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Author Topic: BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANITY  (Read 7707 times) Average Rating: 0
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prodromos
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« Reply #45 on: August 17, 2008, 06:39:44 AM »

An interesting side bar. I find it odd that most English bibles translate Christ's statement to Nicodemus in John 3:3 as "you must be born again". The phrase in Greek "γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν" seems much more like "born from above" and it seems to be pushing a particular interpretation to translate it as "born again" as I really can't see the word "again" present in any way. Does anyone have any idea as to when it was first translated this way and what was the reasoning behind this choice?

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« Reply #46 on: August 17, 2008, 04:54:51 PM »

Deacon Amde,

I don't think it was Thomas' intention to marginalize our OO Traditions, or us as OO's.  Rather he was pointing out that the OO Tradition may be different from the EO in this case, and for that reason it may be good for the original poster to talk to his priest.  I personally always consider it good advice to tell people to talk to their priests about the various matters we discuss here.  There is often a difference in how things are done, not just between OO and EO, but sometimes even between the various jurisdictions within those communions.  I know Thomas, and I feel that is what he meant.

Father Deacon Amde Tsion,  My intentions were as Salpy noted, I ask your forgiveness if I offended you. I was sick the last several days and have just logged on again after being out for the last 2 days, otherwise I would have responded earlier.

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edited for spelling
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« Reply #47 on: August 17, 2008, 07:47:58 PM »

An interesting side bar. I find it odd that most English bibles translate Christ's statement to Nicodemus in John 3:3 as "you must be born again". The phrase in Greek "γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν" seems much more like "born from above" and it seems to be pushing a particular interpretation to translate it as "born again" as I really can't see the word "again" present in any way. Does anyone have any idea as to when it was first translated this way and what was the reasoning behind this choice?

My Latin is far from impressive but "quis natus fuerit denuo" looks more like "born again" or "born anew" than "born from above". In fact, I cannot find a single translation that I can even begin to read that says anything that I can read as "from above". Babelfish chokes on the key word, not that its command of Koine is impressive. I note that most modern translations put "from above" in the footnote.
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« Reply #48 on: August 17, 2008, 08:15:12 PM »

Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am looking for help on a subject that has lead to "discussions" with my wife.
I was brought up an Orthodox Christian and was an active member of the Church and Serbian community pretty much all my life.
I did stray from my faith when I was about 22 till 35. I can say with regret that I was not an active or "good" Christian. I went through my turmoils in life and did "my time" but did try to get back on track.
I met a young lady which I married and with which I have 3 children now. She went through the same sought of turmoil as I did at the time, but she was from a Pentecostal family (namely the Potters House Church). Although at the time she didn't attend church either, but we Christened our children in the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Now this is the dilemma; she decided to go back to her Church and was "saved" or "born again" as they say. I started going back to my Church as I wanted my children to be raised Orthodox (in one way it was a blessing in disguise that she was so called "born again" because it made me go back to Church out of fear for my children's identity and ethnicity as my wife is Polynesian)
I am now in a bit of a dilemma as to how to take all this in and get her to see that the "Potters House" is not all as it seems.
Although all the persons that do attend her church are really good God loving people and I honestly don't see "them" as being bad or satanic as they do good things for the community and do follow the scripture (per se).
What I am asking really is how do I explain to her that the Orthodox Christian Church is the true Church of God ? How can I lead her and perhaps the other "born again" Christians into realizing that what they are doing although good is not blessed from God (or is it)??
If you can enlighten me or lead me in the right direction I would appreciate it. I KNOW THIS IS A PHENOMENAL TASK BUT SHE IS MY WIFE AND I DO LOVE HER AND MY CHILDREN AND ONLY WISH HARMONY IN MY HOME.
I haven't spoken to my priest about this as I am embarrassed and I feel like it is my fault by not marrying and Orthodox Christian in the first place. BUT WHAT CAN I DO NOW??

God Bless


This is why God created the OCA... Perhaps going to a Church that tries to be "Americanized" would soften the landing for them.
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« Reply #49 on: August 17, 2008, 08:27:45 PM »


This is why God created the OCA... Perhaps going to a Church that tries to be "Americanized" would soften the landing for them.

This is a very good idea, Marc. I tried attending (briefly) a Serbian church before I became Orthodox and it was very difficult to fit in, even though I already understood most of the Slavonic of the services. The people all seemed to speak only serbian after church and discuss serbian politics etc.; all of which was strange and confusing for me, as I just wanted to be a Christian!   I soon moved on to a more liberal, but friendlier, Ukrainian parish where everyone spoke english. Maybe you could start off at a more english parish for her sake, so as to ease the transition, and then if all goes well, slowly transfer to the Serbian?
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« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2008, 08:30:58 PM »

We don't have OCA in Australia, but an Antiochian parish might be the answer.
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« Reply #51 on: August 17, 2008, 09:21:35 PM »

Father Deacon Amde Tsion,  My intentions were as Salpy noted, I ask your forgiveness if I offended you. I was sick the last several days and have just logged on again after being out for the last 2 days, otherwise I would have responded earlier.

Thomas,
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edited for spelling

I was not "offended" just shocked at your manner. I felt 'alienated'..not insulted.

I want to believe that we are all one faith and one church. I find hope in that belief on this OC.net forum.



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« Reply #52 on: August 17, 2008, 09:42:58 PM »

We don't have OCA in Australia, but an Antiochian parish might be the answer.

You would be surprised Riddikulus.

New South Wales

St. Nicholas Church
Bankstown, Sydney, NW
      
St. Michael Church
Homebush, NW

Queensland

Holy Annunciation Church
Woollongaba/Brisbane, QD
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« Reply #53 on: August 17, 2008, 10:03:33 PM »

You would be surprised Riddikulus.

New South Wales

St. Nicholas Church
Bankstown, Sydney, NW
      
St. Michael Church
Homebush, NW

Queensland

Holy Annunciation Church
Woollongaba/Brisbane, QD

Yes, I am surprised... and a bit confused.  Grin
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« Reply #54 on: August 17, 2008, 10:05:28 PM »

I was sick the last several days and have just logged on again after being out for the last 2 days, otherwise I would have responded earlier.

Sorry to hear that you have been unwell, Thomas - hope you are much better now.
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« Reply #55 on: August 17, 2008, 10:07:54 PM »

Yes, I am surprised... and a bit confused.  Grin

[tangent]
Don't worry so am I. In reality it is just as confusing when I walk in to the suburb East Melbourne and there are 3 Orthodox churches within 500 meters of each other (all different jurisdictions).
[/tangent]
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« Reply #56 on: August 17, 2008, 10:11:10 PM »

[tangent]
Don't worry so am I. In reality it is just as confusing when I walk in to the suburb East Melbourne and there are 3 Orthodox churches within 500 meters of each other (all different jurisdictions).
[/tangent]

At least you are spoilt for choice!  Wink
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« Reply #57 on: August 17, 2008, 10:11:37 PM »

Yes, I am surprised... and a bit confused.  Grin

That's actually the OCAA: the Orthodox Church in America...in Australia.
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« Reply #58 on: August 17, 2008, 10:13:48 PM »

That's actually the OCAA: the Orthodox Church in America...in Australia.

It's all rather overwhelming - why, oh why isn't there simply an Orthodox Church of Australia? And New Zealand, too, for that matter.
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« Reply #59 on: August 17, 2008, 10:18:10 PM »

It's all rather overwhelming - why, oh why isn't there simply an Orthodox Church of Australia? And New Zealand, too, for that matter.

*sigh* I don't know. Why does our Patriarch insist on using koine Greek in our liturgies when people are starving to hear it in English. Maybe I'm just a foolish teenager.
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« Reply #60 on: August 17, 2008, 10:39:22 PM »

*sigh* I don't know. Why does our Patriarch insist on using koine Greek in our liturgies when people are starving to hear it in English.


A jolly good question. Doesn't our hierarchy realise how isolating that is? It seems more importance is placed on a "dead" language than the salvation of those we need to reach out to. Off-topic, I know... sorry.

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« Reply #61 on: August 17, 2008, 10:41:30 PM »

JHP17 & LPK .. Firstly God Bless you and your families... thank you for your concern ,efforts and prayers.

I am sorry to say though but our Church organizations are becoming more social / political gatherings rather than religious and I am finding it hard to accept it as I am now looking at a larger holier picture.
Just a simple example that I use often...
Here in Adelaide we have 2 Serbian Orthodox Churches .... each Church on any given Sunday might have 20-25 parishioners (except Christmas or Easter  off course!). On Friday Nights their is 200-300 people at the Church hall for folklore practice, bocce bowls, 8-ball, chess and the "bar" etc.... Now it is a fact that the 200-300 that come Friday nights "pay the bills" and the 20-25 that attend Sunday services pay pittance in comparison. The two Serbian Communities here have always been at arms length and relationships were strained for whatever reasons. (this is a similar situation with the other communities ie. Russian, Ukranian, Greek, Bulgarian etc...)

What I can't accept NOW that I am a father and have a family to take care of both financially and spiritually is this lack of unity, compassion and acceptance in our proud nation(s) and peoples.
We have strayed from God and our Faith and accepted a capitalist view of the world.. which I think is perhaps even more dangerous because it slowly "reels you in" to believing that a nice Church Hall and LCD TV's and cable and a "great bar" are more important than the Church itself and our necessity to attend services regularly. Ohh I was at Church on Friday night ??

Getting drunk on a Friday night and singing Serbian patriotic songs at the bar does not make you a good Serbian Orthodox Christian, quit the opposite I think. (I know because I was one of these fools previously Shocked)

So when you ask the leaders in our Church community what have you done for the "Church" their answer will be...(if not the same but similar)  we put a new roof on the hall, we bought a picnic ground (which is used once a year), we have a new LCD and Plasmas, cable, Fox etc.... new pool tables.

NOT ONE OF THEM WILL GIVE YOU THE CORRECT ANSWER... AND THE ONLY CORRECT ANSWER IS AN INVESTMENT IN OUR CHILDRENS FAITH.

OUR CHILDRENS FUTURE DOES NOT LIE IN THE FOUR WALLS THAT WE BUILT BUT IN THEIR SOUL, IN THEIR FAITH, THEIR HERITAGE - TRUE ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY.

Because if our children loose their faith and the true values of the Holy Orthodox Church and accept the western worlds values regarding materialism/capitalism/liberalism and all the other "isms" that are satans view of the world as many of us have unknowingly, then our community is not going to exist in 50-100 years time.

All the Serbian (and Russian, Ukranian, Greek etc...) Orthodox Churches and the Church Halls will be empty because we will have lost them to the "West".

FORGIVE ME IF I AM COMING ACROSS AS PERHAPS NEGATIVE, I ASSURE YOU I AM NOT. WE HAVE TO ACT ON THIS, AS THIS IS THE PATH THAT WE ARE HEADING AT THE MOMENT.

We need ORTHODOX UNITY FIRSTLY and our Patriarchs must act on this as we are scattered around the world and heading in all different directions. Don't you agree ?

Enter by the narrow gate as the wide gate and path that everyone follows will lead to destruction.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL. PRAISE JESUS


::WILD APPLAUSE::

I nominate the above for post of the month for August.

Man, you got it.  Especially this: "THE ONLY CORRECT ANSWER IS AN INVESTMENT IN OUR CHILDRENS FAITH."  I think, if the Serbian churches aren't being as proactive as you'd like, try to pair up with another Orthodox parish that seems to have a good children's ed/youth program going.  You can always go to the Serbian church for services otherwise -- I think it's great that you want to practice Orthodoxy within your own, native heritage, btw -- but you could also find out when other parishes' youth or kids meet and take your kids over there so that they could spend some time in an Orthodox setting with other kids their age.

Just a thought.

A jolly good question. Doesn't our hierarchy realise how isolating that is? It seems more importance is placed on a "dead" language than the salvation of those we need to reach out to. Off-topic, I know... sorry.

When folks look around and notice that the average age of their parishes is approaching middle age...that'll change.  I've heard tell of parishes that have turned it around through changing to the vernacular.
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« Reply #62 on: August 17, 2008, 10:54:22 PM »

When folks look around and notice that the average age of their parishes is approaching middle age...that'll change.  I've heard tell of parishes that have turned it around through changing to the vernacular.

umm.... In Melbourne Greek Orthodox churches try the average age to be something closer to 70 years old (and no this is not an exaggeration). I went to a freinds Coptic church and was dumb founded, they always have a weekly English service, English/Arabic service and Coptic service (given they do have 3 priests). They have a fully functional and successful youth meeting weekly (with actual youth 16-23 year olds). Where as the Greeks have some churches literally 800 meters away that both are unable to fill with more than 20 people weekly (95% over 75 years old). I don't have a clue why my Patriarch does what he does and hopefully soon I am able to humbly come and have a conversation with him and ask him what should be done.
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« Reply #63 on: August 17, 2008, 11:28:24 PM »

umm.... In Melbourne Greek Orthodox churches try the average age to be something closer to 70 years old (and no this is not an exaggeration). I went to a freinds Coptic church and was dumb founded, they always have a weekly English service, English/Arabic service and Coptic service (given they do have 3 priests). They have a fully functional and successful youth meeting weekly (with actual youth 16-23 year olds). Where as the Greeks have some churches literally 800 meters away that both are unable to fill with more than 20 people weekly (95% over 75 years old). I don't have a clue why my Patriarch does what he does and hopefully soon I am able to humbly come and have a conversation with him and ask him what should be done.

I have witnessed such determination to keep the Koine that it would be preferrable by some to see the parish die out completely rather than give in to English liturgies. People have completely lost touch with their own children and grandchildren, who are seeking Christianity in other places. I just don't understand it at all. How long do people think they can treat the Orthodox Church like an ethnic club, to the detriment of her members?
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« Reply #64 on: August 17, 2008, 11:37:50 PM »

When folks look around and notice that the average age of their parishes is approaching middle age...that'll change.  I've heard tell of parishes that have turned it around through changing to the vernacular.

I agree with prodromas; just the opposite seems to be happening. People stand about stratching their heads that their children and grandchildren aren't interested in the Faith and yet the answer is staring them in the face. At one lunch for the visiting Archbishop, the matter of language was brought up by a Greek lady who could see that the Church is losing her young. She pleaded with the Archbishop to make the Liturgy relevant. The assistant to the Archbishop missed the point completely and made a patriotic speech about how we were all Greek and should be proud of it! He was, of course, completely unaware that most of the people who were present didn't attend regularly Liturgy, and that most of those who do are not Greek at all. He was speaking to the cultural club not regular Church attending members. So out of touch was he that he was completely unaware that the young the Greek lady was talking about wouldn't have responded to his rousing speech. They don't speak Greek, especially Koine, don't see themselves as Greek and aren't interested in a Church that doesn't seem to care about their needs. The only young that were attending Liturgy at the time were not even of Greek descent. 
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« Reply #65 on: August 17, 2008, 11:49:04 PM »

I agree with prodromas; just the opposite seems to be happening. People stand about stratching their heads that their children and grandchildren aren't interested in the Faith and yet the answer is staring them in the face. At one lunch for the visiting Archbishop, the matter of language was brought up by a Greek lady who could see that the Church is losing her young. The assistant to the Archbishop missed the point completely and made a patriotic speech about how we were all Greek and should be proud of it! He was, of course, completely unaware that most of the people who were present didn't attend regularly Liturgy, and that most of those who do are not Greek at all. He was speaking to the cultural club not regular Church attending members. So out of touch was he that he was completely unaware that the young the Greek lady was talking about wouldn't have responded to his rousing speech. They don't speak Greek, don't see themselves as Greek and aren't interested in a Church that didn't seem to care about their needs.

Personally I would love to know Koine Greek and Modern Greek more fluently but I never had the resources and now not really the time to. I love my background and culture and will never forsake it but the church is not meant to be for the "fluent Greek speaking" but rather in my situation meant to respond and help the salvation of people in Australia. There is a monthly English service held in the middle of the week and once there were to elderly greek ladies who at the end of the service were questioning each other "Was that in English?" not realising due to the fact that they themselves do not even understand the services. I understand the Koine Greek is very important in a historical/biblical sense but every time I look at history it proves my point. The Latin used by Saint Jerome to translate the bible was none other than the commoners language and not the lavish Latin used by the royalty and aristocrats, Cyril and Methodios created a written language for the Slavs so they were able to have the services in there own language, Saint Innocent of Alaska translated parts of the bible and the services for the Aleutians.
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1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
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« Reply #66 on: August 17, 2008, 11:58:22 PM »

Personally I would love to know Koine Greek and Modern Greek more fluently but I never had the resources and now not really the time to. I love my background and culture and will never forsake it but the church is not meant to be for the "fluent Greek speaking" but rather in my situation meant to respond and help the salvation of people in Australia.

I agree, and I love your background and culture, too - as I do my own.

Quote
There is a monthly English service held in the middle of the week and once there were to elderly greek ladies who at the end of the service were questioning each other "Was that in English?" not realising due to the fact that they themselves do not even understand the services. I understand the Koine Greek is very important in a historical/biblical sense but every time I look at history it proves my point. The Latin used by Saint Jerome to translate the bible was none other than the commoners language and not the lavish Latin used by the royalty and aristocrats, Cyril and Methodios created a written language for the Slavs so they were able to have the services in there own language, Saint Innocent of Alaska translated parts of the bible and the services for the Aleutians.

I wonder if the insulated attitudes we are seeing now is the result of the giant effort, on the part of Greeks, to throw off oppression. It's completely understandable that speaking Greek and being Greek is important to someone - just as speaking English and being English is to me. There's no harm in this, but harm is done when the Gospel is hindered by misplaced national pride. 
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« Reply #67 on: August 18, 2008, 02:51:23 AM »

::WILD APPLAUSE::

I nominate the above for post of the month for August.

Man, you got it.  Especially this: "THE ONLY CORRECT ANSWER IS AN INVESTMENT IN OUR CHILDRENS FAITH."  I think, if the Serbian churches aren't being as proactive as you'd like, try to pair up with another Orthodox parish that seems to have a good children's ed/youth program going.  You can always go to the Serbian church for services otherwise -- I think it's great that you want to practice Orthodoxy within your own, native heritage, btw -- but you could also find out when other parishes' youth or kids meet and take your kids over there so that they could spend some time in an Orthodox setting with other kids their age.

Just a thought.

When folks look around and notice that the average age of their parishes is approaching middle age...that'll change.  I've heard tell of parishes that have turned it around through changing to the vernacular.


Thanks guys and gals, God Bless you all for the input.
your input here has given me lots to go on with my wife and kids.. I will try to speak to our priest about doing a service during the week in English... his son has just been ordained a deacon so perhaps this is a solution to a problem that could initiate some positive reactions around the Churches youth. We do need some some spiritual stimulation here in Adelaide. Praise God!
I have decided to nominate myself as a rep for the "starved generation" of Serbian Orthodox Christians as I find it hard to just sit around and let things just plod along as they have been, its not fruitful and any vine that isn't fruitful should be pruned.

God Bless you all in the name of the Holy Trinity. Amen
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Serbia is eternal if her children are faithful - Srbija je vecna ako su njoj deca verna.
Elisha
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« Reply #68 on: August 18, 2008, 03:15:51 AM »

... his son has just been ordained a deacon so perhaps this is a solution to a problem that could initiate some positive reactions around the Churches youth.

A deacon?  Is that you in the photo?  Are you sure you just don't mean an altar server/acolyte?  Deacons have to be adults....usually being at least 30, although there are cases of deacons being in their 20s.
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prodromas
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« Reply #69 on: August 18, 2008, 03:18:25 AM »

A deacon?  Is that you in the photo?  Are you sure you just don't mean an altar server/acolyte?  Deacons have to be adults....usually being at least 30, although there are cases of deacons being in their 20s.

Obviously the poster is not talking about himself.
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The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
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« Reply #70 on: August 18, 2008, 05:21:59 AM »

Obviously the poster is not talking about himself.

OBVIOUSLY !


it must be early in the morning and somebody might need to go night, night ..?  heheheee
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Serbia is eternal if her children are faithful - Srbija je vecna ako su njoj deca verna.
Thomas
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« Reply #71 on: August 18, 2008, 09:20:39 AM »

Reviewing the last several remarks, it appears that this topic has reached its natural end and is ready for closure. Further discussion of language and other subtexts brought forward in this topic should be addressed in appropriate forums.  Thank you Ctebah for your topic and we hope that your meeting with your priest will provide you comfort and direction to go with this issue.

Thomas
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Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas
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