Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Thank you all so much for the welcome. Where to start? Perhaps John 6 is a good place.
In John 6 the disciples who asked: How can this man give us His flesh to eat? asked the right question but departed from Jesus when he kept insisting: whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.
The departing from Jesus is a wrong faith response to what I think was the right question. So I kept the question but had to depart from those who I perceived had departed from Jesus because of this very issue. In this I see mirrored the Protestant departure from 'whoever eats the flesh and drinks the blood has eternal life'. Does this mean whoever does not 'has no life in them'? This is more or less started in 2008.
JimCBrooklyn, So what am I looking for? Restoration as a son of God.
CDHealy, "The Lord's Supper was entirely a memorial." This is the prevailing Protestant mindset. Your account except for changes in names (of churches) and places is pretty close to mine.
HabteSelassie, a glimpse of the Orthodox faith! So reformed Protestants appear to have replaced the sacrament of the Eucharist with the preaching of the Word.
Second Chance, Thanks for the recommendation 'For the Life of the World'. I can browse through related treads to see what's there.
Any links to useful Orthodox websites would be appreciated. A few respondents asked if I have questions. Not at this stage - I've yet to source the resources from which questions would arise.
About Orthodox perceptions about Protestantism. Would anyone care to offer a long term prognosis for Protestantism? What is the end of Protestantism? i.e the sum of protestantism
Yes, the Protestants unfortunately (but indeed out of the sincerity of their faith) worked with all they had left themselves when rejecting the Sacramentality of the Church. All they have left is the Bible, it is all they willfully left themselves with. The Sola Scripture mentality is that God ONLY operates through the Scriptures, that the Word of God is not necessarily the Second Person of the Trinity (IE a real, living, tangible Savior who comes to us in this real life in very real ways of the Sacraments) but rather is the Words of the Bible, and that God speaks to us through these Words. However, God comes to us in many ways, not just the Scriptures. However these were honestly working with all they had, and we can applaud them in their faith, but also easily see how they could get so mixed up with nothing else.
In the Church, our Priests as the Apostles bring us through the Holy Spirit the Sacraments of God. They bring us the Real Presence, the tangible and operative powers of God in our lives, to heal us, to console us, to vivify us, to give us life and give it to us abundantly. Whereas in the Protestant, all they have is the Scriptures, so on Sundays (and any days really) this is all their clergy have to offer the people, and it is simply not enough. God precisely gave us the Sacraments because the Torah was not enough. If there was a law that could give life, then surely life would come from the law, but rather the Law condemns us all to death. However, what the Law inherently could not do because it was weak and ineffectual , God did directly in sending us His Son, who receive each Sunday in the Flesh and Blood (amen!)
Essentially, the doctrine of the Real Presence, of the canabalistic feasting on the Flesh and Blood of God, is supposed to confuse us, to bewilder us, to makes us unsure of it all. In this incertainty, we can experience God, aside from the limits of our pretensions. The Real Presence is not supposed to make any kind of reasonable sense, and yet that is the point, God is senseless because He is beyond sensibilities. He is God! Those who reject the Real Presence (be it in any age, the Apostolic or the contemporary or any in between) are simply relishing in their mutual confusion of the Sacraments, but instead of trying to understand this Mystery with their comprehension, they should simply try to stand in midst of God and experience
it directly, with the heart and soul, not the mind. The Protestant mindset could not make sense of the Mystery, so instead it changed it to a symbol, but regardless of their misunderstanding, we cannot change God. It is actually better that these remain in confusion, for as they grope around feeling in the darkness of their ignorance surely they will actually find God directly as the rest of us in time have