Author Topic: "Fullness of the faith"  (Read 1581 times)

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Offline Sleeper

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"Fullness of the faith"
« on: January 07, 2012, 12:08:40 AM »
I hear this phrase a lot, particularly in convert circles, and it seems a bit vague to me. I'm curious, those of you that describe Orthodoxy this way, what does the phrase mean to you?

Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 12:28:46 AM »
It's a nice way of saying 'I stopped believing in heresy' without ever admitting that's indeed what you used to believe.

I hear this phrase a lot, particularly in convert circles, and it seems a bit vague to me. I'm curious, those of you that describe Orthodoxy this way, what does the phrase mean to you?
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Offline Seraphim98

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2012, 12:33:08 AM »
Think of a sliding scale where at 0 the official content of your faith and practice is wrong on every point, whereas at 100 your faith and practice is completely right. So one might say XYZ communion has this much right and this much wrong, and ABC communion has almost everything right but for this little bit over here, and Orthodoxy which has all of it right…fullness.

That's a surface explanation, accurate as far as it goes, but limited.  Fulness is not just about having correct information and rules, fulness has an ontological expression of well. It is in Orthodoxy…and only in Orthodoxy so far as I know, that the fullness of the faith as it relates to being transformed into the image and likeness of God in Christ is achievable.  For all the good people who love God, and who serve Him according to their best lights you may find in other communions, it is only in Orthodoxy you find those like St. Seraphim of Sarov. Fullness.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 12:33:46 AM by Seraphim98 »

Offline witega

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2012, 12:34:25 AM »
It's a nice way of saying 'I stopped believing in heresy' without ever admitting that's indeed what you used to believe.

+1
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Offline Salpy

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2012, 12:39:22 AM »
When I saw the title of this thread, I thought you were talking about this store:

http://store.fullnessofthefaith.com/

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2012, 01:00:33 AM »
"It's Christianity...the right way!"  ;)

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2012, 01:01:13 AM »
It's a nice way of saying 'I stopped believing in heresy' without ever admitting that's indeed what you used to believe.

I hear this phrase a lot, particularly in convert circles, and it seems a bit vague to me. I'm curious, those of you that describe Orthodoxy this way, what does the phrase mean to you?

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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2012, 01:02:57 AM »
When I saw the title of this thread, I thought you were talking about this store:

http://store.fullnessofthefaith.com/

Oh no! Not THAT! Enough with the Ortho-fads.
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Offline LBK

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2012, 01:35:22 AM »
When I saw the title of this thread, I thought you were talking about this store:

http://store.fullnessofthefaith.com/

Oh no! Not THAT! Enough with the Ortho-fads.

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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2012, 01:39:48 AM »
When I saw the title of this thread, I thought you were talking about this store:

http://store.fullnessofthefaith.com/
Good thing this wasn't around during the time of the 7th council, or votes may have swung the other way.  ;)
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2012, 01:50:35 AM »
When I saw the title of this thread, I thought you were talking about this store:

http://store.fullnessofthefaith.com/
Good thing this wasn't around during the time of the 7th council, or votes may have swung the other way.  ;)

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Offline Thankful

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2012, 02:30:22 AM »
To me it means I'm not starving anymore.  Hungry, yes, but I know now where to find food the food that fills.  
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 02:31:20 AM by Thankful »

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2012, 05:19:18 AM »
I prefer wholeness to fullness, but same basic idea I guess. I just mean it completes what might be partially available elsewhere. To give one example, when I was a Protestant I read about the acts of the Apostles, but mostly in the Bible, while now I go beyond the Bible and read the hagiographies. It fills things out and makes them more accurate by adding more perspectives. It's like when I was a Protestant I was looking at an object from one vantage point, and so my understanding was limited to what I could see from that vantage point. Now I can look from more vantage points, which greatly increases my understanding of what I'm looking at.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 05:20:05 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline quietmorning

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2012, 11:13:50 AM »
For me, it means I have the past and present and the firm hope toward the future of the Church.  As a RC, I had a little taste of this and a little taste of that.  I didn't have ANY of the Holy Fathers. I had the (pseudo) traditions, but they didn't make sense to me.  There was nothing to reach 'back' to.   As a Protestant, I had praise songs and a strong insistence to read the Bible.  I didn't have the Holy Fathers, the Sacraments, the strong family unit (in either, actually). I had no contact with the Saints or the Holy Theotokos.   I had absolutely no support as a Christian in either to WALK and HEAL spiritually.  I went to both to try to get something of a whole.  

In the Orthodox - I have the Holy Fathers.  I have the (real honest to goodness) Traditions, I have something to look back to to learn more about those traditions, I have the Sacraments, I have the Bible in WHOLE.  I have true praise - and not just at the beginning of the service, either.  I have a strong family unit and unbelievable support to KEEP on the path, and if I fall off?  I have unbelievable loving support to get back on the path.  I AM healing, spiritually, emotionally. . . and I don't have to go to two different churches to get a little bit more, I get everything I need right here.  And I have the TRUE liturgy too boot.  Not a shortened version. . . but the whole thing.  

I'm in heaven.  I must've died and just. . . gone to heaven. . .'cause that's what it feels like every time I enter in to my church.   :)  

And FatherGiryus hits it on the head.  

« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 11:14:44 AM by quietmorning »
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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2012, 11:42:44 AM »
Well, the truth is that we are moving in a very different direction as a Church here in the 'New World.'  Christianity has traditionally evangelized pagan peoples, not heretics.  We are now in an era where everyone has heard something about Jesus Christ, and usually has Him (and the Church) totally wrong.  So, we have to overcome not only misinformation, but human egos vested in believing heresy.

Now, that means we have to walk a fine line between universalism ("sure, everything's OK if you just believe in Jesus!") and being a nasty crank ("What, bells on your censor... ANATHEMA!").  If we run around calling everyone a heretic, we become the vile sorts of Pharisees that our Lord condemns.  Then again, He doesn't have much better to say about the Sadducees who virtually abandon Judaism all together for the sake of being liked.

The finer the line you walk, the more apt you are to get into trouble.  Yes, I think calling a coffee 'Fullness of the Roast' is rather tasteless (excuse the pun on a pun), but I'm not entirely ready to chuck everyone into everlasting fire over bad taste.  I do believe they want to share the truth of the Church with others, and that impulse needs to be guided rather than condemned.

Like I said, 'fullness of the Faith' implies that the other might have some truth, but not all of it.  Converts from other 'brands' of 'Christianity' have a hard time acknowledging that what they had before was delusion (read the Baptismal prayers) and that Christ did not dwell within them.  Believing this means that a great deal of their spiritual experiences were either partly or completely imaginary, which is hard for many people who take pride in their intelligence (who doesn't?) to accept.

So, it's all very complicated.  As for coffee, I think I'll stick with my present brand.
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Offline dzheremi

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2012, 12:34:10 PM »
I don't think I've ever used that term, and I don't really like it. I've found that, in talking with unorthodox friends and family members, it is important to frame the discussion in such a way that gets away from the modern "six of one, half a dozen of the other" way of thinking. So, as "fullness of faith" immediately contrasts Orthodoxy with everything else, it kind of invites people (or at least people I've talked to) to think along the lines of "Oh, Orthodoxy must be like ______, but with extra/other stuff." It's not that, and I don't like things that invite that kind of understanding. Orthodoxy must be approached on its own merits, and so it must be presented on its own merits. It's not simply another choice you can make if you're tired of being Roman Catholic or Anglican or Presbyterian or Muslim or whatever. It is the choice that you must make if you want to be faithful to God.

The world hates this idea, but what else is new?

Anyway...the "fullness of the faith" doesn't mean anything to me but that the speaker has condensed their own belief about their church to a bumper sticker-length statement. The RC and certainly others say the same about their faith. We've got to try harder than Orthodox coffee and such.

An afterthought: I know there is an idea that in order to pique peoples' initial interest, you need to have a succinct statement of belief that will contrast your stance with those of others. I'm not so much against that idea, I just think that "fullness of the faith" is so generic and so co-opted by this point that it is pretty much useless. If I had originally been attracted to Orthodoxy by that kind of sentiment, I probably wouldn't have stuck around to hear why that is, as other churches also claim similar things, using similar or the same backing. Orthodoxy will never fit into the modern "5-second sound bite" culture, as it is the content of the faith and how it is and has been lived that starkly illustrates the difference between the Orthodox faith and the faiths of others, and that is impossible to capture in any meaningful, intuitively compelling four-word phrase.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 12:37:16 PM by dzheremi »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2012, 03:19:51 PM »
I don't recall many Protestants talking about fullness of faith.

It means that not only is the cup full, but it contains the oceans.  No matter how much you sip of gulp, you will never be able to drink it all down.
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Offline dzheremi

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2012, 09:04:03 PM »
I've heard about it from some self-styled classical Anglican types (the type that I suppose would've been at one time writing to the EP), though without the exact understanding that Orthodox seem to have. But certainly RCs also use that exact term (again generally without the exposition shown here).

Offline neon_knights

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2012, 12:55:09 AM »
I find it really hard to believe that only the Orthodox Church offers full salvation.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2012, 01:00:02 AM »
I find it really hard to believe that only the Orthodox Church offers full salvation.

Fwiw, I would not equate "fullness of faith" with being the only place where you can be saved (not if that means you have to be an official member of Orthodoxy to be saved). To use the hospital idea that is popular, Orthodoxy has fullness, and those outside lack something, in the same way that a major hospital would have a fullness as compared to a doctors office. It's possible to get healed at either place, but when there is a significant issue the hospital is going to do a better job. I know this sounds triumphalistic, but what can I say? I don't buy it all the time either, but I do try...  :angel:

Offline neon_knights

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2012, 04:27:00 AM »
Where is the historical proof that the EOC is "the Church"? Why is the RCC and the OOC not "the Church"?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 04:57:04 AM by neon_knights »

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2012, 04:50:11 AM »
Where is the historical proof that the EOC is "the Church"? Why is the Vatican and the OOC not "the Church"?
Because the Vatican is a city in Italy.

Within, rather.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 04:50:30 AM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline neon_knights

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2012, 04:57:15 AM »
Where is the historical proof that the EOC is "the Church"? Why is the Vatican and the OOC not "the Church"?
Because the Vatican is a city in Italy.

Within, rather.

Edited.

Offline witega

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2012, 05:08:12 AM »
Where is the historical proof that the EOC is "the Church"? Why is the Vatican and the OOC not "the Church"?

The Vatican adopted new teachings (universal jurisdiction for the bishop of Rome, the filioque) and then broke communion with those ("the Church") who refused to go along with their innovations. The Vatican interpretation of the break is obviously somewhat different but there's no question there was a break and that each side considered itself 'the Church' with the other group in schism.

As for the OO, polemic posts are forbidden on this part of the forum, but objectively speaking, one of two things happened--either Chalcedon was a valid Ecumenical Council and the OO went into schism rather than accept it; or Chalcedon was not a valid Ecumenical Council and the EO caused a schism by attempting to enforce it. Again, there's no question there was a break and that each side considered itself 'the Church' with the other group in schism.

One can look at each of those breaks and come to your own conclusion about who was right and who was wrong or even argue that the issue(s) involved shouldn't have been determinative for Church unity, but whatever conclusion you reach, somebody was wrong to have broken communion over the issue and therefore that somebody became a schismatic--with the other side remaining the one visible Church.
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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2012, 11:25:24 AM »
"Full Salvation?"  Is there a 'part salvation?'  Maybe something like what the Jehovah's Witnesses believe?

I find it really hard to believe that only the Orthodox Church offers full salvation.
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Offline Dominika

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2012, 04:05:37 PM »
I think Orthodoxy has "Fullness of the faith" what means pure faith, without heresies, unnecessary changes etc. and it's the best way to the salvation. In my very personal opinion it's possible to achieve the salvation in e.g. Catholic Church, but it's far much more difficult than in Orthodoxy beacause catholicism has not right faith and hasn't got so developed spirituality and ascetic practics
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Offline William

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2012, 05:05:48 PM »
Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Offline Dominika

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2012, 04:02:04 AM »
Happy name day.

Thank you very much as it was my first name as Orthodox ;)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 04:04:25 AM by Dominika »
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2012, 01:55:27 AM »
Where is the historical proof that the EOC is "the Church"? Why is the RCC and the OOC not "the Church"?

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Offline primuspilus

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2012, 11:43:12 AM »
Where is the historical proof that the EOC is "the Church"? Why is the RCC and the OOC not "the Church"?
The RC and the OOC were the Church, they left. Just like Lutherans were Roman Catholic, until they left.

Quote
I find it really hard to believe that only the Orthodox Church offers full salvation.
Like I said to my wife. We dont know where the Holy Spirit isn't. We do know where the Holy Spirit is, and that is in the Church.

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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2012, 12:27:18 AM »
Where is the historical proof that the EOC is "the Church"? Why is the RCC and the OOC not "the Church"?

This is something you're going to have to investigate for yourself, but don't cut yourself short, make sure you search far and wide, and dig as deep as you can to find the answers to your questions.

Offline WPM

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2012, 10:36:42 PM »
yes, and Orthodoxy Faith Church need (heresiologist) to treat and cure those heresies.

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2012, 10:39:22 PM »
Well, the truth is that we are moving in a very different direction as a Church here in the 'New World.'  Christianity has traditionally evangelized pagan peoples, not heretics.  We are now in an era where everyone has heard something about Jesus Christ, and usually has Him (and the Church) totally wrong.  So, we have to overcome not only misinformation, but human egos vested in believing heresy.

Now, that means we have to walk a fine line between universalism ("sure, everything's OK if you just believe in Jesus!") and being a nasty crank ("What, bells on your censor... ANATHEMA!").  If we run around calling everyone a heretic, we become the vile sorts of Pharisees that our Lord condemns.  Then again, He doesn't have much better to say about the Sadducees who virtually abandon Judaism all together for the sake of being liked.

The finer the line you walk, the more apt you are to get into trouble.  Yes, I think calling a coffee 'Fullness of the Roast' is rather tasteless (excuse the pun on a pun), but I'm not entirely ready to chuck everyone into everlasting fire over bad taste.  I do believe they want to share the truth of the Church with others, and that impulse needs to be guided rather than condemned.

Like I said, 'fullness of the Faith' implies that the other might have some truth, but not all of it.  Converts from other 'brands' of 'Christianity' have a hard time acknowledging that what they had before was delusion (read the Baptismal prayers) and that Christ did not dwell within them.  Believing this means that a great deal of their spiritual experiences were either partly or completely imaginary, which is hard for many people who take pride in their intelligence (who doesn't?) to accept.

So, it's all very complicated.  As for coffee, I think I'll stick with my present brand.


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Offline Shiny

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2012, 01:09:26 AM »
Believing this means that a great deal of their spiritual experiences were either partly or completely imaginary, which is hard for many people who take pride in their intelligence (who doesn't?) to accept.
This. This. This. This x100.

People hate admitting they are wrong about something. I'm sorry but I'd rather admit I'm wrong about something because it will make an impact for eternity.

I think one of the first "disciplines" alot of Christians need is a sense of humility. If we are humble we are much more easier to accept mistakes and faults and come to truth.
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Offline mabsoota

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Re: "Fullness of the faith"
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2012, 09:36:23 AM »
2 points.
1. being orthodox is about everything making much more sense than trying to live as a Christian without the vitally useful insights from the early church fathers (eg. saint cyril of alexandria and saint john chrysostom of antioch). many catholics have very similar beliefs, but there are a few doctrinal differences i won't go into here.
i, personally hope for more church unity in the future, so i am not out to convert catholics.
i know some posters here came from 'catholic' churches in which faith was not taught so well, but we have those churches in orthodoxy as well sometimes.
2. the eastern and oriental orthodox churches officially agree that the other is orthodox (see the 'orthodoxunity' website for more info), so anyone who is still stuck in pre-1990 definitions of the other group of churches is out of step with the patriarchs.

remember this is only a website - so back up anything you read here with real life experience, and i pray that God will guide all the inquirers to experience the fullness and the riches of the Christian life as preached by the orthodox church. having been orthodox 3 years now, i can say for sure, i would never turn back on what i have found here.