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Agent
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« on: May 26, 2011, 03:26:23 PM »

I no longer know whether I am a Christian or not.  I am seeking God and Jesus but finding all the various churches to be a great barrier to me . . .and living with a fairly devout protestant wife is making things very difficult for me.

Since the Orthodox Church does not re-baptize Protestants, does that mean the Church views them as "real Christians"? 


And on an un-related note, why doesn't the Church use an earlier liturgy, i.e. why isn't a liturgy used from the 100s rather than the 400-500s.  Thanks.



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William
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 03:29:28 PM »

Chrismating Protestants is not a sign of them having validity; the Orthodox position is generally St. Cyprian's: that there are no sacraments and no salvation outside the Church. Chrismating them is an expression of economy.

Also be aware that some Orthodox jurisdictions do, in fact, Baptize Protestant converts.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 03:31:31 PM by William » Logged

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Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. - Matt. 5:24
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 03:33:07 PM »

Awesome.  Just what my wife wants to hear.  "There is no salvation outside of the [Orthodox] Church"
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2011, 03:38:43 PM »

Awesome.  Just what my wife wants to hear.  "There is no salvation outside of the [Orthodox] Church"

The brief answer you were given might be responsible for your implicit misunderstanding what the Church actually teaches.

God only knows. Non-Orthodox are not barred from the mercy of God, just as Orthodox are not magically spared His Judgment.
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2011, 03:41:36 PM »

That answer seems more plausible to my feeble and non-enlightened and un-Orthodox mind.  I find it weird that God is infinite and beyond all human comprehension yet so many churches pronounce judgement on people as if they know the will of an unknowable God. 

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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2011, 03:46:01 PM »

That answer seems more plausible to my feeble and non-enlightened and un-Orthodox mind.  I find it weird that God is infinite and beyond all human comprehension yet so many churches pronounce judgement on people as if they know the will of an unknowable God. 



I have a feeling you are being sarcastic or at least ironic and given the other thread, a bit baiting.

Others can weigh in but the response that seems to come up around here goes something like this:

We know where the Holy Spirit acts, we don't know where It does not. (Now I have a topic for another thread).
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2011, 03:50:11 PM »

maybe self-deprecating but not really sarcastic . .

This type of forum may not be the best place for me .. . .
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2011, 03:53:05 PM »

The brief answer you were given might be responsible for your implicit misunderstanding what the Church actually teaches.

God only knows. Non-Orthodox are not barred from the mercy of God, just as Orthodox are not magically spared His Judgment.

Agreed.  Just because St. Cyprian espouses that opinion, other Holy Fathers, Saints, and Theologians may have different ones.  There appears to be enough lack of consensus to avoid dogmatic pronouncement on this.  I have been told repeatedly, through readings and teachings from clergy that the Orthodox Church does not claim to know or try to determine the salvation of those outside of her.

There are varying degrees of opinion regarding "other" Christians as well.  While Christians outside of the Church may not experience the fullness of the faith, it seems ridiculous to assert that all non-Orthodox believers trying to abide by the commandments of Christ, currently and throughout history, were not actually Christian.
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2011, 03:57:24 PM »

Awesome.  Just what my wife wants to hear.  "There is no salvation outside of the [Orthodox] Church"

Excuse me. That is quite a different statement from saying there are no sacraments outside the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2011, 04:01:21 PM »

That answer seems more plausible to my feeble and non-enlightened and un-Orthodox mind.  I find it weird that God is infinite and beyond all human comprehension yet so many churches pronounce judgement on people as if they know the will of an unknowable God. 



It does not appear to me that any judgment has been pronounced here on anyone, only to state the position that, essentially, outside the Orthodox Church, there is no sacramental grace. There may be the form, but there is not the substance. That does not at all mean that people and groups outside the Church are under some sort of blanket condemnation. That is to draw a conclusion from evidence which you have not been given here. Of course, it's common enough in this age where, simply to tell someone they're wrong is misinterpreted as a sentence of condemnation to hell.
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Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2011, 04:21:15 PM »

This miracle happened on a Liturgy similar with today's one. So no problemo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbcL4mkNfzM

This is why your wife needs to come back, because she needs to be devoted to Jesus. Not to Johny.

JN 6:53 Jesus therefore said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don't have life in yourselves.

Johny  establishing Protestantism on 30 000 denominations: Most certainly, I tell you you need NOTHING or SYMBOLS or WORDS, for eternal life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbcL4mkNfzM

Eastern Orthodox Church listens to Jesus

PS. johny can not give ANYBODY eternal life. Jesus can and does.

You can not force anyone to conversion. God gave this decision to everybody. So if your wife expects from Johny eternal life, you have nothing to do, beside praying to God for her, so that she knows the truth and does what is right for getting eternal life. You have to cherish and love her like nothing would happen.

Something to read: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,35988.0.html

If you want for God to do the explaining, ask her to pray:

Dear God, please force me and all humanity to salvation and to the best religion in your eyes and please let me understand all religions on the Earth  . Dear God, please do these without pain. Dear God, please give to us and Creation everything you know we need it and please force us to take it without pain.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 04:46:12 PM by pasadi97 » Logged
NicholasMyra
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2011, 04:33:03 PM »

And on an un-related note, why doesn't the Church use an earlier liturgy, i.e. why isn't a liturgy used from the 100s rather than the 400-500s.  Thanks.

100 AD: the liturgy is growing.

200 AD: the liturgy is growing.

300 AD: the liturgy is growing.

400 AD: in the past century, a lot of the liturgy was written down. The liturgy is growing.

500 AD: in the past century, a lot more the liturgy was written down. The liturgy is growing.

600 AD: the liturgy is growing.

700 AD: the liturgy is growing.

800 AD-1400 AD: the liturgy is growing, but a little slower because of the Arab, Frankish and Venetian conquests.

1453: Turkokratia (oppression by the Turks): the liturgy is growing.

1500-1800: The liturgy doesn't grow as fast because of Turkish oppression.

1900-2000: the liturgy is growing.


The Eastern Orthodox Church uses 3 primary liturgies:

The Divine Liturgy of St. James the Just (5 hours long, you probably heard this as 8 hours) Used, but not very often.
The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great (3 hours long) often used during lent.
The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (1.5 hours long) this is the most common one.

You'd be surprised how similar these liturgies are.
I hope that explains it, Agent!
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 04:42:45 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2011, 04:39:52 PM »

Awesome.  Just what my wife wants to hear.  "There is no salvation outside of the [Orthodox] Church"

There is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ, either, but people who have not heard of him literally or heard of him falsely may still be saved.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 04:40:11 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
pasadi97
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2011, 04:55:19 PM »

I heard about somebody dying, near death experience, from a mixed village, half muslims half christians. Now he went to heaven and found one muslim. He asked Jesus, why is he here? Jesus said, because he called on me on the deadbed and recognized me as God.

1.So, on deadbed if the wrong entity comes, is time for prayer and calling for Jesus to save us. Mentioning that we wasted the life and that we want to be saved like the thief on the cross may help.
2.Jesus may have baptized him after death and such or who knows what had happen here or in the case of Thief on the cross.

So, we don't know who is saved. There are other forms of baptism we don't know and I don't want to mention them here. Like if you die like a martyr , I believe is considered baptism.
Anyhow, since we can get eternal life and entrance to Heaven, NOW, is good to get them from here.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 04:57:03 PM by pasadi97 » Logged
William
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2011, 07:24:25 PM »

Awesome.  Just what my wife wants to hear.  "There is no salvation outside of the [Orthodox] Church"
Here is how Metropolitan St. Philaret of New York interpreted St. Cyprian's statement:

Quote from: Met Philaret of New York, of blessed memory (+1985)
Question: “If the Orthodox faith is the only true faith, can Christians of other confessions be saved? May a person who has led a perfectly righteous life on earth be saved on the strength of his ancestry, while not being baptized as Christian?

Answer: “For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth [struggleth], but of God that showeth mercy” (Rom. 9:15-16). In the Orthodox Church we have the path of salvation indicated to us and we are given the means by which a person maybe morally purified and have a direct promise of salvation. In this sense St. Cyprian of Carthage says that “outside the Church there is no salvation.” In the Church is given that of which Apostle Peter writes to Christians (and only Christians): “According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:3-8). And what should one say of those outside the Church, who do not belong to her? Another apostle provides us with an idea: “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth” (1 Cor. 5:12-13). God “will have mercy on whom He will have mercy” (Rom 9:18). It is necessary to mention only one thing: that to “lead a perfectly righteous life,” as the questioner expressed it, means to live according to the commandments of the Beatitudes—which is beyond the power of one, outside the Orthodox Church, without the help of grace which is concealed within it.

The question: Can the heterodox, i.e. those who do, not belong to Orthodoxy—the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church—be saved, has become particularly painful and acute in our days.

In attempting to answer this question, it is necessary, first of all, to recall that in His Gospel the Lord Jesus Christ Himself mentions but one state of the human soul which unfailingly leads to perdition—i.e. blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:1-32). The Holy Spirit is, above all, the Spirit of Truth, as the Saviour loved to refer to Him. Accordingly, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is blasphemy against the Truth, conscious and persistent opposition to it. The same text makes it clear that even blasphemy against the Son of Man—i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God Himself may be forgiven men, as it may be uttered in error or in ignorance and, subsequently may be covered by conversion and repentance (an example of such a converted and repentant blasphemer is the Apostle Paul. (See Acts 26:11 and I Tim. 1:13.) If, however, a man opposes the Truth which he clearly apprehends by his reason and, conscience, he becomes blind and commits spiritual suicide, for he thereby likens himself to the devil, who believes in God and dreads Him, yet hates, blasphemes, and opposes Him.

Thus, man’s refusal to accept the Divine Truth and his opposition thereto makes him a son of damnation. Accordingly, in sending His disciples to preach, the Lord told them: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:16), for the latter heard the Lord’s Truth and was called upon to accept it, yet refused, thereby inheriting the damnation of those who “believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (II Thes. 2:12).

The Holy Orthodox Church is the repository of the divinely revealed Truth in all its fullness and fidelity to apostolic Tradition. Hence, he who leaves the Church, who intentionally and consciously falls away from it, joins the ranks of its opponents and becomes a renegade as regards apostolic Tradition. The Church dreadfully anathematized such renegades, in accordance with the words of the Saviour Himself (Matt. 18:17) and of the Apostle Paul (Gal. 1:8-9), threatening them with e ternal damnation and calling them to return to the Orthodox fold. It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who knowingly pervert the truth…* They have been born and raised and are living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The Lord, “Who will have all men to be saved” (I Tim. 2:4) and “Who enlightens every man born into the world” (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation In His own way.

With reference to the above question, it is particularly instructive to recall the answer once given to an inquirer by the Blessed Theophan the Recluse. The blessed one replied more or less thus: “You ask, will the heterodox be saved… Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins… I will tell you one thing, however: should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever.”

We believe the foregoing answer by the saintly ascetic to be the best that can be given in this matter.

* The Greek word for “heresy” is derived from the word for “choice” and hence inherently implies conscious, willful rejection or opposition to the Divine Truth manifest in the Orthodox Church.

From Orthodox Life, Vol. 34, No. 6 (Nov.-Dec., 1984), pp. 33-36.
http://horologion.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/will-the-heterodox-be-saved/
Given that, I don't think that your wife has anything to be offended by.
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Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. - Matt. 5:24
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