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Author Topic: The saints are the proof that orthodoxy is the truth!(?)  (Read 1477 times) Average Rating: 0
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Nathanael
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« on: December 21, 2012, 08:14:58 AM »

Most religions and christian denominations have the goal to create good or perfect persons. But which one can really achieve that? By reading life of saints or virtuos persons in different religions/denominations, I discovered that in the orthodox church there're some saints, who are giants, who reached a top, which other non-orthodox believers can just dream about. These saints got the highest gift of the holy spirit: love.

Especially in the life of Saint Silouan, Elder Sophrony, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Saint Isaac the Syrian,... you read how they were able to pray day and night for the whole humankind(including enemies; and james 5.16: "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.") with such a pain, which is often comparable(or often even more) to the pain of a grieving widow who lost her only child. And there're other saints like Saint John of Kronstadt, Elder Porphyrios, Elder Paisios, etc. who, in addition to the prayer for the whole world, had been preaching and serving for the people day and night with love and with supernatural gifts (which you cannot find hardly anywhere else).

And one of my favourite conversion story is about Klaus Kenneth. In his book "born to hate, reborn to love" you can read who he began the journey in search of life but ended up in drugs excesses, Asian mysticism, became a Buddhist monk, lived for seven years as a Hindu, visited almost all Muslim countries and had encounters with yogis, famous buddhist "masters" and witchcraft. He had also several talks with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. And then as a christian he spent a lot of time with famous christian preachers. So he met and spent time with famous virtuous persons of different religions and denominations but nobodoy had such a deep impact on him like Elder Sophrony of Essex. Because of him he's now orthodox. And every time when he met Elder Sophrony, an incomparable tsunami of love came up to him. Klaus Kenneth also said that in comparison with Mother Theresa, Elder Sophrony had ten time more love than her; she had love but he was love incarnated.

So my conclusion: why to leave the orthodox church, when you can only find such incomparable saints in orthodoxy? Or why not to convert to orthodoxy, when only here you can find persons who fulfilled the commandments of our lord in such a deep, beautiful perfection? That they got such a perfection means that Christ is living in them. So the truth must be here! How could the truth be in a other religion or other denomination where people cannot achieve such a perfection? Christ himself convinced the people not by theology,but by his perfection , by his endless love. Theology without a perfect model is dead!

And my question: For whom were the saints a (main) reason to convert or to stay in the orthodox church? Or is it a reason to convert at all?
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 08:36:17 AM by Nathanael » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 12:01:06 PM »

While I do not disagree with what you said, and I do believe that the saints are key players in the life of The Church (I am sure we all can agree), I believe The Church is more like a hospital for our souls, a place where we are rescued from sin and are re-united with God. It's not so much about producing super-humans, but about realizing what are true nature and relationship with God are. Orthodoxy is true human nature. Orthodoxy is also humility, not the pride that we can be super-humans through our own powers, but the joy that we can become like God through The Grace of The Holy Spirit. So, we must be humble that we are Orthodox, as the saints were also humble.
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 01:06:39 PM »

Most religions and christian denominations have the goal to create good or perfect persons.

Only God is perfect.  Our goal is theosis to become like God not to be God.
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2012, 07:36:39 PM »

What makes our Saints/Monks different from other religions who have dedicated saints and monks, how do our Saints/Monks have the truth ?. Is it because of there healing power through Jesus Christ ?? What evidence have they got that they are truly walking in the truth ?, is it cause of there power over demons and the devil ?
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 09:55:52 PM »

If this is the best evidence for Orthodoxy, then none should be Orthodox.
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2012, 03:47:49 AM »

If this is the best evidence for Orthodoxy, then none should be Orthodox.
well, I think his heart is genuinely in the right place, but I halfway agree.

One should not jump into a religion solely based on the selling evidence of those who follow. Although it is true, "by their fruits you shall know them" , we find that the saints, especially those who gain a foretaste of what God allows, can still be wrong and God forbid even let you down.

It is good to give God the glory, and remember that those who are able to do what others can not, can only do this as God allows. It is also good to keep a clear head and think of how utterly hard it is, that they are so aware of their own sins, to become so humble and see nothing in themselves but a wretch.

What's more is the notion (one to steer clear of) that miraculous events should convince everyone of the truth. St. Thomas is evidence to the contrary.
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2012, 10:32:22 AM »

"The lives of the saints are applied dogmatics."

What does this mean as it related to this thread?
« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 10:32:36 AM by Asteriktos » Logged

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Nathanael
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2012, 10:37:59 AM »

 
Quote
I believe The Church is more like a hospital for our souls, a place where we are rescued from sin and are re-united with God. It's not so much about producing super-humans, but about realizing what are true nature and relationship with God are. Orthodoxy is true human nature. Orthodoxy is also humility, not the pride that we can be super-humans through our own powers, but the joy that we can become like God through The Grace of The Holy Spirit. So, we must be humble that we are Orthodox, as the saints were also humble.

I agree with you! I unfortunately forgot to mention the importance of humility in orthodoxy and in their saints. It's probably also one of the main attribute of the saints.
Excuse me, when It seems that I pointed  the saints only as super humans out. I want also to say, that because we've such saints it shows that the orthodox church as hospital for our souls, "a place where we are rescued from sin and are re-united with God", is most effective if we believe and struggle in the right way.
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2012, 10:48:35 AM »

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"The lives of the saints are applied dogmatics."

What does this mean as it related to this thread?

Maybe it could mean that our dogmatics or rather our understanding of dogmatics are the true one, because if we apply it correctly and in a deep way it produces saints??
It depends also what we understand by 'dogmatics'? Also the doctrines and moral precepts taught by Christ and the holy Apostles? Or just formal canons and dogmas of the church?
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2012, 01:42:18 PM »

Well, I was thinking, if they are applied dogmatics, and there is something genuine or authentic about the saints, then perhaps that is a reflection on the theology as well, and also the Church. But then other religions also have saints, so it's a sticky web I'm weaving...
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Nathanael
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2012, 09:04:16 AM »

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and there is something genuine or authentic about the saints, then perhaps that is a reflection on the theology as well, and also the Church

I think I agree with you!

Quote
But then other religions also have saints, so it's a sticky web I'm weaving...
I'm not sure where the problem exactly is...
There're just very few religions who construct or who're able to construct the saints and their lives as a fundamental part of their religion. Only for Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman catholicism the saints are key players in the life of The Church(roman catholicism less). And in the eastern religions I think only in hinduism we can find that their hindu saints have integral significance for their mysticism.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 09:05:47 AM by Nathanael » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2012, 09:57:35 AM »

 how do our Saints/Monks have the truth ?. Is it because of there healing power through Jesus Christ ?? What evidence have they got that they are truly walking in the truth ?, is it cause of there power over demons and the devil ?. Does the Lord himself appear to them, The Theotokos and Angels ? Is this the evidence given to them for there faith in Jesus Christ ?
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Nathanael
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2012, 05:33:11 PM »

Quote
how do our Saints/Monks have the truth ?. Is it because of there healing power through Jesus Christ ?? What evidence have they got that they are truly walking in the truth ?, is it cause of there power over demons and the devil ?. Does the Lord himself appear to them, The Theotokos and Angels ? Is this the evidence given to them for there faith in Jesus Christ ?

At the beginning I wrote that there's one attribute, which only our saints have: total compassionate love. They suffer deeply day and night only because of love. Love is the highest gift of the holy spirit. And the way how the loved we can read in their lives or in their theology. And we shouldn't forget that they had also incomparable humility.
Humility and love are the two main pillars of the saints; and if such a saint prays for the whole word, you can imagine how powerful this prayer is.

I'll give you an example:
"When he went to the desert, sometimes for weeks he would not rise from the floor to look through the hole of his cave, whether it was day or night, but he was there, on the floor, weeping soaking a number of towels. When he became exhausted, he would sleep there for two hours, wake up and continue weeping. And this would take place for weeks at a time, without him even looking through the hole of his cave to see whether it was day or night."(During the WW II )
Archimandrite Zacharias about Elder Sophrony in the book "enlargement of the heart".

This was his way of repentance, but also the way of prayer for the whole world I suppose.

In other religions, especially in the eastern one, the way of love is just intellectual and emotional. They've fear to love in the way of suffering. Because they want to avoid suffering, they're not able to love, not able to love to the end; to go in the abyss of love.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 05:40:40 PM by Nathanael » Logged

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Nathanael
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2013, 05:26:18 PM »

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If this is the best evidence for Orthodoxy, then none should be Orthodox.
I don't know what's the best evidence for orthodoxy, but I just know I couldn't imagine orthodoxy without their saints.
The best tree produce the best fruits. Wink. And there're soo many such fruits in orthodoxy in the 20 century.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 05:29:46 PM by Nathanael » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 05:49:39 PM »

Comment from a RC user and a response to it were moved to the proper subforum.
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2013, 02:29:28 AM »

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how do our Saints/Monks have the truth ?. Is it because of there healing power through Jesus Christ ?? What evidence have they got that they are truly walking in the truth ?, is it cause of there power over demons and the devil ?. Does the Lord himself appear to them, The Theotokos and Angels ? Is this the evidence given to them for there faith in Jesus Christ ?

At the beginning I wrote that there's one attribute, which only our saints have: total compassionate love. They suffer deeply day and night only because of love. Love is the highest gift of the holy spirit. And the way how the loved we can read in their lives or in their theology. And we shouldn't forget that they had also incomparable humility.
Humility and love are the two main pillars of the saints; and if such a saint prays for the whole word, you can imagine how powerful this prayer is.

I'll give you an example:
"When he went to the desert, sometimes for weeks he would not rise from the floor to look through the hole of his cave, whether it was day or night, but he was there, on the floor, weeping soaking a number of towels. When he became exhausted, he would sleep there for two hours, wake up and continue weeping. And this would take place for weeks at a time, without him even looking through the hole of his cave to see whether it was day or night."(During the WW II )
Archimandrite Zacharias about Elder Sophrony in the book "enlargement of the heart".

This was his way of repentance, but also the way of prayer for the whole world I suppose.

In other religions, especially in the eastern one, the way of love is just intellectual and emotional. They've fear to love in the way of suffering. Because they want to avoid suffering, they're not able to love, not able to love to the end; to go in the abyss of love.

Thanks for explaining that but it does not completely answer how they know they are certain they are walking in the right direction to God. Is it completely through "blind faith" that they are giving there life to God with no confirmation from God ? or does Our Lord Jesus Christ, Theotokos and Angels communicate with them confirming there faith that they are walking correctly towards God? not only just that but also there holyiness trying to get closer to God they are also able to perform miracles and healing through Our God Jesus Christ. Does all this confirm that Our belief and faith is the true faith God wants us to have in ?.

Thanks 
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Nathanael
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2013, 06:50:19 PM »

Quote
how do our Saints/Monks have the truth ?. Is it because of there healing power through Jesus Christ ?? What evidence have they got that they are truly walking in the truth ?, is it cause of there power over demons and the devil ?. Does the Lord himself appear to them, The Theotokos and Angels ? Is this the evidence given to them for there faith in Jesus Christ ?

At the beginning I wrote that there's one attribute, which only our saints have: total compassionate love. They suffer deeply day and night only because of love. Love is the highest gift of the holy spirit. And the way how the loved we can read in their lives or in their theology. And we shouldn't forget that they had also incomparable humility.
Humility and love are the two main pillars of the saints; and if such a saint prays for the whole word, you can imagine how powerful this prayer is.

I'll give you an example:
"When he went to the desert, sometimes for weeks he would not rise from the floor to look through the hole of his cave, whether it was day or night, but he was there, on the floor, weeping soaking a number of towels. When he became exhausted, he would sleep there for two hours, wake up and continue weeping. And this would take place for weeks at a time, without him even looking through the hole of his cave to see whether it was day or night."(During the WW II )
Archimandrite Zacharias about Elder Sophrony in the book "enlargement of the heart".

This was his way of repentance, but also the way of prayer for the whole world I suppose.

In other religions, especially in the eastern one, the way of love is just intellectual and emotional. They've fear to love in the way of suffering. Because they want to avoid suffering, they're not able to love, not able to love to the end; to go in the abyss of love.

Thanks for explaining that but it does not completely answer how they know they are certain they are walking in the right direction to God. Is it completely through "blind faith" that they are giving there life to God with no confirmation from God ? or does Our Lord Jesus Christ, Theotokos and Angels communicate with them confirming there faith that they are walking correctly towards God? not only just that but also there holyiness trying to get closer to God they are also able to perform miracles and healing through Our God Jesus Christ. Does all this confirm that Our belief and faith is the true faith God wants us to have in ?.

Thanks 

I hope this link can help you:

http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.ch/2009/11/of-knowledge-of-god-by-st-silouan.html
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