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Liz
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« Reply #90 on: January 27, 2010, 07:40:08 AM »

Re: the 39 articles, some Anglo-Catholics will retort that they aren't binding, or give them a dramatically different interpretation, thereby compounding Anglicanism's bad doctrine with disunity.


Apparently (and if this is hearsay, sorry - I rely for Russian news on my partner), there is in Moscow at the moment a certain Orthodox bishop, who believes that NI numbers are somehow a plot aligned with the number of the beast. Other bishops have come together and asked him to retire; he refuses. From the outside, there is no disunity - but at what cost, and how honest is this?

In my city of Oxford, there are two Orthodox churches, with some kind of extremely complicated reason for not worshiping together. This is not disunity, either.

Amongst members of this forum (most of whom, I know, never represent Orthodoxy in any official capacity and all of whom post as private people rather than as clerics) there are significant differences of opinion concerning the faith.

While I admire the way that the Orthodox Church is able to weather disagreements and a lack of consensus amongst her members, I find it really odd that these disagreements are always discounted when talking about the unity of the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #91 on: January 27, 2010, 07:52:18 AM »

Liz,

A small clarification, if I could modify a sentence of yours... these disagreements are often discounted by Orthodox Christians when talking about the unity of the Orthodox Church. Wink As for myself, while I don't usually make posts on the forum about this type of stuff, I have brought up with more than one person behind the scenes that I have a lot of difficulty detecting in Orthodoxy the "one mind of Christ" which Bible speaks of, that I don't understand the tendency for Christians to divide, etc.
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« Reply #92 on: January 27, 2010, 10:11:56 AM »

Re: the 39 articles, some Anglo-Catholics will retort that they aren't binding, or give them a dramatically different interpretation, thereby compounding Anglicanism's bad doctrine with disunity.


Apparently (and if this is hearsay, sorry - I rely for Russian news on my partner), there is in Moscow at the moment a certain Orthodox bishop, who believes that NI numbers are somehow a plot aligned with the number of the beast. Other bishops have come together and asked him to retire; he refuses. From the outside, there is no disunity - but at what cost, and how honest is this?
If keeps it up, he will be deposed.  It's happened at least twice in Russia alone that I recall, and I don't follow Russian events all that closely.

In Romania one bishop was getting too friendly with the Vatican, even concelebrating with its clergy.  He was given the alternative to recant or be defrocked.  The Holy Synod then met and issued a number of canons on his actions, so it was clear that such things would not be tolerated.


Quote

In my city of Oxford, there are two Orthodox churches, with some kind of extremely complicated reason for not worshiping together. This is not disunity, either.

I'd have to know the specifics of why.  I do know that when the Patriarch of Moscow struck the EP from the Diptychs, that the community at Oxford (which was Greek and Russian) pleaded for their patriarchs to settle the matter, as it might not cause problems in Russia or Greece, it was making life difficult in Oxford, and that was because they were united.


Quote
Amongst members of this forum (most of whom, I know, never represent Orthodoxy in any official capacity and all of whom post as private people rather than as clerics) there are significant differences of opinion concerning the faith.

While I admire the way that the Orthodox Church is able to weather disagreements and a lack of consensus amongst her members, I find it really odd that these disagreements are always discounted when talking about the unity of the Orthodox Church.

Depends on what disagreements you are talking about.  What language to use and how much incense when is one thing.  Disagreements on gay marriage and the Real Presence are another. And women's ordination another still.
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« Reply #93 on: January 27, 2010, 10:45:58 AM »

Re: the 39 articles, some Anglo-Catholics will retort that they aren't binding, or give them a dramatically different interpretation, thereby compounding Anglicanism's bad doctrine with disunity.


Apparently (and if this is hearsay, sorry - I rely for Russian news on my partner), there is in Moscow at the moment a certain Orthodox bishop, who believes that NI numbers are somehow a plot aligned with the number of the beast. Other bishops have come together and asked him to retire; he refuses. From the outside, there is no disunity - but at what cost, and how honest is this?

In my city of Oxford, there are two Orthodox churches, with some kind of extremely complicated reason for not worshiping together. This is not disunity, either.

Amongst members of this forum (most of whom, I know, never represent Orthodoxy in any official capacity and all of whom post as private people rather than as clerics) there are significant differences of opinion concerning the faith.

While I admire the way that the Orthodox Church is able to weather disagreements and a lack of consensus amongst her members, I find it really odd that these disagreements are always discounted when talking about the unity of the Orthodox Church.

That's because it seems you have a very limited definition of "unity." It does not mean that we are all identical. People have different opinions, understandings, experiences - those opinions can be mistaken or wrong, or simply a way of expressing or understanding what is ultimately a mystery.

As Orthodox Christians, we can all have many happy hours discussing (quibbling and arguing?  Cheesy) calendars, beards on priests, pews, organs and many other interesting topics. What we don't have to discuss are things like the Real Presence, because these are the things that, to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerins, the Church has believed at all times and places.

From the GOA website:
"The Orthodox Church today, numbering over 250 million worldwide, is a communion of self governing Churches, each administratively independent of the other, but united by a common faith and spirituality. Their underlying unity is based on identity of doctrines, sacramental life and worship, which distinguishes Orthodox Christianity...All share full communion with one another. The living tradition of the Church and the principles of concord and harmony are expressed through the common mind of the universal episcopate as the need arises. In all other matters, the internal life of each independent Church is administered by the bishops of that particular Church. "
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« Reply #94 on: January 27, 2010, 12:24:15 PM »

I don't think I have a limited definition of unity.

After all, what you say is pretty much what I would say in defending the many strands of accepted faith in the Anglican Church. A judgment of 'unity' depends very much on whether you're inside or outside the unified group you're describing!
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 12:24:35 PM by Liz » Logged
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« Reply #95 on: January 27, 2010, 04:56:38 PM »

I don't think I have a limited definition of unity.

After all, what you say is pretty much what I would say in defending the many strands of accepted faith in the Anglican Church. A judgment of 'unity' depends very much on whether you're inside or outside the unified group you're describing!

Then what are the Big Theological Things that all Anglicans agree on?
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« Reply #96 on: January 27, 2010, 05:19:22 PM »

I don't think I have a limited definition of unity.

After all, what you say is pretty much what I would say in defending the many strands of accepted faith in the Anglican Church. A judgment of 'unity' depends very much on whether you're inside or outside the unified group you're describing!

Then what are the Big Theological Things that all Anglicans agree on?

The Nicene Creed.

Katherine, I think my response earlier may not have quite got my point across. I was being surprised by what you said as I've so often heard Orthodox believers criticize the Anglican Church for being too keen on unity at all costs (ie., in situations where you Orthodox might be more likely to stop and say, 'this is no longer Orthodoxy; we do not wish to be united with these people'). That's where I was coming from.
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« Reply #97 on: January 27, 2010, 06:21:58 PM »

I don't think I have a limited definition of unity.

After all, what you say is pretty much what I would say in defending the many strands of accepted faith in the Anglican Church. A judgment of 'unity' depends very much on whether you're inside or outside the unified group you're describing!

Then what are the Big Theological Things that all Anglicans agree on?

The Nicene Creed.

Bishop Spong would beg to differ.
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« Reply #98 on: January 27, 2010, 07:07:02 PM »

I don't think I have a limited definition of unity.

After all, what you say is pretty much what I would say in defending the many strands of accepted faith in the Anglican Church. A judgment of 'unity' depends very much on whether you're inside or outside the unified group you're describing!

Then what are the Big Theological Things that all Anglicans agree on?

The Nicene Creed.

Bishop Spong would beg to differ.

I don't know that much about what he says (maybe you could tell me?), but isn't he retired?
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« Reply #99 on: January 27, 2010, 08:06:27 PM »

I don't think I have a limited definition of unity.

After all, what you say is pretty much what I would say in defending the many strands of accepted faith in the Anglican Church. A judgment of 'unity' depends very much on whether you're inside or outside the unified group you're describing!

Then what are the Big Theological Things that all Anglicans agree on?

The Nicene Creed.

Bishop Spong would beg to differ.

I don't know that much about what he says (maybe you could tell me?), but isn't he retired?
I hope so!
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« Reply #100 on: January 27, 2010, 08:24:14 PM »

I don't think I have a limited definition of unity.

After all, what you say is pretty much what I would say in defending the many strands of accepted faith in the Anglican Church. A judgment of 'unity' depends very much on whether you're inside or outside the unified group you're describing!

Then what are the Big Theological Things that all Anglicans agree on?

The Nicene Creed.

Bishop Spong would beg to differ.

I don't know that much about what he says (maybe you could tell me?), but isn't he retired?

He retired in 2000. That doesn't change the fact that he openly denied basic Christian teaching (e.g., the Resurrection, the Virgin Birth) while a bishop, and was never disciplined for it. If Anglican bishops can openly deny the Nicene Creed without any repercussions, it can hardly be considered a binding or agreed document for Anglicans, even if it's recited at every mass.
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« Reply #101 on: January 28, 2010, 07:44:28 AM »

I don't think I have a limited definition of unity.

After all, what you say is pretty much what I would say in defending the many strands of accepted faith in the Anglican Church. A judgment of 'unity' depends very much on whether you're inside or outside the unified group you're describing!

Then what are the Big Theological Things that all Anglicans agree on?

The Nicene Creed.

Bishop Spong would beg to differ.

I don't know that much about what he says (maybe you could tell me?), but isn't he retired?

He retired in 2000. That doesn't change the fact that he openly denied basic Christian teaching (e.g., the Resurrection, the Virgin Birth) while a bishop, and was never disciplined for it. If Anglican bishops can openly deny the Nicene Creed without any repercussions, it can hardly be considered a binding or agreed document for Anglicans, even if it's recited at every mass.

I am in no way knowledgeable about this bishop (I was 15 when he retired, and not to hot on American bishops). But, from a quick wiki check, it sounds as if there were quite some repercussions.

Also, I don't quite see why a bishop who has clearly gone somewhat peculiar in the Anglican Church is different from a bishop who has clearly gone somewhat peculiar in the Orthodox Church. I don't agree with what he is said to have argued (I've not read/heard his originals), but I would hope that the Church is big enough to take it all in.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #102 on: January 28, 2010, 08:21:14 AM »

Liz,

How much can you tell about a man from reading two of his books? I don't know, but I feel that I have at least some idea of the general intentions and point of view of Spong. To a large extent, I can sympathise with him. Spong seems to be someone who has identified issues or difficulties to be worked through, and is struggling with what to do about them. I can certainly identify with that. In spades. But his ideas about how to deal with those issues seem radically different than my ideas. I will freely criticize Orthodox beliefs, that's true (though usually I try to use some humor, so people know that I do not mean to be malicious), yet I have a basic respect for orthodox Christianity, and wouldn't presume to change my role from critiquer to reformer. Not when it comes to basic doctrine, anyway. But Bp. Spong, he has gone well beyond critiques, and even beyond calling for reforms. He wants to completely recast Christianity using his own theological mold.

As to his relevance in this discussion, I don't know what consequences Spong has experienced for his, shall we say, maverick positions. It seems that he is still writing books. And I expect he is still free to say whatever he wishes--perhaps even more free now that he is retired. On the other hand, what do you think would happen to an Orthodox bishop if (for example) he wrote a book denying the literal resurrection of Christ? Do you think he would remain a bishop in good standing, and be allowed to write a book every couple years calling for a new Christianity?
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« Reply #103 on: January 28, 2010, 08:35:52 AM »

Liz,

How much can you tell about a man from reading two of his books? I don't know, but I feel that I have at least some idea of the general intentions and point of view of Spong. To a large extent, I can sympathise with him. Spong seems to be someone who has identified issues or difficulties to be worked through, and is struggling with what to do about them. I can certainly identify with that. In spades. But his ideas about how to deal with those issues seem radically different than my ideas. I will freely criticize Orthodox beliefs, that's true (though usually I try to use some humor, so people know that I do not mean to be malicious), yet I have a basic respect for orthodox Christianity, and wouldn't presume to change my role from critiquer to reformer. Not when it comes to basic doctrine, anyway. But Bp. Spong, he has gone well beyond critiques, and even beyond calling for reforms. He wants to completely recast Christianity using his own theological mold.

As to his relevance in this discussion, I don't know what consequences Spong has experienced for his, shall we say, maverick positions. It seems that he is still writing books. And I expect he is still free to say whatever he wishes--perhaps even more free now that he is retired. On the other hand, what do you think would happen to an Orthodox bishop if (for example) he wrote a book denying the literal resurrection of Christ? Do you think he would remain a bishop in good standing, and be allowed to write a book every couple years calling for a new Christianity?

That's a difficult question, Asteriktos. Thanks by the way for filling me in on the man's work.

On the one hand, it sounds as if Spong has made a false leap from interest/healthy doubt to the conviction that something hard to believe must be incorrect. That's not good, I agree. But I still have to be glad that he isn't silenced by the hierarchy, that he does get to put his views forward, however wrong we may think they are. I don't like the idea of calling someone out as a heretic. It's better to educate everyone else and show them the truth. If you push someone out of the Church, you end up with a better consensus among believers, but possibly also weaker belief.

I admit I don't know where the line should be drawn in this case, though.
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« Reply #104 on: January 28, 2010, 11:45:46 AM »

On the one hand, it sounds as if Spong has made a false leap from interest/healthy doubt to the conviction that something hard to believe must be incorrect. That's not good, I agree. But I still have to be glad that he isn't silenced by the hierarchy, that he does get to put his views forward, however wrong we may think they are. I don't like the idea of calling someone out as a heretic. It's better to educate everyone else and show them the truth. If you push someone out of the Church, you end up with a better consensus among believers, but possibly also weaker belief.

I admit I don't know where the line should be drawn in this case, though.

He wouldn't have been silenced by the hierarchy - but he wouldn't have been writing as an Orthodox bishop, either.
And it's not "pushing someone out of the Church" - if you deny the Resurrection, you've moved yourself out of the Church. The Church would then officially acknowledge what the reality was - you were no longer Orthodox, because of your beliefs.
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« Reply #105 on: January 28, 2010, 11:47:08 AM »

I was being surprised by what you said as I've so often heard Orthodox believers criticize the Anglican Church for being too keen on unity at all costs (ie., in situations where you Orthodox might be more likely to stop and say, 'this is no longer Orthodoxy; we do not wish to be united with these people'). That's where I was coming from.

Please explain more, if you please. Since I am not at all sure of what you are saying.
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« Reply #106 on: January 28, 2010, 01:26:10 PM »

I was being surprised by what you said as I've so often heard Orthodox believers criticize the Anglican Church for being too keen on unity at all costs (ie., in situations where you Orthodox might be more likely to stop and say, 'this is no longer Orthodoxy; we do not wish to be united with these people'). That's where I was coming from.

Please explain more, if you please. Since I am not at all sure of what you are saying.

I have often been asked, 'how is it that I have been to several churches, that look very different and use different wording for their services - and yet they are all Anglican? And how is it that there can be so many different viewpoints amongst Anglicans?' And also, of course, there is this ongoing worry that Rowan Williams is very reluctant to come down hard on either side of the homosexuality debate, trying instead to keep the Church in unity and avoid schism.

That's why I wondered about disunity.

NB - I'm not at all sure 'unity' of this kind is necessarily a good thing; it's certainly not uncomplicatedly 'good'.
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« Reply #107 on: January 28, 2010, 01:32:07 PM »

Getting back to David's original question, Orthodox have a popular saying "Roman Catholics have added too much and Protestants have taken away too much"

So the central concern is the stripping down of Christianity to what you would see as the essential truth of it but what we see as impoverishment. This also leads to some degree of rewriting history to rationalize this change. You would have us believe that most all of the things you listed were "added" later on and that the Early Church looked like stripped down Protestantism. That claim does not stand up under rigorous scrutiny. It turns out the the Orthodox Church practices best reflect the Early Church. Protestant assumptions come more from late day western idea's about rugged individualism than from historic fact.

The other problem is the re-emergence of nearly all of the ancient heresies within Protestantism from Gnosticism, to Arianism, to Monophysitism to Iconoclasm. You can list every old heresy and then draw a line to at least one Protestant group that once again believes in it.

And then finally, there are certainly a few additions that butress this stripping away as has already been mentioned. Sola Scritura, Believers Baptism, Once saved always saved, Atonement theories, The Rapture..etc. etc.
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« Reply #108 on: January 28, 2010, 02:12:54 PM »

I don't think I have a limited definition of unity.

After all, what you say is pretty much what I would say in defending the many strands of accepted faith in the Anglican Church. A judgment of 'unity' depends very much on whether you're inside or outside the unified group you're describing!

Then what are the Big Theological Things that all Anglicans agree on?

The Nicene Creed.

Bishop Spong would beg to differ.

I don't know that much about what he says (maybe you could tell me?), but isn't he retired?

He retired in 2000. That doesn't change the fact that he openly denied basic Christian teaching (e.g., the Resurrection, the Virgin Birth) while a bishop, and was never disciplined for it. If Anglican bishops can openly deny the Nicene Creed without any repercussions, it can hardly be considered a binding or agreed document for Anglicans, even if it's recited at every mass.

I am in no way knowledgeable about this bishop (I was 15 when he retired, and not to hot on American bishops). But, from a quick wiki check, it sounds as if there were quite some repercussions.

Also, I don't quite see why a bishop who has clearly gone somewhat peculiar in the Anglican Church is different from a bishop who has clearly gone somewhat peculiar in the Orthodox Church.

The Anglican retires in full honors and standing. The (formerly) Orthodox gets the boot, if not his croisier broke over his head (and I'm not exaggerating)

Quote
I don't agree with what he is said to have argued (I've not read/heard his originals), but I would hope that the Church is big enough to take it all in.

The Church is never big enough for heresy.
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« Reply #109 on: January 28, 2010, 02:32:13 PM »

Getting back to David's original question, Orthodox have a popular saying "Roman Catholics have added too much and Protestants have taken away too much"

So the central concern is the stripping down of Christianity to what you would see as the essential truth of it but what we see as impoverishment. This also leads to some degree of rewriting history to rationalize this change. You would have us believe that most all of the things you listed were "added" later on and that the Early Church looked like stripped down Protestantism. That claim does not stand up under rigorous scrutiny. It turns out the the Orthodox Church practices best reflect the Early Church. Protestant assumptions come more from late day western idea's about rugged individualism than from historic fact.

The other problem is the re-emergence of nearly all of the ancient heresies within Protestantism from Gnosticism, to Arianism, to Monophysitism to Iconoclasm. You can list every old heresy and then draw a line to at least one Protestant group that once again believes in it.

And then finally, there are certainly a few additions that butress this stripping away as has already been mentioned. Sola Scritura, Believers Baptism, Once saved always saved, Atonement theories, The Rapture..etc. etc.

This is a really good post.
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« Reply #110 on: January 28, 2010, 02:37:03 PM »


Also, I don't quite see why a bishop who has clearly gone somewhat peculiar in the Anglican Church is different from a bishop who has clearly gone somewhat peculiar in the Orthodox Church.

The Anglican retires in full honors and standing. The (formerly) Orthodox gets the boot, if not his croisier broke over his head (and I'm not exaggerating)

Er ... no, not really. I believe that this Orthodox bishop has already been asked to retire, and refused! He will presumably be disciplined at some point, but it hasn't happened yet.


Quote
I don't agree with what he is said to have argued (I've not read/heard his originals), but I would hope that the Church is big enough to take it all in.

The Church is never big enough for heresy.
[/quote]

That's true. I admit I'm disquieted by this man. I only hope he's not so much a willful heretic as someone who has gone astray. A big problem, I think, is that some people struggle more than others with what significance doubt should have. It sounds as if this man was uncertain about his ability to believe certain tenets of the faith, and mistakenly concluded that the tenets (not himself) should be revised.

On a not totally unrelated point, what would the Orthodox do about someone who had lost his faith, perhaps painfully and against his will? Indeed, what would an Evangelical church do? I don't know the answer to either, but when you say the Church isn't big enough for heresy, I agree - but I also wonder where the line between heresy and the dark night of the soul is.
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« Reply #111 on: January 28, 2010, 03:47:07 PM »

...what would the Orthodox do about someone who had lost his faith, perhaps painfully and against his will? Indeed, what would an Evangelical church do? I don't know the answer to either, but when you say the Church isn't big enough for heresy, I agree - but I also wonder where the line between heresy and the dark night of the soul is.

It's difficult to generalize, since the Church would more than likely respond pastorally, as it does in most situations. However after counseling, prayer, consideration (all of which, knowing the Orthodox, would take forever and a day), the Church would probably and likely officially recognize that the particular individual had removed him or herself from the Church. As I said before, it would be a formal recognition of the reality of the situation - that individual no longer believed and by that, had removed themselves from the Church. Not vice versa.
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« Reply #112 on: January 28, 2010, 03:48:51 PM »

...and mistakenly concluded that the tenets (not himself) should be revised.

But isn't this practically the essence of Protestantism?
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« Reply #113 on: January 28, 2010, 03:50:22 PM »

Getting back to David's original question, Orthodox have a popular saying "Roman Catholics have added too much and Protestants have taken away too much"

So the central concern is the stripping down of Christianity to what you would see as the essential truth of it but what we see as impoverishment. This also leads to some degree of rewriting history to rationalize this change. You would have us believe that most all of the things you listed were "added" later on and that the Early Church looked like stripped down Protestantism. That claim does not stand up under rigorous scrutiny. It turns out the the Orthodox Church practices best reflect the Early Church. Protestant assumptions come more from late day western idea's about rugged individualism than from historic fact.
The other problem is the re-emergence of nearly all of the ancient heresies within Protestantism from Gnosticism, to Arianism, to Monophysitism to Iconoclasm. You can list every old heresy and then draw a line to at least one Protestant group that once again believes in it.

And then finally, there are certainly a few additions that butress this stripping away as has already been mentioned. Sola Scritura, Believers Baptism, Once saved always saved, Atonement theories, The Rapture..etc. etc.

This is a really good post.

This is an excellent post, especially the highlighted, I think.
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« Reply #114 on: January 28, 2010, 04:50:42 PM »

...and mistakenly concluded that the tenets (not himself) should be revised.

But isn't this practically the essence of Protestantism?

I hope not.
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« Reply #115 on: January 28, 2010, 07:39:42 PM »

And now we are back to the Anglican discussion. Thank God! Maybe we Catholics will a short rest. LOL
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« Reply #116 on: January 29, 2010, 04:23:05 PM »

"Why should we not be honest and say that while we love all who believe in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, yet there are essentials important to us that are lacking to them, that, it would be cruel to deceive by Society Courtesy those who do not believe in its entirety the 'Faith once for all delivered to the Saints?'" Fr. Ingram Irvine, in a letter to Fr. Sergei Dabovich, 1916

I was just reading this on the orthodoxhistory website and it reminded me of this thread.
http://orthodoxhistory.org/
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« Reply #117 on: June 19, 2010, 02:17:19 AM »

I was being surprised by what you said as I've so often heard Orthodox believers criticize the Anglican Church for being too keen on unity at all costs (ie., in situations where you Orthodox might be more likely to stop and say, 'this is no longer Orthodoxy; we do not wish to be united with these people'). That's where I was coming from.

Please explain more, if you please. Since I am not at all sure of what you are saying.

I have often been asked, 'how is it that I have been to several churches, that look very different and use different wording for their services - and yet they are all Anglican? And how is it that there can be so many different viewpoints amongst Anglicans?' And also, of course, there is this ongoing worry that Rowan Williams is very reluctant to come down hard on either side of the homosexuality debate, trying instead to keep the Church in unity and avoid schism.

That's why I wondered about disunity.

NB - I'm not at all sure 'unity' of this kind is necessarily a good thing; it's certainly not uncomplicatedly 'good'.

Personally, I am in favor of unity, even for inside nonOrthodox Churches, but it would be bad to be united directly under a bad doctrine, and force everyone to accept it, wouldn't it? I hope this problem of forced unity under a bad doctrine will never be a problem in our church. It's my own opinion that the calendar issue is not big enough of a doctrine problem to demand a split. I am OCA for example, but in general I think the Old Calendar was probably better. it's just my idea. Some other thigns though could justify leaving if things got bad- Halloween liturgies etc might be one to start at. What do you think?
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« Reply #118 on: June 19, 2010, 04:35:36 AM »

I was being surprised by what you said as I've so often heard Orthodox believers criticize the Anglican Church for being too keen on unity at all costs (ie., in situations where you Orthodox might be more likely to stop and say, 'this is no longer Orthodoxy; we do not wish to be united with these people'). That's where I was coming from.

Please explain more, if you please. Since I am not at all sure of what you are saying.

I have often been asked, 'how is it that I have been to several churches, that look very different and use different wording for their services - and yet they are all Anglican? And how is it that there can be so many different viewpoints amongst Anglicans?' And also, of course, there is this ongoing worry that Rowan Williams is very reluctant to come down hard on either side of the homosexuality debate, trying instead to keep the Church in unity and avoid schism.

That's why I wondered about disunity.

NB - I'm not at all sure 'unity' of this kind is necessarily a good thing; it's certainly not uncomplicatedly 'good'.

Personally, I am in favor of unity, even for inside nonOrthodox Churches, but it would be bad to be united directly under a bad doctrine, and force everyone to accept it, wouldn't it? I hope this problem of forced unity under a bad doctrine will never be a problem in our church. It's my own opinion that the calendar issue is not big enough of a doctrine problem to demand a split. I am OCA for example, but in general I think the Old Calendar was probably better. it's just my idea. Some other thigns though could justify leaving if things got bad- Halloween liturgies etc might be one to start at. What do you think?
But that is your opinion. I have heard others say that the calendar issue is an essential issue and if you don;t go by the Julian calendar, then you are a heretic?
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« Reply #119 on: June 19, 2010, 04:59:40 AM »

Quote
I have heard others say that the calendar issue is an essential issue and if you don;t go by the Julian calendar, then you are a heretic

The differing calendars are an anomaly, an irregularity, but not a heresy (despite what some folks might try to say). If the new calendar were heretical, then there would be no communion possible between the canonical Orthodox churches which use the old calendar (such as Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Jerusalem), and those which use the new (such as Greece, Antioch, Cyprus, Bulgaria).

Those who claim the new calendar is heresy are, at best, misguided. Note that my comments include the reality that all Orthodox churches (with the unfortunate exception of Finland) keep the same Paschal cycle for moveable feasts.
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« Reply #120 on: June 19, 2010, 10:49:19 AM »


It's my own opinion that the calendar issue is not big enough of a doctrine problem to demand a split.

But that is your opinion. I have heard others say that the calendar issue is an essential issue and if you don;t go by the Julian calendar, then you are a heretic?

Here is a list of the Churches...  I am totally sure, I would stake my life on it, that not one of the Old Calendar Churches has made any statement that the New Calendar Churches are heretical!!

New Calendar Autocephalous Churches:

1. Patriarchate of Constantinople
2. Patriarchate of Alexandria
3. Patriarchate of Antioch
4. Patriarchate of Romania
5. Patriarchate of Bulgaria
6. Church of Cyprus
7. Church of Greece
9. Church of Poland
10. Church of Albania
11. Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia
12. Orthodox Church in America (uses both old and New Calendars)

Old Calendar Autocephalous Churches:

1. Patriarchate of Jerusalem
2. Patriarchate of Moscow
3. Patriarchate of Serbia
4. Patriarchate of Georgia
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« Reply #121 on: June 19, 2010, 10:54:47 AM »

12. Orthodox Church in America (uses both old and New Calendars)

As well as Poland, Czech lands and Slovakia and Romania (in Moldova).
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« Reply #122 on: June 19, 2010, 10:59:20 AM »


Apparently (and if this is hearsay, sorry - I rely for Russian news on my partner), there is in Moscow at the moment a certain Orthodox bishop, who believes that NI numbers are somehow a plot aligned with the number of the beast. Other bishops have come together and asked him to retire; he refuses. From the outside, there is no disunity - but at what cost, and how honest is this?


Isn't this Bishop Diomid of Anadyr and Chukotka?

He was deposed by the Synod of the Russian Church a year ago.
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« Reply #123 on: June 19, 2010, 02:40:27 PM »

5. Patriarchate of Bulgaria

But the Patriarchate of Bulgaria is a very recent "convert" to the New Calendar, isn't it?  I also thought the Bulgarian Church recently has been seriously considering about returning to the Julian Calendar because of demands from the faithful and some serious (failed) contenders for Patriarch among the Church's bishops.
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« Reply #124 on: June 19, 2010, 03:11:28 PM »


It's my own opinion that the calendar issue is not big enough of a doctrine problem to demand a split.

But that is your opinion. I have heard others say that the calendar issue is an essential issue and if you don;t go by the Julian calendar, then you are a heretic?

Here is a list of the Churches...  I am totally sure, I would stake my life on it, that not one of the Old Calendar Churches has made any statement that the New Calendar Churches are heretical!!

New Calendar Autocephalous Churches:

1. Patriarchate of Constantinople
2. Patriarchate of Alexandria
3. Patriarchate of Antioch
4. Patriarchate of Romania
5. Patriarchate of Bulgaria
6. Church of Cyprus
7. Church of Greece
9. Church of Poland
10. Church of Albania
11. Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia
12. Orthodox Church in America (uses both old and New Calendars)

Old Calendar Autocephalous Churches:

1. Patriarchate of Jerusalem
2. Patriarchate of Moscow
3. Patriarchate of Serbia
4. Patriarchate of Georgia

So no one has ever claimed that it was a heresy to abandon the julian calendar?
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« Reply #125 on: June 19, 2010, 03:19:34 PM »

So no one has ever claimed that it was a heresy to abandon the julian calendar?

Some have, such as HOCNA (Holy Orthodox Church of North America) but they are not a canonically recognized church. 

But though those churches that are canonical and old calendar have stopped short of calling new calendar churches heretical, they will readily (and rightly) point out the dangers that the new calendar brings to the correct observance and practice of the faith.  One of those criticisms can be found here:  http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/calsci_ch9.aspx
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« Reply #126 on: June 19, 2010, 03:56:04 PM »

5. Patriarchate of Bulgaria

But the Patriarchate of Bulgaria is a very recent "convert" to the New Calendar, isn't it?  I also thought the Bulgarian Church recently has been seriously considering about returning to the Julian Calendar because of demands from the faithful and some serious (failed) contenders for Patriarch among the Church's bishops.

The Patriarchate of Bulgaria switched to the New Calendar in 1968.

Although about 85% of the population identifies as Orthodox, practicing faithful in Bulgaria are relatively few, not more than several percent of the population. Among the practicing people the calendar isn't such an issue, I would say the ratio between those who support the returning of the Old Calendar and those who don't want it is about 50:50.

Last year when the media popularized a letter by a priest, demanding the returning to the Old Calendar, written about ten years ago, there were negative reactions among the people. Many of them were saying things like "they want to stole Christmas from us" or that if the Synod return the Old Calendar, Russia would have greater influence over us, etc.

Actually, at present no one of the Metropolitans (especially the contenders) supports the returning to the Old Calendar. At least, as long as Patriarch Maxim (95 years old) is alive, I don't think any Metropolitan would say anything about returning to the Old Calendar, because it would certainly decrease his popularity.
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« Reply #127 on: June 19, 2010, 04:27:03 PM »

^Thanks for the clarification.  It must have been that letter that I was referring to. 

You can see the forces of ignorance at work when the very notion of moving Nativity back to January 7 would be seen as "stealing Christmas."  Perhaps now is not the time to switch the calendars for the Bulgarian church (even if there were any backers) especially when the people seem to be in great need of catechesis on the basics.
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« Reply #128 on: June 30, 2010, 08:55:49 AM »

Folks, headcoverings for women is not a matter of Orthodox doctrine and faith with the same importance as, say, the contents of the chalice being truly the body and blood of Christ vs the merely symbolic, or the act of Holy Communion being merely a "meal of remembrance".
Yes, of course you are right here. However, is it an innovation of some sort from what was allowed in the early Church according to the New Testament?

Well, that quote is directed only to women that preach in the Church, not to all women.

No, because women are also told not to talk in church, not to teach men, and to keep quiet and if they have questions to ask their husbands later. There is no preaching.
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« Reply #129 on: June 30, 2010, 01:26:42 PM »

Of course, St. Paul's dictum apparently did not preclude informal teaching, or he would not have spoken of St. Priscilla as highly as he did, nor name her before her husband St. Aquila, as he frequently did.
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« Reply #130 on: June 30, 2010, 02:28:05 PM »

Of course, St. Paul's dictum apparently did not preclude informal teaching, or he would not have spoken of St. Priscilla as highly as he did, nor name her before her husband St. Aquila, as he frequently did.

Just think of St. Ninos, Enlightener of Georgia. She certainly would have had to have preached outside of church to covert a nation.
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« Reply #131 on: June 30, 2010, 02:42:25 PM »

So no one has ever claimed that it was a heresy to abandon the julian calendar?

Some have, such as HOCNA (Holy Orthodox Church of North America) but they are not a canonically recognized church. 

But though those churches that are canonical and old calendar have stopped short of calling new calendar churches heretical, they will readily (and rightly) point out the dangers that the new calendar brings to the correct observance and practice of the faith.  One of those criticisms can be found here:  http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/calsci_ch9.aspx

The criticism you linked to comes from people affiliated with the Holy Synod in Resistance of the Orthodox Church in Greece, not from a canonical Old Calendar Church, e.g. Jerusalem, Moscow, Serbia, or Georgia.
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« Reply #132 on: June 30, 2010, 03:16:18 PM »

Might I mention that the Gregorian Calendar is not the calendar used by any EO Churches? The Calendars that are used are the Julian Calendar and the Revised Julian Calendar. The Revised Julian Calendar is (obviously) a revision that brings the Julian Calendar in line with the actual modern dates.
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« Reply #133 on: June 30, 2010, 03:56:56 PM »

The Revised Julian Calendar is (obviously) a revision that brings the Julian Calendar in line with the actual modern dates.

And the "actual modern dates" are according to which calendar?
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« Reply #134 on: June 30, 2010, 04:06:28 PM »

Regarding the title of this thread... why the redundancy?  Wink
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