Author Topic: Spiritual Truth  (Read 632 times)

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Offline Poppy

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Spiritual Truth
« on: June 06, 2011, 06:14:49 AM »
I have read a couple of people ask if the anonomous copy and paste material that some people have posted is from an Orthodox author. Ok so my question is..... is there any truth outside of Orthodoxy or the Orthodox church?? (idk the right way to say that)

It seems like they were saying that there was no point in reading it unless it was from a person who is Orthodox. Why is that??

Offline sainthieu

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Re: Spiritual Truth
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 10:49:20 AM »
Orthodox Chistianity is substantially different from western forms of Christianity. It has a unique perspective about Christ's mission and its meaning to mankind. Most of the stuff that passes for Christianity in the United States is definitely not Orthodox. Much of it, in fact, is heresy. But that's not to say that there isn't an element of truth occassionally in what they say or that Christians of other traditions aren't good Christians. Only God can judge. He will harvest the wheat from the chaff.

There's never 'no point' in reading anything; you always learn something, even if it's that you don't want to read anything like that again. But if you want to learn about Christianity--Orthodox Christianity--you've got to go to a reliable Orthodox source.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 10:52:14 AM by sainthieu »

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Spiritual Truth
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 10:58:26 AM »
To get a good grounding in Orthodox faith, of course Orthodox books are the best sources. Nonetheless, the saints derived much benefit from the critical study of pagan literature and even heterodox Christian literature (e.g. Scupoli's Unseen Warfare) and recommended that we also (critically) study such texts as well. Such learning is beneficial to the mind and helps prepare us for a better understanding of Christianity. St. Basil compared it to the foliage (pagan learning) around the fruit (Christian learning). The fruit is essential but the foliage enriches and augments it. So please don't turn away from Plato and Laozi, or Milton, Shakespeare, or Dante simply because they are not Orthodox.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 11:00:44 AM by Iconodule »

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Spiritual Truth
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2011, 11:06:38 AM »
St. John Damascene writes:
"In imitation of the method of the bee, I shall make my composition from those things which are conformable with the truth and from our enemies themselves gather the fruit of salvation. But I shall reject all that is worthless and falsely labeled as knowledge."
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Spiritual Truth
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2011, 11:44:59 AM »
I would just add to the thread (and hope that I do not actually detract from it) by saying that in religions and philosophies from before the dawn of Christianity, there was always some sort of truth, and that the coming of Christ has fulfilled it.  Much of the belief of people today is either a direct carry over from the times before Christ, or is a ressurection of such thinking (whether the person realizes it or not), as such I would say it too has some level of truth, it is just an unfulfilled truth because it doesn't have the full light of Christ that is found in the Orthodox Church.

As well, I would say that demons who stir up false beliefs in men are more likely to base it in the truth than they are to completely create a new idea, because if something has a ring of truth to it, men are more likely to believe it.
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Offline Poppy

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Re: Spiritual Truth
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2011, 12:46:34 PM »
Thankyou!!!!
Ok so the main reason is to protect from heresy and its not that there's no truth in something else but to be carefull what that truth is mixed in with.

Offline J.M.C

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Re: Spiritual Truth
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2011, 04:53:06 PM »

Christ is Truth, and insofar that the Orthodox Church is the body of Christ, then it is the fullness of the truth. To say this does not mean that outside of the Church there is nothing but lies: everything Orthodox is true, but that doesn't mean that everything true is Orthodox. Abiding in the Truth (Who is Christ) means we can discern what is truth and what is not, whether it is "within" Orthodoxy or not.

Having said all that, the Orthodox Church I describe as being "all true" refers to the Holy Spirit's work within her: the teachings, the good fruits, the Liturgy, the prayers, the hymns, the iconography, and so on. The people who make up the body are, as they have always been, at differing stages of healing: some, the Saints, are practically perfect icons of Christ, but others are not. Whilst "everything Orthodox is true", individual Orthodox Christians are still fallible and therefore liable to mistakes; being Orthodox doesn't mean someone is even immune from deliberately lying about something.

This links back to your OP where people ask if such-and-such a writing is from an Orthodox author. Even if it is from an Orthodox Christian, it is no guarantee of it being true -- the writing will only be true insofar as it is in line with the "mind" and "life" of the Church, i.e. the beliefs of the Church throughout all ages and grounded in the teachings of Christ.

It's always nice to quote a source for any copy-and-paste though :)
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Spiritual Truth
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2011, 05:02:46 PM »
Thankyou!!!!
Ok so the main reason is to protect from heresy and its not that there's no truth in something else but to be carefull what that truth is mixed in with.
Yeah. For example, sometimes truth about Christ is mixed in with lies about God the Father, lies that say He is evil and cruel and legalistic like medieval human rulers.
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Offline Poppy

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Re: Spiritual Truth
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2011, 04:09:09 PM »

Christ is Truth, and insofar that the Orthodox Church is the body of Christ, then it is the fullness of the truth. To say this does not mean that outside of the Church there is nothing but lies: everything Orthodox is true, but that doesn't mean that everything true is Orthodox. Abiding in the Truth (Who is Christ) means we can discern what is truth and what is not, whether it is "within" Orthodoxy or not.

Having said all that, the Orthodox Church I describe as being "all true" refers to the Holy Spirit's work within her: the teachings, the good fruits, the Liturgy, the prayers, the hymns, the iconography, and so on. The people who make up the body are, as they have always been, at differing stages of healing: some, the Saints, are practically perfect icons of Christ, but others are not. Whilst "everything Orthodox is true", individual Orthodox Christians are still fallible and therefore liable to mistakes; being Orthodox doesn't mean someone is even immune from deliberately lying about something.

This links back to your OP where people ask if such-and-such a writing is from an Orthodox author. Even if it is from an Orthodox Christian, it is no guarantee of it being true -- the writing will only be true insofar as it is in line with the "mind" and "life" of the Church, i.e. the beliefs of the Church throughout all ages and grounded in the teachings of Christ.

It's always nice to quote a source for any copy-and-paste though :)
Thanks you answered my question completely and even all the tangent ones i was thinking of.
 ;D