Protestantism vs Orthodoxy

GodfatherPartTwo

Kingfisher
If a doctrine started some 1.500 years after the Church was founded, it's very likely a heresy. Don't fool yourself.
It started in Paul's letters and in the Gospel of John. The whole 1,500 year thing gets tiresome when canonized Saints within that time period have pointed to Unconditional Election; that God elects according to His Will and not based on our actions.
 

OrthoSerb

Pigeon
Orthodox
If you do not believe in the Gospel message then there's no need to continue this discussion.
That's a bit of a straw man. You're equating your interpretation of scripture with "the Gospel message". Lo and behold every denomination under the sun believes they have the right interpretation. I have a simple question for you - who is the most saintly individual you can point to from amongst those you regard as the elect?
 
If a doctrine started some 1.500 years after the Church was founded, it's very likely a heresy. Don't fool yourself.
I said, Unconditional election was taught not only by Augustine, but by several people. You could have asked by who. Gottschalk of Orbais, Gregory of Rimini, Thomas Bradwardine. These men taught the doctrine in very clear words. If Augustine taught it, which he did, it did not start 1500 years after the Church was founded.

In previous posts I quoted Scripture and gave a short exegesis, but I would recommend to read the Canons of Dort and Calvin's Institutes on election (Book 3, chapter 21-24). You will find the doctrine taught from Scripture and defended against objections that you probably have. You should actually read these sources and see for yourself if the doctrine is biblical or not. I did not always believe in unconditional election and had the same objections that you have, but the Bible just teaches it.

God Bless.
 

OrthoSerb

Pigeon
Orthodox
Jesus who said He will never cast out whomever the Father gives to Him. John 6.
Any created being since then? What I'm getting at is that if this was sound and true doctrine that you preach I would expect incomparable fruits - incomparable sanctity. Instead since the reformation, I see the eradication of saints and the secularisation of spiritual life. The individuals that rediscovered how to interpret the Bible properly and that reasoned that they were the elect couldn't produce one saint to compare to any number that the Church has produced. Instead they produced thousands of denominations. In the Church I see saints left, right and centre right up to the present day. You can actually see spiritual fruits.
 

The Beast1

Peacock
Gold Member
Ten pages in and no one has mentioned the early attempt by Philip Melanchton's (Martin Luther's best friend and right hand Reformation man) attempt at creating a union with the Church of the East? It's quite the story and the responses by the Patriarch of Constantinople during the latter half of 16th century are delightfully Orthodox.

First, some background. Philip Melanchton was a Greek and Christian theologian professor at Wittenburg who was a close friend and confidant of Martin Luther. As we all know, the Reformation was a rebellion against Latin Catholicism and thusly the Augsburg Confession (what it means to be a Lutheran) is essentially a repudiation of what it means to be Latin Catholic.

Philip Melanchton believed eventually that Lutheranism would simply become indistinguishable with Orthodoxy since he (correctly) viewed the Church of the East as the true church of Christ.

Towards the end of his life, Melanchton became dismayed at the disagreements and disunity of the Lutheran movement. Martin Luther already passed on and the political situation in Germany was causing division within and without. Fortuitously, he met a gent by the name of Demetrius of Thessalonica. Demetrius understood the difficulties of the young movement and sympathized with the Reformation.

Melanchton wanted to settle these differences once and for all by unifying the Lutheran movement with the Church of Asia (Orthodoxy) who he felt went through a similar debacle as the Lutherans did (Great Schism) and were for all intents in purposes, unified in by their spirit and desire to be one with the original teachings of the apostles. Demetrius translated the Augsburg Confession into Greek (Melanchton read and approved its translation) and asked Demetrius to send a letter and copy of the Greek Augsberg Confession to Joasaph II, Patriarch of Constantinople. The year was 1559.

Sadly, shortly after Demetrius left. Melanchton passed away in 1560, never having the opportunity to respond to the Patriarch and leaving the effort in the hands of his colleagues, students, and protegés. Unfortunately, what happens next is a combination of culture clash and lost mail which aggravated the entire situation to failure.

Scholars disagree on whether or not Melancthon's original letter made it to the Patriarch. Joasaph II was either aware of the Reformation before Demetrius presented the Greek translation of the Augsburg Confession to him or learned about it directly from Demetrius . Regardless, the initial attempt that Melanchton tried was either lost or dismissed.

Here's an interesting blog post on the subject, although some of what is said seems dubious to me given my readings into other scholarly sources:
Lutherans Write the Patriarch: How the “German Orthodox Church” Almost Happened / Православие.Ru (pravoslavie.ru)
And if you are REALLY interested, here's a book that was published containing the back and forth between the Lutheran academics and the Patriarch.
Augsburg and Constantinople: The Correspondence between the Tubingen Theologians and Patriarch Jeremiah II of Constantinople on the Augsburg Confession: Mastrantonis, George: 9780916586829: Amazon.com: Books

I will leave this here for others to pick up and disseminate because y'all can simply use the Patriarch's replies as reasons why Orthodoxy is superior. The Patriarch took the time to respond to each and every article of the Augsburg Confession which, to be bluntly honest, is an honest takedown of Lutheranism by the head man himself with citations from other earlier Saints explaining their justifications.

There are also mentions of Calvinist beliefs separately. The Patriarch and the Orthodox religious community took great umbrage many of their concepts.

Jeramais II's 2nd to last reply hits the hardest:
And so, most learned Germans, most beloved sons in Christ of Our Mediocrity, as you desire with wisdom and after great counsel and with your whole minds to join yourselves with us to what is the most holy Church of Christ, we, speaking like parents who love their children, gladly receive your charity and humanity into the bosom of our Mediocrity, if you are willing to follow with us the apostolic and synodical traditions and to subject yourselves to them. Then at last truly and sincerely one house will be built with us … and so out of two Churches God’s benevolence will make as it were one, and together we shall live until we are transferred to the heavenly fatherland.
TL;Dr, the Lutherans were going through what was essentially a, "teenage rebellion". The Patriarch's response back to them was simply,"been there, done that, have a t-shirt, follow us in ecclestical and synodal union so we can get you up to speed on our 3-400 odd year theological beliefs since the Great Schism, and we can all be BFFs together."

Sadly, the breakdown was final when the Lutherans reply was them arguing with native Greek speakers on their interpretation of Greek scripture. Oops! This is where it all falls apart with a final response from the Patriarch being:
”Go your own way, and do not send us further letters on doctrine but only letters written for the sake of friendship.”
Makes you wonder, what could have been had Melanchton lived just a decade more or even had taken a trip to Constantinople to meet with the Patriarch.
 
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tractor

Woodpecker
Orthodox
It started in Paul's letters and in the Gospel of John. The whole 1,500 year thing gets tiresome when canonized Saints within that time period have pointed to Unconditional Election; that God elects according to His Will and not based on our actions.

No it didn't start in Paul's letters, neither in the Gospel of John. And certainly no saint would affirm such a lunacy.
 

tractor

Woodpecker
Orthodox
I said, Unconditional election was taught not only by Augustine, but by several people. You could have asked by who. Gottschalk of Orbais, Gregory of Rimini, Thomas Bradwardine. These men taught the doctrine in very clear words. If Augustine taught it, which he did, it did not start 1500 years after the Church was founded.

In previous posts I quoted Scripture and gave a short exegesis, but I would recommend to read the Canons of Dort and Calvin's Institutes on election (Book 3, chapter 21-24). You will find the doctrine taught from Scripture and defended against objections that you probably have. You should actually read these sources and see for yourself if the doctrine is biblical or not. I did not always believe in unconditional election and had the same objections that you have, but the Bible just teaches it.

God Bless.

I'm not intersted in heretical literature. Why do you keep trying to prove things never taught by the One Holy Apostolic Church with documents and writings of people outside the One Holy Apostolic Church?
 
@OrthoSerb An average Christian woman, being a good wife and mother, maybe being a good school teacher on top, produces spiritual fruits. There are millions of such saints, but they are actually so humble that we do not know about them.
 

GodfatherPartTwo

Kingfisher
No it didn't start in Paul's letters, neither in the Gospel of John. And certainly no saint would affirm such a lunacy.

Ephesians 1:11
English Standard Version

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

You mean this lunacy?

1 Corinthians 1:18
English Standard Version​

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
 

GodfatherPartTwo

Kingfisher
Any created being since then? What I'm getting at is that if this was sound and true doctrine that you preach I would expect incomparable fruits - incomparable sanctity. Instead since the reformation, I see the eradication of saints and the secularisation of spiritual life. The individuals that rediscovered how to interpret the Bible properly and that reasoned that they were the elect couldn't produce one saint to compare to any number that the Church has produced. Instead they produced thousands of denominations. In the Church I see saints left, right and centre right up to the present day. You can actually see spiritual fruits.
Saint Paul? Does that count?
No one who is a Protestant has spiritual fruits?
I've met Sanctified and non-sanctified Christians of all 3 major denominations.
 

OrthoSerb

Pigeon
Orthodox
@OrthoSerb An average Christian woman, being a good wife and mother, maybe being a good school teacher on top, produces spiritual fruits. There are millions of such saints, but they are actually so humble that we do not know about them.
Sure, I don't deny there are many humble people who produce fruits we don't know about. But who is the most saintly person you can actually point to? I'm sure you can point to many evil people in recent history, it shouldn't be difficult to point to those that you regard as holy.
 

OrthoSerb

Pigeon
Orthodox
Saint Paul? Does that count?
No one who is a Protestant has spiritual fruits?
I've met Sanctified and non-sanctified Christians of all 3 major denominations.
Nowhere did I say that Protestants don't have spiritual fruits. All I've done is ask for your best example. If you refuse to give one that's not on me. Given we disagree on the interpretation of St Paul's epistles, using him as an example of someone that was holy and agrees with your interpretation is completely circular. Why is it such a difficult question.
 
@The Beast1 The Book of Concord, the Lutheran book of confessions, refutes synergism. It teaches monergism, sola Fide and unconditional election. Melanchthon had synergistic views, but his soteriology was not Eastern Orthodox. Arminians and Eastern Orthodox believe in synergism, but there are still many differences. People correspond with each other, that is not a big deal. It might be interesting for scholars. God Bless.
 
Sure, I don't deny there are many humble people who produce fruits we don't know about. But who is the most saintly person you can actually point to? I'm sure you can point to many evil people in recent history, it shouldn't be difficult to point to those that you regard as holy.
John Calvin, John Owen. Take John Owen. You probably do not know him. Read about his life, that is the story of a saint. But I do not like the idea of measuring holiness.
 

OrthoSerb

Pigeon
Orthodox
John Calvin, John Owen. Take John Owen. You probably do not know him. Read about his life, that is the story of a saint. But I do not like the idea of measuring holiness.
Thank you for the direct answer. I won't pick apart who you've pointed to. You're right I have not heard of John Owen. The reason I ask the question is that I've never understood how Protestants reason that they've simultaneously rediscovered true doctrine but lost the ability to point to those they can unequivocally say were saints. The fact you feel uncomfortable with the idea of saints and describe it as "measuring holiness" is a case in point. I look at fairly recent saints like St Paisios of Mount Athos, St Seraphim of Sarov, St Nektarios of Aegina, St Silouan of Mount Athos, St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, St Joseph the Hesychast etc and its clear to me where the rest of us are in relation to them. And I don't see anything similar (to say the least) coming out of any of these other denominations that think they are God's gift to Biblical exegesis.
 
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Elipe

Pelican
Sure, I don't deny there are many humble people who produce fruits we don't know about. But who is the most saintly person you can actually point to? I'm sure you can point to many evil people in recent history, it shouldn't be difficult to point to those that you regard as holy.
The Protestants I know don't believe in special classes of "holiness". We believe that every believer is a priest of the holy nation of God (1 Peter 2:5, 9). As for sainthood, we believe that every believer is by definition a saint. That goes hand-in-hand with being a priest of a holy nation. So to that end, we do not believe in applying that label to anyone, alive or at home in Heaven. However, we do believe that there are believers who are especially demonstrative of their faith in their works, and these would be men and women that we honor, not with trophies, not with special titles and plaques, but with our love, appreciation, and expressions of gratitude for their hard work.

Such a man was my first pastor. He is a man who constantly works in the field of the Lord to gather the souls of the lost to Him. And God called him to establish a new church in a very godless place, and he uprooted everything he had, his whole life that he had spent at his original location and of his children, to leave all their friends and loved ones for a strange new place of darkness. He was, as the Bible advised as fit for an elder, above reproach.

There are also many Protestants who work as missionaries in underground churches in China. They face the danger of oppression, of imprisonment and even death, for teaching the Chinese about Jesus Christ in a way that does not worship or glorify the CCP or falsify Scripture as the official state churches do. I personally knew a few of them.

I would also argue that C.S. Lewis deserves a special mention.

There is also the story of Saeed Abedini, though he got #MeToo'd, but that does not deny the fact that he was responsible for a number of churches in Iran, also an oppressive regime for Christians.

I also had friends from my church who gladly volunteered to contribute to projects to help the poor, such as building playgrounds and shelters. While that's not as flashy as some other stories, the Lord still knows what they did and will give them their reward.

And then of course, how can I end this post on the internet without also remarking on the work that Andrew Torba is doing with Gab? I am not certain what denomination he is, but what he does would be considered commendable by the wise Protestant.

Vox Day may not necessarily be what you consider a traditionally holy man because he flouts many of the traditional rules and expectations we might have of a holy man, but it also cannot be denied that he believes in Christ and that he has produced the fruits thereof - he has produced some of the greatest, most influential Christian works of this century so far. The Irrational Atheist introduced several counter-arguments against New Atheist arguments. Those counter-arguments have entered the mainstream consciousness, such as the argument that religion is not a major cause of war. He also introduced strategies for combating the instruments of Satan's Globohomo - SJWism and political/corporate cuckery - in his books, SJWs Always Lie, Cuckservative, and Corporate Cancer.

Our gracious host, Roosh, can also attest to Vox Day's assistance in dealing with the SJW mob during a situation that would become a somewhat watershed moment for Roosh in his journey toward Christ.
 
@OrthoSerb Every Christian is a saint. Seraphim of Sarov is not holier than the average Christian woman I talked about. He probably would agree.

Regarding rediscovering doctrine, there are long books about the history of doctrine. It took the Church centuries to define and formulate Nicene Orthodoxy. The Bible teaches the Trinity and the two natures of Christ, but it takes time and controversy to formulate doctrine. Augustine and Pelagius was the first real battle on predestination. Augustine won. The Council of Orange followed Augustine, but softened his views. Gottschalk of Orbais then rediscovered Augustine's doctrine and went beyond him. He was a popular preacher and had influential support, but he was put down. Gregory of Rimini and Thomas Bradwardine taught very similar to Gottschalk, without facing any repercussions. Then the Reformers came along. But the most important question is: Is it Biblical?
 

The Beast1

Peacock
Gold Member
@The Beast1 The Book of Concord, the Lutheran book of confessions, refutes synergism. It teaches monergism, sola Fide and unconditional election. Melanchthon had synergistic views, but his soteriology was not Eastern Orthodox. Arminians and Eastern Orthodox believe in synergism, but there are still many differences. People correspond with each other, that is not a big deal. It might be interesting for scholars. God Bless.
Indeed I'm approaching this from a scholarly angle. For what it's worth, correspondence today is no big deal, but in the 16th century it was quite a big deal since no established mail routes existed. Writing and sending letters then was expensive and fraught with getting lost. I would caution couching modern expectation against those of the past.

Consequently, the book of Concord was published in 1580, well past Phil's and Marty's life and more as a response from the emperor's desire to calm the tensions created by unanswered religious questions from the original reformers. So much at that time was in flux and wasn't "solidified" until 1580s.

It's tough separating what is political versus religious since it was so intertwined in those days.

Regardless, I'm going to seek out the book I mentioned above.
 
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