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Author Topic: Converting from Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy  (Read 2462 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 12, 2006, 06:59:57 PM »

Since the Eastern Orthodox believe that their Church is the true Church, do Eastern Orthodox Christians believe it is important to evangelize the non-Eastern Orthodox. For example, is it important for the Eastern Orthodox to try and convert a Catholic since they believe that Catholics do not have the true faith?
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2006, 07:14:04 PM »

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do Eastern Orthodox Christians believe it is important to evangelize the non-Eastern Orthodox.

No.
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2006, 07:21:53 PM »

No.
Why not? This seems like such an alien idea to me since Christ said to preach the gospel to all nations.
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2006, 07:31:35 PM »

Why not? This seems like such an alien idea to me since Christ said to preach the gospel to all nations.

But the "No." wasn't necessarily for the way you may have intended your question to be asked. Wink
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2006, 07:56:01 PM »

Nektarios is referring to the sad fact that most Eastern Orthodox do not try to convert non-Orthodox. However, of course our faith teaches that we should convert everyone and it i my desire that each and every non-Orthodox person be baptized into the Orthodox faith and experience enlightenment.  That many Orthodox do not do this simply reveals that they do not take Christ's command seriously.

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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2006, 07:57:36 PM »

Evangelism is a loaded term.
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2006, 08:43:59 PM »

Nektarios is referring to the sad fact that most Eastern Orthodox do not try to convert non-Orthodox. However, of course our faith teaches that we should convert everyone and it i my desire that each and every non-Orthodox person be baptized into the Orthodox faith and experience enlightenment.  That many Orthodox do not do this simply reveals that they do not take Christ's command seriously.

Anastasios
Sounds good to me. Thanks for the reply.
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2006, 08:44:21 PM »

Evangelism is a loaded term.
I did not intend it to be loaded.
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2006, 09:04:07 PM »

It's loaded because it is so subjective.
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2006, 09:16:49 PM »

Actually this is a very interesting topic as worded by Papist. I have asked it to both my Carpatho-Russian and Greek Orthodox priests and gotten two different answers.
CR says evangelize all those who have fallen away from their own church (especially Roman Catholics).
Greek one - evangelize everyone regardless.
The compromise I have worked out for me is: First attempt to bring them back to their church, listen to objections, introduce Orthodoxy (simplified version). It works.
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2006, 09:42:32 PM »

Actually this is a very interesting topic as worded by Papist. I have asked it to both my Carpatho-Russian and Greek Orthodox priests and gotten two different answers.
CR says evangelize all those who have fallen away from their own church (especially Roman Catholics).
Greek one - evangelize everyone regardless.
The compromise I have worked out for me is: First attempt to bring them back to their church, listen to objections, introduce Orthodoxy (simplified version). It works.
Interesting approach. Please correct me if I am wrong. But don't the Eastern Orthodox believe that non-Orthodox Churches are devoid of grace? Perhaps I misunderstand but that is what I thought they believed about Catholics, for example. If this is true do you believe there is value in bringing a fallen away Catholic back to the Catholic Church? For the purposes of this post, by Catholic, I am refering to the Churches in union with Rome, just to clarify my terms.
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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2006, 09:44:21 PM »

It's loaded because it is so subjective.
I see. How do you think different people view the term "Evangelize" and how do you view the term?
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« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2006, 09:54:53 PM »

Interesting approach. Please correct me if I am wrong. But don't the Eastern Orthodox believe that non-Orthodox Churches are devoid of grace? Perhaps I misunderstand but that is what I thought they believed about Catholics, for example. If this is true do you believe there is value in bringing a fallen away Catholic back to the Catholic Church? For the purposes of this post, by Catholic, I am refering to the Churches in union with Rome, just to clarify my terms.

In terms of defined doctrine they have no position on other churches' sacraments yea or nay. They simply affirm that their own sacraments have grace. In terms of opinion and in practice some mirror Rome's recognition of their sacraments; others don't. Both are Orthodox.

I understand even the strictest ones won't deny that God can work through another church's sacraments but they can't and won't say they're exactly the same as Orthodox sacraments.
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« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2006, 09:56:11 PM »

In terms of defined doctrine they have no position on other churches' sacraments yea or nay. They simply affirm that their own sacraments have grace. In terms of opinion and in practice some mirror Rome's recognition of their sacraments; others don't. Both are Orthodox.

I understand even the strictest ones won't deny that God can work through another church's sacraments but they can't and won't say they're exactly the same as Orthodox sacraments.
Ok. sounds like an interesting and honest opinion. Thank you.

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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2006, 10:11:25 PM »

Interesting approach. Please correct me if I am wrong. But don't the Eastern Orthodox believe that non-Orthodox Churches are devoid of grace? Perhaps I misunderstand but that is what I thought they believed about Catholics, for example. If this is true do you believe there is value in bringing a fallen away Catholic back to the Catholic Church? For the purposes of this post, by Catholic, I am refering to the Churches in union with Rome, just to clarify my terms.

Good follow-up question. And, no, I do not believe you are mistaken - but there just seems to be no clear direction on this issue. Bear in mind that until fairly recently (relatively speaking) the Orthodox Catholic Church < Wink> in its native areas did not really have to deal with a lot of heterodox churches, or at least not to the degree today here and in western Europe. So attitudes may be changing.
I recall my mother teaching me that we do not "sheep steal" and to evangelize by our example as Christians those who already consider themselves as Christian, but not Orthodox.
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« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2006, 10:15:14 PM »

Good follow-up question. And, no, I do not believe you are mistaken - but there just seems to be no clear direction on this issue. Bear in mind that until fairly recently (relatively speaking) the Orthodox Catholic Church < Wink> in its native areas did not really have to deal with a lot of heterodox churches, or at least not to the degree today here and in western Europe. So attitudes may be changing.
I recall my mother teaching me that we do not "sheep steal" and to evangelize by our example as Christians those who already consider themselves as Christian, but not Orthodox.
Ok. I see that there is not a 100% definite answer to the question. I can respect that. We in the orthodox Catholic Church ( Wink notice the lower case 'o' in orthdox, I am just playing now) tend to want to define all these things. I can understand that those of you in the Orthodox Catholic Church may not want to.
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« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2006, 10:21:41 PM »

Basically my take on it is ultimatly we don't know where grace is in the end.  Although, I believe it ultimatly is in the Orthodox Catholic Church, I for one am not about to put a limit on God's mercy.  He can save whom he please
That said, I believe that we do have an aim to evangelise all nations.  However, I don't do this by standing on the subway shouting for repentence.  Rather, I try to evangelise by living a Christian life, speaking positivily of the Orthodox Church and helping other people learn more about her, taking people to services.  It often tends to be more effective imho.
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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2006, 10:32:07 PM »

.... I can understand that those of you in the Orthodox Catholic Church may not want to.

Perhaps, but usually it is not 'want' but 'need' as the critierion.
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« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2006, 08:59:56 AM »

Basically my take on it is ultimatly we don't know where grace is in the end.  Although, I believe it ultimatly is in the Orthodox Catholic Church, I for one am not about to put a limit on God's mercy.  He can save whom he please
That said, I believe that we do have an aim to evangelise all nations.  However, I don't do this by standing on the subway shouting for repentence.  Rather, I try to evangelise by living a Christian life, speaking positivily of the Orthodox Church and helping other people learn more about her, taking people to services.  It often tends to be more effective imho.

That does seem to be what St. Paul state in his letter to the Romans isn't it?
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« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2006, 10:04:49 AM »

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How do you think different people view the term "Evangelize" and how do you view the term?

One good example is the witness of St. Seraphim of Sarov, who in essence said that through acquiring the Holy Spirit to oneself, you could then in turn transform and reach others around you.  That is very different from what we typically think of as “evangelization”.  I think people in general tend now to be swayed more by example than they do by words as well. 

I think of the services of the church as a banquet that all are invited to, similar to the parable of Luke 14.  It is there that the visible and invisible meet, so I think when we evangelize we should strive to bring people in contact with this feast, and that this is our greatest tool for reaching others.  There are various ideas about how to do this, and about how to make those who are not Orthodox feel welcome when they arrive.
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« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2006, 12:08:10 PM »

One good example is the witness of St. Seraphim of Sarov, who in essence said that through acquiring the Holy Spirit to oneself, you could then in turn transform and reach others around you.  That is very different from what we typically think of as “evangelization”.  I think people in general tend now to be swayed more by example than they do by words as well. 

I think of the services of the church as a banquet that all are invited to, similar to the parable of Luke 14.  It is there that the visible and invisible meet, so I think when we evangelize we should strive to bring people in contact with this feast, and that this is our greatest tool for reaching others.  There are various ideas about how to do this, and about how to make those who are not Orthodox feel welcome when they arrive.

As St. Francis says, "Preach the Gospel always. If necessary use words."  Cheesy
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