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Author Topic: Is Protestantism heretical?  (Read 18792 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: May 17, 2007, 01:41:37 PM »

Hi all,
I'm a relatively new Orthodox Christian and brand spankin' new to this forum. The question I'm very curious about is on the nature of Protestantism; Is it heretical? A follow up question is if Protestantism is heretical, how close should we allow ourselves to get to Protestants?

I have read some material from Fr. Cleopa of Romania and from St. Theophan the Recluse from Russia counseling their spiritual children to stay away from the heresies of Protestantism. I also have a book entitled Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism in which five Christians (3 Orthodox and 2 Evangelicals) answer the question 'Are Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism Compatible?'. There was one vote for yes (by Bradley Nassif- an Orthodox Christian) and two votes for no and two votes for maybe.

I have been an Orthodox Christian for only 2 1/2 yrs so I'm in no way qualified to give an absolute yes or no. So far in my studies though, it's my understanding that if one doesn't uphold the traditions handed down to us from Christ and the Apostles and the Saints then that person is not an Orthodox (Right Believing) Christian. And if said person is not Right Believing is it to be assumed that they are Wrong Believing?  And isn't this the very definition of a heresy ('An opinion or doctrine contrary to church dogma'- Webster's)?

I understand that there is a caveat here when discussing Protestantism vs. a Protestant in that a person can be a member of a group that may or may not be heretical while themselves be innocent because of never having heard the Truth e.g. having been born into a belief system that is hundreds of years old where the opportunity to learn the truth may not be available or greatly discouraged.

My opinion on this matter could be way off and I look forward to hearing from those of you who are more learned on this subject.

Gabriel
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2007, 04:41:18 PM »

Of course we're heretical!!

Um, wait....

Of course you're heretical!!  Grin Angry
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2007, 07:14:34 PM »

Heretical is, perhaps, a bit too strong of a word. Yes, there are disagreements over minor points of doctrine but the divisions of primarially cultural. With the more charismatic protestants there is a greater divide which extends to general ideology (if you think the rapture is going to happen tonight, you're going to have psychological issues).

The status quo, with perhaps improved communications and interchurch relationships, is probably best for all concerned.
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2007, 09:42:46 PM »

Quote
Heretical is, perhaps, a bit too strong of a word. Yes, there are disagreements over minor points of doctrine but the divisions of primarially cultural.

I would say the disagreements are not minor, and again, being Orthodox does not mean being an ethnic enthusiast. The church is the true church established by Christ and the Holy Apostles. It is for everyone regardless of one's culture. Orthodoxy is just as much for the Americans as it is for the chineese, and the Greeks, and the Arabs. It is for the human race.

I was at a serbian orthodox church in california this last sunday of the triumph of orthodoxy. The deacon gave a powerful homily. In the homily, he said anyone who is not orthodox is a heritic. A heritic is one who changes the faith, even if it is a little. He said that protestants are heritics and we shouldn't pray with them. He went on to say this does not make them bad people or insincere, it means they are misguided.

While other Christian sects may have much truth in them, only the Orthdoox church holds the fullness of truth.
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2007, 10:08:04 PM »

All Protestantism is heretical. Those individuals in Protestantism who hold to Orthodox beliefs are simply not being good Protestants - better for them to join the Orthodox church. Depending on the sect, you can find about every ancient heresy being repeated by American Evangelicals or Charismatics.
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2007, 11:49:32 PM »

Regarding the heresies of Protestantism, I recommend you start by reading David Wooten's latest article on the unbiblical doctrine of sola scriptura posted on the www.orthodoxchristianity.net home page.
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2007, 12:36:12 AM »

 Greetings,

 Allow me to quote a little from the introduction of "Preaching Another Christ" by Saint Theophan the Recluse

 "St. Theophan addressed the letter contained in this booklet to an Orthodox Christian, who lived in an Orthodox country of the 19th century. Some of the things mentioned in this letter may sound harsh to comtemporary ears, especially to non-Orthodox, but even to Orthodox. Living in a modern, multicultural, free, highly progressive, and 'politically correct' society, some readers may find the language and/or tone used by the Saint as austere, fanatic, or simply as out of space and time. We surely do not know how the Saint would have approached the same subject if he were addressing directly a non-Orthodox person. The letter was primarily meant to guide Orthodox Christians."

 After reading some of your posts as well as Orthodox books on the subject I've come to the conclustion that Protestantism is indeed heretical. I agree that it does sound harsh. But we have to remember what's at stake here: our salvation- yours and mine. And I want to be clear that when I say that Protestantism is heretical, this in no way means that Protestants are hell-bound. Just as we Orthodox cannot say we are heaven-bound. These are judgements that only Jesus the Christ can pronounce. A human, regardless of his/her faith, is still made in the image and likeness of the same God we Orthodox worship. This means that they are inherently valuable and must be afforded the same love that we have for one another. That being said, if someone conscientiously denies that which was handed down to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Apostles, and Saints, when it comes to matters of faith we must part ways.
 Let me illustrate with a personal story. I work with an older gentleman whom I really respect. He is both kind and patient and a very loving person. He attends a Baptist church every Sunday and is always ready to share his faith. I loaned him the book "Becoming Orthodox" by Fr. Peter Gillquist. Both him and his wife really enjoyed it. He said he could tell that Fr. Peter was 'on fire for Christ'. But then he added that the Bible is clear that if you pray to anyone but Jesus, your Christianity is in doubt and you're on a slippery slope. In other words, brothers and sisters, he's saying it's a sin to pray to the Theotokos and the Saints! Now, that was his first ever exposure to Orthodoxy so I didn't expect him to sign up for catechumen classes right away, but that was two years ago and he's since added that the Orthodox Church is in grave error because we also worship 'graven' images! I ask you, does this sound like a minor/cultural difference? Does this sound like something the Holy Saints would shrug off? I still love him, but he is preaching another Christ as St. Theophan would say.

 Gabriel
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2007, 12:56:11 AM »

Greetings,

 Allow me to quote a little from the introduction of "Preaching Another Christ" by Saint Theophan the Recluse

 "St. Theophan addressed the letter contained in this booklet to an Orthodox Christian, who lived in an Orthodox country of the 19th century. Some of the things mentioned in this letter may sound harsh to comtemporary ears, especially to non-Orthodox, but even to Orthodox. Living in a modern, multicultural, free, highly progressive, and 'politically correct' society, some readers may find the language and/or tone used by the Saint as austere, fanatic, or simply as out of space and time. We surely do not know how the Saint would have approached the same subject if he were addressing directly a non-Orthodox person. The letter was primarily meant to guide Orthodox Christians."

 After reading some of your posts as well as Orthodox books on the subject I've come to the conclustion that Protestantism is indeed heretical. I agree that it does sound harsh. But we have to remember what's at stake here: our salvation- yours and mine. And I want to be clear that when I say that Protestantism is heretical, this in no way means that Protestants are hell-bound. Just as we Orthodox cannot say we are heaven-bound. These are judgements that only Jesus the Christ can pronounce. A human, regardless of his/her faith, is still made in the image and likeness of the same God we Orthodox worship. This means that they are inherently valuable and must be afforded the same love that we have for one another. That being said, if someone conscientiously denies that which was handed down to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Apostles, and Saints, when it comes to matters of faith we must part ways.
 Let me illustrate with a personal story. I work with an older gentleman whom I really respect. He is both kind and patient and a very loving person. He attends a Baptist church every Sunday and is always ready to share his faith. I loaned him the book "Becoming Orthodox" by Fr. Peter Gillquist. Both him and his wife really enjoyed it. He said he could tell that Fr. Peter was 'on fire for Christ'. But then he added that the Bible is clear that if you pray to anyone but Jesus, your Christianity is in doubt and you're on a slippery slope. In other words, brothers and sisters, he's saying it's a sin to pray to the Theotokos and the Saints! Now, that was his first ever exposure to Orthodoxy so I didn't expect him to sign up for catechumen classes right away, but that was two years ago and he's since added that the Orthodox Church is in grave error because we also worship 'graven' images! I ask you, does this sound like a minor/cultural difference? Does this sound like something the Holy Saints would shrug off? I still love him, but he is preaching another Christ as St. Theophan would say.

 Gabriel
Very well said, Gabriel.  I really appreciate your Christlike desire to continue to love your Protestant friends without judgment while still recognizing their pet heresies for what they are.  My own experience in becoming Orthodox has taught me how to recognize the heresies I was taught to embrace as a Protestant yet still value my Protestant formation as something positive for eventually leading me to Orthodox faith.
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2007, 03:23:25 PM »

Jibrail,

In his book, titled "Orthodoxy," Fr. Sergiy Bulgakov very tenderly calls Protestants "our Protestant brothers." He seems to hold the view that at least some Protestant denominations (especially Anglicans/Episcopalians) are, so to say, "one inch" close to Holy Orthodoxy. While they are not part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (which is the Orthodox Church), they are like good, studious catechumens, and we should hope and pray that at least some of them will become Orthodox one happy day.

On the other hand, as a former member of one of the "liberal" mainstream Protestant churches in the USA (Presbyterian Church of the USA), I can testify that in that organization, pretty much everything goes if it sounds "politically correct." As long as you preach gender equality, struggle against social injustice, environmentalism, etc., - you are considered a great "Christian" over there, even if you openly say that you doubt whether God exists. In one of the Sunday school classes in my former church, people seriously discussed a book, written by a theology professor emeritus from New Zealand, called Lloyd Gearing, titled "Christianity Without God." Probably about one third of the congregation was thrilled by that book. Smiley

Some Protestant denominations seem to hold semi-Arian views, for example Churches of God.

Cheers,

George
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2007, 03:35:14 PM »


In his book, titled "Orthodoxy," Fr. Sergiy Bulgakov very tenderly calls Protestants "our Protestant brothers." He seems to hold the view that at least some Protestant denominations (especially Anglicans/Episcopalians) are, so to say, "one inch" close to Holy Orthodoxy. While they are not part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (which is the Orthodox Church), they are like good, studious catechumens, and we should hope and pray that at least some of them will become Orthodox one happy day.

 Thanks for the sharing that George. I tend to agree with the 'spirit' of Fr Sergiy's words as I also believe that some Protestant denominations are very close to Holy Orthodoxy. There's truth to the old saying that a broken clock is right at least two times a day Cheesy And I definately pray for them and us...

 Gabriel
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2007, 03:53:00 PM »

some Protestant denominations are very close to Holy Orthodoxy.

Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and nuclear warheads or at least that is what I tell my students. Grin  Yes, there are some very devout Christians in the more liturgical Protestant world (Anglican/Lutheran) who could perhaps "pass" for Orthodox in belief and thought.  Nonetheless, we must be mindful of the dogmas which separate us since they are not mindless affectations nor differences in vocabulary nor different emphases.  We must be mindful and diligent to speak the Truth without getting too cozy with all the shared beliefs and practices at the expense of simpy "dismissing" the differences.  Unfortunately, the ecumenical movement has contributed exactly that.

And I definately pray for them and us...

As well we should that all would come to knowledge of the Truth.
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2007, 04:36:48 PM »

Scamandrius, I understand what you are saying, but I guess we need to define "heresy." Is being Heterodox exactly the same as being a heretic? If so, then, for us Orthodox there is no difference between, say, a devout Roman Catholic or an Episcopalian or Lutheran or Presbyterian and, say, a Jehovah Witness or a Mormon or a Unitarian... But that's obviously not the case: there IS a difference. If a Heterodox confesses everything the Nicean-Constantinople Creed says, is he a heretic? --G.
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2007, 04:21:35 AM »

Scamandrius, I understand what you are saying, but I guess we need to define "heresy." Is being Heterodox exactly the same as being a heretic? If so, then, for us Orthodox there is no difference between, say, a devout Roman Catholic or an Episcopalian or Lutheran or Presbyterian and, say, a Jehovah Witness or a Mormon or a Unitarian... But that's obviously not the case: there IS a difference. If a Heterodox confesses everything the Nicean-Constantinople Creed says, is he a heretic? --G.

I think you need to draw the distinction between one who follows heretical teachings (and this would include the Roman Catholics, as St. Mark of Ephesus so clearly stated) and a heretic per se. I would suggest that one who does not willingly choose (given the etymology of the word) to follow heretical doctrine is not a heretic per se, though they are undoubtedly heterodox. In other words, a Roman Catholic who was raised in the faith as a child, for all their erronious teachings, is no heretic - an apostate from Orthodoxy who converts to Roman Catholicism would be a different story, though (in my opinion, at least. Others may disagree).

James
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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2007, 08:46:04 AM »

In other words, the correct term currently for the protestant or Roman catholic who was born or raised as one is "heterodox" or other belief  and for an Orthdox Christian who converts to be a protestant or Roman Catholic the term would appropriately be "heretic".  That does not however preclude the fact that these churches hold "heretical" beliefs that must expunged if the church wishes to  enter as a whole the Orthodox Church and enter into full communion.

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« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2007, 01:41:44 PM »

If a Heterodox confesses everything the Nicean-Constantinople Creed says, is he a heretic? --G.

I hope that I wouldn't presume to guess.  However, it is the sad truth that many of those people, especially within mainstream Liberal Protestantism (Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians) who do say the creed (even with the heretical filioque) are only reciting it because of the creed's historical value, not its value for being a true and unaltered exposition of the faith which Christ Himself handed down to us.  How many of these Protestants openly question the virgin birth, the Death and REsurrection of our Lord, His ascension?  Too many.  They are more prone to see them as metaphors.  And I think it is a non sequitur that people believe in metaphors.  I believe in what Christ has actually done and will do.  Are these people heretics?  Again I don't know.  But, considering that Orthodoxy is a lot more known in this country than, say, 20 years ago, and there is great access to the truth as the Orthodox possess it, if a person still willingly holds on to what he has been taught in the face of what our Fathers, the Ecumenical Councils, the HOly Scriptures and Holy Tradition clearly attest to, then perhaps we have to find a little less grey when dealing with them.  Just my $.02.
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2007, 12:38:44 AM »



 

I think you need to draw the distinction between one who follows heretical teachings (and this would include the Roman Catholics, as St. Mark of Ephesus so clearly stated) and a heretic per se. I would suggest that one who does not willingly choose (given the etymology of the word) to follow heretical doctrine is not a heretic per se, though they are undoubtedly heterodox. In other words, a Roman Catholic who was raised in the faith as a child, for all their erronious teachings, is no heretic - an apostate from Orthodoxy who converts to Roman Catholicism would be a different story, though (in my opinion, at least. Others may disagree).

 Yes, yes. Brilliant. You worded it much better than I.... Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2007, 07:17:12 PM »

I think you need to draw the distinction between one who follows heretical teachings (and this would include the Roman Catholics, as St. Mark of Ephesus so clearly stated) and a heretic per se. I would suggest that one who does not willingly choose (given the etymology of the word) to follow heretical doctrine is not a heretic per se, though they are undoubtedly heterodox. In other words, a Roman Catholic who was raised in the faith as a child, for all their erronious teachings, is no heretic - an apostate from Orthodoxy who converts to Roman Catholicism would be a different story, though (in my opinion, at least. Others may disagree).

Very good distinction to make. JoeS and Venjamin, this is exactly the distinction Catholics make for both heresy and schism. We just have different names for them---material and formal.
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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2007, 07:19:42 PM »

Grace and Peace,

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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2007, 01:52:31 AM »

Jibrail,

In his book, titled "Orthodoxy," Fr. Sergiy Bulgakov very tenderly calls Protestants "our Protestant brothers." He seems to hold the view that at least some Protestant denominations (especially Anglicans/Episcopalians) are, so to say, "one inch" close to Holy Orthodoxy. While they are not part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (which is the Orthodox Church), they are like good, studious catechumens, and we should hope and pray that at least some of them will become Orthodox one happy day.

On the other hand, as a former member of one of the "liberal" mainstream Protestant churches in the USA (Presbyterian Church of the USA), I can testify that in that organization, pretty much everything goes if it sounds "politically correct." As long as you preach gender equality, struggle against social injustice, environmentalism, etc., - you are considered a great "Christian" over there, even if you openly say that you doubt whether God exists. In one of the Sunday school classes in my former church, people seriously discussed a book, written by a theology professor emeritus from New Zealand, called Lloyd Gearing, titled "Christianity Without God." Probably about one third of the congregation was thrilled by that book. Smiley

These are protestant in name only. Such are not even Christian. They serve not the Lord Jesus, but their own bellies. John Calvin would no doubt rebuke, reprove, and exhort them -- after he quit weeping. I am by no means a Calvinist. But I do know that much of what is attached to that name and the churches associated with it has greatly strayed from it's heritage, and even more so from biblical Christianity and it's Christ.  I'm not sure such should even be considered Evangelical. They are technically protestant, because of their heritage.

[qupte]Some Protestant denominations seem to hold semi-Arian views, for example Churches of God.
[/quote]

Interesting. Perhaps this should be a new thread, but can you share more. You see I was raised in the Churches of God. Though I am no longer officially apart of them I still considered myself personally to be of them, in as much as my roots are there. I do not find this to be so from my experience among them. Albeit, if you mean the Anderson (Indiana) COGs then I would be in error. I was raised in the Holiness-Pentecostal COGs.
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« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2007, 12:41:58 AM »

I heard a speech one time, given by Frank Schaeffer Jr. and he used a metaphor that has been with me ever since.  He said, "we walk by the light we are given."

This is the metaphor I like to use when I think of other religions- be they Christian or non-Christian.  We walk by the light we are given.  Some are given a light that is like a little tealight candle in a dark airplane hanger.  We EO have been blessed to be given a light brighter than the sun.  Some of those who are given the tealights are able to persevere and walk without falling too hard, without breaking any bones when they DO fall.  But walking by our bright light of Orthodoxy can be equally as treacherous.  It is so bright a light, that we can be blinded and fall, out of our own arrogance, stupidity and stubbornness (especially when it comes to our faith!). 

I'm not going to judge whether Protestantism is heretical or not.  Obviously, we EO don't agree with some of their teachings.  For me, it suffices to say that, whether Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Islam, etc... we walk by the light we are given.  And we should pray that one day, through Christ's love, everyone (and I do mean everyone) will come home to the EOC.
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« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2008, 06:41:56 PM »

I was at a serbian orthodox church in california this last sunday of the triumph of orthodoxy. The deacon gave a powerful homily. In the homily, he said anyone who is not orthodox is a heritic. A heritic is one who changes the faith, even if it is a little. He said that protestants are heritics and we shouldn't pray with them. He went on to say this does not make them bad people or insincere, it means they are misguided.

Ooh, guess this means I shouldn't pray with my DH and son anymore.  That'll make mealtime grace a problem.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2008, 08:17:00 PM »

^ You may not be aware of this, but Orthodox Bagpiper is a former Protestant himself, and I can attest that he has no hatred for Protestants. Furthermore, I sincerely doubt this was directed to you, as it was written almost a year ago, and according to our records, before you registered for the site. I notice also you didn't quote his last paragraph, which put the one you did quote into context.

I'm glad you're Orthodox, and I hope your family comes to the fullness of the truth. In the meantime, Protestant Christian is better than not Christian at all. Protestantism led me to Orthodoxy by showing me Who the Truth is and what His Church is to be. Even if they didn't have the fullness of the truth, they had truth nonetheless, and that is something worth rejoicing over.
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« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2008, 10:48:31 PM »

Howdy!

It depends on which definition of "heresy" you use.

The Orthodox definition that I was taught as a catechumen is that any Christian who is not Orthodox is a heretic.

Of course... even some of the Desert Fathers are considered heretics (such as Origen.)
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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2008, 02:23:10 AM »

Individiual protestant laypeople may not be heretical, since they were never Orthodox to begin with and thus never rejected any truth, but all protestant denominations are indeed heretical, since they teach it and openly promote it, even rejecting the truth when they encounter it.
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« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2008, 05:10:27 AM »

So what is Protestantism?


(ducks and runs for cover)

We do remember that there is no such thing as "Protestantism," since the only things that actually unite all the groups we call protestant are (a) the Bible, and (b) the fact that they're not Orthodox or Roman Catholic.
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« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2008, 01:54:15 AM »

Protestantism is simply an umbrella group for the myriads of denominations that hold to sola scripture, the blood atonement on the cross and a bodily ressurection. Some myths about protestants is that they believe in the Trinity, while many of the protestant sects do believe in the Trinity, it is not some pre-requisite, as is evidenced by the Quakers (a very muddled trinitarian belief), and now the Oneness Pentecostals (one of the fastest growing protestant sects) who promote modalism.
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« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2008, 09:48:22 AM »

Whatever happened to "You will know them by their fruit?"
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« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2008, 11:45:26 AM »

Protestantism is simply an umbrella group for the myriads of denominations that hold to sola scripture, the blood atonement on the cross and a bodily ressurection. Some myths about protestants is that they believe in the Trinity, while many of the protestant sects do believe in the Trinity, it is not some pre-requisite, as is evidenced by the Quakers (a very muddled trinitarian belief), and now the Oneness Pentecostals (one of the fastest growing protestant sects) who promote modalism.

I still don't think "Protestantism" exists, because of the wide variance in doctrine between the Groups - issues such as Trinitarian theology are more important than blood atonement.  By these loose standards the Orthodox and Catholics should be grouped together because they believe in a Church Tradition, Hierarchical Structure, and the Trinity.  We'll use "Protestant" as a grouping for convenience in managing threads on OC.net, but I don't think the large grouping works on the level of debate over doctrine, praxis, structure, etc.
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« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2008, 11:47:35 AM »

Yes, Protestantism is Iconoclasm--in full or in part.
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« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2008, 01:14:19 PM »

I still don't think "Protestantism" exists, because of the wide variance in doctrine between the Groups - issues such as Trinitarian theology are more important than blood atonement.  By these loose standards the Orthodox and Catholics should be grouped together because they believe in a Church Tradition, Hierarchical Structure, and the Trinity.  We'll use "Protestant" as a grouping for convenience in managing threads on OC.net, but I don't think the large grouping works on the level of debate over doctrine, praxis, structure, etc.


Now where is the Applause emoticon for this?  I want to give you a hearty "Hear! Hear!"  on this one.  You understand.   Smiley  Thanks for this, Cleveland.

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« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2008, 01:17:03 PM »

Protestantism is simply an umbrella group for the myriads of denominations that hold to sola scripture, the blood atonement on the cross and a bodily ressurection.

And what of the Non-EO/RC/OO Churchs that don't hold to something like "Sola Scriptura"? 

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Some myths about protestants is that they believe in the Trinity.....

"Myths"?!?!?!  <One of these years I'm going to find an emoticon of one raised eyebrow>

Myths?

Ebor  Undecided
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« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2008, 04:39:58 PM »

Myths?
Sure. The American Heritage Dictionary has this to say about myths:
Quote
A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society: the myth of Eros and Psyche; a creation myth.
See, y'all are legends who explain what we think and whose ideas are fundamental to our society. Wink
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« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2010, 06:37:43 AM »

Hello I am new here have been studying Orthodox Church since I Joined the International House Of Prayer in Kansas City. I have really enjoyed my studies and as a protestant (at the moment) would like to make my own input. My understanding of the word Heresy is that it simply choice or opinion. as such if Orthodox truly is the pure original church then yes we would be heretics. However this could be said of any church that has any amount of diversity. As an example if any Orthodox believer suggests a possibility that a protestant is not a heretic while the rest or majority maintains the opposite then that orthodox by definition is a heretic. I think a lot of weight is put on the word from poor usage in History. On a different note I found this site from a article mentioned before about Sola Scriptura. I read the article and was quite impressed mainly because i have no problem with Holy Tradition but I would like to ask an opinion. personally I have only applied Sola Scriptura as an interpretative rule. by this I mean I use scripture to interpret scripture. I do have a hard time accepting things not in scripture but I believe it is more than possible for God to have preserved His blessed church and I firmly believe the human soul cries out for tradition. I am aware that this is off topic but rather than start a new one I figured I would post it where it was mentioned.

Also on a side note the Greek Orthodox church I started attending says that at least in America the Orthodox church views a protestant baptism as a legitimate baptism. This confuses me as my understanding is the Orthodox church is to be in union so what is observed in one region should be universal correct? Again this variation or change could be considered heretical by definition. On a side note in the Protestant church there are probably less that 10% non heretical churches as far a protestant church should go. All this un-biblical doctrines like false "grace". I believe a poll said that 70% of preachers don't believe the Bible is relevant to modern times. So take it for what it is. I personally would like to think I'm not a heretic I have nothing against the Holy traditions I am actually searching out the scriptures to legitimize them, where you would say it isn't necessary I would say it doesn't hurt  Grin
P.S. i like this David Wooten guy I can point out in scripture where asking for saints to intercede is legitimate (I still refuse to call it prayer however) but was having a hard time for traditions overall i am surprised i overlooked 2 Thess 2:15 as I am constantly referencing 1-12 in my eschatology. I hope to read more of his articles any you can suggest for a protestant new to the orthodox mindset? The Greek church gave me a copy of " The Orthoodox Way" but I keep forgetting to sit down and read through it.
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« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2010, 12:00:16 PM »

Welcome to the forum.

My understanding of the word Heresy is that it simply choice or opinion.

The word "heresy" does come from a word meaning "to choose". This would generally apply to a situation where someone "chooses" to believe something that goes against what they were taught by the Church as being vitally important to salvation in Jesus Christ. The issues have historically been about the nature of God, the Incarnation, man, and how this applies to other areas of belief.

Quote
I do have a hard time accepting things not in scripture but I believe it is more than possible for God to have preserved His blessed church and I firmly believe the human soul cries out for tradition.


Tradition doesn't mean "not found in the Bible", it just simply means "that which is handed down". This includes Scripture. As far as things not found in scripture, try asking the questions like "Does this bear witness to the truth?" and "How does this point to Christ?".

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I personally would like to think I'm not a heretic I have nothing against the Holy traditions I am actually searching out the scriptures to legitimize them, where you would say it isn't necessary I would say it doesn't hurt  Grin

Keep searching and keep praying. There are many threads on here concerning the issues that you might be wondering about, and you can always start new ones too. Sometimes it is necessary to ask questions and to seek answers to strengthen your faith.
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« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2010, 01:23:37 PM »

Peace mate,

Short answer: Yes. Why do you think so many of us left it?

Long answer: All Protestants follow some form of heresy to a greater or lesser degree. (If then don't then they are not protesting anything which The Church teaches which means they are no longer Protestant.) But this does not mean all Protestants are heretics. A person can ignorantly follow heresy unknowingly without being a heretic. There are many well intentioned Protestants just as there are many well intentioned Muslims (which may be considered a form of Protestantism in a sense anyway). God decides the fate of all and we are not to judge the fate of those outside The Church though we can say where they are mistaken.

Pray for the unity of all in The Truth.
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« Reply #35 on: June 21, 2010, 12:50:55 PM »

Very well said, Gabriel.  I really appreciate your Christlike desire to continue to love your Protestant friends without judgment while still recognizing their pet heresies for what they are.  My own experience in becoming Orthodox has taught me how to recognize the heresies I was taught to embrace as a Protestant yet still value my Protestant formation as something positive for eventually leading me to Orthodox faith.

Thank you for saying this, Peter.  I will forever be grateful for my protestant upbringing that ultimately led me to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2010, 12:58:44 PM »

At exactly which point does one's beliefs deviate enough to qualify as "heresy"?  Most people seem to draw that line quite arbitrarily - usually because of some pinko, Communist, New-Age, P.C. desire not to "offend" someone - heaven forbid.
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« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2010, 04:30:05 AM »

many of those people, ... (Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians) who do say the creed ... are only reciting it because of the creed's historical value, not its value for being a true and unaltered exposition of the faith

In which case they are no more Protestant than a parrot which learnt to recite the words - or a tape recorder. The thread is muddling two things: people who, for whatever reason, mouthe Protestant words, and people who are Protestant by the belief of heart and mind.

What puzzles me a little is why some of you seem reasonably favourably disposed towards Protestants who practise a liturgical form of service, but not towards us Baptists (and similar). I would have expected that what we believe is more important than the outward form of our Sunday services.

By the way, I got my knuckles rapped yesterday by an Evangelical missionary in Albania for referring to Orthodox as "krishterë" (Christian). Actually I have no problem is seeing some of you Orthodox as fellow Christians!
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« Reply #38 on: June 30, 2010, 04:36:07 AM »

we should pray that one day, through Christ's love, everyone (and I do mean everyone) will come home to the EOC.

Is that a prayer that can really be offered in faith? Do not the scriptures teach that the way is narrow, and those who find it are few? I do not think we are encouraged to hope, believe or pray that all men will come to repentance and faith in Christ. At the Last Judgement, there will be books opened, and we are told that many will be cast into the Second Death because of what is written in them. Can we pray for something which God has told us will not happen?
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« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2010, 07:00:00 AM »

we should pray that one day, through Christ's love, everyone (and I do mean everyone) will come home to the EOC.

Is that a prayer that can really be offered in faith? Do not the scriptures teach that the way is narrow, and those who find it are few? I do not think we are encouraged to hope, believe or pray that all men will come to repentance and faith in Christ. At the Last Judgement, there will be books opened, and we are told that many will be cast into the Second Death because of what is written in them. Can we pray for something which God has told us will not happen?
Did not the Lord Jesus Christ pray for all at his crucifixion? Did not St. Stephen emulate the Lord at his stoning? Do not the commands of the golden rule and to love God & neighbor demand that such prayer be offered? This is at the same time we as individuals cannot assume our own salvation or who in particular God will save? This is what I understand as an Orthodox Christian to have faith in salvation. Being an Orthodox Christian does not give me a guarantee but it does give the apostolic faith & it should help me see that other Christians or virtuous gentiles are in the Lord's plan of salvation also although I may not endorse non Orthodox doctrine.
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« Reply #40 on: June 30, 2010, 10:54:30 AM »

What puzzles me a little is why some of you seem reasonably favourably disposed towards Protestants who practise a liturgical form of service, but not towards us Baptists (and similar). I would have expected that what we believe is more important than the outward form of our Sunday services.

A church's form of worship should be representative of what they believe. Another reason for this could be, and this is just a general observation, the more a church rejects traditional forms of worship, the more that particular church might be inclined to either reject or possibly believe but not teach traditional beliefs. One example of this is a Protestant friend of mine made a remark to me that he has seen a lot of churches where doctrines like the Trinity and Incarnation are not always fully expressed. I made the observation that a person can not attend any kind of traditional liturgy (in a language they can understand), ignore the readings for the day and the sermon, and still get solid instruction on certain fundamentals of belief just from the prayers. Not to mention the use of a lectionary can help give a more complete reading and instruction of Scripture throughout the year.

Also a lot of non-liturgical churches don't have any real large organization or strict standard of beliefs, which can make it difficult to pinpoint what a church may or may not believe on certain points.
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« Reply #41 on: June 30, 2010, 11:06:30 AM »

we should pray that one day, through Christ's love, everyone (and I do mean everyone) will come home to the EOC.

Is that a prayer that can really be offered in faith? Do not the scriptures teach that the way is narrow, and those who find it are few? I do not think we are encouraged to hope, believe or pray that all men will come to repentance and faith in Christ. At the Last Judgement, there will be books opened, and we are told that many will be cast into the Second Death because of what is written in them. Can we pray for something which God has told us will not happen?
I think that this is the kind of zero-sum thinking that is sometimes found in the West, that areally bothers Eastern Orthodox Christians and I can see why. We do not know who will enter heaven. We do not know which people will choose to follow Christ. But just as the bible says that God wills that all men be saved, so should we.
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« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2010, 07:55:47 PM »

Technically, with respect to Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestants are extremely heterodox, but they cannot be regarded as heretics, as their origins are not in the EOC. The only proper heresy was the original deviation of the Roman church from the EOC; all consequent deviations that occurred outside the EOC cannot technically be considered heresy, though they can be considered heterodoxy. Heresy is an event that occurs within the seeming visible confines of the Church.
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« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2013, 01:16:15 AM »

It's entirely heretical with a hint of schismatic.
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« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2013, 01:31:48 AM »

It's entirely heretical with a hint of schismatic.

I am shocked (!) that you would say this.  police
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