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Author Topic: Why not convert to Oriental Orthodoxy?  (Read 9052 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: August 04, 2006, 10:54:11 PM »

This is a thread for the Protestants and Catholics who have converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church. What compelled you to choose the Byzantine Church over Oriental Orthodoxy? Was there anything specifically about EO that attracted you, or were you afraid that OO might be monophysite?
I thank anyone who is willing to be open and honest, yet respectful, for this thread.

Peace.
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2006, 06:02:42 AM »

As one who chose the OO over the EO (both are Equally valid in my opinion), I would like to share my opinion....

I think a lot of the reasons people go EO over OO isn't so much about Chalcedon (that comes later when people begin learning more of the History and Theological Controversies of the Church), as it is about visibility.  EO churches are in the majority, more well known, and better represented on the web.  Logically it is going to be more frequented.

Another reason is that the heavy use of foreign language to the exclusion of English and the Ethnic ethos prominent in OO Churches can be off putting for monoglot english speakers.  For example, The Armenian mission holds services in Armenian (Encouraged by the Diocese), The Malankara Church has one english service a month (Malayalam and Aramaic the rest of the time), The Coptic Church is half english and half coptic.

While the EO churches have, in a great number of cases, adopted english as the liturgical language.  All 4 Churches/missions in my area are English.

I honestly think these are the two reasons most people don't choose OO.
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2006, 11:41:40 PM »

I've chosen Oriental Orthodoxy over the Byzantine Church because I believe that ours is closer in doctrine and liturgy to the earliest Christians.
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2006, 11:56:19 PM »

I've chosen Oriental Orthodoxy over the Byzantine Church because I believe that ours is closer in doctrine and liturgy to the earliest Christians.

Trolling for an argument? ...this is your topic.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2006, 11:59:21 PM »

Well, it's true. For example, the melodies of our liturgy are adapted from the temple of Jerusalem.
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2006, 12:00:30 AM »

Well, it's true. For example, the melodies of our liturgy are adapted from the temple of Jerusalem.

I'm not taking your bait, pal. Take it to the private forum...
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2006, 12:02:17 AM »

There is an inquirer at our church who originally was going to a Coptic church, and when she asked about converting they told her to come to our OCA church.  That's why people don't become OO, you tell them to become EO!
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2006, 12:20:31 AM »

Perhaps an overly ethnic parish? It happens.
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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2006, 12:35:58 AM »

[quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=9665.msg130465#msg130465 date=1154836830]
I'm not taking your bait, pal. Take it to the private forum...
[/quote]

I don't want to start a confrontation. I am only curious. People should have reasons for choosing one faith tradition over another.
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« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2006, 01:38:55 AM »

Zebu and I are together on this, unless you want to ask a more concrete question:

OCA4EVA!  (or at least until there's a united Church of the United States.  But even then....)
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« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2006, 06:29:28 AM »

Well I think Mathews baiting is a bit wrong, but his question does raise some questions in my mind.

In the past few months I've learned a lot about EO and the differences from RC, and have kind of been putting off learning about OO until I felt I had a reasonable grasp of other things.  But Mathew has brought up the question I need to ask at some point, so I might as well do it now.

What I would like to know, without the discussion turning into apologetics and polemics, is what is the current difference between the EO and OO communions, objectively speaking?  What are the doctrinal issues on which the two communions substantively disagree, and agree?  And please no strawmen.  I don't need to hear about the historical issues per se, the reasons for schism, etc.  unless those reasons are still truly relevant.

Finally, are there any good books, articles, or online sources for learning about this you can recommend?

Thanks in Christ,
Brian
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2006, 08:47:55 AM »

In the East most of the christians are Oriental Orthodox as the largest christian community in the middle east is the Coptic Orthodox ... so when people convert from Protestant , Catholic or Islam to Orthodoxy they choose the Oriental Orthodox because it is well known , most of the Egyptians Christians or Muslims don't know anything about the Eastern Orthodox Church !! yes ... most of the Copts in Egypt think that the Chalcedonians are the Catholics only ... they don't know that there are Chalcedonians Orthodox !! because we used to learn that the Orthodox reject the 4th council so to be Orthodox you must reject it ..the Christians in Egypt don't know that there is a Chalcedonain Patriarch of Alexandria !!! no one know him !! ( very very few who know !! )
and in the west the Eastern Orthodox Church is widely known and a few who know about the Oriental Orthodox so most of the people who convert became Eastern Orthodox ...
 I wish to see the both of us in unity ... it is my dream .... it is my dream to be one Church after 1500 years of division  ....
Lets imagine a Liturgy prayed by The Eastern Orthodox Patriarches and The Oriental Orthodox Patriaches !!!!
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2006, 09:01:37 AM »

Quote
Well I think Mathews baiting is a bit wrong

Not that I'm Matthew's advocate or anything (i've in fact been quite hostile to him a few times in recent history), but I have come to realise that he often, if not at all times, means well; he just doesn't think too much about how he comes across, and is hence often perceived, and at times--particularly in this circumstance--reasonably so, to be baiting or trolling (not that I think I'm any more cautious in how I approach various issues; I am probably worse than Matthew myself).

Quote
What are the doctrinal issues on which the two communions substantively disagree, and agree?


Substantively? I'd say we agree on just about everything (substantively), and disagree on just about nothing (substantively). An opinion shared by many, including heirarchs of both Churches. Needless to say, an opinion opposed by many also.

Quote
I don't need to hear about the historical issues per se, the reasons for schism, etc.  unless those reasons are still truly relevant.

I guess it comes down to what kind of an ecclesiology you hold; that will surely dictate the relevance or irrelevance that history has towards understanding the present. I used to hold to what I now understand to have been a very reductionist type of ecclesiology; I personally choose to leave the questions I once attempted to answer, unanswered, since they do not directly affect my faith and so i'd rather just save myself the headache.

I will personally refrain from saying anything further in this thread unless I find some dire need to.
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2006, 09:29:03 AM »

While I was a long time hostile to the OO's when I was Orthodox, there came a time when I became interested in them and started to explore who they were. But instead of getting into all the theological/historical issues that I had (none of which had to do with heresy), I'll just mention the most important reason that I could never have become OO: there isn't an OO parish close to me. As a matter of fact, I have been part of two different EO parishes where the Oriental Orthodox in the community came to the EO parish for liturgy and communion.
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2006, 09:30:37 AM »

EkhristosAnesti,

Thank you for your comments.  By "substantive differences" I mean doctrinal differences that would have to be addressed before communion could be established.  Am I to understand by your comments that you believe there are no significant doctrinal differences remaining between the two communions?  If so, then is it your opinion that the primary differences are mainly political, administrative, and cultural-historical?

In Christ,

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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2006, 09:33:59 AM »

While I was a long time hostile to the OO's when I was Orthodox, there came a time when I became interested in them and started to explore who they were. But instead of getting into all the theological/historical issues that I had (none of which had to do with heresy), I'll just mention the most important reason that I could never have become OO: there isn't an OO parish close to me. As a matter of fact, I have been part of two different EO parishes where the Oriental Orthodox in the community came to the EO parish for liturgy and communion.

So does this mean that isolated OO have received special permission to attend EO services (I assume without communion)?  Or do OO have this permission generally?  Is it allowable for EO to attend OO services as well?

Just trying to get a handle on these things.

In Christ,

Brian
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« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2006, 09:45:53 AM »

The Antiochians and some Oriental Orthodox have an agreement, where if there is need the OO's can attend Antiochian services, and participate in the sacraments (confession, communion, etc.), and vice versa. Here is a Pastoral Agreement from 1991, which says: "In localities where there is only one priest, from either Church, he will celebrate services for the faithful of both Churches, including the Divine Liturgy, pastoral duties, and holy matrimony. He will keep an independent record for each Church and transmit that of the sister Church to its authorities."
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« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2006, 08:51:55 PM »

Doctrinally, I don't believe that OO and EO are different enough to prevent communion. The reason why I chose the Malankara Church over the Greek Church which is closer to my house is the liturgy. The Divine Liturgy of St. James is much more beautiful, with more participation from the congregation, than what I experienced in the Greek Church.
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« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2006, 10:13:51 PM »

Ok...so I will give  a more thoughtful answer.  I think visibility has a lot to do with it(not that EO are much better in this regard), really, if you want to read books about Oriental Orthodoxy, are there really any out there? I have never seen any.  But even the public library has Frederica Matthews-Green's books and lots of other introductory books on Eastern Orthodoxy.  Also, the whole "monophysite" thing is a concern.  Why would you reject the Council of Chalcedon if not for the fact that you didn't believe in it?  Personally, after having spoken to an OO priest, I don't think they are monophysites NOW, but is it possible that at one time they were? Yes.  I don't know that much about the history of it though, nor do I pretend to.  Many Eastern Orthodox are absolutely CONVINCED that Oriental Orthodox are monophysites and heretical.  So that plays into it as well.

My biggest problem with the Oriental Orthodox is their syncretism.  They believe that the Orthodox Church is only a PART of the Body of Christ, and that all Christians are a part of the Body of Christ, and that is just not the Orthodox teaching!  Also they give communion to Roman Catholics, and I think we can all agree Roman Catholics do not believe the same things as Orthodox Christians, Eastern or Oriental, and so that just should not be done.  I also don't aprreciate how they pretend that we are one church, the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox.  Even Eastern Orthodox who believe Oriental Orthodox share the same beliefs don't pretend that we are united when we clearly are not.  What turns me off the most about the Oriental Orthodox is that when I went to an Oriental Orthodox church they tricked me into receiving a sacrament! They lied to me about what it was, and then only later did I find out! That is just plain wrong. 

Furthermore, some of the Oriental Orthodox churches have some very strange beliefs, especially the Ethiopian Church, like how they practice circumcision and follow some Jewish dietary laws. 

Despite the tone of this post though, I really do have a lot of admiration for the Oriental Orthodox Churches, their liturgies are very beautiful and ancient, and if they are not the same as Eastern Orthodox, they are certainly the closest thing out there. 
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« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2006, 11:22:07 PM »

Zebu,

Just out of curiosity, what sacrament did they trick you into receiving and how did they trick you?  Also, what church was it where that happened?  That just seems strange.

I will admit that you will find some OO priests and bishops who are pretty liberal about receiving members of other Churches into communion, but that is really not the norm, or consistant with our traditional.  Also, some EO priests can be just as liberal.  There is a Greek church about an hour from me which gives communion to Armenians.

As far as Chalcedon is concerned, if you really study the issue you'll find that it is not the OO's who have changed since Chalcedon, but the EO's.  At the time of the Council of Chalcedon, and the century following it, the supporters of the council included many people who embraced the Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia.  It was this Christology which had been condemned under the name of "Nestorianism" at the Third Council.  Among those who embraced Chalcedon were the "Sleepless Monks" in Constantinople who actually celebrated Nestorius' feast day, and the Assyrian Church, which venerates Nestorius and Theodore of Mopsuestia as saints and which to this day accepts the definition of Chalcedon.  It was a century later that Justinian brought the EO's more in line with traditional Orthodox Christology with the "Fifth Council."  Those Chalcedonians who were more blatantly Nestorian (including some of their patriarchs) fell away from the EO Church at that point.  After that, you see Chalcedonian Christology matching that of the OO's, only using different language.  So you see, the OO's at the time of Chalcedon had some legitimate concerns about its orthodoxy.

Note:  I do not want to start a discussion here about the legitimacy of Chalcedon.  I realize this is not the correct forum.  I only wanted to address Zebu's concern.  If anyone wants to continue this discussion on Chalcedon, let's do it in the private forum.  Thanks.
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« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2006, 11:23:09 PM »

The Coptic Orthodox Church don't give communion to Roman Catholic or even Eastern Orthodox ... that is the official
i don't know if any priest do !!!
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« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2006, 11:42:39 PM »

zebu,

Quote
I think visibility has a lot to do with it(not that EO are much better in this regard), really, if you want to read books about Oriental Orthodoxy, are there really any out there? I have never seen any.  But even the public library has Frederica Matthews-Green's books and lots of other introductory books on Eastern Orthodoxy.  Also, the whole "monophysite" thing is a concern.  Why would you reject the Council of Chalcedon if not for the fact that you didn't believe in it?  Personally, after having spoken to an OO priest, I don't think they are monophysites NOW, but is it possible that at one time they were?


It’s almost ironic that you follow your statement regarding the lack of OO literature with questions regarding the Chalcedon/”Monophysite” issues, for whilst I would tend to agree with you on the idea that the OO Church has yet to properly establish itself academically in the diaspora, I would say that it has at the very least (in my opinion) superseded all other academic literature with respect to the issue of Chalcedon with the publication of Fr. V.C Samuel’s book Chalcedon Re-examined. In this book you will find the answers to the questions you pose, and counter questions to the very ones you have asked will in turn be prompted in your mind; questions like, “Why would the Council of Chalcedon be rejected if not for the fact it did not agree with the Orthodox belief of the OO?” and, “It may be deemed that the EO are not Nestorian now, but is it possible that at one time they were?”.

As you can see, the questions you have asked and the counter questions I have posed, are substantially different, though they exist in the same form; they differ in substance because they prima facie presuppose something about Chalcedon beforehand - and it's such presuppositions which are to blame for the monophysite misnomer.

Quote
My biggest problem with the Oriental Orthodox is their syncretism.  They believe that the Orthodox Church is only a PART of the Body of Christ, and that all Christians are a part of the Body of Christ, and that is just not the Orthodox teaching!


Such ideas are completely foreign to me; I would consider your attribution of this clearly heretical ecclesiological belief to “the Oriental Orthodox Church” as being a very hastily made, and not carefully thought-out, groundless conclusion that is most probably unreasonably based upon in-credible evidence such as a personal conversation that you may have had with an individual clergy member or even a lay person (am I correct?) Despite the generally poor availability of properly translated OO works, I think you will find that such basic ecclesiological concepts are in fact discussed in the little that is available. Take for example the following article that was written by His Grace Bishop Youssef, just last month, titled “Features of the Church”: http://www.suscopts.org/literature/print.php?id=1154609901&archive=

In the above article, His Grace links the Unity of the Church to Unity in Faith, which he explicitly identifies as being expressed through Three Ecumenical Councils. Later on in the article, he states that “any church that has divisions, splits, strife, contention, or conflicts simply cannot be called the Body of Christ”. I think the implications here are very clear indeed.

If you want a more focused work on the OO definition of ecclesiological unity which presupposes unity in faith and communion, I recommend you read Fr. Tadros Malaty’s work, Unity of the Church and Church Sacraments.

Quote
Also they give communion to Roman Catholics

I offer the same criticisms to you that I have given above: “Such ideas are completely foreignâ€ÂÂÂ
Quote
I also don't aprreciate how they pretend that we are one church, the Eastern Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox.

If the belief that the EO and OO Church are one Church is official OO thought, then why are our Bishops even bothering with attempting to restore inter-Communion? Who seeks to re-unite that which is believed to be already united? Come on zebu, you really don't want to imply that we're stupid, do you?

You will find plenty of translated literature on the EO Church from the OO perspective, from Bishops and Priests alike. Nowhere have I seen it been stated that the EO’s are one Church with us.

The sentiments that you “don’t appreciate” are once again the private beliefs of certain individuals contrary to the universal conscious of the Church, and it may do you well to know that such private beliefs are held amongst a few EO’s as well.

Quote
What turns me off the most about the Oriental Orthodox is that when I went to an Oriental Orthodox church they tricked me into receiving a sacrament! They lied to me about what it was, and then only later did I find out! That is just plain wrong. 


Using words like “tricked”, and “lied” imply intention and deceit. That’s a big call to make. Given some of the statements you have made above, I have reason to believe that you have a tendency to jump to conclusions without careful thought. Do you honestly have reasonable grounds to believe that such was the case i.e. that a person or persons intentionally sought to deceive you into receiving a Sacrament knowing full well the implications of what they were doing? Or does the possibility that the person or persons responsible for allowing this incident to eventuate, did so out of ignorance or a mere miscommunication/misunderstanding, seem more reasonable? I wasn’t there so I wouldn’t know; I’m just trying to encourage you (and hypocritically at that, some may argue) to slow down in your thought process when you are drawing conclusions in the public eye about issues as sensitive as this.

Quote
Furthermore, some of the Oriental Orthodox churches have some very strange beliefs, especially the Ethiopian Church, like how they practice circumcision and follow some Jewish dietary laws. 


The Ethiopian Church maintains certain cultural practises in sync with its Jewish heritage (without elevating those practises to being dogmatically binding). Strange? Maybe; but if you’ve ever read the book of Acts, you will realise they have the authority of Sts. Peter and Paul to do what they do.
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« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2006, 12:17:19 AM »

Okay, so I don't know that much about the Oriental Orthodox Church, I said that.  I was sharing my experiences with them, sorry if I was unclear about that.  Gosh, what a crazy thing, expecting to learn about a church by visiting them and talking to their priests...

The church that gave communion to Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox was a Syriac Malankara church. If anyone wants to know the specific parish, send me a private message and I'll give you their website.  And I don't see what part of "All Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Christians are welcome to commune" could be misunderstood. 

The sacrament that they tricked me into receiving was the sacrament of absolution.  They said "Oh, this is just a prayer the priest reads over us to prepare us for worship, anyone can have it".  Then I went up there and he put his hands on my head and it was clearly a sacramental prayer of absolution! It ended with something along the lines of "and I, His unworthy servant, absolve you of all your sins in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit".  But maybe not exactly that, this was months ago. And I was very freaked out as I heard the last sentence there.  After the liturgy I asked the priest if that was a sacrament, and he said no, but then I asked my priest about it and described it in detail and he said it was a sacrament.  And they knew I was not Oriental Orthodox, I had been taking an icon class at their church and so they knew who I was. The priest's wife was the iconography teacher and she was the one who invited me to receive the absolution. There's no way that they thought I was Oriental Orthodox, we had talked a lot over the course of the iconography class and I had even been to the priest's house!

As for the views about the nature of the Body of Christ, that was what I got from the Syriac Malankara priest and his wife.  They said things to that effect repeatedly over the course of the iconography class, referring to the Catholic and Protestant churches as "fellow members of the Body of Christ" and "the Western part of the Body of Christ".  Furthermore they believed that Protestant and Catholic baptisms were full, complete baptisms since I told them how I was baptized in the Orthodox Church when I converted from Episcopalianism, and over the entire class they kept pulling me aside, insisting that my Episcopalian baptism was a real baptism and that I didn't need to be baptized again. 

I didn't say we shouldn't try to reunite our two churches.  We should most certainly do that, and I think that that would be a wonderful thing.  What is wrong is that particular parish(which I assumed spoke for Oriental Orthodoxy as a whole) pretending that we are ALREADY, at this moment, one church.

And I know my beliefs about the Church and its boundaries are not held by all Eastern Orthodox.  I'm not that naive....anymore, lol.

Thank you for reccommending some books.  I really didn't know anything about them.  I have just had it drilled into me that the Oriental Orthodox are monophysites, and that if I say anything besides that then I can't be Eastern Orthodox.  And I want to be Eastern Orthodox...so...ya...And I don't normally go around saying what I don't like about other churches, but Matthew asked!!!!!
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« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2006, 01:01:27 AM »

All that you write is quite concerning, except for this:

Furthermore they believed that Protestant and Catholic baptisms were full, complete baptisms since I told them how I was baptized in the Orthodox Church when I converted from Episcopalianism, and over the entire class they kept pulling me aside, insisting that my Episcopalian baptism was a real baptism and that I didn't need to be baptized again.

As a catechumen who was baptized Roman Catholic, all priests I've spoken to in the United States (OCA) and Romania (Romanian Orthodox Church) didn't even bring up the issue of rebaptism, since so much of the Orthodox Church recognizes as valid any baptism done with an orthodox understanding of the Holy Trinity. I've heard everywhere that I should be brought into the Church with the sacrament of charismation.
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« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2006, 01:15:22 AM »

Well I was taught that there is no such thing as a "valid" non-Orthodox baptism, that even if you chrismate someone, the old baptism was empty until the chrismation filled it with grace.  Only Orthodox baptisms join someone to the Body of Christ and only an Orthodox baptism gives new life in Christ and forgives you of your sins.  This what I was taught in the OCA, and also when I was in confession once in a GOA church the priest said things along those lines when he was encouraging me about how I need to have more hope because I have the Holy Spirit in me now that I have had an Orthodox baptism/chrismation...

And yes, Roman Catholics are normally brought into the church via chrismation.  I was an Episcopalian though, which is Protestant, so I was baptized.
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« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2006, 08:43:59 AM »

I became EO because I looked at the OO church and said, "They're the same thing..."  So, I choose the EO because there are more parishes.  I think what keeps us from communion is that it would mean doing away with something we've done for so long/ haven't done for so long.  And you know how both of our Churches are about that!
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« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2006, 08:58:29 AM »

zebu,

Quote
Gosh, what a crazy thing, expecting to learn about a church by visiting them and talking to their priests...

Unfortunately, there are individual priests such as the one you mention, who develop their own individual thoughts contrary to what is held by the rest of the Church (which I assume is not a unique problem to the OO Church). It’s definitely a situation that needs to be addressed; but then again, that’s our problem, and I’ll probably PM you later about it if you don’t mind.

I should also point out that according to the current policy of the Coptic Orthodox Church, all converts are baptised (I think with the exception of EO's). We do not endorse the EO policy of chrismating those who have already received a Trinitarian baptism.

Quote
I have just had it drilled into me that the Oriental Orthodox are monophysites, and that if I say anything besides that then I can't be Eastern Orthodox.


That sounds silly. The EO Patriarch of Constantinople (in a recorded video interview), EO Patriarch of Antioch (through signed agreements) and EO Patriarch of Alexandria (through signed agreements), as well as metropolitans from other prominent EO jurisdictions (e.g. Moscow Patriarchate), can agree that the OO Church is not Monophysite. Wouldn’t you consider that sufficient authority behind the idea that an EO can maintain his/her EO belief whilst simultaneously recognising the fact that OO’s are not Monophysite? I don’t see how your faith would be undermined in any way.

Quote
And I don't normally go around saying what I don't like about other churches, but Matthew asked!!!!!

I haven’t taken offence to your taking the opportunity Matthew offered. Surely, however, you can understand why I would feel the need to address purported criticisms of the OO Church which simply do not apply but to a few of Her misguided members. Normative OO practise and thought needs to be clearly distinguished from that which is deviant.
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« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2006, 10:25:33 AM »

That sounds silly. The EO Patriarch of Constantinople (in a recorded video interview), EO Patriarch of Antioch (through signed agreements) and EO Patriarch of Alexandria (through signed agreements), as well as metropolitans from other prominent EO jurisdictions (e.g. Moscow Patriarchate), can agree that the OO Church is not Monophysite. Wouldn’t you consider that sufficient authority behind the idea that an EO can maintain his/her EO belief whilst simultaneously recognising the fact that OO’s are not Monophysite? I don’t see how your faith would be undermined in any way.

I must disagree that this is sufficient authority to solidify the claims you are trying to make, because there are an equal number, if not more Bishops and Priests in the EO Church that disagree with this. I'm definately not an authority on this topic, but I must say that the OCIC has some rather lenghty articles on the matter, and make some rather valid points. http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_mono.aspx
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« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2006, 03:28:53 PM »

Doctrinally, I don't believe that OO and EO are different enough to prevent communion. The reason why I chose the Malankara Church over the Greek Church which is closer to my house is the liturgy. The Divine Liturgy of St. James is much more beautiful, with more participation from the congregation, than what I experienced in the Greek Church.

Is that the same DL of St. James as the DL of St. James used in the EO church on the day of St. James (and occasionally also other appropriate days with the blessing of the bishop)? I like it too, I wish it was used more often, although I like also the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

Over here (Finland) the OO churches are non-existent, so the question whether one should join the EO or the OO is not applicable here. You'd have to go to Sweden to find OO churches because there are much more immigrants in Sweden, we've got just our own "indigenous" EO church. In Finland many OO attend the EO services, some receive the eucharist some don't. I don't know if the ones that receive actually joined our EO church or if there's some other arrangement.
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« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2006, 04:17:35 PM »

 in Egypt the Coptic Orthodox Churches don't allow any one not OO to take the communion .. also there is a Greek Orthodox Church here , they give the communion to any Christian ( Catholic , Protestant ,or OO ) ... yes for protesstants too , so that don't mean that the EO allow to the Protestants to receive the communion . but in this case it is the Priests acts
So we should know what is officially and what is not
 . so when i want to know about the EO Church i should know from their official laws not such from visting an EO Church
+ as alot of EO think that OO are monophysite also alot of OO think that EO are Nestorians
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« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2006, 05:55:36 PM »

Quote
Unfortunately, there are individual priests such as the one you mention, who develop their own individual thoughts contrary to what is held by the rest of the Church (which I assume is not a unique problem to the OO Church). It’s definitely a situation that needs to be addressed; but then again, that’s our problem, and I’ll probably PM you later about it if you don’t mind.
Yes, by all means PM me.  There are definitely some other details about this priest I think you'd be interested in that I won't post here.  And yes, in all fairness, we have the same problem.  I have had EO priests freak out when I told them I was baptised into the Orthodox Church even though I had been baptised Episcopalian as a baby.  Other EO lay people from other parishes have said to me that the Church's teaching that only the Orthodox Church has sacraments is "Pharisaical nonsense". So yes...we all have problems...

Quote
We do not endorse the EO policy of chrismating those who have already received a Trinitarian baptism.
Neither do a good many Eastern Orthodox.  Smiley 

Quote
Is that the same DL of St. James as the DL of St. James used in the EO church on the day of St. James (and occasionally also other appropriate days with the blessing of the bishop)? I like it too, I wish it was used more often, although I like also the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
I was told they're not the same by the Syriac Malankara priest.  He said that the EO have an older version since they stoppped using it on a regular basis, while the OO kept adapting it as time went on. But then again it seems a lot of what he told me wasn't true, so maybe we should take that with a grain of salt... Also they couldn't be since the EO version is like 3 hours long while the OO version I went to was like......1 hour and 20 minutes at the most.

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« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2006, 10:01:25 PM »

I have gone to both OO and EO churches, and I love both. But out here in Montana there are only EO so I guess that settles it. I really liked going to the Syrian Orthodox church in Spokane when I was there. I probably have met Matthew777 but can't place him right now. I agree about the amount of participation from the congregation between that Greek church and that Syrian church.

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« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2006, 10:07:19 PM »

Well I liked the Greek Orthodox Church in Spokane......so there, lol.
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« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2006, 09:05:38 AM »

I must disagree that this is sufficient authority to solidify the claims you are trying to make, because there are an equal number, if not more Bishops and Priests in the EO Church that disagree with this. I'm definately not an authority on this topic, but I must say that the OCIC has some rather lenghty articles on the matter, and make some rather valid points. http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_mono.aspx

A few points to make:

1) The only claim I am making is that an EO's recognition of the fact OO's are not monophysite, does not deem that EO a non-EO, contrary to what zebu was advised. I thought the absurdity of what zebu was advised to be self-evident; I simply appealed to reputable EO authorities who realise that OO's are not monophysite to emphasise the absurdity of that advice which would essentially render those very authorities (e.g. H.H. Patriarch Bartholomew, H.H. Theodoros II, H.H. Ignatius IV) heretics from an EO point of view. Just for the sake of clarification, is this the advice you are attempting to defend?

2) What is the basis of your assertion that "an equal number, if not more Bishops and Priests in the EO Church...disagree with" your Patriarchs that the OO Church is not monophysite? Is there some sort of a statistical survey on this issue that I am unaware of?

3) From the outset I never intended to turn this into an OO apologetics thread, and my desire not to has been reinforced by the request of others in this thread, particularly Brian, that it not. I will therefore keep my comments to this: The claims of orthodoxinfo.com have been addressed in variuous threads in this forum by myself and others. The articles in question are academically dishonest and evidently lack objectivity; many of the arguments made import various presuppositions that scream for evidence and reason, and there is a clear failure to engage with OO primary and secondary sources to any reasonable extent (and on the odd occasion that such resources are engaged with, they are clearly taken out of context). The articles in question are also tainted by emotional sensationalism and ridicule/mockery (the article of ArchBishop Chrysostomos of Etna comes to mind). If honest inquirers wish to test the credibility of the articles on that website, let them read those articles in light of Fr. V.C. Samuel's Chalcedon Re-examined. Enough said.
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« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2006, 10:10:03 AM »

A few points to make:

1) The only claim I am making is that an EO's recognition of the fact OO's are not monophysite, does not deem that EO a non-EO, contrary to what zebu was advised. I thought the absurdity of what zebu was advised to be self-evident; I simply appealed to reputable EO authorities who realise that OO's are not monophysite to emphasise the absurdity of that advice which would essentially render those very authorities (e.g. H.H. Patriarch Bartholomew, H.H. Theodoros II, H.H. Ignatius IV) heretics from an EO point of view. Just for the sake of clarification, is this the advice you are attempting to defend?

2) What is the basis of your assertion that "an equal number, if not more Bishops and Priests in the EO Church...disagree with" your Patriarchs that the OO Church is not monophysite? Is there some sort of a statistical survey on this issue that I am unaware of?

3) From the outset I never intended to turn this into an OO apologetics thread, and my desire not to has been reinforced by the request of others in this thread, particularly Brian, that it not. I will therefore keep my comments to this: The claims of orthodoxinfo.com have been addressed in variuous threads in this forum by myself and others. The articles in question are academically dishonest and evidently lack objectivity; many of the arguments made import various presuppositions that scream for evidence and reason, and there is a clear failure to engage with OO primary and secondary sources to any reasonable extent (and on the odd occasion that such resources are engaged with, they are clearly taken out of context). The articles in question are also tainted by emotional sensationalism and ridicule/mockery (the article of ArchBishop Chrysostomos of Etna comes to mind). If honest inquirers wish to test the credibility of the articles on that website, let them read those articles in light of Fr. V.C. Samuel's Chalcedon Re-examined. Enough said.

The last thing I want to do is turn this into a debate b/w EO and OO. The only point I was trying to make was that not all of EO agree with the authorities you listed. I'm very interested in learning more about the OO Church, and I plan on reading the book you suggested.
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« Reply #35 on: August 10, 2006, 07:33:59 AM »

I split this topic off as it was getting into a debate about EO and OO.  This part of the forum is where one may continue to answer Matthew's original question about why people did not convert to Oriental Orthodox. The other topic will eventually be moved to  private discussion group under Oriental Orthodox  forum.

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« Reply #36 on: August 10, 2006, 07:43:08 AM »

With all due respect Thomas, my reply to zebu belongs in this thread. I have a right to make clear to the public that zebu's criticisms do not apply to Oriental Orthodoxy, and he has in response acknowledged his ignorance of OO theology/praxis having based his judgments on the opinions of a few misguided individuals. My response was not polemical in any way shape or form, nor do I believe anyone, particularly zebu to whom it was directed, found it to be as such. My response served the legitimate purpose of correcting an innocently made misrepresentation of the the doctrines and praxis of the Oriental Orthodox Church. By refusing to allow I, an Oriental Orthodox member, to accurately represent the position of my Church (which is a different thing to actually arguing with respect to the correctness of that position), you are in fact promoting dishonesty.

I am deeply offended by the moderation in question; I strongly contest it, and ask that my response to zebu be restored to where it rightfully belongs.
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« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2006, 08:28:51 AM »

EkhristosAnesti,

First allow me to apologize for not responding earlier but I do not have my own computer and have to access public computers as I moderate this forum once a day.

This was discussed by the moderators  group and it was determined that we would split the topic at the point that we did to enable further discussion along the very lines that you are referring to without diluting  Matthew 777's original question.  I believe this discussion  about EO and OO is more appropriate in the OO forum or in the no holds barred, private forum. We spilt the topic so that your discussion could continue rather than lock the topic as going off topic. This enables the forum to continue in both directions offering the greatest opportunities for discussion.  Thank you for your response.

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« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2006, 08:51:23 AM »

Thomas,

You still do not understand. My response to zebu was not the start of some EO vs. OO debate; it was an OO correction of an EO's misrepresentation of OO beliefs. I'm not sure how much clearer I can make this. I was not arguing an OO position as against an EO position, I was merely clarifying what the OO position is. Anyone who reads my response to zebu can clearly see that; zebu himself clearly saw that. What is going on with the moderators and administrators of this website? Ever since Mor Ephrem left there has been a clear unfairness displayed towards matters concerned with OO representation on this forum.

What is happening here is plain ridiculous. Again I repeat; you are endorsing dishonesty by not allowing my response to stand in this thread. Zebu has misrepresented the OO Church, albeit with innocent intentions, and I have the right to correct him.

Have a little empathy. If I went around saying "EO's think the Eucharist is a mere symbol!" because TomS, a member of the EO Church happens to think so, and your correction of my mirepresentation was charged with being polemical and ejected to some stupid private forum, you would be pretty frustrated too.
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« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2006, 09:14:01 AM »

LOL Are you people for real?
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« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2006, 09:15:37 AM »

What do you mean, are we for real?

If you are referring to re-merging the topic, I believe that was necessary in order to accomplish the split that you have been pushing so hard for...
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« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2006, 09:20:28 AM »

Why on earth was anything moved in the first place? It seems that the string of posts in this thread was titled "EO/OO Debate" to justify deporting it from the public eye. For the LIFE OF ME, what was this debate about, and who was it between exactly? There was no debate; there was no polemics. Nothing should have been moved. This is ridiculous.
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« Reply #42 on: August 11, 2006, 09:23:55 AM »

"The part of this thread that dealt with the legitimacy of the EO and OO churches"

Sorry Pedro, I must have missed that part. Actually, I simply don't think it exists.

I'm curious as to whether the other members who engaged in the discussions in question saw it as such. Salpy? Zebu? Nickg? Were any of you guys involved in a "debate" regarding the "legitimacy of EO vs. OO Churches"? I know I wasn't.
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« Reply #43 on: August 11, 2006, 09:26:53 AM »

Well, if this thread had started in the OO section or something, I would understand.  But having an EO member spout off misconceptions about the OO church in the Convert forum, while possibly aiding any potential converts who may also have the same misconceptions, seems to be distracting to the purpose of the original thread - "why not convert to OO?"  I know that essentially he was giving reasons "why not," but they were pretty off base, as you have pointed out.

I think in the end it's good to keep the Convert Forum free from such confusion and whatnot, and if people are interested in entering the fray while they are exploring Orthodoxy (of EO or OO variety), then they can explore the site...
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« Reply #44 on: August 11, 2006, 09:33:54 AM »

I don't see how moving zebu's posts and my responses solve the problem any more than leaving zebu's posts with my responses as they were initially, that is if the issue with the thread in the first place were simply with zebu's post (which I highly doubt).
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« Reply #45 on: August 11, 2006, 09:44:08 AM »

CORRECTIVE POST: TOPIC REMERGED. 

My personal apologies to all offended parties.

After looking at all the posts in context (which was not done prior to split), I honestly don't think there's anything to split.  Zebu made some inaccurate comments re: the OO communion, and EA and others corrected him; if he (zebu) is going to have reasons for choosing EO over OO, they need to be accurate ones.  And, in the midst of the accuracy of terms and intercommunion discussion, there were actually individual posts (iirc) that dealt with the OP.  So I agree w/EA here, really, y'all.  Embarrassing for me, I know, since I did all that out of ignorance.  I'm gonna make this call as GM to remerge it and leave it alone, continuing the thread as it was.  Again, I apologize for splitting what didn't need to be split; let's bring all this back to the OP now that terms have been/are being clarified.

Sorry, y'all.
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« Reply #46 on: August 11, 2006, 09:48:53 AM »

Like other posters here, I became EO because there were EO parishes around.  I personally like the Council of Chalcedon, so I'm pretty comfortable as an EO.  But, I don't think the OO's mean to say anything re: christology that the EO's don't also mean to say (and vice versa), so attending an OO parish would pose no problem for me.

Intercommunion is out until our hierarchs get back together--which is a necessary formality.  In my book, we (EO and OO) have already attained unity of faith.  Now we just need to recognize it formally.
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« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2006, 09:52:23 AM »


Intercommunion is out until our hierarchs get back together--which is a necessary formality.ÂÂ  In my book, we (EO and OO) have already attained unity of faith.ÂÂ  Now we just need to recognize it formally.

Indeed! The situation reminds me of when you're about to buy a house (at least, here in the US): both you and the seller have agreed upon the price and all other external details, but there is still a gap of time until you have a closing date, sign the papers, and get the keys.
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« Reply #48 on: August 11, 2006, 10:05:53 AM »

Pedro,

I appreciate your re-consideration to splitting/moving this thread. I'll be the first to admit that i've shamefully erred with respect to my approach and attitude to the issues in question on many occasions in the past such as to warrant my posts/threads being moderated, but I have sincerely attempted to rectify that approach/attitude for quite some time now. I thank you for your understanding on this occasion and apologise to you and all other moderators/administrators involved if I reacted inappropriately.
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« Reply #49 on: August 11, 2006, 12:18:57 PM »

Why not convert to OO?

All I can come up with is I like Greek food better.
And food is important.
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Matthew777
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« Reply #50 on: August 11, 2006, 01:47:01 PM »

Why not convert to OO?

All I can come up with is I like Greek food better.
And food is important.

If you haven't tried Indian and Ethiopian food, then you haven't made an informed decision. Muy deliciosos!
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« Reply #51 on: August 11, 2006, 01:55:35 PM »

If you haven't tried Indian and Ethiopian food, then you haven't made an informed decision.

While I agree that Ethiopian and Indian food is great, I would hardly consider you as a 'paragon of informed decision making', Matthew.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #52 on: August 14, 2006, 11:36:46 AM »

I ended up in the Coptic church mostly because my fiance' was already there.  He ended up there because a) it was in the neighborhood, b) it was Orthodox, and c) the Copts were warm and friendly.  It was a little more involved than that, but basically that's it.

As I was investigating Orthodoxy, like most converts I was learning from the Antiochians and visiting one of their parishes as well as my then-boyfriend's.  As others have said, I could have happily gone either way.

As for "why not the OO," I think the question itself reveals that the EO won the propaganda wars.  Smiley  Not to downplay the substance of Chalcedon and what came after, but a lot of what came after was politics and posturing.  There's still some of that today, and it does tend to cloud the real issues.  (Lord, have mercy on us.)  So I imagine for the inquirer who's just starting out and not too certain about things, the EO seems a safer bet.
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« Reply #53 on: August 14, 2006, 12:12:54 PM »

As for "why not the OO," I think the question itself reveals that the EO won the propaganda wars.

Kinda...but I had never heard of OO Churches until a few years ago.  Also, it seems like only the past several years that many EO and OO seem to agree on the Christological issues.
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« Reply #54 on: August 15, 2006, 01:35:53 AM »

While I agree that Ethiopian and Indian food is great, I would hardly consider you as a 'paragon of informed decision making', Matthew.ÂÂ  Roll Eyes

I am when it comes to good food, my friend. Smiley
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« Reply #55 on: August 15, 2006, 01:37:49 AM »

It's quite possible that many converts to Oriental Orthodoxy from Protestantism or Catholicism still believe in Chalcedon, maybe without even knowing it.
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« Reply #56 on: August 15, 2006, 02:00:59 AM »

It's quite possible that many converts to Oriental Orthodoxy from Protestantism or Catholicism still believe in Chalcedon, maybe without even knowing it.

That doesn't make any sense.  I'm sure many Prots/Catholics have no idea what Chalcedon is.
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« Reply #57 on: August 15, 2006, 02:16:54 AM »

That doesn't make any sense.ÂÂ  I'm sure many Prots/Catholics have no idea what Chalcedon is.

But they still believe, unlike the non-Chalcedonians, that Jesus is two natures united in one person. Even in converting to Oriental Orthodoxy, many will still hold to their previous Christological position.
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« Reply #58 on: August 16, 2006, 06:59:14 PM »

Kinda...but I had never heard of OO Churches until a few years ago.ÂÂ  Also, it seems like only the past several years that many EO and OO seem to agree on the Christological issues.
And your first phrase proves my point.  Smiley

It is in the past 20 years or so that the churches have come to realize that they always have essentially agreed on christology.  It doesn't represent "new christology" for either side, but a different historical understanding.
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« Reply #59 on: August 16, 2006, 07:08:20 PM »

It's quite possible that many converts to Oriental Orthodoxy from Protestantism or Catholicism still believe in Chalcedon, maybe without even knowing it.
This is possible for those who are converting simply to marry an OO person, but otherwise I would find it highly unlikely.ÂÂ  As with all converts, we are catechized, and it can scarcely escape the notice of a person that we are in communion with other OO churches but not EO.ÂÂ  I have talked to cradles in our parish who didn't know it, but converts are more likely to be aware of the differences and of what caused them.

Of the converts in our parish, a couple of us converted to Orthodoxy and chose the Coptic Church for practical reasons (considering it essentially the same as EO), a couple converted specifically to Oriental Orthodoxy because of the Chalcedon issues, and the rest converted from various backgrounds in order to marry cradles.

BTW, your sentence rather awkwardly assumes that EO still "believe in Chalcedon."ÂÂ  They do, but only with the anti-Nestorian clarifications that came in later councils, which arguably brought the EO closer to the same position the OO held all along.
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Matthew777
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« Reply #60 on: August 18, 2006, 12:58:13 AM »

BTW, your sentence rather awkwardly assumes that EO still "believe in Chalcedon."ÂÂ  They do, but only with the anti-Nestorian clarifications that came in later councils, which arguably brought the EO closer to the same position the OO held all along.

Where is there Nestorianism in the Confession of Chalcedon? It looks like a middleground between Nestorianism and monophysitism to me.

Quote
We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood;

truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body;

consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood;

in all things like unto us, without sin;

begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood;

one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably;

the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ;

as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.
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« Reply #61 on: August 18, 2006, 03:11:40 AM »

Matthew, please read Fr. V.C. Samuel's book, The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined.  In spite of its size, it is actually an interesting, quick read.  It can't hurt, and I think you'll enjoy it.  It will give you more insight into the issues surrounding Chalcedon.  You can find it on amazon.com.


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« Reply #62 on: August 18, 2006, 07:02:27 AM »

Yes, that is something that I could consider. But what of the Chalcedonian Confession itself is there for which to have disagreement? If you'd rather PM me on the topic, that's fine.

Peace.
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« Reply #63 on: August 18, 2006, 07:57:15 AM »

Matthew,

This thread already came close to being moved due to certain exchanges being misinterpreted as discussion of the sort that you are attempting to induce here. I recommend you take Salpy's advice; Fr. V.C. Samuel's book has the answer to all your questions - it's a rather thorough treatment of the general subject.
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No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
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