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Author Topic: One True Church  (Read 354 times) Average Rating: 0
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Azul
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« on: April 24, 2012, 01:09:03 PM »

Do we think that we are the only True Church?Can`t there be no other true Church?Do we claim to be the only ones who have Christ , God and truth?Can we have the fulness of truth and can anyone have the fullness of truth, now really?Why doesn't this fulness of truth give us the ultimate truths to things even to biblical things?Are we the only ones who have truth?Others religions do not have truth?What about salvation?Can we not say that we are just one of those?Isn`t the One True Church thing a human flaw, a thing of pride?I want an answer to all this questions..
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 01:23:39 PM »

So far as I understand, an Orthodox response would be...

Do we think that we are the only True Church?

Yes.

Quote
Can`t there be no other true Church?

No.

Quote
Do we claim to be the only ones who have Christ , God and truth?

No.

Quote
Can we have the fulness of truth and can anyone have the fullness of truth, now really?

Orthodoxy = yes. Individual Orthodox = no.

Quote
Why doesn't this fulness of truth give us the ultimate truths to things even to biblical things?

We are limited by a number of things, though the root of it is that we are created and fallible.

Quote
Are we the only ones who have truth?

No.

Quote
Others religions do not have truth?

No.

Quote
What about salvation?

Up to God.

Quote
Can we not say that we are just one of those?

One of what?

Quote
Isn`t the One True Church thing a human flaw, a thing of pride?

The Church is theanthropic. Insofar as it is divine, it is healing and perfect. Insofar as it is human, it is subject to harm and flaws. The more you follow the divine, the better off you are.

Quote
I want an answer to all this questions..

I gave answers. Whether they're correct or not is another matter. See above. Wink
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Azul
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 02:09:14 PM »

I need more elaborated answers..
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 02:31:55 PM »

It's easier to be more detailed when you don't smush a dozen questions into the first post Wink If you want to go more in depth with a specific question then say which one, but for now I'll just try to expand on what I said...

Do we think that we are the only True Church?

Yes.

The Church is one ("one, holy, catholic, and apostolic"). It is the one bride of Christ, not a polygamous marriage (Eph. 5). The body of Christ was meant to stay unified, not fracture into competing but equal portions.

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." - Eph. 4:4-6

"But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. " - 1 Cor. 12:20-25

Quote
Quote
Can`t there be no other true Church?

No.

There are grey areas, and fuzzy scenarios, but the foundation of it all is still no, the seamless garment can't be ripped. Now, whether, say, churches can be out of communion for over a millenium and both be part of the true church, I don't know.

Quote
Quote
Do we claim to be the only ones who have Christ , God and truth?

No.

Individuals, and individual groups, have Christ, God and truth to varying degrees. No one is completely without light to see with. Some just have plenty of natural light, while on the far end in the opposite direction they have a flashlight that is running low on battery power.


Quote
Quote
Can we have the fulness of truth and can anyone have the fullness of truth, now really?

Orthodoxy = yes. Individual Orthodox = no.

If God is guiding and part of the Church, then the Church can have the fullness of truth. As soon as humans have a part to play there's a chance they'll mess it up. And humans don't really have the fullness of truth, even in dogmatic issues (because even if the dogma is true, that doesn't mean that someone fully and infallibly understands the dogma, it's implications, etc.)

Quote
Quote
Why doesn't this fulness of truth give us the ultimate truths to things even to biblical things?

We are limited by a number of things, though the root of it is that we are created and fallible.

We are created, therefore we aren't perfect. I guess I could include some bit here about how God won't make us understand because it would violate or free will or something.

Quote
Quote
Are we the only ones who have truth?

No.

Various people at various times have various degrees of truth for various reasons. It's varied.

Quote
Quote
Others religions do not have truth?

No.

Other religions have truth. So do other people. Otherwise how could God judge them fairly? Nay, how could God be judge to leave them without light in the first place? If others did not have truth, we would know God to be a tyrant and a fiend.

Quote
Quote
What about salvation?

Up to God.

God judges all. Being in the Church doesn't guarantee salvation, and being out of it doesn't mean you're screwed. Even if I were to be full-blow, uber-dooper-super Orthodox, I'd still view my Roman Catholic grandfather as having a better chance than me.

Quote
Quote
Can we not say that we are just one of those?

One of what?

One of what?

Quote
Quote
Isn`t the One True Church thing a human flaw, a thing of pride?

The Church is theanthropic. Insofar as it is divine, it is healing and perfect. Insofar as it is human, it is subject to harm and flaws. The more you follow the divine, the better off you are.

Humans are flawed and prideful, and can indeed make idols out of things, even good things. But making an idol out of an icon or hymn or sacred text doesn't mean that these things aren't useful. And the Church goes beyond this, because while icons and hymns and sacred texts are merely inspired by God, the body of Christ is, in some sense, actually God.

Quote
Quote
I want an answer to all this questions..

I gave answers. Whether they're correct or not is another matter. See above. Wink

I gave expanded answers. Whether they're correct or not is another matter, for you to decide. Please see above. Wink
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Joe: 'Ok.'
Azul
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 03:11:39 PM »

It's easier to be more detailed when you don't smush a dozen questions into the first post Wink If you want to go more in depth with a specific question then say which one, but for now I'll just try to expand on what I said...

Do we think that we are the only True Church?

Yes.

The Church is one ("one, holy, catholic, and apostolic"). It is the one bride of Christ, not a polygamous marriage (Eph. 5). The body of Christ was meant to stay unified, not fracture into competing but equal portions.

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." - Eph. 4:4-6

"But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. " - 1 Cor. 12:20-25

So there is no one else part of this Body(denominationally speaking)?Are we alone the Body of Christ, the only ones?Aren`t all who are served indispensably of denom the Body of Christ?If so what are the rest who are saved and how are they saved and where are they brought when they are saved if not in the Body of Christ?

Quote
Quote
Quote
Can`t there be no other true Church?

No.

There are grey areas, and fuzzy scenarios, but the foundation of it all is still no, the seamless garment can't be ripped. Now, whether, say, churches can be out of communion for over a millenium and both be part of the true church, I don't know.

Maybe the name of the topic was not that inspired.. What I mean is the Church limited to our religion and most gravely to our denomination?On the time of the Apostles there was a Jewish(religiously) Church and a Gentile(religiously) Church (Acts 15 ; Acts 21:20) ... Doesn`t that sort of contradict you and the ones who claim the sort of things that you do?

Quote
Quote
Quote
Do we claim to be the only ones who have Christ , God and truth?

No.

Individuals, and individual groups, have Christ, God and truth to varying degrees. No one is completely without light to see with. Some just have plenty of natural light, while on the far end in the opposite direction they have a flashlight that is running low on battery power.

No problem with this one.I even like the comparision.

Quote
Quote
Quote
Can we have the fulness of truth and can anyone have the fullness of truth, now really?

Orthodoxy = yes. Individual Orthodox = no.

If God is guiding and part of the Church, then the Church can have the fullness of truth. As soon as humans have a part to play there's a chance they'll mess it up. And humans don't really have the fullness of truth, even in dogmatic issues (because even if the dogma is true, that doesn't mean that someone fully and infallibly understands the dogma, it's implications, etc.)

What would make us think we can have the fullness of truth much more if we can`t understand it?What is the point of it than?If it isn`t understandable it is like it wasn`t even there.

Quote
Quote
Quote
Why doesn't this fulness of truth give us the ultimate truths to things even to biblical things?

We are limited by a number of things, though the root of it is that we are created and fallible.

We are created, therefore we aren't perfect. I guess I could include some bit here about how God won't make us understand because it would violate or free will or something.

If they don`t give us ultimate truths than they lack substance and integrity... And if they lack substance they are worthless.. Life is substance..

Quote
Quote
Quote
Are we the only ones who have truth?

No.

Various people at various times have various degrees of truth for various reasons. It's varied.

Ok.Np with this one either.

Quote
Quote
Quote
Others religions do not have truth?

No.

Other religions have truth. So do other people. Otherwise how could God judge them fairly? Nay, how could God be judge to leave them without light in the first place? If others did not have truth, we would know God to be a tyrant and a fiend.

I think that all religions have their shares of truth and falsities.. Some more , some less..

Quote
Quote
Quote
What about salvation?

Up to God.
God judges all. Being in the Church doesn't guarantee salvation, and being out of it doesn't mean you're screwed. Even if I were to be full-blow, uber-dooper-super Orthodox, I'd still view my Roman Catholic grandfather as having a better chance than me.

If those who are in the Church are the ones who are saved or the only ones who are saved than how can those who are not in the (EO) Church can be saved unless they are in the Church?

Quote
Quote
Quote
Can we not say that we are just one of those?

One of what?

One of what?

One of the true church...

Quote
Quote
Quote
Isn`t the One True Church thing a human flaw, a thing of pride?

The Church is theanthropic. Insofar as it is divine, it is healing and perfect. Insofar as it is human, it is subject to harm and flaws. The more you follow the divine, the better off you are.

Humans are flawed and prideful, and can indeed make idols out of things, even good things. But making an idol out of an icon or hymn or sacred text doesn't mean that these things aren't useful. And the Church goes beyond this, because while icons and hymns and sacred texts are merely inspired by God, the body of Christ is, in some sense, actually God.
Quote
Quote
I want an answer to all this questions..

I think the Only One True Church to be a prideful claim and an exaggeration..

Quote
It's easier to be more detailed when you don't smush a dozen questions into the first post Wink If you want to go more in depth with a specific question then say which one, but for now I'll just try to expand on what I said...

Because I want the answers to be thought in this particular contexts.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 03:15:49 PM by Azul » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 03:52:45 PM »

There is one Body of Christ which maintains the True Faith that Christ had revealed to us through His Apostles and the revelation of the Holy Spirit. As Orthodox Christians, we believe that Body to be the Orthodox Church...and nothing else.

You said:

Quote
Maybe the name of the topic was not that inspired.. What I mean is the Church limited to our religion and most gravely to our denomination?On the time of the Apostles there was a Jewish(religiously) Church and a Gentile(religiously) Church (Acts 15 ; Acts 21:20) ... Doesn`t that sort of contradict you and the ones who claim the sort of things that you do?

This is a dire misreading of the Book of Acts. There is very clearly only One Church, began by the Apostles at Pentecost. All other Christians mentioned in Acts are tied to the Apostles. Even when St. Paul is converted on the road, Jesus doesn't say, "now go off and preach about me." Rather, he is sent to St. Ananias for healing and baptism. Later, as recorded in Acts, St. Paul even has to be ordained. This occurs during the Sunday Liturgy at Antioch, along with Barnabas, as recorded at the very beginning of Acts 13. Also, when St. Cornelius, the "righteous gentile", had a vision, he wasn't told to start his own church, but rather to call for St. Peter, who would instruct him further. St. Peter visited St. Cornelius, and he was baptized. Both Jew and Gentile are brought under the same Apostolic authority of the Church. They may have different ethnic traditions (like the difference between Palestinians, Russians, Greeks, etc.) today, but they all belong to the same One Catholic Church.

As for the salvation of those outside of the Orthodox Church? We don't know. That's not our business. God is the judge of souls, not me, not you and not even the Church. And certainly there is truth, to a degree, outside of the Church. St. Justin Martyr said that the "seed of Word" could be found everywhere. Imagine it like a house, and in that house is a lamp, the light of Christ. The house is the Church, we have all the light. However, people can be standing on the porch, or in the yard, or across the street. They still see some of that light and are not left in utter darkness. I believe God gives a lot of grace to those who earnestly love truth and are seeking for Him, even if they haven't come into the Church yet.
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