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Author Topic: For Roman Catholc Converts to Orthodox Christianity  (Read 6610 times) Average Rating: 0
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Steve Dennehy
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« on: July 24, 2006, 08:27:43 PM »

Like many of you, I am one of the growing number of Roman Catholic converts to Orthodox Christianity  ( I belong to the Orthodox Church in America); those of us who became  disillusioned by the chaos in theology, spirituality, worship and morality that has characterized the Roman Church for 41 years ; were not satisfied with  and found traditionalist Roman Catholicism off and came to see a much deeper sense of the Christian faith in Orthodoxy.  Not that the Orthodox don't have problems--nationalism being the primary one.  However there is a much deeper sense of the Christian faith in Orthodox Christianity--God is Trinity (3 in 1);Father-Son-Spirit; Lord Jesus Christ is God the Son become man, crucified for and by us, to atone for our evil (our hatred of Him and each other);  descended in victory among the dead; resurrecting -reuniting His human soul and body, restoring His human nature to the original pre-fallen state, restoring our human nature in His; ascending into Father, deifying His human nature, deifying our human nature in His; sending Holy Spirit into the members of His Body/Church  in Jerusalem and into every member of His Body, making us partakers of His Divine-human nature and His cleansing, restoration and deification of our human nature; and awaiting His final Manifestation in Glory when He will re-unite the dead with their bodies, show forth the general judgment, leave the evil (the haters of love) to the outer darkness they have chosen and create a new universe where "Love (God) is all in all".  Amen Come Lord Jesus !

We have a duty to try to evangelize Roman Catholics to Orthodoxy.  Half have nothing to do with the Roman Church; there are so many religions presented in the Roman Church now (7 here in America, found everywhere; 4 of these are non-Christian--they deny Lord Jesus is God, Lord and Saviour, and 2 are Protestant Christian -dishonest in a Roman Catholic Church) that  Roman Catholics are very confused. 

How can we evangelize Roman  and Eastern-Rite Catholics   ?

On the "Catholic Answers" website there is a forum for discusion; one of the sub-forums is "Eastern Christianity".  Check it out.  There are many good and decent lovers of Lord Jesus among the Roman and Eastern Rite Catholics.  Enter into dialogue with them.  Be VERY sensitive to them; don't make them defensive.  Just present Orthodox Christianity to them.  You don't have to criticize the Roman Catholic Church at all.  Roman Catholics have been going through a great deal of psychological and spiritual suffering over these decades
and we have to be sensitive to that.


In Father-Jesus-Spirit, Trinity, our God,

Steve





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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2006, 09:45:56 PM »

Hi Steve,

Although I'm not Catholic, I feel as though I'm compelled to defend the Catholic Church due to much of the flak that she often gets. I think compared to most churches the Catholic Church has made huge strides in the 20th century and while there are perhaps many advances to be made yet she perhaps has lead the whole of traditional Christendom in 20th century Christianity.

To her own merit the Catholic church has shed off many of the extraneous theological developments procured from the medieval ages, and many of these while perhaps not officially excluded have been in a sense set aside, ignored and rationalised in a manner much more palatable to the traditionalist Christian. The Catholic Church I think presents quite well the dogmas that you enumerate while tending to express many of the other more controversial topics as theologoumenon rather than strict dogma.

The Catholic Church seems to have adapted quite well to the demands of 20th century man while not compromising her traditionalist faith and humbly acknowledging many of its errors of the past. I tend to see the Catholic Church as much more missionary orientated, charitable and politically active. Not to mention that perhaps the most reknown saint of the 20th century has been a product of the Catholic Church, ie Mother Theresa.

I think rather than proselytising Catholics and other Christians we would do much better to seek out those who do not know Christ at all or even God. Sometimes, it seems to me that while Christians are warring against each other so many of the needy are being neglected and falling by the wayside. I think rather than turning against each other Christians need to be able to unite to evangelise the world.
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2006, 09:58:56 PM »

It would be uncharitable not to offer Roman Catholics the fullness of Christian truth, which resides in the Orthodox Church, the Church of Christ.  I agree that the Roman Catholic Church has done many wonderful things but we can't say that that means we shouldn't offer to them, just as to all other men and women, the joy of Orthodoxy.

Anastasios
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2006, 11:09:34 PM »


I think rather than proselytising Catholics and other Christians we would do much better to seek out those who do not know Christ at all or even God. Sometimes, it seems to me that while Christians are warring against each other so many of the needy are being neglected and falling by the wayside. I think rather than turning against each other Christians need to be able to unite to evangelise the world.

The Eastern Orthodox Church is still engaged in evangelism in communist China, the two Koreas, Africa and even in some of the more "tolerant" areas of the Middle East.  Our mission to them is as imperative as carrying it to those who do not have the fullness of the faith and are not members of the body of Christ. 

I don't think you were trying to say that all the various forms of Christianity in the world are right, because they are not.  That attitude is the attitude of such ecumenical bodies like the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches as well as other NGOs of the United Nations.  Ecumenicism is dangerous because it requires the Orthodox to water down their beliefs and be tolerant and become a secular church.  The Lord Jesus Christ and His Church as the pillar of Truth are replaced instead by secular humanism and radical tolerance. Failing to get our message out to Christians who are not part of the Holy Orthodox Church will only make our struggle to protect our heritage more difficult.  For too many non-Orthodox Christians, uneducated as they are in their own faith, would just look the other way whenever our faith and Church came under assault from the so-called forces of tolerance and secularism.  Thus, it is not only imperative to spread knowledge about Orthodoxy, but to spread the faith itself to those many Christians who have been cheated, whether deliberately or unintentionally, by the spiritual guardians of their faith traditions.
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2006, 11:41:12 PM »

I do not believe that all Christians are the same and are all right and all preach the same thing, if one would analyse the underlying beliefs of all such denominations such a perspective would really be found to be contradictory in nature. However, I do we believe that as baffling as it may seem there is an inherent necessity to acknowledge and respect the Christianity of all Christians.

I think that the main arena for the expression of Orthodoxy should be within ecumenical circles and this is where ecumenism is invaluable for the evangelising of Orthodxy and for the unity of Christianity.

I think that every church considers itself to contain the fullness of truth and is required to express it as such, however to make an active and concerted effort to proselytise certain Christians I would look upon unfavourably as such actions simply foster a spirit of division and hostility. Such claims to from every church would simply decline into interdenominational warfare and constant accusations of sheep-stealing and the like.

I think any church would be offended and feel slighted as an expression of unChristian behaviour if another denominational church were to infringe upon its jurisdiction and proselytise its faithful, hurling accusations of sheep-stealing against such churches. However, somehow its ok for certain churches to do so and not for others. Again I believe our concerted efforts would be better directed towards nonChristians rather than towards fellow Christians while of course leaving our arms and doors open to all who desire to know Christ.
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2006, 07:58:45 PM »

Obviously Roman Catholics who are satisfied with their Church are not interested in Orthodoxy but many are interested and express an interest on that website.  As I stated ,over half of nominal Roman Catholics in America and the English-speaking world generally and Europe, have nothing to do with the Roman Church; many are not even Christmas/Easter members.  It is that bad.  They are dying of spirtual starvation.
Offering Orthodox Christianity to anyone is our duty; not shoving it down people's throats.  Western Christians usually have some curiousity about Orthodoxy; just be ready to answer questions or invite them to Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2006, 11:03:51 PM »


I think that every church considers itself to contain the fullness of truth and is required to express it as such, however to make an active and concerted effort to proselytise certain Christians I would look upon unfavourably as such actions simply foster a spirit of division and hostility. Such claims to from every church would simply decline into interdenominational warfare and constant accusations of sheep-stealing and the like.

I can call myself the Queen of England, but it doesn't make it so.  Truth is absolute, not something we can conform to what we want.


I think any church would be offended and feel slighted as an expression of unChristian behaviour if another denominational church were to infringe upon its jurisdiction and proselytise its faithful, hurling accusations of sheep-stealing against such churches. However, somehow its ok for certain churches to do so and not for others. Again I believe our concerted efforts would be better directed towards nonChristians rather than towards fellow Christians while of course leaving our arms and doors open to all who desire to know Christ.

Kind of like the Protestants going to Russia to "Christianize" those poor lost souls who have been Orthodox all their lives.  Angry
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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2006, 01:07:12 PM »

Quote
Kind of like the Protestants going to Russia to "Christianize" those poor lost souls who have been Orthodox all their lives. 


Ha Ha Ha. I almost fell off my chair when I read this. I recently heard on the radio that Protestants plane dropped thousands of bible in Russia to get the word out. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2006, 01:32:48 PM »

I certainly do not make a practice of confronting happy Catholics, despite my clear-cut views.  Like I said in another thread if they exhibit signs of holiness and spiritual growth, I am not going to impugn their faith--if asked, I will share Orthodoxy, of course, but I wouldn't be like the fundies out putting leaflets on Catholics' cars in parking lots.

Anastasios
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2006, 04:31:49 PM »

Hi Steve,

Although I'm not Catholic, I feel as though I'm compelled to defend the Catholic Church due to much of the flak that she often gets. I think compared to most churches the Catholic Church has made huge strides in the 20th century and while there are perhaps many advances to be made yet she perhaps has lead the whole of traditional Christendom in 20th century Christianity.

To her own merit the Catholic church has shed off many of the extraneous theological developments procured from the medieval ages, and many of these while perhaps not officially excluded have been in a sense set aside, ignored and rationalised in a manner much more palatable to the traditionalist Christian. The Catholic Church I think presents quite well the dogmas that you enumerate while tending to express many of the other more controversial topics as theologoumenon rather than strict dogma.

The Catholic Church seems to have adapted quite well to the demands of 20th century man while not compromising her traditionalist faith and humbly acknowledging many of its errors of the past. I tend to see the Catholic Church as much more missionary orientated, charitable and politically active. Not to mention that perhaps the most reknown saint of the 20th century has been a product of the Catholic Church, ie Mother Theresa.

I think rather than proselytising Catholics and other Christians we would do much better to seek out those who do not know Christ at all or even God. Sometimes, it seems to me that while Christians are warring against each other so many of the needy are being neglected and falling by the wayside. I think rather than turning against each other Christians need to be able to unite to evangelise the world.


Sorry, but when was Mother Teresa cannonized?
I am still a RC and I don't know where you are getting this from?
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2006, 04:40:37 PM »

This is a strange thread. Huh
Waste/do not waste time on an RC?
One poster was right to say not to rule them out.
Why pick and choose?

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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2006, 04:42:11 PM »

It would be uncharitable not to offer Roman Catholics the fullness of Christian truth, which resides in the Orthodox Church, the Church of Christ.ÂÂ  I agree that the Roman Catholic Church has done many wonderful things but we can't say that that means we shouldn't offer to them, just as to all other men and women, the joy of Orthodoxy.

Anastasios

Nice post!
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2006, 12:51:25 PM »

Mother Teresa of Calcutta has been beatified that's why we now call her Blessed, but has not been canonized as a saint yet. Many consider her as a saint, even when she was still alive!

The evangelization of non-Christians should be the top priority of the Orthodox Churches and not center their efforts on us, Catholics of the East and of the West. We are, equally, apostolic Christians and we are on your side! Wink

If ever, train your sights on the Protestants who are now more numerous than Orthodoxy combined. Probably, there are more Protestants in Russia and in her former vassal States than Catholics these days!

Protestantism is still a force to reckon with in the U.S. Are you doing something about it? What has the membership of certain Orthodox jurisdictions in the WCC and NCC done for Orthodoxy?

How about Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists? There are about 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide (and do you still remember that Islam has nearly wiped out the traditional Orthodox lands in the East?) and 800 million Hindus and 300 million Buddhists!

Orthodox evangelization of China. Did you know that the last surviving (Russian) Orthodox priest in China died about 2 years ago and no Orthodox Church (Russian or otherwise) is currently being used as such anywhere in mainland China? The old priest's funeral was held in a Catholic Church presided over by a Catholic priest, although of the CPA kind. Yes, there is a dozen or so native Chinese in seminary training in Russia and, if ordained, will go back to China to minister to about 3,000 remnants of the Chinese Orthodox Church. The Russian Orthodox Church is building a Church inside the Russian Embassy compound (clearly to minister to Russians) but that's it for now.

Ditto for Orthodox missions to other parts of Asia and to Africa. Too little too late, if I may say so. How could you then be successful in converting Roman Catholics when you have seemingly abandoned the injunction of Our Lord to bring the Gospel to all peoples and nations? Roman Catholics are all over the world, of different peoples, of at least 176 countries, of differing cultures, of so many languages!

Asia is home to 2/3 of all humanity, or over 4 billion souls! Where are the Orthodox missionaries in these lands? Catholics now number about 120 million in Asia.

Africa is now home to about 150 million Catholics and rapidly growing. Are the Orthodox experiencing the evangelization spirit there? How do you like trying to convert animists and Muslims in the hinterlands of Africa or often warring tribes?

Much of the world is free to convert. And that's including us, Catholics!

But, please, do try to convert you backyard first!





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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2006, 05:38:56 PM »

Let me get this straight!  Since Catholicism has greater numbers, she must be the One true Church.  There are more Protestants than Orthodox?  Even if that were the case (it isn't) they are not unified.  So many of them I would not consider Christian anyways for their rejection of key doctrines (Virgin-birth, Christ as the God-man, Christ's true Resurrection, among others). How typical of Western Christianity and Western Christians to reduce everything to a numbers game!  The Orthodox have never been part of the whole church growth movement like the West because all that does is dilute the faith (look at the Catholic Church after Vatican II and even the recent rejection of certain doctrines like limbo). We still maintain the one true faith given once and for all to the saints (Jude 3).  Catholicism cannot claim that nor any Protestants.  Even if there were only one Orthodox parish left on earth, that would still be the Church and the gates of hell have not prevailed nor shall they. 

Yes, we still have much evangelizing to do.  And despite years of active persecutions under the Moslems and the Communists (which the West really has never had to contend with save for very small pockets), the Church has bounced back and continued her mission to preach Christ's saving message.  And we should continue that for non-Orthodox Christians (both Roman Catholics and Protestants) as well as for Buddhists, Hindus, Moslems, etc. 

In IC XC,

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« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2006, 06:11:00 PM »

Protestantism, as a group, not larger than world Orthodoxy? It is more than twice the size of Orthodoxy.

Only the Orthodox Churches suffered under Islam and the communists? Look again. The Soviet communists literally wiped out the Cathoic Church in Russia and in the vassal States. It's good the communists did not succeed in Poland and are not succeeding in Cuba, Albania, Vietnam, and in China. North Korea is still iffy, though!

Islamic countries are still busy persecuting the Catholic Church! Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East.

Funny, but the Cathoic Church believes she is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church! Grin

So, which is which? Third parties know.
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« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2006, 06:16:39 PM »

Your correct. The Orthodox have not yet evangelized the whole world. Part of the reason is because we have endured persecution much longer than any other Christians. The other reason is that during our times of persecution Western Christianity came to America with the Santa Maria. To use an analogy. It's almost like when Nextel introduced there 2 way radios. No one offered anything else at the time. So people jumped on the band wagon. Now other providers offer a better system. But it doesn't matter. Because most are comfortable. These people are very hard to convert unless you can offer them something better. The problem we face is that it takes a lot of work to convince people that this system is better without offering a rebate of some sort. Meaning an instant gratification. So most overlook the inward persona of the Orthodox church. They think it sells the same message as everybody else. Unfortunately for humanity but a reality we must face.

Other reasons are Major funding comes from America. There are only 2% Orthodox in the USA

As far as evangelizing the unchristianized world is concerned. I believe a lot of the Orthodox have given up because of the persecutions by Muslims during the Ottoman empire. These Muslims lived around and with us for over 400 years. There hate for Christianity is well known to us. In those 400 years how many received Christianity back in there homes. The ansewer is very few. I wouldn't want to categorize the whole Muslim world as Turks. But it can paint a pretty clear picture as to what the out come of evangelizing to them would bring.
 ÃƒÆ’‚ I still have a pretty strong belief that we should still try. But the rivers of blood will surely flow.

 ÃƒÆ’‚  Just to make it a little more clear as to why the west will soon enter into the Muslim world before the east. Is simply the unorthodox way of war. (Not saying that Catholics have anything to do with it) Unfortunately war will open the door for the west to come in to the Muslim world. In the form of democracy first than Christianity. This is already happening as we post.
 


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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2006, 06:38:06 PM »

Protestantism, as a group, not larger than world Orthodoxy? It is more than twice the size of Orthodoxy.
What are your numbers please? As I pointed out, Protestantism is not a monolithic bloc (far from it).  Very few of them claim a common heritage and there are some 35,000 sects, most of whom hold doctrine that is quite contrary to the basic tenents of Christianity. That is like saying there are more Americans of non-German descent than Americans of German descent.  Of course there are but the non-Germans include everyone from Chinese, Vietnamese to Russian, to English to Nigerian to Arab.
 

Only the Orthodox Churches suffered under Islam and the communists? Look again. The Soviet communists literally wiped out the Cathoic Church in Russia and in the vassal States. It's good the communists did not succeed in Poland and are not succeeding in Cuba, Albania, Vietnam, and in China. North Korea is still iffy, though!
Islamic countries are still busy persecuting the Catholic Church! Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East.

Did you not read what I said?  I said that the West, for the most part, has not had to contend with the amount of  persecution as the Eastern Christians.  I nowhere denied persecution of the RC.  Perhaps we should stop this line of argumentation before it degrades into a "My church is more persecuted than yours."  Wink
 
Funny, but the Cathoic Church believes she is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church! Grin.

I am aware that they say that and the Catholics are wrong.  As long as heresy runs rampant in the RC church and they fail to acknowledge the consensus of the fathers without adding anything, they have willingly separated themselves from the one holy Church.  Granted, we Orthodox have our problems and we need to address them.

In IC XC

Scamandrius

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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2006, 10:38:03 PM »



As far as evangelizing the unchristianized world is concerned. I believe a lot of the Orthodox have given up because of the persecutions by Muslims during the Ottoman empire. These Muslims lived around and with us for over 400 years. There hate for Christianity is well known to us. In those 400 years how many received Christianity back in there homes. The ansewer is very few. I wouldn't want to categorize the whole Muslim world as Turks. But it can paint a pretty clear picture as to what the out come of evangelizing to them would bring.
 

Perhaps true for many Orthodox churches, but under the previous Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria, Africa was actively and successfully being evangelized. We hope that continues.
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« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2006, 10:58:29 PM »

Hi Steve,

Although I'm not Catholic, I feel as though I'm compelled to defend the Catholic Church due to much of the flak that she often gets. I think compared to most churches the Catholic Church has made huge strides in the 20th century and while there are perhaps many advances to be made yet she perhaps has lead the whole of traditional Christendom in 20th century Christianity.

To her own merit the Catholic church has shed off many of the extraneous theological developments procured from the medieval ages, and many of these while perhaps not officially excluded have been in a sense set aside, ignored and rationalised in a manner much more palatable to the traditionalist Christian. The Catholic Church I think presents quite well the dogmas that you enumerate while tending to express many of the other more controversial topics as theologoumenon rather than strict dogma.

The Catholic Church seems to have adapted quite well to the demands of 20th century man while not compromising her traditionalist faith and humbly acknowledging many of its errors of the past. I tend to see the Catholic Church as much more missionary orientated, charitable and politically active. Not to mention that perhaps the most reknown saint of the 20th century has been a product of the Catholic Church, ie Mother Theresa.

I think rather than proselytising Catholics and other Christians we would do much better to seek out those who do not know Christ at all or even God. Sometimes, it seems to me that while Christians are warring against each other so many of the needy are being neglected and falling by the wayside. I think rather than turning against each other Christians need to be able to unite to evangelise the world.

You are not and have never been Roman Catholic and don't understand that Church as much as you think you do.  Mother Theresa of Calcutta was the greatest witness  on the world stage to Lord Jesus of the 20th. century.  Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II were very good men.  But what you do not understand is that the Roman Church started going into chaos in 1965 when the radical alteration of their Mass was introduced.  This chaos became progressively worse with anything and everything being taught and practised.  There is no longer a common faith among Roman Catholics.  It is the failure to admit and confront this that is feeding the problem.  This is basically a failure of the majority of the bishops, especially  in America where the chaos is the worst.

You apparrently have had some exposure to the revisionist wing of the Roman Church which I found completetely apostate--they deny Jesus is God; theer is nothing left of Christian faith in that element and they have embraced the murder of innocent human persons by abortion, which is satanic.  That is one faction and is ceasing to be the dominant faction.

 The traditionalists (best represented by EWTN  founded by Mother Angelica-- a very holy and admirable woman,which is becoming the dominant influence among the majority of practising Roman Catholics) have their good points but are too clericalist and too legalistic and show an obsession with the Latin language that is just bizarre as 99% of them don't know Latin.

The Roman Rite Orthodox Catholic Christians  who are the balanced, believing Christians who worship Father-Jesus-Spirit, Trinity , and don't automatically accept everything the Pope says but are respectful and consider what he says in the  light of  Lord Jesus, are a small faction and  are going under.  It remains to be seen what Pope Benedict will do though I do like his encyclical "God Iis Love".
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« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2006, 11:26:04 PM »

What are your numbers please? As I pointed out, Protestantism is not a monolithic bloc (far from it).  Very few of them claim a common heritage and there are some 35,000 sects, most of whom hold doctrine that is quite contrary to the basic tenents of Christianity.

Ah, the bogus Barrett number.

35,000 is just an estimate anyway, and back when Barrett did count, he came up with 22,000-- except that he counted the Roman Catholics over a hundred times. Furthermore, the vast majority of those numbers came from independent churches (including some Orthodox) and a huge number of weird cross-pollinations in Africa, which themselves accounted for half the total.
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« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2006, 09:00:49 PM »



Ha Ha Ha. I almost fell off my chair when I read this. I recently heard on the radio that Protestants plane dropped thousands of bible in Russia to get the word out. Roll Eyes

The sad truth is most Russians are not Christians at all.ÂÂ  The Church was viciously persecuted for 30 years , then strongly controlled by the Communist government for for the next 40 years.ÂÂ  A very high percentage of the nominal Orthodox in Russia are just that--nominal.
The rate of abortion in Russia is 75%.ÂÂ  Russia is not a Christian nation.
I thank God the Evangelicals and Fundamentalist are dropping Bibles in Russia; that will bring many to Lord Jesus Christ.ÂÂ  Hopefully it will bring them eventually to the Orthodox faith.ÂÂ  If it doesn't I would rather folks were Evangelical or FundamentalistÂÂ  Protestant Christian than non-Christians.
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« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2006, 04:31:24 PM »

What an interesting thread!  I was raised RC and am now an Orthodox catechumen.  I think many Catholics are fed up with the folk masses, the striped bare churches that don't even look like churches, the weird homilies (the last time I went to Mass, the priest sang his favorite CCM song for hi Midnight Mass homily) and generally irrelevant faith.  So many people my age are cafeteria Catholics because they were taught in religious ed or CCD that nothing was really important.  Everybody doubts everything and nobody really believes anything anymore.  So many of them keep going to Mass because they're afraid to leave, not because they truly love the Catholic faith.

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« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2006, 09:36:18 PM »



Ha Ha Ha. I almost fell off my chair when I read this. I recently heard on the radio that Protestants plane dropped thousands of bible in Russia to get the word out. Roll Eyes

I used to belong to a Protestant church,that now makes it a point to evangelize those poor Orthodox people in the Ukraine,and other places like it.

And isn't ironic that many of these SAME protestants in America are converting to Orthodoxy!!!
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« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2006, 03:25:20 PM »

I was raised RC and am now an Orthodox catechumen.  I think many Catholics are fed up with the folk masses, the striped bare churches that don't even look like churches

How interesting! I was actually wondering about this point, myself. I always thought the Catholics to be opulent types like Orthodox. My mom hadnt noticed a shift, because she hasnt really been connected to the Catholics since she was a teen. But she's seen some masses on TV. Now she remembers it being MUCH more beautiful inside, while the priest would face away from the congregation.

I noticed the same thing while I was in England. All Anglican Altars have a green cloth over them with two small candles and a cross. Thats IT. When I was in Westminster Abbey (after being forcefed Anglican Communion...long story), I noticed they focused much more on the secular nature of the church and not the religious, i.e. plaques all over the place to famous poets and writers of England.
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« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2006, 08:39:53 PM »

As a Catholic converting to Orthodoxy, let me say that the best way that Orthodox can evengelize is to live their faith and act in charity towards all.  Before any doctrine or theology convinced me of the truth of the Orthodox church, I was drawn to Orthodoxy by seeing the true Christian love of the Orthodox I met. I will admit that at one time in my life I was a militant Catholic.  In terms of following the church to the letter of the law, I was an excellent Catholic. But you know what I lacked and I later came to see myself and others like me lacking? Christian charity. I knew the laws, but I didn't have any love.  What impressed me about Orthodoxy was that somehow it was able to maintain traditionalism and truth without being...shall I say, a jerk? It seems like everywhere else you either have the fuzzy-wuzzy Christianity that has a loving Christian spirit but no doctrine or you have the traditionalist Christianity lacking any compassion. What amazed me about Orthodoxy was that it somehow had both. It had compassion, understanding, and a gentle spirit without compromising tradition and truth.

There is a time for debate and discussion, but the way to evangelize is through your actions.
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« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2006, 08:49:21 PM »

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As a Catholic converting to Orthodoxy, let me say that the best way that Orthodox can evengelize is to live their faith and act in charity towards all.

Agreed.

BLessings,
Panagiotis
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« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2006, 09:35:38 AM »

Agreed.

BLessings,
Panagiotis

And I agree also, and not just with respect to Roman Catholics. It was the example, when I was a Protestant, of one simple monk's genuine faith, love and humility that first drew me towards Orthodoxy, not any theology. The theology later played its part but whenever I'm asked how or why I became Orthodox I'm always reminded first of that one monk in the monastery at Suceava. There is no substitute to be found in books or preaching for the example of the Orthodox faith being lived.

James
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« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2006, 09:47:27 AM »

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There is no substitute to be found in books or preaching for the example of the Orthodox faith being lived.

No, of course not, for in being subjective it is much more personal and meaningful than in merely exploring the more objective things like facts. I'm sure people in Hinduism, Catholicism, and lots of other groups can speak of similar personal reasons for joining non-Orthodox groups.
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« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2006, 12:55:07 PM »

Steve, it's my understanding that Russia today is very secular like you described.

What an interesting thread!  I was raised RC and am now an Orthodox catechumen.  I think many Catholics are fed up with the folk masses, the striped bare churches that don't even look like churches, the weird homilies (the last time I went to Mass, the priest sang his favorite CCM song for his Midnight Mass homily) and generally irrelevant faith.  So many people my age are cafeteria Catholics because they were taught in religious ed or CCD that nothing was really important.  Everybody doubts everything and nobody really believes anything anymore.  So many of them keep going to Mass because they're afraid to leave, not because they truly love the Catholic faith.

Mostly true, kamikat, but many RCs are indifferent or hostile to Catholic ('opulent', high-church) worship (the persecuted Irish didn't do a lot of those things and brought that minimalism wherever they settled). They don't care that the church, service and music are ugly, only that church services are short and convenient. And many stay not really because of religion but ethnic and social-class reasons: 'I'm Irish', 'all my family belong even though we don't really practise' etc. (The liberal RCs don't become Episcopalians for example because the Episcopalians are English culturally and 'higher' liturgically, neither of which they like.) I imagine a lot of non-practising Greek-Americans don't switch churches for the same reasons.

Convert boomlet notwithstanding (which affected evangelicals 10-20 years ago, less so now - for a while converting to Orthodoxy was kind of hip in that circle - and garnered a few ex-Episcopalians but didn't really affect RCs) based on what some of them actually have said to me I think they dismiss the Orthodox as foreign and irrelevant (the latter are still a small minority in the American religious scene), not a threat to their church or something to consider for themselves (again, ethnic and class loyalty figure into that). I'm not here to say that's deserved (not trolling, just discussing), simply that it's how things are.
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« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2006, 01:50:36 PM »

Mostly true, kamikat, but many RCs are indifferent or hostile to Catholic ('opulent', high-church) worship (the persecuted Irish didn't do a lot of those things and brought that minimalism wherever they settled). They don't care that the church, service and music are ugly, only that church services are short and convenient.

I would not say many, I would say the vast majority.  I think Orthodoxy will get very, very few converts from Catholicism (and it's for the same reason that I think a universal indult for the TLM won't matter or that the Anglican Use is a guaranteed failure-to-be).  Roman Catholics who leave will become Protestants, because their whole liturgical ethos has been oriented in that direction.

Quote
Convert boomlet notwithstanding (which affected evangelicals 10-20 years ago, less so now - for a while converting to Orthodoxy was kind of hip in that circle - and garnered a few ex-Episcopalians but didn't really affect RCs) based on what some of them actually have said to me I think they dismiss the Orthodox as foreign and irrelevant (the latter are still a small minority in the American religious scene), not a threat to their church or something to consider for themselves (again, ethnic and class loyalty figure into that). I'm not here to say that's deserved (not trolling, just discussing), simply that it's how things are.

A (former) priest I know said the Antiochians specialize in "thoughtful Evangelicals", meaning Evangelicals with an interest in church history and perhaps a more generally speaking cerebral view of the faith.  I imagine such people will also be a small minority in American Protestantism, which of course translates in to the fact that they will never amount to more than a trickle of conversions.

I doubt Orthodoxy worries most Protestants, I would think their real competition are the Grodi/Coming Home Network type people.
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« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2006, 02:39:44 PM »

Everything welkodox said. Not just 'many' but 'the vast majority'? You may be right. A reason the Anglican Use will fail is the RC PTB don't want it to work. Like most of their rank and file they don't like that kind of religion and don't really want those who do in their church.

Quote
A (former) priest I know said the Antiochians specialize in "thoughtful Evangelicals", meaning Evangelicals with an interest in church history and perhaps a more generally speaking cerebral view of the faith.  I imagine such people will also be a small minority in American Protestantism, which of course translates in to the fact that they will never amount to more than a trickle of conversions.

50 years ago those people often became Anglicans. Some became Newman-like RCs instead; I'd say the Faberesque converts are the Coming Home Network types today.
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« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2006, 02:57:29 PM »

A reason the Anglican Use will fail is the RC PTB don't want it to work. Like most of their rank and file they don't like that kind of religion and don't really want those who do in their church.

The last thing the American bishops want in their midst is some high culture liturgical group.

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50 years ago those people often became Anglicans. Some became Newman-like RCs instead

Or A then B.

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« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2006, 03:32:03 PM »

I doubt Orthodoxy worries most Protestants, I would think their real competition are the Grodi/Coming Home Network type people.


Taken from the Coming Home Network:
http://www.chnetwork.org/daconv.htm

Quote
How Newman Convinced me of the Apostolicity of the Catholic Church

                            by Dave Armstrong
.....Yet Protestant polemicists Norman Geisler and Ralph MacKenzie still claimed in 1995, in a major critique of Catholicism, Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences, (2) that Salmon's book has "never really been answered by the Catholic Church." I was amused recently by the accusation of a prominent professional anti-Catholic, that I must have never been familiar with the best Protestant arguments against infallibility and Catholicism in general - hence my eventual conversion on flimsy grounds! The truth was quite otherwise: the above works are the cream of the crop of this particular line of thought, as evidenced by Geisler and MacKenzie's citation of both Salmon and Kung as "witnesses" for their case (3). And the Church historian Dollinger's heretical opinions are also often utilized by Eastern Orthodox polemicists as arguments against papal infallibility. I know this well as a result of my own ongoing dialogues with Orthodox Christians over the Internet.

So this is a matter of stopping Protestant camps to stop using the Patristics against their original usage it was written for, but for them to try to affirm Protestantism. Correct? Because if we try to stoop down to the level of Episcopalians we just beg to ask the question of how far pluralism will go in inter-Christian dialogue let alone the inter-faith dialogue.
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« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2006, 03:46:44 PM »

I'm not quite getting what you're saying.
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« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2006, 04:02:06 PM »

I'm not quite getting what you're saying.
I'm trying to see if their is explaination in regards to ecclesiastical changes among Anglicans and Episcopalians that result with studying the Patristic exegesis. Does this occur?
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« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2006, 10:43:12 AM »

Do you mean are there Episcopalians/Anglicans who convert to Orthodoxy or Catholicism as a result of reading the Church Fathers?  I know I'm being a little dense, but I'm still not sure exactly what it is you're asking.
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« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2006, 12:23:17 PM »

I left the Mormon Church after reading the Paschal Letters of St Athanasius---what a direct refutation of Mormon belief.  I went to the Episcopal Church because I had been taught it was the Orthdox Church for English speaking people---only after their bishops began openly teaching against the Resurrection, the virgin birth, etc did I look further and go into the Orthodox Church.

Yes, I do believe people read the Early Church Fathers and discover the need to become more like the early church fathers and then later are attracted to Orthodox Church. I have met  several converts who have found the Church thru the  Church Fathers and not due to the proseltyzing of the Orthodox People. In deed, when I first approached a Greek Orthodox Priest, he asked me "Why in heavens name would you want to become Orthodox, You are not Greek?"

In Christ,
Thomas
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« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2006, 12:40:41 PM »

I left the Mormon Church after reading the Paschal Letters of St Athanasius---what a direct refutation of Mormon belief.  I went to the Episcopal Church because I had been taught it was the Orthdox Church for English speaking people---only after their bishops began openly teaching against the Resurrection, the virgin birth, etc did I look furtehr and go into the Orthodox Church.

Hi Thomas,

Do you have a link this this online?

Thanks
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« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2006, 04:07:30 PM »

It is a Conciliar Press Book  translated by father Jack Sparks. I haven't seen it on line yet.

Thomas
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« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2007, 09:55:50 AM »

As a Catholic converting to Orthodoxy, [ . . . ]  What impressed me about Orthodoxy was that somehow it was able to maintain traditionalism and truth without being...shall I say, a jerk? It seems like everywhere else you either have the fuzzy-wuzzy Christianity that has a loving Christian spirit but no doctrine or you have the traditionalist Christianity lacking any compassion. What amazed me about Orthodoxy was that it somehow had both. It had compassion, understanding, and a gentle spirit without compromising tradition and truth.

There is a time for debate and discussion, but the way to evangelize is through your actions.


Yes, I would agree with this.  I am a Roman Catholic, and I am considering Orthodoxy.  What appeals to me is Orthodoxy's balance of sensible, disciplined, holy tradition with compassion, understanding and gentleness. 
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« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2007, 10:47:31 AM »

I think any church would be offended and feel slighted as an expression of unChristian behaviour if another denominational church were to infringe upon its jurisdiction and proselytise its faithful, hurling accusations of sheep-stealing against such churches. However, somehow its ok for certain churches to do so and not for others. Again I believe our concerted efforts would be better directed towards nonChristians rather than towards fellow Christians while of course leaving our arms and doors open to all who desire to know Christ.

I agree. God knows Orthodoxy has many, many nominal members of its own churches who need evangelization. I think that's where the focus should be.
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« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2007, 07:51:49 AM »

The apostolic succession between the two churches, are quite evident since both the Roman Church and the Orthodox Church were United before the Great Schism in Constantinople. However, the split occurred when the Roman Church decided to have the Pope as the sole "Sovereign" authority of the Church. Although many Catholic Theologians claim that Patriarchs are "counterparts" of Popes, this is not true, since no Patriarch ever practices powers like that of the Pope himself. Probably they're pointing out that the Patriarch of Constantinople is the most prominent, its just that, period.. He's not a pope like person, or any sort of that matter.

Concerning evangelization, especially here in the Philippines, its hard for Orthodoxy to pursue, since most of us are what I'd like to call, "die-hard" yet nominal Catholics. It would be wonderful if the Greek missionaries there in Manila could push thru with efforts to evangelize the country, especially the far off places in the country.

Our only standing Church here in the Philippines, is the Cathedral of the Annunciation there in Parañaque, which was consecrated by His Eminence, the Patriarch of Constantinople. We have a monastery there in Masbate, but only a handful members. Just that, a handful. Truly a sad fact.

Thru the intercession of our most Holy and Theotokos Virgin Mary, may we be introduced more to the Eastern Faith.

P.S. Bu the way, Im a Catholic, but I would be grateful to receive direct cathecism from a clergyman...
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