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neon_knights
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« on: May 30, 2011, 08:29:53 PM »

i've heard many times from evangelicals that it is important to have a relationship with christ. what does it mean to have a relationship with christ for orthodox christians.

p.s.-please excuse my bad grammar, my shift key is broken.
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2011, 08:41:42 PM »

Here's something from my book on the subject, FWIW:

A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST?
   

The Disciples obviously had a personal relationship with Our Lord. But it was not an exclusive, individualistic personal relationship. As Christians, we have a personal and corporate relationship with all three persons of the Holy Trinity. We cannot separate our individual relationship with Jesus from our corporate relationship to our fellow Christians and to the Holy Orthodox Church.
   
We can only approach God on His terms, not our own. As their father, my children must obey and respect me. They must address me in an honorable manner. They must follow my rules and respect my standards. But they know that I love them unconditionally; and their obedience is the result of love and devotion, not obligation. And because they respect me, honor me, and have confidence in my love for them, then they also feel free to jump in my arms and shower me with spontaneous displays of affection. They feel free to play with me. They feel free to show me uninhibited expressions of love.
   
So, I think this is similar to how we should approach and view God. We cannot merely pray to Him with our own words; we must first pray according to His instructions. We cannot merely worship Him according to our own ideas; we must first worship Him according to His dictates and wishes. We cannot create our own subjective theology about God; we must accept the theology handed down to us by His holy Apostles. But with these objective foundations in place, we can also freely pray to God from the depths of our hearts. We can cry to him in our hours of need. We can dance before Him in joyful praise. We can talk to Him as our most intimate Friend. We can find comfort in His loving embrace.
   
It is well within Orthodox theology to speak of having a personal relationship with Christ; but our relationship with the Divine can never be presumptuous, casual, or merely personal. The God with whom we are in relationship is a Holy God. We dare not come to Him on our own merits and conditions. We must come to Him in and through His Church. There can be no authentic personal relationship with Jesus Christ outside of and apart from the Church of Christ.

   
“For the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” [St. John 4:23-24]


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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2011, 08:57:03 PM »

I would say we view the concept of "relationship" differently (and of "personal," for that matter).

We have a "personal relationship" with Christ in that we commune, as persons, with His person.  That is a relationship because it places us in proper relation to Him.  We are given to share in His Holy Divine and Life-Giving energies because of this personal relationship -- this communion -- with Christ.

But Jesus isn't our boyfriend, or our fishing buddy, or whatever else most folks think of when they think of a "personal relationship" with someone.  He is still God, which means He is still known to us only in His energies, and never on a cavalier or lowbrow level.  We say to Jesus "Lord have mercy."  We do not say "pull my finger."

This is where so many (admittedly beautiful) evangelical hymns get off the rails.  In too many of them, if you change the name "Jesus" to "baby" you'd have a top 40 love song.  That's not a transcendent God.  That's something "on our level," which God only is in His mercy and not by His nature.
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2011, 09:04:37 PM »

It is well within Orthodox theology to speak of having a personal relationship with Christ; but our relationship with the Divine can never be presumptuous, casual, or merely personal.

Well stated.
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GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2011, 09:08:50 PM »

It is well within Orthodox theology to speak of having a personal relationship with Christ; but our relationship with the Divine can never be presumptuous, casual, or merely personal.

Well stated.

 + 2.  Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2011, 09:42:58 PM »

It is well within Orthodox theology to speak of having a personal relationship with Christ; but our relationship with the Divine can never be presumptuous, casual, or merely personal.

Well stated.

+3
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2011, 10:53:35 AM »

i've heard many times from evangelicals that it is important to have a relationship with christ. what does it mean to have a relationship with christ for orthodox christians.

p.s.-please excuse my bad grammar, my shift key is broken.
It doesn't mean anything, to be blunt. Or it can mean whatever you like it to mean. This sort of language is not used in traditionally orthodox lands and societies; it only pops up on the very edges of the Orthodox world where it meets Protestanism.
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 04:49:48 PM »

I would say we view the concept of "relationship" differently (and of "personal," for that matter).

We have a "personal relationship" with Christ in that we commune, as persons, with His person.  That is a relationship because it places us in proper relation to Him.  We are given to share in His Holy Divine and Life-Giving energies because of this personal relationship -- this communion -- with Christ.

But Jesus isn't our boyfriend, or our fishing buddy, or whatever else most folks think of when they think of a "personal relationship" with someone.  He is still God, which means He is still known to us only in His energies, and never on a cavalier or lowbrow level.  We say to Jesus "Lord have mercy."  We do not say "pull my finger."

This is where so many (admittedly beautiful) evangelical hymns get off the rails.  In too many of them, if you change the name "Jesus" to "baby" you'd have a top 40 love song.  That's not a transcendent God.  That's something "on our level," which God only is in His mercy and not by His nature.

This is how Eric Cartman sold over one million Christian pop albums:

"All we have to do to make Christian songs is take regular old songs and add Jesus stuff to them. See? All we have to do is cross out words like "baby" and "Darling" and replace them with [writes next to "baby"] Jesus."

Anyone who doubts he was right need only look at the song titles on the Christian Top 40 chart.

But yes, I think that for many revivalists, He is very much the "Buddy Christ" of the film Dogma, which leads me to wonder if Kevin Smith was trying to make that point.
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Shlomlokh
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2011, 07:00:12 PM »

I would say we view the concept of "relationship" differently (and of "personal," for that matter).

We have a "personal relationship" with Christ in that we commune, as persons, with His person.  That is a relationship because it places us in proper relation to Him.  We are given to share in His Holy Divine and Life-Giving energies because of this personal relationship -- this communion -- with Christ.

But Jesus isn't our boyfriend, or our fishing buddy, or whatever else most folks think of when they think of a "personal relationship" with someone.  He is still God, which means He is still known to us only in His energies, and never on a cavalier or lowbrow level.  We say to Jesus "Lord have mercy."  We do not say "pull my finger."

This is where so many (admittedly beautiful) evangelical hymns get off the rails.  In too many of them, if you change the name "Jesus" to "baby" you'd have a top 40 love song.  That's not a transcendent God.  That's something "on our level," which God only is in His mercy and not by His nature.

This is how Eric Cartman sold over one million Christian pop albums:

"All we have to do to make Christian songs is take regular old songs and add Jesus stuff to them. See? All we have to do is cross out words like "baby" and "Darling" and replace them with [writes next to "baby"] Jesus."

Anyone who doubts he was right need only look at the song titles on the Christian Top 40 chart.

But yes, I think that for many revivalists, He is very much the "Buddy Christ" of the film Dogma, which leads me to wonder if Kevin Smith was trying to make that point.

A friend of mine who is a catechumen told me that at his former Baptist church there was a song that they played which equated Jesus with being one's boyfriend. I think he said it was called "Madly."

What you posted above, you can do the reverse as well: substitute God or Jesus for "baby" or "darling" and whamo! You've got yourself a hit! Sad

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2011, 09:23:58 PM »

coming from evangelical church and hearing lot "personal relationship with jesus" it always struck me as complete lack of reverence. In my opinion, Protestants tend to treat God as if he is their buddy and  that's why that phase is so widely used by them.
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