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Blessed Assurance

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  • Salvatore Sberna IV
    I begin this post with a disclaimer: I ve only been a Lutheran for about 9 months, so I ve still got Evangelical Protestant theology mixing with Lutheran
    Message 1 of 8 , May 7 7:26 AM
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      I begin this post with a disclaimer: I've only been a Lutheran for
      about 9 months, so I've still got Evangelical Protestant theology
      mixing with Lutheran orthodoxy and Orthodox thought in my mind.
      With that being said...

      The idea of "Once saved, Always saved" (or Luther's response to
      the Devil's condemnation: "I am Baptized!") is kind of a two-edged
      sword for me. On the one hand, this doctrine has "warmed my
      heart." It is/was good to know that no matter what I did or didn't
      do I would be ushered into God's presence when I died. This
      absolutist approach and the assurance it brought often times
      engendered good works in me and a sincere desire to live the
      Christian life. On the other hand, it also makes me negligent of
      doing good works or dealing with persistent sins in my life. Now, I
      know this doctrine does not fit anywhere in Orthodox soteriology (I
      don't think), but I still...Well, I don't know what I think. I
      mean, if it's not true, then I don't want anything to do with "Once
      saved, always saved", but I will miss genuine comfort it brought to
      me. So if a Christian dies after a particularly back-sliden
      (Evangelical term, I know) month will he die in a state of grace?
      Well, you guys just take this topic and run anywhere you want with
      it
    • Edward Wolfe
      ... Once saved, always saved is denied by Lutherans. (I was Lutheran pastor for 33 years before becoming Orthodox). Such a teaching is wonderful in one sense
      Message 2 of 8 , May 7 9:44 AM
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        > The idea of "Once saved, Always saved" (or Luther's response to
        > the Devil's condemnation: "I am Baptized!") is kind of a two-edged
        > sword for me. On the one hand, this doctrine has "warmed my
        > heart." It is/was good to know that no matter what I did or didn't
        > do I would be ushered into God's presence when I died. This
        > absolutist approach and the assurance it brought often times
        > engendered good works in me and a sincere desire to live the
        > Christian life.

        "Once saved, always saved" is denied by Lutherans. (I was Lutheran
        pastor for 33 years before becoming Orthodox). Such a teaching is
        wonderful in one sense by sinful human standards: it means you are
        "in" no matter what you do. However, at its root is also a teaching
        that those whom God has chosen are chosen, whatever they might do, and
        those that are not chosen are out, no matter what. It comes very close
        to a fatalism or an absolute predestination idea that pretty much
        means whatever happens, happens. Then, why bother!

        Lutherans teach "By grace are you saved, through faith ..." which is
        directly taken from St. Paul. And they are death on "works" -- to the
        extent, sometimes practically speaking, that you end up almost where
        you were in the previous paragraph. So, preaching often means
        "preaching the Gospel" -- God's love for you, His grace and mercy --
        but not at all dealing with Jesus' word, "deny yourself, take up your
        cross and follow me." Although the theologians would certainly deny
        that this can or does happen, this "single focus" seems often to make
        God's grace in Christ a "get out of hell free" card ... or likens it
        to an insurance policy: doesn't do much now, but in the hour of need ....

        As I think of this past Sunday, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, I
        see the mercy of God, the Lover of Mankind at work in the flesh. Jesus
        approaches the woman with a request: "Give me a drink of water" in
        order that He might offer her the water of life! She receives that
        water, doesn't she? Her receiving it doesn't mean that she "earned" or
        "merited" it -- but she did receive it and Him! And her lips were
        opened to "show forth His praise" as she went and told her friends and
        family that she had found the Christ! Holy Fathers tell us that she
        was baptized and brought many to see Jesus, and that her name was Photini.

        So, as Christ entered and received her, she did something, didnt' she?

        Throughout the Divine Liturgy, and the prayers of the church, our cry
        is "Lord, have mercy!" We pray constantly, "Lord Jesus Christ, have
        mercy on me, the sinner!" We don't take for granted our salvation, but
        we rely on Jesus grace and mercy that lives in us -- and in response
        to His love and mercy, we serve Him in the Divine Liturgy, in prayers
        and fasting, in works of mercy. We humbly do everything we can by His
        grace and the power of the Holy Spirit to become as He would have us.
        It means saying "No" to sin, to disobedience, to the passions that so
        often would over come us, to the siren song of Satan as he lures us
        into a false security ro even a false holiness.

        But, the bottom line is that we live in Christ, and we rely always and
        only on His grace and mercy -- something lived out in our lives in
        daily repentance.

        I think of St. Paul who said, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ
        who lives in me, and the life I now live I live by faith in the Son of
        God ..." His words are a response to Jesus: "If any man would follow
        me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me."

        Does it take work and struggle? Indeed! But not in the sense that I
        show my "pass" or that I can ever say, "Father, look at me, how
        wonderful I've been at doing ....."

        "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, the sinner."

        Hope this helps

        Ezekiel+
      • Christopher Orr
        Note how St. Anthony the Great talks about the necessity of our prayer and acts of compassion while qualifying that we do not win God over by this - we do
        Message 3 of 8 , May 7 11:39 AM
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          Note how St. Anthony the Great talks about the necessity of our prayer and
          acts of compassion while qualifying that we do not 'win God over' by this -
          we do not earn merit whereby we are saved:

          "God is good, dispassionate and immutable. Now someone who thinks it
          reasonable and true to affirm that God does not change, may well ask how in
          that case, it is possible to speak of God as rejoicing over those who are
          good and showing mercy to those who honor Him, while turning away from the
          wicked and being angry with sinners. To this it must be answered that God
          neither rejoices nor grows angry, for to rejoice and to be offended are
          passions; nor is He won over by the gifts of those who honor Him, for that
          would mean He is swayed by pleasure . . . He is good, and He only bestows
          blessings and never does harm, remaining always the same. We men, on the
          other hand, if we remain good through resembling God, are united to Him; but
          if we become evil through not resembling God, we are separated from Him. By
          living in holiness, we cleave to God; but by becoming wicked we make Him our
          enemy. It is not that He grows angry with us in an arbitrary way, but it is
          our own sins that prevent God from shining within us, and expose us to the
          demons who punish us. And if through prayer and acts of compassion we gain
          release from our sins, this does not mean that we have won God over and made
          Him change, but that through our actions and our turning to God we have
          cured our wickedness and so once more have enjoyment of God's goodness. Thus
          to say that God turns away from the wicked is like saying that the sun hides
          itself from the blind." - St Anthony the Great [+356]

          Excerpt from The Philokalia, Vol. 1, Text 150; Engl. tr. by
          Palmer-Sherrard-Ware, p. 352. Quoted in Orthodox Dogmatic
          Theology<http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/dogmatics_pomazansky.htm>by
          Protopresbyter
          Michael Pomazansky [+1988]; tr. and ed. by Hieromonk Seraphim Rose [+1982]
          (Platina, CA: St. Herman Press, 1997), p.350-351.

          http://orrologion.blogspot.com/2007/04/turning-to-god-we-have-cured-our.html


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Salvatore Sberna IV
          Wow!! Thanks you guys!! I admit my own ignorance on Luther and subsequent Lutheran theologians position on once saved, always saved. I did some research on
          Message 4 of 8 , May 8 7:28 AM
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            Wow!! Thanks you guys!! I admit my own ignorance on Luther and
            subsequent Lutheran theologians position on "once saved, always
            saved." I did some research on it while at a Lutheran monastary in
            Michigan, but still found myself wondering. Now that I think back
            on it I do remember an analogy of a man clinging to Christ as a
            sailor sails a ship into harbor. The ship will be faithful to carry
            the sailor into the harbor (death, heaven), but the sailor can jump
            ship. But even if he does, the ship is always there waiting for the
            drowning man. Hmm...I probably just destroyed that metaphor. I
            probably need to talk to my pastor about the Lutheran position.
            Although, he seems to be a fan of some of Paul Tillich's thoughts on
            God's Grace.
            Oddly enough, I believe from personal experience that the notion
            that salvation is a one time contract deal can actually be
            detrimental to the supposed goal of eternal assurance. I know that
            for years I wondered if I was saved. I looked for the fruits of the
            Spirit, but one always can find more evil than good in the human
            soul. And it doesn't really help to talk to an Evangelical pastor
            who tells you either "Of course you are saved, you prayed the
            sinners prayer" or "Of course you're saved, if you sincerely prayed
            to make Jesus the Lord of your life." Even back then I thought "how
            could I know if I was sincere about that prayer when I prayed it at
            10 years old after a particularly powerful sermon about the Wheat
            and the Tears?" And then there are those who tell you that "you
            can't just pray the sinners pray because you want a get out of Hell
            free card." Well, good grief, then regale me with the bliss of
            Heaven and not the torments of Hell.
            Okay, this is turning into more of a rant, but I'm still trying to
            get free from some of the bad doctrine I was taught growing up. The
            idea of never being able to loose your salvation (either by
            something you do or God does) was a hallmark of my parents' faith.
            In fact, when I first started to investigate Orthodoxy I was
            visiting my parents and told my mother, who is a self-described
            Christian mystic, that I was surprised she was not Orthodox given
            some of her informal, theological leanings. She replied that she is
            not Orthodox because "they don't believe in Grace." What she meant,
            I think, is that Orthodox believe that works will get you to
            heaven. I reckon this misconception comes from growing up in an
            anti-Catholic environment, bad teachings on Catholics to begin with,
            and the questionable doctrine of the economy of grace and merit in
            the Catholic Church itself. I informed her that they in no way
            believe that, but since they believe that humans have free-will then
            a man must necessarily actively participate and engage in the
            salvation that is freely offered in Christ. Well, that debate could
            go in circles, so I generally leave it alone anymore. And don't
            even get her started on the Sacraments (she's even a bit
            uncomfortable with the Lutheran teaching on the effective grace of
            Baptism. When I told her that I wanted to become an ordained
            Lutheran pastor she said "okay, but you don't have to believe in the
            whole grace of Baptism thing, right?").
            Sorry for the personal history guys. It's finals week at the
            University of Houston and I've been cooped up far too long in this
            apartment. Guess I just needed someone to talk to and get all of
            this off my chest. Thanks.

            Sal
          • Eric Perich
            Sal, Its interesting that you brought up the Lutheran monastery in Michigan. I have not been there yet, but will be spending three days there at the end of
            Message 5 of 8 , May 8 5:29 PM
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              Sal,

              Its interesting that you brought up the Lutheran monastery in Michigan. I
              have not been there yet, but will be spending three days there at the end of
              the month. Do you have any advice for me?

              Also, for anyone in southeast Michigan, do you know of any local stores
              where I can get Orthodox books, icons, etc. without having to turn to the
              internet? It seems that most Christian bookstores are geared primarily
              toward evangelicals, so there's not usually much of interest to an orthodox
              Lutheran.

              Eric

              On 5/8/07, Salvatore Sberna IV <salsberna@...> wrote:
              >
              > Wow!! Thanks you guys!! I admit my own ignorance on Luther and
              > subsequent Lutheran theologians position on "once saved, always
              > saved." I did some research on it while at a Lutheran monastary in
              > Michigan, but still found myself wondering. Now that I think back
              > on it I do remember an analogy of a man clinging to Christ as a
              > sailor sails a ship into harbor. The ship will be faithful to carry
              > the sailor into the harbor (death, heaven), but the sailor can jump
              > ship. But even if he does, the ship is always there waiting for the
              > drowning man. Hmm...I probably just destroyed that metaphor. I
              > probably need to talk to my pastor about the Lutheran position.
              > Although, he seems to be a fan of some of Paul Tillich's thoughts on
              > God's Grace.
              > Oddly enough, I believe from personal experience that the notion
              > that salvation is a one time contract deal can actually be
              > detrimental to the supposed goal of eternal assurance. I know that
              > for years I wondered if I was saved. I looked for the fruits of the
              > Spirit, but one always can find more evil than good in the human
              > soul. And it doesn't really help to talk to an Evangelical pastor
              > who tells you either "Of course you are saved, you prayed the
              > sinners prayer" or "Of course you're saved, if you sincerely prayed
              > to make Jesus the Lord of your life." Even back then I thought "how
              > could I know if I was sincere about that prayer when I prayed it at
              > 10 years old after a particularly powerful sermon about the Wheat
              > and the Tears?" And then there are those who tell you that "you
              > can't just pray the sinners pray because you want a get out of Hell
              > free card." Well, good grief, then regale me with the bliss of
              > Heaven and not the torments of Hell.
              > Okay, this is turning into more of a rant, but I'm still trying to
              > get free from some of the bad doctrine I was taught growing up. The
              > idea of never being able to loose your salvation (either by
              > something you do or God does) was a hallmark of my parents' faith.
              > In fact, when I first started to investigate Orthodoxy I was
              > visiting my parents and told my mother, who is a self-described
              > Christian mystic, that I was surprised she was not Orthodox given
              > some of her informal, theological leanings. She replied that she is
              > not Orthodox because "they don't believe in Grace." What she meant,
              > I think, is that Orthodox believe that works will get you to
              > heaven. I reckon this misconception comes from growing up in an
              > anti-Catholic environment, bad teachings on Catholics to begin with,
              > and the questionable doctrine of the economy of grace and merit in
              > the Catholic Church itself. I informed her that they in no way
              > believe that, but since they believe that humans have free-will then
              > a man must necessarily actively participate and engage in the
              > salvation that is freely offered in Christ. Well, that debate could
              > go in circles, so I generally leave it alone anymore. And don't
              > even get her started on the Sacraments (she's even a bit
              > uncomfortable with the Lutheran teaching on the effective grace of
              > Baptism. When I told her that I wanted to become an ordained
              > Lutheran pastor she said "okay, but you don't have to believe in the
              > whole grace of Baptism thing, right?").
              > Sorry for the personal history guys. It's finals week at the
              > University of Houston and I've been cooped up far too long in this
              > apartment. Guess I just needed someone to talk to and get all of
              > this off my chest. Thanks.
              >
              > Sal
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Jeremy Finck
              You can get all that kind of Orthodox stuff at virtually any Orthodox parish. There s a pretty comprehensive, searchable listing of Churches at
              Message 6 of 8 , May 16 10:20 PM
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                You can get all that kind of Orthodox stuff at virtually any Orthodox
                parish. There's a pretty comprehensive, searchable listing of Churches at
                http://www.orthodoxyinamerica.com/
                I don't live in MI, but I have visited an Orthodox Monastery in Rives
                Junction (http://www.dormitionmonastery.com/), just 15min outside of
                Jackson. They have a great bookstore complete with icons, prayer ropes,
                censers, etc. But it's good to give them plenty of notice that you're
                coming, so someone will be available for the bookstore.
                And I have some friends who go to the Russian Orthodox Church in Albion, MI
                : Holy Ascension (http://www.orthodoxchurchalbion.org/).

                Hope that's helpful.

                Jeremy


                On 5/8/07, Eric Perich <eperich@...> wrote:
                >
                > Sal,
                >
                > Its interesting that you brought up the Lutheran monastery in Michigan. I
                > have not been there yet, but will be spending three days there at the end
                > of
                > the month. Do you have any advice for me?
                >
                > Also, for anyone in southeast Michigan, do you know of any local stores
                > where I can get Orthodox books, icons, etc. without having to turn to the
                > internet? It seems that most Christian bookstores are geared primarily
                > toward evangelicals, so there's not usually much of interest to an
                > orthodox
                > Lutheran.
                >
                > Eric
                >
                >
                > On 5/8/07, Salvatore Sberna IV <salsberna@...<salsberna%40gmail.com>>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > Wow!! Thanks you guys!! I admit my own ignorance on Luther and
                > > subsequent Lutheran theologians position on "once saved, always
                > > saved." I did some research on it while at a Lutheran monastary in
                > > Michigan, but still found myself wondering. Now that I think back
                > > on it I do remember an analogy of a man clinging to Christ as a
                > > sailor sails a ship into harbor. The ship will be faithful to carry
                > > the sailor into the harbor (death, heaven), but the sailor can jump
                > > ship. But even if he does, the ship is always there waiting for the
                > > drowning man. Hmm...I probably just destroyed that metaphor. I
                > > probably need to talk to my pastor about the Lutheran position.
                > > Although, he seems to be a fan of some of Paul Tillich's thoughts on
                > > God's Grace.
                > > Oddly enough, I believe from personal experience that the notion
                > > that salvation is a one time contract deal can actually be
                > > detrimental to the supposed goal of eternal assurance. I know that
                > > for years I wondered if I was saved. I looked for the fruits of the
                > > Spirit, but one always can find more evil than good in the human
                > > soul. And it doesn't really help to talk to an Evangelical pastor
                > > who tells you either "Of course you are saved, you prayed the
                > > sinners prayer" or "Of course you're saved, if you sincerely prayed
                > > to make Jesus the Lord of your life." Even back then I thought "how
                > > could I know if I was sincere about that prayer when I prayed it at
                > > 10 years old after a particularly powerful sermon about the Wheat
                > > and the Tears?" And then there are those who tell you that "you
                > > can't just pray the sinners pray because you want a get out of Hell
                > > free card." Well, good grief, then regale me with the bliss of
                > > Heaven and not the torments of Hell.
                > > Okay, this is turning into more of a rant, but I'm still trying to
                > > get free from some of the bad doctrine I was taught growing up. The
                > > idea of never being able to loose your salvation (either by
                > > something you do or God does) was a hallmark of my parents' faith.
                > > In fact, when I first started to investigate Orthodoxy I was
                > > visiting my parents and told my mother, who is a self-described
                > > Christian mystic, that I was surprised she was not Orthodox given
                > > some of her informal, theological leanings. She replied that she is
                > > not Orthodox because "they don't believe in Grace." What she meant,
                > > I think, is that Orthodox believe that works will get you to
                > > heaven. I reckon this misconception comes from growing up in an
                > > anti-Catholic environment, bad teachings on Catholics to begin with,
                > > and the questionable doctrine of the economy of grace and merit in
                > > the Catholic Church itself. I informed her that they in no way
                > > believe that, but since they believe that humans have free-will then
                > > a man must necessarily actively participate and engage in the
                > > salvation that is freely offered in Christ. Well, that debate could
                > > go in circles, so I generally leave it alone anymore. And don't
                > > even get her started on the Sacraments (she's even a bit
                > > uncomfortable with the Lutheran teaching on the effective grace of
                > > Baptism. When I told her that I wanted to become an ordained
                > > Lutheran pastor she said "okay, but you don't have to believe in the
                > > whole grace of Baptism thing, right?").
                > > Sorry for the personal history guys. It's finals week at the
                > > University of Houston and I've been cooped up far too long in this
                > > apartment. Guess I just needed someone to talk to and get all of
                > > this off my chest. Thanks.
                > >
                > > Sal
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Rebecca Wilson
                This is my first reply. We lived in Kalamazoo three years ago. There is a Patriarchal parish in Battle Creek. Also, the Greek parish in Kalamazoo has a very
                Message 7 of 8 , May 17 2:27 PM
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                  This is my first reply. We lived in Kalamazoo three years ago. There is a Patriarchal parish in Battle Creek. Also, the Greek parish in Kalamazoo has a very evangelical priest and the Divine Liturgy is in English. Fr. Evan is his name. That's about it for Kalamazoo. Dormition Monastery is the best! The nuns are holy, joyful and extremely helpful. The items in their bookstore are very affordable. If you can get to Detroit for a day, MUST go to St. Raphael of Brooklyn parish (Romanian). Fr. Leo is filled with Divine Light. The very best priest or person I have ever encountered (I've been Orthodox since 1980). The Orthodox Christian Education Center which is housed in the men's monastery (Romanian). It is so worth the trip.

                  Hope this helps. Christ is in our midst. He is and every shall be!
                  Rebecca

                  Jeremy Finck <AdonaiUplifts@...> wrote:
                  You can get all that kind of Orthodox stuff at virtually any Orthodox
                  parish. There's a pretty comprehensive, searchable listing of Churches at
                  http://www.orthodoxyinamerica.com/
                  I don't live in MI, but I have visited an Orthodox Monastery in Rives
                  Junction (http://www.dormitionmonastery.com/), just 15min outside of
                  Jackson. They have a great bookstore complete with icons, prayer ropes,
                  censers, etc. But it's good to give them plenty of notice that you're
                  coming, so someone will be available for the bookstore.
                  And I have some friends who go to the Russian Orthodox Church in Albion, MI
                  : Holy Ascension (http://www.orthodoxchurchalbion.org/).

                  Hope that's helpful.

                  Jeremy

                  On 5/8/07, Eric Perich <eperich@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Sal,
                  >
                  > Its interesting that you brought up the Lutheran monastery in Michigan. I
                  > have not been there yet, but will be spending three days there at the end
                  > of
                  > the month. Do you have any advice for me?
                  >
                  > Also, for anyone in southeast Michigan, do you know of any local stores
                  > where I can get Orthodox books, icons, etc. without having to turn to the
                  > internet? It seems that most Christian bookstores are geared primarily
                  > toward evangelicals, so there's not usually much of interest to an
                  > orthodox
                  > Lutheran.
                  >
                  > Eric
                  >
                  >
                  > On 5/8/07, Salvatore Sberna IV <salsberna@...<salsberna%40gmail.com>>
                  > wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Wow!! Thanks you guys!! I admit my own ignorance on Luther and
                  > > subsequent Lutheran theologians position on "once saved, always
                  > > saved." I did some research on it while at a Lutheran monastary in
                  > > Michigan, but still found myself wondering. Now that I think back
                  > > on it I do remember an analogy of a man clinging to Christ as a
                  > > sailor sails a ship into harbor. The ship will be faithful to carry
                  > > the sailor into the harbor (death, heaven), but the sailor can jump
                  > > ship. But even if he does, the ship is always there waiting for the
                  > > drowning man. Hmm...I probably just destroyed that metaphor. I
                  > > probably need to talk to my pastor about the Lutheran position.
                  > > Although, he seems to be a fan of some of Paul Tillich's thoughts on
                  > > God's Grace.
                  > > Oddly enough, I believe from personal experience that the notion
                  > > that salvation is a one time contract deal can actually be
                  > > detrimental to the supposed goal of eternal assurance. I know that
                  > > for years I wondered if I was saved. I looked for the fruits of the
                  > > Spirit, but one always can find more evil than good in the human
                  > > soul. And it doesn't really help to talk to an Evangelical pastor
                  > > who tells you either "Of course you are saved, you prayed the
                  > > sinners prayer" or "Of course you're saved, if you sincerely prayed
                  > > to make Jesus the Lord of your life." Even back then I thought "how
                  > > could I know if I was sincere about that prayer when I prayed it at
                  > > 10 years old after a particularly powerful sermon about the Wheat
                  > > and the Tears?" And then there are those who tell you that "you
                  > > can't just pray the sinners pray because you want a get out of Hell
                  > > free card." Well, good grief, then regale me with the bliss of
                  > > Heaven and not the torments of Hell.
                  > > Okay, this is turning into more of a rant, but I'm still trying to
                  > > get free from some of the bad doctrine I was taught growing up. The
                  > > idea of never being able to loose your salvation (either by
                  > > something you do or God does) was a hallmark of my parents' faith.
                  > > In fact, when I first started to investigate Orthodoxy I was
                  > > visiting my parents and told my mother, who is a self-described
                  > > Christian mystic, that I was surprised she was not Orthodox given
                  > > some of her informal, theological leanings. She replied that she is
                  > > not Orthodox because "they don't believe in Grace." What she meant,
                  > > I think, is that Orthodox believe that works will get you to
                  > > heaven. I reckon this misconception comes from growing up in an
                  > > anti-Catholic environment, bad teachings on Catholics to begin with,
                  > > and the questionable doctrine of the economy of grace and merit in
                  > > the Catholic Church itself. I informed her that they in no way
                  > > believe that, but since they believe that humans have free-will then
                  > > a man must necessarily actively participate and engage in the
                  > > salvation that is freely offered in Christ. Well, that debate could
                  > > go in circles, so I generally leave it alone anymore. And don't
                  > > even get her started on the Sacraments (she's even a bit
                  > > uncomfortable with the Lutheran teaching on the effective grace of
                  > > Baptism. When I told her that I wanted to become an ordained
                  > > Lutheran pastor she said "okay, but you don't have to believe in the
                  > > whole grace of Baptism thing, right?").
                  > > Sorry for the personal history guys. It's finals week at the
                  > > University of Houston and I've been cooped up far too long in this
                  > > apartment. Guess I just needed someone to talk to and get all of
                  > > this off my chest. Thanks.
                  > >
                  > > Sal
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






                  ---------------------------------
                  Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search that gives answers, not web links.

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • tantuslabor
                  Hello, Rebecca! Fr. Evangelos is no longer at the parish in Kalamazoo...Here in Grand Rapids we have a number of Orthodox parishes: St. John Chrysostom
                  Message 8 of 8 , May 17 4:03 PM
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                    Hello, Rebecca!

                    Fr. Evangelos is no longer at the parish in Kalamazoo...Here in Grand
                    Rapids we have a number of Orthodox parishes: St. John Chrysostom
                    (Patriarchal), Holy Annunciation (Romanian), Holy Trinity (Greek), St.
                    George, St. Nicholas, and Holy Cross (my parish--all Antiochian). I
                    second your words about Dormition monastery.

                    The unworthy priest,

                    Fr. Gregory Hogg

                    --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, Rebecca Wilson
                    <emmy88heaven@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > This is my first reply. We lived in Kalamazoo three years ago.
                    There is a Patriarchal parish in Battle Creek. Also, the Greek parish
                    in Kalamazoo has a very evangelical priest and the Divine Liturgy is
                    in English. Fr. Evan is his name. That's about it for Kalamazoo.
                    Dormition Monastery is the best! The nuns are holy, joyful and
                    extremely helpful. The items in their bookstore are very affordable.
                    If you can get to Detroit for a day, MUST go to St. Raphael of
                    Brooklyn parish (Romanian). Fr. Leo is filled with Divine Light. The
                    very best priest or person I have ever encountered (I've been Orthodox
                    since 1980). The Orthodox Christian Education Center which is housed
                    in the men's monastery (Romanian). It is so worth the trip.
                    >
                    > Hope this helps. Christ is in our midst. He is and every shall be!
                    > Rebecca
                    >
                    > Jeremy Finck <AdonaiUplifts@...> wrote:
                    > You can get all that kind of Orthodox stuff at virtually
                    any Orthodox
                    > parish. There's a pretty comprehensive, searchable listing of
                    Churches at
                    > http://www.orthodoxyinamerica.com/
                    > I don't live in MI, but I have visited an Orthodox Monastery in Rives
                    > Junction (http://www.dormitionmonastery.com/), just 15min outside of
                    > Jackson. They have a great bookstore complete with icons, prayer ropes,
                    > censers, etc. But it's good to give them plenty of notice that you're
                    > coming, so someone will be available for the bookstore.
                    > And I have some friends who go to the Russian Orthodox Church in
                    Albion, MI
                    > : Holy Ascension (http://www.orthodoxchurchalbion.org/).
                    >
                    > Hope that's helpful.
                    >
                    > Jeremy
                    >
                    > On 5/8/07, Eric Perich <eperich@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Sal,
                    > >
                    > > Its interesting that you brought up the Lutheran monastery in
                    Michigan. I
                    > > have not been there yet, but will be spending three days there at
                    the end
                    > > of
                    > > the month. Do you have any advice for me?
                    > >
                    > > Also, for anyone in southeast Michigan, do you know of any local
                    stores
                    > > where I can get Orthodox books, icons, etc. without having to turn
                    to the
                    > > internet? It seems that most Christian bookstores are geared primarily
                    > > toward evangelicals, so there's not usually much of interest to an
                    > > orthodox
                    > > Lutheran.
                    > >
                    > > Eric
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > On 5/8/07, Salvatore Sberna IV <salsberna@...<salsberna%40gmail.com>>
                    > > wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Wow!! Thanks you guys!! I admit my own ignorance on Luther and
                    > > > subsequent Lutheran theologians position on "once saved, always
                    > > > saved." I did some research on it while at a Lutheran monastary in
                    > > > Michigan, but still found myself wondering. Now that I think back
                    > > > on it I do remember an analogy of a man clinging to Christ as a
                    > > > sailor sails a ship into harbor. The ship will be faithful to carry
                    > > > the sailor into the harbor (death, heaven), but the sailor can jump
                    > > > ship. But even if he does, the ship is always there waiting for the
                    > > > drowning man. Hmm...I probably just destroyed that metaphor. I
                    > > > probably need to talk to my pastor about the Lutheran position.
                    > > > Although, he seems to be a fan of some of Paul Tillich's thoughts on
                    > > > God's Grace.
                    > > > Oddly enough, I believe from personal experience that the notion
                    > > > that salvation is a one time contract deal can actually be
                    > > > detrimental to the supposed goal of eternal assurance. I know that
                    > > > for years I wondered if I was saved. I looked for the fruits of the
                    > > > Spirit, but one always can find more evil than good in the human
                    > > > soul. And it doesn't really help to talk to an Evangelical pastor
                    > > > who tells you either "Of course you are saved, you prayed the
                    > > > sinners prayer" or "Of course you're saved, if you sincerely prayed
                    > > > to make Jesus the Lord of your life." Even back then I thought "how
                    > > > could I know if I was sincere about that prayer when I prayed it at
                    > > > 10 years old after a particularly powerful sermon about the Wheat
                    > > > and the Tears?" And then there are those who tell you that "you
                    > > > can't just pray the sinners pray because you want a get out of Hell
                    > > > free card." Well, good grief, then regale me with the bliss of
                    > > > Heaven and not the torments of Hell.
                    > > > Okay, this is turning into more of a rant, but I'm still trying to
                    > > > get free from some of the bad doctrine I was taught growing up. The
                    > > > idea of never being able to loose your salvation (either by
                    > > > something you do or God does) was a hallmark of my parents' faith.
                    > > > In fact, when I first started to investigate Orthodoxy I was
                    > > > visiting my parents and told my mother, who is a self-described
                    > > > Christian mystic, that I was surprised she was not Orthodox given
                    > > > some of her informal, theological leanings. She replied that she is
                    > > > not Orthodox because "they don't believe in Grace." What she meant,
                    > > > I think, is that Orthodox believe that works will get you to
                    > > > heaven. I reckon this misconception comes from growing up in an
                    > > > anti-Catholic environment, bad teachings on Catholics to begin with,
                    > > > and the questionable doctrine of the economy of grace and merit in
                    > > > the Catholic Church itself. I informed her that they in no way
                    > > > believe that, but since they believe that humans have free-will then
                    > > > a man must necessarily actively participate and engage in the
                    > > > salvation that is freely offered in Christ. Well, that debate could
                    > > > go in circles, so I generally leave it alone anymore. And don't
                    > > > even get her started on the Sacraments (she's even a bit
                    > > > uncomfortable with the Lutheran teaching on the effective grace of
                    > > > Baptism. When I told her that I wanted to become an ordained
                    > > > Lutheran pastor she said "okay, but you don't have to believe in the
                    > > > whole grace of Baptism thing, right?").
                    > > > Sorry for the personal history guys. It's finals week at the
                    > > > University of Houston and I've been cooped up far too long in this
                    > > > apartment. Guess I just needed someone to talk to and get all of
                    > > > this off my chest. Thanks.
                    > > >
                    > > > Sal
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
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