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Featured Are the Ecumenical Councils valid?

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by Grailhunter, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    The ecumenical councils were a series of conferences (major and minor) which include ecclesiastical dignitaries (Bishops) who convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practices in which those entitled to vote represented a whole range of Christian beliefs and churches.

    Of course the Catholic Church is going to affirm all of these. But the point of interest is that within the concept of fundamentalism the councils represent one of the unique scenario where Protestants will sometimes recognize significant Christian events outside the Holy Bible. Some Protestant denominations have official statements on this. My interests are the opinions of individuals. Then on the other hand, what category does the first council of Jerusalem fall in? (Acts chapter 15) Do you recognize any of the Ecumenical Councils?

    Out of these councils came the official Catholic definitions of heresy. But again my interests are; what are the opinions of individuals, and that includes Catholics? The rulings of these councils were taken so seriously that excommunications and murders occurred. So there are some questions that arise for the individuals; Do you base heresy on some of the rulings of the councils? Or is heresy a disagreement between denominations? Is heresy a disagreement of one’s own beliefs? Then how serious are these heresies? How should an individual respond to what they consider a heresy? Or even if there is such a thing as heretical beliefs anymore?

    I have provided a list of councils for reference.
    1. First Council of Nicaea (325) repudiated Arianism, declared that Christ is "homoousios with the Father" (of the same substance as the Father), and adopted the original Nicene Creed, fixed Easter date; recognized primacy of the sees of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch and granted the See of Jerusalem a position of honor.
    2. First Council of Constantinople (381) repudiated Arianism and Macedonianism, declared that Christ is "born of the Father before all time", revised the Nicene Creed in regard to the Holy Spirit
    3. Council of Ephesus (431) repudiated Nestorianism, proclaimed the Virgin Mary as the Theotokos ("Birth-giver to God", "God-bearer", "Mother of God"), repudiated Pelagianism, and reaffirmed the Nicene Creed. This and all the following councils in this list are not recognized by the Assyrian Church of the East.
      • Second Council of Ephesus (449) declared Eutyches orthodox and attacked his opponents. Though originally convened as an ecumenical council, this council is not recognized as ecumenical and denounced as a Robber Council by the Chalcedonians (Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Protestants).
    4. Council of Chalcedon (451) repudiated the Eutychian doctrine of monophysitism, adopted the Chalcedonian Creed, which described the hypostatic union of the two natures of Christ, human and divine. Reinstated those deposed in 449 and deposed Dioscorus of Alexandria. Elevation of the bishoprics of Constantinople and Jerusalem to the status of patriarchates. This is also the last council explicitly recognized by the Anglican Communion. This and all the following councils in this list are rejected by the Oriental Orthodoxy.
    5. Second Council of Constantinople (553) repudiated the Three Chapters as Nestorian, condemned Origen of Alexandria, decreed the Theopaschite Formula.
    6. Third Council of Constantinople (680-681) repudiated Monothelitism and Monoenergism.
      • Quinisext Council, also called Council in Trullo (692) addressed matters of discipline (in amendment to the 5th and 6th councils). The Ecumenical status of this council was repudiated by the western churches.
    7. Second Council of Nicaea (787) restored the veneration of icons (condemned at the Council of Hieria (754) repudiated iconoclasm. This council is rejected by some Protestant denominations, which condemn the veneration of icons.
    8. Fourth Council of Constantinople (869-870) deposed Patriarch Photios I of Constantinople as an usurper and reinstated his predecessor Saint Ignatius. Photius had already been declared deposed by the Pope, an act which the Church of Constantinople accepted at this council.
    9. First Council of the Lateran (1123) addressed investment of bishops and the Holy Roman Emperor's role therein.
    10. Second Council of the Lateran (1139) reaffirmed Lateran I and addressed clerical discipline (dress, marriages).
    11. Third Council of the Lateran (1179) restricted papal election to the cardinals, condemned simony, and introduced minimum ages for ordination (thirty for bishops).
    12. Fourth Council of the Lateran (1215) defined transubstantiation, addressed papal primacy and clerical discipline.
    13. First Council of Lyon (1245) deposed Emperor Frederick II and instituted a levy to support the Holy Land.
    14. Second Council of Lyon (1274) attempted reunion with the Eastern churches, approved Franciscan and Dominican orders, a tithe to support crusades, and conclave procedures.
    15. Council of Vienne (1311-1312) disbanded the Knights Templar.
      • Council of Pisa (1409) attempted to solve the Great Western Schism. The council is not numbered because it was not convened by a pope and its outcome was repudiated at Constance.
    16. Council of Constance (1414-1418) resolved the Great Western Schism and condemned John Hus. Also began conciliarism.
      • Council of Siena (1423-1424) addressed church reform. Not numbered as it was swiftly disbanded.
    17. Council of Basel, Ferrara and Florence (1431-1445) addressed church reform and reunion with the Eastern Churches, but split into two parties. The fathers remaining at Basel became the apogee of conciliarism. The fathers at Florence achieved union with various Eastern Churches and temporarily with the Eastern Orthodox Church.
    18. Fifth Council of the Lateran (1512-1514) addressed church reform.
    19. Council of Trent (1545-1563, with interruptions) addressed church reform and repudiated Protestantism, defined the role and canon of Scripture and the seven sacraments, and strengthened clerical discipline and education. Temporarily attended by Lutheran delegates.
    20. First Council of the Vatican (1870; officially, 1870-1960) defined pope's primacy in church governance and his infallibility, repudiated rationalism, materialism and atheism, addressed revelation, interpretation of scripture and the relationship of faith and reason.
    21. Second Council of the Vatican (1962-1965) addressed pastoral and disciplinary issues dealing with the Church and its relation to the modern world, including liturgy and ecumenism.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  2. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    You can exclude this from all the others since the apostles were involved in a critical decision guided by the Holy Spirit.

    For those who believe the other councils were valid, they are valid (some for the Orthodox others for the Catholics. For those do not look to these councils for clarity, they are of great interest. But their rulings should all be examined in the light of Scripture. Some were purely political, and the Council of Trent had a very definite agenda -- attack and destroy Protestantism. You will hear some Catholics today claim that Trent is no longer relevant, but that is false. It is consistently quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
     
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  3. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. So for you what did the decision at the council of Jerusalem mean?
     
  4. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    That there are just four stipulations from the Law of Moses which are binding on the whole Church even to this day.

    28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29
    [1] That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, [2] and from blood, and [3] from things strangled, [4] and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

    The consumption of blood was forbidden to the whole world when God made a covenant with Noah (Gen 9:3,4): Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
     
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  5. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. Do think this was a total welcoming of the "gentiles" or a concession? Do you think James had any idea that within few decades the gentiles would take the reins of the Christianity?
     
  6. GodsGrace

    GodsGrace Well-Known Member

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    Wow. This is a big bite!
    I like that you started with the Council of Nicea.
    The Council of Trent is very important....
    and also the Council of Vatican II...

    And I should add that a lot from the Vat II has already changed...
    OR
    has never been put into practice.
    I do hope that @Philip James sees this and participates.
     
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  7. GodsGrace

    GodsGrace Well-Known Member

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    Great thread....
    Let's say too that at the beginning of the church there were many heresies and different ideas floating around. The concepts of the church had to be kept in check and some authority was necessary to declare what was heretical and what was not.

    I'm not very familiar with all the Councils, but I would have to accept them as being the word of the church at the time.

    Whether or not one wishes to agree with the is a whole different matter.

    As to Acts...I noticed that you didn't add it.
    It was a council type decision...but was it really a council?
    Were AUTHORITIES from all over called together to make a doctrinal type decision?
    NO.
    It seems more like a new company starting up and the two partners make an important decision BEFORE the company is even established.

    Once the INITIAL policies/doctrine THEN it will require a committee to come to agreements once the company/church have grown considerably.

    Interesting question.
    A heresy is just an opinion that is different from the accepted norm.
    These days we don't call them heresies anymore -- we call them differences.
    I'm sorry about this...it causes the church to split in ideaology when, in fact, it should be more united in beliefs.

    Great work!

    I wonder if anyone could confirm that protestantism DID accept the first 7 councils?
    I seem to remember this but am not sure.
     
  8. GodsGrace

    GodsGrace Well-Known Member

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    Trent is quoted in the CCC when it suits the church.
    MUCH of Trent is discarded today.
    I know we don't agree on this and it would be interesting to go through it one day...but I have little time.

    Do you only go by the CCC for your catholic doctrine?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  9. GodsGrace

    GodsGrace Well-Known Member

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    What if it was neither?
    Circumcision was a point of contention anyway when Paul said that the heart is to be circumcised and not the flesh.

    I'd have to say that it was a total welcoming of the gentiles and also new Jews that wanted to become "Christian".
     
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  10. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    It was not easy for strict Jews to accept the fact that God had opened the door of salvation to the Gentiles. But we should keep in mind that James and the apostles and elders were all under the control of the Holy Spirit, and clearly understood what God was doing. James wrote his epistle by divine revelation, so it is God who gave him the message in that epistle.
     
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  11. Philip James

    Philip James Well-Known Member

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    Hi GG,
    I believe the Holy Spirit uses synods, councils and especially ecumenical councils to correct, teach, guide and renew the Church, leading us all to the fullness of the Truth.
    Thus when a council declares ' it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us x, y, z.. ' it is incumbent on the faithful to submit to its teaching.

    Its application in a particular church is the responsibility and perogative of the ordinary bishop for that church.

    The faithful in such diocese have a duty to act in accordance with their bishop...

    To use the Jerusalem council as an example: those who were insisting on circumcision, now had 2 choices; submit to the instruction of the council, or leave the community...

    If there is something more specific you wish me to address, by all means, clarify. :)

    Peace be with you!
     
  12. GodsGrace

    GodsGrace Well-Known Member

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    No. Nothing specific.
    I just believed that you would be knowledgeable in this area and I have a lot to learn...
    so I'll be reading along and hope to know more by the end of this thread.

    I don't come here to teach as some do...
    I come here to learn.
     
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  13. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    Well, it will be difficult to top your post, but I challenge others to try. But in your opinion, do you think James's decision was a concession and or do you think he realized that the gentiles would take the reins of the church in just a few decades?
     
  14. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    I think you are modest about your wisdom as usual...Then again a closed mine cannot learn any further.
     
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  15. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    You are right....but for sure acceptance varies between denominations. But still looking for inputs and opinions.
     
  16. GodsGrace

    GodsGrace Well-Known Member

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    Not too many know about church history or councils.
    Some persons history seems to begin with the year 1,500 AD.

    Many Protestant churches are not teaching church history...
    and I'd say it's time.

    @Marymog may be interested in this thread too.
     
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  17. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    I agree on teaching church history...christian history but it is not going to happen.
    In the Protestants defense...most learn their religion sitting in a pew. You are not going to get a history lesson in most Protestant churches. That is what defines fundamentalism. For good or for bad. It is a philosophy for being focused and true to the scriptures. That approach has saved millions and millions. History usually bores people to death and they put bibles in hotels to put people to sleep. So they learn what they are told, as they say; keep it simple Sam. The history of the protest churches shows they were fed up with the Catholic Church for some very good reasons, but still hate does not make a good teacher. So they rejected the Church, all its sacraments and all of Christian history. Which is their loss, but still their beliefs lead to salvation and that is what matters. When we get to heaven, St. Peter is probably not going to hand us a quiz on Christian history.
     
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  18. Philip James

    Philip James Well-Known Member

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    Hello Grail,
    That's an interesting either or question you have there, i'm not sure I would agree with either.
    Can you clarify your question? A concession of what to who? Do you think James saw Jews and gentiles as still separate within the Church?

    Imo, James recognized the Truth of Paul's words and the authority of the Holy Spirit speaking through Peter.

    Peace be with you!
     
  19. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    Can you clarify your question? A concession of what to who? Do you think James saw Jews and gentiles as still separate within the Church?

    Not as a correction, but it is Paul and Peter that are making their case.
    James is what some call a Jewish-Christian...practicing the customs and practices of both Judaism and Christianity. He is not asking Paul and Peter, or the gentiles to do what Jewish-Christians do. Some of the Apostles were still observing the Mosaic Law, Paul and Peter are the first Apostles to say that the Mosaic Law did not apply to Christians. Is it a dozen or two dozen times that Paul explains that Christians are not under the Law.
    And I am going to say "I believe" that it is possible that he was more or less making concessions to include them as honorary members. Thinking that the true church would continue on as Jewish-Christians, and as we know that did not happen. Part of this goes back to Matthew who to seemed also to be a Jewish-Christian, where he site Christ saying that he was their for the lost sheep of Israel and not to throw pearls to swine, which could be taken as the Gentiles.
     
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  20. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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