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Author Topic: Catholicism, legalism, and orthodoxy  (Read 1869 times) Average Rating: 0
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Nero
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« on: November 28, 2010, 11:18:54 PM »

Hi all,

I'm a Roman Catholic convert (born into protestantism, converted as a teenager) who is looking at Eastern Orthodoxy. I have a question about my own faith that I wanted to address to converts. In Roman Catholicism, I usually get caught up in following the rules (do this, don't do this, do this before this, etc). Catholicism seems to loan itself to that legalism in some ways - examination of consciences, lists of venial and mortal sins, canon law, canon lawyers, etc. This side of the religion can be good to have a clear-cut answer of what is moral and immoral (something which the thousands of protestant denominations can't agree on). On the other side of the coin, focusing on always following the law can cause you to forget who created it (something the Pharisees learned, and now I am as well).

I was wondering how Orthodoxy and Catholic converts to the east felt about this subject. Did you all have similar experiences? What is Orthodoxy's stance on sin, legalism, and the like?
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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 11:51:07 PM »

We have canon law as well. How it is implemented and the way in which it is approached varies between church leaders and individual believers, just as in Roman Catholicism.
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Ionnis
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2010, 12:01:01 AM »

Orthodoxy officially rejects religious legalism, but in practice, it is quite common, IMO.  Then again, I've noticed that converts in general, whether they be Roman or Orthodox, tend to be more legalistic than their counterparts who were raised in the Faith.  Every time I hear a rebuke to the Sadducee's and Pharisees in the Scriptures, I'm usually "cut to the heart", as they say.  It is a constant temptation for me.  I think you are going to find legalism and other perversions of the religion wherever you go, it is part and parcel of our spiritual corruption.  That being said, I'm not trying to dissuade you from persuing the Orthodox Faith.  In it you will find Truth in its fullness!

« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 12:12:26 AM by Ionnis » Logged

"If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find Him in the chalice.”  -The Divine John Chrysostom

“Till we can become divine, we must be content to be human, lest in our hurry for change we sink to something lower.” -Anthony Trollope
Thomas
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2010, 12:36:59 AM »

I have found that Converts generally  strive to become the true  practitioner of the faith, rules assist them to integrate into the Church thus they become more legalistic as they follow them strictly. The best solution to this is a very stable and knowlegable godparent/sponsor to guide them in praxis rather than just reading about praxis and overdoing it. I know I LEARNED THE HARD WAY!!!

Thomas
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2010, 01:00:08 AM »

I know I LEARNED THE HARD WAY!!!

Ditto, except I keep forgetting, so I guess I'd say I'm still learning.   Undecided
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"If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find Him in the chalice.”  -The Divine John Chrysostom

“Till we can become divine, we must be content to be human, lest in our hurry for change we sink to something lower.” -Anthony Trollope
Nero
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2010, 11:41:43 PM »

Thanks all. It's probably just me - I tend to be legalistic sometimes Wink Thank you for the responses!
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podkarpatska
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2010, 09:05:50 AM »

Like all things in life, religion offers much for us to learn from each other. The 'legalistic' zeal of many converts and the 'comfortable' piety of many non-converts can create a positive synergy within a parish if each opens their heart and mind to the other. But - if either the heart or mind is closed or hardened - trouble will likely follow.
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