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Author Topic: Charismatic Orthodox Church???  (Read 5732 times) Average Rating: 0
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Thomas
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« on: May 14, 2006, 06:03:50 AM »

Christ is Risen!

Have any of you heard about a group calling themselves the Charismatic Orthodox Church.  ÃƒÆ’‚ Their "Patriarch" is Bishop Symeon John aka Mark D. Kersey.  They have a website and apparrently about 5 churches in the US and several around the world. When I mentioned to someone here who recently moved to Texas from Florida that I was an Orthodox Christian, they brought up this Church.  I told him that I was not a member of that church. Any contact with them or have you heard of them before?

In Christ,
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2006, 07:42:18 AM »

Christ is Risen!

Have any of you heard about a group calling themselves the Charismatic Orthodox Church.  ÃƒÆ’‚ Their "Patriarch" is Bishop Symeon John aka Mark D. Kersey.  They have a website and apparrently about 5 churches in the US and several around the world. When I mentioned to someone here who recently moved to Texas from Florida, they brought up this Church.  I told him that I was not a member of that church. Any contact with them or have you heard of them before?

In Christ,
Thomas
Only a matter of time, I suppose. There has been 'Charismatic' movements within Catholicism for some time.
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2006, 08:57:13 AM »

I heard of them this past year and sussed that they are not Orthodox but vagantes. They have a website but I don't remember the address - Google and ye shall find. Reading it I found them orthodox and straight-arrow as far as vagantes go - they're not gay, they're not New Age, they don't ordain women (at least to the episcopate and priesthood), they're not a spite group broken off from the RCs or the Anglicans, and they may have a real ministry to a real congregation - but like the Charismatic Episcopal Church (not in the Anglican Communion but charismatics who adopted Anglican theology, liturgy and polity on their own) they're a 'Catholic' (credal, episcopal, liturgical) church who stand apart from 'real' churches largely because of their insistence on having charismatic phenomena (glossolalia, 'prophesying' etc.) including in worship. (And there's the usual objection that they don't fit into the very ethnic culture in most real Orthodox churches.) They're obviously Protestants who've taken on some Orthodox trappings. They may mean well and not know a lot about actual Orthodoxy. I don't remember which vagante group gave them their holy orders - obviously the Orthodox didn't!
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2006, 03:48:44 PM »

The Charismatic Orthodox Church

No, they are not affiliated with us in any way. They are basically Protestants with a twist and a very bizarre vision. If you read their "bishop"'s conversion tale you can see the whole picture.

Christ is in our midst!
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2006, 04:03:47 PM »

A quote from their "bishop":

Quote
I began studying early church history, and church history in general, not from a Protestant, Reformation perspective, but I opened my eyes to the reality that the Holy Spirit has never left us or forsaken us. After my initial study, those dreams began to return once again. This time I decided to listen to them. My studies of eastern and western theology led me to the conclusion that orthodox theology in general was what every evangelical christian should embrace. I decided to go east. There were many like me across the USA and other parts of the world that I knew had been disappointed by the convergence movements lack of supplying the true church, that they were looking for. All aspects of Orthodox theology caused me to pant for more. It was time to visit these people, and see if their lives and practice today matched what the church fathers had written.

I found no room at the inn. The services were long, often times in another language than what I used, and they left me confused. Now to be fair, much of my fuzzy headedness was my own fault. But their seemed no effort on their parts to teach me, I wasn't middle eastern, greek, russian or some other ethnic group, just plain old vanilla American. And where were the blacks? How could the true church be so ethnically divided? On the occasions when somebody would talk to me, the conversation of charismatic practice came up. It was made perfectly clear, and this still holds true today, that the mainline orthodox want nothing to do with those who involve themselves in charismatic practice. I was told there was no future for me in the Orthodox Church with charismatic practice. I was distressed, didn't they read the lives of the saints? How could there be no room for charismatic practice? I was told that they were 'the church' and that I should change, that they were not wrong about anything. I read and studied even more. I see the orthodox bishops in joint prayer services with Muslims, Hindus, animist shamans, etc… clearly in violation of Scripture and church canons, what am I to think? I observed closely the ethnic 'parties' that they advertised to the public. Come all you greeks, or russians or middle easterners etc…. the church is having a 'ethnic' gathering, we will be selling alcohol, providing gambling, and have a real good time together. I looked at the canons, and Scripture, and found these ethnic debaucheries totally against the very rules that they tout as canonical. But I am told that I am in the wrong, where was the Holy Spirit, where was the commitment to holiness, to Spirit led living? Where is the church that I see in the early church fathers, in Scripture and in the lives of the saints?

________________________________________________________

Blessings,
Panagiotis

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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2006, 06:23:26 PM »

When I clicked on their "Beliefs and Creed" link I got a blank page. That speaks volumes!
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2006, 08:14:49 PM »

Nasty but funny:

'Yay! Imagination church!'

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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2006, 12:27:38 AM »

Charismatic Orthodox Church???  I'm sitting here shaking my head ...
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2006, 12:42:18 AM »

Charismatic Orthodox Church???  I'm sitting here shaking my head ...

http://userpages.aug.com/~mdkersey/believe.html
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2006, 12:49:00 AM »

I found it on the internet, Thanks!  What a shame that they did not speak to Father Peter Gilquist, I am sure he could have assisted thenm in their quest.

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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2006, 02:06:08 AM »

A quote from their "bishop":

I can sympathize with this his experiences.
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2006, 02:23:07 AM »

Quote
Come all you greeks, or russians or middle easterners etc…. the church is having a 'ethnic' gathering, we will be selling alcohol, providing gambling, and have a real good time together. I looked at the canons, and Scripture, and found these ethnic debaucheries totally against the very rules that they tout as canonical.
This is really funny Grin Wink
The so-called "ethnic debaucheries" especially.
He might have thought that the OC is just a church that appeared at the peak of the Temperance Movement or during the Prohibition. Grin
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2006, 03:00:04 AM »

I don't know.  I guess I'm just musing on this thought...

If God wants to speak through me in a charismatic way as He did through the Apostles at Pentecost, who am I to resist?  After all, He has done it before.  But it seems from my reading of Fr. Seraphim Rose and St. Ignatius Brianchaninov that those who actively seek such exalted spiritual experiences usually open themselves up to demonic delusion.  My task is to submit to Christ and follow His Gospel teachings through ascetic struggle, not to seek exalted spiritual experiences for which I am not ready.
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2006, 03:39:01 AM »

It's sad in a way that the 'gripes' of this so called bishop may have some merit. One of the things that held me back for so long from  initially converting to Orthodoxy was the appearance that it was largely based on 'ethnic' fractions and nationality. I remember awhile back when I was contemplating wether to be Orthodox or Roman Catholic, Scott Hahn was a guest speaker on Catholic answers and I called the show and asked why he chose the Roman Catholic church over Orthodoxy. He said something to the same effect that the Orthodox in his perspective looked like protestants to him the way they were divided along these lines. I guess that could be a gross oversimplification, but in some countries like the USA where we have overlapping jurisdictions it does have some truth to it.

Quote
If God wants to speak through me in a charismatic way as He did through the Apostles at Pentecost, who am I to resist?  After all, He has done it before.  But it seems from my reading of Fr. Seraphim Rose and St. Ignatius Brianchaninov that those who actively seek such exalted spiritual experiences usually open themselves up to demonic delusion.  My task is to submit to Christ and follow His Gospel teachings through ascetic struggle, not to seek exalted spiritual experiences for which I am not ready.

Nicely explained. There are true legitimate 'charismatic' gifts that were exercised throughout the New Testament Canon and examples seen throughout the history of the church; who's to say that they just magically ended at some point in time? Fr. Seraphim may be right in certain cases, but I would say he misses the mark if he's referring to protestant charismatics. I don't think these people are opening themselves up to demons when they speak in tongues which is probably nothing more than fake glossolalia. If they want to sound like babbling fools, it's not going to hurt anyone.

By the way, I used to be part of the Charismatic Episcopal Church before my conversion into Orthodoxy. It was a nice stepping stone for me coming from a protestant upbringing. There were a few near heart attacks on the way there, but I made it into Orthodoxy!  Grin
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2006, 04:22:24 AM »

author=PeterTheAleut
If God wants to speak through me in a charismatic way as He did through the Apostles at Pentecost, who am I to resist?  After all, He has done it before.

And He did say, that greater things than these you will do.


But it seems from my reading of Fr. Seraphim Rose and St. Ignatius Brianchaninov that those who actively seek such exalted spiritual experiences usually open themselves up to demonic delusion. 

Just to share a little of my experience with you, I was not actively seeking an exalted spiritual experience.   Rather I was yielding myself to the Holy Spirit, to be filled in the sense of allowing Him to pray through me, as Scripture says,

"We do not know what we ought to pray for but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.  Romans 8:26,27

"While meeting with them, He enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."  Acts 1

(Bestowed in answer to prayer)
"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" Luke 11:13

And because this gift was given to empower to serve I also asked for prayer to receive it:

"And, behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until you are endued with power from on high."  Luke 24:29, John 7:39, 14:16, 16:7

"But you shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost has come upon you: and you shall be witnesses for Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

My task is to submit to Christ and follow His Gospel teachings through ascetic struggle, not to seek exalted spiritual experiences for which I am not ready.


Just an observation on this idea; there were so many baptised in the Holy Spirit in the early church,
and they had less recourse to teachings and experienced believers than we do in present time.  I don't believe that God will give us a gift that He promises to us in the Scriptures, unless He is willing to back it up with the graces necessary to help us in our weakness.  Every good and perfect gift comes from Him.  Even the Samaritan believers were given this gift:

"Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost."  Acts 8:17

And the Epehesian Believers

"And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied."

I believe that just as Mary and the True Presence, are a major threat to the kingdom of darkness, the enemy plants slander,  by taking them out of context and gives non-Catholic/Orthodox believers a wrong idea, mixed with lies;  so has the enemy succeeded in doing with  many Orthodox/Catholic that have not had solid, well rounded experiences with the Holy Spirit and tongues.

I also believe that anytime we walk in the Spirit, demons are assigned to lead us astray.  When I was first learning how to type, I made lots of mistakes.  But I didn't give up, I kept on trying.  Sometimes the embarassment of making mistakes in discernment, causes people to withdraw or call all spiritual experiences like that demonic or bogus. 

Rick Joyner, in his book The Torch and the Sword, talks about those who have been taken captive by the army of Fear.  They have been disarmed and immobilized by fear and ridicule.  It has been my experience that serious errors in discernment in my life have been allowed and perhaps even engineered by God to treat my serious sin of Pride. But after the humiliations are over, He lifts me back up on my feet, brushes the dirt from around me and gives me the courage to have another try.

This is a Scriptural reference on this very dynamic:

3. PRIDE: If we are in pride, denial or judgment the Lord may allow us a deceiving spirit and all our readings (Bible, Liturgy, Saints readings)   will line up in a direction that will cause us to fall flat on our faces. God deliberately sent a deceiving spirit to Ahab when it was time for him to die.

(In I Kings 22 verses l9-23) the prophet Micaiah said, "I saw the Lord seated on His throne, with the whole host of Heaven standing by to His right and to His left. The Lord asked, 'Who will deceive Ahab, so that he will go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?'

And one said this, another that, until one of the spirits came forth and presented himself to the Lord saying, 'I will deceive him.' The Lord asked, 'How?' He answered, 'I will go forth and become a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.' The Lord replied, 'You shall succeed in deceiving him. Go forth and do this.' So now the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours, but the Lord himself has decreed evil against you." ( The king believing the false prophets went into battle and was slain. )

When He wants to move us onto higher ground and out of deep seated counter productive patterns He may allow this deception to go on for months, or years, in order to give us a better grounding in humility.

"I will go forth and become a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets."

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

In conclusion, all I can say is that some priceless gifts have been given to me and to others while worshipping in the Spirit;  understandings of things that broke serious oppressions, and shed a great deal of light on situations that were in deadlock, gave new hope, encouragement and direction. 

I believe that after, charity and obedience,  discernment is one of the most necessary skills for one who is serious about following God's will for their lives,  and the gift of tongues, especially in the context of worship, while the heart is seeking to worship, entering into the holy of holies, the Spirit is released within us and out of our bellies flow rivers of living waters, and a new understanding is imparted not to satisfy our curiosity,  but to address what God is focused on in that present moment.

One final note,  just as a true monk is threatening to the enemy, so the Devil assigns demons to torment and test him,  with great spiritual battles,  so is one who is seeking to mature in their love for God and neighbor, using the gifts of the Spirit and tongues, so the Devil also assigns to them demons to torment and test him.

These are just a few of the things I have experienced.  Hope they take some of the mystique out of this gift.

www.stsymeon.org  (This is an Orthodox link that might be informative.)
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2006, 04:51:35 AM »

When I clicked on their "Beliefs and Creed" link I got a blank page. That speaks volumes!
You must have to fill your own in. Very well spotted
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2006, 11:52:55 AM »

Where do we draw the line between fake tongues and Montanism? Since we are the True Church, why would we all of a sudden have this "new" revival of the Holy Spirit moving throughout the world outside of the Church?

Inside a FOursquare Church, they shake and quake, being "filled in the spirit". According to one of the Church Fathers(I do not remember who) the Holy Spirit falls upon us like the morning dew, softly and gently, emotionless. Ascetic virtue within the Church should show us that this new "charismatic movement" is in error. How many people are running around full of emotion and becoming their own "pope" so to speak, filling everyone with "visions" and "doctrine".

Blessings,
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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2006, 01:21:24 PM »

I normally would give a sarcastic answer to this thread, but I beleived that the guy is genuinely seeking; however, he has missed the mark. Yes, the OC is imperfect, run by imperfect people. That does not disqualify it from being the one true church that holds and guards the faith delivered once to the apostles. This is why, I think, we need monastics. To preserve the faith. (A little jab here at the Antiochians).
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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2006, 01:41:29 PM »

Quote
But it seems from my reading of Fr. Seraphim Rose and St. Ignatius Brianchaninov that those who actively seek such exalted spiritual experiences usually open themselves up to demonic delusion.

Exactly!

Quote
www.stsymeon.org  (This is an Orthodox link that might be informative.)

Yes, Fr Eusebios Stephanou. He's a real Orthodox priest, the only example I know of anything like the Pentecostal/charismatic phenom in Orthodoxy. He's been around a long time. Fr Seraphim wasn't a fan.

Quote
I believed that the guy is genuinely seeking; however, he has missed the mark.

I think he is genuinely seeking but yes, he makes mistakes.
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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2006, 02:01:02 PM »

There are true legitimate 'charismatic' gifts that were exercised throughout the New Testament Canon and examples seen throughout the history of the church; who's to say that they just magically ended at some point in time? Fr. Seraphim may be right in certain cases, but I would say he misses the mark if he's referring to protestant charismatics. I don't think these people are opening themselves up to demons when they speak in tongues which is probably nothing more than fake glossolalia. If they want to sound like babbling fools, it's not going to hurt anyone.
I don't doubt that the Holy Spirit has spoken through "charismatic" gifts throughout the history of the Church.  If He has done so before, who's to say that He won't do this again?  I'm just concerned that the active pursuit of such charismatic experiences is not where our focus should be.  Our aim is to acquire the Holy Spirit through repentance and ascetic struggle to gain mastery over the passions and develop the opposite virtues.  If, once one has acquired the Holy Spirit, the Spirit wants to speak through that person in a foreign tongue, heal the sick, raise the dead, or radiate the uncreated Light of Mt. Tabor as did St. Seraphim of Sarov, then that is purely the will of God.  Our focus should be to submit to the will of God as He chooses to act.
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« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2006, 08:52:41 PM »

Charismatic Orthodoxy...Oh?

Ahem...

Anyway I read the story the man told about his first crack at Orthodoxy that was posted on this thread.

I my opinion if this guy was dead set on finding a cure for a major illness he would never have completed the task since the science and technology he may be used to may not (or would not) be enough to meet the task. The illness speaks a new language and requires deep life engaging research. Once this is realized he gives up and instead criticizes the unknowns he experienced and takes whatever part of the process he could understand and uses that to solves some other illness claiming he has cured the first intended which of course he abandoned.

Thats just my way of seeing this guys attitude about the Holy Church if it was applied in a different way.

Their is no such thing as Charismatic "Orthodoxy"....
It is just a stolen word which may make some people feel like us but not be us but something else all together.

Champagne comes from France
Scotch comes from Scotland.........Who wants American made champagne or Japanese made scotch?

Orthodoxy is of eastern origin...Christianity is eastern.

This guy has lived outside the Holy Church so long and he believed that what he should of found was something that he could identify with?Huh

I worshipped in a Russian Church as a guest of a co-worker. I knew NO Russian. After a (5) hour service I walked onto a NYC street in the dead of winter and was feeling extremely blessed. The service and the blessing with the oils stay with me until the present and will never leave me I am sure. I was smelling rose oil on me for weeks (my wife also).

So much for language.

In have experienced similar situation in the Greek, Armenian and other Orthodox communities (The Russian experience was unmatched however since a special Icon of the Virgin Mary was being reverenced that night).

 I speak Ethiopic, Tigrean (two very ancient African tongues)and English.

The Church speaks in all languages. We have to open our minds to the Church.

This does not understand that the Church Orthodox is in all cultures (but his) all over the world.

I like his worrying about the poor "blacks".

He has no idea that ancient Christianity, Orthodoxy came directly to Africa from the Apostolic times. Africa and Africans has been (is) the subject of much of the Holy tradition of ancient Israel and the coming Messiah...and his true Church.

Yes allot of Africa has (is) ravaged with protestantism due the act of slavery brought to continent by "Christian" Europeans. These same people divided the people along 'denominational' socio-political lines.

But the Jerusalem Church, Orthodox got to Africa first (before the European protestantism)!

Read: Acts 8:26-39

008:025 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans. 
008:026 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 
008:027 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 
008:028 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 
008:029 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 
008:030 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 
008:031 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 
008:032 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 
008:033 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 
008:034 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 
008:035 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 
008:036 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 
008:037 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 
008:038 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 
008:039 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

WE have been Orthodox for almost 2000 years. Today the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the Largest single Orthodox community in the world. (I believe this may be argued b the Russian community)

The Ethiopian Church has diocese all over the world.
WE are happy to say that we have been connected to the See of St. Mark (Egypt) for entire history of the Holy Church.

For the unknowing "Ethiopia" within the context of the Holy Scripture is 'Africa'.

I think the whole Charismatic OC is unfortunate for those who are really seeking the truth.

God protect the Holy Church

Christ Has Risen!!!
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« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2006, 09:00:10 PM »

Yes, Orthodoxy expanded to Africa, so by all rights Africa is in the sphere of Orthodoxy
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« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2006, 04:03:31 AM »

Where do we draw the line between fake tongues and Montanism? Since we are the True Church, why would we all of a sudden have this "new" revival of the Holy Spirit moving throughout the world outside of the Church?

Inside a FOursquare Church, they shake and quake, being "filled in the spirit". According to one of the Church Fathers(I do not remember who) the Holy Spirit falls upon us like the morning dew, softly and gently, emotionless. Ascetic virtue within the Church should show us that this new "charismatic movement" is in error. How many people are running around full of emotion and becoming their own "pope" so to speak, filling everyone with "visions" and "doctrine".

Blessings,
Panagiotis

Dear Panagiotis,

The Foursquare church here in town is nothing like that.  In the Charismatic meetings I've been in, I've never seen aberrant behavior, which is what you are describing.  I suppose it could happen, but I've been in many Charismatic services from East to West coast, and I have never experienced a disorderly service. 

I have been in small prayer gatherings (very few, maybe 3 in 28 years) where when a person was being prayed for they began laughing  and everyone in the entire room began laughing.  This was usually the case of a person going through extreme stress and difficult times, when they were supernaturally filled with joy, and everything coming into a heavenly perspective,  they fell into a state of laughter that caused them to become detached from their circumstance and totally rest in the Lord. 

The usual progression of events in an authentic Charismatic service (prayer meeting, not Mass or Liturgy)  is that while you are worshipping God in spirit and in truth,  a sense of entering into His presence occurs accompanied by a heart felt  contrition for your sins and profound gratitude for His unconditional love.  Many times this is accompanied by copious tears.

Then a sense of being lifted out of yourself, or freedom in the Spirit, with a sweet and gentle awareness of God as you begin to worship in tongues. This may go on for a few minutes or much longer, interspersed with silence and resting in God. Very often, real solutions to real problems will come to you as you "wait" on God,  being still and silent with your whole presence focused on adoring Him.

After a certain point, your spirit becomes very, very still and a supernatural peace settles in, and a sense of the Glory of the Lord fills the room,  and you rest in God.  At this point you have no desire to think or do anything beyond rest in His Presence.

I share these experiences with you because sometimes we have a tendency to ridicule or fear, that which we have no experiential knowledge of.   Or we may even form our opinions on the misguided perceptions of an author who has many wonderful and true things to say in some areas, but is misinformed in other areas.  If Scripture supports this phenomena,  I think it is better to be cautious about condemning it because of the misconduct of some, who have had questionable manifestations.

It is a shame that many Orthodox are of the opinion that this kind of movement of the Holy Spirit is a delusion because people are seeking some kind of experience rather than authentically worshipping God.

If a soul is seeking an experience, Satan will be happy to oblige him.  But if a soul, out of the purity of their love for God, is seeking to offer Him thanksgiving with all their being, I believe God will honor that soul by drawing him into His presence.  (not that we can ever afford to generalize in this area)

I would agree that seeking an experience is not what the authentic Christian life is about.  But the Scriptures do exhort us to pray for this gift.  It is a gift like any other from God, that is to be used solely to bring Glory to Him. And there is a dimension of freedom and an entering into the presence of God that  does not happen corporately, very often in liturgical worship.

I don't believe it has to be one or the other.  I believe there is a place for both, or they would not be presented in the Scriptures.  If the Liturgy is to be a foreshadowing experience of Heaven,  which it has been and continues to be for us, with all that accompanies it,  I have to say, that if I were to go into a plain dark room, a basement or garage and with other pure hearted believers began to enter into authentic worship of God,  when the Presence of the Lord  falls,  that space is utterly transformed into a Heavenly realm where I am lifted up into the sweet presence of the Almighty.   What it looked or felt like before,  no longer has any bearing on anything, it is completely transformed by the Presence of God.
No one with true discernment, that has experienced this, can assign it to demonic intervention.



p.s.  I've looked up Montanism in the Catholic Encyclopedia,  and it bears no resemblence to the Upper Room on Pentacost, or to the well ordered services we've experienced in years past. And it is obvious from the behaviors of the people involved in this cult, that they were not moving in the Holy Spirit but in the demonic element. 



 










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« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2006, 04:14:50 AM »

Charismatic Orthodoxy...Oh?
Their is no such thing as Charismatic "Orthodoxy"....
It is just a stolen word which may make some people feel like us but not be us but something else all together.

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Scotch comes from Scotland.........Who wants American made champagne or Japanese made scotch?


This is an authentically Orthodox Charismatic site.  I don't believe that God ever intended them to be mutually exclusive, but rather to compliment one another.

http://www.stsymeon.org/

Perhaps there is another perspective we haven't fully considered...
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« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2006, 07:55:39 AM »

Christ is Risen,

As I read your description of the Charismatic worship, It came to me that you may not have experienced the full joy of the worship of the Divine Liturgy in the Charistmatic sense felt by many Eastern Orthodox Christians. What I have discovered and discussed with several who share this in common are the following:

a. The use ofÂÂ  either byzantine or Zameny (Russian) Chant helps the laity in attendance to hear the word of God through the Psalms, Readings , and prayers without the dramatic interpretation of the reader or priest who is saying theÂÂ  psalms, prayers , and readings during Orthros, the hours, and Liturgy thusÂÂ  preparing the observant worshiper to mystically be in the presence of God with the Church Triumphant in Heaven.

b. The Laity and Clergy often are blessed during the Divine Liturgy to experince the foretaste of Heaven, to feel the presence of the Church Militatnt and the Church Triumphant together in full worship of the lamp upon the Throne, to stand at the foot of the throne of God in awe and worship . Some have been blessed to see the ministering AngelsÂÂ  and to see the descent of the Holy Spirit during the Epicilisis.

While there is a place as Father Eusubeius has shown for the the gift of tongues, as our public worship is largely thru Orthros,the Hours, Compline, Vespers,  and the Divine Lityrgy, an Eastern Orthodox Christian is more likely to experience the charismatic revelation as I noted above.  ÃƒÆ’‚ This is experience of the charism of the Holy Spirit is well documented by clergy, the laity, and the Holy saints as a more frequent experiencing of the Holy Spirit's revelation than the gift of tongues. The joy that these believers experience is very great indeed/

In Christ,
Thomas
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« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2006, 12:32:41 PM »

Once I was exposed to this form of Orthodox charismatism and writings of Fr. Stephanou and what struck me is that there never was any mention on the role of the Theotokos or the saints!!!  Seemed that this was something from Protestantism to me?
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« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2006, 01:11:42 PM »

This is an authentically Orthodox Charismatic site.ÂÂ  I don't believe that God ever intended them to be mutually exclusive, but rather to compliment one another.

http://www.stsymeon.org/

Perhaps there is another perspective we haven't fully considered...

Ah, yes. The Botherhood of St. Symeon the New Theologian (which I imagine St. Symeon would castigate as soundly as he did many of his contemporaries). I wouldn't exactly call this brotherhood "authentic." As far as I know, it (a) has never received the blessing, support or involvement of His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios, in whose jurisdiction its facilities fall; (b) has never received the blessing, support or involvement of any Orthodox Hierarch or clergy association; (c) does not include members of the clergy other than, perhaps, a couple of the other lone priests like Fr. Stephanou who have made it their goal to foster Protestant-style charismaticism in Orthodoxy. (As if we don't already have MANY of our own forms of charismatic gifts that have an unbroken heritage, being attested to by the Saints and confirmed by the Church!)

I've never been able to figure out Fr. Stephanou's exact status in the Church. Back in the 50s he was one of the first Greek theologians to call for a re-assessment of St. Augustine (and for this good sense he is still sometimes cited in Orthodox theological literature). In the 70s, however, he began to do the inter-denominational charismatic thing and, as far as I can tell, was "retired" and now runs this Floridian entity that exists outside the authority of the Church but still affects some relationship to the Church. Anyone know better?

Fr. Seraphim Rose wrote about Fr. Stephanou way back in the day. Check out:

http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/sign/

and

http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/seraphim/signs/discernment.shtml
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« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2006, 01:32:22 PM »

Exactly!

Yes, Fr Eusebios Stephanou. He's a real Orthodox priest, the only example I know of anything like the Pentecostal/charismatic phenom in Orthodoxy. He's been around a long time. Fr Seraphim wasn't a fan.

I think he is genuinely seeking but yes, he makes mistakes.

I think there were a couple others like Fr. Stephanou, especially in the Antiochian Archdiocese. Here's a Wikipedia confirmation:

The charismatic renewal movement in the Eastern Orthodox Church never exerted the influence that it did in other mainstream churches. Individual priests, such as Fr. Eusebius Stephanou of the Greek Orthodox Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, founder of the Brotherhood of St. Symeon the New Theologian, Fr. Athanasius Emmert of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese and Fr. Boris Zabrodsky of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America, founder of the Service Committee for Orthodox Spiritual Renewal (SCOSR) which published "Theosis" Newsletter, were some of the more prominent leaders of the charismatic renewal in Orthodoxy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic_movement
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« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2006, 11:44:52 PM »

Christ is Risen,
b. The Laity and Clergy often are blessed during the Divine Liturgy to experince the foretaste of Heaven, to feel the presence of the Church Militatnt and the Church Triumphant together in full worship of the lamp upon the Throne, to stand at the foot of the throne of God in awe and worship . Some have been blessed to see the ministering Angels  and to see the descent of the Holy Spirit during the Epicilisis. The joy that these believers experience is very great indeed

Dear Thomas,

This is  wonderful and I would love to be a part of such worship.  Unfortunately I think the nearest place might be Albuquerque which is three hours south of us, or perhaps Denver, four hours north.  The Orthodox liturgies I have been to were very revrent and touching, but much of the language and the customs were closed to my understanding.  Perhaps as we grow in numbers our Good God will lead us into such a Liturgy.

For now we are very small and must make the best of what we have.

Thank you so much for sharing all this, please let me know if you run across a liturgy such as this we might be able to make arrangements to attend.

In His Mercy
Mother Anastasia

p.s.  Did you get my pm on lineage?
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« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2006, 12:11:30 AM »

   This is experience of the charism of the Holy Spirit is well documented by clergy, the laity, and the Holy saints as a more frequent experiencing of the Holy Spirit's revelation than the gift of tongues. The joy that these believers experience is very great indeed/

Dear Thomas,

I just wanted to clarify something that I may have failed to mention earlier,  that this infilling of the Holy Spirit,  is also an empowerment gift to give the Holy Spirit more liberty in exercising the gifts, especially incorporate worship (but not the Liturgy).

To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.
To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit;

to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit;to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.I Cor. 12

I do not believe these gifts are dependant upon tongues,  as we have seen them in operation totally apart from tongues.  And certainly the Saints, monastic and otherwise moved in the Holy Spirit without visible or outward signs of worship in tongues.

But for some believers, that are mature, level headed and not carried away by excesses,  these gifts are in operation more frequently, in a small group during a worship service with the freedom of tongues.
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« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2006, 12:43:18 AM »

(As if we don't already have MANY of our own forms of charismatic gifts that have an unbroken heritage, being attested to by the Saints and confirmed by the Church!)

I truly believe in Orthodox forms of charismatic gifts without tongues, and without protestant style worship.  This authentic movement of the Holy Spirit is beautifully in its  operation and I think it would be a mistake to try and homogenize some form of westernized practice into  Orthodoxy.

What I do believe is that in other traditions we should respect the particular way in which the Holy Spirit has chosen to manifest...keeping a careful ear out for fraudulent behavior, if it should in any way concern us.

I believe it is pleasing to the Lord to guard ourselves against presumption, believing that our way is the only authentic way,  and that other way....well, it is an inferior way, or bogus altogether.

And it seems that this is the kind of climate that union between East and West could be viable without compromise. 

There are those who are only nourished on the Orthodox Liturgy, and they are not at all drawn to western liturgy or charismatic worship. Then there are those who feel totally lost and out of place in an Orthodox liturgy, yet they experience Heaven in a western liturgy.   

God has chosen the path they must travel to sanctity, and those of us who have a different path, I believe, should be supportive to the graces God has given them so they might be nurtured in the appropriate climate, which only the Holy Spirit can determine. 

Perhaps someday they will be offered the grace of Orthodox worship and be drawn by the heart into this depth, as many of you have been.  In the meantime, I don't think it helps our souls or those traveling along a different path, to be condescending or belittling, and certainly not in any way making them feel inferior in holiness.

Who knows?  Some of these may be recognized by the heavenly court as living saints, and their only lack is having the fullness of the faith, while others who have the fullness of the faith, in word, do not live it in deed, and cause the heavenly court to blush by their behavior.
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« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2006, 08:10:59 PM »

Dear Panagiotis,

The Foursquare church here in town is nothing like that.ÂÂ  In the Charismatic meetings I've been in, I've never seen aberrant behavior, which is what you are describing.ÂÂ  I suppose it could happen, but I've been in many Charismatic services from East to West coast, and I have never experienced a disorderly service...
I have had some interesting experiences within Foursquare. BUt some of their meetings are conservative. This may be what you have experienced, in a conservative community. From my experiences in Foursquare, I had people screaming out and wailing. Some even approached me and would call me "prophet". The "gift of tongues" was arrogant and a farce. Their "gift of tongues" was pressured, as well as the pastor's intent to call down the "spirit" at will. This was most of my experiences near the heartland of Aimee Semple MacPherson and her Angelus Temple. I held similiar experiences in Pasadena, CA.

I share these experiences with you because sometimes we have a tendency to ridicule or fear, that which we have no experiential knowledge of.ÂÂ ÂÂ  Or we may even form our opinions on the misguided perceptions of an author who has many wonderful and true things to say in some areas, but is misinformed in other areas.ÂÂ  If Scripture supports this phenomena,ÂÂ  I think it is better to be cautious about condemning it because of the misconduct of some, who have had questionable manifestations...
I do not mean to be blunt, but I have much experience in the Foursquare movement. I am a licensed minister in the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel! I converted to Orthodoxy because the whole Western Protestant Pentecostal Movement is solely based on Biblolatry and a Charismatic Emotional tirade of emotional downpourings and utterings. "If it feels good, and we all know God wants us to feel good all the time, then it must be right". Emotions are not "the movement of the Holy Spirit"; The Holy Spirit is the movement of the Holy Spirit. What Foursquare, Assemblies of God, Vineyard and other denominational groups do and teach, though sincere in their actions, is wrong. There is absolutely no authority in those groups therefore every uttering and word stated is prophetic or wisdom. {true sarcasm, but sadly true}There was one instance where this woman was talking about taking up her yoke and spoke in tongues, then an interpreter declared a vision of a giant egg covering her in the yolk, and she confirmed it! Yes, what a treasure Orthodoxy is missing out on from this new Charismatic Movement![/sarcasm}

It is a shame that many Orthodox are of the opinion that this kind of movement of the Holy Spirit is a delusion because people are seeking some kind of experience rather than authentically worshipping God.
The experience is just that, an experience. From God? I know it is not, from my experience. When I uttered in tongues, it was a farce, a riling of emotions stirring within me, supposedly bettering me. It would have been better if I recited a Bhuddist mantra, or a Muslim Call to Prayer on my soul. But in the end, the experience is nothing more than useless words of feel-good encouragement using God's name as the centerpiece on the decorative table of heresy.

If a soul is seeking an experience, Satan will be happy to oblige him.ÂÂ  But if a soul, out of the purity of their love for God, is seeking to offer Him thanksgiving with all their being, I believe God will honor that soul by drawing him into His presence.ÂÂ  (not that we can ever afford to generalize in this area)
The sad thing is the LDS Church uses Jesus Christ too, as does the Jehovah's Witnesses. There are alot of sincere LDS and JW's who worship, but it is not the same Christ as that of the Orthodox. The other sad note is most Protestants simply worship and glorify the "buddy Christ" who is their "big brother" and "feel-goodiness", not the Jesus of eternal salvation and love, correction and humility. If you ask most Protestants how to listen for God, they will tell you about an emotional experience. Ask a monk and you will get a spiritual insight, void of emotion except awe.
p.s.ÂÂ  I've looked up Montanism in the Catholic Encyclopedia,ÂÂ  and it bears no resemblence to the Upper Room on Pentacost, or to the well ordered services we've experienced in years past. And it is obvious from the behaviors of the people involved in this cult, that they were not moving in the Holy Spirit but in the demonic element.
It is a well-ordered cult based on Montanist teaching. I am sorry but this is how I see it and experienced it at its root.

Blessings,
Panagiotis
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« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2006, 02:51:50 AM »

Dear Panagiotis,

From your extensive reply, I can understand and sympathize with your antipathy for the 4 Square spirituality. I have never been a member of a 4 Square Assembly, but  have seen the genuine movement of the Holy Spirit, with good fruits and accurate prophetic words that did come to pass and at the time were a source of encouragement for certain souls in crisis. The pastor in Taos is a very careful and level headed man, perhaps that is why. They are compassionate people with a heart for God.   This however, is not my spirituality either,  but I can appreciate   the graces at work in their church. 

I have never heard them belittle or criticize the Orthodox.  In fact I have never heard them belittle or pass judgement on any denomination or person.  Certainly that is a grace in itself,  the tongue being the most difficult of all to tame.

I believe that each Christian should follow the path of his own conviction as God gives him the grace to do so.

But whatever Christian path that might be, others will recognize that Christ dwells in our hearts by the charity we show for one another.
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