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Author Topic: How does Protestantism affect your faith?  (Read 4699 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 23, 2011, 10:37:36 PM »

I'm looking for answers to those that are Orthodox and not Protestant. I recently was engaged in a bitter debate over the actual deity with Christ with another Protestant Christian who denied the divinity and claimed he was just a man. It didn't go down well and this other fellow was being supported by other Christians. Watching a few youtube videos I come across self proclaimed Christians partaking in new age beliefs and the like.

I am deeply bothered by this, I hearken back to a PM I received a long time ago who lost his Christian faith because of how he saw Christianity through the glass of Protestantism but then found Orthodoxy. When I hear a Christian said there are other ways to earn salvation and different paths, I can't help but to shake my head with this banter when its broadcasted on national television.

I guess I am more upset at certain popular figures being a bad witness to the Christian faith? How this impacts my own beliefs, I guess by nature I like to argue and get into heated debates, for me I find it difficult to accept someone is wrong and let it be, I'd like to intervene and show that person.

My contention too is why wouldn't God let Orthodoxy conquer the schisms and heretics of Christianity? Maybe one day when Protestantism collapses?
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2011, 11:22:09 PM »

One would imagine that age old heresies like Arianism and Nestorianism are long dead by now, but no. I always get shocked to find these teachings promoted by groups that have traditionally held to sound Christology. I would refuse to go into a debate where Holy Scripture is thrown around like rocks. I would instead explain that I hold to the Nicene Creed and quote the relevant part, this will either end the discussion or take it on a different path. Many pointless and harmful discussions can be avoided by referencing the Nicene Creed.
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2011, 01:16:41 AM »

My contention too is why wouldn't God let Orthodoxy conquer the schisms and heretics of Christianity? Maybe one day when Protestantism collapses?

If every Orthodox Christian was holy, we probably would see mass conversions to Orthodoxy all over the place. God can't usurp our own personal free will and make us holy on His own. Our will needs to be in accordance with His. We are responsible for our own spiritual state. If the examples of Orthodoxy we set forth are lacking in some way, we can't blame God. It is possible that such a lacking is, in and of itself, a valuable spiritual lesson. Let's not worry about tomorrow, but merely resolve on this Feast of Feasts to begin anew, to take up our Cross and follow Christ.
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011, 04:52:20 AM »

Many pointless and harmful discussions can be avoided by referencing the Nicene Creed.

And on the other hand give an impression that we don't have biblical, patristic and historical arguments for our stance.
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2011, 05:13:42 AM »

And on the other hand give an impression that we don't have biblical, patristic and historical arguments for our stance.

Wink That is kind of the point. People out to provoke will just think you are stupid and move on. People genuinely interested in a discussion could be led into an actual profitable discussion about WHY the Nicene Creed is written like it is.

I'm not saying everyone should do this. I just want to avoid discussions where "arguments" are supposed to show that I am correct and the other guy is wrong. I want to keep my friends.
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2011, 12:28:44 PM »

My contention too is why wouldn't God let Orthodoxy conquer the schisms and heretics of Christianity? Maybe one day when Protestantism collapses?

"And the Lord was with Orthodoxy; and he drove out the heretics of Arius; but could not drive out the heretics of Luther and Calvin, because they had Bible knowledge." - Judg. 1:19
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2011, 09:16:25 PM »

My contention too is why wouldn't God let Orthodoxy conquer the schisms and heretics of Christianity? Maybe one day when Protestantism collapses?

"And the Lord was with Orthodoxy; and he drove out the heretics of Arius; but could not drive out the heretics of Luther and Calvin, because they had Bible knowledge." - Judg. 1:19
haha Grin quite good!
Of course the Orthodox could not actually drive out Luther and Calvin simply because they where not Orthodox to begin with. It would have looked too silly to make a statement about people outside the Church and condemn them to continue being outside the Church.  laugh 
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2011, 12:57:21 PM »

My contention too is why wouldn't God let Orthodoxy conquer the schisms and heretics of Christianity? Maybe one day when Protestantism collapses?

"And the Lord was with Orthodoxy; and he drove out the heretics of Arius; but could not drive out the heretics of Luther and Calvin, because they had Bible knowledge." - Judg. 1:19

Ha, Ha!  I agree--that IS pretty funny.  Grin

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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2011, 01:31:17 PM »

Protestantism serves to remind me of what is, in its essence, heretical. It is also a constant source of irritation as I see the behavior of Protestants portrayed by the media as representative of true Christianity. It drives me nuts.
 
"...why wouldn't God let Orthodoxy conquer the schisms and heretics of Christianity?"

For one thing, it would deprive us of any claims we might ever have to making a conscious decision. We are made in God's image, and that includes having free will, just as He has. That's why the Theotokos is revered as a model of human free will. She voluntarily accepts the role God has offered her (Luke 1:38). God is not a dictator, He is love. The Bridegroom waits at the door; we must be the ones to open it.

As far as learning about heresies, you might find Father Stephen Damick's podcasts on Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy interesting; they put Protestantism into historical context. (I can't recommend them highly enough.) Many of these "popular figures" are not, in actuality, Christians.

And please don't get into bitter debates with those who disagree with you.

Christ is Risen!
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2011, 02:42:27 PM »

I once got into a discussion with another person concerning the Nicene Creed and the historical context in which it was written. Later on a third person who was listening told me that Christ's divinity was always something that he saw as unquestionable and was surprised that anoyone would have ever taught against it.

I personally keep in contact with a group of Protestants that know my family. They are very nice people. They help me to learn how to better articulate and share what I believe, and also to be able to better discern when certain aspects of the faith might be easier for them to understand than others.
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2011, 02:42:39 PM »

I do not have time to read entire thread so just answering the basic question. There are so many variations of what has become Protestantism & so many types of individuals who are (as are personalities within Orthodoxy or anywhere). I tend to take a view in good faith that many are proto Orthodox who I pray would be grafted into the church in the consummation & those truly heretical (who God knows, not me) well all the morre reason to pray as I should for myself or anyone. It is not the fault of most people that they are within varying degrees of distorted theology but also worship the Trinity & follow the Lord's commands many probably better than I may so who am I to judge although I strongly believe in discernment.
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2011, 09:04:53 PM »

[Protestantism] is also a constant source of irritation as I see the behavior of Protestants portrayed by the media as representative of true Christianity. It drives me nuts.

Christ is risen!

I'm with sainthieu on this one. I can't abide the misrepresentation of Christianity that is the ultimate and unavoidable effect of the dominance of protestantism in the Anglosphere.

Also, I am growing more and more exhausted from protestants resurrecting old heresies that have been dealt with over and over and over again.

I mean, I just recently had the following conversation with a dear evangelical friend of mine:

Me: So would you agree that God walked on the earth in first century Palestine?
Her: Yes.
Me: That God was crucified?
Her: Yes.
Me: That God was buried and rose on the third day according to the scriptures?
Her: Yes.
Me: Okay, then would you agree that the virgin Mary gave birth to God?
Her: No.

Is this not blatant heresy? I'm pretty sure we dealt with this a few centuries ago?
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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2011, 10:42:44 PM »

Protestantism serves to remind me of what is, in its essence, heretical. It is also a constant source of irritation as I see the behavior of Protestants portrayed by the media as representative of true Christianity. It drives me nuts.
 
"...why wouldn't God let Orthodoxy conquer the schisms and heretics of Christianity?"

For one thing, it would deprive us of any claims we might ever have to making a conscious decision. We are made in God's image, and that includes having free will, just as He has. That's why the Theotokos is revered as a model of human free will. She voluntarily accepts the role God has offered her (Luke 1:38). God is not a dictator, He is love. The Bridegroom waits at the door; we must be the ones to open it.

As far as learning about heresies, you might find Father Stephen Damick's podcasts on Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy interesting; they put Protestantism into historical context. (I can't recommend them highly enough.) Many of these "popular figures" are not, in actuality, Christians.

And please don't get into bitter debates with those who disagree with you.

Christ is Risen!

I have been blessed by His podcasts,His current series Roads From Emmaus are very informative, He does a really nice job communicating Orthodoxy in simple terms.
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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2011, 11:00:55 PM »

It all depends on what "Protestantism" you have in mind.  I come from a very conservative Lutheran background, and this affects my faith a lot differently than if I came from one of the liberal denominations.  First, if you read the correspondence between the Lutheran theologians and the Patriarch of Constantinople, you will see that there is great agreement between the early Lutherans (currently called "confessional" Lutherans) and the Orthodox.  In addition, the Greek translation of the Augsburg Confession was translated with the assistance of a Serbian Orthodox priest.  In addition, the conservative Lutheran traditions believe strongly in Christian education.  One fourth of all Wisconsin Synod Churches have their own K-8 school.  Catechism and Religion are required subjects in these schools, and you are NOT welcome to attend if this is a problem for you.  Most confessional Lutherans, believing in Sola Scriptura, have an intimate knowledge of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.  Lutheran ministers are highly trained, and four years of seminary is mandatory.  Most have four years of training in a Lutheran teachers college before they even get to seminary.  Conservative Lutherans also have a strong lay ministry, meaning that many churches have laymen who are more than competent to lead Bible Studies and assist the pastor in his ministry. 

I had an old Arab once tell me that he thought that Lutherans made the best converts to Orthodoxy because the ones that he had met were not wooed over by the “beauty of the service” or the music or the pomp and ceremony or anything else other than the belief that the Orthodox Church was the true Church based on their study of Scripture.  In fact, the very things that cause some Protestants to convert can be a stumbling block for a conservative Lutheran, who has been trained from birth to suspect anything “Catholic” as man-made and superfluous to his faith.  Conservative Lutherans are a very liturgical group, and see great meaning in the services of the Church.  Some of the schisms in the Lutheran Churches occur when major changes are made to the Church Hymnals.  In spite of two attempts to revise the Lutheran Hymnal from 1948, many LCMS and WELS churches refuse to give it up, and there is even talk of reviving it.  Consequently, such a Lutheran would be scandalized at attempts to shorten the Liturgy or some of the other abuses made to the services.

Conservative Lutherans do not belong to the World Council of Churches, nor are Masons allowed in the WELS or the more conservative LCMS churches.  The participation of Orthodox in these is a major scandal to these conservatives, and often one of the things that keeps many from embracing Orthodoxy, even if they have come to recognize the error of their own denomination.  They are also scandalized by the near total ignorance of the average Orthodox parishioner about the Scriptures, the intellectual understanding of their faith, and the reliance upon whatever “traditions” were inherited from whatever third world hole these people came from.  Conservative Lutherans are very sectarian and do not even practice intercommunion with fellow Lutherans.

I am not condoning the views and attitudes above, and many lead to real problems for the convert from these Churches.  But the question was “how does Protestantism affect your faith?”  I can say that the biases that I brought with me from the Lutheran Church certainly affected my faith.  They were largely responsible for my VERY short tenure in the Antiochian Archdiocese, and my love and bonding with the ROCOR.  They are also giving me not a little problem with the new home in the Serbian Church, which I am finding to have far more in common with the Greeks and Antiochians than with the Russians.  I was taught that faith is a dead serious matter, not just a cultural thing, and tend to gravitate toward those who are like minded.  This is dangerous and can lead to some real problems with arrogance, pride, and other vices.  On the other hand, there is a great fear to “lighten up” since that could lead to over reaction in the opposite direction.  I would say that my Protestant upbringing has affected my Orthodoxy considerably.  I have had to remind my priest several times that I was a heretic for twice as long as I have been Orthodox, and sometimes it becomes evident that my conversion has not been completed, even after 16 years.  Unlike the indifferent converts that first find a strong faith in the Orthodox Church, I knew, understood, defended and taught the heresies that I formerly believed.  Sometimes it is more difficult to unlearn something than it was to learn it in the first place.
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2011, 09:39:01 AM »

Protestantism serves to remind me of what is, in its essence, heretical. It is also a constant source of irritation as I see the behavior of Protestants portrayed by the media as representative of true Christianity. It drives me nuts.
 
"...why wouldn't God let Orthodoxy conquer the schisms and heretics of Christianity?"

For one thing, it would deprive us of any claims we might ever have to making a conscious decision. We are made in God's image, and that includes having free will, just as He has. That's why the Theotokos is revered as a model of human free will. She voluntarily accepts the role God has offered her (Luke 1:38). God is not a dictator, He is love. The Bridegroom waits at the door; we must be the ones to open it.

As far as learning about heresies, you might find Father Stephen Damick's podcasts on Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy interesting; they put Protestantism into historical context. (I can't recommend them highly enough.) Many of these "popular figures" are not, in actuality, Christians.

And please don't get into bitter debates with those who disagree with you.

Christ is Risen!

I have been blessed by His podcasts,His current series Roads From Emmaus are very informative, He does a really nice job communicating Orthodoxy in simple terms.

The "Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy" podcast sounds interesting. I'm not going to listen to it right now, but I'll try to get back to it later.
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2011, 03:17:56 PM »

I'm looking for answers to those that are Orthodox and not Protestant. I recently was engaged in a bitter debate over the actual deity with Christ with another Protestant Christian who denied the divinity and claimed he was just a man. It didn't go down well and this other fellow was being supported by other Christians. Watching a few youtube videos I come across self proclaimed Christians partaking in new age beliefs and the like.

I am deeply bothered by this, I hearken back to a PM I received a long time ago who lost his Christian faith because of how he saw Christianity through the glass of Protestantism but then found Orthodoxy. When I hear a Christian said there are other ways to earn salvation and different paths, I can't help but to shake my head with this banter when its broadcasted on national television.

I guess I am more upset at certain popular figures being a bad witness to the Christian faith? How this impacts my own beliefs, I guess by nature I like to argue and get into heated debates, for me I find it difficult to accept someone is wrong and let it be, I'd like to intervene and show that person.

My contention too is why wouldn't God let Orthodoxy conquer the schisms and heretics of Christianity? Maybe one day when Protestantism collapses?

Maybe one day you will grow tired of trying to defend what you believe to be true. Maybe one day you will simply want to find rest and lay your head in peace.

Protestantism doesn't have any roots. But Orthodoxy does. You can plant roots here once you are tired over there.
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2011, 03:34:35 PM »

Protestantism doesn't have any roots. But Orthodoxy does. You can plant roots here once you are tired over there.

 Roll Eyes Why even bother to say things like that?
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« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2011, 04:57:38 PM »

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


My contention too is why wouldn't God let Orthodoxy conquer the schisms and heretics of Christianity? Maybe one day when Protestantism collapses?

 The simply answer is, "God already has let Orthodoxy conquer schisms and heretics, and Protestantism is already collapsing."

The Orthodox conquers in the Spirit through the Seven Divine Mysteries of the Church.  It silences all opposition, and heals all broken hearts and reconciles all to God in time.  The Church operates in the frame of Eternity remember, as my priest reminded me in Confession, "God has given us all plenty of time to work out our sinfulness."

 The Church is merely continuing on its perpetual Apostolic mission, to bring the Kingdom of God in the Divine Mysteries to all corners of the world.  If there are those who still momentarily reject Orthodox, give it time in God's Grace.  We Christian laborers may do the planting, watering, and pruning, but it is God Himself Who provides the growth and the increase Smiley

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie
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« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2011, 05:50:53 PM »

Yes, Protestantism is doomed to collapse, or continue dissolving into an incoherent mass. It was doomed from day one, because it's based on people going into schism when they don't like the group they're part of. The logical end is "house churches", and finally "me and my Bible, which I interpret however I please."

I'm shocked how much it's changed in my lifetime. When I was young, the Calvinist Reformed churches still strongly reflected their Roman Catholic roots, in terms of liturgical structure and so forth. Today it's just a mess of megachurch "feelgoodism". I am only aware of a few Reformed churches in my area that still resemble the old ways.

Most of the classical denominations have little central control over their member churches. And if a church does find resistance from their denominational synod, they leave and join a denomination that will accept them. Or they go it alone.

Protestantism is rapidly dissolving and becoming unrecognizable. In the days of classical Protestantism, at least it was recognizably Christian and nominally Creedal. But today, people do whatever the hell (truly) they want. There is no accountability to higher powers, no oversight of beliefs, and heresy is rampant.

Orthodoxy conquers it by being a light amidst the growing darkness. Unfortunately we have plenty of darkness of our own, and we aren't that good at shining our lights in dark places, but we're here. I pray that someday we'll have xenon lights blazing, but the times are late.
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« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2011, 07:04:16 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Yes, Protestantism is doomed to collapse, or continue dissolving into an incoherent mass. It was doomed from day one, because it's based on people going into schism when they don't like the group they're part of. The logical end is "house churches", and finally "me and my Bible, which I interpret however I please."

I'm shocked how much it's changed in my lifetime. When I was young, the Calvinist Reformed churches still strongly reflected their Roman Catholic roots, in terms of liturgical structure and so forth. Today it's just a mess of megachurch "feelgoodism". I am only aware of a few Reformed churches in my area that still resemble the old ways.

Actually American Christianity in particular as gone through several cycles of this disintegration and reorganization, going from centrifugal to centripetal and back and forth.  Sometimes Americans are structured, strict ritualists of various traditions, at other times it has been as you said a "me and my bible" kind of religion.  There are have been several "Great Awakenings" which have brought Christians together.  The Revivals of the 1820s and 1830s were probably more so feel-good "megachurches" as much as anything in the Walmartized suburbs of middle America.  This is the nature of Protestantism, it is personality driven.  When there are active, unifying personalities then it is growing and uniting, and when it is derisive and hostile then it splinters away and away.  However, the common denominator amongst all these denominations is an individualized, "read it for yourself" approach to Christianity which is the very polar opposite of Orthodox.

stay blessed,
Habte Selassie
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« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2011, 11:02:48 PM »

Protestantism doesn't have any roots. But Orthodoxy does. You can plant roots here once you are tired over there.

 Roll Eyes Why even bother to say things like that?


You know, I was thinking for about 3 minutes on how to say that. I didn't want to offend Classical Protestants, but even Classical Protestantism differs from the Ancient Churches in a number of ways. I'm sorry if I offended you.
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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2011, 12:17:39 AM »

If it weren't for my exposure to the Baptist Church, I wouldn't have returned to Orthodoxy. As a small child, I was Orthodox because I was Ukrainian, my parents were Orthodox, as were my fathers parents, and their parents before them. I was Orthodox because my father wouldn't become Catholic when he married my mother.

I didn't understand or appreciate the faith, and always felt out of place that what I saw in Church on Sunday was not what I saw on TV or how my American friends worshiped. (Outside of Church, I knew no one who was Orthodox or Ukrainian. All my friends were Catholic.)

When my parents divorced my mother became Baptist. Every other weekend we were taken to a different church. (Weekends with Mom were Baptist, Weekend with Dad were Orthodox.) This exposure to a different form of Christian worship caused me to question what I believed and why. As an adult, it drove me to study and familiarize myself with the Church and her beliefs. I was no longer Orthodox because I was Ukrainian. I was Orthodox because I truly believed it was the "One, True, Church."

I do not regret my time with the Baptist Church, as it did motivate me to study scripture. Furthermore, Bible Studies with Mom were a nightly occurrence, which also helped my faith. I still occasionally hum an old Baptist hymn from those days, as they are beautiful tunes. ("Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty" and "Crown Him with Many Crowns" are amongst my favorites.)

So while there are many parts of the Baptist tradition that I do not agree with, I see how that time lead me to where I am now.

It was all part of His plan. Who am I to question it?
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« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2011, 12:28:07 AM »

Very good, HandmaidenofGod. Smiley

Regarding the original post, I also think my brief stay in Protestantism was a positive experience. Really I see it as what got me started on the spiritual road, with Orthodoxy developing the seed that had been planted. Protestantism ingrained in me a love for learning Scripture, and then Orthodoxy taught me that I had to go past simply learning it. I had to realise that living one passage out in my life could be more powerful than being able to quote two dozen proof texts. Nonetheless, Protestantism helped me develop that first love for Scripture. Protestantism also helped me see that Christianity was more than just what happened on Sunday. There was Sunday service, yes, but then there was Men's group on Monday, Bible study on Tuesday, fellowship on Wednesday or Thursday, and prayer night on Saturday. Again, Orthodoxy helped me develop this base, showing me that it wasn't just about how much I did while at the Church, but also about my spirituality at home. I used to spend a lot of time in Church when I was a Protestant, but rarely if ever prayed at home (I was too busy looking up proof texts to use in arguments!)  Obviously that had to change when I started exploring Orthodoxy, but then it wasn't all Protestantism's fault that I was like that, and it again gave me a base to work from.
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« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2011, 09:52:47 AM »

Protestantism doesn't have any roots. But Orthodoxy does. You can plant roots here once you are tired over there.

 Roll Eyes Why even bother to say things like that?


You know, I was thinking for about 3 minutes on how to say that. I didn't want to offend Classical Protestants, but even Classical Protestantism differs from the Ancient Churches in a number of ways. I'm sorry if I offended you.

There's a big difference in saying "there are differences" and in saying "there are no roots." The first is true, and the second isn't. Protestantism is rooted most especially in the abuses and bad theology of the late medieval Roman church, and both the Calvinists and the Anglicans have always done theology in consultation with the ancients, even where they did not agree with them. Protestant didn't emerge, fully grown and wearing armor, from the brow of Jonathan Adams or any of the other Great Awakening evangelists; even American Evangelicalism grew out of larger Christian community which traces, on way or another, all the way back to 33 AD.
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« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2011, 02:51:51 AM »

Protestantism doesn't have any roots. But Orthodoxy does. You can plant roots here once you are tired over there.

 Roll Eyes Why even bother to say things like that?


You know, I was thinking for about 3 minutes on how to say that. I didn't want to offend Classical Protestants, but even Classical Protestantism differs from the Ancient Churches in a number of ways. I'm sorry if I offended you.

There's a big difference in saying "there are differences" and in saying "there are no roots." The first is true, and the second isn't. Protestantism is rooted most especially in the abuses and bad theology of the late medieval Roman church, and both the Calvinists and the Anglicans have always done theology in consultation with the ancients, even where they did not agree with them. Protestant didn't emerge, fully grown and wearing armor, from the brow of Jonathan Adams or any of the other Great Awakening evangelists; even American Evangelicalism grew out of larger Christian community which traces, on way or another, all the way back to 33 AD.

When I said differences I meant it in the way of "roots" (I am trying hard not to offend). Compared to Lutheranism I would say that Calvinism lacks alot of roots. It is mostly revisionism. The same with modern Evangelicalism. It's mostly revisionism. The outward form of Anglicanism has roots but it's theology is mostly Calvinistic (at least in some form) and so it's a mixture of revisionism and roots. The Anabaptists are also revisionists.

Like I said, I didn't want to hurt your feelings, and so I was trying to find a way to say it with less harm. Please forgive me if I failed in that endeavor.
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« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2011, 08:46:28 AM »

Not much, except in dealing with protestants in dialogue and debate. They are the most prominent groups of Christians I come accross.
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« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2011, 08:50:45 AM »

The simply answer is, "God already has let Orthodoxy conquer schisms and heretics,

So you're saying that God has (already) let you conquer the Protestants, the Anglicans, the Catholics, and the Eastern Orthodox?
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« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2011, 02:02:10 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
The simply answer is, "God already has let Orthodoxy conquer schisms and heretics,

So you're saying that God has (already) let you conquer the Protestants, the Anglicans, the Catholics, and the Eastern Orthodox?
I'm not quite sure where you interpreted me personally into that.  I said Orthodoxy conquers schisms and heresy, I am but a humble sinner, one of the conquered Wink

In regards to the conquering, I did not mean it in an imperialistic or authoritarian way (IE the Inquisition) more in a spiritual way.  Heresies and schisms are inherently self-defeating because they are rejections of the proper Sacramental worship of our Lord and Savior through the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church.  Orthodox Christians themselves do not need to adopt an antogonistic or hostile attitude to groups, denominations, or jurisdictions which they feel are in schism or heresy, because it is God alone who judges at the heart of such matters. The truth of Orthodox is what conquers falsehoods, and not in physical or earthly way, but in spiritual way towards salvation.  Heresies are attempts to rob the earth of salvation, but the salvation of Jesus Christ through the Divine Mysteries of the Orthodox Church is irrevokable and unstoppable. 

It is as the Apostle John explained, "What is the means of our victory in overcoming this age? Our faith.." (1 John 5:4)

The victory if individual, self-reflective, and internalized.  It is through fasting, through prayer, through charitable living, through expression of love deep in our hearts, and active worship through the Divine Mysteries that we overcome the world, and it is in this that the Grace of God has, is now, and will forever be conquering all schisms and heresies. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2011, 06:38:40 PM »

Sorry, I wasn't being sufficiently precise in my last post. Fixing it now ...

The simply answer is, "God already has let Orthodoxy conquer schisms and heretics,

So you're saying that God has (already) let Orthodoxy conquer the Protestants, the Anglicans, the Catholics, and the Eastern Orthodox?
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« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2011, 07:13:44 PM »

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

Sorry, I wasn't being sufficiently precise in my last post. Fixing it now ...

The simply answer is, "God already has let Orthodoxy conquer schisms and heretics,

So you're saying that God has (already) let Orthodoxy conquer the Protestants, the Anglicans, the Catholics, and the Eastern Orthodox?


Again, yes, but in a spiritual way, not in the physical sense as if it were the Inquisition again.  The Truth of Orthodox conquers any misconceptions.  Jesus Christ allowed sinners the time to exist in sin and come to repentance when He came to them initially in Israel in the first century, and since then His Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church has stood firmly offering that same opportunity to come to Jesus Christ in repentance. The wheat and the chaff grow alongside each other as Our Lord told us.  It is actually a good thing that the schismatics and heretics are allowed to continue, as it gives them the opportunity for sincere repentance before God, whereas in the brutality of quick judgment leaves no such room for Grace.  If God were merely to obliterate those we believe to be heretics, then how would they in His time find repentance and forgiveness and reconciliation? After all, isn't the point of the Church to offer such Mysteries to one and all equally? Before our own admission into the Church in Baptism, and before we find absolution in each Confession and Reconciliation and Holy Communion, how are any of us sinners different from each other? If heretics and schismatics are in a state of sin, how could we condemn them as if they were different then us, when we are all mutually sinners. 

The Church does not have to outwardly "conquer" or snuff out "heresies" or "schisms" because these things fall apart in time by their own inherent instability and falsehood.  How then is the Church perpetually conquering (in the past, present, and future tenses) these "heresies" and "schisms"? By ever-existing as the source of Truth through the Divine Mysteries.  God continues to offer salvation even in the midst of adversity, the adversity does not threaten the truth, quite the opposite.  The Church is continually conquering heresies, falsehoods, schisms, and sin in that it exists and stands forever offering salvation.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie
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« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2011, 11:05:41 AM »

Yes, Protestantism is doomed to collapse, or continue dissolving into an incoherent mass. It was doomed from day one, because it's based on people going into schism when they don't like the group they're part of.

Ah yes, going back to Martin Luther's famous tract If you don't like the group you're a part of, go into schism.
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« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2011, 05:30:32 PM »

When I said differences I meant it in the way of "roots" (I am trying hard not to offend). . The outward form of Anglicanism has roots but it's theology is mostly Calvinistic (at least in some form) and so it's a mixture of revisionism and roots.
I would disagree.  Although there may be some Calvinists within the Anglican Communion,  Anglicanism as expressed in it's formularies (BCP, 39 Articles) is more accurately labeled 'Semi-Augustinian' than 'Calvinist'.
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« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2011, 10:07:27 AM »

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

Sorry, I wasn't being sufficiently precise in my last post. Fixing it now ...

The simply answer is, "God already has let Orthodoxy conquer schisms and heretics,

So you're saying that God has (already) let Orthodoxy conquer the Protestants, the Anglicans, the Catholics, and the Eastern Orthodox?


Again, yes, but in a spiritual way, not in the physical sense as if it were the Inquisition again.  The Truth of Orthodox conquers any misconceptions.  Jesus Christ allowed sinners the time to exist in sin and come to repentance when He came to them initially in Israel in the first century, and since then His Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church has stood firmly offering that same opportunity to come to Jesus Christ in repentance. The wheat and the chaff grow alongside each other as Our Lord told us.  It is actually a good thing that the schismatics and heretics are allowed to continue, as it gives them the opportunity for sincere repentance before God, whereas in the brutality of quick judgment leaves no such room for Grace.  If God were merely to obliterate those we believe to be heretics, then how would they in His time find repentance and forgiveness and reconciliation? After all, isn't the point of the Church to offer such Mysteries to one and all equally? Before our own admission into the Church in Baptism, and before we find absolution in each Confession and Reconciliation and Holy Communion, how are any of us sinners different from each other? If heretics and schismatics are in a state of sin, how could we condemn them as if they were different then us, when we are all mutually sinners. 

The Church does not have to outwardly "conquer" or snuff out "heresies" or "schisms" because these things fall apart in time by their own inherent instability and falsehood.  How then is the Church perpetually conquering (in the past, present, and future tenses) these "heresies" and "schisms"? By ever-existing as the source of Truth through the Divine Mysteries.  God continues to offer salvation even in the midst of adversity, the adversity does not threaten the truth, quite the opposite.  The Church is continually conquering heresies, falsehoods, schisms, and sin in that it exists and stands forever offering salvation.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie

Quite correct.  What attracted me to Orthodoxy was the consistency (in general) of the teachings and traditions of the Church throughout the ages.  Yes there was evolution, but such is natural in all living things to a degree.  However, the other churches have, like a cancer, just become worse and worse and more and more degenerate.  As with any sickness or mutation, it will eventually die.  In the end, all heterodox and heretics (both withing and without the Church) will change, die, and become antiChrist.  Only the Orthodox Church (however few that may be) will still proclaim the Gospel given to her by the Apostles in purity and Truth.  THAT is victory, and that has already been assured by the words of Christ Himself: "Lo, I will be with you always, even unto the end of the age".
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« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2011, 11:11:19 AM »

When I said differences I meant it in the way of "roots" (I am trying hard not to offend). . The outward form of Anglicanism has roots but it's theology is mostly Calvinistic (at least in some form) and so it's a mixture of revisionism and roots.
I would disagree.  Although there may be some Calvinists within the Anglican Communion,  Anglicanism as expressed in it's formularies (BCP, 39 Articles) is more accurately labeled 'Semi-Augustinian' than 'Calvinist'.

Hmm, Semi-Augustinian? I'll buy that. Wait, didn't John Calvin have something to do with writing it? Hmm, maybe that was something else. Never mind.
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« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2011, 02:40:02 PM »

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

Sorry, I wasn't being sufficiently precise in my last post. Fixing it now ...

The simply answer is, "God already has let Orthodoxy conquer schisms and heretics,

So you're saying that God has (already) let Orthodoxy conquer the Protestants, the Anglicans, the Catholics, and the Eastern Orthodox?


Again, yes, but in a spiritual way, not in the physical sense as if it were the Inquisition again.  The Truth of Orthodox conquers any misconceptions.  Jesus Christ allowed sinners the time to exist in sin and come to repentance when He came to them initially in Israel in the first century, and since then His Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church has stood firmly offering that same opportunity to come to Jesus Christ in repentance. The wheat and the chaff grow alongside each other as Our Lord told us.  It is actually a good thing that the schismatics and heretics are allowed to continue, as it gives them the opportunity for sincere repentance before God, whereas in the brutality of quick judgment leaves no such room for Grace.  If God were merely to obliterate those we believe to be heretics, then how would they in His time find repentance and forgiveness and reconciliation? After all, isn't the point of the Church to offer such Mysteries to one and all equally? Before our own admission into the Church in Baptism, and before we find absolution in each Confession and Reconciliation and Holy Communion, how are any of us sinners different from each other? If heretics and schismatics are in a state of sin, how could we condemn them as if they were different then us, when we are all mutually sinners. 

The Church does not have to outwardly "conquer" or snuff out "heresies" or "schisms" because these things fall apart in time by their own inherent instability and falsehood.  How then is the Church perpetually conquering (in the past, present, and future tenses) these "heresies" and "schisms"? By ever-existing as the source of Truth through the Divine Mysteries.  God continues to offer salvation even in the midst of adversity, the adversity does not threaten the truth, quite the opposite.  The Church is continually conquering heresies, falsehoods, schisms, and sin in that it exists and stands forever offering salvation.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie

Quite correct.  What attracted me to Orthodoxy was the consistency (in general) of the teachings and traditions of the Church throughout the ages.  Yes there was evolution, but such is natural in all living things to a degree.  However, the other churches have, like a cancer, just become worse and worse and more and more degenerate.  As with any sickness or mutation, it will eventually die.  In the end, all heterodox and heretics (both withing and without the Church) will change, die, and become antiChrist. 

Including "the Protestants, the Anglicans, the Catholics, and the Eastern Orthodox"?
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« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2011, 04:04:47 PM »

Protestantism doesn't have any roots. But Orthodoxy does. You can plant roots here once you are tired over there.

 Roll Eyes Why even bother to say things like that?


You know, I was thinking for about 3 minutes on how to say that. I didn't want to offend Classical Protestants, but even Classical Protestantism differs from the Ancient Churches in a number of ways. I'm sorry if I offended you.

 Protestantism is rooted most especially in the abuses and bad theology of the late medieval Roman church,...

We can't completely throw the Roman church under the bus.  After all, Anglicanism has it's roots in one man and only one man; King Henry the XIII- a lying, adulterous fornicator who was unwilling to submit to church authority.  How's that for bad theology?
 
; even American Evangelicalism grew out of larger Christian community which traces, on way or another, all the way back to 33 AD.

 Speaking of the tradition that I grew up with, the Assemblies of God, I can say unequivocally that they have very little to do with the larger Christian community.  AG's may have a Christian veneer and use Christian words, but it doesn't even vaguely resemble the Early Church.   
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« Reply #36 on: May 17, 2011, 05:05:10 PM »

After all, Anglicanism has it's roots in one man and only one man; King Henry the XIII ...

:raiseeyebrow:
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« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2011, 05:06:07 PM »

Yes, Protestantism is doomed to collapse, or continue dissolving into an incoherent mass. It was doomed from day one, because it's based on people going into schism when they don't like the group they're part of.

Ah yes, going back to Martin Luther's famous tract If you don't like the group you're a part of, go into schism.

What, not even a chuckle?
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« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2011, 02:08:30 AM »

After all, Anglicanism has it's roots in one man and only one man; King Henry the XIII ...

:raiseeyebrow:
What? You mean there actually were 13 British kings named Henry?
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« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2011, 02:32:03 AM »

After all, Anglicanism has it's roots in one man and only one man; King Henry the XIII ...

:raiseeyebrow:
What? You mean there actually were 13 British kings named Henry?
That's on the Old Calendar: There were 2 weeks, way back, during which 5 other guys named Henry ascended to the throne, and were subsequently killed and replaced by another Henry, but the New Calendar skipped those weeks, which is why they're now ahead.
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« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2011, 02:45:46 AM »

After all, Anglicanism has it's roots in one man and only one man; King Henry the XIII ...

:raiseeyebrow:
What? You mean there actually were 13 British kings named Henry?
That's on the Old Calendar: There were 2 weeks, way back, during which 5 other guys named Henry ascended to the throne, and were subsequently killed and replaced by another Henry, but the New Calendar skipped those weeks, which is why they're now ahead.
Good response! Very witty! LOL! laugh
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« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2011, 07:15:30 AM »

After all, Anglicanism has it's roots in one man and only one man; King Henry the XIII ...

:raiseeyebrow:
What? You mean there actually were 13 British kings named Henry?

Good point.  Cheesy I guess I was so focused on his ridiculous claim that Henry is the one and only root of Anglicanism, that I didn't even noticed he said XIII instead of VIII.
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« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2011, 07:24:22 AM »

After all, Anglicanism has it's roots in one man and only one man; King Henry the XIII ...

:raiseeyebrow:
What? You mean there actually were 13 British kings named Henry?

Good point.  Cheesy I guess I was so focused on his ridiculous claim that Henry is the one and only root of Anglicanism, that I didn't even noticed he said XIII instead of VIII.

LOL!  I got my Roman numerals jumbled.  But my initial claim is still valid; Anglicanism was founded by one man.  He caused others to start filling in the blanks because he put the cart before the horse.   
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« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2011, 11:02:44 AM »

I'm looking for answers to those that are Orthodox and not Protestant. I recently was engaged in a bitter debate over the actual deity with Christ with another Protestant Christian who denied the divinity and claimed he was just a man. It didn't go down well and this other fellow was being supported by other Christians. Watching a few youtube videos I come across self proclaimed Christians partaking in new age beliefs and the like.

I am deeply bothered by this, I hearken back to a PM I received a long time ago who lost his Christian faith because of how he saw Christianity through the glass of Protestantism but then found Orthodoxy. When I hear a Christian said there are other ways to earn salvation and different paths, I can't help but to shake my head with this banter when its broadcasted on national television.

I guess I am more upset at certain popular figures being a bad witness to the Christian faith? How this impacts my own beliefs, I guess by nature I like to argue and get into heated debates, for me I find it difficult to accept someone is wrong and let it be, I'd like to intervene and show that person.

My contention too is why wouldn't God let Orthodoxy conquer the schisms and heretics of Christianity? Maybe one day when Protestantism collapses?

You have asked a fantastic question, and I'm going to give you a long answer.

First and foremost, I'm going to be up front with EVERYBODY reading this - this is MY personal testimony on this matter and MY opinion.  This is NOT the opinion of the Eastern Orthodox faith or any other religion.

There are parts of Eastern Orthodoxy that I love.  I love many of the traditions, the songs are bar none absolutely beautiful.  The worship is beautiful as well.  The churches are very ornate and elaborate (often).

But from experience, there is an issue of dogma and doctrines that have been added and changed which some of other Christian faiths have taught me.

Namely the Anabaptists - Amish & Mennonites.

First and foremost, I have personally witnessed on many occasions power grabs by bishops in the Eastern Orthodox church.  There have been numerous fights and debates between bishops on certain practices and the parishoners are often left very confused.   I have seen Bishops violate their own ordinations by participating in ecumenism.  The irony and in fighting is very confusing.

So why is there so much in fighting when "real Christians" are supposed to be serving God rather than worrying about dogma?  Where is the help to the widows and orphans which scripture commands?   Yes, "some" churches help these people, but usually after the church is rather large and fancy.  It's very ironic.  The church can be laced in gold plate, have elaborate icons, and a gigantic congregation, and pure silver chalices, but lack the some very fundamental elements of the early Christians.  Yes, they cross themselves, bow, cross themselves again, have the censor swung in their direction, cross themselves again.  Then venerate and icon, but first crossing themselves before and after.  Why?  Because they truly believe "god cares".  

There is other irony by making excuses.
We say "father" because of Paul.
But God (Jesus Christ) directly said "call no man Father or Rabbi".   PERIOD.  End of story.  
The Eastern Orthodox are directly disobeying God and making and excuse.

This is one teaching that protestants do give, and in my opinion they are right.  NO man, is "Father".   If this is sticking in your craw reading this, I'm sorry, it's my opinion.  But I'm telling you plain and simple, God (Jesus Christ) said "Call NO MAN FATHER".  If Paul said he was like a "father", it doesn't matter.  God commanded you not to call men "father".

So protestant teaching really taught me several things that I personally feel the Eastern Orthodox are doing wrong.

So I have to move to non-protestants & non-Catholic - the Anabaptists.

God said "You will know them by their fruits".  So I'm going to lay out what I have witnessed from the Anabaptists.

I'll give 10 examples of their fruits and put them against Eastern Orthodoxy (though Orthodoxy is broad).  This is the REAL FRUITS, and REAL RESULTS and not "what is supposed to be".   Note, it is the "heavy general" that I have witnessed, and not always small specifics.

ANABAPTISTS
1) Live in simplicity and are taught to in contentment.
2) Live with extreme charity of possessions.
3) Dedication to God.
4) All clothing is hand made, conservative, head coverings always, and never exploit children in sweat shops.
5) They are extremely charitable and very often give away their life savings to strangers
6) They are not of this world
7) They don't believe in the military and practice non-resistance
8. Their churches are simple with the focus on God
9) They routinely wash each other's feet, to humble one another.  This includes the bishop to every male parishoner.
10) Some are of communal living as laymen and have community purses and the community shares everything.

EASTERN ORTHODOX
1) Few live in simplicity, most do not.
2) Many tithe, and there is some charity.
3) Dedication to God
4) Clothing is most often store bought (made in Vietnam, China, Brazil...).  Christians pray for help when they are exploiting others in sweat shops.
5) Most EO I have met would never give away their life savings.
6) EO are of this world, meet with politicians, commemorate worldly figures, and often dress worldly.
7) EO commemorates the military, president, and "armed forces everywhere".  
8. Their churches are elaborate, some decked in gold lace, iconography.  Does God really care?
9) Rarely the washing of feet.  Forgiveness Sunday is not humbling oneself down and washing somebodies nasty feet.  It's the "great equalizer".
10) Mostly only monks & convents live in communal living.

In these examples, I truly believe that he Anabaptists live more as early Christians than Eastern Orthodox.

By these few examples, and there are many more, it's made me heavily question the Eastern Orthodox church.

Again, remember, these are things that I have personally witnessed, and ARE MY OPINION.  If you are reading this and angry, ask yourself if it is merely cognitive dissonance and easier to attack the one putting it in black and white than to consider the context of what was said.  Consider if your church has taught you non-resistance, and that you can peacefully contradict or agree with these issues rather than contort, slur, or attack.

I did not include if the Anabaptist have grace, and that is something I try to determine often.

So to the OP, protestantism and non-protestants, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Messianic Jews, have created a very vexing paradigm in my spirituality.   On one hand I see Eastern Orthodoxy as a church with grace but is really loaded with "Christian filler and needless acts" (Does God really want you to sit there crossing yourself 3 times or to go help somebody with anything in kindness?).  If I directly look at the fruits I see the Anabaptists as "being known" but I am not sure they have grace.   Then there's the messianic Jews which are fascinating to say the least and have some very interesting takes on how we view things from a Jewish point of view.

Okay again the disclaimer, MY OPINIONS to the OP who asked.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 11:03:56 AM by yeshuaisiam » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2011, 11:07:03 AM »

So at the end of the day, is lifestyle more important than adherence to correct doctrine?

Don't get me wrong, I am fascinated with the Amish and I get what you are saying. But there are MANY issues in the Anabaptist church that are being overlooked because of their simplistic lifestyle.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 11:07:49 AM by IsmiLiora » Logged

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"For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow." Ecclesiastes 1:18
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Life went on no matter who was wrong or right
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