Lived-sacraments – all of them now, not just baptism – are pedagogical instruments.
Absolutely! How much research have you done on the sacraments? Have you ever gone through the services themselves? Have you ever seen a priest do the services in their ENTIRETY, with commentary on each portion of the service, in english? Let me know about the answers to these...
Sacraments are just magic spells for the vast majority of churchgoers. Have you ever surveyed people on what they actually believe?
You know, I find your comments interesting, considering the sheer amount of knowledge that has been collected by the people on this very site...who by and far are Orthodox Christians, who would be eligible for your survey.
And, when you ask most people about a SACRAMENT and what they believe FROM the sacrament, they usually quote text from the Sacrament itself, so the sacramental pedagogy is working. Maybe not to certain expectations, but there is a benefit.
The issue I believe here is solutions. How much do you know about Orthodox theology and sacraments? Would you be qualified to teach a class on them? Maybe then YOU can teach these people who don't know as much as they should....according to your standards (?). I thought that Martha learned a good lesson. The only thing necessary is for you to sit at the feet of Christ and listen. No huge amount of knowledge necessary.
Connecting the dots can be made a touch simpler when those dots are clearly seen in your own life – and hence, baptism happens everywhere, not just in church. It’s not suppose to be dogma at this level.
At what level? Baptism happens everywhere? How? What is not supposed to be dogma, and who decided that an Ecumenical Council is just not cutting it?
Suppose I’m neither a Christian nor a native speaker of the English language. You announce to me that you are a “witness”. I grab my dictionary, translate, and then ask “What have you seen”? This is obviously going to take a bit of time. You’ll find yourself in this situation improvising a lot and being creative. Better hope the Bishop is looking the other way.
Will I find myself in a situation to improvise? I've had 7 years of theological study, plus my father is a priest. I think I'd come up with something pretty much following the DOGMATIC teachings of the church, which you just said is not dogma at "this level" which I assume is the lay level, talking online, b/c that's the level we are at right now.
Hopefully this will give you some more food for thought.