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Author Topic: What is similiar between Orthodoxy and Protestant faiths  (Read 2370 times) Average Rating: 0
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StGeorge
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« on: August 16, 2005, 07:56:32 PM »

I know, in reading books such as Timothy Ware's the Orthodox Church, that the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches are more alike than is the Orthodox Church to either one.ÂÂ  

However, while I am sure that Orthodoxy to a large degree exists on a different plane, I also believe that there can be at least some ssimilarities between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, and OOrthodoxyand Protestantism.ÂÂ  For example, Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism are both sisimilarn that they use incense, in that they both believe that "faith alone" is not sufficient for justification.ÂÂ  

What simsimilarities therefore be said between Orthodoxy and the different Protestant faiths, which cannot be as easily said to be simsimilaritiesth Roman Catholicism?ÂÂ  

Although the Protestant Reformers were certainly misgmisguidedmany respects, were they on the right direction with anything that they said?ÂÂ  Especially the Lutherans, since they seem to me to have been the least mad of the early Protestants (besides the Anglicans, of course).ÂÂ  

Thanks!ÂÂ  Smiley

« Last Edit: August 16, 2005, 08:03:57 PM by StGeorge » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2005, 08:02:45 PM »

I know, in reading books such as Timothy Ware's the Orthodox Church, that the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches are more alike than is the Orthodox Church to either one. 

However, while I am sure that Orthodoxy to a large degree exists on a different plane, I also believe that there can be at least some ssimilaritiesbetween Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, and OOrthodoxyand Protestantism.  For example, Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism are both sisimilarn that they use incense, in that they both believe that "faith alone" is not sufficient for justification. 

What simsimilaritiesn therefore be said between Orthodoxy and the different Protestant faiths, which cannot be as easily said to be simsimilaritiesth Roman Catholicism? 

Although the Protestant Reformers were certainly misgmisguidedmany respects, were they on the right direction with anything that they said?  Especially the Lutherans, since they seem to me to have been the least mad of the early Protestants (besides the Anglicans, of course). 

Thanks!  Smiley




not a lot.   But here a few things off the top of my head.


they both agree that both the wine and bread should be given out during communion.   Both disagree with the RC stance of "the primacy of Peter".   Both disagree with notion of virgin mary being born "without sin".
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StGeorge
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2005, 08:07:16 PM »

Does anyone think that Orthodoxy and Protestantism are similiar in that their spiritualities both, though they are different, have a personal element which is not as evident in Roman Catholicism?   
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2005, 08:32:01 PM »

While they both have a personal element, I would say the directions of that personal element go in opposite ways between the two groups. "Working out ones salvation" becomes "Having a personal relationship." "self sacrifice and spiritual discipline" becomes "praying the sinners prayer and the prosperity gospel." "Receiving the Body and Blood" becomes "Contemplation on what Jesus did on the cross for you." I'm not sure how to better elucidate that, but that's my gut feeling. There are positive elements in Protestantism, namely a very active participation level and an increased awareness of God in every aspect of ones life that I think need to be coaxed out of the nominal Orthodox.

I havent read it, but I have heard good things about Common Ground: An Intro to Eastern Christianity for the American Christian by Jordain Bajis as it points out the similiarities as well as the differences.
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StGeorge
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2005, 10:33:43 PM »

Quote
Originally Quoted by choirfriend:

While they both have a personal element, I would say the directions of that personal element go in opposite ways between the two groups. "Working out ones salvation" becomes "Having a personal relationship." "self sacrifice and spiritual discipline" becomes "praying the sinners prayer and the prosperity gospel." "Receiving the Body and Blood" becomes "Contemplation on what Jesus did on the cross for you." I'm not sure how to better elucidate that, but that's my gut feeling. There are positive elements in Protestantism, namely a very active participation level and an increased awareness of God in every aspect of ones life that I think need to be coaxed out of the nominal Orthodox.

I havent read it, but I have heard good things about Common Ground: An Intro to Eastern Christianity for the American Christian by Jordain Bajis as it points out the similiarities as well as the differences.

Thanks!ÂÂ  My mother is Lutheran, and I've been to numerous Lutheran services before.ÂÂ  I have noticed, at least at the Lutheran churches I've been to, that there is a heavy concentration on the local church.ÂÂ  The church is like a family, and after the service everyone talks with everyone else in the narthex (or whatever it is called in Lutheran churces) and does so with love and joy.ÂÂ  Also, the members are very active in doing activities together as a church.ÂÂ  I also have a baptist friend whose church I've been to.ÂÂ  I was amazed at how much of a communal awareness there was among the members.ÂÂ  My sister goes to an e-free church, and although I have not been there, I can tell through what my sister tells me that her church is very closely knit as a church community.ÂÂ  

On the other hand, my experience with Catholic churches has been quite negative in that there is lacking a true communal aspect.ÂÂ  My sister actually left the Catholic faith, not because she didn't believe in its theology (that only came later), but because she couldn't find a Catholic church where she felt that the people really cared about her and in which she was part of a church community.ÂÂ  To be sure, there are nice Catholics around here, and there clearly is an intellectual awareness of a universal communion with Catholics around the world, but for me personally I've never been able to feel as though I truly belonged and was welcome in my parish church, much less other parish churches around.ÂÂ  I never got the feeling of a true communal awareness in which everyone knew most everyone else in the church and was actively concerned for them.ÂÂ  Most communication with other members of the church (unless one does special events listed in the bulletin, which are only mentioned in the bulletin) is limited to several minutes before or following Mass.ÂÂ  To be fair, the parish churches around here are huge, with an average of 500 families to each, so I think that it's not the fault of the Catholic Church per se; it's just how it must be because of the priest shortage. Sad

So, I am curious: what is the atmosphere like at an Orthodox church?ÂÂ  Is it more like the Protestant churches I have described, or is it more like an average Catholic Church around me which serves as a place to go on Sunday but not a place to develop your faith with people your age?ÂÂ  Do you think that many Orthodox parish churches, as they are now being filled with ex-evangelicals, are bringing this positive aspect of Protestant Christianity to their churches?ÂÂ  

I don't mean any disrespect to the Catholic Church when I say these things about my local parishes, but it has been my experience.  The Catholic Church has helped me out with some things for which I am glad and thankful, but I've always felt that my parish and those around me have failed to provide extracurricular church activities to be attended by an ebullient majority of parish members.  A lot of times I want to talk with a fellow Catholic about my spiritual problems, and to perhaps gain some insights into my faith, but there is really nobody in this area with whom I can really do that.  So, I post here on orthodoxchristianity.net and on Catholic forums instead  Smiley  Maybe it's just my area.  ÃƒÆ’‚  
« Last Edit: August 16, 2005, 10:42:15 PM by StGeorge » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2005, 11:15:22 PM »

I've been Protestant for most of my adult life, and am only a recent convert to Orthodoxy.  In almost every way you can imagine; theologically, ecclesiologically, liturgically; Protestantism and Orthodoxy are very different.  Of course how different varies from denomination to denomination.  When you say "Protestant", theologically you're talking about Calvinists, Wesleyans, Arminians, Pentecostals, Anglicans, etc., etc.  These groups have very different beliefs among themselves, let alone compared to Orthodoxy.

When it comes to communal feeling I think that varies from church to church regardless of flavor.  Some Protestant churches are rather cold like you described the Catholic churches you have experienced; some Catholic churches have a very healthy communal spirit; and I'm sure some Orthodox churches can be either way as well.  My Orthodox church is very familial, and at the same time very inviting of outsiders, and I think this is a sign of a healthy church.



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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2005, 11:27:25 PM »

StG,

We (Orthodox Serbs in Perth WA) get together for the Divine Liturgy and after that we go into the Parish hall where one can eat, drink, sing, dance.... whatever one really feels like. There is always someone who comes from other jurisdiction who came from some of the Orthodox places in the "old countries" and then they tell the story. Month ago we had a lady who's entire family is in Athos. And she is in some female monastery in Russia. And she told the story.

I used to think that it would be hard for a non-Serb to figure out what is going on, but about 40% of the people have no connection to Serbs at all. Most are Scotish for some reason. There are couple of Sicilians (they got married to Greek ladies and started going to Serbian Church when they came to Perth - they live close by). All of these are in there. I started going to these Churches couple of months ago... And priest would speak a lot of english during the sermon. I wondered why does he do it... after I figured that lot of the guys are not Serbs, it figured (and I do not mean Serbs that do not speak Serbian.. these are not Serbs at all).

You see I come from Sabbatarianism, they are tight crew. So I though that Orthodox won't be like them. Wrong, my Church is your typical Serbian Church.. Serbian Christ, Serbian Politics, Serbian Music... and Greek, Italian and German food (they lost me there).

Lord's day has it's special feel to it...

I love it.

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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2005, 12:53:23 AM »

Greetings, I'm a student of Orthodoxy, one might say, and in every conceivable way growing. My thoughts here are presented with the intention that they should be read with a critical mind. Indeed, I plead with you all, correct me when wrong!

Theologically there are many similarities. Beliefs which are regarded as central to Christianity are practiced, taught, and believed with furvor by both east and west. I'm thinking here of such issues as the Trinity (saving of course the filioque controversy), divinity and humanity of Christ, salvific work of Christ, the belief of the inspired-ness of the scriptures, and the literal resurrection of Christ.

However, in that same vain, there are also a number of very signficant differences, not least of which those issues pertaining to doctrine. Rather, the entire philosophical and hermeneutical approach of the Eastern Church is radically different from that of West. I refer here to what is called "apophaticism" or the negative way, the way of negations. It is a system of thought, a way of thinking, which says that the way in which we speak truthfully about God can be done only through affirming what God isn't. This negative way is pitted against the cataphatic, or positive way, which, by implication, is used by the west; but not always necessarilly so. Though this negative theology is found throughout the writings of the Church Fathers, it is most thoroughly expressed in the writings of Pseudo-Dionysus the Areopagite in the workConcerning Mystical Theology, as well as, to some degree, St Gregory of Nyssa. I suggest you read Vladimir Lossky's The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church which has an especially helpful chapter on this subject.

There exists, then, a fundamental difference in mindset between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church/Protestantism. However, as has been noted in a previous post, protestants agree with the Orthodox on the issues of purgatory, Papal authority/primacy, and the immaculate conception (Mary being born without sin). But there is, on a rock bottom level, a difference in methodology that separates the two. Yes, points of agreement exist; but the differences are striking.

With that, I bid you adieu.

Peace,

Chuck

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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2005, 09:17:58 AM »

 Undecided How can there be a similarity if the protestants, among other things to numerous to mention, deny at least 5 of the 7 sacraments, deny priesthood and apostolic succession, deny the Mystery of the Eucharist, and for the most part ignore the Theotokos's role in salvation?  I don't get it? 
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2005, 10:44:35 AM »

Quote
and for the most part ignore the Theotokos's role in salvation?
What role? I thought the Orthodox rejected the RCC stuff like co-redemtrix and all that.
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2005, 11:29:40 AM »

What role? I thought the Orthodox rejected the RCC stuff like co-redemtrix and all that.
Maybe he's referring to her historical role in salvation--her "yes" to God on behalf of mankind in submitting to be the Theotokos, the one from whom Christ derives His humanity.
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2005, 11:30:49 AM »

Quote
I havent read it, but I have heard good things about Common Ground: An Intro to Eastern Christianity for the American Christian by Jordain Bajis as it points out the similiarities as well as the differences.

I've read it, and it is indeed a good book.
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2005, 09:14:02 PM »

This is from a website dealing in music, but I thought it might be applicable, especially the last paragraphs.

Byzantine culture (300—1200 a.d.) manifested a harmonious system. All of its branches of knowledge and experience, including philosophy, natural sciences, humanities, aesthetics, and arts formed a unified world of perception that was rooted in religion. The intellectual disciplines and the arts found a harmonious home in the Church. The arts — in particular, iconography, hymnography, and singing — reached their highest forms of expression in and for the worship experience. They grew from within the Church and were permeated by the spirit of religion and the system of thought connected with that religion. In turn, they shaped the style and direction of artistic expression outside the Church.

Modern European culture (1400 a.d.—present), on the other hand, is typified by a greater degree of autonomy among its branches. Each discipline develops its own course separate from the other components of the culture. Thus, religion, ethics, law, science, philosophy, and art tend to function independently of each other. For instance, the laws of the land may not express or support the religious bias of its citizens. Or, a scientist's or performing artist's religious beliefs may have no impact on his professional endeavors, and the fruits of his efforts may have no connection to his worship experience. We may like or dislike the independence of the facets of our culture, but we have become so accustomed to this mode of detached existence that the idea of an alternative is hard to imagine.

American society, as a product of Western European culture, harbors a seemingly inescapable clash of cultures. Orthodox Christianity generates a homogeneous culture, as evidenced by the Byzantine model and its ethnic offshoots. Western Christianity has bred a culture of diversity and pluralism, witnessed by the multitude of present-day Christian denominations and diffusion of ethnic elements into the general fabric of American society.

Eastern Orthodoxy derives its identity from national culture, whereas Western Christianity adheres to a policy of international appeal, to the Roman concept of the inhabited world. Eastern culture tends toward conservation, whereas Western culture thrives on the notion of progress. The one is mystic and experiential; the other is rational and intellectual. The one elevates community and anonymity, the other individuality. In music, the one cultivates programmatic, word-bound forms, the other abstract forms; etc. The juxtaposition of these two cultures is a fact of life in America, and presents a conflict for the Orthodox Christian.
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2005, 09:44:35 PM »

Maybe he's referring to her historical role in salvation--her "yes" to God on behalf of mankind in submitting to be the Theotokos, the one from whom Christ derives His humanity.
If that's what he refers to then yes! protestants do indeed ignore/deny the significance of the Theotokos.
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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2005, 12:27:16 PM »

So, I am curious: what is the atmosphere like at an Orthodox church?ÂÂ  Is it more like the Protestant churches I have described, or is it more like an average Catholic Church around me which serves as a place to go on Sunday but not a place to develop your faith with people your age?ÂÂ  Do you think that many Orthodox parish churches, as they are now being filled with ex-evangelicals, are bringing this positive aspect of Protestant Christianity to their churches?ÂÂ  

That depends on the church and jurisdiction.  ÃƒÆ’‚ I found some Orthodox churches that were neutral, or somewhat cool.  ÃƒÆ’‚  But I have been greatly impressed by the warmth of my Egyptian friends, when I first visited my local Coptic church (it was actually more friendly than any Protestant church I had ever attended).  ÃƒÆ’‚  That was actually a big reason I ended up joining.  ÃƒÆ’‚ I had already decided to join some kind of Orthodox church, but the final question was where I belonged.  ÃƒÆ’‚  And I didn't feel I belonged till I ran acrossed that church.
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« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2005, 12:39:09 PM »

Undecided How can there be a similarity if the protestants, among other things to numerous to mention, deny at least 5 of the 7 sacraments, deny priesthood and apostolic succession, deny the Mystery of the Eucharist, and for the most part ignore the Theotokos's role in salvation?ÂÂ  I don't get it?ÂÂ  


Well Orthodoxy disagrees with Catholicism on areas of Later Tradition.    Where Catholicism, later changed or modified things after the fact.   So not giving out wine during communion.   Having no married priests for the LAtin rite is another.


We agree with Protestantism on some issues, because coincidentally they in taking a "biblical" view, matches the older Tradition which comes from the older Apostolic practices.   As seen in the Bible, Didache, etc.    But I really think this is a case that "even a broken clock is right twice a day".     We should not be suprised if Protestants agree with Orthodoxy on an issue here and there.   A certain ammount of that would be expected to occur, mathematically.    After all Protestantism was, at least initiailly, a reaction against Catholicism, and not Orthodoxy.     So you would expect that they would end up agreeing conincidentally, from time to time.
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