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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:03 pm 
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Vadim wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
Both yours and Vadim's qualifiers ignore the 140 million Christians in China in house churches which was the focus of one of my original entries in this discussion.... as well as all those who have reported that Jesus appeared to them and told them that he is God but said nothing about religion.
Vadim wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
Both yours and Vadim's qualifiers ignore the 140 million Christians in China in house churches which was the focus of one of my original entries in this discussion.... as well as all those who have reported that Jesus appeared to them and told them that he is God but said nothing about religion.



EtcumSpiri22-0, there are many examples of mass conversions from something that was being started in a way like house churches were being started (that is to say, from something that was being started without any help of "official" Churches) into Orthodoxy. For example, in Guatemala...



I'm sure what you describe has all taken place. Experiences specific to Orthodoxy are not reported as the general rule in any of the situations I referred to.

As was discussed earlier the house church model is specifically designed to elimimate growth into large institutions and contain/ limit the problems inherent in that system as listed above.

The us/them atmosphere doesnt seem to matter to people in the house church community as it does in institutional religion. They simply are looking to follow Jesus in spirit and truth and protect their loved ones.
The reason I mentioned the alternative of house churches is because it is expanding as a viable alternative to large institutional churches, as people look for ways to protect their families from the problems you originally posted. ...as well as for a number of reasons I listed. I am not trying to defend their Christianity vs yours or anyone else in the discussion.


Last edited by EtcumSpiri22-0 on Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:09 pm 
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EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
The us/them atmosphere doesn't seem to matter to people in the house church community as it does in institutional religion. They simply are looking to follow Jesus in spirit and truth and protect their loved ones.
The reason I mentioned the alternative of house churches is because it is expanding as a viable alternative to large institutional churches, as people look for ways to protect their families from the problems you originally posted. ...as well as for a number of reasons I listed. I am not trying to defend their Christianity vs yours or anyone else in the discussion.



And what of the fact that Jesus Christ founded a Church? He told us that he founded a Church, and if he founded a Church, then he expects people to belong to it.

Christ didn't found a Church only to turn around and declare 'but it doesn't really matter whether or not you belong to it', Christ did not waste his time doing things that aren't important.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:18 pm 
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Doom wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
The us/them atmosphere doesn't seem to matter to people in the house church community as it does in institutional religion. They simply are looking to follow Jesus in spirit and truth and protect their loved ones.
The reason I mentioned the alternative of house churches is because it is expanding as a viable alternative to large institutional churches, as people look for ways to protect their families from the problems you originally posted. ...as well as for a number of reasons I listed. I am not trying to defend their Christianity vs yours or anyone else in the discussion.



And what of the fact that Jesus Christ founded a Church? He told us that he founded a Church, and if he founded a Church, then he expects people to belong to it.

Christ didn't found a Church only to turn around and declare 'but it doesn't really matter whether or not you belong to it', Christ did not waste his time doing things that aren't important.


That is a different discussion.
I am simply adding to the discussion the fact that large numbers of people are also choosing door#C ;) ... protecting their families from the weakness of large institutions.... illustrated by recent history.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:39 pm 
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Doom wrote:
And what of the fact that Jesus Christ founded a Church? He told us that he founded a Church, and if he founded a Church, then he expects people to belong to it.

Christ didn't found a Church only to turn around and declare 'but it doesn't really matter whether or not you belong to it', Christ did not waste his time doing things that aren't important.

What about it? They obviously interpret that verse differently than you and your church do. If they interpreted and applied it the same as you, they'd be Catholic (or perhaps Orthodox). But they don't, so . . . so what? You really want to get into an argument about what the text says? It wouldn't take very long to find places where your church just ignores that. Oh wait, you say that they don't, that we're interpreting it incorrectly. And so we're right back to square one. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:50 pm 
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Doom wrote:
The Orthodox are not our enemies. Orthodox theology is entirely consistent with Catholicism, and the Orthodox Churches are apostolic Churches with apostolic succession and valid sacraments. The Orthodox are the 'other lung' of the One, Holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.


Just piggybacking on something TheJack said earlier. It's getting tougher and tougher to discern what "Orthodox theology" is. It might be better to say "Eastern theology." These days, you can't generalize on this sort of thing without over generalizing.

Generally speaking...


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:28 pm 
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EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
House Churches have nothing to do with Protestantism. People in the US in house churches have rejected all forms of institutional religion because of all the reasons I listed above. You're changing the subject to Catholic dogma/ tradition , which is the default :) , in the face of their desire to protect their families and insure accountability. It makes no sense to them.
and...
Both yours and Vadim's qualifiers ignore the 140 million Christians in China in house churches which was the focus of one of my original entries in this discussion.... as well as all those who have reported that Jesus appeared to them and told them that he is God but said nothing about religion.


In my mind the subject is the Eucharist. I certainly do believe the mass of conversions among the Chinease to Non-Catholic Christianity is the work of God, but it is only the beginning.

Also, I apologize for getting a bit ranty in my last post. In rereading it I also realized I heavily implied that this smothering of the Eucharist was due to Non-Catholic Christians, I didn't mean to do that as I believe it is mostly done by Catholics themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:37 pm 
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theJack wrote:
Vadim wrote:
The Orthodox Church is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Catholic Church does not have a leading person (but she does have an administration and an apostolic succession); unlike Protestant churches, she preserves oneness. How is it possible?

I appreciate the explanation, Vadim. Entirely unnecessary as I have a good grasp on Orthodoxy, but appreciated all the same.


Sorry for double post.

How do you know have a good grasp of Orthodoxy?

EDIT: Not just Orthodox ecclesiology, which can be learned through study, but Orthodoxy as a whole?


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:19 am 
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Vadim,

Jesus chose Judas to be one of His apostles. Judas committed serious sin by betraying Jesus. So in your opinion do you consider that Jesus's ministry was not a "good tree " since it produced the evil fruit that Judas was?"


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:39 am 
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Doom wrote:
The Orthodox are not our enemies. Orthodox theology is entirely consistent with Catholicism, and the Orthodox Churches are apostolic Churches with apostolic succession and valid sacraments. The Orthodox are the 'other lung' of the One, Holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

:shock: Sources for the underlined?


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:50 am 
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I agree that reconciling Orthodox theology presents challenges, particularly with respect to the Filioque, the role of the Pope, purgatory, and the Immaculate Conception; I can think of other issues, but those are enough to make the point.

The second portion comes from St. JP II, but I think he was speaking of the way things ought to be--that the schism has deprived the Church of one of its lungs.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:13 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I agree that reconciling Orthodox theology presents challenges, particularly with respect to the Filioque, the role of the Pope, purgatory, and the Immaculate Conception; I can think of other issues, but those are enough to make the point.



Your list is a list of a bunch of stuff that the East never had any real problem with until they needed an excuse to justify not reconciling with Rome. The east never had a problem with the idea of the sinlessness of Mary, or her Assumption, until the moment that the Pope defined these ideas as dogma, and then suddenly Orthodox theologians started to reject them, not because they have a meaningful disagreement, but simply out of a reflexive anti-Papal feeling. As Hal Jordan has already joked, if the Pope were to issue a dogmatic definition reaffirming the decrees of the Councils of Nicea, Constantinople, and Ephesus, many Orthodox theologians would immediately condemn these councils as heretical.



The issue of the filioque, in particular, is an absurd dispute no matter how you look at it. Western theology is commonly mocked as being about trivialities like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but this is actually one of those issues where that particular jape actually applies better to eastern theology than to western theology. Orthodox theologians can tell themselves as much as they like that their ostensible reasons for rejecting the filioque are meaningful and substantive and that they are trying to make a distinction that matter, but they fool no one but themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:03 am 
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Nathan M. wrote:
theJack wrote:
Vadim wrote:
The Orthodox Church is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Catholic Church does not have a leading person (but she does have an administration and an apostolic succession); unlike Protestant churches, she preserves oneness. How is it possible?

I appreciate the explanation, Vadim. Entirely unnecessary as I have a good grasp on Orthodoxy, but appreciated all the same.


Sorry for double post.

How do you know have a good grasp of Orthodoxy?

EDIT: Not just Orthodox ecclesiology, which can be learned through study, but Orthodoxy as a whole?

Because the man who hired me at my current job is an Orthodox priest, and a convert in particular. I suspect that a lot of people on this board are aware of the particular strengths that can give (along with some weaknesses) in presenting the faith. Moreover, he was a convert from a Baptist background, same as me.

So beyond working or him for over a year and spending many hours discussing the subject matter and reading lots of books written by various Orthodox priests and theologians--his own master's thesis as well as a lot of church fathers and early Greek writers--(and for the record, the term "theologian" in Orthodoxy (to the degree that there is such a thing as a unified idea called "Orthodoxy") is a somewhat different meaning than it does int he west), I also lived with him for a month or so. Something like an intensive study in that regard.

He is no longer at the hospital I work for, but we still talk regularly. Our director of ethics, though, is also an Orthodox priest. It shouldn't surprise you that chaplains and ethics work closely together, and he and I work closely in particular because I am one of two chaplains in the department who serve as on-call ethicists when he is not available. As such, I (along with the other chaplain) have been through and are going through several advanced modules, which has further given me the opportunity to some issues more deeply than others would get a chance to otherwise.

And then, lastly, while doing my master's thesis on simplicity as Aquinas defended it, I quickly discovered that the Orthodox have a different view of the subject all together. In some ways they have to, because if you want to follow Palamas (as they tend to do), then you have to have a different conception of the subject. But not only is it different for apologetic reasons but also methodological reasons. Western theology, following Augustine, tends to start with the essence of God and work from there to the Persons. Eastern theology, following earlier traditions, tends to start with the Persons and work back to the essence. Now, I tend to side with the Western approach in terms of which is the more appropriate of the two--and that for reasons I or Obi and PED or any one of a bunch of posters here could well explain--but the fact remains that there is a good argument for the older approach (i.e., it makes a good prima facie case for taking special revelation more seriously) and if you follow that approach, you do end up in a somewhat different place. My point here, though, isn't to talk about DS as much as it is to say that I was afforded a good opportunity to do some fundamental theological studies on eastern philosophy and theology . . . something I found very interesting as they never "lost" Aristotle in the first place!

So, all that said, I wouldn't present myself as an expert on Orthodoxy. But I absolutely would claim that I have a good grasp on the subject. Certainly better than most.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:16 pm 
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Were you ever Catholic or Orthodox at one time?


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:47 pm 
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Nathan M. wrote:
Were you ever Catholic or Orthodox at one time?



This question is traditionally used as the standard segway after which "mercy" is cast adrift ... :)


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:27 pm 
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The Jack wrote:
Quote:
What about it? They obviously interpret that verse differently than you and your church do. If they interpreted and applied it the same as you, they'd be Catholic (or perhaps Orthodox). But they don't, so . . . so what? You really want to get into an argument about what the text says? It wouldn't take very long to find places where your church just ignores that. Oh wait, you say that they don't, that we're interpreting it incorrectly. And so we're right back to square one. ;)


The problem with this of course is that your personal interpretation lacks any authority since it is devoid of any historical context. The Bible is a Catholic book put together by Catholics for Catholics. The fact is that your personal interpretation of scripture relies on Catholic Sacred tradition.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:41 pm 
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EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
Nathan M. wrote:
Were you ever Catholic or Orthodox at one time?



This question is traditionally used as the standard segway after which "mercy" is cast adrift ... :)

Mmmmmmmmm... poisoned well water.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:45 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
Nathan M. wrote:
Were you ever Catholic or Orthodox at one time?



This question is traditionally used as the standard segway after which "mercy" is cast adrift ... :)

Mmmmmmmmm... poisoned well water.



:) No malice intended.


Last edited by EtcumSpiri22-0 on Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:26 pm 
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EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
Nathan M. wrote:
Were you ever Catholic or Orthodox at one time?



This question is traditionally used as the standard segway after which "mercy" is cast adrift ... :)


What are you talking about?


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:57 pm 
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He meant segue, I think, and that you're setting Jack up for something.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:51 pm 
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Nathan M. wrote:
Were you ever Catholic or Orthodox at one time?

No


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