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Praying to Mary to intercede for us to Jesus - absolutely non-Biblical and an insult to God.

Praying to "saints" for help in time of need.

Regarding Scripture as merely a part of a larger (Orthodox) church tradition, and therefore giving extra-Biblical tradition as much, or even more weight than the Word of God which should always be our final arbiter.

Being saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is *not* sufficient. One must be saved through the Orthodox church and by works, according to their teachings.

That one is indwelt by the Holy Spirit at baptism in the Orthodox church, regardless of whether you truly believe in Christ or not.

I didn't even mention the Filioque controversy. Familiar with that? And there is so much more.



Brother,

from my knoweldge.

- In most prayers that reference saints it is to God to have them pray. God in Scripture does put emphasis on the importance of the prayers of believers for each others. It is part of His plan.

- Jeswish believers had such a high regard for Moses that for Moses to appear with Christ was very moving. It is the same with Mary and other Apostles, they were the ones that were closest to Christ so in a sense their prayers have weight and value. Orthodox from my perspective are not like catholics in the way prayers are made to saints.

- Orthodox put very strong weight to scripture, but the intepreter of scripture are the early believers and those who carry the apostolic traditions. So it is not the Church (like catholics) but rather the passed on intepretations that are from the beginning that they hold to. This is much different then catholics who make up new beliefs of which the orthodox are against.

- We are all saved by Christ. Part of that Salvation is the work of grace to make us like Christ and we are not finally saved till we are resurrected with Christ. Orthodox put the weight of the meaning of the cross on Christ overcoming sin, satan and death.

- I would believe they would hold to everyone who is baptized would be saved, and if not the works will manifest it. Just like a Baptist who makes confession but in the end his life does not bear witness to the gospel.

Just my thoughts brother, I believe many are ignorant of the orthodox church, I have studied early church fathers for a few years so I have begun to understand how they think and why some things are important to them.

I believe we are doing a dis-service to ourselves to not understand early christianity and see if there are things there that we are missing in modern evangelicalism.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2020/1/10 20:12Profile









 Re:

Greg,

The earliest Christianity is clearly outlined for us IN THE BIBLE. As I shared before, the apostle Paul said that wolves would come after his death, not sparing the flock. He did not lie. The Orthodox church teaches that you cannot be saved apart from *their* organization.

https://www.versebyverseministry.org/bible-answers/is-the-orthodox-church-a-true-christian-church

The following is from the above link:

Is the Orthodox Church (i.e., Greek Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox) a true Christian church? Are their beliefs consistent with the Bible?

The Orthodox Church was established in AD 1045 following a schism of the Roman Empire which split the church in the east from the church in the west. The church in the east, the Eastern Orthodox church, renounced all ties to the church in the west, the Roman Catholic church, including denying the authority of the pope.

Though the Orthodox Church does not recognize the authority of the Roman pope and rejects various other Catholic practices (notably, celibacy for priests), nevertheless the church holds many of the same doctrines and beliefs as Catholicism, including a false gospel preaching mysticism and human works as the means to salvation in keeping with the teaching of the Catholic Church. In fact, the official name of the Eastern Orthodox church is the Orthodox Catholic Church (as opposed to the Roman Catholic Church).

Of most concern, the Orthodox church holds that salvation is not by faith alone in Christ, but like Catholics, they teach that other requirements (i.e., penance, good works) are required for salvation. Essentially, the Orthodox church's teaching on salvation is the same as Catholic teaching in this area.

Secondly, the Orthodox church venerates Mary as do Catholics, calling her the "Most Holy Mother of God." Mary is praised in their hymns as "more honorable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim," suggesting that Mary (a human being) is higher than angels, which directly contradicts scripture (see Psalm 8:4-5).

Going even further, the church says Mary is the "Mother of the Church — it is in Her person that the Church glorifies motherhood.” Notice they even capitalize any pronoun referring to Mary as if Mary were equal with deity. To glorify Mary in this way is nothing short of blasphemy, as God does not share His glory with anyone (see Isaiah 42:8). Again, this is very Catholic.

The Orthodox church equates church tradition with scripture, including erroneously holding that water baptism washes away our sins, at least initially. To quote official church teaching:

“The sacrament of Baptism occurs only once in a person’s life. In Baptism the human person is granted freedom from original sin and forgiveness of all his personal transgressions. However, Baptism is only the first step in the human person’s ascent towards God. If it is not accompanied by a renewal of one’s entire life and a spiritual regeneration, it might be fruitless. The grace of God, received in Baptism as a pledge or as a seed, will grow within the person and be made manifest throughout his whole life so long as he strives towards Christ, lives in the Church and fulfills God’s commandments.”
Finally, the Orthodox church venerates (i.e., assigns spiritual power to) the dead, calling them "saints" and praying to them for spiritual blessing. As with Catholics, this practice is blasphemous and contrary to Scripture.

There are other similarities with Catholic doctrinal, but these serious departures from Scripture are certainly sufficient for us to conclude that the Orthodox church is a false church teaching a false Gospel that cannot save.

Important Footnote:

We must allow for the possibility that from time-to-time true Christians may be found attending the Orthodox Church. Like the Catholic Church the Orthodox Church does not preach the true Gospel nor does it practice biblical Christianity, but that does not mean God's Spirit is incapable of bringing true faith to someone within this community. Nevertheless, should a member of the Orthodox Church come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, we would say the person was born again despite the church's negative influence, not because of the church.

Furthermore, we encourage all born-again Christians to seek fellowship in churches that hold to the true Gospel. Remaining closely tied to a false church can have serious, negative influences on the believer's walk of faith.

 2020/1/10 20:18









 Re:

Lots of footnoted information on the Orthodox church in the middle of this article onwards:

https://www.thebereancall.org/content/church-tradition-or-christ

 2020/1/10 20:27









 Re:

Greg wrote: God in Scripture does put emphasis on the importance of the prayers of believers for each others.

The Bible says:

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed." James 5:16

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men." 1 Timothy 2:1

 2020/1/11 5:51
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The Orthodox Church was established in AD 1045 following a schism of the Roman Empire which split the church in the east from the church in the west. The church in the east, the Eastern Orthodox church, renounced all ties to the church in the west, the Roman Catholic church, including denying the authority of the pope.

Though the Orthodox Church does not recognize the authority of the Roman pope and rejects various other Catholic practices (notably, celibacy for priests), nevertheless the church holds many of the same doctrines and beliefs as Catholicism, including a false gospel preaching mysticism and human works as the means to salvation in keeping with the teaching of the Catholic Church. In fact, the official name of the Eastern Orthodox church is the Orthodox Catholic Church (as opposed to the Roman Catholic Church).

Of most concern, the Orthodox church holds that salvation is not by faith alone in Christ, but like Catholics, they teach that other requirements (i.e., penance, good works) are required for salvation. Essentially, the Orthodox church's teaching on salvation is the same as Catholic teaching in this area.

Secondly, the Orthodox church venerates Mary as do Catholics, calling her the "Most Holy Mother of God." Mary is praised in their hymns as "more honorable than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim," suggesting that Mary (a human being) is higher than angels, which directly contradicts scripture (see Psalm 8:4-5).




Brother,

Again I am not an authority on this but I can definetly fill in some blanks and help clarify. There are alot of wrong statements you made (not blaming you its just true).

fyi the bereancall I cannot even think of responding to anything mostly on that website, it is very judgemental and though maybe some thigns are right in it, overall I do not agree with the tenor and way as a fundamental baptist he looks at things.

--

From my readings of history the "eastern" church existed since the age of the apostles and carried on through passing traditions and the scriptures themselves. The Church west (Rome) and east existed in fellowship as "one" till AD 1054 when the shism happened. The entire church since the 2nd century had the title "Catholic Church" meaning universal. Do not let that confuse you as the entire church was not roman catholic in what we would consider it today.

The West started some wrong decisions after the 5th century that started to create rifts with the east. What we say "orthodox" is what the eastern church mostly has always been since the 3rd and 4th century. So orthodox is not a new "group" created in 1054 but what we call Roman Catholic Church was formally formed in 1054 when they split from those keeping the more sound faith ie the orthodox.


- The gospel preached by orthodox is not false, the view of atonement differs from modern protestants and the challenge to us is to consider is our view not wholistic. Orthodox have a trust in Christ and his atonement.

- Towards good works, I firmly believe as many have in history that without good works our salvation is not complete, meaning trust in Christ's death produces good works and godly living. Not sure where you get that orthodox teach penance as roman catholics do?

- Mysticism - Tozer was a mystic, I myself am glad to seek God in a way that would be considered mystical. Our rational mind cannot fully explain God, and our worship does not have to appeal to the rational mind. Tozer would prostrate himself at times with very few words but just to be before Him whom all things consist.

- Towards mary the term they call her is Theotokos, this is a theological term that came from the great council in the 3rd century where we get the Nicene Creed from I believe. The term Theotokos in greek means "God-Bearer" Theo = God Tokos = Bearer. The term itself is a defence and apologia for the incarnation of God in the flesh. Only 1 woman in history has ever been chosen to bear God himself in the flesh, it is asountounding and a miricale to even consider. And its the core of our very faith. Honour is definetly given to Mary for such a role. The incarnation, life and resurrection of Christ is the highlight of all human history and the salvation of mankind, all prophets point to this very fact and all apostolic ministry points back to it. It is the pinacle.

The apostle John also shares how this is how we can tell of the spirit of antichrist of those who deny the incarnation in any form.

I believe the view of Mary is much different betweet the east older view and the roman catholic view. Catholics look to mary as more of an example, help, and even co-redemmer which is not true. Though she is part of all of our salvation that she helped bore God in the flesh for our salvation. Orthodox honour her for the latter for her role in the incarnation and what that stands for theologically in the gospel.

I hope that helps even a small bit to bring some balance and clarity. I feel we can definetly learn from our eastern history of the church that did stay more pure then the west and unfortunately all protestants come from the west in reaction and have very little knoweldge or understanding of the east.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2020/1/11 7:03Profile









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You mentioned A. W. Tozer: he was with the Christian & Missionary Alliance, and he espoused the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking with tongues. In contrast the Orthodox church teaches that the gifts of the Spirit ceased at the end of the first century. Tozer was correct.

Greg, in regards to the Orthodox sacrament of penance:

https://www.oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/worship/the-sacraments/penance

 2020/1/11 7:50









 Re:

Greg wrote: The West started some wrong decisions after the 5th century that started to create rifts with the east. What we say "orthodox" is what the eastern church mostly has always been since the 3rd and 4th century.

The West was already in huge trouble by the early 300s when Constantine founded his syncretist religion which became the basis for Roman Catholicism.

Savannah, I will indeed start another thread on the Early Church Fathers and where their teachings aligned with - and deviated from - the Scriptures.

 2020/1/11 8:10
BranchinVINE
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Joined: 2016/6/15
Posts: 756
Australia

 Re:

Alec wrote:

Quote:
You mentioned A. W. Tozer: he was with the Christian & Missionary Alliance, and he espoused the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking with tongues.




Following is an extract from
https://azusareport.com/a-b-simpson-meets-the-holy-ghost/

A.B. SIMPSON AND TONGUES

He is like many through history that struggled to believe that praying in tongues was the initial evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Many believed it and many did not. It is believed that Simpson did pray in tongues but did not believe you have to in order to be baptized in the Holy Ghost.

The Christian Missionary Alliance developed a position that the fruit of the Spirit was the evidence of the Holy Ghost baptism and it was proved by a fruitful ministry. This was in direct conflict with the position that became the view of the Assemblies of God later, “The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance.”



FOLLOWING IS A STATEMENT FROM THE CHRISTIAN & MISSIONARY ALLIANCE WEBSITE https://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/perspectives/spiritual-gifts


What is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit?

There are some who believe that the gift of tongues is the “initial, physical evidence” of being filled with the Spirit. Again, we affirm tongues as a valid gift for today. But we do not believe that the Scripture supports tongues as the only evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Paul, as he writes to the believers in the Ephesian church, commands them to…be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). “Filled with the Spirit” is a frequent expression in the Book of Acts describing the source of the mighty power of God working in believers in Christ. This expression implies being under the control of the Holy Spirit. We believe this is still a valid command for today, and every believer should seek to be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. So, what is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit?

Though there is a record of people receiving spiritual gifts when they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 10:44–48; 19:6), there are other instances of people being filled with the Holy Spirit where there is no mention of spiritual gifts (Acts 4:8, 31; 8:15–17; 9:17–18; 13:9, 52). Though some may speak in tongues when they are filled with the Holy Spirit, others do not. While rejecting the “initial evidence doctrine” we must be careful to say there “should be” and “will be” evidence that a person has been filled with the Holy Spirit. As Tozer strongly notes, “no one ever received the Holy Spirit’s power without knowing it” (Keys to the Deeper Life, p. 57). A creed of power without the experience of power is worthless. One phrase that could describe our posture in this encounter with God is “Expectation without Agenda.” It would seem to be a dangerous thing to try and convince someone they have been filled with the Spirit if there is no manifest evidence in their lives. Our expectancy should be that God will meet His people in a powerful way. However, it would be equally dangerous to demand a specific agenda or manifestation in that moment. Again, we should come to the Lord with great expectation, while seeking to free ourselves from human agendas or motives.

Regardless of the gifts or manifestations a believer may experience, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as described in Galatians 5:22–23 is the primary evidence of the Spirit-filled life. These qualities are produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The fruit of the Spirit shows that the Holy Spirit is in control of the believer’s life.
Another strong evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is a fruitful ministry. In Acts 1:8 Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would give power to be His witnesses. We often mention the scope of our ministry–Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, but we also need to focus on the source of power for our ministry–the Holy Spirit, who wants to fill us for a holy life and effective service.

Finally, 1 Corinthians 12 lists a variety of manifestations that occur when the Holy Spirit is ministering. We have no reason to believe this is an all-inclusive list of manifestations or evidences. Weeping, for instance, is not mentioned. Yet many believers have experienced tears as a manifestation of the Spirit’s work and power. Others may experience a manifestation of “joy unspeakable” and God’s love, but never shed a tear. Rather than demanding a single gift or manifestation as the evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit, we ought to gratefully embrace all the gifts, manifestations and fruit that the Lord desires to bring into our lives.


Quote:
Regardless of the gifts or manifestations a believer may experience, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as described in Galatians 5:22–23 is the primary evidence of the Spirit-filled life. These qualities are produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The fruit of the Spirit shows that the Holy Spirit is in control of the believer’s life.
Another strong evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is a fruitful ministry. In Acts 1:8 Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would give power to be His witnesses. We often mention the scope of our ministry–Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, but we also need to focus on the source of power for our ministry–the Holy Spirit, who wants to fill us for a holy life and effective service.




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Jade

 2020/1/11 9:40Profile









 Re:

Jade, I knew a C&MA pastor in my area who flat-out denied the baptism of the Holy Spirit was legitimate. The denomination as a whole has backed away from the theology Simpson and Tozer held in this matter.

I only brought this up at all since Greg cited Tozer, and in stark contrast the Orthodox church doctrine is that the spiritual gifts have ceased millennia ago.

 2020/1/11 10:21
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The sacrament of penance exists in the Church to allow for the repentance and reconversion of Christians who have fallen away from the life of faith. There are three main elements to the act of formal penance. The first is a sincere sorrow for sins and for the breaking of communion with God. The second is an open and heartfelt confession of sins. At one time this confession was done publicly before all men in the midst of the Church, but in recent times it is usually done only in the presence of the pastor of the Church who stands in behalf of all. The third element of penance is the formal prayer of absolution through which the forgiveness of God through Christ is sacramentally bestowed upon the repentant sinner.



Their view of penance is basically the same as what you quoted the bible verse below:


The Bible says:

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed." James 5:16


Except they believe it should be confessed to the main pastor. The catholic idea of do so many rosaries etc is not in the orthodox thinking so it is good to clarify that. they are very biblical in their approach and desire for people to not come to sunday worship with major sins being practiced. Maybe the baptist need to start doing this also?

also fyi I personally believe the context of the passage in James 5 clearly means that the request of prayer is for elders specificially ie: "Let them call the elders of the church" v 14


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 2020/1/11 10:25Profile





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