True2Ourselves
Already a member? login
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
  
+
Register FAQ A-Z directory Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Theology  > Orthodox Christianity

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-07-2009, 04:37 PM
Linsinbigler's Avatar
Representative Clergy
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 5,150
Default Orthodox Christianity

In the last Christian forum meeting, many things were discussed. One part of the discussion that came about began with the comment: “No offence, Father, but few people in America have even heard of Orthodoxy.” Another comment by one of our ministers followed: “even though it is the second largest Christian body in the world" and another comment "and one of the three main types of Christianity.” More discussion ensued, and the main point that these wonderful men of good will who I meet with in the Christian forum was that in dialogue, it is important for people to realize that there is not just “Protestant” and “Catholic,” but also that there is “Orthodox,” a third perspective that was never tied up in the “Reformation” or “Counter-reformation” so to speak, and that it is my job to make it known. So, I am doing so here. For those unaware of what I am referring to, here is an encyclopedia definition of the Orthodox Church:

"official name Orthodox Catholic Church one of the three major doctrinal and jurisdictional groups of Christianity. It is characterized by its continuity with the apostolic church, its liturgy...and has a worship service that is theologically and spiritually rich" (Eastern Orthodoxy (Christianity) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia).

Orthodox Christianity is neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant. It is not a denomination. Denominations came in the protestant reformation, and have been multiplying ever since. I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR that the ONLY ONE OF THE THREE FORMS OF CHRISTIANITY, the youngest form, Protestantism, has produced “denominations.” Neither Orthodoxy nor Roman Catholicism are “denominations,” in that this was something that did not exist before the protestant reformation. Some of you judge Roman Catholicism based on a preconceived caricature of it and have never set foot inside a Roman Catholic Church (others of you left, and of course, I am not referring to you). But most of you, as already mentioned, have not, before this forum, even heard of Orthodoxy, nor did you know that it was distinct from both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.
It should be said that the following writing of Timothy Ware may not be as applicable as it once was, in that Roman Catholicism is in the process of rediscovering its ancient eastern roots, and the dialogue between Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity has drawn closer. Nonetheless, it gives the view that Orthodoxy had for centuries on the “Protestant-Catholic” debates:

“‘All Protestants are Crypto-Papists,’ wrote the Russian theologian Alexis Khomiakov to an English friend in the year 1846. ‘. . .To use the concise language of algebra, all the West knows but one datum a; whether it be preceded by the positive sign +, as with the Romanists, or with the negative sign -, as with the Protestants, the a remains the same. Now a passage to Orthodoxy seems indeed like an apostasy from the past, from its science, creed, and life. It is rushing into a new and unknown world.’ Khomiakov, when he spoke of the datum a, had in mind the fact that western Christians, whether Free Churchmen, Anglicans, or Roman Catholics, have a common background in the past. All alike (although they may not always care to admit it) have been profoundly influenced by the same events: by the Papal centralization and the Scholasticism of the Middle Ages, by the Renaissance, by the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. But behind members of the Orthodox Church—Greeks, Russians, and the rest—there lies a very different background. They have known no Middle Ages (in the western sense) and have undergone no Reformations or Counter-Reformations. ; that have only been affected in an oblique way by the cultural and religious upheaval which transformed western Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Christians in the west, both Roman and Reformed, generally start by asking the same questions, although they may disagree about the answers. In Orthodoxy, however, it is not merely the answers that are different—the questions themselves are not the same as in the west. Orthodox see history in another perspective. Consider, for example, the Orthodox attitude toward western religious disputes. In the West it is usual to think of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism as opposite extremes; but to an Orthodox they appear as two sides of the same coin.” (Ware, The Orthodox Church, p. 2).

Again, this statement of Khomiakov is certainly less applicable today, as T. Ware later points out that Orthodoxy has in the recent past (first part of the 20th century) had a very cordial relationship with traditional Anglicanism, and also has, in the even more recent past, found very much common ground with Roman Catholicism, and the two have drawn especially close in the past few decades as Roman Catholicism has been rediscovering both its ancient roots in the east and west, and the two have been in a very cordial and open dialogue, discovering less differences in thinking than what has been previously thought. Nonetheless, Orthodoxy also sympathizes with the Protestant reformation on a few points. Much of the Reformation came about because of innovations of the Roman Church such as indulgences, the “temporal fires” of purgatory, limbo, papal infallibility, the de-emphasis on Scripture (for a time, but NOT applicable today) etc. [note, to be fair, from the Orth. point of view they are innovations, from the Roman Catholic point of view they are doctrinal developments]. However, also to be fair, we must acknowledge that Rome also has some of the same sympathies for the past.

But once again we return to a difference on approach. Although Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism have much in common, from an Orthodox perspective, Protestantism and Roman Catholicism have far more in common with each other than what they think. The very thing that Orthodoxy finds objectionable to the “new dogma” of the “immaculate conception” is the only thing that Protestants would agree with about the dogma: Original Sin. For the Christian East, original sin has never been about a transferred “guilt” of Adam, but rather about a transferred corruption and death of the sin of Adam. From the Orthodox point of view, a baby is not guilty of Adam’s sin, but does inherit the “original” or “ancestral” sin, that is, death and corruption, and thus a tendency toward personal sin. The Creed of Nicea-Constantinople speaks of “one baptism for the remission of sins.” For Orthodox, there is a clear distinction between forgiveness and remission. The inherited ancestral sin requires remission (such as the remission of cancer), whereas personal sin requires both forgiveness and remission; forgiveness is found in repentance, remission in union with God.

I myself have made a long journey, but one that brought me full circle. I believe that we must take a deeper look to be able to find ourselves in a place of reversing the divisions. I therefore urge all of you who despise denominationalism, and have only known protestantism or groups with a post reformation history (historically speaking) to take a closer look, without the prejudices of the past, without your “baggage” of preconceived notions or emotions against what you heretofore understood as “church,” to look at those other two forms of Christianity that predate denominationalism: Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism. I, of course, believe firmly in Orthodoxy, but I also find it to be good to be knowledgeable about the whole picture of Christianity and Christian history, about the good things not only of Orthodoxy but also of Roman Catholicism that perhaps you did not know, and to make an informed decision about where one is rather than just being complacently ignorant of the possible road that the Lord has set before you. I also believe that that gaps of the past are closing between the two, in that we are learning to see more of each other in each other.

In order to reverse the divisions of the past, we have to not look at creating a new thing, but on getting back to the well-founded thing that existed right from the beginning. The only way to do that is to look honestly at the newly created doctrines of the past several centuries invented by individuals that have resulted in yet further denominationalist divisions and individualist separations; to look at some of the valid things said by some, but to reject the innovated garbage which sounds nice but distracts us from the otherwise true teachings that many now misunderstand (or reject under false pretenses or misunderstandings), that were held by the undivided Church in the first millennium. For those of you who find yourselves rebels to the end, although you may be nice people, this may not be the website for you. You have considered the “what if those are wrong.” But I ask you to ask yourselves, “what if one of these are right? What am I doing about it?”

Last edited by Linsinbigler : 07-17-2009 at 06:12 PM.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-07-2009, 04:52 PM
CatholicCrusader
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Orthodox Christianity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linsinbigler View Post
.....it is important for people to realize that there is not just “Protestant” and “Catholic,” but also that there is “Orthodox,” a third perspective that was never tied up in the “Reformation” or “Counter-reformation” so to speak.....
Thats an American problem for sure. America was founded by the Catholic Spaniards in the West and the English protestants in the East. Orthodoxy is not prevelant in the American conscience. Most Americans just see it as a two-sided affair.

As a Catholic, I am happy to say that we are far, far closer to you than protestantism is. So keep spreading the info father, I agree with MOST of it.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-07-2009, 05:51 PM
Soulheart3's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,999
Default Re: Orthodox Christianity

Thanks for the informative post father. I know that I like many didnt know the differences or the similarites and knowing more of other faiths helps lessen ignorance and the falsehoods that arise due to ignorance.

-Brad
__________________
Knowledge and Wisdom are both good and worth finding, but they also have truly bad downsides, just study the life of Solomon to see the truth of this. Love does not puff up. Perfect Love drives out pride. Faith, Hope, and Love are the greatest of all things we can strive for, and the greatest of these are Love. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean NOT on your own understanding. In all your ways aknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-07-2009, 05:54 PM
CatholicCrusader
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Orthodox Christianity

This is from Wikipedia. Although I don't think it is 100% accurate, it still gives people an idea of the makeup of Christianity:

Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-07-2009, 07:50 PM
MMari
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Orthodox Christianity

Thanks CC that's neat!
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-07-2009, 08:43 PM
christkid777's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,081
Default Re: Orthodox Christianity

Quote:
In order to reverse the divisions of the past, we have to not look at creating a new thing, but on getting back to the well-founded thing that existed right from the beginning. The only way to do that is to look honestly at the newly created doctrines of the past several centuries invented by individuals, to look at some of the valid things said by some, but to reject the innovated garbage which sounds nice but distracts us from the otherwise true teachings that many now misunderstand (or reject under false pretenses or misunderstandings), that were held by the undivided Church in the first millennium. LB


I think you have taken on an incredible task, to re evaluate the 2000 year old path to the present condition with an eye towards correcting the perceived errors? Have you actually considered what it will take to bring this into reality? The many obvious questions beg to be asked but I won't ask them. This will be more difficult than jacking up New York city with it's suburbs and putting in new foundations. And you think you are busy now!! However, my prayers are with you all.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-07-2009, 11:02 PM
SeraphimH
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Orthodox Christianity

Excellent post Father!
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-08-2009, 09:33 AM
RollingThunder
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Orthodox Christianity

Sticky Status
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-08-2009, 09:43 AM
CatholicCrusader
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Orthodox Christianity

Obviously there are things that I very much agree with in the OP, and things that I very much disagree with.

But one thing about the EOs that has always troubled me is their division by nationalities. You have the Russian Orthodox church, the Greek Orthodox church, the Lativian Orthodox church, etc. etc. This sort of stands in opposition to what I believe should be the universal nature of Christ's Church. The Church should transcend such artificial, nationalistic, man-made boundries. One thing about the Catholic Church: No matter where you are, the Mass is the Mass. And the Church has one language, Latin (even though the Mass is spoken in various languages around the world). It would seem odd to my ears if we were called the American Catholic Church here in the U.S.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-08-2009, 10:01 AM
RollingThunder
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Orthodox Christianity

I briefly mentioned how I came to Orthodox in another thread, not much detail, but perhaps when I get time I can share it.

Anyway, CC you're correct I think. It's "Western" thing. To a large degree, I believe Americans see Orthodoxy preceded by Greek, Russian, Eastern, Australian, Serbian, Ukrainian, ect...which can portray to many as ethnic churches. I was asked by one of my employees who is Western Catholic, "so you can go to a Greek church even if you're not Greek? Do they mind?" I had to laugh when she asked this. She's one the first of her family to be born in the US, Italians. So it's not only an American issue. The point is, since Orthodox is generally preceded by something else, it's often seen as ethnic, hence most don't look into it.

God Bless
Shannon
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What is Christianity? Linsinbigler Theology 111 11-14-2010 07:22 PM
Christianity or the RCC danp Theology 0 07-02-2009 07:18 PM
Faith Is Not All You Need In Christianity DanielSlack Theology 5 05-25-2009 11:03 AM
Christianity & the OIC QuikstepnGrl Christianity & Politics 2 03-25-2009 10:30 PM
Three levels of Christianity. diebamted21 General Discussions 0 03-17-2009 03:03 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:51 AM.


true2ourselves
 
 
 

Flashcoms

You need to upgrade your Flash Player.

Version 8 or higher is required.

download from http://www.adobe.com/go/getflashplayer

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29