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mabsoota
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« Reply #135 on: June 11, 2013, 05:30:35 PM »


Remember that what we in the west, from protestant cultures (often literalist churches) percieve as "new-age'y" today is actually very often deeply rooted language within the christian tradition of theology & spirituality whose terminology has often been borrowed or "hi-jacked" by modern new-age or gnostic groups.

I'd say you cant get a more full path to christian perfection than you can get from the teachings of the fathers of the Orthodox Church or a more honorable, glorious & spiritual public worship than from the "Divine Lithurgy" in an Orthodox Church.


i agree, especially the parts in bold.
and welcome!
 Smiley

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« Reply #136 on: June 11, 2013, 08:41:00 PM »

Like I said, some of what they have is useful. Other articles, however, are an extremely pejorative. Take the article on St. Francis as an example - it's one thing to deny the authenticity of his mystical experiences, but IIRC they say he was either insane or demonic because he wasn't within the visible boundaries of canonical, intercommuning Eastern Orthodoxy.

This isn't really my fight, of course, but I'd like to add that the fact that Francis lived before the Council of Florence would, I assume, be taken into account as well.
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« Reply #137 on: June 11, 2013, 09:22:20 PM »

Why was it such a scandal that it was played at Christendom?
It was written by Martin Luther. :p And Christendom is super traddie.

In Christ,
Andrew

Don't forget the radically anti-Catholic verses!  Shocked

Well, not really.
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« Reply #138 on: June 11, 2013, 09:28:19 PM »

Like I said, some of what they have is useful. Other articles, however, are an extremely pejorative. Take the article on St. Francis as an example - it's one thing to deny the authenticity of his mystical experiences, but IIRC they say he was either insane or demonic because he wasn't within the visible boundaries of canonical, intercommuning Eastern Orthodoxy.

This isn't really my fight, of course, but I'd like to add that the fact that Francis lived before the Council of Florence would, I assume, be taken into account as well.

But don't you know that God's grace completely vanished from the West the very second the Papal representative left that letter of excommunication for the Patriarch of Constantinople? No need to consider the Council of Florence. Wink
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« Reply #139 on: June 11, 2013, 09:40:44 PM »

But don't you know that God's grace completely vanished from the West the very second the Papal representative left that letter of excommunication for the Patriarch of Constantinople?

Well yeah! What do you take me for?

P.S. That was in 1450 right? (Or was that 1504?)
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« Reply #140 on: June 11, 2013, 10:34:30 PM »

It seems like a "my saint is better than your saint" type of deal.

By written accounts, many people were inspired by St. Francis' vow of poverty, helping the needy, and the preaching of the Gospel.

Even Jesus told the disciples not to stop the other non-disciples from preaching/driving out demons/etc.

It seems like there's a belief that if something did not exist "back in the Apostolic days", it's not from a divine source (e.g., stigmata).

Even by Eastern Orthodoxy standards, isn't there a saying by a Desert Father where there are two different "ways" and both are acceptable to the Holy Spirit?  (I forget which father it was...but he had a vision of two boats or rafts.)  Maybe for one saint, sitting on a pillar is their path.  Maybe for another, it's preaching and serving as an example for the masses to give glory to God.
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« Reply #141 on: June 11, 2013, 10:38:50 PM »

Well yeah! What do you take me for?

P.S. That was in 1450 right? (Or was that 1504?)

Close, but pretty sure it was 1540. Cool
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« Reply #142 on: June 12, 2013, 04:17:24 AM »

It seems like a "my saint is better than your saint" type of deal.

By written accounts, many people were inspired by St. Francis' vow of poverty, helping the needy, and the preaching of the Gospel.

Even Jesus told the disciples not to stop the other non-disciples from preaching/driving out demons/etc.

It seems like there's a belief that if something did not exist "back in the Apostolic days", it's not from a divine source (e.g., stigmata).

Even by Eastern Orthodoxy standards, isn't there a saying by a Desert Father where there are two different "ways" and both are acceptable to the Holy Spirit?  (I forget which father it was...but he had a vision of two boats or rafts.)  Maybe for one saint, sitting on a pillar is their path.  Maybe for another, it's preaching and serving as an example for the masses to give glory to God.
In my humble opinion you should ignore the claims of western saints being illegitimate or even "demonic" just because of the fact that they belong to the roman-catholic church.

Another example would be the Coptic church.
There are many martyrs and saints that from the Coptic church of Egypt that has been under islamic oppression since AD 700. Now the coptic and orthodox church has reached some kind of theological consensus where they do agree on the nature on the "christology" of the faith but that the different traditions have used differing terminology to specify their theological viewpoints and we can't disgard the possibility that there were political interests that played into the fact that what we now call the "Oriental Orthodox" churches rejected the council of chalcedon.

There will always be people that that claim that it's impossible to be saved withouth "my" church so eventually one has to reach ones own conlcusion or opinion wether salvation is or is not limited to one specific christian denomination.
Considering the holiness and piety of saints from the catholic, oriental- and eastern-orthodox churches I personally don't believe salvation is necessarily limited to specific denominations but that it's a question of which one provides the apostolic succession, theological continuity, teaching enviroment, spirituality and valid sacraments that should be the main concerns when trying to find the most authentic church of Christ. The lives of the saints serve as witnessess to the authenticity of said churches.

However, when it comes to the catholic church teachings it can become a question of personal conscience because of the dogmatic inventions (immaculate conception, papal infalliability etc.). I have met very few catholics that have'nt told me "you don't need to accept ALL the church teachings as truth" and this to me highlights the fact that there has been invention that are sufficiently far away from the apostolic teaching & christian revelation that they are hard to accept for all christians
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« Reply #143 on: June 12, 2013, 07:18:55 AM »

It seems like a "my saint is better than your saint" type of deal.

By written accounts, many people were inspired by St. Francis' vow of poverty, helping the needy, and the preaching of the Gospel.

Even Jesus told the disciples not to stop the other non-disciples from preaching/driving out demons/etc.

It seems like there's a belief that if something did not exist "back in the Apostolic days", it's not from a divine source (e.g., stigmata).

Even by Eastern Orthodoxy standards, isn't there a saying by a Desert Father where there are two different "ways" and both are acceptable to the Holy Spirit?  (I forget which father it was...but he had a vision of two boats or rafts.)  Maybe for one saint, sitting on a pillar is their path.  Maybe for another, it's preaching and serving as an example for the masses to give glory to God.
In my humble opinion you should ignore the claims of western saints being illegitimate or even "demonic" just because of the fact that they belong to the roman-catholic church.

Another example would be the Coptic church.
There are many martyrs and saints that from the Coptic church of Egypt that has been under islamic oppression since AD 700. Now the coptic and orthodox church has reached some kind of theological consensus where they do agree on the nature on the "christology" of the faith but that the different traditions have used differing terminology to specify their theological viewpoints and we can't disgard the possibility that there were political interests that played into the fact that what we now call the "Oriental Orthodox" churches rejected the council of chalcedon.

There will always be people that that claim that it's impossible to be saved withouth "my" church so eventually one has to reach ones own conlcusion or opinion wether salvation is or is not limited to one specific christian denomination.
Considering the holiness and piety of saints from the catholic, oriental- and eastern-orthodox churches I personally don't believe salvation is necessarily limited to specific denominations but that it's a question of which one provides the apostolic succession, theological continuity, teaching enviroment, spirituality and valid sacraments that should be the main concerns when trying to find the most authentic church of Christ. The lives of the saints serve as witnessess to the authenticity of said churches.

However, when it comes to the catholic church teachings it can become a question of personal conscience because of the dogmatic inventions (immaculate conception, papal infalliability etc.). I have met very few catholics that have'nt told me "you don't need to accept ALL the church teachings as truth" and this to me highlights the fact that there has been invention that are sufficiently far away from the apostolic teaching & christian revelation that they are hard to accept for all christians

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« Reply #144 on: June 12, 2013, 09:14:42 AM »

It seems like a "my saint is better than your saint" type of deal.

By written accounts, many people were inspired by St. Francis' vow of poverty, helping the needy, and the preaching of the Gospel.

Even Jesus told the disciples not to stop the other non-disciples from preaching/driving out demons/etc.

It seems like there's a belief that if something did not exist "back in the Apostolic days", it's not from a divine source (e.g., stigmata).

Even by Eastern Orthodoxy standards, isn't there a saying by a Desert Father where there are two different "ways" and both are acceptable to the Holy Spirit?  (I forget which father it was...but he had a vision of two boats or rafts.)  Maybe for one saint, sitting on a pillar is their path.  Maybe for another, it's preaching and serving as an example for the masses to give glory to God.
In my humble opinion you should ignore the claims of western saints being illegitimate or even "demonic" just because of the fact that they belong to the roman-catholic church.

Another example would be the Coptic church.
There are many martyrs and saints that from the Coptic church of Egypt that has been under islamic oppression since AD 700. Now the coptic and orthodox church has reached some kind of theological consensus where they do agree on the nature on the "christology" of the faith but that the different traditions have used differing terminology to specify their theological viewpoints and we can't disgard the possibility that there were political interests that played into the fact that what we now call the "Oriental Orthodox" churches rejected the council of chalcedon.

There will always be people that that claim that it's impossible to be saved withouth "my" church so eventually one has to reach ones own conlcusion or opinion wether salvation is or is not limited to one specific christian denomination.
Considering the holiness and piety of saints from the catholic, oriental- and eastern-orthodox churches I personally don't believe salvation is necessarily limited to specific denominations but that it's a question of which one provides the apostolic succession, theological continuity, teaching enviroment, spirituality and valid sacraments that should be the main concerns when trying to find the most authentic church of Christ. The lives of the saints serve as witnessess to the authenticity of said churches.

However, when it comes to the catholic church teachings it can become a question of personal conscience because of the dogmatic inventions (immaculate conception, papal infalliability etc.). I have met very few catholics that have'nt told me "you don't need to accept ALL the church teachings as truth" and this to me highlights the fact that there has been invention that are sufficiently far away from the apostolic teaching & christian revelation that they are hard to accept for all christians


It always included either the immaculate conception of mary or the bodily assumption of Mary into Heaven. But then again, I live in a highly secularized society (70% agnostic) so it might be an anomaly. When I visited the catholic church and told the cathecist about my problems of truly accepting these dogmas he said that he himself didn't accept the dogma of the bodily assumption and the immaculate conception along with other church teachings about sexuality, condoms & abortions but that we should try our best to accept whatever the church teaches as truth
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« Reply #145 on: June 12, 2013, 09:17:38 AM »

Quote
he himself didn't accept the dogma of the bodily assumption and the immaculate conception along with other church teachings about sexuality, condoms & abortions but that we should try our best to accept whatever the church teaches as truth
Maybe this guy shouldn't be a priest then.......

PP
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« Reply #146 on: June 12, 2013, 09:21:24 AM »

Quote
he himself didn't accept the dogma of the bodily assumption and the immaculate conception along with other church teachings about sexuality, condoms & abortions but that we should try our best to accept whatever the church teaches as truth
Maybe this guy shouldn't be a priest then.......

PP
He was not a priest in the catholic church but he taught people who wanted to convert. Maybe he was an extreme case? I don't know because I havent been to any other catholic churches to speak about church teaching and he expressed a general wish for the church to "get with the times" even though he was above 70 years of age and had previously been a Lutheran priest
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« Reply #147 on: June 12, 2013, 09:34:50 AM »

It seems like a "my saint is better than your saint" type of deal.

By written accounts, many people were inspired by St. Francis' vow of poverty, helping the needy, and the preaching of the Gospel.

Even Jesus told the disciples not to stop the other non-disciples from preaching/driving out demons/etc.

It seems like there's a belief that if something did not exist "back in the Apostolic days", it's not from a divine source (e.g., stigmata).

Even by Eastern Orthodoxy standards, isn't there a saying by a Desert Father where there are two different "ways" and both are acceptable to the Holy Spirit?  (I forget which father it was...but he had a vision of two boats or rafts.)  Maybe for one saint, sitting on a pillar is their path.  Maybe for another, it's preaching and serving as an example for the masses to give glory to God.
In my humble opinion you should ignore the claims of western saints being illegitimate or even "demonic" just because of the fact that they belong to the roman-catholic church.

Another example would be the Coptic church.
There are many martyrs and saints that from the Coptic church of Egypt that has been under islamic oppression since AD 700. Now the coptic and orthodox church has reached some kind of theological consensus where they do agree on the nature on the "christology" of the faith but that the different traditions have used differing terminology to specify their theological viewpoints and we can't disgard the possibility that there were political interests that played into the fact that what we now call the "Oriental Orthodox" churches rejected the council of chalcedon.

There will always be people that that claim that it's impossible to be saved withouth "my" church so eventually one has to reach ones own conlcusion or opinion wether salvation is or is not limited to one specific christian denomination.
Considering the holiness and piety of saints from the catholic, oriental- and eastern-orthodox churches I personally don't believe salvation is necessarily limited to specific denominations but that it's a question of which one provides the apostolic succession, theological continuity, teaching enviroment, spirituality and valid sacraments that should be the main concerns when trying to find the most authentic church of Christ. The lives of the saints serve as witnessess to the authenticity of said churches.

However, when it comes to the catholic church teachings it can become a question of personal conscience because of the dogmatic inventions (immaculate conception, papal infalliability etc.). I have met very few catholics that have'nt told me "you don't need to accept ALL the church teachings as truth" and this to me highlights the fact that there has been invention that are sufficiently far away from the apostolic teaching & christian revelation that they are hard to accept for all christians


It always included either the immaculate conception of mary or the bodily assumption of Mary into Heaven. But then again, I live in a highly secularized society (70% agnostic) so it might be an anomaly. When I visited the catholic church and told the cathecist about my problems of truly accepting these dogmas he said that he himself didn't accept the dogma of the bodily assumption and the immaculate conception along with other church teachings about sexuality, condoms & abortions but that we should try our best to accept whatever the church teaches as truth

He was not a priest in the catholic church but he taught people who wanted to convert. Maybe he was an extreme case? I don't know because I havent been to any other catholic churches to speak about church teaching and he expressed a general wish for the church to "get with the times" even though he was above 70 years of age and had previously been a Lutheran priest

Well, I admit it find it weird; but I don't want to say very much (unless you want to start a thread about the topic). So let me just offer some words from people I greatly respect:

"We are not fishing in the Anglican pond"
- Cardinal Kasper (responding to questions about the Anglican Ordinariates)

"Pastoral activity in the Catholic Church, Latin as well as Eastern, no longer aims at having the faithful of one Church pass over to the other"
- the Balamand Statement
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« Reply #148 on: June 12, 2013, 09:50:20 AM »

It seems like a "my saint is better than your saint" type of deal.

By written accounts, many people were inspired by St. Francis' vow of poverty, helping the needy, and the preaching of the Gospel.

Even Jesus told the disciples not to stop the other non-disciples from preaching/driving out demons/etc.

It seems like there's a belief that if something did not exist "back in the Apostolic days", it's not from a divine source (e.g., stigmata).

Even by Eastern Orthodoxy standards, isn't there a saying by a Desert Father where there are two different "ways" and both are acceptable to the Holy Spirit?  (I forget which father it was...but he had a vision of two boats or rafts.)  Maybe for one saint, sitting on a pillar is their path.  Maybe for another, it's preaching and serving as an example for the masses to give glory to God.
In my humble opinion you should ignore the claims of western saints being illegitimate or even "demonic" just because of the fact that they belong to the roman-catholic church.

Another example would be the Coptic church.
There are many martyrs and saints that from the Coptic church of Egypt that has been under islamic oppression since AD 700. Now the coptic and orthodox church has reached some kind of theological consensus where they do agree on the nature on the "christology" of the faith but that the different traditions have used differing terminology to specify their theological viewpoints and we can't disgard the possibility that there were political interests that played into the fact that what we now call the "Oriental Orthodox" churches rejected the council of chalcedon.

There will always be people that that claim that it's impossible to be saved withouth "my" church so eventually one has to reach ones own conlcusion or opinion wether salvation is or is not limited to one specific christian denomination.
Considering the holiness and piety of saints from the catholic, oriental- and eastern-orthodox churches I personally don't believe salvation is necessarily limited to specific denominations but that it's a question of which one provides the apostolic succession, theological continuity, teaching enviroment, spirituality and valid sacraments that should be the main concerns when trying to find the most authentic church of Christ. The lives of the saints serve as witnessess to the authenticity of said churches.

However, when it comes to the catholic church teachings it can become a question of personal conscience because of the dogmatic inventions (immaculate conception, papal infalliability etc.). I have met very few catholics that have'nt told me "you don't need to accept ALL the church teachings as truth" and this to me highlights the fact that there has been invention that are sufficiently far away from the apostolic teaching & christian revelation that they are hard to accept for all christians


It always included either the immaculate conception of mary or the bodily assumption of Mary into Heaven. But then again, I live in a highly secularized society (70% agnostic) so it might be an anomaly. When I visited the catholic church and told the cathecist about my problems of truly accepting these dogmas he said that he himself didn't accept the dogma of the bodily assumption and the immaculate conception along with other church teachings about sexuality, condoms & abortions but that we should try our best to accept whatever the church teaches as truth

He was not a priest in the catholic church but he taught people who wanted to convert. Maybe he was an extreme case? I don't know because I havent been to any other catholic churches to speak about church teaching and he expressed a general wish for the church to "get with the times" even though he was above 70 years of age and had previously been a Lutheran priest

Well, I admit it find it weird; but I don't want to say very much (unless you want to start a thread about the topic). So let me just offer some words from people I greatly respect:

"We are not fishing in the Anglican pond"
- Cardinal Kasper (responding to questions about the Anglican Ordinariates)

"Pastoral activity in the Catholic Church, Latin as well as Eastern, no longer aims at having the faithful of one Church pass over to the other"
- the Balamand Statement
I don't really understand what you mean by this but the way I see it is that secularization has affected many christian churches as well and for at least 20 years there have been countless of high quality production documentaries etc. specifically aimed at discrediting key elements of the christian revelation & sometimes also specifically the catholic church: "The Davinci Code", "Banned from the Bible" etc. etc. and I believe this has affected many christians negatively

but as you said this probably belongs in a different topic altogether Smiley
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« Reply #149 on: June 13, 2013, 02:33:35 PM »

I'm browsing a Catholic forum (won't name it but you can guess), and one poster has stated that the gates of Hades prevailed against the churches in Antioch and Alexandria (emergence of heresies) but that the church in Rome resisted.

Is this an example of triumphalism?

What's the Orthodox response to this?

It seems like a rather...interesting...definition of "gates of Hades"...

I mean...what about the past blemishes of the church in Rome (e.g., selling of indulgences, less than ideal popes)...? 
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« Reply #150 on: June 13, 2013, 02:43:06 PM »

Gates of hades meant numerous things to the Fathers:

- The most common interpretation was indeed heresy
- Another common one was sin and corruption (on a corporate level)
- A few spoke of worldly persecution
- A few also spoke of individual sin

However, when they spoke of heresy they did not mean that if, at any time, a local church or her leadership fell into heresy, that it was the end for that church. Each major local church, or perhaps I should say the majority and/or the leadership, has fallen into heresy at one point or another, Rome included. What the prophecy means is that the Church as a whole will not fall... that individual communities might go astray, even 95% of the Church at one time might go astray, but that there will always be God-inspired Christians holding down the fort until the heresy can be overcome.


EDIT--For some quotes, see here...
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« Reply #151 on: June 13, 2013, 02:48:43 PM »

 Roll Eyes
yeah, right!
[edit: the rolling eyes is at forum quoted, not at asteriktos who posted while i was writing]

just a briefest of glances at the history of the church in alexandria and antioch will tell you about the strong commitment to the true faith (as agreed by all at Jerusalem, Nicea and Constantinople in the first few centuries), the brave and Godly martyrs who fought peacefully with only their words, good deeds and miracles as their 'weapons' and the missionary outreach that spread Christianity across north africa and asia.

some further reading (coptic orthodox church only, sorry, i don't know that much about the other) is here:
http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/thecopticchurch/index.html
http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/thecopticchurch/church1.html
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« Reply #152 on: June 13, 2013, 05:27:53 PM »

I'm browsing a Catholic forum (won't name it but you can guess), and one poster has stated that the gates of Hades prevailed against the churches in Antioch and Alexandria (emergence of heresies) but that the church in Rome resisted.

Was that the first time you encountered a nut on the internet? If so, I can't tell you how much I envy you.
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« Reply #153 on: June 13, 2013, 08:10:50 PM »

Either the gates of hades prevailed against Rome when they accepted the first Nicene creed which every church did at 325 and 381. Or the gates of hades prevailed over Rome in the late sixth century when the filoque was added.
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« Reply #154 on: June 14, 2013, 12:19:55 AM »

I know everyone wants to defend "their" church, but I was kind of surprised that that poster accused some Orthodox churches of being fallen.

It seems *some* Catholics have this very...rosy...picture of the Catholic Church. 

But I guess if your Church is protected from error, it must be perfect in every way...?

Some Catholics accuse Protestants of worshipping the Bible.  Is it possible to replace God with church as an institution?

And someone else mentioned that Peter only helped established the church in Antioch and wasn't a bishop of Antioch.  Is this true?

Why can't we just get along???  Huh
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« Reply #155 on: June 14, 2013, 12:25:13 AM »

And someone else mentioned that Peter only helped established the church in Antioch and wasn't a bishop of Antioch.  Is this true?
This is simply untrue. Most Latin Catholic sources I've seen have no problem saying that St. Peter was the first bishop of Antioch, and Melkite Catholics definitely (from what I've seen) believe it. IIRC the RCC even used to(?) have a feast honoring St. Peter's Chair in Antioch.

I think the person is denying the teachings of their own church to push a point.
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« Reply #156 on: June 14, 2013, 02:07:00 AM »

What about the idea that the deposit of faith needs to be unveiled over time (by the Catholic Magisterium) because knowledge of truth is too much to be revealed at once?

Does that go against the Orthodox belief that all that had been handed down by the Apostles are necessary and sufficient?
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« Reply #157 on: June 14, 2013, 02:40:11 AM »

Either the gates of hades prevailed against Rome when they accepted the first Nicene creed which every church did at 325 and 381. Or the gates of hades prevailed over Rome in the late sixth century when the filoque was added.

Or neither one, as even Rome itself agreed with the non-filioque version as being the Universal Creed at Constantinople IV. I'm all for honest distinction between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy, but with an emphasis on honest. Let's leave the gates of hell prevailing over Rome in the 11th Century where it belongs.

The West has long had other creeds (the Apostles' Creed, for one), and a simple phrase is fine for a local definition- just not the prescribed creed for one Holy and Apostolic Church.
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« Reply #158 on: June 14, 2013, 03:07:14 AM »

Does Orthodoxy hold Holy Tradition with equal authority as Scripture as Catholicism does?

What I have reservations with Catholicism is that the Church is right, cannot err, etc.

And I don't mean in an ecumenical council setting.  I mean in everyday issuance of the Orthodox equivalent of encyclicals and whatnot.
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« Reply #159 on: June 14, 2013, 03:28:13 AM »

There are various ways of answering this. And answering it in various ways is perhaps the best answer. That is, in many areas, including the process of salvation, the afterlife, the interrelationships between authorities (Bible/Church/Tradition), etc., it is not in one systematic explanation that we find the truth, but in a multiplicity of views. Think of it as a huge statue in the middle of a valley, with the Orthodox approach being not to give one really detailed account from one perspective, but rather many accounts from many perspectives. And sometimes those perspectives do not seem to harmonize completely and totally. And that's ok. Consider how many ways there are to think about salvation, from being healed of a sickness, to God becoming man to save us, to salvation as a process in which we respond of our own free will and participate, and so forth. Christian authorities are somewhat similar, in that we can speak of them in different ways, and rather than making things murkier by the multiplicity of explanations, this multiplying of views actually makes things richer and deeper.

I'll give a couple possible views though, just to help get towards an answer. One way of thinking about it is that Scripture and Tradition are two sides of the same coin: they are both about God revealing truth to us. It doesn't matter whether that truth is revealed in Genesis, or Matthew, or the work of some Church Father. Truth is truth, regardless of course. The main difference here is just that some sources are more sure than others. The Church, then, would merely be the context in which this truth was discovered, and would act as a sort of tool or process or mechanism for sifting out the bad stuff so we are left only with that which we were after.

Another way to view things is that Scripture is the foundation, or at least the written foundation. Then there is oral traditions, which St. Paul spoke of, and various Church Fathers (e.g. St. Basil) elaborated on down through the centuries. What we call tradition would be, with each new generation, the discovery and learning of God's truths, the working out and practicing of those truths, and the passing on to the next generation of them. The Church could be seen as the protector, like a protective fence (to use a Chestertonian image), making sure that this process, over the course of centuries, did not go out of bounds, and stayed where it needed to be. Not that it insisted on a dogmatic and rigid path (usually not that, anyway), but rather that it kept things within a playing field of tenable beliefs.

Fwiw some of the posts in this thread might be of interest to you. And I apologize if I've somewhat repeated myself there in what I've said on this thread.
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« Reply #160 on: June 14, 2013, 07:54:30 AM »

Thank you, Asteriktos! 

I wonder when my journey between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church will come to an end... Embarrassed

But whichever Church I end up joining, I don't think I can ever believe that Church is the *only* true Church...that would mean I have to believe that half the holy saints who have gone before us were somehow "on the wrong side".
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« Reply #161 on: June 14, 2013, 08:15:50 AM »

Remember that the church does not become the only church because of any hierarchical structure or historical tradition, but as Asteriktos pointed out so well, by truth. Christ always referred to his church as THE church, not A church, as he knew that its followers would follow and worship the Father by truth and spirit.

Therefore, both the catholic and orthodox church may claim authority by its historical context, as both may probably prove an unbroken apostolic succession. But both can´t be correct in its teachings, and therefore in its truth.

With all due respect and love my dear brother NotAnHourGoesBy, please forgive me a sinner if it sounds negative in any way, but the option is only that there is one true church by its teachings and truth. We can´t as true Christians afford people to treat the truth without any authoritative context(The church). Or else we may end up as many people in the philippines. They literally crucify them to "remember" how Christ love us and suffered for us. The same challenge stands between the catholic, orthodox and protestant church. Measure and chose the true church by its truth, not only by structure or history.

Forgive me brother, and pray for me, a sinner.
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« Reply #162 on: June 14, 2013, 09:45:18 AM »

Let's leave the gates of hell prevailing over Rome in the 11th Century where it belongs.

Um ... [file:Looks-around-and-sees-where-he-is.jpg not found] okay.
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« Reply #163 on: June 14, 2013, 10:34:29 AM »

Let's leave the gates of hell prevailing over Rome in the 11th Century where it belongs.

Um ... [file:Looks-around-and-sees-where-he-is.jpg not found] okay.

Ah, those not found files. Mine was missing "tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek.bmp"
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« Reply #164 on: June 15, 2013, 06:25:04 AM »

i firmly believe God is working in all the churches.
that is very different to the 'branch theory' or 'unity of heart' theory which says that all (protestant, catholic and orthodox) churches are simply different and equally valid ways of worshipping the same God.

the orthodox church (and here i include eastern and oriental orthodox churches, as we have agreed on the same doctrine) is the place where the theology makes sense, the sacraments are correct and the clergy (generally speaking) will help you to have a closer relationship with God.
in other churches you can relate to God, but this is usually despite, not because of, the theology and practices of the church.
in churches which are not orthodox, you can learn a lot about God, but also be confused by wrong theology.
i believe you won't find a really deep relationship with God outside of orthodox baptism, chrismation and Holy Communion.

when i was protestant, i was a sincere Christian believer, but i lacked a deep and sure faith and a deep peace.
now, as an orthodox Christian, all that i hear in church makes sense (i don't understand everything yet!) and i don't have to 'screen out' annoying doctrines or practices and close my eyes and just pray in the services. (i used to think it was 'normal' to have to do that in all churches!)
i am free to look and explore, because i have the writings of the early church fathers, the sacraments of the church and the lessons learnt from the life of the saints to guide me.
(see hebrews 13:7-8).
i found a community whose living faith guided all their decision making and taught them how to stay strong and forgiving despite all the troubles they went through.

so, dear friend, these are some principles to help you find your way.

i didn't join the catholic church because i could not find enough evidence in the life of the early church fathers or in the Bible to support purgatory or the immaculate conception of saint mary (without the inherited sin that they and the protestants think we all get). i also found, in my personal experience, that many of the people in the church i attended for a while did not have a deep personal experience of God. they saw church as a 'sunday' thing, and, although they were sad that they didn't have the desire to learn more about God, they didn't see how to resolve that problem. i had some interesting discussions with some of them, as i joined the orthodox church (meeting on saturdays in a rented building) during that period of several months that i attended the catholic church most sundays (and often the anglican church, but that's another story!)
i even asked the catholic priest at one stage why i couldn't be catholic, as i believed more of the shorter catechism than most of his parishioners did! (i was wondering at the time if the branch theory could be true, and the priest's wise refusal was one of the markers that i was on the wrong path!)

i slowly realised that the catholic and orthodox theology was not the same, and that i believed orthodox theology, so i joined the orthodox church (with the help of a very wise orthodox priest, who patiently waited for me to get my head sorted).
i believe God was leading me before i was orthodox.
God wants everyone to be closer to Him, and if there is not a strong and loving orthodox church that a person can get to, i think God leads people through other churches as part of their spiritual journey.
it was much better for me being protestant for most of my childhood, than being an atheist in a stressful personal situation with plenty of immoral and illegal distractions available for me. i think without my early non orthodox experiences of God, i could have easily been a prostitute or on drugs, and that would have given me much pain and heart ache.

i believe that many of the catholic and protestant 'saints' were close to God in their lives, using the resources they had available to them (sometimes they were not able to access the orthodox church). God rewards them based on their motives (only He knows) and what they did with what they had available.
i believe some of them are there in heaven with the orthodox saints, praying that people make wiser choices and asking God to guide us.
even john calvin repented on his death bed, so perhaps he is there too, praying for those who have made an even worse mess of his doctrines than he did, and asking God to guide people into the orthodox church.

on the other hand, some orthodox churches (eg the official churches in communist times in russia) drifted so far from orthodox beliefs as to not be useful to the people who went there.
so it is not a simple answer, nor a short answer!
it is also only my experience, and not a postgraduate view from a brilliant scholar.
sorry!

but i pray God will guide you, and please take time to make your decision.
you can get closer to God every day, not matter which church you are in currently, and as you do this, He will guide you to the right place. (obviously i think this is the orthodox church, but i think the advice holds true, even ignoring my bias).

during this time, study the Bible, read the lives of the pre schism church fathers and saints and pray.
and don't rush!
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« Reply #165 on: June 18, 2013, 09:57:09 AM »

I came across this website today...

http://www.trueorthodoxy.org/heretics_roman_catholics_pope_as_christ.shtml

Are they zealots or are the viewpoints common among the Orthodox?
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« Reply #166 on: June 18, 2013, 10:06:32 AM »

I came across this website today...

http://www.trueorthodoxy.org/heretics_roman_catholics_pope_as_christ.shtml

Are they zealots or are the viewpoints common among the Orthodox?
Seems Old Calendarist to me. As soon as I saw "World Orthodoxy" I knew. I would not use this website as a guide to Orthodoxy.

PP
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« Reply #167 on: June 18, 2013, 10:30:43 AM »

I came across this website today...

http://www.trueorthodoxy.org/heretics_roman_catholics_pope_as_christ.shtml

Are they zealots or are the viewpoints common among the Orthodox?

That is by the group under Gregory of Colorado, a person most old calendarists wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. Actually he's been excommunicated by several of them.
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« Reply #168 on: June 18, 2013, 11:26:52 AM »

I came across this website today...

http://www.trueorthodoxy.org/heretics_roman_catholics_pope_as_christ.shtml

Are they zealots or are the viewpoints common among the Orthodox?

That is by the group under Gregory of Colorado, a person most old calendarists wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. Actually he's been excommunicated by several of them.

Here's Al Green's history of the bishop, which is now dated:

Gregory George (Bishop Gregory of Colorado). He was an Antiochian. He decided the Antiochians were ecumenists, so he went to ROCOR. He decided the ROCOR was populated with ecumenists, so he went to the Old Calendarists under Chrysostomos II. He decided the Old Calendarists were ecumenists, so he went to another Old Calendarist sect under Kallinikos. Kallinikos decided they wouldn't make George a Bishop, so he went to ROAC, and got made a Bishop.


To say that they're fanatics is sort of mild. They claim to be the only true Orthodox jurisdiction in North America, kind of the OC equivalent of the alternative Pope conclaves you see in some Catholic sedevacantist circles.

So I guess I am saying consider the source.
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« Reply #169 on: June 18, 2013, 12:34:36 PM »

So....these are like Orthodox denominations?  Don't like one, so go to a different jurisdiction until you find one you like...?
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« Reply #170 on: June 18, 2013, 12:38:33 PM »

So....these are like Orthodox denominations?  Don't like one, so go to a different jurisdiction until you find one you like...?
No. They are not Orthodox. They can call themselves that all they want. Thats like me, starting a baptist church, but teaching Orthodoxy...I can claim to be a baptist, that doesn't make it so.

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« Reply #171 on: June 18, 2013, 02:05:15 PM »

people in communion with the eastern orthodox churches (eg. ecumenical patriarch in istanbul, greek orthodox, russian orthodox (including russian orthodox church outside of russia (ROCOR) which started during communism), and the others in communion with them are orthodox.
also people in communion with the oriental orthodox churches are orthodox (coptic, syriac orthodox, ethiopian, eritrean, indian (two churches there, both orthodox) and armenian).
these two groups are not (yet) in communion with each other, but consider each other orthodox.

anyone else who labels themselves orthodox but is not linked to either of these groups is not orthodox, so best ignore them as it gets confusing and you can be led astray.
there are probably a few small groups that had to split from the big groups for genuine reasons (i.e. not just wanting their own small empire), but these will eventually get sorted out and join one of the 2 officially orthodox groups above.
even the ROCOR and russian orthodox (moscow patriarchate) are in communion, and they have had very big historical differences due to communism, persecution etc. so any group that can't integrate has fundamental problems that you may not be able to sort out as an inquirer.

if you meet any of these small groups, it is safest to stay away. then if you need to go on a mission to 'save' them and reintegrate them into the universal orthodox church, you can do that after you know more and are orthodox (or catholic, if that's what you decide) yourself.

may God guide you and protect you from wolves in sheep's clothing.
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« Reply #172 on: June 18, 2013, 03:40:18 PM »

I came across this website today...

http://www.trueorthodoxy.org/heretics_roman_catholics_pope_as_christ.shtml

Are they zealots or are the viewpoints common among the Orthodox?

That is by the group under Gregory of Colorado, a person most old calendarists wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. Actually he's been excommunicated by several of them.

That guy is awesome, in an I-wouldn't-touch-him-with-a-ten-foot-pole kind of way.
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« Reply #173 on: June 18, 2013, 03:52:52 PM »

The best part is that the whole site is just condemning every other religious group.  Then, at the bottom of the page, there is a link to click on to get "authentic" information on "True Orthodoxy".  Once you click on it, nothing is there.  Cheesy
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« Reply #174 on: June 18, 2013, 04:08:12 PM »

The best part is that the whole site is just condemning every other religious group.  Then, at the bottom of the page, there is a link to click on to get "authentic" information on "True Orthodoxy".  Once you click on it, nothing is there.  Cheesy

It reminds me of the sedevacantists and other Catholic schismatic groups, who are all competing for the title of true Catholicism while smearing their rival claimants as guilty of ecumenism, heresy, etc. In fact, Most Holy Family Monastery seems to be almost a direct parallel to this website/group.
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« Reply #175 on: June 19, 2013, 06:19:41 AM »

I don't know much about Orthodox history, but in school, we were taught about the Catholic Church, including the not very ideal popes, corruption, Inquisition, indulgences, etc.

Does the Orthodox church have such blemishes on her record?

I'm not trying to defame her --- I just don't know where to even look, since you don't have popes or centralized authority.

I figure it's better to know now than later and be shocked and disappointed.
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« Reply #176 on: June 19, 2013, 06:35:45 AM »

Yes, everyone has.
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« Reply #177 on: June 19, 2013, 12:01:57 PM »

I don't know much about Orthodox history, but in school, we were taught about the Catholic Church, including the not very ideal popes, corruption, Inquisition, indulgences, etc.

Does the Orthodox church have such blemishes on her record?

Well, it depends what you're asking about, but the short answer is yes.  Not to put it too irreverently, but any organisation that starts with a traitor, a denier, and nine or ten cowards is bound to keep messing up as time goes on.  It's a miracle that the Church survives and even grows in spite of ourselves...Someone Else really is in charge. 
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« Reply #178 on: June 20, 2013, 02:35:22 PM »

Just something I wanted to get off my chest.

I also peruse/post on a Catholic forum, and right now, I'm struggling with Marian dogmas.

There's such great emphasis on her being mediator of many (all?) graces, how prayers to her are effective, how she's the queen of heaven, etc. (OK, those aren't dogmas...but Mariology in general)

Then there are statues of Mary and various saints.

Then I think about papal infallibility...well, what else are novel innovations?

I come from a place where Scripture is necessary and sufficient for salvation.

If praying to Mary is so important and beneficial, why no mention *at all* in Scripture?  Did the Apostles go to Mary while she was physically living on earth to petition her prayers?

When did Marian devotion begin in the first place?

If the Catholic Church is capable of developing things like papal infallibility, and another Apostolic church (OC) does not believe in it, what else are innovations?

Scripture:  prayers to God.  petitions and supplications to God.  nothing about praying to Mary on our behalf.

Sorry.  This is sort of a confused rant  Lips Sealed Huh

(Also, if you can just say a quick prayer for me, as I feel anxious/disturbed, I would greatly appreciate it.  I suppose I can pray to Mary, but she might be upset with me at the moment...)
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« Reply #179 on: June 20, 2013, 03:17:49 PM »

When did Marian devotion begin in the first place?

Lk 1.
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