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Author Topic: Agape Love and Non-Orthodox Christians  (Read 13103 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 09, 2010, 12:00:57 PM »

This thread was split from the following discussion:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19524.0.html

--YtterbiumAnalyst


In all honestly guys and gals I don't think Protestants thought that the Sacred Text just 'dropped' out of the sky. I get the impression that they just got tired of all the nationalistic and religious bickering between all the 'groups' claiming 'they are the real Church' and willing to 'kill' over it as history serves to illuminate on 'all sides'. Did Our Lord 'kill'? What about Paul? Are 'we as Christians' to 'kill' or is this more of a worldly activity... more proper of nations?

The Radical Protestants more often than not held very strong beliefs against violence and I, for one, deeply admire them for that. They often live as Christians ought more often than Catholics and Orthodox in this regard. I know Mennonites and Amish and some Primitive Baptists and they are pretty 'fruitful' people in the Spirit. I'm not altogether sure 'right' doctrines and dogmas insure 'fruitful' Spiritual People of God. Sometime I think we 'are' the Pharisees in this light because we have, in a sense, traded this Spiritual Fruitfulness for this 'new' measure of Holiness...

« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 07:56:57 PM by ytterbiumanalyst » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2010, 12:08:15 PM »

In all honestly guys and gals I don't think Protestants thought that the Sacred Text just 'dropped' out of the sky. I get the impression that they just got tired of all the nationalistic and religious bickering between all the 'groups' claiming 'they are the real Church' and willing to 'kill' over it as history serves to illuminate on 'all sides'. Did Our Lord 'kill'? What about Paul? Are 'we as Christians' to 'kill' or is this more of a worldly activity... more proper of nations?

The Radical Protestants more often than not held very strong beliefs against violence and I, for one, deeply admire them for that. They often live as Christians ought more often than Catholics and Orthodox in this regard. I know Mennonites and Amish and some Primitive Baptists and they are pretty 'fruitful' people in the Spirit. I'm not altogether sure 'right' doctrines and dogmas insure 'fruitful' Spiritual People of God. Sometime I think we 'are' the Pharisees in this light because we have, in a sense, traded this Spiritual Fruitfulness for this 'new' measure of Holiness...


I don't see Saints like Francis of Assisi or Seraphim of Serov in protestantism.
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 12:14:20 PM »

In all honestly guys and gals I don't think Protestants thought that the Sacred Text just 'dropped' out of the sky. I get the impression that they just got tired of all the nationalistic and religious bickering between all the 'groups' claiming 'they are the real Church' and willing to 'kill' over it as history serves to illuminate on 'all sides'. Did Our Lord 'kill'? What about Paul? Are 'we as Christians' to 'kill' or is this more of a worldly activity... more proper of nations?

The Radical Protestants more often than not held very strong beliefs against violence and I, for one, deeply admire them for that. They often live as Christians ought more often than Catholics and Orthodox in this regard. I know Mennonites and Amish and some Primitive Baptists and they are pretty 'fruitful' people in the Spirit. I'm not altogether sure 'right' doctrines and dogmas insure 'fruitful' Spiritual People of God. Sometime I think we 'are' the Pharisees in this light because we have, in a sense, traded this Spiritual Fruitfulness for this 'new' measure of Holiness...


I don't see Saints like Francis of Assisi or Seraphim of Serov in protestantism.

Perhaps it is because they don't have large Church Traditions promoting them? My Father-in-Law for example is a very Saintly man and a African American Baptist. I've learned far more from his daily walk of grace than any Catholics or Orthodox that I know personally.
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 12:22:32 PM »

In all honestly guys and gals I don't think Protestants thought that the Sacred Text just 'dropped' out of the sky.

Au contraire, many claim just that.

Quote
I get the impression that they just got tired of all the nationalistic and religious bickering between all the 'groups' claiming 'they are the real Church' and willing to 'kill' over it as history serves to illuminate on 'all sides'.

LOL.  Have you heard of the English Civil War, for starters?

Quote
Did Our Lord 'kill'? What about Paul? Are 'we as Christians' to 'kill' or is this more of a worldly activity... more proper of nations?

Unfortunatley not at all on point on the issue at hand.  It would be for the Quakers, Shakers, etc. But they have their own problems.

Quote
The Radical Protestants more often than not held very strong beliefs against violence and I, for one, deeply admire them for that. They often live as Christians ought more often than Catholics and Orthodox in this regard. I know Mennonites and Amish and some Primitive Baptists and they are pretty 'fruitful' people in the Spirit. I'm not altogether sure 'right' doctrines and dogmas insure 'fruitful' Spiritual People of God. Sometime I think we 'are' the Pharisees in this light because we have, in a sense, traded this Spiritual Fruitfulness for this 'new' measure of Holiness...

In the battle between the Possessors and the Non-possessors, one of the issues was that of alms and care of the poor: the possessors (who favored persecusion of heretics) insisted on a network of monastic assets to fund and run hospitals, poor houses, soup kitchens etc.. whereas the non-possessors eshewed such things.

The Amish etc. are quite self reliant, but pretty much irrelevant for those not in that community.  Quite frankly, the grass isn't greener over there.
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 12:24:02 PM »

In all honestly guys and gals I don't think Protestants thought that the Sacred Text just 'dropped' out of the sky. I get the impression that they just got tired of all the nationalistic and religious bickering between all the 'groups' claiming 'they are the real Church' and willing to 'kill' over it as history serves to illuminate on 'all sides'. Did Our Lord 'kill'? What about Paul? Are 'we as Christians' to 'kill' or is this more of a worldly activity... more proper of nations?

The Radical Protestants more often than not held very strong beliefs against violence and I, for one, deeply admire them for that. They often live as Christians ought more often than Catholics and Orthodox in this regard. I know Mennonites and Amish and some Primitive Baptists and they are pretty 'fruitful' people in the Spirit. I'm not altogether sure 'right' doctrines and dogmas insure 'fruitful' Spiritual People of God. Sometime I think we 'are' the Pharisees in this light because we have, in a sense, traded this Spiritual Fruitfulness for this 'new' measure of Holiness...


I don't see Saints like Francis of Assisi or Seraphim of Serov in protestantism.

Perhaps it is because they don't have large Church Traditions promoting them? My Father-in-Law for example is a very Saintly man and a African American Baptist. I've learned far more from his daily walk of grace than any Catholics or Orthodox that I know personally.
Perhaps that is why his example will mostly die with him.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2010, 12:39:35 PM »

In all honestly guys and gals I don't think Protestants thought that the Sacred Text just 'dropped' out of the sky. I get the impression that they just got tired of all the nationalistic and religious bickering between all the 'groups' claiming 'they are the real Church' and willing to 'kill' over it as history serves to illuminate on 'all sides'. Did Our Lord 'kill'? What about Paul? Are 'we as Christians' to 'kill' or is this more of a worldly activity... more proper of nations?

The Radical Protestants more often than not held very strong beliefs against violence and I, for one, deeply admire them for that. They often live as Christians ought more often than Catholics and Orthodox in this regard. I know Mennonites and Amish and some Primitive Baptists and they are pretty 'fruitful' people in the Spirit. I'm not altogether sure 'right' doctrines and dogmas insure 'fruitful' Spiritual People of God. Sometime I think we 'are' the Pharisees in this light because we have, in a sense, traded this Spiritual Fruitfulness for this 'new' measure of Holiness...


I don't see Saints like Francis of Assisi or Seraphim of Serov in protestantism.

Perhaps it is because they don't have large Church Traditions promoting them? My Father-in-Law for example is a very Saintly man and a African American Baptist. I've learned far more from his daily walk of grace than any Catholics or Orthodox that I know personally.
Perhaps that is why his example will mostly die with him.

With seven Children of his own and many Grand-Children... you think?

I think not. I think his example will live on far longer than his earthly life. He is a Saint because he is worthy to be imitated. After all isn't that the definition of a Saint? To the larger world, he will be little known but perhaps the least will be first as our Lord taught...
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 12:50:10 PM by ignatius » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2010, 12:48:17 PM »

In all honestly guys and gals I don't think Protestants thought that the Sacred Text just 'dropped' out of the sky. I get the impression that they just got tired of all the nationalistic and religious bickering between all the 'groups' claiming 'they are the real Church' and willing to 'kill' over it as history serves to illuminate on 'all sides'. Did Our Lord 'kill'? What about Paul? Are 'we as Christians' to 'kill' or is this more of a worldly activity... more proper of nations?

The Radical Protestants more often than not held very strong beliefs against violence and I, for one, deeply admire them for that. They often live as Christians ought more often than Catholics and Orthodox in this regard. I know Mennonites and Amish and some Primitive Baptists and they are pretty 'fruitful' people in the Spirit. I'm not altogether sure 'right' doctrines and dogmas insure 'fruitful' Spiritual People of God. Sometime I think we 'are' the Pharisees in this light because we have, in a sense, traded this Spiritual Fruitfulness for this 'new' measure of Holiness...


I don't see Saints like Francis of Assisi or Seraphim of Serov in protestantism.

Perhaps it is because they don't have large Church Traditions promoting them? My Father-in-Law for example is a very Saintly man and a African American Baptist. I've learned far more from his daily walk of grace than any Catholics or Orthodox that I know personally.
Perhaps that is why his example will mostly die with him.

With seven Children of his own and many Grand-Children... you think?

I think not. I think his example will live on far longer than his earthly life.
Actually, no.

That's why I said mostly.  His own personal affects (which you refer to) will live on, but will merge into an amorphous heritage.  No example willl remain, just a faceless affect.  Better, to be sure, than a bad influence, but unable to transcend the ages.  St. Seraphim, however, is still able, centuries latter, to affect lives of people who never met him.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2010, 12:54:01 PM »

In all honestly guys and gals I don't think Protestants thought that the Sacred Text just 'dropped' out of the sky. I get the impression that they just got tired of all the nationalistic and religious bickering between all the 'groups' claiming 'they are the real Church' and willing to 'kill' over it as history serves to illuminate on 'all sides'. Did Our Lord 'kill'? What about Paul? Are 'we as Christians' to 'kill' or is this more of a worldly activity... more proper of nations?

The Radical Protestants more often than not held very strong beliefs against violence and I, for one, deeply admire them for that. They often live as Christians ought more often than Catholics and Orthodox in this regard. I know Mennonites and Amish and some Primitive Baptists and they are pretty 'fruitful' people in the Spirit. I'm not altogether sure 'right' doctrines and dogmas insure 'fruitful' Spiritual People of God. Sometime I think we 'are' the Pharisees in this light because we have, in a sense, traded this Spiritual Fruitfulness for this 'new' measure of Holiness...


I don't see Saints like Francis of Assisi or Seraphim of Serov in protestantism.

Perhaps it is because they don't have large Church Traditions promoting them? My Father-in-Law for example is a very Saintly man and a African American Baptist. I've learned far more from his daily walk of grace than any Catholics or Orthodox that I know personally.
Perhaps that is why his example will mostly die with him.

With seven Children of his own and many Grand-Children... you think?

I think not. I think his example will live on far longer than his earthly life.
Actually, no.

That's why I said mostly.  His own personal affects (which you refer to) will live on, but will merge into an amorphous heritage.  No example willl remain, just a faceless affect.  Better, to be sure, than a bad influence, but unable to transcend the ages.  St. Seraphim, however, is still able, centuries latter, to affect lives of people who never met him.

So to you it is more important to make a hero out of a man than for the man to be a hero. Advertising is necessary. Perhaps if we spent less time admiring Saints whom lived hundreds of years ago we might find time to admire the Saints living today?
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2010, 12:59:50 PM »

In all honestly guys and gals I don't think Protestants thought that the Sacred Text just 'dropped' out of the sky. I get the impression that they just got tired of all the nationalistic and religious bickering between all the 'groups' claiming 'they are the real Church' and willing to 'kill' over it as history serves to illuminate on 'all sides'. Did Our Lord 'kill'? What about Paul? Are 'we as Christians' to 'kill' or is this more of a worldly activity... more proper of nations?

The Radical Protestants more often than not held very strong beliefs against violence and I, for one, deeply admire them for that. They often live as Christians ought more often than Catholics and Orthodox in this regard. I know Mennonites and Amish and some Primitive Baptists and they are pretty 'fruitful' people in the Spirit. I'm not altogether sure 'right' doctrines and dogmas insure 'fruitful' Spiritual People of God. Sometime I think we 'are' the Pharisees in this light because we have, in a sense, traded this Spiritual Fruitfulness for this 'new' measure of Holiness...


I don't see Saints like Francis of Assisi or Seraphim of Serov in protestantism.

Perhaps it is because they don't have large Church Traditions promoting them? My Father-in-Law for example is a very Saintly man and a African American Baptist. I've learned far more from his daily walk of grace than any Catholics or Orthodox that I know personally.
Perhaps that is why his example will mostly die with him.

With seven Children of his own and many Grand-Children... you think?

I think not. I think his example will live on far longer than his earthly life.
Actually, no.

That's why I said mostly.  His own personal affects (which you refer to) will live on, but will merge into an amorphous heritage.  No example willl remain, just a faceless affect.  Better, to be sure, than a bad influence, but unable to transcend the ages.  St. Seraphim, however, is still able, centuries latter, to affect lives of people who never met him.

So to you it is more important to make a hero out of a man than for the man to be a hero. Advertising is necessary. Perhaps if we spent less time admiring Saints whom lived hundreds of years ago we might find time to admire the Saints living today?
No, we have plenty of living saints (until recently, Patriarch Pavle was one). And we can honor the men (and women) being a hero hundreds (and even thousands) of years ago-that's what the feast of "All Saints" is about-but we cannot admire them, as they are known only to God.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2010, 01:42:16 PM »

In all honestly guys and gals I don't think Protestants thought that the Sacred Text just 'dropped' out of the sky. I get the impression that they just got tired of all the nationalistic and religious bickering between all the 'groups' claiming 'they are the real Church' and willing to 'kill' over it as history serves to illuminate on 'all sides'. Did Our Lord 'kill'? What about Paul? Are 'we as Christians' to 'kill' or is this more of a worldly activity... more proper of nations?

The Radical Protestants more often than not held very strong beliefs against violence and I, for one, deeply admire them for that. They often live as Christians ought more often than Catholics and Orthodox in this regard. I know Mennonites and Amish and some Primitive Baptists and they are pretty 'fruitful' people in the Spirit. I'm not altogether sure 'right' doctrines and dogmas insure 'fruitful' Spiritual People of God. Sometime I think we 'are' the Pharisees in this light because we have, in a sense, traded this Spiritual Fruitfulness for this 'new' measure of Holiness...


I don't see Saints like Francis of Assisi or Seraphim of Serov in protestantism.

Perhaps it is because they don't have large Church Traditions promoting them? My Father-in-Law for example is a very Saintly man and a African American Baptist. I've learned far more from his daily walk of grace than any Catholics or Orthodox that I know personally.
Perhaps that is why his example will mostly die with him.

With seven Children of his own and many Grand-Children... you think?

I think not. I think his example will live on far longer than his earthly life.
Actually, no.

That's why I said mostly.  His own personal affects (which you refer to) will live on, but will merge into an amorphous heritage.  No example willl remain, just a faceless affect.  Better, to be sure, than a bad influence, but unable to transcend the ages.  St. Seraphim, however, is still able, centuries latter, to affect lives of people who never met him.

So to you it is more important to make a hero out of a man than for the man to be a hero. Advertising is necessary. Perhaps if we spent less time admiring Saints whom lived hundreds of years ago we might find time to admire the Saints living today?
No, we have plenty of living saints (until recently, Patriarch Pavle was one). And we can honor the men (and women) being a hero hundreds (and even thousands) of years ago-that's what the feast of "All Saints" is about-but we cannot admire them, as they are known only to God.

I'm talking about within your own families... and parishes. Look around and you might see a few worthy to imitate.
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2010, 01:51:34 PM »

In all honestly guys and gals I don't think Protestants thought that the Sacred Text just 'dropped' out of the sky. I get the impression that they just got tired of all the nationalistic and religious bickering between all the 'groups' claiming 'they are the real Church' and willing to 'kill' over it as history serves to illuminate on 'all sides'. Did Our Lord 'kill'? What about Paul? Are 'we as Christians' to 'kill' or is this more of a worldly activity... more proper of nations?

The Radical Protestants more often than not held very strong beliefs against violence and I, for one, deeply admire them for that. They often live as Christians ought more often than Catholics and Orthodox in this regard. I know Mennonites and Amish and some Primitive Baptists and they are pretty 'fruitful' people in the Spirit. I'm not altogether sure 'right' doctrines and dogmas insure 'fruitful' Spiritual People of God. Sometime I think we 'are' the Pharisees in this light because we have, in a sense, traded this Spiritual Fruitfulness for this 'new' measure of Holiness...


I don't see Saints like Francis of Assisi or Seraphim of Serov in protestantism.

Perhaps it is because they don't have large Church Traditions promoting them? My Father-in-Law for example is a very Saintly man and a African American Baptist. I've learned far more from his daily walk of grace than any Catholics or Orthodox that I know personally.
Perhaps that is why his example will mostly die with him.

With seven Children of his own and many Grand-Children... you think?

I think not. I think his example will live on far longer than his earthly life.
Actually, no.

That's why I said mostly.  His own personal affects (which you refer to) will live on, but will merge into an amorphous heritage.  No example willl remain, just a faceless affect.  Better, to be sure, than a bad influence, but unable to transcend the ages.  St. Seraphim, however, is still able, centuries latter, to affect lives of people who never met him.

So to you it is more important to make a hero out of a man than for the man to be a hero. Advertising is necessary. Perhaps if we spent less time admiring Saints whom lived hundreds of years ago we might find time to admire the Saints living today?
No, we have plenty of living saints (until recently, Patriarch Pavle was one). And we can honor the men (and women) being a hero hundreds (and even thousands) of years ago-that's what the feast of "All Saints" is about-but we cannot admire them, as they are known only to God.

I'm talking about within your own families... and parishes. Look around and you might see a few worthy to imitate.
Indeed!  But when we are talking about groups (and the Radical Protestants are a group), compared to the Church, that holds no relevence.
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2010, 02:01:59 PM »

Quote
I'm talking about within your own families... and parishes. Look around and you might see a few worthy to imitate.
Indeed!  But when we are talking about groups (and the Radical Protestants are a group), compared to the Church, that holds no relevence.

So you are saying that my Father-in-Law is not worthy to be imitated because he is not Orthodox?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 02:02:19 PM by ignatius » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2010, 02:03:56 PM »

Quote
I'm talking about within your own families... and parishes. Look around and you might see a few worthy to imitate.
Indeed!  But when we are talking about groups (and the Radical Protestants are a group), compared to the Church, that holds no relevence.

So you are saying that my Father-in-Law is not worthy to be imitated because he is not Orthodox?
Perhaps in some things but you have to remember that he is practicing a faith foreign to Eastern Orthodoxy. Do you want to follow his example in that?
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« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2010, 02:10:45 PM »

Quote
I'm talking about within your own families... and parishes. Look around and you might see a few worthy to imitate.
Indeed!  But when we are talking about groups (and the Radical Protestants are a group), compared to the Church, that holds no relevence.

So you are saying that my Father-in-Law is not worthy to be imitated because he is not Orthodox?
Perhaps in some things but you have to remember that he is practicing a faith foreign to Eastern Orthodoxy. Do you want to follow his example in that?

I am speaking of the Fruits of the Spirit ill-regardless of what 'tradition' produced them. For example, my daughter of seven doesn't understand the doctrinal distinctions in which most of us bicker about. She only recognizes if someone is 'kind' to her and 'humble' and 'modest'.... virtues. She doesn't recognize that 'this' person articulates a doctrine or dogma in this way and another in that. She only recognizes the Fruits... that she can see.
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2010, 03:58:41 PM »

She doesn't recognize that 'this' person articulates a doctrine or dogma in this way and another in that.

Just to clarify for my own curiousity, are you saying that it doesn't matter what anyone believes, as long as they're nice or good?
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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2010, 05:03:13 PM »

She doesn't recognize that 'this' person articulates a doctrine or dogma in this way and another in that.

Just to clarify for my own curiousity, are you saying that it doesn't matter what anyone believes, as long as they're nice or good?

'We know them by their fruit" is all I'm saying.
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« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2010, 05:53:22 PM »

She doesn't recognize that 'this' person articulates a doctrine or dogma in this way and another in that.

Just to clarify for my own curiousity, are you saying that it doesn't matter what anyone believes, as long as they're nice or good?

'We know them by their fruit" is all I'm saying.

So it does matter?
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« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2010, 05:58:54 PM »

She doesn't recognize that 'this' person articulates a doctrine or dogma in this way and another in that.

Just to clarify for my own curiousity, are you saying that it doesn't matter what anyone believes, as long as they're nice or good?

'We know them by their fruit" is all I'm saying.

So it does matter?

I don't know, does it? St. Paul taught a more excellent way... Love.

Love is the more excellent way – love is the greatest of these – because, in this time of incompleteness, love builds up, and love lays hold of the One in whom we believe and for whom we long.

Love is the more excellent way, because, when the complete comes, the Love in whom we have trusted, the Love for whom we have yearned, will never depart from our sight.

Love is the more excellent way, because love prepares us to see God face to face.
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« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2010, 10:10:00 PM »

She doesn't recognize that 'this' person articulates a doctrine or dogma in this way and another in that.

Just to clarify for my own curiousity, are you saying that it doesn't matter what anyone believes, as long as they're nice or good?

'We know them by their fruit" is all I'm saying.

So it does matter?

I don't know, does it? St. Paul taught a more excellent way... Love.

Love is the more excellent way – love is the greatest of these – because, in this time of incompleteness, love builds up, and love lays hold of the One in whom we believe and for whom we long.

Love is the more excellent way, because, when the complete comes, the Love in whom we have trusted, the Love for whom we have yearned, will never depart from our sight.

Love is the more excellent way, because love prepares us to see God face to face.
Unfortunately, much is done in the name of love.  Look at Gov. Saunders' pursuit of his "soul mate." Adultery is usually done in the name of "love."

I know a lot of Muslims who have been personally kind to me, although their heart is with the fundamentalists.

I was once listening to a Holocaust survivor who was telling how a Polish farmer came in to where he was hiding her Jewish family.  Another Jewish family had been found out, and the Polish Christians were going out with bells on their wagons in celebration.  He told her that she and her family had to remember that "when you killed the Lord, you rang bells in celebration." The farmer, as she pointed out, was risking his life and the life of his family hiding them, but he still believed in the deicide charge.  A strange love indeed.

You were trying to make a general statement about Radical Protestants from the example of your father-in-law, who does them proud.  There are less stellar examples of the Radical Protestants: the Pentacostal/Evangelical minister here who a few years ago beat his 5 year old to death because "the Holy Spirti" told him that his son was masturbating.  The secular press of course jumped on that to paint a broad brush on not only Radical Prostentants, or even Protestants, but all Christians.

So while a childlike faith is good, a childish one is not: not all people who are kind to children are good fruit.  Child molesters work very hard in cultivating a "kind" facade.  Smiling faces are not all the same.  A study of Nazis (GOODWIN! GOODWIN! GOODWIN!) showed the men who were very kind to their families and friends would go off and treat their fellow humans as subhuman.

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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2010, 03:08:51 AM »



And you still haven't explained why you are not guilty of plagerism and copyright infringment.
Huh?  Huh

Quote
In other words, the Ecumenical Councils.
I had no implication toward any ecumenical councils in mind, no. Rather I had gospel preaching, gospel experiences, and the virtual Christian consensus along with the blessing of the Spirit on the use of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.
That "virtual Christian consensus" that you speak of also confirms belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the importance of oral tradition, the need for Bishops, priests and deacons, a sacramental understanding of the Chirstian faith, baptismal regeneration, etc. etc. etc. Again, your thinking is inconsisetent.

Please don't muddle the argument with facts and logic. Wink
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« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2010, 08:14:40 AM »

You hit a string of nails on the head
Perhaps or perhaps not. In either case, I'm actually interested in hearing what David Young has to say about the question I have in reply no. 186.
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« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2010, 09:08:08 AM »


Unfortunately, much is done in the name of love.  Look at Gov. Saunders' pursuit of his "soul mate." Adultery is usually done in the name of "love."

I know a lot of Muslims who have been personally kind to me, although their heart is with the fundamentalists.

I was once listening to a Holocaust survivor who was telling how a Polish farmer came in to where he was hiding her Jewish family.  Another Jewish family had been found out, and the Polish Christians were going out with bells on their wagons in celebration.  He told her that she and her family had to remember that "when you killed the Lord, you rang bells in celebration." The farmer, as she pointed out, was risking his life and the life of his family hiding them, but he still believed in the deicide charge.  A strange love indeed.

You were trying to make a general statement about Radical Protestants from the example of your father-in-law, who does them proud.  There are less stellar examples of the Radical Protestants: the Pentacostal/Evangelical minister here who a few years ago beat his 5 year old to death because "the Holy Spirti" told him that his son was masturbating.  The secular press of course jumped on that to paint a broad brush on not only Radical Prostentants, or even Protestants, but all Christians.

So while a childlike faith is good, a childish one is not: not all people who are kind to children are good fruit.  Child molesters work very hard in cultivating a "kind" facade.  Smiling faces are not all the same.  A study of Nazis (GOODWIN! GOODWIN! GOODWIN!) showed the men who were very kind to their families and friends would go off and treat their fellow humans as subhuman.



Agape... nothing else. With 'God' everything is possible.

From your examples you think Agape has been tried and failed so you think treating others of subhuman because they aren't part of your group is any better?
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« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2010, 09:37:10 AM »


Unfortunately, much is done in the name of love.  Look at Gov. Saunders' pursuit of his "soul mate." Adultery is usually done in the name of "love."

I know a lot of Muslims who have been personally kind to me, although their heart is with the fundamentalists.

I was once listening to a Holocaust survivor who was telling how a Polish farmer came in to where he was hiding her Jewish family.  Another Jewish family had been found out, and the Polish Christians were going out with bells on their wagons in celebration.  He told her that she and her family had to remember that "when you killed the Lord, you rang bells in celebration." The farmer, as she pointed out, was risking his life and the life of his family hiding them, but he still believed in the deicide charge.  A strange love indeed.

You were trying to make a general statement about Radical Protestants from the example of your father-in-law, who does them proud.  There are less stellar examples of the Radical Protestants: the Pentacostal/Evangelical minister here who a few years ago beat his 5 year old to death because "the Holy Spirti" told him that his son was masturbating.  The secular press of course jumped on that to paint a broad brush on not only Radical Prostentants, or even Protestants, but all Christians.

So while a childlike faith is good, a childish one is not: not all people who are kind to children are good fruit.  Child molesters work very hard in cultivating a "kind" facade.  Smiling faces are not all the same.  A study of Nazis (GOODWIN! GOODWIN! GOODWIN!) showed the men who were very kind to their families and friends would go off and treat their fellow humans as subhuman.



Agape... nothing else.

That would be Andrew Young's excuse for facilitating and covering up Edwards' affair (and child).


Quote
With 'God' everything is possible.

From your examples you think Agape has been tried and failed so you think treating others of subhuman because they aren't part of your group is any better?
I didn't say it failed: the Nazi officials were full of agape, but only for the right persons.

Did Jesus love the money-changers in the Temple?  Sure, but I expect they didn't take to kindly to the whipping He gave them.

I was just pointing out that your positing of a dichonomy between dogma and works is a false one: St. James says that his works will SHOW his Faith.
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« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2010, 10:26:40 AM »

Just a general observation, and not directed personally at anyone, but I've noticed that many people, many of them Christians, seem to do a lot of talking about love, but not much loving, in an active practical sense. Or that simply talking about love somehow gives them the moral high ground.

It's easy to talk about loving one's neighbor but how does that work out in real life? What are we, what am I, actually doing? (I've been giving this a lot of thought since listening to the Gospel on Judgment Sunday). Loving one's neighbor doesn't only mean that we have no animosity toward them, or have refrained from stealing, lying, murdering and coveting. It seems to me that it's not enough to talk about it, or to have nice kindly feelings toward one another.
Thus, what we believe does matter.
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« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2010, 02:55:27 PM »


Unfortunately, much is done in the name of love.  Look at Gov. Saunders' pursuit of his "soul mate." Adultery is usually done in the name of "love."

I know a lot of Muslims who have been personally kind to me, although their heart is with the fundamentalists.

I was once listening to a Holocaust survivor who was telling how a Polish farmer came in to where he was hiding her Jewish family.  Another Jewish family had been found out, and the Polish Christians were going out with bells on their wagons in celebration.  He told her that she and her family had to remember that "when you killed the Lord, you rang bells in celebration." The farmer, as she pointed out, was risking his life and the life of his family hiding them, but he still believed in the deicide charge.  A strange love indeed.

You were trying to make a general statement about Radical Protestants from the example of your father-in-law, who does them proud.  There are less stellar examples of the Radical Protestants: the Pentacostal/Evangelical minister here who a few years ago beat his 5 year old to death because "the Holy Spirti" told him that his son was masturbating.  The secular press of course jumped on that to paint a broad brush on not only Radical Prostentants, or even Protestants, but all Christians.

So while a childlike faith is good, a childish one is not: not all people who are kind to children are good fruit.  Child molesters work very hard in cultivating a "kind" facade.  Smiling faces are not all the same.  A study of Nazis (GOODWIN! GOODWIN! GOODWIN!) showed the men who were very kind to their families and friends would go off and treat their fellow humans as subhuman.



Agape... nothing else.

That would be Andrew Young's excuse for facilitating and covering up Edwards' affair (and child).


Quote
With 'God' everything is possible.

From your examples you think Agape has been tried and failed so you think treating others of subhuman because they aren't part of your group is any better?
I didn't say it failed: the Nazi officials were full of agape, but only for the right persons.

Did Jesus love the money-changers in the Temple?  Sure, but I expect they didn't take to kindly to the whipping He gave them.

I was just pointing out that your positing of a dichonomy between dogma and works is a false one: St. James says that his works will SHOW his Faith.

Agape can't simply have a single object... it's object-less love. An outpouring of good-will which is indiscriminate to all.

The Love of God is Agape.
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« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2010, 03:03:56 PM »

Just a general observation, and not directed personally at anyone, but I've noticed that many people, many of them Christians, seem to do a lot of talking about love, but not much loving, in an active practical sense. Or that simply talking about love somehow gives them the moral high ground.

You're the second poster coming up with excuses as to why we don't talk about love and perhaps put it into practice in the life of this forum...

Quote
It's easy to talk about loving one's neighbor but how does that work out in real life? What are we, what am I, actually doing? (I've been giving this a lot of thought since listening to the Gospel on Judgment Sunday). Loving one's neighbor doesn't only mean that we have no animosity toward them, or have refrained from stealing, lying, murdering and coveting. It seems to me that it's not enough to talk about it, or to have nice kindly feelings toward one another.

We could start right here by not being so divisive on the forum. That is an act... "doing" something.

I would much rather 'be' loving in the Godly sense than to claim to know 'truth' and repeatedly beat everyone over the head with it. I think St. Paul would agree...
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« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2010, 03:22:14 PM »

You're the second poster coming up with excuses as to why we don't talk about love and perhaps put it into practice in the life of this forum...
I'm sorry that I was so unclear in my meaning that you seem to have totally misunderstood what I was saying. Please point out to me where I offered "excuses" and I will either clarify or apologize.

Quote
We could start right here by not being so divisive on the forum. That is an act... "doing" something.

I would much rather 'be' loving in the Godly sense than to claim to know 'truth' and repeatedly beat everyone over the head with it. I think St. Paul would agree...


I suppose that I will earn your scorn for being divisive and unloving by this observation, but it seems to me that you are doing something similar to what you accuse others of doing. That is, you are beating them over the head with your "truth" about love. How do you understand "being loving in the Godly sense"?
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« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2010, 03:47:55 PM »

I suppose that I will earn your scorn for being divisive and unloving by this observation, but it seems to me that you are doing something similar to what you accuse others of doing. That is, you are beating them over the head with your "truth" about love. How do you understand "being loving in the Godly sense"?

Ha Ha Ha... bringing it up... as the proper object of the Christian Life shouldn't be divisive or unloving.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (1Co 13:4-13)

Agape is like this... It doesn't leave a lot of room to be divisive.
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« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2010, 05:32:18 PM »

I don't know you at all, and I don't understand your last post at all, so I am probably being unfair to you, but it seems to me,  that agape doesn't exactly shine through your posts. But then, that's just me being divisive and unloving, isn't it?

Glad to have provided you with a good laugh, at least!
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« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2010, 11:13:36 PM »

I don't know you at all, and I don't understand your last post at all, so I am probably being unfair to you, but it seems to me,  that agape doesn't exactly shine through your posts. But then, that's just me being divisive and unloving, isn't it?

Glad to have provided you with a good laugh, at least!

No, don't take my laughter as a sign of contempt but just light humor. I find it strange that we all find 'Love' such a difficult topic. It seems all so important to categorize and separate 'these' from 'those' and exclude. I guess in a way that is important when we say 'we are the Church' and 'you are not'... but I think 'Love' is our primary calling as Christians but I don't see it that often on forums... not just this one but most forums... seems to display a real lack of love towards our internet neighbors.

It seems it's far more important to establish our 'orthodoxy' than our Christian Love... I find that a bit wrong headed.

This is spoken to insult 'you' but it's an observation that I find problematic as Christian ultimately.
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« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2010, 11:10:07 AM »

I find it strange that we all find 'Love' such a difficult topic... but I think 'Love' is our primary calling as Christians...

Perhaps you are one of the blessed for whom lthis is not difficult. But my observation/experience is that love, true agape, loving our neighbor as ourselves in the spirit of Matthew 25 is dadgum hard, and a 24/7 job with no time off, no coffee breaks, no vacations. As I said, I've been thinking about this since hearing the Gospel last Sunday. It's not enough to talk about love, or to say that love is a good thing. We have to put it into practice, not simply by refraining from hurting our neighbor (as I said, not murdering, lying, stealing, coveting etc.) but by acting positively in his/her best interests at all times. In a sense, true love is an action verb. It's not about warm feelings or being nice, but about sacrifice.


(
Quote
This is spoken to insult 'you' but it's an observation that I find problematic as Christian ultimately.
I do hope you meant to say "not spoken" -  Wink)
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« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2010, 11:58:03 AM »

I find it strange that we all find 'Love' such a difficult topic... but I think 'Love' is our primary calling as Christians...

Perhaps you are one of the blessed for whom lthis is not difficult. But my observation/experience is that love, true agape, loving our neighbor as ourselves in the spirit of Matthew 25 is dadgum hard, and a 24/7 job with no time off, no coffee breaks, no vacations. As I said, I've been thinking about this since hearing the Gospel last Sunday. It's not enough to talk about love, or to say that love is a good thing. We have to put it into practice, not simply by refraining from hurting our neighbor (as I said, not murdering, lying, stealing, coveting etc.) but by acting positively in his/her best interests at all times. In a sense, true love is an action verb. It's not about warm feelings or being nice, but about sacrifice.

Instead of criticizing me for bringing it up... why don't we strive to be more loving? I don't see how all this helps Orthodox act as Christians... it just seems to me that most here are too focused on making others look back and then saying 'if you were Orthodox... all of this would be fixed'... I don't see it happening.


Quote
(
Quote
This is spoken to insult 'you' but it's an observation that I find problematic as Christian ultimately.
I do hope you meant to say "not spoken" -  Wink)

Yes, that is exactly what I meant to say.
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« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2010, 12:05:37 PM »

I suppose that I will earn your scorn for being divisive and unloving by this observation, but it seems to me that you are doing something similar to what you accuse others of doing. That is, you are beating them over the head with your "truth" about love. How do you understand "being loving in the Godly sense"?

Ha Ha Ha... bringing it up... as the proper object of the Christian Life shouldn't be divisive or unloving.

No one said that.  What we did say: living the proper Christian Life as an objective often requires division. Loving the sin but hating the sinner applies also to loving the heretic but hating the heresy.

Quote
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (1Co 13:4-13)

Agape is like this... It doesn't leave a lot of room to be divisive.

But the Gospel does.
34“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,

a daughter against her mother,

a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—

36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’e

37“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
(Matthew 10)

It's not enough to talk about love, or to say that love is a good thing. We have to put it into practice, not simply by refraining from hurting our neighbor (as I said, not murdering, lying, stealing, coveting etc.) but by acting positively in his/her best interests at all times. In a sense, true love is an action verb. It's not about warm feelings or being nice, but about sacrifice.
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« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2010, 12:14:23 PM »

I don't know you at all, and I don't understand your last post at all, so I am probably being unfair to you, but it seems to me,  that agape doesn't exactly shine through your posts. But then, that's just me being divisive and unloving, isn't it?

Glad to have provided you with a good laugh, at least!

No, don't take my laughter as a sign of contempt but just light humor. I find it strange that we all find 'Love' such a difficult topic. It seems all so important to categorize and separate 'these' from 'those' and exclude. I guess in a way that is important when we say 'we are the Church' and 'you are not'... but I think 'Love' is our primary calling as Christians but I don't see it that often on forums... not just this one but most forums... seems to display a real lack of love towards our internet neighbors.

It seems it's far more important to establish our 'oOrthodoxy' than our Christian Love... I find that a bit wrong headed.

You speak as if the two are opposites: they are twins, conjoined twins in fact.

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This is spoken to insult 'you' but it's an observation that I find problematic as Christian ultimately.
Christ doesn't.
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« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2010, 01:45:35 PM »

You speak as if the two are opposites: they are twins, conjoined twins in fact.

Quote
This is spoken to insult 'you' but it's an observation that I find problematic as Christian ultimately.
Christ doesn't.

I think Christ does care. I don't think the passages you cite exhort us to act toward any of our family in a way that lacks the true and genuine charity of the Christian Faith.
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« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2010, 02:18:28 PM »

It seems it's far more important to establish our 'orthodoxy' than our Christian Love... I find that a bit wrong headed.

No offense, but you're head's wrong.

"Orthodoxy" doesn't mean "all the right answers."  Orthodoxy can be translated in a lot of ways: correct way; straight worship; right honor, proper conception, etc.

I prefer "True Glorification."  Doxa is to give glory in Greek.  If we are Orthodox, then it is not only a proposed set of ideas that we subscribe to.  It's not all arguing about how many wills Christ has (a conversation I haven't even bothered to try and understand yet).  It's about giving Glory to God in Truth.  There can be no love where there is no Truth.

If someone does not love, then they are not Orthodox.  What are the greatest of the commandments?
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« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2010, 03:29:11 PM »

You speak as if the two are opposites: they are twins, conjoined twins in fact.

Quote
This is spoken to insult 'you' but it's an observation that I find problematic as Christian ultimately.
Christ doesn't.

I think Christ does care.
You think wrong.
John 2:15 So He made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn My Father’s house into a market!”

17His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume Me.”

Quote
I don't think the passages you cite exhort us to act toward any of our family in a way that lacks the true and genuine charity of the Christian Faith.
Luke 14:25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: 26“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—He cannot be My disciple."
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« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2010, 03:43:38 PM »

You speak as if the two are opposites: they are twins, conjoined twins in fact.

Quote
This is spoken to insult 'you' but it's an observation that I find problematic as Christian ultimately.
Christ doesn't.

I think Christ does care.
You think wrong.
John 2:15 So He made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn My Father’s house into a market!”

17His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume Me.”

Quote
I don't think the passages you cite exhort us to act toward any of our family in a way that lacks the true and genuine charity of the Christian Faith.
Luke 14:25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: 26“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—He cannot be My disciple."

So you believe these passages validate 'hate' and 'violence' against others? I've heard Muslims use quotes like these 'out of context' to make this pretext but I've never heard a Christian do it. Are you sure this is how the Church interprets these passages?
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« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2010, 05:27:12 PM »

Luke 14:25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: 26“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—He cannot be My disciple."

So you believe these passages validate 'hate' and 'violence' against others? I've heard Muslims use quotes like these 'out of context' to make this pretext but I've never heard a Christian do it. Are you sure this is how the Church interprets these passages?

Is "hate" to be interpreted literally?

If the Kingdom of God is to take precedence over family ties and our own lives, we have to hate the way our relationships with others can hinder our own dedication to the Kingdom of God.

(The above is paraphrasing the comments of Luke 14:26 in the Orthodox Study Bible, page 1396).

If suffering is the cost of discipleship, then Luke 14:33 sums it up:

So, likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

The Martyrs who perished forsook everything to be with Christ.  That is love; That is the cost of discipleship.  Each and every one of us has something which hinders our own dedication to the Kingdom of God whether its sins of flesh, sins of thought, sins of hatred, anger, avarice, etc.
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« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2010, 05:36:44 PM »

One of the (not so) great ecumenical moments of history was when Catholic and Protestant princes of Germany teamed up against the Anabaptists.
http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/speyer_diet_of

Quote
Diet of Speyer (1529)

Diet of Speyer, 1529, the notorious Imperial Diet at which the first imperial law was passed against the Anabaptists threatening death to anyone who did not recognize infant baptism. Thereby the mandate of Charles V of 4 January 1528, acquired the consent of the estates, including the Protestants, who at the same diet protested against compulsion in religious matters. The delegates from the cities (Catholic and Protestant) declared in a petition presented on 8 April  to the two estates of princes that they would give their consent to the article on Anabaptism and on 12 April the Protestant princes also expressed their willingness to agree with the majority in the matter of the Anabaptists. Prince Louis V, a Catholic of the Palatinate, suggested a lightening of the penalty to the effect that only those should be punished with capital punishment who would not desist from Anabaptism. In the session of all the estates of the diet of 17 April, a draft of a decision made by the committee, to be included in the mandate against the Anabaptists, was announced to the estates and received the consent of both princely chambers, whereas the cities were for the time being still debating it. The Protestant princes in addition, in their protestation of 19 April and again on 20 April, declared their express agreement with the measures to be adopted against the adherents of adult baptism. The imperial law against the Anabaptists was issued 23 April 1529.

The content of the mandate--printed in the Neue und vollsta"ndige Sammlung der Reichsabschiede (Frankfurt a.M., 1747) II, 284; in J. J. Schmaussens Corpora juris publici Academ. III (1755) No. XIX, 141-43; Krohn, 213; and Bossert's Quellen (TA Wu"rttemberg, 1930) 3*-5*--was about as follows (literally according to Ney, 216, who gives an excerpt): Although the common law forbids upon penalty of death to baptize again an already baptized person and the emperor at the beginning of 1528 has given a new warning against the transgressors of the prohibition, that sect is still increasing. Therefore the regulation is ordered again, that each and every rebaptizer and rebaptized person, man or woman, of an accountable age shall be brought from natural life to death with fire, sword, or the like according to the circumstances of the persons without previous inquisition of spiritual judges. Against the preachers and leaders of the sect as well as those who persisted in the same or fell back into it no mercy shall be exercised but the threatened penalty shall be ruthlessly performed. Those who confess their error, recant, and beg for mercy may be pardoned. Whoever does not have his children baptized shall be considered an Anabaptist. No pardoned person shall be permitted to emigrate, so that the authorities can see to it that he does not backslide. No prince shall receive the subjects of another who have escaped. This mandate shall in all points be most strictly performed by all in order to perform the duties and oaths to the emperor and empire and to avoid the serious displeasure and punishment of the emperor.

The edict of Speyer brought brutal punishment upon the Anabaptists such as was inflicted upon no other religious party of the Holy Roman Empire. The law was repeated at Speyer in 1544, and was finally renewed at the diet of Augsburg in 1551. As late as 1694 the court councillor of Ju"lich, von Heyden, justified his sudden expulsion of the Mennonites from Rheydt by the edict of Speyer.

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« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2010, 05:57:16 PM »

Luke 14:25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: 26“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—He cannot be My disciple."

So you believe these passages validate 'hate' and 'violence' against others? I've heard Muslims use quotes like these 'out of context' to make this pretext but I've never heard a Christian do it. Are you sure this is how the Church interprets these passages?

Is "hate" to be interpreted literally?

If the Kingdom of God is to take precedence over family ties and our own lives, we have to hate the way our relationships with others can hinder our own dedication to the Kingdom of God.

(The above is paraphrasing the comments of Luke 14:26 in the Orthodox Study Bible, page 1396).

If suffering is the cost of discipleship, then Luke 14:33 sums it up:

So, likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

The Martyrs who perished forsook everything to be with Christ.  That is love; That is the cost of discipleship.  Each and every one of us has something which hinders our own dedication to the Kingdom of God whether its sins of flesh, sins of thought, sins of hatred, anger, avarice, etc.

I'm familiar with all of this because it's the same interpretation of Dom Lorenzo Scupoli in Spiritual Combat but these kind of 'spiritual' hatred is largely aimed at our own intemperate attachments to worldly things. I've not seen these passages interpreted to argue that Christians should act out violently or to literally 'hate' others. I know the Church has done so from time to time but I've never understood that to be the proper interpretation of these passages.
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« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2010, 07:30:32 PM »

You speak as if the two are opposites: they are twins, conjoined twins in fact.

Quote
This is spoken to insult 'you' but it's an observation that I find problematic as Christian ultimately.
Christ doesn't.

I think Christ does care.
You think wrong.
John 2:15 So He made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn My Father’s house into a market!”

17His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume Me.”

Quote
I don't think the passages you cite exhort us to act toward any of our family in a way that lacks the true and genuine charity of the Christian Faith.
Luke 14:25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: 26“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—He cannot be My disciple."

So you believe these passages validate 'hate' and 'violence' against others? I've heard Muslims use quotes like these 'out of context' to make this pretext but I've never heard a Christian do it. Are you sure this is how the Church interprets these passages?

I mention them only to show that neither Christ nor his Church interpret the passages you mention and meaning we should hold hands and sing Kumbaya.
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« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2010, 07:52:57 PM »

Our Heavenly Father Loves all people, without discrimination, and He makes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and the wicked alike. Be ye perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.
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« Reply #43 on: February 11, 2010, 08:18:09 PM »

Our Heavenly Father Loves all people, without discrimination, and He makes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and the wicked alike. Be ye perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.
He does make the sun shine on the good and the wicked (gee, that sounds like too different categories) alike, but He does not say that both walk alike in the light.
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« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2010, 08:21:57 PM »

Our Heavenly Father Loves all people, without discrimination, and He makes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and the wicked alike. Be ye perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.
He does make the sun shine on the good and the wicked (gee, that sounds like too different categories) alike, but He does not say that both walk alike in the light.
Yes Isa, that is two different categories, but we cannot decide who fits into which category. That is for Him to judge. Our duty is to Love all without discrimination. That is what He commanded us to do. He did not command us to love some and not others.
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« Reply #45 on: February 11, 2010, 08:53:50 PM »

Our Heavenly Father Loves all people, without discrimination, and He makes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and the wicked alike. Be ye perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.
He does make the sun shine on the good and the wicked (gee, that sounds like too different categories) alike, but He does not say that both walk alike in the light.
Yes Isa, that is two different categories, but we cannot decide who fits into which category. That is for Him to judge. Our duty is to Love all without discrimination. That is what He commanded us to do. He did not command us to love some and not others.
Didn't say He did.  But He did command us to believe some, and not believe others.
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« Reply #46 on: February 11, 2010, 08:56:37 PM »

Our Heavenly Father Loves all people, without discrimination, and He makes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and the wicked alike. Be ye perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.
He does make the sun shine on the good and the wicked (gee, that sounds like too different categories) alike, but He does not say that both walk alike in the light.
Yes Isa, that is two different categories, but we cannot decide who fits into which category. That is for Him to judge. Our duty is to Love all without discrimination. That is what He commanded us to do. He did not command us to love some and not others.
Didn't say He did.  But He did command us to believe some, and not believe others.
Spiffing. So why are you telling me this? Did you think my initial post was directed at you? It wasn't. It was my contribution to the thread. Not everything posted on OCnet is directed at you Isa.
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« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2010, 09:00:36 PM »

Our Heavenly Father Loves all people, without discrimination, and He makes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the good and the wicked alike. Be ye perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.
He does make the sun shine on the good and the wicked (gee, that sounds like too different categories) alike, but He does not say that both walk alike in the light.
Yes Isa, that is two different categories, but we cannot decide who fits into which category. That is for Him to judge. Our duty is to Love all without discrimination. That is what He commanded us to do. He did not command us to love some and not others.
Didn't say He did.  But He did command us to believe some, and not believe others.
Spiffing. So why are you telling me this?

Who said I was telling you?  I neither used your name nor the second person.

Quote
Did you think my initial post was directed at you? It wasn't. It was my contribution to the thread. Not everything posted on OCnet is directed at you Isa.
Just my contribution to your post: that's what the quote feature is for.
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« Reply #48 on: February 11, 2010, 09:10:38 PM »

I'm familiar with all of this because it's the same interpretation of Dom Lorenzo Scupoli in Spiritual Combat but these kind of 'spiritual' hatred is largely aimed at our own intemperate attachments to worldly things. I've not seen these passages interpreted to argue that Christians should act out violently or to literally 'hate' others. I know the Church has done so from time to time but I've never understood that to be the proper interpretation of these passages.
I would agree. By the way, Lorenzo Scupoli's "Spiritual Combat" was translated into Greek by St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and later revised by St. Theophan the Recluse, and we (the Orthodox's) version bears the title "Unseen Warfare"- an excellent text and one of my favourites.
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« Reply #49 on: February 11, 2010, 10:50:16 PM »

All christians are in some sense "saints", since the word implies a setting apart ... The Greek word for saint hagios comes from a root word that means not like anything else, different. Saints are different from the people of the world. They march to the tune of a different drummer. They are conformed to the will of God in Christ. As members of the Body of Christ, the Church, saints are the hands of God by which He accomplishes His work in the world today.

St. Symeon the New Theologian says that the reason vigil lights are placed before the icons of the saints is to show that without the Light, Who is Christ, the Saints are nothing. It is only as the light of Christ shines on them that they become alive and resplendent.

A saint is one who sees himself in the sins of others. A saint is one in whom Christ lives; one who opens his life to Christ and lives as Christ wills him to live. A saint is one who has been made actually what Baptism declares him to be, one set apart for God.

A saint is a mirror who reflects not himself but Christ.

The word "saint" is indeed biblical in its basis, as all members of the Church of Christ were classified as saints (little s). This draws the distinction in the usage of the word, there are two types of saints, capital "S" and little "s".

The difference is important:

"Thus, there are the Saints, with a capital “S,” those officially recognized and canonized by the Church, and there are the saints with a small “s,” who are the whole body of Christians-you and I included. We, too, are called to be men and women in whom others can in some way meet the living Christ. We can appreciate our call to be saints when we realize that saints become saints not so much because of the unusual things they do but rather because of the unusual degree to which they give themselves to Christ. By our daily faithfulness to Christ, each of us is a saint in the making. Made in the image of God and baptized in the Trinity, every Christian has the potential of sainthood."

All who profess Christ, whether they are Orthodox or not, can share of the fruit of the Holy Spirit "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (Gal 5:22-23) but not all who profess Christ can be Saints, since to be a "saint" literally means "Holy One" as we have discussed. Something that is "Holy" has literally been converted into the Image and Likeness of God, and has been sanctified by His actual presence. It is not the "Gifts" of the Holy Spirit that sanctify the Saint but the "Holy Trinity living inside the Saint" that transforms them to "Holy".

We recognise the "holiness" of individuals who have struggled with a "holy" life that is above and beyond the average christian ...

In our Holy Liturgy the priest exclaims "Holy things are for the Holy" and then proceeds to break the Lamb.

This phrase includes all true (Orthodox) christians who struggle to be saved and are indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

So, when we refer to the "Saints" we call to mind those who "fought the good fight and finished the course and kept the faith" (cf. i Tim 4:7) and in so doing, have "laboured more abundantly than they all" (1 Cor 15:10).
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« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2010, 11:08:20 PM »

Luke 14:25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: 26“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—He cannot be My disciple."

So you believe these passages validate 'hate' and 'violence' against others? I've heard Muslims use quotes like these 'out of context' to make this pretext but I've never heard a Christian do it. Are you sure this is how the Church interprets these passages?

Is "hate" to be interpreted literally?

If the Kingdom of God is to take precedence over family ties and our own lives, we have to hate the way our relationships with others can hinder our own dedication to the Kingdom of God.

(The above is paraphrasing the comments of Luke 14:26 in the Orthodox Study Bible, page 1396).

If suffering is the cost of discipleship, then Luke 14:33 sums it up:

So, likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

The Martyrs who perished forsook everything to be with Christ.  That is love; That is the cost of discipleship.  Each and every one of us has something which hinders our own dedication to the Kingdom of God whether its sins of flesh, sins of thought, sins of hatred, anger, avarice, etc.

I'm familiar with all of this because it's the same interpretation of Dom Lorenzo Scupoli in Spiritual Combat but these kind of 'spiritual' hatred is largely aimed at our own intemperate attachments to worldly things. I've not seen these passages interpreted to argue that Christians should act out violently or to literally 'hate' others. I know the Church has done so from time to time but I've never understood that to be the proper interpretation of these passages.

Someone else cited the historical killing of Anabaptists unless they pleaded for mercy.  Doesn't sound like love to me.
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« Reply #51 on: February 11, 2010, 11:09:46 PM »

I'm familiar with all of this because it's the same interpretation of Dom Lorenzo Scupoli in Spiritual Combat but these kind of 'spiritual' hatred is largely aimed at our own intemperate attachments to worldly things. I've not seen these passages interpreted to argue that Christians should act out violently or to literally 'hate' others. I know the Church has done so from time to time but I've never understood that to be the proper interpretation of these passages.
I would agree. By the way, Lorenzo Scupoli's "Spiritual Combat" was translated into Greek by St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and later revised by St. Theophan the Recluse, and we (the Orthodox's) version bears the title "Unseen Warfare"- an excellent text and one of my favourites.

Has Unseen Warfare been translated into English, to your knowledge?   Huh
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« Reply #52 on: February 11, 2010, 11:12:14 PM »

Has Unseen Warfare been translated into English, to your knowledge?   Huh

Yes, at least 20 years ago, if not earlier. There is an old copy in one of our bookshelves at home.
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« Reply #53 on: February 11, 2010, 11:13:08 PM »

I'm familiar with all of this because it's the same interpretation of Dom Lorenzo Scupoli in Spiritual Combat but these kind of 'spiritual' hatred is largely aimed at our own intemperate attachments to worldly things. I've not seen these passages interpreted to argue that Christians should act out violently or to literally 'hate' others. I know the Church has done so from time to time but I've never understood that to be the proper interpretation of these passages.
I would agree. By the way, Lorenzo Scupoli's "Spiritual Combat" was translated into Greek by St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and later revised by St. Theophan the Recluse, and we (the Orthodox's) version bears the title "Unseen Warfare"- an excellent text and one of my favourites.

Has Unseen Warfare been translated into English, to your knowledge?   Huh
Yes it has. http://www.amazon.com/Unseen-Warfare-Spiritual-Paradise-Lorenzo/dp/0913836524
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« Reply #54 on: February 12, 2010, 02:24:14 AM »

Thank you ozgeorge & LBK.   Smiley
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« Reply #55 on: February 12, 2010, 06:21:47 AM »

I'm familiar with all of this because it's the same interpretation of Dom Lorenzo Scupoli in Spiritual Combat but these kind of 'spiritual' hatred is largely aimed at our own intemperate attachments to worldly things. I've not seen these passages interpreted to argue that Christians should act out violently or to literally 'hate' others. I know the Church has done so from time to time but I've never understood that to be the proper interpretation of these passages.
I would agree. By the way, Lorenzo Scupoli's "Spiritual Combat" was translated into Greek by St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and later revised by St. Theophan the Recluse, and we (the Orthodox's) version bears the title "Unseen Warfare"- an excellent text and one of my favourites.

Has Unseen Warfare been translated into English, to your knowledge?   Huh
Yes it has. http://www.amazon.com/Unseen-Warfare-Spiritual-Paradise-Lorenzo/dp/0913836524

That does look like a worthwhile read.
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« Reply #56 on: February 12, 2010, 09:54:32 AM »

I'm familiar with all of this because it's the same interpretation of Dom Lorenzo Scupoli in Spiritual Combat but these kind of 'spiritual' hatred is largely aimed at our own intemperate attachments to worldly things. I've not seen these passages interpreted to argue that Christians should act out violently or to literally 'hate' others. I know the Church has done so from time to time but I've never understood that to be the proper interpretation of these passages.

Someone else cited the historical killing of Anabaptists unless they pleaded for mercy.  Doesn't sound like love to me.


So, because we have a historical precedent that makes it okay? Because 'men' of whatever religious stripe killed I'm to now embrace this as Christ-like? I'm sorry but I don't, and neither does the Late Pope John Paul II who recognizing it as un-Christ-like offered an apology to the World for these acts that those representing the Roman Catholic Church has been involved in from time to time throughout history. Is this supposed to be an example for us to follow? I think so. I think in times passed there was a precedent established within the unified Imperial Church that said it was okay to use worldly power to remove those who don't profess the 'orthodox' Faith... I think that is flat out 'un-Christ-like', period. Verbal, Physical, or whatever kind of oppression is not the 'interior' trans-formative path of the 'real' Christian Way.

There 'is' a more excellent way, Agape (Love) as St. Paul taught... "Owe no man anything but to love him for that is the fulfillment of the Law".
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« Reply #57 on: February 12, 2010, 10:33:01 AM »

So, because we have a historical precedent that makes it okay? Because 'men' of whatever religious stripe killed I'm to now embrace this as Christ-like? I'm sorry but I don't, and neither does the Late Pope John Paul II who recognizing it as un-Christ-like offered an apology to the World for these acts that those representing the Roman Catholic Church has been involved in from time to time throughout history. Is this supposed to be an example for us to follow? I think so. I think in times passed there was a precedent established within the unified Imperial Church that said it was okay to use worldly power to remove those who don't profess the 'orthodox' Faith... I think that is flat out 'un-Christ-like', period. Verbal, Physical, or whatever kind of oppression is not the 'interior' trans-formative path of the 'real' Christian Way.

There 'is' a more excellent way, Agape (Love) as St. Paul taught... "Owe no man anything but to love him for that is the fulfillment of the Law".

You have a way of twisting every word that is given your way and then pushing your own interpretation of Scripture ... no one on this thread has spoken to you in the manner that you have spoken to them ... this is an Eastern Orthodox forum and not Roman Catholic (firstly, so respect that) and secondly no one condemned your father, you have taken that initiative on your own and have worked through the entire thread in a defensive mode.

Chill out ... if you understood theology and the Scriptures you would not have to spend so much time from a defensive position but there is a nother method to your writing that makes you look like a victim ...


All people around us can display fruit of the Holy Spirit but if they are not "Saints" we need to be careful in putting them in a position of admiration; if God Himself does not reveal them to be "Saints then we, in our own stubborness, become idolaters of our own flesh and blood ... be careful with your theology it is not as correct as you try to push it to be. That is what the people around you are warning you about ... and you can not just grab whatever passage is available in Scripture and make it work to your advantage, you need to pay careful attention to the way that the Church, the Body of Christ, has shown us how to do things over 2000 years .... it has greater and more divine experience than you or I ... let's embrace and show tradition some respect.
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« Reply #58 on: February 12, 2010, 11:54:26 AM »

So, because we have a historical precedent that makes it okay? Because 'men' of whatever religious stripe killed I'm to now embrace this as Christ-like? I'm sorry but I don't, and neither does the Late Pope John Paul II who recognizing it as un-Christ-like offered an apology to the World for these acts that those representing the Roman Catholic Church has been involved in from time to time throughout history. Is this supposed to be an example for us to follow? I think so. I think in times passed there was a precedent established within the unified Imperial Church that said it was okay to use worldly power to remove those who don't profess the 'orthodox' Faith... I think that is flat out 'un-Christ-like', period. Verbal, Physical, or whatever kind of oppression is not the 'interior' trans-formative path of the 'real' Christian Way.

There 'is' a more excellent way, Agape (Love) as St. Paul taught... "Owe no man anything but to love him for that is the fulfillment of the Law".

You have a way of twisting every word that is given your way and then pushing your own interpretation of Scripture ... no one on this thread has spoken to you in the manner that you have spoken to them ... this is an Eastern Orthodox forum and not Roman Catholic (firstly, so respect that) and secondly no one condemned your father, you have taken that initiative on your own and have worked through the entire thread in a defensive mode.

So you are saying that it is just and Christ-like to exercise a bias here?
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« Reply #59 on: February 12, 2010, 12:06:39 PM »

I tossed in that reference to the Anabaptists, because it horrified me when I read about it years ago. The gist of what I read years ago, was that in Germany, Catholics and Protestants came together to support a law that advocated killing those who denied the validity of infant baptistism. The Lutheran support of the very brutal persecutions is what made this unusual, given the Lutheran's own desires for tolerance of their confession. "Freedom for us, but not for them, because they are real heretics..."

This isn't just a Western European thing - Emperor Justin (father of Justinian) advocated a law which killed Christians who reverted back to Paganism. (I scanned that almost by accident yesterday on this page). Of course, there are also stories of heretodox Roman emperors who cut off hands of iconographer monks, so this isn't just a case of orthodox rulers killing heretodox, but also cases of the reverse. "If you advocate or practice religious beliefs contrary to the state religion, you should die." I don't think killing of heretics is Christlike. There are ways to practice "truth in charity", but holding a death sentence over heretodox isn't one of them.
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« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2010, 12:12:32 PM »

I tossed in that reference to the Anabaptists, because it horrified me when I read about it years ago. The gist of what I read years ago, was that in Germany, Catholics and Protestants came together to support a law that advocated killing those who denied the validity of infant baptistism. The Lutheran support of the very brutal persecutions is what made this unusual, given the Lutheran's own desires for tolerance of their confession. "Freedom for us, but not for them, because they are real heretics..."

This isn't just a Western European thing - Emperor Justin (father of Justinian) advocated a law which killed Christians who reverted back to Paganism. (I scanned that almost by accident yesterday on this page). Of course, there are also stories of heretodox Roman emperors who cut off hands of iconographer monks, so this isn't just a case of orthodox rulers killing heretodox, but also cases of the reverse. "If you advocate or practice religious beliefs contrary to the state religion, you should die." I don't think killing of heretics is Christlike. There are ways to practice "truth in charity", but holding a death sentence over heretodox isn't one of them.


I understand. This is my whole problem with all of this bias... it doesn't seem Christian to me. Perhaps I'm devolving or something but I'm really sick and tired of groups claiming to be favored by God only to use that privilege to belittle or show bias to others. I am completely understanding the whole Protestant Movement and why many just don't want to have anything to do with either of us.

If entering Orthodoxy means I have to be like this, then I don't want anything to do with it.
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« Reply #61 on: February 12, 2010, 12:20:13 PM »

A minor correction, it is Emperor (St.) Justinian who authored that law.

http://www.roman-emperors.org/justinia.htm

Quote
Justinian's first years as emperor were full of action. There was a spate of legislation, directed against Manichaeans, pagans and Samaritans. Pagans were barred from the civil service, baptized Christians who lapsed into paganism were to be put to death, as were any persons caught making secret sacrifice to the gods; pagan teachers were denied stipends from the imperial treasury and if they would not accept baptism, they were to lose their property and be banished into exile. It was probably this last law which put an end to the Neoplatonic Academy in Athens, which was still a pagan stronghold.


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« Reply #62 on: February 12, 2010, 12:53:51 PM »

I tossed in that reference to the Anabaptists, because it horrified me when I read about it years ago. The gist of what I read years ago, was that in Germany, Catholics and Protestants came together to support a law that advocated killing those who denied the validity of infant baptistism. The Lutheran support of the very brutal persecutions is what made this unusual, given the Lutheran's own desires for tolerance of their confession. "Freedom for us, but not for them, because they are real heretics..."

This isn't just a Western European thing - Emperor Justin (father of Justinian) advocated a law which killed Christians who reverted back to Paganism. (I scanned that almost by accident yesterday on this page). Of course, there are also stories of heretodox Roman emperors who cut off hands of iconographer monks, so this isn't just a case of orthodox rulers killing heretodox, but also cases of the reverse. "If you advocate or practice religious beliefs contrary to the state religion, you should die." I don't think killing of heretics is Christlike. There are ways to practice "truth in charity", but holding a death sentence over heretodox isn't one of them.


I understand. This is my whole problem with all of this bias... it doesn't seem Christian to me. Perhaps I'm devolving or something but I'm really sick and tired of groups claiming to be favored by God only to use that privilege to belittle or show bias to others. I am completely understanding the whole Protestant Movement and why many just don't want to have anything to do with either of us.

If entering Orthodoxy means I have to be like this, then I don't want anything to do with it.

As long as you are human, you will be of a group of creatures that considers itself favoured by God (if not God, something else) and shows bias to others; bias that has historically been played out in the most hideous of ways. You are never going to be completely free of those who bang on about being *right* and who condemn everyone who disagrees with them. The best you can do, is make a decision of what is right without becoming emotional vested in reproaching the wrongs of the past; or being deterred by triumphalists. The simply truth is that even those who really have knowledge of the truth have uncharitable hotheads in their number who are so wrapped up in the victory celebrations regarding their "rightness" they don't care who they hurt.
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« Reply #63 on: February 12, 2010, 01:07:57 PM »

groups claiming to be favored by God only to use that privilege to belittle or show bias to others.
I haven't met any Orthodox who claim to be favored by God - maybe I'm just lucky. Since we're all sinners, I'm sure that Orthodoxy has its share.

Quote
I am completely understanding the whole Protestant Movement and why many just don't want to have anything to do with either of us.

If entering Orthodoxy means I have to be like this, then I don't want anything to do with it.
If you don't want anything to do with people who think they're better than others because of their beliefs (or any other reason), then you may have to start a church of your own with just one member. You.

But then, won't that be a church based on the idea that certain beliefs are better than anyone else's?

Don't kid yourself. No one group has a corner on this kind of attitude. I've been on the receiving end of this kind of treatment from Protestants also. Most self-identified evangelicals I've met don't even consider Roman Catholics and Orthodox to be Real Christians(tm).
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« Reply #64 on: February 12, 2010, 01:34:12 PM »

If entering Orthodoxy means I have to be like this, then I don't want anything to do with it.

You determine who you are going to be, just like the rest of us.

Until you stop pointing fingers outward and start turning them on yourself, you're never going to have peace.  The problem isn't the Roman Catholic Church's impiety in North America, it's not the Orthodox Church's snobbery, and it's not the rampant egotism in Protestantism.  The problem is the sin in the world and the corrupted human heart.  If you don't have peace, everyone else isn't the problem.  You are the problem.  Grow a pair and own up to it.

There's a time for introspection, and then there's a threshold when it crosses over into whining.
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« Reply #65 on: February 12, 2010, 03:39:21 PM »

I'm familiar with all of this because it's the same interpretation of Dom Lorenzo Scupoli in Spiritual Combat but these kind of 'spiritual' hatred is largely aimed at our own intemperate attachments to worldly things. I've not seen these passages interpreted to argue that Christians should act out violently or to literally 'hate' others. I know the Church has done so from time to time but I've never understood that to be the proper interpretation of these passages.

Someone else cited the historical killing of Anabaptists unless they pleaded for mercy.  Doesn't sound like love to me.


So, because we have a historical precedent that makes it okay?

We are speaking above each other's heads here.

Because 'men' of whatever religious stripe killed I'm to now embrace this as Christ-like?

Palestianian Christians are leaving the Holy Land because they are being killed and oppressed.  Christians have been oppressed from St. Stephen to the present.  Just because one group of Christians didn't agree with another group of Christians, who were in political power, didn't justify their deaths.

I'm sorry but I don't, and neither does the Late Pope John Paul II who recognizing it as un-Christ-like offered an apology to the World for these acts that those representing the Roman Catholic Church has been involved in from time to time throughout history.

If you are referring to the sack of Constantinople in 1204, the apology might have been long belated and taken at face value; however, it was better than no apology at all.

Is this supposed to be an example for us to follow? I think so. I think in times passed there was a precedent established within the unified Imperial Church that said it was okay to use worldly power to remove those who don't profess the 'orthodox' Faith... I think that is flat out 'un-Christ-like', period. Verbal, Physical, or whatever kind of oppression is not the 'interior' trans-formative path of the 'real' Christian Way.

There 'is' a more excellent way, Agape (Love) as St. Paul taught... "Owe no man anything but to love him for that is the fulfillment of the Law".

I haven't heard a RC Pope apologize and ask for forgiveness for simony and indulgences resulting in Luther's 95 Theses....  Should one be expected?  That may have been discussed on another thread?   Huh
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« Reply #66 on: February 12, 2010, 07:15:30 PM »

So you are saying that it is just and Christ-like to exercise a bias here?

No, my dear I never said that in what I wrote nor in my previous posts and you only prove to me that you continue to push your own bias point regardless of what the other person writes you.

Have you read my post on "Saints" and "fruit"? God gives fruit of the Holy Spirit to everyone but not everyone can become a Saint ... and that is all that the other members were trying to tell you earlier on about your father ... your father may be a wonderful man (display fruits) but he may not be a saint ... at the point that he is not a Saint then he is a "saint" (small s) ... the true Christian PREFERS to follow the examples of Saints (with a capital S) because they have MORE than JUST FRUIT of the Holy Spirit ... God LIVES IN THEM so they are reflections of the True Undivided God ... having worked in their life to be IN the Image and the Likeness of God by housing God in their hearts ...


That is what people were trying to tell you ... however, you allowed yourself to become SO defensive from the start you have not allowed yourself the opportunity to clearly understand why the Capital S versus Little s christian is different ...
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« Reply #67 on: February 12, 2010, 07:33:04 PM »

If entering Orthodoxy means I have to be like this, then I don't want anything to do with it.

You determine who you are going to be, just like the rest of us.

Until you stop pointing fingers outward and start turning them on yourself, you're never going to have peace.  The problem isn't the Roman Catholic Church's impiety in North America, it's not the Orthodox Church's snobbery, and it's not the rampant egotism in Protestantism.  The problem is the sin in the world and the corrupted human heart.  If you don't have peace, everyone else isn't the problem.  You are the problem.  Grow a pair and own up to it.

There's a time for introspection, and then there's a threshold when it crosses over into whining.

Actually, I wanted to add something like this to my own earlier post, but it was around 3am when I was posting - not a good time for me. Anyway, I do think that Alveus had valid points. It is time to stop doing this to yourself. Time to stop looking at others and look to yourself. We are all sinners, all part of the problems of this world; none of us can place our hands on our hearts and say that we don't sin, sometimes in ways that look so minor, but add up to having tremendous impact on those around us. Each of us is burdened enough with putting our own lives in order without adding the extra burden of succumbing to despair because others are annoying - or worse. That's a useless path to take. We're all annoying, all flawed. Accept that and move on; working out your own salvation in fear and trembling. We can't keep dwelling on the past, taking sides in issues that are long done and dusted. I remember learning of a horrible incident in the early imperial years of the Church and it so affected me that I wondered why on earth I was a Christian and had been all my life. If Christians did things like that, I thought, did I really want to be counted in their number? But I was quick to realise that my salvation doesn't lie in what my fellow man does; it lies in Christ and what He has done and is doing; who He is and what He has commanded His followers to do. And yes, it is horrible to realise that so many, instead of following the God of Love they profess to follow, followed their own dark instincts and harmed others in their misplaced zeal. But it's nothing new and it will continue long after you and I have shuffled off our mortal coils. While we must regret it, we mustn't let it destroy our faith.

Decide where your path of Salvation lies and find peace in that, because becomming emotionally involved in the failings of others will lead you to doubt and despair. Once you have made your decision, get on with dealing with you and praying for the salvation of those around you; including us here at OC.net, flawed and annoying human beings who need your prayer and love whatever path you take.

Please forgive me if I have caused you offence.



 
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« Reply #68 on: February 12, 2010, 07:38:14 PM »

Please forgive me if I have caused you offence.

I ask the same forgiveness ... what might appear as scary comments aimed at you, are infact, words of love from all of us ... we have all been where you were, at some point in our life ... and even, at times, we can all return to that same point and have to work ourselves back.

The point is, love is not just a character it is a person and that person is Christ ... so, when you debate that Love is above all else, we do not disagree ... we simply disagree with the angle.

Love is to have Christ IN you, the Holy Trinity ... this is Nyptic theology and very deep and something most of us would likely not have experienced as few are able to reach such heights of Love ... these are the Saints that God has revealed to us, they partook in God's physical presence inside them.
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« Reply #69 on: February 13, 2010, 05:30:15 PM »

I took a day to step away from the forum yesterday and give myself a breather. I was very touched to return this afternoon to see all the kindness displayed on this thread.

I am part of a 'large' very diverse family. We have Roman Catholics, Baptists, and Episcopals... Caucasians, Africans, Haitians and Philippines. We all make it because we love one another for the simple reason that we are 'family'. I think it is a very Christian thing to do.

I understand not everyone is right and not every church is 'orthodox' but where I find 'good' I find God there in their midst. Frequently on the Forum, individuals take great strides to 'categorize' and thus 'dehumanize' members of other Christian groups instead of accepting them as 'individuals' making their way the best way they know how. Not everyone is going to embrace Orthodoxy and you should be careful attributing reasons why because that is for God alone to know and ultimately judge. I understand it's important for your meta-world view to be maintained but I would be careful taking it too far. I would dare say all of us 'here' only know what we know second-hand... 'we see through the mirror darkly'. Someone asked me to 'chill out' but I would ask the something of many of you... when you push your beliefs. I understand you believe them to be 'true' and it's important for you to 'push' them but remember you are taking to 'real' people with 'real' lives here. It's not a game. And there are real people living very Christian lives in just about 'every' denomination. I understand that clashes a bit with your plans for Christian World Domination but it's just the truth. You can deal with that fact however you need to keep your world-view intact.

One attribute that I've seen with very spiritual individuals the world over is 'real' peacefulness, non-judging, and 'real' love for all God's Creation. Yes there is falsehood out there and yes there are individuals promoting pretty harmful practices... but God has written His Law on our hearts and we each can and do respond to that message or call in our own way and in the communities we have around us. I haven't seen more prefect communities among Orthodox Christians... than I have among Roman Catholic and even small Black Baptist communities. They all seek in the manner that they can to be 'worthy' and to be 'pleasing'. If Orthodoxy really 'was' the 'true' Church and all the fullness of God's Graces flowed through her... then Orthodox Christians are doing a rather poor job of making use of that Grace because I don't see anymore 'saintliness' within it's members. I say that with all due respect, honestly.

For some here to smugly discard those of other Christian groups and fail to recognize the 'individuals' within them and the fact that they too 'fall short of the glory of God'... is kind of silly.

If we spent as much time working on our own vices as we do trying to prove that other Christian groups 'lack' this or that fullness I think we would see real distinction on this Forum than any other Forum on the internet.

This was my point about bringing of Agape and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. To me, all of this other stuff, is 'nothing' if it doesn't bring us to a deeper sense of Love and manifesting more clearly the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

I know tomorrow is Forgiveness Sunday and so I understand that for Orthodox Christians this is a good time to say that they are sorry but 'every day' should be Forgiveness Sunday, 'every day' should be 'The Nativity of Our Lord', 'every day' should be 'Pascha'. We need to live this Holy Days and bring them into our being and allow them to manifest 'every day'.

Ultimately, the Fullness of the Christian Life is to be like God... to love... because God is Love. Agape is the Christian Life. A complete pouring forth of love toward another. Not just toward those whom we agree with or those whom are members of our exclusive club but 'everyone' like the rain.

True Love nourishes the lives of those it touches. If we haven't seen that, we haven't seen True Love.

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« Reply #70 on: February 13, 2010, 05:42:28 PM »

Someone asked me to 'chill out' but I would ask the something of many of you... when you push your beliefs.

I understand you believe them to be 'true' and it's important for you to 'push' them but remember you are taking to 'real' people with 'real' lives here. It's not a game. And there are real people living very Christian lives in just about 'every' denomination. I understand that clashes a bit with your plans for Christian World Domination but it's just the truth. You can deal with that fact however you need to keep your world-view intact.

I was the one who told you to chill out ... I still hold this belief as I feel like you are "evangelising protestantism" in an Orthodox forum - telling Orthodox people to stop pushing their belief but yet you push your own. The problem I am reding is that you are saying the Orthodox teaching should not be pushed because it is less than perfect and that your personal teaching is the truth. The irony is that everything you may know the Church has taught and teaches. So, your messages are outwardly christian but the driver behind them is YOUR OWN Self ... YOU, in essence it is like a wolf disguised in sheeps clothing because what you are teaching is for us to ignore what we are taught and to listen to your teachings, cause you just know better!

No one disgards people of other faiths in this forum ... they disregard teachings that are not Orthodox. However, you can not waltz into an Orthodox forum and expect an Orthodox to denounce the Truth for the sake of political correctness ... in 2,000 years that has not been the example of the Saints of our church. Yes, we love and tolerate but there is a fine line and then we martyr for our faith:

They died for their faith ...

In a world void of examples of righteousness lovers of truth offer a heroic example of suffering for the Truth. But their lives mean nothing unless we embrace them by striving to imitate them. The message of these righteous is one that the world is not the least bit interested in. Those who have felt themselves out of place in society, who have been devoured and spit forth by the uncomprehending world, can understand the radical call of the last true rebellion.

This is the height of the human experience: martyrdom for the Truth.
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« Reply #71 on: February 14, 2010, 04:12:32 AM »

I took a day to step away from the forum yesterday and give myself a breather. I was very touched to return this afternoon to see all the kindness displayed on this thread.

I am part of a 'large' very diverse family. We have Roman Catholics, Baptists, and Episcopals... Caucasians, Africans, Haitians and Philippines. We all make it because we love one another for the simple reason that we are 'family'. I think it is a very Christian thing to do.

I understand not everyone is right and not every church is 'orthodox' but where I find 'good' I find God there in their midst. Frequently on the Forum, individuals take great strides to 'categorize' and thus 'dehumanize' members of other Christian groups instead of accepting them as 'individuals' making their way the best way they know how. Not everyone is going to embrace Orthodoxy and you should be careful attributing reasons why because that is for God alone to know and ultimately judge. I understand it's important for your meta-world view to be maintained but I would be careful taking it too far. I would dare say all of us 'here' only know what we know second-hand... 'we see through the mirror darkly'. Someone asked me to 'chill out' but I would ask the something of many of you... when you push your beliefs. I understand you believe them to be 'true' and it's important for you to 'push' them but remember you are taking to 'real' people with 'real' lives here. It's not a game. And there are real people living very Christian lives in just about 'every' denomination. I understand that clashes a bit with your plans for Christian World Domination but it's just the truth. You can deal with that fact however you need to keep your world-view intact.

One attribute that I've seen with very spiritual individuals the world over is 'real' peacefulness, non-judging, and 'real' love for all God's Creation. Yes there is falsehood out there and yes there are individuals promoting pretty harmful practices... but God has written His Law on our hearts and we each can and do respond to that message or call in our own way and in the communities we have around us. I haven't seen more prefect communities among Orthodox Christians... than I have among Roman Catholic and even small Black Baptist communities. They all seek in the manner that they can to be 'worthy' and to be 'pleasing'. If Orthodoxy really 'was' the 'true' Church and all the fullness of God's Graces flowed through her... then Orthodox Christians are doing a rather poor job of making use of that Grace because I don't see anymore 'saintliness' within it's members. I say that with all due respect, honestly.

For some here to smugly discard those of other Christian groups and fail to recognize the 'individuals' within them and the fact that they too 'fall short of the glory of God'... is kind of silly.

If we spent as much time working on our own vices as we do trying to prove that other Christian groups 'lack' this or that fullness I think we would see real distinction on this Forum than any other Forum on the internet.

This was my point about bringing of Agape and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. To me, all of this other stuff, is 'nothing' if it doesn't bring us to a deeper sense of Love and manifesting more clearly the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

I know tomorrow is Forgiveness Sunday and so I understand that for Orthodox Christians this is a good time to say that they are sorry but 'every day' should be Forgiveness Sunday, 'every day' should be 'The Nativity of Our Lord', 'every day' should be 'Pascha'. We need to live this Holy Days and bring them into our being and allow them to manifest 'every day'.

Ultimately, the Fullness of the Christian Life is to be like God... to love... because God is Love. Agape is the Christian Life. A complete pouring forth of love toward another. Not just toward those whom we agree with or those whom are members of our exclusive club but 'everyone' like the rain.

True Love nourishes the lives of those it touches. If we haven't seen that, we haven't seen True Love.


Thank you for a thoughtful and honest post. All of us on this thread, in fact, all of us on this forum need to take stock of what you say and think before we type. Without love, we are simply a noise. Forgive me any offence I have caused you, my brother. Pray for me as I pray for you.
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« Reply #72 on: February 14, 2010, 09:36:47 AM »

If Orthodoxy really 'was' the 'true' Church and all the fullness of God's Graces flowed through her... then Orthodox Christians are doing a rather poor job of making use of that Grace because I don't see anymore 'saintliness' within it's members. I say that with all due respect, honestly.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.
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« Reply #73 on: February 14, 2010, 05:32:35 PM »

If Orthodoxy really 'was' the 'true' Church and all the fullness of God's Graces flowed through her... then Orthodox Christians are doing a rather poor job of making use of that Grace because I don't see anymore 'saintliness' within it's members. I say that with all due respect, honestly.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

Riddikulus and ialmisry, it is not a matter of whether ignatius has judged us or whether by our responses we have judged her ... there is only One Truth and those who are baptised are obligated 'out of love' to speak that Truth ... the Truth is that the beacons of Christ's image and likeness are our Saints ... sharing that with ignatius is not judging her and is not being mean or unloving with her/him. On the other hand, her/his statement above shows a lack of understanding of what The Church actually is ... there is a danger of being "over politically correct" for fear that we may appear to be unloving or judgemental when we may not be ... this is an Orthodox forum and Orthodox principles should and must be shared!

Orthodox Christianity is not a church filled with "S"aints ... it is a church filled with "repenting sinners" ... none of us are perfect - all of us are suffering and sick, we are IN the hospital of our Lord for precisely the reason you point out - we are NOT Saints, we are people struggling with our passions and our weaknesses and by participating in the Holy Confession and mostly in the Holy Communion, we struggle and hope that it is God's Mercy that will eventually save us.

We (Orthodox) do not claim to be saints ... we look up to the Saints and we constantly bring them forward as the examples we should follow but you will not hear an Orthodox speak highly of him or herself for precisely the reason I just described.

I am too a sinner, I am weak and have many shortfalls - I ask that you all forgive me as we enter into Great Lent and Ignatius, I particularly ask for your forgiveness ... but please, seek out the Truth in the Orthodox Church and not the truth that our western minds think should be the truth ...

and, also, as I did say in a previous post but perhaps you misunderstood - all christians are little 's' saints ... we CAN look at our family and friends for inspiration on virtues that the Holy Spirit gives each of us, however, a practisiing christian who has some virtues is not necessarily a capital 'S' Saint .. this is the direction most of us were trying to direct you towards (out of love) to direct you to perfect Love; the Saints who are only perfected because the Living Triune God has lived inside them and it is His Perfect Light that shines off them ...

I cant start quoting patristic writing that encourages in this thinking but I am at work ... God Bless you on your journey
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« Reply #74 on: February 14, 2010, 06:53:50 PM »

Quote
I cant start quoting patristic writing that encourages in this thinking but I am at work ... God Bless you on your journey

I believe the COE encourages this thinking too, especially since I remember a friend who is a deacon saying that same "Hospital of Sinners" quote  Grin
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« Reply #75 on: February 17, 2010, 11:12:14 AM »

If Orthodoxy really 'was' the 'true' Church and all the fullness of God's Graces flowed through her... then Orthodox Christians are doing a rather poor job of making use of that Grace because I don't see anymore 'saintliness' within it's members. I say that with all due respect, honestly.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

You seem to take every opportunity to bring up every historical illustration of others failings and you don't seem to conclude that such is 'Judging'... Double Standard?
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« Reply #76 on: February 17, 2010, 11:16:09 AM »

If Orthodoxy really 'was' the 'true' Church and all the fullness of God's Graces flowed through her... then Orthodox Christians are doing a rather poor job of making use of that Grace because I don't see anymore 'saintliness' within it's members. I say that with all due respect, honestly.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

Riddikulus and ialmisry, it is not a matter of whether ignatius has judged us or whether by our responses we have judged her ... there is only One Truth and those who are baptised are obligated 'out of love' to speak that Truth ... the Truth is that the beacons of Christ's image and likeness are our Saints ... sharing that with ignatius is not judging her and is not being mean or unloving with her/him. On the other hand, her/his statement above shows a lack of understanding of what The Church actually is ... there is a danger of being "over politically correct" for fear that we may appear to be unloving or judgemental when we may not be ... this is an Orthodox forum and Orthodox principles should and must be shared!

Orthodox Christianity is not a church filled with "S"aints ... it is a church filled with "repenting sinners" ... none of us are perfect - all of us are suffering and sick, we are IN the hospital of our Lord for precisely the reason you point out - we are NOT Saints, we are people struggling with our passions and our weaknesses and by participating in the Holy Confession and mostly in the Holy Communion, we struggle and hope that it is God's Mercy that will eventually save us.

We (Orthodox) do not claim to be saints ... we look up to the Saints and we constantly bring them forward as the examples we should follow but you will not hear an Orthodox speak highly of him or herself for precisely the reason I just described.

I am too a sinner, I am weak and have many shortfalls - I ask that you all forgive me as we enter into Great Lent and Ignatius, I particularly ask for your forgiveness ... but please, seek out the Truth in the Orthodox Church and not the truth that our western minds think should be the truth ...

and, also, as I did say in a previous post but perhaps you misunderstood - all christians are little 's' saints ... we CAN look at our family and friends for inspiration on virtues that the Holy Spirit gives each of us, however, a practisiing christian who has some virtues is not necessarily a capital 'S' Saint .. this is the direction most of us were trying to direct you towards (out of love) to direct you to perfect Love; the Saints who are only perfected because the Living Triune God has lived inside them and it is His Perfect Light that shines off them ...

I cant start quoting patristic writing that encourages in this thinking but I am at work ... God Bless you on your journey

Great Post, much to ponder and please know that 'I am' seeking out the 'truth of Orthodoxy'. My Orthodox Parish Priest was the one I call when my baby boy was born to give the Blessings after Birth and he is coming to our home to discuss Orthodoxy with the whole family this weekend.

I just really don't like some of the smugness I encounter on the forum... I really don't see that at my local Orthodox Parish. Far from it. I wish the forum was more reflective of Orthodoxy on the ground.
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« Reply #77 on: February 17, 2010, 11:36:34 AM »

If Orthodoxy really 'was' the 'true' Church and all the fullness of God's Graces flowed through her... then Orthodox Christians are doing a rather poor job of making use of that Grace because I don't see anymore 'saintliness' within it's members. I say that with all due respect, honestly.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

You seem to take every opportunity to bring up every historical illustration of others failings and you don't seem to conclude that such is 'Judging'... Double Standard?
I'm not the one claiming to be non-judgemental.  A difference divides evaluating Truth claims from judging character.
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« Reply #78 on: February 17, 2010, 11:40:16 AM »

If Orthodoxy really 'was' the 'true' Church and all the fullness of God's Graces flowed through her... then Orthodox Christians are doing a rather poor job of making use of that Grace because I don't see anymore 'saintliness' within it's members. I say that with all due respect, honestly.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

You seem to take every opportunity to bring up every historical illustration of others failings and you don't seem to conclude that such is 'Judging'... Double Standard?
I'm not the one claiming to be non-judgemental.  A difference divides evaluating Truth claims from judging character.

So you would attribute my exercise of discernment of your truth claims as 'judging' but your admit to being judgmental? That sounds odd...?
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« Reply #79 on: February 17, 2010, 11:50:21 AM »

If Orthodoxy really 'was' the 'true' Church and all the fullness of God's Graces flowed through her... then Orthodox Christians are doing a rather poor job of making use of that Grace because I don't see anymore 'saintliness' within it's members. I say that with all due respect, honestly.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

You seem to take every opportunity to bring up every historical illustration of others failings and you don't seem to conclude that such is 'Judging'... Double Standard?
I'm not the one claiming to be non-judgemental.  A difference divides evaluating Truth claims from judging character.

So you would attribute my exercise of discernment of your truth claims as 'judging' but your admit to being judgmental? That sounds odd...?
I was just questioning you comparison between the best the Baptists have to offer with the worse that claims to be Orthodox, as to discern Truth.  That's all.
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« Reply #80 on: February 17, 2010, 11:56:03 AM »

If Orthodoxy really 'was' the 'true' Church and all the fullness of God's Graces flowed through her... then Orthodox Christians are doing a rather poor job of making use of that Grace because I don't see anymore 'saintliness' within it's members. I say that with all due respect, honestly.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

You seem to take every opportunity to bring up every historical illustration of others failings and you don't seem to conclude that such is 'Judging'... Double Standard?
I'm not the one claiming to be non-judgemental.  A difference divides evaluating Truth claims from judging character.

So you would attribute my exercise of discernment of your truth claims as 'judging' but your admit to being judgmental? That sounds odd...?
I was just questioning you comparison between the best the Baptists have to offer with the worse that claims to be Orthodox, as to discern Truth.  That's all.

I agree, it would be unfair to compare the 'worst' of one group with the 'best' of another... but we do see that happening on both sides... I would just argue that we should come together as 'individuals'... not simply as 'representatives' of truth or untruth. We are each called by God... His words are written on our hearts. He wills 'all' to be saved... not just the Orthodox Church.

That said, if you claim to have a 'special' 'better' relationship with God over other Christians... it would stand to reason that even your worst would be head and shoulders over those who are without the Sacraments. Don't you agree? Or no?
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« Reply #81 on: February 17, 2010, 12:25:07 PM »

If Orthodoxy really 'was' the 'true' Church and all the fullness of God's Graces flowed through her... then Orthodox Christians are doing a rather poor job of making use of that Grace because I don't see anymore 'saintliness' within it's members. I say that with all due respect, honestly.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

You seem to take every opportunity to bring up every historical illustration of others failings and you don't seem to conclude that such is 'Judging'... Double Standard?
I'm not the one claiming to be non-judgemental.  A difference divides evaluating Truth claims from judging character.

So you would attribute my exercise of discernment of your truth claims as 'judging' but your admit to being judgmental? That sounds odd...?
I was just questioning you comparison between the best the Baptists have to offer with the worse that claims to be Orthodox, as to discern Truth.  That's all.

I agree, it would be unfair to compare the 'worst' of one group with the 'best' of another... but we do see that happening on both sides... I would just argue that we should come together as 'individuals'... not simply as 'representatives' of truth or untruth. We are each called by God... His words are written on our hearts. He wills 'all' to be saved... not just the Orthodox Church.

That said, if you claim to have a 'special' 'better' relationship with God over other Christians... it would stand to reason that even your worst would be head and shoulders over those who are without the Sacraments. Don't you agree? Or no?
The worst Orthodox has assurance, the best Baptist does not.  Assurance in the sense that the Orthodox and Baptist respectively define that term.
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« Reply #82 on: February 17, 2010, 12:33:16 PM »


The worst Orthodox has assurance, the best Baptist does not.  Assurance in the sense that the Orthodox and Baptist respectively define that term.

Assurance? I hear Baptists speak of the very same thing... Once Saved, Always Saved. Are you claiming some kind of assurance?
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« Reply #83 on: February 17, 2010, 01:12:54 PM »

...if you claim to have a 'special' 'better' relationship with God over other Christians... it would stand to reason that even your worst would be head and shoulders over those who are without the Sacraments. Don't you agree? Or no?

Since I haven't encountered this claim in Orthodoxy, I would have to say "no." I don't think anyone is saying that the Orthodox per se have a special or better relationship with God, simply because they happen to be Orthodox - unless I missed that post. (experience has taught me that anything is possible!)
That said, many may indeed think or feel that their relationship with God is deeper or "better", if you will, since coming to Orthodoxy - since that was the impetus or inspiration for their journey. That of course would be a personal feeling, not dogma or doctrine.
What Orthodoxy does say, (and please, anyone correct me if I blithely wander off the straight and narrow here,) is that here is the Church founded by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. The old saying about we know where the Church is, and has been for a couple of millenia, give or take, what we don't know, and it's really not particularly relevant or important, is where the Church is not.
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« Reply #84 on: February 17, 2010, 01:24:38 PM »

...if you claim to have a 'special' 'better' relationship with God over other Christians... it would stand to reason that even your worst would be head and shoulders over those who are without the Sacraments. Don't you agree? Or no?

Since I haven't encountered this claim in Orthodoxy, I would have to say "no." I don't think anyone is saying that the Orthodox per se have a special or better relationship with God, simply because they happen to be Orthodox - unless I missed that post. (experience has taught me that anything is possible!)
That said, many may indeed think or feel that their relationship with God is deeper or "better", if you will, since coming to Orthodoxy - since that was the impetus or inspiration for their journey. That of course would be a personal feeling, not dogma or doctrine.
What Orthodoxy does say, (and please, anyone correct me if I blithely wander off the straight and narrow here,) is that here is the Church founded by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. The old saying about we know where the Church is, and has been for a couple of millenia, give or take, what we don't know, and it's really not particularly relevant or important, is where the Church is not.

Is this Church the Ark of Salvation as Noah's Ark was for those of his day? I've never heard Orthodox speak that their might be 'invisible members' in the Orthodox Church, although I have heard such in Catholicism. I have heard that "we know where grace is, but we don't know where grace isn't"...

If 'grace saves' then I guess in a fashion we can say that the 'Church' can have 'invisible members'... but I think you are stretching quite a bit to make that claim. I ultimately think that both Orthodox and Catholics 'must' loosen their own recognition of a 'spiritual body' of Christ that is simply 'not known'... as Our Lord spoke:

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (Joh 3:5-8)

'The wind' to me is the spirit... we don't control where it comes nor goes yet we seem to claim that we control it. I'm uncomfortable with that claim personally.
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« Reply #85 on: February 17, 2010, 01:26:24 PM »


The worst Orthodox has assurance, the best Baptist does not.  Assurance in the sense that the Orthodox and Baptist respectively define that term.

Assurance? I hear Baptists speak of the very same thing... Once Saved, Always Saved. Are you claiming some kind of assurance?

As I said, as they define it: the Orthodox define it that the Orthodox Church has not, nor shall ever, fall into heresy.
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« Reply #86 on: February 17, 2010, 01:57:30 PM »


The worst Orthodox has assurance, the best Baptist does not.  Assurance in the sense that the Orthodox and Baptist respectively define that term.

Assurance? I hear Baptists speak of the very same thing... Once Saved, Always Saved. Are you claiming some kind of assurance?

As I said, as they define it: the Orthodox define it that the Orthodox Church has not, nor shall ever, fall into heresy.

When you claim the Church as your institution you are claiming a spiritual body to be 'your' institutional entity and tradition. How are you sure that such 'is' the case? What 'is' the Church? How do we interpret the Scriptural text that state "the Church will never fall..."? You seem to equate 'Church' with an institution, your institution but I know Protestants who equate 'Church' with the Faithful... not simply those faithful to an institution/tradition but those who are truly 'spiritual' and thus bear the Fruits of the Spirit. I'm not saying that there aren't spiritual people within the Orthodox Church... but I'm saying that I have encountered 'spiritual people' outside of that institution. How do I square this... am I to understand that the 'Church' is the Orthodox Church or the Catholic Church or am I to understand that where I find Spiritual People, Saintly People, Children of God... I find the Church, the mystical body of Christ?

I'm getting the impression that all this grasping for authority, 'real' sacraments, etc have been attempts to simply claim this spiritual body for a particular group. I don't know anymore. I just know that I really don't like these exclusive camps bickering back and forth. Call me whatever you want but I don't like it at all.
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« Reply #87 on: February 17, 2010, 02:05:18 PM »

Spiritual people are simply undisciplined religious people.
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« Reply #88 on: February 17, 2010, 02:13:23 PM »

Spiritual people are simply undisciplined religious people.

Perhaps I should 'define' what I mean by Spiritual People... individuals who bear the Fruit of the Spirit in Love. I don't see anything 'undisciplined' in that.
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« Reply #89 on: February 17, 2010, 04:12:01 PM »

Is this Church the Ark of Salvation as Noah's Ark was for those of his day? I've never heard Orthodox speak that their might be 'invisible members' in the Orthodox Church, although I have heard such in Catholicism. I have heard that "we know where grace is, but we don't know where grace isn't"...

If 'grace saves' then I guess in a fashion we can say that the 'Church' can have 'invisible members'... but I think you are stretching quite a bit to make that claim. I ultimately think that both Orthodox and Catholics 'must' loosen their own recognition of a 'spiritual body' of Christ that is simply 'not known'... as Our Lord spoke:

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (Joh 3:5-8)

'The wind' to me is the spirit... we don't control where it comes nor goes yet we seem to claim that we control it. I'm uncomfortable with that claim personally.

I'm sorry, but I'm having difficulty understanding your point here. Would you mind clarifying?

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Blessed Theophan the Recluse: "You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins... "
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/metphil_heterodox.aspx
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« Reply #90 on: February 17, 2010, 04:34:09 PM »

Is this Church the Ark of Salvation as Noah's Ark was for those of his day? I've never heard Orthodox speak that their might be 'invisible members' in the Orthodox Church, although I have heard such in Catholicism. I have heard that "we know where grace is, but we don't know where grace isn't"...

If 'grace saves' then I guess in a fashion we can say that the 'Church' can have 'invisible members'... but I think you are stretching quite a bit to make that claim. I ultimately think that both Orthodox and Catholics 'must' loosen their own recognition of a 'spiritual body' of Christ that is simply 'not known'... as Our Lord spoke:

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (Joh 3:5-8)

'The wind' to me is the spirit... we don't control where it comes nor goes yet we seem to claim that we control it. I'm uncomfortable with that claim personally.

I'm sorry, but I'm having difficulty understanding your point here. Would you mind clarifying?

Does this help?
Blessed Theophan the Recluse: "You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins... "
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/metphil_heterodox.aspx

So if truth doesn't produce holiness, what is the purpose?
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« Reply #91 on: February 17, 2010, 05:00:37 PM »

Is this Church the Ark of Salvation as Noah's Ark was for those of his day? I've never heard Orthodox speak that their might be 'invisible members' in the Orthodox Church, although I have heard such in Catholicism. I have heard that "we know where grace is, but we don't know where grace isn't"...

If 'grace saves' then I guess in a fashion we can say that the 'Church' can have 'invisible members'... but I think you are stretching quite a bit to make that claim. I ultimately think that both Orthodox and Catholics 'must' loosen their own recognition of a 'spiritual body' of Christ that is simply 'not known'... as Our Lord spoke:

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (Joh 3:5-8)

'The wind' to me is the spirit... we don't control where it comes nor goes yet we seem to claim that we control it. I'm uncomfortable with that claim personally.

I'm sorry, but I'm having difficulty understanding your point here. Would you mind clarifying?

Does this help?
Blessed Theophan the Recluse: "You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins... "
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/metphil_heterodox.aspx

So if truth doesn't produce holiness, what is the purpose?

It's best to look at it from the perspective that all are saved except for me. God loves your family, friends, RC's, Protestants and heterodox even more than you do. What makes you think that any of them won't be saved.
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« Reply #92 on: February 17, 2010, 05:09:02 PM »



So if truth doesn't produce holiness, what is the purpose?

It's best to look at it from the perspective that all are saved except for me. God loves your family, friends, RC's, Protestants and heterodox even more than you do. What makes you think that any of them won't be saved.

If we recall the dualisms in the Scriptures... sheep and goats... and we marry that to Orthodox making all the exclusionary claims some are want to make... and you read some of the more polemical tracks... it seems to paint the picture that 'all' are goats except us (I am speaking for the Orthodox here).

If 'truth' doesn't necessary produce 'holiness' or 'justice' and it doesn't necessary 'save', than again I ask 'what is the point of truth'? It seems to me to be a kind of knowledge which puffs up...
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« Reply #93 on: February 17, 2010, 05:10:47 PM »

So if truth doesn't produce holiness, what is the purpose?

Again, sorry to be so dense, but still having difficulty understanding your point. Truth is surely a Good Thing on it's own merits, and actually does produce holiness. It just takes some of us longer than others!
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« Reply #94 on: February 17, 2010, 05:15:42 PM »

So if truth doesn't produce holiness, what is the purpose?

Again, sorry to be so dense, but still having difficulty understanding your point. Truth is surely a Good Thing on it's own merits, and actually does produce holiness. It just takes some of us longer than others!

So are you saying what I think St. Basil suggested that truth is gained and lost 'in degrees'... one is separated from that holy Body of Christ by degrees...?
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« Reply #95 on: February 17, 2010, 05:20:54 PM »

So are you saying what I think St. Basil suggested that truth is gained and lost 'in degrees'... one is separated from that holy Body of Christ by degrees...?

Are you asking me this question? Where did this come from? As I've said a couple of times before, I have no idea what point you're trying to make. Also you seem to be attributing to me things that I haven't said or implied. I have this eerie sensation that we are carrying on two entirely different, though possible parallel, conversations.
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« Reply #96 on: February 17, 2010, 05:36:38 PM »

So are you saying what I think St. Basil suggested that truth is gained and lost 'in degrees'... one is separated from that holy Body of Christ by degrees...?

Are you asking me this question? Where did this come from? As I've said a couple of times before, I have no idea what point you're trying to make. Also you seem to be attributing to me things that I haven't said or implied. I have this eerie sensation that we are carrying on two entirely different, though possible parallel, conversations.

Yes. It comes from the line of thought embedded in the idea that 'one knows where grace is but not where it is not'... or that there may be a wider Church than the institutional one that we all know and claim to be members of.
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« Reply #97 on: February 17, 2010, 05:48:29 PM »

So are you saying what I think St. Basil suggested that truth is gained and lost 'in degrees'... one is separated from that holy Body of Christ by degrees...?

Are you asking me this question? Where did this come from? As I've said a couple of times before, I have no idea what point you're trying to make. Also you seem to be attributing to me things that I haven't said or implied. I have this eerie sensation that we are carrying on two entirely different, though possible parallel, conversations.

Yes. It comes from the line of thought embedded in the idea that 'one knows where grace is but not where it is not'... or that there may be a wider Church than the institutional one that we all know and claim to be members of.

Well, now, I wonder if, taking the metaphor of marriage, one can be separated by degrees from one's spouse. In one sense, yes, because it may be the little everyday irritations and such like that we allow to come between husband and wife. In another sense, though, the answer would be no, because one step away or turning one's back has strained, if not broken the connection, the covenant? Of course, that connection can be restored.
There may be a wider Church - after all, "there's a wideness in God's mercy..." What difference does it make, since we know where the One Holy and Catholic and Apostolic Church is? Why would we want to be away from it or separate ourselves from it, willingly?
As Blessed Theophan put it, we should see to ourselves and our own sins, and leave others to God's mercy.
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« Reply #98 on: February 17, 2010, 09:23:19 PM »

So are you saying what I think St. Basil suggested that truth is gained and lost 'in degrees'... one is separated from that holy Body of Christ by degrees...?

Are you asking me this question? Where did this come from? As I've said a couple of times before, I have no idea what point you're trying to make. Also you seem to be attributing to me things that I haven't said or implied. I have this eerie sensation that we are carrying on two entirely different, though possible parallel, conversations.

Yes. It comes from the line of thought embedded in the idea that 'one knows where grace is but not where it is not'... or that there may be a wider Church than the institutional one that we all know and claim to be members of.
Listen friend, I think you concern yourself to much with other peoples salvation. You must look at it from a different prospective and not through the eye's of the RCC. God who is infinitely much more merciful than you or I will ever be. Is looking out for them just as he is looking out for you. If he has led you here and not the others is not your concern. If you really want to do your part then the image of the god you portray will be what they see and be drawn to. Your words may never convince anyone.
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« Reply #99 on: February 18, 2010, 09:54:48 AM »

So are you saying what I think St. Basil suggested that truth is gained and lost 'in degrees'... one is separated from that holy Body of Christ by degrees...?

Are you asking me this question? Where did this come from? As I've said a couple of times before, I have no idea what point you're trying to make. Also you seem to be attributing to me things that I haven't said or implied. I have this eerie sensation that we are carrying on two entirely different, though possible parallel, conversations.

Yes. It comes from the line of thought embedded in the idea that 'one knows where grace is but not where it is not'... or that there may be a wider Church than the institutional one that we all know and claim to be members of.
Listen friend, I think you concern yourself to much with other peoples salvation. You must look at it from a different prospective and not through the eye's of the RCC. God who is infinitely much more merciful than you or I will ever be. Is looking out for them just as he is looking out for you. If he has led you here and not the others is not your concern. If you really want to do your part then the image of the god you portray will be what they see and be drawn to. Your words may never convince anyone.

I understand what you are saying but it's tough to discard this topic when my wife and close family are Baptists and Catholics. My wife is not overly concerned with my interest in Orthodoxy but her family and my family do feel a bit alienated by it.

For example, God Parents... in Orthodoxy can't be Baptists nor Catholics. We don't have 'any' family who would be able to be given the honor of being my child's God Parents... that would have to go to strangers. It's going to be a really big blow to our larger family. When they ask 'why is it this way', then I have to get into the details of history and that fact that they are not 'good enough' for the Orthodox Church. That is a real problem.
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« Reply #100 on: February 18, 2010, 10:21:51 AM »

...when my wife and close family are Baptists and Catholics. My wife is not overly concerned with my interest in Orthodoxy but her family and my family do feel a bit alienated by it.

...When they ask 'why is it this way', then I have to get into the details of history and that fact that they are not 'good enough' for the Orthodox Church. That is a real problem.

You're absolutely right - it is a real problem, if for no other reason than because the above statement about not being "good enough" seems to reflect a serious misunderstanding of the Orthodox Church. It's not about people being good enough, it's about the communion of belief. Your RCC and Baptist relatives do not hold the same beliefs, indeed they may even believe totally different things, so how could they (why would they even want to?) promise, in good conscience, to be a spiritual "parent" to a child who will be raised in the Orthodox Church?

(And, just btw, your situation of an extended family who are not Orthodox is certainly not unique. Many, if not most, of the people who post here are in the same situation, which causes them problems, to a greater or lesser extent.)
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« Reply #101 on: February 18, 2010, 10:26:25 AM »

For example, God Parents... in Orthodoxy can't be Baptists nor Catholics. We don't have 'any' family who would be able to be given the honor of being my child's God Parents... that would have to go to strangers. It's going to be a really big blow to our larger family. When they ask 'why is it this way', then I have to get into the details of history and that fact that they are not 'good enough' for the Orthodox Church. That is a real problem.
I was raised Protestant, and my godparents weren't related to me in any way. I don't think it has anything to do with not being "good enough" for Orthodoxy. It sounds like you're just making excuses.
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« Reply #102 on: February 18, 2010, 10:31:50 AM »

...when my wife and close family are Baptists and Catholics. My wife is not overly concerned with my interest in Orthodoxy but her family and my family do feel a bit alienated by it.

...When they ask 'why is it this way', then I have to get into the details of history and that fact that they are not 'good enough' for the Orthodox Church. That is a real problem.

You're absolutely right - it is a real problem, if for no other reason than because the above statement about not being "good enough" seems to reflect a serious misunderstanding of the Orthodox Church. It's not about people being good enough, it's about the communion of belief. Your RCC and Baptist relatives do not hold the same beliefs, indeed they may even believe totally different things, so how could they (why would they even want to?) promise, in good conscience, to be a spiritual "parent" to a child who will be raised in the Orthodox Church?

(And, just btw, your situation of an extended family who are not Orthodox is certainly not unique. Many, if not most, of the people who post here are in the same situation, which causes them problems, to a greater or lesser extent.)


It has been a long standing practice in our family that the God-Parents would be the first to adopt the children if the parents pass a way. The choice of God-Parents is a very big deal with my family and they don't like the idea of 'doctrine' and 'strangers' getting in between 'blood'. They think it is 'cult-ish' and 'invasive' to the family and child. I understand their point. I know my family would do what I wished them to do if I asked them, even to the extent of raising my child in a religious practice that is not there own. If the child isn't in danger of damnation, then why do they 'have' to be raised by Orthodox God-Parents and not by family who love them and are willing to 'vow' to raise them as such?
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« Reply #103 on: February 18, 2010, 10:35:37 AM »

For example, God Parents... in Orthodoxy can't be Baptists nor Catholics. We don't have 'any' family who would be able to be given the honor of being my child's God Parents... that would have to go to strangers. It's going to be a really big blow to our larger family. When they ask 'why is it this way', then I have to get into the details of history and that fact that they are not 'good enough' for the Orthodox Church. That is a real problem.
I was raised Protestant, and my godparents weren't related to me in any way. I don't think it has anything to do with not being "good enough" for Orthodoxy. It sounds like you're just making excuses.

You guys must not have tight extended family bonds for something... my family is up in arms over the welfare of my children.
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« Reply #104 on: February 18, 2010, 10:38:26 AM »

It has been a long standing practice in our family that the God-Parents would be the first to adopt the children if the parents pass a way. The choice of God-Parents is a very big deal with my family and they don't like the idea of 'doctrine' and 'strangers' getting in between 'blood'. They think it is 'cult-ish' and 'invasive' to the family and child. I understand their point. I know my family would do what I wished them to do if I asked them, even to the extent of raising my child in a religious practice that is not there own. If the child isn't in danger of damnation, then why do they 'have' to be raised by Orthodox God-Parents and not by family who love them and are willing to 'vow' to raise them as such?
Because the role of the godparent, according to Orthodox understanding, is different from your family's understanding and traditions, like so many other things. "...the godparent is responsible for the spiritual up bringing of your child. You should think of the person as becoming a member of your family and a relationship that will be lifelong...In Greek tradition, the best man (koumbaros) or Brides Maid (koumbara) of the parents wedding will baptize the couple's first child.

...As the Godparent is the sponsor at baptism, it should be realized that only someone who is a member in good standing of the Orthodox church, in full sacramental communion, and knows at least the main tenets of the Christian faith and its ethics, as well as the meaning of the mystery of baptism and of the vows which are given in the name of the baptized which are to be conveyed and explained to the latter when he has reached maturity. Thus, the sponsor at baptism cannot be:

a minor, i.e. a boy younger than 15, or a girl less than 13;
someone ignorant of the faith;
someone guilty of overt sins, or in general a person who in the opinion of the community has fallen in his or her moral life;
a non-orthodox Christian. Parents may not be sponsors of their own children; on the contrary, should this occur, the very matrimonial bond of the parents should be dissolved in accordance with Canon 53 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, since sponsorship creates a spiritual relationship considered by the Church in this canon to be more important than "the union according to the flesh.""
http://www.orthodoxconvert.info/Q-A.php?c=Piety-About%20Being%20a%20Godparent
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« Reply #105 on: February 18, 2010, 11:37:30 AM »

I understand what you are saying but it's tough to discard this topic when my wife and close family are Baptists and Catholics. My wife is not overly concerned with my interest in Orthodoxy but her family and my family do feel a bit alienated by it.

For example, God Parents... in Orthodoxy can't be Baptists nor Catholics. We don't have 'any' family who would be able to be given the honor of being my child's God Parents... that would have to go to strangers. It's going to be a really big blow to our larger family. When they ask 'why is it this way', then I have to get into the details of history and that fact that they are not 'good enough' for the Orthodox Church. That is a real problem.
So, do you have Baptist relatives who are godparents to your Catholic relatives? If they agreed to it, and the RC Church allows it, they really aren't good Baptists. I would question their faith.

Quote
It has been a long standing practice in our family that the God-Parents would be the first to adopt the children if the parents pass a way. The choice of God-Parents is a very big deal with my family and they don't like the idea of 'doctrine' and 'strangers' getting in between 'blood'. They think it is 'cult-ish' and 'invasive' to the family and child. I understand their point. I know my family would do what I wished them to do if I asked them, even to the extent of raising my child in a religious practice that is not there own. If the child isn't in danger of damnation, then why do they 'have' to be raised by Orthodox God-Parents and not by family who love them and are willing to 'vow' to raise them as such?
I don't know what it's like where you live, but here the courts will give preference to the care of minor children to the nearest blood relative willing to take on the responsibility in the absence of a will. I could be wrong, but I'm not aware that an Orthodox godparent is required to take on the legal responsibility of raising their minor godchildren. The two are quite separate issues, though not mutually exclusive of course. For you to select a near relative to raise your children in the event of your death who is willing to allow the Orthodox godparents to continue their spiritual responsibilities would seem appropriate.

Also, it sounds like your relatives are being "cultish" by insisting that it will be their way or no way.
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« Reply #106 on: February 18, 2010, 11:49:46 AM »

I understand what you are saying but it's tough to discard this topic when my wife and close family are Baptists and Catholics. My wife is not overly concerned with my interest in Orthodoxy but her family and my family do feel a bit alienated by it.

For example, God Parents... in Orthodoxy can't be Baptists nor Catholics. We don't have 'any' family who would be able to be given the honor of being my child's God Parents... that would have to go to strangers. It's going to be a really big blow to our larger family. When they ask 'why is it this way', then I have to get into the details of history and that fact that they are not 'good enough' for the Orthodox Church. That is a real problem.
So, do you have Baptist relatives who are godparents to your Catholic relatives? If they agreed to it, and the RC Church allows it, they really aren't good Baptists. I would question their faith.

No... We don't. In the Roman Church only 'one' of the two God Parents needs to be Catholic in good standing but in our family we have a practice of having more than one God-Parent... typically other members of the family or very close friends of the family. For our daughter, as an example, my brother and my brother-in-law (both Baptists) carried my daughter to the Baptismal Font for Baptism. She was Baptized and my Sister-in-Law (who is Catholic) drew her from the Font with my other Sister-in-Law (Baptist) and both took her back to dress her in white and brought her back for the Chrismation and the lighting of the Baptismal Candle. For those who are Philippine they will recognize this practice... other Catholics won't.
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« Reply #107 on: February 18, 2010, 11:51:25 AM »

...when my wife and close family are Baptists and Catholics. My wife is not overly concerned with my interest in Orthodoxy but her family and my family do feel a bit alienated by it.

...When they ask 'why is it this way', then I have to get into the details of history and that fact that they are not 'good enough' for the Orthodox Church. That is a real problem.

You're absolutely right - it is a real problem, if for no other reason than because the above statement about not being "good enough" seems to reflect a serious misunderstanding of the Orthodox Church. It's not about people being good enough, it's about the communion of belief. Your RCC and Baptist relatives do not hold the same beliefs, indeed they may even believe totally different things, so how could they (why would they even want to?) promise, in good conscience, to be a spiritual "parent" to a child who will be raised in the Orthodox Church?

(And, just btw, your situation of an extended family who are not Orthodox is certainly not unique. Many, if not most, of the people who post here are in the same situation, which causes them problems, to a greater or lesser extent.)


It has been a long standing practice in our family that the God-Parents would be the first to adopt the children if the parents pass a way. The choice of God-Parents is a very big deal with my family and they don't like the idea of 'doctrine' and 'strangers' getting in between 'blood'. They think it is 'cult-ish' and 'invasive' to the family and child. I understand their point. I know my family would do what I wished them to do if I asked them, even to the extent of raising my child in a religious practice that is not there own. If the child isn't in danger of damnation, then why do they 'have' to be raised by Orthodox God-Parents and not by family who love them and are willing to 'vow' to raise them as such?
This might be apropos:
I just was reading Hebrews:

..."By faith": no distinction is made for baby Moses.

I think it means his parents' faith.

Exactly my point: Moses in the passage remains the subject, not his parents.

In faith the infants are baptized.
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« Reply #108 on: February 18, 2010, 11:55:53 AM »

my brother and my brother-in-law (both Baptists) carried my daughter to the Baptismal Font for Baptism.

I'm certainly no expert on Baptist beliefs (you'd think I would be, having grown up here in the Bible Belt), but they don't believe in infant baptism, surely? (or was she an infant? I may be getting ahead of myself). So if she was an infant, they participated, in an important, primary and prominent way, in a ritual that they didn't believe in, that was in fact directly contrary to their beliefs?
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« Reply #109 on: February 18, 2010, 12:14:07 PM »

my brother and my brother-in-law (both Baptists) carried my daughter to the Baptismal Font for Baptism.

I'm certainly no expert on Baptist beliefs (you'd think I would be, having grown up here in the Bible Belt), but they don't believe in infant baptism, surely? (or was she an infant? I may be getting ahead of myself). So if she was an infant, they participated, in an important, primary and prominent way, in a ritual that they didn't believe in, that was in fact directly contrary to their beliefs?

My brother's Son was Baptized Catholic because he is married to a Roman Catholic... I was the God-Parent because I was Catholic. I had to make vows to raise his child and mine Roman Catholic. In fact, his son attends a Catholic School.

Half of my family is Catholic and the other half are Baptists or some other Protestant Demon...
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« Reply #110 on: February 18, 2010, 12:31:17 PM »

my brother and my brother-in-law (both Baptists) carried my daughter to the Baptismal Font for Baptism.

I'm certainly no expert on Baptist beliefs (you'd think I would be, having grown up here in the Bible Belt), but they don't believe in infant baptism, surely? (or was she an infant? I may be getting ahead of myself). So if she was an infant, they participated, in an important, primary and prominent way, in a ritual that they didn't believe in, that was in fact directly contrary to their beliefs?

My brother's Son was Baptized Catholic because he is married to a Roman Catholic... I was the God-Parent because I was Catholic. I had to make vows to raise his child and mine Roman Catholic. In fact, his son attends a Catholic School.

Half of my family is Catholic and the other half are Baptists or some other Protestant Demon...

And that's actually the reality for most people today. IIRC, according to Pew, about half of American adults have changed their faith affiliation. My own family is a mixed bag of Lutherans, RCs (lapsed and active), a sprinkling of Baptists and other Protestants...(and we mustn't forget my cousin the Crazy Cat Lady, who's some sort of nebulous New Age-y pagan).
I still wonder why your Baptist relatives participated, and made promises as godparents, in a ritual that presumably they didn't believe in, that was in fact directly contrary to their beliefs?

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« Reply #111 on: February 18, 2010, 02:03:37 PM »

my brother and my brother-in-law (both Baptists) carried my daughter to the Baptismal Font for Baptism.

I'm certainly no expert on Baptist beliefs (you'd think I would be, having grown up here in the Bible Belt), but they don't believe in infant baptism, surely? (or was she an infant? I may be getting ahead of myself). So if she was an infant, they participated, in an important, primary and prominent way, in a ritual that they didn't believe in, that was in fact directly contrary to their beliefs?

My brother's Son was Baptized Catholic because he is married to a Roman Catholic... I was the God-Parent because I was Catholic. I had to make vows to raise his child and mine Roman Catholic. In fact, his son attends a Catholic School.

Half of my family is Catholic and the other half are Baptists or some other Protestant Demon...

And that's actually the reality for most people today. IIRC, according to Pew, about half of American adults have changed their faith affiliation. My own family is a mixed bag of Lutherans, RCs (lapsed and active), a sprinkling of Baptists and other Protestants...(and we mustn't forget my cousin the Crazy Cat Lady, who's some sort of nebulous New Age-y pagan).
I still wonder why your Baptist relatives participated, and made promises as godparents, in a ritual that presumably they didn't believe in, that was in fact directly contrary to their beliefs?

They did it because it's what 'I' believe and they love me enough to 'honor' my wishes.
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« Reply #112 on: February 18, 2010, 02:13:43 PM »

They did it because it's what 'I' believe and they love me enough to 'honor' my wishes.
And I understand the sentiment, and respect them for it, but, if the baptism was anything like a Lutheran or Orthodox baptism (sorry, but I haven't been to an RC baptism lately so don't know all the details), if they participated as godparents (not just came and rejoiced with you and showed their love and support), but actually participated as godparents, were they aware that they were making promises they had no intention of keeping to do things which they didn't believe?
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« Reply #113 on: February 18, 2010, 02:21:18 PM »

They did it because it's what 'I' believe and they love me enough to 'honor' my wishes.
And I understand the sentiment, and respect them for it, but, if the baptism was anything like a Lutheran or Orthodox baptism (sorry, but I haven't been to an RC baptism lately so don't know all the details), if they participated as godparents (not just came and rejoiced with you and showed their love and support), but actually participated as godparents, were they aware that they were making promises they had no intention of keeping to do things which they didn't believe?

The Baptismal Promises don't affirm any doctrines most Christians would be opposed to...

V. Do you reject Satan?
R. I do.
V. And all his works?
R. I do.
V. And all his empty promises?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
R. I do.

V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
R. I do.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
R. I do.

V. God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.

R. Amen.

At least, none of my extended family where opposed to them. Do they 'all' understand them in the same way? Maybe not but my Priest met with all of them and he affirmed that we met the requirements established.

But this gets to the heart of our differences... you see Christians as what they 'affirm' intellectually and that appears to be of primary importance. The Orthodox Faith is very much an intellectual affair because you don't seem to understand how Christians can have disagreements and yet love and respect one another and honor one's wishes for another's child. My brother, even though he is not Catholic respects the 'good' that he finds within the Catholic Church and it's Traditions. He doesn't think that they are 'necessary' for one's salvation but he respects that they have 'value' because he sees that value in his son's education and religious growth within it's Traditions. He's views aren't so rigorous that he can't see that. He also respects the Sacraments, far more so that your 'typical' Baptist but again that is something that you guys and gals don't seem to recognize. Every Baptist isn't some 'cookie-cutter' drone manufactured from some 'Baptist-Indoctrination' factory. They are 'individuals' with their own 'individual' experiences and those experiences have served to shape and mold their understanding of the Faith. I know some Baptists who are far more 'orthodox' than some here who argue very liberal moral views yet you seem okay to share Communion with even though you don't agree with them on very much. This is part of the Liturgical view that 'sees' unity in praxis by 'not' in moral belief or lifestyle. This is where we find a bit of difference in how we determine 'real' fellowship. It shouldn't be simply in praxis... but deeper in actual moral views as well. If our Consciences aren't common, we are clearly not of 'one mind' as St. Paul exhorts. I find this just as shocking among Catholics too who share Communion but don't value the same mores.

My brother and I share Classic Christian Moral Values and in that we find commonality in our Faiths.
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« Reply #114 on: February 18, 2010, 02:40:21 PM »


But doesn't the very fact of infant baptism violate their Baptist beliefs? They were participating as principals in a sacrament (when they don't believe in sacraments) and an infant baptism (when they don't believe in that either).

FWIW, “The reason for this distinction and restriction is that the godparent not only is taking responsibility for the religious education and spiritual formation of the baptized person, but also is representing the Church, the community of faith, into which the person is being baptized. A Christian who is not Catholic, although perhaps a very holy, Christian, cannot fully attest to the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Likewise, a Catholic can only be a Christian witness for someone who is baptized into another Christian denomination. (Cf. Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism, No. 57).”
http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0233.html
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« Reply #115 on: February 18, 2010, 02:51:18 PM »

But this gets to the heart of our differences... you see Christians as what they 'affirm' intellectually and that appears to be of primary importance. The Orthodox Faith is very much an intellectual affair because you don't seem to understand how Christians can have disagreements and yet love and respect one another and honor one's wishes for another's child.

No, I see Christians as people who act in accordance with their most deeply held beliefs.

I wonder how you have managed to deduce that I don't seem to understand how Christians can have disagreements and yet love and respect one another, when I have described my own family's religious affiliations to you. Or do you imagine that we sit cozily around the Thanksgiving table lecturing each other on how the other one is going to hell?

If you think that the Orthodox Faith is primarily intellectual then you have indeed missed the point, and appear to know very little about it.

Quote
some here who argue very liberal moral views yet you seem okay to share Communion with even though you don't agree with them on very much. This is part of the Liturgical view that 'sees' unity in praxis by 'not' in moral belief or lifestyle.
Wait - wait. Haven't you just contradicted yourself? Is Orthodoxy intellectual or is it grounded in praxis? Make up your mind.

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« Reply #116 on: February 18, 2010, 02:53:48 PM »


But doesn't the very fact of infant baptism violate their Baptist beliefs? They were participating as principals in a sacrament (when they don't believe in sacraments) and an infant baptism (when they don't believe in that either).

FWIW, “The reason for this distinction and restriction is that the godparent not only is taking responsibility for the religious education and spiritual formation of the baptized person, but also is representing the Church, the community of faith, into which the person is being baptized. A Christian who is not Catholic, although perhaps a very holy, Christian, cannot fully attest to the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Likewise, a Catholic can only be a Christian witness for someone who is baptized into another Christian denomination. (Cf. Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism, No. 57).”
http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0233.html


Yes, this is the role all those who were not Catholic... played in the Baptism of my Daughter. On the Baptismal Certificate... only the Catholic God-Parents were listed by the rest were there as Christian Witnesses but they could participate in the Rite of Baptism in they way I outlined. This was all approved by my Priest ahead of time.

See I 'have' Catholic Family who can be the God Parents of my Children... I don't have any Orthodox Family so those key roles within our family.

Ultimately, this whole discussion highlights just how 'deep' our family is in our Catholic Roots and how difficult it would be to 'actually' convert. I've spoken with the local Orthodox Priest about this issue and he is coming over to discuss it with our family. One really nice thing about this particular Priest is that he is a convert from the Baptist Tradition and also very well versed in the Catholic Church too.
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« Reply #117 on: February 18, 2010, 02:58:24 PM »

But this gets to the heart of our differences... you see Christians as what they 'affirm' intellectually and that appears to be of primary importance. The Orthodox Faith is very much an intellectual affair because you don't seem to understand how Christians can have disagreements and yet love and respect one another and honor one's wishes for another's child.

No, I see Christians as people who act in accordance with their most deeply held beliefs.

I wonder how you have managed to deduce that I don't seem to understand how Christians can have disagreements and yet love and respect one another, when I have described my own family's religious affiliations to you. Or do you imagine that we sit cozily around the Thanksgiving table lecturing each other on how the other one is going to hell?

I'm not sure... what do you all say to one another?

Quote
If you think that the Orthodox Faith is primarily intellectual then you have indeed missed the point, and appear to know very little about it.

I find it interesting.

Quote
Quote
some here who argue very liberal moral views yet you seem okay to share Communion with even though you don't agree with them on very much. This is part of the Liturgical view that 'sees' unity in praxis by 'not' in moral belief or lifestyle.
Wait - wait. Haven't you just contradicted yourself? Is Orthodoxy intellectual or is it grounded in praxis? Make up your mind.

I didn't say that Orthodox were consistent or not hypocritical. Some seem to been both. I would say that some value praxis over creeds but other creeds over praxis and then there appear to be a few who value moral views over both but not many.
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« Reply #118 on: February 18, 2010, 04:33:29 PM »

I'm not sure... what do you all say to one another?


The same as any family, probably the same as your family, I would venture to say.

Because the role that you appear to have assigned me as an Orthodox believer doesn't actually fit. Too bad.

Of course, acknowledging that other people also have families composed of people who hold different beliefs who also love and respect one another might result in a re-examination of your own opinions of Orthodoxy and Orthodox people and we can't have that, can we? Who knows what would come of that?

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« Reply #119 on: February 18, 2010, 04:35:54 PM »

The same as any family, probably the same as your family, I would venture to say.

Because the role that you appear to have assigned me as an Orthodox believer doesn't actually fit. Too bad.

Of course, acknowledging that other people also have families composed of people who hold different beliefs who also love and respect one another might result in a re-examination of your own opinions of Orthodoxy and Orthodox people and we can't have that, can we? Who knows what would come of that?

You take me that wrong way. As I've said... Ultimately, this whole discussion highlights just how 'deep' our family is in our Catholic Roots and how difficult it would be to 'actually' convert. I've spoken with the local Orthodox Priest about this issue and he is coming over to discuss it with our family. One really nice thing about this particular Priest is that he is a convert from the Baptist Tradition and also very well versed in the Catholic Church too.
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« Reply #120 on: February 18, 2010, 06:11:02 PM »

Almost forgot, (because I was in a snit with you, to tell the truth, for which I ask your forgiveness)what my family does at Thanksgiving is mostly what my cousin (not the Crazy Cat Lady, another one) calls "telling," as in "Mama, tell about the time Uncle So-and-So tried to deep-fry the turkey but got drunk and set fire to the house, and melted the plastic siding."
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