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Author Topic: Protestant Forum?  (Read 9407 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasios
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« on: March 30, 2003, 07:52:07 PM »

Friends,

Since we were blacklisted at christianbbs.com, and since some great Protestant friends have joined Orthodoxchrsitiantiy.net, we are tinkering with the idea of having an Orthodox-Protestant discussion area where polite discussion could transpire.

Obviously this is an Orthodox forum, and the presumption is that Orthodoxy is the true faith.  However, just as Catholics are allowed more leeway* in the Catholic-Orthodox discussion forum, we would offer the same to Protestants in the Protestant-Orthodox forum.

What do you all think?

anastasios

* leeway in the sense that Catholics are free to disagree with Orthodoxy and make points in a way that they could not do in the "Faith" forum, for instance, where Orthodoxy is "the" faith under discussion.
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2003, 08:19:39 PM »

Hmmm . . .

I have mixed feelings about it, honestly.

Although we disagree with many RC innovations, the Roman Church has largely preserved the deposit of faith intact, and she is of apostolic foundation.

Protestantism, on the other hand, is a dangerous, multi-faceted, multifarious, fissiparous heresy. It has the character of a cancer: its cells are constantly dividing, changing, and multiplying.

Find a "cure" for one variety of the disease and, before you know it, it has spawned new and mutant variations.

It would be nice to have a forum in which to discuss Protestant doctrines; but, just the same, I have my misgivings.

This is a nice site now. I wonder how the introduction of rabid, Fundamentalist Protestantism could alter that.



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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2003, 08:27:59 PM »

We could call it The Narthex  Grin

If they get unruly and start protestin' there is always ...

The Doors ... The Doors !

On a more serious note,
Since any reasoned discussion over at CBBS is being censored and airbrushed to cover the truth, it might be fruitful to provide a discussion forum for inquirers to discuss those issues that may be a stumbling block to coming home to the Orthodox Church.

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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2003, 08:59:43 PM »

Well, one thing is sure: if a Protestant Forum is begun here, I absolutely will NOT pull any punches.

I will be kind to individual Protestants, but I will dissect their heresies in a way I was not allowed to do over at "Protestants R Us."

I do not "know it all," but I do know a thing or two about what Protestants believe.

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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2003, 09:07:42 PM »

We would keep it utterly contained, in other words, any "spillover" to other forae would be deleted immediately.

I am troubled by the way it could go, though, in any case so we are thinking this out carefully.

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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2003, 09:22:27 PM »

...other forae ....

anastasios

Dear anastasios,

I think it might be helpful (I am actually very interested) but, like you mention, it might be hard to contain.

BTW, according to http://www.m-w.com
the plural of forum is either forums or fora.  Forum is a neuter Latin noun like datum so the plural is -a.  Formula since it is feminine becomes formulas or formulae the -ae being distinctive of the feminine plural.  These are noticeable similarities with Greek.  Forums and formulas are obviously English forms not respecting the original language inflections.  

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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2003, 10:25:05 PM »

I think it would be nearly impossible to contain. The new "members" would be creating all sorts of anti-Orthodox and anti-Roman Catholic threads, posting pictures of hierarchs and especially the Pope, complete with insulting captions. Name-calling, mockery, sarcasm, and reviling are the chief "arguments" these folks employ.

That is exactly what goes on over at "Protestants R Us."

It would be a fulltime job to control it.

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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2003, 10:37:50 PM »

Quote
posting pictures of hierarchs and especially the Pope, complete with insulting captions.

But remember, the staff and coders here are Orthodox, imagine the possiblities  

if {$USER=="berean"} {
   ....
}



 Grin
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2003, 10:37:56 PM »

True but do we see SSPX people fighting with us due to having a Orthodox-Catholic discussion area?

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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2003, 10:40:46 PM »

Two questions:

1.  What are "the possibilities"?

2.  What are SSPX people?

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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2003, 10:51:33 PM »

Quote
What are "the possibilities"?

Hmmm ...

In reality, we could have much fun, with redirection of intended graphics, signatures and the like, but to do so would be to stoop down to that level which we have been treated to at CBBS.

All of which makes me back up a bit and perhaps wonder that if we were to provide the freedom to post here, that we would like to have over at CBBS, it might be a mistake.
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2003, 10:58:19 PM »

That is a dilemma.

Of course, I understand perfectly why they have begun censoring us.

First, they cannot defeat us in open debate.

Second, they really believe what they believe and are troubled at the effect we are having over there.

Since they regard us as apostates, they feel justified in shutting us down.

I suppose I might do the same thing if I were in their shoes.

I certainly do not want this web site to turn into a platform for maladjusted Fundamentalist Protestants like B53.
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2003, 11:03:10 PM »

SSPX=fundamentalist Catholics
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2003, 11:05:05 PM »

Ah . . . Latin Mass guys!

Understood!  Wink
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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2003, 11:15:42 PM »

But on the other hand, do we close our doors to keep those like B53 out, and shut out the next MtC ?  Of course, we can answer the tough questions, but we cannot let anarchy reign (as it does elsewhere)

What is the answer ??
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« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2003, 11:34:21 AM »

Well there are a few things we would need to keep it from getting out of hand.

1. Cooperation from Orthodox forum members - We do not DO NOT need an Orthodox version of Berean who posts supposedly insulting images and lists nontopical bible quotations instead of charitibly debating with each other.  

2. Cooperation with sympathetic non-Orthodox forum members - people like Lance, dadof10, etc who are not Orthodox, yet are polite and respectful and very welcome here as forum members.  Not only shall we bear witness to Orthodoxy to people like these who perhaps are beginning to have "ears to hear" but if they can engage in meangful discussion without mudslinging they might be willing to tell others about the site.  

3. Cooperation with the Admins/Moderators - The five of us here who can lock, delete, and generally prune threads would have to agree to put in a bit of extra time to help with this, at least at first until the regulars would learn the ground rules.  If we get someone like Berean who insists on insulting us without providing any substance to the discussion, then not only will we vigilantly delete any off-forum threads/posts he creates, but we will also establish a line to cross to remain a member.  We will let people argue as they will openly as we have nothing to fear, but if they refuse to participate and instead want to spam the board we will quickly and politely show them the door.  

As the only former protestant among the Admins/Moderators I am willing to take on most of the effort of keeping this forum inline.
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« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2003, 10:14:38 PM »

Okay . . . so what happens once you've established this forum?

Do we go out into the internet highyways and invite Protestants to stop in?

This being a country with a Protestant majority, there is the possibility that we could be overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers.

I don't know . . .

I'm a former Protestant, too, which is why I think I understand that Protestantism is a whole other religion, separate and distinct from historic Christianity.

I believe in evangelizing them through apologetics, but I would prefer to see it done "behind the lines," i.e., on their own web sites.

Still, I'm all for whatever you all decide. I'll help out as much as I can.  Grin
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« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2003, 11:06:25 PM »

I'm still going back and forth.  BTW, I am a former Lutheran, turned Byzantine Catholic, on the road to Orthodoxy.

anastasios
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« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2003, 11:13:18 PM »

Of course, most of them will skeedaddle quick once their cherished notions are skewered, but the more rabid will stick it out.

I'm a former Protestant, too, which is why I think I understand that Protestantism is a whole other religion, separate and distinct from historic Christianity.


Or perhaps some will "skeedaddle" when they appear in good faith and are subjected instead to "skewering" by converts who no longer respect the faith that led them to where they are now.

I smile at your confidence that you can defeat any of them in "open debate". In open debate, after all, you will not be able to rely upon the Eastern church's authorities-- you will have to demosntrate them. In any case, I fail to see the point of establishing a forum whose purpose, in your eyes, is to drive all guests away. Or perhaps it is to attract cranks which you may intellectually torment for your own entertainment. (I've been around that one with an atheist of late. He failed to understand why I refused to bandy words with him.)

The very notion of "a" forum for Protestantism is an exercise in futility, hough. I might make sense to have an Anglican forum (if you'll promise not to bring up Jack Spong) or maybe a Lutheran or Reformed forum. Really, though, mostly what Protestants have in common is rejection of Roman/Eastern errors and presumptions, and they hardly even agree on what those are. I fail to see the point.
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« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2003, 11:13:21 PM »

We could be a little bit more devious and set up a second database and have a url like "christianfaith.com" where all the mods are really Orthodox but we let Protestantism flourish on the surface but keep letting Orthodox plugs get in subtly! hehe  Cool

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« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2003, 11:22:19 PM »

I think all of you may be thinking of this on a different scale than I am.  I am not saying we should go on the offensive and challenge protestants to come here and defend their doctrines "if they dare", but to provide a place for our site members who are protestants(yes there are a few) to have a place to discuss differences between protestantism and Orthodoxy.  

Linus, Oblio, et al were doing a good thing with their excellent catechesis and gentle manner on christianbbs.com.  With the current changes, they will not be allowed to continue, yet I think good things might happen if they left a message saying that those members who agreed with some of what we were saying and would like to discuss it further are welcome to join in OC.net especially in the new Protestant Forum where protestant differences with Orthodoxy can be discussed without drowing out the Faith and Liturgy forums for those who don't care to read protestant theological teachings.  

We don't want to inundate the forum with these people, but we have a handfull of them now who may wish to stay for a while if we welcome them, in exactly the same manner as the Catholic forum does for our several members who are Catholics.
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« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2003, 11:23:42 PM »

Of course, most of them will skeedaddle quick once their cherished notions are skewered, but the more rabid will stick it out.

I'm a former Protestant, too, which is why I think I understand that Protestantism is a whole other religion, separate and distinct from historic Christianity.


Or perhaps some will "skeedaddle" when they appear in good faith and are subjected instead to "skewering" by converts who no longer respect the faith that led them to where they are now.

I smile at your confidence that you can defeat any of them in "open debate". In open debate, after all, you will not be able to rely upon the Eastern church's authorities-- you will have to demosntrate them. In any case, I fail to see the point of establishing a forum whose purpose, in your eyes, is to drive all guests away. Or perhaps it is to attract cranks which you may intellectually torment for your own entertainment. (I've been around that one with an atheist of late. He failed to understand why I refused to bandy words with him.)

The very notion of "a" forum for Protestantism is an exercise in futility, hough. I might make sense to have an Anglican forum (if you'll promise not to bring up Jack Spong) or maybe a Lutheran or Reformed forum. Really, though, mostly what Protestants have in common is rejection of Roman/Eastern errors and presumptions, and they hardly even agree on what those are. I fail to see the point.


A valid point but as you can see from the Catholic-Orthodox discussion area, we don't get that many posts from Catholics so if we started the Protestant forum we wouldn't want to subdivide it into categories for each denomination and then have noone from that denomination post.

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« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2003, 11:54:46 PM »

Quote
Really, though, mostly what Protestants have in common is rejection of Roman/Eastern errors and presumptions, and they hardly even agree on what those are. I fail to see the point.

What they have in common is the elevation of the individual and his private opinions to the place of supreme authority in the Christian faith.

What they reject as error is only that which they do not understand and cannot glean from their own private readings of their much abridged Bibles and their 16th-century traditions.

That is why there are over 33,000 different Protestant sects, cults, denominations, and isms in the world today.

Any confidence we have in our ability to defeat them in open debate comes from our confidence in Christ and also from experience.
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« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2003, 12:40:24 AM »

Actually, Keble might have a good idea there: an Anglican forum.

Now that could be very productive.

And I have no intention of bringing up Spong!

The very thought is akin to bringing up one's lunch.  Tongue

 Grin
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« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2003, 08:07:57 AM »


What they have in common is the elevation of the individual and his private opinions to the place of supreme authority in the Christian faith.

What they reject as error is only that which they do not understand and cannot glean from their own private readings of their much abridged Bibles and their 16th-century traditions.

That is why there are over 33,000 different Protestant sects, cults, denominations, and isms in the world today.

Any confidence we have in our ability to defeat them in open debate comes from our confidence in Christ and also from experience.


You take lame potshots at them when (you apparently believe) they are not here to defend themselves. After all, the 33,000 number (and it's actually 22,000) includes something on the order of 900 "Orthodox" sects, so apparently having faith in one's own sect's supreme authority is no guarantee of unity! A cynical Muslim would argue, not without some justification, that the fragmentation of Christianity is part of the nature of the religion, and that Orthodoxy participates in it like every other sect.

The world is full of stubborn people who are utterly assured of their ability to defeat all intellectual challengers, because they have Truth on their side. Most of them indeed cannot be defeated, because they fail to concede their most elementary mistakes. It is not a class of people, I think, that we are called to join.
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« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2003, 08:30:40 AM »

IIRC the 33000 number is from a respectable protestant source. I'd be interested in learning more about those 900 orthodox sects though. Do you have any further info?

Go easy on Linus. He is able to vent steam here in a manner that he is unable to on the other board and the Mods there have been editing his posts pretty thick and fast the last few days.

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« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2003, 08:32:20 AM »

You mean a cynical Muslim like you, Abdur (I mean, "Keble")?

The 33,000+ figure comes from Barrett's World Christian Encyclopedia, a Protestant publication.

The comments I made were not "potshots" made because there are no Prots here to defend themselves. I have made the same remarks on a well-known Protestant web site (as you well know) and have defended them.

Yes, there are some stubborn characters who actually believe in Christ and feel no need to change religions on a monthly or semi-monthly basis.

To argue that there are "900 Orthodox sects" is fatuous as well as false.
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« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2003, 08:37:15 AM »

Quote
After all, the 33,000 number (and it's actually 22,000) includes something on the order of 900 "Orthodox" sects, so apparently having faith in one's own sect's supreme authority is no guarantee of unity!

Calling oneself an Orthodox Church does not make it so, there are a plethora of vagante churches out there that do just that.  From the Presbyterian Orthodox Church to the Most Holy Double Sanctified More Greek than You are Really Greek Orthodox Church of the Nazarene that was started by a disaffected laymen last fall.   As was stated elsewhere, the Orthodox Church is simply the Church, one is either in it, or not.  The vagantes are not part of, or splinters, or branches of the Church.

Quote
The world is full of stubborn people who are utterly assured of their ability to defeat all intellectual challengers, because they have Truth on their side. Most of them indeed cannot be defeated, because they fail to concede their most elementary mistakes.

Or, they just modify or delete posts that they can't refute with Scripture, logic, and reason.
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« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2003, 09:04:06 AM »

BTW, nice April 1st joke. I just noticed I was posting on RomanCatholicism.Net
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« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2003, 10:38:11 AM »

The criterion for who is Orthodox is communion - -ü-+-¦-+-Ç-+-+-ü-é-î. That rules out both the vagante poseurs and the sincere but crazy sects that think they alone are what's left of the Orthodox Church.

Quote
Presbyterian Orthodox Church

They do not and never did pretend to be Eastern Orthodox. And their name is 'Orthodox Presbyterian Church'. They're a hardline Calvinist offshoot of 'regular' Presbyterians (the latter are now the Presbyterian Church, USA) of many decades' standing.

Neither does the Anglican Orthodox Church, actually a group of disaffected, low-church, conservative 'Dixiecrat' (Southern) Episcopalians who left the Episcopal Church in 1963, though they claim episcopacy through their founder's (an ex-Episcopal priest) being consecrated a bishop by some vagante Ukrainian of the 'Holy Autocephalic Ukrainian Orthodox Church' or some such.

I was thinking of doing an April 1st spoof for my site - it was between a Rush Limbaughesque pro-war pose, some liberal mainstream religous pastiche or making up my own vagante church - but you beat me to it. The Pope cartoon is so cute!
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« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2003, 10:51:38 AM »

Thanks for the clarification Serge

I did know that the POC never pretended to be EO and were some sort of hardline offshoot Smiley  I should not have stated that they were a vagante group.  That being said, I'll bet they are included in the 900 "Orthodox" sects claimed above, along with Anglican Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2003, 05:14:15 PM »

If some sort of forum is established, would it be possible to have courteous naming conventions as is the case with "Eastern Orthodox", "Roman Catholic" etc.?  Such as not using "Prots" for example and remembering that there is no such thing as a generic Protestant?

Thank you.

Ebor
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« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2003, 05:19:26 PM »

I mentioned once before that hardline Calvinism drove me to spend a few years as an agnostic/atheist.

That happened when I left the Southern Baptist Church of my teen years for the - yes, you guessed it - Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

I was attending an Orthodox Presbyterian Church in San Jose, California, when Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, The Westminster Confession of Faith, and the "TULIP" finally drove me to despair and caused me to abandon Christianity.

When I repented and returned to the Christian fold years later, it was as a Lutheran (yes, I realize Luther was almost as bad as Calvin).

God used continued study and some blessed circumstances to finally lead me to His Holy Orthodox Church.

Abdur/Keble commented on "converts who no longer respect the faith that led them to where they are now."

I respect Calvinism they way one who has been delivered from cancer "respects" that disease.

Obviously, I have more respect for Lutheranism; but I view it as the shadow I left just before I finally stepped into the sunlight.

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« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2003, 05:32:36 PM »

I agree with Ebor that we should not be calling people "Prots" on the forum.

Since I'm the Admin, I formally ask you all to not use that term.

Feel free to keep discussing the issue at hand, however.

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« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2003, 05:38:24 PM »

Sorry!

I think I used "Prots" once or twice, but only because I was trying to be brief, not to cause offense (honestly!). I will avoid using it from now on. I really did not realize that it is offensive to anyone.

I agree there are no "generic" Protestants, but I also believe it is highly useful to be able to refer to Protestantism and Protestants.

How else can one talk about the topic?

After all, there are an enormous number of different Protestant sects.

Must we refer to them singly, one at a time?

Protestantism does have certain defining characteristics. Chief among them is the elevation of the individual and his subjective, private viewpoints (particularly regarding the Bible) to the place of supreme doctrinal and practical authority in Christianity.

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« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2003, 05:55:06 PM »

Serge,

Quote
The stricter, catechetical definition of ‘Orthodox’ would narrow this to the Churches recognized by all the other Orthodox Churches as independent (self-headed or autocephalous, usually headed by a patriarch) and with whom they are in communion.

By this criterion, numerous grous which are Orthodox would be labeled as non-Orthodox. The OCA, for example, is not recognized by "all the other Orthodox Churches," being rejected by everyone from the liberal-neo-papal Constantinople to the conservative-traditionalist ROCA. The above quote is an example of a vague/distanced form of neo papal patriarchalism.
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« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2003, 05:59:56 PM »

Quote
By this criterion, numerous grous which are Orthodox would be labeled as non-Orthodox.

Numerous?

Quote
The OCA, for example, is not recognized by "all the other Orthodox Churches," being rejected by everyone from the liberal-neo-papal Constantinople to the conservative-traditionalist ROCA. The above quote is an example of a vague/distanced form of neo papal patriarchalism.

But the patriarchs do recognize the OCA as Orthodox and are in communion with it. It's just that they (except the MP) don't see it as autocephalous but as still the American metropolia of the MP.
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« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2003, 06:33:28 PM »

Linus7:

The SSPX are not your standard Latin Mass guys.  Actually, they are a schismatic wacky sect AKA Protestants with a valid (in the eyes of Rome) Liturgy.

All:

I think a well contained protestant forum might be a good idea.  Remember the Evangelical "Orthodox" Church?  This alone should prove there is an enormous interest in Orthodoxy among Protestants and this forum could have a valuable mission oportunity by such a forum.  That being said be prepared and on your toes for any spillover into other areas.  Some will come here with the idea of converting Orthodox but if you just hang tough and show them real charity and christian faith they will soften and may even convert.

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« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2003, 07:15:49 PM »

 Remember the Evangelical "Orthodox" Church?  

Yeah, but they were Orthodox in name only (believe me, I know).  But for the most part, that's water under the bridge...
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« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2003, 07:20:05 PM »

I think I misunderstood what you were saying on the page, and for that I apologize; however, the fact remains that attempting to establish Orthodoxy soely through communion with existing Patriarchates is not orthodox, but is an error. I can think of only one case in the 2,000 year history of our Church in which something like that was done, and that was only because Saint Emperor Theodosius had to draw clear canonical lines after the mess of the middle of the fourth century as to who exactly was and was not in the Church. I've never read anywhere in the Fathers were all the local Churches "accepting you" (or even some of them accepting you) somehow automatically made one Orthodox.

As far as the other groups, perhaps the term numerous is too strong a word, but a number of truly Orthodox bodies have "questionable" status according to some Churches (ROCOR, The Greek Old Calendarists under Met. Cyprian, and perhaps a few others; and the OCA's position is itself an interesting case of strangeness personified--especially when OCA theologians attack others for their questionable canonical foundations and current official "status" among other Orthodox groups!)
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« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2003, 08:23:58 PM »

Joe -

What does "SSPX" stand for? Some Latin phrase?
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« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2003, 09:24:40 PM »

I googled and it stands for "Society of Saint Pius X". It was founded by Archbiship Lefebvre.

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« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2003, 09:28:19 PM »

I agree there are no "generic" Protestants, but I also believe it is highly useful to be able to refer to Protestantism and Protestants.

How else can one talk about the topic?

After all, there are an enormous number of different Protestant sects.

Must we refer to them singly, one at a time?


Why not, in the interests of courtesy and precision?

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« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2003, 09:51:52 PM »

Ebor -

Thanks for the info on SSPX. Interesting.

Regarding referring to each Protestant sect singly:

I am willing to do that when the individual Protestant with whom I am speaking will identify his sect.

Speaking from my experience over at CBBS, that is a rare occurrance. Most of them are reluctant to identify their sect, prefering to refer to themselves as "Christians."

It usually does not take too long to identify in broad terms the general category of Protestantism to which they adhere, but it is often a process of trial and error.

Another problem with treating each Protestant sect singly is that it seems to elevate that sect to a level of parity with the Orthodox Church: not an impression I want to give.

For me it is important that Protestants understand the considerable gap between their traditions, which do not have roots that extend beyond the 16th century, and the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

It is also difficult to deal with each Protestant sect singly when there are so darned many of them!  Shocked

Besides that, many Fundamentalist and Evangelical Protestants are chronic church-hoppers; a particular sect is of far less importance to them than their own ever-changing, private take on the Bible.

Whenever the pastor's understanding of the Bible clashes with their own, these believers go down the road to the next "independent assembly," or better yet, rent a building and start one of their own.

Voila - a new sect is born!


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« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2003, 09:57:51 PM »


Protestantism does have certain defining characteristics. Chief among them is the elevation of the individual and his subjective, private viewpoints (particularly regarding the Bible) to the place of supreme doctrinal and practical authority in Christianity.



This could be a broad generalization that is not always applicable.  The Amish do not elevate the individual in that way, for example.  Anyone who is a member of an Amish church (i.e. an adult who has formally joined) who goes against the church's literal interpretations of scripture and the "Ordnung" is subject to "shunning".

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