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Author Topic: Arguments against Orthodoxy, please disprove!  (Read 7153 times) Average Rating: 0
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benbriggs
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« on: January 11, 2008, 12:22:07 PM »

Greetings,

I'm in a search for a true Christian faith and that search has led me to come across Orthodox Christianity. If you could please disprove these arguments listed in the link below, you will put a lot in my mind at ease. Thank you!

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Russian_Orthodox/orthodox_idolatry.htm
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2008, 12:25:34 PM »

ROFL!  Cheesy

I'll let others handle this situation...it's not the first time this bizarro site has been referenced here at OC.net!

I once emailed this link to my youth advisors to let them know the huge amount of disinformation out there about the Body of Christ, to help them understand what many of our kids are subjected to in their schools. Every one was shocked that this type of thinking is still out there.
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2008, 12:38:51 PM »

You've seriously got to be kidding me.... The first tip off that this is a bogus web site is that the person obviously doesn't know a priest from a bishop. If you can't tell the difference, you really have no business trying to attack a religion.

-Nick
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2008, 12:50:33 PM »


LOL!  What a picture...

I remember this fellow who attended an apostolic church used to quote that site like Scriptue to prove the evils of Roman Catholicism.

I had never seen that exact page, the Phallus worship was an interesting touch.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2008, 12:51:17 PM »

Ben,

There are a lot of very serious posters here that have a very broad knowledge of Orthodox Christianity and I'm sure could offer a lot of help to you or any others with respect to our faith.  However, if it is serious answers that you seek, you must start with serious questions.

The website you linked to is comedy more than reality.

First off, it appears as though the creator doesn't understand that there is a difference between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy (they are two separate and distinct religions).

Also, I see a bunch of photographs with no explanation (which Church, when taken, under what circumstances) etc...

I think you and I can both agree that if I dressed up in a police uniform and then proceed to take some pictures with a nicely groomed poodle, it might look pretty bad, no?  Everything needs to be contextualized.

My belief is that you are probably just trolling (since this is your one and only post), but if you are looking for serious answer, start by amending your question.

Some things you have asked can be answered (on your own) without much work (ie: veneration vs. worship).  There will be many here willing to help, but not if you're trolling.
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2008, 12:56:01 PM »

Greetings,

I'm in a search for a true Christian faith and that search has led me to come across Orthodox Christianity. If you could please disprove these arguments listed in the link below, you will put a lot in my mind at ease. Thank you!

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Russian_Orthodox/orthodox_idolatry.htm

Honestly, these folks are pathetic. I feel sorry for them.  It seems they are too wrapped up in their own hate for anything Catholic.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 12:56:42 PM by JoeS » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2008, 01:14:35 PM »

Greetings,

I'm in a search for a true Christian faith and that search has led me to come across Orthodox Christianity. If you could please disprove these arguments listed in the link below, you will put a lot in my mind at ease. Thank you!

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Russian_Orthodox/orthodox_idolatry.htm

I am no expert on Orthodox Theology but it would be safe to say that Orthodox Chrisitanity was here long before Freemasonry.  I would conclude that the Freemasons have borrowed symbols from the Orthodox Christians and not the other way around.

In fact it is my understanding that the Orthodox Chruch is not a supportor of Freemasonry.  In fact you'll find those affilated with freemasonry are those who are Prostant Christians.

Also what in particular is an issue for you on that site.
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2008, 04:18:44 PM »

LOL - I almost fell off my chair laughing!
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2008, 04:32:02 PM »

Hello everyone,

I am not trying to "troll" and I, in no way was attempting to be funny. Protestants truly believe that common practices by Catholics and Orthodox Christian are anti-Christian. But to make my questions more specific...

1) What is the explanation behind the skull and bones at the bottom of the cross in the pictures on that link?

2) What is the Orthodox view of Matthew 6:7 about vain repetitions in prayer?

3) 1 Tim 2:5 - about one Mediator?

4) In this link http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Russian_Orthodox/ro-idolatry.htm, if you scroll down to a picture of the "Crazy Patriarch" and the dragons on his staff, also the pheonix on his head covering?

But just to clarify, I am in no way trying to be humorous or trying to show you that you're wrong. I want to understand what the correct way to follow the Lord and I'm investigating Orthodoxy to see if it is the correct.

Please help me see, cause I am honestly searching.

Thank you,
Ben
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2008, 04:40:00 PM »

I find it both interesting and annoying that Christians no longer understand their own traditional symbolism. Ignorance is perpetuated by sites such as that under question.

Off the top of my head; The all seeing eye has absolutely nothing to do with satan. It is the eye of God the Father, and is based on a passage in Psalm 33:18; Behold the Eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy. The eye is displayed within an equilateral triangle; the trinitarian implications being obvious. The rays of light that radiate from this symbol represent God's holiness.
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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2008, 04:48:07 PM »

1) What is the explanation behind the skull and bones at the bottom of the cross in the pictures on that link?

The skull and bones at the bottom of the cross is a Christian metaphor for death, over which Christ is the Victor.



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« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2008, 04:50:36 PM »

1) What is the explanation behind the skull and bones at the bottom of the cross in the pictures on that link?

This one's easy.  Golgotha, where Christ was crucified, means "the place of the skull."  It received that name as it is traditionally described as being the burial site of Adam.  On my baptismal cross, beside the skull and bones are letters which are an abbreviation for the phrase "the place of the skull has become Paradise," in reference to the crucifixion.
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« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2008, 04:58:13 PM »

1) What is the explanation behind the skull and bones at the bottom of the cross in the pictures on that link?


I am responding only to this area, as I can not bring that site up on my computer to review all other issues.  I assume that you are referring to the Orthodox Icon of the Crucifixion in which at the feet of Cross is a cave in which a skull and bones may be seen.  The Life-giving  precious blood of Our Savior Jesus Christ is dripping down onto them.  In Orthodox Iconography this represents the bone of Adam,as a represenative of mankind being covered by blood of Christ. It is e symbolic of the salvation thru the blood of Our Lord that is offered to mankind  to provide their forgiveness of their sins.  You may find a copy of this icon on the following website:
http://www.goarch.org/en/resources/clipart/icondetail.asp?i=47&c=LifeOfChrist&r=crucifixion3

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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2008, 04:58:51 PM »

4) In this link http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Russian_Orthodox/ro-idolatry.htm, if you scroll down to a picture of the "Crazy Patriarch" and the dragons on his staff, also the pheonix on his head covering?

In Eastern Orthodoxy, the Bishop's staff is surmounted by two snakes. These are positioned to look at the cross between them. The snakes represent the bronze serpents fashioned by Moses in the wilderness (Numbers 21:9) in which the Holy Fathers saw the foreshadowing or type of the Cross of Christ.

The Pheonix is an ancient Christian metaphor for the Resurrection.
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2008, 05:13:00 PM »

4) In this link http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Russian_Orthodox/ro-idolatry.htm, if you scroll down to a picture of the "Crazy Patriarch" and the dragons on his staff, also the pheonix on his head covering?

That "Crazy Patriarch" is my Patriarch (Pavle - Paul). The "phoenix" on his crown is nothing of the sort, it is the two-headed eagle of Byzantine which is (today) a part of the Serbian Coat of Arms (looking East and West).  As for the "dragons on his staff"... I'm not sure if they are dragons, or if that is even his staff and his hand (tough to tell from that picture).

You might want to ask Serb1389, he actually knows the Patriarch, so he could respond more appropriately.
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2008, 05:19:06 PM »

I believe in Freedom of Speech.  I also believe that the creator of this web site is woefully ignorant. Also, Ben, not all Protestants think of their Catholic and Orthodox brethern as anti-Christian.
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2008, 07:02:50 PM »

Greetings,

I'm in a search for a true Christian faith and that search has led me to come across Orthodox Christianity. If you could please disprove these arguments listed in the link below, you will put a lot in my mind at ease. Thank you!

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Russian_Orthodox/orthodox_idolatry.htm
Dear Ben,

To be honest I did not see any arguments on that page -just a lot of photographs.

I would not even try to answer that man since I would say he is walking a knife's edge psychologically.  Until he has some psychological help and regains some mental health and balance any arguing with him would merely damage him further.

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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2008, 07:24:50 PM »

Quote
2) What is the Orthodox view of Matthew 6:7 about vain repetitions in prayer?

Did not Lord Jesus also speak of a woman who kept knocking at a judge's door who honoured neither God nor man, but that judge heard?  Did He also admonish us not to give up? 

And also, St. Paul tells us to pray without ceasing.  What of that?

In all, God sees the heart, and vain repetitions are of those who "think they will be heard for their many words".  Those who are sincere in their prayers and make the repetitions, but only those who think they can say a bunch of words several times and that'll be that.

I hope that gives some perspective.

Peace.

Pray for me , a sinner.
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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2008, 07:51:27 PM »

1) What is the explanation behind the skull and bones at the bottom of the cross in the pictures on that link?
Don't you read your bible?
" And they brought him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take." (Mark 15:22-25)

2) What is the Orthodox view of Matthew 6:7 about vain repetitions in prayer?
The word is "babble" (unless you're one of those idiots who thinks the Bible was originally written in English.)

3) 1 Tim 2:5 - about one Mediator?
That's right.

4) In this link http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Russian_Orthodox/ro-idolatry.htm, if you scroll down to a picture of the "Crazy Patriarch" and the dragons on his staff, also the pheonix on his head covering?
Don't you recognise bronze serpents or the double headed eagle of the Golden Horn when you see them?
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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2008, 09:34:06 PM »

Hi Ben,

Clearly the people who operate the site you have referenced have no knowledge of Christian symbolism. Here are some sites to help you to learn about it, if you are interested.

http://www.gocek.org/christiansymbols/

http://catholic-resources.org/Art/Koch-ChristianSymbols.htm

http://wegast.home.att.net/symbols/

http://www.christiansymbols.net/index.php

http://www.symbols.net/christian/

All the best in your search for answers.
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« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2008, 11:13:36 PM »

Ben,

IT can be quite easy to be charged up when seeing such bull$#@! as what that website had.  Frankly, there is nothting to refute, becuase the person who created it has no arguments, only reckless supposition to those who teach differently from him.  I was laughing while I was reading it scrolling down.  My advice, ignore it.  I think this person is begging for people to email him and refute him so that he can get some meaning into his life.  Don't worry about the charges he levels; they're baseless and stupid and ignorant just like the guy who created that website.
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« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2008, 11:30:18 PM »

Honestly, these folks are pathetic. I feel sorry for them.  It seems they are too wrapped up in their own hate for anything Catholic.
Or anything vaguely similar to.


What I always found funny, was a picture of a bishop (may have been a patriarch) holding his staff with the snakes on it.  The site (may have been this one) said something like "Bishop summoning evil snakes from hell!" when in reality that particular staff is very, what Protestants would call, "Biblical".  At some point in Exodus, Moses is commanded by God to take a snake and nail it to a wooden board for all to see.  Something like that.


Anyone that goes that out of their way to do nothing by belittle, insult and berate another faith of any sort does not deserve the time of day.  Cult-like really.
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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2008, 10:34:42 AM »

Ben,

I just went back to this guy's website again and went to the main page.  This guy also believes that 9/11 was caused by the U.S. government.  He has a lot of links to conspiracy theories.  So the guy is insane.  Pay no attention to anything there.  It's totally not worth it.
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« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2008, 11:15:57 AM »

My question about the "on Mediator" is with confession. If Jesus is the one Mediator between God the Father and ourselves, why should we confess our sins and receive penance from a priest? Shouldn't we ask for forgiveness directly from Jesus?

As for my other questions, I really appreciate the responses and links. I'm gonna spend some time reading through the links. This is a big time for me, because there is a lot of pressure around me to go against Orthodoxy and towards Charismatic Protestantism.

I was raised Catholic, and when I was a senior in high school (shortly before I met my wife [who's family is Charismatic)], I started attending a Fundamental Baptist Church with some friends from school. So to me, even though its not the same, Orthodoxy is more familiar to me and it makes more sense on some issues that made me stay away from Catholicism [like papal infallibility (primacy makes a lot more sense)].

I want to believe in Orthodoxy, but I need to be sure, cause I've been steeped in another mindset for almost 5 years. I'm sure I'll have a bunch of more questions, but I like how active this forum is and I'll start new topics with my questions.

Thank you again for your responses!

Ben

P.S. Can anyone recommend any Early Church Authors that support the Orthodox claims?
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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2008, 12:07:59 PM »

My question about the "on Mediator" is with confession. If Jesus is the one Mediator between God the Father and ourselves, why should we confess our sins and receive penance from a priest? Shouldn't we ask for forgiveness directly from Jesus?


You are probably use to the RC view of penance. Penance in Orthodoxy is different. In the past when I have confessed, my priest faces me to the Icon of Jesus on the alter. We confess our sins to Christ and not the Priest. The Priest is a witness and Penance is medicine for our sins. What is medicine? Lets say you robbed money from a friend. The Priest or spiritual adviser can give you a penance to donate fund to a charity. The penance helps work you through your attachment of a sin you have committed. It's not meant as a slap on the hand or a form of punishment. The penance helps restore you to who you were before the committed sin.
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« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2008, 02:06:00 PM »

Ben, your questions are serious. Many on these boards must be so much stronger in faith than I am, to be able to laugh at the contents of this site, but I found it deplorably slanderous, which is a sin placed among the great sins of the Holy Scriptures. I might be too new to Orthodoxy to do the best job of answering your question, but being that I have been a minister of the Gospel for many years within the nondenominational baptists and charismatic parts of the Church in America, maybe I can offer some minor guidance to you to help a bit on your journey.

I did notice the site administrator also took swipes at 50,000 baptists and also Billy Graham (http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/billy_graham_exposed.htm ), so it does seem the author is intent on attacking many who are called Christians besides those of the ancient apostolic Orthodox Church of Antioch, Corinth, Phillipi, and all members of the One body of Christ in Heaven and on earth. I hope the website author repents before death, or He will find shock of Christian reality on the other side of death, when He sees believers reverentially honoring those whom Christ honored, such as the one that "for all generations will be called blessed", the one who in Luke 1:41-44 is called The Mother of God, by a holy woman filled with the Holy Spirit, even while Jesus was still in her womb, the Theotokos, The God Bearer. She called on Jesus as God her Savior, so according to the Orthodox Faith, the Theotokos is the humble woman of God who has been exalted to be The Holy Temple of the Living God as well as holds a special place in the Eternal Plan of God that no other human ever has. So, Orthodox Christians are called to honor The Theotokos, Mary, the Mother of God, in one sense that she is the God bearer and the Holy Temple of the Living God, who humbly received God Her Savior into her life and womb (as no other human ever has). It is not because an Orthodox ever follows a blasphemous quadrinity of Father, Son, Holy Spirit and (God-forbid) Mary, as the site tries to slanderously accuse the humble believers following Christ our God. There is no room within Orthodox and original Christian faith of the early church for anyone to make Mary or any other saint an idol equal to God, in any shape or form, and what I remember of reading the wonderful writings from the 7th ecumenical council, by St. John of Damascus, he clearly states how important it is that Christians flee from idolatry, while embracing the reality of Hebrews 11 and 12 through holy represenations (icons), so we never forget that we have a great cloud of witnesses before God and those holy ones who have gone before us, those who are now in the presence of God, worshipping Him, and enjoying the wonderful eternal blessings of His Love, Light and Truth. Godly believers in the Eternal Presence of God, where Perfection reigns, are remembered through holy representations, the icons, and help the faithful to keep the faith as they have, as well as ask Godly believers to intercede on their behalf while in God's Presence. This can only be done because of the One Mediator between God and man who gave His life as a ransom for many. There is no other Mediator like Jesus, cause no one else delivered us from death by His Resurrection and No one else is God The Son. In an evangelical mind, the word mediator and intercessor should be understood interchangeably when they apply, but never is the One Mediator's Perfect work of God through Christ our LORD "replaced" by an interecessory prayer request to any of His Saints, who have also been made perfect by Christ's Perfect Mediation as their Savior.

Ben, I have been preaching what I thought was a Bible-based message for almost 23 years of my Christian walk, in various nondenominational, southern baptist, reformed and charismatic churches. Without knowing it, I had been heavily exposed and influenced often by the writings of Lewis Sperry Chafer, Matthew Henry, Kenneth Wuest, Moody Bible Institute, Dallas Theological Seminary, Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel, Chuck Swindoll, Charles Stanley, Charles Spurgeon, G Campbell Morgan, Michael Horton, JI Packer, Francis Schaeffer, and many other popular Christian teachers and authors influencing the way American nonOrthodox often interpret the Bible. In my 3 years studying within a nondenominational seminary, mostly influenced by Lewis Sperry Chafer and 100s of other modern evangelical leaders of the last 200 years, I had never been told that the apostles had personally trained pastors to take charge of protecting the Church against the evil one, and avoiding "private interpretation" of the Bible, by passing along correct understanding of the faith through Oral Paradosis (2 Thess 2:15 "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter".)

I can now better understand Franky Schaeffer's argument that it makes more sense that when there is a major disagreement between the writings of a pastor personally trained by the apostles or his delegated man, versus a writer who tries to privately interpret the Bible 1800+ years removed from the apostles, we should give higher credence and respect to the Christian Bible-based or Christian-Church taught interpretation of the ones who were taught by the apostolically trusted leaders of Christ's One Body. It is not enough to read the scriptures as mormons, and Jehovahs witnesses do, and privately interpret God's Word according to one's modern "tradition", even when we try to cover up our "tradition" that goes against Christ's earlier teachings to the faithful Church. One must understand and follow God's Word according to its Author's intent and The Holy Spirit gave us faithful men, gifted and entrusted by Him, to guide the Bride of Christ, along that Holy path.

My shock in reading the early church writings was that although I was often right on target with early Christians about many theological issues (Christ's eternal deity, The Holy Trinity, Trust in the canon of Scriptures, ...), I have also often been wrong about some of the basic understanding of the Christian faith that the apostles (and those they personally trained and trusted to lead the Church) taught the Church of God.

I was baptized Roman catholic, but even after returning from my time under islamic governance, I could not return to it mainly because priests were unable to address many important doctrines Biblically, like the belief in "intercession of saints", papal infallibility, Mary calling God Her Savior, etc.. I have since had experiential knowledge of the charismatics in several Assemblies of God, Calvary Chapel as well as other nondenominational churches.

The pictures on the site you found present a woman kissing the Cross of Christ as if it is evil idolatry. I can kinda understand why someone with a zealous and fervent desire to avoid all idolatry, might misinterpret that act, but as one who has now "kissed the Christian Cross", I can tell you for certain that there is not even a smallest hint of idolatry in my heart and mind when I kiss the Cross. I do it out of reverence for Christ's Holy Sacrifice and the power of the Cross and the Resurrection that overcame the devil and death to open the door of salvation for all of us. I do it because I humbly bow to the Love of Christ our God, who shed his blood for me that I might be free from the bondages of my sin and am forever thankful for His wondrous and great sacrifice. If I kiss the hand of the priest who is the minister of God, I do it out of respect for His Office, being the humble representative of Christ to us. In the Orthodox faith, my understanding is that the priest is in no way less of a "sinner" than we are, but rather a recipient of God's Grace to represent Christ to the Church during the divine Liturgy and one who can also choose to follow God as His Lord or make the wrong choice like the sons of Eli did. Priests and Bishops are accountable to the Holy Spirit who is the protector of Christ's Church and has at times led His People, the Christian Faithful, to stand up to unfaithful powerful and influential bishops like Bishop Arius. My understanding of all the Christian historical writings so far, is that no Bishop is infallible, whether Roman or Constantinople or Protestant. All of us are accountable to God the Holy Spirit to keep the Orthodox faith, while praying and supporting ministers of Christ, who are faithfully serving God's body so humbly and graciously.

We have only one High Priest, Christ our God, and one Salvation Mediator between man and God, our LORD Jesus, who died for us and was risen from the dead to bring the Hope of Eternal Life to mankind. In 1 Timothy 2:1-8, one sees the context of the passage as very important to reading the scriptures according to the apostolic understanding. In verse 1, The Holy Spirit inspired writer of the letter to Pastor/Bishop Timothy, calls all believers to intercede (lower mediation form :-) ) for one another, pray for one another, and lift up holy hands and pray everywhere.

1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty; For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

In Revelations 5:8, Christians in the presence of God are offering prayers to God and represented by incense in the Holy Temple of God, just as it was in the vision the Prophet Moses received over 1000 years before the one John received.

To pray and intercede for one another is a High and Holy Calling that does not lower Christ's Perfect Mediation Service on our behalf, but rather exalts God's Perfect Sacrifice, since it is by God's gift that Christians with God the Holy Spirit can offer prayers to God in Heaven and on earth, although those in Heaven have a great advantage of beholding God with no worldly distractions.

While this teaching may seem elementary and very basic to those who understood it for much longer than I have, I hope it will provide a small light along your path. As a humble servant of God, who has not officially been baptized and Chrismated into The Orthodox Faith yet, although I have been accepted to become Orthodox soon, I might have made some mistakes in my presentation, but I am providing you with the light I have at the moment with hopes that you would find God's path to His Presence in Christ's Church.

One great resource for me has been the presentations by Bradley Nassif, on http://www.ancientfaithradio.com/podcasts/nassif and Matthew Gallatin's series on impartation and sanctification modes of interpreting the Bible vs. the way the Christian Orthodox Church has always seen the walk of Christian Faithful in his online audio messages entitled virtual righteousness found at http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/pilgrims/P32/ . Many other great Orthodox messages on that site, especially for those of us needing special help in understanding our similarity and differences between Orthodox original Christian way of life and a modern "westernized" version.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 02:12:31 PM by ChristianLove » Logged
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« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2008, 04:46:42 PM »

Christian Love:  That was one of the finest posts I have ever read on this or any other board.  As a Protestant pastor who is "on the way home," I was blessed not only by the information but the attitude with which it was presented. 

As to the site that is being discussed:  I am amazed that the very ignornace portrayed on that page held me captive for so many years.  Sadly, a little knowledge can be more dangerous than no knowledge at all.  It certainly was for me.  Lord, have mercy on me! 
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« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2008, 09:41:19 PM »

Ben,

You might find the following helpful;

Becoming Orthodox, by Fr. Peter E. Gillquist;
The Orthodox Church, by Bishop Kallistos Ware;

and;

http://www.protomartyr.org/links.html (there are articles on the left hand of the homepage).




 
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« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2008, 09:42:58 PM »

Other threads have dealt with some of these issues:


mediator vs. intercessor:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10875.0.html


repetitive prayer:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9998.0.html#top
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« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2008, 09:51:30 PM »

Did not Lord Jesus also speak of a woman who kept knocking at a judge's door who honoured neither God nor man, but that judge heard?  Did He also admonish us not to give up? 

And also, St. Paul tells us to pray without ceasing.  What of that?

In all, God sees the heart, and vain repetitions are of those who "think they will be heard for their many words".  Those who are sincere in their prayers and make the repetitions, but only those who think they can say a bunch of words several times and that'll be that.

I hope that gives some perspective.

Peace.

Pray for me , a sinner.

Absolutely right. Praying to God is our knocking on His door. When we continuously pray the Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me a sinner), or in the Hail Mary (Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death), or continuously asking "Lord, have mercy," to some, these may be vain repititions. But to a Christian these are fervent knocks on God's door. Christ told us to do so. He promised that if we knock, His door will be opened for us.

God knows that we all need to continuously knock.
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« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2008, 10:35:46 PM »

Ben,

You might find the following helpful;

Becoming Orthodox, by Fr. Peter E. Gillquist;
The Orthodox Church, by Bishop Kallistos Ware;

and;

http://www.protomartyr.org/links.html (there are articles on the left hand of the homepage).


Just a little reminder that "The Orthodox Church" by Bishop Kallistos Ware can be read in full online at Intratext.
http://www.intratext.com/x/eng0804.htm

Lots of other goodies here at the following links (not necessarily in English though):
http://www.intratext.com/BOI/ - Othodoxa
http://www.intratext.com/BPI/ - Patristica

actually just go to the map and go crazy Cheesy http://www.intratext.com/map.htm

Enjoy!

John
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« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2008, 05:58:35 AM »

The word is "babble" (unless you're one of those idiots who thinks the Bible was originally written in English.)

I doubt any of us on here is that naive...laugh
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« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2008, 09:03:05 AM »

Greetings,

I really appreciate all of the responses. I have a lot of links to read over, but I'm beginning to understand what I have had trouble grabbing before.

I would especially like to thank Christian Love for your response. I appreciate the compassion and time that you put into your response. That really means a lot to me. Also, I can tell you're sympathetic to my current (but shifting) protestant mindset.

I'm anxious to listen to some of the podcasts on ancientfaithradio.com it seems pretty cool.

This is becoming an exciting time for me. Now I just have to tell my wife what I've been reading about. She wasn't too supportive a few months ago when I first looked into the Orthodox Church. Hopefully she'll be able to accept what I'm considering doing.

Good day to you all!

Ben
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« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2008, 04:09:05 PM »

Greetings,

I really appreciate all of the responses. I have a lot of links to read over, but I'm beginning to understand what I have had trouble grabbing before.

I would especially like to thank Christian Love for your response. I appreciate the compassion and time that you put into your response. That really means a lot to me. Also, I can tell you're sympathetic to my current (but shifting) protestant mindset.

I'm anxious to listen to some of the podcasts on ancientfaithradio.com it seems pretty cool.

This is becoming an exciting time for me. Now I just have to tell my wife what I've been reading about. She wasn't too supportive a few months ago when I first looked into the Orthodox Church. Hopefully she'll be able to accept what I'm considering doing.

Good day to you all!

Ben

I can sympathize with your questions. I think alot of us asked the same ones whether we admit it or not (I did). I apologize if you feel hurt by some of the comments regarding trolling. It happens very often, but you are sincere in your search. Please do not hesitate to ask questions, but be aware that some topics have been addressed before. You may want to use the "search" option before starting a new thread. I pray that your journey home will be a joyful one...

Prayers and Petitions,
Alexius Cool
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« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2008, 10:49:05 PM »

Greetings,

I really appreciate all of the responses. I have a lot of links to read over, but I'm beginning to understand what I have had trouble grabbing before.

I would especially like to thank Christian Love for your response. I appreciate the compassion and time that you put into your response. That really means a lot to me. Also, I can tell you're sympathetic to my current (but shifting) protestant mindset.

I'm anxious to listen to some of the podcasts on ancientfaithradio.com it seems pretty cool.

This is becoming an exciting time for me. Now I just have to tell my wife what I've been reading about. She wasn't too supportive a few months ago when I first looked into the Orthodox Church. Hopefully she'll be able to accept what I'm considering doing.

Good day to you all!

Ben

May the Lord guide you in your search. Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2008, 04:27:21 PM »

I could understand the questions that disgusting web page could pose.

First of all I would like to say the author was the king of taking things out of context, and there is no better tool to doing that than taking random photos and inventing false interpretations with no background or research. In other words that page was put together by manipulative demagogues.

What really hurt the author's reliability was their refusal to distinguish between Catholics and Orthodox, by saying that we believe baptism cleanses us from Original sin. The author also made up beliefs on the Orthodox that we really see as heresies.

One example is where it says we worship priests by sometimes bowing to them or asking for a blessing. The author needs to understand that bowing means a lot of different things other than just worship in the Orthodox Church. The priests have to bow to the people at certain points in the liturgy (a fact conveniently left out of the web page). Does this mean Orthodoxy is just a cult of people worshiping their priests and the priests worshiping the people? St. Seraphim of Sarov greeted people with a prostration and would say "Christ is Risen!" Does this mean he was worshiping everyone he met!?

Another of my favorites is the skull and crossbones on the cross and under it says "They are worshiping Satan and don't even know it!" Christ was crucified in Golgotha, or "Place of the Skull." In old Jewish tradition, it was called that because that was where tradition said Adam and Eve were buried, in other words their skulls were there. The skull represents death (Adam's death who serves as a representation of all mankind), and it is under Christ's feet because when Christ died he trampled on death. We could use the same method the author used on a Chick tract. Chick tracts no doubt have pictures of Satan, therefore we could easily take that out of context and say: "Jack Chick is leading people to Satan because Satan's picture is on the tract!"

As of icons, I don't want to go in a deep explanation on them, but as before I said bowing doesn't always mean worship in the Orthodox Church. Bowing in front icons is an act of veneration, not worship. You can probably find many more articles here that explain in detail about icons.

As for the All-Seeing-Eye, that symbol is much older than Freemasonry. The Orthodox Church does not accept Freemasonry. The All-Seeing-Eye represents God, or the Trinity.

The "dragons" on the patriarch's staff represent the snakes from the Old Testament when Moses turned his staff into a snake (I might be wrong, but I'm sure the roots are from Moses, please correct if I'm wrong).

The author of that article said a few other things (I don't remember all of them), but please don't make me have to refute the ridiculous statement on the Kulich, if all of you have seen that on the web page. That right there should be a sign that the author is disturbed and will do anything to make Orthodox Christianity look bad or false.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong in any of my statements.

Thankyou for your interest.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 04:37:53 PM by antiderivative » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2008, 06:39:19 AM »

Welcome Antiderivative! Love the name!
The Bishop's Staff is indeed based on Moses, and is related to the Bronze Serpent Moses was instructed to place on a staff for the healing of the people.
If you look closely, the two snakes on the Bishop's Staff are actually rearing back from the Cross which is between them. In Orthodox hymnography and tradition, the Bronze Serpent prefigured the Cross:
"'Moses set upon a wooden pole
a cure against the deadly and poisonous bite of the serpents;
for crosswise upon the wood--as a symbol of the Cross--
he placed the serpent that creeps about the earth,
and thereby triumphed over calamity'."

Moses actually prefigured the Cross in many ways. When Moses commanded Jesus son of Nun to battle against the Amaleks, he stood on a hill and stretched out his arms in the form of a Cross (Exodus 17:10-11). So not only did a Jesus lead the battle, but he triumphed through the sign of the Cross.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 06:39:53 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2008, 07:28:01 AM »

That "Crazy Patriarch" is my Patriarch (Pavle - Paul). The "phoenix" on his crown is nothing of the sort, it is the two-headed eagle of Byzantine which is (today) a part of the Serbian Coat of Arms (looking East and West).  As for the "dragons on his staff"... I'm not sure if they are dragons, or if that is even his staff and his hand (tough to tell from that picture).

You might want to ask Serb1389, he actually knows the Patriarch, so he could respond more appropriately.

Someone already covered the meaning of the staff.  the byzantine double headed eagle explanation was very good, so nothing more from me! 

I would say also, that this person has obviously never met an orthodox priest or bishop, especially Patriarch Pavle, who is considered a living saint. 

Maybe they should start there, and then make a web-site...?  Just an idea. 
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« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2008, 11:55:11 PM »

Greetings,

I'm in a search for a true Christian faith and that search has led me to come across Orthodox Christianity. If you could please disprove these arguments listed in the link below, you will put a lot in my mind at ease. Thank you!

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Russian_Orthodox/orthodox_idolatry.htm
I don't know, but it is interesting to read from an anti-Catholic site that on the exact anniversary of the miracle of Fatima, precisely when Pope John Paul II visited the shrine at Fatima Portugal, ther was recorded a massive coronal mass ejection from the sun. This is reported on this anti-Catholic site with the express purpose of disproving Fatima? It seems like many people would regord this as an interesting coincidence?
"MASSIVE CORONAL MASS EJECTION FROM SUN

A gigantic coronal mass ejection (CME) occurred on May 13, 2000. Probably
the largest of the year was recorded by NASA. Every eleven years our sun
goes through a period of solar storms and these storms have been with us for
centuries of recorded history. Solar flares emit high-speed particles that
cause the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. Radiation from the solar
flares can give passengers in aircraft or UFOs a dose of radiation equivalent
to a medical X-ray. Severe weather on Earth, volcanoes and earthquakes may
be all tied to this activity on the sun. Satellites, communications, silicon
circuitry, portable phones and alternating current outlets can all be
effected. If your appliances start acting up it may be the result of these
solar storms. Even severe headaches may be tied to the sun's activity. We
are watching to see if the UFO activity is influenced by the sun's heavy
solar activity and initial indications are that reports have slowed in recent
weeks.

Pope John Paul's visit to Fatima, Portugal was punctuated by eruptions on the
sun, marking the 83rd anniversary of miracle of Fatima that occurred on May
13, 1917."
http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Roman%20Catholicism/hoax_of_our_lady_of_fatima.htm
As a general comment on the rest of the site, I find that the
 site is full of information which is far fetched and taken out of context. Why the weird music in the background?
Why not give a reasoned argument without the weird music? Obviously, these Protestants (are they related to Jack Chick?) have an axe to grind against R. Catholicism and to a lesser extent Eastern Orthodoxy.

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« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2008, 07:24:00 PM »

Someone already covered the meaning of the staff.  the byzantine double headed eagle explanation was very good, so nothing more from me! 

I would say also, that this person has obviously never met an orthodox priest or bishop, especially Patriarch Pavle, who is considered a living saint.  

Considered?

He is.
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« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2008, 10:41:13 PM »

Considered?

He is.

No argument there friend.  I like to play it PC just in case I hurt anyone's feelings.  Plus I didn't want to get into the whole "how do saints get declared" discussion and COMPLETELY change the motion of this thread. 
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« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2008, 02:21:12 AM »

I got an unsolicited piece of mail not too long ago with a cheaply printed paper back book spewing the same sort of venom.

Back during the "Jesus People" days (yes I am THAT old!) I hung with a group for a while that claimed to be going back to the scriptures and the "New Testament Church"

They put forth the same kind of whackery, not just toward the Catholic Church (don't recall if they even knew about Orthodoxy) but ALL other Christian groups other than themselves.

After 3 months I saw (even as a 10th grader) that they were a monotonous tape loop continually playing the same thing, just singling out different targets.

To the Original Poster - the kind of arguments from that site are just warped. I could laugh at it (like the old, government movie, Reefer Madness, a thirties "documentary" about the evils of marijuana, filled with all kinds of false hysteria, which all the "stoners" in my school watched and laughed at while they were high) - not that I don't think there is plenty to be alarmed about in regards to use of weed, I am just using this as an example of a stupid piece of propaganda that had the precisely reverse effect that it was intended to create. If only we could be so fortunate for thinking people to have the same response to this garbage! (the problem is for unthinking people - or, worse, sensitive souls like yourself, who really love God and want to find the Truth, but are caused to be alarmed by someone with no knowledge of Church history, Christian symbolism, tradition or even basic biblical history) If the guy wasn't serious! It would be a hilarious spoof, complete with creepy 'Halloween" music. Except the guy is serious, which makes it sick. Or, maybe he isn't serious. Maybe he is a cool, calculating entrepreneur who knows how to play upon the fears of a certain type of religious sub-culture.

What always fascinates me is that the ultra-right and ultra-left are only about a half degree apart as they go almost full circle to meet each other (it is these two extremes that postulate that the US government orchestrated 9/11).

And with that last observation, I think that is all you need to know about the credibility of this individual.
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« Reply #42 on: March 12, 2008, 08:53:33 AM »

It appears that we have answered the basic points presented by this poster and are now begining to repeat the assertions that site he refers to is just basically anti-Christian no matter what the jursidection or rite is---Orthodox , Eastern or Western Catholic, or Protestant so I am closing this topic and locking it at this time.

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