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Author Topic: Is the Jordanville Prayer Book influenced by Protestantism?  (Read 2076 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: August 06, 2012, 12:29:46 PM »



And the Theotokos is our salvation.

As a convert, statements like this still make me uncomfortable. 

Pray and get over it.



Stupid response to a real concern.  But this is OCNet after all.  For you information, I have been doing so, for almost 17 years now.  And I am just as uncomfortable with it now as I was when I converted.  And I have spoken with my priest over this, several of them.  Their explanations seem more like excuses than anything convincing.

It is not a stupid response. Your position is puzzling.

You left a less traditional jurisdiction for ROCOR - perhaps the most 'tradition' bound jurisdiction currently in communion with the ancient Patriarchates and Moscow - by your own testimony. Are you rejecting the traditional Orthodox view of the role of the Theotokas as taught by ROCOR? If so, perhaps you are in the wrong place for your soul. I mean no offense, nor am I trying to be snarky, but I don't think you can have things both ways.

You often use a certain harshness, or at least it comes across that way in print, when taking issue with things and I sense this on the issue of the role of Mary and her veneration within the Orthodox Faith. If I am in error, I apologize. Again, please don't take offense.

I believe that Mary is the Birthgiver of God.  I also believe that she is the greatest among the Saints.  However, she is not God, and she is not the incarnation of the Living God into a man.  So while she certainly has a part in our Salvation (no Mary, no Jesus), saying that she IS our Salvation, to me, is blasphemy.  Jesus Christ IS my God and my Salvation first and foremost.  Everyone else is second place - even Mary.  Are you saying that this confession is wrong?  Do you place Mary equal with God?

BTW - it was a sign from Mary that sent me to the ROCOR.  My guess would be that she does not have a big problem with me putting her second place to her son.
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« Reply #46 on: August 06, 2012, 01:04:06 PM »

I recently purchased a copy of the Jordanville Prayerbook and there was one prayer in it that seemed highly Protestant to me in regards to 'being saved' and 'faith or works'. It is on pages 23-24 and it reads:

Quote
O Saviour, save me by Thy grace, I pray Thee. For if Thou shouldst save me for my works, this would not be grace or a gift, but rather a duty....If then faith in Thee saveth the desperate, behold I believe, save me, for Thou art my God and my Creator. Let faith instead of works be imputed to me, O my God, for Thou will find no works which could justify me. But may my faith suffice instead of all works...

I cannot really say this part of the prayer without feeling odd or like my conscience is guilty. Is this doctrinally unsound? It just seems really Protestant.
That prayer is used in the midnight office for weekdays in the Horologion.

Do not be afraid, for praying this prayer will surely not turn you into a Protestant. We Orthodox, too, are saved by faith.

As someone else pointed out, this prayer is nowhere to be found in the Greek Horologion. This does not necessarily mean that it is of Slavonic origin, and it makes me curious as to where it came from. The thought pattern is startlingly different from the usual Orthodox prayers.

At the same time, I don't necessarily see anything doctrinally questionable about this prayer; I'm just curious about the origin (date & country). Probably no one knows.
I suppose someone could write Hieromonk Laurence in Jordanville? His name is on the preface to the English edition of the Horologion.
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« Reply #47 on: August 06, 2012, 01:07:52 PM »


I believe that Mary is the Birthgiver of God.  I also believe that she is the greatest among the Saints.  However, she is not God, and she is not the incarnation of the Living God into a man.  So while she certainly has a part in our Salvation (no Mary, no Jesus), saying that she IS our Salvation, to me, is blasphemy.  Jesus Christ IS my God and my Salvation first and foremost.  Everyone else is second place - even Mary.  Are you saying that this confession is wrong?  Do you place Mary equal with God?

BTW - it was a sign from Mary that sent me to the ROCOR.  My guess would be that she does not have a big problem with me putting her second place to her son.
You and I make the same guess. "Let us glorify the God whom she bore." "Hail! Mary, full of grace...for you have borne the Saviour of our souls."

So what do you make of the Apostle Paul's stating that he can save others? (Romans 11:14); that husbands and wives can save each other? (1 Cor 7:16); that his disciple Timothy could save others? (1 Tim 4:16). The Apostles James and Jude make similar assertions in their epistles.
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« Reply #48 on: August 06, 2012, 02:13:20 PM »


I believe that Mary is the Birthgiver of God.  I also believe that she is the greatest among the Saints.  However, she is not God, and she is not the incarnation of the Living God into a man.  So while she certainly has a part in our Salvation (no Mary, no Jesus), saying that she IS our Salvation, to me, is blasphemy.  Jesus Christ IS my God and my Salvation first and foremost.  Everyone else is second place - even Mary.  Are you saying that this confession is wrong?  Do you place Mary equal with God?

BTW - it was a sign from Mary that sent me to the ROCOR.  My guess would be that she does not have a big problem with me putting her second place to her son.
You and I make the same guess. "Let us glorify the God whom she bore." "Hail! Mary, full of grace...for you have borne the Saviour of our souls."

So what do you make of the Apostle Paul's stating that he can save others? (Romans 11:14); that husbands and wives can save each other? (1 Cor 7:16); that his disciple Timothy could save others? (1 Tim 4:16). The Apostles James and Jude make similar assertions in their epistles.

I know this was directed to me, but I am familiar with instances in scripture where Paul and others may say that they "save" someone.  I figure this means that he 'saves' them by bringing them the Gospel.  He surely doesnt mean that he is their Savior. I dont think that the people Paul (or whoever) saves would refer to him as their savior or their salvation either.  Such a title would be reserved for Christ, or so I would think.

I also think a lot of the confusion may come from issues of translation.  The scriptures and hymns of the Church obviously werent written in English.  Thats why when something is uncomfortable sounding, we need Tradition to clarify these things.  When they have been clarified, they shouldnt (in theory anyway) be uncomfortable anymore.  The reason I say that the wording could be dangerous is because if a non-Orthodox read or heard someone say that, they would definitely get the wrong impression.
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« Reply #49 on: August 06, 2012, 02:40:04 PM »



And the Theotokos is our salvation.

As a convert, statements like this still make me uncomfortable. 
I know what you mean - but then I began to reflect on hymns such as the Resurrectional Theotokion (Seventh Tone) (Nassar, p. 186):
"...for thou hast saved those who were guilty of sin, in that thou didst give birth to our Salvation...."

It also helps to reflect on the Incarnation. Jesus could not have been our Saviour without being fully human. He took his flesh from the Theotokos. Without her, we would have no Salvation.

I understand that. But the 'devils advocate' in me wants to ask questions like, "Couldnt God have still worked something else out even without her?"


I was told Mary is the hardest thing for people outside liturgical churches to come to grips with.  It certainly was for me so I too remember how easy it is not to understand a statement like that.
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« Reply #50 on: August 06, 2012, 02:41:07 PM »

I believe that Mary is the Birthgiver of God.  I also believe that she is the greatest among the Saints.  However, she is not God, and she is not the incarnation of the Living God into a man.  So while she certainly has a part in our Salvation (no Mary, no Jesus), saying that she IS our Salvation, to me, is blasphemy.
The words translated as "save" and "salvation" does not have the same absolute connotations that "save" and "salvation" have come to have in English. Akimori did a good job of clarifying this once.
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« Reply #51 on: August 06, 2012, 03:10:06 PM »

I don't know whether we have  this prayer in the Romanian books.  but I've never used the "Horologion" to begin with.
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« Reply #52 on: August 06, 2012, 03:10:24 PM »

Salvation by grace, not of works etc. are Orthodoxy and though Protestants may have tried to validly recover the proper theology, unfortunately did not. Here is an example of patristics re grace, faith, & not being righteous by works:

1.In the texts which follow, the beliefs of those in error will be refuted by those whose faith is well founded andwho know the truth.2. Wishing to show that to fulfill every commandment is a duty, whereassonshipis a gift given to men through Hisown Blood, the Lord said:'When you have done all that is commanded you, say: "We are useless servants:we have only done what was our duty"'(Luke 17:10).Thus the kingdom of heaven is not a reward for works, but a gift of grace prepared by the Master for his faithful servants3.A slave does not demand his freedom as a reward;but he gives satisfaction as one who is in debt, and he receives freedom as a gift.4.'Christ died on account of our sins in accordance with the Scriptures' (1Cor. 15:3); and to those who serve Him well He gives freedom.'Well done, good and faithful servant,'He says,'you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things:enter into the joy of your Lord'(Matt. 25:21). 5.He who relies on theoretical knowledge alone is not yet a faithful servant: a faithful servant is one who expresseshis faith in Christ through obedience to His commandments.6. He who honors the Lord does what the Lord bids. When he sins or is disobedient, he patiently accepts what comesas something he deserves.7. If you love true knowledge, devote yourself to the ascetic life; for mere theoretical knowledge puffs a man up(cf. 1Cor. 8:1). 8. Unexpected trials are sent by God to teach us to practice the[V1] 126 St. Mark the Ascetic On Those who Think that They are Made Righteous by Works Two Hundred and Twenty-Six Texts

http://www.scribd.com/doc/22006204/Philokalia-Complete-Text
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« Reply #53 on: August 06, 2012, 03:35:50 PM »

I believe that Mary is the Birthgiver of God.  I also believe that she is the greatest among the Saints.  However, she is not God, and she is not the incarnation of the Living God into a man.  So while she certainly has a part in our Salvation (no Mary, no Jesus), saying that she IS our Salvation, to me, is blasphemy.  Jesus Christ IS my God and my Salvation first and foremost.  Everyone else is second place - even Mary.  Are you saying that this confession is wrong?  Do you place Mary equal with God?

BTW - it was a sign from Mary that sent me to the ROCOR.  My guess would be that she does not have a big problem with me putting her second place to her son.

"The Gospel is my salvation". Would you have a problem with this statement? It essentially amounts to the same thing. The Gospel is the Good News of God becoming man for the sake of our salvation. The Holy Mother, the one from whom God took humanity, the one through whom God and mankind were united, is for us the personification of this Gospel. She, being the Birthgiver of God, is the human proclamation of the good news of her Son's work of salvation.

I do agree, though, that verses such as these require explanation, especially if the cultural context will inevitably cause the hearer/reader to assume something that is heretical or blasphemous. We should never compromise our liturgical integrity for the sake of pleasing the non-Orthodox, but neither should we knowingly present people with language that is bound to cause such assumptions without providing clarification and context. If you read the Fathers of the early Church who enforced the so-called disciplina arcani (discipline of secrecy) - by which not only the sacraments were inaccessible to the non-baptised, but detailed instruction in the main dogmas of the faith (and the text of the Creed itself) was also forbidden to catechumens until shortly before their baptism - their reasoning for it is always the same: don't tell these things to non-Christians or catechumens because it will cause misunderstanding, mockery, and blasphemy, for which you will be held responsible.

For example, I will always confess Mary as being the Mother of God. However, I would never use the term around a Muslim (or, indeed, an ignorant Protestant) without very carefully qualifying what I mean by it. Not because there is anything wrong with the term, but because I know s/he, upon hearing it, will imagine a Mormon-like idea of heavenly procreation. Thus, my use of the term if left unqualified would not be a testimony to my faith in Christ being fully God and fully Man in a single hypostasis, but would be a blasphemous ascription of passion to the Godhead.
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« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2012, 05:23:54 PM »


I believe that Mary is the Birthgiver of God.  I also believe that she is the greatest among the Saints.  However, she is not God, and she is not the incarnation of the Living God into a man.  So while she certainly has a part in our Salvation (no Mary, no Jesus), saying that she IS our Salvation, to me, is blasphemy.  Jesus Christ IS my God and my Salvation first and foremost.  Everyone else is second place - even Mary.  Are you saying that this confession is wrong?  Do you place Mary equal with God?

BTW - it was a sign from Mary that sent me to the ROCOR.  My guess would be that she does not have a big problem with me putting her second place to her son.
You and I make the same guess. "Let us glorify the God whom she bore." "Hail! Mary, full of grace...for you have borne the Saviour of our souls."

So what do you make of the Apostle Paul's stating that he can save others? (Romans 11:14); that husbands and wives can save each other? (1 Cor 7:16); that his disciple Timothy could save others? (1 Tim 4:16). The Apostles James and Jude make similar assertions in their epistles.

I know this was directed to me, but I am familiar with instances in scripture where Paul and others may say that they "save" someone.  I figure this means that he 'saves' them by bringing them the Gospel.  He surely doesnt mean that he is their Savior. I dont think that the people Paul (or whoever) saves would refer to him as their savior or their salvation either.  Such a title would be reserved for Christ, or so I would think.

I also think a lot of the confusion may come from issues of translation.  The scriptures and hymns of the Church obviously werent written in English.  Thats why when something is uncomfortable sounding, we need Tradition to clarify these things.  When they have been clarified, they shouldnt (in theory anyway) be uncomfortable anymore.  The reason I say that the wording could be dangerous is because if a non-Orthodox read or heard someone say that, they would definitely get the wrong impression.

Genesisone's question and your answer do clairify things somewhat, and I do indeed believe these things.  I think where I have a problem with the prayer is a matter of tense.  Mary did indeed bring forth our Salvation when she gave birth to the God-man Jesus.  But I see this as a matter of past tense.  I also believe that we can bring Salvation to our spouses and others by bringing them the Gospel.  However, the prayer in question, and the rather disruptive "Holy Theotokos save us" that the Antiochians mutter during the prayers sound to me too much like Latin excess - like they are trying to make her a co-redeemer.  Even St. John Maximovich warns us that people like this exist within Orthodoxy (he mentions Sergius Bulgakov and his followers as such).  This was probably a bigger issue with me as a Lutheran than the primacy of the Pope.  Only Jesus is the Redeemer, and Mary herself was in need of redemption.
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« Reply #55 on: August 06, 2012, 06:38:59 PM »



And the Theotokos is our salvation.

As a convert, statements like this still make me uncomfortable. 

I'd probably not become Orthodox if these statements weren't around. High veneration of the Mother of God is absolutely a part of the apostolic tradition of Christ's church.
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« Reply #56 on: August 06, 2012, 06:44:01 PM »

Genesisone's question and your answer do clairify things somewhat, and I do indeed believe these things.  I think where I have a problem with the prayer is a matter of tense.  Mary did indeed bring forth our Salvation when she gave birth to the God-man Jesus.  But I see this as a matter of past tense.

But her position as Mother of God is eternal. Christ continues to be in two natures, human and divine, meaning Mary continues to be His Mother. Thus the Theotokos eternally points to the Incarnation which happened through her, and therefore our salvation.

Quote
the rather disruptive "Holy Theotokos save us" that the Antiochians mutter during the prayers sound to me too much like Latin excess - like they are trying to make her a co-redeemer.  Even St. John Maximovich warns us that people like this exist within Orthodoxy (he mentions Sergius Bulgakov and his followers as such).  This was probably a bigger issue with me as a Lutheran than the primacy of the Pope.  Only Jesus is the Redeemer, and Mary herself was in need of redemption.

"Holy Theotokos, save us" is used in all the variants of the Byzantine rite, including that of ROCOR. The priest always intones it at the end of services before the "More honourable than the cherubim...", it's used as a refrain in canons, etc. Or were you just refering to the muttering during the Liturgy (in which case it's a Greek practice too, though the deacon will normally stop to allow the choir to properly sing it rather than mutter it)?

The English word "save" and "salvation" in a religious context has just become too restrictive and doesn't reflect the breadth of the original Greek. We automatically hear "save us" and think of the saving work of Christ. Some have chosen to interpret rather than translate, and in some service books you'll find "Most holy Theotokos intercede for us." I personally don't like this, mainly because it isn't what the Greek says, and while intercession can certainly be one of the ways by which she can save us, it's far too restrictive. Would you have the same objection to the prayer were it rendered using a synonym? "Most holy Theotokos, rescue us." The saints can only hear and only act through the grace of God, of course, so we should never think of them as acting independently of God's will or power. Nonetheless, the saints in heaven, like us on earth, are all different persons, and we can invoke them to act on our behalf in some way. This can mean intercession, but it can also mean something more concrete. So yes, "Most holy Theotokos, save us" can mean "intercede for us before your Son that we might find salvation" or "save us by showing us the way to your Son," but it can also mean "infidels are attacking our city, I'm scared for my life and that of my family, please come and help us" (this is what the feast of the Protecting Veil commemorates). In the latter sense, we can call upon anyone to save us. While we who live in the West rarely face attacks from infidels, we do face daily and constant attacks from the demons.
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« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2012, 07:04:11 PM »

I recently purchased a copy of the Jordanville Prayerbook and there was one prayer in it that seemed highly Protestant to me in regards to 'being saved' and 'faith or works'. It is on pages 23-24 and it reads:

Quote
O Saviour, save me by Thy grace, I pray Thee. For if Thou shouldst save me for my works, this would not be grace or a gift, but rather a duty....If then faith in Thee saveth the desperate, behold I believe, save me, for Thou art my God and my Creator. Let faith instead of works be imputed to me, O my God, for Thou will find no works which could justify me. But may my faith suffice instead of all works...

I cannot really say this part of the prayer without feeling odd or like my conscience is guilty. Is this doctrinally unsound? It just seems really Protestant.

No.

This is just a small fragment of Orthodoxy that would qualify as valid to a protestant.  There are similarities on some basic fundamentals and sometimes it just seems that way.  (For instance, protestants agree with the Trinity as do the Orthodox)

Having been to Jordanville, I assure you.... There is nothing even remotely protestant about the place.
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« Reply #58 on: August 07, 2012, 09:22:39 AM »


I believe that Mary is the Birthgiver of God.  I also believe that she is the greatest among the Saints.  However, she is not God, and she is not the incarnation of the Living God into a man.  So while she certainly has a part in our Salvation (no Mary, no Jesus), saying that she IS our Salvation, to me, is blasphemy.  Jesus Christ IS my God and my Salvation first and foremost.  Everyone else is second place - even Mary.  Are you saying that this confession is wrong?  Do you place Mary equal with God?

BTW - it was a sign from Mary that sent me to the ROCOR.  My guess would be that she does not have a big problem with me putting her second place to her son.
You and I make the same guess. "Let us glorify the God whom she bore." "Hail! Mary, full of grace...for you have borne the Saviour of our souls."

So what do you make of the Apostle Paul's stating that he can save others? (Romans 11:14); that husbands and wives can save each other? (1 Cor 7:16); that his disciple Timothy could save others? (1 Tim 4:16). The Apostles James and Jude make similar assertions in their epistles.

I know this was directed to me, but I am familiar with instances in scripture where Paul and others may say that they "save" someone.  I figure this means that he 'saves' them by bringing them the Gospel.  He surely doesnt mean that he is their Savior. I dont think that the people Paul (or whoever) saves would refer to him as their savior or their salvation either.  Such a title would be reserved for Christ, or so I would think.

I also think a lot of the confusion may come from issues of translation.  The scriptures and hymns of the Church obviously werent written in English.  Thats why when something is uncomfortable sounding, we need Tradition to clarify these things.  When they have been clarified, they shouldnt (in theory anyway) be uncomfortable anymore.  The reason I say that the wording could be dangerous is because if a non-Orthodox read or heard someone say that, they would definitely get the wrong impression.

Genesisone's question and your answer do clairify things somewhat, and I do indeed believe these things.  I think where I have a problem with the prayer is a matter of tense.  Mary did indeed bring forth our Salvation when she gave birth to the God-man Jesus.  But I see this as a matter of past tense.  I also believe that we can bring Salvation to our spouses and others by bringing them the Gospel.  However, the prayer in question, and the rather disruptive "Holy Theotokos save us" that the Antiochians mutter during the prayers sound to me too much like Latin excess - like they are trying to make her a co-redeemer.  Even St. John Maximovich warns us that people like this exist within Orthodoxy (he mentions Sergius Bulgakov and his followers as such).  This was probably a bigger issue with me as a Lutheran than the primacy of the Pope.  Only Jesus is the Redeemer, and Mary herself was in need of redemption.

Thank you for your clarification as upon further reflection, I sense we are not really far apart on these matters. Loose translations, particularly of hymnology is a problem. I am unfamiliar with Antiochian practice, but in ACROD, the antiphonal refrain is clear -            "Through the PRAYERS of the Birth-giver of God - O SAVIOR SAVE US.." This is consistent with the Slavonic.

Likewise the refrain "O Maria Mati Boze, Molisja Za Nas" - "O Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us"  is not a supplication for her to 'save us', but rather a plea for her prayers on our behalf - just as to any Saint whose intercession is being sought.

Linguistic distinctions are often subtle and no doubt resonate more in the ears of those coming from a different background. If I misunderstood your point, I apologize.
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« Reply #59 on: August 07, 2012, 09:44:41 AM »



And the Theotokos is our salvation.

As a convert, statements like this still make me uncomfortable. 

I'd probably not become Orthodox if these statements weren't around. High veneration of the Mother of God is absolutely a part of the apostolic tradition of Christ's church.

agreed. but the concern is whether or not saying that 'she IS out salvation' is a bit too far...

It may not be, but in English, to me anyways, it sounds a bit too far. I never told anyone to stop saying these things, i just stated that it makes me uncomfortable. I dont think there is anything wrong with that either. I dont think we should always be 100% comfortable with our faith.
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« Reply #60 on: August 07, 2012, 09:47:20 AM »

JamesR can find his boogeyman Protestantism even in the most unlikely places.

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« Reply #61 on: August 07, 2012, 09:58:49 AM »

"Couldnt God have still worked something else out even without her?"

No. That which he did not become, he could not save. To become a human he had to be born, ergo, the Mother of God.
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« Reply #62 on: August 07, 2012, 10:02:06 AM »

I will of course continue to pray about this issue, but its not really that easy for me to just 'get over it.' Sorry. 

I understand, but at a certain point we have to accept with humility that millions of holy people praying these prayers over the course of centuries have better judgment than you or I.
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« Reply #63 on: August 07, 2012, 10:04:13 AM »

I know this was directed to me, but I am familiar with instances in scripture where Paul and others may say that they "save" someone.  I figure this means that he 'saves' them by bringing them the Gospel. 

St. Paul saved people by bringing the Gospel. The Theotokos saved people by bringing the Word. Is there a distinction here? I don't see one.
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« Reply #64 on: August 07, 2012, 10:41:10 AM »

Thanks Age234

We arent far apart on this issue. I just stated that its uncomfortable for someone like me. Cant help those thoughts sometimes. You are right that it is something I need to accept with humility.
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« Reply #65 on: August 07, 2012, 11:11:20 AM »

JamesR can find his boogeyman Protestantism even in the most unlikely places.



Let's also not forget that even a broken clock is correct twice a day. Thus, as the Protestants do in fact use the Holy Scriptures, they are bound to right once a while; that is, they and we will agree on some things.
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« Reply #66 on: August 07, 2012, 02:09:04 PM »

Thanks Age234

We arent far apart on this issue. I just stated that its uncomfortable for someone like me. Cant help those thoughts sometimes. You are right that it is something I need to accept with humility.

I understand. I hope I didn't come off too harsh. For most people it takes time for these things to take root.
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« Reply #67 on: August 07, 2012, 02:11:55 PM »


I believe that Mary is the Birthgiver of God.  I also believe that she is the greatest among the Saints.  However, she is not God, and she is not the incarnation of the Living God into a man.  So while she certainly has a part in our Salvation (no Mary, no Jesus), saying that she IS our Salvation, to me, is blasphemy.  Jesus Christ IS my God and my Salvation first and foremost.  Everyone else is second place - even Mary.  Are you saying that this confession is wrong?  Do you place Mary equal with God?

BTW - it was a sign from Mary that sent me to the ROCOR.  My guess would be that she does not have a big problem with me putting her second place to her son.
You and I make the same guess. "Let us glorify the God whom she bore." "Hail! Mary, full of grace...for you have borne the Saviour of our souls."

So what do you make of the Apostle Paul's stating that he can save others? (Romans 11:14); that husbands and wives can save each other? (1 Cor 7:16); that his disciple Timothy could save others? (1 Tim 4:16). The Apostles James and Jude make similar assertions in their epistles.

I know this was directed to me, but I am familiar with instances in scripture where Paul and others may say that they "save" someone.  I figure this means that he 'saves' them by bringing them the Gospel.  He surely doesnt mean that he is their Savior. I dont think that the people Paul (or whoever) saves would refer to him as their savior or their salvation either.  Such a title would be reserved for Christ, or so I would think.

I also think a lot of the confusion may come from issues of translation.  The scriptures and hymns of the Church obviously werent written in English.  Thats why when something is uncomfortable sounding, we need Tradition to clarify these things.  When they have been clarified, they shouldnt (in theory anyway) be uncomfortable anymore.  The reason I say that the wording could be dangerous is because if a non-Orthodox read or heard someone say that, they would definitely get the wrong impression.

Genesisone's question and your answer do clairify things somewhat, and I do indeed believe these things.  I think where I have a problem with the prayer is a matter of tense.  Mary did indeed bring forth our Salvation when she gave birth to the God-man Jesus.  But I see this as a matter of past tense.  I also believe that we can bring Salvation to our spouses and others by bringing them the Gospel.  However, the prayer in question, and the rather disruptive "Holy Theotokos save us" that the Antiochians mutter during the prayers sound to me too much like Latin excess - like they are trying to make her a co-redeemer.  Even St. John Maximovich warns us that people like this exist within Orthodoxy (he mentions Sergius Bulgakov and his followers as such).  This was probably a bigger issue with me as a Lutheran than the primacy of the Pope.  Only Jesus is the Redeemer, and Mary herself was in need of redemption.

Thank you for your clarification as upon further reflection, I sense we are not really far apart on these matters. Loose translations, particularly of hymnology is a problem. I am unfamiliar with Antiochian practice, but in ACROD, the antiphonal refrain is clear -            "Through the PRAYERS of the Birth-giver of God - O SAVIOR SAVE US.." This is consistent with the Slavonic.

Likewise the refrain "O Maria Mati Boze, Molisja Za Nas" - "O Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us"  is not a supplication for her to 'save us', but rather a plea for her prayers on our behalf - just as to any Saint whose intercession is being sought.

Linguistic distinctions are often subtle and no doubt resonate more in the ears of those coming from a different background. If I misunderstood your point, I apologize.
I read a good article by Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver wherein he pointed out that a better direct translation of the original Greek word "πρεσβείαις" in "Ταῖς πρεσβείαις τῆς Θεοτόκου, Σῶτερ, σῶσον ἡμᾶς." is better translated as "intercessions" than "prayers." "Intercessions" is what my parish uses, and His Eminence suggested that "prayers" is a softer form that has been advocated by those who seek to moderate the Orthodox view towards the importance of the direct intercession of the Theotokos before the Savior.
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« Reply #68 on: August 09, 2012, 11:31:11 PM »



And the Theotokos is our salvation.

As a convert, statements like this still make me uncomfortable. 

Don't mean to be crass, but do you think Jesus just showed up from nowhere? I mean, the Theotokos is our salvation precisely because she gave birth to the Word of God. Besides that, God chose her, not just some random girl. If He'd chosen at random, why wait centuries for the right one?
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« Reply #69 on: August 10, 2012, 09:17:35 AM »



And the Theotokos is our salvation.

As a convert, statements like this still make me uncomfortable. 

Don't mean to be crass, but do you think Jesus just showed up from nowhere? I mean, the Theotokos is our salvation precisely because she gave birth to the Word of God. Besides that, God chose her, not just some random girl. If He'd chosen at random, why wait centuries for the right one?

Again, all I said is that saying anyone other than Christ is our salvation is a little difficult for me at first, expecially considering my evangelical background.  If that upsets you, Im very sorry.  I am trying to get used to these things. They wont keep me from becoming Orthodox though.
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« Reply #70 on: August 10, 2012, 10:13:40 AM »

I don't mean to be crass, but I usually think more of the product than the wrapping it came in. 



And the Theotokos is our salvation.

As a convert, statements like this still make me uncomfortable. 

Don't mean to be crass, but do you think Jesus just showed up from nowhere? I mean, the Theotokos is our salvation precisely because she gave birth to the Word of God. Besides that, God chose her, not just some random girl. If He'd chosen at random, why wait centuries for the right one?
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« Reply #71 on: August 10, 2012, 10:46:13 AM »

I don't mean to be crass, but I usually think more of the product than the wrapping it came in. 



And the Theotokos is our salvation.

As a convert, statements like this still make me uncomfortable. 

Don't mean to be crass, but do you think Jesus just showed up from nowhere? I mean, the Theotokos is our salvation precisely because she gave birth to the Word of God. Besides that, God chose her, not just some random girl. If He'd chosen at random, why wait centuries for the right one?

That sounds a lot like the Protestant explanation, that the Theotokos is just a vessel or conduit. Christ had to be a God-Man, and the Man part came from the Theotokos. That's a bit more than packaging.
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« Reply #72 on: August 10, 2012, 11:01:25 AM »

I don't mean to be crass, but I usually think more of the product than the wrapping it came in. 



And the Theotokos is our salvation.

As a convert, statements like this still make me uncomfortable. 

Don't mean to be crass, but do you think Jesus just showed up from nowhere? I mean, the Theotokos is our salvation precisely because she gave birth to the Word of God. Besides that, God chose her, not just some random girl. If He'd chosen at random, why wait centuries for the right one?

That sounds a lot like the Protestant explanation, that the Theotokos is just a vessel or conduit. Christ had to be a God-Man, and the Man part came from the Theotokos. That's a bit more than packaging.

It was a Greek Orthodox priest who explained that she was the "ladder" or "conduit" which we received Salvation. 
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« Reply #73 on: August 10, 2012, 11:03:31 AM »

No matter what is said, she still remains a creature and Christ the Creator.  He was God before His birth, He remained God after the Incarnation, and He continues as God in the Heavens after His Resurrection from the dead.  Mary did not become God by giving birth to the God-Man.  She was fully human before the Incarnation, fully human after the incarnation, and remains fully human to this day.  She may be the greatest of the humans, but she is not God.  I worship God, not man.  I do not see the problem with this.  Worshiping God as God does not in any way reduce the respect that I have for the greatest of the humans.  I am not a Greek, nor am I a Russian.  I am an American born in Germany and I speak English.  I know what Salvation means in English, and I know what Worship means in English.  When someone has to go to great lengths to explain to me that words that I know do not really mean what I know them to mean, my BS detector goes off.  I cannot help this.  Perhaps those of you who so intimately know the mysteries that even the Angels do not understand should spend more time making up some English words that convey what you are trying to say, because the English words that you are using obviously do not convey what you are trying to say.  I am sure that God forsaw this at some point and would not have allowed the whole world to use a language which is incapable of allowing Him to communicate with us.

I don't mean to be crass, but I usually think more of the product than the wrapping it came in. 



And the Theotokos is our salvation.

As a convert, statements like this still make me uncomfortable. 

Don't mean to be crass, but do you think Jesus just showed up from nowhere? I mean, the Theotokos is our salvation precisely because she gave birth to the Word of God. Besides that, God chose her, not just some random girl. If He'd chosen at random, why wait centuries for the right one?

That sounds a lot like the Protestant explanation, that the Theotokos is just a vessel or conduit. Christ had to be a God-Man, and the Man part came from the Theotokos. That's a bit more than packaging.
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« Reply #74 on: August 10, 2012, 11:48:17 AM »

Perhaps those of you who so intimately know the mysteries that even the Angels do not understand should spend more time making up some English words that convey what you are trying to say, because the English words that you are using obviously do not convey what you are trying to say.  I am sure that God forsaw this at some point and would not have allowed the whole world to use a language which is incapable of allowing Him to communicate with us.

This is where the loanwords come in handy (Theotokos being an example). English, probably more than any other language, can take pretty much any word from anywhere and make it English. We do it for pretty much every other form of specialised language, why should theology/liturgy be any different. Concepts always have to be explained, all are in need of catechism. If they're capable of learning a new truth, they're capable of learning a new word.
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« Reply #75 on: August 10, 2012, 12:44:27 PM »

that prayer is real and true, you will learn this as you will pass through life.. without God we are nothing and much of what we are is due to God.
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« Reply #76 on: August 10, 2012, 04:52:17 PM »

This is where the loanwords come in handy (Theotokos being an example). English, probably more than any other language, can take pretty much any word from anywhere and make it English. We do it for pretty much every other form of specialised language, why should theology/liturgy be any different. Concepts always have to be explained, all are in need of catechism. If they're capable of learning a new truth, they're capable of learning a new word.

Agreed. Is it not better to use a strange word that can be defined using more words than to use a word that means something to the majority of the people using that word, and then tell everyone that it means something else?  While it can tend to irritate me at times (since I don't know what they are always talking about), I have always respected my Jewish friends that would stick to their Hebrew words when they could not find an exact English word to replace it.  If I needed to ask what the Hebrew word meant, they would give me a long explanation.  I had no reason to doubt them because it is their word after all.  I don't like it when someone tries to tell me that one of my words means something else.
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« Reply #77 on: August 10, 2012, 04:57:40 PM »

I will of course continue to pray about this issue, but its not really that easy for me to just 'get over it.' Sorry. 

I understand, but at a certain point we have to accept with humility that millions of holy people praying these prayers over the course of centuries have better judgment than you or I.

The problem with your theory is that it is wrong.  Millions of people have NOT used these words to pray over the centuries.  Relatively few Orthodox Christians have used English as their prayer language, and of these most have been within the last century. I am coming to believe that the real issue is not the truths that have been held over the centuries, but the inability of those that held those truths to adequately explain them in the language used by the majority of the Protestants they are trying to convert.
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« Reply #78 on: August 15, 2012, 04:05:21 PM »

Whether you believe it to have been a genuine miracle or a random coincidence, this is a very good example of what is meant by "Most holy Theotokos, save us!".
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