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Author Topic: Where is the Love in Eastern Orthodoxy?  (Read 17809 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: April 21, 2005, 02:26:39 AM »

This is a very important question. In Orthodoxy, what we have is right worship and right doctrine. However, many Orthodox Christians become so obsessed with being right that they become absolutely wrong in their outlook on life and the way they treat their fellow human beings.

Many Orthodox Christians are so sectarian that they fail to see the broader picture of life and therefore, are unable to truly love anyone outside of the Orthodox community. Some Orthodox Christians are so sectarian that they are unable to love anyone outside of their own particular church.

I believe this rigid sectarianism prevents us from seeing the true purpose of Christian life.
What are we as Christians without love?
1 Corinthians 13 is one chapter of the Bible which many Orthodox Christians should read more often and take to the heart.
Saint Paul concludes with, "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

There are many Roman Catholic and Protestant charities in the United States that share their love to the world through positive action. In the Orthodox Churches, there is right worship and there is right doctrine but is there right action? I have not heard of any successful Orthodox charities but this may be do to an ignorance.

In Mark 2:27, Jesus states, "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."
Likewise, the Church was made for man, not man for the Church. The liturgy was made for man, not man for the liturgy.

When we become so rigid about Orthodox tradition that we fail to appreciate, tolerate, and love Christians who are outside of the realm of Orthodoxy, then we have become no different from the Pharisees:

Matthew 23
"23
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes 12 of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. (But) these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
24
13 Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!"

So many Orthodox Christians strain out the gnat and swallow the camel and therefore neglect the weightier matters of the faith: Love, peace, charity.

Some of the Orthodox Christians on this forum are so closedminded that they are not even able to appreciate Oriental Orthodox Christians for not being Chalcedonian. But in the final analysis, I don't think Jesus is going to care about what semantics we used in christology.

Seriously, What would Jesus do?
Granted, traditional theology and traditional liturgy are highly important.
But would Jesus care more about tradition than love for your fellow man?
Would Jesus care more about sectarianism than having peace with the whole of Christianity?
Would Jesus care more about rigid continuity than charity?

In some Orthodox Christians circles, their "Christianity" is not Christian at all for they have become so obsessed with being "right" that they've forgotten what right things really matter.

I hope that I am not the only one who feels this way.
I am not trying to start a debate or controversy.
Just look into your heart and ask yourself if you are living out your faith in the way that Jesus would want you to.

May peace be upon thee nad with thy spirit.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2005, 02:35:16 AM by Matthew777 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2005, 02:34:30 AM »

It is seen in the everyday life of Orthodox Christians as they perform works of mercy, give alms, do small kindnesses to those around them, and witness by their everyday life to their christian beliefs by their actions..  As an Eastern Orthodox Christian we are taught to look at every person as an Icon of Christ---the true image of Christ.  Regretfully, as is often the case on the internet,  as we discuss doctrine and theology these basic everyday principles of Orthodox Christianity are often lost with the passion of the moment and the anonimity of the internet forums.

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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2005, 05:53:02 AM »

This is a very important question. In Orthodoxy, what we have is right worship and right doctrine. However, many Orthodox Christians become so obsessed with being right that they become absolutely wrong in their outlook on life and the way they treat their fellow human beings.

Many Orthodox Christians are so sectarian that they fail to see the broader picture of life and therefore, are unable to truly love anyone outside of the Orthodox community. Some Orthodox Christians are so sectarian that they are unable to love anyone outside of their own particular church.

I believe this rigid sectarianism prevents us from seeing the true purpose of Christian life.
What are we as Christians without love?
1 Corinthians 13 is one chapter of the Bible which many Orthodox Christians should read more often and take to the heart.
Saint Paul concludes with, "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

There are many Roman Catholic and Protestant charities in the United States that share their love to the world through positive action. In the Orthodox Churches, there is right worship and there is right doctrine but is there right action? I have not heard of any successful Orthodox charities but this may be do to an ignorance.

Matthew,

Yes, it is due to ignorance - the simple task of doing a net search on "Orthodox charities" would have made you aware of International Orthodox Christian Charities, which is presently mourning its visionary founder, His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, of blessed memory, a man who put Orthodoxy into the forefront of social action when he marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King at Selma, Alabama, 40 years ago.  The IOCC has done work in Kosovo, in aid of the Tsunami victims, in HIV/AIDS relief in Romania, to name just a few of its initiatives.

There are countless other smaller Orthodox charitable outreaches, from the local Church level through the Archdiocesan levels, in both Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches - look around before you start casting stones.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2005, 06:46:58 AM »

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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2005, 06:53:17 AM »

God is among us.


Author, you are making some interesting observations. But at the same time I think that you are generalising to the extreme. I am first to go this way and to generalise and for it I feel sorry, because generalisation is never charitable. So as one generalisator to another I'd like to say that, I agree with statements regarding love but disagree with using the Church in a context of MANY MEMBERS.

Firstly, how many orthodox do you know? I mean, in the first person, as somebody with whom your ate, talked, argued, laughed or cryed... so on. I catch myself doing this all the time... and it a real pain for me. I dont think that anyone can use term 'many' as a critique, unless he/she has conducted a some sort of a research. I am not throwing rocks at you, I am just saying that I am first one to do this and for this reason I'd like to share with you my own thoughts on my own actions that, it seems, you are making/repeating here.

I fully agree with statements regarding love. However, love can not be used for general critique. No one can use love or lack of thereof as a generalising term (in a context of using it pro/contra one whole community or majority).

"Many Orthodox Christians are so sectarian that they fail to see the broader picture of life and therefore, are unable to truly love anyone outside of the Orthodox community. Some Orthodox Christians are so sectarian that they are unable to love anyone outside of their own particular church."
I think this is a wrong statement. I just do not think of any orthodox as sectarian. Maybe, because I can see where that charachter trait that you consider sactarian comes from.

You are using many quotes from Holy Gospel and Apostle in order to prove the phariseeism of "many" orthodox. Again, generalisation is not a valid form of argument. It would be much better to talk to those memebers who are influencing you to have this kind of oppinion and pray.

But would Jesus care more about tradition than love for your fellow man?
I  think that it is a unrealistic argument to argue between Works of Christ and love of it and Tradition and love of it. Tradition IS THE preserved teaching on Works of Christ so arguing between these is non-argument.

Would Jesus care more about sectarianism than having peace with the whole of Christianity?
I think that we have to more define 'sectariasm' at this stage and 'peace with the whole Christianity' before answering this question. In my mind not all 'sectariasm' (as you call it) is bad and not every 'peace' is good.

"Some of the Orthodox Christians on this forum are so closedminded that they are not even able to appreciate Oriental Orthodox Christians for not being Chalcedonian. But in the final analysis, I don't think Jesus is going to care about what semantics we used in christology."
This is true, and? What would you have us do? Burn them alive?


It is obvious to me that you feel somewhat 'down' and that something is making you feel that way. At the same time this 'something' is making you see all of (or atleast majority) of the body of Lord in a certain, somewhat negative way.
I agree that in my parish there are people who are not very charitable when it comes to some ethinc groups (croats, bosnian moslems) or people of 'different' sexuallity (gay) but it not my place to now call all of the Church as anti-croat. I just think that it is a very dangerous way to start thinking this way.

I think that Church is doing fine as a general term. Members who make it, ah well... we are all sick. Thats why we are here.


And as an answer on you question... The love is everywhere.


God bless you.
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2005, 07:24:25 AM »

You are right Matthew... but on the other hand:

It was said concerning Abba Agathon that some monks came to find him, having heard tell of his great discernment. Wanting to see if he would lose his temper, they said to him, "Aren't you that Agathon who is said to be a fornicator and a proud man?" "Yes, it is very true," he answered. They resumed, "Aren't you that Agathon who lacks love for his fellow man?" "I am." Again they said, "Aren't you Agathon the heretic?" But at that, he replied, "I am not a heretic." So they asked him, "Tell us why you accepted everything we cast you, but repudiated this last insult." He replied, "The first accusations I take to myself, for that is good for my soul. But heresy is separation from God. Now I have no wish to be separated from God." At this saying they were astonished at his discernment and returned, edified.
- The Desert Fathers
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2005, 10:19:08 AM »

When I griped to my RC priest friend about the comments of Bishop Tikhon about JPII on the Indiana List, he reminded me that we shouldn't judge a religion by its weakest members because that only proves the existence of original sin. 
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2005, 11:09:09 AM »


Arguments like WWJD, doesn't theology in the end not really matter, isn't social service the most important thing, etc. remind me of the current ethos of liberal leaning western Christianity. They have lost confidence in revelation and in eternal truth, so they replace it with emotion, sentiment and "diversity".  This of course puts man at the apex of their belief system and leads in the end to the justification of sin, because if it feels right, that becomes the baseline for what is acceptable.  Nobody is left out, nobody is made to feel different, and nobody is wrong (unless you actually argue that doctrine is in fact important).

We know that Christ is the truth, and he has revealed to us his full intentions for man, and he has given us his church.  We cannot have Christ apart from the truth, such a thing is not possible.  Love is not compromising truth to make people feel better, in fact in the end it's a violence upon the soul.  True love then is living the truth, and it should be manifested in all of us in repentance, humility and compassion.  When we fall away from these things, as I do every day, I don’t blame the church for it.  The problem is me, I am the sinful and unworthy servant.

True love then will exist fully when we all live out what the church calls us to be.  True destruction will come about when we decide we can alter the truth as we need, or set aside what God has placed before us. 

We will not be judged by how much we give to charity or how good we make other people feel.
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2005, 11:16:39 AM »

What are we as Christians without love?  What are we as Christians without the Truth?... for God is Love and Truth.  Matthew, read Christos Yannaros on the "heresy of pietism". You can find it on the internet.
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2005, 12:19:54 PM »

You are right Matthew... but on the other hand:

It was said concerning Abba Agathon that some monks came to find him, having heard tell of his great discernment. Wanting to see if he would lose his temper, they said to him, "Aren't you that Agathon who is said to be a fornicator and a proud man?" "Yes, it is very true," he answered. They resumed, "Aren't you that Agathon who lacks love for his fellow man?" "I am." Again they said, "Aren't you Agathon the heretic?" But at that, he replied, "I am not a heretic." So they asked him, "Tell us why you accepted everything we cast you, but repudiated this last insult." He replied, "The first accusations I take to myself, for that is good for my soul. But heresy is separation from God. Now I have no wish to be separated from God." At this saying they were astonished at his discernment and returned, edified.
- The Desert Fathers

I like this, icxn, where is it from?  Isn't there a book called "Sayings of the Desert Fathers"?  If yes, then how big is it?  I keep hearing "Desert Fathers" this and that and am sure I've read and heard many stories here and there, but actually haven't read any books per se, but don't want something long and overwhelming (e.g. Fr. Seraphim's Biography). 
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2005, 12:34:18 PM »

Tradition IS THE preserved teaching on Works of Christ so arguing between these is non-argument.

It is a rather valid argument. If you have tradition but not love, then the tradition does not matter.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2005, 12:49:18 PM »

Quote
There are many Roman Catholic and Protestant charities in the United States that share their love to the world through positive action. In the Orthodox Churches, there is right worship and there is right doctrine but is there right action? I have not heard of any successful Orthodox charities but this may be do to an ignorance.

My parish is working a soup kitchen, frequently holding fundraisers for many charitable endeavors -- domestic and international, and helping members and non-members who are bedridden at home or in the hospital. This has been the case with every parish I've attended.

What did you mean by "successful" charities? I would consider one belly filled by one Christian's loving act a successful charity.
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2005, 12:54:18 PM »


I like this, icxn, where is it from? Isn't there a book called "Sayings of the Desert Fathers"? If yes, then how big is it? I keep hearing "Desert Fathers" this and that and am sure I've read and heard many stories here and there, but actually haven't read any books per se, but don't want something long and overwhelming (e.g. Fr. Seraphim's Biography).

Hi Elisha,

Yes, "The Sayings of the Desert Fathers" and the "Lives of the Desert Fathers." You can buy them both from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0879079347/qid=1114101311/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/102-8876127-7555303?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

And they are not very lengthy either, about 200 pages each.

Enjoy,
icxn
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2005, 02:28:45 PM »

My parish is working a soup kitchen, frequently holding fundraisers for many charitable endeavors


That is very good to hear. As of now, there are not any Orthodox charities in my town. But then again, we could start one. I am sure that there are individual acts of charity but it would be good to have a charitable organization.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2005, 02:32:43 PM »

I hope I am not the only one who has noticed the pharisaical attitude of certain Orthodox Christians. I have been guilty of this from time to time and I am sorry for that.
Tradition is important but we need not make an idol out of it, an obsticle that prevents us from loving our fellow human beings.

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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2005, 10:03:42 PM »

Matthew777:

You're going to have the Pharisaical attitude in all faiths and walks of life... it may seem more pronounced in our Church where tradition goes back nearly 2000 years.

You are also correct in pointing out that we cannot worship the Tradition; on the other hand, from a pastoral perspective, one also has to see that people will naturally grab for the Tradition, often at the expense of the Truth... and it is our jobs to show them how there is no discontinuity with certain things that are loving and different - they can equally be extensions of the same Tradition in a new Era.

In the end, the Holy Spirit guides the Tradition; but we cannot become Tradition-nazi's or Tradition-worshippers.  Neither can we become Tradition-phobes or Tradition-clasts.  (New words to the Orthodox dictionary?)
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2005, 11:40:30 PM »

I hope I am not the only one who has noticed the pharisaical attitude of certain Orthodox Christians. I have been guilty of this from time to time and I am sorry for that.
Tradition is important but we need not make an idol out of it, an obsticle that prevents us from loving our fellow human beings.



Matthew, Actually there are many times when I have felt exactly as your original post.  Let me tell you why.  I know of Orthodox Charities.. the IOCC, and also the Ladies Philoptochos.. which is the largest female charity organization in this country... There is also Project Mexico orphanage and community building project. However,  there are several issues that create the feeling that Orthodox are a 'closed door' to the ills of the world.  One is that these efforts are very low profile...In general you may hear about them if you belong to the church, but that is not a given... The parishes and Metropolitans  don't necessarily promote supporting the IOCC or Project Mexico.  Hence, many Orthodox don't know enough about the organizations and how they can participate- such as yourself...  And the low profile of the organizations to me is a symptom of the problem you have mentioned.. how to reach out to the non-Orthodox to help with worthy causes..It creates and impression that we are not interested in working with others for charitable causes.  While parishes run festivals to ease the parish budget...sometimes there is an event within it for Philoptochos... but not always... And I've never seen any event or statement at a festival saying that a percent of the proceed would fund the IOCC or Project Mexico...and some of these festivals make several hundred thousand dollars...
Recently,  I experienced something similar to what you describe....focus on 'tradtion' but not Christianity... In our startup we had the opportunity to use a local motel... a reputable chain  that had a banquet room free every Sunday morning.. and they would set up the chairs for us and clean up...at dirt cheap prices...It was on a major state road, clean, well located, and used by local businesses during the week for training and meetings...so it was ideal.... The parishioners complained that the motel would offer rooms to the homeless in winter and they didn't want to be near that... Can you imagine...?? I told them "so does the Waldorf!"  I suggested that this was a major opportunity for us "... why not run our clothing sale there, or a glendi, and benefit the homeless?  What a way to help start the parish, get visibility in the community, and do good works at the same time..." It would have been front page local news...  I was persona non grata with this idea...  The  people want all charity to go to the parish first...so they can build their gargantuan structure...but I believe  a parish must payback the community as it goes forward.. even if only 500$. While I know not everyone feels this way, the problem was that the clergy and hierarchy did not intervene in this situation to 'show the way'... so everyone now feels justified they were right....
The other issue that works against the Orthodox church image of Christian living... is that the various denominations of Orthodoxy, while collegially joined in SCOBA, really don't have a strong visible voice to lead the discussion on charity and good works... the message is left up to Philoptochos and IOCC to do this on their own...and the local bishops... so it is 'piecemeal'...a small group   fragmented further...

I tend to believe that tradition only has value if it leads to  acts which reflect Christ's commandments to his people...  preserving traditions without proactively living the Word is like maintaining an antique car that can't be driven... It's like saying "Christ is risen, he is our saviour, this is how tradition says to worship Him" and then we forget to emphasize "and this is how He told us to live"...

Forgive me readers if I sound cynical.. but after 2 years on Parish Council, meeting with hierarchy and leaders of the church at large, I can tell you that all is not rosey in our earthly paradise... politics loom large, the rich and mighty have significant influence over the impoverished congregations and hierarchs...and while there are people and clergy that work very hard and are good hearted and well-meaning... I can tell you that is not the overall feeling I was left with after my up- close view...talk about a shocker....I have a collegue whose Papou started Ionian village working in the Archdiocese for Iakovos... and she feels the same way....

May God show mercy on us for  what we on earth have done to His church...

In XC, Kizzy




 

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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2005, 11:51:59 PM »

Kizzy, I think what you describe could fit many churches.  I have seen myself (and include myself):

- Trouble practicing what one preaches, especially in regards to the poor and afflicted.
- The ugliness of church politics.

I think this is more of a general Christian problem than it is one specific to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2005, 12:25:27 AM »

Kizzy, I think what you describe could fit many churches. I have seen myself (and include myself):

- Trouble practicing what one preaches, especially in regards to the poor and afflicted.
- The ugliness of church politics.

I think this is more of a general Christian problem than it is one specific to Orthodoxy.

Actually it is a problem in any organization run by people... which includes churches... But the issue for us, getting back to Matthew's post,  is the 'pretense' of the righteousness of Orthodoxy when we have the same human weaknesses as everyone else...some on this site state the rottenness of only Catholicism.. but i see the weaknesses in ours as well...so neither RC or the Orthodox church is 'perfect' through and through.. both have improvement opportunities...but the first step is recognizing the weaknesses...which is tough to do with so much energy devoted to 'we are the only True Church' ...and so much anger against the RC and Protestant faiths...

In XC, Kizzy

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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2005, 02:42:29 PM »

In my Church, we uphold Orthodox tradition but without having the internal political feuds that plague other Orthodox Churches. We are also open-minded and tolerant about non-Orthodox Christians.
On the other hand, we could perhaps do more charity work.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2005, 03:03:57 PM »

We are also open-minded and tolerant about non-Orthodox Christians.

[sarcasm]
Mmmmm, what a warm fuzzie feeling all over! Afro
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« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2005, 03:11:43 PM »

In my church we hold hands and listen to Donovan records.
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« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2005, 03:13:48 PM »

In my church we have a special second reading at vespers from "Jonathan Livingston Seagull"
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« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2005, 03:24:51 PM »

Tradition vs. Traditionalism.  Great.  This one again.

So we have some dead tradition of the living in our churches.  I don't think the answer is to discard tradition so that we all feel good and then allow any putrid heresy to fester in our churches because "we aren't going to be pharisaical." 

Tossing tradition out is at least as bad as blindly living according to a misunderstood tradition.
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« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2005, 03:32:05 PM »

Tossing tradition out is at least as bad as blindly living according to a misunderstood tradition.

We can hold fast to our tradition without being self-righteous about it. There is no reason why we should not love and tolerate people outside of our Church.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2005, 03:56:18 PM »

In my church we have a special second reading at vespers from "Jonathan Livingston Seagull"

You too? We also gather for circle time where we talk about what a bunch of judgmental jerks everybody else are.
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« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2005, 04:00:22 PM »

Oh yes, generally after this we finish with a service that explores the practices of other faith traditions.  We then get in our Jettas and head out to the mall...
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« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2005, 04:05:42 PM »

I don't understand why you are attempting to make a joke out of this thread. Huh
I have addressed important issues and truths. If we are unable to love anyone outside of Orthodoxy then we are not even Christian.
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« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2005, 04:10:05 PM »

I don't understand why you are attempting to make a joke out of this thread.  Huh
I have addressed important issues and truths. If we are unable to love anyone outside of  Orthodoxy then we are not even Christian.

You unfortunately addressed those by means of a note wrapped around a huge boulder that you hurled at the rest of us.  If you can't even love those within Orthodoxy...
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« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2005, 04:10:47 PM »

I don't understand why you are attempting to make a joke out of this thread.  Huh
I have addressed important issues and truths. If we are unable to love anyone outside of  Orthodoxy then we are not even Christian.

Matthew,
I think it may be that there is nothing to really say. As Christians, we're called to love everyone. We know this. We try... we fall short... we try again. However, any personal failings shouldn't make us question the importance of Orthodox doctrine.
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« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2005, 04:13:14 PM »

Because, although you have no consistent opinions, you have been consistently creating divisive threads. During lent, no less.

Are you simply immature and very inquisitive, or are you a troll?
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« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2005, 04:13:31 PM »

If we are unable to love anyone outside of Orthodoxy then we are not even Christian.

Ditto when we set ourselves up as the judge of other Christians. Maybe you failed to glean that out of my sarcasm.
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« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2005, 04:22:46 PM »



Matthew,
I think it may be that there is nothing to really say. As Christians, we're called to love everyone. We know this. We try... we fall short... we try again. However, any personal failings shouldn't make us question the importance of Orthodox doctrine.

Orthodox doctine is important but doctrine without love is dead. Sometimes I have been so closedminded where I could not love anyone. I felt angry against anyone who expressed unorthodox opinions. I failed to see the icon of Christ within every individual and for that I am sorry.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2005, 04:24:57 PM »



Orthodox doctine is important but doctrine without love is dead. Sometimes I have been so closedminded where I could not love anyone. I felt angry against anyone who expressed unorthodox opinions. I failed to see the icon of Christ within every individual and for that I am sorry.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.


And the cure is to tell the rest of us that we're doing it? Huh
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« Reply #34 on: April 22, 2005, 04:38:30 PM »



And the cure is to tell the rest of us that we're doing it? Huh

Doing so repeatedly also enhances the cathartic effect.
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« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2005, 04:45:29 PM »



And the cure is to tell the rest of us that we're doing it? Huh

Well, it happens on this forum all the time. Think of how many times I have been called "unorthodox" for being non-Chalcedonian.
Think of how some have accused Billy Graham of being a "false prophet" even though he has spread the Gospel to more people than anyone before.
Or how about the claim that we shouldn't pray the Hail Mary because it is a "Catholic prayer" even though we recite it in the liturgy?
This is the sort of Orthodox pharisaism I have been talking about. I am sorry if I have upset anyone but this super-correct attitude is displayed on this forum too often.
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« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2005, 05:07:16 PM »

I still don't think that what Christ had in mind when he told us to remove the plank from our own eye first was that we smack everyone else with it afterwards.
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« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2005, 06:25:28 PM »

Haha! Orthodox on my side of the fence do not pray the Catholic Hail Mary!!


Wooo! I'm a pharisee!!! Does that mean I get a big hat like the ones that the claimants to the Phanar wear?
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« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2005, 06:28:10 PM »

I dont think anyone else here exhibits any problem with OO/non-Chalcedoneans, nor does anyone else appear to feel some "hurt" about it. This is one of the most accepting and tolerant forums I've ever seen. Discussion happens about the theological side of things, but guess what? Being called 'unorthodox" probably just means that whoever is describing you as such thinks your ideas are out in left field, or "unorthodox." No one's calling you names.
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« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2005, 07:59:31 PM »

No one's calling you names.

Because he's not really Orthodox - read his religion entry.

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« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2005, 08:01:58 PM »

I still don't think that what Christ had in mind when he told us to remove the plank from our own eye first was that we smack everyone else with it afterwards.

I am not attempting to smack you with a plank. I am reminding us to love each other and the people of the world, whether Orthodox or non-Orthodox.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2005, 08:02:25 PM »

Because this is a pan-Orthodox site, and includes Eastern and Oriental Orthodox posters, I'd appreciate it if Elisha would ammend his statement to read, "Because he is not Eastern Orthodox."

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« Reply #42 on: April 22, 2005, 08:52:20 PM »

Because this is a pan-Orthodox site, and includes Eastern and Oriental Orthodox posters, I'd appreciate it if Elisha would ammend his statement to read, "Because he is not Eastern Orthodox."

Anastasios

Fine, you can do it for me if you want.  It doesn't really make any difference though with all the talk about joining a Benedictine Monastery.
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« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2005, 01:40:00 AM »

Quote
Think of how some have accused Billy Graham of being a "false prophet" even though he has spread the Gospel to more people than anyone before.

Oh come on, Billy is a fly-by-night evangelist. He's a blip on the radar screen. The Saints and Fathers and Mothers in the Orthodox Catholic Church were spreading the Gospel for nearly two thousand years before his sect was contrived.

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« Reply #44 on: April 23, 2005, 01:43:01 AM »

Think of how many people he has actually preached to. Though he is a Protestant, I'd bet that at least 90% of what he teaches concerning the Gospel is correct. It is great that we have someone as influential and charismatic to spread the Gospel as Billy Graham.
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« Reply #45 on: April 23, 2005, 03:28:33 PM »

Think of how many people he has actually preached to. Though he is a Protestant, I'd bet that at least 90% of what he teaches concerning the Gospel is correct. It is great that we have someone as influential and charismatic to spread the Gospel as Billy Graham.

I agree.... To me the strength of Billy Graham is his ability/ goal to speak to multitudes on scripture... too bad he isn't EO or too bad the EO leadership don't  follow at least some of his approach of charisma  to reach people...  if the EO hierarchs took this on as an effort, then the scripture would be consistent with the church... but our hierarchs tend not to 'teach' the multitudes looking for faith, only those already in the church....and on this they struggle to find the right words.. some priests are great in the homily, others awful... so we have left alot of room for evangelists like BG to work...and then people  criticize him for it...Better him than Sun myong moon(sp) or Osama bin laden..

in XC, Kizzy

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« Reply #46 on: April 23, 2005, 06:39:51 PM »

As Jesus said, whoever isn't against us is with us.
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« Reply #47 on: April 23, 2005, 11:47:13 PM »

Quote
Though he is a Protestant, I'd bet that at least 90% of what he teaches concerning the Gospel is correct.

I'll admit I like Billy Graham as a person. I've enjoyed some of his sermons. Perhaps he's a good man. Perhaps he's a sincere man who believes in Christ as best as he knows and was raised. But let's see...

- He denies the authority of the Church.
- He denies Christ's presence in the wine and bread.
- He doesn't accept most of the Orthodox sacraments.
- He believes in instant sinner's prayer salvation.
- He doesn't accept the Apostolic succession.
- He's most likely an iconoclast (but I can't be certain -- I'm only going on his Presbyterian and Baptist background).
- Many of his interpretations of Scripture are contrary to the Orthodox Church and the Fathers.

Saying he taught with a 90% accuracy rate about authentic and full Gospel Christianity isn't something an Orthodox Christian could say. We could probably say he's a pious Christian, but not that he's close to the true Apostolic faith.

In no way do I consider Billy Graham a bad man. I'm saying he's taught a lot of wrong things about Christ.

Quote
Better him than Sun myong moon(sp) or Osama bin laden

Agreed. But those guys aren't Christian so we can write them off for starters Smiley
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« Reply #48 on: April 23, 2005, 11:49:14 PM »

When it comes to spreading the essentials of salvation, Graham is spot on.
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« Reply #49 on: April 23, 2005, 11:56:47 PM »

When it comes to spreading the essentials of salvation, Graham is spot on.
You're right....During the TV coverage of the funeral of Pope JPII, BG's son was interviewed and he stated very simply " we( he and the Pope/RC)  had our different views on some things, but on these essential things we were the same: there is one God, the holy trinity, and no one gets to heaven except through Christ...the only way is through Him..."  He said it plainly and clearly and on TV...like I said before,the charisma &  communication skills in this instance really helped deliver the  message.... I can see why some people are so drawn to his preaching...

In XC, Kizzy



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« Reply #50 on: April 24, 2005, 06:55:36 AM »

Better him than Sun myong moon(sp) or Osama bin laden..

Sister, Kizzy

What is a "better" lie is irrelevant comparing to Truth.

If I was to choose to eat between -½thick air-+ and -½thin air-+ my stomach would still be empty. So how can I sustain life while being starved to death?

The question is not about how things are being told, but about Whom you are talking about.

Matthew 21:28-32

The Parable of the Two Sons
 28“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
 29“ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
 30“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
 31“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
 “The first,” they answered.
 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.


I think that today also "tax collectors" and "prostitutes" believe in the clumsy homily of non-charismatic persons that they fail to talk adequately about Him but nevertheless they are talking about a living reality of the Life of Church that they participate themselves.

Others choose to be attracted to charismatic persons that they do talk about Him, but not about the live reality of the experience of His Body.

They both get what they are looking for.
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« Reply #51 on: April 24, 2005, 09:04:58 PM »

I believe this is the message of Christ of how we should understand men like Billy Graham:

Mark 9
38“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
   39“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40for whoever is not against us is for us. 41I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.

Billy Graham may not be Orthodox but he performs the miracle of evangelization in the name of Jesus. Given that he is not against us, he is for us. Unlike other Protestant evangelicals, Graham is open about Orthodoxy and encourages Orthodox Christians to be loyal to their churches.

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« Reply #52 on: April 24, 2005, 09:38:58 PM »

On the other hand, one of the Evil One's nastiest deceptions may very well be to lead people into heterodox confessions while letting them think they've found the true Faith.  Granted, God will save whomsoever He chooses, but salvation for those outside the Church is not guaranteed.  The work of high-profile evangelicals makes our task of proclaiming Orthodoxy to the world more difficult, rather than aiding it.  In that sense, he really is working against us.
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« Reply #53 on: April 24, 2005, 10:06:42 PM »

On the other hand, one of the Evil One's nastiest deceptions may very well be to lead people into heterodox confessions while letting them think they've found the true Faith. Granted, God will save whomsoever He chooses, but salvation for those outside the Church is not guaranteed. The work of high-profile evangelicals makes our task of proclaiming Orthodoxy to the world more difficult, rather than aiding it. In that sense, he really is working against us.

or, quite possibly, the Deceiver's tactic is to allow us to become so prideful and full of pomp that we lose sight of Christ and we forget about LOVE!

What are the fruits of our Church in recent years? Laughable, that's what they are.

The Church became so accustomed to using the state as a crutch that when the state fell, our Church fell too. But we were leaning heavily on that crutch, really. Is this the vision of the Kingdom?

Look at Greece! While the faith is alive in many, there are also many who lack faith. If all of Greece had anything close to a True Christian faith, then the world around them would be changed. But it's not.

And Russia. The Church became so ill and lost it's vision. It's no surprise that the Communists found plenty of supporters. The Church in Russia had lost it's moral authority. Why? We can't blame this on others, as no excuse is great enough. In the Early Church, a nascent organization of people (with little funding an no government support) showed great fruit...charity, love, and peace.

Look at the Ecumenical Patriarch! Once the capital of the empire, all of the earthly glory is gone yet for some reason this Earthly kingdom must be preserved. Oh yeah, and Greek culture. Because that's obviously so important. Same thing in Jerusalem, too.

No, our Church has been winding down, not due to heterodox, but due to ourselves! We think that some parts of the Gospel, such as Christ's condemnations to the Pharisees, were just for that time period. But they are meant for us, too.

And so as our Church was winding down, and as love was waning, as unity was breaking, and as people dying, we clutched to our little bit-o-truth and whispered to ourselves "we have the truth!"

clutching it close to our chest so that no one could see it, we forget about the parable of the talents. That was about money, right? Not about our Christian faith.

This is our fruit. While we are at all times to lead the world in generousity and love, we spend more time on festival preparations than on charity. I've been to several different Orthodox Churches, each for a few years. Not once was there a clear message or general impetus put on me by my fellow brothers and sisters, or by the clergy, to really do something for other people. It was always "attend more services" since that will make me holy. Somehow.

Yet something did happen...Christ, always being with us as he promised, helped to pique the interest of the heterodox. People who themselves had not split from our church, but who descended from those who had (many generations ago). And so with their zeal and love for Christ, their zeal began to wake up "cradles" too.

Mission. They helped us with mission. And do you know how many of those heterodox gained their zeal? By preachers like Billy Graham. In fact, my dad (now Orthodox) had his Christian faith awakened by Billy Graham. It was this zeal for Christ that led my dad to the Church, which in turned help me.

So while I don't think that an Orthodox Christian should necessarily listen to a preacher like Billy Graham for lessons on theology, I do think people (and there are many of these in our Church) who's faith is waning or out of focus should be jolted awake by him or another Christian with his same Charisma.


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« Reply #54 on: April 24, 2005, 10:20:35 PM »

Granted, God will save whomsoever He chooses, but salvation for those outside the Church is not guaranteed.

Do we believe in Christianity or Churchianity? The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
Whoever confesses their sins to Christ and accepts Him as savior and God and lives out His commandments will be saved.

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« Reply #55 on: April 24, 2005, 11:04:27 PM »

Do we believe in Christianity or Churchianity?

The fallacy of false dilemma.

Whoever confesses their sins to Christ and accepts Him as savior and God and lives out His commandments will be saved.

That's a high level description that doesn't tell us the nature of Christ or what He taught. Some say He was just a man, in which case there's no way one can be saved. Others say He commanded us to hate our parents and therefore we should cut our ties. Simply saying, "Believe in Jesus!", isn't helpful. If you're not accurately taught the fullness of His commandments, then salvation becomes a big problem. Many "Christians" are saying that belonging to His Church and participating in the Sacramental life are not commandments (even more than that, they outright reject them), and in that case people are being led away from salvation. Perhaps some can lose weight while being fed potato chips and Coke, but it's prudent to tell the person that what they are eating is junk.

Matthew, it sounds like you'd be much happier in the Episcopal church or another denomination that'll say what you want to hear.
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« Reply #56 on: April 25, 2005, 12:35:22 AM »

This sounds like the pharisaism that I have been speaking of:

Matthew, it sounds like you'd be much happier in the Episcopal church or another denomination that'll say what you want to hear.

It is the truth that those who accept the Gospel of Christ will we saved, whether it is preached from the Orthodox Church or a Billy Graham crusade.

Churchianity
Overemphasis on ecclesiastical and denominational matters in Christianity.
The usually excessive or sectarian attachment to the practices and interests of particular church

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« Reply #57 on: April 25, 2005, 12:48:49 AM »

Churchianity
Overemphasis on ecclesiastical and denominational matters in Christianity.
The usually excessive or sectarian attachment to the practices and interests of particular church

This isn't a denominational matter.  Orthodoxy is THE Church, one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, the Body of Christ and the New Jerusalem.  Rejection of accommodation with those who have cut themselves off from that Body is not "excessive attachement" to Orthodox practices and interests, but a rejection of those who would preach a different Christ than the one we confess. 
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« Reply #58 on: April 25, 2005, 01:12:19 AM »

Whoever isn't against us is with us.
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« Reply #59 on: April 25, 2005, 01:26:10 AM »

On the other hand, one of the Evil One's nastiest deceptions may very well be to lead people into heterodox confessions while letting them think they've found the true Faith. Granted, God will save whomsoever He chooses, but salvation for those outside the Church is not guaranteed. The work of high-profile evangelicals makes our task of proclaiming Orthodoxy to the world more difficult, rather than aiding it. In that sense, he really is working against us.

This is a cop out... You're saying the church can't do it's work because there are other powerful preachers.. Gosh, I thought success in the face of adversity was supposed to be our 'claim to fame' as the true church... What is a church if it can't spread Christ's Word beyond it's doors?? Billy Graham and people like him have only been successful due to our being 'asleep at the switch' as the saying goes... What should the EO church due to minimize the interest in people like him? is that what we want.. less interest in hearing about Christ..?. It's not like we're out there 'preaching' to the masses and people are choosing against us... we're not out of our churches preaching at all.... It's like we're afraid to proactively spread the faith because we might not be successful if we really tried... The work of high - profile evangelicals should make our job easier... in social 'marketing' once someone starts talking about something... it's much easier for others to do so... Think of how the topic of gay marriage became the topic of the day everywhere, once one state broke the silence.  Billy Graham's high profile is an invitation for dialogue and preaching/teaching about Orthodoxy....but our hierarchs just don't 'get it'... they are too 'high' from the needs of the masses.  All we need is for Billy to convert to Orthodoxy and continue to spread the Gospel with his charismatic approach... and a saint might be in the making...

In XC, Kizzy





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« Reply #60 on: April 25, 2005, 01:30:41 AM »



What are the fruits of our Church in recent years? Laughable, that's what they are.

<snip>
No, our Church has been winding down, not due to heterodox, but due to ourselves! We think that some parts of the Gospel, such as Christ's condemnations to the Pharisees, were just for that time period. But they are meant for us, too.

And so as our Church was winding down, and as love was waning, as unity was breaking, and as people dying, we clutched to our little bit-o-truth and whispered to ourselves "we have the truth!"

clutching it close to our chest so that no one could see it, we forget about the parable of the talents. That was about money, right? Not about our Christian faith.

This is our fruit. While we are at all times to lead the world in generousity and love, we spend more time on festival preparations than on charity. I've been to several different Orthodox Churches, each for a few years. Not once was there a clear message or general impetus put on me by my fellow brothers and sisters, or by the clergy, to really do something for other people. It was always "attend more services" since that will make me holy. Somehow.


Amen.. my sentiments exactly!

Like my kids lament... no one is Orthodox... no one even knows what it is...!  They want to feel a part of something important... and not a 'clandestine' community...



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« Reply #61 on: April 25, 2005, 02:14:09 AM »


This is a cop out... You're saying the church can't do it's work because there are other powerful preachers.. Gosh, I thought success in the face of adversity was supposed to be our 'claim to fame' as the true church... What is a church if it can't spread Christ's Word beyond it's doors?? Billy Graham and people like him have only been successful due to our being 'asleep at the switch' as the saying goes... What should the EO church due to minimize the interest in people like him? is that what we want.. less interest in hearing about Christ..?. It's not like we're out there 'preaching' to the masses and people are choosing against us... we're not out of our churches preaching at all.... It's like we're afraid to proactively spread the faith because we might not be successful if we really tried... The work of high - profile evangelicals should make our job easier... in social 'marketing' once someone starts talking about something... it's much easier for others to do so... Think of how the topic of gay marriage became the topic of the day everywhere, once one state broke the silence.  Billy Graham's high profile is an invitation for dialogue and preaching/teaching about Orthodoxy....but our hierarchs just don't 'get it'... they are too 'high' from the needs of the masses.  All we need is for Billy to convert to Orthodoxy and continue to spread the Gospel with his charismatic approach... and a saint might be in the making...

In XC, Kizzy


Couldn't have said it better myself (I did try, though. Wink )

You're totally right about that "sleeping at the switch"...that's exactly the term I think of sometimes.

Some more thoughts of mine:
I hate comparing our Church to other Christian groups as a way to gauge our health, as really it should be driven from inside and not from a sense of competition, BUT really it is quite alarming what I do see when I do compare.

I think that the fact that we're not well known is a blessing in disguise. Our situation is in so much disorder that there's no chance that we could face the onslaught from secular society that the Catholics and Protestants have been handling for all this time.  In fact, we've seen what happens when our Church faces challenges.  Look at how the Russians could do little.  And the Ecumenical Patriarch...talk about clinging onto life by a thread.  So we already have examples of how our modern Church handles challenges.

But eventually the heterodox will crumble (it's already started), and we'll be left. And once the Catholics and protestants collapse, will the atheists see us old and frail? Inneffective? Like how the Communists boxed the Russian church?

The woman in scripture told the people to "Come and see" Christ, the man who knew everything about her. But when we tell people to come and see our Churches, will they in fact see His body? Will they see Christ? Or will they see something else?

Let's appreciate and reflect upon those parishes that are true loving communities, and who's love for one another spills out to those outside. But no matter where we are, it will be God (not us) who says "Good and faithful servant." So until then, we must be aware that whatever we accomplish is good, but more ALWAYS MUST be done.
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« Reply #62 on: April 25, 2005, 03:23:44 AM »

I have to reply to this thread, although it is 3:10 in the morning and I have a paper due tomorrow.  I am an Orthodox college student, born and raised, and have just recently begun to appreciate the beauty of our Orthodox tradition.

You may lament the decrease in religiosity in Greece.  Have you been there?  I was there last summer and I must tell you- I have been all over Europe, and never have I seen such young clerics.  Churches are being constructed all over Greece- and young people are filling the monasteries and seminaries.  Is Greece more secular than it should be?  Absolutely.  However, the faith in Greece is taking a turn for the better.  I believe this.  As a Greek Orthodox Christian, I am very well aware of Greek "sensationalism".  The media constantly tries to portray the Church in a bad light, but given the present climate of religion, thank the Holy Trinity and The Theotokos, religion is on the increase.

When I look at the situation of Orthodoxy here in America, I thank God for all of the wonderful converts- many of whom changed my life.  It is such a blessing to have you!

To say that "Billy Graham" reaches alot of people is a lie.  I say it is a lie because Billy Graham does not preach any type of praxis.  There is no metanoia, or inner conversion.  Rather it is simply a "Do better again next time- and don't forget that sinner's prayer."  The reason why Evangelical Christianity is growing is because it is EASY.  PURE AND SIMPLE.

The Gospel Christ taught was not Easy.  For those that don't know, Catholicism is not in the position to pick up the slack.  Unfortunately, in most parts of the world, it has died.  It is up to us Orthodox to evangelize those around us by our prayers, but most importantly our actions, not bicker about why evangelicals are so successful.

To those that think any protestant denomination offers an alternative to salvation then I must tell you- you are completely wrong according to Orthodox theology.  This has never been a part of our tradition.  EVER.  It was not part of the Early Orthodox tradition.

Oh, and by the way.  Evangelicals like Billy Graham are against us.  They send money to "Evangelize" Ukraine and Greece and Russia.  They often do not consider Orthodox Christians Christian.  If they were real Christians they would go to Saudi Arabia and Iran, and do some real missionary work. 

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« Reply #63 on: April 25, 2005, 04:21:03 AM »

emmanuelmelo,

I have to second you on this one. Every time I go back to Romania I see new churches being built, congregations outside the church on Sunday mornings because they can't all fit inside, old churches and monasteries being restored, incredibly young monks and nuns, and more and more priests - particularly, I see that a lot of villages which had to share a priest with 3 or 4 others now have their own.
In Britain, the last set of statistics I saw showed the Orthodox Church as the fastest growing 'denomination' of Christians apart from the Evangelicals, and no other church seemed to be growing at all - many are shrinking. I really don't see the pessimistic view some people have here. Maybe things are different in the states?

James
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« Reply #64 on: April 25, 2005, 06:27:04 AM »

This sounds like the pharisaism that I have been speaking of.

matthew, I think you need to learn what pharisaism is. That's not it.  Love for our fellow man is Christian. Love for those who preach teachings against the Church is Christian. Acceptance and propagation and support for those who preach teachings against the Church, by word, deed, or money, is not Christian.  What you are supporting here is not Orthodox thought....You had a whole change of heart, mind, and soul when it came to evolution (not that I think your reading of the fathers is correct) when you started to look into what the Church actually believes.

Look into what the Church believes here. It's not that Billy Graham isn't a good man, living as he thinks is best and teaching what he knows (or chooses to know.) Love is overwhelming in our Church. I dont think anyone harbors ill will towards him. We should indeed be praying for him, that he sees the Truth.
Being placating and exhibiting this sort of false ecumenism (Am I really using the word??) isn't.
You're making claims on salvation that Orthodoxy never does. There is no formula for salvation--why, if what you listed is all it took, then we're all saved! Halleluia! Assurance of salvation is a lovely thought, but it is anti-Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #65 on: April 25, 2005, 08:29:42 AM »

To those that think any protestant denomination offers an alternative to salvation then I must tell you- you are completely wrong according to Orthodox theology. This has never been a part of our tradition. EVER. It was not part of the Early Orthodox tradition.

Oh, and by the way. Evangelicals like Billy Graham are against us. They send money to "Evangelize" Ukraine and Greece and Russia. They often do not consider Orthodox Christians Christian. If they were real Christians they would go to Saudi Arabia and Iran, and do some real missionary work.


Yes, yes, yes...

To those who find not enough Love in Christ's Church, perhaps one needs to give more Love.
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« Reply #66 on: April 25, 2005, 03:54:20 PM »

It is the truth that those who accept the Gospel of Christ will we saved, whether it is preached from the Orthodox Church or a Billy Graham crusade.

No, intellectual acceptance is not enough for salvation. Christ tells us in Matthew that those who don't help the poor are going to hell. He doesn't provide an exception for those who merely have "found Jesus in their hearts." Faith is never produced by mere intellectual assent; it's a process that builds through participating in the sacramental life and doing good. Call this sectarianism and intolerance if you like. The truth can't be dislodged by slogans and fads.

Overemphasis on ecclesiastical and denominational matters in Christianity.

We're not concerned about denominations, but only the Church. The Nicene Creed is very much ecclesiastical, telling us that the Lord's house is the One, Holy, Catholic Apostolic Church. Deny the Creed or any of its parts, and you're not Christian. Even the flaky WCC agrees with this.

Whoever isn't against us is with us.

That's if they are not teaching lies about Christ and His Church. A sect that tells folks that they don't need the Church and that our sacramental life is pharisaical does indeed set itself against us.
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« Reply #67 on: April 25, 2005, 04:12:21 PM »

One of the original points of this forum is that many non-Orthodox Christians live more charitable lives and perform more good works than most Orthodox Christians.
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« Reply #68 on: April 25, 2005, 04:20:52 PM »

It is hard to deny that Graham is a man of God.
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« Reply #69 on: April 25, 2005, 04:37:28 PM »

One of the original points of this forum is that many non-Orthodox Christians live more charitable lives and perform more good works than most Orthodox Christians.

More good works than most Orthodox Christians? You're really in a position to make that call based on all your experience in the world of Orthodoxy, or your experience in the world in general outside of Cyberia?

The audacious immaturity of your posts I have to admit I find truly amazing. I'm glad you've figured Orthodoxy out so you can be its judge. Perhaps it's time to unplug the computer, step away from the monitor, and spend all of your time and resources engaging in the noble acts you're flaying everyone else for neglecting. Otherwise you're in danger or sounding like one of the characters in the parable you mentioned, and I'll give you a giant hint, it isn't the publican.
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« Reply #70 on: April 25, 2005, 04:42:54 PM »

Hey. I can admit that Billy Graham and other non-Orthodox have done more good than I could ever do. Some non-Orthodox Christans have done more good for the world than most Orthodox Christians would ever do.
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« Reply #71 on: April 25, 2005, 04:49:34 PM »

Have a blessed Lent Matthew.  I hope you use it to ponder the need for all of us to repent and do what is right in the sight of the Lord, as well as the need for all of us to critically examine ourselves instead of pointing out the failings of others as the wretched pharisee did. 

Setting up and knocking down straw men on the Internet over and over I fear will profit you little, and certainly does no good for anyone else.
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« Reply #72 on: April 25, 2005, 04:50:37 PM »

My point is that we should appreciate what Billy Graham and other non-Orthodox Christians do, not to tear Orthodox Christians down.
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« Reply #73 on: April 25, 2005, 04:52:27 PM »

Because you're in a perfect position to know what every Orthodox Christian out there does to help others and live their faith, right Matthew?  Since you're an all-knowing judge, would you perhaps care to tell me exactly what I do and what I need to do better?  And I'd like specifics, please, not vague straw man generalizations.
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« Reply #74 on: April 25, 2005, 04:54:52 PM »

It isn't too much of a generalization. There is a minority within the non-Orthodox Christian community who perform more good for the world than the individuals in the majority of the Orthodox Christian community. For this reason, I admire what these non-Orthodox Christians have done and hope to follow their example; not doctrinally but in their approach to evangelization and charity work.
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« Reply #75 on: April 25, 2005, 05:27:16 PM »

I'm going to play the BS card here.  Prove that that minority of non-Orthodox do more good than the majority of Orthodox.  And just so you know, stating a generalization and asserting it's true isn't proof.
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« Reply #76 on: April 25, 2005, 05:37:39 PM »

I agree Veniamin! The other question is how many orthodox Christians share in the work in "ecumenical" or community based charity works with other christians. In my parish of some 55 adults, my survey notes that something like 85% are actively involved in Food banks, soup kitchens, etc that are non-denominational. I remember that several old calendar parishes, that I am aware of, always serve the western Christmas Dinner at the local Soup Kitchen and homeless shelter so their western partners can observe their Christmas. In many cases it has been the Orthodox Christians who realizing the smallness of numbers locally , organize with other churches to provide needed works of mercy. Others work actively, as our church is often the newcomer in the area, with local services that already exist. We do not need to recreate and duplicate services already available. Where there is none, we organize it. An Excellent example of this is the Treehouse Ministry, located in the Antiochian Diocese of Witchita and the Mid-America under Bishop Basil. The Tree House serves single parents in the area---originally asked by OCCM to organize a shelter for unwed mothers, they changed their mission plan when they discovered the area had adequate housing services already--they instead started an entirely new ministry to meet the needs after the women had the babies with education, day care, and a cheap clothing store. To encourage participation in calsses, they provide vouchers to the women who attend and then let them use it to buy new clothes, diapers, baby food etc in the store.  Many young women have had their lives touched and accepted further counseling from otherodox clkergy and counselors.---Where indeed is the Love in the Orthodox Church?  It is shown everyday by the Laity and clergyu as they interact with the people around them with love and compassion.

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This was edited for grammar and to further develop some of the ideas more fully.
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« Reply #77 on: April 25, 2005, 05:38:48 PM »

Just look at John Paul II. There is nothing wrong with admitting that he did more good for the world than the average Orthodox Christian. He was a great man and a true servant of the Lord.
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« Reply #78 on: April 25, 2005, 06:09:51 PM »

Just look at John Paul II. There is nothing wrong with admitting that he did more good for the world than the average Orthodox Christian. He was a great man and a true servant of the Lord.

Veniamin asked you to prove it Matthew. Repeating and repeating unproven generalizations and assertions does not 'prove' them to be true.
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« Reply #79 on: April 26, 2005, 12:15:36 AM »

Why would I have to prove what good he did for the world? He did more good for the world than the average person of any church. My point in mentioning it is that Orthodoxy does not have a monopoly on true Christian life.
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« Reply #80 on: April 26, 2005, 07:07:46 AM »

Because when you make a claim, you're the one who has to prove it.  Still waiting.....
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« Reply #81 on: April 26, 2005, 11:21:30 AM »

Quote
Some non-Orthodox Christans have done more good for the world than most Orthodox Christians would ever do.

Matthew, that's a meaningless tautology that communicates no interesting information. Try this -- Some Orthodox Christians have done more good than most non-Orthodox Christians would ever do.

Quote
My point is that we should appreciate what Billy Graham and other non-Orthodox Christians do, not to tear Orthodox Christians down.

Rather, you're trying to provoke negative attention towards yourself.
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« Reply #82 on: April 26, 2005, 11:25:13 AM »

No, I am not. Compare John Paul II or Billy Graham to the average Orthodox Christian, or even the average person. Some people have done more good for the world than others. I would say that I am an average Orthodox Christian, and I can admit that Billy Graham has done more good for the world than I will ever do. See? It isn't that hard.
My only point in mentioning this is that one need not be Orthodox to be a good Christian.
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« Reply #83 on: April 26, 2005, 11:28:26 AM »

Matthew, it's not hard because it's a meaningless admission. Fer cryin' out loud, I bet Charles Manson has done more good than some who call themselves Christians.
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« Reply #84 on: April 26, 2005, 01:03:23 PM »

Matthew, it's not hard because it's a meaningless admission.

It helps to prove the point that Orthodoxy does not have a monopoly on Christian life. We may be The Church but we are not the only church. I am sorry if I have made you upset.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #85 on: April 26, 2005, 01:14:44 PM »

Gosh, this is the first time I agree with you on this thread, Matthew.

Let me rephrase.  We are The Church.  There are other churches, mind you, and lots of them, but we most certainly are The Church.

[sarcasm] I know some really good Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists.  I wonder if they are as much members of the True Church as we are?  Perhaps we should make icons of "St." Ghandi.  He's done more good than some of the slugs at my church.  Humph.  Let me tell you about them. 

But wait . . . . who am I to judge my brother?  Oh, to heck with that silliness, there are lots of good Muslims and they don't teach that.  Welcome to Luby's, The Church Cafateria.  Take what you like and leave the rest.  After all, why should religion involve difficult choices?  It should all be easy.[/sarcasm]
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« Reply #86 on: April 26, 2005, 01:18:56 PM »

Protestants and Catholics are not members of an eastern mystical religion. They, with us, belong to the Body of Christ.
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« Reply #87 on: April 26, 2005, 01:37:26 PM »

So, then, let's have an icon of "St." Martin Luther King Jr., shall we?  After all, he was a member of the Body of Christ, yes?

What about the "Jesus Only" Protestants.  Are they members of the Body of Christ?
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« Reply #88 on: April 26, 2005, 01:40:50 PM »

Matthew,

Strelets is right. I think you really are just a troll. A good-natured one to be sure, but a troll nevertheless.  Why do you seek to provoke us by making statements like the one you just made? Even though many of us love Catholics and Protestants, you know full well that we are not going to agree with this statement. It is really pointless to come here and keep saying the same things over and over again, have them rebutted, and then state them yet again. Why did you tell us all about your intention to go to a Benedictine monastery, when this was something highly personal that you knew most here wouldn't agree with, and then tell us that you didn't care what we thought anyway? If you want to be a Catholic because you think they have more love in their hearts, then God bless you, go and be one. It is very sad to lose you to Orthodoxy, but this is your decision. (One that you should not take lightly, and something that I could never advise you to do.) I know that you are very bright and capable, so why not do bright and capable things? You don't have to come here to get attention from us. You are valuable to God and I'm sureto many others as well.  And I hope you will find it in yourself to learn to love and embrace the Holy Orthodox faith.

Bob
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« Reply #89 on: April 26, 2005, 01:46:59 PM »

No, I am not. Compare John Paul II or Billy Graham to the average Orthodox Christian, or even the average person. Some people have done more good for the world than others. I would say that I am an average Orthodox Christian, and I can admit that Billy Graham has done more good for the world than I will ever do. See? It isn't that hard.
My only point in mentioning this is that one need not be Orthodox to be a good Christian.

You can't compare the excellent of one Church to the mediocre of another.  Elder Joseph the Hesychast blows the spirituality of Pope John Paul II out the window, as one example.  St Nicholas of Japan converted 30,000 Japanese between c. 1880-1910.  etc etc.  You don't have to be Orthodox to be a good Christian but we know that by being Orthodox you have the potential to excel over and above those who are not in the Church.
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« Reply #90 on: April 26, 2005, 02:01:09 PM »

This is a special post for Matthew Smiley  (Please no one make fun of the images, because I don't want to get sued for libel; I am just posting them so that everyone can see that there are people who actually do make images of non-Orthodox!)





(O Aghios Martinos??)


--->that one takes the cake!
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« Reply #91 on: April 26, 2005, 02:33:58 PM »

Matthew,

Strelets is right.  I think you really are just a troll. 

I am not a troll. I am a member of the Oriental Orthodox Church, a church which is open to Eastern  Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics. I feel upset when my church is accused of not being Orthodox. I feel upset when admirable Christian leaders are referred to as false prophets for not being Orthodox.

  Even though many of us love Catholics and Protestants, you know full well that we are not going to agree with this statement. 

There are members of my church who would agree. There are many Orthodox Christians who have embraced the ecumenical movement in order to unify the Body of Christ.

If you want to be a Catholic because you think they have more love in their hearts, then God bless you, go and be one. 

The Catholic Church has abandoned true theology and the liturgy. I would rather be Orthodox and I feel blessed to be a member of the true faith but then again, I'd rather be friends with someone who has the wrong faith but is loving than someone who has the right faith and is unkind.

  It is very sad to lose you to Orthodoxy, but this is your decision.

I have not decided to lose Orthodoxy, I have decided to be open to those outside of Orthodoxy.

You don't have to come here to get attention from us.   

If you think I started this thread to get attention, you've missed the whole point.

  And I hope you will find it in yourself to learn to love and embrace the Holy Orthodox faith.

I love and embrace the Orthodox faith but at the same time, I love and embrace those outside of the Orthodox faith. That would be the Christian way to live.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #92 on: April 26, 2005, 02:34:49 PM »

bridgebuilding.com!  So that's where they are from!  I had that site but forgot where it was.  Thanks.
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« Reply #93 on: April 26, 2005, 03:05:25 PM »

I am not a troll. I am a member of the Oriental Orthodox Church, a church which is open to Eastern Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics. I feel upset when my church is accused of not being Orthodox. I feel upset when admirable Christian leaders are referred to as false prophets for not being Orthodox.
Well, if they aren't Orthodox, you can't really believe their teachings.  It's fine to love them though, as we should everyone. 



There are members of my church who would agree. There are many Orthodox Christians who have embraced the ecumenical movement in order to unify the Body of Christ.
Be VERY CAREFULL saying this.  The whole presupposition "...to unify the Body of Christ" assumes that the Body is split, and to be Orthodox, you just can't believe that.  The point is, they are not part of the Body, but cut off from the Body of Christ.  The Ecumenical movement is dangerous for us Orhthodox in that it can corrupt us!


The Catholic Church has abandoned true theology and the liturgy. I would rather be Orthodox and I feel blessed to be a member of the true faith but then again, I'd rather be friends with someone who has the wrong faith but is loving than someone who has the right faith and is unkind.
Again, why even mention that Catholic monastery as a place you'd like to stay?  You could have just said it was a nice place (and maybe that too bad it wasn't Orthodox).


I have not decided to lose Orthodoxy, I have decided to be open to those outside of Orthodoxy.
And that's fine, but it doesn't mean that we aren't.


If you think I started this thread to get attention, you've missed the whole point.
You have a very poor way of showing this then.  Try reading over what you post for a couple of minutes and ponder how people might take it.  You're typing online - not face to face.  A HUGE difference.

I love and embrace the Orthodox faith but at the same time, I love and embrace those outside of the Orthodox faith. That would be the Christian way to live.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
Again, that's great!  But an internet message board gives us a forum to discuss the differences, problems, etc.  Nothing will be resolved w/o discussion.  And just because we discuss it doesn't mean we hate non-Orthodox - many of us have non-O's as family members!
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« Reply #94 on: April 26, 2005, 03:14:08 PM »

Quote
There are members of my church who would agree. There are many Orthodox Christians who have embraced the ecumenical movement in order to unify the Body of Christ.]There are members of my church who would agree. There are many Orthodox Christians who have embraced the ecumenical movement in order to unify the Body of Christ.

Any "Orthodox" saying something like that have left the Orthodox Church. The Body of Christ is not divided. Even my professor of ecumenism at the seminary I attend was clear, that we cannot say the Church is divided, because the Church is one.

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« Reply #95 on: April 26, 2005, 03:23:29 PM »



Any "Orthodox" saying something like that have left the Orthodox Church. The Body of Christ is not divided. Even my professor of ecumenism at the seminary I attend was clear, that we cannot say the Church is divided, because the Church is one.

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« Reply #96 on: April 26, 2005, 03:36:07 PM »



We are one in the Spirit.

How can we be one with heretics?
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« Reply #97 on: April 26, 2005, 03:38:58 PM »



How can we be one with heretics?

Given that Roman Catholics and Protestants believe in the essentials of salvation, how could they be heretics? Are Billy Graham and John Paul II heretics?

Why dooes my Orthodox Churcn and others belong to the National and World Councils of Churches?
http://www.goarch.org/en/archdiocese/departments/ecumenical/
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« Reply #98 on: April 26, 2005, 03:51:02 PM »



Given that Roman Catholics and Protestants believe in the essentials of salvation, how could they be heretics?

Because they deny essential truths of the faith or add to the truths of the faith their own inventions.

Quote
Are Billy Graham and John Paul II heretics?

Yes. Graham denies apostolic succession, the Eucharist, the Theotokos, the Ecumenical Synods, etc. He is a heretic. John Paul II taught the doctrines of Roman Catholicism such as papal infallibility and the filioque which have been condemned (the later synodically at the Synod of St Sophia in 879 and Blachernae in 1285), so he is a heretic.

Do these two great men count as heretics on the same level as Nestorius? Of course not. St Theodore the Studite teaches us that there are heretics proper and heretics by extension--levels of heresy. But heresy is heresy and one dying outside the Church must be left solely to the mercy of God. Certainly "lesser heretics" especially those born into their faith who were never Orthodox have a better chance on Judgment Day than people like Arius and Nestorius who fell from grace. But we the people of God have no right to judge that someone is righteous who died outside of Christ's body!

Quote
Why dooes my Orthodox Churcn and others belong to the Nation and World Councils of Churches?
http://www.goarch.org/en/archdiocese/departments/ecumenical/

The original purpose was to convert the heretics to Orthodoxy. Read the works of Fr Georges Florovsky, one of the preeminent Orthodox scholars of modern times, to see this. He became disillusioned when the Orthodox participants began to compromise too much though. Now it is time for the Orthodox to leave these bodies.
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« Reply #99 on: April 26, 2005, 04:50:36 PM »

Quote
There are many Orthodox Christians who have embraced the ecumenical movement in order to unify the Body of Christ.

I don't know of any Orthodox figure of any import who believes the Body of Christ includes 30,000 disparate Protestant sects. And if they did, they've got some major confessing to do.

Quote
Given that Roman Catholics and Protestants believe in the essentials of salvation, how could they be heretics?

Protestants do not believe in the same essentials of salvation as Orthodox. Were you properly catechized, Matthew? Did your priest not give you any lessons about the Creed and what it means to be Orthodox?

Quote
Are Billy Graham and John Paul II heretics?

Yes. Being a heretic doesn't mean God's already judged you to hell, only that you've embraced wrong doctrines and are outside the Church. IOW, you've made your road to salvation much harder. Not impossible, just harder. It could be an honest intellectual error, but more often than not it's an error resulting from one's pride and attachment to wishful thinking.

Quote
Why dooes my Orthodox Churcn and others belong to the National and World Councils of Churches?

Various historical reasons. One, there was the hope that these organizations would provide a good means of reaching non-Orthodox Christians and prevent them from sliding further into error. This has been a failure. Second, because Moscow and the EP were/are living under regimes hostile to Orthodoxy and the WCC provided a lifeline. Whatever its warts, the WCC did save some monasteries and parishes from being shut down during the Soviet period.

You have to keep in mind that the WCC can't make decisions binding on any member. It's essentially a paper organization. That said, whether or not the OC continues to participate in these bodies is an ongoing internal conversation. There's plenty of open questioning on this matter, and if we pulled out tomorrow it'd be perfectly fine by me. It's obvious to me at least that the bulk of the Protestants in the WCC/NCC are sufficiently recalcitrant to be beyond reach, at least at the organizational level. As the older generation of theologians and leaders (whose thinking was formed in the 1960's and 70's during the heyday of Orthodox kumbayaism) moves on, things will change.
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« Reply #100 on: April 26, 2005, 05:25:34 PM »

But we the people of God have no right to judge that someone is righteous who died outside of Christ's body!

By their fruits, you will know them.
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« Reply #101 on: April 26, 2005, 05:32:34 PM »

The original purpose was to convert the heretics to Orthodoxy.

This is a speach that a bishop of my church gave in 1989 for the cause of ecumenism:
http://www.geocities.com/gregorianstudycircle/Vision_Beckons.html

Nowhere does he mention conversion of "heretics" to Orthodoxy. His message was of peace and reconciliation.
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« Reply #102 on: April 26, 2005, 05:35:00 PM »



By their fruits, you will know them.

What if they have fruits so that people in their false churches will be confirmed in their belief?

Anastasios
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« Reply #103 on: April 26, 2005, 05:40:18 PM »

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His message was of peace and reconciliation.

And all this time, that Jesus fellow has been saying that he "came not to bring peace, but a sword". Ha. Go figure.
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« Reply #104 on: April 26, 2005, 05:42:11 PM »



What if they have fruits so that people in their false churches will be confirmed in their belief?

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I do not have the right to question the salvation of Roman Catholics and Protestants and doubt their love for Christ.
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« Reply #105 on: April 26, 2005, 05:44:34 PM »



And all this time, that Jesus fellow has been saying that he "came not to bring peace, but a sword". Ha. Go figure.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

"Did Jesus come to bring peace or not?
 Matthew 10:34; Luke 2:14; 22:36
and Mark 9:50; John 14:27; 16:33; Acts 10:36

No Peace 
(Matthew 10:34) - "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35"For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household."
(Luke 12:51) - "Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two, and two against three..."
(Luke 22:36) - "And He said to them, "But now, let him who has a purse take it along, likewise also a bag, and let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one."

Peace
(Mark 9:50) - "Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."
(John 14:27) - "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
(John 16:33) - "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace..."
(Acts 10:36) - "The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)."

     Context is the key to Jesus' words.    In Matthew 10:34, Jesus is speaking about the divisions that will come, even among family members, over their belief or lack of belief about Him.  In that respect, He has come to bring division.  This context is also related in Luke 12:51. 
     Luke 22:36 Jesus is preparing the disciples for His departure.  He is telling them that they will need to provide for themselves and even protect themselves.  Up to that time, everything they had needed had been provided.  But, after the crucifixion and ascension, they would again be "on their own."  They would need to work, provide for their families, and, if need be, protect their own; hence, the mention of the sword.  Of course, the Bible teaches that Christians are to be peaceful, loving, and forgiving.  But it also teaches that we are not required to sit idly by when persecuted unrighteously.
     The rest of the "peace" verses, teach just that:  peace.
     Jesus did not contradict Himself.  When we look at His words in context, we can see what He was saying and that there is no contradiction at all."
http://www.carm.org/diff/Matt10_34.htm
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« Reply #106 on: April 26, 2005, 06:00:11 PM »



I do not have the right to question the salvation of Roman Catholics and Protestants and doubt their love for Christ.

You didn't address the point. This is an unrelated thought.
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« Reply #107 on: April 26, 2005, 06:13:53 PM »

You constantly quote things, but I know from experience that you many times do not even read what you quote. You just do an internet search for stuff, and then after skimming the website you blindly post things, expecting that it will defend your position. If you had actually read what you quoted, you would have seen that the author agrees with my point. The author even says that there are sometimes divisions caused by Christ. In what way did you think that the quote served as a rebuttal to my point? I pointed out that Jesus brought division and it wasn't all an ecumenical lovefest; you quoted something that agreed that divisions were possible and that it wasn't all an ecumenical lovefest.

If you had a drunkard as a spouse, (if you were consistent) you would buy them booze to "keep peace" and "because you love them". I, on the other hand, would be willing to go through hell for a while if it meant a HEALTHY and lasting peace and loving relationship. You give the drunkards (heretics) what they want, so it is no wonder that they never stop drinking (believing heresy). By not giving them what they want, I might offend the drunkards (heretics), I might even cause them to leave me, but I certainly at least have a CHANCE of changing the unhealthy situation. To use a different analogy, you are like the man who has been told that he has cancer but thinks that if he can just pretend like he doesn't have it for long enough, his "good thoughts" will heal his body. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. The longer you put the healing off, the harder the healing will be (and it's quite possible that it will reach the point where you can't be healed).

I'm not sure why I'm even participating on this thread, though. "2.0" seems to make it abundantly clear that you are at the same spot now that you were when you first came to this forum.
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« Reply #108 on: April 26, 2005, 09:39:41 PM »

I did actually read what I posted and I did not search for it just to support myself on this thread. I read it a long time ago and it is pertinant to the point you tried to make. Jesus said that there will be divisions within the family between those who accept Him and those who did not. He did not say that there should be divisions between Christians. To the contrary, He said that we will be one fold under one Shepherd.
The purpose of the ecumenical movement is to help the cause of joining all Christians under one fold. As long as we preserve our Orthodoxy in the process, we can become more open and loving toward non-Orthodox Christians.
As for the Benectine thread, that was based on two assumptions:
That Orthodox monks are closedminded and intolerant and that the Benedictine order has somehow preserved its monastic tradition despite Vatican II. Both assumptions were faulty.
Orthodox monasticism is the perhaps that only monastic community where tradition is upheld. Their "narrowmindedness" to Western thought is the only sure way to preserving doctrinal purity.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #109 on: April 26, 2005, 10:26:29 PM »

To the contrary, He said that we will be one fold under one Shepherd.
The purpose of the ecumenical movement is to help the cause of joining all Christians under one fold. As long as we preserve our Orthodoxy in the process, we can become more open and loving toward non-Orthodox Christians.


That's a wrong understanding of what the Church is--what it indeed claims to be, what God has told us about it, and the purpose of ecumenical dialogue. Orthodoxy is the Church. That is the fold under which all should reside. It is THE Body of Christ on earth; there can be no division. Mutual love and working for service and peace is why Orthodox talk and work with non-Orthodox in any realm.
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« Reply #110 on: April 26, 2005, 10:50:26 PM »

This is a speach that a bishop of my church gave in 1989 for the cause of ecumenism:
http://www.geocities.com/gregorianstudycircle/Vision_Beckons.html

Nowhere does he mention conversion of "heretics" to Orthodoxy. His message was of peace and reconciliation.

Nowhere does he even mention Orthodoxy! Instead, he lays out a vision for a Global Concourse of Religions, a sort of WCC on steroids. In addition to quoting the Upanishad, he writes:

As I humbly inaugurate this opening of the Centenary celebrations, let us also move to common prayer, that all humanity may be brought into a single concourse and all of us acknowledge together in various idioms the Transcendent Love, Wisdom and Power that really unites us."

He states that he wants a common prayer with non-Christians and atheists. This is a spooky little speech.
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« Reply #111 on: April 26, 2005, 11:58:41 PM »

He states that he wants a common prayer with non-Christians and atheists. This is a spooky little speech.

Given that he was our patriarch, I am willing to consider his message.
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« Reply #112 on: April 27, 2005, 12:01:35 AM »

Given that he was our patriarch, I am willing to consider his message.

Are you trying to say that it's impossible for patriarchs to fall into error?
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« Reply #113 on: April 27, 2005, 12:05:17 AM »

Not impossible but I do not know of anything he did in his life which would show his teaching to be false.
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« Reply #114 on: April 27, 2005, 12:05:39 AM »

Patriarchal infallibility! Wink To be fair, Matthew did say he would CONSIDER the words.
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« Reply #115 on: April 27, 2005, 12:06:31 AM »

Are you sure Paulos Mar Gregorios was your patriarch?  Paulos Mar Gregorios is really controversial btw.
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« Reply #116 on: April 27, 2005, 12:07:45 AM »

Egad! That quote in post #110 sounds straight out of Freemasonry.
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« Reply #117 on: April 27, 2005, 12:12:04 AM »

Patriarchal infallibility! Wink To be fair, Matthew did say he would CONSIDER the words.

And so far, I have no reason to believe his words of peace to be false.
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« Reply #118 on: April 27, 2005, 12:17:31 AM »

Are you sure Paulos Mar Gregorios was your patriarch? Paulos Mar Gregorios is really controversial btw.

If he was so contoversial, why is his writing featured on the Greek Orthodox website?

"Theology of Nature: An Introduction
Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios
The author. Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios of the Orthodox Syrian Church of the East is an internationally-renowned theologian and former President of the World Council of Churches. He has published a number of books on development, and on the relationship of God, man and creation.

This article was first published in Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement, WCC Publications, Geneva, 1991."
http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8045.asp


Blessed Seraphim of Platina was highly controversial too, BTW. As was a Nazarene Jewish peasant.
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« Reply #119 on: April 27, 2005, 01:33:47 AM »

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If he was so contoversial, why is his writing featured on the Greek Orthodox website?

Perhaps someone didn't read his more scary material. Any website with volumes of material is bound to inadvertently post a quack author or two. Let us know if the folks at goarch.org have read his stuff advocating a common prayer with atheists and non-Christians and whether they then still feel comfortable posting his material.
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« Reply #120 on: April 27, 2005, 01:39:53 AM »

So now my Metropolitan is a "quack author"? I am sorry but is this another example of pharisiasm?
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« Reply #121 on: April 27, 2005, 01:49:50 AM »

Matthew,

Even Mor Ephrem of this site who is a member of your church thinks Paulos Mar Gregorios goes way too far. Ask him why.

As far as the goarch posting, I posted a document on OCnet from Fr Sergius Bulgakov against Papal Infallibility, because in it Fr Sergius is spot on. This is despite the fact that he was an archecumenist and certainly not someone I would generally agree with!
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« Reply #122 on: April 27, 2005, 01:56:58 AM »

We should at least consider the possibility that Paulos Mar Gregorios was right.
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« Reply #123 on: April 27, 2005, 02:07:48 AM »

We should at least consider the possibility that Paulos Mar Gregorios was right.

Of course, but my point is I considered what he said and...don't agree.
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« Reply #124 on: April 27, 2005, 02:10:50 AM »

On further reflection, while I just said I don't agree with PMG, I have to say since he is a bishop in good standing in the Indian Orthodox Church I'll just have to ask that we don't call him a quack.  But I will reiterate that I think he is highly controversial and not representative of Oriental Orthodoxy, and criticisms of his thought are welcome.

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« Reply #125 on: April 27, 2005, 06:38:15 AM »

So now my Metropolitan is a "quack author"? I am sorry but is this another example of pharisiasm?

This is not pharisaism.  Stop calling everything and everyone that disagrees with whatever idea you've latched onto for the week a pharisee. It could just be that everyone here is disagreeing with you on everything you post because it's wrong. Just maybe, maybe consider that the people here (excepting me, I dont know much of anything) know better and have real reasons to disagree with you. They're not pharisees and loveless quasi-Christians.
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« Reply #126 on: April 27, 2005, 11:19:08 AM »

They're not pharisees and loveless quasi-Christians.

I asked that question because we shouldn't be bold enough to say such a thing of a bishop of the Church. There is much more respectful wording we could use to share the same idea.
I was confused and a little upset when I first read his address but eventually I came to appreciate the basic idea of it.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #127 on: April 27, 2005, 11:44:57 AM »



I asked that question because we shouldn't be bold enough to say such a thing of a bishop of the Church. There is much more respectful wording we could use to share the same idea.
I was confused and a little upset when I first read his address but eventually I came to appreciate the basic idea of it.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.

But saying it still doesn't make someone a pharisee and loveless quasi-Christian.
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« Reply #128 on: April 27, 2005, 01:24:39 PM »

Quote
So now my Metropolitan is a "quack author"? I am sorry but is this another example of pharisiasm?

Do you know the definition of pharisaism ? This reminds of those in web discussions who tend designate everyone as Nazis who disagree with them. You're searching for whatever excuse possible to call Eastern Orthodox pharisees, without any apparent concern for accuracy. If you have a specific example of someone not helping others in our society, then by all means raise the issue of pharisaism with this person. But you instead choose to cast wide aspersions on no one in particular and every Eastern Orthodox in general.

BTW, is he your Metropolitan or just another bishop in our church? You've written both. Matthew, note that I used "quack" as an adjective. And that is indeed a quack article written by an author with a quack mindset, at least in writing that article. Perhaps he acts differently in his role of pastor to his diocese, but he shouldn't be advocating things like a common prayer with atheists and non-Christians. You apparently believe that idea is right. The OC doesn't. And it's when a bishop such as this one writes these kind of articles that sows confusion and false teachings among Orthodox. Then it gets used by more extreme elements as "proof" that World Orthodox pray with atheists and druids.

quack adj. (kwak)
Relating to or characteristic of a quack.

Quote
There is much more respectful wording we could use to share the same idea.

How about you leading the way and stop designating Orthodox as loveless because they follow the canons which forbid common prayer with Hindus?
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« Reply #129 on: April 27, 2005, 02:30:12 PM »



Do you know the definition of pharisaism ?

Pharisaism is often defined as the hypocritical observance of the moral law rather than its spirit. This also can be applied to the hypocritical observance to theology, Church doctrine, tradition, etc. If we become so caught up in tradition that we neglect its spirit, how will we be able to love anyone?
Paulos Mar Gregorios may not have expressed the Christian outlook on the world in a traditional way, but the spirit of his words is Christian.
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« Reply #130 on: April 27, 2005, 04:16:26 PM »

Pharisaism is often defined as the hypocritical observance of the moral law rather than its spirit.
Not really. What you are giving here is the definition of "hypocrisy".

This also can be applied to the hypocritical observance to theology, Church doctrine, tradition, etc. If we become so caught up in tradition that we neglect its spirit, how will we be able to love anyone?
There is no seperation between Orthodox theology and praxis in Orthodoxy. For example, no can one get "caught up in" the Apostolic Tradition without loving his neighbour. "God is Love" is an Apostolic Tradition, it is not simply the "spirit" of theology, it is theology.
Evagarius of Pontus sums up the Orthodox understanding of theology nicely when he says: "A theologian is one who truly prays, and one who truly prays is a theologian." And St. Maximos the Confessor warns that "Theology without praxis is the theology of demons." Our praxis must come out of our theology.

Paulos Mar Gregorios may not have expressed the Christian outlook on the world in a traditional way, but the spirit of his words is Christian.
While it may be what the world wants to hear, Relativism is anything but Christian. The "Christian outlook" as taught by the Apostles is this:
"We have an altar whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle." (Hebrews 10:13)
"And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?"(2 Corinthians 6:15)
While it may be what the world wants to hear, Paulos Mar Gregorios cannot be said to be teaching from a "Christian outlook" in this instance as you claim.

 
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« Reply #131 on: April 27, 2005, 07:46:53 PM »

You've shown me the light, Matthew. My love is too narrow-minded, too pharisaical. I've been unnaturally obsessed with the strictures of tradition. First thing after dinner this evening, I'm telling my wife that going forward our marriage is an open marriage. My love will no longer be confined to the suffocating chains of a pharisaical marriage contract. And then tomorrow evening before the Passion Gospels service, I'll inform my priest that I've decided to become a theological swinger as well. After all, God wants me to share what is His with all the other gods, right?

Peace and free love, bro. Afro
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« Reply #132 on: April 27, 2005, 10:22:20 PM »

I don't believe that Paulos Mar Gregorios' point was a call to relativism. As Christians, we should make peace with non-Christians. We should have mutual respect and compassion for the downtrodden of any faith background. If we do not, then do we really love God?
 If we do not preserve our tradition and sacred doctrine, then we will lose the source from which we draw the reason for this peace.
This isn't just about "All we need is love". That would be far too simplistic. The truth is that all we need is love because God is love. We need to have the solid foundation of the Christian faith, a universal foundation, in order to be able to improve the world. Without God, we cannot build the Kingdom of God.
But as builders of the Kingdom, we cannot close our eyes to the secular world. We cannot be compassionless to those who do not share the same faith as we do.
Should we be unkind to Hindus and Muslims due to an accident of birth?
Relativism makes me feel sick. We musn't have to choose between peace and the Truth. We must work for peace because we know the Truth and hold fast to it. We work for peace because we are compelled by the Truth.

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #133 on: April 27, 2005, 10:39:00 PM »

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I don't believe that Paulos Mar Gregorios' point was a call to relativism.

He was calling us to join non-Christians in common prayer. You agree with this? What deity can Orthodox Christians and Hindus and atheists pray to that they commonly believe in? Please answer this question. It might lead you to understand the problem people have with the arguments you're making.

Quote
God is love

But not all that humans call "love" is God.
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« Reply #134 on: April 27, 2005, 10:51:32 PM »



He was calling us to join non-Christians in common prayer. You agree with this?

Jesus dined with sinners and tax collectors. Do you agree with this? Even in their ignorance, Hindus and Muslims still have an innate knowledge of God. As Saint Paul wrote, the attributes of God are clearly seen in the Creation. Are we to have a common prayer with them within the Church? I think not. But having a common prayer with them in the public square should not be a problem, as long as we do not compromise our faith in the process. If we are to work to have peace and reconciliation with the members of other faiths, then perhaps a common prayer is a part of that.
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« Reply #135 on: April 27, 2005, 10:53:47 PM »



He was calling us to join non-Christians in common prayer. You agree with this? What deity can Orthodox Christians and Hindus and atheists pray to that they commonly believe in? Please answer this question. It might lead you to understand the problem people have with the arguments you're making.



But not all that humans call "love" is God.


On 911, everyone prayed together- all faiths, nationalities were praying at the same time. This is an example of how I would interpret the 'common prayer'...

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« Reply #136 on: April 27, 2005, 11:24:22 PM »

On 911, everyone prayed together- all faiths, nationalities were praying at the same time.  This is an example of how I would interpret the 'common prayer'...
So this takes place every Sunday morning then when Orthodox Christians pray "at the same time" as other Christians.
'Nice touch' using the 9/11 example. When reason fails, turning to emotionalism and sentimentalism is not the answer.
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« Reply #137 on: April 28, 2005, 12:12:04 AM »


So this takes place every Sunday morning then when Orthodox Christians pray "at the same time" as other Christians.
'Nice touch' using the 9/11 example. When reason fails, turning to emotionalism and sentimentalism is not the answer.

People prayed together on 911- in the street.... the speech by Paulos spoke of prayer in the secular world as distinct from prayer in the church... and that is what happened on 911- also during Tsunami...   There are times when people do pray together...usually in times of great distress when all are compelled to recognize the Almighty.. 
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« Reply #138 on: April 28, 2005, 12:36:40 AM »

For the record, the question was dodged. I asked, "Prayer to what deity?" I didn't ask with whom Jesus dined. I ate lunch with Hindus some days ago, but that's hardly praying with them. Let's be clear about distinctions. God is not Shiva. Hindus don't pray to God, nor do atheists, both of whom Bp. Paulos called for us to pray with in a common prayer.

Quote
the speech by Paulos spoke of prayer in the secular world as distinct from prayer in the church

Secular prayer? That's a contradiction in terms. Maybe you can answer, "Prayer to what?" Where does Scripture mention a secular public prayer?

Quote
usually in times of great distress when all are compelled to recognize the Almighty

Which Hindu/Druid/Buddhist/atheist did you hear from the scandalous 9/11 fest who proclaimed recognition of the Almighty of Christianity? If you can't name one, then why do you presume? Why should they not presume that the Orthodox Christian praying with them isn't recognizing Shiva? In fact, it's reasonable to believe that's what they are thinking. And if you don't take your Orthodox faith seriously, why would they?
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« Reply #139 on: April 28, 2005, 12:40:34 AM »

I'd like to add to the fire by saying that we can't even assume that other monotheistic religions believe in the same God as we do... My Metropolitan was telling me over the weekend of April 8th - 10th that if anyone says we pray to the same god as the moslems then they commit blasphemy; for their god has no love (as evidenced by their scripture).  They take a shadow of our belief and pervert it.

So "common prayer" has to be extremely well-defined, and we can't just be restricting our restrictions to the polytheists and others...
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« Reply #140 on: April 28, 2005, 02:04:11 AM »

ahh, I can feel the love.  It feels like...burning.
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« Reply #141 on: April 28, 2005, 02:38:36 AM »

I wonder what it is in the heterodox mentality which equates Orthodoxy with lovelessness, and a “warm-fuzzy-feeling-with-bright-rainbows-and-gliding-doves” with Christian Love?
I don’t think Our Lord had “warm-fuzzy-feeling-with-bright-rainbows-and-gliding-doves” on the Cross, yet there has never been a greater example of Love in human history than Christ Crucified.
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« Reply #142 on: April 28, 2005, 02:49:15 AM »

I wonder what it is in the heterodox mentality which equates Orthodoxy with lovelessness, and a “warm-fuzzy-feeling-with-bright-rainbows-and-gliding-doves” with Christian Love?
I don’t think Our Lord had “warm-fuzzy-feeling-with-bright-rainbows-and-gliding-doves” on the Cross, yet there has never been a greater example of Love in human history than Christ Crucified.


God bless and have a joyous Holy Week and Pascha!
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« Reply #143 on: April 28, 2005, 07:08:03 AM »

I hate to be the politically correct one in the bunch......but I do think that if someone is praying to "God" (as long as the person praying believes what or whom he/she is praying to is the "highest diety"......for example, a Hindu praying to Atman, rather than Shiva), that that person is indeed praying to YHWH.

Consider Abraham, for example.  His parents were, in all probability, polytheistic pagans.  And Abraham certainly had no systematic knowledge of YHWH as the Jews would 1000 years later.  He simply prayed to what he knew to be vaguely "the one God".  And God answered him.

And what about Job?  He had no historical connection with the God as revealed to the Jews.....he lived in the "East".....and yet God accepted his worship as an acceptable sacrifice.

There are also many stories of modern-day Muslims (in Iraq, for example), who asked "Allah to reveal Himself"......then the Lord Jesus would appear to them.

This is not to say that I believe there can be salvation outside of Christ and His Church.....I certainly do not believe that.  I'm just saying that if someone offers prayer to "the Highest Being", then they are in fact praying to YHWH.

As to the question "Where is the love in Eastern Orthodoxy?".....I'd like to remind everybody of the squibbles, fighting, and arrogance that I've seen in Pentecostal Churches.  This is a human thing.  It will be present in every church....whether in the true, One, Apostolic Church, or otherwise.

If you want to dichotomize the situation, we can say the Church is the guardian of two things: Truth and Love.  Sometimes the Church can focus so much on the Truth part, that they forget about the Love part.....hence what you see going on in the Christological squibbles between OO and EO.  Other times, a Church can focus too much on the Love part and forget about the Truth part....like what you see going on in ultra-ecumenical and inter-faith circles.
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« Reply #144 on: April 28, 2005, 10:53:00 AM »

I hate to be the politically correct one in the bunch......but I do think that if someone is praying to "God" (as long as the person praying believes what or whom he/she is praying to is the "highest diety"......for example, a Hindu praying to Atman, rather than Shiva), that that person is indeed praying to YHWH.

Consider Abraham, for example. His parents were, in all probability, polytheistic pagans. And Abraham certainly had no systematic knowledge of YHWH as the Jews would 1000 years later. He simply prayed to what he knew to be vaguely "the one God". And God answered him.

And what about Job? He had no historical connection with the God as revealed to the Jews.....he lived in the "East".....and yet God accepted his worship as an acceptable sacrifice.

There are also many stories of modern-day Muslims (in Iraq, for example), who asked "Allah to reveal Himself"......then the Lord Jesus would appear to them.

This is not to say that I believe there can be salvation outside of Christ and His Church.....I certainly do not believe that. I'm just saying that if someone offers prayer to "the Highest Being", then they are in fact praying to YHWH.

As to the question "Where is the love in Eastern Orthodoxy?".....I'd like to remind everybody of the squibbles, fighting, and arrogance that I've seen in Pentecostal Churches. This is a human thing. It will be present in every church....whether in the true, One, Apostolic Church, or otherwise.

If you want to dichotomize the situation, we can say the Church is the guardian of two things: Truth and Love. Sometimes the Church can focus so much on the Truth part, that they forget about the Love part.....hence what you see going on in the Christological squibbles between OO and EO. Other times, a Church can focus too much on the Love part and forget about the Truth part....like what you see going on in ultra-ecumenical and inter-faith circles.

You said it very well... there is only one God, one Creator - that is our belief and Truth...  regardless of the name given by others ... there are no other Gods, just other names and interpretations as a result of human frailty and imperfection.....

As to your last point, again you said it well.  Christological squibbles do not necessarily make one more "orthodox', just more squibbly...that is, the disaccord becomes focus and the overall message gets lost....As it turns out that was the section I was asked to read last night during nymphios...the 3rd Epistle Reading from St. Paul, from which I quote only one sentence for brevity : "Though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing..."
In XC, Kizzy

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« Reply #145 on: April 28, 2005, 11:22:06 AM »

I wonder what it is in the heterodox mentality which equates Orthodoxy with lovelessness, and a “warm-fuzzy-feeling-with-bright-rainbows-and-gliding-doves” with Christian Love?



Truth without love is dead. Tradition without compassion is hypocritical. Orthodoxy itself is not lovelessness but some become so narrowminded in their Orthodoxy that they are unable to have love and compassion for anyone outside of Orthodoxy. What good is that?  Even the pagans love their neighbor!
And I am not saying that this represents a majority of Orthodox Christians but it is a substantial minority that paints an unfavorable picture of us to the rest of the world.

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« Reply #146 on: April 28, 2005, 01:52:06 PM »

You have a convoluted idea of what loving your neighbor is. Loving everyone the way we should doesn't meam we pray with them. It means we pray for them. Loving everyone doesn't mean we blend away the fact that the gods they worship are NOT the Christian God; it means we behave like the Christian God in the hopes that they will come to understand Him better.  Stating the differences between us is not hate. You must figure out a better definition of loving your neighbor than what you have been offering, because it has been poor.
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« Reply #147 on: April 28, 2005, 02:21:44 PM »

Quote
I hate to be the politically correct one in the bunch......but I do think that if someone is praying to "God" (as long as the person praying believes what or whom he/she is praying to is the "highest diety"......for example, a Hindu praying to Atman, rather than Shiva), that that person is indeed praying to YHWH.

Quote
You said it very well... there is only one God, one Creator - that is our belief and Truth...  regardless of the name given by others ... there are no other Gods, just other names and interpretations as a result of human frailty and imperfection.....

Well, let's put these contentions to the test, based just on my memory....

In the Old Testament, when the Canaanites prayed to their highest deity Baal, then this was OK with YHWH. No, wait, actually that was really bad, and in fact when Ahab fell in with Jezebel to worship Baal, he was considered the most wicked of Kings.

Well, maybe that was just the politically incorrect Old Testament. After all, somebody named Marcion did write that the Deity in the Old Testament was not the same Deity as in the New Testament. When St. Paul came to Athens and saw that there was a Temple To The Unknown God, then he left the city and stopped preaching in Greece since he did not see that there was any reason to continue preaching because all the Deities are the same, right? Oh, I guess not, as we have records of his missionary activity.

Hmm, well maybe in the post Apostolic era we can see God agreeing with the theory that all of the High Pagan Deities are in fact Him. Several saints were brought to pagan temples, and if the theory is correct, then the statues of the pagan deities praised the saints. Actually, no, I guess not; several temples and/or statues were destroyed by God's presence made manifest in that saint when brought into the lair of these false gods...

Quote
Truth without love is dead. Tradition without compassion is hypocritical. Orthodoxy itself is not lovelessness but some become so narrowminded in their Orthodoxy that they are unable to have love and compassion for anyone outside of Orthodoxy. What good is that?  Even the pagans love their neighbor!

Death is knowing truth but hiding it. Hypocrisy is knowing tradtion but not helping others to know it. Our love and compassion for those outside of Orthodoxy means we must let others know of Orthodoxy. This is how we show love for our pagan neighbor!

Admittedly some members are too confrontational. However, a Christian life is inherently painful, as it is the most difficult thing in the world to do. Sometimes pain is needed for us to give a matter its proper attention.
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« Reply #148 on: April 28, 2005, 02:26:40 PM »

[oldwomanwaggingfinger]We've argued about this before, and to no end. 

Stop it and go to church!  We have the twelve Gospel readings tonight.  We'll have all the time in the world to discuss this later.

In fact, think about it, but not in a way that makes you formulate your arguments.  LISTEN to the Gospels and to the prayers.  Think about what they mean in terms of love AND in terms of speaking the truth and about Truth.  Think about what this prayer in our church means and what it means elsewhere.  Most of all LISTEN! 

But stop it and go to church.[/oldwomanwaggingfinger]
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« Reply #149 on: April 28, 2005, 02:59:26 PM »

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse

If the attributes of God are clearly seen in the Creation, then the members of non-Christian religions will have at least some sense of God. In this enough to pray with them in the public square? Why not?
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« Reply #150 on: April 28, 2005, 03:01:41 PM »

[oldwomanwaggingfinger]We've argued about this before, and to no end.

Stop it and go to church! We have the twelve Gospel readings tonight. We'll have all the time in the world to discuss this later.

In fact, think about it, but not in a way that makes you formulate your arguments. LISTEN to the Gospels and to the prayers. Think about what they mean in terms of love AND in terms of speaking the truth and about Truth. Think about what this prayer in our church means and what it means elsewhere. Most of all LISTEN!

But stop it and go to church.[/oldwomanwaggingfinger]

I'm excited about the intensity of the services starting today! Yes, I admit it is a little bit emotionalism taking over (which is bad), but the theology/message/etc. is mindblowingly intense and important!
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« Reply #151 on: April 28, 2005, 03:02:43 PM »

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse

If the attributes of God are clearly seen in the Creation, then the members of non-Christian religions will have at least some sense of God. In this enough to pray with them in the public square? Why not?

Why don't you take a break from thinking this for at least a few days and follow cizinec's posting?  It will do you a lot good.
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« Reply #152 on: April 28, 2005, 08:00:58 PM »

Though I thought cizinec's post was good advice, I will break that advice for a few minutes and allow myself to answer chris' post....

I think the case with Baal and the like is different for the reason that the worshippers in question were raising their worship to a man-made idol.  Notwithstanding their belief that Baal was the highest deity, they nevertheless countered this by supposing that the highest deity could be contained within a piece of wood.  This is different from Hinduism in so far as you'll never find a statue or painting of Atman, being an ultra-transcendant (albeit somewhat impersonal) figure.

I myself would be very uncomfortable praying with people from other religions, however.  To me this would be like saying, "No, that's cool bro....you don't have to have the love of Christ to be made whole......you don't have to join the Church or be baptized.....just continue in your incomplete knowledge of God....it's all good."
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« Reply #153 on: April 28, 2005, 08:19:41 PM »

Perhaps by praying with them, they will become interested in Christ.
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« Reply #154 on: April 28, 2005, 08:26:16 PM »

Notwithstanding their belief that Baal was the highest deity, they nevertheless countered this by supposing that the highest deity could be contained within a piece of wood. This is different from Hinduism in so far as you'll never find a statue or painting of Atman, being an ultra-transcendant (albeit somewhat impersonal) figure.
I don't think this is the point of idolatory.
Whenever we worship our own concepts, we are being idolatrous- we set up as God something that is not God. God is the Living God Who has revealed Himself. If we choose to worship an impersonal "highest power", we are not worshipping the God Who has revealed Himself.
As we say at the beginning of our Prayer Services: "God is the Lord, and has revealed Himself to us!"
If we choose to worship a god who is simply the projection of our own concepts, or the "revelation" of demons, then the accusation of the philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach against us is true when he says:
“It is not as in the Bible, that God created man in his own image. But, on the contrary, man created God in his own image.”
This is idolatory.

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« Reply #155 on: April 28, 2005, 08:32:01 PM »

I believe that the righteous members of non-Christian religions are "anonymous Christians" who have at least some sense of the nature of God as revealed in nature. 
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« Reply #156 on: April 29, 2005, 06:41:43 AM »

ozgeorge.....But don't you think it's possible that Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, etc. were originally revelations from God which simply became corrupted over time? (much like Islam's view of Christianity?)

.....or the view which I like better: all religions (with the possible exceptions of Islam and Mormonism) are the "fleshing out" of Jungian archetypes planted in the mind by God.  Though, we with our frail minds, cannot flesh them out properly without aid from God....which is where the Burning Bush and the Gospel come in.
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« Reply #157 on: April 29, 2005, 11:26:35 AM »

Reasonable concern is making me cautious of responding. Perhaps I'm in the early stages of becoming a grumpy old man, but aren't you the "Orthodox" Christian who doubts the existence of souls (as though this is 'optional')? What does "Orthodox" mean? Do you belong to the Orthodox Church like my boys belong to their soccer club? What is Antioch teaching you people? Smiley You and I have completely different "phronema". I'm not sure that dialogue is possible between us. But in answer to your questions:

But don't you think it's possible that Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, etc. were originally revelations from God which simply became corrupted over time?
Not at all. They are a mockery of God concocted by the father of lies. Some see in the "trinitarian view" of the deities of some religions (for example, the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Visnu and Shiva) a reflection of the Holy Trinity and say that this is evidence of divine revelation. On the contrary, this is evidence of demonic revelation- the demons also know that God is a Trinity.

.....or the view which I like better: all religions (with the possible exceptions of Islam and Mormonism) are the "fleshing out" of Jungian archetypes planted in the mind by God. Though, we with our frail minds, cannot flesh them out properly without aid from God....which is where the Burning Bush and the Gospel come in.
Firstly, why do you exclude Islam and Mormonism, and yet include Orthodox Christianity in your "Jungian" view of "all religions"?
Secondly, as I have stated before, God is Absolute Truth, and since Absolute Truth is not relative truth, the only way we can know anything about Him is if He reveals Himself to us. If God revealed Himself by "implanting Jungian Archtypes in our minds" then He would be only a relative truth, not an Absolute Truth. This is the very reason God forbad idolatry in the Second Commandment of the decalogue. Rather than me rehashing this point, check it out in this thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php/topic,4459.msg75926.html#msg75926

When I studied genetics at university, I thought that genetics had all the answers, when I studied psychology, I thought that psychology had all the answers, when I studied sociology, I thought that sociology had all the answers.....do you see where I'm going with this? Wink Put down "Synchronicity" and "Undiscovered Self with Symbols and The Interpretation of Dreams", stop making an idol of the "Self", light the vigil lamp in front of your Icons, pick up "The Orthodox Study Bible" and read.



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« Reply #158 on: April 29, 2005, 11:30:32 AM »

Though I started this thread with good intentions, perhaps it has gone on for too long. There is love in Eastern Orthodoxy but there are some "bad apples" who seem to spoil the whole bunch, at least in the eyes of the world. This is not to say that they are bad people, but they may be so fixated on the letter of tradition that they neglect its spirit and the need to love one another. I have been guilty of this from time to time and many converts will go through the same period of zealotry in some point in their life. We're only human.
Please, let's try to abstain from this thread during the Pascha weekend.
May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
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« Reply #159 on: May 03, 2005, 12:05:20 AM »

Though I started this thread with good intentions, perhaps it has gone on for too long. There is love in Eastern Orthodoxy but there are some "bad apples" who seem to spoil the whole bunch, at least in the eyes of the world. This is not to say that they are bad people, but they may be so fixated on the letter of tradition that they neglect its spirit and the need to love one another. I have been guilty of this from time to time and many converts will go through the same period of zealotry in some point in their life. We're only human.
Please, let's try to abstain from this thread during the Pascha weekend.
May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.

Christ is Risen! 
Matthew, just when I thought I had closed this issue in my mind, an awful thing happened to me at my parish on Pasha eve that I wanted to tell about... I will preface the story with 'there's good and bad people and behaviors  in all faiths' , so what i am about to say is not a general comment on all Orthodox.  However it is I think perhap an example of the kinds of things that when they are experienced in an Orthodox church, one stands back and says...'so these people are no more Christian in the end than others...'   The story is: I am involved in the choir at my parish. I assist the choir director and when he is out I sub for him.  My 9 year old daughter, who is  a 'singer',  has been invited to join with two other older little girls in our parish and has hesitated but sits with me on Sundays in the choir and sings sometimes.  For Pascha we were given a pile of old donated choir robes from a parish that bought new ones.  So everyone went through the pile and picked out what might fit and took them home for repairs and ironing, including the two other girls. This was on Holy Wednesday after services.  Everyone was told to put their names in the robes that fit.  On Saturday I went in the afternoon for choir practice and, at the repeated invitation of the director ( to help fill the choir with voices)  my daughter decided to sing on Pascha.  So I went to the closet and picked one of the 4 remaining shorter robes- no name in it.  I took it home, hemmed it a good 6 inches, and removed the wrinkles for my daughter.    We showed up at church at 10 pm for rehearsal, as scheduled, and were deep in to rehearsal at 10:30 when the other girls arrived.  All of a sudden one of the girls started complaining that my daughter 'took' her gown. She said she could tell by a small tear on it her mom had fixed... The two mothers of the two choir girls - both on the PC- started to yell at me in the Narthex.. 'that was her gown, it was in the closet, so what if it didn't have her name, etc. etc.".. I explained that the gown was unmarked , that as far as I knew everyone had taken theirs, labelled them according to instructions, etc, and that this was a leftover, which I had now altered for my daugher- and also it should not be an issue  since there were several others the same size still left and I would get one for the girl-  Now that I had shortened this for my child, who was the smallest of the group- nothing else  would fit her...whereas there were several that would fit the other girl.   I went to the closet and got one of the other gowns, which was ankle length.  The mother insisted that her child would trip on it... but it was the same size as the original one- though this was not apparent now that I had shortened it.  She ended up stapling the hem and it was fine... Mind you the only reason the girl felt there was no gown for her was because she was looking for the one with the tear, but did not check to see if anything else fit...In any case, rather than the mothers see what could work, they went for the jugular. I told the mother " i'm truly sorry but I had no way of knowing the gown was 'taken' and there were several the same size..."
 
I can't tell you how awful it was to be 'butchered' in the narthex by two officers of the PC on Pascha eve while in the middle of rehearsing Soma Christou.   These were people first up for communion.  All that fasting the did for lent out the window in my opinion- better to not be so 'perfect' in fasting and more perfect in kindness toward others.  All that PC fussing on the flowers for the epitaphion,the flowers for the Mirofiores, the altar, the choir robes, etc... for what? To put on an orthodox  'show' while stabbing people in the back?  How awful.. esp for anyone walking in at 10:45 to hear what was going on right there at the pangari...It must have sounded like the devil's den...  I had to hold myself back from walking out on the choir altogether- but I thought of the terrible example it would set for my daugher who was so excited about singing for Pascha - and I thought that 'why should I not go to church for Pascha?' But I lost my voice for awhile and could hardly sing or concentrate on the music...


In any case, hopefully I have not bored the readers with this event. It's just another 'true story' of what goes on in church with people who 'run the daily things'.  Yet, the 'love' must start with the clergy and the PC... and if it's not there, the tendency is for all actiivties  to take on the 'culture' of the PC, rather than the spririt of the church as Christ intended.  I pray  no one ever experiences anything like this...  ever!

In XC,
Kizzy




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« Reply #160 on: May 03, 2005, 12:18:12 AM »

I've got no idea what this topic is really about as I haven't gone to the first page to read - I just read the last story Kizzy posted and thought to myself sadly, "Looks like those women forgot what they were at church for!"

Sad, but true ... people get so involved in the tiny insignificant things that they forget the true meaning, and what we're there to celebrate in the first place.

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« Reply #161 on: May 03, 2005, 12:28:43 AM »

Sin begins in the choir. 

I'm in the choir at my church, too--I am the tenor section, actually Wink--so I know that it can get catty, 'specially when the pressure's on during Holy Week, everyone's irritable because of the demands so many services are making on your voice/body, fasting's increased, so we're all gripey and hungry, we want Pascha to sound great (while it shouldn't be about "showtime," we of course want it to sound the most glorious we can make it sound)...yet in all that, in our knowledge of our role (which is an honor or should be) as prayer-leader, we can get too big for our britches and make it more about the appearance than the substance.

Sorry you had to go through that, Kizzy.  Been there with offenses like that in the choir, some of which have caused folks to leave.  Sad
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« Reply #162 on: May 03, 2005, 12:43:33 AM »

Sin begins in the choir.

I'm in the choir at my church, too--I am the tenor section, actually Wink--so I know that it can get catty, 'specially when the pressure's on during Holy Week, everyone's irritable because of the demands so many services are making on your voice/body, fasting's increased, so we're all gripey and hungry, we want Pascha to sound great (while it shouldn't be about "showtime," we of course want it to sound the most glorious we can make it sound)...yet in all that, in our knowledge of our role (which is an honor or should be) as prayer-leader, we can get too big for our britches and make it more about the appearance than the substance.

Sorry you had to go through that, Kizzy. Been there with offenses like that in the choir, some of which have caused folks to leave. Sad

Thanks Pedro... actually I thought it began in the Parish council  and was mirrored in the choir! no matter, I see I am not alone!.
In XC , kizzy
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« Reply #163 on: May 04, 2005, 12:41:41 AM »

All that fasting the did for lent out the window in my opinion- better to not be so 'perfect' in fasting and more perfect in kindness toward others.

This reminds me of when Jesus said that it is not what goes into the mouth which defiles the man but which comes out of it. Thank you for sharing. One of the things I love about my church is that we usually do not have problems like that. There isn't the gossip and intolerance that there is in some other churches. I am not saying that to "brag" at all. But it is just hard to accept that some would consider my church "heretical" considering that if there is love in Orthodoxy, it is definitely at my church. Know what I mean?

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« Reply #164 on: May 04, 2005, 08:40:39 AM »

Oh just get over it already. There are plenty of EO and OO who get along just dandy; stop bringing it up like everyone here hates you and your church or something. We disagree. We're not in communion. God willing, we will be someday. Leave it at that.
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« Reply #165 on: May 04, 2005, 02:49:54 PM »

There are plenty of EO and OO who get along just dandy; stop bringing it up like everyone here hates you and your church or something. We disagree.

I was bringing up something which makes our Church unique. In the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, there isn't the gossip, politics, and intolerance that there is in certain Orthodox jurisdictions. Given that India is such a religiously diverse country, the Church learned to be open-minded while still holding fast to Orthodox tradition. 
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« Reply #166 on: May 04, 2005, 03:23:17 PM »

Now you're judging whole groups of people (and worse, along jurisdictional lines) as gossipers, politicizers, and intolerant. I think you've got a strange and special pair of rosy non-reality lenses on.
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« Reply #167 on: May 04, 2005, 03:25:52 PM »

Now you're judging whole groups of people (and worse, along jurisdictional lines) as gossipers, politicizers, and intolerant. I think you've got a strange and special pair of rosy non-reality lenses on.

This is not to judge a whole group of people, there are just certain elements within groups. Every church has its foibles and likewise, every church has its strengths. I can almost guarantee that anyone who comes to our church can feel welcome.
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« Reply #168 on: May 04, 2005, 04:13:30 PM »

Hey Matthew, which part of "just get over it already" did you find incomprehensible? Shocked
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« Reply #169 on: May 04, 2005, 04:27:19 PM »

This is not to judge a whole group of people, there are just certain elements within groups. Every church has its foibles and likewise, every church has its strengths. I can almost guarantee that anyone who comes to our church can feel welcome.

If there are certain elements within groups, as you say, you would do well to admit that those certain elements exist within your own church.  Your individual parish might be welcoming, but look long enough and you'll find at least one parish in every parish in every jurisdiction, be it EO or OO, that is not welcoming.

And just for future reference, hasty generalizations are a logical fallacy.  Wink
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« Reply #170 on: May 04, 2005, 04:45:44 PM »

And just for future reference, hasty generalizations are a logical fallacy. Wink

Which is why I do not engage in debates but in "dialogs". Afro
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« Reply #171 on: May 04, 2005, 04:52:16 PM »

You mean "monologues," of course.
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« Reply #172 on: May 04, 2005, 04:54:36 PM »

ha ha
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« Reply #173 on: May 04, 2005, 05:23:25 PM »

"This is not to judge a whole group of people, there are just certain elements within groups. Every church has its foibles and likewise, every church has its strengths. I can almost guarantee that anyone who comes to our church can feel welcome."

Tricky, tricky, lowercasing the C's like that....What you really meant to type is
This is not to judge a whole group of people, there are just certain elements within groups. Every Church has its foibles and likewise, every Church has its strengths. I can almost guarantee that anyone who comes to our Church can feel welcome.

If you are saying that your individual parish is welcoming, fabu for you. But nobody really cares unless they're looking for a church in your area to attend. But since the subtext is that your jurisdiction is welcoming and other jurisdictions are not, get over it. I dont care what your Christology is, but no singlular jurisdiction has the monopoly on being the best one.
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« Reply #174 on: May 04, 2005, 05:40:58 PM »

This is not to judge a whole group of people, there are just certain elements within groups. Every church has its foibles and likewise, every church has its strengths. I can almost guarantee that anyone who comes to our church can feel welcome.
Your point is? Everyone who goes to St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopalian Church in San Francisco also is made to feel welcome- especially if they're unrepentant active homosexuals. Everyone who goes to the Hare Krishna Temple here in Sydney is made to feel welcome and can share in the Sunday Feast.
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« Reply #175 on: May 04, 2005, 06:29:49 PM »

But since the subtext is that your jurisdiction is welcoming and other jurisdictions are not, get over it.

From what I have heard from clergy members and those who have come into contact with other Malankara commumities, this is a jurisdiction without much politics, intolerance and gossip.
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« Reply #176 on: May 04, 2005, 06:35:02 PM »

I need to find out where you get glasses with lenses that shade of rose. 
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« Reply #177 on: May 04, 2005, 07:12:19 PM »

Quote
but no singlular jurisdiction has the monopoly on being the best one.

You obviously aren't a Serb.   Grin
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« Reply #178 on: May 04, 2005, 07:56:46 PM »


Your point is? Everyone who goes to St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopalian Church in San Francisco also is made to feel welcome- especially if they're unrepentant active homosexuals.

...been there for a concert.  All I will say about it is that the place is...interesting.
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« Reply #179 on: May 04, 2005, 08:46:38 PM »


Your point is? Everyone who goes to St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopalian Church in San Francisco also is made to feel welcome- especially if they're unrepentant active homosexuals. Everyone who goes to the Hare Krishna Temple here in Sydney is made to feel welcome and can share in the Sunday Feast.

There is no basis nor reason to compare the Malankara Church to an ultra-liberal protestant denomination and a new age cult.
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« Reply #180 on: May 04, 2005, 10:47:27 PM »

There is no basis nor reason to compare the Malankara Church to an ultra-liberal protestant denomination and a new age cult.

So your church isn't as faaabulous as them?
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« Reply #181 on: May 04, 2005, 10:48:34 PM »

Given that India is such a religiously diverse country, the Church learned to be open-minded while still holding fast to Orthodox tradition.

I think you are very naive. Or something.
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« Reply #182 on: May 04, 2005, 10:53:31 PM »

Something. Imbibe once again!
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« Reply #183 on: May 04, 2005, 10:58:08 PM »

Huzzah! Make mine a double!  :brew:  :brew:
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« Reply #184 on: May 04, 2005, 11:10:34 PM »

You got it!   :brew:
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