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Author Topic: Divisions that Hurt and confuse  (Read 3258 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dismus
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« on: August 21, 2006, 12:14:27 PM »

 :'(The divide in beliefs of the Catholics and Orthodox are sad indeed. It is alarming that such a division could occur and that it is such a complicated matter. I have not read any anti- Orthodox literature. I prefer to learn about Orthodoxy through the Orthodox and not through any other viewpoint. Of course I compare that with what my faith teaches, but after I find out what the other side has to say.
I am sure that many others do the same and learn about other faiths by going to the source first and then compare that with what their respective Church has to say on the matter.
I suppose one could say why look at the other Churches from their viewpoint first since theirs is not filled with truth and so it matters not what their view is.
All of this checking back and forth has been very hard to do in so many ways. I think that in the end, it is the Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware who has caused me the most confusion on several issues. His comment I posted in the Immaculate Conception post was the first one I noticed. Then, yesterday I found one he made in regard to the filioque
That I stumbled on only added to my confusion of what the definitive answer is amoung all Orthodox. I’m not even sure how many (if any) other comments he has made that cover other areas that he has changed his mind about since writing his bestseller over 20 years ago.
My first thought is, how do Orthodox view the changes of heart he has had on some issues?
I wonder if spending time wondering who is right and who is wrong to be in the True Chuch is even a good thing to do.
Sometimes, I have to wonder if this divide in the body of Christ is basis for choosing neither. Both have a lot of blame to pass around to each other. The strange thing is after searching some topics here on this forum I have found that there seems to be a whole lot of preoccupation with having to “prove” rightness through another’s “wrongness” and not by their own merit. It sounds like a developing creed or list defining what is not believed than rather what is believed. Like a list of rejections and protestations and not affirmations.
I think there is much to be said as to my needing to listen harder to the pull that I believe the Holy Spirit has drawn me to seek the Orthodox Church and to learn more of her.
I also think it is sad that I have so much love in my heart for both Chruches and see so much animosity and anger between the two. I can’t help but think that there is not enough effort being done on either side to make real attempts together.
It almost leaves me wondering if both sides will be punished by God for the lack of sincere attempts to speak together in sincerity and truth so that Pride can be put second to the love we must have for each other to even take the steps to go on towards that goal.
Jesus can not be happy with all this.
I also speculate if it was easier for me in the first place to consider Orthodoxy back when I was a Protestant. I was under such a programmed mindset to be Anti-Catholic that it is no wonder I started seeing the merits of Orthodoxy since I never heard any Anti-Orthodox rhetoric in my Protestant life. I think they did not know about it well enough in my former parishes to cover it anyway. Therefore, it I had no bias against it and that helped me look into it.
In the end, I feel that this whole situation is likely the most sad in Christian history. It really makes me wonder if it would be best to scrap Christianity in all its division and animosity and in fighting and a zillion denominations.



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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2006, 12:23:13 PM »

I know how you feel. I don't think advice in these type of situations helps much, it usually just 1) tells you to follow your heart, which hopefully you'd do anyway, or 2) advocates the poster's position. And I can't really say anything here about the divisions in Christianity. So, I guess that all I can say is, I wish you the best.
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2006, 03:40:23 PM »

Only God can reveal the truth in these matters. The truth can only be seen with gods help. Since we are filled with sin none of us can see strait. My advice would be to pray so that the truth can be given to you.

  Union is something we all want but first we must adhere to the truth. Hear is a good Orthodox read on the matter. http://www.zephyr.gr/stjohn/per-agai.htm
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2006, 04:24:29 PM »

I can't believe that God will punish His own Body.  We live in times of peace-lovers, people who want eveyone to like them regardless of Truth. At the same time we see rampart Islam on the rise that does not care whether they like you or hurt your feelings - and the other guys (ACLU, ADL, MSN) working quietly in the background to outlaw Christianity per se.  RCC is incompatible with Orthodoxy, although many convert (meaning change their beliefs and behavior).  The politicians in the Orthodox Church of course only add to the confusion.  "We are basically the same...and let's move towards a syncretic Christianity that includes all believers (whether false or not).   
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2006, 04:25:14 PM »

It seems like politcs is a big problem too on both sides. Neither is innocent on that account.
I wish I had never spent so much time on all of this. It is clear to me both sides have fault, neither are flawless by any means. Both sides have missed the mark. Both sides refuse to admit it. In both sides the members seem to have a cult mentality that refuses to see any bad done on their side. Blind to each other's own sins and faults they point blame at each other and undermine each other. Justifying themselves by bringing up a fault of the other to continue the circular hell that will not stop.
Thanks for that link, but it did not take long to see the dripping sarcasm and hate in some of it. Funny, I don't see (maybe someone here will be happy to point it out) the RCC doing that. I have yet to read anything worded with such hateful speech in reference to the OC. Never. I see nothing but nasty from the OC in regard to the RCC with the exception of the "new" Bishop Kallistos.
I feel both have sinned for so long that neither can be given God's favor.
Might as well pitch it since all other stripes are absolutely idiotic and off the map.
I really wish I had stayed a ripped off Protestant and begged for mercy for my stupidity and not asked any questions. In the end that is what I will be doing. When and if I get to see St. Peter or Paul at the pearly gates and he asks me why I gave up I'll say because those 2 fighting factions hated each other so much, that in the end I decided God would not want me to be a party to that hatred.
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2006, 05:54:10 PM »

It seems like politcs is a big problem too on both sides. Neither is innocent on that account.
I wish I had never spent so much time on all of this. It is clear to me both sides have fault, neither are flawless by any means. Both sides have missed the mark. Both sides refuse to admit it. In both sides the members seem to have a cult mentality that refuses to see any bad done on their side. Blind to each other's own sins and faults they point blame at each other and undermine each other. Justifying themselves by bringing up a fault of the other to continue the circular hell that will not stop.
Thanks for that link, but it did not take long to see the dripping sarcasm and hate in some of it. Funny, I don't see (maybe someone here will be happy to point it out) the RCC doing that. I have yet to read anything worded with such hateful speech in reference to the OC. Never. I see nothing but nasty from the OC in regard to the RCC with the exception of the "new" Bishop Kallistos.
I feel both have sinned for so long that neither can be given God's favor.
Might as well pitch it since all other stripes are absolutely idiotic and off the map.
I really wish I had stayed a ripped off Protestant and begged for mercy for my stupidity and not asked any questions. In the end that is what I will be doing. When and if I get to see St. Peter or Paul at the pearly gates and he asks me why I gave up I'll say because those 2 fighting factions hated each other so much, that in the end I decided God would not want me to be a party to that hatred.


In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace Dismus,

This is truly disheartening to read dear Dismus. May the Peace of the Risen Lord be upon you. Amen.

I have been in dialogue with many individuals of many faiths and it is often when I encounter 'hatred' I encounter 'fear'. They are both one and the same. From 'fear' comes to need to insure one's confidence in what one knows and what one believes often at the expense of others. Such motivation comes veiled in many disguises. We should always be careful when one declares one's convictions as the only ones which are to be taken as valid but I also believe, as a Christian, that truth has descended and dwelt among man in the flesh, the flesh of Jesus Christ so that man might have the hope of participation in the divine nature. As many Liturgical Christians, I believe this grace is most keenly expressed through the Sacraments of the Church as the vehicle which God has ordained to deliver His favor to the world. Knowing that this vehicle is 'manned' by both Saints and Sinners I am not surprised when I witness errors in judgment and actions among those who claim to be the Church. Remember that 'no man' is without sin and 'no man' is ultimately protected from errors of judgment, not even the Pope himself. Please note his Chrism of Office does not protect him nor any chrism know by the Church protects one from error (i.e. sin). To expect the Church of the Living God to be an unblemished example of His Divine Glory is ultimately to suggest that we, his fallen children, should not be members. Such is simply not an option. Please don't get caught up in such a futile effort for it will only bring you heartache and rob you of all hope.

We sin. Thus the Church, whom we are members, shares in our sin just as it shares in our forgiveness.

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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2006, 07:27:12 AM »

Oh boo-hoo. "Everyone is just so hateful and nasty."
What a load of codswollop.
What "I" believe as an individual or what "you" believe as an individual, or even what we believe as a group matters about as much as a lump of chicken manure. What really matters is what the Church believes.

Fact A: The Church, which is The Body of Christ, has never been "divided". There has always ever been, and always will be one Church.

Fact B: When there is a schism in the Church, it means that one side of the schism has left the Church and one side hasn't.

Fact C: Everyone has to discern where the Church is. Not just me.

Fact D: Some will get it right and some will get it wrong.

Fact E: The Founder of the Church said the "Way is difficult" and "the gate is narrow". He also said: "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." So if I can't stand the heat, I should get out of the kitchen, and out of the way of those who have chosen to "strive to enter by the narrow gate" instead of standing on the side and whining at everyone who passes. I have no right to whinge and throw stones at them just because I gave up.



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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2006, 10:17:03 AM »

Dear Ozgeorge,

I wonder, how do you define community of believers? I think both the RCC and OC define it the same way for themselves.

I am sure one can distinguish what on paper looks like the "right" choice. I agree with you on that.
But being "right" only goes so far if the "right" side is filled with contempt and animosity and other worse things that being "right" no longer matters since it is erased by a lack of love.
There is no need to have this nasty stuff to be the Church. No need at all.
On either side. Unless that part becomes a part of the faith knowingly or unknowingly.
If it seeps into the mind that in order to edify one's position one is required to tear to ribbons another, that my friend is like Islam.
Right can be wrong. Just like with men's earrings.
But, don't worry I am not feeling sorry for myself I am okay with it since both sides are more accountable (leaders) and will have a much higher accountability in the end, let alone the average joe shmoe.
This seems like voting for black bart or black bart's brother. One on paper has the "right" ideas but is putting them into practice in a not so right way.
The other is even worse.
Both are wrong. Yes, there is one Church. And it is disobedient.
Somehow thinking it's okay as long as we are "right".

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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2006, 05:56:31 PM »

I wonder, how do you define community of believers? I think both the RCC and OC define it the same way for themselves.
Why would that be important? Every cult and sect can define it's "community of believers". Every political ideology can define it's "community of believers". The Church is not unique in being a "community of believers".
The only thing which is important is: "Which community of believers is the Church?"

I am sure one can distinguish what on paper looks like the "right" choice. I agree with you on that.
Funny, because I never said that, nor do I think it's correct, so how can you agree with me?
You, Dismus, are coming to conclusions and judging the Orthodox Church as being "hateful" because of what you perceive to be written.


But being "right" only goes so far if the "right" side is filled with contempt and animosity and other worse things that being "right" no longer matters since it is erased by a lack of love.
There is no need to have this nasty stuff to be the Church. No need at all.
On either side. Unless that part becomes a part of the faith knowingly or unknowingly.
If it seeps into the mind that in order to edify one's position one is required to tear to ribbons another, that my friend is like Islam.
Right can be wrong. Just like with men's earrings.
Dismus, you are taking theological disputes personally. If someone disputes the RC dogma of the Immaculate Conception or the Filioque, that is not "tearing others tro ribbons" nor is it "acting with hatred". It is simply saying "your belief is erroneous."

But, don't worry I am not feeling sorry for myself I am okay with it since both sides are more accountable (leaders) and will have a much higher accountability in the end, let alone the average joe shmoe.
That is a cop out which the average "joe shmoe" uses to avoid his responsibilities. Everyone is accountable for their choices. Just like you are accountable right now for saying that the bishops of the Church are "accountable"- accountable for what? Are they the ones you say are acting with hatred? If so, prove it. Take responsibility for what you say and claim or don't say and claim it.


This seems like voting for black bart or black bart's brother. One on paper has the "right" ideas but is putting them into practice in a not so right way.
The other is even worse.
Both are wrong. Yes, there is one Church. And it is disobedient.
Somehow thinking it's okay as long as we are "right".
It is not OK to tell your detractors that their belief is wrong if you are right and they come and shove their belief down your throat? For example, if someone comes and says "the filioque is correct and anyone who disagrees with it is wrong" is the only option I have to remain silent?
The "Love" you and francis-chistopher seem to think is "Christian" and is "lacking" in the Church would seem to be something which Christ Himself lacked, since He drove the moneychangers out of the Temple with a whip, and accused the scribes and pharisees of being "hypocrites". Your idea of "Love" seems to be rainbows, doves and hugs. The Christian idea of Love is the Cross.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2006, 06:32:05 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2006, 07:59:43 PM »

Why would that be important? Every cult and sect can define it's "community of believers". Every political ideology can define it's "community of believers". The Church is not unique in being a "community of believers".


[sorry- I'm not good at the quote buttons on this site yet. I ask for a reason. Granted, a side issue, but IMHO relevant none the less. Sorry you don't like me asking a simple question you should easily be able to answer.]



The only thing which is important is: "Which community of believers is the Church?"
Funny, because I never said that, nor do I think it's correct, so how can you agree with me?
You, Dismus, are coming to conclusions and judging the Orthodox Church as being "hateful" because of what you perceive to be written.

[yes, it is important- but now you are telling me what the only important question is to ask.
I just re-read your words, and you are right you never did say that - you said something more clear which I hope to address again but I have already written another response and now I see yours, so I am going to try to address it if you will indulge me again later. I am not attacking you, or judging anyone here individually. As far as perceptions go, actions and loaded words speak for themselves.]





Dismus, you are taking theological disputes personally.

[nope. I have no vested interest in this that can not be changed. No harm no foul. never too late hopefully. Not that I want to wait as long as Dismus did.]


If someone disputes the RC dogma of the Immaculate Conception or the Filioque, that is not "tearing others tro ribbons" nor is it "acting with hatred". It is simply saying "your belief is erroneous."

[depending on how it is done and depending on why it is done, I might agree with that or at least entertain that thought. Of course, it is in the motivation and delivery and the way it is taught that makes a difference- you might want to take a look at that link, which is not very different than most I have seen. once again, if the OC view was stated w/o having to compare and contrast to RCC to justify a belief, that would be fine, or even "your beleif is erroneous - would be fine too, without the ridiculous additions that are not relevant.]




That is a cop out which the average "joe shmoe" uses to avoid his responsibilities. Everyone is accountable for their choices. Just like you are accountable right now for saying that the bishops of the Church are "accountable"- accountable for what? Are they the ones you say are acting with hatred? If so, prove it. Take responsibility for what you say and claim or don't say and claim it.


[exactly what do you think my responsibilities are and why am I avoiding them?
The rest of this paragraph is a bit far fetched to imagine you are serious and just taking a jab.
Prove the hatred? PLEESE]






It is not OK to tell your detractors that their belief is wrong

[Who is your detractor? why would they care what you tell them if you are taking it this personally?]


if you are right


[Prove it}


and they come and shove their belief down your throat?


[who is shoving anything here?]


 For example, if someone comes and says "the filioque is correct and anyone who disagrees with it is wrong" is the only option I have to remain silent?

[ Personally I don't think either side can or should make a biggie out of that one when YOUR Bishops and the RCC don't seem to think it is as big a deal as the laity of the OC do.]


The "Love" you and francis-chistopher seem to think is "Christian" and is "lacking" in the Church would seem to be something which Christ Himself lacked,


[I will make a reparation to Jesus for that incredible and rude attack]


 since He drove the moneychangers out of the Temple with a whip, and accused the scribes and pharisees of being "hypocrites". Your idea of "Love" seems to be rainbows, doves and hugs. The Christian idea of Love is the Cross.

[yes, I see how the RCC compares to your ridiculous accusation above Roll Eyes Roll Eyes]

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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2006, 08:35:11 PM »

The "Love" you and francis-chistopher seem to think is "Christian" and is "lacking" in the Church would seem to be something which Christ Himself lacked, since He drove the moneychangers out of the Temple with a whip, and accused the scribes and pharisees of being "hypocrites". Your idea of "Love" seems to be rainbows, doves and hugs. The Christian idea of Love is the Cross.

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace ozgeorge,

It is not clear to me how I have been brought into your criticism of an idea of "Love" as I have not articulated any idea of "Love". Perhaps you have a dispute with Deus Caritas Est by Our Holy Father Benedict XVI? I believe it articulates an idea of Love which I would agree.

I might offer mild caution toward you to exercise more of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in your posts (there are nine and you should know them).

If anyone supposes he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if one loves God, one is known by him. - 1 Corinthians 8:1-2

Equating Jesus' actions in the Temple with your sarcasm and condescending tone toward others you disagree with is unmerited, in my humble opinion. Of course, this is my own personal opinion but I do agree with you that, in the Christian faith, Love is Sacrifice (i.e. the Cross). May we bear ours with patience. Amen.


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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2006, 09:29:16 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace ozgeorge,

It is not clear to me how I have been brought into your criticism of an idea of "Love" as I have not articulated any idea of "Love". Perhaps you have a dispute with Deus Caritas Est by Our Holy Father Benedict XVI? I believe it articulates an idea of Love which I would agree.

I might offer mild caution toward you to exercise more of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in your posts (there are nine and you should know them).

If anyone supposes he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if one loves God, one is known by him. - 1 Corinthians 8:1-2

Equating Jesus' actions in the Temple with your sarcasm and condescending tone toward others you disagree with is unmerited, in my humble opinion. Of course, this is my own personal opinion but I do agree with you that, in the Christian faith, Love is Sacrifice (i.e. the Cross). May we bear ours with patience. Amen.




Thank you Francis Christopher, I thought I had deleted the cross comment out, but had not, I was so upset by the other remark right before it.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2006, 08:23:25 AM »

[I will make a reparation to Jesus for that incredible and rude attack]

You do that.  Roll Eyes

<shaking dust from sandals>
« Last Edit: August 23, 2006, 08:26:49 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2006, 08:33:10 PM »

It seems like politcs is a big problem too on both sides. Neither is innocent on that account.
I wish I had never spent so much time on all of this. It is clear to me both sides have fault, neither are flawless by any means. Both sides have missed the mark. Both sides refuse to admit it. In both sides the members seem to have a cult mentality that refuses to see any bad done on their side. Blind to each other's own sins and faults they point blame at each other and undermine each other. Justifying themselves by bringing up a fault of the other to continue the circular hell that will not stop.
Thanks for that link, but it did not take long to see the dripping sarcasm and hate in some of it. Funny, I don't see (maybe someone here will be happy to point it out) the RCC doing that. I have yet to read anything worded with such hateful speech in reference to the OC. Never. I see nothing but nasty from the OC in regard to the RCC with the exception of the "new" Bishop Kallistos.
I feel both have sinned for so long that neither can be given God's favor.
Might as well pitch it since all other stripes are absolutely idiotic and off the map.
I really wish I had stayed a ripped off Protestant and begged for mercy for my stupidity and not asked any questions. In the end that is what I will be doing. When and if I get to see St. Peter or Paul at the pearly gates and he asks me why I gave up I'll say because those 2 fighting factions hated each other so much, that in the end I decided God would not want me to be a party to that hatred.


Dismus,

You're right, there is a lot of sin and fault on both sides.  The best thing to do is to focus on Father-Jesus-Spirit, our God, and on those members of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant branches who have focused  on and do focus on Him.  In the Roman Church that is Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Mother Angelica, Pope John Paul II, etc.. With the Orthodox that is St. John of Kronsatdt (very similar in personality and pastoral focus to St. Jean Vianney, the Pastor of Ars, France), Vladimir Lossky, Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople, Mother Maria Skobtskova (sort of a combination of Saint Theresa Blessed by the Cross and Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who was murdered by the Nazis in Ravensbruck Concentration Camp in 1945). Among the Protestants that is Rev. Billy Graham , etc.

There is a spiritual union among Christians who focus on and worship Lord Jesus Christ.  This is what I would regard as the heart of His Body/Church on this earth, regardless of their Church. I am not equating all Churches; they vary in the degree of truth they have but the greatest truth is that we love Love (Trinity) and love each other.  The one who loves  and is in error on some points is far better than the one who doesn't love and is correct in his/her theology.  That is the worst heresy of all.

Don't be discouraged that you encounter so many arrogant folk who think they are holy and insist on insulting other Churches.  You will also  encounter
many who are true servants of Lord Jesus.  The Church has always been this way--the "wheat and the tares" together. You have a good heart and are a genuine seeker of truth. 

May Our Lord Jesus Christ give you His peace,
Steve
« Last Edit: August 23, 2006, 08:34:52 PM by Steve Dennehy » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2006, 09:38:48 PM »

For once I support OzGeorge, who I wrongly thought supported hugs and other misconceptions of love.  Good on you! (which I believe is Aussie for God bless? Cool)

The love discussed here is nothing but that kopros about feeling good about oneself and ofcourse everybody else.  Unfortunately the truth hurts.  Because I believe the RCC to be in heresy and is a big corrupt, political corporation, does not imply hatred for RCs.  Just as the Gospel of St John condemns the Jews, does not mean hatred of Jews or that one can produce the new political card called "anti-semitism" to ban this Gospel.  On the other side some RCs have criticized the services of Holy
Week as being bad for Jewish feelings!  It can only get worse.  Accept the Truth or perish in your sentimental, self-seeking mush.
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« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2006, 10:10:22 PM »

Quote
There is a spiritual union among Christians who focus on and worship Lord Jesus Christ.  This is what I would regard as the heart of His Body/Church on this earth, regardless of their Church. I am not equating all Churches; they vary in the degree of truth they have but the greatest truth is that we love Love (Trinity) and love each other.  The one who loves  and is in error on some points is far better than the one who doesn't love and is correct in his/her theology.  That is the worst heresy of all.

How can someone have a relationship with someone they don't know? If I (the church) set you up on a blind date and gave you a description of that person. Wouldn't you try and focus in on my description to get a taste of what your going to get? I (the church) met this person,talked with her and seen her. Would you trust me or someone that saw a highschool photo 16(00) years old?       

Funny story: I have a Protestant Pastor friend that told me he wants to go to a Orthodox church and commune. I told him no way. He said he would make believe he is Orthodox just to commune. I laughed my butt off because he knows where the real Church is.
  The problem is the Orthodox make you work. Nobody likes to work.
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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2006, 12:48:08 AM »

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Unfortunately the truth hurts.

Ahh, so when medicine burns, that justifies using a knife rather than a spoon to administer it. Got ya.  Tongue
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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2006, 10:28:33 AM »

How can someone have a relationship with someone they don't know?



I know my mother and have a relationship with her as her son. Now I do not know every thing that there is to know about my mother and in fact there is some one who knows her better than me, my Father. Yet the fact that even though I don't know everything that there is to know about my mother, and there is some one who knows her better than me, does not not negate  the fact that i still have a relationship with my mother and that I do know some things about her.
Now, let us assume that the Eastern Orthodox Churches form the true One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, Church, i.e. the Body of Christ. I do not agree with this assessment, but let us assume it for the sake of argument. Then the Eastern Orthodox would know Christ better than anyone. But just like my example above, that would not negate the fact that Protestants and Catholics would know some things about Christ which would make it possible to have a relationship with him.
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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2006, 12:31:48 PM »

I know my mother and have a relationship with her as her son. Now I do not know every thing that there is to know about my mother and in fact there is some one who knows her better than me, my Father. Yet the fact that even though I don't know everything that there is to know about my mother, and there is some one who knows her better than me, does not not negate  the fact that i still have a relationship with my mother and that I do know some things about her.
Now, let us assume that the Eastern Orthodox Churches form the true One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, Church, i.e. the Body of Christ. I do not agree with this assessment, but let us assume it for the sake of argument. Then the Eastern Orthodox would know Christ better than anyone. But just like my example above, that would not negate the fact that Protestants and Catholics would know some things about Christ which would make it possible to have a relationship with him.

Welcome Papist.

No one is doughting that you know your mother. After all you were with her for a very long time. A relationship with Christ is very different. You weren't with him during his time here. You must rely on scripture account and saints who had personal experiences with God to draw a clear picture. Ours is a spiritual account. Spirituality doesn't use just the outer senses. Spirituality unites us in thought. When even one similarity is changed the ties are broken. For instance. When you tune a TV for a clearer picture you must have all of the variables in correct alignment so the picture comes in clearly.  How can one draw a clear picture of god if the theology that clarifies the picture is tainted. After all the bible is a spiritual book. One must understand it as such. I hope this is making sense.
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« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2006, 01:00:04 PM »

<Ahh, so when medicine burns, that justifies using a knife rather than a spoon to administer it. Got ya.  Tongue>  You can't remove a melanoma with a spoon.  And to carry out necessary and accurate surgery you have to be a surgeon or atleast a member of the medical profession.   Judging the Church and her members from the outside will only result in further confusion and frustration.  And so you will  continue to buzz until you realize this.  (Reaches from fly spray but realizes that this is God's affair).
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« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2006, 01:16:28 PM »

Welcome Papist.

No one is doughting that you know your mother. After all you were with her for a very long time. A relationship with Christ is very different. You weren't with him during his time here. You must rely on scripture account and saints who had personal experiences with God to draw a clear picture. Ours is a spiritual account. Spirituality doesn't use just the outer senses. Spirituality unites us in thought. When even one similarity is changed the ties are broken. For instance. When you tune a TV for a clearer picture you must have all of the variables in correct alignment so the picture comes in clearly.  How can one draw a clear picture of god if the theology that clarifies the picture is tainted. After all the bible is a spiritual book. One must understand it as such. I hope this is making sense.
I guess that both of our posts prove that you cannot prove a point by analogy. Grin However, what leads you to believe that if one thing is incorrect in our understanding of Christ, it entirely cuts us off from a relationship with him? I would have to say that it would not, because no matter how orthodox or, in your view, Orthodox a person is, their understanding of Christ is never perfect; only the Trinity is perfect and can completely understand itself. For the rest of us, our understanding of Christ is imperfect and in need of purification. If that is the case, and what you posit is true, then no one has a relationship with Jesus. Thus, I humbly disagree that one thing being out of wack in our understanding of Christ can cut us off from him. But I can appreciate your view point. As a Catholic I once believed that no Protestants were Christian based on a similar premise to yours. Obviously my views have changed but I still understand and appreciate where you are coming from. God bless.
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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2006, 02:46:24 PM »

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...You can't remove a melanoma with a spoon...

Your switching the analogy can't save you from the fact that you don't follow your own holy book's advice to be gentle, meek, etc. when correcting and teaching. But even if we did stick with your analogy, I would only point out that you are like a person who is going to commit invasive surgery without any anaesthesia being given. The point is not that there is a problem, which seems to be where you are getting hung up. The point is the method that you use to deal with the problem. Certain protestants are often accused of beating people over the head with Bibles. But that is really just a manifestation of a larger human tendency among some: to be heavy-handed, rude, obnoxious, self-assured, etc.
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« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2006, 05:28:22 PM »

How can someone have a relationship with someone they don't know? If I (the church) set you up on a blind date and gave you a description of that person. Wouldn't you try and focus in on my description to get a taste of what your going to get? I (the church) met this person,talked with her and seen her. Would you trust me or someone that saw a highschool photo 16(00) years old?       

Funny story: I have a Protestant Pastor friend that told me he wants to go to a Orthodox church and commune. I told him no way. He said he would make believe he is Orthodox just to commune. I laughed my butt off because he knows where the real Church is.
  The problem is the Orthodox make you work. Nobody likes to work.


The Church is the Body of Lord Jesus; He is the ONLY Head.  Confusing the Church with Him is idolatry; you are equating the Church (NOT-God) with Lord Jesus (God) .  In my experience  those who worship Lord Jesus, who sincerely recieve Him as God, Lord and Saviour are minorities in every Church.  Most Orthodox are nominal or nationalists or legalists or worship an aspect of the Church rather than Trinity.  Ditto with Roman Catholics and Protestants .

I am not Orthodox becaue I'm impressed with the vast majority of Orthodox people.  I am Orthodox because Orthodox Christianity ( and I make no distinction between Greek Rite and Oriental Orthodox and very little distinction between Orthodox and Eastern-Rite Catholics, which I'm sure you'll dislike)   has preserved a clearer understanding of Christianity and has a more holistic sense of the faith in it's worship than other branches.  This is the ideal of Orthodox Christianity; it isn't what is found in most Orthodox Christians.  However, the Jesus-centered Orthodox I've met have been the deepest and most loving (holiest) people I've ever known.
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2006, 05:38:55 PM »

Wow..."Orthodox" judgementalism at its best...and its worst.
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« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2006, 05:41:40 PM »

Hey Steve, you may as well just go all the way and tell us who's in each group, since you seem to know.  Come on, share the knowledge!
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« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2006, 05:52:36 PM »

Papist,
I do not think that anyone is saying that those outside the Orthodox Church cannot know Christ.  Indeed, I would almost argue that as to be alive is to be aware of Christ, just in the fact that live and creation stem from Christ.  Of course, let's not take that too far,otherwise we would lead into herasy.  However, those outside the (Orthodox) Church, cannot know Christ in the same manner as those within.  For they are not affected the same way spiritually.  The grace of the Orthodox Church works within a member internally.  It moves his soul toward God in a unique way that is dissimilar from anything else.  Unfortunally, because the Catholic and Protestant Churches are seperated from the Orthodox, they cannot share in the internal working grace.  They can know Christ externally, but only within the true Church can a true formation be developed with Christ.  Now this is not to say the RCC or Prot. or demonic or anything, but because of views and circumstances, they no longer share in communion with what we view as the One, Apostolic and Orthodox Catholic Church.   I hope this better explains this view.
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« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2006, 05:55:15 PM »

Also, to follow that up within the Orthodox Church, you'll meet some very wicked people.  We are not immune from it.  Indeed, the closest one to God, fell and warred against the Divine.  Yet, as the saying goes, it is not the people in the Church, but the Church we follow.  Both answers are kind of awkward stated, but again I hope they help and if I have time to clarify I shall.
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« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2006, 06:27:13 PM »

Papist,
I do not think that anyone is saying that those outside the Orthodox Church cannot know Christ.  Indeed, I would almost argue that as to be alive is to be aware of Christ, just in the fact that live and creation stem from Christ.  Of course, let's not take that too far,otherwise we would lead into herasy.  However, those outside the (Orthodox) Church, cannot know Christ in the same manner as those within.  For they are not affected the same way spiritually.  The grace of the Orthodox Church works within a member internally.  It moves his soul toward God in a unique way that is dissimilar from anything else.  Unfortunally, because the Catholic and Protestant Churches are seperated from the Orthodox, they cannot share in the internal working grace.  They can know Christ externally, but only within the true Church can a true formation be developed with Christ.  Now this is not to say the RCC or Prot. or demonic or anything, but because of views and circumstances, they no longer share in communion with what we view as the One, Apostolic and Orthodox Catholic Church.   I hope this better explains this view.
Daniel
Yes, this is a very reasonable answer. I can certainly appreciate a person who is reasonable. We have a similar idea in Catholicism because we view the Catholic Church as the true Church. Thus, in our view, those outside of the Catholic Church do not have as strong a connection to Christ as those in the Church are capable of having. However, we do believe that there is SOME true formation that can happen for Protestants and Eastern Orthdox Christians, because we believe that both have valid baptisms, and that the Eastern Orthdox have valid sacraments/mysteries.
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« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2006, 09:22:18 AM »

Quote
However, we do believe that there is SOME true formation that can happen for Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Christians, because we believe that both have valid baptisms, and that the Eastern Orthodox have valid sacraments/mysteries.

How can you state that our mysteries are valid but we are not a part of the true church? Communion is just that. Communion with Christ. You may want to rethink that.
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« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2006, 10:03:02 AM »

How can you state that our mysteries are valid but we are not a part of the true church? Communion is just that. Communion with Christ. You may want to rethink that.
Well, actually, I don't think there is a problem here from a Roman Catholic point of view. Although the Orthodox Church forbids us to recieve Communion from Roman Catholics because of the schism, the Roman Catholic Church says that their Communion can be given to Orthodox Christians in some circumstances. So, from their perpective, our baptism and chrisimation are "valid" for admission to their Church, and in fact, Eastern Orthodox Christians are received into the Roman Catholic Church by making a public Profession of Faith only.
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« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2006, 10:19:50 AM »

... and in fact, Eastern Orthodox Christians are received into the Roman Catholic Church by making a public Profession of Faith only.

As many of our churches do with them coming home to us.
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« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2006, 10:32:17 AM »

[quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=9808.msg133145#msg133145 date=1156515590]
As many of our churches do with them coming home to us.
[/quote]

True, but I think there is a difference in meaning. Our reception of Roman Catholics without baptism is reception by economia . It is not a statement that their baptism is "valid". The majority of local Orthodox Churches recieve Roman Catholics by Chrisimation (even if they received this Sacrament in the Roman Catholic Church)- so clearly, RC Chrisimation (Confirmation) is not considered to be "valid" in the same sense that Roman Catholics consider our Chrisimation to be "valid". And some Orthodox Churches still receive Roman Catholics by Baptism. As I understand the difference, our reception of Roman Catholics by "economia" makes their Baptism effectual, however, the Roman Catholic Church considers our Baptism and other Sacraments to be effectual in themselves.
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« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2006, 10:40:56 AM »

OK, I can buy that reasoning.
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« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2006, 12:27:29 PM »

How can you state that our mysteries are valid but we are not a part of the true church? Communion is just that. Communion with Christ. You may want to rethink that.
I think that our diffences here come from a different ideas about the Holy Mysteries. According to Catholic theology, Mysteries/Sacraments occur ex opere operato (by the work that is worked). In other words, a sacrament requires only the proper from, matter, minister. Thus, when, in our view, the Eastern Orthodox separated from the Catholic Church, they could still celebrate the sacraments because they had the proper form (i.e. words, actions, and context for sacraments), the proper matter, (baptism= water, Eucharist= bread and wine, Chrismation/Confirmation=oil, marriage=two adult, baptized Christians one male and the other female, extreme unction/annointing of the sick=oil, Holy Orders= baptized, chrismated, adult male, penance= repentant baptized christian), and the proper ministers (baptism=a baptized Christian, Eucharist= an ordained priest with apostolic succession, penance=same as Eucharist, Exteme Unction=same as Eucharist, confirmation=usually an ordainded Bishop with apostolic succession, but sometimes a priest, marriage=priest with apostolic succesion/baptized and male and female baptized and chrismated Christian, Holy Orders= a bishop with Apostolic Succesion). Our understanding of the mysteries is Augustinian/Thomistic, in which sacraments are possible for those who separate themselves from the Church but retain form, matter, and minister. The Eastern Orthodox view is Cyprianic in that it does not necessarily accept the idea that sacraments are possible outside of the Church. Thus, some Eastern Orthodox Christians view Catholic sacraments as invalid where as Catholics accept all Orthodox sacraments as valid as well as protestant baptism done in the name of the Holy Trinity.
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« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2006, 01:24:01 PM »

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The Church is the Body of Lord Jesus; He is the ONLY Head.  Confusing the Church with Him is idolatry; you are equating the Church (NOT-God) with Lord Jesus (God) .  In my experience  those who worship Lord Jesus, who sincerely recieve Him as God, Lord and Saviour are minorities in every Church.  Most Orthodox are nominal or nationalists or legalists or worship an aspect of the Church rather than Trinity.  Ditto with Roman Catholics and Protestants .

I see that your protestant background hasn't fully left you yet. The Church my friend and fellow Orthodox parishioner is God in the form of the Holy spirit.  It's infallable and puts the doctrine of the holy trinity into full perspective. What your declaring is that we don't need a Church for our salvation.
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« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2006, 01:50:03 PM »

I see that your protestant background hasn't fully left you yet. The Church my friend and fellow Orthodox parishioner is God in the form of the Holy spirit.  It's infallable and puts the doctrine of the holy trinity into full perspective. What your declaring is that we don't need a Church for our salvation.
The Church is all believers of the TRUE faith united as the Body of Christ, His only Bride, animated and guided by the Holy Spirit, proclaiming truth infallibly. From the Catholic perspective, this includes an infallible magisterium, (the pope and all bishops in union with him) that proclaims the the truth without error in ecumenical councils or when the pope speaks ex cathedra and the faithful when the all are united in belief.
However, since this is an Orthodox forum, maybe this is completely irrelevant. LOL. Grin
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« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2006, 09:06:51 PM »

I see that your protestant background hasn't fully left you yet. The Church my friend and fellow Orthodox parishioner is God in the form of the Holy spirit.  It's infallable and puts the doctrine of the holy trinity into full perspective. What your declaring is that we don't need a Church for our salvation.

demetrios,
Actually I'm a former  Roman Catholic.

The Church is the Body of Lord Jesus; the Church is NOT God the Holy Spirit.
I don't know where you got that idea but it isn't Orthodox.  God the Holy Spirit is  called "the Soul of the Body (Church)", but He is not the Body of Jesus.

Actually we are not saved by the Church; we are saved by Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church exists to bring us to Lord Jesus and facilitate our being conformed to Him, to convey His Divine-human life to us in the Mysteries (Sacraments).

The Head is the Head; ONLY the Head (Jesus) is the Head.  The Body (Church) is the Body of the Head; He is present in the members of His Body.  Don't confuse  the Head and the Body.

Anyone who sincerely recieves Jesus as God,Lord and Saviour is a member of His Body, though the membership may be incomplete, imperfect (actually we are all incomplete, imperfect members of His Body.  Do we love God and our neighbor always ?  No.  Occassionally ?-some).  All children from conception to at least 10 are members of His Body--even without Baptism as they are sinless until the age of reason (about 7) and are not capable of deadly sin (total hatred of love) until at least 10, probably 12.

All sincere seekers of truth are members of the shadow of the Body--joined to the Body though not yet members of the Body.

God desires the salvation of all.  He doesn't hold people responsible for things they have no control over--like whether they were baptized as children or whether they had ever had the real Jesus (the real Gospel) presented to them.

There are people who choose to hate love and achieve total hatred of love; they have made themselves completely evil.  They want hell (which is hatred of Love) and they put themselves in that state.

In His Divine-Human love,
Steve

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« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2006, 12:04:22 AM »

And Steve,
Just out of curiousity what Tradition and which Church Father has taught this and others?
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« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2006, 01:09:46 PM »

And Steve,
Just out of curiousity what Tradition and which Church Father has taught this and others?

I have to say that this is an excellent question.
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« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2006, 09:58:03 AM »


Quote
The Church is the Body of Lord Jesus; the Church is NOT God the Holy Spirit.
I don't know where you got that idea but it isn't Orthodox.  God the Holy Spirit is  called "the Soul of the Body (Church)", but He is not the Body of Jesus

Orthodoxy has avoided any temptation to reduce its vision of the Church. The biblical descriptions of the Church as the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit indicate that she truly must be recognized as much more than one institution among many, or a social service agency, or as an ethnic or fraternal organization. Certainly the Church does have her institutional aspects, and she is always subject to the sins and limitations of her human members. Yet, Orthodoxy believes that in addition to her obvious human side, the Church also has a Divine dimension. The Greek word for Church, ecclesia, implies a community called and gathered by God for a special purpose. This means that the Church can be described as the unique meeting place between God and His people.

Quote
Actually we are not saved by the Church; we are saved by Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church exists to bring us to Lord Jesus and facilitate our being conformed to Him, to convey His Divine-human life to us in the Mysteries (Sacraments).

The Lord and Savior, who was known, loved, and followed by the first disciples in Galilee nearly two thousand years ago, is the same Lord and Savior who is known, loved, and followed through His Church. As Christ revealed the Holy Trinity, His Church continues to reveal the Holy Trinity and to praise God in her worship. As Christ reconciled humanity to the Father, His Church continues to be the medium of reconciliation by word and action throughout the world. As Christ manifested the vocation of authentic human life, His Church continues to be the realm through which the image and likeness of God in each of us is brought to perfection.


Quote
Anyone who sincerely recieves Jesus as God,Lord and Saviour is a member of His Body, though the membership may be incomplete, imperfect (actually we are all incomplete, imperfect members of His Body.  Do we love God and our neighbor always ?  No.  Occassionally ?-some).  All children from conception to at least 10 are members of His Body--even without Baptism as they are sinless until the age of reason (about 7) and are not capable of deadly sin (total hatred of love) until at least 10, probably 12.

The Orthodox Christian becomes united with Christ at Baptism and is nurtured by Christ at every Eucharist. We believe that the Holy Spirit acts in and through the Church to make Christ our Lord and to bring His work to fulfillment.





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