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Author Topic: How are Orthodox Christians different?  (Read 4919 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dismas
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« on: November 12, 2003, 11:22:08 AM »

show that we are different than others...

Not really looking for theological or liturgical items...but how being an Orthodox Christian has changed what you do in your daily interaction with others.

What things to you read, what music do you listen to, what kind of activities are you spending time on that has been influenced by being Orthodox?

Peace,
Dismas
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2003, 11:32:33 AM »

hmmm...no responses.
Curious.
 :-";"xx
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Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2003, 04:46:45 PM »

hmmm...no responses.
Curious.
 :-

Patience, Dismas.  Patience.  Give us some time to digest what you're asking.  Some of us have only limited access to our computers.

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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2003, 09:21:51 AM »

Todays reading may help... Smiley

Thursday, November 20, 2003                      Gregory of the Decapolis
Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 2:9-14        Nativity Fast         Gospel: St. Luke
16:1-9

Inner Work: 1 Thessalonians 2:9-14, especially vs. 13: "For this reason we
also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which
you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in
truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe."  Notice
in today's Epistle, as the verse just quoted reveals, that "the word of God"
is both something that is heard and something that works in the Faithful.  St.
Paul lived with the Thessalonians (vss. 9,10).  In the process, he also
discipled them in the Faith (vss. 11,12).  The Apostle notes two results in this
verse:1) the Thessalonian Christians received "the word of God," and 2) the
"word of God" continued to work effectively within them.  
    Do you see that St. Paul's second use of the preposition ‘in' (vs. 13)
shows that the work which God accomplished ‘in' the Thessalonians was inner
work, creating a spiritual change in them?  In addition, the whole of the passage
shows why they were then subjected to tangible, physical suffering (vs. 14):
apostolic work, though inward, invariably will have outward results.
    St. Paul first reminds the Thessalonians that it was he who preached "the
Gospel of God" to them (vs. 9).  God's inner work, in order to reach hearts,
must be proclaimed to physical ears.  Some years later, in his letter to the
Roman Christians, St. Paul expanded on the necessity of preaching for
conversion.  "How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? and how
shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear
without a preacher?" (Rom. 10:14).  In Romans, he even notes that God is the
One Who provides the preachers: "And how shall they preach, except they be
sent?" (Rom. 10:15).  
    The obligation of those whom God sends is to preach good news, to preach
God's word, never to preach their own ideas.  The preacher must be diligent to
present himself  "approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).  When these things happen,
God the Holy Spirit anoints the preaching with His action, and, for those who
open the door of their heart, He enters with the divine gifts of faith and
life in Christ.  Where does all this happen?  ‘In' the heart of the hearer who
becomes a believer.  
    Preaching is unquestionably necessary, but it must be matched by godly
living.  Potential converts, and all Christians, must see the observable results
of the unseen work of God within.  Hence, the Apostle declares that the
character of his "labor and toil...night and day" placed no "burden on any" (1
Thess. 2:9).  And, he reminds the Faithful in Thessalonica, they had witnessed
"how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who
believed" (vs. 10).  Consider what he says.  Christians need to see prayer and
worship lived piously in order to take up the "inner work" of the Gospel for
themselves.  They need to see Christ-like models of fair play and of the godly
treatment of all persons in order to trust echoes of the Lord's truth in their own
hearts and to live the word of God in their own lives.
    While the combination of preaching and exemplary living is necessary to
encourage inner, cooperative work with the Spirit, the same is also true of
discipling.  In this passage, St. Paul considers the elements required in the
training of disciples: exhortation, encouraging, and challenging (vs. 11),
activities that nurture God's people and help them walk "worthy of God" (vs. 12).  
When such effort is met by open hearts, the Faithful become "imitators of the
churches of God" world-wide (vs. 14).  Given the fallenness of this world,
however, also note St. Paul's final point: if the Faithful do not pray to God nor
seek with reverent fear His help, because of being hard of heart, blind or
having sin in their lives, they will encounter suffering (vss. 14-16).      
    O Lord, fill us with Thy Spirit, encourage our faint hearts, and turn us
from wandering.

To enroll send email to: orthodoxdynamis-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
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nicodemus
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2003, 09:06:50 PM »

Not really looking for theological or liturgical items...but how being an Orthodox Christian has changed what you do in your daily interaction with others.

What things to you read, what music do you listen to, what kind of activities are you spending time on that has been influenced by being Orthodox?

That is a heavy duty question.  Give me a couple of days to formulate a thorough answer and will gladly reply.
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2003, 11:10:54 AM »

Well, it is rumored that West Virginia Orthodox avoid eating road kill on Fast Days.  Grin
« Last Edit: November 20, 2003, 11:11:22 AM by Linus7 » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2003, 01:49:57 PM »

The first thing I noticed after I became Orthodox was that my desire for Television simply evaporated.  Of course, I had been distancing my self from TV somewhat even before my conversion to Orthodoxy, so that may have been just walking further down the no TV path. Other converts in my parish have reported similar experiences with TV though.  Nothing self-righteous, like "I am too holy to watch TV" LOL  None of that nonsense.  Its just that TV just does not hold their attention like it used to.  Other things that I've noticed is that I look at history now from a much broader and Eastern perspective.  Example, someone at work asked me if I'd seen the new Luther movie.  I replied no. Then he said, "Oh, its really good.  Before Luther the WHOLE CHURCH was worshipping in Latin.  But Luther made the Bible available in the language of the people."  I would have accepted that line of thinking BEFORE I became Orthodox.  No longer!  LOL  I guess the biggest change of mind for me was realizing that Western Europe is NOT the center of the universe.
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2003, 02:38:48 PM »

You don't need an Eastern perspective for that... actually reading/looking up/knowing some history would do it to learn about Wycliffe's translation just for starters.

Sigh. What are they teaching in the schools?  Not real history apparently.

Ebor
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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2003, 04:42:09 PM »

I take more time out to really look at things.
I have a prayer life, something I never had before.
I have more patience with people and with things that frusterate me.
The western world isn't the navel of the universe, my understanding of history is much clearer than when I was agnostic.  
Being orthodox hasn't changed my politcs (well ok, it has slightly) my taste in music or art.
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2003, 10:00:50 PM »

You don't need an Eastern perspective for that... actually reading/looking up/knowing some history would do it to learn about Wycliffe's translation just for starters.

Sigh. What are they teaching in the schools?  Not real history apparently.

Ebor

Was Wycliffe's Bible a translation or an heretical paraphrase?

Evidently the Catholic Church thought it the latter.

Besides, there were Bibles in English and the other languages of Europe way before Wycliffe.

Unfortunately, few people could read them, since most of those who were literate read Latin in the West and Greek in the East.
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2003, 11:05:52 AM »

I have grown to love icons...and the person or situation they represent...now I find myself often conjuring up in my mind an icon...remembering the person or story behind the icon...as a regular part of each day.

Do  you experience this?

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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2003, 12:12:53 PM »

Other things that I've noticed is that I look at history now from a much broader and Eastern perspective.  Example, someone at work asked me if I'd seen the new Luther movie.  I replied no. Then he said, "Oh, its really good.  Before Luther the WHOLE CHURCH was worshipping in Latin.  But Luther made the Bible available in the language of the people."  I would have accepted that line of thinking BEFORE I became Orthodox.  No longer!  LOL  I guess the biggest change of mind for me was realizing that Western Europe is NOT the center of the universe.
Tikhon

I would say that's true for me too.  Unfortunately, most history being taught in schools is from an incredibly narrow perspective.  After converting to Orthodoxy, I remember wondering to myself about things taught to us in middle school/high school. I remember being taught about the "Great Schism" and then we only ever heard anything about what happened to the west.  They never really talked about what happened in the East, and if they did, they never called it Orthodoxy by name.
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2003, 12:47:09 PM »

Other things that I've noticed is that I look at history now from a much broader and Eastern perspective.  Example, someone at work asked me if I'd seen the new Luther movie.  I replied no. Then he said, "Oh, its really good.  Before Luther the WHOLE CHURCH was worshipping in Latin.  But Luther made the Bible available in the language of the people."  I would have accepted that line of thinking BEFORE I became Orthodox.  No longer!  LOL  I guess the biggest change of mind for me was realizing that Western Europe is NOT the center of the universe.
Tikhon

I would say that's true for me too.  Unfortunately, most history being taught in schools is from an incredibly narrow perspective.  After converting to Orthodoxy, I remember wondering to myself about things taught to us in middle school/high school. I remember being taught about the "Great Schism" and then we only ever heard anything about what happened to the west.  They never really talked about what happened in the East, and if they did, they never called it Orthodoxy by name.

Several years ago, I had a history class in Junior College where they referred to the Great Schism (1054) as the east-west split or schism, basically the east and west just drifting apart and the east fading away.  "The Great Schism" (in the book) was that brief period (around 30 years long?) several hundred years later when there were three popes at the same time.  Pathetic book.  I argued this (privately) with the prof and he agreed (that the emphasis of the situations should be reversed), but I doubt he really tried to get a new book or teach it differently.
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2003, 01:07:20 PM »

Several years ago, I had a history class in Junior College where they referred to the Great Schism (1054) as the east-west split or schism, basically the east and west just drifting apart and the east fading away.  "The Great Schism" (in the book) was that brief period (around 30 years long?) several hundred years later when there were three popes at the same time.  Pathetic book.  I argued this (privately) with the prof and he agreed (that the emphasis of the situations should be reversed), but I doubt he really tried to get a new book or teach it differently.

Perhaps this is just too big a leap of logic on my part, but I've cooked up this theory:

I think the reason history comes down to us like this is because when the protestant churches split with Roman Catholic Church, they had "inherited" so to speak, the history as taught by the Roman Church, which whether by design or by the fact that history tends to focus on one's self, had marginalized the the history of the East both politically and religiously.
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2003, 01:49:43 PM »

You don't need an Eastern perspective for that... actually reading/looking up/knowing some history would do it to learn about Wycliffe's translation just for starters.

Sigh. What are they teaching in the schools?  Not real history apparently.

Ebor

Was Wycliffe's Bible a translation or an heretical paraphrase?

Evidently the Catholic Church thought it the latter.

Besides, there were Bibles in English and the other languages of Europe way before Wycliffe.

Unfortunately, few people could read them, since most of those who were literate read Latin in the West and Greek in the East.

Wycliffe is a translation into English.  The NT is on line at:
http://www.bibledbdata.org/onlinebibles/wycliffe_nt/

Here's the opening of John 1 (remember it's in Middle English so spelling, and word useage are not all the same as in modern English):

:1 In the bigynnyng was the word, and the word was at God, and God was the word.
1:2 This was in the bigynnyng at God.
1:3 Alle thingis weren maad bi hym, and withouten hym was maad no thing, that thing that was maad.
1:4 In hym was lijf, and the lijf was the liyt of men; and the liyt schyneth in derknessis,
1:5 and derknessis comprehendiden not it.

I used Wycliffe as a starter... I know that there were others before him and that that the literacy level was low.  My point was that learning from history does not require an "Eastern" perspective.

Perhaps I was lucky, then, that my parents especially my father love history and taught it to me.  And now we are teaching it to our children.

Ebor
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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2003, 02:05:37 PM »

My point was that learning from history does not require an "Eastern" perspective.

I'm not going to speak for them, but for me, I wasn't saying it was necessary to look at history from an "Eastern perspective."  I was saying now that the "eastern perspective" has been opened to me as well as the western perspective, I feel that I have a much more complete view of history.
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« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2003, 09:22:08 PM »

I understand what you mean and agree....orthodoxy is a worldwide faith and gives perspective to us westerners....especially in history.

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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2003, 10:37:47 AM »

I am working on trying to see the image of God in people that I met and work with. It has given me a much different perspective that a former view of "total depravity" gave me.

Although Wycliffe has my deepest respect, learning that our holy writings include many other books and references has given me a very different perspective on the progress and development of the church during what I learned in school of the "dark ages" mentality.

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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2003, 11:50:25 AM »

Several years ago, I had a history class in Junior College where they referred to the Great Schism (1054) as the east-west split or schism, basically the east and west just drifting apart and the east fading away.  "The Great Schism" (in the book) was that brief period (around 30 years long?) several hundred years later when there were three popes at the same time.  Pathetic book.  I argued this (privately) with the prof and he agreed (that the emphasis of the situations should be reversed), but I doubt he really tried to get a new book or teach it differently.

Perhaps this is just too big a leap of logic on my part, but I've cooked up this theory:

I think the reason history comes down to us like this is because when the protestant churches split with Roman Catholic Church, they had "inherited" so to speak, the history as taught by the Roman Church, which whether by design or by the fact that history tends to focus on one's self, had marginalized the the history of the East both politically and religiously.

Roman Catholicism and Protestantism are just opposite sides of the same coin, aren't they?  They share a common root, which is Roman Catholicism.  Is it any surprise, then, that a society dominated by RCs and Prots takes on a culture, including its historical perspective, from a western viewpoint?
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2003, 12:09:09 PM »

Okay, have given this some thought.  A difficult question to consider.  Please feel free to argue for or against any of these observations.  I have my reasons and arguments for these opinions, but I'll spare you from reading them.  More interested that you all reflect and discuss these points here on OCnet.

By no means comprehensive, and in no particular order:

- Orthodox are more inclined to percieve the Divine Mystery in all things.

- Orthodox are less inclined to disect matters of their Faith.

- Orthodox are more inclined to sense the estrangement of heterodox from the Church.

- Orthodox are more inclined to emphasize worship, than to emphasize "what I got out of it."

- Orthodox are less inclined to agressively attack the practices of heterodox Christians.

- Orthodox are more inclined to be knowledgeable about Christian Faith and its Traditions and traditions.

  Orthodox are less agressively evangelical.

- Orthodox are more inclined to question western society and its values.

- Orthodox are less agressively proseletyzing.

- Orthodox are more inclined to be dumbfounded, amazed, and excited when somebody wants to convert to their faith.

- Orhtodox are more likely to be Traditional and traditional.

- Orthodox are more inclined to be smug and "holier than thou," despite the teachings of the Church.

- Orthodox are more inclined to be "cliquey."

- Orthodox are less inclined to perform charitable work, outside of their own church community.

What thinks you all?
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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2003, 12:28:01 PM »

Dismas,

All true, but:

Quote
I am working on trying to see the image of God in people that I met and work with. It has given me a much different perspective that a former view of "total depravity" gave me.


A basic Calvinist vs. non difference, not peculiar to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Quote
Although Wycliffe has my deepest respect, learning that our holy writings include many other books and references has given me a very different perspective on the progress and development of the church during what I learned in school of the "dark ages" mentality.

A basic Catholic vs. Protestant difference, not unique to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Karamazov,

True.
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« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2003, 01:24:30 PM »

What thinks you all?

I agree with what you have written.
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« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2003, 04:19:51 PM »


Think there is a difference here...Orthodox do not believe that sin was hereditary...hence...the image of God if not initially stained.

...from CE
Original sin may be taken to mean: (1) the sin that Adam committed; (2) a consequence of this first sin, the hereditary stain with which we are born on account of our origin or descent from Adam.

It is this belief that leads Catholics to treat the Theotokos differently as well.

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« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2003, 07:36:47 PM »

Roman Catholicism and Protestantism are just opposite sides of the same coin, aren't they?  They share a common root, which is Roman Catholicism.  Is it any surprise, then, that a society dominated by RCs and Prots takes on a culture, including its historical perspective, from a western viewpoint?


I don't agree, I suppose this only refers to the Protestantized, americanized and modernized Catholics after Vatican II, particularly in the USA. In my country there are still many elements from tradition that are respected among Roman Catholics and which are more compatible with Orthodoxy than Protestantism (processions, devotion to images, prayers, moral vaues, etc).
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« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2003, 08:54:43 AM »

Roman Catholicism and Protestantism are just opposite sides of the same coin, aren't they?  They share a common root, which is Roman Catholicism.  Is it any surprise, then, that a society dominated by RCs and Prots takes on a culture, including its historical perspective, from a western viewpoint?


I don't agree, I suppose this only refers to the Protestantized, americanized and modernized Catholics after Vatican II, particularly in the USA. In my country there are still many elements from tradition that are respected among Roman Catholics and which are more compatible with Orthodoxy than Protestantism (processions, devotion to images, prayers, moral vaues, etc).


Very pleased to hear this about the Mexican faithful! Smiley
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« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2003, 10:43:59 AM »

Quote
Karamazov: Roman Catholicism and Protestantism are just opposite sides of the same coin, aren't they?  They share a common root, which is Roman Catholicism.  Is it any surprise, then, that a society dominated by RCs and Prots takes on a culture, including its historical perspective, from a western viewpoint?

Quote
Mexican: I don't agree, I suppose this only refers to the Protestantized, americanized and modernized Catholics after Vatican II, particularly in the USA. In my country there are still many elements from tradition that are respected among Roman Catholics and which are more compatible with Orthodoxy than Protestantism (processions, devotion to images, prayers, moral vaues, etc).

I think when someone says "Roman Catholicism and Protestantism are two sides of the same coin" (paraphrasing Khomiakov, I believe), they have in view the fact that Western Christians share similar approaches to sin and salvation. This includes an over-emphasis on the juridical metaphor of salvation as opposed to the Orthodox metaphor of sin as a sickness in man that God's grace heals. The use of the juridical metaphor has been carried to extremes in Evangelical Protestantism. This reflects its obsession (conscious or not) with Augustinism.

I agree with you, Mexican, that RCism is much closer in almost every way to Orthodoxy than is Protestantism

Even some of the things we Orthodox imagine that RCs believe are not really what their church actually teaches. One need only examine the CCC to find that out.
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« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2003, 10:57:19 AM »

You don't need an Eastern perspective for that... actually reading/looking up/knowing some history would do it to learn about Wycliffe's translation just for starters.

Sigh. What are they teaching in the schools?  Not real history apparently.

Ebor

Was Wycliffe's Bible a translation or an heretical paraphrase?

Evidently the Catholic Church thought it the latter.

Besides, there were Bibles in English and the other languages of Europe way before Wycliffe.

Unfortunately, few people could read them, since most of those who were literate read Latin in the West and Greek in the East.

Wycliffe is a translation into English.  The NT is on line at:
http://www.bibledbdata.org/onlinebibles/wycliffe_nt/

Here's the opening of John 1 (remember it's in Middle English so spelling, and word useage are not all the same as in modern English):

:1 In the bigynnyng was the word, and the word was at God, and God was the word.
1:2 This was in the bigynnyng at God.
1:3 Alle thingis weren maad bi hym, and withouten hym was maad no thing, that thing that was maad.
1:4 In hym was lijf, and the lijf was the liyt of men; and the liyt schyneth in derknessis,
1:5 and derknessis comprehendiden not it.

I used Wycliffe as a starter... I know that there were others before him and that that the literacy level was low.  My point was that learning from history does not require an "Eastern" perspective.

Perhaps I was lucky, then, that my parents especially my father love history and taught it to me.  And now we are teaching it to our children.

Ebor


According to The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Wycliffe apparently played no direct part in the translation of "his" Bible. It was produced by two of his followers,  Nicholas of Hereford and John Purvey, with the assistance of others.

Wycliffe was a heretic whose ideas on the clergy were similar to those of the Donatists. He espoused the erroneous doctrine of Sola Scriptura almost 200 years before Luther, and denied that the Eucharist becomes the true Body and Blood of Christ.

The translation of the Bible undertaken by his followers and attributed to him was done without the authority and oversight of the Church. Okay for their own private study and devotions but certainly not something that should have been reproduced for public distribution.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2003, 10:58:39 AM by Linus7 » Logged

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