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Ruach34
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Joined: 2006/2/7
Posts: 296
Beijing

 EXOMOLOGESIS

I learned a new word today from a brother in Christ who lived in the 100s, AD that is. Tertullian...are you familiar with him? This excerpt is from his Latin Christianity in the chapter on Repentance. O , what a hefty reading and left me gasping...and what considerations these men took...here check this out...

pg 1154 - Chapter IX - Concerning the Outward Manifestations by which the Second Repentance is to be accompanied

The narrower, then, the sphere of action of this second and only (remaining) repentance, the
more laborious is its probation; in order that it may not be exhibited in the conscience alone, but
may likewise be carried out in some (external) act. This act, which is more usually expressed and
commonly spoken of under a Greek name, is ἐξομολόγησις , whereby we confess our sins to
the Lord, not indeed as if He were ignorant of them, but inasmuch as by confession satisfaction is settled, of confession repentance is born; by repentance God is appeased. And thus exomologesis is a discipline for man’s prostration and humiliation, enjoining a demeanor calculated to move mercy. With regard also to the very dress and food, it commands (the penitent) to lie in sackcloth and ashes, to cover his body in mourning, to lay his spirit low in sorrows, to exchange for severe treatment the sins which he has committed; moreover, to know no food and drink but such as is plain,—not for the stomach’s sake, to wit, but the soul’s; for the most part, however, to feed prayers on fastings, to groan, to weep and make outcries unto the Lord your God; to bow before the feet of the presbyters, and kneel to God’s dear ones; to enjoin on all the brethren to be ambassadors to bear his deprecatory supplication (before God). All this exomologesis (does), that it may enhance repentance; may honour God by its fear of the (incurred) danger; may, by itself pronouncing against the sinner, stand in the stead of God’s indignation, and by temporal mortification (I will not say frustrate, but) expunge eternal punishments. Therefore, while it abases the man, it raises him; while it covers him with squalor, it renders him more clean; while it accuses, it excuses; while it condemns, it absolves. The less quarter you give yourself, the more (believe me) will God give you.
-Tertullian


Wow...In light of this how can we preach prosperity, best life now, "come and get you some," or anything else that is not on the lines of a 'second' or life-long repentance.

Please, what thinkest thou?


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RICH

 2008/7/8 22:54Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re: EXOMOLOGESIS

Ecc 3:1 A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

Ecc 3:2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

Ecc 3:3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

Ecc 3:4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

Ecc 3:5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

Ecc 3:6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

Ecc 3:7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

Ecc 3:8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecc 3:9 What does the worker gain from his toil?
Ecc 3:10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men.
Ecc 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecc 3:12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
Ecc 3:13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil--this is the gift of God.
Ecc 3:14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

Ecc 3:15 Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account. [1]

Ecc 3:16 And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment--wickedness was there,
in the place of justice--wickedness was there.

Ecc 3:17 I thought in my heart,
"God will bring to judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time for every deed."



With all due respect your brand of christianity is out of balance. It borders on a works religion. Now I believe in repentance but I also trust in the finished work of Christ on my behalf and seek to enter into that rest because repentance in itself can and often times does become a dead works. One must be careful when reading devotional themes from the early church fathers and turning them into church doctrines.


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D.Miller

 2008/7/9 0:00Profile
Ruach34
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Joined: 2006/2/7
Posts: 296
Beijing

 Re: exomologesis or the Second Repentance

Well, dohzman, i appreciate your response and you did hit a long nail on the head, but only struck it an inch deep. There is only one 'brand' of christianity and am looking for consideration of this subject of repentance. Could this not be an aspect, even a component, on this one 'brand' of christianity that you alluded to? I do not consider this 'repentance' that Tertullian speaks about to be about works one bit, but rather a completing of the work of Christ.

Maybe we should consider the next chapter:

Chapter X.—Of Men’s Shrinking from This Second Repentance and Exomologesis, and of the Unreasonableness of Such Shrinking.

Yet most men either shun this work, as being a public exposure of themselves, or else defer it from day to day. I presume (as being) more mindful of modesty than of salvation; just like men who, having contracted some malady in the more private parts of the body, avoid the privity of physicians, and so perish with their own bashfulness. It is intolerable, forsooth, to modesty to make satisfaction to the offended Lord! to be restored to its forfeited salvation! Truly you are honourable in your modesty; bearing an open forehead for sinning, but an abashed one for deprecating! I give no place to bashfulness when I am a gainer by its loss; when itself in some son exhorts the man, saying, “Respect not me; it is better that I perish through you, i.e. than you through me.” At all events, the time when (if ever) its danger is serious, is when it is a butt for jeering speech in the presence of insulters, where one man raises himself on his neighbour’s ruin, where there is upward
clambering over the prostrate. But among brethren and fellow-servants, where there is common hope, fear, joy, grief, suffering, because there is a common Spirit from a common Lord and Father, why do you think these brothers to be anything other than yourself? Why flee from the partners of your own mischances, as from such as will derisively cheer them? The body cannot feel gladness at the trouble of any one member, it must necessarily join with one consent in the grief, and in labouring for the remedy. In a company of two is the church; but the church is Christ.
When, then, you cast yourself at the brethren’s knees, you are handling Christ, you are entreating Christ. In like manner, when they shed tears over you, it is Christ who suffers, Christ who prays the Father for mercy. What a son asks is ever easily obtained. Grand indeed is the reward of modesty, which the concealment of our fault promises us! to wit, if we do hide somewhat from the knowledge of man, shall we equally conceal it from God? Are the judgment of men and the knowledge of God so put upon a par? Is it better to be damned in secret than absolved in public?
But you say, “It is a miserable thing thus to come to exomologesis:” yes, for evil does bring to misery; but where repentance is to be made, the misery ceases, because it is turned into something salutary. Miserable it is to be cut, and cauterized, and racked with the pungency of some (medicinal) powder: still, the things which heal by unpleasant means do, by the benefit of the cure, excuse their own offensiveness, and make present injury bearable for the sake of the advantage to supervene.


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RICH

 2008/7/9 9:34Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re:

looking at repentance from sinful habits or character flaws that we see in ourselves is one thing and we lay aside those things, than there's the aspect of repentance where the Lord reveals hidden sins/character defiecent tendencies, Lord....see if there be any wicked way in me...." But to live in the day to day experience that is embraced here can cause more damage than good, "as a man thinketh in heart so is he..". It's more important I believe to look unto Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith and do what we can do in reguards to acknowledging/layside those things in us and wait patiently for the seasons that the Lord has appointed for a more deep inter working of His Spirit. In one sense, scripturally...we are complete in Christ, a finished product as far as God's legally concerned once we are born from above, we may become more consecrated but I believe we will never be anymore holy in His sight. I believe Jesus' work at calvary was complete. Now that's the rest. However the divine mortician (the Holy Spirit) has alot of work to do in us to develop godly character but it's His work not ours. So that said I believe our responsibility is to look unto/ to wait/ to seek/ to come unto.....you get my drift. How do you personally see it?????


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D.Miller

 2008/7/9 14:43Profile
Ruach34
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Joined: 2006/2/7
Posts: 296
Beijing

 Re:

I do consider the works of the early church brothers and sisters, their writings and such to have more weight than half a million of what is written today. Maybe I put too much weight on their works, but nevertheless what can we learn?

I believe you in the working out/exposing of our hidden faults, the inroads of iniquity and constant fleshly habits. Might these things have too deep an anchor in our souls and in a large majority of 'Christians' remain largly intact? Yet, Christ says enter through the narrow gate, even the gate of repentance and many here on this website may attest to the content of the prayers of godly men from the past centuries to be that of deep humility and consternation at their sin. I have heard Keith Daniel say, "You are as godly as you want to be."
It appears to me that Tertullian is referring to this deep humility in prayer, that nothing good dwells in our flesh and a complete death to it must occur.
William Law says it like this, "Until you are renewed in the spirit of your mind, your virtues are only taught practices and grafted upon a corrupt bottom. Everything that you do will be a mixture of good and bad; your humility will help you to pride; your charity to others will give nourishment to your self-love; and as your prayers increase so will the opinion of your own sanctity. Because till the heart is purified to the bottom and has felt the axe at the root of its evil (which cannot be done by outward instruction), everything that proceeds from it partakes of its impurity and corruption."

And this seems like it could be any normal person in 'church-dom.' One that has a mental understanding, even many great experiences and has grown in the wisdom and knowledge of God, yet has not felt the 'axe to the root.' There remains a mixture.
Should not this exomolgesis, as Tertullian describes, expunge this great corruption in our souls?

This whole concept is new, as I have just read about it. I have understood the importance of continued repentance until the day I die, but of utter abasement to the flesh through this work might be needed because what lies at the bottom of our heart is still corrupted though the sides and top be scrubbed clean.

Just thinking...

And I know many have gone extreme with this and abased their flesh by whipping themselves or when angrily swatting at a mosquito went and subjected themselves to a week in the outdoors
to an angry mob of insects. This is not what I am suggesting, because the problem at the root remains even though you may expose yourselves to fires, beatings, and outward mollifications.

I will post the next chapter shortly...


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RICH

 2008/7/9 16:25Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: EXOMOLOGESIS

[url=http://www.haywardfamily.org/ccel/fathers2/npnf214/npnf2118.htm]Excursus on the Public Discipline or Exomologesis of the Early Church.[/url]

[url=http://www.christiantruth.com/penancehistory.html]Penance and Confession[/url]

A couple of heady articles that might shed further light on this. One the one hand bringing this back might do us some good ... could you imagine even a similitude to a public humiliation, an open confession and self degradation? But that is just the slimmest sliver of a point to take away from, this seems to be wrought with more issues and problems than you can shake a stick at.

Quote:
William Law says it like this, "Until you are renewed in the spirit of your mind, your virtues are only taught practices and grafted upon a corrupt bottom. Everything that you do will be a mixture of good and bad; your humility will help you to pride; your charity to others will give nourishment to your self-love; and as your prayers increase so will the opinion of your own sanctity. Because till the heart is purified to the bottom and has felt the axe at the root of its evil (which cannot be done by outward instruction), everything that proceeds from it partakes of its impurity and corruption."



Truth in evidence. It is all about us (no pun intended), around us might be better put.

Quote:
It appears to me that Tertullian is referring to this deep humility in prayer, that nothing good dwells in our flesh and a complete death to it must occur.



I catch your drift brother, there might be something that can be taken away from all this.



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Mike Balog

 2008/7/12 20:26Profile









 Re: EXOMOLOGESIS

I say go for it. If you want to do some exomologesiswhozawhatchmakolit....I say go for it. Go all out. (It kind of sounds like an altar call on steroids.)

Because if you are Christ's, the worst thing it can do is finally, once and for all, bring you to a place where you no longer look inwardly for any good thing, but to Christ, who is all and in all.

 2008/7/12 22:56
Ruach34
Member



Joined: 2006/2/7
Posts: 296
Beijing

 Re:

Yes, I get your point, exomolo-skeltonwathcmakolit...a big word for something so little done.
I post this for earnest consideration only...Did our early christian brothers and sisters have some understanding on repentance and walking in holiness we do not?

Is Tertullian pointing to a repentance that is as deep as it is long?

I'm not sure...in practice repentance seems far better and more fulfilled when just a moment is spent in prayer on the worthlessness of ourselves and the dire need we have of Christ and His Spirit, then we look off ourselves and on Him, Christ Jesus, even as the Israelites looked upon that brass serpent Moses crafted for them.

Can anybody delve into their own personal practice of repentance in prayer and what the precious Holy Spirit leads you personally in?


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RICH

 2008/7/12 23:20Profile
poet
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Joined: 2007/2/16
Posts: 231
Longview WA

 Re:

oh how true the pindelum must swing one way before it stops and finally swings the other.
I for a change would like to hear good old fashioned repentance preaching again.
As I read John Wesley's diary I am amazed at how people would respond to God's word and cry out to God for mercy, and do this for hours.
And John wouldnt go up to them and try and relieve them of their anguish, but instead pray with them and cry out to God for them so that God would give them that blessed assurance of sins forgiven...
At church last sunday, pastor has people quickly slip up their hands with everyone's heads bowed and eyes closed, so people will be able to get the guts and poke a hand up quickly and get saved.....my goodness where is the conviction, wheres the repentance, the agony over ones own iniquity against a Holy Righteous living saviour..
you would think that people would be happy to get saved, to be sorrowful that they are hurting a loving father.
my oh my has the pindelum swing wide in our own wicked self serving, all inclusive, everyone has some good in them generation...
I pray God reveals our true nature and gives us the grace to see it and the strength to repent of it.
sorry I probably got a little off topic.
amen.


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howard

 2008/7/13 2:22Profile





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