Orthodoxy

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

  1. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    What better things does she have to do? Why do you sincerely doubt she appeared Juan Diego? Did Juan Diego have a reputation for dishonesty or exaggeration?
     
  2. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Member Anglican

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    For starters without any Scriptural reference to any sort of Marian appearance (or indeed, even words outside of the Gospels) it would seem Scripturally dubious to me at best. True, there's nothing about a Marian apparition that would be forbidden by the Scriptures but the total scriptural silence is why even the RCC does not require Roman Catholics to believe Marian apparitions.

    Secondly, while it is possible that Mary could be appointed by her Son to be a messenger of sorts, it does seem odd that Marian apparitions seem to be always Marian-centric as opposed to Christocentric. Don't read me wrongly, I don't think any Marian respect is idolatry and I think mainstream Protestantism's Marian minimalism is unhealthy. However it seems telling that the only reference to Christ is a quick mention of herself as the "mother of the Deity." From then on every interaction is centered around herself and her relationship with Juan Diego.

    Then there's the historical doubts and "coincidences." The Nahuatl mother goddess Tonantzin was worshiped at the site of Tepeyac in precolumbian times and even after the incident, Nahuatl speakers continued to refer to Our Lady as Tonantzin. There's also questions about the historicity of Juan Diego himself. Roman Catholic scholars and clerics like Juan Bautista Munoz (1794), Joaquin Garcia Icazbalceta (1883) and Fr. Stafford Poole (2006) have questioned the validity of the narrative. In fact in 1556, the Franciscans pointed out the famous tilma was painted by a native named Marco, probably referring to Marco Cipac de Aquino, who was a known native painter at the time.

    Forgotten now is the fact that the validity of the following around the apparition was challenged and questioned by Roman Catholic authorities up until Juan Diego's beatification in the 1990s. The Dominicans in Mexico supported the cultus but the Franciscans did not. Fray Francisco de Bustamante said:

    "The devotion at the chapel...to which they have given the name Guadalupe was prejudicial to the Indians because they believed that the image itself worked miracles, contrary to what the missionary friars had been teaching them, and because many were disappointed when it did not."

    For me it seems that the simplest explanation is far likelier. The site and the former mother goddess was re-appropriated as a Christian site and the Virgen de Guadalupe was used as a powerful, though imperfect, tool of evangelization.
     
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  3. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Active Member

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    Isn't it also ironic that Fatima was one of the daughters of Mohammed and that the apparition happened only a few decades before Vatican II?
     
  4. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Member Anglican

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    I think we're getting our apparitions mixed up. La Virgen de Guadalupe was from the 1500s in Mexico, not the Fatima appearances in Portugal(?).
     
  5. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Active Member

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    No, we're not. I'm pointing out peculiar things that happened around the time of each. You mentioned the goddess relations with Guadalupe, so I mentioned a particular coincidence relating to Fatima.
     
  6. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Member Anglican

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    Ah ok, for a second I thought you were saying the Guadalupe incident occurred just before Vatican I.


    @Lowly Layman

    Trust me I don't want you to take my post as one of those typical anti-Mary screeds that infect Protestantism. My views of Mary line up more with Martin Luther and John Wesley than later Reformed folks. And as someone whose father is Mexican, I think La Virgen is a powerful symbol of Mexican identity and indigenous Christianity (I have a candle of La Virgen near our cross and crucifix). But I think there's also good reason to question the narrative.
     
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  7. Aidan

    Aidan Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for stating that you don't see Marian respect as idolatory. Some here would disagree with you.
     
  8. AnglicanTex

    AnglicanTex Member Anglican

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    "For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." Can't argue with Holy Writ.
     
  9. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Member Anglican

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    For me to have a high view of the Incarnation is to have a high view of Mary. On a cosmic, metaphysical level she is literally the most astounding person there is. You see this in the writings of the early Reformers (calling her Our Lady, believing in perpetual virginity, honoring her, etc...) but I think the use of Mary as a symbol of the counter-Reformation definitely moved it into the "Roman" column for many Protestants unfortunately.
     
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  10. Fr. Michael Schaplowsky

    Fr. Michael Schaplowsky New Member

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    I would suggest it is a misconception. The Orthodox understanding is that salvation is offered to every person. It remains up to us whether we accept that gift or not. In reading the 'Fathers of the Church' it becomes very apparent in the Orthodox understanding that heaven and hell are the same place. The blessing of the Psalm for one is the curse of the other - Psalm 139:7-8 - "
    7Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
    8If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there."

    But with all offers of love - we are free to reject that love and in the Orthodox Church we do no presume to know the heart of every person. Our Christian life on earth does not warrant us any guarantee - it simply is there to help us in becoming what God created us to be, which is to more faithfully bear the image and become more like God.

    You are correct about the 'cultural aspect' of the Orthodox Church. When immigrants came to North America (and now western Europe) they set up faith communities to live out their Christian life. However, as most immigrants are often marginalized in the 'welcoming' society, for many Orthodox it has been no different - and so the ghetto attitude can set in. In North America, however, three Orthodox jurisdictions have made efforts to reach out to the wider society and continue to do so. With just being on here for a couple hours, there is a discussion of the Western Rite Orthodox Church (which drew me here) of both the Antiochian and Russian Orthodox Churches. In addition, the OCA (uses English, French and Spanish) is by far mostly converts to Orthodoxy. The communities that are not willing to venture out are dying and they should as they are not following the Christian calling to share the Good News.

    I myself have struggled with being a former Roman Catholic who was drawn to the Anglican Church and the Orthodox Church. I ended up in the Orthodox Church and while our services are in English, I miss good western ritual and liturgy. So after two decades in the East, I find the theology of the Orthodox coherent and faithful to the apostolic faith, but I miss Western worship. I am here to learn more about it (as I age I forget ;) ) and look forward to learning from those here.

    As we establish a Western Rite Orthodox community in Edmonton, we wish to be faithful to our Orthodox faith and the Anglican Liturgical tradition. We are not that different when it comes to faith. The agreed statements of our two Churches in 1984 speaks to that.
     
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  11. Fr. Michael Schaplowsky

    Fr. Michael Schaplowsky New Member

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    In regards to the procession of the Holy Spirit. A quick note - there is a distinction made in the Orthodox Church between "generation or origin" and "procession in mission". Quickly, the Orthodox hold that the Father is the Father of both the Son and Holy Spirit. However, when Christ sends the Spirit it, it is in mission. We hold that there is always a threefold action of God in any activity. The Father wills it and the Son and the Spirit carry out that mission. What the Spirit does in the Old Testament reaches its fulfillment in the birth of Jesus Christ and his time on earth. The Spirit is sent to complete what Christ begins with the apostles/disciples to build the Church. This is extremely simplified but the Western understanding of the procession of the Spirit makes no distinction between origin/generation and mission/activity. The East does make such a distinction.

    In regards to a couple of the comments on 'reason'. Orthodox theology does not negate reason and it could be quite well argued that while the West follows a more Aristotelian approach, the East follows a more Platonic approach. Original Sin is not ignored by the East but the understanding of the sin is more situational than juridical. Sin is passed from 'father to son' not because of a God who condemns all but rather that we chose in the Garden to pursue knowledge without God and this lead to our expulsion (some would argue - our choice). For Orthodox Christians the understanding of the first sin is that we now live in a fallen world with all that entails. Sins are passed from one generation to the next because we choose to pass them on. The world is fallen because we still struggle collectively and personally with manifesting God's Kingdom here on earth. For Orthodox Christians the Fall is not a total loss of the image of God but rather a 'muddying' of the image such that by following the teachings of Christ, we hopefully our image becomes more like the Image of God.

    It was common and still is in parts of Greece where lay folk will discuss aspects of faith in minute detail using Church Fathers and Greek philosophy to defend their understandings.

    In regards to the Immaculate Conception. We do have a problem with it theologically. However, many Roman Catholic theologians that I have had the pleasure to know, do as well. One of the major aspects of Original Sin is that the world is fallen and Mary is born into that world. Marian theology in the West often has the Mother of God either as a vessel of birth or a woman who is to be the example to women of meekness and mildness. Orthodoxy does not have that understanding. Mary is presented with the words of the angel and begins with questioning. When she is done then it is okay with her. At Cana of Galilee, Mary essentially ignores Christ and demands that He deal with the issue - which interestingly He complies. Mary is understood as Theotokos which in the Greek loosely translates as the one who makes God present. Thus, she is an example for all Christians - we are all called to make God present as she and the saints have done throughout the ages.

    There are Orthodox concerns about some aspects of Agustine's teachings. He is held as a saint by the Orthodox. But enough for now.

    Oh, and the fighting monks - remember - Orthodoxy is coming out from the catacombs of Communism. It has only been 28 years since being a Christian would not put you in Siberia. And yes Christians, no matter the Church, often fail to be good examples of the faith, myself included.
     
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  12. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    And Christ is the Restorer of the image as alluded to in John 4, and I have a feeling that one of the Eastern Fathers made something of this that I read some time back.
     
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  13. DouayJamesGeneva

    DouayJamesGeneva Active Member

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    I am grateful for the time you've taken to clarify our understandings of Orthodoxy, and also for displaying such a humble spirit. It is greatly appreciated. Blessings to you.
     
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