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Author Topic: How to address Protestant Questions regarding the Orthodox Church?  (Read 6735 times) Average Rating: 0
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ignatius
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« on: December 20, 2008, 03:29:22 PM »

Hi Everyone,

I recently asked a friend of mine whom I only know through Facebook if he has ever looked into the Orthodox Church of Albania because his last name is Albanese. He responded that he has never looked into the Orthodox Church and that he only likes Churches that operate as prescribed in the New Testament. How should I respond to this?
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2008, 05:08:09 PM »

Obvious answer: Tell friend to check out this site.

Less than obvious answer: Tell friend to stop reading Revelations.
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2008, 05:28:18 PM »

Hi Everyone,

I recently asked a friend of mine whom I only know through Facebook if he has ever looked into the Orthodox Church of Albania because his last name is Albanese. He responded that he has never looked into the Orthodox Church and that he only likes Churches that operate as prescribed in the New Testament. How should I respond to this?

What does your friend mean when he says he likes churches that operate as prescribed in the New Testament? Is this affiliated with the Protestant "dogma" of the sola scriptura?

Actually, Jesus established His Church before the New Testament was compiled and canonised. Thus, it was impossible for the "original Church" to operate as prescribed in the New Testament.

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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2008, 05:40:49 PM »

Obvious answer: Tell friend to check out this site.

Less than obvious answer: Tell friend to stop reading Revelations.

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't Revelation interpreted as the celebration of the Divine LIturgy among the powers of heavens.  If so, I'd encourage him to read Revelation more so that he can see that the Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil, St. Jame and St. Gregory all are of the NT.
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2008, 05:42:11 PM »

Hi Everyone,

I recently asked a friend of mine whom I only know through Facebook if he has ever looked into the Orthodox Church of Albania because his last name is Albanese. He responded that he has never looked into the Orthodox Church and that he only likes Churches that operate as prescribed in the New Testament. How should I respond to this?

Tell him "mean ones like the Orthodox, with bishops like in Timothy and Titus?  Or maybe you mean ones that speak Greek and Aramaic?  They're all Orthodox too" (I doubt your friend knows of the Assyrians).  "Or maybe you mean a church that works without a New Testament: the Church in the New Testament didn't have the NT.  That wouldn't be the Orthodox Church.  The Orthodox go strictly by the book of the NT."
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2008, 05:46:11 PM »

e responded that he has never looked into the Orthodox Church and that he only likes Churches that operate as prescribed in the New Testament. How should I respond to this?

Point out the contradiction. The Orthodox Church operates as prescribed in the New Testament.
We hold on to Apostolic Tradition as prescribed in the New Testament.
Our clergy have three ranks (Bishops, Priests, Deacons) as prescribed in the New Testament.
We are a Eucharistic Community as prescribed in the New Testament.
We share One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism as prescribed in the New Testament.
We Seal with the Holy Spirit after Baptism as prescribed in the New Testament.
We believe that revelation was delivered once and for all as prescribed in the New Testament.
We baptise children as prescribed in the New Testament.
We administer Holy Unction as prescribed in the New Testament.
We Confess our sins to the Church as prescribed in the New Testament.
We fast as prescribed in the New Testament.
We call the Mother of God "blessed" as prescribed in the New Testament.
We burn incense in prayer as prescribed in the New Testament.
We hold objects which have been in contact with Saints to be holy and able to perform miracles as prescribed in the New Testament.
We believe in the Intercession of the Saints as prescribed in the New Testament.
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2008, 05:55:49 PM »

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't Revelation interpreted as the celebration of the Divine LIturgy among the powers of heavens.  If so, I'd encourage him to read Revelation more so that he can see that the Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil, St. Jame and St. Gregory all are of the NT.

You do realize that sarcasm doesn't come across very well on a text based forum.   Shocked
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2008, 06:12:53 PM »

if he has ever looked into the Orthodox Church of Albania because his last name is Albanese.

The name sounds Italian. There are twenty or so Albanian-speaking villages in southern Italy, especially Calabria. The people are known as Arbëresh, but I believe the Italians call them Albanesi, and one or two of their villages are named Such-and-Such degli Albanesi.

I forget what branch of the church they traditionally belong to, but I seem to recall it was one of those half-Greek, half-Latin churches (Uniate?) which exist in that part of the world. It would be easy to look up: there is a fair amount written about them.

Their history also can easily be looked up, but from my faulty memory I seem to recall that they fled from Albania at the time of the Ottoman advance, probably after the defeat of Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbe - i.e. 15th century.

Another guess is this: that his comment on the sort of church he likes makes him sound (to me) like one of these Charismatic groups which have sprung up over the past 30-40 years.

...Unless of course he means he's a Baptist!  Smiley
« Last Edit: December 20, 2008, 06:13:34 PM by David Young » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2008, 06:30:43 PM »

if he has ever looked into the Orthodox Church of Albania because his last name is Albanese.

The name sounds Italian. There are twenty or so Albanian-speaking villages in southern Italy, especially Calabria. The people are known as Arbëresh, but I believe the Italians call them Albanesi, and one or two of their villages are named Such-and-Such degli Albanesi.

I forget what branch of the church they traditionally belong to, but I seem to recall it was one of those half-Greek, half-Latin churches (Uniate?) which exist in that part of the world. It would be easy to look up: there is a fair amount written about them.

Their history also can easily be looked up, but from my faulty memory I seem to recall that they fled from Albania at the time of the Ottoman advance, probably after the defeat of Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbe - i.e. 15th century.

Another guess is this: that his comment on the sort of church he likes makes him sound (to me) like one of these Charismatic groups which have sprung up over the past 30-40 years.

...Unless of course he means he's a Baptist!  Smiley


Ummmm David I believe Ignatius was saying to "look in to the Orthodox Church of Albania, Because his last name is Albanese (not his literal las name but the sound of it is albanese)"
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2008, 10:06:47 PM »

if he has ever looked into the Orthodox Church of Albania because his last name is Albanese.

The name sounds Italian. There are twenty or so Albanian-speaking villages in southern Italy, especially Calabria. The people are known as Arbëresh, but I believe the Italians call them Albanesi, and one or two of their villages are named Such-and-Such degli Albanesi.

I forget what branch of the church they traditionally belong to, but I seem to recall it was one of those half-Greek, half-Latin churches (Uniate?) which exist in that part of the world. It would be easy to look up: there is a fair amount written about them.

Their history also can easily be looked up, but from my faulty memory I seem to recall that they fled from Albania at the time of the Ottoman advance, probably after the defeat of Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbe - i.e. 15th century.

Another guess is this: that his comment on the sort of church he likes makes him sound (to me) like one of these Charismatic groups which have sprung up over the past 30-40 years.

...Unless of course he means he's a Baptist!  Smiley


Ummmm David I believe Ignatius was saying to "look in to the Orthodox Church of Albania, Because his last name is Albanese (not his literal las name but the sound of it is albanese)"

No, my friends name 'is' Albanese and I do believe David is on to something.
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2008, 10:43:44 PM »

if he has ever looked into the Orthodox Church of Albania because his last name is Albanese.

The name sounds Italian. There are twenty or so Albanian-speaking villages in southern Italy, especially Calabria. The people are known as Arbëresh, but I believe the Italians call them Albanesi, and one or two of their villages are named Such-and-Such degli Albanesi.

I forget what branch of the church they traditionally belong to, but I seem to recall it was one of those half-Greek, half-Latin churches (Uniate?) which exist in that part of the world. It would be easy to look up: there is a fair amount written about them.

Their history also can easily be looked up, but from my faulty memory I seem to recall that they fled from Albania at the time of the Ottoman advance, probably after the defeat of Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbe - i.e. 15th century.

Another guess is this: that his comment on the sort of church he likes makes him sound (to me) like one of these Charismatic groups which have sprung up over the past 30-40 years.

...Unless of course he means he's a Baptist!  Smiley


Ummmm David I believe Ignatius was saying to "look in to the Orthodox Church of Albania, Because his last name is Albanese (not his literal las name but the sound of it is albanese)"

No, my friends name 'is' Albanese and I do believe David is on to something.

Please forgive me. Sorry for my quickness to judge David, forgive me.
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2008, 10:57:10 PM »

if he has ever looked into the Orthodox Church of Albania because his last name is Albanese.

The name sounds Italian. There are twenty or so Albanian-speaking villages in southern Italy, especially Calabria. The people are known as Arbëresh, but I believe the Italians call them Albanesi, and one or two of their villages are named Such-and-Such degli Albanesi.

I forget what branch of the church they traditionally belong to, but I seem to recall it was one of those half-Greek, half-Latin churches (Uniate?) which exist in that part of the world. It would be easy to look up: there is a fair amount written about them.

Their history also can easily be looked up, but from my faulty memory I seem to recall that they fled from Albania at the time of the Ottoman advance, probably after the defeat of Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbe - i.e. 15th century.

Another guess is this: that his comment on the sort of church he likes makes him sound (to me) like one of these Charismatic groups which have sprung up over the past 30-40 years.

...Unless of course he means he's a Baptist!  Smiley


Ummmm David I believe Ignatius was saying to "look in to the Orthodox Church of Albania, Because his last name is Albanese (not his literal las name but the sound of it is albanese)"

No, my friends name 'is' Albanese and I do believe David is on to something.

Please forgive me. Sorry for my quickness to judge David, forgive me.

Maybe this offended my friend by suggesting he was Albanian and not italian? Is there a disliking between Albaneans and Italians? I'm pretty ignorant of European nationalities.
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2008, 01:44:37 PM »

Is there a disliking between Albaneans and Italians?
We need to make a distinction between the Albanians of today, from Albania, and the Arbëresh, that is, the Albanians of southern Italy and Sicily, who went there some 550 years ago. I have never visited the Arbëresh villages, and to really know you would have to ask someone who has. But I believe they are now regarded as Italians who for some odd quirk of history happen to speak a different language. Apart from anything else, they came before 70% of Albanians became Moslem and came to be regarded as Turks (not, of course, by themselves).

Minority languages are dying out all over Europe - Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Provence, Greece (the Arvanitika tongue), and a number of others. Young people, especially since about the mid-20th century, have gone over in droves to speaking the majority language, and as the old Cornish proverb says, den hep tavas a-gollas y dyr (the man without a tongue lost his land). (Cornish died out probably around the end of the 18th century.) They are losing their identity if not literally their lands.

Today's Albanians (from Albania) watch Italian TV and films, flock to Italy to work, and are strongly drawn thither in their desire to westernise. In the war (1939-1945) the Italian occupiers were a much softer option than the Germans who followed them in 1943, and I have not become aware of any lingering animosity from those far-off days.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 01:45:46 PM by David Young » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2008, 04:19:25 PM »

Is there a disliking between Albaneans and Italians?
We need to make a distinction between the Albanians of today, from Albania, and the Arbëresh, that is, the Albanians of southern Italy and Sicily, who went there some 550 years ago. I have never visited the Arbëresh villages, and to really know you would have to ask someone who has. But I believe they are now regarded as Italians who for some odd quirk of history happen to speak a different language. Apart from anything else, they came before 70% of Albanians became Moslem and came to be regarded as Turks (not, of course, by themselves).

Minority languages are dying out all over Europe - Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Provence, Greece (the Arvanitika tongue), and a number of others. Young people, especially since about the mid-20th century, have gone over in droves to speaking the majority language, and as the old Cornish proverb says, den hep tavas a-gollas y dyr (the man without a tongue lost his land). (Cornish died out probably around the end of the 18th century.) They are losing their identity if not literally their lands.

Today's Albanians (from Albania) watch Italian TV and films, flock to Italy to work, and are strongly drawn thither in their desire to westernise. In the war (1939-1945) the Italian occupiers were a much softer option than the Germans who followed them in 1943, and I have not become aware of any lingering animosity from those far-off days.


Wow, thanks a lot David! You're a wonderful resource. God Bless.
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2008, 10:43:35 PM »

He responded that he has never looked into the Orthodox Church and that he only likes Churches that operate as prescribed in the New Testament. How should I respond to this?
Well, when he looks into the Orthodox Church and sees that it operates exactly as prescribed in the New Testament, you can welcome him home. Cheesy
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2008, 07:34:37 AM »

The books you need are Norman Douglas “Old Calabria” (1915, but reprinted a number of times) and Leslie Gardiner “South to Calabria” (1968).

The latter says (pp. 20ff):

“It is easy to plot the minority positions on the map - so many villages have ‘Albanese’ tacked on to their names... They are a semi-autonomous nation which... preserves its ancient religion by courtesy of the host government... Sixty years ago, according to Norman Douglas, there were 200,000 Arbëreshi scattered among eighty villages of southern Italy. These days there are about forty villages - half of them in Calabria - and a total population of about 70,000. The rest have escaped to America.”

There is much more information in both books.
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« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2008, 02:40:37 AM »

His reply to me...

"...You launched into a sola scriptura argument." I disagree I wrote exactly what I wrote. I launched nothing. I simply made a statement. I will say however I agree with 2 Timothy 3:16.

      I do not believe any one church has the ability to say, in truth, it is the true church or the original church etc. I believe in church that allows all comers to share a scripture reading, a psalm, a poem, a song, a teaching, a prophecy, a tounge, a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge etc. I don't see a church that has a single or a couple of speakers monopolizing their pulpit and interpreting the bible for the people as a true church but merely a fabrication of mankind. I most certainly believe the bible is the final authority and not any man at all. I would trust a bible over any religious leader past or present. I would trust my own interpretation over my own pastor, or priest and over anybody else's. I base this on John 14. I have been a believer in Yeshua for 25 years and know God on a rather personal level.  I have cast out demons, prophesied, successfully prayed for healings, given sermons, interpreted dreams, been a missionary etc. I have a relationship with God and I know he has never disagreed with scripture even once in his dealings with me. I need no mediator but Jesus alone (1st Timothy). The Holy Spirit teaches me and I occasionally seek understanding from brothers who have proven themselves to love Yahweh, love truth and love me. I check myself against the old and new testaments often and have read most of the bible numerous times. I know who I am and whom I serve and that's why I have no religious pretense. As far as judging goes the bible tells us to judge our brothers in the faith but not to judge unbelievers.That is in first corinthians. Matthew 7 speaks about this as well. It never says anywhere not to judge an institution at all.
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« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2008, 03:23:19 AM »

His reply to me...

"...You launched into a sola scriptura argument." I disagree I wrote exactly what I wrote. I launched nothing. I simply made a statement. I will say however I agree with 2 Timothy 3:16.

      I do not believe any one church has the ability to say, in truth, it is the true church or the original church etc. I believe in church that allows all comers to share a scripture reading, a psalm, a poem, a song, a teaching, a prophecy, a tounge, a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge etc. I don't see a church that has a single or a couple of speakers monopolizing their pulpit and interpreting the bible for the people as a true church but merely a fabrication of mankind. I most certainly believe the bible is the final authority and not any man at all. I would trust a bible over any religious leader past or present. I would trust my own interpretation over my own pastor, or priest and over anybody else's. I base this on John 14. I have been a believer in Yeshua for 25 years and know God on a rather personal level.  I have cast out demons, prophesied, successfully prayed for healings, given sermons, interpreted dreams, been a missionary etc. I have a relationship with God and I know he has never disagreed with scripture even once in his dealings with me. I need no mediator but Jesus alone (1st Timothy). The Holy Spirit teaches me and I occasionally seek understanding from brothers who have proven themselves to love Yahweh, love truth and love me. I check myself against the old and new testaments often and have read most of the bible numerous times. I know who I am and whom I serve and that's why I have no religious pretense. As far as judging goes the bible tells us to judge our brothers in the faith but not to judge unbelievers.That is in first corinthians. Matthew 7 speaks about this as well. It never says anywhere not to judge an institution at all.
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"...any religious leader past or present."

*opens NT*

St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke or St. John? Sts. Peter and Paul?

These Saints are no longer with us in body. Thus, their writings have been preserved for the edification of God's People.

"An apostolos or epistle is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of persons, usually a letter..." Epistles were written to specific groups because the writers could not be there in person. That's it.

St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, did not convert to Christianity until after the Ascension of the Lord. He is not one of the Twelve. Yet he is arguably one of the most famous followers of Christ. He is a religious leader for sure. I don't know about your friend, but in my eyes, if St. Paul walked into church with me tomorrow for Orthros, he would sure have some credibility.

"I would trust my own interpretation..."

"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." - 1 Peter 1:20 (KJV)

"I have cast out demons, prophesied, successfully prayed for healings, given sermons, interpreted dreams, been a missionary etc."

Noooo...God did that.


Anyhow, back to Sola Scriptura. Have you read the article by Fr. John Whiteford? http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/tca_solascriptura.aspx

It's excellent.

In XC
John

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« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2008, 03:27:57 AM »

It sounds to me like this guy has it all figured out.  If I were you I'd just write him a letter of congratulation.
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« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2008, 03:34:34 AM »

His reply to me...

"...You launched into a sola scriptura argument." I disagree I wrote exactly what I wrote. I launched nothing. I simply made a statement. I will say however I agree with 2 Timothy 3:16.

      I do not believe any one church has the ability to say, in truth, it is the true church or the original church etc. I believe in church that allows all comers to share a scripture reading, a psalm, a poem, a song, a teaching, a prophecy, a tounge, a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge etc. I don't see a church that has a single or a couple of speakers monopolizing their pulpit and interpreting the bible for the people as a true church but merely a fabrication of mankind. I most certainly believe the bible is the final authority and not any man at all. I would trust a bible over any religious leader past or present. I would trust my own interpretation over my own pastor, or priest and over anybody else's. I base this on John 14. I have been a believer in Yeshua for 25 years and know God on a rather personal level.  I have cast out demons, prophesied, successfully prayed for healings, given sermons, interpreted dreams, been a missionary etc. I have a relationship with God and I know he has never disagreed with scripture even once in his dealings with me. I need no mediator but Jesus alone (1st Timothy). The Holy Spirit teaches me and I occasionally seek understanding from brothers who have proven themselves to love Yahweh, love truth and love me. I check myself against the old and new testaments often and have read most of the bible numerous times. I know who I am and whom I serve and that's why I have no religious pretense. As far as judging goes the bible tells us to judge our brothers in the faith but not to judge unbelievers.That is in first corinthians. Matthew 7 speaks about this as well. It never says anywhere not to judge an institution at all.

Oh my, this fellow has all the answers, hasn't he? Trying to convince him of his errors would be pearls before swine, I'm afraid.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2008, 04:19:52 AM »

His reply to me...

"...You launched into a sola scriptura argument." I disagree I wrote exactly what I wrote. I launched nothing. I simply made a statement. I will say however I agree with 2 Timothy 3:16.

      I do not believe any one church has the ability to say, in truth, it is the true church or the original church etc. I believe in church that allows all comers to share a scripture reading, a psalm, a poem, a song, a teaching, a prophecy, a tounge, a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge etc. I don't see a church that has a single or a couple of speakers monopolizing their pulpit and interpreting the bible for the people as a true church but merely a fabrication of mankind. I most certainly believe the bible is the final authority and not any man at all. I would trust a bible over any religious leader past or present. I would trust my own interpretation over my own pastor, or priest and over anybody else's. I base this on John 14. I have been a believer in Yeshua for 25 years and know God on a rather personal level.  I have cast out demons, prophesied, successfully prayed for healings, given sermons, interpreted dreams, been a missionary etc. I have a relationship with God and I know he has never disagreed with scripture even once in his dealings with me. I need no mediator but Jesus alone (1st Timothy). The Holy Spirit teaches me and I occasionally seek understanding from brothers who have proven themselves to love Yahweh, love truth and love me. I check myself against the old and new testaments often and have read most of the bible numerous times. I know who I am and whom I serve and that's why I have no religious pretense. As far as judging goes the bible tells us to judge our brothers in the faith but not to judge unbelievers.That is in first corinthians. Matthew 7 speaks about this as well. It never says anywhere not to judge an institution at all.

Oh my, this fellow has all the answers, hasn't he? Trying to convince him of his errors would be pearls before swine, I'm afraid.  Roll Eyes

Three years ago there were probably alot of people on this forum who said the same about me. The second anniversary of my first DL is in two weeks....sooner or later those answers that one is so sure about start to crumble...
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« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2008, 05:59:19 AM »

back to Sola Scriptura. Have you read the article by Fr. John Whiteford? http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/tca_solascriptura.aspx

One of the advantages of these threads is the links they give to various websites. I shall read this with interest. Although Ignatius's friend seems way outside any mainstream church life of any hue, the question of 'sola scriptura' does indeed lie at the heart and centre of the discussion.
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« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2008, 12:13:19 PM »

back to Sola Scriptura. Have you read the article by Fr. John Whiteford? http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/tca_solascriptura.aspx

One of the advantages of these threads is the links they give to various websites. I shall read this with interest. Although Ignatius's friend seems way outside any mainstream church life of any hue, the question of 'sola scriptura' does indeed lie at the heart and centre of the discussion.

Well, my reply was met with laughter...

Quote
I do not believe any one church has the ability to say, in truth, it is the true church or the original church etc. I believe in church that allows all comers to share a scripture reading, a psalm, a poem, a song, a teaching, a prophecy, a tounge, a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge etc. I don't see a church that has a single or a couple of speakers monopolizing their pulpit and interpreting the bible for the people as a true church but merely a fabrication of mankind.

Elder Brother this is very strange to me for is it not "The house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).

Quote
I most certainly believe the bible is the final authority and not any man at all. I would trust a bible over any religious leader past or present. I would trust my own interpretation over my own pastor, or priest and over anybody else's. I base this on John 14. I have been a believer in Yeshua for 25 years and know God on a rather personal level.

Are we not taught "that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation"?

Quote
I have cast out demons, prophesied, successfully prayed for healings, given sermons, interpreted dreams, been a missionary etc. I have a relationship with God and I know he has never disagreed with scripture even once in his dealings with me.

It is the proud man that attributes to himself the efficacy of his prayers, while the humble man attributes them to God. It was not for your merit that these things have been done but for the glory of God. "God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble"

Quote
I need no mediator but Jesus alone (1st Timothy). The Holy Spirit teaches me and I occasionally seek understanding from brothers who have proven themselves to love Yahweh, love truth and love me. I check myself against the old and new testaments often and have read most of the bible numerous times. I know who I am and whom I serve and that's why I have no religious pretense.

Do we not have Shepherds of the Sheep or does the sheep wander on their own?

Obey your prelates, and be subject to them. For they watch, as being to render an account of your souls. Heb. 13:17

Quote
As far as judging goes the bible tells us to judge our brothers in the faith but not to judge unbelievers.That is in first corinthians. Matthew 7 speaks about this as well. It never says anywhere not to judge an institution at all.

I am not condemning the 'act' of making a judgment I am only suggesting that a sound judgment will be one made with knowledge of that which one judges. Knowing you affirmed no knowledge of the Orthodox Church it seems clear that any judgment on your part would be lacking and thus be a presumption.

There is no doubt that my years are few and I am not here to puff myself up to impress you. I have only asked a few questions and you do seem a bit defensive. Regardless if such is true or I am mistaken I don't inquire on these matters to argue or seek alpha 'Spiritual' dog status over you. I am simply asking questions.
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« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2008, 04:37:22 PM »

He responded that he has never looked into the Orthodox Church and that he only likes Churches that operate as prescribed in the New Testament. How should I respond to this?


Correction. He only likes churches that operate based on their interpretation of the New Testament. The Orthodox Church is the New Testament Church. I find that often with people like this that there is no use getting into an arguement it will not convince him/her of anything and only strain your relationshi.
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« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2008, 06:57:30 PM »

He responded that he has never looked into the Orthodox Church and that he only likes Churches that operate as prescribed in the New Testament. How should I respond to this?


Correction. He only likes churches that operate based on their interpretation of the New Testament. The Orthodox Church is the New Testament Church. I find that often with people like this that there is no use getting into an argument it will not convince him/her of anything and only strain your relationshi.

I would agree with this.  It is your Christian duty to point him toward the Orthodox Church (as Christ commanded us to evangelize), but you cannot argue someone into the church.  Beyond an initial introduction to Orthodoxy, I would abstain from getting into any arguments.  If he is interested after you show him the Way, then yes, by all means, help him as much as you can.  But be careful.  If he is not interested, it can damage your relationship irreparably.
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« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2008, 02:24:32 AM »

This was his reply after the laughter...


     I maintain what I said all along. The bible says that believers are priests (and Kings) it says that we have no need of a teacher because the Holy Spirit instructs us. A guy orating before a group is Greco-Roman by origin and not as the original church did nor wrote about. I did not say I knew nothing about the orthodox church. I said i never looked into the "Albanian" Orthodox Church. I read a some books that came from an Orthodox (which specific brand escapes me not greek  nor Russian maybe eastern) church when I traveled about doing music ministry. The guys wore cool robes with leather belts and shared their opinions. I asked a lot of questions and the books were mostly accounts of, so called, holy men monks and hermits and their struggles to fast pray and overcome their sin etc. I found it interesting.

     When I told you who I am in Christ and what I have done your response seemed to imply that I am proud and that I think my prayers are effective because I'm awesome er something. That is what I laughed because you must not know me very well. My prayers are answered because God loves me and I love him and because I pray in the name of Jesus. Possibly he might even care about the demonized person or the person in need of healing?Huh The reason I told you this about me was because I wanted to stress the beauty, importance and potency of being in a personal relationship with my Dad in heaven through my big brother Yeshua.  In general Religion seeks to get in the middle of that and ruin it as man usually does and powerful men always do. When we stand before God at the final judgement he won't ask what church we belonged to. The way of salvation is as simple as Romans 10: 9-10. It is not complicated. We are required no men with funny hats or strange collars. Prelates is a poor translation elder is more like it. No institution provides this an elder or shepherd is one who by virtue of demonstration shows himself to be full of the fruit of the spirit they should be married to one woman and have obedient children etc. -there is a whole list in there. These people are called by God to God's children and should be listened to and should administrate the service part of their administration should be allowing everyone who has something to share. The object of being a child is to grow up and be an adult so once we've matured we then become elders to others.

We are not to remain milk eating children but become productive citizens and then leaders in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is not Christendom the Kingdom of God is in our hearts.

  If you don't have a relationship with God personally then all you have is a religion. you know banging gong, clanging cymbal etc. Religion can not save. Knowledge can not save. Yeshua alone saves.  Religion is often attempt to save oneself and truly weak it is. Religion usually ends in murder(there is a history of that in many religions and denominations) love does not.

 So, my friend (I say this with a smile) Knowing God is not like a martial art it is having a family to love you and be loved by. It is much more simple.
  I offer you this lay it all at the feet of Jesus and be free sin has already been dealt with. We need not struggle every need is already met for those who LOVE him. Jesus said whoever calls on my name I will in nowise reject. The knowledgeable are nothing to God he knows the rules of chaos which can not be known. He sees the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning and he loves You Chris Bailey! WOW As much as anything he has done for him it has been done for you too. He does not hold us to a standard that he does not keep himself. He Loves You and would like to walk with you in the cool of the evening. Take it to the bank er um uh a-men

Love ya man,
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« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2008, 05:50:41 AM »

Quote
The reason I told you this about me was because I wanted to stress the beauty, importance and potency of being in a personal relationship with my Dad in heaven through my big brother Yeshua.


Ewwww. Cringe. Cringe.  Tongue Tongue So it's Pal Jesus, is it? He'll freak out completely if he was to ever come to an Orthodox liturgy. All those candles, the air blue with incense, the brocade robes, people bowing and crossing themselves in reverence ... Poor deluded fellow...  Sad
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« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2008, 01:00:44 PM »

His reply to me...

"...You launched into a sola scriptura argument." I disagree I wrote exactly what I wrote. I launched nothing. I simply made a statement. I will say however I agree with 2 Timothy 3:16.

      I do not believe any one church has the ability to say, in truth, it is the true church or the original church etc. I believe in church that allows all comers to share a scripture reading, a psalm, a poem, a song, a teaching, a prophecy, a tounge, a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge etc. I don't see a church that has a single or a couple of speakers monopolizing their pulpit and interpreting the bible for the people as a true church but merely a fabrication of mankind. I most certainly believe the bible is the final authority and not any man at all. I would trust a bible over any religious leader past or present. I would trust my own interpretation over my own pastor, or priest and over anybody else's. I base this on John 14. I have been a believer in Yeshua for 25 years and know God on a rather personal level.  I have cast out demons, prophesied, successfully prayed for healings, given sermons, interpreted dreams, been a missionary etc. I have a relationship with God and I know he has never disagreed with scripture even once in his dealings with me. I need no mediator but Jesus alone (1st Timothy). The Holy Spirit teaches me and I occasionally seek understanding from brothers who have proven themselves to love Yahweh, love truth and love me. I check myself against the old and new testaments often and have read most of the bible numerous times. I know who I am and whom I serve and that's why I have no religious pretense. As far as judging goes the bible tells us to judge our brothers in the faith but not to judge unbelievers.That is in first corinthians. Matthew 7 speaks about this as well. It never says anywhere not to judge an institution at all.



He sounds like a charismatic protestant who is heavily influenced by Messianic Jews (of the Assembly of God type).

As far as I know, there are two kinds of Messianic Jews, one from the Southern Baptists, and the other from the Assembly of God....or Church of God Tenessee.

Since your facebook friend sounds Pentecostal, and since he used "key words" that Messianic Jews normaly use. I assume he dwells in circles of Charismatic Messianic Jews.


But this is my assumption so I could be wrong about this. But he had to of picked up those terms from somewhere........maybe from a book or from TV, the Radio, or friends.


Ask him what his views are of the "prosperty Gospel". The more he talks, the more you will be able to sum him up. You will know, what group he comes from, or what person/persons/movements influenced him. So keep him talking.

And maybe after he done hearing himself, he will be willing to listen. His form of christianity will forever be in a state of flux and schizm. What is believed and practiced today will be outdated and passe tomorrow. And it will only cause more and more schizm among people that believe like him.......for they will always bump heads and split. And once he gets old he won't recognize the church he belonged to for it will keep changing in thought, belief, and practice.





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« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2008, 02:13:44 PM »

This was his reply after the laughter...


   
Quote
I maintain what I said all along. The bible says that believers are priests (and Kings) it says that we have no need of a teacher because the Holy Spirit instructs us.


Then you dispensed with the NT I guess, since the Apostles write that they write to instruct.  Romans 10:14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”

Quote
A guy orating before a group is Greco-Roman by origin and not as the original church did nor wrote about.

I'm not sure what, if anything, is being said here.

Quote
I did not say I knew nothing about the orthodox church. I said i never looked into the "Albanian" Orthodox Church. I read a some books that came from an Orthodox (which specific brand escapes me not greek  nor Russian maybe eastern) church when I traveled about doing music ministry. The guys wore cool robes with leather belts and shared their opinions. I asked a lot of questions and the books were mostly accounts of, so called, holy men monks and hermits and their struggles to fast pray and overcome their sin etc. I found it interesting.

So you heard someone who was sent.  So I'll continue the quote:
Romans 10:16 However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
18 But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have;
“THEIR VOICE HAS GONE OUT INTO ALL THE EARTH,
AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD.”
19 But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says,
“I WILL MAKE YOU JEALOUS BY THAT WHICH IS NOT A NATION,
BY A NATION WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING WILL I ANGER YOU.”
20 And Isaiah is very bold and says,
“I WAS FOUND BY THOSE WHO DID NOT SEEK ME,
I BECAME MANIFEST TO THOSE WHO DID NOT ASK FOR ME.”
21 But as for Israel He says, “ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE.”

Quote
    When I told you who I am in Christ

Christ I know.

And Paul I know.

And St. Ignatius I know.

And Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch I know.

But who are you? (Acts 19:15).

Quote
and what I have done your response seemed to imply that I am proud and that I think my prayers are effective because I'm awesome er something. That is what I laughed because you must not know me very well. My prayers are answered because God loves me and I love him and because I pray in the name of Jesus.

Didn't work for the Seven sons of the High Priest in Acts 19.

Adulterers and fornicators usually tell each other they love each other. Doesn't make it a legitimate relationship.

Quote
Possibly he might even care about the demonized person or the person in need of healing?Huh


No doubt about that.


Quote
The reason I told you this about me was because I wanted to stress the beauty, importance and potency of being in a personal relationship with my Dad in heaven through my big brother Yeshua.

Soo Joe Smith, your heavenly Daddy came down and personally gave you the Bible and big bro' Yeshua baptized you, huh?

As the Fathers say, he who will not have the Church as his Mother, cannot have God as His Father.

"For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel."  Paul to the Corintians (I 4:15).  Actually it says "I have begotten you through the Gospel."

[/quote]In general Religion seeks to get in the middle of that[/quote]

Don't need religion.  You need the Church.

Tell me, what stops him from creating God in his own image, a la Joe Smith Jr?

"I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth" - 1 Timothy 3:14-15

Quote
and ruin it as man usually does and powerful men always do.

Like St. Ignatius of Antioch?  St. Polycarp?  St. John Chrysostom?

Quote
When we stand before God at the final judgement he won't ask what church we belonged to
.

Yes, we will.

Luke 10:16 "The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me."
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name, drove out demons in your name, and performed many miracles in your name, didn't we?'
23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you evildoers!'"

Quote
The way of salvation is as simple


He means "simplistic."


Quote
as Romans 10: 9-10.


He is aware, that the verses numbers are not in the Bible, that the Church put them in?

Same man wrote this:
Galatians 1:18 I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.

and was written of him:
Acts 9:26 When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus

Which he recalled:

Galatians 2:9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

Seems you want to prove St. Peter right (second epistle, chapter 3)
14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Quote
It is not complicated.


Then why did the Lord call it a "narrow gate?"  Repentence is a life long endevor.  Grace is not cheap.


Quote
We are required no men with funny hats or strange collars.


Unless you're wearing a robe and sandals, I'd watch it (the thoughts of the 1st century of those in the Roman Empire on pants have survived, and they aren't pretty).

How about those monks with the funny haircuts, copying those manuscripts for a millenium, without which your friend James with the funny hat (called a crown) wouldn't have had anything to make your Bible for you.


Quote
Prelates is a poor translation elder is more like it.

Presbyter or priest is better still.  It was a religious term for clergy amongst the Hebrews before Christ already.

 
Quote
No institution provides this an elder or shepherd is one who by virtue of demonstration shows himself to be full of the fruit of the spirit they should be married to one woman and have obedient children etc. -there is a whole list in there.

Yes, you left out the requirement of laying on of hands from the apostles. I Titus 1:5, I Tim. 5:22, II Tim 2:2, I Tim. 4:14, Acts 13:2-3 (btw, the Greek says "served the Liturgy to the Lord..") Acts 20:17, 28.

 
Quote
These people are called by God to God's children and should be listened to and should administrate the service part of their administration should be allowing everyone who has something to share.


Now, is that what St. Paul tells the bishops (yes, that's the proper term) in Acts 20, where, for the Apostles, he hands the Church off to their successors the bishops?  Does he so instruct bishops St. Timothy and  St. Titus, in his epistles to them (they should be in his Bible, if they aren't he has bigger problems)?  Seems like talks alot about passing on the Tradition (they same that he warned the  II Thessalonians 2:15 "So then, brothers, stand firm, and hold the traditions which you were taught by us, whether by word, or by letter." 3:6 "Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks in rebellion, and not after the tradition which they received from us" and praised the 1 Corinthians 11:2 "Now I praise you, brothers, that you remember me in all things, and hold firm the traditions, even as I delivered them to you").  

Nothing about a senority system, restricted to administration and coordination.


Quote
The object of being a child is to grow up and be an adult so once we've matured we then become elders to others.


Yeah, that's what Dathan, Abiram and Korah were doing.  Becoming elders to others.

No one takes this honor upon himself but he is called to it by God, just as Aaron was.  Hebrews 5:4.

Which, as St. Paul points out, is why bishops are ordianed so "holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.  For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers...." Titus 1:9-10.


Quote
We are not to remain milk eating children

Your friend is so childish, I'm not sure he is ready for milk. He has no concept of anyone but "Jesus and me."  Well, unless he had a Joseph Smith moment, there is logically more to it than that.


Quote
but become productive citizens and then leaders in the Kingdom of God.


No.  Christ had many followers, but He set the disciples aside as leaders.  Hence the word "SEPARATE to Me Barnabas and Saul (Acts 13:2)."  Your friend should read Jude 5,11 in light of his "funny hat" comment.  Part of being a productive citizen is obeying lawful authority.

Quote
The Kingdom is not Christendom the Kingdom of God is in our hearts.

Kumbaya.

Quote
If you don't have a relationship with God personally then all you have is a religion. you know banging gong, clanging cymbal etc.


and if you don't have the Church, you can't have her Book the Bible, nor be joined to Christ, whose Body she is.

Quote
Religion can not save.

Nor can religious experience, even if you call it "born again."

Quote
Knowledge can not save.

Nor can willful ignorance.

Quote
Yeshua alone saves.  


Then why did He found the Church?

All the above propositions should be "X only doesn't save."

Btw, what's the bit with Yeshua?  Something against Jesus?

Quote
Religion is often attempt to save oneself and truly weak it is.


So is making up your own idiosyncratic Faith.  Didn't work for Joe Smith, won't work for you.

Quote
Religion usually ends in murder(there is a history of that in many religions and denominations) love does not.

Kumbaya.

Care to account for the MASSIVE amount of charitable works, orphanages, etc. etc. etc. that owe their existence to the Church?  Why did Russia, when the Soviet Union fell, dump all the social services etc. onto the Church, when it had made it illegal for the Church to do any social work during the whole of the communism?

Quote
So, my friend (I say this with a smile) Knowing God is not like a martial art it is having a family to love you and be loved by.


Hmmm.  My family has a geneology, a history, traditions, authority, boudaries.  That is how it is filled with love.  My ex wife wanted to do her own thing (adultery-after all they were in "love", passing the children off as anothers, divorce, threatenign police action against her mother when she didn't agree with her, be rude to relatives and fight with them because they will always be there since they're blood, etc.) too.  That's why she spends the holidays alone.

Sounds like your family is more like hers.

Quote
It is much more simple.  I offer you this lay it all at the feet of Jesus and be free sin has already been dealt with.

Sorry, mantras aren't Christian.

Quote
We need not struggle every need is already met for those who LOVE him.

Where does Christ make this promise of a easy way for the believer?  I only have warnings about hardship in my four Gospels.  Which angel of light preached to you the "gospel" of health and wealth?


And why was St. Paul filling with his sufferings what was lacking in Christ's, for the sake of His Body which is the CHURCH?  Col. 1:24

Quote
Jesus said whoever calls on my name I will in nowise reject.


Matthew 7:23 drop out of your Bible?

Quote
The knowledgeable are nothing to God he knows the rules of chaos which can not be known. He sees the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning and he loves You Chris Bailey! WOW As much as anything he has done for him it has been done for you too. He does not hold us to a standard that he does not keep himself. He Loves You and would like to walk with you in the cool of the evening.


He also would like you to walk with Him.

Quote
Take it to the bank er um uh a-men

You can get jailed with passing counterfeit bills.

Come instead to the Treasury of the Church, whom Christ has adorned with the riches of the saints who bought gold refined in the fire from Him so that they might be rich.  Do not go to him who buried his talent.
[/quote]
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« Reply #29 on: December 24, 2008, 02:44:29 PM »

His reply to me...

"...You launched into a sola scriptura argument." I disagree I wrote exactly what I wrote. I launched nothing. I simply made a statement. I will say however I agree with 2 Timothy 3:16.

      I do not believe any one church has the ability to say, in truth, it is the true church or the original church etc.

Christ said "I will found My Church," not "MY Churches."

Christ has a bride, not a harem.

Quote
I believe

I'm sorry, who cares what you believe?  Unless you can produce your Apostolic credentials, not interested.
I'm interested in what the Apostles preached, and what they said to the Church "thus you believe."

Quote
in church that allows all comers to share a scripture reading, a psalm, a poem, a song, a teaching, a prophecy,


Can I come with my Book of Mormon?

Quote
a tounge, a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge etc.


can the Jesus seminar pay a visit?


Quote
I don't see a church that has a single or a couple of speakers monopolizing their pulpit and interpreting the bible for the people as a true church

Jesus taught otherwise.

Luke 10:16 "The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me."

And St. Paul taught otherwise to SS Timoty and Titus.

Quote
but merely a fabrication of mankind.


Sooo, you gonna give up that Bible that that Church fabricated?


Quote
I most certainly believe the bible is the final authority

sorry, can't use the manual unless you buy the car.

The Church authorized the Bible, decided what books were in, which out, and transmitted and AUTHORIZED the text.


Can't say the US government is illegitimate, and still pay in dollars.

Quote
and not any man at all.

We teach that SS Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James and Jude were men.  Maybe you can go along with the gnostics and their "Bible."

Quote
I would trust a bible over any religious leader past or present.

Oh, really? So how'd ya get that Bible?  Fall out of the sky to you?  Dig it up in some ancient tel?


Quote
I would trust my own interpretation over my own pastor, or priest and over anybody else's.

Seems you want to prove St. Peter right (second epistle, chapter 3)
14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.


Quote
I base this on John 14.

Why did the Apostles still have to baptize them in Acts 10:47?

I base my interpretation on St. Peter's words (his first epistle, 1:20) "First of all, you must understand this: No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation."  Yeah, I know, dead leader of the past.  But since Christ approved of his interpretation personally, giving him the name Peter "rock" as a result, and promised him personally that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church He was founding, I'm going to trust His word, Peter's and Church's over my own.  Or yours.

Quote
I have been a believer in Yeshua for 25 years and know God on a rather personal level.


So you say.

Quote
I have cast out demons, prophesied, successfully prayed for healings, given sermons, interpreted dreams, been a missionary etc.

Matthew 7:23.  Not impressed.

Quote
I have a relationship with God and I know he has never disagreed with scripture even once in his dealings with me.

Since you're the one, not Him, deciding what scripture means, you are testifying of yourself.

Quote
I need no mediator but Jesus alone (1st Timothy).


So Jesus wrote those words of 1st Timothy for you personally, huh?  Or did He email them?

Quote
The Holy Spirit teaches me and I occasionally seek understanding from brothers who have proven themselves to love Yahweh, love truth and love me.


Proven themselves to whom?

Well, the Holy Spirit came down on my Church at Pentacost, and she anointed me with the same Spirit at my chrismation, my personal Pentacost, and what the Spirit has told US is at varience at what you claim the Spirit told you.  So one of us is speaking to a different spirit.

Quote
I check myself against the old and new testaments often and have read most of the bible numerous times.

Satan proved to be a great prooftexter and scripture scholar in the temptation in the wilderness.  I'm not impressed.

Quote
I know who I am and whom I serve

Sounds like Joe Smith.

Quote
and that's why I have no religious pretense.

No, you claim you know better than those who wrote and transmitted the Bible.  No pretense there.

 
Quote
As far as judging goes the bible tells us to judge our brothers in the faith but not to judge unbelievers.That is in first corinthians. Matthew 7 speaks about this as well. It never says anywhere not to judge an institution at all.

But you have been weighed in the scales and found wanting.
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« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2008, 02:48:05 PM »

His reply to me...

"...You launched into a sola scriptura argument." I disagree I wrote exactly what I wrote. I launched nothing. I simply made a statement. I will say however I agree with 2 Timothy 3:16.

      I do not believe any one church has the ability to say, in truth, it is the true church or the original church etc. I believe in church that allows all comers to share a scripture reading, a psalm, a poem, a song, a teaching, a prophecy, a tounge, a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge etc. I don't see a church that has a single or a couple of speakers monopolizing their pulpit and interpreting the bible for the people as a true church but merely a fabrication of mankind. I most certainly believe the bible is the final authority and not any man at all. I would trust a bible over any religious leader past or present. I would trust my own interpretation over my own pastor, or priest and over anybody else's. I base this on John 14. I have been a believer in Yeshua for 25 years and know God on a rather personal level.  I have cast out demons, prophesied, successfully prayed for healings, given sermons, interpreted dreams, been a missionary etc. I have a relationship with God and I know he has never disagreed with scripture even once in his dealings with me. I need no mediator but Jesus alone (1st Timothy). The Holy Spirit teaches me and I occasionally seek understanding from brothers who have proven themselves to love Yahweh, love truth and love me. I check myself against the old and new testaments often and have read most of the bible numerous times. I know who I am and whom I serve and that's why I have no religious pretense. As far as judging goes the bible tells us to judge our brothers in the faith but not to judge unbelievers.That is in first corinthians. Matthew 7 speaks about this as well. It never says anywhere not to judge an institution at all.

Oh my, this fellow has all the answers, hasn't he? Trying to convince him of his errors would be pearls before swine, I'm afraid.  Roll Eyes

Three years ago there were probably alot of people on this forum who said the same about me. The second anniversary of my first DL is in two weeks....sooner or later those answers that one is so sure about start to crumble...

We still bear the Ark, through the prayers of the saints may be circle and blow the right tune on our horns.
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« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2008, 08:42:25 PM »

What I want to know is why someone who believes this:
We are not to remain milk eating children

Can in the previous paragraph say this:
a personal relationship with my Dad in heaven through my big brother Yeshua.

I believe I've heard more mature things from three-year-olds. This guy claims he needs no teacher? He can enjoy his milk; his teeth aren't coming in for a long time.
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« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2009, 06:23:44 PM »

Coming back somewhat nearer to the title of the thread, if someone asked how the Orthodox and Evangelical churches differ, I get the impression that the three major areas are as follows - and I should be pleased to learn whether you agree with me or think my answer is defective:

1) the scriptures alone as sufficient and authoritative for faith and practice, or whether we have the other aspects of Holy Tradition as also authoritative: for Tradition would then automatically give us apostolic succession, priests, Orthodox sacraments and various other beliefs and practices which Evangelicals lack

2) justification and the new birth (in which we become children of God) in a moment by faith alone, through grace alone: this does not extend to the question of whether salvation can subsequently be lost, for some Evangelicals hold this whilst others deny it

3) assurance of salvation: that a man may know by the inner witness of God's Spirit with his spirit  that he is, at present, forgiven, in a state of grace, 'accepted in the Beloved' and alive to God.

I am not raising these topics here for debate - though I shall gladly explore them with you if you wish - but rather I am going no further than to inquire whether you agree with me that all our differences arise naturally from these three areas of dogma.

I have not included the matter of our emphasis on the death of Christ contrasted with yours on his resurrection, because (as I have written on other threads) I think we both believe more or less the same on these matters, and that it is our emphases that are different not our formal dogmas. Certainly, I think that we believe everything that you do about our Lord's resurrection, and in all the forum threads I have read, and all the Orthodox theology books from Athanasius through Dositheos and down to Ware, Hopko, Bulgakov, I have never to my knowledge found anything that any Evangelical would dissent from in what you have written about Christ's resurrection. Aleithos anesti!
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« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2009, 10:59:21 PM »

^ I think those three are major areas of difference, ones in which neither side will budge from their position. I would add to it the views on the Eucharist (as we've discussed elsewhere) and the nature of the Church, whether it is visible or invisible. There may be others that aren't coming to mind at the moment.
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« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2009, 02:04:25 AM »

Coming back somewhat nearer to the title of the thread, if someone asked how the Orthodox and Evangelical churches differ, I get the impression that the three major areas are as follows - and I should be pleased to learn whether you agree with me or think my answer is defective:

1) the scriptures alone as sufficient and authoritative for faith and practice, or whether we have the other aspects of Holy Tradition as also authoritative: for Tradition would then automatically give us apostolic succession, priests, Orthodox sacraments and various other beliefs and practices which Evangelicals lack

2) justification and the new birth (in which we become children of God) in a moment by faith alone, through grace alone: this does not extend to the question of whether salvation can subsequently be lost, for some Evangelicals hold this whilst others deny it

3) assurance of salvation: that a man may know by the inner witness of God's Spirit with his spirit  that he is, at present, forgiven, in a state of grace, 'accepted in the Beloved' and alive to God.

I am not raising these topics here for debate - though I shall gladly explore them with you if you wish - but rather I am going no further than to inquire whether you agree with me that all our differences arise naturally from these three areas of dogma.

I have not included the matter of our emphasis on the death of Christ contrasted with yours on his resurrection, because (as I have written on other threads) I think we both believe more or less the same on these matters, and that it is our emphases that are different not our formal dogmas. Certainly, I think that we believe everything that you do about our Lord's resurrection, and in all the forum threads I have read, and all the Orthodox theology books from Athanasius through Dositheos and down to Ware, Hopko, Bulgakov, I have never to my knowledge found anything that any Evangelical would dissent from in what you have written about Christ's resurrection. Aleithos anesti!

I would agree with you that these are differences in our faiths.  But, honestly, I would say that it is more than just these.  If, just for instance, Protestants were to change their position on those few things that you listed and come back to the Orthodox view, there would still be much difference.  I'm not sure I can really articulate what else is different, other than to just say that they are, in my opinion, two entirely different faiths altogether.  I don't mean that harshly or as a criticism.  The approach is so different, the lifestyle.  Honestly, I don't think I could live without the Divine Liturgy.  I think I would drown in sorrow without it.  It is so much a part of my lifestyle.  It is part of my everyday life.  But a Protestant cannot identify with that, has no idea what that joy feels like.  There is nothing in Protestantism that can approximate the Divine Liturgy.  Again-- not a criticism, but it is a truth.  That is just one example.  I can't imagine my Church with bare walls, or my house, for that matter.  I can't imagine not praying with a komboskini (a prayer rope), or not making prostrations while praying the Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian (the text of which I will post below, even though we are not in Lent-- it's such a powerful prayer) simply because someone thinks I shouldn't read a prayer from a book or prostrate myself before Christ.  I can't imagine not reading the lives of the saints, not asking them for intercessions.  They inspire me and I have felt the benefit of praying to them many times (remind me to tell you the story sometime of losing my dog and praying to St. Phanourios to find her).  It makes my heart break to think about not praying to the Theotokos.  And it crushes me to think of not praying for my grandmother, whose memory is so dear to me, and asking her prayers for me.  I have a client right now that I cook for who eats meat with every meal, every day of the year.  This makes my stomach churn.  Fasting is a huge part of my life. 

But these are all things that are foreign to Protestants, and unacceptable to them.  So, even if we agreed on those few things, we would still be worlds apart.  Some may be Holy Tradition, while some are traditions, and I guess could be lumped in with your #1.  But I think, as I have evidenced above, it is not as simple as you make it sound.  Those "various other beliefs" you don't think are major areas, we think are HUGE.  Those are our life. 

Maybe I missed the point entirely...

Pray for me a sinner...
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The Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian:
Quote
O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, Lord and King!
Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages.
Amen.
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« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2009, 02:19:59 AM »

I have a client right now that I cook for who eats meat with every meal, every day of the year.  This makes my stomach churn.  Fasting is a huge part of my life.

Presbytera, what is a "huge part" of your life may not be viewed the same way by others.  Mentioning how your stomach churns at the sight of a man eating meat with every meal every day is a judgment.

Based on what I've seen at Protestant Churches with Powerpoint Presentations and Youth Rock Bands (which they think is a huge part of their worship life), they haven't even scratched the surface of how their worship style differs from Orthodox Christian worship.  Reading from a Powerpoint presentation while consecrating saltine crackers and grape juice does not equate to the Anaphora and the Epiclesis.  For folks like Rick Warren, Franklin/Billy Graham, et al, there is no consecration of saltine crackers and grape juice and their homilies are more like "do what I say not what I do."

But these are all things that are foreign to Protestants, and unacceptable to them.  So, even if we agreed on those few things, we would still be worlds apart.  Some may be Holy Tradition, while some are traditions, and I guess could be lumped in with your #1.  But I think, as I have evidenced above, it is not as simple as you make it sound.  Those "various other beliefs" you don't think are major areas, we think are HUGE.  Those are our life. 

Maybe I missed the point entirely...

Pray for me a sinner...
Presbytera Mari

The Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian:
Quote
O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, Lord and King!
Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages.
Amen.
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« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2009, 02:27:58 AM »

I have a client right now that I cook for who eats meat with every meal, every day of the year.  This makes my stomach churn.  Fasting is a huge part of my life.

Presbytera, what is a "huge part" of your life may not be viewed the same way by others.  Mentioning how your stomach churns at the sight of a man eating meat with every meal every day is a judgment.
Excuse me, but that was not a judgement.  I'm a chef and think in terms of food.  The thought of having my stomach full of meat every day is not an appetizing thought.  I love meat.  But I like fasting.  I don't like to be gorged on meat everyday.  That's my own preference and lifestyle--- which was my point.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with him or his character.  Don't call me out on something like that when it is not the case, please.
And the fact that it's a "huge part" of my life but not others was also my point.  Even if we came to a consensus on those things, our lifestyles are still hugely different.


Quote
Based on what I've seen at Protestant Churches with Powerpoint Presentations and Youth Rock Bands (which they think is a huge part of their worship life), they haven't even scratched the surface of how their worship style differs from Orthodox Christian worship.  Reading from a Powerpoint presentation while consecrating saltine crackers and grape juice does not equate to the Anaphora and the Epiclesis.  For folks like Rick Warren, Franklin/Billy Graham, et al, there is no consecration of saltine crackers and grape juice and their homilies are more like "do what I say not what I do."
That's my point, as well.  There is nothing that can compare to the Divine Liturgy.  It saddens me to think that my own grandmother never fully knew the joy of it (as she was Southern Baptist and I can't recall her ever attending a service with us).
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« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2009, 02:37:39 AM »

Excuse me, but that was not a judgement.  I'm a chef and think in terms of food.  The thought of having my stomach full of meat every day is not an appetizing thought.  I love meat.  But I like fasting.  I don't like to be gorged on meat everyday.  That's my own preference and lifestyle--- which was my point.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with him or his character.  Don't call me out on something like that when it is not the case, please.

Presbytera, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee is in 4 weeks; I seem to recall how the Pharisee boasted about his fasting.  Your comments bordered on boasting for it is better for men to not see or know or even be aware of your fasting (or my fasting).  If you state that fasting is a big deal to you, then others may feel compelled or coerced into fasting just because you said fasting was a big deal to you.  How is that different from I buy a BMW and someone else on this forum buys a BMW, even though that person makes sacrifices to afford the BMW, just because I have a BMW?

And the fact that it's a "huge part" of my life but not others was also my point.  Even if we came to a consensus on those things, our lifestyles are still hugely different.

Not everyone has the same lifestyle; However, I have a hair trigger when it comes to perceived boasting.   police

That's my point, as well.  There is nothing that can compare to the Divine Liturgy.  It saddens me to think that my own grandmother never fully knew the joy of it (as she was Southern Baptist and I can't recall her ever attending a service with us).

There are vast numbers of ignorant people in this world living in darkness, myself included and I'm an Orthodox Christian.  All we can do is pray, pray and pray some more.   angel
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« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2009, 02:49:28 AM »

Excuse me, but that was not a judgement.  I'm a chef and think in terms of food.  The thought of having my stomach full of meat every day is not an appetizing thought.  I love meat.  But I like fasting.  I don't like to be gorged on meat everyday.  That's my own preference and lifestyle--- which was my point.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with him or his character.  Don't call me out on something like that when it is not the case, please.

Presbytera, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee is in 4 weeks; I seem to recall how the Pharisee boasted about his fasting.  Your comments bordered on boasting for it is better for men to not see or know or even be aware of your fasting (or my fasting).  If you state that fasting is a big deal to you, then others may feel compelled or coerced into fasting just because you said fasting was a big deal to you.  How is that different from I buy a BMW and someone else on this forum buys a BMW, even though that person makes sacrifices to afford the BMW, just because I have a BMW?

You have got to be kidding me.  This is a bit much for me.  I'm not going to get embroiled in this on the eve of epiphany.  It was not meant as a judgment, nor was it meant as a boast.  Which is it, by the way, a judgement or a boast?  Or is it both?  You tell me, since you seem to know my heart better than me and my spiritual father, whose job it is to discern when I'm judgmental and boastful?

Quote
And the fact that it's a "huge part" of my life but not others was also my point.  Even if we came to a consensus on those things, our lifestyles are still hugely different.

Not everyone has the same lifestyle; However, I have a hair trigger when it comes to perceived boasting.   police
Apparently.

Quote
That's my point, as well.  There is nothing that can compare to the Divine Liturgy.  It saddens me to think that my own grandmother never fully knew the joy of it (as she was Southern Baptist and I can't recall her ever attending a service with us).

There are vast numbers of ignorant people in this world living in darkness, myself included and I'm an Orthodox Christian.  All we can do is pray, pray and pray some more.   angel
Now who is boasting?  I'll be sure to try and pray for my grandmother as much as you.
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« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2009, 03:03:07 AM »

You have got to be kidding me.  This is a bit much for me.

Presbytera, a lot of things are too much for me these days.  Forgive me for bringing them into this forum for I do not intend any ill will.   Cry 

I'm not going to get embroiled in this on the eve of epiphany.  It was not meant as a judgment, nor was it meant as a boast.  Which is it, by the way, a judgement or a boast?  Or is it both?  You tell me, since you seem to know my heart better than me and my spiritual father, whose job it is to discern when I'm judgmental and boastful?

Both.  When I see people say they like fasting, to me, that is a boast.  IMO, there are a myriad of ways to express Orthodox Christian Fasting to Protestants and others without having to say "I like fasting and the sight of someone eating meat every day makes my stomach churn."

Now who is boasting?  I'll be sure to try and pray for my grandmother as much as you.

I'm not boasting about living in darkness.  I've been there a pretty long time although the last 3 years have been better.  Thank you for your prayers and may God Bless You, Amen!
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« Reply #40 on: January 05, 2009, 09:13:25 AM »

they are, in my opinion, two entirely different faiths altogether. ... The approach is so different, the lifestyle. 

O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, Lord and King!
Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages.
Amen.

Yes, Amen! to the prayer.

I don't agree that we have "two entirely different faiths". In fact, as I shall probably never enjoy your company, and that of your esteemed husband, in America, I hope there will be opportunity during the long 'ages' of eternity in the Kingdom. Genuinely. (I also hope to meet Ælfric, who was a Benedictine monk, and many others.)

I have here at my office the following among other material:

"Common Ground" Jordan Bajis (Life & Light Pubslihing, Minneapolis)
"Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism" Nassif, Horton, Berzonsky, Hancock-Stefan, Rommen (Zondervan)
"Orthodoxy and Wesleyan Spirituality" Kimborough, (St Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood).

If we really have different religions, I fear we shall never meet in eternity, for Christ is the only way by which man may come to the Father. If either of us has a religion in which he or she has failed to enter by him, then that one has not entered at all, for he is the only way. I well remember a sermon preached in Corfu on the text "Ego ime o dromos" (I couldn't understand much of it, but the pastor kept emphasising those words). I get a strong feeling that you have indeed entered - and even that many of my fellow Baptists have.

Surely the exuberant Black churches in England and the dour, staid Gaelic churches in Scotland have all the outward appearance of a different religion and way of life: but do not their adherents both find salvation in the same Lord, who is loved and trusted by both, though they express it so differently?

In re fasting (if I may put in my oar), part of what has prompted me to feel that I really ought to start to fast again - for I confess it is a very long time since I did it - is the example of a godly friend who did so regularly (he has since died). He didn't talk about it, but if one visited at meal or coffee time, he didn't join in, and so it was known that he had this practice. It wasn't a secret. His example was a spur. I am glad of your example as in your post, and of the words of others on the Fasting thread. You might pray that when I take the plunge and start again, the Lord will meet me in it.

Finally, I cannot get Greek characters on to my posts: they come out as a line of squares. But others do. How is it done?

 Smiley
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 09:14:29 AM by David Young » Logged

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« Reply #41 on: January 05, 2009, 11:08:27 AM »

they are, in my opinion, two entirely different faiths altogether. ... The approach is so different, the lifestyle. 

O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, Lord and King!
Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages.
Amen.

Yes, Amen! to the prayer.

I don't agree that we have "two entirely different faiths". In fact, as I shall probably never enjoy your company, and that of your esteemed husband, in America, I hope there will be opportunity during the long 'ages' of eternity in the Kingdom. Genuinely. (I also hope to meet Ælfric, who was a Benedictine monk, and many others.)

I have here at my office the following among other material:

"Common Ground" Jordan Bajis (Life & Light Pubslihing, Minneapolis)
"Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism" Nassif, Horton, Berzonsky, Hancock-Stefan, Rommen (Zondervan)
"Orthodoxy and Wesleyan Spirituality" Kimborough, (St Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood).

If we really have different religions, I fear we shall never meet in eternity, for Christ is the only way by which man may come to the Father. If either of us has a religion in which he or she has failed to enter by him, then that one has not entered at all, for he is the only way. I well remember a sermon preached in Corfu on the text "Ego ime o dromos" (I couldn't understand much of it, but the pastor kept emphasising those words). I get a strong feeling that you have indeed entered - and even that many of my fellow Baptists have.

Surely the exuberant Black churches in England and the dour, staid Gaelic churches in Scotland have all the outward appearance of a different religion and way of life: but do not their adherents both find salvation in the same Lord, who is loved and trusted by both, though they express it so differently?

In re fasting (if I may put in my oar), part of what has prompted me to feel that I really ought to start to fast again - for I confess it is a very long time since I did it - is the example of a godly friend who did so regularly (he has since died). He didn't talk about it, but if one visited at meal or coffee time, he didn't join in, and so it was known that he had this practice. It wasn't a secret. His example was a spur. I am glad of your example as in your post, and of the words of others on the Fasting thread. You might pray that when I take the plunge and start again, the Lord will meet me in it.

Finally, I cannot get Greek characters on to my posts: they come out as a line of squares. But others do. How is it done?

 Smiley

David Young,

Please understand that by "two entirely different faiths" I do not mean in the sense that we are Christian and you are not.  I, too, pray that we will be together in God's kingdom.  What I meant was in practice and appearance-- the approach and lifestyle, the enacting of the faith.  In practical matters of everyday living we differ greatly.  I was not implying that you are not Christian.  I hope you understand that.

Thank you for reading my words about fasting with charity and understanding.  It seems the more I try to clarify, the more I will be accused of some other sin by those who are not my spiritual father.  Suffice it to say my intent was not to be judgmental or boastful, as I myself struggle terribly with fasting.  I only meant that I appreciate that struggle-- spiritually and physically-- but in this specific case I meant physically, as I don't like the physical sensation of having a full stomach all the time.  It is not an indictment of anybody else, only my own feelings.

Oh, and I don't know how to get the Greek characters, unfortunately.  Try posting in the "technical help" forum.  Maybe someone else will know.

SolEx01,
Presbytera, a lot of things are too much for me these days.  Forgive me for bringing them into this forum for I do not intend any ill will.   Cry 
No offense, but if no ill will is meant, why do you continue thus below?

Quote
Both.  When I see people say they like fasting, to me, that is a boast.  IMO, there are a myriad of ways to express Orthodox Christian Fasting to Protestants and others without having to say "I like fasting and the sight of someone eating meat every day makes my stomach churn."
I'm so glad that you feel your self equal to my spiritual father in discerning my heart.  It should be enough for me to say that it was not my intent.  But that charity and understanding seems to be beyond you-- which surprises me, honestly.  I've never felt this kind of thing from you before.  I'm sorry that my post made you feel that way.  I'll say one more time (and not again after this) that it was not my intent, as I struggle terribly with fasting for health reasons (the details of which I will not go into), so it was most certainly not a boast.  But I appreciate the struggle for my own health and salvation, and because I don't like the feeling of having my stomach full every day, and because when I "can't" eat meat, it makes me appreciate it more later when I can.  Smiley  Do with this what you will.

Quote
Now who is boasting?  I'll be sure to try and pray for my grandmother as much as you.

I'm not boasting about living in darkness.  I've been there a pretty long time although the last 3 years have been better.  Thank you for your prayers and may God Bless You, Amen!
Actually, that could very much be a boast.  But that wasn't what I was talking about.  I was talking about the "pray, pray, pray."  I'm so glad you seem to be so good at prayer.  What if prayer is a struggle for me?  This could make me feel bad, couldn't it, to see you boasting of how well you pray?  Everything on a forum could be taken that way.  I doubt that you meant it that way, and normally I would not read it that way as I try to read people's posts with charity and in an attempt to understand what they actually meant.  Not looking for the opportunity to call them out for some ridiculous reason so that I can feel better about myself.

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« Reply #42 on: January 05, 2009, 12:23:35 PM »


David Young,

Please understand that by "two entirely different faiths" I do not mean in the sense that we are Christian and you are not.  I, too, pray that we will be together in God's kingdom. 

Actually, I don't pray for this, for I believe it is already fixed, granted, set. I am rather apophatic (as you know) about whether or how a true Christian can lose his salvation, but I tend to believe that Hebrews 10 gives the clearest description of how this happens, if indeed it does: I rather think one has to do a good deal more than backslide; I feel the passage says one has to "spurn the Son of God and profane the blood of the covenant by which one was sanctified", or as Peter has it, "deny the Master who bought him" - that is (I think) openly deny and repudiate the faith. I may well be wrong on that, but if I am rightly understanding these most solemn passages (and related ones elsewhere), whilst granting that it is only 'he who endures to the end' that 'shall be saved', I get get the impression that publicly denying Christ is not on the agenda for either of us. So I expect to see you in glory!

Quote
What I meant was in practice and appearance-- the approach and lifestyle, the enacting of the faith. 

Yes, this is a legitimate use of the word religion, and I use it like that myself. So I think you are almost correct in this case! But we have noted elsewhere that we worship by choice in ways very similar to how you worship by necessity (e.g. under Communism), so I suspect we have more in common that the very different styles imply, when we have the luxury of choice, or else it could hardly be possible.

Quote
I myself struggle terribly with fasting. 

I guess we Evangelicals are always going on about faith, but I have long felt that fasting is an act of faith not of experience. What I mean is, I did not always feel nearer to God when I fasted and prayed than when I just pray (or perhaps sing, or perhaps enjoy rich fellowship with other believers). But I have faith that the Bible teaches fasting as a practice for God's children, and therefore that God does in fact observe and bless it in ways we do not always see or know in this world.

I have just finished reading "The Resurrection of the Church in Albania: voices of Orthodox Christians". What strikes me very vividly is that the very same things happened to you under Communism as happened to us. When I read about them happening to Evangelicals (I have a row of books from those years, mainly about Romania and Bulgaria) I automatically see the hand of God. I cannot read identical events wrought among Orthodox and say they are all coincidences! Not only groups of people, but the way these people grew up under atheism and individually felt the silent, secret call of God to faith in their hearts, the providences which led them, the love for Christ that came to burn within them... We must have the same religion: otherwise we live in a mad world in which the Devil or blind chance does for us exactly what God does for you (or vice versa).
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« Reply #43 on: January 06, 2009, 01:57:46 AM »

.....

I cannot, in good conscience and out of respect for all Presbyteres throughout the World, reply to this post.  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on me, a sinner.  Amen!
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« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2009, 08:17:20 AM »

I have not included the matter of our emphasis on the death of Christ contrasted with yours on his resurrection... I think we both believe more or less the same on these matters, and that it is our emphases that are different not our formal dogmas.

God cannot reconcile himself with sin; nor can He forgive sin, sparing it His wrath. But the God who became man offers to God His own human essence in a sacrifice of propitiation and redemption: He offers His most holy soul, which tasted spiritual death from the weight of sins, as well as His most pure body, which experienced death on the cross.

Those wonderful thoughts are not in my words, but in the words of Sergius Bulgakov in his "Reflections before the Holy Plashchanitsa Icon". I found them in "Churchly Joy: Orthodox Reflections for the Church Year." They are what I might say any Sunday from any pulpit where I preach, and be warmly appreciated.

Now of course Bulgakov shares with his fellow Orthodox your emphasis on Christ's Resurrection, which is perhaps more central to your devotion (or spirituality, or piety, or religious meditations - whatever the correct word is), whilst the Passion takes that place in our devotion. But I still think that it is our emphases that are different. If we and you both set out our formal dogmas regarding the death and the resurrection of the Saviour, I believe they would be almost indistinguishably similar.

Now, whilst I agree with various people's posts that we Evangelicals need to redress the balance of our piety, not losing our appreciation of the Passion of Christ, but building in a greater emphasis also on his Resurrection, so I suggest that it would be a very wholesome blessing for you if Orthodox believers also adjusted the balance, so that without losing any appreciation at all of the victorious Resurrection, you would draw more comfort, assurance and nourishment from the death of Christ.
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"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15
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