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Author Topic: Oriental/Eastern dilemma  (Read 4260 times) Average Rating: 0
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narrowpathplease
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« on: July 23, 2007, 04:02:34 AM »

My local Orthodox Church (the only one for miles around) is British Orthodox, which is Coptic. Personally, I'm content with the explanation that Christ had two natures stopping just there. It helps explain some of the difficult concepts in the New Testament, even if not explicitly referred to in Scripture. If I had to choose further theory it would be the Eastern one, because I can get my head around it somewhat more easily, but I don't see why the argument is worth all the accusations of heresy. Surely if a belief were necessary or advantageous for salvation it would at least be mentioned in the Scriptures? The most important concepts are mentioned repeatedly. This issue does not seem to be addressed at all, so why won't the Eastern Church recognise Oriental Saints, and why do they call us heretics? Sad I thought a marker of Orthodoxy was supposed to be reluctance to try to dogmatically define the inconceivable? Do Eastern churches even recognise Oriental sacraments?  Orthodoxinfo.com refuses even to call us Orthodox.

What I most want to know is, would I have to choose one of them to conclusively believe in before either would receive me? Because I cannot honestly claim to have an firm opinion about the matter.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2007, 04:06:29 AM by narrowpathplease » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2007, 05:57:01 AM »

Dear narrowpathplease,

I encourage you to visit the BOC website and to apply for entrance to their forum. One point that Abouna Gregory Tillet (who is a participant there and a BOC priest here in Sydney) has consistently made in response to sentiments similar those expressed by you above is that the approach of seeking legitimacy from outside is a fundamentally Western approach that shouldn't concern us (although it does unfortunately infect some Orthodox from time to time). We do not need a certificate of approval from the EO nor do they need one from us.
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2007, 06:51:33 AM »

Thank you, I may join that forum when I have some money. Tongue

We may not need approval from without, what concerns me primarily is approval from within. Must you affirm whole-hearted agreement with the Coptic doctrine to be received by Copts, and likewise the Eastern doctrine? Even if that's not a problem, if you ever find yourself with only Eastern churches around in the future, will they allow you Communion or require that you be baptised again? Huh
« Last Edit: July 23, 2007, 06:52:01 AM by narrowpathplease » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2007, 08:14:59 AM »

What a difficult question. It seems that divisions really haunt us, chase us, appear suddenly out of the blue, and hamper our spiritual progress. If I returned to Ukraine right now, I would be in a similar situation. I would want to go to a Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchy) parish, and of course I would immediately hear lots of voices both from without and from within, "hey, what are you doing, don't you know that they are schismatics, self-proclaimed, not in eucharistic unity with the Orthodox world!"

From everything I read and heard, I can say that Copts are certainly an authenic, ancient, disciplined, beautiful community of Christian faith. I am not a theologian, so I might miss something, but to my un-educated mind the only reason why they are not always and universally considered Orthodox is that they have not completely recognized (or "received") all of the doctrinal documents of the Ecumenical Counsil of Chalcedon. If I understand correctly, there exists an ongoing dialogue between them and the Orthodox "mainstream." Maybe you could benefit from reading some of this dialogue - even here, on this forum, in the relevant section about Oriental churches.
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2007, 09:15:48 AM »

We may not need approval from without, what concerns me primarily is approval from within. Must you affirm whole-hearted agreement with the Coptic doctrine to be received by Copts, and likewise the Eastern doctrine?

Well i'm not sure why you would want to join the OO Church if you do not agree with OO doctrine, and likewise with the EO Church. Needless to say, there is no reason why you should be forced to conceive of such a dichotomy between EO and OO doctrine in the first place; many wise, learned, and spiritual men--theologians and clergy, do not believe there to be such a dichotomy, so i'm not sure why you would feel the need to be forced to accept one in the first place.

Quote
Even if that's not a problem, if you ever find yourself with only Eastern churches around in the future, will they allow you Communion or require that you be baptised again?


Maybe they will, maybe they won't. Maybe, regardless of whether they will or won't, you won't be allowed to commune there in the first place. I cannot see, however, why consideration of such a hypothetical situation should bear any significance whatsoever to the ultimate choice you make. It simply makes no sense to me why it would or should.
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2007, 11:10:16 AM »

Well i'm not sure why you would want to join the OO Church if you do not agree with OO doctrine, and likewise with the EO Church. Needless to say, there is no reason why you should be forced to conceive of such a dichotomy between EO and OO doctrine in the first place; many wise, learned, and spiritual men--theologians and clergy, do not believe there to be such a dichotomy, so i'm not sure why you would feel the need to be forced to accept one in the first place.

I don't think I should have to accept one, I'm just concerned that I'll be required by the church to before baptism. I don't disbelieve the distinctive parts of OO doctrine, but I don't believe them either. All I believe is that Christ had two natures: beyond that, any thoughts I have are speculatory, not conclusive. I'm not sure I'll ever come to be certain about it. So I couldn't claim that I believe the Oriental theory, especially not in a church. It would be a lie.

Quote
Maybe they will, maybe they won't. Maybe, regardless of whether they will or won't, you won't be allowed to commune there in the first place. I cannot see, however, why consideration of such a hypothetical situation should bear any significance whatsoever to the ultimate choice you make. It simply makes no sense to me why it would or should.

Orthodox churches are few and far between in Britain, and I'm going to university soon, so it's not such a hypothetical situation. I just want to know how vital it is that I come to a conclusion about this issue. As I've said, personally I don't think the difference is inherently significant at all, but the church policies surrounding it most definitely are.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2007, 11:12:48 AM by narrowpathplease » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2007, 02:56:27 PM »

Narrorpathplease

It is unfortunate for the fathers of the church at Chalcedon that they did not obey the commandment of Jesus Christ to 'above all things love one another as I loved the father and as the father also loved me'.

If our fathers could have at least done that then;this issue would not be.

For you and me and all true beleievers we must resist the things that lead us into temptation because it is temptation that leads us to conflict which undermines love resulting in evil.

Temptation is commonly thought of as 'unrightious' thoughts and desires. Well this is true. But we forget that the most dangerous and diabolical temptation is formed within acts of 'rightiousness', piety, 'knowledge and obedience to truth'. Thus within the most devine and holy acts that we could peform; therein temptation waits to consume us.

Its the same childhood metaphor of 'Little Red Riding hood ( The wolf in sheeps clothing)

Christ warned us about this many times and in many ways. Remember after He was baptised and was fasting satan (the tempter) entered in. Also in the old testament satan (the tempter) accused Job. Job was rightious before God. Gods own servant. And we see that the tempter entered in as well...INTO HEAVEN at Gods foot stool even.

Christ teaches us that there will be a new heaven and a new earth which will do away with the tempter and temptation all together.

Christ taught us to 'observe' the season and from that you know what is happening. LIke wise than he teaches that 'where there is confusion and emnity therein is the product of sin'.

Our God is clearly a God of order...NOT kaos.

So when we see confusion, division, anger, disregard etc...WE can be safe that the Lord has nothing to do with it even if that situation comes to us from the highest level of the Church (on earth).

When such things occur we must began to pray; because can not maintain peace and unity than it should be clear that the church is under attack.

When our fathers can not find peace; we must begin to pray.
When our farhers allow the faithful to run out of the church; we must pray.
When our fathers have 'devised' reasons to deny the Eucharist to the children of God ; we must pray.
When we hear our fathers argue that 'one of (or group of them) are greater (more correct) than the other person or group we must pray.

We must pray for our fathers that allow hundreds of years to go by without love, peace and understanding, forgiveness in the holy church. Snd keep this problem going as if its 'the other guys fault'.

WE must pray for those who have been taught to believe that by some means; the one true church universal and apsotolic in the Lord Jesus Christ can be divided. The true church is one. NO man can say EO or OO as if we speak of two. TWO WHAT!

The only TWO is us...the people. The Church is still one. So EO and OO must become ONE with Christs church. WE both are out of sorts. Nobody is cleaner than the other. To feel that one is "cleaner" is secularism and wishful thinking. The Scripture supports this plainly.

The Lord said that the 'gates of hell will not prevail over His church'. Thus the idea of one or two natures will not prevail over it either.

WE are all Orthodox or we are ALL not orthodox.

Try not to react to some EO writers and thinkers who may offend you. I have read some very horrible and painful thinks by this type. I pray for them in earnest.

I have alot of EO who are not like that type as I put it.

Some of my most blessed exeprience were in EO services and such.

GOd bless us; that we ALL find the One Church again.

Your Servant

Dcn Amde Tsion
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2007, 03:39:23 PM »

Dear Deacon Amde,

What you wrote is certainly right, and it shows me that you have a wonderful heart... Yet, in a practical sense: can our friend Narrowpathplease go to a Coptic church and take communion there? I just made a quick Google search, typing in "Orthodox, communion," and immediately found something like 5 or 6 sources that all say this: if you are an Orthodox and take communion in any church that is not eucharistically Orthodox, then you have, essentially, excommunicated yourself from Holy Orthodoxy! That sounds very serious to me...

Please understand, in no way do I want to say anything negative about Oriental churches, but, rather, I just want Narrowpathplease to get the best possible advice in her situation.

George
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2007, 03:44:34 PM »

At this point I wouldn't get too caught up in the EO vs. OO thing.  Worrying too much about Chalcedon can be counter productive.  Just know that Christ is fully God and fully human and that He entered this world to show us His love and reconcile us to Himself.  That is really all we need.

The OO's and EO's just use different language: one composite nature which is fully human and fully divine vs. two natures.  Just about every theologian who has seriously studied the issue in the past century has found that we mean the same thing.  Once in a while I come across someone who says there's a substantive difference that goes beyond language, but when I ask what it is, they can't articulate it.  Or they lie and say we believe that Christ is only divine, which isn't true.

I understand what your concern is with regard to trying to find a church when you go to college.  Do you know where you are going?  You may want to look and see what is available in terms of Orthodox churches near where  you have applied for admission.  If all that exists is an EO church, don't worry about it, just go there.  There are websites that will tell you where the churches are in Britain.  I'll try to find them for you if you don't already know them.

Do you think you will be baptized before going off to college?  If you are baptized in the OO Church before going off to college, and all that is available is an EO church near where you go, that may be a problem.  Although there are some EO churches that will give communion to OO's, they are the exception to the rule.  Same with OO churches.  However, it may be that you will not even be baptized yet when you leave for college, depending on how long you have been going to the BOC and how long it will be before you leave for college.  

Just try to relax and pray about it for a while, although I know it is easier said than done.  I'll pray for you.
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2007, 05:59:33 PM »

You probably already know about these sites, but I thought I would post them anyway:

http://www.britishorthodox.org/directory.php

http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/directory_2007.pdf

For other OO churches besides BOC, I think there is an Armenian church in London.  A cousin of mine got married there, but I don't know much about that parish.  The services would probably not be in English, though.

Also, I can't help but believe that our Indian brethren would have churches in Britain.  Does anyone know of a directory of their parishes?  Are their services in English?

Again, just spend time praying and worshipping in the parish you are at now.  No one gets baptized overnight, so worrying right now may be getting ahead of yourself.  I really believe God will eventually lead you where you need to be.  Just trust Him.   Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2007, 09:00:43 PM »

Dear Narrorpathplease,

In order to be able to more thoroughly deal with this issue I think you would need to explicate as to what you mean when you distinguish OO theory from EO theory.

There's no doubt that there was a schism at Chalcedon in 451 AD. However, the underlying causes of this schism are still being pondered by many.

Current ecumenical dialogue between OOs and EOs has revealed that many on both sides believe that the schism all along was just a result of semantics and perhaps other political issues, and many on both sides as well see that a continuing schism between the OOs and EOs is no longer necessary and look forward to a reunification between these two families of Orthodoxy.

Bishop Kallistos Ware on the EO side has spoken favourably concerning this reunification, however, it seems that there are an outspoken ultra right wing minority on Mount Athos who are still opposed to such. On the OO side, I believe I can speak for the Coptics in saying that they seem wholeheartedly in favour of such a reunification.

One of the greatest issues however is restoring a broken communion that has been fractured for longer than it has been united. Where revered and saintly persons on both sides have been condemned, anathematised and spoken ill of and there has been mounting hostility and resentment over the years, especially over how such schism was dealt with and the persecution that arose as a result of this.

However, there can be found much hope in many of the pastoral agreements reached in various jurisdictions as a result of the common dogmatic position that is believed to be held by both families of Orthodoxy and the hope of full communion being reached in the near future. Examples of these pastoral agreements include that between the OO and EO patriarchs of Alexandria which allow for intermarriage between the two churchs and those between the OO and EO churches in Syria which allow for many more concessions.

In conclusion it seems to me that your perceived differences in theories between the two churches are unfounded.

Hope this helps... 
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2007, 10:17:50 PM »

One point that Abouna Gregory Tillet (who is a participant there and a BOC priest here in Sydney).

There's a British Orthodox church in Australia?  Any plans for the US  Wink
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2007, 12:40:27 AM »

I just moved a post Stavro wrote here about Orthodoxinfo.com into the Eastern/Oriental Orthodox Private Discussions Forum.  I did that because I thought it would generate some discussion which would be appropriate for that forum.  Also, since that forum has not been too active lately I am hoping this will spark some activity there.

This is the link to the new thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12260.msg166540.html#new

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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2007, 01:36:50 AM »

Dear Deacon Amde,

What you wrote is certainly right, and it shows me that you have a wonderful heart... Yet, in a practical sense: can our friend Narrowpathplease go to a Coptic church and take communion there? I just made a quick Google search, typing in "Orthodox, communion," and immediately found something like 5 or 6 sources that all say this: if you are an Orthodox and take communion in any church that is not eucharistically Orthodox, then you have, essentially, excommunicated yourself from Holy Orthodoxy! That sounds very serious to me...

Please understand, in no way do I want to say anything negative about Oriental churches, but, rather, I just want Narrowpathplease to get the best possible advice in her situation.

George

I just want to make a quick note about vocabulary.  Both Eastern Orthodox ("EO") and Oriental Orthodox ("OO") Churches like to use the word "Orthodox" in describing themselves.  Therefore, using just the word "Orthodox" to refer to the EO Church and "Orientals" to refer to the OO Church may be a little confusing and perhaps a bit offensive to some.  That is why around here we tend to use the abbrviations "EO" for the Greek, Russian, Ukranian, etc. Churches and "OO" for the Ethiopian, Coptic, Syriac, Indian and Armenian Churches.  It just makes things clearer.  Of course you don't have to use those terms.  Some people prefer "Chalcedonian" for the Eastern Orthodox and "non-Chalcedonian" for the Oriental Orthodox.  I personally find "EO" and "OO" easier to type and, as I said, it is just clearer.   Smiley   
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2007, 02:31:15 AM »

I just moved a post Stavro wrote here about Orthodoxinfo.com into the Eastern/Oriental Orthodox Private Discussions Forum.  I did that because I thought it would generate some discussion which would be appropriate for that forum.  Also, since that forum has not been too active lately I am hoping this will spark some activity there.

This is the link to the new thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12260.msg166540.html#new

Thanks Salpy. You guys discuss the issue over there and let us know what you come up with, while we all enjoy the spirit of unity and oness here on this forum.  Kiss

Narrowpathplease,

there are no theories in Orthodoxy that you choose from. Your approach to the faith needs to be revised. Orthodoxy is a life of worship based on the revealed truth by the Apostles, and by the very definition of truth it cannot be relative or subject to historical interpretations. Search for this truth and be content with it when it is revealed to you. There is only ONE CHURCH that is defined by communion and communion only.

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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2007, 02:47:07 AM »

Stavro,

If you don't mind lively debate, please join us at the private forum!  All you have to do is pm an administrator and say you want in.  Usually it is Fr. Chris, but I think he is out of town now.  You may therefore want to pm Anastasios and let him know you want to join. 

As I said, things have been quiet in that forum lately and I am hoping your points about Orthodoxinfo.com will inspire some new debate.  I also think you would really enjoy it.  Please join in!

---------

The same goes for anyone out there who doesn't mind a little heated polemical debate.   Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2007, 08:40:51 AM »

I just want to make a quick note about vocabulary.  Both Eastern Orthodox ("EO") and Oriental Orthodox ("OO") Churches like to use the word "Orthodox" in describing themselves.  Therefore, using just the word "Orthodox" to refer to the EO Church and "Orientals" to refer to the OO Church may be a little confusing and perhaps a bit offensive to some.  That is why around here we tend to use the abbrviations "EO" for the Greek, Russian, Ukranian, etc. Churches and "OO" for the Ethiopian, Coptic, Syriac, Indian and Armenian Churches.  It just makes things clearer.  Of course you don't have to use those terms.  Some people prefer "Chalcedonian" for the Eastern Orthodox and "non-Chalcedonian" for the Oriental Orthodox.  I personally find "EO" and "OO" easier to type and, as I said, it is just clearer.   Smiley   

Salpy, brother, thank you so much for this correction. I am relatively new to this forum but I should have noticed these abbreviations. Indeed, they are helpful and I will use them in the future. --George
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« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2007, 08:43:42 AM »

There's a British Orthodox church in Australia?  Any plans for the US  Wink

Nah, I didn't say there's a BOC in Australia. I simply said that Fr. Gregory, a BOC clergyman, is here in Australia.
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« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2007, 10:37:06 AM »

Examples of these pastoral agreements include that between the OO and EO patriarchs of Alexandria which allow for intermarriage between the two churchs and those between the OO and EO churches in Syria which allow for many more concessions. 


How can an EO and OO marriage be fully blessed without Holy Communion?

Do EO and OO churches that you know of perform the marriage without Holy Communion or is It allowed just for the marriage?

The Reason why I ask is because the Ethiopian Church requires that in preparing the new couple they both are blessed as 'one' in all...an no longer two in anything during the engagement ceromony. After this the wedding can be performed. This is done as two seperate ceromonies for those who can do it that way or all together at one time. The two must thus be in full communion and meeting all the requirements for marriage.

Basically Ethiopia maintains Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, Matrimony, ordination, Holy Orders, unctioning the sick as an unbroken link. The 7 sacaraments are one faith and are not to be seperated.
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« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2007, 11:00:14 AM »

How can an EO and OO marriage be fully blessed without Holy Communion?

Do EO and OO churches that you know of perform the marriage without Holy Communion or is It allowed just for the marriage?

The Reason why I ask is because the Ethiopian Church requires that in preparing the new couple they both are blessed as 'one' in all...an no longer two in anything during the engagement ceromony. After this the wedding can be performed. This is done as two seperate ceromonies for those who can do it that way or all together at one time. The two must thus be in full communion and meeting all the requirements for marriage.

Basically Ethiopia maintains Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, Matrimony, ordination, Holy Orders, unctioning the sick as an unbroken link. The 7 sacaraments are one faith and are not to be seperated.

I suppose that this partially presents the present dilemma in the church in that while OO and EO are still in schism many heirarchs on both sides have come to accept that we are really one church and that under such circumstances it wouldn't make sense to excommunicate a child of the church while what are considered by many to be simply formalities are being resolved...

I know that communion is not practiced with the Coptic ceremony of matrimony although I'm not sure of the Syrian, however, I the OOs and EOs in Syria, pastorally speaking anyway, seem for the most part to be in almost full communion.

Here are some links that might be of help:

http://www.orthodoxunity.org/state05.html
http://sor.cua.edu/Ecumenism/19911112socrumorthstmt.html
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« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2007, 12:24:23 PM »

falafel333

Thanks...

I was very surprised to be at a marriage ceremony in a Coptic parish where the groom was Ethiopian Orthodox and the bride-to-be was non-orthodox and thus was not even baptised in the holy church.

The groom was robed and crowned but the bride-to-be was only robed Huh

And as you noted neither received Holy Communion.

I am still trying to learn how the above marriage took place or if it was correct in accordance with strict Orthodoxy as observed in the Coptic church.
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« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2007, 12:31:26 PM »

I was very surprised to be at a marriage ceremony in a Coptic parish where the groom was Ethiopian Orthodox and the bride-to-be was non-orthodox and thus was not even baptised in the holy church.

Technically such a marriage should not have occured...I'd be interested to know where abouts this celebration took place...Are you sure the non-Orthodox person had not been baptised or at least anointed prior to the ceremony?
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« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2007, 12:51:07 PM »

I was very surprised to be at a marriage ceremony in a Coptic parish where the groom was Ethiopian Orthodox and the bride-to-be was non-orthodox and thus was not even baptised in the holy church.

If my Coptic priest was a bishop, he would not hesitate to depose and excommunicate the priest who allowed this marriage to occur.
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« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2007, 12:53:49 PM »

The "formalities" between both "churches" include mutual anathemas that still stand, anathemas to saints on both sides that still stand, blood of martyrs on the Orthodox non-chalcedonian side that we do not know what to do with after 1600 years of venerations, and moreover, volumes of literature condemning the other side by no one other than Dioscoros, Timothy, Severus, Philoxenus on the Orthodox side and Maximus, John of Damascus, Leo, Theodret on the Chalcedonian side.

The hierarchs in the present time can by no means claim that they understand the nature of the conflict more than the figures listed above. They only remain in their ranks, and as individuals in the church, as long as they follow the Fathers.
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« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2007, 12:56:48 PM »

Stavro,

If you don't mind lively debate, please join us at the private forum!  All you have to do is pm an administrator and say you want in.  Usually it is Fr. Chris, but I think he is out of town now.  You may therefore want to pm Anastasios and let him know you want to join. 

As I said, things have been quiet in that forum lately and I am hoping your points about Orthodoxinfo.com will inspire some new debate.  I also think you would really enjoy it.  Please join in!

---------

The same goes for anyone out there who doesn't mind a little heated polemical debate.   Smiley

Salpy,

thank you again for your continuous effort to keep the peace and love in these forums and the nice warm group hug that we are so blessed to have. I am now part of the private adult forums, thank you for the referral. But on this particular topic I have said what I wanted. As long as the new convert understands the nature of the faith and boundaries of the Church defined only by communion, and there is only salvation within this Church, he is safe.

Best Regards and continue the good work.

Stavro
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« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2007, 01:23:31 PM »

Technically such a marriage should not have occured...I'd be interested to know where abouts this celebration took place...Are you sure the non-Orthodox person had not been baptised or at least anointed prior to the ceremony?

Forgive me but I would like to keep this from being anymore specific than it is.

I donot know if she was anointed (whatever that means). I know that she was not baptised nor confirmed in the holy universal church. That is a fact and a truth. The groom told me himself. Anointed or not this IS NOT Orthodox marriage in the Ethiopian Church.
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« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2007, 01:34:50 PM »

Stavro,

I'm glad you appreciate the referral.  I hope you have fun debating with the grown-ups.   Smiley  As you will be able to see, people down there have already started commenting on your Orthodoxinfo post.



Narrowpathplease,

As you can see, you will find many different opinions among the OO's with regard to our relationship with the EO's.  On one side of the spectrum you have the softies like me, who think we are all the same and that we should all be holding hands and singing campfire songs together.   Smiley   On the other side you see the hardliners like Stavro who are very concerned about guarding the faith and who are concerned that giving in too much will betray our Church's many martyrs.  Hardliners like Stavro are very necessary for the Church and I have always appreciated them, even if I like to take a softer stand.

As I said earlier, I think worrying about all this can be a red herring.  The vast majority of Orthodox (both EO and OO) have never worried about the Chalcedonian issues.  Orthodox life is about being one with Christ.  Just focus on God.  


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« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2007, 05:56:12 PM »

Salpy,

Quote
I'm glad you appreciate the referral.  I hope you have fun debating with the grown-ups.

I am content to discuss issues with kids for the moment.

Quote
As you can see, you will find many different opinions among the OO's with regard to our relationship with the EO's.  On one side of the spectrum you have the softies like me, who think we are all the same and that we should all be holding hands and singing campfire songs together.      On the other side you see the hardliners like Stavro who are very concerned about guarding the faith and who are concerned that giving in too much will betray our Church's many martyrs.  Hardliners like Stavro are very necessary for the Church and I have always appreciated them, even if I like to take a softer stand.

I do not believe the universal message of Christianity should be subjected to any cultural, social, religious background, racial and political differences. It should not be even subjected to each person's understanding and personal differences/preferences. If we give in to such views that divides the believers in "softies" and "hardliners", then we have indeed admitted that Christianity is not the revealed Truth but rather and ideology or stream , say like Socialism, that incorporates many opinions and accepts them all.

Not when it comes to salvation. One of the two groups, the "softies" and "hardliners", is heretical and the other is Orthodox. One of them compromises the foundation of Orthodoxy and the other group keeps it unharmed.

One of the signs of the right way is its narrowness and going against the World for the sake of truth. With the false ecumenism that is dominating nowadays, it does not seem that "softies" have a lot to struggle against.
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In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

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« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2007, 08:20:46 PM »

We love you, Stavro.      Smiley
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« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2007, 01:23:27 AM »

Quote
We love you, Stavro.

Ohhhh ... Kiss ... We love you too, Salpy. It is just business ....  Wink
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In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)
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« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2007, 02:08:20 AM »

Even the Indian church would not allow such a marriage to happen, both must be baptised into the Church.

But I guess, there are always some priests who call themselved open to the spirit, regardless of jurisdiction  Sad
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« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2007, 01:44:20 PM »

Thanks everyone who's posted in this thread. There is too much for me to reply to every post, but I have read it all with interest. Salpy's first post really hit the nail on the head. That's my impression of the situation too, and why I can't honestly 'pledge allegiance' to either side. However according to several posts many members of the Churches don't either, and apparenty aren't excommunicated for it. Smiley I've since begun e-mailing the chaplains of the universities I am considering, and asked about the situation where they are. It's not looking promising so far. I still don't know of any OOs near them, or EOs near me, and the EOs do not offer the sacraments to those baptised OO. I will try to update this thread with news about the situation.
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« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2007, 02:20:29 PM »

I just found in this thread a new topic for the private discussion forum!  I split off a few posts to make a new thread there about whether current efforts for reunification are rooted in the pre-Arab invasion Church.

The thread can be found here:


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=12296.msg167149;topicseen#msg167149


Again, contact an administrator if you want into that forum.
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« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2007, 02:27:08 AM »

Thanks everyone who's posted in this thread. There is too much for me to reply to every post, but I have read it all with interest. Salpy's first post really hit the nail on the head. That's my impression of the situation too, and why I can't honestly 'pledge allegiance' to either side. However according to several posts many members of the Churches don't either, and apparenty aren't excommunicated for it. Smiley I've since begun e-mailing the chaplains of the universities I am considering, and asked about the situation where they are. It's not looking promising so far. I still don't know of any OOs near them, or EOs near me, and the EOs do not offer the sacraments to those baptised OO. I will try to update this thread with news about the situation.

Whereabouts are you (PM me if you don't want to state it publicly)? I can't help with OO, but I may well be able to find you an EO parish not far from you. It's not so easy as it appears to be for our American friends as there doesn't appear to be anything like their online parish locator for the UK, but quite often there will be a parish near you that you simply aren't aware of. I lived in one town for two years thinking the nearest Orthodox church was absolutely miles away only to find that there was another, but not so well known one, about 4 times as close.

James
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« Reply #34 on: August 05, 2007, 01:48:16 PM »

Thanks everyone who's posted in this thread. There is too much for me to reply to every post, but I have read it all with interest. Salpy's first post really hit the nail on the head. That's my impression of the situation too, and why I can't honestly 'pledge allegiance' to either side. However according to several posts many members of the Churches don't either, and apparenty aren't excommunicated for it. Smiley I've since begun e-mailing the chaplains of the universities I am considering, and asked about the situation where they are. It's not looking promising so far. I still don't know of any OOs near them, or EOs near me, and the EOs do not offer the sacraments to those baptised OO. I will try to update this thread with news about the situation.

Many Coptic priests will give communion to Eastern Orthodox without asking them to convert.  This is not officially allowed, but it is very common, and given silent approval from the bishops.  If you talk to the priest ahead of time and ask them about it, they may well just accept you.  In that case if you later moved somewhere with an EO parish you could just go back if you wanted.  Maybe the priest would tell you you have to confess first, maybe they wouldn't, it depends on their opinion of the matter.

There is an agreement between the Coptic church and Greek church in Egypt, they can intermarry.  Basically they have to pick one church or the other to marry and raise their family in, but it's not seen as wrong or apostasy by either side.

You wouldn't have to pledge allegiance to the Coptic church to have communion there.  We're both Orthodox (from the Coptic point of view).  There have been plenty of joint agreements between the two churches stating that we're not monophisites.  (very simply) We talk about one nature after the hypostatic union, and EO's talk about two natures before the hypostatic union.  There have been joint declarations of faith written that are acceptable to both sides.  We believe the same thing.  So if you can accept we're not heretics, and if your local Coptic/British priest is ok with it, you can just come have communion.  If the local priest does ask you to be chrismated first (which I doubt, but some have their own ideas), then you'll have more to think about.

Here's a British Orthodox website with lots of information about unity, joint declarations, etc.: http://www.orthodoxunity.org/index.html
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« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2007, 03:21:38 PM »

We can always count on our Stavro to give us new and interesting topics for the private forum.   Smiley  The latest one is called "Swine and dogs" and can be found here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12442.new.html#new

Thank you Stavro!
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« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2007, 01:06:31 AM »

You are more than welcome, Salpy. I am happy to make you sweat a little for the money .....  Smiley
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