Orthodoxy

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by Anglican04, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. Anglican04

    Anglican04 Active Member Anglican

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    Hello friends. I think I put this thread in the right spot but I am not sure.

    My question is this: why is Orthodoxy false? Why pick Anglicanism over Orthodoxy? I have an attraction to their Eastern Spirituality, not thinking of converting, but their Church seems clearer than the Roman Church and over all, very clean and their traditions are beautiful.

    As always, replies are very much appreciated, God bless :)
     
  2. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Active Member

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    The way I understand it, though this may be a misconception, is that Orthodoxy doesn't guarantee salvation in any regard and teaches Pelagianism. It's basically the concept of "we don't deserve God's grace" but taken to an extreme degree, in that you can be doing regular sacraments, obedience, etc. and still not be guaranteed heaven. Protestantism and even Roman Catholicism teaches that we have to believe that Christ's sacrifice will actually matter and have some effect on us in our redemption from sin after death, otherwise it would just be silly. Orthodoxy also suffers from a deficiency in evangelism, and very insular, given it's tendency to be centered around cultural/community involvement and nominalism. You do hear of converts and Godly men and women in the church, but it's mostly on the internet, as you have to be actively looking for them to find them. I do believe the holy spirit would be active in this world, drawing people into communion to churches which can offer some people an opportunity to know God and be saved. As far as I know, my whole life, both me and everyone else I know has never really been concerned with Orthodoxy as most people, outside of countries where they are raised in it, barely even know much about it. When we see images of the church performing services in say, Russia or Greece on TV, we just assume it's some formal semi-Catholic expression of Christianity based on cultural traditions, then shrug and go on with our lives. I have heard from evangelists who visited countries where there are many nominal Orthodox that it is a serious concern, that is, the almost non-existent evangelism and nominal attendance. The fact that they are so obsessed with presenting their services in another language and to people who are familiar with a particular culture than their own is another obvious concern with Orthodoxy, since it's a barrier to outreach.
     
  3. Anglican04

    Anglican04 Active Member Anglican

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    But we do not deserve God's grace. That's the truth. If I am an adulterer, a liar, I murder, cheat, steal, and jealous, but I am a practicing Anglican will God save me? After all I do practice the mass and pray and try to be obedient. I doubt God would save a man like that.

    I thought Christ's sacrifice simply gave us a second chance to redeem ourselves? I thought Christ's sacrifice opened the doorway to being judged rather than being thrown into hell. And when we are judged, aren't we judged by faith and works?
     
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  4. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Active Member

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    When I said 'taken to an extreme degree', I meant that it is generally true that we don't deserve God's grace, but they seem to make it sound like no matter what you do, you can't be guaranteed that you'll be saved, even if you do everything right after conversion. It also seems strange that the Orthodox church teaches the idea that, if there is a true church, that salvation can be guaranteed (supposedly) through it, but they cannot say everyone outside is going to hell, including non-Christians. Based on Orthodoxy's expectations about salvation even among adherents, that seems a little ironic to me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  5. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The EOC has refused to teach and confess that the Holy Spirit Proceeds from both the Father and the Son, yet scripture teaches "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you." (John 16:7)

    It also does not teach and confess the doctrine of original sin to the contrary of scripture.

    Both of these are biblical doctrines of the faith. The EOC's departure on these points makes it an unacceptable institution from my perspective.
     
  6. Anglican04

    Anglican04 Active Member Anglican

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    Ok this might sound stupid but I am curious, if the Holy Spirit is equal in power as the Father and Son, why does the Son and the Father get to send the Spirit? Nobody has ever touched on this with me so yeah.
     
  7. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    • I don't think that Orthodoxy is false.
    • Orthodoxy can be seemingly very culturally centered which is hard for those from outside.
    • Orthodoxy is opposed to Pelagianism. Orthodoxy teaches that salvation is a gift of God, secured for us in the Victory of the Cross, and not to be presumed upon. God is spoken of as ineffable (beyond speaking). One of the criticisms leveled at Orthodoxy is that with the focus on worship the work of mission is often seen in second tier.
    John 14 15-17 ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

    John 14:25-26
    ‘I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.​

    The matter of procession, significantly tied to the matter of the insertion of the filioque clause in the Nicene Creed by Benedict VIII on the 15th of February 1014 and is a very nuanced topic, however they too are not without Scripture Tradition and Reason on this point. The Orthodox are very sensitive to anything they would perceive is as compromising the monarchical integrity of the Father which they would see as veering towards Polytheism.

    The EOC does teach about sin, and that there is more than enough of it to go around. The Orthodox do not embrace all that Augustine taught in this matter as to the inference of original guilt.

    From my perspective I see The Eastern Orthodox Churches as traditions of faith and love from whom we may learn and who in turn may also, God willing, learn from us.

    I suggest you have a look at the role of the Spirit in Creation (Genesis 1) Annunciation (Luke 1) and the Baptism of Jesus in the synoptic gospels.
     
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  8. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    In every quote you provide, Christ is inseperably involved in the sending forth of the Holy Ghost. This only strengthens the West's case that the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Father alone but that both the Father and Son are involved in the procession. It is Scriptural truth. by removing Christ from this vital activity, I believe the concept of the Trinity is compromised imho.
     
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  9. DivineOfficeNerd

    DivineOfficeNerd Active Member Anglican

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    I've read a compelling argument, can't remember where, that the filioque simply does not make sense in Greek, while it does in Latin. Take it with a grain of salt of course, but nearly every western church has stated the filioque is not to be used in the Greek. Of course, most western churches aren't what they used to be, so take that with a grain of salt.
     
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  10. Jenkins

    Jenkins New Member Anglican

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    On the proceeding of the Spirit, since reading this article a number of years ago I've been under the impression that the difference between East and West may not be so much doctrinal as linguistic, though I (and the author of the article) could be completely wrong about this. In any case, I find what William Sherlock, who I haven't otherwise heard of, had to say on the matter (as quoted in the article) quite interesting:

    The Son is united and subordinate to the Father, as begotten by Him; the Holy Ghost is united and subordinate to the Father and the Son, as proceeding both from the Father and from the Son. But if the Holy Spirit proceeded only from the Father, not from the Son, there would be no union and subordination between the Son and the Spirit, and yet the Spirit is the Spirit of the Son, as well as of the Father, and that these Three Persons be one God, it is necessary that there should be a union of persons, as well as One Nature. But then the Greek Church confesses, that the Spirit proceedeth from the Father by the Son, though not from the Son; and by and from are such niceties when we confess we understand not the manner of this Procession of the Holy Spirit, as ought to have made no dispute, much less a schism, between the two Churches. The Greek Church acknowledges the Distinction of Persons, and their Unity and Subordination… which is all the Creed requires as necessary to salvation.

    Since reading it I have essentially adopted the above as my way of thinking, however I'd be happy to hear suggestions as to why I should think otherwise if anyone has any.
     
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  11. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I do not argue against a proper understanding of double procession. However I do understand something of the Eastern Position in relation to this. The western expression of double procession is inelegantly expressed in the Nicene Creed where it was not intended to be placed. The great concern that the East has is that there be no suggestion of origination of the Spirit in anything other than the the Father. This has to do with the integrity of the Creed and the important opening statement of the Creed - We believe in one God - . Now I know that no-one can split theological microns like the EO whilst in the West we often don't fully get it.

    The William Sherlock quote from 1690 still has me wondering, one the one hand because subordination within the Holy Trinity seems a very inelegant expression, and seemingly fails to embrace the Mystery or Ineffability that the nature of God must embrace for us mere mortals. I am not certain at all that the Greek approach to the Monarchical Integrity of the Father should be understood as subordination. Indeed the principle of the relationship being consubstantial suggests that we in the West do not accept it either. In human terms an adult child is not less than the parent in terms of worth or personhood though they find their origin there. There is an ongoing theme in the West which suggests that the Filioque does not matter, therefore we will not drop it. The truth of course is that it matters to the East.

    The truth of the very sad story of the division of the Church accomplished in the Great Schism is much bound up in the intractability of the East and the arrogance of the West. It is a story which has more politics than piety, more Charlemagne than Christianity. And in its enactment it has much to do with the question of the authority of the Pope as against the mind of the whole Church as expressed in three Oecumenical Councils.

    One thing I certainly do not believe on this is that the Eastern position on procession is not scriptural. We are indeed the Church of the Triune God and our division is surely sad, and something we should seek to resolve. Removing the Filioque will not fix the division of itself, however I believe it would be a step in the right direction, however that is ultimately not the determining reason for my sympathy with the East on this point. I certainly believe that we in the West need to find better words to express what we really mean in our case for double procession.
     
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  12. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Orthodoxy in the standard sense isn't false in a sense that the Mormons are, since they adhere to the Trinitarian God and to the Historic Creeds. But then again even the Presbyterians fall under this umbrella. I'd argue that the Orthodox are not the highest or best version of Christianity; for the following reasons:

    #1. irrationalism, complete rejection of Reason and Natural Law
    #2. errors on original sin, justification, works, and faith
    #3. extreme ethno-centrism

    To put up a simple caricature, in becoming an Orthodox,

    -One has to stop thinking about God and deploying classical philosophy. Stop asking questions and correlating the physical-observable-tangible world with anything divine. There are no proofs for God, there is no evidence for Jesus, there are no divine marks in the world, and there is no natural law. Reason is presumption. The Church is above all evidence, or proof, or demonstration. One has faith IN THE CHURCH (pillar #1, before having faith in God or anything else).

    -One must reject original sin as classically stated, and consider St. Augustine as practically a heretic. Simultaneously one may comfortably profess Pelagian concepts such as salvation by works. There was a story a few years ago of the Greeks who tried to canonize Pelagius as a saint, and try Augustine for heresy.

    -And one must adopt a greater ethnic Albanian (or a Greek, or a Romanian, etc) identity, wherever you happen to be attending Church. You start with the Albanian (Greek/Romanian/etc) language since that's what the liturgy is in; but even going so far as embracing Albanian (etc) food, appreciating Albanian (etc) dress and people; and embracing Albanian (etc) cultural pillars: music, online forums, festivals, etc. You have to cheer for your new ethnicity; when when the Albanian monks have brutal brawls with the Romanian monks in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, you should cheer for your guys and against the others. Etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
  13. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Brawls between Rumanian and Albanian monks! Are you serious?
     
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  14. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Active Member

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    You might find this video interesting:

     
  15. ApostolicChristian

    ApostolicChristian New Member

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    Have a look on youtube and type in "Armenian monks fight greek monks in Church of holy sepulchre".

    This actually happens, yes, and it's full on fighting.
     
  16. ApostolicChristian

    ApostolicChristian New Member

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    There are certainly issues with the ethnocentrism in Orthodoxy. Some are trying to change that, but it's a slow process.

    The Orthodox are definitely not the keenest when it comes to mission and converting people. This is a result of ethnocentrism and war. I get the feeling that so much was taken from the Orthodox, in places like Greece after war with the Ottomans, that they hold onto their faith and keep it to themselves for fear of it being taken from them and changed by outsiders. I read this somewhere from an Orthodox person, but can't remember where.

    I do dislike how they completely seem to disregard reason and although they take pride in their faith "never having been changed since Nicaea", I believe sometimes it's necessary to address things and adapt accordingly. They're stuck in a bit of a time warp where they completely ignore what's going on outside of their faith communities.

    Also not very keen on the lack of interest in ecumenism. Sure, there are some who are ecumenists, but I think most Orthodox take the attitude of "we have the truth, you come to us. We won't come to you".
     
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  17. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yeah:



    Look for that knockout haymaker at 0:15
     
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  18. ApostolicChristian

    ApostolicChristian New Member

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    They're armenian and greeks
     
  19. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Active Member

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    Gee, and some Americans complain about Christian rock being 'worldly'. :\
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2018
  20. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    It certainly is not the way that Christians would, for the most part, want to be seen behaving. As Anglican Christians we should not choose to raise our heads to high as our history is not always all that flash either. The 1628 Prayer Book resulted in a chair being thrown in Edinburgh Cathedral. The Oxford Movement and the Evangelical Revival both had their share of less than Christian behavior. Sometimes of course the reason why people do not get excited and overheated about issues is not so much as for Godly restraint, but rather indifference and lack of commitment. Even on this forum we have had some robust debate, and the reason for this is because these are things that matter to us. We need to listen as well as speak, if we are ever to hear the still small voice of calm.

    Philippians 4:8
    Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just,
    whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable,
    if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise,
    think about these things.​
     
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