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cre8ivmind
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« on: June 26, 2008, 09:25:02 PM »

1. In Protestantism, we believe in the age of accountability, which varies from person to person.  What do the Orthodox believe happens when an infant or mentally disabled person dies?
 
2. Is science compatible with Orthodoxy?  For instance, there is a lot of evidence for evolution, and many Christians accept it. 
 
3. Is the book of Genesis to be taken literally? This may be related to question 2.
 
4. Do the Orthodox believe pets will be reunited with their owners in heaven?  If not, can we pray for them to have a soul so they can be reunited?  This view seems to vary between individuals and not necessarily denominations.
 
5. Are Mary and the saints prayed to, as in Catholicism? If so, why is it necessary?

6.  What do Orthodox Christians, in general, believe heaven will be like?  Is it purely a spiritual realm?  Do we reunite with family members, or meet no other form of life besides God?  Does it have physical qualities?

7.  What are some things you believe to be wrong about the Roman Catholic Church?

8.  What are some things you believe to be wrong about the various Protestant Churches?

Thank you!  I look forward to responses to these questions.
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2008, 10:37:21 PM »

Welcome to the forum, cre8ivmind (what a choice for a username Grin).

Regarding your questions, since they kinda wander all over the map, I recommend you start a new thread for each question--grouping closely related questions, such as 2 and 3, into one thread is okay.  As you explore this site, which I recommend you do, you will also find that other of our discussion boards will be better places for a few of your questions.  For instance, Questions 1 & 8 would fit our Orthodox-Protestant Discussion board best, and Question 7 would fit best in our Orthodox-Catholic Discussion board.  In exploring our forum, you'll also see that others have already asked some of the questions you ask above, and you may be able to find some answers in our discussions of these questions.  I'll try to help point you to these threads by answering a few of your questions with hyperlinks.


1. In Protestantism, we believe in the age of accountability, which varies from person to person.  What do the Orthodox believe happens when an infant or mentally disabled person dies?
unbaptised infants that die

something about infant baptism that confuses me

Womb Baptism

Concerning Original Sin


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2. Is science compatible with Orthodoxy?  For instance, there is a lot of evidence for evolution, and many Christians accept it.

3. Is the book of Genesis to be taken literally? This may be related to question 2.

Creationism vs Evolution


A Couple of Discussions with Our Resident Science Professor:

Very honest and plain question...

(An)Other honest and sincere question(s)


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4. Do the Orthodox believe pets will be reunited with their owners in heaven?  If not, can we pray for them to have a soul so they can be reunited?  This view seems to vary between individuals and not necessarily denominations.
Death of Pets and Neanterthals


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5. Are Mary and the saints prayed to, as in Catholicism? If so, why is it necessary?
Intercessions of the Saints

Praying to the Saints


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6.  What do Orthodox Christians, in general, believe heaven will be like?  Is it purely a spiritual realm?  Do we reunite with family members, or meet no other form of life besides God?  Does it have physical qualities?
Heaven and Hell as not literal places

Levels of Heaven and Hell

Elder Sophrony and Death, How will we die?


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7.  What are some things you believe to be wrong about the Roman Catholic Church?
Orthodox-Catholic Discussion


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8.  What are some things you believe to be wrong about the various Protestant Churches?
Orthodox-Protestant Discussion


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Thank you!  I look forward to responses to these questions.

I hope all the links I provided will help in your search for answers to your questions.  I hope also that you'll stick around and continue to ask questions and participate in our discussions.  Again, welcome to the forum at OC.net.


Your servant in Christ,

PeterTheAleut
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« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 11:43:45 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2008, 09:47:37 AM »

Hi and welcome!

1. In Protestantism, we believe in the age of accountability, which varies from person to person.  What do the Orthodox believe happens when an infant or mentally disabled person dies?

--Infants definitely go to Heaven. I am not sure about the mentally disabled though.
 
2. Is science compatible with Orthodoxy?  For instance, there is a lot of evidence for evolution, and many Christians accept it. 

--Yes. I, for one, am a university biology teacher, and I don't see anything in the well-supported scientific theory of biological evolution that would contradict my Orthodox faith.
 
3. Is the book of Genesis to be taken literally? This may be related to question 2.

--No rule about it. Some Fathers took it literally, others figuratively/ allegorically.
 
4. Do the Orthodox believe pets will be reunited with their owners in heaven?  If not, can we pray for them to have a soul so they can be reunited?  This view seems to vary between individuals and not necessarily denominations.

--I don't know the answer to this. In the literature, there are all kinds of speculations about this.
 
5. Are Mary and the saints prayed to, as in Catholicism? If so, why is it necessary?

--They are never worshipped the way we worship God, but they are venerated. We believe that they listen to our prayers and intercede for us to God. We also pray for them.

6.  What do Orthodox Christians, in general, believe heaven will be like?  Is it purely a spiritual realm?  Do we reunite with family members, or meet no other form of life besides God?  Does it have physical qualities?

--If I understand the Fathers correctly, they taught that Heaven in a very broad sense is the eternal life with God. Saints will be in Heaven after the Final Judgment and general resurrection of the dead. Until then, souls of all people are in an "intermediate state."

7.  What are some things you believe to be wrong about the Roman Catholic Church?

--The Filioque and the doctrine of Papal infallibility (the right of the Pope to declare the truths of the faith "ex sese," i.e. from himself rather than from the common belief of the Church).

8.  What are some things you believe to be wrong about the various Protestant Churches?

-- First and foremost, that there is no such thing as "Churches" in plural. The Church is ONE. A person is either in it, or outside of it. Protestants are outside (maybe "yet").
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2008, 01:25:35 PM »

First of all, let me welcome you to our forum. As a former Protestant myself, I can definitely empathize with your questions. In fact, we have an entire forum dedicated to dialogue between Orthodox and Protestants. Many of these questions we who discovered the Church as an adult are still working toward answering, and your perspective would be most beneficial. For more complete answers, I invite you to check out the links Peter has provided above, but I will answer a few of these here.

1. In Protestantism, we believe in the age of accountability, which varies from person to person.  What do the Orthodox believe happens when an infant or mentally disabled person dies?
We don't believe in an age of accountability as it's defined by the Protestants. In fact, our children take communion from the day they enter the Church, and even in the womb through their mother's communion. We believe that all people are born in the image and likeness of God, and that this perfection is spoiled by sin. Those who have not sinned are still in the image and likeness of God our Saviour, from whom all perfection comes. Babies at first are not able to exercise free will, and thus cannot choose to sin. But as they grow, they gain the ability to use free will, and from then on must choose righteousness. So in a way, the age of the first sin is an age of accountability, and requires repentance. This age does vary from person to person, as you say, and is generally pretty young, but could be delayed as in the case of mental injury. At any rate, it is for God to receive our repentance, and only He knows who has truly repented of all their sins.

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2. Is science compatible with Orthodoxy?  For instance, there is a lot of evidence for evolution, and many Christians accept it. 
Most definitely. There's still so much left to learn that we cannot explain. Neither science nor Orthodoxy will completely answer our questions about the world and our place in it, and neither will they together--but they will tell us some of what we want to know.

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6.  What do Orthodox Christians, in general, believe heaven will be like?  Is it purely a spiritual realm?  Do we reunite with family members, or meet no other form of life besides God?  Does it have physical qualities?
I believe (as do many Orthodox) that heaven is a restoration of Eden. It will be both physically and spiritually perfect. Sickness, violence, death--all will be removed, and we will live as Adam and Eve did. I believe also that it is a spiritual transformation, and that it will very much resemble the Earth we know today, but without the violent weather, wars, nationalism, racism, and hatred of all kinds, an Earth where all people are one with each other and with God.

That said, there is no consensus in Orthodoxy. We simply do not know what it will look like. My opinion is just that, and although it is shared by many Orthodox, there are also a number of other theories. We do know that we will be with God eternally, and that all the evils we see in our world will be removed. But that is really all we know.

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7.  What are some things you believe to be wrong about the Roman Catholic Church?

8.  What are some things you believe to be wrong about the various Protestant Churches?
Essentially they are the same to us, as the Protestants came from the Catholics. Much of our disagreement stems from the Pope's proclaiming universal jurisdiction and subsequent excommunication of our Bishops. We returned the favour, and we've never been together since. Many in Orthodoxy lament this separation, and see the Catholic Church as our long-lost sister, and the Protestants her estranged daughters. Yet all Orthodox would still insist that the Orthodox Church is by herself the one true Church, whole and inseparable.

If that sounds strange to you, welcome to the club. It's a concept that seems familiar enough to Catholics, but to us who were Protestant, it can be a real stumbling block. I'm going on five years trying to work it out, and it's something I've just had to take on faith, at least until it makes sense to me.

I hope those answers help, and please don't hesitate to start threads on any subject you're interested in. I've discovered that people find it easier to post specific answers when the topic is sufficiently limited. It helps too to read what has already been written, as we have had a good number of knowledgeable people on this site through the years. But if you can't find a thread with the specific answer you're looking for, just start one up. We'll be glad to help where we can, and at least speculate where we can't. Wink Again, welcome to the forum, and I hope your tenure here is a long and profitable one.
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2008, 05:55:43 PM »

I've got one question, which has been torturing me for a long time. Why is Constantine the Great regarded as saint despite being baptised by an arian bishop Esebius of Nicomedia?
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2008, 07:02:11 PM »

7.  What are some things you believe to be wrong about the Roman Catholic Church?

They have added too much


8.  What are some things you believe to be wrong about the various Protestant Churches?

They have taken away too much

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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2008, 07:05:09 PM »

I've got one question, which has been torturing me for a long time. Why is Constantine the Great regarded as saint despite being baptised by an arian bishop Esebius of Nicomedia?
Welcome to the forum! This is a very good question, one which I'm sure one of our posters will be able to answer.
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2008, 08:50:56 PM »

^ Eusebius of Caesarea, a Bishop and St. Constantine's Biographer, was not excommunicated by the Council of Nicaea nor excommunicated at all.  Same for Eusebius of Nicomedia who would up as Patriarch of Constantinople in 338.

Brief Biography of Eusebius of Nicomedia from Ecole Project

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Although Eusebius opposed the use of the term homoousias in the Nicene Creed, he nonetheless agreed to sign the document. Shortly afterwards, he recanted and was exiled by Constantine to Gaul. He was recalled from exile in 328 and immediately led a reaction against the faith of Nicaea (328-341) that succeeded in having many supporters of Nicaea--including Athanasius in 335--deposed. In 337, he baptized Constantine in Nicomedia.
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2008, 11:47:58 PM »

Yet all Orthodox would still insist that the Orthodox Church is by herself the one true Church, whole and inseparable.

If that sounds strange to you, welcome to the club. It's a concept that seems familiar enough to Catholics, but to us who were Protestant, it can be a real stumbling block. I'm going on five years trying to work it out, and it's something I've just had to take on faith, at least until it makes sense to me.


I can see how this concept can be problematic. I'll give it a try. We have the same concept as RC's except for different reasons.
Orthodoxy views the Church as Christ himself. With an emphasis on the Church producing images of Christ. "Theosis"  And passing down of that image to others through the Churches saints who are in the body of of Christ. Since Theosis is a learning process in conjunction with gods grace. Being in communion with others helps one to attain Theosis through relationships. Just like one learns to become an Attorney by learning from an Attorney. In this way the image has bin preserved from the time of Christ. If this image is altered in any way the Church is no longer considered whole and inseparable. "Theosis" or Christ's image would than be unrecognizable. I hope this helps.
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2008, 04:26:44 PM »

^ Eusebius of Caesarea, a Bishop and St. Constantine's Biographer, was not excommunicated by the Council of Nicaea nor excommunicated at all. 

I know, that both of them signed the Nicene Creed, but as You quoted, he reverted to Arianism and kept supporting it. The emperor was under influence of him, but he was awake that he was baptised byn an arian-supporter. I'm debating, whether this baptism was valid, because of non-trinitian formule. Could someone resolve my doubts.

Sorry for my poor English, but I hope tha You can understand me

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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2008, 04:54:21 PM »

^ Hi mike, I understand you perfectly.   Smiley

As long as a Bishop is canonically in His Office and does not abandon His Office by choice or by removal, any sacraments performed by said Bishop remain valid.  Otherwise, St. Constantine wouldn't be a Saint if He was baptized by a deposed Heresiarch.

The Synod of Caesarea didn't remove Eusebius based on known historical record.
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2008, 03:51:09 PM »

Thank you very much for your explanation. It makes sense.
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2008, 03:53:33 PM »

You're welcome.  I was glad to be of any assistance.   Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2012, 06:28:59 PM »

Thank you very much for your explanation. It makes sense.

Yes!
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2012, 06:31:14 PM »

That was propably the 1st thread I wrote in.
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