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Author Topic: So tired of searching  (Read 3982 times) Average Rating: 0
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TristanCross
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« on: January 27, 2011, 10:36:25 PM »

I have been going back and forth between Lutheranism and Catholicism for so long now. I just want some peace in my soul to be able to stick to one sound faith and be able to worship Christ in the Liturgy.

The last year and a half has been very exhaustive. I began my search of truth when I realized that Protestantism was really not all that it claims to be. I studied the Roman Catholic faith as well as the Lutheran faith, which I grew up in. I've literally switched sides more than 10 times already. I've been to RCIA, quit, rejoined, and quit again yesterday. I've realized that the Roman Catholic Church's claims were also not all that backed up by the Church fathers, and that they pretty much force their thinking into them. For instance, the Church Fathers talk of the Real Presence in the Eucharist and yet, they don't mention Transubstantiation (I don't mind Transubstantiation that much, but I prefer to leave it as an undefined mystery). I hate the fact that the Roman Church imposes so many things upon their believers and has done so for centuries. Why do I NEED to believe in lesser doctrines such as purgatory to have full unity in faith with Catholics? Did not the fathers say "disagreements over fasting do not destroy unity in faith"? Do we not worship one Christ? Is that not the point?

I'm coming here because I know that the Orthodox Church doesn't hold to the "development of doctrine" as the Roman Catholic Church does, and I love the Orthodox faith. I want to know more about it, and I did at one point want to be Orthodox while studying Catholicism. The reason that I didn't go far with Orthodoxy is because of an article at Catholic.com: http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0504bt.asp

Why should one be Orthodox when Orthodoxy isn't very Catholic in the sense that they are a universal Church? Orthodox Churches are pretty rare in many areas and it seems to be a cultural faith rather than a universal one.

I've noticed that Lutheranism has the best of Catholicism and Protestantism. Furthermore, I've also noticed that Orthodoxy seems to have the best of Catholicism and Lutheranism. This gives me a tiny bit of hope that I might find truth.

Sorry if I shifted a lot in this post. My mind is scrambled right now on account of the vigorous, exhausting studies I've been doing for the last year and a half (I've been reading articles, books, and other texts online for hours everyday.) I just want to be secure in one faith!!!!!!

Help would be great. On top of all this, I'm suffering from depression, social anxiety disorder, and general anxiety disorder. So I'm very, very, very, VERY tired-out.
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Shiranui117
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2011, 10:56:06 PM »

Alright, with all that searching, I understand the last thing you want is another book; what you NEED is some spiritual and mental R&R. Cheesy

If I may say something, that article you posted is nothing but senseless polemics; I walked into a tiny little Carpatho-Russian Orthodox mission and received a very warm welcome from all the parishioners. No one seemed like they had just got there from a plane from the "old country" five minutes ago; everyone was indistinguishable from people driving down the street in my area. I was not shunned for being "not one of us," and me not being Orthodox was certainly not a barrier. Just last night I was talking with our local mission's priest, and he was once a Roman Catholic priest. Not exactly the type of story that Jimmy Akin wants us to know!  Tongue

The Filioque deal is really up to your personal opinion on whether or not it's a dividing issue. The Pope has clearly been shown to be endlessly-debatable, and not all the Bible studies or research into the ecclesiology in the world will be able to definitively answer the question; it's called "faith" for a reason. I don't think the schism would have lasted as long as it has and to the degree that it has if history alone could decisively settle the matter.

I was baptized Lutheran like you, and like you I was wondering about Orthodoxy during my catechumenate in the Roman Catholic church (The idea of jumping the tracks never occurred to me, though; may have been a good idea, looking back...) and so I have an idea of what you may be going through. I've wavered significantly between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, and I know what it's like to be torn between two ways of Christian life.

I would encourage you to just give yourself a few days, weeks, months, however long you need, to just relax. Let everything you've been learning sink in, and give time for your thoughts to settle and your head to clear. After that, if you want to inquire more deeply into Orthodoxy, I would heartily recommend it, and I would extend my warmest support and welcome. Above all, pray for wisdom, guidance, and peace. I will pray for you as well, and I'm sure many other voices on this forum will be in God's ear for you.
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 10:56:33 PM »

"Catholic" doesn't necessarily mean "universal" in the sense the Church of the entire planet in complete conformity in every detail of language, piety, etc.

A better way to understand the word IMO is:

Every church within the Orthodox Church is Catholic, that is, it is complete.

The parish I visit is Catholic in the sense it houses the complete truth of the Church. And so does the Romanian one in the city, as does the Greek in the city, and all the other parishes within the Church.

That's the sense I like to think about it. The Cloud of Witnesses are present, Christ is present, etc. Nothing is lacking.

FWIW.

Anyone who would like to correct me, please do so.

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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 10:59:25 PM »

Also, one thing I forgot to add:

http://orthodoxyinamerica.org/ is a good place to look for an Orthodox parish, or alternatively, you could google "Eastern Orthodox Church </insert zip code here>"
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 11:00:29 PM »

Why should one be Orthodox when Orthodoxy isn't very Catholic in the sense that they are a universal Church? Orthodox Churches are pretty rare in many areas and it seems to be a cultural faith rather than a universal one.

Actually, Catholicism really has nothing to do with being present in all regions of the world.
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Shiranui117
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 11:02:05 PM »

Why should one be Orthodox when Orthodoxy isn't very Catholic in the sense that they are a universal Church? Orthodox Churches are pretty rare in many areas and it seems to be a cultural faith rather than a universal one.

Actually, Catholicism really has nothing to do with being present in all regions of the world.
Yes, not even the Roman Catholic church could claim to have a parish in every single little town or village in the world!  Wink
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 11:14:07 PM »

"Catholic" doesn't necessarily mean "universal" in the sense the Church of the entire planet in complete conformity in every detail of language, piety, etc.

A better way to understand the word IMO is:

Every church within the Orthodox Church is Catholic, that is, it is complete.

The parish I visit is Catholic in the sense it houses the complete truth of the Church. And so does the Romanian one in the city, as does the Greek in the city, and all the other parishes within the Church.

That's the sense I like to think about it. The Cloud of Witnesses are present, Christ is present, etc. Nothing is lacking.

FWIW.

Anyone who would like to correct me, please do so.



Yes! Thank you. I don't know if this has been true since the schism between Orthodoxy and Rome, but modern day RCs have been very strongheaded about being the "Catholic church" yet etymologically, they are incorrect about it meaning universal. Catholic comes from a Greek phrase kata 'olos, which eventually became katholikos meaning 'part of the whole.' When I first understood that, I immediately thought of St. Ignatius and his ecclesiology and that was in the 1st century! Why should that change?

The RCs should call themselves Universalists (not to be confused with that pseudo-religion) as it would be a more accurate picture of their ecclesiology. The Latin word "universus" means turning to the one, i.e. in their case the pope of Rome. Now, I'm not advocating that RCs worship the pope (though some might choose to take my words as such), but it would more accurately tell their ecclesiology and how they view themselves.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 11:26:04 PM »

Why should one be Orthodox when Orthodoxy isn't very Catholic in the sense that they are a universal Church? Orthodox Churches are pretty rare in many areas and it seems to be a cultural faith rather than a universal one.

Actually, Catholicism really has nothing to do with being present in all regions of the world.
Yes, not even the Roman Catholic church could claim to have a parish in every single little town or village in the world!  Wink

This sort of propaganda is actually most often used by them, however, because it is beneficial to their claims because they have by far the most followers (according to standard renderings) and seem to be present in just about every province of the world. Many people are fooled by it, but unfortunately it's really nothing more than opportunistic propaganda.
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2011, 11:27:47 PM »

Catholicism has much more to do with the Vincentian Canon, which unfortunately also is commonly misinterpreted in the West.  Undecided
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2011, 11:33:29 PM »

I know the feeling brother. Hang in there, your perseverance will pay off.
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2011, 11:38:38 PM »

To the first couple of posters:

Yeah, I understand that it's not "Catholic" in that sense, but the Roman Catholic Church seems to have evangelized more of the world than the Orthodox Church.

Also, there are two Orthodox parishes by me. One is a Greek Orthodox Church and the other is an OCA Church. Both are 22 minutes away from me. Would the Greek one perform the liturgy in Greek? Would the OCA liturgy be in English?

Also, are the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches in communion?
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2011, 11:47:16 PM »

Yeah, I understand that it's not "Catholic" in that sense, but the Roman Catholic Church seems to have evangelized more of the world than the Orthodox Church.

And that contributes to its truthfulness, how?

Both Would the Greek one perform the liturgy in Greek? Would the OCA liturgy be in English?

It's more likely that the OCA church will serve the liturgy in English than the Greek church. However, it's entirely possible that both serve in English or even that both serve in a foreign language.

Also, are the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches in communion?

Yes. The vast majority of churches identifying as Orthodox are part of one of two communions, either the mainstream Eastern (Chalcedonian) Orthodox Communion or the mainstream Oriental (Non-Chalcedonian) Orthodox Communion. The main churches of the Russians and Greeks are both part of the former.
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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2011, 11:51:34 PM »

I second the suggestions to chill out a bit and relax.  Work on your depression and other issues and don't worry so much about the Church issues.

If you are interested in Orthodoxy, I would recommend finding a local Church and attending services.  Get to know the priest and the parish.  See if you like it.  See if anything sits well with you.

The article you cited is not very well done.  It is written with a lot of Roman Catholic presuppositions, and the author comes to a lot of his conclusions by saying things like "that doesn't make sense to me" or "it seems more likely to me."  All of that is fine, but the arguments are not well supported.  The toll house issue is one example -- he makes it sound as if this is Orthodox dogma when in fact the toll houses are quite controversial among Orthodox.  Another is the notion that the Orthodox cannot have another Ecumenical Council because there is no Pope to call it (I suppose the Pope of Alexandria could easily call one, but the Ecumenical Patriarch has the primacy, so he would be the one to do it if it is to be done).  I wouldn't place a whole lot of stock in that article.  You'd be better off just attending a Church and seeing how you like it.

If you're not ready for that, I would attend whatever Church you have been attending until you sort out things a bit.  Give it some time.  You sound burned out and that's not the best way to approach the Faith.
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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2011, 12:03:24 AM »

The article you cited is not very well done.  It is written with a lot of Roman Catholic presuppositions, and the author comes to a lot of his conclusions by saying things like "that doesn't make sense to me" or "it seems more likely to me."  All of that is fine, but the arguments are not well supported.  The toll house issue is one example -- he makes it sound as if this is Orthodox dogma when in fact the toll houses are quite controversial among Orthodox.  Another is the notion that the Orthodox cannot have another Ecumenical Council because there is no Pope to call it (I suppose the Pope of Alexandria could easily call one, but the Ecumenical Patriarch has the primacy, so he would be the one to do it if it is to be done).  I wouldn't place a whole lot of stock in that article.  You'd be better off just attending a Church and seeing how you like it.


Further, the article did not discuss the Catholic doctrine of Immaculate Conception (along with their original sin doctrine), which is one of the main reasons why I could never consider Catholicism, nor did he discuss the issue of indulgences, to name a few.

It doesn't seem like the person who wrote the article did a very thorough comparision between the two faiths.
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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2011, 12:06:18 AM »

Further, the article did not discuss the Catholic doctrine of Immaculate Conception (along with their original sin doctrine), which is one of the main reasons why I could never consider Catholicism,

Really? I didn't think categorically that Mariology was all that significant compared to some of their other heterodoxical doctrines.
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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2011, 12:09:47 AM »

Further, the article did not discuss the Catholic doctrine of Immaculate Conception (along with their original sin doctrine), which is one of the main reasons why I could never consider Catholicism, nor did he discuss the issue of indulgences, to name a few.

It doesn't seem like the person who wrote the article did a very thorough comparision between the two faiths.

It almost struck me as someone who had not read both sides, and got all his information about both traditions from a Roman Catholic apologist.

Anyone who had thoroughly researched the Orthodox Church with a view toward giving her a fair shake would never have written that.  It was just really, really poorly reasoned.
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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2011, 12:12:37 AM »

Further, the article did not discuss the Catholic doctrine of Immaculate Conception (along with their original sin doctrine), which is one of the main reasons why I could never consider Catholicism,

Really? I didn't think categorically that Mariology was all that significant compared to some of their other heterodoxical doctrines.

It goes far beyond Mariology...it  involves key doctrinal issues such as original sin, the fall of man, and free-will, among others, and how RC and EO differ with respect to these.
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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2011, 12:27:00 AM »

Oh yeah, it doesn't help that both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches claim that a person is damned for leaving their communion after joining. Thus, I don't really even want to enter either for the fear of reverting back to another communion. I hate the fear tactics used by these Churches.
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2011, 12:41:32 AM »

Oh yeah, it doesn't help that both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches claim that a person is damned for leaving their communion after joining. Thus, I don't really even want to enter either for the fear of reverting back to another communion. I hate the fear tactics used by these Churches.

 Shocked Shocked Shocked

Where did you get this idea?
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2011, 12:53:07 AM »

Oh yeah, it doesn't help that both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches claim that a person is damned for leaving their communion after joining. Thus, I don't really even want to enter either for the fear of reverting back to another communion. I hate the fear tactics used by these Churches.

God has quite a bit more perspective than we do! I wouldn't get obsessed over that issue. You are trying to move into Life itself, and God is not a monster.
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« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2011, 01:04:28 AM »

Oh yeah, it doesn't help that both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches claim that a person is damned for leaving their communion after joining. Thus, I don't really even want to enter either for the fear of reverting back to another communion. I hate the fear tactics used by these Churches.

God has quite a bit more perspective than we do! I wouldn't get obsessed over that issue. You are trying to move into Life itself, and God is not a monster.

These Church doctrines certainly make me believe He is truly a monster. To quote Martin Luther, "[I seek] a merciful God, a God whom I can love...a God who loves me.”

I fear His wrath. I fear being wrong. I fear His judgment if I am ignorant.
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2011, 01:12:47 AM »

Well, it's good to have a healthy measure of fear, but I daresay if you're going to be so obsessive and neurotic about it, then Martin Luther sounds like your soulmate. The only problem is that Martin Luther did not possess the apostolic faith. If you want that, you're going to have to go Orthodox.
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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2011, 01:22:36 AM »

Well, it's good to have a healthy measure of fear, but I daresay if you're going to be so obsessive and neurotic about it, then Martin Luther sounds like your soulmate. The only problem is that Martin Luther did not possess the apostolic faith. If you want that, you're going to have to go Orthodox.

The claim "you're going to have to go Orthodox" in no way proves you have apostolic faith. It's a mere claim, such as if I said "Lutheranism is the apostolic faith". Where is the meat behind this statement? What of the Roman Catholic Church? Have they not the apostolic faith?
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2011, 01:23:41 AM »

Oh yeah, it doesn't help that both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches claim that a person is damned for leaving their communion after joining. Thus, I don't really even want to enter either for the fear of reverting back to another communion. I hate the fear tactics used by these Churches.

God has quite a bit more perspective than we do! I wouldn't get obsessed over that issue. You are trying to move into Life itself, and God is not a monster.

These Church doctrines certainly make me believe He is truly a monster. To quote Martin Luther, "[I seek] a merciful God, a God whom I can love...a God who loves me.”

I fear His wrath. I fear being wrong. I fear His judgment if I am ignorant.

With pain and tears you will receive grace, and again with tears and joy and thanksgiving, with fear of God you will keep it. With zeal it is drawn. With coldness and negligence it is lost. Elder Joseph the Hagiorite (+1959)
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« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2011, 01:28:21 AM »

Well, if Luther indeed had it, then it means it would have had to have been lost and restored by him personally. But that means that the true Christian faith would have had to have faded from the earth, which sounds like what the Mormons claim to me.

Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, etc. aren't found in the apostolic deposit as doctrines ever taught by any of the ancient churches.

Lutheranism's fruits don't match up either. They consecrate churches to saints and have a calendar of saints, but they haven't produced any in the same manner as before their schism with the Roman Catholics. Even Luther himself doesn't get the title of "saint." Very strange.
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« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2011, 01:46:36 AM »

Well, if Luther indeed had it, then it means it would have had to have been lost and restored by him personally. But that means that the true Christian faith would have had to have faded from the earth, which sounds like what the Mormons claim to me.

Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, etc. aren't found in the apostolic deposit as doctrines ever taught by any of the ancient churches.

Lutheranism's fruits don't match up either. They consecrate churches to saints and have a calendar of saints, but they haven't produced any in the same manner as before their schism with the Roman Catholics. Even Luther himself doesn't get the title of "saint." Very strange.

(1) Sola Scriptura = “All truths necessary to salvation are stated in Holy Scripture.”
(2) Sola Scriptura is not stated in Holy Scripture.
(3) Therefore, Sola Scriptura is not a truth necessary to salvation.

On Sola Fide, I agree with it but I do not take it as far as the Protestants. Faith alone is referring to faith and works in the sense that it is a faith that produces works. If one does not have a change in their lifestyle, they have not faith and, thus, "faith alone" doesn't apply to them (for they lake true faith which produces works). In other words, I agree with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox understanding of faith and works, but I have a different way of wording it.

Lutherans differ on saints. We generally believe in the sainthood of all believers. Those in heaven are now perfect saints and those on earth are paradoxically saints and sinners at the same time.

From "A Defense of 'Sola Scriptura'":

Quote
OBJECTION: The proposition Sola Scriptura contradicts church history, in that no one ever asserted the doctrine before Martin Luther invented it.

REPLY: I propose to provide, in the following lines, evidence to the contrary.

Let us consider the view of St. Thomas Aquinas, the theologian whom most Roman Catholics regard as the greatest systematic expounder of their position. In discussing the Creeds, he writes as follows:

    Objection: It would seem that it is unsuitable for the articles of faith to be embodied in a creed. Because Holy Writ is the rule of faith, to which no addition or subtraction can lawfully be made, since it is written (Deut. 4:2): “You shall not add to the word that I speak to you, neither shall you take away from it.” Therefore it was unlawful to make a creed as a rule of faith, after Holy Writ had once been published.
    Reply: The truth of faith is contained in Holy Writ, diffusely, under various modes of expression, and sometimes obscurely, so that, in order to gather the truth of faith from Holy Writ, one needs long study and practice, which are unattainable by all those who require to know the truth of faith, many of whom have no time for study, being busy with other affairs. And so it was necessary to gather together a clear summary from the sayings of Holy Writ, to be proposed to the belief of all. This indeed was no addition to Holy Writ, but something gathered from it. (Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Question 1, Article 9)

Thomas, you will notice, does not say that in order to learn the truth of faith from Holy Writ, one needs to have an infallible or authoritative interpreter, but only “long study and practice.” His position seems clear enough. We gain our knowledge of the revealed truth from the Scriptures, just as we gain our knowledge of, say, the facts of chemistry by experiment and observation. And someone might argue that, ideally, the best way to teach someone chemistry is to hand him some beakers and test tubes and Bunsen burners and say, “Go to work. Examine things. Observe them. Heat them and chill them and combine them and weigh and measure them and draw your own conclusions.” And the speaker would have a point. However, since life is short, we provide the student with a short-cut in the form of a textbook which contains a summary of the results of centuries of experiment and observation by thousands of chemists. Similarly, it might be argued that the ideal way of teaching someone the truth of faith is to hand him a Bible and say: “Start reading. See what it says, and draw your own conclusions.” However, since life is short, we provide a summary of the Christian faith in the form of the Apostles’s Creed or the Nicene Creed.

But note that if the student asks, after reading the text, “How do we know that an atom of oxygen has a nucleus with eight electrons surrounding it, two in the inner shell and six in the outer?”, the answer must ultimately take the form of an appeal to experiment and observation. Simply saying, “We know because the text says so,” is not good enough. The authority of the text rests on its claim to be a faithful summary of the results of experimentation. Similarly, the validity of the Creed rests upon its being an accurate representation of the truth of faith as taught in Holy Scripture. And this, according to Thomas, because the truth of faith is revealed to us nowhere else. Sola Scriptura!

Again, in another place, Thomas writes as follows:

    Some say than even if man had not sinned, the Son of Man would have become incarnate. Others assert the contrary, and seemingly our assent ought rather to be given to this opinion.
    For such things as spring from God’s will, and beyond the creature’s due, can be made known to us only through being revealed in the Sacred Scripture, in which the Divine Will is made known to us. Hence, since everywhere in the Sacred Scripture the sin of the first man is assigned as the reaon of the Incarnation, it is more in accordance with this to say that the work of the Incarnation was ordained by God as a remedy for sin; so that, had sin not existed, the Incarnation would not have been. And yet the power of God is not limited to this; – even had sin not existed, God could have become incarnate. (Summa Theologica, Third Part, Question 1, Article 3)

Here also, the position of Thomas seems clear. Some truths we can know simply by “figuring them out.” (Thus, although we learn from Numbers 7:86 that 12 times 10 = 120, and from the rest of the chapter some other parts of the 12 times table, we would be able to figure them out without a special revelation!) Other truths we can know only if God reveals them to us. And if a truth is of the second kind, we can know it only if God has revealed it in the Holy Scriptures, since that is where His revelation of His will to us is to be found. Sola Scriptura!

I might rest my case here, since Thomas Aquinas is certainly earlier than Martin Luther. However, there are Roman Catholics who do not find Aquinas to their liking, and some of them might be tempted to say that they have always suspected Thomas of being a Protestant at heart, and that all I have shown is that the Lutheran heresy was already at work a few centuries before Luther himself arrived on the scene. Accordingly, I present a few quotations from Christian writers of an earlier period, to show that the view known as Sola Scriptura is very early and widespread indeed. An asterisk by a name as printed below marks the writer as a Universal Doctor (more or less the theological equivalent of a Nobel Prize winner).

I confess that I have not gathered these quotations myself, but have relied on the work of others.

    ST. IRENAEUS OF LYONS (130-202)

        We have known the method of our salvation by no other means than those by whom the gospel came to us; which gospel they truly preached; but afterward, by the will of God, they delivered to us in the Scriptures, to be for the future the foundation and pillar of our faith. (Adv. H. 3:1)

        Read more diligently that gospel which is given to us by the apostles; and read more diligently the prophets, and you will find every action and the whole doctrine of our Lord preached in them. (Adv. H. 4:66)

    CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (150?-213?)

        They that are ready to spend their time in the best things will not give over seeking for truth until they have found the demonstration from the Scriptures themselves. (Stromata 7:16:3)

    ORIGEN (185?-252)

        In which (the two Testaments) every word that appertains to God may be required and discussed; and all knowledge may be understood out of them. But if anything remain which the Holy Scripture does not determine, no other third Scripture ought to be received for authorizing any knowledge or doctrine; but that which remains we must commit to the fire, that is, we will reserve it for God. For in this present world God would not have us to know all things. (Orig. in Lev., hom. 5, 9:6)

        We know Jesus Christ is God, and we seek to expound the words which are spoken, according to the dignity of the person. Wherefore it is necessary for us to call the Scriptures into testimony; for our meanings and enarrations, without these witnesses, have no credibility. (Tractatus 5 in Matt.)

        No man ought, for the confirmation of doctrines, to use books which are not canonized Scriptures. (Tract. 26 in Matt.)

        As all gold, whatsoever it be, that is without the temple, is not holy; even so every notion which is without the divine Scripture, however admirable it may appear to some, is not holy, because it is foreign to Scripture. (Hom. 25 in Matt.)

        Consider how imminent their danger is who neglect to study the Scriptures, in which alone the discernment of this can be ascertained. (in Rom. 10:16)

    ST. CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE (200?-258)

        Whence comes this tradition? Does it descend from the Lord’s authority, or from the commands and epistles of the apostles? For those things are to be done which are there written. ... If it be commanded in the gospels or the epistles and Acts of the Apostles, then let this holy tradition be observed. (Ep. 74 ad Pompeium)

    HIPPOLYTUS ( -230?)

        There is one God, whom we do not otherwise acknowledge, brethren, but out of the Holy Scriptures. For as he that would possess the wisdom of this world cannot otherwise obtain it than to read the doctrines of the philosophers; so whosoever of us will exercise piety toward God cannot learn this elsewhere but out of the Holy Scriptures. Whatsoever, therefore, the Holy Scriptures do preach, that let us know, and whatsoever they teach, that let us understand. (Hip. tom. 3, Bibliotheque Patrium, ed. Colonna)

    ST. ATHANASIUS OF ALEXANDRIA* (300?-375)

        The Holy Scriptures, given by inspiration of God, are of themselves sufficient toward the discovery of truth. (Orat. adv. Gent., ad cap.)

        The Catholic Christians will neither speak nor endure to hear any thing in religion that is a stranger to Scripture; it being an evil heart of immodesty to speak those things which are not written. (Exhort. ad Monachas)

    ST. AMBROSE OF MILAN* (340?-396)

        How can we use those things which we do not find in the Holy Scriptures? (Ambr. Offic., 1:23)

        I read that he is the first, I read that he is not the second; they who say he is the second, let them show it by reading. (Ambr. Offic., in Virginis Instit. 11)

    ST. HILARY OF POITIERS (315-367)

        O emperor! I admire your faith, which desires only according to those things that were written. ... You seek the faith, O emperor. Hear it then, not from new writings, but from the books of God. Remember that it is not a question of philosophy, but a doctrine of the gospel. (Ad Constant. Augus. 2:8:2)

    ST. GREGORY OF NYSSA (330?-395)

        Let a man be persuaded of the truth of that alone which has the seal of the written testimony. (De Anima et Resurrectione, 1)

    ST. CYRIL OF JERUSALEM (315?-386)

        Not even the least of the divine and holy mysteries of the faith ought to be handed down without the divine Scriptures. Do not simply give faith to me speaking these things to you except you have the proof of what I say from the divine Scriptures. For the security and preservation of our faith are not supported by ingenuity of speech, but by the proofs of the divine Scriptures. (Cat. 4)

    ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM OF ANTIOCH AND BYZANTIUM* (347-407)

        [The Scripture], like a safe door, denies an entrance to heretics, guarding us in safety in all things we desire, and not permitting us to be deceived. ...Whoever uses not the Scriptures, but comes in otherwise, that is, cuts out for himself a different and unlawful way, the same is a thief. (Homily 59, in Joh. 2:8)

        Formerly it might have been ascertained by various means which was the true church, but at present there is no other method left for those who are willing to discover the true church of Christ but by the Scriptures alone. And why? Because heresy has all outward observances in common with her. If a man, therefore, be desirous of knowing the true church, how will he be able to do it amid so great resemblance, but by the Scriptures alone? Wherefore our Lord, foreseeing that such a great confusion of things would take place in the latter days, ordered the Christians to have recourse to nothing but the Scriptures.

        The man of God could not be perfect without the Scriptures. [Paul says to Timothy:] “You have the Scriptures: if you desire to learn anything, you may learn it from them.” But if he writes these things to Timothy, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, how much more must we think these things spoken to us. (Hom. 9 in 2 Tim. 1:9)

        It is absurd, while we will not trust other people in pecuniary affairs, but choose to reckon and calculate for ourselves, that in matters of far higher consequence we should implicitly follow the opinions of others, especially as we possess the most exact and perfect rule and standard by which to regulate our several inquiries: I mean the regulation of the divine laws. I, therefore, could wish that all of you would reject what this or that man says, and that you would investigate all these things in the Scriptures. (Hom. 13, 4:10 ad fin. in 2 Cor.)

    THEOPHILUS OF ALEXANDRIA ( -412)

        It is the part of a devilish spirit to think any thing to be divine that is not in the authority of the Holy Scriptures. (Ep. Pasch. 2)

    ST. JEROME* (342?-420)

        The church of Christ, possessing churches in all the world, is united by the unity of the Spirit, and has the cities of the law, the prophets, the gospels, and the apostles. She has not gone forth from her boundaries, that is, from the Holy Scriptures. (Comm. in Micha. 1:1)

        Those things which they make and find, as it were, by apostolical tradition, without the authority and testimony of Scripture, the word of God smites. (ad Aggai 1)

        As we deny not those things that are written, so we refuse those things that are not written. That God was born of a virgin we believe, because we read it; that Mary did marry after she was delivered we believe not, because we do not read it. (Adv. Helvidium)

    ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO* (354-430)

        In those things which are clearly laid down in Scripture, all those things are found which pertain to faith and morals. (De Doct. Chr. 2:9)

        Whatever you hear from them [the Scriptures], let that be well received by you. Whatever is without them refuse, lest you wander in a cloud. (De Pastore, 11)

        All those things which in times past our ancestors have mentioned to be done toward mankind and have delivered unto us: all those things also which we see and deliver to our posterity, so far as they pertain to the seeking and maintaining true religion, the Holy Scripture has not passed over in silence. (Ep. 42)

        Whatever our Saviour would have us read of his actions and sayings he commanded his apostles and disciples, as his hands, to write. (De Consensu Evang. 1:ult.)

        Let them [the Donatists] demonstrate their church if they can, not by the talk and rumor of the Africans; not by the councils of their own bishops; not by the books of their disputers; not by deceitful miracles, against which we are cautioned by the word of God, but in the prescript of the law, in the predictions of the prophets, in the verses of the Psalms, in the voice of the Shepherd himself, in the preaching and works of the evangelists; that is, in all canonical authorities of the sacred Scriptures. (De Unit. Eccl. 16)

    ST. CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA (380?-444)

        That which the Holy Scriptures have not said, by what means should we receive and account it among those things that are true? (Glaphyrarum in Gen. 2)

    THEODORET OF CYRRHUS (393?-458?)

        By the Holy Scriptures alone am I persuaded. (Dial. 1, Atrept.)

        I am not so bold as to affirm anything which the sacred Scripture passes in silence. (Dial. 2, Asynchyt.)

        We ought not to seek those things that are passed in silence, but rest in the things which are written. (in Gen. Q. 45)

    ST. JOHN OF DAMASCUS (675?-749?)

        We receive and acknowledge and reverence all things which are delivered in the law, the prophets, the apostles and evangelists, and we seek after nothing beyond these. (de Fid. Ortho. 1:1:1)

CONCLUSION: The doctrine of Sola Scriptura, far from being an invention of Martin Luther, is taken for granted by St. Thomas Aquinas, and is a point agreed upon by the writers of the patristic age.
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« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2011, 02:00:24 AM »

Lutherans differ on saints. We generally believe in the sainthood of all believers. Those in heaven are now perfect saints and those on earth are paradoxically saints and sinners at the same time.

Well, obviously not all who are "believers" are saints, as even the demons believe and tremble. I'm talking about the practice of all ancient churches with ties to the apostles to acknowledge and canonize those individuals in their churches who they are certain have attained unto God and are in the Church Militant able to hear our intercessions. They are canonized in the sense that they are a "rule" for the rest of us to follow for one reason or another. My point was that Lutheranism has abandoned this practice of formal canonization, while paradoxically retaining the calendar of canonized saints from their Roman Catholic patrimony.

Orthodox don't believe that only canonized saints are in Heaven right now praying for us. Those who are canonized are simply those who have been revealed definitively and positively to the Church because of their popularity. There are countless saints who are not in the calendar, most of which led simple lives as laypeople in peace and repentance.

My point was just that this is one of many ways in which Lutheranism has lost its apostolic flavor, and also discontinued a universal Christian practice in favor of something more egalitarian.
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« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2011, 02:09:48 AM »

OBJECTION: The proposition Sola Scriptura contradicts church history, in that no one ever asserted the doctrine before Martin Luther invented it.

REPLY: I propose to provide, in the following lines, evidence to the contrary.

Most of the fathers that were quoted were writing before the time when a New Testament canon was even clearly defined, so the point is moot.

Anyway, I don't care to denigrate the Holy Scriptures. They are very special and holy writings which received their life within the Church and from the Church. They were only elevated to "Sola" (Sole) authority when the bishopric was abrogated. And yes, I do realize that many Lutheran churches kept bishops, but that is beside the point. All confessional Lutherans interpret those Holy Scriptures through a predetermined doctrinal lens which exist in Luther's catechisms, the Book of Concord, etc. All traditions of men, which deviate from the traditions of God.
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« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2011, 02:31:02 AM »

Lutherans differ on saints. We generally believe in the sainthood of all believers. Those in heaven are now perfect saints and those on earth are paradoxically saints and sinners at the same time.

Well, obviously not all who are "believers" are saints, as even the demons believe and tremble. I'm talking about the practice of all ancient churches with ties to the apostles to acknowledge and canonize those individuals in their churches who they are certain have attained unto God and are in the Church Militant able to hear our intercessions. They are canonized in the sense that they are a "rule" for the rest of us to follow for one reason or another. My point was that Lutheranism has abandoned this practice of formal canonization, while paradoxically retaining the calendar of canonized saints from their Roman Catholic patrimony.

Orthodox don't believe that only canonized saints are in Heaven right now praying for us. Those who are canonized are simply those who have been revealed definitively and positively to the Church because of their popularity. There are countless saints who are not in the calendar, most of which led simple lives as laypeople in peace and repentance.

My point was just that this is one of many ways in which Lutheranism has lost its apostolic flavor, and also discontinued a universal Christian practice in favor of something more egalitarian.

You know what I mean by "believers". If you object of my use of it, you must object of all the NT uses of it. For instance:

Acts 1:15
In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)

Does this mean Peter stood among the demons and angels too? No. Historically, "believers" means those who trust in Christ for salvation.

I do not by any means believe in formal canonization and I even go so far as to declare it useless. The greatest saints I know live in poverty, are struck by famine, and are ready to die for the Gospel. Such saints are oppressed and are a part of the "underground church".

I think you should read "Tortured For Christ" by Richard Wurmbrand. He worked to help those in the underground church and was in jail many times with Orthodox Christians. Oh how I wish I could have been there!
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« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2011, 02:38:26 AM »

Richard Wurmbrand was a real saint - I agree with you! Someone I think all Christians can respect and aspire to emulate. Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2011, 02:44:12 AM »

I do not by any means believe in formal canonization and I even go so far as to declare it useless.

It seems odd that you would formally denounce canonization when the entire crumbling Lutheran edifice is based on canonized books.

But if you are really so ready to write off a universal practice of the ancient Catholic Church, then Lutheranism again seems like a good fit. I'm not trying to belittle your problems or act as if I don't think you should see the truth of Holy Orthodoxy, but you have to move away from pet doctrines and personal opinions on some of these matters. Every apostolic church is in complete disagreement with your assessment of canonization of saints as "useless", including your own church.

The Christian life is full of measurements beside the Bible. We look to holy people which have actualized the Christ-ideal, and we look toward the rule of prayer (i.e. "ruler", "measuring stick", "canon"). There are many things which show us the Way.

You yourself point to this Lutheran hero as a measurement of a true Christian life in action. So to me, it sounds like you are "canonizing" him yourself. So it can't be as useless as you think, since you are doing it.
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« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2011, 05:05:00 AM »

Well, if Luther indeed had it, then it means it would have had to have been lost and restored by him personally. But that means that the true Christian faith would have had to have faded from the earth, which sounds like what the Mormons claim to me.

Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, etc. aren't found in the apostolic deposit as doctrines ever taught by any of the ancient churches.

Lutheranism's fruits don't match up either. They consecrate churches to saints and have a calendar of saints, but they haven't produced any in the same manner as before their schism with the Roman Catholics. Even Luther himself doesn't get the title of "saint." Very strange.

(1) Sola Scriptura = “All truths necessary to salvation are stated in Holy Scripture.”
(2) Sola Scriptura is not stated in Holy Scripture.
(3) Therefore, Sola Scriptura is not a truth necessary to salvation.

On Sola Fide, I agree with it but I do not take it as far as the Protestants. Faith alone is referring to faith and works in the sense that it is a faith that produces works. If one does not have a change in their lifestyle, they have not faith and, thus, "faith alone" doesn't apply to them (for they lake true faith which produces works). In other words, I agree with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox understanding of faith and works, but I have a different way of wording it.

Lutherans differ on saints. We generally believe in the sainthood of all believers. Those in heaven are now perfect saints and those on earth are paradoxically saints and sinners at the same time.

From "A Defense of 'Sola Scriptura'":

Quote
OBJECTION: The proposition Sola Scriptura contradicts church history, in that no one ever asserted the doctrine before Martin Luther invented it.

REPLY: I propose to provide, in the following lines, evidence to the contrary.


Can you give an url to this copied paragraph?
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« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2011, 08:00:23 AM »

Oh yeah, it doesn't help that both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches claim that a person is damned for leaving their communion after joining. Thus, I don't really even want to enter either for the fear of reverting back to another communion. I hate the fear tactics used by these Churches.

God has quite a bit more perspective than we do! I wouldn't get obsessed over that issue. You are trying to move into Life itself, and God is not a monster.

These Church doctrines certainly make me believe He is truly a monster. To quote Martin Luther, "[I seek] a merciful God, a God whom I can love...a God who loves me.”

I fear His wrath. I fear being wrong. I fear His judgment if I am ignorant.

God doesn't judge ignorance.  Just knowledge.

I also come from the Lutherans, went to an Ultramontanist school.

Aiken's article is pretty much just preaching to the choir.
Quote
The absence of a pope from Eastern Orthodoxy clearly had negative effects. With no pope to call or recognize ecumenical councils, the Orthodox haven’t had one in centuries. As Kallistos Ware virtually admits, there is no practical way for the Orthodox to call or agree upon an ecumenical council (cf. The Orthodox Church, Penguin Books, 255–8).
The only problem is that bascially no bishop of Rome called any of the 7 Ecumenical Councils, and we have had Panorthodox Councils which are still not seen as Ecumenical, e.g. Constantinople IV (879), when we "still had the pope." Another is Constantinople V, which settled the Hesychist controversy, exercising that " functioning teaching authority capable of settling new theological controversies" that Mr Aiken claims we don't have.

Quote
1. Church A is the true Church of Christ despite being a small, ethnically limited, and internally fractured communion that does not possess the admittedly divine institution of the papacy, while church B is a schismatic church despite it being far larger, having evangelized far more cultures, not having internal full communion problems, and having the institution of the papacy.
No, no Orthodox claims divine origin of the papacy.  At best, of ecclesiastical origin, meaning, he acts as the Church's minister. Not God's vicar.

And a lot of "evangelized more cultures" has to do with empire building and destroying cultures.  Orthodoxy tending not to do the latter is how we end up with all those Orthodox Churches, while all of Latin America had the Latin Mass and was forced to speak Spanish/Portuguese/French. And until the time of these empire building, the Vatican and the Orthodox were pretty evenly matched in numbers (at the time of the schism, the Orthodox were slightly ahead).

Quote
First-century Palestinians had a theocratic view of government—literally. It was the first-century Jewish historian Josephus who coined the term theocracy to describe the Palestinian Jews’ belief that God was the King of Israel and its earthly leaders were his proxies. The political institutions the apostles were familiar with didn’t have people who had figurehead positions. Rulers in the East were strong men. If God gave you authority, he gave you authority
Mr. Aiken seems not to have heard of the Sanhedrin.
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« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2011, 08:18:54 AM »

These Church doctrines certainly make me believe He is truly a monster. To quote Martin Luther, "[I seek] a merciful God, a God whom I can love...a God who loves me.”

I fear His wrath. I fear being wrong. I fear His judgment if I am ignorant.

As a former Lutheran, let me say that you are viewing God in a theological framework that is a bit skewed from Orthodoxy.  In Orthodox theology, God is not primarily a righteous judge waiting to tell us whether we get into heaven or hell (this is a caricature of Western views of sin and judgment, so bear with me).  Rather, God is a loving Father Who wants to heal us, restore us into communion with Him and make us whole persons again.  There is no way to unpack all of this in a message board, so I would again encourage you to befriend a priest or someone you trust to deal with these issues.  As a new convert myself, I assure you the Orthodox views make sense.  But coming from a Lutheran background, they take a LOT of unpacking.

The simplest way I can put it on a message board is in Orthodox theology, our problem is not that we are "sinners" (in the sense that we do bad things, i.e., sin), but rather that we are "mortal" (in the sense that we are bound to this body of death, which CAUSES us to sin).  God's problem with us is not that we are bad and need to be punished, but rather that we are broken and need to be healed.  So fearing God's wrath is healthy if God's wrath is viewed rightly as fatherly chastisement.  Fearing God's wrath is decidedly unhealthy if you are viewing God as someone Who is angry and has a divine need to punish you.

There will be a judgment.  There is no doubt about that.  But the judgment will come whether you want it to or not.  Fearing the judgment is like fearing death -- it's kind of pointless (not that we all don't do both anyway).  The healthier view, IMHO, is found in Orthodoxy.  We fear God in the classical sense, yes.  But to us, God is a loving Father Who would have us restored to communion with Him.  And He has given us all that is necessary for that communion to be restored.  Not because Christ kept the Law for us and therefore satisfied His divine justice, but out of free, pure and Holy love for us.  No one -- not even Christ -- "paid the price" for us in the sense that God was owed something and is now appeased.  No, it was purely of His love for us.    All gift.  Christ died not to appease the wrath of the Father, but to defeat death and restore communion between humanity and the Divine Energies.
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« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2011, 08:57:33 AM »


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« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2011, 10:55:33 AM »

My favorite verse ever.  Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2011, 12:04:36 PM »

Thee is more to the Orthodox Church than her ecclesiology and theology. The most immediate and striking difference that one encounters is the intensity of worship. Using bodies of water as an analogy, I think that Orthodox worship would be like diving into an ocean and staying immersed for its duration. Others have described it as heaven on earth. My point here is that it is important to actually be part of Orthodox worship services to fully understand Orthodoxy. I would recommend trying out the Saturday Vespers and Sunday Hours/Liturgy weekly cycle. One could then expand to services during the week (most commonly Wednesday Vespers). Finally, I think one should attend a full cycle of Paschal services to fully understand and live the Orthodox emphasis on the Resurrection of our Lord; I mean by this all of the Sunday services (Saturday Great Vespers/Sunday Matins or Hours plus Divine Liturgy) starting with Zaccheus Sunday (three weeks before the start of Great Lent), Forgiveness Vespers, additional weekday services during Lent--particularly the pre-sanctified Liturgies, Lazarus Saturday, the Great Feasts (like Annunciation) that fall during this period, and at least one service each day during Holy Week (if you are fortunate to do it, it would be good to devote all of Holy Friday, Holy Saturday and Pascha to praying and participating in services). And, if offered, please participate in coffee hour or agape (communal) meal after Liturgy, break the fast on Pascha with the congregation after Paschal Liturgy, browse the bookstore, talk to the parishioners and to the priest.

This sounds intense but there is actually no expectation that one must do all of this, certainly not in the beginning. I am bringing this up because another distinguishing feature of the Orthodox Church is that we are called to holiness, to grow in the Lord, to become more like Him in whose image and likeness we were all made. Each one of us is embarked on this journey but each journey has its own tempo. So, I think that a serious inquirer should (not must but should) expose himself, as much as he can bear, to this path that is so radically different. In Christ, Kyrill
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 12:12:59 PM by Second Chance » Logged

Michal: "SC, love you in this thread."
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« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2011, 02:10:07 PM »

Not to pry or be intrusively curiously but are you in school or working? You sound exhausted and this sort of frantic, continuous worry I think often comes about when people do not have something practical to focus their energies on and dwelling in their minds too much. I don't mean to be rude by saying that. And I'm sure lots of people will vehemently disagree with me, but it sounds like you need a break from studying, books and being in "thinking mode." "Praying and trusting mode" can be good too. Starting out in theology might burn you out.
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« Reply #38 on: January 28, 2011, 02:37:27 PM »

Quote from: TristanCross
These Church doctrines certainly make me believe He is truly a monster. To quote Martin Luther, "[I seek] a merciful God, a God whom I can love...a God who loves me.”

The danger in seeking it is easy to invent and create something built around our own desires. But anyway, the idea of God as a monster is false. God is described in the liturgy as our "man loving master" and he is willing and wants to save us. He came to live as we do and to be able to of our condition first hand according to the Bible.
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« Reply #39 on: January 28, 2011, 06:28:21 PM »

Not to pry or be intrusively curiously but are you in school or working? You sound exhausted and this sort of frantic, continuous worry I think often comes about when people do not have something practical to focus their energies on and dwelling in their minds too much. I don't mean to be rude by saying that. And I'm sure lots of people will vehemently disagree with me, but it sounds like you need a break from studying, books and being in "thinking mode." "Praying and trusting mode" can be good too. Starting out in theology might burn you out.

Jason, there is a lot of good advice here but this is especially a good bit.  I to understand your point here because I have been there and still go into this mode every so often.  I finally had to go into the "Praying and trusting mode" and trust me it's ok to take a break, God is there waiting for you while you are on your break. There was a priest here (I can't recall who) that qouted this qoute awhile back and I saved it for myself, hopefully it will help you.


 "If God wants you out, He will do it Himself and it will be beyond your control, then you get to take the next step on your journey.  If you make the decision to leave before God forces the situation beyond your control, then you have failed and you will be back to square one and tail-chasing".

In time you will find out what you need, don't rush it.

Caleb
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« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2011, 02:02:13 AM »

I'm sorry, I thought I provided the link to the Defense of Sola Scriptura. Here it is: http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/djw/lutherantheology.kiefersolascriptura.html

I'm seventeen years old (I'll be eighteen years old next month) and I'm a senior in high school.

Can you guys help me with this: http://www.equip.org/PDF/DE177.pdf

Thank you.

EDIT: You guys need to understand, I've spent the last three years without really going to church or spending time with Christians. This is all because I just don't know what Church is God's true Church or if there is even a true Church. I just can't give up looking until I find it, yet it's harder for me to find it with the smoke of Satan everywhere, clouding my judgment.

What's up with the deification thing Orthodox Christians believe? It sounds like you believe we will become gods or something.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 02:18:40 AM by TristanCross » Logged

"Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. "
— St. John Chrysostom
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« Reply #41 on: February 01, 2011, 03:20:38 AM »


What's up with the deification thing Orthodox Christians believe? It sounds like you believe we will become gods or something.

Theosis (deification) is the process of continually becoming by grace what God is by nature, without ever becoming God or fusing with him. By being sanctified through God's uncreated grace, we become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) and become "godlike" "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods" John 10:34. Our priest just lectured on this topic, in fact.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 03:26:27 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #42 on: February 01, 2011, 03:24:27 AM »


I'm seventeen years old (I'll be eighteen years old next month) and I'm a senior in high school.

Can you guys help me with this: http://www.equip.org/PDF/DE177.pdf

Thank you.

EDIT: You guys need to understand, I've spent the last three years without really going to church or spending time with Christians. This is all because I just don't know what Church is God's true Church or if there is even a true Church. I just can't give up looking until I find it, yet it's harder for me to find it with the smoke of Satan everywhere, clouding my judgment.
My dear friend, you will never find the answer you seek if you spend all your time googling "true church" stuff online, reading back-and-forths on blogs, from evangelical, orthodox, catholic, lutheran apologetic sites. I went that route; ultimately I had to take a chance and attend some Divine Liturgies, have real-life experience. Plus, nobody can parse all the back and forth internet arguments out there, even if they had a lifetime. You should go to your local library and read the Fathers (Kirsopp Lake's translation of a few early church fathers entitled "Apostolic Fathers" from the Loeb library series is a great start, and widely available).

And above all, trust and rest in the mercy of God, so that you can be at peace during your search and see clearly.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 03:25:50 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2011, 03:26:38 AM »


What's up with the deification thing Orthodox Christians believe? It sounds like you believe we will become gods or something.

Theosis (deification) is the process of continually becoming by grace what God is by nature, without ever becoming God or fusing with him. By being sanctified through God's uncreated grace, we become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) and become "godlike" "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods" John 10:34.

So, it's basically referring to how we will become more Christ-like during sanctification and ultimately will be perfect when we enter eternal life?
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"Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. "
— St. John Chrysostom
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« Reply #44 on: February 01, 2011, 03:34:12 AM »


What's up with the deification thing Orthodox Christians believe? It sounds like you believe we will become gods or something.

Theosis (deification) is the process of continually becoming by grace what God is by nature, without ever becoming God or fusing with him. By being sanctified through God's uncreated grace, we become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) and become "godlike" "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods" John 10:34.

So, it's basically referring to how we will become more Christ-like during sanctification and ultimately will be perfect when we enter eternal life?

Right. But we never become God's essence or "fuse" with God; the created cannot become uncreated. Nor do we become actual gods in a literal sense. You might benefit from contrasting the Orthodox doctrine of theosis with the heretical Mormon doctrine of literally becoming a god in the polytheistic sense and in essence.

And here is the orthodox wiki article for further reference: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Theosis
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 03:37:42 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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