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Author Topic: Mary, Saints, and Icons  (Read 4256 times) Average Rating: 0
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Doubting Thomas
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« on: July 18, 2003, 01:21:49 PM »

Hello. I'm new to this board.  I'm a 32 year old "cradle" Southern Baptist who has been reading about Orthodoxy for the past year-and-a-half.  I must say that much Orthodox theology--Tradition, Creeds, ecclessiology, sacraments--makes  a lot of sense to me.

However, I do have a question about the practices about praying to Mary and the Saints and venerating icons.  I've read the logic behind why these are done, but is there any Biblical basis for these practices?  Is there any historical evidence, say, from the Ante-Nicene Fathers that these were acceptable practices from the beginning of the church and not merely customs of men added later?  Can anyone prove that praying to anyone other than God and that venerating icons were truly part of the Apostolic Faith "once delivered to the saints" and not just NON-Apostolic "traditions" that crept into the church many centuries later?

Any info would be appreciated, as these issues seem to be my biggest hindrances in not exploring Orthodoxy any further.  Needless to say, my wife who has NOT been reading about Orthodoxy, is certainly turned off to these practices.  Can anyone help?
Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2003, 01:38:26 PM »

Welcome DT !

It is important to remember that when we say pray to the Saints, we speak of asking them for intercession before our Lord on our behalf.  This is just as when we ask a friend to pray for us.  Worship is offered only to the Holy Trinity.

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Is there any historical evidence, say, from the Ante-Nicene Fathers that these were acceptable practices from the beginning of the church and not merely customs of men added later?


From The Orthodox reverence of Saints

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In the liturgy of the Apostle James we read: "Especially we perform the memory of the Holy and Glorious Ever-virgin, Blessed Mother of God. Remember Her, Lord God, and by Her pure and holy prayers have mercy on us." Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, in describing the Liturgy of the church of Jerusalem, notes: "Thus we remember (in the Liturgy) those deceased earlier, firstly the patriarchs, the prophets, apostles, martyrs, so that through their prayers and intercessions God would accept our prayers."

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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2003, 01:50:37 PM »

DT:

If you are an academic type this probably won't work for you.  But this worked wonders for me.

When I was a Protestant I was against praying to Mary, too.  So one day my Catholic friend said to me, "well you believe you can't lose your salvation, right" and I was like "yeah" so she said, "then just pray to the Mother of God to show herself to you, and if she can hear your prayers she will respond; if she can't you didn't mess up your salvation so you are ok."

It worked, needless to say.  I offer this as just a practical example, even though it doesn't really answer your original post.
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2003, 09:51:37 PM »


Greetings in the name of the Lord Thomas....thats the name I chose upon my reception into Orthodoxy! Smiley I'm fairly new to this board as well. So from one newbie to another...welcome! Smiley

I definitely was not a 'cradle baptist' but just before discovering Orthodoxy I was about to begin attending the local baptist church. So I know where you are coming from with these questions.

I'll try to give some answers...and I hope they will be useful to you.

First and foremost, we do NOT pray 'to' the saints or Mary. However, we DO ask the saints and Mary to pray for us.  I'm sure you've asked others to pray for you at some time in your life. This is EXACTLY what we do with the saints and Mary. We ask them to pray FOR us. When they pray they are praying to God, just like when your friends, or your pastor, or your wife would pray to God for you.
There is no difference here. Well, with the exception that those who have gone to Heaven, are are in the very presence of God, truly KNOW how to pray! They know how to pray alot better than we do. I reckon this has already been explained to you though, so forgive me.

As for Biblical evidence...well there's actually quite a lot. A few verses are as follows:

St James wrote that we are to "pray for one another..." -James 5:16

Paul wrote, "therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, INTERCESSIONS and giving of thanks be made for ALL men." 1st Timothy 2:!

In almost every letter Paul wrote he asked for prayers, and mentioned that he was praying for everyone in the Church.
Orthodoxy would say that when people go to Heaven they are not "dead" but are actually MORE alive than we are here on earth. So since they are NOT dead, but rather very much alive (though temorarily seperated from their bodies) they are still considered as much a part of the Church, if not more so than we are. For us Orthodox, we see those in heaven and on earth as being literally ONE family whether we're on earth, or in heaven. (see Ephesians 3:15)

This teaching can be supported by a bunch of Scriptural passages. A couple would be when Jesus told the Pharisees that "God is not the God of the dead but of the LIVING." Matthew 22:31-32 He said this in response to their saying people who had died were actually "dead" and either wouldn't live again until the Resurrection or for the Saduccees, who rejected the Resurrection would never live again. Jesus shot down their argument by saying they were already alive Resurrection Day or no Resurrection Day.

Jesus also told the Pharisees in John 8:56 that even though Abraham had been 'dead' for 1000's of years, Abraham actualy "saw" Jesus's coming into the world and was glad about it. Another verse where Jesus shows those in heaven are aware of what happens on earth is this:

Jesus said, "I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance." Luke 15:7

The best evidence is actually from Revelation 4, 5, 6 and chapter 8. In these chapters we see a picture of the worship that takes place in heaven. In it are shown a picture of angels and saints taking prayers before God. Also in chapter 6 we see that the martyred saints are aware of the things that are taking place upon the earth. Throughout Revelation actually, St. John says that "i saw" followed by things he saw taking place upon the earth. And in fact all the heavenly hosts see these events take place.

So the idea that those in heaven see and know what is happening on earth is supported by many Bible passageses. another would be the illiustration of the rich man and Lazarus. Anyways, since those who have gone to heaven know what is happening on earth, and since they are still members of the Church, and we're all one family, then the saints who truly know how to pray, will do so in heaven.

Thats some Biblical support for the practice...as for historical...I'm afraid I dont have references that I can post. I mean I have references, just not online...but yes the saints before 325AD wrote about the practice of asking the saints in heaven to pray for those still on earth. But again, I dont have them able to post...sorry!

As for Icons...well the use of Icons dates back historically to at least the early 2nd Century. As the catacombs in Rome, where the Christians in Rome would hide from the persecutions, have Icons painted all over the catacomb walls. If I recall, one of these Icons is actually an image of a woman asking a saint in heaven to pray for her. (I once say a picture of it, and that is the conclusion that I drew from it) Again, sorry I dont have references though. But these things are common knowlegde among Orthodox, so I dont think I'll get blasted for not posting a refernece. Smiley

One thing you could think of is that IF Icons developed later, like in the 4th century, why didn't ANYONE reject this 'new' practice? The Christians of that time fought dozens of heresies far more dangerous than this. Certainly if something so easy to prove as "new" entered the Church, someone would have said something about it. But no one did. (well in the 7th century an Emperor declared them wrong because of the influence of Islam, but the Church fiercly proclaimed that it was the Emperor's idea  that was the "new" teaching...not the other way around. And again, this was all due to the rise of Islam. In fact the Emperor never said Icons weren't from Apostolic origins, he simply said since Islam so strongly rejected images (because they do not believe in the Incarnation of Christ) the Church should abolish Icons to appease Islam. The Church absolutely rejected this, declaring Icons had always been used, and were essential because they supported and declared that God became enfleshed in a material human body. (but thats all theological)

Oh in case you're wondering the 10 Commandments do NOT forbid the use of all images from being made. 3 chapters after God gave Moses the 10 Commandments, God COMMANDED Moses and the Hebrew to make images of angels, and other heavenly things in the building of the tabernacle and the ark of the Covenant. So even in the old Testament, images were used. When Solomon built the temple, it was arrayed in images. So the Bible doesn't teach images are sinful...just in case you thought it did, because that is what I was always taught. Until I read that God told Moses to make images that is..Smiley

I hope this is coherent Thomas..and I hope it isn't too much at once. If it is I apologize. Just take it a ittle at a time. Ask God to guide you. (as its obvious you already are doing) And if I haven't been clear, I'll be happy to try and answer again.

Your brother in Christ, Thomas


« Last Edit: July 19, 2003, 09:59:16 PM by Chuck S. » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2003, 08:51:46 PM »

Thomas -

Check out this site for a photo from the oldest Christian church still standing (scroll down for it):

http://www.philthompson.net/pages/icons/duraeuropos.html

I was once a Southern Baptist, too. The veneration of the saints and the use of images were also tough things for me to understand when I first began thinking about the Orthodox Church.

My reading of the early Church Fathers, with their references to saints and martyrs and relics helped to convince me. Read the writings of the very earliest Fathers and see what they had to say. The Martyrdom of Polycarp is an inspiring story and includes the return of his relics (his corpse) to Smyrna, where he was bishop.

Have you read Clark Carlton's The Way: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church? I recommend it. Carlton was a Southern Baptist seminary student when he discovered the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2003, 06:33:49 PM »

Thanks for the kind and informative responses.

Just to clarify, I have indeed read that the Orthodox don't technically pray TO the saints but ask for Mary and the saints to pray FOR them.

Oblio, thanks for the article.  I've skimmed through it and will try this week to read through the whole thing (I just got back from a weekend vacation).

Chuck (Thomas), thanks for the verses.  I have read some of them being related to the issue at hand.  I would be interested in seeing the references of early church fathers describing how "praying to" saints was practiced.  You do make a good point about the official absense of protest in regard to icons until the 7th Ecumenical Council and the context of iconoclasm at that time.

Linus...Wow, so you were a Southern Baptist too, huh?  I've read a couple of articles by Clark Carlton (including "From First Baptist to First Century") but I haven't had a chance to read THE WAY yet.  I guess I'll add it to the "list".  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2003, 08:12:21 AM »

My wife and I were discussing this issue last night at dinner--our ANNIVERSARY dinner, no less.  Although she can understand that the Orthodox don't pray "to" Mary and the saints, the whole thing is still very strange to her.  (I admit that I'm not sure I'm ready to engage in the "communion of the saints" in that way myself.)

She brought up what I think is a good point: "I don't know I spend enough time praying to GOD to justify praying "to" the Saints or Mary."  I can see where she is coming from, although I did mention that to the Orthodox it's probably no different than calling a friend on the phone and asking that friend to pray for you.  Regardless, in her mind (and in MINE, to an extent), thinking of "praying 'to' the Saints" evokes images of Catholics praying to statues of Saint so-and-so asking he (or she) for something.  It seems idolatrous.

Practically speaking, what percentage of prayers are spent in Orthodox worship and/or private devotion praying directly TO God versus praying "to" (?through) Mary or the saints?  I think knowing this might help my wife and I sort this out some more.  Thanks.
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2003, 11:15:38 AM »

Doubting Thomas

I must admit that I'm hesitant to post this, since it will most likely only muddy the waters. I certainly don't want to confuse you, but I think it'd be better for you to hear some perspective now, rather than later. Smiley

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My wife and I were discussing this issue last night at dinner--our ANNIVERSARY dinner, no less.  Although she can understand that the Orthodox don't pray "to" Mary and the saints, the whole thing is still very strange to her.

Pray means communicate, it's communicating in the holy spirit. I do communicate with saints, and sometimes (rarely) they answer back. I do not pray to them in the same way that I pray to God, but I do indeed pray to them. Maybe this is just word games here, I'm not sure; maybe I have a different idea as to what pray means. Yes, again, I don't pray to saints as I pray to God, I "ask them" to pray for me. Yet, what does "pray" mean? It use to be (and even in the KJV) that people might say "I pray thee, please say a prayer for me." "Pray" means ask or communicate. So... if you see something in Orthodox literature about praying TO the saints, don't take it the wrong way.


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"I don't know I spend enough time praying to GOD to justify praying "to" the Saints or Mary."

I can understand this, I think this myself many times. Think of it like asking friends to pray for you that you pray more. Instead of earthly friends, ask those in the Church triumphant to pray for you that you can pray more. Ask them to ask God to soften your heart, even as you simultaneously go "straight to God" and ask him the same thing.

Quote
Practically speaking, what percentage of prayers are spent in Orthodox worship and/or private devotion praying directly TO God versus praying "to" (?through) Mary or the saints?  I think knowing this might help my wife and I sort this out some more.  Thanks.

I'm not really sure... it varies from person to person I'd think. We think of all of it glorifying God, though. When we talk about Mary the Theotokos, for instance, when we "magnify" her, we are in essence giving glory to God. If you read about the arguments in the ancient Church, for instance the one with Nestorius about whether Mary was the "Mother of God" or the "Mother of Christ," the focus or underlying issue was God, Christ our God. So also, whek we speak today about the saints, Mary, etc., we are speaking of them only because they were/are like a mirror that reflects the grace and light and truth of the thrice-brilliant Lord God. This is the same reason that we pray to them, because they were grace-filled and are "prayer warriors" in the fullest sense of the term.
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2003, 12:16:54 PM »

The saints are our friends. They have achieved final glory and are rooting for us to do the same. In the Gospel, Jesus says that those with faith can obtain ANYTHING through prayer (even my salvation). Who has greater faith than the Mother of God? Also, when you think that Christ has destroyed death, and that we are all alive in Christ through baptism, then we are not seperated from the saints and can communicate with them. If their faith is pure and can obtain the impossible, then why not glorify God through the communion of saints?

You may need to get over the image of Roman Catholic "idolatry," even if you might become Orthodox and not Roman Catholic. The Roman Catholics believe the same things the Orthodox do on these matters. The lines may get blurred with the use of statues (St. John of Damascus points out that the Ark of the Covenant had statues of angels on its top), but the RCs do believe the same things.

Hope this helps with your question.

Matt
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2003, 02:32:26 PM »

To our new friend, Doubting Thomas,
I can understand intellectually exploring Orthodoxy, but I do feel that learning how to "talk the talk" will not lead to "walking the walk", if I'm not being too offensive. I do not come from a "convert" background but I do affirm my faith everyday- every single day is a conversion for me.
So I must ask you, have you been to an Orthodox Divine Liturgy or Vespers service yet? Visited a church and talked to a priest or deacon yet? If not, I should think THAT is where to begin. After your visit, perhaps we can better field your questions.
Orthodoxy is not a belief-set, but a way of Life.
(Sorry if this post is disjointed; I was interrupted by a couple Jehovah's Witnesses who promptly beat a retreat when I asked them their views on the Tome of Leo - WHO??? Tee-hee)
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2003, 06:30:30 PM »

Thanks again for the responses.

Aristocles, forgive me for asking questions.  I agree that if that's all I do, then I won't truly know Orthodoxy.  However, it is only reasonable to ask ABOUT something before undertaking it.  Paul reasoned with people about the objective truthfulness of the gospel (with the Jews, he demonstrated the truth of the Gospel from Scriptures).  I don't think its wrong to know if something is OBJECTIVELY true before experiencing it SUBJECTIVELY.  Otherwise, what's the difference between Orthodoxy (or any other faith) and Mormonism, which invites prospective converts to pray for the "burning in the bossom" as a confirmation of truth?  At any rate, I am hoping to visit an Orthodox service this weekend, so we'll see...

Paradosis, I have indeed read about the different meanings of the word "pray", and that makes sense to me.  How, then, do the Orthodox defend "praying to" the departed saints against Protestant apologists (ie, at NTRMin.org) who insist that the practice is no different than communicating with the dead as condemned in the OT (Deut.18:11)?  For as the souls of the saints are "alive", it may be argued that ALL souls (righteous or otherwise) are in a sense "alive" and that the OT passage doesn't make distinction between the good and bad dead.  

Also, my wife wants to know (and she hopes the question is not sacrereligious), if we can "pray to" Larry Burkett (who past away recently) to ask God to guide us in our financial decisions?  I guess, what she's getting at is how does Orthodoxy determine who is in fact a "saint"?

I hope nobody takes my questions as being disrespectful--I honestly want to know.  I've read several  Orthodox articles and the book BECOMING ORTHODOX and I'm very interested about learning more (Again, I hope to ATTEND an Orthodox service this weekend)

God Bless.
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2003, 06:40:31 PM »

Dear Thomas,

I will let Justin deal with your first question about how praying to the saints is different from communicating with the dead, as he is probably more learned on the subject.

As to whom one can pray to, the Orthodox Church, if I'm not mistaken, believes that you can pray to anyone you reasonably feel is in heaven.  So, if a child lost his father, that child could include a prayer to his father (prayer understood as asking for the prayers of the person) in his daily prayers.  Timothy Ware (Bishop KALLISTOS) mentions this very example in The Orthodox Church.    

The Orthodox Church, however, does canonise certain men and women who have lived exceptionally holy lives by the grace of God and can serve as examples to us.  These are the "official" saints, who have feast days and have churches dedicated to them, icons written of them, etc.  The latter is a more formal recognition of sanctity than the former by far.  But one need not restrict one's invocations to the saints only officially canonised.  Certainly one can do that, but you can also pray to those you reasonably believe may be in heaven.  Ultimately, God is the One Who answers all prayers (the saints only intercede, they don't grant), and so all prayers come to Him and He will answer them.
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2003, 07:48:11 PM »

Mor Ephrem,

Thanks for the insight.  That helps answer my question.  Bishop Kallistos book THE ORTHODOX CHURCH is on my list to read.

I am looking forward to an Orthodox defense against the Protestant charge that praying to the saints is nothing more than necromancy (Although I realize intuitively there is a big difference).

God Bless.
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2003, 08:50:59 PM »


necromancy  -  1. magic, esp. that practiced by a witch or sorcerer; witchcraft; conjuration; 2. the alleged art of divination through communication with the dead; the black art (Random House College Dictionary).

First, when we ask the saints to pray for us, when we venerate them by praising the record of their holy lives and by endeavoring to follow their example, we are not communicating with the dead. The saints are alive in heaven with the Lord.

Second, we are not attempting to conjure up anything or anyone. We are not trying to see the departed, nor do we expect any audible responses or visions.

Third, we are not attempting to foretell the future (divination).

We are not witches, sorcerers, or practitioners of the black arts.

So you see, Orthodox beliefs and practices are as far from necromancy as the East is from the West.

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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2003, 03:58:35 AM »


Aristocles, forgive me for asking questions.  I agree that if that's all I do, then I won't truly know Orthodoxy.  However, it is only reasonable to ask ABOUT something before undertaking it.  Paul reasoned with people about the objective truthfulness of the gospel (with the Jews, he demonstrated the truth of the Gospel from Scriptures).  I don't think its wrong to know if something is OBJECTIVELY true before experiencing it SUBJECTIVELY.  Otherwise, what's the difference between Orthodoxy (or any other faith) and Mormonism, which invites prospective converts to pray for the "burning in the bossom" as a confirmation of truth?  At any rate, I am hoping to visit an Orthodox service this weekend, so we'll see...

Forgive you? Why? Did you do something wrong? I am merely stating that after a year and a half, it's time to "Come and see".
Do you think Christ would have dispelled Doubting Thomas' doubts if Thomas had not first put himself forth (with the other apostles that day) to be convinced? And now I know you ARE addressing this by your visit planned for this weekend.
Yes, Paul was a brilliant advocate. Of course he would use the Hebrew scriptures when ministering to them; and other approaches when preaching the Gospel to the "Greeks" and others, don't you think?
And perhaps you can forgive ME - I have a hard time with the Objective-Subjective thing in matters of faith.
My opinion and advice to your wife - I don't think an Orthodox Christian would pray for anything "financial" -health and salvation seem enough, no?
Looking forward to your first impressions from your visit.
Demetri
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2003, 12:33:18 PM »

Linus--
Good answer.

Artistocles--
Thanks for the kind words.  In relation to my wife's hypothetical question, I believe she was talking in terms of seeking wisdom in making sound financial decisions so we can be good stewards.  I agree--I don't see Orthodoxy into that whole "prosperity gospel" that has infected large segments of Protestantism.

God Bless.  Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2003, 01:24:48 PM »

Linus,
Again, nice response (re: necromancy).  To bad you didn't think of such a nice and succint response back on CBBS.
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« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2003, 01:30:04 PM »

Well, to be fair to Linus, during the heyday at CBBS he was often defending Orthodoxy in 3-4 threads at a time.  I remember seeing an expanded version of what he wrote above, but perhaps not quite so pithy.  
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« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2003, 04:05:36 PM »

What is CBBS?
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« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2003, 04:45:45 PM »

It is TBTSNBN

Cheesy
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« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2003, 04:58:04 PM »

I really hate to do this to you ...
But look here
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« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2003, 05:41:20 PM »

It's hard to believe we really had 25 pages on that thread.  Lord have mercy on us all.
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« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2003, 06:04:35 PM »


Dear 'Doubting Thomas', (btw I'll sign my posts as 'Chuck' in this thread for the sake of clarity)

I can see, before even reading the entire thread, that its getting a tiny bit off track here.

Dont worry about not visiting and Orthodox Church. Yes! We are to "come and see" just like Christ said. Yet if you are VERY logical, and systematic (basically western) in your thought, then there is nothing wrong with getting over these issues, at least to some degree before visiting a Church.

I studied Orthodoxy for 5 months (probably 2 or 3 hours every day) and went from denying Orthodoxy to accepting that it was the True Church before ever setting foot inside an Orthodox Church.
Essentially upon my first visit I was already Orthodox at least in my mind. Going to a Church in my first month of study simply would not have worked for me. I had to 'know' it was true before I could appreciate it.

Now this is just the complete opposite of every other convert I've talked to, who "come and see" and then learn doctrine...but if you think very logically, systematically, western, then so far you're taking the right path.

If your wife rejects Icons to the extent he thinks they're idols then going to a Church where we kiss an Icon isn't going to dispell that thought but only enhance it.

Now I'm not saying you shouldn't go...for even after knowing that Orthodoxy was 100% true, I truly didn't grasp its fullness until I went to the services. But dont feel rushed like you "have to go"...it just really depends on the individual and each person's own unique circumstances.

Anyways...to your 2 questions that I'm not sure were answered:


How much time do we spend "praying to" the saints? You wanted a percentage I think. I dunno? Maybe 2% or 3% at the most! That leaves 97% of everything else praying to God. Don't worry...we don't spend hours praying to the saints and not to God. And actually whatever we ask the saints to pray for, we are also expected to pray to God for.

Almost the entire Liturgy are prayers, after prayers addressed to God. Even the Orthros before the Liturgy (which I strongly recommend you arrive early enough for when you do visit) is almost entirely praying Psalms, intercessions for the Church, us, etc all addressed to God. So yes, we do ask for the saints to intercede, but its not so overwhelming that you will be disturbed by it.

And really if you dont want to, you dont "have" to askt he saints to intercede for you in your private prayers. You'd be misisng out on the blessing of their prayers, but its not required! It would only be wrong if you said it was wrong to do so or something....but no one is forced to it.

When I first began praying the Orthodox way, I didn't ask the saints to intercede at first. I gradually worked into it though and now do so on almost a daily basis. (I just saying something like "St Thomas pray to the Lord for me, for so and so reason") Then I ask God for the same thing. 98% of my prayer is to God alone.

Does that help any?

Oh and Thomas....if it hasn't been recommended...read THE ORTHODOX WAY by Bishop Ware. Its far better than 'The Orthodox Church' which I didn't really like as an introduction personally. But alot of people do..so..

In Christ. Chuck


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« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2003, 06:23:12 PM »

ChuckS (Thomas),

Thanks for the insightful post.  I suspected that most Orthodox prayers were directly to God but I wasn't sure.

I'm still going to try to attend to the Orthodox service this weekend, but it will be in my in-laws "neck of the woods".  My wife's friends from New Jersey will be staying with us at her parents, so I might not be able to slip out for a couple of hours (though I'll probably be able to do so).  If I do go this weekend, my wife won't be coming with me, which is probably good for the reason you mentioned above.  She'll be hanging out with her friends so it may work out for me--I'll get to "try" it and then report back to her, so to speak.

So you like THE ORTHODOX WAY better than THE ORTHODOX CHURCH?  I thought about getting them both myself.  I also want to read DANCING ALONE by Schaeffer and THE WAY by Clark Carlton at some point.

Again, thanks for your reply.  Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2003, 06:41:52 PM »

Doubting Thomas -

I know I recommended it before, but, since you're a Southern Baptist, you're going to want to read Clark Carlton's The Way as soon as you can. It's subtitled What Every Protestant Should know About the Orthodox Church, but it is really written from the perspective of a former lifelong SBCer. It will definitely speak to you and where you're coming from.

If you read it, let me know what you think. It made a BIG impression on me.
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« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2003, 06:51:58 PM »

I might also recommend, Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells by Matthew Gallatin, a former SDA and Charismatic, Calvary Chapel Protestant.  There were quite a few passages in that book where I said 'Wow, that is just how I felt !.
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« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2003, 07:11:29 PM »

I might also recommend, Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells by Matthew Gallatin, a former SDA and Charismatic, Calvary Chapel Protestant.  There were quite a few passages in that book where I said 'Wow, that is just how I felt !.

Hey! That sounds really good!

I want to read it, too.  Grin
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