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Author Topic: I'm a Reformed Protestant interested in converting to Orthodoxy.  (Read 1042 times) Average Rating: 0
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Android_Rewster
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« on: December 16, 2012, 02:07:52 PM »

 That being said, I still have a few reservations.

 I struggle with these ideas:
-Forgiveness through confessions
-Prohibition of instruments in worship
-Sola Scriptura(this one less so)


 Could some of you give me some encouragement in these aspects? Orthodoxy is an incredibly beautiful denomination, I just have to get around a few things before I can believe wholeheartedly in it.

 Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2012, 02:36:53 PM »

1. Jesus gave the Apostles the gift to forgive sins. And the Apostles gave it further. Somebody think that it's enough to ask in prayers for forgiveness, but why gave Jesus this gift then to the Apostles?!
2. You can use instruments for your private worship. That's not a problem. For liturgy, the voice is the best instrument!
3. Sola Scriptura. Where in the bible is the dogma of sola scriptura written. It's useful to read the apostolic fathers, than you see what importance the oral tradition (which the Apostles teach in the Bible) had in the early church!

May the will of our meek Lord be in your spiritual journey, brother!
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2012, 05:48:32 PM »

1. The prayer of absolution says it all:
Quote
My spiritual child, who hast confessed to my humble person, I, humble and a sinner, have not power on earth to forgive sins, but God alone ; but through that divinely spoken word which came to the Apostles after the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, saying, 'Whatsoever sins ye remit, they are remitted, and whatsoever sins ye retain, they are retained,' we are emboldened to say : Whatsoever thou hast said to my humble person, and whatsoever thou hast failed to say, whether through ignorance or forgetfulness, whatever it may be, may God forgive thee in this world, and in that which is to come.
May God who pardoned David through Nathan the prophet when he confessed his sins, and Peter weeping bitterly for his denial, and the sinful woman weeping at his feet, and the publican and the prodigal son, may that same God forgivethee all things, through me a sinner, both in this world and in the world to come, and set thee uncondemned before His terrible Judgement Seat. Have no further care for the sins which thou hast confessed, depart in peace.
http://books.google.com/books?id=ySkh6Pt0Bi8C&pg=PA55&dq=%22My+spiritual+child,+who+hast+confessed%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Tj7OUIfJGubQ2wXc14CwBg&ved=0CE4Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%22My%20spiritual%20child%2C%20who%20hast%20confessed%22&f=false
2. Not as absolute as its made.  But I can do without the organ. A cappella! But what do you think you will miss?
3. "Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. 'Do you understand what you are reading?' Philip asked.  "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" Acts 8:30-1.  The scriptura denies sola scriptura.
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2012, 06:23:40 PM »

-Prohibition of instruments in worship
Only functionally, and in liturgical worship.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 06:23:52 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2012, 08:26:55 PM »

First of all, welcome to the Boards! I'm a former Calvinist myself (from the Presbyterian Church in America). You have many fewer reservations than I first did!

Confession is a sacrament (a mystery) of the Church through which sins are forgiven. This was instituted by Christ, who gave this power to the Apostles, who in turn empowered the episcopacy and priesthood to serve this function as well. The biblical basis is found here:

"Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." (John 20:23)

Does Christ require, absolutely, a sacramental confession? The answer is no, not absolutely. There are even saints, martyrs of the Church who died for Christ that were only catechumen, who had not yet experienced confession or even baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and yet they obviously have received it, as they are numbered among the saints. However, confession is the normative sacramental route that we obtain forgiveness, as given to us by Christ Himself. This relationship with a priest also enables us to struggle with our sins before someone, that we are encouraged in our troubles.

Actually, the classical reformers (I don't know what Reformed tradition you come from) also forbade worship with instruments. Perhaps you do not come from such a classical Reformed background, but they're out there. Honestly, my main reason for defending against the use of instruments is the liturgical rite served in the Church...the Byzantine Rite is meant to be a capella, and sounds down right weird without it. Why change this? It is what we have received, and it is beautiful. Latin services would also be much more beautiful without that horrific organ and MUCH more Gregorian chant than is used in today's services.

As for Sola Scriptura, it ironically has no biblical basis. Ialmisry quotes Acts, which admits to the need for interpretation of the Scriptures by an outside source, but there are even more verses that make it clear that the Scriptures are not the be-all-and-end-all of Christianity:

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15)

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

The first verse points to the Church as the "pillar and ground of the truth", not the Scriptures. The second holds the "word", the spoken word, of that which the Church in Thessalonica was taught in person (which we do not have) and the epistles written (which we do have) as equal. We have the Scriptures, the epistle, and we have the framework that fits in, the Holy Tradition of the Church, which was taught from the beginning by Christ, to His Apostles, etc.

The Scriptures, as we know the New Testament, was not even a canonized work until at least the 4th century. Many hundreds of books were written in those centuries, and only 27 made it into the canon. Many of those works are now considered good for Christians to read (like the genuine epistles of St. Clement, the Didache, the writings of St. Ignatius the Shepard of Hermas, etc.) that WERE considered, locally, as Scripture and read at the holy services. along side books that we now consider part of the New Testament. Likewise, others we now call Scripture had a bit of a hard time getting that recognition, like St. John's Revelation.
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2012, 03:44:02 AM »

When I was first being instructed in the Orthodox faith I was taught that the reason we don't use instruments is because Christian worship is the continuation of the worship once conducted in the Holy Place. There only the human voice of the priests was permitted.  The instruments used by the Hebrews were stationed in the outer court not within the Holy Place…and definitely not the Holy of Holies.  Some saints and Fathers I've read have said they considered the allowance of instruments at all in pre Christian worship in the Temple/Tabernacle was a concession to human weakness, not an endorsement of their use.
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2012, 04:10:11 PM »

we use instruments!
but only the cymbals and triangle.
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2012, 10:22:24 PM »

western Rite uses instruments in Liturgy
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2012, 11:30:10 AM »

2. Not as absolute as its made.  But I can do without the organ. A cappella! But what do you think you will miss?

BTW, for anyone who doesn't know (ialmisry probably does, as he tends to be an all-knower) a cappella is Italian for "in the manner of the chapel".
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2012, 11:57:25 AM »

-Prohibition of instruments in worship

I was under the impression that most "serious" Reformed churches also have such a prohibition.
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2012, 12:00:47 PM »

-Prohibition of instruments in worship

I was under the impression that most "serious" Reformed churches also have such a prohibition.

I grew up in a Reformed Church we only sang from the Psalter with piano/organ.  Once a month we would sing Hymns for the 15 min. before church normally started.  We also read the ten commandments and said the apostles creed every Sunday. 
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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2012, 01:17:43 AM »

The most conservative of Reformed Churches do still prohibit instruments, but many evangelical and mainstream denominations have left this far behind.
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Tags: Protestantism  Sola Scriptura  Instruments  Calvinism 
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