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Author Topic: Eastern Orthodox Christianity  (Read 13549 times)

Tom

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2015, 10:11:34 am »
Quote from: Castus;180365
Well, I would say that trinitarianism is essential to any orthodox sense of Christianity; and that non-trinitarianism is so heterodox as to render denominations that hold to it as outside the Christian fold.
The trinity as orthodox doctrine only came into existence as Christianity was codified by a church who had an invested interest in creating a blanket doctrine, squashing all else who believed otherwise and calling them heretics. It took a great deal of councils, some who conflicted with the other to come to what you consider orthodox Christianity today.

Short of it is that Early Christians certainly did not all agree on the trinity.

Castus

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2015, 10:52:46 am »
Quote from: Tom;180369
The trinity as orthodox doctrine only came into existence as Christianity was codified by a church who had an invested interest in creating a blanket doctrine, squashing all else who believed otherwise and calling them heretics. It took a great deal of councils, some who conflicted with the other to come to what you consider orthodox Christianity today.

Short of it is that Early Christians certainly did not all agree on the trinity.

 
Your point being? In any case, whether non-trinitarianism can be considered Christian isn't the point of this thread anyway; so I'll drop the subject.
“Castus, meanwhile, goes straight for the bad theology like one of those creepy fish that swims up streams of pee.” — Darkhawk

Redfaery

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2015, 10:54:58 am »
Quote from: Castus;180370
Your point being? In any case, whether non-trinitarianism can be considered Christian isn't the point of this thread anyway; so I'll drop the subject.

 
I believe Tom's point was that your initial assertion, and the reasoning behind it are both invalid.
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Tom

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #48 on: September 24, 2015, 12:31:08 pm »
Quote from: Castus;180370
Your point being? In any case, whether non-trinitarianism can be considered Christian isn't the point of this thread anyway; so I'll drop the subject.
That your definition of Christian is rather narrow and disregards many people who are and were Christian throughout history.

RandallS

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2015, 12:43:05 pm »
Quote from: Castus;180365
Well, I would say that trinitarianism is essential to any orthodox sense of Christianity; and that non-trinitarianism is so heterodox as to render denominations that hold to it as outside the Christian fold.

That's certainly true from the POV of those Christians who agree with the doctrine of the trinity. However, whether or not it defines Christianity in general depends on your position on authority. If you do not recognize the authority of the church councils where such things were decided to speak for all of Christians, then things become far less clear.
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Castus

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #50 on: September 24, 2015, 01:00:35 pm »
Quote from: Tom;180377
That your definition of Christian is rather narrow and disregards many people who are and were Christian throughout history.

 
Christian as trinitarian =! narrow. And even if that were true, which it most emphatically is not, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
“Castus, meanwhile, goes straight for the bad theology like one of those creepy fish that swims up streams of pee.” — Darkhawk

Redfaery

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #51 on: September 24, 2015, 01:03:42 pm »
Quote from: Castus;180380
Christian as trinitarian =! narrow. And even if that were true, which it most emphatically is not, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
So are Mormons Christians?
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Castus

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #52 on: September 24, 2015, 01:25:49 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;180381
So are Mormons Christians?

No, and in likelihood very few people besides Mormons themselves would tell you otherwise. From my conversations with Mormon missionaries and my reading of the Book of Mormon, it's fairly clear to me that Mormon theology precludes identification as Christian. While one of the aspects I really liked while learning about it is that the LDS does draw heavily from the OT (see: Temples), Mormon Christology is... awkward at best. The belief in a Godhead of separate persons, and a rather strange interpretation of theosis which holds that God the Father was once mortal (which is different from the Orthodox understanding of theosis, which iirc simply allows us to fully partake of the divine nature), are two prominent issues which characterise Mormonism as not Christian.
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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #53 on: September 25, 2015, 05:58:27 pm »
Quote from: Castus;180384
No, and in likelihood very few people besides Mormons themselves would tell you otherwise.

They are Christian in the original sense of the term (they believe in and follow Jesus) but otherwise, I agree with you that their theology is pretty much incompatible with Christianity.
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RecycledBenedict

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #54 on: September 26, 2015, 08:29:10 am »
Quote from: RandallS;180450
They are Christian in the original sense of the term (they believe in and follow Jesus) but otherwise, I agree with you that their theology is pretty much incompatible with Christianity.

 
I very much doubt that any single definition is useful for the purpose of defining Christianity. With your definition Moslems, Theosophists, and Caodaists are Christians, too, since they believe in and follow Jesus.

A polythetic definition would probably be more useful. That would both include unusual Christians such as Ebionites, Marcionites, Valentinians, Arians, Quakers, Unitarians, Swedenborgians, LDSs, Jehovah's Vitnesses, Christian Spiritists, Salvationists, members of the Christian Community, and Oneness Pentecostals, while still acknowledge that they are unusual (but unusual in very different ways).

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #55 on: September 27, 2015, 08:59:31 am »
Quote from: RandallS;180450
They are Christian in the original sense of the term (they believe in and follow Jesus) but otherwise, I agree with you that their theology is pretty much incompatible with Christianity.

 
I recalled that Koi used to take a position on this that was similar to Castus', and was able to fairly quickly find an instance that not only illustrated it well, but expressed it in a way relevant to the discussion in this thread:

Quote from: Koi
If someone calls them Christian within a casual conversation, I don't usually say anything -- everyone knows what they mean, and it's generally not that meaningful a distinction in 90% of contexts. But if the point is important for the discussion, or comes up (as it did here), or when I teach world religions, I'll mention it.


I don't think Castus was wrong to mention it, particularly since his initial mention was a fairly gentle one. But OTOH it doesn't strike me as particularly meaningful in this thread - though I'll note that it's not irrelevant to the direction the convo was taking at the point he mentioned it, either.

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2015, 09:30:53 am »
Quote from: Demophon;180337
Hysterical liberal overreactions

 
A Reminder:
Demophon,

You're skating very close to the 'personal attack' line with that (and/or to trying to dictate the manner in which people respond to you) - so close, in fact, that another instance similarly close to the line would earn you a formal warning.

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Demophon

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #57 on: January 13, 2017, 07:31:20 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;179518
I don't really have specific questions or a direction in which I want this thread to go, I was just curious whether people have a background or other experiences in the Orthodox Church (whether it be Greek, Russian, etc.), and if they would be open to sharing those experiences.

 
I was listening to a podcast recently where an Orthodox priest was being interviewed, and I found something he said to be really interesting. I may not be paraphrasing completely accurately, but e talked about how the Orthodox Church actually has very few doctrines, and that the Creeds are the central statements of belief, and that everything else is just elaboration and tradition. I found that to be quite refreshing, as coming from a Catholic perspective, there is a strong emphasis on doctrine, levels of authority, infallibility, and obedience. The Catholic Church also has such specific teachings on so many issues, and considers their magisterium to be Christ's voice on earth, which I'm beginning to find pretty problematic.

Not that I'm considering switching church traditions yet again, but I would like to explore Orthodoxy a bit more deeply, Greek Orthodoxy in particular, as a former Hellenic pagan, I still have an affinity for that culture. How on earth did I end up joining the Roman tradition of Christianity? :eek: I just worry that Orthodoxy is quite rigid and conservative, and very entrenched in the cultures that follow it, while Catholicism has a more "universal" approach that transcends culture, and is almost a culture in itself. In Egypt, I've heard, the Coptic Catholics are the liberal ones, while it's the Coptic Orthodox who are stuck in the middle ages (though they are Oriental Orthodox rather than Eastern). I know a lot of former Coptic Orthodox gay men who have converted to Catholicism, which makes me wonder how strict the Orthodox Church must be if Catholicism is an improvement on the issue of homosexuality.

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #58 on: January 17, 2017, 10:04:18 am »
Quote from: Demophon;201409
I was listening to a podcast recently where an Orthodox priest was being interviewed, and I found something he said to be really interesting. I may not be paraphrasing completely accurately, but e talked about how the Orthodox Church actually has very few doctrines, and that the Creeds are the central statements of belief, and that everything else is just elaboration and tradition. I found that to be quite refreshing, as coming from a Catholic perspective, there is a strong emphasis on doctrine, levels of authority, infallibility, and obedience. The Catholic Church also has such specific teachings on so many issues, and considers their magisterium to be Christ's voice on earth, which I'm beginning to find pretty problematic.


Was it Fr. Andrew Damick? It sounds like something he'd say. Anyway, he's right. The Orthodox tradition takes a pastoral attitude towards its people. There are some non-negotiables, but the discipline of the faithful is tweaked to their needs, so it stretches them without breaking them.

Quote
Not that I'm considering switching church traditions yet again, but I would like to explore Orthodoxy a bit more deeply, Greek Orthodoxy in particular, as a former Hellenic pagan, I still have an affinity for that culture.


The Greek Orthodox Church doesn't have to be particularly Greek. The distinction from the other [insert demonym] Orthodox Churches is primarily jurisdictional (the GOARCH is under the Ecumenical Patriarchate); the cultural and linguistic element depends on the local population. The only certain difference from the Slavic traditions is that the Greeks, like the Antiochians, are on the new calendar, while the Slavs maintain the old way (13 days off). But it's the same Church, and you'll hear the same service everywhere.

Quote
How on earth did I end up joining the Roman tradition of Christianity? :eek: I just worry that Orthodoxy is quite rigid and conservative, and very entrenched in the cultures that follow it, while Catholicism has a more "universal" approach that transcends culture, and is almost a culture in itself. In Egypt, I've heard, the Coptic Catholics are the liberal ones, while it's the Coptic Orthodox who are stuck in the middle ages (though they are Oriental Orthodox rather than Eastern). I know a lot of former Coptic Orthodox gay men who have converted to Catholicism, which makes me wonder how strict the Orthodox Church must be if Catholicism is an improvement on the issue of homosexuality.


If your idea of 'rigid and conservative' is hinged on one's stance on women's ordination and same-sex marriage, then yes, it is. Still, both issues are a lot more nuanced.

Also, there's no such thing as Coptic Catholics. Copts are part of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. There are Byzantine Catholics, though (formerly called Uniates), like the Maronites and Melkites, who use Byzantine liturgy but are in communion with the Vatican. Their status is rather muddled.
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Demophon

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #59 on: January 17, 2017, 11:06:10 am »
Quote from: Chatelaine;201524
Was it Fr. Andrew Damick? It sounds like something he'd say. Anyway, he's right. The Orthodox tradition takes a pastoral attitude towards its people. There are some non-negotiables, but the discipline of the faithful is tweaked to their needs, so it stretches them without breaking them.

It was Fr Geoffrey Ready on the Faith & Witness ecumenical podcast from here in Canada.

Quote from: Chatelaine;201524
The Greek Orthodox Church doesn't have to be particularly Greek. The distinction from the other [insert demonym] Orthodox Churches is primarily jurisdictional (the GOARCH is under the Ecumenical Patriarchate); the cultural and linguistic element depends on the local population. The only certain difference from the Slavic traditions is that the Greeks, like the Antiochians, are on the new calendar, while the Slavs maintain the old way (13 days off). But it's the same Church, and you'll hear the same service everywhere.

Oh interesting. I would like to visit an Orthodox Church for Divine Liturgy in the near future, probably at a Greek or Russian church, since they seem to be the most common and easy to get to.

Quote from: Chatelaine;201524
If your idea of 'rigid and conservative' is hinged on one's stance on women's ordination and same-sex marriage, then yes, it is. Still, both issues are a lot more nuanced.

Well, not so much just marriage and ordination, but attitudes towards homosexuality and the role of women in general.

Quote from: Chatelaine;201524
Also, there's no such thing as Coptic Catholics. Copts are part of the Oriental Orthodox Churches. There are Byzantine Catholics, though (formerly called Uniates), like the Maronites and Melkites, who use Byzantine liturgy but are in communion with the Vatican. Their status is rather muddled.

I'm pretty sure there are Copts who have entered full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and some who have remained Oriental Orthodox, like how there are Eastern Rite Ukrainian Catholics, and Ukrainians who are still Eastern Orthodox. Here is the website for the Coptic Catholic Patriarchate in Egypt: http://www.copticcatholicpatriarchate.net/.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 06:08:49 pm by SunflowerP »

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