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The Orthodox Church
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Kid Twist Offline
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Post: #76
RE: The Orthodox Church
There are no real "branches" of Orthodox christianity, given that it is the only particular church that can claim apostolic succession and never changing its doctrine or practice. To make things overwhelming simplistic, I never understood why the seekers or even honest people had a hard time with this one, especially those that are disciplined (I guess there aren't that many) like us: when studying christianity, it pretty much comes down to RC or EO as clearly the source of true ancient christianity. When you consider what Vatican I and II did, which were just symptoms of the political aspect of the top-down RC paradigm, and the theology of each as well as the origin of each, it was always breathtakingly obvious to me what the original church is/was. But I digress, lol

The only real "branch" would be the so-called Oriental Orthodox churches (syriac, coptic, armenian, ethiopian, malankaran syrian, etc) which are non-Chalcedonian (4th ecumenical council) churches. They are SO similar in faith and practice it is hard to even distinguish between us and them at all, but technically we are not in communion. Still, many ethiopians and copts have come to the churches I've attended over the years and we all pretty much insist that we don't disagree on christology, it was more a language issue of understanding the natures of Christ. Still, they have never admitted that they erroneously rejected the 4th council, and usually as time goes by, if it isn't healed early, too many identity and other issues arise. As such, we'll likely keep going along as is. I consider them among the closest brethren and essentially, though not technically, equal. But that is a private opinion of mine. I think most hold it.
05-02-2017 03:43 PM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #77
RE: The Orthodox Church
I have to say just in general - when I began reading up on Christianity while abroad, I was astounded by how culturally rich it is, even within the Catholic Church. As much as I want to crap on the lefties for thinking Islam, Judaism and Hinduism/Buddhism/Shintoism/Daoism/whatever are so neato and multicultural and cool, Christians in America have done nothing to make their church services engaging on a genuine level and it isn't much of a wonder so many fall away after high school.

I grew up with the boringass "sign of peace" Vatican II mass, the congregants often listened to Christian rock and actually thought it was good music. There was not much of a difference between the Catholic masses and the Protestant services I occasionally went to growing up - they were so similar, my mother signed me up for Protestant vacation bible school and it took me about a week to notice they weren't Catholic.

(I went on a mission trip to Central America at the end of the seventh grade, and almost everyone who went along were social rejects who I'd have been embarrassed to be seen with outside of the church - EVERY conversation was about God, ALL music played was Christian. I understand that appealing to people outside of the church is stupid to have as a main priority, but these guys had it as their absolute last priority, and quite a few didn't even seem to notice that singing spontaneous hymns in, say, an airport terminal made everyone stare at us like we were the Flanders family. Who would want to convert to this?)

Orthodox masses are very old-fashioned, it seems, and they speak for themselves. The only thing keeping me out is that (as said a page or so ago) they tend to be ethnic clubs. There's a Greek cathedral and a Serbian cathedral in my area, and if I were to cross over, I'd likely have to make a commitment to learn the language. (Given how much I love traveling, and ESPECIALLY considering how much I love Eastern European women, that wouldn't necessarily be bad thing - but that's a hell of a workload, and I'd have to get serious quick.)

Since my life is already complex enough right now, and there are still conservative bits and pieces of Roman Catholicism left, I'll stay right where I am for now - but I certainly notice that over half of Catholics are lefties, and this commie pope is probably going to do at least one or two big things before he dies. He's 80 and has a decade or so. I'm not looking forward to it.
(This post was last modified: 05-02-2017 10:20 PM by stugatz.)
05-02-2017 10:03 PM
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prt Offline
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Post: #78
RE: The Orthodox Church
All the religions are no different than mythologies.
Men don't need a religion, women do, so it will keep them from cheating and teach them some family values.
Can the orthodox church provide that? There are some English speaking churches for those who interested or learn Russian.
I also consider the LDS church for that purpose.
05-07-2017 03:00 PM
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lonewolf1992 Offline
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Post: #79
RE: The Orthodox Church
(05-07-2017 03:00 PM)prt Wrote:  All the religions are no different than mythologies.
Men don't need a religion, women do, so it will keep them from cheating and teach them some family values.
Can the orthodox church provide that? There are some English speaking churches for those who interested or learn Russian.
I also consider the LDS church for that purpose.

You are partially right, but men DO NEED spirituality at least. And in first place it's been men who have written nearly all religious and spiritual books. Actually we strive for enlightmen and truth more than women do.

Colombian local. Fan of music, arts, films, Football, history, masculinity. Non-native english speaker, please have patience with me.

"Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship." Buddha
05-07-2017 07:05 PM
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The Gooz Boos Offline
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Post: #80
RE: The Orthodox Church
Lonewolf is right. To further that point, men are creatures of action. We build, we cause, we act with the intention of changing our selves, families, communities, and societies in a particular way. If we are making such changes based on a profoundly false notion about the nature of reality, our changes will ultimately be self-destructive. If we are making such changes based on a true understanding of reality, our changes will be ultimately constructive. This is why it is important for us men to settle important questions concerning religion, theology, metaphysics, ethics, and philosophy as a whole. Religion is not about comfort. It is not a mere means of controlling temperament. It involves the nature of being and of meaning and goes even far beyond that. To express such indifference is blatant shirking and is also kind of feminine.
(This post was last modified: 05-08-2017 02:54 AM by The Gooz Boos.)
05-08-2017 02:54 AM
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Kid Twist Offline
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Post: #81
RE: The Orthodox Church
Some of the above poster(s) suggest that "only women" need the truth. That's bereft of any logical thinking or foundation. And on this forum, it's an embarrassment in position, and logic.
05-10-2017 10:32 AM
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Kid Twist Offline
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Post: #82
RE: The Orthodox Church
(05-07-2017 07:05 PM)lonewolf1992 Wrote:  You are partially right, but men DO NEED spirituality at least. And in first place it's been men who have written nearly all religious and spiritual books. Actually we strive for enlightmen and truth more than women do.

The demons are spiritual, yet they reject the truth.

We don't need spirit, it is part of us --- the word "need" is irrelevant. If we reject it, we deny ourselves and will never come to an understanding of truth.

As you rightly say, men are the teachers, so how much more do we need to approach the truth than anyone else???
05-10-2017 10:36 AM
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The Gooz Boos Offline
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Post: #83
RE: The Orthodox Church
(05-10-2017 10:36 AM)Kid Twist Wrote:  the word "need" is irrelevant. If we reject it, we deny ourselves and will never come to an understanding of truth.
Your point is very well made. I have a minor contention. I do think the word "need" is relevant for the reason I gave a few posts above. If we reject truth, we will behave ultimately self-destructively. For our own well-being as persons, we do need to embrace truth.
05-11-2017 05:50 PM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #84
RE: The Orthodox Church
Someone clear something up for me. Are the Greek Catholics in communion with the Greek Orthodox, or are they just affectionate?

The Melkite church near me does NOT have the Filioque in the Nicene Creed, and has a liturgy that, to my knowledge, is almost the same as Greek Orthodox. The priest I added on Facebook (oh boy, time to start watching my language when I post) almost constantly "likes" Greek Orthodox church posts and shares their statuses.
05-12-2017 12:38 AM
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The Gooz Boos Offline
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Post: #85
RE: The Orthodox Church
Byzantine catholics are in full communion with the latins and not with the orthodox. I'm no expert on the latin church, but IIRC Rome allows eastern catholics to omit the filioque, so the Melkites do that.
05-15-2017 10:56 PM
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Mirjan Offline
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Post: #86
RE: The Orthodox Church
Well , I didn't read all the comments in here as some quoted texts were too long but I can conclude something in a few words: " Orthodox Church is the the true heir of the lessons of Jesus Christ and the true form of Christianity.

Everything else from the catholics and especially to Protestants is a deviation.

I am Catholic Albanian myself but I am thinking to convert to Orthodoxy for obvious reasons .

I am also more intact with the teachings of the Old Testament rather than the New.

Albanians as apostolic Christians Since The times when Saint Paul came to Illyria are some of the first Orthodox people in the world.


Even now days Southern Albania is a treasure of the Orthodox Culture with endless 600-700-800 till 1400 years old monasteries and churches.

Anyways my point is that Orthodoxy is the purest form of Christianity.
05-18-2017 11:32 AM
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Kid Twist Offline
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Post: #87
RE: The Orthodox Church
(05-15-2017 10:56 PM)The Gooz Boos Wrote:  Byzantine catholics are in full communion with the latins and not with the orthodox. I'm no expert on the latin church, but IIRC Rome allows eastern catholics to omit the filioque, so the Melkites do that.

I always laugh when I consider that they are in "communion" with Rome. I know that "religion" can be complicated but eastern rite "catholics" never made any sense to me, and it's one of those things where it's actually not an argument about some retarded belief about God. The people are orthodox but insist they aren't only for strange political reasons. Odd considering that the RC church teaches things that are at best innovative and at worst false (or both) and they witness to this fact, ha.

(05-18-2017 11:32 AM)Mirjan Wrote:  Well , I didn't read all the comments in here as some quoted texts were too long but I can conclude something in a few words: " Orthodox Church is the the true heir of the lessons of Jesus Christ and the true form of Christianity.

Everything else from the catholics and especially to Protestants is a deviation.

I am Catholic Albanian myself but I am thinking to convert to Orthodoxy for obvious reasons .

I am also more intact with the teachings of the Old Testament rather than the New.

Albanians as apostolic Christians Since The times when Saint Paul came to Illyria are some of the first Orthodox people in the world.


Even now days Southern Albania is a treasure of the Orthodox Culture with endless 600-700-800 till 1400 years old monasteries and churches.

Anyways my point is that Orthodoxy is the purest form of Christianity.

Thanks for the conclusion, Mirjan. Glad you found home. Now for the hard work (-:
05-19-2017 01:50 PM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #88
RE: The Orthodox Church
(05-19-2017 01:50 PM)Kid Twist Wrote:  
(05-15-2017 10:56 PM)The Gooz Boos Wrote:  Byzantine catholics are in full communion with the latins and not with the orthodox. I'm no expert on the latin church, but IIRC Rome allows eastern catholics to omit the filioque, so the Melkites do that.

I always laugh when I consider that they are in "communion" with Rome. I know that "religion" can be complicated but eastern rite "catholics" never made any sense to me, and it's one of those things where it's actually not an argument about some retarded belief about God. The people are orthodox but insist they aren't only for strange political reasons. Odd considering that the RC church teaches things that are at best innovative and at worst false (or both) and they witness to this fact, ha.

I went to a Vespers service on Saturday night because I couldn't make Sunday services, interesting timing of this statement. Since there was no communion, the attendees in the pews happened to be Greek Orthodox and I asked a few questions afterward, mostly about Melkite and Greek Orthodox differences - and I was told, no, the services are exactly the same save mentions of the Pope. Kissing the icons, the sign of the cross being from right-to-left on the shoulders, orthos prayers, all of it is the same.

"Oh, by the way, the Eastern churches can be addicting, I think we'll see more of you."

That's what I'm pretty sure the guy said, but I swear I heard "jooooooooin uuuussss, joooooin ussssss" instead.
05-19-2017 04:17 PM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #89
RE: The Orthodox Church
Well, don't want to resurrect a thread, but going to the nearest Greek Orthodox cathedral this Sunday. (Quite a variety near me, funnily enough- Serbian, Russian, Ukranian, and Coptic too.)

The priest told me when I e-mailed to please not partake in communion. I was very happy to see that.
07-28-2017 11:58 AM
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Zona Offline
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Post: #90
RE: The Orthodox Church
(07-28-2017 11:58 AM)stugatz Wrote:  Well, don't want to resurrect a thread, but going to the nearest Greek Orthodox cathedral this Sunday. (Quite a variety near me, funnily enough- Serbian, Russian, Ukranian, and Coptic too.)

The priest told me when I e-mailed to please not partake in communion. I was very happy to see that.

How'd it go?

I'm a fellow RC who has been looking toward the east for awhile now (still learning about their beliefs), so I'm curious to hear about your experiences. I really need to check out the liturgy myself. Unfortunately the nearest Orthodox church is kind of far away, so I just keep putting it off.
07-30-2017 12:28 PM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #91
RE: The Orthodox Church
I absolutely adored it - the fact that I had to get up early to go to a pretty distant neighborhood (and cross the bad part of town on the way there) almost added to it.

I was greeted in the vestibule by some very strict rules on the door to the worship area. No entering under any circumstances if the priest is facing you, if he's incensing the room, etc. I asked the usher to please let me know when I was allowed to enter (the Divine Liturgy was preceded by Matins and they flowed into each other). Service was about an hour and 45 minutes, about as long as a Tridentine Mass or the Divine Liturgy I went to in the Melkite church. Much, much more standing here than in either of those, and about 75% percent of the service was in incomprehensible Koine Greek. (Latin at least has enough cognates where I'm not hearing gibberish...no such luck here. The feeling of being illiterate is sort of a rush for me.)

Coffee and pastries (all Greek of course) was afterward and I spoke to the priest pretty extensively. He was happy to see me but not overjoyed, as he's got his major issues with Catholicism and didn't hesitate to tell me. (He probably wanted to make sure I was actually playing with the idea of becoming an Orthodox Christian, not just attending the mass to get some free baklava and watch them worship like I was some asshat tourist.)

I have noticed in the traditionalist Catholic cathedral I go to, despite it being conservative and having a solid clergy, there is some minor entryism. Some people have no problem with the Novus Ordo, love Pope Francis, and are generally liberal-minded, but like the Tridentine Rite because it's pretty and historic. I also somewhat regularly see people underdressed there and have seen the occasional piercing or woman wearing inappropriate makeup (blue nail polish, orange lipstick). None of this is extensive, but it's there.

Comparatively - this Orthodox church comes across as entryism-proof. A very large percentage of the congregants are fluent in Greek, the service is long and drones on and on, and there are multiple fasting days well after Easter is over - in fact, the whole month of December has just as many fasting days as the beginning of Lent. The congregants come across as very involved with each other. This is very, very intense in a way that surpasses the Latin Rite. (Add on top of this, too, the fact that yout average person doesn't know what an Orthodox Christian is.)

I said earlier in this thread that I viewed an ethnic enclave of a church like this negatively, because people would hesitate to join and numbers would stay down. I now see the benefits of it in the Current Year. With SJWs running around trying to use Christianity to further their goals, sometimes a community staying static-ish can stop this problem in its tracks. The priest complained about the other "liberal" Greek Orthodox church in the area, too, so I'm well aware that not even this part of the faith is immune.

Overall - I need some time to think about this since my whole extended family are serious Catholics - and I also had a similar reaction when I saw my first Latin service. I'll just bounce around between these three churches and see what happens.
(This post was last modified: 07-31-2017 01:14 AM by stugatz.)
07-31-2017 01:03 AM
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Post: #92
RE: The Orthodox Church
^ Do you plan on learning Greek, Stugatz? That is, if you do plan on attending this Greek church.
07-31-2017 01:28 AM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #93
RE: The Orthodox Church
(07-31-2017 01:28 AM)fokker Wrote:  ^ Do you plan on learning Greek, Stugatz? That is, if you do plan on attending this Greek church.

I plan on staying a Roman Catholic for now, as I've barely been active at my traditionalist cathedral for three months and do like it just fine despite low-key entryism.

I'd make excuses to attend services at this Greek church more often if I had any real use for Greek. Outside of Greece (and the Greek population at this church) it's only great as a stepping stone to read the New Testament and books of the Old Testament. As far as I know, Greek is in its own bizarre category and isn't going to help me with any other languages (like Russian with Polish/Ukranian/Serbian/Slovak or Arabic with Hebrew). I like what I see quite a bit, though, and am probably going to attend a vespers service or one of the quick weekday services every so often. It's close enough to the Melkite liturgy.
07-31-2017 10:33 PM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #94
RE: The Orthodox Church
Continuation to the post above, though - since I am likely going to be in the Levant attempting to learn Arabic in about a year and a half or so, though, Greek Orthodox isn't a bad liturgy to be familiar with, as it's scattered all across that area alongside the Melkite and Maronite Catholics.

I wouldn't be interested in wandering around Turkey nowadays, but the population used to be huge there too...
07-31-2017 11:20 PM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #95
RE: The Orthodox Church
Just one final post, will probably update around Christmas or New Year's.

Did some searching, and my metro has a LOT of Orthodox parishes, and one more Eastern Rite Catholic I hadn't heard of. I'm looking at five more different kinds of Orthodox, one Eastern Rite, and one Orthodox Church of America. Before Christmas I intend to drop by all of them, if possible and just give brief commentary as an outsider.

I don't anticipate the post is going to be too long - how many differences between the Eastern Orthodox churches can there be, really? - but there may be some hidden surprises in Oriental. (I was told by an acquaintance to expect a three-and-a-half hour long service at least from the Copts, and those guys do nothing but fast half of the year.)

I can't leave the country right now (financial problems, working extra hours) so this will have to do for now to scratch that itch. Should be interesting.
(This post was last modified: 08-04-2017 04:52 PM by stugatz.)
08-04-2017 04:52 PM
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fiasco360 Offline
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Post: #96
RE: The Orthodox Church
(08-04-2017 04:52 PM)stugatz Wrote:  Just one final post, will probably update around Christmas or New Year's.

Did some searching, and my metro has a LOT of Orthodox parishes, and one more Eastern Rite Catholic I hadn't heard of. I'm looking at five more different kinds of Orthodox, one Eastern Rite, and one Orthodox Church of America. Before Christmas I intend to drop by all of them, if possible and just give brief commentary as an outsider.

I don't anticipate the post is going to be too long - how many differences between the Eastern Orthodox churches can there be, really? - but there may be some hidden surprises in Oriental. (I was told by an acquaintance to expect a three-and-a-half hour long service at least from the Copts, and those guys do nothing but fast half of the year.)

I can't leave the country right now (financial problems, working extra hours) so this will have to do for now to scratch that itch. Should be interesting.

Not sure if you're in the LA area or not, but I'll gladly take you to one of my church services. The entire service is done in Aramaic. Depending upon the service it may take anywhere from 1.5-4 hours.
(This post was last modified: 08-05-2017 03:27 AM by fiasco360.)
08-05-2017 03:26 AM
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stugatz Offline
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Post: #97
RE: The Orthodox Church
Nope, SE Wisconsin, Milwaukee-ish.

Are you Syriac Orthodox or Maronite?
08-05-2017 12:19 PM
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Zona Offline
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RE: The Orthodox Church
Thanks for the updates, stugatz.

Like you, I just started getting into traditionalist Catholicism not long ago, so I want to spend some time with that before making any moves. I will, however, make a point to visit some Eastern Orthodox churches in the near future just to test the waters to see how I like their services.

In any case, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the different churches you visit.
08-05-2017 07:35 PM
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Post: #99
RE: The Orthodox Church
I've read this thread a couple of times as I am in the process of converting to Orthodoxy myself from Roman Catholicism. I spent 10 years as a Catholic and explored every liturgical trend it had to offer (liberal N.O. parishes, "reform of the reform" type parishes with more conservative N.O. liturgies, FSSP Latin Masses, and even one or two Sede Masses). I found all of them wanting and was never satisfied with the Western answers to many questions.

I just began my journey East about 2, 2.5 months ago and have been reading as much as I can, attending DL and a few vesper services, reading as much as I can, as well as meeting with a priest 1-2 times a month. I've had to restructure and retool my prayer life as well as how I approach prayer. Eastern prayer is more meditative, Western theology puts great emphasis on contemplation and the use of the imagination during prayer.
08-06-2017 11:11 AM
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Post: #100
RE: The Orthodox Church
What's the deal with Orthros by the way - it precedes DL, and it's highly structured, so I assume it's Eastern Orthodox's version of the Rosary. Are there beads or prayer ropes to go with it?
08-06-2017 03:46 PM
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