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Offline Aaron6127

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Joint-Prayer Services
« on: January 01, 2015, 07:31:27 PM »
I have a question in regards to a topic which I'm sure has been brought up ad nauseam, but will ask anyways since I'm genuinely curious. I recently argued with an Old Calendarist over ecumenism and had difficulty in defending the Orthodox churches in regards to the topic of joint-prayer services. I explained how ultimately these are viewed as a means to an end which is an attempt to bring people into the fold of Orthodoxy and therefore an economia, but I did not feel this to be a very adequate explanation. He brought up the canons which explicitly forbid prayer with heretics emphasizing how it means any and all prayer, not just simply liturgizing and serving together.
 
What exactly is a good defense against these people that basically call us heretics over joint-prayer services in which certain churches participate?
"As a pilot calls on winds and a storm-tossed mariner looks homeward, so the times call on you to win your way to God. As God's athlete, be sober; the stake is immortality and eternal life." - St. Ignatius of Antioch

Offline IXOYE

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2015, 08:26:58 PM »
Welcome to the forum!


Unfortunately, I cannot give any defense of your position.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2015, 09:17:20 PM »

So....when the apostles asked Christ how they should pray...Christ sat down and recited the Lord's Prayer.

Christ didn't tell them to not pray, unless they were "with their own kind".  In fact, when Christ uttered the prayer, I bet there were non-believers present.

The danger of praying with others....isn't so much praying "with" others, as it is growing to "accept" that the others might have a grain of truth, or be fine the way they are...or perhaps even the weak believer might find them more interesting and leave the Church....in addition, to giving the "others" a semblance of credibility for joining them in prayer to their false deity, etc.

In other words, don't pray with a Muslim before they break their fast on Ramadan, because by joining, you are stating that their God is your God...which is not true.

Certainly, don't pray with Hindus or Buddhists, etc.  ....but, feel free to pray for them.

However, if you are praying with other jurisdictions of Orthodoxy, old calendar, new calendar, OO, etc....this shouldn't be as problematic....as we do all serve the same God, we merely have administrative, clerical issues, as well as dogma that needs to be worked out...and by joining our brothers we stand a chance of helping them, without losing ourselves.

Praying with a "new" calendar parish, isn't going to make me want to leave my "old" calendar church....but, it will unite both parishes as one family...which they truly are.
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Offline kelly

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2015, 09:33:22 PM »

So....when the apostles asked Christ how they should pray...Christ sat down and recited the Lord's Prayer.

Christ didn't tell them to not pray, unless they were "with their own kind".  In fact, when Christ uttered the prayer, I bet there were non-believers present.

The danger of praying with others....isn't so much praying "with" others, as it is growing to "accept" that the others might have a grain of truth, or be fine the way they are...or perhaps even the weak believer might find them more interesting and leave the Church....in addition, to giving the "others" a semblance of credibility for joining them in prayer to their false deity, etc.

In other words, don't pray with a Muslim before they break their fast on Ramadan, because by joining, you are stating that their God is your God...which is not true.

Certainly, don't pray with Hindus or Buddhists, etc.  ....but, feel free to pray for them.

However, if you are praying with other jurisdictions of Orthodoxy, old calendar, new calendar, OO, etc....this shouldn't be as problematic....as we do all serve the same God, we merely have administrative, clerical issues, as well as dogma that needs to be worked out...and by joining our brothers we stand a chance of helping them, without losing ourselves.

Praying with a "new" calendar parish, isn't going to make me want to leave my "old" calendar church....but, it will unite both parishes as one family...which they truly are.


Beautiful post!
"But we must live in the world, having peace in our soul. We must live amidst strangers; we must suffer, struggle, and firmly believe. We must seek our consolation in prayer and not doubt the love and compassion of God. He is above everyone and everything."

Offline IXOYE

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2015, 09:43:10 PM »

So....when the apostles asked Christ how they should pray...Christ sat down and recited the Lord's Prayer.

Christ didn't tell them to not pray, unless they were "with their own kind".  In fact, when Christ uttered the prayer, I bet there were non-believers present.

The danger of praying with others....isn't so much praying "with" others, as it is growing to "accept" that the others might have a grain of truth, or be fine the way they are...or perhaps even the weak believer might find them more interesting and leave the Church....in addition, to giving the "others" a semblance of credibility for joining them in prayer to their false deity, etc.

In other words, don't pray with a Muslim before they break their fast on Ramadan, because by joining, you are stating that their God is your God...which is not true.

Certainly, don't pray with Hindus or Buddhists, etc.  ....but, feel free to pray for them.

However, if you are praying with other jurisdictions of Orthodoxy, old calendar, new calendar, OO, etc....this shouldn't be as problematic....as we do all serve the same God, we merely have administrative, clerical issues, as well as dogma that needs to be worked out...and by joining our brothers we stand a chance of helping them, without losing ourselves.

Praying with a "new" calendar parish, isn't going to make me want to leave my "old" calendar church....but, it will unite both parishes as one family...which they truly are.


I believe the question posed by Aaron6127 refers to joint prayers with Orthodox and non-Orthodox, not old calendar or new calendar.


Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2015, 09:54:23 PM »
LizaSymonenko post is a +1
and is true, accurate and correct. Consider her response to be responsible, civil, good and understandable.

I, OTOH, am a barbarian and new to being almost & barely human.
Talk to your priest and ask, "Does our Bishop pray with others"?  Not heretics etc., but other Orthodox flavors, like ROCOR or Antiochian or OCA and if the response is close to "NO, NEVER, THEY MIGHT AS WELL BE PAGANS or ANATHEMA" or some such negativity, then find another church if one is available in your region.
Of course this is my 2 cents and should be ignored if not discarded.
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Offline TheMathematician

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2015, 10:08:39 PM »
LizaSymonenko post is a +1
and is true, accurate and correct. Consider her response to be responsible, civil, good and understandable.

I, OTOH, am a barbarian and new to being almost & barely human.
Talk to your priest and ask, "Does our Bishop pray with others"?  Not heretics etc., but other Orthodox flavors, like ROCOR or Antiochian or OCA and if the response is close to "NO, NEVER, THEY MIGHT AS WELL BE PAGANS or ANATHEMA" or some such negativity, then find another church if one is available in your region.
Of course this is my 2 cents and should be ignored if not discarded.

My baptismal ROCOR parish had and has no problems with the pan-Orthodox vespers held in Buffalo during lent.

Offline Aaron6127

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2015, 10:20:14 PM »
Thanks for the replies everyone, but I'm referring to ecumenical joint prayers with non-Orthodox. Pardon my lack of clarity
"As a pilot calls on winds and a storm-tossed mariner looks homeward, so the times call on you to win your way to God. As God's athlete, be sober; the stake is immortality and eternal life." - St. Ignatius of Antioch

Offline Aaron6127

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2015, 10:21:38 PM »
.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 10:22:17 PM by Aaron6127 »
"As a pilot calls on winds and a storm-tossed mariner looks homeward, so the times call on you to win your way to God. As God's athlete, be sober; the stake is immortality and eternal life." - St. Ignatius of Antioch

Offline TheMathematician

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2015, 10:25:46 PM »
Thanks for the replies everyone, but I'm referring to ecumenical joint prayers with non-Orthodox. Pardon my lack of clarity

I apologize for my continuation of the tangent


As to your question: It depends on interpretation, to be honest. Anything that would give the impression that we are equal or the like should be, in my opinion, avoided.

We ESPECIALLY cannot be celebrating liturgy together whenever we are not in communion with each other, and that goes for groups such as the Old Calendarist churches(HOTCA and the like), the OO(such as the Copts), and any other group, including the RCC and others. (I am not and do not presume to speak to their Orthodoxy or not, but we are simply not in Communion with them)

However, we should not be afraid to conduct our own liturgy because a roman bishop, such as Francis of Rome or Malone of Buffalo, is in attendance, even though it can be construed ass praying with heretics.

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Offline Aaron6127

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2015, 01:28:32 AM »
"As a pilot calls on winds and a storm-tossed mariner looks homeward, so the times call on you to win your way to God. As God's athlete, be sober; the stake is immortality and eternal life." - St. Ignatius of Antioch

Offline TheMathematician

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2015, 01:44:14 AM »
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5541.msg1238460.html#msg1238460

;)

Excuse my obliviousness, but what was the purpose in that link in regards to my question?

That I would suppose would be a rebuttal of sorts to my closing points, which I shall graciously take into account

Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2015, 09:57:47 AM »
Thanks for the replies everyone, but I'm referring to ecumenical joint prayers with non-Orthodox. Pardon my lack of clarity

I apologize for my continuation of the tangent
As to your question: It depends on interpretation, to be honest. Anything that would give the impression that we are equal or the like should be, in my opinion, avoided.

We ESPECIALLY cannot be celebrating liturgy together whenever we are not in communion with each other, and that goes for groups such as the Old Calendarist churches(HOTCA and the like), the OO(such as the Copts), and any other group, including the RCC and others. (I am not and do not presume to speak to their Orthodoxy or not, but we are simply not in Communion with them)

However, we should not be afraid to conduct our own liturgy because a roman bishop, such as Francis of Rome or Malone of Buffalo, is in attendance, even though it can be construed ass praying with heretics.

For the ignorant, what is "be in communion with" mean?
We walk the same Earth, so are we not in "communion" with them at some point? So we should kill them because we are not in "total communion"?
Sorry, but such language chills me.... so does "we are not equal"......before God?
This separation just inflames my passions. As does the loose language we all use.
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Offline Pravoslavac

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2015, 10:15:42 AM »
I have a question in regards to a topic which I'm sure has been brought up ad nauseam, but will ask anyways since I'm genuinely curious. I recently argued with an Old Calendarist over ecumenism and had difficulty in defending the Orthodox churches in regards to the topic of joint-prayer services. I explained how ultimately these are viewed as a means to an end which is an attempt to bring people into the fold of Orthodoxy and therefore an economia, but I did not feel this to be a very adequate explanation. He brought up the canons which explicitly forbid prayer with heretics emphasizing how it means any and all prayer, not just simply liturgizing and serving together.
 
What exactly is a good defense against these people that basically call us heretics over joint-prayer services in which certain churches participate?

Praying with heretics is heresy. Simple as that. Arguments that are advocating joint prayers are pathetic.
At the end, all come to the Mother Church.

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2015, 10:24:53 AM »
In other words, don't pray with a Muslim before they break their fast on Ramadan, because by joining, you are stating that their God is your God...which is not true.

And if we're going to state this so definitively about Muslims, then don't pray with people who believe that this is the Holy Spirit at work, because by joining, you are stating that their god is your God...which is not true.

And don't pray with people who believe that this is God, because by joining, you are stating that their god is your God...which is not true.
My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.

Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2015, 11:00:41 AM »
In other words, don't pray with a Muslim before they break their fast on Ramadan, because by joining, you are stating that their God is your God...which is not true.

And if we're going to state this so definitively about Muslims, then don't pray with people who believe that this is the Holy Spirit at work, because by joining, you are stating that their god is your God...which is not true.

And don't pray with people who believe that this is God, because by joining, you are stating that their god is your God...which is not true.

A.N.,
I will never know if all that stuff on Mormonism is what they believe....really! not EVEN off the charts....not a chart at all, but it is what they believe, so some respect is due.
As for us on Earth, they are a good people AFAIK.
As for the Evangelicals in the previous site, they too are good people and maybe "worshipping" is not what they are doing, no? Seems they are emoting and that is not a bad thing....though I could not watch it all as that is not my cup 'o tea. I can not deny that "their God is not our God", just as my apple tree is not your peach. Or that the Holy Spirit's discernment is mine. We will not judge.

As for the word "worshipping" for others, I mostly appear foolish, but when it comes to Muslims, I am not, nor with many other flavors of religions & cults removed from Christianity, even those claiming to be so.
No need to worry if most will pray with Hindus, Muslims, etc.
If we must worry and pray, then it is for people who are better than the nihilism they do not know they profess but live, for people who do not follow pagans, supersititions and false gods, it is for those who follow sports, news and entertainment. If we can get those folks into our Temples then the few other ones identified above will be minor.
Mark 14:36
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Offline jah777

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2015, 11:45:20 AM »
I have a question in regards to a topic which I'm sure has been brought up ad nauseam, but will ask anyways since I'm genuinely curious. I recently argued with an Old Calendarist over ecumenism and had difficulty in defending the Orthodox churches in regards to the topic of joint-prayer services. I explained how ultimately these are viewed as a means to an end which is an attempt to bring people into the fold of Orthodoxy and therefore an economia, but I did not feel this to be a very adequate explanation. He brought up the canons which explicitly forbid prayer with heretics emphasizing how it means any and all prayer, not just simply liturgizing and serving together.
 
What exactly is a good defense against these people that basically call us heretics over joint-prayer services in which certain churches participate?

Quote from: Canon 45 of the Holy Apostles
Let any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon that merely joins in prayer with heretics be suspended, but if he has permitted them to perform any service as Clergymen, let him be deposed (sc.from office).

Quote from: St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain
The present Canon prescribes that any Bishop, or Presbyter, or Deacon that shall only join in prayer, and not co-officiate in divine services, with any heretics is to be suspended, or temporarily deprived of the right to celebrate the sacraments (called "mysteries" in the Orthodox Church). For anyone that prays in company with excommunicants (as heretics are) must himself be excommunicated along with them, according to the tenth Canon of the same Apostles. But if he went so far as to allow those heretics to perform any service in church as Clergymen, he is to be deposed from office altogether. For any Clergyman that officiates at services in company with others who have been deposed (as have heretics, according to the second and fourth Canons of the Third Ecumenical Council) is himself ipso facto deposed along with them, according to the eleventh Canon of the Apostles. It behooves us to hate and shun heretics, but never to join them in prayer or to allow them to perform any ecclesiastical function, either as Clergymen or as Priests.

Joint prayers are prayers with the non-Orthodox who are heretics and so this joint prayer is contrary to the canons.  The various Old Calendarist groups are right to speak against these things, but they are not right to have left the Church at the time and in the manner that they did.  The Old Calendarists left the Church in 1925 over the issue of the adoption of the New Calendar.  The calendar change is not a heresy and the entire Church did not become heretical just because a few local churches decided to shift the calendar by a few days.  The Old Calendarists bend over backwards to try to claim that the Church is heretical and that they left because of the "heresy of Ecumenism", but this is simply incorrect.  They may refer to unfortunate things like joint prayer and certain ecumenical agreements from the 1960s and later to show why the left in 1925 but there is a certain chronological problem there.  Joint prayers are violations of the canons and are misleading, but they don't by themselves indicate heresy.  Most Old Calendarists, for instance, greatly reverence Patriarch St. Tikhon despite the fact that he prayed with Anglicans.

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2015, 12:41:58 PM »
In other words, don't pray with a Muslim before they break their fast on Ramadan, because by joining, you are stating that their God is your God...which is not true.

And if we're going to state this so definitively about Muslims, then don't pray with people who believe that this is the Holy Spirit at work, because by joining, you are stating that their god is your God...which is not true.

And don't pray with people who believe that this is God, because by joining, you are stating that their god is your God...which is not true.

A.N.,
I will never know if all that stuff on Mormonism is what they believe....really! not EVEN off the charts....not a chart at all, but it is what they believe, so some respect is due.
As for us on Earth, they are a good people AFAIK.
As for the Evangelicals in the previous site, they too are good people and maybe "worshipping" is not what they are doing, no? Seems they are emoting and that is not a bad thing....though I could not watch it all as that is not my cup 'o tea. I can not deny that "their God is not our God", just as my apple tree is not your peach. Or that the Holy Spirit's discernment is mine. We will not judge.

As for the word "worshipping" for others, I mostly appear foolish, but when it comes to Muslims, I am not, nor with many other flavors of religions & cults removed from Christianity, even those claiming to be so.
No need to worry if most will pray with Hindus, Muslims, etc.
If we must worry and pray, then it is for people who are better than the nihilism they do not know they profess but live, for people who do not follow pagans, supersititions and false gods, it is for those who follow sports, news and entertainment. If we can get those folks into our Temples then the few other ones identified above will be minor.

Len, I'm not sure that I understand everything you're trying to say here.  I've read your post over three times now, and while I think we're pretty much in agreement, I'm honestly not sure.

What I'm trying to say is this: we need to be careful and consistent when we start declaring whose god is or isn't our God.  It seems to me that a few folks on these boards are very quick to declare that the Muslim god is absolutely not our God - the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - in spite of the fact that the Muslims claim he is - because he does not possess certain qualities which our God undeniably possesses and possesses other qualities that our God apparently does not.  That's fine as far as it goes.  When someone applies those same standards, however, to the gods worshipped by other monotheistic groups which some of these posters might find to be less "foreign" or less "threatening" (perhaps because these groups are more "Western" or self-identify as "Christian" - and yes, any Mormon you meet will tell you he's a "Christian") even though their god is at least as dissimilar to our God as the god of Islam is, then all of a sudden we must be cautious and slow to judge and consider that perhaps these people are worshipping our God but are merely misapprehending Him.

I'm not comfortable, Len, declaring definitively that the Muslims are absolutely worshipping a devil or an idol while simultaneously contending that the Mormons, Oneness Pentecostals (which is what the guys in the video were - and they would tell you they were "worshipping" not "emoting"), Jehovah's Witnesses, et cetera, are probably worshipping our God, but have simply made a few mistakes about Him because hey, God's hard to figure out, right?  I don't see why Muslims are denied the benefit of the doubt given to these other groups.  You said that Mormons and Evangelicals (the guys in the vid were Pentecostals though) are "good people".  I don't deny that many are.  Many Muslims are too though.  I have no problem saying that we have to remain agnostic about the matter, and maybe all of these groups (including Muslims) are worshipping severely distorted versions of the true God.  I also have no problem saying that all of these groups (including Muslims) are worshipping something that is not our God.  An excellent discussion of this very topic took place in this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,62189.0/all.html

I've yet to encounter an argument, however, "proving" that the Muslims worship an idol while the above mentioned self-described "Christian" groups worship the true God that I've found even remotely compelling.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 12:59:20 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2015, 02:25:37 PM »
A lot depends on who gets classed as a "heretic", and who is a brother/sister in Christ who just has some wrong ideas. Different people will draw the line in different places, but FWIW, I would have thought the Nicene Creed would be a good start.

One line of inquiry to explore - at the time that the relevant canon was written, what specific heresy/heresies was the church fighting against? That might give some guidance as to its applicability today.

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2015, 02:44:31 PM »
I have a question in regards to a topic which I'm sure has been brought up ad nauseam, but will ask anyways since I'm genuinely curious. I recently argued with an Old Calendarist over ecumenism and had difficulty in defending the Orthodox churches in regards to the topic of joint-prayer services. I explained how ultimately these are viewed as a means to an end which is an attempt to bring people into the fold of Orthodoxy and therefore an economia, but I did not feel this to be a very adequate explanation. He brought up the canons which explicitly forbid prayer with heretics emphasizing how it means any and all prayer, not just simply liturgizing and serving together.
 
What exactly is a good defense against these people that basically call us heretics over joint-prayer services in which certain churches participate?

Praying with heretics is heresy. Simple as that. Arguments that are advocating joint prayers are pathetic.

Even with the above, I pose this simple yes or no question.

Do you believe that, due to the presence of a single non-Christian in the church, that Divine Liturgy should be stopped?

Offline jah777

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2015, 02:49:49 PM »
I have a question in regards to a topic which I'm sure has been brought up ad nauseam, but will ask anyways since I'm genuinely curious. I recently argued with an Old Calendarist over ecumenism and had difficulty in defending the Orthodox churches in regards to the topic of joint-prayer services. I explained how ultimately these are viewed as a means to an end which is an attempt to bring people into the fold of Orthodoxy and therefore an economia, but I did not feel this to be a very adequate explanation. He brought up the canons which explicitly forbid prayer with heretics emphasizing how it means any and all prayer, not just simply liturgizing and serving together.
 
What exactly is a good defense against these people that basically call us heretics over joint-prayer services in which certain churches participate?

Praying with heretics is heresy. Simple as that. Arguments that are advocating joint prayers are pathetic.

Even with the above, I pose this simple yes or no question.

Do you believe that, due to the presence of a single non-Christian in the church, that Divine Liturgy should be stopped?

The canons do not forbid a heretic from attending an Orthodox service.  The canons forbid Orthodox from participating in the services of heretics, joining heretics in prayer, and allowing heretics to co-serve in an Orthodox service.

Offline TheMathematician

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2015, 02:51:47 PM »
I have a question in regards to a topic which I'm sure has been brought up ad nauseam, but will ask anyways since I'm genuinely curious. I recently argued with an Old Calendarist over ecumenism and had difficulty in defending the Orthodox churches in regards to the topic of joint-prayer services. I explained how ultimately these are viewed as a means to an end which is an attempt to bring people into the fold of Orthodoxy and therefore an economia, but I did not feel this to be a very adequate explanation. He brought up the canons which explicitly forbid prayer with heretics emphasizing how it means any and all prayer, not just simply liturgizing and serving together.
 
What exactly is a good defense against these people that basically call us heretics over joint-prayer services in which certain churches participate?

Praying with heretics is heresy. Simple as that. Arguments that are advocating joint prayers are pathetic.

Even with the above, I pose this simple yes or no question.

Do you believe that, due to the presence of a single non-Christian in the church, that Divine Liturgy should be stopped?

The canons do not forbid a heretic from attending an Orthodox service.  The canons forbid Orthodox from participating in the services of heretics, joining heretics in prayer, and allowing heretics to co-serve in an Orthodox service.

I agree with that, however(and the reasoning behind why i asked the question) is because I believe that Pravoslavac believes that a heretic attending an Orthodox service=joining heretics in prayer, and I wished to either confirm this fact, or to discover his beliefs

Offline biro

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2015, 03:42:57 PM »
I had always thought the injunction against mixed prayers was to keep Orthodox from going to non-Orthodox services.

If no one who is non-Orthodox is allowed to come to an Orthodox service, um, how do people convert?  ???
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Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2015, 07:33:01 PM »
In other words, don't pray with a Muslim before they break their fast on Ramadan, because by joining, you are stating that their God is your God...which is not true.

And if we're going to state this so definitively about Muslims, then don't pray with people who believe that this is the Holy Spirit at work, because by joining, you are stating that their god is your God...which is not true.

And don't pray with people who believe that this is God, because by joining, you are stating that their god is your God...which is not true.

A.N.,
I will never know if all that stuff on Mormonism is what they believe....really! not EVEN off the charts....not a chart at all, but it is what they believe, so some respect is due.
As for us on Earth, they are a good people AFAIK.
As for the Evangelicals in the previous site, they too are good people and maybe "worshipping" is not what they are doing, no? Seems they are emoting and that is not a bad thing....though I could not watch it all as that is not my cup 'o tea. I can not deny that "their God is not our God", just as my apple tree is not your peach. Or that the Holy Spirit's discernment is mine. We will not judge.

As for the word "worshipping" for others, I mostly appear foolish, but when it comes to Muslims, I am not, nor with many other flavors of religions & cults removed from Christianity, even those claiming to be so.
No need to worry if most will pray with Hindus, Muslims, etc.
If we must worry and pray, then it is for people who are better than the nihilism they do not know they profess but live, for people who do not follow pagans, supersititions and false gods, it is for those who follow sports, news and entertainment. If we can get those folks into our Temples then the few other ones identified above will be minor.

Len, I'm not sure that I understand everything you're trying to say here.  I've read your post over three times now, and while I think we're pretty much in agreement, I'm honestly not sure.

What I'm trying to say is this: we need to be careful and consistent when we start declaring whose god is or isn't our God.  It seems to me that a few folks on these boards are very quick to declare that the Muslim god is absolutely not our God - the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - in spite of the fact that the Muslims claim he is - because he does not possess certain qualities which our God undeniably possesses and possesses other qualities that our God apparently does not.  That's fine as far as it goes.  When someone applies those same standards, however, to the gods worshipped by other monotheistic groups which some of these posters might find to be less "foreign" or less "threatening" (perhaps because these groups are more "Western" or self-identify as "Christian" - and yes, any Mormon you meet will tell you he's a "Christian") even though their god is at least as dissimilar to our God as the god of Islam is, then all of a sudden we must be cautious and slow to judge and consider that perhaps these people are worshipping our God but are merely misapprehending Him.

I'm not comfortable, Len, declaring definitively that the Muslims are absolutely worshipping a devil or an idol while simultaneously contending that the Mormons, Oneness Pentecostals (which is what the guys in the video were - and they would tell you they were "worshipping" not "emoting"), Jehovah's Witnesses, et cetera, are probably worshipping our God, but have simply made a few mistakes about Him because hey, God's hard to figure out, right?  I don't see why Muslims are denied the benefit of the doubt given to these other groups.  You said that Mormons and Evangelicals (the guys in the vid were Pentecostals though) are "good people".  I don't deny that many are.  Many Muslims are too though.  I have no problem saying that we have to remain agnostic about the matter, and maybe all of these groups (including Muslims) are worshipping severely distorted versions of the true God.  I also have no problem saying that all of these groups (including Muslims) are worshipping something that is not our God.  An excellent discussion of this very topic took place in this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,62189.0/all.html

I've yet to encounter an argument, however, "proving" that the Muslims worship an idol while the above mentioned self-described "Christian" groups worship the true God that I've found even remotely compelling.

A.N., I am never sure about what I've written as well, so I'm glad I'm not alone.
The above that you wrote is clear as a bell and I am brought to a real place while reading it. Thanks.
Now: the Nature of God is beyond me and as a selfish one I judge for me and mine and I will NEVER confound or confuse any aspect of the god of Islam with my own. I cannot say such for others, but since I cannot know others, I've not a worry. If anyone comes to me I will explain 'till the cows come...otherwise how they approach the divine is their business as you point out, but I cannot, nor will not, ever worship with others that are so foreign in their ontological and epistemological notions of Him.
You are right: we must be slow to discern and quick to act when revealed that they have such duplicity. Take the Mormons, as on the face of it they are attractive and "good people" but.....it can never happen. As with Muslims.....What you write about misapprehending God by Western Christian religions we do agree, and I begrudgingly so since others may take it that, for example Lutherans, can't get to Heaven or the Orthodox are the only ones there, since the others didn't understand God is His Essence and Energies, etc.  Sorry, I can't be that guy to judge, and I believe you are not as well, since we both know that we don't know how He judges.
I cannot worry about what others find in the public square arena such as this forum.  We all bring, enjoy and take what we can while some of us hammer out finer points. All to often your posts and retorts are way above my pay grade, but I do appreciate what you do. For example THIS response is TLTR for me and to hard to understand from you, as you are spot on and I find us in agreement.
ARGHH. :o
I'll be back, as SWMBO calls.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 07:36:49 PM by LenInSebastopol »
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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2015, 07:47:32 PM »
Okay, Len.  All I'm saying is we have to be evenhanded here and not let our personal prejudices get in the way.  If we're going to allow that the god of the Mormons, Oneness Pentecostals, or JWs might be our God, than the god of Islam might be too.  We can't just say "Muslims are bad.  I don't like them.  So their god can't be our God.  Mormons I think are nice though, so they get the benefit of the doubt".  That doesn't sit well with me.  I hope we agree here, but if not, like you said, we can't worry about what others believe sometimes.  We can only control ourselves.  :)
My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.

Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2015, 09:44:09 AM »
Okay, Len.  All I'm saying is we have to be evenhanded here and not let our personal prejudices get in the way.  If we're going to allow that the god of the Mormons, Oneness Pentecostals, or JWs might be our God, than the god of Islam might be too.  We can't just say "Muslims are bad.  I don't like them.  So their god can't be our God.  Mormons I think are nice though, so they get the benefit of the doubt".  That doesn't sit well with me.  I hope we agree here, but if not, like you said, we can't worry about what others believe sometimes.  We can only control ourselves.  :)

Obviously I have terrible writing skills, or the bit-bucket is high on this net; I agree totally with the above. The Nature of the Divine is not the same as ours in all of the above cults you mention. There is no "might" or "kinda" other than words like "God" and "Jesus" and many others in our language that are the same. Their god is not ours, can never be or never was. That is as clear as this one can make it.

Now, this "worship" and "prayer" thingy for the "outside" man and the "inside" man.  Went to a memorial and they prayed, typical Protestant fare. I too prayed at that moment. Was I a heretic? Did my prayer during that moment while they prayed count? I think yes.  I realize the key-word-thread here is "service" so was that instance a "service"?  And I believe most all folks there could easily be called "salt of the Earth" or some may call it "low church" or some, as posted elsewhere, would say I am a heretic or anathema on all that jazz! I would imagine that those that castigate me have a parochial notion which Orthodoxy came from in that EVERYONE in the village (we grew as a tribal religion, maybe a little bit don't you think?) was the same, as in Orthodoxy, and "another" came into the church and was branded such. Here, in America, we were trained up under a different model, and give passage to the word "tolerate". But that's another thread.
Our Church is perfect for here, in all the universe, in this life, but our members can be to full of themselves, IMNSHO. Is it the erudition? Pride? Envy? How can we be so hard-headed-and-hearted?
What is wrong with us humans? Is it because we cannot live with Perfection, as the Church is?
Lord, have mercy on us.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 09:46:07 AM by LenInSebastopol »
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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2015, 03:24:18 PM »
I don't know that you praying at a Protestant memorial is what people have in mind here.  I've bowed my head and prayed when a heterodox Christian blessed the food as the head of his own household.  I said my own private blessing (inaudibly of course) and crossed myself, but I didn't storm away from the table shouting "Anathema!" as he asked God to bless the Pillsbury biscuits.  I've prayed at the funeral of a very dear departed friend who was a Protestant.  I don't think anyone here would condemn either of us for stuff like that (I could be wrong).  I think folks here have stuff like formal prayer services involving clergy in mind.
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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2015, 03:40:13 PM »
I don't know that you praying at a Protestant memorial is what people have in mind here.  I've bowed my head and prayed when a heterodox Christian blessed the food as the head of his own household.  I said my own private blessing (inaudibly of course) and crossed myself, but I didn't storm away from the table shouting "Anathema!" as he asked God to bless the Pillsbury biscuits. 

Did you confess that?  Because you should. 
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2015, 03:42:56 PM »
Did you confess that?  Because you should. 

You know that commercial where they give the Doughboy jeans?  I'm waiting for them to give him an epitrachelion.  Then I'll make my confession.  :)
My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another.

Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Joint-Prayer Services
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2015, 05:37:58 PM »
Did you confess that?  Because you should. 

You know that commercial where they give the Doughboy jeans?  I'm waiting for them to give him an epitrachelion.  Then I'll make my confession.  :)

Geeesh!
Ya'll's attention to detail is admirable.
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