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[orthodox-synod] Re: Sv: Word Orthodoxy

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  • Fr. Stephen Fraser
    ... Fr. Stephen replies: This is what is causing a great problem for the new (and old) calendar/ecumenist Churches today. They belong to the World Counsel of
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 27, 2000
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      > >
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: Vaughn White <zvwhite@...>
      > > To: <orthodox-synod@egroups.com>
      > > Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2000 10:32 AM
      > > Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: Sv: Word Orthodoxy
      > >
      > >
      > > Zoi wrote:
      > > orthodox-synod list members in Christ,
      > >
      > > In matter of faith, one must be absolutely rigid, for the concern of the salvation
      > > of one's sole. We believe as Orthodox, that there is one God, one Church,
      > > one Baptism, and a single Faith.
      > >
      Fr. Stephen replies:
      This is what is causing a great problem for the new (and old) calendar/ecumenist
      Churches today. They belong to the World Counsel of Churches which teaches
      that the Church of Christ is *not* One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. They
      (new calendar/ecumenist "Orthodoxy") no longer believe that baptism is unique
      (grace filled) to the Orthodox faith. And, actually, the unity of the Church was
      sundered when the new calendar was unilaterally adopted by the Ecumenical
      Patriarch. Now we talk about "New Calendar" and "Old Calendar"
      Churches. Furthermore, those Churches which teach the efficacy of non-Orthodox
      baptism are no longer one with the Orthodox Faith.

      Recently, all the Churches of World Orthodoxy were in ecumenical prayer with the Pope
      of Rome. Are you in a Church that was represented there? If you are, then you are in
      communion with bishops who are compromising the Faith. For them, the Faith is not single
      (Orthodox *only*) but is shared with the heretical Roman Catholics.
      > >
      > > Zoi wrote:
      > > Our unity as Orthodox is expressed in the Symbol of the Faith (the Creed). We
      > > are united to God by Christ. These are antithetical ideas to the Orthodox Faith.
      > > Let us look forward to the future, when the separation and distance between Orthodox
      > > heresies ended and proper church protocol can be followed. The Orthodox Church is
      > > under the influence of Western-minded commentators and terrible poor Liturgical
      > > practices and scholarship in America and even in Europe. We must have humble
      > > and contrite manner. This is True Orthodox worship.
      > >
      Fr. Stephen replies:
      If you truly believe that there are "Orthodox heresies" you do not really understand
      the theology of the Church. There is no such thing as an "Orthodox heresy." All heresies
      are, by their very nature, un-Orthodox. One cannot be in heresy, or in
      communion with heresy, and still be considered Orthodox. Which Churches are in
      "Orthodox heresy?" When you discover who they are get out as fast as possible.
      The "separation" you describe is not political. Some would have you believe that.
      It is a matter of the faith.

      By the way, our unity in the faith is not expressed in the Creed but in the
      Common Cup. Any one can recite the Creed (and do). Unfortunately, for many
      Orthodox unity is ethnic. True humility and true contrition comes when one turns
      his/her back on emotions; family; friends (ah, there is a tough one); ethnic origin
      (another tough one); and follows, instead, Christ as found in His Church.
      > >
      > > Zoi wrote:
      > > The traditionalist resistance movement within the Orthodox Church is the standard
      > > of Christianity, the Mother Church." The Mother Church is as the Apostles and
      > > the Fathers defined the Orthodox Church for us.
      > >
      Fr. Stephen replies"
      Who is this "Mother Church?" If the "resistance movement" is the "Mother Church"
      are you in a Church that is in "resistance?" If not, you are not in the Orthodox Church
      according to your definition. (Do you really believe that protesting ecumenism while
      staying with an ecumenistic Church (especially when you know it) preserves you
      from the sin of ecumenism?)
      > >
      > > Zoi wrote:
      > > A guiding principle from Saint Seraphim of Sarov:- "Save yourself and thousands around
      > > you will be saved." Related to this, I again recall the wise words of Saint Maximus the
      > > Confessor. When asked the question, "Then you alone will be saved and al others will
      > > perish?," Saint Maximus the Confessor replied,
      > >
      Fr. Stephen replies:
      One cannot save himself/herself outside of the Orthodox Faith. If such a one is
      saved, it is due to the mercy and economia of God - and there are no guarantees.
      Whereas in the Church, the faithful, by cooperating with the will of God, are saved.
      To die after having "worthily" recieved confession and the Holy Mysteries *guarantees*
      salvation.
      > >
      > > Zoi wrote quoting St. Maximus the Confessor:
      > > "When all the people in Babylon were worshiping the golden idol, the Three Holy
      > > Children didnot condemn anyone to perdition. They did not concern themselves
      > > with the doing of others, but took care only for themselves, lest they should fall
      > > away from true piety. In precisely the same way, when Daniel was cast into the
      > > lion's, he did not condemn any of those who, fulfilling the law of Darius, did not
      > > wish to pray to God, but kept in mind his own duty, and desired rather to die
      > > than to sin against his conscience by transgressing the Law of God. "God forbid
      > > that I should condemn anyone or say that I alone am being saved."
      > >
      Fr. Stephen Replies:
      No one, not even the greatest Saint among us, would dare to userp the will
      and the knowledge of God by declaring who is saved and who is not. However,
      the Church can know and, at times, venerates such ones who we *know* have
      been saved. Do you find it strange that there is not a single non-Orthodox among
      them? While the Three Holy Children and Daniel did not judge the infidels and
      the evil people around them, that did not make them less evil. These Saints did the
      correct thing before God, they "took care only for themselves" and Daniel "kept in
      mind his own duty." In other terms, they continued to follow and practice that which
      they knew was the *truth.* To believe that one may remain in error simply
      because we take care not to damn anyone is foolish. I sure do not understand
      the reasoning and the logic behind quoting St Maximus the Confessor as an
      excuse for not coming out of error (or as an excuse for error). This great Saint
      of God did not condemn anyone. He is not God. He would never say that he
      alone is being saved for that would separate him from the people of God by
      damning his own fellow Orthodox.
      > >
      > > Zoi wrote:
      > > We are well aware that many problems exist globally and locally within the Orthodox
      > > Church. The Orthodox Church is a hospiatal of sinners. While there is no
      > > "perfect church," God always preserves a "right-believing" (fully Orthodox) portion
      > > of His Body. It is that part of the one Body to which we joyously turn within the
      > > Orthodox Church.
      > >
      Fr Stephen replies:
      For your own good Zoi, please find an *Orthodox* Spiritual Father and have him
      explain to you why the above is fraught with danger. You apparently believe that
      an heretical "Orthodox Church" can have within itself a "'right believing' (fully Orhthodox)
      portion.'" This is truly the heresy of the Branch theory. You seem to have come to
      the realization that World Orthodoxy is straying from the true faith. Unfortunately, you
      think that there is a portion within that body that is preserving the faith, the portion (no
      doubt) to which you belong. I do not know who has your ear, but you are being led down
      the "primrose path." You never find truth within error. You must come out of it.
      > >
      > > Zoi wrote:
      > > Every Christian has a responsibility to wall himself off from errors and deviations that
      > > jeopardize the conscience and the Orthodox confession. Each individual must, of course,
      > > make this decision for himself
      > >
      Fr. Stephen replies.
      "Walled off" does not mean *within* the error. What do you think of a group of Roman
      Catholics who come to the realization that Orthodoxy is the true faith but decide
      to "wall themselves off" and stay within the Roman Catholic Church?"

      Finally, the decision is not left up to the individual as to what is good or evil ("errors
      and deviations"). That decision has been made for us by God and His Church.
      Our responsibility is to conform to that decision, regardless of what it takes.

      In Christ,
      Fr Stephen
      > >
      > > In Christ,
      > >
      > > Zoi
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
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