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Author Topic: Does it matter anymore?  (Read 1604 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dismus
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« on: August 11, 2006, 11:38:26 PM »

Does it really make a difference what anyone believes in regard to faith?
Is not God merciful and forgiving?
Or is he worried about formality?
I mean denominations here.
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2006, 02:27:23 AM »

No, I don't personally think He is worried about what version you claim to profess.  I think it's about what you did with what you had, and I believe the Orthodox Church to be an all-encompassing spiritual hospital for every ailment that we have now, or may eventually come across. 

It was also explained to me thusly:

We aren't supposed to make broad, sweeping generalizations about what will happen to those outside of our Church.  We are always to only be concerned with our own salvation, et cetera (last chapter in John ring a bell?).  But dabbling outside of the Church is like travelling down a highway in our car.  We may hit some potholes, the lights may be out so that we cannot see, we may get off on a wrong exit, we may come to a dead-end,  or the road might just end completely.  With Orthodoxy, the road is paved, the lights are all functional, and it is a single road headed toward Christ.
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2006, 02:50:41 AM »

Great message, Zoe!
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2006, 08:08:29 AM »

God is merciful, loving, and compassionate.

He is also the Truth, the Way, and the Life.

Who here talks about denominational membership? We talk about becoming a member in the Body of Christ. God is truly merciful, but what person out there would not want to become grafted into that living Vine as much as possible? Life flows from it, and without it we wither.
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2006, 01:00:33 PM »

Does it really make a difference what anyone believes in regard to faith?
Is not God merciful and forgiving?
Or is he worried about formality?
I mean denominations here.


Great post!  I have wondered the same myself from time to time.  Will God ignore or condemn us if we are part of particular denomination?  I doubt it.  As long as we are true to our faith. as we believe it, and strive to become as Christ like as we are able to, we just might be OK.  But I'm not formally educated in Orthodoxy as some of you, so I welcome your comments.
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2006, 01:12:16 AM »

Does it really make a difference what anyone believes in regard to faith?
Is not God merciful and forgiving?
Or is he worried about formality?
I mean denominations here.


It seems to me that the answer to this question greatly depends upon whether it is being asked with reference to salvation or with reference to life in Christ.

If we are talking about salvation, then the important qualifier is the statement, "I mean denominations here." This implies that there is a common set of core beliefs which -- as long as they are truly believed and adhered to -- indicate some certainty that God will save those who hold those beliefs, and that belief regarding other "peripheral" matters will not sway Him one way or the other.

If we are talking about life in Christ, then I believe the answer becomes much more interesting. In what way do those peripheral concepts effect the quality of our Christian walk? In what way do they help determine the velocity and depth of our movement toward Christ-likeness?

I think I understand the reason for the question; one can get tired of the bickering and disagreement and contentious attitudes that various Christians often take when interacting with Christians of other faiths (or denominations). But I don't think the answer is to try to convince ourselves that what we believe outside of the basic truth of the gospel "doesn't matter". There was only one place in the entire Scriptures where we see God Himself -- as manifested in the Son -- pouring out a long and personal prayer to the Father about the disciples and all others of us who were given to Him. And in that prayer (gospel of John), the main thing He asks for is that we be unified. Christ wants us to be unified in Spirit and in Truth. The Apostle Paul talks about the importance of being of "one mind" in Christ.

I think it is essential that we take the time to carefully examine the details and intricacies of God's plan, and His design for who we would be and how we would relate to Him, etc. I believe these things greatly influence something which should very much matter to us: the oneness we have with God and with eachother, in unity. As we learn more about who we are, who God is, and how we relate to Him and eachother, we should be converging upon a single Truth which is identifiable, can be described, and can be expressed to others easily. I think Jesus wants this unity for us, perhaps more than anything else.

I fear that taking the approach that we ought to drop all of the detailed discussion in favor of simply saying "Hey, you believe what you want, and I'll believe what I want ... what does it matter? God's an understanding guy." represents an overreaction to what is the real problem with current discussion among members of different denominations ... which is a lack of Christian humility, tenderness, focus and sobriety.

Just a thought.


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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2006, 01:20:22 AM »

When it comes to your eternal salvation, you choice of church should not matter, excluding Jehovah's Witnesses, Latter-Day Saints, and other pseudo-Christian cults. But in terms of intellectual honesty, I believe that anyone who has carefully studied the matter historically should convert to the Orthodox faith.
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2006, 04:47:03 AM »

When it comes to your eternal salvation, you choice of church should not matter,
"Should not matter" to whom? If you mean it "should not matter to other people", I heartily agree, but what has that to do with eternal salvation? And if you mean "it should not matter to God", then by what authority are you telling the Almighty what "should" or "shouldn't" matter to Him? A case of man creating God in his image perhaps?

excluding Jehovah's Witnesses, Latter-Day Saints, and other pseudo-Christian cults.
Oh, I see, so it doesn't matter what one believes, provided one does not believe this....Huh

But in terms of intellectual honesty, I believe that anyone who has carefully studied the matter historically should convert to the Orthodox faith.
"Intellectual honesty"? Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2006, 11:12:03 AM »

Does it really make a difference what anyone believes in regard to faith?
Is not God merciful and forgiving?
Or is he worried about formality?
I mean denominations here.

Well, I've heard expressed by several priests and hierarchs that the only "criteria" for salvation is to be like Christ, and that there will be, at the Judgement Day, people who never heard of Jesus Christ during their lives, as well as people who only heard the craziest, stupidest version of the gospel out there (anyone who's read The Poisonwood Bible has an idea about what I mean) and rejected faith in Christ because of that ignorance or stupidity, yet because they had been seeking Goodness, Purity, Truth, Love, Peace et al during their lives, will recognize Jesus Christ when they see Him, for He is the embodiment of all that they will have been looking for.

So I would broaden your original question, Dismus -- I don't even think God will be limited to Christian denominations, but will have as His children in His Kingdom folks from every tribe, tongue, and nation, regardless of whether or not they formally knew about or accepted Christ, His message and His Church in this life.

So, then, why do I insist that people not only follow the teachings of the Christian Scriptures, but do so according to the teachings of the Orthodox Church?  Primarily because, as we teach, it is not some demand of God's that we need to satisfy by reciting the right creed ("no filioque, pleaseWink) or being under Bishop +X, but rather that only in the Orthodox faith will we receive, as Zoe put it, the full picture of the Savior, and thus will have everything available to us that Christ gave to humanity through His Church, in order that we might fully grow into His image and likeness.
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2006, 07:22:56 PM »

Does it really make a difference what anyone believes in regard to faith?
Is not God merciful and forgiving?
Or is he worried about formality?
I mean denominations here.


What matters is that a person is honest anmd faithful to whatever degree of light he or she has.  A person who has never been offered Lord Jesus may in fact recieve Him in their depths whereas a person who claims to be Christian may not berat all "("Not everyone who says to me 'Lord" "Lord", will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven."--Lord Jesus in the Gospel of St. Mathew 7: 21.

What is required for salvation is that we love Love ("God is Love and he who abides in love, abides in God and God in him."" as St. John ther Beloved says in 1 John 4:16.

Steve
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2006, 10:42:35 PM »

What a pleasant and joyous thread!

After all the blasting of the "heterodox" and "heretics" I had been reading on OC.net, this was like a refreshing sea breeze.

Thanks to all!

This is the attitude that first attracted me to Orthodoxy in the first place.
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2012, 03:15:35 PM »

Does it really make a difference what anyone believes in regard to faith?
Is not God merciful and forgiving?
Or is he worried about formality?
I mean denominations here.

Well, I've heard expressed by several priests and hierarchs that the only "criteria" for salvation is to be like Christ, and that there will be, at the Judgement Day, people who never heard of Jesus Christ during their lives, as well as people who only heard the craziest, stupidest version of the gospel out there (anyone who's read The Poisonwood Bible has an idea about what I mean) and rejected faith in Christ because of that ignorance or stupidity, yet because they had been seeking Goodness, Purity, Truth, Love, Peace et al during their lives, will recognize Jesus Christ when they see Him, for He is the embodiment of all that they will have been looking for.

So I would broaden your original question, Dismus -- I don't even think God will be limited to Christian denominations, but will have as His children in His Kingdom folks from every tribe, tongue, and nation, regardless of whether or not they formally knew about or accepted Christ, His message and His Church in this life.

So, then, why do I insist that people not only follow the teachings of the Christian Scriptures, but do so according to the teachings of the Orthodox Church?  Primarily because, as we teach, it is not some demand of God's that we need to satisfy by reciting the right creed ("no filioque, pleaseWink) or being under Bishop +X, but rather that only in the Orthodox faith will we receive, as Zoe put it, the full picture of the Savior, and thus will have everything available to us that Christ gave to humanity through His Church, in order that we might fully grow into His image and likeness.
the only "criteria" for salvation is to be like Christ. Does that mean that God will only save people in whom he can see himself in?
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2012, 03:19:35 PM »

Does it really make a difference what anyone believes in regard to faith?
Is not God merciful and forgiving?
Or is he worried about formality?
I mean denominations here.

Well, I've heard expressed by several priests and hierarchs that the only "criteria" for salvation is to be like Christ, and that there will be, at the Judgement Day, people who never heard of Jesus Christ during their lives, as well as people who only heard the craziest, stupidest version of the gospel out there (anyone who's read The Poisonwood Bible has an idea about what I mean) and rejected faith in Christ because of that ignorance or stupidity, yet because they had been seeking Goodness, Purity, Truth, Love, Peace et al during their lives, will recognize Jesus Christ when they see Him, for He is the embodiment of all that they will have been looking for.

So I would broaden your original question, Dismus -- I don't even think God will be limited to Christian denominations, but will have as His children in His Kingdom folks from every tribe, tongue, and nation, regardless of whether or not they formally knew about or accepted Christ, His message and His Church in this life.

So, then, why do I insist that people not only follow the teachings of the Christian Scriptures, but do so according to the teachings of the Orthodox Church?  Primarily because, as we teach, it is not some demand of God's that we need to satisfy by reciting the right creed ("no filioque, pleaseWink) or being under Bishop +X, but rather that only in the Orthodox faith will we receive, as Zoe put it, the full picture of the Savior, and thus will have everything available to us that Christ gave to humanity through His Church, in order that we might fully grow into His image and likeness.
the only "criteria" for salvation is to be like Christ. Does that mean that God will only save people in whom he can see himself in?

You realize you just replied to a thread that is 6 years old right? Several of the people who posted in this discussion are no longer active on this site.
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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2012, 03:38:09 PM »

It's kind of weird when old threads like these get bumped, it almost seems like there was some sort of exodus with old members because very few of them are still around.
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« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2012, 03:43:15 PM »

I guess some people are just more interested in that "real life" stuff and move on  angel
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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2012, 05:58:50 PM »

I guess some people are just more interested in that "real life" stuff and move on  angel

People who don't have 18,312 posts?   Wink
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2012, 08:20:40 PM »

Does it really make a difference what anyone believes in regard to faith?
Is not God merciful and forgiving?
Or is he worried about formality?
I mean denominations here.

Well, I've heard expressed by several priests and hierarchs that the only "criteria" for salvation is to be like Christ, and that there will be, at the Judgement Day, people who never heard of Jesus Christ during their lives, as well as people who only heard the craziest, stupidest version of the gospel out there (anyone who's read The Poisonwood Bible has an idea about what I mean) and rejected faith in Christ because of that ignorance or stupidity, yet because they had been seeking Goodness, Purity, Truth, Love, Peace et al during their lives, will recognize Jesus Christ when they see Him, for He is the embodiment of all that they will have been looking for.

So I would broaden your original question, Dismus -- I don't even think God will be limited to Christian denominations, but will have as His children in His Kingdom folks from every tribe, tongue, and nation, regardless of whether or not they formally knew about or accepted Christ, His message and His Church in this life.

So, then, why do I insist that people not only follow the teachings of the Christian Scriptures, but do so according to the teachings of the Orthodox Church?  Primarily because, as we teach, it is not some demand of God's that we need to satisfy by reciting the right creed ("no filioque, pleaseWink) or being under Bishop +X, but rather that only in the Orthodox faith will we receive, as Zoe put it, the full picture of the Savior, and thus will have everything available to us that Christ gave to humanity through His Church, in order that we might fully grow into His image and likeness.
the only "criteria" for salvation is to be like Christ. Does that mean that God will only save people in whom he can see himself in?

You realize you just replied to a thread that is 6 years old right? Several of the people who posted in this discussion are no longer active on this site.

well you can reply. since you took the time anyway. thanks.
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2012, 09:02:14 PM »

Does it really make a difference what anyone believes in regard to faith?
Is not God merciful and forgiving?
Or is he worried about formality?
I mean denominations here.

I let the denominations worry about that.

As for the Church, she is not a denomination.
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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2012, 06:59:35 PM »

Yes. Because we only worship ONE God, therefore only ONE set of teachings about Him can be true. They can't all be true at the same time when they blatantly contradict each other. When you subscribe to false teachings about God, then you are not worshipping the true God but your own idol of what the denominations believes God is like. Likewise, the whole modern Protestant notion of working out salvation "for yourself" without the guidance of a Church and denominations not mattering is actually un-Scriptural. St. Paul very clearly orders us to adhere to the traditions we were taught through both word and epistle--he never said go about it on our own and believe whatever we want about God. Likewise, he also urged the Church to stay united. 1 Corinthians 1:10 "Now I plead with you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." The Holy Spirit would not lead someone into an isolated spiritual journey or lead you into schism--as many Protestants claim--but would lead you into unity--just as St. Paul advocated. Therefore, yes, your Church affiliation DOES matter, you should seek to reunite yourself with the true Church--which is the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2012, 07:56:19 PM »

Does it really make a difference what anyone believes in regard to faith?

Reality is what it is regardless of what we personally choose to believe.
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