Author Topic: A non-polemical discussion  (Read 1499 times)

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Offline Jack Bauer

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A non-polemical discussion
« on: November 30, 2011, 11:33:46 PM »
I would like to know what kind of "turmoil" goes on withing Orthodox Christian circles - dissent and all.  This is not a thread for detraction.  I am researching for my own faith trying to wade through the smoke screen I feel caught in and would like peaceful, non-insulting replies.  If someone insults me I'll simply report it because I do believe everyone should be treated with respect.  I love the Orthodox Church and would have converted most likely had my wife not thrown a fit about it.  After a lifetime of Protestantism discovering, I'll say this to keep the peace, more truth, she felt Catholicism was right and her rational for not wanting to even look at Orthodoxy bothered me, but for the family's sake I chose to stay put and study from there.  I'm not convinced either "Roman" Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy are right without the other, but I do believe somewhere in here is truth.  Can truth be discerned without actually being part of the hierarchy, I'm not sure. 

I do know that in spite all the flack Catholics receive from Orthodox there is a whole lot of difference between Roman Catholicism than there is between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.  Frankly, I don't trust what most priests and bishops say about the faith now after a lifetime of lies uncovered in recent years.  Issues like Bishop of Rome Primacy, filioque, are not really as troubling as attitudes.  I would be fine eliminating the filioque, but don't know if its absolutely known to be right or wrong.  I'm being honest.  I've heard the arguments and haven't been convinced either way.  I believe people are far more uncharitable and self-serving to their cause, not being truth, but their own truth being propogated as better.  I see this from both sides not always being Catholic. 

The primacy of the bishop of Rome issue I believe/suspect is overplayed from both sides.  HOwever, I can see how after a lovers quarrel followed by a divorce could build animosity and then take a more opposositional view, even if it's overplayed.  No, i don't trust people after a lifetime of indoctrinated lies.  I questions now and some things I see as imprudent more than not true.  For example.  I see it plausable that there is/was/or should be respect for the "first of many"/"bishop of Rome".  But I can say for sure that it should have been imposed or elevated or whatever we believe actually happened.  In fact, it makes sense to have a first of many considering the idea conveyed by Christ in Matthew 23, with the Chair of Moses analogy.  But, truly, I've never actually seen the "Pope" say or make anyone do anything that other bishops don't believe themselves unless they've entered a sort of dissent posture.  Hope I'm making sense. 

I would have tried to find a different thread on this, but I believe I have a unique way of putting things and knowledgeable Christians need only apply ;).  I came out of a fundamentalist faith, but a defaulted, cultural Catholic father, later quite Traditional.  I'm inclined towards the TLM and what is viewed as Traditional Catholicism.  I do not believe its okay to blindly support the clergy, having been abused while attending the seminary and then my case buried for decades [thus my lack of trust for clergy/elders].  I left the Catholic Church, totally ignorant of the Eastern Orthodox Church, which I assume is the Orthodox Catholic Church?  Please correct my misconceptions, I'm sure i have them embedded from all the Catholic and Protestant indoctrination.  No offense to my fellow Catholics intended.  I'm here to learn and mainly to understand and discern. 

Devotions I love:  Jesus Prayer, something I've done all my life not realizing it until I learned about it in the context of Eastern Orthodox Church.  Many of you know that if you post "the wrong words" on Catholic Answers Forum the moderators snip and clip.  I hope this site doesn't act quite that uncharitable.  When I first discovered the early Church Fathers, I was floored and began conversations with several priests online.  Unfortunately, most of them were not very kind to me and probably didn't realize my ignorance level even in the Catholic faith.  We were from the Alexander Campbell and Stone movement, that I later discovered broke further into Christian Church and Church of Christ.  We were Church of Christ.  WE have a huge family full of preachers, deacons and elders.  I was going to be a preacher at one point, but my wife resisted.
“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

Offline witega

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Re: A non-polemical discussion
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2011, 12:52:25 AM »
Honestly not sure what you intend this thread to be about, but to the extent that it turned into a self-introduction welcome to the forum. I was also raised in the Campbell-Stone Church of Christ (father is an elder, maternal grandfather was a preacher and missionary, attended ACU where I was briefly a Bible major before realizing that was one of my worse ideas) before converting to Orthodoxy over 20 years ago.
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For it were better to suffer everything, rather than divide the Church of God. Even martyrdom for the sake of preventing division would not be less glorious than for refusing to worship idols. - St. Dionysius the Great

Offline Jack Bauer

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Re: A non-polemical discussion
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2011, 02:51:36 AM »
First, thanks to the moderator that moved me to the correct location.  Obviously I didn't notice the Orthodox - Catholic discussion section.  :-[

Anyway, my intention is to pull out of the pages of history, using the ancient church fathers and such to see the real difference between RCC and OC. 

[Back to center]
I'm Catholic and own up to it.  I'm not trying to be in dissent, or to slander/else, in the Catholic Church.  I'm obedient.  But one can not learn or understand their position if they never ask questions or if when they ask the clergy never give a valid answer.  So, for simplification on this thread [and I have many questions that will ultimately be revealed while learning more about Orthodoxy].  So here's my first question:

1) Can someone take me by the hand and walk to to the location of evidence where the primacy issue is settled, so to speak, from the Orthodox perspective. 

[slight diversion]
I'd like to be provided the correct terminology for referring to the OC so that I can avoid offending anyone and save embarrassment down the line.  I've suspected for many years that things are not being said that ought to be said in Catholic circles.  Let me give an example of what I mean....

When I finally started practicing Catholicism in my youth I accepted blindly everything I was told.  One of the issues I recall being said is that priests can not marry... but it was taught that priests can not be married and have family.  Catholics will know what I mean here.  I recall arguing with Protestants the rationale for priests not being married, all the while ignorant of the married Catholic priests.  While stationed at Ft. Sill in 1988 I read an article dealing with the "Eastern Catholics in communion with Rome." [note:  just trying not to step on toes because I know OC have issues with usages just as Catholic Answers has prohibited the use of the term "Orthodox Catholic Church," meaning what we call the "Eastern Orthodox Church"] 

Well, when I discovered the truth about the teaching it was a discipline, a term I didn't realize meant that married men could in fact be allowed to the priesthood.  After what I said earlier with my experience with a poorly formed priest who is now married and has lost his faculties, I was bent on believing that the Church needed these married men as priests to help heal the ranks of overly confused Catholics, mainly me.  I saw a lot of sexual, liturgical, teaching, etc. abuse in the 70s and 80s.  The stories are way too plentiful for an organization that claims infallibility [with a touch of holiness :D.]  I do believe in infallibility, but the limits of it are another topic I think would be best set aside for this particular discussion so that I can deal with only this one for now.  We can start a another discussion or merge the infallibility question in with this one should it require more attention.  I'm just trying to make things easy for my little brain until I begin to understand better.  Then you can bombard me later as my mind wraps around what is being said.  Hope that clarifies my intentions as well as my question.  It doesn't make sense to convert to something I know little about.  It may even be advisable for me to stay where I am, even though I'm more attracted to what I see in the Orthodox Church.  The cultural difference make me feel uneasy though since my background is different.  Time.
“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

Offline Jack Bauer

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Re: A non-polemical discussion
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2011, 01:41:41 PM »
Well, I believe no one will reply, probably because of what I'm slowly discovering.  Initially I didn't notice this subsection of other faiths and many of the topics I have are nested within.  I'll probably just read and participate as opportunity presents itself.  So no need to reply to this particular thread now.  I'm sure the moderator can remove it to eliminate the confusion.  Sorry for the bother :-[.
“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: A non-polemical discussion
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2011, 03:23:02 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Jack Bower!

I am hoping you will enjoy it.  There are many knowledgeable folks participating.

Don't worry, nobody is going to cut and snip away your posts, and nobody will delete anything you post/write.

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
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