them should prepare themselves for the life of a clergyman. I his youth he was very well educated in grammar and rhetoric.
We have accounts of the way he looked and acted :
“He was slightly below the middle height, spare in build, but well-knit, and intensely energetic. He had a finely shaped head, set off with a thin growth of auburn hair, a small but sensitively mobile mouth, an aquiline nose, and eyes of intense but kindly brilliancy. He had a ready wit, was quick in intuition, easy and affable in manner, pleasant in conversation, keen, and, perhaps, somewhat too unsparing in debate. He was endowed with a sense of humor that could be as mordant. We had almost said as sardonic as it seems to have been spontaneous and unfailing; and his courage was of the sort that never falters, even in the most disheartening hour of defeat”(Clifford).
While still a deacon he wrote two a apologetical works; he was very focused on keeping the faith pure from heresy. While still a deacon he was the personal secretary and advisor of Alexander. He played a more background role in dealing with the Arian heresy because he was not a bishop but he did hold sway because Alexander did take what he said into account. By the time of the council of Nicea,
Athanasius was a Presbyter in the Alexandrian church.
In 328 Alexander was dying and wanted Athanasius to be his successor and even though Athanasius was young not even meeting the required age of thirty, he still was elected because of his strong faith and capabilities. So he took the highest office in all of the East not just a bishop but an archbishop of Alexandria (Moyer, 21).
As a bishop his life became that of every other bishop of the east; with pastoral visits, synods, sending letters around, preaching, and going to the church functions that happened. He helped in establishing the church in Ethiopia having a friend sent there by the name of Frumentius.
Frumentius lived from 300-383, his story goes that in his younger years his uncle took him and his brother Edesius from Tyre on a trip to abyssinia which is Ethiopia, There the boys were captured and forced into slavery but they won the kings confidence and favor and were given a place of trust; given an education and also allowed to preaching Christianity to the people. Later on, the boys went to Alexandria and asked Athanasius to send Missionaries to Abyssinia. Edesius went back to Tyre and was ordained a priest and Frumentius was consecrated as bishop and head of the Abyssinian church. He established his Episcopal See at Axum the capital of Abyssinia and baptized the new king and established many churches (Moyer, 156).
Once Eusebius of Nicomedia came back from exile, he started an attack on Athanasius bringing accounts before a tribunal; not being the right age when he was made a bishop, forcing a tax on linen in his area, he messed up some priests ministry but the person was not found, and last that he killed someone and cut the body up and used in for rituals of magic. The veridic was against Athanasius and we seeing this happening a few times to the poor bishop. He would be allowed back and then tossed out again. There is a story of how dramatic he was to find justice. The story goes that Constantine was hunting and from the woods Athanasius stepped out. The Emperor was shocked and had to have others around him affirm that this was Athanasius and not some impostor but they told him it was and Athanasius said this "Give me a just tribunal, or allow me to meet my accusers face to face in your presence." His request was granted but again the verdict was given without him present to defend himself (Clifford).
This as I have said previously kept happening to him. So he would have to come back and then run and hide again. This would keep up for quite some time. He was no longer a young man when this was happening to him but he never backed down.
Athanasius is championed as the great defender of the faith. In his four discourses against Arians he speaks about the eternality of the Son. He points out that the Arains are of a wicked nature for twisting the doctrine of the Trinity because he hold that the Son has always been just as the Father, and the Spirit have always been. He noted in the wording of the Arians Doctrine of Christ being a creating being that there is a inconstancy that the Son would have to be and not be at the same time. Then he notes that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. This of course is taken form the Gospel of John 1:1 and this adds to show that the Son has to have been by this verse. There is not place for the idea of the Son being created before time (Robertson 312-313).
He goes in depth in the scriptures showing tat Jesus was the Son of God and not some created being but equally God. Like when Jesus said that Him and the Father are one because in the Arian belief this could not truly being because the true essence of the Father would be hidden from the Son, and this Son would only think that He and the Father are one. Another point made by Athanasius is that how did everything come to be without the Son who is the Word. Some of the teachings of Ariaus points to the Son being before times and after other times and those other times need him to be if He is the Word of God. So Athanasius points out that the Son needs have always been just as the Father or the way time work's becomes very lost (Robertson 313-314).
Some of the other problems brought up are that the Arians say that by the way we hold the Trinity it makes the Father and the Son really Brothers. The Athanasius points out that the Son and the Father do not come from the same pre-existing origin but that the Father is the Origin and the Son comes from Him, But this makes Him everything the Father is unlike that of the Arian view. He also notes that it was not like the Son needed anything added to Him as the Arian views says could have happened and that the Son was not begotten as man from man as to be later then the Father. He continues to note that just as man is born in generations and imperfect the Son is Eternal and perfect. He goes on by saying those who say that the Son had a tie not been then they Rob God of his Word and wisdom. This is like saying light at some point had no radiance or that at some point a fountain was barren and dry because what is the Father without His Word and Wisdom. Then Athanasius take it once step further by saying that the Arians really have no reason to call the Son the Son because because He is not of the Essence of God but more like the angels. So he says that the Arians should not call Him the Son but they do so they will not be openly condemned.(Robertson 314-315)
He moves to some of the objections of others that say could not the Son have a son. He says that this wicked idea is like asking who is the father of the Father and this can not be because the Father has and always will be the Father and can not be the son just as the Son will always be the Son and can not be the father.(Robertson 319)
In Athanasius Second Discourse from Proverbs 8:22 to show that the Son who is the Word is no work that this also must mean He is not a creature that was created. He also shows how the Arians said that the Son was a creature but not as other creatures; a work but not as the other works; an offspring but not as the other offspring. So Athanasius shows how they are grasping at the air trying to find something where they can hold their beliefs. Not completely destroy the Sons image. He also move into show that by saying not as other offspring brings into the question that did the Father have other sons and if so where does that really just Jesus. He moves on to say that if Jesus is truly the only Son as seen in the orthodox view of the Trinity let Him be confessed the Son but if He is like the rest of the creation let Him be just placed as that and nothing more (Robertson 358-359).
In Discourse Four Athanasius uses the Gospel of John 1:1 to show that the Son and Father are both eternal. The Son finds His eternality in the Father but because the Father has always been so the Son and the Godhead can not be broken. So we then maintain One beginning of the Godhead. The Godhead is connected in essence and subsistence and can not be broken apart and the heretics do as He points out the Arains do and thereby robbing the Son of any Godhood. He also keeps pointing that the Son can not subsist by himself because then Him and the Father would be two different beings but because the Son proceeds from the Father He has always been just as the Father has always been (Robertson 433-434).
The council of Nicea was called by Constantine to deal with the problems going on in the church at this time, it started in twenty of May 325 A.D. At this council Eusebius of Caesarea tried to present Arian teaching in creedal form.
Eusebius of Caesarea lived from 260- 340 A.D. He was born in Palestine and got his education in Antioch and Caesarea. He found a great teacher and friend in Pamphilius who died later in 309 A.D. This left Eusebius around the age of forty-nine where he ended up imprisoned in Egypt and we lose track of him for quite some time. He shows up later in 315 A.D. And he was a very learned man who had his focus on being a historian. He had great favor with the Emperor but during these time he sided with the Arian party of the church. Eusebius played a very middle of the road game through his life in not taking a full stance for either side. He tried not to let himself be pinned down in nay category completely. His famous work is his History of the Church which gives us information about the church for three hundred odd number years (Moyer, 136-137).
Let me move to the creed that was put forth before the council of Nicaea. It went by the name of Caesarean creed (Hall, 128-129)
“We believe in one God, Father almighty, the Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, The Word of God, God from God, Light from Light, Life from Life, Only begotten Son, Firstborn of all creation, before all ages begotten from the Father, by whom also all things were made; who for our salvation was incarnate, and live among men, and suffered, and rose again the third day,and ascended to the Father, and will come again in glory to judge living and the dead. And we believe in one Holy Spirit.”(Hall,129)
We see in this creed touches of Arianism but they have been very skillfully hidden inside the Orthodox wording of the creed. The bishops who were present and read this creed were so offended by it that they ripped it up and demanded a new one to be written even though Constantine was ready to accept the creed, The Bishop said otherwise and had a new one written that displayed true orthodoxy. I think this case show how much power Constantine really had in this council which was to be allowed to voice his opinion but the bishops pointed to the true orthodox doctrine (Hall,129).
We need to see what the council chose to do with Arius and his statements. This is the core statement from the council.
“We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father, that is, of the substance of the Father, God of God, light of light, true God of true God, begotten not made, of the same substance with the Father , through whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth; who for us men and our salvation descended, was incarnate, and was made man, suffered and rose again the third day, ascended into heaven and cometh to judge the living and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost. Those who say: There was a time when He was not, and He was not before He was begotten; and that He was made out of nothing ; or who maintain that He is of another hypostasis or another substance, or that the Son of God is created, or mutable, or subject to change, the Catholic Church anathematizes” ( Leclercq).
We can see the strong attack on Arianism here in the second part of this statement, that all the bishops but five at the council signed. We see the changes made in the creedal statement from the council of Nicea and the Caesarean creed. The first, would lead to a growth of arianism in the church and made it unstoppable. The latter shows how Arainism is wrong and puts it directly that if you hold these beliefs you are cut out from the church and there will be no hope left for you. This council did deal with other issues in the church apart from the Arain heresy such as the recognition of the Cannon, dealing with clergy issues of order and ministry, and other things dealing with worship and how to deal with people who have been excommunicated (Leclercq).
I will be making a defense of the orthodox stance of Christology which was held by Athanasius and the council of Niecea. The gospel of John 1:1-4 says this “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (NKJV). We see here that the Word was God and if Jesus was the Word then He is God. The Arains would have to say this Scripture is worthless by saying the Jesus was not fully God but still God. We can see how foolish this can get. I think Irenaus says it well “Christ Himself, therefore, together with the Father, is the God of the living, who spoke to Moses and who was also manifested to the fathers”(Bercot 95). We see that the Church Fathers saw that Jesus was truly God and this is why Arius openly opposed the history that was giving to him and only looked at the views of one of the Church Fathers, which he took out of context. The Father taken out of context is Origen because of some of his writings but lets look at what he says about the Son being created or not. “The Father generates an uncreated Son and brings forth a Holy Spirit”(Bercot,105) We see here that Origen did not think that Jesus was created but has always been. So we see that even Arius did not look at Origens teachings close enough but just took his teacher Lucian's word.
Matthew 3:16-17 says “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”(NKJV). We see all three parts of the Trinity present here at the baptism of Jesus. Alexander of Alexandria points out that the Father is uncreated and has always been and from Him the Son comes from Him but he was not created. He is begotten and He was completely God (Bercot,103). The Arians teach that Jesus was created by the Father and given the right to be the head of all. This is not true because He was not given these things but they were His to begin with.
As Novatian says that there can not be two Gods coming from the same beginning. The Father has no Beginning and therefore the Son is timeless (Bercot,102) We see that as long at the Father has been so has the Son and Holy Spirit.
John 8:58, “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”(NKJV) This statement I AM is in reference to when Moses spoke with God through the burning bush. Jesus is calming equality with God and this is why the Jews wanted to stone him. If ee was not equal with the Father Jesus could not legitimately say I AM. Alexander of Alexandria points clearly to this when he says that he Son and Father have always been together and the Jesus was not begotten as we see time because it is an unholy thought to say there was a time that the wisdom of God did not exist or that the power of God was not around during some point of time. The Son does not brought into being as normal human sons are (Bercot, 107).
I think Alexander of Alexandria makes a good point when he says that the Arians are foolish by saying that if their view is not held then there has to be two Gods or that Jesus is from the things that are not. Alexander points out that this is not the case but the truth is in the middle that all things were created out of nothing. Jesus was not because He was begotten of the true Father Himself (Bercot,110). In Colossians 2:9 it says “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” We see here that if it is true that everything that is God was in him then Jesus has to be completely God and part of that is self sustaining which would case the Arians to bow out at because the Father made Jesus in their view of things which Origen speaks again when he says” The Son is not different from the Father in Substance”(Bercot,112). We see that Jesus is of same substance as the Father and again I want to point out if this is the case then this would make Him everything that the Father is and again we will see that the Arians have failed in their understanding of who Jesus is as the Son of God because He is Light of Light and very God of very God as the Niece creed does speak.
There are differences in personal attributes we can look at 1 Corinthians 8:6 “yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” (NKJV) In the person of Jesus and He is the Son and the Father is the Father. We also call the Son the Word of God this is another personal attribute given to Him. Something else Jesus is called is the first born. The last thing I will take form Alexander of Alexandria is that Jesus is the only begotten Son which is completely true and that there was never a time that the Father was without the Son nor a time when the Son was without the Father. (Bercot, 121)
There is a difference in order between the Fathers and Son lets look at Matthew 20:23 “So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with;but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.” (NKJV) We see here that the Father has chose this who will be at this place and the Son accepts this in His submission to the Father. Also lets look at 1 Corinthians 11:3: “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”(NKJV) Lets see what Irenaeus says about the order of the Father and the Son. “ The Son performs the good pleasure of the Father. For the Father sends, and the Son is sent , and comes..” (Bercot, 122) We see that the Son is submissive to the Father's will and it is His joy to do what the Father asks of him what ever it may be an good picture for this is that Jesus was sent to die for us and Jesus was happy to come and save us. I think that Irenaeus again points out this order of relationship between the Father and Son again. “For His Offspring and His Image do minister to Him in every respect. That is, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Word and Wisdom whom all the angels serve and to whom they are subject.”(Bercot,122) This shows that the Son ministers to the Father Just as the angels minster to the Son but this does not mean that the Son is like the angel in that He is a created being or that He is not fully God because in His essence He is God but how the Son relates to the Father and how the Father relates to Him.
An overview of what this paper has gone over is the fact that Arius started the belief system of Arianism that believes that Jesus was a created being before the World came to be and is under the Father and not truly part of His essence. Athanasius was the main opponent to Arianism after Alexander of Alexandra died. He lead that battle against the heresy of Arianism and showed the folly of it and that the Trinity is the correct view of how the Father, Son, and Spirit are connected in essence. The Son is begotten and not created. I personally find that the views of Arius were well formed but they still lacked an honest study of the Scriptures and of the Fathers and this is why Arius walked right into the heresy that he did so easily. So then as a true Christians we can say Amen to the council of Nicea and its defense of the Trinity.
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"What Do They Believe?." Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site. 2000. Jehovah's Witnesses , Web. 16 Nov 2009.
Zacharias, Ravi. The kingdom of the Cults. 2nd. Grand Rapids: Bethany house publishers, 2003. 70. Print.
This is to tell about the Fathers I used in my Paper.
Origen- Lived from 185-255 A.D. Was a student of Clement of Alexandria and took over the School in Alexandria after Clement had to flee for his life. Origen is thought by many as the father of Christina theology. (Bercot, xix)
Irenaeus - lived from 130-200 A.D. And was a student of Polycarp and later in his life he became the bishop of Lyons. He wrote many defense of this christian faith.(Bercot, xvii)
Novatian – We know when he died 257 A.D. But not when he was born. He was a Roman presbyter and wrote several theological works. (Bercot, xviii)
Monday, June 15, 2009
Bread and wine to flesh and blood!
A story about the power of the holy blessed sacrament!
On the 17th of December, 1899, the fast mail on the way from
Gargam's condition was pitiable in the extreme. He could not help himself even in the most trifling needs. Two trained nurses were needed day and night to assist him. Previous to the accident, Gargam had not been to church for fifteen years. His aunt, who was a nun of the Order of the Sacred Heart, begged him to go to
As the priest passed carrying the Sacred Host, he pronounced Benediction over the sorrowful group around the covered body. Soon there was a movement from under the covering. To the amazement of the bystanders, the body raised itself to a sitting posture. While the family were looking dumbfounded and the spectators gazed in amazement, Gargam said in a full, strong voice that he wanted to get up. He got up and stood erect, walked a few paces and said that he was cured. The multitude looked in wonder, and then fell on their knees and thanked God for this new sign of His power at the shrine of His Blessed Mother. For two years hardly any food had passed his lips but now he sat down to the table and ate a hearty meal.
On August 20th, 1901, sixty prominent doctors examined Gargam. Without stating the nature of the cure, they pronounced him entirely cured. Gargam, out of gratitude to God in the Holy Eucharist and His Blessed Mother, consecrated himself to the service of the invalids at
John 6:53-56- Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
Before this was said about 1500 years before was a great miracle. The People of God ate Manna in the wilderness for forty year as it says
Exodus 16:30-31 - So the people rested on the seventh day.
And the house of
35-And the children of
This bread keep them alive in a strange land till they made it to the land God had given them. It gave them strength, it gave encouragement that God was with them still even though they failed many times, It was a grace given to them because they stood unworthy before God to receive anything but out of his mercy He gave it to them, and another things it was a way they communed with God.
Now our blessed lord says this to what happened to them in response to a Jew speaking about how their fathers ate manna in the wilderness.
John 6:32-35 - Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
The fact Jesus can say this is that He is our everlasting bread and drink. He will never stop after forty years He keeps going and once we have reached our promised land He is still the one who sustains us. He is the true Manna from heaven and He will never go away from us.
John 6:51 - I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
We call this holy flesh and blood the Eucharist. This means thanks giving in the Greek. The Eucharist is the sum of our faith. We have creation, the fall, and redemption shown to us within the Eucharist. Because seeing how the Eucharist is Jesus and Jesus was are creator, redeemer, and sanctifier.
The church has celebrated the Eucharist since the days of the apostles since they were the ones the Lord commanded to celebrate the Eucharist. We have done this ever since that time.
Origen says this about the Eucharist. “ we also eat the bread presented to us. And this bread becomes by prayer a sacred body, which sanctifies those who sincerely partake of it.”
“We have a symbol of gratitude to God in the bread that we call the Eucharist.”
When does that change happen from bread and wine to the real flesh and blood of Christ?
During that cannon of the Mass when the words of institution are spoken over the elements and by the power of the Holy Spirit. The words of institution are:
Matthew 26:26 -28 - And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
This time is when you see the celebrant kneeling and lifting up the host and the chalice.
Are we re-sacrificing Christ? No we are connecting into the moment when the sacrifice happened.
In Revelation 13:8 we read “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
This would mean before time but yet He died 2000 years ago how can this be said? Because this death surpasses time and that is why we connect into it during the mass. So that is why we can say that we are not re-sacrificing The Christ.
What are the benefits of partaking of the Eucharist?
•The Eucharist reinforces our union of the blessed Lord Jesus Christ because for He who abides in Him will drink His blood and eat His flesh. This is part of our fellowship with Christ.
St. Cyprian says that the Eucharist does this. “They drink the cup of Christ’s blood daily, for the reason that they themselves also may be able to shed their blood for Christ.”
This shows the belief that our Holy Communion strengthens us by the grace within it. And because we are part of Him who died for you we are able to lay down our lives for His sake.
• The Eucharist also separates us from sin because Christ forgives sin and we are partaking of Christ. This is why we have the general confession before the Eucharist it gives us time to tell the Lord we are seeking forgiveness of our sins. Which we find within partaking of communion in a worth manner. The sins that are forgive are only temporal sin we still must use the sacrament of absolution to deal with mortal sins.
• Another thing that happens if that it unites us to the mystical body. Just as the Lord prayed in
John17:11 “Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.”
We are united to all those who partake of the Eucharist truly and we are one body. Those in Africa, south America,
• The taking of the Eucharist should make want to help the poor.
St. John Chrysostom said “ You have tasted the blood of the Lord, yet you do no recognize your brother,… You dishonor this table”
The last thing we need to look at is the subject of taking the Eucharist unworthily.
Matthew 5: 23-24 - “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
We need to be in a state that we have forgiven others for their mistakes against us and that those we have hurt have forgiven us. This is one of the greatest strengths of Christianity, the fact we forgive each other.
Do you have someone you need to seek forgiveness from?
Do you have someone you need to forgive?
As a Christians these are thing that need to natural and something we want to do because our blessed Lord forgave us! So we have no right not to forgive someone else!
Listen to what to those who took the Eucharist unworthily.
1 Corinthians 11:27-32 - Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
Origen says this “ that which is sanctified through the word of God and by prayer does not (by its own nature) sanctify the one who uses it. Otherwise, it would sanctify even him who eats unworthily of the bread of the Lord. In that case, no one on account of this food would become weak, sickly, or asleep… accordingly, in the case of the bread of the Lord, there is an advantage to him who uses it only when he partakes of the bread with undefiled mind and pure conscience.”
St. Cyprian says this about the un-baptized “What a crime is theirs who rashly seize communion and touch the body and blood of the Lord… even though their foulness is not washed away by the laver of the church for it is written, “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord”
As we can plainly see that taking the Eucharist is no joking matter and it should be done with the utmost caution. For those who are baptized but those who aren’t even baptized need to not even touch it for it could be dangerous for their souls. This is why we don’t let non baptized Christians take communion. This is a precaution that the Church has set into place for their safety.
So know that we are partaking of the very real flesh and Blood of the Lord. Which was giving for us on
Saturday, May 30, 2009
God, who as at this time
taught the hearts of your faithful people
by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:
grant us by the same Spirit
to have a right judgment in all things
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Come Holy fire come! burn away sin, error, and heresy. Make your Church and People God holy and pure!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
God help us! The Anglican church has gone crazy! It wishes to recreate worship and make the church into something thats not Catholic. Not saying that The mainline church is any better because it's not it's worse.
Huuummmm.... is it time to jump the Euphrates river and go East? Time will tell!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The views of the Lords supper
1 Corinthians 11:27-28 “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” (NKJV)
There are five predominate views of the Lords supper and all of them differ greatly on what is believed to be going on while we take communion. The words Eucharist, Communion, or Lord’s Supper all refer to the same thing.
Transubstantiation- This view is held within the Roman Catholic Church and some Anglo-Catholic churches. This view was developed over the 13th and 15th centuries and was finally made church dogma in the council of
Some of the Scriptures they use to defend this view point are:
(1 Corinthians 11:23 sqq and John 6:26 sqq). The big point on this is that of the words this is my body and this is my blood and those who believe in this take it as meaning that the elements must change as Christ had said and why else would the people leave him in the sixth chapter of John unless it was to be taken literally. There are more area of defense that can be brought up but this is just introduction to the different view points of believers. (Pohle)
Some of the church fathers they will use to defend this stance are Ignatius, Justin martyr, Cyprian, Gregory of Nyssa, Cyril of Jerusalem, John Chrysostom, Hilary, Ambrose, and Lamy. (Pohle)
Church father Justin Martyr said this:
“For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body; "and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood; "and gave it to them alone.” (Of the Eucharist)
I find this view to define a mystery to much and take away the mystical elements that have been place in Christendom. So we don’t think we can know everything on this side of heaven. One point can be made of the trinity we don’t know everything about it but yet we still believe it and uphold it as something that must be believed to be an orthodox Christian. So I feel that in trying to explain a mystery we have robbed an element of faith within the church. I believe this comes from the Aristotelian categorical system of logic we in the west hold to in many ways and the view of Transubstantiation is one of the end results of understanding.
Objective reality- the Eastern Orthodox Church and some Anglo-Catholics hold this view. This is very similar to the view of Transubstantiation but it hold that those thing which are explain in that view have gone to far and should not have done that. They still use the same scriptural evidence as those of Transubstantiation. Just as the view of Transubstantiation believes only the clergy with the rank of priest of higher can do this it is believe the same for Objective reality.
“In the history of Christian thought, various ways were developed to try to explain how the bread and the wine become the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharistic liturgy. Quite unfortunately, these explanations often became too rationalistic and too closely connected with certain human philosophies.” (Holy Eucharist)
So as we can see from the quote from the Orthodox church in
“The Orthodox Church denies the doctrine that the Body and the Blood of the Eucharist are merely intellectual or psychological symbols of Christ's Body and Blood. If this doctrine were true, when the liturgy is celebrated and Holy Communion is given, the people would be called merely to think about Jesus and to commune with him "in their hearts." In this way, the Eucharist would be reduced to a simple memorial meal of the Lord's last supper, and the union with God through its reception would come only on the level of thought or psychological recollection.” (Holy Eucharist)
So it can’t be denied that those who hold the view of objective reality hold the Eucharist in high regard but just explain it or should be said lack of explaining it as others do. I think it is a view that is seldom heard of and because of that it is paid little attention to. I think it can give those who don’t want to accept transubstantiation but don’t want to bring communion down to a more early thing can find peace here.
Here is something’s from a church fathers:
“[Christ] has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own Blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own Body, from which he gives increase to our bodies." (Against Heresies)
"We have been instructed in these matters and filled with an unshakable faith, that that which seems to be bread, is not bread, though it tastes like it, but the Body of Christ, and that which seems to be wine, is not wine, though it too tastes as such, but the Blood of Christ … draw inner strength by receiving this bread as spiritual food and your soul will rejoice." ("Catecheses," 22, 9; "Myst." 4)
Consubstantiation- This view says that when a ministry consecrates the elements the bread and wine stay what they are but it is spiritual the body and blood of Christ within the elements. Those who believe in this view think that this happens when the words of institution ( Matthew 26:26-28) are said over the elements. Unlike the other two previous views this one hold that there is no need to be in apostolic succession and be an ordained priest to consecrate the elements. This is because it is believed that it is the words that change the elements not the person and words. (What is consubstantiation? )
“The change from Trans- to Con- is the key to seeing the bread and wine as the body and blood of Jesus. The prefix Trans- says that a change took place, the bread actually became the body of Jesus and the wine actually became the blood of Jesus. The prefix Con- says that the bread does not become the body of Jesus but co-exists with the physical bread so that the bread is both a bread and the body of Jesus. The same thing is true of the wine. It does not become the blood of Jesus, but co-exists with the wine so that the wine is both wine and the blood of Jesus.” (What is consubstantiation?)
The scriptural proof for this belief is basically what the other two have said but change the literal Into a spiritual aspect so there isn’t much inside this view that would have much changed. Mostly Lutherans hold this view but some Anglican and even Eastern orthodox churches will hold it.
Pneumatic or real presence – This view states that the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ; this is a spiritual thing and only applies to those who have faith. This view and the Objective reality view are similar but the objective reality view says it is the true body and blood where as this one leaves it in a bigger mystery (Communion/Eucharist). This view was started by John Calvin and keeps moving through today in the reformed communities.
John Calvin said this about it
“But those who partake by faith receive benefit from Christ, and the unbelieving are condemned by partaking. By faith , and in the Holy Spirit, the partaker beholds God incarnate, and in the same sense touches him with hands, so that by eating and drinking of bread and wine Christ's presence penetrates to the heart of the believer more nearly than food swallowed with the mouth can enter in.” (Real Presence)
Most reformed churches and low Anglican churches hold this view. Because it comes from their great teachers beliefs, so they are just following suit.
I find this view to be left to be too open and needing to explain a bit more of what it is trying to say. I think we need mystery but to much just leave us with nothing to really say. I think many people hold this view with out knowing it.
Memorialism- This view says that the bread and wine stay what they are that is to say the bread is bread and the wine is wine nothing is changed or going on. These items only bring to remembrance the death of Christ and His sacrifice for us.
The defense for this view comes from the words in 1 Cor 11:24 when they say do this in remembrance so those who believe in this view say that if this is the case then nothing is going on at all but a simple remembrance of Christ’s death.
This shows when Zwingli was coming from in this view:
“Zwingli interpreted the words of Jesus, "This is my body," in harmony with John 6, where Jesus spoke of eating and drinking his body and blood, especially vs. 63: "It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail." Therefore, he reasoned, not only is transubstantiation, that somehow Christ is corporeally in, under, and with the elements. The doctrine of physical eating is absurd and repugnant to common sense. Moreover, God does not ask us to believe that which is contrary to sense experience. The word "is" in the words of institution means "signifies," or "represents," and must be interpreted figuratively, as is done in other "I am" passages in the Bible. Christ's ascension means that he took his body from earth to heaven.” (Last Supper, Lord's Supper )
This was problematic for Zwingli and Luther because this differing view on the Lords supper caused the great split between the two men that never was fixed and the battles still are waged today between the two beliefs children of today.
This view I find to rob the sanctity of communion because it destroys the worth of it and I think that you need to read into the scriptures to see this view because if we look at that the Holy Writ says it plainly says that it is His body and blood so we take this at face value it mean what it says or we play word games then come up with it meaning nothing beyond what we make it.
I do feel strongly that my convictions about objective reality are correct but I don’t want to just write off those who hold to something different. I think that by talking about out different view we will eventually figure out who is right in their views and come to the same place. This takes time as we can see that for over five hundred years we have been debating and no one agrees yet but we can keep going till we do.
Fouts, Ryan. "Last Supper, Lord's Supper." 11/12/2008 16 Nov 2008
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"Holy Eucharist." 1996-2008 10 Nov 2008
Justin Martyr, "Of the Eucharist." Christian classics ethereal library. 16 Nov 2008
legna, michael. "Communion/Eucharist." 09/02/2007 16 Nov 2008
Pohle, Joseph. "The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5.
"Real Presence." 2008 16 Nov 2008
St. Cyril of
St. Irenaeus, "Against Heresies." THE REAL PRESENCE The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist CHRIST IN THE EUCHARIST. 16 Nov 2008
"transubstantiation." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 10 Nov. 2008
"What is consubstantiation?." 2002-2008 15 Nov 2008 http://www.gotquestions.org/
. http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-46.htm Justin's 1st Apology, LXVI