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Old 07-28-2009, 01:57 AM #1
calebh
 
 
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eastern othodoxy

anybody have personal experience with it? i've been drawn more and more to their theology lately, but i don't even know where the nearest orthodox church to me is, and i've never had any real interaction with anything or anyone orthodox... just curious how the theology translates to practice.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:21 AM #2
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anybody have personal experience with it? i've been drawn more and more to their theology lately, but i don't even know where the nearest orthodox church to me is, and i've never had any real interaction with anything or anyone orthodox... just curious how the theology translates to practice.
I respect eastern (Greek) Orthodoxy a lot... and I don't know why. It's just something I've always respected along with Judaism. For reason I just like them, even though I don't agree with much of their theology I think....
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:53 AM #3
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I think Leo Tolstoy may have been excommunicated by them, because he disagreed with the church's teaching. He disagreed with organized/hierarchical religion altogether, but since that was the biggest religion close to him that was the one most ticked off at him.

One of the revelations that turned him into a Christian Anarchist was when he heard a preacher say something like "pray for our soldiers victory." Tolstoy was in disbelief in how a Christian could encourage the killing of any other human being.

Of course, this was after Tolstoy served as a soldier and had killed men himself. Hindsight is 20/20.

He criticized how people would go to church and chant, sing, dance, jump up and down in order to please God. He thought that one pleased God by just following His law.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:15 AM #4
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but i don't even know where the nearest orthodox church to me is,
This might help:

http://businessfinder.nola.com/LA-Ne...hodox-Churches
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:25 AM #5
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One of the revelations that turned him into a Christian Anarchist was when he heard a preacher say something like "pray for our soldiers victory." Tolstoy was in disbelief in how a Christian could encourage the killing of any other human being.
well the orthodox theology is very much against war... early christians were almost all anti-war. they actually denied communion for a few years to any christians who had become soldiers. it was after christianity became a state religion that that changed. orthodoxy claims to have kept that original view. i say claims...

the methodist church (the church i grew up in) is officially pro-choice and anti-war. ha, so much for that in the south. that disconnect between wesley's teachings (and the statements in the book of discipline, which seem to follow wesley pretty well) and what i actually see and hear in a methodist church is the reason i no longer really consider myself methodist.

i may agree completely with orthodox teaching (and so far, i have agreed with nearly everything i've read), but if the same doesn't come across in practice, then that means nothing to me.

so those new orleans orthodox churches... none are near me at tulane. lol i google maps'd ones near home back in texas, and the closest is nearly 2 hours away. one of the search results is actually for a high school unrelated to the orthodox church. lol
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:39 AM #6
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Well, Tolstoy is living in Russia in the 1800's. The political scene was much different. But there is a difference between idea and practice.


I'm more interested in Religious Society of Friends or Quakers. But I haven't found the time to go to a meeting.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:48 AM #7
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Well, Tolstoy is living in Russia in the 1800's. The political scene was much different. But there is a difference between idea and practice.


I'm more interested in Religious Society of Friends or Quakers. But I haven't found the time to go to a meeting.
I really like how the Quakers are pacifist.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:52 AM #8
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I am an orthodox christian!

Al'masih quam!

Christ is in our midst!

If anyone has any questions feel free to PM me

To sum up a lil

We are the Church founded by Christ on the Day Of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the original 12 and we can trace our lineage of Bishops and Patriarchs back to the Apostles themselves. All of our teachings are founded in Apostolic teachings of the early church and they are all considered biblical. In fact, it is the BIBLE that was the product of the Holy Spirit's work at the Nicene COUNCIL (Held by orthodox christians).

We are also the 2nd largest christian denomination in the world.

PLEASE post any questions and if I fail to answer PM ME. I'll do my best, I'm only a Layperson with a very strong will to Love God.
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:03 AM #9
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oh goody lol

so i do know that orthodox worship is pretty liturgical... and there's a place for the priest(?) to give a message, right? what's the usual content of that?

how involved is the othodox church in missions? do the followers tend to be very political? are they active in the community, as a church? during the week, do they still get together, or is church just a sunday thing?

and how do y'all feel about catholics? lol

i'll probably have more questions later, but that will do for now, i think. lol
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:26 PM #10
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oh goody lol

so i do know that orthodox worship is pretty liturgical... and there's a place for the priest(?) to give a message, right? what's the usual content of that?
Our priest is a major part of an orthodox christian community. Since the days of the early church a Deacon or Priest has always been a spiritual guide and helper to a given Parish or community. He is a Therapist, a Doctor, and Role model and takes on a huge responsibility to his Parish.
Our Liturgy, is something best not explained, but seen. I really recommend you visit a parish and check out a liturgy. It is often referred to as the 'Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom' and it's elements are grounded in apostolic tradition and around the Eucharist or Body and Blood of Christ. Our priest does give a sermon at the end, if that's what your referring to. The Liturgy revolves around giving Glory to God, prayer, fasting, honoring the Saints, Martyrs, and Mother of God and asking for their intercessions. It is not so much a 'feel good' experience like going to a Protestant or Pentecostal Church with people running around and a basketball court next to the alter to make God 'fun'.
That is why it is my biggest peeve to hear lapsed Catholics or even Orthodox say they 'don't get anything out of liturgy'. It's not about you, or making yourself feel good. If one had attended an honorary dinner for the president or favorite celebrity he or she wouldn't leave because they 'didn't feel anything'. It is about HONORING and WORSHIPING an All-mighty and amazing God, we are called to be humble and simply bask in his glory. And I will tell you this is a much more experiences then seeking a 'feel-good' fun church. There's nothing apostolic about that.


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how involved is the othodox church in missions? do the followers tend to be very political? are they active in the community, as a church? during the week, do they still get together, or is church just a sunday thing?
The Orthodox Church is very strong in Greece, Russia, and many middle eastern and eastern European countries. The Church has varied in its political and community activities, and some tend to be political, while others less so. There have been Patriarchs who have prevented wars and rallied the people to just political causes. For the most part the orthodox church is strong throughout the world, and usually the Church is essential to Towns and a glue for the people. Some of which are very simple people whom are not as political as we in the US are used to being. However, the church calls us to be just and Loving as Christ was in all of our life, and upon all issues including social and political ones. The church is all about community, there is no singular aspect of the christian faith and one CANNOT be a true christian alone.

During the week most churches have bible studies, community gatherings and usually each church will vary in the amount of Liturgies or Vespers we have.

My church has 2 Liturgy services a week. One on Wednesday in Arabic and one on Sunday morning in English. Each Parish can vary but all will have 1 or more Sunday morning services.

Vespers is procession of prayer that can last half-an hour to hours depending on the laity, usually most churches have them once a week.

Both Liturgical and Vesper services will increase during Holy Weeks or Fasts of the Church. Especially during Lent and Pascha (easter).

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and how do y'all feel about catholics? lol
First off, I'll say that my Catholic teachers back in HS and many priests I've talked with really seemed to have a strong Love for God and his Church and really were pivotal in helping me learn about my faith. I find a lot in common with the Catholics. In America most regard themselves as 'just a christian' and many of the cultural and religious traditions of Italian, German, Irish, Russian, Lebanese (I am a Lebanese Christian), and European Catholics and Orthodox seem very odd and are usually hated on by American Christians.
The thing is until the 1400's, all that existed for the most part were Eastern and Western Christians. And until 1050 we were all still one church! All of our traditions are grounded in what the early church did, but yet many modern Western Christians have the nerve to tell us WE worship wrongly! But I digress...Catholics. We believe the Church of Rome and it's Patriarch lost it's place among the Church due to many religious disagreements they altered and refused to go back on. The Bishop of Rome, or Pope, was excommunicated by the Church in 1050 and there ARE MANY reasons for the hard feelings and schism that remain..
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:27 PM #11
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http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/

http://www.antiochian.org/

www.orthodoxwiki.org

All Have some very good information about the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church.
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:03 AM #12
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It is not so much a 'feel good' experience like going to a Protestant or Pentecostal Church with people running around and a basketball court next to the alter to make God 'fun'.
That is why it is my biggest peeve to hear lapsed Catholics or even Orthodox say they 'don't get anything out of liturgy'. It's not about you, or making yourself feel good. If one had attended an honorary dinner for the president or favorite celebrity he or she wouldn't leave because they 'didn't feel anything'. It is about HONORING and WORSHIPING an All-mighty and amazing God, we are called to be humble and simply bask in his glory. And I will tell you this is a much more experiences then seeking a 'feel-good' fun church. There's nothing apostolic about that.
i think that's exactly what draws me to the orthodox church. the fact that it still centers on christ, while so many other churches are losing that focus so they can be relevant. i've been around the block there...

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The church is all about community, there is no singular aspect of the christian faith and one CANNOT be a true christian alone.
but is there a community in orthodox churches in america? i always hear about the community of believers, but more often i see people just go their own way the rest of the week... or the community during the week is hardly a christian community. saw that in the bible belt all the time. but then i have zero experience with orthodoxy.

the catholic question was more of a joke but that there are still any hard feelings is actually a bit of a surprise... why is that still going on, and is there anyone trying to lessen any animosity?

one more question... about the saints and mary stuff... that whole thing is one of my major misgivings about catholicism. i understand the orthodox church is different. but i'm not really sure how, reading the theology only does so much. i really should just suck it up and wake up at 6 on a sunday morning so i can make it to an orthodox church... anyway, why saints and mary? in a christ-centered worship, it makes no sense to me to even mention them. and do y'all also "invoke" (the proper catholic term, right?) their intercession? if y'all do, why?
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:16 PM #13
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i think that's exactly what draws me to the orthodox church. the fact that it still centers on christ, while so many other churches are losing that focus so they can be relevant. i've been around the block there...
Yes the Orthodox Church has kept to the Tradition of the true and original apostolic church, and I agree being Christ-centered in all aspects of one's life is an all-important thing!

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but is there a community in orthodox churches in america? i always hear about the community of believers, but more often i see people just go their own way the rest of the week... or the community during the week is hardly a christian community. saw that in the bible belt all the time. but then i have zero experience with orthodoxy.
Well any true Orthodox Parishioner or Priest should tell you and demonstrate that the Orthodox Christian lifestyle is not limited to prayer and worshiping God at the alter. We best glorify and love God when we Love and act good to our neighbors. Whatever Parish you visit should have an extensive community outreach and programs to demonstrate such as Love for one's neighbor. Orthodoxy is still pretty young in America, churches that have survived for hundreds and close to thousands of years in other countries have rich histories of protecting and helping communities.


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the catholic question was more of a joke but that there are still any hard feelings is actually a bit of a surprise... why is that still going on, and is there anyone trying to lessen any animosity?
Well It depends who you talk to once again. Even though we are ONE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH there are still many churches with different people that compromise the church. Slovaks, Serbians, Armenians, Russians, Georgians, Lebanese, Palestinian, Greeks, even Chinese and Australian Orthodox. Therefore, you will meet different opinions and cultural ideals. However, for the most part, you will see that a lot of Greeks and Russians are wary of catholic relations and interventions. The Western/Latin/Roman Catholics have done many shady things to the Eastern Christians (the sacking of Antioch, proselytizing in Orthodox Countries, the Genocides that happened in 20th century to many Orthodox communities in Eastern Europe) and it is understandable why some may have hard feelings. However, There have been steps and acts of forgiveness to bridge the gap and I think it's important to remember we must Love and forgive those who trespass against us.

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one more question... about the saints and mary stuff... that whole thing is one of my major misgivings about catholicism. i understand the orthodox church is different. but i'm not really sure how, reading the theology only does so much. i really should just suck it up and wake up at 6 on a sunday morning so i can make it to an orthodox church... anyway, why saints and mary? in a christ-centered worship, it makes no sense to me to even mention them. and do y'all also "invoke" (the proper catholic term, right?) their intercession? if y'all do, why?
Our worship is To God only: Our Father in Heaven, his Word, and his Spirit. But as I said before, the true christian must never seek to live out his or her faith alone. When our fellow Christians fall asleep in the Lord, they are as closed to him as possible and their prayers in Heaven are heard by God all the time. When we pray to the Holy Saints and Mother, we are doing just the same as one would do by requesting a friend to pray for you when your in trouble, and I'm sure you've done that before! Praying to the saints and the Mother of God is not foreign to the church, in fact it is recorded in the earliest traditions of the church. Mary, the Mother of God, Often called 'The Theotokos' (Greek for Mother of God) is the holiest and first of the Saints, even the Angel Gabriel and Christ himself held Mary in the highest regard and respect in the Gospel. Her whom held God! Therefore, we attribute much holiness and respect to her and she is seen as the Mother and greatest helper of a Christian.
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:02 PM #14
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well, i'm afraid i still disagree with the whole mary thing. respect is one thing, but asking for anything from a dead person, however holy, just doesn't fly with me... but this isn't the place for debate, i'm just curious...

thanks for the answers i'll try to visit an orthodox church this sunday... the nearest one to me at home is two hours away, according to google... if i have any other questions, i'll post. thanks again
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:25 PM #15
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well, i'm afraid i still disagree with the whole mary thing. respect is one thing, but asking for anything from a dead person, however holy, just doesn't fly with me... but this isn't the place for debate, i'm just curious...

thanks for the answers i'll try to visit an orthodox church this sunday... the nearest one to me at home is two hours away, according to google... if i have any other questions, i'll post. thanks again
Yes do some research and see what Parish in your area fit you, what decent are you? You may find that certain Churches may feel more fitting to you. (Greek, or whatever they may be)

Well do some research into the early prominent Church figures, and of Church history. You will find that prayers to Mary and the saints have led to instances of miraculous healing and protection, and that it was a very common thing amongst the most Holy and respectable Church figures and normal everyday Christians throughout history. Do not fear breaking out of your comfort zone, remember that the first Christians had trouble understanding and taking communion but they still did it and later found the sanctification it brings.

We also do not regard the passed Saints as merely DEAD! The communion of prayer does not end when you die, they are in Heaven fervently praying at all times!
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:47 AM #16
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my heritage is, uh, texan... not a drop of eastern blood in me. some of my family's been here since before we were a republic... before that, we were yanks. fought in the revolutionary war... before that, i have no idea, but any identification with a foreign heritage is long gone. no greek or anything that would likely fit in better at an orthodox church. maybe irish, since red hair keeps popping up on my dad's side... but they're catholic...

(my location says new orleans because i go to college there. i'm originally from texas)
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:42 AM #17
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Just a quick question, do Orthodox believers believe that Mary is an eternal virgin like Catholics do?
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:17 PM #18
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my heritage is, uh, texan... not a drop of eastern blood in me. some of my family's been here since before we were a republic... before that, we were yanks. fought in the revolutionary war... before that, i have no idea, but any identification with a foreign heritage is long gone. no greek or anything that would likely fit in better at an orthodox church. maybe irish, since red hair keeps popping up on my dad's side... but they're catholic...

(my location says new orleans because i go to college there. i'm originally from texas)
Haha, well we're all one in Christ right!? I'm sure you'll find that If you visit a Church, the priest and lay will be very welcoming to you.

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Just a quick question, do Orthodox believers believe that Mary is an eternal virgin like Catholics do?

We never made it an official doctrine in a Council, like the Heterodox Catholic Council in the 19th century did (I am not 100% on this, maybe a Roman Catholic could help), or like the apostolic church did for the Trinity or Eucharist for instance. However it is universally believed, just as it always has been, in the Church that she was, and remained a virgin until her assumption. There is irrefutable proof that the earliest christians such as Ignatius of Antioch & Justin Martyr (1st and 2nd century) Believed in Mary's Eternal Virginity. Even Marin Luther, the great protestant reformer, and many other early western protestants believed that she remained a virgin until her death.

If you research, for the most part her virginity till death wasn't challenged by Christians until recently.

The most important reason we believe this is because Orthodox Christians and Catholics hold her in the highest regard, her Body was an incredibly holy temple, it held God with in it! Look at the holiness that surrounded the Ark Of the Covenant. The Jews believed it held the very spirit of God, and would not even touch it. This is why we hold Mary in such high regard as a Holy person and The Mother of God.
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:21 PM #19
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Since this is a question thread about Orthodoxy, I would like to wish you all a happy Fast of the Assumption!
We, as Eastern Christians, start a 2 week fast on August 1st this year to celebrate the Bodily Assumption of Mary the Holy Theotokos and Mother of God into heaven after her falling asleep in the Lord.
After the 2 week fast, we have a feast day to celebrate this imporant event! It is one of the largest feasts in the Church, and it is only fitting that you all were so curious about the Orthodox belief surrounding her on significant day like today!
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