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Moderated Forums => Free-For-All => Religious Topics => Topic started by: Raylight on July 21, 2015, 05:28:54 AM

Title: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 21, 2015, 05:28:54 AM
I hope if you can put away any negative feelings or opinions about the Anglican Communion in general, and the Anglican Churches in North America (ACC and TEC ). So we can discuss the matter better and I can get a better understanding of the responses :)

I don't deny that the Anglican Church in the West is in some state of spiritual corruption. Not necessary as the media likes to point out ( usually the media exaggerate everything ) Do not forget that the media focuses ONLY on matters such as Same-sex marriage, ordination of women to priesthood, abortion, and anything that is worthy of making a headline that will attract people. Under all that, there is some different reality. For example, you may think that ACC is very liberal, but when I read some of the letters (online from the Church's website) that sent to the Marriage Canon Committee which will decide on whether to change the definition of marriage or keep it the same. Plenty of letters from laity and clergy opposed such change. And in the Anglican Journal, several clergy expressed their opposition to the change. I visited three Anglican churches in the city, two of them are conservative, and one is classical liberal. The vicar in my parish several times preached about the reality of the actual resurrection of Christ and how all this ( pointed to the beautiful cathedral building ) is nothing without the resurrection of Christ. The same with the Bishop who is orthodox in his beliefs. So from my experience, the Anglican Church of Canada is not as bad as some may think it is.

For you as Orthodox, if you look to the history of your Church. There were times when the Church was corrupt, when some Patriarchs were heretics, publicly preached heresy, and the laity believed them. Would it have been reasonable to leave the Orthodox Church if you were living during that time ? Would it have been okay for you to leave the Church ( throw the baby with the bathwater, as they say ) just because it happened at that particular time the Church is in a state of spiritual corruption ? You may say that this is different, because the Orthodox Church is the True Church established by Christ. But for the sake of the topic and in order to get more understanding, let us put that aside, and focus on the issue away from the theological arguments about which is the True Church and which is not.

The same for Roman Catholics, there were times when heresy was taking over large parts of the Church in Europe, where some Popes were very corrupt. Corruption started the Reformation movement by Martin Luther who left the Church because he couldn't handle the corrupted state of the Church at the time. How is what he did any different than what some expect from Anglicans to do ? And that is to leave the Church just because it happened that currently the spiritual state of the Church is not as good as it supposed to be.

To sum it up, The Orthodox Church had and maybe still has its share of corruption, the same for the Roman Catholic Church. How is it any different than what some parts of the Anglican Communion is experiencing today ? Why is the corruption in the Anglican Church is "worse" than the corruption that took over the Eastern Orthodox Church/ Roman Catholic Church in the past ?

Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Cyrillic on July 21, 2015, 05:43:57 AM
For you as Orthodox, if you look to the history of your Church. There were times when the Church was corrupted, when some Patriarchs were heretics, publicly preached heresy, and the laity believed them. Would it be reasonable to leave the Orthodox Church if you were living during that time ?

It did happen that people broke communion with heretical patriarchs and bishops but maintained communion with the orthodox-Orthodox bishops and patriarchs, who had broken communion with the heretics as well. With the Anglicans it is altogether different, since they make heresies official policies and the more conservative bishops don't break communion over it.

I visited three Anglican churches in the city, two of them are conservative, and one is classical liberal.

It isn't about conservative or liberal in the political sense. But I can't say I'm surprised. The Anglican Church is an upper middle class country club with prayers substituted for golf. A mere 'I'm alright Jack/Keep your hands of my stack' conservatism (or 'classical' liberalism) isn't a very good substitute for the conservatism that tries to preserve the faith of your fathers.

It does remind one a bit of the Wildean 'for respectable people, the Anglican Church will do'.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 21, 2015, 11:30:53 AM
You may say that this is different, because the Orthodox Church is the True Church established by Christ. But for the sake of the topic and in order to get more understanding, let us put that aside, and focus on the issue away from the theological arguments about which is the True Church and which is not.

Um, that's a pretty big deal, friend.  If you think that is unimportant, we're just going to be talking past each other.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Iconodule on July 21, 2015, 11:43:27 AM
Anglicanism is heretical because it endorses iconoclasm and a receptionist understanding of the eucharist and forbids the invocation of saints.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Asteriktos on July 21, 2015, 11:49:05 AM
I think one difference can be seen when you consider where the group was before and after the corruption/problem. If a group was descended from the Apostles, some individual members (even if the majority) fell into some bad business for a while, and then it fixes the problem and recovers, then that's one thing. But take away either the 'apostolic' before or 'recovered' after in that scenario, though, and things look very different. I think many Orthodox would argue that the Catholics had the before but not the after, while the Anglicans and Protestants had neither--except perhaps by way of Catholicism. That seems a bit too neat and tidy to me, but there's the beginnings of the argument/idea anyway.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: scamandrius on July 21, 2015, 01:23:02 PM
Anglicanism is heretical because it endorses iconoclasm and a receptionist understanding of the eucharist and forbids the invocation of saints.

You left out a ton of stuff.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: biro on July 21, 2015, 02:55:44 PM
Anglicanism is heretical because it endorses iconoclasm and a receptionist understanding of the eucharist and forbids the invocation of saints.

I believe some of the High Church Anglicans still revere the saints.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: seekeroftruth777 on July 21, 2015, 02:57:49 PM
For you as Orthodox, if you look to the history of your Church. There were times when the Church was corrupted, when some Patriarchs were heretics, publicly preached heresy, and the laity believed them. Would it be reasonable to leave the Orthodox Church if you were living during that time ?

It did happen that people broke communion with heretical patriarchs and bishops but maintained communion with the orthodox-Orthodox bishops and patriarchs, who had broken communion with the heretics as well. With the Anglicans it is altogether different, since they make heresies official policies and the more conservative bishops don't break communion over it.

I visited three Anglican churches in the city, two of them are conservative, and one is classical liberal.

It isn't about conservative or liberal in the political sense. But I can't say I'm surprised. The Anglican Church is an upper middle class country club with prayers substituted for golf. A mere 'I'm alright Jack/Keep your hands of my stack' conservatism (or 'classical' liberalism) isn't a very good substitute for the conservatism that tries to preserve the faith of your fathers.

It does remind one a bit of the Wildean 'for respectable people, the Anglican Church will do'.

yup what Cyrillic said 100%, wait I agreed with Cyrillic :o
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 21, 2015, 06:05:59 PM
For you as Orthodox, if you look to the history of your Church. There were times when the Church was corrupted, when some Patriarchs were heretics, publicly preached heresy, and the laity believed them. Would it be reasonable to leave the Orthodox Church if you were living during that time ?

It did happen that people broke communion with heretical patriarchs and bishops but maintained communion with the orthodox-Orthodox bishops and patriarchs, who had broken communion with the heretics as well. With the Anglicans it is altogether different, since they make heresies official policies and the more conservative bishops don't break communion over it.

I visited three Anglican churches in the city, two of them are conservative, and one is classical liberal.

It isn't about conservative or liberal in the political sense. But I can't say I'm surprised. The Anglican Church is an upper middle class country club with prayers substituted for golf. A mere 'I'm alright Jack/Keep your hands of my stack' conservatism (or 'classical' liberalism) isn't a very good substitute for the conservatism that tries to preserve the faith of your fathers.

It does remind one a bit of the Wildean 'for respectable people, the Anglican Church will do'.

In defense of the Conservative Bishops, if every Conservative will leave the Anglican Church, then it is left for the Progressive to take over. But instead of leaving the Church, they prefer to stay and continue the fight for the faith.

Regarding the Anglican Church being "upper middle class country club" I don't think it is accurate when it comes to my experience, because many are passionate about their beliefs and the vicars are engaged with the congregation. However, you might be right in the general sense.

Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 21, 2015, 06:14:25 PM
You may say that this is different, because the Orthodox Church is the True Church established by Christ. But for the sake of the topic and in order to get more understanding, let us put that aside, and focus on the issue away from the theological arguments about which is the True Church and which is not.

Um, that's a pretty big deal, friend.  If you think that is unimportant, we're just going to be talking past each other.

I thought so. But the purpose of my thread is to see why is it " a big deal" what is happening in the Anglican Communion without the need to go into details about whether the Orthodox Church was established by Christ or not. Because for someone like me, I want first to know from you guys why should I be concerned with what is happening in the Anglican Communion ? How is what is happening there is any different than what Orthodox Church experienced in the past.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 21, 2015, 06:18:19 PM
Anglicanism is heretical because it endorses iconoclasm and a receptionist understanding of the eucharist and forbids the invocation of saints.

For some people these may not be " a big deal" to consider a Church to be invalid. As Biro mentioned, in the High churches (Anglo-Catholic) they honor the Saints, believe in the Eucharist, and have plenty of icons. In one of the Anglican churches I visited (Not Anglo-Catholic) there was a small book about Icons and how to pray in front of an icon and meditate.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 21, 2015, 06:19:43 PM
Anglicanism is heretical because it endorses iconoclasm and a receptionist understanding of the eucharist and forbids the invocation of saints.

You left out a ton of stuff.

Can you please mention some of them ?
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 21, 2015, 06:21:57 PM
I think one difference can be seen when you consider where the group was before and after the corruption/problem. If a group was descended from the Apostles, some individual members (even if the majority) fell into some bad business for a while, and then it fixes the problem and recovers, then that's one thing. But take away either the 'apostolic' before or 'recovered' after in that scenario, though, and things look very different. I think many Orthodox would argue that the Catholics had the before but not the after, while the Anglicans and Protestants had neither--except perhaps by way of Catholicism. That seems a bit too neat and tidy to me, but there's the beginnings of the argument/idea anyway.

I agree, but as you know, it will lead into a whole argument about the Apostolic succession and when and who and how...etc. I want to know about these issues, but here I just want to see from the ordinary 21st century perspective.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Minnesotan on July 21, 2015, 06:30:07 PM
For you as Orthodox, if you look to the history of your Church. There were times when the Church was corrupted, when some Patriarchs were heretics, publicly preached heresy, and the laity believed them. Would it be reasonable to leave the Orthodox Church if you were living during that time ?

It did happen that people broke communion with heretical patriarchs and bishops but maintained communion with the orthodox-Orthodox bishops and patriarchs, who had broken communion with the heretics as well. With the Anglicans it is altogether different, since they make heresies official policies and the more conservative bishops don't break communion over it.

I visited three Anglican churches in the city, two of them are conservative, and one is classical liberal.

It isn't about conservative or liberal in the political sense. But I can't say I'm surprised. The Anglican Church is an upper middle class country club with prayers substituted for golf. A mere 'I'm alright Jack/Keep your hands of my stack' conservatism (or 'classical' liberalism) isn't a very good substitute for the conservatism that tries to preserve the faith of your fathers.

It does remind one a bit of the Wildean 'for respectable people, the Anglican Church will do'.

In defense of the Conservative Bishops, if every Conservative will leave the Anglican Church, then it is left for the Progressive to take over. But instead of leaving the Church, they prefer to stay and continue the fight for the faith.

Regarding the Anglican Church being "upper middle class country club" I don't think it is accurate when it comes to my experience, because many are passionate about their beliefs and the vicars are engaged with the congregation. However, you might be right in the general sense.

I sometimes wonder if an "amicable divorce" might be the best option, actually. Low-church parishes could join the Reformed Episcopal Church, progressives/liberals would join the UU or the UCC (depending on the particular brand of liberalism), Anglo-Papalist leaning folks would join the personal ordinariates, and the remainder would end up in AWRV. Might be better than the status quo with its constant theological battles.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Tallitot on July 21, 2015, 07:05:51 PM
Anglicanism is heretical because it endorses iconoclasm and a receptionist understanding of the eucharist and forbids the invocation of saints.
I was an Episcopalian. ou don't know what you're talking about.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 21, 2015, 07:33:16 PM
You may say that this is different, because the Orthodox Church is the True Church established by Christ. But for the sake of the topic and in order to get more understanding, let us put that aside, and focus on the issue away from the theological arguments about which is the True Church and which is not.

Um, that's a pretty big deal, friend.  If you think that is unimportant, we're just going to be talking past each other.

I thought so. But the purpose of my thread is to see why is it " a big deal" what is happening in the Anglican Communion without the need to go into details about whether the Orthodox Church was established by Christ or not. Because for someone like me, I want first to know from you guys why should I be concerned with what is happening in the Anglican Communion ? How is what is happening there is any different than what Orthodox Church experienced in the past.

What is going on in the Anglican Communion, and what in Orthodox Church history are you comparing it with?  I'm still not really clear on this question.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Iconodule on July 21, 2015, 08:15:10 PM
Anglicanism is heretical because it endorses iconoclasm and a receptionist understanding of the eucharist and forbids the invocation of saints.
I was an Episcopalian. ou don't know what you're talking about.

In fact I do. And yes, I am well aware of Anglo-Catholics and also the near ubiquitous crucifixes and other images in Anglican churches now, as well as the chaos with regards to eucharistic doctrine. The root is still rotten, and these later developments only compound the problem by introducing incoherence.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Sam G on July 21, 2015, 08:28:04 PM
In defense of the Conservative Bishops, if every Conservative will leave the Anglican Church, then it is left for the Progressive to take over. But instead of leaving the Church, they prefer to stay and continue the fight for the faith.

Is it worth remaining on a sinking ship? What faith are they fighting for? I guess if someone really was convinced that Anglicanism (and only Anglicanism) held the Truth, then it would be worth fighting for within the existing structure of Anglicanism.

However, from the Orthodox perspective the Anglican communion is not in possession of the fullness of the apostolic faith, and therefore the best thing for the Conservative Bishops to do for the sake of their own souls would be to resign from their positions in the Anglican Church and join the Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 23, 2015, 02:22:08 PM
For you as Orthodox, if you look to the history of your Church. There were times when the Church was corrupted, when some Patriarchs were heretics, publicly preached heresy, and the laity believed them. Would it be reasonable to leave the Orthodox Church if you were living during that time ?

It did happen that people broke communion with heretical patriarchs and bishops but maintained communion with the orthodox-Orthodox bishops and patriarchs, who had broken communion with the heretics as well. With the Anglicans it is altogether different, since they make heresies official policies and the more conservative bishops don't break communion over it.

I visited three Anglican churches in the city, two of them are conservative, and one is classical liberal.

It isn't about conservative or liberal in the political sense. But I can't say I'm surprised. The Anglican Church is an upper middle class country club with prayers substituted for golf. A mere 'I'm alright Jack/Keep your hands of my stack' conservatism (or 'classical' liberalism) isn't a very good substitute for the conservatism that tries to preserve the faith of your fathers.

It does remind one a bit of the Wildean 'for respectable people, the Anglican Church will do'.

In defense of the Conservative Bishops, if every Conservative will leave the Anglican Church, then it is left for the Progressive to take over. But instead of leaving the Church, they prefer to stay and continue the fight for the faith.

Regarding the Anglican Church being "upper middle class country club" I don't think it is accurate when it comes to my experience, because many are passionate about their beliefs and the vicars are engaged with the congregation. However, you might be right in the general sense.

I sometimes wonder if an "amicable divorce" might be the best option, actually. Low-church parishes could join the Reformed Episcopal Church, progressives/liberals would join the UU or the UCC (depending on the particular brand of liberalism), Anglo-Papalist leaning folks would join the personal ordinariates, and the remainder would end up in AWRV. Might be better than the status quo with its constant theological battles.

You have quite the plan, eh ? Partly I would love to see that happen to many churches, because I believe they do more harm than good to Christianity.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 23, 2015, 02:43:46 PM
You may say that this is different, because the Orthodox Church is the True Church established by Christ. But for the sake of the topic and in order to get more understanding, let us put that aside, and focus on the issue away from the theological arguments about which is the True Church and which is not.

Um, that's a pretty big deal, friend.  If you think that is unimportant, we're just going to be talking past each other.

I thought so. But the purpose of my thread is to see why is it " a big deal" what is happening in the Anglican Communion without the need to go into details about whether the Orthodox Church was established by Christ or not. Because for someone like me, I want first to know from you guys why should I be concerned with what is happening in the Anglican Communion ? How is what is happening there is any different than what Orthodox Church experienced in the past.

What is going on in the Anglican Communion, and what in Orthodox Church history are you comparing it with?  I'm still not really clear on this question.

Alright my dear, for some Orthodox Christians, what is happening in the Anglican Communion and especially in the Episcopal Church USA, is enough to leave and join another Church. What some Orthodox believe about the Anglican churches in North America, is that heresy is all over the place, to the point of Bishops denying fundamental Christian doctrines such as; Christ's divinity, his actual resurrection, and the virgin birth. Now if you look to the history of the Orthodox Church, once upon a time, Patriarchs were heretics, Bishops were heretics, some heresies spread all over the Church and believed by many laity. But by God's grace, the heretics died, the heresies gone, and the orthodoxy of the Church survived. Here is the heart of the matter, what makes the Anglican Church issues today different than what happened in the Orthodox Church in the past ? The Orthodox Church today survived the heresies of the past, couldn't that happen with the Anglican Church as well in the future ? I want to know the answer from the ordinary Orthodox believers away from complicated theological debates.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 23, 2015, 02:46:23 PM
In defense of the Conservative Bishops, if every Conservative will leave the Anglican Church, then it is left for the Progressive to take over. But instead of leaving the Church, they prefer to stay and continue the fight for the faith.

Is it worth remaining on a sinking ship? What faith are they fighting for? I guess if someone really was convinced that Anglicanism (and only Anglicanism) held the Truth, then it would be worth fighting for within the existing structure of Anglicanism.




I think the majority of Anglicans don't believe that Anglicanism held the full Truth. Maybe this is why it is easy to change doctrines and tolerate heresies.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Cyrillic on July 23, 2015, 02:53:20 PM
What some Orthodox believe about the Anglican churches in North America, is that heresy is all over the place, to the point of Bishops denying fundamental Christian doctrines such as; Christ's divinity, his actual resurrection, and the virgin birth. Now if you look to the history of the Orthodox Church, once upon a time, Patriarchs were heretics, Bishops were heretics, some heresies spread all over the Church and believed by many laity. But by God's grace, the heretics died, the heresies gone, and the orthodoxy of the Church survived. Here is the heart of the matter, what makes the Anglican Church issues today different than what happened in the Orthodox Church in the past ?

The contemporary orthodox-Orthodox bishops anathematised and excommunicated the heretics, while the more conservative Anglican bishops don't do the same to their liberal colleagues.

The Orthodox Church today survived the heresies of the past, couldn't that happen with the Anglican Church as well in the future ?

Nah. The ship is sinking.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: TheTrisagion on July 23, 2015, 02:55:47 PM
You may say that this is different, because the Orthodox Church is the True Church established by Christ. But for the sake of the topic and in order to get more understanding, let us put that aside, and focus on the issue away from the theological arguments about which is the True Church and which is not.

Um, that's a pretty big deal, friend.  If you think that is unimportant, we're just going to be talking past each other.

I thought so. But the purpose of my thread is to see why is it " a big deal" what is happening in the Anglican Communion without the need to go into details about whether the Orthodox Church was established by Christ or not. Because for someone like me, I want first to know from you guys why should I be concerned with what is happening in the Anglican Communion ? How is what is happening there is any different than what Orthodox Church experienced in the past.

What is going on in the Anglican Communion, and what in Orthodox Church history are you comparing it with?  I'm still not really clear on this question.

Alright my dear, for some Orthodox Christians, what is happening in the Anglican Communion and especially in the Episcopal Church USA, is enough to leave and join another Church. What some Orthodox believe about the Anglican churches in North America, is that heresy is all over the place, to the point of Bishops denying fundamental Christian doctrines such as; Christ's divinity, his actual resurrection, and the virgin birth. Now if you look to the history of the Orthodox Church, once upon a time, Patriarch were heretics, Bishops were heretics, some heresies spread all over the Church and believed by many laity. But by God's grace, the heretics died, the heresies gone, and the orthodoxy of Church survived. Here is the heart of the matter, what makes the Anglican Church issues today different than what happened in the Orthodox Church in the past ? The Orthodox Church today survived the heresies of the past, couldn't that happen with the Anglican Church as well in the future ? I want to know the answer from the ordinary Orthodox believers away from complicated theological debates.
It is not my intent to be unkind or uncharitable to Anglicans, but the difference as I see it is that Orthodoxy, while it has had tempestuous moments in its history, has still held to the same basic truths throughout its 2000 year existence. Even in times of widespread heresy, there was at minimum a very sizable portion of the Church that continued to hold to the apostolic teachings. The perception from the outside of Anglicanism is that most of the people that hold to apostolic teachings have fled and the people who remain are intent on changing it into a religion unrecognizable from its roots. It isn't a matter of it overcoming this recent crisis, it is a matter of it having succumbed to the crisis and is now dead. Maybe it is different in Canada, but the overwhelming majority of the Episcopalian Church in the US is really not much more than a social group that occasionally invokes a deity's name.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 23, 2015, 03:06:44 PM
You may say that this is different, because the Orthodox Church is the True Church established by Christ. But for the sake of the topic and in order to get more understanding, let us put that aside, and focus on the issue away from the theological arguments about which is the True Church and which is not.

Um, that's a pretty big deal, friend.  If you think that is unimportant, we're just going to be talking past each other.

I thought so. But the purpose of my thread is to see why is it " a big deal" what is happening in the Anglican Communion without the need to go into details about whether the Orthodox Church was established by Christ or not. Because for someone like me, I want first to know from you guys why should I be concerned with what is happening in the Anglican Communion ? How is what is happening there is any different than what Orthodox Church experienced in the past.

What is going on in the Anglican Communion, and what in Orthodox Church history are you comparing it with?  I'm still not really clear on this question.

Alright my dear, for some Orthodox Christians, what is happening in the Anglican Communion and especially in the Episcopal Church USA, is enough to leave and join another Church. What some Orthodox believe about the Anglican churches in North America, is that heresy is all over the place, to the point of Bishops denying fundamental Christian doctrines such as; Christ's divinity, his actual resurrection, and the virgin birth.

Is there any truth to that belief?  Or is it a total fabrication?

Quote
Now if you look to the history of the Orthodox Church, once upon a time, Patriarchs were heretics, Bishops were heretics, some heresies spread all over the Church and believed by many laity. But by God's grace, the heretics died, the heresies gone, and the orthodoxy of the Church survived. Here is the heart of the matter, what makes the Anglican Church issues today different than what happened in the Orthodox Church in the past ? The Orthodox Church today survived the heresies of the past, couldn't that happen with the Anglican Church as well in the future ? I want to know the answer from the ordinary Orthodox believers away from complicated theological debates.

The Orthodox Church didn't survive the heresies of the past by ignoring them until the heretics died out.  Instead, "Orthodox" teaching was defined, "heresy" was defined and condemned, and the "Orthodox" and the "heretics" severed communion with each other. 

The "Anglican solution" seems to be the acceptance of multiple and even opposing viewpoints on important matters of faith within one Church as a good, not merely as a necessary evil until the Church can resolve the issue. 

When we say "We believe", we mean it.  When you say "We believe", you have to explain who are the "we" and how the other people who disagree are still part of the "we" even if they don't "believe".   
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 23, 2015, 03:17:57 PM
What some Orthodox believe about the Anglican churches in North America, is that heresy is all over the place, to the point of Bishops denying fundamental Christian doctrines such as; Christ's divinity, his actual resurrection, and the virgin birth. Now if you look to the history of the Orthodox Church, once upon a time, Patriarchs were heretics, Bishops were heretics, some heresies spread all over the Church and believed by many laity. But by God's grace, the heretics died, the heresies gone, and the orthodoxy of the Church survived. Here is the heart of the matter, what makes the Anglican Church issues today different than what happened in the Orthodox Church in the past ?

The contemporary orthodox-Orthodox bishops anathematised and excommunicated the heretics, while the more conservative Anglican bishops don't do the same to their liberal colleagues.

The Orthodox Church today survived the heresies of the past, couldn't that happen with the Anglican Church as well in the future ?

Nah. The ship is sinking.


I guess I have to agree with you here. But don't forget that the word Anathema is almost doesn't exist in the Anglican churches in NA at all. I would like it to see the Conservative Bishops become more vocal and say something, not just agree to disagree type of nonsense. I accept the agree to disagree on several matters such as same-sex marriage, abortion, ordination of women...etc. But when it comes to the fundamental Christian doctrines such as Christ's divinity and actual physical resurrection, agree to disagree is something happen between a Christian and Jewish, Christian and Muslim,  or Christian and Atheist. But not between a Bishop and another Bishop.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Sam G on July 23, 2015, 03:19:59 PM
In defense of the Conservative Bishops, if every Conservative will leave the Anglican Church, then it is left for the Progressive to take over. But instead of leaving the Church, they prefer to stay and continue the fight for the faith.

Is it worth remaining on a sinking ship? What faith are they fighting for? I guess if someone really was convinced that Anglicanism (and only Anglicanism) held the Truth, then it would be worth fighting for within the existing structure of Anglicanism.




I think the majority of Anglicans don't believe that Anglicanism held the full Truth. Maybe this is why it is easy to change doctrines and tolerate heresies the situation within Anglicanism is different then Orthodoxy because Orthodoxy has always believed itself to have the full Truth.

Fixed it.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Iconodule on July 23, 2015, 03:21:14 PM
I guess I have to agree with you here. But don't forget that the word Anathema is almost doesn't exist in the Anglican churches in NA at all.

The Church of England used to throw around anathemas with the best of them:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRt2cKvJLlE
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 23, 2015, 03:25:07 PM
You may say that this is different, because the Orthodox Church is the True Church established by Christ. But for the sake of the topic and in order to get more understanding, let us put that aside, and focus on the issue away from the theological arguments about which is the True Church and which is not.

Um, that's a pretty big deal, friend.  If you think that is unimportant, we're just going to be talking past each other.

I thought so. But the purpose of my thread is to see why is it " a big deal" what is happening in the Anglican Communion without the need to go into details about whether the Orthodox Church was established by Christ or not. Because for someone like me, I want first to know from you guys why should I be concerned with what is happening in the Anglican Communion ? How is what is happening there is any different than what Orthodox Church experienced in the past.

What is going on in the Anglican Communion, and what in Orthodox Church history are you comparing it with?  I'm still not really clear on this question.

Alright my dear, for some Orthodox Christians, what is happening in the Anglican Communion and especially in the Episcopal Church USA, is enough to leave and join another Church. What some Orthodox believe about the Anglican churches in North America, is that heresy is all over the place, to the point of Bishops denying fundamental Christian doctrines such as; Christ's divinity, his actual resurrection, and the virgin birth. Now if you look to the history of the Orthodox Church, once upon a time, Patriarch were heretics, Bishops were heretics, some heresies spread all over the Church and believed by many laity. But by God's grace, the heretics died, the heresies gone, and the orthodoxy of Church survived. Here is the heart of the matter, what makes the Anglican Church issues today different than what happened in the Orthodox Church in the past ? The Orthodox Church today survived the heresies of the past, couldn't that happen with the Anglican Church as well in the future ? I want to know the answer from the ordinary Orthodox believers away from complicated theological debates.
It is not my intent to be unkind or uncharitable to Anglicans, but the difference as I see it is that Orthodoxy, while it has had tempestuous moments in its history, has still held to the same basic truths throughout its 2000 year existence. Even in times of widespread heresy, there was at minimum a very sizable portion of the Church that continued to hold to the apostolic teachings. The perception from the outside of Anglicanism is that most of the people that hold to apostolic teachings have fled and the people who remain are intent on changing it into a religion unrecognizable from its roots. It isn't a matter of it overcoming this recent crisis, it is a matter of it having succumbed to the crisis and is now dead. Maybe it is different in Canada, but the overwhelming majority of the Episcopalian Church in the US is really not much more than a social group that occasionally invokes a deity's name.

As sad as it is, I think it is the truth. But here in the ACC, we have some good number of conservative Anglicans who hold the apostolic teachings, but I wonder if we will remain there or will fed up and leave. For me as a conservative Anglican, don't forget I'm gay ( Just so you know that not all gays are the same ). I'm getting tired of trying to fight while some members in my parish think that Mohammed is a prophet from God!!!!! Or the Quran is a great book!! Meanwhile the Bible is a book that is man made and full of awful stories!! I'm getting burned out, but to help myself, I try to remember to not throw the baby with the bathwater.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Sam G on July 23, 2015, 03:28:01 PM
As sad as it is, I think it is the truth. But here in the ACC, we have some good number of conservative Anglicans who hold the apostolic teachings...

Then why don't they unite themselves to the Apostolic Church?
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 23, 2015, 03:32:12 PM

Alright my dear, for some Orthodox Christians, what is happening in the Anglican Communion and especially in the Episcopal Church USA, is enough to leave and join another Church. What some Orthodox believe about the Anglican churches in North America, is that heresy is all over the place, to the point of Bishops denying fundamental Christian doctrines such as; Christ's divinity, his actual resurrection, and the virgin birth.

Is there any truth to that belief?  Or is it a total fabrication?

I think you misunderstood me. What you highlighted from my post was about some Anglican Bishops. I don't think Orthodox Church went that far.




The Orthodox Church didn't survive the heresies of the past by ignoring them until the heretics died out.  Instead, "Orthodox" teaching was defined, "heresy" was defined and condemned, and the "Orthodox" and the "heretics" severed communion with each other. 

The "Anglican solution" seems to be the acceptance of multiple and even opposing viewpoints on important matters of faith within one Church as a good, not merely as a necessary evil until the Church can resolve the issue. 

When we say "We believe", we mean it.  When you say "We believe", you have to explain who are the "we" and how the other people who disagree are still part of the "we" even if they don't "believe".    

Sadly that is true. In some places the Nicene creed is only ink on paper that is repeated every Sunday just out of habit.


Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 23, 2015, 03:36:08 PM
I guess I have to agree with you here. But don't forget that the word Anathema is almost doesn't exist in the Anglican churches in NA at all.

The Church of England used to throw around anathemas with the best of them:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRt2cKvJLlE

That was one good anathema  ;)  I guess this was the case before the reformation.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 23, 2015, 03:48:08 PM
As sad as it is, I think it is the truth. But here in the ACC, we have some good number of conservative Anglicans who hold the apostolic teachings...

Then why don't they unite themselves to the Apostolic Church?

Because they also disagree with the Eastern Orthodox Church / Roman Catholic Church ( Depeneds on whether you're Catholic or Orthodox ).

For example, I'm a conservative Anglican, I have some issues that stop me from joining the Orthodox Church or Catholic Church. But for the Orthodox, the belief ( correct me if I'm wrong please ) that non-Orthodox are not Christians. Or that non-Orthodox are less Christian than Orthodox. Also, I might need to find a solution of the ethnicity issue. For Catholicism, hmm, I don't know if it will be that different than Anglicanism. I mean Catholicism today has a lot in common with Anglicanism and I'm not sure if in the future what is happening today in the Anglican Communion might happen in the Catholic Church. For example, Catholicism seems to go into the same direction like Anglicanism when it comes to biblical criticism, which I believe is the one that started all the corruption in the Anglican Church. Also the Catholic Church before and after Vatican II is an issue for me. Are we gonna have Vatican III that will push the Church into a more progressive and liberal direction ?
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 23, 2015, 03:53:47 PM

Alright my dear, for some Orthodox Christians, what is happening in the Anglican Communion and especially in the Episcopal Church USA, is enough to leave and join another Church. What some Orthodox believe about the Anglican churches in North America, is that heresy is all over the place, to the point of Bishops denying fundamental Christian doctrines such as; Christ's divinity, his actual resurrection, and the virgin birth.

Is there any truth to that belief?  Or is it a total fabrication?

I think you misunderstood me. What you highlighted from my post was about some Anglican Bishops. I don't think Orthodox Church went that far.

No, I know you were talking about Anglican bishops.  What I was asking was whether or not there was any truth to the claim that there are Anglican bishops who deny fundamental Christian doctrines. 

Quote

The Orthodox Church didn't survive the heresies of the past by ignoring them until the heretics died out.  Instead, "Orthodox" teaching was defined, "heresy" was defined and condemned, and the "Orthodox" and the "heretics" severed communion with each other. 

The "Anglican solution" seems to be the acceptance of multiple and even opposing viewpoints on important matters of faith within one Church as a good, not merely as a necessary evil until the Church can resolve the issue. 

When we say "We believe", we mean it.  When you say "We believe", you have to explain who are the "we" and how the other people who disagree are still part of the "we" even if they don't "believe".    

Sadly that is true. In some places the Nicene creed is only ink on paper that is repeated every Sunday just out of habit.

It's not just about reading the Creed out of habit: plenty of Orthodox do that every day.  But we accept those doctrines.  If we don't, we know we are not really in a proper relationship with the Church, and the Church knows it too.  It leads to real life consequences.  Rejecting established doctrine of the Church is something you have to confess and be absolved of, which implies that it cuts you off from Communion.  A priest who is aware that a certain person does not accept certain teachings may refuse to commune that person.  Such a person could not be ordained.  And so on.

In the Anglican Church, what kind of differences in faith would involve real life consequences?  At what point does this stuff start to matter? 
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Sam G on July 23, 2015, 03:54:47 PM
As sad as it is, I think it is the truth. But here in the ACC, we have some good number of conservative Anglicans who hold the apostolic teachings...

Then why don't they unite themselves to the Apostolic Church?

Because they also disagree with the Eastern Orthodox Church / Roman Catholic Church ( Depeneds on whether you're Catholic or Orthodox ).

Then they don't hold to the apostolic teachings.

For example, I'm a conservative Anglican, I have some issues that stop me from joining the Orthodox Church or Catholic Church. But for the Orthodox, the belief ( correct me if I'm wrong please ) that non-Orthodox are not Christians. Or that non-Orthodox are less Christian than Orthodox.

I wouldn't say that this belief is strictly an Orthodox one. What would you prefer we call heretics?

Also, I might need to find a solution of the ethnicity issue.

Enlighten us, o fare skinned savior from the great white north.

For Catholicism, hmm, I don't know if it will be that different than Anglicanism. I mean Catholicism today has a lot in common with Anglicanism and I'm not sure if in the future what is happening today in the Anglican Communion might happen in the Catholic Church. For example, Catholicism seems to go into the same direction like Anglicanism when it comes to biblical criticism, which I believe is the one that started all the corruption in the Anglican Church. Also the Catholic Church before and after Vatican II is an issue for me. Are we gonna have Vatican III that will push the Church into a more progressive and liberal direction ?

The only thing that will save Catholicism is Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on July 23, 2015, 04:44:01 PM

Alright my dear, for some Orthodox Christians, what is happening in the Anglican Communion and especially in the Episcopal Church USA, is enough to leave and join another Church. What some Orthodox believe about the Anglican churches in North America, is that heresy is all over the place, to the point of Bishops denying fundamental Christian doctrines such as; Christ's divinity, his actual resurrection, and the virgin birth.

Is there any truth to that belief?  Or is it a total fabrication?

I think you misunderstood me. What you highlighted from my post was about some Anglican Bishops. I don't think Orthodox Church went that far.

No, I know you were talking about Anglican bishops.  What I was asking was whether or not there was any truth to the claim that there are Anglican bishops who deny fundamental Christian doctrines. 

Quote

The Orthodox Church didn't survive the heresies of the past by ignoring them until the heretics died out.  Instead, "Orthodox" teaching was defined, "heresy" was defined and condemned, and the "Orthodox" and the "heretics" severed communion with each other. 

The "Anglican solution" seems to be the acceptance of multiple and even opposing viewpoints on important matters of faith within one Church as a good, not merely as a necessary evil until the Church can resolve the issue. 

When we say "We believe", we mean it.  When you say "We believe", you have to explain who are the "we" and how the other people who disagree are still part of the "we" even if they don't "believe".    

Sadly that is true. In some places the Nicene creed is only ink on paper that is repeated every Sunday just out of habit.

It's not just about reading the Creed out of habit: plenty of Orthodox do that every day.  But we accept those doctrines.  If we don't, we know we are not really in a proper relationship with the Church, and the Church knows it too.  It leads to real life consequences.  Rejecting established doctrine of the Church is something you have to confess and be absolved of, which implies that it cuts you off from Communion.  A priest who is aware that a certain person does not accept certain teachings may refuse to commune that person.  Such a person could not be ordained.  And so on.

In the Anglican Church, what kind of differences in faith would involve real life consequences?  At what point does this stuff start to matter?

IMO, here is the main issue. The Anglican Church in general, along with many other churches in the West, has become anthropocentric. The remaining Christian Churches, including churches of the Anglican Communion in Africa, are theocentric. I will grant you that there are individual parishes in the West who are bucking the trend. To me, such a radical departure from historical Christianity calls for considering whether some  have gone beyond mere errors (heresies) and have become non-Christian faith communities (I cannot even bring myself to say "churches").
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 23, 2015, 04:55:54 PM


Quote
No, I know you were talking about Anglican bishops.  What I was asking was whether or not there was any truth to the claim that there are Anglican bishops who deny fundamental Christian doctrines. 


One of them is the retired Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong. Based on a survey took place in 1998, 44% of Episcopal clergy do not believe in the Virgin Birth  The source http://www.religioustolerance.org/virgin_b7.htm  ( I keep in mind that unless I see the actual question that was asked in the survey, I can't be sure that the numbers are accurate ).

Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 23, 2015, 04:59:21 PM
As sad as it is, I think it is the truth. But here in the ACC, we have some good number of conservative Anglicans who hold the apostolic teachings...

Then why don't they unite themselves to the Apostolic Church?

Because they also disagree with the Eastern Orthodox Church / Roman Catholic Church ( Depeneds on whether you're Catholic or Orthodox ).

Then they don't hold to the apostolic teachings.

For example, I'm a conservative Anglican, I have some issues that stop me from joining the Orthodox Church or Catholic Church. But for the Orthodox, the belief ( correct me if I'm wrong please ) that non-Orthodox are not Christians. Or that non-Orthodox are less Christian than Orthodox.

I wouldn't say that this belief is strictly an Orthodox one. What would you prefer we call heretics?

Also, I might need to find a solution of the ethnicity issue.

Enlighten us, o fare skinned savior from the great white north.

For Catholicism, hmm, I don't know if it will be that different than Anglicanism. I mean Catholicism today has a lot in common with Anglicanism and I'm not sure if in the future what is happening today in the Anglican Communion might happen in the Catholic Church. For example, Catholicism seems to go into the same direction like Anglicanism when it comes to biblical criticism, which I believe is the one that started all the corruption in the Anglican Church. Also the Catholic Church before and after Vatican II is an issue for me. Are we gonna have Vatican III that will push the Church into a more progressive and liberal direction ?

The only thing that will save Catholicism is Orthodoxy.

Just you know Sam. I'm not white. When I talk about ethnicity, I mean Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Coptic...etc. Not Black, White, Asian, Arab...etc. I'm talking about the need to somehow belong to a Church that is national for a country far away like Greece or Russia. And before pointing out to the Anglican Church of Canada.  ACC is in Canada and only in Canada. You won't find Anglican Church of Canada in Russia, or in China for example. The same for Episcopal Church in USA (except some in South American countries ) you don't find them in Greece. When Anglican Church names after a country, it is in that country only. Outside of that, you will join the Anglican Church in the country you are in at that particular time.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 23, 2015, 05:05:07 PM


Quote
No, I know you were talking about Anglican bishops.  What I was asking was whether or not there was any truth to the claim that there are Anglican bishops who deny fundamental Christian doctrines. 


One of them is the retired Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong. Based on a survey took place in 1998, 44% of Episcopal clergy do not believe in the Virgin Birth  The source http://www.religioustolerance.org/virgin_b7.htm  ( I keep in mind that unless I see the actual question that was asked in the survey, I can't be sure that the numbers are accurate ).

OK, so we can safely presume that there are Anglican clerics who reject basic Christian teachings.  How does the Anglican Church deal with that problem?  Or does the Anglican Church not consider that to be a problem at all? 
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 23, 2015, 05:13:16 PM


Quote
No, I know you were talking about Anglican bishops.  What I was asking was whether or not there was any truth to the claim that there are Anglican bishops who deny fundamental Christian doctrines. 


One of them is the retired Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong. Based on a survey took place in 1998, 44% of Episcopal clergy do not believe in the Virgin Birth  The source http://www.religioustolerance.org/virgin_b7.htm  ( I keep in mind that unless I see the actual question that was asked in the survey, I can't be sure that the numbers are accurate ).

OK, so we can safely presume that there are Anglican clerics who reject basic Christian teachings.  How does the Anglican Church deal with that problem?  Or does the Anglican Church not consider that to be a problem at all?

The answer is, there is no way to deal with it. Actually there was a movement in the Church of England to return to the trials of heretical clergy and excommunicate them, but I believe it was rejected entirely!! Which indicates that the Church of England doesn't want to stop clergy members from denying fundamental Christian doctrines. After the retired "bishop" Spong was accused of heresy based on his writings, he went in front of a committee of Bishops and found to be not guilty of such accusations!! And to add to that, after the trial, the Episcopal Church canceled the court that used to deal with heretic clergy and with that, the door was open to any clergy to deny the faith without fear of being held accountable.  The idea in the Anglican Communion in the West is to tolerate all kinds of views. In the Anglican Communion the idea is the unity of worship, not the unity of belief or doctrine. Meaning, as long as we worship and use the Book of Common Prayer every Sunday, we are good. How do you interpret what is written in the book, or what is written in the Creeds, is not an issue. As long as every Sunday we meet and pray together.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Sam G on July 23, 2015, 05:25:43 PM
As sad as it is, I think it is the truth. But here in the ACC, we have some good number of conservative Anglicans who hold the apostolic teachings...

Then why don't they unite themselves to the Apostolic Church?

Because they also disagree with the Eastern Orthodox Church / Roman Catholic Church ( Depeneds on whether you're Catholic or Orthodox ).

Then they don't hold to the apostolic teachings.

For example, I'm a conservative Anglican, I have some issues that stop me from joining the Orthodox Church or Catholic Church. But for the Orthodox, the belief ( correct me if I'm wrong please ) that non-Orthodox are not Christians. Or that non-Orthodox are less Christian than Orthodox.

I wouldn't say that this belief is strictly an Orthodox one. What would you prefer we call heretics?

Also, I might need to find a solution of the ethnicity issue.

Enlighten us, o fare skinned savior from the great white north.

For Catholicism, hmm, I don't know if it will be that different than Anglicanism. I mean Catholicism today has a lot in common with Anglicanism and I'm not sure if in the future what is happening today in the Anglican Communion might happen in the Catholic Church. For example, Catholicism seems to go into the same direction like Anglicanism when it comes to biblical criticism, which I believe is the one that started all the corruption in the Anglican Church. Also the Catholic Church before and after Vatican II is an issue for me. Are we gonna have Vatican III that will push the Church into a more progressive and liberal direction ?

The only thing that will save Catholicism is Orthodoxy.

Just you know Sam. I'm not white. When I talk about ethnicity, I mean Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Coptic...etc. Not Black, White, Asian, Arab...etc. I'm talking about the need to somehow belong to a Church that is national for a country far away like Greece or Russia. And before pointing out to the Anglican Church of Canada.  ACC is in Canada and only in Canada. You won't find Anglican Church of Canada in Russia, or in China for example. The same for Episcopal Church in USA (except some in South American countries ) you don't find them in Greece. When Anglican Church names after a country, it is in that country only. Outside of that, you will join the Anglican Church in the country you are in at that particular time.

You're issue is with jurisdictions, not ethnicity. Be more precise.
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 23, 2015, 05:27:55 PM
Just you know Sam. I'm not white. When I talk about ethnicity, I mean Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Coptic...etc. Not Black, White, Asian, Arab...etc.

Everything you just mentioned is "ethnicity".

Quote
I'm talking about the need to somehow belong to a Church that is national for a country far away like Greece or Russia. And before pointing out to the Anglican Church of Canada.  ACC is in Canada and only in Canada. You won't find Anglican Church of Canada in Russia, or in China for example. The same for Episcopal Church in USA (except some in South American countries ) you don't find them in Greece. When Anglican Church names after a country, it is in that country only. Outside of that, you will join the Anglican Church in the country you are in at that particular time.

I think there are a couple of issues here. 

One is that the Anglicans have "national" Churches while the Orthodox do not.  This isn't exactly true except in "the West" or "the diaspora", and just about everyone realises it's an anomaly as a default situation.  Where I take issue with your comment is the lack of recognition that just about every Christian Church in "the West" started out like this.  Missionaries or immigrants or what have you brought their various faiths with them and depended on hierarchies "back home" until they were mature enough to stand on their own.  "Anglicans" have had at least two hundred years' head start on the Orthodox in North America, but it's not like the first two ministers stepped off a boat and onto Canadian soil declaring "We are the Anglican Church of Canada".  Until the 1950's (so within living memory), it was still "the Church of England in Canada", which is kind of like "the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia".     

The second issue is that it seems more important for Anglicans to have clear organisational structures than clear beliefs.  While the Orthodox do not disagree on the need for clear organisational structures, if we have to choose between the two, we will always opt for clear beliefs and a clear confession of those beliefs.  The history of the early Church demonstrates that it followed the same policy.  The trend toward preferring organisation starts with Rome.  "Anglicanism" just seems like another variant of the Roman emphasis on authority over faith.   
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 23, 2015, 05:33:31 PM
OK, so we can safely presume that there are Anglican clerics who reject basic Christian teachings.  How does the Anglican Church deal with that problem?  Or does the Anglican Church not consider that to be a problem at all?

The answer is, there is no way to deal with it.

The early Church had a way to deal with it.  The Orthodox have a way to deal with it.  The Roman Catholics have a way to deal with it.  How can the Anglicans not have a way to deal with it and yet claim any continuity with what came before? 

Quote
Actually there was a movement in the Church of England to return to the trials of heretical clergy and excommunicate them, but I believe it was rejected entirely!! Which indicates that the Church of England doesn't want to stop clergy members from denying fundamental Christian doctrines. After the retired "bishop" Spong was accused of heresy based on his writings, he went in front of a committee of Bishops and found to be not guilty of such accusations!! And to add to that, after the trial, the Episcopal Church canceled the court that used to deal with heretic clergy and with that, the door was open to any clergy to deny the faith without fear of being held accountable.  The idea in the Anglican Communion in the West is to tolerate all kinds of views. In the Anglican Communion the idea is the unity of worship, not the unity of belief or doctrine. Meaning, as long as we worship and use the Book of Common Prayer every Sunday, we are good. How do you interpret what is written in the book, or what is written in the Creeds, is not an issue. As long as every Sunday we meet and pray together.

If it doesn't matter what you believe, what are you doing when you meet together and pray?  To whom are you praying?  What you described is not Christianity.   
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 23, 2015, 06:41:09 PM
Just you know Sam. I'm not white. When I talk about ethnicity, I mean Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Coptic...etc. Not Black, White, Asian, Arab...etc.

Everything you just mentioned is "ethnicity".

Quote
I'm talking about the need to somehow belong to a Church that is national for a country far away like Greece or Russia. And before pointing out to the Anglican Church of Canada.  ACC is in Canada and only in Canada. You won't find Anglican Church of Canada in Russia, or in China for example. The same for Episcopal Church in USA (except some in South American countries ) you don't find them in Greece. When Anglican Church names after a country, it is in that country only. Outside of that, you will join the Anglican Church in the country you are in at that particular time.

I think there are a couple of issues here. 

One is that the Anglicans have "national" Churches while the Orthodox do not.  This isn't exactly true except in "the West" or "the diaspora", and just about everyone realises it's an anomaly as a default situation.  Where I take issue with your comment is the lack of recognition that just about every Christian Church in "the West" started out like this.  Missionaries or immigrants or what have you brought their various faiths with them and depended on hierarchies "back home" until they were mature enough to stand on their own.  "Anglicans" have had at least two hundred years' head start on the Orthodox in North America, but it's not like the first two ministers stepped off a boat and onto Canadian soil declaring "We are the Anglican Church of Canada".  Until the 1950's (so within living memory), it was still "the Church of England in Canada", which is kind of like "the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia".     

The second issue is that it seems more important for Anglicans to have clear organisational structures than clear beliefs.  While the Orthodox do not disagree on the need for clear organisational structures, if we have to choose between the two, we will always opt for clear beliefs and a clear confession of those beliefs.  The history of the early Church demonstrates that it followed the same policy.  The trend toward preferring organisation starts with Rome.  "Anglicanism" just seems like another variant of the Roman emphasis on authority over faith.   

You're right. The Book of Common Prayer that I use writes " The Church of England in the Dominion of Canada ". I think I overlooked the past of the Anglican Communion even though I already knew that in the 20th century, many Church of England dominions worldwide started to have their own independence which later formed the Anglican Communion. And ignored the fact that the Orthodox Church in the West is still new compared to the rest of Protestant churches that were established as national churches. The same with the Lutheran where in U.S. they were named after Lutheran countries such as Finland, Sweden, Norway...etc then later on they became part of American churches.

You're right about the latter as well. We do give more importance to the structure than the belief. Maybe that is the result of the British Empire or maybe a normal result of the Church of England history. From the time it broke away from Rome, it had to fight over and over to keep its people together. I believe that is the reason the Church of England, later on became  Anglican Communion established a policy of unity of worship rather than unity of belief, in order to survive in a changing world and a changing Empire back in the days. However, unfortunately this same policy will be the reason for its break down. 
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 23, 2015, 06:54:11 PM

If it doesn't matter what you believe, what are you doing when you meet together and pray?  To whom are you praying?  What you described is not Christianity. 

This is a question I've asked myself many times.  I think the Church leaves the matter to the person and God. We meet together to worship on Sunday without the need to know the heart and mind of each individual. As for what we describe as not Christianity, I think any Anglican will point to the Book of Common Prayer. However, even that is changing lately and here in ACC there will be another version, and I don't know what it will look like. But for other Anglicans, one of them is the Dean ( who is very orthodox in his beliefs, and very good man) Anglicans try to focus on Christ alone and Him crucified as mentioned in one of St Paul's epistles. Other than that, we can differ.


Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 23, 2015, 06:59:26 PM
You're right about the latter as well. We do give more importance to the structure than the belief. Maybe that is the result of the British Empire or maybe a normal result of the Church of England history. From the time it broke away from Rome, it had to fight over and over to keep its people together. I believe that is the reason the Church of England, later on became  Anglican Communion established a policy of unity of worship rather than unity of belief, in order to survive in a changing world and a changing Empire back in the days. However, unfortunately this same policy will be the reason for its break down.

The problem is that you can have unity of worship AND unity of belief (Eastern Orthodoxy) or diversity of worship AND unity of belief (Oriental Orthodoxy) and still have a united Church/Communion of Churches.  But without unity of belief, it falls apart.   
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 24, 2015, 11:39:56 PM
You're right about the latter as well. We do give more importance to the structure than the belief. Maybe that is the result of the British Empire or maybe a normal result of the Church of England history. From the time it broke away from Rome, it had to fight over and over to keep its people together. I believe that is the reason the Church of England, later on became  Anglican Communion established a policy of unity of worship rather than unity of belief, in order to survive in a changing world and a changing Empire back in the days. However, unfortunately this same policy will be the reason for its break down.

The problem is that you can have unity of worship AND unity of belief (Eastern Orthodoxy) or diversity of worship AND unity of belief (Oriental Orthodoxy) and still have a united Church/Communion of Churches.  But without unity of belief, it falls apart.   

I agree. I think no matter what the Orthodox Church gone through, and no matter the divisions that happen between certain jurisdictions, the faith remain the same. They agree to disagree on worldly matters, but they don't agree to disagree on faith matters.


It came to my attention today that there was a Bishop way before Spong that also denied very fundamental Christians doctrines such as the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, and Hell, and that was The Episcopal Bishop of California James Pike during the 1960s. He faced some reactions but I guess " the Church decided it was not in the denomination's best interest to pursue an actual heresy trial " !! I wonder what on earth is the Church's best interest then ?
Title: Re: How is it any different than what the Orthodox Church experienced.
Post by: Raylight on July 24, 2015, 11:54:27 PM
Just notice to the reader who may get shocked as soon as they read something as " Heresy trial ". It is not what you think it is, it is not like the imaginary images of burned priests. Heresy Trial is for clergy members only. Clergy members who vowed to believe and protect the Christian doctrines which include but not limited to; Christ's divinity, His actual physical resurrection, His virgin birth, and the Holy Trinity. When those clergy members ( Deacons, Priests, Bishops, and Archbishops ) deny these doctrines, they are breaking the vow they gave to God and the Church. Therefor, they should face the trial and if they were proven guilty, they will be fired (excommunicated) from the Church because they are no more loyal to their vows. If you think that is unfair, then let me clear it for you. If you are hired by a company, you will have to sign a contract between you and that company. Which in it  you will declare that you agree and promise to abide to the terms and conditions of the contract,and any violation of these terms will result in your discharge. It is just like that.