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Author Topic: Re: Heresy?-Jurisdiction  (Read 9301 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasios
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« Reply #90 on: May 07, 2006, 09:41:05 PM »

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.it's just a bunch of people, mainly arm-chair theologians, typing away.

Nah, we're about as authoritative you can get. You just don't get more correct than us Wink

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« Reply #91 on: May 07, 2006, 09:47:50 PM »

With all do respect, you seem to know God much better than most people I've met.  Roll Eyes

Quote
And because salvation is taking place outside the walls you have erected,
How do you know this? How are you privy to who God is Saving?

Also, have you ever read the Church Fathers?  Have you read St. Cyril of Alexandria's letters to Nesotrius or even a genearl idea of the patristic fathers?  For in every reading I have had of them it is quite evident that there is a structural Church.  You seem to be promiting a idea similar to Protestantism in that there is an invisible Church, which is contrary to the promises of Christ.  There is no invisible Church, rather the Church is visible and organized.  This is clearly visible even in the New Testament.  With all due respect, you seem to be approaching the structure of the Church in a man-made matter.  A man-made design that is remnant of Luther and in the vain of  a modernism  and non-Catholic or Orthodox thought that is divorced from God, but is based on man.  Just because someone does something nice, doesn't mean they're a good person.  Just because a group does something good, doesn't mean there the church.  That is a superficial understanding of Christianity.
Rather, what I believe is upseting many of these posters is your desire to put together too polar opposites.  It is an insult to the churches and to the men to say that Gregory of Palamas and Thomas Aquinas, Seraphim and Francis, etc. all go hand in hand.  It is to reduce their arguments and beliefs to rubble and discount their persons.
Rather, these dogmas and canons that you may view as trivial, have a reason and are based in tradition and customs.  They are good for the people.  Otherwise, Joe's Byzantine-Catholic Orthodox Roman Church, Inc. or the New York Patriarch can be set up anywhere and lead people astray.  When people are led astray then they cannot find Christ as well as they can with the blessings of THe Orthodox Church.  Under your idea of ecclesiology, there would be some people still around promiting Mosaic law for salvation.  It is not, of course.  That is what all these "laws" are for.  Like the Apostles before us, our "canons" and "churches" are set up to best lead those to Heaven and Christ.  
This is the tradition that we cling to in the Orthodox Church.  Yet, under your own admissions, you do not accept such tradition from us or even the Roman Catholics.  Perhaps, the pride that you have accused us all of is closer to your doorstep than you are willing to admit.
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« Reply #92 on: May 07, 2006, 09:53:10 PM »

Nah, we're about as authoritative you can get. You just don't get more correct than us Wink

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« Reply #93 on: May 07, 2006, 09:58:50 PM »

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You may contact "Thomas" for our lineage.

Your 'lineage' isn't legal tender here.
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« Reply #94 on: May 07, 2006, 10:01:20 PM »

Please, please, please don't consider this forum "representative" of Orthodoxy. You don't really think that an online, e-board like this accurately reflects how even the people on the board act in real life, do you?


Well to be honest, yes.  When I see the name "High Elder" and hear authoritative discourses and heady theological quotes, it seems very convincing, that these people are authorized to speak for the Church.  I have become increasingly concerned about the future of the Church they represent, if they are to become clerics serving  the Church and  this is the formation they have recieved in canonically correct institutions.
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« Reply #95 on: May 07, 2006, 10:06:31 PM »

But not every work of the Church is of the Holy Spirit, as history has revealed,
therefore, your second statement  "any work that contradicts the work of the Church cannot be of the Holy Spirit, cannot be true."
Once again, I ask you, what makes you qualified to discern the work of the Holy Spirit where the Church has failed?  Maybe you need to learn that not all of what passes for the work of the Church is indeed the work of the Church.  Much of what you deride as the evil works of the Church is really nothing more than the works of sinful men and women within the Church.  This I will confess.  However, these evil works done within the Church are not the works of the Church.

And because salvation is taking place outside the walls you have erected,
in this canonically correct Orthodox box, ...
But what constitutes salvation?

Personally, I don't doubt that people are being saved outside of the canonical institution of the Orthodox Church.

John said to him, "Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us." But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will be able soon after to speak evil of Me. For he that is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward."
(Mark 9:38-41)

Neither will I deny that this is truly the work of the Holy Spirit.  However, I will assert that this is still in some invisible way the work of the Church.  What I will also assert, however, is that your continued refusal to submit to the authority of the canonical Church that Christ has established for our salvation is indeed opposition to the work of the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #96 on: May 07, 2006, 10:20:15 PM »

Just my 2 cents.  Dude, Old Fogey you are being rude.  Of course you have a right to express things the way you want...but have a little common decency.  Why are you so threatened by what Mother Anastasia writes??  Do you feel you must personally discredit her vagante group because you are scared other Orthodox might agree with some of her sentiments??  She has explained that she belongs to no particular church but is a monastic.  Although I have only been Orthodox for a short time (which I believe is the One True Church), I can find much merit in Mother Anastasia's words.  I also find it suprising that some on this forum are quick to say that she is prideful and criticizing of cannonical Orthodoxy...when your words seems to be much harsher than hers.  We should be praying for each other and discussing these things with Christian respect for our fellow men.  Personally, I can have conversations with others who are not Orthodox and learn some things from them.  IMHO she is not trying to convert people here or be deceptive.  So let's keep things civil here and be respectful of other's opinions.
Blessings,   ÃƒÆ’‚ Juliana
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« Reply #97 on: May 07, 2006, 10:27:39 PM »

It was a little harsh, Juliana, but you've got to understand the context. Mother Anastasia is trying to pick a fight - after being told for the umpteenth time that to the Orthodox, that is, in the context of this board, such 'lineage' ('my bishop used to be an Orthodox priest and he was consecrated by a guy with five lines of succession', etc.) is irrelevant, she continued that line into another posting. Seems passive-aggressive to me.

Some of what she says is true and some of it sounds very sweet. But it's also true that she sounds prideful and like she's trying to bait the Orthodox here. That's known on the Internet as trolling and is offensive.

Quote
IMHO she is not trying to convert people here or be deceptive.

I think she is trying to do the former, hence her digs at the church represented informally by this board, and she tried to do the latter - pass herself off as Orthodox - until I and others called her on it.

Re-reading her stuff, beneath the sweet, broad-minded façade it strikes me as at least as narrow as the narrowest Old Calendarist group. She's not only trying to pass herself off on the Internet as Orthodox but as an example of The True Orthodox™. Even though their stances widely differ, both she and the Truest True Believers claim that neither Rome nor World Orthodoxy® are good enough and only they really know Jesus.
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« Reply #98 on: May 07, 2006, 10:30:33 PM »

Mother Anastasia,

A very good text which explains the spiritual purpose of the Holy Canons is (appropriately enough) "Spiritual Dimensions of the Holy Canons" by Lewis Patsavos, Holy Cross Press. It is a very concise and inexpensive (12.95 I believe) introduction to what the Orthodox Church believes the canons have to do with spiritual progression.

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« Reply #99 on: May 07, 2006, 10:35:10 PM »

Quotes from pensateomnia

Much less what the theologians, clergy or hierarchies of the Church teach from the pulpit and in writing?

I have read some very lofty and inspiring things.  I have also read things that troubled me.


I, for one, am not telling you this because I am trying to convince you to enter canonical Orthodoxy. .


There is nothing we would love more than to be a part of the canonical Church, as long as it was approved by the Lord.  So far, He has not given His ok for any alliance, but we are hoping, believing, and waiting.

You seem set in your ways

There are many things that have been taught to us over the past twenty-seven years that we simply cannot dismiss.  They are proven in time, experience and fruit.  They are totally in keeping with the Scriptures, and do not contradict any article of faith.  They do however contradict the opinions of  some men who would replace genuine experience and discernment, summarily,  with a rulebook.   We are definitely set in our ways in this regard.  But we have so much to learn!  Everyday brings with it a new understanding, but never contradicting what has validly been taught to us.

the BEGINNING of the spiritual life is obedience. The cutting off of the will, the submission to spiritual Father, and, ultimately, submission to the Church's right-teaching hierarchy is an essential act of humility, an act that brings life-giving fruits of the Spirit.

In the RCC, the Bishop of St. Augustine, who defended our way of life as habited Franciscans, also asked us to submit to an examination by the Spiritual Director for the Diocese who specializes in discerning of spirits.  We got along with him beautifully, and he confirmed as authentic many of things we ourselves were insecure about.  Our first Bishop outside the RCC was a simple man, but we always submitted things to him and took him as our final authority, in complete obedience.

As far as "discerning the movements of the Holy Spirit" go: As all of the charismatic elders throughout the centuries have stressed, "discernment" involves plenty of spiritual sensitivity to that other great Spirit of Deception. The common tradition of the pre-Schism Church (as you are wont to call it) is to be very wary of personal visions and prophetic activities. While they happen frequently (and continue to happen within the canonical Church), they should always be approached with sober hesitancy and great caution.

I am including a link here to our website, on the teachings on discernment. I think that you will find that we are in close agreement, on many things.

http://www.ourladylightofthewoods.org/discernment.php

This ascetic spirit of obedience, meekness and humility is the source that animates the Church's "canonicity" -- a canonicity that many great Fathers and spiritual elders upheld stringently, because they knew its spiritual value through firsthand experience.

I can see the truth in what you are saying, and I regret that in this regard we are orphans. But I also know that the authentic designs of God are not always apparent in the moment. He did after all,  have Rahab in the ancestral line He chose for His incarnation.
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« Reply #100 on: May 07, 2006, 10:47:50 PM »

Once again, I ask you, what makes you qualified to discern the work of the Holy Spirit where the Church has failed?  


"My sheep know My voice."
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« Reply #101 on: May 07, 2006, 10:57:49 PM »

Some historical context:

Habited Franciscans leaving the institutional church and going off on a flight of fancy is nothing new.

It happened in the Middle Ages with the 'Spiritual' Franciscan movement of Joachim of Fiore (IIRC), who thought 'the age of the church' was done and they were heralds of 'the age of the spirit'. I think it was mentioned in the plot of The Name of the Rose.

And, Juliana, I'm not personally threatened but am appalled by such dishonesty.

And thanks, Nektarios. We may have our differences but AFAIK I never make claims like hers and try to pass them off as Orthodoxy.

P.S. For an 'umble sometime Franciscan this lady does seem to like the sound of her own voice an awful lot.
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« Reply #102 on: May 07, 2006, 11:02:18 PM »


"My sheep know My voice."
Yes, but the Orthodox claim to be Christ's sheep.  Roman Catholics claim to be Christ's sheep.  Half a million different Protestant denominations claim to be Christ's sheep, and some of them are as exclusive of others as the Orthodox and pre-1960 Roman Catholics.  Even a lot of sects in schism from Rome or from canonical Orthodoxy claim to be Christ's sheep.  What makes you and your sect so special?
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« Reply #103 on: May 07, 2006, 11:09:12 PM »

Quoted from PeterTheAleut:  

1.   However, these evil works done within the Church are not the works of the Church.

I agree.  And those who have learned to discern the Shepherd's voice, bear witness against these abuses,  whether it seems canonically appropriate at the time or not.
Jesus flew in the face of tradition, because the religious leaders made a fine art out of mutilating the heart of the law.  "How dare you heal on the Sabbath!" etc, etc.
And they convened their own council to see to His crucifixtion.

2.  Personally, I don't doubt that people are being saved outside of the canonical institution of the Orthodox Church.

We should be asking ourselves why?  (they are outside of the Canonical Church)

3.  Neither will I deny that this is truly the work of the Holy Spirit.  However, I will assert that this is still in some invisible way the work of the Church.  

As I have said before, His Church boundaries, and yours do not correspond.

4.  What I will also assert, however, is that your continued refusal to submit to the authority of the canonical Church that Christ has established for our salvation is indeed opposition to the work of the Holy Spirit.

I have not refused to submit to any legitimate authority.  I am in full submission to my Bishop who is busy in this moment saying a Mass for this forum, as he has done every day since it began.

And as far as a "canonical Church"  until the Lord sees fit to bring us one that suits His purpose, we are orphans, and waiting.
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« Reply #104 on: May 07, 2006, 11:10:13 PM »


Well to be honest, yes.  When I see the name "High Elder" and hear authoritative discourses and heady theological quotes, it seems very convincing, that these people are authorized to speak for the Church.  I have become increasingly concerned about the future of the Church they represent, if they are to become clerics serving  the Church and  this is the formation they have recieved in canonically correct institutions.

The term "High Elder" does not refer to any position in the Church, ordained or otherwise. "High Elder" and all other such "titles" that you see on people's profiles are either self-given (usually as jokes) or simply a designation given to a member of this site depending on how many posts that person has written. I believe, in fact, that we have a certain "High Elder" or some such thing who is an Agnostic, and there are other "High Elders" who got that designation by posting lots of jokes or one-sentence posts.

Again, Orthodoxchristianity.net is NOT an official Web site of any canonical or uncanonical Orthodox Church or Orthodox Church-related ministry. It is not blessed by any Bishop, nor is its content reviewed by anyone with priestly or hierarchal authority.

This is not my opinion. It is simply a fact. This is a Web community, formed and maintained almost exclusively by lay people in a wide variety of Orthodox and heterodox jursidictions. The information and opinion you get here is only as good as the individual poster and the individual post, and it's not necessarily a reflection of any given jurisdiction's teaching, much less the Church as a whole.
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« Reply #105 on: May 07, 2006, 11:15:14 PM »

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I am in full submission to my Bishop who is busy in this moment saying a Mass for this forum...

So is he doing the Novus Ordo like you had when you were Franciscans or a translation of the old Latin Mass? Or something completely different? Something newly written? By him and/or you, perhaps?

Oh, yes, and since you brought it up, once again, which Celts exactly do you so strongly identify with? The Manx?
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« Reply #106 on: May 07, 2006, 11:16:11 PM »

The information and opinion you get here is only as good as the individual poster and the individual post, and it's not necessarily reflection of any given jurisdictions teaching, much less the Church as a whole.

Thank you so much for clarifying this for me.

I will do my very best to take it to heart.  

It restores my hope to hear this.
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« Reply #107 on: May 08, 2006, 12:21:53 AM »

With all do respect, you seem to know God much better than most people I've met.  Roll Eyes
[/color]

The Groom speaks to His bride.  She does not always have to find things in books.


Rather, what I believe is upseting many of these posters is your desire to put together too polar opposites.


What God began as one, should not be polarized into opposites.  We need oneanother.

It is an insult to the churches and to the men to say that Gregory of Palamas and Thomas Aquinas, Seraphim and Francis, etc. all go hand in hand.  It is to reduce their arguments and beliefs to rubble and discount their persons.


Will you be insulted by God when you see them, joyfully free of contentions and disagreements,  together in Heaven?

Rather, these dogmas and canons that you may view as trivial, have a reason and are based in tradition and customs.

I do not believe they are trivial.   But I do believe that Tradition, dogmas, canons, etc. is to serve as the structure and backbone to protect the health of the Body to which Christ Himself is the Head,  and the movement of the Holy Spirit within the body.

When tradition and canons are perverted by man's personal agenda, and become instead a threatening instrument of chastisement, to wedge the Body into a corner, and subdue the working of the Holy Spirit, they defeat their purpose.

They are good for the people.  Otherwise, Joe's Byzantine-Catholic Orthodox Roman Church, Inc. or the New York Patriarch can be set up anywhere and lead people astray.

I agree, that is why I believe that in a spirit of humble mindedness we need to closely examine what the Holy Spirit is doing in (non-canonical, sacramental) churches of all ethnic cultures as well, and, without disparaging them, come to an understanding that if they adhere to the same essential beliefs they should be incorporated into the canonical Church but without, brutalizing, submission tactics. (Isn't that exactly what Rome tried to do to you?)     Perhaps even given a grade for their orthodoxy.  A. Thoroughly Orthodox, very traditional. B. Orthodox with some differences, not compromising faith or morals. C. Reliable in matters of Faith and morals but difference in some liturgical practices.

If this were done properly,  the people would bear witness to the true orthodoxy of the authorities,  not rightly percieve them as political jostling,  age old bitterness and revenge, but true and righteous judgement.  Those who are heretical would be exposed on the basis of their unorthodox beliefs.  

Articles such as the RCC doctrines could be simply stated as, "In all basic articles of faith,  we are in agreement, with these exceptions.  (the list)  Since these disagreements are not vital to our salvation, you may intercommune."

Then in another declaration:  Regretably, we have found serious errors in the theology of Joes New York Orthodox Church, and for your own protection we ask you not to participate in their liturgies, or speak in depth with them, unless you have mature theological knowledge and are fully prepared to defend the true faith.

When people are led astray then they cannot find Christ as well as they can with the blessings of THe Orthodox Church.  

All the more reason for us to beat our swords into ploughshares and unite on common
ground without compromise.   The sooner the better.  Because as it stands now, there is
a grand amound of confusion.  Those who are of orthodox belief in Catholicism and those who are off the wall in a psuedo religion are being lumped together by age old enmities and ego struggles.  How can anyone trust such discernment?  

Under your idea of ecclesiology, there would be some people still around promiting Mosaic law for salvation.

This conclusion is your own invention.  Consider how many times I have sited the New Testament and Faith of the Apostles.

I could always be more humble Brother.


 


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« Reply #108 on: May 08, 2006, 08:17:05 AM »

Quote
Since these disagreements are not vital to our salvation, you may intercommune.

You've hit the crux of the matter. Orthodox do in fact believe that filioque, papal supreme jurisdiction, infallibility, rejection of hesychasm and "Palamism", etc, are detrimental to one's salvation.  The Church is not an institution that has people but a Body which is defined by the truth, a calling together of all people in one body; the addition of false doctrines and rejection of true doctrines by the RCC gives its faithful a view of the Church and Christ which is lacking.  This cannot but hurt their walk with Him.  He can save whom he wills, but he has established the Orthodox Church as the only Church (it's not the only one because it professes the right ideas but on the contrary, because it is the only body which correctly expresses the Tradition of Christ, it is therefore known as Orthodox. If any  local Orthodox Church began teaching a new teaching, it would instantly cease to be an Orthodox Church. So we are not talking legalism but merely identity).

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« Reply #109 on: May 08, 2006, 09:41:11 AM »

The Holy Spirit is alive and well, able to navigate and teach in some branches of the canonical Church.
So, let me get this straight. The Holy Spirit is able to operate in "some branches" of the "Canonical Church", but not in others....and the Body of Christ is divided into "branches" which are not in Communion....
Your ecclesiology seems to be quainter than a four-dollar note.

For instance, some canonical Orthodox  are not in agreement about the stain of original sin being cleansed through Baptism.
Citations? References? Evidence?

I believe that the Holy Spirit in His profound condescension and humility, provided a grace to help verify this doctrine.   When Theotokos appeared to Bernadette and called herself the "Immaculate Conception", those who were closed to Him would not accept it,  so they had to discredit Lourdes, even though to this day the body of Bernadette remains under glass for all to see, incorrupt.  And the miracles from Lourdes continue.
So, being "free from Original Sin", the Theotokos, and therefore Christ, were free from the consequences of the Fall. Why did They die then?
And should we take the "Hindu Milk Miracle of September 29th 1995" that it would please God that we worship Ganesh?

Given the evidence,  it is apparent that this doctrine and manifestation have been testified to by God in His Divine and Miraculous Intervention and Providence.  
Well then, shouldn't you be worshipping a god with the head of an elephant? "Given the evidence" of the Hindu Milk Miracle, worshipping Ganesh has the Divine Stamp of Approval.


In conclusion, we do not segregate the miracles of God into Orthodox=valid,  RCC=invalid.
Neither do I. But "miracles" which teach false doctrines like Lourdes, Fatima, Garabandal and Medjugore may not actually be "Divine". Scripture wasn't actually talking about God when it says: "And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men" (Revelations 13:13).

We discern based on New Testament principles what is of God and what is of man.  Division, especially unwarranted, is of man.  Satan divides and conquers,  we must not allow ourselves to be instruments that divide, but instruments that reunite.
So, only "satan divides" people, and you base this on your discernment based on New Testament Principles? Well I hate to interrupt your "Love-in", but Who said: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." Matthew 10:34-36.

Truth carries its own anointing, truth endures, the fruits of Truth are sweet and life giving, and enduring through time and every opposition, they are not bitter, harsh and cold, bringing condemnation, alienation and separation.
So, if it feels good it must be true, and Christ was therefore lying when He sharply rebuked his disciples and when He rebukes six of the Seven Churches in the Book of Revelation.

Our position is that, if for no valid reason, church hierarchy tries to interfere with or discredit a valid supernatural manifestation, it is preferrable for the believer to follow his or her conscience on the matter even when it brings open disobedience.
                  "As a matter of conscience, I respectfully disobey."
And in other Church matters, if East and West had adhered to this definition of obedience, perhaps the great schism might never have happened, the way it did.
Huh OK, let me get this straight. If I think a bishop is wrong, I must "respectfully disobey" him, and if only the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches had done this, there would not have been a schism? My dear deluded lady, they did do this- that why there was a schism.
Perhaps the "Taos Hum" has got to you. Wink
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« Reply #110 on: May 08, 2006, 01:25:50 PM »

ozgeorge,

Might I suggest that your latest post on this thread is short on substance, long on anger, and bordering on ad hominem?  This has been a rather heated thread already, even though, from what I see, most of us have tried to be civil and present a lot of substance to back up our position.  I don't see your hotheaded response doing anything put pouring fuel on the fire unnecessarily.  Please try to be a lot more respectful on this already smoldering thread.

- Peter
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« Reply #111 on: May 08, 2006, 02:13:38 PM »

So, being "free from Original Sin", the Theotokos, and therefore Christ, were free from the consequences of the Fall. Why did They die then?

In nomine Iesu I offer you all continued Peace,

Frankly this is a 'really' great question and one that I believe could make for a very intriguing discussion of the early Church Fathers and their views on the Fall and the 'real' Nature of Death through Sin being physical or spiritual in nature.

Although I do believe this would be distracting to the current thread it would be a nice topic.

Peace and God Bless.
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« Reply #112 on: May 09, 2006, 01:34:26 AM »

The Church is not an institution that has people but a Body
which is defined by the truth,

 
I agree that the Church is not an institution. But I do not agree that it is a Body defined by the truth.

I believe the Body of Christ, is a living spiritual body,  composed of souls who have been enlightened and animated towards holiness, by the Holy Spirit, and received Christ as their head, and are working to conform thier lives to the Scriptures. 

" If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him."  John 14:23

In refering to His word, His teachings, His commandments.  He has not put the added burden on simple souls to discern which canons of which Church are valid and which ordinations are licit.  He is calling for an adherence of the heart and mind to His words, and a living out of the Gospels.

If the grace of salvation is given by God in the Baptist Church,  the soul's knowledge of the full truth,  and empowerment through the Sacraments will be incomplete.  But if the soul is committed to live the truth that has been revealed to him, with all his heart, and mind and strength, I believe he has become a member of the Body of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, working with other souls for the salvation of mankind.

I also believe that if it would best serve the interests of that soul and the Body of Christ, for him to be led into the Full Truth, God will make him restless with what he has until he searches it out.  It may take many years of trial and error to reach his destination, but only God knows what lessons he must go through to make the right choices from the heart.  He may even die searching, but then he will see Face to face, what has only been reflected from a mirror darkly.  And because his will is well disposed, when he is shown the full truth he will readily accept it and be added to The Church.

In the meantime, what do we do with all those who are in the Body of Christ but at different stages in the journey?  Do we accuse them of their errors or do we present the truth (only as they are ready to hear it, in a manner they can accept) and wait upon the Spirit of God to bring conviction?  In the meantime showing them Jesus by our behavior and conduct, which produces good fruit.

Do we make them feel like second class citizens with a self righteous and smug attitude, or do we Mother and Father them, tenderly, making them feel welcomed into the Family of God.  "Who is my mother, my brother, my sister?"   Would you deny Mother Theresa  communion, because she is not in accord with every jot and tittle of the Truth?  If you would not deny her, then how could you  deny any devout Catholic believer.  And it would be a very sad testimony indeed of anyone's discernment to deny this saintly Bride of Christ, the nourishment she deserves.

I do not believe the Lord wants us to use His Body as a seal of approval on a believer's way of thinking because finally,  he has attained complete agreement with our profound theological knowledge. 

There are those who have the proper agreements, but their hearts are cold as stone, but these may readily commune.   There are others who are on fire with love of God and neighbor, but they haven't the right agreements, so they may not be nourished on His Body.  The Lord did not set this standard, and I do not believe we should either.

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« Reply #113 on: May 09, 2006, 01:58:40 AM »

So, being "free from Original Sin", the Theotokos, and therefore Christ, were free from the consequences of the Fall. Why did They die then?
Frankly this is a 'really' great question

Christ being true God and true Man, chose to subject Himself to the consequences of our sin, out of love, and to demonstrate that He is the resurrection and the life.

Mary chose to fall asleep because she wanted to be fully conformed to her Son. 

And just as she did not object to purification after the birth of Jesus,  in her humility she accepted what all mankind must ultimately accept.

In her Assumption, she is the example to all the faithful,  of the reward they are  ultimately to receive,  and that is promised by Christ....

just as in her Immaculate Conception, she received the grace of Baptism ahead of all humanity.

These are a few that come to mind.

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« Reply #114 on: May 09, 2006, 03:04:15 AM »

You've hit the crux of the matter. Orthodox do in fact believe ...

I understand the validity of Orthodox thinking,  but I am firmly persuaded that it is up to the Holy Spirit to bring a soul into complete agreement. 

In the meantime, I do not believe it is right to separate over issues that are non-issues according to the examples given in the Scriptures. 

From your perspective, theologically, all of the unOrthodox, non-Canonical believers are like the unclean creatures on the sheet that descended from Heaven,  when Peter fell into a trance, and the Lord told him to take up and eat.   (Acts 10:9)

When Peter said, "Certainly not sir!  For never have I eaten anything profane or unclean."

The Lord had to enlarge Peter's understanding to prepare him,  for the work he had undertaken, so He answered him,    "What God has made clean, you are not to call profane." and repeated the vision three times, just to make sure he got the message.


Peter did not comprehend the significance of this event until a messenger arrived from the house of Cornelius, an unclean Roman Centurion, inviting him to his house.   The Lord admonished him,  "So get up, go downstairs, and accompany them without hesitation, because I have sent them."

At Cornelius' house Peter exclaimed, "You know that it is unlawful for a Jewish man to associate with, or visit, a Gentile, but God has shown me that I should not call any person profane or unclean."

Cornelius then relates a visitation of Christ to him while he was at prayer and Peter replies,   "In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.  Rather,  in every nation,  whoever fears Him and acts uprightly is acceptable to Him."

And Peter began to instruct them, "but while he was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening .....circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit should have been poured out on the (uncircumcised)Gentiles also".......and Peter said,  "Can anyone withold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit even as we have?"

The Holy Spirit had gone ahead of Peter, with conviction,  and prepared the hearts of these men.  Peter with his apostolic authority, was sent to confirm what God had already done,  and instruct them into the faith, not to impose circumcision and lengthly baptism classes, nor demand that they conform to teachings that were at the time far beyond them.

Peter was an Apostle, he fasted and prayed and prepared his heart to receive.  And when God had something to tell him that was utterly against his Orthodox beliefs,  he received it in all humility.  He had true discernment, so no preconceived Orthodox ideas could stand in the way of the Holy Spirit, he was ready to cooperate with God, even against his previous convictions.

If the Hierarchs on all sides, attain to this kind of humility and discernment, I don't see how schism can continue to exist."

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« Reply #115 on: May 12, 2006, 01:16:21 AM »


"My sheep know My voice."
Yes, but the Orthodox claim to be Christ's sheep.  Roman Catholics claim to be Christ's sheep.  Half a million different Protestant denominations claim to be Christ's sheep, and some of them are as exclusive of others as the Orthodox and pre-1960 Roman Catholics.  Even a lot of sects in schism from Rome or from canonical Orthodoxy claim to be Christ's sheep.  What makes you and your sect so special?
Seeing your consistency in preaching your message in other threads, I need to mention that you haven't answered my question yet (see quote above).
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« Reply #116 on: May 13, 2006, 01:28:44 AM »

Yes, but the Orthodox claim to be Christ's sheep.  Roman Catholics claim to be Christ's sheep.  Half a million different Protestant denominations claim to be Christ's sheep, and some of them are as exclusive of others as the Orthodox and pre-1960 Roman Catholics.  Even a lot of sects in schism from Rome or from canonical Orthodoxy claim to be Christ's sheep.  What makes you and your sect so special?

I believe we all are His sheep, but in different stages of development. Some of us are much further along in some areas than others,  and some of us are totally ignorant in areas where others excel in experience and wisdom. The Lord would have us learn from one another in humility.
 
I never said we were so special,  I only confessed what I believe, I am His sheep and I do hear His voice, although not always perfectly.  There is one thing I have heard perfectly though,  we as Christians must all work to lay down our weapons of division, because there is not one Christian; Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox, that does not have something we need right now in this minute to grow in holiness and love for God, something we are underdeveloped in.   

God fully knows who would profit from the gifts of another.  He longs to share these gifts with those who are lacking in them, but pride and arrogance have built insurmountable walls.

What's worse, is that these gifts are needed by all to harvest the catch, not to harvest souls for Orthodoxy, Fundamentalism, Catholicism,  but for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Each one of us has different treasures of wisdom and experience,  laid up in our souls, that have been placed there by the Holy Spirit,  to share.   But Satan, knowing man's propensity for fear and thus division, has found a way to wall off those graces and keep the rest of the Body from ever having access to them.  Namely, find fault with their practice, label them heretics,  then everyone will be fearful of drinking from their poisoned well.  Cornelius never could have received Baptism from Peter if he hadn't come to terms with his attitude, through true discernment.

What I am saying is  that there are no shortcuts or substitutions for true discernment.

Just because our predecessors carried the banners of division, does not mean that God is pleased with division or will allow it to continue forever, and it is guaranteed these attitudes will not be admitted into Heaven. 

There are those who want to learn from us, what they can, but they won't get near us because they are afraid that we will attack their faith.  God may very well be drawing them to the Orthodox Faith, but they back away because graces they have received legitimately from God are labeled as demonic. 

They are not totally ignorant, the Spirit of the Lord dwelling within them bears witness that this is not true.    And why are they being accused?  Because others within the Orthodox Faith, do not have solid experience with discernment and have been taught to be suspicious and dismissive, rather than being trained in these areas so they could judge with righteous and true judgement.

And if those drawn to Orthodoxy do have serious error, they are not strong enough yet, by virtue of grace and understanding to renounce their error, they need to be taught by skilled teachers in a non threatening environment.  When I say skilled teachers, again I'm referring to discernment, the ability to see what God is trying to do with the soul and walk along side them supportively until they are ready to look at the error.  The Celts have the tradition of the Anamchara which we could learn much from.

The Lord sowed division by confusing the language of those who were building the tower of Babel, so they could not continue to share and gain more knowledge, in the end harming themselves.

Satan has sown division between legitimate Christian people, so they cannot share and gain more wisdom, in the end harming him, by snatching souls away from the kingdom of darkness.

The Scribes and the Pharisees perceived Jesus as a sort of vagante teacher, a cult leader, and so they plotted against him.  They were lacking in true discernment, even though they were gifted and faithful in the law.  The people however, did have discernment, and were able to accept Him as the Messiah.

I believe He is trying to prepare us for our heavenly homeland, a place of perfect peace, which we will someday  (if we remain faithful), enter into. But more importantly, there is a harvest, and He needs His army stepping in unison, not fighting within the ranks.

There cannot be perfect peace without perfect charity, and this earth is our classroom,  if we are willing.





As for the goats among us, the Good Shepherd said He would weed them out at the appropriate time.
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