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Author Topic: Help Understanding Protestantism  (Read 8910 times) Average Rating: 0
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lubeltri
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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.

Ebor
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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"

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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. 

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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 »

 

Quote
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.



Quote
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.





Quote
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

 

Quote
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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