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Ghostly Presence
17-08-2012, 13:12
Men of God continue to score points with the mere mortals - an Orthodox priest driving Mercedes Gelandwagen runs over and kills two road workers on Kutuzovskiy prospect and then escapes the crime scene (a fine, upstanding citizen that he is!):

http://www.gazeta.ru/auto/news/2012/08/17/n_2489125.shtml

Rusmeister,

I almost feel sorry for you because it is becoming increasingly difficult for you to defend your organization. First a story about an unruly priest driving a BMW, now a Gelandwagen... I never realized that being a priest in ROC is such a lucrative occupation! I am in a wrong line of work!
Are you guys hiring??

Ghostly Presence
17-08-2012, 13:17
Things never change in the ROC. Here is a famous painting by Perov that pretty much sums up the essence of the ROC:

mrzuzzo
17-08-2012, 14:06
Maybe Stalin was right after all.... People like this should be sent straight to Siberian labor camps, the churches need to be destroyed... the fish rots from the head.

rusmeister
17-08-2012, 15:48
:boring:
:snoring:

MickeyTong
17-08-2012, 15:50
Things never change in the ROC. Here is a famous painting by Perov that pretty much sums up the essence of the ROC:

He is an icon of Christ.......

Lost in moscow
17-08-2012, 16:10
Sigh....and for a while I have felt sorry for catholic alter boys. Now, I feel sorry for people like Rus because the faith they blindly believe in is turning out to be nothing more then that, just an organization.

robertmf
17-08-2012, 16:27
Men of God continue to score points with the mere mortals - an Orthodox priest driving Mercedes Gelandwagen runs over and kills two road workers on Kutuzovskiy prospect and then escapes the crime scene (a fine, upstanding citizen that he is!):


:10168: I had to look up the word "Geländewagen". "4-wheel drive" is used here.

Geländewagen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_G-Class)

Ian G
17-08-2012, 16:52
You could say that, in promptly suspending this turbulent priest from service, the Russian Orthodox Church is sending out a strong signal that this is no way for a priest to behave.

Every incident of this type is an opportunity for an organization- Police Government, Church, etc to set an example. How the organization chooses to respond will affect the way that organization is seen by society. All too often the organization fails to react quickly enough, and its reputation suffers, but in this case the Russian Orthodox Church seems to have done the right thing.

rusmeister
17-08-2012, 16:59
He is an icon of Christ.......
Yes, there are broken icons that besmirch themselves, and we know that, too Mickey. Didn't you know that? That's what we do when we sin.

rubyrussia
17-08-2012, 17:05
Another bad week for the Orthodox church. I won't defend or worship them for that matter. :bowdown:

rubyrussia
17-08-2012, 17:05
Yes, there are broken icons that besmirch themselves, and we know that, too Mickey. Didn't you know that? That's what we do when we sin.

Are you Orthodox, Rus?

FatAndy
17-08-2012, 18:27
Maybe Stalin was right after all.... People like this should be sent straight to Siberian labor camps, the churches need to be destroyed... the fish rots from the head.
On that historical period there were no other solutions to implement new comprehensive state ideology, in fast and effective way. Yes, it was done rough and painful.

Regarding the case mentioned above - yes, it was not easy week for ЗАО РПЦ and comrade Gundyaev.

rusmeister
17-08-2012, 18:31
Are you Orthodox, Rus?

That's a big ten-four, Ruby! :)

rubyrussia
17-08-2012, 18:37
Rus, every Orthodox church I have ever been in sold lots of icons, souveneirs, and last time I noticed 'mood rings' that change colors depending on how you feel. This to me doesn't seem very Christian at all... perhaps some sort of influence from an eastern religion. What do you think?

In addition, I recall from the gospels Jesus kicking out people that set up shop inside the temple. How does the church justify this practice? If you've already commented on this, send me a link if you would.

robertmf
17-08-2012, 18:50
Rus, every Orthodox church I have ever been in sold lots of icons, souveneirs, and last time I noticed 'mood rings' that change colors depending on how you feel. This to me doesn't seem very Christian at all... perhaps some sort of influence from an eastern religion. What do you think?

In addition, I recall from the gospels Jesus kicking out people that set up shop inside the temple. How does the church justify this practice? If you've already commented on this, send me a link if you would.

:12115: Mood rings :12115: Haven't heard of those since ..umm.. the '70s ? You can still find them on ebay.com ;)

Well, if you accept the ritual glory of organized Church, then you must also accept the temporal fact that priests need their rice bowl filled and the church roof must be repaired at times.

MickeyTong
17-08-2012, 19:31
Yes, there are broken icons that besmirch themselves, and we know that, too Mickey. Didn't you know that? That's what we do when we sin.

Some of them besmirch the institutions they represent, too.

rusmeister
17-08-2012, 21:25
Some of them besmirch the institutions they represent, too.

Yes, of course.
When it gets really bad, it requires the blood of martyrs to clean it up. But then it IS clean, and restored - though it would be better if it did not come to that, and none of us really want to live to see such times. Christian martyrs are generally not the only victims of such vicious reactions.

FatAndy
17-08-2012, 21:30
This guy is arrested for 2 months of investigation:
http://news.mail.ru/inregions/moscow/90/incident/9951390/?frommail=1

rubyrussia
17-08-2012, 21:56
:-) So, I guess you agree that it's bad, right? (selling things in cathedrals)

Remington
17-08-2012, 22:53
Rus, every Orthodox church I have ever been in sold lots of icons, souveneirs, and last time I noticed 'mood rings' that change colors depending on how you feel. This to me doesn't seem very Christian at all... perhaps some sort of influence from an eastern religion. What do you think?

In addition, I recall from the gospels Jesus kicking out people that set up shop inside the temple. How does the church justify this practice? If you've already commented on this, send me a link if you would.

There is nothing wrong with selling things in Church as long as its used for good intention like funding missions or church maintenance, etc.

Back in the Old Testament days, people had to set aside their tithe for God in terms of money, wine, oil, grain or first born animals for sacrifices as explained in Deuteronomy 14. It's difficult for people from abroad to travel with everything for their religious obligations so they take their silver coin as a tithe and buy things from the temple. The sellers were overcharging people for the stuff they sold and some stuff were low quality. That's why Jesus kicked them out because they were turning the temple into a house of robbers and thieves. They were not only robbing the Jews but God too.

Personally, I don't feel comfortable with churches selling things because often times it can be abused and money will go into the pocket of the church officials. It's fine as long as you know exactly where the money is going and how they're using it. Often times at my former church, we do sell tickets for Christmas play or Thanksgiving dinner so if there are extra money left and it will be used to fund missionaries in foreign countries.

rubyrussia
17-08-2012, 23:55
There is nothing wrong with selling things in Church as long as its used for good intention like funding missions or church maintenance, etc.

Where in the Bible does it say that? ... and if not, says who?


The sellers were overcharging people for the stuff they sold and some stuff were low quality. That's why Jesus kicked them out because they were turning the temple into a house of robbers and thieves. They were not only robbing the Jews but God too.


This is a common interpretation of that text and perhaps a correct one, but the text doesn't actually say that in Luke. In Mathew, it does use the word robbers in most translation but the issue is as you mentioned specific rules for how to do sacrifices... one can recall the specific rules and the resulted death when the Israelites moved the tabernacle incorrectly. Going back to the word robbers, I think Jesus would still have had beeff with them even if they were giving an "excellent product at an excellent price" but once again that's an interpretation not mentioned specifically in the text.


Personally, I don't feel comfortable with churches selling things because often times it can be abused and money will go into the pocket of the church officials. It's fine as long as you know exactly where the money is going and how they're using it. Often times at my former church, we do sell tickets for Christmas play or Thanksgiving dinner so if there are extra money left and it will be used to fund missionaries in foreign countries.

You can never know exactly where money goes and how a church uses it. I think if people want to open-endedly give money to churches it's their decision but buying and selling goods in a church is like holy capitalism and you shouldn't be surprised when the big guys up there drive around in Audi's drunk. :)

Remington
18-08-2012, 01:06
Where in the Bible does it say that? ... and if not, says who?

The New Testament is silent on this issue and Jesus or his Apostles never said churches are forbidden from selling stuff. Also this happened under Mosaic Laws and temple was a place of worship and the house of God. When Jesus died on the cross, God left the temple so its no longer the house of God. All the churches today are not 'sacred' since it's a building for assembly and worship.

Lost in moscow
18-08-2012, 03:51
That's why Jesus kicked them out because they were turning the temple into a house of robbers and thieves. They were not only robbing the Jews but God too.

History repeating itself

rusmeister
18-08-2012, 09:29
I think it difficult for people to complain about the sale of items related to worship and faith. That could go as far as kagor wine for Liturgies, books teaching about prayer, worship and faith, icons, headscarves, and of course, candles.

The objections would be if they were either deceiving/robbing people in these things or in turning the church into a place of general commerce.

Many things are said in the Bible, which is an entire library, not just a book. The question is, who INTERPRETS the things that are said and on what basis? The eunuch couldn't figure it out on his own. He needed specially qualified help. It is evident that agreement on all truth is NOT reached merely by picking up the Bible and reading it. That approach has resulted in dozens of major "denominations" (iow, divisions) and tens of thousands of independent (that is, isolated) churches. Only by the continuous passing down of a common agreement of truth (paradosis) that we cannot change based on our own opinions can a consistent faith be held over space and time. In our time the danger is of the individual inventing his own religion (just me and the Book) rather than finding a Church (the institution which compiled the Book and determined its table of contents) that will teach him truth.

penka
18-08-2012, 09:54
I think it difficult for people to complain about the sale of items related to worship and faith. That could go as far as kagor wine for Liturgies, books teaching about prayer, worship and faith, icons, headscarves, and of course, candles.

h.

Rus, there is a dry cleaner, parking, car service, etc in the building of the Church of Christ the Savior. Are you alright with that?

http://www.gazeta.ru/business/news/2012/06/04/n_2373409.shtml

rusmeister
18-08-2012, 11:06
Rus, there is a dry cleaner, parking, car service, etc in the building of the Church of Christ the Savior. Are you alright with that?

http://www.gazeta.ru/business/news/2012/06/04/n_2373409.shtml

The first thing I note is your source. Are its articles on Orthodox faith and the Church in general positive, neutral, or negative?

On the whole they are overwhelmingly negative. The editorial tone is one of constant attack and wholly partisan and biased. Pretty much all info you get from there - generally truth distorted or openly mixed with falsehood - is intended to make you angry at the Church. And it works.

That said, there are two considerations:
1 - self-supporting institutions DO require an operational infrastructure to do things like wash clothes and park cars. Complaining about a monastery having/doing these things, or even raising and selling food, is silly. It is certainly legitimate for an organization to conduct activities that support itself.

2 - I DO agree that there is an ever-present danger in such activities becoming for profit, and for the personal enrichment of those conducting it.

Speaking as if these were new happenings that will "finally" destroy a two-thousand year-old Church is pretty futile, though. Millions of sinners, as well as tens of thousands of saints, have passed through its doors, and it will still be around long after you and I are a couple of headstones.

Potty
18-08-2012, 13:18
I like stories about менты more. But this profession is more sacred in Russia :shhhhhh:

Remington
18-08-2012, 13:30
I DO agree that there is an ever-present danger in such activities becoming for profit, and for the personal enrichment of those conducting it.

I even heard some churches guarantee a passage to heaven if people pay $1000. :suspect: I know the bible is silent on this but its totally wrong and unethical.

Jim Bakker for example. He was convicted in 1988 for mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy.

Jim Bakker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

rusmeister
18-08-2012, 15:21
I even heard some churches guarantee a passage to heaven if people pay $1000. :suspect: I know the bible is silent on this but its totally wrong and unethical.

Jim Bakker for example. He was convicted in 1988 for mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy.

Jim Bakker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Bakker)

And all such churches have broken connection with the historic Church. They are not part of the Church. They can only trace their history back to... Jim Bakker. Or Charles Wesley if they are more respectable. But the common characteristic of all such churches is that they try to be modern, try to be "relevant" and are ready to change the truth taught to suit people today, rather than teach people to change themselves to suit the truth - a much less popular, yet the only salvific attitude.

rubyrussia
18-08-2012, 19:01
The eunuch couldn't figure it out on his own. He needed specially qualified help.

Who was his qualified help?


It is evident that agreement on all truth is NOT reached merely by picking up the Bible and reading it. That approach has resulted in dozens of major "denominations" (iow, divisions) and tens of thousands of independent (that is, isolated) churches. Only by the continuous passing down of a common agreement of truth (paradosis) that we cannot change based on our own opinions can a consistent faith be held over space and time. In our time the danger is of the individual inventing his own religion (just me and the Book) rather than finding a Church (the institution which compiled the Book and determined its table of contents) that will teach him truth.

If the church split today which would be the correct one? The major disagreement I have with the Orthodox is that they believe you can't understand "truth" without their interpretation and guidence. What is so dangerous about people disagreeing? Do we need government in religion?


And all such churches have broken connection with the historic Church. They are not part of the Church.

To me, tracing heirarchy makes more sense in monarchies or caste religions. Defining who is in Christ's church and who isn't is left up to God.. not the Orthodox church. Do you think what the Orthodox church is today is what Jesus set up himself before leaving?

rusmeister
18-08-2012, 22:54
Who was his qualified help?
Philip the Evangelist, one of the deacons chosen by the Apostles (and thus having apostolic authority).




If the church split today which would be the correct one? The major disagreement I have with the Orthodox is that they believe you can't understand "truth" without their interpretation and guidence. What is so dangerous about people disagreeing? Do we need government in religion?
Your first question is irrelevant because while there is only one Church, people and groups have always been splitting away from it.
What is dangerous about disagreeing over doctrine? Does it matter whether the formula is E=mc2 or E=mc3? What difference does it make? Obviously, this says that the truth doesn't matter, which is one step away from saying there is no truth. Obviously there has always been government in the Christian Church, and without government, you have simple anarchy and no organization at all. The Apostle Paul did not offer democratic voting on doctrine. He taught with authority that he obviously believed that he actually had. and so on down the line, from Clement of Rome to the Seven Councils (which established the Bible you seem to accept and most other doctrines that Nicean Christians have always accepted, to the disputes of Gregory Palamas, to the present day, the Church has always had governance.

What Sola Scriptura brought was chaos, an infinite process of schism and breaking off, the very opposite of the promise that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth. So yes, people do in fact need interpretation and guidance, just like the eunuch. None of us can possibly, through the lens of our own incredibly limited understandings, correctly construct theology and build the understandings that took centuries and many lives to achieve.



To me, tracing heirarchy makes more sense in monarchies or caste religions. Defining who is in Christ's church and who isn't is left up to God.. not the Orthodox church. Do you think what the Orthodox church is today is what Jesus set up himself before leaving?


Here you speak of something quite different than what I am talking about. Misunderstanding is always a present danger. I do not speak merely of tracing hierarchy, though that is certainly part of apostolic succession, the only way we can know that we have paradosis. And if you start off with a radically different understanding if what the Church is, then definition is in order.

In one sense, I agree that God makes all ultimate calls. He saves whom He will; we have no monopoly on God's mercy, and hope that all will attain it. But the Church CAN declare what it DOES know - thus, we can know that a person is a saint, for instance. And we can know when a person has definitely put themselves outside if the Church, for instance, by declaring that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, as well as when a person is definitely in the Church, by repentance and communion.

On your last question, absolutely. Otherwise, I wouldn't be Orthodox. But the reasons why I see this to be so are quite complicated. The very shortest attempt at explanation (which must include subjective observations) would be that I see that for any church to truly represent THE Church, it would have to have existed continually for two thousand years, faithfully passing down the teachings (paradosis), and have a traceable history. Nearly all Christian confessions fail these criteria; aside from the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Coptic Christians, no one has the history or continuity. From most Protestant histories, it would appear that the
Holy Spirit took a 1,500-year vacation from the end of the book of Acts until Martin Luther or later, with the Bible falling from heaven somehow in between.

In the collegial nature of the Orthodox Church I find an institution which has avoided both the anarchy and divisions in Protestantism and the evils caused by the influence of one man in the Catholic Church, that reflects the spirit of the relations of the Apostles in the New Testament, a logical continuity of worship and practice that christened, rather than throw out the ancient Jewish worship and practices, and much much more. A depth of wisdom and teaching that makes the best from the Baptists of my youth and my Protestant family and friends look quite shallow, having a much older tradition to draw on than they do.

rubyrussia
19-08-2012, 00:01
Philip the Evangelist, one of the deacons chosen by the Apostles (and thus having apostolic authority).

When you say Eunuch you mean this right? Eunuch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Your first question is irrelevant because while there is only one Church, people and groups have always been splitting away from it.

I don't think it's irrelevant at all. The Truth isn't the church. Christ or God is the truth. I am the way, the truth... etc. I don't recall Christ saying a Christian denomination called the Orthodox church which won't be called that until later is the truth...

My very basic comparison makes a lot of sense really. You have a group of people that come into a disagreement about what you later talk about as being centuries later of actually developing doctrine. Two parties come to a disagreement. So which party is now the original Church???


What is dangerous about disagreeing over doctrine? Does it matter whether the formula is E=mc2 or E=mc3? What difference does it make?

Moral / biblical truth isn't mathematical fact or science. To me, it's a strange comparison.


Obviously, this says that the truth doesn't matter, which is one step away from saying there is no truth.

Obviously truth does matter. Small differences in verse interpretation seem healthy and only natural to me. Man will never understand all Truth or perhaps even more than fraction. (Reminds me of the whole Adam and Eve thing doesn't it.) I'm thinking about the first verses of John... In the beginning was God and the word was God and the word was with God. Where is any hint as to all this great infallable tradition that would be invented later?


Obviously there has always been government in the Christian Church, and without government, you have simple anarchy and no organization at all. The Apostle Paul did not offer democratic voting on doctrine. He taught with authority that he obviously believed that he actually had. and so on down the line, from Clement of Rome to the Seven Councils (which established the Bible you seem to accept and most other doctrines that Nicean Christians have always accepted, to the disputes of Gregory Palamas, to the present day, the Church has always had governance.

We have the letters of the Corinthians from Paul (some of which were lost and didn't make it into the Bible). Paul claims to teach with authority given to him from Christ concerning spiritual matters, not in the traditional sense of what we call government today. I don't recall anything about Paul setting up some governmental entity. Paul made tents. :)


What Sola Scriptura brought was chaos, an infinite process of schism and breaking off, the very opposite of the promise that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth. So yes, people do in fact need interpretation and guidance, just like the eunuch. None of us can possibly, through the lens of our own incredibly limited understandings, correctly construct theology and build the understandings that took centuries and many lives to achieve.

Chaos only to someone that sees Christianity as a way to control the masses and no, all the saints and other big characters you have who performed miracles were not mentioned in the Bible. Who gave them authority like Paul? The head of the Orthodox church calls Putin a miracle from God. How many Patriarchs before him do you think made really sound philosophical statements as such?

What I think churches like the Orthodox and Catholics brought were telling people the Bible says and creating a tradition that was never taught by the first generation church. I don't want to go down the path of talking about saints because I'm sure it's been argued on the forum before but all that Holy tradition didn't come from the Bible or was ever even hinted at by the disciples.


In one sense, I agree that God makes all ultimate calls. He saves whom He will; we have no monopoly on God's mercy, and hope that all will attain it. But the Church CAN declare what it DOES know - thus, we can know that a person is a saint, for instance. And we can know when a person has definitely put themselves outside if the Church, for instance, by declaring that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, as well as when a person is definitely in the Church, by repentance and communion.

The existence and function of Saints is something that as you more or less said came to understand later. What I would argue is doctrine that was created later... once again not mentioned in the Bible.


Holy Spirit took a 1,500-year vacation from the end of the book of Acts until Martin Luther or later, with the Bible falling from heaven somehow in between.

Haha funny. Yes, many protestants kind of see it like that. My question is, the gifts of the Holy spirit mentioned in Acts and Corinthians... does the Church still operate like that … speaking in tongues, gifts of prophecy, etc? Did the Holy Sprit die then? Where are all the miracles... Well they still happen you guys say. You drink holy water and it cures you of miraculous diseases?


In the collegial nature of the Orthodox Church I find an institution which has avoided both the anarchy and divisions in Protestantism and the evils caused by the influence of one man in the Catholic Church, that reflects the spirit of the relations of the Apostles in the New Testament, a logical continuity of worship and practice that christened, rather than throw out the ancient Jewish worship and practices, and much much more. A depth of wisdom and teaching that makes the best from the Baptists of my youth and my Protestant family and friends look quite shallow, having a much older tradition to draw on than they do.

Yes, much of this great tradition of leaders of your church responsible for the crusades, making people previously buy their way to heaven, and having to take your word for what God had to say isn't a very great tradition at all.

Regardless, maybe you're right (I mean Orthodox!). But do you really think that Jesus looks down from heaven gazing at the Orthodox church and is saying, “There's my true Church that's following me!” Look at all these other people trying to follow me but are hopelessly lost because they didn't follow all those hundreds of years of thinking after I left!

Anyway, the way you argue, I think you think I am protestant. :) I think just like your church most protestants are in plenty of error. How do we know this? Because the fruit of the church. People on this forum will love to rub it in when they see what has been happening in the church. But if anything all this should be a warning sign that the church isn't healthy. But how could they church be in error?! It is the one and only correct one as you think...

rusmeister
20-08-2012, 08:58
When you say Eunuch you mean this right? Eunuch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eunuch)

I was referring to the Ethiopian eunuch from the book of Acts, which I had assumed, perhaps wrongly, that you are familiar with.


I don't think it's irrelevant at all. The Truth isn't the church. Christ or God is the truth. I am the way, the truth... etc. I don't recall Christ saying a Christian denomination called the Orthodox church which won't be called that until later is the truth...

Since I did not say "The truth is the Church", again, your comment is not relevant. I say the Church HAS the truth, NOT "it IS the truth". There is a vital difference in the understandings, for I agree that Christ is the truth. The Church is the place where you can reliably find the Truth.


My very basic comparison makes a lot of sense really. You have a group of people that come into a disagreement about what you later talk about as being centuries later of actually developing doctrine. Two parties come to a disagreement. So which party is now the original Church???

That is something that was hammered out over centuries. The Arians lost. They were wrong. The nature of their heresy was to make it impossible for Christ to save us. That's why the orthodox were right, and their teaching prevailed, and what had been largely assumed and accepted by all became formal doctrine, a point in teaching that had been THOROUGHLY questioned and the questions had all been answered. Ditto with the Nestorians, Montanites, and the rest.

To cut to the chase, to know the answer to your question, it is necessary to start, not from this end of history, but from the beginning - as an electrician should not start from the tangle of wires where everything is a mess, but to proceed from the power source.

For a thousand years we find one Church, a united thing, though the Copts, a small minority, cracked off early on, and it reeled from iconoclasm, but like all the other controversies, came to a definite answer. We do NOT see thousands of "denominations" and independent churches as we see today - THAT is obviously the error, and not the historical state of the Church. Through all of this, there IS no Protestant history. They have nothing to latch onto; all of the names they might drop are of people who confessed themselves to be part of the orthodox, catholic Church and were generally admitted to be so by the Church.

We then come to the Great Schism. Here you have to decide who was right. Personally, I see the errors and troubles of the Orthodox Church to be those of individual sin, avarice, lust for power. But those of the Roman Church I see to be the result of a deliberate theological idea hardening to dogma - the idea of the Pope having authority over all others, and thus, the Crusades, indulgences, the idea of annulments and certainly the Inquisition stem specifically from the design of the Catholic Church, whereas the problems in the Orthodox Church stem from simple human sin, and not from its design.

Protestantism, in any event, sprang from objections (many of them valid) to the practices of the Catholic Church. Prior to the non-reforming "Reformation" that was simply a schism that enabled infinite schism, there is no continuous Protestant history - only isolated groups popping up VERY rarely, such as the Albigensians.

So the essentially complete lack of history disqualifies the Protestants, the design of the Roman Church (and its consequences) disqualify it, and what is left? The Copts and the Eastern Orthodox Church. There is practically no difference. Most, but not all theologians and Church leaders now admit that even the semantical differences can be overcome, and so there is considerable hope for eventual reunion with the Coptic Church. My short take on it is that the thing that remained a unified entity for the first thousand years was indeed the Church, so the Copts were wrong in breaking off.




Moral / biblical truth isn't mathematical fact or science. To me, it's a strange comparison.

It is an analogy, which needs have but one common point to make the point, and that is that it matters very much indeed whether God is One or Three, and whether Christ has one or two natures. Though theology is not the whole of faith, it is the intellectual understanding of it, and even in theology there is no place for the self-contradictory and the mutually exclusive, and difference in theologies set different tones. Hindus have karma, and so have castes. Christians have free will and the brotherhood of man, and so democracy and equal rights are possible.


Obviously truth does matter. Small differences in verse interpretation seem healthy and only natural to me. Man will never understand all Truth or perhaps even more than fraction. (Reminds me of the whole Adam and Eve thing doesn't it.) I'm thinking about the first verses of John... In the beginning was God and the word was God and the word was with God. Where is any hint as to all this great infallable tradition that would be invented later?

It is true that one man cannot comprehend all truth. And yet we are told that we can be led into it. I see a rational possibility of discovering the truth about what matters via the logical possibility that, if God as the Creator, external to this universe is given, then revelation is obviously possible, and that is exactly what the Theophany is about.



We have the letters of the Corinthians from Paul (some of which were lost and didn't make it into the Bible). Paul claims to teach with authority given to him from Christ concerning spiritual matters, not in the traditional sense of what we call government today. I don't recall anything about Paul setting up some governmental entity. Paul made tents. :)

First of all, government via bishops, presbyters and deacons is definitely described, as are the qualifications for office. If we accept the New Testament as valid Scripture, this must be acknowledged. It is equally clear that immediately following the apostolic era, that government was definitely being practiced. You may not like the word "government", perhaps "rule" or "leadership" would please you more. But it means the same thing: that the rule of the Church was collegial - neither one man running the whole show, nor a democracy with nobody running it. If you know anything about Ignatius or Clement of Rome or the other early Church fathers who were undeniably the continuation of that Church (which otherwise would have died out with the apostles), then it must be granted that the Church was there and that they were describing the practices that were either directly prescribed, or developed logically out of the purpose of what had been prescribed. Pews are not prescribed, yet many Christians seem to think them essential in churches (although in Orthodoxy, we don't).


Chaos only to someone that sees Christianity as a way to control the masses and no, all the saints and other big characters you have who performed miracles were not mentioned in the Bible. Who gave them authority like Paul? The head of the Orthodox church calls Putin a miracle from God. How many Patriarchs before him do you think made really sound philosophical statements as such?

What I think churches like the Orthodox and Catholics brought were telling people the Bible says and creating a tradition that was never taught by the first generation church. I don't want to go down the path of talking about saints because I'm sure it's been argued on the forum before but all that Holy tradition didn't come from the Bible or was ever even hinted at by the disciples.

It certainly IS hinted at - it seems evident that you have never inquired as to how that is so, what the Biblical basis for Orthodox practice is. But very few westerners and native English speakers ever have. Orthodoxy has been mostly off our radar scopes, thanks to our history, which ensured that we would not discover it.

Your first statement here is as if I had never said anything. Obviously I do NOT see Christian faith as a way to "control the masses" and yet I see it as chaos. On some level you are not trying to hear me. Why must everything in Christian history, from its beginnings at Pentecost until now, have been mentioned in the Bible? How could it have been? Was the Bible supposed to predict St Nicholas of Myra? or anything else?

Paul and the other apostles CLEARLY gave authority, and they clearly intended the authority to be passed along. The only alternative would be to say that the Christian faith and Church died with the last apostle - again, the Holy Spirit on his 1,500-year vacation.

You are free to have your opinions. But ones that rely on an absence of history and a denial of what history there is cannot be convincing to an intelligent person who believes history to be relevant - that both nations and religions have, and MUST have, stories behind them.


The existence and function of Saints is something that as you more or less said came to understand later. What I would argue is doctrine that was created later... once again not mentioned in the Bible.

Doctrines are decidedly mentioned in the Bible - the same Bible that tells us that we must not expect to find everything in the Bible. Doctrines (aka "dogma" arise in answer to heresy; that is, to falsehood. In the very beginning of the Church, saying "Christ is risen" was enough. It was when people challenged, first his Godhood, and later His Manhood, that dogmas arose asserting them. And so with everything else. The teachings on prayer to the saints arises from Christ's statement that the dead are alive in God. And injunctions to pray for others and ask them to pray for us. Not that I intend to expound fully on that teaching in this thread, only that, if Christ or St Paul said that something is true, then what logically follows from that is also true, even though they didn't say it - or more accurately, what they said is not recorded. (This would lead to the questions of what became canonical Scripture and what did not and why).


Haha funny. Yes, many protestants kind of see it like that. My question is, the gifts of the Holy spirit mentioned in Acts and Corinthians... does the Church still operate like that … speaking in tongues, gifts of prophecy, etc? Did the Holy Sprit die then? Where are all the miracles... Well they still happen you guys say. You drink holy water and it cures you of miraculous diseases?

Gifts that are needed - not for our temporal benefit, but our spiritual benefit - are given - when they are needed. Yes, miracles still do happen. They are unpredictable by definition. Some people ARE cured - sometimes. We are not blindly credulous of all claims; in fact, investigation of claims begins with skepticism on the part of the Church. We know there are false claims. But miracles are acts of God's will, not ours, so we have no command of them.


Yes, much of this great tradition of leaders of your church responsible for the crusades, making people previously buy their way to heaven, and having to take your word for what God had to say isn't a very great tradition at all.

You are talking about the Catholic Church here, and I agree with you, though the reasons for that agreement are complex. In the Orthodox (and today in the Catholic Church, btw) you are free to ask, you don't have to "take any one person's word for anything. You have to ask. The trouble is that you don't ask in the first place. You have judged without asking.


Regardless, maybe you're right (I mean Orthodox!). But do you really think that Jesus looks down from heaven gazing at the Orthodox church and is saying, “There's my true Church that's following me!” Look at all these other people trying to follow me but are hopelessly lost because they didn't follow all those hundreds of years of thinking after I left!

No, we don't think that. Again, you have never asked us. Don't construct our teachings in your own mind without honestly asking and honestly trying to understand what we do say!


Anyway, the way you argue, I think you think I am protestant. :) I think just like your church most protestants are in plenty of error. How do we know this? Because the fruit of the church. People on this forum will love to rub it in when they see what has been happening in the church. But if anything all this should be a warning sign that the church isn't healthy. But how could they church be in error?! It is the one and only correct one as you think...


The trouble with "fruits" is that the saying is absolutely applicable to individuals. It cannot be applied to the Church as a whole in the negative sense intended, for you would then have to include the saints that you don't want to include along with the sinners that you seem quite willing to include. (Granted that even the saints were also sinners). And they never do mention the saints. They never do mentioned the unnamed heroes at miloserdie, the Mother Teresas, the New Martyrs. All they can think about are a handful of people that DO fall and tarnish the Church, and zero attention to the people who by their lives shine and polish the Church.

To sum up, there ARE answers to your objections. You may like them or not, but they are valid answers. For the most part, you don't know what those answers are. when you begin to honestly ask, then you will learn that the truth about these things is not in the construct taught in public education and reinforced by daily media propaganda that most people hold. You find that the truth is very much the other way around.

rubyrussia
22-08-2012, 21:57
Hey Rus,

I'm incredibly busy with work and don't have the proper time to write a response.

Here are just a few final thoughts of mine.

I respect you for at least being bold and not intellectually lazy about big questions in life.

In the end, I'll tell you this, you can put your faith in the Bible and the holy tradition that you've mentioned. My objection is that it wasn't referenced or hinted at in the Bible. The disciples of Jesus didn't "get it" and Peter denied being a follower three times. With all respect, I don't think your holy tradition is neither holy nor from God. I think that it is illogical to say sin didn't influence something that wasn't God inspired. I don't believe in saints. I don't see a requirement to believe in this as mandatory for salvation either.

I see a broken church worldwide and strongly doubt the Orthodox church is Christ's envisioned plan for his Church in 2012. If it were so it would be a very sad sight (no offence) I don't see Christians as Catholics and Orthodox do (i.e. if you aren't in our church you are lost and not a true believer which means not going to heaven). Christians are people that follow Jesus, whether that's an imperfect walk or not.

I often don't think the analogies you use are very accurate. If my computer wasn't turning, I'd probably check the chord before the end-of-line power source. Not that important though.

You are right about spiritual fruit coming from people. However, you can most certainly judge behavior. The Orthodox church is sick just like the Catholic one and all those protestants you've mentioned too. You of course, can look at it from the standpoint of it's due to individual sin and not bad dogma or elements of your church being built on sand.

In the end, if you trust in Jesus and feed and cloth his people, I'll call you my brother even though I somehow doubt you would say it the other way around.

My regards!

rusmeister
23-08-2012, 08:46
Hey Rus,

I'm incredibly busy with work and don't have the proper time to write a response.

Here are just a few final thoughts of mine.

I respect you for at least being bold and not intellectually lazy about big questions in life.

In the end, I'll tell you this, you can put your faith in the Bible and the holy tradition that you've mentioned. My objection is that it wasn't referenced or hinted at in the Bible. The disciples of Jesus didn't "get it" and Peter denied being a follower three times. With all respect, I don't think your holy tradition is neither holy nor from God. I think that it is illogical to say sin didn't influence something that wasn't God inspired. I don't believe in saints. I don't see a requirement to believe in this as mandatory for salvation either.

I see a broken church worldwide and strongly doubt the Orthodox church is Christ's envisioned plan for his Church in 2012. If it were so it would be a very sad sight (no offence) I don't see Christians as Catholics and Orthodox do (i.e. if you aren't in our church you are lost and not a true believer which means not going to heaven). Christians are people that follow Jesus, whether that's an imperfect walk or not.

I often don't think the analogies you use are very accurate. If my computer wasn't turning, I'd probably check the chord before the end-of-line power source. Not that important though.

You are right about spiritual fruit coming from people. However, you can most certainly judge behavior. The Orthodox church is sick just like the Catholic one and all those protestants you've mentioned too. You of course, can look at it from the standpoint of it's due to individual sin and not bad dogma or elements of your church being built on sand.

In the end, if you trust in Jesus and feed and cloth his people, I'll call you my brother even though I somehow doubt you would say it the other way around.

My regards!

Hi Ruby,
My "incredibly busy" period doesn't begin till the second week of September, and a good thing, too. I'm still not ready for another school year!

It's probably of greater value to say that I was raised fundamental Baptist, and seriously began practicing it after a spiritual crisis as a teenager, and so aggressively learned everything I could. I lived, ate and breathed the faith. Sunday morning and Sunday evening services, Wednesday night Bible study, Thursday night " - yes, I went door-to-door with partners. So I wasn't the typical bored kid who sat in a pew and left as soon as I could, though I did abandon faith right before I began military service, for both personal and theological reasons, and became an agnostic for my next nineteen years.

All of that is to say that I was raised and then taught the kinds of beliefs - that I now see are prejudices - that you express (I mean in regard to Catholic faith in my case, Orthodox in yours). I know exactly what you mean when you say "It wasn't mentioned in the Bible", because I held that attitude. I was taught a rather rabid hatred for Roman Catholicism. It wasn't until I began speaking to Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians that I began to learn what they actually believe, and to think about whatbthe Bible is, where it came from, and what exactly I should expect to find and what could not possibly be found (such as pews). The summary is that Scripture is the basis for our Tradition - but it is not the only thing in it. The other things flow out of it and certainly existed before some of it, and some things existed before any of it. So the basis for everything can be found in the Bible - at the very least, as what logically follows from what IS written. We are told to feed the hungry - but it has been left up to us how to do that. And so on.

You will find that we DO defend the concept of the saints - which ARE mentioned in Scripture, so here we could ask why you do not believe something that IS in the Bible, but it requires a knowledge, not of one passage, but a holistic grasp of the whole. One could almost say, "Be ye wholly" when people are tempted to make their own interpretation of isolated passages out of the larger context. But the point is that everything, from baptism of children onward, is defended logically with Scriptural support. You just haven't found out what that support is yet.

I spoke about history because it is vital to understanding what we see today. It's fine to say, "This is what I see today." But how did it get that way? Why are Christian believers so fractured? The answer is in history. The Church MUST exist; Christ established it and the Apostles developed it. It must have existed continuously for 2,000 years; it could not have disappeared for centuries until Martin Luther got it right - that is, until Zwingli and Calvin found him and each other to be wrong, and all Christians started getting everything right - and everyone else wrong - on their own authority, expressed as their personal understanding of Scripture (minus the rest of the Tradition that collected and defined what is and isn't Scripture) (aka "Sola Scriptura"). it has to maintain the same eternal truths; it cannot have been wrong on things for centuries only to "get them right" later. Either there is a divinely established institution filled with very undivine people, or Christ and the Apostles were liars engaged on fools' errands. In short, the Church established by Christ does exist and you need to find it.

How on earth do you know exactly what it means to follow Jesus? Or what Christ saw the Church would be in 2012? on whose authority do you understand that? What can possibly correct us if we get something wrong and imagine it to be right. Is there any authority that can supercede the individual's?

But do not imagine what we believe, for I can see that you have already imagined some things wrong. We absolutely do NOT believe that "if you aren't in our church you are lost and not a true believer which means not going to heaven". We grant that some members of the Church may not genuinely seek salvation and damn themselves, just as some atheists and pagans may be saved by striving to obey the "law written in their hearts". I think that in a real sense you are more deserving of salvation than I, that I am less deserving than almost anybody, for the simple reason that I have learned so much, yet still I sin. We don't believe that membership in thte Church is a free ticket to heaven. We don't even think of it so much as a place that we go to, as much as a thing that we must become by dying to our selves.

I do agree that people in the Church are sick. I insist that it is a hospital for the sick and not a club for holy people. For ALL have sinned. It is a tremendous error to expect to find the Church as a place of happy and sinless people. It must be a place where people have realized the truth about themselves, that they are sinners and that death is a consequence of sin. It is only upon that realization that the evangeliye can be understood as good news. A cure for a disease is not particularly good news for you if you think you don't have the disease.

Put shortly, the New Testament insists that the Church is vital for believers. People who say "I can find Christ on my own without the Church" are people who don't read the Bible, or understand what they read. If your Church (even if it is a universal church of which you are the only member) has no history, you do not have the Church. A believer on his own is a believer who deceives himself, with no correction whatsoever.

However, I do think you have some tremendous things right. Anyone who realizes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is risen from the dead is enormously advanced over people who have not grasped that central truth of the universe. It means you are much more correctly aligned than most. So yes, we can find some great things in common, though the differences that separate us are very real. So I dare to hope that we may truly be brothers. If you can say the Lord's prayer, and call upon God as our Father, I think we can.