The Bible Vs. Eastern Orthodoxy: An Orthodox Blogger On Salvation

https://godkingandnation.wordpress.com/2021/02/25/florilegium-of-biblical-passages-defending-the-traditions-of-apostolic-christianity-complete/

False religions thrive on Biblical ignorance.  Eastern Orthodoxy is no exception. 

After someone linked one of my articles to a YouTube video by “Insitum Verbum,” a few Orthodox apologists decided to try and “take me on”.  They started linking to their blogs.  One of these blogs has some handy, and yet pithy, collections of information on defending Orthodoxy. For this I am thankful as part of Orthodox culture seems to shy away from definitive and also not long winded explanations of their doctrine and practice.  

You should be familiar with the idea that it takes far more time and energy to REFUTE baloney than it does to PRODUCE baloney.

Smart people like Orthodox apologist Jay Dyer know this and so produce volumes and volumes of books and articles and hours and hours of YouTube debates and documentaries.  They are fully aware of the amount of time and energy it would take to “debunk” his garbage ideas.  Usually, I look for one basic, main idea that he is referring to in his videos and deal with that because blogging is just my hobby and there isn’t enough time, energy, or reward by going point-by-point and proving Dyer to be wrong biblically.

So today we will look at an article by “Godking and Nation”.  His website’s http address lacks punctuation by necessity and knowing the history of Byzantine and Romanov Orthodox theology, we will refer to him as “Godking and Nation” or “Godking” for short.

He has put together a handy collection of attempts to excuse the unbiblical practices and doctrines of the Orthodox church.  He calls it a “Florilegium” and not a “collection” in an attempt to make you think that someone smart enough to use big words like “Florilegium” couldn’t possibly be deceived.  

But as we have noted when writing about Jay Dyer: THE BIGGER THE BELFRY THE MORE ROOM FOR THE BATS.

All that to say that this guy is smart.  He’s smart enough to bank on the vast majority of people not checking him or being knowledgeable about the rest of the Bible to see through his garbage ideas.  Good idea.  But if you care about the truth, you should look into what he says and compare it to other verses that he leaves out.  This article will attempt to do just that.

Don’t be smart but Biblically ignorant like the Orthodox apologists.  Let’s look at his article and compare it to the Final Authority: The King James Bible.

Today, we’ll be looking at the part of Godking’s “Florilegium” that deals with salvation and the sacraments.  

As usual, my comments are in bold.

Begin article:

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Faith Alone and the Necessity of Sacraments

Protestants Not just “protestants”; any Bible reader with a brain… will claim that apostolic Christians You spelled “Eastern Orthodox” wrong.  practice a “works based religion”, You claim that yourself later in the article… meaning that for apostolic Christians, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was insufficient and that we still need to perform works to obtain salvation. This becomes a central concern for protestants This is a “central concern” for Paul in the Book of Romans… as in their theology Paul’s Theology…, if one believes that works are necessary, then they reject the all-sufficiency of Christ and as such stand condemned, because works are insufficient and salvation cannot be earned. This doctrine is based on a reading of Romans 3:28, which states:

“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law”.

Baloney.  There are dozens of other verses that this doctrine is based on. (Eph 2:8,9, Gal 2:16, Rom 4:5, 6:23, 10:1-13, Acts 15:11, Titus 3:5, and many others.)  Beyond that, the doctrine isn’t “based on a reading,” it is based on what the verses SAYS.  This joker wants to turn the question “What saith the Scriptures?” into “What is the reading of the Scriptures?” or “What does the Scripture MEAN?”.  The Scriptures say what they say.  They can be made to “mean” or “teach” anything.  

Again, no Christian would deny that we are saved by faith, Huh?  You are about to say that you believe faith+works….  alas this passage says nothing about “faith alone”. English speakers have never claimed this (It’s an issue in Luther’s German Bible), but we do claim that Romans 4:5 says, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”  In fact, the only place in Scripture where “faith alone” is written is James 2:24:

“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only”.  

These passages are not contradictory. They are only contradictory if you try and put them both on people today.  The truth is that, as we see in James 1:1, the book of James is dealing specifically with the Jews and we know from Romans 11 that God will deal primarily with the Jews after the Church Age and in the Tribulation.  So when we see differences between James 2 and Romans 4, we can be assured that Romans 4 is to us as Paul is addressing Gentiles today.  See my many articles on Dispensations.  We Don’t say “we”… are justified by faith, but faith is not an idle belief. Faith is what motivates us and compels us to do works, works that make us holy and bring us nearer to God. Baloney, Paul says faith without works in Romans 4.  READ IT.  Yet, works do not save us. Works are an essential part of faith He’s literally saying “faith+works”… and need not be seen as opposing each other, just as apostolic Christians would say that the Bible and Holy Tradition need not oppose each other. Here is the pig in the poke again.  My last article about Jay Dyer shows how the Orthodox just PRETEND that two opposites aren’t opposites.  These poor souls don’t know whether to go to the bathroom or wind their watch.  Faith and works don’t fit together in this age.  See Eph 2:8,9.  This view is also expressed in Scripture by James in chapter 2 verse 26:

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also”.  Yep, in the time that James is speaking about, that is: the Tribulation. Context, people.  Context.

The Bible is clear; faith and works are two sides of the same coin and together justify the Christian. It’s clear if you ignore the verses I have given above.  The confusion is only cleared up by “rightly dividing the word of truth” and realizing the salvation of James 2 is for the tribulation and that Romans is for the Church Age today.  So as Christians, we are expected, and it is needful for our salvation, to engage in works. So, he admits that works are necessary for salvation.  So Christ’s death wasn’t enough in and of itself…  Thank you for admitting it.  Protestants, in their condemnation of works, No one condemns works, Christians who actually go by the Bible believe that works don’t have anything to do with salvation.  I am for doing good works.  They just play no role in salvation.  condemn the sacraments of the apostolic churches, True.  saying that these sacraments are merely graceless (if not pagan) traditions of man. True. They are.  That is an odd claim, especially since many of the sacraments of the apostolic churches are based upon Biblical ordinances or implication. I don’t claim that the sacraments aren’t “based upon” things found in the Bible.  Of course they are, but they are not used correctly and so become great lies from the pit of Hell.  Keep reading to see how this works.  First Peter 3:21 states that “baptism now saves you” Which baptism?  There are seven.  See here.  The verse actually tells us what saves and it is “the answer of a good conscience towards God.”  In context, it can’t be speaking of water baptism as the verse before talks of Noah and WATER NEVER TOUCHED NOAH.  Water did touch the hell bound sinners though… and Acts 22:16 states “arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins”. Good job of not finishing the verse.  If he had, he would have seen that the “Wash away thy sins is connected to the “calling on the name of the Lord” which then connects to Romans 10:9,13.  No water is necessary for salvation.   We can also see in the other account of Paul’s salvation in Acts 9, that he is already calling Christ “Lord” and Paul is being called a “brother” by another Christian before his water baptism.  The evidence is clear.  Paul was saved without water.  Clearly, baptism as presented in Scripture is more than just a ritual, Sure it’s more than just a “ritual” but it still has nothing to do with salvation.  Paul wasn’t even sent to baptize.  See I Cor 1:17.  and for the New Testament writers they saw baptism as a needful sacrament that “took away sins”.  See how he uses quotes without telling you where the quotes come from.  Since they don’t come from the Bible, we will assume they came from his own corrupt mind and disregard them accordingly.  

Christ is also explicit in the needfulness of partaking in the Eucharist/Holy Communion. John 6:53 says:  Sure, it’s “needful” but that isn’t the same as being “necessary for salvation”.  He probably knows this and that is why he uses vague wording.  Orthodox apologists do this stuff all the time.  

“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you”.  He said that of course, but he also said, “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” John 6:57.  Are we to assume that Christ is eating God the Father?  Why didn’t Godking address this verse?  Are we to assume that Christ is telling them literally to go against the commandments from before the law, under the law, and in the Church Age about not drinking blood?  See Gen 9:4; Lev 17:10; Acts 15:29.  The key to the whole passage (conveniently left out by Godking) is in verse 63: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63.  For those that stick around long enough and keep reading, you clearly see that the passage is not literally telling people to eat the literal body and blood and be cannibals and vampires.

Regardless of your views and doctrine on communion, it would seem clear from our Lord that communion is more than just a symbolic act of remembrance and has spiritual significance, Yes, with one verse taken out of context, “it would seem” so, but Bible Believers don’t do that.  so much so that without it we have no life within us. So important is communion, that 1 Corinthians 11:29 states:

“For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body”.  People who actually read their Bibles know that there is more than one kind of “damnation” in the Bible and the “damnation” in this verse is literally defined in the next verse.  “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” 1Cor 11:30. Romans 13:2 is another time “damnation” doesn’t mean hell.  All these facts are just ignored by Orthodox apologists.

Not only are we commanded to participate in communion, but doing so in an improper, sinful state can damn us. See above.  Therefore, it would seem that there would need to be some mechanism (or sacrament) that would ensure one’s worthiness to participate in the Eucharistic celebration. The “worthiness” is defined in the text.  Vs 31 speaks of judging ourselves.  If you have unconfessed sin then get it right with God (I John 1:9) and then do communion.  None of this “Eucharistic celebration” junk. More on that later. Again, if communion and baptism are works, as protestants say, The “say”ings of protestants doesn’t matter.  If words mean anything, then they most certainly are works.  then from Scripture and the Lord’s very mouth, they are needful for our salvation.  Now Godking is claiming works are necessary for salvation.  He earlier said “works do not save us” but he also believes works are necessary for salvation.  Godking talks out of both sides of his mouth.  

Protestant churches often decry the sacrament of confession, wherein a priest counsels a lay person and grants them absolution from their sins. The priest All New Testament believers are priests (I Peter 2:5,9)  serves as a witness before God, offering guidance to the person confessing. God is the only one able to forgive sins, Note this.  We agree here. but the priest comforts the sinner before God, and assures them of their forgiveness and the love of God. Absolution is this assurance of forgiveness, and the knowledge of having been cleansed of sin by God with the priest serving as witness and support. Prepare yourselves to watch Godking contract himself on this in the next paragraph.  Apparently, this isn’t a big deal to him or he wouldn’t continue to flip flop.  It should be a big deal to people.  Souls are on the line.  This sacrament is supported by James 5:16, which instructs Christians to confess their sins to other people, not exclusively to God. False.  It says to confess your “faults” not “sins”.  Big difference.  Furthermore, in John 20:23 Christ seemingly grants this ability to absolve sins to the apostles. The passage reads:

“Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained”.

This interpretation seems to also be affirmed in Matthew 18:18, where Christ gives Saint Peter this same power in the form of binding and loosing that which is on earth in Heaven. Therefore, these passages do seem to imply a sacrament of confession with real power to absolve sins. Earlier, Godking said that the priest was only a witness, now there is “real power to absolve sins”.  Flip flop.  Flip flop.  This assurance of forgiveness also aligns with the warnings of 1 Corinthians 11:29, whereas that assurance would be needful before we partook in communion, lest we inadvertently damn ourselves. These interpretations can be challenged, but the efficacy of confession and the other sacraments, and good works in general are doctrines that are based upon the Bible and not some other nefarious non-Christian influence.  An acquaintance of mine has a good summation that fits all these verses together and shows the New Testament APPLICATION of these doctrines and verses that Godking brings up.  “The power to remit or retain sins was not limited to the Apostles because there were other believers at this gathering (Luke 24:33). The procedure of this spiritual power is recorded in Matt 18:15-20 and it is illustrated by Paul in 1 Cor 5:5 and 2 Cor 2:6-11.”  No one in the New Testament is doing anything resembling the Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant Sacrament of Confession and Absolution.  If those verses truly demonstrated that the “Sacrament of Confession” was given to the Church like the Orthodox claim, then why didn’t any of the apostles or early Christians use it?  Answer: Orthodox theology as concerning “Confession” is bunk and should be regarded as blasphemous.  

End article

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I hope you see the obvious flip flopping in this poor man.  We were able to trace Godking’s IP address and found a picture of Godking.  

This is appropriate because of how he goes back and forth on his doctrine.  

I hope, dear reader, that you have enough Biblical evidence to see through the facade of “Biblical evidence” for Orthodox doctrine.  Godking has made many mistakes and ignored the PLAIN words of the Scriptures.  You have an opportunity to not make the same mistake.  

Don’t touch that dial.  More articles about Godking are forthcoming, Lord willing.  

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