Monday, March 20, 2023

Chalcedon: The Aftermath

The emperor became infuriated and turned out to be a bitter persecutor of the non-Chalcedonian body. …In the face of such cruel treatment many made their surrender and joined the Chalcedonian body.

The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined, by V.C. Samuel

Efforts were made to unify the two sides in the conflict in the latter half of the sixth century.  We are no more than one hundred years after the council.  Unity talks were held, documents of reconciliation drafted, non-Chalcedonian bishops were offered a diocese if they would switch sides.  All came to naught.

One emperor, Tiberius, refused to persecute the non-Chalcedonians.  “Are those whom you ask me to persecute heathens?”  “No,” came the reply from the patriarch, the one who was doing the asking.  They were Christians, just not Christians in our camp.

I reflect on the criticism offered by many in the Eastern Church of the Western Church – the persecution of heretics and the like.  It turns out all lived in a world of stones and glass houses in all times and all places in the history of Christendom.

An interesting example: during the sixth century, the Arab Christian Kingdom of the Ghassanids, adherent to the non-Chalcedonian view, grew into prominence.  Emperor Maurice had their leaders exiled, then destroyed the kingdom.  This opened the door for Persian expansion into Syria.  Did such behavior also later open the door for Islam?

The non-Chalcedonians in the East, being persecuted and oppressed by their emperor, preferred domination by the Persians – in this case, they enjoyed, relatively speaking, religious freedom.  When their emperor ordered that those who would not accept Chalcedon should have their noses and ears cut out and their properties confiscated…well, the Persians didn’t look so bad in comparison.

Samuel then goes into a long examination of the dispute – arguments from each side.  What, theologically, separated the two sides when it came to understanding the nature of Christ.  It most certainly was not that Christ was both divine and human – both sides agreed on this.  It was, precisely, how?

It is not a section that I will work through here.  The more I learn about the dispute, the more I am baffled.  Nothing in Scripture precisely explains this.  so, we are left with tradition.  But both sides claim adherence to tradition – exposing the folly of those Orthodox Christians who claim “we have followed the tradition of the Church from the time of the Apostles.”  To which I say…which tradition?

My view on this entire matter is summed up well by Samuel, and after reading and working through this section of his work in which he examines the arguments on both sides (and having marked up these sections extensively), I could not summarize it better than he does:

In the Christological controversy, unlike any other theological dispute in the ancient church, there was a great deal of obscurity on account of the technical terms that were employed.

He looks at the Greek and Syriac equivalents of the key terms used in this discussion, how each was used and understood in the context of its use, how different writers understood the same term differently, how the same writer would use different terms to mean the same thing.  He further examines in detail each position relative to the earlier views in Antioch and Alexandria. 

Again, this is all secondary to my purpose – other than to emphasize that this controversy is not one that should have divided the Church – and should not be used today to continue in this division.

From here, Samuel offers some concluding remarks, to summarize:

·         Labels such as Nestorianism and Eutychianism are extreme exaggerations of the views of the men for which they are named; the term Monophyte is a distortion of the views held by those so labeled.

·         By the time that it was attempted to unify the Antiochene and Alexandrine positions of the church, it was too late.  The traditions were too deeply embedded in each.

·         Chalcedon was intended to bring political unity to the empire, and not concerned so much about theological interests.

·         At Chalcedon, Rome was concerned with asserting the superior role of the pope, and not at all concerned with understanding the nuance of the disagreements in the east.

·         These two united forces – the emperor and the pope – pressed the issue at Chalcedon.  Against such weight, many of those who would otherwise have disapproved decided it was best to go along.

What does this all mean today?  Samuel offers three areas of examination:

·         An ecumenical perspective: prior to Chalcedon, there were heresies on the one hand, and Christological statements on the other on which all the major bishoprics would agree.  But, beginning with the council of 431 and continuing with the nuances discussed at Chalcedon, this was not the case.  Therefore, to label the non-Chalcedonians as heretics was inappropriate.  Chalcedon merely demonstrated that more work needed to be done if unifying progress was to be made in this area.

·         The perspective of ecclesiastical authority: Pope Leo claimed this for his Tome via the authority of Peter.  Others view that this authority resides in the councils – a conciliar authority.  Chalcedon demonstrates that neither of these positions can be supported in an unqualified sense.  Samuel further examines this via various changes in positions by subsequent popes and subsequent councils from their respective predecessors.

·         In the light of the Church’s faith: Peter declared that Jesus was Christ, the Son of God.  all the disputants affirm that Jesus Christ is the one and only definitive savior.  They only differ in the precise way in which He is to be so affirmed.  In different ways, they each affirm both the divine nature and the human nature.  Each of these positions seem to raise more questions than answers.


This ends my examination of Samuel’s book.  Through this I have come to conclude that Chalcedon – being intended as a tool to bring the empire under unity and to establish the authority of Rome – cannot be held as a proper vehicle to divide the Church.  Further, this examination brought me to understand that even the Council of Ephesus in 431 was not commonly understood by the participants – even though they all ‘agreed.’

I may at some point have to work even further back, to the First Council of Constantinople in 381 and even the First Council of Nicaea in 325 in order to find a common statement on which to stand.  And with this, I offer the Nicaean Creed as modified in 381:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father; by whom all things were made:

Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man;

And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried;

And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures;

And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father;

And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the Prophets;

And we believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.

We look for the Resurrection of the dead,

And the Life of the age to come. Amen.

That’s good enough for me for today.  But I have probably opened up another can of worms.


  1. Well, as usual B.M. a very in depth review. What puzzles me is not your review that stands on it's own very well. But the subject of the review. Then the subject of the review is in reality a review of a previous review, ect, ect, back to the source.
    Then the missing link, the connection to the source.
    The source being Jesus the Christ.
    He did not leave notes.
    That in itself is pretty amazing.
    For a Man to have that much effect on the last few centuries without documents.
    Now for sure not just a Man, but the Mystery of God in Christ.
    What did He say while on the earth, He did say things.
    But in His saying He does not seem to answer the Reviewers of the last 2 centuries.
    He made things pretty clear.
    The 2 Greatest commandments, no need to rewrite them here.
    What is it that is at the root of this vast inquiry?
    Who is correct and who is incorrect.
    Paul's letters seem to give answers to the working out this great Salvation amongst our selfs.
    Is it the disagreement over Trinity?
    A three in one Godhead?
    Or 3 separate beings The Father as complete in His own self.
    The Son, In the Flesh, Not God the Father but Gods, only Son that shared complete with the Father.
    He did say If you have seen me you have seen the Father.
    That does not mean they are the same being.
    Yes they were in 100 percent agreement in ALL things.
    He only did what He saw His Father do.
    The Holy Ghost,
    A Spirit a channel a different being.
    They were all 100 percent in agreement.
    They are All separate but Equal.
    Just like the 3 branches of our so called government is supposed have separate but equal .
    Mans government is about controlling the other beings.
    Jesus said His government is not Of the World, not meaning another place.
    But Here, now among us.
    His government operates by Faith, Hope and Charity.
    Faith to believe that He is and is Able.

    Hope that my feebleness at Working out my own salvation is not in Vain.

    Charity or love , Love the they have 100 percent for others.

    Yes a total letting go Knowing and have Faith is the word that Our Father knows what we need.
    IF we seek His Kingdom and His Rightness.
    His rightness is 100 percent never for it's own self.
    That staggers me for sure, to be able to Love like that.
    100 Percent.
    TO obey is better than Sacrifice.

  2. I believe in one God,
    [GC} Great, thou doest well, but what does that prove? The devils also believe that and tremble! (James 2:19)

    the Father almighty,
    [GC] The word is always capitalized in the bible. The word Almighty is used 57 times and never references the Father as “almighty”, but rather God as Almighty. We know also that the scriptures say “God Almighty” (Genesis 17:1, 35:11, 48:3, etc.). We also know that the LORD (the I AM, JEHOVAH) is known as the Almighty, even the Lord God as Almighty. There is one reference of the Lord Jesus Christ, Revelation 19:15, that tells us that his rule and wrath cometh of Almighty God.

    maker of heaven and earth,
    [GC] This is stating that the Father is “maker of heaven and earth”. Again, this “comes short of the glory of God”. Read Colossians 1:15-17, John 1:1-3, Genesis 1:1 where the Lord Jesus Christ is given the preeminence in having a great role as Creator, rather than the Father.

    of all things visible and invisible.
    [GC] The above comment also applies to this since Jesus Christ is not mentioned as being part of God as Creator.

    I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
    [GC] An excellent statement since it has his authority (Lord-Acts 2:36), name (Jesus- Matthew 1:21, 25) and title (Christ- anointed one, the Christ- Matthew 16:16, 20, 26:63, John 1:41, etc.), but it better be the one “according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) because Jesus Christ warned, “be not deceived, for many shall come in my name saying… (Luke 21:8)

    the Only Begotten Son of God,
    [GC] Once again, this statement is true, but he is also “only begotten of the Father” as well as the “only begotten Son” (stating that he is not only the Son of God, but a Son who became “God manifest in the flesh”)

    born of the Father before all ages.
    [GC] That statement above is a lie and heresy, for Jesus Christ is God, but when he was begotten of the Father and conceived of the Holy Ghost, at THAT TIME he became “God manifest in THE FLESH”! When was Jesus Christ born before all ages? If he was “born” before “all ages” then “this Jesus” cannot be God!
    Once again, unquestioned statements like these is what brings confusion among the body of Christ, the church. This statement alone disqualifies the whole.

    God from God, Light from Light,
    [GC] God “from” God? Is that one God emanating “from” another God? That statement is only true IN THE FLESH when he became the Son of man begotten of the Father, conceived by the Holy Ghost.

    Light from Light- Again a false dichotomy, for only Jesus Christ is called “that Light” (John 1:8). “the Light” (John 1:7) and the “true Light” (John 1:9). He is the light of the world to bring salvation unto all men.

    true God from true God,
    [GC] That again is a false statement, a lie, even heresy unless explicitly explained in the incarnation (Matthew 1:20-23). You cannot assume that is what it is stating, because it is not, for no scriptures have ever been included in this creed. That of itself gives you a hint that this councils (beware of councils for they determined to kill the Lord!) final authority is not the Holy Bible.

    begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
    [GC] The begotten and not made is a good statement to clarify he was not made like Adam, but conceived in a holy procreation (holy Child- Acts 4:27, 30), but “consubstantial” (same substance, essence, or nature) with the Father? This statement cannot stand alone. (1) Does the Father have a “substance, nature” of flesh? Answer: No he does not. (2) In what way are those not true?
    A statement like that is so incomplete and could never do justice in understanding that God is one in three and also three in one. Who is sufficient for these things? (2 Corinthians 2:16)

    through him all things were made.
    [GC] Since the subject is still Jesus Christ, this is the first statement that I have no issue with.


  3. For us men and for our salvation
    [GC] Also true, but to what extent? For us men to do what? To glorify the Lord in the beauty of his holiness, to praise and exalt him as Creator and Lord God of all that is, even unto his great mercy and grace for our salvation.

    he came down from heaven,
    [GC] This is also true according to John 3:13, but it is also true in that verse that He was “in heaven” at the same time!

    and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
    [GC] As a King James Bible believer it was by the Holy Ghost (it is the Spirit) that he was conceived, but has theological distinctions that concerns Jesus Christ death, burial and resurrection. The second part is a pure Catholic LIE! It is the virgin (her state) whose name was Mary, not the blasphemous, idolatries of Rome associating her with a title as the “Virgin Mary”!
    Again, this statement alone would disqualify this “creed” by anyone who calls himself a bible believing Christian.

    and became man.
    [GC] A true statement, but needs for specifics.

    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
    [GC] A true statement. No statement on the shedding of his
    blood for remission of our sins.

    he suffered death and was buried,
    [GC] A true statement, but for what purpose?


  4. and rose again on the third day
    [GC] A true statement, but for what purpose?

    in accordance with the Scriptures.
    [GC] A true statement, but some statements of Jesus Christ written above where not “according to the scriptures”.

    He ascended into heaven
    [GC] A true statement, but needs more, for we know he ascended also unto the Father (John 20:27) and has “ascended up far above all heavens” (Ephesians 4:10)

    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    [GC] A true statement, but for what purpose?

    He will come again in glory
    [GC] A true statement, but what glory is referenced here? In John 14:3, the Lord will “come again” to receive the church during the rapture (not on the earth- Acts 1:11). He will be coming the second time on this earth, with his saints to be glorified in them and be admired in all them that believe (2 Thessalonians 1:10)

    to judge the living and the dead
    [GC] This statement followed by the previous is a view of an postmillennialist or an amillennialist. The judging of the “quick and the dead” (Acts 10:42) will not occur until after the millennial reign of Christ. He will be judging the nations, after his 2nd coming, not individuals.

    and his kingdom will have no end.
    [GC] In context with the previous two clauses, this truth needs clarification. According to Luke 1:33, the “kingdom that has no end” is the “house of Jacob”! What does that “kingdom” have to do with the church? We know that Jesus Christ “is the beginning and the ending”, when considering his kingdoms, there are more than one (Revelation 11:15)

    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    [GC] The scriptures never refers to the Holy Spirit as “the Lord”. He is known as God (Acts 5:3-4) and as “the Spirit of the Lord” (Acts 5:9). the Spirit of the LORD (Judges 3:10, 6:34), the Spirit of God (Genesis 1:2) and the Spirit of the Lord GOD (Isaiah 61:1).
    Again, more biblical errors, for the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost is not a giver of life, for “He that hath the Son hath life”. All references to life, eternal life and everlasting life come through the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost was sent by the Lord as the Comforter, not a giver of life (John 14:16-18, Acts 9:31)


  5. who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],
    [GC] That statement is also in error. He never “proceeds”, but as the Holy Ghost, the Spirit is given and He ONLY comes when one comes to fully know the Lord Jesus Christ according to the ministry of the gospel.

    who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
    [GC] A false statement. The Spirit bears witness to the truth and is the inspiration of the scriptures. He is only indirectly glorified as God, only when we glorify and adore Jesus Christ, through the Holy Ghost. The Father is glorified through his Son (John 17)

    who has spoken through the prophets.
    [GC] A true statement, but this statement is so nebulous. Who has spoken through the prophets of the first advent, virgin birth, life, death, shedding of blood, burial, resurrection, coming for the saints and finally the second advent of Jesus Christ is a much more complete, precise and accurate statement of the work of Spirit in the life of the prophets of God (Ephesians 2:20)

    I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
    [GC] Nonsense. The word catholic is never used in the bible. It is not an “apostolic” church, but rather a church “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 2:20)
    I believe in the church which is the one body of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12), and of his bones and his flesh that is to be separated unto God and desire to live holy, and to go into all the world and preach the gospel, and make disciples of men (2 Timothy 2:2)

    I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
    [GC] Definitely a FALSE gospel. Baptismal Regeneration. Another reason that this “creed” should be never have anything to do with a saved, born again bible believing Christian.

    and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
    [GC] The person that believes the previous statement will be in the WRONG resurrection, the resurrection of damnation at the Great White Throne judgment!

    and the life of the world to come. Amen.
    [GC] What world? There is a kingdom coming to this world at the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ to which one can only take part if he is saved.


    1. I think this sort of hyper-textualism is why the Lord Jesus Christ didn't write anything down.

    2. GC is the one who wrote the biblical response to the weak Nicaean Creed.

    3. Okay... who is GC now? Is his name just "GC." Sort of like "Ye"? Did he write this critique a long time ago (4th or 5th century AD?), or is this some modern idiot with a neckbeard writing this on his laptop in his parent's basement with Cheetos fingers?

    4. The Preacher,

      Have you found anyone to buy this yet? Any disciples? Any monks? Any martyrs? I would entertain a line by line refutation of all these wild assertions made by GC (George Carlin?), but that is not the purpose of this blog.

      What is the point of your long winded supposed critique of the Creed? Are you arguing that the Creed was wrong and thus it inhibited the progress of liberty in some way? Is your version of the faith more conducive to liberty? Explain.

      This blog is all about the cross section of liberty and a culture conducive to it, which led to many posts on Christianity, because Bionic and many of us along with him became convinced that liberty came from Jesus Christ (and communities/associations/kingdoms who paid homage to Him) and that a community in Christ was essential for a restoration of liberty in our time. This is not a theological fight club; it's a quest for the necessary building blocks of a community of liberty, studying the past, analyzing the present, and looking into the future. Theological concepts and religious events are addressed often but only in relation to the evolution of the idea and practice of liberty.

      If I can make one request, as an ordinary but regular member of this little community of liberty, please, please make a point.

    5. Preacher, I allow leeway on theological topics as this cannot be avoided given the purpose of this blog. As noted by ATL, this blog has evolved into one where it is clear that liberty requires a Christian (and natural law) foundation. The discussion is intended to revolve around this intersection.

      There is much to comment on regarding your comments, but I learned from before (and saw your behavior with others) that this is pointless.

      My point regarding Christian doctrine specifically is that it is important that Christians focus on what is agreed rather than fighting about what is disagreed. You regularly do the latter, and this will need to end.

      I get it. You don't agree with the Nicene creed. That's enough on this topic.

    6. Preacher, I see you have written three comments, each of which either is attacking and abusive toward others here or continuing down the path of arguing doctrine. I will not publish these.

      You have made your point, others have made theirs. The discussion ends here.

    7. Preacher, regarding your question (which also won't be published, but for which I will respond)...there are others who comment at this blog, and have done so for years, having earned significant goodwill with me and with many in this community.

      You seem smart enough to know that the things you write, however true these might seem to you, are, at minimum, significantly controversial and additionally...unique perspectives. Especially when you go against the Church fathers (and I am certain you take exception to such a term) and 1700 years of settled doctrine (of which none of the major traditions or denominations take exception).

      A little humility would go a long way. You have challenged the Nicene Creed. Not a small undertaking.

  6. Interesting coincidence? Just a couple of weeks ago, the question came up - - why was it necessary to change anything?

    1. Crush, thank you for this. As I noted in the post, I may decide to work backwards through the earlier councils.

    2. Depends what one means by "necessary"... clearly it was a political necessity at the very least. Church and State being so tightly bound together meant disagreements that were arising meant threats to physical stability and security, and the Nicene Creed itself wasn't able to keep a lid on/successfully resolve back to agreed principle, those conflicts and disagreements.

      I agree it shouldn't have been necessary to ADD, if not change anything. Like Ron Paul says, it is usually the case that being "radical" or "of the root" is the same path. Perhaps the Nicene Creed as a practical holding position, to be able to continue to unwind and simplify back to the root/source teachings from, might have worked better. As we know about the American Constitution and Federalist Papers etc, adding words on top to make things fit now, in ignorance/non interest of original meanings and contexts, is an endless road of confusion on confusion.

  7. Peace Friends,

    There is quite a can of worms here indeed. If we are talking about "which apostolic tradition?", then the question of non-Pauline lineages like the Gospel of Thomas, which places no emphasis on the importance of the crucifixion at all, over the importance of Jesus' teachings, and in what way it or similar can be without complication labelled "heresy", comes to the fore.

    Noting I am not a Muslim, this may relate to as mentioned whether or not Christian infighting opened the way for Islam in Syria. The Qur'an does mention how claiming the One had a son would lead to sectarian conflict until the end of time. A further Sign may be that both the Gospel of Thomas and the Qur'an (if not all Islam's) are completely theologically compatible, and both have 114 chapters/parts.


  8. Well preacher, ya picked that apart pretty well. Am not Catholic or Protestant myself. Good and bad come in ALL denominations.
    Gonna stick to the 2 greatest commandments neither one is concerned with those kinds of details. How about the Preterist viewpoint? Orr that Jesus said the Kingdom is among us not off in the future. Politics Is Religion.

    1. The preterist viewpoint has no scriptural basis of "rightly dividing the word of truth". Just read all the prophets and then read Romans 9-11. Israel, the Jew will come into focus after the rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 15) because of the promises made of the eternal inheritance of the land that was given to them through Abraham, Moses and its eternal king, David.

      I have a final authority, the Holy King James Bible which I take literally (Jesus Christ said, "I am the door" is to be taken literally [what the door represents about Jesus Christ], not that he is physically a door). That has nothing to do with interpretation, but rather a careful study of the words of God that will lead you into all truth. I prove all things using "every word of God" as it applies to ALL matters of life.

      I am not denominational, but teach that the body of Jesus Christ is that one body, his bride, that come to him in faith "according to the scriptures". Every denomination and religion leads men to one place and that is the road to hell. Only Jesus Christ as promised by the holy scriptures leads men into a holy living unto Him that loved us and gave himself for us and therefore say with confidence, "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah." (Psalms 68:19).

    2. Jesus unquestionably said that the Kingdom is here and at hand, or at least there is a lineage of Christian thought that is very old that holds this to be so and develops a theology on exploring what that might mean.

      These teachings tend to agree that apostolic lineages do not matter, compared at least to an individual's Knowing of what Jesus is imparting. Very often Peter (from Canon and non-Canon sources) is depicted as one that doesn't deeply understand... but that's okay, as a Church based on a rock of faith instead of direct apprehension is still a holding position of value.

    3. I hold to a preterist viewpoint and a post-millennial eschatology, not pietist, but dominion oriented. I left The Rapture behind 40 some years ago in favor of a better theology and have never looked back nor regretted my decision.

    4. Anonymous- There are two kingdoms, one called the "kingdom of heaven" which is physical and its promises made to the Jew which is an inheritance of the land grant promised unto Abraham. The other is the "kingdom of God" which is spiritual (within you- see Luke 17:21) and you enter that kingdom by "repentance towards God and faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ".

      In all cases you enter into the promises of God by faith, believing God in what he said during the different times he spoke and made promises to mankind. It is called dispensational truth.

      Based on believing God and his promises in any dispensation will put you into his kingdom forever, both in the physical (Millennial reign- Jew getting promised land; Gentile ruling and reigning on the earth) and spiritual where God rules and reigns in your heart and giving you eternal life to live with Him forever.

  9. My point in Mentioning the Preterist view was not to say it is my personal position. But it is at least as Possible as pretrib midtrib and posttrib positions as they are called. Many things are possible. The creed was an attempt at settling disagreements.
    Disagreements are bound to happen.
    But getting back to the source of some of Jesus sayings recorded by others. He said He would send the comforter to lead us into all Truth. One Key to the Kingdom of God at hand is not so much that we agree on everything but we agree on the fruits of the spirit Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. There is no Law anywhere that opposes these things.
    If we start there we can work out our Salvation together with disagreements. Jesus did go into the temple/ government office where benefits were handed out. He fired the Money changers and appointed His own. They took over the bank and welfare office pretty much.

  10. The early church did not just have a kumbaiya meeting and
    decide to start a "church". They were kicked out of the temple and rome did not approve. hey said If you follow this other King Jesus you may not participate in the free bread and circus. They came together because they had no choice they were kicked out and later even persecuted. They were even called Atheist by some Romans. They thrived while Rome crumbled. What happened then is difficult to find.
    An interesting book By Bob Benson, "The enterprise of law" sheds some light on that. There is a pattern in the bible of people gathering in 10's 100's and 1000's not in a top down Ruling state like we have today. But congregations of 10 families. 10 heads would find one among them who had wisdom like the Judges of Old. A jury of peers was people who knew each other. Not what we have today.
    It seems this pattern lived on up in the North and In Briton until 1066 and the Domesday book keeping system
    . The evidence of 10's and 100's was there in the Upper Room where 120 were gathered. Why 120? Well 12 tribes ,10
    heads from each tribe.
    There is much we do not know and can only speculate but If we do indeed have this Treasure in Earthen vessels we have what we need to work it out together. Their is One (w)Holy church. Mans issue is who is gonna be the head.
    We all know the answer , there is One head and it ain't any one of us. And there is a higher archy to the church. The Apostles told the people to select men from among them to work out the daily ministration as they could tend to the preaching and teaching of the Gospel.
    The Good news was not only personal eternal security and rights and happiness for the for me. But Responsibility and caring as much about my neighbors rights and needs.
    Over years the Church fell off from this and handed over that to the State. We have heard to not mix politics with religion but my sense is Politics IS religion. Taking care of orphans and widows and the needy of Society in ways that build them up and strengthen them not make them into needy voting blocks to power the state. It will be on Earth as it is in heaven. Israel is not so much about a land mass ,although it is there . But Is real is where ever people gather in His Name according to His purpose. Same with the "Sabbath day".
    Have been in multiple groups some argue Saturday. Some argue Sunday. They both make claim to be biblical. Myself was aske to leave a debate once because my comment during the question time made such a stir. If you both claim to be the "Right Ones' . The what about the Original Hebrew time counting that did not follow the Gregorian days but was counted by numbers according the the moon phase and many times the 7th day was not even on a Sunday or Saturday. My Point is We the Church need more to focus on agreeing because the days we are in are pretty crazy.
    I made an appointment to go see a Doctor because my wife has been harping on me to do that as I have not been to one in 40 years. Filling out the paper work when I came to Gender selection I was alarmed that now even doctors have 3 options male female and other. I mean these guys and gals went to University to learn this. Lol. Am looking forward to that conversation. Myself am not sure am willing to trust me health to one who believes a lie Like that. Again, am not saying I know any better than any one else and would almost guarantee that most of you posting here know much more than me. It is a credit to you as I have not given myself to searching like a good Berean.
    Respect fully submitted , with Malice toward none,

    1. "Politics IS religion"

      About as true as it gets. That is why the US Constitution has separation of church and state. It was because of that Catholic and Protestant (limited to 200-300 years, and only a few nations) hellish nightmare (Remember the DARK ages?) that went on for over 1600 years in killing those that did not agree with them (i.e., just call them heretics. Recant or die!). They wanted NO part of that church-state religion where men dictate the conscience and will of individuals by killing them when they disagree.

      That is the biblical foundation of why Christians are a peculiar people, separate from the world. They would never kill anyone for what they believe. They expect the state to do its job, and we do ours by preaching the gospel of the grace of God to try to change men's hearts and minds to the truth of Jesus Christ. But, if you must, believe in the tooth fairy or any religious lie apart from the clear teachings of the Holy Bible.

      Today, you could NEVER be a politician and a bible believing Christian. It is an antithesis to being virtuous, honest, of good report, blameless, just, righteous and every other attribute that is considered to be like the Lord Jesus Christ.

      You would never get the votes because of the godless society we live in. Perilous times are upon us for most
      are "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:1-4). Sad, but true.

    2. "That is why the US Constitution has separation of church and state."

      Preacher, I am going to call you out. Please cite from the Constitution where it says that there is, or is to be, a separation between Church and state. Article and Section, if you do not mind.

      The only reference I can find to this idea is in Article VI, which says, and I quote,

      "...but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

      The prohibition of a religious test to hold office is not the same as the separation of Church and State.

      Your turn.

    3. Roger wrote- "Please cite from the Constitution where it says that there is, or is to be, a separation between Church and state. Article and Section, if you do not mind."

      You have to be kidding me? The separation of church and state is found in the first amendment of the constitution. It is called the establishment clause. It was put there because certain states followed the pernicious ways of Europe and its hellish killing of Christians by perverted religious groups. Once again, the Anabaptists who were preaching openly pushed for the simple biblical truth of "soul liberty"! NO religious belief system has the right to tell the state to kill another because of his belief and how he lives according to his will and volition, unless it violates the laws of the state! The godless Jews used the power of the state to kill Jesus Christ though Pilate said three times, "I find no fault in Him"!

      So please, be not ignorant of these facts. A true Christian only cares that the state follows Romans 13 in the punishment of evil. A Christian should never have to worry about that, since he is always living justly, holy, and righteously, unless the state becomes perverted and begins calling "evil good and good evil", much like today!

      If that happens, the bible believing preacher will preach against their ungodliness, trying to lead them to the peace of God in Jesus Christ. If they get to the point of Europe, then we will die as faithful martyrs of Jesus Christ, BUT they will know that a man of God was among them and that they will be judged and will NEVER get away with it, Hell being their destination with no way of escape, unless they "repent and believe the gospel"!

      There is even hope for a religious murderer.

    4. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, of of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

      In other words, in plain English, Congress shall mind its own damned business when it comes to religion and churches, and will absolutely NOT favor one particular doctrine, sect, or denomination over all the others.

      Actually, Roger Williams is seen as the first man to mention a "wall" between the State and the Church. Thomas Jefferson is widely credited with popularizing the phrase, "wall of separation".

      "Though not explicitly stated in the First Amendment, the clause is often interpreted to mean that the Constitution requires the separation of church and state." --

      If there really was a Constitutional requirement that a separation exist between the State and the Church, then why was it not until the mid-20th century that the Supreme Court began to "interpret" this within the Constitution? Much like the "right" to abortion had to also be read into it as well.

      Unfortunately, the one religion which is and has been constantly recognized by Congress is known as secular humanism, and we are dealing with the aftermath of decades, maybe centuries, of this dance with the devil.

    5. Preacher, if you really want to know what I think about the "separation" of Church and State, then I invite you to read this article on my blog, which was posted just yesterday.

      Short synopsis--I take a VERY dim view of churches which call themselves Christian, but also display and wave political flags...of any sort.

    6. Roger wrote:
      "In other words, in plain English, Congress shall mind its own damned business when it comes to religion and churches, and will absolutely NOT favor one particular doctrine, sect, or denomination over all the others"

      You could not make that clearer in the context of the State. Great comment.

      That allows any "religion" to stand and preach against another "religion" or just the evil condition of mankind, but the state takes no sides and allows mankind to have free will and volition to "choose you this day whom ye will serve" without killing him for it!

      That has always been the ministry of a bible believing Christian known as an Anabaptist. As I said before, the only one who dies if a nation becomes woke, perverted and evil as this nation has become, is the Christian!

    7. "...the only one who dies if a nation becomes woke, perverted and evil as this nation has become, is the Christian!"

      Or maybe this is backwards. Maybe the only one who lives is the Christian, while everyone else dies.

    8. No, the Christian is the one that is willing to die, just as Jesus Christ was willing to die for the sinner.

      The reason the Christian is given to the "afflictions of the gospel" is the fact that those who put him to death should have NOTHING on him but hatred for the God he serves, the Lord Jesus Christ. He walks in integrity, holiness, virtue, works hard. lives justly and righteously before God and man and can say as Paul said:

      And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
      (Acts 24:15-16)

      This is the way of a true bible believing Christian Anabaptist (a judicial term used by Rome to put men to death! It is a term like murderer) in reproving the world of sin, righteousness and judgment to come, for it will come to the world in due time! You will find the "vengeance of the Lord", for vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord in the scriptures such as Romans 12:19-21, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 and Revelation 19:11-16, etc. Right now, you preach against sin for a sinner to repent and the "love of God" that is found only in Jesus Christ for the sinner who from his heart desires the Lord to take away his sin and to save him unto eternal life.

      If you can get the government to do right as found in Romans 13, as they eventually did with Paul when jailed in Philippi, then praise the Lord! But, if you find that they setup a "kangaroo court" against you as they did Jesus Christ, then "whether it be by life, or by death" may Christ be magnified in our bodies (Philippines 1:20).

      This is the way of the Anabaptists. This is one of my life's verses which include Isaiah 26:3 and Philippines 3:10. It is Acts 20:24.

      Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. (v23)
      But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
      (Acts 20:23-24)

      For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,
      George, a preacher of righteousness

    9. I have been pondering this question for a few days. If there is a constitutionally required separation of Church and State so that the State cannot mandate any religious practice, creed, or doctrine, does this also mean that the Church is not allowed to "interfere" in or attempt to influence the workings of the State? Where are the lines drawn? How far can either go without going too far?

      I dispute the idea that there can even be a "separation" because both institutions are made up of sinners and Christians alike. Both are unique, both are distinct, both are supposed to work together to oppose evil. How is the Church able to do this if it is subservient to the State? How is the State able to do this without the moralizing influence of the Church?

    10. The church is always separate from the state. According to the bible, it is a spiritual organism with its only purpose to (1) preach the gospel, (2) make disciples of those who by faith repent and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to save them.

      The only "state" God has is the Jewish "state" of Israel that is now been set aside by God based on the New Testament doctrines of God assembling the "bride of Christ" made up of born-again believers.

      The lines are drawn simply if you are a bible believer. Being a citizen of a country, if it has a democratic process, you can vote for those who will follow Romans 13 and in this country, the Constitution. The problem is, a country like America that has been turned into hell, is NO place for a Christian to take part in its politics for he would be a compromiser of all kinds of Christian principles in order to "get the votes".

      There is NOTHING in new testament Christianity with working with those who do not believe the sound doctrines of biblical faith. We are to separate from the world, even though we live in it. Christians "are not of the world" (read chapters John 15-17) and as Peter wrote, "we are strangers and pilgrims" (1 Peter 2:5-12) and our responsibility is to "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man" (1 Peter 2:13-17).

      The moralizing influence of the church?? Most who use the term "the church" are nothing more than a bunch of religious frauds who call themselves "Christians" that use their religion to justify lives that are contrary to almost everything the bible teaches concerning truly converted disciples of Christ. They all serve a false Christ, for "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  (Mat 15:8-9)".

    11. It was separate until it applied for a benefit of tax free status. The Church was already exempt until they began applying for status. More detail on that here

    12. One thin that does seem to be missing is the power the early Christians possessed before they were called :"Church" . My wife developed colon Cancer last year, Of course the church folks came over and rebuked the devil claimed her healing , Quoted many scriptures.
      Doctors and their voodoo cancer "treatments" do not do much. My own research has shown me there are other ways to deal with cancer than chemo and .
      radiation. Promises from the church folks have faith God will heal her. Promises from the Doctors we will fix her. So far been 8 months of "prayers" and voo doo she gets worse.
      All along every one tells me I am not a doctor and have no right to question them.
      I find much evidence for Nutrition based cures.
      But am fighting a losing battle.
      I was with my wife this weekend for a few days and all I can do is lie in bed with her and hold her shrinking body as she is wasting away.
      Yep not a good scene.
      So many words and theories like a form of Godliness but lacking any power.
      Am quite angry Not at God He owes me nothing but all the helpless noise and chatter around is just that empty words.
      The Church? a moralizing influence a feel good club?
      Went to the Big Easter Service with her down at Maryland and listened once again to the stories.
      It really puts things in Perspective as I watch my wife waste away with out hope.
      It has gone for we can fix it <God will heal her to the best we can do is cut out her rectum and lower spine and send her away with a colostomy bag.
      Yeah Praise the Lord for healing they say ? HUH what?
      Forgive me for this rant folks it is more pain than I have ever felt before. I hate the fact I am complaining and am sorry but damn man I got no where else to go.
      I know my suffering it light compared to many others and should be a good "soldier of Christ" gird up my loins and be like a Man but just not working at the moment.

    13. Be writing, I just prayed for your wife and also prayed for you. Though I been through that with my father (passed of cancer), it must be quite a humbling and hurting experience when it is your wife. I have empathy for your frustration. I am thankful to read that you blame everything around you (That I understand!), but not the Lord. As you said very well, he owes us nothing, for he has given us everything in Jesus Christ so that we might have hope, especially in these trying times.

      I have the same mindset concerning cancer, pray for healing and use the wisdom given by God to find an alternative to chemotherapy.

      At the end, you can only find hope and comfort in the Lord God of the scriptures by reminding yourself that God is good, and that "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  (2Co 1:3-4)

    14. Mr. McCauley, Kevin, if I may,

      Thank you for being honest and for writing what you did. The courage to face our conditions honestly and to express our feelings about them has its own healing power deep within our souls. I pray that the "peace which passes all understanding" will rise within your own soul and give you comfort and assurance as you and your wife travel this road.

      Beyond that, all I can do is to tell you that you are not alone and that I am with you in spirit, hoping and trusting that events will work out for your good...somehow.

      Please maintain contact. I would like to hear from time to time about this. For whatever good it might do, please tell your wife I said "Hello" and that I am in her corner.

    15. "One thin[g] that does seem to be missing is the power the early Christians possessed before they were called :"Church" ."

      Kevin, I hope you are well.

      I have been thinking about your statement since it was posted, but did not have any good response until I saw an article by Paul Kengor on Lew Rockwell. Well worth the read.

      He mentions a passage in Acts 4:32-35, which states:

      "The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all. There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need."

      The phrase, "With great power" is used as descriptive of the apostles message and is securely ensconced in the context of the selflessness and generosity of the early believers. Those who had shared with those who did not and no one went hungry or was in need. This sharing was done in a voluntary fashion. No one was compelled to sell. No one had the "right" to another's wealth. It was given and received in a spirit of love and compassion.

      Contrast that with today where everyone does their best to keep what they have for their own use and to accumulate more all the time. We never hear of anyone selling a house or property so that someone else can be fed or clothed. Instead, if someone has need, our first impulse is to point them to a government program, get them hooked on it, and walk away, smug in the knowledge that the taxes we pay have enabled us to participate in the "business" we call charity.

      This might have some bearing on the reason we no longer have "great power".

  11. sorry had to break it up into 2 got long winded

  12. I have read most of these posts and enjoyed them thoroughly. Thank you for writing them. I am especially thankful that you introduced a Malankara Nasrani( the ethnic group Fr. Samuel belongs too) theologian into these spheres of the right. Fr. Samuel was one of the best minds our community produced so it's nice to see him get recognition from people who aren't Indians. There isn't much covered about us or our history in these circles( most ppl don't touch any aspect of Indian history properly so shouldn't be too disappointed), so it is a joy to see you review one of our beloved scholars, especially considering I've been a reader of yours since my middle school/ high school ancap edge phase. I hope you enjoyed his book and your writing will hopefully spark a conversation that will address the pointless divisions in Christ's Church. God Bless!

  13. Anonymous When you mentioned Malankara Nasrani ,That was some thing unfamiliar to me. So went looking and found was/is believed Thomas and Apostle Led a group to the Malabar coast.
    Seems reasonable too se that other groups ended up in other places. Later it was stated that :Christianity was introduce to the Malaber coat in 720 AD.
    That brought the question. If indeed The Apostle Thomas escaped after 70 AD to the Malaber coast it was then that Christianity was already there well be fore it was introduced later. More confusion but also possibly more answers.
    It is recorded Constantine gathered 100 plus Bishops together to settle things and make everything the same.
    Is it up to us to force particular custom on each other?
    Like we do it this way, or it is our custom to do this?
    Jesus did speak to this when He told them He had sheep not of this fold.
    He also spoke to the Apostles when they said Hey Lord some guys over there were casting out demons in You name but we do not know them.
    Jesus answered and said let them be , He who is not against me is for me. Never another word was spoke about that.
    Years pass and things happen in local congregations that may not happen elsewhere.
    Are their differences in customs? Sure just have a look at diets. We have Asian food, Chinese food, Irish food , etc.
    It seems that the Paraclete, Holy Ghost or Spirit is the common denominator to us all.
    He Promised us that.
    So thanks for that shaft of light that was never seen by me before.
    And B.M you know you have my respect and am not here to cause trouble or argue for the sake of winning anything.
    As you wrote up top that you may have to dig deeper.
    That seems true for ALL of us we may have to dig deeper.
    Why? To answer Why Liberty rests in Jesus the Christ and No other.
    Been hearing a lot about this CRT thing.
    Looking into that it seems there main thing is there is NO Moral Authority and it is all some kind of made up as we go along.
    Jesus Christ is the Message and He is the authority.
    So may we all grow up into Him.
    So with that and am careful when I use this term and do not use it lightly .
    Am feeling Love here.
    An honest attempt as fallen Men with treasure inside to come to agreements not to pat our self on the back but to bring light to this fallen messed up world we find our self in.

    Peace on Your house friend

    1. Malankara Nasrani is the proper name for the group of Indian Christians called "St. Thomas Christians" or "Syrian Christians". Malankara is what our ancestors called Kerala which our region of India, and Nasrani is the sect of Christians we originated from. There is no evidence that either disproves or proves St. Thomas coming to India. The identification of St. Thomas with our community may have happened as a result the interactions between Syriac Christians( who also claim a Thomasine origin), and the Portuguese who believed the old legends of Thomas going all the way to India and also the legend of Prester John. The problem is there is a total of 6 Thomas associated with Christian/Gnostic groups in Southern India. This confusion may led to the story of St. Thomas coming to India or maybe the Apostle did come to India and the later Thomas took up is name as way to sway his spiritual descendants. For a detailed look into this study I would recommend "Unmasking the Syriacs" by Jeevan Philip, he does has his biases and errors but the importance of his work illustrates the religious colonization taken up by the Portuguese and Syriacs.

      Our origins seem to be connected with the Nasrani sect of Christians( Judaizers) who were distinguished themselves from more mainstream Christian groups through the imposing of Jewish customs on those who converted to Christianity, infact the Portuguese did call us Judaizers. We have records of Pantaenus( 2nd century) who is the only Church Father that actually was intimately famaliar with our community because he was the only Early Christian Father to have visited us and recorded his visit. He mentioned that the only Book of the NT we had was the Gospel of Matthew of Hebrew( though some scholars argue that the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew is different from the one we have today). There is also some Alexandrian influence in our community. In regards to what we shared with the rest of Christendom, we had the sacraments of baptism and the eucharists, we had presbyters( though our model of polity was slightly different it resembled the Presybterian model), belief in the Trinity, and we accepted the Canon of the Scriptures. Basically Mere Christianity. However we differed from the Portuguese in that we had no Pope, didn't have any of the dogmas that separated Protestants and Catholics. Infact the later Protestant missionaries( like Buchanan) used our community as proof against Rome's claim of innovation in doctrine, and they had a point. There is more I can write about but our history imo is unique however we are still apart of Christendom( though a tiny island of Hindu India) and the Orthodox faith despite recent detractors who wish to label us Gnostic, Nestorians, or Syriac Christians. Our uniqueness are just accidents of our culture and environment nothing more

  14. Thank You Anonymous, for shedding more light on this. This is new to my self and am always curious to find what our common ground is.

    We must all sift through our individual customs that are products of our culture and environment.
    Interesting to me the the Protestant Missionaries wanted to use you as cannon fodder to hurl at their enemy.

    In China there was a man, Watchman Nee.
    He too had a uniqueness according to his culture and environment of his time.
    Some missionaries tried to use that little flock also.

    Also you mention the "Judiazers", Paul mentions them.
    Think he used the term "them from James".
    It seems they followed around after to spy on the Higher Liberty Paul talked about attempting tell folks you need to do more.

    Another thing that seems interesting to me is Languages.
    You use the word Nasrani, sounds like Nazarene,
    Like Iberia and Hibernia seem familiar.

    ALL in ALL is what God will be in the end of this ALL.

    It seems that our Fathers main goal is not getting us to work for him but He worked and works for us to gain us so that He can work his self into us.
    And also IF indeed He is for us who can be against us?

    Thank You again Anonymous,
    Peace and joy be to you