Protestantism vs Orthodoxy

Trewolla

Sparrow
I've been reading along and trying to gain an understanding of the Orthodox Church and to me it boils down to this:

How does a member of the Orthodox Church conduct his day to day life differently than that of a non Orthodox Protestant Christian?
 

MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
I've been reading along and trying to gain an understanding of the Orthodox Church and to me it boils down to this:

How does a member of the Orthodox Church conduct his day to day life differently than that of a non Orthodox Protestant Christian?
Generally it will involve several sessions of formatted prayer time in addition to the free form random prayers, participation in the Sacraments of Confession and/or Communion depending on the day and how the person’s parish operates, and fasting for at least a third of the year.
 

OrthoCole

Sparrow
Orthodox Catechumen
I think you downplay the authority the Church in the Book of Acts is attesting to the Scriptures. James cites Scripture and then says therefore I judge. He doesn't cite himself and say therefore I judge. Big difference.
Exactly, He judges with the others in the Council. They have authority to make these judgements and bind the Church to them, and these judgements are explicitly stated to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. This is the achilles heel of your argument.

Does your local Pastor have the ability to bind people to his judgements on Scripture? Of course not. Most Protestant Pastors wouldn't view themselves as having such an authority, even if they were to reason correctly from the Scriptures.

But it's very clear that the Apostles, Elders and Brethren who attended this Council viewed themselves as having this authority. Which highlights that the various Protestant churches are not the same Church of the Apostles.
Of course it does. Why would they cite it if it was ineffectual?
I never said it was ineffectual.
Exactly wrong. The Council came to it's final conclusion using Scripture as the authority.
They are reasoning from the Scriptures but their judgement (which is not found within the Scripture St. James cited) is from the Council which also has authority. Which is why they can bind the Church to the canon.
They did not claim infallibility of their own selves (any heretical group can convene a council and claim infallible "holy" tradition).
Of course they don't have infallibility "of their own selves." The writers of the Scriptures both Old and New weren't infallible "of their own selves." Infallibility comes from inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the authority comes from Christ.
What would be the need of citing Scripture if the Council was innately infallible in and of itself?
I can turn that line of reasoning around on you as well... What was the need to hold a Council, let alone bind the Church to it's decision, if they just needed the Scriptures alone. The Apostles would've never presumed to do such a thing if they did not have the authority. And the Churches in Antioch, Syria and Callicia could've just ignored it if this were the case.
The Scriptures are Divinely Inspired from which the Church may draw from it's authority.
But the Israel of God is prior to the Scriptures. We know the legitimacy and efficacy of the Scriptures because of the witness from the Church throughout the ages. The Scriptures did not fall from the sky to begin making pronouncements and exercising authority. But came from a community of people (the Church) in union with God.
The Eastern Orthodox Church claims to be that Church in Acts but just by looking at the early Church described in the text we can see strong dissimilarities.
We will have to agree to disagree on that.
If that's the straw-man you wish to cling to, sure.

If we reject the rightful authority of the Scriptures then we reject the very Word of God.
We don't reject the Word of God, the faithful worship Him every Divine Liturgy and partake of His precious Body & Blood, and the words of Scripture attest to this fact.
 

Cleotis

Pigeon
I came across this video recently where the “Rev.” Nadia Borz-Weber — a heavily tattooed female Lutheran woman-pastor —gives a minute and a half rundown of Lutheranism’s atrocious “theology”.


Yikes!!! I really do think the Lutheran sect has probably the wickedest soteriology in all of Protestantism. It also might explain something I have noticed previously, which is that so many infamous murderers just happen to have been devout churchgoing Lutherans (e.g. the BTK killer, John List, “Rev.” Tom Bird, Dr. George Tiller)…At least with Calvinists and OSAS people, they add the caveat that if someone is hellbent on living an evil life, that person was probably never truly “saved” in the first place, and that genuine faith is accompanied by good works. Compare that with Luther’s “be a sinner and sin boldly!” attitude.
 

lskdfjldsf

Pelican
Orthodox Catechumen
Gold Member
How does a member of the Orthodox Church conduct his day to day life differently than that of a non Orthodox Protestant Christian?

It's certainly more active, structured, and guided. While I don't question the faith or sincerity of Protestants who make God the center of their lives, I observe that in many ways they are left to their own devices to live out such a life. There is regular fasting throughout the week/year, Saturday worship at Vespers, and also a more involved annual calendar (still learning about this). Focused prayer is an integral part of the day, with icon corners set up to make your home a "mini church". At all times the lives of the Saints are held up as role models, so you spend much more time learning about practical examples of holy lives throughout all of the above.
 

GodfatherPartTwo

Kingfisher
Exactly, He judges with the others in the Council. They have authority to make these judgements and bind the Church to them, and these judgements are explicitly stated to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. This is the achilles heel of your argument.

Does your local Pastor have the ability to bind people to his judgements on Scripture? Of course not. Most Protestant Pastors wouldn't view themselves as having such an authority, even if they were to reason correctly from the Scriptures.

But it's very clear that the Apostles, Elders and Brethren who attended this Council viewed themselves as having this authority. Which highlights that the various Protestant churches are not the same Church of the Apostles.
You paint with very broad strokes. Where do you think the word Presbyterian comes from? Presbuteros like we see here in Acts 15. The Pastor and Elders of a Presbyterian Church certainly have the right to teach, preach, discipline, excommunicate, etc. This does not mean they have the right to teach something contrary to Scripture.

I never said it was ineffectual.

They are reasoning from the Scriptures but their judgement (which is not found within the Scripture St. James cited) is from the Council which also has authority. Which is why they can bind the Church to the canon.
The argument was that if Scripture says that the Gentiles would come to the Lord then the Church ought not place a yoke of bondage on the Gentiles. Why are you pretending that the Scripture did not inform and authorize their judgement?

Of course they don't have infallibility "of their own selves." The writers of the Scriptures both Old and New weren't infallible "of their own selves." Infallibility comes from inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the authority comes from Christ.
Agreed, which is why I believe the Holy Scriptures are infallible and ultimately authoritative.

I can turn that line of reasoning around on you as well... What was the need to hold a Council, let alone bind the Church to it's decision, if they just needed the Scriptures alone. The Apostles would've never presumed to do such a thing if they did not have the authority. And the Churches in Antioch, Syria and Callicia could've just ignored it if this were the case.
Because as I keep mentioning and you keep ignoring, Tradition has it's place but it must ultimately be guided under the God-Breathed Scriptures. If the Apostles had the innate authority and infallibility that you are supposing there would be no need for them to convene with each other and cite Scripture to come to a conclusion.

But the Israel of God is prior to the Scriptures.
So? That makes Israel greater than or equal to God's Law (the Scriptures)? Read the Old Testament and see what the commands are for Israel's subservience to the Scriptures. I believe Christ said it best to the Pharisees when he confronted them on trading in the Word of God for Traditions of Men.

We know the legitimacy and efficacy of the Scriptures because of the witness from the Church throughout the ages. The Scriptures did not fall from the sky to begin making pronouncements and exercising authority. But came from a community of people (the Church) in union with God.
We know the legitimacy and efficacy of the Scriptures because the Holy Spirit causes us to see the Truth (John 16:13). Why the straw-men? No one is saying the Scriptures fell from the sky. They did not come from a community of people. They came from God through men (2 Peter 1:20-21). Big difference in the origin of the Scriptures.

We will have to agree to disagree on that.

We don't reject the Word of God, the faithful worship Him every Divine Liturgy and partake of His precious Body & Blood, and the words of Scripture attest to this fact.
You lowered my guard when you said you were genuinely curious.

I said if we reject the rightful authority of the Scriptures, which is above what men in the Church say, then we reject the very Word of God.
 

OrthoCole

Sparrow
Orthodox Catechumen
You lowered my guard when you said you were genuinely curious.
I'll just leave it at that then. It's not my intention to make you feel ambushed or anything. I wanted to provide counter arguments in order to better flesh out the positions. Thank you for engaging, God Bless!
 
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GodfatherPartTwo

Kingfisher
I'll just leave it at that then. It's not my intention to make you feel ambushed or anything. I wanted to provide counter arguments in order to better flesh out the positions. Thank you for engaging, God Bless!
I don't see you or I convincing each other but I appreciate the opportunity to discuss with you and help elucidate some positions that are habitually mischaracterized. God bless you!
 

Lawrence87

Woodpecker
Orthodox
If one is Protestant (even though they don't like labels and is only seen as such by others) and is not Orthodox, what does that mean to God?

The Orthodox position is that it isn't really possible for us to know how God will judge those outside the Orthodox Church.

It doesn't say their salvation is guaranteed, nor does it say that they are condemned just for not being Orthodox.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
Steven Anderson knew you'd say that!

100x more people become Independent Fundemental Baptists because they like hearing Steven Anderson call out homosexuals and Jews on the internet than through studying Church history.

I must say, that although Pastor Anderson is largely correct about the LGBT and ((Amish)) problem, he does not appears to tell the truth in a spirit of love, but rather with a somewhat hate-filled zeal.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
I think St. Paisios said it well here:

View attachment 34474

Yes, though in general it's good to avoid getting into debates with the heterodox, unless you have a clear noetic vision that has been cultivated through struggle. Our great interlocutors, such as St. Mark of Ephesus and St. Athanasius, had this experience of theoria, in addition to being learned men.

See the words of St. Theophan the Recluse, which I cited earlier in this thread.
 

Trewolla

Sparrow
Interesting quote from St. Paisios.

Is it typical of Orthodox Christians to think of non Orthodox Protestants as being "antichrists"?

That seems a bit extreme.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
Interesting quote from St. Paisios.

Is it typical of Orthodox Christians to think of non Orthodox Protestants as being "antichrists"?

That seems a bit extreme.

Read the quote. St. Paisios is advising Orthodox not to tell the heterodox that they are antichrists. He isn't commenting on whether they actually are antichrist. Only God can judge the hearts of men.
 

Lawrence87

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Interesting quote from St. Paisios.

Is it typical of Orthodox Christians to think of non Orthodox Protestants as being "antichrists"?

That seems a bit extreme.

It's not something I've encountered.

There can be a temptation among the Orthodox to be hyper-correct, my guess is he is addressing those who have fallen into this temptation. The kinds of Orthodox who think your salvation is in danger if you cross yourself in the wrong way or something (a bit of an extreme caricature, but you get what I mean).
 
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MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
Interesting quote from St. Paisios.

Is it typical of Orthodox Christians to think of non Orthodox Protestants as being "antichrists"?

That seems a bit extreme.
It really depends on both the Orthodox person and the non-Orthodox person. I definitely view the kind of Protestant that screeches and rants against the priesthood, the Trinity, Holy Baptism, the Eucharist, other Sacraments, and the Church as being guided by an antichrist spirit. To me the difference is mostly whether the person just “doesn’t know what they don’t know” or consciously attacks Apostolic Christianity.
 

orthobulgarian

Pigeon
Orthodox
How does a member of the Orthodox Church conduct his day to day life differently than that of a non Orthodox Protestant Christian?
Well similar question challenges me those days, but vice versa: How the heterodox (with the exception of the Catholic and Oriental Orthodox) actually live as Christians when they doesn’t have at hand any sacraments, or calendar or even authoritative theology for guidance, but only reading the Scriptures on random and relied only on scholarly high criticism works as authoritative. I mean, in everyday life of the Orthodox even the daily prayers are full of poetical theology and reading them with the daily portion Live of the saint would make your worldview way more Evangelical than reading Bible without understanding and academically criticism that don’t really tells you anything meaningful.
 

Liviu

Sparrow
Orthodox
From my perspective, as a Christian-orthodox theologian, is a catastrophe only when an orthodox becomes Protestant. If a Protestant American or west European can`t take orthodoxy I think he still has good chances to salvation. God is not absurd. When the great orthodox spiritual father Sophrony Saharov (from Essex, England) has been aproached by Klaus Kenneth, a Protestant Swiss, he advised him to find his own peace in his own belief in Jesus Christ.But of course, Kenneth felt father Sophrony prayed for him to find the right path. Kenneth, eventually became orthodox and goes every year to father`s Sophrony tomb.
Here, a devoted Christian-orthodox priest, discussing friendly with a Protestant, explains orthodoxy in the broader Christian perspective. I think this is one the best way of aproaching the differences between Christians

 

orthobulgarian

Pigeon
Orthodox
From my perspective, as a Christian-orthodox theologian, is a catastrophe only when an orthodox becomes Protestant. If a Protestant American or west European can`t take orthodoxy I think he still has good chances to salvation.
I view it in similar manner that I can summarise that way: We know that the purpose of life is Theosis and Theosis by it’s essence is to make one’s will in accordance with God’s will. So the main problem here would be how to understand what the God’s will actually is. I talk about living process and everyday situations, not for endless Bible quote mining for verses out of context, but for something that happens after the purification of the heart. So if one is sincere and it’s God’s will he can approach God in any faith and culture by listening to his good conscience for example. But the obvious stumbling stone here would be heterodox theology that teaches person morality which is different from the Orthodox. Other thing would be the missing Grace that we receive as members of the Church by God from participating in the Church life. Of course in the good scenario God would bring this heterodox person with good conscience and truth seeking heart to Holy Orthodoxy as we’ve seen with the lives of many, even in this forum. So to evangelise to the heterodox should be something good. On other hand a person outside Orthodoxy is like the lost sheep and doesn’t have any defence against evil at all.
 
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