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Author Topic: Orthodox Denominationalism?  (Read 12324 times) Average Rating: 0
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #45 on: June 27, 2008, 04:44:13 PM »

Such a word may not exist in the current thread.
Quite possibly.

Quote
I remember seeing that thread on Calendars and my above sentiments were reflected in that there may not be such a word.
Yes. I did not use the word "denomination," but I did argue that they are essentially the same, even though they differ as to what to call a particular day.

Quote
Going back to my reply on Semantics, isn't semantics (e.g. what is ecumenism) the reason for these uncanonical Orthodox Jurisdictions being created?  These uncanonical Jurisdictions would be correctly labeled as denominations of Orthodox Christianity according to definition of denomination because they no longer believe in the same things as canonical Orthodox Jurisdictions.
I don't believe so. In the Protestant mindset, there is an invisible church that all Protestants are part of; to them, the differences in belief make no difference as long as one believes in Christ. In other words, there is really no such thing as heresy; every belief is subject to private interpretation. So the fact that uncanonical jurisdictions are not part of our Church would make them something other than denominations, according to the established definition. A better analogy would be the status of Jehovah's Witnesses and Latter-Day Saints in Protestantism. Though technically Protestant, these are definitely "uncanonical" to mainstream Protestant Christianity, and generally have no communion with them.
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« Reply #46 on: June 27, 2008, 05:50:56 PM »

I don't believe so. In the Protestant mindset, there is an invisible church that all Protestants are part of; to them, the differences in belief make no difference as long as one believes in Christ. In other words, there is really no such thing as heresy; every belief is subject to private interpretation.

If your private interpretation is different than mine and both of us have established religions, does this difference constitute a denomination?  God  spoke to Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses & Joshua - was each man's private interpretations of God different?

So the fact that uncanonical jurisdictions are not part of our Church would make them something other than denominations, according to the established definition.

So, if not denominations, then some word that neither of us believes exist?

A better analogy would be the status of Jehovah's Witnesses and Latter-Day Saints in Protestantism. Though technically Protestant, these are definitely "uncanonical" to mainstream Protestant Christianity, and generally have no communion with them.

Both are appropriately referred to as denominations because both have different beliefs which consist of different things.
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« Reply #47 on: June 27, 2008, 06:58:28 PM »

If your private interpretation is different than mine and both of us have established religions, does this difference constitute a denomination?
Depends. Do we both believe we are part of a greater, invisible church?

Quote
God  spoke to Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses & Joshua - was each man's private interpretations of God different?
No. None of them had private interpretations of God, but all of them fit into the larger doctrine of the Church.

Quote
So, if not denominations, then some word that neither of us believes exist?
Yes. I don't believe we really have a word for what we see in Orthodoxy in America, mainly because what is happening to Orthodoxy in America should not exist.

Quote
Both are appropriately referred to as denominations because both have different beliefs which consist of different things.
I'd like you to find a mainstream Protestant who believes JW and LDS are merely other denominations.
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« Reply #48 on: June 28, 2008, 01:16:20 AM »

SolEX
the whole multiple jurisdictional situation in North America is non-caononical. Hence Orthodox jurisdictions FUNCTION as denominations.
This is my WHOLE POINT.

Please READ. Take a moment to THINK. Then REFLECT.

Don't keep just shooting back things we all know and agree on. We all know we are one true Church at our core, holy, catholic and apostolic.

But we will not deal with our uncanonical situation. We justify it. WE explain it historically and make excuses for it.
Some people actually glory in it  (then they turn around and practically issue anathemas on everything else they view as non-canonical - but boy do they love their over-lapping jurisdictionalism in North America.)

Many jusrisdicitons/One Church - so says they.

I say a rose by any other name is still a rose and in this case, it is Orthodox denominationalism.

You have not offered one argument to the contrary. You just keep offering circular reasoning: The Orthodox Church is the One true Church. We can't be acting in terms of denominationism because we SAY we are the One true Church. We have fifteen different canonical Orthodox jurisdictions (creating a totally non-canonical situation - my addition to what you said), but we cannot be accused of denominationalism because that is a protestant word (meanwhile, the term came into being before there were protestants) and because we are the One true Church.

Sorry to be uncharitable. But your posts are quite frustrating because they are totally circular.
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« Reply #49 on: June 28, 2008, 01:23:47 AM »

Which doesn't apply to the 15 Autocephalous Orthodox Churches.  The $1 and $100 are different denominations of the same thing, money. 

The Canonical Orthodox Churches believe in the same things with different names based on ethnicity, region, etc.

NO! They ARE the same.
$1 - $10 - different denominations of the same thing, money.
Antiochian, Russian (OCA), Russian (ROCOR), Greek, Serbian, Albanian, - different denominations of the same thing - Orthodoxy!
You have proved my point, not your own!

Perhaps in your zeal (which is commendable), you misunderstand. I am NOT referring to their situations in the Old Country and suggesting that each autocaphalas Orhtodox Church is a denomination. Because they are not. They are national-regional Churches agreed upon by the hierarchs.

BUT IN AMERICA, with over-lapping jurisdictions, they are DENOMINATIONS!
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« Reply #50 on: June 28, 2008, 01:35:38 AM »

SolEX
the whole multiple jurisdictional situation in North America is non-caononical.

Who are you to make such a claim?

Hence Orthodox jurisdictions FUNCTION as denominations.
This is my WHOLE POINT.

If we call ourselves denominations, will that help Protestants accept the Orthodox Church?  No!  One's acceptance of Orthodox faith comes from God (e.g. the Samaritan Woman, the Centurion at the Crucifixion, et al.) and our hearts are hardened to His Message.

Please READ. Take a moment to THINK. Then REFLECT.

Don't keep just shooting back things we all know and agree on. We all know we are one true Church at our core, holy, catholic and apostolic.

If you are united in the faith, why do you care if no one else shares your joy?  I'll see you across the chasm separating Heaven from Hell - My unworthy self will be in Hell.

But we will not deal with our uncanonical situation. We justify it. WE explain it historically and make excuses for it.

That's where organizations like JW's have convinced Orthodox adherents to apostasize and join JW's because JW's can talk unity and not believe in the Holy Trinity at the same time because they have convinced people of Orthodox fragmentation and power grabs by Hierarchs. 


Some people actually glory in it  (then they turn around and practically issue anathemas on everything else they view as non-canonical - but boy do they love their over-lapping jurisdictionalism in North America.)

Many jusrisdicitons/One Church - so says they.

That's their problem.  What about the lay?  One can say that because Arius was a heretic doesn't mean that his baptism and ordination became invalid at the moment Arius became a heretic.  GOA likes to talk about slogans like Every Church a Home.  My Home is not in Unity; I have no right to expect my Hierarch to think any different than I do.  If your Home is in Unity, Brother, remember my unworthy self in your prayers.


I say a rose by any other name is still a rose and in this case, it is Orthodox denominationalism.

You have not offered one argument to the contrary. You just keep offering circular reasoning: The Orthodox Church is the One true Church. We can't be acting in terms of denominationism because we SAY we are the One true Church. We have fifteen different canonical Orthodox jurisdictions (creating a totally non-canonical situation - my addition to what you said), but we cannot be accused of denominationalism because that is a protestant word (meanwhile, the term came into being before there were protestants) and because we are the One true Church.

Sorry to be uncharitable. But your posts are quite frustrating because they are totally circular.

Circular logic is my forte.   Smiley
« Last Edit: June 28, 2008, 01:46:09 AM by SolEX01 » Logged
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« Reply #51 on: June 28, 2008, 01:39:25 AM »

I'd like you to find a mainstream Protestant who believes JW and LDS are merely other denominations.
[/quote]

There are virtually none. They are heretical sects. They began as cults but have found somewhat mainstream acceptability in society.

Also, protestants believe in the right of private interpretation in reading scripture, but they are not devoid of doctrinal standards and creeds. They believe in membership in the invisible chruch through a saving relationship with Jesus, but they advocate membership in a local church parish.

They are Trinitarian, affirm the dual nature of Christ (the Calcedonain formulation), the centrality of the cross for salvation of mankind, Christ as the only Saviour of the world, the bodily resurrection, the final judgement and kingdom, the virgin birth (but not generally the perpetual virginity of Mary), the reality of miracles, the divine inspiration of scripture.

They have differences amongst themselves over the number of sacraments; how to adminster them and when and to whom; the meaning of the sacraments; church government; gifts of the Holy Spirit; eschatology; free will vs. predestination, etc. These differences are the source of the numerous protestant denominations. All these denominations didn't just happen because single individuals ate spicy food and read the Bible and got a "word from the Lord" to interpret scripture in a new way and start a new denomiation (although probably some do have such spurious roots). But most were over matters of conscience or theology regarding these various issues; or in more recent times, fleeing radical theological liberalism in the mainline denominations.

But they DO have standard doctrines - many of them in common with us.
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« Reply #52 on: June 28, 2008, 01:43:02 AM »

NO! They ARE the same.
$1 - $10 - different denominations of the same thing, money.
Antiochian, Russian (OCA), Russian (ROCOR), Greek, Serbian, Albanian, - different denominations of the same thing - Orthodoxy!
You have proved my point, not your own!

No, you have established ethnicities as denominations.  In Christ, there's no Arab, no Russian, no Greek, no Serb, no Albanian.

Perhaps in your zeal (which is commendable), you misunderstand. I am NOT referring to their situations in the Old Country and suggesting that each autocaphalas Orhtodox Church is a denomination. Because they are not. They are national-regional Churches agreed upon by the hierarchs.

Well, on that we agree.   Smiley

BUT IN AMERICA, with over-lapping jurisdictions, they are DENOMINATIONS!

Orthodoxy has faced Her Biggest Obstacle in the heterogeneous post-Enlightenment World.  In Christ, there's no American (ethnic American or otherwise).  Unfortunately, that message is failing and given that the message is failing, Orthodox Churches must work harder to fulfill Christ's Ministries anywhere in the world, especially the USA.  Even though there are multiple Orthodox jurisdictions in one state or city, Economia allows such a situation to exist for the greater good and to adapt to America's heterogeneous society.  Yes, the Orthodox Church does not need to adapt to the heterogeneity of America (or Canada, or Australia) except that doing otherwise would result in a lot of empty churches (due to people focusing too much on ethnicities and not enough on Christ) .   Sad
« Last Edit: June 28, 2008, 01:53:51 AM by SolEX01 » Logged
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« Reply #53 on: June 28, 2008, 01:52:25 AM »

No, you have established ethnicities as denominations.  In Christ, there's no Arab, no Russian, no Greek, no Serb, no Albanian.

Even though there are multiple Orthodox jurisdictions in one state or city, Economia allows that state to exist for the greater good and to adapt to the heterogeneous society of America.  Yes, the Orthodox Church does not need to adapt to the heterogeneity of America (or Canada, or Australia) except that doing otherwise would result in a lot of empty churches. 

Let us show that in Christ there is no Arab or Greek or Russian or Serb or Albanian by having One Orthodox Chruch in North America. There will still be ethnic parishes (like there are Irish or Italian Catholic parishes). There can still be mission parishes for ethnic Orthodox coming to North America. But there should be One Othdox Church in America.

If it leads to a lot of empty churches, then there wasn't a whole lot of Orthodoxy there to begin with. Just a whole lot of ethnicity.

Ethnicity is what the Ukranian Club or Serbian Club is for. Or the Knights of Columbus (for Catholics).

The Church is not an ethnic preservation society. It is the Kingdom of God on earth.

If after eliminating jurisdictions and having One Orthodox Church in N. America, some parishes still have mostly Greek people or mostly Russian people, so be it. They will be in the one Orthodox Chruch nonetheless. If over time those parishes become more mixed in ethnicity so be it. It happens any way through marriages and conversions within some parishes now. So why not have that happen in a unified Orthodox Church in the USA?
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« Reply #54 on: June 28, 2008, 02:00:48 AM »

Let us show that in Christ there is no Arab or Greek or Russian or Serb or Albanian by having One Orthodox Chruch in North America. There will still be ethnic parishes (like there are Irish or Italian Catholic parishes). There can still be mission parishes for ethnic Orthodox coming to North America. But there should be One Othdox Church in America.

Your wish may come true if the anticipated Catholic/Orthodox reunification comes to fruition.  Forget about the ethnicities when that happens.   Smiley

If it leads to a lot of empty churches, then there wasn't a whole lot of Orthodoxy there to begin with. Just a whole lot of ethnicity.

Hey, I agree with you on that one.   Grin  Check out one of my posts on Easter
Post on People Leaving Church early on Easter

Ethnicity is what the Ukranian Club or Serbian Club is for. Or the Knights of Columbus (for Catholics).

Hey, make that two for two on agreement.   Grin

The Church is not an ethnic preservation society. It is the Kingdom of God on earth.

Bingo, three for three.  However, I will respectfully disagree with you on using the term denomination to describe the Orthodox Christian presence in USA and other heterogeneous societies.   Smiley

Edited for clarity
« Last Edit: June 28, 2008, 02:01:49 AM by SolEX01 » Logged
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« Reply #55 on: June 28, 2008, 02:14:51 AM »

Your wish may come true if the anticipated Catholic/Orthodox reunification comes to fruition.  Forget about the ethnicities when that happens.   Smiley
What's that got to do with the color of a horse's tail? Huh
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« Reply #56 on: June 28, 2008, 02:19:33 AM »

What's that got to do with the color of a horse's tail? Huh

Peter, In other threads, I've used anticipated with the blue text to refer to my concept of North American Unity (which is the anticipated reunification between Orthodoxy and Catholicism) which is consistent with the discussion between myself and BrotherAidan.

My comment, "forget about the ethnicities" is intended to describe a Church where one's ethnicity is not as important as what one believes - nothing more.   angel
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« Reply #57 on: June 28, 2008, 02:29:07 AM »

Who are you to make such a claim?
For 17 centuries, the Church has consistently followed and incorporated into her canons the rule of one bishop per city.  Thus, regardless of your personal feeling that this is not important, BrotherAidan is correct that the rule of one bishop per city is the canonical norm, which makes the situation of parallel jurisdictions in North America a violation of Holy Tradition.


From Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev):

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles6/HilarionOneBishop.php
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« Reply #58 on: June 28, 2008, 02:33:53 AM »

For 17 centuries, the Church has consistently followed and incorporated into her canons the rule of one bishop per city.  Thus, regardless of your personal feeling that this is not important, BrotherAidan is correct that the rule of one bishop per city is the canonical norm, which makes the situation of parallel jurisdictions in North America a violation of Holy Tradition

Thank You, Peter.   Smiley
OK, BrotherAidan, my apologies for questioning your comments.   Smiley

Economia clearly applies to the uncanonical situation in USA and other heterogeneous societies where multiple Orthodox Jurisdictions co-exist.

Edited Peter's quote per his request in Reply #59
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« Reply #59 on: June 28, 2008, 02:37:16 AM »

^ You might want to edit your quote of my post, since I changed the text a bit while you were drafting your reply.  Wink
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« Reply #60 on: June 28, 2008, 02:43:16 AM »

^ Done.  Thank You.   Wink
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« Reply #61 on: June 30, 2008, 02:29:14 PM »

'christo-socio-religio-American'
huh?

It is my own word (neologism)

Say it slowly.
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« Reply #62 on: June 30, 2008, 02:50:23 PM »

"denomination" is a word in the English language; it does not belong to any one particular religion or church body.

For example: when cashing a check for a thosuand dollars, one can ask for it in denominations of tens (or twenties, or fifties).

When talking about like-minded church bodies one can call them deominations.

It is simply a word that means sub-divisions or groupings. In the first example of bills; in the second example of groups of Christians.

Orthodox jurisdictions are a distinct group of Christians and can certainly be called denominations in that sense.

In a more technical and PARTICULAR manner, certain criteria go into making the various church denominations:
separate discipline (a Greek Orthodox bishop cannot discipline a Serbian Orthodox priest - his own bishop must do that)
separate boards - synods of bishops in one jurisdiction cannot set rules for other jurusdictions; one jurisdictions boards cannot manage the programs
                 of another jurisdiction
separate institutions: the Antiochians own adn run Antiochian Village; The OCA owns and runs St, Vlads and St. Tikhons; the Greek Orthodox own
                and run Holy Cross; the same holds true for camps, dioscese property, etc. Other jurisdictions cannot come in and lay claim to these
                because we hold the same dogma and commune together.
separate publications: the OCA has a magazine; as do the Antiochians and most other jurisdictions. Fr. Abdulah over at "The Word" cannot determine
               the content of the OCA magazine and Fr. Matusak at "The Orthodox Church" magazine cannot determine the content at "The Word."

These "jurisdictional" activites fulfill the defintion of "denomination."

Does the old Shakespear line not begin to apply here: "Thou doth protest too loudly."

We all know what the word actually means...Thanks.

But that was not my point.


I did not intend to redefine the word 'denomination' in my post. That is why I used 'my' word which intends to define the impact of culture and society on religion and words; particularly in America.

Such does not redefine but establishes a more "common" understanding of a given word which prevails in the public majority. That of course does not mean a 'new' meaning; but the word is; I guess we can say "highjacked".

Denomination is one of these "words" that is taughted among protestants and is thus a word by nature (not meaning) protestant.

Using this phrase within othodoxy is confusing and misleading and by such can be 'viewed' as untrue.

No offense; but you speculate wildly in your views.

I have never heard such comparisons or analysis to try and describe the orthodox chruch in a denominational mindset.

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« Reply #63 on: June 30, 2008, 07:49:06 PM »

I like Love all our cultural differences in orthodoxy ......if  i want to hear a greek liturgy ill go to a Greek Church .or a russian,ukrainian.romainian,,serbian...i don't want one american orthodox english speaking Church under one patriarch.....i want our differences ,,in food, dance..music and language of the Holy Liturgy,,,i would love to see the unity of the oriental orthodox churches with the eastern orthodox churches and they and we still maintain our venerable tradition in language,food,music...Holy liturgy and so forth...plus  when we have our own patriarch's and not under one patriarch it's better...in case the one should deviate from the true path of orthodoxy thru to much ecumenism we don't  have to follow that one....and the other patriarchs can correct the one that's deviated....SmileyCentral.com" border="0
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« Reply #64 on: June 30, 2008, 09:23:36 PM »



No offense; but you speculate wildly in your views.

I have never heard such comparisons or analysis to try and describe the orthodox chruch in a denominational mindset.



Really I am not being wild or speculative at all. I am taking the plain meaning of the word denomination, which is: subdivisions of the same thing.

I am taking common characteristics of denominations: discipline, boards, institutions, publications, for example (there could be more).

Then I am asking what about Orthodox jurisdictionalism is any different from other Christian denominationalism.

It is very logical and fairly precise. Keep in mind I am talking only about Orthodoxy in North America.

I think many Orthodox cannot emotionally admit it. The argument is: No! We are not denominational because we are one Church. We are one Church because we say we are one Church and therefore cannot be denominational (even though there are seven Orthodox bishops in my city).

The different Orthodox Churches under different bishops in the same city is itself a problem, for other reasons.  But even though all these Orthodox Churches are subdivisions of the same thing (Eastern Orthodoxy) and even though they each have the distinctive functions and marks of a denomination (separate discipline, boards, institutions, publications) we will say they are jurisdictions, not denominations.

In reality, the word "jurisdiction" is a euphemism for the word "denomination."
 
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« Reply #65 on: June 30, 2008, 09:55:28 PM »

Really I am not being wild or speculative at all. I am taking the plain meaning of the word denomination, which is: subdivisions of the same thing.

I am taking common characteristics of denominations: discipline, boards, institutions, publications, for example (there could be more).

Then I am asking what about Orthodox jurisdictionalism is any different from other Christian denominationalism.

It is very logical and fairly precise. Keep in mind I am talking only about Orthodoxy in North America.

I think many Orthodox cannot emotionally admit it. The argument is: No! We are not denominational because we are one Church. We are one Church because we say we are one Church and therefore cannot be denominational (even though there are seven Orthodox bishops in my city).

Washington, DC has 32 different police agencies operating in the same Jurisdiction.  Some keep the Capitol safe.  Some keep the President safe, etc.  If there are 7 Orthodox Bishops in one city, like I said, Economia allows such a thing for the greater good of the Orthodox Christian faith just as these 32 police agencies operating in DC help keep the US Government safe.

The different Orthodox Churches under different bishops in the same city is itself a problem, for other reasons.  But even though all these Orthodox Churches are subdivisions of the same thing (Eastern Orthodoxy) and even though they each have the distinctive functions and marks of a denomination (separate discipline, boards, institutions, publications) we will say they are jurisdictions, not denominations.

In reality, the word "jurisdiction" is a euphemism for the word "denomination."

No, Jurisdiction is the proper term which prevents all the examples cited in the OP's initial post (e.g. GOA not having influence over Antiochian newsletter content, etc.).  Canonical Jurisdiction helps clarify the difference between those Orthodox Churches which are Canonical and which ones aren't.  As I said, an uncanonical Orthodox Jurisdiction can be called a denomination of Orthodoxy because their set of beliefs is different from those beliefs of canonical Orthodox Jurisdictions.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2008, 10:04:18 PM by SolEX01 » Logged
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« Reply #66 on: July 01, 2008, 08:42:09 AM »

There are virtually none. They are heretical sects. They began as cults but have found somewhat mainstream acceptability in society.

Also, protestants believe in the right of private interpretation in reading scripture, but they are not devoid of doctrinal standards and creeds. They believe in membership in the invisible chruch through a saving relationship with Jesus, but they advocate membership in a local church parish.

They are Trinitarian, affirm the dual nature of Christ (the Calcedonain formulation), the centrality of the cross for salvation of mankind, Christ as the only Saviour of the world, the bodily resurrection, the final judgement and kingdom, the virgin birth (but not generally the perpetual virginity of Mary), the reality of miracles, the divine inspiration of scripture.

They have differences amongst themselves over the number of sacraments; how to adminster them and when and to whom; the meaning of the sacraments; church government; gifts of the Holy Spirit; eschatology; free will vs. predestination, etc. These differences are the source of the numerous protestant denominations. All these denominations didn't just happen because single individuals ate spicy food and read the Bible and got a "word from the Lord" to interpret scripture in a new way and start a new denomiation (although probably some do have such spurious roots). But most were over matters of conscience or theology regarding these various issues; or in more recent times, fleeing radical theological liberalism in the mainline denominations.

But they DO have standard doctrines - many of them in common with us.
My point exactly. Very well said.
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« Reply #67 on: July 01, 2008, 08:43:13 AM »

Washington, DC has 32 different police agencies operating in the same Jurisdiction.  Some keep the Capitol safe.  Some keep the President safe, etc.  If there are 7 Orthodox Bishops in one city, like I said, Economia allows such a thing for the greater good of the Orthodox Christian faith just as these 32 police agencies operating in DC help keep the US Government safe.
So you're holding up the American government as an example of Holy Tradition?
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« Reply #68 on: July 01, 2008, 12:25:08 PM »

So you're holding up the American government as an example of Holy Tradition?

Absolutely not, although in hindsight, safe might not have been the operative word now that you've mentioned it.

How about - These 32 police agencies operating in DC allows the US Government to operate securely just as 7 Orthodox Bishops existing in one city allows the Orthodox Faith to be practiced freely.
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« Reply #69 on: July 01, 2008, 02:02:15 PM »


(even though there are seven Orthodox bishops in my city).


I see your point here!

Lord have mercy!

Thanks for your input.

Selaam
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« Reply #70 on: July 01, 2008, 02:04:56 PM »

I think many Orthodox cannot emotionally admit it. The argument is: No! We are not denominational because we are one Church. We are one Church because we say we are one Church and therefore cannot be denominational (even though there are seven Orthodox bishops in my city).

Oh, we're definitely denominationAL; we're just not different denominations in the religious sense, which almost always (in the case of American denominationalism) has to do with doctrinal difference.  That is the only reason we (yes, I include myself in this) seem allergic to the application of the "d- word": There are no differences of discipline, hierarchical structure, sacraments, major (and even minor, in almost all cases) theological stances, or liturgy amongst the Orthodox jurisdictions here in the States.  To us, it appears like this:

  • denomination: sect of a wider religious group that has separated (or has held itself up as separate from its self-starting inception) from the original (or other)  group for doctrinal reasons.
  • jurisdiction: sect of a wider religious group that is separate -- but not separated in the sense of estrangement -- in matters of church government and programs, but not in any doctrinal sense.

I think we make such liberal use of the word "jurisdiction" because we want something to draw attention to our insistence that there is no doctrinal difference to speak of between all the different Orthodox churches that have set up shop here, as opposed to the VAST majority of Protestant denominations which differ wildly from each other (differences which, then, form the basis for their denomination, as opposed to us). 

Are we unique in our self-imposed connotations of this word?  Yes, but this is hardly the first time a group has taken it upon itself to do such a thing.  In my mind, a jurisdiction is something that is wasteful and unnecessary, but if anything good could be said about us here in the West, at least we're not divided for doctrinal reasons.  Yes, we should, imo, unite administratively, for it would in no way impede cultural distinctiveness to have one hierarchy over an ethnically diverse American Church (unity in diversity and all that) -- but even in our current, overlapping state, we are not the same as theologically-conflicting denominations...and that distinction must always be held up and emphasized.
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« Reply #71 on: July 01, 2008, 05:04:41 PM »

Absolutely not, although in hindsight, safe might not have been the operative word now that you've mentioned it.
My objection had nothing to do with "safe" v. "secure," although "safe" would have been the better word. Safe comes from the Latin salvus, "healthy"; secure comes from the Latin securus, "carefree." (Source: www.etymonline.com)

Quote
How about - These 32 police agencies operating in DC allows the US Government to operate securely just as 7 Orthodox Bishops existing in one city allows the Orthodox Faith to be practiced freely.
Nope. A civil government still is no model for the Episcopacy of the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #72 on: July 01, 2008, 05:09:28 PM »

Nope. A civil government still is no model for the Episcopacy of the Orthodox Church.

I used the analogy to reject the denominationalism argument and to explain why 7 Orthodox Bishops exist in One City.  I would never advocate that the Episcopacy of the Orthodox Church emulate any Enlightened form of Civil Government.   Smiley
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« Reply #73 on: July 01, 2008, 11:33:34 PM »

Oh, we're definitely denominationAL; we're just not different denominations in the religious sense, which almost always (in the case of American denominationalism) has to do with doctrinal difference.  That is the only reason we (yes, I include myself in this) seem allergic to the application of the "d- word": There are no differences of discipline, hierarchical structure, sacraments, major (and even minor, in almost all cases) theological stances, or liturgy amongst the Orthodox jurisdictions here in the States.  To us, it appears like this:

  • denomination: sect of a wider religious group that has separated (or has held itself up as separate from its self-starting inception) from the original (or other)  group for doctrinal reasons.
  • jurisdiction: sect of a wider religious group that is separate -- but not separated in the sense of estrangement -- in matters of church government and programs, but not in any doctrinal sense.

I think we make such liberal use of the word "jurisdiction" because we want something to draw attention to our insistence that there is no doctrinal difference to speak of between all the different Orthodox churches that have set up shop here, as opposed to the VAST majority of Protestant denominations which differ wildly from each other (differences which, then, form the basis for their denomination, as opposed to us). 

Are we unique in our self-imposed connotations of this word?  Yes, but this is hardly the first time a group has taken it upon itself to do such a thing.  In my mind, a jurisdiction is something that is wasteful and unnecessary, but if anything good could be said about us here in the West, at least we're not divided for doctrinal reasons.  Yes, we should, imo, unite administratively, for it would in no way impede cultural distinctiveness to have one hierarchy over an ethnically diverse American Church (unity in diversity and all that) -- but even in our current, overlapping state, we are not the same as theologically-conflicting denominations...and that distinction must always be held up and emphasized.

Thank you DB! Finally we are getting somewhere in this discussion. Please note that I have been arguing that, FUNCTIONALLY, the various jurisdictions operate like donominations and NOT that there is any difference in doctrine (I am pretty sure you have gotten that point from my posts, but I am not sure some others have, in fact I am pretty sure they have not).

I see denomination used in various ways: the very similar conservative Presbyterians I mentioned, but as you point out the word can refer to such diverse bodies as pentecostals, baptists, methodists, episcopalians, independent congregations, emergent groups etc, etc.

I think we need to see ourselves as jurisdictions for unity/doctrinal purposes, but as denominations in terms of the non-canonical situation, the superfluous wastefulness and redundancy of all these different, everlapping administrations, boards, publications etc. Maybe it will shock/shame us into taking some action.

I agree with you that there will still be ethnic parishes under one Hierarch/Orhtodox Church in North America but it will be because of need (immigrants for instance), neighborhood (the historic ethnicity of a part of town) or region (there are alot of a particular ethniciy in an area). But not choosing a parish because my last name ends in the letters: "ous" or "onov" or "vitch" or "lah".

On the other hand, with just one Orthodox body in the US, when someone moves to a new suburb, they will go to the Orthodox Church there, whether they are Arab, Greek, Russian, Serbian, convert. The Greeks (insert: Serbs, Russians, Arabs)won't skip the local parish to drive to the Greek (insert ethnicity) parish.

It is ridiculous for fully assimilated third and fourth generation ethnic people who no longer speak the language or practice the customs to attend ethnic parishes just because they say: hey, I'm of Russian ancestry, there's a Russian Othodox Church (again, insert whatever ethnicity), so I should go there. If there was just one Orthodox Church they would choose the nearest parish or one, if there are several parishes in the area, choose one that they felt they could be of most use: (the priest is active and caring and my kids relate well to him; the parish is older and could use a younger family like my own; I could help teach Sunday school at the smaller parish whereas the larger one has a lot of volunteers; I travel alot and can't get all that involved, so maybe the large parish fits us best with all its programs-- whatever). These kinds of reasons beat: I am Serbian so I will go here; I am of Arab descent so will go there.
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« Reply #74 on: July 02, 2008, 12:17:13 AM »

I think we need to see ourselves as jurisdictions for unity/doctrinal purposes, but as denominations in terms of the non-canonical situation, the superfluous wastefulness and redundancy of all these different, everlapping administrations, boards, publications etc. Maybe it will shock/shame us into taking some action.

Write a letter to Patriarch Bartholomew explaining all of these above concepts and ask His All Holiness to explain His side of Ligonier 14 years after the fact.  I think "retiring" Archbishop Iakovos sent a clear sign that North American Unity was a no-go in 1994 and still applies in 2008.  Do not forget that there are other Ancient Patriarchates, all of them dominated by Greeks, which don't want to see North American Unity.

I agree with you that there will still be ethnic parishes under one Hierarch/Orhtodox Church in North America but it will be because of need (immigrants for instance), neighborhood (the historic ethnicity of a part of town) or region (there are alot of a particular ethniciy in an area). But not choosing a parish because my last name ends in the letters: "ous" or "onov" or "vitch" or "lah".

Let's see what will happen as the 90% Interfaith Marriage rate continues to exist in the GOA; pews become emptier and a handful of wealthy people support each local Church.

On the other hand, with just one Orthodox body in the US, when someone moves to a new suburb, they will go to the Orthodox Church there, whether they are Arab, Greek, Russian, Serbian, convert. The Greeks (insert: Serbs, Russians, Arabs)won't skip the local parish to drive to the Greek (insert ethnicity) parish.

Or watch Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer preach about Materialistic Christianity before running off to swimming practice.

It is ridiculous for fully assimilated third and fourth generation ethnic people who no longer speak the language or practice the customs to attend ethnic parishes just because they say: hey, I'm of Russian ancestry, there's a Russian Othodox Church (again, insert whatever ethnicity), so I should go there. If there was just one Orthodox Church they would choose the nearest parish or one, if there are several parishes in the area, choose one that they felt they could be of most use: (the priest is active and caring and my kids relate well to him; the parish is older and could use a younger family like my own; I could help teach Sunday school at the smaller parish whereas the larger one has a lot of volunteers; I travel alot and can't get all that involved, so maybe the large parish fits us best with all its programs-- whatever). These kinds of reasons beat: I am Serbian so I will go here; I am of Arab descent so will go there.

My Priest once suggested to the parishioners to call someone who was unchurched or dechurched and simply invite them to Church.  So far, that hasn't worked....
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« Reply #75 on: July 02, 2008, 11:37:02 AM »

I used the analogy to reject the denominationalism argument and to explain why 7 Orthodox Bishops exist in One City.  I would never advocate that the Episcopacy of the Orthodox Church emulate any Enlightened form of Civil Government.   Smiley
The seven bishops are there as a carryover from the days of widespread Eastern European immigration in the first part of the twentieth century. As those communities are being absorbed into mainstream society, these bishops are increasingly irrelevant. In my parish alone, Greeks, Russians, Ukrainians, Romanians, and Lebanese all talk to each other in a common language, English. There is no need for a Greek bishop, a Russian bishop, a Romanian bishop, and an Antiochian bishop. We have one bishop, Bp. Job of the OCA. Both parishes in my city are under this one bishop--as it should be.
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« Reply #76 on: July 02, 2008, 09:10:57 PM »

Write a letter to Patriarch Bartholomew explaining all of these above concepts and ask His All Holiness to explain His side of Ligonier 14 years after the fact.  I think "retiring" Archbishop Iakovos sent a clear sign that North American Unity was a no-go in 1994 and still applies in 2008.  Do not forget that there are other Ancient Patriarchates, all of them dominated by Greeks, which don't want to see North American Unity.


We don't believe in partriarchal infallibility.

Not to be disrespectful or uncharitable, but these patriarchates are also dependent upon American money, so of course they don't want them to escape their sway (as I said, we don't ascribe to the infallibility of these patriarchs)
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« Reply #77 on: July 02, 2008, 09:13:36 PM »



Let's see what will happen as the 90% Interfaith Marriage rate continues to exist in the GOA; pews become emptier and a handful of wealthy people support each local Church.


North American unity has nothing to do with interfaith marriages.
I thought we had already agreed that if people needed an ethnic club they could go join one. If unity empties the ethnic churches then there was not a whole lot of Orthodoxy there to begin with.
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« Reply #78 on: July 02, 2008, 09:15:35 PM »



Or watch Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer preach about Materialistic Christianity before running off to swimming practice.


Again, unity has nothing to do with TV church or blatant secularism.
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« Reply #79 on: July 02, 2008, 09:19:19 PM »



My Priest once suggested to the parishioners to call someone who was unchurched or dechurched and simply invite them to Church.  So far, that hasn't worked....
Success is not the measure of pastoral faithfulness. Your priest is being faithful as a shepherd to encourage his congregation to reach out to their lost sheep or stray sheep friends. Their disregarding his message puts them at odds with their spiritual father.

Again this has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Friend, these are your weakest arguments yet!
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« Reply #80 on: July 02, 2008, 09:27:50 PM »

The seven bishops are there as a carryover from the days of widespread Eastern European immigration in the first part of the twentieth century. As those communities are being absorbed into mainstream society, these bishops are increasingly irrelevant. In my parish alone, Greeks, Russians, Ukrainians, Romanians, and Lebanese all talk to each other in a common language, English. There is no need for a Greek bishop, a Russian bishop, a Romanian bishop, and an Antiochian bishop. We have one bishop, Bp. Job of the OCA. Both parishes in my city are under this one bishop--as it should be.

Would that this were the case in every city.

BTW, my non-canonical idea for getting out of this non-canonical situation would be to have all the bishops in a city sit as a synod. Each bishop would have an annual turn as "head" bishop. They would rotate until they all died or retired. At that point, the churches in the city would elect one bishop. A bishop from the nearest neighboring diocese would come to consecrate the new bishop. Eventually, the newly elected bishops would meet as a synod and elect a patriarch.

This may take place with or without the approval of the Ancient sees. Eventually they would recognize the American Church (it happened in the past when other mother jurisdictions didn't want there babies to grow up and withheld autocephaly. The children took it upon themselves and eventually mom came around - I remember reading about this when I first became Orthodox - it was one of the Slavic/Russian Churches, I think)

As I said, the plan is probably completely un-canonical, but no more so than our current situation.
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« Reply #81 on: July 02, 2008, 09:30:51 PM »



This may take place with or without the approval of the Ancient sees. Eventually they would recognize the American Church (it happened in the past when other mother jurisdictions didn't want there babies to grow up and withheld autocephaly. The children took it upon themselves and eventually mom came around



Actually, this reminds me of a Willie Nelson song: Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be autocephalies!   Shocked
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« Reply #82 on: July 03, 2008, 12:57:56 AM »

We don't believe in partriarchal infallibility.

I never claimed that Patriarch Bartholomew or any other Patriarch was infallible.  His All Holiness' Synod rejected Ligonier and His All Holiness, as head of the Patriarchal Synod, is responsible for that decision.

Not to be disrespectful or uncharitable, but these patriarchates are also dependent upon American money, so of course they don't want them to escape their sway (as I said, we don't ascribe to the infallibility of these patriarchs)

Goes back to my earlier point about Orthodoxy in Heterogeneous Societies and how to compromise "My Kingdom is not of this World" to the Secular society.  Isolation into ethnic enclaves doesn't address the evangelical directives of Orthodoxy.

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« Reply #83 on: July 03, 2008, 02:00:27 AM »

Not to be disrespectful or uncharitable, but these patriarchates are also dependent upon American money, so of course they don't want them to escape their sway

Again, the money myth surfaces. Maybe this is true for other jurisdictions (and I doubt that as well), but not for the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
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« Reply #84 on: July 03, 2008, 10:07:55 AM »

I'm standing by my old solution.  We should all get together with our bishops and just work it out.

Be at my house today at 2 PM.  Please bring beer and, if you have to, a bishop.  Once this weekend is over we'll have seen some great fireworks, sent a couple people to the hospital with minor burns, bailed a couple of guys out of jail, caused minor fire damage and major liver damage. 

Of course we'll all still disagree about this whole unity thing, but what a party . . .

P.S. Please don't bring dairy products or meat.  We *are* fasting after all.
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« Reply #85 on: July 03, 2008, 09:59:48 PM »

I'm standing by my old solution.  We should all get together with our bishops and just work it out.

Be at my house today at 2 PM.  Please bring beer and, if you have to, a bishop.  Once this weekend is over we'll have seen some great fireworks, sent a couple people to the hospital with minor burns, bailed a couple of guys out of jail, caused minor fire damage and major liver damage. 

Of course we'll all still disagree about this whole unity thing, but what a party . . .

P.S. Please don't bring dairy products or meat.  We *are* fasting after all.
Sounds about what would happen. LOL!
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« Reply #86 on: July 04, 2008, 01:11:46 AM »

Friend, these are your weakest arguments yet!

To what?
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« Reply #87 on: July 06, 2008, 12:23:06 AM »

To what?
the the OP and the whole thread for that matter!
Come up with something with some logic and substance. I know you got it in you!   Wink
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« Reply #88 on: July 06, 2008, 08:05:58 PM »

the the OP and the whole thread for that matter!
Come up with something with some logic and substance. I know you got it in you!   Wink

Let's start with the quote, in its full context, cited by the OP:

Canons are not unchangeable dogma. They are temporal meant to meet the needs of he Church in a particular era.

The problem with the canons is that there is no Orthodox unity by which to revise and update the cannons. In the US you have Orthodox denominationalism, not unlike protestant denominations. And world-wide you have the Metropolitans of Moscow and Contantinope competing like Kobe Bryant and Shak for supremacy.

At least Kobe and Shaq had Phil Jackson as a very successful head coach who could keep the team together and helped each man have 3 rings on his hand.  By not having a healthy Shaq around, the Lakers couldn't muster much against the more dominant Celtics.  Pau Gasol & Luke Walton are not Shaq in that department.  Also remember that Phil Jackson is a master manipulator according to the 2001 Salon Article:

Born to Pentecostal missionaries in North Dakota, Phil Jackson learned the art of manipulation early in life. As a player, his mental grasp of the game far outstretched his physical capabilities. Jackson was oafish and often injured, and opponents feared his sharp elbows more than his sharp shot....

Such is Jackson's way. He demonizes those on the outside to tighten the inner circle. Coldly and without affect, he alienates the extraneous, and for much of this year the strategy seemed as if it might backfire. From the moment he arrived in L.A., Jackson had fostered a special bond with O'Neal....

It is the uncarved stone, the river ever constant and yet always changing. It is the Way of Phil. You cannot understand it -- you can only hope to contain it.



The Way of Christ isn't the Way of Phil.  Christ, who selected the 12 Apostles from the World, wants all Creation to unite to Him in contrast to Phil Jackson, who favored Shaq and demonized everyone else while the Lakers won 3 Championships.  If God is Love, then there's no demonization of outsiders required to maintain an inner circle of believers.  Note that the Apostle Paul Himself used sports analogies like running and boxing to draw parallels back to Christ.

The EP and MP have different relationships with Pope Benedict XVI because His Holiness knows that the Orthodox will Schism if one or even both Patriarchs establishes more intimate ties (or dare I say, Unity) with Rome.  The MP would succeed in bridging a gap between Russia and the West where Peter the Great failed.  As Christ said, one cannot serve two masters, God and Mammon except Mammon is now political influence rather than spirituality.  The common coach for the EP and MP is the Holy Trinity, not Pope Benedict XVI.

The Orthodox faith is not an NBA team; However, diverse ethnicities and personalities are integrated together into one goal, everlasting life in the eternal presence of the Lamb.  While on Earth, there is discipline when one member of the team errs and there is no distinction/favoritism between team members (non-denominational).  When forces and persecutions attempt to drive the teammates apart, the teammates remain more steadfast (Unity) and do not escape to Free Agency.  If teammates escape to Free Agency (e.g. Arius and other heretics and Heresiarchs), they will be welcomed back only if they display sincere repentance like the Prodigal Son.  The Holy Trinity is the GM who cries at every negative outcome and rejoices at every positive outcome.

Therefore BrotherAidan, the Orthodox faith is unified and non-denominational per the analogy with the LA Lakers (or insert other sports team here).   Cool
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« Reply #89 on: July 06, 2008, 09:41:57 PM »

^ Okay, I got lost in your logic.  What's the OP again? Huh
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