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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 8:45 pm 
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Fair enough, over generalization on my part.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 9:47 pm 
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EtcumSpiri22-0, I've read a conversion story of a rich woman from Indonesia, Kristina. Initially she was a Muslim, then converted to Protestantism. She started to read a Bible and had read it several times from beginning to the end. And then she noticed that the Bible taught about the oneness of the Church, whereas Protestant sects didn't have this characteristic. So in order to find out why is it so, she traveled to Jerusalem and found there an Orthodox Church. And then she, and her family, converted to Orthodox Church. She, with her husband, had built then an Orthodox church in Jacarta, in the name of Apostle Thomas.

So if even one observes all laws of God but denies the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, then it is a serious sin, as the Bible teaches. St. John Chrysostom:

    I mean these remarks for those who give themselves up indiscriminately to the men who are dividing the Church. For if on the one hand those men have doctrines also contrary to ours, then on that account further it is not right to mix with them: if, on the other hand, they hold the same opinions, the reason for not mixing with them is greater still. And why so? Because then the disease is from lust of authority. Do you not know what was the fate of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram? (Numbers 16:1-35) Of them only did I say? Was it not also of them that were with them? What will you say? Shall it be said, "Their faith is the same, they are orthodox as well as we"? If so, why then are they not with us? There is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." If their cause is right, then is ours wrong; if ours is right, then is theirs wrong. (Homily 11 on Ephesians.)


Last edited by Vadim on Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:15 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 10:00 pm 
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Vadim wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0, I've read a conversion story of a rich woman from Indonesia, Kristina. Initially she was a Muslim, then converted to Protestantism. She started to read a Bible and had read it several times from beginning to the end. And then she noticed that the Bible clearly taught about the oneness of the Church, whereas Protestant sects didn't have this characteristic. So in order to find out why is it so, she traveled to Jerusalem and found there an Orthodox Church. And then she, and her family, converted to Orthodox Church. She had built then an Orthodox church in Jacarta.

So if even one observes all laws of God but denies the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, then it is a serious sin, as the Bible teaches. St. John Chrysostom:

    I mean these remarks for those who give themselves up indiscriminately to the men who are dividing the Church. For if on the one hand those men have doctrines also contrary to ours, then on that account further it is not right to mix with them: if, on the other hand, they hold the same opinions, the reason for not mixing with them is greater still. And why so? Because then the disease is from lust of authority. Do you not know what was the fate of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram? (Numbers 16:1-35) Of them only did I say? Was it not also of them that were with them? What will you say? Shall it be said, "Their faith is the same, they are orthodox as well as we"? If so, why then are they not with us? There is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." If their cause is right, then is ours wrong; if ours is right, then is theirs wrong. (Homily 11 on Ephesians.)


Considering the knowledgeable Protestants on this board, prepare to be exegeted!


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 10:13 pm 
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Nathan M. wrote:
Vadim wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0, I've read a conversion story of a rich woman from Indonesia, Kristina. Initially she was a Muslim, then converted to Protestantism. She started to read a Bible and had read it several times from beginning to the end. And then she noticed that the Bible clearly taught about the oneness of the Church, whereas Protestant sects didn't have this characteristic. So in order to find out why is it so, she traveled to Jerusalem and found there an Orthodox Church. And then she, and her family, converted to Orthodox Church. She had built then an Orthodox church in Jacarta.

So if even one observes all laws of God but denies the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, then it is a serious sin, as the Bible teaches. St. John Chrysostom:

    I mean these remarks for those who give themselves up indiscriminately to the men who are dividing the Church. For if on the one hand those men have doctrines also contrary to ours, then on that account further it is not right to mix with them: if, on the other hand, they hold the same opinions, the reason for not mixing with them is greater still. And why so? Because then the disease is from lust of authority. Do you not know what was the fate of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram? (Numbers 16:1-35) Of them only did I say? Was it not also of them that were with them? What will you say? Shall it be said, "Their faith is the same, they are orthodox as well as we"? If so, why then are they not with us? There is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." If their cause is right, then is ours wrong; if ours is right, then is theirs wrong. (Homily 11 on Ephesians.)


Considering the knowledgeable Protestants on this board, prepare to be exegeted!

:laughhard


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 10:53 pm 
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theJack wrote:
the orthodox church itself (whatever that means -- certainly vadim thinks it means something)

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?

Here is an example: an Internet. Is an Internet one? Yes. And this is a visible oneness, not "invisible". Does it have a central, leading computer? No. Internet was designed in this way intentionally, because, if there was a central computer, then, in case of war, destruction of this central computer would cause a destruction of the whole Internet. A similar thing can be said about the Church: without a single leading person, she is stronger, as also Pope St. Gregory the Great explained: "If, then, any bishop of that Church assumes the title Universal, the Universal Church must be overthrown with the fall of the Universal Bishop. God forbid!"

We are not "aggressive", yet consider Roman Catholics and Protestants to be outside of the Church and that they should convert to this Church. Patriarchal Encyclical of 1895 (a Reply to the Papal Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII):

    XXIII. These things being so, and being indisputably proved by ecclesiastical history, we, anxious as it is our duty to be, address ourselves to the peoples of the West, who through ignorance of the true and impartial history of ecclesiastical matters, being credulously led away, follow the anti-evangelical and utterly lawless innovations of the papacy, having been separated and continuing far from the one holy, catholic and apostolic orthodox Church of Christ, which is 'the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth, (I Tim. 3:15) in which also their gracious ancestors and forefathers shone by their piety and orthodoxy of faith, having been faithful and precious members of it during nine whole centuries, obediently following and walking according to the decrees of the divinely assembled Ecumenical Councils.

    XXIV. Christ-loving peoples of the glorious countries of the West! We rejoice on the one hand seeing that you have a zeal for Christ, being led by this right persuasion, 'that without faith in Christ it is impossible to please God'; (Heb. 11:6) but on the other hand it is self-evident to every right-thinking person that the salutary faith in Christ ought by all means to be right in everything, and in agreement with the Holy Scripture and the apostolic traditions, upon which the teaching of the divine Fathers and the seven holy, divinely assembled Ecumenical Councils is based. It is moreover manifest that the universal Church of God, which holds fast in its bosom unique unadulterated and entire this salutary faith as a divine deposit, just as it was of old delivered and unfolded by the God-bearing Fathers moved by the Spirit, and formulated by them during the first nine centuries, is one and the same for ever, and not manifold and varying with the process of time: because the gospel truths are never susceptible to alteration or progress in course of time, like the various philosophical systems; 'for Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.' (Heb. 13:8) Wherefore also the holy Vincent, who was brought up on the milk of the piety received from the fathers in the monastery of Lérins in Gaul, and flourished about the middle of the fifth century, with great wisdom and orthodoxy characterizes the true catholicity of the faith and of the Church, saying: 'In the catholic Church we must especially take heed to hold that which has been believed everywhere at all times, and by all. For this is truly and properly catholic, as the very force and meaning of the word signifies, which moreover comprehends almost everything universally. And that we shall do, if we walk following universality, antiquity, and consent.' <…> But, as has been said before, the Western Church, from the tenth century downwards, has privily brought into herself through the papacy various and strange and heretical doctrines and innovations, and so she has been torn away and removed far from the true and orthodox Church of Christ. How necessary, then, it is for you to come back and return to the ancient and unadulterated doctrines of the Church in order to attain the salvation in Christ after which you press, you can easily understand if you intelligently consider the command of the heaven-ascended Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians, saying: 'Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle'; (1Thess.2:15) and also what the same divine apostle writes to the Galatians saying: 'I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.' (Gal. 1:6-7) But avoid such perverters of the evangelical truth, 'For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple; (Rom. 16:18) and come back for the future into the bosom of the holy, catholic and apostolic Church of God, which consists of all the particular holy Churches of God, which being divinely planted, like luxuriant vines throughout the orthodox world, are inseparably united to each other in the unity of the one saving faith in Christ, and in the bond of peace and of the Spirit, that you may obtain the highly-to-be-praised and most glorious name of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, who suffered for the salvation of the world, may be glorified among you also.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 11:09 pm 
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Vadim wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0, I've read a conversion story of a rich woman from Indonesia, Kristina. Initially she was a Muslim, then converted to Protestantism. She started to read a Bible and had read it several times from beginning to the end. And then she noticed that the Bible taught about the oneness of the Church, whereas Protestant sects didn't have this characteristic. So in order to find out why is it so, she traveled to Jerusalem and found there an Orthodox Church. And then she, and her family, converted to Orthodox Church. She, with her husband, had built then an Orthodox church in Jacarta, in the name of Apostle Thomas.

So if even one observes all laws of God but denies the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, then it is a serious sin, as the Bible teaches. St. John Chrysostom:

    I mean these remarks for those who give themselves up indiscriminately to the men who are dividing the Church. For if on the one hand those men have doctrines also contrary to ours, then on that account further it is not right to mix with them: if, on the other hand, they hold the same opinions, the reason for not mixing with them is greater still. And why so? Because then the disease is from lust of authority. Do you not know what was the fate of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram? (Numbers 16:1-35) Of them only did I say? Was it not also of them that were with them? What will you say? Shall it be said, "Their faith is the same, they are orthodox as well as we"? If so, why then are they not with us? There is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." If their cause is right, then is ours wrong; if ours is right, then is theirs wrong. (Homily 11 on Ephesians.)

A person who walks in righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit is in grave sin if he is not Orthodox while he is doing it?

And Jesus should stop appearing to people all over the Muslim world and telling them that he is God because he is doing it wrong? ... He is just creating a different kind of sinner when he stops at that?


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:32 am 
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EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
[
A person who walks in righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit is in grave sin if he is not Orthodox while he is doing it?

And Jesus should stop appearing to people all over the Muslim world and telling them that he is God because he is doing it wrong? ... He is just creating a different kind of sinner when he stops at that?



What was the point of Christ founding a Church if he didn't care if people to belong to it?

That's the problem with your theology, you have Christ spending his life on Earth doing all sorts of useless and superfluous stuff for no apparent reason.

'Baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit"

Or don't, whatever, it doesn't matter, baptism doesn't do anything anyway, and it's not essential for salvation

"this do in memory of me"

But it's just a meaningless ritual consisting of nothing more than ordinary bread and wine, and it's totally okay if you do it only once or twice a year, or not at all, because it doesn't do anything and it's not essential for salvation

"I build my Church"

But membership is totally optional, and indeed, you don't even have to attend church at all, just sitting at home reading your Bible (which won't even be compiled for another 400 years after I'm dead) and praying on your own is good enough, you don't need no Church


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:19 am 
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Doom wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
[
A person who walks in righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit is in grave sin if he is not Orthodox while he is doing it?

And Jesus should stop appearing to people all over the Muslim world and telling them that he is God because he is doing it wrong? ... He is just creating a different kind of sinner when he stops at that?



What was the point of Christ founding a Church if he didn't care if people to belong to it?

That's the problem with your theology, you have Christ spending his life on Earth doing all sorts of useless and superfluous stuff for no apparent reason.

'Baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit"

Or don't, whatever, it doesn't matter, baptism doesn't do anything anyway, and it's not essential for salvation

"this do in memory of me"

But it's just a meaningless ritual consisting of nothing more than ordinary bread and wine, and it's totally okay if you do it only once or twice a year, or not at all, because it doesn't do anything and it's not essential for salvation

"I build my Church"

But membership is totally optional, and indeed, you don't even have to attend church at all, just sitting at home reading your Bible (which won't even be compiled for another 400 years after I'm dead) and praying on your own is good enough, you don't need no Church



If you agree with Vadim, why are you not Orthodox?


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:58 am 
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The differences between Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are far different then that of Protestants and Catholics/ Orthodox. The Orthodox had synods themselves that also rejected much of the reformation theology, but the West didn't really notice or care as the reformers were mostly concerned with seperation from the Papacy and correction of "Romish" doctrine. Ironically, this is somewhat the same for the Orthodox, but for different reasons. There's arguments about the primacy of St Peter vs the supremacy of St. Peter, but not about chucking apostolic succession out the window all together.

Orthodoxy is kind of an oddball in the mix that doesn't get much notice. The biggest problem that they share with Catholocism, IMO, is an enculturing(is that a word?) of the Faith. It becomes a cultural distinction rather then the reason for all purpose. This is a general statement.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:05 am 
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Nathan M. wrote:
The differences between Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are far different then that of Protestants and Catholics/ Orthodox. The Orthodox had synods themselves that also rejected much of the reformation theology, but the West didn't really notice or care as the reformers were mostly concerned with seperation from the Papacy and correction of "Romish" doctrine. Ironically, this is somewhat the same for the Orthodox, but for different reasons. There's arguments about the primacy of St Peter vs the supremacy of St. Peter, but not about chucking apostolic succession out the window all together.

Orthodoxy is kind of an oddball in the mix that doesn't get much notice. The biggest problem that they share with Catholocism, IMO, is an enculturing(is that a word?) of the Faith. It becomes a cultural distinction rather then the reason for all purpose. This is a general statement.



So the enemy of your enemy is your friend?

For clarification: Those millions who attend house churches in China are not protestants and most probably know nothing of what you speak


Last edited by EtcumSpiri22-0 on Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:06 am 
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HalJordan wrote:
There is an old joke I heard from some Ruthenians that they long for the Pope to make an ex cathedra declaration defining that Our Lord is True God and True Man just to watch the Athonite monks condemn the idea.

:laughhard


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:08 am 
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EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
Doom wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
[
A person who walks in righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit is in grave sin if he is not Orthodox while he is doing it?

And Jesus should stop appearing to people all over the Muslim world and telling them that he is God because he is doing it wrong? ... He is just creating a different kind of sinner when he stops at that?



What was the point of Christ founding a Church if he didn't care if people to belong to it?

That's the problem with your theology, you have Christ spending his life on Earth doing all sorts of useless and superfluous stuff for no apparent reason.

'Baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit"

Or don't, whatever, it doesn't matter, baptism doesn't do anything anyway, and it's not essential for salvation

"this do in memory of me"

But it's just a meaningless ritual consisting of nothing more than ordinary bread and wine, and it's totally okay if you do it only once or twice a year, or not at all, because it doesn't do anything and it's not essential for salvation

"I build my Church"

But membership is totally optional, and indeed, you don't even have to attend church at all, just sitting at home reading your Bible (which won't even be compiled for another 400 years after I'm dead) and praying on your own is good enough, you don't need no Church



If you agree with Vadim, why are you not Orthodox?

How do you get the impression that Doom agrees with Vadim on those portions where Catholics and Chalcedonian Orthodox disagree?


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:13 am 
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Jack3 wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
Doom wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
[
A person who walks in righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit is in grave sin if he is not Orthodox while he is doing it?

And Jesus should stop appearing to people all over the Muslim world and telling them that he is God because he is doing it wrong? ... He is just creating a different kind of sinner when he stops at that?



What was the point of Christ founding a Church if he didn't care if people to belong to it?

That's the problem with your theology, you have Christ spending his life on Earth doing all sorts of useless and superfluous stuff for no apparent reason.

'Baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit"

Or don't, whatever, it doesn't matter, baptism doesn't do anything anyway, and it's not essential for salvation

"this do in memory of me"

But it's just a meaningless ritual consisting of nothing more than ordinary bread and wine, and it's totally okay if you do it only once or twice a year, or not at all, because it doesn't do anything and it's not essential for salvation

"I build my Church"

But membership is totally optional, and indeed, you don't even have to attend church at all, just sitting at home reading your Bible (which won't even be compiled for another 400 years after I'm dead) and praying on your own is good enough, you don't need no Church



If you agree with Vadim, why are you not Orthodox?

How do you get the impression that Doom agrees with Vadim on those portions where Catholics and Chalcedonian Orthodox disagree?


He gave no indication of disagreement with Vadim's statement.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:11 pm 
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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?

Here is an example: an Internet. Is an Internet one? Yes. And this is a visible oneness, not "invisible". Does it have a central, leading computer? No. Internet was designed in this way intentionally, because, if there was a central computer, then, in case of war, destruction of this central computer would cause a destruction of the whole Internet. A similar thing can be said about the Church: without a single leading person, she is stronger, as also Pope St. Gregory the Great explained: "If, then, any bishop of that Church assumes the title Universal, the Universal Church must be overthrown with the fall of the Universal Bishop. God forbid!"

Here is a continuation of this analogy: computer networks have "topology". So here are diagrams which show Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Catholic Church, and Protestant churches look from the point of view of topology. You can see again that the structure of the Orthodox Catholic Church is similar to the structure of Internet. Internet means "interconnected computer networks". Petal circles represent "networks", and central circle represents that these networks are not isolated from one another, they are interconnected. So, similarly, autocephalous churches are not isolated from one another, -- they are interconnected. Petal circles mean also that Patriarchs are absolutely equal with other bishops from their respective autocephalous churches, they only have some ministry of coordination; and central circle means that Patriarchs are equal too, -- Patriarch of Constantinople has only some ministry of coordination, he is not "an Orthodox Pope". This structure of Orthodox Catholic Church follows directly from canons of Ecumenical Councils.

Roman Catholic Church:

Image

Orthodox Catholic Church:

Image

Protestant churches:

Image


Last edited by Vadim on Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:14 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 2:45 pm 
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EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:

So the enemy of your enemy is your friend?

For clarification: Those millions who attend house churches in China are not protestants and most probably know nothing of what you speak


No, the Orthodox have a valid Eucharist, not just through succession but through their theology as well. They don't accept the explanation of transubstantiation, but believe in the real and whole presence either way. They don't try to define it like the Catholic Church does.

The Eucharist, that is the main difference between the Apostolic Churches and all other Christians. Never has the Lord humbled himself for those he loved to such an almost impossible extant, more so even than the Incarnation itself. This is the crux of our faith as it is the real experience of the Cross, throughout all time, space, and existence. The fullness of Christianity, indeed the fullness of God himself, cannot exist this side of heaven if the Eucharist is eliminated. All attacks on it whether direct( sacrilege) or indirect ("it's not nessecary, it's only a symbol, etc.") are from the enemy.

There are many times I have considered leaving the Church for hundreds if not thousands of reasons. Some of them I've settled, some I still struggle with, it's still a possibility that I may leave I guess- but I find myself asking the same question Peter did in John 6, "Lord, to whom shall we go?" The Eucharist can never be attacked, but the Church in which He resides can, and is, and always will be.

It's like a beautiful flower that will never die. It can't be killed or plucked, so instead those who wish to destroy it smother it in crap, make it seem irrelevant or fake or ugly, but it isn't. The enemy surrounds it with an obscene amount of ugliness and rotten fruit, almost to the point where this flower appears to be the cause of the ugliness and death that surrounds it. It's a straight up deception, and perhaps the most brilliant and cunning the Enemy has ever unfolded. But a deception nonetheless. This flower is not a piece of bread, but Christ Himself.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:12 pm 
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EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:

If you agree with Vadim, why are you not Orthodox?


Where did I say that I agreed with him? The Orthodox are at least an apostolic Church, the same cannot be said for whatever church you might belong to.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:15 pm 
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EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:

So the enemy of your enemy is your friend?

For clarification: Those millions who attend house churches in China are not protestants and most probably know nothing of what you speak


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.


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 Post subject: Re: A good tree cannot produce evil fruit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:39 pm 
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Nathan M. wrote:
EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:

So the enemy of your enemy is your friend?

For clarification: Those millions who attend house churches in China are not protestants and most probably know nothing of what you speak


No, the Orthodox have a valid Eucharist, not just through succession but through their theology as well. They don't accept the explanation of transubstantiation, but believe in the real and whole presence either way. They don't try to define it like the Catholic Church does.

The Eucharist, that is the main difference between the Apostolic Churches and all other Christians. Never has the Lord humbled himself for those he loved to such an almost impossible extant, more so even than the Incarnation itself. This is the crux of our faith as it is the real experience of the Cross, throughout all time, space, and existence. The fullness of Christianity, indeed the fullness of God himself, cannot exist this side of heaven if the Eucharist is eliminated. All attacks on it whether direct( sacrilege) or indirect ("it's not nessecary, it's only a symbol, etc.") are from the enemy.

There are many times I have considered leaving the Church for hundreds if not thousands of reasons. Some of them I've settled, some I still struggle with, it's still a possibility that I may leave I guess- but I find myself asking the same question Peter did in John 6, "Lord, to whom shall we go?" The Eucharist can never be attacked, but the Church in which He resides can, and is, and always will be.

It's like a beautiful flower that will never die. It can't be killed or plucked, so instead those who wish to destroy it smother it in crap, make it seem irrelevant or fake or ugly, but it isn't. The enemy surrounds it with an obscene amount of ugliness and rotten fruit, almost to the point where this flower appears to be the cause of the ugliness and death that surrounds it. It's a straight up deception, and perhaps the most brilliant and cunning the Enemy has ever unfolded. But a deception nonetheless. This flower is not a piece of bread, but Christ Himself.


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.


Last edited by EtcumSpiri22-0 on Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:35 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 4:12 pm 
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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 many thousands Roman Catholics have converted recently to Orthodoxy. This was completely their own initiative, they just came to Orthodox Church and said: we want to be Orthodox. And they were led by the Roman Catholic priest, who converted to Orthodoxy too. The same situation was in USA (2000 former Protestants simultaneously joined to Orthodox Church); in Africa (there were many mass conversions to Orthodoxy); in Pakistan; in Mexico; in France. And in China, I think that this will end similarly: these house churches will join to Orthodoxy. Not to mention many individual conversions.

As for miracles, Jesus Christ DID appear recently and said that His Church is called "Orthodox Church":

    The Orthodox Church in Benin
    by Dn. Timothy Dewedi


    In Benin in 1969, a father embarked on a miraculous spiritual journey to help his ailing son. His newly found faith led him through three extraordinary decades of prayer, healing, and a discovery of the Orthodox Church.

    Tragedy fell upon orchestra conductor Optat Behanzin when his five-year old son, Eric, was stricken with a severe attack of paralysis. Behanzin immediately took his son to the hospital in Cotonou, Benin’s largest city, but pediatric doctors were unable to assist Eric. The hospital’s inability to cure him inspired Optat, whose only association with church was through musical activities, to begin attending services in the hopes that God would cure his son. But Behanzin’s experience with the local Beninian church proved only frustrating and unfruitful. Instead of giving up, however, Optat joined with family and neighbors to institute a prayer group dedicated to the health of his son.

    In the course of these prayer sessions, miraculous healings were produced and incited the participants to even more devotion. Beginning in 1973, the prayer group began experiencing visions identified as coming from the Archangel Michael, the Virgin Mary, and from Jesus Christ Himself. These visions inspired the group to embark on several pilgrimages to many different parts of the country of Benin. Each trip prompted numerous occasions of miraculous healings.

    In May 1975, another vision came to the group, inviting them to be formally constituted as a church. A period of fasting was agreed upon by all the prayer group’s members to further seek God’s Will in establishing this church. On the third day of fasting, Eric Behanzin, now 11-years-old, received a revelation from God regarding the name fitting to give the new church: “My Church is called the ‘Orthodox Church.’” Immediately, members of the group began searching a dictionary to understand the meaning of the term “Orthodox Church.”

    From that moment on, the group was now conscious of the Orthodox Church’s existence as a community of prayer. The mission of their new church became an extensive search to find its identity.

    Twelve years later, the Ecumenical Congress of the World Council of Churches was held in the Benin capital of Porto-Novo. There, the first contact was established with Orthodox Christians attending the council from Greece, Romania, and Northern Ireland, as well as Patriarch Parthenios III of Alexandria. There Behanzin was finally able to meet representatives of the Orthodox Church. In only ten more years, the relationship between them would be formalized and the Orthodox Church in Benin would be canonical.

    In 1997, upon hearing of the appointment of Bishop Alexander of Nigeria –– with jurisdiction over Benin –– Behanzin was again able to make contact. With much enthusiasm, Optat worked for the regularization of the canonical situation with the “Orthodox Church” of Benin and the Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa. Since February 30, 1999, the Orthodox Church of Benin has been in canonical communion with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa. After almost thirty years, the Church of Benin had finally become an Eucharistic community.

    On May 30, 1999, the holy day of Pentecost, the first ordinations took place. Behanzin was ordained to the priesthood and became the Reverend Protopresbyter Marc-Optat Behanzin. In the months that followed, additional rounds of ordinations took place. All of the Benin’s five priests and two deacons were ordained in 1999.

    Now the Orthodox Church in Benin prepares to undergo a building program. Funds are currently being raised to construct churches for five different parishes –– two at Porto-Novo, one at Cotonou, and another at Sekou (a town 50 kilometers north or Cotonou). The Church also plans to build a monastery at Cotonou. ( https://web.archive.org/web/20010720105 ... 0ii-11.htm )


Last edited by Vadim on Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:42 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 4:48 pm 
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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.


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