What is Orthodox Christianity?

lskdfjldsf

Pelican
Orthodox Catechumen
Gold Member
My family is coming from Roman Catholicism and will be received through chrismation. The decision whether to rebaptize is made on a case-by-case basis by the bishop. Wouldn't this imply there's validity to at least that sacrament? I don't have a position, just curious.
 

Lawrence87

Woodpecker
Orthodox
So, even if Orthodox Church doesn`t recognize other`s churches sacraments we can`t make the affirmation , for example, that the sacraments in Catholic church are not valid (for the Catholics) and thus a confession, for example, has no more spiritual value than a visit to a psychologist.

I don't necessarily disagree with this.

However, I would say that someone in the process of leaving the RC church and joining the EO church, it would not necessarily be useful to confess with their old RC priest. A big part of Orthodoxy is one's obedience to a spiritual father, and if you are in the process of developing that relationship, and being catechised in the faith, it might be counter productive to confess with one's old priest. They might give advice that runs counter to the advice given by your Orthodox priest. Also one has to renounce one's old beliefs in order to join the Orthodox church. That means you make a serious commitment to the Orthodox church. Confessing at the RC church on the side does not demonstrate this commitment, and if one desires to do so then one has to wonder whether they are right to join the Orthodox church. At the very least the matter would have to be discussed with the Orthodox priest and given a blessing.

So in many regards its not a matter of whether the confession is more spiritually beneficial than talking to a psychologist. It's about whether or not it demonstrates a spiritual commitment to the church that one is in the process of joining. It's definitely not spiritually beneficial to be baptized or chrismated into the Orthodox church if you haven't renounced all the other churches and do not wish to commit your life to it entirely. It's not something that should be done in half measures.
 

SimpleMan

Sparrow
Can anything new be realised from reading the Bible within Orthodoxy?
Are Bible talking groups in Orthodoxy a thing?

Within Orthodoxy is there ever a a discussion on Scripture and what things might mean from it, or is everything already figured out in that area? For example, when you read Scripture and you have an insight or thought from it, do you share your thoughts on it to the Church Farther to discuss it, or do you just ask them what it is about?

I once asked a member about their view on a particular verse, and I was told they use books of interpretations/commentaries. Unfortunately the one verse I asked about didn't have one. I was also directed to this place for commentaries by another member which was helpful (click on the verse number and commentaries pop up from Saint's).
 

Lawrence87

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Can anything new be realised from reading the Bible within Orthodoxy?
Are Bible talking groups in Orthodoxy a thing?

Within Orthodoxy is there ever a a discussion on Scripture and what things might mean from it, or is everything already figured out in that area? For example, when you read Scripture and you have an insight or thought from it, do you share your thoughts on it to the Church Farther to discuss it, or do you just ask them what it is about?

I once asked a member about their view on a particular verse, and I was told they use books of interpretations/commentaries. Unfortunately the one verse I asked about didn't have one. I was also directed to this place for commentaries by another member which was helpful (click on the verse number and commentaries pop up from Saint's).

Many churches do Bible studies.

Generally one looks at the Patristic interpretation of the scriptures. So any 'new' idea you might have as an individual reading the Bible ought to be treated with suspicion. Generally there is nothing new under the sun, either your personal interpretation will be an age old heresy, or it will have precedence in the Fathers.

You should certainly discuss your thoughts about scripture with your priest and be very wary of personal interpretation.
 

Liviu

Sparrow
Orthodox
I'm watching the above video you reference. At 29:09 minutes the protestant asks the Priest what would happen if a Catechumen were to die, and his answer is "God willing, if they lived out their repentance, they are in Paradise. They are in Heaven." It goes without saying that this is before any confession to a Priest.

@Liviu Looking forward to what you come up with after talking to your friend.
Yes, I remember that and I knew it when I advised him to confess. The answer is generally related , the catechumen is potentially coming from anywhere. I think I explained why I did that and as seems below, you understood it until a point
At most he would get temporary relief, though I doubt he will find even this
Temporary relief is what was in my mind, meaning also forgiving for his sins. But for the latter I have to come with supplementary explanations as you requested.
The healing we are all seeking can only be found in the Orthodox Church. You should know this
I think after graduation of a Faculty of Christian-Orthodox Theology of four years I am aware of that. The healing starts with Holy Sacrament of Batism and Holy Sacrament of Anointing, continues with Holy Sacrament of Communion, Holy Sacrament of Penance, Holy Sacrament of Anointing of the Seek and all holy services of Orthodox Church. In Catholic church Sacrament of Anointing is called now Extrema Onctia (The last anointing) and is serviced only before someone dies. This shows how much grace they lost. In the Orthodox Church many people recovered their health by Holy Sacrament of Anointing. Did the Catholics lost all the grace? This is our debate here. I will come soon with a final theological statement.
 

Liviu

Sparrow
Orthodox
At the very least the matter would have to be discussed with the Orthodox priest and given a blessing.
I think we finally have a consensus.
So in many regards its not a matter of whether the confession is more spiritually beneficial than talking to a psychologist. It's about whether or not it demonstrates a spiritual commitment to the church that one is in the process of joining. It's definitely not spiritually beneficial to be baptized or chrismated into the Orthodox church if you haven't renounced all the other churches and do not wish to commit your life to it entirely. It's not something that should be done in half measures.
So, we finally arrive at the tie of our little debate. What has to be added is this: he didn`t asked an Orhodox priest what to do, he asked us.He even wasn`t sure that parish will be his own. By this, he didn`t affirmed his commitment yet to Orthodox Church. In the same time he complained to us about his charged conscience and by the fact he still is in ` state of grave sin`. Now , our positions are quite clear. The solution is in the hand of the priest he is following. Bravo, good ending.
 

SimpleMan

Sparrow
Many churches do Bible studies.

Generally one looks at the Patristic interpretation of the scriptures. So any 'new' idea you might have as an individual reading the Bible ought to be treated with suspicion. Generally there is nothing new under the sun, either your personal interpretation will be an age old heresy, or it will have precedence in the Fathers.

Thanks, will look into 'Patristic interpretation'.

Talking of 'precedence in the Fathers'. What is the stucutre within Orthodoxy? Clearly they don't have a Pope at the top, do they have meetings/council discussions like the Presbyterians? (I've been looking into Protestants and how it all started).

While all that was going on, between the Roman Catholic and Protestants, what were the Orthoox doing - just watching by, shaking their heads and continuing? Lastly, can anyone explain why Roosh left one place and joined another within Orthodoxy - what was the difference?
 

MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
While all that was going on, between the Roman Catholic and Protestants, what were the Orthoox doing - just watching by, shaking their heads and continuing? Lastly, can anyone explain why Roosh left one place and joined another within Orthodoxy - what was the difference?
To your first question, yes. Orthodoxy has its own internal stuff going on but largely the problems of Western Christianity are not relevant to those things. To your second question, the group he left - the Armenian Orthodox - are not actually a part of the Orthodox Church. They used to be, but broke away from it over a thousand years ago. So when Roosh left the Armenians, he was not simply switching from one Orthodox group to another, but rather from what we call a “schismatic” group to the Orthodox Church.
 

DeusLuxMeaEst

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
Thank you all for the responses. I didn't mean for the question to spark such a debate.

At this time, I am going to keep following the path to Orthodoxy. I have not been to a Catholic service in a while and am just attending an Orthodox church. When I said mortal sin, I meant that I have not confessed things like sex before marriage and viewing pornography. For the most part my life is becoming more virtuous. The great news is that my sinful actions have decreased sharply in the past 2 years.

I still have to consult with my priest about the matter.

As an interesting tidbit which may add even more to the debate...

My childhood Roman Catholic priest who was very traditional once told us that he was unsure whether certain sins could even be absolved or rather they would take a lifetime of repentence. He stated they were suicide (if you die immediately how do you repent?) and having an abortion.

I know this may be controversial and obviously neither apply to me, but I have an intuition that this is the case. I mean yes, during the sacrament of confession, you are given absolution if you do your penance but I find it hard to believe that say a murderer or a woman who gets an abortion is completely absolved after saying some prayers. There is more involved here. If we look at cases of conversions from lives of great sin, we see some of these people entering monastic life (ex. Moses the black). I suspect that this is because they knew that the former life of sin had to be 'countered' with great works.
 
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Lawrence87

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Thank you all for the responses. I didn't mean for the question to spark such a debate.

At this time, I am going to keep following the path to Orthodoxy. I have not been to a Catholic service in a while and am just attending an Orthodox church. When I said mortal sin, I meant that I have not confessed things like sex before marriage and viewing pornography. For the most part my life is becoming more virtuous. The great news is that my sinful actions have decreased sharply in the past 2 years.

I still have to consult with my priest about the matter.

As an interesting tidbit which may add even more to the debate...

My childhood Roman Catholic priest who was very traditional once told us that he was unsure whether certain sins could even be absolved or rather they would take a lifetime of repentence. He stated they were suicide (if you die immediately how do you repent?) and having an abortion.

I know this may be controversial and obviously neither apply to me, but I have an intuition that this is the case. I mean yes, during the sacrament of confession, you are given absolution if you do your penance but I find it hard to believe that say a murderer or a woman who gets an abortion is completely absolved after saying some prayers. There is more involved here. If we look at cases of conversions from lives of great sin, we see some of these people entering monastic life (ex. Moses the black). I suspect that this is because they knew that the former life of sin had to be 'countered' with great works.

Yeah I'd say that there is more to confession than simply ticking the box. You could quite easily go through confession and not really be repentant, only doing so to be "correct" in a legalistic sense. You have to be repentant in order to confess properly. That means struggling with our sinful passions. Confession is an aid to repentance, but it is not repentance itself, merely a part of it.

In terms of your situation, if you've not been to your old church for a long time, I don't see what benefit it would have going back just to confess. Just wait until you are chrismated and can give your confession.
 

Liviu

Sparrow
Orthodox
When I said mortal sin, I meant that I have not confessed things like sex before marriage and viewing pornography. For the most part my life is becoming more virtuous. The great news is that my sinful actions have decreased sharply in the past 2 years.
Sex before marriage is a mortal sin. Pornography , because involves the sin in the heart, the same. Atonement of the latter is normally easier.
My childhood Roman Catholic priest who was very traditional once told us that he was unsure whether certain sins could even be absolved or rather they would take a lifetime of repentence. He stated they were suicide (if you die immediately how do you repent?) and having an abortion.
The absolution of the sins STARTS with confession. The Holy Sacrament of Penance has two parts: confession and atonement. I said this before. The atonement is very much guided by the holy canons, but remains a mistery between God and penitent. You`ll be guided by priest.We can`t know just from the beginning how long will take the absolution of sins. The penitent feels after confession a big relief and can be said that a big part of absolution is in confession. This is called in Romanian Orthodox Church tradition `untying from sins`.

By suicide someones denies to God the possibility to give the forgiving. Is not that God wouldn`t want to forgive. Is that persons who condemns him(or her)self. Al other sins can be forgiven, including abortion. And yes, would take a life of repentance in that case because is one of the gravest sins.
I find it hard to believe that say a murderer or a woman who gets an abortion is completely absolved after saying some prayers. There is more involved here. If we look at cases of conversions from lives of great sin, we see some of these people entering monastic life (ex. Moses the black). I suspect that this is because they knew that the former life of sin had to be 'countered' with great works.
Yes, is like this. Not prayers but many prayers, including many prayers of the church, fasting, giving charity and STATING EVERYWHERE ABORTION ONE OF THE BIGGEST SINS (the latter is of big importance).
 

SimpleMan

Sparrow
To your first question, yes. Orthodoxy has its own internal stuff going on but largely the problems of Western Christianity are not relevant to those things. To your second question, the group he left - the Armenian Orthodox - are not actually a part of the Orthodox Church. They used to be, but broke away from it over a thousand years ago. So when Roosh left the Armenians, he was not simply switching from one Orthodox group to another, but rather from what we call a “schismatic” group to the Orthodox Church.

Thanks. I've started to look into history now. Ecclesiology as I've learnt it is called. I looked into the schisms and there are quite a few in every group, which makes my head hurt. I'm assuming God wants simplicity, something a child can understand. So I will keep that in mind.

"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."

Even though I get confused, as i'm still new to all this, I like this place as there is peace between many different groups here.
 

Brebelle3

Robin
Orthodox Inquirer
I'll put this here.

When accepting the blessed bread at the conclusion on the Divine Liturgy, I feel moved to show respect for my priest. I'd like to show that by kissing his hand.

Is it appropriate to kiss his hand while he is placing the bread in mine or do I need to ask "father bless" prior or is it appropriate at all during that time?

It sounds a bit silly to concern myself with these minute details, but I wish to show the proper reverence to the father.
 

Penitent

Woodpecker
Orthodox
I'll put this here.

When accepting the blessed bread at the conclusion on the Divine Liturgy, I feel moved to show respect for my priest. I'd like to show that by kissing his hand.

Is it appropriate to kiss his hand while he is placing the bread in mine or do I need to ask "father bless" prior or is it appropriate at all during that time?

It sounds a bit silly to concern myself with these minute details, but I wish to show the proper reverence to the father.
That’s how it’s usually done (without asking the blessing). If you watch people in line ahead of you they probably do the same. As an added step of respect it is normal to wash your hands before coming to liturgy just for this reason, so that you won’t receive the blessed bread with soiled hands.
 

Liviu

Sparrow
Orthodox
I'll put this here.

When accepting the blessed bread at the conclusion on the Divine Liturgy, I feel moved to show respect for my priest. I'd like to show that by kissing his hand.y normal quest

Is it appropriate to kiss his hand while he is placing the bread in mine or do I need to ask "father bless" prior or is it appropriate at all during that time?

It sounds a bit silly to concern myself with these minute details, but I wish to show the proper reverence to the father.
Very normal question. Here, in Romania, in the countryside, when the priest places the blessed bread in the hands of the believer, EVERYONE kisses the hand of the priest. And in the towns, ALMOST EVERYONE.

Romanian spiritual father Cleopa Ilie said that when the believer kisses the hand of the priest he takes grace of Holy Spirit upon him.
 

DeusLuxMeaEst

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
I'd like to give a quick update. I am continuing to go to an Orthodox church. Although I'm having a difficult time connecting with other parashioners.

Further, the priest seems very busy and every time we set up a time for a talk he bails or says he is busy. I also had the same experience with the other priest.

I'm finding this community not very welcoming at all. It seems cliquish and everyone knows each other. I'm sure if I was a young attractive female they'd be more welcoming (sarcasm)

Anyway I'm going to explore different churches although they are a further drive.
 

Brebelle3

Robin
Orthodox Inquirer
I'd like to give a quick update. I am continuing to go to an Orthodox church. Although I'm having a difficult time connecting with other parashioners.

Further, the priest seems very busy and every time we set up a time for a talk he bails or says he is busy. I also had the same experience with the other priest.

I'm finding this community not very welcoming at all. It seems cliquish and everyone knows each other. I'm sure if I was a young attractive female they'd be more welcoming (sarcasm)

Anyway I'm going to explore different churches although they are a further drive.
Do they have a meal after the Liturgy?

I go alone and after the Divine Liturgy there is a fellowship meal. I just find a place to sit and eat and talk to anyone nearby.

We have a service on Monday to commemorate St Nektarios of Pentapolis. I always look forward to a weekday Liturgy, because there's less people, and I can have one on one time with the Father and ease into meeting my brothers and sisters.

Saturday vespers is always good too, again because it's just a few people and I can speak with the priest.

It's difficult when you feel like an "outsider" since everyone else seems to know each other and they all want time from the Father.

I've also volunteered to help the father with any work he might need help with in the church.

Praying for you my brother
 

Penitent

Woodpecker
Orthodox
I'd like to give a quick update. I am continuing to go to an Orthodox church. Although I'm having a difficult time connecting with other parashioners.

I'm finding this community not very welcoming at all. It seems cliquish and everyone knows each other.
You are describing problems that are common to many, dare I say, most Orthodox parishes. It is hard to break in on a group in which many of the relationships have become ossified. Usually there is a "popular" group that includes the people who sing in the choir, or are related to the clergymen by blood or by marriage. They socialize amongst themselves (and often ignore newcomers like yourself, or anybody not in the "group"). If you are lucky there will be one or two individuals in the parish that are able to look beyond their own social needs and attend to someone such as you who is not steady on his feet yet.

Hopefully this doesn't prevent you from joining the Church because that would be tragic.
 
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