Ancient faith gains believers!

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by SouthernBoy, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. SouthernBoy

    SouthernBoy
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    I ran across this news story recently:

    From (subscription service)

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/religion/stories/042305dnrelorthodox.352ea643.html

    I found this interesting:

    :eek:


    rest of the article

    :confused:

    My question to you is what is the Baptist Church doing to win back these peopleh? Is the Baptist Church engaged with the Orthodox?
     
  2. violet

    violet
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    That's an interesting article and an even more interesting question.
     
  3. Doubting Thomas

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    What makes you think they want or even need to be "won" back?
    :cool:
     
  4. SouthernBoy

    SouthernBoy
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    I don't understand how they can say this:

    "It called us to fall on our faces before God in worship and to be filled with awe at his glory. I could never go back. I now find Western worship tedious and sentimental. To me, the contrast is jolting."
     
  5. Deacon's Son

    Deacon's Son
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    This article leaves out the facts that Orthodox Christians join Catholics in having a devotion to Mary (the Mother of God) and to the saints and they also, like Catholics, believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

    They also believe in apostolic succession, in the efficacy of the seven sacraments, and utilize a three-fold system of church governance - bishops, presbyters and deacons. This too, is shared with the Catholics.

    Truthfully, most of the "problems" that many posters here have with the Catholic faith are present in the Orthodox faith. Why? Because the Orthodox churches are another form of the full and complete faith of the apostles - the eastern component of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. The seperation of the historic Church, East from West is regretable but I believe that it is not permanent, for Christ wills that "they may be one."

    I know that I have not answered your question about what the Baptist churches are doing to "win back" converts to the Orthodox faith. But if I may speak from experience, those who were born and raised as evangelical Protestants can never "go back."

    Such is asking someone who has seen the full three-dimentional beauty and splendor of God's Church, passed down in unbroken succession from the apostles, to return to only a shadow; to exchange the complete gospel for only tattered pieces of it. It is the religious equivalent of Plato's allegory of the cave. We have turned from the "shadows" and embraced the true figure of Christ's Church, Dei gracia.

    In officio Agni,
    Deacon's Son
     
  6. SouthernBoy

    SouthernBoy
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    So they left the Church for Mary Worship?
     
  7. Deacon's Son

    Deacon's Son
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    Wow. Harsh. I should hope not. If they did, they've made a grave mistake. Of course the honor we (as Catholic and Orthodox Christians) give to Mary is as our mother, for if Christ is our Brother, she is our mother. I know the images are culturally foreign to you (not everyone grows up or lives in places with a culture as immersed in Protestant ideology and worldview as Florida and Mississippi), but the worth of an action is in a person's intent - which is pretty hard for an outsider to discern. Of course if a person's intent is to worship Mary, that is damnable and disdainful. But honor is not worship. And if a person's intent is simply to honor Mary, that is commendable, for the Lord commands us to "honor" our fathers and our mothers.

    We honor Mary and the saints only because of Christ - it is His glory that shines through them. The honor we give to them is not detracted from the honor given to God (to Whom alone belongs all glory, majesty and praise); quite the contrary - we increase our praise of God by honoring the ones who have been raised to new levels of Christian sanctity by His grace. We honor these brothers and sisters of ours (and our mother) not inspite of Him but solely because of Him. Soli Deo gloria!

    We praise God and give Him glory for the good things He has done through His saints. They are wonderful images of the fruits of the Incarnation. God became one of us so that we could become more like him. The saints are the best examples of this. They are to be honored but He alone is to be worshipped.

    No, there is no Mary-worship. Mary was the proto-Christian and very Mother of God Incarnate. Because of her fiat, "by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary and became Man." She is the firstfruit of the Salvation won by her Son and for this, we honor her and praise God for His goodness.

    In officio Agni,
    Deacon's Son

    [ April 26, 2005, 11:04 PM: Message edited by: Deacon's Son ]
     
  8. Matt Black

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    The bit prefaced "the rest of the article" mirrors my own questing and questioning in recent months. Verrry interesting...

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  9. mioque

    mioque
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    If this trend keeps up, I foresee a response along the lines of the baptist response to Catholicism.
     
  10. Gold Dragon

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    I think it is great that some evangelicals are "rediscovering" the rich history and tradition of our apostolic brethren, especially the EOC.

    If they feel they need to change traditions to further their journey in Christ, then more power to them. I also support those who feel they need to "covert" to evangelical churches to further their journey in Christ although conversion either way isn't the only way to reap the benefits of other traditions in the body of Christ.
     
  11. Eric B

    Eric B
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    What an irony. They are still gratifying their emotions, only changing the flavor; like a person getting tired of one food and getting "into" another for a while.

    I have this sense regarding the EOC and its "ancientness" (as it is not as bad as the RCC); but still; I do not see all of that incense and ritual in the New Testament. Much of it looks and even sounds pagan to me. Such organized, formalized system (which really kicked off when the Roman Emperor recognized it) is what paved the way for all of the later denominations; even though they have modified the worship in many different ways.
    A group of people meeting in the home, singing, praying, reading scripture; with shepherds, elders (older, wiser men), and overseers of several congregations, and missionaries (apostles) at the highest level. THIS was what the original ancient church was. I have heard that their are families like this around Israel that go all the way back (though I'm not sure if they affiliate with the EOC or RCC or not). That group is what I would be more interested in.
     
  12. SouthernBoy

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    Eric B,

    "I do not see all of that incense and ritual in the New Testament."

    I see in the Bible and this is one reason why I don't understand only the RCC and EOC use it.

    Revelation 8:3-4
    "Another angel came and stood at the altar, 3 holding a gold censer. He was given a great quantity of incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the holy ones, on the gold altar that was before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense along with the prayers of the holy ones went up before God from the hand of the angel."

    Exodus 25:6
    "olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense;"

    Exodus 30:35
    "and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred."
     
  13. Doubting Thomas

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    I don't see pews, high tech sound sound systems, giant video screen monitors, drama teams, or contemporary praise bands with their campy praise choruses in the New Testament either. Much of it looks and sounds like entertainment to me.
     
  14. john6:63

    john6:63
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    At the moment my family and I are Independent Fundamental Baptists and I have been seriously objectively studying Catholicism. We have tried Southern Baptists and are going to try a few United Methodist Churches. I feel my relationship with God is good, but I desire a stronger more intimate relationship with God and my home Church isn’t working.

    After years and years of being brainwashed about Catholicism, I am enjoying learning and getting a better perspective of this denomination.
     
  15. mioque

    mioque
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    Eric
    "I have heard that their are families like this around Israel that go all the way back (though I'm not sure if they affiliate with the EOC or RCC or not). That group is what I would be more interested in. "
    "
    Those families don't exist, if they did they would be the celebrated heroes of the Evangelicals of the USA. Big documentaries would have been made about them. They would be regular guests on the shows of Robert Schuler, Pat Robertson and Oral Roberts.
     
  16. mioque

    mioque
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    Eric
    "(as it is not as bad as the RCC)"
    "
    There is little doubt that they are just as bad, they are simply bad in a different way. Less Mary than Roman Catholicism and the other hand they are theologically further removed from Sola Gratia than the RCC is.

    "Much of it looks and even sounds pagan to me."
    "
    Your own cultural heritage is deceiving you. You are not used to incense and complex liturgy in your own church so they are alien to you.
     
  17. Doubting Thomas

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    I don't know about that. Nothing I've read from Orthodox sources leads me to believe that they teach otherwise than that we are saved by God's grace. They just think that man must cooperate with God's grace--one receives or rejects. They're synergists not monergists. They believe one must work out his own salvation with fear and trembling, since it is God who works in that one to will and do for His good pleasure (Phil 2:12,13).
     
  18. mioque

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    http://www.descentoftheholyspirit.org/articles.htm
    a) His theory of original sin evoked consternation everywhere in the West, but especially among the monks of southern Gaul (France). [Their] leader, St. John Cassian, who had been ordained to the diaconate by St. John Chrysostom, took exception to Augustine's views on God, Man and grace...[along with] St. Vincent of Lerins, St. Gennadius of Marseilles,..as well as the churches of Ireland and Britain. They all declined to accept Augustine's teaching that every person is guilty of and is being punished for - or saved in spite of - Adam's sin. The Bishop of Hippo had proclaimed that in Adam "was constituted the form of condemnation to his future progeny, who would spring from him by natural descent"...

    Driven, as it were, by the force of his own logic, Augustine insisted that Man is sufficiently evil..that God alone can save him. Since not all men are saved, it is obvious that God has mysteriously chosen to reward some and punish others. [He writes]:

    "..owing to one man all passed into condemnation who are born to Adam, unless they are reborn in Christ, even as God has appointed to regenerate them before they die in the body. For He has predestinated some to everlasting life...while to those whom He predestinated to eternal death. He is the most righteous Awarder of punishment. They are punished not on account of the sins which they add..of their own will, but on account of the original sin, even if, as in the case of infants, they had added nothing to that original sin.."

    ..Augustine theorized in the treatise [On Rebuke and Grace, chap.34] that seemed to have caused the greatest stir among the monks of Gaul:

    "I speak thus of those who are predestinated to the Kingdom of God, whose number is so certain that none may be added to or subtracted from it..while [those not saved] are most righteously judged according to their deservings. For they lie under the sin WHICH THEY HAVE INHERITED BY ORIGINAL [SIN] and so depart hence with the inherited debt.."[ed:Calvinism is based on this]
     
  19. Eric B

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    The latter examples are OT; and the former is heavenly scenes in Revelation; that are most likely symbolic. 5:8 says that the golden bowls of incense are prayers of saints. The OT practice therefore is a shadow of the spiritual reality.
    True; but the Church can live without them (many more traditional Churches don't use those entertainment features; and newer churches usually use chairs and not pews). The modern churches use the entertainment things to try to attract more people. You can say what you want about this; but unlike liturgical practices, nobody is even trying to claim that this was the oroginal practice. They say the Church must change with the times; just as those in the early centuries who brought in mysticism and ritualism said they must do so to appeal to the pagans!
    Good point. Whoever I heard say that may have bought the argument that the RCC/EOc was the original NT Church; thus RC/EO "families" thus "go all the way back". (Technically; they did; but that does not mean all the dpctrines, practices and church organization did!).
    On the other hand; it is possible that the evangelicals could have been so busy looking throughout Europe (based on the popular Waldensians-Albigenses-Catharii-Anabaptist chain; and its various modifications, and based also on a general focus on "the West" as the new carrier of the torch of faith) that they missed the groups right in Israel, or any other place they might exist.
    Aren't they both basically in agreement on that? (Faith plus works)
    And that would basically agree with the standard Arminian definition of salvation (complete with the Calvinist charge of "synergism"). The debate would be in the definition of "receives". Is it simply professing faith in Christ; then "If we love Him, we keep His commandments"? (1 John 2:3 John 14:15)? Or is "receiving" doing rituals in order to gain salvation? (Which would be "work FOR your salvation"; rather than "work OUT your salvation"--i.e.; you already have it; now act like it/live up to it)
     
  20. mioque

    mioque
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    Eric
    Don't forget that Christianity as a branch of Judaïsm predates the NT. If the other Jews in the area used musical instruments, complex liturgies and incense in their services and if the NT writers saw nothing wrong with the Christians doing the same than it would never have shown up in the NT.
    A couple of churchfathers write disapprovingly about such things, which means that such did happen during their lifetimes and they didn't like it.

    "newer churches usually use chairs and not pews"
    "
    Interestingly enough Eastern-Orthodox churches dispense with seating arrangements alltogether. Everybody stands during church services just like in the good old days.

    "Aren't they both basically in agreement on that?"
    "
    Roman Catholicism teaches that Christ died to satisfy the Divine requirements of justice against sinful humanity. Eastern Orthodoxy, denying the doctrine of original sin, sees Christ’s death as payment on the ransom held over men by death. The goal of salvation in Eastern Orthodoxy is a kind of deification of man - a restoration to God’s image and purpose for mankind.

    "it is possible that the evangelicals could have been so busy looking throughout Europe (based on the popular Waldensians-Albigenses-Catharii-Anabaptist chain;"
    "
    Those Evangelical experts who would actively go looking for such groups, would swiftly learn too much about the Waldensians, Albigenses and Anabaptists to be distracted by them for long. Original writings of all three from their relevant timeperiod in that hypothetical chain have survived. Reading those would cure anybody of the notion that there is such a chain.
     

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