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Roman saints through eastern eyes


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#21 Sacha

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 02:39 PM

Is Peter the same one who denied Christ 3 times?
And is Mary of Egypt the same one who was a prostitute?
And wasn't Moses the Ethiopian a robber and a murderer?

Personally, I have no problems praying for the intercessions of St. Constantine. I am particularly fond of his courage and bravery. We already know that he's in paradise, and I don't see why we shouldn't ask for the intercessions of anyone who's already saved, whether or not they have been canonized by the Church.


I'll take that as a yes, then...

Your attempted parallel with Peter does not work. Peter repented and led a godly life following his denial. There is scant evidence of any such repentance in the life of Irene of Athens, who died of grief on the Isle of Lesbos.

So you're saying that Constantine's murder of his own son Crispus and execution of his wife Fausta, you have no problems with?

Do you have any problems praying for the intercessions of Irene? It seems like Anna would.

#22 Matthew Panchisin

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 02:45 PM

Then many would be unworthy according to Sacha, who knows their hearts and times?

The Orthodox Church knows much better than that.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin

#23 Christina M.

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 02:46 PM

I'll take that as a yes, then...

Your attempted parallel with Peter does not work. Peter repented and led a godly life following his denial. There is scant evidence of any such repentance in the life of Irene of Athens, who died of grief on the Isle of Lesbos.

Do you have any problems praying for the intercessions of Irene? It seems like Anna would.

Who are we to say who repented and who didn't? We call that judgement, and it's considered a very bad thing.

Personally, I've never studied the life of St. Irene, so I have not felt a zeal to ask for her intercessions. But since the Church, through the Holy Spirit, has declared her as a saint, I have no problem asking for her intercessions.

#24 Sacha

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 02:51 PM

Who are we to say who repented and who didn't? We call that judgement, and it's considered a very bad thing.

Personally, I've never studied the life of St. Irene, so I have not felt a zeal to ask for her intercessions. But since the Church, through the Holy Spirit, has declared her as a saint, I have no problem asking for her intercessions.


Thank you for making my point. If the OC does not know whether Irene repented or not, how can the OC declare her a saint?

Over and over it has been said on this forum that we take the word of the fathers at par precisely because of the evidence of their godly life, and not because of intellectual prowess (as is the case in Protestantism). Yet somehow, when it comes to the issue of who is a saint or not, that 'rule' seems to be thrown out the window.
All of which strikes me as very inconsistent in the least.

#25 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 02:53 PM

Is this the same Helen/Irene who killed her son Constatine by plucking out his eyes?


Um, well, actually, I would have to say "no". What is the source of this little tidbit of "history"/slander? It is either erroneous or you are misremembering (or seriously misunderstanding) what you read. St Helena did not become a Christian until she was about 63 years old and she only had one son named Constantine who became a saint himself. She did NOT kill him. What an idea?!

#26 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 02:58 PM

Your inference does not follow. The many who are unworthy, (including myself) are not deemed Saints by their peers. This is what you are missing here.


You are the one missing something here (a LOT I am sorry to say). The Church does not make people saints. She merely recognizes what God makes apparent.

Thank you for making my point. If the OC does not know whether Irene repented or not, how can the OC declare her a saint?


What we as individuals do or do not know is not necessarily a reflection of what the Church does or does not know. I would say that the Church (or at least certainly God) does know that repentance happened, that it was genuine, and that God has accepted it, even if you don't. We only declare what has been revealed we try not to make assumptions as you are doing.

Or so it seems to this bear of admittedly little brain. Sts. Constantine and Helena, pray for us sinners!

Herman the Pooh

#27 Sacha

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:00 PM

Um, well, actually, I would have to say "no". What is the source of this little tidbit of "history"/slander? It is either erroneous or you are misremembering (or seriously misunderstanding) what you read. St Helena did not become a Christian until she was about 63 years old and she only had one son named Constantine who became a saint himself. She did NOT kill him. What an idea?!


Take it up with the author of "The History of the Christian Church", Philip Schaff.

http://www.ccel.org/...tory/4_ch10.htm

#28 Sacha

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:07 PM

What we as individuals do or do not know is not necessarily a reflection of what the Church does or does not know. I would say that the Church (or at least certainly God) does know that repentance happened, that it was genuine, and that God has accepted it, even if you don't. We only declare what has been revealed we try not to make assumptions as you are doing.
Herman the Pooh


When the facts contradict claimed 'revelation', I have to take exception and in the case of Irene of Athens and Constantine the Great for example, we cannot know if repentance happened; there was no evidence of a godly life. Again, Orthodox take pride in pointing to the godly lives of their theologians and reject any theology without the evidence of a godly life. But somehow, that insight/inclination is dismissed when it comes to Saints? Makes zero sense to me.

You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.

#29 Christina M.

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:10 PM

Sacha, according to your judgment and discernment, please tell me which of the following passages are examples of evil, and which are examples of good.

"Go up, my warriors, against the land of Merathaim and against the people of Pekod. Yes, march against Babylon, the land of rebels, a land that I will judge! Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them, as I have commanded you," says the LORD. "Let the battle cry be heard in the land, a shout of great destruction". (Jeremiah 50:21-22 NLT)


At the customary time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. O LORD, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself." Immediately the fire of the LORD flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the ditch! And when the people saw it, they fell on their faces and cried out, "The LORD is God! The LORD is God!" Then Elijah commanded, "Seize all the prophets of Baal. Don't let a single one escape!" So the people seized them all, and Elijah took them down to the Kishon Valley and killed them there. (1 Kings 18:36-40 NLT)


While the Israelites were camped at Acacia, some of the men defiled themselves by sleeping with the local Moabite women. These women invited them to attend sacrifices to their gods, and soon the Israelites were feasting with them and worshiping the gods of Moab. Before long Israel was joining in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the LORD's anger to blaze against his people. The LORD issued the following command to Moses: "Seize all the ringleaders and execute them before the LORD in broad daylight, so his fierce anger will turn away from the people of Israel." So Moses ordered Israel's judges to execute everyone who had joined in worshiping Baal of Peor. Just then one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman into the camp, right before the eyes of Moses and all the people, as they were weeping at the entrance of the Tabernacle. When Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest saw this, he jumped up and left the assembly. Then he took a spear and rushed after the man into his tent. Phinehas thrust the spear all the way through the man's body and into the woman's stomach. So the plague against the Israelites was stopped, but not before 24,000 people had died. (Numbers 25:1-9 NLT)


"So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. And they took them from the midst of the tent, and brought them to Joshua, and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them to the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones to this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger: wherefore the name of that place was called the valley of Achor to this day. (Joshua 7:19-26


(Moses) stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, "All of you who are on the LORD's side, come over here and join me." And all the Levites came. He told them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Strap on your swords! Go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other, killing even your brothers, friends, and neighbors." The Levites obeyed Moses, and about three thousand people died that day. Then Moses told the Levites, "Today you have been ordained for the service of the LORD, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Because of this, he will now give you a great blessing." (Exodus 32:26-29 NLT)


When the people heard the sound of the horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the city from every side and captured it. They completely destroyed everything in it – men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep, donkeys – everything. (Joshua 6:20-21 NLT)


Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Point your spear toward Ai, for I will give you the city." Joshua did as he was commanded. As soon as Joshua gave the signal, the men in ambush jumped up and poured into the city. They quickly captured it and set it on fire. When the men of Ai looked behind them, smoke from the city was filling the sky, and they had nowhere to go. For the Israelites who had fled in the direction of the wilderness now turned on their pursuers. When Joshua and the other Israelites saw that the ambush had succeeded and that smoke was rising from the city, they turned and attacked the men of Ai. Then the Israelites who were inside the city came out and started killing the enemy from the rear. So the men of Ai were caught in a trap, and all of them died. Not a single person survived or escaped. Only the king of Ai was taken alive and brought to Joshua.

When the Israelite army finished killing all the men outside the city, they went back and finished off everyone inside. So the entire population of Ai was wiped out that day – twelve thousand in all. For Joshua kept holding out his spear until everyone who had lived in Ai was completely destroyed. Only the cattle and the treasures of the city were not destroyed, for the Israelites kept these for themselves, as the LORD had commanded Joshua. So Ai became a permanent mound of ruins, desolate to this very day. Joshua hung the king of Ai on a tree and left him there until evening. At sunset the Israelites took down the body and threw it in front of the city gate. They piled a great heap of stones over him that can still be seen today. (Joshua 8:1-29 NLT)


One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the LORD's name. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother's name was Shelomith. She was the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They put the man in custody until the LORD's will in the matter should become clear. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard him to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who blaspheme God will suffer the consequences of their guilt and be punished. Anyone who blasphemes the LORD's name must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the LORD's name will surely die. (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)


There are more examples, but this was getting long enough. The point is: God's judgment is different than man's judgment.

#30 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:11 PM

Philip Schaff is not Orthodox and has a Protestant agenda to discredit the "Catholic" Church. I recommend you try checking out more than one prejudiced source. Look for what is corroborated and supported elsewhere, and not rely entirely on what you find on the "internets". Every crackpot theory has been posted and many people simply search until they find the one thing that supports their own prejudice. That is simply lazy, it does not constitute real research.

I highly recommend you do some more searching and particularly look for a respected church historian like, say, Jaroslav Pelican before you continue to spread such uninformed nonsense. Google is your friend but must be used with some discretion and caution. Check your references and don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Check and double check from MULTIPLE sources.

Herman the friendly googlin' Pooh

#31 Sacha

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:17 PM

Philip Schaff is not Orthodox and has a Protestant agenda to discredit the "Catholic" Church. I recommend you try checking out more than one prejudiced source. Look for what is corroborated and supported elsewhere, and not rely entirely on what you find on the "internets". Every crackpot theory has been posted and many people simply search until they find the one thing that supports their own prejudice. That is simply lazy, it does not constitute real research.

I highly recommend you do some more searching and particularly look for a respected church historian like, say, Jaroslav Pelican before you continue to spread such uninformed nonsense. Google is your friend but must be used with some discretion and caution. Check your references and don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Check and double check from MULTIPLE sources.

Herman the friendly googlin' Pooh


LOL. Ok, Herman, I guess Jaroslav Pelican as an Orthodox would not suffer from the bias and prejudice that you complain about then? Since laziness has been brought up, let's not be lazy in thought. It's as dangerous as being lazy in research.

#32 Sacha

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:26 PM

Sacha, according to your judgment and discernment, please tell me which of the following passages are examples of evil, and which are examples of good. There are more examples, but this was getting long enough. The point is: God's judgment is different than man's judgment.


You are mistaken. We read the old in light of the New. The old wineskins burst apart at the seams if we try to fill them with new wine.

51 When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; 52 and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54 When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of;[B] 56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”

Edited by Fr Raphael Vereshack, 08 July 2011 - 07:58 PM.
corrected formatting and removed space at bottom of post


#33 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:43 PM

Mr Kettle,

You do not address the inconsistency I highlighted.

Sincerely,
Mr Pot


Well, actually, I merely presented Jaroslav Pelikan as an example. Most of his works that are highly respected by many were done BEFORE he became Orthodox. And this merely highlights someone else's inconsistencies rather than my own. You would be aware of this if you had actually done some real homework.

The only thing I am really trying to show you is that there may be more to the story than you might be aware of. I am only asking that you can take some time out from attacking everything we believe and make an honest attempt to understand it.

Herman the Pooh

#34 Sacha

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:59 PM

Well, actually, I merely presented Jaroslav Pelikan as an example. Most of his works that are highly respected by many were done BEFORE he became Orthodox. And this merely highlights someone else's inconsistencies rather than my own. You would be aware of this if you had actually done some real homework.

The only thing I am really trying to show you is that there may be more to the story than you might be aware of. I am only asking that you can take some time out from attacking everything we believe and make an honest attempt to understand it.

Herman the Pooh


Whether you used Pelikan as an example is a moot point. You cannot make the charge that Schaff is biased and prejudiced and then turn around and say that Pelikan is not susceptible to the same bias. Btw, that is not the inconsistency I was referring to.

Also, please do take some time out from calling me names such as lazy, dishonest, and as 'attacking everything we believe'. Take some time to read all of my posts. What you will find, if you are willing to do this, is that there is much that I admire and love in Orthodox theology, particularly in the area of soteriology. That does not mean that I don't have many questions about other areas, namely saints, icons for example. Differences on these things should not be viewed as attacks, they are merely differences. I state my objections clearly and ask the hard questions that many who visit this forum are probably afraid to ask. But they need to be asked, and people need to hear the answers, no matter what their final conclusion is.

#35 Christina M.

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 04:17 PM

You are mistaken. We read the old in light of the New. The old wineskins burst apart at the seams if we try to fill them with new wine.

51 When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; 52 and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54 When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”

We see similar examples in the New Testament as well:

Then Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren't lying to us but to God." As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. Then some young men wrapped him in a sheet and took him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, "Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?" "Yes," she replied, "that was the price." And Peter said, "How could the two of you even think of doing a thing like this – conspiring together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Just outside that door are the young men who buried your husband, and they will carry you out, too." Instantly, she fell to the floor and died.

My previous point still stands.

#36 Sacha

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 04:23 PM

We see similar examples in the New Testament as well:

My previous point still stands.


No it doesn't. All the text says it that Ananias, upon hearing the truth, fell to the ground and died.

You are trying to establish moral equivalence between Constantine the Great's violence towards men and Irene's violence towards her son and examples of judgment. That will not work.

Scripture says in Heb 12:14, "Make every effort to be at peace with all men, and to be holy, for without holiness, no one will see the Lord". That was true in Constantine the Great's time as well. As well as in John Calvin's time. Calvin was instrumental in the murder of Servetus, he had the latter burned at the stake (with green wood...). I reject protestantism on the basis of the ungodly lives of its leaders and founders. The same violence seen in Calvin, bothers me tremendously (not in the sense of 'oh what terrible sinners, because I see my own sin in their violence, but it bothers me in the sense of who is it really that we are upholding as saints here?) when I see it in the lives of some whom the OC recognizes as saints.

#37 Olga

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 10:47 PM

Moderatorial note:

This thread has veered off-topic, from a discussion of the Orthodox regard of non-Orthodox saints, to a questioning of the legitimacy of the inclusion of certain people as Orthodox saints worthy of veneration.

Please return to the topic at hand, folks.

#38 Father David Moser

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 01:48 AM

It seems that perhaps we are talking past each other here. What is the definition of "saint" that we are using for this discussion. I assumed it was "someone who is recognized as a saint by the Church" rather than "all those who are sanctified in Christ". If it is someone who is recognized by the Church as a saint, the this is a person that the Church presents to us as an example of a particular characteristic of the Christian life. In that case, why in the world would the Orthodox Church point to someone who has not embraced the Orthodox faith as an example of how to live the faith? Makes no sense.

Fr David Moser

#39 Evan Herberth

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 03:22 AM

Dear Adrian,

My gut response is that miracles, although good at confirming our weak faith, is no foundation for it. What matters most is the dogmatic content, not the “signs and wonders” that our Lord rebuked his generation for seeking. Why do there seem to be miracles outside of the Orthodox Church? That’s a mystery of the next age. Perhaps God, who is all-good and makes it to rain upon the just and unjust, also bestows other gifts. I don’t know. I have a feeling, though, that Thomas Aquinas would ask himself, hearing tales of miracles outside of his communion, “But, is their doctrine true?”


Thank you for the observation...but if those who are experiencing true miracles (for whatever purpose, as you said) are Catholic, then what would that say of the anti-Catholic Orthodox who are uncharitable to their Roman brethren in every sense, even refusing them the title "brethren"? It would make one think twice before having that attitude.

Dear Fyodor,

You see, this isn't a SuperMario game, where there are levels, lives, stars, etc. I don't see how miracles make one person different from the other; it is GOD who makes miracles, after all! The saints do not 'possess' grace, they humbly ask God for grace, and thanks to the purity of their hearts, God gives it to them, just like He would give it to us, if only we asked Him in earnest...


I appreciate the analogy :-), very much so.

Dear Herman,

Regardless of where others have or have not found grace, where do you find Christ? That is where you need to be.


Maybe both places? That's my point in asking the question, obviously if the Holy Spirit is in the Catholic Church, then so is Christ...or can the two be separated? If you claim such for Orthodoxy, then you have the question, could the blessed possibility that He exists in both be true? Certain of our clergymen seem to think so, and theirs (the Catholics).

Dear Fr. Raphael,

We mustn't then begin from fruits before we understand what the Tree, ie the Church is. If we do this we might miss the boat entirely. After all good exists everywhere, and striving for it also. But this kind of good is not yet the Church although we would not want to deny it of its own worth.


Please bless. I appreciate what you're saying. I was raise Protestant/agnostic, so I certainly came to Orthodoxy having considered in the order you mentioned, finding the Tree, then the fruit. I did so through lifeless, boring church history (kind've a nerd), but it made sense to me to start there. However, through that same fascinating subject, I've begun to wonder if I (fallible me) chose wrongly in Orthodoxy. So instead of looking at church history, which can lead to either conclusion (if one looks at it objectively): Orthodox or Roman Catholic...I tried looking at the fruits first instead of the Tree. Do you still think it was unreasonable to do so?

Dear Anna,

I appreciate your observations, but just want to respond to a few that I took exception to:

Also this Tradition belongs not only to the saints but is active in the people at large. This is why we don't have a Pope or a teaching magistarium to make decisions, rather we trust to the Spirit (sometimes directly, but mostly through Tradition guiding the people and the leadership at large) without any central authority.


What really bothers me, though, is that certain men that we Orthodox acknowledge as having spoken with the Spirit we're supposed to trust, seemed to be all about Roman primacy. I believe the following could be said to have done so, though I understand it's open to debate (quotation wars): St. Irenaeus of Lyons, St. Ambrose of Milan, St. Augustine of Hippo, Pope St. Leo the Great....etc., and others who appealed to Rome as to a court of last appeal, against their own Eastern fellows....such as even St. John Chrysostom; and since when did an equal court ever appeal a case to another equal court, or a lower court? You could argue that it doesn't work that way in conciliarity...but I would then wonder why it had to be Rome to which to appeal such important things, as though they were a bastion of Orthodoxy over against the entire East in some cases. Neither one sounds good. So you say we must trust the Spirit, but what if those inspired by the Spirit endorse the Papacy you're discrediting? That's quite the pickle.

Here is a concrete example. Catholic tradition has accepted Thomas Aquinas' theology as a standard against which others' theology is measured. But what happened after his mystical experience? We don't hear about him after that. And yet in Orthodoxy, we don't accept people's rational theology as the standard. Rather we see it simply as part of their striving toward real knowledge of God.


That's almost fair, but it seems you're assuming that he was somehow completely changed even theologically from his mystical experience. He didn't say that, he just said his theological works were straw in comparison, not false. Who's to say he wasn't a sanctified individual who "prayed truly," which, if I'm not mistaken, is the de facto Orthodox definition of theology? He dealt with many temptations, and his extremely annoying, worldly family with what seemed to be Grace, and pursued Jesus in the Dominican order, very frowned upon by establishment cronies.

In fact St Maximos the Confessor when talking of St Paul's theology uses the analogy that St Paul at times is leaving the mystical theology in a spiritual form for those who can partake of it this way, and at other times takes this word and makes it flesh for those who are still babes in Christ and mostly fleshly.

In this way, because in Tradition the Word has become flesh, even the faithful are able to recognize which spiritual people and teachings belong in the Church and which don't.


That's a cool observation. St. Maximos is also a Roman Catholic Saint.

As to your second paragraph...I used to be on board with you, especially when I was a Protestant, but that's something I'm realizing may not be so cut and dried. I would love to believe that was the case, but there were many times when basically the entire East fell into heresy, and the Pope came to save the day. And regardless of who errs and who saves the day, the problem is that if we leave it entirely to the faithful, heresy will get mingled with truth. Even Orthodoxy recognized Ecumenical Councils to solve these problem...but the problem currently is that their ability to call these has been retarded, because Rome is out of the picture. In any case, the faithful alone aren't sufficient to quash heresy and falsehoods.

Peace,
Evan

#40 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:49 AM

I certainly came to Orthodoxy having considered in the order you mentioned, finding the Tree, then the fruit. I did so through lifeless, boring church history (kind've a nerd), but it made sense to me to start there. However, through that same fascinating subject, I've begun to wonder if I (fallible me) chose wrongly in Orthodoxy. So instead of looking at church history, which can lead to either conclusion (if one looks at it objectively): Orthodox or Roman Catholic...I tried looking at the fruits first instead of the Tree. Do you still think it was unreasonable to do so?


It's not unreasonable at all. Many have converted to Orthodoxy by finding the Source of good Who is Christ.

But in our day & age where good is seen everywhere (even where it definitely is not) there is a real risk.

This is because then everything becomes or potentially becomes a source of good, a path to salvation.

From this point on since commitment to Christ as the sole source of life as found within the Church gets lost, instead we find the affirmation of whatever we believe in at the moment.

Thus without our quite seeing it the needed focus of obedience first to Christ gets reversed to following what we believe to be true at the moment.

And there is real risk and danger in this course.

In Christ-
Fr Raphael




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