OrthodoxChristianity.net
November 26, 2014, 07:29:48 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: How does Protestantism affect your faith?  (Read 4838 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Shiny
Site Supporter
Moderated
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« 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?
Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
Robert W
Self-appointed forum herald
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Finland
Posts: 469


Love is no feeling


« 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.
Logged
John of the North
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Eparchy of Edmonton and the West
Posts: 3,533


Christ is Risen!

tgild
« 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.
Logged

"Christianity is not a philosophy, not a doctrine, but life." - Elder Sophrony (Sakharov)
Alpo
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Jerkodox
Posts: 6,950



« 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.
Logged

Robert W
Self-appointed forum herald
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Finland
Posts: 469


Love is no feeling


« 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.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 05:14:49 AM by Robert W » Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,206


that is not the teaching of...


« 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
Logged
Robert W
Self-appointed forum herald
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Finland
Posts: 469


Love is no feeling


« 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 
Logged
Doubting Thomas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 874

Anglican (but not Episcopagan)


« 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

"....and the anger of the LORD was hot and He delivered them into the hands of the Health, Wealth, Prosperity Gospel Preachers and the Pretribulationist Fiction writers who despoiled them..." (cf. Judges 2:14)
Logged

"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
sainthieu
Abstractor of the Quintessence
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 621


« 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!
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 01:33:50 PM by sainthieu » Logged
Melodist
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: The Faith That Established The Universe
Jurisdiction: AOANA
Posts: 2,523



« 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.
Logged

And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God
recent convert
Orthodox Chrisitan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian (N.A.)
Posts: 1,923


« 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.
Logged

Antiochian OC N.A.
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« 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?
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
DennyB
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 228


Moving Toward Orthodoxy


« 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.
Logged
Punch
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Body of Christ
Posts: 5,737



« 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.
Logged

I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.
Peter J
Formerly PJ
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Melkite
Posts: 6,170



« 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.
Logged

- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« 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.
Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,436



« 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?
Logged
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« 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
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
bogdan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,615



« 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.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 05:56:00 PM by bogdan » Logged
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« 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
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« 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.
Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
HandmaidenofGod
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,397


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« 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?
Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,206


that is not the teaching of...


« 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.
Logged
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,436



« 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.
Logged
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« 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.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2011, 02:52:53 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
MyMapleStory
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Approaching Orthodoxy
Jurisdiction: Will probably be Greek
Posts: 181


« 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.
Logged
Peter J
Formerly PJ
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Melkite
Posts: 6,170



« 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?
Logged

- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« 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
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Peter J
Formerly PJ
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Melkite
Posts: 6,170



« 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?
Logged

- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« 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
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Peter J
Formerly PJ
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Melkite
Posts: 6,170



« 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.
Logged

- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)
Doubting Thomas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 874

Anglican (but not Episcopagan)


« 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'.
Logged

"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
Punch
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: Body of Christ
Posts: 5,737



« 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".
Logged

I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« 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.
Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Peter J
Formerly PJ
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Melkite
Posts: 6,170



« 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"?
Logged

- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,990


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« 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.   
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Peter J
Formerly PJ
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Melkite
Posts: 6,170



« 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:
Logged

- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)
Peter J
Formerly PJ
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Melkite
Posts: 6,170



« 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?
Logged

- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,925


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« 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?
Logged
JimCBrooklyn
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Moscow Patriarchate-Diocese of Saint Petersburg/ROCOR-Diocese of Eastern America and New York
Posts: 569


Если бога нет, то все позволено


« 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.
Logged

It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.
-Metropolitan Kallistos Ware
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,925


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« 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
Logged
Peter J
Formerly PJ
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Melkite
Posts: 6,170



« 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.
Logged

- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,990


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« 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.   
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,415


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« 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

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
IsmiLiora
Chronic Exaggerator
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: One step closer!
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA)
Posts: 3,434


Back by unpopular demand.


« 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

She's touring the facility/and picking up slack.
--
"For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow." Ecclesiastes 1:18
--
I once believed in causes too, I had my pointless point of view --
Life went on no matter who was wrong or right
bogdan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,615



« Reply #45 on: May 18, 2011, 11:33:34 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.

Even the demons fast. We cannot judge by piety alone.

However, it is possible that God will overlook their beliefs for the sake of their works. I don't know. I do know that the Orthodox will be held to the highest standard and will have no excuse on Judgment Day for what we do or leave undone.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 11:35:11 AM by bogdan » Logged
IsmiLiora
Chronic Exaggerator
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: One step closer!
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA)
Posts: 3,434


Back by unpopular demand.


« Reply #46 on: May 18, 2011, 11:35:52 AM »

Exactly. Heck, I would probably be a Buddhist or Muslim if I picked my faith based on their lifestyle alone.
Logged

She's touring the facility/and picking up slack.
--
"For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow." Ecclesiastes 1:18
--
I once believed in causes too, I had my pointless point of view --
Life went on no matter who was wrong or right
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,415


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #47 on: May 18, 2011, 12:32:10 PM »

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.

Again MY OPINION disclaimer.

That's exactly the question I ask myself IsmiLiora.  The issues though that I have would not call it "correct doctrine", but rather "doctrine".
The question that I manifest around doctrine is "what are the fruits of the doctrine" and "does God really care about most doctrines".

Does God really care if you venerate icons, cross yourself, or be near incense?  Believe me the church wants you to, church dogma and traditions want you to.... But does God?

I'm not sure.

But when I see the fruits of the Anabaptists (again disclaimer of my opinion) being far superior and greater than the Eastern Orthodox, I have to recognize that Jesus Christ said "you will know them by their fruits".   For instance,  I see the Anabaptist divorce rate at 2% it really makes me think about fruits.

Yes there are issues that I do see with the Anabaptists, but believe me, there is way less explanation needed with them that I hear of people having to explain Eastern Orthodoxy.

For instance:
Old Order Amish with no power - "We stay off the grid to not be worldly and take our time with new technology to make sure it will not inhibit family life, our faith, or our church".

Eastern Orthodox Icon veneration - How many books, arguments, and explanations have been written on the subject?

The difference:
Anabaptist no power:
We can understand why the Amish / Mennonites do what they do.  We can see the evil influence many television shows have on our lives, how the internet does take time from the family, and how we can't ever "be alone" and not be bothered by a ringing cell phone.   It's very clear cut, and the understanding is clear.  Whether or not we still have these technologies is a different issue.  But it's easy to understand and I believe most people can see their point clearly.

Eastern Orthodox Icon Veneration:
There are countless people who call this idol worship, and making "images of things in Earth and Heaven".  There are vast debates that rage on the internet about iconography, as well as in ancient history with the iconoclasts.  There are many books written on the "explanation" on why it is okay to venerate icons.  "No it's not wood & paint, it's the representation of the real saint we are venerating and not worshipping".   I get it.  I get it....  But look, is this person really kissing a God, or paint & wood? http://yya.oca.org/pages/Galleries/Camps/Camps2001/StVladimirsOH/images/Veneratingtheicons.jpg   Many people see it as a head game, taught to children when they are young.  A brainwashing of a sense.   Load this up with centuries of debate like "Even if she was kissing Christ, even John the apostle was not worthy to untie his sandals", and "Judas betrayed Christ with a kiss which is the one time he was kissed".   And so forth.  Tons of explanations, tons of reasons, long, drawn out dogma, doctrine, and it leaves tons of people confused.

Obviously I'm confused.   Look the icon is not Christ.  Period.  It was painted by a man.   When I kiss it I'm not kissing Christ, it's not warm as the "human nature" should be.  Lots and lots of confusion here.    Plus to add JEWS were completely AGAINST any type of painting or icon.   So then goes in the long drawn out arguments of St. Luke, etc. etc.   It's long, it's confusing.... SO the next thing you know people are fighting about icons for centuries (dogma/doctrine) when they should be being Christians doing good works.

This is basically what I am talking about here.  So much "filler & confusion" and in the end does God even care about these things?  

I remember when I was a child heavily participating in Eastern Orthodoxy, I leaned over and venerated an Icon.  I was thinking about the Theotokos.  Then I thought, "wait a second, this is really NOT the Theotokos or the person behind it, this is hard, cold wood."... and "why does she look like she is glowing, I wonder if she glowed...".

So in my opinion, I see the "argument" on both sides.  But I don't think anybody can argue that "icons are not really necessary".  I believe most EO Christians would say Icons are not absolutely needed in worship, or needed to have the Eucharist, or anywhere else.  They are more "nice" to have around.   So why bring into the church something that so many people have fought over for centuries and causes people mass confusion?

You see where this is going?
Anabapists have very simple and easy to understand explanations of why they do what they do.
Eastern Orthodox have books and centuries of in fighting and debates over things that many don't even find necessary.

This is why I have immense respect even if not faith in Anabaptist belief.  Even my family dresses as the Anabaptists.  Yes people DO point fingers here in Texas.  But my wife is 100% behind it, and knows she did not exploit children overseas and is dressing as a Christian conservative.  She sews all the kids clothes.

Sometimes all one has to do is look on the back of their church clothes tags to realize the irony of their Christianity.

The Anabaptist "fruit" has heavily made me consider them.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 12:38:39 PM by yeshuaisiam » Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
ndigila
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Alexandria (Archdiocese of Kenya)
Posts: 30



« Reply #48 on: May 18, 2011, 02:00:52 PM »

Eastern Orthodox Icon veneration - How many books, arguments, and explanations have been written on the subject?

Eastern Orthodox Icon Veneration:
There are countless people who call this idol worship, and making "images of things in Earth and Heaven".  There are vast debates that rage on the internet about iconography, as well as in ancient history with the iconoclasts.  There are many books written on the "explanation" on why it is okay to venerate icons.  "No it's not wood & paint, it's the representation of the real saint we are venerating and not worshipping".   I get it.  I get it....  But look, is this person really kissing a God, or paint & wood? http://yya.oca.org/pages/Galleries/Camps/Camps2001/StVladimirsOH/images/Veneratingtheicons.jpg   Many people see it as a head game, taught to children when they are young.  A brainwashing of a sense.   Load this up with centuries of debate like "Even if she was kissing Christ, even John the apostle was not worthy to untie his sandals", and "Judas betrayed Christ with a kiss which is the one time he was kissed".   And so forth.  Tons of explanations, tons of reasons, long, drawn out dogma, doctrine, and it leaves tons of people confused.
At the same time, those who attack the use of icons do so very passionately with historical and theological arguments.  Correct me if I'm wrong here, but what you're calling tons of explanations and reasons about icons are a RESPONSE to the iconoclasts. 
 
Plus to add JEWS were completely AGAINST any type of painting or icon.  
Not sure this is true since the jews had icons in the tabernacle and in the temple.
Logged

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,620



« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2011, 02:40:50 PM »

I have to listen to converts / inquirers / catachumens from Protestant backgrounds go through religious rehab and want dish on stuff they don't understand from their own faith and prove to me Orthodoxy is absolutely, as they understand it, true in everyway.

And I just want to drink some coffee and maybe eat something.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #50 on: May 18, 2011, 03:33:05 PM »

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




Does God really care if you venerate icons, cross yourself, or be near incense?  Believe me the church wants you to, church dogma and traditions want you to.... But does God?

I'm not sure.


No, He doesn't.  God has instituted the Apostolic Church and the Holy Tradition to give human beings an outlet and mechanism for their worshiping spirit which dwells in a physical form.  These things are a lifestyle to reorient ourselves towards God in everything we do, they are not a means to an end being salvation.  Icons, incense and prayers do not save us, God alone does that, however icons, incense, and prayers bring our consciousness closer to God.  After all, if people can watch TV and read books to distract their attentions, why shouldn't the Church have its own means to concentrate our same attentions?

Quote

But when I see the fruits of the Anabaptists (again disclaimer of my opinion) being far superior and greater than the Eastern Orthodox, I have to recognize that Jesus Christ said "you will know them by their fruits".   For instance,  I see the Anabaptist divorce rate at 2% it really makes me think about fruits.

Yes there are issues that I do see with the Anabaptists, but believe me, there is way less explanation needed with them that I hear of people having to explain Eastern Orthodoxy.

For instance:
Old Order Amish with no power - "We stay off the grid to not be worldly and take our time with new technology to make sure it will not inhibit family life, our faith, or our church".

Eastern Orthodox Icon veneration - How many books, arguments, and explanations have been written on the subject?

The difference:
Anabaptist no power:
We can understand why the Amish / Mennonites do what they do.  We can see the evil influence many television shows have on our lives, how the internet does take time from the family, and how we can't ever "be alone" and not be bothered by a ringing cell phone.   It's very clear cut, and the understanding is clear.  Whether or not we still have these technologies is a different issue.  But it's easy to understand and I believe most people can see their point clearly.


You are idealizing a group of Christians and should not do so, because in the process you are inherently demonizing another group of Christians.  Human beings are what we are, flawed individuals, and the Amish, Menonites, Anabaptists, or EO are no different or no exceptions.  You should not then get into some kind of comparison, because it is cultural and historical and inherently biased.  These fruits you mentioned are everywhere, and if the Amish and Anabaptists are so perfect, why do their children grow up and marry outside and move away?  Alas alas, because they are just human beings like the rest of us, even if they aspire to a near monastical culture for their whole population.

Quote
Eastern Orthodox Icon Veneration:
There are countless people who call this idol worship, and making "images of things in Earth and Heaven".  There are vast debates that rage on the internet about iconography, as well as in ancient history with the iconoclasts.  There are many books written on the "explanation" on why it is okay to venerate icons.  "No it's not wood & paint, it's the representation of the real saint we are venerating and not worshipping".   I get it.  I get it....

Obviously I'm confused.   Look the icon is not Christ.  Period.  It was painted by a man.   When I kiss it I'm not kissing Christ, it's not warm as the "human nature" should be.  Lots and lots of confusion here.  

We have these same internal debates and you are right to have questions, but perhaps your intentions are in the wrong direction.  You are going into your investigation of iconography with a chip on your shoulder against it, and so you are only seeing the flaws.  We in the Church have the same gripes you do with worshipers who misinterpret icons in the Church, with those of us Orthodox who confuse worship and veneration.  We are very specific in this.  Again, Icons are a kind of tool, and instrument for spiritual exercise, but just like physical exercise, you need a personal trainer to properly show you how to use the equipment or the move, or you may actually hurt yourself! It is the same with spiritual exercises, if people just pick up icons with no training, it would be the same as if they just starting bench pressing with no instructor or doing wild lunges and crazy angled sit ups, what would happen, they would hurt themselves or pull something!

 



Quote
Anabapists have very simple and easy to understand explanations of why they do what they do.
Eastern Orthodox have books and centuries of in fighting and debates over things that many don't even find necessary.

This is why I have immense respect even if not faith in Anabaptist belief.  Even my family dresses as the Anabaptists.  Yes people DO point fingers here in Texas.  But my wife is 100% behind it, and knows she did not exploit children overseas and is dressing as a Christian conservative.  She sews all the kids clothes.

Sometimes all one has to do is look on the back of their church clothes tags to realize the irony of their Christianity.

The Anabaptist "fruit" has heavily made me consider them.

You are seeing this fruit through a biased lens, so inherently you see it one-sided.  If you were a bit more experienced in a different direction, perhaps you would see the fruit in different ways.  There are many in Orthodox who sincerely believe in Sacramental worship, and feel that the Anabaptists are dangerous seditionists who lure Christians away from the Sacraments, and that only Sacramental worship can bring salvation, so these Orthodox feel in their hearts that Anabaptists are in fact dangerous to the souls! I do not necessarily ascribe to this kind of thinking, God alone can reveal Himself to anyone.  Orthodox Church is not there to Crusade against heresy or falsehoods, Orthodox Church is there to simply exist and offer folks the opportunity to receive the Sacraments when and where God Himself invites Christians to receive them, in God's own Time and for God's own purpose.  My advice to you is to take yourself out of the study and book reading, and live in the spirit of the matter, if you believe in God, take these questions to Him and not the Canons and Law books of the Church.  God knows best as you said, He will tell it you in His time..

stay blessed,
Habte Selassie
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,407


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #51 on: May 18, 2011, 03:42:54 PM »

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




Does God really care if you venerate icons, cross yourself, or be near incense?  Believe me the church wants you to, church dogma and traditions want you to.... But does God?

I'm not sure.


No, He doesn't.  God has instituted the Apostolic Church and the Holy Tradition to give human beings an outlet and mechanism for their worshiping spirit which dwells in a physical form.  These things are a lifestyle to reorient ourselves towards God in everything we do, they are not a means to an end being salvation.  Icons, incense and prayers do not save us, God alone does that, however icons, incense, and prayers bring our consciousness closer to God.  After all, if people can watch TV and read books to distract their attentions, why shouldn't the Church have its own means to concentrate our same attentions?

Quote

But when I see the fruits of the Anabaptists (again disclaimer of my opinion) being far superior and greater than the Eastern Orthodox, I have to recognize that Jesus Christ said "you will know them by their fruits".   For instance,  I see the Anabaptist divorce rate at 2% it really makes me think about fruits.

Yes there are issues that I do see with the Anabaptists, but believe me, there is way less explanation needed with them that I hear of people having to explain Eastern Orthodoxy.

For instance:
Old Order Amish with no power - "We stay off the grid to not be worldly and take our time with new technology to make sure it will not inhibit family life, our faith, or our church".

Eastern Orthodox Icon veneration - How many books, arguments, and explanations have been written on the subject?

The difference:
Anabaptist no power:
We can understand why the Amish / Mennonites do what they do.  We can see the evil influence many television shows have on our lives, how the internet does take time from the family, and how we can't ever "be alone" and not be bothered by a ringing cell phone.   It's very clear cut, and the understanding is clear.  Whether or not we still have these technologies is a different issue.  But it's easy to understand and I believe most people can see their point clearly.


You are idealizing a group of Christians and should not do so, because in the process you are inherently demonizing another group of Christians.  Human beings are what we are, flawed individuals, and the Amish, Menonites, Anabaptists, or EO are no different or no exceptions.  You should not then get into some kind of comparison, because it is cultural and historical and inherently biased.  These fruits you mentioned are everywhere, and if the Amish and Anabaptists are so perfect, why do their children grow up and marry outside and move away?  Alas alas, because they are just human beings like the rest of us, even if they aspire to a near monastical culture for their whole population.

Quote
Eastern Orthodox Icon Veneration:
There are countless people who call this idol worship, and making "images of things in Earth and Heaven".  There are vast debates that rage on the internet about iconography, as well as in ancient history with the iconoclasts.  There are many books written on the "explanation" on why it is okay to venerate icons.  "No it's not wood & paint, it's the representation of the real saint we are venerating and not worshipping".   I get it.  I get it....

Obviously I'm confused.   Look the icon is not Christ.  Period.  It was painted by a man.   When I kiss it I'm not kissing Christ, it's not warm as the "human nature" should be.  Lots and lots of confusion here.  

We have these same internal debates and you are right to have questions, but perhaps your intentions are in the wrong direction.  You are going into your investigation of iconography with a chip on your shoulder against it, and so you are only seeing the flaws.  We in the Church have the same gripes you do with worshipers who misinterpret icons in the Church, with those of us Orthodox who confuse worship and veneration.  We are very specific in this.  Again, Icons are a kind of tool, and instrument for spiritual exercise, but just like physical exercise, you need a personal trainer to properly show you how to use the equipment or the move, or you may actually hurt yourself! It is the same with spiritual exercises, if people just pick up icons with no training, it would be the same as if they just starting bench pressing with no instructor or doing wild lunges and crazy angled sit ups, what would happen, they would hurt themselves or pull something!

 



Quote
Anabapists have very simple and easy to understand explanations of why they do what they do.
Eastern Orthodox have books and centuries of in fighting and debates over things that many don't even find necessary.

This is why I have immense respect even if not faith in Anabaptist belief.  Even my family dresses as the Anabaptists.  Yes people DO point fingers here in Texas.  But my wife is 100% behind it, and knows she did not exploit children overseas and is dressing as a Christian conservative.  She sews all the kids clothes.

Sometimes all one has to do is look on the back of their church clothes tags to realize the irony of their Christianity.

The Anabaptist "fruit" has heavily made me consider them.

You are seeing this fruit through a biased lens, so inherently you see it one-sided.  If you were a bit more experienced in a different direction, perhaps you would see the fruit in different ways.  There are many in Orthodox who sincerely believe in Sacramental worship, and feel that the Anabaptists are dangerous seditionists who lure Christians away from the Sacraments, and that only Sacramental worship can bring salvation, so these Orthodox feel in their hearts that Anabaptists are in fact dangerous to the souls! I do not necessarily ascribe to this kind of thinking, God alone can reveal Himself to anyone.  Orthodox Church is not there to Crusade against heresy or falsehoods, Orthodox Church is there to simply exist and offer folks the opportunity to receive the Sacraments when and where God Himself invites Christians to receive them, in God's own Time and for God's own purpose.  My advice to you is to take yourself out of the study and book reading, and live in the spirit of the matter, if you believe in God, take these questions to Him and not the Canons and Law books of the Church.  God knows best as you said, He will tell it you in His time..

stay blessed,
Habte Selassie


Good reasonings brother HabteSelassie. Give thanks.


Selam
Logged

"Don't register. Don't vote.
Don't enlist. Don't deploy.
Don't take oaths. Don't say the pledge.
Pray to God, and start a revolution instead!"
Selam, +GMK+
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,415


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2011, 04:32:51 PM »

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




Does God really care if you venerate icons, cross yourself, or be near incense?  Believe me the church wants you to, church dogma and traditions want you to.... But does God?

I'm not sure.


No, He doesn't.  God has instituted the Apostolic Church and the Holy Tradition to give human beings an outlet and mechanism for their worshiping spirit which dwells in a physical form.  These things are a lifestyle to reorient ourselves towards God in everything we do, they are not a means to an end being salvation.  Icons, incense and prayers do not save us, God alone does that, however icons, incense, and prayers bring our consciousness closer to God.  After all, if people can watch TV and read books to distract their attentions, why shouldn't the Church have its own means to concentrate our same attentions?

Quote

But when I see the fruits of the Anabaptists (again disclaimer of my opinion) being far superior and greater than the Eastern Orthodox, I have to recognize that Jesus Christ said "you will know them by their fruits".   For instance,  I see the Anabaptist divorce rate at 2% it really makes me think about fruits.

Yes there are issues that I do see with the Anabaptists, but believe me, there is way less explanation needed with them that I hear of people having to explain Eastern Orthodoxy.

For instance:
Old Order Amish with no power - "We stay off the grid to not be worldly and take our time with new technology to make sure it will not inhibit family life, our faith, or our church".

Eastern Orthodox Icon veneration - How many books, arguments, and explanations have been written on the subject?

The difference:
Anabaptist no power:
We can understand why the Amish / Mennonites do what they do.  We can see the evil influence many television shows have on our lives, how the internet does take time from the family, and how we can't ever "be alone" and not be bothered by a ringing cell phone.   It's very clear cut, and the understanding is clear.  Whether or not we still have these technologies is a different issue.  But it's easy to understand and I believe most people can see their point clearly.


You are idealizing a group of Christians and should not do so, because in the process you are inherently demonizing another group of Christians.  Human beings are what we are, flawed individuals, and the Amish, Menonites, Anabaptists, or EO are no different or no exceptions.  You should not then get into some kind of comparison, because it is cultural and historical and inherently biased.  These fruits you mentioned are everywhere, and if the Amish and Anabaptists are so perfect, why do their children grow up and marry outside and move away?  Alas alas, because they are just human beings like the rest of us, even if they aspire to a near monastical culture for their whole population.

Quote
Eastern Orthodox Icon Veneration:
There are countless people who call this idol worship, and making "images of things in Earth and Heaven".  There are vast debates that rage on the internet about iconography, as well as in ancient history with the iconoclasts.  There are many books written on the "explanation" on why it is okay to venerate icons.  "No it's not wood & paint, it's the representation of the real saint we are venerating and not worshipping".   I get it.  I get it....

Obviously I'm confused.   Look the icon is not Christ.  Period.  It was painted by a man.   When I kiss it I'm not kissing Christ, it's not warm as the "human nature" should be.  Lots and lots of confusion here.  

We have these same internal debates and you are right to have questions, but perhaps your intentions are in the wrong direction.  You are going into your investigation of iconography with a chip on your shoulder against it, and so you are only seeing the flaws.  We in the Church have the same gripes you do with worshipers who misinterpret icons in the Church, with those of us Orthodox who confuse worship and veneration.  We are very specific in this.  Again, Icons are a kind of tool, and instrument for spiritual exercise, but just like physical exercise, you need a personal trainer to properly show you how to use the equipment or the move, or you may actually hurt yourself! It is the same with spiritual exercises, if people just pick up icons with no training, it would be the same as if they just starting bench pressing with no instructor or doing wild lunges and crazy angled sit ups, what would happen, they would hurt themselves or pull something!

 



Quote
Anabapists have very simple and easy to understand explanations of why they do what they do.
Eastern Orthodox have books and centuries of in fighting and debates over things that many don't even find necessary.

This is why I have immense respect even if not faith in Anabaptist belief.  Even my family dresses as the Anabaptists.  Yes people DO point fingers here in Texas.  But my wife is 100% behind it, and knows she did not exploit children overseas and is dressing as a Christian conservative.  She sews all the kids clothes.

Sometimes all one has to do is look on the back of their church clothes tags to realize the irony of their Christianity.

The Anabaptist "fruit" has heavily made me consider them.

You are seeing this fruit through a biased lens, so inherently you see it one-sided.  If you were a bit more experienced in a different direction, perhaps you would see the fruit in different ways.  There are many in Orthodox who sincerely believe in Sacramental worship, and feel that the Anabaptists are dangerous seditionists who lure Christians away from the Sacraments, and that only Sacramental worship can bring salvation, so these Orthodox feel in their hearts that Anabaptists are in fact dangerous to the souls! I do not necessarily ascribe to this kind of thinking, God alone can reveal Himself to anyone.  Orthodox Church is not there to Crusade against heresy or falsehoods, Orthodox Church is there to simply exist and offer folks the opportunity to receive the Sacraments when and where God Himself invites Christians to receive them, in God's own Time and for God's own purpose.  My advice to you is to take yourself out of the study and book reading, and live in the spirit of the matter, if you believe in God, take these questions to Him and not the Canons and Law books of the Church.  God knows best as you said, He will tell it you in His time..

stay blessed,
Habte Selassie

Okay, just to clarify, this was answering the OP's question and MY opinion.

The first thing you said is that God doesn't care if we have icons and incense.  So basically if God does not care about these things they do not matter.
I for one would think that God would prefer us focus on him by doing his will, by helping one another, helping the weak, helping the sick, and being charitable and kind.  Something the Anabaptists are immeasurable in comparison from everything I have witnessed for years in EO.  So basically what I was saying is the Anabaptists draw me away from EO because in EO, we venerate an icon, cross ourselves, bow, cross ourselves again, and sometimes re-venerate.  All the incense... Pointless.   I went to an Anabaptist church for one day as a visitor, and was invited to an event after church.  I watched as they went and rebuilt (men, women, and children) rebuilt the roof of an old woman's home that was caving in.  All for free.  They even fed her dinner.  She was a Roman Catholic.   The next week they were bringing Mack truck of goods to poor migrant farmers.   This is a little church too with less than 100 people. 

So as bad as this sounds, in EO I found myself thinking I was being a true Christian....  But if one simply thinks "would God rather us cross ourselves, bow to him, cross again, bow again, cross again, bow again....  Get a blessing, kiss hand, cross ourselves.  Walk away, cross ourselves, bow, then kiss and icon and re-cross ourselves......  or spend our time helping anybody.   Look I don't want to sound like its EO bashing, but its a reality that I have lived and witnessed.  Anabaptists have proven to me their charity more to their fellow man without all the "filler".

Understand that I'm idealizing them because truly they are worth idealizing, and their charity and how the group as a whole are contempt in what they have, should be a role model for EO Christians.

You are right, they are not perfect, and I did not call them perfect.  Many of their children do grow up and move away.  Some stay, some move and move back as well.  You may want to ask yourself if carrying the cross down the narrow path is easy?  Many are not cut out for it.

Here's my question for you.  If EO is so perfect and Anabaptist is not why do the EO have a much higher divorce rate?
Greek Orthodox - 14%
http://www.helleniccomserve.com/divorceperspective.html
Anabaptist - 1% (link also explains the move away rate at 15%)
http://www.examiner.com/frugal-living-in-national/amish-wealth

I am not demonizing Eastern Orthodoxy, the OP asked basically how other faiths have taken a toll on the EO faith.   This is how.  By their fruits.

I don't have a chip on my shoulder coming into the iconography debate.  I accepted it as a child, and as I child I started questioning it.  The questions continued and now I see the practice as bizarre and not required by God, and not helping with anybodies salvation.

I don't agree that I'm seeing this from a biased lens.  (My opinion) I believe the Eastern Orthodox are unfortunately stuck behind an opaque lens.  They are so stuck that "we are right" that they can't even draw reasonable and logical questions.  They accept what they were handed, and never consider how far things have come from the original church because they consider themselves the original church. Many of my questions I asked have been centered around this.  "Did Jesus use an iconostasis, Did the apostles cross themselves"....  Barely any of this "filler" happened before Nicea.  So much centered around "doctrine and dogma", and the people in need are so often cast aside.

Are Anabaptists basically taking people away from "the sacraments".  No wait, the 7 sacraments....
Who made up term "the 7 sacraments"
Who said "the 7 sacraments can only be performed by clergy"
Men did this, and they have a worldly church.  In America registered under 501c3 incorporated status.

Tithing was meant for widows & orphans.... Remember that.  I have been a practicing Eastern Orthodox Christian for many years, and NEVER not ONCE did I see them donate money or goods to widows or orphans.  Mostly the money went into enhancing the church somehow.  I'm not saying it was never without charity which is good, but frankly, the Anabaptists I have seen have given astronomically to those in need in gut wrenching forms.   

The question exists if the EO are wrong for "evolving".  I don't know.

But I was directly answering the OP with MY OPINION.   A non-Orthodox church really effected my faith by their "Good Fruits", which I have seen them produce.

The interesting thing is the EO have vast history compared to the Anabaptists, so it leaves me in limbo.

My questions are, did the Eastern Orthodox evolve so much in dogma and doctrine that they became too full of "filler"?
Do the Anabaptists have grace since they basically skipped back to the Early Christians and act so today? (pre Nicea)

Who goes to heaven, the one with the 7 sacraments with grace from a church that has an enormous history & succession,
or
the ones who are not of this world, give freely in charity, do not participate in the military, are non resistant, and help oogles of people?

An EO answer would be "the one with grace" of course.  Because that's the easy answer when you are "sure the faith is right".
Anabaptists would not even be concerned with this answer.

Anyway, I hope the OP understands my answer.




Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,620



« Reply #53 on: May 18, 2011, 04:49:30 PM »

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




Does God really care if you venerate icons, cross yourself, or be near incense?  Believe me the church wants you to, church dogma and traditions want you to.... But does God?

I'm not sure.


No, He doesn't.  God has instituted the Apostolic Church and the Holy Tradition to give human beings an outlet and mechanism for their worshiping spirit which dwells in a physical form.  These things are a lifestyle to reorient ourselves towards God in everything we do, they are not a means to an end being salvation.  Icons, incense and prayers do not save us, God alone does that, however icons, incense, and prayers bring our consciousness closer to God.  After all, if people can watch TV and read books to distract their attentions, why shouldn't the Church have its own means to concentrate our same attentions?

Quote

But when I see the fruits of the Anabaptists (again disclaimer of my opinion) being far superior and greater than the Eastern Orthodox, I have to recognize that Jesus Christ said "you will know them by their fruits".   For instance,  I see the Anabaptist divorce rate at 2% it really makes me think about fruits.

Yes there are issues that I do see with the Anabaptists, but believe me, there is way less explanation needed with them that I hear of people having to explain Eastern Orthodoxy.

For instance:
Old Order Amish with no power - "We stay off the grid to not be worldly and take our time with new technology to make sure it will not inhibit family life, our faith, or our church".

Eastern Orthodox Icon veneration - How many books, arguments, and explanations have been written on the subject?

The difference:
Anabaptist no power:
We can understand why the Amish / Mennonites do what they do.  We can see the evil influence many television shows have on our lives, how the internet does take time from the family, and how we can't ever "be alone" and not be bothered by a ringing cell phone.   It's very clear cut, and the understanding is clear.  Whether or not we still have these technologies is a different issue.  But it's easy to understand and I believe most people can see their point clearly.


You are idealizing a group of Christians and should not do so, because in the process you are inherently demonizing another group of Christians.  Human beings are what we are, flawed individuals, and the Amish, Menonites, Anabaptists, or EO are no different or no exceptions.  You should not then get into some kind of comparison, because it is cultural and historical and inherently biased.  These fruits you mentioned are everywhere, and if the Amish and Anabaptists are so perfect, why do their children grow up and marry outside and move away?  Alas alas, because they are just human beings like the rest of us, even if they aspire to a near monastical culture for their whole population.

Quote
Eastern Orthodox Icon Veneration:
There are countless people who call this idol worship, and making "images of things in Earth and Heaven".  There are vast debates that rage on the internet about iconography, as well as in ancient history with the iconoclasts.  There are many books written on the "explanation" on why it is okay to venerate icons.  "No it's not wood & paint, it's the representation of the real saint we are venerating and not worshipping".   I get it.  I get it....

Obviously I'm confused.   Look the icon is not Christ.  Period.  It was painted by a man.   When I kiss it I'm not kissing Christ, it's not warm as the "human nature" should be.  Lots and lots of confusion here.  

We have these same internal debates and you are right to have questions, but perhaps your intentions are in the wrong direction.  You are going into your investigation of iconography with a chip on your shoulder against it, and so you are only seeing the flaws.  We in the Church have the same gripes you do with worshipers who misinterpret icons in the Church, with those of us Orthodox who confuse worship and veneration.  We are very specific in this.  Again, Icons are a kind of tool, and instrument for spiritual exercise, but just like physical exercise, you need a personal trainer to properly show you how to use the equipment or the move, or you may actually hurt yourself! It is the same with spiritual exercises, if people just pick up icons with no training, it would be the same as if they just starting bench pressing with no instructor or doing wild lunges and crazy angled sit ups, what would happen, they would hurt themselves or pull something!

 



Quote
Anabapists have very simple and easy to understand explanations of why they do what they do.
Eastern Orthodox have books and centuries of in fighting and debates over things that many don't even find necessary.

This is why I have immense respect even if not faith in Anabaptist belief.  Even my family dresses as the Anabaptists.  Yes people DO point fingers here in Texas.  But my wife is 100% behind it, and knows she did not exploit children overseas and is dressing as a Christian conservative.  She sews all the kids clothes.

Sometimes all one has to do is look on the back of their church clothes tags to realize the irony of their Christianity.

The Anabaptist "fruit" has heavily made me consider them.

You are seeing this fruit through a biased lens, so inherently you see it one-sided.  If you were a bit more experienced in a different direction, perhaps you would see the fruit in different ways.  There are many in Orthodox who sincerely believe in Sacramental worship, and feel that the Anabaptists are dangerous seditionists who lure Christians away from the Sacraments, and that only Sacramental worship can bring salvation, so these Orthodox feel in their hearts that Anabaptists are in fact dangerous to the souls! I do not necessarily ascribe to this kind of thinking, God alone can reveal Himself to anyone.  Orthodox Church is not there to Crusade against heresy or falsehoods, Orthodox Church is there to simply exist and offer folks the opportunity to receive the Sacraments when and where God Himself invites Christians to receive them, in God's own Time and for God's own purpose.  My advice to you is to take yourself out of the study and book reading, and live in the spirit of the matter, if you believe in God, take these questions to Him and not the Canons and Law books of the Church.  God knows best as you said, He will tell it you in His time..

stay blessed,
Habte Selassie


Good reasonings brother HabteSelassie. Give thanks.


Selam


Always one of the best posters.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
JimCBrooklyn
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Moscow Patriarchate-Diocese of Saint Petersburg/ROCOR-Diocese of Eastern America and New York
Posts: 569


Если бога нет, то все позволено


« Reply #54 on: May 18, 2011, 05:44:14 PM »

Really good thoughts from habteselassie.

I really think that you, yeshusisiam, are viewing all of this through far too materialistic of a lens. Feeding the poor, helping others, are absolutely, fundamentally parts of what we are called and compelled to do as Christians, no question. However, to hold this up in comparison to worship in any context, trying to determine which is better, or more pleasing to God, is simply performing a futile exercise. From a strictly materialist, modern standpoint, obviously, me giving lunch to the man on the street is a far more virtuous act than me praying in front of and venerating an icon (and I'm not accusing you of being a materialist, I'm saying it's a poor comparison), but by this logic, most Protestant expressions of worship, even the "simplest" ones, those found amongst Anabaptists, etc., such as spending some time reading ones bible, would be equally futile. The point is, as others have stated more eloquently, that Orthodox worship (and perhaps all worship) is a treasury of means through which we access our creator, and we operate in a spiritual world, as well as a material world. I am certain that you are aware of this, but for me, like any other mewling human being who is struggling to know the Lord, it gets tough, and it gets complex, and the more tools at my disposal, the better off I am.

When I pray, or venerate an icon, and am able to more fully contemplate the meaning behind that icon, just like when I read the bible, take communion, fast, or even just pray for someone I don't like much, my spirit is closer to God. No one may have been fed from it, but perhaps one more soul, mine, will grow in faith, and perhaps someday that faith may yield more spiritual fruit, in ways that I can't understand. Habteselassie was right on in saying that these things help "reorient" us. I'm a spoiled brat from a spoiled family of atheists. I get distracted, and caught up in a lot of fluff in the world. I have trouble not thinking about the tension in my psoas as it relates to doing squats in the gym tomorrow as I bow in prayer. The icon gets me out of that place.

Focusing on the worldly benefits of spiritual exercise is useless. It all looks dumb through that lens. Read what Mark Twain had to say about heaven?
Logged

It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.
-Metropolitan Kallistos Ware
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,415


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #55 on: May 18, 2011, 10:58:33 PM »

Really good thoughts from habteselassie.

I really think that you, yeshusisiam, are viewing all of this through far too materialistic of a lens. Feeding the poor, helping others, are absolutely, fundamentally parts of what we are called and compelled to do as Christians, no question. However, to hold this up in comparison to worship in any context, trying to determine which is better, or more pleasing to God, is simply performing a futile exercise. From a strictly materialist, modern standpoint, obviously, me giving lunch to the man on the street is a far more virtuous act than me praying in front of and venerating an icon (and I'm not accusing you of being a materialist, I'm saying it's a poor comparison), but by this logic, most Protestant expressions of worship, even the "simplest" ones, those found amongst Anabaptists, etc., such as spending some time reading ones bible, would be equally futile. The point is, as others have stated more eloquently, that Orthodox worship (and perhaps all worship) is a treasury of means through which we access our creator, and we operate in a spiritual world, as well as a material world. I am certain that you are aware of this, but for me, like any other mewling human being who is struggling to know the Lord, it gets tough, and it gets complex, and the more tools at my disposal, the better off I am.

When I pray, or venerate an icon, and am able to more fully contemplate the meaning behind that icon, just like when I read the bible, take communion, fast, or even just pray for someone I don't like much, my spirit is closer to God. No one may have been fed from it, but perhaps one more soul, mine, will grow in faith, and perhaps someday that faith may yield more spiritual fruit, in ways that I can't understand. Habteselassie was right on in saying that these things help "reorient" us. I'm a spoiled brat from a spoiled family of atheists. I get distracted, and caught up in a lot of fluff in the world. I have trouble not thinking about the tension in my psoas as it relates to doing squats in the gym tomorrow as I bow in prayer. The icon gets me out of that place.

Focusing on the worldly benefits of spiritual exercise is useless. It all looks dumb through that lens. Read what Mark Twain had to say about heaven?

Heh, Mark Twain was a Freemason that thinks people should pray FOR the devil...

But I understand your point.

The icons help you refocus on spirituality towards God.

From what I have experienced, both with iconography and Orthodoxy, and the Anabaptists are a completely different "focus". 

Orthodoxy has the spiritual connection when they are in prayer, bowing, and meditating on God. 
Anabaptists have spiritual connections when they pray, are charitable, and sacrificing of themselves for others.

I've witnessed people in EO crying on good Friday, which is understandable.  I've witnessed the awesome events of Pascha in EO.  All these things are awesome.  No problems other than "what is needed?".

As you said, you refocus in prayer and icon veneration.   Most EO wouldn't argue that they feel the same way.

The Anabaptist women refocus all the time in their sewing, head coverings, charity, and always considering others in everything they do.
The Anabaptist men refocus in their non-resistance, charity, and while doing their works.

What I'm basically saying is that I TRULY feel (my opinion) what has distracted me so much from Eastern Orthodoxy is the irony... Consider my example from a few posts above.  What percentage of Orthodox Christians sing "Lord have mercy!".  They are asking for God's mercy, guidance, and help.  If 99% of them if they would remove their shirts, and look at the tags, they'd find that they most likely exploited their fellow man or children (Made in Vietnam, Brazil...).  The focus has gone so in depth, with so much filler, that the EO have not looked around them at the way things are today.  It's ironic to ask for God's mercy and exploit others whether known, unknown, or conveniently forgotten.

If you consider the life of our example in Jesus Christ, you'll find that 80% of Orthodoxy is filler.  I don't say that tongue and cheek.  It's not necessarily bad filler, and the filler can do good, but not entirely necessary.  Icons, iconostasis, vestments, candles, choirs, pews or not, silver chalices, cross bow kiss cross bow, incense, table of oblation, royal doors, venerate this or that, bless this item or that item...   Again, I'm not knocking it, but it is not necessary.  Some of it is good, as you said it refocuses.

I've just seen the Anabaptists do some things that are very spiritually moving as well.  Teenagers baptized & reduced to tears for instance.   They are spiritually moved and focused on God.  Done in COMPLETE simplicity.  Nothing elaborate, no gold trim, nothing fancy at all.   Just baptism.   They were very refocused on their faith.  They are refocused in their 3+ hours of study and worship on Sundays and 2 hours on Wednesday.  Believe me they felt moved equally to what I have seen Orthodox.  All in simplicity.

So in context to the OP, yes, this distracts me from Eastern Orthodoxy. 

So there are some things I feel the EO can actually learn by examples of the Anabaptists at least.   When was the last time you had multiple Bishops scrubbing your feet humbling themselves down before you? (Then you them)  Even God did this to the apostles....  Think about it.  A completely humbled bishop washing your feet asking for forgiveness for offenses....  Yeah RIGHT!  All I've seen in EO is the bishop is placed on the high seat of honor and almost can never do any wrong.  "Do this to each other" was the command from God.  Well it's NOT done.  (sorry if I've offended but please don't be upset with me if what I say isn't true)  Trust me forgiveness Sunday is NOT even anything close to washing feet - 3 pecks say "forgive me" - once a year and you are outta there... This is not running your hands against a calloused bunion or a big hairy toe in humility asking for forgivness.

The issue I have is "Does God care - and do the Anabaptists have grace?".   That's something I don't know and pray about.  The fruit I know the Anabaptists by have dumbfounded me into some spiritual paradox.   That's what distracted me from EO that the OP's questioned.  Perhaps I'm off topic a bit because Anabaptists are neither Catholic nor Protestant.  Most consider them quasi protestant - but whatever. Smiley

Perhaps I won't find an answer.  I do really feel that there is true grace in Orthodoxy, but there is filler.
I don't know if there is any grace with the Anabaptists, but their fruits speak volumes.  "You will know them by their fruits".

So it's very distracting.
Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
Shiny
Site Supporter
Moderated
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #56 on: May 18, 2011, 11:23:41 PM »

If you consider the life of our example in Jesus Christ, you'll find that 80% of Orthodoxy is filler.  I don't say that tongue and cheek.  It's not necessarily bad filler, and the filler can do good, but not entirely necessary.  Icons, iconostasis, vestments, candles, choirs, pews or not, silver chalices, cross bow kiss cross bow, incense, table of oblation, royal doors, venerate this or that, bless this item or that item...   Again, I'm not knocking it, but it is not necessary.  Some of it is good, as you said it refocuses.

I think that's a pretty good point, and would like to see what others chime in on this.
Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #57 on: May 18, 2011, 11:36:19 PM »

If you consider the life of our example in Jesus Christ, you'll find that 80% of Orthodoxy is filler.  I don't say that tongue and cheek.  It's not necessarily bad filler, and the filler can do good, but not entirely necessary.  Icons, iconostasis, vestments, candles, choirs, pews or not, silver chalices, cross bow kiss cross bow, incense, table of oblation, royal doors, venerate this or that, bless this item or that item...   Again, I'm not knocking it, but it is not necessary.  Some of it is good, as you said it refocuses.

I think that's a pretty good point, and would like to see what others chime in on this.

Permit me to be controversial.

Works of compassion are also "filler".

Let me prove it to you.

Imagine you live your entire life on an island entirely devoid of people and even animals -- can you be saved?

So there are some things I feel the EO can actually learn by examples of the Anabaptists at least.   When was the last time you had multiple Bishops scrubbing your feet humbling themselves down before you? (Then you them)  Even God did this to the apostles....  Think about it.  A completely humbled bishop washing your feet asking for forgiveness for offenses....  Yeah RIGHT!  All I've seen in EO is the bishop is placed on the high seat of honor and almost can never do any wrong.  "Do this to each other" was the command from God.  Well it's NOT done.  (sorry if I've offended but please don't be upset with me if what I say isn't true)  Trust me forgiveness Sunday is NOT even anything close to washing feet - 3 pecks say "forgive me" - once a year and you are outta there... This is not running your hands against a calloused bunion or a big hairy toe in humility asking for forgivness.

Just so you know, while the Cherubic Hymn is sung during the Divine Liturgy, the celebrant will come to the Royal Doors, face the congregation and bow towards the laity, asking for their forgiveness "lest any have ought against him".

By the way, the Patriarch of Jerusalem at least washes the feet of the members of his flock once a year. I'm not sure if this is a universal practice amongst bishops.
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
JimCBrooklyn
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Moscow Patriarchate-Diocese of Saint Petersburg/ROCOR-Diocese of Eastern America and New York
Posts: 569


Если бога нет, то все позволено


« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2011, 02:54:50 AM »

Yeshua, re:Mark Twain:
That was exactly my point. I was referring to Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven, in which, among other things, he very harshly mocks the angels singing the cherubic hymn. Plenty of modern detractors of religion have employed the same anti-devotional arguments you are: Nietzsche's monk in Zarathustra, etc. The idea that you're espousing here is that earthly good deeds are inherently more useful than prayer, and I just don't think that's a Christian idea.

Quantify that "80% filler", please. I think that's garbage. By that argument, I would guess plenty of these lovely Anabaptists (who I have nothing against) spend an incredible amount of time doing things other than charity.
Logged

It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.
-Metropolitan Kallistos Ware
yeshuaisiam
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox, Anabaptist, Other Early Christianity kind of jumbled together
Posts: 4,415


A pulling horse cannot kick.


« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2011, 11:04:42 AM »

Yeshua, re:Mark Twain:
That was exactly my point. I was referring to Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven, in which, among other things, he very harshly mocks the angels singing the cherubic hymn. Plenty of modern detractors of religion have employed the same anti-devotional arguments you are: Nietzsche's monk in Zarathustra, etc. The idea that you're espousing here is that earthly good deeds are inherently more useful than prayer, and I just don't think that's a Christian idea.

Quantify that "80% filler", please. I think that's garbage. By that argument, I would guess plenty of these lovely Anabaptists (who I have nothing against) spend an incredible amount of time doing things other than charity.

Yeah Mark Twain is not a friend to Christianity at all.

As far as the "filler" goes, I truly don't know another word to describe it (sorry if it sounds bad).  None of this was commanded by God for us to do at all.  Jesus Christ never once commanded people to burn candles in front of icons, have royal doors, bow & kiss, bless stuff, incense stuff, etc.    I don't think its bad, but not necessary.

The Anabaptist indeed do spend a lot of time doing other things than charity.   They work, play, go to school, and have group dinners.  Just like anybody else.  I was directly referring to the fruits of their church & culture which tends to outshine every other church I have come across in terms of giving, charity, and helping those in need.    There are countless stories of them giving their entire life savings to near strangers to help them... I've known an Amish family who had their mother killed in a buggy by a teenager in a car - they ended up paying for the teens college and that was all the $ they had.

I'm not saying that the EO are NOT charitable or that they do not help others.  I've known EO churches in Russia that tend to orphanages.  Unfortunately, those are the rares and not the general.  I don't see the life changing and tremendous self sacrificing charity in EO that I have personally seen with the Anabaptists.

Let me say something against the Anabaptists - they lack "depth".
They don't have depth like this EO prayer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF5qeVfdavY
It is very simple - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pao2KgVe1KA

Another thing I'm trying to figure out is if God wants that depth.


Logged

I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #60 on: May 19, 2011, 06:14:47 PM »

I think you should read and re-read the gospel account of the sinful woman who annointed Christ.
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
JimCBrooklyn
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Moscow Patriarchate-Diocese of Saint Petersburg/ROCOR-Diocese of Eastern America and New York
Posts: 569


Если бога нет, то все позволено


« Reply #61 on: May 20, 2011, 02:56:23 AM »

I think you should read and re-read the gospel account of the sinful woman who annointed Christ.

That was going to be my next comment  Wink
Logged

It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.
-Metropolitan Kallistos Ware
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,448



« Reply #62 on: May 20, 2011, 10:09:39 AM »

Quote
Yeah RIGHT!  All I've seen in EO is the bishop is placed on the high seat of honor and almost can never do any wrong.

I'm sorry, you may have a point with the rest, though I believe that you have a tendency to romanticize the Amish and demonize the Orthodox, in part because of your own personal opinions and predilections.
But this is quite simply nonsense. The honor is to the office of Bishop, and as far as people considering the Bishop can do no wrong, you should read some of the letters that are sent to a Bishop I know. They would make your hair stand on end, with nasty language, vilification, lies and false accusations. It's not an isolated nutjob either, but a regular occurence. 
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Peter J
Formerly PJ
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Melkite
Posts: 6,170



« Reply #63 on: May 27, 2011, 11:08:00 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 for that? You guys must really have low opinions of Protestants.
Logged

- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)
myrrhbear
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 194


Trust in God


« Reply #64 on: June 20, 2011, 08:50:52 PM »

It's the military, composed of many faiths including EO, that give the Anabaptists the freedom they have to worship and live their lifestyle.
Logged

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Nero
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 115



« Reply #65 on: June 20, 2011, 10:48:59 PM »

If we're going to compare divorce rates with the intent of concluding something about the holiness of the faiths, take a look at India. With an 80% Hindu population, the country has a divorce rate of 1.1% - you wouldn't dare think that this low statistic is a confirmation of the holiness/validity of the Indian religious practices, though.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 10:53:17 PM by Nero » Logged
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: +
Posts: 1,258



« Reply #66 on: June 21, 2011, 12:28:38 AM »

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




Does God really care if you venerate icons, cross yourself, or be near incense?  Believe me the church wants you to, church dogma and traditions want you to.... But does God?

I'm not sure.


No, He doesn't.  God has instituted the Apostolic Church and the Holy Tradition to give human beings an outlet and mechanism for their worshiping spirit which dwells in a physical form.  These things are a lifestyle to reorient ourselves towards God in everything we do, they are not a means to an end being salvation.  Icons, incense and prayers do not save us, God alone does that, however icons, incense, and prayers bring our consciousness closer to God.  After all, if people can watch TV and read books to distract their attentions, why shouldn't the Church have its own means to concentrate our same attentions?

Quote

But when I see the fruits of the Anabaptists (again disclaimer of my opinion) being far superior and greater than the Eastern Orthodox, I have to recognize that Jesus Christ said "you will know them by their fruits".   For instance,  I see the Anabaptist divorce rate at 2% it really makes me think about fruits.

Yes there are issues that I do see with the Anabaptists, but believe me, there is way less explanation needed with them that I hear of people having to explain Eastern Orthodoxy.

For instance:
Old Order Amish with no power - "We stay off the grid to not be worldly and take our time with new technology to make sure it will not inhibit family life, our faith, or our church".

Eastern Orthodox Icon veneration - How many books, arguments, and explanations have been written on the subject?

The difference:
Anabaptist no power:
We can understand why the Amish / Mennonites do what they do.  We can see the evil influence many television shows have on our lives, how the internet does take time from the family, and how we can't ever "be alone" and not be bothered by a ringing cell phone.   It's very clear cut, and the understanding is clear.  Whether or not we still have these technologies is a different issue.  But it's easy to understand and I believe most people can see their point clearly.


You are idealizing a group of Christians and should not do so, because in the process you are inherently demonizing another group of Christians.  Human beings are what we are, flawed individuals, and the Amish, Menonites, Anabaptists, or EO are no different or no exceptions.  You should not then get into some kind of comparison, because it is cultural and historical and inherently biased.  These fruits you mentioned are everywhere, and if the Amish and Anabaptists are so perfect, why do their children grow up and marry outside and move away?  Alas alas, because they are just human beings like the rest of us, even if they aspire to a near monastical culture for their whole population.

Quote
Eastern Orthodox Icon Veneration:
There are countless people who call this idol worship, and making "images of things in Earth and Heaven".  There are vast debates that rage on the internet about iconography, as well as in ancient history with the iconoclasts.  There are many books written on the "explanation" on why it is okay to venerate icons.  "No it's not wood & paint, it's the representation of the real saint we are venerating and not worshipping".   I get it.  I get it....

Obviously I'm confused.   Look the icon is not Christ.  Period.  It was painted by a man.   When I kiss it I'm not kissing Christ, it's not warm as the "human nature" should be.  Lots and lots of confusion here.  

We have these same internal debates and you are right to have questions, but perhaps your intentions are in the wrong direction.  You are going into your investigation of iconography with a chip on your shoulder against it, and so you are only seeing the flaws.  We in the Church have the same gripes you do with worshipers who misinterpret icons in the Church, with those of us Orthodox who confuse worship and veneration.  We are very specific in this.  Again, Icons are a kind of tool, and instrument for spiritual exercise, but just like physical exercise, you need a personal trainer to properly show you how to use the equipment or the move, or you may actually hurt yourself! It is the same with spiritual exercises, if people just pick up icons with no training, it would be the same as if they just starting bench pressing with no instructor or doing wild lunges and crazy angled sit ups, what would happen, they would hurt themselves or pull something!

 



Quote
Anabapists have very simple and easy to understand explanations of why they do what they do.
Eastern Orthodox have books and centuries of in fighting and debates over things that many don't even find necessary.

This is why I have immense respect even if not faith in Anabaptist belief.  Even my family dresses as the Anabaptists.  Yes people DO point fingers here in Texas.  But my wife is 100% behind it, and knows she did not exploit children overseas and is dressing as a Christian conservative.  She sews all the kids clothes.

Sometimes all one has to do is look on the back of their church clothes tags to realize the irony of their Christianity.

The Anabaptist "fruit" has heavily made me consider them.

You are seeing this fruit through a biased lens, so inherently you see it one-sided.  If you were a bit more experienced in a different direction, perhaps you would see the fruit in different ways.  There are many in Orthodox who sincerely believe in Sacramental worship, and feel that the Anabaptists are dangerous seditionists who lure Christians away from the Sacraments, and that only Sacramental worship can bring salvation, so these Orthodox feel in their hearts that Anabaptists are in fact dangerous to the souls! I do not necessarily ascribe to this kind of thinking, God alone can reveal Himself to anyone.  Orthodox Church is not there to Crusade against heresy or falsehoods, Orthodox Church is there to simply exist and offer folks the opportunity to receive the Sacraments when and where God Himself invites Christians to receive them, in God's own Time and for God's own purpose.  My advice to you is to take yourself out of the study and book reading, and live in the spirit of the matter, if you believe in God, take these questions to Him and not the Canons and Law books of the Church.  God knows best as you said, He will tell it you in His time..

stay blessed,
Habte Selassie


Good reasonings brother HabteSelassie. Give thanks.


Selam


Always one of the best posters.

I concur!
Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #67 on: June 21, 2011, 09:54:03 PM »

If we're going to compare divorce rates with the intent of concluding something about the holiness of the faiths, take a look at India. With an 80% Hindu population, the country has a divorce rate of 1.1% - you wouldn't dare think that this low statistic is a confirmation of the holiness/validity of the Indian religious practices, though.

Hindu's maybe polytheists and pagans but their family values tend to be far superior to the west. Just because they are polytheists doesn't mean they lack morals. When it comes to family they tend to be very moral.
Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Tags: debate apologetics 
Pages: 1 2 All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.281 seconds with 96 queries.