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Author Topic: Protestant Evangelism the Orthodox East  (Read 8358 times) Average Rating: 0
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Peter J
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« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2012, 08:03:30 AM »

(I don't know if we're making too much of a distinction between Evangelical and Protestant; I don't see too much of a difference, but I digress)

Evangelicals are subset of protestants.
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« Reply #46 on: July 08, 2012, 11:13:10 AM »

^I'm aware of that, but some people do make distinctions between the actions of the mainline Protestants (e.g. Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians) and those of Evangelicals.  I didn't know if the OP was talking more of the actions of Protestants (as I defined above) in traditionally Orthodox countries or those of evangelicals.  Their approaches are often quite different.
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« Reply #47 on: July 09, 2012, 02:46:40 PM »

If missionaries of any type were interested in spreading the message of Christianity, they would be better served by spreading it to places where Chrisitanity has never flourished or where it has been repressed.  Of course, these people would never venture to Saudi Arabia or Iran or Pakistan where such efforts could meet with death. It's easier, of course, to go to Europe and see the sights while "spreading the good news."


Yes, it's always puzzled me that so much time, effort, energy and money is devoted to "evangelizing" countries that have been Christian for centuries.
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« Reply #48 on: July 09, 2012, 02:47:53 PM »

If missionaries of any type were interested in spreading the message of Christianity, they would be better served by spreading it to places where Chrisitanity has never flourished or where it has been repressed.  Of course, these people would never venture to Saudi Arabia or Iran or Pakistan where such efforts could meet with death. It's easier, of course, to go to Europe and see the sights while "spreading the good news."


Yes, it's always puzzled me that so much time, effort, energy and money is devoted to "evangelizing" countries that have been Christian for centuries.
Because they dont view Orthodox or RC's as Christians. So to them, its no different than if all those folks were Hindu or Muslim.

So they dont see it as proseletyzation.

PP
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« Reply #49 on: July 09, 2012, 03:18:35 PM »

Because they dont view Orthodox or RC's as Christians. So to them, its no different than if all those folks were Hindu or Muslim.

So they dont see it as proseletyzation.

PP

That's true. Some Baptist friends of mine going on a mission trip to Romania were were shocked when I told them that Romania had been Christian for centuries. But of course, the Romanians weren't Baptists and that was the difference.
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« Reply #50 on: July 09, 2012, 05:56:44 PM »

Yes, it's always puzzled me that so much time, effort, energy and money is devoted to "evangelizing" countries that have been Christian for centuries.

So I take it that I'm fine as a Catholic, and there's no need to "convert" to Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #51 on: July 10, 2012, 03:30:52 AM »

Because they dont view Orthodox or RC's as Christians. So to them, its no different than if all those folks were Hindu or Muslim.

So they dont see it as proseletyzation.

PP

That's true. Some Baptist friends of mine going on a mission trip to Romania were were shocked when I told them that Romania had been Christian for centuries. But of course, the Romanians weren't Baptists and that was the difference.

I actually met an American Baptist missionary on a plane to Romania (or possibly from, can't quite remember) wearing a T-shirt saying something like 'Preaching the Gospel where it's never been heard' above a picture of an Orthodox Church! I tried to point out the irony to him (and I was still Protestant at the time) but he was having none of it. It's no wonder that these types of missionaries generally rub Romanians up the wrong way and have little or no success.

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« Reply #52 on: July 10, 2012, 09:54:12 AM »

Because they dont view Orthodox or RC's as Christians. So to them, its no different than if all those folks were Hindu or Muslim.

So they dont see it as proseletyzation.

PP

That's true. Some Baptist friends of mine going on a mission trip to Romania were were shocked when I told them that Romania had been Christian for centuries. But of course, the Romanians weren't Baptists and that was the difference.

I actually met an American Baptist missionary on a plane to Romania (or possibly from, can't quite remember) wearing a T-shirt saying something like 'Preaching the Gospel where it's never been heard' above a picture of an Orthodox Church! I tried to point out the irony to him (and I was still Protestant at the time) but he was having none of it. It's no wonder that these types of missionaries generally rub Romanians up the wrong way and have little or no success.

James

That reminds me of something I heard years ago: when the Joint Declaration on Justification was signed, one church body (don't know which one, surely an Evangelical or Fundamentalist group) announced that Rome and the Lutheran World Federation had agreed to abandon the Gospel.
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« Reply #53 on: July 10, 2012, 10:07:22 AM »

Yes, it's always puzzled me that so much time, effort, energy and money is devoted to "evangelizing" countries that have been Christian for centuries.

So I take it that I'm fine as a Catholic, and there's no need to "convert" to Orthodoxy?

Surely it hasn't escaped your notice that we Orthodox don't proselytize? Or even evangelize, come to that. You are welcome to pursue whatever heresies and errors you wish. However, I for one am willing to welcome you home to the One True Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church whenever you are ready. And I will never bring up the past again!
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« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2012, 10:23:31 AM »

Surely it hasn't escaped your notice that we Orthodox don't proselytize? Or even evangelize, come to that.

Well, I did wonder.

:emoticon:
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« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2012, 01:57:15 PM »

Surely it hasn't escaped your notice that we Orthodox don't proselytize? Or even evangelize, come to that.

What do you call what the Byzantines and the Copts are doing in sub-Saharan Africa and South America, then? Smiley
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« Reply #56 on: July 10, 2012, 09:39:00 PM »

This is a really good book about a priest who worked in Zaire. It's one of the things that gave me the idea to look into the Church.
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« Reply #57 on: July 11, 2012, 12:37:47 AM »

Surely it hasn't escaped your notice that we Orthodox don't proselytize? Or even evangelize, come to that.

What do you call what the Byzantines and the Copts are doing in sub-Saharan Africa and South America, then? Smiley

A working vacation.
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« Reply #58 on: July 16, 2012, 06:54:31 PM »

This clip from youtube was made known to me on another blog post here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo5lK9qLK7w

It's shows an Orthodox priest in the Ukraine confronting some Adventists at a roadside literature stand during a procession. He overturns their tables and books. You can see from the comments that the Adventists are viewing this as persecution from the Orthodox. I wonder what the Orthodox make of this. Please comment.
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« Reply #59 on: July 16, 2012, 07:12:23 PM »

This clip from youtube was made known to me on another blog post here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo5lK9qLK7w

It's shows an Orthodox priest in the Ukraine confronting some Adventists at a roadside literature stand during a procession. He overturns their tables and books. You can see from the comments that the Adventists are viewing this as persecution from the Orthodox. I wonder what the Orthodox make of this. Please comment.

Terrible Sad
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« Reply #60 on: July 16, 2012, 07:17:10 PM »

I have a feeling there is a lot more to this than a few minutes of video.
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« Reply #61 on: July 16, 2012, 07:19:07 PM »

I have a feeling there is a lot more to this than a few minutes of video.

Probably, and being from a different culture probably is important in how I react as well. Nonetheless, throwing the buckets and water and such... . .?
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« Reply #62 on: July 16, 2012, 07:19:53 PM »

I have a feeling there is a lot more to this than a few minutes of video.

Good comment. I think you're right.
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« Reply #63 on: July 16, 2012, 07:36:06 PM »

I have a feeling there is a lot more to this than a few minutes of video.

Probably, and being from a different culture probably is important in how I react as well. Nonetheless, throwing the buckets and water and such... . .?

Christ wasn't so pleasant when he overturned the moneychangers tables in the Temple and so on. It doesn't say that he threw water on people, but I'm sure those whom he disrupted were pretty humiliated. Not saying this is a direct parallel... Perhaps this was a poorer moment for the Priests. Of course we have to be more careful in this day and age because of how this appears to others. But this certainly would not constitute any significant "persecution" in my opinion.

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« Reply #64 on: July 16, 2012, 09:27:06 PM »

This clip from youtube was made known to me on another blog post here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo5lK9qLK7w

It's shows an Orthodox priest in the Ukraine confronting some Adventists at a roadside literature stand during a procession. He overturns their tables and books. You can see from the comments that the Adventists are viewing this as persecution from the Orthodox. I wonder what the Orthodox make of this. Please comment.

Hmm ... I'm no fan of Seven Day Adventists by any stretch of the imagination ... But I have to wonder if perhaps next time it will be the Methodists' stand, then maybe the time after that it will be the Latin Catholics (then the Eastern Catholics because they're "not really Eastern" :rolleyes:).
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« Reply #65 on: July 16, 2012, 09:38:02 PM »

This clip from youtube was made known to me on another blog post here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo5lK9qLK7w

It's shows an Orthodox priest in the Ukraine confronting some Adventists at a roadside literature stand during a procession. He overturns their tables and books. You can see from the comments that the Adventists are viewing this as persecution from the Orthodox. I wonder what the Orthodox make of this. Please comment.

Hmm ... I'm no fan of Seven Day Adventists by any stretch of the imagination ... But I have to wonder if perhaps next time it will be the Methodists' stand, then maybe the time after that it will be the Latin Catholics (then the Eastern Catholics because they're "not really Eastern" :rolleyes:).

I learned years ago the best reaction to someone’s missionary work with whom you do not agree is to allow them to complete their work under the condition you have the same opportunity.  Many years ago in the middle of winter with sleet and snow falling, I had a knock at the front door from two young Jehovah Witnesses.  To their surprise, I invited them inside to warm up and gave them something to drink.  I agreed to listen to everything they had to say as long as they listened to all I had to say.  After two hours, they left happy and warm with a lot of new information to think over.  Doesn’t always work, but sometimes it works out really well.
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« Reply #66 on: July 17, 2012, 03:46:31 AM »

an Orthodox priest in the Ukraine confronting some Adventists

I am not sure what this post has to do with the theme of the thread. I thought (wrongly?) that Adventists were regarded as heretics, not one of the creedal Christian churches at all.

I recall a probably true anecdote in which A said to B something like, "I disagree with everything you say, but I would die for your right to say it." But no doubt the priest felt that overturning their tables was a truly dominical act undertaken in the spirit (or Spirit) of Christ.
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« Reply #67 on: July 17, 2012, 07:03:37 AM »

Quote
I am not sure what this post has to do with the theme of the thread. I thought (wrongly?) that Adventists were regarded as heretics, not one of the creedal Christian churches at all
I know they hold to some heretical beliefs (soul sleep, spirit destruction) but I think they are "creedal" in the broad sense of the term.

PP
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« Reply #68 on: July 17, 2012, 09:34:33 AM »

I think they are "creedal" in the broad sense of the term.

I was thinking of Nicæa and Chalcydon.
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« Reply #69 on: July 17, 2012, 09:42:36 AM »

I think they are "creedal" in the broad sense of the term.

I was thinking of Nicæa and Chalcydon.
Then yes, I believe they are. However the water gets murky when dealing with Penecostal Holiness folks...especially of the "oneness" stripe.

PP
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« Reply #70 on: July 17, 2012, 09:51:46 AM »

Pentecostal Holiness folks...especially of the "oneness" stripe.

I embrace neither Pentecostal nor "Holiness" (i.e. Wesleyan) doctrine, but I see nothing in their creeds which gainsays Nicæa or Chalcydon. The odd thing about the "oneness" stripe is that one of their members had be hauled in to interpret for me when I was preaching in Sicily, and I have since followed her posts on Facebook, and they seem remarkably Christ-centred and truly devotional. It leaves me puzzled.

(You ask, How did I get on among believers in Sicily if I don't speak Italian? Well, conversation was in Albanian, but services in Italian - a tongue of which I have almost no knowledge beyond learning the importance of the fact that cornetto = croissant (not ice-cream).)
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« Reply #71 on: July 17, 2012, 11:51:08 AM »

Pentecostal Holiness folks...especially of the "oneness" stripe.

I embrace neither Pentecostal nor "Holiness" (i.e. Wesleyan) doctrine, but I see nothing in their creeds which gainsays Nicæa or Chalcydon. The odd thing about the "oneness" stripe is that one of their members had be hauled in to interpret for me when I was preaching in Sicily, and I have since followed her posts on Facebook, and they seem remarkably Christ-centred and truly devotional. It leaves me puzzled.

(You ask, How did I get on among believers in Sicily if I don't speak Italian? Well, conversation was in Albanian, but services in Italian - a tongue of which I have almost no knowledge beyond learning the importance of the fact that cornetto = croissant (not ice-cream).)

Regarding the Oneness Pentecostals, should it really be so puzzling that heretics can be Christ-centered and devotional? Just from a historical perspective, heresies usually were not charged on grounds of their devotion or the place Christ holds in their lives, but on the grounds of the place Christ, the Father, or the Holy Spirit hold in their teaching. Oneness Pentecostals don't hold to Arianism, which would place Christ as a created being, nor to a gnosticism that would accuse the Creator God of being evil, nor are they Pneumatomachians rejecting the divinity of the Holy Spirit. They are modalists, they are quite specific in their rejection of the Trinity; they cannot fathom Three Persons in One God and so charge Trinitarian Christianity with polytheism. For the Oneness Pentecostal, God has revealed himself in "manifestations" as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but at no time has there ever been distinct Persons. For the Oneness Pentecostal, the Word was not begotten of the Father before all ages, a distinct Person in the Unity of the Godhead, but was rather One Person and was only One Person-God during the Incarnation- the only thing that makes Jesus the Son of God is his human nature. Likewise, the Holy Spirit does not proceed from the Father, but rather IS the Father

For them there is no problem with Jesus Christ being the God-Man, fully God and fully Man, and worthy of worship, honor, and glory. The only problem is with the Triune God.
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« Reply #72 on: July 17, 2012, 01:12:20 PM »

Regarding the Oneness Pentecostals, should it really be so puzzling that heretics can be Christ-centered and devotional?

Thank you. You clearly know a good deal more about heresy and heretics than I do. (Some of you think I am one!) What puzzles me might be explained like this. It took the Church some three hundred years of theological reflection, debate and refinement on the part of its finest thinkers to arrive at the definitions of Nicæa and Chalcydon. Following the universal acceptance of those creeds, folk who disagreed were properly deemed heretical. But what about people during the previous three centuries? Their views were current among the believers before a clear definition had been hammered out, and were surely less culpable than later generations if they felt a devotion to Christ coupled with what was later realised to be a mistaken concept of his person or nature(s). Would such a person be saved before 325 AD, but damned after that date? The question is rhetorical, for it involves a reductio ad absurdum: but it remains a puzzle which I cannot yet 'get my head round'.
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« Reply #73 on: July 17, 2012, 01:25:57 PM »

Regarding the Oneness Pentecostals, should it really be so puzzling that heretics can be Christ-centered and devotional?

Thank you. You clearly know a good deal more about heresy and heretics than I do. (Some of you think I am one!) What puzzles me might be explained like this. It took the Church some three hundred years of theological reflection, debate and refinement on the part of its finest thinkers to arrive at the definitions of Nicæa and Chalcydon. Following the universal acceptance of those creeds, folk who disagreed were properly deemed heretical. But what about people during the previous three centuries? Their views were current among the believers before a clear definition had been hammered out, and were surely less culpable than later generations if they felt a devotion to Christ coupled with what was later realised to be a mistaken concept of his person or nature(s). Would such a person be saved before 325 AD, but damned after that date? The question is rhetorical, for it involves a reductio ad absurdum: but it remains a puzzle which I cannot yet 'get my head round'.

I know you said the question was rhetorical, but fwiw St. Photius talked about this problem when discussing the filioque...

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Read through Ambrose or Augustine or whatever Father you may choose: which of them wished to affirm anything contrary to the Master's word? If it is I, then I insult your Fathers. But if you say it whilst I deny it, then you insult them, and I condemn you of insolence towards the Fathers. But, you retort, they have written so, and the words the Spirit proceeds from the Son are to be found in their writings. What of it? If those fathers, having been instructed, did not alter or change their opinion, if after just rebukes they were not persuaded — again, this is another slander against your Fathers — then you who teach your word [Filioque] as a dogma introduce your own stubbornness of opinion into the teachings of those men. Although in other things they are the equals of the best [Fathers], what does this have to do with you? If they slipped and fell into error, therefore, by some negligence or oversight — for such is the human condition — when they were corrected, they neither contradicted nor were they obstinately disobedient. For they were not, even in the slightest degree, participants in those things in which you abound. Though they were admirable by reason of many other qualities that manifest virtue and piety, they professed your teaching either through ignorance or negligence. But if they in no way shared the benefit of your advantages [of being corrected], why do your introduce their human fault as a mandate for your blasphemous belief?

. . . But I do not admit that what you assert was so plainly taught by those blessed men. Even so, if any among them has fallen into something unseemly — for they were all men and human, and no one composed of dust and ephemeral nature can avoid some trace of defilement — I would then imitate the sons of Noah and cover my father's shame with silence and gratitude instead of a garment. I would not have followed Ham as you do. Indeed, you follow him with even more shamelessness and impudence than he himself, because you publish abroad the shame of those whom you call your Fathers. Ham is cursed, not because he uncovered his father, but because he failed to cover him. You, however, both uncover your Fathers and brag about your audacity. Ham exposes the secret to his brothers; you tell yours not to one or two brothers, but in your rash and reckless abandon, proclaim the shame of your Fathers to the whole world, as if it were your theatre. You behave lewdly towards the shame of their nakedness and seek other revellers with whom to make more conspicuous festival, rejoicing when you expose their nakedness to the light!

. . . Admittedly, those things were said (by Augustine and Jerome). But perhaps they spoke out of necessity in attacking [pagan] Greek madness, or whilst refuting heresy, or through some condescension to the weakness of their listeners, or due to the necessity of any one of the many things presented by daily life. If, by chance, such a statement escaped their lips because of one or more of the above reasons, then why do you still dismiss their testimony, and take as a necessary dogma what they did not mean as a dogma? Do you not realise that you bring irreparable destruction upon yourselves by enlisting those men in your rebellious contention?

. . . It is possible to find many other examples in our holy and blessed fathers. I have in mind Clement, one of the bishops of [Old] Rome. Consider the books which are known from him as Clementine (I do not say write because, according to ancient report, Peter the Coryphaeus commanded they be written). Consider also Dionysius of Alexandria, who in stretching out his hand against Sabellius nearly joins with Arius. Consider also the splendour of the sacred-martyr, Methodius the Great of Patara, who did not reject the idea that angels fell into mortal desire and bodily intercourse, even though they are incorporeal and without passions. I shall pass over Pantaenos, Clement, Pierios, Pamphilos and Theognostos, all holy men and teachers of holy disciples whom we hymn with great honour and affection, especially Pamphilos and Pierios, distinguished by the trials of martyrdom. Although we do not accept all of their statements, we grant them honour for their patient disposition and goodness of life and for their other doctrines. In addition to those previously mentioned, there is Irenaeus, the bishop of God, who received the supervision of sacred things in Lyons and also Hippolytus, his disciple, the Episcopal martyr: all of these were admirable in many ways, though at times some of their writings do not avoid departing from orthodoxy.

Consequently, you should produce this double dilemma and strive against all of these men and, with raised brows, say: Either these men should be honoured and their writings not rejected, or, if we reject some of their words, we should simultaneously reject the men themselves. But will not these more-than-righteous, expert men more fairly turn your facile argument back upon you, saying, Why, O man, do you enjoin what is not enjoined? If you really call us Fathers, why do you not fear to take up arms against the Fathers and, what is even more prideful, against our common Master, the Creator of all? But once you decided to behave insultingly towards us by being zealous for your doctrine, are you not evidently insane when you simultaneously stretch patricidal hands towards us? How many ways your sophisms can be turned against you! But just as we passed by the Fathers previously named, let us pass by discussion of these points for now.

Who does not know about Basil the Great, who (whilst preserving the royal garment of pure godliness in the secret chamber of his soul) was silent about the deity of the Spirit? A soul burning with divine love, but not flaring into an open flame lest it be extinguished by that very progress and open splendour! This man ordered his words with judgement and guided the godly with small, gradual increases (for when it has been gently introduced into men's souls, the mighty flame of faith arises more strongly; for the hasty assault of light frequently blinds the spiritual eyes of men as when strong light overshadows the eyes of those who have weak vision). For this reason, he is silent, inflaming them before he proclaims it. He passed over it in silence so that a more seasonable time would come to eloquently proclaim the secret. If one wished to name all the men and their reasons for often not revealing the blossom of truth, one would have to compose a huge book! Their ultimate concern was how this blossom might bloom more beautifully and how its fruit might multiply so that an abundant harvest could be gathered. But we admire those men who had unspeakable inspiration which surpasses reason and for their judiciousness of wisdom. Now if any of you would introduce laws and dogmas into the Church which are hateful to the Holy Fathers, we would consider him an enemy of the truth and a destroyer of piety. Since he becomes guilty by himself, we would condemn him with the judgements he himself provides.


-- St. Photius, Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit, 68-77
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« Reply #74 on: July 17, 2012, 01:33:25 PM »

Regarding the Oneness Pentecostals, should it really be so puzzling that heretics can be Christ-centered and devotional?

Thank you. You clearly know a good deal more about heresy and heretics than I do. (Some of you think I am one!) What puzzles me might be explained like this. It took the Church some three hundred years of theological reflection, debate and refinement on the part of its finest thinkers to arrive at the definitions of Nicæa and Chalcydon. Following the universal acceptance of those creeds, folk who disagreed were properly deemed heretical. But what about people during the previous three centuries? Their views were current among the believers before a clear definition had been hammered out, and were surely less culpable than later generations if they felt a devotion to Christ coupled with what was later realised to be a mistaken concept of his person or nature(s). Would such a person be saved before 325 AD, but damned after that date? The question is rhetorical, for it involves a reductio ad absurdum: but it remains a puzzle which I cannot yet 'get my head round'.
David, how many Orthodox Christians do you think can clearly define Christ in terms of His Natures and Person? Can the average Baptist do that? So often just when I think I've got it figured out, I find I have to rethink the whole thing. If my present and final salvation depends on my being able to state this definition, I'm hopelessly doomed. However, I keep striving for the truth (or do I mean the Truth?). I think that's what keeps me from being labelled as a heretic.

Are you a heretic? I'll answer that when I get to be a bishop  Grin.
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« Reply #75 on: July 17, 2012, 01:46:39 PM »

how many Orthodox Christians do you think can clearly define Christ in terms of His Natures and Person? Can the average Baptist do that?

We Baptists certainly can't, though we believe firmly in the Trinity and we hear the doctrine preached. In one sense, none of us Baptists understands the Trinity, that is, the deity; what I (and I think you also) mean is, do many even understand the trinitarian dogmas or formulas? I am sure the answer is still No.

So it seems to me that the distinction is a very fine (or 'nice') one between my fellow-worshippers on a Sunday today, the ordinary man in the non-pew before Nicæa, and my interpreter in Sicily. Nearly all have a hazy if not downright mistaken view of God's triune nature.
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« Reply #76 on: July 17, 2012, 03:02:19 PM »

Regarding the Oneness Pentecostals, should it really be so puzzling that heretics can be Christ-centered and devotional?

Thank you. You clearly know a good deal more about heresy and heretics than I do.
It comes from being taught the Landmark theory of Baptist succession as a child. When you start studying all those paragons of good ole Southern Baptist thought from the first millennium you are in for some real eye openers!  laugh

Quote
(Some of you think I am one!)
I personally try not to be too free with that term. There are certain boundary lines, though- most of us would not seek to include a Jehovah's Witness's Arianism as being under the Christian umbrella (indeed, I remember a post of mine where I referenced JW's and Mormons as being children of the Reformation which had you scandalized). Likewise I cannot consider modalism to be anything other than a grave error. 
Quote
What puzzles me might be explained like this. It took the Church some three hundred years of theological reflection, debate and refinement on the part of its finest thinkers to arrive at the definitions of Nicæa and Chalcydon. Following the universal acceptance of those creeds, folk who disagreed were properly deemed heretical. But what about people during the previous three centuries? Their views were current among the believers before a clear definition had been hammered out, and were surely less culpable than later generations if they felt a devotion to Christ coupled with what was later realised to be a mistaken concept of his person or nature(s). Would such a person be saved before 325 AD, but damned after that date? The question is rhetorical, for it involves a reductio ad absurdum: but it remains a puzzle which I cannot yet 'get my head round'.

I think Asteriktos' quotation of St Photius answers your rhetorical question quite well.

how many Orthodox Christians do you think can clearly define Christ in terms of His Natures and Person? Can the average Baptist do that?

We Baptists certainly can't, though we believe firmly in the Trinity and we hear the doctrine preached. In one sense, none of us Baptists understands the Trinity, that is, the deity; what I (and I think you also) mean is, do many even understand the trinitarian dogmas or formulas? I am sure the answer is still No.

So it seems to me that the distinction is a very fine (or 'nice') one between my fellow-worshippers on a Sunday today, the ordinary man in the non-pew before Nicæa, and my interpreter in Sicily. Nearly all have a hazy if not downright mistaken view of God's triune nature.


The difference between the Orthodox, Baptist, and pre Nicene Christian and the Oneness Pentecostal is that while the former group cannot hope to ever truly comprehend or understand the Trinitarian dogmas (any more than any of us could ever hope to comprehend what was really going on with the Incarnation), and a good many of us cannot even grasp the basics, what we do not do (I would hope) is promote our misunderstandings as the Gospel truth. Heresies mainly become heresies after an opinion or thought-exercise is proclaimed as dogma (or at the very least taught to such a degree that it creates controversy) over and above the revelations from the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures and the Church. In the case of the Oneness Pentecostals, a view of the nature of God that is contrary to both Nicene Christianity and Scriptural revelation in general is taught as the absolute truth. The average Christian of any denomination might not have more than a vague and possibly mistaken idea of the Trinity, the average Oneness Pentecostal believes as a matter of fact that any belief in the Trinity as such is wrong. The latter is not merely a "mistaken" view of God's Triune nature, it is a complete denial of it.
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« Reply #77 on: July 17, 2012, 03:08:08 PM »

...promote our misunderstandings as the Gospel truth. Heresies mainly become heresies after an opinion or thought-exercise is proclaimed as dogma (or at the very least taught to such a degree that it creates controversy) over and above the revelations from the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures and the Church.

Excellent! Well said, sir.
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« Reply #78 on: July 17, 2012, 04:03:12 PM »

Heresies mainly become heresies after an opinion or thought-exercise is proclaimed as dogma (or at the very least taught to such a degree that it creates controversy) over and above the revelations from the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures and the Church.

Very perceptively and succinctly put. Thank you.
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« Reply #79 on: July 17, 2012, 05:17:19 PM »

an Orthodox priest in the Ukraine confronting some Adventists

I am not sure what this post has to do with the theme of the thread. I thought (wrongly?) that Adventists were regarded as heretics, not one of the creedal Christian churches at all.

I recall a probably true anecdote in which A said to B something like, "I disagree with everything you say, but I would die for your right to say it." But no doubt the priest felt that overturning their tables was a truly dominical act undertaken in the spirit (or Spirit) of Christ.

David, I am currently in the SDA church. Whilst we don't like to think of our Trinitarian belief as Nicene, or our Christology as Chalcedonian, in reality they are. And, as you mention below, Baptists aren't explicitly creedal in this narrow sense either.

I should mention, however, that SDAs participate in the World Council of Churches. The explicitly heretical groups like the JWs and Mormons don't.

SDAs are at the very edge of (small "o") orthodoxy. I should also mention that, in their general attitudes to the early creeds, they are not much different from other radical Protestant groups in America like the Southern Baptists etc. I think Harold Bloom wrote a book on American Religion which showed that sects like Mormons, Pentecostals, Southern Baptists, JWs, SDAs are really part of the same fabric. Many similarities to Gnosticism etc.
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« Reply #80 on: July 17, 2012, 06:02:49 PM »

an Orthodox priest in the Ukraine confronting some Adventists

I am not sure what this post has to do with the theme of the thread. I thought (wrongly?) that Adventists were regarded as heretics, not one of the creedal Christian churches at all.

I recall a probably true anecdote in which A said to B something like, "I disagree with everything you say, but I would die for your right to say it." But no doubt the priest felt that overturning their tables was a truly dominical act undertaken in the spirit (or Spirit) of Christ.

David, I am currently in the SDA church. Whilst we don't like to think of our Trinitarian belief as Nicene, or our Christology as Chalcedonian, in reality they are. And, as you mention below, Baptists aren't explicitly creedal in this narrow sense either.

I should mention, however, that SDAs participate in the World Council of Churches. The explicitly heretical groups like the JWs and Mormons don't.

SDAs are at the very edge of (small "o") orthodoxy. I should also mention that, in their general attitudes to the early creeds, they are not much different from other radical Protestant groups in America like the Southern Baptists etc. I think Harold Bloom wrote a book on American Religion which showed that sects like Mormons, Pentecostals, Southern Baptists, JWs, SDAs are really part of the same fabric. Many similarities to Gnosticism etc.

!
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« Reply #81 on: July 17, 2012, 06:42:54 PM »

an Orthodox priest in the Ukraine confronting some Adventists

I am not sure what this post has to do with the theme of the thread. I thought (wrongly?) that Adventists were regarded as heretics, not one of the creedal Christian churches at all.

I recall a probably true anecdote in which A said to B something like, "I disagree with everything you say, but I would die for your right to say it." But no doubt the priest felt that overturning their tables was a truly dominical act undertaken in the spirit (or Spirit) of Christ.

David, I am currently in the SDA church. Whilst we don't like to think of our Trinitarian belief as Nicene, or our Christology as Chalcedonian, in reality they are. And, as you mention below, Baptists aren't explicitly creedal in this narrow sense either.

I should mention, however, that SDAs participate in the World Council of Churches. The explicitly heretical groups like the JWs and Mormons don't.

SDAs are at the very edge of (small "o") orthodoxy. I should also mention that, in their general attitudes to the early creeds, they are not much different from other radical Protestant groups in America like the Southern Baptists etc. I think Harold Bloom wrote a book on American Religion which showed that sects like Mormons, Pentecostals, Southern Baptists, JWs, SDAs are really part of the same fabric. Many similarities to Gnosticism etc.

!

This is news to you? American religion is quite dualistic.
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« Reply #82 on: July 18, 2012, 08:21:15 AM »

Quote
I think Harold Bloom wrote a book on American Religion which showed that sects like Mormons, Pentecostals, Southern Baptists, JWs, SDAs are really part of the same fabric. Many similarities to Gnosticism etc
A book I would probably agree with. Evangelical protestantism IS very dualistic. Although if you told them that you'd probably lose a tooth or two Smiley

PP
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« Reply #83 on: July 18, 2012, 06:23:07 PM »

Quote
I think Harold Bloom wrote a book on American Religion which showed that sects like Mormons, Pentecostals, Southern Baptists, JWs, SDAs are really part of the same fabric. Many similarities to Gnosticism etc
A book I would probably agree with. Evangelical protestantism IS very dualistic. Although if you told them that you'd probably lose a tooth or two Smiley

PP

haha... I think if you told them that, they probably wouldnt have a clue what you were talking about! As long as they have their "personal relationship with Jesus" everything would be good! I have to say that most evangelicals are very nice people. I think hyper Calvinists might punch you in the face tho. Some of these are very unpleasant people.
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« Reply #84 on: July 18, 2012, 06:30:06 PM »

I would like to ask : Do many protestants (or specifically Evangelicals) push into theology, or Church Fathers ? Or they rather focus on, yeah, the relationship with Jesus ? More pratical than theological ?
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« Reply #85 on: July 18, 2012, 08:13:23 PM »

I would like to ask : Do many protestants (or specifically Evangelicals) push into theology, or Church Fathers ? Or they rather focus on, yeah, the relationship with Jesus ? More pratical than theological ?

I think there is a growing appreciation of the Fathers in evangelical circles. That's why there seems to be many converting to Orthodoxy. But I'd say that the main thrust of American evangelicalism is still towards mega church type stuff or Southern Baptist non-creedal type stuff.

There is appears to be resurgence in Calvinsim in the US and less so in the UK. This new wave of Calvinists tend to take the Fathers seriously, or at least attempt to do so. An example of this is a book entitled "Pierced for Our Transgressions" to defend the penal substitution theory of the atonement as the controlling way we should understand the cross. There was a chapter in that book on penal substitution in the Fathers. The trouble with Calvinist treatments of the Fathers is, obviously, that none held beliefs remotely like Calvinism. I think what happens is that the Fathers are looked at as another source to mine for statements that can appear to support Calvinistic doctrine. It also makes them look legitimate if they can quote from the Fathers. As if dropping a statement from St John Chrysostom means that they know about Church history and that the early church agrees with them. But these Calvinists are probably on the fringe - they are an ever growing fringe however. They have the appearance of rigorous thinking about Scripture and the Church, and this appeals to many who are dissatisfied with much of the wishy washy stuff in modern evangelicalism.  But, if I could indulge, statements like this from one prominent Calvinist preacher show that their understanding of Christianity have nothing to do with Christ, the apostles and the Fathers:

"In the Final Judgment, we see the triune God settling violence on the heads of the rebellious forever and ever."

"if you don't believe in the vicarious death of Jesus Christ on the cross, suffering violence at the center of history at the hands of His Father, if you don't believe in a final judgment in which the sheep and the goats are separated... then you are in revolt against God's revelation and definition of His justice."

And in the comment section of this blog:

"The point here is that judicial violence executed by the Almighty was so vast and overwhelming that the modern Secular Man can't stand to look."


These are appalling statements to make. This is completely incompatible, as far as I know, with Orthodox understanding of God. It makes most Protestants wince. Calvinists embrace this completely distorted picture of God. I think that Calvinism will to be regarded as a sect or a cult in the future, with no ecumenical progress possible with the overwhelming majority of Christians.

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« Reply #86 on: July 19, 2012, 07:26:16 AM »

Quote
I would like to ask : Do many protestants (or specifically Evangelicals) push into theology, or Church Fathers ? Or they rather focus on, yeah, the relationship with Jesus ? More pratical than theological ?
Alot of Evangelicals are starting to think about the Early Church, especially in light of so many people coming up with their own theology. They want something rooted. Alot (not all) of them are wanting historical roots for their faith. That is one reason why the Messianics get alot of "airtime" in evangelical circles, because they think that it puts them in connection with the apostolic times.

Its also a big reason why alot of evangelicals look into Orthodoxy. Of course they're also looking into the "restorationist" movements too. lord have mercy.

PP
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« Reply #87 on: July 19, 2012, 07:18:55 PM »

Thanks for your replies.

I've also heard that in Russia Mormon missionaries are not allowed to proselytise anymore. Any truth to this?

Yes that is correct, at this time they are restricted as they are considered a cult.
Unfortunate. However I feel about a certain religious group, I'd like it to be up to the individual to decide if its right or not. Not Big Brother
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« Reply #88 on: August 10, 2012, 01:15:42 PM »

This clip from youtube was made known to me on another blog post here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo5lK9qLK7w

It's shows an Orthodox priest in the Ukraine confronting some Adventists at a roadside literature stand during a procession. He overturns their tables and books. You can see from the comments that the Adventists are viewing this as persecution from the Orthodox. I wonder what the Orthodox make of this. Please comment.

http://www.religion.in.ua/news/ukrainian_news/17743-krymskaya-eparxiya-upc-nakazala-svyashhennikov-za-razgrom-palatki-adventistov.html

They have been disciplinde by the dioceasan court.
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« Reply #89 on: August 10, 2012, 02:20:56 PM »

This clip from youtube was made known to me on another blog post here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo5lK9qLK7w

It's shows an Orthodox priest in the Ukraine confronting some Adventists at a roadside literature stand during a procession. He overturns their tables and books. You can see from the comments that the Adventists are viewing this as persecution from the Orthodox. I wonder what the Orthodox make of this. Please comment.

http://www.religion.in.ua/news/ukrainian_news/17743-krymskaya-eparxiya-upc-nakazala-svyashhennikov-za-razgrom-palatki-adventistov.html

They have been disciplinde by the dioceasan court.

Interesting. I eagerly wait to see how that goes over with people on this forum ...
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