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2/15/11 5:07 PM
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Juijitsuboxer
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Whats with this thing? I am still trying to wrap my head around all of these works based practices in Catholicism. Maybe someone can help:

http://www.phasesofwomanhood.org/media/Image/scapular.jpg
2/15/11 6:58 PM
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Robert Wynne
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www.phasesofwomanhood.org/media/Image/scapular.jpg  

2/15/11 9:20 PM
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Ridgeback
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 I never quite got the whole scapular thing.  I especially don't get how simply wearing it is a guarantee of the eternal state of one's soul.  I think the thoughtful and knowlegeable Catholics would scoff at that notion that a mere talisman overcomes a sick heart.
2/15/11 10:00 PM
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Grakman
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 yeah that' s crazy lol, like thinking pouring water over your head can save you or that a piece of wafer actually becomes the literal body of Christ. Those crazy Catholics lol. 
2/15/11 10:10 PM
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Ridgeback
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Grakman -  yeah that' s crazy lol, like thinking pouring water over your head can save you or that a piece of wafer actually becomes the literal body of Christ. Those crazy Catholics lol. 

 I have no problem with most Catholic practices and beliefs rightly understood, but I just couldn't get my head around the scapular thing, especially the ones that promise simply wearing it is a get out of jail free card.  When a Catholic who understands his faith says that baptism can save you, he doesn't mean that if you get baptised you are in no matter what so it is important to understand how the term is being used.   But I don't see how the promise on the scapular can be misinterpreted.

That was an odd response actually Grakman.  What do you believe in?
2/15/11 10:47 PM
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Grakman
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Ridge,
I thought your comment was humorous because in a sense, I can see that from an outsider's point of view there isn't much difference between a scapular, a baptism, or the eucharist. In theological terms they all convey salvation. The devil (no pun intended) is in the details of course, but again from the point of view of the theologically ignorant, what's the difference? How would you explain to a poor elderly peasant woman that the scapular means nothing when she has been taught to believe that baptism washes away sins, to pray to statues (that only 'symbolize' real saints, of course...), and to treat the Eucharist wafer as the literal body and blood of Christ?

I know you added the caveat 'thoughtful and knowledgeable' to your statement, so yes for the most part I would expect that not many Catholics in modern First World nations would subscribe to the saving power of scapulars.  It just seemed ironic to me that we 'know' that baptism and the Eucharist are 'real,' and we 'know' that belief in the salvific power of scapulars is just nonsense.
2/15/11 11:20 PM
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Grakman
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 To expand on this thought further (rooster, where are you?)

rooster has said on another thread that he 'knows' through his experience that God is  *not* Trinitarian in nature.  He knows this through reading the Bible, hearing the word preached, and through his experiences.

You know that Orthodoxy is true based on your experiences with the Eucharist, knowledge of history, understanding of theology, etc.

(If I have mischaracterized either of your views, please correct or edit as necessary.)

Each of you thinks the other is mistaken yet both of you 'know' that you are not only right, but 100% certain that you have made the right choice, that your view of theology is the correct one.

The Catholic lady who wears the scapular may be just as assured and certain of her salvation as each of you.
2/16/11 12:02 AM
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Ridgeback
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I think you are over-responding.  You are also playing the role of the person who tells the story of the three blind men who are trying to describe an elephant by feeling different parts of it.  You are assuming that you alone see the whole elephant so you are disgusted that the guy feeling the trunk would think the guy feeling the tail is out of his gourd. 

Catholicism has actual teachings that aren't that hard to find and it is a fact that some unorthodox superstitions creep in that need correction as has always been the case throughout the history of Christianity.  The difference between Rooster and I is that I started out with my own vote and then I let a whole slew of dead people have a vote and they won the election.  What I can do is compare 2000 years of a tradition to test whether something is in keeping with it or out of whack.  So I think it is safe to say that taking the whole of Catholic teaching down the centuries the promise on that scapular is not in keeping with the tradition.

But all of that has little to do with my comment, which is that I just never got the scapular thing.  Just because someone believes in it doesn't mean it is exempt from questioning.  The Trinity and Eucharist are on a whole other level of discourse, which I think you actually know.  

So what do you believe 100%?  You aren't exempt from this you know.  There is no neutrality and I have far more respect for the old lady with the scapular or the neo-Sabellian than I do for a critical fence sitter.
2/16/11 8:09 AM
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Juijitsuboxer
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Thanks for the responses. Hopefully a Catholic will be on here soon to comment.

The apparitions of the Theotokos Mary at Fatima said that everyone should pray the rosary every day and wear the brown scapular and she will hear your prayers.

Please see here for more info:

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=535007



Alexander Roman
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Re: Fatima from an Eastern perspective
A great question!

Although I was never a Latin Catholic, I came from a heavily Latinized background and only slowly moved spiritually toward a more Eastern Christian perspective.

So what can we make of the Fatima devotions from this perspective then?

I found there was no need to give up the rosary at all. Acquaintances of mine who were "echt-Eastern" were very much against the rosary.

However, I found that the same devotion i.e. 150 Hail Mary's divided into decades has been around in Orthodoxy, especially Russian Orthodoxy, for many, many years. The great Russian saint (also recognized by Rome) St Seraphim of Sarov prayed the rosary/rule of the Mother of God daily and expected his spiritual children to pray it daily as well ("Staretz Zechariah: An Early Soviet Saint"chapter six).

He even taught that the rosary/psalter of our Lady was revealed to a monk of the Egyptian Thebaid in the eighth century and that all Christians once said it etc.

St Seraphim also said that, in a vision of the Mother of God, he was told by her that the rosary is THE most important prayer to obtain her intercession and protection over our lives - ahead of any other kind of Marian prayer.

The Old Believers of Russia have always had a "Theotokos Lestovka" with 150 small notches divided into decades by larger ones. I have one of these myself and the Old Believers teach that anyone who has prayed the rosary/rule with Hail Mary's daily will be accompanied by the Most Holy Mother of God after death to each of the toll-houses our souls will visit . . .

So, from an unashamedly Eastern chauvinist point of view, our Lady at Fatima was simply reminding Western Catholics about her beloved Eastern rosary prayer . . .

As for the scapular - this represents, first and foremost, the Holy Protection of the Mother of God which is a great devotion in the East (i.e. when the Mother of God extended her mantle of protection over people in various crises).

The West also has pictures of Our Lady of the Mantle (aka a form of Our Lady of Mercy).

But nothing like what the East has . . .

Interestingly enough, there is an actual Orthodox icon of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in an Orthodox Ukrainian monastery in the town of Horodyshenske called the Mother of God of the Scapular (sic) and listed in Prof. Poselianin's monumental work "Bogomater" or "the Mother of God" where he lists hundreds of miraculous and locally-venerated Orthodox icons and festivals.

The problem with Fatima from the Eastern point of view is not with its devotions, but with how Fatima was and is used by certain Catholic groups to convert/proselytise Orthodox. The phrase 'Russia will be converted" has been taken to mean by these "Fatimist" groups as meaning "converted to Roman Catholicism."

I know an Orthodox priest who accepts Fatima and says that her prophecies have been fulfilled in Russia since the churches there are full and the Mother of God is highly, highly venerated (more than in the West).

Alex
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Alexander Roman
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Re: Fatima from an Eastern perspective
Proselytism of the Orthodox is a contradiction of what Roman Catholicism itself has always believed about the Orthodox Church - that it is the True Church although separated from Rome.

Orthodoxy has the true Apostolic faith from earliest times (without the later Latin Catholic additions that it has always found unnecessary for its faith and praxis), true Sacraments, Orders etc.

At no time did Fatima's revelations refer to "conversion" in terms of "converting to" this or that.

Given the tenor of Our Lady's words with respect to praying for sinners, for the souls in purgatory, for penance, the Rosary and scapular etc. - she was clearly talking about conversion of heart toward God, as she does in ALL her revelations and appearances.

It is not now the policy of RCism to proselytise the Orthodox, although that does occur nevertheless. It would be better for Latin Catholics to study Orthodox theology and traditions to get a more informed view of Eastern Christianity - which is not "Roman Catholicism without the Pope, the Immaculate Conception and Purgatory."

Also, Blessed Basil Velichkovsky and Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky, both Redemptorists who worked among the Orthodox in Volyn, western Ukraine, expressly forbade the use of "conversion" with respect to the Orthodox as a highly offensive, to them, term - it reminds them of when Roman Catholics used armed force to "convert them."

Blessed Leonid Fyodorov, a Russian Catholic, once wrote about the great numbers of Russian Orthodox dying for Christ under the USSR - "And these are the people the Latins want to "convert . . ."

Alex
2/16/11 11:35 AM
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inlikeflynn
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Ridgeback: "So what do you believe 100%? You aren't exempt from this you know. There is no neutrality and I have far more respect for the old lady with the scapular or the neo-Sabellian than I do for a critical fence sitter."

I sometimes worry that I am falling into "fence sitting" mode. But, what I am also wary of is when I see Christians using their 100% certainty of complicated ideas to divide the kingdom (exclude other Christians from "salvation"). I see a lot of this coming from Protestants towards Catholics and Orthodox. I don't know how common it is going the other direction.
2/16/11 5:42 PM
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Grakman
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Ridgeback - I think you are over-responding.  You are also playing the role of the person who tells the story of the three blind men who are trying to describe an elephant by feeling different parts of it.  You are assuming that you alone see the whole elephant so you are disgusted that the guy feeling the trunk would think the guy feeling the tail is out of his gourd. 

But all of that has little to do with my comment, which is that I just never got the scapular thing.  Just because someone believes in it doesn't mean it is exempt from questioning.  The Trinity and Eucharist are on a whole other level of discourse, which I think you actually know.  

So what do you believe 100%?  You aren't exempt from this you know.  There is no neutrality and I have far more respect for the old lady with the scapular or the neo-Sabellian than I do for a critical fence sitter.
My initial remark was a one liner, I'd hardly call that over responding, although after you asked for clarification I could have probably done without bringing rooster into the discussion for comparison. I should have left my response at explaining why I found your post humorous and let it go at that. My apologies.

The analogy of the elephant doesn't fit in this case because you and scapular-lady are both from the same religion (Christianity), and both from the sacramental tradition in that. It would be more apt to say you are both staring at the trunk of the elephant and arguing about it's purpose rather than the whole elephant. I would also like to add that I am not 'disgusted' with your disagreement with wearing scapulars or the semi-Sabellians. I didn't even use any words or emoticons that would convey such lol.


As to 'just because someone believes it doesn't mean its exempt from questioning', well, quite so, which is what I might say by conflating scapular wearing with the more traditional sacraments. 

Despite your appeal to emotion in my case (disgust, more respect) and goading ('you're not exempt'), my personal beliefs don't matter when it comes to discussing whether there is any similary between material things vested with salvific properties.  I could be atheist to Hindu or anything in between, all of which is irrelevant to whether or not a scapular 'works' within the Catholic tradition. Nevertheless, I myself am...

...agnostic. ;-)
2/16/11 5:54 PM
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Grakman
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inlikeflynn - Ridgeback: "So what do you believe 100%? You aren't exempt from this you know. There is no neutrality and I have far more respect for the old lady with the scapular or the neo-Sabellian than I do for a critical fence sitter."

I sometimes worry that I am falling into "fence sitting" mode. But, what I am also wary of is when I see Christians using their 100% certainty of complicated ideas to divide the kingdom (exclude other Christians from "salvation"). I see a lot of this coming from Protestants towards Catholics and Orthodox. I don't know how common it is going the other direction.
I agree with flynn. I see it in Protestants towards Catholics and Orthodox like you say as well, but I also see it in criticism of liberal / Catholic / Orthodox Christians towards 'right wing' Protestant fundamentalists as well.  They're all to one degree or another trying to detemine who is a 'true Christian.'  Despite the good intentions of the posters here on the UG, most denominations theological traditions would exclude some here who say they are Christians from salvation.
 
2/16/11 11:35 PM
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Ridgeback
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inlikeflynn - Ridgeback: "So what do you believe 100%? You aren't exempt from this you know. There is no neutrality and I have far more respect for the old lady with the scapular or the neo-Sabellian than I do for a critical fence sitter."

I sometimes worry that I am falling into "fence sitting" mode. But, what I am also wary of is when I see Christians using their 100% certainty of complicated ideas to divide the kingdom (exclude other Christians from "salvation"). I see a lot of this coming from Protestants towards Catholics and Orthodox. I don't know how common it is going the other direction.

 This notion of 100% certainty just doesn't seem to correlate with real people.  People choose a tradition because they think it is the truest expression of the faith, not because they are anything special.  Most admit that they could be wrong, but they have to go with their convictions.  

You pretty much never see speculations about salvation working in the other direction, especially not in Orthodoxy.  We try not to speculate about any other person's salvation but our own.  There is a difference between seeing the Orthodox church as the Church of the Apostles and seeing all those who are not visibly united to her as damned.   I also see a big difference between criticizing destructive teachings like once saved, always saved and actually judging who is saved and who isn't.  

Your "divide the kingdom" notion seems to imply that Christ didn't actually establish his Church and promise that it would be guided into all Truth.  I think the insistence on a coherent faith stems from the teachings of Jesus, rather than some desire to feel superior to others.  And this is verified by the early Christians, who were very anxious to keep the teaching straight and fight off the influence of heretics.  When I see the destruction caused by bad teaching in other traditions I tend to agree with them too.  How many people conceive of God the Father as an angry and vengeful God who had to kill somebody for sin so he took it out on his son instead of us?  This is non-existent in early Church documents and non-existent in Orthodox Christianity.  Or what about the belief that hell is a created place that God made just to torture people for eternity for their temporal crimes? How many people have utterly rejected Christianity because of that teaching?  I see division coming from those novel teachings more than from those who try to keep to the faith once delivered.  

But that wasn't my point about fence sitting.  The whole point is there is no neutrality.  If you don't join a tradition you are simply saying they are all wrong and you are right.  You can't avoid the accusation of thinking you are right.  You vote on that issue with what you ultimately do.  I didn't become Orthodox when I decided Orthodoxy was 100% right.  It was actually more a concession to the notion that I am prone to my own prejudices and had a habit of upholding them against 2000 years of tradition spanning many cultures.  Is it more arrogant to allow your ancestors a vote or to assume that where they disagree with your conceptions of Christianity they must be in the wrong?
2/17/11 2:27 PM
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Grakman
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Ridgeback -  This notion of 100% certainty just doesn't seem to correlate with real people.  

Your "divide the kingdom" notion seems to imply that Christ didn't actually establish his Church and promise that it would be guided into all Truth.  I think the insistence on a coherent faith stems from the teachings of Jesus, rather than some desire to feel superior to others.  And this is verified by the early Christians, who were very anxious to keep the teaching straight and fight off the influence of heretics.  When I see the destruction caused by bad teaching in other traditions I tend to agree with them too.  How many people conceive of God the Father as an angry and vengeful God who had to kill somebody for sin so he took it out on his son instead of us?  This is non-existent in early Church documents and non-existent in Orthodox Christianity.  Or what about the belief that hell is a created place that God made just to torture people for eternity for their temporal crimes? How many people have utterly rejected Christianity because of that teaching?  I see division coming from those novel teachings more than from those who try to keep to the faith once delivered.  

But that wasn't my point about fence sitting.  The whole point is there is no neutrality.  If you don't join a tradition you are simply saying they are all wrong and you are right.  You can't avoid the accusation of thinking you are right.  You vote on that issue with what you ultimately do.  I didn't become Orthodox when I decided Orthodoxy was 100% right.  It was actually more a concession to the notion that I am prone to my own prejudices and had a habit of upholding them against 2000 years of tradition spanning many cultures.  Is it more arrogant to allow your ancestors a vote or to assume that where they disagree with your conceptions of Christianity they must be in the wrong?

 If 100% certainty doesn't sit well with real people, why did you ask me what I am 100% certain about? I'm a real person, don't let the Internets fool you. :P ;)

"How shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many
proud monarchs groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness; so many
magistrates liquefying in fiercer flames than they ever kindled against the
Christians; so many sages philosophers blushing in red-hot fires with their
deluded pupils; so many tragedians more tuneful in the expression of their
own sufferings; so many dancers tripping more nimbly from anguish then
ever before from applause."
- Tertullian

At what point in history do the church fathers become split between Catholic and Orthodox? Most of the readings that I have done of the church fathers reveals plenty of quotes about torture, hell fire, worms that never die, etc and they list the sins for which men will burn, e.g. avarice, homosexuality,  idolatries, etc. II agree with you that many people do leave or avoid Christianity because of this doctrine; I just disagree that it hasn't been taught since the earliest times (even Jesus' own words!) I admit that I have not read even the majority of the Early Fathers though, so I may err in concluding this was a certain topic in their writings despite what I have read.

I think you can avoid taking a hard stance and saying 'I am right in that they're all wrong' by admitting that you don't know.

When you say 'allow your ancestors' a vote you don't mean literal flesh and blood, you mean spiritual correct? I don't know your race but much of Europe was Christianized by the sword, as was most of the New World. I can see your point about using the weight of history to help a person make a decision, but you have to start somewhere first, in your case with Christianity. Others who would choose to use history and ancestry as a means would remain Buddhist or Hindu or some other tradition.

2/17/11 2:56 PM
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gord96
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The Great Schism between East and West happened in 1054 AD.
2/17/11 4:54 PM
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Grakman
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gord96 - The Great Schism between East and West happened in 1054 AD.

 Thanks gord. It was kind of a rhetorical question , the point I was trying to make (which you illustrated with the actual date, thank you) is that from the earliest times the church fathers wrote of a burning fiery hell in which sinners would be tortured.
2/17/11 5:23 PM
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Ridgeback
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 Grakman,

I didn't claim that hell wasn't preached from the beginning.  It was preached by Jesus.  Hell as a created place by God for torture, however, is not the consensus in Eastern Christianity.  There is a big difference between a person who does things to himself and creates his own hell in the process and the notion that God creates hell to punish and torture those who offend his honor.  

One father's single quote does not a tradition make (and even though Tertullian was dealing with serious persecution I think his sentiment is totally wrong).  

It would be nice if you addressed my main point, rather than one of my examples.  Bad teaching leads to bad practice.  Much of Christianity has been trivialized by what Bonnhoeffer called "cheap grace" and that stems from very specific theological trends.  My post was directed at inlikeflynn anyway since he implied that people who were caught up in doctrinal issues were causing discord in the church.  Surely you can agree that the early Christians were very anxious about preserving the original teachings of Jesus and the Apostles rather than letting all kinds of heresies creep in that fundamentally changed the nature of the faith.

---- 

Let's be clear.  You are the one who brought up the certainty thing.  I am just playing along with your model, but rejecting the notion of neutrality.  If you look at all the traditions of Christianity and decide they are all wrong you have still voted on the issue.  I take it for granted that people do what they think is the most correct thing to do.  I don't think, however, that being Orthodox is predicated on being right.  The need to be right means one is still in a very fallen state.  But I chose Orthodoxy because it points things like that out.  I certainly don't believe that every other Christian in every other tradition is damned to hell for choosing the wrong one.  

----

What I mean be allowing my ancestors to vote is that I don't simply go looking for a Christianity that suits my tastes as if I was the final judge of such things, but rather I let what was believed in most times and most places be a guiding force.  Not because it is infallible, but because it is far less likely to be wrong than me alone in my one little corner of the globe and my one little corner of history.  It would be very disturbing if any tradition of Christianity sat just right with me across the board.  I would guess that a true thing would have things I like a  lot and things I find objectionable.  It is a good sign to me.  The tradition I would create after my own image would be just about guaranteed to damn me in the end like all idols which aren't let go will do.


2/17/11 10:23 PM
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Grakman
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 Ridge,
At what point do you see a divergence in thought from East / West,? Is there a specific period of time you can point to, any church fathers in particular? I quoted Tertullian as an example, but yes one lone church father doesn't a doctrine make but you know that already. :-) I know that NOW there is a big difference in how the Orthodox view salvation, sin, hell, etc from the Western traditions, I'm just not... . certain ( ;-) ) that it didn't develop much later rather than early in the history of Christendom, over time.

Yes Shirley, I can admit that the early church was concerned with preventing heresy, it's even recorded in the book of Acts, i.e. circumcision, etc.  Do you see the Orthodox faith as 'heresy free' as opposed to the Catholic / Protestant faiths? (going back around to the topic of scapulars) From what I'm reading, you may not think it is heresy free but is most likely to be the correct version of Christianity, i.e. the one that was established by God / Christ?  (or is this begging the question, obviously you DO think it is right? lol @ me)

My comparison of the scapular tradition with the sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist actually addressed your certainty that wearing a scapular could not guarantee the fate of one's soul.

On the one hand I do agree with you that *not* choosing a tradition means that you find it in error, and must therefore believe that you are right and that particular tradition is wrong. On the other hand, it *is* possible to say 'I don't know'.  Holding this position may seem distasteful and not worthy of respect, but in my view it is legitimate. And you yourself have pointed out that 100% certainty isn't too common among 'real people.'
2/18/11 2:25 AM
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Ridgeback
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There was a unity of sorts in the early Church up to the Great Schism.  That is why Western saints like Patrick and Pope Leo are considered to be saints in Orthodoxy.  As far as the Orthodox view of salvation, sin, and hell, yes those are rooted in scriptures and the early Fathers.  The novelty took place in the West with the concept of substitutionary atonement, purgatory, Original Sin (as opposed to Ancestral Sin), the Immaculate Conception (born out of the teaching of Original Sin), double predestination (starting with Augustine and culminating in Calvin) etc. etc.   I read from early church Fathers all the time, or read modern Orthodox sholars who quote them on a regular basis.  I think the one thing Orthodoxy has down is staying true to the sources.  

Yes the Orthodox church is heresy free in its teaching and doctrine.  That doesn't mean individuals don't embrace heresies, or that large sections of the church at times embraced it, but the center has held together and Orthodox Christians don't spend their time trying to figure out what Christianity is or how to live according to the Way.  It is actually a relief to know that path has been settled and is well trodden.  The notion of having to figure out your theology and then practice it is definitely much more of a Western issue although modern Orthodox scholars will certainly specialize in the works of particular Fathers and therefore emphasize parts of the whole more strongly.  

Christ claimed he would establish his church so I don't think anyone is off the hook in the sense of trying to find it.  I would hope that every Christian fully believes he is part of the body of Christ rather than a free lancer who sees the Church nowhere.

The difference between the saying on the scapular and baptism and the Eucharist is that neither Orthodox nor Catholic traditions teach those sacraments guarantee one's salvation like the scapular does simply by wearing it.  Both Orthodox and Catholics agree that if you rape a bunch of women, murder a bunch of children,and then quickly get baptized with no repentance before you die you are not guaranteed to avoid hell fire simply because of some technicality.  The scapular at least seems to imply that one could get away with anything.  That may be why many drug dealers who engage in unspeakable acts of brutality still think they are off the hook because they are jumping through the right hoops.  That was my issue with the scapular and I think I am consistent.  If a baptismal font had writing on it that said "he who is covered in these waters shall be guaranteed a place in heaven" I would have the same problem with it.  There is no unconditional salvation to be found in the NT.  

I actually don't have problems with Catholic piety and I am usually defending the Catholic church against slanderers on the OG.  Most people don't even know what the RCC actually teaches.  So my scapular comment needs to be taken in that light.  I think Catholicism has supersitions mixed in with legitimate teachings and that scapular definitely comes across as one of those mechanical talismans that make a mockery of the real struggle of salvation.

I don't think saying "I don't know" is not worhty of respect, but if you stand back and point out the faults of every other tradition but never fly your own flag then that seems like fence sitting.  I certainly don't view other traditions of Christianity with an exclusionary eye.  I think where they disagree with Orthodoxy they are wrong, but I certainly don't believe that people are beyond salvation in those traditions.  I think God can work with a repentant heart to save it, which is clearly demonstrated by the thief on the cross.  I see Orthodoxy as the fullness of the faith, not the limits of where the Holy Spirit may do his work.  


2/18/11 11:53 AM
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inlikeflynn
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Ridge, I think you are reading too much into my comments. I wasn't trying to suggest that disagreements about doctrine should be avoided. In fact, some of those examples you mentioned are the very things that have made me increasingly uncomfortable in the evangelical world.
But, like I said to Rooster on another thread, I think we have to be careful not to let the non-essential things overshadow the areas where we all agree, i.e. God's existence, the divinity of Christ, the resurrection, etc. I often find myself arguing with/reminding other evangelicals that Catholicism in particular, is in fact part of Christendom on that basis.

And, as much as I find the doctrines you mentioned distasteful, I know many people who believe those things and yet their lives demonstrate that God is at work in them. I would guess you could say the same about some Orthodox believers that you know, as well as the historical saints. So it seems that God can work through these doctrinal differences.
2/18/11 12:50 PM
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Grakman
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 Thanks for the good reply Ridge; I have no response. Just letting you know so you don't think I am ignoring you or the conversation.
2/18/11 9:45 PM
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Ridgeback
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inlikeflynn - Ridge, I think you are reading too much into my comments. I wasn't trying to suggest that disagreements about doctrine should be avoided. In fact, some of those examples you mentioned are the very things that have made me increasingly uncomfortable in the evangelical world.
But, like I said to Rooster on another thread, I think we have to be careful not to let the non-essential things overshadow the areas where we all agree, i.e. God's existence, the divinity of Christ, the resurrection, etc. I often find myself arguing with/reminding other evangelicals that Catholicism in particular, is in fact part of Christendom on that basis.

And, as much as I find the doctrines you mentioned distasteful, I know many people who believe those things and yet their lives demonstrate that God is at work in them. I would guess you could say the same about some Orthodox believers that you know, as well as the historical saints. So it seems that God can work through these doctrinal differences.

 Fair enough.  And I agree that people can certainly demonstrate a Christward transformation even when they support what I would consider to be erroneous doctrinal positions.  Of course I do take it for granted that a lot of our ideas about God are wrong so we will all need a course correction when we no longer see through a glass darkly.
2/18/11 10:46 PM
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Grakman
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Edited: 02/18/11 10:46 PM
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Ridgeback -  Fair enough.  And I agree that people can certainly demonstrate a Christward transformation even when they support what I would consider to be erroneous doctrinal positions.  Of course I do take it for granted that a lot of our ideas about God are wrong so we will all need a course correction when we no longer see through a glass darkly.
The bolded portion of the post is something that has always troubled me about doctrine and Christianity in general. I understand yes the earliest church wanted to keep doctrine sound and hashed out a number of issues, but it seems like there is way too much room to err when we say a person can or cannot be a Christian, saved, or able to be transformed, as you say, unless they understand and know certain doctrinal positions.

by the way I'm not saying that you Ridge feel this way just using your post as a springboard for my comment about erroneous doctrinal position.
 
2/19/11 3:25 AM
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Juijitsuboxer
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Ridgeback, I am currently reading a book about Christian history in Asia and I would say that the church has split many times before the great schism. I know you were just answering their questions about when Eastern Orthodox Chalcedonian Christians split with Western Catholic Chalcedonian Christians, but we must remember that for more than 500 years the majority of Christians on the planet were in Asia and most were Nestorian.

I know you know of this, I am repeating this information for others who are following along with the conversation.

We also have the monophysite Christians that made up a very large population and still to this day has many followers.

Christianity is definitely not just Protestant, Catholic, or Eastern Orthodox.

The church councils for instance:

Nestorian Assyrian Church: accept #1, and #2

Monophysite Oriental Orthodoxy: accept #1, #2, #3

Dyophysite / Chalcedonian Eastern Orthodoxy: accept #1-#7; some also accept #8(EO), #9(EO), #10(EO) as ecumenical

Dyophysite / Chalcedonian Roman Catholicism: accept #1- #7, #8-#21(RC)

Dyophysite / Chalcedonian Anglicanism: accept #1-#7, but conditionally

Dyophysite / Chalcedonian Lutherans and Methodists: accept #1-#7 with reservations

Dyophysite Other Protestantism: accept none

Nontrinitarian churches: accept none


I am posting this for conversation purposes, I realize you know this stuff Ridge and that you are very well read.
2/19/11 3:39 AM
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Juijitsuboxer
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The first seven ecumenical councils
Main article: First seven Ecumenical Councils

1. First Council of Nicaea (325) repudiated Arianism, declared that Christ is "homoousios with the Father" (of the same substance as the Father), and adopted the original Nicene Creed, fixed Easter date; recognized primacy of the sees of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch and granted the See of Jerusalem a position of honor.

2. First Council of Constantinople (381) repudiated Arianism and Macedonianism, declared that Christ is "born of the Father before all time", revised the Nicene Creed in regard to the Holy Spirit

3. Council of Ephesus (431)
repudiated Nestorianism, proclaimed the Virgin Mary as the Theotokos ("Birth-giver to God", "God-bearer", "Mother of God"), repudiated Pelagianism, and reaffirmed the Nicene Creed.
This and all the following councils in this list are not recognized by the Assyrian Church of the East.
Second Council of Ephesus (449) declared Eutyches orthodox and attacked his opponents.
Though originally convened as an ecumenical council, this council is not recognized as ecumenical and denounced as a Robber Council by the Chalcedonians (Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Protestants).

4. Council of Chalcedon (451) repudiated the Eutychian doctrine of monophysitism, adopted the Chalcedonian Creed, which described the hypostatic union of the two natures of Christ, human and divine. Reinstated those deposed in 449 and deposed Dioscorus of Alexandria. Elevation of the bishoprics of Constantinople and Jerusalem to the status of patriarchates. This is also the last council explicitly recognised by the Anglican Communion.
This and all the following councils in this list are rejected by the Oriental Orthodoxy.

5. Second Council of Constantinople (553) repudiated the Three Chapters as Nestorian, condemned Origen of Alexandria, decreed the Theopaschite Formula.

6. Third Council of Constantinople (680-681) repudiated Monothelitism and Monoenergism.
Quinisext Council, also called Council in Trullo [3] (692) addressed matters of discipline (in amendment to the 5th and 6th councils).
The Ecumenical status of this council was repudiated by the western churches.

7. Second Council of Nicaea (787) restored the veneration of icons (condemned at the Council of Hieria, 754) and repudiated iconoclasm.
This council is rejected by some Protestant denominations, which condemn the veneration of icons.


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