Orthodox Christianity

stugatz

Pelican
Catholic
Is there any major difference in confessing of sins in Orthodoxy? It's pretty pounded into serious Catholics to go frequently (once or twice a month at least). Are the idea of mortal & venial sins similar, too?
 

Mrs.DanielH

Robin
Woman
Orthodox
Is there any major difference in confessing of sins in Orthodoxy? It's pretty pounded into serious Catholics to go frequently (once or twice a month at least). Are the idea of mortal & venial sins similar, too?
It depends on the individual parish and denomination. Certain ones require confession weekly while others require it "seasonally" (like 2-4 times per year). The one parish we attend is so large it would take the priest 3 full days to hear confessions so most people only go a few times per year and it's expected that you try to go before easter and Christmas. At the other parish the priest recommends it weekly but doesn't require it. I've heard that Romanian churches are the most strict and require confession every week. Orthodox don't believe in mortal and venial sins. We categorize all sins as equal. It's not up to us to decide which sins are "worse" than others, and it involves more than just the action, the intent and state of the heart must be considered. In our priests homily this morning he said each sin is putting another nail into the body of Christ, and we distance ourselves from God. Not that He ever leaves us, but that we reject Him in our hearts and all the grace He is offering to us.
 

Mrs.DanielH

Robin
Woman
Orthodox
Edited: @messaggera
To generalize, yes the Orthodox church has not changed. I'm no theologian so I can't comment on whether or not the catholics or protestants have "added" or "subtracted". One could write a whole book on that topic.
 
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DanielH

Ostrich
Orthodox
She most certainly did not sin.
She indeed had human weeknesses, like worrying for her Son, when they thought He was lost when He. was 12 years old.
I agree, I'm of the opinion that she did not sin but I know of Orthodox who think she did and I'm not aware of any official stance on it.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Yes. Growing up Catholic there was this overhanging of sin - Catholic guilt. Over time I learned the concept Orthodox Christians teach, as you stated. Not sure what denomination of Christianity I was listening to, but original sin was described as a taint/imprecation - Because of Adam and Eve's actions following Satan humanity is now tainted.

I think this will help you understand the Orthodox thought, it's a passage from Fr Stephen Freeman's book "Everywhere Present" pg 23-25

One of the best ways to begin thinking about communion with God is to ask the question, "What is wrong with the human race?" What is it about us that needs saving?
The answer to that question is perhaps the linchpin of Christian theology (at least of what has been revealed to us). Among the most central of Orthodox Christian doctrines is the understanding that human beings have fallen out of communion with God--we have severed the bond of communion with which we were created, and thus we are no longer in communion with the Lord and Giver of Life. We no longer have a share in His Divine Life, but instead have become partakers of death.
St. Athanasius describes this in his On the Incarnation of the Word:

For God had made man thus (that is, as an embodied spirit), and had willed that he should remain in incorruption. But men, having turned from the contemplation of God to evil of their own devising, had come inevitably under the law of death. Instead of remaining in the state in which God had created them, they were in process of becoming corrupted entirely, and death had them completely under its dominion. For the transgression of the commandment was making them turn back again according to their nature; and as they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again. The presence and love of the Word had called them into being; inevitably, therefore, when they lost the knowledge of God, they lost existence with it; for it is God alone Who exists, evil is non-being, the negation and antithesis of good. By nature, of course, man is mortal, since he was made from nothing; but he bears also the Likeness of Him Who is, and if he preserves that Likeness through constant contemplation, then his nature is deprived of its power and he remains incorrupt. So it is affirmed in Wisdom: "The keeping of His laws is the assurance of incorruption." (Wisdom 6.18)

This lack of communion with God, this process of death at work in us, manifests itself in a myriad of ways, extending from moral failure to disease and death itself. It corrupts everything around us-- our relationships with other people, our institutions, and our best intentions.
Without intervention, the process of death results in the most final form of death--complete alienation and enmity with God (from our point of view). We come to hate all things righteous and good. We despise the Light and prefer darkness. Since this is the state of human beings who have cut themselves off from communion with God, we substitute many things and create a false life, mistaking wealth, fame, youth, sex, emotions, and so forth for true life.
Seeing all of this as true of humanity, the Orthodox Christian faith does not generally view humanity as having a legal or juridicial problem. It is not that we did something wrong and now owe a debt we cannot pay, or are being punished with death--though such a metaphor can be used and has its usefulness. But we need more than a change in our legal status; we need a change in our ontological status--that is, we must be filled with nothing less than the Life of God in order to be healed, forgiven, and made new. Jesus did not come to make bad men good; He came to make dead men live.
 

stugatz

Pelican
Catholic
It depends on the individual parish and denomination. Certain ones require confession weekly while others require it "seasonally" (like 2-4 times per year). The one parish we attend is so large it would take the priest 3 full days to hear confessions so most people only go a few times per year and it's expected that you try to go before easter and Christmas. At the other parish the priest recommends it weekly but doesn't require it. I've heard that Romanian churches are the most strict and require confession every week. Orthodox don't believe in mortal and venial sins. We categorize all sins as equal. It's not up to us to decide which sins are "worse" than others, and it involves more than just the action, the intent and state of the heart must be considered. In our priests homily this morning he said each sin is putting another nail into the body of Christ, and we distance ourselves from God. Not that He ever leaves us, but that we reject Him in our hearts and all the grace He is offering to us.
Thank you so much for your answer, by the way. I've asked a ton of people this question and never got an answer this succinct.

I assume that this is the same in all Orthodox churches (Oriental and Eastern)? I never quite understood the difference between those two - they're in partial communion, but the Coptic mass I attended seemed very similar to the Greek Orthodox mass I'd attended.

(Although the Coptic masses clock in at nearly THREE HOURS on a regular weekend. They also fast far more than the East, and their fasts tend to be very specific, too...to the point where I think they actually have more fasting days in a year than normal days.)
 

kingtg

 
Banned
Woman
Orthodox
Orthodox Christianity reject the infallibility of the pope, as where Catholicism Christianity gives power to the pope in matters of doctrine.
Observation: This is one reason why Orthodox Christianity, in terms of religion (man-made), may be more appealing as a spiritual path for those not finding individual values aligned with Catholicism.

The pope is not a "de jure leader of the entire church." Why should the pope even be considered at such a level?

The Schism of 1054
The Great Schism, by which half of Orthodoxy fell away into grave heresy, was obviously Satan’s doing. The greatest church tragedy is closely followed by the watering down of the faith by Athenagora’s ecumenical heresy.
On the other hand, Orthodoxy is not a man made religion, it is not even a religion, but the truth taught and instructed by God Himself. Yes, it is passed down through generations by man, through the Holy Sirit, but made by God. It respects the tradition started by Christ Himself.
Papacy is obviously wrong for the many reasons we already know, and not even worth spending much time debating it, unless trying to argue a Catholic looking into Orthodoxy. Otherwise, I find it draining.
 
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kingtg

 
Banned
Woman
Orthodox
Some say yes, some say no. It's not dogmatic.

You're welcome!
Yes, Theotokos has the originar sin as THE ONLY sin. God could not have put His throne and becoming man from anyone but a sinless person. Hard to imagine, judging by our fallen nature and passion driven lives, but She was indeed without sin of Her own, pure as snow :)
 

kingtg

 
Banned
Woman
Orthodox
Hi all,

Recently I have joined a Bible study group, and as an Orthodox Christian, I am not sure on whether some of the things mentioned in the Bible study are what I should be learning. I am fairly new to the Bible itself, but the facilitator of the group has said she is non-denominational and really emphasizes "according to the scriptures". Is this Sola Scriptura? Why is Orthodoxy opposed to Sola Scriptura? How can I know I am being taught Protestant teachings? I was hoping to find an Orthodox study group, but very difficult to do. The facilitator is very knowledgeable about the Bible, but I am just confused on whether I should continue. I was hoping somebody might have insights? There is also a huge focus on prophecy in the OT etc. She has also been focusing a lot on Isaiah 52:14 and the appearance of Jesus "Just as there were many who were appalled at him -- his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness".

Something just doesn't feel right!
I’d urge you to only join Orthodox bible studies, or study on your own, asking your spiritual father any questions you may have.
 

kingtg

 
Banned
Woman
Orthodox
Hi all,

Recently I have joined a Bible study group, and as an Orthodox Christian, I am not sure on whether some of the things mentioned in the Bible study are what I should be learning. I am fairly new to the Bible itself, but the facilitator of the group has said she is non-denominational and really emphasizes "according to the scriptures". Is this Sola Scriptura? Why is Orthodoxy opposed to Sola Scriptura? How can I know I am being taught Protestant teachings? I was hoping to find an Orthodox study group, but very difficult to do. The facilitator is very knowledgeable about the Bible, but I am just confused on whether I should continue. I was hoping somebody might have insights? There is also a huge focus on prophecy in the OT etc. She has also been focusing a lot on Isaiah 52:14 and the appearance of Jesus "Just as there were many who were appalled at him -- his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness".

Something just doesn't feel right!
I’d urge you to only join Orthodox bible studies, or study on your own, asking youri spiritual father any questions you may have.
@DanielH (@Mrs.DanielH ) in another thread (men's forum) you stated the following, could you please expand upon this concept. It helps to see the differences between Catholicism and Orthodox:



Any guidance is appreciated.
The problem with the immaculate conception is that it anullls the human nature of Christ: if Virgin Mary would be divine and not human, Christ’s entire first coming would be illogical, why go through all that trouble of being born, coming of age, dying on the cross? On the contrary, He took human nature so that he can EMPATHIZE with us( he felt hunger, cold, pain, etc. )
In Orthodoxy everything makes sense and has meaning.
 

DeFide

 
Banned
I’d urge you to only join Orthodox bible studies, or study on your own, asking youri spiritual father any questions you may have.

The problem with the immaculate conception is that it anullls the human nature of Christ: if Virgin Mary would be divine and not human, Christ’s entire first coming would be illogical, why go through all that trouble of being born, coming of age, dying on the cross? On the contrary, He took human nature so that he can EMPATHIZE with us( he felt hunger, cold, pain, etc. )
In Orthodoxy everything makes sense and has meaning.
Nonsense. The Immaculate Conception simply means that the Blessed Virgin Mary’s soul was preserved from that taint of original sin which all others inherit from our first parents. It was really an anticipated baptism, a redemption of Mary's soul by prevention of sin's contamination and through the merits of Christ. The Eternal Son of God would not enter this world through a defiled doorway. The immunity from original sin was given to Mary by a singular exemption from a universal law through the same merits of Christ, by which other men are cleansed from sin by baptism. Mary needed the redeeming Savior to obtain this exemption, and to be delivered from the universal necessity and debt (debitum) of being subject to original sin. The person of Mary, in consequence of her origin from Adam, should have been subject to sin, but, being the new Eve who was to be the mother of the new Adam, she was, by the eternal counsel of God and by the merits Christ withdrawn from the general law of original sin. Her redemption was the very masterpiece of Christ’s redeeming wisdom. He is a greater redeemer who pays the debt that it may not be incurred than he who pays after it has fallen on the debtor.

Your assertion that Christ Jesus the Eternal Son of God took human nature to “empathize” with us is simply heretical, offensive, and blasphemous. Christ assumed human nature to redeem us.
 
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kingtg

 
Banned
Woman
Orthodox
That's nonsense and strawmanning of the Catholic position. Being immaculate is not the same thing as being "divine" (i.e. being God). For Catholics, Mary is immaculate but she isn't God.
That's nonsense and strawmanning of the Catholic position. Being immaculate is not the same thing as being "divine" (i.e. being God). For Catholics, Mary is immaculate but she isn't God.
Do Catholics believe Theotokos was or was not born with the originar sin? “Immaculate” sounds very much like She was not and that is incorrect. ALL humans inherited Adam & Eve’s fallen human nature. It is up to our will and God’s grace to sanctify it.
 

messaggera

Kingfisher
Woman
Catholic
The Great Schism, by which half of Orthodoxy fell away into grave heresy, was obviously Satan’s doing. The greatest church tragedy is closely followed by the watering down of the faith by Athenagora’s ecumenical heresy.
On the other hand, Orthodoxy is not a man made religion, it is not even a religion, but the truth taught and instructed by God Himself. Yes, it is passed down through generations by man, through the Holy Sirit, but made by God. It respects the tradition started by Christ Himself.
Papacy is obviously wrong for the many reasons we already know, and not even worth spending much time debating it, unless trying to argue a Catholic looking into Orthodoxy. Otherwise, I find it draining.

Orthodox Christianity reject the infallibility of the pope, as where Catholicism Christianity gives power to the pope in matters of doctrine.
Observation: This is one reason why Orthodox Christianity, in terms of religion (man-made), may be more appealing as a spiritual path for those not finding individual values aligned with Catholicism.

The pope is not a "de jure leader of the entire church." Why should the pope even be considered at such a level?

The Schism of 1054

Twenty plus years of Catholicism, years reading about foreign religions (to better credit Christ), to come to the conclusion (and back to the beginning) Jesus Christ is the truth and the way to our salvation, and the path to our return home to our Father in Heaven.

This is why I find (man-made) religion divisive among Christians. The answer is Christ, but we have many denominations of Christianity. Instead of embracing Christianity for what it is (not a religion, but the truth and the way) it appears as if Christians separate themselves through religion.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3

Would someone be able to provide references in the Bible specific to discussing religion? I guess the topic of Church would be the starting point.

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. Act 20:28

Not trying to cause controversy, just seeking interpretations.
 
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