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Author Topic: What exactly *is* Orthodoxy?  (Read 2097 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: August 13, 2013, 10:44:36 PM »

I know that this argument is both overused and misses the point of the questioning, but just remember:

You believe that the universe was created by an All Supreme God, and that that same God was also born as a man in a small town in Judea 2,000 years ago, that He died and through his death you are redeemed, and also that He founded a Church for your salvation.

If you can stomach all that, believing something like the Dormition should be a walk in the park. Smiley

Now, I don't want to discourage you from questioning, but I do think it's important to remember that one has already accepted many extraordinary things before one questions a particular doctrine. For example, many groups deny the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. God can become a man, but bread and wine? Don't be ridiculous! Tongue
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« Reply #46 on: August 13, 2013, 11:23:05 PM »

I put this right next to the Mother of God's ever-virginity in my why do people get so worked up about this stuff file?
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« Reply #47 on: August 14, 2013, 07:48:42 AM »

Do you believe Acts 8:38-40?

Quote
  So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea. So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.

If the Scriptures already give an example of an apostle being miraculously transported from one location to another, why would you doubt that the same thing could happen again?

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« Reply #48 on: August 14, 2013, 08:05:41 AM »

Orthodoxy is the faith of many miracles. If - as St. Augustine put it - we believe in the Gospels/Scripture because the Church commends them, I don't think it's fair (or scientific) to distinguish between layers of tradition, assign ranks of authority or try to arbitrarily demythologise certain tenets of Orthodoxy rather than others.   

If you believe an Angel brought Habbakuk from Judea by his hairs, through the air, to meet Daniel in Babylon, why is it less plausible that the Apostles were brought on clouds to attend the Dormition of the Theotokos?
I agree with much of what you say here. My concern is not that the traditions surrounding the Dormition are "less plausible" than others. Instead, my concern is that I do not understand the basis of requiring belief in the Dormition and the surrounding traditions in order to be Orthodox. I have a hard time seeing it as "of the essence of the faith," something constituting the faith once delivered to the saints. That may be a failing on my part, though.

Apart from the canons of the councils, which were for the purpose of settling disputes, whatever the Church has determined to be true can be found in the prayers of the services.  In my opinion, we must faithfully believe whatever is included in the texts of the prayers.  These "synthesize the teachings of the Fathers" in large part.  That is how the Church expresses sound theology.  If it isn't there, you are getting into the realm of opinions.

The Dormition of the Mother of God has been elevated to the rank of a feast day in the Church.  The prayers of that feast day assume, and teach, truth.  If you go beyond what is taught in those prayers, there is some room for pious speculation.  But you can't say that the teachings expressed in those prayers are inaccurate.  You would then cease to trust the Church which Christ set up as the ark of salvation.

I think you're approaching this backwards.  First, once you have established faith that Jesus is who He says He is, figure out if the Orthodox Church is the Church that Jesus set up.  If it is, then whatever it teaches is true, because He promised that hell would not prevail against it, it is trustworthy.  You can't go the opposite way and first predetermine that something is true and then see if the Church teaches it.  That's backwards.
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« Reply #49 on: August 14, 2013, 08:09:35 AM »

The root of this confusion is because most of the western expressions of Christianity have divorced their worship from their belief.  Worship is now a community-centered activity and the components thereof are not given the scrutiny that we do.  For us, no language gets put into the Liturgy and accepted there (well, except the sermon, which is an interpretation of the other teaching) except what has been found to be true.  How can we worship God in truth if, by our worship, we give erroneous attributes to Him and His creation?  The Liturgy (and, by extension, the other services), in addition to our greatest act of worship, are our primary teaching tool.  Hence the importance (I argue) that they be in language that is fully understandable to the people.
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« Reply #50 on: August 14, 2013, 09:26:09 AM »

Orthodoxy is the faith of many miracles. If - as St. Augustine put it - we believe in the Gospels/Scripture because the Church commends them, I don't think it's fair (or scientific) to distinguish between layers of tradition, assign ranks of authority or try to arbitrarily demythologise certain tenets of Orthodoxy rather than others.   

If you believe an Angel brought Habbakuk from Judea by his hairs, through the air, to meet Daniel in Babylon, why is it less plausible that the Apostles were brought on clouds to attend the Dormition of the Theotokos?
I agree with much of what you say here. My concern is not that the traditions surrounding the Dormition are "less plausible" than others. Instead, my concern is that I do not understand the basis of requiring belief in the Dormition and the surrounding traditions in order to be Orthodox. I have a hard time seeing it as "of the essence of the faith," something constituting the faith once delivered to the saints. That may be a failing on my part, though.

Apart from the canons of the councils, which were for the purpose of settling disputes, whatever the Church has determined to be true can be found in the prayers of the services.  In my opinion, we must faithfully believe whatever is included in the texts of the prayers.  These "synthesize the teachings of the Fathers" in large part.  That is how the Church expresses sound theology.  If it isn't there, you are getting into the realm of opinions.

The Dormition of the Mother of God has been elevated to the rank of a feast day in the Church.  The prayers of that feast day assume, and teach, truth.  If you go beyond what is taught in those prayers, there is some room for pious speculation.  But you can't say that the teachings expressed in those prayers are inaccurate.  You would then cease to trust the Church which Christ set up as the ark of salvation.

I think you're approaching this backwards.  First, once you have established faith that Jesus is who He says He is, figure out if the Orthodox Church is the Church that Jesus set up.  If it is, then whatever it teaches is true, because He promised that hell would not prevail against it, it is trustworthy.  You can't go the opposite way and first predetermine that something is true and then see if the Church teaches it.  That's backwards.

+1

The big question is if the EOO is the original Church... All the rest then flows from that.
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« Reply #51 on: August 14, 2013, 04:29:16 PM »

My thanks to everyone for their replies. I have had less time to attend to this thread today, so I am unable to respond to everyone individually. Instead, I'll just say a few general things.

First, I understand the sentiment behind comments along the lines of, "If you believe in a Supreme Creator of the Universe, why doubt the Dormition traditions," or, "If you accept what happened to Philip in Acts 8, or to Elijah or Enoch, why doubt the Dormition traditions?" However, I have to emphasize again that my concern is not primarily that I doubt such things -- they seem to me to be possible. My concern, instead, is more like this: not everything that seems to be possible is a matter of dogma, so why exactly is this dogma (if it is dogma; I am still not entirely clear on that) rather than theologoumena? For example, it is also possible that the Apostle Paul was lifted bodily into outer space (or, to be less absurd, into the third heaven), but it is not dogma that he was. Now, if I were to ask someone, "If you believe in a Supreme Creator of the Universe, why doubt that Paul was lifted bodily into outer space," or, "If you accept what happened to Philip in Acts 8, why doubt that Paul was lifted bodily into the third heaven," these questions would not give the person any reason to actually think that Paul was lifted bodily into outer space of the third heaven, and certainly not that it is a dogma that he was. Likewise, while one might certainly accept that it is possible that the Dormition traditions happened as they did, and might admit that similar things happened in other parts of Scripture, those facts themselves do not provide any particular support for the Dormition traditions themselves, or for holding them as dogma rather than theologoumena. (I know that one of you who made this kind of argument already noted that it "misses the point," so I acknowledge that.)

This, I think, provides some insight into the answer to the question that one of you asked: "Why do people get so worked up about this stuff?" The reason is that it is important. Why is it important? First, because, if things happened as described, then these events reveal an important truth about the Mother of God and about our own eventual salvation. Second, because it is important to know what a Church actually teaches, so that one can assent to its teachings, and so that one can avoid heterodoxy/heresy. Does the Orthodox Church teach as a matter of dogma that the body and soul of the Theotokos were taken into heaven? (Most here, though not all, seem to think "yes," although the answer is ultimately still not all that clear to me.) What about the rest of the Dormition traditions? Is it heretical, or heterodox, to not assent to every detail? Similarly, as someone else mentioned, what about the tradition that Mary lived in the Holy of Holies? Is that something that we must accept on pain of heresy or heterodoxy? What is a theologoumena and what is not? I am still not clear about this.

These questions can also be important because they are relevant to determining what Church is the true Church. This is something that some of you have said is the "main issue." I agree. It might seem to someone -- note, I am not saying that it seems this way to me; I am only giving an example -- that the early Church did not teach, even in nascent form, anything about the body and soul of the Theotokos being taken into heaven. So, figuring out whether the Orthodox Church teaches this may be part of figuring out whether it is the true Church (I mean no offense!); if it is only a theologoumena, then that particular obstacle, if it is an obstacle for someone, would be removed.

Thank you again!
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« Reply #52 on: August 14, 2013, 04:49:42 PM »

I think it's okay if you doubt some traditions. There are Archbishops that doubt the whole Toll-house thing literally.

Quote
Archbishop Lazar is known for his prolific (and, at times, controversial) theological writings, particularly regarding his criticism of the Orthodox teaching of the Aerial Toll-Houses. http://orthodoxwiki.org/Lazar_(Puhalo)_of_Ottawa

I think denying the Dormition itself would be Heterodox, but doubting every detail wouldn't or would be depending on it's contents.

For example, in the Synoptics many critics note how there seem to be different accounts of who visited the Tomb of Christ before He was risen. The Orthodox don't look at those details as a stumbling block, what we know are that the women visited the tomb and that He rose.

Who specifically visited Him isn't the issue, but the fact that He rose and the women visited Him remains.

Think of St. Augustine, he had various views of Original Sin and Predestination that Orthodox take issue with but he is still a Saint and he is still Orthodox.

If I am wrong about those things, I am sure someone who is actually Orthodox could correct me.
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« Reply #53 on: August 14, 2013, 05:21:55 PM »

Apart from the canons of the councils, which were for the purpose of settling disputes,
But the canons of the councils are sometimes the source of the disputes, both in the ancient times and now. This relates directly to the OP's question. The canons ratified by the ecumenical councils are meant to be authoritative and non-discretionary. Yet, if one examines the canons, one will find contradictions.

Here are some examples:
1. Canon 15 of Nicaea forbids any bishop, priest or deacon from "translating" from one city to another. It does not mention any conditions for exemptions, unlike Apostolic Canon #14. Yet, for the last two hundred years (probably more) every Roman Catholic pope and Ecumenical Patriarch, and just about every other patriarch of all the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches were bishops prior to an elevation to the patriarchate. This canon is interpreted in so many ways by ancient and modern fathers giving some sort of justified reason for a bishop moving to another city or the patriarchy. There is no consensus on the meaning of this canon.

2. Canon 28 of Chalcedon. It wasn't approved at Chalcedon by the Roman delegates. Can a council be ecumenical if the delegates pick and choose what they want to agree to and ignore the rest? All the Canons of Trullo were not agreed to by Rome for about a century. Such practice seems contradictory to the meaning "ecumenical".

3. Canon 6 of Trullo. Trullo's canons, according to both Latin and Eastern Orthodox sources, are part of the Sixth council and the Seventh council reaffirms all 102 canons. Canon 6 says no bishop or cleric can marry after ordination. But Canon 10 of Ancyrna allows a deacon and even a presbyter to marry after ordination and continue in his ministry, provided at the time of his ordination he had in the presence of witnesses declared his inability to remain chaste or his desire to marry.

4. Canon 11 of Trullo. Can't call for a Jewish doctor. Can't receive medicine from a Jewish pharmacist. Can't have "familiar intercourse with them [Jews]. Since "familiar intercourse" can mean "familiar interaction", then EP Bartholomew broke this canon when he spoke at a Jewish synagogue at a Jewish meeting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOpHM6CYVGs

5. Canon 12 of Trullo. No bishop can live with his wife. But Canon 5 of the Apostolic Canons says no bishop or clergy can dispose of or leave his wife on the basis of piety. Isn't prohibiting residence with one's wife in the name of piety, even if he is a bishop, akin to disposing or leaving his wife? Seems like this canon contradicts with Matthew 19:6.

6. Canon 81 of Trullo. No one can add "Who was crucified for us, have mercy on us" to the Trisagion. Since the issue of Lex credendi came up, I thought this canon was very important. If one can't say that the Holy God was crucified, then one can't say the Holy God was born and one can't say that St. Mary is the Theotokos. This canon is dangerously close to being Nestorian.

These are just a sample of canons that seem to contradict Orthodox practice or other canons. Is canon law predominately subject to interpretation since Orthodox practice does not always conform to the canons? Some responses to the OP's original question was something along, "To be Orthodox, you must agree to the seven councils or the canons because these are dogmas". This answer cannot be sufficient. If such were the case, we would all be violating the canons.
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« Reply #54 on: August 14, 2013, 05:33:10 PM »

Lots of times, I don't even know what religion my doctor is. I hope I won't get in trouble because I didn't ask.
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« Reply #55 on: August 15, 2013, 06:32:18 AM »

Apart from the canons of the councils, which were for the purpose of settling disputes,
But the canons of the councils are sometimes the source of the disputes, both in the ancient times and now. This relates directly to the OP's question. The canons ratified by the ecumenical councils are meant to be authoritative and non-discretionary. Yet, if one examines the canons, one will find contradictions.

Here are some examples:
1. Canon 15 of Nicaea forbids any bishop, priest or deacon from "translating" from one city to another. It does not mention any conditions for exemptions, unlike Apostolic Canon #14. Yet, for the last two hundred years (probably more) every Roman Catholic pope and Ecumenical Patriarch, and just about every other patriarch of all the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches were bishops prior to an elevation to the patriarchate. This canon is interpreted in so many ways by ancient and modern fathers giving some sort of justified reason for a bishop moving to another city or the patriarchy. There is no consensus on the meaning of this canon.

2. Canon 28 of Chalcedon. It wasn't approved at Chalcedon by the Roman delegates. Can a council be ecumenical if the delegates pick and choose what they want to agree to and ignore the rest? All the Canons of Trullo were not agreed to by Rome for about a century. Such practice seems contradictory to the meaning "ecumenical".

3. Canon 6 of Trullo. Trullo's canons, according to both Latin and Eastern Orthodox sources, are part of the Sixth council and the Seventh council reaffirms all 102 canons. Canon 6 says no bishop or cleric can marry after ordination. But Canon 10 of Ancyrna allows a deacon and even a presbyter to marry after ordination and continue in his ministry, provided at the time of his ordination he had in the presence of witnesses declared his inability to remain chaste or his desire to marry.

4. Canon 11 of Trullo. Can't call for a Jewish doctor. Can't receive medicine from a Jewish pharmacist. Can't have "familiar intercourse with them [Jews]. Since "familiar intercourse" can mean "familiar interaction", then EP Bartholomew broke this canon when he spoke at a Jewish synagogue at a Jewish meeting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOpHM6CYVGs

5. Canon 12 of Trullo. No bishop can live with his wife. But Canon 5 of the Apostolic Canons says no bishop or clergy can dispose of or leave his wife on the basis of piety. Isn't prohibiting residence with one's wife in the name of piety, even if he is a bishop, akin to disposing or leaving his wife? Seems like this canon contradicts with Matthew 19:6.

6. Canon 81 of Trullo. No one can add "Who was crucified for us, have mercy on us" to the Trisagion. Since the issue of Lex credendi came up, I thought this canon was very important. If one can't say that the Holy God was crucified, then one can't say the Holy God was born and one can't say that St. Mary is the Theotokos. This canon is dangerously close to being Nestorian.

These are just a sample of canons that seem to contradict Orthodox practice or other canons. Is canon law predominately subject to interpretation since Orthodox practice does not always conform to the canons? Some responses to the OP's original question was something along, "To be Orthodox, you must agree to the seven councils or the canons because these are dogmas". This answer cannot be sufficient. If such were the case, we would all be violating the canons.

This is an excellent post!!!   It proves the point that the canons of the Church, just like the text of Scripture, cannot be examined on a "sola" basis, divorced from the teaching of the Church.  Take Canon 11 of Trullo.  The Council certainly expressed holy truth here, but that truth is deeper than the words that are expressed.  Interpretation of this canon would require knowledge of what Jewish doctors were doing at the time the canon was adopted, and why that was incompatible with the practice of the Faith.  Then, to apply it, one would have to know very carefully the present situation to analogize it.  Maybe the trouble spoken of in this Canon today is not applied at all to Jewish doctors, but to some other practice which bodes the same ill results.  Only an experienced priest, bishop, or monk, can truly navigate these canons and apply them within the meaning of Holy Tradition.  They were written to address specific problems at specific times.  Those problems may no longer exists, but the principles behind the canon are the truth that we must seek to follow.

We must also not make the mistake common to 20th century Modernism of concluding that we are the culmination of all that has come before us, i.e., that everything is now clear to us.  God's time is not our time.  Some of the things that are now plain to us were not so plain to some of the Fathers; else, they would not have called a council and sought to define these things.  Likewise, some of the "contradictions" that we see may well require a future council to elucidate the meaning of some of the points.  The Church lives.
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« Reply #56 on: August 15, 2013, 06:34:57 AM »

Apart from the canons of the councils, which were for the purpose of settling disputes,
But the canons of the councils are sometimes the source of the disputes, both in the ancient times and now. This relates directly to the OP's question. The canons ratified by the ecumenical councils are meant to be authoritative and non-discretionary. Yet, if one examines the canons, one will find contradictions.

Here are some examples:
1. Canon 15 of Nicaea forbids any bishop, priest or deacon from "translating" from one city to another. It does not mention any conditions for exemptions, unlike Apostolic Canon #14. Yet, for the last two hundred years (probably more) every Roman Catholic pope and Ecumenical Patriarch, and just about every other patriarch of all the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches were bishops prior to an elevation to the patriarchate. This canon is interpreted in so many ways by ancient and modern fathers giving some sort of justified reason for a bishop moving to another city or the patriarchy. There is no consensus on the meaning of this canon.

2. Canon 28 of Chalcedon. It wasn't approved at Chalcedon by the Roman delegates. Can a council be ecumenical if the delegates pick and choose what they want to agree to and ignore the rest? All the Canons of Trullo were not agreed to by Rome for about a century. Such practice seems contradictory to the meaning "ecumenical".

3. Canon 6 of Trullo. Trullo's canons, according to both Latin and Eastern Orthodox sources, are part of the Sixth council and the Seventh council reaffirms all 102 canons. Canon 6 says no bishop or cleric can marry after ordination. But Canon 10 of Ancyrna allows a deacon and even a presbyter to marry after ordination and continue in his ministry, provided at the time of his ordination he had in the presence of witnesses declared his inability to remain chaste or his desire to marry.

4. Canon 11 of Trullo. Can't call for a Jewish doctor. Can't receive medicine from a Jewish pharmacist. Can't have "familiar intercourse with them [Jews]. Since "familiar intercourse" can mean "familiar interaction", then EP Bartholomew broke this canon when he spoke at a Jewish synagogue at a Jewish meeting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOpHM6CYVGs

5. Canon 12 of Trullo. No bishop can live with his wife. But Canon 5 of the Apostolic Canons says no bishop or clergy can dispose of or leave his wife on the basis of piety. Isn't prohibiting residence with one's wife in the name of piety, even if he is a bishop, akin to disposing or leaving his wife? Seems like this canon contradicts with Matthew 19:6.

6. Canon 81 of Trullo. No one can add "Who was crucified for us, have mercy on us" to the Trisagion. Since the issue of Lex credendi came up, I thought this canon was very important. If one can't say that the Holy God was crucified, then one can't say the Holy God was born and one can't say that St. Mary is the Theotokos. This canon is dangerously close to being Nestorian.

These are just a sample of canons that seem to contradict Orthodox practice or other canons. Is canon law predominately subject to interpretation since Orthodox practice does not always conform to the canons? Some responses to the OP's original question was something along, "To be Orthodox, you must agree to the seven councils or the canons because these are dogmas". This answer cannot be sufficient. If such were the case, we would all be violating the canons.

This is an excellent post!!!   It proves the point that the canons of the Church, just like the text of Scripture, cannot be examined on a "sola" basis, divorced from the teaching of the Church.  Take Canon 11 of Trullo.  The Council certainly expressed holy truth here, but that truth is deeper than the words that are expressed.  Interpretation of this canon would require knowledge of what Jewish doctors were doing at the time the canon was adopted, and why that was incompatible with the practice of the Faith.  Then, to apply it, one would have to know very carefully the present situation to analogize it.  Maybe the trouble spoken of in this Canon today is not applied at all to Jewish doctors, but to some other practice which bodes the same ill results.  Only an experienced priest, bishop, or monk, can truly navigate these canons and apply them within the meaning of Holy Tradition.  They were written to address specific problems at specific times.  Those problems may no longer exists, but the principles behind the canon are the truth that we must seek to follow.

We must also not make the mistake common to 20th century Modernism of concluding that we are the culmination of all that has come before us, i.e., that everything is now clear to us.  God's time is not our time.  Some of the things that are now plain to us were not so plain to some of the Fathers; else, they would not have called a council and sought to define these things.  Likewise, some of the "contradictions" that we see may well require a future council to elucidate the meaning of some of the points.  The Church lives.

Put another way -- Consistent Orthodox practice, by and large, tells us how these canons are to be interpreted.  Where there is uncertainty, such as the American canonical situation, it is usually expressed in the mind of the Church before much time passes.  It would be very dangerous to step outside of the received Tradition, the way that things have been done, and attempt to "reform" the Church to conform with an idealistic view of the canons read as text devoid of context and Tradition. 
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« Reply #57 on: August 15, 2013, 09:44:04 AM »

Orthodoxy is the faith of many miracles. If - as St. Augustine put it - we believe in the Gospels/Scripture because the Church commends them, I don't think it's fair (or scientific) to distinguish between layers of tradition, assign ranks of authority or try to arbitrarily demythologise certain tenets of Orthodoxy rather than others.   

If you believe an Angel brought Habbakuk from Judea by his hairs, through the air, to meet Daniel in Babylon, why is it less plausible that the Apostles were brought on clouds to attend the Dormition of the Theotokos?
I agree with much of what you say here. My concern is not that the traditions surrounding the Dormition are "less plausible" than others. Instead, my concern is that I do not understand the basis of requiring belief in the Dormition and the surrounding traditions in order to be Orthodox. I have a hard time seeing it as "of the essence of the faith," something constituting the faith once delivered to the saints. That may be a failing on my part, though.

Apart from the canons of the councils, which were for the purpose of settling disputes, whatever the Church has determined to be true can be found in the prayers of the services.  In my opinion, we must faithfully believe whatever is included in the texts of the prayers.  These "synthesize the teachings of the Fathers" in large part.  That is how the Church expresses sound theology.  If it isn't there, you are getting into the realm of opinions.

The Dormition of the Mother of God has been elevated to the rank of a feast day in the Church.  The prayers of that feast day assume, and teach, truth.  If you go beyond what is taught in those prayers, there is some room for pious speculation.  But you can't say that the teachings expressed in those prayers are inaccurate.  You would then cease to trust the Church which Christ set up as the ark of salvation.

I think you're approaching this backwards.  First, once you have established faith that Jesus is who He says He is, figure out if the Orthodox Church is the Church that Jesus set up.  If it is, then whatever it teaches is true, because He promised that hell would not prevail against it, it is trustworthy.  You can't go the opposite way and first predetermine that something is true and then see if the Church teaches it.  That's backwards.
Got that, JesusisIam?
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
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« Reply #58 on: August 15, 2013, 09:46:07 AM »

The teaching is that the Mother of God died, her soul/life departed, and that days later her body was taken into heaven like Moses's. Not that she was just assumed body and soul into heaven.
Thank you. I understand this; I was just abbreviating. But my question remains: this is something that I would have to believe in order to be accepted into the Orthodox Church? Anyone who does not believe this is heterodox, even if they accept the teachings of the ecumenical councils in their entirety?
I didn't believe in the very doctrine you bring up as an example, but I was accepted (I don't recall if I was asked on that).  Now, having been in the Church, I have no reason to doubt the doctrine.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Nikolaos Greek
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« Reply #59 on: August 15, 2013, 02:46:57 PM »

Guys I have told before. There is a canon which said that we all should take the body and blood of Christ like the priests. yet Saint John Chrysostomus introduced the spoon for us to take part in the communion. So a saint did not kept the canon because it was for good. This very canon is still accepted by the church and t write that everyone that follow it not should be anathematized. So all we would be anathematized. But even if the canon exists and the church still accepts it has no power. We use it no longer.
Now. You must believe in what Orthodoxy teach. Today with the New calendar we celebrate the sleep of Mother Mary but also (although not a dogma) the transportation of her body to heaven. So... Tradition is inserted into Orthodoxy and that's the main difference with those that believe in the pope. Myself I believe all tradition. It is not forcefull but many thigns will have a dead end without tradition. For example where is the body of the Mother of God?
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God is Love.
Ό Θεός ἀγάπη ἐστί.
There is no luck, there is no fate. There are always two ways. One is God's and one is devil's. And in each step of your life you have to pick one, always.
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« Reply #60 on: August 15, 2013, 11:43:31 PM »

When we say "the Church" teaches us some thing,we are talking about the church in the 1st,2nd,3nd,ect...even now we are the church.WE prayer togather"the Church"does that mean that some one can change the dogmas ect....when they want ,No!changing any thing in the Orthodox church takes time .Not that Iam saying that you or anyone wants to change the Orthodox church,but dogmas or any thing in the church there has to be pray and fasting.
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Fotina02
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« Reply #61 on: August 16, 2013, 08:06:17 AM »

Holy Orthodoxy is seamless whole. It's impossible to separate and try to remove particular threads without it unraveling or weakening. It's best to trust the Church and withhold judgment on difficult issues upon greater prayer, study, and holiness, i.e. participation in the Life of the Church in Christ.

Re: Dormition of the Theotokos
Father Thomas Hopko says:
Quote
The 15th of August is a celebration of Mary’s passion and death and resurrection from the dead in Jesus.
That’s why it shows that she is dead, lying on the death bed. And that’s why it’s called Koímēsis or Domitio, because she fell asleep. Now, there’s a theological reason also why she has to die. We’ve already mentioned it. It’s because she has to trample down death by death. You can’t enter into God’s Kingdom except by dying or by being transfigured, if you’re still alive when Christ comes.
But you’ve got to have that passage. There’s got to be a passage from bearing the body of Adam to bearing the risen body of Christ. It’s 1 Corinthians 15.
The first man Adam was a living soul; the second man Adam is a life-creating spirit. The first Adam is from the earth, thus the second man is the Man from heaven. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, so we have to bear the image of the Man of heaven.
We’ve got to put on Christ. And you put on Christ, normally, by dying. So Mary has to die, and she has to show that to be a saint, you have to be able to destroy death by your faith and your grace. You have to show that you can do what Christ did. And Jesus says this by His power, not alone of course.
But Jesus said, “Those that believe in me will do the work that I do, and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.” And some people think that the greater work that the mere mortals do will be to trample down death by death by the Holy Spirit that comes to us from God the Father after Christ goes to the Father.
So He says, the work that we do that will be greater is done because He goes to the Father. Because He goes to the Father and sends the Spirit to us, we can do the work that He did. And in some sense, it’s kind of “greater,” because we’re not God. We’re not Jesus. We’re not sons of God. We’re mere mortals, so is Mary.
But by faith and grace, by the power of Christ, by the power from on high, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can actually do what He did. We can destroy death by death. And that’s what we celebrate on the 15th of August in the person of Mary.
http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/dormition_of_the_theotokos
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WPM
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« Reply #62 on: August 22, 2013, 06:10:30 AM »

The visual representation of God's Kingdom on earth
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IoanC
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« Reply #63 on: August 22, 2013, 06:59:18 AM »

You are asking about the external aspects of Orthodoxy. While they are important from a practical point of view, they are not telling you what Orthodoxy is in itself.

Orthodoxy is a fancy word to describe something very simple (but lost): a way of life, the way of life as man was made to have in communion with God (and The Church -- angels, humanity, the rest of the universe). So, since we lost that initial state of deification and Grace, Orthodoxy (the fancy word) restores it and also brings us to our full potential (Christ who is Heaven).
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #64 on: August 22, 2013, 11:24:26 AM »

I'm just simple-minded, I guess. ISTM that the greatest "suspension of disbelief" is required to believe first of all in the existance of God, then that He cares about me individually, so much so that He became a human being for my sake. After one accepts that, anything is possible! Including flying clouds full of Apostles.
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"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
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