Whadya know- Eastern Orthodox

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by path_of_one, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    I was reading Wiki on Eastern Orthodoxy today and was surprised to find that many of my doctrinal beliefs, such as they are at the moment, are aligned with Orthodoxy. I found that somewhat fascinating as I know virtually nothing about the Orthodox Church. I consider myself Episcopalian/Anglican (in terms of denomination) and Druid (in terms of an additional spiritual path), and as the Anglican church doesn't have a ton of doctrine (it is more focused on communal practice and service, from my experience), I've waded through my own course of study over the years. I had long recognized my similarities with Quakers and Celtic Christians, but my realization that many of my beliefs about Christian doctrine were Orthodox is news to me.

    Anyone Orthodox here? Anyone have further information? I'm just curious... :)
     
  2. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

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    There was a resident Orthodox guy on the site, dogbrain. I brought him over to this site from another, more general forum. Maybe if you PM him he'll return.
     
  3. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    Postmaster was raised Orthodox, although I'm not sure what he calls himself now.
     
  4. Dondi

    Dondi Well-Known Member

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    I'm rather curious as to which aspects of EO doctrines you identify with, path.
     
  5. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    The stuff I found myself nodding to included:

    Theosis. Really, this is much more how I see Christ's role than the Protestant substitutiary atonement. This resonates with me- the mystical union with God, attained through the grace of Christ, who acts as a bridge between humanity and divinity. Also, that theosis is seen as both individual and collective.

    Seeing the Adam & Eve story as being not about punishment and the Augustinian version of original sin, but rather about limiting humanity's capacity for harm and the consequences of introducing separation from God (though I still don't see it as a fallen Creation, so I diverge a bit there).

    While I don't agree that the only proper interpretation of the Bible is within the Church, I also don't agree with sola scriptura, and find value in the Orthodox view of the Bible as a sacred text containing many different kinds of literature and messages, and that tradition also carries truth within it for those open to it.

    That Revelation is a mystery and is not meant to be put into some or another political or social paradigm in which events are ticked off one by one to point to the time of Jesus' second coming.

    And also, these three points:

    More than the rest, I find the idea of theosis quite interesting. It seems that their concept of God is as a far less punishing and condemning Being, and rather (as I do) places the suffering of humanity on ourselves, in the sense that God offers, from God's grace, love and union to all, and it is we who cause our own suffering as a consequence of not embracing it (not that God punishes those who do not embrace it).

    I think what appeals to me is that the Orthodox church seems more mystically oriented than many Protestant ones.
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste Poo,

    I appreciate Dondi asking and your responses, as when I was perusing and with your additions I do see some stuff I can resonate with...

    but others...are currently non starters for me.
     
  7. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Hi Kim,

    I also like the Eastern Orthodox approach to theology, and all the points you mention. If I were not Anglican I would be Eastern Orthodox.

    luna
     
  8. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    BTW, Kim. Have you read much about Julian of Norwich? She was not EO, but what a great theology and amazing life she had (for someone who spent all her mature years in a cell)!!
     
  9. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    No, I haven't, Luna- I will have to look that up! Thanks! :)

    And once again, we agree. LOL I had virtually no knowledge of Orthodox Christianity until I watched "In God's Name" and got curious. I mean, I knew it existed but didn't know it was so different doctrinally from Catholicism. Always interesting to find similarities with groups I didn't know anything about.

    And Wil, some of the stuff is a non-starter for me, too. But I do like the mystical bent, and as an artsy type, I appreciate the iconography. That is one of the reasons I like going to high mass. I have a love affair with the aesthetics of it, and it isn't just that everything is pretty. There is a tie between my artistic sensibility and my spirituality that is fulfilled in high ritual, not to mention a sort of moving meditation that is a refreshing change from ordinary life.
     
  10. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if you've seen it but a few weeks ago while googling an unrelated topic I found this site:

    Main Page - OrthodoxWiki
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Kim —

    Well, just to join the fan club ... when my wanderings brought me back to Christianity, I was sure I was heading for the Orthodox Church. I mean, me with my 'thing' for the theology of the Greek Fathers!

    But really the two — RC and Orthodox — are much closer than people realise. The whole fourth section (of four) of the Roman Catholic Catechism was edited by Fr Jean Corbon OP of the Greek-Catholic Eparchy in Beirut, and is profoundly influenced by Orthodox spirituality. Recent popes have spoken of the Latin West and Greek East as the 'two lungs' of the Church.

    Certainly, none of the points you raised about EO are not totally out of synch with RC thinking (we've come a long way since Augustine!) Actually, Pope Benedict XVI's 'passing' comments on purgatory in the encyclical Spe Salvi (here) certainly in a few paragraphs (45-48) opens enough avenues of enquiry to keep someone like me going until purgatory becomes a reality ...

    There's extracts from Fr Corbon's book The Wellspring of Worship here — about man, the liturgy and theosis.

    Fr Kallistos Ware is a good source of material on the Orthodox Faith for the inquirer.

    Thomas
     
  12. Dondi

    Dondi Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate you response, Kim. When I returned to Christianity after a brief absence some years ago, I was over in another forum discussing my newfound views and one person told me that what I was describing sounded a lot like EO, particularly in regard to theosis (though I'm unclear about the deification of humans part) and my views on hell (which have also dramatically changed as to more of what your described above). Curious, I investigated the doctrines of the EO church and found myself in agreement in several areas. However, I'm not much into the liturigical aspects of worship and ritual (maybe I'm just not used to it) nor am I must into submitting myself to Orthodox hierarchy. I'm more into freeforms of worship.
     
  13. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Thank you all for your responses and your references- I will be checking them all out! :)

    Dondi- I don't do well with authority or heirarchy (as probably anyone could tell if they know me here ;)) but I do love liturgical worship. For me, this is probably because I was used to going with my father to the Lutheran church as a child and grew to love ritual. It appeals to me in a multitude of ways. I realize, however, it isn't for everyone. :)
     
  14. Postmaster

    Postmaster Well-Known Member

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    Yep I was Christened Greek Orthodox. Im more esoteric Christian now though (subject to change).


    The Greek Orthodox church is one of the oldest Christian churches, all other Eastern Orthodox churches root from this denomination. Same with the Russian Orthodox church, I think one of the Tzars was investigating religions to influence the state and found Orthodoxy to be the best. We have many saints that have done some remarkable things. Full of ritual. Some of the presits can be dodgy characters though ;) Although there is some very spiritual ones around. We have a group of men called spaltes who sing prayer through the service. Many claim it to be the one true religion.

    YouTube - Greek Orthodox Easter
     
  15. Postmaster

    Postmaster Well-Known Member

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  16. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti Well-Known Member

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    The Orthodox excommunicated the Catholics and, to my knowledge, they maintain their original position in this regard even today.

    To get a sense for how strongly the Orthodox felt about the matter, consult their official statements supporting the excommunication. Very strongly worded and not at all amenable to a glossing over of differences on various issues.
     
  17. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I thought it was Roman Catholicism that excommunicated the Orthodox branch, with the silly spat that became a schism in Constantinople?
     
  18. Postmaster

    Postmaster Well-Known Member

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    Yep.. That’s right! Bri.

    Also the Greek Orthodox Church hasn't had a violent history as the Catholic Church. Oh and we never used to persecute people either but this is comparison with GOC.

    I know there has been conflict in eastern Europe between Christian Orthodoxy and Muslims but i don't have knowledge on this.
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Actually both sides were throwing excommunications at each other.

    Ah ... I think we're conveniently forgetting the Iconoclast persecutions in an attempt to score a point?

    Thomas
     
  20. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti Well-Known Member

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    If I recall, the Orthodox applied the term "heretical" to the Catholics.
     

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