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Author Topic: Wrestling with Protestantism  (Read 4851 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: May 31, 2012, 11:40:47 PM »

Forgive me, as I know this will ruffle feathers, but no Australian ex-serviceman would get away with the "I served this country and am now owed unquestioned and instantaneous deference!" stuff that I seem to hear out of the mouths of Americans. All. The. Time.

I'm sorry, we respect our troops. Why does that bother you?

It is the demand of respect that bothers me, not the free giving of it.

Huh?

You did worse than 'ruffle.' A lot worse. And I thought you were pretty cool.  Undecided
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« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2012, 11:42:45 PM »

Umm, nobody's saying servicemen don't deserve respect. ISTM what Akimori's saying is that being a veteran doesn't mean we're obliged to take the veteran's opinions on matters not pertaining to his service as the final word.
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« Reply #47 on: May 31, 2012, 11:43:13 PM »

Umm, nobody's saying servicemen don't deserve respect. ISTM what Akimori's saying is that being a veteran doesn't mean we're obliged to take the veteran's opinions on matters not pertaining to his service as the final word.

I read his post and that's not what I got from it.
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« Reply #48 on: May 31, 2012, 11:45:18 PM »

“I love the troops. Because if they weren’t the troops, I would be the troops. And I would be the worst troops.” -Mike Birbiglia

Pretty much, yeah...
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« Reply #49 on: May 31, 2012, 11:45:45 PM »

Forgive me, as I know this will ruffle feathers, but no Australian ex-serviceman would get away with the "I served this country and am now owed unquestioned and instantaneous deference!" stuff that I seem to hear out of the mouths of Americans. All. The. Time.

I'm sorry, we respect our troops. Why does that bother you?

It is the demand of respect that bothers me, not the free giving of it.

I should point out that the demand for respect frequently comes from people who didn't serve, have no idea what they're talking about, but think it's critical to "support the troops."

 
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« Reply #50 on: May 31, 2012, 11:47:47 PM »

Umm, nobody's saying servicemen don't deserve respect. ISTM what Akimori's saying is that being a veteran doesn't mean we're obliged to take the veteran's opinions on matters not pertaining to his service as the final word.

I read his post and that's not what I got from it.

My thanks to LBK and my apologies to biro: what I meant is exactly what LBK said I did.

I will also add that I personally find the following (directed to a person I consider to be sensitive to the feelings of others and intellectually rigorous at least most of the time) to be rude and offensive:

"You know I knew a lot of guys from Texas in my time in the Marine Corps and Army. Cant say you are anything like those good men I knew. What do I expect? Men who served vs civilian on the internet. Ingrates like you make me question why I served in the first place. Id sooner deal with you than the insurgents. At least they have the conviction to put their life on the line. Save your indignation for someone else child. I dont indulge in such things. I end them."
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« Reply #51 on: May 31, 2012, 11:48:22 PM »

Umm, nobody's saying servicemen don't deserve respect. ISTM what Akimori's saying is that being a veteran doesn't mean we're obliged to take the veteran's opinions on matters not pertaining to his service as the final word.

I read his post and that's not what I got from it.

You frequently misunderstand people's points and overreact.  FACT!

You can't challenge that statement, because I wrote "FACT!" at the end.  It's a FACT!
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« Reply #52 on: May 31, 2012, 11:49:00 PM »

Umm, nobody's saying servicemen don't deserve respect. ISTM what Akimori's saying is that being a veteran doesn't mean we're obliged to take the veteran's opinions on matters not pertaining to his service as the final word.

I read his post and that's not what I got from it.

You frequently misunderstand people's points and overreact.  FACT!

You can't challenge that statement, because I wrote "FACT!" at the end.  It's a FACT!



Thanks, Cognomen. I used to be friends with you, too...   Cry Cry
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 11:49:22 PM by biro » Logged

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« Reply #53 on: May 31, 2012, 11:52:27 PM »

Umm, nobody's saying servicemen don't deserve respect. ISTM what Akimori's saying is that being a veteran doesn't mean we're obliged to take the veteran's opinions on matters not pertaining to his service as the final word.

I read his post and that's not what I got from it.

You frequently misunderstand people's points and overreact.  FACT!

You can't challenge that statement, because I wrote "FACT!" at the end.  It's a FACT!



Thanks, Cognomen. I used to be friends with you, too...   Cry Cry

I hope my post just above makes it clear I wasn't meaning to be offensive and that my words were meant as LBK interpreted them.

I only knew my thoughts might ruffle feathers because of the respect I know you Americans have for your servicemen (not undeserved, mind you!).
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« Reply #54 on: June 01, 2012, 12:03:27 AM »

Umm, nobody's saying servicemen don't deserve respect. ISTM what Akimori's saying is that being a veteran doesn't mean we're obliged to take the veteran's opinions on matters not pertaining to his service as the final word.

I read his post and that's not what I got from it.

You frequently misunderstand people's points and overreact.  FACT!

You can't challenge that statement, because I wrote "FACT!" at the end.  It's a FACT!


Thanks, Cognomen. I used to be friends with you, too...   Cry Cry

Not intended that way, but overly jerky on my part.
I should have just said that you (along with me and others) have a tendency to jump on statements.  I've had to issue plenty of corrections and apologies to folks for misunderstanding their point and attacking it before my mind caught up (not saying that's the culprit with you, only me).  The "Fact" bit was meant as a laugh, to take some edge off an otherwise seemingly untactful statement.  It didn't work.  My apologies.  I'm just too arguey tonight.  Must've been some sort of evil in the curry I ate.
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« Reply #55 on: June 01, 2012, 12:39:45 AM »

I can't help but think of all the intelligent men, more experienced in Church history than any of us here, who lived and died as Protestants - men like Bruce Metzger, Henry Chadwick, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Francis Schaeffer, etc..  If it was good enough for them, why not me?
Perhaps you might consider asking a slightly different question. Is there something about Orthodoxy that strikes you as wrong? If so you are not ready for Orthodoxy. If not, why remain divided from her?
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« Reply #56 on: June 01, 2012, 12:48:28 AM »

Whoa.  Lookit what all's poppin' off in here!
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« Reply #57 on: June 01, 2012, 04:23:56 PM »

Quote
I can't help but think of all the intelligent men, more experienced in Church history than any of us here, who lived and died as Protestants - men like Bruce Metzger, Henry Chadwick, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Francis Schaeffer, etc..  If it was good enough for them, why not me?
Intelligent men can be, and often are, dramatically wrong.

My questioning of protestantism became narrowed down quickly. "If Luther was so right, why didn't the Apostles teach it? If they did teach it, why didn't their disciples teach it?"

PP
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« Reply #58 on: June 03, 2012, 10:43:01 AM »

Quote
I can't help but think of all the intelligent men, more experienced in Church history than any of us here, who lived and died as Protestants - men like Bruce Metzger, Henry Chadwick, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Francis Schaeffer, etc..  If it was good enough for them, why not me?
Intelligent men can be, and often are, dramatically wrong.

My questioning of protestantism became narrowed down quickly. "If Luther was so right, why didn't the Apostles teach it? If they did teach it, why didn't their disciples teach it?"

PP

According to Lutherans, they did teach it.

Patristics resembles something like a Venn Diagram where that which overlaps represents Orthodoxy and that which exists in its own circle represents "proof-texting."

Though, for the record, I did a Google search for "Orthodox converts to Protestantism" and hardly nothing came back.
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« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2012, 11:02:08 AM »

Forgive me, as I know this will ruffle feathers, but no Australian ex-serviceman would get away with the "I served this country and am now owed unquestioned and instantaneous deference!" stuff that I seem to hear out of the mouths of Americans. All. The. Time.

I'm sorry, we respect our troops. Why does that bother you?

Scroll up. A serviceman is basically saying, "I'm a soldier so you should not question the crap I'm writing."
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« Reply #60 on: June 03, 2012, 01:28:08 PM »

Quote
I can't help but think of all the intelligent men, more experienced in Church history than any of us here, who lived and died as Protestants - men like Bruce Metzger, Henry Chadwick, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Francis Schaeffer, etc..  If it was good enough for them, why not me?
Intelligent men can be, and often are, dramatically wrong.

My questioning of protestantism became narrowed down quickly. "If Luther was so right, why didn't the Apostles teach it? If they did teach it, why didn't their disciples teach it?"

PP

According to Lutherans, they did teach it.


Furthermore, Andreas Köstenberger (Baptist) and Michael Kruger (Presbyterian), authors of the The Heresy of Orthodoxy - a book which indeed argues for one, holy, catholic and apostolic church - are convinced to see their own churches as one, holy, catholic and apostolic. 

This to me is the crux of the matter The Lutherans say Lutheranism is the what the fathers taught, the Presbyterians say is was Presbyterianism, the Baptists say is was their faith and of course the Orthodox say it was Orthodoxy. If they all taught the same things it wouldn't matter, but they don't even on major issues like salvation there are differences. The Eucharist which you previously mentioned is a prime example of this. The differences of course are not just between Orthodoxy and Protestantism but between different branches of Protestantism. So as I posed earlier the question becomes which Tradition can you trust.

For me, anyway, the answer to this was that in reading Church history and with a decent understanding of the modern Orthodox church I could see a Church that was still practicing virtually unchanged what I was reading in the Fathers, I could see a church that was still only one step removed from it's Jewish roots and I could see a church that maintained it contact with the Holy Spirit throughout the ages.

I don't know why some people who have read church history have not come to this same conclusion. Perhaps they aren't familiar with modern Orthodoxy I have a friend who is currently very interested in our journey because although he read church history and Fathers he read without the idea that any semblance of the early church survived other than the Roman church.

Obviously some of the people you referenced are very aware of the Orthodox church. I don't know their minds but perhaps they read and studied without any openness to anything beyond their own Tradition.  When I first began this journey the was not the trip I was leaving on. God had convicted me that even as a minister I couldn't sing things like "I surrender all" without being willing to truly surrender all. I stepped back from my ministerial duties and began a period of prayer and fasting seeking God's will. I thought at the time perhaps I was being called to the mission field. In the middle of that I was also convicted by a song that expressed the idea that I needed to be willing to surrender even what I believed. To me that is even my beliefs weren't mine to hold onto but they belonged to God. Didn't know what to do with that at the time. Though retrospectively, to me, it's obvious.

Perhaps some labor under a false idea of what the earlier church looked like or under the conclusion that anything that looked liturgical must have been a corruption added in, initially by Constantine, and then earlier and earlier until Christianity doesn't even survive the apostles. I know for myself it wasn't until I came to a better understanding of what Judaism looked like at that time that I could see how the Orthodox church did come straight out of it. I previously had the idea that the early church was much more loosly organized and resembled the Pentecostal churches  of today.

Again, I don't know why some have not come to the same conclusions, but that's okay. I don't hate them or the Protestant church I do have to go where I feel God is calling me. I hope this helps.
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« Reply #61 on: June 03, 2012, 01:39:46 PM »


This to me is the crux of the matter The Lutherans say Lutheranism is the what the fathers taught, the Presbyterians say is was Presbyterianism, the Baptists say is was their faith and of course the Orthodox say it was Orthodoxy. If they all taught the same things it wouldn't matter, but they don't even on major issues like salvation there are differences. The Eucharist which you previously mentioned is a prime example of this. The differences of course are not just between Orthodoxy and Protestantism but between different branches of Protestantism. So as I posed earlier the question becomes which Tradition can you trust.


This right here is such irrefutable truth, it bears repeating.  And I've said this more times than I can count.  They ALL say they're right and they're the only true church and all other churches lead to damnation.  All of them.  I tried in desperation to explain this to my friend who couldn't seem to understand it, and then simply kept on with she had been told which of course, boils down to this same thing--we're 'it' because we say we're 'it.'  Tried to explain to her also the game of tic-tac-toe.  She didn't get that either.  This is one of those diehards who never ever ever ventures off the compound.

So I can't go by who says they're right.  Did Jesus leave the earth as a man without having something in place?  I can hardly imagine that He would.  That's why I'm confident now that Orthodoxy is the right direction.
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« Reply #62 on: June 03, 2012, 05:33:34 PM »

guys, why are we arguing about stuff like this in the convert issues forum? Sad
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« Reply #63 on: June 03, 2012, 05:38:17 PM »

guys, why are we arguing about stuff like this in the convert issues forum? Sad

It went a little off course, maybe, but when someone decides to convert, they continue to struggle a while with the faith/denomination they're coming from.  I'm still making Catholic/Orthodox comparisons.
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« Reply #64 on: June 03, 2012, 06:07:53 PM »


  That's why I'm confident now that Orthodoxy is the right direction.

What is such confidence honestly worth, though?

Two people fall in love, are honestly confident that they are each other's soulmates, and yet their marriage fails regardless.

Even someone like Maximum Bob admits to at one time being honestly confident of his call to be a minister and various other paths.

Heaven's Gate was honestly confident that Haley's comet was a spaceship come to take them home.

I was at one time honestly confident that there was nothing better beyond being Catholic.
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« Reply #65 on: June 03, 2012, 07:05:35 PM »

Big Chris-

What it really comes down to is what several posters have gotten at already: You say you're interested in "Protestantism" and that maybe you should give it a chance, but "Protestantism" is quite a big field of many differing denominations. Even trying to narrow it down to something like "Presbyterianism" or "Methodism" (in which you expressed interest in a previous thread) or "Baptist" or "Lutheran" or "Anglican" leaves you with a large list of possibilities and options and doctrines and a whole host of things you will need to search through, especially in America.

Do you believe practicing homosexuals in committed relationships should be ordained? Then you might fit in with the Episcopal Church or the Evangelical Lutherans or the Presbyterian Church (USA). If you don't, then seek elsewhere.

Do you believe in the ordination of women? Then the above listed churches along with the United Methodists will suit you. If not, then the Missouri or Wisconsin Synod Lutherans, most of the American Baptists churches, and a few of the Presbyterian denominations are the places to start hunting.

All this isn't getting into what the "Protestants" consider actual doctrine.

Do you believe in Sacraments? Hunt in the Lutheran and Anglican fields- but then carefully, for there are high and low churches. Do you believe in Ordinances that are merely symbolic? Stick with the more "Evangelical" churches. Do you believe salvation is found through an altar call and a five minute prayer or do you believe that works and sacraments can play an element in that?

Chadwick is all very well and good- a dedicated Anglican that worked towards the ecumenical Christian hodge-podge that is the dream of the Anglican via media. But you can find no one more different than Francis Schaeffer- his ecumenism was a political one, with a "no Catholics allowed" stamped in big bold letters on the front door of his Calvinist's worldview.

These men may have been "learned" and may have known more about Church history than me or you (though, truth be told, I highly doubt Schaeffer was ever all that learned in anything pre-Reformation), but knowing about something and drawing the correct conclusions from that knowledge are two entirely different things.
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« Reply #66 on: June 03, 2012, 07:36:53 PM »


  That's why I'm confident now that Orthodoxy is the right direction.

What is such confidence honestly worth, though?

Two people fall in love, are honestly confident that they are each other's soulmates, and yet their marriage fails regardless.

Even someone like Maximum Bob admits to at one time being honestly confident of his call to be a minister and various other paths.

Heaven's Gate was honestly confident that Haley's comet was a spaceship come to take them home.

I was at one time honestly confident that there was nothing better beyond being Catholic.

For me, that confidence is worth making a lifelong change to Orthodoxy.  This is the one and only Christian church whose beginnings overlap with 10 of the 12 apostles still being alive when they established the church and appointed their first bishop.  Did any of those apostles raise a ruckus and try to shut them down? No.

All the original apostles were dead by nine hundred years and more when the rest of these offshoots--including the Catholic church I'm leaving--broke off to start their own sects.

Oh yeah, my mind's made up.  And it has nothing to do with love at first site or Haley's comet.
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« Reply #67 on: June 03, 2012, 08:30:08 PM »

Everybody thus far has raised some good points.  Since there is a great deal of overlap, I'll respond to the below post alone:

There have certainly been a great many men who are extremely knowledgeable in Church history who lived and died as Protestants, but I can't help but seize upon the fact that none of the men and women who are central figures in Church history were. There is no substitute for being in the apostolic Church, which is by definition not any Protestant church, as no Protestant church dates back to the time of the Apostles.

(snip)

If you have done even a cursory study of Orthodoxy (even if you don't ultimately join it), you know that this is not true, from a historical perspective.

I question this.  Philip Scaff, for instance, was quite the patrologist and historian of early Church history and yet he was not compelled to grant Orthodoxy any special honorific position.  In our own day, Peter Lampe is thoroughly versed in the history of the early Church and yet he remains a Lutheran.  Furthermore, Andreas Köstenberger (Baptist) and Michael Kruger (Presbyterian), authors of the The Heresy of Orthodoxy - a book which indeed argues for one, holy, catholic and apostolic church - are convinced to see their own churches as one, holy, catholic and apostolic.  And the previously mentioned Henry Chadwick was a devout Anglican.  Granted, one's motivations for choosing a church are often complicated, I think that if we're going to appeal to a "cursory study of Orthodoxy" then we need to be consistent in surveying the historiography.  It would seem that Orthodoxy is the church of preference for history majors - and I especially include myself in that category - because that is the constant appeal:  Orthodoxy is the historic church of the apostles, unchanged, etc, etc, etc..  And yet we seem to gloss over the great many Protestant scholars, both high church and low church, who understand this history better than many (if not all) of us here.  In short, an appeal to Orthodoxy as "the historical church" fails.  Likewise, an appeal to Protestant churches as being outside a definition of "one, holy, ca

I wonder if you have missed a point that Koestenberger and Kruger made in pages 53-55 of their book. As you may remember, they believe that there are but four explanations of the development of early Christianity. Harnack (Hellenistic influences corrupted the Church); Bauer/Ehrman (orthodox Christianity was one of many types that existed before it was imposed by Rome); Cardinal Newman (Early Christianity merely the starting point of theological developments that continue to this day); and Fr. John Behr, Dean of St Valdimir's Theological Seminary (basically the Orthodox Church is indeed The True Church that is a continuous uninterrupted stream. The authors reject the first three and accept Fr Behr's explanation. Now, it may be that they think their respective churches are somehow connected to the One True orthodox Church (the Orthodox Church). That is another issue altogether; my question to them and to you would be: Given the chance to be orthodox in the Orthodox Church, why would you settle for another?
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« Reply #68 on: June 03, 2012, 11:07:38 PM »

"I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."

George Bernard Shaw
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« Reply #69 on: June 03, 2012, 11:28:38 PM »

"I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."

George Bernard Shaw

Oh, please don't let it get uncivilized in here.  We're all just debating and giving our opinions.
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« Reply #70 on: June 03, 2012, 11:29:40 PM »

"I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."

George Bernard Shaw

Oh, please don't let it get uncivilized in here.  We're all just debating and giving our opinions.

please excuse my levity...back to regularly scheduled programming Cheesy
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« Reply #71 on: June 03, 2012, 11:32:12 PM »

"I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."

George Bernard Shaw

Oh, please don't let it get uncivilized in here.  We're all just debating and giving our opinions.

please excuse my levity...back to regularly scheduled programming Cheesy

lol.  np.  Just don't want to see the ugliness here that develops on other forums.  Everyone's got their own perspectives but we can still respect each other, even after expressing them.
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« Reply #72 on: June 04, 2012, 12:16:30 AM »

“I love the troops. Because if they weren’t the troops, I would be the troops. And I would be the worst troops.” -Mike Birbiglia

Pretty much, yeah...

Mike Birbiglia! "I need to find a woman who loves me for my money, but doesn't understand math that well."
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« Reply #73 on: June 04, 2012, 12:23:51 AM »

"I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."

George Bernard Shaw

Oh, please don't let it get uncivilized in here.  We're all just debating and giving our opinions.

please excuse my levity...back to regularly scheduled programming Cheesy

lol.  np.  Just don't want to see the ugliness here that develops on other forums.  Everyone's got their own perspectives but we can still respect each other, even after expressing them.

oh i wasn't referring to anyone in particular. i was just playing off the thread title  angel
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« Reply #74 on: June 04, 2012, 01:20:47 AM »

“I love the troops. Because if they weren’t the troops, I would be the troops. And I would be the worst troops.” -Mike Birbiglia

Pretty much, yeah...

Mike Birbiglia! "I need to find a woman who loves me for my money, but doesn't understand math that well."

Hahaha. Hey...he stole my joke with that one...well, not so much a joke, really...
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« Reply #75 on: June 04, 2012, 12:12:23 PM »

For me, that confidence is worth making a lifelong change to Orthodoxy.  This is the one and only Christian church whose beginnings overlap with 10 of the 12 apostles still being alive when they established the church and appointed their first bishop.  Did any of those apostles raise a ruckus and try to shut them down? No.

All the original apostles were dead by nine hundred years and more when the rest of these offshoots--including the Catholic church I'm leaving--broke off to start their own sects.

Oh yeah, my mind's made up.  And it has nothing to do with love at first site or Haley's comet.

I'm glad for you.  However, like you, my mind had been made up, convinced that Orthodoxy is the "one holy, catholic and apostolic church" - many, many of my initial posts on this forum express just that.  My former Catholic priest even saw how convinced I was and urged me to become Orthodox - not something which happens every day.  I've read the books, I've engaged in the internal rhetoric, I've followed the same historic rabbit trails, etc..  So, I'm not talking about love at first sight; I'm talking about a substantial relationship, tried and tested over the course of time, that still unfortunately ends in dissaffected lovers and divorce.  And I'm not talking about Haley's comet, but about a firm conviction rooted in experience that, for all we know, is myopia and delusion.

Thanks to everyone for giving me an outlet for my doubts.
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« Reply #76 on: June 04, 2012, 02:24:08 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
For me, that confidence is worth making a lifelong change to Orthodoxy.  This is the one and only Christian church whose beginnings overlap with 10 of the 12 apostles still being alive when they established the church and appointed their first bishop.  Did any of those apostles raise a ruckus and try to shut them down? No.

All the original apostles were dead by nine hundred years and more when the rest of these offshoots--including the Catholic church I'm leaving--broke off to start their own sects.

Oh yeah, my mind's made up.  And it has nothing to do with love at first site or Haley's comet.

I'm glad for you.  However, like you, my mind had been made up, convinced that Orthodoxy is the "one holy, catholic and apostolic church" - many, many of my initial posts on this forum express just that.  My former Catholic priest even saw how convinced I was and urged me to become Orthodox - not something which happens every day.  I've read the books, I've engaged in the internal rhetoric, I've followed the same historic rabbit trails, etc..  So, I'm not talking about love at first sight; I'm talking about a substantial relationship, tried and tested over the course of time, that still unfortunately ends in dissaffected lovers and divorce.  And I'm not talking about Haley's comet, but about a firm conviction rooted in experience that, for all we know, is myopia and delusion.

Thanks to everyone for giving me an outlet for my doubts.

We all have doubts, hence why we need faith.  How else could Apostle Paul spoken of  in Hebrews 11:1 "Faith being the substance of things not yet seen" and again in Romans 8:25 "But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. "

The Church is where we come with our hopes, fears, and doubts. If we all knew everything, where would there be room for God?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #77 on: June 04, 2012, 02:32:20 PM »

There seems to be a belief underlying some of these posts that because there are multiple claimants to the title "the true Church" that therefore all theoretical possibilities surrounding that claim are equally likely. I don't know why that is, because it's clearly not the case. Not only are many of these groups, despite being full of very sincere and intelligent men and women, built upon some variation of restorationism (an idea which directly contradicts the word of Christ; you know "the gates of hell will not prevail against it" and all that), but they disagree with one another on major doctrinal issues. How can it be that we have some ecclesiologies in Protestantism (e.g., the Lutheran "branch" theory) that say all may be members of the church if they can't agree on basic doctrine like whether or not baptism does anything for you, whether or not the Eucharist is real or symbolic, or even a proper and consistent exposition of the Holy Trinity? The alternative to this kind of ecclesiology is, of course, that there be one Protestant church that is the true church, and all thousands of others (and all Orthodox, and all under Rome) are wrong. Well, how likely is that, given the above-mentioned reality? It is a lot more sensible to pick between two or three clearly delineated options that are historically rooted in the churches that the Holy Bible testifies to (i.e., the RC, the EO, and the OO, even though of course these hadn't developed their subsequent distinctives at that the time of the Bible) than to believe that somehow, again completely against the word of Christ and the promise of the Holy Spirit, the true Church disappeared, or was destroyed, or whatever other origin myths necessary to justify the founding of the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Mormons, the Christadelphians, the Moonies, the Seventh Day Adventists, etc. As I wrote earlier, even if Orthodoxy is ultimately unconvincing to you, that shouldn't therefore make these other options more convincing or plausible. Really, to say all of this is somehow an equally likely option is ultimately to say that either Christ, or the Apostles, or the Disciples, or the Early Church Fathers, etc. ultimately utterly failed, despite all evidence to the contrary from the time of Christ to the middle of the 4th century AD, by which time Christianity was firmly established on all the lands of the known world (Asia, Africa, Europe), all prior to the establishment of Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire in AD 380 under Theodosius I.
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« Reply #78 on: June 04, 2012, 03:10:48 PM »

There seems to be a belief underlying some of these posts that because there are multiple claimants to the title "the true Church" that therefore all theoretical possibilities surrounding that claim are equally likely. I don't know why that is, because it's clearly not the case. Not only are many of these groups, despite being full of very sincere and intelligent men and women, built upon some variation of restorationism (an idea which directly contradicts the word of Christ; you know "the gates of hell will not prevail against it" and all that), but they disagree with one another on major doctrinal issues. How can it be that we have some ecclesiologies in Protestantism (e.g., the Lutheran "branch" theory) that say all may be members of the church if they can't agree on basic doctrine like whether or not baptism does anything for you, whether or not the Eucharist is real or symbolic, or even a proper and consistent exposition of the Holy Trinity? The alternative to this kind of ecclesiology is, of course, that there be one Protestant church that is the true church, and all thousands of others (and all Orthodox, and all under Rome) are wrong. Well, how likely is that, given the above-mentioned reality? It is a lot more sensible to pick between two or three clearly delineated options that are historically rooted in the churches that the Holy Bible testifies to (i.e., the RC, the EO, and the OO, even though of course these hadn't developed their subsequent distinctives at that the time of the Bible) than to believe that somehow, again completely against the word of Christ and the promise of the Holy Spirit, the true Church disappeared, or was destroyed, or whatever other origin myths necessary to justify the founding of the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Mormons, the Christadelphians, the Moonies, the Seventh Day Adventists, etc. As I wrote earlier, even if Orthodoxy is ultimately unconvincing to you, that shouldn't therefore make these other options more convincing or plausible. Really, to say all of this is somehow an equally likely option is ultimately to say that either Christ, or the Apostles, or the Disciples, or the Early Church Fathers, etc. ultimately utterly failed, despite all evidence to the contrary from the time of Christ to the middle of the 4th century AD, by which time Christianity was firmly established on all the lands of the known world (Asia, Africa, Europe), all prior to the establishment of Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire in AD 380 under Theodosius I.

The one true church claim by Eastern Orthodoxy, and Rome, and the Mormons, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Apostolic Pentecostal Church are not at all lost upon Protestants; they are simply not credible interpretations of biblical ecclesiology. You might even say that the claim itself should make one wary of whomever makes the claim.

Visible churches, like RCC, EO and OO, have a passing value but only as a manifestation of a larger whole passing through history. Their value is measured by their purity, not their age or descent. This is known by their understanding and conformity to Scripture. If there is, was, or will be a True Church, there is no possible measurement of that identity other than from Scripture.

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« Reply #79 on: June 04, 2012, 03:18:43 PM »

The one true church claim by Eastern Orthodoxy [is] simply not credible...
Um... horsefeathers...

Credible to whom?

and the Mormons, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Apostolic Pentecostal Church... you might even say that the claim itself should make one wary of whomever makes the claim.
From our side of the fence, the denial is sufficient to make one wary.

The fact that dubious groups X, Y, Z hold some claim A does not in and of itself invalidate claim A; even a broken clock is right twice a day.
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« Reply #80 on: June 04, 2012, 03:26:14 PM »

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




Visible churches, like RCC, EO and OO, have a passing value but only as a manifestation of a larger whole passing through history. Their value is measured by their purity, not their age or descent. This is known by their understanding and conformity to Scripture. If there is, was, or will be a True Church, there is no possible measurement of that identity other than from Scripture.



That is a backwards analysis, albeit I do appreciate the poetry.  The first part is cool in the sense that at a localized level, each individual parish or jurisdiction is a temporal manifestation of the universal, One, eternal Church which is the Body of Jesus Christ!  However, the value is not measured by purity over age or descent, rather through Apostolic Succession it precisely the "descent" which gives value and legitimacy, not purity.  Only God is pure, the Church suffers from sin like the rest of us.  At various times various priests or communities have had one error or another.  The Church is perfect, but that does not make our human experiences in the Church yet perfected.  If anything, it is because of our inherent weakness that the Church expresses Her ultimate Truth.  God chose the Church not out of merit, but mercy.  Our flaws and sins ALL THE MORE exemplify the love of God for His Church.  Therefore it is not our merits which defines the truth of our Church, it is the age, descent, and perpetuity through Apostolic Succession.  

Quote
If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

7 “Blessed are those
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Romans 4

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #81 on: June 04, 2012, 04:53:55 PM »

Therefore it is not our merits which defines the truth of our Church, it is the age, descent, and perpetuity through Apostolic Succession.  

I find this questionable.  If anyone wants to make such a claim, they will need to justify their authority. And how will they do it? How will they justify the identity, nature, offices, authority, and powers of the Church in history? There is only one option; they will need to argue from the Scriptures. And when they do, they have practically admitted what Protestants have simply revived as the dominant Christian knowledge tradition.  Furthermore, as to the question of the Church needing to be very old and have very old ways in order to be the legitimate Church, the Church that wrote the Holy Scriptures is recognized and admitted by all parties to have been the newest of new churches; you can’t get any newer than the writers of the New Testament.

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« Reply #82 on: June 04, 2012, 05:03:27 PM »

How will they justify the identity, nature, offices, authority, and powers of the Church in history? There is only one option; they will need to argue from the Scriptures.

Balderdash. Poppycock. Codswallop. You speak as though there is a "Scriptures" that people agree upon. Even the traditional Churches have different ideas about the canonicity of a certain number of books. If Christianity is to have any solid foundation, you either have to throw your lot in with one of those groups and their arbitrarily selected collection of books, while chastising any who disagree, or accept reality for what it is: a good deal messier than we would like. You rebel against certain claims to exclusivity, while wishing to simultaneously promote your own favored exclusive claims.

Also, I am beginning to think that you are really just a sock account--probably created by Alveus or Iconodule--to poke fun at me (or parody me) by out-crazying me. It won't work. No one is crazier. No one.
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« Reply #83 on: June 04, 2012, 05:06:40 PM »

How will they justify the identity, nature, offices, authority, and powers of the Church in history? There is only one option; they will need to argue from the Scriptures.

Balderdash. Poppycock. Codswallop. You speak as though there is a "Scriptures" that people agree upon. Even the traditional Churches have different ideas about the canonicity of a certain number of books. If Christianity is to have any solid foundation, you either have to throw your lot in with one of those groups and their arbitrarily selected collection of books, while chastising any who disagree, or accept reality for what it is: a good deal messier than we would like. You rebel against certain claims to exclusivity, while wishing to simultaneously promote your own favored exclusive claims.

Also, I am beginning to think that you are really just a sock account--probably created by Alveus or Iconodule--to poke fun at me (or parody me) by out-crazying me. It won't work. No one is crazier. No one.

I second that.  Well-worded. 
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« Reply #84 on: June 04, 2012, 05:10:25 PM »

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

Therefore it is not our merits which defines the truth of our Church, it is the age, descent, and perpetuity through Apostolic Succession.  

I find this questionable.  If anyone wants to make such a claim, they will need to justify their authority. And how will they do it? How will they justify the identity, nature, offices, authority, and powers of the Church in history? There is only one option; they will need to argue from the Scriptures. And when they do, they have practically admitted what Protestants have simply revived as the dominant Christian knowledge tradition.  Furthermore, as to the question of the Church needing to be very old and have very old ways in order to be the legitimate Church, the Church that wrote the Holy Scriptures is recognized and admitted by all parties to have been the newest of new churches; you can’t get any newer than the writers of the New Testament.



Hence why I mentioned Paul's references to Abraham's faith, and also the fact that we hope for that we don't yet have.  We have faith in the Church's legitimacy, and we hope for this to be true.  Argue from the Scripture? Which version? Translation? Oh yeah, what about before the 4th century AD when there was no canonized Scriptures in the first place?  In Orthodox we have Apostolic Succession.  That is to say, continuity.  The Orthodox Church is an unbroken line, we don't need to "make such claim" as the reality is self-evident by the continuity.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #85 on: June 04, 2012, 06:09:04 PM »

To understand that every single denominational sect claims that they are the one true church, the only one with an accurate understanding of scripture, and the only path to heaven and God Himself is to have a firm grasp on the game of tic-tac-toe.  They are what they say they are based on nothing more than that they have said they are.  Ooh, where's that emote?  Oh, okay, here it is:  Huh

Anyone can cherry-pick scripture and historical fact with sufficient skill to start their own denominational sect while arriving at wildly flaky and bizarre conclusions.  They all do it.  Walk into any of these churches or halls or tabernacles and watch it happen before your eyes.  Every one without exception or fail can sit you down and lay out their doctrine to precise detail and then proceed to explain every single one.  The only way you can counter-point is to argue against their doctrine armed only with your own doctrine, and since they've already decided your doctrine is invalid from get-go, your counter-points fail before you even open your mouth.  

They all claim to be the only ones who understand the Bible and that they interpret scripture 'literally.'  The last person who told me this--I won't mention specific denominations but considering the one she belonged to, I swear I nearly passed hot coffee through my nasal passages.  Trust me, their interpretation of the Bible is anything but literal.  

Denominational sects will even--and with a straight face--claim apostolic succession.  If your sect has broken from the first church, then you've broken your apostolic succession, right?  

The only way is to go back as far as you can.  Which was the first Christian church?  What was the Christian church that existed prior to Orthodoxy?  I want to go all the way back to camels and sand dunes and "Hey, Luticus, we've got another crucifixion scheduled for next week.  We'd better clean this up or Pontius is going to start messing with our hours again. I've already lost my medical coverage."  Go back that far.  Where do you land?
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« Reply #86 on: June 04, 2012, 06:45:59 PM »


  That's why I'm confident now that Orthodoxy is the right direction.

What is such confidence honestly worth, though?

Two people fall in love, are honestly confident that they are each other's soulmates, and yet their marriage fails regardless.

Even someone like Maximum Bob admits to at one time being honestly confident of his call to be a minister and various other paths.

Heaven's Gate was honestly confident that Haley's comet was a spaceship come to take them home.

I was at one time honestly confident that there was nothing better beyond being Catholic.

You're absolutely right, confidence is worth little to nothing. What is truly worth something is the commitments that you fulfill regardless of your emotions, which are as changeable as whether you feel nauseas or not. Still, what's worse than both of them is doing nothing out of uncertainty.
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« Reply #87 on: June 04, 2012, 07:22:41 PM »



They all claim to be the only ones who understand the Bible and that they interpret scripture 'literally.'  

All human judgements can err but the Scriptures cannot and do not err, therefore they themselves are the ultimate and final authority in matters of faith and practice.  You will say about this, that it leaves everyone to judge for themselves what the Scriptures mean, and so it is, by necessity. Even if someone chooses to believe that whatever the Church says must be correct, they have chosen what to believe. The question is, have they believed the right thing for the right reasons. The Church saying that the Church is right because the Church is right is not a reason.  And if someone says, you can’t know what the Scriptures are apart from the Church telling you what they are, I would need to ask, “What Church?” and “How do you know that?” If they say it is from the Scriptures, they have shown their argument to be circular and largely meaningless, because they would have needed to reference Scripture itself in order to know what Scripture was.
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« Reply #88 on: June 04, 2012, 07:26:11 PM »



Hence why I mentioned Paul's references to Abraham's faith, and also the fact that we hope for that we don't yet have.  We have faith in the Church's legitimacy, and we hope for this to be true.  Argue from the Scripture? Which version? Translation? Oh yeah, what about before the 4th century AD when there was no canonized Scriptures in the first place?  In Orthodox we have Apostolic Succession.  That is to say, continuity.  The Orthodox Church is an unbroken line, we don't need to "make such claim" as the reality is self-evident by the continuity.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

If we say “tradition” and mean by this something other than the Scriptures themselves as a means of identifying the Scriptures themselves, we have unhinged ourselves from any meaningfully verifiable account of the authenticity and veracity of the Christian religion.  By definition within the ambit of the early first century Church, we have no record of any tradition outside of the Scriptures and thus no way to measure what that tradition did or did not entail. The traditions that we do have are, predictably, the ones preserved within the Scriptures themselves.

Furthermore, when you say that some tradition existed in the early Church in order to claim continuity, the reality is that we don’t have anyone that wrote of such until decades or centuries later, which makes such claims a guess, not tradition.
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« Reply #89 on: June 04, 2012, 07:26:34 PM »

All human judgements can err

Says you.

Quote
but the Scriptures

Which Scriptures? Those accepted by the Greeks and/or Russians? Catholics? Lutherans? Ethiopians?

Quote
[Scriptures] cannot [err]

Says you.

Quote
[Scriptures] do not err

Says you.

Quote
they themselves are the ultimate and final authority in matters of faith and practice

Says you.

Well, I could continue, but I think you get the point. Or maybe you don't.
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