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Author Topic: The Orthodox and Other Churches  (Read 418 times) Average Rating: 0
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ironchapman
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« on: December 12, 2011, 04:51:24 AM »

Here's something that I'd like to get an answer to.

I am surrounded by people from all sorts of churches. The professor I work under is a devout Catholic (and I frequently seek advice from him on all sorts of issues, academic or otherwise), my parents are Methodist, one of my fellow graduate assistants is a rather devout Baptist, and I have a friend who is another devout Catholic.

Furthermore, I have great admiration for people like C.S. Lewis (an Anglican) and Billy Graham (a Baptist). I also like a lot of John Wesley's teachings.

I suppose my question is that, were I to become Orthodox, how should I end up viewing people who are Christian, but not Orthodox? I recognize that there would be doctrinal differences among us to say the least that would prevent me, as a prospective Orthodox, from viewing them on the same level as an Orthodox, but at the same time, I can see that these are individuals who are/were people of deep faith and devotion to God, even if they had some errors in their beliefs.

I don't mean to be an ecumenist who would accept everyone regardless of what their church believes, but I do see that we do believe at least some of the same things. Furthermore, we certainly have a lot more in common than we do with atheists or people of other religions.

I know the Catholic church has a teaching that all churches have some truth, but the Catholic church has the fullness of truth. Is there anything similar in the Orthodox church?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 04:53:04 AM by ironchapman » Logged

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." --Bertrand Russell
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2011, 07:58:56 AM »

Here's something that I'd like to get an answer to.

I am surrounded by people from all sorts of churches. The professor I work under is a devout Catholic (and I frequently seek advice from him on all sorts of issues, academic or otherwise), my parents are Methodist, one of my fellow graduate assistants is a rather devout Baptist, and I have a friend who is another devout Catholic.

Furthermore, I have great admiration for people like C.S. Lewis (an Anglican) and Billy Graham (a Baptist). I also like a lot of John Wesley's teachings.

I suppose my question is that, were I to become Orthodox, how should I end up viewing people who are Christian, but not Orthodox? I recognize that there would be doctrinal differences among us to say the least that would prevent me, as a prospective Orthodox, from viewing them on the same level as an Orthodox, but at the same time, I can see that these are individuals who are/were people of deep faith and devotion to God, even if they had some errors in their beliefs.

I don't mean to be an ecumenist who would accept everyone regardless of what their church believes, but I do see that we do believe at least some of the same things. Furthermore, we certainly have a lot more in common than we do with atheists or people of other religions.

I know the Catholic church has a teaching that all churches have some truth, but the Catholic church has the fullness of truth. Is there anything similar in the Orthodox church?

I think you should view them as human beings and Icons of God. 
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jah777
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2011, 08:46:32 AM »

Recently I was reading again the small book by St. Theophan the Recluse entitled "Preaching Another Christ": An Orthodox View of Evangelicalism.  This book is excellent and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to develop a proper attitude towards non-Orthodox Christianity.  This book is essentially a lengthy letter written to someone who was raised in the Orthodox Church but then came under the influence of an evangelical preacher who seemed to have many good qualities.  According to this Orthodox person, this preacher spoke about repentance and the saving work of Christ, and in general was always speaking of Jesus and basing what  he said on the Scriptures.  The preacher had gatherings in his home, travelled around preaching, and attracted large crowds.  He was obviously influencing a lot of people and he also was considered to be very kind with many positive personal qualities.  St. Theophan does a very wonderful job responding to the claims, assertions, and questions posed to him by the Orthodox person who began following this Evangelical preacher.  The book can be obtained at the link below and is a fairly broad treatment of the subject:

http://www.light-n-life.com/shopping/order_product.asp?ProductNum=PREA107
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2011, 11:27:49 AM »

Its rarely a big deal in America. Your  situation sounds like you are  dealing with people who are supportive of your faith, are basically sincere Christians & a couple may even become Orthodox by observing your witness over time.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 11:30:08 AM by recent convert » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2011, 11:50:29 AM »

We know where the Holy Spirit is, but not where it isn't. If they profess Christ, I say more power to them. I just hope they come to the fullness of the faith Smiley

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"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker
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