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Re: Just Joined

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  • herrdave2_prime
    Fr Fenton, How does one from the LCMS brand of Lutheranism deal with the new fuzzier version of truth coverting to Orthodoxy, when it is not the infallible
    Message 1 of 22 , Apr 22 7:16 PM
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      Fr Fenton,
      How does one from the LCMS brand of Lutheranism deal with the new fuzzier version of truth coverting to Orthodoxy, when it is not the infallible scriptures that guide all doctrine and practice, but oral tradition that has so many variants, especially today when many Orthodox endorse practice and beliefs not seen prior to the time of Darwin? For example, Seraphim Rose opposes theistic evolution and the monks of Athos have codemned the Ecumenical Patriarch's worship with the heretic Pope of Rome. Many LCMS would agree with these views, however they seem to be frige views in Orthodoxy. I recall that the Orthodox consider scripture as part of tradition and that tradition is the rudder, but if scripture indeed has error, then by definition, tradition has also erred.




      --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "JWF" <jwfenton@...> wrote:
      >
      > Welcome, Sal, to the list! And thanks for the intro.
      >
      >
      >
      > Not all of us journeyed to Athens, or even Constantinople. Some of us
      > journeyed to Antioch <http://www.antiochian.org/> . :-)
      >
      >
      >
      > To answer your question about justifying (nice word choice :-)) this journey
      > with the concepts of Sola Gratia and Sola Fide, let me offer a few brief
      > thoughts and then a question.
      >
      >
      >
      > Brief Comment
      >
      >
      >
      > The word sola gratia generally indicates that one is brought to and
      > maintained in salvation solely by God's grace. The Orthodox liturgy, both in
      > its Byzantine and Western rites, steadfastly prays for the Lord's mercy. And
      > throughout her various liturgical texts, the Orthodox Church teaches that
      > all we are and all we have depends on God's grace and mercy. However, "grace
      > doesn't jump on us and paralyze us so we can do nothing and not respond" (as
      > my Dean is fond of saying). Rather, the Orthodox liturgy firmly professes
      > that the grace of God is freely given-and so is freely received. This
      > reception, however, ought not to be considered in the sense of Arminianism,
      > but rather according to the story of the Annunciation. The holy archangel
      > Gabriel declares, "The Lord [is] with you," not "the Lord will come to you
      > once you meet certain conditions." Yet the Lord's grace is so gracious that
      > it kindly awaits the most pure Virgin to give her fiat mihi. Keeping that
      > story uppermost in mind is, for me, most helpful in maintaining a proper
      > understanding of sola gratia.
      >
      >
      >
      > Question
      >
      >
      >
      > I know what most Lutherans popularly mean by sola fide; namely, that one is
      > saved (i.e., converted, or brought from the state of pagan to Christian) by
      > faith alone and not by any works or deeds. However, I also am aware that
      > some Lutherans view sola fide as applying to the realm of sanctification (as
      > this is distinguished from justification). In other words, that one's
      > remaining in a state of grace depends on faith and not on works. Before
      > offering an answer, then, I guess I need further clarification on which
      > understanding (or perhaps another) you have concerning sola fide.
      >
      >
      >
      > Again, thanks for writing.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Fr John W Fenton
      >
      > Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church
      >
      > http://HolyIncarnation.org <http://holyincarnation.org/>
      >
      > <mailto:jwfenton@...> jwfenton@...
      >
      > _____
      >
      > From: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
      > [mailto:LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of salsberna
      > Sent: Monday, March 12, 2007 7:46 PM
      > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Just Joined
      >
      >
      >
      > Hey Ya'll,
      > I'm Sal Sberna and I just joined the group. Last August I was
      > confirmed into a wonderful ELCA congregation and thus finalized my
      > departure from the Southern Baptist/Non-denominational churches I
      > have attended all my life. This is not to say I've severed ties
      > with those Christians, though. In fact, my father is the Senior
      > Pastor at a local Baptist Church. Needless to say, I have been
      > introduced into the wonders of the Liturgy, the Sacraments and
      > my "Catholic" heritage. About 5 months ago I felt a call to the
      > Pastoral Vocation and began to rethink my future accordingly (I'm a
      > junior at the University of Houston). Everything was going
      > swimmingly until I began to noice some unsettling things happening
      > in the ELCA. In general, the overall tone of the ELCA seems to be
      > that of many other liberal, Protestant Churches: i.e. a focus on
      > the "social gospel," and perhaps even their future stance on
      > homosexuality. Anyway, I began to be hesitant about serving in a
      > Church that I didn't agree with and was heading in a totally
      > different direction than me. So, I started looking at the Roman
      > Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. Needless to say, my
      > parents weren't thrilled when I brought up arguments like the
      > problems with "Sola Scriptura" teaching and the historical
      > significance of both the RCC and the Orthodox Church. Now, I find
      > myself much more in agreement with the OC concerning participation
      > in the Liturgy,Purgatory and the Sacraments. However, having been
      > raised a Protestant all my life I still hold fast to the beliefs of
      > Sola Gratia and Sola Fide. I guess I'm just looking for a group to
      > discuss these questions with. How did ya'll justify the journey to
      > Athens? Thanks.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • tantuslabor
      Dear HerrDave, Christ is risen! I ll chime in here, if I may. In the first place, the infallible scriptures do not guide all doctrine and practice in
      Message 2 of 22 , Apr 23 3:50 AM
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        Dear "HerrDave,"

        Christ is risen!

        I'll chime in here, if I may. In the first place, the infallible
        scriptures do not guide all doctrine and practice in Missouri. In the
        second place, the oral tradition (as you put it) is not a second
        source in addition to the Scripture (the RC view) or opposed to it
        (the Protestant view). In the third place, pronouncements by a monk
        here or a group of monks there are worthy of respect, but no one's
        voice is the voice of Orthodoxy unless and until the Church receives
        it as such. In the case of the Council of Florence, for example, only
        Mark of Ephesus, of all the hierarchs, opposed the false union. But
        his voice was received, and theirs were not.

        The infallible God, who speaks infallible words, gives to his holy
        Church an infallibly right understanding of that word. Otherwise the
        word itself were not clear.

        Hope this helps!

        Cordially,

        Fr. Gregory Hogg

        --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, herrdave2_prime
        <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > Fr Fenton,
        > How does one from the LCMS brand of Lutheranism deal with the new
        fuzzier version of truth coverting to Orthodoxy, when it is not the
        infallible scriptures that guide all doctrine and practice, but oral
        tradition that has so many variants, especially today when many
        Orthodox endorse practice and beliefs not seen prior to the time of
        Darwin? For example, Seraphim Rose opposes theistic evolution and the
        monks of Athos have codemned the Ecumenical Patriarch's worship with
        the heretic Pope of Rome. Many LCMS would agree with these views,
        however they seem to be frige views in Orthodoxy. I recall that the
        Orthodox consider scripture as part of tradition and that tradition is
        the rudder, but if scripture indeed has error, then by definition,
        tradition has also erred.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "JWF" <jwfenton@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Welcome, Sal, to the list! And thanks for the intro.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Not all of us journeyed to Athens, or even Constantinople. Some of us
        > > journeyed to Antioch <http://www.antiochian.org/> . :-)
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > To answer your question about justifying (nice word choice :-))
        this journey
        > > with the concepts of Sola Gratia and Sola Fide, let me offer a few
        brief
        > > thoughts and then a question.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Brief Comment
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > The word sola gratia generally indicates that one is brought to and
        > > maintained in salvation solely by God's grace. The Orthodox
        liturgy, both in
        > > its Byzantine and Western rites, steadfastly prays for the Lord's
        mercy. And
        > > throughout her various liturgical texts, the Orthodox Church
        teaches that
        > > all we are and all we have depends on God's grace and mercy.
        However, "grace
        > > doesn't jump on us and paralyze us so we can do nothing and not
        respond" (as
        > > my Dean is fond of saying). Rather, the Orthodox liturgy firmly
        professes
        > > that the grace of God is freely given-and so is freely received. This
        > > reception, however, ought not to be considered in the sense of
        Arminianism,
        > > but rather according to the story of the Annunciation. The holy
        archangel
        > > Gabriel declares, "The Lord [is] with you," not "the Lord will
        come to you
        > > once you meet certain conditions." Yet the Lord's grace is so
        gracious that
        > > it kindly awaits the most pure Virgin to give her fiat mihi.
        Keeping that
        > > story uppermost in mind is, for me, most helpful in maintaining a
        proper
        > > understanding of sola gratia.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Question
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > I know what most Lutherans popularly mean by sola fide; namely,
        that one is
        > > saved (i.e., converted, or brought from the state of pagan to
        Christian) by
        > > faith alone and not by any works or deeds. However, I also am
        aware that
        > > some Lutherans view sola fide as applying to the realm of
        sanctification (as
        > > this is distinguished from justification). In other words, that one's
        > > remaining in a state of grace depends on faith and not on works.
        Before
        > > offering an answer, then, I guess I need further clarification on
        which
        > > understanding (or perhaps another) you have concerning sola fide.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Again, thanks for writing.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Fr John W Fenton
        > >
        > > Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church
        > >
        > > http://HolyIncarnation.org <http://holyincarnation.org/>
        > >
        > > <mailto:jwfenton@> jwfenton@
        > >
        > > _____
        > >
        > > From: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
        > > [mailto:LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of salsberna
        > > Sent: Monday, March 12, 2007 7:46 PM
        > > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
        > > Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Just Joined
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Hey Ya'll,
        > > I'm Sal Sberna and I just joined the group. Last August I was
        > > confirmed into a wonderful ELCA congregation and thus finalized my
        > > departure from the Southern Baptist/Non-denominational churches I
        > > have attended all my life. This is not to say I've severed ties
        > > with those Christians, though. In fact, my father is the Senior
        > > Pastor at a local Baptist Church. Needless to say, I have been
        > > introduced into the wonders of the Liturgy, the Sacraments and
        > > my "Catholic" heritage. About 5 months ago I felt a call to the
        > > Pastoral Vocation and began to rethink my future accordingly (I'm a
        > > junior at the University of Houston). Everything was going
        > > swimmingly until I began to noice some unsettling things happening
        > > in the ELCA. In general, the overall tone of the ELCA seems to be
        > > that of many other liberal, Protestant Churches: i.e. a focus on
        > > the "social gospel," and perhaps even their future stance on
        > > homosexuality. Anyway, I began to be hesitant about serving in a
        > > Church that I didn't agree with and was heading in a totally
        > > different direction than me. So, I started looking at the Roman
        > > Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. Needless to say, my
        > > parents weren't thrilled when I brought up arguments like the
        > > problems with "Sola Scriptura" teaching and the historical
        > > significance of both the RCC and the Orthodox Church. Now, I find
        > > myself much more in agreement with the OC concerning participation
        > > in the Liturgy,Purgatory and the Sacraments. However, having been
        > > raised a Protestant all my life I still hold fast to the beliefs of
        > > Sola Gratia and Sola Fide. I guess I'm just looking for a group to
        > > discuss these questions with. How did ya'll justify the journey to
        > > Athens? Thanks.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        >
      • Salvatore Sberna
        I guess I always believed that one could never depart from the grace received at Baptism, regardless of how one lived. While that view doesn t seem very
        Message 3 of 22 , Apr 23 6:00 AM
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          I guess I always believed that one could never depart from the grace
          received at Baptism, regardless of how one lived. While that view doesn't
          seem very scriptural, I know alot of good people who lead Christian lives
          and they believe in the "once saved always saved and now I'm being
          sanctified" doctrine. It's a comfort to them.
          I have another question. I agree with the practice of praying to the
          Saints and the Blessed Virgin and I know there is a
          difference between veneration and worship. However, I was listening to the
          Small Paraklesis to the Theotokos and I can't see how that isn't worshipping
          her. I mean, some of the words are taken from a psalm to God and applied to
          Mary. Is that worshiping the Virgin or have we just been venerating God?
          Thanks ya'll. Be patient with me.

          Sal


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Rosemarie Lieffring
          Sal wrote: Interesting that you should say this. I heard a lecture (on tape) by Father
          Message 4 of 22 , Apr 23 7:53 AM
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            Sal wrote:

            <<Is that worshiping the Virgin or have we just been venerating God?>>

            Interesting that you should say this. I heard a lecture (on tape) by Father
            Peter Gilquist where he says exactly that!

            The Paraclesis to the Theotokos is hard on ears that have been trained up in
            Protestantism / Lutheranism. It sure can sound like worship. However, in
            the context of the Orthodox faith, it is veneration and the language is
            poetic in form. It really comes down to orientation and understanding. I
            know I raised an eyebrow or two during my first few Paraclesis services.
            Fortunately, I was instructed beforehand and was somewhat prepared. Had it
            hit me cold, it may have been a little harder to handle.-----R


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Christopher Orr
            All the parables of the Lord relating to the Kingdom, the Church, refer to both wheat and tares, good and bad fishes, etc. In the Church there are both. The
            Message 5 of 22 , Apr 23 9:42 AM
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              All the parables of the Lord relating to the Kingdom, the Church, refer to
              both wheat and tares, good and bad fishes, etc. In the Church there are
              both. The Church is not just the saved, just the rightly believing, etc.
              Thank God, because I am the chief of sinners, as St. Paul says of himself
              and which we say of ourselves. So, one remains connected to the Church in
              some way once you are Baptized, even if you apostatize you are received back
              into the Church not by Baptism but by Repentance and/or Chrismation.

              In English we have a harder time with prayer to the Virgin because we don't
              have the differences in words that the Greek has. There is latria (worship
              due only to God), then there is doulia (veneration to the saints). However,
              the word used only for the veneration due to the Theotokos is hyperdoulia
              because as the Mother of God, she has a unique relationship with God. If
              Christ is without sin, then he MUST honor His Mother, otherwise he breaks
              one of the Ten Commandments. She is unlike the rest of humanity in this
              way.

              Also, we need to remind ourselves that the word 'pray' is simply a fervent
              synonym for the word 'ask'. In Shakespeare we will often hear someone say,
              "I pray thee, sir...". Hamlet is not therefore worshiping Polonius or
              testifying to his divinity.

              A lot of the language issues also come down to context. For instance, in a
              religious conversation one could say that "God is writing this email"
              because nothing could be done without his will or allowance. But, I,
              Christopher Orr, am writing this email in a very real way, too - God is not
              writing it apart from me, and he is not using me as a robot or as an
              amanuensis with no will, freedom or personality of my own to write for him.
              Same with language relative to the Theotokos, if Christ has to listen to his
              mother in a special way, then when she prays she can 'save' us in a very
              real way. Just as we wouldn't constantly say that God is the one 'doing'
              every action you take in your life, or causing every event in the world, so
              too do we refer to the activity of the Virgin as being her own - though it
              is the power of God that actually effects the blessing.

              I have often thought that if we don't believe the saints can have an effect
              through their prayers, then perhaps we don't truly believe pray can do
              anything at all.

              The last objection to the invocation of the saints is whether they are able
              to hear us when we pray to them. They have not gained power on their own,
              they have gained this power and blessing through their union with God. This
              is similar to the way in which the Apostles could heal and raise the dead -
              they didn't do this of their own power and ability, they did it through the
              power of God. If that is true, how much more true of those saints that have
              sloughed off this mortal coil and behold God 'face to face' in heaven? In
              this context, asking the saints for their sinless prayers to God is no
              different than asking anyone to intercede for us (pray for us) and expecting
              a result. Are your living mother's prayers obscuring the divinity and
              authority of God? No. Neither does asking the living saints in heaven for
              their prayers obscure the divinity and authority of God as if they were
              demigods somehow able to grant our prays of their own accord apart from
              their union with God in heaven.

              Christopher


              On 4/23/07, Salvatore Sberna <salsberna@...> wrote:
              >
              > I guess I always believed that one could never depart from the grace
              > received at Baptism, regardless of how one lived. While that view doesn't
              > seem very scriptural, I know alot of good people who lead Christian lives
              > and they believe in the "once saved always saved and now I'm being
              > sanctified" doctrine. It's a comfort to them.
              > I have another question. I agree with the practice of praying to the
              > Saints and the Blessed Virgin and I know there is a
              > difference between veneration and worship. However, I was listening to the
              > Small Paraklesis to the Theotokos and I can't see how that isn't
              > worshipping
              > her. I mean, some of the words are taken from a psalm to God and applied
              > to
              > Mary. Is that worshiping the Virgin or have we just been venerating God?
              > Thanks ya'll. Be patient with me.
              >
              > Sal
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • herrdave2_prime
              I agree that dogma is an official church pronouncement, however what is officially fuzzy may not be actually tolerated. The fuzzy part can be generally
              Message 6 of 22 , Apr 23 10:05 AM
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                I agree that dogma is an official church pronouncement, however what is officially fuzzy may not be actually tolerated. The fuzzy part can be generally accepted as if it were dogma, offocially taught to newbies and children. For example, in my neck of the woods I wouldn't know of a priest who would dream of teaching 'as it was written' creation account alongside an allegorical account.I can find canonical jurisdiction's web sites to confirm this. It appears the bible is a fact apart from tradition in this case. Simply put Darwin influenced the whole, even though it wasn't dogmatized.
                Joint worship with the Pope would have been unthought of in the past. NCC and WCC activities have brought this about. How can these changes be placed on the back of the mind for incomming LCMSers?

                --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "tantuslabor" <stoic1348@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dear "HerrDave,"
                >
                > Christ is risen!
                >
                > I'll chime in here, if I may. In the first place, the infallible
                > scriptures do not guide all doctrine and practice in Missouri. In the
                > second place, the oral tradition (as you put it) is not a second
                > source in addition to the Scripture (the RC view) or opposed to it
                > (the Protestant view). In the third place, pronouncements by a monk
                > here or a group of monks there are worthy of respect, but no one's
                > voice is the voice of Orthodoxy unless and until the Church receives
                > it as such. In the case of the Council of Florence, for example, only
                > Mark of Ephesus, of all the hierarchs, opposed the false union. But
                > his voice was received, and theirs were not.
                >
                > The infallible God, who speaks infallible words, gives to his holy
                > Church an infallibly right understanding of that word. Otherwise the
                > word itself were not clear.
                >
                > Hope this helps!
                >
                > Cordially,
                >
                > Fr. Gregory Hogg
                >
                > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, herrdave2_prime
                > <no_reply@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Fr Fenton,
                > > How does one from the LCMS brand of Lutheranism deal with the new
                > fuzzier version of truth coverting to Orthodoxy, when it is not the
                > infallible scriptures that guide all doctrine and practice, but oral
                > tradition that has so many variants, especially today when many
                > Orthodox endorse practice and beliefs not seen prior to the time of
                > Darwin? For example, Seraphim Rose opposes theistic evolution and the
                > monks of Athos have codemned the Ecumenical Patriarch's worship with
                > the heretic Pope of Rome. Many LCMS would agree with these views,
                > however they seem to be frige views in Orthodoxy. I recall that the
                > Orthodox consider scripture as part of tradition and that tradition is
                > the rudder, but if scripture indeed has error, then by definition,
                > tradition has also erred.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "JWF" <jwfenton@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Welcome, Sal, to the list! And thanks for the intro.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Not all of us journeyed to Athens, or even Constantinople. Some of us
                > > > journeyed to Antioch <http://www.antiochian.org/> . :-)
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > To answer your question about justifying (nice word choice :-))
                > this journey
                > > > with the concepts of Sola Gratia and Sola Fide, let me offer a few
                > brief
                > > > thoughts and then a question.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Brief Comment
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > The word sola gratia generally indicates that one is brought to and
                > > > maintained in salvation solely by God's grace. The Orthodox
                > liturgy, both in
                > > > its Byzantine and Western rites, steadfastly prays for the Lord's
                > mercy. And
                > > > throughout her various liturgical texts, the Orthodox Church
                > teaches that
                > > > all we are and all we have depends on God's grace and mercy.
                > However, "grace
                > > > doesn't jump on us and paralyze us so we can do nothing and not
                > respond" (as
                > > > my Dean is fond of saying). Rather, the Orthodox liturgy firmly
                > professes
                > > > that the grace of God is freely given-and so is freely received. This
                > > > reception, however, ought not to be considered in the sense of
                > Arminianism,
                > > > but rather according to the story of the Annunciation. The holy
                > archangel
                > > > Gabriel declares, "The Lord [is] with you," not "the Lord will
                > come to you
                > > > once you meet certain conditions." Yet the Lord's grace is so
                > gracious that
                > > > it kindly awaits the most pure Virgin to give her fiat mihi.
                > Keeping that
                > > > story uppermost in mind is, for me, most helpful in maintaining a
                > proper
                > > > understanding of sola gratia.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Question
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > I know what most Lutherans popularly mean by sola fide; namely,
                > that one is
                > > > saved (i.e., converted, or brought from the state of pagan to
                > Christian) by
                > > > faith alone and not by any works or deeds. However, I also am
                > aware that
                > > > some Lutherans view sola fide as applying to the realm of
                > sanctification (as
                > > > this is distinguished from justification). In other words, that one's
                > > > remaining in a state of grace depends on faith and not on works.
                > Before
                > > > offering an answer, then, I guess I need further clarification on
                > which
                > > > understanding (or perhaps another) you have concerning sola fide.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Again, thanks for writing.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Fr John W Fenton
                > > >
                > > > Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church
                > > >
                > > > http://HolyIncarnation.org <http://holyincarnation.org/>
                > > >
                > > > <mailto:jwfenton@> jwfenton@
                > > >
                > > > _____
                > > >
                > > > From: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                > > > [mailto:LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of salsberna
                > > > Sent: Monday, March 12, 2007 7:46 PM
                > > > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                > > > Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Just Joined
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Hey Ya'll,
                > > > I'm Sal Sberna and I just joined the group. Last August I was
                > > > confirmed into a wonderful ELCA congregation and thus finalized my
                > > > departure from the Southern Baptist/Non-denominational churches I
                > > > have attended all my life. This is not to say I've severed ties
                > > > with those Christians, though. In fact, my father is the Senior
                > > > Pastor at a local Baptist Church. Needless to say, I have been
                > > > introduced into the wonders of the Liturgy, the Sacraments and
                > > > my "Catholic" heritage. About 5 months ago I felt a call to the
                > > > Pastoral Vocation and began to rethink my future accordingly (I'm a
                > > > junior at the University of Houston). Everything was going
                > > > swimmingly until I began to noice some unsettling things happening
                > > > in the ELCA. In general, the overall tone of the ELCA seems to be
                > > > that of many other liberal, Protestant Churches: i.e. a focus on
                > > > the "social gospel," and perhaps even their future stance on
                > > > homosexuality. Anyway, I began to be hesitant about serving in a
                > > > Church that I didn't agree with and was heading in a totally
                > > > different direction than me. So, I started looking at the Roman
                > > > Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. Needless to say, my
                > > > parents weren't thrilled when I brought up arguments like the
                > > > problems with "Sola Scriptura" teaching and the historical
                > > > significance of both the RCC and the Orthodox Church. Now, I find
                > > > myself much more in agreement with the OC concerning participation
                > > > in the Liturgy,Purgatory and the Sacraments. However, having been
                > > > raised a Protestant all my life I still hold fast to the beliefs of
                > > > Sola Gratia and Sola Fide. I guess I'm just looking for a group to
                > > > discuss these questions with. How did ya'll justify the journey to
                > > > Athens? Thanks.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • tantuslabor
                Dear HerrDave , Perhaps you re aware, perhaps not, that a long line of church fathers understood the creation account in other-than-7-24-hour-day terms, long
                Message 7 of 22 , Apr 23 10:14 AM
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                  Dear "HerrDave",

                  Perhaps you're aware, perhaps not, that a long line of church fathers
                  understood the creation account in other-than-7-24-hour-day terms,
                  long before Mr. Darwin was a twinkle in--well, in something. And while
                  I am less than happy with the Ecumenical Patriarch's ecumenical
                  endeavors vis-a-vis Rome, I do have hope that before the Lord's return
                  Peter will "be converted" and "strengthen his brethren."

                  So, have you been considering the Orthodox Church?

                  In Christ,

                  Fr. Gregory

                  --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, herrdave2_prime
                  <no_reply@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I agree that dogma is an official church pronouncement, however what
                  is officially fuzzy may not be actually tolerated. The fuzzy part can
                  be generally accepted as if it were dogma, offocially taught to
                  newbies and children. For example, in my neck of the woods I wouldn't
                  know of a priest who would dream of teaching 'as it was written'
                  creation account alongside an allegorical account.I can find canonical
                  jurisdiction's web sites to confirm this. It appears the bible is a
                  fact apart from tradition in this case. Simply put Darwin influenced
                  the whole, even though it wasn't dogmatized.
                  > Joint worship with the Pope would have been unthought of in the
                  past. NCC and WCC activities have brought this about. How can these
                  changes be placed on the back of the mind for incomming LCMSers?
                  >
                  > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "tantuslabor"
                  <stoic1348@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Dear "HerrDave,"
                  > >
                  > > Christ is risen!
                  > >
                  > > I'll chime in here, if I may. In the first place, the infallible
                  > > scriptures do not guide all doctrine and practice in Missouri. In the
                  > > second place, the oral tradition (as you put it) is not a second
                  > > source in addition to the Scripture (the RC view) or opposed to it
                  > > (the Protestant view). In the third place, pronouncements by a monk
                  > > here or a group of monks there are worthy of respect, but no one's
                  > > voice is the voice of Orthodoxy unless and until the Church receives
                  > > it as such. In the case of the Council of Florence, for example, only
                  > > Mark of Ephesus, of all the hierarchs, opposed the false union. But
                  > > his voice was received, and theirs were not.
                  > >
                  > > The infallible God, who speaks infallible words, gives to his holy
                  > > Church an infallibly right understanding of that word. Otherwise the
                  > > word itself were not clear.
                  > >
                  > > Hope this helps!
                  > >
                  > > Cordially,
                  > >
                  > > Fr. Gregory Hogg
                  > >
                  > > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, herrdave2_prime
                  > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Fr Fenton,
                  > > > How does one from the LCMS brand of Lutheranism deal with the new
                  > > fuzzier version of truth coverting to Orthodoxy, when it is not the
                  > > infallible scriptures that guide all doctrine and practice, but oral
                  > > tradition that has so many variants, especially today when many
                  > > Orthodox endorse practice and beliefs not seen prior to the time of
                  > > Darwin? For example, Seraphim Rose opposes theistic evolution and the
                  > > monks of Athos have codemned the Ecumenical Patriarch's worship with
                  > > the heretic Pope of Rome. Many LCMS would agree with these views,
                  > > however they seem to be frige views in Orthodoxy. I recall that the
                  > > Orthodox consider scripture as part of tradition and that tradition is
                  > > the rudder, but if scripture indeed has error, then by definition,
                  > > tradition has also erred.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "JWF" <jwfenton@>
                  wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Welcome, Sal, to the list! And thanks for the intro.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Not all of us journeyed to Athens, or even Constantinople.
                  Some of us
                  > > > > journeyed to Antioch <http://www.antiochian.org/> . :-)
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > To answer your question about justifying (nice word choice :-))
                  > > this journey
                  > > > > with the concepts of Sola Gratia and Sola Fide, let me offer a few
                  > > brief
                  > > > > thoughts and then a question.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Brief Comment
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > The word sola gratia generally indicates that one is brought
                  to and
                  > > > > maintained in salvation solely by God's grace. The Orthodox
                  > > liturgy, both in
                  > > > > its Byzantine and Western rites, steadfastly prays for the Lord's
                  > > mercy. And
                  > > > > throughout her various liturgical texts, the Orthodox Church
                  > > teaches that
                  > > > > all we are and all we have depends on God's grace and mercy.
                  > > However, "grace
                  > > > > doesn't jump on us and paralyze us so we can do nothing and not
                  > > respond" (as
                  > > > > my Dean is fond of saying). Rather, the Orthodox liturgy firmly
                  > > professes
                  > > > > that the grace of God is freely given-and so is freely
                  received. This
                  > > > > reception, however, ought not to be considered in the sense of
                  > > Arminianism,
                  > > > > but rather according to the story of the Annunciation. The holy
                  > > archangel
                  > > > > Gabriel declares, "The Lord [is] with you," not "the Lord will
                  > > come to you
                  > > > > once you meet certain conditions." Yet the Lord's grace is so
                  > > gracious that
                  > > > > it kindly awaits the most pure Virgin to give her fiat mihi.
                  > > Keeping that
                  > > > > story uppermost in mind is, for me, most helpful in maintaining a
                  > > proper
                  > > > > understanding of sola gratia.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Question
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I know what most Lutherans popularly mean by sola fide; namely,
                  > > that one is
                  > > > > saved (i.e., converted, or brought from the state of pagan to
                  > > Christian) by
                  > > > > faith alone and not by any works or deeds. However, I also am
                  > > aware that
                  > > > > some Lutherans view sola fide as applying to the realm of
                  > > sanctification (as
                  > > > > this is distinguished from justification). In other words,
                  that one's
                  > > > > remaining in a state of grace depends on faith and not on works.
                  > > Before
                  > > > > offering an answer, then, I guess I need further clarification on
                  > > which
                  > > > > understanding (or perhaps another) you have concerning sola fide.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Again, thanks for writing.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Fr John W Fenton
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church
                  > > > >
                  > > > > http://HolyIncarnation.org <http://holyincarnation.org/>
                  > > > >
                  > > > > <mailto:jwfenton@> jwfenton@
                  > > > >
                  > > > > _____
                  > > > >
                  > > > > From: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                  > > > > [mailto:LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                  salsberna
                  > > > > Sent: Monday, March 12, 2007 7:46 PM
                  > > > > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                  > > > > Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Just Joined
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Hey Ya'll,
                  > > > > I'm Sal Sberna and I just joined the group. Last August I was
                  > > > > confirmed into a wonderful ELCA congregation and thus
                  finalized my
                  > > > > departure from the Southern Baptist/Non-denominational churches I
                  > > > > have attended all my life. This is not to say I've severed ties
                  > > > > with those Christians, though. In fact, my father is the Senior
                  > > > > Pastor at a local Baptist Church. Needless to say, I have been
                  > > > > introduced into the wonders of the Liturgy, the Sacraments and
                  > > > > my "Catholic" heritage. About 5 months ago I felt a call to the
                  > > > > Pastoral Vocation and began to rethink my future accordingly
                  (I'm a
                  > > > > junior at the University of Houston). Everything was going
                  > > > > swimmingly until I began to noice some unsettling things
                  happening
                  > > > > in the ELCA. In general, the overall tone of the ELCA seems to be
                  > > > > that of many other liberal, Protestant Churches: i.e. a focus on
                  > > > > the "social gospel," and perhaps even their future stance on
                  > > > > homosexuality. Anyway, I began to be hesitant about serving in a
                  > > > > Church that I didn't agree with and was heading in a totally
                  > > > > different direction than me. So, I started looking at the Roman
                  > > > > Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. Needless to say, my
                  > > > > parents weren't thrilled when I brought up arguments like the
                  > > > > problems with "Sola Scriptura" teaching and the historical
                  > > > > significance of both the RCC and the Orthodox Church. Now, I find
                  > > > > myself much more in agreement with the OC concerning
                  participation
                  > > > > in the Liturgy,Purgatory and the Sacraments. However, having been
                  > > > > raised a Protestant all my life I still hold fast to the
                  beliefs of
                  > > > > Sola Gratia and Sola Fide. I guess I'm just looking for a
                  group to
                  > > > > discuss these questions with. How did ya'll justify the
                  journey to
                  > > > > Athens? Thanks.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Christopher Orr
                  ... St. Gregory the Theologian said in his day that to be orthodox at that time [Nicea] was only to be slightly in error - referring to the fact that the
                  Message 8 of 22 , Apr 23 10:27 AM
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                    On 4/23/07, herrdave2_prime <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                    >
                    > I agree that dogma is an official church pronouncement, however what is
                    > officially fuzzy may not be actually tolerated. The fuzzy part can be
                    > generally accepted as if it were dogma, offocially taught to newbies and
                    > children.
                    >





                    St. Gregory the Theologian said in his day that "to be orthodox at that time
                    [Nicea] was only to be slightly in error" - referring to the fact that the
                    full, equal divinity of the Holy Spirit had not been definitively defined.
                    In fact, even at the 2nd EC, the finished Nicene Creed consciously chose NOT
                    to refer to the Holy Spirit as homoousios (of the same essence) with the
                    Father and the Son to mollify those still regarding the HS to be somehow
                    less than the Son (homoiousios, 'of like/similar essence'). The Church's
                    'mind' accepted and defined the Nicene Creed in a wholly Orthodox way,
                    though, through the work of the continuing work of the Cappadocians.

                    This all means that a certain 'fuzziness' was a part of the faith from the
                    start as the Church has sought to both live out the faith and to protect it
                    from heresy (which is different than uncomprehending error in those that are
                    growing in the faith).

                    For example, in my neck of the woods I wouldn't know of a priest who would
                    > dream of teaching 'as it was written' creation account alongside an
                    > allegorical account.I can find canonical jurisdiction's web sites to
                    > confirm this. It appears the bible is a fact apart from tradition in this
                    > case. Simply put Darwin influenced the whole, even though it wasn't
                    > dogmatized.
                    >








                    There were Fathers that were primarily interpreting Genesis 1 and 2 as
                    spiritual texts, not literal, in the early centuries of the Church. Apart
                    from any proof that the world could have been created in another way, they
                    accepted it as true while also understanding it in spiritual, typological
                    and allegorical ways. As science has raised questions about the origins of
                    life, people have reexamined the issue and come down on various sides. It
                    took the Church centuries to finalize the dogmas surrounding Icons, I would
                    expect a similar or longer time frame for the origins of life. Most people
                    are agnostic on the issue, but you will find people on both sides of the
                    coin making arguments for and against evolution, for and against
                    creationism, as part of the process of understanding the doctrinal issues
                    involved and they interact with history, science, the Bible, the Fathers,
                    etc.

                    Also, it is important to recognize that American Orthodoxy is not the
                    Orthodox Church in full. There are currents of thought far more prevalent
                    here than in the rest of the Church, and vice versa. I would refer you
                    again to the quote from St. Gregory discussing orthodoxy during a time of
                    great change.

                    Joint worship with the Pope would have been unthought of in the past. NCC
                    > and WCC activities have brought this about. How can these changes be placed
                    > on the back of the mind for incomming LCMSers?
                    >





                    There has never been joint worship with the Pope, though there has been
                    joint prayer which a good number of Orthodox hold to be allowable for those
                    that may be in error, in schism, or be their heirs of those that created
                    schism or heresy (rather than being arch-heretics themselves or the causers
                    of schism). More often, though, you will find the different churches
                    praying alongside of each other, watching the other, but not jointly praying
                    or worshiping with them. It is similar to when i attend a non-Orthodox
                    wedding or service. They are worshiping and praying, I am simply observing
                    and watching. In an interfaith event, they may just take turns.

                    Also, the only time official worship happens is when a priest/bishop is
                    vested; it is worth noting that interfaith events such as the Prayer Event
                    at Yankee Stadium after 9/11 had the heads of the OCA and the Greek
                    Archdiocese there UNVESTED and simply offering a prayer on behalf of their
                    own people present that others were more than welcome to share in - just
                    like me at a non-Orthodox wedding: I'm not praying with the Rabbi or
                    minister - he is praying and I am watching him pray.

                    Christopher


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • herrdave2_prime
                    Yes ... b
                    Message 9 of 22 , Apr 23 12:17 PM
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                      Yes

                      > So, have you been considering the Orthodox Church?
                      >
                      > In Christ,
                      >
                      > Fr. Gregory
                      >
                      b
                    • tantuslabor
                      Dear Herr_Dave, I thought I remembered your name from before, and doing a search on the Lutheran-Orthodox dialogue list I came across a post that said you were
                      Message 10 of 22 , Apr 23 12:43 PM
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                        Dear Herr_Dave,

                        I thought I remembered your name from before, and doing a search on
                        the Lutheran-Orthodox dialogue list I came across a post that said you
                        were returning to confessional Lutheranism. Has something happened to
                        make you reconsider? If you wish, you can email me offlist at
                        stoic1348 at sbcglobal dot net.

                        In Christ,

                        Fr. Gregory

                        --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, herrdave2_prime
                        <no_reply@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Yes
                        >
                        > > So, have you been considering the Orthodox Church?
                        > >
                        > > In Christ,
                        > >
                        > > Fr. Gregory
                        > >
                        > b
                        >
                      • Salvatore Sberna
                        Thanks guys, That does clear things up a bit. But I m just wondering if worshiping and venerating...um...*feel *any different. This sounds like a silly
                        Message 11 of 22 , Apr 24 1:14 PM
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                          Thanks guys,
                          That does clear things up a bit. But I'm just wondering if worshiping and
                          venerating...um...*feel *any different. This sounds like a silly question
                          (probably because it is), but I'd like to hear ya'lls experience. Thanks
                          again.

                          Sal


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Laura Frizelle
                          Hi Sal, As far as feeling goes, I can t say much. I am still on the Lutheran side of the fence and haven t had much opportunity to worship regularly with the
                          Message 12 of 22 , Apr 24 4:20 PM
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                            Hi Sal,

                            As far as feeling goes, I can't say much. I am still on the
                            Lutheran side of the fence and haven't had much opportunity
                            to worship regularly with the E.O.

                            The saints that are venerated are in Christ. Christ himself
                            must honor his mother, the Theotokos. The Church is the
                            Bride of Christ united--one flesh. Jesus prayed that we
                            might be one as he and the Father are one. He is in us and
                            we are in him. Luther even talked about "mystical union."

                            This is cosmic. Weird even at times to think about. Hard
                            to really understand---like the Holy Trinity. How can it
                            be?

                            When something is completely united, it is hard to see where
                            to draw the line. I think that is why in Orthodox worship
                            the saints are so highly venerated.

                            As Lutherans we say that we believe in the communion of the
                            saints and in some of our liturgies we say "With angels and
                            archangels we laud and magnify your name, ever more praising
                            you and singing---Holy, Holy, Holy...." So we say believe
                            the saints are with us in Christ, but we do not fully
                            embrace this reality.

                            So far in my immature relationship with the saints, when I
                            venerate an icon, I "feel" that I am thanking them for
                            passing the faith on to me and to all of us. I "feel" like
                            I am glad to be with them. I "feel" that they are part of
                            my family in Christ and that it is good to greet them and
                            honor them.

                            As far as asking them to pray for me or "communicating" with
                            them, If the saints really are with us---if they were
                            physically with us, wouldn't you have questions to ask them?
                            If you developed a relationship with St. Paul and trusted
                            and respected him--knowing that he loves you especially now
                            that he is in Christ and Christ is definitely in him,
                            wouldn't you ask him to pray for you---Like you would a
                            godly friend or relative?

                            Other icons, festal icons, --when I venerate them I "feel"
                            like I am acknowledging their heavenly truth and thanking
                            God for all that he does for us in his kingdom.

                            One of the first services my husband and I attended at the
                            local Antiochian Orthodox Church was the Paraklesis. We
                            left that service with our heads swimming. We were promptly
                            loaded up with books. The most helpful for me personally
                            were:

                            "Mary: Untrodden Portal of God" and a booklet by Fr.
                            Alexander Schmemmann called "The Presence of Mary"

                            These books were helpful intellectually, but I know that
                            ultimately time (in worship and in communion with God and
                            his saints) is what will help me to love and "feel" right
                            and truly grow into a deeper "relationship" with our faith
                            ancestors in Christ.

                            I am looking forward to hearing from the Orthodox members of
                            the group about how they personally experience the
                            difference between worship and veneration.

                            Good Question Sal!

                            Peace be with you all!
                            Laura
                          • Christopher Orr
                            On a practical level, I was raised only to pray to one person (well, three, you get my drift): God. So, I do have to remember to whom/Whom I am praying. That
                            Message 13 of 22 , Apr 24 5:29 PM
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                              On a practical level, I was raised only to pray to one person (well, three,
                              you get my drift): God. So, I do have to remember to whom/Whom I am
                              praying. That being said, the saints are united to God - not symbolically
                              or metaphorically, but really - so they are one, in some sense. The
                              Theotokos is able to 'save' us in the same way that a believing husband or
                              wife can 'save' his/her spouse - by the power of their intercession to God
                              accessing His power.

                              There is a greater awareness not just of the likeness and sharedness of
                              Christ to us, but also about his radical difference from us. He is fully
                              human (body, soul, mind, will, etc.), but He is also the True God Who is
                              coming again to judge the world. The saints do not judge us and never
                              will. So, they are somehow 'more' understanding toward us because they are
                              'just' humans, and they were saved, too - Christ was in no need of salvation
                              for His Person as were the Theotokos and the saints. So, praying to Christ
                              is not of the 'buddy' sort, but radically understands our need for mercy now
                              and at the 'fearful Judgement' where we will be judged by Christ, compared
                              to Him in Whose image and likeness we were created. The saints are fellow
                              creatures, fellow sinners that have overcome our fallenness.

                              Christopher



                              On 4/24/07, Salvatore Sberna <salsberna@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Thanks guys,
                              > That does clear things up a bit. But I'm just wondering if worshiping and
                              > venerating...um...*feel *any different. This sounds like a silly question
                              > (probably because it is), but I'd like to hear ya'lls experience. Thanks
                              > again.
                              >
                              > Sal
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                              >
                              >


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Anastasia Theodoridis
                              Laura has summed up well how it feels to me, too. Toward the saints I feel gratitude, love, and filial allegiance. They are my fathers and mothers in
                              Message 14 of 22 , Apr 24 7:59 PM
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                                Laura has summed up well how it "feels" to me, too. Toward the saints I feel gratitude, love, and filial allegiance. They are my fathers and mothers in Christ, my mentors and coaches and pastors and exemplars.

                                But they are not my Maker, my Redeemer, my Judge, my God.

                                In my experience, Orthodoxy keeps all this in proper perspective. Attendance at her services will allow a person to see this very clearly. Even the Paraclesis and the Akathist are Christ-centered, once you analyze the actual language. Mary is always venerated in her role *relative to Christ*, and never for herself alone. She is called the Table upon which the Divine Banquet is spread, or the Light-bearing cloud, the plant bringing forth the most precious Fruit, the Ladder by which Christ entered into the world, etc.

                                Anastasia
                              • herrdave2_prime
                                always everywhere and by all, that s Orthodoxy
                                Message 15 of 22 , Apr 24 8:30 PM
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                                  always everywhere and by all, that's Orthodoxy
                                • Brian Fink
                                  Dear Salvatore, Its not a silly question and yes they do feel different for me at least. When venerating the icon of a saint or singing the Paraclesis, I am
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Apr 25 2:32 AM
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                                    Dear Salvatore,

                                    Its not a silly question and yes they do "feel" different for me at least. When venerating the icon of a saint or singing the Paraclesis, I am always aware that I am giving them honor and praise because of what God has done through them. They are never acting independant of God's grace. But when singing or praying to God, there is a whole different level there. I am worshipping the Trinune God.

                                    Chrysostom

                                    Salvatore Sberna <salsberna@...> wrote:
                                    Thanks guys,
                                    That does clear things up a bit. But I'm just wondering if worshiping and
                                    venerating...um...*feel *any different. This sounds like a silly question
                                    (probably because it is), but I'd like to hear ya'lls experience. Thanks
                                    again.

                                    Sal

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






                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Christopher Orr
                                    ... Attendance at her services will allow a person to see this very clearly. Even the Paraclesis and the Akathist are Christ-centered, once you analyze the
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Apr 25 6:33 AM
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                                      --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, Anastasia Theodoridis
                                      <anastasiatheo01@...> wrote:

                                      > But they are not my Maker, my Redeemer, my Judge, my God.
                                      >
                                      > In my experience, Orthodoxy keeps all this in proper perspective.
                                      Attendance at her services will allow a person to see this very
                                      clearly. Even the Paraclesis and the Akathist are Christ-centered,
                                      once you analyze the actual language. Mary is always venerated in her
                                      role *relative to Christ*, and never for herself alone. She is called
                                      the Table upon which the Divine Banquet is spread, or the
                                      Light-bearing cloud, the plant bringing forth the most precious Fruit,
                                      the Ladder by which Christ entered into the world, etc.
                                      >
                                      > Anastasia
                                      >


                                      Here is a translation of the Little Paraklesis (Supplicatory Canon) to
                                      the Theotokos:

                                      http://www.anastasis.org.uk/lit-parak.htm

                                      There is also a huge differentiation in Orthodoxy between the
                                      Uncreated and the created. The primary difference between us and God
                                      is not that He is perfect, sinless, omnipotent, omniscient, etc. it is
                                      that He is without beginning and Uncreated.

                                      Christopher
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