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Author Topic: If you are not OC, are you really Christian?  (Read 4560 times) Average Rating: 0
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HabteSelassie
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« Reply #45 on: December 26, 2010, 06:34:08 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Only God can judge.

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« Reply #46 on: December 26, 2010, 06:43:59 PM »

The teaching of the Orthodox Church on the incarnation and the trinity is clear, and so I think it is foolish to say that there is no consensus among Eastern Orthodox Christians.

The teaching is clear, but it is not "official". When there is a matter of controversy among Orthodox about what they believe, there is no authority that can define what the final Orthodox opinion is, and so none of their views becomes the "official" view. I did not mean to imply that there is no such thing as Orthodox doctrine.
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« Reply #47 on: December 26, 2010, 07:47:54 PM »


On a practical note, only those whose attempts at baptism we can receive by economy can be called, by economy, Christian.

So I'm a Christian in some Orthodox jurisdictions and a heathen in others?

No. A "heathen" is someone who does not believe in the God of Abraham.   
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« Reply #48 on: December 26, 2010, 11:28:18 PM »

Whenever this question comes up, there are always some who can be counted on to give cruel and self-aggrandizing answers. I am even willing to call the Mormons Christians, though I will call them heretics in the next breath because what they believe about Jesus is plainly wrong. The word "Christian", at least in English, has a perfectly clear meaning, and those of us English Christians are quite willing to allow the Orthodox to go on using the term to describe themselves.
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« Reply #49 on: December 26, 2010, 11:32:11 PM »

Whenever this question comes up, there are always some who can be counted on to give cruel and self-aggrandizing answers. I am even willing to call the Mormons Christians, though I will call them heretics in the next breath because what they believe about Jesus is plainly wrong. The word "Christian", at least in English, has a perfectly clear meaning, and those of us English Christians are quite willing to allow the Orthodox to go on using the term to describe themselves.

I don't see how the Mormons are possibly Christians, they don't even believe in the same God as us. If they are Christians, then so are Muslims and Jews...
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« Reply #50 on: December 27, 2010, 01:56:59 AM »

Well, some people here say that I (as a Catholic) don't believe in the same God.

Maybe we should keep in mind that there is, after all only one God, and NONE of us knows Him perfectly.
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« Reply #51 on: December 27, 2010, 02:33:20 AM »

Maybe we should keep in mind that there is, after all only one God, and NONE of us knows Him perfectly.

Sure none of us know Him perfectly, but we should make the attempts to be as close to being accurate as we can.
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« Reply #52 on: December 27, 2010, 02:37:38 AM »

Whenever this question comes up, there are always some who can be counted on to give cruel and self-aggrandizing answers. I am even willing to call the Mormons Christians, though I will call them heretics in the next breath because what they believe about Jesus is plainly wrong. The word "Christian", at least in English, has a perfectly clear meaning, and those of us English Christians are quite willing to allow the Orthodox to go on using the term to describe themselves.

I don't see how the Mormons are possibly Christians, they don't even believe in the same God as us. If they are Christians, then so are Muslims and Jews...

Mark 21-23 21 And then if any one says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or'Look, there he is!' do not believe it. 22 False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But take heed; I have told you all things beforehand.

You are right they are not, we are just worshipping "one spirit child".
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« Reply #53 on: December 27, 2010, 03:36:49 AM »

Whenever this question comes up, there are always some who can be counted on to give cruel and self-aggrandizing answers.
Why, whatever do you mean?


 The word "Christian", at least in English, has a perfectly clear meaning, and those of us English Christians are quite willing to allow the Orthodox to go on using the term to describe themselves.
Ah, I see now.  Well thanks, sport.  So gracious of you rebel children.  Wink
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« Reply #54 on: December 27, 2010, 04:02:07 AM »

Whenever this question comes up, there are always some who can be counted on to give cruel and self-aggrandizing answers. I am even willing to call the Mormons Christians, though I will call them heretics in the next breath because what they believe about Jesus is plainly wrong. The word "Christian", at least in English, has a perfectly clear meaning, and those of us English Christians are quite willing to allow the Orthodox to go on using the term to describe themselves.

I don't see how the Mormons are possibly Christians, they don't even believe in the same God as us. If they are Christians, then so are Muslims and Jews...
Did you not read Keble's post far enough to see that he also calls Mormons heretics?
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« Reply #55 on: December 27, 2010, 12:59:43 PM »

Well, some people here say that I (as a Catholic) don't believe in the same God.

Maybe we should keep in mind that there is, after all only one God, and NONE of us knows Him perfectly.

Yes I agree.

I've never understood the actual 'logic' that one "there is only one God" is different to another "there is only one God".

To be honest, I've only seen this faulty logic come from American Christians. Is it some sort of cultural thing? Political? I don't know.
Then again I know more American Christians online than I do Australian ones full stop.
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« Reply #56 on: December 27, 2010, 01:13:09 PM »

Hi David - yes, I see it in a lot of the more paranoid fundamentalist literature (end times novels, etc.) - the idea that good people think they're worshipping the true God but find out (at the Rapture, or death) that they were really worshipping Satan in disguise.  (This especially happens to Catholics who pray to Mary - they're really worshipping her, you know. Wink )
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« Reply #57 on: December 27, 2010, 02:36:02 PM »

Whenever this question comes up, there are always some who can be counted on to give cruel and self-aggrandizing answers. I am even willing to call the Mormons Christians, though I will call them heretics in the next breath because what they believe about Jesus is plainly wrong. The word "Christian", at least in English, has a perfectly clear meaning, and those of us English Christians are quite willing to allow the Orthodox to go on using the term to describe themselves.

I don't see how the Mormons are possibly Christians, they don't even believe in the same God as us. If they are Christians, then so are Muslims and Jews...
Did you not read Keble's post far enough to see that he also calls Mormons heretics?

There is a difference between being a heretic and a non-Christian. One could argue that Protestants and Roman Catholics are heretics, yet they are Christians. Mormons are simply not Christians.

Christian does not equal a belief in Christ, otherwise, as I said, Muslims and Jews would be Christians. (Heck you could even call the demons Christians)

Christian = Nicene Christianity

Also, there is only one God, and that is our God. Our God is not the same as the Mormon God, and it's not the same as the Muslim God, and it's not the same as the Jewish God. (the modern Jews are Jews only by name and ethnicity, they don't worship the same God as OT Jews and Hebrews)

Calling someone a non-Christian isn't judging them, because we aren't making a judgement about their salvation. You can judge someones belief and behavior, but you cannot judge their salvation.
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« Reply #58 on: December 27, 2010, 02:43:49 PM »

Whenever this question comes up, there are always some who can be counted on to give cruel and self-aggrandizing answers. I am even willing to call the Mormons Christians, though I will call them heretics in the next breath because what they believe about Jesus is plainly wrong. The word "Christian", at least in English, has a perfectly clear meaning, and those of us English Christians are quite willing to allow the Orthodox to go on using the term to describe themselves.

I don't see how the Mormons are possibly Christians, they don't even believe in the same God as us. If they are Christians, then so are Muslims and Jews...
Did you not read Keble's post far enough to see that he also calls Mormons heretics?

There is a difference between being a heretic and a non-Christian. One could argue that Protestants and Roman Catholics are heretics, yet they are Christians. Mormons are simply not Christians.

Christian does not equal a belief in Christ, otherwise, as I said, Muslims and Jews would be Christians. (Heck you could even call the demons Christians)

Christian = Nicene Christianity
Then it seems that the foundation of your argument with Keble is a disagreement over how to define the term "Christian". The question of who rates this title and who doesn't is merely a manifestation of this fundamental disagreement over semantics.
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« Reply #59 on: December 27, 2010, 02:47:10 PM »

Whenever this question comes up, there are always some who can be counted on to give cruel and self-aggrandizing answers. I am even willing to call the Mormons Christians, though I will call them heretics in the next breath because what they believe about Jesus is plainly wrong. The word "Christian", at least in English, has a perfectly clear meaning, and those of us English Christians are quite willing to allow the Orthodox to go on using the term to describe themselves.

I don't see how the Mormons are possibly Christians, they don't even believe in the same God as us. If they are Christians, then so are Muslims and Jews...

But that is not how being a Christian is defined: a Christian is a follower of Christ, and the Jews absolutely aren't, and the Muslims effectively aren't (they pay Him some lip service as a prophet, but that's about it). The Mormons are heretics of an extreme variety, to be sure; and I said I was "willing" to call them Christians, not that I was happy to do so. I'm not going to make a big deal out of it if you cannot so include them.

My dogma on the usage of words is that they are to be used in general to mean what people mean by them in general. When push comes to shove I am inclined to qualify "Christian" so that I may refer to a "Nicene Christian" for those who accept the Creed (ignoring the filioque), and so forth. But I hold that the attempt to simply define people out of acceptability is dishonest and not worth of Jesus' followers. If by "Christian" you can only mean "those who follow Jesus as my party does", then you are not Christian, if you do not follow Jesus as my party does. You are certainly welcome to make distinctions between those who are following rightly and those who do so in error, and I think it is even more fruitful to make distinctions as to the degree and nature of the errors.
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« Reply #60 on: December 27, 2010, 03:02:47 PM »

Also, there is only one God, and that is our God. Our God is not the same as the Mormon God, and it's not the same as the Muslim God, and it's not the same as the Jewish God. (the modern Jews are Jews only by name and ethnicity, they don't worship the same God as OT Jews and Hebrews)

You have stepping into philosophically insupportable territory in making this claim. How can what we say about the god to whom we pray possibly affect who that God is? As the OT makes abundantly clear, it is up to God to choose those to whom He listens.

What the Mormons say about God is so utterly incompatible with what we say about Him that it impedes pretty much anything we could do together or hold in discourse. With the Muslims, even more so. But Jesus does hold a central place in Mormon theology so that I can talk about Jesus with them and have some commonality of language, whereas Jesus hardly figures in Islamic thought. With the Mormons I can call Jesus "Savior", and they will in some sense understand and agree (even though their idea of salvation is way off); with the Muslims I cannot. It is important in all of this that both groups add (false) revelation which largely supplants the Orthodox deposit of faith.

The Jews present the opposite side of the coin. Saying that modern Jews are praying to a different God is to my mind nonsensical. It leads one to either making weird (and apparently false) racial claims on the one side, and on the other side stating that for instance the various figures in the gospels are also worshipping the wrong god, when it's quite clear that Jesus is attacking them for worshipping Him wrongly.
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« Reply #61 on: December 27, 2010, 03:07:33 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

There is a fundamental dichotomy here.

In Orthodox we accept Sacramentality and the Real Presence.  For us, Jesus Christ tangibly comes to us in the form of the Divine Mysteries, God's economy and operations are direct, tangible, real, in our daily lives.  We are not waiting for God, if anything God is waiting for us!

Where as Protestants/Pentecostals/Baptists etc etc reject his openly, defiantly, and in fact call us all stupid, superstitious, and even dangerous devil worshipers! Talk about drawing a line in the sand!

Protestants are waiting for a pie-in-the-sky Jesus God to come one day, but Jesus Christ is always here with us, we do not need to wait.  Further, they almost feel at times they are completely on their own, where as we search constantly for God in our lives in Orthodox through fasting, prayer, holy days and liturgies.  This honestly why I converted, and all Protestants should.

We as Christians spent 1500 years unified behind the Sacraments, only in this relatively brief moment has there been division.  I say, that we can not define who are Christians and who are not, but we can define what practices are fully Christian and which are not, and any rejection of Sacramentality is thoroughly deprived Christianity.

stay blessed,
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« Reply #62 on: December 27, 2010, 03:41:06 PM »

Also, there is only one God, and that is our God. Our God is not the same as the Mormon God, and it's not the same as the Muslim God, and it's not the same as the Jewish God. (the modern Jews are Jews only by name and ethnicity, they don't worship the same God as OT Jews and Hebrews)

You have stepping into philosophically insupportable territory in making this claim. How can what we say about the god to whom we pray possibly affect who that God is? As the OT makes abundantly clear, it is up to God to choose those to whom He listens.

What the Mormons say about God is so utterly incompatible with what we say about Him that it impedes pretty much anything we could do together or hold in discourse. With the Muslims, even more so. But Jesus does hold a central place in Mormon theology so that I can talk about Jesus with them and have some commonality of language, whereas Jesus hardly figures in Islamic thought. With the Mormons I can call Jesus "Savior", and they will in some sense understand and agree (even though their idea of salvation is way off); with the Muslims I cannot. It is important in all of this that both groups add (false) revelation which largely supplants the Orthodox deposit of faith.

The Jews present the opposite side of the coin. Saying that modern Jews are praying to a different God is to my mind nonsensical. It leads one to either making weird (and apparently false) racial claims on the one side, and on the other side stating that for instance the various figures in the gospels are also worshipping the wrong god, when it's quite clear that Jesus is attacking them for worshipping Him wrongly.


I'm sorry, but there is a definite reason that I reject the Protestant definition of Christian. We are the Early Christians, and we are the Early Church, no offense intended, and I'm not meaning to boast or use my "Orthodoxy" (though I'm a poor Orthodox Christian) to argue, but I'm going to say that the members of our Church were the first ones to be called Christians, and so we should let the Church tell us what being a Christian is and what it is not.

It is also blasphemous to say that the Muslims, Mormons and Jews all worship the same God as we do. That is simply NOT true. You absolutely must worship the same God as Christianity. To argue that doctrine, dogmatics, theology, etc... doesn't matter is wrong and that is something I'm not going to sit here and stand for.

I just spent the whole semester taking a class learning about different views of Christ within "Christianity", and I'm going to tell you that there are some brands of "Christianity" that are not Christian at all. To refuse to call Christ God, or to refuse to accept the Holy Trinity is to mean that you are rejecting the essence of Christianity itself.
We were taught in-class that there are some "Christians" who don't believe that any miracles occurred and that all the "miracles", even those by Christ were just metaphors. There are also some "Christians" that don't believe that Christ was a God, and was just a really "holy" man, that is, a moral teacher. There are also some "Christians" that reject 95% of the New Testament, arguing it was all written by the Church, and didn't come from the mouth of Christ himself. I'm sorry, but these beliefs are not Christian.

Doctrine, Dogmatics, Theology, Orthodoxy, Orthopraxis, Faith, Works, it's all a part of being a Christian. To be a Christian doesn't mean you are "good" at it, in fact most of us are very poor at being Christians. But you must affirm not just a belief in Christ, but you must affirm that Christ is God, you must affirm the Holy Trinity. Essentially, you must accept that which is defined in the Nicene Creed, because this is the faith of the Apostles, this is the faith of the Earliest Christians. To be a Christian is much, much more than just a "belief" or "acceptance" of Jesus Christ. This is something that I'm going to have to say should be absolutely rejected by modern Christianity, and is a very unfortunate belief that modern Protestantism has brought to the table.

To illustrate my point, here is a hypothetical situation:

Say I believe in Jesus Christ, and accept him as my Lord and Savior. Yet I also believe that this Jesus Christ is not God himself, but rather a lesser deity. I also believe that he really didn't die on the cross, but that was simply an illusion put forth by Jesus so that people would think he had died, when in reality, he ascended into "heaven" and rules over our world. However, what he did for us, is showed us that every one of us can become deities ourselves. I believe that as long as we live good, moral lives according to how Jesus lived his, then we will attain this godhood. I also believe that there is no Holy Trinity, but rather that the Father is a Force-like entity, and that Jesus was born through this entity. Not only that, but I also believe that the Holy Spirit is the use of this entity, and that through the use of the entity, and your connection with it, that you attain the godlike status that Christ attained. So essentially, if we live moral, "Christ-like" lives, and if we "connect" to this entity (through prayer, good works, etc...) then we are saved from our mortality and our imperfectness (what some call sin) by becoming deities.

Now tell me, is this belief Christian? I'm going to argue that it is not Christian. Just believing in Jesus Christ as your savior, etc... is not the criteria for being a Christian. Nor is just being "Christ-like" because even the non-Christians can be Christ-like.

The Christian faith consists of many aspects, Orthodoxy, Orthopraxis, Dogmatics, Doctrine, Works, Faith etc... We aren't perfect Christians, but that doesn't mean that you can through the baby out with the bathwater and just toss out everything that Christianity stands for just so you can be "tolerant" and "accepting" of any group that wants to call themselves Christian.

I'm not going to stand for this. As much as I love my Protestant brethren, this belief, that to be a Christian is simply to "accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior" is nothing but utter bull.

Keep in mind, that I live in an area that is extremely important to Mormons, and I've had many friends that are Mormons. I love them dearly. But I'm not going to refer to them as Christians, because I know what they believe, and although they believe in Jesus Christ, it isn't the same Jesus Christ that Christians worship.

If I sound passionate about this, that is because I am. I'm not suggesting I'm a better Christian than some, I know I'm not. But I am absolutely going to stand against this tendency to try and "blur" the lines between what is being a Christian and what isn't. It is very black and white.

Again, I'm not saying that being a non-Christian condemns you. God saves who he wills to save. Even if Ghandi is saved, that does not mean that his belief system was okay, or that it's okay to be Hindu. Nor does that mean he was a Christian in his earthly life. Christianity does not give you an automatic key to heaven. Being a non-Christian doesn't automatically exclude you.
But we do know that Christianity is the complete truth, and is the correct way to attaining communion with God. We have to stand for Christianity and although we need to be tolerant of other faiths and although we need to be respectful. We need to stand strong against anything that tries to blur the lines and suggest that Christian is a vague term, and we need to stand strong against anything that tries to reduce the Christian faith to just a couple qualifications in order to avoid offending some groups.

Lastly, I'm going to reiterate that I love my Protestant brethren, as well as my Roman Catholic brethren, but I'm going to absolutely stand against anything that tries to blur the lines of Christianity. I love Mormons, Jews and Muslims. But I do stand against Mormonism, Judaism and Islam. (and any other non-Christian faith) There is no way I'm ever going to regard any of these groups as worshiping the same God as I. That is simply just blasphemy and I would argue, is in fact the bad, heretical type of Ecumenism that we need to avoid at all costs.
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« Reply #63 on: December 27, 2010, 05:17:11 PM »

Also, there is only one God, and that is our God. Our God is not the same as the Mormon God, and it's not the same as the Muslim God, and it's not the same as the Jewish God. (the modern Jews are Jews only by name and ethnicity, they don't worship the same God as OT Jews and Hebrews)

You have stepping into philosophically insupportable territory in making this claim. How can what we say about the god to whom we pray possibly affect who that God is? As the OT makes abundantly clear, it is up to God to choose those to whom He listens.

What the Mormons say about God is so utterly incompatible with what we say about Him that it impedes pretty much anything we could do together or hold in discourse. With the Muslims, even more so. But Jesus does hold a central place in Mormon theology so that I can talk about Jesus with them and have some commonality of language, whereas Jesus hardly figures in Islamic thought. With the Mormons I can call Jesus "Savior", and they will in some sense understand and agree (even though their idea of salvation is way off); with the Muslims I cannot. It is important in all of this that both groups add (false) revelation which largely supplants the Orthodox deposit of faith.

The Jews present the opposite side of the coin. Saying that modern Jews are praying to a different God is to my mind nonsensical. It leads one to either making weird (and apparently false) racial claims on the one side, and on the other side stating that for instance the various figures in the gospels are also worshipping the wrong god, when it's quite clear that Jesus is attacking them for worshipping Him wrongly.


I'm sorry, but there is a definite reason that I reject the Protestant definition of Christian. We are the Early Christians, and we are the Early Church, no offense intended, and I'm not meaning to boast or use my "Orthodoxy" (though I'm a poor Orthodox Christian) to argue, but I'm going to say that the members of our Church were the first ones to be called Christians, and so we should let the Church tell us what being a Christian is and what it is not.

It is also blasphemous to say that the Muslims, Mormons and Jews all worship the same God as we do. That is simply NOT true. You absolutely must worship the same God as Christianity. To argue that doctrine, dogmatics, theology, etc... doesn't matter is wrong and that is something I'm not going to sit here and stand for.

I just spent the whole semester taking a class learning about different views of Christ within "Christianity", and I'm going to tell you that there are some brands of "Christianity" that are not Christian at all. To refuse to call Christ God, or to refuse to accept the Holy Trinity is to mean that you are rejecting the essence of Christianity itself.
We were taught in-class that there are some "Christians" who don't believe that any miracles occurred and that all the "miracles", even those by Christ were just metaphors. There are also some "Christians" that don't believe that Christ was a God, and was just a really "holy" man, that is, a moral teacher. There are also some "Christians" that reject 95% of the New Testament, arguing it was all written by the Church, and didn't come from the mouth of Christ himself. I'm sorry, but these beliefs are not Christian.

Doctrine, Dogmatics, Theology, Orthodoxy, Orthopraxis, Faith, Works, it's all a part of being a Christian. To be a Christian doesn't mean you are "good" at it, in fact most of us are very poor at being Christians. But you must affirm not just a belief in Christ, but you must affirm that Christ is God, you must affirm the Holy Trinity. Essentially, you must accept that which is defined in the Nicene Creed, because this is the faith of the Apostles, this is the faith of the Earliest Christians. To be a Christian is much, much more than just a "belief" or "acceptance" of Jesus Christ. This is something that I'm going to have to say should be absolutely rejected by modern Christianity, and is a very unfortunate belief that modern Protestantism has brought to the table.

To illustrate my point, here is a hypothetical situation:

Say I believe in Jesus Christ, and accept him as my Lord and Savior. Yet I also believe that this Jesus Christ is not God himself, but rather a lesser deity. I also believe that he really didn't die on the cross, but that was simply an illusion put forth by Jesus so that people would think he had died, when in reality, he ascended into "heaven" and rules over our world. However, what he did for us, is showed us that every one of us can become deities ourselves. I believe that as long as we live good, moral lives according to how Jesus lived his, then we will attain this godhood. I also believe that there is no Holy Trinity, but rather that the Father is a Force-like entity, and that Jesus was born through this entity. Not only that, but I also believe that the Holy Spirit is the use of this entity, and that through the use of the entity, and your connection with it, that you attain the godlike status that Christ attained. So essentially, if we live moral, "Christ-like" lives, and if we "connect" to this entity (through prayer, good works, etc...) then we are saved from our mortality and our imperfectness (what some call sin) by becoming deities.

Now tell me, is this belief Christian? I'm going to argue that it is not Christian. Just believing in Jesus Christ as your savior, etc... is not the criteria for being a Christian. Nor is just being "Christ-like" because even the non-Christians can be Christ-like.

The Christian faith consists of many aspects, Orthodoxy, Orthopraxis, Dogmatics, Doctrine, Works, Faith etc... We aren't perfect Christians, but that doesn't mean that you can through the baby out with the bathwater and just toss out everything that Christianity stands for just so you can be "tolerant" and "accepting" of any group that wants to call themselves Christian.

I'm not going to stand for this. As much as I love my Protestant brethren, this belief, that to be a Christian is simply to "accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior" is nothing but utter bull.

Keep in mind, that I live in an area that is extremely important to Mormons, and I've had many friends that are Mormons. I love them dearly. But I'm not going to refer to them as Christians, because I know what they believe, and although they believe in Jesus Christ, it isn't the same Jesus Christ that Christians worship.

If I sound passionate about this, that is because I am. I'm not suggesting I'm a better Christian than some, I know I'm not. But I am absolutely going to stand against this tendency to try and "blur" the lines between what is being a Christian and what isn't. It is very black and white.

Again, I'm not saying that being a non-Christian condemns you. God saves who he wills to save. Even if Ghandi is saved, that does not mean that his belief system was okay, or that it's okay to be Hindu. Nor does that mean he was a Christian in his earthly life. Christianity does not give you an automatic key to heaven. Being a non-Christian doesn't automatically exclude you.
But we do know that Christianity is the complete truth, and is the correct way to attaining communion with God. We have to stand for Christianity and although we need to be tolerant of other faiths and although we need to be respectful. We need to stand strong against anything that tries to blur the lines and suggest that Christian is a vague term, and we need to stand strong against anything that tries to reduce the Christian faith to just a couple qualifications in order to avoid offending some groups.

Lastly, I'm going to reiterate that I love my Protestant brethren, as well as my Roman Catholic brethren, but I'm going to absolutely stand against anything that tries to blur the lines of Christianity. I love Mormons, Jews and Muslims. But I do stand against Mormonism, Judaism and Islam. (and any other non-Christian faith) There is no way I'm ever going to regard any of these groups as worshiping the same God as I. That is simply just blasphemy and I would argue, is in fact the bad, heretical type of Ecumenism that we need to avoid at all costs.
Are you really responding to what Keble has argued, or are you battling a straw man interpretation of what he has said, a straw man interpretation built on generalizations and stereotypes of the Protestant position he seems to represent?
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« Reply #64 on: December 27, 2010, 05:23:29 PM »

Also, there is only one God, and that is our God. Our God is not the same as the Mormon God, and it's not the same as the Muslim God, and it's not the same as the Jewish God. (the modern Jews are Jews only by name and ethnicity, they don't worship the same God as OT Jews and Hebrews)

You have stepping into philosophically insupportable territory in making this claim. How can what we say about the god to whom we pray possibly affect who that God is? As the OT makes abundantly clear, it is up to God to choose those to whom He listens.

What the Mormons say about God is so utterly incompatible with what we say about Him that it impedes pretty much anything we could do together or hold in discourse. With the Muslims, even more so. But Jesus does hold a central place in Mormon theology so that I can talk about Jesus with them and have some commonality of language, whereas Jesus hardly figures in Islamic thought. With the Mormons I can call Jesus "Savior", and they will in some sense understand and agree (even though their idea of salvation is way off); with the Muslims I cannot. It is important in all of this that both groups add (false) revelation which largely supplants the Orthodox deposit of faith.

The Jews present the opposite side of the coin. Saying that modern Jews are praying to a different God is to my mind nonsensical. It leads one to either making weird (and apparently false) racial claims on the one side, and on the other side stating that for instance the various figures in the gospels are also worshipping the wrong god, when it's quite clear that Jesus is attacking them for worshipping Him wrongly.


I'm sorry, but there is a definite reason that I reject the Protestant definition of Christian. We are the Early Christians, and we are the Early Church, no offense intended, and I'm not meaning to boast or use my "Orthodoxy" (though I'm a poor Orthodox Christian) to argue, but I'm going to say that the members of our Church were the first ones to be called Christians, and so we should let the Church tell us what being a Christian is and what it is not.

It is also blasphemous to say that the Muslims, Mormons and Jews all worship the same God as we do. That is simply NOT true. You absolutely must worship the same God as Christianity. To argue that doctrine, dogmatics, theology, etc... doesn't matter is wrong and that is something I'm not going to sit here and stand for.

I just spent the whole semester taking a class learning about different views of Christ within "Christianity", and I'm going to tell you that there are some brands of "Christianity" that are not Christian at all. To refuse to call Christ God, or to refuse to accept the Holy Trinity is to mean that you are rejecting the essence of Christianity itself.
We were taught in-class that there are some "Christians" who don't believe that any miracles occurred and that all the "miracles", even those by Christ were just metaphors. There are also some "Christians" that don't believe that Christ was a God, and was just a really "holy" man, that is, a moral teacher. There are also some "Christians" that reject 95% of the New Testament, arguing it was all written by the Church, and didn't come from the mouth of Christ himself. I'm sorry, but these beliefs are not Christian.

Doctrine, Dogmatics, Theology, Orthodoxy, Orthopraxis, Faith, Works, it's all a part of being a Christian. To be a Christian doesn't mean you are "good" at it, in fact most of us are very poor at being Christians. But you must affirm not just a belief in Christ, but you must affirm that Christ is God, you must affirm the Holy Trinity. Essentially, you must accept that which is defined in the Nicene Creed, because this is the faith of the Apostles, this is the faith of the Earliest Christians. To be a Christian is much, much more than just a "belief" or "acceptance" of Jesus Christ. This is something that I'm going to have to say should be absolutely rejected by modern Christianity, and is a very unfortunate belief that modern Protestantism has brought to the table.

To illustrate my point, here is a hypothetical situation:

Say I believe in Jesus Christ, and accept him as my Lord and Savior. Yet I also believe that this Jesus Christ is not God himself, but rather a lesser deity. I also believe that he really didn't die on the cross, but that was simply an illusion put forth by Jesus so that people would think he had died, when in reality, he ascended into "heaven" and rules over our world. However, what he did for us, is showed us that every one of us can become deities ourselves. I believe that as long as we live good, moral lives according to how Jesus lived his, then we will attain this godhood. I also believe that there is no Holy Trinity, but rather that the Father is a Force-like entity, and that Jesus was born through this entity. Not only that, but I also believe that the Holy Spirit is the use of this entity, and that through the use of the entity, and your connection with it, that you attain the godlike status that Christ attained. So essentially, if we live moral, "Christ-like" lives, and if we "connect" to this entity (through prayer, good works, etc...) then we are saved from our mortality and our imperfectness (what some call sin) by becoming deities.

Now tell me, is this belief Christian? I'm going to argue that it is not Christian. Just believing in Jesus Christ as your savior, etc... is not the criteria for being a Christian. Nor is just being "Christ-like" because even the non-Christians can be Christ-like.

The Christian faith consists of many aspects, Orthodoxy, Orthopraxis, Dogmatics, Doctrine, Works, Faith etc... We aren't perfect Christians, but that doesn't mean that you can through the baby out with the bathwater and just toss out everything that Christianity stands for just so you can be "tolerant" and "accepting" of any group that wants to call themselves Christian.

I'm not going to stand for this. As much as I love my Protestant brethren, this belief, that to be a Christian is simply to "accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior" is nothing but utter bull.

Keep in mind, that I live in an area that is extremely important to Mormons, and I've had many friends that are Mormons. I love them dearly. But I'm not going to refer to them as Christians, because I know what they believe, and although they believe in Jesus Christ, it isn't the same Jesus Christ that Christians worship.

If I sound passionate about this, that is because I am. I'm not suggesting I'm a better Christian than some, I know I'm not. But I am absolutely going to stand against this tendency to try and "blur" the lines between what is being a Christian and what isn't. It is very black and white.

Again, I'm not saying that being a non-Christian condemns you. God saves who he wills to save. Even if Ghandi is saved, that does not mean that his belief system was okay, or that it's okay to be Hindu. Nor does that mean he was a Christian in his earthly life. Christianity does not give you an automatic key to heaven. Being a non-Christian doesn't automatically exclude you.
But we do know that Christianity is the complete truth, and is the correct way to attaining communion with God. We have to stand for Christianity and although we need to be tolerant of other faiths and although we need to be respectful. We need to stand strong against anything that tries to blur the lines and suggest that Christian is a vague term, and we need to stand strong against anything that tries to reduce the Christian faith to just a couple qualifications in order to avoid offending some groups.

Lastly, I'm going to reiterate that I love my Protestant brethren, as well as my Roman Catholic brethren, but I'm going to absolutely stand against anything that tries to blur the lines of Christianity. I love Mormons, Jews and Muslims. But I do stand against Mormonism, Judaism and Islam. (and any other non-Christian faith) There is no way I'm ever going to regard any of these groups as worshiping the same God as I. That is simply just blasphemy and I would argue, is in fact the bad, heretical type of Ecumenism that we need to avoid at all costs.
Are you really responding to what Keble has argued, or are you battling a straw man interpretation of what he has said, a straw man interpretation built on generalizations and stereotypes of the Protestant position he seems to represent?

Yes I am, I was responding to his last two posts (and the earlier one)...
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« Reply #65 on: December 27, 2010, 06:17:54 PM »

Lets face it the Church is segmented. Each partition believes it is the only TRUE  path to following God. This can be said about most religions, Christian or not. 

The real truth, as I see it, is that all these point of views are out of context to the teachings that we all follow. Following a religion takes dedication and research. It is not enough to just read your Bible. Not if you really want to know whats going on.

I suggest really looking into the history of religion and Christianity. A good concordance with Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin and English gives great insight. Also looking into what the Vatican has done through the ages in relation to doctrine would not hurt.
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« Reply #66 on: December 27, 2010, 06:42:31 PM »

I'm sorry, but there is a definite reason that I reject the Protestant definition of Christian. We are the Early Christians, and we are the Early Church, no offense intended, and I'm not meaning to boast or use my "Orthodoxy" (though I'm a poor Orthodox Christian) to argue, but I'm going to say that the members of our Church were the first ones to be called Christians, and so we should let the Church tell us what being a Christian is and what it is not.

You imply offense all over the place; the only reason you use this definition is to claim everything for your party and to cast everyone else into the darkness.

The church does not control the English language, nor indeed any natural language at all. Sorry, that's just the way it is. If you want to use "Christian" to mean "a member of an Orthodox Church", nobody can stop you, but nobody has to care about your definition unless you are speaking. And attributing your meaning to anyone else is dishonest and that's that.

Quote
It is also blasphemous to say that the Muslims, Mormons and Jews all worship the same God as we do. That is simply NOT true. You absolutely must worship the same God as Christianity. To argue that doctrine, dogmatics, theology, etc... doesn't matter is wrong and that is something I'm not going to sit here and stand for.

...and meanwhile in the "intending offense department".... As far as the Mormons and the Muslims are concerned, I would say the phrase "same God" here is more or less meaningless. It's clear that they and the Jews intend (in some manner) to worship the same God, and moreover the same God as we worship, but that what each of them says about God is in some way in error. I said before that the nature of that error is not irrelevant, but in the end you have no way of telling, much less demonstrating, exactly what the relationship is between their acts of worship and the One True LORD God. Jesus says many things which, taken together, imply that God may well hear the prayers of those who do not call upon Him "correctly".

We already have a word for what is too wrong to be accepted: heresy. In the interests of being able to be understood by the 99+% of English speakers who aren't Orthodox, I distinguish between "heretical Christians" and "non-Christians" and the orthodox (where in this case "orthodox" can be constrained by context, as opposed to "Orthodox" meaning "eastern church Orthodox"). The Muslims and most Unitarians and all pagans are non-Christian; the JWs are Christian heretics (being Arians), and the Mormons are a borderline case which we could argue either way, though I think it's simpler to acknowledge them as really really heretical Christians, since once you've tagged them with heresy theological discourse is going to be pretty limited.

Quote
To illustrate my point, here is a hypothetical situation:

Say I believe in Jesus Christ, and accept him as my Lord and Savior. Yet I also believe that this Jesus Christ is not God himself, but rather a lesser deity. I also believe that he really didn't die on the cross, but that was simply an illusion put forth by Jesus so that people would think he had died, when in reality, he ascended into "heaven" and rules over our world. However, what he did for us, is showed us that every one of us can become deities ourselves. I believe that as long as we live good, moral lives according to how Jesus lived his, then we will attain this godhood. I also believe that there is no Holy Trinity, but rather that the Father is a Force-like entity, and that Jesus was born through this entity. Not only that, but I also believe that the Holy Spirit is the use of this entity, and that through the use of the entity, and your connection with it, that you attain the godlike status that Christ attained. So essentially, if we live moral, "Christ-like" lives, and if we "connect" to this entity (through prayer, good works, etc...) then we are saved from our mortality and our imperfectness (what some call sin) by becoming deities.

Now tell me, is this belief Christian?

It's a New Age heresy, but it is a Christian heresy.
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« Reply #67 on: December 27, 2010, 07:33:18 PM »

Whenever this question comes up, there are always some who can be counted on to give cruel and self-aggrandizing answers. I am even willing to call the Mormons Christians, though I will call them heretics in the next breath because what they believe about Jesus is plainly wrong. The word "Christian", at least in English, has a perfectly clear meaning, and those of us English Christians are quite willing to allow the Orthodox to go on using the term to describe themselves.

I don't see how the Mormons are possibly Christians, they don't even believe in the same God as us. If they are Christians, then so are Muslims and Jews...
Did you not read Keble's post far enough to see that he also calls Mormons heretics?

There is a difference between being a heretic and a non-Christian. One could argue that Protestants and Roman Catholics are heretics, yet they are Christians. Mormons are simply not Christians.

Christian does not equal a belief in Christ, otherwise, as I said, Muslims and Jews would be Christians. (Heck you could even call the demons Christians)

Christian = Nicene Christianity

Also, there is only one God, and that is our God. Our God is not the same as the Mormon God, and it's not the same as the Muslim God, and it's not the same as the Jewish God. (the modern Jews are Jews only by name and ethnicity, they don't worship the same God as OT Jews and Hebrews)

Calling someone a non-Christian isn't judging them, because we aren't making a judgement about their salvation. You can judge someones belief and behavior, but you cannot judge their salvation.

And it's not the same as the Jewish God. (the modern Jews are Jews only by name and ethnicity, they don't worship the same God as OT Jews and Hebrews)




Come again?   Huh
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 07:34:07 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
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« Reply #68 on: December 27, 2010, 07:40:57 PM »

Whenever this question comes up, there are always some who can be counted on to give cruel and self-aggrandizing answers. I am even willing to call the Mormons Christians, though I will call them heretics in the next breath because what they believe about Jesus is plainly wrong. The word "Christian", at least in English, has a perfectly clear meaning, and those of us English Christians are quite willing to allow the Orthodox to go on using the term to describe themselves.

I don't see how the Mormons are possibly Christians, they don't even believe in the same God as us. If they are Christians, then so are Muslims and Jews...
Did you not read Keble's post far enough to see that he also calls Mormons heretics?

There is a difference between being a heretic and a non-Christian. One could argue that Protestants and Roman Catholics are heretics, yet they are Christians. Mormons are simply not Christians.

Christian does not equal a belief in Christ, otherwise, as I said, Muslims and Jews would be Christians. (Heck you could even call the demons Christians)

Christian = Nicene Christianity

Also, there is only one God, and that is our God. Our God is not the same as the Mormon God, and it's not the same as the Muslim God, and it's not the same as the Jewish God. (the modern Jews are Jews only by name and ethnicity, they don't worship the same God as OT Jews and Hebrews)

Calling someone a non-Christian isn't judging them, because we aren't making a judgement about their salvation. You can judge someones belief and behavior, but you cannot judge their salvation.

And it's not the same as the Jewish God. (the modern Jews are Jews only by name and ethnicity, they don't worship the same God as OT Jews and Hebrews)




Come again?   Huh

I actually heard an Egyptian Jew who converted into Orthodoxy say this.  I'm no expert on this though.  I only know the Judaism I read about in the OT.
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« Reply #69 on: December 27, 2010, 07:45:25 PM »

Whenever this question comes up, there are always some who can be counted on to give cruel and self-aggrandizing answers. I am even willing to call the Mormons Christians, though I will call them heretics in the next breath because what they believe about Jesus is plainly wrong. The word "Christian", at least in English, has a perfectly clear meaning, and those of us English Christians are quite willing to allow the Orthodox to go on using the term to describe themselves.

I don't see how the Mormons are possibly Christians, they don't even believe in the same God as us. If they are Christians, then so are Muslims and Jews...
Did you not read Keble's post far enough to see that he also calls Mormons heretics?

There is a difference between being a heretic and a non-Christian. One could argue that Protestants and Roman Catholics are heretics, yet they are Christians. Mormons are simply not Christians.

Christian does not equal a belief in Christ, otherwise, as I said, Muslims and Jews would be Christians. (Heck you could even call the demons Christians)

Christian = Nicene Christianity

Also, there is only one God, and that is our God. Our God is not the same as the Mormon God, and it's not the same as the Muslim God, and it's not the same as the Jewish God. (the modern Jews are Jews only by name and ethnicity, they don't worship the same God as OT Jews and Hebrews)

Calling someone a non-Christian isn't judging them, because we aren't making a judgement about their salvation. You can judge someones belief and behavior, but you cannot judge their salvation.

And it's not the same as the Jewish God. (the modern Jews are Jews only by name and ethnicity, they don't worship the same God as OT Jews and Hebrews)




Come again?   Huh

The Church teaches that the Church itself is Israel. Not to mention that the Jews are no longer a part of God's Covenant. Therefore, because they are no longer part of the Covenant, and have rejected God himself (Jesus Christ), they are not longer "Jews" in the same sense as pre-Christ Judaism. The Church and Pre-Christian Judaism worship one and the same God. Ancient Israel and the Church are also both the same thing.

The modern, post-Christ Jews no longer have a Covenant with God, and also no longer worship the same God as their ancestors, because to do so, would now require that they worship the Holy Trinity.

The Holy Trinity and the God of the Old Testament are one in the same, so after Christ, to reject the Holy Trinity, is to reject the one God revealed through the entirity of scripture, not just the Old Testament and not just the New Testament.
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« Reply #70 on: December 27, 2010, 07:48:14 PM »

I'm sorry, but there is a definite reason that I reject the Protestant definition of Christian. We are the Early Christians, and we are the Early Church, no offense intended, and I'm not meaning to boast or use my "Orthodoxy" (though I'm a poor Orthodox Christian) to argue, but I'm going to say that the members of our Church were the first ones to be called Christians, and so we should let the Church tell us what being a Christian is and what it is not.

You imply offense all over the place; the only reason you use this definition is to claim everything for your party and to cast everyone else into the darkness.

The church does not control the English language, nor indeed any natural language at all. Sorry, that's just the way it is. If you want to use "Christian" to mean "a member of an Orthodox Church", nobody can stop you, but nobody has to care about your definition unless you are speaking. And attributing your meaning to anyone else is dishonest and that's that.

Quote
It is also blasphemous to say that the Muslims, Mormons and Jews all worship the same God as we do. That is simply NOT true. You absolutely must worship the same God as Christianity. To argue that doctrine, dogmatics, theology, etc... doesn't matter is wrong and that is something I'm not going to sit here and stand for.

...and meanwhile in the "intending offense department".... As far as the Mormons and the Muslims are concerned, I would say the phrase "same God" here is more or less meaningless. It's clear that they and the Jews intend (in some manner) to worship the same God, and moreover the same God as we worship, but that what each of them says about God is in some way in error. I said before that the nature of that error is not irrelevant, but in the end you have no way of telling, much less demonstrating, exactly what the relationship is between their acts of worship and the One True LORD God. Jesus says many things which, taken together, imply that God may well hear the prayers of those who do not call upon Him "correctly".

We already have a word for what is too wrong to be accepted: heresy. In the interests of being able to be understood by the 99+% of English speakers who aren't Orthodox, I distinguish between "heretical Christians" and "non-Christians" and the orthodox (where in this case "orthodox" can be constrained by context, as opposed to "Orthodox" meaning "eastern church Orthodox"). The Muslims and most Unitarians and all pagans are non-Christian; the JWs are Christian heretics (being Arians), and the Mormons are a borderline case which we could argue either way, though I think it's simpler to acknowledge them as really really heretical Christians, since once you've tagged them with heresy theological discourse is going to be pretty limited.

Quote
To illustrate my point, here is a hypothetical situation:

Say I believe in Jesus Christ, and accept him as my Lord and Savior. Yet I also believe that this Jesus Christ is not God himself, but rather a lesser deity. I also believe that he really didn't die on the cross, but that was simply an illusion put forth by Jesus so that people would think he had died, when in reality, he ascended into "heaven" and rules over our world. However, what he did for us, is showed us that every one of us can become deities ourselves. I believe that as long as we live good, moral lives according to how Jesus lived his, then we will attain this godhood. I also believe that there is no Holy Trinity, but rather that the Father is a Force-like entity, and that Jesus was born through this entity. Not only that, but I also believe that the Holy Spirit is the use of this entity, and that through the use of the entity, and your connection with it, that you attain the godlike status that Christ attained. So essentially, if we live moral, "Christ-like" lives, and if we "connect" to this entity (through prayer, good works, etc...) then we are saved from our mortality and our imperfectness (what some call sin) by becoming deities.

Now tell me, is this belief Christian?

It's a New Age heresy, but it is a Christian heresy.


Sure, then I'll let modern society dictate to me what I should refer to people as, even if it conflicts with my views...

I don't care what the dictionary says, nor what modern society says. I'm sorry but you and I both know how much Protestant mindsets affect American Culture and Society. Even secular groups call Mormons and JW Christians, yet are we supposed to use groups like that as a judgement of what is true Christianity? Or are we going to trust the group that was first called Christians?

I'm not going to concern myself (any longer) with what non-Orthodox say about Christianity. That isn't my job and it does no good to argue about it. Believe what you want to, just realize that it is inconsistent with ancient Christianity of Christ and the Apostles.
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« Reply #71 on: December 27, 2010, 07:58:46 PM »

I'm sorry, but there is a definite reason that I reject the Protestant definition of Christian. We are the Early Christians, and we are the Early Church, no offense intended, and I'm not meaning to boast or use my "Orthodoxy" (though I'm a poor Orthodox Christian) to argue, but I'm going to say that the members of our Church were the first ones to be called Christians, and so we should let the Church tell us what being a Christian is and what it is not.

You imply offense all over the place; the only reason you use this definition is to claim everything for your party and to cast everyone else into the darkness.

The church does not control the English language, nor indeed any natural language at all. Sorry, that's just the way it is. If you want to use "Christian" to mean "a member of an Orthodox Church", nobody can stop you, but nobody has to care about your definition unless you are speaking. And attributing your meaning to anyone else is dishonest and that's that.

Quote
It is also blasphemous to say that the Muslims, Mormons and Jews all worship the same God as we do. That is simply NOT true. You absolutely must worship the same God as Christianity. To argue that doctrine, dogmatics, theology, etc... doesn't matter is wrong and that is something I'm not going to sit here and stand for.

...and meanwhile in the "intending offense department".... As far as the Mormons and the Muslims are concerned, I would say the phrase "same God" here is more or less meaningless. It's clear that they and the Jews intend (in some manner) to worship the same God, and moreover the same God as we worship, but that what each of them says about God is in some way in error. I said before that the nature of that error is not irrelevant, but in the end you have no way of telling, much less demonstrating, exactly what the relationship is between their acts of worship and the One True LORD God. Jesus says many things which, taken together, imply that God may well hear the prayers of those who do not call upon Him "correctly".

We already have a word for what is too wrong to be accepted: heresy. In the interests of being able to be understood by the 99+% of English speakers who aren't Orthodox, I distinguish between "heretical Christians" and "non-Christians" and the orthodox (where in this case "orthodox" can be constrained by context, as opposed to "Orthodox" meaning "eastern church Orthodox"). The Muslims and most Unitarians and all pagans are non-Christian; the JWs are Christian heretics (being Arians), and the Mormons are a borderline case which we could argue either way, though I think it's simpler to acknowledge them as really really heretical Christians, since once you've tagged them with heresy theological discourse is going to be pretty limited.

Quote
To illustrate my point, here is a hypothetical situation:

Say I believe in Jesus Christ, and accept him as my Lord and Savior. Yet I also believe that this Jesus Christ is not God himself, but rather a lesser deity. I also believe that he really didn't die on the cross, but that was simply an illusion put forth by Jesus so that people would think he had died, when in reality, he ascended into "heaven" and rules over our world. However, what he did for us, is showed us that every one of us can become deities ourselves. I believe that as long as we live good, moral lives according to how Jesus lived his, then we will attain this godhood. I also believe that there is no Holy Trinity, but rather that the Father is a Force-like entity, and that Jesus was born through this entity. Not only that, but I also believe that the Holy Spirit is the use of this entity, and that through the use of the entity, and your connection with it, that you attain the godlike status that Christ attained. So essentially, if we live moral, "Christ-like" lives, and if we "connect" to this entity (through prayer, good works, etc...) then we are saved from our mortality and our imperfectness (what some call sin) by becoming deities.

Now tell me, is this belief Christian?

It's a New Age heresy, but it is a Christian heresy.


Sure, then I'll let modern society dictate to me what I should refer to people as, even if it conflicts with my views...

I don't care what the dictionary says, nor what modern society says. I'm sorry but you and I both know how much Protestant mindsets affect American Culture and Society. Even secular groups call Mormons and JW Christians, yet are we supposed to use groups like that as a judgement of what is true Christianity? Or are we going to trust the group that was first called Christians?

I'm not going to concern myself (any longer) with what non-Orthodox say about Christianity. That isn't my job and it does no good to argue about it. Believe what you want to, just realize that it is inconsistent with ancient Christianity of Christ and the Apostles.

May I suggest that you concern yourself less with the state and "title" associated with the souls of others, and spend more time reflecting on the state of your own soul?

Instead of reflecting on whether or not others are "Christian," I suggest you head the advice of St. Seraphim of Sarov; “Acquire the Spirit of Peace and a thousand souls around you will be saved.”
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« Reply #72 on: December 27, 2010, 08:10:52 PM »

I'm sorry, but there is a definite reason that I reject the Protestant definition of Christian. We are the Early Christians, and we are the Early Church, no offense intended, and I'm not meaning to boast or use my "Orthodoxy" (though I'm a poor Orthodox Christian) to argue, but I'm going to say that the members of our Church were the first ones to be called Christians, and so we should let the Church tell us what being a Christian is and what it is not.

You imply offense all over the place; the only reason you use this definition is to claim everything for your party and to cast everyone else into the darkness.

The church does not control the English language, nor indeed any natural language at all. Sorry, that's just the way it is. If you want to use "Christian" to mean "a member of an Orthodox Church", nobody can stop you, but nobody has to care about your definition unless you are speaking. And attributing your meaning to anyone else is dishonest and that's that.

Quote
It is also blasphemous to say that the Muslims, Mormons and Jews all worship the same God as we do. That is simply NOT true. You absolutely must worship the same God as Christianity. To argue that doctrine, dogmatics, theology, etc... doesn't matter is wrong and that is something I'm not going to sit here and stand for.

...and meanwhile in the "intending offense department".... As far as the Mormons and the Muslims are concerned, I would say the phrase "same God" here is more or less meaningless. It's clear that they and the Jews intend (in some manner) to worship the same God, and moreover the same God as we worship, but that what each of them says about God is in some way in error. I said before that the nature of that error is not irrelevant, but in the end you have no way of telling, much less demonstrating, exactly what the relationship is between their acts of worship and the One True LORD God. Jesus says many things which, taken together, imply that God may well hear the prayers of those who do not call upon Him "correctly".

We already have a word for what is too wrong to be accepted: heresy. In the interests of being able to be understood by the 99+% of English speakers who aren't Orthodox, I distinguish between "heretical Christians" and "non-Christians" and the orthodox (where in this case "orthodox" can be constrained by context, as opposed to "Orthodox" meaning "eastern church Orthodox"). The Muslims and most Unitarians and all pagans are non-Christian; the JWs are Christian heretics (being Arians), and the Mormons are a borderline case which we could argue either way, though I think it's simpler to acknowledge them as really really heretical Christians, since once you've tagged them with heresy theological discourse is going to be pretty limited.

Quote
To illustrate my point, here is a hypothetical situation:

Say I believe in Jesus Christ, and accept him as my Lord and Savior. Yet I also believe that this Jesus Christ is not God himself, but rather a lesser deity. I also believe that he really didn't die on the cross, but that was simply an illusion put forth by Jesus so that people would think he had died, when in reality, he ascended into "heaven" and rules over our world. However, what he did for us, is showed us that every one of us can become deities ourselves. I believe that as long as we live good, moral lives according to how Jesus lived his, then we will attain this godhood. I also believe that there is no Holy Trinity, but rather that the Father is a Force-like entity, and that Jesus was born through this entity. Not only that, but I also believe that the Holy Spirit is the use of this entity, and that through the use of the entity, and your connection with it, that you attain the godlike status that Christ attained. So essentially, if we live moral, "Christ-like" lives, and if we "connect" to this entity (through prayer, good works, etc...) then we are saved from our mortality and our imperfectness (what some call sin) by becoming deities.

Now tell me, is this belief Christian?

It's a New Age heresy, but it is a Christian heresy.


Sure, then I'll let modern society dictate to me what I should refer to people as, even if it conflicts with my views...

I don't care what the dictionary says, nor what modern society says. I'm sorry but you and I both know how much Protestant mindsets affect American Culture and Society. Even secular groups call Mormons and JW Christians, yet are we supposed to use groups like that as a judgement of what is true Christianity? Or are we going to trust the group that was first called Christians?

I'm not going to concern myself (any longer) with what non-Orthodox say about Christianity. That isn't my job and it does no good to argue about it. Believe what you want to, just realize that it is inconsistent with ancient Christianity of Christ and the Apostles.

May I suggest that you concern yourself less with the state and "title" associated with the souls of others, and spend more time reflecting on the state of your own soul?

Instead of reflecting on whether or not others are "Christian," I suggest you head the advice of St. Seraphim of Sarov; “Acquire the Spirit of Peace and a thousand souls around you will be saved.”

I am certainly trying. But it upsets me when people try to blur the lines like this. To me, it's the same as if someone suggests we should go immediately for inter-communion with Roman Catholics and other groups because we have "too much in common" and the rest is just unimportant... It's something I will strongly oppose no matter who it is.

When people try to push this agenda, it makes me want to vomit. Some people have no guts and no value of their faith when they sacrifice it just to be "politically-correct" and "tolerant".
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« Reply #73 on: December 27, 2010, 09:13:25 PM »

I'm not going to stand for this. As much as I love my Protestant brethren, this belief, that to be a Christian is simply to "accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior" is nothing but utter bull.

AMEN!! Preach.

Quote
If I sound passionate about this, that is because I am. I'm not suggesting I'm a better Christian than some, I know I'm not. But I am absolutely going to stand against this tendency to try and "blur" the lines between what is being a Christian and what isn't. It is very black and white.

AMEN!! Again preach.

Quote
But we do know that Christianity is the complete truth, and is the correct way to attaining communion with God. We have to stand for Christianity and although we need to be tolerant of other faiths and although we need to be respectful. We need to stand strong against anything that tries to blur the lines and suggest that Christian is a vague term, and we need to stand strong against anything that tries to reduce the Christian faith to just a couple qualifications in order to avoid offending some groups.
AMEN.

Quote
Lastly, I'm going to reiterate that I love my Protestant brethren, as well as my Roman Catholic brethren, but I'm going to absolutely stand against anything that tries to blur the lines of Christianity. I love Mormons, Jews and Muslims. But I do stand against Mormonism, Judaism and Islam. (and any other non-Christian faith) There is no way I'm ever going to regard any of these groups as worshiping the same God as I. That is simply just blasphemy and I would argue, is in fact the bad, heretical type of Ecumenism that we need to avoid at all costs.

Amen amen amen!

Brilliant post.
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« Reply #74 on: December 27, 2010, 09:37:59 PM »

Looks like her Church is alined to His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch .that could be where the Ecumenism is coming from...
Blaaaahh Grin we have our own ecumenist Patriarch as well...Double ...Blaaaah... Grin
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 09:39:36 PM by stashko » Logged

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« Reply #75 on: December 27, 2010, 09:58:08 PM »

I'm sorry, but there is a definite reason that I reject the Protestant definition of Christian. We are the Early Christians, and we are the Early Church, no offense intended, and I'm not meaning to boast or use my "Orthodoxy" (though I'm a poor Orthodox Christian) to argue, but I'm going to say that the members of our Church were the first ones to be called Christians, and so we should let the Church tell us what being a Christian is and what it is not.

You imply offense all over the place; the only reason you use this definition is to claim everything for your party and to cast everyone else into the darkness.

The church does not control the English language, nor indeed any natural language at all. Sorry, that's just the way it is. If you want to use "Christian" to mean "a member of an Orthodox Church", nobody can stop you, but nobody has to care about your definition unless you are speaking. And attributing your meaning to anyone else is dishonest and that's that.

Quote
It is also blasphemous to say that the Muslims, Mormons and Jews all worship the same God as we do. That is simply NOT true. You absolutely must worship the same God as Christianity. To argue that doctrine, dogmatics, theology, etc... doesn't matter is wrong and that is something I'm not going to sit here and stand for.

...and meanwhile in the "intending offense department".... As far as the Mormons and the Muslims are concerned, I would say the phrase "same God" here is more or less meaningless. It's clear that they and the Jews intend (in some manner) to worship the same God, and moreover the same God as we worship, but that what each of them says about God is in some way in error. I said before that the nature of that error is not irrelevant, but in the end you have no way of telling, much less demonstrating, exactly what the relationship is between their acts of worship and the One True LORD God. Jesus says many things which, taken together, imply that God may well hear the prayers of those who do not call upon Him "correctly".

We already have a word for what is too wrong to be accepted: heresy. In the interests of being able to be understood by the 99+% of English speakers who aren't Orthodox, I distinguish between "heretical Christians" and "non-Christians" and the orthodox (where in this case "orthodox" can be constrained by context, as opposed to "Orthodox" meaning "eastern church Orthodox"). The Muslims and most Unitarians and all pagans are non-Christian; the JWs are Christian heretics (being Arians), and the Mormons are a borderline case which we could argue either way, though I think it's simpler to acknowledge them as really really heretical Christians, since once you've tagged them with heresy theological discourse is going to be pretty limited.

Quote
To illustrate my point, here is a hypothetical situation:

Say I believe in Jesus Christ, and accept him as my Lord and Savior. Yet I also believe that this Jesus Christ is not God himself, but rather a lesser deity. I also believe that he really didn't die on the cross, but that was simply an illusion put forth by Jesus so that people would think he had died, when in reality, he ascended into "heaven" and rules over our world. However, what he did for us, is showed us that every one of us can become deities ourselves. I believe that as long as we live good, moral lives according to how Jesus lived his, then we will attain this godhood. I also believe that there is no Holy Trinity, but rather that the Father is a Force-like entity, and that Jesus was born through this entity. Not only that, but I also believe that the Holy Spirit is the use of this entity, and that through the use of the entity, and your connection with it, that you attain the godlike status that Christ attained. So essentially, if we live moral, "Christ-like" lives, and if we "connect" to this entity (through prayer, good works, etc...) then we are saved from our mortality and our imperfectness (what some call sin) by becoming deities.

Now tell me, is this belief Christian?

It's a New Age heresy, but it is a Christian heresy.


Sure, then I'll let modern society dictate to me what I should refer to people as, even if it conflicts with my views...

I don't care what the dictionary says, nor what modern society says. I'm sorry but you and I both know how much Protestant mindsets affect American Culture and Society. Even secular groups call Mormons and JW Christians, yet are we supposed to use groups like that as a judgement of what is true Christianity? Or are we going to trust the group that was first called Christians?

I'm not going to concern myself (any longer) with what non-Orthodox say about Christianity. That isn't my job and it does no good to argue about it. Believe what you want to, just realize that it is inconsistent with ancient Christianity of Christ and the Apostles.

May I suggest that you concern yourself less with the state and "title" associated with the souls of others, and spend more time reflecting on the state of your own soul?

Instead of reflecting on whether or not others are "Christian," I suggest you head the advice of St. Seraphim of Sarov; “Acquire the Spirit of Peace and a thousand souls around you will be saved.”

I am certainly trying. But it upsets me when people try to blur the lines like this. To me, it's the same as if someone suggests we should go immediately for inter-communion with Roman Catholics and other groups because we have "too much in common" and the rest is just unimportant... It's something I will strongly oppose no matter who it is.

When people try to push this agenda, it makes me want to vomit. Some people have no guts and no value of their faith when they sacrifice it just to be "politically-correct" and "tolerant".
But the problem with this, which Keble has already addressed, is that you're attributing nefarious motives to him without allowing him to defend himself. (He has defended himself, but you just won't listen, for you would rather attack the straw man you've built to represent Keble.)
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« Reply #76 on: December 27, 2010, 10:07:40 PM »

Looks like her Church is alined to His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch .that could be where the Ecumenism is coming from...
Blaaaahh Grin we have our own ecumenist Patriarch as well...Double ...Blaaaah... Grin

If following the words of a recognized saint and the words of our Lord Jesus Christ makes me an Ecumenist, then so be it.

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." Matthew 7:1-5
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« Reply #77 on: December 27, 2010, 10:13:16 PM »

Looks like her Church is alined to His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch .that could be where the Ecumenism is coming from...
Blaaaahh Grin we have our own ecumenist Patriarch as well...Double ...Blaaaah... Grin
Whose Church?
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« Reply #78 on: December 28, 2010, 02:25:39 AM »

The Church teaches that the Church itself is Israel. Not to mention that the Jews are no longer a part of God's Covenant. Therefore, because they are no longer part of the Covenant, and have rejected God himself (Jesus Christ), they are not longer "Jews" in the same sense as pre-Christ Judaism. The Church and Pre-Christian Judaism worship one and the same God. Ancient Israel and the Church are also both the same thing.

The modern, post-Christ Jews no longer have a Covenant with God, and also no longer worship the same God as their ancestors, because to do so, would now require that they worship the Holy Trinity.

The Holy Trinity and the God of the Old Testament are one in the same, so after Christ, to reject the Holy Trinity, is to reject the one God revealed through the entirety of scripture, not just the Old Testament and not just the New Testament.

This is the rankest heresy, not the least in that it conspicuously violates the creed! The One LORD God always was and is and will be triune; it does not matter that the full revelation of this came late in time. The Jews therefore were always wrong and always worshipped the wrong god, because they always insisted on its absolute unity. Since God didn't change, and their worship didn't change, it has to be that they are worshipping wrongly, because they refuse to get on board with what has now been made manifest; but as the object of their worship has not changed, it must be that they still worship Him. Yes, in some sense they reject God, as we all do.

I do not think you are repeating some church's teaching, still less The Church's teaching. It seems to me that you have seized upon some points and extrapolated from them. But your extrapolation is not well-formed, and it has carried you into error. Are you therefore not a Christian? I think not.
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« Reply #79 on: December 28, 2010, 02:38:34 AM »

Sure, then I'll let modern society dictate to me what I should refer to people as, even if it conflicts with my views...

I don't care what the dictionary says, nor what modern society says.

Then stop talking. Seriously. You cannot do the world any good by speaking in a language in which everything you say is falsified by your parochial twisting of each word you utter.

Quote
I'm sorry but you and I both know how much Protestant mindsets affect American Culture and Society. Even secular groups call Mormons and JW Christians, yet are we supposed to use groups like that as a judgement of what is true Christianity? Or are we going to trust the group that was first called Christians?

The POINT all along is that nothing is preventing you from doing this; you can still distinguish between "True" or "good" or whatever word you care to apply to the "right" faith, and also characterize "bad" or "wrong" or "false" or "heretical" Christianity. The problem here is that you are trying to blur the distinction between what is Christianity done or believed badly, and what is not Christian at all, rightly or wrongly. I see three categories; you see two, and you falsely try to assert that I also see only two categories. That's really where the heart of the matter lies: you are trying to control the language so that I have no choice but make the distinction as you make it, because you are trying to make it impossible for me to distinguish between (say) Hinduism and Methodism. But everyone can see the difference, and they can see that the Methodists are allied with the Orthodox in a way that they can never be allied with the Hindus. Everyone can see it, and I'll bet that you can see it too, because that way is Jesus. Methodists confess him, no matter how badly; the Orthodox also confess him, no matter how badly. The Hindus do not confess him. But you are so dogged in your denial of this simple reality that you are willing to resort to defective theology in order to defend that denial.
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« Reply #80 on: December 28, 2010, 03:24:41 AM »

It actually is not heresy, at least according to the eastern orthodox point of view.
The orthodox church affirms that it is ancient Israel. This is one of the reasons we venerate the old testAtment figures so much; such as King David, King Solomon, the Prophets, the Patriarchs, etc...
To us, the Holy Trinity is the same as YHWY and Elohim of the Old Testament. The Covenant with God in the Old Testament was fulfilled, not abolished in Christ. In fact, the Covenant was extended to the Gentiles and we now have a new covenant with God. In fact I remember a recent podcast where it was pointed out that there was no real schism between Jews and Christians until a few decades after Christs resurrection and ascension. The Orthodox Church believes itself to be Israel of the Old Testament, the undefiled and spotless bride of Christ. The modern Jews are not a part of this and while they still use the Old Covenant and still recognize YHWY or Elohim, it isn't the same God that the OT figures worshiped because that God has revealed himself to us, and so to not recognize him now would be worshipping a different God.

Now, I would also like to say that you misunderstand me a bit. I believe that there are non-Christians and there are Christians. But within Christianity you have the heretics, the heterodoxy, the schismatics and the Orthodox.
So we would agree regarding heretics and Christianity. However, I don't regard Mormonism and Jehovahs Witnesses as Christians. To me, they aren't just heretics and heterodox but are so far removed from Christianity that they cannot be considered Christian, but are their own religions entirely.
To use your wording, I guess I have two-level perspective, but the level of Christianity itself is subdivided inti four parts, yet I don't classify those two groups as any of those categories within Christianity.
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