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Question: Orthodox Christians/Church are...
Lacking in our scriptural knowledge and this must be improved - 21 (61.8%)
Lacking butknowing scripture is not important - 2 (5.9%)
Weak in details but strong in the biggerpicture - 4 (11.8%)
strong across the board, both details and big picture - 7 (20.6%)
Total Voters: 34

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« Reply #90 on: October 10, 2011, 08:57:32 AM »

I take it that you don't have an adequate response then.

Enjoy the victory.
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« Reply #91 on: October 10, 2011, 09:14:29 AM »

If we remain and continue in Jesus' words we will know the truth and that is a promise John 8:31-32, 2 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 3:7. God reveals Himself and information about Himself: Paul's Gospel came through a revelation of Jesus Christ Galatians 1:12. And many passages tell us that God has spoken the words of Scripture. Old Testament quotations are introduced in the New Testament. Jesus said David was inspired by the Spirit Matthew 22:43. Peter said "the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David" Acts 1:16. Hebrews 3:7 says "as the Holy Spirit says."

Yes, but Isaiah 23:13 says clearly what John 15:3 testifies, namely that there is much folly in the world as Exodus 12:19 promises. Bible Bible Bible without Christian historical context BIBLE BIBLE BIBLE MONSTER GRRRRRR!
You are saying what I am thinking much more eloquently than I ever could.

Refraining from being offensive as I possibly can, I think of it as a Bible machine gun. Firing verses at us, at God, with little to no regard to context. Not that the argument is always wrong, but the methodology leaves something to be desired.



Why would you want to create an "us" and them situation? I am discussing with one person about whether the bible words are living and Holy Spirit inspired. My citations are both in context and relevant. You might be refraining from being offensive <why there's a need to be offensive anyway is beyond me> but you are coming across as hostile.

There are many many references in scripture that show the Holy Spirit has given the words and that the words are inspired of God, too many to post whole chapters and paragraphs one after another. When people aren't short and to the point on forums, it's difficult for others to read a long post. Just because you see the scriptures posted for reference, please don't assume i haven't checked the context of them.

The reason i only quote the verse is because i know i am chatting to experienced Christians on the whole who would know the scriptures and the surrounding context and who don't have to be spoon fed.

I've yet to see a post from you that goes into scripture in any depth so why you would attack mine i have no idea.
If you want to go this way, I can as well.

Are you saying that there is something wrong with me that my posts don't go into scripture in any depth? Let's start here.

First of all, I came from a church that when I would ask questions, all I would do is get a list of Bible verses in return. No consideration of context, nothing. I used to recite verses about healing each morning as if they were magical powers (my spiritual mother and friends recommended that I do so). I used to give the same advice to friends.

For two years I read nothing BUT the Bible (in terms of religious works) because I thought that the authors in my movement were selling a lot of hogwash and I didn't know where to turn. Now, my long-term memory or ANYTHING is pretty poor (which is why my posts generally don't have any factual substance), but believe you me, I read the Bible.

I don't quote verses because like you said, people here are pretty familiar with the verses, even if they cannot identify them right off or don't know which books they came from. I can quote verses in a situation, although I can't place them right off. No, that's not a good thing, but God and I am working on my memory. But I am more interested in what is underneath. And no, I don't comment on scripture because I said multiple times here that I feel like I'm at a place where I don't know enough to speak on the text with real authority. I can pull out verses like the best of you, with a concordance in my left hand, but that's not good enough for me anymore.

So I'm reading, listening, studying. So, if you went through my posts and didn't find me quoting scripture anywhere, that is my explanation.

And yes, I have an admittedly visceral reaction to people just spouting verses all the time. If I may quote Frank Schaeffer, whose views are...well...overly passionate at best and unnecessarily aggressive at worst...he had what I believe was a very good point with this quote from Crazy For God:

The logic of those prayers, if one was reading between the lines, was something like this:

"Dear Heavenly Father, in Your Word You say that when two or three are gathered together, You will be in the midst of them. Well, we're gathered here, so do what we're telling You to do because we have You over a barrel and can quote Your own books back at you! And in case You're thinking of weaseling out of this deal, we claim Your promises, and because You can't break any of those since You wrote it all in the Bible, You'll do what we say, and You'll do it NOW! AMEN!"


That verse hit me so hard because that's been my life for the past years. I want to go deeper now. I will be the first to admit that my understanding of the Bible is quite limited, based on how much I want to know. But that doesn't mean that I have to agree with everyone's method of discussing issues by basing it on an exhaustive list of verses with no explanation or justification. I can do that on Bible Gateway very well.
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« Reply #92 on: October 10, 2011, 12:09:27 PM »

If we remain and continue in Jesus' words we will know the truth and that is a promise John 8:31-32, 2 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 3:7. God reveals Himself and information about Himself: Paul's Gospel came through a revelation of Jesus Christ Galatians 1:12. And many passages tell us that God has spoken the words of Scripture. Old Testament quotations are introduced in the New Testament. Jesus said David was inspired by the Spirit Matthew 22:43. Peter said "the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David" Acts 1:16. Hebrews 3:7 says "as the Holy Spirit says."

Yes, but Isaiah 23:13 says clearly what John 15:3 testifies, namely that there is much folly in the world as Exodus 12:19 promises. Bible Bible Bible without Christian historical context BIBLE BIBLE BIBLE MONSTER GRRRRRR!
You are saying what I am thinking much more eloquently than I ever could.

Refraining from being offensive as I possibly can, I think of it as a Bible machine gun. Firing verses at us, at God, with little to no regard to context. Not that the argument is always wrong, but the methodology leaves something to be desired.



Why would you want to create an "us" and them situation? I am discussing with one person about whether the bible words are living and Holy Spirit inspired. My citations are both in context and relevant. You might be refraining from being offensive <why there's a need to be offensive anyway is beyond me> but you are coming across as hostile.

There are many many references in scripture that show the Holy Spirit has given the words and that the words are inspired of God, too many to post whole chapters and paragraphs one after another. When people aren't short and to the point on forums, it's difficult for others to read a long post. Just because you see the scriptures posted for reference, please don't assume i haven't checked the context of them.

The reason i only quote the verse is because i know i am chatting to experienced Christians on the whole who would know the scriptures and the surrounding context and who don't have to be spoon fed.

I've yet to see a post from you that goes into scripture in any depth so why you would attack mine i have no idea.
If you want to go this way, I can as well.

Are you saying that there is something wrong with me that my posts don't go into scripture in any depth? Let's start here.

First of all, I came from a church that when I would ask questions, all I would do is get a list of Bible verses in return. No consideration of context, nothing. I used to recite verses about healing each morning as if they were magical powers (my spiritual mother and friends recommended that I do so). I used to give the same advice to friends.

For two years I read nothing BUT the Bible (in terms of religious works) because I thought that the authors in my movement were selling a lot of hogwash and I didn't know where to turn. Now, my long-term memory or ANYTHING is pretty poor (which is why my posts generally don't have any factual substance), but believe you me, I read the Bible.

I don't quote verses because like you said, people here are pretty familiar with the verses, even if they cannot identify them right off or don't know which books they came from. I can quote verses in a situation, although I can't place them right off. No, that's not a good thing, but God and I am working on my memory. But I am more interested in what is underneath. And no, I don't comment on scripture because I said multiple times here that I feel like I'm at a place where I don't know enough to speak on the text with real authority. I can pull out verses like the best of you, with a concordance in my left hand, but that's not good enough for me anymore.

So I'm reading, listening, studying. So, if you went through my posts and didn't find me quoting scripture anywhere, that is my explanation.

And yes, I have an admittedly visceral reaction to people just spouting verses all the time. If I may quote Frank Schaeffer, whose views are...well...overly passionate at best and unnecessarily aggressive at worst...he had what I believe was a very good point with this quote from Crazy For God:

The logic of those prayers, if one was reading between the lines, was something like this:

"Dear Heavenly Father, in Your Word You say that when two or three are gathered together, You will be in the midst of them. Well, we're gathered here, so do what we're telling You to do because we have You over a barrel and can quote Your own books back at you! And in case You're thinking of weaseling out of this deal, we claim Your promises, and because You can't break any of those since You wrote it all in the Bible, You'll do what we say, and You'll do it NOW! AMEN!"


That verse hit me so hard because that's been my life for the past years. I want to go deeper now. I will be the first to admit that my understanding of the Bible is quite limited, based on how much I want to know. But that doesn't mean that I have to agree with everyone's method of discussing issues by basing it on an exhaustive list of verses with no explanation or justification. I can do that on Bible Gateway very well.


No, nothing wrong with you at all. I haven't been here long enough to see your posts, that's what i was getting at.

I'm not surprised you dislike verses being rattled off given your explaination and believe me, so do i if they're not meant from the heart or haven't been read thoroughly and read in context. The reason i do it, is because i am so unsure of some of the things i have been taught that i have to make sure the words i say are rooted in the bible and that i'm not believing lies. It's more of a safeguard for me and to make sure i'm not shooting my own mouth off and it not being biblical. The bible is the only thing i have that i trust and as far as i'm concerned, everythng has to line up with it. So i'm not just spouting verses. I mean, i am spouting verses, but i'm not just spouting them, there is prayer and thought behind it, and much sincerity. If you think i have the context wrong then please correct me, i only know what i know and if you know different then i'm open. I'd rather a straight post to me, than being talked about in the way you did. I realise i am in some ways, i'm representitive of a lot of Protestants out there but please don't, i've been mislead by some of them as well.

The reason i pray the way i do, is for the same reason. It's out of humility in recognising that i shouldn't pray outside of the will of God, rather than demanding that God keep his promises. I don't think any of us are in a position to demand anything.

I can really understand the way you feel and why you are so hostile towards things like this because i've pulled away from some Protestants too for very similar reasons as you've said, so please don't judge this book by the cover. I might look a bit Barbara Taylor Bradford but i'm much more Elizabeth Strout once you get into it. *laughing*

Hopefully we can both understand each other a bit better and i do sincerely apologise if i personally came across offensively, it really wasn't my intention IsmiLiora. I will still be posting verses to back up what ii post though *smiles* just think of it as a tick if it helps.

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« Reply #93 on: October 10, 2011, 12:20:43 PM »

Hopefully we can both understand each other a bit better and i do sincerely apologise if i personally came across offensively, it really wasn't my intention IsmiLiora. I will still be posting verses to back up what ii post though *smiles* just think of it as a tick if it helps.


No worries and I look forward to your posts here.

I am still dealing with a lot of anger issues towards my past. Mr. Ismi tells me to calm down a lot with it, but I practically hyperventilate when I hear some prayers or particular verses used, since it was used like a weapon against me or my lifestyle. I hope that my explanation helped and I appreciated you providing one as well.
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« Reply #94 on: October 10, 2011, 12:46:22 PM »

Hopefully we can both understand each other a bit better and i do sincerely apologise if i personally came across offensively, it really wasn't my intention IsmiLiora. I will still be posting verses to back up what ii post though *smiles* just think of it as a tick if it helps.


No worries and I look forward to your posts here.

I am still dealing with a lot of anger issues towards my past. Mr. Ismi tells me to calm down a lot with it, but I practically hyperventilate when I hear some prayers or particular verses used, since it was used like a weapon against me or my lifestyle. I hope that my explanation helped and I appreciated you providing one as well.

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« Reply #95 on: October 10, 2011, 11:52:59 PM »

This is an interesting question. Those of us who's parents and grandparents came from the Old Country probably know that the old folks never read Bibles and probably were only familiar with the Epistle and Gospel readings in church.  This was common both among ethnic Orthodox and even Catholics. Some years ago we had an Orthodox bible study group on post led by the chaplain who was sort of evangelical leaning and into prophesy. Then I went to an RC bible study which used books that were protestant and the group leaders used to stop speaking if a priest entered the room for something or came by and said "they have no business here."  no two bible study groups are ever the same.
I don't think we ever answered the question of WHY we may not read the Bible as voraciously as our Protestant neighbors if we believe that (Eastern) Orthodox Christianity is so Biblical.

Maybe since the Protestant church doesnt have one "official" teaching on scripture (other than its the ONLY authority) more people read and study in order to decide what they believe about what the scripture is saying.  I hear so many people say "well this is what this passage means to me..." While they certainly dont have bad intentions, this can be  a dangerous thing.  This is, i guess, how you get "sola imagination."

We should obviously study and know scripture, but maybe doing this too much outside the church may not be as good of an idea as it might seem.  People doing too much of this on their own is how so many different ideas came about.  Thats why I think a tool like the Orthodox Study Bible is helpful.  If you arent a fan of that, which I know some people arent, then maybe some other Orthodox commentary should be available to you.
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« Reply #96 on: October 11, 2011, 05:02:47 AM »

This is an interesting question. Those of us who's parents and grandparents came from the Old Country probably know that the old folks never read Bibles and probably were only familiar with the Epistle and Gospel readings in church.  This was common both among ethnic Orthodox and even Catholics. Some years ago we had an Orthodox bible study group on post led by the chaplain who was sort of evangelical leaning and into prophesy. Then I went to an RC bible study which used books that were protestant and the group leaders used to stop speaking if a priest entered the room for something or came by and said "they have no business here."  no two bible study groups are ever the same.
I don't think we ever answered the question of WHY we may not read the Bible as voraciously as our Protestant neighbors if we believe that (Eastern) Orthodox Christianity is so Biblical.

Maybe since the Protestant church doesnt have one "official" teaching on scripture (other than its the ONLY authority) more people read and study in order to decide what they believe about what the scripture is saying.  I hear so many people say "well this is what this passage means to me..." While they certainly dont have bad intentions, this can be  a dangerous thing.  This is, i guess, how you get "sola imagination."

We should obviously study and know scripture, but maybe doing this too much outside the church may not be as good of an idea as it might seem.  People doing too much of this on their own is how so many different ideas came about.  Thats why I think a tool like the Orthodox Study Bible is helpful.  If you arent a fan of that, which I know some people arent, then maybe some other Orthodox commentary should be available to you.

Timon, what do you mean by this phrase? I realise it's to do with authority, but whose?
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« Reply #97 on: October 11, 2011, 10:04:33 AM »

This is an interesting question. Those of us who's parents and grandparents came from the Old Country probably know that the old folks never read Bibles and probably were only familiar with the Epistle and Gospel readings in church.  This was common both among ethnic Orthodox and even Catholics. Some years ago we had an Orthodox bible study group on post led by the chaplain who was sort of evangelical leaning and into prophesy. Then I went to an RC bible study which used books that were protestant and the group leaders used to stop speaking if a priest entered the room for something or came by and said "they have no business here."  no two bible study groups are ever the same.
I don't think we ever answered the question of WHY we may not read the Bible as voraciously as our Protestant neighbors if we believe that (Eastern) Orthodox Christianity is so Biblical.

Maybe since the Protestant church doesnt have one "official" teaching on scripture (other than its the ONLY authority) more people read and study in order to decide what they believe about what the scripture is saying.  I hear so many people say "well this is what this passage means to me..." While they certainly dont have bad intentions, this can be  a dangerous thing.  This is, i guess, how you get "sola imagination."

We should obviously study and know scripture, but maybe doing this too much outside the church may not be as good of an idea as it might seem.  People doing too much of this on their own is how so many different ideas came about.  Thats why I think a tool like the Orthodox Study Bible is helpful.  If you arent a fan of that, which I know some people arent, then maybe some other Orthodox commentary should be available to you.

Timon, what do you mean by this phrase? I realise it's to do with authority, but whose?

I meant without the guidance and Tradition of the Church.  It was just a thought I tossed out there.  Certainly not trying to act like I know thats the answer to the question.
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« Reply #98 on: October 11, 2011, 01:00:32 PM »

There's a thread on here somewhere concerning the proper exegesis of the passage where Jesus tells the people to obey those who sit in the seat of Moses and do as they say but not as they do.

One person argues that this passage is proof of sola scriptura and that Jesus was telling the people not to obey the religious authorities placed over them ond to disregard their traditional teachings. That everyone should personally decide whether or not a command, tradition, or teaching should be followed by using nothing but scripture.

A number of people read the text to say just the opposite.

Both sides of the discussion use the same passage to prove their point.

This is why sola scriptura doesn't work.
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« Reply #99 on: October 11, 2011, 02:24:42 PM »

There's a thread on here somewhere concerning the proper exegesis of the passage where Jesus tells the people to obey those who sit in the seat of Moses and do as they say but not as they do.

One person argues that this passage is proof of sola scriptura and that Jesus was telling the people not to obey the religious authorities placed over them ond to disregard their traditional teachings. That everyone should personally decide whether or not a command, tradition, or teaching should be followed by using nothing but scripture.

A number of people read the text to say just the opposite.

Both sides of the discussion use the same passage to prove their point.

This is why sola scriptura doesn't work.
Sola scriptura doesn't work if you are outsider looking in, trying to decide who is correct.

But, if you're an insider, who already has made a decision, sola scriptura works just fine. Shocked
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« Reply #100 on: October 15, 2011, 07:31:16 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...
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« Reply #101 on: October 15, 2011, 08:44:17 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...

For me the greatest benefit of bible studies is having our priest interpret the scripture for us in light of Holy Tradition; i.e. demonstrate for us the proper context and understanding of them.
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« Reply #102 on: October 15, 2011, 10:05:52 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...

Well said
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« Reply #103 on: October 15, 2011, 10:15:11 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...

Just my opinion- I wonder if many people aren't intimidated by the sheer length and complexity of the Bible. They look at it and it's over a thousand pages long. Of course, it is divided into shorter books, but it still looks large on a bookshelf. Maybe this will change with the rising popularity of e-books and audiobooks. I've been using an audio Bible, and it helps.
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« Reply #104 on: October 15, 2011, 10:56:49 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...

Just my opinion- I wonder if many people aren't intimidated by the sheer length and complexity of the Bible. They look at it and it's over a thousand pages long. Of course, it is divided into shorter books, but it still looks large on a bookshelf. Maybe this will change with the rising popularity of e-books and audiobooks. I've been using an audio Bible, and it helps.

I don't think people find the length daunting. If anything they may be intimidated by the level of justifiable reverence for it, and are afraid that they might not "get it". If one person's weakness is their overconfidence, it may be the shortcoming of others to lack realistic confidence.
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« Reply #105 on: October 16, 2011, 02:51:59 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...
I fully agree with what you're saying. However, that shouldn't rule out an "Old Testament Survey" or "Biblical History" or some such study that helps to connect the dots. It wouldn't hurt either to study the biographies of some persons such as Moses or David since they and their works figure so highly in our liturgical services.
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« Reply #106 on: October 16, 2011, 05:34:33 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...

Study can be a daily thing when people are engrossed in a book that is as profoundly interesting as the bible. It's not that you sit down and have a time to study, though that's part of it but study in that you are thinking through scripture, chewing it over and going back to the bible and commentaries for reference. This can happen along side living out your faith in the life of the church.
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« Reply #107 on: October 16, 2011, 05:49:38 PM »

I don't think we ever answered the question of WHY we may not read the Bible as voraciously as our Protestant neighbors if we believe that (Eastern) Orthodox Christianity is so Biblical.

I think the question is why we DO not read the Bible as voraciously as opposed as why we MAY.  We have permission, we just don't do it for some reason.

If Orthodoxy has a lot of other books and traditions that it includes in its teaching then scripture from the bible wouldn't seem as important. The bible is all we have and it's all we need because it's the living word of God.

I'd like to remind that this section of the board is dedicated to discussing the Orthodox Christian Faith from the Orthodox Christian POV. Members of other religious communities are allowed to ask questions and rectify misunderstandings on their religious communities but are not allowed to criticise teachings and practises of the Orthodox Church or advocate for teachings and practises of their religious communities. There are other sections of the forum (Orthodox -Other Christian section and its subsections, Religious Topics or Private Fora) for such things.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 05:51:13 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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« Reply #108 on: October 16, 2011, 06:24:14 PM »

Apologies all, if that came across as critical, that wasn't my intention just the clumsy way i put it. All i meant was that rightly or wrongly, Protestants rely solely on one book, the bible. While Orthodoxy has many rich resources to get spiritual teaching from so you're not as narrowly focused on just the one book but study fervently across all the sources of inspired Holy words that you have.

I hope that's helped to clarify either that or i've just dug myself further into a hole.
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« Reply #109 on: October 16, 2011, 06:32:29 PM »

Apologies all, if that came across as critical, that wasn't my intention just the clumsy way i put it. All i meant was that rightly or wrongly, Protestants rely solely on one book, the bible. While Orthodoxy has many rich resources to get spiritual teaching from so you're not as narrowly focused on just the one book but study fervently across all the sources of inspired Holy words that you have.

I hope that's helped to clarify either that or i've just dug myself further into a hole.
Are you trying to correct a stated misunderstanding of your apparently Protestant faith, or does your apologetic on this thread go beyond that? That's the real issue here.

(This is more of a rhetorical question, so I'm not really expecting an answer.)
« Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 06:33:08 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #110 on: October 16, 2011, 06:50:19 PM »

Apologies all, if that came across as critical, that wasn't my intention just the clumsy way i put it. All i meant was that rightly or wrongly, Protestants rely solely on one book, the bible. While Orthodoxy has many rich resources to get spiritual teaching from so you're not as narrowly focused on just the one book but study fervently across all the sources of inspired Holy words that you have.

I hope that's helped to clarify either that or i've just dug myself further into a hole.
Are you trying to correct a stated misunderstanding of your apparently Protestant faith, or does your apologetic on this thread go beyond that? That's the real issue here.

(This is more of a rhetorical question, so I'm not really expecting an answer.)

Even though you're not expecting an answer, i'm always willing to go the extra mile.

While i'm undecided as to whether my "apparently Protestant faith" needs correcting at this time, as i'm still struggling through the Saints issue right now, though i do remain open to God's correction on the matter. I was apologising for the clumsy way i put the paragraph that caused the 'reminder'. I hope that's cleared up the "real issue" for you.
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