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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Saints,

as this thread is about the Orthodox Church, I would recommend some of these links for reading and research. I have spend much time reading the earliest Christian writings and as an evangelical this has been a whole new world to me. The orthodox not only understand these writings but they have based much of their beliefs off the genuine traditions of Apostles and early church leaders.

So at the very least I find it is well worth studying them:
https://www.orthodoxroad.com/voices-from-the-past/
https://orthodoxchurchfathers.com/fathers/ (searchable early church fathers)
https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxbridge/getting-know-church-fathers/


As the article states clearly, orthodox "are" christians or at least "can" be in his mind. So it would do well for evangelicals to be more educated on their beliefs and also see what things they value that we minimize or could impliment and understand better as evangelicals.

I also personally published 3 volumes on the early church fathers, sharing freely some of the simplicity of their writings, they are free on amazon kindle:



Early Church Father Series: St. Ignatius of Antioch
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N3TFJBW/

Early Church Father Series: St. Polycarp of Smyrna
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1999524829/

Early Church Father Series: St. Clement of Rome
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0995892687



_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2020/1/4 14:13Profile









 Re: Orthodox Church

I thoroughly disagree, Greg. It is much better to hold to the Word of God, and not the traditions of men.

The apostle Paul wrote in Acts 20:29-31:

"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."

These things came to pass in the first century A.D.

Many of the early church fathers taught strange things that contradict the Scriptures. If you like, I will start a new thread and clearly outline who taught what, and where it deviates from the Bible. Much research has been conducted in this area of history by reliable Christian scholars.

 2020/1/4 18:15
savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2071


 Re: Acts 20:29-31



"If you like, I will start a new thread and clearly outline who taught what, and where it deviates from the Bible."

Alec,

I'd appreciate it if you would please start such a thread.

Thanks

 2020/1/4 19:50Profile









 Re:

I was surprised to see this refutation of the Orthodox church on the Answers in Genesis website:

Salvation and the Sacraments
“What must I do to be saved?” This was the question the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas in Acts 16:30. It remains the critical question for all of mankind. Indeed, if we are given the wrong answers to this question, a catastrophic loss is the prospect we face. Strangely, in contrast to both Protestants and Catholics, the Orthodox do not seem to focus very much on this question. There are, of course, reasons for this.

Like Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy places great emphasis on the “sacraments.” Like Catholicism, Orthodoxy sees baptism as bringing about the regeneration of the person receiving the sacrament. The Orthodox typically baptize infants, but, of course, adult converts to Orthodoxy are baptized as well. In contrast to Roman Catholics, the Orthodox baptize by immersion. Immersion is carried out three times in succession, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Unique to the Orthodox is a second sacrament applied immediately following baptism, called “chrismation.” Chrismation is performed by the priest on the newly baptized individual by anointing him or her with oil and making the sign of the cross over the various parts of the body (the forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, chest, hands, and feet) of the newly baptized and saying, “The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit, Amen.” According to Orthodox teaching, this sacrament brings about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the newly baptized individual. In the Orthodox view then, even if the individual being baptized is an infant, he or she is consequently a full member of the church from that point on. The oil used in the anointing of the person being baptized is called the “chrism.” According to Orthodox belief, the chrism may be administered by a priest but the chrism must have first been blessed by a bishop.

The Orthodox do not believe that faith on the part of the person being baptized is necessary in order for these sacraments to be effective. Indeed, Orthodox theologians take great pains to clarify and emphasize that the effectiveness of the sacraments is entirely independent of any faith or particular desires for God or sanctity. To quote a prominent Orthodox theologian: “In no way is the efficacy of the sacrament contingent upon the faith or moral qualifications of either celebrant [i.e., priest or bishop] or recipient.”

https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/eastern-orthodoxy/

 2020/1/5 6:26
HaveMercy
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Joined: 2020/1/9
Posts: 5


 Re:

Quote:
Like the Roman Catholics, the Orthodox pray to Mary. The Catholics pray to "saints" and so do the Orthodox. The former bow to statues, and the latter to icons (flat images).

Religiosity is not relationship.

I have many born again Greek friends who came out of the Orthodox church once they were saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and especially after being baptized in the Holy Spirit. They could no longer remain in a dead church.

B. H. Clendennen, a classical pentecostal preacher & founder of the School of Christ International, said that the biggest enemies of the underground church in Russia were not Russian police or government soldiers, but the Orthodox church prelates who vigorously persecuted those who preached the full Gospel.



Respectfully, as an Orthodox Christian, this is incorrect depending upon what you mean. I would also suggest that the Catholic beliefs about Mary cannot be wholly applied to the Orthodox, as there is a difference in emphasis.

Orthodox no more pray "to" Mary than you ask a friend to pray for you when you are undergoing trouble in your life. No faithful Orthodox believes Mary to be a deity.

Mary's life and submission to the will of God points to Christ, which is why the Orthodox venerate her as important. She is the one person in the whole of human history through which God chose to be Incarnate. That's kind of a big deal, and it makes sense that she would be given a lot of honor.

For this reason, at the Council of Ephesus (431) about 100 years after the legalization of Christianity in the Roman Empire, Mary was declared to be the "Theotokos," which means "Mother of God." No one believes that she is literally the mother of the Holy Trinity, but it is a statement intended to project - rather forcefully - her importance in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

As to the saints.

We are surrounded, are we not, by a great cloud of witnesses? If the Resurrection is real, and if the Transfiguration is to be believed, then those in Heaven are more alive than you and me! This is clear from the book of Hebrews and elsewhere, too. We have no reason to think that those in Heaven are not able to intercede for us.

Even growing up in a Bible church, I believed that my dead relatives who had strong faith were "looking down" on me somehow.

It is worth asking what the earliest Christians did, and whether they felt it was worthwhile to venerate the memory, and ask the prayers, of those who had died in great faith and as martyrs. The early days of the Christian church confirm that they did.

All of this is not to say that there are not Orthodox Christians who go astray, of course there are. The Orthodox Church is filled with imperfect people, as all churches are. However, it would be incorrect to ascribe the feelings of some who have left the Church to all Orthodox Christians.

One last thing: to your final point, about preaching the Gospel. Growing up in several different large Protestant churches, I rarely heard the Word of God actually read and talked about. Usually, the preacher would talk about what was in the Scriptures, but layer onto it a lot of personal opinion and conjecture.

The Orthodox services are filled with Scripture and in fact almost every line of the Divine Liturgy, as well as the Vespers service usually practiced on Saturday evenings, are from Scripture. Orthodox monastics read the entire Book of Psalms every week, and Orthodox bishops are expected to know it by heart before being tonsured.

Just a few things to hopefully add to this discussion. On a side note, while newly registered, I have enjoyed SermonIndex for years and have found much edifying material here!

 2020/1/9 16:46Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Just a few things to hopefully add to this discussion. On a side note, while newly registered, I have enjoyed SermonIndex for years and have found much edifying material here!



Thank you dear brother for your well thought out responses that you have done so gracefully.

Really people are scared mostly of what they do not understand or know.

As you alluded to Catholic belief strongly differs to some points in Orthodox older belief. Really orthodox would agree with many if not most problems modern evangelicals have with the catholic church.

Hence the orthodox cut fellowship with the catholic church a long time ago (over 1000 years ago) long before refomers left it.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2020/1/10 6:25Profile









 Re:

I have relatives in the Orthodox church.

Did you know that one of the famous Orthodox creeds refers to Jesus as "created?" Orthodox teaching speaks of one God, One Father----and that Jesus and the Holy Spirit were "created." Take a look online. I can provide links, if necessary.

 2020/1/10 6:46









 Re:

Here are some Orthodox prayers to "Mary":

http://saintandrewgoc.org/home/2017/8/16/prayer-to-the-ever-virgin-mary-the-theotokos

Of course, they will say, "We don't pray to Mary; we just ask her to intercede for us to her Son." That *is* prayer. There is only One Who intercedes for us to the Father---Jesus Christ the righteous Advocate.

It is impossible to pray that prayer to Mary without grieving the Holy Spirit.

 2020/1/10 7:16
sermonindex
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Joined: 2002/12/11
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
Did you know that one of the famous Orthodox creeds refers to Jesus as "created?" Orthodox teaching speaks of one God, One Father----and that Jesus and the Holy Spirit were "created." Take a look online. I can provide links, if necessary.



Brother,

Please share the link as I believe you are mis-informed on this one.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2020/1/10 9:49Profile









 Re:

You are correct on this point, Greg. I misread the contents of this link:

https://www.oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine-scripture/the-holy-trinity/wrong-doctrines-of-the-trinity

Nevertheless, the other links and points I shared are indeed what the Orthodox church teaches which is contrary to sound doctrine:

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 to get you to heaven. 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 and "chrismation" in the Orthodox church, regardless of whether the person has any faith in God at all.

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

 2020/1/10 20:01





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