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Author Topic: "I'm not Protestant - I'm just Christian"  (Read 8607 times) Average Rating: 0
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Elisha
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« on: November 18, 2007, 10:04:21 PM »

How many times have many of us heard that?

While _Seraphim_ and some others ask why is it hard for Protestants to become Orthodox, I think they are missing the point by painting with a broad brush as Keble/Ebor suggest.

For many:
1.  Yes, there is the big strange/unknown factor.
2.  Many feel "Home" already (i.e. not searching).
3.  ARE searching, but really don't know much about Orthodoxy if even it exists.
4.  Don't feel that they are Protestants - they're just "Christian" (as some of my relatives would say.

To be deliberately vague, I would say that many Protestants are unknowingly searching.

Discuss amongst yourselves.
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2007, 10:44:25 PM »

How many times have many of us heard that?

While _Seraphim_ and some others ask why is it hard for Protestants to become Orthodox, I think they are missing the point by painting with a broad brush as Keble/Ebor suggest.

For many:
1.  Yes, there is the big strange/unknown factor.
2.  Many feel "Home" already (i.e. not searching).
3.  ARE searching, but really don't know much about Orthodoxy if even it exists.
4.  Don't feel that they are Protestants - they're just "Christian" (as some of my relatives would say.

To be deliberately vague, I would say that many Protestants are unknowingly searching.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Unknowingly searching; I like the way you phrased that.  My relatives say they're just "Christian" as well.  Lot's of church hopping goes on with them, interspersed with non-church going times.  The common theme is that they are forever in search of some perfect church ideal.  I can only speak for myself, but it was when I began seeing that all of these 'just Christians' didn't believe the same things, well, it began to erode what little faith I had.  It quickly became a conscious search for the truth, and my, wasn't that a terribly depressing episode in my life!  It would have been far easier to stay above the surface issues, but I'm incapable of leaving things alone.
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2007, 11:50:28 PM »

Blessed Augustine writes that "our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee."  I believe that he is saying that all humanity is always on a journey.  For us Orthodox Christisans, we have to realize this all the more because though we have found the True Faith, we do not stand still but progress.  The Orthodox Church is both living and static.  all people are on the journey, whether they realize it or not and it is part of our duty, nay our commandment, to help those who are journeying, in as humbly and meek a way as possible, to come to the means to progress further than they have dreamed prior.
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2007, 08:45:39 AM »

Oh, I've heard it so many times... When I just arrived to the small Mississippi town where I currently live, I was almost immediately contacted by a local Church of Christ. They gave me their booklet, and one of the FIRST sentences there was, "we are not Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish - we are Christian." (There was no mentioning of Orthodox, of course.) Also, a number of times I heard from some people who even seem to have some education (professors), that "while Christians do this or that, Catholics do this or that," under "Christians" meaning, of course, Protestants. Smiley

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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2007, 10:24:43 AM »

Quote
I can only speak for myself, but it was when I began seeing that all of these 'just Christians' didn't believe the same things, well, it began to erode what little faith I had.  It quickly became a conscious search for the truth, and my, wasn't that a terribly depressing episode in my life!  It would have been far easier to stay above the surface issues, but I'm incapable of leaving things alone.

You're not alone. This above all things sent me home to Orthodoxy.

If I had a dollar for everytime I heard, I am just a Chiristian I would be blogging right now from my vacation home in the Grand Cayman. laugh
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2007, 02:29:36 AM »

I think that every heterodox Christian is a Catechumen of the Faith.

"Whenever an evangelical Protestant professes faith in the Trinity and in the Divine Manhood of Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, he is unknowingly confessing the Orthodox Faith!" - Clark Carlton

I have heard this phrase "I'm not Protestant - I'm just Christian" so many times, including from a friend to whom I loaned out my copy of "Becoming Orthodox" by Fr. Peter Gillquist to read over semester break. I have never met an ecclesiology as liberal as his.

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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2007, 02:43:38 AM »

How many times have many of us heard that?

While _Seraphim_ and some others ask why is it hard for Protestants to become Orthodox, I think they are missing the point by painting with a broad brush as Keble/Ebor suggest.

For many:
1.  Yes, there is the big strange/unknown factor.
2.  Many feel "Home" already (i.e. not searching).
3.  ARE searching, but really don't know much about Orthodoxy if even it exists.
4.  Don't feel that they are Protestants - they're just "Christian" (as some of my relatives would say.

To be deliberately vague, I would say that many Protestants are unknowingly searching.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

I'm not Orthodox, but I hear this often. Sometimes it gets to the point where I just let it go...
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2007, 09:10:21 AM »

Alexius

I do the same . . .  No use getting into an arguement, it would only alienate a non-Orthodox
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2007, 12:43:51 AM »

Alexius

I do the same . . .  No use getting into an arguement, it would only alienate a non-Orthodox

Exactly! Unfortunately, I can on occassion sound nasty even though it is just my passion and all I want is for them to come to the same realization as I have. This has happened during discussions with my mom...
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2007, 01:25:34 AM »

Well, by definition, in the West, if someone is not Roman Catholic or Orthodox, there is no other option -- they are Protestant by definition. Historically there is no getting around that. To actually be "just Christian" would be to be Catholic or Orthodox, by definition (in that none of their branches is truly catholic or universal).

Of course, there is the "little" debate between Orthodox and Catholic as to who is really just Christian. But protestants don't get to make that claim historically. They really need to understand this fact!
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2007, 04:36:02 PM »

...I can on occassion sound nasty even though it is just my passion and all I want is for them to come to the same realization as I have.


It is indeed hard to walk the fine line between lack of zeal and over-zealousness.  Wink
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2007, 04:37:55 PM »

Well, by definition, in the West, if someone is not Roman Catholic or Orthodox, there is no other option -- they are Protestant by definition. Historically there is no getting around that. To actually be "just Christian" would be to be Catholic or Orthodox, by definition (in that none of their branches is truly catholic or universal).

Of course, there is the "little" debate between Orthodox and Catholic as to who is really just Christian. But protestants don't get to make that claim historically. They really need to understand this fact!

The only thing I can imagine a Protestant saying in response to this is that they are not Protestant because Protestants follow man-made doctrines just like Orthodox and Catholics. Those who make such claims believe that they are the only ones who follow what the Bible (clearly) says...
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2007, 04:41:55 PM »


It is indeed hard to walk the fine line between lack of zeal and over-zealousness.  Wink

Amen! I pray that I can make a more calm and joyous presentation of Christianity in the East and the early Church...
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2007, 01:08:07 AM »

The only thing I can imagine a Protestant saying in response to this is that they are not Protestant because Protestants follow man-made doctrines just like Orthodox and Catholics. Those who make such claims believe that they are the only ones who follow what the Bible (clearly) says...
Those kind of people tend to be a bit whacko; if there is nothing you can say to them that can move them from their smug positions, then wipe the dust from your feet and move on.

Of course if they happen to be relatives or immediate neighbors it's not that easy.
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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2007, 02:03:48 PM »

If I may, one thing that this reminds me of is "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis. 
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2007, 03:38:55 PM »

I've lived in Georgia most of my life and have heard this statement probably thousands of times.  I must say, while I don't usually get caught up in the small stuff and in controversies, this statement of "I'm just Christian"  REALLY bothers me.  I find it terribly patronizing.  It implies that those of us who choose to live our lives by an established doctrine are NOT, in fact, Christian.  And when I say "established doctrine," I mean everything from Orthodox to Protestant.  It has a Pharisaic implication, as though we are so caught up in our doctrine that we forget Christ.  Personally, I find it to be a politically correct cop out. 

I have a cousin who says this.  Currently she attends an Episcopal church, but she can definitely be described as "searching."  She's not sure she belongs there or anywhere else in particular.  She asked me one time why she couldn't just be "Christian."  She couldn't find a church that teaches what she believes.  My response to this, and to most Protestants I have encountered that use this statement and that do a lot of church-hopping is as follows: 

Why are you looking for a church that proclaims what YOU believe?  Instead of subjecting God to YOUR will, and trying to bend scripture and the church to fit your worldview, shouldn't you be looking for a church that correctly proclaims God's message in all truthfulness?  Shouldn't you be looking for a church that teaches YOU about God, rather than YOU teaching it?  Wouldn't you want to be a member of a church that has a documented history, an established authority, and a full context in which to interpret the scripture, a church that knows what it believes, rather than a church who prides itself on being "just" anything?  After all, we don't say that Jesus is "just" Christ, we say that He IS Christ, no "just" about it!  Why would one, then, pride themselves on being "just" Christian?!

Feel free to agree or disagree.  I've lived in the Bible belt for such a long time... I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks about what I said.  I guess my response is also a comment on the question of why Protestants don't convert to Orthodoxy (which, I must say, is a little cocky on our part, to be asking that question to begin with).

Pardon the diatribe.   angel
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2007, 05:23:54 PM »

I've lived in Georgia most of my life and have heard this statement probably thousands of times.  I must say, while I don't usually get caught up in the small stuff and in controversies, this statement of "I'm just Christian"  REALLY bothers me.  I find it terribly patronizing.  It implies that those of us who choose to live our lives by an established doctrine are NOT, in fact, Christian.  And when I say "established doctrine," I mean everything from Orthodox to Protestant.  It has a Pharisaic implication, as though we are so caught up in our doctrine that we forget Christ.  Personally, I find it to be a politically correct cop out. 

I have a cousin who says this.  Currently she attends an Episcopal church, but she can definitely be described as "searching."  She's not sure she belongs there or anywhere else in particular.  She asked me one time why she couldn't just be "Christian."  She couldn't find a church that teaches what she believes.  My response to this, and to most Protestants I have encountered that use this statement and that do a lot of church-hopping is as follows: 

Why are you looking for a church that proclaims what YOU believe?  Instead of subjecting God to YOUR will, and trying to bend scripture and the church to fit your worldview, shouldn't you be looking for a church that correctly proclaims God's message in all truthfulness?  Shouldn't you be looking for a church that teaches YOU about God, rather than YOU teaching it?  Wouldn't you want to be a member of a church that has a documented history, an established authority, and a full context in which to interpret the scripture, a church that knows what it believes, rather than a church who prides itself on being "just" anything?  After all, we don't say that Jesus is "just" Christ, we say that He IS Christ, no "just" about it!  Why would one, then, pride themselves on being "just" Christian?!

Feel free to agree or disagree.  I've lived in the Bible belt for such a long time... I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks about what I said.  I guess my response is also a comment on the question of why Protestants don't convert to Orthodoxy (which, I must say, is a little cocky on our part, to be asking that question to begin with).

Pardon the diatribe.   angel

I tend to agree with your statement...
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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2007, 06:47:52 PM »

My guaranteed-to-annoy answer: anyone who passes judgment on one church and abandons it for another is a protestant.
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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2007, 08:51:36 PM »

Oh, I've heard it so many times... When I just arrived to the small Mississippi town where I currently live, I was almost immediately contacted by a local Church of Christ. They gave me their booklet, and one of the FIRST sentences there was, "we are not Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish - we are Christian." (There was no mentioning of Orthodox, of course.) Also, a number of times I heard from some people who even seem to have some education (professors), that "while Christians do this or that, Catholics do this or that," under "Christians" meaning, of course, Protestants. Smiley

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Just met someone who was for many years a "church of Christ" minister, now Orthodox.  He and his wife told me they find a LOT of their former parishoners in various Orthodox Chruches they visit.  "In other words," I said, "in the CHURCH OF CHRIST."

when asked if I go to a Bible believing church, I reply "I go to THE Bible believing Church."

I'm former Protestant, btw.  Wasn't looking for anything, resisted conversion attempts in the Latin High School I attended.  Just stumpled on Orthodoxy and eventually fell in.
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« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2007, 08:57:05 PM »

The only thing I can imagine a Protestant saying in response to this is that they are not Protestant because Protestants follow man-made doctrines just like Orthodox and Catholics. Those who make such claims believe that they are the only ones who follow what the Bible (clearly) says...

...and where does it state the table of contents?  The canon didn't just appear.  I love to see Protestants squirm with that one when they get surly.

What do you call a Protestant that studies history: a convert.
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« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2007, 09:38:23 PM »

GreekChef:  Dittos

We all have a good time answering this question and talking among ourselves; yet, most people who answer I  am "just" a Christian, could give diddlysquat about church history, authority, continuity, doctrine, ___________ fill in the blank.  It's "just" me and Jesus! angel
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« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2007, 12:35:49 PM »

...and where does it state the table of contents?  The canon didn't just appear.  I love to see Protestants squirm with that one when they get surly.

What do you call a Protestant that studies history: a convert.

 Roll Eyes Undecided

I study history and I am neither EO nor RC nor OO.  But then again, Anglicans are that 'via media' again.

I've seen that line before. catchy, but not necessarily applicable to real people.

With Respect,

Ebor
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« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2007, 01:03:52 AM »

I think for some people - like GreekChef's cousin - it is a plaintive cry "why can't we just be Christian?"

I think they are crying out for one Church, without realizing it and those people we can help to find the One True Church - Orthodoxy.

The other kind of person, who is "just Christian" is the kind aserb described. We have nothing to say to them because they likely don't want to listen.
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« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2007, 05:42:24 PM »

This whole idea of "I'm just Christian" is nothing more than moral relativism and post modernism disguised in sincere and faithful Christianity and Truth is the victim.
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« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2007, 07:59:43 PM »

Amongst the various protestant circles the terminology is quite effective at underscoring a congregations intent to be more after God and truth than man or tradition outside of the scope of biblical orthodoxy (note the use of the lower case o).

We, at Christway, often use a similar description. We consider ourselves to be Christians first and formost, biblical, even evangelical. Beyond that we do not specify in any official sense of the word. From our perspective such tends to be more divisive in some ways. It's not that we do not recognize the divisions among believers. It's that we are working at effecting more visible community and corpeal union despite minor differences.

I recently stated it this way to our local church. To the degree that "Baptist" is biblical we are and/or want to be Baptist. To the degree that "Pentecostal" is biblical we are and/or want to be Pentecostal. We just want to be everything the Bible calls us to be. Nothing more and nothing less.

That is, in my understanding, the very epitome and embodiment of the word "Christian."

I am first and above all, Christian. Plain and simple. I am proud to wear that name and find a special unifying factor among those who can embrace that over any differences that tend to categorize us distinctly one from the other.
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« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2007, 08:16:20 PM »

Grace and Peace Cleopas,

Your post reminds me of the exhortation our Apostle Paul once wrote in his first Epistle to the Corinthians... "I follow Paul", another, "I follow Apollos"; another "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ."

Is Christ divided?!?

We sure made shambles of that one didn't we...  Embarrassed

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« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2007, 08:33:15 PM »

Grace and Peace Cleopas,

Your post reminds me of the exhortation our Apostle Paul once wrote in his first Epistle to the Corinthians... "I follow Paul", another, "I follow Apollos"; another "I follow Cepheus"; still another, "I follow Christ."

Is Christ divided?!?

We sure made shambles of that one didn't we...  Embarrassed



Grace and Peace to you Likewise Ignatius.

Indeed we have. I understand that we are obligated to contend for the faith, to defend it, to stop the mouth's of gainsayers, etc. I also understand that we are to walk in the light as he is in the light, to grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord. Yet, it seems we have somewhere erred in our zealousness to do so and rather than defend the truth, we have divided it, obscured it, and instead of pursuing a greater and more perfect understanding have insisted that others be conformable to our notions of it and things related to it. By His grace, and the leading of His Spirit, we can and shall be guided into all truth.

Despite the current mess man has made of things, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His. Blessed be His name forever!
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« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2007, 12:07:13 AM »

tradition outside of the scope of biblical orthodoxy (note the use of the lower case o).
To be honest, I've never understood the mental gymnastics involved in this idea of "lower-case-o orthodoxy." It sounds like a conspiracy, as though people believed what is right in spite of supposed errors the Church taught, as though God would allow his Bride, his Body, to be destroyed.

This idea simply is not true. What is orthodox is Orthodox; the Orthodox Christian Church is not only biblically based, it is the very Church that we read about in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. Never have I heard so much Scripture in a service; never have I seen such vibrant relationships with Christ, or such an adherence to Truth. In fact, Truth is so enshrined in the Orthodox Christian Church that any belief that is at variance with her teachings can be deemed a falsehood, a lie.
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If I'm my own Pope then I claim infalliablity. Ha!

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« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2007, 04:22:06 AM »

To be honest, I've never understood the mental gymnastics involved in this idea of "lower-case-o orthodoxy." It sounds like a conspiracy, as though people believed what is right in spite of supposed errors the Church taught, as though God would allow his Bride, his Body, to be destroyed.

This idea simply is not true. What is orthodox is Orthodox; the Orthodox Christian Church is not only biblically based, it is the very Church that we read about in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. Never have I heard so much Scripture in a service; never have I seen such vibrant relationships with Christ, or such an adherence to Truth. In fact, Truth is so enshrined in the Orthodox Christian Church that any belief that is at variance with her teachings can be deemed a falsehood, a lie.

My apologies, brother. I simply wanted to make it clear that I was not intending to refer to your specific Church by my use of the term orthodox.

For me "orthodox" means whatever is the actual teaching and practice of Scripture or inline with Scripture.Whereas "Orthodox" refers specifically to a branch of Christianity at large.
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« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2007, 05:05:04 AM »

What is in your view a branch is in our view a tree....
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« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2007, 09:19:02 AM »

Cleopas: Welcome and please stay at this site and comment more. You see we Orthodox do not view ourselves as a denomination. That is an American invention. We are the church. Now before you think us pompous and triumphalist, you need merely to research church history to find out that what we are saying is true. I offer you the following quote:

"The Orthodox Church is the true church of God on earth and maintains the fullness of Christ's truth in continuity with the Church of the apostles. This awesome claim does not mean that Orthdox Christians have achieved perfection, for we have many shortcomings. Nor does it mean that the other Christian churches do not serve God's purpose positively, for it is not up to us to judge others but to live and proclaim the fullness of the truth. But it does mean that if a person carefully examines the history of Christianity he or she will soon discover that the Orthodox Church alone is in complete sacramental, doctrinal and canonical continuity with the ancient, undivided church as it is authoritatively expresses itself through the great ecumenical councils."

- Fr. Theodore Stylianopoulos
Professor of Theology and New Testament
Hellenic College
Brookline, MA

Peace
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« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2007, 09:40:22 AM »

Cleopas: Welcome and please stay at this site and comment more. You see we Orthodox do not view ourselves as a denomination. That is an American invention. We are the church. Now before you think us pompous and triumphalist, you need merely to research church history to find out that what we are saying is true. I offer you the following quote:

"The Orthodox Church is the true church of God on earth and maintains the fullness of Christ's truth in continuity with the Church of the apostles. This awesome claim does not mean that Orthdox Christians have achieved perfection, for we have many shortcomings. Nor does it mean that the other Christian churches do not serve God's purpose positively, for it is not up to us to judge others but to live and proclaim the fullness of the truth. But it does mean that if a person carefully examines the history of Christianity he or she will soon discover that the Orthodox Church alone is in complete sacramental, doctrinal and canonical continuity with the ancient, undivided church as it is authoritatively expresses itself through the great ecumenical councils."

- Fr. Theodore Stylianopoulos
Professor of Theology and New Testament
Hellenic College
Brookline, MA

Peace

Thank You. I think I shall, the Lord (and moderating staff) permitting.  Grin

I understand your view regarding the nature and identity of the church. I respect it. In fact you may be surprised to learn that I come from what would be considered a protestant pentecostal church that embraced an exclusive ecclisiology, believed themselves to be the restoration and embodiment of the true, NT church. It's the church I grew up in. I once firmly believed that to be the case and taught it. I have grown in my understanding of Scripture to the point I have outgrown the ideas held by my former church organization. Yet, because of it, I tend to relate better with the ecclisiology held by both Orthodox and Catholic adherents. Admittedly, it is not based on the same premise (i.e Apostolic succession, et al). But the basic concepts and polity are strikingly similar.

As stated elsewhere I believe in the unity of all believers in Christ -- regardless of organizational and ecclesiastical association. Yet, I don't think that excuses the evident divisions and differences so readily available among those called Christian. In fact I feel such a belief should call for and pursue more practical unity and union with other believers at large. That the world may believe.


Thank you again for your kind welcome and wishing of peace. May the Lord return as much, if not more, unto you.
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« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2007, 10:35:51 AM »

My apologies, brother. I simply wanted to make it clear that I was not intending to refer to your specific Church by my use of the term orthodox.

For me "orthodox" means whatever is the actual teaching and practice of Scripture or inline with Scripture.Whereas "Orthodox" refers specifically to a branch of Christianity at large.
No apology needed. Like I first said, it's great to have an evangelical on this forum. I also grew up in a church that believed herself to be the reincarnation of the NT Church. I left that church to find the actual NT church. It was Scripture that told me what the Church would look like, and I searched until I found the Church that met that description. That Church is the Orthodox Christian Church.

I did not intend to appear offended by your statement; I apologize if it sounded that way. Indeed, I admire your high opinion of Scripture; without Scripture I wonder if I would have found the Church. My point was, though, that one cannot use the word orthodox Christianity without referring to the Orthodox Christian Church. This is what I have become convinced of in my study of Scripture and my experience in the Church.
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« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2007, 11:24:37 AM »

Cleopas:

Before I returned to Orthodoxy I sojourned in the evangelical/charismatic camp and belonged to a similar church that believed it was the "restoration" of the New Testament church. Although I believe it made in roads in spirit, it did not do so in polity and high regard for the sacraments (mysteries as many Orthodox term them.) It was my stay in this church that sent me looking for the New Testament Church (took 15 years) and like y-man I found it in Orthodoxy. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, it was right where I left as a teenager, in my own back yard.  There's no place like home!  angel
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« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2007, 11:25:57 AM »

Cleopas:

P.S. Be nice to y-man, he may be suffering from lack of sleep since there is a new baby in his house.
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« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2007, 11:58:59 AM »

My point was, though, that one cannot use the word orthodox Christianity without referring to the Orthodox Christian Church.

Ahem...



  Wink

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« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2007, 04:08:33 PM »

laugh

Cleopas:

P.S. Be nice to y-man, he may be suffering from lack of sleep since there is a new baby in his house.
Thanks. It's true. Let this be an apology/excuse for any illogical or misspoken posts for the next couple of weeks.
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« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2007, 04:27:35 PM »

laugh
Thanks. It's true. Let this be an apology/excuse for any illogical or misspoken posts for the next couple of weeks.


I'm afraid my friend it is a valid excuse for years to come, indeed for the rest of your parental life.  Shocked  laugh

Congratulations to you and your wife. What a joy! I have three myself (so far).


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« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2007, 11:33:06 AM »

I hate to admit it, but the words in the subject line have come
out of my mouth.  Embarrassed   Here's what I was thinking:

Who cares about the differences among denominations (yes,
to me, at that time, Orthodoxy was to me a denomination)?
I don't understand them all, so it is easier to say that all
I am a Christian.  I know I love Christ, not so sure about which
denomination I should belong to.

Then, there is the subtext of being in a group goes against
the treasured American notion of individuality.  Being identified
with a group puts you in a box.  As an individual, you only have
to defend yourself.  But as a group, you have to defend the members
of a group--even if they're jerks!  So, to say I am a Christian
conveniently does not put one in any real group.

 
I also want to roll out the welcome wagon to Cleopas.
I post on a fundamentalist board as one of a handful
of pro-Orthodox posters.  So, I can relate, brother!

 
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« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2007, 12:20:34 PM »

My point was, though, that one cannot use the word orthodox Christianity without referring to the Orthodox Christian Church.

Along with the G.K. Chesterton there is: http://www.opc.org/
The Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Ebor
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« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2007, 07:28:47 PM »

Oh, people try, but they're wrong. Wrong, I tell you. Just wrong.  Wink Grin
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« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2008, 10:28:24 PM »

If I may, one thing that this reminds me of is "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis. 
Lewis insisted that you should take the Mere Christianity and join a denomination and make a stand! He believed you could not be just a Christan.
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« Reply #42 on: September 06, 2008, 01:16:28 PM »

*sigh* There is no such thing as "just a Christian"... there used to be when the Church was One but now when there are 30,000 denominations each believing different things... not so much.

Though, technically, we Orthodox can call ourselves "just Christians" since we are the Church that Christ started.
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« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2008, 01:30:07 PM »

Though, technically, we Orthodox can call ourselves "just Christians" since we are the Church that Christ started.

James N. will fit in nicely here, I think.
Welcome, James.
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« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2008, 09:01:53 PM »

*sigh* There is no such thing as "just a Christian"... there used to be when the Church was One but now when there are 30,000 denominations each believing different things... not so much.


I agree, though I suppose that some people just don't know Christian history and assume, incorrectly, that making an intellectual "decision for Christ" is what makes one a Christian; and I assume to some degree it does. I know quite a few of these sorts of Lone Ranger Christians. They don't want to come under the authority of any mainstream Protestant denomination and are mostly happy to read the bible "for themselves", interpreting it according to what they imagine is the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But if you have ever scanned a brochure from a Christian Bookstore, you will know the sort of thing they actually use; commentaries and writings which are often from conflicting sources. And yet, from such reading the Lone Ranger Christian forms a personal and ever-evolving set of doctrines. As their beliefs aren't really rooted in any solid tradition, they create a tradition in which they are their own infallable authority. Very few of them realise that they are creating an individual belief system that has no relation to traditional Christianity and are quite shocked to be questioned, because questioning their beliefs is, to them, like questioning the Holy Spirit.

Lord, have mercy on them and us all.
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