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Adrian
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« on: July 15, 2007, 03:32:46 AM »

Why not muslim, yoga, budist, etc. Because Jesus resurected from death has power over death and gave power over death to his disciples and I wouldn't be surprised if today there are some orthodox people with that power eventually on Mount Athos. Because Buda, Mohamad. Confucius and so on didn't had this power. When we speak about religion we speak about the life after death and if the people that start a religion don't have power over death, and Jesus has this power, then this is a real problem for someone that is not christian.
Why not catholic, protestant, etc and why orthodox. W eshoul ask how God will identify the right church. Is the right church the one with most members? Maybe but not always because at one time arianism would be the one with most members. Is the right church the one with more moeny? Maybe but not necesarily. Is the right church the one with most political power. Maybe but not necesarily. The right church is the one that is the most loved by God, the one with most miracles, and truly I speak with you that the orthodox church is filled with miracles:
1.Holy Light Every year, at Jerusalem , on the place Jesus resurected a Holy Light come from the above nd goes through church on the time of Orthodox prayers. I think that this happends fropm the time of Saint Peter. http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/Pascha_Holy_Light/index.shtml
God gave Orthodox Church the Holy Light Miracle.
2. Jordan waters start coming back for several minutes. When Jesus entered Jordan river, the waters started coming back. Early on the orthodox celebration of Baptismal of Jesus, the Jordan river waters start coming back.
3.Sanctified water. When water becomes sanctified the Brownian molecular movement gets changed and molecules start moving in order. There is no more Brownian movement of molecules. Sanctified water can be drinked even after 1 year.

4. saints bodies don't get corrupted over time and a lot of saints have miracles over time. Saint John the Baptist : http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/Holy_Relics/St._John_Maximovitch/index.shtml Saint John The Wonderworker un sfant american: http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/Holy_Relics/St._John_Maximovitch/index.shtml Miracles of Sainte after death:http://saintjohnwonderworker.org/visitors_book_2007.htm , http://www.sfantaparascheva.com/minuni.php a lot of people are foretelling and lots of other miracles are in the orthodox world.

Becoming an orthodox is not enough, living as an orthodox is the thing that really matters.
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2007, 04:36:57 AM »

Welcome to the forum, Adrian.
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Thomas
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2007, 04:37:56 AM »

Beloved in the Lord Adrian,

Welcome to the Convert Issues Forum.  If you a new convert then this is the forum for you.

The purpose of the Convert issues forum is to provide a a place on the OC.Net where inquirers, catechumen, and newly converted may ask their questions about the Orthodox Faith in a safe and supportive forum without retribution or recrimination. Some of those who post here are inquirors who may not be educated about Orthodox teachings and are using this forum to understand what are the basic teachings and practices of the Orthodox churches.

I am a little confused by your first posting, were you asking a question "Why does one become Orthodox?"  or making a statement "The right church is the one that is the most loved by God, the one with most miracles, and truly I speak with you that the orthodox church is filled with miracles".

Either way welcome and let us know a little about yourself.

In Christ,
Thomas
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Adrian
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2007, 05:50:14 AM »

Hi,

I was born christian orthodox but at one time I was wondering if I am in the right Church. I read the Bible and The Bible was saying something like this, If you love your parents and brothers more than me, you are not worthy of me. The primary reason I was orthodox was that I was born orthodox, but since I shoudn't love my people more than God, being born into orthodoxy was not a compelling reason. I started praying and asked God for giving me some hints so to go where he wants not where I want. You see every church sees itself as the only Church and the one that does not this will be in big trouble. Why someone will want to be in a church that isn't the best one? All churches are the only Church in the eyes of their followers. But since people can not give salvation I was wondering what God wants, which Church is the only one in the eyes of God , and since we speak about a living God, I was wondering how God would indicate the right church, the home of Christians. Praying more I've got an thought saying orthodox church and catholic church are the right churches but orthodox church is better since has more miracles. Doing research I found that God gave Orthodox Church the Holy Light miracle - Holy Light does not come to other christians and lots and lots of Saints, Sanctified water and others. God could give Holy Light to every church in the world and event to every religion in the world, but since it gave Holy Light to orthodox Church  this says to me that God sees Orthodox Church that a right Church. What is the differnce between good people in the eyes of men and good people in the eyes of God. Men see only what is exposed to them, but God knows everything, even thougths.  We can see a man 2 hours and make a decision, but God see everyone of us 24 hour a day, seven day a week and makes a better decision than everybody on Earth can make. This is why we should ask ourselves what God Thinks and not what men think.  Also Orthodox Church is an apostolic Church being started by apostles , following the primary Church in every aspect, and if the apostles were happy with the primary Church, there is every reason to be happy with Orthodox Church of Today.   Now I am wondering if I posted my thread on the right forum, maybe a better place would be the one in which people want to speak about orthodoxy with their families. I posted my thread here to let the orthodox people know hat they are in the right Church.
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Adrian
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2007, 05:53:13 AM »

My title would be, Why I am an orthodox christian.
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narrowpathplease
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2007, 04:20:42 AM »

Thank you for that information Adrian. I believe many stories I've read of Protestants experiencing miracles too, but they appear to serve the purpose of giving or strengthening faith in general Christianity rather than specifically pointing to any particular denomination. One thing that has had me still unsure: why do only Roman Catholics seem to experience the stigmata? Perhaps the two Churches are equally favourable? Or is it simply because RCs tend to focus on the Passion more than Orthodox?
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Adrian
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2007, 07:41:44 AM »

Because the Roman Catholics ask for it , there is a prayer for that, and that is granted.
Orthodox believers go another way and this is theosis or meeting God in this life or going to heaven as Saint Paul. This is granted to few of them. Read about the stages of prayer, or the prayer of the hearth. The way of the pilgrim is a book that shows something about first stages of the prayer.
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Adrian
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2007, 07:44:27 AM »

Actually I remeber a friend telling me about an orthodox young getting the stigmata.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 08:34:01 AM by Adrian » Logged
Adrian
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2007, 08:05:20 AM »

Stages of prayer:
1. First stage of prayer is the prayer of the mouth. Is when you say a prayer but your mind goes somewhere else.
2. Second stage of prayer is the prayer of the mouth and of the mind. Word and mind pray to God.
3. The third stage is the stage  called the prayer of the heart. Here the word, the mind and the heart pray to God. This happend like 1 man in 10000.
4. Next stage is the self moving prayer. In this stage the heart always pray to God. You can sleep and the heart prays. You can do whatever and your heart prays. This is as Apostle Paul said something like always pray. Read 1Thes.5:17
5. Next stage is seeing prayer. In this stage the man can see the demons, souls, angels, can see everywhere in the world, can see the thoughts.
6. Next stage is the extasy prayer. Here the mind is in sky, the mind is in sky , and his face can glove, his hands are like light, like Elias when he prayed to God. His mind goes from Earth to Heaven.
7. Next stage is .... I don't know how to translate. Here the man is in union with God or theosis  and Holy Spirit conducts his mind to many discoveries. The mind can see heaven.

Original Romanian language article by one of our monks. http://www.sfaturiortodoxe.ro/rugaciune.htm Stages 1-4 are described in The Way of the pilgrim book. You can buy english translation here: http://www.amazon.com/Way-Pilgrim-Continues-His/dp/0060630175

If you are serious about this, say 1 hour or 1000 times a day for a month or more " Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner ". You can say this prayer in your mind , even when you talk with somebody or do other things. This prayer is used by monks for going through praying stages I think. When I say I think, it means I am not sure 100%. If you can not do it 1000 times or one hour, 5 minutes will help and with time you can increase it. This is called Jesus prayer or the prayer of the hearth.

Spelling changes and abbreviations to English usage by moderator-Thomas
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 02:15:31 PM by Adrian » Logged
narrowpathplease
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2007, 08:33:26 AM »

Wow, that looks like something to look into some more!

By calling the last stage theosis, do you suggest that all of those stages must be reached for salvation? Because: For Orthodox Christians, Théōsis (see 2 Pet. 1:4) is salvation. -orthodoxwiki.com
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Adrian
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2007, 08:37:30 AM »

Now this happened. Theosis is my word, reading about the last stage I was thinking from other books, this must be theosis in this life, and I used this word, but the monk didn't said that. He said:

"The last prayer higher than the extaz prayer it is called ..... This is seventh. This is not even a prayer. This is called seeeing the Kingdom of Heaven. This is a prayer described by Saint Ephrem the Syriac.
This is more than a prayer. This is a communion with God - here I jumped in and I used theosis but it may be theosis or not. But I think is theosis even if I am not 100% sure.- This is when Apostle Paul was saying: I saw a man , that 14 years ago, was to the third heaven and he heard there words that is not possible to a man to say. In the body or out of the body I don't know. God Knows.
He didn't know what it was. Because in this prayer , the mind does not work with her power. Holy Spirit takes it and brings it to Heaven and it can not think what it wants. The mind is conducted in hell, Heaven, and everywhere the Holy spirit wants to move it. And this man can see many things and when he comes back he doesn't know if he was in his body or outside , like Apostle Paul.
This is the highest prayer and as Saint Ephrem the Syriac was saying , only one of every country can attain this. Maybe one of every generation.

I think that theosis was the right word but I may be mistaken. Lets put it this way, the stages of prayer is a way to reach theosis IN THIS LIFE - about reaching theosis in this life I read in another book - , and at the last stage maybe there is 1 man in the nation. Theosis IN AFTERLIFE, after the judgement -  see one thief on the cross that went to Heaven through confession and reached theosis - , should be much simpler than that, otherwise it will be very hard for me, I am not sure right now about this subject but one rule to follow to be saved was this: work, pray, fast.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 10:07:01 AM by Adrian » Logged
narrowpathplease
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2007, 09:06:15 AM »

Yeah, thanks, that's what I was thinking.
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Adrian
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2007, 01:54:23 PM »

Here is a book that has something about theosis, as it is seen by a former Mount Athos Monk. http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Silence-Search-Orthodox-Spirituality/dp/0385500920 I liked this book too.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 01:55:30 PM by Adrian » Logged
GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2007, 12:42:36 AM »

Here is a book that has something about theosis, as it is seen by a former Mount Athos Monk. http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Silence-Search-Orthodox-Spirituality/dp/0385500920 I liked this book too.
Hi Adrian,

I also really enjoyed this book. I think it's a wonderful introduction to many key teachings of the Orthodox Church such as Catharsis, Fotisis, and finally Theosis. Good to have you here, Adrian.

 In Christ,
 Gabriel
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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2007, 04:14:07 AM »

BTW, no one is "born" Orthodox - one must wait at least 40 days before one may become baptized and chrismated into Christ and His Holy Spirit and from then on begin one's True prayer to the Father.

(right?)
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« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2007, 09:34:18 AM »

Ah, but one thing I've been thinking about recently is that as my wife takes the body and blood of Christ, so does my daughter (due in November Smiley). It goes without saying that she has not been baptized yet, but is still able to take of the Eucharist. Kinda throws a wrench at those who would presume to know when someone truly becomes Orthodox.
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« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2007, 09:56:30 AM »

Lets put it this way, the stages of prayer is a way to reach theosis IN THIS LIFE - about reaching theosis in this life I read in another book - , and at the last stage maybe there is 1 man in the nation. Theosis IN AFTERLIFE, after the judgement -  see one thief on the cross that went to Heaven through confession and reached theosis - , should be much simpler than that, otherwise it will be very hard for me, I am not sure right now about this subject but one rule to follow to be saved was this: work, pray, fast.

Might the same be said of the sacraments, which the thief on the cross also didn't have? I also don't yet and am finding myself taking excessive steps to avoid an early death before I'm baptised. Sad
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« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2007, 10:15:03 AM »

I think it should be said that "God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (I Sam. 16:7). We do not fully understand His criteria for theosis; we know that repentance is a major part of it; we know we must have faith; but beyond this, we know only what theosis looks like in a person (i.e. saint), and so we copy them.

In light of this, I find it inadvisable to say definitively, "Do these three things and you will be Orthodox." After all, Christ was no more specific than "Take up your cross and follow Me."
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« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2007, 01:11:08 PM »

Ah, but one thing I've been thinking about recently is that as my wife takes the body and blood of Christ, so does my daughter (due in November Smiley). It goes without saying that she has not been baptized yet, but is still able to take of the Eucharist. Kinda throws a wrench at those who would presume to know when someone truly becomes Orthodox.

When our grandchild last December died at birth he was given an Orthodox burial and is commemorated as though he was baptized in parish memorial  days.

Thomas
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« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2007, 01:32:40 PM »

In light of this, I find it inadvisable to say definitively, "Do these three things and you will be Orthodox." After all, Christ was no more specific than "Take up your cross and follow Me."

So that I'm clear, do you suppose that if at the time of death a person has fulfilled their part in the synergy, God may fulfill the necessary work of the sacraments after their death? In other words, sacramental grace in life is not the only way God saves us? I would obviously prefer to think so, but there is always the possibility that the thief was a one-off because Jesus spoke to him while he was alive, or that he died before Jesus did in which case he would have been in the category of the retro-actively saved. Do you know what the Church says about this?
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« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2007, 10:05:36 PM »

^ I don't suppose anything about anyone's salvation. I apologise if that's a little direct, but I don't know how else to answer your question. I do know that the thief on the cross is always held up by Protestants as proof that salvation does not come by works, and I think this is a mistake. I think we can only say that God will save whom He will save, and that in order to receive His salvation we must have faith. Beyond that, I certainly don't know, and I don't know if anyone does, or even can.
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« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2007, 12:08:04 AM »

So that I'm clear, do you suppose that if at the time of death a person has fulfilled their part in the synergy, God may fulfill the necessary work of the sacraments after their death? In other words, sacramental grace in life is not the only way God saves us? I would obviously prefer to think so, but there is always the possibility that the thief was a one-off because Jesus spoke to him while he was alive, or that he died before Jesus did in which case he would have been in the category of the retro-actively saved. Do you know what the Church says about this?
You sound to me as if you continue to define salvation in the more Protestant sense of being in right juridical standing before God--"If I were to be hit by a car and killed today, would I go to heaven?".  This is indeed a part of our understanding as Orthodox, but this is only a small part of a much bigger picture.  We understand salvation as encompassing the whole of the lifelong battle for theosis: being redeemed from sin and reconciled with God, as was the wise thief on the cross; being purified of sin and healed of its deadly effects; being strengthened by the Holy Spirit to radiate the light and life of Christ; and ultimately becoming partakers of the Divine Nature, becoming by grace what Christ is by nature.

Are the sacraments necessary for salvation according to the prevailing Protestant sense?  Maybe not.  Maybe it's possible for Christ to forgive us without the sacraments and make a place for us in paradise, as He did for the thief.  But why stop here and say "I've been saved"?  "... until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; ...", as St. Paul wrote to the Ephesians (4:13)  This is the goal of salvation in the Orthodox sense, and this is possible only within the Church as we participate in the life of Christ through the Sacraments.
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narrowpathplease
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« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2007, 04:42:28 AM »

That's very true, I am still re-organising my mental framework from whichever patch quilt Protestant one I had before. I didn't know there is a different definition of salvation in Orthodoxy. That might account for some of my confusion. Some Protestants don't waste any time with their baptisms when someone confesses faith, in case the person drops dead and goes straight to Hell. With that perspective, potentially waiting for years does seem rather agonising (even cruel). Sad

Sorry for derailing the thread, I should ask my local priest about all this.
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« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2007, 09:01:34 AM »

^ I didn't realise either as I was converting just how many words are common to both Protestants and Orthodox but have radically different definitions. I remember asking many questions myself that were hard for Orthodox to answer because of this. Keep asking questions, even if they're difficult. If you're sincere, and I believe you are, then you'll eventually find the truth.
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