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Author Topic: Why Orthodox?  (Read 12962 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #90 on: August 14, 2009, 12:56:50 AM »

Quote
And what about the free will? As far as I know the Roman Catholics don’t hold any particular position on this crucial subject.

They definitely do. The Protestant Reformers such as Calvin adopted a mutant brand of Augustinism and embraced such concepts as "irresistable grace." This concept was anathemized at the Council of Trent. Yes, Virginia, you can resist grace. As those old Baltimore catechisms might put it, God wants you to know him and love him and serve him but you can resist him and his grace if you so choose.

I'm not defending the superiority of the Catholic position, merely stating that they have one, and it was staked out long ago in the Reformation era. Calvin, Luther and others, when they rejected the Catholic Church, sought to restore what they believed to be authentic early Christianity, and turned to Augustine and to misreadings of Paul. Thomistic theology had softened or modified much of that system and they were going right back to the source.

This brings up an interesting question that I have been thinking about lately. I used to be a Calvinist, and I was a huge Martin Luther fan. I have read many of Luther's works, and most of Calvin's Institutes. But my question is this: Why didn't Luther return to Orthodoxy? Did he not have access to the early Fathers? I know he relied primarily on Augustine, but Augustine was not that far from the early Fathers in his theology. Luther was not an iconoclast, and he revered Our Lady. I mean, if he was trying to return to authentic early Christianity, why didn't he? I have bee trying to figure this out. Can you guys explain?

Thanks.

Selam
« Last Edit: August 14, 2009, 12:57:42 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

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« Reply #91 on: August 14, 2009, 12:58:18 AM »

Given this, the period of time which can be clearly identified as the undivided church is significantly smaller. If we were to look only at the RCC and EOC, this period of time would be ~1,000 years. Now that we add in the OOC and ACE, it's really only ~400 years.

And even then, if you realize that the First Oecumenical Council was the first truly unifying factor on matters of doctrine and such, and that that occurred in Anno Domini 325,then you are maybe talking about ~100 years before the Assyrian Church of the East (Nestorian) split off from the Church, and even during this supposed period of unity for 100 years there were a variety of heresies floating around with plenty of followers, and the decrees of the first two councils hadn't been fully implemented and adopted across the board.  During the first 300 years of Christian history there were many groups and schools in different cities with different opinions on different matters.  Contrary to popular myth and sacred history, Christendom has always and will always be one huge mess of sects.
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« Reply #92 on: August 14, 2009, 01:07:34 AM »

"They definitely do. The Protestant Reformers such as Calvin adopted a mutant brand of Augustinism and embraced such concepts as "irresistable grace.""

If anything, Calvinism more closely represented the actual teachings of Augustine than Roman soteriology did. There's a reason that the system of the RCC as establish at the Council of Orange is called Semi-Augustinianism. This is because the RCC accepted a significant portion of the propositions of Augustine while rejecting some others. Luther and Calvin both sought to more fully hold to the whole teaching of Augustine, and it's easy to see that they succeeded in doing so.
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« Reply #93 on: August 14, 2009, 01:12:58 AM »

"Why didn't Luther return to Orthodoxy? Did he not have access to the early Fathers?"

It wasn't all that easy to communicate with the EO at that time. I'm sure Luther had access to the early Fathers. He probably did not have enough direction from modern Orthodox people to fully conform to the Fathers' teachings. However, some of his disciples shortly afterward did contact the Patriarch of Constantinople. They had about three back and forth letters where the Lutherans stubbornly defended all the teachings of the Augsburg Confession and Patriarch Jeremiah critically rejected some of them. This ultimately resulted in the Patriarch rejecting them as heretics.

"but Augustine was not that far from the early Fathers in his theology"

Are you serious? Unbaptized infants burn in eternal hellfire? God alone contributes to our salvation and we passively accept His grace? God is in essence comprehensible? None of this is consistent with the Eastern Fathers.
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« Reply #94 on: August 14, 2009, 01:27:54 AM »

"Why didn't Luther return to Orthodoxy? Did he not have access to the early Fathers?"

It wasn't all that easy to communicate with the EO at that time. I'm sure Luther had access to the early Fathers. He probably did not have enough direction from modern Orthodox people to fully conform to the Fathers' teachings. However, some of his disciples shortly afterward did contact the Patriarch of Constantinople. They had about three back and forth letters where the Lutherans stubbornly defended all the teachings of the Augsburg Confession and Patriarch Jeremiah critically rejected some of them. This ultimately resulted in the Patriarch rejecting them as heretics.

"but Augustine was not that far from the early Fathers in his theology"

Are you serious? Unbaptized infants burn in eternal hellfire? God alone contributes to our salvation and we passively accept His grace? God is in essence comprehensible? None of this is consistent with the Eastern Fathers.

Thank you for the explanation.

Regarding Augustine, I admit that I am not an expert. I enjoyed his Confessions immensely, and I've read sections of City of God. I know that Luther relied mostly on Augustinian theology. But because of the time in which Augustine lived, I was just guessing that he wasn't too radically different from Orthodox teaching. In fact, isn't Augustine considered Orthodox today by most Orthodox Christians? We can extrapolate abberant teachings from almost anyone. But just because Luther and Calvin took some of Augustine's teachings to the extreme doesn't mean we should reject Augustine altogether. But admittedly some of Augustine's beliefs were unOrthodox. Yet who of us can say we are completely Orthodox in all of our thinking, all of our speech, and all of our actions?

I need to revisit the correspondence between the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Augsburg confessors. Thanks for mentioning that.

Selam
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« Reply #95 on: August 14, 2009, 08:59:18 AM »

deusveritasest,
Quote
Yes, I do think it is (to some limitation) possible to determine what was the orthodoxy of the undivided Church. And yes, it would be possible to discuss that here. I have a couple of ways in my mind that one could do that. First, you could start with the base and foundation of the Church and work your way up determining what the Church taught until you get to the point where you have enough to compare to these 4 groups. You could also, however, try to figure out what are the core distinguishing issues between these churches, and then try to figure out which way the undivided Church "sided" so to speak. I tend towards the latter approach.

Great. I would love to try and hash it out then. I agree that your latter approach would probably be best--certainly easiest.

I am going to try and lay out a timeline and what I understand to be the big differences. Correct me if/when I am wrong. I am going to stick to what I think were the reasons that caused the splits and not focus on the subsequent differences due to a lack of council agreements and such. I think our next step should be to refine my list--I'm sure I have some details wrong. I'm sure some of what I wrote is going to be colored by my own Catholic glasses.

Assyrian Church separates (431)
  • As far as I can tell, and I know the least about the ACE, their only real issue was that they didn't want the Roman Emperor having any say in how they ran their church. So they split not because of doctrinal differences, but because of leadership and self governance.

Oriental Orthodox separates (451)
  • They seemed to disagree with the wording of Council of Chalcedon which explained that Jesus is of two natures. But it seems that in 2001 they determined they had no real disagreement in essence only in the wording.

Orthodox and Catholics split (1054)
  • I think the bottom line difference between the CC and the OC is their understanding of the papacy. The OC acknowledges a "first among equals" view of the papacy. The CC believes the pope, when speaking ex cathedra, has the same infallible binding power as the college of bishops.

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« Reply #96 on: August 14, 2009, 09:07:30 AM »

deusveritasest,
Quote
Yes, I do think it is (to some limitation) possible to determine what was the orthodoxy of the undivided Church. And yes, it would be possible to discuss that here. I have a couple of ways in my mind that one could do that. First, you could start with the base and foundation of the Church and work your way up determining what the Church taught until you get to the point where you have enough to compare to these 4 groups. You could also, however, try to figure out what are the core distinguishing issues between these churches, and then try to figure out which way the undivided Church "sided" so to speak. I tend towards the latter approach.

Great. I would love to try and hash it out then. I agree that your latter approach would probably be best--certainly easiest.

I am going to try and lay out a timeline and what I understand to be the big differences. Correct me if/when I am wrong. I am going to stick to what I think were the reasons that caused the splits and not focus on the subsequent differences due to a lack of council agreements and such. I think our next step should be to refine my list--I'm sure I have some details wrong. I'm sure some of what I wrote is going to be colored by my own Catholic glasses.

Assyrian Church separates (431)
  • As far as I can tell, and I know the least about the ACE, their only real issue was that they didn't want the Roman Emperor having any say in how they ran their church. So they split not because of doctrinal differences, but because of leadership and self governance.

No, they had and have a queasiness about the title "Theotokos," "Mother of God" etc and about Orthodox Christology in general.

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« Reply #97 on: August 14, 2009, 09:14:02 AM »

ialmisry,
I apologize. I did not know that. Can you point me to a document or article that lays out their differences.

Thank you.
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« Reply #98 on: August 14, 2009, 10:24:38 AM »

"Why didn't Luther return to Orthodoxy? Did he not have access to the early Fathers?"

In fact, isn't Augustine considered Orthodox today by most Orthodox Christians?

As far as I can tell, his position is equivocal at best - since he seems to be referred to mostly as "Blessed Augustine" by the Orthodox. One Ecumenical Council included him in a list with such Fathers as St. Athanasius, the St. Gregorys and St. John Chrysostom, but didn't mention his theology per se.

"More moderate views regard Augustine as (1) a theological writer who made too many mistakes to be included among the Church Fathers but still a saint, (2) a theological writer among many in the early Church (but not a saint), and (3) a theological writer with, perhaps, the title "Blessed" before his name. It should be noted, however, that the Orthodox Church has not traditionally ranked saints in terms of "blessed" or "saint" (i.e., suggesting that the latter has a greater degree of holiness than the former). Saint "rankings" are usually only differences in kind (e.g., monastics, married, bishops, martyrs, etc.), not in degree."

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« Reply #99 on: August 14, 2009, 12:41:04 PM »

ialmisry,
I apologize. I did not know that. Can you point me to a document or article that lays out their differences.

Thank you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestorianism
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« Reply #100 on: August 14, 2009, 01:14:51 PM »

"Why didn't Luther return to Orthodoxy? Did he not have access to the early Fathers?"

Not only was the distances impossible to overcome, but had the Eastern Church showed up it would have been considered poaching. Even though the Eastern and Western Church are split, there is still a modicum of protocol observed. It would have been like the Vatican sending missionaries to Greece. 
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« Reply #101 on: August 14, 2009, 03:04:20 PM »

ialmisry,
I apologize. I did not know that. Can you point me to a document or article that lays out their differences.

Thank you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestorianism

Thank you.
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« Reply #102 on: August 14, 2009, 03:10:40 PM »

Ok, I have updated my list. Hopefully I am closer to the truth now.

Assyrian Church separates (431)
  • The Assyrian Church believed Nestorius' claim that Jesus' two natures were joined in conjunction rather than hypostatic union.
  • The Assyrian Church also rejected the title of Theotokos given to the Blessed Mother.

Oriental Orthodox separates (451)
  • The Oriental Orthodox seemed to disagree with the wording of Council of Chalcedon which explained that Jesus is of two natures. But it seems that in 2001 they determined they had no real disagreement in essence only in the wording.

Orthodox and Catholics split (1054)
  • The bottom line difference between the CC and the OC is their understanding of the papacy. The OC acknowledges a "first among equals" view of the papacy. The CC believes the pope, when speaking ex cathedra, has the same infallible binding power as the college of bishops.
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« Reply #103 on: August 14, 2009, 03:42:51 PM »

"Why didn't Luther return to Orthodoxy? Did he not have access to the early Fathers?"

Not only was the distances impossible to overcome, but had the Eastern Church showed up it would have been considered poaching. Even though the Eastern and Western Church are split, there is still a modicum of protocol observed. It would have been like the Vatican sending missionaries to Greece. 
This tells a slightly different story: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/tca_luther.aspx
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« Reply #104 on: August 14, 2009, 03:49:18 PM »

"Why didn't Luther return to Orthodoxy? Did he not have access to the early Fathers?"

Not only was the distances impossible to overcome, but had the Eastern Church showed up it would have been considered poaching. Even though the Eastern and Western Church are split, there is still a modicum of protocol observed. It would have been like the Vatican sending missionaries to Greece. 
This tells a slightly different story: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/tca_luther.aspx

Please see my response here.
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« Reply #105 on: August 14, 2009, 07:48:45 PM »

Ok, I have updated my list. Hopefully I am closer to the truth now.

Assyrian Church separates (431)
  • The Assyrian Church believed Nestorius' claim that Jesus' two natures were joined in conjunction rather than hypostatic union.
  • The Assyrian Church also rejected the title of Theotokos given to the Blessed Mother.

Oriental Orthodox separates (451)
  • The Oriental Orthodox seemed to disagree with the wording of Council of Chalcedon which explained that Jesus is of two natures. But it seems that in 2001 they determined they had no real disagreement in essence only in the wording.

Orthodox and Catholics split (1054)
  • The bottom line difference between the CC and the OC is their understanding of the papacy. The OC acknowledges a "first among equals" view of the papacy. The CC believes the pope, when speaking ex cathedra, has the same infallible binding power as the college of bishops.

Can you please explain what you mean by "Oriental Orthodox separates?" I'm not trying to cause trouble, but from our perspective those that affirmed Chalcedonian Christology separated from us.

Selam
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« Reply #106 on: August 14, 2009, 09:27:00 PM »

Quote
Can you please explain what you mean by "Oriental Orthodox separates?" I'm not trying to cause trouble, but from our perspective those that affirmed Chalcedonian Christology separated from us.

Well, I guess I just struggled for a good way to put it. I don't have a name for the Church that existed before the Church broke into two pieces. As a Catholic, I would tend to call it the Catholic Church. As an Oriental Orthodox, you might call it the Oriental Orthodox Church. So I chose, for the sake of discussion, to assume that all of the Apostolic churches were branches off the same nameless trunk. Now, I realize this is another issue entirely, but it if I chose any other Church as the trunk, then I feared I would offend everyone else.

What would be the preferred terminology for you? How would you word it and would it help this dialog?

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« Reply #107 on: August 14, 2009, 11:53:14 PM »

Quote
Can you please explain what you mean by "Oriental Orthodox separates?" I'm not trying to cause trouble, but from our perspective those that affirmed Chalcedonian Christology separated from us.

Well, I guess I just struggled for a good way to put it. I don't have a name for the Church that existed before the Church broke into two pieces. As a Catholic, I would tend to call it the Catholic Church. As an Oriental Orthodox, you might call it the Oriental Orthodox Church. So I chose, for the sake of discussion, to assume that all of the Apostolic churches were branches off the same nameless trunk. Now, I realize this is another issue entirely, but it if I chose any other Church as the trunk, then I feared I would offend everyone else.

What would be the preferred terminology for you? How would you word it and would it help this dialog?



I think your explanation is fair enough. OO, EO, and RC are all going to claim to be the original Church, and each will have good arguments to support their claim. There are other more qualified OO representatives than myself to defend the OO claim. But I would just argue that pre-Chalcedonian Christology is earlier and more theologically accurate than post-Chalcedonian Christology. Now the fact that it is earlier is without question, but its theological accuracy will always be disputed by RC and EO. I don't want to argue about such matters, as it hinders Christian unity. But I also have to defend pre-Chalcedonian Christology, since it is central to the teachings of my Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Faith.

Peace to you.

Selam   
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« Reply #108 on: August 15, 2009, 04:18:08 AM »

There is sth very important here. Is there one catholique saint after the schism? I mean having recognisable charismas of the Holy Spirit -as those mentioned in New Testament, e.g.... There have certainly been great personalities, in abundance maybe, in rc community, -and some I greatly admire, btw- but they unfortunately certainly did not have the fruit of the Spirit, and, in addition to that, I'm afraid that this lack of Grace is even theologically justified......  Smiley
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« Reply #109 on: August 15, 2009, 11:51:59 AM »

I think your explanation is fair enough. OO, EO, and RC are all going to claim to be the original Church, and each will have good arguments to support their claim. There are other more qualified OO representatives than myself to defend the OO claim. But I would just argue that pre-Chalcedonian Christology is earlier and more theologically accurate than post-Chalcedonian Christology. Now the fact that it is earlier is without question, but its theological accuracy will always be disputed by RC and EO. I don't want to argue about such matters, as it hinders Christian unity. But I also have to defend pre-Chalcedonian Christology, since it is central to the teachings of my Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Faith.

Peace to you.

Selam   

Good. I am glad. Thank you.
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« Reply #110 on: August 15, 2009, 11:56:29 AM »

There is sth very important here. Is there one catholique saint after the schism? I mean having recognisable charismas of the Holy Spirit -as those mentioned in New Testament, e.g.... There have certainly been great personalities, in abundance maybe, in rc community, -and some I greatly admire, btw- but they unfortunately certainly did not have the fruit of the Spirit, and, in addition to that, I'm afraid that this lack of Grace is even theologically justified......  Smiley

philalethe00,
I'm not sure I follow your argument exactly. But if you are suggesting there have been no Catholic saints who possess the fruit of the Spirit, this is certainly not true. St. Padre Pio immediately comes to my mind. But there are many others. In fact, I think you would find it impossible to find a Catholic saint that did not exude the fruit of the Spirit. Could you be more specific in your claim?

Thank you.
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« Reply #111 on: August 19, 2009, 05:34:21 AM »

One thing that led me to Orthodoxy is its emphasis on Divine Mystery. Orthodoxy is not irrational, but it is not confined by the rigid logic of Western epistemology.


This.

I had admired Orthodoxy for a long time but as a table-pounding atheist I couldn't allow myself to fall into "error", no matter how much I liked it.

Believe it or not reading Derrida and the other postmodern deconstructionists finally convinced me.  Once I finally got what he was saying I realized just how goofy pure reason is (if you want to hear about those arguments let me know because I can talk about them forever.)

Suffice to say I deeply mistrust pure reason now and I'm repelled by churches that try to convince you they're right with a good knock-down argument.  Orthodoxy never ever does that.

Other reasons-

- The Orthodox church is the one established by Christ himself and has not changed substantially in 2000 years.  That's simply amazing.  It's so amazing I doubt it can be done guided by men alone.

- Orthodoxy is more Christ-centered than I ever imagined a church could be.  Other churches (especially the Protestants) spend most of their time talking about how the other churches are wrong which leaves very little time to talk about what's important.

- I used to be adamantly anti-ritual and I was confused by all the feasts and fasts (what, you mean there's another one?) but now I absolutely love them.  Love fasting, love bowing, love crossing myself.  Religion that you keep only in your mind and whisper into your pillow every night is no kind of religion at all.   It needs to be front and center so its an inseparable part of who you are.  The rituals carry so much meaning with them too.  If a picture is worth a thousand words an action you witness or perform yourself is worth millions.  Rituals are civilization, don't let anyone tell you different.
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« Reply #112 on: August 19, 2009, 07:33:16 PM »

One thing that led me to Orthodoxy is its emphasis on Divine Mystery. Orthodoxy is not irrational, but it is not confined by the rigid logic of Western epistemology.


This.

I had admired Orthodoxy for a long time but as a table-pounding atheist I couldn't allow myself to fall into "error", no matter how much I liked it.

Believe it or not reading Derrida and the other postmodern deconstructionists finally convinced me.  Once I finally got what he was saying I realized just how goofy pure reason is (if you want to hear about those arguments let me know because I can talk about them forever.)

Suffice to say I deeply mistrust pure reason now and I'm repelled by churches that try to convince you they're right with a good knock-down argument.  Orthodoxy never ever does that.

Other reasons-

- The Orthodox church is the one established by Christ himself and has not changed substantially in 2000 years.  That's simply amazing.  It's so amazing I doubt it can be done guided by men alone.

- Orthodoxy is more Christ-centered than I ever imagined a church could be.  Other churches (especially the Protestants) spend most of their time talking about how the other churches are wrong which leaves very little time to talk about what's important.

- I used to be adamantly anti-ritual and I was confused by all the feasts and fasts (what, you mean there's another one?) but now I absolutely love them.  Love fasting, love bowing, love crossing myself.  Religion that you keep only in your mind and whisper into your pillow every night is no kind of religion at all.   It needs to be front and center so its an inseparable part of who you are.  The rituals carry so much meaning with them too.  If a picture is worth a thousand words an action you witness or perform yourself is worth millions.  Rituals are civilization, don't let anyone tell you different.

Wonderfully stated!

Selam
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« Reply #113 on: January 24, 2010, 12:36:36 PM »

It is going to be difficult for me to attend a Divine Liturgy on Sunday--at least while still Catholic. I see that there are other services on Saturday and during the week. Which should I attend? Which would give me a good sense of the church?

Thanks
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« Reply #114 on: January 24, 2010, 04:12:17 PM »

Ok, I have updated my list. Hopefully I am closer to the truth now.

Assyrian Church separates (431)
  • The Assyrian Church believed Nestorius' claim that Jesus' two natures were joined in conjunction rather than hypostatic union.
  • The Assyrian Church also rejected the title of Theotokos given to the Blessed Mother.

Oriental Orthodox separates (451)
  • The Oriental Orthodox seemed to disagree with the wording of Council of Chalcedon which explained that Jesus is of two natures. But it seems that in 2001 they determined they had no real disagreement in essence only in the wording.

Orthodox and Catholics split (1054)
  • The bottom line difference between the CC and the OC is their understanding of the papacy. The OC acknowledges a "first among equals" view of the papacy. The CC believes the pope, when speaking ex cathedra, has the same infallible binding power as the college of bishops.

Can you please explain what you mean by "Oriental Orthodox separates?" I'm not trying to cause trouble, but from our perspective those that affirmed Chalcedonian Christology separated from us.

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Estranged is more like it. And the EO (at least some of us) acknowledge that the OO were not and are not Monophysite nor supporters of Eutyches.  The EO were rather high handed in how they handled the situation. 
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« Reply #115 on: January 24, 2010, 08:10:04 PM »

It is going to be difficult for me to attend a Divine Liturgy on Sunday--at least while still Catholic. I see that there are other services on Saturday and during the week. Which should I attend? Which would give me a good sense of the church?

Thanks

If you don't have a lot of experience with Orthodox services(?) Vespers on Saturday is probably a nice entry, as it's only half as long as long as a Divine Liturgy, and it doesn't have things like communion, which might (or might not) raise issues in you about having to go without communion while you're a catechumen.
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« Reply #116 on: January 24, 2010, 08:14:59 PM »

It is going to be difficult for me to attend a Divine Liturgy on Sunday--at least while still Catholic. I see that there are other services on Saturday and during the week. Which should I attend? Which would give me a good sense of the church?

Thanks

If you don't have a lot of experience with Orthodox services(?) Vespers on Saturday is probably a nice entry, as it's only half as long as long as a Divine Liturgy, and it doesn't have things like communion, which might (or might not) raise issues in you about having to go without communion while you're a catechumen.

Not quite. Greek and Antiochian churches have a Saturday night vespers, but, in most cases, Slavic (Russian, etc) churches hold a Vigil (Vespers and Matins) on Saturday nights. In most cases, a parish vigil runs for about two and a half hours. So it would depend on which church militantsparrow is likely to attend.
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« Reply #117 on: January 24, 2010, 08:21:34 PM »

It is going to be difficult for me to attend a Divine Liturgy on Sunday--at least while still Catholic. I see that there are other services on Saturday and during the week. Which should I attend? Which would give me a good sense of the church?

Thanks
Asteriktos has already given some good advice, but let me add that Lent and Holy Week are fast approaching. Most parishes will have at least one more Liturgy on Wednesday evenings, a Friday evening service, and a whole range of services each evening of Holy Week with  some in the morning and afternoon.
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« Reply #118 on: January 24, 2010, 08:33:36 PM »

Given this, the period of time which can be clearly identified as the undivided church is significantly smaller. If we were to look only at the RCC and EOC, this period of time would be ~1,000 years. Now that we add in the OOC and ACE, it's really only ~400 years.

And even then, if you realize that the First Oecumenical Council was the first truly unifying factor on matters of doctrine and such, and that that occurred in Anno Domini 325,then you are maybe talking about ~100 years before the Assyrian Church of the East (Nestorian) split off from the Church, and even during this supposed period of unity for 100 years there were a variety of heresies floating around with plenty of followers, and the decrees of the first two councils hadn't been fully implemented and adopted across the board.  During the first 300 years of Christian history there were many groups and schools in different cities with different opinions on different matters.  Contrary to popular myth and sacred history, Christendom has always and will always be one huge mess of sects.

However, because none of those groups from the early centuries ever lasted as a long-term schism, none of them are worth taking into consideration as to what is the Church of Christ today up until the schism with the Assyrian Church of the East.
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« Reply #119 on: January 24, 2010, 08:36:13 PM »


Thank you for the explanation.

Regarding Augustine, I admit that I am not an expert. I enjoyed his Confessions immensely, and I've read sections of City of God. I know that Luther relied mostly on Augustinian theology. But because of the time in which Augustine lived, I was just guessing that he wasn't too radically different from Orthodox teaching. In fact, isn't Augustine considered Orthodox today by most Orthodox Christians? We can extrapolate abberant teachings from almost anyone. But just because Luther and Calvin took some of Augustine's teachings to the extreme doesn't mean we should reject Augustine altogether. But admittedly some of Augustine's beliefs were unOrthodox. Yet who of us can say we are completely Orthodox in all of our thinking, all of our speech, and all of our actions?

I need to revisit the correspondence between the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Augsburg confessors. Thanks for mentioning that.

Selam

I'm willing to admit that Augustine definitely lived the faith better than I have so far. And I wouldn't go so far as to cast him out from the Church or say that he is not a Saint. But he really was significantly far from doctrinal purity in comparison to most of the Fathers.
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« Reply #120 on: January 24, 2010, 08:47:32 PM »


Assyrian Church separates (431)
  • As far as I can tell, and I know the least about the ACE, their only real issue was that they didn't want the Roman Emperor having any say in how they ran their church. So they split not because of doctrinal differences, but because of leadership and self governance.

This is true. They had a major council in 424 where they rejected any dependency upon or responsibility to the ecumenical church. They even went so far as to say that the only possible judge of the Catholicos-Patriarch of Seleucia is Christ Himself, and that the members of the Church of the East should never take complaints about him to the churches of the Empire. I view the moves of this council as schismatic, and thus that the break of the ACE predates the Nestorian controversy. However, I think their explicit adoption of the faith of Theodore of Mopsuestia is worth taking into consideration as to whether they are the original church or not.


Oriental Orthodox separates (451)
  • They seemed to disagree with the wording of Council of Chalcedon which explained that Jesus is of two natures. But it seems that in 2001 they determined they had no real disagreement in essence only in the wording.

Actually, it is not "of/from (they were the same word at the time) two natures" that we objected to. That was an explicitly Cyrillian formula. It was rather the "in two natures" derived from the Tome of Leo.

A committee of EO & OO agreed that these two parties had no substantial differences in faith. So many EO & OO now will say this. However, they mostly would not say the same about themselves with respect to the ACE or RC. Also, there are significant parties who do not entirely agree with that committee or who think that its work was not enough to establish that fact. Furthermore, there is a current in OO thought that regards the EO as orthodox now, but not after the Council of Chalcedon, it having fixed itself only in 553 as a result of the Second Council of Constantinople, this meaning that the EO lack complete doctrinal continuity. I am personally of that frame of mind.


Orthodox and Catholics split (1054)
  • I think the bottom line difference between the CC and the OC is their understanding of the papacy. The OC acknowledges a "first among equals" view of the papacy. The CC believes the pope, when speaking ex cathedra, has the same infallible binding power as the college of bishops.

In case it hasn't been made clear, we vehemently disagree as to the nature of the causation of the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #121 on: January 24, 2010, 08:51:01 PM »


  • The Assyrian Church believed Nestorius' claim that Jesus' two natures were joined in conjunction rather than hypostatic union.

Which of course further means that they believe that Jesus had two hypostases and that they were joined by conjunction, or as sometimes phrased a "prosopic union".
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« Reply #122 on: January 24, 2010, 08:55:20 PM »


since it is central to the teachings of my Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Faith.

Why do you sooner identify your faith as Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo than as Oriental Orthodox?
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« Reply #123 on: January 24, 2010, 09:41:37 PM »

Thank you. I'm going to make it to one soon. Holy week may work out well.
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« Reply #124 on: January 24, 2010, 09:49:27 PM »

Not quite. Greek and Antiochian churches have a Saturday night vespers, but, in most cases, Slavic (Russian, etc) churches hold a Vigil (Vespers and Matins) on Saturday nights. In most cases, a parish vigil runs for about two and a half hours. So it would depend on which church militantsparrow is likely to attend.

Thanks for correcting that. My experience with vespers is mainly limited to just a few parishes, two of which are Antiochian, so I should have been more careful in what I said.
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« Reply #125 on: January 25, 2010, 06:40:47 PM »


since it is central to the teachings of my Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Faith.

Why do you sooner identify your faith as Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo than as Oriental Orthodox?


I guess only because I am more familiar with my own EOTC Faith than with the other Non-Chalcedonaian Churches. But we Non-Chalcedonians are all still "Tewahedo" Churches.


Selam
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« Reply #126 on: January 25, 2010, 08:16:12 PM »


since it is central to the teachings of my Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Faith.

Why do you sooner identify your faith as Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo than as Oriental Orthodox?


I guess only because I am more familiar with my own EOTC Faith than with the other Non-Chalcedonaian Churches. But we Non-Chalcedonians are all still "Tewahedo" Churches.


Selam
What does "Tewahedo" mean?
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« Reply #127 on: January 25, 2010, 08:28:00 PM »

What does "Tewahedo" mean?

It means "to become one" or "oneness", with reference to the unity of Christ's human and divine natures.
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« Reply #128 on: January 25, 2010, 08:28:45 PM »

What does "Tewahedo" mean?

It means "to become one" or "oneness", with reference to the unity of Christ's human and divine natures.
Very cool.
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« Reply #129 on: January 25, 2010, 09:10:57 PM »


since it is central to the teachings of my Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Faith.

Why do you sooner identify your faith as Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo than as Oriental Orthodox?


I guess only because I am more familiar with my own EOTC Faith than with the other Non-Chalcedonaian Churches. But we Non-Chalcedonians are all still "Tewahedo" Churches.


Selam

But isn't the faith of the EOTC the same as the other OO churches?
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« Reply #130 on: January 25, 2010, 11:44:47 PM »


since it is central to the teachings of my Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Faith.

Why do you sooner identify your faith as Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo than as Oriental Orthodox?


I guess only because I am more familiar with my own EOTC Faith than with the other Non-Chalcedonaian Churches. But we Non-Chalcedonians are all still "Tewahedo" Churches.


Selam

But isn't the faith of the EOTC the same as the other OO churches?

Didn't I just say that? (See highligthed part above in red.)


Selam
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« Reply #131 on: January 26, 2010, 02:30:04 AM »


since it is central to the teachings of my Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Faith.

Why do you sooner identify your faith as Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo than as Oriental Orthodox?


I guess only because I am more familiar with my own EOTC Faith than with the other Non-Chalcedonaian Churches. But we Non-Chalcedonians are all still "Tewahedo" Churches.


Selam

But isn't the faith of the EOTC the same as the other OO churches?

Didn't I just say that? (See highligthed part above in red.)


Selam

The sentence before it has me confused. You said that you knew the EOTC faith more than other Non-Chalcedonian churches. Which made it sound as if you were making a distinction between the faith of the EOTC and that of the other Oriental Orthodox churches.
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« Reply #132 on: January 26, 2010, 05:58:44 AM »


since it is central to the teachings of my Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Faith.

Why do you sooner identify your faith as Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo than as Oriental Orthodox?


I guess only because I am more familiar with my own EOTC Faith than with the other Non-Chalcedonaian Churches. But we Non-Chalcedonians are all still "Tewahedo" Churches.


Selam

But isn't the faith of the EOTC the same as the other OO churches?

Didn't I just say that? (See highligthed part above in red.)


Selam

The sentence before it has me confused. You said that you knew the EOTC faith more than other Non-Chalcedonian churches. Which made it sound as if you were making a distinction between the faith of the EOTC and that of the other Oriental Orthodox churches.

Well, personally, I will always look first and foremost to the ancient Faith of Ethiopia. Although all Non-Chalcedonian Churches are One - and in my opinion so are all Orthodox Churches, EO and OO alike - I nevertheless view my EOTC Faith as the most trustworthy foundation of spiritual Truth. His Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I guided me to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and thus I look primarily to its Teachings and Traditions.


Selam
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« Reply #133 on: January 26, 2010, 06:19:23 AM »


since it is central to the teachings of my Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Faith.

Why do you sooner identify your faith as Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo than as Oriental Orthodox?


I guess only because I am more familiar with my own EOTC Faith than with the other Non-Chalcedonaian Churches. But we Non-Chalcedonians are all still "Tewahedo" Churches.


Selam

But isn't the faith of the EOTC the same as the other OO churches?

Didn't I just say that? (See highligthed part above in red.)


Selam

The sentence before it has me confused. You said that you knew the EOTC faith more than other Non-Chalcedonian churches. Which made it sound as if you were making a distinction between the faith of the EOTC and that of the other Oriental Orthodox churches.

Well, personally, I will always look first and foremost to the ancient Faith of Ethiopia. Although all Non-Chalcedonian Churches are One - and in my opinion so are all Orthodox Churches, EO and OO alike - I nevertheless view my EOTC Faith as the most trustworthy foundation of spiritual Truth. His Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I guided me to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and thus I look primarily to its Teachings and Traditions.


Selam

That is understandable. You see the EOTC as the most reliable source of the orthodox faith, though it be possessed also by other churches.
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« Reply #134 on: January 26, 2010, 07:11:22 AM »

Well, personally, I will always look first and foremost to the ancient Faith of Ethiopia.

How prevalent is this kind of identification among OO? Does people tend to identify through their local churches?
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