Greetings in Christ

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by SakranMM, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. SakranMM

    SakranMM
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    Good Day All,

    My name is Fr. Michael. I am an Orthodox Christian priest with an avid interest in Christian theology. I am accquianted with the Baptist church, having attended a local Baptist community for a short while before. I hope no one thinks I'm here to proseltyze; I wanted to join the forum in order to maybe provide an Orthodox perspective on certain Biblical and doctrinal issues (believe it or not, the Orthodox and the Baptists have more in common than most people think.)

    May prayer is that we can learn more about one another as we grow together in Christ.

    P.S. - I usually go by "Fr. Michael," but I realize that not everyone may be comfortable with that. If you're not, then "Michael" will be fine.

    In Christ,

    Fr. Michael
     
  2. Jon-Marc

    Jon-Marc
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    I have no idea what Fr. stands for, but welcome to the Baptist Board, Michael. I'm a first name person and don't like being formal.
     
  3. SakranMM

    SakranMM
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    Hi Jon-Marc:

    Thanks for your reply. Just to clarify things, "Fr." is an abbreviation of "father" (as in "Father" Michael.) It's the way Orthodox priests are usually addressed in their congregations (kind of like calling the leader of a Baptist congregation "Pastor so-and-so." It has the same connotations, referring to someone who leads, shepherds, and helps guide his church family to our Lord much like the father of a regular family would.

    Anyway, you can just call me Michael as well : ) It's great to make your accquaintance. Looking forward to conversing with you and anothers more on the board.
     
  4. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    Welcome aboard!! :wavey:
     
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Hello Michael.....since scripturally your not our Father & we only have one God the Father, I will call you Michael or Brother Michael or Brother or Bro....lol

    Welcome
    Im Steve
     
  6. SakranMM

    SakranMM
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    Hi Steve:

    Thanks for the welcome.

    Not to engage in debate here on this particular section of the forum, but simply to offer our rationale for the term:

    The passage, 1 Corinthians 4:14-16, reads: "I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you (literally "fathered you" or "I became your father") through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me." The tradition reflected in this passage is one we still practice today - our tradition of calling our deacons and priests "father", and of referring to our Orthodox Christian spiritual elders through the century as "the Fathers of the Church." So for this reason, we continue to use the term to address clergy - just as I call my male parent "father" - a term of dignity and warmth - so we call our clergy "father" because of the role they play in our communities. What Jesus was warning against when He said "call no man father" were those Jewish leaders who put themselves in God's place, not pastors who shepherd their flock the same way that a father shepherds his family. He wasn't banning the term, just the improper use of it. If He was completely banning the word "father," then we couldn't celebrate "Father's Day" or call George Washington the "father of our nation" or call our dads "father." We need to guard against improper use of the word, and not the word itself. "Father" is used in different ways in Scripture; even Jesus calls Abraham "father," and there is nothing wrong with that. The issue is in how we use the word, and not the word in general. As an example, Christ also said that we shouldn't call anyone "teacher," yet He calls Nicodemus the "Teacher of Israel," and it is used in a positive context. I don't know what else to call the people who taught me when I was in high school, for example; I call them "teacher" (as in math teacher, science teacher.) So, when priests are referred to as "father", no one is saying that we're usurping God's fatherhood; God help me if I ever did such a thing. On the contrary, our position, as we hold it, is very Biblical. It's used in the same way as "pastor" is in many Baptist congregations, and it does have Biblical roots, and throughout history, leaders of church congregations were appropriately called "father" among the majority of Christians. As another clergyman put it on his blog (Fr. Michael Reagan): "In short, a Christian pastor must live and act exactly as a father of a family, not putting himself ahead of his children, but doing all and sacrificing all for their sakes. To call such a man “Father” in this case is not to exalt him beyond reason, but to actually remind him of his calling and his responsibility to his spiritual children." This goes for the leader of any church, whether Orthodox, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, whatever. Ultimately, He will have to answer to God for how he led the people, especially if he does not act as true father should.

    So let us fight against hypocrisy and usurping God's authority, and not against a term that is Biblical as St. Paul uses it in 1 Corinthians.

    So, to leave it at that and not to debate on this particular section (although I will be happy to discuss it further with you via PM or on the "other denominations" debate section), I leave you with this article that may clarify things:

    http://www.protomartyr.org/father.html

    But you can still call me Michael or Bro. Michael if you want ; )
     
    #6 SakranMM, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2011
  7. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    All right Michael, we will save such things for theological debate. Note that since your not Baptist that you should not go into those threads & posts.

    BTW I was a RC for 32 years & I have family that are still RC & some that are Orthodox Catholics so I have some familiarity. your also going to find a wide berth of different Baptists in here (Reformed & Calvinistic to Free Will Baptists) so be forewarned. :thumbsup:
     
  8. SakranMM

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    Thanks for the heads up...it's all good, I just wanted to explain where I was coming from. I'll stick to the appropriate areas on the forum, and I know that Baptists come in all shapes and sizes, so I'll be mindful of that as well.

    Again, looking forward to discussing life in Christ with you all : )
     
  9. John Toppass

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    Welcome Michael or SakranMM.

    I just thought you should know that all forums that you can enter you are welcome in, just do not post in Baptist only but you are welcome to read the posts (even those that embarrass many here)

    If you have a question there is an area called Christian debate and Christian fellowship forums. There you are more than welcome to read AND post. You can also send a private message to an individual.
    I for one, would welcome your messages or questions. (not sure I can answer all questions but, I can make something up. :laugh:)
     
  10. convicted1

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    Welcome from WV!!!
     

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