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Re: [LutheransLookingEast] (unknown)

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  • byza7@aol.com
    I would like to address the last paragraph by this unknown writer. The writer speaks of not hearing about Orthodox Christianity before the 90 s. My wife
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 21, 2008
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      I would like to address the last paragraph by this unknown writer.

      The writer speaks of not hearing about Orthodox Christianity before the 90's.

      My wife attended RC parochial school for all of her 12 yrs. When we
      started to date, she asked me what religion I am with. When I told her I was
      Orthodox, she replied "gee, I didn't know you were JEWISH".

      I was shocked at her response so I asked her "what did the RC Church teach
      you about other religions?" . She said they taught about the RC Church,
      Protestantism and the Jewish but NOTHING about Eastern Christianity.

      Now that was back in the 70's and today because of the internet, the RC
      Church can no longer DELETE Orthodoxy from history. But that doesn't mean they
      have stopped distorting Christian history in order to bias the RC Church.

      I think more and more Protestants are starting to study Early Christianity
      to the point that they won't fall for Roman revisionism with the fiction that
      the Early Church was Roman Catholic. Even till today, the RC's spin the
      word "catholic" to mean RC ONLY and many protestants and RC's today don't even
      take this word phrasing to task as being a suttle way of word distortion.

      No longer can the RC Church delete the Eastern Church, as long as we
      Orthodox remind them that most of the Early Church was of the East and we are the
      only ones historically that can stand in their faces and take their revisionism
      to task.

      One other point, Orthodox Christianity is NOT a "denomination". Look at
      any objective TIME LINE of Christianity and you will see that His Church is
      PRE Denomination !

      Thanks
      David Novak
      Kennesaw, Ga,








      In a message dated 7/21/2008 7:57:26 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
      oxh973@... writes:




      You all talk in abstract ideas and philosophical sounding words. I
      feel like I'm not getting anywhere.

      The NT shows the church composed of believers throughout half the
      world or less while apostles who knew Jesus in-person were still
      alive. It would be stupid to not place yourself into that hirarchy at
      that period of time. But once you get a few generations away from
      Jesus, things get sketchy. Disagreements arise. Maybe the Oriental
      Orthodox were right. Maybe the Coptic Orthodox were right. The Fathers
      weren't infallible and they disagreed on things. Then throw in finding
      "new worlds" and the development of new languages. It was destined to
      be messy but yet we still all believe in the same Jesus and the
      majority of us agree to the same creeds.

      If I went by praying and feeling, I'd still be in the charismatic
      church. Instead I made like a berean and started to test things. I
      became an orthodoxy hunter. I got into apologetics. I started weighing
      one Christian tradition against another. I compared and contrasted
      doctrinal differences. I wrestled with Calvinism for about 5 years and
      it nearly destroyed my faith. Calvinism painted a God whom I couldn't
      love. Lutheranism painted a God whom I could love.

      What was Martin Luther to do? All he knew was Rome, and he knew it was
      wrong. He tried to fix it. It's not like he could just quit being a
      monk and join the nearest EO church down the street.

      So, I guess that all was to illustrate that I'm not about to shut my
      eyes and grope my way into Orthodoxy. I will have to be convinced by
      scripture that God intended that there be one true denomination that
      would never get anything wrong.

      Nobody can argue that Orthodoxy isn't a deeply historical
      denomination. All Christian denominations can trace themselves to the
      apostles - however sloppy and bumpy the path. I see the divisions, but
      I also see them as united in Christ.

      I just don't get where some of these traditions and practices
      originated and earned legalistic practice. So, Luke liked to paint.
      Does that mean that he and his peers kissed the paintings? What if I
      don't prefer to show my recognition and respect for a saint by kissing
      a painting? What if that is unnatural to me? I'm not that
      demonstrative of a person. I'm not from a kissy family and I'm not
      fond of spreading germs. It's been a real stretch for me to use a
      common cup.

      The rigidity of the fasting bothers me. I don't see this kind of
      fasting prescribed in scripture. I could go into this further, but not
      right now.

      All churches have their problems. I've attended
      non-denominational/non-denominanon-denominational/<WBR>charismatic/<WB
      Indiana, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist (several),
      Evangelical Free, Assembly of God, Lutheran and probably others that I
      can't think of at the moment. I've determined problems with each of
      them. How can Orthodoxy claim to be completely sound in doctrine and
      practice. I believe that Orthodoxy has protected and handed down the
      proper interpretation of all the essential doctrines in scripture
      without errors, but it seems that Tradition has added man-made rules
      that while the seem harmless, they are being held in equality with
      scripture. Time alone can't be proof that it's correct because time
      isn't over. There is still time for certain rules to fade out. I'm not
      convinced of this one true church in the form of a denomination.
      Christ has many members. The sum total of the members have the full
      truth that has been revealed. I don't think you can say to the
      Lutherans "we don't need you". Yikes!

      Anyhow, I'm rambling now. I never hear of Eastern Orthodox before the
      90s. In fact, I'm not sure if I first heard of it from a classmate in
      High School (1990), or from a co-worker (1998). I heard about Christ
      before I heard about the Orthodox church. What have I been in all
      these years if not in the body of Christ?







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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Anastasia Theodoridis
      Dear tfrjen, When I decided to become Orthodox, the priest who catechized me was very wise. He knew that to understand Orthodox Christianity, with all her
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 21, 2008
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        Dear tfrjen,



        When I decided to become Orthodox, the priest who catechized me was very wise. He knew that to understand Orthodox Christianity, with all her doctrines and practices, I must first understand something about the heart of it all. That heart, that central treasure of the Church, passed down from the Apostles, is a certain way of relating to the risen Lord Jesus, and through Him, to the Holy Trinity. It is, namely, the very same way the Holy Apostles did. It is communion with them and in their communion with Him. (I John 1:13) So my spiritual father, amazingly enough, never even tried to teach me about a single doctrine! Instead, he tried very hard to introduce me to that Life, knowing that if I could begin living that, all the rest would make sense.



        And it did. And it does. Why? Because everything about Orthodoxy is an explication or application of the Church's life in Christ, her communion in His Life. Whoever understands that Life, to the extent he understands it, will understand how everything else, all the things you ask about, contribute to it, are necessary or at least useful to it, how all our beliefs and practices are to support, nourish, protect, grow, and pass on that most precious thing of all: our common Life in Christ.



        That's really the only way to understand Orthodox Christianity. I understand your wanting to do it cognitively, but it won't work that way. Oh, there will be plenty for your cognitive faculty to do in the process! You'll need all your brain power. Lots of things to sort out. But your mind will be deprived of the basic datum it needs for that task unless you know something of the Orthodox Christian (we say, correct) relationship to Jesus Christ.



        I can think of at least three ways you could get started. One is to keep attending some Orthodox church for a period of time. Another is to get a relationship going with some wise priest or monk, a spiritual father who would be willing to take you under wing. A third is to read about this communion we have in Christ. Some books I've found most useful include:



        Evergetinos,

        http://www.light-n-life.com/shopping/search_keyword.asp?PageName=search_keyword



        The Letters of Joseph the Elder,

        http://www.light-n-life.com/shopping/order_product.asp?ProductNum=MONA362



        and My Life in Christ by St. John Kronstadt.

        http://www.light-n-life.com/shopping/order_product.asp?ProductNum=MYLI500





        Anastasia




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • tfrjen
        Again, I have to ask, if I haven t been in Christ, where have I been? I understand my relationship to Him on some level. There s always room for growth on
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 21, 2008
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          Again, I have to ask, if I haven't been in Christ, where have I been?
          I understand my relationship to Him on some level. There's always room
          for growth on that.
        • Todd Harman
          tfrjen   I can honestly say that I wish I could turn my brain off in Orthodoxy! Truly. I typically only get 60% (that s generous!) of what people write about,
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 21, 2008
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            tfrjen
             
            I can honestly say that I wish I could turn my brain off in Orthodoxy! Truly. I typically only get 60% (that's generous!) of what people write about, and funny thing. When I left behind the LCMS seminary mentality of treating Scripture like a frog on a dissecting plate, it actually became more challenging not less. Something about tossing parsing of verbs and looking up Greek words in a lexicon actaully makes the text more real.
             
            I wish I could give you the answers you seek, but I can't. But I have not felt for one minute on my Orthodox journey that my brain was neglected or underused.
             
            Do I believe Orthodoxy is the one true Church? Yes I do. Can I prove it to anyone? No I can't. Where were you in Christ outside of the Orthodox Church? I don't know - probably the same place I was (and many people). I've heard on this blog that Orhtodoxy has the "fullness" that other churches lack. All you need to live a full life in Christ is in the Orthodox Church - His body. Can you find parts in other churches? From personal experience I would say yes you can. Some churches more than others. But personally I have experienced/seen the fullness of life in Christ in the Orthodox church.
             
            In the Lutheran church everything seemed more acedemic to me. In seminary the presumption was the better pastors would be those who could parse all the greek verbs effortlessly, quote from all 53 volumes of Luther Works, and knew the Samll Catechism inside and out. At the risk of sounding prideful, I'm not a moron. I can hang with the acdemically gifted. But like others have said, Orthodoxy is more practical - more about how to live a God pleasing life now. The biggest difference for me was the Incarnation. In Lutheranism it was what you celebrated on Christmas Eve - then on to the cross. In Orthodoxy, it's a major step in God's redemption of all his creation. More things flow from the Incarnation. Just try to wrap my brain around that "little" mystery kept me busy for awhile!!
             
            Sorry to ramble - I sorta understand your questions and I desperately want to help. But Just follow the advice that has been given and plant yourself in a church for awhile. Ask questions, and read the books recommended and check them against Scripture.
             
            Shalom!
            Todd

            --- On Mon, 7/21/08, tfrjen <oxh973@...> wrote:

            From: tfrjen <oxh973@...>
            Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: (unknown)
            To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Monday, July 21, 2008, 9:36 PM






            Again, I have to ask, if I haven't been in Christ, where have I been?
            I understand my relationship to Him on some level. There's always room
            for growth on that.


















            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Anastasia Theodoridis
            Don t know where you ve been or what your relationship to Christ is, except that it s clearly very important to you. And - as is made obvious by your
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 21, 2008
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              Don't know where you've been or what your relationship to Christ is, except that it's clearly very important to you. And - as is made obvious by your questions - it's different from ours. Ours is one, for example, that is greatly enriched by icons and fasting. (Fasting isn't rigid, actually. The Church sets goals and our spiritual fathers tailor those to each of our needs and abilities.)


              Anastasia

              There's a good series of podcasts here

              http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/pilgrims/P8/

              about how it isn't the same Jesus after all.





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            • Travis (Constantine) Stolz
              I don t know what your relationship with Christ is on any level, frankly.  And that s okay.  God is good and loves mankind, and I trust He will fill in the
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 22, 2008
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                I don't know what your relationship with Christ is on any level, frankly.  And that's okay.  God is good and loves mankind, and I trust He will fill in the blanks.  It seems that there is a lot on your mind and you are moving in some direction.  Once you get your ego out of the way--a very gradual process, trust me--you'll actually start to get somewhere.
                 
                Constantine

                _______________________
                Travis (Constantine) Stolz
                travis.stolz@...

                --- On Tue, 7/22/08, tfrjen <oxh973@...> wrote:

                From: tfrjen <oxh973@...>
                Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: (unknown)
                To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2008, 1:36 AM






                Again, I have to ask, if I haven't been in Christ, where have I been?
                I understand my relationship to Him on some level. There's always room
                for growth on that.


















                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Anastasia Theodoridis
                Another way that occurs to me that one could begin to get at the heart of Orthodoxy is to listen to the music on Ancient Faith Radio. http://ancientfaith.com/
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 22, 2008
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                  Another way that occurs to me that one could begin to get at the heart of Orthodoxy is to listen to the music on Ancient Faith Radio.
                  http://ancientfaith.com/


                  Anastasia




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