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#1 Paul

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 08:46 PM

The biblical writings are writings written by men, how do we know they are fact?

 

With Jesus, things must have been spread orally before anyone decided to write down anything. But how was those oral teachings kept, and how do we know they were passed down accurately?

Like if in Peter's time all things were established then, with the people who saw and knew things firsthand or from them, why were there later councils to decide things? wasn't the Church and it's truths established before then? and if so how do we know they were kept accurately?

And was the scriptures explained fully then in those times, to Jews even, explaining even the old testament?

If they were and all things kept and passed down, there wouldn't be no need for anyone later to try to explain with their own opinions, all would be needed would be to pass the truth down?

 

I also hear of other writings about Jesus, how is it known what is true and what is not?



#2 Anna Stickles

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 01:51 AM

 The Church as a Body, as the Body of Christ which is guided by the Holy Spirit,  has decided over the years what teachings are in harmony with her own life and experience and what are not. 

 

The other writings about Jesus that are not accepted were rejected because their authorship could not be verified and what they were teaching was at odds with what the church taught.

 

There is always need for each generation to have the teachings explained to them - a written text just doesn't answer all the questions. Especially as new errors arise, new and more detailed defenses have to be given.  There were councils to decide who was right when various controversies arose. What was finally accepted from these councils took a long time to work out. Part of how this worked out was that there were those who were recognized as being filled with God's Spirit leading the way. These are the Church saints and Fathers. 

 

How does anyone personally know that what we have now is true?  Well I think that is a struggle we all have to engage in. There is no easy answer. Trust in the Church, in her Truth and Way of Life, and how this trust grows in the heart is something of a mystery.  We pray and we ask God to enlighten us. We struggle against the sinful desires that cloud our heart and mind.  If we really desire to know the truth, then God will not leave us in the dark, but real knowledge is not something gained overnight. It takes time and study and maturing as Christians.



#3 Phoebe K.

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 12:05 PM

Metropolitan Hilarion made the point yesterday in a lecture he gave at Winchester university, that Scripture is part of tradition and not separate from it.  Trodition not being something which changes but that over time we can explore and understand more.  

 

Truth of course is not a thing rather a person and the Gospels in particular and the rest of the New Testament to a lessor extent an Icon of Christ who is the Truth.



#4 Paul

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 12:35 PM

Thanks, appreciate replies, can understand you see Jesus as truth, but you accept that, I am looking for truth, what was it that made you come to this conclusion, acceptence?

#5 Anna Stickles

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 06:43 PM

What made me come to this conclusion? Faith put into practice and tried in experience. Read the Gospels and try living by them, come and attend a Liturgy talk to a priest and ask questions. Religion as an intellectual exercise can't bring certainty or peace. I am Orthodox partly because to some extent because it is the most historically consistent of the Christian traditions, but primarily because it is realistic in how it teaches us to understand ourselves, our condition, our hope, and our path for obtaining that hope. 

There is sufficient light for those who desire to see, and there is sufficient darkness for those of a contrary disposition.

Pensees 149  Blaise Pascal

 

Transcending the idea of reason alone, the great philosopher recognized that God had purposed a degree of ambiguity in His creation in order that He might discover the faithfulness of the heart, rather than the certitude of the mind. (William Tsamis)

 

"Acknowledge the truth of religion in its very obscurity . . . for it is not true that everything reveals God, and it is not true that everything conceals God. But it is true at once that he hides from those who tempt Him and that He reveals Himself to those who seek Him." Pensees 439, 444


Edited by Anna Stickles, 07 February 2015 - 06:58 PM.


#6 Phoebe K.

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 06:48 PM

All I can say is what Andrew said to Nathanual, "come and see".  There is no way to show you in human language the Truth all I can say is come and experience an Orthodox divine liturgy, and meet Christ in person, the rest will happen.  

 

We are in the powerful period of the lead up to lent which always makes an inpersion on me, however many times I have sung the services, and in due time when we reach Pascha night it will be like the whole world is transformed. 

 

I am a convert to Orthodoxy, and sort the truth, I found some of it by searching the Scriptures and tradition to see what the Church looked like as the Body of Christ, but only did I begin to see Christ himself when I entered an Orthodox Church as a hearer of the word, it became clearer still when I was received as a catacumin, then to a level beyond description when I was baptized.  Reason can only take us to the door of the Church, it is faith which opens us to an experience.  This is why I say come and see.



#7 Paul

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 08:18 PM

There is no orthodox church near me, there is a Catholic.
In my own search I think if Christianity holds the full truth it would be in Catholicism or orthodoxy, both have taught me thinks which show me much more truth than the protestant church I went to as a child.
My protestent experience does sort of put me off Christianity. Pentecostal, tongues. Hell preaching church.
Doesn't inspire me anymore. Got to start again now, and I suppose this distorted view of Jesus is something is a stumbling block.
Where I'm at, I do believe in God, I think there must be some truth in traditional Christianity, but do think maybe there is in most religions, but just don't know. If one is true, if all hold truth. Evolution a big problem also, gonna have to get into.

#8 Phoebe K.

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 08:35 PM

There are some significant differences between the Orthodox church and the Roman Catholic church, these are descussed in other areas of the forum.

 

If you say where you are (town would do, though country dose help) myself or another member will be able to tell you where your nearest churches are (of whichever Orthodox jurisdiction).  In the UK we have the Orthodox Fellowship of St John the Baptist who keep a complicate up to date list of all the parishes in the country.

 

I too come from time as a Protestant tradition, so understand the challenges this poses. 



#9 Paul

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 08:40 PM

I'm from Tredegar, South Wales, uk

#10 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 09:07 PM

Paul, if possible, why don't you visit the monastery of St John the Baptist near Colchester in Essex?



#11 Lakis Papas

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 10:59 PM

what is true and what is not?

 

This is a strange question. What are you going to do when you receive the answer to your question?  

 

Christianity is not based on data. It is based on faith. It is based on τhe freedom to be able be faithless. 

 

Faithful Christians do not hold the truth, they are not sure of the truth. They are trying, they struggle to know the truth as an experience. The truth is illuminated by the Light. We live in darkness. St. Gregory Palamas, begged and prayed to the Lord: "Lord, enlighten my darkness" - and st. Gregory was one of the greatest theologians in Christendom.

 

Let me answer: the truth is what is is being confirmed by our faith. Ιf we are lacking faith, we must seek for more faith - not for more truth. 



#12 Paul

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 11:40 PM

If I had my answer of truth, I would do my best to follow it.
I find that difficult that truth be confirmed by my faith in something and to want to put more faith in something I am not sure is truth.
I do believe I see goodness and truth in the orthodox faith. I am not capable of defining truth, maybe it's difficult for most people, well maybe anybody to know truth in it's entirety.
I just have trouble, with religions, and I suppose which to follow, which and what is true in that way.
Does one religion hold complete truth?
Is that possible? Does anyone but God hold that?
But as to what we need for this life, just like to find it and do my best to follow it and benefit from it, in that I can be a better person.

#13 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 12:30 AM

Paul, please see post #14 in the thread 'Apparent "low church" in New Testament'.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 08 February 2015 - 12:43 AM.


#14 Phoebe K.

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 07:50 PM

Paul,

 

I have had a look and there are three parishes in South Wales, two Greek, being Orthodox Community of St Zachariah and St Elizabeth in Swansea (Greek language) the other St Nicholas in Cardiff (this one also holds Russian liturgies, a very good website too).  There is also a Romania parish in Cardiff the Parish of All Saints and Protomayter and Archdeacon Stephen,(this may well have some English in the service).  There is also an Orthodox Church in Sherewsbury if you wish to vernter over into England

 

The Churches I have suggested are at about the radios many Orthodox travel to get to church since there are mostly only churches in cities and not all of those, it has historicaly depended on where people have stetted, and once there is a Church the community tends to continue growing in that area.



#15 Paul

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 09:44 PM

What days would you think these churches be open and have services?
Cardiff be my best bet, still pretty far and only got public transport which doesn't run from my town on a sunday

#16 Anna Stickles

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 11:47 PM

If the parish has a website, often they have the list of services listed on the website. We are coming up on Lent and most parishes are going to have services on weekdays at this season - maybe the great Canon during clean week, and likely a Presanctified Liturgy either Wed or Friday evening or both throughout Lent.   The Presanctified Liturgy is a beautiful and solemn service reflecting the Lenten themes of repentance and hope.



#17 Ilaria

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 11:54 AM

If I had my answer of truth, I would do my best to follow it.
I find that difficult that truth be confirmed by my faith in something and to want to put more faith in something I am not sure is truth.
I do believe I see goodness and truth in the orthodox faith. I am not capable of defining truth, maybe it's difficult for most people, well maybe anybody to know truth in it's entirety.
I just have trouble, with religions, and I suppose which to follow, which and what is true in that way.
Does one religion hold complete truth?
Is that possible? Does anyone but God hold that?
But as to what we need for this life, just like to find it and do my best to follow it and benefit from it, in that I can be a better person.

 

By seeing goodness and truth in Orthodoxy that's a good start. You have to go further. How? First, you have to pray intensely and listen to your heart. I have never heard of someone praying fervently to God in such a manner - "Lord, enlighten my darkness" – and yet, remain without response.
 

Second, try to read, on a daily basis, from the Holy Fathers, Desert Fathers, Lives of the Saints...Not only you will be marveled by their lives, which will increase your faith, as well as your desire to follow them - remember St. Paul’s saying, “having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head…” – but you will find in them the guides in discovering the Truth.  


Edited by Olga, 18 March 2015 - 12:35 PM.
corrected formatting for ease of reading


#18 Father David Moser

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 03:27 PM

The Church as a Body, as the Body of Christ which is guided by the Holy Spirit,  has decided over the years what teachings are in harmony with her own life and experience and what are not.

If I might "tweak" what you have written here just a little bit, I would say that the Church, as the Body of Christ, recognizes what is hers and what is not.  I do not have to "decide" whether a a quote is what I said or not - I know what I said and recognize it.  The Church is truly the Body of Christ and when we hear what He Who is the head of the Body has said, it is recognized.

 

Fr David






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