The Orthodox Church

Panteleimon

Pigeon
Gold Member
In the past few months, I have felt this call to look into the Orthodox Church. I was raised Protestant, but feel like many denominations are being blown around too easily by the winds of societal change. I recently read the Way of the Pilgrim and the Mountain of Silence which really ignited my interest into the Orthodox church. While there is no Orthodox church in my current location, there are some a short drive away. I am starting this thread to get some forum input on what an Orthodox service is like, and what constitutes being an Orthodox believer. I want to show up to my first service knowing what is expected of me. Any website or book recommendations would be much appreciated. Thanks!
 

Apollo21

Woodpecker
That's interesting. I recently met a girl who is Orthodox(Ukraine).

I was surprised to learn that it's actually the Original Church of Jesus
and the Apostles. Even Christmas is celebrated on a different day(in Jan)

There probably isn't much difference except for the format of certain ceremonies.
I'm not an expert though. Just google it and call up an Orthodox Church.
 

Samseau

Owl
Gold Member
Orthodox churches represent the middle road between Cathlocism and Protestantism.

Catholics follow authority too blindly, while Protestants refuse to organize around any authority at all.

In the Orthodox communities, the Patriarch and Church authorities make up 50% of how things are done and they mainly use their authority for truly essential things such as communion, prayers said in church, certain moral teachings, etc.

The other 50% is left to the Priest's discretion, which they usually tailor to the needs of their audience, both material and physical. For example, in Boston, the priest there has an heavy emphasis on pluralism due to the diversity within the city, and they really stress lines like "there is neither jew nor greek nor male or female for you are all one in Christ," because the city is quite mixed. Conversely in lily White Pennsylvania they won't even talk about those lines. Sometimes the diversity talk can be quite faggy, however, and I do not think every Orthodox priest teaches the Bible as it should. I also do not really feel much of God's presence at the "diversity" Church I mentioned.

That said, Orthodox churches are run in this way which do prevent major conflicts we've seen develop in other denominations. The big reason Orthodox churches have declined at all is because of persecution. No other Church has suffered from persecution as the Orthodox. From Muslims to Talmudic Communists, so many of our members have been murdered. Tens of millions.
From: https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-53245-post-1223376.html#pid1223376

I hate to be that asshole that does the whole "Ortho vs. Catholic" thing, but the Orthodox Churches have more men than women. Only denomination in the world with this quality. Fraternity is very common in our churches. We barely pay attention to the women. Most of the time they are silent like they are supposed to be. I still see women with headscarves in service. We talk about things openly, for example talking about sex isn't going to get you thrown out of the group.
From: https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-53245-post-1223301.html#pid1223301
 

Samseau

Owl
Gold Member
As for attending services, you should attend a few without taking communion to see if the Church is a fit for you. See if you enjoy the Priest's sermons. Stay afterwards at the coffee hour and try talking to some of the men. See if anyone comes up to you. Most importantly, talk with the Priest. Ask him where is is from, how he became an Orthodox, and some of his favorite passages of the Bible.

If you decide to become a member, then you'll need to confess your sins to the Priest in private. He may require you to be baptized again, but perhaps not. Afterwards when you attend service, you're supposed to fast in the morning so you can take Communion as purely as possible. Fasting also means abstaining from sex. So ideally you take Communion after the regular morning prayers, followed up with a coffee.

Orthodox services tend be a bit longer than most other Churches. Mine last for two hours, but I've been to Orthodox churches that are only 1 hour.

Since there is only one Orthodox church in your area, I hope it works out for you. I know my Church has helped me more than words can describe. I would not know God without it.
 

Orion

Kingfisher
Gold Member
One important thing to note (Im Orthodox):

No church will suit your worldview or religious views entirely. Unlike in protestant churches, Orthodox church leaves inspection of your mind to God. In practice, Orthodoxy is primarily concerned with the actual ritual - fasting, Communion, confession, prayers and other religious ceremonies, pilgrimages, etc etc.

In majority ethnic communities, national and ethnic questions are also raised.

That being said, while Orthodox liturgy is the most pristine and traditional, Orthodox Church won't be able to identify with your modern problems that much, because clergy usually does not engage in it, and does not understand how REALLY inhospitable is environment to a modern male. You average priest will typically advise men to get married and have kids.

But that's OK, since that is not the highest concern of The Church, as much as it is to preserve traditions of ancient Apostolic Church (as they say it, the original).

Samseau said:
As for attending services, you should attend a few without taking communion to see if the Church is a fit for you. See if you enjoy the Priest's sermons. Stay afterwards at the coffee hour and try talking to some of the men. See if anyone comes up to you. Most importantly, talk with the Priest. Ask him where is is from, how he became an Orthodox, and some of his favorite passages of the Bible.

If you decide to become a member, then you'll need to confess your sins to the Priest in private. He may require you to be baptized again, but perhaps not. Afterwards when you attend service, you're supposed to fast in the morning so you can take Communion as purely as possible. Fasting also means abstaining from sex. So ideally you take Communion after the regular morning prayers, followed up with a coffee.

Orthodox services tend be a bit longer than most other Churches. Mine last for two hours, but I've been to Orthodox churches that are only 1 hour.

Since there is only one Orthodox church in your area, I hope it works out for you. I know my Church has helped me more than words can describe. I would not know God without it.
Here we fast entire week before Communion, and it is usually advised not to eat instantly after Communion.
 

da_zeb

Robin
Gold Member
Apollo21 said:
That's interesting. I recently met a girl who is Orthodox(Ukraine).

I was surprised to learn that it's actually the Original Church of Jesus
and the Apostles. Even Christmas is celebrated on a different day(in Jan)

There probably isn't much difference except for the format of certain ceremonies.
I'm not an expert though. Just google it and call up an Orthodox Church.
The Ukrainian or Russian Orthodox Church to which the girl was referring is just one of many churches that can directly trace their lineage to Jesus and the twelve apostles. They consist of the Eastern Orthodoox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Catholic Churches (yes there are more than one). The groups of churches have schismed, that is, become separated from one another over issues of church doctrine. What really sets these churches apart from Protestant churches in addition to issue of doctrine is the issue of apostolic succession which means that every bishop within these churches can trace his authority back through a line of bishops to the Twelve Apostles.

Here's a potted history of these four groups of churches.


1. The Nestorian Heresy - creation of the Church of the East.

The first schism concerned the Nestorian heresy which concerned the divine and human natures of Christ and was condemned in the First Council of Ephesus 431 and the Council of Chalcedon twenty years later. Nestorians held that the divine and human natures of Christ were completely separate. Most of the Churches who supported the teachings of Nestorius (who at the time was the Patriarch of Constantinople) were found in what is now Syria, Iraq and Iran. This was largely due to the policy of the Persian Sassanid Empire which pressured local bishops to break ties with Christians in the Roman Empire. As a consequence these churches were anathematized from the universal Church and suppressed in areas under control of the Roman (Byzantine) Empire. The Schism was theoretically ended by a council of the Church of the East in 544 which repudiated the Nestorian doctrine but the churches never formally reunited.

In 1552 there was a schism within the Church of the East over the issue of hereditary succession of the church Patriarchs. A rival Patriarch was elected and bolstered his claim by reuniting his followers with the Catholic Church forming the Chaldean Catholic Church. The Assyrian Church of the East split again in 1964 over the issue of adopting the Gregorian Calendar in place of the Julian Calendar. The dissenters formed the Ancient Church of the East. The Assyrian Church of the East and the Catholic Church have resolved their doctrinal differences so while they are not yet in full communion with each other, there is no reason why they cannot reunite into a single Church and there are proposals out there that they do. If reunification took place this would not make Eastern Christians "Roman Catholics" just part of the Catholic Church of which Roman Catholicism is a single rite. They would continue to have their own liturgy, religious discipline (For example married men may serve as priests in Eastern Christianity including in the Chaldean Catholic Church), feast days etc.


2. The Monophysite Heresy - Creation of the Oriental Orthodox Churches

The second great schism occurred at the previously-mentioned Council of Chalcedon (451). Again the doctrinal controversy concerned the divine and human natures of Christ, but this time the dissenters who were subsequently called Monophysites (it was meant as an insult) held that Christ has a single nature, both human and divine or in other words the polar opposite of the Nestorians. The followers Miaphysite (as they call themselves) doctrine were centred around the Sees of Alexandria and Antioch and in Armenia while their opponents were found in Rome and Constantiople. Truth be told, while the Council of Chalcedon created a great deal of friction between the different factions, they still managed to rub along together for nearly a century before the Emperor Justinian sought to suppress the Miaphysites. They probably would have disappeared from history but for the rise of Islam and the loss of Syria and Egypt by the Eastern Empire.

Today they are known as the Oriental Orthodox and there are at present six Oriental Orthodox Churches. These are the three Coptic Churches of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church which is found in Syria and surrounding countries, and the Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church in India. These churches are all in communion with one another meaning they recognize the validity of each others' sacraments.

Their relations with other branches of Chritianity vary. The Syriac Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church have a long and complicated, but not particularly antagonistic history and probably would have reunited at some point but for the fact that the Ottoman government opposed it. Nevertheless many Syriac Orthodox did enter communion with the Catholic Church as the Syriac Catholic Church. On a formal level the churches have settled most of their doctrinal difference in the past half century and have reached an agreement permitting their laity to access the sacraments of the other church when necessary. The Syriac Orthodox Church is similar in its liturgy and other practices to the Eastern Orthodox Churches but there has been less dialogue though one has been started with the Russian Orthodox Church. Apparently there is still a hostility from some Greek Orthodox who see the Syriac Church as heretics.

The Armenian Apostolic Church also has very good relations with the Roman Catholic Church, in part because in many of its exterior symbols (such as Bishops mitres for example) the Armenian Church is closer to Western Christian practices than those of other Eastern Christian. There have been attempts to reunite the two churches since the time of the Crusades and there is an Armenian Catholic Church. Interestingly, on a parish level the laity and clergy of the two churches treat them as one even if they are hierarchically separate.

The Coptic Church which is the mother church of the Ethiopian and Eritrian Churches (they were formally part of the Coptic Church) has resolved its doctrinal differences with the Catholic Church and with the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria.


3. The Great Schism of 1054 - Division of the Church into Catholic and Eastern Orthodox

The last great schism was between what is now the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. It occurred in 1054 and had been preceded by a long build up of friction about various issues, mostly cultural in nature but that quickly became a matter of doctrine. The controversy which continues to this day surrounds the legitimacy of the "filioque" a short phrase added to the Nicean Creed on the authority of Pope Benedict VIII in 1014 but rejected by the Orthodox Church. This decision by Benedict also called into question the extent of the Pope's authority. Two councils were later called to try and resolve the differences between the Churches. The 2nd Council of Lyon in 1274 saw both the Byzantine Emperor and the Patriarch of Constantinople accept the filioque but popular opposition in the Eastern Church prevented the schism from being healed. At the Council of Florence in 1439 shortly before the fall of Constantinople, another agreement was reached between the Emperor, the Patriarch and other Eastern Bishops and the Western Church. As part of the agreement military aid was supposed to be sent to help the Byzantine Empire but none was forthcoming and after the fall of Constantinople the Ottomans needless to say, opposed any further attempts to promote Christian unity.

In 1595-96 at the Union of Brest, a large part of the Church of Rus - the Orthodox Church centred on Kiev formally united with the Roman Catholic church but retained its own liturgy and structure. However this was not popular with all its members and as Russia expanded at the expense of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth most people gradually reconverted to Orthodoxy. However the Ukrainian Catholic Church continued to thrive in the western parts of Ukraine that were ceded to Austria Hungary when Poland was partitioned in 1795. The Ukrainian Catholic Church was suppressed by the Soviet Union by forcibly merging it with the Orthodox Church. However after the fall of Communism it re-emerged much stronger than anyone anticipated which has strained relations between the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches.

Relations between the Eastern Orthodox Churches the main ones of which are the Russian, Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian, Serbian, and Georgian Orthodox Churches, and the Roman Catholic Church remain frosty to this day. The exception is the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople where Patriarchs since the 1940s have been in regular dialogue with the Roman Catholic Popes.

The schism between the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches seems the least likely to be healed any time soon.

Practically speaking, in western countries many Orthodox Christians end up attending Catholic Churches because Orthodox Churches are relatively few in number and also because they tend to tied to a particular ethnic group. The Catholic Church allows this. On the other hand, Eastern Orthodox Churches generally would not permit a Catholic to partake in the sacraments.
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
A lot of Orthodox churches seem to be based around a particular ethnic group. How common is it to find one that isn't so? I'd feel a bit strange attending one that was all Ukrainian or Russian and being the odd man out.
 

Samseau

Owl
Gold Member
Wutang said:
A lot of Orthodox churches seem to be based around a particular ethnic group. How common is it to find one that isn't so? I'd feel a bit strange attending one that was all Ukrainian or Russian and being the odd man out.
The reason for this is that Orthodox churches are pacifist. They leave issues of defense to the state. "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and give unto God's what is God's.

Conversely, the Catholics have always had an army (they still do), and are basically a state unto themselves.

Thus, Orthodox churches have always been regulated to their nationality out of necessity of self-defense, whereas Catholics would often times defer to their Church over their state as the Catholic church was usually more powerful than most states.

I agree this dynamic can create a feeling of exclusion to outsiders, but there still exist plural Orthodox communities such as the one in Cambridge, MA.
 

da_zeb

Robin
Gold Member
Samseau said:
Wutang said:
A lot of Orthodox churches seem to be based around a particular ethnic group. How common is it to find one that isn't so? I'd feel a bit strange attending one that was all Ukrainian or Russian and being the odd man out.
The reason for this is that Orthodox churches are pacifist. They leave issues of defense to the state. "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and give unto God's what is God's.

Conversely, the Catholics have always had an army (they still do), and are basically a state unto themselves.

Thus, Orthodox churches have always been regulated to their nationality out of necessity of self-defense, whereas Catholics would often times defer to their Church over their state as the Catholic church was usually more powerful than most states.

I agree this dynamic can create a feeling of exclusion to outsiders, but there still exist plural Orthodox communities such as the one in Cambridge, MA.
The Catholic Church hasn't had an army since the demise of the Papal States. And Eastern Orthodoxy has always been closely tied to State power and not out of any belief in pacifism, but rather out of historical circumstances. Constantine, in addition to making the Roman Empire officially Christian, moved the imperial capital to Byzantium. In the Eastern Empire the Emperors exercised a lot of influence over the Church. How else do you think Constantinople became the preeminent Patriarchate when the early church had recognized only the Bishops of Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria of having extra-territorial jurisdiction (on the basis of the first two sees having been founded by Peter, and Alexandria by his protege)? Emperors regularly inserted themselves into Ecclesiastical affairs. For example, the Council of Chalcedon was instigated by the Emperor. It's also worth noting that the first two attempts to heal the Great Schism of 1054 were initiated by the the emperors in hopes of obtaining military aid against the Ottomans and that they did reach agreement over the objections of most Orthodox clergy. So when state power butts up againt Orthodoxy, state power tends to win.

The situation in the Western Europe was of course completely different after the collapse of the Western Empire left the Church as the only universal institution. Even before the fall of Rome the Bishops of Rome had asserted their rights against the Byzantine Emperors. After the Rise of the Holy Roman Empire at the end of the 7th Century and the emergence of nation-states, various Kings and Emperors attempted to impose their control over the Church within their territories and despite some temporary successes (in being allowed to appoint Bishops, or most notoriously kidnapping the Pope and moving the Papacy to Avignon) they met with failure.

Back to the present though and Wutang's observation. The Orthodox Communion consists of national Churches which are in Communion with one another. It's one church but without a central administration such as the Catholic Church has. Thus when immigrants from Orthodox nations came to North America they parishes they formed remained part of their original Church. Thus there is a Greek Orthodox Diocese of America, a Serbian Orthodox Diocese etc. There was a Russian Orthodox Diocese of America but in 1971 the Russian Orthodox Church granted it Autocephaly or status as a self-governing Church and it is now known as the Orthodox Church in America although this status is not universally recognized as traditionally it is the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople that has jurisdiction over such matter. And to make matters even more confusing there are still parishes that belong to the Russian Orthodox Church operating in North America.

Because many if not most Orthodox Churches in North America are part of the national churches from which the founding immigrants emigrated they retain a very ethnic character. If you're Serbian Orthodox you can attend a Greek Orthodox Parish without any restrictions, but you'll probably feel a bit of an outsider. I'm sure it's even worse if you're a convert. Perhaps at some point there will be an Ecumenical Council that creates an Autocephalous Orthodox Church of North America and transfers all the existing North American parishes under its umbrella.
 

Samseau

Owl
Gold Member
da_zeb said:
Samseau said:
Wutang said:
A lot of Orthodox churches seem to be based around a particular ethnic group. How common is it to find one that isn't so? I'd feel a bit strange attending one that was all Ukrainian or Russian and being the odd man out.
The reason for this is that Orthodox churches are pacifist. They leave issues of defense to the state. "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and give unto God's what is God's.

Conversely, the Catholics have always had an army (they still do), and are basically a state unto themselves.

Thus, Orthodox churches have always been regulated to their nationality out of necessity of self-defense, whereas Catholics would often times defer to their Church over their state as the Catholic church was usually more powerful than most states.

I agree this dynamic can create a feeling of exclusion to outsiders, but there still exist plural Orthodox communities such as the one in Cambridge, MA.
The Catholic Church hasn't had an army since the demise of the Papal States.
False.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Guard

And Eastern Orthodoxy has always been closely tied to State power and not out of any belief in pacifism, but rather out of historical circumstances.
False. Orthodox have had the same beliefs as presented below since 1st century, AD.

http://oca.org/questions/society/war-and-non-violence
 

da_zeb

Robin
Gold Member
Samseau said:
da_zeb said:
Samseau said:
Wutang said:
A lot of Orthodox churches seem to be based around a particular ethnic group. How common is it to find one that isn't so? I'd feel a bit strange attending one that was all Ukrainian or Russian and being the odd man out.
The reason for this is that Orthodox churches are pacifist. They leave issues of defense to the state. "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and give unto God's what is God's.

Conversely, the Catholics have always had an army (they still do), and are basically a state unto themselves.

Thus, Orthodox churches have always been regulated to their nationality out of necessity of self-defense, whereas Catholics would often times defer to their Church over their state as the Catholic church was usually more powerful than most states.

I agree this dynamic can create a feeling of exclusion to outsiders, but there still exist plural Orthodox communities such as the one in Cambridge, MA.
The Catholic Church hasn't had an army since the demise of the Papal States.
False.
hav
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Guard

And Eastern Orthodoxy has always been closely tied to State power and not out of any belief in pacifism, but rather out of historical circumstances.
False. Orthodox have had the same beliefs as presented below since 1st century, AD.

http://oca.org/questions/society/war-and-non-violence
If you'd bothered to read the wikipedia article on the Swiss Guards then you'd know that they serve in the role of bodyguards, and that prior to the assassination attempt on the Pope in 1981 their role was almost entirely ceremonial. Given that their armament consists of pistols, assault rifles and submachine guns, I think it would be fair to say that they don't meet the definition of an army.

Your link to what the Orthodox believe about war and non-violence doesn't in any way contradict what I wrote about the close relationship between the Church and State in majority Orthodox nations. Both the Catholic Church and the main Protestant denominations teach the same thing regards to war and the desirability of non-violence.

I find it pretty ironic that the non-violent Orthodox Church assisted the Tsarist government in persecuting the radically-pacifist Doukhobors, and if not directly aiding the government in persecuting the pacifist Mennonites and Hutterites, didn't speak out against their mistreatment.
 

Samseau

Owl
Gold Member
da_zeb said:
Samseau said:
da_zeb said:
Samseau said:
Wutang said:
A lot of Orthodox churches seem to be based around a particular ethnic group. How common is it to find one that isn't so? I'd feel a bit strange attending one that was all Ukrainian or Russian and being the odd man out.
The reason for this is that Orthodox churches are pacifist. They leave issues of defense to the state. "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and give unto God's what is God's.

Conversely, the Catholics have always had an army (they still do), and are basically a state unto themselves.

Thus, Orthodox churches have always been regulated to their nationality out of necessity of self-defense, whereas Catholics would often times defer to their Church over their state as the Catholic church was usually more powerful than most states.

I agree this dynamic can create a feeling of exclusion to outsiders, but there still exist plural Orthodox communities such as the one in Cambridge, MA.
The Catholic Church hasn't had an army since the demise of the Papal States.
False.
hav
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Guard

And Eastern Orthodoxy has always been closely tied to State power and not out of any belief in pacifism, but rather out of historical circumstances.
False. Orthodox have had the same beliefs as presented below since 1st century, AD.

http://oca.org/questions/society/war-and-non-violence
If you'd bothered to read the wikipedia article on the Swiss Guards then you'd know that they serve in the role of bodyguards, and that prior to the assassination attempt on the Pope in 1981 their role was almost entirely ceremonial. Given that their armament consists of pistols, assault rifles and submachine guns, I think it would be fair to say that they don't meet the definition of an army.
500 men with highly trained pistols, assault rifles, and submachine guns don't count as an army... right.

:malehamster:

Your link to what the Orthodox believe about war and non-violence doesn't in any way contradict what I wrote about the close relationship between the Church and State in majority Orthodox nations. Both the Catholic Church and the main Protestant denominations teach the same thing regards to war and the desirability of non-violence.

I find it pretty ironic that the non-violent Orthodox Church assisted the Tsarist government in persecuting the radically-pacifist Doukhobors, and if not directly aiding the government in persecuting the pacifist Mennonites and Hutterites, didn't speak out against their mistreatment.
Again, the supposed "link" to the state Orthodox churches have with national governments comes from "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and give unto God's what is God's." They're pacifist and obey their governments. This is why they obeyed the Tsar even if the Tsar was doing evil things. Quite often the Church leaders did not know what the leaders were planning or doing either.

Conversely, the Catholics are not pacifist nor have they always obeyed national governments. They have an army (and almost always have had one) and have frequently bossed nation states around, which blew up in their faces with King Henry and the Protestant Reformation.
 

da_zeb

Robin
Gold Member
Samseau said:
da_zeb said:
Samseau said:
da_zeb said:
Samseau said:
The reason for this is that Orthodox churches are pacifist. They leave issues of defense to the state. "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and give unto God's what is God's.

Conversely, the Catholics have always had an army (they still do), and are basically a state unto themselves.

Thus, Orthodox churches have always been regulated to their nationality out of necessity of self-defense, whereas Catholics would often times defer to their Church over their state as the Catholic church was usually more powerful than most states.

I agree this dynamic can create a feeling of exclusion to outsiders, but there still exist plural Orthodox communities such as the one in Cambridge, MA.
The Catholic Church hasn't had an army since the demise of the Papal States.
False.
hav
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Guard

And Eastern Orthodoxy has always been closely tied to State power and not out of any belief in pacifism, but rather out of historical circumstances.
False. Orthodox have had the same beliefs as presented below since 1st century, AD.

http://oca.org/questions/society/war-and-non-violence
If you'd bothered to read the wikipedia article on the Swiss Guards then you'd know that they serve in the role of bodyguards, and that prior to the assassination attempt on the Pope in 1981 their role was almost entirely ceremonial. Given that their armament consists of pistols, assault rifles and submachine guns, I think it would be fair to say that they don't meet the definition of an army.
500 men with highly trained pistols, assault rifles, and submachine guns don't count as an army... right.

:malehamster:

Your link to what the Orthodox believe about war and non-violence doesn't in any way contradict what I wrote about the close relationship between the Church and State in majority Orthodox nations. Both the Catholic Church and the main Protestant denominations teach the same thing regards to war and the desirability of non-violence.

I find it pretty ironic that the non-violent Orthodox Church assisted the Tsarist government in persecuting the radically-pacifist Doukhobors, and if not directly aiding the government in persecuting the pacifist Mennonites and Hutterites, didn't speak out against their mistreatment.
Again, the supposed "link" to the state Orthodox churches have with national governments comes from "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and give unto God's what is God's." They're pacifist and obey their governments. This is why they obeyed the Tsar even if the Tsar was doing evil things. Quite often the Church leaders did not know what the leaders were planning or doing either.

Conversely, the Catholics are not pacifist nor have they always obeyed national governments. They have an army (and almost always have had one) and have frequently bossed nation states around, which blew up in their faces with King Henry and the Protestant Reformation.
The Swiss Guard consists of 110 men and their pistols, rifles, and submachine guns don't appear to be any more highly trained than my Dad's hunting rifles. ;) Conspicuous by their absence are any armoured vehicles, mortars, machine guns, or artillery of any sort.

You can read about their equipment here and while they've got some pretty cool and unique weapons they're less well equipped than police forces such as the Italian Carabinieri, or even the San Diego Unified School District Police Department

:malehamster: :malehamster:


As for your explanation of State-Church relations in the Orthodox world all I can say is Wow!... Just Wow! Perhaps it's just poor wording on your part buy you make it sound as if Caesar decides and the Church follows meekly. I'm not sure that is even the case in Russia where the Church has traditionally been very subserviant to the wishes of the government. I said there tend to be ties between the State and the Orthodox Church and that in the Byzantine Empire the Emperors had influence in the Church. Google is your friend.

"The life of Byzantium formed a unified whole, and there was no rigid line of separation between the religious and the secular, between Church and State: the two were seen as parts of a single organism. Hence it was inevitable that the Emperor played an active part in the affairs of the Church. Yet at the same time it is not just to accuse Byzantium of Caesaro-Papism, of subordinating the Church to the State. Although Church and State formed a single organism, yet within this one organism there vvere two distinct elements, the priesthood (sacerdotium) and the imperial power (imperium); and while working in close co-opcration, each of these elements had its own proper sphere in which it was autonomous. Between the two there was a 'symphony' or 'harmony', but neither element exercised absolute control over the other.

This is the doctrine expounded in the great code of Byzantine law drawn up under Justinian (see the sixth Novel) and repeated in many of the; Byzantine texts. Take for example the words of Emperor John Tzimisces: 'I recognize two authorities, priesthood and empire; the Creator of the world entrusted to the first the care of souls and to the second the control of men's bodies. Let neither authority be attacked, that the world may enjoy prosperity." Thus it was the Emperor's task to summon councils and to carry their decrees into effect, but it lay beyond his powers to dictate the content of those decrees: it was for the bishops gathered in council to decide what the true faith was. Bishops were appointed by God to teach the faith, whereas the Emperor was the protector of Orthodoxy, but not its exponent. Such was the theory, and such in great part was the practice also. Admittedly there were many occasions on which the Emperor interfered unwarrantably in ecclesiastical matters; but when a serious question of principle arose, the authorities of the Church quickly showed that they had a will of their own. Iconoclasm, for example, was vigorously championed by a whole series of Emperors, yet for all that it was successfully rejected by the Church. In Byzantine history Church and State were closely interdependent, but neither was subordinate to the other."


You need to quit defining your faith in opposition to Catholicism. It reeks of insecurity.
 

Samseau

Owl
Gold Member
My bad on the 500 members claim. Dunno where I got that number from. You are correct in the 130~ number. Perhaps not an army, but still a militia. :)

As for the text you quoted...

Iconoclasm, for example, was vigorously championed by a whole series of Emperors, yet for all that it was successfully rejected by the Church.
Sure it was rejected by the Church, after countless clergy were thrown in jail or persecuted. But they remained pacifist. They did not fight back against the state directly and merely protested with faith. It was a classic example of giving unto Caesar which is Caesar's and giving unto God which is God's.

And why wouldn't anyone be opposed to Catholicism? An infallible Pope is just plain ridiculous. No insecurity needed to understand that.
 

Orion

Kingfisher
Gold Member
da_zeb said:
Samseau said:
da_zeb said:
Samseau said:
da_zeb said:
The Catholic Church hasn't had an army since the demise of the Papal States.
False.
hav
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Guard

And Eastern Orthodoxy has always been closely tied to State power and not out of any belief in pacifism, but rather out of historical circumstances.
False. Orthodox have had the same beliefs as presented below since 1st century, AD.

http://oca.org/questions/society/war-and-non-violence
If you'd bothered to read the wikipedia article on the Swiss Guards then you'd know that they serve in the role of bodyguards, and that prior to the assassination attempt on the Pope in 1981 their role was almost entirely ceremonial. Given that their armament consists of pistols, assault rifles and submachine guns, I think it would be fair to say that they don't meet the definition of an army.
500 men with highly trained pistols, assault rifles, and submachine guns don't count as an army... right.

:malehamster:

Your link to what the Orthodox believe about war and non-violence doesn't in any way contradict what I wrote about the close relationship between the Church and State in majority Orthodox nations. Both the Catholic Church and the main Protestant denominations teach the same thing regards to war and the desirability of non-violence.

I find it pretty ironic that the non-violent Orthodox Church assisted the Tsarist government in persecuting the radically-pacifist Doukhobors, and if not directly aiding the government in persecuting the pacifist Mennonites and Hutterites, didn't speak out against their mistreatment.
Again, the supposed "link" to the state Orthodox churches have with national governments comes from "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and give unto God's what is God's." They're pacifist and obey their governments. This is why they obeyed the Tsar even if the Tsar was doing evil things. Quite often the Church leaders did not know what the leaders were planning or doing either.

Conversely, the Catholics are not pacifist nor have they always obeyed national governments. They have an army (and almost always have had one) and have frequently bossed nation states around, which blew up in their faces with King Henry and the Protestant Reformation.
The Swiss Guard consists of 110 men and their pistols, rifles, and submachine guns don't appear to be any more highly trained than my Dad's hunting rifles. ;) Conspicuous by their absence are any armoured vehicles, mortars, machine guns, or artillery of any sort.

You can read about their equipment here and while they've got some pretty cool and unique weapons they're less well equipped than police forces such as the Italian Carabinieri, or even the San Diego Unified School District Police Department

:malehamster: :malehamster:


As for your explanation of State-Church relations in the Orthodox world all I can say is Wow!... Just Wow! Perhaps it's just poor wording on your part buy you make it sound as if Caesar decides and the Church follows meekly. I'm not sure that is even the case in Russia where the Church has traditionally been very subserviant to the wishes of the government. I said there tend to be ties between the State and the Orthodox Church and that in the Byzantine Empire the Emperors had influence in the Church. Google is your friend.

"The life of Byzantium formed a unified whole, and there was no rigid line of separation between the religious and the secular, between Church and State: the two were seen as parts of a single organism. Hence it was inevitable that the Emperor played an active part in the affairs of the Church. Yet at the same time it is not just to accuse Byzantium of Caesaro-Papism, of subordinating the Church to the State. Although Church and State formed a single organism, yet within this one organism there vvere two distinct elements, the priesthood (sacerdotium) and the imperial power (imperium); and while working in close co-opcration, each of these elements had its own proper sphere in which it was autonomous. Between the two there was a 'symphony' or 'harmony', but neither element exercised absolute control over the other.

This is the doctrine expounded in the great code of Byzantine law drawn up under Justinian (see the sixth Novel) and repeated in many of the; Byzantine texts. Take for example the words of Emperor John Tzimisces: 'I recognize two authorities, priesthood and empire; the Creator of the world entrusted to the first the care of souls and to the second the control of men's bodies. Let neither authority be attacked, that the world may enjoy prosperity." Thus it was the Emperor's task to summon councils and to carry their decrees into effect, but it lay beyond his powers to dictate the content of those decrees: it was for the bishops gathered in council to decide what the true faith was. Bishops were appointed by God to teach the faith, whereas the Emperor was the protector of Orthodoxy, but not its exponent. Such was the theory, and such in great part was the practice also. Admittedly there were many occasions on which the Emperor interfered unwarrantably in ecclesiastical matters; but when a serious question of principle arose, the authorities of the Church quickly showed that they had a will of their own. Iconoclasm, for example, was vigorously championed by a whole series of Emperors, yet for all that it was successfully rejected by the Church. In Byzantine history Church and State were closely interdependent, but neither was subordinate to the other."


You need to quit defining your faith in opposition to Catholicism. It reeks of insecurity.
This is unfortunately the part where i have to say the unpopular "read some history" phrase, but you really need to get into it.

The best way to figure out the proportion of state/temporal vs church/spiritual power struggle is to read about conflict between Ghibelline Holy Roman Empire and it's House of Hohenstaufen , and Guelph faction and Popes.

Popes always had ambition to be rulers, and it finally came to an end during rise of nationalism in Europe. Just because recently, Vatican is a small state, does not simply abolish them from their roots. Even Mussolini, a dictator, gave in to their requests for a status of a recognized state, and fascists more than anyone, had ambitions to subjugate spiritual power to that of a state, so spirituality too would be governed by ruler.

However Mussolini was not as sharp as his predecessors.

But prior to reduction of Papal power, they ran serious armies and serious finances, which engaged in wars even with major powers from time to time, and certainly used other European and Italian rulers for their causes, causing much bitterness in their opponents, who could not renounce Catholicism thanks to it's huge influence, but had to endure humiliations, excommunications etc. from it's leaders.
 

da_zeb

Robin
Gold Member
Samseau said:
My bad on the 500 members claim. Dunno where I got that number from. You are correct in the 130~ number. Perhaps not an army, but still a militia. :)

As for the text you quoted...

Iconoclasm, for example, was vigorously championed by a whole series of Emperors, yet for all that it was successfully rejected by the Church.
Sure it was rejected by the Church, after countless clergy were thrown in jail or persecuted. But they remained pacifist. They did not fight back against the state directly and merely protested with faith. It was a classic example of giving unto Caesar which is Caesar's and giving unto God which is God's.

And why wouldn't anyone be opposed to Catholicism? An infallible Pope is just plain ridiculous. No insecurity needed to understand that.
This thread is about Orthodox Christianity - if you want to debate Papal infalliability, then maybe we should start a new thread.
 
I'm Catholic, but have great respect for my Orthodox brothers. My issues are not really with the Orthodox church in general (in some places, it seems closer to the Apostles than the Catholic Church). However, I have some issues with the theology (believe it or not, I think the leavened/unleavened nature of the Eucharist important).
 

da_zeb

Robin
Gold Member
Orion said:
da_zeb said:
Samseau said:
da_zeb said:
Samseau said:
False.
hav
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_Guard


False. Orthodox have had the same beliefs as presented below since 1st century, AD.

http://oca.org/questions/society/war-and-non-violence
If you'd bothered to read the wikipedia article on the Swiss Guards then you'd know that they serve in the role of bodyguards, and that prior to the assassination attempt on the Pope in 1981 their role was almost entirely ceremonial. Given that their armament consists of pistols, assault rifles and submachine guns, I think it would be fair to say that they don't meet the definition of an army.
500 men with highly trained pistols, assault rifles, and submachine guns don't count as an army... right.

:malehamster:

Your link to what the Orthodox believe about war and non-violence doesn't in any way contradict what I wrote about the close relationship between the Church and State in majority Orthodox nations. Both the Catholic Church and the main Protestant denominations teach the same thing regards to war and the desirability of non-violence.

I find it pretty ironic that the non-violent Orthodox Church assisted the Tsarist government in persecuting the radically-pacifist Doukhobors, and if not directly aiding the government in persecuting the pacifist Mennonites and Hutterites, didn't speak out against their mistreatment.
Again, the supposed "link" to the state Orthodox churches have with national governments comes from "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and give unto God's what is God's." They're pacifist and obey their governments. This is why they obeyed the Tsar even if the Tsar was doing evil things. Quite often the Church leaders did not know what the leaders were planning or doing either.

Conversely, the Catholics are not pacifist nor have they always obeyed national governments. They have an army (and almost always have had one) and have frequently bossed nation states around, which blew up in their faces with King Henry and the Protestant Reformation.
The Swiss Guard consists of 110 men and their pistols, rifles, and submachine guns don't appear to be any more highly trained than my Dad's hunting rifles. ;) Conspicuous by their absence are any armoured vehicles, mortars, machine guns, or artillery of any sort.

You can read about their equipment here and while they've got some pretty cool and unique weapons they're less well equipped than police forces such as the Italian Carabinieri, or even the San Diego Unified School District Police Department

:malehamster: :malehamster:


As for your explanation of State-Church relations in the Orthodox world all I can say is Wow!... Just Wow! Perhaps it's just poor wording on your part buy you make it sound as if Caesar decides and the Church follows meekly. I'm not sure that is even the case in Russia where the Church has traditionally been very subserviant to the wishes of the government. I said there tend to be ties between the State and the Orthodox Church and that in the Byzantine Empire the Emperors had influence in the Church. Google is your friend.

"The life of Byzantium formed a unified whole, and there was no rigid line of separation between the religious and the secular, between Church and State: the two were seen as parts of a single organism. Hence it was inevitable that the Emperor played an active part in the affairs of the Church. Yet at the same time it is not just to accuse Byzantium of Caesaro-Papism, of subordinating the Church to the State. Although Church and State formed a single organism, yet within this one organism there vvere two distinct elements, the priesthood (sacerdotium) and the imperial power (imperium); and while working in close co-opcration, each of these elements had its own proper sphere in which it was autonomous. Between the two there was a 'symphony' or 'harmony', but neither element exercised absolute control over the other.

This is the doctrine expounded in the great code of Byzantine law drawn up under Justinian (see the sixth Novel) and repeated in many of the; Byzantine texts. Take for example the words of Emperor John Tzimisces: 'I recognize two authorities, priesthood and empire; the Creator of the world entrusted to the first the care of souls and to the second the control of men's bodies. Let neither authority be attacked, that the world may enjoy prosperity." Thus it was the Emperor's task to summon councils and to carry their decrees into effect, but it lay beyond his powers to dictate the content of those decrees: it was for the bishops gathered in council to decide what the true faith was. Bishops were appointed by God to teach the faith, whereas the Emperor was the protector of Orthodoxy, but not its exponent. Such was the theory, and such in great part was the practice also. Admittedly there were many occasions on which the Emperor interfered unwarrantably in ecclesiastical matters; but when a serious question of principle arose, the authorities of the Church quickly showed that they had a will of their own. Iconoclasm, for example, was vigorously championed by a whole series of Emperors, yet for all that it was successfully rejected by the Church. In Byzantine history Church and State were closely interdependent, but neither was subordinate to the other."


You need to quit defining your faith in opposition to Catholicism. It reeks of insecurity.
This is unfortunately the part where i have to say the unpopular "read some history" phrase, but you really need to get into it.

The best way to figure out the proportion of state/temporal vs church/spiritual power struggle is to read about conflict between Ghibelline Holy Roman Empire and it's House of Hohenstaufen , and Guelph faction and Popes.

Popes always had ambition to be rulers, and it finally came to an end during rise of nationalism in Europe. Just because recently, Vatican is a small state, does not simply abolish them from their roots. Even Mussolini, a dictator, gave in to their requests for a status of a recognized state, and fascists more than anyone, had ambitions to subjugate spiritual power to that of a state, so spirituality too would be governed by ruler.

However Mussolini was not as sharp as his predecessors.

But prior to reduction of Papal power, they ran serious armies and serious finances, which engaged in wars even with major powers from time to time, and certainly used other European and Italian rulers for their causes, causing much bitterness in their opponents, who could not renounce Catholicism thanks to it's huge influence, but had to endure humiliations, excommunications etc. from it's leaders.
You'd do well to follow your advice and read some history. The Papal States at their maximum extend comprised perhaps a fifth of the area of modern Italy, so they were never a major military power. The Papacy's main concern wasn't ruling Europe but maintaining it's independence and defending its prerogatives from various kings and emperors who were continually trying to usurp it. In temporal terms, the power differential was always in favour of the secular rulers - think of the Babylon Captivity when the Papacy was moved to Avignon and dominated by the French Kings for seventy years.

The Papacy's power has alway been spiritual and moral. It could never win a war, but it could induce Henry II to walk to Canterbury in sack cloth, inspire the Crusaders, build alliances of Christian states against the Turks and Napoleon, and stare down the Polish Communist regime.

Now, can we get back to discussing Orthodox Christianity.
 

da_zeb

Robin
Gold Member
Truth Teller said:
I'm Catholic, but have great respect for my Orthodox brothers. My issues are not really with the Orthodox church in general (in some places, it seems closer to the Apostles than the Catholic Church). However, I have some issues with the theology (believe it or not, I think the leavened/unleavened nature of the Eucharist important).
I'm Catholic but some of my ancestors were Orthodox.
 
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