OrthodoxChristianity.net
April 20, 2014, 02:04:53 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: The Rules page has been updated.  Please familiarize yourself with its contents!
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Yet more questions on Orthodoxy  (Read 2304 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Protestant seeker
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 19


I'm a llama!


« on: October 20, 2002, 08:00:23 PM »

  I have a few random questions on Orthodoxy, most
concern some questions my wife has.

1) Why in the liturgy in the prayers for Christians is
the term Orthodox Christians always used? This bothers
my wife as she seems to think it implies that other
Christians aren't that important  or aren't to be prayed
for?

2) Our priest in his homily mentioned that the sign of
the cross is a way of warding off demons. What
is this about? My wife took it to mean that those
Christians who don't make the sign of the cross
are more prone to demonic influence or possible
possession.

3) My wife complains that she doesn't "feel" a whole
lot from the liturgy and that she is more used to
Evangelical praise and worship music. What is a good
way to respond to this? (I, by the way "feel" a lot).

4) How do I explain outside the church there is no
salvation? I think she might take this as saying that
all Non-Orthodox Christians are automatically damned
for not being Orthodox.

5) What is the best way to talk about the visible/
invisible church? Would it be to say for the
visible church that there can only be one church government so to speak and not a multitude all proclaiming different (and contradictory)
doctrines and disciplines? For the invisible church,
can it be said that it is both within the boundaries of
the visible church, but not limited to that but that
God knows peoples hearts?

   Finally, has anyone else had trouble with a spouse
in becoming Orthodox? I love my wife very much, but
this whole process is starting to put a strain on our
marriage as she doesn't seem to understand why we
just can't go to or pick whatever Evangelical Protestant
church that has the best worship and programs to offer.
Doctrine isn't a non-issue for her, but it is not nearly
as strong an issue as it is for me, and she tends to see
Orthodox, Catholics and Protestants as all Christian, and
for her the issue seems to be just finding a church that
one is more comfortable in.
   Any advise on all this would be welcomed.

Thanks!

The Protestant seeker
Logged

NULL
The young fogey
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,389


I'm an alpaca, actually


WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2002, 09:24:10 PM »

Quote
1) Why in the liturgy in the prayers for Christians is
the term Orthodox Christians always used? This bothers
my wife as she seems to think it implies that other
Christians aren't that important  or aren't to be prayed
for?

Because even as the Byzantine liturgy was first evolving there were groups claiming to be Christian that in fact had left the Church and were teaching a false gospel.

Quote
2) Our priest in his homily mentioned that the sign of
the cross is a way of warding off demons. What
is this about? My wife took it to mean that those
Christians who don't make the sign of the cross
are more prone to demonic influence or possible
possession.

IMO she may understand him right!

Quote
3) My wife complains that she doesn't "feel" a whole
lot from the liturgy and that she is more used to
Evangelical praise and worship music. What is a good
way to respond to this? (I, by the way "feel" a lot).

That's a tough one! In a way feelings aren't essential - spiritual writers describe dry spells between initial enthusiasm and a deeper, closer relationship with God, a point where many people give up on God and religion altogether. Another angle is one may have to fine-tune one's feelings and understanding them - I may feel good at a pop concert but in a completely different way from going to church.

Quote
4) How do I explain outside the church there is no
salvation? I think she might take this as saying that
all Non-Orthodox Christians are automatically damned
for not being Orthodox.

Of course nobody says dogmatically that all non-Orthodox go to hell! 1. The Church is the normal means of salvation but God isn't limited to it. 2. People born outside the Church may implicitly be in the Church. 3. God won't judge someone born outside the Church like someone who left.

Quote
5) What is the best way to talk about the visible/
invisible church? Would it be to say for the
visible church that there can only be one church government so to speak and not a multitude all proclaiming different (and contradictory)
doctrines and disciplines? For the invisible church,
can it be said that it is both within the boundaries of
the visible church, but not limited to that but that
God knows peoples hearts?

Exactly!

Quote
Finally, has anyone else had trouble with a spouse
in becoming Orthodox? I love my wife very much, but
this whole process is starting to put a strain on our
marriage as she doesn't seem to understand why we
just can't go to or pick whatever Evangelical Protestant
church that has the best worship and programs to offer.
Doctrine isn't a non-issue for her, but it is not nearly
as strong an issue as it is for me, and she tends to see
Orthodox, Catholics and Protestants as all Christian, and
for her the issue seems to be just finding a church that
one is more comfortable in.

You already answered that yourself: there can only be one church government so to speak and not a multitude all proclaiming different (and contradictory) doctrines and disciplines.
Logged

CDHealy
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 112

I'm a philosophy major.

chealy5
WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2002, 10:21:01 AM »

Protestant Seeker:

I am in much the same situation as yourself.  My wife "gets nothing" from the Divine Liturgy.  Me?  Relatively speaking, I am in mystical ecstasty!  (Okay, perhaps a bit overstated.  Grin)

Every person's situation is different and dependent on the level of openness and communication you have established in your relationship.  For myself, my wife and I have, over time, learned to be ever more open and vulnerable with one another.  Very helpful for our current state of development was my confession to her and repentance for my sin of failing to be the "head" of our home.  I'm not perfect, but I'm doing better.

This involves more leading in prayer at home, and more intentional discussion of the things of our faith, and my own searching and wrestling.  In short, a lot of communicating to God and to each other.

I am a writer and intrepid journaller.  I think best by putting it on the page, and revising, revising, revising.  Over the last few months, I've written out my thoughts on the innumerable contradictions and schisms among the Protestant churches, and how intolerable and chaotic a state this is.  I then wrote about the necessity of tradition, the New Testament origins of bishops, the NT and earliest teachings on the Eucharist, and most important of all the NT and earliest teachings on the unity of the Church.

While we have to work together through these issues, I've had to personally as well as between the two of us, take Orthodoxy overtly out of the equation.  This has to be--at least for my wife and I--a matter of what the Church is, not whether Orthodoxy happens to be the best item on the menu.  I'm confident that if we can come together on our beliefs with regard to what the NT and the earliest Christian writings say the Church is, Orthodoxy will not only present itself as the best option, but rather will present itself as the reality of our beliefs.

More recently, I have also been asking the intercessions of the Theotokos for my wife, that my wife and I might come to unity of faith in the Orthodox Church.

That's my story.  Your mileage may vary.
Logged

Clifton D. Healy
email: chealy5@yahoo.com
blog: http://benedictseraphim.wordpress.com

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
--Hamlet,
OrthodoxyOrDeath
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 71


I'm a llama!


« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2002, 01:39:24 PM »

"Of course nobody says dogmatically that all non-Orthodox go to hell! 1. The Church is the normal means of salvation but God isn't limited to it. 2. People born outside the Church may implicitly be in the Church. 3. God won't judge someone born outside the Church like someone who left.


Serge: I humbly point out that when you make such statements, you are inevitably placing yourself in a state of grave danger. Danger because to teach something against that which Christ has taught is a very horrible position to be in. I frequently see people teaching others about the faith, which is good, but a tremendous responsibility that I think all to often is not taken nearly as seriously as it should. This is especially true when discussing Salvation. I could think of few greater responibilities than to have the salvation of others on my own head, and this is by nature the task of a priest or someone who is quite sober in approaching the issue. Not to say you are not "sober", but I certainly feel you are wrong.

The Orthodox concept of Hell is entirley different than that of the West, so while we could not say the non-Orthodox are condemned to eternal torment, and the Western concept of "hell fire", we absolutley could not say the Kingdom of God is attainable by them.

If there ever seems to be a contradiction in speculating about that which may seem unclear, we must always yield to the primacy of the Church and admit the inadequacy of theory.

Intellectual speculation about "wider boundaries" of the Church are new and the direct product of this new-age relativism going on around us. These are not things which are subject to debate or restatement. This is because they are not ideas, but are spiritual facts that have been revealed to us. The nature of the Church, Christ as Her sole Head and the source of Her unity, and the spiritual vision of Her children also fall into the category of these universal spiritual Truths. These Truths are the pillars of our Faith.

There is no salvation outside the Church.

Just as one cannot approach the Father except through the Son, so too, nobody may approach the Son except through the Church. This is why, as only one example, St. John Chrysostom writes:

ôWe know that salvation itself is a property of the One Church, and that no one can be outside of the catholic Church and yet share the Faith of Christ, or be savedà Neither do we offer any part of that hope to the ungodly heretics, but we place them entirely outside of that hope; indeed, they have not the least participation in Christ, but vainly assume for themselves that saving Name.ö -St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (4th Century AD)

Again, just like "baptism" outside the Church, to say there is salvation outside the Church would be to also say the Church has "wider invisible boundaries", which you know all to well is a Protestant notion and a product of new-age modernizers.

-----------------------

To Protestant Seeker,

The important point to ponder in you and your wifes search for Christ is to always find what motivates you.

The root of what motivates you must be a genuine seeking of the Lord by seeking His truth and a recognition that the Church has the ultimate authority. Many people, even in Christ's earthly ministry, reacted in different ways to Him. Some feared him, some followed, some hated him, some recognized Him but would not follow, and some even saw fit to kill Him.

Well, the Church seeks to break your self-will in every way, you may not like that at first. And neither did the Scribes (not that you are a Scribe) like what Jesus did to upset their comfort, but sometimes what our bodies tell us are not always compatible with what we are called to do.

Truth is the measure in which you will find Christ. This truth is evidenced by His Saints.

Anti-Christ does not come to us in a foreign tongue and as an unbeliever. He comes to us in our own language and with a lukewarm commitment to the Faith. He speaks to us of love, while he hates us. He may even glorify the Church, but not the true faith. He exalts unity, but not in Truth. He takes what is temporary and seeks to make it universal. He makes what is standard the exception and what is the exception standard. He holds vitues up high but whispers in your ear how troublesome they are to you. We must never succumb to his tactics, however noble and good our intentions.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2002, 02:14:24 PM by OrthodoxyOrDeath » Logged
The young fogey
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,389


I'm an alpaca, actually


WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2002, 01:55:31 PM »

OOD,

Please close your quotations with code: brackets [ ] with /quote in them.

Quote
Serge: I humbly point out that when you make such statements, you are inevitably placing yourself in a state of grave danger.

Recently I was accused of pontificating. Well, this board is a cyber-Speaker's Corner at Hyde Park so such isn't out of line. Now, when you say my opinion, legit in Orthodoxy, 'inevitably' places me in grave danger you are pontificating and not being 'humble' at all.

Quote
I certainly feel you are wrong

Which you're entitled to but earlier you said unequivocally that my view places me in grave danger - an assertion beyond feeling or opinion, and out of line here.

Quote
The Orthodox concept of Hell is entirley different than that of the West, so while we could not say the non-Orthodox are condemned to eternal torment, and the Western concept of "hell fire", we absolutley could not say the Kingdom of God is attainable by them.

Whether it's a literal lake of fire or 0 Kelvin is irrelevant. IMO, you present a God who is a monster sending the ignorant to hell.

I don't think you represent the teachings of the Orthodox Church but rather either your own prideful version of same, or your possibly non-Orthodox teachers' version, being presented as 'true Orthodoxy'.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2002, 02:35:23 PM by Serge » Logged

Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,436


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2002, 02:29:13 PM »

OOD:

Even Patrick Barnes of orthodoxinfo.com wrote a book called the "nonOrthodox" in which he shows that the Fathers did admit the possiblility of salvation of non-Orthodox.  God can save whom he wills.

anastasios
Logged

Check out my personal website with 130+ articles: www.anastasioshudson.com

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
OrthodoxyOrDeath
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 71


I'm a llama!


« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2002, 03:46:20 PM »

Anastasios,

I did not read Mr. Barnes book, but thought the ultimate conclusion was "we don't know what happens to them, but salvation is unattainable".

I rest my case on the Fathers, who are quite clear.

"He who does not hold this unity, does not hold the law of God, does not hold the faith of the Father and the Son, does not hold life and salvation." (St. Cyprian, Patrologiae Cursus Completus)

"There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church ... and it is they who in His Church have labored in doing good works whom the Lord says shall be received into the Kingdom of Heaven on the Day of Judgment." (St. Cyprian, Epistle 73:21)

"What is the greatness of his error, and what the depth of his blindness, who says that remission of sins can be granted in the synagogues of heretics, and does not abide on the foundation of the one Church." (Bishop Firmilean, Anti-Nicene Fathers, c. 260)

"There is absolutely no salvation outside the Catholic Church" (Saints Cosmas and Damian, c. 300, Saints to Remember)

Lactantius (died A.D. 310): "It is the Catholic Church alone which retains true worship. This is the fountain of truth, this is the abode of the Faith, this is the temple of God; into which if anyone shall not enter, or from which if anyone shall go out, he is a stranger to the hope of life and eternal salvation." (The Divine Institutes)

"We should mourn for those who are dying without the Faith ... And well should the pagan weep and lament who, not knowing God, goes straight to punishment when he dies!" (St. John Chrysostom, On the Consolation of Death)

St. Gaudentius of Brescia (c. 400): "It is certain that all men of Noah's time perished, except those who merited to be in the Ark, which was a figure of the Church. Likewise, they cannot in any way now be saved who are aliens from the Apostolic Faith and the Catholic Church" (De Lect. Evangel)

In my study on the subject, I have logged another dozen or more examples.

Perhaps non-Orthodox people have a special place of light for those who were vituous? My point is that the Kingdom of God is only attainable in the Church and not in a legalistic way, but in-so-far as it is only in the Church that people can reach the level of virtues needed.

Actually, I think Saint Bede the Venerable harkens us to recall the clear and precise "earthly" lines of those saved by God and those not with the words: "Just as all within the ark were saved and all outside of it were carried away when the flood came, so when all who are pre-ordained to eternal life have entered the Church, the end of the world will come and all will perish who are found outside." (Hexaemeron)

and...

"He who will not willingly and humbly enter the gate of the Church will certainly be damned and enter the gate of hell whether he wants to or not!" (cf. Sermon 16; PL94:129)

And even if you insist myself and these Saints are wrong, at the very least, one should exercise caution and not unwittingly flout that Salvation is acheivable outside the Church, wherever and by whomever.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2002, 03:53:42 PM by OrthodoxyOrDeath » Logged
The young fogey
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,389


I'm an alpaca, actually


WWW
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2002, 04:17:33 PM »

OOD,

You sound like a Protestant prooftexting the Bible. There is one person's reading of the Fathers and then there is the Church's reading of the Fathers.
Logged

Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.066 seconds with 36 queries.