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NotAnHourGoesBy
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« Reply #90 on: June 10, 2013, 01:57:59 PM »

Both sides (RC and OC) vehemently claim to be the true apostolic Church.  Both sides "produced" saints that proclaimed the Gospel and worked miracles.  Both sides have online resources to keep me informed (AFR and EWTN), and after listening to them, I sway that direction...until I listen to the other side.

I do feel that OC is more true to the original faith, but who's to say the Holy Spirit cannot guide the Church into newer understanding and clarification (e.g., various Catholic doctrines)?

 Huh  Undecided
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« Reply #91 on: June 10, 2013, 02:02:51 PM »

I find it hard to believe that the Apostles, who were in the physical presence of the God Man Christ would have missed something that would need some new teaching 800 or 1,000 or 1500 or 2,000 years later. Jesus didn't ascend until he knew the Apostles "got it" IMO.
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« Reply #92 on: June 10, 2013, 02:24:35 PM »

Didn't Jesus say something to the effect that there are other things to know but that He had to return to the Father or He could not send the Holy Spirit who would guide them/the Church into all truth?
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« Reply #93 on: June 10, 2013, 02:30:55 PM »

I find it hard to believe that the Apostles, who were in the physical presence of the God Man Christ would have missed something that would need some new teaching 800 or 1,000 or 1500 or 2,000 years later. Jesus didn't ascend until he knew the Apostles "got it" IMO.

Honestly, I know we often say that the Orthodox Church teaches nothing new that wasn't handed down to the apostles, but I don't think we're that different from the RC's in terms of "clarifying" what we believe to be doctrinal truths. After all, did the apostles profess the essence-energies distinction or teach various trinitarian/christological formulations with talk of essence, hypostases, persons, etc.?
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« Reply #94 on: June 10, 2013, 02:34:10 PM »

Didn't Jesus say something to the effect that there are other things to know but that He had to return to the Father or He could not send the Holy Spirit who would guide them/the Church into all truth?

You have noticed something that people rarely notice. It's very important.
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« Reply #95 on: June 10, 2013, 02:37:10 PM »

I find it hard to believe that the Apostles, who were in the physical presence of the God Man Christ would have missed something that would need some new teaching 800 or 1,000 or 1500 or 2,000 years later. Jesus didn't ascend until he knew the Apostles "got it" IMO.

Honestly, I know we often say that the Orthodox Church teaches nothing new that wasn't handed down to the apostles, but I don't think we're that different from the RC's in terms of "clarifying" what we believe to be doctrinal truths. After all, did the apostles profess the essence-energies distinction or teach various trinitarian/christological formulations with talk of essence, hypostases, persons, etc.?

Honestly, when I first read about this, I thought it sounded New Age-ish...(please don't stone me). 

And people being God-bearers...I was like...what....?
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« Reply #96 on: June 10, 2013, 02:46:32 PM »

Honestly, when I first read about this, I thought it sounded New Age-ish...(please don't stone me). 

And people being God-bearers...I was like...what....?

In case you don't already know, teachings related to deification greatly predate the essence-energies distinction and are part of the shared East-West heritage. It isn't something peculiar just to post-schism Eastern Orthodoxy, even if others don't use the essence-energies language.
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« Reply #97 on: June 10, 2013, 03:14:35 PM »

I find it hard to believe that the Apostles, who were in the physical presence of the God Man Christ would have missed something that would need some new teaching 800 or 1,000 or 1500 or 2,000 years later. Jesus didn't ascend until he knew the Apostles "got it" IMO.

Honestly, I know we often say that the Orthodox Church teaches nothing new that wasn't handed down to the apostles, but I don't think we're that different from the RC's in terms of "clarifying" what we believe to be doctrinal truths. After all, did the apostles profess the essence-energies distinction or teach various trinitarian/christological formulations with talk of essence, hypostases, persons, etc.?

Honestly, when I first read about this, I thought it sounded New Age-ish...(please don't stone me). 

And people being God-bearers...I was like...what....?

It ain't, although there are some Orthodox people out there (I'm not insinuating about anyone here) who will make it seem that way.

To say that someone like St. Ignatius is a God-bearer is just a concrete metaphor for something spiritual. Unless you mean "Theotokos."

As for things like essences and energies, you have to do some homework to understand these terms, which originally come from Greek philosophy. Most people who say them only have a vague idea of what they mean.
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« Reply #98 on: June 10, 2013, 03:26:23 PM »

Where's the best (online) Orthodox resource for interpreting "upon this rock" as a rock of faith and not Apostle Peter, and the binding/loosing on earth and heaven?

I need to clear my conscience about this to fully commit to the Orthodox faith and not Catholicism, which is kind of where I have to be by default.
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« Reply #99 on: June 10, 2013, 03:31:26 PM »

If there is only one Church established by Christ, doesn't the Roman Catholic Church have a better "claim" to being one church, since there are no "jurisdictions" and everyone is under the pope under Christ?

Not necessarily. The Roman Catholic Church is not as united as they would like you to believe. Ask them about the Old Catholics, Melkites, Eastern Rite, etc. Many of them don't even consider the others to truly be Catholic.
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« Reply #100 on: June 10, 2013, 03:36:11 PM »

Or because there was no need?

Or because there is no longer any Roman/Byzantine Empire, therefore an "Ecumenical" Council is impossible by its very nature?
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« Reply #101 on: June 10, 2013, 03:50:39 PM »

hi, dear notanhourgoesby,
did u visit churches yet?
visit catholic and protestant churches and ask questions.
pray a lot.
it will become clear to you.
don't panic; it's not like you have to decide by tomorrow
(unless you are terminally ill, in which case, feel free to send a personal message).
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« Reply #102 on: June 10, 2013, 04:02:12 PM »

Where's the best (online) Orthodox resource for interpreting "upon this rock" as a rock of faith and not Apostle Peter, and the binding/loosing on earth and heaven?

I need to clear my conscience about this to fully commit to the Orthodox faith and not Catholicism, which is kind of where I have to be by default.

There are innumerable resources, but this one sums it up pretty succinctly:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/papal_supremacy.aspx

I hope you find it useful. I can try my best at any further clarification, however limited my knowledge may be. Try to keep in mind that the Bible alone is not the final word in all matters, but that we must look towards the lived experiences of the Church, Tradition, the fantastically great wealth of writings from the early Church and beyond, etc. As the above link shows, translations can bring about many errors. We have to have other resources and bases to complement and help complete our understanding.
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« Reply #103 on: June 10, 2013, 04:22:16 PM »

If there is only one Church established by Christ, doesn't the Roman Catholic Church have a better "claim" to being one church, since there are no "jurisdictions" and everyone is under the pope under Christ?

Not necessarily. The Roman Catholic Church is not as united as they would like you to believe. Ask them about the Old Catholics, Melkites, Eastern Rite, etc. Many of them don't even consider the others to truly be Catholic.

 Huh

Your mention of the Old Catholics seems like a complete non-sequitor. Why would you ask us about them and not e.g. the Anglicans or the Lutherans?
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« Reply #104 on: June 10, 2013, 04:32:14 PM »

Hello,

I'm a Protestant looking to convert either to the Roman Catholic Church or Orthodox Church.  I can't form a firm decision -- one day, the RCC seems right and the next day, the OC seems right.

Anyway, if there are converts from Protestantism or Catholicism, were there things you had to give up (e.g., certain religious music with too much drums and guitar, praying to post-schism Catholic saints)? 

What was the hardest thing in terms of adjusting to a whole different mindset?

On a similar note, do any of the Orthodox members here listen to non-Orthodox Christian music or pray to or have icons of Catholic saints?

Thank you.

Hi NotAnHourGoesBy. I'm not Orthodox or a catecumen, so I mostly come to the Convert Forum to read rather than post. (Most of my posts are in the Catholic-Orthodox Discussion Forum.) But even if you had asked your question in the other section, I wouldn't twist your arm and try to get you to become Catholic, because I myself doubt that I would become Catholic if I wasn't already.

Maybe I'm some kind of "branch theorist", I'm not sure. But frankly, I think the Eastern Orthodox may well be the best single candidate for "the one true church".

P.S. After further thought, I guess it would be more accurate to say that these days I neither post nor read much on the Convert Forum. (Although technically I'm still an "inquirer" even though I removed the word from my profile.)
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« Reply #105 on: June 10, 2013, 04:56:33 PM »

I hate to be so shallow, but what "sealed the deal" for me was that St. Peter was not even the first Bishop of Rome. He was Bishop of Antioch first. ISTM if St. Peter was indeed the Rock upon which the Church was founded, wouldn't he have been Bishop of Rome from the get-go?

And even if he was the aforesaid Rock, wouldn't that make Antioch the #1 and not Rome?
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« Reply #106 on: June 10, 2013, 05:35:40 PM »

I hate to be so shallow, but what "sealed the deal" for me was that St. Peter was not even the first Bishop of Rome. He was Bishop of Antioch first. ISTM if St. Peter was indeed the Rock upon which the Church was founded, wouldn't he have been Bishop of Rome from the get-go?

And even if he was the aforesaid Rock, wouldn't that make Antioch the #1 and not Rome?

Doesn't His Beatitude John X, Supreme Pontiff and Successor of the Prince of the Apostles have a nice ring to it? Wink
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« Reply #107 on: June 10, 2013, 05:37:30 PM »

Doesn't His Beatitude John X, Supreme Pontiff and Successor of the Prince of the Apostles have a nice ring to it? Wink

Like these one: http://www.orthodoxrings.com/ ?

I hope he doesn't.
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« Reply #108 on: June 10, 2013, 05:50:58 PM »

Papal infallibility does not appear on the historical map until the late first millennium, and if Matthew 16:18 were to be interpreted as catholics want it , then they actually have to admit that it took Christ (1054 - 33) years to establish it.

I would just suggest you NotAnHourGoesBy, if the papal infallibility was as clear as it were, then history needs to speak of that as it does today. Your point on Peter first being in Antioch is a clear one. But he was first called to council in Jerusalem, when the jews pressed the point of circumcision. The council was led by Peter, but decided in total unity from all apostles and elders. read acts 15, might help =D

Please forgive and pray for me dear brothers and sister, a sinner.
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« Reply #109 on: June 10, 2013, 06:03:23 PM »

I hate to be so shallow, but what "sealed the deal" for me was that St. Peter was not even the first Bishop of Rome. He was Bishop of Antioch first. ISTM if St. Peter was indeed the Rock upon which the Church was founded, wouldn't he have been Bishop of Rome from the get-go?

And even if he was the aforesaid Rock, wouldn't that make Antioch the #1 and not Rome?

Doesn't His Beatitude John X, Supreme Pontiff and Successor of the Prince of the Apostles have a nice ring to it? Wink
Worthy!  laugh
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« Reply #110 on: June 10, 2013, 06:32:52 PM »

On a similar note, do any of the Orthodox members here listen to non-Orthodox Christian music or pray to or have icons of Catholic saints?
There's no rule that says you can't listen to non-Orthodox Christian music. I don't, but it's not like there's some canon anathematizing Stryper.

As for the second question, people here have been trying to hash that one out for years.

I always found it bizarre that some have the view that they can listen to hideous secular music but won't listen to Christian music (i.e. music composed even by non-Orthodox with lyrics that are compatible with Orthodoxy).  Basically, in that view, heathenism is ok but orthodoxy written by someone who is not Orthodox is not ok...   HuhHuhHuhHuhHuh??  
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« Reply #111 on: June 10, 2013, 06:47:23 PM »

On a similar note, do any of the Orthodox members here listen to non-Orthodox Christian music or pray to or have icons of Catholic saints?
There's no rule that says you can't listen to non-Orthodox Christian music. I don't, but it's not like there's some canon anathematizing Stryper.

As for the second question, people here have been trying to hash that one out for years.

I always found it bizarre that some have the view that they can listen to hideous secular music but won't listen to Christian music (i.e. music composed even by non-Orthodox with lyrics that are compatible with Orthodoxy).  Basically, in that view, heathenism is ok but orthodoxy written by someone who is not Orthodox is not ok...   HuhHuhHuhHuhHuh?? 

We do not pretend to pray when we just want some entertainment. That's the difference.
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« Reply #112 on: June 10, 2013, 07:01:37 PM »

I always found it bizarre that some have the view that they can listen to hideous secular music but won't listen to Christian music (i.e. music composed even by non-Orthodox with lyrics that are compatible with Orthodoxy).  Basically, in that view, heathenism is ok but orthodoxy written by someone who is not Orthodox is not ok...   HuhHuhHuhHuhHuh??  

I wish I could have been at Christendom College the day the organist played "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God".  Grin (Do the Orthodox ever use that song?)
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« Reply #113 on: June 10, 2013, 07:13:28 PM »

On a similar note, do any of the Orthodox members here listen to non-Orthodox Christian music or pray to or have icons of Catholic saints?
There's no rule that says you can't listen to non-Orthodox Christian music. I don't, but it's not like there's some canon anathematizing Stryper.

As for the second question, people here have been trying to hash that one out for years.

I always found it bizarre that some have the view that they can listen to hideous secular music but won't listen to Christian music (i.e. music composed even by non-Orthodox with lyrics that are compatible with Orthodoxy).  Basically, in that view, heathenism is ok but orthodoxy written by someone who is not Orthodox is not ok...   HuhHuhHuhHuhHuh?? 

We do not pretend to pray when we just want some entertainment. That's the difference.

Some Orthodox do.

When Father H spoke of listening to Orthodox music, I don't think he meant necessarily in church.
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« Reply #114 on: June 10, 2013, 07:14:05 PM »

I always found it bizarre that some have the view that they can listen to hideous secular music but won't listen to Christian music (i.e. music composed even by non-Orthodox with lyrics that are compatible with Orthodoxy).  Basically, in that view, heathenism is ok but orthodoxy written by someone who is not Orthodox is not ok...   HuhHuhHuhHuhHuh??  

I wish I could have been at Christendom College the day the organist played "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God".  Grin (Do the Orthodox ever use that song?)

Is that a song?
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« Reply #115 on: June 10, 2013, 07:37:46 PM »

I always found it bizarre that some have the view that they can listen to hideous secular music but won't listen to Christian music (i.e. music composed even by non-Orthodox with lyrics that are compatible with Orthodoxy).  Basically, in that view, heathenism is ok but orthodoxy written by someone who is not Orthodox is not ok...   HuhHuhHuhHuhHuh??  

I wish I could have been at Christendom College the day the organist played "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God".  Grin (Do the Orthodox ever use that song?)

Is that a song?
That it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NRJHKzU_t1M#at=27
Come to think of it, I didn't know it myself back when my friend told me about the scandal of it being played at Christendom.
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« Reply #116 on: June 10, 2013, 08:01:57 PM »

Why was it such a scandal that it was played at Christendom?
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« Reply #117 on: June 10, 2013, 08:21:47 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
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« Reply #118 on: June 10, 2013, 08:44:43 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

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« Reply #119 on: June 10, 2013, 10:27:21 PM »

hi, dear notanhourgoesby,
did u visit churches yet?
visit catholic and protestant churches and ask questions.
pray a lot.
it will become clear to you.
don't panic; it's not like you have to decide by tomorrow
(unless you are terminally ill, in which case, feel free to send a personal message).

I've been to Catholic Mass but not to a Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #120 on: June 10, 2013, 10:31:44 PM »

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/francis_sarov.aspx

Orthodoxy doesn't seem to like Francis very much...Francis was humble for the sake of being seen as humble and thus not really humble.

"The sad fact is that the attainment of a true spiritual relationship with Christ was never a possibility for Francis, for being outside the Church of Christ, it was impossible that he could have received Divine Grace, or any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. His gifts were from another spirit."

That seems like a strong, sweeping statement.  Is this Orthodox belief that anyone outside of the OC cannot receive grace?  I thought Orthodoxy does not make statements about where the Holy Spirit can or cannot be...
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« Reply #121 on: June 10, 2013, 10:43:04 PM »

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/francis_sarov.aspx

Orthodoxy doesn't seem to like Francis very much...Francis was humble for the sake of being seen as humble and thus not really humble.

"The sad fact is that the attainment of a true spiritual relationship with Christ was never a possibility for Francis, for being outside the Church of Christ, it was impossible that he could have received Divine Grace, or any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. His gifts were from another spirit."

That seems like a strong, sweeping statement.  Is this Orthodox belief that anyone outside of the OC cannot receive grace?  I thought Orthodoxy does not make statements about where the Holy Spirit can or cannot be...
I don't know about Francis of Assisi. He was after Rome went its own way and isn't really our concern as to whether or not he is recognized as a saint in Rome. As Orthodox we know that the Bride of Christ is the Holy Orthodox Church and that she possesses all that is necessary for salvation. That being said, we do not recognize the mysteries of other sects. God can, however, and does keep us all by His grace. No man on earth is without His grace. Without it, we couldn't breathe, for instance. Without His grace, I never would have found Orthodoxy.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #122 on: June 10, 2013, 10:52:04 PM »

...
That seems like a strong, sweeping statement.  Is this Orthodox belief that anyone outside of the OC cannot receive grace?  I thought Orthodoxy does not make statements about where the Holy Spirit can or cannot be...

There are several views on a number of things you mention here. What you read was a more traditional (or traditionalist) view. Others would be much more irenic, and praise St. Francis rather than speak negatively of him. Regarding grace, it's a bit of a sticky and intricate web of ideas, but a few things... sacramental grace is often distinguished from, say, the type of grace that leads one to repent or to wish to follow God. One Orthodox person might say that God gives grace to all. Another might say that God gives grace to all who are receptive. But whether either of these people believe that there is sacramental grace outside the Church is a separate issue.

The idea that "we can know where the Holy Spirit/Church/grace is, but not where it is not" seems to be a fairly new idea--or, at least, if it was held in earlier times it wasn't mentioned. A. Khomiakov and some others seem to have said it in the 19th century, but most English-speaking people were probably introduced to it by Met. Kallistos (Ware) I would suspect. Whether it is accurate or not I don't know. It seems to be cautious, but to be optimistic (some would say overly optimistic), very much like the notions that we hope all will be saved tries to walk a similar tight rope.
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« Reply #123 on: June 10, 2013, 11:00:31 PM »

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/francis_sarov.aspx

Orthodoxy doesn't seem to like Francis very much...

As someone put it, "if he is indeed a Saint, he will understand why we cannot venerate him and take no offence."
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« Reply #124 on: June 10, 2013, 11:01:58 PM »

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/francis_sarov.aspx

Orthodoxy doesn't seem to like Francis very much...Francis was humble for the sake of being seen as humble and thus not really humble.

"The sad fact is that the attainment of a true spiritual relationship with Christ was never a possibility for Francis, for being outside the Church of Christ, it was impossible that he could have received Divine Grace, or any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. His gifts were from another spirit."

That seems like a strong, sweeping statement.  Is this Orthodox belief that anyone outside of the OC cannot receive grace?  I thought Orthodoxy does not make statements about where the Holy Spirit can or cannot be...

Honestly, I'd take orthodoxinfo with a large grain of salt. Some of what they say is informative, but a lot is just polemical rubbish. They are not an authoritative voice for Orthodoxy.
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Personal Text? We can have personal text?


« Reply #125 on: June 10, 2013, 11:30:14 PM »

Is it possible both the RC and OC are true churches and that they constitute "The Church"?

No, it's not.

my understanding is that we haven't had an ecumenical counsel for over a thousand years because Rome is not with us.

Or because there was no need?

Yeah, good point, I don't know.  Undecided Still its not that we haven't had counsels just that we don't consider them ecumenical. Even the upcoming and up coming and still upcoming Pan Orthodox counsel is being labeled "Pan Orthodox" not "Ecumenical" and I've seen people argue back and forth about rather an emperor is required to make a counsel ecumenical too.

The other place I've seen the argument that we're not whole without Rome is regarding why we don't have an Orthodox Patriarch of Rome and I've seen it argued both that we actually do and that we don't too. -shrug- are we having fun yet?  laugh
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« Reply #126 on: June 11, 2013, 06:58:00 AM »

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/francis_sarov.aspx

Orthodoxy doesn't seem to like Francis very much...Francis was humble for the sake of being seen as humble and thus not really humble.

"The sad fact is that the attainment of a true spiritual relationship with Christ was never a possibility for Francis, for being outside the Church of Christ, it was impossible that he could have received Divine Grace, or any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. His gifts were from another spirit."

That seems like a strong, sweeping statement.  Is this Orthodox belief that anyone outside of the OC cannot receive grace?  I thought Orthodoxy does not make statements about where the Holy Spirit can or cannot be...

Honestly, I'd take orthodoxinfo with a large grain of salt. Some of what they say is informative, but a lot is just polemical rubbish. They are not an authoritative voice for Orthodoxy.

I was hoping one of you would say that.  Smiley
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« Reply #127 on: June 11, 2013, 07:18:08 AM »

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/francis_sarov.aspx

Orthodoxy doesn't seem to like Francis very much...

As someone put it, "if he is indeed a Saint, he will understand why we cannot venerate him and take no offence."

Nice one ^
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« Reply #128 on: June 11, 2013, 11:38:33 AM »

http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/francis_sarov.aspx

Orthodoxy doesn't seem to like Francis very much...Francis was humble for the sake of being seen as humble and thus not really humble.

"The sad fact is that the attainment of a true spiritual relationship with Christ was never a possibility for Francis, for being outside the Church of Christ, it was impossible that he could have received Divine Grace, or any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. His gifts were from another spirit."

That seems like a strong, sweeping statement.  Is this Orthodox belief that anyone outside of the OC cannot receive grace?  I thought Orthodoxy does not make statements about where the Holy Spirit can or cannot be...
I don't know about Francis of Assisi. He was after Rome went its own way and isn't really our concern as to whether or not he is recognized as a saint in Rome. As Orthodox we know that the Bride of Christ is the Holy Orthodox Church and that she possesses all that is necessary for salvation. That being said, we do not recognize the mysteries of other sects. God can, however, and does keep us all by His grace. No man on earth is without His grace. Without it, we couldn't breathe, for instance. Without His grace, I never would have found Orthodoxy.

In Christ,
Andrew

That was put very well Andrew.

Honestly, NotAnHourGoesBy, you can find plenty of useful and good things in the lives of many people (even Gandhi). But, the words, actions, and lives of true Orthodox saints (untainted by matters such as being post-schism Catholic or whatever) present more reliable witnesses to the presence of God on His people. We can dig through the lives of many non-Orthodox and find some jewels here and there, but why bother with all the digging and possibly do more damage to oneself in such a search? We are dealing with large amounts of time and many people, but also the true Word of God working through individuals which is always present and steady. Many teachings and actions are repeated over and over, East and West, that I personally feel no need to expel a lot of time and resources to hunt down Catholic saints for "verification" when I can find the same more easily in Orthodoxy, especially in the early fathers of our Church. (There's a reason they are stressed so much.) I have other views as well, but they too are my own based on my current state. In all ways in our life and veneration, we must be humble towards what God gives us, and personally, I don't feel humble dragging "things" (persons, practices, etc.) into the Church, my worship, etc. in a haphazard manner when God has already given more than I can ever comprehend or repay. I'm fine with the saints I've been given.


Honestly, I'd take orthodoxinfo with a large grain of salt. Some of what they say is informative, but a lot is just polemical rubbish. They are not an authoritative voice for Orthodoxy.

I was hoping one of you would say that.  Smiley

What's so polemical about that resource? I agree they are not an end-all resource, but I can't think of any individual one that exists in the world, much less on the internet. We have to do much work, prayer, church participation, spiritual readings, etc. so that everything can come together into a more cohesive whole. This is a truer voice than any one place. I just doubt that one complete single resource would ever be enough. I mean, different dioceses in the Church disagree in some ways too, so which one is authoritative? Again, we have to do personal filtering with the guidance of our spiritual father, our lived experience, and most importantly the grace of God aiding us. (I'm not directing this at anyone, just stating this generally.) We are but fallible man, and I only hope through God's will to become more clear of what is "right" and "true." I do find many of the articles on there (namely the ones taken directly from the words of saints) to be quite good and useful, as you stated, but I am just curious about what is seen as so polemical. I hope I am not derailing the thread in any way and I ask in all humbleness as someone new to Orthodoxy. God bless!
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« Reply #129 on: June 11, 2013, 03:02:58 PM »

What's so polemical about that resource? I agree they are not an end-all resource, but I can't think of any individual one that exists in the world, much less on the internet. We have to do much work, prayer, church participation, spiritual readings, etc. so that everything can come together into a more cohesive whole. This is a truer voice than any one place. I just doubt that one complete single resource would ever be enough. I mean, different dioceses in the Church disagree in some ways too, so which one is authoritative? Again, we have to do personal filtering with the guidance of our spiritual father, our lived experience, and most importantly the grace of God aiding us. (I'm not directing this at anyone, just stating this generally.) We are but fallible man, and I only hope through God's will to become more clear of what is "right" and "true." I do find many of the articles on there (namely the ones taken directly from the words of saints) to be quite good and useful, as you stated, but I am just curious about what is seen as so polemical. I hope I am not derailing the thread in any way and I ask in all humbleness as someone new to Orthodoxy. God bless!

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. It's unnecessary poo-flinging, I say. They could've left it at "we don't believe his mystical experiences were authentic" without adding speculation to defame his person.

That said, some of their views border on hyperdox with most of Orthodoxy taking a softer approach.
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« Reply #130 on: June 11, 2013, 03:13:45 PM »

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. It's unnecessary poo-flinging, I say. They could've left it at "we don't believe his mystical experiences were authentic" without adding speculation to defame his person.

That said, some of their views border on hyperdox with most of Orthodoxy taking a softer approach.

I take it you haven't read St. Ignatius Brianchaninov's On prelest. It's not just about "the visible boundaries of canonical, intercommuning Eastern Orthodoxy" or slander. I wouldn't dismiss him as "hyperdox".
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« Reply #131 on: June 11, 2013, 03:43:43 PM »

I take it you haven't read St. Ignatius Brianchaninov's On prelest. It's not just about "the visible boundaries of canonical, intercommuning Eastern Orthodoxy" or slander. I wouldn't dismiss him as "hyperdox".

The comments regarding St. Francis and my comment regarding hyperdoxy were meant to be separate. I wasn't calling the author of the Francis-Seraphim article hyperdox, but I was saying many of the articles take a border-hyperdox view (IIRC, e.g. applying certain canons).

Further, just because prelest is a legitimate concern does not necessarily and immediately mean that Francis was victim to it or deceitful/insane, unless it is indeed about "the visible boundaries of canonical, intercommuning Eastern Orthodoxy."
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« Reply #132 on: June 11, 2013, 04:13:49 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. It's unnecessary poo-flinging, I say. They could've left it at "we don't believe his mystical experiences were authentic" without adding speculation to defame his person.

That said, some of their views border on hyperdox with most of Orthodoxy taking a softer approach.

Thank you very much Nephi for the clarification. I believe we are in agreement then, as I don't think we should be "demonizing" any other figure, or anyone rather, for not being Orthodox. It can certainly get out of hand when God simply wants all people to worship Him in the way He has presented to us.

That said, I understand the need to point out practices and sayings inconsistent with Orthodoxy in people, and we have many saints who have confessed for this. Slandering another person, though, is a bit extreme. Love must temper such matters because it is easy, as faulty humans, to get competitive and "pick sides."

I understand traditionalism and all, and it is one of the reasons I entered the Church. But, I do see how it can get out of hand ("hyperdox"). Plus, the Church is living as Christ is Life. We must respect this and act as this is so. Maybe it's hokey, but "What Would Jesus Do?" isn't a bad thought to keep in mind sometimes, much less dealing with those of other faiths. We should correct, not "battle."
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« Reply #133 on: June 11, 2013, 04:57:25 PM »

Both sides (RC and OC) vehemently claim to be the true apostolic Church.  Both sides "produced" saints that proclaimed the Gospel and worked miracles.  Both sides have online resources to keep me informed (AFR and EWTN), and after listening to them, I sway that direction...until I listen to the other side.

I do feel that OC is more true to the original faith, but who's to say the Holy Spirit cannot guide the Church into newer understanding and clarification (e.g., various Catholic doctrines)?

 Huh  Undecided
Hi dear.
I have gone through a similar discerning process and what finally seals it for me is the orthodox vs catholic theology. Orthodox/eastern theological thinking favours a theological principle generally called "apophatic" or "negative" theology whereas catholic theological thinking tends to favour cataphatic theology. Apophatic seeks to explain God by way of negation ie:
Quote
"We do not know what God is. God Himself does not know what He is because He is not anything. Literally God is not, because He transcends being." - John Scot Erigena (9th century)
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophatic_theology
The catholic church has historically resorted to a philosophical speculation wherein theologians through reason and logic can reach certain conclusions by positive affirmation. A great example of this in catholicism is the dogma of the "Immaculate Conception" of the Virgin Mary which is a logical conclusion from the catholic point of view considering the catholic dogma on "Original Sin" being a kind of personal guilt shared by all individuals for the sin of Adam & Eve which is transmitted by conception.
This is an unnecessary dogma from the orthodox point of view, who generally seeks to explain God by way of negation, only using the dogmas / information which God himself has revealed ie. the Trinity.
A good book on the theology of orthodoxy is "The mystical theology of the eastern church" by Vladimir Lossky.

Regarding Rome's claim to being "protected from teaching error" & this being a justification for claiming infallability for the Popes' statements on teachings: this is problematic because there are instances where the catholic church has affirmed things to be true in papal encyclicals or council documents which they've later issued teachings that contradict. An example of this is that for all of the history of the Catholic Church it has taught that it is completely impossible for any individual outside of the church to be saved but in the Vatican II council it is stated in one of the documents that "God uses other religions for means of salvation" such as islam, buddhism, judaism etc. (I don't remember the exact documents name right now but can find out if you want or you can google it). Both of these claims holds the status of official church teaching & the fact that the later contradicts the earlier. To harmonize these 2 claims with eachother I was told to "read them within the context of continuity" (hermeneutic of continuity), but the way I see it only relativism can harmonize 2 contradictory statements & relativism is condemned by the catholic church. Since the catholic church say that these statements hold the same authority as other revelations do it pretty much forced me to reach the conclusion that the claim of having a divinely ordained authority for interpreting the teaching of the christian faith is false.

The roman-catholic church may look more organized for an outsider because it is so extremely centralized & have ONE official of "everything" & everything is appointed by the hierarchy above up until the Pope himself. The Orthodox church is more organically structured but used to be more centralized than it is today before much of its most important centers were occupied by the Ottoman Turks. This is the way I've understood it at least.

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.

God Bless you & may He show you His path & make you willing to follow it.

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« Reply #134 on: June 11, 2013, 05:27:38 PM »

visit catholic and protestant churches and ask questions.
pray a lot.
I've been to Catholic Mass but not to a Divine Liturgy.

oops, i meant catholic and orthodox churches!
must remember not to post when tired... sorry.
go to a vespers service or divine liturgy in the orthodox church.
while u are waiting to have time for it, look up the words of the service and listen to the music.
once you meet the people at the church and experience a church service, you should have a beeter idea which direction to go in.
may God guide u.
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