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Author Topic: Are all religions the same?  (Read 3250 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2010, 09:10:52 AM »

Orthodoxy is a religion.

Evangelical Protestantism, however, is a relationship with Jesus.

That's what Protestants say in order to get people to think of Protestantism as something real and living and other Christian groups like Orthodoxy as a bunch of dead traditions.  But the reality is that Orthodoxy is the authentic relationship with Jesus Christ.  For example, on college campuses I've seen signs put up by Evangelical groups that say "Lose your religion, start the relationship."  Translated, that basically means "Throw your icons to the curb and come frolic with the Protestants."
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« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2010, 11:02:39 AM »

Orthodoxy is a religion.

Evangelical Protestantism, however, is a relationship with Jesus.

So true.
How could you have a relationship with Jesus, without the Eucharist?

How could 'you' have a relationship with Jesus, without Baptism?
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« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2010, 11:41:23 AM »

Orthodoxy is a religion.

Evangelical Protestantism, however, is a relationship with Jesus.

So true.
How could you have a relationship with Jesus, without the Eucharist?

How did the desert fathers and mothers have a relationship without the Eucharist?

St Mary of Egypt only communed one time in her entire life (at the beginning of her Christian life at that) and yet she seemed to do just fine "having a relationship with Jesus" without the Eucharist. In fact she did better than most saints in the entire history of Christianity. While the Eucharist is certainly important, and Eucharistic Liturgy and worship and Communion is a central aspect to our faith, it is by no means the ONLY way to have a relationship with God. One can have a relationship with Christ through prayer, meditation, reading and studying the Scriptures, and by just DOING what Jesus taught us to do. Feeding the poor, visiting the sick, helping the orphans, or just treating your neighbor as you would want to be treated. All of these things leads people into a direct relationship with Jesus. I'm not trying to downplay the Eucharist because it is a central aspect, but I've always found this question, which a lot of Orthodox and Catholics tend to ask, a bit odd in my mind. As if the Eucharist were our only access to Jesus.  I just don't comprehend the question, as though the ONLY way to be united to Jesus is through the Eucharist like it was some sort of "magic" bread and wine.

 If that were true then how do we explain this saints who go off into the desert for 50 years never commune, but go into the cave a prostitute (or murderer or whatever) and come out of the cave a saint? One without the Eucharist has a relationship with Jesus through all the other (non-Sacramental) means of grace....indeed as an Orthodox I believe without the Eucharist "something" is missing for most people, but I don't think Christians without the Sacraments have NO relationship at all. That's just absurd and IMO puts God into a box. If the Eucharist could be described in terms of marriage, and in some sense the most intimate form of marriage, to say people who don't have this have NO relationship, is like saying "you and your sister in law have no relationship because you haven't haven't had sexual relations." Indeed there is something supremely intimate and important when we Commune, and the marriage metaphor is used precisely to explain why we don't Commune non-Orthodox (because it would be like adultery), but to say non Orthodox have NO relationship is like saying people who aren't married have NO relationship, and that's obviously not true. It's just, "different" that's all.

The turn around of that question could be "why do so many Christians WITH the Eucharist NOT have a relationship with Jesus?" And yes, I know all the apologetic answers, especially the whole "those with the biggest graces who don't use them have more to answer for" spiel....but that is often (not always) just a spiritual sounding way of not answering the question.

I don't think it's impossible to have a relationship with Christ for people that don't have the Sacraments, nor do I think that's actually the Orthodox (or Catholic) position on the matter. Remember ancient Israel often was pretty proud of having all the proper rituals, rites and the Temple, which set them apart from the Nations, and they took great comfort in knowing that this made them safe or "closer" to God in some sense...yet the Prophets seemed to think these assurances they had were misguided and that what truly pleased God was mercy and compassion. We'd do well to heed those warnings IMO, and not be so quick to assume no one but us has a relationship with Jesus.

Again, I'm not trying to downplay the importance of Communion but only to give an alternative perspective on the matter.



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« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2010, 12:41:20 PM »

How could you have a relationship with Jesus, without the Eucharist?

I was being sarcastic!  laugh
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« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2010, 12:48:12 PM »

Orthodoxy is a religion.
Evangelical Protestantism, however, is a relationship with Jesus.
So true.
How could you have a relationship with Jesus, without the Eucharist?
How could 'you' have a relationship with Jesus, without Baptism?

Um, that's the point.  They're trying to build a relationship with Jesus without the structure that He left to accomplish that task.  Some may be able to do it, but I believe most cannot - in fact, I think it is difficult enough with the Church's help, love, and support, so I cannot imagine making such a journey without her.
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« Reply #50 on: April 08, 2010, 01:25:38 PM »

Orthodoxy is a religion.
Evangelical Protestantism, however, is a relationship with Jesus.
So true.
How could you have a relationship with Jesus, without the Eucharist?
How could 'you' have a relationship with Jesus, without Baptism?

Um, that's the point.  They're trying to build a relationship with Jesus without the structure that He left to accomplish that task.  Some may be able to do it, but I believe most cannot - in fact, I think it is difficult enough with the Church's help, love, and support, so I cannot imagine making such a journey without her.

Agreed. Obviously visible inclusion in the Church is not the absolute only way (think of the thief on the cross), but why would you attempt to attain salvation on your own? The mere thought banishes all humility from the mind.
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« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2010, 01:39:39 PM »

OK, here's my 2 cents on the issue.
1. Religious practice is a human necessity--every culture does it, and a form of religion was given to Israel by God. So, Christianity is not a religion, but religion is a key part of it.

2. Evangelical Protestantism is not a religion, it is an antireligion. And from this vaccuum of antireligion emerges plani/prelest. At least man-made actual religions like buddhism and daoism keep people sane.
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« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2010, 07:13:09 PM »

At least man-made actual religions like buddhism and daoism keep people sane.
Indeed. In fact, there is a lot of similarities between Christianity, Buddhism, and Daoism, so much so that one could reasonably assert that Buddhism and Daoism were both precursors of Christianity, just as Judaism is such a precursor. In fact, Hieromonk Damascene makes this very argument in his book Christ the Eternal Tao, in which he claims that Christ is the fulfillment of the Way which Lao Tzu preached.
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« Reply #53 on: April 08, 2010, 08:22:58 PM »

At least man-made actual religions like buddhism and daoism keep people sane.
Indeed. In fact, there is a lot of similarities between Christianity, Buddhism, and Daoism, so much so that one could reasonably assert that Buddhism and Daoism were both precursors of Christianity, just as Judaism is such a precursor. In fact, Hieromonk Damascene makes this very argument in his book Christ the Eternal Tao, in which he claims that Christ is the fulfillment of the Way which Lao Tzu preached.
I keep hearing about this book. I am going to have to read it.
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« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2010, 09:12:16 PM »

Any religious practice that engenders virtue brings man into direct divine participation. Where we find 'good', we find 'God'.
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« Reply #55 on: April 08, 2010, 09:30:39 PM »

Any religious practice that engenders virtue brings man into direct divine participation. Where we find 'good', we find 'God'.

Following that line of logic results in posing of the question: "what is good?" and further results in "anything I do is good and pleasing to my own 'God' aka ... me."

I had that discussion in 2002 with a former colleague which lasted for hours.   Undecided
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« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2010, 09:38:53 PM »

Any religious practice that engenders virtue brings man into direct divine participation. Where we find 'good', we find 'God'.

Following that line of logic results in posing of the question: "what is good?" and further results in "anything I do is good and pleasing to my own 'God' aka ... me."

I had that discussion in 2002 with a former colleague which lasted for hours.   Undecided

No, I am speaking of 'real' virtues and the cessation of vices. This is 'true' participation with the Divine Nature. We do not have this in and of our own nature but only through participation in the Divine Nature are His qualities shared in and by us. It is the fruitful life and the participation of and in Sophia (Godly Wisdom).
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« Reply #57 on: April 08, 2010, 09:48:28 PM »

Orthodoxy is a religion.

Evangelical Protestantism, however, is a relationship with Jesus.

Orthodoxy is not a religion. Religion is a neurobiological illness. Orthodoxy is the cure.

Personally, I agree with this statement 100%, having been through a lot of stuff I have been through; but I am afraid that parroting this statement is perhaps one of the greatest disservices we can do to Orthodoxy. Just think of it, 99.9% or so of people who identify themselves as "Christians" in the USA and, largely, in the West can perhaps say, "Orthodoxy is a neurobiological disease (whose origins are ethnicity or propaganda of all those various ethnics), and Roman Catholicism/ Evangelical Protestantism/ Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ is the cure."

They could say that about Orthodoxy, but it's not true. Alot of people think that we are idolworshipping pagans who are cannibals because the Eucharist, they are not likely to be swayed by mere words; they are like Saul of Tarsus. You can only pray that they will have an experience on the road to Damascus. I don't think we should compromise our message on the basis of other people's false perceptions. We should speak their language. And according to many in other Christian circles, religion is a bad word. We are not a religion and using the term does us no favours, most especially if it doesn't apply to us.
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« Reply #58 on: April 08, 2010, 09:49:38 PM »

No, I am speaking of 'real' virtues and the cessation of vices.

Is the bolded text a realistic goal for any religion?

This is 'true' participation with the Divine Nature. We do not have this in and of our own nature but only through participation in the Divine Nature are His qualities shared in and by us. It is the fruitful life and the participation of and in Sophia (Godly Wisdom).

Here is the answer - Unitarian Universalists.   Smiley
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« Reply #59 on: April 08, 2010, 09:57:50 PM »

No, I am speaking of 'real' virtues and the cessation of vices.

Is the bolded text a realistic goal for any religion?

Yes it is.

Quote
This is 'true' participation with the Divine Nature. We do not have this in and of our own nature but only through participation in the Divine Nature are His qualities shared in and by us. It is the fruitful life and the participation of and in Sophia (Godly Wisdom).

Here is the answer - Unitarian Universalists.   Smiley

I think it is important to have a 'complete' and 'cohesive' method in which we achieve progress in the virtues and our participation in the Divine Nature by degrees.

I have met a couple Buddhists whom I believe to be 'real' Saints. I have also met a few Sufis who are also very Saintly. I cannot not recognize the grace active in their lives.
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« Reply #60 on: April 08, 2010, 10:22:22 PM »

No, I am speaking of 'real' virtues and the cessation of vices.

Is the bolded text a realistic goal for any religion?

Yes it is.

Quote
This is 'true' participation with the Divine Nature. We do not have this in and of our own nature but only through participation in the Divine Nature are His qualities shared in and by us. It is the fruitful life and the participation of and in Sophia (Godly Wisdom).

Here is the answer - Unitarian Universalists.   Smiley

I think it is important to have a 'complete' and 'cohesive' method in which we achieve progress in the virtues and our participation in the Divine Nature by degrees.

I have met a couple Buddhists whom I believe to be 'real' Saints. I have also met a few Sufis who are also very Saintly. I cannot not recognize the grace active in their lives.

Well, we do all have the (albeit tainted) image of God in us. It is our true natural state. Unless you're a Calvinist.

Edit: I'm saying Calvinists don't believe that, I'm not saying Calvinists lack the image of God  Cheesy.
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« Reply #61 on: April 08, 2010, 10:25:19 PM »

No, I am speaking of 'real' virtues and the cessation of vices.

Is the bolded text a realistic goal for any religion?

Yes it is.

Quote
This is 'true' participation with the Divine Nature. We do not have this in and of our own nature but only through participation in the Divine Nature are His qualities shared in and by us. It is the fruitful life and the participation of and in Sophia (Godly Wisdom).

Here is the answer - Unitarian Universalists.   Smiley

I think it is important to have a 'complete' and 'cohesive' method in which we achieve progress in the virtues and our participation in the Divine Nature by degrees.

I have met a couple Buddhists whom I believe to be 'real' Saints. I have also met a few Sufis who are also very Saintly. I cannot not recognize the grace active in their lives.

Well, we do all have the (albeit tainted) image of God in us. It is our true natural state. Unless you're a Calvinist.

Yes, I think just as with the Greek Divines, there are individuals who participate with the Divine Nature as to engage in their own Theosis.
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« Reply #62 on: April 08, 2010, 10:37:47 PM »

Yes, I think just as with the Greek Divines, there are individuals who participate with the Divine Nature as to engage in their own Theosis.

Apparently, the UU must accept the Greek Divines and reject the New Testament miracles of Christ including the Resurrection (so much for being open to all belief systems).  Too bad this UU entity doesn't post sermons on-line or in digital format for I would have liked to listen to what they had to say....

Quote
Unitarian Universalists have long rejected the miracle stories of the New Testament as impossible and unnecessary. Reason has been the hallmark of our faith. Our need for transformation, however, remains.

source

While using reason to stop vices makes a lot of sense (and does not require the practice of any religion to do so), do the UU believe in penance in case reason fails?
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« Reply #63 on: April 08, 2010, 10:49:59 PM »

Orthodoxy isn't about good or bad. I'll be the first to admit that there are heterodox religions that have virtue very close to ours. Ours isn't reaching the highest virtue attainable. It's about freedom from what binds us.

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 St Maximos:  What you call good - with what measure do you measure it, to call it good? It could very well be bad. And what you call ‘bad’ - with what measure do you measure it, to call it ‘bad’? Because it could very well be good.

A religion has to have a mechanism to release someone from a vices and that vice is considered a vice in light of the law that was given to Moses by god.

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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #64 on: April 09, 2010, 12:03:54 AM »

Yes, I think just as with the Greek Divines, there are individuals who participate with the Divine Nature as to engage in their own Theosis.

Apparently, the UU must accept the Greek Divines and reject the New Testament miracles of Christ including the Resurrection (so much for being open to all belief systems).  Too bad this UU entity doesn't post sermons on-line or in digital format for I would have liked to listen to what they had to say....

Quote
Unitarian Universalists have long rejected the miracle stories of the New Testament as impossible and unnecessary. Reason has been the hallmark of our faith. Our need for transformation, however, remains.

source

While using reason to stop vices makes a lot of sense (and does not require the practice of any religion to do so), do the UU believe in penance in case reason fails?

I don't know much about the UU but I'd guess that they are largely amateur philosophers and lack the methods for Theoria.
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« Reply #65 on: April 09, 2010, 12:24:04 AM »

I don't know much about the UU but I'd guess that they are largely amateur philosophers and lack the methods for Theoria.

I am not interested in the languages of Philosophies and their rhetoric.   Smiley  If you can find answers in them, may God Bless you.   Wink
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« Reply #66 on: April 09, 2010, 12:47:41 AM »

Apparently, the UU must accept the Greek Divines and reject the New Testament miracles of Christ including the Resurrection (so much for being open to all belief systems).  Too bad this UU entity doesn't post sermons on-line or in digital format for I would have liked to listen to what they had to say....

You can find some videos here: http://www.uuplanet.tv
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« Reply #67 on: April 09, 2010, 01:11:04 AM »

Yes, I think just as with the Greek Divines, there are individuals who participate with the Divine Nature as to engage in their own Theosis.

Create one's own personal Theosis?

Quote from: Very Rev. Vladimir Berzonsky
... Today's world rejects Christian truth and morals, replacing them with a modern version Pilate's conclusion, claiming there is no truth, because there is no God. Be a god for yourself, the world says, and create your own truths. Jesus Christ as Truth must be found and followed in our time by each who is eager to follow the Way and share Life that He offers along with the peace that He gives "not as the world gives."

source
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« Reply #68 on: April 09, 2010, 01:12:06 AM »

Apparently, the UU must accept the Greek Divines and reject the New Testament miracles of Christ including the Resurrection (so much for being open to all belief systems).  Too bad this UU entity doesn't post sermons on-line or in digital format for I would have liked to listen to what they had to say....

You can find some videos here: http://www.uuplanet.tv

I'll stick with YouTube when I have access to high speed Internet.   Wink
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« Reply #69 on: April 09, 2010, 01:30:06 AM »

In America, we hear a lot about the Spirituality cafe approach where you get to pick and choose what you want to believe and accept.  This means you can pray five times a day like Muslims while also meditating like Buddhists while also reading silly psycho-babble like "I'm OK, you're OK" while also believing Zoroaster was just as legitimate as Lao Tzu.  As I say, you hear a lot about these type of folks, but only in the UU camp can you see it in practice.  Namaste, Bumba!  May the Shinto Gods always light your spirit paths! 
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« Reply #70 on: April 09, 2010, 01:51:06 AM »

In America, we hear a lot about the Spirituality cafe approach where you get to pick and choose what you want to believe and accept.  This means you can pray five times a day like Muslims while also meditating like Buddhists while also reading silly psycho-babble like "I'm OK, you're OK" while also believing Zoroaster was just as legitimate as Lao Tzu.  As I say, you hear a lot about these type of folks, but only in the UU camp can you see it in practice.  Namaste, Bumba!  May the Shinto Gods always light your spirit paths! 
Yeah it's all because they lost faith in absolute truth. so therefore nothing is true, or everything is true.
if nothing is true, then this sentence would have to be false. if everything is true, then Satan is not really a liar.
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« Reply #71 on: October 19, 2012, 07:34:34 AM »

All Religions don't lead to heaven because as our Lord said "no one comes to the Father Except through me" an "Unless you eat my Flesh and drink my Blood you shall not have life within you" so clearly Jesus did not teach that everybody goes to heaven  not to mention that most people have heard aboout Jesus and ignore him anyway.

I hate when people say that all religions lead to heaven because if they do theres no reason to be a member of any certin religion at all.

no religion can save you.
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