Author Topic: Heretics?  (Read 1410 times)

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Offline Victoria

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Heretics?
« on: December 03, 2010, 05:49:57 PM »
i'm a recent inquirer into Orthodox Faith(i was attending Evangelical church previously). I attended liturgy several times and read lot of materials reg OC and convinced that it is one true church. I was recently told however by member of OC that any other faith(RC, Evangelical, Lutherans, Methodists, etc) would be considered heretics since their teachings are quite different from OC. Would that be an accurate statement?
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Offline Aindriú

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2010, 06:03:05 PM »
You are probably naturally repulsed by that word as a Protestant, as Protestants are opposed to Catholic teaching, and it is common for "Catholic" words to be demonized. Also, in post-modern/secular Protestantism, there are no heresies, because heresy means there is a definate truth. In secular Protestantism, there is no ultimate truth, and everyone is correct... except the Catholics.

Therefore,

What is a heresy to you?

What is the actual definition of a heresy?

What is objectionable about this to you?

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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2010, 06:09:46 PM »
i'm a recent inquirer into Orthodox Faith(i was attending Evangelical church previously). I attended liturgy several times and read lot of materials reg OC and convinced that it is one true church. I was recently told however by member of OC that any other faith(RC, Evangelical, Lutherans, Methodists, etc) would be considered heretics since their teachings are quite different from OC. Would that be an accurate statement?

I think we have to distinguish between doctrines and people. It would be unfair and unhelpful to label as "heretic" everyone who happened to be a Methodist, Lutheran, etc., though the teaching of their Churches is heretical. Generally the term "heretics" is applied to people who consciously promulgate heretical doctrine, especially in opposition to Orthodoxy. Here is what Metropolitan Philaret, of ROCOR, said on the matter:

"The Holy Orthodox Church is the repository of the divinely revealed Truth in all its fullness and fidelity to apostolic Tradition. Hence, he who leaves the Church, who intentionally and consciously falls away from it, joins the ranks of its opponents and becomes a renegade as regards apostolic Tradition. The Church dreadfully anathematized such renegades, in accordance with the words of the Saviour Himself (Matt. 18:17) and of the Apostle Paul (Gal. 1:8-9), threatening them with e ternal damnation and calling them to return to the Orthodox fold. It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth...* They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation In His own way."

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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2010, 06:11:12 PM »
To me, as I see it from the writings of Blessed Metropolitan Philaret of New York, a person who professes beliefs different from Orthodoxy is a heterodox. He is just honestly following what he has been taught. A heretic, however, seems to me to be someone who preaches something against the truth, who is blinded by pride and will not listen to reason, nor let others alone who confess the truth. A heretic can be heterodox, or may have been Orthodox at one time. An apostate is someone who leaves Orthodoxy for another faith. The terms are not, in and of themselves, pejorative, but can certainly be employed in such a way.
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Offline Victoria

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2010, 06:38:54 PM »
You are probably naturally repulsed by that word as a Protestant, as Protestants are opposed to Catholic teaching, and it is common for "Catholic" words to be demonized. Also, in post-modern/secular Protestantism, there are no heresies, because heresy means there is a definate truth. In secular Protestantism, there is no ultimate truth, and everyone is correct... except the Catholics.

Therefore,

What is a heresy to you?

What is the actual definition of a heresy?

What is objectionable about this to you?
To make things clear-I’ve been attending Evangelical church for the last 5 years(mainly due to my husband, at the time I wasn’t religious at all) however from the very beginning  I had issues with their teachings because frankly, some of them made no sense whatsoever. It was during this past year, I was so dissatisfied by their practices that I started seeking the truth which in first lead me to a Roman Catholic Church. I read quite a few works by Catholic apologetics and will be forever grateful for the knowledge I’ve received from that. So to say that I have(or had) anything against Roman Catholics is not accurate at all . There are plenty of people in my church that demonized Roman Catholic Church(I was never once of them, I always tried to defend RC) so I have a feeling you had an experience with some of these individuals.
However, I was ultimately drawn to OC, in part because I’m from Russia and that’s what felt more like home to me. Once I started reading history of OC, I felt like I was finally with like minded people.
As for the word “heresy”, it doesn’t disturb me, I was simply wanting to clarify whether that was in fact, the official position of OC. I guess, I always thought that heresy meant  moving away from the teachings of true church

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Offline Aindriú

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2010, 07:01:34 PM »
You are probably naturally repulsed by that word as a Protestant, as Protestants are opposed to Catholic teaching, and it is common for "Catholic" words to be demonized. Also, in post-modern/secular Protestantism, there are no heresies, because heresy means there is a definate truth. In secular Protestantism, there is no ultimate truth, and everyone is correct... except the Catholics.

Therefore,

What is a heresy to you?

What is the actual definition of a heresy?

What is objectionable about this to you?
To make things clear-I’ve been attending Evangelical church for the last 5 years(mainly due to my husband, at the time I wasn’t religious at all) however from the very beginning  I had issues with their teachings because frankly, some of them made no sense whatsoever. It was during this past year, I was so dissatisfied by their practices that I started seeking the truth which in first lead me to a Roman Catholic Church. I read quite a few works by Catholic apologetics and will be forever grateful for the knowledge I’ve received from that. So to say that I have(or had) anything against Roman Catholics is not accurate at all . There are plenty of people in my church that demonized Roman Catholic Church(I was never once of them, I always tried to defend RC) so I have a feeling you had an experience with some of these individuals.
However, I was ultimately drawn to OC, in part because I’m from Russia and that’s what felt more like home to me. Once I started reading history of OC, I felt like I was finally with like minded people.
As for the word “heresy”, it doesn’t disturb me, I was simply wanting to clarify whether that was in fact, the official position of OC. I guess, I always thought that heresy meant  moving away from the teachings of true church

It appeared that you were "disturbed" by the word, and tried to show where that would have come from. Not to imply you do or do not personally hold these grudges, since people ofter develop opinions from those that surround them.

Unfortunately, I misunderstood what the problem was.

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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2010, 07:02:20 PM »
To me, as I see it from the writings of Blessed Metropolitan Philaret of New York, a person who professes beliefs different from Orthodoxy is a heterodox. He is just honestly following what he has been taught. A heretic, however, seems to me to be someone who preaches something against the truth, who is blinded by pride and will not listen to reason, nor let others alone who confess the truth. A heretic can be heterodox, or may have been Orthodox at one time. An apostate is someone who leaves Orthodoxy for another faith. The terms are not, in and of themselves, pejorative, but can certainly be employed in such a way.

Agree 100%. Historically, the term "heresy" meant simply "a choice" or "a separate opinion," and it was not necessarily used in a negative way; St. Paul even encourages people to have these  "heresies" (Greek ""αἱρέσεις," "eresis") or separate opinions" "so that those who are approved may be recognized among you" (δεῖ γὰρ καὶ αἱρέσεις ἐν ὑμῖν εἶναι, ἵνα οἱ δόκιμοι φανεροὶ γένωνται ἐν ὑμῖν) (1 Cor. 11:19). But now, when the Church has Her dogmatics that passed the Seven Ecumenical Councils, someone who stubbornly preaches something that is blatantly against these teachings of the Church is a "heretic" in a negative sense. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses or Oneness Pentecostals, who reject the full divinity of Christ and/or the Trinity, are definitely heretics. Monophysites who reject the full humanity of Christ are also, clearly, heretics.

As for Protestants, I, too, think that it would not be fair to label them all "heretics" because they may hold very different beliefs. For example, C.S. Lewis was an Episcopalian (still a Protestant denomination, although many Episcopalians would not agree), but I don't think there are any heresies in his books like "Mere Christianity."
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 07:29:02 PM by Heorhij »
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Offline Father Peter

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2010, 07:05:55 PM »
Hang on, Heorhij.

I do not reject the full humanity of Christ? Nor does any Oriental Orthodox.

Why then would you say that this is so? To deny the full humanity of Christ has always been rejected by our Orthodox communion. I don't mind being offended, but I do mind being told that I believe something I consider blasphemy and gross heresy.

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Offline Aindriú

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2010, 07:18:41 PM »
Hang on, Heorhij.

I do not reject the full humanity of Christ? Nor does any Oriental Orthodox.

Why then would you say that this is so? To deny the full humanity of Christ has always been rejected by our Orthodox communion. I don't mind being offended, but I do mind being told that I believe something I consider blasphemy and gross heresy.

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Offline Father Peter

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 07:25:49 PM »
Heorhij has accused all Oriental Orthodox of being monophysites and not confessing the humanity of Christ.

I am in communion with the Syrian Orthodox or Jacobite Church. They are part of our Orthodox communion.

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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 07:26:01 PM »
Hang on, Heorhij.

I do not reject the full humanity of Christ? Nor does any Oriental Orthodox.

Why then would you say that this is so? To deny the full humanity of Christ has always been rejected by our Orthodox communion. I don't mind being offended, but I do mind being told that I believe something I consider blasphemy and gross heresy.

Father Peter

Father, I certainly did not mean the Oriental Orthodox! I meant MONOphysites, not MIAphysites. Sorry for the confusion.
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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2010, 07:27:41 PM »
Heorhij has accused all Oriental Orthodox of being monophysites and not confessing the humanity of Christ.

I am in communion with the Syrian Orthodox or Jacobite Church. They are part of our Orthodox communion.

Father Peter

Father, again, my apologies! I removed the reference to Jacobites from my post. Left simply Monophysites.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 07:27:58 PM by Heorhij »
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Offline Father Peter

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2010, 07:28:07 PM »
No problem. Peace be with us.
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Offline PoorFoolNicholas

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2010, 08:17:43 PM »
Could we say that any "church" that is aware of Orthodoxy, and does not convert, deserves the term "heretic"?

Offline Dnarmist

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2010, 09:32:44 PM »
Could we say that any "church" that is aware of Orthodoxy, and does not convert, deserves the term "heretic"?

Sounds somewhat acceptible, now if they are aware of Orthodoxy that also depends upon how they became aware of it (either positively or negatively)

Offline Shiny

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2010, 12:43:50 AM »
Mormons are heretics.
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Offline PoorFoolNicholas

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2010, 01:35:36 AM »
Could we say that any "church" that is aware of Orthodoxy, and does not convert, deserves the term "heretic"?

Sounds somewhat acceptible, now if they are aware of Orthodoxy that also depends upon how they became aware of it (either positively or negatively)
I will agree that it does depend how one is made aware of Orthodoxy, but this seems lacking. Heretics set up rival "churches" and teach and proclaim rival "doctrines". Now I don't know how many people will agree with my definition, but it seems from this viewpoint it becomes less important whether Orthodox awareness is positive or negative.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2010, 03:55:46 PM »
Could we say that any "church" that is aware of Orthodoxy, and does not convert, deserves the term "heretic"?

I see it as more about individuals than groups. There are even people who are (still) members of the Orthodox Church who believe heretical things and teach them to others. Some of them are confused, some have been mistaught, some have slipped through the cracks, and some have a malicious agenda. So, in determining what "category" a person fits into--if that's ever needed to be done (and I don't really see the necessity since, for purposes of prayer, we only have two categories--Orthodox and non-Orthodox)--I think it's more accurate to look at the person's understanding and actions, rather than at whatever group that person happens to belong to.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2010, 02:45:57 AM »
i'm a recent inquirer into Orthodox Faith(i was attending Evangelical church previously). I attended liturgy several times and read lot of materials reg OC and convinced that it is one true church. I was recently told however by member of OC that any other faith(RC, Evangelical, Lutherans, Methodists, etc) would be considered heretics since their teachings are quite different from OC. Would that be an accurate statement?

Heresy is a very technical term that, strictly speaking, does not apply as broadly as people like to use it.

The term heterodox, however, would apply.

Since I can't answer your question with a clear yes or no, it would be helpful if you could elaborate on what the concern of your question is.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2010, 02:48:03 AM »
As for the word “heresy”, it doesn’t disturb me, I was simply wanting to clarify whether that was in fact, the official position of OC. I guess, I always thought that heresy meant  moving away from the teachings of true church

If that is what you mean by it, then yes, all of these groups have to varying degrees moved away from the teachings of the Church of Christ.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Heretics?
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2010, 02:49:32 AM »
Monophysites who reject the full humanity of Christ are also, clearly, heretics.

Who exactly do you have in mind?

It is very rare that I encounter anyone who denies the full humanity of Jesus.
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