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henrikhankhagnell
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« on: May 20, 2011, 08:25:32 PM »

I am getting very confused all the time so please help me.
The Coptic Church talk about Egypt, the Ethiopian Church talk about Ethiopian and so on. I know that the Roman Catholic talk about much about Europe. So being a European it would be easier to become Catholic rather than Orthodox. but I do love Oriental Orthodoxy. What do you think?
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2011, 10:22:04 PM »

Are you searching for a Church that Christ founded and which God reigns in, or a social club that will make you feel at home and comfortable?
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 10:30:18 PM »

I am getting very confused all the time so please help me.
The Coptic Church talk about Egypt, the Ethiopian Church talk about Ethiopian and so on. I know that the Roman Catholic talk about much about Europe. So being a European it would be easier to become Catholic rather than Orthodox. but I do love Oriental Orthodoxy. What do you think?

You can convert to whatever religion you like.  However one cannot deny that cultures are influenced by the faith that the majority of its people practice.  For instance, the culture of a Greek revolves heavily around Orthodoxy, in a cultural sense.  The faith has been so infused with the nation that it is hard to separate them (Even if the majority of Greeks may not be regularly  practicing Orthodox).  The same goes for Italians and Spaniards and Catholicism, or Armenians and the OO, etc...  This is just the way things are and probably always will be, so get used to them.  I'm sure that if you sincerely wanted to convert to an OO church then you would be welcomed with open arms, but remember that while the OO's may respect you for coming over to them, you should try to do the same in regards to their culture and identity.  They won't force you to turn Copt, or Syriac, or Armenian, but things probably won't go well if you expect them to give up their own culture and adopt yours.
As a priest I once knew said "If you go to an ethnic parish, you'd better expect to eat pirogi's."
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2011, 12:40:26 AM »

Picking a church based on who best speaks to your ethnicity and culture is shallow. You have to determine whose dogmatic tradition you agree with.
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2011, 01:00:06 AM »

Robb, just a quick comment.  I don't know whether or not you meant this, but it sounded like you were saying that he really should adopt the Coptic/Armenian/whatever culture if he joins their church.  If you were not saying this I apologize, but if you were, I think that might be going a bit too far.  Of course he should not expect them to adopt his culture, but neither should they expect him to give up being Swedish (I believe from other posts he's Swedish) just to be part of the Coptic Church or Armenian Church, etc.
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2011, 03:10:43 AM »

Robb, just a quick comment.  I don't know whether or not you meant this, but it sounded like you were saying that he really should adopt the Coptic/Armenian/whatever culture if he joins their church.

Robb has quite a history of being an ethnicist who doesn't really care about the modern enculturation of the faith, and even opposes it.
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2011, 10:35:13 PM »

Robb, just a quick comment.  I don't know whether or not you meant this, but it sounded like you were saying that he really should adopt the Coptic/Armenian/whatever culture if he joins their church.  If you were not saying this I apologize, but if you were, I think that might be going a bit too far.  Of course he should not expect them to adopt his culture, but neither should they expect him to give up being Swedish (I believe from other posts he's Swedish) just to be part of the Coptic Church or Armenian Church, etc.

No, I didn't say that he should adopt these OO cultures if he goes OO.  I meant that he should show respect for the culture of the parish that eh finds himself in and not expect that they jettison their ethnic heritage just because he converted.  There should be an atmosphere of mutual respect which is, of course a two way street.
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2011, 11:42:25 PM »

OK, that's kind of what I thought you might be saying, but I just wanted to have it clarified.  I would of course agree that there should be a two way street of mutual cultural respect - otherwise either there would be no converts or there would be nothing but converts, neither of which is particularly great.
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2011, 03:11:00 AM »

Robb, just a quick comment.  I don't know whether or not you meant this, but it sounded like you were saying that he really should adopt the Coptic/Armenian/whatever culture if he joins their church.  If you were not saying this I apologize, but if you were, I think that might be going a bit too far.  Of course he should not expect them to adopt his culture, but neither should they expect him to give up being Swedish (I believe from other posts he's Swedish) just to be part of the Coptic Church or Armenian Church, etc.

No, I didn't say that he should adopt these OO cultures if he goes OO.  I meant that he should show respect for the culture of the parish that eh finds himself in and not expect that they jettison their ethnic heritage just because he converted.  There should be an atmosphere of mutual respect which is, of course a two way street.

Except that you have opposed in the past ethnic churches making any effort to create an atmosphere that at all reflects the culture of the convert.
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2011, 09:31:57 AM »

Picking a church based on who best speaks to your ethnicity and culture is shallow. You have to determine whose dogmatic tradition you agree with.
Confession: I'm shallow and have not felt dogmatic about anything other than the very basics of Christianity in at least 4 years. I wish I felt more like that. I could spend a lifetime trying to find every doctrine out, but I would rather move on with the basics of living and value historical bases of tradition.
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2011, 09:38:06 AM »

How can you have any basis for living if you do not believe what the Church teaches?
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2011, 09:54:01 AM »

How can you have any basis for living if you do not believe what the Church teaches?
You start from why you didn't completely give up on God in the first place several years ago (it was a rough year) and learn slowly from there being more honest than you used to be about who you are and stay to learn where you are not judged or shunned for not blinding following what pop Christian John Doe says you should be in order to be a good Christian and try to learn a bit more about the historical precedent of doctrine because that is more realistic than Jane Doe's latest revelation. I'm guessing that was to me. I'm a big fan of settling theological disputes with Church fathers' writings and historical stuff. The local Coptic priest described the Council of Chalcedon dispute as primarily a matter of translation. From there, I'm totally proud to be part Armenian.
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2011, 05:26:26 PM »

sounds like you're moving the right direction and honesty is a good starting point.
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2011, 05:30:37 PM »

Picking a church based on who best speaks to your ethnicity and culture is shallow. You have to determine whose dogmatic tradition you agree with.
Confession: I'm shallow and have not felt dogmatic about anything other than the very basics of Christianity in at least 4 years. I wish I felt more like that. I could spend a lifetime trying to find every doctrine out, but I would rather move on with the basics of living and value historical bases of tradition.

Let me ask you this.  What are the very basics of Christianity for you?
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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2011, 09:10:51 PM »

Picking a church based on who best speaks to your ethnicity and culture is shallow. You have to determine whose dogmatic tradition you agree with.
Confession: I'm shallow and have not felt dogmatic about anything other than the very basics of Christianity in at least 4 years. I wish I felt more like that. I could spend a lifetime trying to find every doctrine out, but I would rather move on with the basics of living and value historical bases of tradition.

Let me ask you this.  What are the very basics of Christianity for you?
Genesis, Matthew, that sort of thing.
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2011, 09:29:09 PM »

Robb, just a quick comment.  I don't know whether or not you meant this, but it sounded like you were saying that he really should adopt the Coptic/Armenian/whatever culture if he joins their church.  If you were not saying this I apologize, but if you were, I think that might be going a bit too far.  Of course he should not expect them to adopt his culture, but neither should they expect him to give up being Swedish (I believe from other posts he's Swedish) just to be part of the Coptic Church or Armenian Church, etc.

No, I didn't say that he should adopt these OO cultures if he goes OO.  I meant that he should show respect for the culture of the parish that eh finds himself in and not expect that they jettison their ethnic heritage just because he converted.  There should be an atmosphere of mutual respect which is, of course a two way street.

Except that you have opposed in the past ethnic churches making any effort to create an atmosphere that at all reflects the culture of the convert.

No, I support ethnic parishes maintaining their own identity and culture and not trying to overtly dilute it in order to appear more American, Canadian, etc... I have no

 thing against providing materials and doing liturgies in the native language of the area in order to help those who are either not of that culture or have become assimilated into the host society.  

However, it should be remembered that I am an RC and the RCC is extremely different then the OC, at least in America.  We have ethnic parishes which accommodate the ethnic faithful who worship in them and wish to preserve their language and culture by doing so.  However we also have American RC parishes (Usually ones founded by Irish) who accommodate the American people who wish to convert to the RCC.  This leaves we ethnic Catholics free to work to preserve our heritage in the context of our religion without having to worry about bearing the burden of being the "Face of Catholicism" to the whole nation.  This also doesn't mean that we ethnic RC's aren't welcoming of newcomers and resist any attempt to integrate ourselves into U.S. society.  The average, ethnic RC parish has had to deal with the same struggles and splits over how to reach out to our youth who have become Americanized and how to transmit our culture to them in a positive way without appearing either too clannish and "foreign" as well as too assimilation'ist.  It's a tightrope for sure.
 
This seems to be the big problem that the EO's have had in transmitting their religion to American culture.  There never was a large group of English speaking OC's (Like the Irish) who could represent the religion to the majority of Waspish Americans in a way that they could relate to.  Instead all the OC's came from southern and Eastern Europe and their culture was considered "creepy" and foreign to most Americans.  Plus there was no one single jurisdiction which could speak for and represent Orthodoxy (At least after the Russian Revolution).  This leaves the OC in the west divided up into various national jurisdictions which are working on two fronts 1.  To preserve their culture 2.  Make converts and represent the OC to the western world.  Its certainly a big load for you guys to carry and unfortunately causes you much, much more friction then it does we RC's (That's not to say that we don't have our own battles between assimilation'ist bishops and ethnic churches).  
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2011, 09:59:49 PM »

Genesis, Matthew, that sort of thing.
I feel more Orthodox when I leave church and less during the week.

What about cultural things like God deserves worship that is more reverent than a dude singing shallow lyrics to guitar music maker and master of the universe makes him a little bigger than a girlfriend/boyfriend in life?
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2011, 10:33:51 PM »

Genesis, Matthew, that sort of thing.
I feel more Orthodox when I leave church and less during the week.

What about cultural things like God deserves worship that is more reverent than a dude singing shallow lyrics to guitar music maker and master of the universe makes him a little bigger than a girlfriend/boyfriend in life?

Don't we all? 

Are you an Armenian Church goer?  If so is the use of guitars and other "folksy" instruments a problem for your parish?
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« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2011, 12:33:51 AM »

Picking a church based on who best speaks to your ethnicity and culture is shallow. You have to determine whose dogmatic tradition you agree with.
Confession: I'm shallow and have not felt dogmatic about anything other than the very basics of Christianity in at least 4 years. I wish I felt more like that. I could spend a lifetime trying to find every doctrine out, but I would rather move on with the basics of living and value historical bases of tradition.

Let me ask you this.  What are the very basics of Christianity for you?
Genesis, Matthew, that sort of thing.

Well, I think you're okay if you're dogmatically and Biblically Christian.  That's really the essence of Orthodoxy there, the beginning of Orthodoxy if anything.  You're on the right path.

Orthodox faith is not something you study in one day or a week to fathom, but something you grow into.

And for history.  History is there for an appreciation of dogmatic beliefs, not a necessary thing to get deeply engaged into, unless you're passionate about it.  But what matters is your faith, and if your faith is quite simple, then I would say, lucky you.

So, don't be too hard on yourself.
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« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2011, 01:58:47 AM »

Genesis, Matthew, that sort of thing.
I feel more Orthodox when I leave church and less during the week.

What about cultural things like God deserves worship that is more reverent than a dude singing shallow lyrics to guitar music maker and master of the universe makes him a little bigger than a girlfriend/boyfriend in life?

Don't we all? 

Are you an Armenian Church goer?  If so is the use of guitars and other "folksy" instruments a problem for your parish?
I try to be. I have been to too many Protestant megachurches that played stuff like Chris Tomlin's Indescribable.
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« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2011, 02:10:30 AM »

And what is wrong with that song?
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« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2011, 02:50:52 AM »

And what is wrong with that song?
It's shallow and too catchy and gets stuck in my head so easily that I get tired of it. Oh, and if God is so indescribably, how can we tell people who He is? Psalms tells us about Him. It's not the words that I want to pray to God. I don't feel like this is what I want to say to God when I hear this in a church and I am supposed to sing along.
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« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2011, 03:10:27 AM »

As for it being too "catchy" that is the point of a song. 

As for "if God is so indescribably, how can we tell people who He is?" have you heard the term 'apophatic theology'?  I believe it is something the OO use substantially, just as the EO do.  It acknowledges that God is beyond the comprehension of a human mind. 

Let's look at the lyrics of Indescribable:

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God
Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
Incomparable, unchangeable
You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same
You are amazing God
You are amazing God

The entire song is very reminiscent of the 43 chapter of Sirach, which oddly enough I was just reading yesterday evening.  As well, this is very reminiscent of a good deal of Job, as well.  If I am not mistaken, there are Psalms which this is also similar to.

It would be shallow, if you were having this be the extent of your theology, if this was the extent of your belief.  However, as long as this song does not become the be all end all of your understanding of the Truth, there is nothing at all shallow about it.
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« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2011, 03:42:34 AM »

The entire song is very reminiscent of the 43 chapter of Sirach, which oddly enough I was just reading yesterday evening.  As well, this is very reminiscent of a good deal of Job, as well.  If I am not mistaken, there are Psalms which this is also similar to.

It would be shallow, if you were having this be the extent of your theology, if this was the extent of your belief.  However, as long as this song does not become the be all end all of your understanding of the Truth, there is nothing at all shallow about it.
Interesting point. Is there a copy of Sirach anywhere online? I don't have an Orthodox Bible yet-still underemployed
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« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2011, 03:57:28 AM »

Well, I think you're okay if you're dogmatically and Biblically Christian.  That's really the essence of Orthodoxy there, the beginning of Orthodoxy if anything.  You're on the right path.
What does dogmatically and Biblically Christian mean?

Orthodox faith is not something you study in one day or a week to fathom, but something you grow into.
Yeah, I ought to actually study it more than I do.

And for history.  History is there for an appreciation of dogmatic beliefs, not a necessary thing to get deeply engaged into, unless you're passionate about it.  But what matters is your faith, and if your faith is quite simple, then I would say, lucky you.
Why lucky me?

So, don't be too hard on yourself.
Every time I am not hard on myself, I usually fail at something in some way.
Religion affects the fate of the eternal soul, and as such ought to be of the utmost importance in life as the eternal supercedes the mortal. I don't live up to that and I can't, nor do I know how that look in terms of how one ought to direct the deeds of each day other than to say the should love God and neighbor.
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« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2011, 04:01:42 AM »

As for it being too "catchy" that is the point of a song. 

As for "if God is so indescribably, how can we tell people who He is?" have you heard the term 'apophatic theology'?  I believe it is something the OO use substantially, just as the EO do.  It acknowledges that God is beyond the comprehension of a human mind. 

Let's look at the lyrics of Indescribable:

From the highest of heights [...] You are amazing God [...]

Those are relatively impressive lyrics by modern standards.

I was especially impressed by the mention of falling to the knees, awestruck (too bad nobody actually does this).
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« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2011, 06:17:59 AM »

Anastasia, here is one link to it online http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/pdf/ot/wisdom_of_sirach.pdf

I don't know what translation that is, but it is on orthodoxengland.org, so I hope it's good.  Chapter 43 in the Orthodox Study Bible (I highly recommend it by the way, I managed to get one for free when my priest all of a sudden handed me one the day I met him, God bless the man, he is really a wonderful servant of the Church) goes like this:

Sun, Moon, and Stars
43 The exultation of the heavenlyheights
Is the firmament of purity,
The form of heaven with the vision of glory.
2 The sun, when it appears, making proclamation as it goes forth,
Is a wonderful instrument, a work of the Most High.
3 At noon it dries up the land,
And who can endure its burning heat?
4 A man kindling a furnace works in burning heat,
But the sun burns the mountains three times as much,
Breathing out fiery steams,
And seding forth shining beams, it dims the eyes.
5 Great is the Lord who made it,
And by His command it hastens its journey.

6 He also made the moon to serve in its season
As a declaration of times and an everlasting sign.
7 From the moon comes the sign of a feast,
A light that wanes as it completes its course.
8 The month is named according to the moon,
Being increased wondrously in its phases,
A vessel encamped on high,
Shining in the firmament of heaven.
9 The glory of the stars is the beauty of heaven,
A world shining in the high places of the Lord.
10 By the words of the Holy One they stand according to His judgment
And do ot grow weary in their watches.

The Majestic Creation
11 Behold the rainbow and bless Him who made it,
Exceedingly beautiful in its brightness.
12 It circles heaven with its glorious arc,
And the hands of the Most High laid out its course.
13 By His command He makes the snow to fall,
And speeds the lightning by his judgment.
14 Therefore the storehouses are opened
And the clouds fly forth like birds.
15 By His majesty He condenses the clouds,
And the hailstones break into pieces.
16 At His appearing the mountains are shaken,
And by His will the south wind blows.
17 The voice of His thunder makes the earth tremble,
And so do the hurricane from the north and the whirlwind as well.
18 He sprinkles the snow like birds flying down,
And its descent is like grasshoppers alighting.
The eye marvels at the beauty of its whiteness,
And the heart is astonished at its raining down.
19 He pours the hoarfrost like salt upon the earth.
And when it freezes, it becomes like pointed thorns.
20 A cold north wind blows
And ice freezes on the water,
And forms on every pool of water,
And clothes the water like armor.
21 He consumes the mountains and burns up the desert,
And withers the green herbage like fire.
22 A mist quickly heals it all,
And falling dew brings refreshment from the heat.
23 By His reasoning He quieted the great deep
And planted islands in it.
24 Those who sail the sea recount its dangers,
And we are amazed at the reports coming to our ears.
25 For therein are the incredible and wondrous works,
A diversity of many living things,
And a created order of huge sea creatures.
26 Because of Him His messenger has a prsperous journey,
And by His word all things are held together.

How Do We Praise Him?
27 We will say many things and not reach the end,
But the sum of words is seen in this: "He is the all."
28 How shall we ever be able to adequately praise Him?
For He is greater than all His works.
29 Fearful is the Lord and exceedingly great,
And wonderous is His power.
30 Glorify the Lord and exalt Him as much as you are able,
For He will surpass even that,
And when you exalt Him, put forth all your strength;
Do not grow weaty, for your canot exalt Him enough.
31Who has seen Him and will describe Him?
And who can magnify Him as he truly is?
32 There are yet many hidden things greater than these,
For we have seen but few of His works.
33 For the Lord made all things
And gives wisdom to the godly.
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« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2011, 06:22:14 AM »

As for it being too "catchy" that is the point of a song. 

As for "if God is so indescribably, how can we tell people who He is?" have you heard the term 'apophatic theology'?  I believe it is something the OO use substantially, just as the EO do.  It acknowledges that God is beyond the comprehension of a human mind. 

Let's look at the lyrics of Indescribable:

From the highest of heights [...] You are amazing God [...]

Those are relatively impressive lyrics by modern standards.

I was especially impressed by the mention of falling to the knees, awestruck (too bad nobody actually does this).

Yeah, this has been one of my favorite songs, ever since I first heard it.  I always get a little touchy when Orthodox condemn all modern Evangleical songs as "Jesus is my boyfriend" songs.  Certainly a large number are, or are very close to them.  However, there are a significant number of modern Christian songs such as this that could just as easily have been written by an Orthodox Christian, except the Orthdoox may actually have fallen to his knees, awestruck Tongue
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« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2011, 06:30:16 AM »

Another good song is Todd Agnew's Our Great God

Eternal God, unchanging
Mysterious and unknown
Your boundless love, unfailing
In grace and mercy shown

Bright seraphim in ceaseless flight around Your glorious throne
They raise their voices day and night in praise to You alone

Hallelujah, Glory be to our great God

Lord, we are weak and frail
Helpless in the storm
Surround us with Your angels
Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com
Hold us in Your arms

Our cold and ruthless enemy, his pleasure is our harm
Rise up, O Lord, and he will flee before our sovereign God

Let every creature in the sea and every flying bird
Let every mountain, every field and valley of the earth

Let all the moons and all the stars in all the universe
Sing praises to the living God who rules them by His word



If I didn't know better, I'd swear that he took it word for word from an Orthodox Liturgy.
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« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2011, 06:36:20 AM »

Yeah, this has been one of my favorite songs, ever since I first heard it.  I always get a little touchy when Orthodox condemn all modern Evangleical songs as "Jesus is my boyfriend" songs.  Certainly a large number are, or are very close to them.  However, there are a significant number of modern Christian songs such as this that could just as easily have been written by an Orthodox Christian, except the Orthdoox may actually have fallen to his knees, awestruck Tongue
Would it help if I told you that I was like that before I ever set foot in an Orthodox church? I guess part of what I dislike is that the style sometimes does not feel reverent enough.

Thanks for the link and chapter. Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2011, 07:38:28 AM »

Well, I agree that the style is frequently not reverant.  That is a problem, just like those songs that ARE "Jesus is my boyfriend" songs.  However, Indescribable is not such a song in my opinion, and I do get a bit animated when Orthodox condemn all Evangelical songs because some are JIM B. songs.

And no problem, that is one of my favorite chapters now, out of Sirach.  I'd never read any of the so-called Apocrypha until a little while after I had first met Fr. John, and he gave me the OSB.  I just finished Sirach earlier this morning, and it really is a great book to read, especially the last several chapters which recount a vast number of the holy people from before Christ.
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« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2011, 09:09:16 AM »

Well, I think you're okay if you're dogmatically and Biblically Christian.  That's really the essence of Orthodoxy there, the beginning of Orthodoxy if anything.  You're on the right path.
What does dogmatically and Biblically Christian mean?

Orthodox faith is not something you study in one day or a week to fathom, but something you grow into.
Yeah, I ought to actually study it more than I do.

And for history.  History is there for an appreciation of dogmatic beliefs, not a necessary thing to get deeply engaged into, unless you're passionate about it.  But what matters is your faith, and if your faith is quite simple, then I would say, lucky you.
Why lucky me?

So, don't be too hard on yourself.
Every time I am not hard on myself, I usually fail at something in some way.
Religion affects the fate of the eternal soul, and as such ought to be of the utmost importance in life as the eternal supercedes the mortal. I don't live up to that and I can't, nor do I know how that look in terms of how one ought to direct the deeds of each day other than to say the should love God and neighbor.

Well, what do you think of the Creed? (I believe in one God...)
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« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2011, 05:10:19 PM »

Well, I think you're okay if you're dogmatically and Biblically Christian.  That's really the essence of Orthodoxy there, the beginning of Orthodoxy if anything.  You're on the right path.
What does dogmatically and Biblically Christian mean?

Orthodox faith is not something you study in one day or a week to fathom, but something you grow into.
Yeah, I ought to actually study it more than I do.

And for history.  History is there for an appreciation of dogmatic beliefs, not a necessary thing to get deeply engaged into, unless you're passionate about it.  But what matters is your faith, and if your faith is quite simple, then I would say, lucky you.
Why lucky me?

So, don't be too hard on yourself.
Every time I am not hard on myself, I usually fail at something in some way.
Religion affects the fate of the eternal soul, and as such ought to be of the utmost importance in life as the eternal supercedes the mortal. I don't live up to that and I can't, nor do I know how that look in terms of how one ought to direct the deeds of each day other than to say the should love God and neighbor.

Well, what do you think of the Creed? (I believe in one God...)
Well, the writing in it is lovely...








I see no problem with it if you refer to the Nicene Creed. I also read that the Nestorian Sogdian creed starts with I Believe in one God, however, as this is of the Nestorian churches, it is likely never used in our tradition.
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« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2011, 07:04:34 PM »

The Nicene Creed is common to OO's, EO's, Catholics (except for the Filioque,) and the Church of the East (which is what the Sogdians were.)  It's pretty basic.
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« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2011, 08:51:32 AM »

hi, anastasia 1,
you may be interested to read about this:
http://www.antiochian.org/node/17756
an interview with fr. peter gilquist who joined the orthodox church in 1987 (together with hundreds of other people) after spending many years looking for a church which has preserved the beliefs and practices of the new testament Christians.

actually i think it is interesting to everyone who is looking in to orthodoxy.

metropolitan kallistos has also written many good books and articles.
you can find out about him here:
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Kallistos_%28Ware%29_of_Diokleia
i haven't met him yet, but as we have only 60 million people in my country, i expect to bump into him soon  Wink

as for Christian songs from other traditions, i think there is some good in them, but when we sing, we remind ourselves of our beliefs, so our songs must be very carefully checked to be sure we do not make mistakes in our theology.
and i agree we should actually fall down and worship  Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2011, 09:48:54 AM »



I see no problem with it if you refer to the Nicene Creed. I also read that the Nestorian Sogdian creed starts with I Believe in one God, however, as this is of the Nestorian churches, it is likely never used in our tradition.
Nestorian? but your Orthodox, not a follower of Nestorius.  Huh Huh Huh
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« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2011, 10:40:46 AM »

This Sogdian Creed?

We believe in one God, the Father, who upholds everything, the Creator of all things that are seen and unseen. [We believe] in one Lord God, and in Jesus [Christ], the only son of God, [the firstborn] of all beings, who… in the beginning was not created but begotten by the Father; [true God] of true God… by whose hand the [aeons] were fashioned and everything was created, he who for the sake of men and for our salvation descended from the heavens and clothed himself in a body by the Holy Spirit, and became man and entered the womb; who was born of Mary, the virgin, and [who] suffered agony and [was] raised on the cross [in] the days of Pontius Pilate; and [was buried] and ascended and sits on the right hand of the Father and is ready to come (again) to judge the dead and the living. And [we believe] in the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, who went forth from the Father, the Holy Spirit who gives life.
 

Source: Gillman & Klimkeit, Christians in Asia Before 1500 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 252-253.

This is far from anything near an Orthodox creed, aside from the change in the wording, it is a MAJOR change in theology.  For instance, look at this phrase "he who...descended from the heavens and clothed himself in a body by the Holy Spirit, and became man and entered the womb"  compared to THE Creed "came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man"  That is a major change.
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« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2011, 02:53:20 PM »



I see no problem with it if you refer to the Nicene Creed. I also read that the Nestorian Sogdian creed starts with I Believe in one God, however, as this is of the Nestorian churches, it is likely never used in our tradition.
Nestorian? but your Orthodox, not a follower of Nestorius.  Huh Huh Huh
Umm... He said "The creed."  I grew up in a tradition with the Apostles creed and the Nicene creed, plus recording in the book of worship the Athanesian creed (which would not be OO or actively used in my old Lutheran church) I don't have the Nicene memorized any more, so I googled that start of the creed and found another creed I did not know.
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« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2011, 02:57:03 PM »

This Sogdian Creed?

We believe in one God, the Father, who upholds everything, the Creator of all things that are seen and unseen. [We believe] in one Lord God, and in Jesus [Christ], the only son of God, [the firstborn] of all beings, who… in the beginning was not created but begotten by the Father; [true God] of true God… by whose hand the [aeons] were fashioned and everything was created, he who for the sake of men and for our salvation descended from the heavens and clothed himself in a body by the Holy Spirit, and became man and entered the womb; who was born of Mary, the virgin, and [who] suffered agony and [was] raised on the cross [in] the days of Pontius Pilate; and [was buried] and ascended and sits on the right hand of the Father and is ready to come (again) to judge the dead and the living. And [we believe] in the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, who went forth from the Father, the Holy Spirit who gives life.
 

Source: Gillman & Klimkeit, Christians in Asia Before 1500 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 252-253.

This is far from anything near an Orthodox creed, aside from the change in the wording, it is a MAJOR change in theology.  For instance, look at this phrase "he who...descended from the heavens and clothed himself in a body by the Holy Spirit, and became man and entered the womb"  compared to THE Creed "came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man"  That is a major change.
The only necessarily substantial different I see is clothed himself vs. became incarnate.
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« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2011, 03:06:45 PM »

It may be a clumsy English translation of how the Sogdians translated "incarnate" into their own language.  If there were any Nestorian Sogdians left, we could ask them what they meant.
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« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2011, 03:52:46 PM »

Okay, I'm confused.  Can you give me a system of beliefs you personally believe in?  What are in detail, "the basics of Christianity" for you?  "Genesis, Matthew, that sort of thing" to me sounded like you were supportive of Scriptures as your primary source.  Okay, I mentioned, as long as Scriptures can be understood under the Orthodox Church, not under other interpretations like the gazillions of Protestant denominations.  But when mentioning "the Creed," you're giving me other creeds, so let me ask you, what is YOUR creed, or YOUR beliefs? (500 words or less....j/k)
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« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2011, 04:00:05 PM »

Salpy, you may well be right.  I don't know enough about them to know whether or not this is close to their belief, I had in fact not heard of this creed until this thread, when I went looking online and found this.  I learned, because of Rafa's posts, to always be careful of anything Nestorian.

Anastasia, assuming this creed is in fact the creed you were talking about (and if it is not, I would be greatly indebted if you would link me to the one you were talking about or if you would type it into a post), let's go through line by line.

"We believe in one God, the Father, who upholds everything, the Creator of all things that are seen and unseen."
Vs. "We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible."  This is very close.  I don't know exactly whether or not "who upholds everything" being included and "Almighty" being disincluded matters, but I lean towards not so much.  The rest of it is basically the same, especially since I have regularly seen "Creator" used instead of "Maker" with the Orthodox Creed just being more precise by including "of heaven and earth" wheras the Nestorians disinclude it, but I don't think it matters since by say "of all things visible and invisible" with the translation of the Nestorian Creed just being slightly different in word choice than my translation (not the one I made, seeing as I don't speak ancient greek, but rather the one I use outside of Church) of the Orthdoox Creed.

 "[We believe] in one Lord God, and in Jesus [Christ], the only son of God, [the firstborn] of all beings, who… in the beginning was not created but begotten by the Father;"
Vs. "and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-Begotten, begotten of the Father before all worlds"  These may well mean fundamentally the same things, but the way words are used often subtly suggest different meanings because of nuances in the words.  As such, I would say that the Nestorian Creed here is sketchy at best.

" [true God] of true God… by whose hand the [aeons] were fashioned and everything was created,"
Vs. "Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father; by Whom all things were made"  I would note it leavs out "of one eseence with the Father" which is a pretty big difference, and could lead to a variety of heretical views.  But aside from that, it is fairly similar - but again I would point you to the fact that words have nuances.

 "he who for the sake of men and for our salvation descended from the heavens and clothed himself in a body by the Holy Spirit, and became man and entered the womb;"
Vs. Who for us men and for our salvationcame down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man; "  How the Nestorian Creed is constructed, it says that the Holy Spirit formed a body and placed it in the womb of the Virgin, it also suggests that God merely took on flesh, as opposed to truly and in every sense of the word BECAME man, it suggests he did not have his whole humanity.

 "who was born of Mary, the virgin, and [who] suffered agony and [was] raised on the cross [in] the days of Pontius Pilate; and [was buried] and ascended and sits on the right hand of the Father and is ready to come (again) to judge the dead and the living."
Vs. "And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; Whose Kingdom shall have no end."  Aside from leaving out the phrase "Whose Kingdom shall have no end", which is a pretty significant phrase, I don't really have anything objectionable in this one, even for the most part the word structure.

 "And [we believe] in the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, who went forth from the Father, the Holy Spirit who gives life."
 Vs. "And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,  Who spoke by the prophets."  I think the lack of detail in the Nestorian Creed on the Holy Spirit, may well show a lack of respect for the Spirit as a truly equal part of the Godhood, of course this would in part depend on the date of the creed.
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« Reply #42 on: May 30, 2011, 07:25:44 PM »

Okay, I'm confused.  Can you give me a system of beliefs you personally believe in?  What are in detail, "the basics of Christianity" for you?  "Genesis, Matthew, that sort of thing" to me sounded like you were supportive of Scriptures as your primary source.  Okay, I mentioned, as long as Scriptures can be understood under the Orthodox Church, not under other interpretations like the gazillions of Protestant denominations.  But when mentioning "the Creed," you're giving me other creeds, so let me ask you, what is YOUR creed, or YOUR beliefs? (500 words or less....j/k)
When I mention other creeds, you have to understand that I grew up Lutheran, then the fam was non-denominational, I studied Catholicism which I felt more at home in except for the Pope and stuff that I could not accept much less be dogmatic about and at this time I got rides to various churches from my dorm so I could go to church somewhere at least and listened too much to the evangelical Protestants dogmatic approach to how faith should be understood and lived that I just didn't feel/fit, fam was Nazarene, and I tried a loosely Baptist church along with experience in a Messianic church-where I still have friends and attend services but disagree with some of the theology and ecclesiology but totally respect that they look at what folks back in the day wrote along with the cultural context rather than just looking at John Doe's latest revelation of the decade. I don't know my church history all that well, but I knew there are a variety of creeds. So yes, I have read a variety of creeds. I also hurt my back and had things that came up on weekends so that I could not attend service much since mid March, and just got back last weekend, I lost my copy of the liturgy book, and forgot about the site I found the text online at. So I googled the start of the creed to see what came up.

If you are hoping for dogmatic statements about denominations, I don't think I have it in me to give you. I can affirm everything I hear in the liturgy. I think there is a lot of wisdom I have heard from Orthodox priests, but I hold my reservations about things that are different until they are beyond a shadow of doubt logical and undeniable. My approach to religion includes looking at what is known and can be known and how this relates to the universe and any sense of order or purpose-either there is a God (who must be definition of god be only one diety) or there is no meaning or purpose to anything in this world but some arbitrary state of being. Either there is no hope for mankind, or there must be some way that a God who designed this world and created us with a purpose can make us worthy of His presence-this is evident by examining the history and behavior of mankind as well as personal reflection. So either all are without hope or there is a savior/messiah/redeemer. The only one that I have heard of that seems reasonable is Christ. Now the churches have been the barers of Christ's truth since they and the synagogues split further way back in the day. (I read that there was some change in the way the Roman empire treated one of the groups and the other became disassociated.) So while scripture, by telling of Jesus, contains the message of salvation, there is context that we do not understand by being so removed from that time. Understanding the context of the Bible (and early church fathers were closer to this) we can better understand who God is much like we can understand Him more by spending time with Him. Both help us know who He is. This is something that the Orthodox churches have a strong connection to. While I am not totally committed to the doctrines of the Orthodox church, they are more acceptable than the Catholic church and I have not found anything that I definitely cannot accept. I don't know how I will end up with the Orthodox church in 20 years, but time in and with the Orthodox church will help me be someone who experiences God in ways that appeal to me. There is a quietness in some of the Orthodox that I wish I had.

Until further notice, I would but a futurist/historicist in terms of eschatology, accept padeo or believers baptism but think it should be in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit, think that miracles happen but not everyone gets physically healed by having faith, think that people who speak in tongues as a prayer language should describe it as something other than baptism of the spirit, my soteriology is fairly Lutheran, I don't see a probably with some partial evolution within related kinds during the process of creation (not all jackels are the same species but may have come from a classification above), and I heard that the Bible may round to large numbers or that the flood only happened in the known world but the point of the Bible stories/passages still remains and the flood was wide enough that many peoples across the world have a flood story.I think that salvation is not limited to a church but that church life helps us experience and grow in Christ. I am certain that you can correct me on certain points, but I would prefer to learn slowly so that I will better absorb material. I spent too long trying to be a perfect Christian in someone else's eyes. I think that loving God and others is the highest aim of anyone in this life and otherwise the most important thing we can do is to prepare ourselves for the next life (the afterlife), but I am also told by a variety of people that I put too much responsibility on myself (by mom, an old college councilor, and a friend). I can't just change overnight to please someone new. (AKA, I'm scared you guys are going to jump on me for saying something unOrthodox in this paragraph because if I honestly believed that I had to be something that I can't be right now to be saved, I would not take it well.)

Sorry, I know I went a bit over 500. Tongue
« Last Edit: May 30, 2011, 07:48:45 PM by Anastasia1 » Logged

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Volnutt
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« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2011, 01:47:23 AM »

FWIW, I've never seem you say anything which struck me as totally out of the ball park. I know you believe what's in the Creeds.

Beyond this, you might be being to hard on yourself, yes. Just keep reading up and praying. I don't think anyone here is going to jump on you, we want to help you. No one is going to force you to believe something you honestly can't. I've run into things about Orthodoxy in the past that I've honestly seen as "deal breakers," and some today that may develop into those. But I got over my apparent deal breakers in the past and carried on.

Will I do that with my current deal breakers? I don't know. Maybe I won't become Orthodox because of them. I'd be sad if that's ultimately what happens, but that's the way it goes. In the end no one can decide but you (unless you're Calvinist Tongue).

But, no matter what happens, I know this. God loves me (and you) and as long as I'm faithful, He'll direct my steps , wherever they lead me. He'll direct yours too.

I hope that helps at all.
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« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2011, 02:01:42 AM »

When you're Calvinist, Volnutt, you don't even get to say God loves you and will direct your path.  You get to say "God hates me and has a terrible plan for my life" 'plan' of course meaning hardwired path you are required to follow.
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