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Author Topic: Is the Orthodox Church really true?  (Read 10461 times) Average Rating: 0
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Robb
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« on: May 20, 2010, 04:29:46 PM »

Is the Orthodox Church really the one, true, faith founded by Jesus Christ?  I've struggled with this one for a long time and am sort of at a cross roads in my life.  

Could someone give me some type of evidence that can emphatically prove that the OC is the way God wants things to be?

Why, for instance would God want his Church to be a string of self governing national ones instead of a unified central authority like the Papacy?  Doesn't the very concept of the Pope as top man and controlling (Or, at least trying to control) the whole operation of the Church make more sense from a logical and truly Catholic perspective?  When they came up with the 5 Patriarch idea, wasn't that just based on the jurisdictional situation of the Roman empire which has long since (Sadly) been defunct.

I'm not trying to goad anybody or proselytize for anything.  I'm just asking these questions since, coming from an RC backround they are what I've struggled with.  I tried talking about them to an Orthodox priest, but his answers were not very satisfactory for me (He claimed that he didn't know much about the RCC in the first place and seemed to believe that the RC's worship the Popes every word as infallible).  I don't know how anyone could not know anything about Catholicism but this guy didn't do a very good job talking about it to me.  I also brought up the universality of the Church (Which seemed somewhat lacking in the OC to me).  He gave me some talk about how the true church exists when only a handful of people believe (This didn't answer why there is no outward, actual, real unity in the OC as opposed to the, at least superficial appearance you get with the RCC). These questions mean something to my worldview since I was raised to believe in quantity over quality.  The bigger and better something was presented to me then the truer it must be.  I freely admit to being  not from a Protestant "Bible Baptist" type backround.  I like the extravagance of life.  I come from  deeply expressionist, deeply Catholic type of people (Ones who it is frequently said that "God made us Catholic before making us Christian").  I only get the big picture.  If Orthodoxy is true then why isn't it big and important everywhere like the RCC is?


« Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 04:35:05 PM by Robb » Logged

Men may dislike truth, men may find truth offensive and inconvenient, men may persecute the truth, subvert it, try by law to suppress it. But to maintain that men have the final power over truth is blasphemy, and the last delusion. Truth lives forever, men do not.
-- Gustave Flaubert
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2010, 04:54:45 PM »

Why, for instance would God want his Church to be a string of self governing national ones instead of a unified central authority like the Papacy?  Doesn't the very concept of the Pope as top man and controlling (Or, at least trying to control) the whole operation of the Church make more sense from a logical and truly Catholic perspective?  When they came up with the 5 Patriarch idea, wasn't that just based on the jurisdictional situation of the Roman empire which has long since (Sadly) been defunct.
One of the reasons that you may be having problems is that some of your concerns are based on faulty assumptions, or so it seems to me.
For example, in the above, why is a unified central authority any better? What is the evidence that God prefers one method of church governance over another. Orthodox would say that the fact that the Church operated conciliarly through Councils is evidence that God prefers it that way.

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I don't know how anyone could not know anything about Catholicism
Come to my part of the South - when my husband moved here as a child, they were the first RCs their neighbors had met. 

Quote
I also brought up the universality of the Church (Which seemed somewhat lacking in the OC to me).
Another faulty assumption, or so it seems to me. Why do you think universality is lacking in the OC? And how are you defining "outward, actual, real unity" in the RCC - although I'm certainly no expert on the RCC, like your priest, I'm afraid, but from the outside, it doesn't look like much real unity either, with different versions of the Mass, with the Maronites and the Melkites and the Eastern Catholics doing their own thing, with the so-called American version of "cafeteria Catholicism" and with some priests being married while most are not allowed.

Quote
If Orthodoxy is true then why isn't it big and important everywhere like the RCC is?
Oh, dear. Another one, I'm afraid. First of all, was the Church true in the first century AD? When it was small and persecuted? So what does big and important have to do with being true? Also what about Russia, where the Orthodox Church suffered the most horrible persecutions, thousands of priests, nuns, monks and bishops killed or imprisoned, churches destroyed and yet in a short few years after the Communist yoke was lifted, the Church has blossomed.



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Robb
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2010, 05:04:03 PM »

I'm just using common sense in my observations. For instance, what would make more sense, for the USA to be governed by 50 individual states all doing there own thing yet supposedly trying to follow the Constitution, or by the centralized Federal government out of DC?  

Doesn't it make more sense for the Church to have a central authority then to just be a collection of supposedly federated churches all doing their own thing while trying to follow the Gospels? Also, look at the incredibly antiquated canon laws that the OC is forced to follow (Although most do not not do so strictly or claim to)? Wouldn't it make more sense for the Church to change and adapt the laws on such things as fasting to the more practical, everyday concerns of modern life instead of just pretending that the world is still dwelling in the 6Th century AD? Doesn't these things just make more sense outright?

In order to be OC, must I check my God given use of reason at the front door?  

Also, look at the cultural divide. I was raised an Italian Catholic. Although Italians can join the OC, there is no specific Italian ethnic form of Orthodoxy or even Orthodox parishes of Italian backround that I could attend in order to help preserve my cultural legacy.  Most of the American people who join up with Orthodoxy tend to be, from my observations WASPish types or non descriptive, "White bread" people from Protestant backrounds.  Most of these people seem either disinterested or outright hostile to any type of ethnicity, even from those native Orthodox souls whose ancestors have been in that Church for many centuries.  Where would my place in the OC actually be as n Italian Catholic?
« Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 05:08:58 PM by Robb » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2010, 05:07:09 PM »

Why, for instance would God want his Church to be a string of self governing national ones instead of a unified central authority like the Papacy?

Maybe because the Church is a reflection of the Trinity?

If Orthodoxy is true then why isn't it big and important everywhere like the RCC is?

Because you don't need to be "big and important" to be right. You just need to be right. Christ was humble, never pretending to be "big and important," and yet He was right. Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2010, 05:12:38 PM »

Insert Quote
Quote from: Robb on Today at 04:29:46 PM
Why, for instance would God want his Church to be a string of self governing national ones instead of a unified central authority like the Papacy?


Maybe because the Church is a reflection of the Trinity?


So the Trinity is not Three in One, but divided into three separate entities?

What you said doesn't make any sense.  It just sounds like some nonsensical comeback line
.


Quote from: Robb on Today at 04:29:46 PM
If Orthodoxy is true then why isn't it big and important everywhere like the RCC is?


Because you don't need to be "big and important" to be right. You just need to be right. Christ was humble, never pretending to be "big and important," and yet He was right.

Well, according to the Shroud of Turin, Jesus was 6'2, which was kind of tall and imposing for those days.  I guess God saw fit to make his son stand out in the crowd for a reason.

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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2010, 05:13:01 PM »

Doesn't it make more sense for the Church to have a central authority then to just be a collection of supposedly federated churches all doing their own thing while trying to follow the Gospels? 

What do you mean??? Look, I am a Ukrainian. There are no Ukrainian Orthodox parishes anywhere near from the place where I live. So I go to a Greek Orthodox parish. Have I noticed that this Greek parish is "doing its own thing?" No. It's the SAME thing Ukrainian and Bulgarian and Antiochian and Finnish and any other Orthodox parishes are doing. It's the same Divine Liturgy of St. John the Golden Mouth. It's the same Eucharist. It's the same Christ whom "the angelic hosts are carrying invisibly" when we are preparing for this Eucharist. It's the same Christ in the Chalice. What else does one need?


Also, look at the incredibly antiquated canon laws that the OC is forced to follow (Although most do not not do so strictly or claim to)?  Wouldn't it make more sense for the Church to change and adapt the laws on such things as fasting to the more practical, everyday concerns of modern life instead of just pretending that the world is still dwelling in the 6Th century AD?  Doesn't these things just make more sense outright?

You know, I have a rather vague idea about the Canon Law. I live my daily life not really worrying about it. Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2010, 05:15:26 PM »

I'm just using common sense in my observations. For instance, what would make more sense, for the USA to be governed by 50 individual states all doing there own thing yet supposedly trying to follow the Constitution, or by the centralized Federal government out of DC?

An honest answer will land this in politics.

Quote
Doesn't it make more sense for the Church to have a central authority then to just be a collection of supposedly federated churches all doing their own thing while trying to follow the Gospels?

If you follow the Gospels, you aren't "doing your own thing?"

Which would be better, images of God with free will, or puppets on a string?

Quote
Also, look at the incredibly antiquated canon laws that the OC is forced to follow (Although most do not not do so strictly or claim to)? Wouldn't it make more sense for the Church to change and adapt the laws on such things as fasting to the more practical, everyday concerns of modern life instead of just pretending that the world is still dwelling in the 6Th century AD? Doesn't these things just make more sense outright?

Modernism has worked so well in its less than century long existence. Roll Eyes

Quote
In order to be OC, must I check my God given use of reason at the front door?

No, just purify it.

Quote
Also, look at the cultural divide. I was raised an Italian Catholic. Although Italians can join the OC, there is no specific Italian ethnic form of Orthodoxy or even Orthodox parishes of Italian backround that I could attend in order to help preserve my cultural legacy.  Most of the American people who join up with Orthodoxy tend to be, from my observations WASPish types or non descriptive, "White bread" people from Protestant backrounds.  Most of these people seem either disinterested or outright hostile to any type of ethnicity, even from those native Orthodox souls whose ancestors have been in that Church for many centuries.  Where would my place in the OC actually be as n Italian Catholic?
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2010, 05:15:41 PM »

Insert Quote
Quote from: Robb on Today at 04:29:46 PM
Why, for instance would God want his Church to be a string of self governing national ones instead of a unified central authority like the Papacy?


Maybe because the Church is a reflection of the Trinity?


So the Trinity is not Three in One, but divided into three separate entities?

What you said doesn't make any sense.  It just sounds like some nonsensical comeback line
.

What I meant is simply that there is no "central authority" within the Trinity.

Quote from: Robb on Today at 04:29:46 PM
If Orthodoxy is true then why isn't it big and important everywhere like the RCC is?


Because you don't need to be "big and important" to be right. You just need to be right. Christ was humble, never pretending to be "big and important," and yet He was right.

Well, according to the Shroud of Turin, Jesus was 6'2, which was kind of tall and imposing for those days.  I guess God saw fit to make his son stand out in the crowd for a reason.


First of all, I have no idea why people pay so much attention to the shroud of Turin. And also, even more importantly, it was not about physical dimensions.
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2010, 05:16:38 PM »

I'm just using common sense in my observations.  For instance, what would make more sense, for the USA to be governed by 50 individual states all doing there own thing yet supposedly trying to follow the Constitution, or by the centralized Federal government out of DC? 

Doesn't it make more sense for the Church to have a central authority then to just be a collection of supposedly federated churches all doing their own thing while trying to follow the Gospels? 
Certainly you or I may think it makes more sense. But again, what is your evidence that God prefers it that way?
Quote
Also, look at the incredibly antiquated canon laws that the OC is forced to follow (Although most do not not do so strictly or claim to)? 
Here again, I am at a disadvantage since I know pretty much next to nothing about RC canon law. Can you tell me if all the RC canon laws followed? Or are they ignored? And if so, why? How are they changed?

Quote
Wouldn't it make more sense for the Church to change and adapt the laws on such things as fasting to the more practical, everyday concerns of modern life instead of just pretending that the world is still dwelling in the 6Th century AD? Doesn't these things just make more sense outright?
What are the practical everyday concerns that you refer to? No one, I think I'm safe in saying, pretends that it is the 6th century. What we do say is that this "method" has worked for centuries.
It may make sense to you, but other people have other opinions.
What is obvious to you is not necessarily the way things are.

Quote
In order to be OC, must I check my God given use of reason at the front door? 
What would make you even think such a thing? Speaking personally, I have learned more from becoming Orthodox than I ever dreamed of. There are depths to Orthodoxy that would take several lifetimes to even scratch the surface. However what I have learned is a little humility. The Church has been in the business of transforming lives and hearts for centuries. It may just be theoretically possible that I don't know everything there is to know, and that it is possible for me to be mistaken.
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2010, 05:22:41 PM »

The Pentarchy was an imperial ecclesiology, but there were Christians even outside the Pentarchy, outside the Empire, that were independent of both yet shared the same faith and was considered part of one Church.  For the Catholics, they believe that the Petrine Pope of Rome is necessary for a Catholic Church (which logically would exclude those outside the Roman Empire).  For someone like St. Ignatius, where the bishop is, there's the Catholic Church, thus, you have a different focus in ecclesiology and a more inclusive Christianity based on Orthodoxy, not on a person.

The Orthodox churches today more accurately represents the ancient ecclesiology of the Church universal, not just the Roman empire.
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2010, 05:23:55 PM »

Is the Orthodox Church really the one, true, faith founded by Jesus Christ?  I've struggled with this one for a long time and am sort of at a cross roads in my life.  

Could someone give me some type of evidence that can emphatically prove that the OC is the way God wants things to be?

If it wasn't, it would have disappeared long ago.

Quote
Why, for instance would God want his Church to be a string of self governing national ones instead of a unified central authority like the Papacy?  Doesn't the very concept of the Pope as top man and controlling (Or, at least trying to control) the whole operation of the Church make more sense from a logical and truly Catholic perspective?  When they came up with the 5 Patriarch idea, wasn't that just based on the jurisdictional situation of the Roman empire which has long since (Sadly) been defunct.

Doesn't stop Rome's pontifex maximus (the office of the pagan Roman kings, talk about defunct) from claiming top billing.

Quote
I'm not trying to goad anybody or proselytize for anything.  I'm just asking these questions since, coming from an RC backround they are what I've struggled with.  I tried talking about them to an Orthodox priest, but his answers were not very satisfactory for me (He claimed that he didn't know much about the RCC in the first place and seemed to believe that the RC's worship the Popes every word as infallible).

Lumen Gentium et alia makes assent to the pope's fallible words mandatory.  Just another aspect of the uselessness of Pastor Aeternus.


Quote
I don't know how anyone could not know anything about Catholicism but this guy didn't do a very good job talking about it to me.


He's an Orthodox priest, not a Vatican one.  Despite what the Vatican claims, we all don't spent our lives worrying about what the Vatican does.

Quote
I also brought up the universality of the Church (Which seemed somewhat lacking in the OC to me).  He gave me some talk about how the true church exists when only a handful of people believe (This didn't answer why there is no outward, actual, real unity in the OC as opposed to the, at least superficial appearance you get with the RCC).

Key words.

Quote
These questions mean something to my worldview since I was raised to believe in quantity over quality.  The bigger and better something was presented to me then the truer it must be.  


Then the new and improved version of Vatican II must satisfy you.

Quote
I freely admit to being  not from a Protestant "Bible Baptist" type backround.  I like the extravagance of life.  I come from  deeply expressionist, deeply Catholic type of people (Ones who it is frequently said that "God made us Catholic before making us Christian").  I only get the big picture.  If Orthodoxy is true then why isn't it big and important everywhere like the RCC is?

Given Christ's talk about the "fear not, enormous flock," and his admonition to go the broad road through the wide gate ( Roll Eyes), I don't know what to tell you.
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2010, 05:25:02 PM »

Also, look at the cultural divide. I was raised an Italian Catholic. Although Italians can join the OC, there is no specific Italian ethnic form of Orthodoxy or even Orthodox parishes of Italian backround that I could attend in order to help preserve my cultural legacy.  Most of the American people who join up with Orthodoxy tend to be, from my observations WASPish types or non descriptive, "White bread" people from Protestant backrounds.  Most of these people seem either disinterested or outright hostile to any type of ethnicity, even from those native Orthodox souls whose ancestors have been in that Church for many centuries. 
Odd. Because I know a Greek Orthodox priest serving in Puerto Rico whose ancestors were Italian Orthodox for centuries.
Quote
Where would my place in the OC actually be as an Italian Catholic?
Right next to my husband, if you want ed to - he was raised in an Irish Catholic family, 2nd generation off the boat, in an Irish Catholic neighborhood, went to an Irish Catholic parish, with an Irish Catholic priest, was educated in Irish Catholic schools (he says every other girl was named Mary something).
He's just as proud of his ethnic background as I am of my German Lutheran ancestors.
But I don't really understand your point about your ethnicity, I have to admit.
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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2010, 05:27:23 PM »

Insert Quote
Quote from: Robb on Today at 04:29:46 PM
Why, for instance would God want his Church to be a string of self governing national ones instead of a unified central authority like the Papacy?


Maybe because the Church is a reflection of the Trinity?


So the Trinity is not Three in One, but divided into three separate entities?

What you said doesn't make any sense.  It just sounds like some nonsensical comeback line
.


Quote from: Robb on Today at 04:29:46 PM
If Orthodoxy is true then why isn't it big and important everywhere like the RCC is?


Because you don't need to be "big and important" to be right. You just need to be right. Christ was humble, never pretending to be "big and important," and yet He was right.

Well, according to the Shroud of Turin, Jesus was 6'2, which was kind of tall and imposing for those days.  I guess God saw fit to make his son stand out in the crowd for a reason.


I'll go with Isaiah (53:2) "He had no form or splendor that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire Him"
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2010, 05:42:41 PM »

I'm just using common sense in my observations.
Common sense is common sense only because it's common.  What you seem to be defining as common sense appears to be nothing more than your personal opinion of the way things should be.  That's not common sense.
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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2010, 10:02:32 PM »

Thank you all for these answers.  As I approach the allotted time for my re entrance into the OC, certain doubts and fears, no doubt due to my own fallible human weakness have crept in.  What better place to get them off my chest then on an Orthodox message board.

The comments I've given shouldn't be all that shocking.  Surely some of you who read this have thought the very same things at least once in your life (Our time within the OC).  It still bothers me that Orthodoxy has only recently begun to make an impact here in North America and that the only places on Earth where the Church is well known are those countries which she is the majority religion (As opposed to the RCC which is everywhere in the world to a certain extent).  I am just trying to make myself believe that the OC is the true faith and so many things are just seeming to get in my way.

Also I don't know who these Italo Orthodox Christians are, but they must have been living under rocks back on the boot because I've never heard of them nor do they seem to be out their anywhere in the open in Italy.  Maybe this priest was descended from Albanese Greek Catholics and just considers himself Orthodox and his ancestors to be Orthodox (Although perhaps Iin a  deluded sense).  The Albanians fled to Italy after the Muslims took over and established colonies throughout the south in which they were given permission to use the Byzantine rite by the Pope.
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2010, 09:42:31 AM »

This topic was moved from the Convert Issues Forum to the Orthodox-Catholic Discussion Forum . It appears although an issue from a potential convert's perspective to be  about the Orthodox Church in comparison to the Roman Catholic Church and who is the "True Church", as this is probably best discussed in the Orthodox Catholic Discussion Forum I moved it there to have more open discussion on this issue.

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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2010, 09:50:57 AM »

Also I don't know who these Italo Orthodox Christians are, but they must have been living under rocks back on the boot because I've never heard of them nor do they seem to be out their anywhere in the open in Italy.  Maybe this priest was descended from Albanese Greek Catholics and just considers himself Orthodox and his ancestors to be Orthodox (Although perhaps Iin a  deluded sense).  The Albanians fled to Italy after the Muslims took over and established colonies throughout the south in which they were given permission to use the Byzantine rite by the Pope.

According to him, and according to a GOA Metropolitan that I know who recently visited Bari, these are Orthodox Christians of Greek descent who have been living in Italy for centuries, even before the Muslims took over. They consider themselves both Orthodox and Italian, but not Catholics and would not need permission from the Pope.
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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2010, 10:13:48 AM »

This topic was moved from the Convert Issues Forum to the Orthodox-Catholic Discussion Forum . It appears although an issue from a potential convert's perspective to be  about the Orthodox Church in comparison to the Roman Catholic Church and who is the "True Church", as this is probably best discussed in the Orthodox Catholic Discussion Forum I moved it there to have more open discussion on this issue.

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LOL....You think any Catholic would touch this topic with a six foot Lithuanian?

 Roll Eyes

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« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2010, 10:19:39 AM »

Thank you all for these answers.  As I approach the allotted time for my re entrance into the OC, certain doubts and fears, no doubt due to my own fallible human weakness have crept in.  What better place to get them off my chest then on an Orthodox message board.

True.

 It still bothers me that Orthodoxy has only recently begun to make an impact here in North America and that the only places on Earth where the Church is well known are those countries which she is the majority religion (As opposed to the RCC which is everywhere in the world to a certain extent).

That's largely the result of cultural/political history. If you look at any significant missionary effort after Justinian, it came from an (imperial) cultural/political position of strength (for the Orthodox, Cyril & Methodios; for the Roman Catholics, the Germans amongst the West Slavic tribes, the Portuguese throughout their Empire, the Spanish throughout their theirs, even the French, etc.). It just so happened that most of the Western European Empires flourished at a time of greater navigation-related technology, so they built truly massive colonies in Africa, Central America, South America, North America, Southeast Asia, etc -- literally all of the areas that were converted to Roman Catholicism in the 15th through 19th centuries. Before those Empires, Rome's influence was quite small in geography and numbers. At times, it was even confined to the upper part of the Italian & Iberian peninsulas, with only parts of modern-day Germany and France.

Anyway, it just so happened that those essential centuries -- the 15th through the 19th -- wherein Roman Catholic Empires exploded worldwide, were precisely the same centuries where the ancient Orthodox lands fell under total Muslim oppression. Christians in Eastern Europe and the Middle East did the dying, while those in the West did the conquering. The only exception, of course, was the Russian Empire, which expanded tremendously -- quite to the concern of the Roman Catholic Empires. If you read German, French, or British newspapers in the 19th century, for example, they were quite worried about the lumbering, gigantic menace from the East (much like we are now concerned that China and/or India will overtake us in technological, military, and scientific areas). But even that one Orthodox Empire (compared to four very powerful Roman Catholic and one Protestant one) soon fell and experienced equal persecution and destruction.

If you lived before the Muslim invasions, you'd be wondering the exact same things about that Roman Bishop, the majority of whose canonical territory was filled with uncooth, Arian barbarians.
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« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2010, 10:39:55 AM »


If you lived before the Muslim invasions, you'd be wondering the exact same things about that Roman Bishop, the majority of whose canonical territory was filled with uncooth, Arian barbarians.

This is historical mythology that has grown up to excuse an imperial invasion of mainland Europe on the part of Constantinople.  Seems dear Justinian would rather destroy than re-convert other Christians to the true faith.

The Arian barbarians were hardly uncouth.

Mary
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« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2010, 10:53:13 AM »

If Orthodoxy is true then why isn't it big and important everywhere like the RCC is?

Ha! Ha! Membership in the Roman Catholic Church is so large because it was primarily Roman Catholic Europeans who explored and settled the New World of North America and South America...namely the French, Portuguese, and Spanish, bringing RC missionaries with them who eventually converted entire populations of indigenous peoples to the RCC.

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« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2010, 11:00:51 AM »

Seems dear Justinian would rather destroy than re-convert other Christians to the true faith.

The Ostrogoths tolerated Catholics for a while, since Rome allowed them to control Papal appointment and daily affairs; but that didn't last too long. By the time Justinian invaded, the Ostrogoths were imprisoning the Pope and slitting Catholic throats.
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« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2010, 11:08:12 AM »

Is the Orthodox Church really the one, true, faith founded by Jesus Christ?  

Yes.  Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2010, 11:12:32 AM »

I was raised an Italian Catholic. Although Italians can join the OC, there is no specific Italian ethnic form of Orthodoxy or even Orthodox parishes of Italian backround that I could attend in order to help preserve my cultural legacy. 

You are looking for Church to help preserve your cultural legacy?
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« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2010, 11:15:06 AM »

Seems dear Justinian would rather destroy than re-convert other Christians to the true faith.

The Ostrogoths tolerated Catholics for a while, since Rome allowed them to control Papal appointment and daily affairs; but that didn't last too long. By the time Justinian invaded, the Ostrogoths were imprisoning the Pope and slitting Catholic throats.

Bad history. Try again.

M.
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« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2010, 11:18:42 AM »

I'm not sure why you're looking for the Church to satisfy your cultural needs. No one is saying you have to give up your culture to become Orthodox.

Since when should ancestral descent interfere with serving God?  Huh
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« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2010, 11:26:50 AM »



Why, for instance would God want his Church to be a string of self governing national ones instead of a unified central authority like the Papacy?  Doesn't the very concept of the Pope as top man and controlling (Or, at least trying to control) the whole operation of the Church make more sense from a logical and truly Catholic perspective?  When they came up with the 5 Patriarch idea, wasn't that just based on the jurisdictional situation of the Roman empire which has long since (Sadly) been defunct.




In orthodoxy the central focal point is on Christ as the top man. So the real question should be, Is anyone capable of filling his shoes?
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« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2010, 11:32:06 AM »

Bad history. Try again.

 Cheesy Someone has been reading too much Cassiodorus.
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« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2010, 12:17:20 PM »

I'm not sure why you're looking for the Church to satisfy your cultural needs. No one is saying you have to give up your culture to become Orthodox. Since when should ancestral descent interfere with serving God?  Huh

Agreed. This is true.

Specific ethnicity of any kind is not a requirement for embracing the Orthodox Faith. One needn't be a Greek, a Russian, a Syrian, a Romania, or any other ethnicity to be a member of the Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church. 

Nor does any specific ethnicity disqualify one from membership in the Orthodox Church. In many places today, the majority of new converts, and in some cases the majority of membership in local church communities, is made up of individuals who don't represent the ethnic populations who were the founding families of the parish.

The whole issue of any person's ethnic background, therefore, is essentially a moot point.   

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« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2010, 12:25:16 PM »

Bad history. Try again.

 Cheesy Someone has been reading too much Cassiodorus.

Just enough!!  laugh
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« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2010, 12:29:17 PM »

Is the Orthodox Church really the one, true, faith founded by Jesus Christ?  I've struggled with this one for a long time and am sort of at a cross roads in my life.  

Could someone give me some type of evidence that can emphatically prove that the OC is the way God wants things to be?

Why, for instance would God want his Church to be a string of self governing national ones instead of a unified central authority like the Papacy?  Doesn't the very concept of the Pope as top man and controlling (Or, at least trying to control) the whole operation of the Church make more sense from a logical and truly Catholic perspective?  When they came up with the 5 Patriarch idea, wasn't that just based on the jurisdictional situation of the Roman empire which has long since (Sadly) been defunct.

I'm not trying to goad anybody or proselytize for anything.  I'm just asking these questions since, coming from an RC backround they are what I've struggled with.  I tried talking about them to an Orthodox priest, but his answers were not very satisfactory for me (He claimed that he didn't know much about the RCC in the first place and seemed to believe that the RC's worship the Popes every word as infallible).  I don't know how anyone could not know anything about Catholicism but this guy didn't do a very good job talking about it to me.  I also brought up the universality of the Church (Which seemed somewhat lacking in the OC to me).  He gave me some talk about how the true church exists when only a handful of people believe (This didn't answer why there is no outward, actual, real unity in the OC as opposed to the, at least superficial appearance you get with the RCC). These questions mean something to my worldview since I was raised to believe in quantity over quality.  The bigger and better something was presented to me then the truer it must be.  I freely admit to being  not from a Protestant "Bible Baptist" type backround.  I like the extravagance of life.  I come from  deeply expressionist, deeply Catholic type of people (Ones who it is frequently said that "God made us Catholic before making us Christian").  I only get the big picture.  If Orthodoxy is true then why isn't it big and important everywhere like the RCC is?

Dear Robb,

Asking why there appears to be disunity among the Orthodox Churches is like asking why there are sexual predators among Catholic clergy and in the episcopate.

It be de debbil!!  police

What is REALLY bothering you about your journey?

Mary
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« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2010, 03:33:16 PM »

Thank you all for these answers.  As I approach the allotted time for my re entrance into the OC, certain doubts and fears, no doubt due to my own fallible human weakness have crept in.  What better place to get them off my chest then on an Orthodox message board.

True.

 It still bothers me that Orthodoxy has only recently begun to make an impact here in North America and that the only places on Earth where the Church is well known are those countries which she is the majority religion (As opposed to the RCC which is everywhere in the world to a certain extent).

That's largely the result of cultural/political history. If you look at any significant missionary effort after Justinian, it came from an (imperial) cultural/political position of strength (for the Orthodox, Cyril & Methodios; for the Roman Catholics, the Germans amongst the West Slavic tribes, the Portuguese throughout their Empire, the Spanish throughout their theirs, even the French, etc.). It just so happened that most of the Western European Empires flourished at a time of greater navigation-related technology, so they built truly massive colonies in Africa, Central America, South America, North America, Southeast Asia, etc -- literally all of the areas that were converted to Roman Catholicism in the 15th through 19th centuries. Before those Empires, Rome's influence was quite small in geography and numbers. At times, it was even confined to the upper part of the Italian & Iberian peninsulas, with only parts of modern-day Germany and France.

Anyway, it just so happened that those essential centuries -- the 15th through the 19th -- wherein Roman Catholic Empires exploded worldwide, were precisely the same centuries where the ancient Orthodox lands fell under total Muslim oppression. Christians in Eastern Europe and the Middle East did the dying, while those in the West did the conquering. The only exception, of course, was the Russian Empire, which expanded tremendously -- quite to the concern of the Roman Catholic Empires. If you read German, French, or British newspapers in the 19th century, for example, they were quite worried about the lumbering, gigantic menace from the East (much like we are now concerned that China and/or India will overtake us in technological, military, and scientific areas). But even that one Orthodox Empire (compared to four very powerful Roman Catholic and one Protestant one) soon fell and experienced equal persecution and destruction.

If you lived before the Muslim invasions, you'd be wondering the exact same things about that Roman Bishop, the majority of whose canonical territory was filled with uncooth, Arian barbarians.

Yes, its true that colonial expansion was the primary motivation for religious expansion as far as the RCC is concerned.  However, one must also ask, why did this happen?  Why did history play out the way it did and not int he exact opposite manner?  Was the hand of God present writing straight with crooked lines throughout these often times tragic historical events so that his will would be done?  Or was it all just a big coincidence?
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« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2010, 03:39:46 PM »

Is the Orthodox Church really the one, true, faith founded by Jesus Christ?  I've struggled with this one for a long time and am sort of at a cross roads in my life.  

Could someone give me some type of evidence that can emphatically prove that the OC is the way God wants things to be?

Why, for instance would God want his Church to be a string of self governing national ones instead of a unified central authority like the Papacy?  Doesn't the very concept of the Pope as top man and controlling (Or, at least trying to control) the whole operation of the Church make more sense from a logical and truly Catholic perspective?  When they came up with the 5 Patriarch idea, wasn't that just based on the jurisdictional situation of the Roman empire which has long since (Sadly) been defunct.

I'm not trying to goad anybody or proselytize for anything.  I'm just asking these questions since, coming from an RC backround they are what I've struggled with.  I tried talking about them to an Orthodox priest, but his answers were not very satisfactory for me (He claimed that he didn't know much about the RCC in the first place and seemed to believe that the RC's worship the Popes every word as infallible).  I don't know how anyone could not know anything about Catholicism but this guy didn't do a very good job talking about it to me.  I also brought up the universality of the Church (Which seemed somewhat lacking in the OC to me).  He gave me some talk about how the true church exists when only a handful of people believe (This didn't answer why there is no outward, actual, real unity in the OC as opposed to the, at least superficial appearance you get with the RCC). These questions mean something to my worldview since I was raised to believe in quantity over quality.  The bigger and better something was presented to me then the truer it must be.  I freely admit to being  not from a Protestant "Bible Baptist" type backround.  I like the extravagance of life.  I come from  deeply expressionist, deeply Catholic type of people (Ones who it is frequently said that "God made us Catholic before making us Christian").  I only get the big picture.  If Orthodoxy is true then why isn't it big and important everywhere like the RCC is?

Dear Robb,

Asking why there appears to be disunity among the Orthodox Churches is like asking why there are sexual predators among Catholic clergy and in the episcopate.

It be de debbil!!  police

What is REALLY bothering you about your journey?

Mary

The exact problems that I've listed above.  You can't seriously be telling me that these simple questions of mine are either seen as so ridiculous or so baffling that no one has ever thought of them before?

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« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2010, 04:38:34 PM »

You can't seriously be telling me that these simple questions of mine are either seen as so ridiculous or so baffling that no one has ever thought of them before?

Certainly not ridiculous or baffling since they are causing you such turmoil. But your questions do seem to proceed from, or at least be based upon, a particular set of personal opinions and assumptions. Which makes it a little more difficult to respond to, since those assumptions are not necessarily shared by others, and may indeed be faulty to begin with, in their opinions.
For example, bigger is better. And God wants it that way - if I may paraphrase. Both these assumptions that underlie your concerns and trouble you may indeed be false. In any case, the evidence is lacking, don't you think?
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« Reply #34 on: May 21, 2010, 04:50:46 PM »

Well, if you were God and you were going to get the whole operation of Christianity offground and visible to the world, wouldn't it make sense to have a Church that's visible and out there so that they can get the message out?  Also the idea of unity is important because everybody needs a head man, a front guy in order to call the shots when necessary.

It just seems to me that if Christianity is real and that if God was going to take the time out to go through with it in the first place them maybe the RCC system of structure as well as PR makes more sense to me.  After all, what is the Church but a living , breathing, organic entity that's out there for all to see, or is it a hidden thing, something that's kept secret in a cave and presided over by a set of mystical elders who are solely interested in attaining some height of spiritual perfection on their own part that they forget the truly universal nature of the Church and cease to care about outwardly spreading her message?

I'm just saying...
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« Reply #35 on: May 21, 2010, 05:01:01 PM »

Well, if you were God and you were going to get the whole operation of Christianity offground and visible to the world, wouldn't it make sense to have a Church that's visible and out there so that they can get the message out?  Also the idea of unity is important because everybody needs a head man, a front guy in order to call the shots when necessary.

It just seems to me that if Christianity is real and that if God was going to take the time out to go through with it in the first place them maybe the RCC system of structure as well as PR makes more sense to me.  After all, what is the Church but a living , breathing, organic entity that's out there for all to see, or is it a hidden thing, something that's kept secret in a cave and presided over by a set of mystical elders who are solely interested in attaining some height of spiritual perfection on their own part that they forget the truly universal nature of the Church and cease to care about outwardly spreading her message?

I'm just saying...

My Italian friends always tell me that we Greeks think backwards. I always tell them that while Italians are always looking to do greater things we Greeks are trying to preserve what we already have before we loss it. Wink.
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« Reply #36 on: May 21, 2010, 05:05:43 PM »

Well, if you were God and you were going to get the whole operation of Christianity offground and visible to the world, wouldn't it make sense to have a Church that's visible and out there so that they can get the message out?  Also the idea of unity is important because everybody needs a head man, a front guy in order to call the shots when necessary.
Then why isn't that what happened? Christians were a persecuted minority in the early days - considered cannibals and atheists! So in it's earliest years, when you'd think that God's marketing campaign would be to "brand" Christianity with the elite ruling class, He did something else.

And what you're calling "unity" isn't unity, it seems to me - it's a dictatorship. Conformity imposed from above. True unity is achieved from the ground up.

Quote
It just seems to me that if Christianity is real and that if God was going to take the time out to go through with it in the first place them maybe the RCC system of structure as well as PR makes more sense to me.  After all, what is the Church but a living , breathing, organic entity that's out there for all to see, or is it a hidden thing, something that's kept secret in a cave and presided over by a set of mystical elders who are solely interested in attaining some height of spiritual perfection on their own part that they forget the truly universal nature of the Church and cease to care about outwardly spreading her message?
More faulty assumptions. The Orthodox Church has always been out there for everyone to see, and the only reason it was hidden in a cave was to escape persecution.
I have to ask, how much do you know about Orthodoxy and/or Christian history? Because these things are simply either not true or not supported by evidence.


I'm just saying...
[/quote]
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« Reply #37 on: May 21, 2010, 05:36:35 PM »

Well, if you were God and you were going to get the whole operation of Christianity offground and visible to the world, wouldn't it make sense to have a Church that's visible and out there so that they can get the message out?  Also the idea of unity is important because everybody needs a head man, a front guy in order to call the shots when necessary.

It just seems to me that if Christianity is real and that if God was going to take the time out to go through with it in the first place them maybe the RCC system of structure as well as PR makes more sense to me.  After all, what is the Church but a living , breathing, organic entity that's out there for all to see, or is it a hidden thing, something that's kept secret in a cave and presided over by a set of mystical elders who are solely interested in attaining some height of spiritual perfection on their own part that they forget the truly universal nature of the Church and cease to care about outwardly spreading her message?

I'm just saying...

My Italian friends always tell me that we Greeks think backwards. I always tell them that while Italians are always looking to do greater things we Greeks are trying to preserve what we already have before we loss it. Wink.

I love your riposte! When I lived in Italy, the locals often said that Italians are often accused of the same thing (mostly by Germans) and their response was similar to yours.   Cheesy

OTH, I think that Robb's inquiry is a valid one. I too have wondered why we are no more than 2% of the population in the United States, for example. I do not immediately jump to easy conclusions like Robb seems to do: the reason must be that the Protestants and/or Roman Catholics are favored by God. There are valid historical reasons that, IMHO, have nothing to do with providence. In any case, in the scheme of things, the past 2000 years may be but a nano-second for God--that is, it may be meaningless to draw any conclusions in this matter.
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« Reply #38 on: May 21, 2010, 06:19:11 PM »

Well, if you were God and you were going to get the whole operation of Christianity offground and visible to the world, wouldn't it make sense to have a Church that's visible and out there so that they can get the message out?  Also the idea of unity is important because everybody needs a head man, a front guy in order to call the shots when necessary.
We have one:

Quote
It just seems to me that if Christianity is real and that if God was going to take the time out to go through with it in the first place them maybe the RCC system of structure as well as PR makes more sense to me.  After all, what is the Church but a living , breathing, organic entity that's out there for all to see, or is it a hidden thing, something that's kept secret in a cave and presided over by a set of mystical elders who are solely interested in attaining some height of spiritual perfection on their own part that they forget the truly universal nature of the Church and cease to care about outwardly spreading her message?

I'm just saying...
you're overfocused on the Vatican's interpretation of Matthew 16:18.  Focus instead on the Orthodox interpretation of Matthew 16:23
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« Reply #39 on: May 21, 2010, 08:21:51 PM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.
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« Reply #40 on: May 22, 2010, 09:39:01 AM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.

You, too, are neither then, right?  Huh

Cosmos  Undecided
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« Reply #41 on: May 22, 2010, 09:53:40 AM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.

You, too, are neither then, right?  Huh

Cosmos  Undecided

So what do you think about all this with Rob, Father?

I never want to turn someone who is genuinely drawn to Orthodoxy away from what is pulling them. 

But sometimes I do meet people who do not let go of some of their beliefs...particularly and not so strangely the belief in the Immaculate Conception and petrine primacy.    But they willingly suppress those beliefs and keep them in pectore and that is that.  You tend not to find those people interacting on discussion boards on the Internet, and they don't say much publicly either, but they love Orthodoxy and they love her liturgies and people and spirituality.

I would come myself in a moment were it not for the schism principally for the spiritual praxis and liturgical prayer that is closer to my own interior prayer.

I have set myself up a bit differently and have a public voice and strong impulses to work in my own very limited way toward a resumption of communion, so I don't suffer quite as I once did from living in this liminal space.

But I certainly do understand the struggle.  Not so much as Rob has expressed but generally, and the "silent" ones who fear that their thoughts and hopes will be turned against them are really a heart breaker in my way of thinking.

M.
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« Reply #42 on: May 22, 2010, 11:35:55 AM »

Dear Robb,

This post makes sense if you are thinking of the establishment of the Church as a human institution.

The difficulty with a 'head man' approach is that you are still putting a 'fallen' man in charge.  He is subject to sin, error, negligence, temptation, etc.  He goes down, and the system is in trouble.  Human institutions notoriously creep towards totalitarianism, and then they collapse.  Look at the Roman Empire, and now America, then back to every dynasty in every nation.  Such systems fail.

What you need to look at is the Church's fruits.  Despite the humans who fail in the Church (bishops, priests, laypeople), it has successfully preserved the Apostolic Teaching where others have spun off into profound heresy.

Israel had judges, but they cried out for a king like other nations.  What they got was Saul, and eventually the whole thing (even with some very good kings) unravelled.

God save us from the 'head man!'



Well, if you were God and you were going to get the whole operation of Christianity offground and visible to the world, wouldn't it make sense to have a Church that's visible and out there so that they can get the message out?  Also the idea of unity is important because everybody needs a head man, a front guy in order to call the shots when necessary.

It just seems to me that if Christianity is real and that if God was going to take the time out to go through with it in the first place them maybe the RCC system of structure as well as PR makes more sense to me.  After all, what is the Church but a living , breathing, organic entity that's out there for all to see, or is it a hidden thing, something that's kept secret in a cave and presided over by a set of mystical elders who are solely interested in attaining some height of spiritual perfection on their own part that they forget the truly universal nature of the Church and cease to care about outwardly spreading her message?

I'm just saying...
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« Reply #43 on: May 22, 2010, 04:53:11 PM »

A lot of my struggles also have to do with culture as well and its intertwined impact with religion (Something that EO's should be very familiar with).  I come from a  culture that has been heavily influenced by the RCC, just as the Greeks and Russians have been by the OC.  To give this up is not so easy for me to contemplate.

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« Reply #44 on: May 22, 2010, 05:04:28 PM »

A lot of my struggles also have to do with culture as well and its intertwined impact with religion (Something that EO's should be very familiar with).  I come from a  culture that has been heavily influenced by the RCC, just as the Greeks and Russians have been by the OC.  To give this up is not so easy for me to contemplate.



Yes. But your Italian/Latin culture was Orthodox for a thousand years before being Roman Catholic for a thousand.
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« Reply #45 on: May 22, 2010, 05:11:38 PM »

A lot of my struggles also have to do with culture as well and its intertwined impact with religion (Something that EO's should be very familiar with).  I come from a  culture that has been heavily influenced by the RCC, just as the Greeks and Russians have been by the OC.  To give this up is not so easy for me to contemplate.
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The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
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« Reply #46 on: May 22, 2010, 07:05:37 PM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.

You, too, are neither then, right?  Huh

Cosmos  Undecided

It's pretty clear that the OP was referring to "the Roman Catholic Church" and "the Eastern Orthodox Church". I'm inclined to think that neither of them are the true Church, but rather the Oriental Orthodox Church is.
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« Reply #47 on: May 23, 2010, 12:06:24 AM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.

You, too, are neither then, right?  Huh

Cosmos  Undecided

It's pretty clear that the OP was referring to "the Roman Catholic Church" and "the Eastern Orthodox Church". I'm inclined to think that neither of them are the true Church, but rather the Oriental Orthodox Church is.
Would you be willing to start a thread on the EO/OO private board to explain why you think this?
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« Reply #48 on: May 23, 2010, 01:39:39 AM »

A lot of my struggles also have to do with culture as well and its intertwined impact with religion (Something that EO's should be very familiar with).  I come from a  culture that has been heavily influenced by the RCC, just as the Greeks and Russians have been by the OC.  To give this up is not so easy for me to contemplate.
Luke 12:51-53

Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.

The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.


Well, that sounds non too pleasant, but I guess its from the main source so it has relevance.
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« Reply #49 on: May 23, 2010, 01:54:52 AM »

A lot of my struggles also have to do with culture as well and its intertwined impact with religion (Something that EO's should be very familiar with).  I come from a  culture that has been heavily influenced by the RCC, just as the Greeks and Russians have been by the OC.  To give this up is not so easy for me to contemplate.



Yes. But your Italian/Latin culture was Orthodox for a thousand years before being Roman Catholic for a thousand.

True!  However it sadly isn't (Officially) anymore.  I still believe that the (Southern) Italian form of Catholicism is far closer in many ways then the RC ism practiced in other parts of Europe.  The Italian Catholicism is more warm, more open, and less strict and legalistic then what most people would identify as RC ism (It also has a good deal more folk and even pagan elements to it which were a cause of considerable scandal, especially to the Irish dominated RCC in the US when the Italians first started coming over).  It appears that even though the Norman overlords changed the rituals from Byzantine to Latin, the formers spirit still remained locked inside the hearts and minds of the Italian people till this day.

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« Reply #50 on: May 23, 2010, 02:37:30 AM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.

You, too, are neither then, right?  Huh

Cosmos  Undecided

It's pretty clear that the OP was referring to "the Roman Catholic Church" and "the Eastern Orthodox Church". I'm inclined to think that neither of them are the true Church, but rather the Oriental Orthodox Church is.
Would you be willing to start a thread on the EO/OO private board to explain why you think this?

Dear Peter,

Why do you make this suggestion?  Do the OOs have some kind of contagion or are they unrestrainably uncivilised?  Just about every discussion on the OOs is shunted off into a private forum.

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« Reply #51 on: May 23, 2010, 03:39:44 AM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.

You, too, are neither then, right?  Huh

Cosmos  Undecided

It's pretty clear that the OP was referring to "the Roman Catholic Church" and "the Eastern Orthodox Church". I'm inclined to think that neither of them are the true Church, but rather the Oriental Orthodox Church is.
Would you be willing to start a thread on the EO/OO private board to explain why you think this?

Dear Peter,

Why do you make this suggestion?
Why do you make that your concern?

Do the OOs have some kind of contagion or are they unrestrainably uncivilised?
I didn't address my question to OO posters in general.  I addressed it to deusveritasest specifically, and in reply to a specific statement he made.

Just about every discussion on the OOs is shunted off into a private forum.
Really?  That's news to me, and I'm aware of just about every thread that gets split or moved around here.  You got any evidence to back up your claim?  (That's a rhetorical question.  Please don't answer it.)
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« Reply #52 on: May 23, 2010, 04:01:59 AM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.

You, too, are neither then, right?  Huh

Cosmos  Undecided

It's pretty clear that the OP was referring to "the Roman Catholic Church" and "the Eastern Orthodox Church". I'm inclined to think that neither of them are the true Church, but rather the Oriental Orthodox Church is.
Would you be willing to start a thread on the EO/OO private board to explain why you think this?

Dear Peter,

Why do you make this suggestion?
Why do you make that your concern?

I have been concerned for a while that the OOs are treated, it seems to me, as fragile members on the forum and discussions which concern them are usually shifted to the private section of the forum.  I have been put out when discussions in which I am interested (since I don't know much about the OOs) suddenly vanish and are sent off to a private location.  Just my subjective impression of course;  I may be quite wrong.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 04:03:49 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #53 on: May 23, 2010, 04:07:55 AM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.

You, too, are neither then, right?  Huh

Cosmos  Undecided

It's pretty clear that the OP was referring to "the Roman Catholic Church" and "the Eastern Orthodox Church". I'm inclined to think that neither of them are the true Church, but rather the Oriental Orthodox Church is.
Would you be willing to start a thread on the EO/OO private board to explain why you think this?

Dear Peter,

Why do you make this suggestion?
Why do you make that your concern?

I have been concerned for a while that the OOs are treated, it seems to me, as fragile members on the forum and discussions which concern them are usually shifted to the private section of the forum.  I have been put out when discussions in which I am interested (since I don't know much about the OOs) suddenly vanish and are sent off to a private location.  Just my subjective impression of course;  I may be quite wrong.
The decision to move threads to the EO/OO private board, however, is a moderatorial concern I wish to not discuss on this thread.  If you have a concern with any moderator's decision to move a thread, I encourage you to use the private message system or the "Report to Moderator" function to express your concern.  That's all I will say here.
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« Reply #54 on: May 23, 2010, 07:32:05 AM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.

You, too, are neither then, right?  Huh

Cosmos  Undecided

It's pretty clear that the OP was referring to "the Roman Catholic Church" and "the Eastern Orthodox Church". I'm inclined to think that neither of them are the true Church, but rather the Oriental Orthodox Church is.
Would you be willing to start a thread on the EO/OO private board to explain why you think this?

Dear Peter,

Why do you make this suggestion?
Why do you make that your concern?

I have been concerned for a while that the OOs are treated, it seems to me, as fragile members on the forum and discussions which concern them are usually shifted to the private section of the forum.  I have been put out when discussions in which I am interested (since I don't know much about the OOs) suddenly vanish and are sent off to a private location.  Just my subjective impression of course;  I may be quite wrong.

Perhaps it is in the interest of keeping the ensuing argument away from the papists, as in not airing dirty laundry.
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« Reply #55 on: May 23, 2010, 10:10:06 PM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.

You, too, are neither then, right?  Huh

Cosmos  Undecided

It's pretty clear that the OP was referring to "the Roman Catholic Church" and "the Eastern Orthodox Church". I'm inclined to think that neither of them are the true Church, but rather the Oriental Orthodox Church is.
Would you be willing to start a thread on the EO/OO private board to explain why you think this?

I think it's already been discussed why I think that, no?

I just wanted to introduce the idea of other possibilities into a thread that was seemingly only considering it to be possible that the RCC or the EOC is the true Church.
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« Reply #56 on: May 23, 2010, 10:13:19 PM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.

You, too, are neither then, right?  Huh

Cosmos  Undecided

It's pretty clear that the OP was referring to "the Roman Catholic Church" and "the Eastern Orthodox Church". I'm inclined to think that neither of them are the true Church, but rather the Oriental Orthodox Church is.
Would you be willing to start a thread on the EO/OO private board to explain why you think this?

Dear Peter,

Why do you make this suggestion?
Why do you make that your concern?

I have been concerned for a while that the OOs are treated, it seems to me, as fragile members on the forum and discussions which concern them are usually shifted to the private section of the forum.  I have been put out when discussions in which I am interested (since I don't know much about the OOs) suddenly vanish and are sent off to a private location.  Just my subjective impression of course;  I may be quite wrong.

Perhaps it is in the interest of keeping the ensuing argument away from the papists, as in not airing dirty laundry.

How could it possibly be particularly the EOC's "dirty laundry" when neither the RCC nor the EOC are in communion with the OOC and both the Roman church and the Byzantine churches were one when the division from the Oriental churches happened?
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« Reply #57 on: May 23, 2010, 10:29:11 PM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.

You, too, are neither then, right?  Huh

Cosmos  Undecided

It's pretty clear that the OP was referring to "the Roman Catholic Church" and "the Eastern Orthodox Church". I'm inclined to think that neither of them are the true Church, but rather the Oriental Orthodox Church is.
Would you be willing to start a thread on the EO/OO private board to explain why you think this?

I think it's already been discussed why I think that, no?

I just wanted to introduce the idea of other possibilities into a thread that was seemingly only considering it to be possible that the RCC or the EOC is the true Church.
But when many here on this forum consider the EO and OO churches to be, in some way, the same Church, what you've done is introduce to this discussion a point of view that is more appropriate for discussion somewhere else and can be seen as off-topic proselytization, which is forbidden on this forum.  It seems that in Robb's mind, the only options are the RC and EO churches, especially considering that he is a former Catholic preparing to be received into the Eastern Orthodox Church.  (I'm not sure what he thinks about the OO.)  Seeing that he appears to be working through enough confusion already, I don't think it wise to muddy things even more with your implication that the EO and OO churches may in fact be separate churches and that the OO may therefore be another option for him.

I'm not contesting the content of your assertion.  I just think it could be made more effectively in some context other than this.
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« Reply #58 on: May 23, 2010, 10:39:23 PM »

Let's not forget about the other options: the Assyrian Church of the East and various Mandaeisms.

If he's really going to possibly destroy his connections with family over this issue, shouldn't he be aware of all other "options" beforehand? (Isn't it nice how we get to go shopping?)

If it is that unsettling to him to find out about other ancient Christian traditions which survive, then he probably shouldn't be making any such switch. I just hope God gives Him peace and shows him the Way.
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« Reply #59 on: May 23, 2010, 10:46:47 PM »

But when many here on this forum consider the EO and OO churches to be, in some way, the same Church,

Seriously?  Undecided
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« Reply #60 on: May 23, 2010, 10:54:00 PM »

But when many here on this forum consider the EO and OO churches to be, in some way, the same Church,
Seriously?  Undecided

Yeah, dude. Didn't you get the update? We're one invisible Church.  Wink So no need to inquire into OO, because we're already one. Just head back to the OCA.
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« Reply #61 on: May 23, 2010, 11:02:29 PM »

So, how does any of this off-topic banter help answer Robb's questions?  That is, after all, the REAL issue here.
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« Reply #62 on: May 23, 2010, 11:06:12 PM »

But when many here on this forum consider the EO and OO churches to be, in some way, the same Church,
Seriously?  Undecided

Yeah, dude. Didn't you get the update? We're one invisible Church.  Wink So no need to inquire into OO, because we're already one. Just head back to the OCA.

I wish this had a raised eyebrow emoticon.
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« Reply #63 on: May 23, 2010, 11:07:05 PM »

So, how does any of this off-topic banter help answer Robb's questions?  That is, after all, the REAL issue here.

I don't see how offering an alternative answer to the original question is off topic.
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« Reply #64 on: May 23, 2010, 11:08:33 PM »

I don't see how offering an alternative answer to the original question is off topic.
I already explained how (cf. Reply #57), so back on topic, please.
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« Reply #65 on: May 24, 2010, 12:33:02 AM »

Is the Orthodox Church really the one, true, faith founded by Jesus Christ?  Why, for instance would God want his Church to be a string of self governing national ones instead of a unified central authority like the Papacy?
 If Orthodoxy is true then why isn't it big and important everywhere like the RCC is?
I don't think that big and important should be the overriding issue if the main concern is "truth".
Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.
For my personal opinion on it, this war between the  OO, EO, RC Churches has been an enormous historical error. I don't see this as an ideal situation where these Churches separate and fight among themselves.
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« Reply #66 on: May 24, 2010, 12:54:28 AM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?  The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians. 

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).
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« Reply #67 on: May 24, 2010, 01:04:03 AM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?  The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians. 

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).
Here's a question for you:
Could all three Churches OO, EO, RC be "true" to some very large extent, but none of the three has the ideal absolute 100% true "truth" that you may be looking for?
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« Reply #68 on: May 24, 2010, 01:06:05 AM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?  The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians. 

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).

The Church is looking for quality, not quantity. I think, despite the fact that the EO are not in communion with the OOs, you are being rather harsh in your judgment. Millions of OOs have been martyred for their faith in Christ, and I will apologise on their behalf for them not living up to your expectations. They are not on this earth to please you, but to please God. The same goes for the EO. Instead of trying to convince yourself who is right, or bringing it onto an internet forum for us to try to convince you, why not pray to God about it??
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« Reply #69 on: May 24, 2010, 01:09:20 AM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?  The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians.  

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).
Here's a question for you:
Could all three Churches OO, EO, RC be "true" to some very large extent, but none of the three has the ideal absolute 100% true "truth" that you may be looking for?

Yea, I could kind of buy that.  Although I love devotion to God, the Blessed Mother, and the saints, I've non the less always been kind of suspicious of organized religious institutions.  I do love the Italian version of Catholicism with all its saints, processions,mysticism, and warmth which seem so sadly lacking int he various creeds (The ROC has a similar piety which can warm the heart and has moved me to great devotion as well).
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« Reply #70 on: May 24, 2010, 01:15:30 AM »

OK, Robb: It seems you are looking for a faith which has a great number of adherents (a "majority faith", if you will), with the ethnic/cultural flavor you're comfortable with, which espouses and proclaims the truths of God.

Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.
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« Reply #71 on: May 24, 2010, 11:28:58 AM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?  The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians. 

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).
Here's a question for you:
Could all three Churches OO, EO, RC be "true" to some very large extent, but none of the three has the ideal absolute 100% true "truth" that you may be looking for?

If that were the case, then it seems that scriptures lie about the Church being the pillar and foundation of truth.
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« Reply #72 on: May 24, 2010, 04:15:17 PM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?  The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians. 

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).
Here's a question for you:
Could all three Churches OO, EO, RC be "true" to some very large extent, but none of the three has the ideal absolute 100% true "truth" that you may be looking for?


If that were the case, then it seems that scriptures lie about the Church being the pillar and foundation of truth.



No, It just means that the Church is all broken up due to human weakness, but the truth is that God is love and he loves us and wants to reconcile use to himself through his grace which comes out of the sacraments/Mysteries of the Church.  It seems to me that some people have a problem with this definition of the Church because the have ulterior motives to just faith in Christ.  Some people want to use the Church as a weapon to beat others over the head with in order to make themselves feel more superior to others.  They take every little statement and anathema that clerics in past centuries have hurled against one another and society and try to pretend that these are still binding and relevant by today's standards. 
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« Reply #73 on: May 24, 2010, 04:17:11 PM »

Is the Orthodox Church the true Church? Of course not. There's no such thing. Orthodoxy is just the best expression of Christianity around.
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« Reply #74 on: May 24, 2010, 04:35:17 PM »

Is the Orthodox Church the true Church? Of course not. There's no such thing. Orthodoxy is just the best expression of Christianity around.

That sounds sensible to me.
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« Reply #75 on: May 24, 2010, 05:00:48 PM »

Is the Orthodox Church the true Church? Of course not. There's no such thing. Orthodoxy is just the best expression of Christianity around.

If it isn't, then I'm wasting my time (as did the Apostles and those after them).

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« Reply #76 on: May 24, 2010, 05:03:48 PM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?  The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians. 

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).
Here's a question for you:
Could all three Churches OO, EO, RC be "true" to some very large extent, but none of the three has the ideal absolute 100% true "truth" that you may be looking for?


If that were the case, then it seems that scriptures lie about the Church being the pillar and foundation of truth.



No, It just means that the Church is all broken up due to human weakness, but the truth is that God is love and he loves us and wants to reconcile use to himself through his grace which comes out of the sacraments/Mysteries of the Church.  It seems to me that some people have a problem with this definition of the Church because the have ulterior motives to just faith in Christ.  Some people want to use the Church as a weapon to beat others over the head with in order to make themselves feel more superior to others.  They take every little statement and anathema that clerics in past centuries have hurled against one another and society and try to pretend that these are still binding and relevant by today's standards. 

How can the Church be broken up?? The Church is unified and one Body right now. There are some people outside of the Church whoch may believe 99.9% of the same things we do, but they are still outside of the Church.
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« Reply #77 on: May 24, 2010, 05:04:03 PM »

Is the Orthodox Church the true Church? Of course not. There's no such thing. Orthodoxy is just the best expression of Christianity around.

If it isn't, then I'm wasting my time (as did the Apostles and those after them).


I agree, to a large extent.
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« Reply #78 on: May 24, 2010, 08:53:14 PM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?  The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians. 

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).
Here's a question for you:
Could all three Churches OO, EO, RC be "true" to some very large extent, but none of the three has the ideal absolute 100% true "truth" that you may be looking for?


If that were the case, then it seems that scriptures lie about the Church being the pillar and foundation of truth.



No, It just means that the Church is all broken up due to human weakness, but the truth is that God is love and he loves us and wants to reconcile use to himself through his grace which comes out of the sacraments/Mysteries of the Church.  It seems to me that some people have a problem with this definition of the Church because the have ulterior motives to just faith in Christ.  Some people want to use the Church as a weapon to beat others over the head with in order to make themselves feel more superior to others.  They take every little statement and anathema that clerics in past centuries have hurled against one another and society and try to pretend that these are still binding and relevant by today's standards. 
yes.
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« Reply #79 on: May 24, 2010, 09:26:18 PM »

Perhaps neither of them are the true Church.
For my personal opinion on it, this war between the  OO, EO, RC Churches has been an enormous historical error. I don't see this as an ideal situation where these Churches separate and fight among themselves.

What do you mean by "fight"?
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« Reply #80 on: May 24, 2010, 10:00:30 PM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)? 

Christ was never into big numbers.  If you are, then the Catholic Church would be the Church for you. 

Quote
The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians. 

Actually, the largest group are the Ethiopians. 

I won't dispute the clannishness and xenophobia of the Armenians.  However, you need to realize this happened in the context of a genocide at the hands of Turks which nearly wiped us out a couple of generations ago. 

As Ukie pointed out, the OO's have probably given more martyrs to Christ in proportion to their population than any other Christian group in history.  Thus the "diminishing bloodline."

And you're right:  The Copts are very friendly.


Quote
It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).

Well, from our point of view, prior to the Chalcedonian schism and the resulting persecutions, we were the majority.  We are, after all, the Church.   Wink
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« Reply #81 on: May 24, 2010, 10:17:15 PM »

Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?

Not exactly. You're overlooking the Ethiopians and Eritreans. Also, the British Orthodox are part of the COC, but I don't think it would  really be accurate to call them an Egyptian diaspora. But if the question is modified to include those, I would actually be comfortable saying yes. I do believe in the infallibility and indefectibility of the Church of Christ, however, I tend to believe something along the lines of what William of Ockham (if you want to read more about that: http://www.humanities.mq.edu.au/Ockham/winf.html) whereby this infallibility and indefectibility can very well be satisfied by the continuation in purity of the most obscure section of Christendom. Thus, I think that Christian truth could be as obscure as the OO churches, or perhaps it could hypothetically be even more obscure than that. For instance, it could very well get down to one particular church like the ACE. Or it could even be down to a handful of bishops and their flocks. I thank God that the situation is not that severe.

The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians

No, it's the Ethiopians.

who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.

Hmmm. I have had a very different experience of the Armenians around here.

The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians.

We have had very different experiences of these two groups. The Copts around here seem very insular and uninterested in outsiders.

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently

You're free to think that. But I think all that is logically required by the promises of Christ is that there will always be a flock (I don't know how many bishops that would require at the bare minimum, 1? 2? 3?) with the foundational faith and Sacraments. And seeing as how the distinguishing differences between EO and OO could very well touch on compromise of Christological orthodoxy, I think it would be best to not think beyond what is logically required in terms of the size of the Church lest we be led to trespass upon what is required in terms of dogmatic orthodoxy.

(Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).

They do now. From what I can tell, they're right now the 5th largest international community of Christians by number of believers (estimated at 75 million), after Catholics, EO, Pentecostals, and Anglicans. At certain times in the past they probably possessed a larger chunk of Christendom.
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« Reply #82 on: May 24, 2010, 10:18:36 PM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?  The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians. 

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).
Here's a question for you:
Could all three Churches OO, EO, RC be "true" to some very large extent, but none of the three has the ideal absolute 100% true "truth" that you may be looking for?


If that were the case, then it seems that scriptures lie about the Church being the pillar and foundation of truth.



No, It just means that the Church is all broken up due to human weakness, but the truth is that God is love and he loves us and wants to reconcile use to himself through his grace which comes out of the sacraments/Mysteries of the Church.  It seems to me that some people have a problem with this definition of the Church because the have ulterior motives to just faith in Christ.  Some people want to use the Church as a weapon to beat others over the head with in order to make themselves feel more superior to others.  They take every little statement and anathema that clerics in past centuries have hurled against one another and society and try to pretend that these are still binding and relevant by today's standards. 

I agree that at times people do use the Church as a weapon like this. But does misuse of the truth mean that its no longer truth?
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« Reply #83 on: May 24, 2010, 10:21:18 PM »

No, It just means that the Church is all broken up due to human weakness,

In the sense that it seems to be spoken of right now in this thread, many here would view that as simply impossible.
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« Reply #84 on: May 24, 2010, 10:22:35 PM »

Is the Orthodox Church the true Church? Of course not. There's no such thing.

Where do you get the idea that you have the authority to proclaim that there is of course no true Church?
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« Reply #85 on: May 24, 2010, 10:26:10 PM »

Well, from our point of view, prior to the Chalcedonian schism and the resulting persecutions, we were the majority.  We are, after all, the Church.   Wink

It would seem that right now the OO constitute somewhere around 3-5% of Christendom. I have a feeling that there were other times in history even after Chalcedon in which they held a significantly larger chunk of Christendom than that.
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« Reply #86 on: May 24, 2010, 10:33:00 PM »

In the centuries immediately after Chalcedon, that's definitely true.  After centuries of martyrdom at the hands of others, however, our numbers here on earth have been decimated.  I'd like to think that among the martyrs in heaven the OO's are the majority.   Smiley
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« Reply #87 on: May 24, 2010, 11:12:31 PM »

Is the Orthodox Church the true Church? Of course not. There's no such thing.

Where do you get the idea that you have the authority to proclaim that there is of course no true Church?

It's quite obvious to those who have eyes to see. I am not proclaiming anything with authority, I'm merely making a statement about reality.
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« Reply #88 on: May 24, 2010, 11:14:40 PM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?  The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians. 

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).
Here's a question for you:
Could all three Churches OO, EO, RC be "true" to some very large extent, but none of the three has the ideal absolute 100% true "truth" that you may be looking for?


If that were the case, then it seems that scriptures lie about the Church being the pillar and foundation of truth.



No, It just means that the Church is all broken up due to human weakness, but the truth is that God is love and he loves us and wants to reconcile use to himself through his grace which comes out of the sacraments/Mysteries of the Church.  It seems to me that some people have a problem with this definition of the Church because the have ulterior motives to just faith in Christ.  Some people want to use the Church as a weapon to beat others over the head with in order to make themselves feel more superior to others.  They take every little statement and anathema that clerics in past centuries have hurled against one another and society and try to pretend that these are still binding and relevant by today's standards. 

I agree that at times people do use the Church as a weapon like this. But does misuse of the truth mean that its no longer truth?
It is not just the "misuse" of truth, it concerns the changing definition about what is the true teaching.
Let’s look at the past “true” teachings of the EO, OO, and RC churches:
Ephesians: 6:5 “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.”
Colossians 3:22:” Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.”
1Peter 2:18: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”
In my personal opinion, this  true teaching has changed and it is no longer considered to be the true teaching of any one of the three Churches that, for example,  a beautiful black African female slave has to submit herself to her harsh white European slave master. Recall that in America, white European Catholic priests bought and  held black African slaves as did many white Catholic laypeople in the south.
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« Reply #89 on: May 25, 2010, 12:02:39 AM »

"Is the Orthodox Church really true?"

Orthodoxy is just the best expression of Christianity around.

Or as I like to say: 'Bout as true as they come!
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« Reply #90 on: May 25, 2010, 12:51:50 AM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?  The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians. 

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).
Here's a question for you:
Could all three Churches OO, EO, RC be "true" to some very large extent, but none of the three has the ideal absolute 100% true "truth" that you may be looking for?


If that were the case, then it seems that scriptures lie about the Church being the pillar and foundation of truth.



No, It just means that the Church is all broken up due to human weakness, but the truth is that God is love and he loves us and wants to reconcile use to himself through his grace which comes out of the sacraments/Mysteries of the Church.  It seems to me that some people have a problem with this definition of the Church because the have ulterior motives to just faith in Christ.  Some people want to use the Church as a weapon to beat others over the head with in order to make themselves feel more superior to others.  They take every little statement and anathema that clerics in past centuries have hurled against one another and society and try to pretend that these are still binding and relevant by today's standards. 

I agree that at times people do use the Church as a weapon like this. But does misuse of the truth mean that its no longer truth?
It is not just the "misuse" of truth, it concerns the changing definition about what is the true teaching.
Let’s look at the past “true” teachings of the EO, OO, and RC churches:
Ephesians: 6:5 “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.”
Colossians 3:22:” Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.”
1Peter 2:18: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”
In my personal opinion, this true teaching has changed and it is no longer considered to be the true teaching of any one of the three Churches that, for example, A beautiful black African female slave has to submit herself to her harsh white European slave master. Recall that in America, white European Catholic priests bought and held black African slaves as did many white Catholic laypeople in the south.


I agree entirely.  Over the course of centuries certain concepts and ideas once held to be true by all Christians have long since been discarded as mere cultural reflections from Scripture writers.  The same goes with the once widely held belief that Christians ought to submit blindly to any authority no matter how unjust and cruel they were, especially if that authority claimed to be sanctioned by a Christian Church.  We now live in an age that emphasizes such concepts as human dignity and personal liberty more then any past age.  People are seen as having an invaluable right to stand up and decry ill treatment on any number of issues ranging from unfair taxation to exploitation of workers, to basic health benefits.  The early Christians lived in a society which was very different as well as much harsher from the one that most humans (Even those in Third World nations) live in today.  They probably could have never imagined the great social and political changes that have occurred in the past 2,000 years and, no doubt will continue to occur through the centuries to come.  This does not make Christianity any less true, it only means that certain ideas which were once considered acceptable no longer are.  Maybe this might be the best argument for the RC concept of a living magisterial to guide the faithful?

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« Reply #91 on: May 25, 2010, 07:44:58 AM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?  The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians. 

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).
Here's a question for you:
Could all three Churches OO, EO, RC be "true" to some very large extent, but none of the three has the ideal absolute 100% true "truth" that you may be looking for?


If that were the case, then it seems that scriptures lie about the Church being the pillar and foundation of truth.



No, It just means that the Church is all broken up due to human weakness, but the truth is that God is love and he loves us and wants to reconcile use to himself through his grace which comes out of the sacraments/Mysteries of the Church.  It seems to me that some people have a problem with this definition of the Church because the have ulterior motives to just faith in Christ.  Some people want to use the Church as a weapon to beat others over the head with in order to make themselves feel more superior to others.  They take every little statement and anathema that clerics in past centuries have hurled against one another and society and try to pretend that these are still binding and relevant by today's standards. 

I agree that at times people do use the Church as a weapon like this. But does misuse of the truth mean that its no longer truth?
It is not just the "misuse" of truth, it concerns the changing definition about what is the true teaching.
Let’s look at the past “true” teachings of the EO, OO, and RC churches:
Ephesians: 6:5 “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.”
Colossians 3:22:” Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.”
1Peter 2:18: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”
In my personal opinion, this true teaching has changed and it is no longer considered to be the true teaching of any one of the three Churches that, for example, A beautiful black African female slave has to submit herself to her harsh white European slave master. Recall that in America, white European Catholic priests bought and held black African slaves as did many white Catholic laypeople in the south.


I agree entirely.  Over the course of centuries certain concepts and ideas once held to be true by all Christians have long since been discarded as mere cultural reflections from Scripture writers.  The same goes with the once widely held belief that Christians ought to submit blindly to any authority no matter how unjust and cruel they were, especially if that authority claimed to be sanctioned by a Christian Church.  We now live in an age that emphasizes such concepts as human dignity and personal liberty more then any past age.  People are seen as having an invaluable right to stand up and decry ill treatment on any number of issues ranging from unfair taxation to exploitation of workers, to basic health benefits.  The early Christians lived in a society which was very different as well as much harsher from the one that most humans (Even those in Third World nations) live in today.  They probably could have never imagined the great social and political changes that have occurred in the past 2,000 years and, no doubt will continue to occur through the centuries to come.  This does not make Christianity any less true, it only means that certain ideas which were once considered acceptable no longer are.  Maybe this might be the best argument for the RC concept of a living magisterial to guide the faithful?



The Rule Robb was and IS a monastic one initially.  Obedience in ALL things BUT sin!

It is still the rule I keep with my spiritual father.  It is a Rule I keep with my pastor and bishop.

It continues to be the rule of monastic order.

Without obedience there is no humility and without humility there is no heaven.

Mary
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« Reply #92 on: May 25, 2010, 08:48:56 AM »

....
It is not just the "misuse" of truth, it concerns the changing definition about what is the true teaching.
Let’s look at the past “true” teachings of the EO, OO, and RC churches:
Ephesians: 6:5 “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.”
Colossians 3:22:” Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.”
1Peter 2:18: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”
In my personal opinion, this  true teaching has changed and it is no longer considered to be the true teaching of any one of the three Churches that, for example,  a beautiful black African female slave has to submit herself to her harsh white European slave master. Recall that in America, white European Catholic priests bought and  held black African slaves as did many white Catholic laypeople in the south.

I'm not sure if it was ever a teaching in the Church that one should possess slaves.
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« Reply #93 on: May 25, 2010, 04:05:22 PM »

Well it seems to me that the OO's would have an even bigger problem in my ecclesiastical worldview then do the EO's.  Am I really supposed to believe that the true fullness of the Christian faith is to be found only in scattered communities in Egypt, Armenia, parts of Syria and India (Plus their respective Diaspora's around the world)?  The largest group of OO's seem to be the Armenians who, from my personal experience are very clannish and not so welcoming of outsiders whom they seem to feel would pollute their already diminishing bloodline.  The Copts though are very friendly and, from what I've heard open to missionary work amongst their fellow Moslem Egyptians. 

It just doesn't seem possible to me that God Almighty would have let his one true Church become so diminished in the way that the OO's are presently (Was their ever a time when they were the majority faith or, at least had large numbers of believers amongst Christians?).
Here's a question for you:
Could all three Churches OO, EO, RC be "true" to some very large extent, but none of the three has the ideal absolute 100% true "truth" that you may be looking for?


If that were the case, then it seems that scriptures lie about the Church being the pillar and foundation of truth.



No, It just means that the Church is all broken up due to human weakness, but the truth is that God is love and he loves us and wants to reconcile use to himself through his grace which comes out of the sacraments/Mysteries of the Church.  It seems to me that some people have a problem with this definition of the Church because the have ulterior motives to just faith in Christ.  Some people want to use the Church as a weapon to beat others over the head with in order to make themselves feel more superior to others.  They take every little statement and anathema that clerics in past centuries have hurled against one another and society and try to pretend that these are still binding and relevant by today's standards. 

I agree that at times people do use the Church as a weapon like this. But does misuse of the truth mean that its no longer truth?
It is not just the "misuse" of truth, it concerns the changing definition about what is the true teaching.
Let’s look at the past “true” teachings of the EO, OO, and RC churches:
Ephesians: 6:5 “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.”
Colossians 3:22:” Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.”
1Peter 2:18: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”
In my personal opinion, this true teaching has changed and it is no longer considered to be the true teaching of any one of the three Churches that, for example, A beautiful black African female slave has to submit herself to her harsh white European slave master. Recall that in America, white European Catholic priests bought and held black African slaves as did many white Catholic laypeople in the south.


I agree entirely.  Over the course of centuries certain concepts and ideas once held to be true by all Christians have long since been discarded as mere cultural reflections from Scripture writers.  The same goes with the once widely held belief that Christians ought to submit blindly to any authority no matter how unjust and cruel they were, especially if that authority claimed to be sanctioned by a Christian Church.  We now live in an age that emphasizes such concepts as human dignity and personal liberty more then any past age.  People are seen as having an invaluable right to stand up and decry ill treatment on any number of issues ranging from unfair taxation to exploitation of workers, to basic health benefits.  The early Christians lived in a society which was very different as well as much harsher from the one that most humans (Even those in Third World nations) live in today.  They probably could have never imagined the great social and political changes that have occurred in the past 2,000 years and, no doubt will continue to occur through the centuries to come.  This does not make Christianity any less true, it only means that certain ideas which were once considered acceptable no longer are.  Maybe this might be the best argument for the RC concept of a living magisterial to guide the faithful?



The Rule Robb was and IS a monastic one initially.  Obedience in ALL things BUT sin!

It is still the rule I keep with my spiritual father.  It is a Rule I keep with my pastor and bishop.

It continues to be the rule of monastic order.

Without obedience there is no humility and without humility there is no heaven.

Mary

Are you a monk in a monastery?  If your advocating complete and blind obedience to any type of authority regardless of how it treats you then your crazy.  We live in the good old USA which emphasizes personal liberty over petty servitude (Thank God)! 

It figures that the ones Catholic I end up talking to here has to espouse this type of stuff.
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« Reply #94 on: May 25, 2010, 08:29:05 PM »

Is the Orthodox Church the true Church? Of course not. There's no such thing.

Where do you get the idea that you have the authority to proclaim that there is of course no true Church?

It's quite obvious to those who have eyes to see. I am not proclaiming anything with authority, I'm merely making a statement about reality.

And you have no evidence to support this claim?
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« Reply #95 on: June 24, 2010, 03:56:15 PM »

I have to say that I have concerns that are similar to Robb's. Sure, no one says that you have to lose your culture when you convert to Orthodoxy, but that doesn't stop it from happening. This is especially true in my situation: I converted without my family (not "married with kids" family, but "mom, dad, grandma" family), and there is very little Orthodox community extended to African Americans or the middle-class in my area. Personally, all well-meaning piety aside, I find it hard to follow the feasts, fasts, and other traditions that make up the faith without a sense of like solidarity with other believers. The day-to-day of it is, whatever grandma makes, you eat. No one wants to go to my weird church on Christmas, and don’t get me started on Easter. The thought of trying to raise (and keep) my children in Orthodoxy without the cultural web that holds it all together is not one I like to dwell on very often.

I highly suspect that for some people who say that culture doesn’t matter, especially people of the WASP variety, often just equate culture to ethnicity (which is incorrect), and forget that culture includes socioeconomic class, common assumptions about the nature of religion, and other matters. I find I do not have much in common with Orthodox parishes that might as well be demystified-Sunday only-Anglo-conservative-upper-middle-class fortresses, but I can find a local incarnational-devotional-black Roman Catholic-gospel singing-middle-class parish and fit right in no problem. They probably wouldn’t even make me convert!

I also have a problem with the doctrinal inconsistency (about original sin, for example) amongst today’s convert literature. What’s the point of sending my kids to Sunday school or catechumen classes if the standard of Orthodox education is the caricatured works of Carlton, with no official catechism as an authoritative leveler?

Yes, the Church in the first century was not large or imposing, but that was the infant Church. Infants grow. The Church in the past has also been adaptive to the cultures it has met. The Orthodox Church has been acquainted with the West for quite some time. If the model of concilarity(sp?) is actually working as an impediment to the Church’s work (of which Liturgy Is the crown, but this is not Her sole work), then what good is it?

I fully acknowledge that it is very American of me to be practical and about results, but the irony is that if I had the more conservative “tradition of our fathers” mentality I’d have been Roman Catholic (not even Eastern Catholic!) or BaptiPentocostal and been done with it!
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« Reply #96 on: June 24, 2010, 08:14:15 PM »

I have to say that I have concerns that are similar to Robb's. Sure, no one says that you have to lose your culture when you convert to Orthodoxy, but that doesn't stop it from happening. This is especially true in my situation: I converted without my family (not "married with kids" family, but "mom, dad, grandma" family), and there is very little Orthodox community extended to African Americans or the middle-class in my area. Personally, all well-meaning piety aside, I find it hard to follow the feasts, fasts, and other traditions that make up the faith without a sense of like solidarity with other believers. The day-to-day of it is, whatever grandma makes, you eat. No one wants to go to my weird church on Christmas, and don’t get me started on Easter. The thought of trying to raise (and keep) my children in Orthodoxy without the cultural web that holds it all together is not one I like to dwell on very often.

I highly suspect that for some people who say that culture doesn’t matter, especially people of the WASP variety, often just equate culture to ethnicity (which is incorrect), and forget that culture includes socioeconomic class, common assumptions about the nature of religion, and other matters. I find I do not have much in common with Orthodox parishes that might as well be demystified-Sunday only-Anglo-conservative-upper-middle-class fortresses, but I can find a local incarnational-devotional-black Roman Catholic-gospel singing-middle-class parish and fit right in no problem. They probably wouldn’t even make me convert!

I also have a problem with the doctrinal inconsistency (about original sin, for example) amongst today’s convert literature. What’s the point of sending my kids to Sunday school or catechumen classes if the standard of Orthodox education is the caricatured works of Carlton, with no official catechism as an authoritative leveler?

Yes, the Church in the first century was not large or imposing, but that was the infant Church. Infants grow. The Church in the past has also been adaptive to the cultures it has met. The Orthodox Church has been acquainted with the West for quite some time. If the model of concilarity(sp?) is actually working as an impediment to the Church’s work (of which Liturgy Is the crown, but this is not Her sole work), then what good is it?

I fully acknowledge that it is very American of me to be practical and about results, but the irony is that if I had the more conservative “tradition of our fathers” mentality I’d have been Roman Catholic (not even Eastern Catholic!) or BaptiPentocostal and been done with it!


Have you ever been to the Ancient Christian Conference before? The one sponsored by the Brotherhood of Saint Moses? Forming a community or culture doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and effort. The Seventhday Adventist have their own unique culture, with their food laws, and how they observe the sabbath and avoid Christmass and Easter. I'm sure it was hard for them when they first started. The Ahmish and Mennonites also have a unique culture, and that also took time to form, and so help form an Orthodox culture here in the states.

Help start a mission if you will. I'm sure it was hard for African American Roman Catholics at first, the same with the Pentecostals, but they grew and so it became easier for them. The same will happen with us if we don't give up. There is alot of work to do........we just gotta do it.


Also, just so you know, this isn't an African American problem, this problem is for former Anglicans(Welse, English, and maybe Scots and Nothern Ireland), Baptists(a mix of almost everybody), Prespyterians(Scots and others) and Lutherans(German, and others) as well.

They are worried about the same issue in regards to the culture/heritage that they once knew and came from and their kids and grandkids. They worry about their kids or grandchildren not having the same cultural formation that they had. ....now I don't know what that really means, but it seems as if it's not just an African American problem/issue. It's an American everybody issue. .....especially for Latinos/Hispanics that become Orthodox in this country.







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« Reply #97 on: June 24, 2010, 08:33:36 PM »

Is the Orthodox Church really the one, true, faith founded by Jesus Christ?  I've struggled with this one for a long time and am sort of at a cross roads in my life.  

Could someone give me some type of evidence that can emphatically prove that the OC is the way God wants things to be?

Why, for instance would God want his Church to be a string of self governing national ones instead of a unified central authority like the Papacy?  Doesn't the very concept of the Pope as top man and controlling (Or, at least trying to control) the whole operation of the Church make more sense from a logical and truly Catholic perspective?  When they came up with the 5 Patriarch idea, wasn't that just based on the jurisdictional situation of the Roman empire which has long since (Sadly) been defunct.

I'm not trying to goad anybody or proselytize for anything.  I'm just asking these questions since, coming from an RC backround they are what I've struggled with.  I tried talking about them to an Orthodox priest, but his answers were not very satisfactory for me (He claimed that he didn't know much about the RCC in the first place and seemed to believe that the RC's worship the Popes every word as infallible).  I don't know how anyone could not know anything about Catholicism but this guy didn't do a very good job talking about it to me.  I also brought up the universality of the Church (Which seemed somewhat lacking in the OC to me).  He gave me some talk about how the true church exists when only a handful of people believe (This didn't answer why there is no outward, actual, real unity in the OC as opposed to the, at least superficial appearance you get with the RCC). These questions mean something to my worldview since I was raised to believe in quantity over quality.  The bigger and better something was presented to me then the truer it must be.  I freely admit to being  not from a Protestant "Bible Baptist" type backround.  I like the extravagance of life.  I come from  deeply expressionist, deeply Catholic type of people (Ones who it is frequently said that "God made us Catholic before making us Christian").  I only get the big picture.  If Orthodoxy is true then why isn't it big and important everywhere like the RCC is?

Dear Robb,

Asking why there appears to be disunity among the Orthodox Churches is like asking why there are sexual predators among Catholic clergy and in the episcopate.

It be de debbil!!  police

What is REALLY bothering you about your journey?

Mary

The exact problems that I've listed above.  You can't seriously be telling me that these simple questions of mine are either seen as so ridiculous or so baffling that no one has ever thought of them before?

No, If EO was mostly under Islamic rule....with the help of the western world.....like France helping the Turks defeat the East. But if you are mostly under wraps then why should it bother you that it's not as big as Rome? At one time the Assyrian Church of the East was bigger than us all.

What did bother me, was why Ethiopia and the Nubians didn't reach the rest of Africa with Orthodoxy, and why the Thomist Orthodox in South India didn't reach the rest of India or travel to other places to reach others.

That is what use to bother me. But such a thing never stopped me from becoming Orthodox. So why is it stopping you?

Instead of blaming EO for not spreading all over the globe as quickly as Rome, why not help it spread quickly now?







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« Reply #98 on: June 25, 2010, 12:49:51 AM »

Is the Orthodox Church really the one, true, faith founded by Jesus Christ?  I've struggled with this one for a long time and am sort of at a cross roads in my life.  

ROBB,

Administratively, there is no question that it is the same institution based on apostolic succession. I think in some small, ways, probably not matters of faith, it has changed from the institution at Jesus' time. For example, neither calendars were probably in use at Jesus' time. However, one of the goals in Orthodoxy is actually to continue and get back to the faith founded by Jesus. On one hand, I think it's debateable whether women should wear headcoverings, and in this manner we have gotten away. On the other hand, it's possible that in other ways the church is much "better" than that founded at Jesus' time: We have succeeded in spreading the gospel far far beyond the bounds of Palestine, and around the world.

It is hard to know with exact certainty how much our doctrines have changed from Jesus' time. But we have the big advantage over Protestants that we rely on the teachings of the early church, teachings that were written about the same time, or not long after, the New Testament itself.

Quote
Could someone give me some type of evidence that can emphatically prove that the OC is the way God wants things to be?

I guess it comes to faith. I can tell you to read early church writings. But does that mean 100% it's how God wants things to be? How do we know for certain that God wants Christianity or monotheism? We can philosophize alot, but I am sorry I don't have such a philosophy at my fingertips to prove it 100%.
Quote

Why, for instance would God want his Church to be a string of self governing national ones instead of a unified central authority like the Papacy?
How can we know with 100% certainty the mind of God? It seems tome though that humans error and that centralizing authority into only one person who is above everyone else, unequaled, is not simply "undemocratic," but can lead to arbitrariness, a kind of earthly one-man totalitarianism. And since I reject sole papal infallibility on the basis of human infallbility, I also reject an earthly totalitarian model.

Perhaps another proof of this, if you accept Christianity, is that Jesus chose his 12 apostles. They were the leaders. I think Jesus talked about giving the keys to Peter, but remember after he said this Peter denied him three times, and there is a tradition that only John stayed loyal. And remember, that while Jesus said, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven," Jesus, as I remember, said the same thing to all the apostles.

Quote
Doesn't the very concept of the Pope as top man and controlling (Or, at least trying to control) the whole operation of the Church make more sense from a logical and truly Catholic perspective?
I would say no. From a truly logical perspective, Jesus is supposed to be the top man controlling. He chose 12 disciples and is supposed to be still with them and us. As for Catholicity, you could say that since we follow "all" of the apostles, (Catholic and Apostolic), then we should follow them equally. You could even say that "all" bishops or leaders are supposed to be equal. We are all together, ("Catholic"), so we are all united and equal.
Basically, you can as easily argue that the top-down model is for earthly rulership and we should invert it- the last will be first and the first last. This kind of purely logical argument can go either way, even to the point of Protestantism. DeusVeritas even has a thread discussing how the Patriarchate "developed" later. So if we want to go back to the faith at Jesus' time, we could go as far as to make 12 Patriarchates as there were 12 apostolic positions, like there were 12 tribes of Israel. Again, these are more arguments based on logic.
Quote

When they came up with the 5 Patriarch idea, wasn't that just based on the jurisdictional situation of the Roman empire which has long since (Sadly) been defunct.
Why sadly? The Roman empire and the Sanhedrin crucified Christ.

Sidenote: I wonder by the way if the Vatican is the legal successor of the Roman empire? Apparently a "Sanhedrin" project has returned in Israel.

Anyway, Russia has a Patriarchate, and no other jurisdiction in the West had a Patriarch (I believe), while the east had several, so I don't think that it is based only on the jurisdictions of the ROman empire.

Quote
I'm not trying to goad anybody or proselytize for anything.  I'm just asking these questions since, coming from an RC backround they are what I've struggled with.  I tried talking about them to an Orthodox priest, but his answers were not very satisfactory for me (He claimed that he didn't know much about the RCC in the first place and seemed to believe that the RC's worship the Popes every word as infallible).
Sure, reading more than one source than talking to one person can be best for lots of spiritual matters. If you go on other threads on the forum, you can find quotes from Canon rules and Catholic scholars explaining that if a Pope became a heretic you would have to obey him. I know Catholicism says the pope is only infallible when speaking ex-cathedra, but under the canon rules, you have to obey him even when he is not speaking ex-cathedra. This seems to be a problem.

Quote
I don't know how anyone could not know anything about Catholicism but this guy didn't do a very good job talking about it to me.
I accept Christianity, but might find it hard witnessing to a strong agnostic. I might have to say to go elsewhere Sad It doesn't mean a personal failing, just he never went into the same depth about the philosophy as you would like. Alot of these philosophy things can be argued either way.
Quote
I also brought up the universality of the Church (Which seemed somewhat lacking in the OC to me).
Fact that we have jurisdictions doesn't seem to me that we somehow lack universality. We do make decisions together, we have SCOBA, we have canon rules. So I am not sure how you mean we lack universality, unless you just mean that we lack a one-earthly-man totalitarian administrative model like the Roman Catholic church. Just as the apostles and the early church was universal and existed in different places, you can say the same about the Orthodox.
Quote
He gave me some talk about how the true church exists when only a handful of people believe
Probably true. If all the bishops were wiped out, the church could still exist.

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(This didn't answer why there is no outward, actual, real unity in the OC as opposed to the, at least superficial appearance you get with the RCC).
What more are you requiring for Unity in the Orthodox church? For Moscow to subordinate itself administratively to the EP? Or the fact that we have different juriscitions itself seems broken? Well, in Catholicism you have different jurisdictions because you have different Eastern Catholic groups, just they are ultimately under one earthly man.

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These questions mean something to my worldview since I was raised to believe in quantity over quality.  The bigger and better something was presented to me then the truer it must be.
Sounds like you are critical of the worldview you were raised in. Well, those outside the Papacy outnumber those under it. So maybe rejection of papal infallibility must be true. This can go either way.


I freely admit to being  not from a Protestant "Bible Baptist" type backround.  I like the extravagance of life.  I come from  deeply expressionist, deeply Catholic type of people.
That is nice. I wish we had unity. The single biggest obstacle is Papal supremacy because it would mean that we would have to subordinate ourselves to him in all matters of faith, yet we have doctrinal differences. Consequently, all other differences with Catholicism by us come together to criticize this one. That is, if we hold to a single doctrinal difference with the pope, then we must necessarily reject "obedience" to him as a direct superior.


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(Ones who it is frequently said that "God made us Catholic before making us Christian").  I only get the big picture.
What do you mean? Shouldn't we put Christianity before Orthodoxy/Catholicism or at least say that they are "one in the same?" The basic principles of all Christianity are more central to Orthodoxy than all the administrative and artistic differences that distinguish it as its own "organization."

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If Orthodoxy is true then why isn't it big and important everywhere like the RCC is?
In other words, if X is true, why doesn't big and important like X is?
If RCC is true, why did it break in half with the Reformation, while Orthodoxy did not have a huge post-1054 "reformation" schism? Thanks Bogu we avoided this.
If RCC is true, why isn't it big and important in America, the biggest Christian country?

If you want the real reason, I'll tell you- countries with Latin-based languages like Spanish and French stayed Catholic, just as the Roman Catholic Church used Latin. When they spread to the New World, they spread Catholicism. It's that simple. That's why it's big and powerful. Meanwhile the Protestants took over in countries that used German-based languages like English and Norwegian. They spread their religion to their colonies.
Meanwhile, Orthodox countries were conquered until recently by Muslim ones. Does that mean Islam is right and Christianity is wrong?
Anyway, that's the reason. Religion is important to those cultures and Western Europe was on the ocean and spread to other continents.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2010, 12:51:13 AM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #99 on: June 27, 2010, 02:11:56 AM »

If RCC is true, why isn't it big and important in America, the biggest Christian country?

Who says that it isn't?  There are heavily Catholic areas of the USA (Northeast, Great Lakes region, and the Southwest.  From the coverage that the media gives, especially regarding the RC's relationship with politicians and influence over society, you would think that Catholics are more then just one out of many Christian denominations.  Where abouts do you live in the US?  If you are from the South or parts of the Midwest then maybe it just seems to you that Catholics have little influence and are not deemed as important by the wider society of your area?

If you want the real reason, I'll tell you- countries with Latin-based languages like Spanish and French stayed Catholic, just as the Roman Catholic Church used Latin. When they spread to the New World, they spread Catholicism. It's that simple. That's why it's big and powerful. Meanwhile the Protestants took over in countries that used German-based languages like English and Norwegian. They spread their religion to their colonies.
Meanwhile, Orthodox countries were conquered until recently by Muslim ones. Does that mean Islam is right and Christianity is wrong?
Anyway, that's the reason. Religion is important to those cultures and Western Europe was on the ocean and spread to other continents.

This sounds sensible, but you must ask yourself if the reasons that the RCC was able to spread so quickly to such a wide area was less an accident and more providential.  To take your explanation as fact, a person would need to embrace the more secular understanding that history is just a big collection of accidents and mistakes with no "Higher Power" guiding things behind the scenes.  This may make sense for some, but romanticist like myself tend to want to ascribe some more meaning to certain historical events then just chalking them up as either coincidence or accident.
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Men may dislike truth, men may find truth offensive and inconvenient, men may persecute the truth, subvert it, try by law to suppress it. But to maintain that men have the final power over truth is blasphemy, and the last delusion. Truth lives forever, men do not.
-- Gustave Flaubert
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