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Is the God of Baptists the same as the God of Orthodox Christians?


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#1 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 05:08 PM

Sounds like an absurd question, doesn't it? The reason I ask is because I would not see our God as actively encouraging people to abandon the Church. The Southern Baptist Convention actively targets Orthodox Christians to "bring" into their own beliefs and worship. Indeed, the Enemy would have a far easier time leading the faithful astray with lies that are not too far away (Evangelicalism) from the Truth taught by the Church than lies that are blatantly obvious (Islam).

After all, if we can easily see that the god of Islam is not God, it would not be far to also see that the god of Baptists is also not God.

#2 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 05:16 PM

I would say they try to worship God but there ideas do not come from him. So the God of Baptists is our God but they are not Orthodox i.e Right-Worshipping.

#3 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 09:38 PM

I do understand the point that Bryan is making. There are many ways of rationalizing how "they" are not what we are, and it is mostly a pointless exercise. As I have said earlier, I suspect our time better spent, particularly in this time of Great and Holy Lent, in figuring out how WE come up short and how to come closer to God without worrying about who's God is who.

"Allow me to see my own sins, and not judge my brothers…"

O bother.

Herman the Pooh

#4 Father David Moser

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:41 PM

Perhaps to turn this thread into a more productive and patristic direction: Let me say first that I think that "the God of the Baptists" (as well as the Jews and the Muslims) are indeed the same God that we seek in theory. It is simply a matter of correct and incorrect understanding.

Having said that let me posit that we do not, in theory at least, believe in the same God. My reasoning here centers on the dogma of the Trinity and the changes to the creed. We say that we believe in one God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - co-equal and unique, unconfused persons who are one in essence and undivided. The creed, with the addition of the filioque (which is pretty much adopted by most, if not all, western confessions) suggests that God is One God in essence, and three in persons, but that one person (the Holy Spirit) is not quite co-equal with the other two (the Father and the Son) since the Father and the Son share the vital role of being the source of the Holy Spirit (who proceeds from the Father and the Son). This seems to me to be in essence a different God - one that is not a true Trinity of persons but maybe Deuce and a half in persons.

In theory, this is a different God, and yet I don't think that the vast majority of those who, in modern times, confess the filioque really mean this. Anyway, I just wanted to put this out there for comment as it is possible that there is some patristic or liturgical information of which I am not aware.

Fr David Moser

#5 Paul Cowan

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 03:33 AM

As one who was one of "them" in my past, I can say that the creed I recited at every service was rote and not something I paid attention to or tried to disect. I said it because everyone had to stand up and say it becuase everyone else was saying it. So for me the filioque was of no more importance to me than was the third song after the hour long sermon.

If more westerners put as much time into disecting their faith as we do here, perhaps more might see why the minute details of faith are of such importance to pay attention to. But then again, my own plank is greater than my neighbors speck.

Paul

#6 Nicolo Salerno

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 03:10 PM

Hi Herman, Glory be to God! Blessed is the man who sees his own sin, more blessed than those who see angels. peace,--nicolo

#7 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 04:07 PM

I would say they try to worship God but there ideas do not come from him. So the God of Baptists is our God but they are not Orthodox i.e Right-Worshipping.


If we must conclude that the god of Islam is not our God, then we must also conclude that the god of the Baptists is not our God. Indeed, the god of Baptists is more dangerous to Orthodox Christians than is the god of Islam, since the Baptists have a more cunning way to lead the Orthodox astray--"We believe like you believe, only our way is more pure."

#8 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 04:25 PM

Then in whom did us converts believe in before we became Orthodox?

#9 Rick H.

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 05:05 PM

--"We believe like you believe, only our way is more pure."

Who are you quoting here Bryan?

#10 Mark Harris

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 07:30 PM

Why can't we believe that the God is the same (as there only is one) for all but that man himself has misinterpreted or misguided others earthly reasons and on the basis that "broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction" and "beware of false prophets ..." Matthew 7. 13 and 15.?

#11 Jake A.

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 07:39 PM

As someone who has lived with self-professed Southern Baptists for 4 years of my life, a member of my step-family being a former minister, and judging (which I know I shouldn't) by their current and past behavior, etc, I can tell you right now - no, they do not worship the same God as Orthodox Christians.

From Seraphim Rose's book Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, taken from chapter Charismatic Revival as a Sign of the Times.

THERE MAY BE THOSE who will doubt that the "charismatic revival" is a form of mediumism; that is only a secondary question of the means or technique by which the "spirit" of the "charismatic revival" is communicated. But that this "spirit" has nothing to do with Orthodox Christianity is abundantly clear. And in fact this "spirit" follows almost to the letter the "prophecies" of Nicholas Berdyaev concerning a "New Christianity." It completely leaves behind the "monastic ascetic spirit of historical Orthodoxy," which most effectively exposes its falsity. It is not satisfied with the "conservative Christianity which directs the spiritual forces of man only towards contrition and salvation," but rather, apparently believing like Berdyaev that such a Christianity is still "incomplete," adds a second level of "spiritual" phenomena, not one of which is specifically Christian in character (although one is free to interpret them as "Christian"), which are open to people of every denomination with or without repentance, and which are completely unrelated to salvation. It looks to "a new era in Christianity, a new and deep spirituality, which means a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit" - in complete contradiction of Orthodox tradition and prophecy.


This is truly a "New Christianity" - but the specifically "new" ingredient in this "Christianity" is nothing original or "advanced," but merely a modern form of the devil's age - old religion of shamanistic paganism. The Orthodox "charismatic" periodical The Logos recommends Nicholas Berdyaev as a "prophet" precisely because he was "the greatest theologian of spiritual creativeness" (Logos , March, 1972, p. 8). And indeed, it is precisely the shamans of every primitive tribe who know how to get in contact with and utilize the primordial "creative" powers of the universe - those "spirits of earth and sky and sea" which the Church of Christ recognizes as demons, and in serving which it is indeed possible to attain to a "creative" ecstasy and joy (the "Nietzschean enthusiasm and ecstasy" to which Berdyaev felt so close) which are unknown to the weary and half-hearted "Christians" who fall for the "charismatic" deception. But there is no Christ here. God has forbiddencontact with this "creative," occult realm into which "Christians" have stumbled through ignorance and self-deception. The "charismatic revival" will have no need to enter a "dialogue with non-Christian religions," because, under the name of "Christianity," it is already embracing non-Christian religion and is itself becoming the new religion which Berdyaev foresaw, strangely combining "Christianity" and paganism.


The strange "Christian" spirit of the "charismatic revival" is clearly identified in the Holy Scriptures and the Orthodox patristic tradition. According to these sources, world history will culminate in an almost superhuman "Christian" figure, the false messiah or antichrist. He will be "Christian" in the sense that his whole function and his very being will center on Christ, Whom he will imitate in every respect possible, and he will be not merely the greatest enemy of Christ, but in order to deceive Christians will appearto be Christ, come to earth for a second time and ruling from the restored Temple in Jerusalem.
Let no one deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come except there come a falling away (apostasy) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God... even him whose coming is after the working of satan with all lying wonders, and with all deceivableness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess. 2:3-4, 9-12).


The Orthodox teaching concerning antichrist is a large subject in itself and cannot be presented here. But if, as the followers of the "charismatic revival" believe, the last days are indeed at hand, it is of crucial importance for the Orthodox Christian to be informed of this teaching concerning one who, as the Saviour Himself has told us, together with the "false prophets" of that time, shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matt. 24:24). And the "elect" are certainly not those multitudes of people who are coming to accept the gross and most unscriptural delusion that "the world is on the threshold of a great spiritual awakening," but rather the "little flock" to which alone our Saviour has promised: It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom (Luke 12:32). Even the true "elect" will be sorely tempted by the "great signs and wonders" of antichrist; but most "Christians" will accept him without any question, for his "New Christianity" is precisely what they seek.



#12 Rick H.

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 07:41 PM

Actually, to cut to the chase, how could any who have read Acts 17 even participate in a conversation like this for very long?

#13 Nina

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:11 PM

Actually, to cut to the chase, how could any who have read Acts 17 even participate in a conversation like this for very long?


We all seek with out hearts. God responds. Many from our Saints were seeking God and he led them to Him. Saint Paul was led to Christ, Saint Plakidas from pagan to Christ and a multitude of martyrs were also received because of their hearts. I beleive that it depends on our heart... God always sees the heart and knows us. Abraham before being called from the land of Ur was a pagan like all the people who lived on earth then, however when he pondered about the real God and not the stones and woods, at this moment God spoke to him. So yes, it all depends on our hearts and as St. Nephon also saw in his vision there were man idolaters who went to Heaven just because their hearts were pure since they obeyed their consciences and without knowing the law they fulfilled the law God has given us.

#14 Paul Nurmi

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 09:06 PM

Baptists who put the Word made flesh before the written word of God certainly do believe in the same holy Trinity. But like the Pharisees in John 5:39-47, there are certain hyper-Protestants who have taken certain passages of scripture out of context and also put the written Word in place of the Word Himself, Jesus Christ. If a person really believes that words written on paper-even if the words are inspired-are the way to God, and don't simply point us to the way, which is what the Lord was telling the Bible believing Pharisees in John 5, they are guilty of idolatry.

For Orthodox and small o orthodox Christians as well, God's ultimate Word is Christ Himself. To place an abstract theory or a book in that place is exactly what the Pharisees in John 5 were guilty of. And in my experience that is what I have seen in some very angry Baptists. But to be fair, that is only a vocal minority. So we should be careful and find out where the people we are dealing with stand, since of course, that vocal minority does not represent the majority.

In the risen Lord, Paul Nurmi

#15 Rick H.

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 09:50 PM

As someone who has lived with self-professed Southern Baptists for 4 years of my life, a member of my step-family being a former minister, and judging (which I know I shouldn't) by their current and past behavior, etc, I can tell you right now - no, they do not worship the same God as Orthodox Christians.


This almost sounds like you are saying because you know one SBC family you can say that the whole convention is like this one family? :0) Is this what you want to say?

#16 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 12:47 AM

--"We believe like you believe, only our way is more pure."

Who are you quoting here Bryan?


A Baptist of my personal acquaintance, and it is echoed by other Baptists, who substitute "closer to Scripture" or "more like how the Apostles lived", or similar phrases. Then there are the Baptists who flat-out call Orthodoxy a "cult"--yes, they do exist.

#17 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 12:47 AM

Then in whom did us converts believe in before we became Orthodox?


In whom do converts from Islam believe before they became Orthodox?

#18 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 12:48 AM

Why can't we believe that the God is the same (as there only is one) for all but that man himself has misinterpreted or misguided others earthly reasons and on the basis that "broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction" and "beware of false prophets ..." Matthew 7. 13 and 15.?


Would that also apply to Islam?

#19 Mark Harris

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 06:53 AM

Would that also apply to Islam?


Possibly, in my opinion, but I don't really know enough about it - however I did read somewhere once that originally it was thought to be another schism from Christianity.

#20 Vasiliki D.

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 11:04 AM

Why can't we believe that the God is the same (as there only is one) for all but that man himself has misinterpreted or misguided others earthly reasons and on the basis that "broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction" and "beware of false prophets ..." Matthew 7. 13 and 15.?


Because we build a false image of what we think God is and that is idolatry.




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