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Author Topic: Does the Orthodox Church "change?"  (Read 9020 times) Average Rating: 0
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Volnutt
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« on: June 19, 2011, 12:21:27 PM »

And if so, how?

As I understand it, Holy Penance did not exist until the 4th Century when it was introduced as a "compromise" for receiving back the lapsi without some sort of "re-baptism." Did it have some kind of equivalent beforehand? If not, does this mean First-Third Century Christians could be saved without confessing to the Church? Similarly, how is the switch from congregational to private justified, as an economia based on the weakness of the laity in general?

Also, how can the pre-sixth century absence of iconstases be explained? I know they are a continuance of the something from the Jewish Temple, but still it seems like the Church was absent this tradition for the first several centuries (and for that matter, if icons are so essential to proper worship, how are we to account for them not being widely venerated until the iconoclasm)?

Finally, how does this relate to the Roman Catholic concept of doctrinal development? This really sounds like "development" to me if not innovation.
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 12:45:00 PM »

And if so, how?

The Church is not locked in stone. She has grown like a child grows up. But the Church has always been the same "person". She has not undergone destructive surgeries like other segments have.

One way is the standardization of rubrics. This stems from St Paul's command to do everything in an orderly fashion. It was not possible to do this during the Roman persecution, so after the Edict of Milan we see the Church make a lot of progress as far as standardizing practices. This is both for the sake of order, and to make it easier for priests and bishops to concelebrate. This is not a change in the liturgy, because it is still in essence the same thing. Rather it is a clarification of the existing accepted truth for the sake of clarity. That is what kind of change we have.

As I understand it, Holy Penance did not exist until the 4th Century when it was introduced as a "compromise" for receiving back the lapsi without some sort of "re-baptism." Did it have some kind of equivalent beforehand? If not, does this mean First-Third Century Christians could be saved without confessing to the Church? Similarly, how is the switch from congregational to private justified, as an economia based on the weakness of the laity in general?

In the early church, people confessed openly to the congregation. This came to be viewed as scandalous, not the least of which for the sake of the children present, so sacramental confession became private. However, AFAIK it has always been tied to the sacramental absolution, and that has never changed. Only the means has changed from public to private.

Interestingly, the Church has never condemned public confession, and it is still canonically permissible. Generally there is no need for it, but I could see circumstances where a person could have hurt the entire parish community and such a thing would be healing for all involved.

Also, how can the pre-sixth century absence of iconstases be explained? I know they are a continuance of the something from the Jewish Temple, but still it seems like the Church was absent this tradition for the first several centuries (and for that matter, if icons are so essential to proper worship, how are we to account for them not being widely venerated until the iconoclasm)?

The Iconostasis, the Rood Screen, the Altar Rail, and all other similar liturgical barriers have a common ancestor in the Templon. This was essentially a low wall surrounding the altar area. Larger churches may have used a freestanding row of pillars, topped with a beam or arches. These walls have been found in the earliest churches and presumably have always been used.



This was partially inspired from a device from Greek theatre, the proscenium:



(Note even the central and outer doors on either side.)

This was a feature of Churches in both East and West.

After Iconoclasm, which hit the East particularly hard, they began hanging icons between the pillars. The church at New Skete (below) is designed this way. This likely is what an Eastern Church looked like around the 800s or so:



This became so commonplace that eventually they were built as solid walls instead of spaced pillars. In the West, the Templon continued to exist in various forms as well. One of these is the Rood Screen, which is especially associated with traditional English churches:



During the Counter-Reformation, the Roman Church removed many of these to erase the perceived barrier between the priest and the people, though it continued to exist in some form as the altar rail.



Finally, how does this relate to the Roman Catholic concept of doctrinal development? This really sounds like "development" to me if not innovation.

This describes actual changes in belief. In Orthodoxy, we believe that every teaching we hold today is present in the ancient Church. Things have become better-defined, understood, and described, but there are no changes. The development of the Iconostasis shows this. That feature has always been present, but it took some 1500 years to grow into its current form. And it may well continue to develop in the future. But all the while, nothing has truly changed.

On the other hand, we believe that Rome has indeed changed her beliefs over time.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 01:07:12 PM by bogdan » Logged
Volnutt
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 01:28:03 PM »

Oh ok, sort of like how the exact idea of the Trinity was not in the early church but they still knew Father, Son, and Spirit were all the One God.

I can dig that. Thanks!
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2011, 01:31:46 PM »

Since we're already talking about the iconostasis, I have a related question. How does the idea of the iconostasis relate to the torn Temple veil and the believer being able to "go boldly before the Throne of Grace?"
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2011, 02:01:07 PM »

And if so, how?

As I understand it, Holy Penance did not exist until the 4th Century when it was introduced as a "compromise" for receiving back the lapsi without some sort of "re-baptism." Did it have some kind of equivalent beforehand? If not, does this mean First-Third Century Christians could be saved without confessing to the Church? Similarly, how is the switch from congregational to private justified, as an economia based on the weakness of the laity in general?

Also, how can the pre-sixth century absence of iconstases be explained? I know they are a continuance of the something from the Jewish Temple, but still it seems like the Church was absent this tradition for the first several centuries (and for that matter, if icons are so essential to proper worship, how are we to account for them not being widely venerated until the iconoclasm)?

Finally, how does this relate to the Roman Catholic concept of doctrinal development? This really sounds like "development" to me if not innovation.
I think you just asked questions that would constitute three different ph.d dissertations Smiley  Liturgy changed, but the originial teachings haven't.
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2011, 02:05:16 PM »

Oh ok, sort of like how the exact idea of the Trinity was not in the early church but they still knew Father, Son, and Spirit were all the One God.

I can dig that. Thanks!

Yes. The way I tend to think about it is this:

I don't know that St Paul personally had condensed the essence of Christianity into something like the Nicene Creed. The heresies had not yet arisen to make such a clear definition of the faith necessary. But if you were a time traveler and gave St Paul a copy of the Nicene Creed, he would certainly agree with every word. Conversely, he would certainly recognize Arianism or Origenism as heresy, even though it did not yet exist.

Since we're already talking about the iconostasis, I have a related question. How does the idea of the iconostasis relate to the torn Temple veil and the believer being able to "go boldly before the Throne of Grace?"

Someone else might like to take a stab at this, but I view it similarly to the priesthood of all believers.

We believe that all Christians are priests, by virtue of their anointing with Holy Chrism. But we still have a sacramental priesthood, for those who are authorized to perform certain special actions on behalf of the community. In the same way, the entire Church—the entire Universe—is sacred, but we still set aside a portion of the Church specifically for the altar and celebrating the divine services.

We can all go boldly before the Throne of Grace because we have Christ living within us, and we can pray anywhere. And certainly the Iconostasis is not meant to keep us away from God's holiness, because that is one point of the veil—to keep people from getting killed by God's sheer glory. But indeed today God comes into us, and makes us all into the Holy of Holies when we take His Body and Blood.

But in the context of liturgical worship, we still set aside certain spaces as holy. In the earliest times, I imagine this was more of a practical consideration than anything else. The priest had to carry out his duties without tripping over people, so a wall was built to make sure he was free to move about unencumbered. But with time, the Iconostasis has also gained theological meanings, representing Heaven and so forth.

That's not the most satisfactory answer, and I'm sure someone else can explain it better, but that's what makes sense to me.
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2011, 02:15:56 PM »

Well, I thought it was a very good answer. Thanks.
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 02:29:25 PM »

Bogdan- thank you for the pictures. They are beautiful, and explain a lot.  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 02:48:51 PM »

I think you just asked questions that would constitute three different ph.d dissertations Smiley  Liturgy changed, but the originial teachings haven't.
Yeah, I'm sure there's quite a lot of nuance, but nutshell answers are alright for me. Actually, what Bogdan said what was I had an inkling the answers were.
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2011, 03:12:34 PM »

Taking the issue of liturgical architecture, an example of actual change in theology would be when Protestants (especially the more radical ones) went from something like this:



To something like this:



The altar was replaced by the pulpit. The Sacrifice of the Eucharist was replaced by sophistry and philosophy. The living Body and Blood of Christ were replaced by a Book and the knowledge thereof.

That is not to denigrate the Bible and preaching—both of which are prominent in the Liturgy. But it becomes heresy when something is overemphasized beyond its proper place, and especially at the expense of other things.

Of course, there is nothing new under the sun. The heresies of today are always betrayed by the heresies of old. Compare this altar-less and image-less Protestant church with the iconoclastic-era Hagia Irene:





I don't want to send the thread astray, but these are examples of how changes in liturgical architecture can be heretical, compared with natural changes like the Templon I explained above.
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2011, 03:34:46 PM »

I see what you mean.

I'm surprised the Eastern iconoclasts even allowed a Cross. The grandaddy of Western iconoclasm, Claudius of Turin, taught the Cross was a graven image as well.
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2011, 04:29:25 PM »

Finally, how does this relate to the Roman Catholic concept of doctrinal development? This really sounds like "development" to me if not innovation.

About development of doctrine ---- take a look at what Saint Vincent of Lerins writes about this in the 5th century.  He expresses it beautifully and exactly.

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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2011, 04:31:06 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2011, 05:22:04 PM »

And if so, how?

As I understand it, Holy Penance did not exist until the 4th Century when it was introduced as a "compromise" for receiving back the lapsi without some sort of "re-baptism." Did it have some kind of equivalent beforehand?
Of course. James 5:14 Is any among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters [i.e. bishops/priests] of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer of Faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.

If not, does this mean First-Third Century Christians could be saved without confessing to the Church?
According to the Gospel, no.  Matthew 18:17-8"...tell it to the Church...Amen, I say to you, whatsoever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." John 20: 21 J"esus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I send you." 22 And when He had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Similarly, how is the switch from congregational to private justified, as an economia based on the weakness of the laity in general?
Christ Himself counseled it so: Matthew 18:15.

Also, how can the pre-sixth century absence of iconstases be explained? I know they are a continuance of the something from the Jewish Temple, but still it seems like the Church was absent this tradition for the first several centuries
Just to add to Bogdan's excellent post, the synagoue had a bimah, an elevated place when the Torah was read, and an ark, where the Torah scrolls were keep (which were put in the direction of Jerusalem).  In the ancient city of Sardis we see the bimah

and the arks:

Usually these features were combined into a sanctuary, and were seperated only when it wasn't feasible to orientate the synagogue towards Jerusalem the right way. Similarly, Churches were orientated East, and if that were impossible, there was a Cross or some marking for the East, in which direction the congregation would pray, for instance, the Lord's prayer.

(and for that matter, if icons are so essential to proper worship, how are we to account for them not being widely venerated until the iconoclasm)?
People don't know what they have until it is taken from them.  We have icons in the catacombs and in the house Churches before Nicea.

Finally, how does this relate to the Roman Catholic concept of doctrinal development? This really sounds like "development" to me if not innovation.
Let's go further back (I've dealt with this before):
I think you mean sewn up. Look at my post above, about the antibodies.
Yeah, I thought it was sewn after I posted it but wasn't sure. Good thing this is a theological discussion and not grammar class.  Wink

Op cit. Viz supra. The inability of the Vatican to see clearly on the issue is a very large part of its problem.
If you mean that the Church is a stagnant organization that has no use for the Holy Spirit because everything has already been revealed and needs no further clarification, of course the Vatican isn't going to "see" that because that notion is false.
Didn't read my post above, did you?

Now I look like my baby picture, despite I'm taller, weight more, right now have a 5 o'clock (actually more) shadow. That's development.

I also have a cross tattoo on my wrist which you will search in vain for on my baby pictures.  You call that developement but its not quite that: no matter how old I got, that tattoo wasn't going to appear until I had them apply it with the needle.

My best friend has four kidnies, from two kidney transplants. Not quite development there either.  He looks like his baby picture, though, too.

I have my doubts about those who have a "sex change," that they resemble their baby picture in specific ways, but I concede that their faces are probably the same.  You would have to get plastic surgery to change that, like Michael Jackosn.

I remember when he married Miss Presley, someone said they would believe it when she had a baby that looked like he used to look. Not like this:


But that's the problem: ya'll at the Vatican can't make a distinction between growing and radical plastic surgery, because it's all change=development.  So you appropriate it as a license to attribute the most outlandish things to the "deposit of Faith."
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2011, 05:46:05 PM »

Woah there Bogdan... Hagia Irene was NOT iconoclastic.

It was constructed prior to the Second Ecumenical Council in the 4th Century, and that council was held in this church. It was the same church that St. John Chrysostom preached in. (it was the hierarchical church prior to the construction of the current Hagia Sophia)
The reason it doesn't have mosaics/frescoes are varied... It, like other churches in Constantinople, lost a lot of it's icons due to earthquakes. The cross in the apse, is due to the heretical iconoclasts, but there were severe earthquakes prior to iconoclasm that contributed to it's icon-less state. One could also expect that the Muslims probably also contributed to it's state. It was eventually turned into an armory by the Turks, and today serves as a concert hall.

I've been inside of this church. There are mosaics that still exist, but they are unrecognizable and are barely visible (normally in dark, unlit corners).

The iconoclasts weren't the main reason for it's current appearance. The blame rests on mother nature, and probably also the Muslim Turks.

_______________________________________________

The mosaics in Hagia Irene (Holy Peace) probably were similar to those in other churches of the same era...

Mosaics in the St. George Rotunda (Thessaloniki), this was a Roman rotunda converted into a church and embellished with many icons...
Entryway mosaics:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0a/Saint_George_Rotunda_%28Thessaloniki%29_mosaic_medallions.jpg
Dome mosaics from a distance:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ae/Agios_Georgios_Rotunda_interior.jpg
(there are icons of saints & angels that are still visible in the dome)

Mosaics in San Lorenzo in Milan, these also date to the 4th Century...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1398_-_Milano_-_S._Lorenzo_-_Cappella_S._Aquilino_-_Traditio_Legis_-_Dall%27Orto_-_18-May-2007.jpg

Mosaics in Santa Costanza:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Santa_Costanza._Mosaic_del_S._VII_%E2%80%9CTraditio_Legis%E2%80%9D.JPG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Santa_costanza_mosaic.jpg

Access to most of Hagia Irene is restricted, this is one mosaic remnant i was able to find...
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/27/hagiaireneicon.png/



So the early Christian Churches certainly were richly adorned with icons and beautiful mosaics. Churches like Holy Wisdom in Constantinople, and Holy Wisdom in Thessaloniki also used marble to great effect.

But certainly those early churches weren't covered floor to ceiling in frescoes like Orthodox Churches of today.
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2011, 05:49:06 PM »

And if so, how?

As I understand it, Holy Penance did not exist until the 4th Century when it was introduced as a "compromise" for receiving back the lapsi without some sort of "re-baptism." Did it have some kind of equivalent beforehand? If not, does this mean First-Third Century Christians could be saved without confessing to the Church? Similarly, how is the switch from congregational to private justified, as an economia based on the weakness of the laity in general?

Also, how can the pre-sixth century absence of iconstases be explained? I know they are a continuance of the something from the Jewish Temple, but still it seems like the Church was absent this tradition for the first several centuries (and for that matter, if icons are so essential to proper worship, how are we to account for them not being widely venerated until the iconoclasm)?

Finally, how does this relate to the Roman Catholic concept of doctrinal development? This really sounds like "development" to me if not innovation.

The Orthodox Faith does not change.   As for the Church, the same little tree in your back yard is the same tree.  It has not changed into another tree.  In that sense, it has not changed.  It has grown and developed.  In that sense, it has changed. 
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2011, 05:59:21 PM »

How does the idea of the iconostasis relate to the torn Temple veil and the believer being able to "go boldly before the Throne of Grace?"

When the curtain is pulled back, those doors open up, and the very Body and Blood of God leaves the Holy of Holies and enters into our bodies. In a sense the imagery is even greater because we do not merely go before the Throne of Grace, but our very bodies become the Throne of Grace.
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2011, 10:51:16 PM »

88Devin12, looks like I may have been wrong. I thought I read that somewhere, but your explanation makes sense too.

I think it does illustrate the concept at least, though, because there certainly were churches built that had no images. But I dare not slander an orthodox church.
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« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2011, 12:36:09 AM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Irene

Quote
The building reputedly stands on the site of a pre-Christian temple. It ranks, in fact, as the first church built in Constantinople. Roman emperor Constantine I commissioned the first Hagia Irene church in the 4th century. From May to July 381 the First Council of Constantinople took place in the church. It was burned down during the Nike revolt in 532. Emperor Justinian I had the church restored in 548. It served as the church of the Patriarchate before Hagia Sophia was completed in 537.

Heavily damaged by an earthquake in the 8th century, it dates in its present form largely from the repairs made at that time. The Emperor Constantine V ordered the restorations and had its interior decorated with mosaics and frescoes. Hagia Irene is the only example of a Byzantine church in the city which retains its original atrium. A great cross in the half-dome above the main narthex, where the image of the Pantocrator or Theotokos was usually placed in Byzantine tradition, is a unique vestige of the Iconoclastic art; presumably it replaced earlier decoration. The church was enlarged during the 11th and 12th centuries.
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« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2011, 01:23:08 AM »

Again, I'm really surprised iconoclasts would allow a Cross  laugh.

Thanks for all the helpful responses!
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« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2011, 01:29:45 AM »

Finally, how does this relate to the Roman Catholic concept of doctrinal development? This really sounds like "development" to me if not innovation.

About development of doctrine ---- take a look at what Saint Vincent of Lerins writes about this in the 5th century.  He expresses it beautifully and exactly.

See message 306
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http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29681.msg470869.html#msg470869
So when Saint Vincent says the Faith is what has been believed always, everywhere, and by all-the idea is the current teachings of the Church are the more defined versions of what was believed earlier.
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« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2011, 01:31:11 AM »

lol, Chuck Norris.
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« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2011, 02:17:44 AM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Irene

Quote
The building reputedly stands on the site of a pre-Christian temple. It ranks, in fact, as the first church built in Constantinople. Roman emperor Constantine I commissioned the first Hagia Irene church in the 4th century. From May to July 381 the First Council of Constantinople took place in the church. It was burned down during the Nike revolt in 532. Emperor Justinian I had the church restored in 548. It served as the church of the Patriarchate before Hagia Sophia was completed in 537.

Heavily damaged by an earthquake in the 8th century, it dates in its present form largely from the repairs made at that time. The Emperor Constantine V ordered the restorations and had its interior decorated with mosaics and frescoes. Hagia Irene is the only example of a Byzantine church in the city which retains its original atrium. A great cross in the half-dome above the main narthex, where the image of the Pantocrator or Theotokos was usually placed in Byzantine tradition, is a unique vestige of the Iconoclastic art; presumably it replaced earlier decoration. The church was enlarged during the 11th and 12th centuries.

The bolded part is basically what I think is the case. Every other church from that era, and obviously, later, had icons in the apse and around the church. There were definitely mosaics in the church (as I illustrated above, only a tiny amount remain).

from what I've learned, it seems the iconoclasts did destroy the icons in churches and replace them with either nothing, or just crosses. There is a "side-chapel" in the "Church of the Saviour in the Country" (aka Savior in Chora) in Constantinople that has similar crosses. Most of the church has frescoes/mosaics from the 14th Century. But this side-chapel is an older part that probably dates to it's construction (early 5th Cent.); but the side-chapel is very bare, with only a couple crosses similar to Hagia Irene's. So the crosses may date to iconoclasm.

You also can notice, that in Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) in Constantinople, there are also more similar crosses, but they apparently were covered up by later floral work. I think modern restorations show both the crosses and the more modern decorative work.
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« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2011, 03:59:53 AM »

And if so, how?

Is it not true that in the past, the Orthodox Church taught that women should obey the commandment of St. Paul that they should wear headcovering while in Church? Would this then be a situation where the Orthodox Church has introduced an innovation in its teaching so that women are allowed to neglect the Scriptural reference on the appropriateness of headcovering for women in Church?
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« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2011, 04:03:47 AM »

And if so, how?

Is it not true that in the past, the Orthodox Church taught that women should obey the commandment of St. Paul that they should wear headcovering while in Church? Would this then be a situation where the Orthodox Church has introduced an innovation in its teaching so that women are allowed to neglect the Scriptural reference on the appropriateness of headcovering for women in Church?

Speaking as a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church I can state that in our churches women cover their heads and men uncover theirs.
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« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2011, 04:15:01 AM »

And if so, how?

Is it not true that in the past, the Orthodox Church taught that women should obey the commandment of St. Paul that they should wear headcovering while in Church? Would this then be a situation where the Orthodox Church has introduced an innovation in its teaching so that women are allowed to neglect the Scriptural reference on the appropriateness of headcovering for women in Church?

Speaking as a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church I can state that in our churches women cover their heads and men uncover theirs.
Thank you Father.
Right. So, that is how it has been for almost two thousand years, that women are to obey this commandment of St. Paul, and that is how it is today in the Russian Orthodox Church. However, my observation is that  many other Orthodox Churches, in the USA for example,  have introduced the innovation  that women are free to disregard Scripture on this point. And this innovation  is allowed to continue ?
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« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2011, 04:24:11 AM »

And if so, how?

Is it not true that in the past, the Orthodox Church taught that women should obey the commandment of St. Paul that they should wear headcovering while in Church? Would this then be a situation where the Orthodox Church has introduced an innovation in its teaching so that women are allowed to neglect the Scriptural reference on the appropriateness of headcovering for women in Church?

Speaking as a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church I can state that in our churches women cover their heads and men uncover theirs.
Thank you Father.
Right. So, that is how it has been for almost two thousand years, that women are to obey this commandment of St. Paul, and that is how it is today in the Russian Orthodox Church. However, my observation is that  many other Orthodox Churches, in the USA for example,  have introduced the innovation  that women are free to disregard Scripture on this point. And this innovation  is allowed to continue ?
Didn't we strain this gnat out already?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,36975.msg587891.html#msg587891
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« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2011, 10:33:01 AM »

And if so, how?

Is it not true that in the past, the Orthodox Church taught that women should obey the commandment of St. Paul that they should wear headcovering while in Church? Would this then be a situation where the Orthodox Church has introduced an innovation in its teaching so that women are allowed to neglect the Scriptural reference on the appropriateness of headcovering for women in Church?
I don't know that I'd consider this a change, more of an application of economy at local levels, or at most individual jurisdictions or dioceses simply being wrong. When the Orthodox Church as a whole starts teaching it to be sin for a woman to cover her head, then I'll cry foul.
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« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2011, 10:55:05 AM »


from what I've learned, it seems the iconoclasts did destroy the icons in churches and replace them with either nothing, or just crosses.

Not necessarily. Fr. Schmemann says during one of the iconclastic periods, "there was also a widespread destruction of icons themselves, which were replaced by worldly art: hunting scenes, decorative designs, and the like." Source.
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« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2011, 12:20:52 PM »

Again, I'm really surprised iconoclasts would allow a Cross  laugh.

Thanks for all the helpful responses!

 Huh The non-figural Cross was the symbol of Iconoclasm. Iconoclastic emperors replaced images of Christ on coins and, at least according to some of the Byzantine sources, took down the image of Christ on the Chalke gate and replaced it with a Cross. The Cross was at the center of the doctrinal dispute. The Iconoclastic polemics and councils argued that the Cross and the stamped prosphora used for the Eucharist were the only acceptable symbols worthy of Christian veneration. Anything with a human figure (as opposed to a design) was unscriptural, not traditional, and led to idolatry.
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« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2011, 12:28:57 PM »

I know. It just strikes me as illogical is all. What is a Cross if not a symbol of Christ?
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« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2011, 12:51:07 PM »

I know. It just strikes me as illogical is all. What is a Cross if not a symbol of Christ?

Iconoclasts still believed in Christ. But they didn't believe it was right to depict him, or anyone else in imagery, they believe it is idolatry to do so. The cross is an inanimate object, therefore it can be depicted.

I would say the iconoclasts were heavily influenced by the Muslims, whose mosques even today are devoid of any human imagery.
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« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2011, 01:14:53 PM »

Iconoclasts still believed in Christ. But they didn't believe it was right to depict him, or anyone else in imagery, they believe it is idolatry to do so. The cross is an inanimate object, therefore it can be depicted.
True, but without Christ, the Cross would have no reason to be depicted. Same reason the Orthodox venerate the true Cross, right?
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« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2011, 02:29:05 PM »

Iconoclasts still believed in Christ. But they didn't believe it was right to depict him, or anyone else in imagery, they believe it is idolatry to do so. The cross is an inanimate object, therefore it can be depicted.
True, but without Christ, the Cross would have no reason to be depicted. Same reason the Orthodox venerate the true Cross, right?

Well yes, but like I said, the iconoclasts believed in the Trinity, they believed Christ was truly God, they believed (almost) everything that Orthodox believed. However, they believed that any depiction of human beings for veneration, and any depiction of Christ was idolatry.

This is one of the declarations of one of the iconoclast councils:

Quote
"Supported by the Holy Scriptures and the Fathers, we declare unanimously, in the name of the Holy Trinity, that there shall be rejected and removed and cursed one of the Christian Church every likeness which is made out of any material and colour whatever by the evil art of painters.... If anyone ventures to represent the divine image (χαρακτήρ, charaktēr) of the Word after the Incarnation with material colours, let him be anathema! .... If anyone shall endeavour to represent the forms of the Saints in lifeless pictures with material colours which are of no value (for this notion is vain and introduced by the devil), and does not rather represent their virtues as living images in himself, let him be anathema!"

This is a good summary of the beliefs of the iconoclasts:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Iconoclasm#Issues_in_Byzantine_iconoclasm

So it isn't that they deny Christ, but that they deny his depiction. Which, as an Orthodox Christian, we must say that to deny his depiction is to deny his incarnation.
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« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2011, 02:35:42 PM »

I agree.
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« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2011, 02:51:23 PM »

Btw, how does Orthodoxy respond to these two points?

Quote
For iconoclasts, the only real religious image must be an exact likeness of the prototype -of the same substance- which they considered impossible, seeing wood and paint as empty of spirit and life. Thus for iconoclasts the only true (and permitted) "icon" of Jesus was the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ, according to Catholic doctrine.

Any true image of Jesus must be able to represent both his divine nature (which is impossible because it cannot be seen nor encompassed) and his human nature (which is possible). But by making an icon of Jesus, one is separating his human and divine natures, since only the human can be depicted (separating the natures was considered nestorianism), or else confusing the human and divine natures, considering them one (union of the human and divine natures was considered monophysitism).
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« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2011, 03:30:26 PM »

   Confession was heavily influenced by monasticism.  In the West Irish monastic practices in the 7th-8th century eventually lead it to becomming routine for laity.  Prior to the late Middle Ages and the Reformation, Christians did not necessarily take a rigorist position towards sacraments, including penance and confession.  Auricular confession was one method to remit sins, but it was by no means the only way.   Then the Roman church started emphasizing a more transactional view of salvation based on mert and this lead to the rigorist position typcal of Roman Catholicism and which later influenced Eastern Orthodoxy as well.

   Penance in the early Church was a seperate matter.  Penance had to do with making satisfaction to the community, not to God.   Sometimes the penances could be quite severe depending on the whim of the bishop but it had little to do with the idea of God forgivng people and everything to do with community discipline and bounndaries.  That existed since quite an early time in the Church.
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« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2011, 03:40:29 PM »

Btw, how does Orthodoxy respond to these two points?

Quote
For iconoclasts, the only real religious image must be an exact likeness of the prototype -of the same substance- which they considered impossible, seeing wood and paint as empty of spirit and life. Thus for iconoclasts the only true (and permitted) "icon" of Jesus was the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ, according to Catholic doctrine.

Any true image of Jesus must be able to represent both his divine nature (which is impossible because it cannot be seen nor encompassed) and his human nature (which is possible). But by making an icon of Jesus, one is separating his human and divine natures, since only the human can be depicted (separating the natures was considered nestorianism), or else confusing the human and divine natures, considering them one (union of the human and divine natures was considered monophysitism).

I think it's shown just below those two:

Quote
Further, in their view idols depicted persons without substance or reality while icons depicted real persons. Essentially the argument was "all religious images not of our faith are idols; all images of our faith are icons to be venerated." This was considered comparable to the Old Testament practice of only offering burnt sacrifices to God, and not to any other gods.

Regarding the written tradition opposing the making and veneration of images, they asserted that icons were part of unrecorded oral tradition (parádosis, sanctioned in Orthodoxy as authoritative in doctrine by reference to Basil the Great, etc.), and pointed to patristic writings approving of icons, such as those of Asterius of Amasia, who was quoted twice in the record of the Second Council of Nicaea. What would have been useful evidence from modern art history as to the use of images in Early Christian art was unavailable to iconodules at the time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Iconoclasm#Issues_in_Byzantine_iconoclasm
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« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2011, 07:05:31 PM »


   Penance in the early Church was a seperate matter.  Penance had to do with making satisfaction to the community, not to God.   Sometimes the penances could be quite severe depending on the whim of the bishop but it had little to do with the idea of God forgivng people and everything to do with community discipline and bounndaries.  That existed since quite an early time in the Church.

Please back up this statement with proof.
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« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2011, 11:46:12 PM »

Quote from: pensateomnia
Huh The non-figural Cross was the symbol of Iconoclasm. Iconoclastic emperors replaced images of Christ on coins and, at least according to some of the Byzantine sources, took down the image of Christ on the Chalke gate and replaced it with a Cross. The Cross was at the center of the doctrinal dispute. The Iconoclastic polemics and councils argued that the Cross and the stamped prosphora used for the Eucharist were the only acceptable symbols worthy of Christian veneration. Anything with a human figure (as opposed to a design) was unscriptural, not traditional, and led to idolatry.

Very interesting. That fills in a few things about which I hadn't known. Thanks.  Smiley
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« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2011, 06:32:42 AM »

I have another question. How does this relate to chiliasm? It seems like it went from "acceptable option" to "damnable heresy."
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« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2011, 08:36:30 AM »

I have another question. How does this relate to chiliasm? It seems like it went from "acceptable option" to "damnable heresy."
Orthodoxy hasn't changed but chiliasm has.
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« Reply #42 on: July 03, 2011, 09:10:18 AM »

the answers given here are very well written and informative. Thank you
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« Reply #43 on: July 03, 2011, 09:58:36 AM »

I have another question. How does this relate to chiliasm? It seems like it went from "acceptable option" to "damnable heresy."
Orthodoxy hasn't changed but chiliasm has.
I don't understand. You mean Papias, et al. held to a certain form of chiliasm that if believed today would be permissible in Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #44 on: July 03, 2011, 11:02:32 AM »

I have another question. How does this relate to chiliasm? It seems like it went from "acceptable option" to "damnable heresy."
Orthodoxy hasn't changed but chiliasm has.
I don't understand. You mean Papias, et al. held to a certain form of chiliasm that if believed today would be permissible in Orthodoxy?
Heresy arises when a relative truth is taken as the absolute core of Truth.  Put aside Papias for the moment, but SS. Justin Martyr and Irenaeus had such ideas, and their works are read by the Orthodox to this day.
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« Reply #45 on: July 03, 2011, 12:04:37 PM »

I have another question. How does this relate to chiliasm? It seems like it went from "acceptable option" to "damnable heresy."
Orthodoxy hasn't changed but chiliasm has.
I don't understand. You mean Papias, et al. held to a certain form of chiliasm that if believed today would be permissible in Orthodoxy?
Heresy arises when a relative truth is taken as the absolute core of Truth.  Put aside Papias for the moment, but SS. Justin Martyr and Irenaeus had such ideas, and their works are read by the Orthodox to this day.
You mean when one takes a theologoumenon and tries to dogmatize one opinion on it? Who in the pre-Nicaea Church did this with chiliasm? I don't recall.
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« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2011, 05:20:15 PM »

I have another question. How does this relate to chiliasm? It seems like it went from "acceptable option" to "damnable heresy."
Orthodoxy hasn't changed but chiliasm has.
I don't understand. You mean Papias, et al. held to a certain form of chiliasm that if believed today would be permissible in Orthodoxy?
Heresy arises when a relative truth is taken as the absolute core of Truth.  Put aside Papias for the moment, but SS. Justin Martyr and Irenaeus had such ideas, and their works are read by the Orthodox to this day.
You mean when one takes a theologoumenon and tries to dogmatize one opinion on it? Who in the pre-Nicaea Church did this with chiliasm? I don't recall.

Who has tried to dogmatize one opinion on it?   The bounds are:  "He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, and his Kingdom shall have no end."   When did Irenaeus or Papias deny this truth?   "Damnable heresy"?  
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« Reply #47 on: July 03, 2011, 05:32:03 PM »

I don't think they did, but everyone keeps saying the belief in a 1000 year earthly reign of Christ contradicts that clause in the Creed. I'm a tad confused.
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« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2011, 01:03:23 AM »

I figured it was better to bring this thread back than to start a new one on the same topic.

With reference to the discussion going on now http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,38817.msg622157/boardseen.html#new in the Orthodox-RC board regarding the liturgy, it seems obvious that Devin is wrong in saying the True Church of Christ has never changed it's liturgy nor schismed. Any glance at the Old Believer fracas or the calender schism confirms this.

So, if the common rhetoric about the Church not changing is incorrect, then how can Orthodox theology be true? If it's own traditional claims are incorrect, then it is nothing but another man-made group, right?

I know I repeat myself a lot, but the reason I need to belabor this line of questioning is that honestly it is one of the few obstacles remaining before I convert, one of the few things keeping me Protestant (or alternatively, it might be what causes me to conclude Christianity to be false). No Protestant church claims to be unchanging, the very premiss of a Reformation assumes changeability, after all. But I'm beginning to think this is a good thing, perhaps far more realistic than the Orthodox claim.

So, in other words, how can the Church's liturgy be somewhat frequently changed over the centuries and yet Orthodoxy still be the true Church?
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« Reply #49 on: August 16, 2011, 01:09:17 AM »

With reference to the discussion going on now http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,38817.msg622157/boardseen.html#new in the Orthodox-RC board regarding the liturgy, it seems obvious that Devin is wrong in saying the True Church of Christ has never changed it's liturgy nor schismed. Any glance at the Old Believer fracas or the calender schism confirms this.

I won't address the balance of your points, but I think you misunderstand Devin's argument re schism.

I think Devin would say that the old believer and old calendarist schisms are no different to all prior schisms. In each case, the Church of Christ is not fragmented, but individuals willingly put themselves outside her boundaries.

Basically, the party "in the right" is the Church of Christ, while the other is schismatic. By this logic, it is impossible for the Church of Christ to ever be in schism.
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« Reply #50 on: August 16, 2011, 01:09:25 AM »

I figured it was better to bring this thread back than to start a new one on the same topic.

With reference to the discussion going on now http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,38817.msg622157/boardseen.html#new in the Orthodox-RC board regarding the liturgy, it seems obvious that Devin is wrong in saying the True Church of Christ has never changed it's liturgy nor schismed. Any glance at the Old Believer fracas or the calender schism confirms this.

So, if the common rhetoric about the Church not changing is incorrect, then how can Orthodox theology be true? If it's own traditional claims are incorrect, then it is nothing but another man-made group, right?

I know I repeat myself a lot, but the reason I need to belabor this line of questioning is that honestly it is one of the few obstacles remaining before I convert, one of the few things keeping me Protestant (or alternatively, it might be what causes me to conclude Christianity to be false). No Protestant church claims to be unchanging, the very premiss of a Reformation assumes changeability, after all. But I'm beginning to think this is a good thing, perhaps far more realistic than the Orthodox claim.

So, in other words, how can the Church's liturgy be somewhat frequently changed over the centuries and yet Orthodoxy still be the true Church?
Here's my take on it. I see some changes in the Orthodox Church, but they are quite minimal when compared to other Churches. Also, the changes I see do not touch the core beliefs of the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #51 on: August 16, 2011, 01:19:17 AM »

With reference to the discussion going on now http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,38817.msg622157/boardseen.html#new in the Orthodox-RC board regarding the liturgy, it seems obvious that Devin is wrong in saying the True Church of Christ has never changed it's liturgy nor schismed. Any glance at the Old Believer fracas or the calender schism confirms this.

I won't address the balance of your points, but I think you misunderstand Devin's argument re schism.

I think Devin would say that the old believer and old calendarist schisms are no different to all prior schisms. In each case, the Church of Christ is not fragmented, but individuals willingly put themselves outside her boundaries.

Basically, the party "in the right" is the Church of Christ, while the other is schismatic. By this logic, it is impossible for the Church of Christ to ever be in schism.
Yeah, looks like you're right.

The argument is a truism, but it doesn't say much useful imo.
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« Reply #52 on: August 16, 2011, 01:21:05 AM »

Here's my take on it. I see some changes in the Orthodox Church, but they are quite minimal when compared to other Churches. Also, the changes I see do not touch the core beliefs of the Orthodox Church.
I could be content with answer, I just don't know if it jibes with the Orthodox Church says about herself as the Lamb's spotless Bride.
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« Reply #53 on: August 16, 2011, 01:28:29 AM »

Here's my take on it. I see some changes in the Orthodox Church, but they are quite minimal when compared to other Churches. Also, the changes I see do not touch the core beliefs of the Orthodox Church.
I could be content with answer, I just don't know if it jibes with the Orthodox Church says about herself as the Lamb's spotless Bride.

I understand your consternation, but perhaps try to focus on the fact that the Apostles did not leave us an all-extensive manual for how to "do" Church. Surely we are permitted certain liberty in respect of things which do not belong to the deposit of Apostolic faith?

Certainly the Orthodox Church would not be the Church of Christ, his bride and very body, if it were to confess that the Holy Gifts are only a memorial. I don't believe the same would be true were it to add or subtract an hour of prayer from the Divine Liturgy, however.
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« Reply #54 on: August 16, 2011, 01:28:50 AM »

With reference to the discussion going on now http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,38817.msg622157/boardseen.html#new in the Orthodox-RC board regarding the liturgy, it seems obvious that Devin is wrong in saying the True Church of Christ has never changed it's liturgy nor schismed. Any glance at the Old Believer fracas or the calender schism confirms this.

I won't address the balance of your points, but I think you misunderstand Devin's argument re schism.

I think Devin would say that the old believer and old calendarist schisms are no different to all prior schisms. In each case, the Church of Christ is not fragmented, but individuals willingly put themselves outside her boundaries.

Basically, the party "in the right" is the Church of Christ, while the other is schismatic. By this logic, it is impossible for the Church of Christ to ever be in schism.
Yeah, looks like you're right.

The argument is a truism, but it doesn't say much useful imo.

It is certainly a truism. I'm not sure it is not useful, however.
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« Reply #55 on: August 16, 2011, 01:34:30 AM »

Here's my take on it. I see some changes in the Orthodox Church, but they are quite minimal when compared to other Churches. Also, the changes I see do not touch the core beliefs of the Orthodox Church.
I could be content with answer, I just don't know if it jibes with the Orthodox Church says about herself as the Lamb's spotless Bride.

I understand your consternation, but perhaps try to focus on the fact that the Apostles did not leave us an all-extensive manual for how to "do" Church. Surely we are permitted certain liberty in respect of things which do not belong to the deposit of Apostolic faith?
Hrm, that sounds Protestant to me, "We don't know the specifics, so let's use our reason and freedom for the "things indifferent.""

I thought the way of doing Liturgy is supposed to part of oral Tradition. lex orandi, lex credendi, etc.
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« Reply #56 on: August 16, 2011, 01:42:08 AM »

Here's my take on it. I see some changes in the Orthodox Church, but they are quite minimal when compared to other Churches. Also, the changes I see do not touch the core beliefs of the Orthodox Church.
I could be content with answer, I just don't know if it jibes with the Orthodox Church says about herself as the Lamb's spotless Bride.

I understand your consternation, but perhaps try to focus on the fact that the Apostles did not leave us an all-extensive manual for how to "do" Church. Surely we are permitted certain liberty in respect of things which do not belong to the deposit of Apostolic faith?
Hrm, that sounds Protestant to me, "We don't know the specifics, so let's use our reason and freedom for the "things indifferent.""

I thought the way of doing Liturgy is supposed to part of oral Tradition. lex orandi, lex credendi, etc.

You are right to be suspicious of anything protestant (I am only half-joking).

The Apostolic tradition includes the general how of the Divine Liturgy, but not prescriptions for every detail. If it were otherwise, our hierarchs would be committing grave sin by communing us by intinction, which we know was not the practice of the early Church.

"Tradition" (a word regrettably poisoned by its associations in modern English) means nothing less than what was received from the Apostles. Not everything we do falls into this category: it could never be so.

As is often pointed out, the Cherubic Hymn was, at one time, an innovation in practice. Is the Cherubic Hymn a "thing indifferent"? I would not be so bold as to say so (keeping in mind that the Spirit of God guides his Church), though it was certainly not received from the Apostles.
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« Reply #57 on: August 16, 2011, 03:55:13 AM »

Of course we change.  In, I think the 15th century, we introduced a prayer into the Liturgy which is read secretly by the priest while the choir is singing the Cherubic hymn...

"No one who is bound with the desires and pleasures of the flesh is worthy to approach or draw nigh or to serve thee, O King of Glory...."
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« Reply #58 on: August 16, 2011, 04:00:25 PM »

Of course we change.  In, I think the 15th century, we introduced a prayer into the Liturgy which is read secretly by the priest while the choir is singing the Cherubic hymn...

"No one who is bound with the desires and pleasures of the flesh is worthy to approach or draw nigh or to serve thee, O King of Glory...."
Catholics like to bring up the question of the change in teaching on birth control and contraception.
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« Reply #59 on: August 16, 2011, 04:21:20 PM »

Of course we change.  In, I think the 15th century, we introduced a prayer into the Liturgy which is read secretly by the priest while the choir is singing the Cherubic hymn...

"No one who is bound with the desires and pleasures of the flesh is worthy to approach or draw nigh or to serve thee, O King of Glory...."
Catholics like to bring up the question of the change in teaching on birth control and contraception.
That's because Humanae Vitae doesn't have any patristics to support it.
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« Reply #60 on: August 16, 2011, 05:32:55 PM »

Here's my take on it. I see some changes in the Orthodox Church, but they are quite minimal when compared to other Churches. Also, the changes I see do not touch the core beliefs of the Orthodox Church.
I could be content with answer, I just don't know if it jibes with the Orthodox Church says about herself as the Lamb's spotless Bride.

I understand your consternation, but perhaps try to focus on the fact that the Apostles did not leave us an all-extensive manual for how to "do" Church. Surely we are permitted certain liberty in respect of things which do not belong to the deposit of Apostolic faith?
Hrm, that sounds Protestant to me, "We don't know the specifics, so let's use our reason and freedom for the "things indifferent.""

I thought the way of doing Liturgy is supposed to part of oral Tradition. lex orandi, lex credendi, etc.

You are right to be suspicious of anything protestant (I am only half-joking).

The Apostolic tradition includes the general how of the Divine Liturgy, but not prescriptions for every detail. If it were otherwise, our hierarchs would be committing grave sin by communing us by intinction, which we know was not the practice of the early Church.

"Tradition" (a word regrettably poisoned by its associations in modern English) means nothing less than what was received from the Apostles. Not everything we do falls into this category: it could never be so.

As is often pointed out, the Cherubic Hymn was, at one time, an innovation in practice. Is the Cherubic Hymn a "thing indifferent"? I would not be so bold as to say so (keeping in mind that the Spirit of God guides his Church), though it was certainly not received from the Apostles.
Sorry, I'm not sure how to answer this...

Maybe one could always argue the "general how" doesn't preclude puppets or clown paint or lay people distributing the Host or an implied Epiklesis?
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« Reply #61 on: August 17, 2011, 12:38:43 AM »

Here's my take on it. I see some changes in the Orthodox Church, but they are quite minimal when compared to other Churches. Also, the changes I see do not touch the core beliefs of the Orthodox Church.
I could be content with answer, I just don't know if it jibes with the Orthodox Church says about herself as the Lamb's spotless Bride.

I understand your consternation, but perhaps try to focus on the fact that the Apostles did not leave us an all-extensive manual for how to "do" Church. Surely we are permitted certain liberty in respect of things which do not belong to the deposit of Apostolic faith?
Hrm, that sounds Protestant to me, "We don't know the specifics, so let's use our reason and freedom for the "things indifferent.""

I thought the way of doing Liturgy is supposed to part of oral Tradition. lex orandi, lex credendi, etc.

You are right to be suspicious of anything protestant (I am only half-joking).

The Apostolic tradition includes the general how of the Divine Liturgy, but not prescriptions for every detail. If it were otherwise, our hierarchs would be committing grave sin by communing us by intinction, which we know was not the practice of the early Church.

"Tradition" (a word regrettably poisoned by its associations in modern English) means nothing less than what was received from the Apostles. Not everything we do falls into this category: it could never be so.

As is often pointed out, the Cherubic Hymn was, at one time, an innovation in practice. Is the Cherubic Hymn a "thing indifferent"? I would not be so bold as to say so (keeping in mind that the Spirit of God guides his Church), though it was certainly not received from the Apostles.
Sorry, I'm not sure how to answer this...

Maybe one could always argue the "general how" doesn't preclude puppets or clown paint or lay people distributing the Host or an implied Epiklesis?

I wish I had an answer to that. Over in that other thread about the Roman Church's liturgy I posed elijahmaria and Devin some questions regarding this very issue.

At the moment, I take the provisional view that:

1. it is not enough that the bishop permits a particular liturgy to be celebrated in his diocese; and/but
2. it is not necessary for the liturgy to be celebrated exactly as St John Chrysostom would have envisioned it.

As I said, I am not confident to say that the Cherubic Hymn is a "thing indifferent", though it is certainly not required for the Church of Christ to celebrate its eucharist. I do know that not everything the Church does falls under the umbrella of the Apostolic tradition.
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« Reply #62 on: August 17, 2011, 12:43:20 AM »

Of course we change.  In, I think the 15th century, we introduced a prayer into the Liturgy which is read secretly by the priest while the choir is singing the Cherubic hymn...

"No one who is bound with the desires and pleasures of the flesh is worthy to approach or draw nigh or to serve thee, O King of Glory...."
Catholics like to bring up the question of the change in teaching on birth control and contraception.

And well they should because the teaching of Pope Paul VI is a major break with Pope Pius XI's Casti Connubii and with all the preceding tradition and teaching.
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« Reply #63 on: August 17, 2011, 12:54:24 AM »

Of course we change.  In, I think the 15th century, we introduced a prayer into the Liturgy which is read secretly by the priest while the choir is singing the Cherubic hymn...

"No one who is bound with the desires and pleasures of the flesh is worthy to approach or draw nigh or to serve thee, O King of Glory...."
Catholics like to bring up the question of the change in teaching on birth control and contraception.
That's because Humanae Vitae doesn't have any patristics to support it.
What about St. Epiphanius (315-403),Bishop of Salamis, who wrote: "There are those who when they have intercourse deliberately prevent having children. They indulge in pleasure not for the sake of offspring but to satisfy their passion. To such an extent has the devil deceived these wretched people that they betray the work of God by perverting it to their own deceits. Moreover, they are so willing to satisfy their carnal desires as to pollute each other with impure seed, by which offspring is not conceived but by their own will evil desires are satisfied. Moreover, if a man should by mistake deposit some of his emitted seed and his wife becomes pregnant, listen to what further crime they descend. They remove the unformed fetus from the womb anytime they please and actually grind the aborted child (infantem) with mortar and pestle. Then to avoid the nausea they use pepper and other spices or ointments." (Adversus Haereses Panarium, PG 41, 339).

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« Reply #64 on: August 17, 2011, 12:55:57 AM »

Of course we change.  In, I think the 15th century, we introduced a prayer into the Liturgy which is read secretly by the priest while the choir is singing the Cherubic hymn...

"No one who is bound with the desires and pleasures of the flesh is worthy to approach or draw nigh or to serve thee, O King of Glory...."
Catholics like to bring up the question of the change in teaching on birth control and contraception.
And well they should because the teaching of Pope Paul VI is a major break with Pope Pius XI's Casti Connubii and with all the preceding tradition and teaching.
However, is it not true, that several Orthodox prelates have said that they agreed with Humanae vitae?
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« Reply #65 on: August 17, 2011, 01:07:26 AM »

Here's my take on it. I see some changes in the Orthodox Church, but they are quite minimal when compared to other Churches. Also, the changes I see do not touch the core beliefs of the Orthodox Church.
I could be content with answer, I just don't know if it jibes with the Orthodox Church says about herself as the Lamb's spotless Bride.

I understand your consternation, but perhaps try to focus on the fact that the Apostles did not leave us an all-extensive manual for how to "do" Church. Surely we are permitted certain liberty in respect of things which do not belong to the deposit of Apostolic faith?
Hrm, that sounds Protestant to me, "We don't know the specifics, so let's use our reason and freedom for the "things indifferent.""

I thought the way of doing Liturgy is supposed to part of oral Tradition. lex orandi, lex credendi, etc.

You are right to be suspicious of anything protestant (I am only half-joking).

The Apostolic tradition includes the general how of the Divine Liturgy, but not prescriptions for every detail. If it were otherwise, our hierarchs would be committing grave sin by communing us by intinction, which we know was not the practice of the early Church.

"Tradition" (a word regrettably poisoned by its associations in modern English) means nothing less than what was received from the Apostles. Not everything we do falls into this category: it could never be so.

As is often pointed out, the Cherubic Hymn was, at one time, an innovation in practice. Is the Cherubic Hymn a "thing indifferent"? I would not be so bold as to say so (keeping in mind that the Spirit of God guides his Church), though it was certainly not received from the Apostles.
Sorry, I'm not sure how to answer this...

Maybe one could always argue the "general how" doesn't preclude puppets or clown paint or lay people distributing the Host or an implied Epiklesis?

I wish I had an answer to that. Over in that other thread about the Roman Church's liturgy I posed elijahmaria and Devin some questions regarding this very issue.

At the moment, I take the provisional view that:

1. it is not enough that the bishop permits a particular liturgy to be celebrated in his diocese; and/but
2. it is not necessary for the liturgy to be celebrated exactly as St John Chrysostom would have envisioned it.

As I said, I am not confident to say that the Cherubic Hymn is a "thing indifferent", though it is certainly not required for the Church of Christ to celebrate its eucharist. I do know that not everything the Church does falls under the umbrella of the Apostolic tradition.
The only answer I can think of is that the Cherubic Hymn does not contradict anything that went before it whereas clown masses do. They contradict the spirit of reverence for the Eucharist.

On that answer, the Nikonian reforms were wrong headed and "unorganic" but still not outside what was already traditional (the Greek recension of the day). The calender change also was not unprecedented (especially considering the Julian is an adaptation of a pagan invention anyway).

Likewise, the changes from the Liturgy of Saint James made by Saints Basil and John Chrysostom is still in the pail of what's acceptable because they were drawing from the practices around them and not inventing anything new.

Sound right?
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« Reply #66 on: August 17, 2011, 01:15:34 AM »

Of course we change.  In, I think the 15th century, we introduced a prayer into the Liturgy which is read secretly by the priest while the choir is singing the Cherubic hymn...

"No one who is bound with the desires and pleasures of the flesh is worthy to approach or draw nigh or to serve thee, O King of Glory...."
Catholics like to bring up the question of the change in teaching on birth control and contraception.
And well they should because the teaching of Pope Paul VI is a major break with Pope Pius XI's Casti Connubii and with all the preceding tradition and teaching.
However, is it not true, that several Orthodox prelates have said that they agreed with Humanae vitae?


Patriarch Athenagoras of the Greeks sent a telegram to Pope Paul saying he agreed with him entirely and then proceeded to do absolutely nothing about it in his own Church but allowed his faithful to go on doing whatever they were doing about contraception.   I doubt if anyone even heard of the Patriarch's telegram.
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« Reply #67 on: August 17, 2011, 01:23:10 AM »

Of course we change.  In, I think the 15th century, we introduced a prayer into the Liturgy which is read secretly by the priest while the choir is singing the Cherubic hymn...

"No one who is bound with the desires and pleasures of the flesh is worthy to approach or draw nigh or to serve thee, O King of Glory...."
Catholics like to bring up the question of the change in teaching on birth control and contraception.
And well they should because the teaching of Pope Paul VI is a major break with Pope Pius XI's Casti Connubii and with all the preceding tradition and teaching.
However, is it not true, that several Orthodox prelates have said that they agreed with Humanae vitae?


Patriarch Athenagoras of the Greeks sent a telegram to Pope Paul saying he agreed with him entirely and then proceeded to do absolutely nothing about it in his own Church but allowed his faithful to go on doing whatever they were doing about contraception.   I doubt if anyone even heard of the Patriarch's telegram.
Informed Catholics knew about it.
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« Reply #68 on: August 17, 2011, 01:26:40 AM »

Here's my take on it. I see some changes in the Orthodox Church, but they are quite minimal when compared to other Churches. Also, the changes I see do not touch the core beliefs of the Orthodox Church.
I could be content with answer, I just don't know if it jibes with the Orthodox Church says about herself as the Lamb's spotless Bride.

I understand your consternation, but perhaps try to focus on the fact that the Apostles did not leave us an all-extensive manual for how to "do" Church. Surely we are permitted certain liberty in respect of things which do not belong to the deposit of Apostolic faith?
Hrm, that sounds Protestant to me, "We don't know the specifics, so let's use our reason and freedom for the "things indifferent.""

I thought the way of doing Liturgy is supposed to part of oral Tradition. lex orandi, lex credendi, etc.

You are right to be suspicious of anything protestant (I am only half-joking).

The Apostolic tradition includes the general how of the Divine Liturgy, but not prescriptions for every detail. If it were otherwise, our hierarchs would be committing grave sin by communing us by intinction, which we know was not the practice of the early Church.

"Tradition" (a word regrettably poisoned by its associations in modern English) means nothing less than what was received from the Apostles. Not everything we do falls into this category: it could never be so.

As is often pointed out, the Cherubic Hymn was, at one time, an innovation in practice. Is the Cherubic Hymn a "thing indifferent"? I would not be so bold as to say so (keeping in mind that the Spirit of God guides his Church), though it was certainly not received from the Apostles.
Sorry, I'm not sure how to answer this...

Maybe one could always argue the "general how" doesn't preclude puppets or clown paint or lay people distributing the Host or an implied Epiklesis?

I wish I had an answer to that. Over in that other thread about the Roman Church's liturgy I posed elijahmaria and Devin some questions regarding this very issue.

At the moment, I take the provisional view that:

1. it is not enough that the bishop permits a particular liturgy to be celebrated in his diocese; and/but
2. it is not necessary for the liturgy to be celebrated exactly as St John Chrysostom would have envisioned it.

As I said, I am not confident to say that the Cherubic Hymn is a "thing indifferent", though it is certainly not required for the Church of Christ to celebrate its eucharist. I do know that not everything the Church does falls under the umbrella of the Apostolic tradition.
The only answer I can think of is that the Cherubic Hymn does not contradict anything that went before it whereas clown masses do. They contradict the spirit of reverence for the Eucharist.

On that answer, the Nikonian reforms were wrong headed and "unorganic" but still not outside what was already traditional (the Greek recension of the day). The calender change also was not unprecedented (especially considering the Julian is an adaptation of a pagan invention anyway).

Likewise, the changes from the Liturgy of Saint James made by Saints Basil and John Chrysostom is still in the pail of what's acceptable because they were drawing from the practices around them and not inventing anything new.

Sound right?
This is the objection that I have to clown Masses. Clowns represent a humorous, joking attitude to life. What is the message that they are trying to get across with a clown Mass, except that everything, including Catholic religious worship, is a big joke.
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« Reply #69 on: August 17, 2011, 01:36:23 AM »

This is the objection that I have to clown Masses. Clowns represent a humorous, joking attitude to life. What is the message that they are trying to get across with a clown Mass, except that everything, including Catholic religious worship, is a big joke.
The rationale I read is that clowns represent outcasts and the bottom of society (the historical post-classical attitude towards entertainers saw them as degenerate criminals). Their topsy-turvy antics illustrate the absurdity of the Cross by the world's standards and proclaims that, "the first shall be last and the last first."
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« Reply #70 on: August 17, 2011, 01:50:20 AM »

Oh there actually are *literal* clown Masses?  Here I was thinking all of this time, that it was merely an expression used for an extreme distaste of the Novus Ordo liturgy. 
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« Reply #71 on: August 17, 2011, 01:59:59 AM »

There are. They don't happen often though, thankfully.
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« Reply #72 on: August 17, 2011, 04:13:25 AM »

Volnutt,

Have we covered this basic question, I haven't re-read the thread.

When did the Church begin?

Not trying to "humiliate" you or draw you out, just try to get at some radical assumptions, so that a discussion can be profitable.

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« Reply #73 on: August 17, 2011, 05:44:41 AM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.
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« Reply #74 on: August 17, 2011, 07:16:07 AM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

Ah, that's some good Orthodox phronema.
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« Reply #75 on: August 17, 2011, 08:07:50 AM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

Ah, that's some good Orthodox phronema.
Not something I ever that ever would have occurred to me on my own. I got it from Fr. Thomas Hopko. He's right, though.
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« Reply #76 on: August 17, 2011, 10:49:56 AM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

I would suggest it began with the creation of the first creatures, the noetic beings. The Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God. The word in Greek, which St. Paul uses a lot is ekklesia from ekkalein, which means something like called out.

Not a new coinage, but an old Greek word, which generally meant practically an assembly or gathering of persons.

So putting the etymology together with its quotidian playing out, we get something like: the assembly of those who were called out.

So I would suggest such a definition would only apply to those called out by God. I think there is a felicitous aspect of language at work. We were called into being. The Father was not. The Son is begotten. The Holy Spirit proceeds.

FWIW, the word qahal, which certainly got glossed as ekklesia, has a similar etymology and pragmatic upshot.

So this is just to say where I think the Church began and when, if such words can be used.

If we are in agreement here or close enough. Then we have to ask what is the ontological nature of the Church. I think my definition above is broad enough to begin: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

If we can agree this broad definition captures something (I am not sure how finely we need to dice for internets' and sanity's sake) of the ontological nature (I hate that turn of phrase) of the Church, then I think we can move rather forward in a reasonable manner to answering your question.

Let me know what you think.



 

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« Reply #77 on: August 17, 2011, 11:25:50 AM »

This is the objection that I have to clown Masses. Clowns represent a humorous, joking attitude to life. What is the message that they are trying to get across with a clown Mass, except that everything, including Catholic religious worship, is a big joke.
The rationale I read is that clowns represent outcasts and the bottom of society (the historical post-classical attitude towards entertainers saw them as degenerate criminals). Their topsy-turvy antics illustrate the absurdity of the Cross by the world's standards and proclaims that, "the first shall be last and the last first."
That is a much better rationale than what first came to my mind.
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« Reply #78 on: August 17, 2011, 11:30:28 AM »

the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.
I would suspect that this definition would not be acceptable to the Orthodox posters here, since they claim that R. Catholics, Protestants and others in Communion with God are outside of the Church. Unless, it is asserted that only Orthodox are in Communion with God.
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« Reply #79 on: August 17, 2011, 12:13:32 PM »

the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.
I would suspect that this definition would not be acceptable to the Orthodox posters here, since they claim that R. Catholics, Protestants and others in Communion with God are outside of the Church. Unless, it is asserted that only Orthodox are in Communion with God.

You are getting too far ahead.

This is why people can't read serious texts anymore much less an internet post. They immediately project whatever criticism which does not lie at hand but might turn up later, rather than accept an idea and see where it leads or address the text where it stands not where they believe it is going to. I am not sure where this going. It is a dialog.

But this ain't surprising to me.

Which is why internetz don't make for good discussions, unless you are going to play internetz, which I do well and am trying to depart from here.

So you can take your omega and keep it. We are barely round alpha.
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« Reply #80 on: August 17, 2011, 12:46:47 PM »

Orthonorm  Shocked, I think that is the most intelligent post I've seen from you yet.. (# 76)!  And it's not full of comedy!  laugh 
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 12:47:24 PM by AveChriste11 » Logged

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« Reply #81 on: August 17, 2011, 12:54:54 PM »

Of course we change.  In, I think the 15th century, we introduced a prayer into the Liturgy which is read secretly by the priest while the choir is singing the Cherubic hymn...

"No one who is bound with the desires and pleasures of the flesh is worthy to approach or draw nigh or to serve thee, O King of Glory...."
Catholics like to bring up the question of the change in teaching on birth control and contraception.
That's because Humanae Vitae doesn't have any patristics to support it.
What about St. Epiphanius (315-403),Bishop of Salamis, who wrote: "There are those who when they have intercourse deliberately prevent having children. They indulge in pleasure not for the sake of offspring but to satisfy their passion. To such an extent has the devil deceived these wretched people that they betray the work of God by perverting it to their own deceits. Moreover, they are so willing to satisfy their carnal desires as to pollute each other with impure seed, by which offspring is not conceived but by their own will evil desires are satisfied. Moreover, if a man should by mistake deposit some of his emitted seed and his wife becomes pregnant, listen to what further crime they descend. They remove the unformed fetus from the womb anytime they please and actually grind the aborted child (infantem) with mortar and pestle. Then to avoid the nausea they use pepper and other spices or ointments." (Adversus Haereses Panarium, PG 41, 339).
Now square that with HV's stance on the rhythm method.

btw, the usual quote mine has it:
Quote
Epiphanius of Salamis



"They [certain Egyptian heretics] exercise genital acts, yet prevent the conceiving of children. Not in order to produce offspring, but to satisfy lust, are they eager for corruption" (Medicine Chest Against Heresies 26:5:2 [A.D. 375]).
vhttp://www.catholic.com/library/Contraception_and_Sterilization.asp
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« Reply #82 on: August 17, 2011, 01:43:14 PM »

Orthonorm  Shocked, I think that is the most intelligent post I've seen from you yet.. (# 76)!  And it's not full of comedy!  laugh 

Don't get used to it. //:=)
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« Reply #83 on: August 17, 2011, 03:01:04 PM »

Of course we change.  In, I think the 15th century, we introduced a prayer into the Liturgy which is read secretly by the priest while the choir is singing the Cherubic hymn...

"No one who is bound with the desires and pleasures of the flesh is worthy to approach or draw nigh or to serve thee, O King of Glory...."
Catholics like to bring up the question of the change in teaching on birth control and contraception.
That's because Humanae Vitae doesn't have any patristics to support it.
What about St. Epiphanius (315-403),Bishop of Salamis, who wrote: "There are those who when they have intercourse deliberately prevent having children. They indulge in pleasure not for the sake of offspring but to satisfy their passion. To such an extent has the devil deceived these wretched people that they betray the work of God by perverting it to their own deceits. Moreover, they are so willing to satisfy their carnal desires as to pollute each other with impure seed, by which offspring is not conceived but by their own will evil desires are satisfied. Moreover, if a man should by mistake deposit some of his emitted seed and his wife becomes pregnant, listen to what further crime they descend. They remove the unformed fetus from the womb anytime they please and actually grind the aborted child (infantem) with mortar and pestle. Then to avoid the nausea they use pepper and other spices or ointments." (Adversus Haereses Panarium, PG 41, 339).
Now square that with HV's stance on the rhythm method.

btw, the usual quote mine has it:
Quote
Epiphanius of Salamis



"They [certain Egyptian heretics] exercise genital acts, yet prevent the conceiving of children. Not in order to produce offspring, but to satisfy lust, are they eager for corruption" (Medicine Chest Against Heresies 26:5:2 [A.D. 375]).
vhttp://www.catholic.com/library/Contraception_and_Sterilization.asp
I haven't heard of any Orthodox prelates condemning the rhythm mehtod. On the contrary, I read that they generally believe it to be a morally acceptable method.
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« Reply #84 on: August 17, 2011, 03:13:42 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.
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« Reply #85 on: August 17, 2011, 03:17:02 PM »

Oh ok, sort of like how the exact idea of the Trinity was not in the early church but they still knew Father, Son, and Spirit were all the One God.

I can dig that. Thanks!

Yes. The way I tend to think about it is this:

I don't know that St Paul personally had condensed the essence of Christianity into something like the Nicene Creed. The heresies had not yet arisen to make such a clear definition of the faith necessary. But if you were a time traveler and gave St Paul a copy of the Nicene Creed, he would certainly agree with every word. Conversely, he would certainly recognize Arianism or Origenism as heresy, even though it did not yet exist.

Since we're already talking about the iconostasis, I have a related question. How does the idea of the iconostasis relate to the torn Temple veil and the believer being able to "go boldly before the Throne of Grace?"

Someone else might like to take a stab at this, but I view it similarly to the priesthood of all believers.

We believe that all Christians are priests, by virtue of their anointing with Holy Chrism. But we still have a sacramental priesthood, for those who are authorized to perform certain special actions on behalf of the community. In the same way, the entire Church—the entire Universe—is sacred, but we still set aside a portion of the Church specifically for the altar and celebrating the divine services.

We can all go boldly before the Throne of Grace because we have Christ living within us, and we can pray anywhere. And certainly the Iconostasis is not meant to keep us away from God's holiness, because that is one point of the veil—to keep people from getting killed by God's sheer glory. But indeed today God comes into us, and makes us all into the Holy of Holies when we take His Body and Blood.

But in the context of liturgical worship, we still set aside certain spaces as holy. In the earliest times, I imagine this was more of a practical consideration than anything else. The priest had to carry out his duties without tripping over people, so a wall was built to make sure he was free to move about unencumbered. But with time, the Iconostasis has also gained theological meanings, representing Heaven and so forth.

That's not the most satisfactory answer, and I'm sure someone else can explain it better, but that's what makes sense to me.

why this restrictions concerning the alter?why can`t women enter in it?why do we need another "holy of holies" ?
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« Reply #86 on: August 17, 2011, 03:19:45 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #87 on: August 17, 2011, 03:20:53 PM »

Of course we change.  In, I think the 15th century, we introduced a prayer into the Liturgy which is read secretly by the priest while the choir is singing the Cherubic hymn...

"No one who is bound with the desires and pleasures of the flesh is worthy to approach or draw nigh or to serve thee, O King of Glory...."
Catholics like to bring up the question of the change in teaching on birth control and contraception.
That's because Humanae Vitae doesn't have any patristics to support it.
What about St. Epiphanius (315-403),Bishop of Salamis, who wrote: "There are those who when they have intercourse deliberately prevent having children. They indulge in pleasure not for the sake of offspring but to satisfy their passion. To such an extent has the devil deceived these wretched people that they betray the work of God by perverting it to their own deceits. Moreover, they are so willing to satisfy their carnal desires as to pollute each other with impure seed, by which offspring is not conceived but by their own will evil desires are satisfied. Moreover, if a man should by mistake deposit some of his emitted seed and his wife becomes pregnant, listen to what further crime they descend. They remove the unformed fetus from the womb anytime they please and actually grind the aborted child (infantem) with mortar and pestle. Then to avoid the nausea they use pepper and other spices or ointments." (Adversus Haereses Panarium, PG 41, 339).
Now square that with HV's stance on the rhythm method.

btw, the usual quote mine has it:
Quote
Epiphanius of Salamis



"They [certain Egyptian heretics] exercise genital acts, yet prevent the conceiving of children. Not in order to produce offspring, but to satisfy lust, are they eager for corruption" (Medicine Chest Against Heresies 26:5:2 [A.D. 375]).
vhttp://www.catholic.com/library/Contraception_and_Sterilization.asp
I haven't heard of any Orthodox prelates condemning the rhythm mehtod. On the contrary, I read that they generally believe it to be a morally acceptable method.
Orthodox prelates didn't write HV, so your point was?
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #88 on: August 17, 2011, 03:24:21 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.
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« Reply #89 on: August 17, 2011, 03:50:30 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.
So there is development of doctrine after all?
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« Reply #90 on: August 17, 2011, 08:58:41 PM »

Oh ok, sort of like how the exact idea of the Trinity was not in the early church but they still knew Father, Son, and Spirit were all the One God.

I can dig that. Thanks!

Yes. The way I tend to think about it is this:

I don't know that St Paul personally had condensed the essence of Christianity into something like the Nicene Creed. The heresies had not yet arisen to make such a clear definition of the faith necessary. But if you were a time traveler and gave St Paul a copy of the Nicene Creed, he would certainly agree with every word. Conversely, he would certainly recognize Arianism or Origenism as heresy, even though it did not yet exist.

Since we're already talking about the iconostasis, I have a related question. How does the idea of the iconostasis relate to the torn Temple veil and the believer being able to "go boldly before the Throne of Grace?"

Someone else might like to take a stab at this, but I view it similarly to the priesthood of all believers.

We believe that all Christians are priests, by virtue of their anointing with Holy Chrism. But we still have a sacramental priesthood, for those who are authorized to perform certain special actions on behalf of the community. In the same way, the entire Church—the entire Universe—is sacred, but we still set aside a portion of the Church specifically for the altar and celebrating the divine services.

We can all go boldly before the Throne of Grace because we have Christ living within us, and we can pray anywhere. And certainly the Iconostasis is not meant to keep us away from God's holiness, because that is one point of the veil—to keep people from getting killed by God's sheer glory. But indeed today God comes into us, and makes us all into the Holy of Holies when we take His Body and Blood.

But in the context of liturgical worship, we still set aside certain spaces as holy. In the earliest times, I imagine this was more of a practical consideration than anything else. The priest had to carry out his duties without tripping over people, so a wall was built to make sure he was free to move about unencumbered. But with time, the Iconostasis has also gained theological meanings, representing Heaven and so forth.

That's not the most satisfactory answer, and I'm sure someone else can explain it better, but that's what makes sense to me.

why this restrictions concerning the alter?why can`t women enter in it?why do we need another "holy of holies" ?
As bogdan said,
Quote
But we still have a sacramental priesthood, for those who are authorized to perform certain special actions on behalf of the community. In the same way, the entire Church—the entire Universe—is sacred, but we still set aside a portion of the Church specifically for the altar and celebrating the divine services.
Not all in the Church teach, not all evangelize, etc. Likewise, not all are set aside to handle the Eucharist-the unique and special way Christ comes among His people during the service. The altar is not set aside because God is separate from us, it's set aside because He's coming us in a mystical union which is a literal foretaste of Heaven and something completely sacred.

Women don't go behind the alter because they are not allowed to be priests and altar servers. That's a different debate not having to do with the altar as such.
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« Reply #91 on: August 17, 2011, 09:10:15 PM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

I would suggest it began with the creation of the first creatures, the noetic beings. The Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God. The word in Greek, which St. Paul uses a lot is ekklesia from ekkalein, which means something like called out.

Not a new coinage, but an old Greek word, which generally meant practically an assembly or gathering of persons.

So putting the etymology together with its quotidian playing out, we get something like: the assembly of those who were called out.

So I would suggest such a definition would only apply to those called out by God. I think there is a felicitous aspect of language at work. We were called into being. The Father was not. The Son is begotten. The Holy Spirit proceeds.

FWIW, the word qahal, which certainly got glossed as ekklesia, has a similar etymology and pragmatic upshot.

So this is just to say where I think the Church began and when, if such words can be used.

If we are in agreement here or close enough. Then we have to ask what is the ontological nature of the Church. I think my definition above is broad enough to begin: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

If we can agree this broad definition captures something (I am not sure how finely we need to dice for internets' and sanity's sake) of the ontological nature (I hate that turn of phrase) of the Church, then I think we can move rather forward in a reasonable manner to answering your question.

Let me know what you think.
Your definition makes sense to me, though I have difficulties with how it includes the Church as "institution" (Why does a voluntary assembly need it's own money? But perhaps I'm being influenced by some modern House Church Only advocates I've come across...) But at any rate, yes, I can accept your description.
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« Reply #92 on: August 17, 2011, 09:13:19 PM »

the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.
I would suspect that this definition would not be acceptable to the Orthodox posters here, since they claim that R. Catholics, Protestants and others in Communion with God are outside of the Church. Unless, it is asserted that only Orthodox are in Communion with God.

You are getting too far ahead.

This is why people can't read serious texts anymore much less an internet post. They immediately project whatever criticism which does not lie at hand but might turn up later, rather than accept an idea and see where it leads or address the text where it stands not where they believe it is going to. I am not sure where this going. It is a dialog.

But this ain't surprising to me.

Which is why internetz don't make for good discussions, unless you are going to play internetz, which I do well and am trying to depart from here.

So you can take your omega and keep it. We are barely round alpha.
I must admit, this is also the first conclusion I jumped to  laugh. Invisible church hangover, I guess.

But you're right, best not to get ahead of ourselves. Socrates would be proud  Wink.
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« Reply #93 on: August 17, 2011, 09:36:05 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.
and if you keep on wearing diapers and you're 21 years old, that's not change.
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
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« Reply #94 on: August 17, 2011, 09:37:08 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.
So there is development of doctrine after all?
only in decomposing corpses.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #95 on: August 17, 2011, 09:39:35 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.
So there is development of doctrine after all?
only in decomposing corpses.
So you are changing your mind about changes in the Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #96 on: August 17, 2011, 09:42:51 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.
So there is development of doctrine after all?
only in decomposing corpses.
So you are changing your mind about changes in the Orthodox Church?
No. What gave you that idea?
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #97 on: August 18, 2011, 01:10:46 AM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no. 
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« Reply #98 on: August 18, 2011, 02:49:31 AM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.
So there is development of doctrine after all?
only in decomposing corpses.
So you are changing your mind about changes in the Orthodox Church?
Honestly, I think Papal Supremacy/Universal Jurisdiction has changed the RCC into something fundamentally different than it was before (in theory if not in day-to-day practice). I've not seen a change quite as drastic in Orthodoxy, though perhaps the rise of auricular confession and Bishop Peter Mogila's introduction of a Latin style formula of absolution in the Russian Church count as such.

It's hard to pin down the dividing line between "normal growth" and "radical change/plastic surgery" (almost a Sorites Paradox) but I think FatherHLL's analogy has a lot of wisdom to it.
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« Reply #99 on: August 18, 2011, 01:11:25 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no. 

change is not the same... your orange tree in the back yard is not the same it was a few mounths , years , before... how blind are you people?
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« Reply #100 on: August 18, 2011, 01:33:11 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no.  

change is not the same... your orange tree in the back yard is not the same it was a few mounths , years , before... how blind are you people?
LOL.  The lost calling those who can see blind.

You argue for the orange tree five minutes from now not being the same, denying any continuity.  Moment by moment an orange tree vanishes from existence and another magically appears its place, with no connection, only to vanish and be replaced in turn. So you wallow in the absurdity of atomism, and if you embrace absurdity, it explains why you are lost.
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« Reply #101 on: August 18, 2011, 01:42:28 PM »

Orthonorm  Shocked, I think that is the most intelligent post I've seen from you yet.. (# 76)!  And it's not full of comedy!  laugh 

And you see how that has gone.

people would rather go over the same old analogies and apologies without even knowing where they stand on common ground and where they begin to diverge.

Internetz is fun. Discussion ain't.
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« Reply #102 on: August 18, 2011, 01:43:47 PM »

the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.
I would suspect that this definition would not be acceptable to the Orthodox posters here, since they claim that R. Catholics, Protestants and others in Communion with God are outside of the Church. Unless, it is asserted that only Orthodox are in Communion with God.

You are getting too far ahead.

This is why people can't read serious texts anymore much less an internet post. They immediately project whatever criticism which does not lie at hand but might turn up later, rather than accept an idea and see where it leads or address the text where it stands not where they believe it is going to. I am not sure where this going. It is a dialog.

But this ain't surprising to me.

Which is why internetz don't make for good discussions, unless you are going to play internetz, which I do well and am trying to depart from here.

So you can take your omega and keep it. We are barely round alpha.
I must admit, this is also the first conclusion I jumped to  laugh. Invisible church hangover, I guess.

But you're right, best not to get ahead of ourselves. Socrates would be proud  Wink.

Then go back to that post I made and let me know if we can progress or if you have any critiques which seem germane at this point.

Or you can argue over orange trees and if they change.

EDIT: Sorry didn't see your answer among the grove of orange trees!
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« Reply #103 on: August 18, 2011, 01:57:39 PM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

I would suggest it began with the creation of the first creatures, the noetic beings. The Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God. The word in Greek, which St. Paul uses a lot is ekklesia from ekkalein, which means something like called out.

Not a new coinage, but an old Greek word, which generally meant practically an assembly or gathering of persons.

So putting the etymology together with its quotidian playing out, we get something like: the assembly of those who were called out.

So I would suggest such a definition would only apply to those called out by God. I think there is a felicitous aspect of language at work. We were called into being. The Father was not. The Son is begotten. The Holy Spirit proceeds.

FWIW, the word qahal, which certainly got glossed as ekklesia, has a similar etymology and pragmatic upshot.

So this is just to say where I think the Church began and when, if such words can be used.

If we are in agreement here or close enough. Then we have to ask what is the ontological nature of the Church. I think my definition above is broad enough to begin: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

If we can agree this broad definition captures something (I am not sure how finely we need to dice for internets' and sanity's sake) of the ontological nature (I hate that turn of phrase) of the Church, then I think we can move rather forward in a reasonable manner to answering your question.

Let me know what you think.
Your definition makes sense to me, though I have difficulties with how it includes the Church as "institution" (Why does a voluntary assembly need it's own money? But perhaps I'm being influenced by some modern House Church Only advocates I've come across...) But at any rate, yes, I can accept your description.

We ain't to any "institution" as such yet.

OK, if we can agree that the Church is something like: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

There is a problem in our definition or something that we have not discussed at least.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

What do you think? Let's keep this "simple". We will try to not to get too sophisticated at this point.

In full disclosure, I anticipate some difficulty here, as there is a certain approach most people take here, and I am trying to make that clear.

Since we are trying a couple things at once I believe:

Figure out what your assumptions are.
Show what my assumptions are.
See if they make any sense within Orthodoxy.
See if to what degree we can or cannot accept the Orthodox understanding of what the Church is.

Right now, if I can be so arrogant, for you, the first matter is of most import.

Without getting a handle a little bit on some our implicit assumptions, how can we jump into the fracas built upon our assumptions with any sanity or usefulness?

If we are not willing to simply submit to the Church as Orthodoxy understands it, which I am.
If we have not learn to then trust and faith in the Orthodox Church, as I have.

Then, we can have a productive conversation at least. And I think that can never hurt.

We'll see.

So back to the question:

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

p.s. Of course, I just think going to liturgy a lot is the best answer, but here we are.
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« Reply #104 on: August 18, 2011, 01:59:44 PM »

Orange trees develop over time. Isn't this the development of doctrine idea?
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« Reply #105 on: August 18, 2011, 02:04:22 PM »

Orange trees develop over time. Isn't this the development of doctrine idea?
The issue is innovation vs. development.
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« Reply #106 on: August 18, 2011, 03:02:31 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no.  

change is not the same... your orange tree in the back yard is not the same it was a few mounths , years , before... how blind are you people?
LOL.  The lost calling those who can see blind.

You argue for the orange tree five minutes from now not being the same, denying any continuity.  Moment by moment an orange tree vanishes from existence and another magically appears its place, with no connection, only to vanish and be replaced in turn. So you wallow in the absurdity of atomism, and if you embrace absurdity, it explains why you are lost.

edited posts show insecurity... r u sure? Smiley
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« Reply #107 on: August 18, 2011, 03:03:44 PM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no.  

change is not the same... your orange tree in the back yard is not the same it was a few mounths , years , before... how blind are you people?
LOL.  The lost calling those who can see blind.

You argue for the orange tree five minutes from now not being the same, denying any continuity.  Moment by moment an orange tree vanishes from existence and another magically appears its place, with no connection, only to vanish and be replaced in turn. So you wallow in the absurdity of atomism, and if you embrace absurdity, it explains why you are lost.


no i didn`t say that... you are the ones who say a change is not a change... be a man and tell the truth... enoughh with this Orthodoxy dullness I said!
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« Reply #108 on: August 18, 2011, 03:14:19 PM »

edited posts show insecurity... r u sure? Smiley

Or problems with quoting tags, Sherlock.
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« Reply #109 on: August 18, 2011, 03:21:01 PM »

Yes. Of course She does.
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« Reply #110 on: August 18, 2011, 03:46:00 PM »

Only God is immutable.
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« Reply #111 on: August 18, 2011, 10:30:28 PM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

I would suggest it began with the creation of the first creatures, the noetic beings. The Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God. The word in Greek, which St. Paul uses a lot is ekklesia from ekkalein, which means something like called out.

Not a new coinage, but an old Greek word, which generally meant practically an assembly or gathering of persons.

So putting the etymology together with its quotidian playing out, we get something like: the assembly of those who were called out.

So I would suggest such a definition would only apply to those called out by God. I think there is a felicitous aspect of language at work. We were called into being. The Father was not. The Son is begotten. The Holy Spirit proceeds.

FWIW, the word qahal, which certainly got glossed as ekklesia, has a similar etymology and pragmatic upshot.

So this is just to say where I think the Church began and when, if such words can be used.

If we are in agreement here or close enough. Then we have to ask what is the ontological nature of the Church. I think my definition above is broad enough to begin: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

If we can agree this broad definition captures something (I am not sure how finely we need to dice for internets' and sanity's sake) of the ontological nature (I hate that turn of phrase) of the Church, then I think we can move rather forward in a reasonable manner to answering your question.

Let me know what you think.
Your definition makes sense to me, though I have difficulties with how it includes the Church as "institution" (Why does a voluntary assembly need it's own money? But perhaps I'm being influenced by some modern House Church Only advocates I've come across...) But at any rate, yes, I can accept your description.

We ain't to any "institution" as such yet.

OK, if we can agree that the Church is something like: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

There is a problem in our definition or something that we have not discussed at least.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

What do you think? Let's keep this "simple". We will try to not to get too sophisticated at this point.

In full disclosure, I anticipate some difficulty here, as there is a certain approach most people take here, and I am trying to make that clear.

Since we are trying a couple things at once I believe:

Figure out what your assumptions are.
Show what my assumptions are.
See if they make any sense within Orthodoxy.
See if to what degree we can or cannot accept the Orthodox understanding of what the Church is.

Right now, if I can be so arrogant, for you, the first matter is of most import.

Without getting a handle a little bit on some our implicit assumptions, how can we jump into the fracas built upon our assumptions with any sanity or usefulness?

If we are not willing to simply submit to the Church as Orthodoxy understands it, which I am.
If we have not learn to then trust and faith in the Orthodox Church, as I have.

Then, we can have a productive conversation at least. And I think that can never hurt.

We'll see.

So back to the question:

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

p.s. Of course, I just think going to liturgy a lot is the best answer, but here we are.
Fair enough. I'll shelve the orange tree thing. I've never been good at sussing out my own assumptions...

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God? In virtue of his submission to God. "I am the Lord's handmaiden. Let it be done to me as you have said." The more we surrender everything in us, the more He comes in and "sups" with us.
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« Reply #112 on: August 18, 2011, 10:43:12 PM »

Orange trees develop over time. Isn't this the development of doctrine idea?

No.  Orange trees do not produce apples. 
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« Reply #113 on: August 18, 2011, 10:53:55 PM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

I would suggest it began with the creation of the first creatures, the noetic beings. The Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God. The word in Greek, which St. Paul uses a lot is ekklesia from ekkalein, which means something like called out.

Not a new coinage, but an old Greek word, which generally meant practically an assembly or gathering of persons.

So putting the etymology together with its quotidian playing out, we get something like: the assembly of those who were called out.

So I would suggest such a definition would only apply to those called out by God. I think there is a felicitous aspect of language at work. We were called into being. The Father was not. The Son is begotten. The Holy Spirit proceeds.

FWIW, the word qahal, which certainly got glossed as ekklesia, has a similar etymology and pragmatic upshot.

So this is just to say where I think the Church began and when, if such words can be used.

If we are in agreement here or close enough. Then we have to ask what is the ontological nature of the Church. I think my definition above is broad enough to begin: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

If we can agree this broad definition captures something (I am not sure how finely we need to dice for internets' and sanity's sake) of the ontological nature (I hate that turn of phrase) of the Church, then I think we can move rather forward in a reasonable manner to answering your question.

Let me know what you think.
Your definition makes sense to me, though I have difficulties with how it includes the Church as "institution" (Why does a voluntary assembly need it's own money? But perhaps I'm being influenced by some modern House Church Only advocates I've come across...) But at any rate, yes, I can accept your description.

We ain't to any "institution" as such yet.

OK, if we can agree that the Church is something like: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

There is a problem in our definition or something that we have not discussed at least.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

What do you think? Let's keep this "simple". We will try to not to get too sophisticated at this point.

In full disclosure, I anticipate some difficulty here, as there is a certain approach most people take here, and I am trying to make that clear.

Since we are trying a couple things at once I believe:

Figure out what your assumptions are.
Show what my assumptions are.
See if they make any sense within Orthodoxy.
See if to what degree we can or cannot accept the Orthodox understanding of what the Church is.

Right now, if I can be so arrogant, for you, the first matter is of most import.

Without getting a handle a little bit on some our implicit assumptions, how can we jump into the fracas built upon our assumptions with any sanity or usefulness?

If we are not willing to simply submit to the Church as Orthodoxy understands it, which I am.
If we have not learn to then trust and faith in the Orthodox Church, as I have.

Then, we can have a productive conversation at least. And I think that can never hurt.

We'll see.

So back to the question:

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

p.s. Of course, I just think going to liturgy a lot is the best answer, but here we are.
Fair enough. I'll shelve the orange tree thing. I've never been good at sussing out my own assumptions...

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God? In virtue of his submission to God. "I am the Lord's handmaiden. Let it be done to me as you have said." The more we surrender everything in us, the more He comes in and "sups" with us.

I think this a great answer to start with and nice line of Scripture, though I dislike the use of the word handmaiden, been a pet peeve since a kid, as I thought handmaiden sounded "lame" and I was correct to come to find out.

Anyway.

You didn't fall into a snare I was concerned might get in the way!

So, let's take a look at our agreed statement about the Church (I hope this doesn't come across patronizing, even through we can scroll, I find keeping our base statements in the forefront of the discussion will help, I apologize if it seems otherwise):

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

I asked about how a creature remains in communion with God.

It was a bit of a test, I admit. And perhaps a pre-emptive caution to avoid going down a road to nowhere.

But the more difficult and salient question lies in:

In virtue of what are a gathering of creatures in communion with God?

If this is too tedious, I understand.

Again there is no "correct" answer here, just seeing what our assumptions are. We can always change our minds, if we miss step or miss speak / write.

I am sure you see my reasoning by asking the one question before the other. If not, think about it.

Also, I bet this last question is harder to answer or not as simply. I admit it is for me.

If you share that difficulty, why do you think it is, and if the former question is easier, and the latter more difficult, can you see where things might lead taking the easier route to the degree we might even avoid the more difficult question?

In any case answer the primary question, the others you can table, or expound upon if you wish.

Or you can tell me I am full of S.
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« Reply #114 on: August 18, 2011, 11:30:56 PM »

It's harder to answer, I guess, because of the innate difficulty in making the jump from talking about individuals as atoms in relation to God and even talking about how individuals relate to one another in a group setting, much less taking this group dynamic and relating it to God-if that makes sense.

So, in what virtue is a gathering of creatures in communion with God? In virtue of how they act as one in relation to God. To the extent that they are in harmony of mind and purpose they then relate to God as one individual.

Conversely, in as much as each member considers himself isolated from the gathering, the ability of it to achieve unity and interact with God as unity is compromised if not eliminated

This one did take me longer to answer, but I now see why you asked about individuals first, at least in terms of my own answer. Unity is prior to multiplicity.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 11:31:24 PM by Volnutt » Logged
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« Reply #115 on: August 19, 2011, 02:37:34 AM »

Orange trees develop over time. Isn't this the development of doctrine idea?
no. Grafting apples on the orange tree is.
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« Reply #116 on: August 19, 2011, 02:54:18 AM »

No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no.  

change is not the same... your orange tree in the back yard is not the same it was a few mounths , years , before... how blind are you people?
LOL.  The lost calling those who can see blind.

You argue for the orange tree five minutes from now not being the same, denying any continuity.  Moment by moment an orange tree vanishes from existence and another magically appears its place, with no connection, only to vanish and be replaced in turn. So you wallow in the absurdity of atomism, and if you embrace absurdity, it explains why you are lost.


no i didn`t say that... you are the ones who say a change is not a change... be a man and tell the truth... enoughh with this Orthodoxy dullness I said!
didn't you just reply (as opposed to answering) this post?
No.  She changes to remain the same.

By deffinition if something changes at some point it was not the same.

So we have ceased to be because we (at least I) no longer crawl around and walk and don't use diapers?  Of course, the problem is that with genes what I became now was already programed when I was 1, and younger.

Only the dead don't change in the sense you are claiming (and even they do, as they decompose). And the Church of Christ is not dead.

something that changes at some point is not the same.... it cannot remain the same.... if you change from wearing diapers to underwear you no longer wear diapers.

The orange tree in my back yard is the same tree.  It was younger once.  It bears fruit sometimes, it bears blossoms sometimes, each in their season.  Is this "change."  Well, the essence of it being a tree has not changed.  The essence of it being that particular tree has not changed.  It is the same tree.  It is not a different tree.  It did not change into a spruce, but remains an orange tree and the same particular orange tree it was before.  It did not change into a different orange tree.  It did not change into a rock.   "Change" is an ambiguous word.  Growth is change, but not a change in essence.   You have changed since you were in diapers in that you have grown.  But your personhood has not changed.  The fact that you are human has not changed.  Have you changed?  Yes and no. 

change is not the same... your orange tree in the back yard is not the same it was a few mounths , years , before... how blind are you people?
LOL.  The lost calling those who can see blind.

You argue for the orange tree five minutes from now not being the same, denying any continuity.  Moment by moment an orange tree vanishes from existence and another magically appears its place, with no connection, only to vanish and be replaced in turn. So you wallow in the absurdity of atomism, and if you embrace absurdity, it explains why you are lost.

edited posts show insecurity... r u sure? Smiley
I thought so.  Insecure about your first response, or just not sure?

no i didn`t say that...
You have in fact posted much and said nothing.

you are the ones who say a change is not a change...
because we see reality is not a random blurr of atoms.

be a man and tell the truth...
Obviously more man than you can handle.

enoughh with this Orthodoxy dullness I said!
Change for change's sake.  Sorry, Orthodoxy isn't here to entertain you.
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« Reply #117 on: August 19, 2011, 07:40:49 PM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

I would suggest it began with the creation of the first creatures, the noetic beings. The Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God. The word in Greek, which St. Paul uses a lot is ekklesia from ekkalein, which means something like called out.

Not a new coinage, but an old Greek word, which generally meant practically an assembly or gathering of persons.

So putting the etymology together with its quotidian playing out, we get something like: the assembly of those who were called out.

So I would suggest such a definition would only apply to those called out by God. I think there is a felicitous aspect of language at work. We were called into being. The Father was not. The Son is begotten. The Holy Spirit proceeds.

FWIW, the word qahal, which certainly got glossed as ekklesia, has a similar etymology and pragmatic upshot.

So this is just to say where I think the Church began and when, if such words can be used.

If we are in agreement here or close enough. Then we have to ask what is the ontological nature of the Church. I think my definition above is broad enough to begin: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

If we can agree this broad definition captures something (I am not sure how finely we need to dice for internets' and sanity's sake) of the ontological nature (I hate that turn of phrase) of the Church, then I think we can move rather forward in a reasonable manner to answering your question.

Let me know what you think.
Your definition makes sense to me, though I have difficulties with how it includes the Church as "institution" (Why does a voluntary assembly need it's own money? But perhaps I'm being influenced by some modern House Church Only advocates I've come across...) But at any rate, yes, I can accept your description.

We ain't to any "institution" as such yet.

OK, if we can agree that the Church is something like: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

There is a problem in our definition or something that we have not discussed at least.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

What do you think? Let's keep this "simple". We will try to not to get too sophisticated at this point.

In full disclosure, I anticipate some difficulty here, as there is a certain approach most people take here, and I am trying to make that clear.

Since we are trying a couple things at once I believe:

Figure out what your assumptions are.
Show what my assumptions are.
See if they make any sense within Orthodoxy.
See if to what degree we can or cannot accept the Orthodox understanding of what the Church is.

Right now, if I can be so arrogant, for you, the first matter is of most import.

Without getting a handle a little bit on some our implicit assumptions, how can we jump into the fracas built upon our assumptions with any sanity or usefulness?

If we are not willing to simply submit to the Church as Orthodoxy understands it, which I am.
If we have not learn to then trust and faith in the Orthodox Church, as I have.

Then, we can have a productive conversation at least. And I think that can never hurt.

We'll see.

So back to the question:

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

p.s. Of course, I just think going to liturgy a lot is the best answer, but here we are.
Fair enough. I'll shelve the orange tree thing. I've never been good at sussing out my own assumptions...

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God? In virtue of his submission to God. "I am the Lord's handmaiden. Let it be done to me as you have said." The more we surrender everything in us, the more He comes in and "sups" with us.

I think this a great answer to start with and nice line of Scripture, though I dislike the use of the word handmaiden, been a pet peeve since a kid, as I thought handmaiden sounded "lame" and I was correct to come to find out.

Anyway.

You didn't fall into a snare I was concerned might get in the way!

So, let's take a look at our agreed statement about the Church (I hope this doesn't come across patronizing, even through we can scroll, I find keeping our base statements in the forefront of the discussion will help, I apologize if it seems otherwise):

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

I asked about how a creature remains in communion with God.

It was a bit of a test, I admit. And perhaps a pre-emptive caution to avoid going down a road to nowhere.

But the more difficult and salient question lies in:

In virtue of what are a gathering of creatures in communion with God?

If this is too tedious, I understand.

Again there is no "correct" answer here, just seeing what our assumptions are. We can always change our minds, if we miss step or miss speak / write.

I am sure you see my reasoning by asking the one question before the other. If not, think about it.

Also, I bet this last question is harder to answer or not as simply. I admit it is for me.

If you share that difficulty, why do you think it is, and if the former question is easier, and the latter more difficult, can you see where things might lead taking the easier route to the degree we might even avoid the more difficult question?

In any case answer the primary question, the others you can table, or expound upon if you wish.

Or you can tell me I am full of S.

It's harder to answer, I guess, because of the innate difficulty in making the jump from talking about individuals as atoms in relation to God and even talking about how individuals relate to one another in a group setting, much less taking this group dynamic and relating it to God-if that makes sense.

So, in what virtue is a gathering of creatures in communion with God? In virtue of how they act as one in relation to God. To the extent that they are in harmony of mind and purpose they then relate to God as one individual.

Conversely, in as much as each member considers himself isolated from the gathering, the ability of it to achieve unity and interact with God as unity is compromised if not eliminated

This one did take me longer to answer, but I now see why you asked about individuals first, at least in terms of my own answer. Unity is prior to multiplicity.

I am keeping the quote trees going for once, that way I can more easily keep in mind what we have said.

I am surprised by your answers to my speculative questions, they are rather astute and more abstract that I had expected. Which is neither better or worse.

To try to keep this discussion focused as much as I possible, we might have to table some tangents which arise, to return to later.

In any case, we agree it is more difficult to say in virtue of what a gathering of beings remain in Communion with God, than that of an "individual".

Yet, it seem rather easy it seems to suggest some definition for an "individual", whether one may or may not agree.

Given the disparate ease in answering these questions, I was alluding to perhaps some of the inherent difficulties which have played over time, which have led us to a period where the "Church" is some loosely, undefined, group of people who are in virtue of something (usually something they cannot agree completely on) in Communion with God.

Can you see how this difficulty might be somewhat responsible for the notion of the "invisible Church" and our growing up in a world where we didn't really grapple with what the "Church" was, leads us to a quick response about the conditions under which a person remains in Communion with God versus a gathering?

I'll get back to my thoughts on the other aspects your post. But can we agree in some general sense the speaking in terms of a gathering rather than an individual is more difficult. And this might have lead to current "loose" theories about what the "Church" is and placed the focus on the individual?

Let me know.
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« Reply #118 on: August 19, 2011, 08:14:34 PM »

Quote
Given the disparate ease in answering these questions, I was alluding to perhaps some of the inherent difficulties which have played over time, which have led us to a period where the "Church" is some loosely, undefined, group of people who are in virtue of something (usually something they cannot agree completely on) in Communion with God.

Can you see how this difficulty might be somewhat responsible for the notion of the "invisible Church" and our growing up in a world where we didn't really grapple with what the "Church" was, leads us to a quick response about the conditions under which a person remains in Communion with God versus a gathering?

I'll get back to my thoughts on the other aspects your post. But can we agree in some general sense the speaking in terms of a gathering rather than an individual is more difficult. And this might have lead to current "loose" theories about what the "Church" is and placed the focus on the individual?
Oh, definitely. It's part and parcel of the isolating tendencies of modernity. More technology induced free time has caused us to forget just how much we need the other for our very survival.

It causes us to think in terms of "selves" in relation to each one's own world of achievement (everybody wants their own slice of the pie) as opposed to fellow parts of the entire group navigating it's way through life. The theological effects of this find their culmination in fundamentalism (or as someone once described it, "reading the Bible as though it were written yesterday and for you personally").
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« Reply #119 on: August 19, 2011, 08:24:22 PM »

We didn't cover it here, I don't think.

The Church as relationship with/within God begins before time with the internal fellowship of the Trinity. As far as humanity is concerned, it begins with Adam.

I would suggest it began with the creation of the first creatures, the noetic beings. The Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God. The word in Greek, which St. Paul uses a lot is ekklesia from ekkalein, which means something like called out.

Not a new coinage, but an old Greek word, which generally meant practically an assembly or gathering of persons.

So putting the etymology together with its quotidian playing out, we get something like: the assembly of those who were called out.

So I would suggest such a definition would only apply to those called out by God. I think there is a felicitous aspect of language at work. We were called into being. The Father was not. The Son is begotten. The Holy Spirit proceeds.

FWIW, the word qahal, which certainly got glossed as ekklesia, has a similar etymology and pragmatic upshot.

So this is just to say where I think the Church began and when, if such words can be used.

If we are in agreement here or close enough. Then we have to ask what is the ontological nature of the Church. I think my definition above is broad enough to begin: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

If we can agree this broad definition captures something (I am not sure how finely we need to dice for internets' and sanity's sake) of the ontological nature (I hate that turn of phrase) of the Church, then I think we can move rather forward in a reasonable manner to answering your question.

Let me know what you think.
Your definition makes sense to me, though I have difficulties with how it includes the Church as "institution" (Why does a voluntary assembly need it's own money? But perhaps I'm being influenced by some modern House Church Only advocates I've come across...) But at any rate, yes, I can accept your description.

We ain't to any "institution" as such yet.

OK, if we can agree that the Church is something like: the Church is the gathering of creatures in Communion with God.

There is a problem in our definition or something that we have not discussed at least.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

What do you think? Let's keep this "simple". We will try to not to get too sophisticated at this point.

In full disclosure, I anticipate some difficulty here, as there is a certain approach most people take here, and I am trying to make that clear.

Since we are trying a couple things at once I believe:

Figure out what your assumptions are.
Show what my assumptions are.
See if they make any sense within Orthodoxy.
See if to what degree we can or cannot accept the Orthodox understanding of what the Church is.

Right now, if I can be so arrogant, for you, the first matter is of most import.

Without getting a handle a little bit on some our implicit assumptions, how can we jump into the fracas built upon our assumptions with any sanity or usefulness?

If we are not willing to simply submit to the Church as Orthodoxy understands it, which I am.
If we have not learn to then trust and faith in the Orthodox Church, as I have.

Then, we can have a productive conversation at least. And I think that can never hurt.

We'll see.

So back to the question:

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God?

p.s. Of course, I just think going to liturgy a lot is the best answer, but here we are.
Fair enough. I'll shelve the orange tree thing. I've never been good at sussing out my own assumptions...

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

In virtue of what is a being in Communion with God? In virtue of his submission to God. "I am the Lord's handmaiden. Let it be done to me as you have said." The more we surrender everything in us, the more He comes in and "sups" with us.

I think this a great answer to start with and nice line of Scripture, though I dislike the use of the word handmaiden, been a pet peeve since a kid, as I thought handmaiden sounded "lame" and I was correct to come to find out.

Anyway.

You didn't fall into a snare I was concerned might get in the way!

So, let's take a look at our agreed statement about the Church (I hope this doesn't come across patronizing, even through we can scroll, I find keeping our base statements in the forefront of the discussion will help, I apologize if it seems otherwise):

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

I asked about how a creature remains in communion with God.

It was a bit of a test, I admit. And perhaps a pre-emptive caution to avoid going down a road to nowhere.

But the more difficult and salient question lies in:

In virtue of what are a gathering of creatures in communion with God?

If this is too tedious, I understand.

Again there is no "correct" answer here, just seeing what our assumptions are. We can always change our minds, if we miss step or miss speak / write.

I am sure you see my reasoning by asking the one question before the other. If not, think about it.

Also, I bet this last question is harder to answer or not as simply. I admit it is for me.

If you share that difficulty, why do you think it is, and if the former question is easier, and the latter more difficult, can you see where things might lead taking the easier route to the degree we might even avoid the more difficult question?

In any case answer the primary question, the others you can table, or expound upon if you wish.

Or you can tell me I am full of S.

It's harder to answer, I guess, because of the innate difficulty in making the jump from talking about individuals as atoms in relation to God and even talking about how individuals relate to one another in a group setting, much less taking this group dynamic and relating it to God-if that makes sense.

So, in what virtue is a gathering of creatures in communion with God? In virtue of how they act as one in relation to God. To the extent that they are in harmony of mind and purpose they then relate to God as one individual.

Conversely, in as much as each member considers himself isolated from the gathering, the ability of it to achieve unity and interact with God as unity is compromised if not eliminated

This one did take me longer to answer, but I now see why you asked about individuals first, at least in terms of my own answer. Unity is prior to multiplicity.

I am keeping the quote trees going for once, that way I can more easily keep in mind what we have said.

I am surprised by your answers to my speculative questions, they are rather astute and more abstract that I had expected. Which is neither better or worse.

To try to keep this discussion focused as much as I possible, we might have to table some tangents which arise, to return to later.

In any case, we agree it is more difficult to say in virtue of what a gathering of beings remain in Communion with God, than that of an "individual".

Yet, it seem rather easy it seems to suggest some definition for an "individual", whether one may or may not agree.

Given the disparate ease in answering these questions, I was alluding to perhaps some of the inherent difficulties which have played over time, which have led us to a period where the "Church" is some loosely, undefined, group of people who are in virtue of something (usually something they cannot agree completely on) in Communion with God.

Can you see how this difficulty might be somewhat responsible for the notion of the "invisible Church" and our growing up in a world where we didn't really grapple with what the "Church" was, leads us to a quick response about the conditions under which a person remains in Communion with God versus a gathering?

I'll get back to my thoughts on the other aspects your post. But can we agree in some general sense the speaking in terms of a gathering rather than an individual is more difficult. And this might have lead to current "loose" theories about what the "Church" is and placed the focus on the individual?

Let me know.

Oh, definitely. It's part and parcel of the isolating tendencies of modernity. More technology induced free time has caused us to forget just how much we need the other for our very survival.

It causes us to think in terms of "selves" in relation to each one's own world of achievement (everybody wants their own slice of the pie) as opposed to fellow parts of the entire group navigating it's way through life. The theological effects of this find their culmination in fundamentalism (or as someone once described it, "reading the Bible as though it were written yesterday and for you personally").

I am going to take that as a yes, but not get too involved in rest of the dialoge. //:-)

We will get taken out of the understanding of the Church into the a lot of tangents which related will distract.

"Unity prior to multiplicity" is the more abstract and ontological comment you made earlier.

We will get back to that, for it deals with a problem with our original definition of the Church.

I omitted something of extreme import, let's see if you agree.

Our original definition:

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God.

A more accurate defintion:

The Church is the gathering of creatures in communion with God and each other.

Would you agree that is a "fuller" definition?

 

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« Reply #120 on: August 19, 2011, 08:35:18 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.
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« Reply #121 on: August 19, 2011, 08:54:06 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.

There is no definition for "Church" in the Orthodox world and it is futile to search for one, at least on any "official" level.

I was taught that the Devil has fought his way through the phrases of the Creed one by one, and this is indeed so if you look back though our history.  Because of his attacks we have had to clarify many of the important things in which we believe.

But he has not attacked the "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church."

However, many believe that he has now undertaken this attack, via the weapon of ecumenism, and the time is coming when we shall need a Council to clarify what we mean by "Church."
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« Reply #122 on: August 19, 2011, 09:02:49 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.

There is no definition for "Church" in the Orthodox world and it is futile to search for one, at least on any "official" level.

Father,

I beg to differ.

In fact, you are simply wrong.

But thanks for not participating.

Volnutt and I are having a broad conversation. We ain't looking to nail down every bit of what the Church is.

But I can assure you that you are incorrect about there is no "definition" of the Church.

The very fact you use the word, means you have a definition no matter how implicit or explicit.

I ain't looking for unproductive one-upsmanship here, since I would win every time, most people just don't have the chops to do internets and think simultaneously.

So you can go take your "undefined" Church (Creed much?) and we'll end this now.
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« Reply #123 on: August 19, 2011, 09:17:20 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.

There is no definition for "Church" in the Orthodox world and it is futile to search for one, at least on any "official" level.

Father,

I beg to differ.

In fact, you are simply wrong.


You will find I am right.  The absence of an official definition for "Church" is something quite well known.  It causes no great concern.

Admittedly we have a pastiche of opinions from various modern theologians but that is all.

If there were some conciliar or pan-Orthodox definition you would have quoted it by now in your discussion.   laugh
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« Reply #124 on: August 19, 2011, 09:25:45 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.

There is no definition for "Church" in the Orthodox world and it is futile to search for one, at least on any "official" level.

I was taught that the Devil has fought his way through the phrases of the Creed one by one, and this is indeed so if you look back though our history.  Because of his attacks we have had to clarify many of the important things in which we believe.

But he has not attacked the "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church."

However, many believe that he has now undertaken this attack, via the weapon of ecumenism, and the time is coming when we shall need a Council to clarify what we mean by "Church."
But with the Reformation came a definition of Church as "all those who accept a rough version of the Creed whether they are in communion with each other or not, no matter what else they believe." By it's very opposition to Protestantism (and to the Pope as well, I might add) the Orthodox Church is in fact propagating it's own definition. Is it not?
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« Reply #125 on: August 19, 2011, 09:37:08 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.

There is no definition for "Church" in the Orthodox world and it is futile to search for one, at least on any "official" level.

I was taught that the Devil has fought his way through the phrases of the Creed one by one, and this is indeed so if you look back though our history.  Because of his attacks we have had to clarify many of the important things in which we believe.

But he has not attacked the "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church."

However, many believe that he has now undertaken this attack, via the weapon of ecumenism, and the time is coming when we shall need a Council to clarify what we mean by "Church."
But with the Reformation came a definition of Church as "all those who accept a rough version of the Creed whether they are in communion with each other or not, no matter what else they believe." By it's very opposition to Protestantism (and to the Pope as well, I might add) the Orthodox Church is in fact propagating it's own definition. Is it not?

Orthonorm does not want me to discuss this but all the same I would like to ask..... what is that definition?

Of course there is the most famously expressed opinion of Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia, "We can say where the Church is; we cannot say where she is not."  Every kind-hearted but muddleheaded person has seized on that and made it a mantra.  So what on earth is the "definition" being propagated by Metropolitan Kallistos?
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« Reply #126 on: August 19, 2011, 10:09:46 PM »

Body of Christ=the Church. No?
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« Reply #127 on: August 19, 2011, 10:12:43 PM »

Yes, that is a fuller definition.

There is no definition for "Church" in the Orthodox world and it is futile to search for one, at least on any "official" level.

I was taught that the Devil has fought his way through the phrases of the Creed one by one, and this is indeed so if you look back though our history.  Because of his attacks we have had to clarify many of the important things in which we believe.

But he has not attacked the "I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church."

However, many believe that he has now undertaken this attack, via the weapon of ecumenism, and the time is coming when we shall need a Council to clarify what we mean by "Church."
But with the Reformation came a definition of Church as "all those who accept a rough version of the Creed whether they are in communion with each other or not, no matter what else they believe." By it's very opposition to Protestantism (and to the Pope as well, I might add) the Orthodox Church is in fact propagating it's own definition. Is it not?

Orthonorm does not want me to discuss this but all the same I would like to ask..... what is that definition?

Of course there is the most famously expressed opinion of Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia, "We can say where the Church is; we cannot say where she is not."  Every kind-hearted but muddleheaded person has seized on that and made it a mantra.  So what on earth is the "definition" being propagated by Metropolitan Kallistos?
I don't know what he means beyond some kind of invisible church thing borrowed from Protestantism.

To be honest, and believe me I say this with a heavy heart, if I ever convert I have a feeling I'm going to be a hardline Cyprianist like Fabio Leite and joasia. I just don't see how this "soft" approach to the non-Orthodox is consistent with anything else I'm learning about Orthodox theology.

As to whatever other definitions of "Church" there are, I'm trying to figure that out.
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« Reply #128 on: August 30, 2011, 02:26:20 PM »

Developments in the oc.net chat are making me wonder why this is ultimately so important to me and I'm not sure how to clarify, honestly.

I guess it started with all the Orthodox polemics I've read, especially against sola scripture which go on about how Protestantism is so mutaible and unstable. As much as I've tried to argue agaisnt that on here at times (I feel like I should at least try even if it turns out to be only for my own learning) I do tend to believe it. Sola scriptura is pretty unstable-though not as I've lived it. No, the Pentecostals I grew up with and of the churches I've been to and even the lion's share of Protestants I've known online really did seem to me to be united around the Creed.

Of course, we held to a conservativism that took for granted the idea that liberals like Spong and the leaders of the ELCA are Protestant in name only. Generally, the circles I ran in irl held Pentecostalism to be the, shall we say, "truest church. The closest to the vaunted first century model, others fell short by varying degrees but were still Christian if they held to the Creed. I must admit though, I've since come to realize we all tended to tack sola fide if not sola scriptura as well into the Creed, something I've fallen prey to on here from time to time.

So I don't know what I am anymore, I guess. I don't know how to go back to what I was, with my alcove of "little o" orthodoxy that admits some Protestants and not others. I don't know how to draw this line, how to battle with someone who has a different interpretation of Scripture-except with Tradition. But if Tradition, then sola scriptura doesn't have meaning for me anymore.

But then I see people like Stanley who point out all the disagreements which fill Orthodoxy, not on speculative crap like toll houses, but on things like birth control and the fate of suicides and of unbaptiszed infants who die- things which deeply impact people every day.  Yet the consensus partum and the Ecumenical Councils tell us nothing concrete. And I can't help but agree with him that the true Church should have more concrete teachings than this on such crucial issues. God should lay it out for us. Otherwise he’s negligently leaving us to wonder in the darkness, Lord have mercy on me for daring to think this.
I don’t think the Papacy is any better because of all its own contradictions, I have no intention of becoming RC- but what I’m saying is I don’t know if abandoning Protestantism for Orthodoxy (and now, perhaps even staying Christian instead of becoming Agnostic or something) is a choice worth making. People like Father Damick convinced me the doctrinal grass was greener on the Eastern side of the fence and now I just don’t know if I can buy that. That is why I begin threads like this, I think.

Sorry for rambling.
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« Reply #129 on: August 30, 2011, 03:39:15 PM »

Developments in the oc.net chat are making me wonder why this is ultimately so important to me and I'm not sure how to clarify, honestly.

I guess it started with all the Orthodox polemics I've read, especially against sola scripture which go on about how Protestantism is so mutaible and unstable. As much as I've tried to argue agaisnt that on here at times (I feel like I should at least try even if it turns out to be only for my own learning) I do tend to believe it. Sola scriptura is pretty unstable-though not as I've lived it. No, the Pentecostals I grew up with and of the churches I've been to and even the lion's share of Protestants I've known online really did seem to me to be united around the Creed.

Of course, we held to a conservativism that took for granted the idea that liberals like Spong and the leaders of the ELCA are Protestant in name only. Generally, the circles I ran in irl held Pentecostalism to be the, shall we say, "truest church. The closest to the vaunted first century model, others fell short by varying degrees but were still Christian if they held to the Creed. I must admit though, I've since come to realize we all tended to tack sola fide if not sola scriptura as well into the Creed, something I've fallen prey to on here from time to time.

So I don't know what I am anymore, I guess. I don't know how to go back to what I was, with my alcove of "little o" orthodoxy that admits some Protestants and not others. I don't know how to draw this line, how to battle with someone who has a different interpretation of Scripture-except with Tradition. But if Tradition, then sola scriptura doesn't have meaning for me anymore.

But then I see people like Stanley who point out all the disagreements which fill Orthodoxy, not on speculative crap like toll houses, but on things like birth control and the fate of suicides and of unbaptiszed infants who die- things which deeply impact people every day.  Yet the consensus partum and the Ecumenical Councils tell us nothing concrete. And I can't help but agree with him that the true Church should have more concrete teachings than this on such crucial issues. God should lay it out for us. Otherwise he’s negligently leaving us to wonder in the darkness, Lord have mercy on me for daring to think this.
I don’t think the Papacy is any better because of all its own contradictions, I have no intention of becoming RC- but what I’m saying is I don’t know if abandoning Protestantism for Orthodoxy (and now, perhaps even staying Christian instead of becoming Agnostic or something) is a choice worth making. People like Father Damick convinced me the doctrinal grass was greener on the Eastern side of the fence and now I just don’t know if I can buy that. That is why I begin threads like this, I think.

Sorry for rambling.
OK, thanks for this detail. I just wanted to make it clear that I think that the Eastern Orthodox Church (and the OO as well) are wonderful apostolic Churches and have a whole lot going for them. Just because i pointed out a few problematic areas, doesn't mean that I don't think that they are great Churches. And for the record, I have mentioned that I see some problematic areas with RC also.
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« Reply #130 on: August 31, 2011, 05:43:04 AM »

Developments in the oc.net chat are making me wonder why this is ultimately so important to me and I'm not sure how to clarify, honestly.

I guess it started with all the Orthodox polemics I've read, especially against sola scripture which go on about how Protestantism is so mutaible and unstable. As much as I've tried to argue agaisnt that on here at times (I feel like I should at least try even if it turns out to be only for my own learning) I do tend to believe it. Sola scriptura is pretty unstable-though not as I've lived it. No, the Pentecostals I grew up with and of the churches I've been to and even the lion's share of Protestants I've known online really did seem to me to be united around the Creed.

Of course, we held to a conservativism that took for granted the idea that liberals like Spong and the leaders of the ELCA are Protestant in name only. Generally, the circles I ran in irl held Pentecostalism to be the, shall we say, "truest church. The closest to the vaunted first century model, others fell short by varying degrees but were still Christian if they held to the Creed. I must admit though, I've since come to realize we all tended to tack sola fide if not sola scriptura as well into the Creed, something I've fallen prey to on here from time to time.

So I don't know what I am anymore, I guess. I don't know how to go back to what I was, with my alcove of "little o" orthodoxy that admits some Protestants and not others. I don't know how to draw this line, how to battle with someone who has a different interpretation of Scripture-except with Tradition. But if Tradition, then sola scriptura doesn't have meaning for me anymore.

But then I see people like Stanley who point out all the disagreements which fill Orthodoxy, not on speculative crap like toll houses, but on things like birth control and the fate of suicides and of unbaptiszed infants who die- things which deeply impact people every day.  Yet the consensus partum and the Ecumenical Councils tell us nothing concrete. And I can't help but agree with him that the true Church should have more concrete teachings than this on such crucial issues. God should lay it out for us. Otherwise he’s negligently leaving us to wonder in the darkness, Lord have mercy on me for daring to think this.
I don’t think the Papacy is any better because of all its own contradictions, I have no intention of becoming RC- but what I’m saying is I don’t know if abandoning Protestantism for Orthodoxy (and now, perhaps even staying Christian instead of becoming Agnostic or something) is a choice worth making. People like Father Damick convinced me the doctrinal grass was greener on the Eastern side of the fence and now I just don’t know if I can buy that. That is why I begin threads like this, I think.

Sorry for rambling.

Volnutt

I feel sorry for you, you have got yourself suck in a rut, and seem to of lost yourself.

The problem with knowledge and learning is that you can never go back to a state of ignorance, the truth shall set you free.

Both the Orthodox and the RCC claim apostolic succession, one of them if not both has to be right.

As far as orthodoxy not having anything laid in stone when it comes things like birth control, suicide and many others, then take a look at this website for your answers:

http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/

and the catechism of the orthodox church here:

http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm

they are in the process of doing an updated catechism that should be published this year.

The journey in to any faith that is not what you was born into is very tough and hard going, that is intentional, it sorts outs the weeds from the wheat Matthew 13:30

Don't give up !

yours in Christ

JR
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« Reply #131 on: August 31, 2011, 07:11:08 AM »

>> But then I see people like Stanley who point out all the disagreements which fill Orthodoxy, not on speculative crap like toll houses, but on

>> things like birth control <<

To my knowledge there is not one bishop in the Orthodox world who forbids birth control.  There must be limitations though....

it must be non-abortive
it must not be prolonged longer than it is needed to use it.  For example during illness, during an unsettled time living in refugee camps, forced prostitution (the Russian Natasha's forced to work in Germany, Cyprus, Malta, Turkey)........

There were two Orthodox bishops who were out on their own on this .   There went even further than the Roman Catholics and forbade even Natural Family Planning.   These were Bishop Augustine of Florina Greece, now dead, and Bishop Artemy of Kosovo Serbia, now retired.  The fact that we know about them is because their position was seen as odd by the Orthodox world.


>> and the fate of suicides <<

How can we really know the fate of suicides?   How do we know how God treats them and judges them at the time of death?   How can we possibly state that He condemns them all to hell?  


>> and of unbaptiszed infants who die<<<

I have not polled all our bishops but are there any who teach that unbaptized infants go to hell?   I would really find it hard to believe.  I cannot imagine any bishop saying such a thing to any mother and father.
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« Reply #132 on: August 31, 2011, 01:31:36 PM »

Volnutt

I feel sorry for you, you have got yourself suck in a rut, and seem to of lost yourself.
Well, that actually happened a long time ago, but this certainly doesn't help  laugh.[/quote]

The problem with knowledge and learning is that you can never go back to a state of ignorance, the truth shall set you free.
Unfortunately.

Both the Orthodox and the RCC claim apostolic succession, one of them if not both has to be right.
Or the OOs are right to the exclusion of either, or the ACOE to exclusion of either, or Christianity is just some massive head game and "Hell" really did overcome the Church.

As far as orthodoxy not having anything laid in stone when it comes things like birth control, suicide and many others, then take a look at this website for your answers:

http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/

and the catechism of the orthodox church here:

http://www.pravoslavieto.com/docs/eng/Orthodox_Catechism_of_Philaret.htm

they are in the process of doing an updated catechism that should be published this year.
There are some good answer's yes, but I'm not sure if it's good enough to be divine, if you know what I mean.


The journey in to any faith that is not what you was born into is very tough and hard going, that is intentional, it sorts outs the weeds from the wheat Matthew 13:30

Don't give up !

yours in Christ

JR
Thanks Smiley
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« Reply #133 on: August 31, 2011, 01:40:21 PM »

>> But then I see people like Stanley who point out all the disagreements which fill Orthodoxy, not on speculative crap like toll houses, but on

>> things like birth control <<

To my knowledge there is not one bishop in the Orthodox world who forbids birth control.  There must be limitations though....

it must be non-abortive
it must not be prolonged longer than it is needed to use it.  For example during illness, during an unsettled time living in refugee camps, forced prostitution (the Russian Natasha's forced to work in Germany, Cyprus, Malta, Turkey)........

There were two Orthodox bishops who were out on their own on this .   There went even further than the Roman Catholics and forbade even Natural Family Planning.   These were Bishop Augustine of Florina Greece, now dead, and Bishop Artemy of Kosovo Serbia, now retired.  The fact that we know about them is because their position was seen as odd by the Orthodox world.
Ok. I guess I was confusing the mainstream Orthodox view with that of the Old Calendarist groups.


>> and the fate of suicides <<

How can we really know the fate of suicides?   How do we know how God treats them and judges them at the time of death?   How can we possibly state that He condemns them all to hell?  
You personally seem to desire absolute knowledge on the fate of infants and (I presume) the mentally challenged. I humbly submit that very, very few suicides are of the cold blooded variety. Most are born of extreme mental suffering that only those who have been there can know.




I have not polled all our bishops but are there any who teach that unbaptized infants go to hell?   I would really find it hard to believe.  I cannot imagine any bishop saying such a thing to any mother and father.
Saints Augustine and John Chrysostom obviously found a way to break the news.
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« Reply #134 on: August 31, 2011, 06:45:30 PM »


You personally seem to desire absolute knowledge on the fate of infants and (I presume) the mentally challenged.


I have no doubts.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is waiting to welcome them into His embrace and His overflowing love.

In all the years when my parishioners have lost babies, I have not once said to them - "Well, there is a half way chance your little boy could be in heaven but there's an equal chance he is burning in the agony of hell."
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« Reply #135 on: August 31, 2011, 08:53:00 PM »


You personally seem to desire absolute knowledge on the fate of infants and (I presume) the mentally challenged.


I have no doubts.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is waiting to welcome them into His embrace and His overflowing love.

In all the years when my parishioners have lost babies, I have not once said to them - "Well, there is a half way chance your little boy could be in heaven but there's an equal chance he is burning in the agony of hell."
And their of their children and parents and spouses who collapsed under the weight of an unimaginably broken mind and heart?
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« Reply #136 on: August 31, 2011, 09:00:47 PM »


You personally seem to desire absolute knowledge on the fate of infants and (I presume) the mentally challenged.


I have no doubts.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is waiting to welcome them into His embrace and His overflowing love.

In all the years when my parishioners have lost babies, I have not once said to them - "Well, there is a half way chance your little boy could be in heaven but there's an equal chance he is burning in the agony of hell."
And their of their children and parents and spouses who collapsed under the weight of an unimaginably broken mind and heart?

?
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« Reply #137 on: August 31, 2011, 09:17:12 PM »

Suicide. What's the point of making blanket statements on baby's but not on the those who are out of their heads from mental illness?
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« Reply #138 on: August 31, 2011, 09:29:16 PM »


Suicide. What's the point of making blanket statements on baby's but not on the those who are out of their heads from mental illness?


I think we can make blanket statements about babies since they are all alike in their spiritual state and incapable of sinning.   It is more complicated than that with suicides.

The Russian Church has a beautiful and compunctionate "Akathist for the repose for those who have fallen asleep" in which we pray for suicides and other souls in peril. It was printed in Orthodox Life, Vol 6, No. 5, Sept-Oct.,1955, p. 3-11.

If we read these prayers with our eyes wide open, it is amazing what is being said in them - about God, about the nature of His mercy, about His willingness to forgive even beyond the grave.

This is from Ikos 5:

And we believe that even beyond the grave Thy loving kindness, which is merciful even
to all rejected sinners, does not fail. We grieve for hardened and wicked blasphemers of
Thy Holiness. May Thy saving and gracious will be over them. Forgive, O Lord, those
who have died without repentance.

Save those who have committed suicide in the darkness of their mind,
that the flame of their sinfulness may be extinguished in the ocean of Thy grace.


O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

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« Reply #139 on: August 31, 2011, 09:39:47 PM »

That is nice Smiley.

Sigh, I'm so tired of making these arguments. I barely even understand myself anymore.
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« Reply #140 on: August 31, 2011, 09:43:29 PM »

That is nice Smiley.

Sigh, I'm so tired of making these arguments. I barely even understand myself anymore.

I think you've hit a wall with the intellectual stuff. Time to stop thinking and start worshipping in the Orthodox manner, says I!
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« Reply #141 on: August 31, 2011, 10:19:40 PM »

Developments in the oc.net chat are making me wonder why this is ultimately so important to me and I'm not sure how to clarify, honestly.

I guess it started with all the Orthodox polemics I've read, especially against sola scripture which go on about how Protestantism is so mutaible and unstable. As much as I've tried to argue agaisnt that on here at times (I feel like I should at least try even if it turns out to be only for my own learning) I do tend to believe it. Sola scriptura is pretty unstable-though not as I've lived it. No, the Pentecostals I grew up with and of the churches I've been to and even the lion's share of Protestants I've known online really did seem to me to be united around the Creed.

Of course, we held to a conservativism that took for granted the idea that liberals like Spong and the leaders of the ELCA are Protestant in name only. Generally, the circles I ran in irl held Pentecostalism to be the, shall we say, "truest church. The closest to the vaunted first century model, others fell short by varying degrees but were still Christian if they held to the Creed. I must admit though, I've since come to realize we all tended to tack sola fide if not sola scriptura as well into the Creed, something I've fallen prey to on here from time to time.

So I don't know what I am anymore, I guess. I don't know how to go back to what I was, with my alcove of "little o" orthodoxy that admits some Protestants and not others. I don't know how to draw this line, how to battle with someone who has a different interpretation of Scripture-except with Tradition. But if Tradition, then sola scriptura doesn't have meaning for me anymore.

But then I see people like Stanley who point out all the disagreements which fill Orthodoxy, not on speculative crap like toll houses, but on things like birth control and the fate of suicides and of unbaptiszed infants who die- things which deeply impact people every day.  Yet the consensus partum and the Ecumenical Councils tell us nothing concrete. And I can't help but agree with him that the true Church should have more concrete teachings than this on such crucial issues. God should lay it out for us. Otherwise he’s negligently leaving us to wonder in the darkness, Lord have mercy on me for daring to think this.
I don’t think the Papacy is any better because of all its own contradictions, I have no intention of becoming RC- but what I’m saying is I don’t know if abandoning Protestantism for Orthodoxy (and now, perhaps even staying Christian instead of becoming Agnostic or something) is a choice worth making. People like Father Damick convinced me the doctrinal grass was greener on the Eastern side of the fence and now I just don’t know if I can buy that. That is why I begin threads like this, I think.

Sorry for rambling.
OK, thanks for this detail. I just wanted to make it clear that I think that the Eastern Orthodox Church (and the OO as well) are wonderful apostolic Churches and have a whole lot going for them. Just because i pointed out a few problematic areas, doesn't mean that I don't think that they are great Churches. And for the record, I have mentioned that I see some problematic areas with RC also.

To Volnutt - I share a lot of these feelings although I have read much less than you (that's to say, if I read more Orthodox materials particularly ones that make use of polemics, the "Christian" faith that I have could be put to further confusion and disarray).  And your last paragraph is particularly wrenching - it couldn't possibly be worth losing faith to *have* to make a decision now, or even be on a decided course towards decision, on conversion?  (Or could it?)

Stanley - if the Orthodox Church(es) are "wonderful apostolic Churches and have a whole lot going for them", my only comment is that this admission on your part is one of the 'issues' that serves to keep the waters very muddied, as the question of there being a One Church, or perhaps the necessity of generic Christians or non-Christians to join it.  I won't say more because this isn't the Catholic-Orthodox board.

The questions and consternation that rather constantly come up in my inquiry by reading (...well, this forum!) and some of the modern Orthodox writings online and in books, has convinced me that the best way to approach Orthodoxy (again, me Roll Eyes) is by going to an Orthodox church, reading primarily devotional literature (homilies, prayers), and 'ancient' and later patristic and monastic writings.  Granted, some (most?) of the ancient fathers and monastics might use some vicious, harsh polemical language in their works, and it is also suggested by many Orthodox clergy that laity should hold off the patristic and monastic texts until they are years advanced in Orthodox practice and devotion... but for some reason, I find the modern polemics between Orthodox and Catholics, and Protestants (for me chiefly regarding sola Scriptura, substitutionary atonement and the relation of believing - in this life - with/toward salvation in the next) to be more wrangling - likely because I am living while the arguments are going on, and I am (have been) reading them to boot.  Part of my answer, I think, is to leave off the stuff that I can't well handle reading, whether because I have a weak intellect, a weak faith, too literal reading of Scripture or whatever.  If I am basically a sola Scriptura or a "prima Scriptura Protestant, then I just accept that with whatever the negative implications and in time, perhaps even the identification and understanding as such, would be weaned out, as focus on more liturgy and active prayers, a spiritual community would help sort it all out.  It might take 10 years that way to "become Orthodox" (I mean the formal entry in baptism/christmation), but for the sake of maintaining a semblance of some faith and devotion where the Scriptures must be a primary support for this simpleton - will do it this way.  (And still, I may never convert.)
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« Reply #142 on: August 31, 2011, 10:35:50 PM »

Developments in the oc.net chat are making me wonder why this is ultimately so important to me and I'm not sure how to clarify, honestly.

I guess it started with all the Orthodox polemics I've read, especially against sola scripture which go on about how Protestantism is so mutaible and unstable. As much as I've tried to argue agaisnt that on here at times (I feel like I should at least try even if it turns out to be only for my own learning) I do tend to believe it. Sola scriptura is pretty unstable-though not as I've lived it. No, the Pentecostals I grew up with and of the churches I've been to and even the lion's share of Protestants I've known online really did seem to me to be united around the Creed.

Of course, we held to a conservativism that took for granted the idea that liberals like Spong and the leaders of the ELCA are Protestant in name only. Generally, the circles I ran in irl held Pentecostalism to be the, shall we say, "truest church. The closest to the vaunted first century model, others fell short by varying degrees but were still Christian if they held to the Creed. I must admit though, I've since come to realize we all tended to tack sola fide if not sola scriptura as well into the Creed, something I've fallen prey to on here from time to time.

So I don't know what I am anymore, I guess. I don't know how to go back to what I was, with my alcove of "little o" orthodoxy that admits some Protestants and not others. I don't know how to draw this line, how to battle with someone who has a different interpretation of Scripture-except with Tradition. But if Tradition, then sola scriptura doesn't have meaning for me anymore.

But then I see people like Stanley who point out all the disagreements which fill Orthodoxy, not on speculative crap like toll houses, but on things like birth control and the fate of suicides and of unbaptiszed infants who die- things which deeply impact people every day.  Yet the consensus partum and the Ecumenical Councils tell us nothing concrete. And I can't help but agree with him that the true Church should have more concrete teachings than this on such crucial issues. God should lay it out for us. Otherwise he’s negligently leaving us to wonder in the darkness, Lord have mercy on me for daring to think this.
I don’t think the Papacy is any better because of all its own contradictions, I have no intention of becoming RC- but what I’m saying is I don’t know if abandoning Protestantism for Orthodoxy (and now, perhaps even staying Christian instead of becoming Agnostic or something) is a choice worth making. People like Father Damick convinced me the doctrinal grass was greener on the Eastern side of the fence and now I just don’t know if I can buy that. That is why I begin threads like this, I think.

Sorry for rambling.
OK, thanks for this detail. I just wanted to make it clear that I think that the Eastern Orthodox Church (and the OO as well) are wonderful apostolic Churches and have a whole lot going for them. Just because i pointed out a few problematic areas, doesn't mean that I don't think that they are great Churches. And for the record, I have mentioned that I see some problematic areas with RC also.

To Volnutt - I share a lot of these feelings although I have read much less than you (that's to say, if I read more Orthodox materials particularly ones that make use of polemics, the "Christian" faith that I have could be put to further confusion and disarray).  And your last paragraph is particularly wrenching - it couldn't possibly be worth losing faith to *have* to make a decision now, or even be on a decided course towards decision, on conversion?  (Or could it?)

Stanley - if the Orthodox Church(es) are "wonderful apostolic Churches and have a whole lot going for them", my only comment is that this admission on your part is one of the 'issues' that serves to keep the waters very muddied, as the question of there being a One Church, or perhaps the necessity of generic Christians or non-Christians to join it.  I won't say more because this isn't the Catholic-Orthodox board.

The questions and consternation that rather constantly come up in my inquiry by reading (...well, this forum!) and some of the modern Orthodox writings online and in books, has convinced me that the best way to approach Orthodoxy (again, me Roll Eyes) is by going to an Orthodox church, reading primarily devotional literature (homilies, prayers), and 'ancient' and later patristic and monastic writings.  Granted, some (most?) of the ancient fathers and monastics might use some vicious, harsh polemical language in their works, and it is also suggested by many Orthodox clergy that laity should hold off the patristic and monastic texts until they are years advanced in Orthodox practice and devotion... but for some reason, I find the modern polemics between Orthodox and Catholics, and Protestants (for me chiefly regarding sola Scriptura, substitutionary atonement and the relation of believing - in this life - with/toward salvation in the next) to be more wrangling - likely because I am living while the arguments are going on, and I am (have been) reading them to boot.  Part of my answer, I think, is to leave off the stuff that I can't well handle reading, whether because I have a weak intellect, a weak faith, too literal reading of Scripture or whatever.  If I am basically a sola Scriptura or a " Protestant, then I just accept that with whatever the negative implications and in time, perhaps even the identification and understanding as such, would be weaned out, as focus on more liturgy and active prayers, a spiritual community would help sort it all out.  It might take 10 years that way to "become Orthodox" (I mean the formal entry in baptism/christmation), but for the sake of maintaining a semblance of some faith and devotion where the Scriptures must be a primary support for this simpleton - will do it this way.  (And still, I may never convert.)
Did you say that I was muddying the waters?
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« Reply #143 on: September 01, 2011, 05:19:58 AM »

and Bishop Artemy of Kosovo Serbia, now retired. 

*laicised
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« Reply #144 on: September 01, 2011, 08:02:08 AM »

and Bishop Artemy of Kosovo Serbia, now retired. 

*laicised

Those who love him -that includes me who knew him in the late 1970s - do not accept it.  A nasty political act for which the Patriarch and some members of the Synod must one day repent.  Connected with Serbia wanting better relations with the EU countries and access to EU money and His Grace Bishop Artemije was a sacrificial lamb.
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« Reply #145 on: September 01, 2011, 08:15:48 AM »

Luckily it does not depend on some Monks whether Bishops from not their own Synods are still Bishops or not.
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« Reply #146 on: September 01, 2011, 08:20:46 AM »

Luckily it does not depend on some Monks whether Bishops from not their own Synods are still Bishops or not.

What do you mean by this? I don't understand.
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« Reply #147 on: September 01, 2011, 08:32:26 AM »

Luckily it does not depend on some Monks whether Bishops from not their own Synods are still Bishops or not.

Are you aware of the voting figures among the Synod of Bishops which demoted Bishop Artemije to a monk?  Basically the "Ecumenist Party" which has a slight majority in the Synod prevailed.  These bishops are the anti-popovichi who wish to downplay (they know they cannot entirely extinguish) the legacy of Saint Justin Popovic and his students such as Vladika Artemije.  Saint Justin pulled no punches in his anti-ecumenism stance and his distaste for the religious culture which has developed in Western Europe under the maternal hand of the Roman Catholic Church.  His teachings, of which Vladika Artemije is a disciple and supporter, are antithetical to many bishops in today's Synod.  I'll see if I can locate the press statements on the Synod's decision on Bp Artemije...
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« Reply #148 on: September 01, 2011, 08:35:36 AM »

He was laicised. No Orthodox Synod (including yours) protested it. All you should do is to accept that decision or to schism. You can't choose some synodical decisions to accept and some to not.
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« Reply #149 on: September 01, 2011, 08:51:26 AM »

Luckily it does not depend on some Monks whether Bishops from not their own Synods are still Bishops or not.

What do you mean by this? I don't understand.

The monks and nuns, but mainly monks, in the home countries of Orthodoxy wield an immense influence.  The people see them as the trustworthy guardians of Orthodoxy and will look to them for guidance in many areas.   Thanks to the influence of the monks, the Albanian Church is not a member of the WCC.   Similarly the monks of the Bulgarian Church had an influence in the Bulgarian Church's withdrawal from the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue.   

The monks of Serbia organised themselves about a decade ago and put great pressure on the bishops to withdraw from the WCC.... they almost succeeded and indeed they still hope to succeed.  The matter was shelved when Patriarch Pavle and the Synod decided that they would not make a unilateral withdrawal from the WCC but they preferred to act in unison with the Russian Church which at that time had suspended its WCC membership and could possibly have withdrawn entirely. .  The Russian Church did not withdraw but it imposed strict restrictions prohibiting common prayer at WCC meetings and it forced the WCC, as a condition of its continuing membership, to  move from a majority voting system to a consensus system (this has paralysed the WCC's ability to issue policy statements which are offensive to the Orthodox, something which was frequent in earlier days.)     So I think that it is wrong to discount monks; in the home countries they are a force in the Church and enjoy the great respect and trust of the faithful.
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« Reply #150 on: September 01, 2011, 09:01:59 AM »

He was laicised. No Orthodox Synod (including yours) protested it. All you should do is to accept that decision or to schism. You can't choose some synodical decisions to accept and some to not.

Tell that to the bishops of the Serbian Synod who support him, to the priests who support him and to the monks who support him.

It is not as black and white as "accept that decision or schism."  Let's be more subtle.  One can see the injustices perpetrated by Synods from time to time but that does not mean one must create a schism in response.    We have the example of Saint Justin himself who was pressured many times to create a schism and preserve the Serbian Church from ecumenism and governmental influence.  Much as he detested ecumenism he detested schism even more, to rend the sacred Body of Christ, and he refused, vigorously, to have any truck with the suggestion.  Those with the abilty to redress the injustice may work to so so;  the rest of us can pray for the Lord to execute justice in His time.
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« Reply #151 on: September 01, 2011, 09:12:05 AM »

So would I be right in saying that the Orthodox church as a whole are not in union with each other, so orthodoxy is not universal?

Why so much in fighting when all are supposed to be there to worship the one true God?
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« Reply #152 on: September 01, 2011, 09:25:49 AM »


So would I be right in saying that the Orthodox church as a whole are not in union with each other, so orthodoxy is not universal?


I can think of three schisms in the Orthodox Church - the Ukraine, Montenegro and Macedonia.   I do not see how these destroy the universal aspect of the Orthodox Church, no more than the Catholic schism in China (and other schisms) destroys the universal aspect of the Catholic Church.
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« Reply #153 on: September 01, 2011, 09:45:33 AM »


So would I be right in saying that the Orthodox church as a whole are not in union with each other, so orthodoxy is not universal?


I can think of three schisms in the Orthodox Church - the Ukraine, Montenegro and Macedonia.   I do not see how these destroy the universal aspect of the Orthodox Church, no more than the Catholic schism in China (and other schisms) destroys the universal aspect of the Catholic Church.

The way I see it, is that a schism creates a division, division creates separation.

if there are divisions and separations, how can the church be complete and universal?

surely this is the same with what happened with Martin Luther,  it ended up with 2 separate churches, now hundreds of separate churches.

Maybe my thinking is wrong, I just don't understand how something can be broken yet still together.
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« Reply #154 on: September 01, 2011, 09:59:12 AM »


So would I be right in saying that the Orthodox church as a whole are not in union with each other, so orthodoxy is not universal?


I can think of three schisms in the Orthodox Church - the Ukraine, Montenegro and Macedonia.   I do not see how these destroy the universal aspect of the Orthodox Church, no more than the Catholic schism in China (and other schisms) destroys the universal aspect of the Catholic Church.

The way I see it, is that a schism creates a division, division creates separation.

if there are divisions and separations, how can the church be complete and universal?

surely this is the same with what happened with Martin Luther,  it ended up with 2 separate churches, now hundreds of separate churches.

Maybe my thinking is wrong, I just don't understand how something can be broken yet still together.

Are there no schisms in Roman Catholicism?  I seem to remember that in 1988 when Archbishop LeFebvre ordained four bishops that the Vatican told him he had created a schism in the Church.
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« Reply #155 on: September 01, 2011, 10:10:32 AM »


So would I be right in saying that the Orthodox church as a whole are not in union with each other, so orthodoxy is not universal?


I can think of three schisms in the Orthodox Church - the Ukraine, Montenegro and Macedonia.   I do not see how these destroy the universal aspect of the Orthodox Church, no more than the Catholic schism in China (and other schisms) destroys the universal aspect of the Catholic Church.

The way I see it, is that a schism creates a division, division creates separation.

if there are divisions and separations, how can the church be complete and universal?

surely this is the same with what happened with Martin Luther,  it ended up with 2 separate churches, now hundreds of separate churches.

Maybe my thinking is wrong, I just don't understand how something can be broken yet still together.

Are there no schisms in Roman Catholicism?  I seem to remember that in 1988 when Archbishop LeFebvre ordained four bishops that the Vatican told him he had created a schism in the Church.

I was not asking Roman Catholicism ! I am not happy with Roman Catholicism ! that is why I am on here trying to learn about Orthodoxy, why are you being so defensive?

By asking questions is how people learn, by making statements and getting opinions is also how people learn.

by becoming defensive and throwing stones at the enquirer, you are then creating a stumbling block for the person trying to learn. I am not being personal with my questions or my thoughts, I am just trying to understand.

So shall we start again?

Quote
The way I see it, is that a schism creates a division, division creates separation.

if there are divisions and separations, how can the church be complete and universal?

surely this is the same with what happened with Martin Luther,  it ended up with 2 separate churches, now hundreds of separate churches.

Maybe my thinking is wrong, I just don't understand how something can be broken yet still together.
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« Reply #156 on: September 01, 2011, 10:14:32 AM »


So would I be right in saying that the Orthodox church as a whole are not in union with each other, so orthodoxy is not universal?


I can think of three schisms in the Orthodox Church - the Ukraine, Montenegro and Macedonia.   I do not see how these destroy the universal aspect of the Orthodox Church, no more than the Catholic schism in China (and other schisms) destroys the universal aspect of the Catholic Church.

The way I see it, is that a schism creates a division, division creates separation.

if there are divisions and separations, how can the church be complete and universal?

surely this is the same with what happened with Martin Luther,  it ended up with 2 separate churches, now hundreds of separate churches.

Maybe my thinking is wrong, I just don't understand how something can be broken yet still together.

Are there no schisms in Roman Catholicism?  I seem to remember that in 1988 when Archbishop LeFebvre ordained four bishops that the Vatican told him he had created a schism in the Church.

I was not asking Roman Catholicism ! I am not happy with Roman Catholicism ! that is why I am on here trying to learn about Orthodoxy, why are you being so defensive?

By asking questions is how people learn, by making statements and getting opinions is also how people learn.

by becoming defensive and throwing stones at the enquirer, you are then creating a stumbling block for the person trying to learn. I am not being personal with my questions or my thoughts, I am just trying to understand.

So shall we start again?

Quote
The way I see it, is that a schism creates a division, division creates separation.

if there are divisions and separations, how can the church be complete and universal?

surely this is the same with what happened with Martin Luther,  it ended up with 2 separate churches, now hundreds of separate churches.

Maybe my thinking is wrong, I just don't understand how something can be broken yet still together.

I saw this as being a question imbued with a tinge of hostility..  It placed me on the defensive.  My apologies

>>So would I be right in saying that the Orthodox church as a whole are not in union with each other, so orthodoxy is not universal?<<

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« Reply #157 on: September 01, 2011, 10:18:51 AM »

It is not as black and white as "accept that decision or schism."  Let's be more subtle.  

Let's be clear. Is he a Bishop according to you (and in contrary to all Synods) or not?

if there are divisions and separations, how can the church be complete and universal?

The schism does not create two Churches. It creates the separation of the group of people from the Church. The Church still is one despite some people leave it.
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« Reply #158 on: September 01, 2011, 10:20:25 AM »


So would I be right in saying that the Orthodox church as a whole are not in union with each other, so orthodoxy is not universal?


I can think of three schisms in the Orthodox Church - the Ukraine, Montenegro and Macedonia.   I do not see how these destroy the universal aspect of the Orthodox Church, no more than the Catholic schism in China (and other schisms) destroys the universal aspect of the Catholic Church.

The way I see it, is that a schism creates a division, division creates separation.

if there are divisions and separations, how can the church be complete and universal?

surely this is the same with what happened with Martin Luther,  it ended up with 2 separate churches, now hundreds of separate churches.

Maybe my thinking is wrong, I just don't understand how something can be broken yet still together.

Are there no schisms in Roman Catholicism?  I seem to remember that in 1988 when Archbishop LeFebvre ordained four bishops that the Vatican told him he had created a schism in the Church.

I was not asking Roman Catholicism ! I am not happy with Roman Catholicism ! that is why I am on here trying to learn about Orthodoxy, why are you being so defensive?

By asking questions is how people learn, by making statements and getting opinions is also how people learn.

by becoming defensive and throwing stones at the enquirer, you are then creating a stumbling block for the person trying to learn. I am not being personal with my questions or my thoughts, I am just trying to understand.

So shall we start again?

Quote
The way I see it, is that a schism creates a division, division creates separation.

if there are divisions and separations, how can the church be complete and universal?

surely this is the same with what happened with Martin Luther,  it ended up with 2 separate churches, now hundreds of separate churches.

Maybe my thinking is wrong, I just don't understand how something can be broken yet still together.

I saw this as being a question imbued with a tinge of hostility..  It placed me on the defensive.  My apologies

>>So would I be right in saying that the Orthodox church as a whole are not in union with each other, so orthodoxy is not universal?<<



It was not meant as hostile, I was trying to make a statement, by which I could be given the correct perspective, I apologise also if I came across as hostile. It was not intentional.

I never get personal, or hostile in conversations about faith, that would be just unchristian.
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« Reply #159 on: September 01, 2011, 12:34:50 PM »

It is not as black and white as "accept that decision or schism."  Let's be more subtle.  

Let's be clear. Is he a Bishop according to you (and in contrary to all Synods) or not?


In my opinion he is and I would kiss his hand as a bishop's hand.  So would thousands of Serbs.  But I am notorious for holding contrary opinions in these matters.  I have argued and struggled with my brother priests on other lists.  They  insist that Archbishop Lazar Puhalo is not any sort of Archbishop but a layman, a deacon canonically defrocked by the Synod of the Russian Church Abroad.    I believe he is a canonical archbishop in the Orthodox Church in America.  
 
The Synod of the Serbian Church could change its mind if the balance of power within the Synod shifts.   We saw something similar with regard to the bishops of the Free Serbian Church.  For decades we taught that these bishops are not bishops, but laymen without even the power to baptize, and so we baptized anybody coming to the Patriarchal Church from the Free Serbs.  But, thanks to the efforts of the holy Patriarch Paul everything changed and over night those who were reviled as no more than pseudo-bishops were accepted as true bishops.  

In these matters, which are at root political, the Church can do surprising about-turns when appropriate.
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« Reply #160 on: September 01, 2011, 12:50:37 PM »


It was not meant as hostile, I was trying to make a statement, by which I could be given the correct perspective, I apologise also if I came across as hostile. It was not intentional.

I never get personal, or hostile in conversations about faith, that would be just unchristian.

My sincere apologies.  Please forgive me.
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« Reply #161 on: September 01, 2011, 01:39:52 PM »


It was not meant as hostile, I was trying to make a statement, by which I could be given the correct perspective, I apologise also if I came across as hostile. It was not intentional.

I never get personal, or hostile in conversations about faith, that would be just unchristian.

My sincere apologies.  Please forgive me.

you had already been forgiven the moment I sent the original email.

As the peace in Christ.

JR
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« Reply #162 on: September 01, 2011, 02:20:06 PM »

In my opinion he is and I would kiss his hand as a bishop's hand.  So would thousands of Serbs.  But I am notorious for holding contrary opinions in these matters. 

So why you didn't join the Church he started?
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« Reply #163 on: September 01, 2011, 02:41:07 PM »

Luckily it does not depend on some Monks whether Bishops from not their own Synods are still Bishops or not.

What do you mean by this? I don't understand.

The monks and nuns, but mainly monks, in the home countries of Orthodoxy wield an immense influence.  The people see them as the trustworthy guardians of Orthodoxy and will look to them for guidance in many areas.   Thanks to the influence of the monks, the Albanian Church is not a member of the WCC.   Similarly the monks of the Bulgarian Church had an influence in the Bulgarian Church's withdrawal from the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue.   

The monks of Serbia organised themselves about a decade ago and put great pressure on the bishops to withdraw from the WCC.... they almost succeeded and indeed they still hope to succeed.  The matter was shelved when Patriarch Pavle and the Synod decided that they would not make a unilateral withdrawal from the WCC but they preferred to act in unison with the Russian Church which at that time had suspended its WCC membership and could possibly have withdrawn entirely. .  The Russian Church did not withdraw but it imposed strict restrictions prohibiting common prayer at WCC meetings and it forced the WCC, as a condition of its continuing membership, to  move from a majority voting system to a consensus system (this has paralysed the WCC's ability to issue policy statements which are offensive to the Orthodox, something which was frequent in earlier days.)     So I think that it is wrong to discount monks; in the home countries they are a force in the Church and enjoy the great respect and trust of the faithful.
Wow. Go monks! laugh
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« Reply #164 on: September 01, 2011, 05:33:28 PM »

In my opinion he is and I would kiss his hand as a bishop's hand.  So would thousands of Serbs.  But I am notorious for holding contrary opinions in these matters. 

So why you didn't join the Church he started?

As you know the Patriarch and some of the bishops' charges against Bishop Artemije is that he stole large amounts of money donated for work among refugees in Kosovo and he used the money for a luxurious lifestyle.  They have laid criminal charges of financial wrongdoing against him and eventually there will be a public civil trial in Belgrade which we hope will satisfy the norms of justice.

Here is the letter sent by the Synod regarding Vladika Artemije's visit to the the States early last month.  They lay out for the Americans all the complaints against this bishop.  The tone of the letter is polemical.  It lacks the gravitas and dignity one would expect from such an august body.

http://www.spc.rs/eng/public_statement_holy_synod_serbian_orthodox_church

Larger print
http://orthodox-voice.blogspot.com/2011/08/ecumenist-serbian-orthodox-church.html

Let us pray for him, for the Patriarch and bishops, and for those who will participate in his court trial.
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« Reply #165 on: September 01, 2011, 05:54:53 PM »

In my opinion he is and I would kiss his hand as a bishop's hand.  So would thousands of Serbs.  But I am notorious for holding contrary opinions in these matters. 

So why you didn't join the Church he started?

As you know the Patriarch and some of the bishops' charges against Bishop Artemije is that he stole large amounts of money donated for work among refugees in Kosovo and he used the money for a luxurious lifestyle.  They have laid criminal charges of financial wrongdoing against him and eventually there will be a public civil trial in Belgrade which we hope will satisfy the norms of justice.

Here is the letter sent by the Synod regarding Vladika Artemije's visit to the the States early last month.  They lay out for the Americans all the complaints against this bishop.  The tone of the letter is polemical.  It lacks the gravitas and dignity one would expect from such an august body.

http://www.spc.rs/eng/public_statement_holy_synod_serbian_orthodox_church

Larger print
http://orthodox-voice.blogspot.com/2011/08/ecumenist-serbian-orthodox-church.html

Let us pray for him, for the Patriarch and bishops, and for those who will participate in his court trial.


That's not the answer from my question. I asked why you didn't join the Вистинска Светосавска црква he started against the Church you are now a member of.
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« Reply #166 on: September 01, 2011, 06:22:04 PM »

In my opinion he is and I would kiss his hand as a bishop's hand.  So would thousands of Serbs.  But I am notorious for holding contrary opinions in these matters. 

So why you didn't join the Church he started?

As you know the Patriarch and some of the bishops' charges against Bishop Artemije is that he stole large amounts of money donated for work among refugees in Kosovo and he used the money for a luxurious lifestyle.  They have laid criminal charges of financial wrongdoing against him and eventually there will be a public civil trial in Belgrade which we hope will satisfy the norms of justice.

Here is the letter sent by the Synod regarding Vladika Artemije's visit to the the States early last month.  They lay out for the Americans all the complaints against this bishop.  The tone of the letter is polemical.  It lacks the gravitas and dignity one would expect from such an august body.

http://www.spc.rs/eng/public_statement_holy_synod_serbian_orthodox_church

Larger print
http://orthodox-voice.blogspot.com/2011/08/ecumenist-serbian-orthodox-church.html

Let us pray for him, for the Patriarch and bishops, and for those who will participate in his court trial.


That's not the answer from my question. I asked why you didn't join the Вистинска Светосавска црква he started against the Church you are now a member of.

In my opinion he is and I would kiss his hand as a bishop's hand.  So would thousands of Serbs.  But I am notorious for holding contrary opinions in these matters. 

So why you didn't join the Church he started?

As you know the Patriarch and some of the bishops' charges against Bishop Artemije is that he stole large amounts of money donated for work among refugees in Kosovo and he used the money for a luxurious lifestyle.  They have laid criminal charges of financial wrongdoing against him and eventually there will be a public civil trial in Belgrade which we hope will satisfy the norms of justice.

Here is the letter sent by the Synod regarding Vladika Artemije's visit to the the States early last month.  They lay out for the Americans all the complaints against this bishop.  The tone of the letter is polemical.  It lacks the gravitas and dignity one would expect from such an august body.

http://www.spc.rs/eng/public_statement_holy_synod_serbian_orthodox_church

Larger print
http://orthodox-voice.blogspot.com/2011/08/ecumenist-serbian-orthodox-church.html

Let us pray for him, for the Patriarch and bishops, and for those who will participate in his court trial.


That's not the answer from my question. I asked why you didn't join the Вистинска Светосавска црква he started against the Church you are now a member of.

The question really makes no sense to me.  Is that a Macedonian Church? 

Anyway, why would you want to inquire about my personal decisions?
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« Reply #167 on: September 01, 2011, 06:31:25 PM »

In my opinion he is and I would kiss his hand as a bishop's hand.  So would thousands of Serbs.  But I am notorious for holding contrary opinions in these matters. 

So why you didn't join the Church he started?

As you know the Patriarch and some of the bishops' charges against Bishop Artemije is that he stole large amounts of money donated for work among refugees in Kosovo and he used the money for a luxurious lifestyle.  They have laid criminal charges of financial wrongdoing against him and eventually there will be a public civil trial in Belgrade which we hope will satisfy the norms of justice.

Here is the letter sent by the Synod regarding Vladika Artemije's visit to the the States early last month.  They lay out for the Americans all the complaints against this bishop.  The tone of the letter is polemical.  It lacks the gravitas and dignity one would expect from such an august body.

http://www.spc.rs/eng/public_statement_holy_synod_serbian_orthodox_church

Larger print
http://orthodox-voice.blogspot.com/2011/08/ecumenist-serbian-orthodox-church.html

Let us pray for him, for the Patriarch and bishops, and for those who will participate in his court trial.


That's not the answer from my question. I asked why you didn't join the Вистинска Светосавска црква he started against the Church you are now a member of.

This is translated roughly as The True Church of Saint Sava, which makes me think that it is schismatic body from the Serbian Church. Nothing to do with the Russian Church in which Father Ambrose is a priest, serving in New Zealand.
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« Reply #168 on: September 02, 2011, 03:08:55 AM »

This is translated roughly as The True Church of Saint Sava, which makes me think that it is schismatic body from the Serbian Church. Nothing to do with the Russian Church in which Father Ambrose is a priest, serving in New Zealand.

Yes, the Church that was started by the former Bishop Artemius.
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