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Author Topic: Does the Orthodox Church "change?"  (Read 9365 times) Average Rating: 0
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Volnutt
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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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Volnutt
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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.)
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 10:36:50 PM by Aaron M » Logged
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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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