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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : The Fallibility of the Early Church Fathers: Why Christians Should Look to the Bible Alone....

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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2075

 Re: teachings

Heydave asks,

"Not sure what you mean by the NT being 'binding'. The NT is not a covenant of law. It depends on which teachings, not all statements are meant to be interpreted as fixed rules, even though some try to make them so"

Jesus answers,

Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Luke 6:46 And why do you call me Adoni and yet you do not do what I say? 47 Everyone coming to me and hearing my divrei Torah and putting them into practice, I will show you to whom he is likened. 48 He is likened to the man building a bais who dug and went down deep and laid a yesod upon the av sela (bedrock). And a flood having come, the river struck against that bais, and the flood was not strong enough to shake it, because its binnuy was firm. 49 Now the one having heard )[Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach's divrei Torah], and not having put them into practice, is like a man having built a bais (house) upon the ground without a yesod (foundation), which the river struck against, and ofen ort (immediately) the bais collapsed, and gadol (great) was the churban of that bais.

 2017/2/16 8:22Profile

Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK


Hi Savannah,

I agree with the scriptures you posted that we are to obey the clear commands of Jesus, which He summarised as Love God with all your heart and Love your neighbour as yourself.
That said, it is not in trying to keep every command as an outward law, but in obedience of the heart by the Spirit. But that's another topic I think.

The point I was making was different, not everything written in the NT is a law to keep. e.g "cut of your right hand", "pluck out your eye", "Sell everything you have and give it away",etc... I just thought it was a strange way to look at the NT as 'binding'. I see it as liberating!


 2017/2/16 9:39Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2219



"How we read Daniel and Revelation is first an issue of whether we can trust what Luther called, the priesthood of every believer, or whether we can only safely follow the tradition of interpretation that has come down to us through many of the church's theological heroes, such as the famed magisterial Reformers, Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli, and their vast theological progeny, as also the popes and bishops of the church of Rome. For the larger part, all have been Augustinian in their interpretation of the Daniel and the Apocalypse. This is why amillennialism has dominated most of Protestant and nearly all Roman Catholic eschatology. It is well known that St. Augustine of Hippo is the father of the a-millennial interpretation of the thousand years (i.e., that the church is the kingdom of God on earth and the millennium is symbolic of the church age)."

"Augustinian denial of a future millennium is not the only system of interpretation that denies the literal interpretation of the many prophecies that depict the post-tribulational salvation of a surviving remnant of the Jewish people and the restoration of the nation as a distinctly Jewish nation (Dan 2:44). Simply put, if there is no millennium, there can be no literal fulfillment of the vast amount of prophecy that depicts a glorious future for benighted and beleaguered Israel after the unequaled tribulation at the coming day of the Lord, which the New Testament equates with the time of Christs return."

(From article "The Day of the Lord" - Reggie Kelly)

David Winter

 2017/2/16 9:46Profile

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


RE : /// From article "The Day of the Lord" - Reggie Kelly///

Does Reggie Kelly also point out that pre-nicene's understanding of the millennium did not include the restoration of Israel of the flesh ?

Justin Martyr dialogue with trypho points out that there where Christians in his day that also did not believe in a of a future millennium.

 2017/2/16 9:58Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37629
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11


Athanasius wrote some valuable material supporting such important doctrines as the deity of Christ, the Trinity, and sola scriptura. Many other church fathers wrote valuable material on these and other subjects as well. At the same time, though, the church fathers often made mistakes, and taught false doctrines. How, then, do we know what to believe and what doctrines to follow?

I agree with the writer that in no time in Church history do we ever see perfection in the Church. One only has to read the New Testament to see false teachers, false apostles, false gospels, moral failures in the church, pastors separating away from others and having their own church (which was considered wrong), and many other problems. So to think that the early Church Fathers (Church history between AD 100-300) would be better is a strange concept.

But what we do see is the majority kept to the faith and were in unity. Just like in the New Testament. Documents such as the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed were just one form of that unity on the foundational elements our faith rest upon. I remember after being born-again in my bedroom by myself, attending a presbyterian church and we would repeat verbally together the Apostles creed out-loud during a communion service that happened quarterly in the Church. So in reformed Churches practices and traditions of the Church from the first 300 years are still practiced.

As clever and memorable as Tertullian's analogy may be, Christians are not born in the water of ceremonial baptism.

The writer Jason Engwer (who seems like he is a reformed doctrinal student who debates catholics), goes on to say that Baptism was held wrong by the early Church, meaning AD 100-300. I personally believe to treat Water Baptism as merely as a symbol with no effectual means is wrong and imbalanced. Looking at the Lords Supper there is also clear warnings in Scripture to hold to the practice worthily. If it were only a symbol this would not make sense. Water Baptism is a command from Jesus Christ and should be taken seriously, done solemnly and considered part of our salvation. If one searches all the terms of baptism in the New Testament it is clear the word salvation is tied to it:

1 Peter 3:21New International Version (NIV)

21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[a] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

The symbol speaks of the greater meaning behind it. You cannot take away the symbol from the meaning or the meaning from the symbol.

"What did he do, so that people would remember after his death what he had taught? Did he tell them to just follow a "successor", or to believe whatever a hierarchy of men in a particular city (Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, etc.) would tell them? No, he wrote his teachings down (2 Peter 1:13-15, 3:1-2). So how do we today remember what the apostles taught? Do we turn to a group of men in Rome? To a seeming "consensus" among modern church leaders? To thousands of pages of church father writings, church council declarations, and proclamations from church leaders of the last two thousand years? No, we turn to the teachings of the apostles themselves, the New Testament. That doesn't mean that we can't learn anything from other sources, but rather that these other sources are not as authoritative as the New Testament, and are not binding to the Christian, nor are they an acceptable foundation upon which to build doctrine

His quote seems good to read but it is hard to apply to the original Apostles, meaning that the Catholic system did not start in the current form till well after 500 AD. The split from the Orthodox Church did not finally happen till AD 1110 where the modern Roman Catholic Church that exists today began to form more towards what it is today.

It is clear that there were main Apostles that were considered leaders even above the other Apostles such as James, Cephas (Peter) and John:

Galatians 2:9 New International Version (NIV)

9 James, Cephas[a] and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.

Paul recognized them as the leaders and humbly went to them, but also wrote that his calling was from God and even if men would deviate he would not (Galatians 2:6) That does not mean he was anti-leadership, anti-hierachial.

And if we study the New Testament it becomes clear that James and Peter were considered the leaders of the Church. And when they were martyred John might have assumed that role. Whether we like it or not, Jerusalem, then Antioch and then Rome were the main head quarters of the Church were the largest assemblies were with leaders, apostles, prophets etc.

To turn and declare everything wrong or dubious in Church history including councils where original creeds were and the very canon of Scripture was formed seems like an over-reaction against what is the modern Catholic Church.

Not to detract from the discussion. But does this mean that the New Testament and it alone is binding on the believer.

I personally believe that the Scriptures are of great importance and the Lord has preserved them to our day. But our binding is to the very person of Jesus Christ and His body (the Church). We are part of the family of God, kingdom of God, so we cannot separate ourselves from the great cloud of witnesses that have existed throughout 2000 years of Church history.

To think that we have the best doctrines, thinking and church in history in north america in AD 2000 can be wrong thinking. As though we have all church history to learn from I see many evangelicals leaving many of the core traditions and beliefs that saints have held to since the beginning of the Church. With over 40,000 denominations with all different ideas we must look to history in some way to understand what can be held to.

I believe to start with at the very least Church practices in the 1st and 2nd century are good to follow and the creed: Apostles, or Nicene Creed show us the very importance of the incarnation of Christ and Trinity of God and other important beliefs that are being questioned by many in our day.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2017/2/16 10:02Profile

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


Water Baptism is a command from Jesus Christ and should be taken seriously, done solemnly and considered part of our salvation. If one searches all the terms of baptism in the New Testament it is clear the word salvation is tied to it.

So what do you do with George Fox whom totally denounced Water Baptism ?

Say he was not fully saved ?

or not Saved at all ?

add : "George" for clarity

 2017/2/16 10:14Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2075

 Re: NT as binding

There's no ambiguity in Jesus' words which I quoted in my previous post.

What you quoted Dave, is not binding in a literally physical sense, nevertheless Jesus' words even there are binding. It is, as all Jesus' words are, binding upon the heart, as Jesus said, My words are spirit and life. The heart, which represents the man, always was, and is, what the Father and Son and Spirit were ultimately addressing.

Jesus revealed the Father to us, because He is The Word made flesh. I don't think anyone here on SI would say that there was any disagreement whatsoever in the Trinity of persons. I think all would agree that Father, Son, and Spirit are One, and in perfect unity.

bind; binding;

To bring (any one) under definite legal obligations; esp. under the obligation of a bond or covenant.

Fig.: To oblige, restrain, or hold, by authority, law, duty, promise, vow, affection, or other moral tie; as, to bind the conscience; to bind by kindness; bound by affection.
Noah Webster 1828

So...just what words of Jesus are not binding in The New COVENANT?

 2017/2/16 10:39Profile

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936


Bro Greg

John 3:5
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

You are of the belief that "born of water" in this context is referring to water baptism ?

 2017/2/16 10:41Profile

 Re: We are Bound to a Person and Governed by His Word

I will admit to say that the New Testament is binding upon us as believers is a poor choice of words. It's far better to say that we are bound to a Person. And his name is Jesus.  For consider the gracious invitation of Jesus in Matthew 11 28-30,

.......Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.......

Here we see the gracious invitation of Jesus to come and be yoked to him for rest. But notice he says " learn from me".

By inststruction and example Jesus is the final Authority in our life.  As Savanna quoted in the final words of Jesus, "All Authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth".  

Also in the Mount of transfiguration quoted in Matthews account,

......."This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.......Mat. 17:5

Please notice that Moses and Elijah had departed from walking with Christ. The only person who remained was Jesus. The father did not say listen to Moses or listen to Elijah. He said listen to My Son.

As such it is Jesus that has final authority in the believer's life.  By implication his words in the words of his apostles are that which governs the New Covenant believer. And those words are contained in the New Testament.  

Perhaps it is better to say that we are bound to Jesus. And we are governed by His words and those of his apostles.

These are simply my thoughts.

Bro Blaine 

 2017/2/16 11:14

 Re: Supplimental

By implication Jesus is the final authority over Moses, Elijah, and the church fathers. By implication Jesus is the final authority over any teaching of man.

Again my thoughts.

Bro Blaine

 2017/2/16 11:17

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