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Roman Catolics and Protestants


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#1 Georgije Z.

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 01:45 PM

Hello all.

 

First I want to explain that my question is NOT regarding myself, NOR I want to enkindle discussion by opposing answers.

 

I live in the northern Europe, people are primarily atheists or protestants.

I get many questions about the Orthodox Church and basic theology. So many ask me "what is difference between the Orthodox and Roman?" "What is difference between Orthodox and Protestants?".

 

I basically improvise, making it impossible to catch all points together.

 

So, if you would make a list what is "the difference", can you list it?

I need a simple list as a reminder, and that list should speak out clear and simple (for people not versed in theological terms).

So, instead of explaining in detail the filioque, rather just say that it is "change in Credo that violates the doctrine".

 

Also, the list would include not only theoretical, but also practical, historical, personal...

 

Thank you.



#2 Kosta

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 03:33 PM

We are the Christian church of the Eastern empire. In other words we are not European christianity.

We differ from the Latins in that we reject papal supremacy.
We reject anullments of marriages as an 8th century Frankish innovation. We instead recognize divorce and remarriage only as a condescension and even then no more than two and only if the couple is of child bearing age.
We believe in the Trinity as the Nicene Creed explains. That is God the Father is unbegotten and from his hypostasis alone is the Son begotten and the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the hypostasis of the Father. Rome does not teach that the Father is the sole originate of the Trinity.
We believe the Ever-Virgin Mary is Theotokos but died a natural death as we do. So there is no Immaculate Conception dogma in Orthodoxy nor do we attempt to dogmatically define a point in time of when she was purified.

We have a more rigid fasting practices. We baptize usually in triple immersion and are chrismated and communed right away.

As far as protestants, our differences:

We reject Sola scripture. Scripture, the sacraments, the liturgy, prayers, hymns, icons dogmas of ecumenical councils constitute the Apostolic Traditions and compromise the entire faith, with this also required proper praxis and phronema.
We believe in the communion of Saints.
We reject all protestant ecclesiology, whether branch theory, invisible earthly church or whatever else they will think of next. The Orthodox Church is the Church of the Father's and is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church,full stop. When Christ was crucified not a bone of his was,broken. That means there are no sects, branches, fractures in the body of Christ. There are no left and right lungs of the church. There are is no such thing as "heterodox families" of Churches and there is no World council of churches. This means we reject the European innovation of ecumenism.
We reject the ordination of females into the sacerdotal order of the priesthood. And view it as a modernist western heresy.
We believe in the real presense in the Eucharist. Calvinists who reject this are Nestorians who divide the one Christ into 2 hypostasis, and refuse to recognise the body of Christ as His.

Edited by Kosta, 22 December 2015 - 03:36 PM.


#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 05:47 PM

A short introductory comment might be, we continue to believe and do what once everyone everywhere believed and did. Personally, I would not call the Orthodox faith 'the Christian church of the eastern empire' just as I do not like the expression, 'Eastern Orthodox'; the Church is Catholic.



#4 Phoebe K.

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 07:37 PM

I would second what the others have said,

 

I would add that we need also to stress the unity of the Orthodox Church as a number of people think that the national distinctions (which are in part linguistic) are like the denomination in the west, so we have to point out that we are one Church with different national flavors rather than different Churches.

 

If we invite them to come and see a service, which when a person is relay interested is the best way forward, we do need to of course say that only Orthodox who have prepared receive communion as many churches in the west have a practice of inter-communion.

 

The only other addition I would make is that  the Orthodox church dose recognize the ordination of women deacons, we just have not done it in the last 1000 years, although there have been moves to do so where there is a need for more deacons.

 

Phoebe



#5 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 07:55 PM

Phoebe mentions communion's being available only to Orthodox Christians - and then, we should add, only to those who have prepared themselves and have their spiritual father's blessing to partake. This, as I have experienced, is a stumbling block to some Protestants who are offended by what they perceive to be the exclusive nature of the Church. To that, one can reply that the Orthodox Church is not exclusive - anyone can join - and one can also ask, do you believe what our bishop believes? If not, how can you partake of the communion over which he presides? But even such a question goes over the heads of many Protestants.

 

Some Protestants, in my experience, are scared stiff of anything that reminds them of Rome, and that is a problem, especially when it comes to the Mother of God, the intercession of the saints, and prayers for the departed.

 

Harsh as it may seem, we ought to keep in mind Christ's injunction not to cast pearls before swine; discretion and discernment are needed in what to say to whom. The plain fact is that most westerners are so weighed down by their culture and heritage that it is very difficult for them to begin to understand Orthodoxy.



#6 Kosta

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 08:49 PM

I think we need to realize the winds of change. The Orthodox Church is the Catholic church, no doubt. But everyone inquiring of us need to understand that we are not European christianity. We are the alternative to european christianity and even it's very culture. Thus whether the western-oriented seeker is from Europe or North America or Australia, that this christianity we call Orthodoxy will not agree with the ethos they have become accustomed to.
We need to proclaim our differences boldly and no longer attach our religion to the customs of European modernism as the ecumenists and modernists have attempted to do in the last few decades.

Edited by Kosta, 23 December 2015 - 08:53 PM.


#7 Georgije Z.

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 09:19 PM

Thank you all. One thing: is the confirmation also found only outside of the Orthodox?

#8 Kosta

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 09:30 PM

Confirmation of what exactly? I think I'm misunderstanding your question.

#9 Georgije Z.

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 10:52 PM

Don't they have the confirmation of the baptism when they turn 16 or so? In the protestant churches.

#10 Kosta

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 11:26 PM

The heterodox may or may not practise mock chrismation depending on the sect. In this we also differ from both protestants and the Latins. In the Latin church confirmation is given even after a child's first confession and communion.

This is another innovation of the papist church and a major egregious act. That this abuse has never been discussed amongst the ecumenists is shocking to say the least.
We do not recognize any sacrament outside the Church. We only recognize that in eikonomia the empty rituals of the heterodox can be usurped and seized by the Orthodox giving grace where grace did not exist before. It is only after the individual joins the Church, that the empty ritual ceases being an empty shadow

#11 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 11:29 AM

I agree with Kosta that we should not be shy about the differences between Orthodoxy and western Christian religions; it is, after all, the culture of the west as it developed that drove it away from the Orthodoxy it had until the middle of the 11th century. But at the same time, turning to Orthodoxy could be seen as returning to it: England was Orthodox for nearly 1,000 years and that fact could be thrown into the discussion.



#12 Kosta

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 12:22 PM

We can no longer be in denial and live in the far past, we must accept that no one is going to return. You cannot crucify Christ a second time. Britain may have been a christian nation in the past but it is no more. We now must dislodge ourselves from the mentality that we are simply a denomination of the United Cults of Europe. The church is not a religious NGO of either Brussels nor any other western political system. We do not represent nor promote "western values" nor its ideology. When inquirers ask of the Orthodox Church they must be told the truth. That the Church does not support western social standards but fights against them. That an Orthodox ethos clashes with the "values" of their country. We have to be blunt and tell them, if your society believes in feminism we reject it, if it believes in egalitarianism we reject it, if it believes in marriage for everyone we reject it. If you believe in euthanasia and abortion we reject it. If the seeker belongs to a heterodox confession, great. But we must be honest and tell them that we simply do not acknowledge their rituals nor their clergy nor their distorted gospel. The winds of change have come, we can no longer try and "trick" people into joining the Church like the farce playing out in Brazil.

Edited by Kosta, 24 December 2015 - 12:25 PM.


#13 Phoebe K.

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 01:02 PM

We cannot deny that the Church in Britain has fallen from the Truth, but we need to embrace the Saints from before the schism as they are saints of the Church and for some are the stepping stone to come to Orthodoxy.

 

We need to be careful though not to accnolage the truth people have, as even St Paul did in Athens, then gently lead them on into deeper truth (with a lot of prayer on our part as we need to be guided by the Spirit in this delicate work).

 

We must of course be clear on our moral standing in all things, however we must be genital in our insistence since we must not force our views on others as they like us have freedom and we cannot step on this.

 

We have the responsibility to say what the truth is and let them use their freedom to decide what they we do, in morality and in faith.  Shore we weep for people in prayer when we see them straying and pray for their repentance but we must never force our view on anyone.  It is better for us to suffer for the truth whether socially, economically or even pay with our lives than force anyone and so violate their freedom.  Our actions must always be governed by love.

 

Phoebe



#14 Kosta

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 09:02 PM

I agree Phoebe. This is why Orthodoxy must cease sugarcoating the truth. We have brought people in through false pretenses and have watered down the faith. While I do believe there is something defective in British culture most visible through the Anglican sect and the disfunction of its people which has ushered in white feminism, and every other kind of sexual perversion as the norm. The fact is most women of the world reject the Anglican narrative that christianity is oppressive to women and it must be righted by ordaining women. If anyone is British, I'm sorry if I offend you, but from the time of the Victorian era to the sexual disfunction of Rotherdam to the obsession of Anglican clergy for "liberating women and homosexuals" it's clear that British christianity is dangerous. Unfortunately they have exported this sexual deviancy to the rest.

Now it's not only the UK, it's the entire west. Greece used to be a christian country but it no longer is. This has become apparent in the past year where the ignorant masses voted, through their own free will, an atheist regime, TWICE. Just the past week they have legalized gay marriages, when just 30 years ago, no civil union of any kind even existed in Greece!
Now Georgije is asking what the differences are between us and European christianity. Most of the people that ask him are probably just curious. We must be bold and clearly tell them that its everything that Scandinavian culture is not. We are not multiculturalists and believe the true goal of any secular government is to create conditions where people can work out their salvation without temptation from secular humanism. We don't care about the prevailing dogma of our time that spreading western democracy is the new gospel. We Do not view egalitarianism of the genders as a good thing but as demonic. We do not believe european christian sects have grace but to the contrary are devoid of it. We must make it harder to join the church not easier.

Edited by Kosta, 24 December 2015 - 09:06 PM.


#15 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 09:25 PM

Just to clarify: Rotherham (not 'Rotherdam') is a town in South Yorkshire and is, as it happens, where I was born, educated and lived until I was age 23. The abuse of white girls there has been perpetrated by Muslim men of Pakistani origin and so this has nothing to do with English Christianity. It is true, though, that in England the Church of England and English Protestant sects have so far departed from the Christian faith as hardly to be considered Christian anymore.



#16 Lakis Papas

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 11:01 PM

Orthodox - Protestants are they different? You can make a list, but I think the main point is that, for protestants, salvation is a personall path, where for orthodox salvation is a universal path. In Orthodoxy one can not be saved in spiritual isolation, salvation is a path of love - path of serving needs of others. There are dogmatic differences, but these are not ideological differences. I think it is difficult for a protestand to understand Orthodoxy because he is trained to evaluate faith by logic. Orthodox primarily presents Christ to the world as a presence of Love, not as a systematic religion logical structure. For example, the Orthodox proposal to embrace indigence is not logical, for protestands. But for a person looking to serve the spiritual needs of others, indigence is the perfect path to follow.

#17 Lakis Papas

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 11:15 PM

We also should be carefull not to put "labels" on countries, religion groups, cultures of any kind.

#18 Lakis Papas

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 11:18 PM

We must make it harder to join the church not easier.


??????What??????

#19 Kosta

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 03:14 AM

We can no longer afford to deceive people into the church. We are not "the roman catholic church that marries divorced people" nor are we a faction of the same Papal Church as is commonly held in Latin America.

The fact is we are against homosexual unions, we do not marry old people nor do we hand out annullments, we do not view the rituals of the heterodox as being salvific, we reject feminist theology and if you believe in the equality of the sexes please move along this is not the place for you.
We do not have meaningless cultural customs such as first penance for sinless children (faulty roman theologyon original sin) as do the romans, we do not have a meaningless rite of passage as confirmation -simply an imitating of the bar mitzvah rite of the Jewish religion as do protestants..

The OP asked for differences and I'm the only one who has provided some of those differences. There are differences between us an Calvinists, Papists, Lutherans, Cranmerians. All those aforementioned are European. Their theology originated from the western europe, some under the papal states and some in Geneva Switzerland and later more reforms under the enlightenment era. Today most protestants in Europe are influenced by the ideology of the European Union, they are simply NGO'S. Orthodoxy on the other hand has her roots in the schools of Alexandria and Antioch. Our history lies eastward amongst the middle eastern cultures, not amongst the hegemonic powers and their ideology. This needs to be made clear to the peoplet in the west and also to secular cradle Orthodox.

Edited by Kosta, 25 December 2015 - 03:17 AM.


#20 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 01:44 PM

Whilst mission is not what Georgije Z. asks about, I would say that even in answering questions about the Orthodox faith, we should follow the example of St Silouan and not censure the heterodox but mention what they do which is correct and explain with love where they are in error. I know this is not helping to compile a list but offer the thought.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 25 December 2015 - 01:44 PM.





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