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Author Topic: Is RC & EO both sick?  (Read 829 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dave in McKinney
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« on: January 08, 2011, 01:13:54 PM »

I am disturbed by the arrogance of folks that claim "That I belong to THE Church founded by Jesus Christ in its fullness" yet has driven so many people away and shows so little love on so many levels.  When I read scripture and early Fathers it seems that yes there is that need to have apostolic succession but I wonder if somehow this "mechanical" laying of hands isn't somehow rendered ineffective when the fruits are barren. 
  I see little to no community being built except for a couple of small cliques of insiders at the parish.  I had a neighbor tell the priest that his family had been hurt by the actions of the parish (by the former priest) and the priest apologized (that was good) but didn't do anything to correct the situation (bad).   This family left.... the Catholic Church.... some of the nicest and most grace-filled folks we know... went non-denomination.  They had given a large portion of their time and energy to the church...
  I can't believe how much of Catholic radio is pure arrogance -- there are some shows that are beautiful and faith enriching -- but primetime driving hours are rather antagonistic.
  Let's not even mention CAF where I have been scolded time and time again and beat down for not just shutting up and being happy for getting the eucharist because that's all it's about.  We shouldn't expect community or love -- the purpose of the church is the Sunday sacrifice and communion.  Not doesn't sound much like living life abundantly.
  The local Orthodox church -- rather than showing it's truth through its fruits -- would rather use polemics against Catholics and Protestants on its website.  Another church in area I attended never acknowledged me as a visitor nor did anyone talk to me and my wife -- they were more intent about getting in and out of DL than evangelizing (my wife & I were OBVIOUSLY visitors).
 
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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2011, 01:40:56 PM »

Sorry about all of the bad experiences you've seemed to have. What are you doing to make Christianity better?
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mike
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2011, 01:42:26 PM »

First of all, apostolic succession isn't just mechanical laying hands. Keeping the true faith and being linked to the rest of the Church is needed too.
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2011, 01:54:39 PM »

Let us know when  you find that perfect church where everyone is a saint.
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Dave in McKinney
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2011, 01:58:02 PM »

Let us know when  you find that perfect church where everyone is a saint.
  Thank you for your compassionate response.
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2011, 02:01:28 PM »

I can sympathise with the issues you mention, and have had similar experiences to some extent, and on the other hand struggle personally with others. Fwiw, I have found a really good Orthodox parish, so I know that they exist (I'm not as familiar with Catholic parishes).
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2011, 02:11:08 PM »

Let us know when  you find that perfect church where everyone is a saint.
  Thank you for your compassionate response.

Forgive me. I assumed that you were making some polemical point. It is a shame that people in an Orthodox community would behave this way. Just remember that we are all struggling with our own problems and try not to take it too personally.
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Dave in McKinney
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2011, 02:16:19 PM »

Let us know when  you find that perfect church where everyone is a saint.
  Thank you for your compassionate response.

Forgive me. I assumed that you were making some polemical point. It is a shame that people in an Orthodox community would behave this way. Just remember that we are all struggling with our own problems and try not to take it too personally.

Thank you...I suppose my title came across as antagonistic too.
  I am disillusioned with both churches to be sure.  I will say I met many, many more Christ-centered folks in non-apostolic churches.  Yet in looking at scripture and the Fathers they believed in apostolicity and it's easy to see where a church can go if it doesn't have it.  But 
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2011, 02:16:24 PM »

Orthodox and Catholics are just as human as anyone else. Yes, Christians should be seen as more loving, more compassionate than those who don't believe, but in my experience, that just isn't the case. I tell myself that it is due to the fact that they are Christians therefore it is more difficult, as the attacks of the devil are stronger.  I think in Orthodoxy, the desire of its members to be polemical is much higher than it is in Roman Catholicism.  Many Orthodox have the strong desire to define their Orthodoxy by what they don't believe relative to other denominations.  It isn't a positive expression of the Faith.  I think it is because of an immature grounding in the Faith.  I also think it is a symptom of unbelief, as people can be so flippant and excited in expounding upon the Orthodox Church's exclusivity.  If we truly love our neighbors and truly believe in the Church's exclusivity and all that entails, flippancy and sarcasm have absolutely no place in our lives. Our words have the potential to bring people closer to Christ or further away from him. Unfortunately, none of us realize this completely in our own lives. And so, we should first look inward at what we do daily that transgresses the commandment of love of God and neighbor, recognize the difficulty of it all, and excuse the failings of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  It requires a great deal of humility, but I believe it is the only way to obtain the peace of God.

John   
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 02:18:41 PM by Ionnis » Logged

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Dave in McKinney
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2011, 02:27:48 PM »

Thank you Ionnis -- that's a beautiful response.

Also, I would like to say that Orthodox do have the best liturgical music IMHO  Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2011, 02:31:42 PM »

Let us know when  you find that perfect church where everyone is a saint.
  Thank you for your compassionate response.

Forgive me. I assumed that you were making some polemical point. It is a shame that people in an Orthodox community would behave this way. Just remember that we are all struggling with our own problems and try not to take it too personally.

Thank you...I suppose my title came across as antagonistic too.
  I am disillusioned with both churches to be sure.  I will say I met many, many more Christ-centered folks in non-apostolic churches.  Yet in looking at scripture and the Fathers they believed in apostolicity and it's easy to see where a church can go if it doesn't have it.  But 

I spent a lot of my time in "non-apostolic" churches.  Yes, there are a lot of people that wear Jesus on their T-shirts and have fish symbols on the back of their cars.  Most were as shallow as the Platte River.  As to being disillusioned, I have to say that I have a great deal of sympathy with a Hindu friend of mine that said "I really like your Jesus.  It is His followers that I cannot stand."  I have not found the perfect Church yet, only the one that seems to have passed down the Truth intact.  However, knowing and doing are two different things.  Like was said above, when you find the perfection that you seem to be looking for, let me know because I would like to find it, too.  However, I have learned that where the Truth is most active, the Devil is also most active trying to stir things up.  I am far more worried about the wonderful, "Christ Centered" mega-churches than I am the Orthodox.  I know where God is most active, Satan is, too.  After all, he has no need to attack those that are already his.  The relationship between the Orthodox and Satan is open war.  And in war, there are casualties and destruction.  God did not promise us perfection in this life, only Salvation in the next; and then only if we persevere.

BTW - I always thought that the Lutherans had the best liturgical music, closely followed by the Venetians.  It is the part of my past that I miss the most.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 02:31:53 PM by Punch » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2011, 03:43:41 PM »

Let us know when  you find that perfect church where everyone is a saint.
  Thank you for your compassionate response.
Better the ugliest Truth than the loveliest lie.
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2011, 03:48:18 PM »

Orthodox and Catholics are just as human as anyone else. Yes, Christians should be seen as more loving, more compassionate than those who don't believe, but in my experience, that just isn't the case. I tell myself that it is due to the fact that they are Christians therefore it is more difficult, as the attacks of the devil are stronger.  I think in Orthodoxy, the desire of its members to be polemical is much higher than it is in Roman Catholicism.  Many Orthodox have the strong desire to define their Orthodoxy by what they don't believe relative to other denominations.  It isn't a positive expression of the Faith.  I think it is because of an immature grounding in the Faith.  I also think it is a symptom of unbelief, as people can be so flippant and excited in expounding upon the Orthodox Church's exclusivity.  If we truly love our neighbors and truly believe in the Church's exclusivity and all that entails, flippancy and sarcasm have absolutely no place in our lives. Our words have the potential to bring people closer to Christ or further away from him. Unfortunately, none of us realize this completely in our own lives. And so, we should first look inward at what we do daily that transgresses the commandment of love of God and neighbor, recognize the difficulty of it all, and excuse the failings of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  It requires a great deal of humility, but I believe it is the only way to obtain the peace of God.

John, this is an excellent and true response.   
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akimel
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2011, 04:00:46 PM »

Dave, if you were to bring together a group of pastors from different denominations under the promise of absolute confidentiality, the large majority would probably tell you that Christian communities and the people that make they are, on the whole, more dysfunctional and broken than those who do not attend church.  And these same pastors would admit that they themselves are just as dysfunctional and broken as their parishioners.  This is one reason why new parishioners often do not last more than a couple of years in a congregation:  they more they get to know the community, the more disillusioned they become. 

I think we can all understand why this is so.  After all, Christ came not to heal sinners, not the righteous.  The "healthy" have no need of a physician.  But this doesn't make living in a Christian community any easier, nor does it excuse the viciousness and cruelty that one sometimes (often) encounters in parishes or on internet forums.  In some ways, it is even worse on internet forums.  Folks seem willing to say things that they would never say in person to another person.  The anonymity and distance liberates folks from the normal constraints of civility.  People have no idea what damage they can inflict on others and the witness of the Church.   

Fr Kimel
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