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Author Topic: Are Protestants Christians?  (Read 21422 times) Average Rating: 0
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pathofsolitude
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« on: October 27, 2007, 07:43:11 PM »

We must ask how exactly the heathen prayed. I imagine a bunch of rowdy pagan women loudly entreating their gods over and over to do something for them. Or some commentaries describe the "vain reptitions" as babbling. Like glossalia. The feature of their way of prayer is that they need to ramble over and over again for the gods to hear them.

The Hesychast Way has absolutely nothing to do with that. The words of the Jesus Prayer are only the means to attain devotion of heart and inner stillness. And the Hesychast does not pray for wordly things like the worthless pagans and Protestants do. He is only abiding in the absolute assurance of the divine presence, the peace that surpasses all understanding, and the beginning of eternal glory.

Of course the godless, totally wretched, and utterly apostate Protestants know nothing about this. This is because they are devoid of the Holy Spirit. If they ever use their Matt 6:7 arguement against the Saints I tell them that they are antichrists. Its as simple as that. The lifeless thug Protestants dont even deserve to be heard because they have reduced their religion to Sunday preaching service, potlock dinners, and Billy Graham crusades.

If they only knew that the Jesus Prayer, when truly practiced, is entirely esoteric...
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2007, 08:52:15 PM »

they are devoid of the Holy Spirit.
Unlike your post which is just so filled with the Holy Spirit, for example:
godless, totally wretched, and utterly apostate Protestants....they are devoid of the Holy Spirit....I tell them that they are antichrists...
Roll Eyes

The lifeless thug Protestants
Physician, heal thyself.
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2007, 09:52:42 PM »

Unlike your post which is just so filled with the Holy Spirit, for example: Roll Eyes
 Physician, heal thyself.

Protestants are antichrists because they teach a book religion with absolutely no esoteric or mystical value. And they dont believe in sainthood. They dont fast, dont pray more than five minutes a day, and have no true experience of divine things. Yet these people run all over the place screaming the name of Jesus just like the demonaics we hear about in Scripture.

The Lord Jesus Christ, the Divine Savior of the Universe, utterly condemned this totally false external religiosity. He called the Pharisees: white washed tombs, brood of vipors, and children of the devil. Then it was the Pharisees and now it is the Protestants. Are you suggesting that the Protestants are not these things? Indeed the exact equivalent of "white washed tomb" is "lifeless" or "totally wretched", and of "brood of vipors" is "thugs", and of "children of the devil" is "godless" or "utterly apostate". Are you suggesting that the Lord Jesus Christ was not filled with the Holy Spirit when he said this???

I am not a Physician. I am merely pointing out that the Apostles charged us to condemn all antichrists who make fun of the Hesychast Way of the Lord Jesus. This is a life and death battle. It is not the path for "nice" people but only for those who walk in the living strength of the Spirit and conquer death by death. Whoever does not reign with the Cherubim and Seraphim in Hesychasm will be burnt!
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2007, 10:11:15 PM »

The way to do gods will is to look inside of our selves and not judge our neighbors. This is what George is trying to convey.
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2007, 10:27:40 PM »

Protestants are antichrists because they teach a book religion with absolutely no esoteric or mystical value. And they dont believe in sainthood. They dont fast, dont pray more than five minutes a day, and have no true experience of divine things. Yet these people run all over the place screaming the name of Jesus just like the demonaics we hear about in Scripture.



I know many protestant christians who fast, and pray for more than '' five minutes ''. I think you are judging all protestant christians because some (Protestant) christians live this way. I think the same can be said for us, as orthodox christians, many are luke warm and dont pray much or even consider fasting.
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2007, 10:38:22 PM »

I know many protestant christians who fast, and pray for more than '' five minutes ''. I think you are judging all protestant christians because some (Protestant) christians live this way. I think the same can be said for us, as orthodox christians, many are luke warm and dont pray much or even consider fasting.

I grant that there are a *few* exceptions among the Protestants. But I would say 99% of them are lost.

As for "orthodox christians" who "dont pray much or even consider fasting", they will be burnt!
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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2007, 10:54:22 PM »

I grant that there are a *few* exceptions among the Protestants. But I would say 99% of them are lost.

As for "orthodox christians" who "dont pray much or even consider fasting", they will be burnt!
Interesting......[yawn]
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2007, 10:58:34 PM »

It is just the kind of non-judgemental love that Path is displaying here that has drawn me home. Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes   Wow--and I thought that all bigotted fundamentalist were Protestant! 
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« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2007, 11:08:00 PM »

It is just the kind of non-judgemental love that Path is displaying here that has drawn me home. Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes   Wow--and I thought that all bigotted fundamentalist were Protestant! 
Well, apparently pathofsolitude is not Eastern Orthodox either if his/her first post is anything to go by: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13028.msg178682.html#msg178682
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« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2007, 11:28:05 PM »

I've never questioned whether or not Protestants are Christians, but the subject of whether or not Protestantism is heretical has come up.
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« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2007, 11:33:41 PM »

I grant that there are a *few* exceptions among the Protestants. But I would say 99% of them are lost.

As for "orthodox christians" who "dont pray much or even consider fasting", they will be burnt!

Someone please tell me that someone "invented" this persona just to get a rise out of us or play a joke.  I mean, I am as mean-spirited as they come, but I wouldn't ever (I hope and I pray) say such inflammatory (and absolutely useless) statements such as these.
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« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2007, 11:41:45 PM »

Has anyone ever noticed that you just can't reason with someone who's irrational?
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« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2007, 11:44:16 PM »

PathofSolitude: when I read your original post, a parable in Luke came to my mind:

 Luke 18:9-14
Jesus told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, `God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, `God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted."

If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make that change!

May the Grace and Peace of our Lord Christ Jesus be with you!

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« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2007, 12:00:20 AM »

Amen to that Sophia!

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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2007, 12:00:39 AM »

If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make that change!
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2007, 02:23:51 AM »

Just so everyone knows, this thread was originally part of a different thread, but was cut and pasted to form a new one. If someone didnt know this my first post would look like I am speaking off the top of my head! Here is the context: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13165.0.html
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The great apostasy has occured. Get out of there while you can!!! Its better to be priestless than to have a heretic bishop. The apostles taught that the church consists of saints only. There are about 7,000 Spirit-bearers currently in the catacombs.
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« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2007, 02:35:58 AM »

Well I am deeply concerned about you guys. But, in our ecumenical age, I am not surprised. You are practically condemning the Saints who said the same thing I am saying about lifeless heretics: namely that they are totally devoid of the Holy Spirit, that they have lost their salvation, that they are evil serpents, and that they will be burnt. This is what will happen to Protestants who choose to not repent of their wordly ways. Again, I am saying the exact same things the Saints said, and also what the Scriptures say.

Please understand that I am speaking of Protestants in general. I am not trying to judge individual souls because I cannot tell which are the 1% who are in invincible ignorance. Thats what the Lord meant when he told us not to judge. He did not mean that we shouldnt say that heretics such as Protestants will be totally wasted by the demons in eternal torment. Thats just a matter of fact. Its taught in Scripture!
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The great apostasy has occured. Get out of there while you can!!! Its better to be priestless than to have a heretic bishop. The apostles taught that the church consists of saints only. There are about 7,000 Spirit-bearers currently in the catacombs.
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« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2007, 02:57:47 AM »

edifying stuff!  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2007, 03:24:11 AM »

Well I am deeply concerned about you guys. But, in our ecumenical age, I am not surprised. You are practically condemning the Saints who said the same thing I am saying about lifeless heretics: namely that they are totally devoid of the Holy Spirit, that they have lost their salvation, that they are evil serpents, and that they will be burnt. This is what will happen to Protestants who choose to not repent of their wordly ways. Again, I am saying the exact same things the Saints said, and also what the Scriptures say.
Anyone can say, "The Saints say this; the Saints say that" to support a point of view that doesn't jibe with the Orthodox phronema.  Can you give us quotations from the Saints to support such a controversial thesis as you argue, that Protestants are damned to hell?  I'm not talking about their general condemnation of heretics, for this requires our own application of these anathemas (applications that may or may not be justified) specifically to Protestants.  I'm talking about specific instances of Saints speaking out against Protestantism.

Quote
Please understand that I am speaking of Protestants in general. I am not trying to judge individual souls because I cannot tell which are the 1% who are in invincible ignorance. Thats what the Lord meant when he told us not to judge. He did not mean that we shouldnt say that heretics such as Protestants will be totally wasted by the demons in eternal torment. Thats just a matter of fact. Its taught in Scripture!
The doctrine that heretical teachers will be condemned is taught in Scripture, but your application of this teaching to Protestants is purely your own.  Maybe the best thing for you to do is to not concern yourself about whether Protestants (and we "modernists" who don't hold to your apparently self-styled traditionalism) are going to hell but to focus on what you need to do to avoid the fires of hell yourself.  I don't mean that as any condemnation of you, for this is the same thing about which I am concerned for my own salvation.


BTW, you present yourself in some sense as Orthodox, yet, at the same time, you've left subtle hints that you are in fact NOT Orthodox (at least not in communion with a "canonical" Orthodox bishop).  We at least know from your most recent rant that you're MOST DEFINITELY NOT Protestant, but most Roman/Eastern Rite Catholics will say that much.  It might be helpful for us in our discussions with you, then, if you revealed to us what tradition you do represent.
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« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2007, 03:37:51 AM »

Just so everyone knows, this thread was originally part of a different thread, but was cut and pasted to form a new one. If someone didnt know this my first post would look like I am speaking off the top of my head! Here is the context
The sad thing is that you actually think there is a context in which it is acceptable to say:
I grant that there are a *few* exceptions among the Protestants. But I would say 99% of them are lost.
As for "orthodox christians" who "dont pray much or even consider fasting", they will be burnt!
And:
the worthless pagans and Protestants .....the godless, totally wretched, and utterly apostate Protestants .....they are devoid of the Holy Spirit.....I tell them that they are antichrists. Its as simple as that. ...lifeless thug Protestants dont even deserve to be heard
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« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2007, 09:02:33 AM »

Everyone who has been baptized in the name of the Trinity is a Christian. What's your point, Pathofsolitude?
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« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2007, 09:26:18 AM »

I believe there are many Protestants that were just like me they began with faith,and desperately seeking the truth,they are open minded. Once I realized that ALL truth does not come from the bible alone but from Jesus Christ the Word of God made flesh,I was on the right path, But there are Protestants who feel they have arrived,those who still look to the bible alone for their solace.
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« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2007, 09:31:16 AM »

Good point, Denny. As a former Protestant, I believe that my Orthodox faith is the same faith I had when I was Protestant; it's just more complete now. And I was baptized in the name of the Trinity.
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« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2007, 11:32:33 AM »

Pathofsolitude:

I don't think most people here would disagree with you that there are some severe problems within the Protestant community, especially the Prosperity Gospel movement, which I think you were criticising in your original post.  In fact, if you click the tag below you'll see a couple of discussions criticising some of these movements.

I think it was your tone which has put people off.  We at OC.net can get pretty rowdy and critical of others and even each other, but we tend to refrain from condemning anyone to hell, as that is something only God Himself can do.  This is so even if a group's beliefs and practices are completely heterodox, as some of the Protestant groups' beliefs and practices clearly are.

It's a matter of observing certain boundaries when discussing here.  If you want to believe certain groups are heterodox, I don't think that is a problem as there are others here who would agree.  You just need to soften your tone and refrain from saying that certain people are going to hell, even if that is your belief.  I think you would agree that deciding who is condemned or not is truly only for God to say. 

Perhaps it would help if you told us a little about yourself.  It seems you may have had some personal experience with Protestantism and that your experience told you there was something wrong with that community.  Is that the case?  If so, you will find you are not alone, as many people here are former Protestants.  Also, are you currently searching for a new Church "home?"  I've noticed that you have been asking questions of both the EO's and OO's here.  That is O.K. of course, since this is a great place to learn about different communions.  Of course you don't have to tell us anything about yourself, but doing so would definitely help us in understanding where you are coming from.   Smiley

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« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2007, 11:53:32 AM »

What's your point, Pathofsolitude?

ACTUALLY I didnt start this thread or come up with the title of the thread. It magically appeared! Originally it was part of a post on answering Protestant accusations against the Jesus Prayer. That was all that I wanted to talk about. Not start a thread on whether they are Christians. Anyways my original point was how those aspiring to be Saints should stand in relation to Protestants trying to tell us that the Hesychast Way is heathenism. Do we bother to defend the Scriptures to them? Absolutely not!! The Scriptures are only written for the Saints. Spiritually apostate souls do not have esoteric access to the mysteries. We should never ever let their worldly external religiousity even touch the holy things. Thats why Jesus condemned them flat out as children of the devil. And thats the practice of the Apostles as we see from several examples in the book of Acts where they did not hesitate to condemn the godless pseudoChristians in the spirit of Matthew 23.

Quote
Everyone who has been baptized in the name of the Trinity is a Christian.

You know good and well that this is not what your own Byzantine church historically believed. To be frank, its utter nonsense, and worthy of the worse condemnation by whatever sound hierarchs remain in your Communion. Do you realize the implications? It means that people who have been baptized and claim to be Christian [I guess as their ancesteral heritage, I dont know what they mean] but who dont even believe in the existence of a personal God are Christians. This is the situation of about 40% of Europe right now. And if you only refer to people who purportedly believe in the veracity of the Scriptures, think of all the millions of people out there who even go to Sunday preacher lectures, and yet dont bother to pray more than five minutes a day. Are they Christians? Absolutely not!! A Christian is literally an "Anointed One", one who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit and Fire, who lives mystically IN Christ. He has become a fully functional spirit being seated in the heavenlies. But you think mere water is sufficient and that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not necessary??? I assure you that Baptists or Presbyterians who usually only say some external prayers before meals and before bed do not have the Spirit. Rather they are living totally devoid of almighty God. If you dont know what I mean then I desparately feel for you.
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« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2007, 11:55:13 AM »

We must ask how exactly the heathen prayed. I imagine a bunch of rowdy pagan women loudly entreating their gods over and over to do something for them. Or some commentaries describe the "vain reptitions" as babbling. Like glossalia. The feature of their way of prayer is that they need to ramble over and over again for the gods to hear them.

This is putting your own imaginating on other people.  On what reality do you base this, please?  If one wishes to consider real "pagan" by which do you mean non-Christian/non-monotheist religious practice and prayers, one can find out from real human beings. In Japan, Shinto is by no means "rowdy" or loud, but very restrained and with definite ritual for example.  

Quote
And the Hesychast does not pray for wordly things like the worthless pagans and Protestants do.

 Undecided Roll Eyes  You call other human beings who God created in His Image "worthless"?  

Quote

Of course the godless, totally wretched, and utterly apostate Protestants know nothing about this. This is because they are devoid of the Holy Spirit. If they ever use their Matt 6:7 arguement against the Saints I tell them that they are antichrists. Its as simple as that. The lifeless thug Protestants dont even deserve to be heard because they have reduced their religion to Sunday preaching service, potlock dinners, and Billy Graham crusades.

If they only knew that the Jesus Prayer, when truly practiced, is entirely esoteric...

I'm sorry, this reads to me as contemptuous of others.  How do you *know* that others are "totally wretched" or Godless?  Because they are not part of your esoteric 'inner ring'?  Your description is a caricature, a mean mocking cartoon that has little or nothing to do with many real people.

And just to be repetitive: there is no such thing as an amorphous blog of "Protestants".  There are different Churches and groups with some things in common and some things different.  Often the differences are in custom or ways of doing things.  The above derogatory screed does not describe any Anglican/Episcopalian that I know for example.

Ebor
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« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2007, 12:00:51 PM »

Protestants are antichrists because they teach a book religion with absolutely no esoteric or mystical value. And they dont believe in sainthood. They dont fast, dont pray more than five minutes a day, and have no true experience of divine things.

May one ask just *which* denomination you are referring to here, please?  Also, there is a great deal of heat not to say intemperate language in your caricature.  Have you had unfortunate experiences with any particular body that have caused such anger?

Just for the record, in the Anglican Communion there is not 'just a book religion', there is a place for mysticism, we do believe in saints (we even have a Kalendar of saints and commemorations) and more.  Also, meaning no disrespect, but how would *you* know if other people have or have not had any "true experience of divine things"? 

Ebor  Undecided

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« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2007, 12:04:48 PM »

I grant that there are a *few* exceptions among the Protestants. But I would say 99% of them are lost.

May one ask who you think are exceptions, please?  I am very much wanting to know, and not trying to give you a hard time on this one.  Thank you in advance.

On what basis do you feel so free as to be sure that so many are "lost"?

Quote
As for "orthodox christians" who "dont pray much or even consider fasting", they will be burnt!

"The LORD is full of compassion and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy"  from the Psalms

Ebor
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« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2007, 12:08:31 PM »

Someone please tell me that someone "invented" this persona just to get a rise out of us or play a joke.  I mean, I am as mean-spirited as they come, but I wouldn't ever (I hope and I pray) say such inflammatory (and absolutely useless) statements such as these.

I was wondering the same thing, Scamandrius.  Such things have been known to happen for the perpetrator's amusement, for example.

And, as you wrote, such statements are 'useless' and even more so damaging in that if such a person were the only representative of EO I surely would not want to be part of a group with such a vicious demeanor.

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« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2007, 12:10:35 PM »

Quote
You call other human beings who God created in His Image "worthless"?  


WHAT??? Maybe you should reread what the Scriptures say about the souls that are born into this world. Start with Romans 1-3. Everyone is born into this world utterly worthless, spiritually dead, and worthy of nothing but damnation. The mystery of the gospel is that Jesus came to save worthless souls. This is the very essence of the gospel!!! We gain our worth only by being incorporated into him by the Holy Spirit.

The image of God does not de facto make us worthy. The demons are much more in the image of God than we are: spirit beings, rational, moral agents, freewill, and so on. Do you suggest the demons are worthy?
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« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2007, 12:20:32 PM »

In Genesis may be read "So God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."  I know of no placer in the Scriptures where it is written that demons are 'more in the image of God'.  May one ask on what you base this assertion please?

Also, since it is stated in the Gospel that God love the world and that is why He sent His Son, your declaring all of humanity "utterly worthless" would not seem to go along with how the Creator of All Things looks on His creation.

I am familiar with the Scriptures. Is there any particular translation that you hold to be better than others so that one may look at what you are interpreting? Thank you.

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« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2007, 12:22:52 PM »

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Everyone who has been baptized in the name of the Trinity is a Christian.
You know good and well that this is not what your own Byzantine church historically believed. To be frank, its utter nonsense, and worthy of the worse condemnation by whatever sound hierarchs remain in your Communion. Do you realize the implications? It means that people who have been baptized and claim to be Christian [I guess as their ancesteral heritage, I dont know what they mean] but who dont even believe in the existence of a personal God are Christians.
Codswhollop. You really should get your facts straight before you start spouting personal opinions as though they were historical facts and realities. The Orthodox Church has always recognised the Baptisms of those baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity and has received them by Chrisimation only. The Seventh Canon of the Second Ecumenical Council says:
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Those who from heresy turn to orthodoxy, and to the portion of those who are being saved, we receive according to the following method and custom:  Arians, and Macedonians, and Sabbatians, and Novatians, who call themselves Cathari or Aristori, and Quarto-decimans or Tetradites, and Apollinarians, we receive, upon their giving a written renunciation [of their errors] and anathematize every heresy which is not in accordance with the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of God.  Thereupon, they are first sealed or anointed with the holy oil upon the forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, and ears; and when we seal them, we say, “The Seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost.” 
And the Canon goes on to explain that those who were recieved from heresy by Baptism were those who had not been baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity:
Quote
But Eunomians, who are baptized with only one immersion, and Montanists, who are here called Phrygians, and Sabellians, who teach the identity of Father and Son, and do sundry other mischievous things, and [the partisans of] all other heresies—for there are many such here, particularly among those who come from the country of the Galatians:—all these, when they desire to turn to orthodoxy, we receive as heathen.  On the first day we make them Christians; on the second, catechumens; on the third, we exorcise them by breathing thrice in their face and ears; and thus we instruct them and oblige them to spend some time in the Church, and to hear the Scriptures; and then we baptize them.


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« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2007, 12:30:19 PM »

And if you only refer to people who purportedly believe in the veracity of the Scriptures, think of all the millions of people out there who even go to Sunday preacher lectures, and yet dont bother to pray more than five minutes a day.

One wonders at how you are so aware of the devotional life of millions upon millions of other people... Undecided 

Quote
I assure you that Baptists or Presbyterians who usually only say some external prayers before meals and before bed do not have the Spirit. Rather they are living totally devoid of almighty God. If you dont know what I mean then I desparately feel for you.

Do you *know* many Baptists or Presbyterians so closely that you *know* their inner life and devotions? Who are you and how did God appoint you to make declarations of doom against other human beings, most of whom I submit you have no personal knowledge of at all.  This is projection on other people of the OP's own personal opinions as far as can be told as well as, I'm sorry, more Cheap Righteousness.  Sad

Or is it a troll?  I don't know. 

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« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2007, 01:01:22 PM »


You know good and well that this is not what your own Byzantine church historically believed. To be frank, its utter nonsense, and worthy of the worse condemnation by whatever sound hierarchs remain in your Communion. Do you realize the implications? It means that people who have been baptized and claim to be Christian [I guess as their ancesteral heritage, I dont know what they mean] but who dont even believe in the existence of a personal God are Christians. This is the situation of about 40% of Europe right now. And if you only refer to people who purportedly believe in the veracity of the Scriptures, think of all the millions of people out there who even go to Sunday preacher lectures, and yet dont bother to pray more than five minutes a day. Are they Christians? Absolutely not!! A Christian is literally an "Anointed One", one who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit and Fire, who lives mystically IN Christ. He has become a fully functional spirit being seated in the heavenlies. But you think mere water is sufficient and that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not necessary??? I assure you that Baptists or Presbyterians who usually only say some external prayers before meals and before bed do not have the Spirit. Rather they are living totally devoid of almighty God. If you dont know what I mean then I desparately feel for you.

Pathofsolitude, I only repeated what I heard from Orthodox priests. The Church certainly does teach that there are problems with those who are influenced by heretic teachings. Yet, we have no right to judge them and say that they aren't Christians.

I think Salpy said it all very well (thanks, Salpy), and others did, too.
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« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2007, 01:13:05 PM »

Pathofsolitude,

When I saw your posts on this thread, I was immediately reminded of today's reading from the Gospel in Mass, Luke 18:9-14:

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee,  standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."


To this lesson, we best take heed.
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« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2007, 01:35:56 PM »

The Orthodox Church has always recognised the Baptisms of those baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity and has received them by Chrisimation only.

I really wish I didn't have to quibble with this, but I must. Some EO jurisdictions receive converts only by Baptism, not Chrismation, and if Baptisms have always been recognized by the Orthodox Church, it seems that many Orthodox don't agree. Many here, it seems, see Baptism in other communions as not a real baptism but an empty shell that is filled via economia if the the person is received by chrismation in an EO Church. Of course, for some even economia is not sufficient, and another Baptism should be performed.

I wish what you said were true, but it seems rather a matter of opinion.  To be honest, this was one of the things that troubled me about Orthodoxy back when I was seeking. Undecided
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« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2007, 02:03:22 PM »

I really wish I didn't have to quibble with this, but I must. Some EO jurisdictions receive converts only by Baptism, not Chrismation, and if Baptisms have always been recognized by the Orthodox Church, it seems that many Orthodox don't agree. Many here, it seems, see Baptism in other communions as not a real baptism but an empty shell that is filled via economia if the the person is received by chrismation in an EO Church. Of course, for some even economia is not sufficient, and another Baptism should be performed.

I wish what you said were true, but it seems rather a matter of opinion.  To be honest, this was one of the things that troubled me about Orthodoxy back when I was seeking. Undecided

I actually agree with you on this, Lubeltri. I think ozgeorge has made an uncharacteristic mistake in his retort, quoting a canon from the Second Ecumenical Council (when the Church could really be considered pre-divided) in an out of time context.
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« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2007, 03:35:52 PM »

edifying stuff!  Roll Eyes

Profoundly so. 
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« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2007, 04:51:03 PM »

Everyone is born into this world utterly worthless, spiritually dead, and worthy of nothing but damnation.
I must be reading the wrong Bible.  Last time I checked...
"God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)

Spiritually dead, maybe but certainly not utterly worthless and worthy of nothing but damnation.
"For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." (John 3:16)
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« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2007, 05:23:45 PM »

Pathofsolitude,

When I saw your posts on this thread, I was immediately reminded of today's reading from the Gospel in Mass, Luke 18:9-14:

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee,  standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."


To this lesson, we best take heed.

Reminds me of a story our former priest used to tell of a small group that was studying that passage.  When finished, one of them started off the prayer with, "We thank you, Lord, that we are not like the Pharisee..."  Tongue  Father went on to point out that in those stories, we're not supposed to identify with the good guy.
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« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2007, 05:45:58 PM »

I'm not going to try to respond to everything said. Really I didnt even start this thread!

Anyways. The mystery of the gospel is that God loves the unworthy! Unworthy = worthless. I am by nature worthlessly depraved and unworthy of the love of God. Scripture clearly says this. Only when he bestows his love into us via the transformation by the Holy Spirit do we become worthy.

Another point. Scripture says over and over again that the Lord God of Israel hates sinners and wants to destroy them. You may not like this fact. But take your complaints up with the Scriptures and not with me! In fact the Lord Jesus told us that he will punish them forever by throwing them into a burning trashpit to be tormented by demons. I want to add a crucial distinction to help you reconcile this with the love of God: God hates them as sinners but loves them as his creatures. And of course ultimately his love for sinners is greater than his hatred of them. And we must have the exact same perspective as God.





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« Reply #41 on: October 28, 2007, 05:55:51 PM »

I must be reading the wrong Bible.  Last time I checked...
"God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)

Spiritually dead, maybe but certainly not utterly worthless and worthy of nothing but damnation.
"For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." (John 3:16)

Are you suggesting that the state of sinners' souls is "very good"?? That would have to be the logical implication to your arguement if you hold me by this verse. Actually God did not create sinners. They made themselves that way by depriving themselves of the divine life. Nonetheless they are still materially good specifically as creatures of God. And so is the devil. But I doubt you would say that the devil is very good, eh? Who knows though, there are a lot of optimists on this forum.
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« Reply #42 on: October 28, 2007, 06:08:20 PM »

I'm not going to try to respond to everything said. Really I didnt even start this thread!

Anyways. The mystery of the gospel is that God loves the unworthy! Unworthy = worthless. I am by nature worthlessly depraved and unworthy of the love of God. Scripture clearly says this. Only when he bestows his love into us via the transformation by the Holy Spirit do we become worthy.

I find it ironic that you've said such things about Protestants when your words sound very much like those of a Protestant, especially of the Reformed kind. Ever hear of total depravity? A Protestant idea, through and through. Also, what you say about God hating not just sins but sinners themselves---once again, that sounds like something (some!) Calvinists would say when talking about appeasing God's wrath through Christ's cloak of imputed righteousness.

But then other Protestant distinctives inflame your own righteous anger. Perhaps you would be at home in Jansenism.  Wink

Whatever you believe, friend, do you not think that such angry generalizations about 99% of Protestants going to "burn" are perhaps not said in the right spirit of love? We certainly would like to see the Protestants formally join the Church, but don't you think we could catch more flies with honey? God's mercy is beyond our estimation---we would do well to leave the judgment to God, where it belongs.
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« Reply #43 on: October 28, 2007, 06:14:17 PM »

Reminds me of a story our former priest used to tell of a small group that was studying that passage.  When finished, one of them started off the prayer with, "We thank you, Lord, that we are not like the Pharisee..."  Tongue  Father went on to point out that in those stories, we're not supposed to identify with the good guy.

Great story! If it's okay with you, I'll tell it to Father Peter at my parish so he can relate it during his homily the next time this passage shows up in the lectionary.
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« Reply #44 on: October 28, 2007, 06:18:31 PM »

I find it ironic that you've said such things about Protestants when your words sound very much like those of a Protestant, especially of the Reformed kind. Ever hear of total depravity? A Protestant idea, through and through. Also, what you say about God hating not just sins but sinners themselves---once again, that sounds like something (some!) Calvinists would say when talking about appeasing God's wrath through Christ's cloak of imputed righteousness.

But then other Protestant distinctives inflame your own righteous anger. Perhaps you would be at home in Jansenism.  Wink

Whatever you believe, friend, do you not think that such angry generalizations about 99% of Protestants going to "burn" are perhaps not said in the right spirit of love? We certainly would like to see the Protestants formally join the Church, but don't you think we could catch more flies with honey? God's mercy is beyond our estimation---we would do well to leave the judgment to God, where it belongs.

I agree with Luberti. Although I am not a tremendously erudite theologian, I have spent some time, before re-discovering Orthodoxy, in a Presbyterian church, and I, too, recognize the influence of the Augustinian/Calvinian concept of total depravity in the writings of our new forum colleague, Pathofsolitude. This concept is absolutely not Orthodox as far as I know.
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« Reply #45 on: October 28, 2007, 06:21:56 PM »

Great story! If it's okay with you, I'll tell it to Father Peter at my parish so he can relate it during his homily the next time this passage shows up in the lectionary.

Go for it; pathofsolitude not withstanding, no point in hoarding wisdom. Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: October 28, 2007, 06:32:54 PM »

I actually agree with you on this, Lubeltri. I think ozgeorge has made an uncharacteristic mistake in his retort, quoting a canon from the Second Ecumenical Council (when the Church could really be considered pre-divided) in an out of time context.
The Oecumenical Patriarchate receives those baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity by Chrisimation, it keeps this Canon. What anyone else does is none of my business. Smiley
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« Reply #47 on: October 28, 2007, 06:35:23 PM »

The Oecumenical Patriarchate receives those baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity by Chrisimation, it keeps this Canon. What anyone else does is none of my business. Smiley

 Smiley Well, I've always liked the old boy. You can't go wrong with HAH Bartholomew.
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« Reply #48 on: October 28, 2007, 06:51:34 PM »

But take your complaints up with the Scriptures and not with me!
Common tactic among prooftexters:
1.  Preach your spurious interpretation of the Scriptures.
2.  Point to the passages of Scripture you have selected to support your interpretation.
3.  Absolve yourself of all responsibility by saying such things as "The Bible says" or "take your complaints up with the Scriptures and not with me!"

Even if we disagree with you and deem your biblical exegesis unorthodox, our complaint is not with the Scriptures; rather, our complaint is with your selective reading of the Scriptures.
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« Reply #49 on: October 28, 2007, 08:28:15 PM »

To those who charge me of believing the Calvinist notion of Total Depravity-

All I said was that everyone is born worthless [=unworthy] before God, totally devoid of the Holy Spirit, and on their way to eternal perdition. Why in the world would you charge me with Calvinsim? What I said is in fact exactly what Arminian Protestants believe also! [These two groups cover most of historic Protestantism.] Arminius accepted total depravity. I guess I am Arminian then too, eh? The uniquely Calvinist version of total depravity says that a man must be monergistically regenerated by a divinely ordained zap which is given only to an arbitrarily selected group of people or else he cannot [=absolutely impossible] even make the slightest move to repentance. Is this what you think I believe? I am only confessing the doctrine of Original Sin which is actually the historic Eastern Orthodox position before the antiLatin movement picked up in the 19th century. I have read old Byzantine dogmatic manuals. And they say generally the same thing I am saying.

And for you to accuse me of Jansenism is equally outrageous. Go read what RC theologians wrote about Original Sin before VaticanII. They would all be Jansensists in your eyes. And so would the Byzantines from about 1500-1830!





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« Reply #50 on: October 28, 2007, 09:27:36 PM »

Smiley Well, I've always liked the old boy. You can't go wrong with HAH Bartholomew.
LOL Cheesy
Actually, to be fair, the difference between those jurisdictions which baptise converts from heterodox Churches and those which don't is related to the interpretation of this Canon (Canon VII of the 2nd Ecumenical Council). The Canon seems to presume baptism by triple immersion (Eunomian baptism being rejected because it is a single immersion). The issue is not simply "who" baptizes, but also the form of the baptism. Thus, a Protestant Church which holds correct Trinitarian Dogma and which baptizes in the Name of the Holy Trinity by triple immersion has a closer form of baptism to the Orthodox Church than current Roman Catholic practice of baptism by aspersion as the norm. Constantinople simply applies more "economia" in the interpretation of the Canon.
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« Reply #51 on: October 28, 2007, 09:51:10 PM »

Welcome pathofsolitude. I believe your definitely Orthodox. Your just not at the spiritual level as some others here yet.  Cheesy 

Do you mind quoting this scripture for me? 

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But take your complaints up with the Scriptures and not with me! In fact the Lord Jesus told us that he will punish them forever by throwing them into a burning trashpit to be tormented by demons.
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« Reply #52 on: October 28, 2007, 11:12:03 PM »

To those who charge me of believing the Calvinist notion of Total Depravity-

All I said was that everyone is born worthless [=unworthy] before God, totally devoid of the Holy Spirit, and on their way to eternal perdition. Why in the world would you charge me with Calvinsim? What I said is in fact exactly what Arminian Protestants believe also! [These two groups cover most of historic Protestantism.] Arminius accepted total depravity. I guess I am Arminian then too, eh? The uniquely Calvinist version of total depravity says that a man must be monergistically regenerated by a divinely ordained zap which is given only to an arbitrarily selected group of people or else he cannot [=absolutely impossible] even make the slightest move to repentance. Is this what you think I believe?
Well, considering that Jacobus Arminius followed after John Calvin, it could make sense to recognize that Arminius started from Calvin's doctrine of total depravity and, following a different emphasis, carried it to a different conclusion.  However, the common starting point just shows how Calvinist Arminius really was.

Quote
I am only confessing the doctrine of Original Sin which is actually the historic Eastern Orthodox position before the antiLatin movement picked up in the 19th century. I have read old Byzantine dogmatic manuals. And they say generally the same thing I am saying.
Potentially spurious claims...  Can you give us quotes from these dogmatic sources you deem "authoritative", along with the names of these manuals so we can cross-reference your citations?

Quote
And for you to accuse me of Jansenism is equally outrageous. Go read what RC theologians wrote about Original Sin before VaticanII. They would all be Jansensists in your eyes. And so would the Byzantines from about 1500-1830!
To paraphrase a line from the popular movie, Forrest Gump, Jansenism is what Jansenism does.  Rather than point out how we might consider our own Fathers Jansenists as defense of your position, why don't you tell us what Jansenism is and how your position differs?
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« Reply #53 on: October 28, 2007, 11:20:30 PM »

Thats why Jesus condemned them flat out as children of the devil. And thats the practice of the Apostles as we see from several examples in the book of Acts where they did not hesitate to condemn the godless pseudoChristians in the spirit of Matthew 23.

BTW, sorry, I am catching up here on p 3 and this will get posted on p 4

Actually, Jesus condemned Pharisees and other religious leaders of his day. There were no protestants at that time. You can't anachronistically say Jesus condemned a rather large and diverse group of people who came into being 1500 years later.

You CAN say Jesus condemned this or that particular practice, attitude, sin or wrong belief (like the Sadducees not believing in the resurrection); but you can't say Jesus condemned Protestants, you have to point ot specific wrong beliefs and/or practices that Jesus condemned which protestants practice.

Also, which Protestants? the Calvinsts or the Arminians? The Baptists or Presbyterians?  You get my point.

I think a little precision ( or perhaps a lot)  in your condemnations, and further, ratcheting down these condemnations to criticisms would be helpful to us and to yourself.
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« Reply #54 on: October 28, 2007, 11:33:50 PM »

Also, which Protestants? the Calvinsts or the Arminians? The Baptists or Presbyterians?  You get my point.

I think a little precision ( or perhaps a lot)  in your condemnations, and further, ratcheting down these condemnations to criticisms would be helpful to us and to yourself.

That's right Brother Aiden I remember I called my Uniting church friend (The Uniting church is an amalgamation between presbyterian, Methodist and the congregationalists in Australia ) got extremely offended when I referred to her as a protestant because for her it brought up negative images of fundamentalist Christians trumpeting the creation story and so forth. After that I now truly believe that there should be a distinction made between the protestant groups instead of generalizing the group (not in my life would I compare the Church of England to a pentecostal church). 
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« Reply #55 on: October 28, 2007, 11:55:45 PM »

All I said was that everyone is born worthless [=unworthy] before God, totally devoid of the Holy Spirit, and on their way to eternal perdition.

Right.  And this teaching is heterodox.

Quote
I am only confessing the doctrine of Original Sin which is actually the historic Eastern Orthodox position...

No, it isn't.  You are actually reflecting a Western tendency concerning the teaching of original sin.

Quote
I have read old Byzantine dogmatic manuals. And they say generally the same thing I am saying.

You must have been reading "manuals" that date from the time of the "Western captivity" of the Greek Church, which it only painfully began to emerge from, theologically speaking, in the late 1950's.

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And so would the Byzantines from about 1500-1830!

News flash.  There was no "Byzantine" state after 1453.  Morever, during the Turkocracy and the period after it, until very recently, there was not a whole lot of good theology coming forth from the Greek Church.  A great intellectual tradition died along with the East Roman (Byzantine) state.  So you've very possibly been reading a pile of scholastic garbage that is worse than that penned by Aquinas and others, since some of the Western writing at least had some original and creative thought put into it, instead of the second-rate derivative things penned by Greeks schooled in Roman or (irony of ironies!) Protestant theological schools and seminaries!

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« Reply #56 on: October 29, 2007, 12:18:03 AM »

I find it ironic that you've said such things about Protestants when your words sound very much like those of a Protestant...

I echo these sentiments. 

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Whatever you believe, friend, do you not think that such angry generalizations about 99% of Protestants going to "burn" are perhaps not said in the right spirit of love?

And these ones.
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« Reply #57 on: October 29, 2007, 05:47:13 AM »

The Oecumenical Patriarchate receives those baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity by Chrisimation, it keeps this Canon. What anyone else does is none of my business. Smiley

Not the point, ozgeorge.  Any bishop can do this - the jurisdictions which require baptism are correct as well, or notwithstanding.
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« Reply #58 on: October 29, 2007, 06:03:55 AM »

Not the point, ozgeorge.  Any bishop can do this - the jurisdictions which require baptism are correct as well, or notwithstanding.
Which is why I said this: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13214.msg181635.html#msg181635
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« Reply #59 on: October 29, 2007, 06:19:48 AM »


Yes, ozG, but "economia" is an exception made to the canons made without intent to set precedent.
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« Reply #60 on: October 29, 2007, 06:52:12 AM »

I'm not sure I see your point. The Canon comes from the Second Ecumenical Council, two generations after the First Ecumenical Council in which Arianism was anathematized; yet the Canon says that those who had received Arian baptism were received into the Orthodox Church by Chrisimation, not Baptism- isn't this the precedent?
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« Reply #61 on: October 29, 2007, 07:04:47 AM »

I'm not sure I see your point. The Canon comes from the Second Ecumenical Council, two generations after the First Ecumenical Council in which Arianism was anathematized; yet the Canon says that those who had received Arian baptism were received into the Orthodox Church by Chrisimation, not Baptism- isn't this the precedent?

Arians were in error to be sure, but the canon set the precedent- this is not 'economia' - for them and other listed heretics. But this council does not cover every instance of those considered in error or outside the Church.
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« Reply #62 on: October 29, 2007, 07:28:07 AM »

To those who charge me of believing the Calvinist notion of Total Depravity-

All I said was that everyone is born worthless [=unworthy] before God, totally devoid of the Holy Spirit, and on their way to eternal perdition. Why in the world would you charge me with Calvinsim? What I said is in fact exactly what Arminian Protestants believe also! [These two groups cover most of historic Protestantism.] Arminius accepted total depravity. I guess I am Arminian then too, eh? The uniquely Calvinist version of total depravity says that a man must be monergistically regenerated by a divinely ordained zap which is given only to an arbitrarily selected group of people or else he cannot [=absolutely impossible] even make the slightest move to repentance. Is this what you think I believe? I am only confessing the doctrine of Original Sin which is actually the historic Eastern Orthodox position before the antiLatin movement picked up in the 19th century. I have read old Byzantine dogmatic manuals. And they say generally the same thing I am saying.

And for you to accuse me of Jansenism is equally outrageous. Go read what RC theologians wrote about Original Sin before VaticanII. They would all be Jansensists in your eyes. And so would the Byzantines from about 1500-1830!



Dear Pathofsolitude,

First of all, I don't think anyone here was "accusing" you of anything.

Second, yes, the whole notion of original sin is Heterodox. It does sound outrageous to all who were brought up in the Western Christian tradition - both Roman Catholic and Protestant. But that's the whole point; the Orthodox Church does not teach that people are intrinsically sinful or "depraved." That was St./Bl. Augustine's interpretation of Scripture, which eastern Fathers never embraced. Their interpretation was that people were and still are intrinsically good. We sin because we are born into the world where it is easier to sin than not to sin, plus we all have a natural propensity or inclination toward sin. But we are, nonetheless, not born "sinners" or "in sin." We all have a "sparkle" of good in us, we are absolutely capable of doing good and choosing good; we still are God's most favored, most cherished creatures who can by their own effort serve God and glorify Him, and who very often do so.

Quoting selected "proof texts" and saying, "here's what the Bible says," is not Orthodox either, as far as I know.

So good to have you here. I hope and pray that you stay with us on this forum!

Best wishes,

George (not OzGeorge - a MississippiGeorge Smiley )
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« Reply #63 on: October 29, 2007, 07:36:01 AM »

George (not OzGeorge - a MississippiGeorge Smiley )

Redneck George, then? Shocked Cheesy
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« Reply #64 on: October 29, 2007, 08:01:52 AM »

Redneck George, then? Shocked Cheesy

Yes, a total redneck, albeit with an Eastern European accent.  Huh Undecided
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« Reply #65 on: October 29, 2007, 06:54:38 PM »

Amen to that Sophia!

a lowly sinner,   Juliana



Hi, Juliana!  I'm new to these boards and I look forward to learning and sharing.  Thanks for your encouragement!

Grace and peace of our Lord Christ Jesus be with you always!

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« Reply #66 on: October 29, 2007, 06:58:00 PM »

Is that St. Michael Jackson? Cheesy


Oh, you're quick!   LOL!!    Could be..........'ya never know  :-)  LOL



Actually,  part of my hubby's mangement training included extensive "Diversity University" training.  This was part of the teaching in one of the many classes. 

Grace and Peace,

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« Reply #67 on: October 29, 2007, 09:28:39 PM »


Oh, you're quick!   

Only when it comes to useless cultural references. Tongue  Cheesy
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« Reply #68 on: October 30, 2007, 02:26:04 AM »

PathofSolitude: when I read your original post, a parable in Luke came to my mind:

 Luke 18:9-14
Jesus told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, `God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, `God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted."

If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make that change!

May the Grace and Peace of our Lord Christ Jesus be with you!

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What a beautiful post. I think 99% of the time (at least for me) we are the problem, not others.
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« Reply #69 on: October 30, 2007, 02:50:32 AM »


Yes, a total redneck, albeit with an Eastern European accent.  Huh Undecided

You are not the only one! I have a quite noticable accent, I always get asked, are you greek? russian? but never serbian heh.
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« Reply #70 on: October 31, 2007, 12:19:01 PM »

pathofsolitude...

You have repeatedly been asked to clarify what your prior and current spiritual practice is...
and you do nothing but avoid answering.

Could you please answer this vital question before making ANY other statements?
It would be much appreciated.  Smiley
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« Reply #71 on: October 31, 2007, 12:52:12 PM »

pathofsolitude...

You have repeatedly been asked to clarify what your prior and current spiritual practice is...
and you do nothing but avoid answering.

Could you please answer this vital question before making ANY other statements?
It would be much appreciated.  Smiley

Our friend hasn't been on since Sunday.  Give them time.
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« Reply #72 on: November 02, 2007, 06:23:05 AM »

pathofsolitude...

You have repeatedly been asked to clarify what your prior and current spiritual practice is...
and you do nothing but avoid answering.

Could you please answer this vital question before making ANY other statements?
It would be much appreciated.  Smiley

Unabashed uncanonically Orthodox  Wink
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« Reply #73 on: November 02, 2007, 06:27:47 AM »


News flash.  There was no "Byzantine" state after 1453.  


Thanks for this very up-to-date information. Anything else I didnt know? Needless for me to say, the Eastern Orthodox church still calls itself, its liturgy, its theology, etc etc "Byzantine."
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« Reply #74 on: November 02, 2007, 06:30:08 AM »

the Eastern Orthodox church still calls itself, its liturgy, its theology, etc etc "Byzantine."
That's news to me, and I've been Greek Orthodox all my life.
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« Reply #75 on: November 02, 2007, 06:48:34 AM »

"Byzantine" - a western term, popularized by Gibbon.
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« Reply #76 on: November 02, 2007, 06:56:52 AM »


Second, yes, the whole notion of original sin is Heterodox. It does sound outrageous to all who were brought up in the Western Christian tradition - both Roman Catholic and Protestant. But that's the whole point; the Orthodox Church does not teach that people are intrinsically sinful or "depraved." That was St./Bl. Augustine's interpretation of Scripture, which eastern Fathers never embraced. Their interpretation was that people were and still are intrinsically good. We sin because we are born into the world where it is easier to sin than not to sin, plus we all have a natural propensity or inclination toward sin. But we are, nonetheless, not born "sinners" or "in sin." We all have a "sparkle" of good in us, we are absolutely capable of doing good and choosing good; we still are God's most favored, most cherished creatures who can by their own effort serve God and glorify Him, and who very often do so.


To my dear George,

This is heresy!! Orthodox theologians teach that everyone is born spiritually depraved. Why do you think we baptize and chrismate babies? Whats the point if they already have the Holy Spirit? The true doctrine of Original Sin says that man is born in a state of spiritual death. Scripture calls this sin. [Harmartia= miss the mark, fall short of the glory.] Because of this sin God does not usually admit them into his kingdom until they are baptized. This is what the Orthodox church has always taught.

And how do you think that atheists are *only* intrinsically good? Talk about onesided!

Then you add the Pelagian heresy that sinners are "absolutely capable of doing and choosing good", and "can by their own effort serve God and glorify him," and "very often do so." Anathema, anathema, one thousand anathemas! All the saints teach that grace is absolutely necessary for man to cooperate in salvation. Its impossible for man to please God merely by his own effort.

Well George, I really dont know what to say to you. I hope that you and all my detractors come to your senses.
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« Reply #77 on: November 02, 2007, 07:03:55 AM »

"Byzantine" - a western term, popularized by Gibbon.

I guess its usage by the Eastern Orthodox is part of the socalled "western captivity" then. There is no need to squibble over terms here and get sidetracked.
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« Reply #78 on: November 02, 2007, 07:18:30 AM »

I guess its usage by the Eastern Orthodox is part of the socalled "western captivity" then. There is no need to squibble over terms here and get sidetracked.

And you may apply that to the term "Eastern Orthodox" as well.
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« Reply #79 on: November 02, 2007, 09:53:47 AM »

Disregard this.  I'm not feeding the troll.

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« Reply #80 on: November 02, 2007, 10:16:24 AM »

To my dear George,

This is heresy!! Orthodox theologians teach that everyone is born spiritually depraved. Why do you think we baptize and chrismate babies? Whats the point if they already have the Holy Spirit? The true doctrine of Original Sin says that man is born in a state of spiritual death. Scripture calls this sin. [Harmartia= miss the mark, fall short of the glory.] Because of this sin God does not usually admit them into his kingdom until they are baptized. This is what the Orthodox church has always taught.


Dear Pathofsolitude,

I am not a cleric/theologian, so I can be mistaken, but, again, there is no notion of being born in the state of spiritual death in Orthodoxy. Instead, there is a notion of being naturally born into the world that lies in sin. We baptize and chrismate babies (or, rather, we witness God's work of baptizing and chrismating babies) so that these babies are admitted into God's new world, new humankind, or the Church.



And how do you think that atheists are *only* intrinsically good? Talk about onesided!


THat's besides the point People are never born atheists. We were talking about a total absence of anything good in a naturally born man. That is a Heterodox teaching.


Then you add the Pelagian heresy that sinners are "absolutely capable of doing and choosing good", and "can by their own effort serve God and glorify him," and "very often do so." Anathema, anathema, one thousand anathemas! All the saints teach that grace is absolutely necessary for man to cooperate in salvation. Its impossible for man to please God merely by his own effort.


Again, correct me if I am wrong, but the Pelagian heresy is, "possere non peccare." I never said that I believe that, or that the Orthodox Church teaches that. It is impossible for a human being (or, rather, for a "human becoming," because Christ is the only real, complete, accomplished human "being") to live all life and not to sin. And yes, I agree with you that God's grace is absolutely necessary. What I disagree with is that this Grace falls on a completely dead human being and acts, works in this human being, making this human being acceptable to God. That is the Augustinian soteriology, which is the foundation of both "branches" of modern Protestant theology, Calvinist and Arminian. On the other hand, the Orthodox soteriology is that a man, being intrinsically good, is born into an ill world; he lives in this world and becomes ill, but there is still a lot of good in him, and this good cooperates with God's grace, so the man begins his "theosis," or path of salvation.

 

Well George, I really dont know what to say to you. I hope that you and all my detractors come to your senses.


Thank you for caring. I'll gladly accept corrections of all knowledgeable people.
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« Reply #81 on: November 02, 2007, 10:22:20 AM »

Disregard this.  I'm not feeding the troll.



Troll? Why this is the official position of the UUOC- the "Unabashedly Uncanonically Orthodox Church". Everyone knows that.  Cheesy
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« Reply #82 on: November 02, 2007, 10:29:10 AM »

good point, but i've found it to be very spiritually detrimental for me to scream at a wall, so to speak Smiley
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« Reply #83 on: November 02, 2007, 11:02:19 AM »

Disregard this.  I'm not feeding the troll.

Can the troll feed us?  It's been a while since I've had a troll stew.
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« Reply #84 on: November 02, 2007, 11:14:10 AM »

In all honesty, I don't think Pathofsolitude is a troll. On the Ukrainian forum "Maidan," I often read very similar posts of people who confess Eastern Rite Catholic faith. They also emphasize on the Augustinian "total depravity," and say that we, the Orthodox, should embrace this concept because "that's what the Eastern Church taught all along, not just the Roman Catholic Church."
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« Reply #85 on: November 02, 2007, 12:23:16 PM »

File std. response: of course Protestants are Christians.
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« Reply #86 on: November 02, 2007, 01:30:01 PM »

Unabashed uncanonically Orthodox  Wink
Oxymoron  To be Orthodox is to follow the canons, which is the definition of canonical.  To be uncanonical by not following the canons makes one of necessity NOT OrthodoxYou're either uncanonical or you're Orthodox, but you cannot be both.

As far as unabashed, I can't question that.
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« Reply #87 on: November 02, 2007, 04:13:21 PM »

This is heresy!! Orthodox theologians teach that everyone is born spiritually depraved.

Depraved and crippled, yes.  Totally devoid of the image of God so that we are completely incapable of any good work?  No; that latter stance is NOT what Orthodox theologians teach. 

Why do you think we baptize and chrismate babies? Whats the point if they already have the Holy Spirit?

They are not said to have the Holy Spirit at birth; they are given this at baptism/chrismation.  Our understanding of Ancestral Sin, as (I think) Heorhij put it, is that we are born mortal as a consequence of our first parents' separating themselves from the Source of their (and our) life.  Since, then, a newborn infant immediately bears the mortal image of the first Adam, s/he is in need of the image of the New Adam--Christ--an image given to them in baptism.  They are thus united to Christ and brought justified into a place where they can grow in theosis.

Nowhere in this idea, however, is the idea that a newborn infant is somehow held personally culpable for the guilt of Adam's sin.  Said infant simply bears the mark of mortality merely by existing...and such an existence "falls short of the glory of God," for it is something other than an enfleshed spirit, created in the image and after the likeness of God, living in perfect communion with Life Himself.

And how do you think that atheists are *only* intrinsically good? Talk about onesided!

He didn't say this.  He said there's good in them.  That's quite different than "only intrinsically good."  The atheist may have darkened his soul against God (who among us hasn't, and we're baptized Christians!), but even as an unregenerate, there still exists an image, albeit a blighted one, of our God in him.

Then you add the Pelagian heresy that sinners are "absolutely capable of doing and choosing good", and "can by their own effort serve God and glorify him," and "very often do so." Anathema, anathema, one thousand anathemas!

He didn't say this, either.  Man can choose to respond to the image of God that yet remains in him, yet the presence of this image is, in and of itself, an act of grace.

All the saints teach that grace is absolutely necessary for man to cooperate in salvation. Its impossible for man to please God merely by his own effort.

Agreed.  But Heorhij did not contradict this.
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« Reply #88 on: November 02, 2007, 06:40:51 PM »

Oxymoron  To be Orthodox is to follow the canons, which is the definition of canonical.  To be uncanonical by not following the canons makes one of necessity NOT OrthodoxYou're either uncanonical or your Orthodox, but you cannot be both.

According to the establishment, yes. But I am Disestablishmentarian Orthodox. Of course thats another oxymoron to you. I really dont want to debate my ecclesiastical situation. Thats not what this thread is about.
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« Reply #89 on: November 02, 2007, 06:57:11 PM »

According to the establishment, yes. But I am Disestablishmentarian Orthodox. Of course thats another oxymoron to you. I really dont want to debate my ecclesiastical situation. Thats not what this thread is about.
I think you'll find most here are antidisestablishmentarianists.

Thanks for giving a language teacher an excuse to use a really long word.
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« Reply #90 on: November 02, 2007, 07:01:04 PM »

George and David,

I am not saying that babies are guilty of Adam's sin. They only inherit the spiritual death of Adam. This idea is thoroughly Orthodox and is actually taught by nearly every Orthodox theologian I have ever read. Admittedly many theologians, however, dont want to call this "sin." But as I said earlier, the Greek "harmartia" only means "to miss the mark, fall short of the glory." Last time I heard, babies werent possessed by the divine glory, eh? Okay then. My conclusion is simply that, because of this depraved state, they are outside of the Kingdom until baptism, unless the Lord infuses the Holy Spirit apart from baptism as was the case with John the Baptist. This is what Orthodoxy teaches.

Nor am I saying that unredeemed man can do absolutely nothing good in the natural order. He can visit the sick and so on. The point is only that his naturally good works are not the least bit spiritually good before God. He cannot please God. This is because it does not come from the love of God which one can only have if God himself infuses that love into the soul by the Holy Spirit.

Anyways the problem is that my detractors have only been reading modern revisionist Orthodox theologians. If they would broaden their spectrum a bit they would see that I am simply repeating the position of historical Orthodoxy.

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« Reply #91 on: November 02, 2007, 11:09:48 PM »

According to the establishment, yes. But I am Disestablishmentarian Orthodox. Of course thats another oxymoron to you. I really dont want to debate my ecclesiastical situation. Thats not what this thread is about.
Yet, the credibility of your message has EVERYTHING to do with your ecclesiastical situation.  You don't get to decide on your own authority that you're Orthodox and we're not, not when St. Irenaeus of Lyon stated that communion with the visible Church is one sure mark of one's orthodoxy vs. heresy.  If the Church, which includes most of the posters on this forum, doesn't recognize you as a communicant in keeping with the canons, then your message means virtually nothing.  You might as well be a Protestant.
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« Reply #92 on: November 02, 2007, 11:19:17 PM »

Yet, the credibility of your message has EVERYTHING to do with your ecclesiastical situation.  You don't get to decide on your own authority that you're Orthodox and we're not, not when St. Irenaeus of Lyon stated that communion with the visible Church is one sure mark of one's orthodoxy vs. heresy.  If the Church, which includes most of the posters on this forum, doesn't recognize you as a communicant in keeping with the canons, then your message means virtually nothing.  You might as well be a Protestant.

Actually this forum was/is run by Roman Catholics who are considering conversion to Orthodoxy. And there seems to be a fair amount Papalists, Anglican highchurch type Protestants, and Orthodox catechumens who are not equipped to judge. Besides, most Orthodox people here seem to be the Ecumenical Patriarchate type, who are all about the Byzantine Establishment. By no means is this forum the test of whether I am in or outside the Church. That is quite a ridiculous idea.
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« Reply #93 on: November 02, 2007, 11:24:48 PM »

PoS I really don't understand why you are:
a. So aggresive.
b. Will not clearly answer questions put forward as other posters have of yours.
c. Realised that when you seem to have the right position and no one else at all agrees with you there might be something wrong (unless we are all going to hell and you and the Saints are not?)
and finally d. Why you can't see that your position does not sprout Christ centered love only your own pious opinion which only you believe is right?
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« Reply #94 on: November 02, 2007, 11:33:23 PM »

Actually this forum was/is run by Roman Catholics who are considering conversion to Orthodoxy.

Your knowledge of the owners and mods is somewhat dated. May one ask if you have read may postings of others here to learn something of the people who post? 

Quote

And there seems to be a fair amount Papalists, Anglican highchurch type Protestants, and Orthodox catechumens who are not equipped to judge. Besides, most Orthodox people here seem to be the Ecumenical Patriarchate type, who are all about the Byzantine Establishment. By no means is this forum the test of whether I am in or outside the Church. That is quite a ridiculous idea.

What is "the Church" to you, please? Could you more clearly define what things like "The Church" and "Genuine Christians" mean to you?

Where you are, there is the Church?

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« Reply #95 on: November 02, 2007, 11:43:05 PM »

Actually this forum was/is run by Roman Catholics who are considering conversion to Orthodoxy. And there seems to be a fair amount Papalists, Anglican highchurch type Protestants, and Orthodox catechumens who are not equipped to judge.
I'm a cradle Orthodox of 41 years. Am I equipped to judge? Oh, hang on, no I'm not, because I'm:
the Ecumenical Patriarchate type, who are all about the Byzantine Establishment.
So the only person who's opinion is of any value to deciding whether you are in the Church is you, who belongs to the "Ancient and Holy See of the Disestablishmentarian Orthodox".
Do you need some more Bacofoil?
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« Reply #96 on: November 02, 2007, 11:49:34 PM »

<snip> Disestablishmentarian Orthodox <snip>

 Cheesy Grin laugh Grin  "Disestablishmentarian Orthodox"  Lips Sealed  Lips Sealed  Cheesy Grin Cheesy

This must be one of the funniest things I have heard in a long time. Congratulations pathofsolitude you have made me do something I actually never thought I would do: make a post on this forum.

To continue the topic "Are Protestants Christians?". I have been brought up in the Evangelical Lutheran church of Finland. Christian faith has always been important to me but I do remember a specific time in my life when I actually decided "I will follow Jesus Christ". This soon led to problems, it appeared to me that the church I belonged to, or at least its bishops, was not interested in this (another topic).

While looking around for a spiritual home I have been attending a Pentecostal church for some years. Becoming a Pentecostal has never really been an option for me (yet another topic) but I did get to know many honest good Christians (as far as I knew).

During the last year I have been attending the Orthodox Church in my town, have become catechumen. And officially left the Lutheran church (and this is quite a deal for a Finnish citizen, has to do with taxes, population records and other stuff).

So the question "Are Protestants Christians?" makes me wonder: when did I become a Christian?

Was it from childhood due to the upbringing my parents gave me?
Was it when I decided that I will follow Christ?
Was it when I started attending the Orthodox Church?
Was it when I became a catechumen?
Was it when I officially left the Lutheran church?
Or...
Will it be when I officially enter the Orthodox Church (same thing with taxes and population records)
Will it be when I become chrismated?
Or will it be when I have killed my ego, crucified my body and am only living to serve God?

My priest has taught (I'm paraphrasing here so be kind) during catechism class that there are two kinds of Christians:
1. Christians who believes (all) the teachings of the Church. These are called Orthodox.
2. Christians who do not believe (all) the teachings of the Church. These are NOT called Orthodox.

These things are of course stupidly obvious. But I believe he told us this precisely so we would not pass judgment whether a Lutheran or a Pentecostal is Christian or not. He has also taught us that it is strictly forbidden for an Orthodox to say if another human will go to hell or not and this extends to all sorts of similar things. Of course I could have misunderstood completely and it might be completely acceptable to call "Disestablishmentarian Orthodox" "not Christian". Wink

The teaching of my Priest is also the opinion of my bishop, His Eminence Panteleimon of the Diocese of Oulu (otherwise His Eminence would give a whupping to my priest).

...And now you know why I have refrained from posting sooner. I do not know when to shut up.

Please have patience.
- Robert

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« Reply #97 on: November 02, 2007, 11:58:27 PM »

Robert that was a beautiful post and especially for a first one! This has opened my eyes to the definition of a Christian and I think everyone not just PoS and I thank you very much for it.
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« Reply #98 on: November 03, 2007, 12:11:32 AM »

Hmmm, the "Papalist" word...brings back fond memories  Wink

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« Reply #99 on: November 03, 2007, 01:09:41 AM »

Thats a great post by Robert.

Too many people these days hold to the "water makes the christian" heresy. A dear poster taught this earlier in the thread. I testify that bare water does absolutely nothing. Most Protestants and Roman Catholics get sprinkled but to no effect. And in many Eastern European countries now most people say they are "Orthodox" but dont really believe anything. However, even if they did believe in everything their church teaches, that still does not make them Christian! Even the devil believes it all. Most people were baptized into the Church as babies, brought up in the religious culture, and remain only externally observant. Thats the way it has been for thousands of years actually. In many states/millets by law everyone had to be baptized. But do you think most of them were seated in the heavenlies by living in the Spirit continually? Not by a long shot! Therefore the majority of them are not Christians.

Quote
So the question "Are Protestants Christians?" makes me wonder: when did I become a Christian?

Was it from childhood due to the upbringing my parents gave me?
Was it when I decided that I will follow Christ?
Was it when I started attending the Orthodox Church?
Was it when I became a catechumen?
Was it when I officially left the Lutheran church?
Or...
Will it be when I officially enter the Orthodox Church (same thing with taxes and population records)
Will it be when I become chrismated?
Or will it be when I have killed my ego, crucified my body and am only living to serve God?

Yeah. I would say that we become Christians when we receive the Holy Spirit. Thats it. "Christian" means "Anointed One." This is a mystical experience in which one enters the heavenly realm.

In response to the people who asked me my view of what the Church is- I say that the Church is everyone who has the Holy Spirit. The Church is the mystical body of Christ. Again, its not manmade Established State "churches", as the external structures are only the shell of the real thing. As to who I think is "in"- mostly Orthodox solitary walkers, monastics, clergy, and some devout lay people; some confused Roman Catholics; and possibly a few Protestants who dont feel comfortable in their religion. Everybody who prays continually is already in or will soon be in the Church.

pathofsolitude [not PoS thankyou]
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« Reply #100 on: November 03, 2007, 01:29:13 AM »

Are you actually listening to yourself? How can you congratulate Robert on a good post when your position is fundamentally the opposite.
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« Reply #101 on: November 03, 2007, 01:48:30 AM »

Are you actually listening to yourself? How can you congratulate Robert on a good post when your position is fundamentally the opposite.

Of course I only mean the part of his doubting [or seemingly doubting] that one is a Christian simply by virtue of external things such as Church membership. That was a great post for me because practically everyone else on the thread has more or less held to the "water makes the Christian" heresy. Obviously I did not mean any parts were great that are "opposite" of what I said. I am just rejoicing that, regardless of whether he thinks *I* am a Christian, he does not think everyone who calls himself a Christian actually is a Christian. That is a major step in the right direction.

Please I dont want to keep responding to these useless squibbles.
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« Reply #102 on: November 03, 2007, 01:54:18 AM »

Useless squabbles? Pathofsolitude when you come on to a forum make wild accusation call everyone heretics besides yourself how do you not expect people to react negatively.
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« Reply #103 on: November 03, 2007, 03:04:35 AM »

In response to the people who asked me my view of what the Church is- I say that the Church is everyone who has the Holy Spirit. The Church is the mystical body of Christ. Again, its not manmade Established State "churches", as the external structures are only the shell of the real thing. As to who I think is "in"- mostly Orthodox solitary walkers, monastics, clergy, and some devout lay people; some confused Roman Catholics; and possibly a few Protestants who dont feel comfortable in their religion. Everybody who prays continually is already in or will soon be in the Church.
You claim to be Orthodox, yet this "invisible church" ecclesiology is something only Protestants teach; this understanding of the Church is not at all Orthodox.  The Church is indeed the mystical body of Christ that transcends time and space as filled by the Holy Spirit, yet it is also an earthly institution with a hierarchical human authority structure and a history of ministry and interaction with the world.  You seem to want to define the church as something purely mystical, but, to be truly Orthodox, you cannot have this invisible church without also submitting to the human authority of the institutional, visible Church.  As long as you remain outside of the institutional Church, ruled in its local assembly by an Orthodox bishop, and manifesting its unity with Orthodox bishops around the world through common communion in the sacraments and Orthodox doctrine, you cannot rightly call yourself Orthodox.  Is this not what such luminaries as Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus of Lyon, and Cyprian of Carthage taught their flocks?  Search their writings and see if I don't speak truth.
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« Reply #104 on: November 03, 2007, 03:37:12 AM »

Useless squabbles? Pathofsolitude when you come on to a forum make wild accusation call everyone heretics besides yourself how do you not expect people to react negatively.

Whoa!! When did I call everyone else heretics? Obviously I dont think the Byzantines are heretics if I call them "Orthodox". Maybe its because you think I said that that you respond so negatively to everything I say.
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« Reply #105 on: November 03, 2007, 03:53:46 AM »

You claim to be Orthodox, yet this "invisible church" ecclesiology is something only Protestants teach; this understanding of the Church is not at all Orthodox.  The Church is indeed the mystical body of Christ that transcends time and space as filled by the Holy Spirit, yet it is also an earthly institution with a hierarchical human authority structure and a history of ministry and interaction with the world.  You seem to want to define the church as something purely mystical, but, to be truly Orthodox, you cannot have this invisible church without also submitting to the human authority of the institutional, visible Church.  As long as you remain outside of the institutional Church, ruled in its local assembly by an Orthodox bishop, and manifesting its unity with Orthodox bishops around the world through common communion in the sacraments and Orthodox doctrine, you cannot rightly call yourself Orthodox.  Is this not what such luminaries as Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus of Lyon, and Cyprian of Carthage taught their flocks?  Search their writings and see if I don't speak truth.

There is nothing "invisible" about it! I really dont know where you got that idea from. The Church is made up of humans and humans are very visible creatures. And, [maybe it was in the other thread going on right now,] I affirmed that bishops have authority over their own local community. In the time of Ignatius [110AD] there was at least one bishop in every town. This corresponds to the situation in many towns in America [like mine] where there is only one Orthodox church. The priest, to Ignatius and I, is basically their bishop. However, the Greek Archdiocese of which he is a member, does not claim any territorial authority. Therefore I am not bound to obey that group and am free to travel out of town to attend a different church- which is what I do.
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« Reply #106 on: November 03, 2007, 10:30:53 AM »

Therefore I am not bound to obey that group and am free to travel out of town to attend a different church- which is what I do.

But what kind of church is one question.  I don't think anyone here is disputing that in the US one may go to a parish in another town. (Indeed in much of this country that is necessary).  But if one attends a church then one might think that there is agreement with it's practices and tenets, and that is not a 'solitary' practice either, but one of community.

Ebor
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« Reply #107 on: November 03, 2007, 10:42:54 AM »

PoS I really don't understand why you are:
a. So aggresive.
b. Will not clearly answer questions put forward as other posters have of yours.
c. Realised that when you seem to have the right position and no one else at all agrees with you there might be something wrong (unless we are all going to hell and you and the Saints are not?)
and finally d. Why you can't see that your position does not sprout Christ centered love only your own pious opinion which only you believe is right?

Prodromas,

This is a rather common pattern with some 'Netizens as well as people in RL.  They make sweeping (and sometimes outrageous statements) with no support.  Their own opinions are, apparently, supposed to be accepted unquestioned by others,  They have special knowledge and those who do not agree with them are subject to derision and being patronized and discounted; sometimes they resort of name-calling as though that will somehow prove that their opinions are the One True and Only Way(tm).  They *don't* answer other posters questions (frankly it seems that sometimes they can't because they don't have any real evidence or support) but rather continue to puff the superiority of their opinions and often repeat certain phrases and portions as though repeating something will convince or make it true. 

Such people are "doing their part" to tell others that they are Wrong and must agree with them.  When such messages are not accepted, they can say it's all the other people's fault. But they feel assured in their own righteousness.   Undecided  "Cheap Righteousness".

Ebor
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« Reply #108 on: November 03, 2007, 10:58:33 AM »

I am Disestablishmentarian Orthodox.

Thank you for showing your true colours.  Not that you haven't already anyway.  You come on here saying half the world is going to hell (in this and your other thread where you claim that human society is controlled utterly by the devil), accusing others of heresy and behaving arrogantly, citing erroneus texts or taking Orthodox ones out of context.  Meanwhile, you  show no humility and do not think for a moment that you just might be wrong.  You loudly proclaim to know all about Orthodoxy, and then you show that you are not by disparaging the Church by calling it the "institutional" church of which you are happy to not be a member, etc. etc.  All signs that it is you who are the heretic, and no one else. 

I bear you no personal malilce, but as long as you hold to your position as a stalwart heretic, I will no longer respond to your posts, and I encourage everyone else here to do the same.
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« Reply #109 on: November 03, 2007, 11:03:57 AM »

Cheesy Grin laugh Grin  "Disestablishmentarian Orthodox"  Lips Sealed  Lips Sealed  Cheesy Grin Cheesy

This must be one of the funniest things I have heard in a long time. Congratulations pathofsolitude you have made me do something I actually never thought I would do: make a post on this forum.

To continue the topic "Are Protestants Christians?". I have been brought up in the Evangelical Lutheran church of Finland. Christian faith has always been important to me but I do remember a specific time in my life when I actually decided "I will follow Jesus Christ". This soon led to problems, it appeared to me that the church I belonged to, or at least its bishops, was not interested in this (another topic).

While looking around for a spiritual home I have been attending a Pentecostal church for some years. Becoming a Pentecostal has never really been an option for me (yet another topic) but I did get to know many honest good Christians (as far as I knew).

During the last year I have been attending the Orthodox Church in my town, have become catechumen. And officially left the Lutheran church (and this is quite a deal for a Finnish citizen, has to do with taxes, population records and other stuff).

So the question "Are Protestants Christians?" makes me wonder: when did I become a Christian?

Was it from childhood due to the upbringing my parents gave me?
Was it when I decided that I will follow Christ?
Was it when I started attending the Orthodox Church?
Was it when I became a catechumen?
Was it when I officially left the Lutheran church?
Or...
Will it be when I officially enter the Orthodox Church (same thing with taxes and population records)
Will it be when I become chrismated?
Or will it be when I have killed my ego, crucified my body and am only living to serve God?

My priest has taught (I'm paraphrasing here so be kind) during catechism class that there are two kinds of Christians:
1. Christians who believes (all) the teachings of the Church. These are called Orthodox.
2. Christians who do not believe (all) the teachings of the Church. These are NOT called Orthodox.

These things are of course stupidly obvious. But I believe he told us this precisely so we would not pass judgment whether a Lutheran or a Pentecostal is Christian or not. He has also taught us that it is strictly forbidden for an Orthodox to say if another human will go to hell or not and this extends to all sorts of similar things. Of course I could have misunderstood completely and it might be completely acceptable to call "Disestablishmentarian Orthodox" "not Christian". Wink

The teaching of my Priest is also the opinion of my bishop, His Eminence Panteleimon of the Diocese of Oulu (otherwise His Eminence would give a whupping to my priest).

...And now you know why I have refrained from posting sooner. I do not know when to shut up.

Please have patience.
- Robert

Great post Robert.  Thanks for sharing with us about your road to Orthodoxy and your other thoughts.   Welcome to the forum!   Smiley
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« Reply #110 on: November 03, 2007, 11:07:48 AM »

Depraved and crippled, yes. 

Hi David.  How are you?

Are you sure that you want to be saying that we are born depraved?  Maybe you could flesh this point out some more.  Thanks.
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« Reply #111 on: November 03, 2007, 02:24:26 PM »

The newbie reminds me of Matthew777...for some reason
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« Reply #112 on: November 03, 2007, 02:40:36 PM »

There is nothing "invisible" about it! I really dont know where you got that idea from. The Church is made up of humans and humans are very visible creatures.
You must not read your own posts, then.  I got that idea of which you speak from you.
In response to the people who asked me my view of what the Church is- I say that the Church is everyone who has the Holy Spirit. The Church is the mystical body of Christ. Again, its not manmade Established State "churches", as the external structures are only the shell of the real thing. As to who I think is "in"- mostly Orthodox solitary walkers, monastics, clergy, and some devout lay people; some confused Roman Catholics; and possibly a few Protestants who dont feel comfortable in their religion. Everybody who prays continually is already in or will soon be in the Church.
How are you NOT identifying the Church as purely an invisible reality with the above quote?

Quote
And, [maybe it was in the other thread going on right now,] I affirmed that bishops have authority over their own local community. In the time of Ignatius [110AD] there was at least one bishop in every town. This corresponds to the situation in many towns in America [like mine] where there is only one Orthodox church. The priest, to Ignatius and I, is basically their bishop. However, the Greek Archdiocese of which he is a member, does not claim any territorial authority.
The Greek Archdiocese claims no territorial authority?  That's news to me.  The GOA doesn't call itself the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for nothing.  This title is itself a claim to territorial authority.

Come to think of it, the Church has made adjustments to circumstances resulting from her rapid expansion during the time of the Byzantine empire by establishing bishops as rulers of dioceses (WITH territorial boundaries) and priests as rectors of parishes and vicars of their bishops--ultimately, the bishop and not each local priest is the ruler of every parish in his diocese--and you would set yourself up to judge this adaptation as uncanonical, because we no longer have a bishop in every city?  We do still have a bishop in every city; he rules vicariously through every priest to whom he has delegated his ruling authority, yet he is still the episcopos, or overseer.

Quote
Therefore I am not bound to obey that group and am free to travel out of town to attend a different church- which is what I do.
IOW, obedience to an authority outside yourself is not part of your vocabulary.  You're free to roll your own Christianity. Undecided
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« Reply #113 on: November 03, 2007, 02:42:23 PM »

Hi David.  How are you?

Doin' good.  Busy!

Are you sure that you want to be saying that we are born depraved?  Maybe you could flesh this point out some more.  Thanks.

Sure; both girls are down for a nap  Wink...

When I say "depraved" I don't mean we're devoid of the image of God, held guilty of Adam's sin and/or completely incapable of any good response towards God, a la total depravity and monergism.  What we are is, to quote West Side Story, "depraved on account'a we're deprived!"  We've been deprived of communion with God who is Life, so we're depraved b/c of the death that reigns in our fleshly members, ie our mortality.  We're like an apple that's been picked from a tree and is starting to experience rot.  Are we still recognizable for what we are (created in God's image)?  Yeah.  Are we what our Harvester wants us to be?   No; we're rotting and unfit for use, even though we're still technically "apples."

...and here the metaphor ends, but I hope you get the idea.  We're depraved and crippled--i.e., mortal and operating under the fear of said mortality--from birth, and we need union with our Life in order to restore the dead, rotten parts of ourselves to living, working order.
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« Reply #114 on: November 03, 2007, 02:44:59 PM »

Also...didn't Augustine talk about the one, institutional church in which the true, practicing members resided?

Sort of a "wheat growing with the tares" kind of thing?  I see no reason why admitting that we don't know who the saved are necessitates that we call something other than the visible, Orthodox Church, "The Church."

Just a thought.
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« Reply #115 on: November 03, 2007, 03:09:56 PM »

Thanks for clarifying things David.  I must say, though, that I don't like the word "depraved."

Was you last post meant for me?  I don't get it if it was, as I agree with the things you wrote here.  Maybe you can explain this also, if you get a chance. 

Thanks!
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« Reply #116 on: November 03, 2007, 03:22:17 PM »

Thanks for clarifying things David.  I must say, though, that I don't like the word "depraved."

Was you last post meant for me?  I don't get it if it was, as I agree with the things you wrote here.  Maybe you can explain this also, if you get a chance. 

Thanks!
If by "last post" you mean this one:
Also...didn't Augustine talk about the one, institutional church in which the true, practicing members resided?

Sort of a "wheat growing with the tares" kind of thing?  I see no reason why admitting that we don't know who the saved are necessitates that we call something other than the visible, Orthodox Church, "The Church."

Just a thought.
, I think this fits in more with what pathofsolitude has been preaching about an invisible church of the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #117 on: November 03, 2007, 04:42:11 PM »

Yeah; sorry.  That one was to jump in on what pathofsolitude was saying...

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« Reply #118 on: November 08, 2007, 03:13:47 PM »

Oxymoron  To be Orthodox is to follow the canons, which is the definition of canonical.  To be uncanonical by not following the canons makes one of necessity NOT OrthodoxYou're either uncanonical or your Orthodox, but you cannot be both.



Amen!

And that is why the OCA is not Orthodox for the simple reason it uses the Papal Menion. Of course there are lots of other reasons she outside of the Ark of Salvation too.

Theophan.
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« Reply #119 on: November 08, 2007, 03:18:20 PM »

In all honesty, I don't think Pathofsolitude is a troll. On the Ukrainian forum "Maidan," I often read very similar posts of people who confess Eastern Rite Catholic faith. They also emphasize on the Augustinian "total depravity," and say that we, the Orthodox, should embrace this concept because "that's what the Eastern Church taught all along, not just the Roman Catholic Church."

I dont think that Path of Solitude is defending the Calvinist heresy of total depravity.

I think he is defending the Orthodox truth of Original Sin. The fact that we are born with a guilty nature, Spiritually cut of from God and subject to death and decay.

Read the canons of the Council of Carthage.

Theophan.
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« Reply #120 on: November 08, 2007, 03:30:25 PM »

 police Troll alert!!!! police
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« Reply #121 on: November 08, 2007, 06:25:22 PM »

police Troll alert!!!! police

Yep.
Just ignore it.
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« Reply #122 on: November 11, 2007, 03:03:52 AM »

Yep.
Just ignore it.
Is Pathodsolitude and GOCTheophan the same poster on different computer addresses; or are they tag-teaming?
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« Reply #123 on: November 11, 2007, 08:47:20 AM »

Is Pathodsolitude and GOCTheophan the same poster on different computer addresses; or are they tag-teaming?

Funny.

GOCTheophan is in a traditionalist jurisdiction of canonical orthodoxy. I already admitted that I am contently uncanonically orthodox because, where I live, it is absolutely impossible to obey the canons as there are no legitimate bishops around. So I pass over the liberal "canonical" Greek parish in town and instead travel to an "uncanonical" parish that has the true Faith. In the view of GOCTheophan it looks like I am damned. I dont know. But I, at least, highly respect Theophan as a genuine Christian. This board could use more of those.

BrotherAidan, your remark is way out of line. Theophan and I are probably not even in the same country. I'm sure the moderators have the means to see that we are not the same people. Please dont suggest that about me, pathofsolitude and pathofsolitude alone, ever again. Thank you.
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« Reply #124 on: November 11, 2007, 08:52:48 AM »

MODERATION:
Well, this thread's well past it's expiry date, and seems to have nothing to do with anything.
I'm locking it.
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