Unity in Diversity: Meat eating Dionysiacs and diverse Pythogoreans could have unity in church which was a school of the Bible.
If "church" is a "worship center" then there can never be any unity. However, if "church" is ekklesia or synagogue or school of the Bible then diverse groups can set aside their cultural worship backgrounds and assemble to read and speak "that which is written."
See how Romans 14 REMOVES private affairs and opinions OUTSIDE Of the reach of any religious institution. In Romans 15 Paul defines the ekklesia, synagogue or school of the Bible to EXCLUDE any role for an institution.
Romans 14 is normally interpreted to mean that we must not judge other people's religious beliefs and practices but just meet in unity. However, the insanity of this is recognized only by knowing the background to Paul's problem in Romans 14 and his easy solution in Romans 15.
HIM that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. Rom 14:1
For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Romans 14:2
Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Rom 14:3
Converting to Christianity did not change people's diets because the kingdom does not consist of what goes into the belly. However, the kingdom is certainly altered by "doubtful disputations" or that which comes out of the mouth.
One primary group in Rome had a Pythagorean background. They were vegetarians but they were highly addicted to music. Since Paul never uses the "music" word in connection with worship, any of their practices would produce disputations because "music" is not part of the church as "school of the Bible."
Vegetarianism: Josephus knew certain priests who "supported themselves with figs and nuts." They had been sent to Rome to be tried before Caesar and they rejected all meat because it might have been offered to idols.
"However, vegetarian was not always just to guard against idol meat.
"Vegetarianism was a customary religious practice in the first century. It was a characteristic of the Orphic and Pythagorean sects among the Greeks and of the Essenes among the Jews." (Batey, Romans, Sweet, p. 166).
"Orphic initiates (and the stricter Pythagoreans) were vegetarians and also agreed to lifestyle and dietary restrictions, like not eating beans (apart from the effects beans have on the human body, they also resemble parts of it.) Pausanias mentions that Demeter gave the human race the products of the earth excluding beans.
"The refusal to kill and to eat animals, was a radical step in a world of general sacrifice to the Gods, and cut them off.
If the church is like a pagan worship center then their practices were higly doubtful and would CUT THEM OFF. However, Paul proposed the assembly which was not a "worship ritual" but a way to honor God by teaching "that which is written" to one another.
Many of practices of the Gnostics seemed wise in their own eyes but they really were fools according to Paul. Bringing in Pythagorean teaching as opposed to "that which is written" by God's Spirit would make unity impossible. Then and later the Gnostics:
"...this sect crowned the image of Jesus along with those of Pythagoras, Plato and Aristotle. Further, there were impostors of all varieties: magicians, soothsayers, jugglers, deceivers and hypocrites, 'who appeared using mighty words with a host of unintelligible formulae and taking up with scandalous ceremonies in order to rob men of their money." (Int. Std. Bible Ency., Gnosticism, p. 1246).
"Aristotle tells us that it is the task of the initiate to suffer and to let himself be brought to a certain frame of mind.
He is not to seek to acquire knowledge and increased understanding.
The significance of ecstasy in the mysteries strikingly characterized by this statement.
The precise aim of orgies in the mysteries was to induce such a heightening of consciousness in a man that he would be receptive to the god who came to be united with him.
Such a person was then an enthusiast. Music was the most important element used to induce this condition. .. Aristotle explains that among the modes the Phrygian has the same power as the flute among instruments, for both are orgiastic and both heighten consciousness. This peculiar capability, which brought on religious ecstasy.. For that reason everything written in the Phrygian mode was. (Quasten, p 36-37)
"But perhaps nothing was more characteristic of the mystery religions than what they called ecstasy. Believers in the mystery religions sought to cultivate a magical, sensuous communion with the divine. They would do almost anything to get themselves into a semiconscious, hallucinatory, hypnotic, or orgiastic spell in which they believed they were sensually in contact with deity.
Some used wine to assist in the euphoric experience, as Paul implied in Ephesians 5:18. Whether from literal intoxication or emotional exhilaration, when worshipers fell into a state of euphoria, it was as if they had been drugged. They assumed they were in contact with God. (MacArthur, John, Charismatic Chaos, p. 164. Zondervan)
Here a "musical" writer repudiates the "prophesying" in churches such as Corinth, Ephesus and Colossae.
The "piping" of the "childish" clergy in Jerusalem was to enact the mysteries of Dionysus or Bacchus. The effect that as they piped you would sing and dance. This was the feminine or effeminate role they tried to force upon the Incarnate God of the Universe:
Strabo in Geography identified the mysteries: And on this account Plato, and even before his time the Pythagoreians, called philosophy music; and they say that the universe is constituted in accordance with harmony,
assuming that every form of music is the work of the gods. And in this sense, also, the Muses are goddesses, and Apollo is leader of the Muses, and poetry as a whole is laudatory of the gods.
And by the same course of reasoning they also attribute to music the upbuilding of morals, believing that everything which tends to correct the mind is close to the gods.
Now most of the Greeks assigned to Dionysus, Apollo, Hecate, the Muses, and above all to Demeter, everything of an orgiastic or Bacchic or choral nature, as well as the mystic element in initiations; and they give the name "Iacchus" not only to Dionysus but also to the leader-in-chief of the mysteries, who is the genius of Demeter.
And branch-bearing, choral dancing, and initiations are common elements in the worship of these gods.
As for the Muses and Apollo (Apollydon in Revelation 9), the Muses preside over the choruses, whereas Apollo presides both over these and the rites of divination.
But all educated men, and especially the musicians, are ministers of the Muses; and both these and those who have to do with divination (prophesying) are ministers of Apollo;
Apollo had his oracle just up the way from Corinth: "As the god of youth, manly beauty, music, and song, he represents the Greek mind at its best. He was the god of prophecy, with his oracle at Delphi."
Now Iamblichus (De Mysteries, III.ix) goes into the matter of the so-called Corybantic and Bacchic 'frenzies' produced by musical instruments in the Mysteries of Ceres and Bacchus; and in his Life of Pythagoras (xxv) he, further, tells us that:
"Farther still, the whole Pythagoric school produced by certain appropriate songs, what they called exartysis, or adaptation; synarmoge, or elegance of manners; and epaphe, or contact,
usefully conducting the dispositions of the soul to passions contrary to those which it before possessed.
"For when they went to bed, they purified the reasoning power from the perturbations and noises to which it had been exposed during the day, by certain odes and peculiar songs, and by this means procured for them tranquil sleep, and few and good dreams.
"But when they rose from bed, they again liberated themselves from the torpor and heaviness of sleep, by songs of another kind. Sometimes, also, by musical sounds alone, unaccompanied with words, they healed the passions of the soul and certain diseases, enchanting, as they say, in reality....After this manner, therefore, Pythagoras through music produced the most beneficial correction of human manners and lives. Iamblichus (300 A.D.)
Pythagorus spent time in Babylonia and understood the mystery of "the seven heavenly spheres." The Babylonians played music up and down the steps trying to "ascend into the presence of a god" as he made his way to the collection plate in the templeof the Towers of Babylon.
"The Orphic creeds were the basis of the Pythagorean brotherhood, which flourished in southern Italy beginning in the 6th century BC. The Pythagoreans were aristocratic fraternities that sometimes had a political scope. Their main achievements, however, lay in the fields of music, geometry, and astronomy. They discovered that these subjects could be explained by numbers and ratios. Combining Orphic eschatology (the study of the last things, especially death and afterlife) with their discoveries,
they invested music, geometry, and astronomy with religious values.
According to their doctrine, the original home of the soul was in the stars. From there it fell down to earth and associated with the body.
Thus, man was a stranger on the earth, and he had to strive to liberate himself from the ties of the flesh and return to the soul's celestial home.
Contrary to this, neither the Old or New Testaments "invest" music with a "religious value." It has none. It is the left-over immaturity of youth which causes even young calves to jump, run and play.
However, when applied in a religious sense, the Old Testament universally invests it with pagan value.
Pythagorean Music and Divination
Music was always powerful because to the "fatheads and simpletons" you could sell it as the voice of a god actually speaking to you from his home in the instrument. Music is intimately connected with charismatic speaking in tongues which is a modern version of the Greek prophesying or the Ephesian Letters.
"In cultic action music was used in preparation for prophecy. Julius Firmicus Maternus refers to this fact in his remarks on an African cult.
- With the air full of flute music,
- the priests would put on women's clothing and
- then call on the goddess so that,
- filled with a wicked spirit, they might
- predict the future to foolish men.
"In considering this cultic background it is necessary to understand the
- view of music as dispositive to divination,
- a view which derives from pagan philosophy.
This opinion resided in the old Pythagorean school, as Cicero notes.
The Stoa also recognized the employment of music in the service of divination. According to Stoic teaching, ascesis and listen to music were preparations for the ecstasy which, along with purity of heart and a relationship with God, was considered to be the most favorable condition for prophesying.
The notion which was basic to this conception was closely connected wiht belief in the purifying power of music. In both instances there was a question of eleminating tensions and obstacles in man which could stand in the way of the infusion of the divine and its revelation. (Quasten, Johannes, pg. 40)
There was no true 'music' in the worship of a Spirit of God in the entire bible in a "congregational sense." Music was central to almost all pagan religions used to bring on the "uncovered" or musical prophesying as opposed to "prophesying" by quoting "that which has been written" and being an "oracle" by making sure that it is a "Thus Saith the Lord."
No! Paul does not give you permission to DO worship with music and prohibit others from opposing your insult to a Holy God. Rather, here is how people of all backgrounds can meet to DO church which is "A School of the Bible and of Christ."
In Romans chapter 15 Paul showed how people with diverse backgrounds could meet in unity. As "school of the Bible" the church was, like the synagogue, different from all other "worship centers" and turned from religious rituals to "devotion to the Word of God."
WE then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Romans 15:1
And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. Romans 15:10
Romans 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. Romans 15:3
And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. Romans 15:11
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning (teaching), that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4
And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. Romans 15:12
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: Romans 15:5
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13
That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify (tell of His works) God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:6
And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Romans 15:14
Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister (deacon) of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: Romans 15:8
Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God. Romans 15:15
And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will
(2) that the offering (bloodless sacrifice) up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:16
(1) confess to thee among the Gentiles, and
(1) That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles,
(2) sing unto thy name. Romans 15:9
ministering the gospel of God,
Jesus identified Himself as "Son" by saying that He taught only that which He heard from the Father. Those who "speak on their own" He identified as liars and devils.
Paul also insisted:
I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. Rom 15:17
For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed. Rom 15:18
To be a "Son" and a disciple of Christ and Paul "church" must be a school of the Bible and it must speak "that which is written" or it is guaranteeing that there can be no UNITY in the DIVERSITY they have produced.
Counter added 11.26.05 3:51p 1000