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Author Topic: Is the Orthodox Church really true?  (Read 12827 times) Average Rating: 0
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Robb
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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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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.
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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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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.
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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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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