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6 years ago  ::  Feb 09, 2008 - 4:50AM #1
Basil1951
Posts: 202
I was chrismated into Orthodoxy on Great and Holy Saturday, 1998.  During my childhood my family attended Methodist and Episcopal Churches and as an adult I was an enthusiastic Anglo-Catholic Episcopalian.  I struggled with that denomination for over twenty years and realized that I could not remain there. 

I narrowed my options to Roman Catholicism or Orthodxy.  After much study, prayer, reflection, and discussion I realized that the problems I saw in Protestant denominations were also manifested in the Roman Church but not so in Orthodoxy.  At that point, my path was clear to me.

My only regret about becoming Orthodox is that I did not do so twenty years earlier,
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 09, 2008 - 5:44AM #2
kollo
Posts: 4,064
[QUOTE=Basil1951;275713]the problems I saw in Protestant denominations were also manifested in the Roman Church but not so in Orthodoxy.[/quote]
What are these problems?
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2008 - 5:23PM #3
Basil1951
Posts: 202
[QUOTE=kollo;275730]What are these problems?[/QUOTE]

To name a few --
- changing the focus of the service from God to man;
- taking positions on doctrinal or moral issues using the standards of "the world" without understanding "why" that position is beneficial or harmful;
- changing doctrinal positions as the winds of change move about society's compass;
- a meandering searching about for the Faith;
- reinterpreting Scripture to suit one's own opinion;
- retreating into a fundamentalist, literal interpretation of all the words in Scripture;
- taking the current social opinions and re-wickering one's theology to support them;
- using the swaying opinions and latest pop-fads to guide one's faith or denomination (rather than the other way around);
- a lack of understanding that the Church consists of more than just those in attendance at a particular service on a given Sunday, that the Church consists of all those who have gone before us, those with us now, and those yet to come

One can see these to varying degrees among Protestant denominations and even in some parts of the Roman Catholic Church, that is, western Christianity.  Some people will see these as good things, but if you look at the condition of mainstream Protestant denominations and even the Roman Catholic Church in some places, you can see the effect of these problems.  People are voting with their feet, attendance in some denominations has dropped dramatically.  People are wandering around looking for something that they probably cannot even define, but they know whatever it is they are looking for -- it is not where they have come from. 

The uniqueness of worship is becoming more and more blended into one's day-to-day activities.  The wonder of who God is, what his Creation is about, what our purpose is here, the wonder of the spiritual aspects of our lives, these things are all being overshadowed more and more by transient,  contemporary issues.

There, I'll get off my soapbox now.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2008 - 5:23PM #4
Basil1951
Posts: 202
[QUOTE=kollo;275730]What are these problems?[/QUOTE]

To name a few --
- changing the focus of the service from God to man;
- taking positions on doctrinal or moral issues using the standards of "the world" without understanding "why" that position is beneficial or harmful;
- changing doctrinal positions as the winds of change move about society's compass;
- a meandering searching about for the Faith;
- reinterpreting Scripture to suit one's own opinion;
- retreating into a fundamentalist, literal interpretation of all the words in Scripture;
- taking the current social opinions and re-wickering one's theology to support them;
- using the swaying opinions and latest pop-fads to guide one's faith or denomination (rather than the other way around);
- a lack of understanding that the Church consists of more than just those in attendance at a particular service on a given Sunday, that the Church consists of all those who have gone before us, those with us now, and those yet to come

One can see these to varying degrees among Protestant denominations and even in some parts of the Roman Catholic Church, that is, western Christianity.  Some people will see these as good things, but if you look at the condition of mainstream Protestant denominations and even the Roman Catholic Church in some places, you can see the effect of these problems.  People are voting with their feet, attendance in some denominations has dropped dramatically.  People are wandering around looking for something that they probably cannot even define, but they know whatever it is they are looking for -- it is not where they have come from. 

The uniqueness of worship is becoming more and more blended into one's day-to-day activities.  The wonder of who God is, what his Creation is about, what our purpose is here, the wonder of the spiritual aspects of our lives, these things are all being overshadowed more and more by transient,  contemporary issues.

There, I'll get off my soapbox now.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2008 - 9:46PM #5
kollo
Posts: 4,064
[QUOTE=Basil1951;431345]To name a few --
- changing the focus of the service from God to man;


That is not true of all Protestant denominations- and of course the Protestant position has always been that RCism and EO are profoundly humanist and heretical in their soteriology anyway- particularly the horrible and fatal 'Christus Victor' idea of EO.

- taking positions on doctrinal or moral issues using the standards of "the world" without understanding "why" that position is beneficial or harmful;


I think it's very naive to suppose that denominational leaders are unaware of what they are doing. They are highly intelligent, and very wicked, and know exactly what they are doing- just like EO leaders.

- changing doctrinal positions as the winds of change move about society's compass;


Not a single Prot denom has ever altered its statement of faith, afaik. The RCC certainly has, agreed.

- a meandering searching about for the Faith;


That's very subjective. One could say the very same about the vast numbers of EOs in Europe who are very ignorant and indeed superstitious.

- reinterpreting Scripture to suit one's own opinion;


There is nothing wrong with that, per se; it is everyone's basic human right. Show me a person who claims 'apostolic succession', I will show you a greenhorn or a liar.

- retreating into a fundamentalist, literal interpretation of all the words in Scripture;


Such a species has never been found. Nobody believe that Jesus was literally the light of the world. It seems to me that EO is at least as guilty of fundamentalism as anyone else, and more so than most Prots. (YECs are not Prots, btw.)

- taking the current social opinions and re-wickering one's theology to support them;
- using the swaying opinions and latest pop-fads to guide one's faith or denomination (rather than the other way around);


Some Prot denom leaders do this, but not all. I don't doubt that EO leadership would do likewise in the same situation- and as Eastern Europe becomes more affluent, and more materialist, it will.

- a lack of understanding that the Church consists of more than just those in attendance at a particular service on a given Sunday, that the Church consists of all those who have gone before us, those with us now, and those yet to come


I don't agree. It's just that Prots don't agree that those gone before have any bearing on the present, as Scripture attests. And trying to contact the dead can have only detrimental effects.

One can see these to varying degrees among Protestant denominations and even in some parts of the Roman Catholic Church, that is, western Christianity.  Some people will see these as good things, but if you look at the condition of mainstream Protestant denominations and even the Roman Catholic Church in some places, you can see the effect of these problems.  People are voting with their feet, attendance in some denominations has dropped dramatically.


Is that a bad thing? That seems to me to be a very good thing. The 98% EO popn. of Greece seems to me to be the strongest possible indictment of EO.

People are wandering around looking for something that they probably cannot even define, but they know whatever it is they are looking for -- it is not where they have come from. 


But then most Protestants have left the denoms. They meet in house churches or independents. If one picks the right one, one will get no focus on humanism, no compromise with the world, none of the problems you have outlined. And such people would not even dream of attending an EO service for inspiration. EO is just another dead denom.

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6 years ago  ::  Apr 26, 2008 - 3:41PM #6
Campbellite
Posts: 2,068
[QUOTE=kollo;442093]That is not true of all Protestant denominations- and of course the Protestant position has always been that RCism and EO are profoundly humanist and heretical in their soteriology anyway- particularly the horrible and fatal 'Christus Victor' idea of EO.

Um... no. The Protestant position is and always has been that the Roman Catholic Church was in dire need of Reformation. There is a deeply held understanding that the Western Church lost its way and needed to get back to the basics. On this point, the Protestant Reformers were not so far removed from the Eastern Orthodox.

I think it's very naive to suppose that denominational leaders are unaware of what they are doing. They are highly intelligent, and very wicked, and know exactly what they are doing- just like EO leaders.

I don't know about the denominational leaders you know, but of the hundreds I have met, of many differing denominations, I would never say that of any of them. They are, without exception, genuinely seeking to do the right things and lead the Church as best they understand our Lord's leading. Do they all agree? Not for one minute. But I have no doubts about their sincerety and genuine faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Not a single Prot denom has ever altered its statement of faith, afaik. The RCC certainly has, agreed.

apart from the infamous filioque clause, I am at a loss for anything the RCC has changed. (That's a debate in its own right.) As for us error ridden protestants, we have more "statements of faith" than you can shake a stick at. Are they all expressions of the same faith? I would hope so. But I cannot say that I agree with all of them. (If Calvin is right, we're all screwed!)

vast numbers of EOs in Europe who are very ignorant and indeed superstitious.

Just like vast numbers of American Evangelicals.

There is nothing wrong with that, per se; it is everyone's basic human right. Show me a person who claims 'apostolic succession', I will show you a greenhorn or a liar.

Or someone who actually knows what the heck s/he is talking about.

It seems to me that EO is at least as guilty of fundamentalism as anyone else, and more so than most Prots.

EO guilty of fundamentalism? There's a news flash.

(YECs are not Prots, btw.)

What would you call them then?

Prots don't agree that those gone before have any bearing on the present, as Scripture attests. And trying to contact the dead can have only detrimental effects.

Methinks you have attended too many seances. That is hardly what the veneration of the saints is about.

But then most Protestants have left the denoms.

Only in your wild imaginings. Even Jerry Falwell ended up joining the SBC.

They meet in house churches or independents. If one picks the right one, one will get no focus on humanism, no compromise with the world, none of the problems you have outlined.

No, they have their own laundry list of problems. Speaking of laundry, I need to go put some things in the drier.

And such people would not even dream of attending an EO service for inspiration.

Thank God for small favors.

EO is just another dead denom.[/QUOTE]And how many times do our EO brethren and sistren have to say, "We are not a denomination"? :P About as many times as the a capella churches of Christ, I would imagine.

You are unique.
Just like everybody else.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 27, 2008 - 5:02AM #7
Basil1951
Posts: 202
Kollo,

"Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life."

Today is Pascha, here are St. John Chrysostom's words.


If any man be devout and loveth God,
Let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast!
If any man be a wise servant,
Let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord.

If any have laboured long in fasting,
Let him how receive his recompense.
If any have wrought from the first hour,
Let him today receive his just reward.
If any have come at the third hour,
Let him with thankfulness keep the feast.
If any have arrived at the sixth hour,
Let him have no misgivings;
Because he shall in nowise be deprived therefore.
If any have delayed until the ninth hour,
Let him draw near, fearing nothing.
And if any have tarried even until the eleventh hour,
Let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness.


For the Lord, who is jealous of his honour,
Will accept the last even as the first.
He giveth rest unto him who cometh at the eleventh hour,
Even as unto him who hath wrought from the first hour.
And He showeth mercy upon the last,
And careth for the first;
And to the one He giveth,
And upon the other He bestoweth gifts.
And He both accepteth the deeds,
And welcometh the intention,
And honoureth the acts and praises the offering.

Wherefore, enter ye all into the joy of your Lord;
Receive your reward,
Both the first, and likewise the second.
You rich and poor together, hold high festival!
You sober and you heedless, honour the day!
Rejoice today, both you who have fasted
And you who have disregarded the fast.
The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously.
The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.
Enjoy ye all the feast of faith:
Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness.

Let no one bewail his poverty,
For the universal Kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one weep for his iniquities,
For pardon has shown forth from the grave.
Let no one fear death,
For the Saviour's death has set us free.
He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it.


By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive.
He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh.
And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry:
Hell, said he, was embittered
When it encountered Thee in the lower regions.

It was embittered, for it was abolished.
It was embittered, for it was mocked.
It was embittered, for it was slain.
It was embittered, for it was overthrown.
It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains.
It took a body, and met God face to face.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is thy sting?
O Hell, where is thy victory?


Christ is risen, and thou art overthrown!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.
For Christ, being risen from the dead,
Is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be glory and dominion
Unto ages of ages.

Amen.

Have a blessed day.

Basil

"Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life."
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 27, 2008 - 6:55AM #8
kollo
Posts: 4,064
[QUOTE=Basil1951;459666]Kollo,

Today is Pascha[/quote]
When I say so, you can say so. And not a moment before.

And it will not be in any debate thread, anyway- the above comment and post are totally disqualified, and indeed uncivil, in the circumstance. It is apparently an attempt to offensively evade a subject the poster finds difficult to answer. A blatant one, moreover.

There does not appear to be any good reason for anyone to leave Protestantism in favor of an Orthodox organisation- or any other organisation, for that matter. If one wants soteriology rooted firmly in the OT and apostolic teaching, ecclesial polity firmly rooted in the OT and apostolic teaching, absence of disqualifying false claims for 'succession', faith that makes a genuine improvement to people's behavior, then there is only one option. Not all that calls itself Protestant is fully Protestant, of course, and a certain degree of compromise may be thought acceptable when deciding upon a particular Protestant 'flavor'. But the growing number of house groups and independents makes compromise increasingly unnecessary- and the option to start one's own local fellowship, in full accordance with NT and OT precepts and precedence, is always a possibility.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2008 - 9:07PM #9
SeraphimR
Posts: 8,251
I have never felt the presence of God in any Protestant church.

I do feel it in an Orthodox Church.

That's enough reason, for me.
The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 29, 2008 - 4:05AM #10
kollo
Posts: 4,064
[QUOTE=SeraphimR;463351]I have never felt the presence of God in any Protestant church.

I do feel it in an Orthodox Church.

That's enough reason, for me.[/QUOTE]
Someone else could write that only in Prot churches of the born again has he found the presence of God, and that, in his experience, EO churches are creepy, and even Satanic. Where would that get us? What reason do we have for believing anything that people write from alleged personal experience?

It may be that the poster has ever been in only one Prot church, and that was as dead as the dodo. It may be that he has never been in a Prot church. It may be that the very opposite is the truth, and he is one of thousands who run from the evangelical gospel to shelter in religosity. It may be that he is telling the perfect truth- but we have no way of knowing, any more than we have of knowing that a person who writes that he feels that EOC services are creepy is telling the truth. It may be that such a person is telling the truth as he perceives it, but has inverted spiritual sensibilities. The same may apply to the person who takes the opposite position, of course. After all, Paul wrote that one man's sweet aroma is another's foul stench.

In debate, data is permissible if it is reasonably checkable. It's not even possible to check the above submission. The very fact that uncheckable 'evidence' for a position is offered puts that position in doubt, because those who have facts, share them. It also gives away a willingness to accept hearsay evidence, which opens the door to anything at all. Those with valid evidence don't come up with subjective notions; they don't attempt to browbeat with absurd circularities, either. At least the above is not that farcical and offensive.
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