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Author Topic: New user saying hi  (Read 876 times) Average Rating: 0
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CyberSponge
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« on: June 10, 2004, 03:33:29 AM »

Hi folks,

Let me introduce myself.  I'm an Orthodox Christian and currently attend an OCA parish (although I was chrismated into an Antiochian parish about 14 years ago).  I have been reading messages on orthodoxchristianity.net, and although I generally don't like debates since they're usually frustrating, I tend to learn a lot from them.

Anyway, I'm introducing myself on the NC page mainly b/c I have a fondness for the Coptic church.  I'm a grad student now, but last year when I was an undergrad, I was involved with the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) at my last school, and occasionally a coptic would come.  I am generally quite impressed by the character of the Coptics.  I also post here b/c I've been thinkling/reading some about RCC and EO dialogues, along with some about the persecution of Christians in the middle east.  My heart aches for them!  What also hurts is when many terrible mistakes are made (e.g. Byzantine persecution of Coptics), which just opens the way for a greater evil (persecution by the muslims).  I remember my priest one time commenting about how in many ways, the Coptics weren't so resistant towards the muslims b/c at that time the Byzantine yoke was worse!  Don't quote me on that, though.  Wink  My other thought is about the RCC and EO possible "union."  After reading several commentaries on different message boards, along with googling about the whole thing, it seems like any kind of reunion will basically involve the large RCC absorbing the EO, just as one of many different "rites" with their own customs.  umm...what makes us Orthodox is our theology and our approach to life and theology, right?  I mean, we DO have rites modeled after western services.  I wonder if the Coptics feel the same way about the EO and union between the EO and coptics (i.e. big guy absorbing smaller guy)?  Then again, there seem to be vastly fewer theological barriers in that case (e.g. no pope authority issues, nor differing creeds, nor dogma differences).  Plus, don't the EO and Coptics have overall a similar "feel" to them, regarding theology (e.g. vs. the judicial/legalistic feel typically seen in the "west")?  maybe I'm crazy, but I feel that the world is getting pretty crazy so we gotta quickly 1) iron out our differences, 2) be excellent Christian witnesses for our Lord, 3) take advantage of the relative freedom we have to do evangelism to the non-Christians, and 4) brace ourselves for when things crumble around us (while continuing to do 1-3).  Sigh......

Anyway, that's just an overly long way of saying "hi!"  Smiley  I may post when I can, but I'm more interested in discussion than debate. Smiley
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Antonious Nikolas
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2004, 04:29:18 PM »

Welcome to the forum!
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"According to the Orthodox Faith, the teachings and traditions one upholds and believes in will necessarily influence and inform one's spiritual orientation and the way one worships..." - Harry Boosalis
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2004, 05:06:40 PM »

Hi, and welcome as well.

I'm not sure that the situation between the EO and OO would resolve down to the absorption of the OO.

There are no historic EO jursidictions in Armenia, Ethiopia, Eritrea or India, so if there were a reconciliation these would continue to be the major jurisdictions in those areas. In Egypt the Greek Church is tiny and the overwhelming majority of faithful are Coptic Orthdoox rather than Greek Orthodox. It is only really in Syria/Antioch that there is something of an overlap but the Syrian/Antiochean churches in the Middle East seem quite far advanced in how they would handle a reconciliation and it looks like there would be a controlled merging of thr jurisdictions.

Of course the OO have preserved the original and historic diversity of rites which was abolished in the 14th century (?) by the Byzantines, and had been abolished even earlier under Charlemagne in the West. This diversity of rite with a unity of faith seems to me to be an important contribution of OOxy and is a practical manifestation of how it would be possible for reconciliation to include both EO and RC, if doctrinal issues were resolved, without requiring the abandonment of that witness to the universaility of Orthodoxy which a diversity of rites and customs shows.

Welcome again

Peter
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The poster formerly known as peterfarrington
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2004, 05:44:16 PM »

Hi, "CyberSponge"!

Let me add my own welcome (though I'm a Newbie, too)!

I very much like your "Four Points".

Perhaps the true practice of these would help solve a lot of ecclesiastical [and other] problems...

Of course, one can only do so for one single person ... one's own self! Wink

Still, St. Seraphim of Sarov said, "acquire the Holy Spirit, and a thousand about you will be saved"!

I also agree with your assessment of the relative closeness / common ground / whatever-you want to call it between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox as against the differences of doctrine, mindset, over 1,000 years of "doctrinal development" in the Western Churches, beginning (and continuing...) with the Roman Catholic Church.

Shouldn't we be seeking understanding first with those who worship, pray, understand the Church and the Scriptures somewhat like we do, rather than with those who are obviously of "another faith"?

Keep on postin'!

P.S. - cool llama.
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CyberSponge
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2004, 07:09:55 PM »

Quote
Welcome to the forum!

thanks! Smiley

Quote
Hi, and welcome as well.

I'm not sure that the situation between the EO and OO would resolve down to the absorption of the OO.


Yes, after thinking about it more, I must concur. Smiley

Quote
There are no historic EO jursidictions in Armenia, Ethiopia, Eritrea or India, so if there were a reconciliation these would continue to be the major jurisdictions in those areas.
Good point.  So I guess communion with the OO would be just that, communion.  We would fully recognize each other as members of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith.  However, I think one of the problems in EO (and maybe others as well?) is that we tend to consist of "national churches," which seems unnatural to the spirit of Christianity and the Early Church.  I'm a little tired of EO bragging about how none of the churches can "meddle" in the affairs of another church. Umm...what exactly was St. Paul doing, then?  or St. Ignatius of Antioch?  Seems to me like the EO have modeled their church after the empire (e.g. territory being divided into jurisdictions, etc.).

Quote
In Egypt the Greek Church is tiny and the overwhelming majority of faithful are Coptic Orthdoox rather than Greek Orthodox.
Smiley
Quote
It is only really in Syria/Antioch that there is something of an overlap but the Syrian/Antiochean churches in the Middle East seem quite far advanced in how they would handle a reconciliation and it looks like there would be a controlled merging of thr jurisdictions.
Sweet!
Quote
Of course the OO have preserved the original and historic diversity of rites which was abolished in the 14th century (?) by the Byzantines, and had been abolished even earlier under Charlemagne in the West.
Yes, I never quite understood why to be Orthodox we gotta use the exact liturgy we do.
Quote
This diversity of rite with a unity of faith seems to me to be an important contribution of OOxy and is a practical manifestation of how it would be possible for reconciliation to include both EO and RC, if doctrinal issues were resolved, without requiring the abandonment of that witness to the universaility of Orthodoxy which a diversity of rites and customs shows.
AMEN!
Quote

Welcome again

Peter
Thanks!


Quote

I very much like your "Four Points".

thanks.  Just seems natural to me, I guess. Smiley

Quote
Perhaps the true practice of these would help solve a lot of ecclesiastical [and other] problems...

Of course, one can only do so for one single person ... one's own self!

Still, St. Seraphim of Sarov said, "acquire the Holy Spirit, and a thousand about you will be saved"!
Good observations.  I have heard that quote by St. Seraphim of Sarov many times before, and always wondered what context he spoke it in?  I've never read his works so I don't know.  I certainly don't think all of us should do missionary work, but we must, absolutely must, be a good Christian witness. Smiley

Quote
I also agree with your assessment of the relative closeness / common ground / whatever-you want to call it between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox as against the differences of doctrine, mindset, over 1,000 years of "doctrinal development" in the Western Churches, beginning (and continuing...) with the Roman Catholic Church.

Shouldn't we be seeking understanding first with those who worship, pray, understand the Church and the Scriptures somewhat like we do, rather than with those who are obviously of "another faith"?
My sentiments exactly.  The RCC are the big guys in town (in large part b/c they did number 4 above).  Unity is also very important.  but let's first work on A) healing wounds between the various "national" Orthodox Churches so that we really are 1 Church in many places and B) admit fault and ask for forgiveness for past wrongdoings of our Church, and pray that our Coptic brothers and sisters will not only grant us forgiveness, but embrace us.

Quote
Keep on postin'!

P.S. - cool llama.

hehe, that's the default image.  But yeah, it is pretty cool.  Smiley
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