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StGeorge
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« on: May 01, 2008, 12:17:32 AM »

Tonight, I went to the house of a friend for dinner.  He is a baptist missionary.  He is very well-versed in the Bible and moreover has a good seminary education.  What he says is what I've read of what Baptists and most Protestants teach.  I was wondering if people here (especially former Protestants) could help me navigate some issues he raised that I hadn't really thought much about when I was Roman Catholic. 

1) The Gospel.  I notice that in Protestantism there is a great focus on the Cross--specifically on the work of Atonement of Christ on the Cross.  In Protestantism, it seems that the Good News is that Christ took on all the sins of the world, destroyed them, and now offers eternal life to anyone who is given faith in Christ, that is, faith that his or her sins have been totally blotted away in Christ, and a faith that imputes the righteousness of Christ to the believer. 

If you (an Orthodox) were asked, "What is the Gospel," how would you respond? 

2) "Christianity is not a religion."  It seems that many Protestants say Christianity is not a religion to distance the Gospel from any "rituals," or "organized worship" that is found in other religions.  "Jesus saves" not things that people do. 

I've often heard that Orthodoxy is a Way of Life, but is it also a religion? 

3) Faith.  My friend talked a little bit in the group after dinner about how Abram was justified by faith and not by anything he himself created.  My friend specifically mentioned that Abram was flawed in his actions, and that the faith he had came from without.  I'm somewhat confused though by what Protestants teach about faith.  They usually mention that faith comes from without the person (to show it's not of the person's own doing), and they talk about Abram believing and trusting in God, but they never really talk about Abram responding to God's grace.  It's like God does everything and Abram is simply doing that which God moves him to do.  Does that make sense? 

Ok, that's all for now.   
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2008, 12:27:02 AM »

Quote
I've often heard that Orthodoxy is a Way of Life, but is it also a religion?   

Orthodoxy is nothing but the way in which we attain a relationship with God the trinity. If we start looking at particular parts of the faith by themselves we fall in to obscure practices that inevitably do nothing. Like when I used to kiss icons because everyone else does instead of venerating the image of God and that the asking of that saints prayers for me to become closer to God. But yes in a sociological perspective it is a religion but it is not a religion based on a philosophy or ideology it is based on historical events and eternal paradigm shifts in our lives.

Quote
If you (an Orthodox) were asked, "What is the Gospel," how would you respond? 

The Gospel literally means "Good News" and to me the Good News is that God became incarnate to have a relationship with us. But this is just for me I'm not sure how accepted my views are with other people I would hope that these are the Orthodox answers.
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2008, 01:35:27 AM »

Tonight, I went to the house of a friend for dinner.  He is a baptist missionary.  He is very well-versed in the Bible and moreover has a good seminary education.  What he says is what I've read of what Baptists and most Protestants teach.  I was wondering if people here (especially former Protestants) could help me navigate some issues he raised that I hadn't really thought much about when I was Roman Catholic.
While I would never condone you disowning your friend, I would advise you to be careful about attending these types of dinners.  Your friend means well, but he's also a trained missionary, as you said.  That means his primary goal is to spread his understanding of Christianity.

To gain a better understanding of these questions, it would be advisable for you to speak with an Eastern Orthodox priest and ask him for some reading material. 
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2008, 01:40:55 AM »

Christ is Risen!

To be blunt, I wouldn't talk to any missionary.  However, these are the answers that I would give.

#1 - The Gospel is the Good News as preached by Jesus Christ based on his fulfillment of the Old Testament Covenants given to Abraham, Issac & Jacob who are still living rather than dead.

#2 - The Church was founded on Pentecost.  The Great Schism in 1054 resulted in Rome leaving the united Church of Christ.  The actions of Martin Luther in 1517 resulted in Protestants destroying Catholic Churches and imposing pope on each local church which has created at least 45,000 new demoninations.

#3 - Abraham was a righteous man who is living today in the Glory of the Resurrected Christ that God mentioned when Abram lived in Ur of the Chaldees.
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2008, 01:44:37 AM »

While I would never condone you disowning your friend, I would advise you to be careful about attending these types of dinners.  Your friend means well, but he's also a trained missionary, as you said.  That means his primary goal is to spread his understanding of Christianity.

To gain a better understanding of these questions, it would be advisable for you to speak with an Eastern Orthodox priest and ask him for some reading material. 


I have to second GabrieltheCelt's comments.  A friend of a friend I know is a missionary for the Church of the Nazarene and, as well meaning as he may be, often drops constant hints and comments that adhere to his distinct version/understanding of Christianity.  Write down specific points that he mentions which you want clarification on and discuss it with your Priest.
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2008, 01:46:46 AM »

Christ is Risen!
#2 - The Church was founded on Pentecost.  The Great Schism in 1054 resulted in Rome leaving the united Church of Christ.  The actions of Martin Luther in 1517 resulted in Protestants destroying Catholic Churches and imposing pope on each local church which has created at least 45,000 new demoninations.

Yep definitely the best way to not confuse someone and a show a great understanding of spiritual Orthodoxy. (sarcasm please be noted thats for you Myrrh Cheesy)
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2008, 08:14:55 AM »

While we are on the topic of understanding Protestants...

They (my husband for one) insist that ONLY what is found between the covers of the Bible matter to being Christian and knowing God. That anything else that is said, thougth, or practiced is man-made. And unnecessary or in his words "is just gravy".

So, this view would place a vast amount of Orthodoxy in the Man-made catagory. I think he is wrong. But I haven't got any idea of what to do or say or any reaction.

Suggestions?

edited for proofreading...
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 08:24:56 AM by RLNM » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2008, 08:44:10 AM »

St George, may I recommend that your utilize His Grace Bishop Kallistos' book (written as a layman Timothy Ware) in discussing issues with your friend.  Focusing upon the early Church and the continuity that the Orthodox Church represents.  His response to the eternal Baptist question "have you been saved ?" was "I have been saved (by the salvic action of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ), I am being saved (thru my personal relationship with the Most Holy Trinity daily), and I yet will be saved (on the last Great and Dread day of Judgement)".

One must remember that  Baptists base much of their doctrine on the evangelical teachings of John Knox and John Calvin , their focus is primarily on "being saved".  Their belief of "once saved always saved" is simple and yet very complex when one looks at the ramifications of that in view of the underlying belief in predestination it is founded upon.

As others have noted, when he makes a specific statement, discuss it with your pastor to get a proper response.  My experience with most Baptist missionaries is that once engaged with answers from the Orthodox Christian perspective, they will either close off the contact or start investigating the Orthodox Christian  Faith as an example of the Early Christian Church. This was what the group that became the Evangelical Orthodox Church did as they began to grow beyond the Campus Crusade for Christ  model that was based on underlying Baptist Theology.  In their search for getting back to the practices of the Early Christian Church, they discovered that it never was lost but could be found in the Eastern orthodox Churches as a result, several thousand came enmass into the Orthodox Church. Their current outlet to their writings may be found in various Counciliar Press books that may be helpful to you in working with your Baptist friend.

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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 09:40:10 AM »

While we are on the topic of understanding Protestants...

They (my husband for one) insist that ONLY what is found between the covers of the Bible matter to being Christian and knowing God. That anything else that is said, thougth, or practiced is man-made. And unnecessary or in his words "is just gravy".

So, this view would place a vast amount of Orthodoxy in the Man-made catagory. I think he is wrong. But I haven't got any idea of what to do or say or any reaction.

Suggestions?

RLNM,

There are some booklets put out by Conciliar Press, which cover a wide range of topics. Most of them are published online with permission and you can find them here at http://www.protomartyr.org/links.html. What's not available there you can purchase from http://conciliarpress.com/catalog/Booklets_and_Brochures-17-1.html

But, as useful as the information might be for personal edification, I think it might be a good idea to first ask yourself if you really wish to turn your relationship with your husband into an apologetics debate. It can get awfully ugly. Undecided

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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 11:36:00 AM »

While we are on the topic of understanding Protestants...

They (my husband for one) insist that ONLY what is found between the covers of the Bible matter to being Christian and knowing God. That anything else that is said, thougth, or practiced is man-made. And unnecessary or in his words "is just gravy".

So, this view would place a vast amount of Orthodoxy in the Man-made catagory. I think he is wrong. But I haven't got any idea of what to do or say or any reaction.

Suggestions?

edited for proofreading...

Centuries before there was a Bible, there was a Church.  To deny liturgical practices and traditions but to accept the Bible seems like cherry-picking to me.  That's my problem with this sola scriptura stuff.
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2008, 11:38:09 AM »

Here's something that might help. I was recently listening to a great lecture by the philosopher Peter Kreeft about a topic related to this. He comes from a Catholic perspective, but I think it works perfectly from an Orthodox perspective as well. He was explaining that Catholics would be better Catholics by "becoming better Protestants." As he says, Protestants believe all that matters is our relationship with Christ Jesus. Christ alone, as the Protestants say. They see the Church and her traditions as "barnacles" built up on the ark of salvation that must be scraped off, leaving only Christ.

But we Catholics and Orthodox agree that it is all about Jesus. Kreeft adds that Protestants can become Catholics (and Orthodox) without changing their view of Jesus. They only need to see the Church in a different way, not as barnacles built up on the ark but as the Body of Christ. The Church is Christ, Christ is the Church. It is through the Church, His Body, that we have a relationship with Jesus Christ, which is what matters. He says that Catholics (and Orthodox) need to exemplify this by "becoming better Protestants" (in other words, abandoning nominalism, growing in holiness, having a closer relationship with Christ, and showing the fruits of this relationship in our lives and in the Church).

I think the mp3 of the lecture would be of much help---I think it is just as applicable from an Orthodox perspective. You can see it on his website under "Ecumenism Without Compromise."
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2008, 11:54:45 AM »

RLNM,

There are some booklets put out by Conciliar Press, which cover a wide range of topics. Most of them are published online with permission and you can find them here at http://www.protomartyr.org/links.html. What's not available there you can purchase from http://conciliarpress.com/catalog/Booklets_and_Brochures-17-1.html

But, as useful as the information might be for personal edification, I think it might be a good idea to first ask yourself if you really wish to turn your relationship with your husband into an apologetics debate. It can get awfully ugly. Undecided

I second this!  I would study as much as you can about your faith and then simply live it as best you can.  If he asks you questions (which he's sure to do after awhile), just answer them as best as you can.
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2008, 11:56:45 AM »

But we Catholics and Orthodox agree that it is all about Jesus. Kreeft adds that Protestants can become Catholics (and Orthodox)
We Orthodox are Catholic, just not Roman.  Wink
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008, 12:14:34 PM »

We Orthodox are Catholic, just not Roman.  Wink

Well, the Greeks would disagree with you there and say they are Roman too.   Wink laugh
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2008, 12:16:03 PM »


But, as useful as the information might be for personal edification, I think it might be a good idea to first ask yourself if you really wish to turn your relationship with your husband into an apologetics debate. It can get awfully ugly. Undecided

Thanks for the link.

No, I don't want to in the least. I wish our differences would all just go away. But, I need some of his cooperation to attend church, and I definatly feel like we have our children sitting on a fence. If it was just me, I'd do my thing and let him do his, and we would never talk about anything spiritual. But, it isn't just me. I am responcible for the kids spiritual wellfare.
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2008, 12:29:52 PM »

Well, the Greeks would disagree with you there and say they are Roman too.   Wink laugh
Ha!  You got me on a 'technical'! Cheesy How about 'Latin'?
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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2008, 12:31:02 PM »

Thanks for the link.

No, I don't want to in the least. I wish our differences would all just go away. But, I need some of his cooperation to attend church, and I definatly feel like we have our children sitting on a fence. If it was just me, I'd do my thing and let him do his, and we would never talk about anything spiritual. But, it isn't just me. I am responcible for the kids spiritual wellfare.
Dear sister,

Have you spoken to your priest about your concerns? 
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2008, 12:47:06 PM »

If he asks you questions (which he's sure to do after awhile), just answer them as best as you can.

I appreciate your imput also, but he won't.

In the 15 years that we've been together (counting dating) he has never once asked, inquired, or wanted to know anything whatsoever. He has just put up with the parts he had to, like our wedding.

But he likes to promote himself as being tolerent and coopertive, and I think he genuinely believes that about himself. And sometimes when I am at my wits' end, everything suddenly seems to be ok. But, then, next thing I know, he goes back to getting (subtly, quietly, hard to pinpoint) hostile if my being Orthodox actually seems to enter everyday life. And then if I actually want to include the kids... He is unwilling to truely allow them to "be Orthodox". The most he will commit to is to say the kids will have to decide what they think when they are older, or to say they are BOTH Orthodox AND Methodist.  Huh  Roll Eyes  Angry

He said last night "I feel like your turning my world upsidown. I thought we settled this issue years ago."

Yeah, we settled it alright; because I had given up all vestiges of Orthodoxy except the part that remained in my heart. But the problem is that I guess I've suddenly changed the status quo. And then he tells me that I worry too much, as if to indicate that my concernes are stupid, petty, and rediculous.

And Gabriel, yes I've tried a bit, but I haven't had much opportunity to discuss it much. And what little he told me (now, I am most likely hearing this wrong...but... ) made me feel like he thinks I am being silly for worrying also.

I don't know what to think really. I feel like my world has been turned upsidown, and sometimes I feel like I should just give up again, especially when added to the fact that it is so far to any church.
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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2008, 01:01:33 PM »

Dear sister RLNM,

Do not give up and do not despair.  You have been put into this position, as hard as it seems, for a reason.  As you know, there are no easy answers here and I sincerely apologize to you if my earlier response sounded glib.  I will pray for you and your husband.
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2008, 01:07:18 PM »

Thanks.

 sorry for dragging the discussion off on a tangent.
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2008, 02:34:33 PM »

Sister RLNM,

The best work you can do with your husband is to love him and let him see the joy of Christ in you by living your Orthodox spiritual life.  Pray for him daily  and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. I assure you it will happen.

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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2008, 02:37:50 PM »

I was brought up as a Lutheran and there are three very basic difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism that really stand out in my mind.

1. The Protestant concept of salvation is an "instantaneous state of being" rather than a process. As soon as one accepts Christ as their personal Lord and Savior (some denominations require baptism and/or confirmation) a person changes in a flash from a "lost soul" to a "saved soul."

2. The "accessability to God"... I grew up with an image in my small catechism of a great canyon. Man stood on one rim and God was on the other, totally inaccessible.  The canyon's name was "sin" and the only way for man to access God was to use the "Christ bridge" across the canyon which allowed man to know God. Even as a Christian, in the Protestant mindset any thoughts of God within yourself (such as Theosis) are well nigh onto blasphemy.

3. Protestantism is a sola scriptura belief system. i.e.; "We use the Bible alone." Most Protestants never heard of "the Desert Fathers." Since each person starts from scratch, each one must basically reinvent the wheel for him/herself when it comes to insight. This is especially true for the Baptists who do not have a universally recognized system of Doctrine.

Hope this helps a little.
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« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2008, 03:22:03 PM »

Quote
Tonight, I went to the house of a friend for dinner.  He is a baptist missionary.  He is very well-versed in the Bible and moreover has a good seminary education.  What he says is what I've read of what Baptists and most Protestants teach.  I was wondering if people here (especially former Protestants) could help me navigate some issues he raised that I hadn't really thought much about when I was Roman Catholic.
 

I'm a bit tired, but I'll give it a shot. Don't be scared of his seminary education.



Quote
1) The Gospel.  I notice that in Protestantism there is a great focus on the Cross--specifically on the work of Atonement of Christ on the Cross.  In Protestantism, it seems that the Good News is that Christ took on all the sins of the world, destroyed them, and now offers eternal life to anyone who is given faith in Christ, that is, faith that his or her sins have been totally blotted away in Christ, and a faith that imputes the righteousness of Christ to the believer.
 


Some forms of Protestantism generally focuses on the death of Christ. Even to the point that His ressurection may be over looked. Now some will not admit this, but their focus on His death is so great that it tends to do just that.

The verse normally quoted by some groups is:


1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

as well as

1 Corinthians 1:23
but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,


What some of them tend to forget is, the Gospel is not just the preaching of the Cross. It is a Person.

Mark 1:1
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

So it's about the preaching of the Person Christ Jesus! For what meaning does His death have, apart from His Incarnation and Ressurection?

So the preaching of the Gospel is about the whole thing. The Incarnation, the Life, the Death, and the Ressurection of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou has a good podcast about Christ's ressurection. She touches on some of this.

http://audio.ancientfaith.com/searchthescriptures/ss12_pascha1_pc.mp3

or here

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/searchthescriptures

She is real good. Listen to the one called "Christ is Risen!". But all of them are good, and they will give you some good ideas about alot of stuff. You can e-mail her too about any questions you have. She is really cool peoples, and she knows alot.


Now in regards to Christ on the cross, our sins, faith, and eternal life. I would say.

1.) How is the blood of Christ applied to a person?

Answer: Christ's blood is applied to a person through water Baptism. The Bible never explicitly tells us that Faith is how the blood of Christ is applied to us.

Is the gifts of faith and repentance needed? Yes, but we will never be united with Christ until we are united with Him in water Baptism

NKJV
Romans 6:3-5
"Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,"


Now a Baptist will say that these verses are symbolic, not mystical, not supernatural, not literal.

To this, I would say. "Where does the BIBLE say that this passage is symbolic"?

Also I would say. "If our unity in Baptism is symbolic then that would mean our salvation is also symbolic. And why would I want a symbolic salvation? I want a real salvation with a real unity with Christ."


A good number of Baptists believe in Once saved always saved. Scripture disagrees with this view. I do know Baptists that reject Once saved always saved.

Scripture says:

Have been saved: (past tense)

Ephesians 2:5
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.


Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Titus 3:5
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit


Being saved (present tense)

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.


2 Corinthians 2:15
For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.


Will be saved(future tense)

Philippians 1:28
without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.

Matthew 10:22
All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Matthew 24:13
but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.



One can loose salvation

Romans 9:20-22
"Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off."

and


John 15:1-4
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me."

NASB
Hebrews 6:4-6
"For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame."




Now he might already have answers to some of these scriptures. I know I did when I was a Baptist....some many years ago. There are about 3 or 4 different answers of O.S.A.S.(once saved always saved)/P.O.T.S(perseverence of the Saints). he can give....all dependant on his background. If he says Hebrews chapter 6 isn't talking about believers, all you have to do is quote all the passages in Hebrews chapters 2, 4, and 5 that mentions (we), (us)...ect. If he wasn't talking to believers then one must admit that the Author to the Epistle of Hebrews was also not a believer.....for he includes himself all throughout the book.

IF they say that verses 4 to 6 in Chapter 6 isn't talking about a true christian because of the "if" clause......all you gotta say is the "if" clause was added by the Reformed scholar Theodore Beza in the late 15 hundreds to early 16 hundreds. I could be wrong about the text, because Erasmus is credited with the Textus Receptus, but I believe it was his(Theodore Beza's) version/editing of the Textus Receptus that includes the "if" clause.

This is why I quoted the NASB on purpose. Because in regards to this verse. It doesn't include the "if". I only use the NASB whenever it's convenient. But anyway, they will not be able to use the "Hyperbole" argument.

So the only argument they will have left is verse 9:

NKJV
"But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner."

They will use verse 9, and they will try to stop there. What I do is quote the following passages after verse 9.

10-12
"For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises."


He will have to ignore these verses, because they go against his form of faith alone. He will call this works righteousness. Trust me, that will be the first thought in his mind. These verses are not talking about works righteousness, but they are talking about showing the same diligence in order to have an assurance of hope. He will down play these verses.......watch!

The christians in verses 4-6 in Hebrews chapter 6 stopped. Verses 10-12 is saying "don't stop". Keep Loving your nieghbor, Keep going to Divine Liturgy, Keep tasting of the heavenly gift, to Keep being partakers of the Holy Spirit, and to Keep tasting the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come.


Also, if he tries to use the argument that we can't repent again, because that would mean crucifying Jesus again. All you have to say is: "That's talking about initial salvation, in regards to the Repentance and washing away of sins past in Water Baptism." There is only one Baptism. You can't start over if you mess up by getting Baptized again, and again, and again.....ect.

Baptism washes away sins

KJV
Acts 22:16
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

NIV
2 Peter 1:9
But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.



There is only one washing away of sins in water Baptism. We are united with Christ's death in Baptism, so we can't get Baptized again, for that would be killing Jesus again. And Jesus can't die again. So it has to do with "initial" salvation in water Baptism". If one falls away, they can't come back through water Baptism......because they were already Baptized. So what do we do when we come back? Confess our sins to God in front of our Priests. And allow the Priest to guide us and give us spiritual direction.


This is why he says in verses 1-2

"Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits."


Some of the elementary principles are the initial rites of the Christian faith.

1.) The Foundation of  Repentance from dead works

2.) The Foundation of faith in God

3.) The foundation of the doctrines of Baptisms (Water Baptism)

4.) The foundation of the laying on of hands (Chrismation/Confirmation)

5.) The foundation of the Ressurection of the dead

6.) The foundation of the eternal judgement


And in regards to his possible perspective of the Atonement and how we would understand it. I would go to this thread.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11389.0.html


and here

"Russian Orthodox Church
Representation to the European Institutions"
http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#31




Quote
If you (an Orthodox) were asked, "What is the Gospel," how would you respond?
 

I think I covered this up above somewhere. But if not

MARK 1:1
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou also answers this question in passing. On the podcast

Christ is Risen

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/searchthescriptures

or for a download

http://audio.ancientfaith.com/searchthescriptures/ss12_pascha1_pc.mp3





Quote
2) "Christianity is not a religion."  It seems that many Protestants say Christianity is not a religion to distance the Gospel from any "rituals," or "organized worship" that is found in other religions.  "Jesus saves" not things that people do.
 

There is nothing wrong with Christianity being a religion.

James 1:26
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

One can find christian rituals in the book of Revelations and the book of Acts. Baptists Baptise people with full immersion. That is a ritual. They dedicate babies, and mary people. Those are rituals. Some Baptists wash peoples feet. That is a ritual. Some Baptists only wear suites when they preach. That is a ritual. Many of them only serve grape juice and crackers every 5th Sunday. That is a ritual too. So they believe in rituals.....don't let them fool you. Even thier style of preaching can be a ritual.




Quote
I've often heard that Orthodoxy is a Way of Life, but is it also a religion?
 

It's both. It is both a religion as well as a way of life.





Quote
3) Faith.  My friend talked a little bit in the group after dinner about how Abram was justified by faith and not by anything he himself created.  My friend specifically mentioned that Abram was flawed in his actions, and that the faith he had came from without.  I'm somewhat confused though by what Protestants teach about faith.  They usually mention that faith comes from without the person (to show it's not of the person's own doing), and they talk about Abram believing and trusting in God, but they never really talk about Abram responding to God's grace.  It's like God does everything and Abram is simply doing that which God moves him to do.  Does that make sense?  

Ok, that's all for now.
   

It all depends on what type of Baptist he/she is. If they are a Reformed Baptist then they will use Eph 2:8 to show that Faith is the gift of God. Eph 2:8 does not prove that. Eph 2:8 shows that "SALVATION" is the gift of God.

Thus, they will have to use another verse tp prove that. Yes, faith is a gift, but we still have to accept or reject it.

And in regards to Abraham. He is only looking at the first few verses of Romans chapter 4.  His interpretation doesn't fit the rest of Romans chapter 4. When I was a Baptist. I only looked at the first few verses myself. Only recently(last couple years, and I was an Episcopalian then) have I closely looked at the rest of the chapter.

verses 13-25


"It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification."



This gives a broader perspective of what Paul was talking about in the begining of the chapter.





I hope this helps. Oh yeah. Baptists believe that Water Baptism is a work. They will say that it's something we do for God. This is 100% false. Baptism is not a work. It is Grace. It is something God does for us.

Just like Naaman had to dip in the water (3 or 7 times...I forgot) to be free of leprosy. So we too our submirged in the water to be made clean....as white as snow. This is something God does for us. We can't make ourselves white as snow. Just like Naaman didn't make himself clean from leprosy. It was God that did that.






JNORM888

P.S. "Never trust a protestant that wants you to read a 15 page paper that explains away one or two verses of scripture. I had to learn that the hard way (while still a protestant). It shouldn't have to take a 30 minute speech or a 10 page paper to explain away one verse. That should be a red flag."

At least in regards to falling away from salvation. For this is what I meant by that. They will ask you to read a book by a Piper, Charles stanely, James white, R.C. Sproul, Hank Hannegraph, Norman Geisler or some Puritan from the 16 hundreds.


Just say: "No thank you, I am not interested".
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« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2008, 04:15:26 PM »

This was from my blog. I thought it might be helpful for I quote alot of different Protestants in regards to Eph 2:8



eph 2:8 and "The gift of God"
Calvinists tend to use Eph 2:8 to prove that faith is the gift of God. I believe Faith to be a gift, I just know that one can't use this passage to prove it. I also believe that one has the ability to accept or reject gifts. For some reason some feel as if gifts can't be rejected. But anyway, the error that Eph 2:8 is talking about faith as being the gift of God first came from Augustine when he said:





Quote
"And he says that a man is justified by faith and not by works, because
faith itself is first given, from which may be obtained other things which are
specially characterized as works, in which a man may live righteously. For he
himself also says, "By grace you are saved through faith; and this not of
yourselves; but it is the gift of God," Ephesians 2:8 —that is to say, "And in
saying 'through faith,' even faith itself is not of yourselves, but is God's
gift." "Not of works," he says, "lest any man should be lifted up.""


chapter 12 of (Book I) "On the Predestination of the Saints"
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/15121.htm




I thought it was interesting that John Calvin disagreed with this interpretation when he said:




Quote
""But it is still more absurd to overlook the apostle's inference, lest any
man should boast. Some room must always remain for man's boasting, so long as,
independently of grace, merits are of any avail. Paul's doctrine is overthrown,
unless the whole praise is rendered to God alone and to his mercy. And here we
must advert to a very common error in the interpretation of this passage. Many
persons restrict the word gift to faith alone. But Paul is only repeating in
other words the former sentiment. His meaning is, not that faith is the gift of
God, but that salvation is given to us by God, or, that we obtain it by the gift
of God."

From John Calvin's Commentary on the book of Ephesians.
http://www.biblestudyguide.org/comment/calvin/comm_vol41/htm/iv.iii.iii.htm








This is what Norman Geisler had to say about Eph 2:8



Quote
Quote
"In addition, however plausible this interpretation may seem in English, it is
very clear from the Greek that Ephesians 2:8-9 is not referring to faith as a
gift from God. For the "that" (touto) is neuter in form and cannot refer to
"faith" (pistis), which is feminine. The antecedent of "it is the gift of God"
is the salvation by grace through faith (v.9). Commenting on this passage, the
great New Testament Greek scholar A. T. Robertson noted: "Grace' is God's part,
'faith' ours. And that [it] (kai touto) is neuter, not feminine taute, and so
refers not to pistis [faith] or to charis [grace] (feminine also), but to the
act of being saved by grace conditioned on faith on our part."

While
some have argued that a pronoun may agree in sense, but not in form, with its
antecedent, this view is refuted by Gregory Sapaugh, who notes that "if Paul
wanted to refer to pistis ('faith'), he could have written the feminine taute,
instead of the neuter, touto, and his meaning would have been clear." But he did
not. Rather, by the "that" (touto) Paul refers to the whole process of
"salvation by grace through faith." Sapaugh notes that "this position is further
supported by the parallelism between ouk hymon ('and this not of yourself') in
2:8 and and ouk ex ergon ('not of works') in 2:9. The latter phrase would not be
meaningful if it referred to pisteos ('faith'). Instead, it clearly means
salvation is 'not of works.'"
[/size]

From the book "Chosen but free: second
edition" by Norman Geisler pages 189-190







This is what Joseph Dongell had to say about Eph 2:8




Quote
"If faith is not our doing but God's gift, then the well-known features of
calvinism fall into place. Those who "have faith" have been given faith by God,
and those who don't have not given faith by God. By this view, faith becomes a
function of divine causation operating according to the individual electing will
of God.

But the terms (faith, this, it) that seem so clearly linked in
English are not so neatly connected in Greek. The English ear depends largely on
word order for making sense of language, and so automatically presumes that this
(which "is not from yourselves") must obviously refer back to faith, since faith
immediately precedes this in the word order of the text. But Greek, being an
inflected language, actually depends on "tags" that are attached to words for
guiding the reader. If our writer had desired readers to connect faith directly
to this, these two words should have matched each other as grammatically
feminine. We find, however, that this, being neuter in gender, likely points us
back several words earlier- to the idea of salvation expressed by the verb.
Accordingly, we should read the text with a different line of connections as
follows: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this
[salvation is] not from yourself, [this salvation] is the gift of God."

Many Calvinists fear that any retreat from the conviction that God
causes faith will make salvation a human accomplishment. If faith is something
we do, then salvation rests on our deeds and no longer on God's grace. If faith
is viewed as our part in the process of salvation, then salvation must be viewed
as a cooperative affair, and we should then describe ourselves as self-saviors
in part.
But the flaw in this Calvinist fear lies in its improper
understanding of the nature of faith itself. The Bible itself does not describe
faith as a work that accomplishes a taske, or as a deed that establishes merit,
or as a lever that forces God to act. Instead, we find that genuine faith is
something quite different. As Paul's treatment of Abraham shows, the patriarch's
faith had no power over God, earned no merit before God and stood as the polar
opposite to honorific deeds. Abraham believed God, and righteousness was
"credited" to him, not paid to him. God alone justified Abraham freely on the
basis of Abraham's faith (Rom 4:1-6). Since by its very nature faith confesses
the complete lack of human merit and human power, it subtracts nothing from the
Savior's grace or glory. By its very nature, faith points away from all human
status and looks to God alone for rescue and restoration."


From the
book "Why I am not a Calvinist" by Jerry L. Walls & Joseph R. Dongell pages
77 & 78




Adam Clark said:


Quote
"Verse 8. For by grace are ye saved, through faith] As ye are now brought into a
state of salvation, your sins being all blotted out, and you made partakers of
the Holy Spirit; and, having a hope full of immortality, you must not attribute
this to any works or merit of yours; for when this Gospel reached you, you were
all found dead in trespasses and dead in sins; therefore it was God's free mercy
to you, manifested through Christ, in whom ye were commanded to believe; and,
having believed by the power of the Holy Spirit, ye received, and were sealed
by, the Holy Spirit of promise; so that this salvation is in no sense of
yourselves, but is the free gift of God; and not of any kind of works; so that
no man can boast as having wrought out his own salvation, or even contributed
any thing towards it. By grace arc ye saved, through faith in Christ. This is a
true doctrine, and continues to be essential to the salvation of man to the end
of the world.

But whether are we to understand, faith or salvation as
being the gift of God? This question is answered by the Greek text: th gar
cariti este seswsmenoi dia thv pistewv? kai touto ouk ex umwn? qeou to dwron,
ouk ex ergwn? ina mh tiv kauchshtai? "By this grace ye are saved through faith;
and THIS (touto, this salvation) not of you; it is the gift of God, not of
works: so that no one can boast."The relative touto, this, which is in the
neuter gender, cannot stand for pistiv, faith, which is the feminine; but it has
the whole sentence that goes before for its antecedent." But it may be asked: Is
not faith the gift of God? Yes, as to the grace by which it is produced; but the
grace or power to believe, and the act of believing, are two different things.
Without the grace or power to believe no man ever did or can believe; but with
that power the act of faith is a man's own. God never believes for any man, no
more than he repents for him: the penitent, through this grace enabling him,
believes for himself: nor does he believe necessarily, or impulsively when he
has that power; the power to believe may be present long before it is exercised,
else, why the solemn warnings with which we meet every where in the word of God,
and threatenings against those who do not believe? Is not this a proof that such
persons have the power but do not use it? They believe not, and therefore are
not established. This, therefore, is the true state of the case: God gives the
power, man uses the power thus given, and brings glory to God: without the power
no man can believe; with it, any man may."

Adam Clark's Commentary to
the Ephesians
http://www.godrules.net/library/clarke/clarkeeph2.htm




This is what Saint John Chrysostom had to say about Eph chapter 2



Quote
"Again Christ is introduced, and it is a matter well worthy of our belief,
because if the firstfruits live, so do we also. He has quickened both Him and
us. Do you see that all this is said of Christ incarnate?......Those who were
dead, those who were children of wrath, those He has quickened. Do you behold
'the hope of his calling? ....Do you behold the glory of his inheritance?.....As
yet not one is actually raised, excepting that inasmuch as the Head has risen,
we also are raised....Truly there is need of the Spirit and of revelation, in
order to understand the depth of these mysteries. And then so you may have no
distrust about the matter, observe what he adds further....was faith then, you
will say, enough to save us? No, but God he says, has required this, lest He
should save us, barren and without work at all. His expression is that faith
saves, but it is because God so wills it that faith saves....'We are His
workmanship.' He here alludes to the regeneration which is in reality a second
creation. We have been brought from non-existence into being. As to what we were
before, that is, the old man, we are dead.
"


From the Eastern
Orthodox Lexicon & Commentary called "The Bible and the Holy Fathers"
compiled and Edited by Johanna Manley & Foreword by Bishop Kallistos Ware,
pages 489-490



It seems as if Saint John Chrysostom believed that the gift was talking about the whole phrase of "by grace you are saved through faith".

For he includes faith, but he also shows that it is mainly talking about the New Birth when he says: "He here alludes to the regeneration which is in reality a second
creation. We have been brought from non-existence into being. As to what we were
before, that is, the old man, we are dead."




It should be clear that the gift spoken of in Eph 2:8 is mainly talking about the word "Salvation"


And those who say that the gift in EPH 2:8 is only talking about the word faith are following the error of Saint Agustine.....well the view he held in his older years.



Your friend maybe reading a flawed interpretation of Eph 2:8 into Romans chapter 4.






JNORM888
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« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2008, 05:47:15 PM »

One thing that I have learned over the years (as a Protestant) is that it is pointless to attempt discussing/debating with a "Bible quoter."

Most have a fixed mindset and back up their mindset by quoting scripture (often out of context.) In my experience, I have been unable to get any of them to back up their belief with logical arguments -- a quote is as far as they are able/willing to cognicize. They are usually not open to discussion because their main (only?) objective is to convert you to their own belief system.

"Bible quoters" have always known the scriptures much better than I do. So, in addition to being pointless, debate often leads to the undermining of your own faith precisely because you are open to persuasion while they are not.
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« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2008, 05:51:33 AM »

"If you (an Orthodox) were asked, "What is the Gospel," how would you respond?"

I don't see any problem with the protestant version you gave above. There are lots of ways of stating the gospel.

"I've often heard that Orthodoxy is a Way of Life, but is it also a religion?"

I find this whole "Christianity is not a religion" thing to be a bit silly. Go look up religion in the dictionary, and clearly Christianity is a religion, unless you want to redefine the English language.

" I'm somewhat confused though by what Protestants teach about faith.  They usually mention that faith comes from without the person"

You're probably confused because protestants are at odds. Historically there have been two groups of baptists, the Particular Baptists and the General Baptists. Originally there were probably more Particular Baptists, but nowdays I'd say there are more General Baptists. The view of faith and how it comes from without, and about man's response to God would be completely different depending on which group he comes from. The General Baptists would say God makes a general call to all mankind to repent, and man must respond. The Particular Baptists say that God called out only a certain group of people and infused them with faith. Sounds like maybe your friend is in the Particular group.

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« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2008, 11:53:44 AM »

One thing that I have learned over the years (as a Protestant) is that it is pointless to attempt discussing/debating with a "Bible quoter."

Most have a fixed mindset and back up their mindset by quoting scripture (often out of context.) In my experience, I have been unable to get any of them to back up their belief with logical arguments -- a quote is as far as they are able/willing to cognicize. They are usually not open to discussion because their main (only?) objective is to convert you to their own belief system.

"Bible quoters" have always known the scriptures much better than I do. So, in addition to being pointless, debate often leads to the undermining of your own faith precisely because you are open to persuasion while they are not.



This might seem true at first glance, but the truth is. For many Bible quoters, if one can nuetralize their interpretation from the same text. Then deep down inside one does question what they been tought. They may not show it. But something is going on......on the inside.



If people never challenged me, then I wouldn't be Orthodox today. But you are right. They are looking for converts, which is why one must always be on their toes. Don't let your guard down...............and live your faith.











JNORM888

P.S. "Protestants who quote the Bible alot, tend to have a high view of scripture. If you don't use scripture, then whatever you say will go in one ear and out the other. Reason, logic, philosophy means nothing if one can't draw it out from scripture. This is the mindset, and this is why many of them will not listen. But if you know the scriptures then many will listen. I have a Roman Catholic friend by the name of Phatcatholic(his internet screen name). He is a lay Roman Catholic Apologist, and I love to watch him go at it with Protestants, because he will use the scriptures. And he will go toe to toe with most Protestants I know. And guess what? Many conservative Protestants actually respect him and will listen to what he has to say."
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« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2008, 12:27:09 PM »

I find this whole "Christianity is not a religion" thing to be a bit silly. Go look up religion in the dictionary, and clearly Christianity is a religion, unless you want to redefine the English language.
For practical purposes, Christianity may be defined as a religion.  But when dealing with Eastern Orthodoxy, 'religion' falls really, really short.  In reality, Eastern Orthodoxy is more of a science than a religion as the latter term usually deludes people into transferring their hopes to the future life (prompting Karl Marx to label religion as the Opium of the Masses.  A book that I would highly encourage everyone to read is Orthodox Psychotherapy by Metr. of Nafpaktos, Hierotheos S. Vlachos.  Another book that deals with the therapeutic nature of Eastern Orthodoxy is The Mountain of Silence by Kyriacos Markides, PhD.
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« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2008, 02:49:48 PM »

I was just called a heretic at my last church. I can't believe in Sola Scriptura.


If you friend truly believes that only those things in the bible are applicable and that church history has no bearing, ask him about slavery and abortion.

Our arguments against both are based on church tradition and the interpretation therein of the sactity of life.

If you go by scripture alone you would be in real trouble. There are countless scriptures refering to slavery and there is even a passage that refers to "bitter waters" given to an adultress that would cause her to essentially have a miscarriage. And what is abortion but to cause the expulsion of a baby from the womb? Now does this make abortion OK? Absolutely not. But it does mean that there are a great deal of horrific things in scripture that are not advisable to do now.

Think of Abraham and his whole mess. Would we suggest someone do that now? I certainly wouldn't.
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« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2008, 02:54:12 PM »

Hee hee....I was called a heretic by one of the elders at my last church because I quoted the "bitter waters" scripture are Hopko. At the time it was quite painful because I wasn't allowed to defend myself. Now it is really funny.
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« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2008, 01:33:35 AM »

For practical purposes, Christianity may be defined as a religion.  But when dealing with Eastern Orthodoxy, 'religion' falls really, really short.  In reality, Eastern Orthodoxy is more of a science than a religion as the latter term usually deludes people into transferring their hopes to the future life (prompting Karl Marx to label religion as the Opium of the Masses.  A book that I would highly encourage everyone to read is Orthodox Psychotherapy by Metr. of Nafpaktos, Hierotheos S. Vlachos.  Another book that deals with the therapeutic nature of Eastern Orthodoxy is The Mountain of Silence by Kyriacos Markides, PhD.


In the right doses, Opium can be used as a medicine. There is nothing wrong with Religion as being the Opium of the masses.


All medicene is  poison. But if used correctly it can treat, heal, and cure the ills of the masses.









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« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2008, 01:43:22 AM »

I was just called a heretic at my last church. I can't believe in Sola Scriptura.


If you friend truly believes that only those things in the bible are applicable and that church history has no bearing, ask him about slavery and abortion.

Our arguments against both are based on church tradition and the interpretation therein of the sactity of life.

If you go by scripture alone you would be in real trouble. There are countless scriptures refering to slavery and there is even a passage that refers to "bitter waters" given to an adultress that would cause her to essentially have a miscarriage. And what is abortion but to cause the expulsion of a baby from the womb? Now does this make abortion OK? Absolutely not. But it does mean that there are a great deal of horrific things in scripture that are not advisable to do now.

Think of Abraham and his whole mess. Would we suggest someone do that now? I certainly wouldn't.


It all depends on how you interprete some verses. I maybe wrong, but the Old Testament only allowed abortion if the life of the mother was at risk.

Also, in regards to slavery. All forms of slavery isn't wrong. If you look at the Jewish laws(in the old testament) for slavery, you would know that they had rules and regulations for both the slave as well as the slave owner.

And on top of that. Slavery existed all throughout Jewish and christian history. Including Byzantine Christian history. So slavery in and of itself isn't wrong. It's certian forms of slavery that are wrong.

Most ancient forms of slavery were "endenchured slavery". which is different from American Slavery, and Egyptian slavery.......when the Jews were slaves in Egypt.








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« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2008, 09:58:39 AM »


It all depends on how you interprete some verses. I maybe wrong, but the Old Testament only allowed abortion if the life of the mother was at risk.

Also, in regards to slavery. All forms of slavery isn't wrong. If you look at the Jewish laws(in the old testament) for slavery, you would know that they had rules and regulations for both the slave as well as the slave owner.

And on top of that. Slavery existed all throughout Jewish and christian history. Including Byzantine Christian history. So slavery in and of itself isn't wrong. It's certian forms of slavery that are wrong.

Most ancient forms of slavery were "endenchured slavery". which is different from American Slavery, and Egyptian slavery.......when the Jews were slaves in Egypt.

JNORM888

There was a thread on slavery here on the forum a while back, another thing to I need to look for  Smiley in which I and others took the point that Slavery is wrong in all cases.

Also, as a historical note, there was plenty of indentured servitude which was slavery for all practical purposes in the American Colonies and there were many cases of slaves earning money and buying their freedom in the 17th and 18th centuries, Absolom Jones is one such case, as well as persons with African ancestors being born Free such as Benjamin Banneker.

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« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2008, 01:54:15 PM »

It's Numbers 5:11-31

And now that I have an Orthodox bible (woo-hoo!) I looked up the passage in there. It looks like the water is possibly a method of sterilization. Because if she drinks it and is an adultress her "thigh will rot and her belly will swell" but if she isn't an adultress; "then she shall be innocent and may concieve children."

The various other versions I read focused more on the pain which made it sound more like child birth to me.
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« Reply #34 on: May 04, 2008, 09:22:08 AM »

Just a thought by the way.  There are different Churches and groups and individual Human Beings who are some type of "Protestant" but they are not all alike.  Some of the things in this thread about "Protestants" for example don't apply to me or how I think or deal with things in the least.



With respect,

Ebor
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« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2008, 12:49:52 PM »

There is nothing wrong with Religion as being the Opium of the masses.

There is when you take into consideration the way in which Marx intended everyone to understand his now infamous phrase, by which he meant that religion dulls the senses and keeps man enslaved in an illusory world:

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo."
-Karl Marx Contribution to Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right

Orthodox Christianity is indeed a hospital where therepeutic medicine is administered.  Therefore, Orthodoxy is more akin to a science than a mere religion. Any other view is close to being anti-Patristic and beyond the pale of Orthodoxy.  Now, as I mentioned earlier, for practical purposes, we may use the word religion when speaking to non-Orthodox, but whenever the opportunity presents itself it is incumbent upon us to present Holy Orthodoxy for what it is; a Hospital that administers therapeutic medicine.

In Christ,
Gabriel

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« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2008, 04:20:02 PM »

There is when you take into consideration the way in which Marx intended everyone to understand his now infamous phrase, by which he meant that religion dulls the senses and keeps man enslaved in an illusory world:

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo."
-Karl Marx Contribution to Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right

Orthodox Christianity is indeed a hospital where therepeutic medicine is administered.  Therefore, Orthodoxy is more akin to a science than a mere religion. Any other view is close to being anti-Patristic and beyond the pale of Orthodoxy.  Now, as I mentioned earlier, for practical purposes, we may use the word religion when speaking to non-Orthodox, but whenever the opportunity presents itself it is incumbent upon us to present Holy Orthodoxy for what it is; a Hospital that administers therapeutic medicine.

In Christ,
Gabriel





What does the word "Religion" mean to you? I am asking because we may have two different meanings in mind.






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« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2008, 04:22:51 PM »

Just a thought by the way.  There are different Churches and groups and individual Human Beings who are some type of "Protestant" but they are not all alike.  Some of the things in this thread about "Protestants" for example don't apply to me or how I think or deal with things in the least.



With respect,

Ebor



Are you a Baptist?




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« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2008, 04:25:52 PM »



Are you a Baptist?




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No, he's an Episcopalian.  I guess you're still a little new to the board didn't figure that out yet.  Keble is also an Episcopalian, but has sung in Orthodox choirs before.
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« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2008, 04:30:02 PM »

No, he's an Episcopalian.  I guess you're still a little new to the board didn't figure that out yet.  Keble is also an Episcopalian, but has sung in Orthodox choirs before.

I wonder what kind he is? Is he low church, broad church, or high church?

And if high church......I wonder if he's Anglo-Catholic?








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« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2008, 05:15:11 PM »

Thanks for your answers.  I've been reading them, just really busy and all. 
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« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2008, 06:04:23 PM »



Are you a Baptist?

No, as Elisha posted I am Anglican.  Why do you ask?  Smiley

And anyway not all Baptists think and act and react the same, let alone Baptists, Anglicans, Amish, Lutheran, AME, etc having the same "mind-set" because they can all be somehow classified as "Protestant".  That's why understanding individual Human Beings seems to me to be more the thing to do then to look on them as a set or class where all the members are identical. 

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« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2008, 07:56:02 PM »

No, as Elisha posted I am Anglican.  Why do you ask?  Smiley

And anyway not all Baptists think and act and react the same, let alone Baptists, Anglicans, Amish, Lutheran, AME, etc having the same "mind-set" because they can all be somehow classified as "Protestant".  That's why understanding individual Human Beings seems to me to be more the thing to do then to look on them as a set or class where all the members are identical. 

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« Reply #43 on: May 05, 2008, 08:13:42 PM »

No, as Elisha posted I am Anglican.  Why do you ask?  Smiley

And anyway not all Baptists think and act and react the same, let alone Baptists, Anglicans, Amish, Lutheran, AME, etc having the same "mind-set" because they can all be somehow classified as "Protestant".  That's why understanding individual Human Beings seems to me to be more the thing to do then to look on them as a set or class where all the members are identical. 

Ebor

I asked because he was dealing with a Baptist.

So what are you? Are you Low Church? Broad? or High Church?


And if you are high church, are you Anglo-Catholic? Are you ECUSA? Or are you a "Continual Anglican"?

You said you live in Maryland. When I was Anglo-Catholic, we had a Priest from Maryland take refuge in our Parish. He left when the parish got a new rector. He was an African American,  I don't know how many African American Episcopalian priests you have in the State of Maryland. I don't know his name at this time, but he was a very good conservative priest......high morals.



But I disagree with you in regards to labels. Labels are necessary. It's hard to live & make sense of the World without them.

I personally classify Baptists as Psuedo-Protestant, but that's too long to spell. I like short cuts....so I just use the word "Protestant". I would like to even make that shorter, but you won't let me.



So theological labels first & individual views second.






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« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2008, 10:19:24 PM »



What does the word "Religion" mean to you? I am asking because we may have two different meanings in mind.
JNORM888
Sorry for the delay in replying, I've been really busy the last few days. 


As I mentioned earlier, "religion" is not necessarily always the wrong word, but it is woefully inadequate and, as such, therefore usually a bad choice of words.  I will let two great teachers who know infinitely more than I explain what I am trying to say.

          "Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides Taken from The Sickness of Religion and It's Cure.

          "Yet Christianity cannot be regarded as a religion, at least not as religion presents itself today." - Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Hierotheos

As I have Metropolitan Hierotheos's book in front of me, let me quote some very powerful, concise information from his book Orthodox Therapy.

Here he is giving several present understandings of religion. You can read this by clicking on the above link.

God is usually visualised as dwelling in heaven and directing human history from there: He is extremely exacting, seeking satisfaction from man, who has fallen to earth in his sickness and weakness. There is a separation between God and man, This has to be surmouted by man ad religion is a very effective help. Various religious rites are employed for this purpose. According to another view, man feels powerless in the unierse and needs a mighty God to help him in his weakness. In this view God does not create man, but man creates God. Again, religion is conceived as man's relationship to the Absolute God, that is to say, the "relationship of the 'I' to the Absolute Thou.  Yet again, many regard religion as a means whereby the people are deluded into transferring their hopes to the future life. In this way strong powers put pressure on the people by means of religion.

.....

 We Orthodox are not waiting for the end of history ad the end of time, but through living in Christ we are running to meet the end of history and thus already living the life expected in the Second Coming.... So the eternal embraces us at every moment of time. Therefore past, present and future are essentially lived in one unbroken unity.

.....

 Thus Orthodoxy cannot be characterised as the "opium of the people", precisely because it does not postpone the problem.


We see this also in St. Luke 17:21 "The Kingdom of God is within you."

His Grace further goes on to explain Orthodox Theology is a Therapeutic Science.

What Therapy Is

Therapy of the soul essentially means therapy and freeing of the nous. Human nature became 'sick' through its fall away from God. this sickness is mainly the captivity and fall of the nous. The ancestral sin is that man withdrew from God, lost divine grace, and this resulted in blindness, darkness and death of the nous.... This loss of the grace of God deadened man's nous; his whole nature sickened, and he handed this sickness on to his descendants as well. In Orthodox teaching this is how we understand the inheritance of sin. The Fathers interpret St. Paul's "as by one man's diobedience many were made sinners" (Rom. 5:19 not in legal terms but 'medically'.


I sincerely hope this answers your question, brother.  I realize the answer was long and a bit convoluted, but the question is extremely important for us Orthodox Christians to fully comprehend. 
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« Reply #45 on: May 06, 2008, 11:27:47 AM »

Also, as a historical note, there was plenty of indentured servitude which was slavery for all practical purposes in the American Colonies and there were many cases of slaves earning money and buying their freedom in the 17th and 18th centuries, Absolom Jones is one such case, as well as persons with African ancestors being born Free such as Benjamin Banneker.

Also the great eighteenth-century former slave, best-selling author and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano. If I recall correctly from his magnificent autobiography, he was able to buy his freedom.
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« Reply #46 on: May 06, 2008, 01:34:11 PM »

Also the great eighteenth-century former slave, best-selling author and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano. If I recall correctly from his magnificent autobiography, he was able to buy his freedom.

There were many who were able to buy their freedom.  It was after up-risings such as Nat Turner's or Denmark Vesey's that harsher laws such as ones forbiding the education of slaves were made.  Denmark Vesey himself bought his freedom by winning $1500 in a lottery.

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« Reply #47 on: May 06, 2008, 03:40:55 PM »

This topic was moved to Orthodox Protestant Discussion as a more appropriate area for this discussion based on the direction the discussion has taken.

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« Reply #48 on: May 07, 2008, 04:47:51 AM »

While we are on the topic of understanding Protestants...

They (my husband for one) insist that ONLY what is found between the covers of the Bible matter to being Christian and knowing God. That anything else that is said, thougth, or practiced is man-made. And unnecessary or in his words "is just gravy".

So, this view would place a vast amount of Orthodoxy in the Man-made catagory. I think he is wrong. But I haven't got any idea of what to do or say or any reaction.

Suggestions?

edited for proofreading...
Christ is risen!

Some very good answers in this thread.
All I want to add is that sola Scriptura is the basis of most Protestantism (yes, ebor, not so much Anglicanism).
Lots of good threads on this site including those on the cover page about the problems with Sola Scriptura and how to answer those proponents..

The question to ask is Where you do get this idea that the Bible alone is the only way to go?   
Had Jesus wanted us to follow a book alone, wouldn't he have said something about it in his ministry?
Where is the verse that says this?  (The lame verses they present, firstly, are not from Jesus himself, and secondly, are so refutable and taken out of context.)
Then, look at Jesus's ministry as a whole.  To whom did he teach?  For one, to the apostles.  He went at length to instruct them, and trusted them not only to continue ministry but to forgive sins.
And what about those ordinary people, like the woman at the well?  He took time to understand and worked with them to bring out what was needed for salvation.  Even to his opponents, he explained without falling into their traps.
Now, I think it would be fair to say that Jesus was in the gospels, to use a modern word, relational.

But sola Scriptura wants us to believe that Jesus would not trust his ministry to fallen human beings, and instead God tosses a book from heaven that we should live by.     I would expect this from an ivory-tower diety, not a relational one.

I caution here that sola Scriptura is the one proposition most Protestants won't let go.  When I was a Protestant, it was unthinkable to abandon this doctrine.  Why?  You get rid of that one and the whole house of cards falls. 

Hope this helps.
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« Reply #49 on: May 07, 2008, 09:46:26 AM »

I asked because he was dealing with a Baptist.
 

yet the thread title is not "understanding a Baptist" but "Protestants"

Quote
So what are you? Are you Low Church? Broad? or High Church?

And if you are high church, are you Anglo-Catholic? Are you ECUSA? Or are you a "Continual Anglican"?

I am not in one of the "Continuing Anglican" groups, but in ECUSA.

Quote
You said you live in Maryland. When I was Anglo-Catholic, we had a Priest from Maryland take refuge in our Parish. He left when the parish got a new rector. He was an African American,  I don't know how many African American Episcopalian priests you have in the State of Maryland. I don't know his name at this time, but he was a very good conservative priest......high morals.

There are a number of African-American clergy in the diocese of Maryland.  Our next Bishop, to be installed on June 28 is also African-American, the Rev. Canon Eugene Taylor Sutton. 

May one ask how you came to be Anglo-Catholic for a time and if it was in ECUSA or a Continuing Anglican church?  If you have posted this information on the forum before, I apologize for asking and could you point me to that thread please?

Quote
But I disagree with you in regards to labels. Labels are necessary. It's hard to live & make sense of the World without them.

Yet, labels can get in the way of seeing another person as he/she really is.  It can lead to assuming that one *knows* what they think/believe/do because of ones own personal ideas, preferences or biases.  Names and catagories can be useful in general, but not in the individual, I think. 

Quote
I personally classify Baptists as Psuedo-Protestant, but that's too long to spell. I like short cuts....so I just use the word "Protestant". I would like to even make that shorter, but you won't let me.

I have no power to not "let" you do anything here. It has been requested on this forum that the term "Prot" not be used because it is an offensive term to some and in some parts of the world.  Courtesy and charity to other Human Beings is preferable to personal convenience may be.


Respectfully,

Ebor
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« Reply #50 on: May 07, 2008, 09:48:10 AM »

(yes, ebor, not so much Anglicanism).

"not so much"?  Smiley Wink Cheesy

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« Reply #51 on: May 07, 2008, 09:54:34 AM »

OK. If protestant tells that he is saved because he is (baptist ... whatever who he is) in his church.
How can he be saved ALREADY? It means:"Do what you want to do, you are saved! Make all the sins you want, you are saved!"  This attitude just makes me sad.
Had protestants the other day at our front door. Does spring activate their activity?
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« Reply #52 on: May 07, 2008, 10:01:37 AM »

OK. If protestant tells that he is saved because he is (baptist ... whatever who he is) in his church.
How can he be saved ALREADY? It means:"Do what you want to do, you are saved! Make all the sins you want, you are saved!"  This attitude just makes me sad.
Had protestants the other day at our front door. Does spring activate their activity?

Well, to their credit, I have to say that they always insist on "not deliberately practicing sin." They do believe that they are already saved because they have faith in Christ, and that faith DOES keep them away from deliberate sin.

Presbyterians have a somewhat different formula. Rather than proclaiming "I am saved," a Presbyterian proclaims that he/she, as an "elect," feels the assurance of salvation. If that feeling of assurance goes away, then the person is actually a "reprobate" (non-elect). Then... so be it! "Soli Deo Gloria" (all to God's glory - if He did not elect me, then that's His good pleasure and I will gradly go to hell for my sins, for His glory). But of course nobody from among the Presbyterians would ever admit that he/she "lost" this "feeling of assurance."
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« Reply #53 on: May 07, 2008, 10:08:47 AM »

Heorhij, of course you understand that the human's nature is sinful by itself. How often we become slaves of our passions, sometimes worse than animals. So those people believe that they sinless?!
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« Reply #54 on: May 07, 2008, 10:39:44 AM »

Heorhij, of course you understand that the human's nature is sinful by itself. How often we become slaves of our passions, sometimes worse than animals. So those people believe that they sinless?!

Well, yes and no... Our nature is sinful, but at Baptism, this sinful nature is "buried" in the water grave, and what stands up from the baptismal font is a new and sinless human being. From the moment of our baptism on, we actually can abstain from deliberate sin. However, we are living in a world full of demonic temptations, and we are weak, so we sin. That's why we need the Holy Mysteries of Confession and Eucharist.
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« Reply #55 on: May 07, 2008, 10:49:43 AM »

Of course we need Confession and Communion but I am actually wondering how baptist people can belive that just because they are in their baptist church they are already saved. How this can be? Everyone is sinful in our words, acts, thoughts.
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« Reply #56 on: May 07, 2008, 11:04:28 AM »

Of course we need Confession and Communion but I am actually wondering how baptist people can belive that just because they are in their baptist church they are already saved. How this can be? Everyone is sinful in our words, acts, thoughts.
In fact, they don't believe that just because they are in church they are saved. A few weeks' worth of sermons will reveal that. The Baptists actually go farther than the Orthodox in their idea about sin. They teach that everyone has inherited a sinful nature from Adam and Eve, and that because of this, it is impossible for humans not to sin. This doctrine is called "total depravity," a term which was first coined by John Calvin.

At the moment of salvation, however, they believe Jesus removes our sinful nature and gives us a new nature, one that will inherit eternal life regardless of future sins. This doctrine is called "eternal security" or sometimes "once saved, always saved."  This moment they say can only happen before the person dies, and therefore it is very important to Baptists to ensure that someone is saved before they die.

I would say that rather than being unconcerned about salvation, the Baptists are actually more concerned about it than the Orthodox are. They may not truly understand salvation, but they earnestly desire for everyone to be saved. That is a very Christ-like desire in my book.
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« Reply #57 on: May 07, 2008, 11:21:27 AM »

So they believe that they are already saved, right?  Because Christ gave them the second nature and they can sin but they are already saved?!
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« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2008, 01:02:51 PM »

So they believe that they are already saved, right?  Because Christ gave them the second nature and they can sin but they are already saved?!

They say that if they really "accept Christ in their hearts," they become unable to "practice sin," to live a life of deliberate, gross sin. Of course, they do not deny that every now and then they commit sins, but then Christ forgives these sins if those who commit these sins repent.

I think that in order to understand this "once saved, always saved" mentality, you need to look at it historically. What triggered the Western European Reformation of the 16th century was, essentially, people's disappointment in the "meritorious" concept of salvation. Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and other great Reformers just could not stand the idea that a human being should "EARN" his or her salvation.

Luther was a very austere ascetic Augustinian monk in his youth, he prayed day and night, fasted, did prostrations, etc., and yet he was horrified all the time that somehow, in some way, he is still not "good enough" in God's eyes. From this, he suddenly leaped into another extreme: he became fascinated by St. Paul's epistles where the apostle talks about being saved BY GRACE and not "by works." That happened in the middle of the infamous "indulgencies scandal," heated by the growing German nationalism and an anti-Roman, anti-Italian sentiment. Luther and his followers began to look at the Roman Church as apostatic, a group of usurpers who distorted the message of St. Paul's epistles, changing it into a false message of "earning salvation" by "works" (actually by strict obedience and monetary payments to the Roman hierarchy). In one of his letters, written when he was already in his late 40-s, Luther even wrote to one of his younger followers that it's a good thing to NOT be an ascetic of any kind, not to do any of these stupid "popish" "works: a man should eat a lot, drink, marry, father a lot of children, enjoy this earthly life in its fullest; the only important thing is "to know Christ." And when the devil tempts you to sin, wrote Luther, you should just laugh in his face and say, "Ha, you can't get me, I know Christ!"

Calvin had a somewhat different idea about Christian life. He was, first and foremost, a scholar, a "nerd" (while Luther was more of a propagandist and crowd-pleaser). Like Luther, Calvin, too, maintained that a human being is saved not by works, but solely by the grace of God. But he also developed a theology of "total depravity" and "irresistible grace." According to this theology (which Calvin to some extent borrowed from St./Bl. Augustine), God from the beginning, even before the creation of the world, predestined only some - maybe, actually, only a few! - people to receive His grace and be saved. The rest are "the reprobate" - left to their own devices, "passed over" by God's grace. The predestined, the "elect" cannot resist God's grace: they receive it and become instantaneously "regenerated," reborn, essentially saved, ready to enter into the Kingdom of God. They still need to be "sanctified," but this "sanctification" is, according to Calvin an automatic follow-up to the regeneration of the elect.

Also, Calvin developed a theory of "forensic justification." In short, this theory states that neither the elect nor the reprobate can become in any way worthy in God's eyes. But God "credits" Christ's righteousness to the elect, and that saves them from God's just and holy wrath. So, if you are an elect (and you can be sure you are, if you think that you truly believe in the Gospel and attend your local church), then your sins will be forgiven for Christ's sake.

Of course, these theological constructions are alien to the Orthodox Church. We, too, believe that we are being saved by grace and not by our own merit; but we also believe in the "synergy" between God and man. We do not see ourselves as puppets who are merely "played" by the Divine Grace. Rather, we see ourselves as "God's fellow workers." We are trying all our lives to "work our salvation with fear and trembling."
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« Reply #59 on: May 07, 2008, 10:55:23 PM »

Sorry for the delay in replying, I've been really busy the last few days. 


As I mentioned earlier, "religion" is not necessarily always the wrong word, but it is woefully inadequate and, as such, therefore usually a bad choice of words.  I will let two great teachers who know infinitely more than I explain what I am trying to say.

          "Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides Taken from The Sickness of Religion and It's Cure.

          "Yet Christianity cannot be regarded as a religion, at least not as religion presents itself today." - Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Hierotheos

As I have Metropolitan Hierotheos's book in front of me, let me quote some very powerful, concise information from his book Orthodox Therapy.

Here he is giving several present understandings of religion. You can read this by clicking on the above link.

God is usually visualised as dwelling in heaven and directing human history from there: He is extremely exacting, seeking satisfaction from man, who has fallen to earth in his sickness and weakness. There is a separation between God and man, This has to be surmouted by man ad religion is a very effective help. Various religious rites are employed for this purpose. According to another view, man feels powerless in the unierse and needs a mighty God to help him in his weakness. In this view God does not create man, but man creates God. Again, religion is conceived as man's relationship to the Absolute God, that is to say, the "relationship of the 'I' to the Absolute Thou.  Yet again, many regard religion as a means whereby the people are deluded into transferring their hopes to the future life. In this way strong powers put pressure on the people by means of religion.

.....

 We Orthodox are not waiting for the end of history ad the end of time, but through living in Christ we are running to meet the end of history and thus already living the life expected in the Second Coming.... So the eternal embraces us at every moment of time. Therefore past, present and future are essentially lived in one unbroken unity.

.....

 Thus Orthodoxy cannot be characterised as the "opium of the people", precisely because it does not postpone the problem.


We see this also in St. Luke 17:21 "The Kingdom of God is within you."

His Grace further goes on to explain Orthodox Theology is a Therapeutic Science.

What Therapy Is

Therapy of the soul essentially means therapy and freeing of the nous. Human nature became 'sick' through its fall away from God. this sickness is mainly the captivity and fall of the nous. The ancestral sin is that man withdrew from God, lost divine grace, and this resulted in blindness, darkness and death of the nous.... This loss of the grace of God deadened man's nous; his whole nature sickened, and he handed this sickness on to his descendants as well. In Orthodox teaching this is how we understand the inheritance of sin. The Fathers interpret St. Paul's "as by one man's diobedience many were made sinners" (Rom. 5:19 not in legal terms but 'medically'.


I sincerely hope this answers your question, brother.  I realize the answer was long and a bit convoluted, but the question is extremely important for us Orthodox Christians to fully comprehend. 

Cool, I was just looking at it as rituals along with a set of beliefs. I see what you are saying now.



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« Reply #60 on: May 07, 2008, 11:23:59 PM »

 

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yet the thread title is not "understanding a Baptist" but "Protestants"



True, but the Protestant he was talking about was a Baptist. So that would limit things a bit.



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I am not in one of the "Continuing Anglican" groups, but in ECUSA.


I was influenced by "Continual groups". Mainly David Bercot....back when he was a Continual, he's a Mennonite now. I was also influenced by the Convergence of the streams movement. The C.E.E.C. (Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches) & I.C.C.E.C. (International Communion of Charismatic Episcopal Churches)

I never really wanted to be ECUSA, but at the time they didn't have a convergence parish in Pittsburgh, so I joined an Anglo-Catholic Parish in the ECUSA.

When David Bercot started to change his mind about Apostolic sucession, as well as a few other things.....like when his fellowship in Tyler Texas fell apart. When that happened I started to doubt his ministry and I started thinking about Orthodoxy again. When one follows David Bercot they tend to be alone. It's hard to find fellowship, because no group really represents what he was selling. And I met alot of his former followers who felt the someway. Many of whom are now Orthodox. I also know many right now that are alone and many of them want to fellowship somewhere, but they can't because of what they percieve to be "false" doctrines. His main influence now seems to be Anabaptist groups, The Jesus people, and the Churches of Christ....including the Boston Church of Christ.

I know how they feel, and I tell them ....what's the point in starting a church? What's the point in trying to duplicate what you think the primative church was like when there is no guaranty that what you started will last when you die. They don't know if the next generation will become super Liberal! I also tell them, where will their members go if they have to move to another town? Where will they fellowship?

So the main thing I stress with them is that the Gates of Hades will not prevale against the Church. So you have to find and embrace the Church that came from Jesus and the Apostles because that is the Church built on the rock. It will never fall to Hades.

But what they do is they give me a novel interpretation of that verse, so I just respond by telling them to check their interpretation with the Historical record to see if it's not noval........so far they refuse to do that. And that's pretty much where our conversation ends.

I'm sorry for rambling off topic. I just have a heart for those trapped in that movement.






  The C.E.E.C. was struggling..... back then I wanted to attend their seminary in Pheonox Arizona, but something happened to it. I don't know if it was closed down or what....but something happened. The last straw was when the I.C.C.E.C. broke into pieces in Semptember of 2006. Well in America they splintered. Some went to Rome, Others to Orthodoxy, Some went to the Old Catholics in Brazil. While others just formed their own regional parishes. Some stayed with the I.C.C.E.C. but they changed their focus ever since. Semptember of 2006.

That's when I knew I had to become Orthodox. I saw no hope in England......So in December of 2006 I started visiting a local Orthodox Parish. And I become Orthodox in April of 2008.

It's kind of strange because I tried to become Orthodox back in 1997/1998 but I never got a responce from the Parish I contacted........so it took about 10 years....9 to 10 years.

 I've been reading the Church fathers for those 9 to 10 years, and I never stopped reading various Orthodox material.

But yeah, I have a couple stuff on OC.net. It's in the archives somewhere. I'll try to find it. I also have it on my blog.

as takin from my blog: The short version

Quote
quote
"About Me
I was raised Baptist but became heavily influenced by Pentecostalism/Charismaticism in my highschool and early college years. Around my sophmore year in college was when I started getting into alot of arguments/discussions with my friends on such issues like the sabbath, the Trinity, Baptism, once saved always saved....ect. These talks eventually led me to the Early Church Fathers for some of my friends who were Seventhday Adventists and Oneness Pentecostals would bring up church history when our talks over scripture didn't go anywhere. And I've been reading them eversince. I became Eastern Orthodox the day before Pascha of 2007. It was hard to remain Protestant when I embraced a high view of the Sacraments(mysteries). I tried the Episcopal church for awhile, but left after my Episcopal influences started to crumble. It was hard for me to partake of communion in orther protestant churches. MY conscience wouldn't allow it. So I went east. I tried to become Orthodox back when I first started reading the church fathers back in 1997/1998, but the church I called never returned my phone call.





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There are a number of African-American clergy in the diocese of Maryland.  Our next Bishop, to be installed on June 28 is also African-American, the Rev. Canon Eugene Taylor Sutton.
 

cool beans

 

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May one ask how you came to be Anglo-Catholic for a time and if it was in ECUSA or a Continuing Anglican church?  If you have posted this information on the forum before, I apologize for asking and could you point me to that thread please?

I'll check the archives. But I posted a little up top



Quote
Yet, labels can get in the way of seeing another person as he/she really is.  It can lead to assuming that one *knows* what they think/believe/do because of ones own personal ideas, preferences or biases.  Names and catagories can be useful in general, but not in the individual, I think.
 

True, but I need labels, because they give me a general framework to work with. I'll notice the individual ideas and preferences as I get to know a person.


like for instance, its unlikely that a Southern Baptist will believe in Transubstanciation, but if I meet a Baptist that does then I will take that into account. But in general most Baptist wouldn't believe that. The same is true for other ideas. Each denomination will give me a basic framework to guess what a person might believe....or should believe.



Quote
I have no power to not "let" you do anything here. It has been requested on this forum that the term "Prot" not be used because it is an offensive term to some and in some parts of the world.  Courtesy and charity to other Human Beings is preferable to personal convenience may be.


Respectfully,

Ebor


understood.




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