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Author Topic: Orthodox understanding of Grace  (Read 3148 times) Average Rating: 0
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FatherGiryus
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« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2012, 12:43:32 PM »

Religion is necessary to introduce people to spirituality: you were not 'born' a Protestant, someone introduced you to its precepts.  That's religion.

Religion is a means of communicating from one person to the next the spiritual experience.  Traditions are 'proven' concepts by which the individual can compare and contrast his own experiences to see whether he is on the right track or off.  It is all very simple.

I use this analogy: a toy (spirituality) comes in a box (religion).  The box explains what the toy looks like, has pictures of kids having fun with it, perhaps some assembly instructions.  The box also allows the toy to be safely shipped, thus helps its distribution.  However, in my house, we have an odd phenomenon: after opening the box and getting the toy out, the kids spend more time with the box.  It is in large part because their first moments of anticipation for the toy were answered by removed the birthday wrappers and seeing the box.  So, they spend more time making the boxes race each other and talk nonsense than they do with the toy up until I take the boxes out to the bin.

People fall in love with religion: it is beautiful and comforting because it is solid.  A relationship with God is filled with uncertainty and is very fluid.  It is subject to our changing moods and attitudes.  Religion is easier, which is why we have it to fall back on when we go through trying spiritual times.  But, we must move beyond it.

Orthodoxy is a rich religion because it has a rich spiritual heritage: it has lasted untold persecutions and transformed the lives of countless people.  It is a difficult religion in large part because growing out of one's selfishness is very difficult.  Counselors and psychologists can tell you plenty about that, and their work is even harder because it relies solely on the broken will of a broken person.  At least we have hope that God can help us.

God's grace, His energy, His mercy... however you want to call it, is something that is always present but we usually do not take the time to receive.  The Holy Mysteries are His commandments for us to take the time to receive if we do indeed follow Him.  There are intrusive structures, like the calendar and cycles of worship, which are designed to get us to stop and pay attention to Him for our own good.  Otherwise, we can design God right out of our lives.

We need help to pay attention.  Religion is that help.  Left to our own devices, all we would do is daydream.


All of the 'tradition stuff', 'liturgical worship stuff', 'historical art forms' rituals, set prayers etc.. as you put it.. are all religious activities....they are the exact things that hinder people from seeing the truth of Christ.. Its simply idolatry. They are traditions of men. Not traditions of God. These ritualistic, or religious, vain, activities - I hate. And, as far as the bible is concerned, Christ hates also. Whats worse is they are practiced in His name.

These listed above, also hinder us as Christians from being set apart from false religions such as islam, hinduism, scientology, JW's and any others you can think of.

People in the world can't pick the difference. And thats because there is none..

Christ is Truth. He does not need these things mentioned above. Much to your disagreement I'm sure, but thats truth. Nothing can change that.
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« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2012, 12:54:31 PM »

BIBLE AS THE WORD OF GOD, VERSUS JESUS AS THE ETERNAL WORD OF GOD BORN IN THE FLESH.....
"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience." police
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« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2012, 12:55:49 PM »

Father Giryus says it best. Pay attention to his post, OP.
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« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2012, 12:57:06 PM »

The other thing that bothered me with that poem is that he stated more time/money is spent building Churches than feeding the poor.

The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philopticos Society (along with other Christian charities) have done plenty of good works throughout the years in the name of Christ.

On the surface, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army may look strikingly similar. However, you ask any American Serviceman, and he/she will tell you they don't support the Red Cross.

From small things like charging for coffee and donuts in a war zone, to big things, like preventing a serviceman from going home to bury his father, they have not been kind to them.
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« Reply #49 on: January 12, 2012, 01:06:28 PM »

BIBLE AS THE WORD OF GOD, VERSUS JESUS AS THE ETERNAL WORD OF GOD BORN IN THE FLESH.....
"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience." police
Who said this? Can you give us a link within the next 72 hours?
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« Reply #50 on: January 12, 2012, 01:08:20 PM »

The other thing that bothered me with that poem is that he stated more time/money is spent building Churches than feeding the poor.

The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philopticos Society (along with other Christian charities) have done plenty of good works throughout the years in the name of Christ.

On the surface, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army may look strikingly similar. However, you ask any American Serviceman, and he/she will tell you they don't support the Red Cross.

From small things like charging for coffee and donuts in a war zone, to big things, like preventing a serviceman from going home to bury his father, they have not been kind to them.

Are you talking about the American Red Cross or the International Red Cross? They're not the same organization.
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« Reply #51 on: January 12, 2012, 01:14:11 PM »

The other thing that bothered me with that poem is that he stated more time/money is spent building Churches than feeding the poor.

The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philopticos Society (along with other Christian charities) have done plenty of good works throughout the years in the name of Christ.

On the surface, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army may look strikingly similar. However, you ask any American Serviceman, and he/she will tell you they don't support the Red Cross.

From small things like charging for coffee and donuts in a war zone, to big things, like preventing a serviceman from going home to bury his father, they have not been kind to them.

Are you talking about the American Red Cross or the International Red Cross? They're not the same organization.

Anytime I've heard a story from a Serviceman, they've just referred to it as "The Red Cross."

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« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2012, 01:54:33 PM »

On the surface, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army may look strikingly similar. However, you ask any American Serviceman, and he/she will tell you they don't support the Red Cross.
How many servicemen have you asked?
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« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2012, 02:00:27 PM »

On the surface, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army may look strikingly similar. However, you ask any American Serviceman, and he/she will tell you they don't support the Red Cross.
How many servicemen have you asked?

Seriously PetertheAleut? You want to derail the conversation with this? This, this, pettiness?!

I haven't kept a tally on the back of my headboard, but it's been a pretty fair number. I wasn't trying to do an interview for "20/20", it's just been through conversations I've had over the years.
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« Reply #54 on: January 12, 2012, 02:13:25 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

All of the 'tradition stuff', 'liturgical worship stuff', 'historical art forms' rituals, set prayers etc.. as you put it.. are all religious activities....they are the exact things that hinder people from seeing the truth of Christ.. Its simply idolatry. They are traditions of men. Not traditions of God. These ritualistic, or religious, vain, activities - I hate. And, as far as the bible is concerned, Christ hates also. Whats worse is they are practiced in His name.

These listed above, also hinder us as Christians from being set apart from false religions such as islam, hinduism, scientology, JW's and any others you can think of.


Wow.  Good luck with that hate Wink

In the Orthodox Church, liturgical worship and prayer bring is CLOSER to Christ, and we pray He brings you closer to Him as well.  Worship is a process of Synergy, which is "working together" with God, and of course is a completely Scriptural concept, just look at Mark 16:20

Quote
And 1161 they 1565 went forth 1831 , and preached 2784 every where 3837, the Lord 2962 working with 4903 [them], and 2532 confirming 950 the word 3056 with 1223 signs 4592 following 1872 . Amen 281.
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Mar&c=16&v=1&t=KJV#comm/20

Those are Strong's Concordance references, and what is the Greek term used for "working with them"

Quote
4903 συνεργέω synergeō  from Syn (together) and Ergon (an act, to deed, a thing done)

The liturgical worship is synergy with God, we act together with God in prayer, through the Divine Mysteries, by receiving His Holy Communion.  I am sorry you misunderstand us, but we are completely Scriptural.

Apostle Peter forewarned us long ago to be wary of folks who twist and distort the Scriptures away from their meanings within the Church who gave them birth,

Quote
His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.

We receive our teaching from two thousand years of continuous history and the foundation of the very authors and early translators and transmitters of the Bible, the question my friend who is it that you get your interpretations from?

I pray for you, me, and us all.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #55 on: January 12, 2012, 02:23:43 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

BIBLE AS THE WORD OF GOD, VERSUS JESUS AS THE ETERNAL WORD OF GOD BORN IN THE FLESH.....
"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience." police

What I like about this is it draws upon the rich theological imagery which is the very foundation of the purpose of the Scriptures in the first place.  We live in a highly literate era, and so we come to think of the Scriptures as writing, as written words, but that is not what they have commonly been for a good deal of Biblical history. Even since they were written down, the most common mode of transmission has been oral, with priests and clerics reading the Word of God to the people who can't.  The very sacredness of the Scriptures is not in their having been written down, or in the writing itself, but that these words are communicated by men of God.  The Prophets and Apostles who said and recorded these sacred words were those who by the Holy Spirit were as Saint Severus rightfully describes were "God-Clad" and speaking in the consecration of the Holy Spirit. It is the people who were sacred, not the vocabulary.  When we read their words, we are communicating again directly with the speakers, and it is the speakers who remain sacred, and the words are only sacred by proxy.  This is how the Bible is the Word of God, because it was spoken through the Prophets and Apostles who are the living Body of Christ.  The words are not sacred, the people are.

We in the Church continue a communion of the Saints, the Church Militant and Triumphant is one Body, and as such we remain connected with the Apostles and Prophets, the sacred people, and we are consecrated by our relationship with them and their relationship with us, and in this way the Bible is then more of our family photograph album then a history book, in that it documents all of the events which bond and connect us as the family of Saints, as the Body of Christ. 
stay blessed,
habte selasie
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« Reply #56 on: January 12, 2012, 04:18:00 PM »

BIBLE AS THE WORD OF GOD, VERSUS JESUS AS THE ETERNAL WORD OF GOD BORN IN THE FLESH.....
"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience." police
Who said this? Can you give us a link within the next 72 hours?

It was Posted On one of the Forums ,a while Back and i saved it, in word pad... i Liked It.When I first read It, here somewhere, It  cleared up a lot for me about Holy Scripture and it's place....... police
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 04:22:13 PM by stashko » Logged

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« Reply #57 on: January 12, 2012, 04:37:10 PM »

BIBLE AS THE WORD OF GOD, VERSUS JESUS AS THE ETERNAL WORD OF GOD BORN IN THE FLESH.....
"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience." police
Who said this? Can you give us a link within the next 72 hours?

It was Posted On one of the Forums ,a while Back and i saved it, in word pad... i Liked It.When I first read It, here somewhere, It  cleared up a lot for me about Holy Scripture and it's place....... police
Even so, we still need a link to the Web page where it was originally posted. Thank you.
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« Reply #58 on: January 12, 2012, 05:01:13 PM »

BIBLE AS THE WORD OF GOD, VERSUS JESUS AS THE ETERNAL WORD OF GOD BORN IN THE FLESH.....
"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience." police
Who said this? Can you give us a link within the next 72 hours?

It was Posted On one of the Forums ,a while Back and i saved it, in word pad... i Liked It.When I first read It, here somewhere, It  cleared up a lot for me about Holy Scripture and it's place....... police
Even so, we still need a link to the Web page where it was originally posted. Thank you.
Peter ...
Our Most Beloved Earthly Guardian Angel ,On this Forum ,Fr .Ambrose Aka Irish Hermit came to my Rescue by P.M.ing the link ....God Be Praised in His Heavenly and Earthly Saints....Link ....http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/tca_carltonrome.aspx
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 05:13:12 PM by stashko » Logged

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« Reply #59 on: January 12, 2012, 05:39:15 PM »

There are a few more points I'd like to address in this post.

First, we don't often talk about 'attaining grace.'  No one really thinks of grace as a substance which God doles out.  It is more of a verb, how God helps us.  For example, if you have Holy Water, you do not have 'God-grace' in a bottle.  What it is really is physical manifestation of God's eternal presence.  We use it asking for His intervention, not apart from it.  Thus, the blessed water represents a union between the divine and the material, the unseen and the seen.

It is, therefore, central to the Orthodox view that we do not necessarily want 'grace,' but rather we want God Himself.  It is not God's grace that dwells within us apart from Him, but that He dwells within us through His uncreated energies.

This is where you need to have long look at the Old Testament to understand where we are coming from.  Grace is not as much a topic as is His presence is.

So, you probably won't find a satisfactory answer to your question because we don't think in these types of categories.

We are not trying to attain grace, but we are trying to become consciously in contact with God.  That contact transforms us, through grace if you will, but it in not necessarily a thing that we look for apart from this experience of God.

Does this help?


Hi, I'd like to understand the orthodox view of the grace of God. As far as I know, and I'm not certain, so I look for correction if I am in error, but according to orthodoxy, grace is something that we can attain through the church, and in partaking of the sacraments? Is this correct? If so, are these the only ways to attain Grace? Or are there more ways? i.e Icons, fastings etc etc?

Do orthodox understand Grace as the Holy Spirit being available through certain avenues? That might be an easier way to ask the question..

I've also read on another orthodox website that the grace of God is described as the 'very energies' of God. Is this also correct?   

And finally, what is the result of the grace of God that is given to us or is available to us?

Again, I apologise for not being sure here - but I would love to understand your view better.

Thanks.
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« Reply #60 on: January 12, 2012, 05:43:11 PM »

All of the 'tradition stuff', 'liturgical worship stuff', 'historical art forms' rituals, set prayers etc.. as you put it.. are all religious activities....they are the exact things that hinder people from seeing the truth of Christ.. Its simply idolatry. They are traditions of men. Not traditions of God. These ritualistic, or religious, vain, activities - I hate. And, as far as the bible is concerned, Christ hates also. Whats worse is they are practiced in His name.

These listed above, also hinder us as Christians from being set apart from false religions such as islam, hinduism, scientology, JW's and any others you can think of.

People in the world can't pick the difference. And thats because there is none..

Christ is Truth. He does not need these things mentioned above. Much to your disagreement I'm sure, but thats truth. Nothing can change that.

Glad you cleared that up for us.  Wink
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« Reply #61 on: January 12, 2012, 09:43:10 PM »

Hi all,

Sorry, I've just returned from a few days away, so I haven't posted on here yet.

Before I go any further, I thought I'd share this with you all.

Hope you like it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1IAhDGYlpqY

Here is one Orthodox response I've seen to this video.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 09:43:33 PM by Melodist » Logged

And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God
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« Reply #62 on: January 13, 2012, 01:24:15 AM »

BIBLE AS THE WORD OF GOD, VERSUS JESUS AS THE ETERNAL WORD OF GOD BORN IN THE FLESH.....
"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience." police
Who said this? Can you give us a link within the next 72 hours?

It was Posted On one of the Forums ,a while Back and i saved it, in word pad... i Liked It.When I first read It, here somewhere, It  cleared up a lot for me about Holy Scripture and it's place....... police
Even so, we still need a link to the Web page where it was originally posted. Thank you.
Peter ...
Our Most Beloved Earthly Guardian Angel ,On this Forum ,Fr .Ambrose Aka Irish Hermit came to my Rescue by P.M.ing the link ....God Be Praised in His Heavenly and Earthly Saints....Link ....http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/tca_carltonrome.aspx
Thank you. Smiley
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