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Author Topic: "Why does denomination matter?" or, "Why should I be Orthodox?"  (Read 3039 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: August 14, 2013, 03:21:50 PM »

 I was LDS and eventually made my way over several years to the Holy Orthodox Church because I wanted to worship and believe as the early Christians did. I investigated Roman Catholicism and saw to many innovations  in their attempts to remain "hip" and "Now" that blew up in their face. I belong to a parish that has prayer services daily, bible study groups and Orthodox book study groups. There are Cradle orthodox in the parish , but beyond a few elders most cradle Orthododox in my parish are now the children and grandchildren of converts. It really depends on where you are, just like the Utah Mormons, as to what the Orthodox are like .

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« Reply #46 on: August 14, 2013, 05:32:15 PM »

There are EO Church fathers who have respected St. Francis of Assisi in word, and he tried to be as much like the original Apostles who had no "Denomination". St. Francis said he wanted to love all Jesus Churches in the world, and not just his Catholic ties, that were simply what he had been brought up with.

 There are Greek Orthodox Bishops who have praised St.Francis for his simple ways of living without any property, and always serving the poor, and accepting brothers to his Franciscans without judging anyone where he came from.
He said he was following Jesus, and nothing else.

We also should look to these ways, it is part of why Mt. Athos exists, and why men seek out hermit existence away from the politics of life and Church. Follow Christ, Which is who gives salvation and not any denomination, honoring your roots as Francis did, or choosing a new denomination that suits you, but devoted to Jesus and not the Church.
One cannot receive Christ if one rejects His Body.


What I should have said was any one Church or denomination, as they are all his body.
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« Reply #47 on: August 14, 2013, 06:42:55 PM »

You should be Orthodox because the Theological Formation properly answers your questions about Faith and Catechism...
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« Reply #48 on: August 14, 2013, 10:18:54 PM »

Is the bolded, purple text your sticking point?  Forgive me if I was not familiar about your background.   angel

No, I would say I have problems with points 5 and 6.

Quote
The fifth: Help from God comes from His grace, which comes through the sacraments, which come through the Church. Which Church?
I don't believe the sacraments are the only means by which God helps people. Otherwise all those born outside the Church are lost. That being said, I might acknowledge they are one means, and perhaps even a more powerful means to gaining God's help.

Quote
The sixth: The Orthodox Church is the true church.
This one I definitely can't say I believe, at least not yet. The Oriental Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church, or Assyrian Church of the East might be true. Perhaps God's grace is in the sacraments of all these churches and perhaps even extends to Anglicans and other denominations. I just don't know.

One additional point of clarification: I am not comparing Nicene Christianity to Mormonism. I no longer believe in Mormonism and I am considering Christianity by itself

Answer to statement number 5 can be found in the Bible...you know the part where He mentions body and blood Wink
As for number 6, I am not going to persuade you. You will know the answer in due time just keep praying and searching...
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« Reply #49 on: August 14, 2013, 10:39:29 PM »

The first truth: You are a sinner.
The second: You cannot save yourself.
The third: You need to repent.
The fourth: For this, you need help from God.
The fifth: Help from God comes from His grace, which comes through the sacraments, which come through the Church. Which Church?
The sixth: The Orthodox Church is the true church.

This is, roughly, my experience in arriving at truth. And it's not something over and done with. I did roughly one 1-6 cycle of truth realization before becoming Orthodox, and have reiterated all of them again and again.

that is not possible, there are no sacraments outside of orthodoxy

Not what I meant exactly.
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« Reply #50 on: August 14, 2013, 10:40:15 PM »

Quote
that is not possible, there are no sacraments outside of orthodoxy

How could you possibly know that?

That is the teaching of the Church.
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« Reply #51 on: August 15, 2013, 12:15:42 PM »

Quote
that is not possible, there are no sacraments outside of orthodoxy

How could you possibly know that?

That is the teaching of the Church.
I thought the teaching of the Orthodox Church was that "we can know where the sacraments are, but we cannot say where they are not."
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« Reply #52 on: August 15, 2013, 12:24:19 PM »

Quote
that is not possible, there are no sacraments outside of orthodoxy

How could you possibly know that?

That is the teaching of the Church.
I thought the teaching of the Orthodox Church was that "we can know where the sacraments are, but we cannot say where they are not."

That is the teaching of some within the Church, but not an official teaching.
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« Reply #53 on: August 15, 2013, 12:27:17 PM »

Quote
that is not possible, there are no sacraments outside of orthodoxy

How could you possibly know that?

That is the teaching of the Church.
I thought the teaching of the Orthodox Church was that "we can know where the sacraments are, but we cannot say where they are not."

That is the teaching of some within the Church, but not an official teaching.
Is it the official teaching of the church that only Orthodoxy has sacraments, or is this also only the unofficial teaching of some?
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« Reply #54 on: August 15, 2013, 01:22:35 PM »

I have an interesting response to this original question.

The Archbishop of Canterburry asked Fr. Matthew the Poor (the monk in my avatar), "Will Protestants go to heaven?" To which Fr. Matthew replied, "No!" Then the Archbishop, a little turned off asked, "What about the Catholics?" to which Fr. Matthew replied, "No. And neither will the Orthodox!" Disgruntled, the ArchBishop asked Fr. Matthew, "Who then will be entering the kingdom?" Fr. Matthew said, "Everyone who is made a new creation."

So the question, as Fr. Matthew shows us, is not one of church membership, and whether that church is the one handing out the golden ticket to Willie Wonka's chocholate factory of heaven. The question is one of being recreated in the image of our saviour. So the question becomes whether you "church" or your "denomination" equips you with the necessities of salvation. Does your church give you prper theology? Does it give you sacremental union with Jesus Christ? Does it aid you spiritually.

Now, clearly, the Orthodox church does that, while the protestants do not. But that is far from saying that it is the denomination which decides one's salvation.

Ray
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« Reply #55 on: August 15, 2013, 02:53:52 PM »

To mean that you are inside the True Church does not save you automatically but anywhere else you see nor the light nor the road towards the True God.
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« Reply #56 on: August 15, 2013, 06:54:34 PM »

Now, clearly, the Orthodox church does that, while the protestants do not. But that is far from saying that it is the denomination which decides one's salvation.

Ray
Thank you for your answer, Ray. When you say "while the protestants do not" are you saying that they may help an individual draw closer to christ, but have an incomplete theology or erroneous theology, or are you making the stronger claim that those outside of Orthodoxy cannot aid one in growing closer to God?
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« Reply #57 on: August 15, 2013, 09:34:04 PM »

Quote
that is not possible, there are no sacraments outside of orthodoxy

How could you possibly know that?

That is the teaching of the Church.
I thought the teaching of the Orthodox Church was that "we can know where the sacraments are, but we cannot say where they are not."

Not at all.
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« Reply #58 on: August 15, 2013, 09:55:34 PM »

Quote
that is not possible, there are no sacraments outside of orthodoxy

How could you possibly know that?

That is the teaching of the Church.
I thought the teaching of the Orthodox Church was that "we can know where the sacraments are, but we cannot say where they are not."

That is the teaching of some within the Church, but not an official teaching.
Is it the official teaching of the church that only Orthodoxy has sacraments, or is this also only the unofficial teaching of some?

Well, let me put it this way... there are people who will say that we can indeed know that there is sacramental grace outside the Church, and they will bring examples forward from Church history to support their position. Then there are people who say that we cannot know if there is sacramental grace outside the Orthodox Church, that there may or may not be, and they will bring examples forward from Church history to support their position. And then there are people who say that the Church teaching is that there are no valid sacraments outside her visible and self-defined bounds, that this had been the teaching since the early Church, despite what some modernists would say and whatever exceptions might be brought up. I guess what I'm saying is, you will get a lot of opinions on this, some of which will be presented as either being official, or at least unofficially official.
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« Reply #59 on: August 17, 2013, 04:46:49 PM »

i think ray is saying that a relationship with God gets you to heaven, not a membership ticket of an organisation.
in other words, it is complicated.
i believe that the best place to find a relationship with God is in the orthodox church (i was protestant before).
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« Reply #60 on: August 17, 2013, 05:04:19 PM »

Can't remember who my priest was quoting, but "There are many known to God, but not to the Church, and many known to the Church, but not to God."
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« Reply #61 on: August 17, 2013, 06:40:04 PM »

Now, clearly, the Orthodox church does that, while the protestants do not. But that is far from saying that it is the denomination which decides one's salvation.

Ray
Thank you for your answer, Ray. When you say "while the protestants do not" are you saying that they may help an individual draw closer to christ, but have an incomplete theology or erroneous theology, or are you making the stronger claim that those outside of Orthodoxy cannot aid one in growing closer to God?

Hey Truthseeker,

Well, let me define what I am not saying. I am not saying that salvation can be found outside the true Church (Orthodox.) What I am saying is that it is not a matter of membership. Like Mabsoota explained, it is not a matter of who's stamp you have on your entrance into heaven card. The question that needs to be asked is "does your church give you the necessities to enter salvation?" "Does your church dress you in the wedding clothes needed so you are not cast outside the heavenly banquet?"

Renewal of self is found in proper theology, the Holy Mysteries, and true spirituality (not an exhaustive list). The question is whether your church gives you all of these. The  protestant church seems to lack all three of the above things. And as such, it cannot lead you to salvation. But its inability to do so is not because its membership card is not accepted into club heaven.

So denomination as a name does not matter. But it is what your denomination offers which matters. When I stand before the throne, I won't be asked if I was Orthodox or not. I will be asked if I have been made a new creation. And if I have not lived the true Orthodox faith, my answer will be no. (Generally) protestants will have to answer "no" to the same questions. The reason they say no will not be, "I am not a new creation because I am protestant." But, "I am not a new creation because I have not partook of the mysteries, and I have believed falsehoods."

I hope that makes sense. It is the mere ramblings of a terribly confused mind Tongue

Ray
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« Reply #62 on: August 17, 2013, 06:47:39 PM »

So denomination as a name does not matter. But it is what your denomination offers which matters. When I stand before the throne, I won't be asked if I was Orthodox or not. I will be asked if I have been made a new creation. And if I have not lived the true Orthodox faith, my answer will be no. (Generally) protestants will have to answer "no" to the same questions. The reason they say no will not be, "I am not a new creation because I am protestant." But, "I am not a new creation because I have not partook of the mysteries, and I have believed falsehoods."
Do you think that some will be sent to Hell merely because they didn't believe certain things? What if they didn't know any better?
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« Reply #63 on: August 17, 2013, 08:17:33 PM »

So denomination as a name does not matter. But it is what your denomination offers which matters. When I stand before the throne, I won't be asked if I was Orthodox or not. I will be asked if I have been made a new creation. And if I have not lived the true Orthodox faith, my answer will be no. (Generally) protestants will have to answer "no" to the same questions. The reason they say no will not be, "I am not a new creation because I am protestant." But, "I am not a new creation because I have not partook of the mysteries, and I have believed falsehoods."
Do you think that some will be sent to Hell merely because they didn't believe certain things? What if they didn't know any better?

Orthodox don't believe in Hell. That's an Anselmian (and thus, Western misinterpretation) understanding of Jesus' parable using the word Gehenna. Greek: γεεννα

Quote
Interview with Archbishop Lazar of Ottawa on the Orthodox view of "Hell": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlPKo0IC54M

People will be judged according to the light they have been given. There's like a verse in the Wisdom of Solomon that says that or something, and that's what Orthodox believe about the "heathen".

St. Justin Martyr wrote about mankind's appreciation of the λογος and another Saint (maybe John Cassian?) said God is the Intellect. I'll look for the correct Saint and quote and post it when I find it. St. Maximos the Confessor said: God himself in his essence is thinking. <ἀλλ᾿ αὐτὸς κατ᾿ οὐσίαν νόησίς ἐστιν ὁ Θεός·> Also, St. Isaac of Syria had the idea that God, in His Infinite Mercy, would eventually save all people and damn none.

Quote

In any case, if a human being sincerely searches for the λογος he will attain salvation his own way or something.

Quote
Interview with Frank Shaeffer on why he converted to Orthodoxy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-CJhPlmznA

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« Reply #64 on: August 17, 2013, 09:34:11 PM »

I think one would have to twist oneself in knots to say the Orthodox don't believe in hell, or that it's substantively different from Gehenna.
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« Reply #65 on: August 18, 2013, 01:07:07 AM »

So denomination as a name does not matter. But it is what your denomination offers which matters. When I stand before the throne, I won't be asked if I was Orthodox or not. I will be asked if I have been made a new creation. And if I have not lived the true Orthodox faith, my answer will be no. (Generally) protestants will have to answer "no" to the same questions. The reason they say no will not be, "I am not a new creation because I am protestant." But, "I am not a new creation because I have not partook of the mysteries, and I have believed falsehoods."
Do you think that some will be sent to Hell merely because they didn't believe certain things? What if they didn't know any better?

Orthodox don't believe in Hell. That's an Anselmian (and thus, Western misinterpretation) understanding of Jesus' parable using the word Gehenna. Greek: γεεννα

Quote
Interview with Archbishop Lazar of Ottawa on the Orthodox view of "Hell": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlPKo0IC54M

People will be judged according to the light they have been given. There's like a verse in the Wisdom of Solomon that says that or something, and that's what Orthodox believe about the "heathen".

St. Justin Martyr wrote about mankind's appreciation of the λογος and another Saint (maybe John Cassian?) said God is the Intellect. I'll look for the correct Saint and quote and post it when I find it. St. Maximos the Confessor said: God himself in his essence is thinking. <ἀλλ᾿ αὐτὸς κατ᾿ οὐσίαν νόησίς ἐστιν ὁ Θεός·> Also, St. Isaac of Syria had the idea that God, in His Infinite Mercy, would eventually save all people and damn none.

Quote

In any case, if a human being sincerely searches for the λογος he will attain salvation his own way or something.

Quote
Interview with Frank Shaeffer on why he converted to Orthodoxy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-CJhPlmznA



The rotten fish called universalism resurfaces once again
 I think this is outside the scope of this topic, but long story short, no! Hell is not an anselmnian innovation. It is a universalist innovation to blame everything on the west
 I will respond to truthseeker when I'm not on my phone.

Ray
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« Reply #66 on: August 18, 2013, 01:56:06 AM »

So denomination as a name does not matter. But it is what your denomination offers which matters. When I stand before the throne, I won't be asked if I was Orthodox or not. I will be asked if I have been made a new creation. And if I have not lived the true Orthodox faith, my answer will be no. (Generally) protestants will have to answer "no" to the same questions. The reason they say no will not be, "I am not a new creation because I am protestant." But, "I am not a new creation because I have not partook of the mysteries, and I have believed falsehoods."
Do you think that some will be sent to Hell merely because they didn't believe certain things? What if they didn't know any better?

Orthodox don't believe in Hell. That's an Anselmian (and thus, Western misinterpretation) understanding of Jesus' parable using the word Gehenna. Greek: γεεννα

Quote
Interview with Archbishop Lazar of Ottawa on the Orthodox view of "Hell": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlPKo0IC54M

People will be judged according to the light they have been given. There's like a verse in the Wisdom of Solomon that says that or something, and that's what Orthodox believe about the "heathen".

St. Justin Martyr wrote about mankind's appreciation of the λογος and another Saint (maybe John Cassian?) said God is the Intellect. I'll look for the correct Saint and quote and post it when I find it. St. Maximos the Confessor said: God himself in his essence is thinking. <ἀλλ᾿ αὐτὸς κατ᾿ οὐσίαν νόησίς ἐστιν ὁ Θεός·> Also, St. Isaac of Syria had the idea that God, in His Infinite Mercy, would eventually save all people and damn none.

Quote

In any case, if a human being sincerely searches for the λογος he will attain salvation his own way or something.

Quote
Interview with Frank Shaeffer on why he converted to Orthodoxy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-CJhPlmznA



The rotten fish called universalism resurfaces once again
 I think this is outside the scope of this topic, but long story short, no! Hell is not an anselmnian innovation. It is a universalist innovation to blame everything on the west
 I will respond to truthseeker when I'm not on my phone.

Ray

Hell as understood in the West is an Anselmian innovation. I think I wasn't clear. If you watch Archbishop Lazar's explanation then I think my comment would be made clear. Hell isn't fire and brimstone where people get tortured for not obeying God.

Gehenna is a parable of the valley where trash is thrown and burned, that's what it was in Jewish tradition and that is what Christ is referring to in parable.

There is also a fine point between Universalism and "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus" which I might not have demonstrated clearly.

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« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 02:01:49 AM by xOrthodox4Christx » Logged

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« Reply #67 on: August 18, 2013, 08:42:22 AM »

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Interview with Frank Shaeffer on why he converted to Orthodoxy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-CJhPlmznA

I have to admit, I didn't much expect to see that name in this thread.
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« Reply #68 on: August 19, 2013, 11:30:13 AM »

In my experience Orthodox Christians can be quite refreshing yet extremely harsh...making you doubt your very existence. I have sought 'spiritual counsel', it is not found on forums OR at the parish level. Those who catechize are too involved in politics and can not see a Genuine believer struggling and toss you to the dogs. Lord, have mercy. I knew when I studied about closed communion that I would never commune again. Not because I dont want to, its the politics involved.

The most important words are "in my experience." This may be your own personal experience, but I can assure you that it is not mine, nor I would guess, the common experience of catechumens. Spiritual counsel is not found on forums, nor should we look for it there. However it is to be found on the parish level. If you believe that "closed communion" is only about politics, then perhaps you need to study more or have been poorly catechized.

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« Reply #69 on: August 19, 2013, 11:45:42 AM »

Quote
Interview with Frank Shaeffer on why he converted to Orthodoxy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-CJhPlmznA

I have to admit, I didn't much expect to see that name in this thread.

His stories, his talks, and his interviews were never compelling to me.  An he's turned into a bit of a kook nowadays.
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« Reply #70 on: August 19, 2013, 01:29:49 PM »

Quote
that is not possible, there are no sacraments outside of orthodoxy

How could you possibly know that?

That is the teaching of the Church.
I thought the teaching of the Orthodox Church was that "we can know where the sacraments are, but we cannot say where they are not."
I've never heard this, but I have heard "we can know where the Holy Spirit is, but we cannot say where He is not".  I would say that would be a substantial difference as a sacrament includes a material element and is therefore able to be determined, whereas the Holy Spirit is not material.
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« Reply #71 on: August 19, 2013, 03:22:49 PM »

I've never heard this, but I have heard "we can know where the Holy Spirit is, but we cannot say where He is not".  I would say that would be a substantial difference as a sacrament includes a material element and is therefore able to be determined, whereas the Holy Spirit is not material.
Perhaps I phrased my statement poorly. What I had in mind was the many Orthodox priests and laypersons I know who believe that Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodox sacraments have grace.
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« Reply #72 on: August 19, 2013, 03:35:05 PM »

I've never heard this, but I have heard "we can know where the Holy Spirit is, but we cannot say where He is not".  I would say that would be a substantial difference as a sacrament includes a material element and is therefore able to be determined, whereas the Holy Spirit is not material.
Perhaps I phrased my statement poorly. What I had in mind was the many Orthodox priests and laypersons I know who believe that Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodox sacraments have grace.

Perhaps it might be more that they hope and pray that perhaps, in God's mercy, they have grace?
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« Reply #73 on: August 19, 2013, 03:56:54 PM »

I think Katherine's statement is the more common Orthodox approach.  We hope that they might be imbued with grace, but cannot say that they are. 

[hyperdox mode]

If they are, it is because of their relationship to the Orthodox Church, the visible Body of Christ, Ark of Salvation and Pillar of Truth

[/hyperdox mode off]
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« Reply #74 on: August 19, 2013, 05:07:55 PM »

I've never heard this, but I have heard "we can know where the Holy Spirit is, but we cannot say where He is not".  I would say that would be a substantial difference as a sacrament includes a material element and is therefore able to be determined, whereas the Holy Spirit is not material.
Perhaps I phrased my statement poorly. What I had in mind was the many Orthodox priests and laypersons I know who believe that Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodox sacraments have grace.

Perhaps it might be more that they hope and pray that perhaps, in God's mercy, they have grace?
They usually say "I believe" or "I think their sacraments have grace." Note that this is not a definitive statement.
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« Reply #75 on: August 19, 2013, 07:24:52 PM »

I've never heard this, but I have heard "we can know where the Holy Spirit is, but we cannot say where He is not".  I would say that would be a substantial difference as a sacrament includes a material element and is therefore able to be determined, whereas the Holy Spirit is not material.

I'm pretty sure that I've heard "We know where the church is, but not where it isn't" from well-known and reliable Orthodox.
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« Reply #76 on: August 19, 2013, 09:17:28 PM »

You should be Orthodox because the Theological Formation properly answers your questions about Faith and Catechism...

Why would a Lutheran say that except maybe to be facetious. Just wondering.
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« Reply #77 on: August 20, 2013, 09:23:23 AM »

I've never heard this, but I have heard "we can know where the Holy Spirit is, but we cannot say where He is not".  I would say that would be a substantial difference as a sacrament includes a material element and is therefore able to be determined, whereas the Holy Spirit is not material.

I'm pretty sure that I've heard "We know where the church is, but not where it isn't" from well-known and reliable Orthodox.

Reliable in some things, not in others.
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« Reply #78 on: August 20, 2013, 09:29:43 AM »

I've never heard this, but I have heard "we can know where the Holy Spirit is, but we cannot say where He is not".  I would say that would be a substantial difference as a sacrament includes a material element and is therefore able to be determined, whereas the Holy Spirit is not material.
Perhaps I phrased my statement poorly. What I had in mind was the many Orthodox priests and laypersons I know who believe that Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodox sacraments have grace.

Perhaps it might be more that they hope and pray that perhaps, in God's mercy, they have grace?
They usually say "I believe" or "I think their sacraments have grace." Note that this is not a definitive statement.

More of a pious hope, rather than a firm belief, much less dogma. IMHO.
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« Reply #79 on: August 20, 2013, 09:30:17 AM »

I've never heard this, but I have heard "we can know where the Holy Spirit is, but we cannot say where He is not".  I would say that would be a substantial difference as a sacrament includes a material element and is therefore able to be determined, whereas the Holy Spirit is not material.

I'm pretty sure that I've heard "We know where the church is, but not where it isn't" from well-known and reliable Orthodox.

We're just being polite.  Wink
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« Reply #80 on: August 20, 2013, 09:30:29 AM »

Of course we know where the Holy Spirit is:  everywhere present and filling all things.
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« Reply #81 on: August 20, 2013, 05:27:15 PM »

I've never heard this, but I have heard "we can know where the Holy Spirit is, but we cannot say where He is not".  I would say that would be a substantial difference as a sacrament includes a material element and is therefore able to be determined, whereas the Holy Spirit is not material.

I'm pretty sure that I've heard "We know where the church is, but not where it isn't" from well-known and reliable Orthodox.

Reliable in some things, not in others.

P.S. I wasn't sure before, but now I've checked, that it's in "The Orthodox Church" by Bishop Kallistos Ware: "We know where the Church is but we cannot be sure where it is not; and so we must refrain from passing judgment on non-Orthodox Christians."
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