Important Announcement

See here for an important message regarding the community which has become a read-only site as of October 31.

 
Pause Switch to Standard View Can of Worms! (tough issues in CC)
Show More
Loading...
Flag mfjfarrell May 28, 2008 8:54 AM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Greetings all,

I'm sure most of us have seen those internet sites that claim that CC is just another (earlier) form of either Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant traditions.  I'm not too concerned with their claims but the truth is that, while CC has much in common with these three traditions, it still varies with all three at some points in its theology.  Most of the Early Churches varied with each other until unified under Roman rule in the West.  CC was the last holdout for a unique form of Christianity.

Another problem for many is the modern tendency to 'add' CC to what they already hold as the proper way to relate to God.  While that is not terrible, it doesn't bring them any closer to the full understandings that our Celtic ancestors had.  Some approaches are in direct conflict with each other but remain unaltered for the sake of comfortability!

CC is about the journey of discovering Christ our Creator, still alive and visible in everything / everyone around us.  It is the task of dieing to ourself and our preconceptions to see the Light of Christ in all His Creation.  This will radically alter our perceptions and consequently cause us to respond to life with His Eyes and His Heart.  In 'Purpose Filled Life', Rick Warren stated the sentiment that CC holds true also.  This life is about learning Fellowship with God so that we are not strangers for all Eternity.  CC is about Harmony with Him!

Christians come to CC from all paths and traditions.  Many are 'high church' (liturgical), most are of the more recent 'low church' (evangelical) approaches.  What I have seen most often is a simple 'substitution' of prayers, liturgy or worship songs that give their worship a 'Celtic flavor'.  Again, this is not bad.. but it is missing the whole point of the Journey!

So.. I've started this thread to serve as a venue for discussing those 'natty' issues that are and are not part of CC.  May the Lord's Wisdom bind us in His Unity...

Slan,
Marty
Flag Tassiecelt May 30, 2008 10:26 AM EDT
Good thread, so I shall have the honour of posting the first question.

When I first came here I was looking for info on Celtic Christianity. I confess that I was disturbed that I had to find not only CC but other Christian forums surrounded by every other religious dogma on the planet.
No doubt Beliefnet believe they are being non-discriminatory by opening up it's netspace equally to all religions and views.
But I am one who believes the Way of Christ is the ONLY path to truth and eternal life, all other ways are false and misleading.

That said, should the CC forum have it's own home, a place where seekers will not be distracted on their way by falsehood and error?

Can of worms, eh?
Flag Tassiecelt May 30, 2008 10:38 AM EDT
I am learning that this doctrine was not believed by all early celtic believers. However, I find it hard to refute.

I am rooted in the conviction that any belief we hold as Christians must be supported and verified by the Word of God, else who is to know what is true if we have not the "yardstick" of God's Word to measure and compare the vain thoughts of men by?

In these modern times, when there seems to be no absolutes, not rules, no moral laws, no values...the notion that we should be regarded as sinners in need of a Saviour is less palatable than ever before.
The idea of original sin would surely be unfashionable, but is it true or is it a Roman doctrine to be ignored along with other Roman superstitions?

The doctrine of original sin is the name given to the concept of the entrance of sin into the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve. God had prepared a perfect place for man and then gave them the gift of free will.
God had placed trees in the midst of the garden. Adam and Eve could freely eat the fruit from any tree except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. “But the LORD God gave him this warning: 'You may freely eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will surely die' (Genesis 2:16-17).

This doctrine of original sin is cemented in the New Testament through the writings of the Apostle Paul to the church at Corinth. “So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, Adam, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man, Christ. Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

“The Scriptures tell us, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living person.’ But the last Adam -- that is, Christ -- is a life-giving Spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45).

What Biblical argument could be made to dismiss this foundational doctrine of Christianity?

I would like to know.
Flag mfjfarrell May 30, 2008 5:30 PM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Greetings Graham,

Mea culpa, mea culpa!  Would you believe I began this thread but forgot to subscribe to it?  Older is not always better!

In your question on 'original sin', you have struck upon a controversy that goes back to the 4th Century Church.  St. Morgan (Pelagius) along with the Eastern Fathers refuted Augustine's infusion of this concept into the Western Church.  With Augustine's Gnostic backgrounds the idea of 'mankind's inherent corruption' conflicted with our view of the Good within Creation as well as those of the Eastern Church that view Creation as an Icon of God.

There are many good books out on the market today that reflect the Celtic perspective on this issue.  (That wasn't the case a decade ago when I started!)  One that I will recommend to you is Celtic Christianity, by Timothy Joyce.  Another would be a book on Pelagius but its a bit pricey!

In your post you mentioned that it is a Catholic doctrine, that's true.  However, that same theology is just as much a part of Western Protestant thought as well.  Original Sin is the foundation stone of Calvinism!  As for Scriptural justification for putting it aside, I would suggest a word study on the word 'sin' (harmetia).  It does not carry the concept of 'corruption' that the Roman Church introduced! 

Perhaps, many of the views that you hold are not as scriptural as you may think?  Much of the popular Evangelical Theology of today only arose in the early part of last century.  Its only assumed by its followers that it was the original!  Many of whom are woefully shy on Church History.  Often, I have found, that while Scripture is worthy of living as the center of your understandings, it is the interpretations that others placed on it, the 'popular interpretations' that seem to rule.  This is merely group conformity rather than good scholarship!

Well, good luck in searching out this issue.  If I can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to bring it here.  Another thing you might want to check out are our doctrines of 'Immanence of God' and the lack of 'dualism' in creation (good and bad natures simultaneously).  Thanks again for sharing...

Slan,
Marty
Flag Tassiecelt May 31, 2008 10:21 AM EDT
Thanks, I've ordered Timothy Joyce's book, Marty, you are costing me money here!! :)
Flag Tassiecelt May 31, 2008 10:30 AM EDT
Marty, re. Roman doctrines within 'protestant' churches, I need no convincing there. I neither fit into not care for much of what I see in protestant teaching, whether it be the 'holy-rolling' of penticostals, the secret rapture of Brethren or the baby baptising of Anglicans....there is certainly little unity there.

I was thrilled to learn that two of the more "distinctives" of the celtic church revolved around the Sabbath and an annual Lords supper (communion). These are two things I have practised for over 30 years, and here I find them (acc. to some sources) in the celtic belief!

I shall remain open as I can on the 'original sin' question. Regardless of doctrine, I am convinced that Celtic Christianity has much to offer us still.
Flag Tassiecelt June 22, 2008 6:58 PM EDT
Three books have arrived from Amazon, books recommended here.
The Book of Creation, and Christ of the Celts by J. Philip Newell and Celtic Christianity by Timothy Joyce.

On the negative side: if I'd known Joyce was a Benedictine Monk I would not have bought the book, I have no interest in those who cling to the doctrines of the church that destroyed the Celtic Church.
Book for sale, if anyone wants it.

I've begun reading The Book of Creation, bit early for a review but there are some nice thoughts there.
However, to see Newell quoting Eriugena who did not believe that Genesis is a chronological account of the Creation of the earth is a real concern.
To glean more and greater mysteries from Creation week is fine, but if Newell is denying the accuracy of a literal 6 day creation then this would throw into doubt the authority of Gods written and inspired Word.

I shall continue reading with an open mind to all except that which conflicts with the foundation of the Bible.
Flag mfjfarrell June 22, 2008 9:20 PM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Greetings Graham,

HEHEHEHE.... Now come on!  Afraid of a little contrary doctrine?  Well, I know what you mean!  As a former Catholic in my 'other life' (before 30) I was a little hesitant about it as well.  Let me encourage you to go ahead with it.  I was actually pleasantly surprised by Joyce!  It was refreshing to hear someone speak openly of where he considered his Church was missing it!  You wouldn't want to miss that now, would you?  Beyond that, he made some really good points that I found of value in my early Celtic walk.  You really might enjoy it.  I have my copy among those CC books that I value most...

Newell's 'Christ of the Celts' will be a difficult one for you to swallow from your fundamentalist position.  Its probably more of an 'advanced' CC book but it will give you the gist of all we hold.  Please remember, we don't ever stray from Scripture in our belief but we do not hold with the Fundamentalist interpretation of it either!  Fundamentalism is actually a modern phenomenon in spite of its assertions for 'originality'.

I think the 'bad press' that Eriugena gets today is the remnant of the Roman Church's branding of CC as Pelagianism.  Its taught as heresy but is unfounded!  They weren't interested in truth back then, just conformity to Rome!  All of CC's teaching from the Early Church are presently being reviewed by scholars and the results are coming in in out favor.  Finally!  Just keep the open mind you spoke of and let the Spirit speak plainly...

You'll love Newell's 'Book of Creation' but if you want something with more meat to it on an introductory level, I'll still recommend his 'Listening for the Heartbeat of God'.  It gives a simpler overview of CC. 

I am glad that you are continuing your studies, I think you are in for a treat that will open your eyes.  History is fascinating and sometimes stranger than fiction!  There's just so much more that I never knew even existed when I was in your position.  May God bless your studies and the journey before you...

Slan,
Marty
Flag Tassiecelt June 22, 2008 11:04 PM EDT
Thanks Marty, very encouraging as always, slainte,
Flag mfjfarrell June 24, 2008 10:13 AM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Hey Graham,

I just got a link I think you will be interested in!  One of our members over at Celtic Christian Spirituality found a nice article on the resurgence of interest in CC.  Its about 4 pages long but its really good!  I hope you'll find it of interest... http://www.crosswalk.com/pastors/11570921/page1/

Slan,
Marty
Flag Phantasm July 22, 2008 5:56 PM EDT
Here's a can of worms for all of ya: how does the Book of Revalations fit into Celtic Christianity?

:)



Hia, guys!  (Phantasm says as he waves cheerilly.)  How's everything going around here?
Flag mfjfarrell July 22, 2008 6:46 PM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Greetings Phantasm,

Welcome back! 

"how does the Book of Revalations fit into Celtic Christianity?"  Well, it would be called The Apocalypse! (hehehe)  All Scriptures presently held by Protestants as sacred, plus a few others found in the Catholic Bible, were revered as God's Holy Word.  They believed simply in the Gospel message but would not be too comfortable with the Modern Fundamentalist agenda.  They believed in the Second Coming, the Parousia, but their primary concern was not for the future but the present!  To evangelize the world was the sole purpose of Celtic Evangelism.

Modernists hold the Book of Revelation as a 'key' to the future.  The Celts held that Eternity is within God and He is within all Life!  Eternity is Now!  The process of how we are to transition to it was of less importance than the reality of Harmony with God in this life.

I'm not sure if I've explained it sufficiently enough for you but please feel free to correct me where I've been obtuse or vague....

Slan,
Marty
Flag Phantasm July 22, 2008 11:47 PM EDT
Actually, I was just pulling you guys' legs.  I was just using the situation to re-introduce myself to the board.
Flag Phantasm July 22, 2008 11:59 PM EDT
On the serious side, I just thought of a potential problem:

How do we deal with differences in cannon among the major branches of Christianity?  I happen to know that the Ethiopian Church accepts books into its' Bible that are unique to their church.  (Actually, this church might be a good tangent to pursue to understand Islam, as the two faiths are close neighbors, but that's a totally seperate issue.)  And Catholics accept the Aprochrapha, filling in the historical blank space existant in the Protestant Bible's Old and New Testaments.  Why the Protestants decided to reject these books I'll never truely understand.

Some folks here in the States might be inclined to call both Catholics and the Ethiopians heritics because of this.  How do you promote understanding when different Christians might not be on the same page, literally?  This situation strikes me as alarming........
Flag mfjfarrell July 23, 2008 8:19 AM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Greetings Phantasm,

Good question (as usual!).  "How do you promote understanding when different Christians might not be on the same page, literally?"  Being Irish, I'll answer you with another, 'Is it our purpose here to promote understanding?'

A few years back I read a book I think you'd enjoy, 'Irish Biblical Apocrypha', edited by Maire Herbert and Martin McNamara.  Its an interesting read into the Irish mindset of what was considered to be piety!  Should we include these stories also?

Actually, my understanding of Celtic Evangelism was totally different than that of the Roman mission.  The Romans always went to the cities where there were the greatest number of people and resources for building a significant church.  The Celts preferred the 'country folk', pagani, and generally set up their abbies and churches in the rural places.  There, you can be more in harmony with your surroundings!

The Romans preached!  If you accepted their words you were allowed to become a catechumen and begin the long process of being accepted into their church.  The Celts went to a place and began to work!  As they worked, others would join them.  As they worked together, inevitably the question came up, "Why are you doing this?"  Therein was the witness in the life and work of the Celts who worked side by side!  Many joined the Church because they saw the life and Love of God with the brothers and sisters who labored together for the common good.

Canons are man's inventions!  It was necessary in the Early Church, because of all the spurious writings, to distinguish what the Christian message was really about.  Many disagreed with some of the selections (and rightly so!) but eventually settled with the ones we have now.  Even the ones we have, however, were altered over time because of pervading currents in society! (but that's another story)  So, the question then becomes, would the 'accepted books' actually alter the way the Celts witnessed of Christ?

Good to have you back amongst us...

Slan,
Marty
Flag Tassiecelt July 23, 2008 10:42 AM EDT
One step ahead of ye Marty, I've read that, yes it's good!
Flag Tassiecelt July 23, 2008 10:42 AM EDT
One step ahead of ye Marty, I've read that, yes it's good!
Flag Tassiecelt July 23, 2008 11:00 AM EDT
Marty, just letting you know that I'm still working my way through his books that I bought. I'm a terribly slow reader!

There are some real concerns..ie "The Book of Creation" page 21, there is the strong suggestion that as the new testament followed on from the old testament, so celtic belief followed on from Druidic belief!!

That is a totally off comment, in the realm of fruitcake I would say. The Druidic belief system was a time of darkness, ignorance and evil. It kept it's adherents in fear and bondage.

How this can be compared with God's dealing with His Nation Israel and the NT church completely escapes me.

I continue to read, but am beginning to wonder if Newells writings truly reflect the teachings of great men like patrick and columba.
Flag Tassiecelt July 23, 2008 11:00 AM EDT
Marty, just letting you know that I'm still working my way through his books that I bought. I'm a terribly slow reader!

There are some real concerns..ie "The Book of Creation" page 21, there is the strong suggestion that as the new testament followed on from the old testament, so celtic belief followed on from Druidic belief!!

That is a totally off comment, in the realm of fruitcake I would say. The Druidic belief system was a time of darkness, ignorance and evil. It kept it's adherents in fear and bondage.

How this can be compared with God's dealing with His Nation Israel and the NT church completely escapes me.

I continue to read, but am beginning to wonder if Newells writings truly reflect the teachings of great men like patrick and columba.
Flag mfjfarrell July 23, 2008 12:14 PM EDT
Hey Graham,

Nice to hear you're still plodding along as the Spirit leads!  I'm a slow reader (maybe dim witted?) as well!  Just hang on and let the Great Teacher keep speaking as you read.

As for Newell's 'Book of Creation', I went to page 21 but disagree with your conclusions.  The previous section was dealing with the cultural influences that were intrinsic to Celtic worship, such as our penchant for worshiping outside, our Church without Walls.  At the top of 21, here's what I see as similar to your concerns.

"It was typical of the Celtic Church to see its worship of Christ as building on the truths and symbols of the mysticism that preceded Christianity in Britain.  Aspects of its ancient mythology and nature religion were the equivalent of an Old Testament for the Celtic mission.  Christ was the fulfillment of all that was true, whether that was the priestly and prophetic traditions of Judaism or of its own Celtic druidical past.

From your posting, I get the impression that you consider the druids little more than 'black arts witches'.  Actually, they held much higher positions in Celtic society!  They were the lawyers, the physicians, the musicians and sages and not the workers of black arts that many choose to portray them as!  There are even stories how one of the druids was told in a dream of the coming of the master Druid.  Remember Columba's "Christ is my druid" comment?

Anyway, the Celts took what they knew about Creation, Nature and Mankind, and brought it into their understandings of the 'Good News'!  They appreciated Creation as before and still sought to see the Source of Life in all!  Christ replaced their ignorance and became the center of all they knew and loved...  Hope that helps a bit!

Slan,
Marty
Flag mfjfarrell July 23, 2008 12:14 PM EDT
Hey Graham,

Nice to hear you're still plodding along as the Spirit leads!  I'm a slow reader (maybe dim witted?) as well!  Just hang on and let the Great Teacher keep speaking as you read.

As for Newell's 'Book of Creation', I went to page 21 but disagree with your conclusions.  The previous section was dealing with the cultural influences that were intrinsic to Celtic worship, such as our penchant for worshiping outside, our Church without Walls.  At the top of 21, here's what I see as similar to your concerns.

"It was typical of the Celtic Church to see its worship of Christ as building on the truths and symbols of the mysticism that preceded Christianity in Britain.  Aspects of its ancient mythology and nature religion were the equivalent of an Old Testament for the Celtic mission.  Christ was the fulfillment of all that was true, whether that was the priestly and prophetic traditions of Judaism or of its own Celtic druidical past.

From your posting, I get the impression that you consider the druids little more than 'black arts witches'.  Actually, they held much higher positions in Celtic society!  They were the lawyers, the physicians, the musicians and sages and not the workers of black arts that many choose to portray them as!  There are even stories how one of the druids was told in a dream of the coming of the master Druid.  Remember Columba's "Christ is my druid" comment?

Anyway, the Celts took what they knew about Creation, Nature and Mankind, and brought it into their understandings of the 'Good News'!  They appreciated Creation as before and still sought to see the Source of Life in all!  Christ replaced their ignorance and became the center of all they knew and loved...  Hope that helps a bit!

Slan,
Marty
Flag akas58 July 28, 2008 4:49 PM EDT
Wow, I just stumbled across this and it's very interesting.  Could it be that Christ is in truth the fulfillment of all the world's religions which seek the true God?  OK, the accounts we have relate to a man Jesus in the context of an occupied Palestine, but if we consider how Jesus teated HIS particular background, surely we can imagine how he would treat any background, whether it be Judaism, Paganism, Hinduism etc etc.
Flag akas58 July 28, 2008 4:49 PM EDT
Wow, I just stumbled across this and it's very interesting.  Could it be that Christ is in truth the fulfillment of all the world's religions which seek the true God?  OK, the accounts we have relate to a man Jesus in the context of an occupied Palestine, but if we consider how Jesus teated HIS particular background, surely we can imagine how he would treat any background, whether it be Judaism, Paganism, Hinduism etc etc.
Flag Phantasm July 29, 2008 3:46 PM EDT
So farrell, you find discussions about cannon secondary?  Hmm.  That's possible.  People can get hung up on the 'words' of scripture rather than focus on the eternal Logos of God.

But if Celtic Christians are as much a part of the church as any Protestant or Eastern church, the goings-on of the wider church IS in our/your interest.  Understanding, I'd argue, is the lynchpin of most of the virtues and goodness in mankind.  Vast swaths of people in the church underestimate the differences between geographically disparate groups of Christians, most are totally unaware that there's a book the Ethiopians accept called the Sheperd of Hermas.  Some might find that disturbing if they're overseas and borrowing someone else's Bible for a moment, or hear about it for the first time in visiting a church.  When ignorance is unexpectedly confronted with knowledge, explosive situations can develop.

Christian Education is definitely in everyone's interests.

Excuse me for the leangthy post, but I just feel that accurate information is better than a lack of knowledge.  We can still identify with other groups of Christians if we talk about this stuff in the church, to at least try to promote understanding in American churches.  That's how I see it.
Flag mfjfarrell July 29, 2008 4:14 PM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Greetings Phantasm,

Usually my friends call me Marty.  Its how I sign all my responses.

I don't believe that I ever said that canon is secondary, not even sure what it would be secondary too!  What I did say was that, in the Early Church, there were many 'christian' books being passed around so, a canon had to be devised to help clarify what the Christian message was!  I'm familiar with the 'Shepherd of Hermas', its a bit boring and pedantic but was quite popular in its time.  I wouldn't be upset at all to find it in a culturally diverse version of the Bible.

As for, "People can get hung up on the 'words' of scripture rather than focus on the eternal Logos of God.
"
, I'll go you one better, I've met many Christians who worship the Book rather than live by the message within!  Again I'll pose to you, is our primary purpose in this existence, to foster understanding? or to serve Him however He leads us?  Many a time I've had to pull in all my arguments to 'enlighten' those who 'misunderstood' the message because I realized, they just weren't capable!  Understanding is great but its the work of the Holy Spirit!  I'm (we're) called to serve!

Education comes with willingness to learn, Christian or otherwise.  If the mind is closed, the effort is vain to bring light.  It is simply better to BE the Light in other's midst!  That's what the Church of today needs most!  Its just a totally different approach to sharing the Good News than we are accustomed to.  Its not beyond the Church to continue bumping around in the darkness claiming to have found the light switch!  Sadly, it happens all to often!  But I do appreciate your energy and enthusiasm in your posts.  May God continue to use it for His purposes...

Slan,
Marty
Flag Phantasm July 30, 2008 11:24 PM EDT
Hello, Marty.

Okay, I'll admit I was reading a little much into your post.  We do seem to have a disagreement about what the Church is supposed to be about.  And I'm cool with that, disagreements stimulate the mind better than agreement.  I am a very mental person, I think a lot (sometimes too much, to my detriment).  I see understanding as more than just a mental process, rather, it's also a way of entering into the other, of expanding your existance, learning about the universe and the people around us.  And the Church has a role in that, from my perspective.

You just helped me understand you better.  Hey, that's pretty cool!  I totally understand your concept of "BE the light."  Believe me, I try.  I think I have a lot of Roman in me, trying to actively promote something.  We just have radically different styles of being Christian, it seems.

Also, part of the problem here I think is that I'm talking about the internal workings of the Church while you're talking about the wider world.  I'll be the first to concede that the line between the Church and the world is very much more blurry than some (esp. fundamentalists) would have us believe.....

So you're changing the question from "How do we promote understanding?" to "How do we become light?"  Is that right?

Are we on the same page yet?  ;)


(geez, these posts keep getting longer and longer.....)
Flag mfjfarrell July 31, 2008 7:41 AM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Hey Phantasm,

Thanks for your response!  Were we disagreeing?  Maybe I'll disagree with that!

As for being the Light, yes, you've got it!  That's what Early Christianity was about!  BE Christ to all you meet so that they may come into Harmony with the Creator of their very Soul!  That concept blended very well with the Celtic mindset of Harmony with Creation.

I think you are also correct in realizing that CC, as an institution, died out and was absorbed into the Early Roman Church.  However, Celtic Spirituality remained in the hearts and minds of the Celtic peoples even to this day!  Christ is calling us back to a way of life, a way of spirituality, that He intended to be part of the Good News.  We cannot rebuild the Celtic Church, if ever there was one, and its not what the world needs, we're too fragmented now as it is!  What we do offer, though, is a way to be in Harmony with yourself, your Creator and the rest of Creation!  Rather than focusing on structure, we rebuild ourselves in the image of the man/woman He created us to BE.  His Image!

Where you would look to 'understanding', a meeting of the minds, we would look to 'harmony', a meeting of the hearts.  The Romans converted their followers with words in the cities.  The Celts used works and actions first and then explained why to those they met in the countryside, pagaini. (1 Peter 3:15)  So, therein is the source of our 'disagreement'!  Christianity was never supposed to be about structure!  Its about a living relationship with the Source of all Life.  So... understanding as the source of unity?  That's very Roman!  Conform our hearts to Christ and we will all be one!  Regardless of our pasts and traditions and anything else that hinders us today, we must BE Him!

"So you're changing the question from "How do we promote understanding?" to "How do we become light?" Is that right?"  Right! and the answer is simple... death of the 'self'!  Next question...

Slan,
Marty
Flag Phantasm August 3, 2008 12:42 AM EDT
Maybe the 'Romans' and the 'Celts' of the world are meant to balance each other, to pull each other to the center of the faith in a kind of reverse tug-of-war.  Focus on the countryside and you never reach huge numbers of people, focus on the city and you lose the sense of wonder that God and nature instill in us.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...........................
Flag mfjfarrell August 3, 2008 11:47 AM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Greetings Phantasm,

Can there be balance between opposing perspectives of humanity?  Is that not like living in the 'gray' instead of the Light?  When gnosticism entered into the Western Church (Rome) it set itself apart from the rest of Christianity.  The East still holds that mankind is created in the image of God, just like the Celts.  We are seen as 'flawed' but not the corruption of the West!  The Nature of Man is still inherently Good!  One must be true.. the other false...

Here is something I just posted on CCS that might help you to understand the divergency of thinking.  Its from John O'Donohue's book 'To Bless the Space Between Us', from page 82.  It shows the approach to 'sin nature' that is radically different than Rome's.

"...When a person is at home in his life, he always has a clear instinct about the shape of outer situations; even in the midst of confusion he can discern the traces of a path forward. When one is at home in oneself, one is integrated and enjoys a sense of balance and poise. In a sense that is exactly what spirituality is: the art of homecoming."

Something to think about...

Slan,
Marty
Flag Tassiecelt August 11, 2008 10:51 AM EDT
Iona is a special place for me, and many others who seek the celtic way to spirituality.

My wife and I have been there only once, for a few days. we attended services at the Abbey and we soaked up the beauty and spirit-charged atmosphere of the island. We wandered over the island to Columba Bay where St.Columba is said to have landed. We stood on the white stones of the shore and thought with tears of the time when those stones were red with the blood of the saints through the violence of Viking raids.

The following words come directly from the Iona Community website, they proclaim the communities' view on the issue of sexuality. This of course is 'newspeak' for homosexuality.

I quote in part:

We welcome people of all ages, ethnic groups, differing abilities and sexualities in the Iona Community. We believe in the sacredness of all human relationships, .....

About 10% of our membership and staff are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. They are fully and openly part of our common life, part of our body......We rejoice to share in the blessing of their civil partnerships.

In the Christian marriage service, those entering into marriage make vows of love, fidelity and loyalty, and promise to honour and cherish one another. ... But Christian marriage is not the only form of covenant relationship in which people are committed to honour and cherish one another on the basis of love, faithfulness and loyalty. Covenant relationships exist between people who are not legally married, including those of the same gender....

The Iona Community recognises and respects all the covenant relationships of its members and is committed to working to combat discrimination on all grounds, including sexual orientation.

How sad, desperately sad, it is for me to see the birthplace of celtic Christianity degenerate into a centre of moral corruption with little regard for the clear teaching of Christ and the natural order of His Creation with respect to relationships.
This can only serve to warn us about the dangers of wandering away from Biblical teaching.

On a brighter note, an island that has suffered the moral outrage of Viking slaughters can surely withstand this modern disease of the soul.
...but only while some remain true to God's laws of Creation.

Please pray for Iona.
Flag Tassiecelt August 11, 2008 6:47 PM EDT
Marty, you say "Conform our hearts to Christ and we will all be one! "
I totally agree.
It reminds me though of those who say "we must love God", I agree with that too, but how do we love God? What does God require?

The answer I believe to this is simple and practical.
We give him our heart, mind and soul. We show that love to others in real and practical ways.

God consistently says that our love for Him requires our obedience to His Commands.
For example, take the Ten Commandments, the first four relate to and demonstrate how we can love God, the last six relate to and demonstrate how we can love our neighbors.
Jesus says that we become one in Him by becoming His Children (born again),  and our response is to obey Him ("If you love Me, keep my commandments").

It follows that those who refuse to obey God cut themselves off from the family of God, they create disunity. (romans 11)

This may sound "Roman" but to contradict this most basic of all teaching is to disregard the instruction of the Lord.

So what I am saying is that to conform our hearts to Christ is to obey Him which is to love Him, then we will love others when we know His love.
Flag mfjfarrell August 11, 2008 7:14 PM EDT
Hey Graham,

Good Morning to you!

You are really on target with all that you assert about our response to God's love.  To me, its not because of the legalism of 'obeying' Scriptures, its a natural response when you encounter the 'Lover of your Soul'!  I don't think there is anyone who can walk away from Him once they've truly encountered Him.

I think one of the major differences between the two missions was a matter of 'preaching the word' vs. 'living the word'.  To encounter Christ in someone says so much more than just hearing about Him and His Love from the pulpit.

Let me push your thinking a little further though.  " those who refuse to obey God cut themselves off from the family of God"  The real harm in disobedience is to cut ourselves off from the Source of identity!  Our 'real self' comes alive only as we allow Christ to rise within us!  That's what we were designed for.. that's who we are!  So really, disobedience damages US and keeps us from being our true self.

Thanks again for you posts here.... always a pleasure to chat with you...

Slan,
Marty
Flag Tassiecelt August 11, 2008 8:48 PM EDT
Yes Marty, you put that very well. God is love and His commandments are given becasue He loves us and wishes us no self harm (which we are very good at doing).

I love His laws and the beauty of them, but am saddened by the way they are used to judge, condemn and control.

You know I have bought all the book you have recommended, now it's you turn :)
I have recommended the book, the Celtic Way of Evangelism, this is a fantastic work that brings the relevance of CC to us today, here and now.

If you wish a copy I have a spare, brand new, in my left hand now and will happily send it to you (no cost). Just email me you address if you fancy reading it. tassiecelt@mac.com
Flag mfjfarrell August 11, 2008 9:19 PM EDT
Hey Graham,

If your 'The Celtic Way of Evangelism' is by George G. Hunter, then I read that a few years back.  Yes!  I consider it one of the foundational books for CC.  I usually recommend it after someone has finished Newell's 'Listening to the Heartbeat of God'.  Thanks for the offer though, much appreciated.

Actually, I think I remember setting up a thread either here or on CCS which lists recommended readings.  I'll check later for it.  There are quite a few really good books out on CC that help free those called to the Celtic Way to put aside the Roman type of theology.  However, I've met plenty of people who have read everything yet still can't make that transition!

Have you gotten your copy of 'The Shack' yet?  I think you'll see more of what I've been saying about  'relationship' when you've finished that one...

Slan,
Marty
Flag Tassiecelt August 12, 2008 8:28 AM EDT
Yes Marty, I do refer to George Hunters book, sorry I thought you said you'd not heard of it. that's fine then.
Re the shack...you're kidding!! I've got the other four books to get through, I'm a terrible reader.
Flag mfjfarrell August 12, 2008 8:42 AM EDT
Hey Graham,

I know the other books are good and essential reads but 'The Shack' will really help you more!  It reveals the heart of God!  In it you'll see the intimacy that the Celts had for Him and discover the reason for their passion.  Even though it is a novel, the truth of it makes so much (even scriptures) clearer than I can explain to you here!  Besides, the story is so engrossing that you'll be through it in no time...

Slan,
Marty
Flag seekerdrd August 12, 2008 10:57 PM EDT
Wow. Go away for a bit and you come back to all sorts of fun stuff.

Phantasm--if I understand your question correctly, the dilemna you are seeing is one of potential ecumenical difficulty and its possible ramifications, no? And if so, then how do we CCers deal with this, correct?

Marty--if I understand your response, you would say that a CCer would make sure that the essential story of Christ was shared (i.e. Christ is God/man, dies for our redemption, and rises again for our eternal victory), and that this would be done less through a turning to any particular canon, but rather shared orally in response to queries about why someone were living in a Christ-like manner, correct?

If so, this reminds me of a saying attributed to the Buddha when some of his disciples were squabbling over right practice, theology, etc. I cannot remember the exact phrasing, but essentially he said "Why do you keep looking at my finger when I am trying to show you the moon."

Probably, the answer to your question, Phantasm, will be as varied from CCer to CCer as there are variations of CC practice. I would say that for myself, I look to the early Celtic missionaries and to Jesus for my take on handling this issue. From what we can tell, the early Celtic missionaries would tailor their message to the people they were trying to reach, and from that example, one could infer that each canon or culture should be dealt with and appreciated within its own context. I think Jesus speaks to this indirectly when his disciples come to him complaining about some who were preaching Jesus without his authority and doing so for profit. Jesus's response was basically, "So what! The message getting preached is what truly matters. If the word is getting out, let God judge those delivering it."

Ultimately it is the heart's response, and not the canon that matters. Even Paul speaks to this some when he says that some are saying they're from Paul, others from Apollos, but that is utter nonsense since we really should be using Christ as our head, or to say it in a more Celtic manner (lol) "Christ is my druid."

Now as to Revalation, I personally view it as va book of exhortation, a reminder that in the end, God reigns victorious, and we as well if we follow Christ.

Has this long-winded thing helped anyone?

David
Flag Tassiecelt August 13, 2008 9:03 AM EDT
Well I ordered the Shack Marty, another book to get through...still, easy reading will be nice.
Flag Tassiecelt August 13, 2008 9:17 AM EDT
Marty, another thought regarding what we discussed about the tolerance of sodomites on Iona...

As I said, and we agreed, homosexuals deserve Gods love and our gentle words to lead them to the light, no differently to any other people who have gone astray.
However, Jesus had a special rebuke for the Pharisee leaders who were deceiving the people. He said "now that you say you see, your sin remains.."
I know you have views on the word "sin", but that's the faithfully recorded words of Jesus.
The Pharisees were claiming to be spiritual leaders, they believed they were the "seers", therefore judgment fell harder on them.
Paul confirmed this when he said that those who were teachers would be judged more strictly.

Some of the homosexuals, bisexuals and transvestites on Iona are deemed as "staff", they are therefore in leadership roles.
They say they see... and so I see a difference in how they are viewed by God, and therefore His people.

I'm very happy that the Iona Community does not (at least to me) represent a faithful witness and example of the Celtic Mission we speak of.
That really would be discouraging.
Flag mfjfarrell August 13, 2008 10:05 AM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Greetings all,

David - great to hear from you again!  I hope all is well?  Please let me know privately if there is anything we can uplift in prayer together.  You may not always be 'here' but I see you are still in touch!  Thanks for the perspectives in your response.

Perhaps my approach to Celtic Evangelism could be summed up this by an admonishment from St. Francis, "PREACH THE GOSPEL, use words if necessary"!  How we treat a person speaks more of our beliefs than the words we use to explain ourselves.  Or, the simpler adage, 'Actions speak louder than words'.

Another problem for us I see is that the Celts loved the Word of God but it wasn't as defined with them as it is with modern Christians.  They had other books that they appreciated and used to teach with as well!  In addition, they wrote their own books and used them!  Words were important to change your own life, living by them was how you preached!

Graham - 'harmatia' (sin) is not my interpretation or opinion, its the Greek!  If we claim to live by the Word of God, we should use its original intention rather than modern interpretation.  Rather than the 'corruption' applied to it today to reinforce the Roman view of mankind's degradation, it simply implies our inability to 'hit the mark' without His help, our 'failings'.  That's just our humanity!  We can't purge ourselves of our humanity!  But in Harmony with Him, our humanity becomes empowered (dunamis) by His presence.  That is what eliminates our 'sin'.. our failings!

Now, about Iona, what I didn't get time to tell you last evening was that I don't agree with the statement at Iona but I understand the position they took in light of Celtic perspectives.  Here's more readings for you but you don't have to buy another book!  All of the Celtic Saints who started a monastery wrote or used manuals for the proper order of the monastery.  In them, they clearly state the position against brothers copulating with the novitiates!  They were quite sever in their punishment of it!  Why Iona went in this direction, I don't really know or understand!  For me, the focus is not what others say or do, its how God's word commands me to conform to His Spirit and His Word.  I see God's Word as applying to me personally.  I'm not supposed to use it to tell others how THEY should live.  I'm supposed to be the example (icon) to them of Him in my life.  The rest is between them and their Source!  CC is not about conformity to what I think the Bible tells me to do!  Its a message on how and why I should die to everything I think in my own mind and conform myself to His design for me!

Thanks again to both you guys, this is getting interesting...

Slan,
Marty
Flag Tassiecelt August 14, 2008 10:02 AM EDT
Sorry Marty, cannot agree with you on Iona. However you define sin, it certainly includes the sin of sodomy. I could not be part of any church of fellowship that allows, encourages or condones such practices and does not rebuke it. (yes, I note that you disagree with their statement, glad to hear it).

I speak of those who call themselves brethren when I say we are instructed by God to gently lead a brother who is in sin to repentance and Gods Grace, if he won't listen we take an elder, and if he still won't listen we put him out from among us. God is Judge and will deal with them.

Anyway, Iona seems to have lost it's foundation in the Word of God so there is little point perhaps in leading them when such rebelliousness exists.

Interestingly, George Hunter, in his book The Celtic Way of Evangelism notes the changes on Iona.
He writes about George McLeod's setting up of the community based on "renewal, justice, prayer, healing and evangelism. following McLeod's death, the Iona community has dropped his interest in evangelisation, and has redefined 'mission' around causes like peace, justice, ecology, urban ministry, Gay and Lesbian causes, and 'inter-faith dialogues."

If the modern understanding of "celtic perspectives" means tolerating mockery and corruption within the so called church of the institution of marriage and the natural male/female relations, then I want no part of these modern perspectives.

Happily, I am confident that founders like Patrick and Columba would have been horrified at such behaviour on Iona.
Flag Tassiecelt August 14, 2008 10:02 AM EDT
Sorry Marty, cannot agree with you on Iona. However you define sin, it certainly includes the sin of sodomy. I could not be part of any church of fellowship that allows, encourages or condones such practices and does not rebuke it. (yes, I note that you disagree with their statement, glad to hear it).

I speak of those who call themselves brethren when I say we are instructed by God to gently lead a brother who is in sin to repentance and Gods Grace, if he won't listen we take an elder, and if he still won't listen we put him out from among us. God is Judge and will deal with them.

Anyway, Iona seems to have lost it's foundation in the Word of God so there is little point perhaps in leading them when such rebelliousness exists.

Interestingly, George Hunter, in his book The Celtic Way of Evangelism notes the changes on Iona.
He writes about George McLeod's setting up of the community based on "renewal, justice, prayer, healing and evangelism. following McLeod's death, the Iona community has dropped his interest in evangelisation, and has redefined 'mission' around causes like peace, justice, ecology, urban ministry, Gay and Lesbian causes, and 'inter-faith dialogues."

If the modern understanding of "celtic perspectives" means tolerating mockery and corruption within the so called church of the institution of marriage and the natural male/female relations, then I want no part of these modern perspectives.

Happily, I am confident that founders like Patrick and Columba would have been horrified at such behaviour on Iona.
Flag mfjfarrell August 14, 2008 12:48 PM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Hey Graham,

Regarding 'sin' (harmatia), again, its not my definition!  If you want to hold true to the Word of God then you need to read it and live it in its original intent!!  Also, again, the Bible is a book for each of us individually, so that WE may learn how to relate to and fellowship with our Creator.  It was not designed to be a book to judge others.  That's where the fundamentalists are really 'off base'!  To live by its principles of Love, as Christ did, is how we are called to respond to this world, however you see it!

I do understand, though, how you feel.  Iona was someplace special, someplace sacred.  I do believe in the sacredness of place but I cannot look at institutions or organizations, I must see that Christ is there first!  Then I can submit to its sacredness!

David said something interesting the other day in one of his posts.  He mentioned that CC is 'varied'.  I'll spare you my long journey here but suffice it to say, I agree with David.  We all come from various walks and traditions.  Unfortunately, we tend to bring them with us when we first start this journey.  Its just who we are!  I've come across many who encounter CC, love it and want to make it their own!  But that's the problem!!!  To make it your own is to make it conform to your previous beliefs!  So, what we end up with is an Anglican Church that is now Celtic (sort of).  Or an Orthodox Church that claims to be the 'original'.  I've seen it will all groups claiming to be 'Celtic Churches'.  Some will even provide you with a long list proving Apostolic Succession!  I believe, Iona is one of these 'blended' places now!  Celtic externals but still Roman / Anglican / Presbyterian / Baptist to its core!  In these circumstances, you can't get very far with a 'mixed' version of CC.  CC was different than these Roman counterparts.

I've also come to realize that you are very devout in your devotion to the Bible.  The Celts reverenced it also but it was more a tool they used to guide themselves.  The Holy Spirit guided them in how they lived it.  It was their compassion for others that won them so many souls, not their 'righteous judgment'.  Perhaps it would be better for me to stop trying to convince you with words about something that seems so alien to you.  That's fine!  Its the 'Celtic' thing to do!  Take you as are you are and let God lead us both...!  I appreciate your stance.  I appreciate your participation here.  CC is not a 'do what you feel' religion, its really tough to see the Light of Christ in everyone and every situation.  It takes a lot of discipline!!!  But it does conform itself totally to Scriptures in all things, just not in the way you see it.  My hope is that you continue on in your studies and remain open to His leadings.

May God continue to guide and bless us all...

Slan,
Marty
Flag mfjfarrell August 14, 2008 12:48 PM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Hey Graham,

Regarding 'sin' (harmatia), again, its not my definition!  If you want to hold true to the Word of God then you need to read it and live it in its original intent!!  Also, again, the Bible is a book for each of us individually, so that WE may learn how to relate to and fellowship with our Creator.  It was not designed to be a book to judge others.  That's where the fundamentalists are really 'off base'!  To live by its principles of Love, as Christ did, is how we are called to respond to this world, however you see it!

I do understand, though, how you feel.  Iona was someplace special, someplace sacred.  I do believe in the sacredness of place but I cannot look at institutions or organizations, I must see that Christ is there first!  Then I can submit to its sacredness!

David said something interesting the other day in one of his posts.  He mentioned that CC is 'varied'.  I'll spare you my long journey here but suffice it to say, I agree with David.  We all come from various walks and traditions.  Unfortunately, we tend to bring them with us when we first start this journey.  Its just who we are!  I've come across many who encounter CC, love it and want to make it their own!  But that's the problem!!!  To make it your own is to make it conform to your previous beliefs!  So, what we end up with is an Anglican Church that is now Celtic (sort of).  Or an Orthodox Church that claims to be the 'original'.  I've seen it will all groups claiming to be 'Celtic Churches'.  Some will even provide you with a long list proving Apostolic Succession!  I believe, Iona is one of these 'blended' places now!  Celtic externals but still Roman / Anglican / Presbyterian / Baptist to its core!  In these circumstances, you can't get very far with a 'mixed' version of CC.  CC was different than these Roman counterparts.

I've also come to realize that you are very devout in your devotion to the Bible.  The Celts reverenced it also but it was more a tool they used to guide themselves.  The Holy Spirit guided them in how they lived it.  It was their compassion for others that won them so many souls, not their 'righteous judgment'.  Perhaps it would be better for me to stop trying to convince you with words about something that seems so alien to you.  That's fine!  Its the 'Celtic' thing to do!  Take you as are you are and let God lead us both...!  I appreciate your stance.  I appreciate your participation here.  CC is not a 'do what you feel' religion, its really tough to see the Light of Christ in everyone and every situation.  It takes a lot of discipline!!!  But it does conform itself totally to Scriptures in all things, just not in the way you see it.  My hope is that you continue on in your studies and remain open to His leadings.

May God continue to guide and bless us all...

Slan,
Marty
Flag Tassiecelt August 14, 2008 11:39 PM EDT
Thank you Marty, I do try to remain open. I see much in modern CC that attracts and excites me, as well as some real concerns with some of it's modern writers.
Nothing will deter me from the importance of Holy Scripture, without being disrespectful to God - I see as much nonsense from some who claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit as we both see from those claiming "..the Bible says..
My belief has always been 'guided by the Holy Spirit - always in harmony with the written word'.

I continue reading and "testing all things". Since Paul warned of false teachings and saying that "after my parting, grievious wolves would enter in, not sparing the flock". So even some of the very early church writings have to be tested by what is reliable that we may be kept on track and not "blown about by every wind of doctrine".

I know...too Roman haha!!
blessings of the Three to you
Flag mfjfarrell August 15, 2008 7:20 AM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Hey Graham,

"Too Roman"!?  I think about 80% of Western Christianity, Catholics and Protestants, are more in harmony with Rome than they realize!  However, about testing and discerning, you're right on!  And our Celtic ancestors did the same.  I was very skeptical in my earlier years, actually, a 'hard sell'.  Eventually the Lord opened up new understandings of Scripture which brought me peace in the transition.  My hope is that you'll continue along your Celtic Path as well, brother...

Its been a pleasure chatting with you on Skype, when you have the time and interest, please feel free to continue.  May the Lord of Light and Understanding continue to lead all who seek Him in their hearts...

Slan,
Marty
Flag Phantasm August 15, 2008 2:22 PM EDT
Seekerdrd, thanks for your opinion.  Sometimes it just takes a perspective from another person to enter the conversation and clear things up.  Hey, I'm just starting out here, trying to understand the Celtic perspective.  I've only been here for a few months.  As usual, the discussion has been stimulating!
Flag seekerdrd August 15, 2008 8:38 PM EDT
Phantasm, no problem. I appreciate you asking questions as it helps me to refine my own beliefs as well as confront issues I may not have thought of otherwise.

David
Flag mfjfarrell September 16, 2008 6:45 AM EDT
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Greetings All,

As I've mentioned before, one of the worst infusions into Early Christianity was the doctrine of 'original sin'.  It is still so pervasive throughout the west and has had such devastating affect on our theology.

The other day a member of CCS provided a link to an Orthodox site dealing with 'Ancestral Sin', the alternative to the west's 'original sin'.  It explains very well the Early Church's concept of sin/redemption from a perspective more in line with Celtic Theology.  I'm not espousing ancestral sin, just wanted to offer and understanding about what we believe regarding God's attitude towards 'fallen' mankind.

Here's the link and a short abstract...

http://www.antiochian.org/ancestral-versus-original-sin

"The differences between the doctrine of Ancestral Sin--as understood in the church of the first two centuries and the present-day Orthodox Church--and the doctrine of Original Sin--developed by Augustine and his heirs in the Western Christian traditions--is explored. The impact of these two formulations on pastoral practice is investigated. It is suggested that the doctrine of ancestral sin naturally leads to a focus on human death and Divine compassion as the inheritance from Adam, while the doctrine of original sin shifts the center of attention to human guilt and Divine wrath. It is further posited that the approach of the ancient church points to a more therapeutic than juridical approach to pastoral care and counseling."

May the Lord of all harvests bear fruit in your lives...

Slan,
Marty
Post Your Reply
<CTRL+Enter> to submit
Please login to post a reply.
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook