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Poll
Question: In your opinion what is a good enough reason for Christians to unite into one church?
Everyone else needs to agree 100% with my church's theology. - 36 (48%)
Jesus is the only thing that matters, theology is stupid. - 0 (0%)
RC's EO's and OO's should lift the anathemas and let each other co-exist in communion. - 14 (18.7%)
A compromised or an agreed upon statement of faith is all that's necessary for all Christians regardless of faith. - 4 (5.3%)
Unity?!  I hope those heretics burn in Hell! - 3 (4%)
Other.  EXPLAIN!!!! - 18 (24%)
Total Voters: 75

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Marc Hanna
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« on: April 12, 2009, 09:03:58 PM »

I hope this poll doesn't get moderated.  Feel free to remain anonymous if you voted for option #5.  I'm really just interested in knowing what the general spirit of the people on this forum is.  Is christian unity important to people?  Please give an explanation if you voted "other".

God bless,

Marc
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2009, 09:34:45 PM »

One of the first errors I made after crismation was pride.

I was ORTHODOX!

Clever little me, I had collected $200 100fold times passing go, had a Get out of Jail free  card and bought Park Place  out from under Joel Olsteen, Reverand Shuller and that pink wigged lady on CBN.

I was no less in error than the smug people who believe in a rapture limited to so many people.

This is a critical time for humanity. but then, It has ALWAYS been a critical time, be it the Plague, National Socialism or Climate Change.

Secular humanism, a word I don't quite understand but equate with selfish hubrisism, elements of Islam intent on a messianic fullfilment of the Madi's arrival, the current economic slump  are all rich material for spreading the gospel.

And the irony is, in a few generations none of these will scare us, in their turn just another page in history, replaced by anything from global water shortages to a meteor we need to bump with a nuclear cue stick.

But meanwhile, I know what the gospel has done for me, what it could do as the simple majority of belief it now holds in total but not united majority of numbers.

I'd really like to attend Litergy with that lady as guest. I just hope she leaves that pink wig at home.

 
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2009, 09:48:04 PM »

I hope this poll doesn't get moderated.
I did modify one vulgar word to replace it with something more acceptable, but outside of that the poll is okay by moderatorial standards.
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2009, 10:41:53 PM »

I was gona put "other" and say something along the lines of:  when all of the bishops get together and agree on ecclesiology, theology, etc. with each other, in a constructive and easy to understand manner, which is REPRESENTATIVE of the people they "represent" (or are supposed to represent).  I would say that's the ideal situation. 
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2009, 10:51:31 PM »

I think that uniting ALL of Christianity is not likely. But I think that possibly someday the OO, EO and at least Eastern Catholic churches have a really good shot at uniting in the far off future.
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2009, 10:56:41 PM »

One may also ask, "to what extent is it appropriate to refer to those outside the Church as Christian?"
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2009, 11:12:23 PM »

Oh great, I can see it now, a bunch of orthodox homeboys doing drivebyes in some Dutch Reform nieghborhood flashing our version of crossing only to return to find the meeting hall tagged in a  Book of kells vibrant coloured latin.

Haven't we have enough wars over 'who is Christian?'
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2009, 11:20:17 PM »

Oh great, I can see it now, a bunch of orthodox homeboys doing drivebyes in some Dutch Reform nieghborhood flashing our version of crossing only to return to find the meeting hall tagged in a  Book of kells vibrant coloured latin.

Haven't we have enough wars over 'who is Christian?'

You don't think a definition of "Christian" is needed before speaking of Christian unity?
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2009, 11:34:40 PM »

Watching the obligatory epics of Easter television programming that should be easy- brown army surplus blankets from wardrobe are the Christians or Jews.
Everybody else is wearing  polyester in bright colours.
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2009, 11:38:17 PM »

I voted other. I think everyone needs to agree on the constant teaching of the church catholic. It doesnt have to be "my church only", if theres a vital council which decreed something, and if the Orthodox church agrees with the descision then it can be added as one of our own and vica versa. Of course while this theory sounds good , truth be told we disagree on way too much.
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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2009, 01:11:14 AM »

I don't understand option 4:

"A compromised or an agreed upon statement of faith is all that's necessary for all Christians regardless of faith."

I thought that is what the Symbol of Faith was.

Except, of course, it is not agreed on.
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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2009, 08:37:43 AM »

I hope this poll doesn't get moderated.
I did modify one vulgar word to replace it with something more acceptable, but outside of that the poll is okay by moderatorial standards.

Just so everyone knows, it wasn't a "four letter word", it was a proper English word that means "a child born out of wedlock" but used in a derogatory manner - for hyperbolic impact of course Smiley

I think option #4 would have made more sense if I have had put "regardless of denomination", but that could have also raised issues because many do not consider the traditional churches as part of "denominational christianity."  How about "regardless of one's affiliation to a legal entity representative of an organized religious group claiming to be christian that may or may not span beyond international borders and may or may not require representation by a legal corporation in all or part of it's international constituents"?
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2009, 08:49:21 AM »

I voted "other," simply because, in my opinion (for all its worth) all of the listed statements are more or less missing the point and may be used by those who disagree with them as examples of something wrong. For one example, saying "everyone HAS to agree with my Church's teaching" has a connotation of forcing people to have certain views, which is never a good thing.

Perhaps my answer to the question, what's good for Church unity is simply, stay faithful and show everyone around you that you are a child of God.
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2009, 09:15:46 AM »

My opinion is that unity should not be done touching the integrity of truth . It should be like a great council between Church Elders and debating for a long long time , every dogma and every belief being depicted in four . My idea is that Orthodoxy is the closest to the Truth , I don`t know taught every Orthodox dogma , but i also don`t disconsider the Catholics even if they fallen into some heresies . If any unity affects the truth in little ,than that unity should not be made . Thought I must say I consider unity in some way , but only in the true . Also my humble opinion is that we , the orthodox are in one of the best religious of all , and have one of the best doctrine , and teaches the true , mainly as it was left by the Church Fathers to the early Church trought the testimony of the seven councils .
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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2009, 08:48:46 AM »

I voted "other," simply because, in my opinion (for all its worth) all of the listed statements are more or less missing the point and may be used by those who disagree with them as examples of something wrong. For one example, saying "everyone HAS to agree with my Church's teaching" has a connotation of forcing people to have certain views, which is never a good thing.

Perhaps my answer to the question, what's good for Church unity is simply, stay faithful and show everyone around you that you are a child of God.
Leading by example.  This is good.
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« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2009, 10:05:28 AM »

Other. There will be no Christian unity outside of Orthodoxy without compromising Orthodoxy. OTH, I believe there are many true Christians not physically in the Orthodox church and the Lord knows better than I.
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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2009, 11:41:41 PM »

I marked "other." We should strive for unity because that is the will of Jesus as expressed in High Priestly Prayer (John 17).
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2010, 06:08:35 AM »

Everyone else needs to agree 100% with my church's theology.     
I voted for other, but I should have voted for this one. I believe that my church's teaching is right- the Nicene Creed is an accurate statement of Christianity.
From a Christian perspective, everyone else needs to become one with Christ, and part of that would be to agree 100% with the basic teachings of Christianity. The Orthodox Church has preserved those teachings.

Everyone needs to agree 100% with the theology of the church to unite fully with Christ in mind, so therefore the churches should accept the basic teachings of the early church, unite, and teach Christians these teachings.
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2010, 06:25:42 AM »

I can't believe that there are 10 people or 32 percent of the votes, that want the heretics to burn. Where's the love of God?
http://www.oodegr.com/english/swthria/odos1.htm

Some have attempted to interpret the notions of "hell", of "enlightenment", of "salvation" and of "perdition" on the basis of their own scant experiences, given that they have never had even the faintest sighting of the reality of the future aeon.  This is why they say certain things somewhat altered to those who are further behind them on the road. And they in turn distort those things even more, and relay them even more altered to the others who are behind them.  This is how heresies are created.  However, this is also how the religiously INTOLERANT are created. These are usually the ones who believe themselves to be very close to the end of the road, and who even see mirages of the Kingdom (which are actually images that are a far cry from those of reality).  These people threaten the others with "eternal hell" and they confront God as though He were a "common sadist" and "unjust" - a God that one can only fear and hate.  It is people like these who become the cause for "the road to the Truth to be blasphemed", according to the words of the Bible. And while in reality they are under the impression that they are nearing the end of the road, they are actually still at the beginning – quite simply because they are displaying hatred, when this course is inextricably interwoven with LOVE (since the end of this road leads to God, Who is "Love").[i/]

Don't worry the blind can be saved too. just read the rest of this amazing article that I've posted.
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2010, 07:15:48 AM »

Quote
I can't believe that there are 10 people or 32 percent of the votes, that want the heretics to burn. Where's the love of God?
Maybe they are joking.
It is hard to think of someone who WANTS the heretics to burn in hell. After all, I think the evil Catholic Inquisition claimed that it was saving the people it tortured.
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« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2010, 01:42:03 PM »

I can't believe that there are 10 people or 32 percent of the votes, that want the heretics to burn. Where's the love of God?

10 people have not voted to burn... 3 have.  10 voted for "Other."
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« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2010, 04:02:33 PM »

Quote
I can't believe that there are 10 people or 32 percent of the votes, that want the heretics to burn. Where's the love of God?
Maybe they are joking.
It is hard to think of someone who WANTS the heretics to burn in hell. After all, I think the evil Catholic Inquisition claimed that it was saving the people it tortured.

The physical punishments that accompanied guilty verdicts by the inquisitional courts were actually carried out by the state and not the Catholic Church.
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« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2010, 05:12:27 PM »

I voted other. I think it would need to be a combination of:

Quote
Everyone else needs to agree 100% with my church's theology.
RC's EO's and OO's should lift the anathemas and let each other co-exist in communion.
A compromised or an agreed upon statement of faith is all that's necessary for all Christians regardless of faith.


My personal opinon would be that unity within Orthodoxy (at least EO) would need to be straightened out before coming to any kind of agreed unity with other churches outside of that communion. Christian unity is still something that should be worked toward and prayed for.
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« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2010, 05:45:03 PM »

Quote
I can't believe that there are 10 people or 32 percent of the votes, that want the heretics to burn. Where's the love of God?
Maybe they are joking.
It is hard to think of someone who WANTS the heretics to burn in hell. After all, I think the evil Catholic Inquisition claimed that it was saving the people it tortured.

The physical punishments that accompanied guilty verdicts by the inquisitional courts were actually carried out by the state and not the Catholic Church.

Sure Due. I would be saying the same thing from a Catholic viewpoint. But OOPS you are missing a big point. The VERDICTS and executions were carried out by the state, but the interrogating tortures were supervised by the Catholic Church. They even put a clack cloth over the crucifix during the tortures to hide from Jesus what they were doing. I saw it on TV so I know it is true.

The point is that even while the Catholic Inquisition tortured people and its leaders approved of and were instrumental in the executions, indeed used political machinations in some cases to encourage them, the rationale was that they were saving the "heretics" from hell. The mentality though is very evil, shown by the fact that they were covering up crucifixes while doing this.

I am unaware of whether the "Office of the Holy Inquisition" was used against Orthodox. I do know that Orthodox were persecuted in Catholic countries like Austria and Poland, that the Inquisition had a very BAD reputation in Russia as seen in Dostoyevsky's works, and indeed Catholic orders had a reputation as being secretive, manipulative, and repressive, as seen by the term "Jesuitical" being used not infrequently in the Russian language to mean those things.
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2010, 04:48:15 AM »

Quote
I can't believe that there are 10 people or 32 percent of the votes, that want the heretics to burn. Where's the love of God?
Maybe they are joking.
It is hard to think of someone who WANTS the heretics to burn in hell. After all, I think the evil Catholic Inquisition claimed that it was saving the people it tortured.

The physical punishments that accompanied guilty verdicts by the inquisitional courts were actually carried out by the state and not the Catholic Church.

Sure Due. I would be saying the same thing from a Catholic viewpoint. But OOPS you are missing a big point. The VERDICTS and executions were carried out by the state, but the interrogating tortures were supervised by the Catholic Church. They even put a clack cloth over the crucifix during the tortures to hide from Jesus what they were doing. I saw it on TV so I know it is true.

The point is that even while the Catholic Inquisition tortured people and its leaders approved of and were instrumental in the executions, indeed used political machinations in some cases to encourage them, the rationale was that they were saving the "heretics" from hell. The mentality though is very evil, shown by the fact that they were covering up crucifixes while doing this.

I am unaware of whether the "Office of the Holy Inquisition" was used against Orthodox. I do know that Orthodox were persecuted in Catholic countries like Austria and Poland, that the Inquisition had a very BAD reputation in Russia as seen in Dostoyevsky's works, and indeed Catholic orders had a reputation as being secretive, manipulative, and repressive, as seen by the term "Jesuitical" being used not infrequently in the Russian language to mean those things.
There are some books written by Henry Charles Lea on the inquisition and I think that he mentions there were cases in Milan or Venice, I am not sure which,  (but not the Spanish Inquisition), where a few people were brought forward for espousing the "Greek heresy."
But that is another topic.
For the question concerning Christian unity, yeah, it would be nice if at least there were some sort of loose union, but quite honestly, I don't see where either the RC or EO really want reunion. Oh, yes, there is hopeful and flowery talk about it,  but do they really want it? I don;t think so. For one thing, the RC know that the EO will never accept papal infallibility or universal papal jurisdiction, but where is the rewording and softening of this teaching to make it acceptable from the Orthodox viewpoint? For the EO, they go around saying that the RC baptism is invalid because sprinking or pouring does not qualify as a triple immersion whcih is required by the Church canons. So from the start all the RC Sacraments are invalid, and the Pope himself is a heretical layman without any priestly powers.
For another clue as to how much reunion is really wanted, there is a Church in Jerusalem, the Holy Sepulchre Church where control of the building is shared by EO, Armenian, RC, and others to a lesser extent such as the Coptic, Ethiopian and Syrian Orthodox. But is there charity in this most holy of Churches? I don;t see it. What I see is each side fiercely claiming to its rights and willing to declare all out war on the other over the slightest itty bitty minor issue, such as for example when in 2002 a Coptic monk was getting hot sitting in the sun, so he moved his chair just the slightest bit to a shaded area. Immediately, a brutal barbaric warlike fistfight broke out leaving eleven people almost dead and requiring hospitalisation.
If the RC and EO really wanted reunion, they would have been able to hammer things out long ago. But no, neither side wants to budge from the status quo. That's just the way things are.
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« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2010, 05:04:01 AM »

the EO and OO need to unify sooner than later and I believe it is very doable. This needs to be done on whatever grounds required and I feel a compromise between the two will not hurt any theological stands. After that, let the Romans and Protestants come to us, if they like. No budging in that area.
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« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2010, 05:45:39 AM »

I was surprised to hear about what you said about the "Greek heresy"!!!

Quote
For the EO, they go around saying that the RC baptism is invalid because sprinking or pouring does not qualify as a triple immersion whcih is required by the Church canons.
I think this is debated. Anyway, Roman Catholics are accepted into Orthodoxy (minus Greek) by Chrismation without rebaptism.


You are right that if both churches wanted a reunion enough, they COULD do it.

It would be a big mistake though in saying it is both the churches' faults equally for failing to work things out. Let's say you and I sit down to work things out and negotiate.

The cards you hold in your hand is the chair of the Pope/Patriach of Rome and a claim of unequaled papal supremacy and infallibility.

The cards I hold are the chairs of all the ancient Patriarchs and claims that we are all equal in authority as Jesus' disciples.

Practically speaking, there is not a compromise on this that will make both sides happy based on POWER. POWER is the biggest practical cause of the division I believe. So this is what we will negotiate in this round.

Let's say I accept your claim. Then I am absolutely under you and I have to conform my doctrines to Rome. Then all I did was become Eastern Catholic, mere autonomy under a single earthly dictator. I am under your power now as my superior and you are not under mine so long as you rule me.

If you give up Unequaled Papal Supremacy and Infallibility, it will be an enormous loss in your eyes. It is like a King accepting a small parliament! And giving up infallibility? It is like a "god" becoming admitting he can be wrong. Wow! Is the Pope going to give that up? Look at the presumptions the Vatican makes. It has it's own state! Its one chair controlled nearly all the western world from 1450 until the Reformation. It ran the Crusades against Islam, pillaging Byzantium on the way. The current Pope belong to the Office of the Inquisition (renamed). How many holy orders and governments swore to it and what secrets does it have in its archives? The name of the Pope is so awe-ful for millions and millions of catholics all over the world. Is he going to lower himself to be a mere "equal" of our Patriarchs, weak besides Russia and Greece?

From a Machievellian standpoint of power, Rome is not going to give up its claims to authority and become a mere "equal", constrained in its innovations and decisions by "weakling" Patriarchs. And considering the abuses of power and theological innovations in the Catholic Church I do not believe the Orthodox Church should submit itself to Rome as its Supreme Ruler.

OK, you and I can compromise. I can say the Pope is equal, and you can say he has primacy (firstness). We can agree that the Pope is "first among equals." We can agree that he gets first place physically in chairing meetings, but all our Patriarchates are autocephalous and he doesn't speak for us if we disagree on something.

This is reasonable to me. It gives Rome some honor without giving up our independence and rights. This compromise is the Orthodox position and is the best I see for Rome's position without submitting everyone to the one-man dictatorship of someone who has not replaced Jesus.


The blame I see for not accepting such a compromise, for not agreeing to autocephaly, indeed for previously forcing Latin ways on Byzantine Catholics, is ultimately Rome's. And why should Rome politically have bowed to Greece, crushed under Turkey, or faraway cold "barbarian" Russia? Now that Greece is independent in the last century maybe Rome is thinking about it more.


I do hope that the churches will unite, but I believe there is a strong reasons of political power why Rome has not chosen to do so long ago as you say.

On the Orthodox Church's terms there would be equality, but on Rome's terms Rome would have Supremacy.

Rome is powerful and has supremacy in the west, why would it want to lower its administrative power to that of the weaker, smaller chairs of the other apostles?
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« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2010, 04:13:48 PM »

I was surprised to hear about what you said about the "Greek heresy"!!!
Mr. Lea has a number of books on the Inquisition and unfortunately, I don;t have them in front of me right now. A lot of them are on the Google books, and I have been debating about buying an e-reader, perhaps the Sony, where I could read these easily, but as yet I have not bought one. As I recall, there were a few people, I guess they were RC or former RC, brought before the Inquisition (not the Spanish but one in what is now Italy) for the "Greek heresy". There was no mention made of their being tortured, only questioned about it.
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« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2010, 04:30:44 PM »

I was surprised to hear about what you said about the "Greek heresy"!!!

Quote
For the EO, they go around saying that the RC baptism is invalid because sprinking or pouring does not qualify as a triple immersion whcih is required by the Church canons.
I think this is debated. Anyway, Roman Catholics are accepted into Orthodoxy (minus Greek) by Chrismation without rebaptism.


You are right that if both churches wanted a reunion enough, they COULD do it.

It would be a big mistake though in saying it is both the churches' faults equally for failing to work things out. Let's say you and I sit down to work things out and negotiate.

The cards you hold in your hand is the chair of the Pope/Patriach of Rome and a claim of unequaled papal supremacy and infallibility.

The cards I hold are the chairs of all the ancient Patriarchs and claims that we are all equal in authority as Jesus' disciples.

Practically speaking, there is not a compromise on this that will make both sides happy based on POWER. POWER is the biggest practical cause of the division I believe. So this is what we will negotiate in this round.

Let's say I accept your claim. Then I am absolutely under you and I have to conform my doctrines to Rome. Then all I did was become Eastern Catholic, mere autonomy under a single earthly dictator. I am under your power now as my superior and you are not under mine so long as you rule me.

If you give up Unequaled Papal Supremacy and Infallibility, it will be an enormous loss in your eyes. It is like a King accepting a small parliament! And giving up infallibility? It is like a "god" becoming admitting he can be wrong. Wow! Is the Pope going to give that up? Look at the presumptions the Vatican makes. It has it's own state! Its one chair controlled nearly all the western world from 1450 until the Reformation. It ran the Crusades against Islam, pillaging Byzantium on the way. The current Pope belong to the Office of the Inquisition (renamed). How many holy orders and governments swore to it and what secrets does it have in its archives? The name of the Pope is so awe-ful for millions and millions of catholics all over the world. Is he going to lower himself to be a mere "equal" of our Patriarchs, weak besides Russia and Greece?

From a Machievellian standpoint of power, Rome is not going to give up its claims to authority and become a mere "equal", constrained in its innovations and decisions by "weakling" Patriarchs. And considering the abuses of power and theological innovations in the Catholic Church I do not believe the Orthodox Church should submit itself to Rome as its Supreme Ruler.

OK, you and I can compromise. I can say the Pope is equal, and you can say he has primacy (firstness). We can agree that the Pope is "first among equals." We can agree that he gets first place physically in chairing meetings, but all our Patriarchates are autocephalous and he doesn't speak for us if we disagree on something.

This is reasonable to me. It gives Rome some honor without giving up our independence and rights. This compromise is the Orthodox position and is the best I see for Rome's position without submitting everyone to the one-man dictatorship of someone who has not replaced Jesus.


The blame I see for not accepting such a compromise, for not agreeing to autocephaly, indeed for previously forcing Latin ways on Byzantine Catholics, is ultimately Rome's. And why should Rome politically have bowed to Greece, crushed under Turkey, or faraway cold "barbarian" Russia? Now that Greece is independent in the last century maybe Rome is thinking about it more.


I do hope that the churches will unite, but I believe there is a strong reasons of political power why Rome has not chosen to do so long ago as you say.

On the Orthodox Church's terms there would be equality, but on Rome's terms Rome would have Supremacy.

Rome is powerful and has supremacy in the west, why would it want to lower its administrative power to that of the weaker, smaller chairs of the other apostles?
OK. that is your POV. It is true that RC are stubborn and could modify and soften this teaching on Papal primacy, but I read that for the EO it is not enough for the Pope to convert to EO. What has to take place is that after the Pope converts, then each individual bishop and priest would have to convert individually. Still, that would not be enough, because after this had occurred, each individual Catholic would have to convert to EO, one by one. Only then would there be reunion.  As I see it, neither side wants to budge one itty bitty tiny bit from their positions. They are blabbering about reunion, but if they really wanted it, they could hammer things out. there are a lot of examples as to how the two sides work together at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Church needed a new dome and how many years did it take before they agreed to a plan for the dome? Was it 20 or 30? Each side presented the other with a beautiful detailed plan for reconstruction only to have it turned down by the other side?
Then there was the case of a door at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which was slightly open at the RC part of the Church during a promenade by an EO group. One side demanded the door be closed tight, the other said they wanted it opened just a crack for the air and a brutal and vicious bloody fist fight broke out between the EO and RC over this ridiculous issue at the most Holy Church in the world. How many people ended up in the hospital over this? I don't see this as a shining example of Christian charity as preached by Our Divine Lord?
Each side blames the other and each side wants to hold its ground. As long as this attitude prevails, I am sorry, but there will be no reunion between RC and EO.
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« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2010, 04:34:45 PM »

I was surprised to hear about what you said about the "Greek heresy"!!!

Quote
For the EO, they go around saying that the RC baptism is invalid because sprinking or pouring does not qualify as a triple immersion whcih is required by the Church canons.
I think this is debated. Anyway, Roman Catholics are accepted into Orthodoxy (minus Greek) by Chrismation without rebaptism.


You are right that if both churches wanted a reunion enough, they COULD do it.

It would be a big mistake though in saying it is both the churches' faults equally for failing to work things out. Let's say you and I sit down to work things out and negotiate.

The cards you hold in your hand is the chair of the Pope/Patriach of Rome and a claim of unequaled papal supremacy and infallibility.

The cards I hold are the chairs of all the ancient Patriarchs and claims that we are all equal in authority as Jesus' disciples.

Practically speaking, there is not a compromise on this that will make both sides happy based on POWER. POWER is the biggest practical cause of the division I believe. So this is what we will negotiate in this round.

Let's say I accept your claim. Then I am absolutely under you and I have to conform my doctrines to Rome. Then all I did was become Eastern Catholic, mere autonomy under a single earthly dictator. I am under your power now as my superior and you are not under mine so long as you rule me.

If you give up Unequaled Papal Supremacy and Infallibility, it will be an enormous loss in your eyes. It is like a King accepting a small parliament! And giving up infallibility? It is like a "god" becoming admitting he can be wrong. Wow! Is the Pope going to give that up? Look at the presumptions the Vatican makes. It has it's own state! Its one chair controlled nearly all the western world from 1450 until the Reformation. It ran the Crusades against Islam, pillaging Byzantium on the way. The current Pope belong to the Office of the Inquisition (renamed). How many holy orders and governments swore to it and what secrets does it have in its archives? The name of the Pope is so awe-ful for millions and millions of catholics all over the world. Is he going to lower himself to be a mere "equal" of our Patriarchs, weak besides Russia and Greece?

From a Machievellian standpoint of power, Rome is not going to give up its claims to authority and become a mere "equal", constrained in its innovations and decisions by "weakling" Patriarchs. And considering the abuses of power and theological innovations in the Catholic Church I do not believe the Orthodox Church should submit itself to Rome as its Supreme Ruler.

OK, you and I can compromise. I can say the Pope is equal, and you can say he has primacy (firstness). We can agree that the Pope is "first among equals." We can agree that he gets first place physically in chairing meetings, but all our Patriarchates are autocephalous and he doesn't speak for us if we disagree on something.

This is reasonable to me. It gives Rome some honor without giving up our independence and rights. This compromise is the Orthodox position and is the best I see for Rome's position without submitting everyone to the one-man dictatorship of someone who has not replaced Jesus.


The blame I see for not accepting such a compromise, for not agreeing to autocephaly, indeed for previously forcing Latin ways on Byzantine Catholics, is ultimately Rome's. And why should Rome politically have bowed to Greece, crushed under Turkey, or faraway cold "barbarian" Russia? Now that Greece is independent in the last century maybe Rome is thinking about it more.


I do hope that the churches will unite, but I believe there is a strong reasons of political power why Rome has not chosen to do so long ago as you say.

On the Orthodox Church's terms there would be equality, but on Rome's terms Rome would have Supremacy.

Rome is powerful and has supremacy in the west, why would it want to lower its administrative power to that of the weaker, smaller chairs of the other apostles?
Actually, I think that Rome is going to have to modify or redefine its previous teaching on papal infallibility and universal jurisdiction for any progress to be made. It is just not acceptable to the EO as it stands now.
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« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2010, 05:38:48 PM »

Quote
Actually, I think that Rome is going to have to modify or redefine its previous teaching on papal infallibility and universal jurisdiction for any progress to be made. It is just not acceptable to the EO as it stands now.

Thank you for recognizing this. Byzantine Catholics converted to Orthodoxy "en-masse", not individually. If Catholic doctrines and practices became acceptable enough to Orthodoxy, then the Catholic church would have gone back to the pre-schism ways. Some huge service could be held to do this. This is not a big stumbling block, nor are fine points of doctrine, where people can sit down and search for the original meaning without administrative consequences.

The main stumbling block I believe is POWER.

On the Orthodox Church's terms there would be equality, but on Rome's terms Rome would have Supremacy. Rome is the largest Christian church, is exceedingly powerful, and its supremacy is obeyed in the west and by thousands of Eastern Catholics. Why would Rome settle for less?

Luther and millions of reformationist catholics wanted the Pope to abandon supremacy to the point where they split off. The Pope does not care about their "personal opinions" and modern Lutherans' pro-union "blabbering" as you say. You would need a very large majority of Roman Catholics to demand the Pope accept equality with the eastern weaklings and far-off Russians. Or you would need Orthodoxy in the east to gain as much earthly POWER before the Pope would treat the chairs of the other apostles as equal.

POWER is the main reason for the split, I believe.
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« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2010, 06:35:20 PM »

Something close to #1. Everyone has to agree with the OO on doctrines that are fundamental to salvation, and they have to only recognize documents, councils, formulas, and concepts that are faithful to those doctrines, and reject those that are not.
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« Reply #32 on: July 12, 2010, 07:29:03 PM »

I voted for "RC's EO's and OO's should lift the anathemas and let each other co-exist in communion," but after having voted for that I realize that that should only be the first step. We should then work on Protestants coming back into the fold, but I do not think that will be able to happen in any large capacity until the Apostolic Churches are reunited. I hesitate to say any more than that and I especially hesitate to speculate on how such a reunion would occur as everyone has their own opinion on what would have to happen for that to take place. I don't think it's necessarily going to happen the way most think it will have to happen and I don't think it will happen at all as long as human pride gets in the way. It's going to have to be a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #33 on: July 12, 2010, 07:41:07 PM »

the EO and OO need to unify sooner than later and I believe it is very doable. This needs to be done on whatever grounds required and I feel a compromise between the two will not hurt any theological stands. After that, let the Romans and Protestants come to us, if they like. No budging in that area.
I second all counts.
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« Reply #34 on: July 12, 2010, 07:54:44 PM »

Quote
I can't believe that there are 10 people or 32 percent of the votes, that want the heretics to burn. Where's the love of God?
Maybe they are joking.
It is hard to think of someone who WANTS the heretics to burn in hell. After all, I think the evil Catholic Inquisition claimed that it was saving the people it tortured.

The physical punishments that accompanied guilty verdicts by the inquisitional courts were actually carried out by the state and not the Catholic Church.

Sure Due. I would be saying the same thing from a Catholic viewpoint. But OOPS you are missing a big point. The VERDICTS and executions were carried out by the state, but the interrogating tortures were supervised by the Catholic Church. They even put a clack cloth over the crucifix during the tortures to hide from Jesus what they were doing. I saw it on TV so I know it is true.

The point is that even while the Catholic Inquisition tortured people and its leaders approved of and were instrumental in the executions, indeed used political machinations in some cases to encourage them, the rationale was that they were saving the "heretics" from hell. The mentality though is very evil, shown by the fact that they were covering up crucifixes while doing this.

I am unaware of whether the "Office of the Holy Inquisition" was used against Orthodox. I do know that Orthodox were persecuted in Catholic countries like Austria and Poland, that the Inquisition had a very BAD reputation in Russia as seen in Dostoyevsky's works, and indeed Catholic orders had a reputation as being secretive, manipulative, and repressive, as seen by the term "Jesuitical" being used not infrequently in the Russian language to mean those things.
There's a reason for that:
Quote
The sound principles of Catholicism, however, were maintained and propagated by the Jesuits who, suppressed by the Holy See and exiled from the Catholic nations, found an asylum and the centre of their future revival in Russia. In 1779 Catharine II invited the Jesuits to exercise their ministry in White Russia, and in 1786 they had in Russia six colleges and 178 members. Their number increased so much that Pius VII re-established their order for Russia, where it returned to life under Father Gruber. In 1801 the society had 262 members, and 347 in 1811. The Jesuits retained a lively gratitude for the hospitality that they had received in Russia, and worked with zeal to convert it to Catholicism.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13253a.htm

reminds me of the fables of the spider/scorpion/snake biting/stinging the bird/turtle helping it across the river.
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« Reply #35 on: July 12, 2010, 07:55:13 PM »

I voted for "RC's EO's and OO's should lift the anathemas and let each other co-exist in communion," but after having voted for that I realize that that should only be the first step. We should then work on Protestants coming back into the fold, but I do not think that will be able to happen in any large capacity until the Apostolic Churches are reunited.

It is more likely that Protestants, Orientals, and Orthodox will all join together than Catholics will join with Protestantism, Orthodoxy, and the Orientals. the reason is that the Pope considers himself Supreme, unequal, sometimes infallible, and as such demands OBEDIENCE in all matters of faith. Consequently, no one can reunite with Rome without abandoning all of their autocephaly and own separate faith beliefs.

This is reflected in Orthodox and Protestants belonging to the ecumenical WCC (whatever its faults) without the Catholic Church.

There is a huge imbalance of political power and a doctrinal obstacle about UNRIVALED SUPREMACY and OBEDIENCE that exists between the Catholic Church and all other churches.

With the reduction of the power of Bysantium/Greece and Egypt/Alexandria as ancient power-rivals, I do see a much more likely chance that power will not obscure our views and we can much more objectively review doctrinal differences while staying loyal to our own traditions and good faith ecumenism between eachother.


It may turn out that the Chalcedonian churches are closest to eachother in terms of basic foundations of understanding of God's nature, but because of the strong political power situations, (which allegedly added to problems around Chalcedon), we may be able to overcome these divisions  between the 7-Council Orthodox and Oriental churches.
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« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2010, 08:43:46 PM »

I voted for "RC's EO's and OO's should lift the anathemas and let each other co-exist in communion," but after having voted for that I realize that that should only be the first step. We should then work on Protestants coming back into the fold, but I do not think that will be able to happen in any large capacity until the Apostolic Churches are reunited.

It is more likely that Protestants, Orientals, and Orthodox will all join together than Catholics will join with Protestantism, Orthodoxy, and the Orientals. the reason is that the Pope considers himself Supreme, unequal, sometimes infallible, and as such demands OBEDIENCE in all matters of faith. Consequently, no one can reunite with Rome without abandoning all of their autocephaly and own separate faith beliefs.

This is reflected in Orthodox and Protestants belonging to the ecumenical WCC (whatever its faults) without the Catholic Church.

There is a huge imbalance of political power and a doctrinal obstacle about UNRIVALED SUPREMACY and OBEDIENCE that exists between the Catholic Church and all other churches.

With the reduction of the power of Bysantium/Greece and Egypt/Alexandria as ancient power-rivals, I do see a much more likely chance that power will not obscure our views and we can much more objectively review doctrinal differences while staying loyal to our own traditions and good faith ecumenism between eachother.


It may turn out that the Chalcedonian churches are closest to eachother in terms of basic foundations of understanding of God's nature, but because of the strong political power situations, (which allegedly added to problems around Chalcedon), we may be able to overcome these divisions  between the 7-Council Orthodox and Oriental churches.

It's funny that you say that. I was a Protestant all my life until I entered the Catholic Church in 2007. I, my dad, and my cousin all joined at the same time. All of us were formerly Protestant Christians. The next year a friend of mine as well as two of my dad's friends (all former Protestants) joined the Catholic Church. Right now a good friend of mine (a Protestant) is attending Catholic inquiry classes. He usually drives me to Mass and attends Mass with me because I have a disability and need transportation. Through doing this for me he has become interested in the Catholic faith.

If you have ever watched EWTN and seen the Journey Home, everyday you hear stories of mostly former Protestants who entered the Catholic Church. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know for myself, the Pope never "demanded" anything from me whenever I was a Protestant. I came to Rome willingly. I would imagine the same is true for the others as well. Wink

Now that I think about it...perhaps we don't need reunion of the Apostolic Churches before reaching out to Protestants. Seems like the Protestants are coming home just fine. Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2010, 10:14:55 PM »

I voted for "RC's EO's and OO's should lift the anathemas and let each other co-exist in communion," but after having voted for that I realize that that should only be the first step. We should then work on Protestants coming back into the fold, but I do not think that will be able to happen in any large capacity until the Apostolic Churches are reunited.

It is more likely that Protestants, Orientals, and Orthodox will all join together than Catholics will join with Protestantism, Orthodoxy, and the Orientals. the reason is that the Pope considers himself Supreme, unequal, sometimes infallible, and as such demands OBEDIENCE in all matters of faith. Consequently, no one can reunite with Rome without abandoning all of their autocephaly and own separate faith beliefs.

This is reflected in Orthodox and Protestants belonging to the ecumenical WCC (whatever its faults) without the Catholic Church.

There is a huge imbalance of political power and a doctrinal obstacle about UNRIVALED SUPREMACY and OBEDIENCE that exists between the Catholic Church and all other churches.

With the reduction of the power of Bysantium/Greece and Egypt/Alexandria as ancient power-rivals, I do see a much more likely chance that power will not obscure our views and we can much more objectively review doctrinal differences while staying loyal to our own traditions and good faith ecumenism between eachother.


It may turn out that the Chalcedonian churches are closest to eachother in terms of basic foundations of understanding of God's nature, but because of the strong political power situations, (which allegedly added to problems around Chalcedon), we may be able to overcome these divisions  between the 7-Council Orthodox and Oriental churches.

It's funny that you say that. I was a Protestant all my life until I entered the Catholic Church in 2007. I, my dad, and my cousin all joined at the same time. All of us were formerly Protestant Christians. The next year a friend of mine as well as two of my dad's friends (all former Protestants) joined the Catholic Church. Right now a good friend of mine (a Protestant) is attending Catholic inquiry classes. He usually drives me to Mass and attends Mass with me because I have a disability and need transportation. Through doing this for me he has become interested in the Catholic faith.

If you have ever watched EWTN and seen the Journey Home, everyday you hear stories of mostly former Protestants who entered the Catholic Church. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know for myself, the Pope never "demanded" anything from me whenever I was a Protestant. I came to Rome willingly. I would imagine the same is true for the others as well. Wink

Now that I think about it...perhaps we don't need reunion of the Apostolic Churches before reaching out to Protestants. Seems like the Protestants are coming home just fine. Smiley
Yes:
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« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2010, 11:13:54 PM »

It seems to me that reunion of churches would be easier between the EO (and old believers), OO, RC (and traditionalist catholics), ACE, and possibly but not probably the Anglican Communion than any of the other protestant churches. I say this because the churches mentioned are all single bodies with a structured (although somewhat differently) authority with the bishop as the shepherd of the local church maintained by mutual intercommunion, acceptance, and shared faith with the other bishops of that particular church. It just seems to me to be alomst impossible for any other protestant church to come into communion with any of the churches named above simply because of the differences in ecclesiology and structure of authority. They could not simply share communion but would have to convert either indiviudally as persons or at best individual parishes/churches under the authority of another church. Basically, it would be easier for the Pope of Rome, the Patriarchs of the EO, The Patriarchs of the OO, the Cathilicos(? forgive me if I use the wrong term) of the ACE, and even possibly the Archbishop of Canterbury to all come to an agreement (with their particular churches) than it would for even one of the churches mentioned here to come to an agreement with any protestant denomination as a whole. Lutherans have enough liturgical tradition to possibly establish a distinct liturgical rite under the authority of another jurisdiction but lack the ecclesiological organization to just declare intercommunion with any of the churches mentioned here.

Just an observation.
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« Reply #39 on: July 13, 2010, 02:18:16 AM »

I voted for "RC's EO's and OO's should lift the anathemas and let each other co-exist in communion," but after having voted for that I realize that that should only be the first step. We should then work on Protestants coming back into the fold, but I do not think that will be able to happen in any large capacity until the Apostolic Churches are reunited.

It is more likely that Protestants, Orientals, and Orthodox will all join together than Catholics will join with Protestantism, Orthodoxy, and the Orientals. the reason is that the Pope considers himself Supreme, unequal, sometimes infallible, and as such demands OBEDIENCE in all matters of faith. Consequently, no one can reunite with Rome without abandoning all of their autocephaly and own separate faith beliefs.

This is reflected in Orthodox and Protestants belonging to the ecumenical WCC (whatever its faults) without the Catholic Church.

There is a huge imbalance of political power and a doctrinal obstacle about UNRIVALED SUPREMACY and OBEDIENCE that exists between the Catholic Church and all other churches.

With the reduction of the power of Bysantium/Greece and Egypt/Alexandria as ancient power-rivals, I do see a much more likely chance that power will not obscure our views and we can much more objectively review doctrinal differences while staying loyal to our own traditions and good faith ecumenism between eachother.


It may turn out that the Chalcedonian churches are closest to eachother in terms of basic foundations of understanding of God's nature, but because of the strong political power situations, (which allegedly added to problems around Chalcedon), we may be able to overcome these divisions  between the 7-Council Orthodox and Oriental churches.

It's funny that you say that. I was a Protestant all my life until I entered the Catholic Church in 2007. I, my dad, and my cousin all joined at the same time. All of us were formerly Protestant Christians. The next year a friend of mine as well as two of my dad's friends (all former Protestants) joined the Catholic Church. Right now a good friend of mine (a Protestant) is attending Catholic inquiry classes. He usually drives me to Mass and attends Mass with me because I have a disability and need transportation. Through doing this for me he has become interested in the Catholic faith.

If you have ever watched EWTN and seen the Journey Home, everyday you hear stories of mostly former Protestants who entered the Catholic Church. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know for myself, the Pope never "demanded" anything from me whenever I was a Protestant. I came to Rome willingly. I would imagine the same is true for the others as well. Wink

Now that I think about it...perhaps we don't need reunion of the Apostolic Churches before reaching out to Protestants. Seems like the Protestants are coming home just fine. Smiley

My 2 cents: Protestants should come home to Catholic Church, with apostolic succession and subjection to church traditions. Catholics should, if possible, urge their leaders to abandon inventions of the early Middle Ages- the filioque, papal infallibility, required obedience to pope in all matters of faith, purgatory.

Luther might have thrown the baby out with the bath water, but there was alot of bath water with accumulated baby fluids.


I like Catholics. Only bad thing is if the "Leadership" abuses them, and says they "MUST" bow down as if it is vicar of Christ on earth or something.

Regards, Sympathies, and Blessings on your spiritual journey.
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« Reply #40 on: July 13, 2010, 03:42:11 PM »

One may also ask, "to what extent is it appropriate to refer to those outside the Church as Christian?"

I agree.  And I think that anyone who tries to characterize what you're saying as uncharitable is misinterpreting your post.

"Self-identifying" as Christian isn't enough.  Some sort of working definition needs to be established for the purposes of discussion.

If I don't believe the Lord Jesus is God in the Flesh, rose from the dead, or even worked any miracles, but I follow His "moral teachings" a la Jefferson's The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth am I a Christian?

If I don't believe in the Holy Trinity and claim such a concept is foreign to the New Testament am I a Christian?

If I incorporate spirit possession and other polytheistic practices into my "worship" and cloak it in a Christian veneer, am I a Christian?

If I believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ came back again as Haile Selassie, am I a Christian?

If I am a polygamist because I think such a thing is a "Biblical concept which Jesus never specifically removed" am I a Christian?

If I "follow Jesus but not the distortions of Paul or Constantine" am I a Christian?

If I believe that the Bible forbids "interracial" relationships and that God made some "races" better than others, am I a Christian?

If I believe that I can be a Christian and simultaneously be a Mason, a Skull & Bones member, or a "Christian Buddhist" am I a Christian?

If I believe that Jehovah is a man who lives on another planet and came down to "father" the Lord Jesus in a conventional human manner, am I a Christian?

Plenty of people who self-identify as "Christian" believe in exactly these sorts of things.  I made a point not to put a single thing on my little list there unless I had personally dialogued with a person who had told me just such a thing at some point in my life.  I don't think establishing a working definition for the purposes of dialogue or discussion is a bad thing, but rather a necessary thing.
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« Reply #41 on: July 13, 2010, 06:34:24 PM »

One may also ask, "to what extent is it appropriate to refer to those outside the Church as Christian?"

I agree.  And I think that anyone who tries to characterize what you're saying as uncharitable is misinterpreting your post.
I think it could be uncharitable, although it could be not mainly out of uncharitability, but just a definition of Christianity


"Self-identifying" as Christian isn't enough.  Some sort of working definition needs to be established for the purposes of discussion.

If I don't believe the Lord Jesus is God in the Flesh, rose from the dead, or even worked any miracles, but I follow His "moral teachings" a la Jefferson's The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth am I a Christian?
I think so, you are follower of Christ.

If I don't believe in the Holy Trinity and claim such a concept is foreign to the New Testament am I a Christian?
I think you are follower of Christ.

If I incorporate spirit possession and other polytheistic practices into my "worship" and cloak it in a Christian veneer, am I a Christian?
This sounds like the [crazy?] Charismatic movement in the Catholic Church. If it is just incorporation of bad practices, but faith is Christian, I think still Christian you are.

If I believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ came back again as Haile Selassie, am I a Christian?
It seems not, because you are follower of combined Selassie-Jesus, and I think that has been infiltrated too much by another person. it's not just rejection of doctrines, you are following another person as if Jesus. It's arguable you are Christian, but I think no.

If I am a polygamist because I think such a thing is a "Biblical concept which Jesus never specifically removed" am I a Christian? I think so, just following ecil practices.

If I "follow Jesus but not the distortions of Paul or Constantine" am I a Christian?
Yep.

If I believe that the Bible forbids "interracial" relationships and that God made some "races" better than others, am I a Christian?
Yeah, but you need help on this.

If I believe that I can be a Christian and simultaneously be a Mason, a Skull & Bones member, or a "Christian Buddhist" am I a Christian?

Not a very consistent one in practice, but if you do believe in Jesus and not in Jebulon (Masons' God), then yeah.

If I believe that Jehovah is a man who lives on another planet and came down to "father" the Lord Jesus in a conventional human manner, am I a Christian?

This is so different than Jesus, and the writings they use are so different than the Bible, that it's as if they are not talking about the same human being.



So in conclusion, the idea of Rastafarians and Mormons actually is so distant from the human person Jesus, that I think no. At least with Jefferson and JWs, they have the right human being in mind. They do put themselves under the person who was Jesus, even if their understanding or obedience is very confused or wrong. With Rastafarians and Mormons they actually are not under the same person- the Rastas have combined Him with another human individual, and the Mormons as you said are talking of someone from another planet, not someone from Bethlehem and heaven. So it's just that they do not think of the person Jesus with wrong understanding, they are thinking of someone physically different.

Meanwhile, I think that Arians, Jehovah's witnesses, and now that I think of it, even Muslims are Christians because they follow the person who is Christ. However, they have very wrong understandings about who he is (they don't believe He is fully God, I think), and they also have wrong scriptures. But we can go to Bethlehem, the Theotokos, and His birth, and I think Muslims and JWs would say, yes, that's Him, we follow Him.

But with Rastas, they would say here's Selassie physically, this is physically Jesus, and the answer is No, He isn't. And with Mormons, you would go looking for Jesus at time of His birth on another planet and wouldn't find his physical body there. Also, if Masons do in fact deny Christ (I have heard this is in their writings someplace), then they aren't Christian. Also, if they worship Jebulon as a combination of ancient deities, then it seems their God isn't the same one as Christianity's, Islam, or Judaism's, it is actually a combination of non-Jehovah deities.

Further, Satanism and Scientology are not "churches." One is the opposite of a church and the other is a tax scheme with a "crossed-out cross" and explicit satanic origins- a strong statement but this is very strongly the hidden case!
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« Reply #42 on: July 13, 2010, 08:48:59 PM »

You're very astute at discerning exactly what most of these folks actually were.  Well done!  Cheesy

I have to say, though, that while I agree with you on certain points, I disagree on others.  I guess my definition of a Christian is a little more narrow than yours, but that's cool.  We're neither of us definitive.

I suppose in a way it boils down to what we mean by the term Christian.  If, as you say, we mean merely "a follower of Christ", whatever we may conceive of Christ as being, then I suppose we'd have to include those who think He was merely "a man" (Jeffersonian deists, "Christian Buddhists", Muslims), a hybrid sired by a spaceman (Mormons - remember, they think a humanoid Jehovah came from another planet - not his son Jesus, whom he sired on Earth), and those who worship Him alongside or in combination with other deities ("Christian Rastas", some polytheistic cultists).

However, if by Christian we mean a follower of the Faith actually established by Christ and His Apostles in the first century AD, the definition becomes much more narrow.  Depending on who you talk to, this could mean members of the authentic Apostolic Churches only, or members of one particular communion.  I think that an organic, authentic continuity with the Church established by Christ and His Apostles should be part of the definition somewhere, and this certainly narrows the field for me.

Using the former definition, unity between all "Christians" would be impossible and undesirable (unless, of course, they recanted all their heretical beliefs).  Using the latter, it would be difficult, but quite possible indeed (especially in the case of unity with the EO and the OO and maybe some of the other Apostolic Churches after much honest discussion and the recanting of certain points by those who are in error - maybe 1000 years from now! - LOL!) and I'd love to see this happen eventually.
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« Reply #43 on: July 13, 2010, 09:25:28 PM »

Quote
You're very astute at discerning exactly what most of these folks actually were.  Well done!  Cheesy

I have to say, though, that while I agree with you on certain points, I disagree on others.  I guess my definition of a Christian is a little more narrow than yours, but that's cool.  We're neither of us definitive.
Sure, if it means right knowledge, understanding of, and following Christ, very few nonOrthodox might fit it.
Even very few Orthodox will fit this, because we have not physically met him in his time, we only do our best to learn more. Many of us do not have such complete knowledge, and have misunderstandings.

You might be able to say that nonChalcedonians, or Catholics, or other groups' "understanding" of Christ is so different, or they are not in The canonical church, so that they are not Christian. But I disagree, and not just on a spiritual level, where I say I think Protestants follow Jesus too. It seems that Christian is supporter/follower of Christ, and I believe that many JWs are sincere in their attempt to follow him, and the Him is the same individual- Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. Whether they recognize that Christ is also God, they still follow Christ.

Quote
I suppose in a way it boils down to what we mean by the term Christian.  If, as you say, we mean merely "a follower of Christ", whatever we may conceive of Christ as being, then I suppose we'd have to include those who think He was merely "a man" (Jeffersonian deists, "Christian Buddhists", Muslims), a hybrid sired by a spaceman (Mormons - remember, they think a humanoid Jehovah came from another planet - not his son Jesus, whom he sired on Earth), and those who worship Him alongside or in combination with other deities ("Christian Rastas", some polytheistic cultists).

Did you read my post where I said Mormons are not Christian? I don't think it is "whatever we may conceive of Christ as being". If you are not worshipping Jesus born in Bethlehem, you are worshipping a different individual, a hybrid sired by a spaceman (Mormons - remember, they think a humanoid Jehovah came from another planet - not his son Jesus, whom he sired on Earth),
Also, those who worship Him alongside or in combination with other deities ("Christian Rastas", some polytheistic cultists) are not Christian, I think, because they have combined Him with someone else-Selassie- so it is no longer really Jesus. I mean, if a tadpole turns into a frog, it's not a tadpole anymore. I don't think that Jesus of Nazareth is Selassie. So worshipping a combined Jesus-Selassie is not Christian, because I don't think such exists.

It's true that Jesus being God is different from just being Jesus. But people who still believe in Jesus and not that Jesus IS God (like Muslims) still believe in Jesus Christ. So there is a difference I think. I am surprised to conclude, by the way, that a supposed Byzantine misconception that Islam was a Christian apocryphal sect (it relies on apocryphal writings) is true in this sense.


Quote
However, if by Christian we mean a follower of the Faith actually established by Christ and His Apostles in the first century AD, the definition becomes much more narrow.  Depending on who you talk to, this could mean members of the authentic Apostolic Churches only, or members of one particular communion.  I think that an organic, authentic continuity with the Church established by Christ and His Apostles should be part of the definition somewhere, and this certainly narrows the field for me.
I am not sure of this. There were centurions were followed Christ and believed in him, yet were outside the institutional church, so I don't believe that being Christian is part of the definition itself, although it could be EVIDENCE that the person is a Christian.
The Centurion might not have had right understanding or been baptised (such is true with some martyrs I think), but I think we can say he and others were followers and Christians

Quote
Using the former definition, unity between all "Christians" would be impossible and undesirable (unless, of course, they recanted all their heretical beliefs).  
OK.

Quote
Using the latter, it would be difficult, but quite possible indeed and I'd love to see this happen eventually.
So what? We can't change meanings of words just to make it sound like now all the Christians are together when the TRADITIONAL CHRISTIANS unite. Then you just move the debate over to who is a "traditional Christian". And it could turn out that wacko noncanonical sects are more "traditional Christian" by your definition, than some big churches, yet we still find it best to focus on mainstream churches, and not wacko compound "Orthodox" sects.

So rather than get into mind problems of who is Christian, and happily define it as "just us", we should say it means follower and believer in Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 09:26:47 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #44 on: July 13, 2010, 10:06:31 PM »

I voted for "RC's EO's and OO's should lift the anathemas and let each other co-exist in communion," but after having voted for that I realize that that should only be the first step. We should then work on Protestants coming back into the fold, but I do not think that will be able to happen in any large capacity until the Apostolic Churches are reunited.

It is more likely that Protestants, Orientals, and Orthodox will all join together than Catholics will join with Protestantism, Orthodoxy, and the Orientals. the reason is that the Pope considers himself Supreme, unequal, sometimes infallible, and as such demands OBEDIENCE in all matters of faith. Consequently, no one can reunite with Rome without abandoning all of their autocephaly and own separate faith beliefs.

This is reflected in Orthodox and Protestants belonging to the ecumenical WCC (whatever its faults) without the Catholic Church.

There is a huge imbalance of political power and a doctrinal obstacle about UNRIVALED SUPREMACY and OBEDIENCE that exists between the Catholic Church and all other churches.

With the reduction of the power of Bysantium/Greece and Egypt/Alexandria as ancient power-rivals, I do see a much more likely chance that power will not obscure our views and we can much more objectively review doctrinal differences while staying loyal to our own traditions and good faith ecumenism between eachother.


It may turn out that the Chalcedonian churches are closest to eachother in terms of basic foundations of understanding of God's nature, but because of the strong political power situations, (which allegedly added to problems around Chalcedon), we may be able to overcome these divisions  between the 7-Council Orthodox and Oriental churches.

It's funny that you say that. I was a Protestant all my life until I entered the Catholic Church in 2007. I, my dad, and my cousin all joined at the same time. All of us were formerly Protestant Christians. The next year a friend of mine as well as two of my dad's friends (all former Protestants) joined the Catholic Church. Right now a good friend of mine (a Protestant) is attending Catholic inquiry classes. He usually drives me to Mass and attends Mass with me because I have a disability and need transportation. Through doing this for me he has become interested in the Catholic faith.

If you have ever watched EWTN and seen the Journey Home, everyday you hear stories of mostly former Protestants who entered the Catholic Church. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know for myself, the Pope never "demanded" anything from me whenever I was a Protestant. I came to Rome willingly. I would imagine the same is true for the others as well. Wink

Now that I think about it...perhaps we don't need reunion of the Apostolic Churches before reaching out to Protestants. Seems like the Protestants are coming home just fine. Smiley

My 2 cents: Protestants should come home to Catholic Church, with apostolic succession and subjection to church traditions. Catholics should, if possible, urge their leaders to abandon inventions of the early Middle Ages- the filioque, papal infallibility, required obedience to pope in all matters of faith, purgatory.

Luther might have thrown the baby out with the bath water, but there was alot of bath water with accumulated baby fluids.


I like Catholics. Only bad thing is if the "Leadership" abuses them, and says they "MUST" bow down as if it is vicar of Christ on earth or something.

Regards, Sympathies, and Blessings on your spiritual journey.
Perhaps the other issues you have mentioned can be softened or clarified to be made acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches, but, personally, I would not agree to abandoning Purgatory.
Purgatory just makes a whole lot of sense to me as I don;t see anyone burning in hellfire eternally for some of the lessor sins. There are so many examples and it is just too obvious that there are lessor sins and there are greater sins and that many of the lessor sins, although they may be a blemish or imperfection on your soul, do not merit eternal damnation in hell. So, no, I would not in good conscience,  be able to give up this idea of Purgatory, although, like I said, I would agree to a modification, softening, or clarification of the other teachings so that they can be reformulated in such a way as to be acceptable to the other Apostolic Churches. 
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