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Author Topic: Activity of God outside of Othodox churches  (Read 3056 times) Average Rating: 0
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mostlyharmless
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« on: January 11, 2008, 10:25:35 AM »

I would appreciate if a few Orthodox believers would give me their opinions on a problem I am having.  I have been been considering Orthodox doctrine and would like to hear what peoples opinions are about the activity of God in other churches.  A few weeks ago I was talking with a Greek Orthodox priest about this and I brought up some personal experiences.  Basically I know some in my family who had prophecies given to them in a way that seemed incomprehensible that it would be just coincidental, and in addition it came true.  Now the priest seemed to think that true prophecy could not exist outside of the Orthodox church, and as such it would not be from God.  Is this the standard view of such things within Orthodoxy?

Personally I could not agree because when I read Isaiah it seems that God claims to be the only one who can truly predict the future and even seems to go so far as to say he frustrates those who falsely prophecy.   See Isaiah 41:21-24, Isaiah 44:7, Isaiah 44:25.

Oh and hi to George Arsenios if he reads this.  I look forward to seeing you back at theologyweb, been missing your comments.
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2008, 10:52:50 AM »

God can act and appear to anyone he wants. The problem is, outside of his Church, it is difficult to discern whether the prophecy or vision is really from him, from the mind, or from Satan. Standard discernment applies: did the vision or prophecy spark repentance and fear of God? It has a good chance of being true. But does this produce pride in the person? Then maybe it was false. Caution is necessary.
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2008, 11:13:41 AM »

Quote
"The problem is, outside of his Church, it is difficult to discern whether the prophecy or vision is really from him, from the mind, or from Satan"
 

I agree with this entirely given my long experience of listening to people claim to speak for God and then conveniently sweep the results under the carpet, but in this case it was something that in hindsight confirmed choices made about how to serve God, thought only in hindsight (14 years later).

So if "God can act and appear to anyone he wants" does this mean you would be happy to agree that on occasions (or very rarely, pick whatever you want) God does exercise his power in miraculous ways in other churches?

Modified this only to correct the quote so it appears separate.  --EofK
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 01:27:10 PM by EofK » Logged
Amdetsion
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2008, 12:12:52 PM »

"The problem is, outside of his Church, it is difficult to discern whether the prophecy or vision is really from him, from the mind, or from Satan"  I agree with this entirely given my long experience of listening to people claim to speak for God and then conveniently sweep the results under the carpet, but in this case it was something that in hindsight confirmed choices made about how to serve God, thought only in hindsight (14 years later).

So if "God can act and appear to anyone he wants" does this mean you would be happy to agree that on occasions (or very rarely, pick whatever you want) God does exercise his power in miraculous ways in other churches?


I think you need to experience more of the orthodox faith before taking on this complex issue.

In orthodoxy there are no "churches" on earth.

There is only The Church.

The Church is One, Holy Universal and Apostolic.

That is the whole story.

All the "churches" you may here of is a problem that 'man' has made for himself. God did not establish "churches" God established 'The Church'.

Man established "churches".

Man has confused himself to the point that he is blind to his own ignorance.

Man believes he has the truth but does not see that the truth is absolute and unyielding..it perserveres anything and everything. The truth cannot be divided across myriad demominations and religious concepts, precepts etc.such as baptist, methodist, episcopal, EO, OO, RC etc..etc.. these are the results of mans blind attempt at trying to control his world even The Church.

The truth however is not at our reach; we are at its mercy.

The Church is the repository of absolute truth. Christ is the truth. Christ said that He and the Church are one.
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2008, 03:13:49 PM »

I hope and pray that there is salvation outside of Orthodoxy, But I don't know. Cry
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2008, 04:06:04 PM »

I hope and pray that there is salvation outside of Orthodoxy, But I don't know. Cry

I would go so far as to say that I couldn't imagine that there wasn't salvation outside of Orthodoxy. It's inconceivable to me that God doesn't work and act outside the Church.
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2008, 08:31:50 PM »

Quote
I think you need to experience more of the orthodox faith before taking on this complex issue.

In orthodoxy there are no "churches" on earth.

There is only The Church.

The Church is One, Holy Universal and Apostolic.

That is the whole story.

All the "churches" you may here of is a problem that 'man' has made for himself. God did not establish "churches" God established 'The Church'.

Man established "churches".

Man has confused himself to the point that he is blind to his own ignorance.

Man believes he has the truth but does not see that the truth is absolute and unyielding..it perserveres anything and everything. The truth cannot be divided across myriad demominations and religious concepts, precepts etc.such as baptist, methodist, episcopal, EO, OO, RC etc..etc.. these are the results of mans blind attempt at trying to control his world even The Church.

The truth however is not at our reach; we are at its mercy.

The Church is the repository of absolute truth. Christ is the truth. Christ said that He and the Church are one.

I am well aware that this is the way that Orthodox view churches and I'm not here to argue about it, because in many ways I agree.  I have always been troubled by the divisions within protestant belief and their inability to agree on doctrine.  But I am trying to match my experience of God with Orthodox doctrine.

I am not interested in arguing about salvation of those outside the Orthodox church as I am well aware of the standard view of the Orthodox church on this.  I do want to know if Orthodox Christians believe that God does operate with his power on some occasions in these other schismatic churches (hopefully that satisfies your definition of other churches).  Why?  Because that is my experience of reality outside of the Orthodox church.  And as much as I like the Orthodox church I struggle with the idea of joining or affirming a doctrine that doesn't match reality as I know it.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 08:37:17 PM by mostlyharmless » Logged
ialmisry
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2008, 08:56:06 PM »

Mark 9:38 John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40 “For he who is not against us is for us. 41 “For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward

Acts 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12 insomuch that unto the sick were carried away from his body handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out. 13 But certain also of the strolling Jews, exorcists, took upon them to name over them which had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, a chief priest, which did this. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said unto them, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and mastered both of them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, that dwelt at Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 Many also of them that had believed came, confessing, and declaring their deeds. 19 And not a few of them that practised curious arts brought their books together, and burned them in the sight of all: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So mightily grew the word of the Lord and prevailed.
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2008, 09:30:02 PM »

Thankyou Ialmisry, it is good to be reminded of those two passages.
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Amdetsion
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2008, 12:35:51 PM »


 I know it.


Case closed!

My son if you know already you are far more advance than any of us here on this Forum. You are more advanced than our Holy Fathers.

Orthodox Christians are blind. WE KNOW nothing.

WE are lead by the light of Christ. He is the way, the truth, the light. No man will come to God but through Him (Christ).

Sadly what you "know" and I know is irrelevant.



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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2008, 01:14:17 PM »

Mark 9:38 John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40 “For he who is not against us is for us. 41 “For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward

Acts 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12 insomuch that unto the sick were carried away from his body handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out. 13 But certain also of the strolling Jews, exorcists, took upon them to name over them which had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, a chief priest, which did this. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said unto them, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and mastered both of them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, that dwelt at Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 Many also of them that had believed came, confessing, and declaring their deeds. 19 And not a few of them that practised curious arts brought their books together, and burned them in the sight of all: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So mightily grew the word of the Lord and prevailed.

Good reading!

This shows the fact that we are One Church with One Truth and One Faith.

Outside this "oneness" there is blessings from God and cursing since the "faith" is not sound. Each person uses His name in his own way; each man with his own knowledge and faith. Thus one man may recieve a blessing and one a curse for using the same name of God in His Son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Those who are within the "oneness" which is His Holy Church there is potection and sancturary from such variation which misguides the faith and leads to error and destruction. So it is not so much that people are out of Gods grace who are outside the ancient and Holy Church. God has shined His grace on the whole world. No man can control the area that inlcudes God' grace. The Holy Church however; do to Gods grace keeps us sure and whole in One Faith in Him which protects us from error caused by temptation... for He leads His Church and He will not permit temptation to take hold of His Church. His Church is protected even from the gates of hell. It is temptation that divides us, confuses us,... kills us. It is a deadly poison because it puts our will against His will. WE CAN NOT KNOW...ONLY GOD KNOWS.

So in the Holy Church is protection from sin brought by our desire to seek out for ourselves what WE think is right which is a primal instinct of man and which is the by product of temptation which results in our destruction. This does mean those who are in the curch does not sin; we do sin; we all sin. The Holy Church has the power to protect us from the deadly results of sin which is a cursed life and spiritual destruction.



« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 01:15:15 PM by Amdetsion » Logged

"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2008, 02:50:44 AM »

I would go so far as to say that I couldn't imagine that there wasn't salvation outside of Orthodoxy. It's inconceivable to me that God doesn't work and act outside the Church.
Always bear in mind, that only God knows the hearts of men and that it is He, not us, who judges.
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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2008, 01:28:17 AM »

God can do anything, we know nothing about it.

But I will testify to this: I believe the Holy Spirit drew me to the Holy Orthodox church...while I was usually fighting it and often fearing it.

To me, if I am not mistaken, THAT was a miracle of God at work outside of the church.

God can do anything.
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2008, 01:55:15 AM »

Always bear in mind, that only God knows the hearts of men and that it is He, not us, who judges.

I would agree, wholeheartedly, with that.  Smiley
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Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
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