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Author Topic: Does this verse apply to Protestants?  (Read 2487 times) Average Rating: 0
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sodr2
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« on: July 15, 2009, 01:17:46 AM »

Matthew 5:19
Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Of course we call all agree that  angel salvation  angel comes by believing in Jesus and accepting all He taught (commandments, sacraments, etc). Protestants reject the sacraments, or at least degrade their value, so would the verse above apply to them?  Huh

p.s. Not sure if this is the right thread to ask this in, I just wanted some Orthodox perspectives. By the way, I've always wondered what the Orthodox perspective of Protestantism was. . .I know there are several churches of this denomination, maybe some are completely false, but generally, have these churches. . . . "received the medicine" (if you know what I mean). Of course, only God can judge.
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2009, 09:08:01 AM »

This verse when I read it applies to me alone. I must consider whether I am keeping the commandments and encouraging others to do the same. I must not consider whether anyone else is doing so.
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2009, 11:10:43 AM »

Evangelical Protestants think WE are the ones who are in error for having sacraments, which they feel is not a biblical idea, but rather, a later development.
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2009, 11:22:52 AM »

Evangelical Protestants think WE are the ones who are in error for having sacraments, which they feel is not a biblical idea, but rather, a later development.

We know who's right on that one, don't we? Grin

The Holy Mysteries aren't really commandment, though.  John 6:66 applies more to the Protestats, by and large.
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2009, 11:23:19 AM »

By the way, I've always wondered what the Orthodox perspective of Protestantism was. . .

A good place to start might be the The Acts and Decrees of the Synod of Jerusalem, held in 1672, signed by all of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs of the time. It responds to most of the typical Protestant claims.

You can read an English translation in its entirety on Google Books (because the translation is too old to be copyrighted). Simply go here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=G1h5ijh3YcwC&printsec=titlepage&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2009, 11:38:52 AM »

The Holy Mysteries aren't really commandment, though.  John 6:66 applies more to the Protestats, by and large.
Ahem. . . .

"Do this in remembrance of me." ? ? ?

BTW I'm still curious about the verse. . . .but then again I'm reminded of how Jesus' disciples left Him when He introduced the sacrament of the Eucharist (is this a Catholic word, or is it used by Orthodox as well?). That means they would've rejected Jesus entirely, so would this be symbolic of how Protestants reject Jesus as well?
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2009, 11:41:23 AM »

This verse when I read it applies to me alone. I must consider whether I am keeping the commandments and encouraging others to do the same. I must not consider whether anyone else is doing so.

I don't think it would apply to you or anyone else here, because it says "and teaches others to do the same."

BTW that link that was provided doesn't have a preview of the book.
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2009, 11:46:46 AM »

This verse when I read it applies to me alone. I must consider whether I am keeping the commandments and encouraging others to do the same. I must not consider whether anyone else is doing so.

I don't think it would apply to you or anyone else here, because it says "and teaches others to do the same."

BTW that link that was provided doesn't have a preview of the book.

Check your computer: I get it fine.  You might want to try:
http://catholicity.elcore.net/ConfessionOfDositheus.html
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/creeds1.v.vii.html
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2009, 12:02:20 PM »

This verse when I read it applies to me alone. I must consider whether I am keeping the commandments and encouraging others to do the same. I must not consider whether anyone else is doing so.

I don't think it would apply to you or anyone else here, because it says "and teaches others to do the same."

BTW that link that was provided doesn't have a preview of the book.
Oh yes it does. I am a Christian; therefore I am responsible to keep the commandments. I have children; therefore I am responsible to teach the commandments to them.
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2009, 12:05:14 PM »

Both links work fine now, thanks.

Oh yes it does. I am a Christian; therefore I am responsible to keep the commandments. I have children; therefore I am responsible to teach the commandments to them.

How does it apply to you? You don't *TEACH* your children false commandments or thou shall kill. Protestants do (about the whole sacraments thing).
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2009, 12:15:00 PM »

Both links work fine now, thanks.

Oh yes it does. I am a Christian; therefore I am responsible to keep the commandments. I have children; therefore I am responsible to teach the commandments to them.

How does it apply to you? You don't *TEACH* your children false commandments or thou shall kill. Protestants do (about the whole sacraments thing).
The second half of that verse is a positive command. Here Christ says not only, "Don't teach people not to observe what I have commanded," but also, "Teach people to observe what I have commanded." It works both ways.
Quote from: Matthew 5:19
but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2009, 01:15:07 PM »

that must be understand in the context of the previous verses , where Jesus speaks about the Law , it applies to all those who broke the faith as it was received, firstly to catholics and secondly protestants ; Mostly protestant denom who tend to forget about the Law , and the Old Testament and call it history and etc.It refers to those who distorsionate the commandements of God , and the teach people to fallow them , of those who have destorsionated the faith.So yes it refers to protestants.This is my current point of view.
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2009, 01:24:36 PM »

But to apply this verse to anyone but yourself is to judge someone else as "least in the Kingdom".  Are you ready to proclaim such judgment against those who follow Christ faithfully according to their limited knowledge of the truths He has revealed?
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2009, 01:27:21 PM »

in the last times many false prophets and false Christs will rise , and they will say it is me ; they indeed appeared and rised like mushrooms.Matthew 24. The Lord is coming , Maranatha!
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2009, 01:29:48 PM »

... Eucharist (is this a Catholic word, or is it used by Orthodox as well?)
To my knowledge, Eucharist is a derivation of one or both of the following Greek words:

eucharistía (εὐχαριστία) - eú- "good, well" + cháris "favor, grace"

eucharistéō (εὐχαριστῶ) - to give thanks
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2009, 01:35:55 PM »

in the last times many false prophets and false Christs will rise , and they will say it is me ; they indeed appeared and rised like mushrooms.Matthew 24. The Lord is coming , Maranatha!
But do you judge as false prophets and false Christs those faithful Protestants who merely pass on their traditions faithfully to their children, never having known the fullness of Truth?  After all, are they not doing faithfully what we Orthodox Christians are also called to do?  Should we not reserve such harsh judgments as you spout here solely for those who, knowing full well the teachings of the Church, invent their own new teachings and thus lead faithful and pious Christians away from the fullness of Truth?
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2009, 02:14:36 PM »

the false Christs are those who made this sects , not the people
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« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2009, 06:11:31 PM »

But to apply this verse to anyone but yourself is to judge someone else as "least in the Kingdom".  Are you ready to proclaim such judgment against those who follow Christ faithfully according to their limited knowledge of the truths He has revealed?

Ahem... Jesus Himself said this, not me, that those who breaks His commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in the Kingdom, therefore we believe it and should have no problem teaching it. But I guess the real question is, what are the 'least of the commandments'.

Sure, Protestants follow Christ faithfully, but we must also remember what Jesus said on the cross, "Forgive them for they do not know what they do."
That means we can still be sinning, even if we do not know what we are doing and are faithful and sincere in what we do.

p.s. This thread is to see if Protestants can attain salvation, not if they will be the greatest or the least.
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« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2009, 03:41:22 AM »

I don't think we should ever ask if a particular Protestant is saved, or members of any particular Protestant community. God is merciful and God will judge them as he chooses.

We can criticise what is taught because we have a guideline to follow in the Holy Tradition, but we do not know our own hearts let alone someone else's.

From our own point of view the Protestant faith is deficient and we have an urgent responsibility to share the fullness of our faith with them. From our own point of view to become Protestant would be a falling away from faith. But a Protestant may well be on a journey into faith, even while outside the formal bounds of Orthodoxy.

If we are not sharing our faith as a matter of urgency with the Protestants around us then we should not open our mouths to judge them in any way. We would be like people sitting at a table spread with the best of foods and criticising those hungry and starving wretches who were scrabbling about in the dust looking for scraps and crumbs.

As I grow older I become more and more convinced that judgement of people is wrong, is sin on our part, whatever the reasons we produce to excuse it. We may judge systems of teaching, we may criticise practices. But we should be silent when we are thinking of judging another person's standing with God. It is a good thing for us all to learn to pray, 'All shall be saved and I alone shall be condemned'.

We cannot be sure of our salvation unless we are sharing it. If we do not have any urgency to share it then we have not understood it and we have not yet attained the mind and heart of Christ of whom it is said, 'he does not wish any to be lost'. If we truly think that Protesants are in danger, then we must surely seek to save them rather than judge them. Otherwise we are like people watching a man drown and discussing how he had brought the situation upon himself rather than being moved to action for his salvation.

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« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2009, 04:05:33 AM »

Matthew 5:19
Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

 By the way, I've always wondered what the Orthodox perspective of Protestantism was.

Dear Sodr2,

I see you are a Coptic Christian.  One of your Metropolitans has expressed a negative view of the salvation of Protestants

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Bishoy_(Nicola)_of_Damietta

Father Peter will be able to reassure us that not all Coptic bishops so teach.  Since the Coptic bishops are not agreed on the salvation or damnation of Protestants one would think that the faithful are at liberty to follow one belief or the other.
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« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2009, 04:22:56 AM »

Father Ambrose

I am not sure which local Orthodox Church is so sure that it can dogmatise on the state before God of any other Christian community. I am not willing to reassure you of anything since I am only a priest. But I am well aware that in the whole area of the salvation of those outside the formal bounds of Orthodoxy the local Churches have tended to prefer to not make absolute judgements.

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« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2009, 04:39:31 AM »


I am not sure which local Orthodox Church is so sure that it can dogmatise on the state before God of any other Christian community. I am not willing to reassure you of anything since I am only a priest.
 


Dear Father Peter,

I fully accept that as a priest you cannot make such theological statements.  But your hierarchs do have such a right by virtue of their teaching charism and their authority of the Keys and they have issued statements. 

As you know I belong to the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad whose third First Hierarch was the saintly Metropolitan Philaret.  He penned these positive words about salvation when I was a young man. He is here speaking of the salvation of heterodox Christians:


"It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman
Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox
confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who
knowingly pervert the truth... They have been born and raised and are
living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do
the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not
been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The
Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who
enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is
leading them also towards salvation In His own way."


N.B:  "The Lord...undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation
In His own way."

These words provide a counterpoint to Metropolitan Bishoy's.


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« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2009, 05:31:36 AM »

Certainly they do.

But since many ROCOR priests and faithful have used the words of other hierarchs to doubt the salvation of others I think it merely illustrates what I said, the local Churches have tended not to dogmatise on this issue.

I can provide negative statements on the salvation of non-Orthodox by ROCOR clergy, but this is rather detracting from the thread, which is not about whether or not Metropolitan Bishoy is correct or not, or whether the Coptic Patriarchate should be criticised, which I guess is your underlying point.

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« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2009, 05:37:05 AM »

, or whether the Coptic Patriarchate should be criticised, which I guess is your underlying point.

On the contrary.  My point is simple. I hope it helps Sodr.  The Bishops of the Coptic Church have no unanimous teaching on the matter and so he is at liberty to assume one or other belief.

PS:  I am racking my brains to think of a statement from a ROCA bishop that the heterodox are excluded from salvation but I cannot think of any.  What and who do you have in mind?
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« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2009, 07:16:08 AM »

If you want verses against Protestantism, you can find better examples here:
Quote
Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle (2 Thessalonians 2:14)
Quote
6 And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received of us (2 Thessalonians 3:6)
These verses better preserve unchanged the doctrine of Holy Tradition against the Protestant principle of Sola Sciptura.
Imho the passage you quoted here in no ways portrays Protestantism as a Christian movement. It is a good statement, on the contrary, against all false teachers who hand down doctrines never thought of by the apostles following Christ's direct teaching...

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2009, 03:06:06 PM »

Quote
I don't think we should ever ask if a particular Protestant is saved, or members of any particular Protestant community. God is merciful and God will judge them as he chooses.
I'm not sure if we should withhold from asking such questions. I mean, we know that Mormonism or Jehovah's witness' are not Christians because they don't follow what Jesus taught, so why can't we ask the same thing for Protestants? What about Hindu's or Jews? Should we be saying only God can judge?

Irish Hermit, I've heard of that bishop before, not all bishops are infallible. I never want to reach the conclusion that this particular Christian cannot be saved, only God can judge. I want to see who has the possibility of salvation, and leave the rest to God... if that makes any sense to you.

Quote
If you want verses against Protestantism, you can find better examples here:
That was not my intention, I was trying to do the opposite by providing Matthew 5:19.
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« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2009, 04:27:32 PM »

Yes, only God can judge.

Indeed we are warned not to judge.

We may say that this or that system of theology or religion is deficient and even false. But we should not ask ourselves whether any person at all is 'saved'. That is entirely up to God.

I am sure that the Evangelicalism in which I was brought up was wrong about almost everything distinct which it taught, but it would be wrong, even sin, for me to start asking myself which of the people I grew up among is saved or lost. I cannot know, I should not ask.

I can certainly say that for all of the people I grew up with it would be a blessing for them to discover Orthodoxy, and that it is my responsibility and duty to share what I have received. I can certainly say that Orthodoxy offers the fulness of the Christian life. But I cannot say of any person, living or dead, that I know what their state is before God, and especially their eternal state.

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« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2009, 11:30:05 PM »

I've only skimmed this thread and I apologise if I have misunderstood the general thrust of the discussion or am bringing up something already raised.

Christ is speaking of the Mosaic Law in this verse, which seems clear from proceeding verses. "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil." 18: "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by now means pass from the law til all is fulfilled." He goes on to say in verse 20; "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." He then illustrates righteousness; discusses attitudes to others; doing outwardly righteous deeds whilst harbouring anger to a brother; and receiving judgement because of that. All this culminates in a call to love one's enemies so that one might be a son of our Father in heaven.

I don't see how the sacraments come into this - or how this verse is applicable to any loving Christian; whether Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant. Also, one should remember that some Protestants do indeed have the sacraments.

The Orthodox Study Bible comments:

5:17; Jesus fulfills the Law in His Person, words and actions by: (1) performing God's will in all its fullness (3:15; (2) transgressing none of the precepts of the Law (John 8:46; 14:30); (3) declaring the perfect fulfillment of the Law, which He was about to deliver to them; (4) granting righteousness - the goal of the Law - to us (Rom. 3:31; 8:3, 4: 10:4). He fulfills the Prophets by carrying out fully what they had foretold of Him.

5:18; Assuredly, is amen in Greek, meaning "verily", "of a truth", "so be it". Christ uses it as a solemn affirmation, a form of oath, even using it to preface certain proclamations. He takes an oath by Himself to underline the authority of His words. A jot is the smallest letter in the Greek and Hebrew alphabets; a tittle is the small stroke in certain Hebrew letters. Thus, the whole of the law is the foundation of the new teaching. It is fulfilled by Christ and will not pass away till heaven and earth pass away (Mark 13:31; Luke 16:17).

5:19; Righteousness which is according to the Law is a unified whole: the observance of the least of these secures the observance of the greatest, while the violation of the very least is equivalent to the violation of the greatest.
        To teach what one does not practice condemns the teacher (Rom 2:21); to do right without guiding others lessens the reward of righteousness. Jesus Himself set the doing before the teaching. We ought to do right and teach others, before we attempt to set others right.

5:20; Righteousness is more than proper behaviour, such as the scribes and the Pharisees were advocating, and holy thoughts. It centres on our relationship with God.


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« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2009, 01:20:20 AM »

, or whether the Coptic Patriarchate should be criticised, which I guess is your underlying point.

On the contrary.  My point is simple. I hope it helps Sodr.  The Bishops of the Coptic Church have no unanimous teaching on the matter and so he is at liberty to assume one or other belief.

Dear sodr2,

Please ignore Fr. Ambrose's failed attempt to undermine the Church. Our Church has been consistent on the subject for the past 2,000 years and continues to be so.

In following suit with the emphasis of the Tradition of the Church as clearly expressed in the last 2,000 years, beginning with the Holy Scriptures, and affirmed throughout the councils of the Church and the teachings of the Holy Fathers, the Church maintains that she alone is the Ark of Salvation outside of which no one should presume to find an alternative means of being saved. Not one of our heirarchs would dare to contradict this.

The very most that one can affirm in qualification, as the Church has done (as expressed through clergy like His Grace Bishop Youssef, His Grace Bishop Daniel, and our own Fr. Peter of this thread, to name just a few), is that in spite of the legitimacy of the general principle regarding the Church's Sacramental life being the world's exclusive means to the transfigured life, we should nevertheless not presume to judge any individual's salvation. This does not undermine the general principle that only through the Sacramental Life of the Church can one be saved, it simply denies our ability to usurp God's authority to so apply that general principle to individual cases; the most we can do is generalise, rather than absolutise with reference to particulars. In other words, we are in no position to qualify the meaning or implications of the aforementioned principle (as some, like Fr. Ambrose, falsely presume to do), so long as such qualification remains unsupported by the universal Tradition of the Church; we can only deny our ability to properly apply it regardless of how seemingly logical such an application seems.

Just remember, that the earliest and strictest of pronouncements regarding the necessity of the Sacraments to the believer's salvation come straight from the mouth of the Incarnate Word Himself:  "Most assuredly, I say to you, UNLESS you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." Please note that neither Christ nor any of His disciples, or any of His disciples' disciples, or their disciples, made any qualification to the effect of: "EXCEPTING those who sincerely try to live the truth as far as they know it, regardless of how far from that truth they may be." Our human sense of compassion and sympathy for all mankind--Orthodox and non-Orthodox, Christian and non-Christian, theist and non-theist--seems to compel us to draw such an exception and impose it on God's redemptive plan, but those who are truly honest about the Faith and who truly trust God's unfathomable Mercy and Compassion as being infinitely beyond our own capacities for such, cannot but admit that such a qualification cannot be legitimately rooted in the Tradition of the Church and would thus trust that even in the absence of such a qualification, God's ways and operations remain perfectly Just and Compassionate despite how our pitifully ignorant human minds are inclined to perceive the undeniable principle universally affirmed by the Church since time immemorial viz., that UNLESS (as per the Divine Words) man participates in the Sacramental Life of the Church he cannot be saved.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2009, 01:21:53 AM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
Fr James
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« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2009, 07:01:47 PM »

I see you are a Coptic Christian.  One of your Metropolitans has expressed a negative view of the salvation of Protestants

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Bishoy_(Nicola)_of_Damietta

Dear all, Peace and grace be with your spirit,
Not only HE Metropolitan Bishoy but also HH Pope Shenouda III has expressed Orthodox teachings towards heretics and protestant sects. In HH books regarding the "Heresy of salvation in a moment" HH clearly denounces the whole protestant ethos that salvation can come in an instant of an emotional "Jesus prayer" and HH book on the Priesthood 'clearly' affirms that protestants do not have Sacraments, no priesthood, no Eucharist etc and that these are the "means of grace" God effects for salvation. So I would say that the Orthodox understanding that there is "No salvation outside of the Ark of the Church" is well and truly upheld by the senior hierarchs of the blessed Coptic Orthodox Church.

Now in today's ecumenical minded west where clergymen have learned to hold their mouths or speak watered down double meaning gobbledegook so as to engender nice relations with both heretics and protestant sects, it should not come as a surprise to any Orthodox congregational member that there are still -some- Bishops of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church who speak exactly as it is and as they received from the Apostles of Christ.

As for the misuse of the term "do not judge, lest you yourself be judged" to which I reply with Christ's command "judge with righteous judgement" I refer the reader to the homily of St John Chrysostom "On Judging" in which he clearly and effectively elucidates the -orthodox- understanding of "Do not judge" as opposed to the -current protestant- use of it which seems to get bandied about a lot these days.

I find it ironic that so many are willing to -not judge righteously- the heresies of the Protestant sects which effectively attack Christ in the Sacraments but are willing to immediately -judge unrighteously- those hierarchs and Bishops who -do- proclaim Orthodox theology in this area and judge righteously that the Arianism, Nestorianism, Sabelliism and errors regarding the Christian priesthood and Orthodox Sacraments that are rife in -every- Protestant sect in one form or another (or all at the same time), a thing which St John Chrysostom denounces (that is attacking those above us in false judgement). I have attached links to the relevant sermon below some Biblical quotes.

Pray for me Christ's weakest servant.

James+

John 7:24
24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Romans 3:3-5
 3What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? 4Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written:
   "So that you may be proved right when you speak
      and prevail when you judge."


1 Corinthians 6:1-3
 1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

1 Corinthians 6:3-5
3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? 4 If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?


St John Chrysostom Homily on the topic:
http://books.google.com/books?id=ki8MAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA343&lpg=PA343&dq=john+chrysostom+homily+on+Judging&source=bl&ots=4_Gaw1hdqT&sig=sUufiSPNvasgT093Dda45l-sHc4&hl=en&ei=X_JkSpKTAoPuswPLn73fDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1

and:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/200123.htm
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