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One-sidedness in Orthodoxy


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#21 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 06:06 AM

For me, Orthodoxy is a personal relationship with God, it means a constant striving for oneness with Him through Christ's instructions and also, to a lesser degree, the experiences of the Fathers.

If we do this and do not concern ourselves with what other Christians do or don't do, then everything else will fall into place. Our lives themselves will be our "witness", our "evangelizing" - something the Orthodox have frequently been accused of neglecting. What better method of evangelizing than presenting our lives as an example. People learn more by example than by tons of literature.

We have very real issues with the Roman Catholic Church and some of the things Protestants believe and do are, frankly, unbelievable, and not something I would want to be a part of. On the other hand, I, personally, have found a lot of common sense and inspiration from both Roman Catholic writers and Protestant writers but I have also found some things that are completely at odds with my own beliefs.

Orthodoxy, to me, is freedom. I was born an Orthodox Christian but as an adult it was a conscious decision on my part to remain one. Our church liturgy is full of praise to the Lord for each day that we live and for the beauty of that day. Even if you don't attend services each day, and I must admit that I don't, reading our awesome liturgy or listening to it on the radio will set you on the right path each morning.

I use the word "awesome" not in the slang sense it is used by children today but to describe something that inspires "awe" = veneration and wonder that is inspired by the sacred or sublime.

Happiness and sadness are both occasions for praise to the Lord so, no matter what happens during the course of our day, we never cease to express our thanks to the Lord.

Our path towards enosis with God is difficult enough without worrying about theoretical questions. Jesus Christ has given us clear instructions on how to live our lives. How we are to think and how we are to act. This is enough for me. This is the source for all things good in life.



My personal opinion.

Effie

#22 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 06:23 AM

We are told to be extremely careful concerning our spiritual fathers. I cannot remember which "modern" holy man said that holy spiritual fathers are extremely rare today. But this is true. Most people today worship not God, but the love of money. Greed and pride are today's Gods.

#23 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 09:06 AM

If we wait only to discover and ideal spiritual giant, in order to have the guidance of a spiritual father, we may well miss the miracle of God present and working in his servants.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#24 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 09:22 AM

I don't think we need a spiritual giant, but we do need a person who is sincere and who tries to live his life honestly and according to his religious beliefs. Having said that we also know that we all make mistakes including our spiritual fathers.

I believe that God sends enlightenment to those who have dedicated their lives to Him.

#25 Christina

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 11:07 AM

Glorious is Christ who has worked salvation in the midst of the earth!!

It is He who came to seek and save the 'lost'! It is He who showed you love first, and who has touched your heart. Love begets love!

And He does not give the Spirit by measure!!

"Put not your trust in princes nor in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation"!

You have a Spiritual Father - God in Christ! Only seek to have an open heart to Him. As you would open your heart to a boyfriend, husband, or partner, so seek to open your heart to Him. That is all He will ever ask of anyone.

Get on with your life as you see fit - we do not need to go to a priest and say, "Father, your blessing to breathe in!", "Father, your blessing to breathe out!".

"whose heart is deceitful and wicked above all else" - join the club - called the human race! But God does not seek to concentrate on such things. So the garden of your heart is covered in brambles, weeds, nettles, slugs, etc. As I said, join the club! Do not try to attack everything in the garden at once. The weeds would just keep growing back as soon as you frantically move onto another part.

Just try to keep an open heart - a heart that inspires feeling of longing towards God. Then, even though the whole garden looks a mess, His eyes will be drawn to the most beautiful flower slowly growing. A rare flower! A protected flower! Will He not call His angels to protect such a beautiful flower?

Your sins - the weeds and slugs? Oh so what! God knows what is in a man. How many botanists go through marshes just to seek a rare flower - yet the photograph they take is of the flower close-up, not of the marsh.

Well, it helps me to think like this.

Richard


Richard,

You are right. It is all about Christ! Love is the answer. Thank you for your poetic thoughts and your time in responding to this sinner.

Love,
Christina

#26 Daniel Monroe

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 01:06 AM

Dear Richard,

I believe I have not quite captured the essence of your concern.
It sounds to me as if there are two basic problems at any rate: (1) the use of non-Orthodox notions to gauge Orthodoxy and (2) disappointment in fellow Orthodox Christians.

Have I have identified the basic problems correctly?

If not, can you encapsulate your thesis in two sentences?
Thanks, Dan




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