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Poppy
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« on: June 10, 2011, 11:22:38 AM »

Protestant people tell me that salvation is about saying the believers prayer (and baptism for some) and from that moment on you're saved. Say the prayer Poppy......yeah but i don't know God enough yet to commit myself.... yeah but JUST say the prayer!!!! and you can sort all that out as you go along.

I have been explained allot of times about the Orthodox salvation but i am not sure i exactly understand it.... not because of the explainer.... but because it's a hard concept to get a hold of. Here goes... Orthodox view is that you start on a journey inquirer and catechumen and that can talk about a year sometimes depending on the Priest and the person being added to the church. But salvation is about being baptised into the church and taking the eucharist.... and even then noone is saved until the judgement day when everyone will find out for sure. If this isn't correct then correct it but also.... why the wait??? If salvation is about life or death and hell is at stake then why is it so long??? Why not do as the other Christian faith does and get people into the church as quick as possible??

I think i know the answer, i think it is because the Priest is responsible for the eucharist and in giving that to just anyone. Right??
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 11:44:06 AM »

Christ is ascended!
Protestant people tell me that salvation is about saying the believers prayer (and baptism for some) and from that moment on you're saved. Say the prayer Poppy......yeah but i don't know God enough yet to commit myself.... yeah but JUST say the prayer!!!! and you can sort all that out as you go along.
They are talking about magic and casting spells, which has nothing to do with salvation and prayer.
I have been explained allot of times about the Orthodox salvation but i am not sure i exactly understand it.... not because of the explainer.... but because it's a hard concept to get a hold of. Here goes... Orthodox view is that you start on a journey inquirer and catechumen and that can talk about a year sometimes depending on the Priest and the person being added to the church. But salvation is about being baptised into the church and taking the eucharist.... and even then noone is saved until the judgement day when everyone will find out for sure. If this isn't correct then correct it but also.... why the wait??? If salvation is about life or death and hell is at stake then why is it so long???
what was His final words?:
Quote
Acts 1:4 And while staying with them He charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, "you heard from Me, 5 for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." 6 So when they had come together, they asked Him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by His Own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama'ria and to the end of the earth." 9 And when He had said this, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven."

Why not do as the other Christian faith does and get people into the church as quick as possible??
Because we do things as Christ ordained, and not as sinners imagine.
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Luke 14:25 Now great multitudes accompanied him; and he turned and said to them, 26 "If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, 'This man began to build, and was not able to finish.' 31 Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. 33 So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. 34 "Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? 35 It is fit neither for the land nor for the dunghill; men throw it away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

I think i know the answer, i think it is because the Priest is responsible for the eucharist and in giving that to just anyone. Right??
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In Bonhoeffer's words:

"cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_discipleship
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 11:59:50 AM »

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Because we do things as Christ ordained, and not as sinners imagine.
haha... fierce!!

Yeah i have a book called I Knew Dietrich Bonhoeffer which i picked up outside a chop shop the guy was throwing it away. I haven't read it yet though. I agree with that quote of his.... anything you come by cheap then isn't worth anything to you either so if you are put off and put off and you still want it like that bloke waiting for Leah was it or Rachel?? He had to wait ages and even then he got tricked..... well it means you really want it.

Thanks ialmisry
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2011, 01:22:27 PM »

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

Protestant people tell me that salvation is about saying the believers prayer (and baptism for some) and from that moment on you're saved. Say the prayer Poppy......yeah but i don't know God enough yet to commit myself.... yeah but JUST say the prayer!!!! and you can sort all that out as you go along.

I have been explained allot of times about the Orthodox salvation but i am not sure i exactly understand it.... not because of the explainer.... but because it's a hard concept to get a hold of. Here goes... Orthodox view is that you start on a journey inquirer and catechumen and that can talk about a year sometimes depending on the Priest and the person being added to the church. But salvation is about being baptised into the church and taking the eucharist.... and even then noone is saved until the judgement day when everyone will find out for sure. If this isn't correct then correct it but also.... why the wait??? If salvation is about life or death and hell is at stake then why is it so long??? Why not do as the other Christian faith does and get people into the church as quick as possible??

I think i know the answer, i think it is because the Priest is responsible for the eucharist and in giving that to just anyone. Right??
There is a fundamental dichotomy between Protestant and Orthodox mindset.

The Protestant thinking is that this world is entirely temporal, a kind of cosmic waiting room and then in the End God will save us or won't, but that fundamentally God will come later.

The Orthodox thinking is that Eternity is always present, that this life is equally part of the Eternity of God, and as such God comes to us in the here and now through the Divine Mysteries/Sacraments.

So we do not necessarily have to wait for anything.  God gives us the opportunity for the Salvation we need each moment.  The Divine Mysteries are our access to approach the directness of God.  There we are saved.  If it is permanent, eternal, or transitional is really up to God, but for our part, we simply offer all we have, our prayerful effort in worship.  Orthodox teaches us to serve God best as we are able because all of the Universe, past, present, and future, belong to God and operate on God's terms.  The Believer's prayer doesn't save Protestants, God does.  The Apostolic Tradition of the Church does not save us, God does.  Either way it is God who does all the work.  Our lives in the Church take time only because God gives us this time to readjust.  If we have an eternity, surely we can take our time to readjust the complexity of our own free will.  God does not desire to force or coerce Love from us, it must be authentic, sincere, genuine.  This kind of Love takes time.

Orthodox is about building a friendship and relationship with God, and relationships much like with other humans take time to develop and grow.  Realistically then Orthodox does not even orient itself around the concepts of Eternal Salvation.  More so we focus on cooperating with God here and now where we are and to the best of our capabilities.  Protestants try to save themselves, Orthodox seek God to save us.

Stay Blessed,
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2011, 01:23:26 PM »

Have you ever heard of the 70 Holy Martyrs from Sebaste?

There was one "martyr" who denied the Holy Faith, left the group, and ran to the fire to seek warmth. However, a Roman soldier who had been witnessing the martyrs dying at the frozen lake with inadequate clothing, shed his clothing and ran to take the place of the apostate. According to tradition, a crown was seen placed on his head as he died with the rest of the martyrs.

During the time of St. John Chyrsostom, catechumens underwent a three year catechumenate.
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2011, 03:20:32 PM »

Here goes... Orthodox view is that you start on a journey inquirer and catechumen and that can talk about a year sometimes depending on the Priest and the person being added to the church.
If there is an extreme situation, like if you're dying, won't be around a priest again for a long time, facing persecution, etc. then the Orthodox Church will baptize people immediately (Ethiopian Eunuch situation), at least that's my understanding.

And if you were to die during the catechumenate, I am told you would be considered baptized in blood.

So waiting, for those who have the luxury to do so, until a person has years of understanding before baptising them is not irresponsible.
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2011, 06:09:14 PM »

It can be good to not rush things. If you didn't have to wait, and they brought you into the Church right away, what would happen when you thought about something you didn't understand? It may cause you a crisis of faith. On the other hand, waiting a while gives you time to learn and to be aware of the seriousness of the choice. If you take time, discuss things with a priest, do some good reading and pray, it helps prevent a sort of 'spiritual indigestion'  Wink and to increase the likelihood you will have a healthy life in the Church when you are ready to join.

 angel

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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2011, 11:51:21 PM »

salvation is the word to describe what happens in our life as we get closer to God. it has been misused by some Christians to imply it happens in a second.

if you look carefully in the Bible (as i did when i was young), you will find there isn't a 'sinners prayer for salvation' in there. i did mention this to people in my church when i was protestant but i think they thought i was trying to show off how much i read.
i was still a kid and i liked to show off a lot!

i never got any good answer as to why there is no 'sinners prayer' until i became orthodox and realised that God actually leads us closer to Him every day. if we turn away and reject Him and do loads of bad stuff and then die, the 'sinners prayer' will not be enough to save us. otherwise there would be no point in trying to become more like Jesus.
but if we try to learn more and more about God and trust Him a bit more each day and honestly look for answers in the Bible, then He will answer us and show us His love and help us to grow more like Him.

so we how believe in God are being saved (a continous process) by faith in Jesus, and we believe that if we follow this path and then die that we will go to heaven, but we can never say, 'oh yeah, i am saved and now i can be really bad and do whatever i like and it doesn't matter'.

that is basically what the difference is between protestant and orthodox Christianity. to me the orthodox understanding makes more sense.

may God bless you as you learn more of Him, pray to Him and study the Holy Bible  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2011, 12:46:45 AM »

Protestantism and Orthodoxy have fundamentally different understandings of what salvation means.

The most common Protestant view understands salvation as first and foremost being declared "not guilty" before God, and all the rest of Christian life is ancillary to this. It's basic concept of the relationship between God and man is judicial/forensic…like in a courtroom. Man has broken God's laws and must be punished with death unless another dies in his place so that God can forgive him.

The most common Orthodox view understands salvation as a process of healing and transformation to remakes us in the image and likeness of Christ. Orthodoxy understands man's fall more like a terminal disease that will first cripple (potentially at every level), then kill him if left untreated. The relationship between God and man is seen more as between a very sick patient and a doctor. The Church is the hospital, wherein you find those at every stage of healing from the worst sinners to the living saints, and Christ is the great physician. If we follow His therapy: prayer, accesis, humility, receiving the medicine of immortality (Holy Eucharist), etc. we will little by little get better. As we approach full healing we grow to be very much like Christ in every way…living saints.

Being declared "not guilty" is a momentary event. You get "saved" then sort of hang around patiently till you die and all the bad stuff wrong with you gets "fixed" in heaven.

Being healed and transfigured takes a lifetime of submission to the Great Physician.  There is no hanging around…salvation is a process in which we are intimately involved…Christ saves us to be sure…but only if we want to be saved…and wanting to means…following His commandments, receiving His Body and Blood…being changed, being healed, begin first restored to Adamic innocence and progressing from that image unto the very likeness of Christ Himself.  The fixing begins with baptism…the way is opened that we may be made heaven within long before we ever see those golden gates directly.
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2011, 02:56:37 AM »

i love that explanation!
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2011, 05:33:07 AM »

Seraphim if there was a LIKE button  Grin

Quote
The most common Orthodox view understands salvation as a process of healing and transformation to remakes us in the image and likeness of Christ. Orthodoxy understands man's fall more like a terminal disease that will first cripple (potentially at every level), then kill him if left untreated. The relationship between God and man is seen more as between a very sick patient and a doctor. The Church is the hospital, wherein you find those at every stage of healing from the worst sinners to the living saints, and Christ is the great physician. If we follow His therapy: prayer, accesis, humility, receiving the medicine of immortality (Holy Eucharist), etc. we will little by little get better. As we approach full healing we grow to be very much like Christ in every way…living saints.

Yeah and that means you don't need to figure out wheather you're saved one minute and not the next or saved forever or one of the chosen. HONESTLY there are SO many different things people tell me about salvation and who is saved and how and blah bla blah bla blah it does my head in!!!! I have been goign back and forward between Orthodox views and protestant because those seem to be the main opposites in Christianity and then the RCs and all the other denoms within the protestants are all smaller differences but the only thing the protestant bloke i know says about the Orthodox view on sin is that it absolves people of their responsibility and guilt before God if it is a sickness and people are ill.

I don't think so because it means you have more responsibility to put yourself in the position to BE healed more often. LIKE that man by the well, he had to be there and want to be healed so bad. In my mind if someone has said a prayer and then its all done then that might have been momentary emotionalism, words that people can't back up later because the moment has gone so then they can go off and do w/eva the heck they like and but they are still saved lolOl

I'm not totally convinced yet though i need to see it in the parables first and i don't know them all well enough yet.
Allot of them were about healing though. That was Jesus' man thing he did.
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2011, 08:06:33 AM »

I'm very grateful for this topic right now and I hope no one minds me asking a question related to this. My cousin's fiancé has been studying Orthodoxy. He has been trying to understand why he must wait a while. So, my mother asked me about the other day and I had trouble answering her.

One of the questions came up, though. Why do we make sure that an adult studies, etc., before becoming Orthodox but have no issue with baptizing infants and letting them be full members of the Church. I had no answer, but since the topic is being discussed now, I guess this would be a good time to ask.

I understand everything that has been said so far, and am grateful as I can talk to her about it now, but I know the question about infants will come up again.
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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2011, 09:20:26 AM »

I don't mind one bit  Grin epic question!!!
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Why do we make sure that an adult studies, etc., before becoming Orthodox but have no issue with baptizing infants and letting them be full members of the Church.

Maybe because adults are responsible for their decision and kids are not but someone who knows properly will answer soon.
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2011, 12:32:27 PM »

Consider the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. They were to be ready to meet their Lord when he returned. That required vigilance over time to be sure that whenever the moment came they were ready. The foolish virgins began with oil in their lamps as did the wise, but the foolish ones at some point neglected their lamps and their supply of oil so that they went out.  When the Bridegroom returned at midnight, five virgins were prepared to meet him and enter into his joy. Five were not prepared. Though they were willing, though they were virgins and betrothed, though they had the same duty as did the wise virgins, they were shut out of the kingdom.  The one time acquisition of relationship was not enough….it had to be guarded, it had to be replenished, it required vigilance in light or in darkness until the Bridegroom appeared.

Consider the parable of the sower.  There are described four sorts of hearts who receive the word of God, those who are so stoney, the seed is plucked away quickly before it can even sprout. Then there are those who are the rough rocky soil who at first receive the seed gladly and it sprouts and begins to grow….but in times of hardship and dryness the plant withers away, for it has no root. Then there are those whose soil is deep and rich enough, and the seed tries to root there but so many other things grow there as well so that the seed of the kingdom is choked out. Finally there is the good soil where the seed flourishes and brings forth its fruit many fold.  Do we not see from this that the acquisition of the kingdom is not accomplished in the sowing, but over time in its reception, nurture, strengthening, and maturity. It is not enough for the seed to be sown, or even enough that it sprout and begin to grow….it must come to maturity, and that takes time and it takes care.  The care is shown in the soil types, which represent the receptiveness of the soul….but that soil…that soul belongs to someone.  The man with the weedy heart can labor to root out those things that would choke the good see. The man with the rocky soil can labor to remove those rocks, to create at least places where the soil is free and deep. The man with the stoney can emulate the man with the rocky heart though his labor is greater. He must be vigilant against the thieving birds, gather the seed and preserved until by his labors he has broken up enough of the stone and built up enough soil receive the seed.  No soul is beyond redemption, if that one is willing be vigilant and to labor for his salvation. Note though, nothing the man does directly saves him…it is the growth of the kingdom within him that saves…his responsibility is to prepare his heart to receive the seed so that it may grow and flourish. Even the good soil had to be prepared…it was not just an empty open field…it had to be plowed to open the soil. It had to be harrowed to break up the hard spots and even it out. Then it could receive the seed of the kingdom.

Next consider the word salvation itself. What does it mean?  The root "salus" means "health", "wholeness".  Consider a related word, "salve"…what is that but an ointment, and unction for healing?

As for the baptism of infants, first consider Christ said forbid not the children. He did not say only permit those who have sufficient intellectual and moral capacity come unto me. All men are broken in some way, some in many ways. Would we forbid baptism to a severely retard adult? Baptism is one of the great sacraments of the Church. It communicates to us the life of Christ. It is the burial of our old diseased life. It is the first resurrection unto newness of life.  In it we are mystically united to Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. It is our entry into His kingdom. He is come to be the Saviour of all men, not just those of unencumbered presence of mind to receive him.  Like the paralytic those who are unable to bring themselves must be brought by others. Did the child possess of the epileptic demon fall down before Christ himself and ask to be delivered. No his father came and asked for him.  Did the little girl who died send a message from her deathbed that Christ should come to her? No. Her parents sent after Christ for her.  So do we bring our little children to Christ. They are born into this world of death and decay. They suffer in it from the first day to the last as do we all. And since we know what this world is, and how it is fallen, and in whom our salvation lies…for the sake of the little ones who do not yet know, we bring them to Christ. And in the waters of baptism they are joined to Him and the seed of the kingdom is planted within. And from that day they receive also the holy Body and Blood of Christ, the very medicine of immortality.

There is a caveat though.  St. Theophan the Recluse said the baptism of infants and small children presumes that they will be raised in a devout home, that from their mother's breast they will live in a home that serves Christ and lives in the Kingdom. From infancy they will grow up in the Church and be nourished by its sacramental life and its teaching. That will be their catechesis until grown into a more mature mind when they can own their baptism for themselves.  If that is not the case, if the home is less devout, is haphazard in its faith as a family, St. Theophan recommended waiting until the child was four or five years old and knew a few simple prayers and could ask for baptism himself.

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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2011, 03:09:59 PM »

Christ tells us to count the cost and make sure that we have the resources to finish.  If you are immediately baptized, you have no idea what you are actually committing to.  They are baptized into Christianity having very little knowledge of what it actually is.  Then they are pretty much left alone to figure it out on their own--very little instruction is given.  That was pretty much my experience in my 25 years as a Baptist. 

Before I was received into the Orthodox Church, I knew a lot more about Christ and His teachings (a lot of Evangelicals are very good at cherry picking the verses and passages of the Bible that fit their teachings and totally ignoring the ones that don't), and what was expected of me.  I had a fairly good idea of what I was getting into.  I am not expected to figure it all out on my own.  I have my priest (my spiritual father) to help me figure it out and to help me figure myself out and to help me in the healing process.  From my own experience, Evangelicals believe in instant fixes.  God is just going to fix everything by just zapping it and fixing it instantly, with no work on our part.  My experience as an Orthodox is that God works with us (we cooperate with Him) in the healing process.  It is a slow process--He does not just zap us and fix us.  If He did that, what would we learn?  In the last few years, I have learned so much about myself and what my weaknesses are and how I deal with those weaknesses.  I have learned about what things trigger some of my passions.  If God had just zapped me and fixed me, I wouldn't have learned all of this.  I would go on making the same mistakes.  This is what happens when we cooperate with God rather than just expecting Him to fix us with no effort on our own part.  All too many Evangelicals teach that work is evil, and God is just going to do everything for us with absolutely no effort on their own part.  We work with God--He is not going to do absolutely everything for us.
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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2011, 03:25:47 PM »

Christ is ascended!
I don't mind one bit  Grin epic question!!!
Quote
Why do we make sure that an adult studies, etc., before becoming Orthodox but have no issue with baptizing infants and letting them be full members of the Church.

Maybe because adults are responsible for their decision and kids are not but someone who knows properly will answer soon.
The same reason why Americans require citizenship tests of immigrants and send them to ESL (English as a second language) classes before naturalizing them, while Americans just raise their children born in the US as citizens and speak English to them.
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2011, 03:43:33 PM »

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

I'm very grateful for this topic right now and I hope no one minds me asking a question related to this. My cousin's fiancé has been studying Orthodoxy. He has been trying to understand why he must wait a while. So, my mother asked me about the other day and I had trouble answering her.

One of the questions came up, though. Why do we make sure that an adult studies, etc., before becoming Orthodox but have no issue with baptizing infants and letting them be full members of the Church. I had no answer, but since the topic is being discussed now, I guess this would be a good time to ask.

I understand everything that has been said so far, and am grateful as I can talk to her about it now, but I know the question about infants will come up again.

These are almost more sociopolitical than religious issues in the Church, as in regard to Baptism which generally includes local parish membership, and as such clergy generally like to know who they are inviting fully as members into their community.  Theologically, Baptism is mystical, you can't necessarily "learn" it so much as experience it, however since membership is implicit with Baptism, this waiting period is attached.  While there are Canons and traditions regarding the duration, generally in practice it has always been up to the priests involved.  If those priests feel that a quicker Baptism would be beneficial it is proscribed, if they feel a lengthy catechism is more appropriate such is also then applied.  As we always say in Orthodox, "Ask a priest."

In regard to infant Baptisms, it is my understanding that the only quick or even spontaneous infant Baptisms are given to those children of already Baptized membership, and from my experience for children of unbaptized or prospective parishioners, the parents are required to go through a kind of Catechism process themselves for their children to be Baptized into the Church as members.  Again, these are usually up to the discretion of the local priests performing the baptisms. Often with the families of adult converts, the whole family will be baptized together at the appropriate time.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie
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"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
John Ward
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2011, 09:29:39 PM »

I want to thank those that responded, so far. Thank you very much. Please know that I wasn't questioning anything with the idea of "it's wrong" but so that I can accurately give a response to my cousin's fiancé. Having been raised Orthodox, there are many things that I have taken for granted and never thought about, so I have no answer when asked.

The answers given are along the same track I was thinking, but wasn't sure. The way I was thinking was that, as an adult, you are choosing this path, whereas a child is baptized and the parents are charged with ensuring that the child grows up in an Orthodox home.

And, that, with the teaching of St. Theophan reminds me of a priest I know who is quite weary of baptizing infants from non-practicing Orthodox. This might explain why, and it makes sense.

Thank you again and a blessed feast day to all!
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joasia
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« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2011, 02:30:52 PM »

Poppy,


About Protestants view on being "saved";  I've heard of a Baptist who had become an atheist because he turned to believing in Evolution over Creation.  So if he was saved, how could he make that choice?  Ask the Protestants that.

Also, if Protestants don't believe in the saints because they believe in praying directly to Christ, why do they have prayer groups for praying for others??  Why should God hear their prayers if they don't believe in it about the saints?  

I think i know the answer, i think it is because the Priest is responsible for the eucharist and in giving that to just anyone. Right??

To your first post...that is correct.  God judges His priests for their responsibilty of the Holy Body and Blood of Christ very seriously.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 02:36:32 PM by joasia » Logged

Stillness,  prayer, love and self-control are a four-horsed chariot bearing the intellect to Heaven. (Philokalia 2: p.308 - #24) - St. Thalassios

The proper activity of the intellect is to be attentive at every moment to the words of God.   (Philokalia 2: p. 308 - # 30) - St. Thalassios
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