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Author Topic: What's the One True Church?  (Read 2071 times) Average Rating: 0
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byhisgrace
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« on: March 28, 2014, 02:31:22 PM »

Hi Everyone!

I'm currently an Evangelical Christian who is seeking to find which Church is the one true church, whether that be Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, or the Church of the East.

Whether you are Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, or a Church of the East Christian, please tell me: How do you know that your Church has the fullness of God's truth, and not the other three?

Thanks! Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2014, 02:39:45 PM »

Hi Everyone!

I'm currently an Evangelical Christian who is seeking to find which Church is the one true church, whether that be Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, or the Church of the East.

Whether you are Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, or a Church of the East Christian, please tell me: How do you know that your Church has the fullness of God's truth, and not the other three?

Thanks! Smiley

I foresee a rather unpleasant thread, what with juxtaposing one's affiliation against others and all that.

Also, there are many here, although not all, that have nuanced understandings of the Church, so it wouldn't quite be the "either X or Y" way you're putting it for everyone.
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2014, 02:59:57 PM »

I foresee a rather unpleasant thread, what with juxtaposing one's affiliation against others and all that.

Also, there are many here, although not all, that have nuanced understandings of the Church, so it wouldn't quite be the "either X or Y" way you're putting it for everyone.

That's a good point! I've pondered on this possible problem, too. Do you have any advice on what thread I can start such that I can examine the claims of all four Churches, while minimizing the amount of "heated debate" against each other?

If one has an answer that more than one of the Churches is in the Body of Christ, that's okay too Smiley . It would be great, however, if s/he can add why s/he believes that the differences among them do not determine whether one is in Christ or not.
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 03:29:58 PM »

Hi Everyone!

I'm currently an Evangelical Christian who is seeking to find which Church is the one true church, whether that be Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, or the Church of the East.

Whether you are Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, or a Church of the East Christian, please tell me: How do you know that your Church has the fullness of God's truth, and not the other three?

Thanks! Smiley

Hi, byhisgrace.  Please keep in mind that when Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians declare their respective communions to be the True Church that they are making no pronouncements on the salvation of anyone outside of those communions.  I believe the same holds true for the Roman Church and the Church of the East, though I've had conversations with Roman Catholics who've told me that there's no salvation for anyone outside of "Holy Mother Church".  I think they might've been hardliners though, and weren't articulating the official stance of their communion.

Some questions I feel might be helpful to you in your quest for understanding are:

*Which of these communions reflects a real and intimate unity with Christ on the terms He established?  In other words, in which one can a person have true communion with Him as much as possible on this side of the grave?

*Which one holds most closely to the Faith and teachings of the Early Church without the introduction of doctrinal innovations, heterodox practices or other deviations?

Personally, painting with very broad strokes, I feel that the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches have both maintained the true Apostolic Faith and Orthodox practice, despite centuries of mutual excommunication.  I believe there is no substantial doctrinal difference between them, but merely a schism without heresy.  Many here agree.  Others certainly disagree, to put it mildly.

As far as the Church of the East and the Roman Church are concerned, I must sadly say that as far as I can tell, they do not maintain the same Faith as the Orthodox bodies.  I most especially wish the former did, but, as it pertains to Christology, I can't say that it does.  This is where my research has led me.
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2014, 03:31:10 PM »

why do you want to change church?

Probably because something starts bothers your mind as you search/read  and you feel uncomfortable and unsure about your church

well....

someone know that "this" Church has the fullness of God's truth when it feels like that
and whatever he/she search or read for this church don't bother his/her mind

I really feel very comfortable and safe in my orthodox church when I read for other churches or religions


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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2014, 04:01:30 PM »

Well if you want to marry an Assyrian girl then you'll probably have to move to either Iraq or Chicago. Their Christology is whack, but some men seem to find the women particularly alluring for whatever reason.
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2014, 04:06:09 PM »

What always comes to my heart and soul upon this question dear friend byhisgrace is the following.

Whatever issue you will face from now on and forward, remember that is it not in your hands to reveal the true church. When you encounter it, you will know it by truth and by spirit. Exactly what we´re being told by the Lord in John 4:21-26, where the samaritan by heart is asking the same question as you are.

The Orthodox Church has a long long history that takes time to look through, research and explore. But when the Liturgy starts and Orthodoxy is experienced in its most beautiful way, in truth to the Faith, and in Spirit during prayer. Then no one in the world can stand without saying, this is where I belong, by the gift of Gods grace, in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Pray for me and forgive me, the sinner
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2014, 04:14:00 PM »

Hi, BHG. Welcome to the board. Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2014, 08:32:01 PM »

Well if you want to marry an Assyrian girl then you'll probably have to move to either Iraq or Chicago. Their Christology is whack, but some men seem to find the women particularly alluring for whatever reason.

What do you mean "for whatever reason"?  There's no "whatever" about it.  Tongue
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2014, 10:54:21 PM »

Well if you want to marry an Assyrian girl then you'll probably have to move to either Iraq or Chicago. Their Christology is whack, but some men seem to find the women particularly alluring for whatever reason.

What do you mean "for whatever reason"?  There's no "whatever" about it.  Tongue

I'm tempering my admiration as a happily married man.  Wink
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2014, 11:08:58 PM »

Constantinopalian/Byzantium Orthodox Church? ...
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2014, 01:12:12 PM »

Hi Everyone!

I'm currently an Evangelical Christian who is seeking to find which Church is the one true church, whether that be Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, or the Church of the East.

Whether you are Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, or a Church of the East Christian, please tell me: How do you know that your Church has the fullness of God's truth, and not the other three?

Thanks! Smiley

I was once in a similar situation,but being so far from the nearest parish, I still find myself unable to attend Divine Liturgy. I will occasionally visit the assembly my mother attends, a non-Orthodox Church. I still pray often and listen to various podcasts of Orthodox speakers. I pray The Lord will find a way for me.

In my search I could come to no other conclusion than to side with Eastern Orthodoxy.  It was the Roman Bishop that disrupted the unity of the Church,with the exception of the non-Chalcedonian churches, for which I find that division to be more having to do with semantics than  anything, which in my opinion seems rather silly, although I have been wrong before.
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2014, 12:34:22 PM »

In my search I could come to no other conclusion than to side with Eastern Orthodoxy.  It was the Roman Bishop that disrupted the unity of the Church,with the exception of the non-Chalcedonian churches, for which I find that division to be more having to do with semantics than  anything, which in my opinion seems rather silly, although I have been wrong before.

The Bishop of Rome had a lot to do with that, too, according both to them and to us.  Tongue
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2014, 09:54:23 AM »

In my search I could come to no other conclusion than to side with Eastern Orthodoxy.  It was the Roman Bishop that disrupted the unity of the Church,with the exception of the non-Chalcedonian churches, for which I find that division to be more having to do with semantics than  anything, which in my opinion seems rather silly, although I have been wrong before.

The Bishop of Rome had a lot to do with that, too, according both to them and to us.  Tongue

I still really haven't studied the situation with Pope Leo and the Tome and all of that. Any resources in English you'd recommend?
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2014, 07:20:50 PM »

In my search I could come to no other conclusion than to side with Eastern Orthodoxy.  It was the Roman Bishop that disrupted the unity of the Church,with the exception of the non-Chalcedonian churches, for which I find that division to be more having to do with semantics than  anything, which in my opinion seems rather silly, although I have been wrong before.

The Bishop of Rome had a lot to do with that, too, according both to them and to us.  Tongue

I still really haven't studied the situation with Pope Leo and the Tome and all of that. Any resources in English you'd recommend?

I realize you were asking Mor, but The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined by Fr. V.C. Samuel of the Indian Orthodox Church is perhaps the best articulation of the Oriental Orthodox perspective I've ever read.  It's scholarly and, although taking a definite stand, non-polemical.  It's also accessible to most readers.
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« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2014, 08:36:10 PM »

I find it interesting. The original 12 apostles. I would imagine they would constitute the true church. All with the same beliefs. Each go a different direction. Thomas I believe to India, Mark to Egypt, Paul the greek communities, the armenian church by Jude and bartholomew,etc. Yet there is schisms and differences. All from the original 12. But of course the councils were decided by men years later, not apostles. Its a shame really.
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« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2014, 09:10:03 PM »

I realize you were asking Mor, but The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined by Fr. V.C. Samuel of the Indian Orthodox Church is perhaps the best articulation of the Oriental Orthodox perspective I've ever read.  It's scholarly and, although taking a definite stand, non-polemical.  It's also accessible to most readers.

Thanks, Nik!  I forgot to get back to this, but you recommended what I was going to recommend. 
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« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2014, 09:28:31 PM »

To know the One True Church, investigate the matter using the historical resources available, and look at them honestly from an objective point of view (as you probably have no hard time doing).  See if anything holds water to the true integrity of the faith.  Is the belief in the Trinity sound?  Is the Christology sound? The Mariology? The ecclesiology?  The historical continuity? The eschatology?

One of the most important things I have learned and I am growing convinced is the definition of heresy, which would be a doctrinal opinion that allows for a separation of communion between man and God.  For instance, in Christology, if Christ is not one person, but is a synthesis of a conjunction between the man Jesus and the indwelling of the Word of God, united only by honor, no different than a saint or prophet who has God dwelling in him/her, then there's no real unity between man and God through Christ, because the man Jesus ends up not being IN TRUTH the Word of God.  Another example in Christology, if Christ happens to have lost full integrity of humanity, then this too also leads to no real unity between man and Christ, since God the Word did not become a full human being.

All of these need some personal catechesis, and I recommend you do the reading and pray and seek guidance, and you will find the truth.  Many of us will give you a biased answer because we are convinced of our own traditions.  For me, I am convinced of my church because I find in her the continuity of the unadulterated faith and historical connection with the Church that puts me at ease to be in communion with all those who have the fullness of grace, where the necessary faith that puts us in communion with God is maintained and developed.  This does not exclude other churches who I feel also have the same criteria.  As His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware puts it best (who is not Oriental Orthodox), "We know where the Church is; we do not know where it is not."
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« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2014, 12:49:42 AM »

In my search I could come to no other conclusion than to side with Eastern Orthodoxy.  It was the Roman Bishop that disrupted the unity of the Church,with the exception of the non-Chalcedonian churches, for which I find that division to be more having to do with semantics than  anything, which in my opinion seems rather silly, although I have been wrong before.
In terms of salvation, does it matter whether I choose to believe in Nestorianism, Miaphysitism, or Diophysitism? Those were the dividing issues between Eastern, Oriental, and Church of the East.  
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« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2014, 12:54:34 AM »

In my search I could come to no other conclusion than to side with Eastern Orthodoxy.  It was the Roman Bishop that disrupted the unity of the Church,with the exception of the non-Chalcedonian churches, for which I find that division to be more having to do with semantics than  anything, which in my opinion seems rather silly, although I have been wrong before.
In terms of salvation, does it matter whether I choose to believe in Nestorianism, Miaphysitism, or Diophysitism? Those were the dividing issues between Eastern, Oriental, and Church of the East.  

What do you believe these three (Nestorianism, Miaphysitism, Diophysitism) taught?
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« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2014, 12:59:35 AM »

What do you believe these three (Nestorianism, Miaphysitism, Diophysitism) taught?
Nestorianism: Christ is two persons in two natures
Miaphysitism: Christ is one person in one nature (His divinity and humanity are inseparable)
Diophysitism: Christ is one person in two natures (This is the Chalcedonian belief).

So far, as an Evangelical, I have been taking the first four Ecumenical Councils for granted, as I haven't been challenged on my Christology, very much. Thus, I am very interested in hearing why the non-Chalcedonian Churches believe that their Christology is the right one.  
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« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2014, 01:16:40 AM »

So far, as an Evangelical, I have been taking the first four Ecumenical Councils for granted

Really? I thought the average Evangelical only strongly held to the first three. Although, maybe that's just the Reformed-leaning sort I've known.
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« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2014, 02:39:52 AM »

Can anyone answer for me whether my eternal salvation is at stake, when it comes to which Church I decide to join?
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« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2014, 03:58:08 AM »

To know the One True Church, investigate the matter using the historical resources available, and look at them honestly from an objective point of view (as you probably have no hard time doing).  See if anything holds water to the true integrity of the faith.  Is the belief in the Trinity sound?  Is the Christology sound? The Mariology? The ecclesiology?  The historical continuity? The eschatology?

One of the most important things I have learned and I am growing convinced is the definition of heresy, which would be a doctrinal opinion that allows for a separation of communion between man and God.  For instance, in Christology, if Christ is not one person, but is a synthesis of a conjunction between the man Jesus and the indwelling of the Word of God, united only by honor, no different than a saint or prophet who has God dwelling in him/her, then there's no real unity between man and God through Christ, because the man Jesus ends up not being IN TRUTH the Word of God.  Another example in Christology, if Christ happens to have lost full integrity of humanity, then this too also leads to no real unity between man and Christ, since God the Word did not become a full human being.

All of these need some personal catechesis, and I recommend you do the reading and pray and seek guidance, and you will find the truth.  Many of us will give you a biased answer because we are convinced of our own traditions.  For me, I am convinced of my church because I find in her the continuity of the unadulterated faith and historical connection with the Church that puts me at ease to be in communion with all those who have the fullness of grace, where the necessary faith that puts us in communion with God is maintained and developed.  This does not exclude other churches who I feel also have the same criteria.  As His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware puts it best (who is not Oriental Orthodox), "We know where the Church is; we do not know where it is not."
Thanks for giving a constructive answer Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2014, 05:31:02 AM »

https://www.svots.edu/content/beyond-dialogue-quest-eastern-and-oriental-orthodox-unity-today

Building on the work of these and subsequent informal consultations, an official Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches began to meet in the 1980s.  In its agreed statements on Christology, the Commission repeatedly and unequivocally affirmed the churches’ full agreement on the substance of the faith, notwithstanding differences in terminology.  “In the light of our four unofficial consultations (1964, 1967, 1970, 1971) and our three official meetings which followed (1985, 1989, 1990), we have understood that both families have loyally maintained the authentic Orthodox Christological doctrine, and the unbroken continuity of the apostolic tradition, though they may have used Christological terms in different ways” (Chambesy 1993).  Indeed, as the documents of the dialogue point out, “Our mutual agreement is not limited to Christology, but encompasses the whole faith of the one undivided Church of the early centuries” (Anba Bishoy 1980), including, for example, the veneration of icons. [3]

so both the OO and EO churches are right.
miaphytism (OO) is actually one person with two natures united into one 'without mingling, without confusion and without separation'
(the quote is from the coptic orthodox divine liturgy).
it does not contradict the chalcedonian view AS CLARIFIED BY THE 5TH AND 6TH COUNCILS.

it is a big, big subject to try to understand all these apparent word games, and you should know that there was a lot of politics involved at the 4th council, so that complicates things.

what i would really recommend for you is to pray (and fast) and ask God for guidance and then look for a church near you that is either EO or OO and see if the people there are ready to welcome you and to show you the depths of God's love found in the orthodox church.

the important things you should look for in an orthodox church are the love of God and the willingness and ability to explain orthodox Christianity to a visitor in a language he / she can understand.
whether the church is EO or OO is really secondary.
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« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2014, 07:49:16 AM »

Can anyone answer for me whether my eternal salvation is at stake, when it comes to which Church I decide to join?

God is merciful.  Should you chose something other than the Orthodox and Apostolic Faith through ignorance, as opposed to making a conscious choice for heresy or standing stiff-necked in the face of loving and reasoned correction, it is my prayer that God will gently lead you home in His time rather than look for an excuse to cast you into hell.  Salvation is a process, and thankfully, we serve a God whose mercy is greater than our sins, no matter how easy it may be to forget this when we're in the thick of things.
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« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2014, 08:04:13 AM »

What do you believe these three (Nestorianism, Miaphysitism, Diophysitism) taught?
Nestorianism: Christ is two persons in two natures
Miaphysitism: Christ is one person in one nature (His divinity and humanity are inseparable)
Diophysitism: Christ is one person in two natures (This is the Chalcedonian belief).

So far, as an Evangelical, I have been taking the first four Ecumenical Councils for granted, as I haven't been challenged on my Christology, very much. Thus, I am very interested in hearing why the non-Chalcedonian Churches believe that their Christology is the right one.   
Because those who adhere to the councils we reject in the end SEEM to find that there is no ESSENTIAL disagreement on Christology, it's very tough to answer this without the temptation of polemics.

Any specific questions? Perhaps this may help narrowing down the approach than give anything vague.  We could also recommend a book that explains the history of it all.
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« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2014, 08:24:36 AM »

Hello byhisgrace.

Im going to give you some friendly advice. Questions like yours opens a huge can of worms for people wanting to take potshots at other faith traditions. Of course its a good idea to get an understanding of what convinced others to convert, but I would stress you NOT use their reasons to motivate or convince you.

Go to a parish of these traditions, talk to the priests and pray alot.

Unfortunately, around here you'll get decent advice mixed with a healthy dose of cynicism, a little bit of bigotry from some members, and a whole lot of bad or questionable "facts" from people with an axe to grind. Will you find some good advice? Sure you will. But taking the time filtering out the good advice from the nonsense can be better spent finding out yourself.

God bless,
PP
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« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2014, 11:29:11 AM »

Go to a parish of these traditions, talk to the priests and pray alot.

PP raises some great points in the above post, not the least of which is do you actually live in an area where all of these traditions - Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Church of the East - are represented and it would be reasonable for you to regularly attend and commune in the communion of your choice?

In some ways, this shouldn't impact upon your choice.  If, for example, you become convinced that the Church of the East is the only one of the bunch that holds to the Apostolic Faith but there are none around, I would not advise that you join one of the others in defiance of your conscience and understanding of orthodoxy.  On the other hand, regular communion and participation in the life of the church is crucial.
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« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2014, 11:44:11 AM »

It certainly doesn't seem that way when there is a Baptist and Pentecostal church on every corner of the neighborhood  Tongue My understanding is to be patient and wait for the Orthodox Church and on God's time.
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« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2014, 11:51:50 AM »

It certainly doesn't seem that way when there is a Baptist and Pentecostal church on every corner of the neighborhood  Tongue

What doesn't seem what way?
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« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2014, 12:19:23 PM »

It certainly doesn't seem that way when there is a Baptist and Pentecostal church on every corner of the neighborhood  Tongue

What doesn't seem what way?


In this region of Texas there other churches and other missions ... Baptist,Pentecostal,Wesleyan,Lutheran and it doesn't seem like the Orthodox one is very prevalent at all. (The Southern part of the USA) ..
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« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2014, 12:28:27 PM »

Hello byhisgrace.

Im going to give you some friendly advice. Questions like yours opens a huge can of worms for people wanting to take potshots at other faith traditions. Of course its a good idea to get an understanding of what convinced others to convert, but I would stress you NOT use their reasons to motivate or convince you.

Go to a parish of these traditions, talk to the priests and pray alot.

Unfortunately, around here you'll get decent advice mixed with a healthy dose of cynicism, a little bit of bigotry from some members, and a whole lot of bad or questionable "facts" from people with an axe to grind. Will you find some good advice? Sure you will. But taking the time filtering out the good advice from the nonsense can be better spent finding out yourself.

God bless,
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Yes, those are very good points. I have been praying for God to help me find the truth, and sometimes I wonder whether He is asking me to wait, or whether He has answered already and I'm missing it.
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« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2014, 02:03:47 PM »

Go to a parish of these traditions, talk to the priests and pray alot.

PP raises some great points in the above post, not the least of which is do you actually live in an area where all of these traditions - Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Church of the East - are represented and it would be reasonable for you to regularly attend and commune in the communion of your choice?

In some ways, this shouldn't impact upon your choice.  If, for example, you become convinced that the Church of the East is the only one of the bunch that holds to the Apostolic Faith but there are none around, I would not advise that you join one of the others in defiance of your conscience and understanding of orthodoxy.  On the other hand, regular communion and participation in the life of the church is crucial.
In once sense, I agree with you. I've read testimonies of Catholics and Eastern Orthodox who say that they got convinced that their respective Church is true through their experience with the liturgy and sacraments. Participation in the liturgies and sacraments may be a way for me to experience the grace of God, which may convict me, on a personal and experiential level, that God's Church is truly that Church. On the other hand, it's hard for me to participate in the liturgies and sacraments without hurting my conscience a bit, for I do not know (to put it quite frankly) whether that church is the work of God or the work of the devil. Didn't God, after all, tell me not to put Him to the test?
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« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2014, 02:48:45 PM »

In once sense, I agree with you. I've read testimonies of Catholics and Eastern Orthodox who say that they got convinced that their respective Church is true through their experience with the liturgy and sacraments. Participation in the liturgies and sacraments may be a way for me to experience the grace of God, which may convict me, on a personal and experiential level, that God's Church is truly that Church. On the other hand, it's hard for me to participate in the liturgies and sacraments without hurting my conscience a bit, for I do not know (to put it quite frankly) whether that church is the work of God or the work of the devil. Didn't God, after all, tell me not to put Him to the test?

All I was saying was, how many of the four communions you're considering - OO, EO, RC, & CotE - actually have a parish in your area?

As far as the points you've raised here, I'd like to ask (along the lines of Mina's advice) how much you've studied the history of the four communions and what has separated them.  Are there any arguments or circumstances - theological, ecclesiological, historical or otherwise - that you find more or less compelling pertaining to any of the four?  What has your research told you so far about who might be closer to what was established by Christ?
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« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2014, 02:52:22 PM »

It certainly doesn't seem that way when there is a Baptist and Pentecostal church on every corner of the neighborhood  Tongue

What doesn't seem what way?


In this region of Texas there other churches and other missions ... Baptist,Pentecostal,Wesleyan,Lutheran and it doesn't seem like the Orthodox one is very prevalent at all. (The Southern part of the USA) ..

Yet the southern and western dioceses of the OCA and GOA (and probably more, but I know these for certain) are the fastest growing.
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« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2014, 03:01:08 PM »

Sounds like the quest for The ChurchTM
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« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2014, 04:29:20 PM »

In once sense, I agree with you. I've read testimonies of Catholics and Eastern Orthodox who say that they got convinced that their respective Church is true through their experience with the liturgy and sacraments. Participation in the liturgies and sacraments may be a way for me to experience the grace of God, which may convict me, on a personal and experiential level, that God's Church is truly that Church. On the other hand, it's hard for me to participate in the liturgies and sacraments without hurting my conscience a bit, for I do not know (to put it quite frankly) whether that church is the work of God or the work of the devil. Didn't God, after all, tell me not to put Him to the test?

All I was saying was, how many of the four communions you're considering - OO, EO, RC, & CotE - actually have a parish in your area?

As far as the points you've raised here, I'd like to ask (along the lines of Mina's advice) how much you've studied the history of the four communions and what has separated them.  Are there any arguments or circumstances - theological, ecclesiological, historical or otherwise - that you find more or less compelling pertaining to any of the four?  What has your research told you so far about who might be closer to what was established by Christ?
Ah, sorry, didn't mean to put words in your mouth.

To answer your question, all four communions have parishes in my area. I live in the US.

So far in my research, I find the Catholic position to be a the most compelling, mostly because they have a well-defined, final authority on who says what the Church should teach (i.e. the Magisterium and the Pope). As far as Church History goes, I've only read two Church History books, both written by Protestants, and I only thoroughly read the writings of the Apostolic Fathers: Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius, Didache, Epistle of Barnabas, Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, and Shepherd of Hermas. (After all, aren't they most reliable sources in seeing what the Apostles meant, and how their Epistles should be interpreted? It's sad that there are very few Apostolic Fathers.) Other than that, I've only read snippets of quotes of the other Fathers, quotes from Catholic and Eastern Orthodox apologists. Thus, I only have a surface level understanding of Church history, and the apologetics arguments among Catholic and Orthodox historians, so far, seem equally compelling to me. So where does that leave me? Perhaps I should trust a Church that has the most well-defined, final authority. You may then ask, "Why are you not Catholic, then?" Because I have many problems with Catholic doctrine that I want answers to.
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« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2014, 04:41:59 PM »

Can anyone answer for me whether my eternal salvation is at stake, when it comes to which Church I decide to join?

The Scriptures say "whoever calls opon the name of The Lord, shall be saved." If one spends their life seeking out The Lord, and the truths. He has proclaimed, God will find a way of saving such a person. I would have to say that both you and I, if I can speak for you ,are moving in the right direction, as to when we actually arrive at our destination remains unanswered, but the destination itself is never a question. Christ also said that there are sheep that are not of this fold, meaning that there are those outside the Church,who have yet to come through Her doors, as. I understand it. Some may have a clearer understanding of this than I.
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« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2014, 04:46:44 PM »

In once sense, I agree with you. I've read testimonies of Catholics and Eastern Orthodox who say that they got convinced that their respective Church is true through their experience with the liturgy and sacraments. Participation in the liturgies and sacraments may be a way for me to experience the grace of God, which may convict me, on a personal and experiential level, that God's Church is truly that Church. On the other hand, it's hard for me to participate in the liturgies and sacraments without hurting my conscience a bit, for I do not know (to put it quite frankly) whether that church is the work of God or the work of the devil. Didn't God, after all, tell me not to put Him to the test?

All I was saying was, how many of the four communions you're considering - OO, EO, RC, & CotE - actually have a parish in your area?

As far as the points you've raised here, I'd like to ask (along the lines of Mina's advice) how much you've studied the history of the four communions and what has separated them.  Are there any arguments or circumstances - theological, ecclesiological, historical or otherwise - that you find more or less compelling pertaining to any of the four?  What has your research told you so far about who might be closer to what was established by Christ?
Ah, sorry, didn't mean to put words in your mouth.

To answer your question, all four communions have parishes in my area. I live in the US.

So far in my research, I find the Catholic position to be a the most compelling, mostly because they have a well-defined, final authority on who says what the Church should teach (i.e. the Magisterium and the Pope). As far as Church History goes, I've only read two Church History books, both written by Protestants, and I only thoroughly read the writings of the Apostolic Fathers: Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius, Didache, Epistle of Barnabas, Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, and Shepherd of Hermas. (After all, aren't they most reliable sources in seeing what the Apostles meant, and how their Epistles should be interpreted? It's sad that there are very few Apostolic Fathers.) Other than that, I've only read snippets of quotes of the other Fathers, quotes from Catholic and Eastern Orthodox apologists. Thus, I only have a surface level understanding of Church history, and the apologetics arguments among Catholic and Orthodox historians, so far, seem equally compelling to me. So where does that leave me? Perhaps I should trust a Church that has the most well-defined, final authority. You may then ask, "Why are you not Catholic, then?" Because I have many problems with Catholic doctrine that I want answers to.

The problem I have with the Catholic position is that the Bishop of Rome, and those that have occupied the office, are seeking to be at the first position at the table, and The Lord told His disciples that this is the least desirable. I see very little humility in a person that would seek such a place.
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« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2014, 04:57:25 PM »

Questions you can ask:  Is the doctrine professed:

1.  Strengthens the unity with God? For instance, one can profess correct belief about God, but without the Church and the sacraments, finds himself only believing in ideas.  One can also have a sacramental Church, but if the Christology is seriously flawed, unity with Christ becomes flawed, or Pneumatology can be flawed, so unity with God by the Spirit could be flawed, etc.

2.  Necessary for unity with God?  For instance, one cannot join a Church without historical Apostolic continuation through her bishops.  But one can also ask, is a particular ecclesiastical structure necessary, or does it not make a difference?  Does one have to have One Pope and a Magisterium, or can there be a council of sister church's bishops?  Does there really have to be Purgatory or toll houses or hope of salvation for all?  Or does it not make any difference at all either way?

Regardless of how much I think I know, at times, it's the second question that will live with you, even when you're already a convinced member of the Church.  This is where you need to really do the research and read "both sides" of the argument to understand the issues very well.  You could probably ask, "is there a good book that talks about so-and-so".  Even though I am an OO, there are EO books that are recommended on our side, supplemented by OO books as well to explain our stance on particular issues.  His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware has gained a lot of fame in OO circles for his books on the Orthodox Church and the Orthodox faith.
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« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2014, 05:00:04 PM »

So far in my research, I find the Catholic position to be a the most compelling, mostly because they have a well-defined, final authority on who says what the Church should teach (i.e. the Magisterium and the Pope). As far as Church History goes, I've only read two Church History books, both written by Protestants, and I only thoroughly read the writings of the Apostolic Fathers: Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius, Didache, Epistle of Barnabas, Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, and Shepherd of Hermas.

My only advice if you find the papal authority as a compelling evidence for the Catholic Church, take the dogma and apply it to history and see if Christ protected the church according to their view and dogma about the Pope. But there was a broader sense to authority, decision making in the councils and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the church.

Fixed quote tags for you.

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« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2014, 05:01:29 PM »

So far in my research, I find the Catholic position to be a the most compelling, mostly because they have a well-defined, final authority on who says what the Church should teach (i.e. the Magisterium and the Pope). As far as Church History goes, I've only read two Church History books, both written by Protestants, and I only thoroughly read the writings of the Apostolic Fathers: Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius, Didache, Epistle of Barnabas, Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, and Shepherd of Hermas.

My only advice if you find the papal authority as a compelling evidence for the Catholic Church, take the dogma and apply it to history and see if Christ protected the church according to their view and dogma about the Pope. But there was a broader sense to authority, decision making in the councils and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the church.
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« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2014, 05:03:03 PM »

Please help me moderator with my last post ;P It took the quote and my text as the same >.<
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« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2014, 05:16:56 PM »

Please help me moderator with my last post ;P It took the quote and my text as the same >.<

Your avatar made me cry.   Cry
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« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2014, 05:28:06 PM »

Please help me moderator with my last post ;P It took the quote and my text as the same >.<

Your avatar made me cry.   Cry

Cry
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« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2014, 07:09:24 PM »

So far in my research, I find the Catholic position to be a the most compelling, mostly because they have a well-defined, final authority on who says what the Church should teach (i.e. the Magisterium and the Pope). As far as Church History goes, I've only read two Church History books, both written by Protestants, and I only thoroughly read the writings of the Apostolic Fathers: Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius, Didache, Epistle of Barnabas, Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, and Shepherd of Hermas.

My only advice if you find the papal authority as a compelling evidence for the Catholic Church, take the dogma and apply it to history and see if Christ protected the church according to their view and dogma about the Pope. But there was a broader sense to authority, decision making in the councils and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the church.

Fixed quote tags for you.

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Good advice
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« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2014, 07:46:37 PM »

Hi Everyone!

I'm currently an Evangelical Christian who is seeking to find which Church is the one true church, whether that be Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, or the Church of the East.

Whether you are Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, or a Church of the East Christian, please tell me: How do you know that your Church has the fullness of God's truth, and not the other three?

Thanks! Smiley

The Catholic Church is the one true Church. The Catholics say that each person has a responsibility and obligation to find the true church (which i agree with) so it's good that your attempting to find the true Church.

Orthodox is not the 'one' true church, it's 'a' true church. I will also suggest that ONLY Orthodox get this luxury of being called a 'true church' that is valid in the eyes of the Catholics.

If you decide to be Orthodox, then you are allowed to consider yourself a 'spiritual member' of the catholic church only if you meet the 2 following criterea.

1. You believe your current church is the true Church. (This was likely an exception for Orthodox only)
2. You admit the Catholic church was the church founded by Jesus Christ (Im Antiochian but I'll agree to submit this to the Catholics as at that time the Churches were one in the same. But go to the Churches in Christs homeland and you'll find Orthodox churches.. Just saying)

If you agree to the above, you become a spiritual member of the Catholic Church so you are safe in that regard. Only Orthodox have this luxury (legitimetly) because i cant imagine a Protestant saying their Methodist chuch is the one true church. Its just illogical.

The Orthodox Churches are often culturally segregated so I would go Catholic if I didnt have an ethnic community. Thats just me though. The catholics have their own radio, tv, podcasts, newspapers, etc. A huge community with much more 'happenings'.

I submit to the Catholic Church and consider myself a spiritual member. My kids will go to Catholic schools as i did. That should tell you how important i feel it is to be either a member of the Catholic church, or a spiritual member in good standing.

It should be noted that Orthodox have a higher belief in God our creator than Catholics and make the second highest household income next to Jews. We dont have New Age feminist, secular humanist agenda's in our Church either so Orthodox does something right.
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« Reply #48 on: April 01, 2014, 09:15:31 PM »

The Catholic Church is the one true Church. The Catholics say that each person has a responsibility and obligation to find the true church (which i agree with) so it's good that your attempting to find the true Church.

Orthodox is not the 'one' true church, it's 'a' true church. I will also suggest that ONLY Orthodox get this luxury of being called a 'true church' that is valid in the eyes of the Catholics.

If you decide to be Orthodox, then you are allowed to consider yourself a 'spiritual member' of the catholic church only if you meet the 2 following criterea.

1. You believe your current church is the true Church. (This was likely an exception for Orthodox only)
2. You admit the Catholic church was the church founded by Jesus Christ (Im Antiochian but I'll agree to submit this to the Catholics as at that time the Churches were one in the same. But go to the Churches in Christs homeland and you'll find Orthodox churches.. Just saying)

If you agree to the above, you become a spiritual member of the Catholic Church so you are safe in that regard. Only Orthodox have this luxury (legitimetly) because i cant imagine a Protestant saying their Methodist chuch is the one true church. Its just illogical.

The Orthodox Churches are often culturally segregated so I would go Catholic if I didnt have an ethnic community. Thats just me though. The catholics have their own radio, tv, podcasts, newspapers, etc. A huge community with much more 'happenings'.

I submit to the Catholic Church and consider myself a spiritual member. My kids will go to Catholic schools as i did. That should tell you how important i feel it is to be either a member of the Catholic church, or a spiritual member in good standing.

It should be noted that Orthodox have a higher belief in God our creator than Catholics and make the second highest household income next to Jews. We dont have New Age feminist, secular humanist agenda's in our Church either so Orthodox does something right.

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« Reply #49 on: April 01, 2014, 10:09:15 PM »

The Catholic Church is the one true Church. The Catholics say that each person has a responsibility and obligation to find the true church (which i agree with) so it's good that your attempting to find the true Church.

Orthodox is not the 'one' true church, it's 'a' true church. I will also suggest that ONLY Orthodox get this luxury of being called a 'true church' that is valid in the eyes of the Catholics.


If you decide to be Orthodox, then you are allowed to consider yourself a 'spiritual member' of the catholic church only if you meet the 2 following criterea.

1. You believe your current church is the true Church. (This was likely an exception for Orthodox only)
2. You admit the Catholic church was the church founded by Jesus Christ (Im Antiochian but I'll agree to submit this to the Catholics as at that time the Churches were one in the same. But go to the Churches in Christs homeland and you'll find Orthodox churches.. Just saying)

If you agree to the above, you become a spiritual member of the Catholic Church so you are safe in that regard. Only Orthodox have this luxury (legitimetly) because i cant imagine a Protestant saying their Methodist chuch is the one true church. Its just illogical.

The Orthodox Churches are often culturally segregated so I would go Catholic if I didnt have an ethnic community. Thats just me though. The catholics have their own radio, tv, podcasts, newspapers, etc. A huge community with much more 'happenings'.

I submit to the Catholic Church and consider myself a spiritual member. My kids will go to Catholic schools as i did. That should tell you how important i feel it is to be either a member of the Catholic church, or a spiritual member in good standing.

It should be noted that Orthodox have a higher belief in God our creator than Catholics and make the second highest household income next to Jews. We dont have New Age feminist, secular humanist agenda's in our Church either so Orthodox does something right.


Is this what passes for Greek Orthodoxy in Canada?  Certainly doesn't sound like any of the Canadian Greek Orthodox I know. 
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« Reply #50 on: April 01, 2014, 10:12:36 PM »

byhisgrace,

You, have already received a lot of good advice. I would wholeheartedly agree with the majority of what's been said and therefore won't repeat it, what I will do is share my decision making process.
church.
I started out Evangelical like you. And also like you had a desire to find the original Church. As has been suggested I studied each of the schisms and decided which side of them I agreed with. In the end for me it was fairly easy and I didn't have to change much. In the earlier schisms as a Protestant and therefore a child of Rome, come down on the side of the EO/RC, which was at that time united. For the later, Great Schism, as a Protestant I found that much of what I disagreed with Rome on the Eastern Orthodox Church also disagreed with Rome on. For me it was relatively simple.

Now, I will add since that time I come to embrace the notion of a theological unity between EO and OO and pray fervently for a complete unity. Also I have come to have much much more respect for the Roman Church than I ever had as a Protestant, but I still disagree with them on the same doctrinal points I did before.

So, that was my process, yours will have to be your own. If this in any way helped, good that was my intent. If not, oh well, let it go and you've still gotten a lot of good advice before me.
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« Reply #51 on: April 01, 2014, 10:17:04 PM »

In my search I could come to no other conclusion than to side with Eastern Orthodoxy.  It was the Roman Bishop that disrupted the unity of the Church,with the exception of the non-Chalcedonian churches, for which I find that division to be more having to do with semantics than  anything, which in my opinion seems rather silly, although I have been wrong before.

The Bishop of Rome had a lot to do with that, too, according both to them and to us.  Tongue

Mor,

Could you (or Antonious Nikolas) explain this ^, just briefly, given that the book is about $100. Or if this isn't the right place perhaps a PM?

Thanks
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« Reply #52 on: April 01, 2014, 10:42:34 PM »

Thanks for all the advice, everyone!
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« Reply #53 on: April 01, 2014, 10:52:30 PM »

The Catholic Church is the one true Church. The Catholics say that each person has a responsibility and obligation to find the true church (which i agree with) so it's good that your attempting to find the true Church.

Orthodox is not the 'one' true church, it's 'a' true church. I will also suggest that ONLY Orthodox get this luxury of being called a 'true church' that is valid in the eyes of the Catholics.


If you decide to be Orthodox, then you are allowed to consider yourself a 'spiritual member' of the catholic church only if you meet the 2 following criterea.

1. You believe your current church is the true Church. (This was likely an exception for Orthodox only)
2. You admit the Catholic church was the church founded by Jesus Christ (Im Antiochian but I'll agree to submit this to the Catholics as at that time the Churches were one in the same. But go to the Churches in Christs homeland and you'll find Orthodox churches.. Just saying)

If you agree to the above, you become a spiritual member of the Catholic Church so you are safe in that regard. Only Orthodox have this luxury (legitimetly) because i cant imagine a Protestant saying their Methodist chuch is the one true church. Its just illogical.

The Orthodox Churches are often culturally segregated so I would go Catholic if I didnt have an ethnic community. Thats just me though. The catholics have their own radio, tv, podcasts, newspapers, etc. A huge community with much more 'happenings'.

I submit to the Catholic Church and consider myself a spiritual member. My kids will go to Catholic schools as i did. That should tell you how important i feel it is to be either a member of the Catholic church, or a spiritual member in good standing.

It should be noted that Orthodox have a higher belief in God our creator than Catholics and make the second highest household income next to Jews. We dont have New Age feminist, secular humanist agenda's in our Church either so Orthodox does something right.


Is this what passes for Greek Orthodoxy in Canada?  Certainly doesn't sound like any of the Canadian Greek Orthodox I know. 

#cacklesbecackling
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« Reply #54 on: April 01, 2014, 10:53:19 PM »

In my search I could come to no other conclusion than to side with Eastern Orthodoxy.  It was the Roman Bishop that disrupted the unity of the Church,with the exception of the non-Chalcedonian churches, for which I find that division to be more having to do with semantics than  anything, which in my opinion seems rather silly, although I have been wrong before.

The Bishop of Rome had a lot to do with that, too, according both to them and to us.  Tongue

Mor,

Could you (or Antonious Nikolas) explain this ^, just briefly, given that the book is about $100. Or if this isn't the right place perhaps a PM?

Thanks
which book? The VC Samuel one? It should be much cheaper than that!
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« Reply #55 on: April 01, 2014, 11:31:40 PM »

Yeah, when I looked for it on Amazon they had it starting at $99.98. of course I didn't happen to look further so I suppose it could be cheaper elsewhere.

Not that it matters much I just bought a book on my Patron Saint and am looking at another with relevance to Orthodoxy and my profession and am not sure I can even afford that one at the moment.
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« Reply #56 on: April 01, 2014, 11:38:49 PM »

Yeah, when I looked for it on Amazon they had it starting at $99.98. of course I didn't happen to look further so I suppose it could be cheaper elsewhere.

Not that it matters much I just bought a book on my Patron Saint and am looking at another with relevance to Orthodoxy and my profession and am not sure I can even afford that one at the moment.
That is terrible! People at amazon are selling their used books at unreasonable prices while the original seems to be out of print.  HOWEVER...this website might be of assistance:

http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/father-vc-samuel/the-council-of-chalcedon-re-examined/paperback/product-194480.html
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« Reply #57 on: April 02, 2014, 12:32:03 AM »

Thanks Mina
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« Reply #58 on: April 02, 2014, 12:45:02 AM »

Yeah, when I looked for it on Amazon they had it starting at $99.98. of course I didn't happen to look further so I suppose it could be cheaper elsewhere.

Not that it matters much I just bought a book on my Patron Saint and am looking at another with relevance to Orthodoxy and my profession and am not sure I can even afford that one at the moment.
That is terrible! People at amazon are selling their used books at unreasonable prices while the original seems to be out of print.  HOWEVER...this website might be of assistance:

http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/father-vc-samuel/the-council-of-chalcedon-re-examined/paperback/product-194480.html

Xlibris seems to have it cheaper at about $22 for the softcover. I've never purchased from there, however.
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« Reply #59 on: April 02, 2014, 12:59:47 AM »

Thank you also,  Nephi.
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« Reply #60 on: April 02, 2014, 08:06:36 AM »

Mor,

Could you (or Antonious Nikolas) explain this ^, just briefly, given that the book is about $100. Or if this isn't the right place perhaps a PM?

Thanks

I think that my brother Mor was referring to the role played by Pope Leo of Rome and his legates in the Chalcedonian schism, perhaps with specific reference to the ecclesiology they articulated.  Further discussion is more appropriate for the private fora (in fact, there are several threads there dealing with this subject already).
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« Reply #61 on: April 02, 2014, 09:28:42 AM »

Cackles, print out your statement and let your priest read it.

PP
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« Reply #62 on: April 02, 2014, 10:09:11 AM »

...consider myself a spiritual member.

You can consider yourself anything you want. That doesn't mean people agree or that it's true. For example, I consider myself a dead ringer for Angelina Jolie - however that doesn't mean I'll find Brad Pitt waiting for me when I get home this evening. Wink
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« Reply #63 on: April 02, 2014, 10:37:35 AM »


The Catholic Church is the one true Church. The Catholics say that each person has a responsibility and obligation to find the true church (which i agree with) so it's good that your attempting to find the true Church.

Orthodox is not the 'one' true church, it's 'a' true church. I will also suggest that ONLY Orthodox get this luxury of being called a 'true church' that is valid in the eyes of the Catholics.

If you decide to be Orthodox, then you are allowed to consider yourself a 'spiritual member' of the catholic church only if you meet the 2 following criterea.

1. You believe your current church is the true Church. (This was likely an exception for Orthodox only)
2. You admit the Catholic church was the church founded by Jesus Christ (Im Antiochian but I'll agree to submit this to the Catholics as at that time the Churches were one in the same. But go to the Churches in Christs homeland and you'll find Orthodox churches.. Just saying)

If you agree to the above, you become a spiritual member of the Catholic Church so you are safe in that regard. Only Orthodox have this luxury (legitimetly) because i cant imagine a Protestant saying their Methodist chuch is the one true church. Its just illogical.

The Orthodox Churches are often culturally segregated so I would go Catholic if I didnt have an ethnic community. Thats just me though. The catholics have their own radio, tv, podcasts, newspapers, etc. A huge community with much more 'happenings'.

I submit to the Catholic Church and consider myself a spiritual member. My kids will go to Catholic schools as i did. That should tell you how important i feel it is to be either a member of the Catholic church, or a spiritual member in good standing.

It should be noted that Orthodox have a higher belief in God our creator than Catholics and make the second highest household income next to Jews. We dont have New Age feminist, secular humanist agenda's in our Church either so Orthodox does something right.


So...you know where the true Church is...and everyone has a responsibility and an obligation to seek out and join the true Church...but, because of ethnic ties, you're content to remain in some culturally segregated fringe group which could charitably be termed a true church while considering yourself a spiritual member of the true Church...and you feel you're safe in doing so because, unlike the vast majority of the people in this fringe group, you know the secret formula:

If you decide to be Orthodox, then you are allowed to consider yourself a 'spiritual member' of the catholic church only if you meet the 2 following criterea.

1. You believe your current church is the true Church. (This was likely an exception for Orthodox only)
2. You admit the Catholic church was the church founded by Jesus Christ

Even though truly believing point #1 contradicts your stated belief above that the Catholic Church is the true Church and that Orthodoxy is only a true church.

Meanwhile, though, others who wish to invoke this same salvific formula but happen to be - say - Anglicans are screwed.

Did someone tell you about this?  Or is it something you came up with on your own?
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« Reply #64 on: April 02, 2014, 10:42:09 AM »

...consider myself a spiritual member.

You can consider yourself anything you want. That doesn't mean people agree or that it's true. For example, I consider myself a dead ringer for Angelina Jolie - however that doesn't mean I'll find Brad Pitt waiting for me when I get home this evening. Wink


Fine...go and spoil my mental image of you.....

I was taking consolation in the fact that someone nice had Mr Pitt...Wink
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« Reply #65 on: April 02, 2014, 12:13:58 PM »

byhisgrace,

For a primer on the Eastern Orthodox perspective on the nature of the Church, if you have not already done so, please consult The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware (Metropolitan Kallistos Ware).  I would recommend reading the second section on doctrine before the first section on history.  Once you have given this a good read, I could recommend other works concerning authority in the Church and ecclesiology.

If you are really interested in finding out about Orthodoxy, I can't stress enough how good it is to seek out a parish that has English-language services and attending a service like Vespers and then Divine Liturgy.  Or just Divine Liturgy if Vespers is not possible.

Welcome to the forum!
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« Reply #66 on: April 02, 2014, 02:51:14 PM »

The Catholic Church is the one true Church. The Catholics say that each person has a responsibility and obligation to find the true church (which i agree with) so it's good that your attempting to find the true Church.

Orthodox is not the 'one' true church, it's 'a' true church. I will also suggest that ONLY Orthodox get this luxury of being called a 'true church' that is valid in the eyes of the Catholics.


If you decide to be Orthodox, then you are allowed to consider yourself a 'spiritual member' of the catholic church only if you meet the 2 following criterea.

1. You believe your current church is the true Church. (This was likely an exception for Orthodox only)
2. You admit the Catholic church was the church founded by Jesus Christ (Im Antiochian but I'll agree to submit this to the Catholics as at that time the Churches were one in the same. But go to the Churches in Christs homeland and you'll find Orthodox churches.. Just saying)

If you agree to the above, you become a spiritual member of the Catholic Church so you are safe in that regard. Only Orthodox have this luxury (legitimetly) because i cant imagine a Protestant saying their Methodist chuch is the one true church. Its just illogical.

The Orthodox Churches are often culturally segregated so I would go Catholic if I didnt have an ethnic community. Thats just me though. The catholics have their own radio, tv, podcasts, newspapers, etc. A huge community with much more 'happenings'.

I submit to the Catholic Church and consider myself a spiritual member. My kids will go to Catholic schools as i did. That should tell you how important i feel it is to be either a member of the Catholic church, or a spiritual member in good standing.

It should be noted that Orthodox have a higher belief in God our creator than Catholics and make the second highest household income next to Jews. We dont have New Age feminist, secular humanist agenda's in our Church either so Orthodox does something right.


Is this what passes for Greek Orthodoxy in Canada?  Certainly doesn't sound like any of the Canadian Greek Orthodox I know. 

But we are the Catholic Church. The Bible (Vulgate) is ours also. We should all be the spiritual members of the Catholic Church. Now the Pope, religious orders, banking, assets, etc is another issue. I'm speaking from a laypersons point of view.

I personally agree with a 'One True Church' dogma.. or.. Theology or whatever its called.
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« Reply #67 on: April 03, 2014, 03:07:45 AM »

...consider myself a spiritual member.

You can consider yourself anything you want. That doesn't mean people agree or that it's true. For example, I consider myself a dead ringer for Angelina Jolie - however that doesn't mean I'll find Brad Pitt waiting for me when I get home this evening. Wink

Then please, show us pics so we can see how much you look like her.

I agree with you thought hat people can consider themselves what they want. The Catholic Church allows spiritual members of the Church. That's what i am and hope all of you guys can be. What a nice gesture to show unity before God. But I'm Othodox first and foremost obviously.
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« Reply #68 on: June 06, 2014, 09:46:30 AM »

I went through what you are going through. I tried Anglican for a while, but later on, after a lot of studying and reading (the books by Kalistos Ware are great) decided that though some of them are Orthodox at heart, the whole is not. Just my opinion. I eventually found a ROCOR Parish, and am very happy being a member of ROCOR. Though I prefer the Eastern Rite, both ROCOR and the Antiochian Orthodox Church (who are in full communion) (many in the US and Canada) both have a small number of Western Rite Parishes. I would not hesitate to attend one of these, if there is one available to you. There are some Anglican Churches that are virtually Orthodox, and if all else fails, you could attend one of these: I know I will catch h--- for saying this.
 God knows your heart, men don't, and like the wise fellow said above in another posting, we all tend to favor our particular way. Sometimes you just have to take the step of faith, and let God show you if you have done the right thing. The "still small voice behind", not in front. I would avoid anything that has "Episcopal" in it's name, since the Episcopal Church went apostate in the 70's (actually before that). If all else fails, Churches of the APA (Anglican Province of America) and the Anglican Orthodox Church would be worth visiting. They aren't "perfect", but very good, probably the best of the Anglican groups. I look for them to be fully Orthodox, in time.  I hope no-one calls me a heretic for this advice.
 In reality, you really need to get away from the Protestant Churches. As good as some may be, they are missing a lot of the fullness of the faith.
 Best wishes, and may God and His "still small voice behind you" gently direct you in the direction you should go. It is definitely worth taking that step, into the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #69 on: June 14, 2014, 10:29:29 PM »

The Catholic Church is the one true Church. The Catholics say that each person has a responsibility and obligation to find the true church (which i agree with) so it's good that your attempting to find the true Church.

Orthodox is not the 'one' true church, it's 'a' true church. I will also suggest that ONLY Orthodox get this luxury of being called a 'true church' that is valid in the eyes of the Catholics.

If you decide to be Orthodox, then you are allowed to consider yourself a 'spiritual member' of the catholic church only if you meet the 2 following criterea.

1. You believe your current church is the true Church. (This was likely an exception for Orthodox only)
2. You admit the Catholic church was the church founded by Jesus Christ (Im Antiochian but I'll agree to submit this to the Catholics as at that time the Churches were one in the same. But go to the Churches in Christs homeland and you'll find Orthodox churches.. Just saying)

If you agree to the above, you become a spiritual member of the Catholic Church so you are safe in that regard. Only Orthodox have this luxury (legitimetly) because i cant imagine a Protestant saying their Methodist chuch is the one true church. Its just illogical.

The Orthodox Churches are often culturally segregated so I would go Catholic if I didnt have an ethnic community. Thats just me though. The catholics have their own radio, tv, podcasts, newspapers, etc. A huge community with much more 'happenings'.

I submit to the Catholic Church and consider myself a spiritual member. My kids will go to Catholic schools as i did. That should tell you how important i feel it is to be either a member of the Catholic church, or a spiritual member in good standing.

It should be noted that Orthodox have a higher belief in God our creator than Catholics and make the second highest household income next to Jews. We dont have New Age feminist, secular humanist agenda's in our Church either so Orthodox does something right.

Cackles,

So, let me get this straight...

You believe that the Catholic Church is the true Church founded by Christ, but you would rather remain Antiochian Orthodox and just be a "spiritual member of the Catholic Church"?

Am I correct?

If so, then you can't remain Antiochian Orthodox. There is no such thing of a non-Catholic being a "spiritual member of the Catholic Church". You are obligated then to become a formal member of the Catholic Church.

Here is what Article 846 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about that:

Quote
"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.
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« Reply #70 on: June 14, 2014, 11:00:12 PM »

If so, then you can't remain Antiochian Orthodox. There is no such thing of a non-Catholic being a "spiritual member of the Catholic Church". You are obligated then to become a formal member of the Catholic Church.

What about Brother Roger of Taize? He seems to have considered himself a spiritual member of the Catholic Church despite being Protestant and having never formally switched, and he was communed personally by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict.
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« Reply #71 on: June 15, 2014, 08:47:15 AM »

Someone above mentioned the RC's liberal social agenda. I am personally aware of, and have spoken with a lesbian couple who were "so happy they were Catholic" because they were allowed by their Priest to participate fully in all that their Church offered, including Communion. Also another time, at a doctors office, the nurse was wearing a Cross, so I asked her where she attended Church, and she said she was "Catholic", and I asked her if that was RC, and she affirmed this. I asked the name of her Church, and she told me, and again, was so happy that their Priest was so liberal and let same sex couples have full privileges in the Church. She mentioned another RC Church in a neighboring community that also had a liberal Priest, and also allowed same sex couples to communicate. Of course, some will say "why are you singling out this particular sin". The people I spoke with mentioned this particular sin, so that is why I mentioned it here. If some would like to expand this to other sins that the RC allow to go on in their Church, then feel free to add to the list. I personally, am not aware of an Orthodox Church that allows this.   

















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« Reply #72 on: June 15, 2014, 11:56:59 AM »

I went through what you are going through. I tried Anglican for a while, but later on, after a lot of studying and reading (the books by Kalistos Ware are great) decided that though some of them are Orthodox at heart, the whole is not. Just my opinion. I eventually found a ROCOR Parish, and am very happy being a member of ROCOR. Though I prefer the Eastern Rite, both ROCOR and the Antiochian Orthodox Church (who are in full communion) (many in the US and Canada) both have a small number of Western Rite Parishes. I would not hesitate to attend one of these, if there is one available to you. There are some Anglican Churches that are virtually Orthodox, and if all else fails, you could attend one of these: I know I will catch h--- for saying this.
 God knows your heart, men don't, and like the wise fellow said above in another posting, we all tend to favor our particular way. Sometimes you just have to take the step of faith, and let God show you if you have done the right thing. The "still small voice behind", not in front. I would avoid anything that has "Episcopal" in it's name, since the Episcopal Church went apostate in the 70's (actually before that). If all else fails, Churches of the APA (Anglican Province of America) and the Anglican Orthodox Church would be worth visiting. They aren't "perfect", but very good, probably the best of the Anglican groups. I look for them to be fully Orthodox, in time.  I hope no-one calls me a heretic for this advice.
 In reality, you really need to get away from the Protestant Churches. As good as some may be, they are missing a lot of the fullness of the faith.
 Best wishes, and may God and His "still small voice behind you" gently direct you in the direction you should go. It is definitely worth taking that step, into the Orthodox Church.

Good, solid advice.
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« Reply #73 on: June 15, 2014, 06:18:29 PM »

Can anyone answer for me whether my eternal salvation is at stake, when it comes to which Church I decide to join?

Greetings to you and welcome to the forum.  In reply to your inquiry, I'd say yes your eternal salvation is at stake regarding your choice of a Church since this is where you will be spiritually nurtured, but I'd have to qualify it also.  I have been raised Greek Orthodox (more Greek than Orthodox as is usually the case growing up in commonly ethnocentric Greek-American churches) and early on in my youth I experienced little spiritual growth due primarily to my own neglect but also in good part to a lack of good instruction and spirituality in my local parishes.  Regardless, I have found if we sincerely seek out Orthodoxy we will begin to find the fullest expression of the christian faith.  Does this imply there is no other church where we may live the christian life and grow in grace - I personally think it does not. However, the less truth the greater the risk of being led astray and losing even that which we have, eventually falling away. 

I'd also like to offer something else which may further qualify what I've previously stated.  The sum of Christ's commandments is love (faith must work by love and cannot stand alone if it is true faith) so the sum of our christian faith is love for God and humanity.  I have had some helpful experiences of meeting good people of mainline denominations who lived out their christian faith through an intimate love for God, christian virtues of faith, sincerity, purity and a genuine compassion for humanity; this evidently impressed upon me that there are indeed good christians in the world and many of them are actually not in Orthodox parishes.  My point here is that it's preferable to have christian love than dead orthodoxy; but ideally the fullest christian life is experienced in a faithful Orthodox Church with good instruction, sufficient fellowship and the blessings of true sacramental worship.

I'd also like to say a few things on the 'catholic church' when I have a little more time. May God guide you in your decisions.

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« Reply #74 on: June 15, 2014, 06:27:36 PM »

I can only answer definitively about the Nestorian (Assyrian) Church.

Since it's essentially proven that St. Mary was Theotokos before the Christological controversy in 431, I think it's a safe bet that they are wrong. I bet someone's going to accuse me of being unfair to them because they are a minority group...

As for Rome, lots of things don't add up for me, but I don't have the time to go over them all.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 06:28:30 PM by xOrthodox4Christx » Logged

"Rationalists are admirable beings, rationalism is a hideous monster when it claims for itself omnipotence. Attribution of omnipotence to reason is as bad a piece of idolatry as is worship of stock and stone, believing it to be God." (Mahatma Gandhi)
Cackles
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Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian (Canada)
Posts: 335



« Reply #75 on: June 19, 2014, 12:05:15 AM »

The Catholic Church is the one true Church. The Catholics say that each person has a responsibility and obligation to find the true church (which i agree with) so it's good that your attempting to find the true Church.

Orthodox is not the 'one' true church, it's 'a' true church. I will also suggest that ONLY Orthodox get this luxury of being called a 'true church' that is valid in the eyes of the Catholics.

If you decide to be Orthodox, then you are allowed to consider yourself a 'spiritual member' of the catholic church only if you meet the 2 following criterea.

1. You believe your current church is the true Church. (This was likely an exception for Orthodox only)
2. You admit the Catholic church was the church founded by Jesus Christ (Im Antiochian but I'll agree to submit this to the Catholics as at that time the Churches were one in the same. But go to the Churches in Christs homeland and you'll find Orthodox churches.. Just saying)

If you agree to the above, you become a spiritual member of the Catholic Church so you are safe in that regard. Only Orthodox have this luxury (legitimetly) because i cant imagine a Protestant saying their Methodist chuch is the one true church. Its just illogical.

The Orthodox Churches are often culturally segregated so I would go Catholic if I didnt have an ethnic community. Thats just me though. The catholics have their own radio, tv, podcasts, newspapers, etc. A huge community with much more 'happenings'.

I submit to the Catholic Church and consider myself a spiritual member. My kids will go to Catholic schools as i did. That should tell you how important i feel it is to be either a member of the Catholic church, or a spiritual member in good standing.

It should be noted that Orthodox have a higher belief in God our creator than Catholics and make the second highest household income next to Jews. We dont have New Age feminist, secular humanist agenda's in our Church either so Orthodox does something right.

Cackles,

So, let me get this straight...

You believe that the Catholic Church is the true Church founded by Christ, but you would rather remain Antiochian Orthodox and just be a "spiritual member of the Catholic Church"?

Am I correct?

If so, then you can't remain Antiochian Orthodox. There is no such thing of a non-Catholic being a "spiritual member of the Catholic Church". You are obligated then to become a formal member of the Catholic Church.

Here is what Article 846 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about that:

Quote
"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.


You made an error and misread what i wrote.

You have to believe your CURRENT church is the True Chruch. So if you believe Orthodox is the True church (or I guess you consider our church same as the Catholic church). That was likely written in as an exception only for the Orthodox church.

However, you MUST admit that the Catholic church is founded by Jesus Christ. I am willing to admit this as we were once the same for almost a thousand years. They are bigger and have lasted the test of time, meaning, God allowed them to continue. So sure Im willing to conced to them Jesus founded their Church.

Now however, if i was anything outside Catholic or Orthodox, I personally would not be a member of those churches. You have to admit your church is the True church. If you really believe your evangelical church is the True church, then by all means stick with it. This means you are ignorant through no fault of your own. If you will not admit Jesus founded the church, then that could mean your willingly ingnorant so tead cautiously.
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The above post is intended for discussion purposes and is comprised of my personal opinion.
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