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Author Topic: Laying on of Hands  (Read 2896 times) Average Rating: 0
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Hinterlander
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« on: March 12, 2013, 04:35:18 PM »

I wanted to start a thread examining the practice of "laying on of hands."

For starters, I grew up in a strict Dutch Calvinist church where I only saw this happening when a pastor was ordained or an elder appointed.

Now I attend a more evangelical church where it is routine for members to do this anytime they're praying for someone.  Recently the children, elementary age, were asked to do this for someone who was going away on a trip as the whole congregation prayed.

This struck me as being something I had never seen before . . . the act of laying on of hands "devolving" from an authoritative act by church leadership, to a commonplace symbol of church unity that even small children can participate in . . .

I am thinking about this because I'm reading Acts and have come across several occasions where the Apostles are laying their hands on people.

How do Orthodox understand and practice "laying on of hands"?
How would Orthodox view what I have described?

Any thoughts are appreciated.
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2013, 04:36:59 PM »

For starters, I grew up in a strict Dutch Calvinist church where I only saw this happening when a pastor was ordained or an elder appointed.

 Huh

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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2013, 04:52:04 PM »

For starters, I grew up in a strict Dutch Calvinist church where I only saw this happening when a pastor was ordained or an elder appointed.

 Huh



A significant number Dutch immigrants to America were/are Calvinists.  There are a number of Reformed denominations made up of people of Dutch ancestry or even more recent immigrants.
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2013, 04:59:46 PM »

LOL those Protestants are hilarious!
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2013, 06:20:24 PM »

LOL those Protestants are hilarious!
"And such were some of you". (I Cor 6:11)

Are you hoping to mock the heterodox into joining the Church?
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2013, 06:40:48 PM »

LOL those Protestants are hilarious!
Please be sensitive to the needs of those Protestants who post here and refrain from posting such irrelevant mockeries.
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013, 08:02:58 PM »

I wanted to start a thread examining the practice of "laying on of hands."

For starters, I grew up in a strict Dutch Calvinist church where I only saw this happening when a pastor was ordained or an elder appointed.

Now I attend a more evangelical church where it is routine for members to do this anytime they're praying for someone.  Recently the children, elementary age, were asked to do this for someone who was going away on a trip as the whole congregation prayed.

This struck me as being something I had never seen before . . . the act of laying on of hands "devolving" from an authoritative act by church leadership, to a commonplace symbol of church unity that even small children can participate in . . .

I am thinking about this because I'm reading Acts and have come across several occasions where the Apostles are laying their hands on people.

How do Orthodox understand and practice "laying on of hands"?
How would Orthodox view what I have described?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Catholic Charismatics and Protestant Pentecostals practice the laying on of hands when they are praying for healing.

In Orthodoxy, the priest lays his hand on those to be received into the church either by Baptism or Chrismation. Those men being tonsured as readers or being ordained into the diaconate likewise are offered special prayers with the laying on of hands.
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2013, 08:18:55 PM »

I wanted to start a thread examining the practice of "laying on of hands."

For starters, I grew up in a strict Dutch Calvinist church where I only saw this happening when a pastor was ordained or an elder appointed.

Now I attend a more evangelical church where it is routine for members to do this anytime they're praying for someone.  Recently the children, elementary age, were asked to do this for someone who was going away on a trip as the whole congregation prayed.

This struck me as being something I had never seen before . . . the act of laying on of hands "devolving" from an authoritative act by church leadership, to a commonplace symbol of church unity that even small children can participate in . . .

I am thinking about this because I'm reading Acts and have come across several occasions where the Apostles are laying their hands on people.

How do Orthodox understand and practice "laying on of hands"?
How would Orthodox view what I have described?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

The Laying on of Hands in Acts generally is for the purpose of the reception of the Holy Spirit, i.e. the experience of the new Christian of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. This sacrament (or "mystery", from the Greek mysterion) is called "Chrismation" in the Orthodox Church. As the Church grew, and as the Twelve Apostles died off, this ability was permitted by the Apostles to be enacted by their successors, the bishops. In the East, priests may also perform this sacrament. In the West, it continues to be the purview of the episcopacy (and they often refer to it as "Confirmation"). A holy oil, called Chrism (or "Myron", in Greek) was consecrated and distributed to the bishops. To this day, this tradition is maintained during Holy Week, and each self-governing (autocephalous) Orthodox Church makes and consecrates new Chrism, led by the Primate (i.e., leading bishop) of that local church. each time adding a portion of last years' Chrism into the mix.

The Laying on of Hands also can refer to the sacrament (or again, mystery) of Holy Orders or Ordination, wherein the bishop stretches out his hands upon the candidate to be ordained to the diaconate or the priesthood. In the case of the ordination of a bishop (often called a "consecration") a Synod of Bishops (i.e., group of local bishops) con-celebrates the sacrament. There are also minor orders of clergy such as readers and subdeacons that receive the laying on of hands of the bishop.

As for the practice in charismatic communities of laying hands on a person for prayer or healing is...not really an historical representation of the act. It probably comes from the strong Protestant/Evangelical belief in the "priesthood of all believers" that excludes the possibility of a sacramental priesthood, as maintained in the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. We believe there is both a royal priesthood (the priesthood of all believers) and a sacerdotal priesthood ordained within that royal priesthood to serve a particular function within the Body.
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2013, 08:36:39 PM »

A significant number Dutch immigrants to America were/are Calvinists.  There are a number of Reformed denominations made up of people of Dutch ancestry or even more recent immigrants.

Some important American Protestant theologians/philospohers are Dutch Reformed; Alvin Plantinga comes to mind, for example.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 08:37:19 PM by Nephi » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2013, 08:53:42 PM »

LOL those Protestants are hilarious!
"And such were some of you". (I Cor 6:11)

Are you hoping to mock the heterodox into joining the Church?

Thank you, Clemente. You echo my sentiments.
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walter1234
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2013, 11:02:00 AM »

Quote
Mark 16:
17.And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
 
18.They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
 


Charismatic Church often support the practice of laying hands on a person for healing by mark 16:18 .

How does Orthodox Christian understand mark 16:18?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 11:03:13 AM by walter1234 » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2013, 11:39:10 AM »

Quote
Mark 16:
17.And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
 
18.They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
 


Charismatic Church often support the practice of laying hands on a person for healing by mark 16:18 .

How does Orthodox Christian understand mark 16:18?

Certainly, the saints can and do heal people. There are many accounts of such things in the Lives of the Saints. That said, such occurrences are not related to the laying on of hands for ordination.
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2013, 09:20:17 PM »

LOL those Protestants are hilarious!

Oh yes, because belittling people who aren't like you is so very Christ-like! Wink

Believe me, there are things you practice that I don't agree with. The difference is I don't get on here and make fun you. I come here to discuss things and try to understand. I most certainly don't get on here to see my Protestant brethren mocked and belittled. It's clearly not drawing anyone over to your much-vaunted Orthodoxy, so you might think about changing the way you deal with people you don't agree with in the future. Just a suggestion.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 09:34:17 PM by Armchair Theologian » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2013, 10:36:41 PM »

LOL those Protestants are hilarious!

Oh yes, because belittling people who aren't like you is so very Christ-like! Wink

Believe me, there are things you practice that I don't agree with. The difference is I don't get on here and make fun you. I come here to discuss things and try to understand. I most certainly don't get on here to see my Protestant brethren mocked and belittled. It's clearly not drawing anyone over to your much-vaunted Orthodoxy, so you might think about changing the way you deal with people you don't agree with in the future. Just a suggestion.

ArmchairTheologian, JamesR is still a teenager. It explains a lot.
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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2013, 10:53:51 PM »

LOL those Protestants are hilarious!

Oh yes, because belittling people who aren't like you is so very Christ-like! Wink

Believe me, there are things you practice that I don't agree with. The difference is I don't get on here and make fun you. I come here to discuss things and try to understand. I most certainly don't get on here to see my Protestant brethren mocked and belittled. It's clearly not drawing anyone over to your much-vaunted Orthodoxy, so you might think about changing the way you deal with people you don't agree with in the future. Just a suggestion.

ArmchairTheologian, JamesR is still a teenager. It explains a lot.
That, and James's almost neurotic hatred of all things related to his Protestant background is very well known on this forum.
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2013, 06:27:52 AM »

The difference is I don't get on here and make fun you. I come here to discuss things and try to understand. I most certainly don't get on here to see my Protestant brethren mocked and belittled.

I don't see much difference.

Am I the only one who finds it derogatory when Protestants say "mary" and don't even capitalize it? Something about the casual way they say or type it when speaking or typing something about her seems very disrespectful and I can't exactly put my finger on it.

It does irritate me, I admit.

agreed

You mean like when we act like we don't think she's a goddess? Gasp! How horrible!!

Did you ever think about how it sounds to us when you call her all-holy, most blessed and glorious virgin pure, immaculate lady, queen of all, more radiant than the rays of sun and higher than the heavens, superior to angels, brighter than the firmament and purer than the sun's light, and so on and so forth?

And no, I won't capitalize any of that.

So lets see, sifting through the garbage, I see like 3 intelligible responses to the OP's argument. Good job people!
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« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2013, 08:45:38 AM »

LOL those Protestants are hilarious!
"And such were some of you". (I Cor 6:11)

Are you hoping to mock the heterodox into joining the Church?

It takes all kinds. Quote St. Paul about the various members of the body working together.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 08:45:53 AM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2013, 08:47:13 AM »

LOL those Protestants are hilarious!

Oh yes, because belittling people who aren't like you is so very Christ-like! Wink

Believe me, there are things you practice that I don't agree with. The difference is I don't get on here and make fun you. I come here to discuss things and try to understand. I most certainly don't get on here to see my Protestant brethren mocked and belittled. It's clearly not drawing anyone over to your much-vaunted Orthodoxy, so you might think about changing the way you deal with people you don't agree with in the future. Just a suggestion.

ArmchairTheologian, JamesR is still a teenager. It explains a lot.
That, and James's almost neurotic hatred of all things related to his Protestant background is very well known on this forum.

It is hardly hatred. It is not neurotic.

Hezza funny guy. He has his schtick and he's sticking to it.
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orthonorm
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« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2013, 08:48:52 AM »

LOL those Protestants are hilarious!

Oh yes, because belittling people who aren't like you is so very Christ-like! Wink

Indeed. No need to signal irony when you speak plain truth. Calling people dogs and such stuff for asking for help ain't the Jesus the nursery songs would have you believe in.
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« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2013, 12:41:01 PM »

I wanted to start a thread examining the practice of "laying on of hands."

For starters, I grew up in a strict Dutch Calvinist church where I only saw this happening when a pastor was ordained or an elder appointed.

Now I attend a more evangelical church where it is routine for members to do this anytime they're praying for someone.  Recently the children, elementary age, were asked to do this for someone who was going away on a trip as the whole congregation prayed.

This struck me as being something I had never seen before . . . the act of laying on of hands "devolving" from an authoritative act by church leadership, to a commonplace symbol of church unity that even small children can participate in . . .

I am thinking about this because I'm reading Acts and have come across several occasions where the Apostles are laying their hands on people.

How do Orthodox understand and practice "laying on of hands"?
How would Orthodox view what I have described?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

The Laying on of Hands in Acts generally is for the purpose of the reception of the Holy Spirit, i.e. the experience of the new Christian of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. This sacrament (or "mystery", from the Greek mysterion) is called "Chrismation" in the Orthodox Church. As the Church grew, and as the Twelve Apostles died off, this ability was permitted by the Apostles to be enacted by their successors, the bishops. In the East, priests may also perform this sacrament. In the West, it continues to be the purview of the episcopacy (and they often refer to it as "Confirmation"). A holy oil, called Chrism (or "Myron", in Greek) was consecrated and distributed to the bishops. To this day, this tradition is maintained during Holy Week, and each self-governing (autocephalous) Orthodox Church makes and consecrates new Chrism, led by the Primate (i.e., leading bishop) of that local church. each time adding a portion of last years' Chrism into the mix.

The Laying on of Hands also can refer to the sacrament (or again, mystery) of Holy Orders or Ordination, wherein the bishop stretches out his hands upon the candidate to be ordained to the diaconate or the priesthood. In the case of the ordination of a bishop (often called a "consecration") a Synod of Bishops (i.e., group of local bishops) con-celebrates the sacrament. There are also minor orders of clergy such as readers and subdeacons that receive the laying on of hands of the bishop.

As for the practice in charismatic communities of laying hands on a person for prayer or healing is...not really an historical representation of the act. It probably comes from the strong Protestant/Evangelical belief in the "priesthood of all believers" that excludes the possibility of a sacramental priesthood, as maintained in the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. We believe there is both a royal priesthood (the priesthood of all believers) and a sacerdotal priesthood ordained within that royal priesthood to serve a particular function within the Body.

Thank you for the thorough response, greatly appreciated. 
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